It is not until Eren is confronted by Rodd Reiss that we realise the true magnitude of Eren becoming an intelligent titan. Not only did he have his father’s Attack Titan, but the royal family’s Founding Titan! The titan, that quite literally started it all.
The Founding Titan is the first Titan to have existed and is the progenitor of all Subjects of Ymir. Not only did it make the first titans, but made the other eight intelligent titans as well. The Founding Titan is also referred to as the Coordinate, a point where the ‘paths’, an invisible connection between all the Eldians and Titans, cross and converge. Its abilities to control and rule over the other Titans has made it a desired weapon for Marley, who tried to infiltrate Paradis and steal it away from the island.
Are you curious to see what makes this the strongest titan of all? Then, keep on reading!
Warning: This article contains major spoilers for Attack on Titan manga. Read ahead at your own discretion!
The abilities of the Founding Titan:
The Founding Titan has several abilities including Titan control and Titan creation. The inheritor of the Founding Titan can use these powers even without transforming (i.e by staying in their human form). Moreover, the abilities of the Founding Titan can also be activated if not in a person of royal blood. As long as the inheritor comes in contact with a royal blooded person, they will unlock its powers. Furthermore, coming in contact with a royal blooded titan garners more power.
This is exactly how Eren could control titans!
Power to Control Other Titans:
This ability of the founding titan is perhaps the most sought after. With a scream, the inheritor can put other pure titans under its control. This works even when the inheritor has not shifted. This ability only works on pure and abnormal titans. Let’s look at Eren’s contact with Dina Fritz to understand this power more!
When Eren punched her hand, he came in contact with a royal blooded titan. Hence, the power of the Founding Titan in him unleashed. Eren’s scream of rage was an order for pure titans to devour Dina; showing us that they bent to his will without him even having to spell it out for them. On the other hand, intelligent titans such as Reiner, Bertholdt and Ymir definitely felt the influence of the Founding Titan, getting astounded. However, they did not come under the control of Eren.
There are two titans we see that can mimic this ability. Firstly, it is Zeke Yeager’s Beast Titan. Being of royal blood, his intelligent titan is more powerful than his counterparts (you can read more about it here). Secondly, the Female Titan also has the power to summon titans to her will, though her range is limited. This is because the Female Titan has the ability to replicate the power of other intelligent titans.
This ability branches out into memory manipulation that the Founding Titan can do.
Ability to Manipulate Memory
This ability is an offshoot of the power to control titans. As Erwin hypothesised, the scream of the titan may also make the people (Subjects of Ymir) follow orders when needed. With memory manipulation, the Founding Titan technically does take control of the people and what they will do next. The Founding Titan can therefore wipe out or alter memories of Subjects of Ymir.
Karl Fritz doing so is the most popular example. Once he got as many people on the island, he used his ability to wipe out their memories. They were made to believe that the world was plagued by titans, and the population were the last of humanity remaining. With this, he did put the population indirectly under his control as this molded their thinking and way of living for a century.
We also see Freida Reiss use this on Historia to wipe her memories of meeting her. Ymir Fritz is also known to use this ability, as we see in chapter 139.5 that she had manipulated everyone into believing she died trying to save King Fritz, when it was the opposite!
Furthermore, we see Eren’s Founding Titan erase memories of Eren and Armin meeting. Due to the ability to transcend time (more on that later), Eren had conversations at multiple junctures in his and Armin’s lives erased, only for them to be activated when he dies. This shows just how powerful the titans’ memory manipulation skills are!
The Power to Create Titans
This ability involves turning Subjects of Ymir into pure titans. To know more about the difference between an Eldian and Subject of Ymir, you can read this article. This ability is what allowed the Eldian Empire to grow and maintain its power for centuries. The Founding Titan can also create titans of other kinds, as we see Karl Fritz making hundreds of Colossal Titans to make the walls.
The Founding Titan cannot make new intelligent titans. We guess that since its abilities have already been split off into eight others, there is no more defining quality that could have turned into an intelligent titan of its own.
Despite that, there is one intelligent titan who can replicate this! You guessed it, it is Zeke’s Beast Titan once again. If a Subject of Ymir is exposed to spinal fluid in whatever form, they can be triggered to turn into titans by Zeke’s screams. We see this happen to the citizens of Ragako village.
Actually, the Founding Titan only commands the creation of a new titan. In reality, it is Ymir who builds the titan out of the sand in the paths and uses it to transform the concerned person into a titan. Due to the laws of time not applying in the paths, all of this happens instantaneously on Earth.
The Founding Titan is capable of relaying messages to the population. Every Subject of Ymir is connected to the other through their subconscious, and this is only triggered when the Founding Titan wants; a consequence of paths. This phenomena of the paths existing outside any physical or time bound realm makes it the perfect tool for communication.
Eren uses this ability to announce his plan to go ahead with genocide to protect his friends and Paradis. This ability allows the Founding Titan to relay a message to any Subject of Ymir, no matter their location. Talking about Eren’s founding titan, let’s look at its most defining ability next.
Ability to Transcend Time
This ability seems to only reside in Founding Titans that are similar to the progenitor titan of Ymir Fritz. Founding Titans other than Eren have most probably never had this ability (or else altering the courses would be very simple!). With this power, the Founding Titan manages to see the past, present and future together. This is probably what allows Ymir to send future memories to Attack Titans, while also sending memories of the past to other titans.
The influence of the Founding Titan:
For a long time we saw the ability of this titan subdued due to the vow of renouncement. Despite that, we cannot deny that the Founding Titan is insanely powerful. Any ability of a titan that we see is the byproduct of the Founding Titan itself!
This also includes the ability of hardening. We can assume that this ability was extracted later on and given to other intelligent titans to improve their combat skills. The Founding Titan also has the ability to undo hardening. As we see in Chapter 123, at Eren’s will, all the titan hardening found comes undone. Not only do the walls fall, but Reiner’s armour also strips away. This means that possibly the Founding Titan has the ability to overturn abilities of other titans. The only titan that has ever never been brought under full control of the Founding Titan is the Attack Titan (about which you can read here).
Lastly, the Founding Titan’s command over Ymir is an ability of its own. With this, it can ask Ymir to quite literally do anything. A great example of this is when Tom Ksaver tells Zeke about Ymir altering body anatomy. When a plague hit 600 years ago, the then Eldian King asked Ymir to change the bodies of the Subjects of Ymir in a way that they become immune to it. This ability of altering is what had inspired Zeke to go ahead with a plan of euthanisation as he wanted his race to be made sterile.
Do you like the Founding Titan? Would you have wanted to see all of its abilities in more action? Let us know in the comments below!