There’s something truly unsettling about the titans in Attack on Titan. It’s almost an uncanny valley effect as these creatures move, behave, and take on forms in ways that hint of humanity but are somehow simply… off.
This hint of humanity becomes more interesting as the story progresses and as viewers are introduced to more titans who have far more cunning intelligence and purpose. So just how many titans are there? We’ll walk you through them here, just be careful—there are spoilers ahead.
Basic Titan forms in Attack of Titan
There are nine major titan forms that were created by Ymir, the founder of the titans, upon her death.
The most basic of all the Titan forms, Pure Titans are the most commonly seen in the show. Their appearance is reminiscent of humans, however, they are substantially larger, ranging between two to 15 meters in height. Often these titans also boast disproportionate body features adding to their menacing appearance. As the show progresses and we gain more insight into the origins of this titan species, their likeness to humans becomes more clear.
Combat against pure titans is much more simple than the other titan forms. Pure titans are mindless in nature and therefore easy to deceive. To eliminate them, like most titans, one solid blow to the nape will do the trick.
Abnormal Titans are simply an upgrade upon the Pure Titan. These “abnormals” display more intelligence making them more difficult to deceive or evade. In the series, this type of titan was aware enough to avoid conflict with humans instead opting to pursue objectives as part of a greater goal.
The Nine Titans
The first of the nine titan fragments of Ymir’s power we see in the series is the Colossal Titan in episode one. As the name suggests, this form is colossal in size and can use its massive form to expel heat and energy as a weapon. Over the seasons, the host of the Colossal Titan has changed, however, its appearance and abilities remained the same.
Also introduced in episode one, the Armored Titan gets its name from the bone-like armor covering large portions of its body. Combat with this titan form is especially difficult, as breaking through this armor plating is no easy task. In addition to the armor, this titan has shown impressive strength abilities and most notably the ability to harden its exterior in places to protect itself from damage.
Main character Eren Yeager’s own titan is the Attack Titan. As the show goes on, Eren learns new abilities for his titan form, including the abilities to harden and control other titans. Most importantly though, the Attack Titan boasts the power to inherit future memories. This ability allows Eren to know and influence events at all stages of the timeline. During the show, he uses this to set in motion events of the past as well as to chart the best way to influence the future. This ability is unique to the Attack Titan and it works by connecting all users of the form together.
While the title the Female Titan doesn’t give much away in regards to abilities, this titan form boasts plenty of useful tools that make it a powerful weapon for combat. Firstly, like the Attack Titan, the Female Titan can harden and control other titans itself. The difference is that the Female Titan is only able to attract the other titans to herself instead of controlling them to go after an enemy. One of the Female Titan’s most important traits is its versatility. In combat, this titan form has great endurance and mobility making it extremely difficult to best in hand-to-hand combat.
One of the more unique Titan forms, the beast titan is covered in a fur cloak and looks like a massive Bigfoot-inspired creature. Despite its beast-like appearance, don’t be fooled, the host behind this titan form is one of the more intelligent characters on the show and it is apparent as the Beast Titan is commonly seen in the backline commanding troops for an attack. The titan does this by using its two key abilities. The first and most useful of these is the ability to control pure titans and send them into battle, but the Beast Titan has an arm like a cannon that can hurl objects at an incredible speed doing massive damage to its target.
One of the smaller titan forms, the Jaw titan has incredible speed and agility alongside unbelievable crushing strength with its jaw. This titan form is one of the last introduced in the series and changed hands between hosts in the show’s final act. When wielded by its second user, after some modification at the hands of the Beast Titan, the Jaw Titan gains the ability to sprout wings and take flight.
Even when rolling for war with Titans you still need some utility and the Cart Titan accomplishes just that. Another of the smaller titan forms, the Cart Titan has incredible speed and endurance allowing it to cover distance fast while carrying allies or weaponry. The titan form is also quadrupedal, meaning that it walks upon all fours allowing for this incredible speed.
Another of the titan forms that isn’t introduced until late into the series, the Warhammer Titan is incredibly powerful with its unique ability to forge structures and create objects using its hardening ability. As we find out in the show, another factor that makes this form so powerful is that it can be operated remotely without the user being forced to enter the front lines at any time.
Above all other titans, the Founding Titan is the most powerful. Fans only began to get a full taste of its strength in the manga, however, anime watchers should get their chance when season four returns in 2022. The abilities begin with the power to create titans. In the manga, it is implied that the user could even influence the size and appearance of these newly created subjects. To compliment that ability, the Founding Titan can control pure titans. The list doesn’t stop there, the Founding titan was capable of manipulating memories, communicating telepathically, and seeing into the future.