Levi Ackerman is quite literally the most popular character in Attack on Titan.
He has legions of fans, his face is across hundreds of pieces of merchandise, and he is probably one of the most easily recognizable anime characters across the world.
Fans adore his sarcastic personality and his immense skill as a fighter, shooting him to the top of favorite anime character polls every year.
But if there is one thing Attack on Titan is well known for, it’s how easily its creator Hajime Isayama kills off his characters and one way he likes to do that is by transforming them into titans.
So is Levi also one of these unfortunate characters? Will Levi turn into a titan by the end of the series, or will he become a titan shifter and inherit the power of one of the nine?
With the manga series concluded, we do have a concrete answer to these questions – but they will contain spoilers for the final season of the anime. So, if you don’t want anything spoiled for you, you are better off waiting until the season finale.
Does Levi Turn Into A Titan?
In the manga, Levi never turns into a pure titan. Pure titans are the most commonly seen type of titan in Attack on Titan.
They are Eldians who have been injected with titan spinal fluid by methods like injection or inhalation, turning them into mindless giants whose only goal is to feed on every human they see in order to try and turn back into their original human form.
Levi does have some close calls when it comes to becoming infected with titan spinal fluid. For example, while he is stationed to watch over Zeke in the tall forest, he refuses to drink the Marleyan wine the rest of his team are drinking.
Levi sticks to tea – and so, he narrowly misses out on ingesting some of Zeke’s spinal fluid which turned the rest of his team into pure titans once Zeke let out a scream. However, for a while, it was uncertain if Levi could even become a titan due to his Ackerman heritage.
Only subjects of Ymir can transform into titans. This is because they are all descended from Ymir – the original Titan Shifter – and so contain the DNA necessary for the transformation to take place as they are all connected to the paths.
This means that people from other races – such as Marleyans – cannot be turned into pure titans nor can they become Titan Shifters. This is why Marley uses their oppressed Eldian populations as titan weapons and passes the power of the nine Titan Shifters down through Eldian children.
They cannot use their own people, nor would they want to use them, as they see being able to turn into a titan as an evil quality.
And so, people from other races are also not affected by the Founding Titan’s mind controlling abilities. They cannot have their bodies altered nor have their memories wiped by the Founding Titan.
So when King Karl Fritz made all the Eldians within the Walls forget about the outside world and their history with titans, those within the Walls who were not of Eldian descent were unaffected and retained their memories. This included members of the Oriental Azumbito clan – and the Ackermans.
Can Ackermans Turn Into Titans?
For a long time, fans debated if Levi could turn into a titan.
As Levi is an Ackerman through his mother’s ancestry, the argument there was that he could not be turned into a titan even if he did ingest Zeke’s spinal fluid.
However, the identity of Levi’s father is unknown, but it is most likely that his father was Eldian, and so a Subject of Ymir, and Levi would have also inherited that bloodline the same as he clearly inherited his mother’s.
Levi is definitely an Ackerman as he has the awakened power – the ability to channel titan-like strength, speed, and agility without ever transforming into a titan.
This is why he and Mikasa, another Ackerman, are so skilled and adept at fighting titans – they are descended from a race of warriors that were born from titan experimentation.
However, because his father was most definitely an Eldian, does this mean that Levi could turn into a titan while someone like Mikasa Ackerman, who has no Eldian heritage at all, could not?
The answer was finally given in one of the final chapters of the Attack on Titan manga. The creature responsible for the titans that infected the founder Ymir centuries ago releases a gas with the ability to create titans – similar to the gas used by Zeke to infect the people of Ragako.
This gas turned all nearby Eldians into pure titans – but Levi, despite breathing in the gas, did not. He (along with Mikasa, the nearby Marleyans and the current Titan Shifters) were the only ones not affected by the gas.
So – not only does Levi never turn into a titan, it is confirmed that he never could due to his Ackerman heritage. It did not matter if his father was Eldian. As long as someone is descended from the Ackerman clan, they are immune to the titan spinal fluid.
So, does Levi ever turn into a titan?
Nope, by the end of the Attack on Titan manga, humanity’s strongest soldier manages to scrape through without ever being transformed into a titan or becoming a Titan Shifter. Nor is he able to – because Ackermans are not the same race as Eldians.
This means that Levi (thankfully) never does transform.
Although this is only the case in the manga. For a long time, it was up in the air if Levi could become a titan due to his Eldian heritage from his father’s side, but one of the final manga chapters confirmed this was not the case.
However, the final season of Attack on Titan is still ongoing, and perhaps they have something different in mind for Levi’s fate. We will have to wait and see if Levi’s ending is very different in the anime than it is in the manga.