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|I'm certain that Eldians are the descendants of devils. And I'm also certain... that we are devils.|
|— Magath agrees to Willy Tybur's plan|
Theo Magath (テオ・マガト Teo Magato?) is the general (元帥 Gensui?) of the Marleyan military forces. Formerly a commander (団長 Danchō?) over the Warriors, he fought in the Marley Mid-East War against the Mid-East Allied Forces before Marley's victory. He was also formerly one of the chief overseers of the first Warrior cadets during their training.
Magath is an older man with light eyes and a thin beard, mustache, and short thinning hair. He has visible wrinkles from age but has an overall healthy build and appearance. Like his fellow soldiers, he wears the standard Marleyan soldier uniform consisting of a light jacket and pants with a black clip at the collar, supply packs on the hip, suspender straps, a hard hat with a black stripe around it, and tall combat boots.
Theo Magath is extremely dutiful, and most of his personality and choices revolve around what he believes is his duty as a soldier of Marley. Even though he, as a typical Marleyan, is prejudiced against Eldians, valuing the life of the Marleyans above theirs and being angered when one questions his orders, he is willing to put his opinion aside and let the Eldians under his command speak, in the case they might have something useful to add to the current situation, such as Colt Grice and Zeke Yeager.
He readily accepted Willy Tybur, an Eldian, as his superior after figuring it out, and accepted the role as the general of Marley's army more out of a sense of duty to his commanding officer and homeland than personal desire, even though Willy had presented it as an offer instead of an order. He even states that the army does not belong to him, but the nation itself.
Many of his decisions make him appear as though he considers the Eldians under him as expendable pawns and uncaring towards their lives, such as deciding to sacrifice 800 Eldian soldiers to destroy the anti-Titan artillery, while keeping two holders of the Power of the Titans and the Warrior cadets safe. However, he mostly goes with this course of action because it is most beneficial to Marley, as he wanted to keep Warriors, as well as the warrior cadets, out of harm's way since most of his nation's might comes from the Titans, being aware of the other nations' technological superiority. Compared to other Marleyans, he is quite tolerant of Eldians, willing to hear them speak, does not appear to get physical with them, and even shows genuine concern not present in other Marleyans, noted when wishing a safe return to the Warriors who were leaving for the Paradis Island Operation.
Magath proves himself to be very cunning and perceptive, managing to figure out the Tybur family was secretly ruling Marley, and seeing through the country's deceptions in its propaganda. He also speaks with a certain level of dry wit, noting to Willy Tybur that the statue of Helos was the true spirit of Marley, due to being completely hollow.
While the details of his rise to power are unknown, Magath has been a member of the Marley military for over twenty years. Throughout this time, he acted as one of the chief overseers of the Warrior program, evaluating the performances of each individual warrior cadet and selecting the top performers to be inheritors of the power of the Titans.
Magath watched on, as an entire nation is conquered for Marley, by the new Warriors. He admitted that the Warriors raised from childhood were more effective than their predecessors, but doubted the Marley government's decision to entrust the Plan to Retake the Founder to children. Some time later, he debriefed the Warriors on the logistics of the plan and departed with those chosen for the mission to the border of Paradis. He gave his final debriefing to the four Warriors before leaving them, hoping they would all return.
By the early 840s, Magath had achieved the rank of commander.
At the climax of the Marley Mid-East War, Commander Magath leads an 800-warrior unit against the Mid-East Allied Forces at the battle of Fort Slava. When the Warriors' trench line could advance no further towards the bunkers around the fort, cadet Colt Grice suggests to Magath that their Jaw Titan and Cart Titan should be used against the Allies. Magath refuses this suggestion, pointing out the Allies' anti-Titan artillery and the great risk of losing their Titans against the artillery. Cadet Gabi offers to use a bundle of grenades to destroy the armored train carrying the artillery, but Magath refuses to waste an Eldian soldier needlessly. Gabi becomes sarcastically coy with the commander, wondering why her life is more important than the 800 others in the unit, and Magath eventually gives in and sends her out. Once Gabi succeeds in destroying the armored train, Magath sends out Porco Galliard, the Jaw Titan, to attack the fort.
As Galliard's Jaw Titan and Pieck's Cart Titan lead a charge against Fort Slava's defenses, Magath remains behind with Colt and reviews their strategy. Colt correctly guesses that the Warriors should retreat and block escape routes while Zeke's airborne attack continues the assault. When the time comes for Zeke to make use of his Beast Titan to rain mindless Titans down upon the fort, Commander Magath and the Warriors watch from a distance as Marley's Titans complete the assault on the fort.
Some time afterwards, the leaders of the Marley military convene to review the world's reaction to the end of the war between Marley and the Mid-East Allied Forces. Commander Magath explains to the outraged general of the military that the technological progress of the world is overcoming the power of the Titans. Magath states that Marley has been too reliant on the power of the Titans, leading to an inferior navy which barely survived the war. In the meantime, other nations have been hard at work developing weaponry to overpower the Titans. Magath proposes that with the progress being made with aerial weaponry, Titans may become useless in future wars. Zeke proposes that Marley must acquire the Founding Titan to gain full mastery over the Titans as soon as possible while focus on developing conventional weaponry, an idea which impresses the general.
After the meeting, Magath meets with Zeke and Colt, congratulating Zeke on his conduct during the mission. He takes the opportunity to inform Zeke that over the past three years, a total of 32 scouting ships sent to the island of Paradis have disappeared without a trace, and he asks for Zeke's opinion on the matter.
Zeke recalls that four Titans, the Attack Titan, the Founding Titan, the Colossus Titan, and the Female Titan, are still located on the island. He proposes that at least two Titans, one of them being Eren Yeager's Attack Titan, have sunk their ships. Magath suggests that battleship support will be necessary for an assault on the island, but Zeke informs him of the existence of anti-Titan weapons on the island, as well as the Ackerman family which poses a serious threat to their future efforts.
Magath later departs on a train towards Liberio. Despite the Eldians at the back of the train making a loud ruckus, Magath allows them to continue with the celebrations, noting it is only for a single night. When the train reaches the warriors' hometown, Magath gets off the train with the others and escorts the Eldians into the internment zone.
Whilst the Eldian Warriors hold a private, unofficial meeting, Magath is a part of a team tapping the meeting to test the loyalty of the Warriors. He is slightly disappointed by Zeke's comment that insinuated the meeting was being tapped.
Magath is paid a visit by the Tybur family and is greeted by the family's current head, Willy Tybur. Speaking privately, Willy asks Magath if he is able to tell which Tybur is currently in possession of the War Hammer Titan, but Magath insists he cannot. Magath notes that his leader at headquarters left earlier that day after receiving orders from his superior, and because of that, Magath is now speaking to Willy in this place. He asks if the timing is truly unrelated.
Willy declines to answer, claiming that he came to see the statue Helos, the Marleyan hero who slayed the Earth Devil. He praises the figure as the spirit of Marley and Magath agrees, remarking that the statue is hollow. Magath intends to reinstate conscription for Marleyans, so war is something more to them than something they read in the newspaper, though he doubts it will be enough to stop Marley's self-destructive march to war. Under the assumption he is speaking to the true power behind Marley, Magath tells Willy that it is too late.
Noting Magath's insinuation, Willy reveals that the Tybur family is, as Magath suspects, the true ruler Marley. However, he insists that Marley's penchant for war has always existed, and that the Tyburs merely allowed the nation to do as they wished as penance for their suffering under Eldian rule. With the passing of time and the obsolescence of the Power of the Titans, Willy is concerned about Paradis. Commenting that Marley needs another Helos, Willy entreats Magath to work with him. Shortly afterwards, Magath is promoted to general of the Marley military.
One month later, Magath is present at a meeting where the Warriors discuss potential Paradis invasion strategies with their Marleyan superiors, though the meeting does not end well. Later that day, he meets with Willy Tybur and hands him a notebook explaining the state of his "house", which Willy notes is in need of "demolition". Willy congratulates Magath on his promotion, and the two discuss the military and their country. Magath notices Willy's trembling hands as the latter expresses the burden that comes with his position of power. Changing the subject, Magath informs Willy that some "posts" in his house were still usable, and he has come to learn that "mice" have invaded his home.
As Magath and Willy head to the festival they discuss the security involved in order to protect Willy and the officials present. Magath does not think it will be possible to defend everyone given that Willy wishes to be on stage and to bait their enemies with as many military officers as possible. Though Willy says Magath can limit it to the useless ones, leaving him free to rebuild the military with whoever he likes, Magath is concerned about the number of people who will die. This is not war like he is used to. They do not know their enemies, how they will attack, and there will be massive crowds of people.
He tells Willy that if he goes ahead with this, he will die, and he is too important to lose. However, Willy confides that if he escapes and is not among those sacrificed, the world will not listen to what he has to say. Magath agrees to go along with the plan, admitting that Eldians are devils, but so are he and Willy.
On the night of Willy's production, Magath brings an armed team atop a nearby building to observe the crowd for any suspicious actions. He takes a report and realizes that the soldiers who have gone to retrieve the Warriors have disappeared and the Warriors are missing as well. Magath has the reserves mobilized to search for them and notes that the event has begun.
- Colt Grice - Magath looks down on Colt for being an Eldian, as he does with all others of that nationality. However, he shows some value for him as a soldier, being concerned for his well-being when he rescued his brother Falco from enemy fire and listening to his ideas when he pitched them, even if he was going to deny them.
- Zeke Yeager - Magath has evidently watched over Zeke to some extent throughout the 22 years Zeke has spent in service to Marley. While he expects Zeke to display the respect towards Marleyan authority that would be expected of any Eldian, he nonetheless openly expresses how impressed Zeke leaves him with his words and actions. He is willing to disclose valuable military information with Zeke, and even accepts his advice on the issues faced by such matters.
- Willy Tybur - While only having known Willy Tybur personally for a month, Magath has developed a strong trust with the nobleman. Very soon after their first meeting, Willy understood that Magath possesses more knowledge of the truth behind their nation than he lets on, and the former was willing to discuss the nature of the Tybur family's authority and even the possession of the War Hammer Titan with him. Together, the two have conspired together to bring about great changes for their nation, which Willy believes is in need of another "Helos".
- There is an inconsistency in Chapter 91 in which Magath appears in several panels wearing the Eldian collar badge instead of the standard black clip.