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Ending of Attack on Titan’s final episode, explained

Like us, you've been desperate to see what happens to Eren. Now, we can finally explore the Attack on Titan finale's ending, explained.

Attack on Titan ending explained: Mikasa shouting

The Attack on Titan ending has been on the horizon for years, and now the anime series has finally drawn to a close with the show catching up to Hajime Isayama’s controversial storytelling choices.

We’ve been waiting for an eternity to see if the Attack on Titan series would faithfully adapt the manga’s conclusion, and if the show could still retain its title as the best anime around. We’ve got the answer to that, as well as other questions about Attack on Titan season 4 part 3 part 2, like who dies, and if there’ll be more in the future. Here’s our detailed explainer on the ending of Attack on Titan.

Attack on Titan finale ending explained

The final episode of Attack on Titan gets straight into action as Mikasa and the Survey Corps continue their intense battle against the Titans to reach Eren.

In a climatic showdown, Ymir resurrects the former versions of the Nine Titans. After finding a way through the Founding Titan’s defenses, Mikasa discovers Eren’s true body and beheads him, which leads to Ymir being released from his control.

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As Ymir is freed, we learn that Eren manipulated Ymir by promising her freedom from the king’s control. We see this when Armin and Zeke have a conversation in The Paths.

The Paths continues to play a pivotal role in the finale when Mikasa and Armin have a memory of Eren after his death. In a shocking reveal, Eren shares that he masterminded the entire plan, including the traumatic event where a Titan devoured his mother. His vision was driven by the desire to erase 80% of the world’s population, in an attempt to free humanity from war and hatred.

Importantly, Eren knew what his fate would be and welcomed his death at the hands of Mikasa and Armin, knowing that it would make them heroes. This, in turn, would secure respect for the Eldians from the surviving population across the world.

In the end, it was a faithful conclusion sticking closely to the manga source material. The only changes came with some extended conversations and bonus scenes which enhanced the story, making it more coherent for an adaptation to TV. You might not love the direction of the story — sure — but in the end it was executed brilliantly.

Attack on Titan ending explained: Titan in a battle

Everyone who dies in Attack on Titan’s final episode

As is standard in Attack on Titan, it’s the innocent citizens who mostly fall victim to the chaos and war surrounding them, however, the Yaeger brothers Zeke and Eren also meet their demise and are the only main Attack on Titan characters who die in the show’s finale.

Who dies in the Attack on Titan finale?

  • Innocent civilians
  • Zeke
  • Eren

Because The Rumbling is stopped, there are fewer civilian deaths here than in the first half of the finale. But, we still watch plenty of civilians bite the dust. There’s no mercy here, and as always Attack on Titan drives home a message about the destructive futility of war.

For Zeke and Eren, things are much more personal. As he promised, it’s Levi who kills Zeke, with the warrior eventually beating the older Yaeger brother following on from an intense and brutal battle.

Then, there’s Eren: the hero-turned-monster. As with the manga, it’s Mikasa who eventually kills Eren after breaking through the Founding Titan and finding his true body. She lops off the head of her former friend and love, and in recognition of her former feelings for him, she kisses his decapitated head. Gross, yes, but also emotional.

It might not have come as a surprise, but it was painful to see nonetheless.

Attack on Titan ending explained: Titan filled with arrows fighting

Will there be an Attack on Titan season 5?

The end of Attack on Titan season 4 part 3 part 2 has been acknowledged by both Hajime Isayama and director Yuichiro Hayashi to be the conclusion of the anime once and for all with no more source material left to adapt.

Having said that, there’s still a glimpse of hope for fans that there will be a bonus episode of the anime, or something similar, based on the fact that in October 2023, a bonus volume of the manga was announced, scheduled for release on April, 2024, in Japan. This won’t be a full volume though, just a short 18-page booklet inside of an art book, titled Attack on Titan – Fly.

Attack on Titan ending explained: skull face titan

In a press release, Isayama explained: “I’m currently writing a new manga for this art book. This is a bonus manga included in the bonus Attack on Titan Volume 35. I hope you’re looking forward to it.”

This could be adapted into some kind of epilogue to the anime, but there’s currently no confirmation of this at all or any indication that this is Isayama’s intention.

For more anime fun, see our guide to Demon Slayer season 4. Or, you can also learn about how one Attack on Titan fan built Shiganshina in Minecraft and did a great job, or see our list of the best TV series of all time.