Why Did Zeke Betray Marley? Unraveling the Motives Behind the Betrayal

Zeke Yeager, the infamous Beast Titan, played a pivotal role in the tumultuous world of “Attack on Titan.” Throughout the series, his actions perplexed fans and left them questioning his motives. One of the most significant turning points occurred when Zeke betrayed Marley, the nation that indoctrinated him and entrusted him with the power of the Beast Titan. In this article, we will delve into the complex reasons behind Zeke’s betrayal, exploring his upbringing, personal vendetta, flaws within Marley, and his alliance with Eren Jaeger.

Why Did Zeke Betray Marley – Explained

Zeke’s upbringing and indoctrination

To understand Zeke’s betrayal, we must examine his upbringing. Zeke hails from the royal family, the Yeagers, known for their connection to the Eldian race. Marley, a powerful nation ruling over Eldians, played a crucial role in shaping Zeke’s worldview. Growing up, Zeke witnessed the oppression faced by Eldians and was indoctrinated with Marley’s ideology, which painted Eldians as a threat to the world.

The secret plan

Behind the facade of loyalty to Marley, Zeke had a secret plan brewing. He formed a covert alliance with Paradis Island, the very place Marley considered its enemy. Zeke’s motivations for this alliance were multifaceted. Firstly, he aimed to free the Eldian people from the oppression they endured under Marley’s rule. Zeke recognized that Marley’s mistreatment of Eldians was unjust and sought to create a society where Eldians could live without fear and discrimination.

Secondly, Zeke believed that by joining forces with Paradis Island, he could facilitate the Eldian restoration movement. He envisioned a future where Eldians would regain their lost glory and overcome the stigma associated with their race. This ambitious plan required Zeke to betray Marley and collaborate with those he once considered adversaries.

Personal vendetta against Marley

Zeke’s betrayal of Marley was not solely driven by a desire for a better future for Eldians. It was also fueled by a personal vendetta against Marley and his own father, Grisha Yeager. Zeke resented his father for abandoning their family and believed that Marley’s ideology was responsible for tearing them apart. His deep-rooted anger and desire for revenge against Marley influenced his decision to turn against them.

Moreover, Zeke’s own experiences within Marley’s system shaped his perspective. He witnessed the atrocities committed by Marley against Eldians, including the brutal warrior program that forced children to inherit the powers of the Titans. These experiences further fueled Zeke’s resentment and drove him to seek retribution through his betrayal.

The flaws within Marley

Another crucial factor that led to Zeke’s betrayal was his growing disillusionment with Marley itself. Zeke recognized the corruption and power struggles within Marley’s government. He saw firsthand how those in power exploited the Eldian population for their own gain, perpetuating a cycle of suffering and oppression.

Moreover, Marley’s hypocrisy became evident to Zeke. The nation that preached about Eldians being dangerous and evil had its own share of dark secrets. Zeke realized that Marley’s leaders, who claimed to be righteous, were just as flawed and self-serving as anyone else. This realization shattered Zeke’s loyalty and pushed him toward a path of betrayal.

The Eldian restoration movement

Central to Zeke’s motivations for betraying Marley was his vision for the Eldian restoration movement. He believed that by cooperating with Paradis Island, the Eldian people could reclaim their power and establish a new society free from Marley’s influence. Zeke saw this as a sacrifice worth making, even if it meant betraying the nation he was raised to serve.

Zeke’s plan involved the activation of the “Euthanization” plan, where all Eldians would become sterile and gradually die out. This controversial strategy aimed to end the cycle of suffering and eradicate the Titan curse that plagued their race. Zeke believed that this sacrifice would pave the way for a new era, where Eldians could live peacefully, free from the burden of the Titans.

The burden of the Beast Titan

Zeke’s possession of the Beast Titan also played a significant role in his decision to betray Marley. The power of the Beast Titan came with a heavy burden. Zeke was constantly plagued by the demands of the Titan’s abilities, both mentally and physically. The weight of this responsibility took a toll on Zeke’s well-being, pushing him to reevaluate his allegiance to Marley.

The burden of the Beast Titan forced Zeke to question the purpose and ethics behind Marley’s use of the Titans. He began to view his role as a Titan shifter as a curse rather than a privilege. This introspection further fueled his desire to break free from Marley’s grasp and forge a new path.

The alliance with Eren

Zeke’s betrayal of Marley found a strong ally in Eren Jaeger, the protagonist of “Attack on Titan.” Both Zeke and Eren shared a common goal: to dismantle the oppressive system and secure a future for Eldians. Their partnership was rooted in their mutual understanding of the injustices committed against their people.

By collaborating with Eren, Zeke solidified his plan to utilize the power of the Founding Titan, held by Eren, to execute the euthanization plan. This alliance not only demonstrated Zeke’s commitment to his cause but also showcased the complexity of his character. He was willing to join forces with those he once considered enemies if it meant achieving his vision.

The aftermath and consequences

Zeke’s betrayal sent shockwaves through Marley. The nation that once relied on his loyalty and the power of the Beast Titan was left bewildered and vulnerable. Zeke’s actions disrupted the delicate balance of power, creating a ripple effect that impacted the ongoing conflict between Marley and Paradis Island.

On Paradis Island, Zeke’s betrayal raised questions about his true intentions and the potential risks associated with his plan. The island’s inhabitants, including the Scout Regiment, grappled with the decision to trust Zeke and his proposed euthanization plan. The consequences of Zeke’s actions reverberated through the story’s narrative, adding layers of complexity to the already intricate plot.

FAQ About Why Did Zeke Betray Marley

Will Zeke’s betrayal lead to the end of Marley’s dominance?

The betrayal of Zeke certainly dealt a significant blow to Marley’s dominance. However, the consequences of his actions and the ultimate fate of Marley are complex and influenced by various factors within the story. It remains to be seen if Zeke’s betrayal alone will be enough to bring about the end of Marley’s dominance.

What is the significance of Zeke’s plan for the Eldian restoration movement?

Zeke’s plan for the Eldian restoration movement aimed to free the Eldian people from Marley’s oppression and establish a new society. It challenged the existing power dynamics and sought to reshape the future of Eldians. The significance lies in Zeke’s belief that sacrificing the ability to reproduce would ultimately liberate Eldians from the cycle of suffering caused by the Titan curse.

How does Zeke’s betrayal affect the relationship between Paradis Island and Marley?

Zeke’s betrayal strained the already fragile relationship between Paradis Island and Marley. It fueled distrust and raised questions about the true intentions of both sides. While Paradis Island saw potential in Zeke’s plan, it also brought about uncertainty and skepticism. The relationship between the two factions became more complicated as they navigated the consequences of Zeke’s actions.

Are there any redeeming qualities to Zeke’s actions?

Zeke’s actions can be seen as morally ambiguous, with both positive and negative implications. While his betrayal caused upheaval and put many lives at risk, his motivations were rooted in a desire to create a better future for Eldians and break free from the cycle of suffering. The moral judgment of Zeke’s actions ultimately rests with the readers and viewers of “Attack on Titan.”

Will Zeke’s betrayal bring about a better future for Eldians?

The question of whether Zeke’s betrayal will bring about a better future for Eldians is subjective and depends on one’s perspective. Zeke’s plan aimed to free Eldians from oppression and establish a new society, but it came at the cost of sacrificing the ability to reproduce. The long-term consequences and the impact on the Eldian people’s well-being are open to interpretation.


Zeke’s betrayal of Marley was the culmination of a complex web of motivations, including his upbringing, personal vendetta, disillusionment with Marley’s flaws, and his vision for the Eldian restoration movement. It showcased the intricate nature of his character, blurring the lines between heroism and villainy.

“Attack on Titan” presented Zeke as a character driven by a desire for justice, albeit through unconventional means. His actions challenged the established notions of loyalty and exposed the flaws within the oppressive systems of Marley. Whether one views Zeke’s betrayal as justified or not, there is no denying its significance in shaping the course of the story.

Relevant Resources:

  1. Who Is Zeke Yeager to Eren
  2. Who Is Eren Yeager Father
  3. When Does Armin Become a Titan
  4. Does Annie Like Armin

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