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Quote1 The only one who ought to bring an end to that detestable "wonder," Grisha Yeager, is me, his former son. Quote2
— Zeke swears revenge on Paradis

Midnight Train (闇夜の列車 Yamiyo no Ressha?) is the 3rd chapter of the 23rd volume and the 93rd chapter overall of the Attack on Titan manga, written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama.

Overview

After the surrender of the Mid-East Allied Forces, an outraged general demands answers concerning the world's slander against Marley's Titans. Magath explains that the modern age is leaving the power of the Titans obsolete, and Marley's inferior technology leaves them at a disadvantage. Zeke proposes that Marley must acquire the Founding Titan as soon as possible to gain full mastery over the Titans while also focusing on improving conventional weaponry. The general takes Zeke's advice and the meeting concludes. Afterwards, Colt marvels at Zeke's influence in Marleyan matters and wonders at how Zeke is able to use his spinal fluid to create and control Titans despite not having royal blood. As Zeke suggests Colt will inherit a secret upon receiving Zeke's Beast Titan, Magath arrives to congratulate Zeke on his meeting conduct. He reveals to Zeke that in the past three years, many scouting ships sent to Paradis have gone missing. Zeke believes it may be the doing of Eren's Attack Titan and another Titan. Zeke warns that in any future conflicts with Paradis, Marley must watch out for anti-Titan weapons as well as the Ackerman family.

Reiner awakens from a nightmare elsewhere with Porco Galliard at his side. Galliard is cold towards him, feeling that Reiner was responsible for his brother Marcel Galliard's death. He says that when he inherited the Jaw Titan from Ymir, he could see her memories but not Marcel's. Pieck arrives and tells Galliard to go easy on Reiner, whom she tells to meet with the warrior cadets. Reiner leaves to meet the cadets on the dock, who are watching traumatized Allied soldiers get sent away as a reminder of the Eldians' demonic nature. The children are excited to see Reiner, who sees his old comrades in the faces of the cadets, and together they walk around the town. Afterwards, the Marley soldiers take a train back to their homeland. Colt praises Gabi for her heroic deeds during the battle at Fort Slava, and Falco is bitter to see she will likely inherit the Armored Titan and die an early death. Reiner demands for Falco to correct his views on the power of the Titans, and Falco quickly apologizes. Reiner suggests that if Falco wants to save Gabi, he must work hard to surpass her and inherit the Armored Titan in her place.

Summary

Marley meeting looks skyward

The Marley military considers the threat of aerial combat

Following Marley's defeat of the Mid-East Allied Forces at Fort Slava, Zeke and Magath attend a meeting with their superior officers, who are furious to know that information of the Armored Titan's defeat is spreading to other countries. When asked for his opinion on the matter, Magath is forced to admit that the use of the power of the Titans in their soldiers may no longer be a viable tactic in battle, citing the fact that much of Marley's recent conflicts with the Mid-East have involved naval warfare, where Titans cannot actively contribute. Furthermore, other countries' advancements in aerial technologies opens up the possibility of Marley being attacked from the air, in which case Titans will be completely useless as a fighting force. As the general in charge of the meeting muses at Marley's fall from power, Zeke offers to make a suggestion.

Zeke argues that, in light of Marley's predicament, the Paradis Island Operation should be resumed. Although his superiors are unwilling, Zeke argues that the best way to keep hostile countries at bay while Marley rearms its military is to retake Paradis and announce to the world that they have gained the power of the Founding Titan at their disposal. The general notes that Zeke only has a year left before he must pass on the Beast Titan, and asks if Zeke intends to spend that time making up for his previous defeat on Paradis, which Zeke confirms. Furthermore, Zeke expresses his desire to put an end to the chain of events that his father Grisha Yeager began over twenty years ago. Impressed, the general agrees to talk to his fellow officers about Zeke's suggestion.

Paradis Titans

The Titans defending Paradis

After the meeting, Colt marvels at Zeke's ability to speak to Marleyans as equals and Zeke's unique abilities as the Beast Titan, noting that his ability to create and control Titans never existed in any previous holders. Zeke assures Colt that he might one day find out once he receives the Titan, and his memories, before being interrupted by Magath, who congratulates Zeke for his conduct during the meeting. Magath reminds Zeke that, in the years since he has returned to Paradis, all of the naval ships Marley has sent to the island have disappeared, and asks him for his opinion on the matter.

Zeke accounts that Paradis currently possesses four Titans: the Founding Titan, Attack Titan, the Colossus Titan, and the Female Titan. While the Founder and Attacker are accounted for in Eren Yeager's possession, Zeke says that it is possible that the Colossus and Female have been killed and lost. However, if this were the case, Eldian babies would have been discovered with the power of the Titans, something that has not occurred in recent years. Zeke hypothesizes that all of the ships sent to Paradis were destroyed by Eren Yeager's Attack Titan, and at least one other person with the power of the Titans. Magath agrees, and suggests using warships when attacking the island, but Zeke reveals two other advantage the Paradis forces have: devices that allow them to fly and handheld explosives designed for the sole purpose of killing Titans, and two members of the Ackerman family, the byproducts of Titan science which were thought to be only a legend in the royal family.

Reiner wakes up

Reiner Braun awaking from his nightmare

Awaking from a nightmare of the battle in Shiganshina, Reiner is greeted by his fellow warrior Porco Galliard. Recalling Galliard's role during the Fort Slava battle, Reiner attempts to thank him for rescuing him, but Galliard callously tells him that he was simply trying to keep Marley from losing the Armored Titan. Galliard proceeds to muse that, had he been given the Armored Titan instead of Reiner, his brother Marcel Galliard would not have died on Paradis saving him. Reiner, surprised, asks if Galliard has inherited Marcel's memories, but Galliard reveals that he has only inherited Ymir's memories after consuming her and inheriting the Jaw Titan. Galliard notes that in all of Ymir's memories involving Reiner, Reiner seemed to be imitating Marcel's personality by acting like someone who his friends in the 104th could count on.

Galliard eats Ymir

Galliard recalls taking Ymir's power

Their conversation is interrupted by Pieck, who chides Galliard for being harsh to Reiner after the latter was heavily injured in battle. Reiner is concerned to see Pieck is walking with a crutch, but Pieck explains that she simply forgot how to walk on two legs after spending two straight months in her Cartman form. Pieck suggests that Reiner go visit the warrior cadets to let them know he is fine, to which Reiner agrees.

In Fort Slava's harbor, Udo and Zofia talk with each other while Falco tries to assure Gabi that Reiner will be fine. As they talk, the cadets notice a group of visibly distraught Mid-East soldiers being escorted onto a boat. Udo hypothesizes that they are the soldiers who survived Zeke's Titan air-strike on the fort. Noting that their eye-witness accounts of the battle with only further sully the world's opinions of Eldians, Udo grows angry and begins kicking nearby objects until Reiner arrives to stop him. As all of the cadets, save Falco, rush to greet Reiner, Gabi excitedly tells him that they will soon be returning to Liberio, and asks him to explore Fort Slava with her. As the cadets begin to argue with each other, Reiner becomes unnerved by how similar they are to his friends when they were cadets. He leads the children through the town as an Eldian soldier watches them, his armband on the wrong arm.

Reiner and Falco on the train

Reiner convinces Falco to work hard to earn the Armored Titan

That night, a drunken Colt and the surviving Eldian soldiers praise Gabi for her hand in destroying the the armored train during the Fort Slava battle while on a train back to Marley. As Reiner and Falco watch the festivities unfold, Reiner notes that Gabi will likely inherit the Armored Titan from him. Falco, dejected, notes that this will mean Gabi will only live to be twenty-seven, assuming she is not killed in battle before then.

Reiner, angered at Falco's attitude, threatens to report Falco for speaking making light of the honor that comes with inheriting one of the Nine Titans and reminds him about its cruel consequences. Falco, terrified, quickly reaffirms his commitment to Marley in front of Reiner, and his desire to inherit the Armored Titan. Reiner, satisfied, asks Falco to work hard to inherit his Titan, so that Gabi will not have to.

Characters in Order of Appearance

Trivia

  • The Marleyan general who makes his debut in this chapter bears strong resemblance to the real-life Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen.

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