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“This Is Goodbye. We Never Did Learn to Trust One Another. But I Cannot Blame You. The World I Have Seen Was Just Too Different from What You Have All Seen.”
This quote perfectly captures who Zeke is as a character. He stated these words to Captain Levi in a position, limbless, where he could practically do nothing. But he already predicted this-
Attack on Titan is probably the most popular anime series in the world. Currently airing its last season, every episode seems to “break the internet.” It can even be seen that every Sunday, Attack on Titan is trending on Twitter. This is a testament to its storytelling.
Apart from good writing, people also gravitate towards the characters. Especially the antagonists. Although Attack on Titan does not have the traditional “good guy versus bad guy” by the end, it does start with classical troupes. And Zeke is the face of the bad guys.
Zeke is a complex character. He can be conniving and intriguing but also caring. To help us figure out who he is, here is a character guide to help us know everything there is about Zeke.
The World Of Attack On Titan
The Attack on Titan world gradually expands with the story. The story is set on Paradis Island. But the natives of the Island do not know that they are on an island. The only thing that they are aware of is the walls that protect them from Titans.
The Titans are mindless and gigantic humanoid creatures having only a single urge; to eat humans. No one knows why. The only thing people do know is to stay away from them if they want to live.
The story follows Eren Yeager and his friends figuring out the mystery behind the Titans. The story begins when the wall protecting the humans from the Titans is destroyed. Both parents of Eren are killed, and Eren vows revenge against the Titans.
But as the story progresses, it is revealed that things are not as simple as they seem. A lot of information is hidden by the rulers. More and more of this hidden knowledge is revealed. One is that there are other humans besides the ones in the wall and the humans from the outside have certain motives for conquest. Zeke Yeager appears to represent humans from the outside.
Zeke Yeager is one of those characters of the series who cannot be described easily. His story started as an innocent child. After exposing his parents to Marleyan authorities, he got his mother killed. Zeke Yeager was portrayed as the main antagonist of the series.
He was a loyal Marleyan subject whose abilities were even revered at the Marleyan High command. However, his story took many turns and had one questioning at the end of the series if he was right all along.
Although Zeke’s character is still debatable in its fandom, this article will give you an overall view of Zeke’s character. This character’s guide on Zeke Yeager will leave the readers to decide whether they want to label Zeke as a hero or a villain.
The appearance of Zeke is that of a middle-aged man. He is tall with a muscular body. The color of his hair is blonde. He has a full beard. But in some scenes, it looks like an extended goatee. He has grey-colored eyes that are usually covered by round spectacles. As far as his clothing is concerned, he usually is seen in uniform and is half-naked.
Zeke also has Titan powers. From his mother’s side, Zeke has the blood of the Eldian Royalty. As a result, he is a valuable asset. He gets the Beast Titan, but the Beast Titan manifests differently in each person. For Zeke, it is a bipedal-primate-like appearance. The 17m tall ape-like figure is covered with brown hair across his body except for his back, torso, hands, and feet.
In the Beast Titan form, the ears are pointy and the teeth sharp looking. The body of the Beast Titan also seems strangely curved. Although muscular, the abdomen is strangely bloated, particularly from the sides. The nails of Zeke’s Beast Titan are also sharp in the Mappa version of the anime.
As far as Zeke’s nature is concerned, he is manipulative and astute. Another one of his traits is his curiosity and wanting to know about things. Zeke is also charismatic, a leader of the transforming Titans, so to speak. He can think about matters thoroughly and execute his plans without becoming emotional. Detached from his emotions makes him appear cruel.
Some regular abilities that make Zeke stand out among the crowd include the following:
Strategic Thinking And Manipulation
Zeke can think well ahead of the curve, which is why he is always two steps ahead of everyone else. Zeke uses his charisma and intelligence to move the pieces. Due to his circumstances, he developed the ability to estrange his emotions. The mission always comes first to Zeke. He will sacrifice anything and everything for the cause.
A Great Military Leader
Zeke is an ingenious soldier. He is gifted with a mix of tactical and analytical abilities. He was sent to overlook the Special Marley Squad to complete their objectives efficiently. His unique approach towards things was even admired by the Marleyan high military command. Although he was an Eldian living in Marley, his opinion was always regarded by the Marleyan leaders.
A Man Of Sheer Focus
Although he is purported as the villain at the beginning of the series, Zeke is a man of commitment. He does not let any emotions get in his way. If he decides to do something, he is willing to make any sacrifice for its sake. This ability allows him to perform his task efficiently without accounting for disturbing emotions.
Beast Titan Powers
The Beast Titan is gifted many abilities that are distinct from other Titans. A list of this set of capabilities is enumerated below.
Ability To Talk
Titans lose their ability to talk after transformation. He remains the only transforming Titan with the ability to speak after getting the Titan form. He can easily communicate with humans. This ability often came in handy when he led the operations against Eldians.
This ability, though seemingly insignificant, led to the better execution of his plan.
Control Over Titans
He uses his “voice” to control other Titans.
Yes, you read that correctly. Zeke can control other Titans. But only the ones that have been converted using his spinal fluid. This ability makes him the absolute leader of these Pure Titans. Many times over, during confrontations with the Eldians, he was able to summon these Pure Titans to his rescue. However, his control over these Titans is also limited.
Converts Humans Into Titans
Another pertinent point here is that Zeke converts humans into Titans by screaming. These humans have to have been injected with Zeke’s spinal fluid. This ability is related to his genetics which is attributed to the mix of an Eldian family with the Royal Fritz family. The humans injected with his spinal fluid turns into Abnormal Titans. However, this ability also has a particular range. His subjects that are not in his scream range just feel a weird rush in their bodies.
A Good Thrower
Zeke developed an interest in pitching as a child. He has a good throwing arm. This talent translates to his transforming Titan, where the cannons, house debris, and horses are “pitched” from afar. His throws also hit their target at long range. His throwing abilities led him to many achievements, including the death of Erwin, the commander of the Survey Corps. In short, he is a moving artillery unit.
To throw objects afar requires tremendous amounts of strength. This means that the Beast Titan possesses a lot of power. What is surprising is that even though he is strong, he can still intricately use his large fingers to pick up objects. This control over Titan’s power has helped him deal with small and delicate things and creatures without crushing them.
Some Common Abilities That Saved Zeke’s Life
Zeke Yeager can also regenerate his wounds like other Titans. This power of his persists in his human form. Being a slower Titan than other Titans, the regeneration ability has saved Zeke many times. The most crucial moment was when he was sliced at the hands of captain Levi.
Like some other transforming Titans, Zeke can also harden his body. He often did this to protect himself and his nape. Zeke has also mastered this ordinary Titan power. Unlike other Titans, who can only harden their nape, Zeke can crystallize almost any part of his body. His body can also respond quickly to his commands, even after Zeke has transformed into the Titan form. He has often used this quickness in deflecting enemy attacks.
Characters Related To Zeke Yeager
Zeke becomes a formidable antagonist before the start of the time skip. His charisma and his strategic mind to think steps ahead are well displayed. Zeke can also manipulate people through his words. He does this by delving into the minds of people he wants to influence. Also, he is influenced by others as well. Here is a list of characters related to Zeke that I feel are important in understanding him:
“Who Was In The Wrong? Me? Or This World? It Was Probably Both.”
Grisha Yeager is the father of Zeke. Grisha is also the father of Eren, the early protagonist of the story. From a young age, all Grisha had known was the walls of the internment camp. But he was a curious child, and he wanted to be free. But this cost him the life of his younger sister.
Grisha always felt guilt for the death of her sister. But more than her sister, he was angry at the Marleyans who had trapped them in the internment camps. The Eldians in the internment camps were treated like second-grade citizens. They were not allowed to raise their voice.
Grisha recalls his father beaming as he was informed that his daughter had died. Grisha held contempt for the Marleyans for polluting their history and not allowing a father to mourn his daughter.
He became an Eldian Restorationist. There he met Dina Fritz, an Eldian of royal blood. They fell in love and had Zeke. But they were betrayed. After their betrayal, they were sent to Paradis to be executed. But Grisha survived due to the intervention of an ally undercover.
Grisha could be characterized as stubborn and passionate. He also was careless in making his schemes. Throughout the story, it always seemed like Grisha worked on passion more than his rationale.
Being his father, Grisha always saw Zeke as his successor to the restorationist movement. Grisha used to indoctrinate him about the atrocities that Marleyans were laying on the Eldians. Grisha was so obsessed with his cause that he saw everything through its lens. Zeke always used to look for his approval. But Grisha was never satisfied with him. Zeke used to get scolded by Grisha if he uttered some words, not in line with the Restoration cause.
Grisha’s obsession with the cause brought a gap between him and Zeke. As fate would have it, Zeke turned his both parents to the Marleyan soldiers.
“No Matter What Form I Take, I Promise I Will Come And Find You.”
Dina Fritz is Zeke’s mother. She had the royal blood of the Eldians. Even though her presence in the story is trivial, Dina had a vital role in the development of Grisha and Zeke. She is caring and optimistic for the future of the Eldians. She wants the Eldians to live freely and is the face of the Eldian Restorationists. Even when Grisha became obsessive when interacting with Zeke, Dina tried to hold him back.
“You Achieved Great Things, Zeke.”
Yeager is the grandfather of Zeke and the father of Grisha Yeager. He is a middle-aged old man that takes care of Zeke after his parents are sent away for execution. He also had a daughter mutilated by dogs by an Eldian official.
Yeager is content to live his life within the internment camp. He tries to instill the same thought into Grisha and then subsequently Zeke. But does regret the treatment given to his son. He blames himself for Grisha’s rashness.
“But Well, My Beast Titan Is Not Really That Useful In Combat.”
Before Zeke, Tom Ksaver wielded the Beast Titan. He was a member of the Eldian Army and a researcher. Zeke was raised by him. Ksaver was also respected by Zeke.
Tom Ksaver was inquisitive. He had a stereotypical round anime researcher figure. Tom Ksaver was always curious about the history of the Titans and how they came to exist.
But other than his research ambitions, Ksaver was a carefree man. But he hated himself for being the cause of his family’s death.
Ksaver has a special place in Zeke’s life. Unable to get his father’s approval, Zeke spent his afternoons with Ksaver. He looked at him as a father figure. The development of Zeke’s character can be attributed to him.
Special Marley Squad
“We Are Warriors Chosen To Bring The World’s Judgment Down On Those Demons!”
A covert unit of four Eldian Warriors was made to infiltrate Paradis Island to obtain information on the Founding Titan. The group consisted of Reiner Braun, the Warrior Titan, Bertolt Hoover, the Colossus Titan, Annie Leonhart, The Female Titan, and Marcel Galliard, the Jaw Titan.
After landing, the four met with some conflict with a roaming Pure Titan, which resulted in the death of Marcel. Afterward, the remaining three decided to covertly infiltrate into the military of Paradis Island.
They tried to figure out where the Founding Titan was and what had happened to the Attack Titan. Their investigation led them to Eren. Their job was now to recover Eren and take him back to Marley. But Annie was caught, and she froze herself. Bertolt got eaten by Armin. Only Reiner returned to Marley.
Zeke also arrived at Paradis Island to guide the squad in fulfilling their objectives.
“I Want You To Believe Me… I Understand. We Were Both Victims Of Your Father. You Have Been Brainwashed By Him.”
Eren is Zeke’s half-brother. He is the main protagonist of the story. Eren did not initially know much about his father or his past. He only knew that Grisha Yeager was a doctor and that he had hidden something in the basement of his house.
Eren’s personality is exhibited by his need to see the new earth outside these walls. He sees the humans inside the walls as cattle to feed the Titans. After the attack of the Titans, Eren becomes vengeful against Titans, and he wants to eradicate them all.
Like Grisha, Eren is passionate and stubborn. Throughout the series, Eren is captured and retrieved. Eren’s rashness seems to be the culprit for this.
As he did not know the truth about the Beast Titan being his half-brother, Eren had numerous bad encounters with Zeke. However, they developed chemistry as the story progressed.
“To Me, It Was Not A Devil But A God, He Gave Us Hope When We Are At Our Weakest.”
Yelena is a tall woman with boyish features. Her personality is friendly and rational. But when it comes to Zeke, she gets passionate. She is a part of the Anti-Marleyan Volunteer force and has cultish-like admiration for Zeke.
Yelena has visions of grandeur. She wants to become a part of something important. To her, Zeke represented a symbol of change in mankind, and through him, she can become great.
“Eren Yeager… Is Not My Enemy. Someone Else Comes First. Show Yourself, Levi. You Are Running Out Of Time.”
Levi Ackerman is a squad captain of the Survey Corps, coming from the lineage of the Ackermans (royal assassins). They had special abilities distinguishing them from other humans. Levi also possesses those abilities.
Levi is the strongest human fighter in the series. Although lean and not very tall, Levi is an expert at using vertical maneuvering equipment. His quick thinking and flexible body allow him to make lightning-fast decisions. Even traveling at high speeds, Levi also has fast reaction times. He uses the combination of his swords with the maneuvering gear exceptionally well.
Levi also has strong arms. He uses the momentum from his maneuvering gear with the strength of his swords to swiftly cut the napes of the Titans.
The rivalry between Zeke and Levi is one of the most thrilling aspects of the show. Beast Titan is enormous and uses his brains to crush his opponents. Contrastingly, Levi uses his quickness and sharp instincts to maul down his opponents. The contrast between both of their abilities is drawn well.
Levi is a neat freak. Not displaying a lot of emotion, he is blatant about things. But Levi cares for his fellow Survey Corps officers.
The Story Of Zeke
After five years of the Paradis Island Operation, Zeke comes to initiate the next stage of the plan. He reunites with Bertolt and Reiner. They make him aware of the situation. He also comes to know that he has a half-brother. Zeke figures out the circumstances and thinks that Eren has the power of the Founding Titan. Hence, he sets the plan in motion to capture his younger brother.
Bertolt and Reiner protest, but Zeke physically subdue them. He makes the two Warriors attack Eren and the others when they try to retake Wall Maria. The Survey Corps manages to hatch a plan that hinders Zeke’s mission. This is where he and Levi duke it out for the first time. Levi wins the battle, but Zeke is saved by Pieck. Zeke suffers a loss but still manages to talk to Eren.
A time skip occurs after this. Zeke tries to make the people of Paradis Island more prepared for the future. For this, he sends Anti-Marleyan Volunteers to Paradis. Yelena is the leader of this small group of people.
Zeke then leads the Titans to capture Fort Slava. After the battle, some events unfold. These events follow with a special proclamation to be made by every nation against Paradis Island. During the announcement, Eldians from Paradis attacked. As the events of the attack unfold, it is revealed that Zeke plans to euthanize the Eldian race so that no more Titans can be created.
Zeke is stopped by Levi again and is taken hostage on the Eldian ship. Zeke is then taken back to Paradis Island, limbless.
Then, he is taken to the Titan Forest in Paradis. During his detainment, Zeke initiates the next part of his plan. Where he converts the surrounding Survey Corps soldiers into Titans with his scream. Levi kills every Titan and then manages to capture Zeke again. But Zeke uses his smarts to get free again, which causes him to almost die. But is barely saved by the Path.
Zeke then returns to the ensuing battle between Paradis and Marleyans. Chaos is ensuing. Where Eren is fighting Reiner. Zeke against Peke. There is also Falco and Colt there. Zeke needs to be in contact with the Coordinate to initiate his plan. Eren has the Coordinate. Zeke only needs to touch him.
But Eren’s head is cut off by Gabi. Zeke reaches for Eren’s head as it falls to his hand. This activates the Coordinate and reveals the history of the Titans to Zeke.
Eren and Zeke meet in the Coordinate. This is where Eren reveals that his plan was never to euthanize. Events take place where both view Grisha’s memories. Going through the memory, Grisha and Zeke finally share a moment.
It is then revealed that Eren instigated everything by showing Grisha memories from the future. He did this because he wanted to initiate the Rumbling. As soon as Eren transforms, Zeke’s body is eaten. He is left in the Path.
Later on, Armin meets Zeke and convinces him that life is precious. Because of the moments spent in it. Zeke agrees and tries to gather the strength of Grisha and Ksaver. He comes out of Eren’s Titan and asks for Levi. Poetically, Levi decapitates Zeke’s head.
Fascinating Facts And Trivia
Do You Know Who Zeke Shares A Birthday With?
Zeke shares his birthday with Reiner. Both were born on the first of August. It would be a happy thing for Reiner Braun to share his birthday with someone he admired.
How Intelligent Is Zeke Yeager?
Zeke is not only the most intelligent antagonist, but he stands at par with the brightest Eldian minds. His decisiveness, acuteness, and sharpness are out of this world. In the Attack on Titan guidebook, Zeke’s intelligence is rated as 11/10.
Where Does Zeke’s Name Come From?
Zeke is short for Ezekial, which means “God will make stronger” or “God will preserve. It is pertinent to mention that Ezekial prophesied Israel’s restoration and the destruction of Jerusalem.
Do You Know That Zeke Turned A Whole Survey Corps Squad Against Levi Ackerman?
Yes, Zeke did turn the Survey Corps’ squad against Captain Levi. However, it is not what you might be thinking. Zeke did not manipulate those Eldian warriors to fight against Levi. He simply gave them his spinal fluid in a gathering.
Question: Is Zeke The Villain In The Series?
Answer: Yes, it seems to be the case at the start of the series. However, by the end, the lines are blurred. Zeke has the motivation to make the world a better place. He adheres to a philosophical position of anti-natalism. He does not want the future Eldians to go through the same pain as the Eldians before him.
Question: Is Zeke A Psychopath?
Answer: No, Zeke is not a psychopath. He feels the emotion of empathy and caring. Zeke Yeager would not have wanted to change the world if Zeke were a psychopath. The relationship he had with Ksaver is indicative of his love for people in his life. His cruel streak comes from wanting to execute the mission at all costs.
Question: Why Did Zeke Turn His Parents Into The Marleyans?
Answer: Zeke was a passionate kid who was always looking for his father’s acceptance. He tried everything he could to get admiration from his father. However, he failed to do so. Zeke was heartbroken at the treatment of his father. This led him to expose his parents before the Marleyan officers.
Question: Can Zeke Summon Every Titan?
Answer: Well, one of the powers of the Beast Titan includes summoning other Titans. However, this does not mean that he can command every Titan to do what he wants them to do. The Subjects of Ymir who were injected with Zeke’s blood can be controlled by him. But this control power is also not absolute.
Question: Did Zeke Kill A Whole Village?
Answer: Technically, Zeke did not kill a whole village. However, Zeke did inject the villagers of Ragako, who later turned into Titans and were slashed at the hands of Survey Corps. These villagers also included the family of Connie Springer, a member of the Survey Corps.
Question: Did Eren Yeager Know That Zeke Was His Brother?
Answer: No, Eren did not know if he had another sibling. He did not even know if there was a world outside these walls. Grisha did not disclose this information to Eren or his mother, Carla. Grisha did not even tell them where he came from.
Zeke AOT Guide: Final Thoughts
Attack on Titan is a thriller. You never know what is going to happen the next moment. This is why it keeps people glued to their screens. One of the most seemingly mercurial characters is Zeke Yeager.
Zeke Yeager plays a vital role in the series. This role is magnified after the time skip, where Zeke seems more of a protagonist than Eren himself. The best thing about the series of Attack of Titan is that there were no right or wrong decisions spelled out by the author. If someone decides to label Zeke as a villain, he would not have any well-received basis for saying this.
But in the end, it must be said that Zeke was crucial to the climax of the series. He did not go through a proper development arc and only changed at the last moment. Nevertheless, his rivalry is an attractive feature. How brilliant it is that the end of Zeke is met at the end of Captain Levi.
I hope I have achieved my goal of educating you about the personality of Zeke Yeager from all perspectives. And you enjoyed reading it.
Till we meet again, have fun rewatching Zeke’s moments.