If you are here, that means you have read chapter 105 of Attack on Titan manga or watched season four, episode eight of the anime (But just in case you haven't, the article is filled with spoilers. Read at your own risk).
I mean, the episode titled Assassin's Bullet came as a shocker to me when I saw Sasha Braus die. She was the much-needed comic relief on the show.
And you would expect such a character to survive till the end, even if the universe is filled with Human-eating Monsters. It’s fiction, come on.
Hell, I might have even had a few stray tears escape my eyes.
Why Did Eren Laugh When Sasha Died?
Before we get into the ‘why’, let’s get into how Sasha actually died.
Sasha was killed by Gabi
Sasha was killed by Gabi in a battle on the airship in the War of Paradis arc.
Of course, I loathe Gabi because of it. I did not sign up to watch one of my favorite characters die just like that, with no warning whatsoever. The natural reactions to Sasha’s death, both in and out of the Attack on Titan universe was that of sorrow and grief. Well, except for Eren Yaeger.
“When Sasha died, what did Eren do? Did he cry? Did he regret his actions? … He laughed.
What part of it was funny to him? What part of Sasha dying? Explain it to me, Mikasa. Why was Eren laughing? You know everything about him, right?” — Conny asks Mikasa in episode 10th of the same season, titled: A Sound Argument.
How Did Eren Become the Evil Guy in Attack on Titan?
Why did Eren become the bad guy? Eren admitted that he became a threat to the world so that the Survey Corps can kill him and become humanity's heroes.
Well, I understand where Conny is coming from. But he is so struck with immense grief after Sasha’s death that he failed to understand where Eren was coming from too. But I think Eren actually didn’t laugh at Sasha or the fact that she had died. He laughed because he found out that her last words were “Meat.”
Let’s be real. Didn’t all of us smile a little, even if sadly, when we found out the same? It was an “Of course! That’s so Sasha!” moment for me at least.
Why Did Eren Laugh?
So, when Eren laughed, it was because he remembered how much Sasha loved meat and anything that was food. He must have remembered how she hid meat in her jacket before the Battle of Trost.
To me, it didn’t seem that odd that Eren laughed out when he was told about it. And given the number of things that he had gone through, it’s not even a surprise at this point. There is another such incident where Eren was seen laughing at a companion’s death. I will talk about it further in the article.
Has Eren Changed His Personality?
Whether Eren has changed his personality or not, is up for debate.
Apart from that, he was always messed up in his head. I hope I do not have to remind you of everything that Eren has gone through, ever since he was a little kid. He faced loss after loss. It’s actually a surprise that he hasn’t succumbed to insanity yet. I mean, if it was real, nobody would have been able to stay sane. In fact, Eren was so suicidal that the only thing that kept him going was his will to protect humanity from Titans.
And let’s not forget that Eren had inherited Attack Titan, powers that haunt him with the memories of the past and future. The burden of knowing the past and future is heavy on anyone, especially if the person in question is a fantasy anime protagonist.
I remember that the initial look on Eren’s face when he found out about Sasha’s death was that of sorrow, which turned into laughter when Conny tells him that “Meat” was the last thing that Sasha spoke.
So, if Eren appears to have changed, please know that he hasn’t. He is just mentally unstable because of his tragic life history.
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What Is the Meaning of Eren's Laughter?
The meaning behind Eren’s laughter when Sasha died is quite similar to when Hannes died.
In season 2 episode 12 titled ‘Scream,’ Hannes was devoured by Dina Titan, right in front of Eren. Eren had laughed then too. But it was out of helplessness and how useless he felt. He wanted to save his friends, but there was nothing he could do against those with power.
Not to forget, he burst out crying immediately after.
So, there is a high chance that it was also why he laughed when Sasha died. It just appears to be his coping mechanism.
And honestly? It is actually quite normal to laugh out of grief. It is also a form of response to grief, no matter how inappropriate it is.
People shouldn’t be judged for how they express their sorrow. Every form of emotion is valid and very human (Unless you’re a creep. But let’s not get there).
Was Eren’s Laughter Just an Act?
Come on, the guy hardly has a stable mental condition. He is all sorts of messed up as of now. But laughing at the death of his companion was his way of dealing with grief.
He felt extremely useless as he couldn’t even protect his friends when he had sworn to protect everyone from Titans.
Eren is just on the brink of insanity. I hope that things get better for him. But knowing that Attack on Titan is known for its unexpected twists, we cannot be too sure of anything.
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