Attack on Titan: The 9 Titan Powers

Attack on Titan is a rich story with complex characters and fascinating lore. What appears from the outside as a man vs nature conflict — more specifically, humanity versus Titans — has been elevated to an anime full of intrigue, subterfuge, and betrayal. All of that is thanks to the narratives surrounding nine intelligent Titans.

These nine Titans are remnants of the founder Ymir Fritz’s spirit. Each has their own unique name and power set, passed down through the Eldian line. Eldians who possess the Power of the Titans can revert to their human form and retain abilities such as speech and human emotion while in Titan form. However, whoever inherits the Titan dies within 13 years. Below, let’s break down the current role of each Titan, who inhabits it, how they got it, and how they use it.

*This blog contains major spoilers for Attack on Titan Season 4, Parts 1 and 2.

Founding Titan

Over a thousand years ago, Ymir Fritz became the first Titan and the Founding Titan by obtaining the Power of the Titans. When she died, her split soul created the Nine Titans who razed the Marley nation to the ground. In its place they created the Eldian Empire. But when the 145th King inherited the Founding Titan, he renounced the war between races, fleeing alongside many other Eldians to Paradis Island.

He used the Founding Titan’s powers to erase the memories of everyone who accompanied him in order to make them believe they were the last survivors of the entire human race. Then, he used the Founding Titan’s “scream” ability to call upon massive Titans with hardening powers who could form walls around Paradis. It is important to note that only someone with royal blood — or who is in contact with royal blood — can use the “scream.”

The Reiss family kept the Founding Titan under their careful protection and paced it solely through their own lineage … until Grisha Yeager came along. Grisha Yeager, an Eldian sentenced to Paradis for his crimes against Marley, infiltrated the Reiss family’s underground stronghold. There he transformed into the Attack Titan and ate the Founder, because consuming the human form of an intelligent Titan is how the power is passed on. With two intelligent Titans in his possession, Grisha completely upturned the balance and illusion the Reiss King had constructed.

Attack Titan

Before Grisha inherited the Founding Titan, though, he possessed the Attack Titan. In Marley, Eldians who break rules such as leaving their internment camps are sentenced to roam Paradis as mindless “pure” Titans. Grisha was about to meet this awful fate when an Eldian spy named Eren Kruger used the Attack Titan to save his life. Kruger passed the Attack Titan to Grisha, who carried it with him to Paradis and did not make use of it until he consumed the Founding Titan. In that time, he fathered a boy named Eren.

Eren Yeager’s history with the Titans is the most complicated. Although Eren wasn’t aware of it at the time, his father Grisha injected him with a serum of Titan spinal fluid when he was a child. Eren subsequently transformed into a Titan before consuming Grisha and taking two intelligent Titans. Delirious and traumatized, it wasn’t until Eren’s first major battle as a Scout that his power emerged.

Eren did not know of the intelligent Titans nor why he was able to transform. He was the subject of much suspicion from everyone except Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert before Levi, Erwin Smith, and the other Scouts decided to train him as a warrior for their fight against other Titans. In season 4, Eren is using his Attack Titan to fight for Eldians everywhere. It also been recently revealed that the Attack Titan is able to see the future through the memories of other Attack Titans.

War Hammer Titan

The War Hammer is the last of the three intelligent Titans that Eren Yeager possesses. Yes, that’s right. He has three. This unstoppable force of a 19 year old holds within him 33% of the strongest beings in the entire world. Plus, Eren drank spinal fluid from the Armored Titan, giving his Attack Titan the ability to harden its skin into a nearly unbreakable shell.

This specialized Titan can create any flexible crystalline weapon out of its own flesh. Its skin is impenetrable by normal efforts. Finally, the War Hammer can be controlled remotely with its user hidden safely out of reach. The inhabitant sends their thoughts and actions through a tether attached at the War Hammer’s ankle while the user is entombed in a hard crystal case located elsewhere. This is extremely significant, as every other Titan is vulnerable at the nape and the War Hammer isn’t.

Before Eren had the War Hammer, it belonged to the Tybur family of Marley. Like the Reiss family, they kept the Titan among their bloodline and were worshipped for their ability to wield it. The inhabitant’s identity was never publicly disclosed, though at the time of its transfer to Eren, the user was Lara Tybur. She did not use her Titan in combat until she had to fight Eren during his siege upon Marley. He brutally murdered her for her powers, and escaped back to Paradis with his three Titans.

Female Titan

Attack on Titan fans first met the Female Titan in the form of the mysterious and aloof Annie Leonhart. The Female Titan’s powers include agility, speed, and a scream used to attract — but not control — nearby Titans. She can also create a crystal case around her human form (an ability known as hardening), and she has been residing inside this case for nearly a decade while she is comatose. It is unclear whether or not this is because of her sustained battle injuries or because she simply did not want to let her powers fall into Paradis’ hands.

Annie Leonhart was an Eldian Warrior Candidate. These children were picked and trained to take on Titans, and such an honor made them honorary Marleyans who were able to ascend above their given station. Once Annie inherited the Female Titan, she accompanied other Warriors to Paradis on an infiltration mission. There they were tasked with gathering intel and bringing down the protective walls. To accomplish this, they infiltrated Paradis as citizens and rose through the military ranks.

Eventually Annie’s deceit was discovered, though not before she caused significant damage to Paradis and the Scout Regiment troops. Eren’s goal was to eat her and inherit the Female Titan’s powers. However, he hesitated, and Annie fell asleep inside her unbreakable cage. In season 4, she is still a prisoner of the Paradis/Eldian military.

Colossal Titan

The Colossal Titan was another Marleyan Warrior. Inhabited by a teen named Bertholdt Hoover, the Colossal Titan was the largest recorded Titan in history and participated in the fall of Wall Maria. Under its user’s control, this enormous Titan can evaporate its body in order to emit steam hot enough to burn human flesh. When it transforms from a human to a Titan, the explosion levels buildings and kills anyone upon impact. The size and scope of its blast radius make it incredibly dangerous.

During a battle in the Shiganshina District, Bertholdt wreaked havoc on the town by burning down buildings with his Titan’s heat. The Colossal Titan also scorched Armin nearly to death. When Bertholdt was defeated by Armin’s sacrificial strategy, Eren pulled his unconscious human body from the Colossal Titan’s nape. The Scouts held Bertholdt prisoner until they could agree on who would inherit the Colossal Titan. Eventually, they picked Armin in order to save his life, turning their barely-living friend into a Titan who then ate Bertholdt and recovered his strength. Armin uses the Colossal Titan very sparingly, as the mere transformation is tragically destructive.

Armored Titan

Eldian Warrior Reiner Braun was selected to inherit the Armored Titan. This Titan is covered with hardened armor-like skin that protects vital areas, especially the heavily fortified nape. It can also increase hardness with sheer willpower, and send its life force to different parts of its body to preserve its functionality during brutal attacks.

Reiner used the Armored Titan to attack Paradis on Marley’s orders. He kicked a hole in Wall Maria, causing the decimation of the island’s people. However, Reiner developed a large amount of sympathy for Paradis citizens and slowly became more disillusioned with his role as he spent more time amongst his Eldian comrades. Although he no longer subscribes to the Marleyan propaganda concerning their supposed racial supremacy, he does still fight in their military against Eren Yeager in season 4.

Beast Titan

The Beast Titan is the most deadly antagonist our heroes have faced. In possession of Zeke Yeager (Eren’s half-brother), the Beast Titan can crush objects and pitch them at enemies to gruesome results. He can also turn humans who have ingested his spinal fluid into pure Titans with his scream. Finally, he can control other Titans and he’s capable of human speech even while in Beast Titan form.

This Titan killed Erwin Smith and countless other Scouts. An Eldian Warrior with extraordinary intelligence, Zeke planned the takedown of Paradis for years. He wanted to use the Founding Titan’s powers to euthanize every Eldian, altering their internal chemistry to make them unable to reproduce. Despite having royal blood on his mother’s side, Zeke was also able to break the vow against war. In season 4, even though he is close to death, he is the greatest threat to Eren’s plans.

Jaw Titan

Small, quick, and agile, the Jaw Titan has powerful teeth and claws and is the only Titan who can break through a crystal case. During the attack on Marley, Eren used the Jaw Titan’s body against its will to break the War Hammer’s case, putting the inhabiter Porco Galliard under much duress. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves — Porco was not the first person we saw in possession of the Jaw Titan.

The selected Jaw Titan Warrior was Porco’s brother, Marcel. Marcel accompanied Annie, Bertholdt, and Reiner to Paradis. Except, in a freak accident, a dormant Titan attacked the group and ate Marcel. This Titan was a young woman named Ymir. She was not the original Ymir, but rather a victim of an Eldian cult that convinced themselves she was the reincarnated version of the Founding Titan. She was sent to Paradis as punishment, but then regained her intelligence and freedom by consuming Marcel.

Ymir never learned how to harness Jaw’s true potential. She was eventually taken back to Marley, where Porco ate her to take on the Jaw mantle. Porco participated valiantly in the Marleyan military. He came over with the sneak attack on Paradis and fought until he was severely wounded. Feeling useless, he called a newly turned Eldian child called Falco Grice over. As a bumbling Titan, all Falco could do was follow his killer instincts, and he ate Porco.

Cart Titan

The small quadrupedal Cart Titan is fast and strong, making it ideal to carry cargo and weapons equipment. It is inhabited by Marleyan Warrior Pieck Finger, who can stay transformed for months where most other transformed Titans tire much more quickly. She has a close relationship with the gunners who she carries, and the teams feel responsible for each other’s safety during battles.

Pieck is incredible at communicating — she can even speak while in Titan form — and prefers working with others. Her high-endurance Cart Titan was needed throughout the Attack on Titan series as a means of escape and military advancement.

Which of the nine Titans in the Attack on Titan anime is your favorite? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!