Mysterious boy with a maroon scarf with his dog in the credits of Attack on Titan Season 4, Part 3.

How ‘Attack on Titan’s Ending Sets Up Another Beginning

The ending of Attack on Titan season 4, part 3 was not as cut and dry as it seemed. Many of the fan-favorite characters in the series lived long and fulfilled lives after the Rumbling, and most of them passed on peacefully decades later due to old age. Beyond that, it’s safe to say that the characters who fought for freedom and peace got what they wanted, as fans saw them grow old and have their own families during the end-credits.

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But the credits also alluded to the cyclical nature of the world in Attack on Titan, and how everything in this world came to an end hundreds of years later. Naturally, the world fell into war and destruction after modernization. That isn’t to say that Eren’s sacrifice was all for naught, but that this is just the way of the world.

The cyclical nature of Attack on Titan

Armin was implied to have passed on last among the friends, just like how he finished last in their race as children. Many years later, after civilization repopulated and progressed, it fell into utter chaos once more due to war—the reasons for which are unknown. A boy and a dog were seen wandering around the same tree up on a hill where it all started, and the fate of humanity at this point in time was largely unknown. The world looked as if it fell into total shambles, and that the boy was going to seek refuge with his dog inside the tree. A striking detail about the boy was how he had a scarf like Mikasa’s. In the manga, the boy resembled Mikasa quite a lot.

Whether or not he’s a descendant of Mikasa is not confirmed, but he found his way into the tree where the remains of Eren are laid to rest. It’s highly likely that the boy will have the chance to acquire the Power of the Titans if the centipede-like parasite lives on and is buried with Eren. Now that the world has fallen to disrepair once more, it’s not impossible for this boy to start the cycle that Eren ended centuries ago. But it’s been a while, surely humanity advanced and learned to be better, right?

If one thing is for sure, it’s that a world free of conflict can exist, albeit fleetingly. There will be those like Eren who seek a free and peaceful world at an impossible cost, but luckily for humanity, not everyone will reach Eren’s conclusion.

(featured image: MAPPA)

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Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) has been a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue since 2023. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy, she (happily) rejected law school in 2021 and has been a full-time content writer since. Vanessa is currently taking her Master's degree in Japanese Studies in hopes of deepening her understanding of the country's media culture in relation to pop culture, women, and queer people like herself. She speaks three languages but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.