Eren Yeager is a character that deserves a whole encyclopedia dedicated just to his persona. The main character of the Attack on Titan saga, Eren is simultaneously the biggest hero of Hajime Isayama’s story, as well as its darkest villain. But what about Eren’s relationship with Mikasa, does Eren really hates Mikasa, and why did he tell her that he did?
Eren does say to Mikasa that he hates her at one point, mostly because she lacked the “freedom” he so vehemently fought for. It was a sentiment of anger and frustration, and although it did hurt, it was not a reflection of Eren’s true feelings towards Mikasa, as it is well known that Eren actually loved Mikasa, just like Mikasa loved Eren.
The rest of this article is going to elaborate on the answer from above. We are going to dig deeper into the roots of Eren’s words to Mikasa and how they are (or are not) a reflection of his emotions towards her. You’re also going to find out more details about Eren’s true feelings for Mikasa and the exact nature of their relationship.
Does Eren Really Hate Mikasa? Fully Explained
Eren Yeager is a character with multiple layers to his personality. A true hero and a fighter for liberty, at one point, he turns into a genocidal monster that wants to wipe out almost all of humanity, at another point. This is why it is very difficult to analyze Eren and some his actions, as they don’t always make sense and they are definitely not always consistent with his personalities.
When Eren finally meets with Armin and Mikasa, the only two people he actually cares about truly and deeply, in a burst of anger and frustration, Eren tells Mikasa that he hates her. This wouldn’t be overly shocking had Mikasa not been so loyal to Eren this whole time and had she not shown true emotions towards him, which is why a lot of fans consider this to be Eren’s biggest “crime” in the series – he hurt the only person that truly loved him (and whom he also loved).
At that moment, it seemed to be true and from one point of view – knowing how “multipolar” Eren was – it might have been true but in the long run, it wasn’t actually true. Eren never really hated Mikasa and although this sentence was hurtful, it wasn’t sincere in any way, as we are going to elaborate in the rest of this article.
Why Did Eren Say that He Hated Mikasa?
As for the literal interpretation of Eren’s words, it’s a rather simple one – Eren said he hated Mikasa because she was not “free” and because she was an Ackerman. How are these two elements connected? Well, the Ackermans were, as it was revealed at one point, “engineered” to be the protectors of the royal lineage and did, thus, have no “free will” of their own.
They had to protect the Eldian royalty, whether they wanted to or not. This is why Eren states that Mikasa is not free because she is an Ackerman.
Now, knowing how much Eren values personal freedom and free will, he would, of course, despise all those that did not have it or did not exercise it fully. This is why he attacked Miksa and her choices, but he was ultimately wrong (despite the fact that he was insincere, as we are going to elaborate later on – Eren actually loved Mikasa, but more on that later). Why?
Well, for one, Eren wasn’t royalty. He wasn’t actually a member of the royal family so the supposed Ackerman “engineering” wouldn’t have applied to him. Also, Mikasa’s devotion to Eren surpassed the pure protective loyalty that the Ackermans had towards Eldian royalty. It was much more than that and Mikasa was ready to do much more for Eren than any of her ancestors were ready to do for the royals.
This all goes to show that Eren was ultimately wrong and that Mikasa’s ultimate devotion to him was not proof of her lack of free will but on the contrary – it was the ultimate proof that she had absolute freedom and that she chose to love and protect Eren simply because she wanted to, and not because she was “programmed” to do so.
What Episode Did Eren Say He Hated Mikasa In?
The particular scene happens in Episode 73 of the Attack on Titan anime, which was titled “Savagery”. It is actually Episode 14 of Season 4 of the Attack on Titan anime series. This is a very specific episode because it initially aired on March 15, 2021 in Japan, but the broadcast was interrupted due to to news coverage of an earthquake in Wakayama. It was later re-broadcast on March 22, 2021 in full.
As for the manga, in case you wanted to know, the scene happens in Chapter 112, titled “Ignorance”, which is actually Chapter 2 of Volume 28 of the Attack on Titan manga. The anime scene was, thus, taken from the pages of this chapter of the Attack on Titan manga.
How Does Eren Feel About Mikasa?
Mikasa is considered to be Eren’s “adoptive sister”. As children, Eren accompanied her father on a medical visit to Mikasa’s family, but upon arrival they found the scene of Mikasa’s parents murdered. Eren secretly separates from her father and searches the forest for Mikasa, who has been kidnapped by her parents’ murderers.
Finding her, Eren kills two of them and is immobilized by the third; Mikasa activates her Ackerman instinct and kills the third assassin. When they meet with Mr. Jaeger, since Mikasa had nowhere else to go, Eren wraps her scarf around her and together with Mr. Jaeger they take her to her house.
Thanks to this event, Mikasa regards him as one of her “her family” and has a strong bond with him. She can go to any extreme to protect him or to get him out of trouble, since he was the one who saved her from the group of kidnappers. As a token of her memories, she always wears the scarf that Eren gave her after saving her from the kidnappers.
Mikasa lives with the Jaegers for about a year before the fall of Wall Maria. During his teenage years, Eren gets a bit upset when Mikasa acts too protective of him and feels some rivalry for not being able to perform like her in training. During the reconquest of Trost’s wall, Mikasa blushed when Ian suggested that he was her boyfriend, seeing her strong attachment to him.
Even Levi expresses confusion as to why she was so attached to him. Over time, Eren begins to be protective and attentive towards her, and before accidentally activating the power of the Coordinate when confronting the Titan that murdered his mother, he promises to “put the scarf on her as many times as necessary forever”.
After the three-year timeskip, meeting at Marley, Eren asks her what he is to her, to which she replies that it is “family”, which makes Eren sad. The next day, Eren leaves and begins his undercover mission in Marley. After getting back from Marley, he tells her that he has always hated her since they were little because of her “bondage” attitude towards him and because of the Ackerman lineage.
However, he does this to distance both Armin and Mikasa from himself and protect them from his actions in activating the Rumble. Similarly, Mikasa manages to kill Eren by decapitating him, and buries him in the tree where they used to spend time together. Three years later, when Mikasa’s scarf comes loose while she cries and wishes to see him again, a skua (Parasitic Jaeger) fixes her scarf again and takes flight from her.
Eren showed Mikasa the reality where they lived together after they ran away, if Mikasa had been honest with Eren about what he meant to her.
Also, when he talked to Armin on the roads, after Armin told him that Mikasa would easily find another man, he broke down and let out his feelings about not wanting to die, wanting to be with Mikasa and the others, specifying that he doesn’t want her to feel anything for any other man but him, then he says he wants her to be happy, so he asks Armin not to tell Mikasa what happened.
Does Eren Betray Mikasa?
Well, depends on how you look at it actually. Eren’s action in the final arcs of the manga can be viewed from two different points of view. On the one hand, Eren betrayed his ideals and became a monster that wants to destroy humanity, but on the other hand, he remained true to his ideals of wanting to protect his friends and allies, even if it meant that he had to destroy the rest of humanity (which he swore to protect) to do so.
So, based on how you view Eren’s actions, he both did and did not betray Mikasa. He never did betray her personally – he never actually did anything to harm her and it was Mikasa who actually killed Eren in the end, in one of the manga’s saddest scenes. But, he might have betrayed the ideals they both were fighting for, if you chose to interpret his actions from such a point of view. But as for her personally, Eren never betrayed Mikasa.