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The Town Where Everything Began

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THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS HEAVY SPOILERS. CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK, OR USE THE LINKS BELOW (IF ANY) TO SWITCH TO ANOTHER VERSION OF THE PAGE WITHOUT SPOILERS.

Quote1 I can do it... no. We can do it. Because from the day we were born, there was something special about all of us... We're free. Quote2
— Eren Yeager seals Wall Maria

The Town Where Everything Began (はじまりの街 Hajimari no Machi?) is the 3rd chapter of the 18th volume and the 73rd chapter overall of the Attack on Titan manga, written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama.

Overview

The Survey Corps walk within a forest near dawn on their way to the Shiganshina District. Thanks to the darkness, they are able to evade the Titans that move under the moonlight. Eren thinks on the responsibility that he has on his shoulders, because if he succeeds in the operation, humanity will regain their hope on living. But, if he fails, everyone's hopes are doomed. He finds that he is afraid and shaking at these thoughts, but after talking to Armin about how his book gave him the desire to see the outside world, he regains his confidence. They soon reach Shiganshina and quickly switch to vertical maneuvering equipment before flying towards the Wall as the sun is starting to rise. Knowing that their enemies are aware of their intentions to use Eren to plug the hole and find Grisha's basement, Erwin orders 100 Survey Corps soldiers to fly around the hole with their faces hidden in order to confuse their enemies. As Eren looks nostalgically at the ruins of his home town, Armin finds the remains of a camp fire and warns the commander that Reiner and Bertolt are nearby. While Hange notices that there are strangely few Titans around, Levi presumes that they are playing into the enemies' hands, but they choose to continue the operation. As Eren jumps above the hole in Wall Maria, Bertolt and Reiner await in unknown locations for the attack to begin.

Summary

Wall Maria holds great value to the people of the Walled Country, and there was great loss and emotional trauma suffered by humanity when the Titans took one third of their land. Humanity’s fate is currently up to the Titans
The narrator speaks of huamnitys screams

The Narrator speaks of humanity's screams

because they have no way of defeating them, however, one boy was able to bring a Titan’s head to the ground and change the way humanity looked at the big picture. One could question what humanity will think if Wall Maria could be taken back, and whether it will make them believe that they can control their destinies and are allowed to live in this world. If only Wall Maria could be taken back. The Survey Corps journey on foot through a forest beyond Wall Rose, leading their horses and lighting their way with fragments from the crystals in the Reiss chapel caverns. Levi mentions to his subordinate that it is almost dawn but he responds by saying that they will be in the Shiganshina District once they are over the mountain they are scaling. Eren complains to Mikasa for leading his horse but she and the rest of Squad Levi insist that he save his energy for his role in the mission. Jean notices a Titan sitting down near the group and alerts the team as Hange examines the situation. She then calls for them to leave the Titan alone as it is dozing off due to the lack of sunlight and the team keeps moving. Eren asks how they could have not noticed the Titan until it was so close and Hange explains that the darkness is what is protecting them and that she felt confident in her decision to choose a night with a new moon for the operation in case newer Titans were able to gain energy from the small amount of sunlight reflected off the moon. She then grins and states that she hopes they can capture one someday.
A Titan is spotted

A Titan is spotted

Eren realizes that he is shaking and begins to doubt his capabilities but when Armin grabs his wrist and asks him if he is scared. Eren panics and tries to convince him that he is only cold, but Armin responds by saying that he himself had been shaking for a while as well. Armin then asks Eren if he is every afraid of the Titans and the two remember when Armin was about to be eaten by a Titan but Eren changed places with him and saved his life. When asked about why he did it, Eren explained that he remembered the day Armin showed him the book about the outside world and how it completely changed his perception of life within the Walls. Eren thanks Armin and says that he feels better now as his shaking subsides. Mikasa then realizes where they are and claims to have gathered firewood in the area before as a soldier yells to the group that they have found the foot of the mountain. The three then light up as they near the return to their home for the first time in five years.

Eren returns home

Eren watches Shiganshina District for the first time in 5 years

The Survey Corps rushes in and Erwin orders them to commence the operation and switch to vertical maneuvering equipment. The soldiers begin vertical movement and fly over the inner part of Wall Maria, which was breached by the Armored Titan, to see the Shiganshina District in ruins. Erwin reassesses his plans and notes that Reiner and Bertolt will be aware that they want to seal Wall Maria and see what is inside Dr. Yeager's basement. He then mentions to himself that the enemy will have a tough time figuring out which soldier is Eren as they are all covered by hoods and he ordered 100 of them to rush the gate. Eren stares at the wreckage of his former home but is urged on by Levi
Eren prepares to transform

Eren prepares to transform

and continues moving. Armin happens to notice the remains of a camp-fire that had been pushed off the top of the Wall. He then alerts the commander that Reiner and Bertolt were camping there and are close by. Eren, still flying, nears the area where his home used to be and remembers that everything was left behind, however, he states that it is okay because he will get it back by completing the mission.

Hange begins to worry, stating that there has not been a single Titan around since they would get there, and Levi says that they are clearly playing into the enemies hands, but they both agree that they must continue the operation. As Eren approaches the space needed to transform, he thinks on his friends and their ability to succeed in the mission because, from the day they were born, they were free. He then flies directly above the hole in the outer gate and prepares to trigger the transformation. As this happens, Reiner and Bertolt peer out at them from an unknown location, fully equipped with vertical equipment.

Characters in Order of Appearance

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