Back in Season One of Attack On Titan, eagle eyed viewers may have noticed something strange after the attack of the Female Titan in the forest beyond Wall Rose.
After Levi and Mikasa have rescued Eren from being trapped inside the Female Titan’s mouth, the two retreat only for Levi to look back and appear shocked. From afar, he sees the Female Titan actually crying.
At the time, titans were thought to have very limited if not emotions at all. Squad Leader Hange’s experiment proved that titans could sometimes feel pain, but nothing had ever been seen to the extent of a titan crying.
Now, we know that the Female Titan was actually a Titan Shifter – Annie Leonhart, part of the 104th Training Corps.
The reveal came as quite a shock to some fans, but it also raised some questions: why was Annie crying when Levi rescued Eren from her?
Now as the end of Attack on Titan draws near, we now know the truth behind it all and the reasons why Annie began to cry that day in the forest. If you are still confused as to why Annie was crying, then find out all the answers below!
Annie Failed The Mission
There are actually multiple reasons why Annie started to cry after Eren was rescued from her, but the main reason that has a lot of consequences is that Annie’s whole mission was to kidnap Eren.
Annie is part of the Marleyan Warrior programme, which means she along with three others were sent to Paradis to steal the Founding Titan from the Eldian royal family. After Eren transformed in the attack on Trost District, she began to believe that Eren was the Founding Titan and it was her mission to kidnap him and take him back to Marley.
So when the Survey Corps went beyond the Walls that day, Annie pursued in an attempt to isolate Eren and kidnap him. She came very close, so close that she had Eren trapped in her mouth and had began running south.
However, her mission failed when Levi and Mikasa intercepted her and took Eren back.
Tired and defeated, Annie had failed her mission and began to cry. She had come so close to fulfilling her mission, but had failed.
But why would this failure strike so deep? Can’t Annie just try again tomorrow?
Of course, but there are many other reasons why Annie was so upset she failed that day which led her to shed more tears.
Annie Wants To Go Home
Annie, despite being an Eldian, was born and raised in Marley by her father, Mr Leonhart.
Mr Leonhart is not Annie’s biological father and instead adopted her with a purpose. He trained her up to become a Warrior of Marley, part of a program to use Eldian children as weapons and soldiers that would make Mr Leonhart wealthy if Annie was accepted.
So, Mr Leonhart trained Annie brutally until she was strong enough to be chosen to become the Female Titan. Annie originally hated her father for this, and at one point crippled him in a fight that unleashed all her resentment. Despite being unable to walk straight ever again, Mr Leonhart was proud because it meant Annie was finally strong enough to become a Warrior.
Once Annie was confirmed to be sent to Paradis on a mission that would take years and likely result in failure and death, Mr Leonhart had a sudden change of heart. He apologized to Annie, broke down to her and told her that he did see her as his true daughter, and begged her to return home.
At this point, Annie’s feelings about her father and her home changed – she was no longer resentful or angry. As she was sent away on a suicide mission, all Annie wanted to do was to go home but she could not unless she had the Founding Titan – which she later believed to be Eren.
So, when Annie had Eren finally in her clutches, Annie saw it as her ticket home to her father. There, she could live in peace and love until she died, but her way home was taken back from her and as Annie sat in defeat, she mourned how close she came to going home.
Annie Feels Remorse For Her Actions
Another possible reason why Annie started to cry was because she felt remorse for killing so many people that day – and all for nothing.
As an Eldian child raised in Marley, Annie was brainwashed into believing that all those who lived on the Isle of Paradis were evil and devils who deserved death and pain. But, once she lived among them for many years, Annie realized that the Eldians on the Isle of Paradis were just as human as she was.
Annie tried to isolate herself from the others to avoid getting emotionally close and making friends. Despite this, many of her fellow cadets grew to see her as one of their own and trusted her. We later see that Annie ultimately does care about her cadets as when she plays her part in Marco’s murder, she cries and is heartbroken to see him eaten alive – but at her own hand.
So, when Annie set off that day to kidnap Eren, she knew what she would have to do – kill many innocent people who trusted her, betray them, and potentially kill some of the people who called her a friend.
Annie came close to doing so, killing many Scouts one after the other and in often brutal ways. She nearly killed Armin, one of the people she was closest to, if she had not checked his identity first.
This is what in part gave her identity as the Female Titan away later, but Annie could not bring herself to kill Armin. Instead, she kept running to find Eren.
So after killing many people, some Annie knew might have been her friends, their deaths were all pointless. Killing Marco, killing everyone that day had all led to nothing – because Annie had failed to capture Eren and could not go back home.
Annie felt remorseful for killing so many people for no reason, but she was forced to do so as she was being used as a weapon. To go home without Eren would have led to her being killed as punishment, so Annie had no choice but to murder her friends and comrades.
But Annie still felt remorseful, which led to her crying as she watched her one chance to go home vanish after so much pointless bloodshed.
As you can see, Annie is a very complex character. Although aloof and sarcastic, she is still human and knows that she is being used as a weapon against her will.
She misses her home and wants to build a relationship with her father after many years of mistreatment, but is trapped on an island filled with people she must betray and kill. Annie shows remorse for her actions, especially after murdering Marco to keep her identity a secret, as she knows what she is doing is wrong but she simply has no choice.
These are the reasons why Annie begins to cry when Levi takes Eren from her – Eren is her way home to her father and to live out the rest of her life happily, and she will have to kill to get him even if she does not want to. Annie came so close only to lose it all at the last second.
With Eren long gone before Annie’s limbs could heal to pursue, she accepted defeat and cried.