Attack on Titan is rounding out its fourth and final season, and after all this time, I can still look back on the show with new eyes whenever I re-watch. From how powerful the regular Titans are, to the most badass non-Titan characters, to which opening theme is the best, there’s always something to analyze and enjoy.
However, with Part 2 of Season 4 nearing its end and so much revealed in those eleven episodes, it made me think back to all the times that many of the moments in this season were foreshadowed. From the very end of Season 1 to moments at the end of Season 3, there are five specific instances that stand out to me, and they're the ones I’m going to go over today.
And, obviously, big spoiler warning for those who haven’t seen all of Part 2 of Attack on Titan Season 4 yet.
When Eren Recognizes The Crystal Cavern Below The Church
While the corrupt government arc of Season 3 was arguably a bit slower than the Return to Shiganshina arc, in my opinion, this moment stood out to me amongst many of the episodes. When Eren is kidnapped by Rod Reiss, he wakes up in a strange cavern that is covered in crystal. Eren makes a comment there that he recognizes this place, but that comment means nothing for the rest of the episode.
Only now, in Season 4, Episode 20, “Memories of the Future,” it’s revealed that Eren was indeed in that cavern before - except in the future, which is why for past Eren, the cavern felt so familiar and yet unfamiliar at the same time.
When Eren Kruger Mentions Mikasa And Armin’s Name
Mikasa and Armin have been in Attack on Titan from the beginning as Eren’s closest friends, cementing their bond as his close friends from the very first episode (which is honestly one of the best episodes of the series).
But, Eren was the one who was close friends with them - no one else. Which is what made this Season 3 moment where Eren Krueger said both Mikasa and Armin’s names to Eren’s father, Grisha, so confusing.
Both of the individuals are confused, but this later makes sense in Season 4 when it's revealed that the current Attack Titan has the power to see the memories of future inheritors of the Attack Titan. That meant that Eren Krueger saw the memories of Eren Jaeger way before he even inherited the Titan. It’s not the most subtle hint of foreshadowing, but it’s still great nonetheless.
Eren’s Fight Against Annie - And How Crazy He Went
That Season 1 finale of Attack on Titan was definitely one of the most action-packed, specifically with the major fight between Eren’s Attack Titan and Annie’s Female Titan, and both of them basically decimating the Stohess District during their intense altercation.
For a while, it seemed to be that Annie was going to win the fight, but soon, Eren got a second wind and went full berserk mode on Annie’s Female Titan - to the point where he ripped off her head and was going to eat her. It was only when Levi came around and cut Eren out that he was stopped from doing so.
While it’s not a direct foreshadowing moment that people have called out, I’ve sort of started to connect the dots myself. Pretty much throughout Attack on Titan, we are told very early on that Eren is a rageful kid. He’s not afraid of death and he wants to kill all his enemies - but we never really thought about how far he would be willing to go in order to accomplish that.
His fight with Annie in the Season 1 finale was a great example of foreshadowing his violent nature to come. In Season 4, we barely recognize the Eren that we used to know during the first couple of season. While he was passionate then and had a lot of rage, he is now willing to kill and push away anyone in order to succeed in what he’s doing.
He went full berserk mode during Season 4, Episode 21, “From You, 2,000 Years Ago,” and began the Rumbling - which, if ya don’t know by now, is pretty much a death sentence for the entire world. It’s amazing how far he has evolved in his anger from Season 1 to now, and this fight was the perfect example of that.
When Eren Touches Historia’s Hand
See, in Seasons 3 and 4 of Attack on Titan, that’s where you really start to understand why Attack on Titan is one of the best under-the-radar shows on television right now, because of moments like this that make Eren such a complex character. We see right after he kisses Historia’s hand in Season 3, Episode 20, “Memories Of The Future,” that Eren looks like he’s seen death itself. People ask what’s wrong, but he says nothing, ignoring what happened.
The viewers were rightfully confused as well, considering we want to know what’s going on, but this moment is so important because we find out exactly what happened to him in Season 4 - when he touched Historia’s hand, he saw into the future, and saw all of his heinous actions, which is why he looked truly terrified. And, this further explains why, over the last couple of years, he ended up going down this dark path - because more and more things from his vision started to come true. There was no stopping what was to come.
It’s dark in all the right ways, but makes so much sense; and only when you re-watch the show now does that scene truly mean so much more.
The Season 3 Ending
Eren’s literal last words during Season 3 was him pointing towards the sea (which Armin had been begging to get to for years at this point), saying, “If we kill all our enemies over there, will we finally be free?”
I feel like that line speaks for itself as to why it’s great foreshadowing. Again, showing off Eren’s willingness to murder so many people just from that moment - a hint towards his turn in starting the Rumbling and waking up all those Titans within the Walls.
Eren’s whole thing is that he wants freedom, both for his people and himself, and he feels that an eye for an eye is the only way to get it, and this moment is one of the first that really shows it, before Season 4 rounds that out and illustrates just how far he is willing to go.
A part of me also thinks there's way more to this story - keep in mind I'm only an anime watcher and I haven't read the manga, so there could be more of a reason as to why Eren is destroying everything besides just rage. But, for now, I have to say that his switch up was one of the craziest moments in this show so far.
Attack on Titan is honestly one of the best animes out there, and I could re-visit it repeatedly. I just might to see if I can pick out more instances of foreshadowing before this series truly comes to an end - whether that be from more episodes in the future, or from a movie. What might I find?
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A self-proclaimed nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, Alexandra Ramos is a Content Producer at CinemaBlend. She first started off working in December 2020 as a Freelance Writer after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She primarily works in features for movies, TV, and sometimes video games. (Please don't debate her on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!) She is also the main person who runs both our daily newsletter, The CinemaBlend Daily, and our ReelBlend newsletter.