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Attack on Titan Just Revealed Source of Reiner & Bertholdt’s Backstory from Season 1

Bertholdt's backstory

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On Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 3, there was a really big reveal about Reiner and Bertholdt that gave us even deeper insight into the characters. But if you missed it, we really can’t blame you because the episode was dense and packed with so many reveals. One scene was a clear callback to Season 1 and the comparison was fascinating.

Season 4 Episode 3 of #AttackonTitan had a clear callback to Season 1 Episode 3. Share on X

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. 🙂

The Source of the Backstory Bertholdt Told in Season 1 Was Just Revealed

In a particularly heartbreaking scene, we watch as a man tells Reiner and Bertholdt about how he was so scared of the titans when they attacked that he took off and abandoned three kids, who were likely eaten by the titans. He apparently got so scared that he lost all sense of anything else and had to flee like prey. He shared the story just before hanging himself, still wrought with guilt at the memory.

“I lived in Wall Maria, deep in the southeast mountains,” he shared. “It happened at dawn. The animals were all stirred up and I heard a strange rumbling. Thinking it was footsteps, I opened the window. The rest is a blur, but I ran away on my horse. Leaving behind three kids about the same age as you guys.”

This graphic shared by u/Skylenee on Reddit explains the similarity. Bertholdt told the exact same story in Season 1 Episode 3 that we saw being told to him in Season 4 Episode 3.

Reddit u/Skylenee

It’s crazy to think that they just adopted the story of the guy from a small village outside of Wall Maria and made it their own. But it also makes sense. If he was the only survivor, then there would be no one left alive to dispute their story and blow their cover. It was a smart move.

Comparison on Reddit
Comparison on Reddit by u/lorkeetv

This was an amazing moment that fans can’t stop talking about.

One Redditor noted that Bertholdt was haunted with guilt and pain over the lives he killed just like the man whose story he stole was also haunted. In fact, Reiner is haunted too and he still struggles with the deaths even more than Bertholdt, since Bertholdt ultimately went “full warrior” mode and flung off his misgivings.

On Reddit, antrix_AFC did come up with a question that I think is interesting. He asked: “What’s more interesting to me is why did he choose to say his story to these 3? Was it just him trying to speak out his regrets so he can blame himself a little less and escape the psychological push to suicide? And Bert has been having dreams about that man, and we were just left hanging after that??”

Yes, Bertholdt’s dreams seem to indicate that he was still haunted by the man’s words. Did the man tell them because he suspected or simply because he wanted to clear his conscience before he died? I’m guessing the latter.

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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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