It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that the latest episode of Attack on Titan bore (literally!) a shocking reveal. The petite Queen Historia nestling in a wooden rocking chair sporting a discernible bump on her belly – was definitely not the reunion that fans would have fathomed. And the matter-of-fact manner in which the reveal unfolded was enough to elicit a double take.
The flashbacks of a happy Historia felt haunting in the presence of the stoic Queen. The mysterious events of the time-gap persist in these staggering reveals. Such a jarring revelation would inevitably flood the Internet with questions: Who got Historia pregnant? Was it Eren? And who was that man with her?
These questions continue to elude manga readers as well. However, there are two contesting theories within the community that I can acquaint you with and they’re definitely worth the read!
As established, only Historia’s childhood friend, the farmer, is confirmed to be the father of Historia’s child. However, many people believe it to be a red herring because of the elusiveness of the events leading up to her pregnancy. Eren seems to be the other viable candidate because there are equally convincing arguments that he may be the father.
1. Who got Historia pregnant?
With the manga gearing towards its finale, the mystery behind Historia’s pregnancy continues to be an enigma. The tenth episode of season 4 establishes Historia’s childhood friend, the farmer, as the father of her baby. And this meagre amount of information is all we have about the identity of the father, officially – even till Chapter 137.
However, the incredulity of a random character being the child’s father, has not sat well with many fans. And why would it? 2 chapters away from the ending and we don’t even know his name. Was this the conclusion of the Ymir and Historia arc that we had envisioned? Certainly not.
So, many continue to dig deep within the dialogues, scouring panels, and placing themselves within the elusive mind of the creator, Hajime Isayama, to find an answer. Several interesting elements have popped up as a result, which I will be addressing.
The debate regarding Historia’s pregnancy has created two factions within the fandom, ones that continue to believe the farmer is the father and the ones that believe Eren is the father. Both the factions have equally compelling arguments to make. And, both these answers don’t sit well with me, for reasons I will state once I get into the meat of the arguments.
One of the main questions I continue ask is – how relevant is Historia’s pregnancy? Is it important who the father is? Isayama has created an environment where it’s almost impossible to choose between yes and no. Historia’s presence in the final arc is quite obscure, much like Levi’s role. These two characters seem to have, majorly, taken a backseat in the final arc – despite the immense popularity they garner amongst fans. Historia appears in a few flashbacks and the only recent panel of hers is where she’s finally giving birth.
The lack of her presence in the final arc could be suggestive of her relevance to this main arc. But the issue is, is it? There isn’t an implication that she is an unimportant character, rather it’s an implication that her role to the story is now at its completion. A hard pill to digest, but Isayama isn’t one to do any favours. But a major counterargument to this is that Isayama is biding his time to disclose a major detail regarding the father’s identity, i.e, through the final panel of the manga.
It is undeniable that the symbolic relevance of Eren holding his baby at the end of the manga would be iconic. However, the possibility of Eren being the father has its own problems. But a simple acceptance of farmer-kun (the community-bestowed name) as the father also feels incomplete because of the way Isayama continues to tease the readers. It can either be ruled as trolling or as a build-up to some major reveal (which wouldn’t be so major anymore).
So this brings us back to the question: Is the father even relevant? In Chapter 130, Isayama finally breaks the ice on the conversation that leads up to her pregnancy. However, him being sly, we were given cleverly placed panels and choppy conversations that threw us off. It is revealed that Historia is aware of Eren’s plan and she cautions him against it, much like anyone else would. Zeke’s presence on the island was bound to put Historia at risk.
Eren serves as the whistle-blower and asks Historia to run away or fight the military police to protect herself. Eren’s refusal to allow the cycle of “children eating parents” seemed to bring Historia on his side, reluctantly of course. She is, after all, “the worst girl in the world” as Eren says.
The panel then shifts to a conversation between Zeke and Eren regarding Mikasa’s feelings towards him, and when questioned on how he would respond, Eren replies with how he has only four years left to live. Right after this panel, is the curiously placed panel of Historia asking what he thinks of her having a baby (as a way to evade being fed to Zeke). This strangely placed panel is what throws fans off in an array of confusion.
Moreover, what causes further confusion is Mikasa’s love for Eren is in the limelight in this arc. Eren and Mikasa’s interaction in Chapter 123 and his curiosity of her feelings in Chapter 130 seems to set a heavy romantic undertone in their relationship. This makes the whole Historia-Eren situation quite complex to understand.
Many believe that the father isn’t relevant as the reasoning behind Historia’s pregnancy is revealed: it was survival. It may be anti-climactic to some, but that reason holds very great significance. Historia used to be a person that considered herself unworthy of living, often finding crafty ways to die as the good girl persona, “Krista Lenz”.
Yet, Ymir’s intervention and presence in her life seemed to propel her towards survival. And the act of choosing to live her life in her own terms was in itself a big step. But that deliberately placed panel continues to confound me.
Historia’s stoic and unhappy expression has also sparked a reaction from fans regarding her mental state and her decision to have a baby. Although, I do believe that Historia’s sadness doesn’t stem from the baby but from knowing Eren’s plan. This is because it’s she, who suggests having the baby and she doesn’t seem too distraught by the thought of it. The notion that the father isn’t relevant isn’t a far-fetched thought. But now, let’s explore the two contesting theories of who the father could possibly be, notwithstanding his relevancy or lack thereof.
2. Who Was the Man With Historia?
The likelihood of the farmer being the father is high. This is because, firstly, it’s already been confirmed that he is the father. Unless it is a red herring, that seems to be the final word on this case. If he is the father, then that surely means that the identity of the father was never relevant after all. This would bring as back to the significance of the decision which is to protect Historia and to allow her to live.
Inheritance of the Beast Titan would entail her lifespan being cut down to 13 years. Her decision to go against her prior stand is almost symbolic of her desire to live on. And even though the farmer is a ‘nameless’ character. It has been established that Historia has a history with him, albeit one that wasn’t explicitly shown to us. But it is a connection, nonetheless.
A childhood bully that redeemed himself is a decent enough background to the story. However, the lack of emphasis on his name is slightly concerning. In Chapter 108, we’re shown panels of Historia approaching the farmer with Eren witnessing the whole scene. Judging by their clothes, it can be inferred that this happened right after Eren and Historia’s conversation that we see in Chapter 130.
It seems unlikely that Isayama is showing us ‘fake’ panels to throw us off. Isn’t it highly possible that the farmer remembers the deed? It is dubious that Paradis Island had become so scientifically advanced that it could practice artificial insemination.
Now, people can argue that Eren manipulated his memories, however, given the timeline, Eren did not have access to such a powerful ability of the Founding Titan yet. He himself tells Historia that he’s willing to wipe her memories but that she’ll have to “stay quiet till then”.
This shows that Eren had no hold on memory manipulation then. And while it is true that the Founding Titan can manipulate memories, I’m not entirely sure about it creating them. There is no evidence till now suggesting the creation of memories by Founding Titan holders. So, it’s safe to say that the panels shown did happen.
This would also explain why Historia lives with the farmer and why he’s praying outside the room while she’s giving birth in Chapter 134. Additionally, it is very clear where Eren stands regarding having a baby. He’s expressed his distaste for creating babies for the sole purpose of preserving royal blood and the Titan legacy. It seems almost, out of character, for him to then go and impregnate Historia.
While I admit the importance of love and family is present in the story, it seems rather shoddy to make Eren’s secret romantic rendezvous such a big highlight, especially during the end of the story. Also, keeping in mind, the emphasis on his relationship with Mikasa. Eren’s reply to Zeke when asked about whether he’d respond to Mikasa’s feelings was that he only had a few years left. By that logic, having a baby should be out of question.
Eren has witnessed the effect of fathers on children, via Grisha. He has suffered under the burden of responsibility through his father, yet he wasn’t traumatized in the similar breadth as Zeke. Eren has witnessed Zeke’s trauma of having an absentee father that never really noticed him. This again seems uncharacteristic of Eren, to overlook these aspects he’s witnessed and to repeat the same cycle again.
Moreover, from the little glimpses of Eren’s monologue we get and his state of mind, it’s evident that the people on his priority list are Armin and Mikasa, subsequently, the 104th Cadet Corps. Eren Kruger’s statement to Grisha, “to save Mikasa and Armin” seems to be a statement intended for Eren. So, it would be strange that suddenly, Eren changes his motive and wants to destroy the world to protect Historia and the baby.
Eren’s incredibly inexpressive when it comes to affection, but he is a kind man to his friends, so saving Historia would come within that ambit. An argument against the farmer would be the timing of the pregnancy. Chapter 134 establishes the fact that Historia lied about her pregnancy. Levi mentions in Chapter 112, that Historia would give birth in a few months.
However, Chapter 134 reveals that it’s a lie when Historia goes into labour. Pregnancies in Japan is usually calculated to be 10 months. It can be argued that the lie was a ruse to throw the Military Police off from the making preparations after her birth, to feed her to Zeke.
Finally, the panel of Mikasa and Eren is a major contention to the possibility of Eren being the father. Some believe that the romantic undertone of the scene is misconstrued. Yet, Isayama revisits that scene in Mikasa’s monologue. As if, Mikasa’s answer to Eren’s question, “What am I to you?” had a great significance on how things would play out. This emphasis and Eren’s persistent preoccupation with Mikasa’s feelings and her scarf definitely has a romantic subtext. This is then, at odds, with the possibility of Eren being the father.
3. Is Eren the Father?
There is an incredibly greater force backing the possibility of Eren being the father. The reasoning behind this is Isayama’s constant tease regarding Historia’s pregnancy, which usually takes a backseat but when brought up is never fully disclosed. And another mysterious factor is the lie regarding the timing of the pregnancy.
People theorize that Eren is the true father of Historia’s child and due to political reasons, it would be less ‘messy’ to have the farmer act as the father of Historia’s child. It is evident that there is no romantic liaison between Historia and the farmer – which is why she hasn’t married the farmer.
Now, if you ask me why would the farmer even cooperate? The answer to that lies in the episode. The farmer wasn’t a childhood friend, but a childhood bully. In an attempt to get Historia’s attention, he would throw rocks at her. To embark on a path of redemption, it’s quite plausible that he would agree to act as a beard.
The initial inclinations towards Eren arise from the chemistry between Historia and Eren that people have caught onto. They share incredible similarities – they’ve both had moments where they felt unworthy of life, burdened by their fate, and assumed themselves to be “the enemy of humanity”. They both have older siblings that they share a bond with yet differ in terms of values. Eren and Historia seem to be confidantes – being able to understand their vulnerabilities. This explains why it’s Historia, out of the 104th, that he confides in regarding his plan.
Now coming back to Historia’s pregnancy – what seems off is the timing. Yelena talks consistently about how the plan began 10 months ago. Floch also states that Eren told him his plan 10 months ago. This is the exact time Historia gets pregnant. Yelena even states that over the course of 10 months, Eren had secret meetings with Zeke. Eren didn’t disappear until the Survey Corps’ infiltrate Marley, as shown in Chapter 123. This gives him plenty of time to meet Historia – the emphasis on “10 months ago” in the story comes off slightly odd.
But then what would Eren being the father build toward? Isayama isn’t one to emphasize cliché storylines or romance, for that matter. So, if Eren does turn out to be the father, it would have a narrative significance. Is it tied to the final panel? Maybe. The final panel shows a man holding a baby and stating, “You are free”. This could be an ode to a baby born in a free world that Eren manages to bring forth. Eren is able to achieve what his father, Grisha, failed to achieve.
Another argument brought forth is Eren’s unwillingness to sacrifice Historia to Zeke. A major chunk of these arguments rest on Eren and Historia’s bond – which many believe is romantic. There have been parallels drawn between Eren and Historia and Grisha and Dina’s bond as well.
Isayama’s handling of Historia’s pregnancy is what feeds the doubt. The strategic placement of Historia’s panel right after Zeke and Eren’s conversation about Mikasa’s feelings is odd, to say the least. It does suggest something amiss from the pregnancy story. Eren being the father would then suggest, the relevance of Historia’s pregnancy, possibly beyond just her determination to live a long life.
The occasional emphasis on Historia during the final arc does reveal the state of mind Isayama is in. With the final arc concluding, we see Historia giving birth. These occasional pullbacks from the main fight to the flashbacks, Historia’s pregnancy, Eren, Mikasa and Armin’s monologues serve a certain significance. Now what kind of significance is the question. It is certain that there is something ‘off’ about Historia’s pregnancy and what it symbolizes.
There is something off in both these possibilities – not in the sense that they’re not likely. But in its intention or its underlying significance. If the farmer is the father, then why tease the pregnancy like this? But if Eren is the father, it begs the question, why would someone who wishes to detach himself from everyone leave a baby behind? It seems very uncharacteristic of Eren to do so. Granted, this judgement arises from my own perception of his character.
But my inclinations do lie more towards the farmer. For me, Historia’s decision to live life in her own terms is a significant conclusion to her arc – with a slight twist of course. But significant, nonetheless. We underestimate the influence of Ymir on Historia’s life. To assume that Historia’s first instinct is to have a baby with Eren is also a gross misperception of her character. Historia is not actively seeking a romantic endeavour with Eren nor should her character be reduced to that. Historia’s character arc, while being influenced by Ymir and Eren, is her own.
Much of the arguments for Eren being the father stems from the ambiguity of the issue and his chemistry with Historia. I do agree there is a general ambiguity to the issue however I differ on the notion that Eren and Historia’s bond is romantic. They both act like confidantes; however, it does not seem to have a romantic underpinning to me. Eren admires Historia much like he admired Reiner and Annie.
Eren’s headstrong personality really overshadows his kind and caring traits. He’s the kind of person who’d walk in and murder kidnappers for a girl he just met, he’d jump into a titan’s mouth and pull out his best friend, he’ll show kindness to an anxious frenemy (Jean), he’ll hesitate to fight a traitor (for lack of a better word), he rages when his friends are hurt – Thomas, the Levi Squad, Marco, and more. That’s just the kind of person he is. To not want to sacrifice Historia would come naturally to him.
But the difference in his relationship with her and his relationship with Mikasa and Armin is what I’d like to highlight. Eren usually loses his sanity and his ideals when Mikasa and Armin are threatened. He’d never give a second thought to sacrificing them for the sake of humanity.
Keep note of his contemplation of sacrificing Historia in Chapter 90 – conflicted yet composed. And then contrast that with his reaction to the extermination of Eldians, which includes Mikasa and Armin, in Chapter 131 – the desperation and rage show on his face. It is undeniable that Eren’s mission is to “save Mikasa and Armin” – while I’m not suggesting the 104th don’t have a special hold on his heart. The recent episode attests to their importance. But Mikasa and Armin’s position in his life is so paramount that it overrides any of his individual desires and altruistic desires for humanity.
And if Historia and Eren are a parallel to Dina and Grisha, then Mikasa and Eren are a parallel to Carla and Grisha. Carla loves Grisha not as a revolutionary man but as a man who just saved her life. Sound familiar? Carla loved Grisha and Eren as ordinary as they were, at the moment. Much like Mikasa, who loves Eren for the very same reason. This is why she advises him to drop the idea of joining the military. She cares for him regardless of who he becomes. Carla’s overprotectiveness mirrors to Mikasa’s – Eren’s reaction to them gives it away.
While these reasons are enough to see them as family, recent interactions and monologues suggest a romantic underpinning to their relationship. The lingering look at the scarf scene, the question ‘What am I to you?’, the lash out against her in Chapter 123 are not reactions that stem from platonic feelings because it stems from a passionate one.
The purpose of reinstating their bond was not to start a ship war, but to recontextualized the priority these characters have in Eren’s life. It is evident that Eren’s motivations, if specific at all, are rooted in Mikasa and Armin, and subsequently the 104th. Historia and Eren share a great relationship, no doubt, but it would be a stretch to claim it’s only romantic.
Moreover, the farmer becoming the father would mean that it is Eren and Grisha in the last panel. This ties up with the cyclical narrative of Attack on Titan. For now, my inclinations lie with the farmer, driven by the notion of “choose the lesser evil” but evil here is inconsistency. Eren being the father wouldn’t be shocking, but I’ll certainly be curious to the thought process underlying the decision. Maybe a few rereads of Attack on Titan can only tell.
The question ‘Who got Historia pregnant?’ Is a Pandora’s box within this community, ultimately, leading to ship wars. Is it relevant or not? Only the dawn of a new world Eren is bringing forth could clear this ambiguity along with the cycle of hatred.
5. About Attack On Titan
Attack on Titan is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. Kodansha publishes it in the Bessatsu Shonen Magazine. The manga began serialization on September 9th, 2009, and continues to date with 30 tankōbom formats.
Attack on Titan follows humanity settled within three concentric walls to protect themselves from the terrifying titans that prey on them. Eren Yeager is a young boy that believes that a caged life is similar to that of cattle and aspires to go beyond the walls one day, just like his heroes, the Survey Corps. The emergence of a deadly Titan unleashes chaos.