My favorite space twins, frolicking in Lake Country. In the style of Studio Ghibli. Because we all need good vibes.
Edit: <3 what a warm welcome to tumblr, thanks for all the likes and reblogs! Also, whole time when I was making this, they were running around madly going, “LUUUKE” “LEEIAAAAA” like the two girls from Totoro in their extra-shouty-for-no-reason pre-schooler scenes.
I just want to share my thoughts, in an attempt to deal with what has happened in the last chapter, hoping that that could help someone else too. So here we are.
What Eren is doing seems to not present any solutions. And Hange, the one who has been able to gather all of them, to make fighting side by side prior enemies, the one without which none of them could have gone so far, now says that there seems to be no hope anymore. Eren has demonstrated nothing but her powerlessness.
Hange, despite her inextinguishable strong-will, despite all of what she’s done, by now feels that she’s not doing enough: she’s the commander of the SC, but she has killed her comrades. She’s supposed to be the one able to devise a plan to stop Eren, but they still didn’t think about a credible way to stop him.
And I didn’t fully realize until this chapter how much Hange blames herself for all of this. After all of these years, many of their comrades have died, they had to kill innocent people in Liberio, and now the whole humanity seems to be doomed. And Hange thinks of herself to be responsible for all of it.
I can’t imagine the burden and guilt that she could feel. She’s not been able to prevent the start of the cruelest disaster that humanity has ever faced, Hange, the one who has dedicated all of her life to save humanity, constantly putting her life on the line. And who has seen so many of her comrades, her friends, dying for that purpose.
And I think that, since becoming the commander, she has always felt the imperative to ensure that their deaths were not in vain. To make sure to give meaning to them.
It’s so hurting, because clearly this is a too heavy burden, it’s a too big responsibility, that no single human being could take. She shouldn’t feel fully responsible for all of this, because no one could have avoided that. She alone must not bear the guilt and burden for all of those lives, for all of what has happened.
And it’s too painful to see that she felt that she didn’t do enough, because she did so much, already before her final sacrifice. No one other than Hange could have been able to do what she did. She irrevocably opposed to the mass genocide, when all others were still confused and didn’t know what to do, she gathered all of them. She never really lost hope, and she brought everyone else so far, till where they’re now.
But, by doing that, Hange also put them in the utmost dangerous state of all, into what seems to be a hopeless mission, where, to save humanity, they would have to risk their lives again. And she’s painfully aware of that. And so, when the Rumbling arrives, and they have to gain time, she knows that. She’s the one who has to do that. No one else has to sacrifice themselves, because she’s the one who has led them to face all of that. So again, she takes responsibility for all of them. She deliberately, willfully, chooses to sacrifice herself.
So she takes her leave of them, saying her goodbyes, and designating Armin as her successor.
She knows that she will die in her last fighting. But there’s no other way to save her friends and give them a chance to save humanity. Hange acknowledges that, so she makes her decision. She has to do it, in order to fulfill her duty as commander, and she embraces that path. And, despite the cruelty of her death, despite all the pain, I’m at least relieved by that: her last sacrifice was not a helpless, desperate last act, something done by someone who has lost everything. She did it in order to save her friends, because, despite all, she still did believe, she knew that a hope was left. For them, for humanity. It’s apparent by her last words to Armin (he’s able to never give up, and to completely comprehend), and her decision to make him the next commander. I also think that because of her last words to Floch (who however was no more able to hear them): “We can’t give up now. Even if we fail today, we’ll win another day.”
Being the commander has undoubtedly put a heavy burden on Hange’s shoulders. And I’m also convinced that she suffered from sorrow and guilt for what she was forced to do to other innocent people, and to her comrades. But she never lost the will to strive to fight, to find a solution. She never lost hope, never surrendered to what seems to be a desperate future.
And, on a different note, I think that she never lost her will to live. She was forced to sacrifice herself by the fucked up situation where they’re now, but in other circumstances, I think that she would have found a way to joyfully, passionately live her life. Because that’s her way, that’s how Hange is. She would have carried the weight of her guilts, of all the cruelty that she couldn’t manage to prevent, but she would have also found a way to live her life somehow. Because, despite all, Hange never lost her love for life.
(It’s also interesting to note that Zoë is the transliteration of the Greek word ζωή, which means “life”). She never lost her love for exploring, for discovering all of the unknown. She never lost the love for her friends, something that would have brought joy and warmth to her. And she had that love. Hange brought in her heart her love for the closest person to her, someone with which she just wished to live her life with. And when about to go and put on her fight, she finally knew it. That person would have carried her in his heart as well, and he will do that after she’s gone.
This is heartbreaking. Hange was just forced to abandon him, Levi, the most important person to her. And when faced with him, that was the most difficult moment of all: she was going toward her final act, and she had to say goodbye to the person with whom she would have shared her life, knowing that she will never be able to see him again. And finally, with Levi’s last gesture and his final words for her, I think also knowing that her feelings were reciprocated, and that she was leaving him alone. This is the utmostly cruel thing of all.
It’s too too painful, too cruel. But nevertheless, despite that terrible pain, despite that cruelty, At the same time, there’s so much beauty in her last sacrifice. Because, till her last moment, Hange kept in her heart all of these beautiful feelings, her passions and curiosity, her love for his friends, her love for Levi. She protected them, she kept all of that in her heart till the end. She fought for them, with her heart. As Levi asked from her, Hange dedicated her heart.
She didn’t lose the hope till the end. And her sacrifice was not in vain. Now, her friends are flying away, there’s still a possibility for them to save humanity, and this is all thanks to her. She fought till the end, she was able to dedicate her life to what she believed in, and to go out like she wanted. Hange has gone with the wings of freedom on her back.
She did well. In the cruel world where they live, I couldn’t think of a better way to say her goodbye than that.
We will always keep you in our heart, sweet angel.