Here are all 11 types of Titans explained in the explosively popular anime, Attack on Titan. The events of Attack on Titan have perennially been catalyzed by the presence of Titans, who are essentially man-eating humanoids, whose existence spans back to 2,000 years within the anime’s timeline. Based on Hajime Isayama’s manga of the same name, Attack on Titan centers around Eren Jaeger, who goes on to join the 104th Cadet Corps after a smiling Titan devours his mother, giving way to his discovery of unlocking the power of a Titan itself. Interestingly, while most Titans share overlapping characteristics and weaknesses, they are by no means a homogenous threat as different types of Titans harbor their own set of unique traits.
Throughout the course of Attack on Titan, it is revealed that a Titan’s sole purpose is to seek out and devour humans, although they do not necessarily derive food-based sustenance from human flesh. While pain tolerance varies among the Titans, most of these humanoid monsters display little or no signs of intelligence, making them easy to trick or deceive. However, there are exceptions in the form of a few Abnormals and the infinitely-more powerful Nine Titans, who possess the ability to strategize, detect traps, and turn the odds in their favor during a fight. It is also interesting to note that varying types of Titans fought during the Great Titan War, which was a result of a series of civil wars in the kingdom of Eldia over 1,700 years ago.
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Moreover, Titans also differ in terms of their reaction to pain stimuli, as some Titans remain completely unaffected by agonizing injuries, whereas others might scream and writhe in pain. While almost all titans possess enlarged heads and exceptionally large mouths, the nature of their teeth varies as per their appearance. The penultimate chapter of the Attack on Titan manga saw Eren plummeted towards his final moments, as he dies after a single blow that separates his head from the spine. After Eren’s death and Ymir’s decision to relinquish her power, all Titans return to their human forms, rendering the species dormant. Here is a deep-dive into all eleven Titan types, with the Nine Titans being classified into individual categories, as they emerge as distinct entities within the war-addled world of Attack on Titan.
Referred to as Muku no Kyojin, Pure Titans range from two to 15 meters in height, resembling humans but with varying levels of enlarged forms. The majority of the observed Titans both in the manga and the anime belong to this category, their overarching feature being their inability to form and process thoughts. Due to their seemingly mindless nature, Pure Titans tend to attack humans without discrimination and are often dangerous due to their sheer numbers, formidable strength, and ginormous size. Pure Titans have been used as weapons of war since their existence, first by Eldia and presently by Marley, and can only be killed by slashing the nape of their neck with two swords. A notable example of a Pure Titan would be the humanoid dubbed Bean, who first appeared when the gates of Trost District were broken by the Colossus Titan, post which, Eren and the rest of the human forces are able to reclaim the district. Bean was one of the two Titans kept alive for the sake of experimentation in an attempt to better understand the nature of these beats and their innate weaknesses. Other examples throughout the series include Sonny, the Peering Titan, Varis, and Dot Pixis.
Abnormals are Pure Titans that display unusual behavior and intelligence, allowing them to perform unpredictable moves during a fight. Abnormals often tend to ignore nearby humans and move on to strategic locations in order to inflict more damage, while being adept at performing tremendous leaps, running, speed-walking, and in a few cases, communicating in human tongues. An Abnormal Titan’s ability to form thoughts and speech has been chronicled in the diary of Ilse Langnar, who had run into a hesitant Titan amid an expedition massacre. After the diary was found by Hange Zoë, along with other members of Levi’s squad, it is revealed that the Titan addressed Ilse as “Lady Ymir”, while greeting her with great respect. Confused by the possibility that a Titan can experience human-like emotions, Ilse became increasingly frustrated during her attempts at communication, which ends with the Titan crushing her skull whilst shedding tears. The existence of the Abnormal Titans forces humans to approach the beasts with a more nuanced perspective, as not all Titans are mindless killers with the aim to devour human flesh. Another example of an Abnormal is Connie Springer’s mother, who had assumed Titan form in Ragako village and uttered the haunting words, “welcome home.”
The Nine Titans
Having absorbed fragments of Ymir’s powers, The Nine Titans are nine Titan powers that have been passed down through the Eldians for nearly 2,000 years after Ymir’s death. Each of the nine has its own names and distinct abilities, although all of them can transform into their inherited Titan at will. Due to this factor, the Nine are able to retain their human intelligence even after transformation, and have access to advanced Titan abilities that include the targeted regeneration of specific body parts and accelerate healing. Apart from this, the heights of the Nine vary greatly in their Titan form: for instance, the Cart and Jaw Titans stand at 4 and 5 meters respectively, while the Colossal Titan is a towering 60 meters. These heights remain definite for all inheritors, who, if they happen to possess two or more Titan powers, find themselves being overpowered by one over the other. A good example of the same is the series’ lead Eren, who possessed both the 13-meter Founding Titan and the 15-meter Attack Titan, but his eventual Titan form was 15 meters.
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Also known as Progenitor Titan and the Coordinate, the Founding Titan is the first of all Titans with the ability to create and control others, modifying the memories and bodies of the Subjects of Ymir. Although the Founding Titan is currently in possession of Eren, its power can historically only be harnessed by members of the royal family. This Titan possesses several abilities, including titan creation and control, memory alteration, and telepathic communication. The power to command other Titans was unwittingly used by Eren in an attempt to protect Mikasa, while anatomical manipulation was used by an Eldian king to make the Subjects of Ymir immune to a rampant epidemic. In terms of height, the Coordinate Founding Titan stands at 13 meters, although it can potentially grow taller when its full abilities are tapped. In the War for Paradis Arc, Jean travels to the head of the Founding Titan and detonates explosives after wrapping them around its neck, which completely severs off the Titan and the Source of all living matter.
Reiner Braun’s Armored Titan stands at 15 meters and has a slight resemblance to his human form. In terms of appearance, the Armored Titan has thick, hardened plates all over its body, acting as a natural defense against external attacks including cannon hits, steel blades, and vertical maneuvering equipment. In addition to this, the Armored Titan is able to harden its arms and feet, creating sharp claws in the process. Its only weakness seems to be the areas on the back of its joint that are armorless in nature and the fact that the armor is not capable of withstanding high-power weaponry, such as the Mid-East Allied Forces’ artillery. In the end, during the War for Paradis arc, Reiner’s Armored Titan form is dissipated after all Eldian Pure Titans are transformed back into people.
In possession of Eren right up to his death, the Attack Titan can receive memories from both past inheritors and those yet-to-come, which is described by Zeke Yeager as “the power to transcend time.” Hence, these memories act as a catalyst got those with the Attack Titan to fight for freedom and carry on forward. Although these memories allow a glimpse into the future and the lives of those who would inherit the Titan subsequently, they are often incomplete, blocking the user from perceiving the larger picture. In terms of appearance, the Attack Titan is 15 meters tall and is characterized by a highly muscular build and fleshless jaws. It is also interesting to note that the Attack Titan is the only one of the known Nine Titans that has not been confirmed to have any unique abilities on its own, but it can be given the hardening ability with a specialized serum.
Taking on a beast-like appearance, the Beast Titan is slightly larger than most and exhibits animal traits that depend upon the user. The Beast Titan is known to have displayed traits common in elks, birds, bulls, and wolves among others, while Zeke Yeager’s Titan assumed ape-like form. It is also interesting to know that Zeke’s spinal fluid was used to transform Falco into a Titan, which later gave his Jaw Titan falcon-like epithets similar to that of the Beast Titan. Moreover, Zeke’s Beast Titan possessed the formidable ability to throw objects with great accuracy and destructive capability, notably during the battle of Shiganshina District wherein most of the Survey Corps was wiped out with crushed rocks. Also, due to his royal blood, Zeke’s Beast Titan held the ability to turn Subjects of Ymir into Titans.
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Possessing greater endurance levels than the other members of the Nine Titans, the Cart Titan can partake in longer missions without having to pause for rest. This Titan’s absorption resistance allows it to maintain its beastly form and wear armaments such as battle armor, mobile machine gun platforms, and cargo packs. As opposed to most bipedal Titans, the Cart Titan assumes a quadrupedal form, which potentially hinders the user to walk upright in human form. In terms of weaknesses, the Cart Titan has lower defenses and slower regenerative abilities as opposed to the others, and more likely to be taken down by a fatal blow. However, similar to the Jaw Titan, the Cart Titan possesses immense speed, such as when it defeated Zeke and Reiner during the Battle of Shiganshina while catching Levi and Hange off-guard.
Users of the Colossal Titan can control the energy produced during their transformation to create various effects, such as when Bertolt attacks Trost District and his transformation triggers a powerful wind blast. The Colossal Titan is also able to create a mushroom cloud of dust and rubble, which led to the death of many Survey Corps members during the Battle of Shiganshina District. Also, as indicated by its name, the Colossal Titan is known for its ginormous size and physical prowess, as it holds the ability to topple the outer gate of Wall Maria with a single kick. The Colossal Titan also possesses the unique ability to control the steam emitted from its body, burning and repelling attacks in close proximity in the process. During his final moments in a fight against Armin and Mikasa, Eren engages in a hand-to-hand fight with the former in his Colossal Titan form. While Eren bests Armin in terms of physical and strategic prowess, Armin manages to immobilize him long enough for Mikasa to enter his Titan’s mouth and kill him before kissing him goodbye.
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Much like the Founding Titan and Zeke’s Beast Titan, the Female Titan is able to exercise a certain degree of influence over Pure Titans through a scream-based ability. As the Female Titan can attract Pure Titans to itself, Annie Leonhart used this ability to gather Titans on Paradis Island during the fall of Wall Maria. However, this attraction ability has its disadvantages: once arriving near the Female Titan, the others tend to attack and eat its body, which can be countered with vertical maneuvering equipment. This Titan is also known for its tremendous endurance and mobility and can harden its skin at will in order to shatter blades of ultrahard steel upon contact. Interestingly, Annie can also come out of her Titan’s nape to create a hardened crystal cocoon around herself for protective purposes. During the 57th Exterior Scouting Mission Arc, Mikasa succeeds in slicing the Female Titan’s fingers off, allowing Eren to rip the Titan form apart, although he had begun to merge before Levi steps him and stops the process.
As indicated by its name, the Jaw Titan possesses a powerful set of jaws that can tear through almost anything with incredible ease. Currently in possession of Falco, the Jaw Titan can move fast enough to catch some of the Nine off-guard and cause severe damage to armored opponents by crushing them between its jaws. Those who held the power of the Jaw Titan demonstrated an incredible amount of speed and agility, especially in terrains such as Titan Forests, even to the point of catching some of the other Nine Titans off guard. However, the jaw manifests in slightly varying forms with respect to different users, such as Ymir only having hardened teeth, while Falco and Marcel’s sport hardened, armored masks and jaw plating that is almost-bulletproof. Also, Flaco’s Jaw Titan has the ability to sprout wings and a tail, allowing it to take flight whilst carrying people on its body.
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War Hammer Titan
Currently in possession of Eren, the War Hammer Titan can produce and manipulate structures made of hardened Titan flesh, in turn, weaponizing them in the form of spikes and blades with serrated edges. Theo Magath states at one point that while a formidable asset, the War Hammer Titan’s structural hardening should be used in moderation, as constant usage can deplete the user of stamina, who remains conscious after the transformation. However, unlike the rest of the Nine, the War Hammer Titan can remove its control center from its nape, connecting the Titan and the host with a long cable of flesh. This Titan can also emerge upon transformation without its operator inside its nape, which is a unique ability that the rest of the Nine in Attack on Titan are devoid of.
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About The Author
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Debopriyaa Dutta is a content curator, poet, and film critic based in India and a frequent contributor for High On Films. Apart from being a published author, Debopriyaa has been writing professionally since 2014, and holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and Theory from the University of Delhi. An ardent fan of cosmic horror and poetic cinema, she enjoys painting, along with reading literary works steeped in morbid nihilism.
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