Who is Ymir Fritz? What exactly happened to her? How did the Titan power originate from her?
Attack on Titan fans may be very curious about the original Founding Titan. After the revelation in the Final Season Part 2 about Ymir Fritz, a spark of questions is expected. After all, the centuries-long suffering of Eldians or Subjects of Ymir started with her story. A history of oppression, retaliation, and information distortion have plagued the many lives of the race she’s a progenitor of.
In the earlier seasons, she was depicted in various ways. The way she was perceived depended on different organizations’ beliefs.
To truly understand on who Ymir Fritz is, let us review the earlier depictions of her before her actual backstory.
In Season 2, the backstory of Ymir (not Ymir Fritz), Historia’s companion, was revealed. Although the audience back then never understood the context of what is really happening, now it can be pieced together to make sense. Ymir was an unnamed orphan girl in Marley, until she was adopted by an Eldian cult. This cult viewed Ymir Fritz as a goddess, hence they gave the name ‘Ymir’ to the orphan girl. They believed that Ymir inherited the blood of the king, blessing believers with immortality. It can be assumed that the cult only revered Ymir Fritz as a goddess who can make the people immortal. There was no mention of Ymir Fritz’s supposed great feats.
‘Krista Lenz’ was a former alias of Historia to hide her true identity as a child of the royal family in the earlier seasons. In Season 3, it was revealed that the name ‘Krista Lenz’ originated from a storybook Historia encountered when she as a child. In particular, it was Historia’s half-sister, Frieda Reiss, who introduced the Krista Lenz character. Frieda urged Historia to be like Krista, who was kind and always thought of others. Krista was said to live in a way that was loved by everybody. This is why Historia had a martyrlike personality in the earlier seasons, until Ymir (not Ymir Fritz) made her change this mindset.
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Pawn of the Devil/Devil
In Season 3 Part 2, Grisha Yeager’s secret has been revealed. He originated from Marley, a nation outside the walls of Paradis Island. He and his family experienced discrimination just because they were Eldians/Subjects of Ymir. They were not allowed to go to certain areas. They were confined to interment zones.
This was because in Marley, everyone was taught that Ymir Fritz was a pawn of the devil. She was the reason for the sufferings the Eldians have endured for many centuries. Majority of the Eldians themselves believe this, including Grisha’s family. They believed that they are atoning for the sins Ymir Fritz had caused by making a deal with the devil. Since Marleyans would label the Eldians as ‘devils’, it can be assumed that Ymir Fritz has been viewed as a ‘devil’ too.
Grisha started to refuse the Marleyans’ version of Ymir Fritz when he grew up. He joined the Eldian Restorationists, and in their view, Ymir Fritz was actually a benevolent figure. She used her Titan powers to help her people build their nation and the continent. They believed that Ymir Fritz as the devil was just a history distorted by Marley. This was also encouraged by Dina Fritz, a distant descendant of Ymir Fritz herself.
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Before Final Season Part 2, Ymir Fritz was an enigmatic figure. The audience can feel confused about her. Why did she let her people suffer in the years to come? How did she get the power of the Titans? Was she coerced or was it her own choice? What was her true intentions?
This barrage of questions are finally answered by Final Season Part 2. It revealed Ymir Fritz’ backstory, and it turns out all the earlier depictions of her were not entirely accurate. They were embellished to benefit the agenda of certain groups and individuals. It is actually a mirror of reality that people will believe what they want to believe.
Ymir Fritz was not a goddess. She was a human girl whose village was attacked, which led to her parents dying. She was enslaved by the ancient Eldians at that time and her tongue was cut off. This tribe of Eldians was led by their leader, Fritz. This occurred when she was very young, so she was impressionable. She let herself become a slave because she did not know any better.
Frieda Reiss got indeed one fact right: Ymir was actually a kind and selfless girl. This was seen when she has let the pigs escape from the pen. This is symbolical because it reflected on what she truly desired deep down: freedom. She also willingly took the blame when Fritz demanded who had let the pigs escape.
However, Fritz was absolutely cruel towards Ymir. Her punishment was being hunted for sport, after declaring her ‘free’ from being a slave. Ymir got terribly wounded and she sought shelter in a massive tree.
Unaware of a deep sinkhole in the tree, Ymir fell and merged with a strange, spine-like creature. This touch transformed Ymir into a towering Titan, thus acquiring the power of the Titans. She became the first and the original Founding Titan.
Logically, one would assume that Ymir used her newfound Titan power to take revenge against Fritz. But she did not. Instead, she returned with her power and decided to help Fritz instead. This alone can pose a question: why did she return to the guy who only abused her?
Remember that Ymir was still a child when she became a slave. She had no family left. She knew nothing of a warm home with love and proper treatment. It can be assumed that Ymir thought that the slave treatment of her was normal. When she returned to Fritz with her power, Fritz began to value her. This was probably the only time she received some ‘positive’ treatment from anyone. This led to Ymir fully submitting herself to Fritz.
Fritz used Ymir as his weapon to overthrow other nations. Ymir used her power to kill numerous people and trample other nations under Fritz’ command. Marley was the one nation that suffered tremendously from this. Hence, Marley’s history can be considered accurate because in their perspective, Ymir was a monster who destroyed everything.
With other nations destroyed, Fritz gained more power and greed. He used Ymir’s power to build the nation of Eldia and to become more prosperous. The Eldian Restorationists were correct in this aspect. Ymir did help develop Eldia, thus leading to Fritz becoming a king. As a ‘reward’ for Ymir’s help, Fritz made her his concubine and impregnated her. Fritz wanted to preserve the Titan power by siring children with Ymir: Maria, Rose, and Sina Fritz.
One day, a Marleyan soldier attempted to assassinate Fritz. Ymir, fully devoted to Fritz, took the aim. Fritz, instead of acknowledging her selfless action, chastised her. He called her his ‘slave’ and that she should not die. However, Ymir passed away. Fritz then forced their three daughters to cannibalize on Ymir’s body to preserve the Titan power. Fritz’ dying wish to their daughters was to pass down the power to their future children. His goal was for Eldians to rule the world with its Titans forever, which led to the Titan power split into 9 throughout the generations.
King Fritz’ greedy wish was the reason why Ymir Fritz was not able to gain peace and freedom even in the afterlife. She was consigned to a place called The Coordinate. This is where she heeded to the royal family’s wishes – specifically her descendants with King Fritz. She used the sand in The Coordinate to create Titans. She had let her people suffer for many years because she has no will of her own. She believed that King Fritz’ treatment of her was ‘love’. She was not strong enough to recognize her deep desire of freedom until Eren came along.
Eren was the one who recognized her for who she really was: a human being. She was not a goddess, an entire benevolent figure, nor the devil. She was just an orphaned child who was forced to become a slave. Deprived of love and care, being a slave was the only thing she knew of. She was someone yearning for freedom from King Fritz’ clutches, but she does not know how to. Eren had won her over with his Rumbling plan. Ymir finally made her own choice: to end the suffering of Eldians/Subjects of Ymir once and for all… and of herself.
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