Let’s talk about Eren’s relationship to Armin and Mikasa
I am a manga reader, but I won’t be spoiling anything in this particular post, I will only talk about the anime up to episode 12, which is the latest one.
In this latest episode, Eren, turned into a mindless titan who seems driven purely by his base instinct of anger, attacked Mikasa. From previous episodes, when his inferiority complex to her has been brought up, we can safely say that he harbours a resentment for her. Even though she is very close to him, and he has saved her in the past, the fact that she treats him like someone who can’t look after himself has made him angry with her.
Tragically, Mikasa doesn’t understand why Eren is so angry when she protects him, and doesn’t realize that she is pushing him further away by following him. She sees him as her last family, and is very attached to him - more so than he is to her.
In episode 12, after she has failed to get through to him in his mindless form, Armin appears. Armin, who has known Eren for even longer than Mikasa; Armin, who has shared dreams with Eren.
“It’s useless. I already tried, and he didn’t respond to me, either. It’s meaningless for anyone else to try!”
Mikasa, who thinks that she is the closest to Eren, says this. But Armin is not deterred, and decides to try for himself.
Armin reaches Eren, and Mikasa leaves to protect them. Armin calls Eren’s name over and over, and talks to him, trying to motivate him into action. But Eren is in his own world, in his mind where he is back home as a child with his father, mother and Mikasa.
In this mind world, Armin is outside of the home, knocking on the window. But Eren is just satisfied with where he is, and feels no need to leave, or go “outside”, where Armin is.
I think this is a very symbolic scene. Mikasa is put with Eren’s “family”, and Armin is outside of the house. In this mind world, Armin wasn’t there, until he forced himself in. This puts him outside of Eren’s family, those he should be closest to.
But then something happens. Armin gets through to Eren when he speaks about their childhood dreams about going outside of the walls. Armin assumes that Eren stopped talking about them because he didn’t want to encourage Armin to join the Scouting Legion, but as Eren was in the mouth of the titan, desperately saving Armin, he reminded him.
Something awakes in Eren when Armin speaks of their dreams, about seeing the world beyond the walls. And somehow, these walls in his mind, where he is with his family, becomes a symbol for that.
As Eren announces his desire to go outside the walls, he has turned his back on his family and looks directly at Armin. And behind him, his family disappears.
This is dark symbolism. Eren is a fascinating character because he is not purely good, and his psyche often ends up looking like a battlefield.
In his mind, Armin is the only one he doesn’t turn his back to, and Armin symbolizes “the world beyond the walls” to him. Armin symbolizes dreams and future, but in Eren’s mind, Mikasa disappears just as his parents has.
I find it incredibly powerful as far as symbolism goes, and I think it proves that the dynamics between Eren, Mikasa and Armin are not all rainbows and sunshine. They are close, but there is much resentment and rage under the surface towards Mikasa, from Eren’s side.
And now we wait to see how these dynamics continue to evolve.
NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU: Overall, I have to say working with Gwendoline Christie has been such a great experience. She’s just a brilliant actress, and she’s a lot of fun to just hang out with. So even though they don’t have that many laughs together — [laughs] — we had a lot of fun. What other highlights? Do you mind if I just call her? Let me just do that.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You’re going to conference her in?
Is that okay?
I’m calling her now. I have another phone here. [To Christie on that line] Are you eating?… Well, can you finish eating for god’s sake, you need to talk to me now!
— In which our interview with Jaime Lannister gets a little more interesting.