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|Krista... I have no right to tell you how to live. So this is just... a wish of mine. Live your life... with pride.|
|— Ymir to Historia before revealing her powers|
Ymir (ユミル Yumiru?) is a graduate of the 104th Training Corps and former member of the Survey Corps. She has the ability to transform into a Titan and has knowledge concerning the true nature of Titans and the history of humanity.
Ymir is a tall, slender young woman with parted hair often styled into a ponytail and intimidating eyes. She has disheveled-looking black hair held back with a white tie and gray eyes.
Ymir's Titan form is considerably smaller than most Titans, standing at 5 m and is the shortest Titan shifter thus far. She has long arms, a large nose, rugged hair, small black eyes, small pointed ears, sharp fangs and claws allowing her to easily climb trees and tear into enemy flesh. Unlike other Titan shifters, the body is not well-proportioned because her head is too big. Unlike the Female Titan, her Titan form possesses no distinct, feminine features. Overall, it lacks the distinct similarity to her human form that the majority of other Titan shifters show. Prior to eating Marcel, her Titan form was noticeably thinner, and her rib cage was more pronounced.
Initially, Ymir appears selfish, cynical, uncooperative, exploitative and confrontational, but later reveals kindness, especially around Historia Reiss. She often criticizes people for being untrue to themselves, as when she berated Sasha Blouse, who developed an extremely polite and formal way of speaking to hide her native accent.
She is a mysterious and complex character, holding her many secrets close. While not completely willing to trust Reiner and Bertolt, she betrays humanity in exchange for Krista's safety. Little is known about her past or motivations, other than the fact that she wishes to protect Krista at any cost.
Oddly, her personality appears to be a foil of Krista. Due to her dark past, Krista often pretends to be a sweet girl so that others will remember her fondly. However, her true nature is darker, depressed, and lonely. Ymir's true persona appears to be much more selfless and quite emotional, which is shown when she accepts Reiner and Bertolt's offer to return to their hometown in exchange for a pardon. It should also be noted that she has shown much regret over eating Marcel, Reiner and Bertolt's friend (even though she did not have control over herself during her time as a mindless Titan). She also states she is very thankful to them for releasing her from her Titan form despite this, as she deemed it an endless nightmare.
Many decades ago, a nameless, homeless, Eldian girl lived in the streets of Marley as a beggar. Eventually, she was found by a man who gave her the name "Ymir", after the ancient Ymir Fritz, and Ymir was brought into a cult dedicated to the ancient Ymir. She was worshiped by many Eldians in the cult, and Ymir chose to abide by her new role in order to bring happiness to those around her. However, a time came when the cult was discovered by the Public Security Authorities, and the man who named her claimed she had deceived him. Ymir chose to abide by her given name, and she was arrested with the other cultists. After the cult was led in chains through Marley, pelted with rocks and hatred from the Marley citizens, they were taken to the borderline of Paradis and turned into mindless Titans.
Ymir spent about sixty years wandering outside Wall Maria as a mindless Titan. During this time, she retained little awareness or memory, but describes it as having been an "endless nightmare". It was in 845 that she encountered Reiner, Bertolt, and Marcel as they were making their way towards Wall Maria in order to infiltrate it. At this encounter, she stole the Titan Power from them, attacking Reiner and in the end devouring Marcel after the boy pushed his friend to safety.
Soon after this event, she regained her consciousness and human form. She would spend the next two years living within Wall Sheena, sneaking about and spying on humanity. She survived by begging for money and for food. It was during this time that she overheard conversation between members of the Church of the Walls, and learned about Historia Reiss. Her interest in Historia led her to enlist in the Military, hoping to use her to gain a pardon for her crimes. Ilse Langnar, a member of the Survey Corps that resembled Ymir, encountered a Titan that spoke of her as a "subject of Ymir." This Titan mistook Ilse for Ymir, and bowed before her while referring to her as "Lady Ymir." Ilse's notes of the encounter were later discovered by Hange Zoë and are the first hints of Ymir's true nature.
On the first day of training, Ymir and Krista venture outside and fetch refreshments for Sasha after her 5 hour-long run as a punishment. Ymir acts apathetic and shows little care for Sasha's well-being, telling Krista that she could use Sasha's stupidity to her advantage.
Ymir graduates in the 104th class outside the top 10, which Krista deems that she deserved to be there more than her. It is implied that she intentionally gives less than her full effort so that Krista could have the 10th slot. After graduation, she follows Krista into the Survey Corps.
Ymir is in the Trost District when the Colossus Titan breaks down the gate. She is part of the squad that discovers a catatonic Armin, and mocks him upon learning that he is the only survivor. This results in a brief and heated exchange with Connie Springer, before Krista steps in to mediate. In response, she requests that Krista marry her once the battle is over. She is later among the squads able to retreat over the Wall when the order was given, and waited on standby for further orders.
Ymir is one of the Survey Corps members taken outside Wall Sheena by Mike Zacharias and disarmed of her equipment on suspicion of being a potential accomplice to Annie Leonhart. When Titans mysteriously appear within Wall Rose and the rookies are sent to warn the nearby villages, Ymir recommends to Krista that they run away, but Krista refuses.
After the rookies take refuge inside Utgard Castle, Ymir comes under suspicion by Reiner when she is able to read the label of the tuna can in another language correctly and he comes to suspect that she may know more than what she is letting on. When the castle comes under attack by Titans capable of moving at night, Ymir has a flashback of her and Krista helping their friend, Daz. Ymir reveals that she was left on the street and had to go around and borrow money. She told Krista that she should try and start a new life instead of trying to kill herself. Ymir left Krista and managed to help Daz. Returning to the present time, Ymir jumps from the tower and cuts herself, triggering her Titan transformation. She begins to battle the Titans to the shock of her peers.
Ymir fights the Titans strategically, aiming for the nape of their necks and showing great focus. However, while being fast and vicious, her Titan form is no larger or stronger than most Titans, and she is soon caught. The Titans attack viciously and Ymir reaches for the Wall but consciously releases it as the heavily damaged tower shows signs of falling over. Krista reasons that with her power, Ymir could have easily escaped alone, and that she is putting her life on the line to fight for the recruits survival. Ymir then breaks the tower, burying the Titans under the rubble. She rescues her friends and is shown to be capable of coherent speech in her Titan form.
When the Titans begin to emerge from the rubble, Ymir launches at them immediately and puts herself at risk once again. However, she is pushed to her limit and all other Titans begin to tear her body apart and devour her. Her human body is shown to slowly emerge from her Titan flesh while in a state of unconsciousness. The arrival of Hange Zoë's squad saves her, and she is quickly given medical treatment. Before passing out, Krista reveals to her that her true name is "Historia".
Later on however, Ymir, along with Eren, was kidnapped by Reiner and Bertolt. Bertolt, in his Colossus Titan form captured her and a soldier with vertical equipment. He proceeded to swallow them both whole. After falling on Eren, Bertolt appeared out of the smoke carrying Ymir and wearing the equipment. He climbs onto the Armored Titan's back, still carrying her. She regains consciousness before Eren, though both are left recovering from serious injuries and therefore unable to transform. When Eren attempts to fight, she counsels him against this and points out that they are surrounded by Titans and at a huge disadvantage since their captors are armed and uninjured. She asks Reiner to start talking, as he had promised once Eren awoke.
Realizing they have no choice but to wait until nightfall, the group settles in for a long wait. When Ymir asks for water, complaining about how long it is been since they had something to drink, Reiner begins to act strangely. Eren becomes angry about this, but Ymir accurately determines that Reiner's mental state has deteriorated as a result of his inability to cope with his guilt of being the Armored Titan.
Recovering from his episode, Reiner extends the offer for Ymir to join their side in exchange for a pardon. She initially rejects this offer, stating that they do not trust her and she does not trust them. But Reiner claims they can trust her, since her only goal is to protect Krista and their goals align since he also wants to protect her. Afterwards, Ymir agrees to ally with Reiner and Bertolt, and refuses to answer Eren's questions.
Reiner and Bertolt notice a signal flare, and begin preparing to flee the advancing rescue party. While Reiner subdues Eren, Bertolt confronts Ymir over her past and the fact she killed one of their comrades. She confesses to not having any memory of that time, but apologizes to him for it. Furthermore, she reveals that she spent 60 years wandering outside the Walls as a mindless Titan and only regained her mind and human form five years ago. She describes her time trapped in her Titan form as an "endless nightmare".
As they begin to flee through the forest, Ymir notices the signal flares and realizes Krista has come to rescue her. She demands that they kidnap Krista now, and when they refuse she begins to attack Bertolt, threatening to fight them to the death if necessary. Even though doing so may endanger Krista's life, Ymir states she is a horrible person that wants to see her one more time.
The rescue team notices a light in the forest, and shortly afterwards encounter Ymir in her Titan form. She ignores all attempts to question her about what happened, looking around until she spots Krista. To everyone's shock, Ymir leaps forward and captures Krista whole in her mouth, immediately fleeing into the trees to rejoin Reiner and Bertolt. After Reiner transforms, she climbs onto his back and the group begin to flee into the wilderness with the soldiers in hot pursuit.
Still hanging onto Reiner's shoulder, she spits Krista out and partially emerges from her Titan form, apologizing for what she is done. Krista initially assumes Ymir is being forced to cooperate with the traitors, and tries to convince her to release her. Ymir hesitates visibly, at which point Bertolt yells at her and asks if she intends to abandon Krista.
Breaking down, Ymir confesses to Krista that she once "stole" the Titan's power from Reiner and Bertolt's people and has been on the run from them since then. And in order to save herself, she intends to hand Krista over them in order to be pardoned for her crimes. Calling her "Historia", she begs the other girl to save her. To her shock, Krista smiles and promises to always be on her side.
When several soldiers catch up and begin to launch hooks into the Armored Titan, Ymir pulls them out and drops the soldiers to the ground. She is ambushed and partially blinded by Mikasa, who violently threatens to kill anyone that gets in her way. The two briefly fight, before Krista intervenes and tries to plead with Mikasa to stop. However, Mikasa threatens to kill them both if they get in her way, forcing Krista and Ymir to back off. They observe the confrontation between the former friends, and Ymir looks thoughtful as she listens to Bertolt's confession.
However, Erwin Smith arrives with a swarm of Titans and forces the others to retreat for a time. The Armored Titan charges into the oncoming horde, with Ymir barely able to hang on. They are quickly surrounded and overwhelmed, and Krista is quickly attacked by one of the many Titans. This drives Ymir into action, beginning to fight against the other Titans to defend her. The soldiers look on in horror, but quickly take advantage of the chaos to mount a second attack.
In the ensuing battle, Ymir and Krista become separated from the others. A larger Titan manages to overpower her, but she is rescued by Krista who proudly declares this her first Titan kill. Connie arrives on the scene, snatching Krista up onto his horse and retreating from the battle. Ymir follows beside them, seemingly abandoning any further attempts to aid Reiner and Bertolt in favor of immediate survival. Much to their surprise, Connie expresses his faith in Ymir and points out that she only takes things seriously when it comes to protecting Krista.
During the chaos of the battle, Ymir manages to get the drop on Erwin Smith and charges in to attack him. She expresses anger at him for ruining everything, but at the last moment she instead rescues him from another Titan. As she finishes it off, Connie and Krista catch up with her. Krista uses her equipment to jump onto Ymir's head, confronting her over having lied to protect her once again. She declares that they should live only for themselves, and proclaims that she will never fear anything as long as Ymir is at her side. This declaration renews Ymir's spirits, and the pair charge into battle together to face the Titan horde.
When Eren's power as the coordinate manifests, Ymir senses it and reacts with surprise. She becomes convinced that this power to control other Titans is the reason Reiner and the others were willing to risk their lives to obtain Eren. This makes her begin to reconsider her options, wondering if perhaps she should ally with the Survey Corps instead. She realizes this power could mean a future within the Walls, and also realizes she will not be able to protect Krista on her own.
In the aftermath of the battle, she begins to flee with the surviving soldiers. However, she turns back and hesitates upon hearing Bertolt screaming as he and Reiner desperately attempt to fend off the Titans attacking them. She turns back to Krista, offering a broken apology and reaches out to gently stroke her hair. Without another word, she rushes back into battle and rescues Bertolt from the Titan about to devour him, with the others being left to puzzle over her actions.
However, she survived the battle, and fled with the traitors to the ruins of the Shiganshina District. There, she berates herself for her foolish actions. When questioned about her actions, she states that she knows that Reiner and Bertolt cannot return to their hometown empty handed, and offers herself as a prisoner. Reiner attempts to let her go, but she refuses this kindness and states that she is tired. Bertolt asks why she saved his life, and she responds by expressing her gratitude to them since their actions led to her regaining human form. She claims to be the only one capable of understanding their circumstances, further expressing sympathy as they are "the same" and unable to do anything on their own. Thinking of Historia, she smiles and states that playing "Goddess" is not so bad, referencing the girl's selfless reputation.
The conversation she had with Bertolt in the Forest was later recalled by Eren, and written down for Hange Zoë. This information proves to be vital, leading Hange to speculate that Titans are able to absorb the abilities of devoured Titan shifters. By devouring Marcel, Ymir gained his powers and regained her humanity. This leads Hange to further speculate that this may be one reason Titans instinctively seek to devour humans and transformed Titan shifters.
Historia's memory about Ymir telling her to live her life with pride later inspires her to defy her father and refuse to eat Eren.
Before Reiner and Bertolt get into position to prepare for the Survey Corps, Reiner remembers that they made a promise to Ymir to save Historia. Later that day when Reiner is defeated, he reveals that Ymir had written a letter to Historia, which Hange keeps for later inspection. Handed over to Historia later, in it Ymir reveals that Reiner was waiting beside her as she wrote, and that she was going to die soon. She went into her past as a nameless child, being turned into a Titan at the Paradis sea wall, and regaining her humanity after devouring Marcel. She began living her life without regrets, except the one of not yet being able to marry Historia, and expressing her love for her.
Ymir possesses great physical ability - she shows to be fully capable in combat and use of weapons. During her time as a trainee, it has been rumored that she started slacking off to ensure Krista Lenz a spot in the top ten.
Ymir is able to transform herself into a 5-meter Titan, being the smallest of all known Titan shifters.
- Speed: Despite her small size, her Titan form has an above average speed and agility, which makes it easy for her to climb Walls and trees in order to dispatch multiple enemies in quick succession by biting them in their nape while using her claws and pointed teeth, a tactic used several times by her. Against humans or other shifters in a forest she would have the advantage, as she can swiftly outmaneuver them. But her size has proven to be a problem, since she was easily overpowered by Titans not long after her transformation at Utgard Castle.
- Regeneration: She has shown the ability to automatically heal any injury and even regrow entire limbs. When she lost her right arm and leg at the battle of Utgard Castle, she was able to regenerate in a matter of hours.
- Partial Transformation: She also possesses the ability to partially emerge from the nape of her Titan form, allowing her to interact with others while still transformed. This shows that she is skillful at controlling her Titan form.
- Communication: While other Titan shifters are able to regain control of themselves while transformed, she seems to be skilled enough to talk, though not to Zeke's extent. She seems to find it difficult because she only says limited and short phrases, pausing between the words.
Ymir's Statistics :
- Historia Reiss - She is romantically attracted to Historia, and utterly devoted to her. Her primary goal is to protect her no matter the cost. The two have a strong connection, and deeply trust each other even while keeping secrets. Ymir actively works to discourage Krista's martyr complex, and challenges her to embrace her true identity and live for herself with her head held high. Her influence in Historia was so big that she even rejected to inherit the Coordinate and fought her father.
- Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover - Ymir agrees to become their ally, and work with them in exchange for Krista's safety. She expresses that she does not trust them entirely, and believes that even if she cooperates with them, she will eventually be killed by their "warriors". When they attempt to flee without kidnapping Krista, she makes it clear she will fight them to the death if they do not give into her demands. When things look bad, she quickly abandons them and considers leaving them to their fate. However, for an unknown reason she decides to leave Krista behind in order to come to their aid. It is later revealed that she feels a sense of gratitude towards them for accidentally triggering her return to human form, and she states that she is the only one capable of understanding their circumstances, as they are "the same". She further states that she wishes to "return what she took from them" and insists on returning to their hometown as their prisoner.
- Connie Springer - Connie is an antithesis to Ymir; Ymir is wily as Connie is obtuse. Ymir is selfish as Connie is empathetic. Connie has many friends as Ymir only has Krista as her friend. Inevitably they have an antagonistic acquaintance, often exchanging verbal barbs with each other. They have repeatedly clashed (one incident almost physically), as Ymir often made him the target of mockery and he called her pejorative names due to her haughty attitude. Even so, it would not be right to say that they are on completely bad terms; as Connie is quick to defend her when she appears before the soldiers in Titan form. Later, when he encounters her again during battle, he tells Krista that Ymir only acts seriously when it comes to protecting her, showing that even after her apparent betrayal, he still believes in her.
- Sasha Blouse - Ymir is not ashamed to take advantage of other people, especially if they are naive and simple-minded. She initially helps Sasha back to bed after she collapsed in exhaustion, and uses this to make Sasha feel indebted to her. It is shown that she often pushed her chores onto Sasha, but she also was the one to confront Sasha over hiding her real dialect/accent and demand that she not be ashamed of her roots.
- Eren Yeager - Ymir and Eren had few interactions prior to being kidnapped by Reiner and Bertolt, with him admitting he did not know her well at all. They quickly come to mistrust each other, due to Ymir's secretive nature. Ymir is critical of his short-sighted viewpoint and states that she cannot rely upon him for anything, instead choosing to side with the other Titan shifters.
- Her name Ymir is the very same as a primeval being in Norse mythology who is the progenitor of all Jotun, or ice giants, and the first living being. Ymir also means "the scream".
- Ymir is the only Titan shifter ever seen to look exactly the same as a mindless Titan and as an intelligent shifter.
- The official website mentions Ymir is in love with Historia (Krista).Also at the series panel for Animagic 2014, producer George Wada confirmed that Ymir and Krista are a couple.
- Ymir is the only known character that understands the unknown writing on a can of herring in Utgard Castle.
- Though she first appeared in chapter 5 of the manga, she is not named until chapter 36.
- Ymir spent 60 years as an ordinary Titan, and did not begin aging again until she regained her human form. This suggests that while Ymir is physically and mentally 17, her chronological age is most likely between 70 and 80 years of age.
- Unlike other Titan shifters who is original Titan form somewhat resembles their current one, the only change to Ymir's Titan form is a muscular lining across her chest.
- Ymir is tied with Nanaba and Traute Carven as the tallest female character in the series.
- In the original draft for the series, Ymir slacking off to give Krista the 10th rank is discussed immediately after graduation. In the published version, Krista does not confront her about this until much later.