Turns out that Eren Jaeger is not the only ‘Eren’ in Attack on Titan – he was named after this mysterious character who first appeared towards the end of Attack on Titan Season 3, during the huge twist reveal that elevated Attack on Titan to one of the best animes of all time.
Although his screen time was limited, Eren Kruger left a huge impact on viewers and changed the course of history in Attack on Titan forever.
But despite the fact that he is a huge, influential character, little is known about Eren Kruger. Who is Eren Kruger? And why is he sometimes referred to as ‘the Owl’?
Let’s take a closer look at this mystifying character and start to unravel the mystery surrounding him.
Who Is Eren Kruger?
We first meet Eren Kruger in the episode ‘That Day’.
During Grisha’s retelling of his childhood, both the viewer and Grisha first meet Eren Kruger – an apparent Marleyan soldier who takes part in punishing Grisha and murdering his younger sister Fay for leaving the Liverio internment zone without permission.
Eren Kruger offers young Grisha the choice between physical punishment or hard labor. When Grisha chose to accept both his and Fay’s punishment, Kruger brutally beats Grisha.
However, afterwards, Kruger seems to show a touch of compassion and empathy. He allows Grisha to watch the blimp after he admits that is why he and his sister left the internment zone.
Later, Kruger is also present when the Jaeger family are informed of Fay’s death. He was also present during Grisha’s later torture by the Marley Public Security and questioned him about the Owl – the code name for an Eldian spy that the Marley Public Security were trying to find.
Initially, fans just assumed that Eren Kruger was just another Marleyan soldier but one who showed a little sympathy for the oppressed Eldians while also playing a part in their ongoing suffering.
However, when Grisha was later taken to the Isle of Paradis as an adult for conspiring against Marley, it was revealed that Eren Kruger was not a Marleyan at all – he was an Eldian spy who operated under the code name ‘the Owl’ and the current holder of the Attack Titan at that time.
Kruger first revealed his true colors after watching his superior Sergeant Major Gross turn Grisha’s wife Dina into a titan and throw her from the Wall. Just before Gross could do the same to Grisha, Kruger stepped forward and pushed his comrade off the wall, revealing his true loyalties to Eldia.
After untying Grisha, Eren Kruger began to explain everything – he was not actually a Marleyan, but an Eldian who had snuck into the Marleyan forces with false blood tests to act as a spy.
He had watched his own family be burned alive after his father tried to start a revolution against Marley, and had only survived by hiding in a closet. After that, Kruger was raised by his father’s friends to become a mole in the Marleyan forces.
Kruger was actually the Owl – the same spy who had been smuggling information to the Eldian Restorationists, which prompted Grisha to find his future wife Dina, who was also of Eldian royal blood.
It was Kruger who had informed Grisha of the Marleyan Warrior plan, and it’s true goal of stealing the Founding Titan, inspiring Grisha to enter Zeke into the program and ruining their relationship forever.
Without Kruger’s years of spying and working undercover, Grisha would have never met Dina and had his first son Zeke – nor would he have been caught and sent to the Wall to be turned into a titan for treason against Marley.
But luckily, Kruger had intervened but only after watching the rest of the Restorationists – including Dina – be turned into titans and pushed over the Wall into Eldian territory.
When Grisha asked why, Kruger revealed that he had killed and tortured many Eldians over the years to keep his cover, so no one would suspect him of being a true Eldian. While he regrets his actions, he admits that they were necessary for the greater good.
Kruger had been working as a mole within the Marleyan Public Security for years – and twelve years ago, he had inherited the Attack Titan power. Now, with his thirteen years drawing to a close, he has chosen Grisha to be the next inheritor.
The Attack Titan
Eren Kruger was the holder of the Attack Titan for 13 years. As Titan Shifters can only live for thirteen years after inheriting their new power, Kruger had to find someone to pass the power on to.
He had selected Grisha as he could remember the hate and anger in Grisha’s eyes when he and Gross informed his family of Fay’s death. Kruger could see that Grisha wanted revenge, and so he decided to pass on the Attack Titan power to him.
Kruger is only seen using the Attack Titan once, and that was to destroy the Marleyan ship that had brought Grisha and the Restorationists to the Isle of Paradis.
After killing the Marleyan soldiers, Kruger sat Grisha down and told him of his past – and of the plan going forward. Kruger encouraged Grisha to go beyond the Walls and take back the Founding Titan to use its power to end the Eldian’s suffering.
As he prepares to turn Grisha into a titan, so Kruger could be eaten and the Attack Titan power inherited by Grisha, he tells him that he wishes to save Mikasa and Armin and the others, and he will have to learn to use the Attack Titan power.
Grisha does not recognize the names – but neither does Kruger, as these are the names of Eren Jaeger’s friends who had not yet even been born. This is yet to be explained in the anime, but in the manga it is revealed to be a part of the Attack Titan’s power to see into the past and future.
Kruger dies after being eaten by Grisha, so he can inherit the Attack Titan power. Grisha would later continue Kruger’s legacy by completing the mission he was given and even naming his youngest son, Eren, after him.
There is not much else known about Eren Kruger other than the information given to us in these few episodes.
Although shown to be stoic, it is likely he endured years of living in misery as a mole and committing brutal acts of violence against his own people. He later admits his remorse but saw it all as necessary to help the Eldian people escape their oppression.
He is a very important character as it is Kruger who gives Grisha the mission to take back the Founding Titan and to settle within the Walls, putting the wheels in motion for everything that happened afterwards.
Without him, Eren would never have inherited the Attack Titan and Founding Titan, and the whole world of Attack on Titan would look very different.