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Reiner Braun (ライナー・ブラウン Rainā Buraun?) is a graduate of the 104th Cadet Corps and a member of the Scout Regiment. He ranked 2nd in the class and was regarded by others as a charismatic and a reliable big brother-like figure.
Reiner has short blond hair, gold eyes, and a defined facial structure. His large height, broad shoulders, and serious expression give him an intimidating presence. As a member of the Scout Regiment, he wears the wings of freedom jacket over his standard military uniform, with a green shirt underneath. In casual attire, Reiner wears a dark gray button down with rolled up sleeves and dark green pants with a brown belt.
Reiner is a passionate and honest person, with a strong sense of duty. He takes his role as a soldier very seriously and encourages others to do the same. However, he is also noted to have a kind heart and a tendency to always think of others before himself, taking on extra burdens for the sake of his comrades. He is stated to be the "big brother" of the other trainees.
Reiner and Bertholdt originated from a small river town on the south side of Wall Maria. Due to the village being more remote than more prosperous river towns, news of Wall Maria's destruction didn't reach them. After the Titans advanced on the town Reiner and Bertholdt, along with a friend, fled. While escaping the trio were ambushed by a Titan and Reiner was almost caught. However Reiner's friend pushed him away but was caught himself and was devoured by the Titan, as Reiner and Bertholdt were helpless to watch in horror.
Shortly after the destruction of Wall Maria, Reiner and Bertholdt were among the many refuges that were informed of the food shortage.
Two years after the destruction of Wall Maria, Reiner enlists in the military and becomes a member of the 104th Cadet Corps. On the first day of training, Reiner is one of the few students who the instructor Keith Sadies does not attempt to haze, as he is able to tell that Reiner has already been through a rite of passage.
After failing repeatedly to operate the vertical maneuvering equipment, Eren seeks advice from his fellow cadets and is sent to Reiner and Bertolt for help by Marco Bodt. Though initially unfriendly towards Eren and Armin, Reiner quickly warms up to them after learning that they are from Shiganshina District and are still willing to enlist in the Scout Regiment. He shares his desire to return to his lost Homeland, and agrees to give Eren advice.
During hand-to-hand combat training, he advises Eren to take his duty as a soldier seriously. Noticing Annie attempting to sneak away from training, he intercepts her and goads her into sparring with Eren. After seeing her easily dispatch Eren, he hesitates to take her on himself but is convinced to by Eren and quickly is defeated.
Reiner is noted by Keith Sadies to have exceptional mental and physical fortitude, as well as a great ability to gain the confidence of his comrades. He eventually graduates 2nd in the class, finishing just behind Mikasa Ackermann.
As part of the defensive effort of the Military after the second attack of the Colossus Titan, Reiner is assigned to the front guard. However, with the supply team stuck in Trost's Military headquarters, he is essentially immobilized with many of his teammates on a rooftop. Joining Jean's group in the rush to the HQ, Reiner is one of the few soldiers who manage to reach the Military's headquarters alive. With the subsequent arrival of Armin and Mikasa, by way of the Rogue Titan, he helps to clear and secure the supply room.
Initially skeptical, Reiner suggested they help the Rogue Titan when it is being overwhelmed by a group of Titans. Jean is hesitant and disagrees with his suggestion, stating they barely made it with their own lives and could use the opportunity to escape. However, any help turns out to be unnecessary when the Titan breaks free at the sight of the Titan that killed Thomas Wagner. After the Titan finishes its rampage, Reiner is amazed to see Eren emerge from the Titan's neck.
Later, after seeing what appears to be Titan vapor from inside the city, he and a small group scale the Wall to see what is happening. Over the Wall, they see Eren protecting Mikasa and Armin from cannon fire, with a shield made from the torso of his Titan form.
In the aftermath of Trost, Reiner enlists in the Survey Corps. During the 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, he comes across Armin, who has narrowly survived an encounter with a Female Titan. Along with Jean, they devise a plan to follow the Female Titan and distract her to allow the formation time to regroup. Though he is advised against attempting to attack directly, Reiner uses Armin's distraction to launch himself at the Titan's weak point. However, he is caught in her grasp and nearly squeezed to death, only surviving by slicing himself free, scooping up a wounded Armin before running away on foot.
Afterward, Reiner tends to Armin's head wound while Jean attempts to call back his missing horse. The group is preparing to decide who to leave behind, when Christa Lenz, having followed their flares, arrives with two extra horses, saving them. Stunned by her timely rescue and beauty, Reiner mentally expresses the desire to marry her.
The group rejoins the main force soon after, though they are frustrated by Erwin Smith's decision to continue the doomed mission and the lack of information available. Assigned to stand by at the edge of the Titan Forest and act as bait for the Titans, Reiner repeatedly expresses concern about what is going on inside the forest. When the mission ends in failure, he returns to Wall Rose in poor spirits.
"Strong-willed with a solid constitution. Adept at gaining trust of his comrades.-Instructor Keith Shadis
As one of the top ten graduates of the 104th Cadet Corps, Reiner is likely highly competent in the use of vertical maneuvering equipment and respective weapons. He is also one of the best hand-to-hand fighters among the recruits, having also trained other skilled fighters such as Eren. Reiner is noted to possess both a strong body and will.
- Bertholdt Hoover - Bertholdt is his childhood friend and partner, working closely with him in their mission. They are rarely seen apart, with Reiner taking the lead most of the time.
- Eren Jaeger - Eren is one of his closest friends, with Eren considering him both a "strong, capable guy" and something of a big brother. Eren looks up to Reiner, expressing that he wants to become strong like him.
- Armin Arlelt - Reiner has a close friendship with Armin, even risking his own scores to help the smaller boy during training. When the Female Titan attacked, Reiner came to his rescue.
- Sasha Braus - In A Sudden Visitor: The Torturous Curse of Adolescence, he is shown to work closely with Sasha and Conny during training and later, during her contest against Jean. When he expresses doubt and attempts to abandon their hunt for the Colossal Boar, she slaps and then elbows him. She shouts nonsense at him about his ancestors, and while he admits he does not quite get it he apologizes to her and rejoins the hunt.
- Christa Lenz - It has been hinted that he may have feelings for her, though it is unclear whether this is a simple crush or something stronger.
- According to Hajime Isayama, amongst his fellow 104th squadmates, Reiner is the most popular boy.
- His name is Old Norse in origin, and means "Counseling Warrior".
- In German, the word "Braun" means "Brown".