How Would Attack on Titan Have Changed If Erwin Became the Colossal Titan?

Armin was saved to become the strategist for AoT’s new generation, but he hasn’t exactly proved to be effective. Was Erwin the better choice?

In episode 55 of Attack on Titan, Captain Levi Ackerman was responsible for an incredibly important decision. Following Captain Irwin Smith’s heroic charge against the Beast Titan and Armin’s act of self-sacrifice, the two are mortally wounded and on the verge of death. While Mikasa and Aren believe that armin is the right choice for serum-based titan injections, Levy and Floch are unconvinced. Although the group decides that Irwin should be saved in the light of their experience, Levi instead chooses Armin as the colossal Titan’s successor, believing that the captain has suffered enough.

While it’s impossible to know exactly how much of an impact this had on the rest of Attack on Titan, it is perhaps one of the most important moments of the series. Irwin was one of the most talented fighters, strategists and level-headed men on the island of Paradis. His expertise will be a vital asset in Marley and Eren’s current campaign to stop the war against thunder, which leads to the question: Was Armin really the best person to save?

Would Erwin Support Zeke & The Anti-Marleyan Volunteers’ Plan?

Onyankopon and Yelena

Yelena and the Anti-Marlene Volunteers, introduced in episode 68 of Attack on Titan, inform Levi and Heng of their collaboration with Zeke Jagger to end the Marlean regime and their mission to protect Paradis. . The Aldian people can be freed through a three-point plan. While Armin has little influence on the interactions that take place during this period, he expresses his concerns about Zeke’s plan to Eren and Mikasa. He argues that using thunder to threaten the world will further anger governments and their citizens, allowing the hatred to continue.

If Irwin was still alive, he might share Armin’s feeling and fear that thunder was a step too far. Irwin would have surmised that the risks of using this operation may ultimately outweigh any potential benefits. In the event that the thunder man loses control or becomes wicked, it can leave the people of Paradi vulnerable or, even worse, cause the destruction of the entire world.

Although Captain Irwin was at first willing to take risks attempting to save the Aldean people, Attack on Titan always portrayed him as a careful strategist with a fair amount of instinct. The knowledge that Zeke was in charge of setting up the plan would certainly make Irwin feel uncomfortable. Zeke had inflicted tremendous damage on the Scout Regiment and posed a threat to the security of Paradis Island, so his sudden change of perspective must have set off alarm bells in Irwin’s ears.

Erwin Smith

However, Yelena and her opposing Marlene volunteers provided important information about Marley’s military campaign. She outlines the size and composition of Marley’s army, gives access to samples of the weapons they used, and explains why they were unable to attack Paradis. Irwin would have recognized the importance of continuing to receive this type of information and therefore may have been inspired to work with Zeke—as long as he had an effective contingency plan in place when he finally revealed his true intentions.

While measures were taken to keep Zeke under control in the event of a rebellion, the precautions were less strict for the anti-Marlian volunteers. This caused a large number of Paradis military officers to infect Zeke’s spinal cord, causing his army to lose control and disintegrate into different factions. Although Armin and many others overlooked this scenario, Irwin would have been in a better position to have predicted this event, or at the very least, to save Paradis’ army from this unfortunate scenario.

Would Erwin Have Planned A More Effective War Campaign Than Armin?

Mid East Alliance War

Although the exact time-lapse between Yelena’s arrival in Paradis and Eren’s attack on Marley is unclear, it is likely at least several years. After learning of Marley’s struggles with the Mid-East Allied Forces, Irwin certainly wanted the Paradis to take advantage of the opportunity, rather than let it slip away.

This may have resulted in an earlier campaign when Marley’s warrior unit was still fighting overseas. During this time, Marley would have been left completely unprotected and at the mercy of the military might of Paradis Island. The Titans of Irwin and Eren could easily destroy their cities, ports and strategic centers, effectively leaving the Titans of Marley without the support needed to fight back.

Because of Irwin’s high level of military experience, he may have believed that Marley’s warrior unit was the key to his success—and his most powerful asset. Capturing or killing Titans may be his elaborate strategy, he will also understand that they are weak when left alone.

In the lead-up to this operation, Irvine will almost certainly attempt to establish negotiations with other countries. Hizuru can be relied upon to assist either by agreeing to Zeke’s terms, or possibly by giving him access to the avalanche stone mines of Paradis Island. An alliance with the Middle East may also have been a possibility if Marley was negotiated during his struggle against the Titans.

If Irwin attempted to initiate this multi-faceted approach to warfare, it could prove highly successful and prevent Paradi from falling into chaos or even Eren’s rumble. If Eren had seen that Irwin’s war strategy was effectively dealing with the threat to the island, he would have decided not to take this last resort.

Ultimately, Armin was not as effective a strategist or influential presence in Attack on Titan as had been hoped. While he is certainly talented, he does not have the necessary experience or leadership qualities for the time and circumstances in which he is living. Irwin was far more capable of making difficult decisions in battle, while Armin succumbed to pressure and lacked the confidence needed to effectively lead others to implement his tactical decisions.

Armin’s close relationship with Eren sometimes clouded his judgment, which was entirely evident when the rumblings began. Instead of believing that the event was bringing the end of humanity, his first thought and comment to Mikasa was “We win.” While Irwin had recognized Eren’s use as a military tool since the first season of Attack on Titan, he also understood Eren’s potential threat to Paradis. Since Armin is so close to Eren, Irwin’s ability to emotionally detach himself from this situation will prove invaluable during the fourth season.