If you watched Attack on Titan Episode 85 (also known as Season 4 Episode 26), then you might have been wondering who the man was that Conny saw in his memory when he had that brief flashback. Don’t worry if you didn’t recognize him, since you might not recognize him via MAPPA’s version. (Even though MAPPA is amazing this season!)
Conny Saw Bertholdt in His Memory
It’s Bertholdt that Conny saw crying in his memory flashback.
At that moment, Armin was trying to drag his bleeding body over to stop Daz, but Daz pushed him away and held a gun to his head.
Daz and Samuel had been friends to Conny and Armin. They had fought alongside them since season 1, and Samuel had an especially close connection to Sasha. (You can read more about that in our story here.)
So it stands to reason that Armin and Conny didn’t want to kill them. They were so close at one point. Now they’re on opposite sides, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still want to be on the same side.
So right at the moment when Daz was getting ready to shoot Armin in the head, which would assuredly kill Armin even if he is a Titan, Conny remembered Bertholdt.
He remembered Bertholdt saying, “Someone has to be the one to do it. Someone has to be the one to stain their hands with blood.” And in his memory, Bertholdt said it while he had tears in his eyes.
That’s what allowed him to kill Daz before he could kill Armin. (And yes, Armin, would have died. Only Reiner has shown the ability to distribute his consciousness to other parts of his body in order to survive.) Then he immediately killed Samuel, while Samuel was screaming for him to stop. Was that killing even necessary?
Bertholdt Said the Quote to Conny in Season 2 Episode 11
Bertholdt said this quote in Season 2 Episode 11, after he and Reiner took Eren. It was a pivotal moment, when Conny couldn’t even believe that his former comrades had done that to him. Here’s a video of the moment leading up to it.
Conny asked Bertholdt, “This whole time, you kept quiet and deceived us? That’s so cruel!” He then later asks him if everything was a lie.
Bertholdt says, “Tell me who. Who the hell would want to kill people by their own choice? Who the hell would like doing this sort of thing? Do you think I wanted to do this?! People hate and despise us. We’ve done terrible things. We deserve to die. Things we’ll never be able to take back. But, we just, couldn’t come to terms with our sins. The only time we had some respite was when we pretended to be soldiers. That’s not a lie! Conny! Jean! It’s true we may have deceived everyone, but it’s not all a lie! We really considered you comrades. Neither of have even have the right to apologize. But someone, please. Someone please. Someone find us!”
It’s shortly after this that Bertholdt says that pivotal phrase. Mikasa tells him to give Eren back, and he says he can’t. That’s when he says, “Someone has to be the one to do it. Someone has to bet he one to stain their hands with blood.”
It appears that when Conny remembers this scene, for the first time, he understands things from Bertholdt’s perspective. He’s had more of a black-and-white viewpoint about everything up until that point, which had also helped him hate Eren without any reservation. But now, he has to be the one to stain his hands with blood.
I can only guess that in Conny’s pain and anguish, he’s going to see things from a very different perspective from now on.