The Female Titan: Attack on Titan's Annie Leonhart, Explained

Annie Leonhart Female Titan header

In the medieval steampunk world of Attack on Titan, humanity faces extinction from the rise of carnivorous, towering humanoids known as Titans. The main characters of the anime/manga series form an elite group of defenders within their walled city, known as the Survey Corps, to combat the giants and defend the citizens. However, in the show's first season, the organization faces an insidious threat when one of their own, Annie Leonhart, is revealed to be a Titan in disguise.

Now, CBR is taking a close look at the Female Titan, from her history and her battles with her former comrades to her abilities and her ultimate defeat.

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The Secret Origins of the Female Titan

Trained by her father from an early age to join the Marley military, Annie often keeps to herself rather than engage socially with her fellow comrades-in-arms. Because of her superior tactical training and combat skills, Annie is selected to become one of seven secret candidates to be given the ability to transform into a Titan and further Marley's national interests.

Joining her fellow Titans in destroying a rival nation, Annie and her companions are tasked with attacking the walled nation of Paradis Island and the remnants of the Kingdom of Eldia, who secretly possess the Founding Titan, the mightiest of all the Titans. Tasked with the top secret mission of infiltrating Paradis Island with her companions Bertolt Hoover, Reiner Braun and Marcel Galliard, Annie is visibly unimpressed, although she continues with her assignment even after her father begs her to return home. Upon arrival, Maria leads an army of Titans to demolish the Wall Mariam which defends Paradis Island's capital city and enters in her human form.

The Female Titan's Powers and Abilities

Trained all her life in martial arts and other self-defense techniques, Annie is a formidable fighter even in her human form and ranked fourth among her entire training class while posing as a recruit on Paradis Island's city defenses. Roughly on par with Mikasa, Annie is especially adept at taking down larger, stronger opponents, either in hand-to-hand combat or using the vertical maneuvering equipment given to her by the Military Police Brigade.

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Annie can transform into a monstrous Titan at a moment's notice, able to trigger her transformation by self-inducing pain, usually by a hidden blade concealed in her ring and focusing on her mission. Accustomed to this hulking form back thanks to her training, Annie is stronger and faster than most human-controlled Titans and able to maintain the form longer before reverting to her human state from exhaustion.

In addition to the extraordinary strength, speed, and endurance of her Titan form, Annie possesses an accelerated healing factor that she can focus on specific parts of her damaged body, unlike most Titans. One particularly devastating ability possessed by the Titan Annie is to crystalize parts of her body into a rock-hard form for either defensive or offensive use. However, if Annie maintains her crystallized form too long, the formations begin to become brittle and crack while increasing Annie's own physical exertion.

The Defeat of Annie Leonhart

Having infiltrated the Survey Corps, Annie and her comrades kill Titans that were captured for research and expeditions outside of the city to keep the citizens of Paradis Island weak and unaware of their activities. After several attempts to capture and identify the female Titan fail, Annie is invited to enter an underground passage to hide Eren from the female Titan until they can improve the city's defenses. Frustrated by her refusal to do so, Mikasa appears and reveals that they know Annie is the female Titan.

Transforming into her Titan state, Annie escapes and fights Eren who similarly transforms into a Titan to fight her. Attempting to subdue him so the expedition from Marley can study Paradis Island's first human-controlled Titan, Annie decides to flee when the Survey Corps regroups and catches up to her. After Mikasa cuts off all the female Titan's fingers while she's trying to scale the city's walls, she falls to the city streets below.

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As the Survey Corps attempt to extract Annie from her Titan body, they discover she has used the Titan's ability to generate hardened crystal to completely encase her human body in an indestructible shell to prevent interrogation. Frustrated, they leave the crystallized Annie deep below the city in a well-guarded area.

As one of the first major villains in the series, Annie Leonhart is indirectly responsible for an entire distract of the city being lost to wild Titans, costing Eren his mother's life. Cunning, well-trained, and extremely dangerous, she presented the main characters with their first major challenge after Eren discovered his own ability to transform into a Titan. While Annie is still in a crystallized cocoon, it is only a matter of time until she emerges and continues with her master plan.

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