Attack on Titan Episode 79 Explained

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How does Eren and Zeke Jaeger strolling through Grisha’s memories alter the future, and which new powers does Eren reveal in Attack on Titan episode 79? A mind-melting trip of an episode, Attack on Titan season 4’s “Memories of the Future” doesn’t just shed new light on Eren’s past, but also hints at darker times to come in humanity’s future. Previously, Eren and Zeke (barely) made physical contact, with the Beast Titan catching his younger brother’s decapitated head like a long-haired baseball. The combination of Eren’s Founding Titan and Zeke’s royal blood took the Jaeger brothers to the Paths, where they encountered progenitor of all Titans, Ymir Fritz. Though Eren moved to betray his brother, Zeke revealed himself one step ahead.

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Having endured a traumatic childhood, Zeke believes Eren’s betrayal is the fault of their father, Grisha, whose relentless crusade to restore the Eldian Empire made no compromise for loved ones. In a vain attempt to make Eren “see the truth,” Zeke uses the Coordinate – the place where memories of all Titans meet – to guide his younger brother hand-in-hand through Grisha’s history. What begins as a simple “told you so” quickly goes very wrong for Zeke, as not only does Grisha’s past hold unexpected secrets, but Eren’s Attack Titan finally brandishes its true power.

Related: What Was With Yelena’s Face In Attack On Titan?


Given the weighty time-bending concepts at play, “Memories of the Future” gives Attack on Titan viewers plenty to chew on. History is remolded, Eren weaves his influence throughout time, and the entire landscape of Eldia’s war against Marley shifts. Here’s Attack on Titan episode 79 explained.

Attack On Titan Episode 79 Rewrites Grisha’s History

Grisha bites Frieda - Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan adds fresh details to Grisha Jaeger’s backstory, completely flipping the audience’s perception of Eren and Zeke’s father. As shown in Attack on Titan season 3’s flashbacks, Grisha inherited the Attack Titan from Kruger, and infiltrated the walls of Paradis Island with eyes set firmly on the Reiss family’s Founding Titan. To achieve this goal, Grisha practiced as a physician and gleaned snippets of intelligence from his more influential, wealthier patients. Until now, Eren (and Attack on Titan‘s viewers) believed Grisha had discovered the Reiss family’s secret underground cavern shortly before making his move the same night Wall Maria was breached by the Armored and Colossal Titans.


Walking through Grisha’s memories in Attack on Titan episode 79 proves otherwise. Eren and Zeke’s father actually discovered the Reiss’ crystal bunker years beforehand. Rather than execute his mission, Grisha chose to prioritize his “take-two” family instead, but why suddenly become the perfect family man after treating Zeke awfully for so many years? It’s not just because Eren was the cuter baby. Being sold out to the Marleyan army by Zeke – his own son, no less – clearly forced Grisha to confront his parental shortcomings. By the time Eren is a young child, Grisha Jaeger is no longer the cold, distant, cause-obsessed father Zeke knew back in Marley.


Attack on Titan episode 79 also confirms a disturbing new detail regarding a scene from episode 1. While Grisha is promising a young Eren Jaeger that he’ll reveal the contents of their home’s mysterious basement when he gets back from a work trip, Eren from the future is piercing his father with an icy death stare. When Grisha makes this fateful promise, he’s probably seeing himself through future Eren’s eyes – hence the hallowed expression as he leaves home for the last time. An iconic moment from Attack on Titan‘s early era is now forever changed.

Related: How Titans Are REALLY Made In Attack On Titan


The Attack Titan’s Future Sight Ability Explained

Eren Yeager in human form in Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 2.

Attack on Titan episode 79 adds a new string to the Attack Titan’s bow. When a character becomes any of the nine Titan-shifters, they absorb memories from their predecessors via the Paths – for example, Armin experiencing the thoughts and feelings of Bertholdt after inheriting the Colossal Titan. Unique to the Attack Titan, however, is the power to glimpse memories from successors, and this is where the Attack Titan’s name truly comes from. The moniker is less to do with fighting abilities, and more with the relentless drive to keep moving – and looking – forward. “Shingeki Kyojin” translates closer to “Advancing Titan” too, meaning hints toward Eren’s foresight have been there in Attack on Titan all along.

This ability was foreshadowed during Attack on Titan season 3‘s flashbacks, when Eren Kruger passed the Attack Titan onto Grisha Jaeger. Kruger mentioned “Mikasa and Armin,” despite the fact neither had been born yet. Normally, the Attack Titan has precious little control over which memories they receive. This isn’t Doctor Strange glimpsing millions of potential futures in Avengers: Infinity War, or a clairvoyant with unlimited psychic foresight. Attack Titans typically get nothing more than unfinished flashes of events their predecessors have experienced. Crucially, the Attack Titan cannot usually interact with these memories either.


How Grisha Can Speak To Zeke In Attack On Titan Episode 79

Grisha and Zeke in Attack on Titan

Zeke believes he and Eren are simply observing Grisha’s memories like a movie reel – passive bystanders in an unchangeable playback of past events. He’s quickly proven wrong when Grisha – over a decade prior to Attack on Titan‘s current timeline – briefly sees the modern day, beard-sporting Zeke Jaeger watching from across the room. The connection grows stronger in Attack on Titan episode 79’s final moments, as Grisha finally perceives adult Zeke in full, and is able to both hug and talk with his estranged son. This is possible due to Eren and his father both holding the Attack Titan at various points in time.

Zeke and Eren use the Coordinate to access Grisha’s memories and, as discussed above, the Attack Titan sees memories from its future inheritors. That means Grisha from Attack on Titan season 1 sees what Eren, his Titan-shifter successor, is doing in Attack on Titan season 4 – including the current trip down memory lane. And because Grisha is experiencing his own present from Eren’s perspective, he can also see Zeke. So, when a crestfallen Grisha emerges from the Reiss church and hugs his eldest son, he’s really just wrapping around thin air, but through Eren’s memories of these events, Grisha knows where Zeke is standing. This is evidenced by how Grisha only ever directly addresses Zeke in Attack on Titan episode 79, never Eren. Also, each time Grisha “sees” Zeke, it’s when Eren is directly facing his brother, giving his father a perfect view.


Related: Attack On Titan Episode 78: Every Easter Egg & Reference Explained

How Eren Influences Grisha’s Attack On Titan Past

Eren Zeke and Grisha Jaeger in Attack on Titan

As Eren and Zeke learned already during their memory walk, Grisha forsook Eldia’s restoration in the name of his new family. Only when the Armored and Colossal Titans attack Paradis Island does the doctor approach the Reiss family, begging them to wield the Founding Titan in defense. Due to King Fritz’s vow of peace, Grisha gets a firm “no” from the current Founding Titan holder, Frieda, but this still isn’t enough to make Grisha turn them into Reiss pudding. Despite the potential destruction of millions inside Wall Maria – not to mention his own family – Grisha cannot bring himself to claim the Founding Titan if it means slaughtering children.

Eren knew his father would choke (he tells Zeke he was “disgusted” by Grisha’s actions, but didn’t say why), having accessed the memory while kissing Historia’s royal hand back in Attack on Titan season 3. As Grisha retreats from violence, Eren steps forward, encouraging his father to fight, whilst also showing visions of past tragedies as motivation – Grisha’s sister being killed, Kruger’s noble sacrifice, Dina getting Titanized, etc. How can Grisha hear Eren’s dark whispers from the future? Eren is sending specific memories (convenient for his purpose, of course) back to his father, knowing the Attack Titan will let him receive these excerpts. Grisha in the past is “hearing” Eren’s call to action, because Eren is sending the memory of giving this speech backwards through the Attack Titan lineage.


Why Does Grisha Tell Zeke To Stop Eren?

Zeke in Attack on Titan

In the final moments of Attack on Titan episode 79, Grisha Jaeger implores his eldest son, Zeke, to stop his trouble-making younger brother doing something truly dreadful. Eren already confirmed he was never on board with Zeke’s Eldian euthanization plan, but still hasn’t laid out his own intentions. Whatever awaits up Eren’s sleeve, Grisha caught a glimpse of it while he was slaughtering royal children in the Reiss family cavern, and that brief sighting of future events has sent chills through the Jaeger brothers’ father.

If Grisha saw a memory of Eren’s dark future (which still hasn’t happened in Attack on Titan‘s anime), Eren would’ve witnessed this same vision when he kissed Historia’s hand and watched how his father obtained the Founding Titan. In effect, that means Eren knows his own future, even though the Attack Titan usually only foresees memories from successors. That insight into his destiny might’ve been the trigger for Eren Jaeger’s transformation from Attack on Titan protagonist into Attack on Titan villain.


More: Why Attack On Titan’s Porco Lets Falco Transform

Attack on Titan streams Sundays on Funimation, Crunchyroll and Hulu.

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