Episode 5 – ‘Declaration of War’
Attack on Titan has been making the case that both Marley and Paradis Island have reason for war. However, episode 5, “Declaration of War” undermines this case. Willy Tyber reveals the sorted his of family and King Karl Fritz. As Tyber tells this tale, Eren and Reiner discuss their similarities, while the Scouts work behind the scenes. Able to hear the stage from the basement, Eren shows Reiner that he’s already cut his hand. Reiner ask Eren, “why he is in Marley.” He responds that he there for the same reason as Reiner, “he has no choice.” Reiner breaks down. Since the beginning of the fourth season, Reiner has been at the center. Particularly, his guilt at the death of his friend, the attack on Paradis Island, and the betrayal of the Scouts. Reiner is a more sympathetic figure. Falco Grice is also sympathetic. Having trusted Eren when he was unaware of who he was, he becomes a pawn in the war. When Falco realises that Eren is from Paradiso Island, he’s devastated that he aided the enemy. Eren apologizes.
Elsewhere, the soldier escorting Pieck, Porco Galliard, and Zeke Jaeger orders Zeke to “go to the gate.” Pieck claims to find the soldier to be “familiar.” Most fans would instantly think of Armin. The soldier is much taller than the Armin we remember, but he resembles him. Willy tells the audience the entire history of the Eldian Empire. Using the power of the Titans, the Eldians dominated humanity, wiping out “many ethnicities and cultures.” However, the story of the Marleyan hero Helos was false. King Karl Fritz was the one that wanted peace. The Tybur family and the King colluded together to end the violence. The King moved the Eldians to Paradis Island, threatening to unleash a thousand of Colossal Titans. Despite this threat, the King accepted the invasion of the Paradis Island because he believed that “the Eldian sins could never be atoned for.”
Eren Jaeger is a threat to world
The soldier brings Galliard and Pieck into an abandoned room. He cuts a rope near the wall, opening a trapdoor beneath the two Titans. Pieck notes that they’re “too cramped to transform without being squashed to death.” Back on stage, Willy tells the shocked audience that the peace King Fritz wanted ended when Eren stole the Founding Titan. He announces that the “new threat to the world is Eren Jaeger.” With the Founding Titan’s power, Eren can command “millions of Colossal Titans at any moment.” In the basement, Reiner tells Eren that “they wanted to save the world.” Eren seems to see himself in Reiner, who blames himself for the tragedies that happened to Eren. Although Eren claims that he and Reiner “are he same,” he will “continue moving forward until his enemies are destroyed.” Eren’s eye turns bright green, and he transforms in the room with Reiner and Falco.
Eren emerges from underneath the stage, crushing Willy and tossing him into the air. I thought Falco’s presence was going to prevent Eren from transforming. We assume that Eren’s the “good guy” and won’t kill a harmless child. Attack on Titan has been making the argument that there are no heroes, just sides. Regardless, if the Marley nation had left Paradis Island alone, they all would have peace. The fear and bigotry of the Marley’s lead them to attacking the Island, resulting in the uprising that caused Eren to rise in power. The cycle of violence started with the Eldians, but could have ended with the Marley nation. They instigated this war, now they must suffer the consequence.