Eren Yeager is both the protagonist and the antagonist of Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan manga. A very complex character, Eren went from being the noblest and most idealistic of the show’s characters, to its most destructive asset. Now, we at Fiction Horizon have written about Eren and his journey, but there are still unanswered questions and one of them is going to be answered in this article. We have decided to tell you whether Eren can see the future and what he saw in that future.
Thanks to the Attack Titan, Eren Yeager gained an ability called Future memory inheritance which enabled him to receive, alongside the memories of past inheritors, the memories of inheritors yet to come. The memories he receives reveal that he will, in four years’ time, use the Founding Titan to unleash the Colossus Titans and use them to wipe out 80% of humanity outside the walls. Eren was left horrified by the realization.
This article is going to analyze Eren and his abilities to see the future. Eren has gained a variety of powers over the course of the Attack on Titan storyline, and his ability to see the future was one of the crucial moments of the story and a turning point, if you’d like. We’re going to give you all the details related to this ability and how it influenced Eren, his future and the whole plot.
The art of predicting the future involves someone actually telling you what will happen without any specific limitations. It’s, as we come to understand it, significantly different from what Eren can do. Namely, thanks to the Attack Titan, he is able to see the future of the previous and future inheritors of the Attack Titan and that is about it. He cannot see anyone else’s future nor can he actually predict anything – he can see what he can see and that’s not predicting the future, it’s just being able to see it.
This is actually a very tricky question, not just from the standpoint of Attack on Titan, but generally when time is concerned. Namely, Eren saw a future of himself, a future which we are going to convey to you a bit later, and he was shocked. Now, what does this suggest, that his future was predetermined? Quite probably. What Eren saw is what actually happened and what he did after seeing his future was all in order to ensure that that exact future actually happens. This obviously suggests that Eren couldn’t really have done otherwise. But, what if he could?
Now, this shadow of doubt might actually make sense. Namely, Eren saw a future where he wipes out almost 80% of all humanity outside the Walls, but also a future with no Titans and although not completely pacifistic, a peaceful future nonetheless. He also saw a future in which his friends survive. All of this was, actually, part of his goal from the very beginning (okay, he did not intend to kill 80% of humanity, but that kind of came with the package once he found out some things about the nature of his world).
So, knowing that his vision of the future would come to fruition and that his friends would ultimately be safe, did Eren simply decide to sacrifice it all, himself included, to secure that future? This is very, very possible! Isayama wasn’t completely clear on whether Eren wanted this future; we know he was shocked by it and that he became depressed, ultimately changing, but the question of whether he simply became a deranged tyrant (which means that he couldn’t influence his future) or a determined hero who sacrificed it all for his loved ones (in which case he could’ve influenced the future, but chose not to) is still open for debate and will probably remain the hottest question from the whole franchise.
Eren is able to see the future as the inheritor of the Attack Titan. The Attack Titan has a very specific ability known as Future memory inheritance. The Attack Titan grants its users the power to see the memories of those who will later inherit this Titan, which in a way allows them to “see the future”. However, despite the above, its bearers do not seem to be able to prevent the events they have seen from happening.
It is not known if any special conditions are necessary to activate this power. In the year 832, Eren Kruger (apparently unintentionally) used this power to see the memories of Grisha Yaeger at the moment when he was about to inject the Titan Serum into his son Eren. Years later, Grisha himself was able to access Eren’s memories from the day he arrived in the Reiss Family territory to steal the Founding Titan from Frieda; what he saw in those moments was a bleak picture for which Eren himself will be responsible in the future.
For his part, Eren was able to see his own future memories at the moment he kissed Historia Reiss’s hand shortly after the operation to reconquer Wall Maria, the reason that motivated him to carry out the attack on the Marleyan city of Liberio and the destabilization of the Army of the Walls with the help of the Yeagerists.
The events we are talking about here happened in Chapter 121 of the Attack on Titan manga. The chapter was fittingly titled “Memories of the Future”, and was released on September 9th, 2019. The events of this chapter were depicted in the episodes “Memories of the Future” (Episode 79), and “From You, 2,000 Years Ago” (Episode 80).
In brief, Eren activated this power during a ceremony where Queen Historia awards him and some other officers. He first gets a glimpse of the past, seeing his father steal the Founding Titan, and then the future. This all happened very quickly, while he was holding Historia’s hand and kissing it. We shall now examine the future Eren saw.
In the memories that Eren received were, as we’ve said, those of his father Grisha (past memories), and of his own chaotic ending (future memories). As the ceremony begins and the survivors receive their medals from Historia, Eren is lost in thought about the state of the outside world. He would be willing to sacrifice his life to save Paradis from the threat of Marley, but he is not willing to sacrifice the life of another to do so. Not knowing what to do next, Eren accepts his medal from Historia, kisses her hand, and receives his father’s memories of the night he killed the Reiss family.
Along with his father’s memories of that night, Eren also receives memories of himself sent to his father from 854 via the Attack Titan, allowing him to see the future. From these memories, it appears that in four years he will use the Founder Titan to unleash the Colossal Titans trapped within the walls of Paradis and use them to wipe out 80% of humanity outside the walls. Eren is horrified by the realization of what he will eventually do.
Well, as was evidenced by the show, Eren is able to see the past, as well as the future, thanks to the Attacking Titan. This is how he was able to access his father’s past memories and even influence his actions to a certain degree, but only – as it seems – up to the point where they were in accordance with the future Eren saw earlier. His past-seeing ability is similar to his future-seeing ability – it is limited to the inheritors of the Attack Titan, but it seems that he can actually influence the past to a certain degree, unlike the future.
And while you might be misled into thinking that the Attacking Titan allows Eren to travel back through time, this is not true. Eren can see the past in the future, but we have already discussed the limitations of this power. He can manifest himself in some of the past memories and influence the past inheritors to a certain degree, but he is seemingly limited by the future he himself has seen earlier. This is why his ability is nothing like time travel; it is not even similar to time travel. It is more like moving within a very wide box, but he can never go outside it.
Well, no, we wouldn’t really go that far. The whole thing seems to be a bit too predetermined once you look at the whole picture, but a lot of the events happened very late into the show and a lot of the story actually happened before Eren’s birth, so we can’t really call him the mastermind behind the whole plot. The actual mastermind is, of course, Hajime Isayama himself.