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Attack On Titan Season 4: Mikasa's Fate Explained

Contains spoilers for the "Attack on Titan" manga

Throughout the vast majority of "Attack on Titan," Mikasa Ackerman (Yui Ishikawa) has devoted her life to protecting her foster brother and lifelong best friend, Eren Yeager (Yuki Kaji) who saved her from a band of human traffickers when she was just nine years old. Unfortunately, the relationship between Eren and Mikasa has taken a dramatic turn throughout the anime's fourth season.

As Eren and his Yeagerists undertake a genocidal war campaign known as the "Rumbling," Mikasa finds herself torn between her love for the man Eren once was and her duty to protect the world from his destruction. Though Mikasa has spent much of Season 4 trying to persuade Eren to back down, she is finally forced to choose a side in "Attack on Titan: The Final Season – Part 3." Having finally accepted the fact that Eren must die in order to save humanity, Mikasa joins the Survey Corps and Warrior Unit Alliance as they embark on a final showdown with Eren and his army. This is the last we've seen of Mikasa in the anime, and until the release of the "Attack on Titan" series finale, there will no doubt be plenty of fans wondering whether or not Mikasa will make it out of this battle in one piece.

Here's everything you need to know about Mikasa's fate in the "Attack on Titan" manga and how it could change during the anime finale.

Mikasa experiences an alternate life with Eren, before ultimately killing him

While we have yet to see the climactic showdown between Mikasa Ackerman and Eren Yeagar in the anime series, manga readers know their final confrontation occurs in Chapter 138: "A Long Dream."

As Mikasa and the rest of the Survey Corps engage Eren in a final assault, Eren uses the power of the Founding Titan to bring her into the "Paths" — metaphysical channels that connect all Titans and Eldians and transcend time and space. Within the Paths, Mikasa experiences an alternate life where she and Eren fled the war together and lived out his final four years in peace and harmony. Despite Eren's earlier proclamation that he hated Mikasa for the unrequited love she bore him, this entire sequence is a sign of the true romantic feelings he felt for her. These feelings are confirmed later on during a similar Paths meeting with Armin Artlert (Marina Inoue), where he confesses he does not want Mikasa to love anybody else after he is gone. Eren does not express his true feelings but instead asks Mikasa to forget about him once he is dead, a request she says is impossible.

Following this vision, Mikasa is forced to do the one thing she has always dreaded: kill Eren herself in order to end the war. With help from Levi Ackerman (Hiroshi Kamiya), who uses a Thunder Spear to break apart Eren's Titan's jaw, Mikasa flies inside and cuts off Eren's head with her sword. We are given a brief glimpse of Eren and Mikasa saying goodbye in the Path before Mikasa kisses Eren's severed head goodbye in the real world.

True to her word, Mikasa never forgets Eren

Thus the bleak and unfulfilled love story of Mikasa Ackerman and Eren Yeager comes to a depressing end, with their first kiss coming after Eren has already died. In Chapter 139: "Toward the Tree on That Hill," Mikasa finds Armin Artlert on the battlefield, and they mourn the loss of their friend over Eren's severed head.

Armin and Mikasa agree to take Eren's head back to Paradis Island to give him a proper burial, something the Marleyans won't allow. As she leaves, she sees the ghostly spirit of the first Titan, Ymir, and Mikasa acknowledges that Ymir will finally be able to rest with Eren's death. Upon returning to Paradis Island, Mikasa buries Eren's head below the tree he often napped under outside the Shiganshina District, the same tree we see in the anime's very first episode.

Three years after Eren's death and burial, Mikasa returns to his grave and starts to weep beneath the tree, wishing desperately that she could see him one more time. When her sobs loosen the scarf around her neck (Eren's scarf, given to her when they first met), a bird flies and tightens it before flying away again. Mikasa smiles at the bird and thanks Eren for tightening her scarf one last time, implying that the bird is Eren reincarnated, finally free and happier than he ever was in life. Mikasa would continue visiting Eren's grave for the rest of her life, even after finding a new family. When Mikasa finally passes away at an immense old age, she does so while still wearing Eren's scarf, having never truly forgotten him.