This article is about Levi Ackerman. For other uses of this name, see Levi (Disambiguation).
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|I'm making the choice. Give up your dreams and die for us. Lead the recruits straight into hell. I'll take out the Beast Titan.|
|— Levi tells Commander Erwin Smith to die for them|
Levi Ackerman (リヴァイ・アッカーマン Rivai Akkāman?), often formally referred to as Captain Levi (リヴァイ兵長 Rivai Heichō?), is the squad captain (兵士長 Heishichō?, lit. "leader of the soldiers") of the Special Operations Squad within the Survey Corps, and is said to be humanity's strongest soldier.
Levi has short, straight black hair styled in an undercut, as well as narrow, intimidating dull blue eyes with dark circles under them and a deceptively youthful face. He is quite short, but his physique is well-developed in musculature from extensive vertical maneuvering equipment usage. He is usually either frowning or expressionless; that, plus his extremely calm demeanor, often makes it difficult for others to guess what he is thinking.
He is most often seen in his Survey Corps uniform, with a light gray button up shirt underneath along with his trademark white ascot. When embarking on expeditions outside the Walls, he also wears the Survey Corps' green hooded cloak. When forced to take leave from his duties due to injury, Levi was seen in a black suit, plain white shirt, ascot, and dress shoes. However, since the beginning of the The Uprising arc, he has left the ascot off. For most of the arc, as the Survey Corps were on the run from the rest of the military and the monarchy, he simply wore his vertical maneuvering equipment harness over casual clothes.
Levi is described as a "clean freak" by those who know him personally, as he prefers his environment and himself to be spotlessly clean. He is averse to having either himself or his equipment soiled, and he has been known to wipe down his blood-smeared blades while still on the battlefield. However, he will not hesitate to touch filth if he deems it necessary.
Despite his preoccupation with cleanliness, Levi is abrasive and not very approachable. He rarely shows emotion, giving a cold impression to others. His manner of speaking tends to be blunt and insulting, his comments are frequently coarse or otherwise inappropriate, and he is not above provoking or belittling those who oppose or irritate him. His sense of humor tends toward the vulgar, insulting, and dark. All of this makes him unsettling to a great number of people.
In his pre-Survey Corps criminal life, when he lived in the Underground City, Levi refused to take orders from anyone (as Petra Ral tells Eren). However, after he joined the Survey Corps, he came to greatly respect Commander Erwin Smith, whose orders he follows willingly because he believes in Erwin's vision for the Corps. He also places great trust in his subordinates.
However, Levi's obedience is strictly limited to individuals he respects, and he has no problem showing open disdain for authority from anyone outside of this circle. At Eren's tribunal, he insulted the merchants by calling them "pigs" and told the Military Police that they were not competent enough to handle Eren. He openly resents the MPs for their continual attempts to undermine the Survey Corps, and also presumably because of the criminal life he led before he joined the Survey Corps. In one scene, he mocks several MPs by observing that they have never battled or even seen a single Titan. When he sardonically suggests they join the Survey Corps, they back off.
Although he rarely shows it, Levi does have a sense of morality and empathy. One of his most defining characteristics is the great value he places on preserving human life. He himself has stated that he hates unnecessary casualties, and he tells his subordinates to use their judgment so that they can avoid blunders that may cost them their lives. When it was revealed that all Titans might have once been human beings themselves, Levi appeared to be disturbed by the idea that he had been killing human beings.
Because of their hazardous profession and his personal values, he cares greatly for his subordinates' welfare. When ordered to retreat early to Wall Rose at the end of the disastrous 57th Expedition, Levi was visibly distressed that so many of his soldiers had died on a fruitless mission. As they re-entered the gate, Petra's father approached him, cheerfully talking about his daughter and her unwavering devotion to the Survey Corps (in the manga; in the anime, he speaks of her devotion to Levi). Unbeknownst to him, his daughter had just been killed; Levi remained silent, he was too overcome with grief to reply.
Though he bore no malice toward Eren, he was willing to resort to violence against him in order to save his life at his tribunal. Afterwards, he made a point of asking Eren whether he resented him for the beating. Levi also was seen to be visibly affected by the loss of his entire original Special Operations Squad at the hands of the Female Titan. He has also stated that he carries the will of his fallen comrades, and that their collective grudge against the Titans further strengthens his resolve to continue to fight. Levi risked his life against the Female Titan to retrieve Eren from her mouth and to protect Mikasa, who had gone after her recklessly looking for retribution. He sustained an injury to his leg by doing so.
While Levi shows loyalty and empathy for his comrades, he shows no mercy towards the Titans, slaughtering them indiscriminately with obvious indifference. When dealing with individuals he perceives to be enemies to mankind, Levi is capable of behaving sadistically, even vindictively. For example, when the Female Titan was captured, Levi told her he enjoyed watching her suffer and described in chilling detail how he intended to mutilate her human body. He has also tortured Djel Sannes with Hange Zoë, punching him and twisting his already broken nose.
Though Levi is aware that his battle skill is in a different league from that of almost any other human soldier alive, he is not particularly arrogant about it, as he knows from experience that no human soldier is invulnerable. Few will argue with his claims that only he can handle certain difficult tasks, because he has proven his ability to accomplish them.
Despite his obedience to Erwin, Levi operates rather independently. Many of his Titan kills are solo, accomplished with little direct cooperation from other soldiers (due to him usually assigning them to hunt other Titans in the vicinity). Although he is looked up to by many, and he does not hesitate to give orders when necessary, he does not see himself as a leader in the way Erwin is. He does not seem to have much use for hierarchy in general, and he leaves decisions up to his subordinates as often as he can.
Levi is occasionally known to lose his calm demeanor and to use threats or violence to get others to listen to him, even if they are fellow members of the corps. He directly ordered Historia Reiss to take on the role of queen when the question was presented to her, telling her that she will have to fight if she wishes to disobey him. When she shakily says she is unfit, he grabs her shirt and lifts her off the ground, choking her and ordering that she follow the role. He then drops her and yells at her to make her decision, but is however calm once again when she complies with his demands.
Levi is the son of Kuchel Ackerman, a prostitute who worked in the Underground and one of her clients. One day, Kenny Ackerman, Kuchel's older brother, comes to the city to see her; only to find that she is dead. There he finds a young and squalid Levi sitting in front of his mother's bed. Kenny decides to take care of him, but he does not consider himself a good father, so he raise Levi as he could: teaching him knife skills, how to get along with people, and violent behavior. Levi also learned to use his own power that he unknowingly obtained from being in the Ackerman clan. The time passed and Kenny Ackerman ended up teaching Levi everything he knows. One day, in the subterranean city, Levi started a fight which he won easily. On that moment, Kenny decided to leave him behind, as he had made sure that he and Levi were not going to have a pathetic death like Kuchel. Some time after Kenny left, Levi lived the life of a thug in the underground city below the Capitol, along with his friend Furlan Church. Later, they were joined by Isabel Magnolia. The three somehow stole and trained themselves to use vertical equipment, using it to commit various crimes to make money and save up to get citizenship on the surface.
StoryErwin Smith, Mike Zacharias and several of their subordinates then Erwin blackmailed the "Thug Trio" into joining the Survey Corps. This was actually part of a mission given by a nobleman named Lovof which consisted in stealing a document in Erwin's possession proving that Lovof stole money.
During his training days, Levi appeared to be an insolent yet skillful soldier. Many members of the Survey Corps were not pleased that criminals joined them, however this feeling changed into admiration after Levi managed to kill an Abnormal Titan with Furlan and Isabel's help on their first expedition. While Furlan and Isabel died on the next part of the expedition, Levi went on to become "Humanity's Strongest Soldier" and head of the Special Operation's Squad.
While on an expedition beyond the Walls, Levi and Hange recover the notebook of a soldier named Ilse Langnar. Reading the contents of the journal, Levi is left stunned, and comments that it is what Ilse died for.
Levi is then seen leaving Trost District, along with the rest of the Survey Corps, on the 56th Expedition Beyond the Walls—the same day the Colossus Titan attacks said District. He is seen rescuing a dying soldier from a Titan's grasp before killing other two Titans. As his subordinate dies, Erwin orders him to Trost, because it is possible that the gate has been breached. After Eren seals the Trost gate and Armin Arlert retrieves him from his Titan body, the two of them plus Mikasa find themselves surrounded by Titans. Before it can attack, Levi swoops down to their rescue killing it. Three days later, after Eren awakes in the dungeon beneath the courthouse, Levi assures him that the higher-ups will let him join the Survey Corps—and that he himself will make sure Eren does not get out of hand. Should that happen, Levi says, he will not hesitate to cut Eren down.
After Eren issues a verbal challenge to the spectators during his trial, Levi violently beats him on the spot, mainly by kicking him, and mockingly observes that while chained on his knees, Eren is perfectly placed for Levi's kicks. Armin has to restrain an infuriated Mikasa from coming to Eren's rescue and killing Levi. She glares at Levi after the trial, and Levi appears unsettled by her. The beating was an act of theater which Mikasa was not aware of, designed to convince all witnesses that Levi can keep Eren under control, while the Military Police Brigade cannot.
After the trial, Levi hands Eren over to his Special Squad for the next month. They move into the castle that is the old Survey Corps HQ inside Wall Rose. Levi orders Eren to sleep in the castle dungeon, so that if he accidentally transforms, he will not cause problems. During this month, Hange conducts experiments to try to get Eren to transform. If Eren goes out of control in Titan form, Levi intends to cut him out of the nape in a manner that would sever his human limbs, which would grow back in any case. However, Eren fails to transform, and his hands do not heal from his bites. The Squad decides to postpone any further experiments—until, while having tea with them, Eren leans over to pick up a spoon and accidentally generates a partial Titan body. The alarmed Squad threatens him, and Levi has to defuse the situation. Levi tells Eren not to take their actions personally, and that they have good intentions. Later, after Hange explains why Eren triggered his Titan form, Levi's entire squad punishes themselves, and apologizes to Eren for acting on assumption.
During the 57th Expedition Beyond the Walls, Levi and his team are ordered to ride in the safest area of Erwin's formation. When the formation is suddenly attacked by a horde of Titans coming at their right flank, they change course toward the Titan Forest, and Levi's squad takes the central route. Once the Female Titan appears, his squad begins to beg Levi to give them orders, but he continues to ride forward and look straight ahead. Eren badly wants to transform and fight the Female Titan, but Petra and her comrades urge him to trust them, and Eren hesitates. Levi tells Eren he is not wrong for wanting to transform—that nobody can know the correct choice until after they have made it and there are results. Whatever Eren chooses to do, Levi says, he should do it and believe he will not regret it. Eren declares that he trusts in his squad's victory, and they keep going through the Forest. This enables the Survey Corps to capture the Female Titan.
Shortly afterwards, Levi gets separated from his squad. He reunites with Erwin and prepares to extract the human in control of the Female Titan from the nape of her neck. He and Mike attack her and try to cut her hands, only to discover her ability to harden her skin. After Erwin orders the cannons to be loaded with explosives and aimed at the Female Titan's wrists, Levi, standing on her head, taunts her with threats of violence, telling her he would like to face her in her human form over the deaths of countless of his soldiers. In response, the Female Titan begins to roar. Shortly after, Titans come at her from all directions seeking to devour her. On Erwin's order, Levi and the rest of the Survey Corps elite try to protect her from them, but they fail. Erwin orders the Corps to retreat back to the Karanes District. However, Erwin notes that the steam from the Titan bodies will make it difficult for the rest of the Survey Corps to see the signal flares. He then realizes that the human inside the Female Titan may have escaped, and he orders Levi to replenish his gas canisters and blades.
After the Female Titan returns and kills Levi's entire squad, he and Mikasa join forces to retrieve Eren from her. Levi tells Mikasa to distract the Titan but avoid trying to kill her, since she is able to harden her skin. Levi then proceeds to attack the Female Titan, and after a series of successful attacks he incapacitates her. Seeing that the Female Titan is now helpless, Mikasa disobeys Levi's orders and attempts to assassinate her. In saving her from the Female Titan's hardened fist, Levi injures his left leg. Using the momentum gained from the last attack, he cuts through the Female Titan's facial muscles, causing her to open her mouth and reveal Eren inside. He grabs Eren and flees with him and Mikasa, whom he scolds for having risked the life of her "special friend" for the sake of vengeance.
As they enter the Karanes gate after retreating, the Survey Corps receives a hostile response from the public for their failed mission. Levi is approached by Petra's father, who reveals that she wrote to him frequently. He tells Levi that, as a father, he is worried about Petra's decision to dedicate her life to him, as she is still quite young and has her whole life ahead of her. Levi continues to walk silently ahead without responding. A few days later, Eren is summoned to the Capitol for a trial to decide his fate. Beforehand, Levi, Erwin, Eren, and the other survivors reunite in the old Survey Corps HQ. Armin tells them his theory about the Female Titan's true identity. Levi himself, still injured, does not participate in the subsequent operation in the Stohess District; during this part of the arc he is only seen with Erwin.
During the supposed breach of Wall Rose, Levi is seen accompanying Hange and the others as they head to Ehrmich District while they attempt to get information from Minister Nick. Though he will not personally offer them any information, he agrees to reveal the identity of a person who is able to speak about the secrets of the Walls: Historia Reiss. The Shiganshina Trio offer to help locate her, and in describing her, Mikasa reveals the name of Ymir—much to Hange's and Levi's surprise.
Levi is briefly seen again at Trost District, still sidelined due to his injury. After the appearance of the Armored and Colossus Titans atop Wall Rose, a detachment of about 100 soldiers from all three military branches is gathered. Some of the MPs express disappointment not to have seen any Titans nearby. Levi calls their bluff by inviting them to join the Survey Corps any day so they can go outside of the Walls to fight them, whereupon they back down.
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Eren is rescued from Reiner and Bertolt, but at a high cost: Only around 40 of the 100 soldiers survive, but most are heavily injured. Afterwards, Levi visits Erwin, who lost his right arm in battle, in his hospital room. Hange arrives and informs them on her theory on the true origins of the Titans: that they were once human. Levi appears distressed that he was killing people all along. Erwin, by contrast, smiles; Levi is shocked and calls his reaction "creepy." Then he notifies Erwin that he is decided to form a new Special Operations Squad, consisting of the remaining members of the 104th Training Corps who have joined the Survey Corps. He believes that Eren will do his best as a soldier if he has to "fret" about the well-being of his old friends.
Levi's new squad has retreated to a remote location so that Hange can perform experiments with Eren's Titan without fear of discovery. He joins them there, complains that they have not cleaned the cabin properly, and brings up the possibility of sealing the hole in Wall Maria. Armin believes that Eren might be able to do so with his hardened Titan forms, but that this possibility is not very high. Levi replies that it all depends on Eren, who must succeed at it. When Eren agrees, Levi orders Hange to carry out the experiments. However, Hange then shocks them by telling them that Minister Nick has been murdered, and that he was tortured beforehand. Levi deduces that the murderer is probably trying to find Eren and Historia. He also guesses that Nick did not reveal any information, as all his fingernails had been pulled out. Hange blames herself for his death. Levi and Hange eventually, and simultaneously, decide to pursue the culprits via their initial plan; Levi notes that this is what Erwin would do as well.
They start the experiment with Eren's powers. When Eren stops responding and Mikasa heads straight for him, Levi plays with the idea of punishing her for disobeying orders, but Armin notes that the experiment is over. After Eren wakes up and is told about the results of the experiment, being unable to use the hardening ability, Levi complains about the situation. Mikasa tries to argue with him but Levi states that he is not blaming Eren and describes the situation inside the Walls as 'shitty'. Hange 'translates' his words and encourages everyone to keep fighting. Later, the group receives orders from Erwin and leave their location. Eventually, they arrive to Trost and as they walk through the crowd, they are approached by people who blame Levi and the Survey Corps for losing their jobs. They continue until Levi notices an incoming carriage and while he ends up restrained, the carriage seemingly kidnaps Eren and Historia. However, it is revealed that Eren and Historia are hiding while the kidnapped ones are Jean Kirstein and Armin in disguise. At that time, Levi and his squad arrive, standing on top of the roof where the two are being held. Mikasa questions his injury and Levi states that his leg is fine.
The would-be kidnappers appear and begin talking amongst themselves, noting that they have no more chances to mess up. Just as their leader is discussing the plan, Mikasa appears to the side of one and cracks his head against her knee. At the same time, Levi emerges and throws the second man to the ground while Mikasa lunges for the third and final one. Jean and Armin free themselves and use the same ropes to tie up their kidnappers. After confirming with Connie Springer that there are only three, one of the men pulls a gun but is intercepted due to a well-timed arrow by Sasha Blouse. Levi begins his interrogation of the supposed leader but he denies being the leader, until Mikasa realizes she has seen him before. The man is revealed to be Dimo Reeves, president of the merchant company named after himself. Levi brings him to the top of Wall Rose overlooking Trost District and explains how humanity won a victory here due to Eren, whom Reeves had kidnapped, but Levi is cut off when Reeves claims to be too old for a lecture. Reeves admits to Levi that he only follows orders because his life and company are at stake. Levi notes how crucial Reeves Company is to the survival of Trost and agrees to hand over Eren and Historia so that the company can stay afloat, however he stipulates three conditions: Reeves Company must join the Survey Corps in resisting the government, the company and its members must fully trust the Survey Corps, and any time the company obtains luxury goods the Survey Corps will receive preferential treatment. Reeves thinks for a minute before agreeing to the conditions, noting that he likes Levi. Reeves then tells Djel Sannes and Ralph, of the First Interior Squad, that he has Eren and Historia. He leads them along a narrow path and intentionally crashes the cart, leaving the two at the mercy of their own torturers: Levi and Hange.
Hange starts torturing Sannes by pulling his fingernails out, an act which perplexes Sannes since he is not being asked any questions. Levi joins in by delivering a left hook to Sannes' face and then asks if this is how Nick was treated. Sannes starts to explain this his squad are responsible for the lack of war in the Walls, mostly because they crush any opposition. He pleads for Hange and Levi to thank him for all he has done. Levi claims to understand but then tells Sannes he will be punished if he does not answer the next question: who are the Reiss Family? Sannes explains that they are just a noble family but Levi inquires further about why they know about the Phantom-like Titans. Sannes is tortured for failing to answer by Hange, and notices how much the two seem to be enjoying this. He recalls his own life and how he finds it enjoyable to torture those who cannot fight back. Sannes justifies his existence and actions by claiming it was all done for the King and the security of the Walls. Despite doing this, he yells that his life has been covered in blood and he deserves to be tortured to death. Outside the torture room, his partner Ralph has seemingly told Levi and Hange everything, even including that he does not care for Sannes. Believing that he has been betrayed and there is no point to keep resisting he answers Levi's question and says that the Reiss Family are the real Royal Family.
After confirming the truth about the Reiss family from Sannes, Levi leaves his fate to Hange. He assembles his squad along with Keiji, Nifa, and another member from Hange's squad. He asks Nifa to begin the meeting but she questions who the three unknown men are. Dimo Reeves identifies himself and an associate before revealing the last stranger to be his son, Flegel Reeves. Flegel makes a sarcastic comment about the poor welcome they received and is subsequently hit by his father, who notes that Flegel is spoiled and behaves like a child. They offer to leave a final time but Levi assures them the information Nifa has concerns the fate of the world, and so she begins. She tells how the current King is nothing more than a puppet in place for the real rulers of humanity: the Reiss Family. Historia is visibly shocked and Armin asks if putting Historia on the throne is their main objective, to which Levi replies that it is. He asks for Historia's opinion and when he hears that she will not, he orders her to do it anyway. She again refuses and in response Levi grabs her by the collar and violently lifts her into the air, much to horror of everyone else. He tells her that she can run away, but that the Survey Corps will use all their power to retrieve her and force her to be queen. After releasing her he is told be Jean not to do that, which forces a dark response from their Captain. He tells them that the world is harsh; the exact same thing Mikasa says. He is not normal due to seeing so many horrid things, but would still fight his hardest to defend his fellow man. Although Levi is willing to admit that his actions are wrong, he adds that this level of brutality is still preferable to death by a Titan. If Historia agrees to help, he believes they can avoid all of this due to having power and authority. After yelling in her face she frighteningly agrees to fulfill her next role, and is thanked by Levi. Nifa begins to tell Erwin's orders which are to hand over Eren and Historia to the Reeves company, and then follow the First Interior Squad that comes to get them. This will lead them straight to the real ruler of humanity and Historia's father, Rod Reiss. The Survey Corps will then capture him and ask why he keeps humanity divided and holds back technology; a satisfactory set of answers will lead to him being let go, but anything else will result in him being replaced. Levi then dismisses the meeting and sets the plan in motion. Reeves takes the two and is met by Kenny Ackerman of the First Interior Squad, but thanks him for his duty and asks to speak with him alone. After inquiring if Reeves knows who Levi is, the Captain brutally slits his throat and notes that Levi is his problem now. Levi is then seen sitting on top of a tree branch, quietly contemplating.
Erwin's plan is put into effect and all members of Levi's squad are under cover at a horse stable in Trost. They learn that the murder of Dimo Reeves is being blamed on the Survey Corps, and they are now under the control of the military police; the remaining members are wanted criminals. Jean, Connie, and Sasha all agree that they could never kill someone, even if Levi ordered it. They also are united in their criticism of Levi's actions towards Historia. Armin disagrees and asks Mikasa for her opinion, and she surprisingly says that following Levi is their best option at this point. Levi appears with Nifa on a rooftop staking out a street. Keiji is watching from behind a building, and a member of Hange's squad who wears goggles is on another roof. Caskets are being moved into a cart and Levi notes that those must contain Eren and Historia. Levi thinks out loud that this is different from the First Interior Squad's usual tactics and is similar to 'his'. Nifa questions this and Levi asks if she knows who 'Kenny the Ripper' is. Nifa explains that he was a serial killer from the capital who killed 100 Military Police, but dismisses it as a rumor. Levi tells her that the stories are true and he even lived with the serial killer for a while. Nifa scolds her Captain that this is no time for jokes while Levi notices that the tactics he is using are very similar to Kenny's. Just as the realization hits him, Kenny Ackerman appears behind him, wearing vertical maneuvering equipment that is modified with guns for killing humans, and fires at himself and Nifa, he narrowly dodges but Nifa is shot in the head and killed instantly. At the same time, Keiji and the goggled member are shot in the head as well. Kenny remarks that Levi is all grown up, before firing a hook and then lifting himself over the chimney Levi is hiding behind. With a clear shot he fires and remarks that Levi has not changed, while Levi yells his enemy's name and draws his blades.
Levi begins his battle with Kenny Ackerman by deflecting a bullet and then launching his blade toward his enemy. Kenny shows panic but easily blocks the weapon and fires again, however he misses as Levi conceals himself with his Survey Corps cloak. Levi grimly looks at Nifa and then makes a run for it as First Interior Squad members chase after him using their modified vertical maneuvering equipment. Levi quickly realizes that should he stick with the original plan, he will lose Eren and Historia in addition to his entire squad. Three more First Interior Squad members appear and fire at Levi, who barely dodges before realizing this is an ambush. More shots are fired that produce a wound on the left side of Levi's face before he desperately launches himself into a bar. Kenny approaches the door claiming to smell a rat before bursting in and proclaiming that the great policeman has come to kill the evil villain. Levi, now hiding behind the counter, tells Ackerman to leave him alone to which he refuses. Levi then notes the irony of a mass murderer of Military Police members becoming one himself, to which Kenny replies that Levi is too young to understand adult matters. The former Serial Killer begins to lecture that he taught Levi better than to hide in an enclosed area, since any escape would mean certain death. The conversation continues as Ackerman wonders why Levi joined the Survey Corps, and suggests it was to escape the past where they lived in garbage and it took everything just to survive. They did find salvation in hobbies, although Levi questions why killing his subordinates is a hobby for Ackerman. The Captain responds that he will do anything to achieve larger goals and that Levi is no saint either. During the conversation Levi quietly loaded the barkeepers rifle and repositioned a bottle so he could see Kenny. Just as his former teacher throws a chair at him, Levi blind fires the rifle at Ackerman who is knocked back even though the chair absorbs most of the blast. After thanking the barkeeper, Levi tosses a chair through a window to distract the members outside before emerging himself and firing a cable into the throat of one of them. The remaining two members reload and fire at a charging Levi who uses the dead man as a meat shield so that he can get in close and slash both of their necks. Kenny is revealed to have survived unharmed before remarking to his female assistant that his dream is slipping further away. As his squad is debating what to do at the sound of gunshots, Levi appears with the First Interior Squad in hot pursuit. He fires a cable into the side of one of them and then reels the man right into his sword, cutting him in half. Levi orders his squad to abandon their plan and any chance of saving Eren and Historia. After being told to support the escape, Mikasa angrily wonders about their two captured members, to which Levi replies that they will have to find another way to save them if they survive. Levi then gives one final order: kill the enemy whenever possible, no exceptions. Levi launches a blade into the skulls of one of their pursuers before another one is kicked into the cart by Mikasa before they had a chance to shoot Armin. Jean, armed with a rifle, demands that she not move but she successfully reverses the situation and now has Jean at gunpoint. The entire squad looks on in horror as a lone gunshot is heard.
Levi and his squad are able to escape the pursuit of the First Interior Squad and the following day the Military Police arrive, led by Nile Dok himself. Roy and Peaure of the Berg Newspapers are there to get the report as well. Nile tells Roy to censor most of the report and he is compliant. The Survey Corps is now in a rural horse stable and Jean has survived the attempt on his life. Before the First Interior Squad member was able to shoot him, Armin quickly reacted and shot her, saving Jean's life. Outside the stable he is vomiting and crying at the realization that he killed someone. Inside, Levi's wounds are being stitched up by Sasha and they have a fire where Levi assumes that Armin is unable to eat because of how filthy the stable is. Armin wonders how he was able to shoot first when the First Interior Squad member already had her gun drawn, to which Levi replies that she hesitated. Armin continues to wrestle with what he did while Levi tells him to forget that past and that his hands are already dirty. He goes on to lecture that Jean would not be here if Armin had not of killed her. Jean explains to Levi that he always thought his captain's way of doing things was wrong, but has come to realize that is it their only option. Levi agrees that Jean's softness put them in a bad spot, but he also does not claim to always be right. Marlowe Freudenberg and Hitch Dreyse have been sent into the forest to look for the Survey Corps. While looking, they debate how humane the Survey Corps' actions have been, noting that they were responsible for letting the Female Titan loose in Stohess District. They find Armin collecting water and tell him to turn around and come with them. Just as Armin turns around Mikasa and Levi jump from the trees and put their swords to the two MP's necks, telling them to hand over their weapons. Levi orders them to remove their weapons and uniforms, and comes up with a hasty plan to infiltrate the Military Police to find out where Eren and Historia are. After confirming who they are, Levi orders the squad to be ready to move at any time since there will undoubtedly be more Military Police members coming. Before he can announce the fate of his prisoners, Hitch screams that the Survey Corps is responsible for countless death and should not act so right. Levi agrees with Hitch just as she informs them that nothing has been heard of Annie Leonhart since. She theorizes that it was due to being mauled by the Titan, but Levi tells her the truth that Annie is the Female Titan. Levi tells them that they will eventually be released once the Survey Corps is long gone but Marlowe interrupts by asking what really happened to Dimo Reeves. Levi again tells the truth that he was murdered by the First Interior Squad which convinces Marlowe to help them for the sake of saving humanity. Marlowe offers to infiltrate the Military Police himself but Levi refuses, citing the fact that he can not be sure how committed Marlowe is to helping them. After ordering Sasha to tie the two up, Jean volunteers to take care of the two, to which Levi agrees. Jean informs them that he intends to kill them since they can not be trusted. However, Jean's true purpose is to test them in order to gauge their loyalty to the Survey Corps. He trips on his own feet and then convinces Marlowe to drop the knife to prove his loyalty. Just as he does, Hitch smashes Jean in the face with a stick who falls to the ground and explains everything. The Survey Corps appear outside the First Interior Squad compound thanks to the assistance of Marlowe and Hitch who are now absent. Levi tells his squad that it is time to go and notes that finally they will strike first.
Levi's squad infiltrates the First Interior Squad compound and eliminate the guards by injuring, not killing them. They depart with one hostage as Levi says that those two were not there, just as he thought. Levi asks the hostage where Eren and 'Krista' are and he replies by asking about the condition of his men. Levi tells the truth that they are not dead but will be unable to pursue the Survey Corps. The hostage tells Levi that there were many servants there who knew nothing about the First Interior Squad and undoubtedly were cut up as well. Levi claims to be sorry while kicking the man in the teeth and repeating his previous question. The hostage shouts that the Survey Corps is only able to run in circles while they betray their own comrades, and notes that the first to be punished will be the leader, Erwin Smith. He advises Levi that his only option is to surrender himself to execution in order to save the rest of his squad, even offering to mediate the conflict for him. Levi refuses and again repeats his question, to which his hostage responds that Levi is willing to sacrifice everyone in order to continue a futile struggle. Levi is prepared to admit that some lives in the Survey Corps are more important than others. He pins the man to a tree while explaining to him that the monarchy would never pass up the chance to eliminate the Survey Corps so surrendering is pointless, he then breaks the man's arm and repeats his question for a fourth time. Finally the hostage breaks and with tears in his eyes he says he does not know and that Kenny Ackerman tells them nothing. Levi and Mikasa are both intrigued to hear his last name which Levi makes sure to confirm with the man. While he does concede that it is unlikely that his hostage knows where Eren and Historia are, he assumes the man has a pretty good guess. After threatening to break more of his bones the man calls Levi insane, prompting Levi to respond that he might be. At that moment Sasha announces targets coming in, as the Survey Corps conceals themselves the hostage again repeats that they have no chance and will finally pay for everything they have done.
The targets coming in are revealed to be Marlowe, Hitch, and Hange. Hange presents Levi with a report from the Berg Newspapers. Within it, it announces that the Survey Corps was framed for the murder of Dimo Reeves by the First Interior Squad, that the press has been forced to print propaganda, and that King Fritz is a puppet for a noble family who remains in seclusion. She announces that the Survey Corps has been absolved of their crimes and that the Capital along with it is administrative areas are under the control of Commander-in-Chief Darius Zackly. Levi asks what did they do and Hange answers that is was the individual choices of people that changed this world. He apologizes for the deaths of Keiji, Nifa, and the goggled member. Hange is grim but finds hope in the fact that their sacrifice enabled Levi to beat the First Interior Squad. Levi corrects her that not all of them have been beaten since Kenny Ackerman escaped, and Eren is still missing along with Historia. Hange holds up an envelope and tells Levi that she has a clue where they might be.
Hange tells Levi's squad that she believes Eren is going to be eaten in order to obtain his Titan power. She then reveals that Erwin had a report commissioned on the Reiss estate, collected by Survey Corps members dressed as farmers. Hange begins to say that 5 years ago the Reiss family consisted of Rod Reiss, his wife, five children, and the illegitimate child Historia. Frieda Reiss was his eldest daughter who everyone loved; she often visited the surrounding farms. However, the night Wall Maria was breached a group of bandits destroyed the Reiss Chapel. At the time the entire Reiss family was inside the church and perished, except for Rod Reiss. Hange concludes the report by adding that this was several days before Historia's mother was killed. Levi speculates that he was trying to find Historia due to blood ties and then wonders if the Reiss blood line is special. Mikasa asks Hange to reveal where Eren and Historia are but she responds that they will talk about that later. Hange finds the destroying of the chapel to be the most interesting event. She theorizes that normal bandits never would have bothered to destroy the chapel, only taking the materials inside. In addition, Rod Reiss immediately rebuilt the chapel using his own finances. Levi, having taken in all this information, orders everyone present to head for the chapel, which they all agree with. Hange adds that they have to hurry since Rod Reiss will likely eat Eren very soon. Armin wonders to himself how Eren became a Titan and whom he ate to become a Titan shifter.
After stopping at a barn to get supplies, Levi decides to tell his squad and Hange about Kenny Ackerman, whom he refers to as 'Kenny the Ripper'. Levi tells them that he is their most dangerous enemy ever as he compares Kenny to himself and Mikasa, except more dangerous because he has weapons designed to kill people. Sasha and Connie express serious doubt as Mikasa says they cannot wait for Erwin and the army to arrive. Armin and Jean ponder on whether Kenny has any weaknesses, as Hange asks Levi if he has any more information since he and Kenny use to live together. Levi apologizes and says that only yesterday did he even hear Kenny's last name, Ackerman. He asks Mikasa if she is possibly a relative of his. Mikasa begins to recount a story by saying that her father's family had been persecuted in the city, and that her mother lost her place in the city due to her race. She tells Levi that even her father did not know why the Ackerman name was being persecuted. After thinking for a moment Levi bluntly asks if Mikasa ever felt like she had a power awakened within her. Thinking back to her experience killing a kidnapper with Eren, she says that she did before Levi says Kenny had the same thing happen to him. Levi then adds that he felt the same thing at one point.
After arriving at the Reiss chapel, Levi and Hange find the secret entrance as Hange hopes that the layout is what she anticipated. After Armin confirms that the preparations are complete Levi asks his squad if they are ready to get their hands dirty by killing. After a brief look around the room, he concludes that they are looking good. After descending the group rolls several barrels full of gas down the stairs. With incredible speed Levi and the others enter while Sasha shoots a flaming arrow at one of the barrels, creating a smokescreen that blocks the view of the First Interior Squad. Levi and Mikasa draw their blades and advance through the air using the smoke. As several First Interior Squad members are about to fire at them, the rest of the Survey Corps fires signal flares to further obscure the two. Levi quickly begins counting his enemies before yelling that there are 35 around the pillars. Sasha continues to shoot barrels and further fill the room with smoke which allows Jean to sneak behind an enemy and lodge a blade deep in his neck, killing him. Connie avoids the fire of two members before making a deep cut into the back of one of their heads. As the other prepares to shoot him Sasha launches an arrow into her heart as Armin tells Connie to fight with the smoke while he fires more flares. Just as Hange kills one Mikasa slices one while cracking another in the face with her foot. Levi continues to cut his way through enemies before noticing Kenny's subordinate, who dodges an attack from him. She fires twice at Hange but misses, leading Hange to charge at her knowing that she has no bullets. During her lunge, Kenny's subordinate fires her hook into Hange's shoulder. As Hange screams in pain and continues to fly by Kenny's subordinate, the hook reaches its length limit and frees itself from Hange's shoulder after pulling harshly on Kenny's subordinate's arm. Hange tumbles to the ground seemingly unconscious as Levi and the others look on with concern. Due to the mounting casualties Kenny's subordinate orders a retreat away from the smoke to regroup. Levi reacts by ordering Armin to take care of Hange and for everyone else to chase the fleeing enemy. As Levi chases the First Interior Squad he wonders where Kenny is and is still angry at him.
As Levi and the rest of his squad, minus Armin and Hange, chase the retreating First Interior Squad, they are perched up against various pillars when they see a bright light coming in the distance. Levi, knowing that this is a Titan shifting, says damn it as he realizes that they are running out of time. Levi and the rest of his squad arrive just in time to witness Historia being blown back by Rod Reiss, who has transformed into a Titan. Historia is caught by Mikasa who asks if she is okay, while Levi, Jean, and Connie attempt to free Eren from the chains locking him to the floor. Connie has trouble finding the right key which prompts Levi to tell him to hurry up. Jean mockingly calls Eren “Mr. Shirtless” while telling him to pay attention since they have to fight Rod and the remains of the First Interior Squad. Levi informs them of their dire situation and points to the collapsing roof, due to the size of Rod, as their biggest problem. The three Survey Corps members succeed in freeing Eren and pulling him away just before a boulder falls where they were standing. Levi rhetorically asks how shitty the situation could be and notes that Rod’s Titan looks even bigger than the Colossus Titan. As Rod’s Titan continues trying to stand up more of the cave ceiling crumbles around him, which causes Kenny to say Rod has messed up and was obviously just as ignorant about Titans as everyone else. In the process of escaping, his female subordinate and other First Interior Squad members come towards him, leading Kenny to call them idiots and ordering them to stay back. Jean bleakly points out that there is no escape route before everyone looks at Eren, hoping he will save them. He lets out a loud grunt and begins to cry while apologizing for how useless he has been. Just as he declares that he was never the greatest hope for humanity he notices a small bottle from Rod’s bag and reads “Armor” on it. Jean angrily asks why he wants to play the tragic hero when he has been able to settle everything before this. Connie adds that he is being too timid while Sasha claims that she does not want to get used to this. Levi grimly remarks that it would be hard enough to escape carrying Eren and Historia, as Mikasa adds that they will certainly be burned to death if they get close to Rod. Sasha screams that they have no other choice before Eren responds that there is no way to escape. Historia harshly asks if he just wants to sit here and die because they are enemies of humanity. Levi apologizes to Eren for always doing this before asking him to do whatever he wants, drawing a parallel to what Levi said back in the Titan Forest when they were being chased by the Female Titan. Eren, having heard enough, grabs the “Armor” bottle and breaks it in his mouth while sprinting towards Rod and transforming.
Mikasa and Jean release Eren from his Titan form, which has crystallized and created several columns that are stabilizing the previous collapsing roof. Connie escapes to the surface as Sasha lowers herself into the cave and tells them they found an exit She notices Eren and comments on how they managed to free him, with Jean adding that it was very hard. She immediately falls to the ground and thanks Eren, but admits that she thought they would all die when he jumped out there. As Eren takes in what his Titan did, Levi tells him that he formed a hardened Titan that is staying despite not having Eren in it. Eren asks about the armor bottle but is sadly told by Historia that Rod Reiss' bag, along with its contents, were completely destroyed. Eren begins to doubt but Levi interjects that some could have survived and that Eren needs those bottles. Levi explains that with the bottle Eren was finally able to harden his Titan and save them all in the process. He is astonished that Eren was able to do this but concludes that this is likely how the Walls were built, which means they can seal Wall Maria. Levi ends by saying that it took a lot of death and time but they finally can seal the Wall. Sasha begins to explain about Rod but is cut off by Armin who yells for them to come up. Levi agrees that they should get out of there and jabs at Eren by calling his face terrible. Armin extends his hand to Eren and helps him out of the cave while inquiring about Eren's health. He asks about Rod and notices the massive crater formed where the cave used to be. Armin adds that he thought the world was ending and noticed Rod crawling out of the cave. Noticing Rod, Eren asks if it is a Titan and Armin answers that it is strange, being twice as big as the Colossus Titan and very hot. Armin ends by saying that is has no interest in nearby humans, while most Titans would. Jean asks if it is an abnormal and Armin replies that it is, but also asks what happened. Levi interrupts and announces that they are going after the Titan, while also warning his squad that the First Interior Squad might still be around. They gather their horses and the cart and begin to pursue Rod. Hange, lying injured in the cart, says that the power inside Eren is the "Progenitor Titan" and only the Reiss bloodline can truly use it. However, they become slaves to the first King's ideology and thus will not use the power to exterminate Titans. Hange finds the first King's vision of true peace comical, while Eren says that they still have a choice. He could allow himself to be eaten by Rod and then reawaken the power of the Progenitor Titan. Mikasa begins to object but is cut off by Levi who agrees, and notes that they could possibly restrain Rod and then undo the first King's brainwashing. He then asks Eren if he is prepared to do that and Eren responds that he is. Mikasa again begins to object but is cut off by Historia this time, who offers an alternative choice. She criticizes Levi's plan as unrealistic since the brainwashing has never been undone and Rod could just wipe their memories in order to free himself. She adds that it is actually a good thing that Eren has the Progenitor Titan since it is no longer in the hands of those who would continue their wrong ideas about peace. Expanding on this, she directly tells Eren that Grisha was trying to save humanity from the first King, and murdered the Reiss family since it was the only option. Armin joins in by saying that Grisha would never do something so evil without a good reason and Mikasa says that there must be a way to save humanity without the Reiss bloodline, which is why Grisha gave Eren the key. Sasha and Connie realize that the basement is important while Jean says that since they can seal Wall Maria they only have one choice.
Levi remarks that things have gotten easier for them while Hange says that she agrees with Levi's decision to kill Rod. Hange asks Historia if she is okay with that since they can not allow a Titan that dangerous to be on the loose. Historia looks over at Rod and apologize to Eren, claiming that she really did intend to eat him in the cave. Not for any righteous reason, but because she did not want her dad to hate her like everyone else. However, she makes the decision that she must say goodbye to Rod. Eren stands up in the cart and shouts at Rod to stop, attempting to activate his power to control Titans. Hange asks if Eren did anything else before and he says that he was desperate before making a punch and continuing to shout with no effect. Erwin shows up on a horse and after confirming with Levi that only Hange is hurt he concludes that it is not too bad. He tells everyone that they did a good job as Levi tells him that Eren's power is not working and he has several things to explain to him. Erwin asks who the Titan is and is told by Levi that it is Rod Reiss. Levi ends the discussion by saying that they need to hear Erwin's opinion. The Survey Corps arrives at Orvud District in northern Wall Sheena as the Garrison commander asks why Erwin wants to not evacuate the civilians. He shouts at Erwin that Rod will be here by dawn and is told by Hange that it is an abnormal Titan. Due to this, it is attracted to large concentrations of humans and will thus break through Wall Sheena if the people evacuate. He would then reach the capital, Mitras, and cause incredible damage to the most densely populated area. The commander begins to question it but is told by Erwin that their only option is to kill the Titan here, using the population as bait. Erwin does however acknowledge that they are soldiers and will do everything to prevent civilian casualties. He asks the commander to frame this as an emergency drill so that they can evacuate quickly if need be. The commander grimly remarks that they have no choice while Erwin says that this is the biggest Titan ever seen, but also very slow and thus vulnerable to cannon fire. Erwin ends by saying that they will use the full power of the Survey Corps if the cannons do not work. Dawn arrives, with multiple soldiers and countless cannons gathered on the Wall in anticipation of the battle. Connie says that he would not be surprised if a riot broke out, while Jean agrees since just recently the military took over the government. Mikasa is shocked to hear that Sasha is not hungry while Connie says the same thing. Jean tells them that since they were killing people they are not hungry. Eren is shocked to hear that they have been killing and is told by Jean that a lot has happened, and the day still is not over. Levi's squad agrees that they will have hope if they can survive this and rhetorically asks why the first king had to be so stupid. Historia approaches them, in full military uniform, and says that it is her fault. Jean comments on the equipment and tells her that she can not be here, an opinion Levi agrees with since he ordered her to hide somewhere safe. Historia directly tells Levi that she is here to settle her own fate and then says that Levi is the one who told her to run or fight. Levi thinks of the time he forced Historia to be queen, grimaces, and then allows Historia to stay by claiming that they have no time for this.
Levi watches along the rest of the Squad the cannon attack against Rod Reiss. Meanwhile he states how difficult the attack is due to the poor resources, the ineffective cannons and the not so strong Garrisons.  The attack results futile and the Titan manages to reach the Wall. Then Levi Squad starts his own plan. They cover themselves in water to prevent the burnings, they cripple Rod Reiss' hands with explosives and the Eren shoves barrels of gunpowder inside Rod's mouth, because it is wide open due to the friction against the ground. The plan is a success and the Squad starts cutting down the flying pieces to kill Rod Reiss' true body.  Finally Historia finds the correct piece and kills her father's human body.
Some time after the fight, Levi and a subordinate find Kenny sitting on a tree near the remains of the Reiss chapel. There he finds that Kenny is heavily wounded and that he will not make it this time. Levi ask Kenny if he is the only one left and then orders the soldier to retreat. Then Kenny shows Levi one of the strings and the serum that transforms a person into a Titan. However Levi decides not to use it. Levi states that he should have used it when he was less messed up. Kenny starts thinking that everyone he knew was the same: everybody had something that they were drunk off of. As he said, even Uri was slave for something. Levi asks him about the First King, but Kenny answers him that it is the reason why the Ackermans are against the King, introducing himself as Kuchel's big brother, Levi's uncle. Levi ask him why he abandoned him. Kenny says that he was unfit to be a parent and gives Levi the serum, just before dying.
After Historia's coronation, Levi is confronted by the new queen and the members of the Special Operations Squad. Levi is punched by Historia and she dares him to retaliate. Instead of getting angry however, he smiles and thanks his friends.
Two months later, Levi backs up Historia on providing a home for the poor and orphans, considering that he was from the Underground City as well. He is present at Trost District when Hange Zoë was testing out the Titan guillotine. Eren suddenly is bleeding from his mouth and Levi hands him a tissue, speculating that this happened because Eren has been using his Titan powers too much. He also warns Hange that Eren might not be able to harden his body forever or that his Titan shifting powers will last forever. Later, Levi is present at the meeting where Darius Zackly congratulates the Survey Corps for making the guillotine and where Erwin Smith reveals that the Survey Corps will be ready for a new expedition within a month. After, Erwin decides to entrust Levi with the Titan serum since he has the highest chance of surviving.
In the morning, Instructor Keith Shadis is visited at the training camp by Eren, Hange, Mikasa, Armin, Jean, Sasha, and Levi; due to Eren remembering a past memory of his father, Dr. Yeager, meeting Keith after the massacre in the Reiss family chapel. Eren asks Keith to tell him everything he knows in regard to his father and they go to a house to talk. Levi remarks that Keith has changed a lot since they last met, remembering his full head of hair and then looking at his now bald self.
Keith starts by warning them that he knows nothing of Grisha's secrets, but anyway recounts to them all his experiences with him ever since they met 20 years ago, until the day of the fall of Wall Maria after Keith found Eren unconscious in a forest after receiving the Coordinate. A furious Hange tells him that he is not the one who decides if that information is valuable or not and scolds him for not saying anything about it to the Survey Corps before, while Levi tells her to stop. Hange continues to chastise him and is only silenced when she is again asked to stop it, by Eren.
During a meeting with other members of the Survey Corps, Levi sits silently and listens to the Hange tell Erwin what Keith Shadis explained to them on their visit. After the meeting is done and other members leave, Levi shuts the door on Hange. He tries to persuade Erwin to sit out on the upcoming mission to retake Wall Maria and to leave it to the others. Erwin explains Levi that he must go and see this moment for humanity, which prompts Levi to threaten to break both of his legs. However, this does not deter Erwin and Levi realizes that he will unfortunately not be able to change Erwin's mind, even though he fears his death as a wounded soldier.
Late that night at a special 'red meat' dinner, Levi breaks up a fight between Eren and Jean by kicking and throwing them both into submission. He then orders that they and the rest of the scouts to go back to their quarters and go to bed. Shortly after, Eren, Armin and Mikasa talk about their returning home and Levi listens to them while in the barn. As he hears Armin's ambitions, his expression is lowered and darkened.
The next day, just before sunset, Levi along with the other Scout leaders salute the higher ups of the brass, including Darius Zackly and Commander Pixis. Levi watches on as the citizens of the Trost District cheer for the Survey Corps and call out his name. He acts modest and calls them selfish before seeing Erwin cheer back at the enthusiastic civilians. Right after, the 58th expedition begins, Levi rides out with the corps at Erwin's side as he glances back at Eren and Mikasa.
Near dawn, the Survey Corps walk on foot through a forest on a mountain, leading their horses. Levi questions a subordinate, asking if they are still not at the bottom of the mountain, worrying that it is almost dawn. As Squad Levi talk among themselves, Jean spots a Titan and Hange order the scouts to halt and illuminate the area, using fragments from the Walls below the Reiss Chapel. She then calls that the Titan is dozing away and the corps continue on.  Eventually the Survey Corps reaches the Shiganshina District and ride in on their horses. Erwin orders the soldiers to be careful of hiding Titans and then gives the order to begin the operation and the switch to vertical maneuvering equipment. The soldiers leave their horses and rush toward the gate to Shiganshina. As Eren arrives atop the inner Wall, he stares at the ruins of his home town. He is quickly urged on by Levi to get to the outer gate and the two take off. As per the plan, 100 soldiers covered by hoods rush to the outer gate to confuse any watching enemies, making sure they do not know which soldier is Eren. Hange and Levi wonder why there are no Titans in the area and Levi claims that they have fallen right into the enemy's hands. However, the two agree that they must go forward with the plan anyway as Eren flies up above the gate and prepares to transform. After Eren successfully seals the hole in the Wall, Levi reminds him that they have to kill all of their enemies, inlcuding Reiner and Bertolt before their mission will truly be finished.
When Reiner is discovered by one of the Survey Corps members and attempts to attack Armin, Levi attacks Reiner, shoving his blade through the nape of his neck and stabbing him, before kicking him to the ground. After seeing that Reiner survived the brutal attack, Levi angrily laments that he was not able to kill Reiner. While on the ground, Reiner shifts into his Titan form. Levi makes his way back to Erwin's side, where the latter begins issuing commands. He tasks Levi with helping to protect the horses, believing that Levi is the only soldier he can trust to take out the Beast Titan. He arrives first, out of the two squads sent, and immediately kills two Titans, ordering the soldiers under his command that they cannot die. After Bertolt is thrown over the Wall and transforms, Levi and his soldiers are bombarded by a barrage of stones and boulders from the Beast Titan. They retreat to the Wall where Erwin meets them. Levi asks about Eren and Squad Hange's well-being, and Erwin informs the soldiers of their increasingly desperate situation. As the young recruits fall into a panic, Levi asks Erwin if he has some kind of plan.
Regarding the situation, Levi gives Erwin the advice to save as many lives as possible by "loading them on Eren" to make an escape. Levi continues by saying that he will fight the Beast Titan. Although Levi knows that there is little chance of a victory, he deduces that there is still hope for the Survey Corps if Erwin and Eren survive. But for Levi to take down the Beast Titan, Erwin must sacrifice himself and his men. At this point, Erwin is melancholic, but Levi makes the decision and swears that he will take down the Beast Titan after telling his commander that he must die for them. In an attempt to get closer to the Beast Titan, Levi uses the line of Titans around him to his advantage while in an open space. To his side, he notices Erwin's men following closely behind, fear-stricken as they ride toward their death.
After Erwin and most of the Survey Corps fall when charging the Beast Titan, Levi takes out the surrounding Titans and engages Zeke. After realizing what has happened, Zeke attempts to crush Levi, but merely dodges, slicing up the Titan's arm to pieces in the process. Levi then proceeds to slash the Beast Titan's eyes, blinding it, then cuts up its ankles which causes it to topple over. Slicing open the nape, Levi thrusts his blade into Zeke's mouth, commenting that his body is heavily damaged after transforming into a Titan so Zeke can not transform again while he is busy healing it. Further thrusting his blade right through Zeke's cheek and above his right eye, Levi decides he can not kill him yet, pondering over whether there are anyone still alive who he would use the Titan serum on and have them eat Zeke to steal his Titan power. However, Levi is interrupted and shocked when the Quadrupedal Titan snatches Zeke and carries him away in its mouth. Zeke then orders the remaining Titans to kill Levi, but Levi, remembering his promise to Erwin, finds his resolve and begins to take on the Titans and chase Zeke.
As Eren stands on the other side of the Wall mourning Armin, who had been burned off by the Colossus Titan, Zeke, atop the Quadrupedal Titan, jumps the Wall and begins to speak with Eren; but he is interrupted when Levi appears atop the Walls soaked in Titan blood and exhausted. He uses an extremely small puff of gas to land on the roof where Eren and Zeke stand. Zeke and the Quadrupedal Titan then escape and Levi is stopped by his lack of supplies so he demands Eren to give him all his gas and blades so that he can chase Zeke. After Eren does this, he realizes that Armin is still breathing. Just as Mikasa lands on the roof as a scout for Hange, Eren panics and demands that Levi give Armin the Titan serum. Levi hesitates, but agrees. Just as he is about to hand Eren the Serum, a recruit crawls up onto the roof exclaiming that he had finally caught up to Levi. On the recruit's back is the wounded body of Erwin, who is on the brink of death. The recruit mentions using the serum on him and Levi is shocked, holding the serum close. Eren beckons him to give the serum to Armin, but Levi decides that he will give it to Erwin. This greatly enrages Eren and he begins to contest the idea; before Mikasa draws her blade and goes toward Levi.
Appalled at Eren and Mikasa, Levi reminds them of how important Erwin's survival is, and orders them not to let their feelings bias them. When Eren refuses to step down, Levi forcefully punches his face and knocks him aside, before being pinned down by an enraged Mikasa. Eren and Mikasa try to convince Levi of Armin's value, while Floch argues that Levi is correct to save Erwin, and a fight between them is only narrowly avoided by the arrival of Hange, who pulls Mikasa off of Levi. Levi prepares to inject Erwin, but is given pause by Eren, who tries to sway Levi by telling him of Armin's dream to see the ocean. Levi orders his comrades to leave him alone while he injects Erwin.
As Levi prepares to inject Erwin, he recalls Armin's conversation with Eren and Mikasa about the ocean, and Erwin's dream to see the secrets locked in Eren's basement. As he begins injecting Erwin, Levi recalls Kenny's final words about people becoming slaves to their own desires, and is surprised when Erwin lashes out in his sleep, knocking away the syringe. As he watches Erwin, Levi recalls his order to Erwin to give up on his dreams and die with the rest of the Survey Corps' recruits, and the look of relief on Erwin's face at the order.
After injecting Armin, Levi watches as Armin's mindless Titan form devours Bertolt, and explains to a confused Floch that, after all he has given, it is time for Erwin to finally rest. Levi attempts to apologize to Erwin for failing to kill the Beast Titan, but Hange informs him that Erwin has already died.
On top of the Wall, Levi notices that Armin has awoken. He fires a signal flare for the soldiers to regroup. He orders Eren to tell Armin about the events that occurred in the past few hours. Armin shows remorse for the measures his comrades have taken for him, but Levi advocates that he should not be regretful. Afterwards, Levi follows Eren, Mikasa, and Hange to the Yeager family's basement. When the group find that Eren's key cannot open the locked door, Levi proceeds to kick the door open. They inspect the basement thoroughly and Mikasa finds a drawer which needs Eren's key to unlock. Initially empty, Levi discovers a false bottom and under it are three hidden books kept intact with various preservatives. They open the first book and within it they find an uncannily realistic portrait of Grisha standing beside a fair-haired woman and a child. On the back of it, Grisha had written that it is not an illustration; it is called a photograph and humanity has not perished.
Levi is excellent at using the vertical maneuvering equipment, to a point that everyone says he is the best at it. He is also said to be as valuable as an entire brigade, far outweighing all of the other soldiers. Furthermore, he was considered extremely strong even before joining the Survey Corps.
He has shown the capability of incapacitating the Female Titan by moving too fast for her to defend, something which whole squads and even Eren in his Titan form could not accomplish. He is also capable of overpowering the Beast Titan, who had previously managed to defeat the Armored Titan without receiving any damage. Neither of these assaults are without some degree of prior planning and situational advantage, as the Female Titan was tired out from multiple conflicts in the span of a few hours, and Levi had engaged Zeke by surprise, getting too close to defend against before Zeke noticed. That said, Levi's full abilities are still tremendous, able to carve the Beast Titan's arm into multiple clean pieces so fast they fell in unison.
Levi Ackerman's Statistics :
Levi, as a member of the Ackerman family, he has inherited their abilities. As a warrior clan, the Ackermans have a dormant power inside them that awakens at some point of the life of an Ackerman. Levi compares that sensation with "knowing exactly what needed to be done". Being an Ackerman also prevents him from having his memory wiped.
Aside from his extraordinary battle skill, Levi has shown a profound ability to quickly analyze situations, and make calculated decisions in the heat of battle. This has given him the ability to save himself and his comrades on many occasions such as when he realizes the Female Titan cannot be killed easily because of her skin hardening and regenerative abilities, and subsequently saves Mikasa when she tries to slay the Female Titan herself, or the time when he fights Kenny Ackerman inside a bar, using chairs, a double-barreled shotgun and even corpses to stop his adversaries. However, Levi admits that he does not believe a person can be right all the time, and some scenarios are beyond a person's control.
Levi has formidable physical strength, which is no doubt evident by his mastery of the vertical maneuvering equipment.
Despite his small stature, his body is well built with heavy muscle, making him very strong, and easily able to defeat his opponents. At one point, Levi intercepts one of the Female Titan's attacks, by using her hand to launch himself towards her mouth before she could hit Mikasa. This does not stop him from injuring himself though.
When Levi first joined the Survey Corps, he wielded one of his two swords in a reverse grip which his squad leader noted was "wrong". However, this method has greatly helped in his ability to slay Titans. This method involves holding his right sword backhanded with the blade facing out and being behind him instead of in front of him. By doing this, the blades cut in a "circle" around him, and give him the ability to utilize spinning and other rotating attacks, allowing him to maintain incredible speed and agility while fighting. At the same time, this helps him keep his energy up without wasting stamina and strength needlessly, enabling him to fight for longer periods of time and take multiple targets out simultaneously. He also has a great amount of accuracy and good reflexes, as he was able to block bullets with his sword, that were shot at him from a relatively short distance. This reverse-grip technique may have been inspired by Kenny Ackerman's lessons on knife-wielding, in which Levi learned at a young age how to hold a blade in a reverse grip.
- Eren Yeager - As humanity's strongest soldier, Levi commands great respect from Eren. Upon encountering Eren personally, Levi treated him like an animal, wary of his Titan shifting power, though he was impressed by Eren's passion. Upon getting to know him, Levi began treating Eren as he does most others: dismissively and coldly. However, Levi also becomes a mentor of sorts to Eren, understanding the potential good the young recruit is capable of, and offering advice during Eren's moments of doubt. He later becomes more patient with Eren, forgiving his mistakes, and nurturing his growth as a soldier, and as a vanguard for humanity's hope.
- Erwin Smith - Levi and Erwin's relationship was not initially an amicable one. After being captured and blackmailed by Erwin into joining the Survey Corps, Levi at first wanted to kill him, but he later chose to set aside his revenge. Erwin eventually became one of the few people Levi places full trust in, obeying his every command and judgment. However, this did not stop Levi from speaking in his usual rude manner around him. Erwin was also one of the few people that could maintain casual conversation with Levi, able to exchange brief banter with one another on equal grounds.
- Hange Zoë - Levi was introduced to Hange during his first expedition as part of the Survey Corps. Levi immediately snubbed Hange's attempts at getting to know him, but their relationship would eventually improve over the years. By the events of the story, Levi and Hange are on better terms, though Levi is still annoyed by her obsession with capturing Titans, and dislikes her recklessness. Levi has gradually become more familiar with Hange, able to comfortably reach out and reprimand her when she gets too carried away. After years of working side by side, the two share a strong bond of trust, and Levi does not doubt any theories she may have on the Titans, even if he may dislike them.
- Mikasa Ackerman - Mikasa quickly took a disliking to Levi, one of the first actions she witnesses is of him beating Eren at his military trial. Since then, Mikasa held a grudge against Levi, swearing to one day make him pay for his actions. She would later lash out at Levi, blaming him for Eren's capture by the Female Titan, and her carelessness would later result in Levi needing to rescue her at the cost of injuring his leg. While sidelined, Levi repeatedly offers advice to Mikasa, who deeply regrets her mistake and endeavors to protect Eren in his place. By the time of the Survey Corps' rebellion, Mikasa has largely set aside her bitterness for Levi, choosing to trust his leadership. Levi and Mikasa share the same physical and intellectual traits. The two share the last name Ackerman, indicating both hail from the same bloodline.
- Petra Ral - Petra served under Levi in the Survey Corps and was later hand picked by him to be in his first Special Operations Squad. She harbored a deep respect for him and was proud to be a part of his team. Levi seemed to trust her and her capabilities as a soldier, as she held one of the highest records for killing Titans (48 assist kills and 10 solo kills). After Petra was killed by the Female Titan Levi guarded her body until the Scouts had to retreat back to the Wall and was horrified after her father informed him of her intentions to dedicate her life to serving him and the squad, possibly because her father assumed that she had feelings for him.
- Isabel Magnolia - They were close friends when they lived below the capital. She used to name him as her big brother. Her death was one of the reasons why Levi became a part so important of the Survey Corps.
- Furlan Church - They were close friends when they lived below the capital. He was Levi's confidante when they lived in the Underground City.
- Kenny Ackerman - Levi's uncle, former mentor, and previously lived with each other during Levi's youth. Because he was his uncle, Kenny decided to raise Levi and teach him the skills needed to survive in the underground city. However, he eventually abandoned him due to believing that someone like him was not fit to be a parent.
Anime and Manga Differences
- During the Survey Corps' retreat to Karanes District, the remainder of the Survey Corps is attacked by several Titans after one of the soldiers went to retrieve back the body of his fallen comrade. As the Titans close in on one of the carts, Levi, who cannot fight because of his injury, orders that the dead be rolled out of the cart to lighten the load so that they can outrun the Titans. One of the corpses is that of Petra; her shroud blows off, and her body is trampled. However, the unloading of the dead enables the living to outrun the pursuing Titans.
- In the final moments of the battle of Stohess District, Levi, despite his injury, rescues Eren Yeager from his Titan form before Annie Leonhart's crystallization of her own Titan can trap him. 
- In the OVA adaptation, the Ilse's Notebook side story, Levi is seen leaving Trost District with the Survey Corps in the year 850. He leads his squad in assisting Hange as she pursues an Abnormal Titan. He saves Oluo from being eaten by said Titan, after which Oluo declares that he will follow Levi all his life. They then find Ilse Langnar's beheaded corpse in the hollow of a tree and her battered notebook on the ground. Levi identifies the latter as "her report."
- Levi has ranked first place in two Character Popularity Polls.
- He is attributed with the literal title of "leader of the soldiers" (兵士長 Heishichō?) (usually translated as "Captain") among the Survey Corps. However, his comrades and subordinates usually call him by the shortened title of "Lance Corporal" (兵長 Heichō?). This has led to the wrong idea that he is actually a Lance Corporal, a somewhat low rank.
- His name is Hebrew in origin, and means "attached" or "joining".
- His romanized name means "revival" in Japanese.
- "Levi" is also a diminutive of the Hungarian given name "Levente", which means "existing/small being" and is Slavic in origin. The Slavic version of the word "Lovanta" means "hunter".
- His name was inspired by a person from the American documentary 'Jesus Camp'.
- Levi's age is one of several mysteries Isayama has hinted about in interviews. He once stated that Levi is "surprisingly old", but declined to give an exact answer beyond stating that he is "older than 30". In February 2016 he was interviewed again at the Attack on Titan "The Real" theme park, and when questioned about Levi's age responded that he is in his "late thirties". However, Marina Inoue (Armin Arlert's voice actress) later rectified and said Isayama made a mistake due to nervousness, and had asked her to correct that Levi is actually in his "early thirties". This was further confirmed in the Attack on Titan ANSWERS guidebook.
- In Levi, Erwin, and Hange's character interview, it was said that Levi forcefully bathes Hange by knocking her unconscious.
- Levi seems to have a fondness for black tea or enjoys collecting tea leaves.
- At a recent convention, Isayama has said that Levi had once wanted to open a tea shop.
- His liquor tolerance is not bad. More specifically, he does not get drunk.
- Levi takes three-minute combat showers.
- He only sleeps an average of 2–3 hours.
- Isayama has said that if he could say one thing to Levi, it would be, "Go quickly to sleep," as Levi suffers from slight bouts of insomnia. Also, Levi does not change clothes before going to sleep, as it is such a non-event for him. Rather than sleeping in a bed, Levi just sleeps in his chair.
- It was also confirmed that due to living in the Underground in an unsanitary state in his younger years, he longed for a clean home. That may be the reason for his obsession with cleaning.
- Isayama has revealed that Levi sometimes wishes he was a bit taller.
- Levi's short height was inspired in part by Might Adam's Astro Boy, and in part by Kyuzo from the film "The Seven Samurai."
- In Isayama's interview he was asked about Levi's preferred type of woman and answered "A type of woman he likes? Since he’s short, small people tends to like tall people… I guess he might like tall people.”
- Levi currently finds Eren to be the best at cleaning.
- In a Q and A session, Levi was asked from a fan, what is his type. He responded by saying "It must meet my cleaning standards."
- Levi's blood type is A.
- After Levi was injured when fighting with the Female Titan, he wore a black jacket. According to Isayama, the jacket was usually worn by someone else but it was left near Levi who grabbed it and put it on. Isayama wanted to convey the feeling that Levi was taking time off.
- Levi is known to cut his own hair, using clippers.
- Levi was aware that Oluo Bozado was imitating him and thought it to be annoying.
- It has been stated in an interview with Isayama that Levi is a Capricorn.
- He has faced and defeated three of the four enemy Titan shifters: Annie, Reiner (in human form) and Zeke. Bertolt is the only one he never fought, neither in human or Titan form. However, all of the three defeated shifters eventually escaped.
|Each and every one of you... making those silly faces.|
|— Levi to a pair of Titans.|
|You've served more than enough, and you'll continue to do so. The will you leave behind will give me strength. I promise, I will drive the Titans to extinction no matter what!|
|— Levi to a dying subordinate.|
|This is just my opinion... but I've always found pain the most effective punishment. The lesson you need right now... can't be taught with words… only with action. And you're kneeling, which makes you easy to kick.|
|— Levi expresses his philosophy on learning to Eren at his trial.|
|He’s a true monster. It’s got nothing to do with his Titan power. No matter how much he’s held back... no matter what cage he’s in… no one can force him... to submit.|
|— Levi on Eren’s true nature.|
|The difference between our judgement and yours is experience. But... you don't have to fall back on that. Choose... believe in yourself... or believe in me and them... the Survey Corps. I don't know the answer. I never have. Weather you trust in your own strength... or the choices made by reliable comrades. No one knows what the outcome will be. So, as much as you can... choose whatever you'll regret the least.|
|— Advice to Eren as they are perused by the Female Titan.|
|Mikasa... did you ever experience a moment in life where it felt as if a power had awoken inside of you?|
|— Levi questions the Ackerman bloodline|
|Isn't there... anyone still alive? It doesn’t matter how injured they are. Just as long as they’re still breathing.. I can use this shot to turn them into a Titan.|
|— Levi wonders if he's the last man standing.|
|Wait... I swore to him… that I'd kill you no matter what. I... swore to him!!|
|— An exhausted Levi proclaims his resolve as he begins to chase Zeke.|