AoT: Who Was the Beast Titan Before Zeke Yeager?

Who Was the Beast Titan Before Zeke Yeager in Attack on Titan

With the recent spike in popularity of Attack on Titan due to the release of the last episode, many of what were considered mysterious side characters are now getting the spotlight. Especially in the last season, many characters we met with in season three have revealed more of their backstory, morals, and motives. One of these characters is Grisha’s first son and one of the most popular characters in the fourth season, Zeke Yeager, the Beast Titan. But who the previous inheritor of the Beast Titan is to many is still unknown or unclear in his backstory episodes. Zeke had to have inherited the Beast from someone, so who was the previous Beast Titan before Zeke Yeager?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • The previous holder of the Beast Titan in Attack on Titan before Zeke Yeager was Tom Ksaver.
  • He inherited the Beast Titan in 829; however, it wasn’t used in battle as he wasn’t a particularly skilled soldier.
  • Thus, he used the Beast Titan to research its memories from previous inheritors.  

The history between Zeke and Tom Ksaver

The history between Zeke and Tom Ksaver

Zeke Yeager was the first son of Gisha Yeager and Dina Fritz, who was a member of the royal family and inherited the Beast Titan from Tom Ksaver at 17. His parents were part of a group that sought to overthrow the Marleyan government and wanted to bring Eldia back into power. Their doings, however, greatly affected Zeke negatively after Grisha enrolled him in the Warrior program, which allowed young children to enroll and train as potential warriors to bring them closer to their cause. 

Grisha’s continuous lack of interest in his son’s life in other areas, except for his soldier’s performance as a father, made Zeke increasingly distant from his parents. Growing distant from his parents and dealing with his father’s disappointment at failing to outdo his candidate forced him into a dark area. His father, Grisha, shut down any sign of vulnerability.

It was during this time that he met Tom Ksaver. After a day of regular training, he came across Tom Ksaver, who was playing a game of catch and convinced Zeke to play a game with him. Zeke and Tom Ksaver got along well, often better than with his parents.

One day, on another regular meet-up between Zeke and Tom, Tom slanders the warrior program, which surprises Zeke. He asked Tom Ksaver why he, a soldier himself, would hate the program he trained under. Tom explained that he inherited the Beast Titan specifically to research the Titans, being more interested in the scientific studies of the Titans instead of fighting. With that, he claimed he just wasn’t a skilled soldier. 


Attack on Titan: How Zeke’s Scream Determined Falco’s Faith

Zeke felt seen by Tom Ksaver, seeing him as a father figure, and grew closer to Tom. He saw a lot of Tom Ksaver in him and could relate to many of his struggles and take on his ideals. However, this only made things worse for his parents, who grew closer to the people that Grisha considered enemies without his parents knowing, given that they were too busy with secret meetings to pay attention to the people Zeke was surrounded by.

The forced ideals of his parents about Eldian freedom and intensive training and judgment seem to fuel the hate towards Eldians, including the stories his grandfather would tell Zeke regarding Eldian history and Tom Ksaver’s support, drove him further into becoming who he is today and dedicate his life to the Marleyan plans in oppressing the Eldians.

While at the Warrior headquarters, he overheard how the Marleyan authorities were close to discovering the Eldian restorationists and warned his parents that this mission was too dangerous for them to continue. However, Grisha refused and argued with Zeke that what they were doing was for the best of all Eldians. 


Tired from the heated fight, he admitted everything to Tom Ksaver, the only person he trusted who needed emotional support. He explains to Ksaver the situation of his parents and how he’s afraid of being sent to Paradis, but Tom explains that if he exposes his parents only, he would face punishment, and Zeke would be seen as innocent.

Although at first, he refused, seeing that his parents never considered his feelings or showed any interest in him as their child outside of his skills as a warrior, he agreed and turned in his parents to the Marleyan authorities.

The Marleyan force immediately arrested them and sent Zeke’s parents to Paradis Island, turning his mother into a pure Titan and letting Grisha Yeager go outside the borders. Now Zeke is under the care of his grandparents and continues to train in the Warrior program, becoming its eldest member at 17. His conversations and catch games with Tom Ksaver were now more frequent, and he was learning more about Ksaver’s research and motives.


Attack on Titan: Why Did Zeke Allow Himself to Be Killed?

He inherited the Beast Titan from Tom Ksaver. Not only does he possess the Beast Titan abilities, but because of his royal blood from his mother’s side, he has other abilities that are not included in the Beast Titan set of skills.

Zeke’s Personality Explained

zeke Personality

Although Zeke Yeager wasn’t known to be the best soldier, he shows incredible intelligence and leadership qualities, which both combined seem to have carried him throughout most of the manga. He is shown to prioritize the mission goals of Marley over his personal needs or those of his squad. These are all qualities he built over time that show that he has changed a lot from when he first started in the program,

Although these are all deemed as good and extremely helpful qualities, he is often described as cruel and cold-blooded. His first appearance as the Beast Titan shows that he doesn’t feel much remorse for killing Eldian soldiers or the plan he has set in the last season. 

Zeke’s relationships with his peers and fellow soldiers of his age or younger are quite different, often being described as two-faced because he would act warm and humble with his peers but sarcastic and cruel towards soldiers in his squad or below him.

But even though his views on Eldian were extremely negative due to his parent’s neglect of their extreme devotion to Eldia and his grandfather’s hateful Eldian race stories, he continued what they left, helping in the mission of Eldian freedom secretly himself.

Beast Titan abilities

Beast Titan abilities

Although the Beast titan also came along with the other titans following Ymir’s death, it did not partake in the mission to break Eldian walls, instead being chosen to stay and defend Marley against enemies. The Beast Titan is an incredibly strong titan with various skills that can be used efficiently and depend on the soldier’s ability to use those skills.

One of Zeke’s signature Beast Titan moves in his first appearance in titan form is his ability to throw massive rocks from a far distance with incredible accuracy. This greatly affects the survey corps causing devastating damage in the battle of Shiganshina.

One unique ability of the Beast Titan is turning humans into pure Titans through its roar on command. He used this ability many times, both in the Rakago village where Connie Springer’s family resided and in an attempt to escape Levi, which he failed. Not only can he turn humans into Titans, but he can also make them follow orders.

Another of this Titan’s abilities is more of a given. All Titans possess this skill, which hardens their skin when it’s about to be slashed. The hardening ability allows one to form a hard shell on the TItan’s skin that cannot be broken by humans alone. This is mostly used in defense situations.

What was Zeke’s plan

Zekes plan

In the latest season, Zeke explains that he has a plan he proposes to his younger brother Eren regarding Eldia’s future and its people. Zeke’s plan involves sterilizing all Eldians and removing their ability to reproduce. 

He believes that by not bringing new life into a cruel and violent world, people will no longer suffer from war and oppression. Zeke was determined in this idea and tried manipulating Eren into working alongside him to put this plan into motion. 


Eren’s Plan vs. Zeke’s Plan: Which Was Better?

In the beginning, and mainly for anime watchers, Eren agrees with his plan and ‘turns’ his back on his people. He is shown to be different from his older brother Zeke by caring for his friends’ well-being and prioritizing them over the mission. He goes along with Zeke’s plan only to turn on him at the last minute and ruin his plans.

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