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What Did Annie’s Grasshopper Scene Mean on Attack on Titan?

Annie's grasshopper scene

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Fans have different theories about what it meant when Annie killed that bug (grasshopper) on Season 4 Episode 3 of Attack on Titan. Here’s a look at the possible meaning behind that insect scene.

Here's the meaning behind that scene with Annie and the grasshopper on #AttackonTitan. Click To Tweet

This article will have spoilers for Season 4 Episode 3, but the article itself is manga-spoiler-free. Please don’t add spoilers from the manga in the comments. Thanks. 🙂 

One Theory Is That It Shows She Was Always Drawn to Killing

Some fans think the scene simply means that Annie is drawn to killing and often disregards life around her. On Reddit, u/i__rage ascribes to this theory. They think the scene indicates that she has always enjoyed killing to some degree. She didn’t just step on the grasshopper. She demolished it and spent time killing it.

And while there is some truth to that, at least in her titan form, another fan pointed out that we’ve also seen her regret killing people. She had a tough time killing Marco and really struggled with it.

But in her titan form, she didn’t seem to care that much. Remember how she even seemed to toy with her prey, spinning one person around like a yo-yo before killing them? It’s possible that in titan form, killing becomes more desirable, as Eren seemed to struggle with that too. But Annie in titan form doesn’t seem to struggle; she embraces it.

In her human form, she truly struggled at times, which was probably why she purposefully kept herself so distant from everyone, so she wouldn’t grow too attached. We also saw that in her OVA episode.

Here’s an example of how differently people see how Annie regards life:

But here’s an opposite take:

It appears Annie’s feelings about cruelty and life are going to be debated for some time.

The Scene Shows Us How Cruel the World Is

But another take — and the one that I’m drawn to — is that the scene was just another reminder of how cruel this world can be in Attack on Titan. That’s been a driving theme throughout the series.

Redditor Ren_Davis0531 wrote:

The point of the scene is to illustrate how cruel the world can be. Think back to when Mikasa realized that the world was cruel when her father returned home after killing ducks for them to eat. Mikasa also saw an insect being eaten by a preying mantis as well. In order for certain life to live other kinds of life have to die. It’s the complexity of life that we as humans have no problem with killing insects just like some people have no problem with dehumanizing their enemy to make it easier to kill them. Both Annie, Reiner, and Bertolt struggle with the idea of having to kill the Paradisian Eldians just to fight for Marley.

I lean toward Ren_Davis0531’s explanation. We’ve seen insects (and other “innocent deaths”) used in the series before to the same effect. This scene with Annie was continuing a theme. Life in Attack on Titan is cruel no matter which side you’re on. It doesn’t make sense. And we’re reminded of that in both big and small ways in every episode.

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    Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. She's a licensed attorney and has a master's in science and technology journalism. You can reach her at [email protected].

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