One of the most popular anime/manga series in the world is still Attack on Titan, which showcases a horrific fantasy world populated by seemingly unstoppable giants who appear to live only to consume any humans that crosses their path. To defend against the gargantuan threat, humanity has constructed massive walls around its last remaining major city, while training an elite force to combat the Titan threat.
However, one recurring character named Rod Reiss was transformed into a Titan himself, posing a threat for all of humanity. Now, we're taking a closer look at the abnormally large, grotesque Titan, from his human background to specifics behind his monstrous transformation and subsequent role in the manga franchise.
Royal Rod Reiss
Rod was the elder of two sons of a king and inheritor of the Founding Titan. He and his younger brother Uri unsuccessfully attempted to have their father end the legacy of Titans before marrying and having five children as well as a secret sixth child with the Reiss family maid Alma. To Rod's horror, both Uri and Rod's daughter Freida succumb to the monstrous influence of their bloodline, with Freida consuming Uri to seize the throne.
After the Titans breach one of the city walls, a man from the outside named Grisha Yaeger appears and transforms into a Titan himself, killing Freida and devouring most of the royal family, with only Rod escaping. Rod flees to a farm where his illegitimate daughter Historia has been living, only to be ambushed by the military police, as Historia's daughter is murdered and Historia is drafted into the military police by Kenny Ackerman.
After learning about the existence of Grisha's son Ehren Yaeger and his inherited ability to transform into a Titan, Rod and Historia kidnap him to coerce Ehren into helping them reclaim the Founding Titan as part of the Reiss family legacy. As Historia is part of the Reiss bloodline, Rod has a syringe prepared to transform aher so they can use the Founding Titan to rid the world of the Titan legacy.
However, the proceedings are interrupted by Kenny as History is shocked to learn about the full extent of Rod's plans for her. In an ensuing struggle, Rod's back is broken by his daughter and the syringe is shattered, causing Rod to desperately lick up its contents and transform into a Pure Titan. Rod's Reiss ancestry and the potent contents of the syringe makes Rod twice as large as the previously largest sighted Titan as he smashes through the chapel where he had been keeping the captive Ehren.
Rod the Titan
Upon his transformation, Rod continues to move along on all fours rather than standing upright due to the back injury he sustained just before consuming the syringe's contents. As Rod moves to a part of the city that features a particularly large concentration of humans, the Survey Corps is unable to directly engage him due to the sheer amount of heat radiating from his body, with anyone who gets near becoming burned.
As the sun begins to rise, the military begins to bombard Rod with artillery fire but are unable to impede his progress. As Rod begins to scale the wall, soldiers begin coating themselves with water to withstand the immense heat before Squad Levi blows off Rod's hands. As Rod tumbles to the ground, Ehren shoves barrels of gunpowder into Rod's mouth, triggering a massive explosion, leaving the Titan in pieces. Before Rod can escape, Historia herself delivers the killing blow to the nape of his neck, absorbing his memories due their shared lineage before he dies.