Bertholdt Hoover is a graduate of the 104th Cadet Corps, wherein he was ranked 3rd, and is a childhood friend of Reiner Braun.
|That's not a lie! Conny! Jean! It's true we may have deceived everyone, but it's not all a lie! We really considered you comrades!|
|— Bertholdt to his former comrades|
Bertholdt Hoover (ベルトルト・フーバー Berutoruto Fūbā?) is a graduate of the 104th Cadet Corps and a former member of the Scout Regiment. He ranked 3rd in his class, and is described by others as a weak-willed and quiet person. He is rarely seen without Reiner Braun, his close childhood friend, both of whom originate from an unknown area which he refers to as his hometown. As the Colossal Titan, he is one of humanity's greatest threats.
Along with Reiner and Annie Leonhart, he is a person that possesses the ability to transform into a Titan. In the year 845, he used his power to help Reiner breach Wall Maria and infiltrate the military for unknown reasons.
Bertholdt is a rather tall, slender young man. He has short, dark hair, pale green eyes, thin eyebrows and an elongated face. He is seen mainly in his cadet uniform, and after he enters the Scout Regiment, he uses their uniform with the green hood on missions. He is also noted by others to always be sweating. In his casual clothes, Bertholdt wears a blue sweater with a white button down underneath and tan pants.
As the Colossal Titan, he possesses a very distinctive appearance and a number of unusual features. He grows to roughly 60 meters tall, making him around four times the height of any other Titan seen thus far.
Bertholdt's Colossal Titan form is one of the more heavily-deformed Titans seen in the series - he appears to lack skin entirely and his jaw and facial structure seem to be heavily altered from the human form. He is also constantly releasing jets of steam from the surface of its body, in a manner that parallels his frequent nervous sweating. His feet are also quite different to those of a human and other Titans, as they are swollen and pillar-like in appearance. He has slim and disproportionately long arms in comparison to his head, body, and legs.
Bertholdt is a quiet young man who identified himself as someone with a weak will that follows popular opinion. Likewise, his commandant noted him to be a person with great potential, but an utter lack of initiative. He is further described by Eren Jaeger as being taciturn, and Bertholdt tends to remain in the background unless necessary. By his own admission, he is something of a coward and is noted for his low self-esteem.
In the year 845, Bertholdt set out on a mission to exterminate humanity and retrieve the Founding Titan, along with his childhood friends, Reiner Braun, Annie Leonhart and Marcel, the wielders of the Armored Titan, Female Titan, and another Titan. On their journey, the four young Warriors were ambushed by a Titan slumbering in the earth that tried to devour Reiner. As he stood in fear, Reiner was almost killed until Marcel pushed him away but was grabbed and devoured instead while Reiner, Bertholdt, and Annie watched in horror.
Bertholdt transforms into his Colossal Titan form at Shiganshina District, terrorizing its population and kicking a hole in the district's gate. The attack leads to falling debris scattering across the town, crushing houses in the process. Immediately after his attack, Bertholdt reverts to his human self, while Titans enter the city from outside the walls, resulting in the population being set on by them.
Two years after the destruction of Wall Maria, in the year 847, Bertholdt enlists in the military and becomes a member of the 104th Cadet Corps along with Reiner and Annie. On the first day of training, Bertholdt is one of the few students who the commandant Keith Sadies does not attempt to haze, as he is able to tell that Bertholdt has already been through a rite of passage.
After failing repeatedly to operate the omni-directional mobility gear, Eren seeks advice from his fellow cadets and is sent to Bertholdt and Reiner for help by Marco Bodt. Though initially unfriendly towards Eren and Armin, Bertholdt and Reiner quickly warm up to them after learning they are from Shiganshina District and are still willing to enlist in the Scout Regiment. They share their desire to return to their lost hometown and agree to give Eren advice. The next day they witness Eren's last attempt to pass where he fails yet again until Sadies notices that his equipment is defective. Upon being resupplied Eren passes the test as Reiner and Bertholdt watch impressed with Eren's determination.
At some point during their training, the cadets complete a snowstorm training exercise. However, Christa, Ymir, and Daz do not return. The next morning when Eren, Mikasa, and Armin decide to go looking for them, Bertholdt and Reiner decide to accompany them, as well as Conny, Sasha and Marco. However, they hear a loud almost thunder-like noise and head out to investigate but discover Ymir returning to camp with Daz who is tended to by the others indoors.
Eventually Bertholdt graduates 3rd in his class, behind Reiner.
Five years after his attack on Shiganshina District, Bertholdt transforms into the Colossal Titan at the entrance of Trost District. He immediately repels the Military cadets on top of Wall Rose with vapor from his high-temperature body and then breaches the gate into the city. As he sets his eyes on the Wall's fixed artillery, the Colossal Titan swings its arm and destroys the Wall's defenses. Surviving the assault, Eren launches himself at the Colossal Titan's neck and attempts to attack its nape, leading to Bertholdt dissolving his Titan's body and Eren missing his target. His attack prompts the Garrison to begin the Colossal Titan contingency plan for Trost District, and results in Titans entering the city.
Upon reentering Trost, Bertholdt takes part in the attack against the Titans. However, with the supply team stuck in Trost's Military headquarters, he is essentially immobilized with many of his teammates on a rooftop. He, Reiner, Annie discuss what to do next, with Reiner suggesting that they wait for the Titans to gather to them before they make a move. Mikasa asks them if they have seen Eren, and Reiner points out Armin, telling her he was in Eren's squad.
Mikasa takes charge, leading an attempt to get to the military headquarters in Trost, which Bertholdt takes part in. Conny, Mikasa, and Armin arrive shortly afterward, with an abnormal Titan in tow that promptly begins to kill the Titans swarming the outside of the building.
Bertholdt takes part in Armin's plan to clear out the smaller Titans that have infiltrated the headquarters' armory. After the Titans are lured together by the cadets and blinded via gunfire, he and six other cadets attack them, in an effort to clear out all of the Titans in one move. As the other cadets move out after resupplying, Bertholdt is among the soldiers that stay behind to observe the abnormal Titan as it is overwhelmed by the mindless Titans. Suspecting that the Titan is intelligent, Bertholdt, Annie, and Reiner argue that they should help it and prevent it from being eaten. They are silenced when the Titan breaks away from the Titans devouring it to kill one final Titan, before collapsing. They prepare to leave, but are shocked at the sight of Eren Jaeger emerging from the Titan's nape. Bertholdt, Jean, Annie, and Reiner are placed on standby with their fellow cadets, and are ordered not to tell anyone what they witnessed.
Later, after seeing what appears to be Titan vapor from inside the city, he and the soldiers that witnessed Eren's emergence from the Titan's nape scale the Wall to see what is happening. Over the Wall, they see Eren protecting Mikasa and Armin from cannon fire, with a shield made from the torso of his Titan form.
Later into the battle, Reiner, Bertholdt and Annie capture Marco and remove his omni-directional mobility gear. The three leave Marco stranded on a roof and watch in horror as a nearby Titan eats him.
Bertholdt participates in the Scout Regiment's 57th exterior scouting mission into Titan territory, sticking close to his friend Reiner the whole time. The mission is fairly slow paced for him until he arrives at the Forest of Giant Trees with his group and is ordered to be on standby. He waits in the trees with his comrades so that they may stop any Titan from entering the forest where their superiors are. After awhile of little events, a loud Titan scream can be heard from within the forest and several Titans begin to charge in. Bertholdt is among the soldiers as they attempt to stop the Titans from entering.
After the Titans are gone beyond the soldiers' watch point, Bertholdt sees the smoke signal indicating the time for retreat. He regroups with his comrades and they head back to the walls. Upon re-entering the gate, the Scout Regiment receives comments and criticisms for their loss of life and lack of results.
During the assault on Stohess District, several of the 104th Cadet Corps recruits including Bertholdt are kept at an outpost in Wall Rose under suspicions of a Titan spy being among them. They are under the watch of Miche Zacharius and a number of Scout Regiment soldiers until further notice. While they wait inside, Sasha and Conny complain of boredom and mention that their villages are nearby while Reiner and Bertholdt sit across from each other playing chess. Reiner then expresses suspicions of their reason for staying in this location as they are unarmed despite the rest of the soldiers being fully equipped. Sasha then begins to shout about hearing footsteps but is brushed off briefly. She continues to shout until Nanaba stops at the window, opens it, and informs the 104th that several Titans were just spotted to the south of Wall Rose, saying that they must mount their horses quickly without gear as they are pressed for time. Reiner expresses panic at the notion of Titans within the Wall to Bertholdt before they begin to tack up their horses and the soldiers move out with the goal of evacuating and informing citizens.
Miche asks if anyone is familiar with the area, and Sasha notes that both she and Conny know it. Asking to go to his village after leading the southern group, Conny accepts the task from Miche and is joined by Reiner and Bertholdt for aid. During their escape, the Titans begin to sprint and start to catch up to the soldiers and their horses. Miche realizes this and takes charge to divert their focus and separates from the group so that they may escape. Watching him go, Bertholdt breaks off into one of the four teams as they split up and leave.
After discovering Conny's village to be deserted, the Southern team meets up with Ymir and Christa's team, and they decide to take refuge for the night in Utgard Castle. At some point during the night, the castle comes under attack by Titans and the recruits are forced to defend the interior from the smaller Titans that have invaded. After Reiner takes off on his own to investigate, Bertholdt offers a strange observation of his friend's "bad habit" of risking himself for others. When a Titan manages to break through a stairwell door, he comes to Reiner's defense with a pitchfork and helps fight it off. The two reaffirm their promise to survive and return to their home together.
After a second Titan manages to enter and injure Reiner, he helps Ymir toss it out a window. Afterward, he begins to behave in a withdrawn manner and responds to questions about how Reiner was in the past with a strange comment about how Reiner has changed and is no longer a "Warrior." However, he refuses to elaborate further on the subject.
Eventually, their superiors are killed by the attacking Titans and the rookies are left defenseless. This drives Ymir to reveal herself to be a Titan, using her powers to protect the others. Bertholdt and Reiner are shocked when they find out that Ymir was the same Titan that ate their friend years back. Thanks to her efforts and the timely arrive of Hange's soldiers, the rookies are saved.
The Scout Regiment takes stock of their injured on top of Wall Rose and when Eren sympathizes Reiner and Bertholdt about being driven out of their hometown, Bertholdt uses that to push Reiner to remember their desire to go back to their hometown. His cryptic words about how there is barely anything left to do cause Reiner to remember something.
Reiner confesses to Eren that he and Bertholdt are the Armored and Colassal Titans and broke down the Wall five years ago to destroy humanity. Not wanting to have his secret revealed, Bertholdt plays along with Eren's claim that Reiner is merely tired and not thinking straight. Reiner ignores him, leaving Bertholdt clearly uneasy. When Eren refuses to go with them, Reiner tries to take him by force, prompting Bertholdt to blow his cover and asks Reiner if they are going to do it now. Before they can take Eren, Mikasa intervenes and attacks both Bertholdt and Reiner. She nearly kills Bertholdt, but Reiner saves him and the two use their injuries to transform into their Titan forms.
While Eren changes into a Titan and fights with Reiner on the ground below, Bertholdt remains anchored to the Wall with his ribs. He attacks the Scout Regiment, capturing both the unconscious Ymir and an unnamed Scout Regiment soldier. Bertholdt swallows both. The Scouts attack him in return, trying to overwhelm him due to the Colossal Titan's slower speed, but Bertholdt emits a blast of scalding steam, forcing them back. Rather than disappearing though, he remains stationary and continuously billows heat to keep the Scouts away.
When Reiner begins losing his battle with Eren, he drags the two of them just beneath Bertholdt's position on the wall and roars. In response to the signal, Bertholdt breaks free and plummets down on top of the two Titans. His Titan lands in an explosion of steam and hot air strong enough to push back even the soldiers still hanging on the Wall. This gives Reiner the opportunity to overpower Eren and bite him out of his Titan. Bertholdt emerges out of his own Titan voluntarily, carrying Ymir and now wearing the omni-directional mobility gear of the soldier he had swallowed. He grapples on to Reiner's Titan and the two of them flee with Eren and Ymir.
Bertholdt and Reiner take a break in a Forest of Giant Trees to rest until sunset, when ordinary Titans will become inactive. Eren regains consciousness during this time and begins arguing with Reiner. At one point Reiner becomes completely confused, concerning Bertholdt. When pressed by Ymir, Bertholdt admits that this is not the first time that Reiner has behaved this way. Ymir concludes that convincing himself that he is a soldier is how Reiner is able to live with himself, considering all the damage he has done as a Warrior.
While Reiner is upset from Ymir's analysis, Eren asks Bertholdt how he felt when he told them that his mother was eaten because a piece of the Wall he kicked landed on their house and she could not escape. Bertholdt confesses that he felt sorry for Eren, but Eren loses any sympathy he might have had for them.
Bertholdt and Reiner spot Scout Regiment signal flares sooner than expected and prepare to leave. He makes sure that Reiner is in a "Warrior" state of mind and Reiner assures him that he is. Reiner also tells Bertholdt that he should confess his feelings to Annie, after they bring her, Christa, and the "Founding Titan" back to their hometown. Bertholdt is flustered by the suggestion, but Reiner tells him that they are both murderers with short lives ahead and that who else would understand what they have been through other than one of their own.
Reiner subdues Eren while Bertholdt asks Ymir if she remembers who she ate to become a human again. She does not, but apologizes realizing that it must have been one of Bertholdt and Reiner's friends. Bertholdt is not upset though, and tells her that it was also the same for him. Once Eren is secured, the group of them flee with Bertholdt carrying Ymir and Reiner carrying Eren, but when Ymir sees the signal flares, she realizes that Christa is likely with the Scouts and asks to retrieve her. When Reiner says no, she begins interfering with Bertholdt's maneuvering and threatens to take Eren away from them and go back to the Scouts.
Without much choice, they wait at the edge of the forest for Ymir. When she returns, Reiner transforms into the Armored Titan to escape and Bertholdt grapples on to his shoulder while carrying Eren. Despite their head start, several of their former comrades catch up to them on horseback and Bertholdt calls out for Reiner to protect him. The Armored Titan covers the front of his neck with his hands, providing a small sheltered space for Bertholdt and the captive Eren.
Undeterred, Jean and Conny bang on Reiner's armor and remind Bertholdt of the times they shared together, even the mundane and silly moments like using Bertholdt's sleeping positions to predict the weather. When they ask him if their friendship was a lie, Bertholdt breaks down and tells them that it was not. He insists that he did not want to kill people, but someone has to be the one to get blood on their hands.
Their conversation is interrupted when Erwin leads a horde of Titans into Reiner. The Armored Titan buckles beneath the swarm, forcing Reiner to remove his hands in order to break free and exposing Bertholdt and Eren to attack. Mikasa takes advance of the opportunity and Bertholdt narrowly dodges her attempt to kill him.
Armin lands on the side of Reiner’s head and provokes Bertholdt by telling him that Annie is being tortured while he and Reiner are about to escape without her. This drives Bertholdt into a fit of rage and he turns to attack Armin, creating an opening for Erwin to cut Eren free and sever one of Bertholdt's grappling lines. Bertholdt falls, dangling from his one remaining line, and is unable to stop Eren from being taken away.
During Eren's escape, he strikes a particular Titan and screams. The sound reverberates through Bertholdt and Reiner as the smaller Titans charge and devour the one Eren had faced. As they realize with horror that Eren does indeed hold the Founding Titan they are looking for, Eren's rage turns to them and he screams for them to get away. The Titans then turn to attack Bertholdt and Reiner as well. The two are about to be overwhelmed, with Reiner being unable to protect Bertholdt, when Ymir comes back to aid them.
After the battle, the three catch their breaths on top of Wall Maria, having managed to survive. Reiner asks Ymir why she bothered to save them and she says that she is grateful for what they did for her, because if they had not come to break the Wall, she would never have woken from her nightmare. She knows they cannot go back empty-handed, so she is returning what she had borrowed. Bertholdt, overcome with emotion, thanks her and apologizes.
Some time after retreating to Shiganshina District, Bertholdt and Reiner meet up with the Beast Titan. They try to convince him to help them rescue Annie, but the Titan refuses and savagely beats Reiner when he tries to use his Armored Titan to force him to help. As Bertholdt goes to remove Reiner from his Titan form, the operator of the Beast Titan declares himself the winner and tells them that they will have to wait to rescue Annie until after they have secured Eren and the Founding Titan.
Bertholdt graduated in 3rd position among the cadets and was noted as the best user of the omni-directional mobility gear among them. He managed to kill a small Titan without the use of the omni-directional mobility gear. Due to his high-level position, he is also likely to possess other Military and combat skills.
Bertholdt is able to transform into a 60 meter Titan referred to as the Colossal Titan (超大型巨人 Chō ōgata Kyojin?). In this form, Bertholdt is able to look over the Walls. He is also able to retain his intelligence when he transforms as shown when he targets the network of cannons that line the top part of Wall Rose first as a means to quickly cripple the Wall's defense. The Colossal Titan form, due to its large size, is incredibly slow which makes it easy for anyone with the Omni-directional mobility gear to move around him. Like Eren, Bertholdt is able to induce partial transformation, as he was able to manifest the upper portion of his Titan form on top of Wall Rose to fight against the Scouts and not the entire being, but it is unknown if this was made at will or it was just a mistake. His form is also noteworthy for being able to form and dissolve almost instantly, as opposed to most Titans. During the attack on Wall Rose, he is able to dissolve his Titan form literally within seconds, vanishing before Eren could react. This may be related to his ability to generate incredible heat, as he generates a massive cloud of steam before vanishing.
- Regeneration: Bertholdt, like all other Titans, has the power to automatically regenerate any wounds sustained and even entire parts of his body that are lost. This power also extended to his human form, as shown in the fight against Mikasa on top of Wall Rose with Bertholdt losing part of his arm and suffering a critical slash to his neck. Later on, in the Forest of Giant Trees, Bertholdt is seen with his arm regenerated, and his neck fully healed. He also receives a deep cut in the chest at hands of Erwin Smith, but he regenerates anyway.
- Enhanced Strength: The Colossal Titan is physically the strongest Titan shown so far in the series due to its immense size and along with the Armored Titan, they are the only ones who are capable of damaging and tearing down the gates of Walls. With a single strike of his Titan foot, Bertholdt was able to breach the south gate of Wall Maria easily, damaging nearby buildings in the Shiganshina District. A sweeping motion with one of his arms is enough to destroy all the cannons on top of Wall Maria as well as damage the upper portion of the Wall. Bertholdt's strikes has enough force to similarly damage the upper portion of Wall Rose and create a shock wave able to push back people, wounding them in the process. He was able to stop Eren's Titan form by simply jumping off a Wall and not even in his complete form. This strike is strong enough to also leave an enormous crater in the ground.
- Steam Generation: Since Bertholdt's Titan form is far too slow to catch more agile opponents with the ODM gear, he possesses a powerful defense mechanism that involves him releasing large amounts of extremely hot and pressurized steam from his body. The steam has enough force to deflect any cables shot from the ODM gear and burn away or repel close-range fighters. It is shown that Bertholdt could sustain the effort of producing large quantities of steam for a timed/limited duration, as seen in the fight on the top of Wall Rose. Although all Titans possess very precise internal temperature control, Bertholdt's took this to a new level. Despite the Colossal Titan's high temperature, Bertholdt does not sustain heat damage inside his Titan.
- Instant Form Dissipation: Although all holders of the power of the Titans produce their enormous Titans in moments, and Bertholdt is no exception, he is the only one shown able to disappear entirely in moments. It is unknown exactly how he does this, but it is a fast enough process to avoid attacks by Eren Jaeger, who had latched onto his Titan's nape and struck thin air when the body vanished in less than 10 seconds.
- Reiner Braun - Reiner is his childhood friend, and the two are rarely apart. Bertholdt almost always follows along with whatever Reiner decides and values him as a friend.
- Eren Jaeger - Though friendly, the two are not particularly close in comparison to Eren and Reiner's friendship. Bertholdt expresses admiration for Eren's courage and the strength of his conviction to fight even after experiencing the horror of a Titan attack. After Bertholdt and Reiner reveal their true identities, Eren discards the time they spent as friends in during training and now views him and Reiner as despicable traitors, and vows to kill them slowly and painfully.
- Carla Jaeger
- Samuel Linke-Jackson
- Thomas Wagner
- Milieus Zeremski
- Mina Carolina
- Nack Tierce
- Franz Kefka
- Hanna Diament
- Marco Bodt
- Mitabi Jarnach
- Ian Dietrich
- Numerous counts of the Garrison Regiment members
- Numerous members of the 104th Cadet Corps
- Numerous counts of Shiganshina District citizens
- The official site reveals his nickname is "Bertl" (ベルトル Berutoru?).
- His name is Old German in origin, meaning "Bright Strength."