Way back in Season 3 of Attack on Titan, a few lines of dialogue completely blew the minds of fans all around the world.
In a flashback showing how Grisha Jaeger inherited the Attack Titan, he is shown with Eren Kruger who gives him the mission to steal the Founding Titan. As part of his final words, Kruger told Grisha that if he wanted to save Mikasa and Armin, Grisha needed to complete his mission.
But here is the catch: during the time this flashback took place, Mikasa and Armin were not even born yet. So – how did Kruger know about them?
The answer has yet to be revealed in the show but with the manga complete, we do in fact have all the details about the Attack Titan and how Eren Kruger knew about Mikasa and Armin.
So be warned – there are manga spoilers ahead.
But, if you want to know the truth behind this very important scene, then find out the answers below!
So – What Did Kruger Say?
In the final flashback of Grisha Jaeger’s memories, he was shown receiving his Attack Titan power from its previous holder, Eren Kruger.
In his final moments, Eren Kruger instructed Grisha with a mission to retrieve the Founding Titan from the King within the Walls and pass that power down to a child who would succeed them. While preparing the syringe to inject Grisha with the spinal fluid that would transform him into a titan to devour him, Kruger said these exact lines translated from Japanese:
“If you want to save Mikasa, Armin, and everyone else, you must complete your mission.”
In the English dub, Kruger says these lines instead:
“Complete your mission and save Mikasa and Armin.”
Grisha, confused, asked Kruger who Mikasa and Armin were as he did not recognize the names. Kruger then pauses and things, realizing that he did not know them either. In Japanese, Kruger says this:
“Hmm… I don’t know. Whose memories are they from?”
In the English dub, he says this:
“I…I don’t know. They are not from my memories.”
Then the credits roll, leaving everyone just as confused and shocked.
This is because Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert are the childhood friends of Eren Jaeger – Grisha’s future son who has not yet been born. This means that Armin and Mikasa have also not yet been born. So, the memories Kruger must have seen to recognize the names are Eren Jaeger’s memories – but Eren is a future Attack Titan holder, not a previous one.
So how is this possible?
The Attack Titan
After this, fans took to the internet to share wild theories about how Eren Kruger knew about Mikasa and Armin from the future.
Some theorized that there was a Mikasa and Armin in the past, that time travel or a time loop would be featured in the final season of Attack on Titan, but answers were later revealed in some of the final chapters of the Attack on Titan manga.
Later in the manga series, it was revealed that the Attack Titan had its own special ability. All 9 of the Titan Shifters have unique quirks and powers.
For example, the most powerful of the 9 Titan Shifters is the Founding Titan because it can control pure titans at will. The Cart Titan has increased endurance, allowing its holder to stay in titan form for weeks, and the Colossal Titan has the power to let off a nuke-like explosion to decimate its surrounding area.
However, the Attack Titan had never shown such an ability. Some assumed that it must be related to strength, but the Attack Titan’s unique ability was revealed as the Attack on Titan manga drew to a close.
It was revealed that while all Titan Shifters have the ability to look back at their previous holders’ memories (for example, Armin could see the memories of the previous Colossal Titan holder, Bertolt Hoover, after he inherited the titan from him), the Attack Titan has a unique ability to be able to see the memories of future Attack Titan holders as well.
This gives the Attack Titan the unique ability to see future events through the memories of their future Attack Titan holders.
Foreshadowing And Possibilities Moving Forward
So – how did Eren Kruger know about Mikasa and Armin?
Because he had unknowingly used the Attack Titan’s power to look at a future holder’s memories. It could be that Kruger saw Mikasa and Armin through Eren’s memories, or he learned about them through one of Grisha’s memories.
One particular moment that Kruger might have seen to learn both these names is when Grisha gives the Attack Titan power to Eren. Before he transforms his son into a pure titan to devour him, Grisha gives Eren a similar speech that Kruger gave him – he tells Eren that if he wants to save Armin and Mikasa, he needs to learn how to control his Founding Titan power.
So, although we are not sure exactly whose memories Kruger saw, it really doesn’t matter – this moment is used to foreshadow the future revelation of the Attack Titan’s powers.
The true ability of the Attack Titan is a huge plot twist as it explains a lot of the events moving forward in the final season of Attack on Titan.
Eren has the ability to see the future using the Attack Titan’s power, and this could be the reason behind his sudden change in personality between the end of Season 3 and the final season. If you don’t want to learn anything more about the end of Attack on Titan, then here is your last chance to turn away.
Eren And The Future
The reason why the manga’s creator Hajime Isayama included this foreshadowing was to prepare us all for the huge twist in the final arc of Attack on Titan.
It is revealed that Eren had seen the future when he kissed Historia’s hand during the medal ceremony. He first saw a memory of his father the night he stole the Founding Titan from Frieda Reiss.
His father failed to take the Founding Titan because he could not bring himself to murder children, but a memory from his future was sent by another Eren – the future Eren Jaeger with long hair we are familiar with in Season 4. Future Eren ordered Grisha to take the Founding Titan and wipe out the Reiss family, which Grisha then did.
Then, Eren saw his own future memories. He saw his future memory of him activating the Rumbling, awakening all the Colossal Titans sleeping within the Walls, and using them to crush 80% of the world’s population.
So, the Attack Titan’s power allowed Eren to pull strings across time to get the future he wanted. This moment with Kruger was used to foreshadow the twist that Eren is actually the one in control all along and that he has used the Attack Titan’s time-altering power to control events from the far future.
So, Eren Kruger mentioning Armin and Mikasa in that flashback with Grisha was an actual event – it was not a mistake or a trick played by the creators. It was purposefully included to foreshadow the revelation of the Attack Titan’s power – it can see the memories of a future inheritor.
Eren Kruger saw the memories of one of his future inheritors (either Grisha or Eren) and accidentally mentioned their names while not even remembering who they were. And so, Eren Kruger was able to know who Mikasa and Armin were before their eventual births.
This whole thing at first seemed strange to include, but it is a very important detail that is used for foreshadowing purposes. Kruger talking about Armin and Mikasa foreshadowed how Eren uses the Attack Titan’s power to control past and future events, hinting at one of the most jaw-dropping plot twists in all of anime history.