I’m not saying that Eren’s IQ isn’t probably on the higher end of things. But after that controversial ending to Attack On Titan, it’s easy to see why people might have some reservations about how Eren Yaeger, our protagonist, used said intellect. And take it from someone who has researched anime protagonist IQs for this article before: The smartest people in anime are the ones that end up making some of the most questionable decisions.
And so, there comes the question of Eren’s IQ which has to be in the upper 100 in order to strategize the way he did, right? Like, at the very least he is in the top 6 of the smartest characters in Attack On Titan, so the range for Eren’s IQ is probably in the 140+ values. Which makes it even more shocking when you realize that, in the beginning, Eren was one of the more naive characters with very little tact or intelligence. In hindsight, he was built to be like every Shounen protagonist, until everything fell apart.
So, again, this would not be the first time we have discussed the exact IQ of anime protagonists from popular series. And more often than not, they are clearly designed to be smart to complement their God-like status in the narrative. After all, you can’t go by on brawn alone, like with most Shounen series. But while Attack On Titan is published in Shounen Jump, it’s mainly more of a Seinen with a young protagonist. And Seinen usually requires more brain power than brawn to further the plot.
So, of course the protagonist will have to be smart and calculated in the decisions they make. The plot is riddled with political intrigue and collapsing walls using monstrous strength isn’t going to make for a compelling situation. Which is why in today’s Lore Analysis, let’s discuss Eren’s IQ and what it meant for the controversial conclusion of one of the most popular anime series of the last decade!
Eren’s IQ Might Be High, But He Had Limits:
So, there’s no question that our bubbling and optimistic hero, Eren Yaeger, became a calculated individual given everything that he went through, alongside all the information that was revealed to him. But the disconnect between Season 1 Eren and finale Eren is so immense, that it’s hard not to feel confused.
But the question was never about whether Eren was smart enough or not. It was about where and how he had applied himself, and how that shaped him into the person he was by the end of things. Eren Jaeger absolutely did not start out as a tactical genius, but he did show hints of his intelligence from the very beginning. Maybe he didn’t have an IQ in the 200s, but he was also just a teenager who had lost his family in a tragic way. Joining the Survey Corps in fighting the very clear evil of the Titans was all he ever wanted.
And he was good at it. Mikasa Ackerman might’ve been the prodigy when it came to Titan slaying, but Eren was quick on his feet and determined to get the job done, which takes a person a long way. And as the story went on, we saw Eren become less naive, more questioning, leading to a sharpened intelligence. But he was also a very emotional person, which led to him making certain choices that were more rooted in extremism, than actual planning.
The Radicalization Of The Protagonist Into the Antagonist
And thus, we get to the point of where Eren went from the plucky hero to villain of the story. A lot of fans had issues with how Hajime Isayama, the mangaka of Attack On Titan, ended the stories. Which was basically Eren going full ‘V For Vendetta’ mode and hinting how things for Paradis will be a cycle repeated.
It’s not hard to see where Eren’s intelligence failed him. After everything was said and done, with Historia on the throne and the island of Paradis getting ready for eventual globalization, people were happy. Hell, Eren’s friends and family agreed with this new path for the liberation of their people. But when Eren connected with the Paths and saw the lineage of Eldians, it became clear to him that opening Paradis up would only lead to their freedom being lost yet again.
Eren couldn’t see the ones he loved go through the stigmatization and ruin their ancestors had gone through. He didn’t want them to hide anymore. And instead of agreeing to play nice with the rest of the world, Eren decided to use his intelligence to decimate the rest of it. He created a wave of nationalism to sow discourse amongst the people of Paradis, manipulated his way into contacting Zeke, his half brother triggered everything and even lied to people like Armin to get his way.
In the end, Eren was very smart. He knew exactly what he was doing, and the motivations behind his actions too. But despite it all, he became the very thing he sought out to eradicate from this world: a monster more than happy to commit genocide to insure the survival of his own people. And in a way, it all came full circle.