After years of waiting, we are finally introduced to the War Hammer Titan, and holy cow was it worth the wait. I couldn’t sit still throughout the entire episode; I was so excited. Attack on Titan really is getting better with every episode.
Look at the War Hammer Titan! Look at her! She’s like the Green Lantern. She can use her hardening ability to make virtually any weapon, which makes it incredibly easy to see how this form was able to defeat all of the others during the Titan War. However, this form comes with a pretty big weakness, which is that – unlike all of the other shifters, who are embedded in the back of a Titan’s neck – their human body is encased in an egg underground. It makes total sense why the Tybur family would be so secretive about this.
Chaos reigns in “The War Hammer Titan” as Eren launches his attack plan and all (or most – I didn’t see Hange, and we still haven’t seen Armin, unless you believe he was the mysterious soldier from last week’s episode) the Paradisians are reunited. (LEVI LEVI LEVI LEVI LEVI) From what I can tell of Eren’s conversation with Mikasa, this was not a planned assault by the Paradisians. It seems like this was all Eren doing things on his own and then hoping everyone else showed up to back him up. Mikasa expressed concern that Eren’s actions led to such a drastic loss of life.
Eren might seem like he has changed during the timeskip, but this proves he hasn’t. He may be outwardly calm and composed but he’s still ruled by emotion, still driven by vengeance. How long has he been in Marley? How long has he been planning this? Who else was involved in the plan? I know Mikasa is worried that Eren is drifting away from the rest of them; he seems wholly focused on his mission of revenge, and nothing else matters except completing it, while Mikasa and some of the others disagree with his methods. What he did is politically and strategically stupid. He played right into Willy’s hand and has ensured that the rest of the world will unite behind Marley to rid the world of Eldians.
But during the cold open, Willy and Magath were obviously aware they were planning something. Willy even expected he would be killed during whatever attack was going to happen. Was there a different plan in place and Eren just couldn’t wait? They were too well-coordinated to be a spontaneous mission. How did Willy become aware of what was happening, and how long did he know?
Since we moved to a different setting for this season, we’ve spent the past several episodes establishing the new location and introducing new characters. As such, it’s been a little light on action, but this episode more than makes up for it. Eren may have been cheating a bit by going after his enemy before she was done transforming, but considering her near invincible ability, that may have been the only way for him to get an edge on her. And then you have all of the Scouts in their 3DM gear – soldiers who are trained in a vastly different form of combat than the Marleyan soldiers.
Just look at everything that was going on in this episode. Mikasa effortlessly handles the War Hammer Titan, even if unable to do any real damage to her. Sasha and Connie are able to take out the reinforcements from where they’re situated on top of the roof. And then Levi drops in, all badass and infamous, his very appearance enough to strike fear into the heart of everyone.
These are not the Survey Corps we’re used to; they’re actually winning, for one. But it’s clear that they know their enemy, and they came prepared. As much as the outside world has advanced technologically in the past few years, so have they. Their 3DM gear almost resembles an exoskeleton. Plus, Marley was astounded at the beginning of the season by the anti-Titan weapons their enemy had developed. Meanwhile, on Paradis, they’ve been doing this for ages and have it down to a science almost. Marley has used the Titans as weapons and therefore have no idea what to do when Titans are used against them.
I was very struck by the end, when Porco has the full force of the Survey Corps coming after him, and he’s so surprised ordinary humans are attacking a Titan. Did he not realize they were Eldian? Does he honestly have no idea what life has been like on Paradis, and how they have spent decades having to fight against Titans? He has Ymir’s memories; he should know exactly what they’re capable of. (Then again, they do have a notoriously poor performance record against Titans. And Ymir would have missed a lot of the really awesome stuff.)
This episode nicely parallels the first episode of the series in just about every way, from Titans randomly appearing and killing indiscriminately to a young kid watching people she loves die in front of her and rushing in to fight.
“The War Hammer Titan” continues to really hammer home the increasingly prevalent idea that this is a story with no “good guys”. Mikasa worries that Eren’s attack killed so many civilians, and in horrible ways – just look at how Zofia and Udo died. Witnessing their deaths will only radicalize Gabi further, the way Eren was when Shinganshina was attacked. But Willy was gathering support from literally every other country in order to completely and utterly destroy Paradis for having the misfortune of being descending from people who did a bad thing a long time ago. And he was also planning on sacrificing civilians, something that Magath was against. Eren and the others are fighting for their very survival; if Marley had just left them alone instead of trying to recover the Founding Titan, none of this would be happening. Were they supposed to just sit there and wait to be annihilated?
It’s a never-ending cycle. It’s WarGames. The only winning move is not to play. They’ve already started, but it seems clear there won’t be a winner.
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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