The following article contains major spoilers from Attack on Titan’s Marley arc. Read ahead at your own discretion!
Zeke Yeager, arguably the Scouts’ most horrifying enemy, turned out to be an ally. He claimed to be a true restorationist with a will to save Eldia, just like his father. Not only did he manage to climb up the ranks to become the War Chief with his great abilities as the Beast Titan, but managed to convince a few people into believing his plan.
The volunteers were a group of soldiers who wanted destruction of Marley and looked up to Zeke. They infiltrated the Marley survey ships that were sent to Paradis. It was the job of these volunteers to cooperate with Paradis forces and convey Zeke’s true allegiance. He sent Marleyan weapons with them to gain their trust.
However, there was one solider who fully knew of Zeke’s plan- Yelena. She told this plan to only Eren Jeager.
What was Zeke Yeager’s plan for Paradis & Eldia?
While Zeke Yeager (Jaegar) made it seem like his main plan was to use a small-scale rumbling to ward off enemies to give Paradis 50 years to catch up, it was a fluke.
Zeke’s secret plan was to euthanise all Eldians. He wanted to use the Founding Titan to order Ymir to alter bodies of Eldians to stop them from reproducing. Subsequently, this would lead to the race withering out. This plan is what he called “The Euthanisation Plan.”
In fact, this plan of his had been his driving force ever since he grew up and was to inherit the Beast Titan. He even planned the raid on Liberio so that it would help him move to Paradis and come in contact with Eren and his Founding Titan. This way he would be able to make Marley believe he was dead and carry out his plan without any hindrances.
Understanding why Zeke chose euthanisation:
Initially, Zeke seemed like any other warrior who was intent on wiping out Paradis Eldians. However, we gain so much more insight with chapter 114. Zeke was treated more like a tool to win back Eldia rather than a son. His royal blood put him in a position of extreme importance for the restorationists.
Moreover, there was an overwhelming difference in what his parents, and his grandparents taught him. Zeke was not a big fan of war, and had no idea about what he was signed up for. On top of it all, he lagged behind in the training. This led to his parents giving up on him. For a young child who barely understood what was going on, he reached his breaking point quickly.
Despite this, Tom Ksaver took him under his wing and Zeke finally found someone who truly cared. This would then lead him to betray his parents.
Zeke was not particularly interested in the happenings surrounding Eldia and Marley. He was just interested in spending time with Ksaver. However, his harsh experiences as an Eldian living in Marley did make him wonder if he could do something to change this.
The idea of Euthanisation struck him when one day Tom told him something very interesting. He told Zeke that Ymir had the power to alter the bodies of Eldians using the power of the Fouding Titan. Tom gave him an example of an epidemic. Ymir was asked by the king to alter Eldian anatomy, and the race became immune to it.
Zeke pondered over the idea of altering Eldian bodies to make sure they could not reproduce. According to him, it was the most peaceful way to end the years of conflict between Eldians and the whole world. And since Zeke was someone who despised war, this idea aligned with his personality perfectly. He was not a fighter like Eren. Instead of eradicating his enemies, Zeke was someone who wished he were never born.
With this primary mindset driving him, Zeke promised Tom that he would carry out the Euthanisation plan and save the Eldians & the world.
But is Zeke’s real intention was to carry out the Euthanization plan, then why did he worry about the rumbling?
Why did Zeke propose small-scale rumbling?
The mini rumbling was part of Zeke’s strategy to keep enemy forces at bay. Euthanisation is a long term plan- it would take fifty years at least for the last Eldian to die. Therefore, there was a possibility that the other nations would resort to bloodshed to speed up the process. This would go against the peaceful death that he envisioned for the Eldians as a whole.
Not wanting that to happen, Zeke proposed the small rumbling. This would do considerable damage to enemy forces, hence forcing them to not attack Paradis for a long time. He masked his actual plan by introducing it as a 50-year plan that only focused on rebuilding Paradis.
The will to fight was an emotion that caused Zeke significant damage growing up. His parents used him as a tool for the bigger picture and stole his childhood from him. Therefore, he was an advocate for a peaceful end to this conflict. However, it was important for Paradis to build technology that would help them defend themselves.
This is precisely why Zeke reached out to Hizuru for help. Knowing their friendliness to Eldia, Zeke convinced Lady Kiyomi to establish diplomatic relations with Paradis.
Why did Zeke want Historia to inherit the Beast Titan?
Another question posed by his plan was why he was willing to let Historia inherit his titan. To understand this, its remember to keep Karl Fritz’s vow in mind. Every time a royal inherited the Founding Titan, they would be willed to renounce war. This would prevent them from carrying out rumbling.
However, when a non-royal inheritor of the Founding Titan comes in contact with royal blood, the inheritor is not influenced to carry out the vow. This meant that with royal contact, a non royal can use Ymir to their own will.
Therefore, Zeke wanted Historia to inherit his titan. This way, a titan with royal blood would be present in Paradis, while it would be made sure that the Founding Titan is not inherited by anyone royal.
With this, Eren could carry out the rumbling through his contact with Zeke, and in the future, with Historia.
In conclusion, Zeke’s plan was to make Eren access Ymir and will her to alter Eldian bodies so that they can’t reproduce. This way, there would be no more bloodshed and Eldia could die in peace. To make sure no country tries to intervene, he proposed a rumbling to deter them, and bought time for Paradis to advance technologically.
What do you think about Zeke’s plan? Do you agree with his ideologies? Could there be any other way to save the Eldians? Let us know your opinions in the comments section!