The Beast Titan is an integral part of AOT and canonically the fifth largest shifter in the series, which begs the question – who is the Beast Titan in Attack on Titan anyway? And why is he important to the story? Let’s find out.
It is a 17m tall shifter who resembles an oversized ape with arms that can throw projectiles at insane velocities. The wielder of the Beast Titan is Zeke Jaeger, the half-brother of Eren Jaeger.
Table of Contents
Origins of the Beast Titan
The Nine Titans, the Beast included, were brought into this world after the death of the Founder. In the 1700 years or so following its birth, the Beast Titan served in the various warring clans of the Eldian houses.
After this time period, the 145th Eldian king called Karl Fritz, drifted apart from the woes of his empire and decided to relocate to Paradis. During the Great Titan War that had occurred prior to the king abandoning the empire, the Beast Titan, along with a couple of other Titan shifters, fell into the hands of Marley. In the year 829, the Beast Titan’s inheritor was Tom Ksaver.
Who Is The Beast Titan On Attack On Titan?
We follow the events after Tom Xaver inherited the Beast Titan. In Liberio, a city inside Marley, Zeke is born to Grisha Jaegar and Dina Fritz. His parents are planning to stage a coup to overthrow the current Marley government and put the Eldians back in charge.
Meanwhile, Marley announces the Warrior program. They ask for Eldian children between the ages of five and seven to hone them as potential Titan shifter candidates. Their families will be given the title of Honorary Marleyans and ensured freedom within the country in exchange.
Grisha decides to enter Zeke into the program to spy on the other candidates and the high ups. When he comes home, he is sent to his grandparents while his parents participate in Eldian Restorationist meetings.
During his tenure with his grandparents, he hears about the brutal war crimes committed by the Eldian empire during the Great Titan War. As his parents get deeply preoccupied with the Eldian Restorationist movement, they invest very little time in their son. This results in the gradual decay of their relationship.
Zeke is not performing well during his time at the program, which garners him a bad reputation amongst his peers as well as his instructors. He manages to make a friend between his harsh training routines. Tom Xaver, meets with Zeke intermittently and plays catch with him.
One day, Zeke heads home from the program and eavesdrops on a meeting of the Restorationists being conducted by his parents. Zeke is startled and confused; he has heard of the crimes of the Eldian empire and this coupled with an already strained relationship with his parents makes him do something egregious. He is afraid that the entire family along with his grandparents will get caught in the fallout when the Marleyan authorities inevitably get wind of their treason.
He seeks Tom’s advice on what he should do. The latter, who seems genuinely worried, asks Zeke to sell out his parents. Tom realizes that this is the safest option as Zeke would be absolved of any doubt since he’s the one reporting the crime to the authorities. Zeke follows Tom’s instructions and his parents are taken in by the military.
After this stage of his life, he digs deeper into where it all went wrong for the Eldians and starts to conjure up a plan that aligns with his philosophies. This is where he comes up with the Euthanization scheme which is further supported by Tom.
In 842, Zeke inherits the Beast Titan from Tom and keeps his former friend’s glasses as a memento. He is made the commander of the warrior candidates, a group which includes the inheritors of the Armored Titan, Cart Titan and Jaw Titan.
Abilities of the Beast Titan
In its Titan form, it can manifest hardening as an extension of its body to protect it from focused attacks as well as explosive assaults. However, it cannot activate the power instantly and needs time to crystallize a specific part of its Titan body. This shortfall is further magnified in Zeke’s first battle against Levi, the captain of the Special Operations Squad within the Survey Corps.
Levi cuts through and is able to pull Zeke out of his shell before the hardening even activates. But that’s more of a testament to Levi’s superhuman speed and reflexes rather than Zeke’s ineptitude. We do not think his hardening technique outclasses the War Hammer Titan’s ability. In fact, it’s most likely inferior to Lara’s crystallization skill.
We got to see the origins of the throwing trait in Zeke’s backstory. He loved to play catch with Tom. It’s not heavily implied, but Tom did exclaim that Zeke had a very good arm. It might not be the only reason the Beast Titan possesses this special skill of to throw objects effectively though.
The Titan’s form is that of an ape upon Zeke’s takeover. Apes have arms that are tailor made for swinging from things or throwing objects to ward off predators. Keep in mind, not all Beast Titan shifters had ape forms. In the last chapters of the manga, we got to see some of the Titan shifters of the past. These mysterious creatures possessed various forms of different kinds of animals.
Did the Beast Titan’s ape form arise purely by coincidence to complement Zeke’s throwing ability? We don’t know the answer to that. You do get a glimpse of him as a boy, playing with a toy monkey. This could have been some nifty foreshadowing.
At any rate, Zeke’s Titan can throw projectiles at very high velocities to unimaginable distances. It can launch objects at speeds of 700 feet per second. It’s also interesting to note that when Zeke initiated throws, he seemed to create a visible sonic boom along with it.
The anime did an incredible job of showing us the true extent of the destruction wrought by the Beast Titan’s power. It was able to break down a huge boulder into clumps of rocks and launch them towards the platoon of Survey Corps members who were charging to confront it.
The whole unit was instantly destroyed by the barrage of rocks that were hurled towards them at an incredible speed. Imagine a bullet the size of a rock hitting a human body with the same velocity an average bullet would have. That’s the degree of devastation we’re talking about.
Just like the other Titan shifters, the Beast Titan can also regenerate very quickly. We don’t know for sure whether it has a higher healing rate as compared to the other shifters.
Command over the other Titans
One of Zeke’s Titan powers is unique, even for a Beast variant. Due to him having royal blood through his mother’s lineage, Zeke Jaeger can effectively turn normal Eldians into Titans by injecting his spinal fluid into their bodies.
The Titans that are transformed in such a manner can be controlled by Zeke. His scream seems to be the activation key required to trigger the change.
Zeke’s spinal fluid may be converted to the gaseous state and the results are the same. As gas can cover a larger area and also be used covertly, it could turn a group of people in a tightly packed area to Titans in an instant and they wouldn’t even see it coming.
A group from the Marleyan military were ordered by Zeke to release the spiked gas near a village within the region initially protected by Wall Maria. This secret operation resulted in the quick transformation of all the inhabitants of the village to mindless Titans.
On a side note, the Founding Titan also has the power to control other Titans. Eren, who was injected with a Titan serum when his father’s thirteen years as a shifting Titan was up, initially gained the power of the Founder and the Attack Titan.
All Beast Titans in chronological order
There is little information on the Beast Titan’s inheritors before Tom Ksaver. In fact, the only reason we even know that there are different variations of the Beast Titan is due to the chapters of the manga as well as Season 2’s opening.
We are given vague glimpses of Titans that resemble a dinosaur, a snake, a giraffe, an elephant, a deer, a rabbit and more. These creatures could be Beast Titans or maybe they’re variations of the lesser Titans.
The Titan resembling the T-Rex might easily be another version of the Cart Titan as its movements match Pieck’s in her Titan form. The only two Beast Titan inheritors we empirically know of are Zeke and Tom. The others depicted as Beasts could technically be any of the nine Titans over the centuries.
Who is Eren Jaeger?
Eren is the main protagonist of Attack on Titan and the half-brother of Zeke Jaeger. He starts off as your run-of-the-mill shonen protagonist and ends up as a genocidal mass-murderer with the tendencies of a sociopath. Using his Titan powers, he becomes the sole instigator of the Rumbling that ended up killing 80 percent of humans, quite literally in a flash.
When he first enters the Survey Corps, he is 12 years of age with a round face and a body type of average build and height. After 7 years, at the start of the assault on Marley, he is visibly taller and has grown a mustache to compliment an already mature-looking face. He inherited his Attack Titan and Founding Titan from his father, Grisha Jaeger.
Initially, Eren only had Armin and Mikasa as friends. But this changed when he entered the Survey Corps where he met Reiner, Bertholdt and Annie along with the other scout regiment recruits.
Eren didn’t like Reiner in the beginning of their first year in the scout regiment. However, as they went on missions and survived many hardships together, Reiner started becoming a brother figure to Eren. All of this changed when it was revealed that Reiner and Bertholdt were the Armored Titan and the Colossal Titan, respectively.
Who is Zeke Jaeger?
Zeke (also written as Zeke Yeager) is Eren’s half-brother as they share the same father. Zeke’s mother was from the royal family, which explains why he can convert people into Titans and control them. He is a tall, platinum-blond and well-built man with a mustache descending into his beard. Zeke’s Titan is slightly larger than Eren’s Attack Titan form.
Zeke is willing to sacrifice his own people for long-lasting peace and to break the cycle of violence and revenge. One could argue that Zeke has a savior complex as he initiated the Euthanization plan without the consent of the Eldian people. Nevertheless, he didn’t mean to cause the genocide that followed after his plan deviated from the original.
Whatever the case, it’s clear that he genuinely cares for his comrades in arms. Falco, Pieck, Marco, Reiner and the former inheritor of the Colossal Titan, Bertholdt, look up to him. The series does not specify whether Zeke and Annie, the inheritor of the Female Titan, have a positive relationship or not. Annie does not mingle well with anyone, not even with members of her own unit.
Zeke finds a sworn enemy in Levi as both of them clash multiple times throughout the series. Levi never really respected Zeke. However, the latter considers the former to be the most formidable threat he’s ever faced. Zeke is also appointed by Marley as commander of the warrior candidates.
Is Eren’s father the Beast Titan?
No. Eren’s father, Grisha Jaeger, was not the Beast Titan. He was the Attack Titan. He also stole the power of the Founding Titan from Freida Reiss. Eren inherited both Titans from his father after consuming him.
Where to watch Attack on Titan?
You can watch the anime at pretty much all the major streaming sites. This includes platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, FUNimation and Hulu. Crunchyroll users can only experience the show with Japanese audio. It is a platform that specializes in subbed anime after all.
Is Zeke dead?
The anime and the manga have not moved forward at the same pace. So if you have read the source material you will know that Zeke appears to be good and dead after a nail-biting battle against Levi who is clearly depicted as a force to be reckoned with.
Zeke’s Beast Titan is only prominent because of the person who inherited it. Zeke is a very intelligent man who carefully coordinates his approach towards any enemy. He is not portrayed as a mindless Titan. He ensures that he underestimates no one and even though Zeke attempted to carefully plotted how he would face Levi, he was still outmatched.
His downfall came about because of the trust he placed in his brother. If he went with his initial assessment of Eren where he expected his brother’s ideals to be much more aligned with their father’s, he wouldn’t have been an accessory to mass genocide.
In a story as all-encompassing as Attack on Titan, we can’t really put a finger on who the real villains are. Before the time jump, the fan-base was united in deciding who the bad guys were. Through the second phase of the manga as well as after its conclusion, fans of the anime stayed divided and remain divided.
As crazy as it sounds, some believe Eren’s genocidal actions are justified and others are convinced that Zeke’s path was righteous. Maybe all of this happened because of the Founder herself. In her love for the King, she obeyed his commands and decided that her powers be passed down through generations along the clan lines.
Throughout the years, these lines which branched from a single clan became an entire race of people that could potentially be turned into monstrous beings who can destroy the world. The powers of Ymir Fritz, the Founding Titan who is thus also the first Titan, aren’t explained in depth. So there’s no point in calling Ymir the villain archetype.
At the end of the day, without Zeke or Eren, there would be no Rumbling. Eighty percent of humanity wouldn’t have perished. But even in an alternative timeline like this, the cycle of hatred and violence might not end. Thousands may still die in Paradis.
Eventually, another Eren and Zeke would emerge to stop the bloodshed. The Eren of that timeline might also seek the same method of salvation and prioritize his own people over the vast majority of humans, for all we know.