The choice left front of Eren was always an impossible one. Fear had defined the ages and hatred had entrenched it deeply within the worlds truth. To live, meant despising the source of such terror. The Eldians became demons within the eyes of many. And a divide was created both physically and mentally to segregate such dread. Even the Eldians themselves who bore no responsibility for the atrocities committed in the past were taught to hate their history and themselves because of the blood that flowed through their veins. The only solution past Eldians came up with was isolating themselves from the world until the world was ready to cast their judgement and justice on those Eldians. It was a desperate attempt to carve out an age of peace within a time of conflict. Ultimately though, only more suffering amounted through the ignorance imprisoning those on Paradis. Such repercussions from the past became a ghost to Eren haunting him every moment since becoming aware of Eldia’s history. Having possessed the power to shift the direction of the future, Eren chose that which was important to him. To forsake the world in favour of his homeland. For Paradis’s continuation. At the end of it all, the remnants of Eren’s desires fueled by the nature of the Founding Titan organism saw his actions force his comrades against him. With Mikasa ultimately being the one to liberate Eren from his struggle. And the one to say the final farewell to the boy who deep down only wished freedom for the world.
Eren became the embodiment of freedom’s antithesis. But through such darkness, arises the possibility that the world can rebuild and move forward together unburdened by hatred for one another. If anything, the inhumane actions of Eren and the threat he represented could have indirectly laid the foundation for a more hopeful future. Those that remain after experiencing such a hell may reach a perspective broader than what it was prior to the Rumbling. And through a wider viewpoint, they may come to realise the irrelevance of the past division that defined their lives. In the grand scheme of life, time is short and hate becomes such a crippling identity. The people existing around you are just like you. They love. They suffer. They celebrate. They cry. They live. They die. We have already seen moments of humanity rising above their past shackles to liberate themselves. The soldiers present at the Fort Salta moved passed their prejudice and made an effort to reach out to the Eldians who also escaped to Fort Salta. The finality of their situation has awakened a realisation within the people remaining. The conflict they were all wrapped in prior to the Rumbling, appears so meaningless now.
I am so glad the Marley characters were able to reunite with their family (RIP Colt), especially the reunion between Annie and her father. But how tragically bittersweet such a moment was. Annie and her father were right there in front of each other but before they could even embrace each other after years of separation, they are torn apart once again. The Founding Titan Organism released some toxins it was able to produce in the form of gas to transform the Eldians present in Fort Salta into Titans. It then forced the transformed Eldians to attack Reiner as it attempted to reconnect with Eren. Reiner facing off against Connie, Jean, Gabi and his Mom could do nothing but continue to despair and hold the Founding Titan Organism back. Along with Pieck and Annie, who also could do little but steel their emotions and engage the Founding Titan Organism, Reiner wonders when their fight will end. Will all their efforts amount to anything. And what will be saved in the end?
Mikasa’s struggle and ultimate resolution was incredibly moving. To her, Eren is the most important person in the world. She lived her life to protect him and even if she may not have fully embraced it prior to her farewell, she loved Eren. Mikasa dreaded this moment but through exploring the feelings she has for Eren, she realised what needed to be done and who she is. Mikasa came to terms with her desire to run away. She accepted her “self” and she chose what to do herself. Eren is someone important to her and she needed to be the one to free Eren just as he wished freedom for Mikasa. The symbolism of the scarf represents Mikasa’s bond to Eren and her wearing it in this moment conveys her desire to accept Eren and to personally see his journey to its end. Mikasa could not forget. She could not run away. All she could do was accept Eren. And that meant killing him. Ending the life of the one she loved so that he could be freed. Its a tragic and sorrowful end but the relationship Mikasa and Eren shared was one radiating such beauty.
The irony in this conflict is that what began as Ymir’s salvation has ended up becoming the thing which threatens the very lives of the Eldians born from it. What is it that Ymir seeks? Why was Ymir waiting for these past 2,000 years? Was it for someone ready to forsake it all? Or for the individual that continued to love the one who forsook it all? Is this why Ymir appeared at the end when Mikasa farewelled Eren. That smile on Ymir’s face illustrates her acceptance of her situation. Through the story that began with her, was she finally able to escape her cage of servitude and understand her desire for freedom? Despite the path she awakened to connect all Eldians, she remained alone. Eren was the first to reach out to her. After such an encounter, has Ymir come to hold desires for herself? Did she wish for Eren to be freed from his suffering as well? Very much looking forward to the final chapter and learning about the conclusion of the Titan story!