Reiner Braun is a tall and masculine man from a mountain village on the southeast side of Wall Maria. He excels in combat, strategy, and teamwork. He also has natural skills of leadership and acts as great support for his comrades. Since he grew up in the same area as Bertolt, the two are close and are often seen together. He joined the 104th Training Corps and, when graduating, ranked second in his class, being outranked only by Mikasa Ackermann. After graduating, he joined the Survey Corps with Bertolt.
“I’m going to return to the home that was taken from me. No matter what” Season 1, Episode 3
Reiner was often trusted by his peers and was quick to offer a helping hand to others, like Armin Arlelt when he was struggling in a training march (Chapter 35, Volume 9).
During his time in the 104th Training Corps, he carefully crafted himself as an image of reliability, bravery, and chivalry (Attack on Titan Guidebook (p.57)). It is later revealed that Reiner is the person in control of the Armored Titan, which shocks everyone as he has cunningly deceived his entire group of comrades with his facade.
Although he has ulterior motives, the one thing that remained true about Reiner’s character is his strong passion and determination to follow through with his mission, even if it meant killing his comrades and destroying relationships that he had built through his time in the 104th Training Corps.
- Name: Reiner Braun
- Date of Birth: August 1
- Height: 185 cm
- Weight: 95 kg
- Birthplace: Mountain Village in Southeast Wall Maria
Reiner is first seen as calm, collected, loyal, and dependable, albeit not as assertive when compared to his peers. After gaining his Armored Titan powers, he becomes more assertive and certain about his mission to return home and fulfill his duties of Operation Pardis.
We can see his clashing personalities come through in Season 3, Episode 15 of the anime series. He is incredibly headstrong and passionate about completing his objectives at first, as he doesn’t hesitate when faced with the idea of killing Marco.
Marco overhears Reiner’s and Bertholdt’s conversation about their abilities to shift into Titans and “the hole [they] opened”. Marco, upon hearing this, is puzzled and does not yet fully grasp the truth of the situation he accidentally stumbled upon. However, Reiner pursues Marco, as he sees him as an immediate threat to their plans that they have been patiently planning and executing.
Reiner tackles Marco and pins him on a roof with his hand behind his back. As Marco had essentially just become a witness to their secrets, Reiner believed that it was necessary to kill Marco, as this could put their whole operation in jeopardy. This leads him to say “we can’t let him live”.
Reiner instructs Annie to take off Marco’s vertical maneuvering gear, as she wanted to test her loyalty as well. Reiner suspected that she was empathizing too much with the enemies, as Reiner remembers a scene that shows her helping Connie Springer. In order to prove her own determination, Annie takes off his gear as Reiner holds his arms. Doing so leads to Marco being stranded on a roof without any gear to escape. With nowhere to go and no means to protect himself, Marco is eventually eaten by a Titan.
The three look back and witness Marco’s death, an event that surprisingly shocks them.
For a brief second, Reiner is caught asking himself “Why is Marco getting eaten?”, showcasing feelings of being genuinely distressed at seeing his comrade being eaten. The scene then cuts to the present, which presents Reiner looking surer than ever that killing Marco was the right thing with a face that shows no remorse as he recalls the event.
As Reiner had built a relationship with his comrades in the 104th Training Corps over the past few years, he had gained their trust and loyalty. However, even before joining, he knew he had a mission to complete and objectives to reach and if it meant he had to kill people along the way, he would do it without hesitation.
Reiner throughout the series becomes more determined but less human in exchange.
In the year 845, the Marley nation chose Reiner to gain the powers of the Armored Titan.
Reiner’s Armored Titan stands about 15 meters tall and is equipped with hardened skin-like armor which is impervious to conventional military weapons. The Armored Titan used its body to demolish Wall Maria by creating momentum and devastating power simply ramming into the Wall with its body.
As cited in the Guidebook on page 57, Reiner Braun was evaluated as someone who could have become a leader of the Survey Corps through his determination, reliability and disturbing past to propel him into the future. Reiner was also filled with a simple desire to return to his hometown.
Although seemingly slowed down by its armor, the Armored Titan is still a formidable opponent due to its mobility and its ability to move freely and agilely when fighting Eren as a Titan.