Attack on Titan: Why Was Annie Crying?  (2023)

Annie Leonhart is the definition of a strong, silent lone wolf character in Attack on Titan. She’s incredibly skilled in combat, with weapons and espionage. When she was revealed to be the Female Titan, the story became all about stopping her. Annie as a human was intimidating enough, but Annie as a Titan with human intelligence was downright terrifying. After she kidnaps Eren, Mikasa, Levi, and his squad go after her. After an intense battle where most participants are killed, Levi retrieves Eren. As Levi and Mikasa fly away, they look back only to see Titan Annie slumped against a tree, quietly crying. So why was Annie crying?

Annie was crying because retrieving Eren, who had inherited the Attack Titan and the Founding Titan, was the only way Annie, Reiner, and Bertholdt could go home without being deemed failures. Their entire mission depended on retrieving the Founding Titan. Annie’s failure meant they would return home empty-handed or stay on Paradis Island for several more years, sacrificing more lives and time away from their families.

Despite being so stoic, Annie is a very nuanced character. Her crying was so notable because to us, Annie was always strong, independent, and unshakeable. We didn’t know what she was going through at that point in the story. Read on to learn more about Annie’s backstory, her character, and why it was so important for her to succeed in her mission.

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Annie’s tough upbringing

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Annie was the result of an affair between her mother and an Eldian man, which meant she was condemned to live through the same discrimination as an Eldian. She was abandoned in an internment zone, where her foster father found her.

Annie was trained in combat by her foster father since she was a child. In one of her rigorous training sessions, she was consumed by anger and crippled him. Despite crying in pain, he was happy that Annie was a good enough fighter to inflict pain on him.

Although he was training Annie for his own gain and his training traumatized her, Annie made the best out of that experience and became a Marley Warrior. This was her father’s goal, which meant he would become wealthy through Annie.

Because of this upbringing, Annie grew up cold and distant. She had difficulties empathizing with others and working in a team. Despite this, her combat prowess earned her the privilege of inheriting the Female Titan.

When Marley was planning on retrieving the Founding Titan, Annie was selected to carry out this mission alongside Reiner, Bertholdt, and Marcel. Before Annie embarked for Paradis, her foster father apologized to her for all he had done and urged her to return home safely. This is where Annie’s conviction to return home as soon as possible comes from.

Annie’s time on Paradis Island

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After they set foot on Paradis Island, Annie and the other Warriors traveled for a few days to reach Wall Maria. While resting at night, a Pure Titan attacked them and ate Marcel, the Jaw Titan.

Annie immediately wants to return to Marley, arguing that they need help retrieving the Jaw Titan first. She never bought into Marleyan propaganda and didn’t think this mission was worth their lives. Reiner argues that they should keep going, or the Marley government would kill them for coming back without the Founding Titan and having lost Jaw Titan.

They eventually get into a physical altercation, which Reiner wins. Annie, Reiner, and Bertholdt attack Shiganshina breaking Wall Maria in the process. After their attack, they pretended to be refugees and later infiltrated the Military Police as Scouts.

Annie never became very close with any of her peers, but spending so many years among the Eldians of Paradis Island made her attached to them nonetheless, especially Armin Arlert. She was also traumatized by the number of people she had killed and suffered immense psychological distress.

Annie in the Female Titan arc

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The Marley Warriors didn’t know Eren had the Founding Titan yet, but they knew he had the Attack Titan. This was enough for Annie, Reiner, and Bertholdt to want to retrieve the Attack Titan for Marley, even if it wasn’t their main goal.

During a Survey Corps expedition, Annie transforms into the Female Titan and commands a group of Pure Titans to capture Eren. Armin was also a part of this group, and he tricked Annie into thinking Eren was already dead to buy time for his comrades to escape.

Reiner pretended to attack Annie in Titan form but actually carved the path to Eren’s location into the palm of her hand. She then sets off in that direction, leaving Armin behind.

Annie in Titan form eventually catches up to Eren, who is escaping with Levi’s squad in a Titan Forest. Levi’s squad restrained her by tying her against a tree with special weapons. She covers the nape of her neck to avoid getting caught and lets out a roar, causing all the Pure Titans in the area to consume her Titan body. This allows her to escape.

She pursues Eren in human form and transforms back into the Female Titan when she catches up to him. She kills almost every member of Levi’s squad, who were protecting Eren, causing him to become enraged and turn into the Attack Titan.

They engage in physical combat, and Annie bites off the back of the Attack Titan’s neck, capturing Eren’s body in her mouth and fleeing. Mikasa immediately chases after her but can’t save Eren.

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Levi soon joins the chase. His plan is for Mikasa to distract the Female Titan while he attacks it. Levi knows that the Female Titan is intelligent and knows how 3DMG users fight so she wouldn’t be distracted by Mikasa, but he told her that to keep her from interfering and getting injured.

Levi unleashes a barrage of attacks on the Female Titan, overwhelming Annie. She slumps down against a tree and uncovers the nape of her neck to bait Levi or Mikasa to attack there.

Mikasa almost takes the bait, but Levi stops her. Then he cuts through the Female Titan’s lower jaw ligaments, making her jaw fall off with Eren still inside. Levi retrieves Eren and urges Mikasa to give up the fight.

As they’re flying away, Levi looks back and sees that the Female Titan is crying. He appears shocked, as did all the viewers when they saw this scene. Back then, we didn’t understand why a Titan would cry.

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But now, we know that the Female Titan is Annie, and she’s crying because she’s tired of having to massacre countless people, she’s incredibly homesick, and she doesn’t want to die away from her home for Marley’s sake.

Annie hoped to return to Marley with at least one more Titan Shifter, even if she didn’t know Eren had the Founding Titan yet. If Annie knew that her mission would be completed after capturing Eren, perhaps she would have been even more miserable.

The years of psychological trauma made even the stony-faced Annie cry. This is when she realizes it would become next to impossible to capture Eren again. After this incident, Eren was kept under close watch, and Annie was captured soon after.

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    Blerta Hoxha

    Blerta is an article writer based in Albania, a small coastal country in the Balkan region. She’s currently a student pursuing a Master’s degree in Dentistry. Although creative writing and dentistry don’t seem to have much in common, Blerta is well-acquainted with both. Her exper...

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