|◄ Preceded by|| Zeke Yeager|
|Followed by ►|
|...Eren. Someday...I'll come to save you.|
|— Zeke to Eren Yeager|
Zeke Yeager (ジーク・イェーガー Jīku Yēgā?) is the warchief (戦士長 Senshi-chō?, also translated as "Captain" or "Commander") of Marley's Warriors, assigned to take the Founding Titan from inside the Walls. He is the current inheritor of the Beast Titan, and considered by Reiner Braun to be the strongest Warrior, contrasting Levi Ackerman's title of "humanity's strongest soldier."
He was first seen within Wall Rose during its supposed breach, after transforming the people of Ragako into Titans. He later led the attack against the Survey Corps during the battle of Shiganshina District, wiping many of them out. After the battle, he returned to Marley and defended his home from the Mid-East Allied Forces.
In his human form, Zeke has a tall, broad, well-toned body with shaggy, pale 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. After his return to Marley, and a four-year time skip, Zeke begins to sport a much more clean-cut look, contrasting with his look while on Paradis. He has his hair cut much shorter, so that it no longer falls into his eyes, and sports a thinner beard.
In his Titan form, Zeke 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.
Zeke is a very intelligent and curious man. 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 to use brute force. This was seen when he crushed the head of the Titan that was eating Mike as soon as it disobeyed him, or when he beat Reiner to make him and Bertolt focus on acquiring the Founding Titan instead of saving Annie.
Zeke also seems to be a cold, ruthless and sarcastic individual, though not explicitly sadistic. He killed several human soldiers without hesitation and let a group of Titans eat Mike when the latter had exhausted his usefulness, outwardly indifferent to the pain that he was about to endure. Instead, he mused over them speaking the same language. He planned on having the people within the Walls exterminated, after wiping out the Survey Corps and taking the Founding Titan.
Additionally, he prioritized the recovering of the Founding Titan over the rescue of his fellow Warrior, Annie, who was presumed to have been suffering under torture for several months already. 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 savage 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 during battle to not get worked up, and to find the "enjoyment" in life.
His personal view on the people of Paradis is not clear. He has ruthlessly killed innocents and turned others into Titans, all so he could use the chaos to walk into the Walls. Additionally, he promised Levi that he would wipe out his people after his death, suggesting a deep hatred for his fellow Eldians on Paradis. However, Zeke has never explicitly demonstrated any emotions of that nature, unlike his fellow Warriors who believe Marleyan propaganda and blame their suffering on Paradis.
Zeke is highly militaristic when acting as a warchief, threatening Reiner with death if he continued his disobedience and choosing to let Bertolt at the mercy of Eren so he could escape. Eren seems to be the only person he truly cares about, as he feels that they are both victims of their father. He promised to "save" him, which may be the reason he so eagerly wants to return to Paradis after the war against the Mid-East Allied Forces was won. He also shows great care for his grandparents because they took him in after he turned on his parents and was seen hugging them after returning to them.
Serving Marley as a ruthless Warrior, there is nothing he would not do in service of Marley. He told Reiner and Bertolt he wished to end their "cursed history" but did not specify what he actually meant.
Zeke's personality seems to have changed somewhat since returning to Marley. He is no longer outwardly cold or cruel, expressing how he feels that war is "not a good thing," and acting humbly around his superiors, only giving his word when he is allowed to speak. He also seems to share a friendly relationship with his fellow Warriors.
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 announced the Warrior program, asking for Eldian children between the ages of five to seven to serve as potential Warriors, with the promise that their families would be given the title of Honorary Marleyans and be ensured freedom within the country. Grisha decided to place his son Zeke into the program to play the role of a spy for his cause but, to his horror, by the time Zeke turned seven, he was so frighteningly brainwashed that he turned his own parents in to the Marley government. Soon after, Grisha and Dina were sentenced to be sent to Paradis as mindless Titans who eat their own kind. As a result, Zeke was raised by his grandparents.
Years later, Zeke became the eldest of the Warrior candidates to receive the power of the Titans. He spoke to his fellow Warriors about how the Marley government were preparing to begin the Paradis Island Operation in the next few years.
In the year 842, at the age of 17, Zeke inherited the power of the Beast Titan. It was subsequently discovered that through the administration of Zeke's spinal fluid into Subjects of Ymir, he would be able to trigger their transformation with a scream, and control their Titan forms afterward, even when the moon was out. These abilities could not be explained by the Titan Biology Research Society, who were unaware of Zeke's royal heritage.
One year after inheriting the Beast Titan, Zeke and his fellow Warriors, use their Titan forms to crush an entire nation. Zeke used his Beast Titan form to bombard enemies, in the midst of retreat, with explosive ammunition. With the battle being a large success, the Marleyan army regarded the new Warriors as more effective than their predecessors. When the Paradis Island Operation began, Zeke was kept in Marley alongside Pieck, as a deterrent to enemy nations.
StoryRagako into Titans, and sets them loose.
In the process, Zeke encounters Mike Zacharias, who instantly notes the strangeness of his characteristics, mistaking the Titan with a regular abnormal. As Mike's horse races back to him, Zeke grabs it and, noticing Mike, crushes the horse in his hand and launches it at him, preventing his escape and throwing him from the roof he was on. After Mike falls to the mouth of a Titan, Zeke orders the other Titans to withhold on eating him so that he can question Mike about his vertical maneuvering equipment.
However, one Titan disobeys Zeke and he crushes its head to release Mike. He then proceeds to interrogate Mike, but as the man neglects to respond out of shock, Zeke is forced to assume that they either do not speak the same language, or Mike is too frightened to respond to him. He notes that Mike uses swords, indicating that the soldiers of the Walls are aware that the nape is Titans' weakness, and removes Mike's equipment for further inspection. After stealing the equipment he hears Mike's cries of defiance, and allows the surrounding Titans to devour him. As Mike screams in horror and pain, Zeke is amused to see that he could in fact talk. He then leaves the grounds contemplating the vertical maneuvering equipment, ignoring Mike's screams.
Zeke is later seen again wandering around outside Utgard Castle where several members of the Survey Corps are trapped by Titans, despite them usually being inactive at night. He then climbs up Wall Rose and watches the Titans surrounding the tower from a distance.
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. Afterward, 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 recognizes him as his half-brother and tries to talk Eren down, claiming that they are both victims of his father. Eren is shocked by Zeke's resemblance to his father but before Zeke can further elaborate he is forced to retreat due to the arrival of Levi, whose sudden appearance takes Zeke by surprise. Promising to come back and "save" Eren, Zeke and Pieck leave Bertolt to his fate. While fleeing Shiganshina District, Zeke locates a severely injured Reiner and has Pieck rescue him from the remaining Survey Corps soldiers who have captured him.
Shortly after the battle of Shiganshina District, the Marley Mid-East War began. At some point during the war, it was decided that Warrior candidate Colt Grice would one day inherit Zeke's Beast Titan.
At the climax of the war, Zeke takes part in the assault on Fort Slava. As Eldian captives parachute down from an airship, Zeke uses his royal blood powers to transform the captives into Titans, inflicting a devastating airstrike upon Fort Slava. After the Armored Titan destroys the Anti-Titan artillery, Zeke transforms into the Beast Titan and joins the battle. Using leftover artillery rounds as projectiles, he destroys the Mid-East Allied Forces fleet. The fleet themselves fire upon Zeke before their destruction, but Reiner's Armored Titan saves Zeke, being destroyed in the process.
After the conclusion of the battle, Zeke takes part in a meeting with Marley officials to discuss the war's conclusion and Marley's future. Here, Zeke suggests resuming the Paradis Island Operation to retake the Founding Titan as soon as possible, using the full power of his Beast Titan before the time comes for Colt to inherit it. When reminded that Marley can't rely entirely on Titans anymore, Zeke mentions that Marley can also use this time to improve their own military ordinance for their ground troops while they seek out the Founding TItan on Paradis.
After the meeting, Zeke speaks with Colt about his powers as the Beast Titan. Colt calls Zeke special, unaware along with Marley about Zeke's royal blood. Zeke feigns ignorance over the reasons behind his powers, but promises that Colt will know his secrets after inheriting his Titan. Commander Magath joins the conversation, and they discuss the 32 survey ships that have disappeared when sent to Paradis. Zeke speculates that Paradis has control over four titans, with two dwelling within Eren Yeager. He also speculates, using at least two Titans, Paradis sunk or blocked the 32 missing survey ships. Zeke informs Magath of the anti-titan weaponry, as well as the existence of the Ackerman family and says underestimating these factors were what led to his defeat.
Zeke later holds an unofficial meeting, attended by his fellow Warriors and Colt. He speaks about the worlds growing animosity towards Eldians, as well the future in which conventional weaponry will eclipse Titan weaponry. He also expresses worry for the future of the Eldian race for these reasons. Zeke states that to solve these concerns, Marley must continue with the plan to regain the Founder, with the prestigious Tybur family narrating the Warriors plans to the world, giving the Eldians within Marley an extent of clout. These points are debated among the Warriors, with him and Pieck staying on the same wavelength throughout. The unofficial meeting had been tapped by Marleyan authorities, with Zeke seemingly aware of this fact.
Along with the Warriors, Zeke attends to a meeting with his superiors where they explain their plans for the new operation on Paradis. Later, as Colt states his brother does not need to become a Warrior, Zeke calls him to order but quickly softens up. He then leads Colt away to play a game of catch.
Zeke later comes with the Warriors for Willy Tybur's speech and when Falco asks Reiner to accompany him, Zeke allows it since there is still time before the play begins. Just as the show is starting, a Marley soldier informs the remaining Warriors that Magath has summoned them. Whilst being walked to Magath's apparent location, the soldier instructs Zeke to split off and go through the front gate, which he obliges.
Later, after hearing the battle between the Attack Titan, the War Hammer Titan and the military, Zeke transforms into the Beast Titan. He approaches the battlefield and joins the Cart and Jaw Titans; Zeke then gives the order to annihilate the enemy while staring down the Survey Corps and locking eyes with Levi. He provides artillery once more by launching debris at the soldiers; he nearly gets attacked by two soldiers but is saved by Pieck. He has her provide covering fire from behind and he repels the Survey Corps back. He then announces that Eren Yeager is not his enemy, but another soldier from Paradis is; Levi Ackerman. He calls out to Levi and demands him to come face him again, noting that 'time is running out'. Shortly afterward, he notices Armin's transformation into the Colossus Titan from the nearby harbor along with everyone else.
While the explosion has everyone distracted, Levi seizes his opportunity and catches Zeke by surprise and attacks the nape of his Titan. Successfully doing so, the Beast Titan falls into a prone position, and is unable to defend itself as Levi immediately throws a bomb into the open nape. It then detonates, shocking the other Warriors (and the rest of the Marley forces present) with the presumed loss of their most capable Warrior.
Zeke is able to transform into a 17-meter Titan referred to as the Beast Titan (獣の巨人 Kemono no Kyojin?). 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. He retains his ability to speak even when transformed.
Beast Titan's Statistics :
Some of his abilities are:
- Titan Control: Unlike most other Titans, 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. Zeke's control is eventually revealed to be limited to those Titans that were transformed with injections directly from his own spinal fluid and a result of his being descended from the Fritz royal bloodline. However, his control over the Titans is not absolute, as the Gluttonous Titan continued to chew on Mike, despite Zeke ordering it not to.
- Regeneration: Just like all Titans, Zeke has the ability to regenerate at a tremendous speed any wound on his Titan or human body. After being 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 Subjects of Ymir 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, all human must be injected with Zeke's spinal fluid and 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 human-controlled Titans.
- 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 - As a fellow Warrior, 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 give up his Titan, and his life in the process, to another Warrior if he ever challenges Zeke to combat and loses again. Four years after their defeat, Zeke still seems to hold Reiner in contempt blaming both himself and Reiner for the war with the Mid-East Allies and the current situation with the Eldians. Although the two of them are still able to work together in the battlefield with Reiner taking enemy fire in Zeke's stead.
- 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 powers are enough to keep anyone from attempting to harm her.
- Grisha Yeager - Grisha was Zeke's father, 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 for using him. 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. He has disowned Grisha as his father even viewing himself as Grisha's "former" son and calling him detestable, which is another sign of his disdain for his father.
- Eren Yeager - Eren is Zeke's younger half-brother. Though they have not had much interaction, Zeke recognized him immediately and told Eren that he understands him and wants him to believe him that they both were victims of their father's brainwashing. Eren was surprised by Zeke's resemblance to his father and was initially confused when Zeke said that someday he will come to save him. Of particular note, Zeke's turning on their father indirectly led to Eren's birth. Also interesting, Zeke's mother was the Titan that killed Eren's mother although he is unaware of this.
- Colt Grice - As the candidate set to inherit the Beast Titan from Zeke, the two share a close camaraderie. Colt greatly admires Zeke's high status and influence in the Marley military and his unique ability to create and control Titans. The two have a mentor and protégé relationship with Colt standing by his side in important meetings and even playing catch together probably as a form of training for the Beast titan's long-range attacks.
- Theo Magath - Magath has evidently watched over Zeke to some extent throughout the 22 years Zeke has spent in service to Marley. While he expects Zeke to display the respect towards Marleyan authority that would be expected of any Eldian, he nonetheless openly expresses how impressed Zeke leaves him with his words and actions. He is willing to disclose valuable military information with Zeke, and even accepts his advice on the issues faced by such matters.
- Pieck - Zeke and Pieck appear to share a close camaraderie. During a meeting in his office, Zeke is shown to greatly admire Pieck's intellect and ability to deduce and solve problems.
- Levi Ackerman - As the Beast Titan and superior to Annie, Reiner, and Bertolt, Zeke serves as one of Levi's greatest enemies. In turn, Levi's status as humanity's strongest soldier made him a priority target for Zeke. During the battle of Shiganshina, Levi blinded and severely wounded Zeke. In vengeance, he told the remaining Titans to kill Levi. While trying to save Bertolt shortly afterward, Zeke was shocked to see Levi had survived and followed him, forcing him into a tactical retreat. Four years later, when Zeke returned to Marley and reported the events, he admitted that he never wanted to meet Levi or any Ackerman again. After Levi helps lead a surprise attack on Marley, Zeke remembers their last encounter and does not hesitate to order Levi killed.
- Mr. Yeager and Mrs. Yeager - Are Zeke's grandparents on his father's side, following the arrest of his parents, Zeke was cared for by them. Zeke loves them greatly as he was seen fondly greeting them after he returns home after the conclusion of the Marley Mid-East War.
- Previous holder of the Beast Titan (as a mindless Titan)
- Marlowe Freudenberg
- SC soldier D
- Erwin Smith
- Cavalry and Infantry unit of unnamed nation
- At least 48 unnamed Survey Corps members
- Mid-East Union naval fleet
- Mike Zacharias
- Ragako's inhabitants
- Numerous counts of unnamed Mid-East Allied Forces soldiers
- Levi Ackerman
- Hange Zoë
- Jean Kirstein
- Connie Springer
- Sasha Blouse
- Zeke's first appearance was in a sketch by Hajime Isayama given to the Ueno Park Royal Museum, before his first manga appearance in Chapter 70.
- 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's Titan appearance resembles several cryptids, such as the Sasquatch/Bigfoot, Yeti, and Yowie.
- He is the only human with the power of the Titans 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.
- 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.
- In Chapter 86, a young Zeke is seen playing with a long-armed monkey toy, foreshadowing his Beast Titan form in his later life.
- Zeke and Historia Reiss are the only living people who have royal blood.