Attack on Titan

Why Did Mikasa Kill Eren in Attack on Titan?

Why Did Mikasa Kill Eren?

Ever since Eren activated the Rumbling, it was apparent that the series wouldn't end without his death. But for Mikasa to have been the one who pulled the (figurative) trigger was a twist nobody saw coming.

When Connie, Jean, and the rest agreed that they should be prepared to kill Eren, Mikasa firmly opposed the decision. Desperate as she was, she argued with her friends and insisted on finding a way to save Eren.

And yet, in the end, Mikasa was the one who killed him.

Not only need she find the strength, but she managed to put her love aside to end him. Why?


After all that she went through to keep him safe, why did Mikasa decide she had no choice but to kill him?

Read on to find out!

Why Did Mikasa Decide To Kill Eren?

Mikasa killing Eren

Mikasa killed Eren to stop The Rumbling.

Her choice to do the right thing, even if it meant losing Eren, set Ymir's soul free and brought an end to the Power of Titans. She made her decision after Eren used Paths to tell her there was no other choice.

Mikasa killing Eren also holds a lot of symbolic detail.

Having loved him as she did, it's heart-wrenching to watch her decapitate him and try and live with the grief of it.

If there were any other choices, Mikasa might've fought harder. But after their conversation, Mikasa understood that it had to be done, and according to Eren, it had to be her — since Mikasa was the only one who could set Ymir free.

Moments before the ending, Eren used Paths to show Mikasa an alternate reality, one where they'd both ran away and lived peacefully for the remainder of his life.

At the end of this dream, Eren asked Mikasa to throw the red scarf away and forget him after he died, but Mikasa shook her head and whispered "never" before waking up and severing his head.

My heart leaped out of my chest on this panel. 

Mikasa held Eren's head in her hands and tearfully kissed him goodbye, and we saw Ymir's ghost standing behind them, smiling gently.

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How Did Mikasa Set Ymir Free?

Both Mikasa and Ymir were slaves to their love. Ymir's love for King Fritz kept her shackled even 2000 years after her death, and Mikasa was on a similar path with Eren. However, in the end, Mikasa chose the world over her love, which set her and Ymir free.

As the Founding Titan, Ymir could've broken free of Fritz and saved the others, but her love for him incapacitated her. Despite the fact that he bred her like his prized mare and abused her power to bring harm, Ymir wasn't strong enough to break free. She allowed herself to be reduced to a mere weapon at the hands of the King, and even in death, she served him and his bloodline.

Mikasa might've not suffered as much with Eren, but her love still blinded her. Even after Eren called her a slave and said, he hated her mindless obedience, Mikasa's first instinct was to protect him from Armin's punch. No matter how irrationally Eren acted, Mikasa went above and beyond to ensure his safety.

But Mikasa was never a pushover. In the end, she did what Ymir could never do. She killed Eren.

She didn't let her love stop her from doing the right thing, and proved to Ymir that it was okay to love someone and still go against them. Mikasa gave Ymir the emotional assurance she needed and set her free.

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How Did Killing Eren Set Mikasa Free?

Eren and MikasaMikasa's love made her dependent on Eren. From the day Eren saved her life, she acted like his subordinate and followed him mindlessly. Her attachment and love often hindered her, and she couldn't overcome the fear of losing him.

For example, although she hated the idea of joining the Survey Corps, Mikasa decided to join solely because of Eren.


Eren accused Mikasa that all of this was only because of her Ackerman instincts, which made her protect and obey her host (Eren) without much resistance. Mikasa was left shocked by the revelation, but by killing Eren, she proved that her actions had always been from a place of love.

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Eren's death helped her overcome her dependence and attachments to him. She may not have stopped loving him, but she stopped letting her emotions control her and took full charge of her decisions.

Mikasa buried Eren under the shade of his favorite tree and would visit him very often. In the three-year time skip, we see Mikasa at Eren's grave. She's still visibly sad, but she has promised herself that she'll live. She'll live to keep Eren's memory alive.

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  • Writer of this post


I’m a 23-year-old Japanese anime geek. I love anime and it is the thing that sustains and refreshes my life. I want more people to know about anime. That's why I write articles about my favorite anime.

-Attack on Titan

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