This week's new episode of Attack on Titan featured a serious turning point for Eren, and possibly the saddest moment in his tragic life yet.
Warning! Spoilers for Attack on Titan lie ahead!
Season 3, episode 7 of Attack on Titan was titled "Wish," though no one seemed to get any wishes fulfilled in it. The episode took place entirely in the crystalline chamber beneath the Reiss family chapel, as Rod Reiss continued to reveal the secrets of the true royal family, and the titan transformation powers they were always meant to hold.
After spending the entirety of three episodes chained to the floor, Eren appears to reach the limits of his physical and emotional endurance this week. He begins to soften and give up as Rod Reiss explains the actions of his father, Grisha Jaeger. Reiss's words match up with the splintered memories rushing through Eren's head, and before long, he is siding with his own captor.
Finally, Kenny Ackermann betrays Reiss. He seems to sense that the old patriarch is not telling Historia and Eren the full truth, so he climbs the steps and removes the gag from Eren's mouth. He also cut a slit along Eren's forehead, giving him the opportunity to transform into a Titan and break free if he wanted. Instead, the angry young hero gives an impassioned monologue.
"It shouldn't have happened... Me. My dad too. If five years he hadn't done that here, your sister would have been able to do something, right?" Eren said, thinking of the Titan attack that makes up his bloody origin story. "But my dad stole the power of the Titans from its rightful place. Just how many died for that?"
Eren listed the loved ones he had lost over the course of the series, feeling the full weight of the deaths that had occurred so that he could transform into a Titan.
"I can never atone for it all. It shouldn't have happened. Those days of training. That dream beyond the walls. I.. shouldn't have happened," he declared. "So... At the least. Let it end at your hand," he said to Historia.
"Eat me. Save Humanity. It's all up to you."
Luckily, as Eren's convictions failed, Historia's were stronger than ever. The heir to the Reiss line climbed the steps and freed her comrade, denouncing her birthright to the powers. On Reddit, fans applauded the triumphant moment, noting that it even seemed to overshadow the fast-paced battle scene that made up the first part of the episode.
"That Eren monologue was pretty heartbreaking to hear and Yuki Kaji continues to knock it out of the park. Luckily, he got Historia 2.0 to snap him back to reality," one person wrote. "Mikasa may have competition in the 'Eren Protection Squad' Department."
Attack on Titan airs every Monday on TokyoTV, with simulcasts on Hulu, Crunchyroll and Anime Lab in North America. New episodes are typically available every Monday at 2 p.m. ET.