|Do you people know why we the scouts have shed so much blood?! To take back our freedom from the Titans! I was willing to sacrifice my own life for that cause!|
|— Hange lecturing Pastor Nick|
Hange Zoë (ハンジ・ゾエ Hanji Zoe?) is a high standing veteran member of the Scout Regiment and a section commander (分隊長 Bun-taichō?) in charge of the fourth squad. Hange conducts research on Titans to the point of being obsessed with them and as such, is deeply interested in Eren Jaeger, who has the ability to transform into a Titan.
Hange has wide, light brown eyes and medium-length dark brown hair that she often keeps tied up in an unkempt high pony tail with bangs parted down the middle. As a constantly busy person, her hair is thrown up very quickly and is usually oily and unclean. Hange wears square, thick-rimmed glasses that have bands strapped around her head to keep them from dislodging during combat; but when she is out of combat she wears thin oval shaped glasses, still keeping the bands on her head most of the time. She is occasionally shown pulling her glasses up onto her forehead from time to time, often to indicate seriousness or anger. Hange is often seen wearing the normal Scout Regiment uniform with a yellow button-up shirt underneath. When on missions or business, she wears the traditional green Scout Regiment cloak.
PersonalityHange is not a character with a solid personality; all of her emotions are usually broadcast in the most extreme way possible. To most people she appeared as an energetic and quirky scientist with a very unique way of conducting herself and her work. However in time of stress or confusing situation, Hange is able to keep a level head and make solid and quick decisions; ordering those below her while simultaneously showing concern for their well-being and the success of the mission.
She explains that she first had a very hateful heart when she joined the Scout Regiment, but when she kicked the head of a 3 meter Titan she was shocked at how abnormally light it was. This drove her to take an extreme and outside-the-box approach to Titan research. Hange showed great compassion for her Titan test subjects, even crying when she was forced to put Beane in severe pain for an experiment. Hange developed relationships with the Titans, and when they were killed she had a complete meltdown.
Hange is a genius, using her brain for the benefit of humanity. As a leader Hange excels and she is able to easily figure out complex problems and create plans for her teammates to carry out. However, despite her cheeriness, in an interview, Hajime Isayama said that he believes Hange to be the scariest character when angry. This trait is heavily emphasized when she threatens to drop Pastor Nick off the edge of Wall Sina for not giving her the information she requested. This change of character is often marked by Hange putting her glasses on top of her head, and her cheery nature can be seen to return when she puts them back down.
Hange is among the many surprised recruits present when Levi, Isabel Magnolia, and Furlan Church are introduced to the Scout Regiment as new recruits. Along with Moblit, she enthusiastically watches Levi demonstrate his omni-directional mobility gear skills during training, commenting on how individual skill and style weighs in on performance and outcomes in battle.
Hange is impatiently waiting to leave Trost District for the 49th expedition outside the Walls, wanting to capture a Titan to study. She tries to convince Levi and Miche Zacharius to help her capture one but they both dismiss her. After the expedition has begins, she attempts to convince the commander, Erwin Smith, to authorize a Titan capture operation, but he refuses. She then takes her frustration out on Oruo Bozad, telling him how important it is to study targets if they are going to win while choking him.
After this, Titans are sighted in the vicinity and as the scouts prepare themselves, Hange runs ahead and attempts to lead a Titan to the Walls. The Titan briefly chases her but suddenly changes course and runs to a spot in the woods. Hange follows it and tries to communicate with it, but the Titan does not pay attention. Taking advantage of the Titan's distraction, Oruo attempts a surprise attack, but stops when Hange asks him to, and is caught by the Titan. However, Levi kills it and saves Oruo, much to Hange's disappointment.
Hange and the Special Operations Squad then find a notebook and the corpse of a Scout Regiment soldier named Ilse Langnar. Upon reading the notebook, Hange returns Ilse's belongings to her parents and is able to convince Erwin to authorize capture operations. A short while after, with the help of the Special Operations Squad, Hange is able to successfully capture Titans with no casualties.Trost District on another expedition with the Scout Regiment. As Eren Jeager, Mikasa Ackermann, Armin Arlelt, Hanna Diament, and Franz Kefka watch them leave, they and many others in the crowd admire Captain Levi. Hange teases Levi, saying that his admirers would be disappointed if they knew what a clean freak he was. Hange gleefully awaits the mission departure by the gate, just behind Commander Erwin Smith. She states that she hopes to see an Abnormal Titan this time and how wonderful it would be if she did. Levi tells her that there is already an abnormal Titan present and when Hange excitedly looks for it, he grabs her head and states that the abnormal is her.
After the Scout Regiment departs, Hange is next seen excitedly flying through an abandoned town using her omni-directional mobility gear. Hange glides by a Titan, grabbing its attention, and lands on a roof. She promises the Titan that she is not going to hurt it, and when the Titan swings at her, she easily evades it and congratulates it on trying. She cheerfully states that it is her turn and kills the Titan. Hopping away, she turns to the Titan's body and assures it that her attack did not hurt before it falls to the ground.
Hange and Miche are assigned to take Eren to his court hearing in front of the leaders of the Military. She is present with the rest of the Scout Regiment as Levi beats up Eren and checks on his condition after the tribunal is over, noting that Eren's lost tooth grew back.
Later, when Eren and the Special Operation Squad are at the former Scout Regiment Headquarters, Hange explains that she is in charge of experimenting with captured Titans Sawney and Beane and begins to prep Eren on previous experiments, but noting his enthusiasm to learn, ends up talking all night until morning. They are then interrupted with news that Beane and Sawney are dead. Rushing to the site, Hange cries at the loss of her Titans.
She later moves forward with her experiments on Eren. When it turns out that Eren cannot turn into a Titan at will, Hange is a little disheartened. However, seeing Eren's Titan hand later on causes her to react over-excitedly and breaks the tension between him and the Special Operations Squad. When she excitedly runs to Eren and touches his Titan arm, she burns her hands on the exposed muscle. When Hange finds a teaspoon being clutched by Eren's Titan arm, she concludes that Eren's Titan powers are only awakened when he has a clear objective in mind, such as the moment when he defended Mikasa and Armin from cannon fire. She also hypothesized that this switch must have a good reason as well as being connected to the Titan's nature.
Hange is present during the capture of the Female Titan and mockingly tells her that the special target restraining weapon is designed so that the more her wounds heal the more her joints will be immobilized. She then laughs and wonders what is taking Levi and Miche so long to draw out whoever is inside.
When Eld Gin wonders why they were not told of the plan to capture the Female Titan in the Forest of Giant Trees, he speculates that Erwin only told those who were in the regiment before the fall of Wall Maria to be sure they were not spies and that Hange is among those who were notified.
During Annie Leonhart's rampage through Stohess District, Hange again uses the special target capture weapons to halt her. After capturing Annie, Hange goes to the ground and holds her sword to Annie's eye. She tells her she is too far in to get Titans to devour and free her this time. She then states that she will be the one to devour her and that she will get all the information she can from her. Annie then shakes free and Hange safely returns to a roof top stating that they did not have enough traps and she then orders the soldiers to follow her. When Annie heads for an open area in the district, Hange tells the soldiers to split up and work their way around over the buildings.
Later, Hange stops Jean Kirschtein from continuing to try and break open the crystal Annie put around herself presumably to avoid being tortured. She orders the crystal containing Annie be moved to safety and worries for the future of the Scout Regiment after the failure of this mission. Annie is later brought deep underground and kept under the Scout Regiments custody.
While scouts haul Annie's crystal away, Hange stands by and assures she is secured with ropes and a tarp. She then notices many of the Scouts are surprised by something and runs over to see that there is a giant Titan within the hole in the Wall made by the Female Titan's attempted escape. Moblit asks her for orders, but Hange stares in shock, wondering how the Titan could be there and if it was just coincidence or if all the Walls are filled with them. Her thoughts are then interrupted when Pastor Nick slaps his hand on her shoulder and tells her not to let the sunlight touch the Titan.
At Nick's direction, they climb on top of the Wall and she has the Titan covered with a makeshift tarp. She then asks Nick why the Titan is in the Wall and why he had kept quiet about it. However, Nick dodges her questions by blaming the Scout Regiment for the current situation and, saying that he has business to do, requests to be let down from the Wall. Hange then becomes furious and grabs Nick’s shirt, holding him over the edge of the Wall and telling her squad to stay back. She then laments about the morals of the Scout Regiment and their desire to take back freedom, demanding that Nick speak. When he refuses, Hange moves to drop him off the edge, but Nick stops struggling and claims that his life is not worth revealing his information. He begs God to deliver him. After brief hesitation, Hange throws him back onto the Wall and sits on the edge, claiming it was all a joke. She then asks Nick if all the Walls are filled with Titans, shaking. Moblit approaches her and Hange expresses her fear of the unknown, claiming not to have felt this way since her first time outside the Walls.
Following the news that Wall Rose has been breached, the Scouts prepare for their journey from Stohess to Ehrmich Distict. Ignoring how close they are to departure time, Hange studies something under a microscope until Levi comes to retrieve her. She joins him in a wagon along with Pastor Nick, Eren, Mikasa, and Armin. Though Armin is surprised to see a priest from the Order of the Walls, Hange brushes his presence off with joke. More seriously, she explains that Nick is coming with them to witness reality, to see if that changes his willingness to speak. Hange speculates that what Nick knows could be more important than the fate of humanity and that is the reason for his silence.
Levi notices the shard Hange is holding and asks about it. She explains that it's a hardened skin fragment that remained behind even after Annie exited the Female Titan. It did not evaporate or disappear, so Hange compared it to a piece of the Wall. She discovered that their compositions were nearly identical. The Walls must be made of humongous Titans and their surface is constructed with hardened Titan skin.
Hange points out that plugging the breach in Wall Rose would be difficult without the right-sized boulder, but Eren as a Titan might be able to use the Titans' hardening ability to seal the hole in the Wall. Armin adds that they could also use that ability to seal Wall Maria, and then there would be no need to lay supply lines down to Shiganshina. They could go at night while the Titans are inactive. Hange considers and agrees that if the group was small enough they could sneak all the way there.
In Ehrmich, Hange takes stock of their situation and prepares her team for departure. When Levi brings Nick to her, after showing him all the refugees, she asks if he has had a change of heart. Nick is clearly distressed, but cannot tell her anything, saying that it is too great a decision for a single person. However he can give her a name of a person the Order was instructed to monitor. She joined the Scout Regiment this year and she may know truths they are unaware of. However, the girl is currently on the front lines with most of the 104th.
Sasha interrupts to hand Hange a message, which turns out to be a report on Annie Leonhart's background. According to the report, there are two other members of the 104th who came from the same area as her; Reiner Braun and Bertholdt Hoover. During the 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, their unit in the long-range scouting formation was given false information that said Eren was in the right wing, which is where the Female Titan attacked.
The members of the 104th are reluctant to suspect Reiner and Bertholdt, so Hange presses them for information regarding their behavior and any contact they might have had with Annie. Armin eventually realizes that Reiner had both the opportunity to learn Eren's true location in the formation and pass it on to Annie. Hange decides that when they next come in contact with the pair, the Scouts should act normally until the opportunity comes to lead them underground and confine them. She then takes a squad with her to rescue Christa Lenz and leads the Scouts to Utgard Castle, where there is a tower they can use to assess the Wall.
Her squad arrives at dawn, just in time to rescue the cadets from the 104th, who had been trapped in the castle by Titans. Hange has everyone regroup on Wall Rose, where Ymir is pulled up on a stretcher. Meanwhile Christa speaks to Hange on Ymir's behalf, explaining that Ymir had transformed into a Titan to save them. Hange hears her out and says that despite Ymir's prior secrecy, the information she holds could be a treasure for humanity so she hopes they will get along.
She also asks about Christa's real name, if Historia Reiss is related to the Reiss noble family. Christa confirms that is true, and seeing her downcast, Hange places a hand on her shoulder and tells her that it is nice to meet Historia.
The Garrison's advance squad arrives and Hannes informs the Scouts that there is no hole in the Wall, at least not between Trost and Krolva Districts. With no Titans around, despite the previous sightings, Hange prepares for the Scouts to fall back to Trost. She discusses alternative methods of Titan entry with Moblit, but soon recognizes that Eren has fallen behind, talking to Reiner and Bertholdt. Shortly after, the two of them are attacked by Mikasa and they transform into the Armored and Colossal Titans in an attempt to kidnap Eren.
Eren transforms into his Titan form and fights with Reiner at the bottom of the Wall, leaving Hange and the rest of the Scouts to face the Colossal Titan on top. Hange orders the Scouts to swarm him, but the Colossal emits a giant burst of scalding steam, forcing them back. However, he does not disappear this time. Hange orders three of the four squads present to watch Bertholdt so they can kill him when he comes out. Capture is no longer an option. She takes the last squad along with her to chase the Armored Titan.
Hange lands on Eren's shoulder to ask him if he can break one of Reiner's legs with one of his grappling attacks to buy him time to escape. Eren nods in understanding, to Hange's wonder and delight. Hange theorizes that the Armored Titan's body cannot be entirely hard like stone because he is able to move too quickly. Rather like armor in the past, there must be points where the joints are not protected to allow for movement. Mikasa uses this knowledge to cut through the backs of Reiner's knees, giving Eren an advantage in his fight.
Weakened, Reiner roars to signal the Colossal Titan to fall on both him and Eren. Hange and the other soldiers nearby are severely wounded from the explosion caused by the Colossal Titan's landing and are unable to pursue Reiner and Bertholdt when they escape with a captured Eren and Ymir. Later that same day, Erwin arrives with reinforcements and the lifts necessary to move the horses over the Wall for a rescue mission. Hange rouses herself and asks for a map.
She uses the map to point out a giant forest to the gathered Scouts. Even though Reiner and Bertholdt can change into Titans, she suspects that other Titans will still be a threat to them. After all that fighting they must be exhausted and they will need a safe place to rest before attempting to escape past Wall Maria. She tells the Scouts they have until nightfall when the other Titans cannot move. If the Scouts get can there before then, they might make it in time to rescue Eren.
After the rescue party leaves, Hange crawls away and asks for a horse even though she is unable to stand. She wants to go to Ragako to investigate the Titan that cannot walk. Seeing her determination, Moblit tells her that he will go instead so she can stay behind.
Some days later, Hange reports to Erwin back in Trost District, bringing Conny with her to confirm the findings in Ragako. Hange hypothesizes that the Titans fought within Wall Rose were citizens from there. Levi sours at the thought that he could have been killing humans this entire time, but Hange offers him some comfort in that there is still no solid proof of that.