Chapter 102 of Attack On Titan titled “It’s too late” brought the beginnings of the war between Marley and Paradis Island. The following is discussion, reflection and interpretation of the events of this latest Attack On Titan chapter. Spoilers are guaranteed so it’s best to catch up first and then come back to this article to see if your opinions align or disagree with mine.
All’s fair in love and war
The title of the chapter itself alludes that there is no going back. This is the turning point between the Marleyans (Gabi, Falco etc.) and Paradis Islanders (Eren, Mikasa etc.) in terms of warfare and morality.
Eren has committed heinous war crimes, killing possiby hundreds of innocent civilians (including children), that Mikasa dubs “irredeemable” with tears in her eyes. Jean reprimands Floch for setting a building (internment zone), with civilians possibly inside, ablaze. Jean wants to minimize damage to civilians. Sasha hesitates killing Gabi as Sasha probably thinks Gabi is an innocent child and similar to the child she saved long ago from a titan using her bow and arrows.
Judging from the Islanders reactions to the battle one could say that they were not uniform in their opinions of how to deal with the Marleyans. Most of the Islanders refrain from killing anyone besides Marleyan soldiers, except Floch and Eren. From a strategic standpoint, Floch argues that this is the enemy’s residences. From what we can infer, removing the enemy’s footholds is a good strategy in gaining territory, destroying moral, destroying weapons etc.
Morally it’s terrible. These are the homes of mostly ignorant people, who know only what they’ve been brought up to believe like Eren said when he understood Reiner’s motivations. Despite that, to move forward, some Islanders believe that such conflict and collateral damage is necessary (and possibly unavoidable). Floch seems more emotionally motivated than strategically while Eren seems cold-blooded and calculating (while we know he understands the basis for why the Marleyans did what they did). Eren seems to only want what will give them an advantage in the war seeing how he admires the War Hammer Titan’s utility.
Diamonds aren’t forever
In this chapter we also see how some titans can transform without their bodies situated in the nape of their transformations. The War Hammer Titan appears from the crystallized body of Miss Tybur similar to Annie’s “cocoon” via a “conduit”. One thing we can hypothesize from Eren saying he will eat the War Hammer Titan is that perhaps Annie has already been eaten. If Eren attempted to eat the War Hammer Titan in its crystal he must have known that it could successfully be done. How could they know that?
Annie was imprisoned underground and could have been experimented on over the years. They could have had some titan (Eren or Armin) attempt to eat the crystal to empower their military might. If it succeeded they knew such a form was no match when consumed by a titan. This would be quite a reveal later. If this wasn’t the case then perhaps Eren knew that, at the very least, the crystal material was “edible” or by “eat” he meant after transporting the crystal via his mouth to some location.
Lights will guide the way
The survey corps are seen planting lights along the buildings for some mysterious reason. My thoughts are it’s a signal to confirm either their location and/or the streets they’ve cleared for some other military maneuver or force. I’m thinking it’s for something from above to spot such as planes, balloons or perhaps even a titan? Maybe long range artillery?
The man behind the curtain
One thing I’m hoping for is that most of this was planned by Armin. I’m waiting for some grand explanation of Armin’s strategies and motivations. Humanity inside the walls has had quite some time to prepare for the attack on Marley. Considering Armin’s intelligence and actual dream to explore the world I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a large part in planning the attack on Marley (maybe even the world). I also have a suspicion that it was Armin who led Pieck and Galliard into the pit trap. Which begged the question at the time as to why they didn’t kill them outright? The acquisition of their titan powers must be more important than their removal but I always see such strategies backfiring.
All in all I’m hyped as ever for the next chapters which will no doubt be a smashing definitive fight between the 2 sides: Marley versus Paradis Island. The build up to this fight was well worth the wait. The new titan power, the new Survey Corps and perhaps new revelations await us. If you liked this discussion please leave your own opinions below. If you think I missed something or would like to point out a different theory I definitely welcome that and could add it in the article for others’ benefit. Hope you all are enjoying Attack On Titan as much as I am!