You know you’ve made an impact if you debut in the final season of a show and end up meriting a standalone article. Willy Tybur of Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan franchise debuted in the final season of the anime and in one of the final arcs of the manga. He had a very short “lifespan” in terms of his appearances, but his role was quite important for the franchise. Short and… well… you can pick the second one. In this article, we are going to tell you what Willy Tybur’s initial plan in Attack on Titan was and why he actually declared war, before he died.
Willy Tybur’s ultimate goal was the destruction and annihilation of Paradis Island. As an Eldian noble, he cared only for the survival of his own kind and he was aware of the dangers lurking on Paradis Island. That is why he decided to make a martyr of himself and to finally sacrifice himself for the goal of gaining support for the annihilation of Paradis Island.
The rest of this article is going to elaborate further on what we have just told you in the answer paragraph above. We are going to talk about Willy Tybur’s role in Attack on Titan and give you all the necessary details so you can fully understand his plan. Our goal is to tell you how and why Willy did what he did, but we have to warn you that the article might contain some spoilers.
Why did Lord Tybur declare war? What was his motive?
Due to concerns that the Eldian race has been put at risk with the world’s growing technological advantage over the Titans, the Tybur family agrees to cooperate with Zeke Jaeger and the Warriors and spring into action in the upcoming mission against Paradis Island using the power of the Tybur family’s War Hammer Titan.
Willy and his family pay a visit to the Warriors’ headquarters to speak with the head of the program, Theo Magath, causing the building’s owner to leave in the process to keep his appearances anonymous. Speaking to Magath privately, Willy claims they came to see the statue of Marley’s legendary warrior named Helos, and is taken aback by Magath’s sarcastic comment that the hollow statue reflects Marley’s spirit.
Willy asks if it is true that Magath plans to revive Marley’s recruitment system, and Magath informs Willy that it is too late to change anything as Marley’s warrior nature is slowly driving the country to its destruction. Observing Magath’s insinuation, Willy reveals that the Tyburs are the true rulers of Marley and that they have allowed the Marley government to do as it pleases as a form of penance for the country’s suffering under Eldia’s rule.
Feeling guilty about his family’s inaction, Willy tells Magath that he will reveal the family’s secrets to the world at the upcoming festival and begs Magath to work with him. Willy later meets with Magath and congratulates him on his promotion to the rank of marshal, after the latter hands him a small note.
They have a conversation about the military and their country, during which Willy expresses his discomfort with the pressures of being forced to lead the nation. In the evening, he is present for the welcome party for the ambassadors who have come to Liberio, greeting them politely and happily greeting his childhood friends.
After a Marley ambassador delivers a disheartening welcome speech, Willy takes his place, talking about Marley’s history and the trouble the Titans have caused the world. Claiming to understand the hatred the world feels for his fellow Eldians, Willy announces that he has created a solution to the problem the Eldians pose to the world and promises to explain it to everyone during the festival the next day.
The next night, Willy is told backstage that it’s time to talk to everyone. He is greeted by Kiyomi Azumabito, who comments that he looks horrible, but praises his bravery and expects him to do his duty without incident. Willy begins his play by telling the story about Marley and Eldia’s bloody history. It describes how the Eldians ruled the world using the power of the Titans.
As far as they know, the number of people lost since then until now is estimated to be three times that of the current global population, including the eradication of countless ethnicities and cultures. The Great War of the Titans began once Eldia’s enemies were gone, using eight of the Titans’ powers to constantly fight each other.
So, the Marleyan hero Helos allied with the Tybur family to force Karl Fritz to flee the island, but he left with the Founding Titan’s powers in his possession. Willy goes on to discuss the failed Paradis Island operation with the return of only one of the four Titans that were originally sent, as well as the thirty-two research ships sent over the past four years that none have returned, confirming the Eldian Empire’s survival.
He declares the truth for the first time: it was neither Helos nor the Tyburs who were Marley’s heroes, but King Fritz. A pacifist, he took pity on Marley and allied himself with the Tybur family, inventing the deeds of the hero Helos. Willy reveals that Fritz and the Tyburs were behind the collapse of the Eldian Empire and mentions that the king’s threat to release the Titans from the Walls if their peace was disturbed was also a lie.
His belief in peace would be carried on with his successors, as would freedom for Marley. The Founding Titans would fulfill Karl Fritz’s vow to renounce the war, and if the day came when Marley arrived to destroy Eldia, they would accept it. However, Karl Fritz’s final wish was a brief paradise; a world without conflict.
As the crowd begins to wonder about this revelation, Willy proclaims that the desire for peace has been destroyed by the recent rebellion that took place on Paradis Island. Proclaiming that someone of non-royal blood has taken over the Founding Titan’s powers, he claims that the world is now facing another crisis. A rebel against peace is coming after Marley, and his name is Eren Jaeger.
Willy explains that the three Walls are made up of millions of Colossal Titans to serve as a shield and spear for Paradis Island. The vow Fritz took prevents the royal bloodline from using them against the world, but Eren is able to activate this power despite his uncertain connection to the Fritz family. If Eren manages to command the Colossus Titans, not even all the world’s advances in military technology will be enough to stop them.
If he could choose, Willy claims he would never have been born, but now that he’s born, he wants to live. He asks the crowd if they would be willing to lend him their strength to secure a better future together. As the crowd swells into a frenzy, Willy declares war on Paradis Island as the Attack Titan erupts from the building behind him. Willy can only look up in horror as the Attack Titan destroys his stage and hurls debris into the air and then crushes him and devours him.
Did Willy Tybur know he would die?
Although it was never stated explicitly, Willy Tybur was aware that he was going to die during the festival. He actually wanted to sacrifice himself in order to become a martyr and gain support for his plan to completely destroy Paradis Island. It is not certain that he knew he was going to be devoured by Eren, but he knew he was going to die one way or another; he might have suspected a classical assassination, but whatever he had wanted, his ultimate expectation was fulfilled.
As an Eldian nobleman, Willy Tybur was aware of the implications of his acts, as well as the dangers that he could expect. He wasn’t that stupid. He knew the consequences of his actions and he knew what he could expect. He might not have known exactly what would happen to him, but he was ready to die. Someone who has so much political background and power definitely knows what he can expect and Lord Tybur was well aware that he would die. This means that everything he did was planned out carefully and that it served a higher purpose, which was ultimately proven to be true.
Is Willy Tybur good or evil?
Only a small number of characters from Attack on Titan are clearly good or bad; most of them are in a particular grey area and you actually have to pick a side in the quarrel to position some characters based on whether you agree or disagree with their ideas. Willy Tybur is one such character. He could be described as an antagonist, but since his actions weren’t motivated by purely evil goals – they were egocentric, but not evil – he cannot be labeled as a classical bad guy, although he does lean more on that side than any other.