With the manga concluded and the anime in its final season, the end of Attack on Titan is near.
This dark fantasy series took the world by storm ever since the Colossal Titan famously kicked through Wall Maria and allowed the titans to flood into Shiganshina.
Now, we know that things are far more complicated than just humanity versus the man-eating titans, and the fate of the world comes down to one man: Eren Jaeger.
It was revealed back in Season 3 that Eren is the current holder of the Founding Titan, the most powerful and important of all the Titan shifters.
But what can the Founding Titan do – and why is it so sought after by everyone?
Today we are exploring the Founding Titan, what it can do and how Eren can use the Founding to save – or destroy – the entire world.
What Is The Founding Titan?
The Founding Titan is one of the nine Titan Shifters, meaning that its holder can transform into a Titan at will.
Originally, it was in possession of the Reiss family, who passed it down from generation to generation over the course of centuries.
The Reiss family were the ruling dynasty descended from King Fritz, who moved some of his Eldian citizens to the Isle of Paradis to live isolated from the rest of the world.
The power of the Founding Titan was desperately sought out by the Marleyan forces, who sent a team known as the Warriors into Eldian territory to find and steal it from the Reiss family.
However, unbeknownst to them, it had already been stolen by Grisha Yaeger and passed down to his young son, Eren.
But as each Titan Shifter inherits unique abilities and powers, what powers do the Founding Titan have that makes it so important?
Powers And Abilities
The Founding Titan has the same shared abilities as the rest of the Titan shifters – its holder can heal wounds faster than any other human, and regrow limbs over a period of time.
The holder can also transform into a titan. The size and strength of the Founding Titan’s form varies depending on its user, as its appearance will also change to reflect the traits and features of its current holder.
However, the Founding Titan also has many of its own unique powers and abilities that makes it the most powerful, dangerous Titan Shifter and also the most sought after.
Titans have always been the biggest threat in the anime. Over time, they have evolved from mindless man-eating threats that hunt humans to weapons used by armies over the centuries to conquer and build empires.
The only Titan Shifter able to control all titans at will is the Founding Titan. By screaming, it can control any and every titan in the area and it will follow any order it commands.
We first saw this power demonstrated by Eren Jaeger after he accidentally commanded nearby titans to eat Dina Fritz’s titan – the same titan that had eaten his mother – and also attack the Armored Titan.
This power was also used by King Fritz to make the Walls. He commanded hundreds of thousands of Colossal Titans to link arms and harden their bodies, thus confining themselves within the Walls.
This is why the Marleyan forces (and the rest of the world) are so eager to remove the Founding Titan from Eldian hands. If used, the holder can create and control an entire titan army that is capable of wiping out the rest of the world.
Although other countries and empires are afraid that this power would be used against them, there is nothing to say that the Marleyan government would not use the Founding Titan to conquer the rest of the world if they came into possession of it.
Zeke Jaeger demonstrates a similar ability, where he can create titans and control them with a scream, but it is not the power of the Founding Titan.
Zeke’s similar ability is because he is a descendant of the same royal bloodline as Karl Fritz, but his ability is limited as he can only control titans that have been created using his own spinal fluid.
It is unknown if Zeke could always do this, or if his ability sprung after he inherited the Beast Titan. This is because other descendants of Karl Fritz, like Historia who is not a Titan Shifter, have not been shown to also inherit such an ability.
Nonetheless, Zeke’s ability is separate and more limited than the Founding Titan. The Founding Titan can control all titans, no matter when or how they are made, and is most likely able to control Titan Shifters too.
Another power that the Founding Titan holds is the ability to wipe or change the memories of Eldians.
We first saw this ability being used by previous owner Frieda Reiss when she visited her younger illegitimate half-sister Historia.
Frieda would use her Founding Titan abilities to wipe Historia’s memory so she would never remember her sister’s visits, keeping her safe.
However, the largest example of this ability being used is when Karl Fritz, the first Eldian king of Paradis, used it to wipe the memories of all Eldians living inside the walls.
They all forgot about the outside world and were led to believe that they were the last living remnants of humanity.
And so, the Founding Titan also has the ability to erase or alter the memories of all other Eldians.
This is one of the most recent power revelations of the Founding Titan.
Just like how the Founding Titan can control the minds of its Eldian subjects, it can also change their bodies.
This power has rarely been used, but one example given was that an Eldian king once used this ability to make his Eldian subjects immune to a rampant disease that was spreading worldwide.
Recently, it was revealed that Zeke Jaeger wanted to use this ability to make all Eldians sterile. With no more Eldian children being born, the race would die out and titans would disappear.
Although still yet to be seen, it can safely be assumed that the Founding Titan can create other titans.
King Karl Fritz was able to make Colossal Titans to build the Walls, but it is not confirmed if he needed to inject them with spinal fluid or just scream.
However, it is pretty much confirmed that the Founding Titan is the one who can create titans at will. Zeke Jaeger shares the same blood as the Founding Titan line and has a similar although limited ability.
The Founding Titan is not without its flaws. Just like how the Colossal Titan is strong but slow due to its size, the Founding Titan’s powers are also wrapped up in technicalities that affect its ability to use its powers.
In Season 3, it was made clear that those without royal blood could not inherit and use the Founding Titan independently. Therefore, only those from the Fritz or Reiss families are able to transform into the Founding Titan if they inherit it.
Characters like Historia and Zeke are the only ones alive who are able to use the Founding Titan if they were to inherit it from its current holder, Eren.
Eren cannot use the Founding Titan’s powers despite the fact that he is its current holder. The only time he can use them is if he comes into contact with someone of royal blood.
For example, when Eren punched the titan-form of Dina Fritz, he temporarily unlocked the Founding Titan’s abilities. This was why Eren was able to tell the other titans to attack Dina Fritz and the Armored Titan.
Karl Fritz’s Vow
When King Karl Fritz retreated some of his people to Isle of Paradis and built the Walls, he vowed to never use his powers of the Founding Titan to destroy titans or to destroy the world.
Although he made the threat to unleash the Colossal Titans living in the walls to crush the rest of humanity if they ever invaded Paradis, secretly King Karl Fritz vowed to never do such a thing.
His ideology was passed along to his descendants and all those who inherit the Founding Titan after him who are also a part of his bloodline.
This means that if Historia were to inherit the Founding Titan, she could not use its powers to cause the Rumbling or bring down the walls. She, just like her sister and uncle before her, are bound by Karl Fritz’s vow.
However, if Zeke were to inherit the Founding Titan, he would not be controlled by Karl Fritz’s ideology. He is not a direct descendant of Karl Fritz and is instead descended from the branch of the royal family that was left behind in Marley.
The Founding Titan can only control and have power over those with Eldian biology. Therefore, it cannot alter the minds or bodies of those in Marley or any other country around the world.
This can be seen within the Walls with the Ackerman and Azumabito clans. When Karl Fritz altered the minds of all Eldians within the Walls, he was unable to wipe the memories of the Ackermans and Azumabitos living within the Walls.
This meant that they could remember the outside world and posed a threat to Karl Fritz’s peaceful world within the Walls.
Therefore, the Ackermans and Azumabitos were cast out and discriminated against so their word became nothing and their status within the Walls was weakened – all because the Founding Titan did not have any power over them.
The Curse Of Ymir
Like with all Titan Shifters, the inheritor of the Founding Titan also inherits the curse of Ymir. This means that 13 years after inheriting the Founding Titan, the holder will die.
The Reiss family would purposefully hand over the power to the next generation every 13 years in order to keep the power within the family, even though they could not use it and it became nearly worthless.
Frieda Reiss only had the Founding Titan power for 3 years before she was eaten by Grisha Yaeger. The current holder, Eren, only has 4 years left to live.
So those are all the powers and abilities of the Founding Titan that we know of so far.
The Founding Titan is one of the most powerful Titan Shifters as it has the ability to control other titans and use them as weapons.
However, due to its bloodline limitation and Karl Fritz’s vow, only those of the royal bloodline can use the Founding Titan’s powers and those descended from Karl Fritz are bound by his ideology to refuse to use it.
So, the only way Eren can use the Founding Titan’s powers is if he comes in contact with someone of royal blood – like his half brother Zeke.