Attack on Titan Time Skip: Four-Year Gap Explained

Attack on Titan is one of the most popular manga and best anime in recent memory because of how it was able to tell an entirely unique and compelling story that captivated the entire world and redefined what it meant to be the main character of a story. Of course, we know that Eren Yeager is the main character of Attack on Titan, but he had to undergo a series of character transformations in the storyline to become what he ultimately became at the end of it all.

The most influential event in Attack on Titan and in Eren’s character development was the four-year gap that happened between seasons 3 and 4. That’s because this was where the planning and the scheming occurred. So, with that said, let’s take a good look at the Attack on Titan time skip and what happened during that time.

What Happened In The Attack on Titan Time Skip?

Attack on Titan surely was a fast-paced story that allowed a lot of the things that happened from seasons 1 to 3 to occur in a span of only a few months if were are not counting the time skip that happened from the time Eren and his friends were children up to the time they became full-fledged members of the Survey Corp. It was this fast pacing that made it a great story to follow, as there were a lot of things that happened in a span of only a few months.

However, between seasons 3 and 4, a four-year time skip happened. The time skip allowed us to meet some of the characters over at the nation of Marley, which was the enemy that the people over at Paradis Island needed to take out because of what they had done to them for a hundred years. Of course, the people in Marley also have their own stories to tell, and that’s why it was important for us to meet them as well. 

RELATED: When and Where Does Attack on Titan Take Place? (& Was It Real?)

It took a while for the main characters from seasons 1 to 3 to show up, as they appeared to be more mature people with their own different plans and reasons for wanting to fight. So, what happened during the four-year time skip?

Marley Mid-East War

After the Warriors of Marley were defeated by the inferior technology of the Eldians on Paradis Island, the rest of the world realized that they had no reason to fear the Titans anymore. As such, a war between Marley and some of the nations in the Mid-East occurred, as these countries were looking to conquer Marley because they thought that they no longer had anything to fear, considering that their Titans were defeated in Paradis Island.

This war was what introduced us to Falco and Gabi, who are two Warrior candidates that fought with the other Eldians for Marley in this war. While the Mid-East Alliance thought that it could defeat the Titans, it was ultimately the power of the Titans that ended the war in favor of Marley, as the nation was still able to prove its superiority despite the declining power of the Titans in the face of technology.

Improving Technology

In one of the ships that Marley sent over to Paradis during the four-year gap, Yelena and some of the people loyal to Zeke betrayed their country so that they could work together with the Eldians on Paradis Island. It was through their help that they were able to improve the technology and infrastructure of the people on Paradis Island so that they no longer had to rely on technology that was quite primitive in comparison to the rest of the world.

RELATED: Why Did Eren Attack Marley in Attack on Titan?

As such, railroads and ports were built during this time as all of the mindless titans on the island had already been wiped out. It was also during this time that Yelena and her crew began to form relations with the leaders of Paradis Island.

Eren’s Schemings

Eren, after touching Historia’s hand during the end part of season 3, saw the future that was to come and the past that had already happened. As such, he was able to see what was going to happen in the future and what he needed to do to make sure that he could finally get rid of all of the enemies of Paradis Island. 

During this time, Eren started to scheme with Zeke so that they could work together on a common plan that required both of their powers. Eren had the Founding Titan, while Zeke had royal blood. Of course, Eren had his own plans as well, and Zeke wasn’t quite sure that his younger brother was on board with his own plans as well.

Zeke’s Plotting

Zeke was a mastermind of tactics himself as he actually started plotting what to do to Eren and Paradis Island during the four-year time skip. That was why he sent Yelena and the other defectors over to Paradis Island, as they began to push his plan, which included having the military leaders of the island drink wine that had his spinal fluid.

It was also during this time that Zeke introduced to Eren his sterilization plan. He wanted to use the power of the Founding Titan to make all Eldians sterile so that they could no longer populate the world and continue spreading the power of the Titans. Nevertheless, he never thought that Eren was actually agreeable with his plan, and that’s why he omitted some details.

What Episode Is The Attack on Titan Time Skip?

The four-year time skip in Attack on Titan occurred right between the final episode of season 3 and the first episode of season 4. That means that this happened after episode 59 and before episode 60 of the entire anime.

RELATED: What Was Willy Tybur’s Plan? Why Did He Declare War?

Why Was There A Four-Year Gap In Attack on Titan?

Some may question the existence of the four-year time skip in Attack on Titan as they probably believe that it was only meant as a filler to make sure that the characters were already mature enough during the final stages of the storyline. However, the four-year gap was very important to the progression of the storyline.

First off, it was during the time skip that Marley got its hands busy on a new war that had the rest of the world questioning whether or not the Titans were still the strongest weapons in the world. It was this war that made Willy Tybur and the rest of the military leaders of Marley rethink about retaking the Founding Titan so that they could prove the nation’s superiority to the rest of the world.

Second, had Paradis invaded Marley right after the events of season 3, they wouldn’t have succeeded in dealing a massive blow. That’s because Paradis Island was still recovering from the many titan attacks it suffered. The people were also still trying to come to terms with the truth behind their existence and the existence of a bigger world beyond the island.

And third, both Eren’s and Zeke’s plans needed some time to mature as they had to make sure that all of the right pieces were set. This means that the four-year gap was just right for their scheming and machinations, as they wouldn’t have had the chance to pull their respective plans off had it not been for the time skip.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.