Hey! If I were to ask you who was your favorite character in Attack on Titan, who would you say? Mikasa, Eren, probably Levi. One thing I have noticed is that Erwin gets nowhere near as much respect as the rest of the major characters. If I’m being honest, Mikasa is a total badass but she’s that character that shows little to no personality unless someone messes with Eren and then she flips the switch and kills everything in sight. Eren, I love him, but he can be whiny brat. Levi is awesome but that’s because he’s Levi. He is the character that can do anything but for some reason has a few weird quirks like his OCD with cleaning. But Erwin needs some credit and I’m gonna shine some light on him today. Especially after the latest episodes of AOT.
Fair Warning: There will be major spoilers. There’s no way I can talk about this without them.
From the Beginning…
Commander Erwin came off like he was hiding some demons. He had a very shielded but strong presence. At first, I couldn’t get a read on him and I didn’t know whether or not I should trust him but I could tell this man has seen some shit and lived to tell about it. Which is why I respected him so much!
The thing I loved about Erwin is that from beginning to now he kept up the fight. He had a goal, he knew what he wanted, he took chances, and was willing to put his life on the line several SEVERAL times for the sake of humanity.
In the Battles Against the Titans
In the beginning, the writers didn’t really give us a lot of information on Erwin other than the fact we could tell he has a dark side and you don’t fuck with him. However, when Season 2 Part 2 rolled around that’s when we got to see something powerful about Erwin: his drive. His ability to take hopeless soldiers who are ready to throw in the towel and give them the courage to put their lives on the line for humanity. Often times, we would find the Scouts down on their luck or afraid to go and battle the titans but when Erwin hits the soapbox, there isn’t a single soldier backing down from the fight. He is bold, he takes risks, he does not back down! Even when he was ripped off his horse rushing into battle (like the GIF above) he called to his troops, “Advance! Don’t stop! Humanity still has hope! Advance!”
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, Gaijin. You know Erwin is just that post-apocalyptic war leader who towards the end of the film before the big fight gives a very emotional speech that gets the troops hyped to fight the vikings or the Fire Nation.”
I will have to disagree with you on that one. There’s actually a lot more layers to Erwin than these guys. He has something that the other war leaders really don’t have: a deeply rooted drive. A deep sense of conviction he developed from the theories of his father! Since he was young, his father always provided evidence and hypotheses on why there is human life on the outside of the walls. However, he suffered the Galileo Effect (where one has valid scientific records on theory that could be true however people isolate, persecute, or demonize that person because they are going against the textbooks or what the officials say)
Erwin’s father stayed true to his teachings even though no one believed him however it costed him his life. This is where Erwin’s conviction comes from. To prove his late father’s theory correct and vindicate his father. Then, Eren Yeager came along presenting his Titan powers and revealing the key to his father’s basement. Erwin didn’t know what could be in this basement but he knew that whatever it is…it would be the answer he has been looking for.
In Season 3, we learned it wasn’t going to be that easy, for the royal family framed the Scouts for treason in order to abolish them, which would, in turn, prevent the Scouts from making it to basement and learning what is beyond the walls. And who was the one who took the fall for that? Erwin. Because he is the Commander of the Scouts he was arrested for treason and murder, however, this man put everything on the line in this Chess game of a Season and took so many chances that with one slip up, it would be over for the Scouts. However, he reclaimed the names of the Scouts and came one step closer venturing out to the basement.
In the End…
Season 3 Part 2 is when Erwin reveals to us his regrets as a Commanding Officer. The blood he has spread. The countless soldiers who have sacrificed their lives because of his pretty words to save humanity. We see all of this being confronted by Erwin during the Scouts’ big battle inside Wall Maria against Reiner, Bertholdt, and the Beast Titan. Countless soldiers have perished during this battle and he states to Levi this is all his fault. He even reveals that he has questioned if proving his father’s theories were worth all of this blood. He he has been pushing for humanity but mainly for his selfish desires, however, he knows cannot take back what has happened. Too many of his soldiers who have died are looking down on them to see what they are going to do next. Will their deaths be in vain? Or can they rest knowing their deaths were a stepping stone in the fight for human survival? This whole scene reveals a lot to us about Erwin that we have never seen before, and it shows imagery of Erwin standing on top of hundreds of corpses who were all his soldiers. When I first saw this, I immediately thought, “Shit, they are foreshadowing to us his long deserved death.” And sure enough it happened. Charging his troops straight into Hell against the Beast Titan knowing there was 100% chance of death.
In the end, when there was an opportunity to bring back Erwin because of the Titan serum, the serum was not given to him. Levi (the one who had the serum injection) stated, “I decided this would be his place of rest.” Levi didn’t want to let him die, however, judging from their previous conversation, he knew it was finally time for Erwin to rest with the rest of his fallen soldiers.
At the very least, I can say I do love Eren, I love Mikasa, I idolize Levi, and respect Armin, Hange, Jean, etc. but Erwin really needed his credit. He was cunning, he had depth, he had drive, he was a master tactician, phenomenal with his words, and LITERALLY NOTHING could stop this man from achieving what he wanted.
Okay, I know you have thoughts on Commander Erwin and his character development and I am so wanting to hear them! Drop a comment and let’s talk!
Have a great day and stay awesome!