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|It's a tragedy that King Reiss took the memories of the world away from them. Because of that, they make the same mistakes over and over again.|
|— Zeke as he is suicide-charged by the Survey Corps|
Zeke Yeager (ジーク・イェーガー Jīku Yēgā?) is the warchief (戦士長 Senshi-chō?) of the Eldian warriors serving the Marley government with the purpose to retake the Founding Titan, the "Coordinate", for Marley, and is considered by Reiner Braun to be the strongest out of all the warriors, contrasting with Levi Ackerman's title of "humanity's strongest soldier".
He was first seen within Wall Rose during its supposed breach, where he was the culprit of transforming the people of Ragako into Titans. He also acted as the main foe to the Survey Corps during the battle of Shiganshina District, and was responsible for the deaths of many soldiers, including that of the 13th commander Erwin Smith.
In his human form, Zeke has a tall, broad, well-toned body with shaggy blond hair and a matching mustache that descends down into his beard. He was seen wearing no shirt, loose pants, combat boots, and circular glasses. He also has a large scar running down his left arm.
In his Titan form, he is an extremely unusual specimen, having a distinct, ape-like appearance. His body structure and facial features are like that of a human's, he walks upright like one as well. He stands at a previously unseen 17 meters in height. Dark fur covers the large majority of his body, with the exception of his face, hands, feet, and torso. His arms are also elongated, with long fingers and fully-functional thumbs. The proportions of his upper body are similar to those of the Colossus Titan, possessing a massive chest and small head, as well as disproportionately slim arms. His Titan's eyes possess dark sclera and irises, making it difficult to determine where he is looking at any given moment.
- Main article: Zeke Yeager/Image Gallery
Zeke is a very intelligent and curious person. He tried to communicate with Mike Zacharias in order to get information about the vertical maneuvering equipment and learn about Mike's language. He has the traits of a leader, giving orders and telling other people, sometimes even Titans, what to do. While he was talking with Mike, he told the Titan that was eating him to hold him instead of devouring him. If his orders are not followed, he does not hesitate on using brute force, like when he crushed the head of the Titan that was eating Mike when it disobeyed him or when he beat Reiner to make him and Bertolt focus on his plans instead of saving Annie.
Zeke also seems to be a cruel, sadistic, and sarcastic individual. He killed several human soldiers without hesitation and let a group of Titans eat Mike when he stopped being useful, not caring about the pain that he was about to endure. Instead, he mocked him, saying that he discovered that they speak the same language.
Additionally, he prioritized the recovering of the Founding Titan over the rescue of his fellow warrior Annie, who was presumed to be suffering torture since months ago. It is notable, however, that he did not believe Annie had truly been captured nor tortured by her captors.
However, in spite of Zeke's cruel tendencies, he has been shown to take pity on the citizens living within the Walls, feeling that it is a "tragedy" that they continually sacrifice their lives trying to leave the Walls because their memories of the world have been taken away. To deal with these doubts, Zeke will often remind himself while in battle to not get worked up, and to find the "enjoyment" in life.
In one of the books left behind in Grisha Yeager's basement, it is revealed that Zeke is the only son of Grisha Yeager and Dina Fritz, who were planning to overthrow the Marley government and put the Eldians back in power. Grisha was among the rebels when the Marley government started the warrior program, asking for Eldian children aged from five to seven as potentional warriors and claimed that the families of the seven chosen warriors will be given the title of Honorary Marleyans and ensured freedom within the country. Grisha decided to get his son Zeke into the program as a mole for his cause but, to his horror, by the time Zeke turned seven he was so frighteningly brainwashed that he turned his parents in to the Marley government and they were sentenced to be sent to Paradis as mindless Titans who eat their own kind.
StoryMike Zacharias, who instantly notes the strangeness of his characteristics, mistaking the Titan with a regular abnormal. He displays an unexpected behavior when he grabs Mike's horse and launches it at him, preventing his escape and throwing him from the roof he was on.
After Mike falls to the mouth of another Titan, Zeke orders the other Titans to not eat him so that he can question Mike about the vertical maneuvering equipment. However, the Titan disobeys him and Zeke crushes its head to release Mike.
Zeke then proceeds to interrogate Mike, but as he neglects to respond out of shock, he theorizes that Mike does not speak due to them not speaking the same language, or Mike being too afraid. After inspecting the equipment, he allows the surrounding Titans to devour Mike. As Mike screams in horror, the Beast Titan is amused to see that they did actually speak the same language after all. He finally leaves the scene contemplating the vertical maneuvering equipment.
As the soldiers manage to fend off an attack, he suddenly turns his attention towards them. He begins to break off chunks of the Wall, hurling them long distances at the members of the Survey Corps trapped in Utgard Castle. The first shot kills their horses, and the second kills Lynne and Henning.
He then howls, summoning more Titans to continue the assault on the castle. Nanaba angrily notes that he seems to be intentionally toying with them. Afterwards, he climbs over the Wall and disappears into the lost territory of Wall Maria.
When Ymir and Eren are kidnapped by Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover, Ymir states that the Beast Titan is directly responsible for the appearance of Titans within Wall Rose; possibly in order to "test" humanity's strength. She also notes that the reaction of Reiner and Bertolt to his appearance resembled gawking, excited children. She theorizes that locating him became one of their goals after his initial sighting and that it is key for them to return to their village.
In the aftermath of Eren's failed kidnapping, an investigation is performed at the village of Ragako. The investigation confirms the suspicion that the villagers had been transformed into Titans, though the methods employed by the Beast Titan remain undisclosed.
Two months after Historia Reiss is crowned queen, Zeke is shown in Shiganshina District defeating the Armored Titan in battle. While Bertolt takes out Reiner's body from his Titan form, Zeke emerges from his Titan body, telling Bertolt and Reiner to worry about Annie's rescue later. He then reveals his plan to ambush the Survey Corps in Shiganshina with their help in order to capture Eren and steal the "Coordinate", their top priority.
After some time, the Survey Corps initiate the operation to retake Wall Maria. After Eren manages to seal the outer gate of Shiganshina, Zeke, Reiner, and Bertolt launch their operation. After Reiner's failed attack and its momentary downfall, Zeke transforms along with a numerous horde of Titans outside the Wall. After that, he picks up a giant boulder and launches it at the inner gate, so that the Horses could not get over it, as well as keeping the soldiers from running away, which would allow the Titans to wipe out the Survey Corps. Zeke then starts walking slowly towards the city with a maniacal grin on his face. He then roars, ordering smaller Titans to attack the Survey Corps' horses, while having the larger Titans form a circle around the entrance of Shiganshina district in order to prevent the soldiers from escaping.
When Reiner gets incapacitated, events before the battle are shown where Zeke is talking to Reiner and Bertolt the night before the Survey Corps' arrival. He tells them not to worry about Annie and questions their resolve when they doubt his words. He goes as far as to threaten Reiner with a rematch if they still doubt his decision. He then talks how they need to regain the Coordinate in order to put an end to something he calls the "cursed history." They are shortly after interrupted by Pieck, a fellow warrior with a quadrupedal Titan, who informs them of the Survey Corps' arrival.
Back in the battle of Shiganshina, incapacitated Reiner roars in his Titan form, signalling Zeke to throw a barrel containing Bertolt towards Reiner's location. After sending Bertolt over the Wall, Zeke begins assaulting the Survey Corps north of the district with a barrage of stones, breaking the sound barrier and utterly vaporizing the Survey Corps present, forcing Levi and the rest of the soldiers to retreat to the base of the Wall. As he continues to throw stones, Zeke notices a large group of soldiers, led by Erwin Smith, riding toward him. Surprised by the attack, Zeke notes that he had expected better of them before, before throwing a barrage of stones at them.
Pieck carries Zeke into Shiganshina, where he locates and approaches Eren, who is holding Bertolt hostage. Zeke tries to talk Eren down, claiming that they are both victims of their father, but before he can elaborate he is forced to retreat due to the arrival of Levi, promising as he flees to "save" Eren. After retreating, Zeke locates a severely injured Reiner, and has Pieck rescue him from the remaining Survey Corps soldiers who have captured him.
Zeke is able to transform into a 17-meter Titan referred to as the Beast Titan (獣の巨人 Kemono no Kyojin?) in the series. He used this form when he transformed the inhabitants of Ragako, wandering between the Walls in his Titan form, and when he fights Reiner in Shiganshina District, so that he follows his commands. It is unknown how he gained his power. He retains his human mind, even when transformed, allowing him to do delicate tasks, even speaking.
Beast Titan's Statistics :
Some of his abilities are:
- Titan Control: Unlike other Titan shifters, he is able to fluently speak without issue in his Titan form, casually talking to other Titans and even giving them orders which they follow blindly.
- Regeneration: Just like all Titans, Zeke has the ability to regenerate at a tremendous speed any wound on his Titan or human body. After been fatally wounded by Levi, Zeke seems to have healed part of his face when he encounters Eren.
- Enhanced Strength: He possesses great physical strength, sufficient enough to pick up a horse or even break off large chunks from Wall Rose and hurl them at a great distance away. His throwing ability is second to none, and he creates a visible sonic boom when he throws rocks, effectively throwing them faster than over 700 feet per second. He also seems to possess dexterous hands, as he managed to retrieve Mike's vertical maneuvering equipment without damaging him or the equipment.
- Human Transformation: Zeke possesses a scream that can transform humans into Titans. These Titans, unlike the regular Titans encountered, were capable of functioning at night, though Hange has theorized that this may be because of the full moon at the time since moonlight is just reflected sunlight. In order for the human to turn into a Titan, Zeke must use his scream at the targets, after doing so they turn into Titans.These Titans seem to obey his orders. He also appears to have the ability to repel Titans as the Titans never attack him like they would other Titan shifters.
- Hardening: Zeke is able to harden his Titan body at will to protect himself from attacks. During his brief battle with Levi, he tries to harden the nape of his neck to protect himself. However, this ability needs some time to prepare, as Levi was faster than he is, cutting Zeke before he could harden himself.
- Fighting Skills: He seems to be a very formidable fighter, since he was able to defeat the Armored Titan and inflict him considerable damage without sustaining any visible injury. He is also mentioned as "the most powerful Titan" in the final notes of Chapter 70. According to Reiner, while Levi is indeed powerful, the former claims that he is no match for their lead warrior. It is unknown if Zeke possesses some combat knowledge outside his Titan form.
- Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover - Zeke serves as Reiner and Bertolt's superior as their Warchief. While offering encouragement to the two warriors, he does not hesitate in displaying his dominance as Warchief, settling disagreements he has with them through combat, as demonstrated by his fight with Reiner over his decision to forsake Annie's well-being in favor of waiting in Shiganshina for the Founding Titan. He is also not above threatening them, as seen when he threatens to have Reiner surrender his armor, and his life in the process, to another warrior if he ever challenges Zeke to combat and loses again.
- Annie Leonhart - Zeke appears to be very familiar with Annie, as displayed by his knowledge of her expertise in kicks and his tendency to affectionately refer to her as "Little Annie" (アニちゃん Ani-chan?). Despite this familiarity, he made the decision to wait to save Annie until after he had received the Founding Titan, prioritizing the power over Annie. However, despite his apparent lack of care for Annie, Zeke seems to trust her abilities to an extent, explaining to Bertolt and Reiner that he believes Annie is fine, and in hiding, as she is skilled enough to avoid being captured, and her Titan shifting abilities are enough to keep anyone from attempting to harm her.
- Grisha Yeager - When the Marley government decided to recruit Eldian warriors, Grisha forced Zeke to enlist as the Eldia Restorationists' mole. For two years, his parents forced their beliefs and philosophy into Zeke's mind, eventually causing him to turn on them because of their mistreatment. Aside from disliking his mother, Zeke grew to hate his father. Around twenty years later, Zeke mentions to Eren when meeting him that the two of them are "victims" of Grisha and have been brainwashed by him, showing his dislike for his father.
- Eren Yeager - Zeke is Eren's older half-brother. Though they have not had much interaction, Zeke told Eren that he understands him and wants him to believe him that they both were victims of their father's brainwashing and said that someday he will come to save him. Of note, Zeke's mother was the Titan that killed Eren's mother.
- Connie Springer - As the mysterious Titan is responsible for the destruction of Ragako and the transformation of Connie's family and friends into Titans. Connie swears vengeance against him, stating firmly that he will never forgive those responsible and that next time, they have to kill him. Connie is currently unaware of Zeke's connection to Eren.
- Unnamed Titan shifter (mindless Titan)
- Marlowe Freudenberg
- Erwin Smith
- At least 49 unnamed Survey Corps members
- Zeke's Titan appearance resembles several cryptids, such as the Sasquatch/Bigfoot, Yeti, and Yowie.
- He appears to have had limited to no contact with the humans inside the Walls for a long time, as he expresses interest in humanity's vertical maneuvering equipment. He also wondered whether or not he speaks the same language as Mike.
- He ranks 3rd on the Titan Popularity Poll.
- He makes an appearance in Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind.
- Hajime Isayama has unofficially showed a "mysterious character" in Japan, which resembles Zeke.
- He is the only human/Titan shifter seen so far whom regular Titans do not attempt to attack.
- In the final notes of Chapter 70, Zeke is described as "the most powerful Titan". However, this is contradictory with his stats revealed in Attack on Titan Guidebook where he got a 7 (of 10) in "power", being surpassed by the Armored Titan with 8 and the Colossus Titan with 11.
- Hange thought that the reason why the Titans that Zeke created were able to move at night was because moonlight is just a reflection of sunlight, which can be used to power the Titans.
- Zeke's name is the shortened form of "Ezekiel", which is Hebrew in origin meaning "God will strengthen". In Biblical literature, Ezekiel was a prophet among the Hebrews exiled to Babylon who prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and Israel's restoration.
- Zeke appears to be a fan of baseball, referring to his boulder tosses as "pitches" with the hopes of achieving a "perfect game" in the battle of Shiganshina.
- Zeke seems to be a person which suffers from cat's tongue (猫舌 Nekojita?) which means that he cannot stand hot or spicy food.
- He shares a birthday with Reiner Braun.
|My word, they really do think up interesting things.|
|— Zeke admiring the vertical maneuvering equipment|
|Don't you know you should be trying to retake the Coordinate? Wait here and they'll show up, after all.|
|— Zeke to Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover|
|What're you getting so worked up for? You're not like your father, remember? You need to find joy in every little thing.|
|— Zeke to himself|