The one thing Fritz did not count on, was Eren Jaeger, who immediately calls out the cruelty of a world that would allow Ymir to suffer as she did. “I’ll put an end to this world,” he promises Ymir, while reminding her that she is neither a god nor a slave; She’s a person. With this, we finally see Ymir open her eyes, as she begins to tear up.
We then return to the real world, and in an instant, the same worm-like parasite that attached itself to Ymir’s spine emerges from Eren’s decapitated head and it starts growing exponentially, all while a roaring thunder makes the walls break apart, revealing the Colossal Titans hidden inside them. Then, Eren’s flesh-less spine transforms itself into a horrifying, leviathan-like monster.
The ground breaks beneath the Titans’ feet and the debris from the wall shake Shiganshina, and the skies literally turn red as Eren and millions of Colossal Titans start their prophesied march. The rumbling is no longer coming, it is here. For all the talk we’ve heard about the rumbling since season 3, and for the brief and surprisingly spoilery tease we got on the end credits sequence in season 2, nothing could have prepared us for how grim, apocalyptic, and even poetic the scene would actually look like when fully animated. It helps that we also got Kohta Yamamoto’s best musical contribution for the show yet, with the track “Footsteps of Doom” and its doomsday choir evoking something worthy of Mordor in “Lord of the Rings” or the coming of Godzilla himself. Indeed, the sound of the Titans marching is so deafening that Mikasa and Armin can’t even communicate despite standing next to each other, as Armin wonders if Eren really has good intentions in mind for his army of Titans.
But before they can think about it too long, Eren pulls a Voldemort and psychically connects to every Eldian in the world through Paths, delivering the ominous war declaration speech to end all ominous war declaration speeches. “The Wall Titans will trample every inch of the world beyond this island, and until every last life beyond our shores is wiped out,” Eren proclaims, as we get a single static shot of the face of his new Titan form, a true devil of Paradis Island.
“Attack on Titan” was never about right or wrong, but about what level of evil we are comfortable with in order to achieve our goals, and Eren just gave us his answer. Whatever is happening in his head does not bode well for everyone outside (or even inside) of Paradis Island. Rumbling. Rumbling. It’s here.