|Eldia was a great and ancient nation that destroyed Marley and came to rule our continent. That is when the Dark Ages began.|
|— Mr. Yeager teaching young Grisha Yeager|
Eldia (エルディア Erudia?) is a nation created and chiefly populated by the Subjects of Ymir, a race of humans who can turn into Titans. In ancient times, the Eldians had used Titans to build their empire, slaughtering countless peoples and taking their land. Eventually, the Eldian Empire grew unstable due to internal conflicts between the families with the power of the Titans, and collapsed during the Great Titan War a century ago. Eldia lost most of its land as well as seven of the Nine Titans to a newly reborn Marley, and many of the Eldians retreated to Paradis, their last territory.
Nearly 2,000 years before the battle of Trost District, a girl by the name of Ymir Fritz came across the "source of all living matter," and through it she gained the power of the Titans. Her family, the Fritz family, came to rule over her people as the royal family. 13 years after acquiring the power of the Titans, Ymir Fritz passed away and her power was split between nine inheritors, with one inheriting her role as the Founding Titan. With their Titan powers, the Nine Titans waged war against Marley, an empire of the early world, and came to rule their continent.
After conquering the Marleyan people, the Subjects of Ymir established a new nation by the name of Eldia. The people of Eldia, the Eldians, used the Titans to purge other races and steal their land, wiping out countless cultures in the process. It is estimated that the number of people the Eldians have slaughtered during this time period is over three times world population of year 854. Eventually, after having ran out of enemies, the Eldians began fighting amongst each other. The houses that held eight of the Nine Titans were in a state of conflict, but the Fritz family with the power of the Founding Titan maintained order.
After 1,700 years, the Founding Titan came into the possession of Karl Fritz, the 145th King. The King believed that the sins of Eldia cannot be atoned for, and that Eldians and Titans should not have existed in the first place. He pitied the Marleyans and devised a plan alongside the Tybur family, the keepers of the War Hammer Titan, to end the Eldian rule. The King abandoned the internal conflicts, and without the Founding Titan to keep order, the Great Titan War occurred. The Eldians fought and weakened themselves, while the King and the Tybur family presented the legend of Helos, a Marleyan hero who joined with the Tybur family to defeat the King. The Tybur family fought to restore Marley in the war; other noble families would evidently follow suit. They succeeded and Marley gained control of seven of the Nine Titans as a result. The King moved the capital to Paradis, Eldia's last remaining territory, and gathered as many Eldians he could on the island.
On the island of Paradis, the King used the Founding Titan to cause Colossus Titans to form three concentric Walls around their territory: Maria, Rose, and Sheena. Afterward, Karl Fritz, now known as the First Reiss King, used the Founding Titan once more to erase the Subjects of Ymir's memory of the Great Titan War and all of history before the raising of the Walls. For the next century, the Subjects of Ymir in Paradis lived on in peace, unaware of their past conflicts or their history as the Eldians.
The Eldians who did not flee overseas to Paradis were in the end conquered by the Marleyans, but were spared. These Eldians became 2nd-class citizens, forced to reside within the internment zones separate from the Marleyan population. Marley used their new influence to spread slander of the Eldian Empire, claiming they had resorted to eugenics against the other races of the world for 1,700 years and that Ymir Fritz had gained her power from the "Devil of All Earth." Any Eldians accused of committing wrongdoing against the Marleyans were turned into mindless Titans (if they were Subjects of Ymir), doomed to wander Paradis to devour the island-dwelling Eldians. Some Eldians such as Grisha Yeager, however, met together in secret, plotting to venture to Paradis and retrieve the Founding Titan in order to bring back the nation of Eldia. There were few Eldians who were allowed to keep their status after Marleyans conquered them. The Tybur family is a noble Eldian family who were able to retain their status and wealth because they fought for the Marleyans in the Great Titan War.
In the 1,700 years between the death of Ymir Fritz and the start of the Great Titan War, the Eldian Empire was evidently divided into various houses, each possessing one or more inheritors of the Nine Titans which split from Ymir's "soul." These houses warred against each other within the Eldian Empire, though conflicts in the Empire were nonetheless maintained with the power of the Founding Titan held by the Fritz family, the royal house. Having essentially conquered the known world, the other nations of the world such as Marley held a hatred against the Subjects of Ymir and wished for their extermination.
After having lost the Great Titan War, the Eldians descended from those who remained on the continental mainland are regarded as low-class citizens by the nation of Marley, considered "filthy-blooded" and inhuman. Eldians are segregated from the main population into the designated areas such as in Liberio, with Subjects of Ymir as a potential selection of Titan weapons in the event that the Marley government obtains the Founding Titan. Eldians in these internment zones evidently possess no system of currency. However, many who are aware of this contingency oppose it, believing that it would be better to exterminate the Eldians with or without the Founding Titan in order to rid the world of the Titans altogether.
On occasion, Eldians can be given permission to exit the internment zone with special permits distributed by the Public Security Authorities. Furthermore, all Eldians both within the internment zone and beyond in Marley territory are required to wear yellow armbands denoting them as Eldian when appearing in public. Even the Titan Warriors are required by law to wear their armbands at all times, though those who receive the power of the Titans are granted special red armbands to denote their status. Families of these Warriors also receive red bands. The Tybur family, with their honorary status as Marleyan nobility, are not required to wear any armbands despite their Eldian heritage. Most Eldians seem content with this existence, though on numerous occasions resistance forces had been organized in order to restore the Eldian Empire, though all known attempts have failed.
Besides resistance movements, other secret Eldian organizations included a cult dedicated to the worship of Ymir Fritz, the matriarch of Eldia and a goddess in the eyes of several of her subjects. The followers of this cult were fanatic in nature to the point of resorting to worshiping a homeless girl by the name of "Ymir," though the leader of said cult seemed to lead the group only for profit. Eventually, the cult was discovered and captured by the Public Security Authorities, in which the cult's leader turned against Ymir without hesitation, and all were exiled to the borderline of Paradis as mindless Titans. However, their devotion to their goddess was strong enough to cause one follower to display great reverence even in Titan form to a soldier who resembled Ymir.
Besides being treated as second-class citizens and cheap labor, many young Eldians who have joined the Warrior program are being used as expandable soldiers for Marley's wars. As the result, most these young Eldians are hugely devoted to the cause of Marley, despite the majority of the Eldian population facing heavy oppression. These Warriors also serve as potential candidates for inheriting the powers of the Titans.
When the Eldian Empire was isolated to the Walls on the island of Paradis off the east coast of the continental mainland, King Fritz made use of the Founding Titan in order to lead his subjects to believe they were the last remnants of the human race in a world overrun by the Titans. The Fritz monarchy remained as the royal family over Eldia, however for the security of the Founding Titan the royal family went into hiding as the Reiss family while a pretender bloodline was placed upon the throne under the Fritz name.
Other Eldian races unrelated to the Subjects of Ymir also lived within their new territory, such as the Ackerman family and the Asian clan. Due to the nature of the Founding Titan, these bloodlines interfered with King Fritz's plan for perfect peace. Some of these bloodlines complied with King Fritz's orders keeping silent concerning the history of the world beyond the Walls, becoming the nobility within the interior of Eldia's new territory, however others such as the Ackerman family and Asian clan objected to the King's ideology and rebelled. These bloodlines were subjected to extermination, and those who survived fled into hiding in places such as the underground beneath Eldia's capital of Mitras or in the isolated wildernesses beyond the towns.
As an additional measure to ensure the Eldians within the Walls would never be able to venture beyond them without authorization, the Royal Government placed firm restrictions on the technological progress that could be achieved by the craftsmen and engineers of Eldia. Those who broke this regulation would be secretly targeted by the First Interior Squad, the elite force within Eldia's Military Police Brigade who received orders directly from the monarch of Eldia. Due to this restriction of progress, Eldia would fall behind technologically with Marley over the decades.
A majority of the Eldians within the Walls are content with their isolated existence under the King's rule. Those who desired to see humanity's territory reclaimed would join the Survey Corps, the military branch authorized to exit the Walls periodically, though many civilians considered the act of leaving the Walls to be a foolish and wasteful gesture.
Cuisine within the Walls appears to consist of basic meals such as bread, smoked meats, grilled fish, alcohol, soups, stews, and apparently canned food, though meats have been designated as a rarity after the fall of Wall Maria.
Information is spread throughout the territory within the Walls through various newspapers such as the Berg Newspapers. However, until the coup d'état which overthrew the old system of government, the newspaper industry was heavily influenced by government interference, disallowing the publication of any information which conflicted with the motives of the government. Information is at times also spread through the merchants' association, which as its name implies gathers information solely from civilian merchant groups such as the Reeves Company. Before the overthrowing of the government, it was at a civilian's discretion whether to trust the official word of the government or the hear-say of the merchants.
The firearms used by the military of Paradis are based on the flintlock mechanism, where a piece of flint ignites the gunpowder and fires the gun, which must be reloaded after every shot. These come in the form of muskets, pistols, buckshot rifles, hand cannons, and flintlock sniper rifles. The firearm technology has not progressed much as guns were proved ineffective against the Titans. Part of the reason was due to the Military Police First Interior Squad stopping firearm advancements in technology to maintain order within the Walls, with two of the advancements that were suppressed being the development of revolvers and metallic bullet cartridges. The Survey Corps and the Garrison also use flare guns to communicate over long distances. Furthermore, cannons line the top of the Walls. While each one originally had its own track so it could be pushed to the outer edge or the inner edge, tracks were later laid along the entire Wall to connect them all and enabled them to be pushed to different positions. Four years later, the Survey Corps were able to incorporate semiautomatic and bolt action firearms into their arsenal with the covert aid of the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers, while Thunder Spears became standard issue equipment for anti-Titan and anti-fortification warfare.
One of the most sophisticated pieces of technology the Walls use is the vertical maneuvering equipment. The advances needed for the system to work include steel wire, compressing gas under pressure derived from iceburst stone, and blades made of ultrahard steel, a substance which can only be manufactured in the blast furnaces of the factory city.
Transportation within the Walls is derived primarily from horses. Furthermore, sailless boats guided by pulleys and rails connect some districts by river, such as the boats providing transport between Shiganshina District and Trost District. In the year 851, a port along the coastline begins development, allowing the Walls to use captured Marleyan ships to trade overseas. At the same time, the Walls are introduced to locomotives and obtain access to airships, later used by the Survey Corps for their mission in Liberio.
Other forms of basic technology have been shown to exist within the Walls, such as pocket watches, pulley-based lifts, metallic water pumps, and the printing press. Photography is not something that the people inside the Walls know about, as Eren Yeager, Mikasa Ackerman, Hange Zoë and Levi Ackerman are not able to identify the photo of Grisha, Dina, and Zeke Yeager without Grisha's note written on the backside.
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Presumably, since the days of Ymir Fritz, Eldia has run on a monarchy with the Fritz family acting as the royal bloodline over the Subjects of Ymir. However, due to the nature of the "Curse of Ymir," no monarchs could rule over Eldia for longer than the 13 years allowed for inheritors of the Nine Titans. Based on the succession rituals of the later Reiss family, it is likely that in ancient times successors were chosen around every 13 years, and succession could occur in a non-linear fashion, as was the case with Uri Reiss and his niece Frieda in later years.
Outside of the Fritz bloodline, the remaining eight Titans were kept within various families subservient to the monarchy. Conflict frequently arose between the houses, though the exact influences each had over Eldia as a whole is unknown.
While under the authority of Marley, the people of Eldia held no political influence in the nation, being segregated into internment zones separate from the population. The only government information received by the Eldians of Marley came through public announcements or secret information sent from spies such as "the Owl."
- Main article: Royal Government
When the last remnants of Eldia after the Great Titan War were isolated within the Walls, the Royal Government served as the head of power throughout the land. The main body of the Royal Government consisted of the monarch of the Walls as well as an assembly of noblemen subservient to the monarch. However, soon after the founding of the Walls, the King, Karl Fritz, took his family into hiding under the new name of the "Reiss family," playing the role of a house of nobles in Wall Sheena. While in hiding, the Reiss family would still communicate with the assembly while a false monarch held the public throne.
Politics and Diplomacy
Little can be said of the diplomacy of the Eldian Empire in ancient times, due to slander spread by the Marley government after the war. After the Empire's downfall at the hands of Marley, the Eldians of the continental mainland held no political positions of power, with the exception of "the Owl," an Eldian spy within the Marleyan Public Security Authorities.
As King Fritz had wanted, the Eldians of Paradis who lived within the Walls made no interactions with any nation of the outside world, believing themselves to be the last surviving remnants of humanity in a world conquered by the Titans.
Very little can be said of the military possessed by the Eldian Empire in the days before the building of the Walls. Evidently, the Nine Titans under Eldia's control played a great part in the nation's conquering of the known world centuries ago. These Titans may have served as leaders or commanders for ground infantry in ancient times, as portrayed in the history books in Marley. Furthermore, the Founding Titan was able to command armies of "pure Titans" on the battlefield, with great destructive potential. While nothing is known exactly of the Eldian military at the time of the Great Titan War, it is highly likely that its technology would be comparable or equal to that of the military of the Eldians who would live within the Walls by the end of the war, since technological advancement was suppressed by the Royal Government after the raising of the Walls.
After the downfall of the Eldian Empire and the rise of Marley on the continental mainland, the Eldians under Marleyan rule ceased to have a standing military, but they did make organized attempts to fight off their new rulers. At some point in Eren Kruger's childhood, an Eldian revolutionary army was raised by the remnants of the Fritz royal family remaining on the mainland. However, it was unable to withstand the Marleyan onslaught and was utterly crushed. All its members, including Kruger's parents, were executed by being burnt alive.
In Grisha Yeager's youth, open rebellion had become a thing of the past. Militant-minded Eldians largely went underground or chose to continue the fight by infiltrating the ranks of Marley's government and military force. Most of the Eldians of Marley, as low-class citizens, would have no possession of serious military power until the time of the Warrior program, where Eldian children were given the opportunity to inherit the seven Titans in possession of the Marley government.
- Main article: Military
After the raising of the Walls, the Eldians of Paradis possessed a three-branch military with each branch serving specific functions: the Garrison, which safeguards and reinforces the three Walls; the Survey Corps, who venture beyond the Walls into Titan territory as a means of researching the Titans; and the Military Police Brigade, which exercises control and order over the citizens of the Walls. The latter-most branch is a position of privilege available only to the top ten graduates of each yearly Training Corps.
Upon finally reaching the basement in the Yeager family household in Shiganshina, the Survey Corps discovers three of Grisha Yeager's books, describing all his knowledge of the history of Eldia and his own experiences in joining the Eldian resistance in Marley. These findings are later discussed in a meeting between the surviving members of the Survey Corps as well as the highest military leaders, where the nation of the Walls is acknowledged by its people as Eldia for the first time in over a century.
- The emblem of Eldia is a nine-pointed star, most commonly found on the armbands of Eldian citizens in Marley. The number of points on the star likely represents each of the Nine Titans of Eldia.
- The history of Marleyans and Eldians is comparable with that of the Rwandan populations of Hutu and Tutsi. By 1700, the Rwandan populace coalesced into around eight kingdoms, of which the Tutsi Kingdom of Rwanda became dominant and oppressed the Hutu, fueling a hard relationship between the two races that lasted for centuries. In 1994, during the Rwandan Civil War, the then Hutu majority government perpetrated a genocide against the Tutsi which resulted in the extermination of around 70% of the Tutsi population.
- The technology of the Eldians within the Walls appears to roughly correspond with the technology of pre-Industrial or early Industrial civilization in the Western world.
- If mirrored vertically, the territory of ancient Eldia is very similar to the real life continental territory of Africa and the island of Madagascar, respectively.
- Marley's placement in an alternate Africa also coincides with the Rwanda parallelism, as Rwanda is a country within the mainland of Africa some distance northwest of Madagascar. When turned mirrored vertically, Rwanda is at the southwest, and it is said that Titans primarily target the southern regions of the Walls.