Anime Attack on Titan Manga

Zeke’s Masterplan: Why Did He Betray Marley?

Attack on Titan season 4, episode 8 has shocked us all. The events were unfathomable; in fact, the latest season itself is mindblowing, people are coming up with hundreds of theories.

On the one hand, our favorite potato girl, Sasha, is dead, and Gabi is the most hated character now, and on the other, we learn about Zeke’s ultimate betrayal.

Fans didn’t get a chance to catch a breath, the tears for Sasha’s death were not even dried yet, and bam, they were thrown off with Zeke’s confession.

Zeke is not the person we thought he was. He was the antagonist until now since he sided with Marley, but the truth is he betrayed Marley and has been working with Eren. Zeke was never on Marley’s side. He had a plan to save the Eldians from their cruel fate since the beginning of the series.  For his plan to succeed, he had to pretend to side with Marley.

SPOILERS AHEAD! This page contains spoilers from Spoilers for Anime Fans of Attack on Titan.

1. Zeke’s Masterplan

1.1 The Beginning: Zeke betrayed his parents

Grisha was not one of those loving parents. Zeke lived a difficult childhood as he never had a chance to be a child. His life shaped his destructive tendencies. Zeke was forced to be a double agent and give information to the Eldian Restorationist living in Marley.

Zeke Betrays his Parents

As Zeke was a smart kid, he could grasp the situation well, he knew the plan would fail, and Grisha will be caught. He tried to plead with his parents to back off; at least his grandparent’s life would be saved.

Zeke is undoubtedly not the type to be manipulated like that; it was his own choice to disclose his parent’s plans so that others might be saved from being killed.

Does it mean that Grisha’s plan to save the Eldians failed? Quite the contrary happened in both Eren and Zeke’s case. The only problem with Grisha was he forced his ideals onto Zeke.

1.2 Who Is Tom Ksaver? Why Did Zeke Agree to Him? [Major Spoiler]

In episode 19 of season 3, we get Tom’s debut by the name ‘Xaver.’ Tom was a Grisha’s acquaintance and a member of the Warrior Unit as a researcher.

Tom fell for a Marleyan woman and married her, and the union was considered taboo, so he hid his Eldian identity from her. After learning the truth, she killed their son and then herself. Tom was devastated by this and fell to the prey of self-loathing and suicidal thoughts.

Why Did Zeke Betray Marley?
Tom Ksaver | Source: Fandom

He met Zeke and took an interest in encouraging the underperforming Zeke; Tom started to play catch with him, thus explaining Zeke and his love for baseball. From a series of trial and error, Tom became a father figure for him. Zeke, who never received love from his parents, was cared for by Tom.

After learning the truth about Grisha’s plan, Tom was vexed with how Zeke was neglected and used as a tool. He convinced Zeke to turn in his parents and prove his loyalty to Marley.

He was reluctant, but when Tom pointed out that his parents never loved him and the only way to stop the killing of those who loved him, i.e., Zeke’s grandparents, it was necessary to stop this fruitless plan.

2. Zeke Betrayed Marley

Zeke betrayed Marleyans to save Eldia. He was never on Marley’s side, to begin with; every movement of his had a deeper meaning to it. Zeke has the highest intelligence (11/10) amongst all the characters, and his actions were calculated since they are necessary for his master plan.

Why Did Zeke Betray Marley?
Zeke Yeager | Source: Fandom

Zeke hiding his status of being royal blood itself was very suspicious. Throughout the manga, Isayama has hinted Zeke will betray Marley; for instance, in volume 23’s cover, Zeke has turned his back on Marley.

He believes that Eldains are doomed since their birth; the entire world hates them because of their ancestors, so it’s better for the greater good if the next generation is not born.

3. He Needs Eren for His plan

The juxtaposition of him wanting to save Eldians from their misery and joining Marley doesn’t make sense unless you remember Marleyans are after the Founding Titan.

Zeke has the full authority to command the first Titan, Ymir Fritz, which includes his command required for his masterplan. But to do that, he needs the Founding Titan’s coordinate to open the Paths.

Why Did Zeke Betray Marley?
Eren Yeager | Source: Fandom

Eren, for that matter, has the Founding Titan, and it will activate in the future. Zeke could have eaten Erena and gained his abilities; however, he can’t possibly do that. Believe it or not, Zeke cares for Eren; he believes Grisha ruined Eren’s childhood.

Zeke detests his father to the point he believes it is his sole duty to save Eren from their father’s so-called ‘brainwashing.’ He wishes for his younger brother to follow him and walk on the same path as him.

If you were shocked by Zeke switching sides, wait till you get flabbergasted as Eren pulls out his draw four cards back to back.

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4. About Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan was 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.

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Vansh Gulati

Vansh Gulati

Meet our very own Hinata Shoyo! - There is no anime or manga that he’s not aware of. Also the go-to guy for all things Epic at EML. He’s on a journey to discover life one bottle of sake at a time!
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