• Zeke Yeager, a divisive character in Attack on Titan, betrays his parents and friends, leading to devastating consequences.
  • Zeke’s ruthless actions, including killing beloved characters and turning innocent children into Titans, highlight his dark fanaticism.
  • Serving Marley as a weapon of war, Zeke’s ultimate goal of euthanizing his race creates a morally complex and tragic narrative.

Zeke Yeager is one of the more divisive characters in Attack on Titan. The half-brother of the main protagonist, Eren Yeager, Zeke plays a major part in the story from the very beginning but does not unveil his presence until later in the show. His first few appearances are as a ruthless and mysterious beast, Titan, who possesses an ability to control pure titans.


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One of the major antagonists of the show, Zeke, has committed many heinous acts over the course of the series, which left many fans feeling a lot of anger toward him. While most of his actions were towards what he considered a noble goal and an opportunity to minimize the suffering of his people on the continent and in Paradis, he ended up paying an incredibly high price to achieve this goal.

8 Betrayed His Parents

Doomed Grisha And Dina

Grisha Yeager kneeling

When Eren reads the tale Grisha left for him to discover one day, he learns, along with the audience, that Zeke was raised to despise Marley and its oppression of Eldians. However, in a twist of fate, Zeke ends up betraying his parents’ ideals and uncovers their plans to the Marley police, which inevitably dooms Grisha and Dina to be exiled and turned into titans.

Later in the series, it is revealed that Zeke did it out of desperation. Due to his father’s fanaticism, he sees his son as more of a weapon rather than a person. Zeke befriends Tom Ksaver, the current holder of the beast Titan, and believes that the only way to end Eldians’ suffering is by euthanizing them. Therefore, he views Grisha’s cause as vain and pointless.

7 Served Marley

Became A Weapon Of War

The Beast Titan Smiling after the Survey Corps is decimated in Attack on Titan

While not having much of a choice in his quest to prove himself a loyal ally to Marley, Zeke became one of the warriors, an elite group of Titan shifters whose purpose was to aid Marley’s conquests in wars. This included putting fear in the hearts of countless nations and decimating armies, which put the blood of many people on Zeke’s hands.

The culmination of this service is the operation to Paradis, in which Zeke played a pivotal role. He fought against his people, whom he supposedly wanted to save from suffering, wreaking unimaginable havoc in his beast titan form. Many fans and characters could not overlook Zeke’s crimes and the destruction he caused during his time on Paradis.

6 Betrayed His Friends

Left The Warriors Behind

Reiner Revealing That He Is The Colossal Titan

While the Warriors were not a moral group and committed multiple crimes, Zeke, they were close and incredibly loyal friends. There were multiple times when people such as Reiner followed Zeke’s lead and put their desires aside, such as when Reiner and Berthold wanted to save Annie instead of focusing on their mission.


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However, Zeke ends up playing a long game and betrays the warriors when the time comes to go on with his plan. This betrayal hurts Reiner, Pieck, and Porco, all of whom consider Zeke a friend. This shows that whatever feelings he might have for other people, Zeke will always choose the advancement of his cause over their well-being.

5 Wanted To Euthanize A Race

Was Willing To Commit Genocide

Zeke AOT

Zeke’s goal is born of desperation. He has seen far too much suffering in the world around him and simply cannot justify being born into it as anything but a curse. His euthanization plan was to prevent Eldians from having children on a biological level, therefore allowing his race to slowly fade into obscurity and the powers of the Titans to disappear.

While it is a more humane form of genocide than forcefully exterminating the living populace, it still forces a race to die out. Many Eldians who want to have children will never have the opportunity to do so and will see their race die out. Zeke believes it is a grim reality necessary, but it results in Eldian people dying out forever.

4 Killed Mike

Slaughtered The Second Best Humanity’s Soldier

The Beast Titan studying the 3D Maneuver Gear in Attack on Titan

Zeke’s first appearance in the story was as Beast Titan, and his brutality and ruthlessness immediately made him a memorable character, along with his mystery. He kills Mike, who is considered to be humanity’s second strongest soldier, depriving the protagonists of the story of yet another comrade.


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However, how he kills Mike adds to the brutality of this scene. Zeke begins by killing the horse and thus cutting the scout’s way out, then talks right in front of him, which horrifies Mike, and then orders his obedient titans to tear the man apart, leaving the audience with him screaming as Zeke casually leaves.

3 Turned Levi’s Men Into Titans

Conducted A Merciless Ploy

Zeke turning Levi's Squad into Titans

One of the most rage-filled conflicts between characters in Attack on Titan has been between Zeke and Levi. This started with Zeke killing countless scouts, including Erwin, who sacrificed themselves to give Levi a chance to strike at the Beast Titan. Ever since, Levi wanted revenge and despised Zeke, but stayed his blade for a time in season 4.

However, the new Levi’s squad became victim to the same ploy as many people in Paradis, as they were tricked into drinking Zeke’s spinal fluid. When the time came, Zeke unleashed his scream and turned all of them into titans, forcing Levi to kill even more of his friends and bringing more trauma to the season scout.

2 Killed Erwin

Ended The Path Of A Beloved Character

attack on titan anime erwin smith standing

Among the characters in Attack on Titan, Erwin is one of the most mature and calculated. Being the leader of the scouts, he was someone many characters looked up to, and almost everyone respected. His desire to learn the truth about humanity’s situation made Erwin a very complex, engaging character.


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He met his tragic demise at the hands of Zeke during the battle for Shiganshina. Erwin and other scouts sacrificed himself to distract Zeke and allow Levi to get close. Zeke killed Erwin and most of his soldiers by throwing boulders at them, an act that Levi and many fans never forgave.

1 Turned Falco Into A Titan

Did Not Spare A Child

attack on titan zeke, the beast titan using his power

Out of all the ruthless actions Zeke has committed, the one that stands out above the rest is arguably his willingness to sacrifice a child he knew to achieve his goal. While transforming the military leaders of Paradis into titans is cruel enough, the fact that he knew Falco was susceptible to the scream and still used it is a testament to his dedication and fanaticism.

Falco, one of the aspiring Marlean warriors, looked up to Zeke and venerated him along with other warriors. Having one of his protectors sacrificing him for a cause was a betrayal of all warriors stood for, and if not for Porco’s sacrifice, Falco would die as a mindless Titan.

Attack On Titan

Attack On Titan
Release Date
April 7, 2013


Wit Studio, MAPPA

Japanese Title
Shingeki no Kyojin

Based On

Hajime Isayama

Number of Episodes


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