According to Marley history textbooks, Marley was a powerful nation in ancient times. However, over 1,800 years ago, the dominion of Marley was threatened when Ymir Fritz, a queen of the Fritz family who ruled the "Subjects of Ymir", came in contact with the "source of all organic material" and gained the power of the Titans. After Ymir's time, her "soul" was split into nine Titans who inherited her power and formed the Eldian Empire. With the power of the Titans, the Eldians waged war against the Marleyans, utterly destroying their nation and obtaining complete rule over the continental mainland. Over the course of 1,700 years, the Eldians would designate all other races of the world as inferior and resort to genocide and rape in order to cleanse the world of other peoples.
Many centuries after Eldia's ascension to power, the 145th King of the Fritz family inherited the power of the Progenitor Titan, the greatest of all Titans. Rather than maintaining order in Eldia as his forebears had done, the King chose instead to relocate the capital of Eldia to the remote island of Paradis. In the King's absence, the surviving peoples of Marley rose up against their oppressors, starting the Great Titan War. At this time, Marley succeeded in obtaining seven of the nine Titans in Eldia's possession, drastically turning the tide of the war. Over an unspecified amount of time, Marley gradually gained control of the continental mainland that once was ruled by Eldia until only Paradis remained as King Fritz's undisputed territory. At this time, in the year 743, King Fritz used the Progenitor Titan to guide countless Colossus Titans in the raising of three concentric Walls, Maria, Rose, and Sheena, around Eldia's remaining territory. In order to force peace between Eldia and Marley, King Fritz gave the ultimatum that any further act of war against Eldia would be met with the releasing of the countless Titans within the Walls. With this, the Great Titan War ended.
The Marleyan society is technologically more developed comparing to the Eldian society within the Walls. Modern marvels such as photography are commonplace to the general population. There are also civil transports powered by battery and fossil-fuels, such as automobiles and blimps, although the latter seem to be available only to the wealthy, non-Eldian population. Electricity seems to be in use, as there are loudspeakers mounted on the Walls surrounding the Liberio Internment Zone. Marley seems to be an industrialized nation, as there are factories in the proximity of the Zone.
Titan Chemistry Research Society
The Marley government has vast knowledge of the Titans to the extent that they are able to make use of Titan-related technology and possess insight as to the origin of the Titans. For example, the Marley government are known to create Titan serums for use in creating the warriors and as a tool to transform Eldian criminals into Titans on Paradis.
An academic discipline known as "Titan chemistry", headed by Marley's Titan Chemistry Research Society, was founded in dedication to the research of Titan. It is the Society that put forth the theory that all Eldians are connected by unseen "paths" from which the flesh and bones of Titan are sent to them, and that all the paths "coordinate" at the Progenitor Titan.
Eldian minority in Marley
After the Great Titan War, the Eldians who remained on the continental mainland were designated as low-class citizens. Rather than resorting to genocide, the Marleyans chose instead to segregate the Eldians from the rest of the population into designated ghettos under the watch of the Public Security Authorities. In later years, the Marleyan populace saw the Eldians as inferior by blood due to their ancestor Ymir Fritz's deal with the "Devil of All Earth".
The Marleyan government determines the ethnicity of its citizens with blood test, and the result of which affects their eligibility to get into privileged professions. To join the Public Security Authorities, for example, one has to prove that they are not of Eldian ancestry by passing the test. Despite that, agents of the Eldian Restoration Movement were able to get around it by using falsified medical records and having their tests done by doctors sympathetic to their cause.
Marley maintains its military dominance in the world stage by the use of Titans and a modern military force. Having made incredible advancements in military technology in the years following the Great Titan War, its conventional arsenal features advanced small-arms weaponry such as revolvers and bolt-action rifles, a steam-powered navy, and an air force consists of triplanes and blimps.
Adding to its conventional force, Marley also has the ability to bolster its military strength by converting Eldian ghetto population into mindless Titan. It is the true reason behind Marleyan's keeping of Eldian in internment zones. However, the use of mindless Titan is controversial within Marleyan military circle, as it is inherently uncontrollable and poses as much a risk to the enemy as to itself, leading to opinions for the extermination of all Eldian. Kruger noted that once Marley secures the Progenitor Titan, the debate would end in favor of those opinions and seal the doom of all Eldian.
- Main article: Hometown
Before the year 830, Marley possessed seven Titans which assured its position as a world power. This power was eclipsing, however, as advancement in technology are beginning to undermine the military importance of Titans. The Marleyan government is aware of it, therefore it planned to conquer Eldia in order to take over the immense fossil resource laying beneath the island, continuing its military supremacy in the new era. The plan was hindered by King Fritz's threat of unleashing Wall Titan upon the world in case of a Marleyan invasion.
In order to counter King Fritz's ultimatum, the Marleyan government decided in the year 830 to grant the power of the seven Titans in their nations possession to a selection of Eldian children. The families of those chosen children were promised to be made into honorary Marleyans with all freedoms that come with the distinction.
Fifteen years later, in the year 845, Marley sent out four of their warriors, Bertolt Hoover, Reiner Braun, Annie Leonhart, and Marcel, from their settlement known as the "Hometown". These warriors were given the task of breaching the gates of the Walls in order to wipe out the Eldian race and take the Coordinate, or Progenitor Titan, from the royal family. They succeeded in breaching Wall Maria, though their efforts in breaching Wall Rose were halted upon learning that Eren Yeager was had the power of the Titans, leading them to suspect that he held the Coordinate they sought. Since that revelation, the goal of the surviving warriors has been to capture Eren Yeager in order to obtain the Coordinate.
The Public Security Authorities is a Marleyan internal military force. Its primary purpose is to control Eldian minority within the Marleyan mainland. The PSA repression against Eldian drove Grisha Yeager into becoming an Eldian Restorationist and directly led to the creation of several named Titans which ravaged the Walled society in Paradis, setting in motion the manga's story.
Politics and Diplomacy
The Marley presumably has a poor relationship with an unidentified eastern nation. The Eldia Restorationists had considered using the Progenitor Titan to gain support and defection from this enemy nation, though their efforts failed. Whether or not this nation is Paradis or some separate territory is unknown.
- Marley resembles Nazi Germany in both its general aesthetics and politics but its technological development is slightly less advanced, being at around early 20th century level.
- Marley's policy of segregating Eldian into ghetto parallels Nazi anti-Jewish policy. Coincidentally, some named Marleyans and Eldians have German-sounding names.
- The history of Marleyans and Eldians is also comparable with that of the Rwandan populations of Hutu and Tutsi. By 1700, the Rwandan populace coalesced into around eight kingdoms, of which the Tutsi Kingdom of Rwanda became dominant and oppressed the Hutu, fueling a hard relationship between the two races that lasted for centuries. In 1994, during the Rwandan Civil War, the then Hutu majority government perpetrated a genocide against the Tutsi which resulted in the extermination of around 70% of the Tutsi population.
- Rwanda was also a German territory from 1884 until World War I.
- Since Isayama is Japanese, the Marleyan government's exploitation of ancient grudges for expansionist purposes might have been inspired by the anti-Japanese sentiment in China, where the memory of the Second Sino-Japanese War is kept alive by the government for nationalistic purposes. The landmass size difference between Marley and Paradis also reminds one of China and Japan.
- The memory alterations to people on Paradis to make them forget the past might have been inspired by the Japanese government's own attempts to downplay and deny Imperial Japan's war crimes.
- If turned upside-down and mirrored, the territories of Marley and Paradis are very similar to the real life continental territory of Africa and the island of Madagascar, respectively.
- This also coincides with the Rwanda parallelism, as Rwanda is a country within the mainland of Africa some distance northwest of Madagascar. When turned upside-down and mirrored, Rwanda is at the southwest, and it is said that Titans primarily target the southern regions of the Walls (although the exact location of Marley within the continent is still unknown).