After a tense second episode that opened with tons of action, Attack on Titan Season 3 moved forward with “Old Story,” avoiding any and all action to further ground the political intrigue at the heart of this season. In an episode that sidelines Eren completely, it’s become abundantly clear that the series’ former protagonist is no longer the most important character. And that’s for a hugely important reason.
Spoilers follow for Attack on Titan Season 3, Episode 3: “Old Story.”
“Old Story” finally delivers on Historia’s full backstory while also clarifying exactly how Titan Shifter powers get transferred, all the while putting Eren’s life totally in jeopardy.
Historia grew up with a cruel mother on a small farm in the northern region of Wall Rose, and one day Rod Reiss showed up to tell her that he was her father. But at the same time, Kenny the Ripper was there to threaten the life of Historia and her mother. We can only assume that Kenny functions as Reiss’ thug, murdering to protect the Reiss reputation. Rather than Reiss having a public mistress and illegitimate daughter, Kenny tries to kill them both to make it go away.
Historia’s mother does meet a gruesome end, but this is when Reiss suggests they call Historia “Christa Lenz” instead and they ship her off to become a military cadet. In the present day, Rod Reiss is happy to see the daughter he shunned for years and years — but only because of his grandiose plan to retake the throne.
Therein lies the huge connection to Eren.
Hange Zoë confirms to the renegade scouts that Titan Shifter powers transfer when a mindless Titan devours a Titan Shifter.
So not only does pretty much everybody support Historia taking the throne to usurp the current puppet king — that includes Rod Reiss himself and Commander Erwin, apparently — but Reiss’ plan is for Historia to devour and kill Eren.
We still don’t know exactly what happened to Rod Reiss and the rest of the true royal family, but it seems like Historia is the only family he has left.
“In that case, Eren is just a vessel who is bound to be replaced,” Hange Zoë explains to the group at one point. Eren’s come a long way from being humanity’s savior to just another “vessel,” but he’s never been in more danger. He was never particularly special in this world, just a kid whose father forced power upon him.
Unless the group rescues him soon from Rod Reiss, Eren could wind up as little more than Titan food.
Attack on Titan is available to stream via FunimationNow, Crunchyroll, and Hulu around 2 p.m. Eastern every Sunday.