Eren Jaeger is one of the most complex characters in the Attack On Titan anime. His arc from season one to season four has seen some well-developed changes. Eren started as a kid who wanted to explore the outside world and protect his friends, but over time, he became a war-hungry individual. Eren sacrifices many other human lives to achieve his goals.
This change in Eren’s characterization has allowed him to make different impressions on his enemies. Some of Eren’s foes respect his dedication, but sometimes his dedication is so much that it costs him that respect. This shifting opinion of the show’s protagonist allows Attack on Titan to be consistently fresh and engaging.
10 EREN EARNS RESPECT: Eren Learns To Fight Like Annie
While Eren had yet to discover that Annie, Bertholdt, and Reiner were enemy titans, Eren left an impression on them during the training arc. Eren constantly spoke to the other trainees about his aspirations to kill titans and leave the walls behind.
It was not Eren’s words that impressed those around him, but it was his dedication to following through with this dream. Eren constantly pushed himself during training. When fighting hand to hand with Annie, Eren stood no chance, but he still learned from it. Reiner, Bertholdt, and even Annie respected Eren’s ferocity to improve himself.
9 EREN LOSES RESPECT: Eren Asks Historia To Eat Him In Front Of Kenny
At the beginning of Attack on Titan‘s third season, Kenny and the Military Police kidnap Eren and Historia. Kenny kidnaps them in order for Historia to eat Eren and return the Founding Titan’s powers to the royal family. After learning how Eren’s father murdered much of the royal family to take the Founding Titan, Eren begs Historia to eat him. Historia is unsure of what to do, which causes drama to ensue.
Kenny was unimpressed by the scene unfolding in front of him. Kenny’s harsh life of crime left him accustomed to rough and tough adults. Thus, seeing Eren break down in tears left Kenny feeling apathetic. Kenny then verbally berated both Eren and Historia like they were kids.
8 EREN EARNS RESPECT: Eren Tricked Falco Into Thinking He Was A Marleyan Veteran
After infiltrating Marley, Eren took up the name Krueger and pretended to be an Eldian soldier. Falco met Eren during this time and befriended him. Falco delivered letters and did other tasks for Eren, and even spoke with Eren about his problems. Falco respected Eren as an elder and fellow Eldian soldier.
7 EREN LOSES RESPECT: Eren Lied To Falco About His Identity
After the timeskip between seasons three and four, Attack on Titan introduced a drastically changed Eren to the audience. Eren was now parading as a soldier who had lost his leg and eye in combat. Eren even told the impressionable Falco that he fought for Marley. What Falco didn’t know was that the letters he’d been delivering were actually going to Eren’s comrades.
In an emotionally charged scene, Falco learned that Eren was using him to fight against Marley. Falco was distraught after learning of Eren’s deception.
6 EREN EARNS RESPECT: Reiner And Bertholdt Feel Comfortable Enough To Confront Eren
Reiner and Bertholdt were the titans that directly led to Eren’s mother’s death. However, Eren didn’t know Reiner and Bertholdt’s secret identities. During their time as comrades, these three grew close with one another. The bond they had is what made Reiner and Bertholdt reveal their identities to Eren.
Reiner revealed his Titan Shifting abilities, hoping that Eren would leave without any issues. Reiner respected and trusted Eren enough to tell Eren his secret rather than outright fighting with him. While Reiner’s reveal ultimately led to a brawl between Eren, Reiner, and Bertholdt, they all respected one another enough to start this confrontation with words.
5 EREN LOSES RESPECT: Eren Holds Reiner Hostage
While Reiner may have once respected Eren as a comrade, Eren erased any respect between the two when he held Reiner hostage. Eren tricked Falco into bringing Reiner to the basement of a populated subdivision. Reiner knew that Eren could kill all of those in the area in an instant.
Reiner begged Eren not to commit such a heinous act, but Eren didn’t listen to Reiner’s pleas and transformed into the Attack Titan. Reiner was able to save Falco but had to witness Eren kill many of his friends. This event erased any respect between Eren and Reiner.
4 EREN EARNS RESPECT: Zeke Bonds With Eren Over Their Experiences
When audiences were introduced to Zeke, they had little information on his backstory. Viewers had no idea that Zeke is Eren’s half-brother. However, when the two characters meet, Zeke expresses that he understands Eren’s experience, specifically relating to their father.
Zeke’s ability to empathize with Eren’s past allows the two to develop respect for one another. Of course, this respect does not form instantaneously, but the two brothers learn to work with one another.
3 EREN LOSES RESPECT: Eren Turns Gabi Into A Killing Machine
Gabi and Eren and very comparable characters as the two of them share similar desires. Eren spent the majority of the series wanting to kill all the titans. Since her introduction, Gabi pursued her objective to kill all the Eldians of Paradis. However, Gabi’s desire came about due to Eren.
After Eren massacred those at Willy Tybur’s declaration of war, Gabi swore vengeance against Eren. Gabi’s anger comes as no surprise as she had to watch Eren attack unsuspecting bystanders, and several of Gabi’s close friends were killed during Eren’s rampage. This event gave Gabi the drive to kill all the Eldians of Paradis, specifically Eren.
2 EREN EARNS RESPECT: Eren Masters His Titan Abilities Very Quickly
Eren acquired both the Attack Titan and the Founding Titan from his father. These two Titans have several abilities which Eren learns to control very quickly. During a fight between Reiner and Eren, Reiner mentions how impressive it is that Eren learned to harden parts of his Titan. It is especially impressive considering how Eren could control this ability in such a short time frame.
Both Reiner and Bertholdt are impressed when Eren uses the power of the Founding Titan for the first time. This ability allows Eren to control the titans around him.
1 EREN LOSES RESPECT: Eren Asks Pieck To Give Up Her Comrades
In a surprise turn of events, Pieck puts a gun to Eren’s head and holds him hostage. However, Eren knows that Pieck can’t kill him, because if he were to die, his Titan abilities would transfer to an unknown Eldian. In response, Pieck pleads that she wants to join Eren and agrees to lead Eren to her comrades.
This turn of events leaves Pieck’s comrade Gabi in shock. However, after leading Eren to a trap, Pieck states that she would never turn on her comrades. Pieck declares that Eren is her enemy and tries to have him killed in a surprise attack. This turn of events makes Pieck one of the most recent characters to express their disdain for Eren.
NEXT: Attack On Titan: 10 Times The Heroes Couldn’t Be Trusted
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5 Times Eren Earned An Enemy’s Respect (& 5 Times He Lost It)