On Season 4 Episode 10 of Attack on Titan, the characters finally addressed Eren’s strange reaction regarding Sasha from two episodes prior. Here’s a look at what was said and the truth behind Eren’s reaction.
This article will have spoilers for Season 4 Episode 10, but the article itself is manga-spoiler-free. Please don’t add spoilers from the manga in the comments. Thanks. :)
Why Did Eren Laugh?
In Episode 8, when Eren learned about Sasha’s untimely and heartbreaking death on the airship, he laughed. But he didn’t laugh when he found out she died. He laughed when he heard that her last words were “Meat.” It wasn’t a joyous-sounding laugh either. It was a strained, heartbroken, “the world is far too cruel” kind of laugh.
But that’s not how Conny saw it.
In Episode 10, Conny revealed that he was shocked and devastated when he heard Eren laugh. He asked Mikasa: “When Sasha died, what did Eren do? Did he cry? Did he regret his actions? … He laughed. What part of it was funny to him? What part of Sasha dying? Explain it to me, Mikasa. Why was Eren laughing? You know everything about him, right?”
At that point, Armin offered that he and Mikasa would talk to Eren alone to get a better idea of what he was thinking, his plans, and why he did what he did in Marley.
Interestingly, there was plenty of time to ask Eren why he laughed. Conny or anyone else could have gone to him, but they didn’t.
In my opinion, Eren’s laughter had nothing to do with thinking Sasha’s death was funny. Sure, her last words were “Meat,” which is just perfectly Sasha. That might have elicited a slight fond chuckle. But Eren’s laugh was more about grief escaping, even if in a non-traditional, less appopriate way.
On Reddit, some commenters agree.
You can see how Eren laughed when Hannes was eaten by a Titan at around 1:40 in the video below:
Laughing actually isn’t that uncommon of a grief response. But Conny, in his own grief, can’t see that. This happens in real life too. Sometimes you see people claiming a tragedy didn’t “really happen” because someone laughed in a press conference after their loved one died. Or you see people judging someone at a funeral for laughing, when it’s the only way they can handle their grief. In traumatic times, it’s really best for us all to give each other some grace and not judge another person’s responses.
In fact, for Eren, this is how he sometimes reacts to especially horrific losses, as we saw when Hannes died. Mikasa was with him to see that, so she might be expected to remember his previous grief response. But it was very traumatic for her too, and no one else was around when it happened.
So yes, Eren did laugh. But no, it wasn’t out of character for him and it wasn’t because he thought Sasha’s death was funny. It was because he was especially traumatized by what happened.