Romance in Attack on Titan usually takes a back seat. Nonetheless, there have been romantic undertones to various relationships within the manga.
Most of which enjoy the luxuries of subtext and are far more complex to be pigeonholed. So, popular debates amongst fans are: Does Eren like Mikasa? Will Eren marry Historia?
SPOILER ALERT: Manga spoilers ahead. Go on, they are worth it! (Don’t listen to me!)
1. Article Highlight
Yes, Eren does love Mikasa as she is definitely the most important woman in his life after his mother. Despite this, it is possible for Eren and Historia to marry — more out of duty and obligation than love.
2. Mikasa and Eren
For years, naysayers have reduced Eren and Mikasa’s relationship to that of unrequited love.
On the surface, it is very easy to fall prey to such a thought. Mikasa seems to be, evidently, in love with Eren ever since he protects her from the robbers, and Eren has displayed no affection similar to that in reciprocation.
In the initial years, Eren seems to be annoyed by Mikasa’s motherly nature and hopes to move away from her overbearing shadow. Whereas, Mikasa simply wishes to be close to an oblivious Eren.
I. Mikasa’s Importance
But the manga cements Mikasa and Armin as the most important people in Eren’s life, especially when it is revealed that the Attack Titan’s inheritors gain access to the past and future memories of the inheritors.
This fact makes perfect sense when we take Eren Kruger’s quote to Grisha into account, “to save Mikasa and Armin”.
It is revealed later on that Eren has largely been the reason behind Grisha’s actions to align these toward a predestined event or what is Eren’s plan. Therefore, it is very likely that Eren’s drive is to protect Mikasa.
II. Does Eren hate Mikasa?
It is Chapter 112 that will strangely make you rethink their dynamics when Eren claims that he’s always hated Mikasa.
Eren claims that Mikasa’s affection arises from her Awakening power of the Ackerman clan that makes him her prime focus of affection.
Again, on a surface level, it may seem like he hates her. But in Chapters 120 and 121, Eren’s motivations are finally revealed, and we see a tender or forlorn look on Eren’s face as he views the memory of him wrapping the scarf around Mikasa.
This proves that Eren wishes to free Mikasa and, obviously, does not truly hate her, nay, his motivations are driven by a deep sense of love. One that is always looking out for her and does what is best for her.
III. Eren’s True Feelings
Hajime Isayama claims that Mikasa’s character development is her separation from Eren. The scarf is symbolic of their relationship of protecting each other — Eren earlier claimed that he’d wrap the scarf around her as many times as she wants, revealing that he’ll always want to protect her.
In Chapter 123, we get a peek into Mikasa’s perspective and she narrates an incident that defines their relationship. It is before Eren goes rogue that he asks Mikasa, “What am I to you?”. Eren’s expression at the moment reflects how vulnerable he feels at the moment.
Mikasa, in response, out of nervousness says that he’s family. She later introspects on whether it was the right answer.
Isayama then shows a panel specific to Mikasa and Eren who are sleeping with their heads touching after a night of drinking with the Survey Corps.
The wider panel of the Survey Corps sleeping is cut to just Mikasa, Eren and Armin. This emphasis is not one without purpose. Isayama — who usually refrains from showing such moments — tries to convey the significance of their relationship in that chapter.
This clearly shows that Eren does love Mikasa — just not in a way teenage romance defines it. But as a love that drives you, a love that requires mental support, a love that transcends the trivialities of puppy love.
IV. My Verdict
Eren and Mikasa have always struggled to understand each other but it is in that moment that they reach an understanding. Mikasa’s confession would have made it even more difficult for Eren to do his duty. Therefore, her answer was the right answer.
Eren and Mikasa’s relationship has been defined by their need to protect each other from the cruelties of the world. They indeed love each other.
Isayama has always been against the idea of fate; therefore, it is unlikely that they are endgame. But whether they end up together is trivial to the story — it is what they share that remains integral.
Their relationship has a deep complexity to it that intertwines family, love, mutual support, duty, sacrifice, and development.
3. Eren and Historia
Eren’s relationship with Historia has been a significant focus in the argument against Eren’s love for Mikasa. The possibility of love blossoming between Eren and Historia exists, and it is not a far fetched idea either.
Eren and Historia are two people who are exasperated by their roles of becoming the “hero” or the “good girl“. They seem to have good chemistry and honesty brought by their circumstances.
If it is anyone who’d truly know Eren’s plan other than Floch, it is possibly Historia. They both share the pain of their predetermined destinies. Eren and Historia begin to bond after their kidnapping and it is then that fans took notice of the vast potential between the two.
Their gradual friendship even manages to evoke jealousy in Mikasa. But Eren and Historias’ relationship reflects a friendship between two confidants. This is not to say that there can’t be any romance between them in the future — they both serve as perfect candidates for potential love.
But at present, it is unlikely that they feel that way about each other. It isn’t Historia that serves as a drive for Eren, nor is his love for her that eclipses anything else for him. She merely remains as his possible partner in crime.
I. Historia’s Pregnancy
The reveal of Historia’s pregnancy and the final panel of a man holding a baby seems to have given their shippers more strength.
The military’s plan to have Historia eat Zeke is the primary motivation behind Historia’s pregnancy. Frankly, it is highly possible for the father to be Eren rather than the farmer but it does not mean that Eren and Historia are involved romantically.
The events that have transpired till now have shown that Eren is willing to perform his duty against all odds. Historia’s pregnancy is a semblance of that duty, which prevents Zeke from being fed to her.
There is no concrete evidence of Eren actually showing romantic feelings towards Historia and vice versa. It seems to be an exaggeration of their great respect and admiration for each other.
Again, Eren can marry Historia eventually if the baby is actually his, but it’s unlikely to be out of love.
II. The Final Panel
The final panel of the man holding a baby has shocked many fans.
Two theories are surrounding it — one of which highlights Eren’s possibility of marrying Historia. The first theory is Grisha holding Eren and telling him he’s free, which is resonant with Carla’s quote that he’s special because he was born into the world.
The non-linear sequence of events and the significance of memories can very well allow Attack on Titan to end with a memory of the past — Eren as a baby.
The second theory is that of Eren holding his and Historia’s baby after having achieved his goal. This is quite possible.
But the lack of Eren and Historias’ moments, especially ones leading up to her pregnancy and her absence in that panel, clearly shows that she does not have as much significance in Eren’s life as fans might hope.
From recent chapters, it is evident that the woman in Eren’s mind is Mikasa and probably always will be.
4. 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. Yet the emergence of a deadly Titan unleashes chaos.Originally Written By Epic Dope