Attack On Titan’s Founding Titan: How Does It Work And Why Is It A Doomsday Weapon?

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan pulled off the perfect anime twist by having protagonist Eren Yeager pull a heel turn and become a villain hellbent on destroying most of the world. A major key to Eren’s plan (and what makes him so damn hard to kill) is that he now has control of The Founding Titan. Because some fans still don’t know what the deal is with this big guy, we decided to put down the bread we were dropping at Sasha’s grave (RIP, best girl) to bring you the definitive guide to how The Founding Titan works and serves as a Doomsday weapon.

Origin Of The Founding Titan

Ymir Fritz, the Founding Titan

In Attack on Titan, the Founding Titan is, as the name suggests, the very first of these intimidating creatures. Ymir Fritz became the first person to hold the powers of this Titan after she accessed the so-called Source of All Living Matter within a tree. At the time, she was an Eldian slave simply fleeing from her captors, and in a bit of irony, her discovery of the Founding Titan would give the Eldians the power to reshape the world.

In flashback moments, we see that Ymir was a faithful servant of King Fritz even before she married him. The two of them had three children, Maria, Rose, and Sina, and these are the names of the different walls at the beginning of the Attack on Titan series. When Ymir died 13 years after receiving the Titan power (something that still happens to “shifters”–those who can transform from Eldian to Titan and back again, also known as Subjects of Ymir), her powers transferred to her children after King Fritz forced them to eat their mother’s corpse.

However, later episodes of Attack on Titan make it clear that Ymir was still around in her own weird way. She now resides in a kind of nonlinear world of different paths (known as The Coorindate because it is the convergence of all paths), and in this realm, she is stuck obeying the whims of future holders of both the Founding Titan as well as the other shifter forms. This means she was functionally helpless as future Titans used their great powers to expand the power and influence of Eldia (something that caused great resentment against them from throughout the world).

While it sucks for Ymir (more on this later), the fact that she was functionally unstuck in time is especially significant because it meant that future holders of the Founding Titan could see the past, present, and future. Being able to see the future has helped those with the Founding Titan’s power to stay alive over all these years, and the power has what was meant to be the ultimate redundancy. Normally, it can only be held and used (along with the many other Titan powers) by a descendant of the royal family.

Eren Yeager And The Founding Titan

A young and hopeful Eren Yeager

We say “normally” because it turns out Eren Yeager’s father ate the body of Reida Reiss, which gave him the power of The Founding Titan and effectively took the chain of custody away from the Reiss family. Very early in the overall narrative of Attack on Titan, Eren’s dad transferred that ability to him. However, there was just one problem: not being of royal blood, Eren still couldn’t make full use of the Founding Titan’s powers.

He briefly had an opportunity to do so at the end of the second season of Attack on Titan when he was in contact with Historia (an actual royal descendant) and was able to take control of attacking Titans, causing them to flee. Later, he links up with his half-brother Zeke Yeager (also known as the Beast Titan). Zeke has royal blood in him, and once he teams up with Eren, his younger brother now has the power to destroy the world.

The Founding Titan Becomes Known As The Doomsday Titan

Eren Yeager’s Founding Titan

Now, buckle up: this is where we dive deep into the perfect storm that has turned Eren Yaeger into the greatest threat the Attack on Titan universe has ever faced. The Founding Titan gives him the ability to access and manipulate the past thanks to his connection to the world of the paths where Ymir is. And because Eren lacked any royal blood himself, he wasn’t affected by the pacifism that earlier Founding Titan holder Karl Fritz ensured future royal family members would have when he wiped Eldians’ memory and made everyone live inside the walls, threatening to unleash The Rumbling on the outside world if threatened (more on this later).

The world Ymir is stuck in is called The Coordinate (which is also a title sometimes given to the one who possesses the Founding Titan) because it is a place where all paths converge. Eren is able to use it to go back in time and convince his dad to kill and eat the royal family (it’s Attack on Titan’s major predestination paradox: young Eren had these powers for so long because the older Eren manipulated their dad from the future). We also find out it was Ymir who drew Eren towards The Coordinate in the first place because she is sick of being a slave.

attack on titan rumbling
The Rumbling

More terrifyingly, Eren’s access to royal blood means he can now unleash The Rumbling, a catastrophic event in which all of the Wall Titans comprising the walls back home come to life and trample all life outside of Paradis Island. Previously, Karl Fritz had only threatened to unleash this kind of threat as a bluff–in reality, he was completely devoted to pacifism. Eren, however, has no such devotion, and he has now unleashed a plan that will wipe out almost the entire world if his friends don’t stop him.

Interestingly, Eren could simply use the Founding Titan’s telepathic powers to make all those attacking him do everything from killing themselves to joining his cause. However, he is letting it all play out because he believes that if they can stop him (something that is nearly impossible because his control of The War Hammer Titan means he can move his weak spot around), he deserves to be stopped. If nobody can stop him, though, he believes he deserves to reign as a king on a throne built of countless corpses, and we can’t wait to fire up Crunchyroll to see how it all ends on November 4.