Annie Leonhart’s story in Attack on Titan certainly is one of the more intriguing ones, even if we do not disregard the stories of Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman, as the narrative’s two protagonists. Annie Leonhart went through hell and back over the course of the plot, although – ironically – she never had a very active role in the majority of the plot. Annie Leonhart finally thawed in the fourth season of the Attack on Titan anime and we are going to explain how and why that happened.
After attaining full control of the Founding Titan’s abilities, Eren Yeager released the Wall Titans and causes the Walls to crumble away; this also causes the crystal around Annie Leonhart to break apart, thus releasing her from imprisonment. Annie lies drenched and immobile, surrounded by the broken crystal fragments. For the first time in four years, Annie’s eyes open and her body begins coughing up liquid as she regains her power.
The rest of this article is going to explain the circumstances of Annie Leonhart’s return during the manga’s and anime’s final arc. We are going to explain all the details surrounding Annie’s absence from the plot and her recent return, as it happened during the War for Paradis arc. You’re going to find out all the necessary details and information that caused the chain of events that led to Annie’s return.
Does Annie return in Attack on Titan?
Does Annie return in Attack on Titan, you ask? Well, it’s been a long time since Annie’s “disappeared” so some of you might have forgotten how it all happened so we’ll give you a quick recap of the events that led to Annie’s four-year absence from the Attack of Titan plot. If you remember your story correctly, Eren, as the Attacking Titan, and Annie, as the Female Titan, fought early on in the storyline.
After Annie had eliminated every one of her opponents, Eren finally transformed into the Attacking Titan and attacked Annie. The two clashed in brutal hand-to-hand combat. Eren was defeated by her special kick and, exhausted from the struggle, devoured by Annie, who held him captive in her mouth. As Annie escaped the scene, Mikasa Ackerman went after her after seeing Eren being devoured by Annie.
Later, Levi and Mikasa teamed up to attack Annie as she escaped. Although Annie fought back, Levi overpowered her quickly. He disabled her, which gave him a chance to free Eren from her mouth. When she decided to back down, Levi saw her tears.
After the event, Annie retired to Wall Sina and joined the military police. She was later captured by the Eldians and had to crystallize in order to save her life; she was in this form for four years. This is why she was absent from the story early on.
Annie was crystalized for years and although some characters, especially Armin, revisited her frozen body, nothing changed for a very long time. Annie Leonhart played no role in the story, she was simply a memory and at one point, it was completely unknown whether Annie would ever come back (since Attack on Titan is known for simply “removing” its main characters from the spotlight). So does Annie come back? Let us see how things went about during the manga’s final arc.
When and how does Annie return in Attack on Titan?
The events we are about to describe take place during the final arc of Attack on Titan, the War for Paradis Arc. This is a truly eventful arc with a lot of things happening, but one event, in particular, had an effect on Annie’s state in the anime – Eren Yeager becoming the founding Titan.
During these events, Armin visits Annie’s crystal once again. After being seen by Hitch touching the crystal, Armin claims he did so to unlock memories of his Titan. Hitch mentions that it’s nice that someone other than her regularly comes to check on Annie. After gaining full control of the Founding Titan’s abilities, Eren undoes all Titan hardening and accidentally frees Annie from her crystal. Annie lies on the floor, soaked and limp, surrounded by fragments of her hardened skin.
For the first time in four years, Annie’s eyes have opened and she begins to cough. After recovering somewhat, Annie easily escapes her confinement from the basement and hides in an adjacent room. When Hitch enters the room, Annie attempts to take the girl hostage, but is easily beaten in her weakened state. Hitch tries to call for help, but Annie reveals that she’s already injured and threatens to transform if Hitch calls for more soldiers.
Despite Annie’s poor condition, Hitch accepts her demands and willingly escorts her outside of Stohess. As Hitch prepares a horse, Annie reveals that since she was in her crystal in a semi-conscious state, she has a good idea of what happened since she can remember the voices of Hitch and Armin. Annie begins to wonder if Eren will destroy the world.
As they watch the Wall Titans, Hitch asks Annie if all of their killings were justified in the end, and Annie claims that stopping the trampling was never important to her. She tells Hitch about her harsh training as a child to become a warrior candidate and the last interaction she had with her father before coming to Paradis.
Although she acknowledges that what she did to Paradis is unforgivable, she claims that she would do anything again to get back to her father. After traveling for a few days, Annie and Hitch arrive in Shiganshina during a festival. The two interrupt their journey to get something to eat.
While Hitch goes to get refreshments, Annie waits at her seat and overhears Armin and Connie talking about her and accidentally reveals herself. She eventually decides to go with them, leaving a note explaining what happened. Annie leaves Shiganshina with Connie, Armin, Mikasa, Gabi Braun, and Falco Grice while Pieck distracts the Yaegerists. While exiting Shinganshina, they collect an unconscious Reiner, which Annie wakes up by kicking him.
The group meets up with Hange and Theo Magath and his allies outside of Shinganshina. They eat a meal prepared by Hangi together. With tensions between the warriors and the Survey Corps running high, Annie asks them if they could kill Eren if they have no other choice. Annie notices Mikasa’s unease and surmises that if they have to kill Eren, Mikasa will come between them.
Mikasa tries to attack Annie, but Annie defuses the situation by assuring Mikasa that she has no problem with Eren being alive if he can be persuaded to stop the trampling. The group travels to the port of Paradis to pursue Eren in an airship.
In the three years following the “Battle of Heaven and Earth” and Eren’s defeat at the hands of Mikasa Ackerman, Armin and the other survivors are used as diplomats to facilitate peace talks between the outside world and Paradis. As they sail to Paradis to begin the talks, the group reads a letter from Historia explaining the current state of Paradis’ government.
The ambassadors are skeptical of their mission, but Armin is convinced that the people of Paradis will be willing to listen to reason when they see the Warriors and the Survey Corps, former enemies, working together for a common cause. As you can see, Armin doesn’t end up with anyone in the epilogue and that is completely in accordance with what we have written in our article.