|Manga||To You, 2000 Years From Now|
|Anime||To You Two Thousand Years Later|
|Anime|| Daisuke Ono (Japanese)|
J. Michael Tatum (English)
Erwin Smith (エルヴィン・スミス Eruvin Sumisu?), sometimes known as Chief Erwin, is the 13th commander of the Survey Corps. Far-thinking, intelligent, respected, Erwin is an able commander, and while he cares deeply for his men, he would not hesitate to sacrifice them for the future of mankind, and his men have proven more than willing to stake their lives at his order. He developed the "Formation for Long Distance Enemy Detection".
Erwin has a commanding presence. He stands at 6'2", with his blond hair kept neatly parted on the left side. Erwin always wears a calm, collected expression on his face, his icy blue eyes being one of his most striking features. His eyebrows are also quite noticeable, being very thick and bushy.
Erwin typically dresses in the standard military uniform, donning the Survey Corps' signature green cape when on missions. He also wears a small, emerald bolo tie around his neck just like the other military commanders, Nile Dok and Dot Pixis.
Following the second appearance of the Armored Titan, Erwin has lost his right arm just below his shoulder.
Erwin is portrayed as serious, calculating, seeing and planning far for the future. While he trusts his men, he is the first to realize that there is a spy interfering with the Survey Corps and arranged for his/her capture. He is an eloquent speaker, able to sway many people, such as the war tribunal held to judge Eren and the trainees choosing recruitment branches to join.
Erwin is very grim. He accepts all news, good or bad, mockery or praise, with the same attitude because he knows his objectives and will follow through with them. His ultimate goal is for humanity to once again rise up and become the dominant species; a goal he is willing to sacrifice anything for. Even with his arm caught in a Titan's mouth he ordered everyone to save Eren.
He shares this unique stoic quality with men such as Head Administrator Dot Pixis, squad leader Ian Dietrich and Commander-in-Chief Darius Zackly. As Armin puts it, Erwin, like the aforementioned three men, has the ability to send his men to die if it will further the cause of humanity. He and they will sacrifice their own humanity in order to bring change to a world where those who cannot sacrifice things important to them will not change anything. Since he is able to do that he is a master strategist, shown multiple times through actions like capturing the Female Titan and leading a group of Titans to distract the Armored Titan so he could save Eren.
Erwin's father was a brilliant teacher, but also intensely curious about the mysteries of the world. Erwin was among the students taught in his classroom, and during a lesson on the history of humanity, he asked a question that his father could not genuinely answer. Later that evening, his father secretly shared with him a heretical theory: the official text books distributed by the government contained many contradictions. All knowledge of the outside world was declared Taboo 107 years prior, but even that would not have prevented the first generation from telling their children stories. He had concluded that the first generation's memories had been altered, allowing the monarchy to control them better.
Innocent of the danger, Erwin shared this theory with other children. This drew the attention of the Military Police's First Interior Squad, who approached him and inquired about his father's theories. Later that day, his father was killed in an accident in another town. However, Erwin correctly guessed that his father had been murdered for getting too close to the truth. From then on, he devoted his life to proving his father's theories true.
Towards this end, he would enlist in the military and join the Survey Corps. During training, he became friends with Nile Dok. He would serve as a trusted officer to Commander Keith Shadis, eventually taking his place when the other retired and became an instructor. During his time as an officer before the fall of Wall Maria, he fought alongside notable soldiers such as Mike Zacharius, and eventually, Levi.
He is later formally introduced when the Survey Corps is clearing a town inside Wall Maria. They discover Titans are moving north, towards the Trost District of Wall Rose. Fearing a breach, they head to Trost District and narrowly save a trapped Eren, Armin, and Mikasa after their mission to block the hole is complete.
Erwin next appears when Eren recovers from his three day coma and is kept in a jail cell beneath the military court. He explains to Eren that his Titan powers have caused an uproar within the walls. He has taken the key to Eren's basement and asks if the secret to Titans is located in the basement, to which Eren replies that he thinks it is. Erwin then formulates a plan to use Eren's Titan form to retake Wall Maria so they can investigate the basement.
He appears at the trial of Eren Yeager and argues that Eren should live, in direct opposition to Nile Dok. He then makes a proposal that Eren be entrusted to the Survey Corps so that they can determine if he is helpful, which Darius Zackly agrees to. He welcomes Eren into the Survey Corps and shakes his hand.
After the death of the Titan research subjects, Bean and Sonny, he tests everyone in the Survey Corps by asking them a direct, but confusing question to gauge their reactions. When this turns everyone innocent, he begins planning the next expedition to capture the spy, guessing they have abilities similar to Eren and are intent on sabotaging the expedition.
Erwin later appears at the recruitment drive where the 104th Trainees Squad choose their path. He makes an impassioned plea that the Survey Corps and Eren represent the hope of humanity, although he is very realistic in telling them that a sizeable number of them will die. His speech and other factors succeed in recruiting every remaining member of the top 10 graduates except Annie, who joins the Military Police Brigade.
Erwin leads the 57th expedition and deploys his Formation for Long Distance Enemy Detection to ensure that casualties are kept to a minimum. After the Female Titan appears and decimates part of the group, he enters a Forest of Giant Trees and sets up a trap in order to capture her.  She chases after Eren and kills many Survey Corps members but does fall into Erwin's trap and is unable to move.  After Levi provokes her and she summons Titans to come eat her, he orders all soldiers to defend her. However, the loss of life is increasing at a massive scale and Erwin is forced to order a retreat and surrender the Female Titan.
For the costly failure of this mission, Erwin is blamed and summoned to the Imperial Capital to explain. However, he trusts Armin's gamble that Annie Leonhart is the Titan and orders her covert capture en route to the meeting. After arriving in the capital to coordinate the plan with Levi, he is questioned by Nile Dok who orders his troops to support the operation.
She is eventually apprehended and Erwin goes into an emergency meeting held to sort out the day's events. He manages to convince the council that despite the expedition failure and subsequent death of some civilians in the inner city, they finally catch the Female Titan successfully and this indicates that there must be more of her kind hiding among them.
Erwin next appears on top of Wall Rose, telling Dot Pixis that the government has sent members of the Military Police to assist the Survey Corps and Garrison, in dealing with the breach of Wall Rose. A Garrison member arrives and informs Pixis that their is no breach in Wall Maria. He also tells the assembled group that three more Titan Shifters have been identified, Reiner, Bertolt, and Ymir. He quickly gathers soldiers from all three military branches and heads for the scene of battle.
Erwin arrives with the combined military forces but is five hours too late to save Eren. More soldiers agree to join him on the expedition and Hange Zoë informs them that they are most likely in a forest of giant trees, still within Wall Maria. With this information in hand, Erwin deploys the Formation for Long Distance Enemy Detection and sets off to rescue Eren.
Upon sight that Eren has been captured by Reiner, Bertolt, and Ymir, he orders all squads to go ahead with him and let the Titans follow them, much to the dismay of the fellow soldiers who call him a monster believing he uses them as decoys. Erwin assures them that is not his intention, and claims that the Military Police fights admirably and that his men should fulfill their duty as soldiers.
As the 104th were reunited they along with Hannes watch in shock as Erwin leads a pack of Titans right to them. The group is forced to briefly retreat and watch as the Armored Titan is overwhelmed by the horde. Erwin orders them to head into battle, stating that humanity has no future if Eren is lost. However, as he leads the charge a Titan manages to catch him by his right arm and drags him from his horse. He orders the others to continue the mission, while a handful stay behind to fight the Titan chewing on him.
His fate is revealed a short time later, when he manages to ambush and wound Bertolt. This allows Eren to be rescued, and Erwin immediately orders all surviving forces to retreat. Though still alive, his right arm has been severed just below the shoulder with a makeshift tourniquet secured around the stump. Ignoring his injuries, he continues to command the mission. The retreat fails, however, when the Armored Titan panics and begins to throw Titans to block their path. The retreat and the mission to rescue Eren ultimately succeeds in the end when Eren unknowingly uses his powers to control other Titans to attack the Armored Titan and Bertolt.
Although the retreat is ultimately successful thanks to Eren, the combined forces of the three military groups took heavy damage. Erwin arrives back on top of the wall under his own power but loses consciousness due to the injury he sustained. Other Survey Corps members and Eren yell his name in concern before he is taken away. A week later, recovering in a hospital, Erwin has a meeting with Levi and Dot Pixis. Pixis explains that as expected, citizens took refuge in underground cities during the supposed breach of Wall Rose. Food ran out after one week and many citizens were forced to violence. Pixis continues that Wall Rose was declared safe after one week and considers it lucky that the military only needed to intervene once, although he does note that it shook the walls. Levi apologizes to Erwin that he has to hear all this in his condition but Erwin assures Levi that he is fine. As Levi expresses remorse for Erwin's lost arm he is told by Erwin that he has caused the deaths of so many that one arm doesn't make up for that. Pixis jokingly inquires if he can join Erwin in hell for all the pain he has caused, which prompts Levi to ask if he has had enough to drink. Pixis admits that he would like a drink but notes that Anka Rheinberger has confiscated it. After Erwin praises Anka, Hange and Connie Springer come in. Hange is here to report on the breach of Wall Rose and introduces Connie as being from Ragako village, the focal point of the investigation. After Levi tells Connie that he has been working hard Hange begins explaining her report. Despite the evidence pointing to explosions as the cause of death in Connie's village there was no blood found. In addition to finding no surviving residents of Ragako, the number of Titans inside Wall Rose was equal to the population of Ragako. Hange states her theory that Titans are humans and backs this up by pointing out the fact that the weak point of Titans correlates to the spinal cord of a human. Levi is curious why Hange never found this out during an autopsy of a Titan and she explains that most structures likely fused with the Titan's body. Levi accepts the validity of the report but finds it depressing that he has been killing humans all this time. Pixis wonders how they would be able to tell the difference before Levi notices Erwin has not reacted and asks him what is wrong. Levi asks what he was smiling about and Erwin replies that it was nothing which causes Levi to call him creepy, a statement Erwin agrees with. As Levi theorizes that Erwin's reaction has something to do with why Erwin joined the Survey Corps he is rebuffed when Erwin asks Levi to give him a break since he just lost his arm. Erwin asks where Eren and Krista are and Hange responds that they are being hidden. As Pixis urges caution in revealing this information Erwin agrees with him and adds that Eren and Krista are vitally important. He again asks where they are and is told by Levi that because he feels sorry for Erwin having lost his arm, he recruited his new Squad and moved them somewhere safe. The new Special Operations Squad is Armin, Connie, Eren, Krista, Jean, Mikasa, Sasha, and of course Levi. 
After being released from the hospital Erwin arrives in the capitol and shares a carriage ride with Nile Dok. Erwin is shocked to see child robbers and Nile explains that it has become far too common. Nile asks why Erwin wanted to meet with him and makes it clear that he does not want to talk about the past. Erwin accuses him of being too indifferent and Nile replies that he thought Erwin would die just for his childhood dream. Erwin verifies this claim and tells Nile that his dream is becoming a reality, which draws a sarcastic dismissal from Nile. Erwin brings up the fact that Pastor Nick was tortured to death by the Military Police's First Interior Squad and is surprised to learn that Nile has no knowledge of it. Erwin asks why the Military Police want Eren so badly and Nile answers that they are only following orders from above, so he does not really know. Nile explains that the First Interior Squad is not only beyond his control but that they can't be restrained by laws, he has no idea what they do, and they are never punished or investigated. Erwin then asks if Nile thinks handing over Eren will end the danger within the walls. Nile dismisses the question and tells Erwin that he just follows orders. Erwin asks about Nile's wife Marie's health since she is having their third child and is told by Nile to stop. Erwin beings to talk about the past and how they trained together before Nile abandoned his comrades when he met Marie at a bar. Although Nile agrees with Erwin, he holds no regrets and considers his family to be his greatest achievement. Erwin tells Nile that he respects him for having a family when many soldiers never get to, but offers a warning that protecting his rank and family may come into conflict. Erwin continues by saying that hope and desperation change the world and all people have to make the decision of whom to trust. Nile is confused and is told by Erwin that he is only reminding him of their friendship and offering some advice. As Erwin leave the carriage he admits to having loved Marie, which Nile responds to by saying that he already knew and always considered Erwin crazy for choosing titans over her. At a rural location, Levi tells his squad about Erwin's orders to allow Eren and Krista to be captured and then followed in order to gather information.
Unsatisfied with the results of his meeting, Erwin goes to meet with Dot Pixis and proposes that the military stage a coup d'etat. The two commanders discuss the risks involved with such a plan, including the potential bloodshed and being executed as traitors if it fails. Erwin states his intentions to simply replace the King rather than killing him, but asks Pixis to wait with him for confirmation of the final piece of the plan. In the meantime, he recounts the events of his childhood that shaped the course of his life. Based upon his father's theories, and the evidence they have gained concerning the Titans, the Walls, and Eren's powers, he concludes that 107 years ago, the memories of humanity were altered to erase knowledge of the outside world.
A messenger arrives with a note for him, confirming the final piece necessary for their revolution. Erwin proposes that they dispose of the King and replace him with Historia Reiss, the bastard child of the "true" rulers of humanity.  Nifa then reveals that she was present at Erwin and Pixis' meeting and tells Levi's squad, along with Dimo Reeves and his son, that Erwin has formulated a plan to have Eren and Historia captured so that they can find Rod Reiss. Once they find him, they will force him to answer questions about his true intentions and will replace him with Historia if his answers are not sufficient.
The following day, Erwin is still in the same house located in Trost District when Hange bursts in. She explains to Erwin that Eren remembered details of his kidnapping and that their plans must be altered. She explains how Ymir was a regular Titan who gained the ability to shift after eating Marcel, she then draws the conclusion that Rod Reiss intends to eat Eren in order to gain his 'coordinate' abilities. Erwin speculates why Historia is so important since she is a bastard child and never took vows with the wall cult, which he believes is connected to the royal family. He is then informed that the Military Police is looking for him on charges of murder. Due to the threat against himself, he appoints Hange the next commander of the Survey Corps should anything happen to him and decides that Levi is best equipped to deal with his squad himself. He heads outside by saying that Pixis refused to help in their revolution.
Once outside, an older looking Military Police member questions Erwin about the death of Dimo Reeves and accuses the Scouting Legion. He believes that they wanted to rescue Eren Yeager and thus committed these crimes. He subsequently orders that the Survey Corps cease all activities and informs Erwin that the Military Police are now in charge of it. Erwin looks at Reeves and comes to the correct conclusion that it was carried out by the First Interior Squad of the Military Police, before promising to avenge his death. He then enters the carriage and is taken away by the Military Police.
A member of the First Interior Squad captured by Levi's squad claims that the Survey Corps is finished and that only by surrendering can Levi save Erwin from being the first one executed. His words later appear to be true as an injured Erwin appears before the King, who asks him if he has any last words.
Outside the King's Throne Room, the citizens talk amongst themselves about how Erwin is likely to die soon, noticing the gallows being erected. Erwin, clearly having been tortured, begins to explains to the Monarchy that losing the Survey Corps would be disastrous. He compares them to a spear that eliminates threats, not a shield. He goes on that if Wall Rose is breached there will not be enough supplies in Wall Sina. This will inevitably lead to a civil war, since the divisions of the walls would be much worse with the citizenry living together. A government official questions if the Survey Corps could prevent all this, to which Erwin responds that their job is to be proactive. Remaining on the defence will never solve anything he notes, unless the monarchy has a backup plan. The government official goes over Erwin's repeated story but notes that things have changed, like Levi killing several First Interior Squad members. This action is clearly against peace and the blades of Levi sing a treasonous song, so their is no longer a need for the Survey Corps. Dot Pixis is present and asked if he also shares these convictions. Although he replies that he does not, he does make an exception by stating that pushing humanity towards destruction is foolish. Erwin and Pixis exchange glances and flash back to their meeting where Erwin asked Pixis to join the coup. It is revealed that Pixis refused to help because the monarchy has the ability to control Titans, something essential for humanity that Erwin Smith cannot guarantee they would retain after the coup. Pixis told Erwin that he is too confident and that he would not gamble the existence of humanity. Back in the present, Erwin is told he's finished as his mind begins to wander. He believes he has said everything and that humanity cannot be saved by his efforts alone.
Just as he is being escorted out of the building, Anka Rheinberger bursts in and announces that the Colossal Titan and Armored Titan have breached Wall Rose. Several refugees are already on their way to Wall Sina. This shocks everyone in the room, especially Nile Dok who thinks back to his conversation with Erwin in the Military Police torture chamber. Nile told Erwin that his dismal state is ironic, considering he was lecturing Nile earlier. He informed Erwin that King had summoned him and it was very likely that he would disband the Survey Cops and punish Erwin. Erwin asked if Nile's wife Marie and their kids were ok, and Nile replied that they were in Karanese District and should be fine. Erwin revealed to Nile that he entrusted Pixis with a task and that when the times comes, he will be judging Nile to see his decision, along with the monarchy. Pixis announces that all Garrison troops are to move towards the breach and assist people, however this is overruled by a government official who orders Wall Sina to be closed down. This move shocks everyone present because it would doom half of humanity. He rationalizes this decision by claiming that a civil war will start and that 'those guys' will have that power in a few days. Nile Dok refuses to follow this order and announces that he is prepared to betray the King to do so, prompting Darius Zackly to agree with him. Commander-in-Chief Zackly appears armed with a group of soldiers and announces that the panic was just a fabrication. Erwin thinks back to when he talked about this with Pixis. Erwin proposed asking the monarchy if they were still fit to lead. Pixis claims responsibility and announces that had the monarchy responded benevolently, he would have confessed the plot and served them. The same government official who ordered the walls closed berates the conspirators, shouting that the people and the nobility are loyal to the monarchy. Zackly calmly tells them that the decision is no longer up to them as he hands Erwin a report. It is from the Belk agency and announces the testimony of Flegel Reeves, who says the First Interior Squad killed Dimo Reeves and that the Survey Corps is being framed. It also makes clear the press has been forced to print propaganda by the monarchy and that King Fritz is just a puppet for a noble family who remains secluded. As the government official yells at the senile old King, Nile Dok tells Erwin that he won the bet. This causes Erwin to remark that humanity must now embark on a perilous task. Later, Hange states that the capital and its administrative areas are under the control of Darius Zackly.
Erwin appears with two guards and Zackly on top of the execution platform. He is then quickly led into a carriage with Zackly as Nile Dok takes over public relations for the newly formed government. The citizens ask if the government impeding advancement and dooming half of them were the reasons for the coup d'etat and Nile replies that they are. Nile does however clarify that their objective is not to have military rule inside the walls. He goes on to say that the Fritz Royal Family were just puppets for the real rulers, who hid from a crisis and this led to distrust. Nile continues by saying that soldiers must protect humanity and so their goal is to return the real rulers to the forefront of humanity. Nile asks if they have any questions and proudly notes that those who censored the populace are in prison now. A reporter is glad that censorship is over but is worried as the reactions from the populace are complex, in particular with the nobles who are concerned about whether or not the military will relinquish their power. He asks Nile if the true royals could garner the same reverence the Fritz family had, and concludes by asking what should they believe in and hope for. Erwin begins his meeting by depressingly saying that they should have left the previous government in charge. Despite being corrupt they have experience in keeping humanity alive. He adds that perhaps they should have left Eren's Titan power and the plan to retake Wall Maria with them. Erwin confesses that his thoughts are different from his comrades, and perhaps abandoning the entire Survey Corps would have been better, if Erwin truly wanted to save humanity. Zackly responds that he is being harsh, as usual, and bluntly suggests that death would have been better for Erwin. Erwin asks why Zackly went along with the revolution and he responds by asking why Erwin made the proposal to Pixis. Zackly tells Erwin that if he wanted to do all that he could have avoided the deal with Pixis and ordered the Survey Corps to not move. Erwin then thinks of his meeting with Pixis and when he told Hange that the negotiations fell through. As Erwin struggles to answer, Zackly decides to answer the question Erwin asked earlier. He admits to Erwin that he hated the monarchy for a long time. He elaborates that they act high and mighty and he has waited for this day while acting like their loyal servant to reach his position. He excitedly asks Erwin if he saw the look on their faces and remarks that it was more than he could have hoped. However, Zackly announces that the best has yet to come since he has been thinking about how to humiliate them for a decade. Zackly summarizes by saying that he was likely going to try overthrowing them before he died anyway. After saying that he would not have surrendered like Pixis planned on he adds that he does not care whether the revolution bodes well for humanity; finally concluding that he is quite a villain. Erwin says that he is one too. Zackly says that since Erwin allowed others to decide humanity's path he shouldn't run away now that things got tougher. He goes on to say that Erwin did not want to die and like himself, he prioritizes the individual over the fate of humanity. Erwin responds to the questions about his rationale by saying that he has a dream and thinks of his father.
Erwin, Pixis, and Anka arrive at a military barracks swarming with Survey Corps soldiers. Pixis announces that during interrogation the government leaders all confirmed what Erwin and his father thought, the Reiss family can alter people's memories with some blood lines are unaffected. Pixis believes that if they acquire Eren's powers and combine it with their memory power they will be able to erase the memory of the revolution. Pixis dismissed this thought since the government officials are in the hands of Zackly. The Garrison commander does admit that he can't understand Zackly and questions what kind of person devotes their entire life to that, referring to Zackly's sick and cruel torture methods. Erwin is surprised that Pixis knew the truth about Zackly and Pixis admits that he said too much by accident. While he did nothing to stop Zackly just as Erwin did, Pixis is quick to say that he cares more about humanity than his own life, unlike Erwin. He tells Erwin that he supported the coup because he believed it was in the best interest of humanity, in fact he was prepared to fight Zackly if the monarchy acted benevolently. Pixis casually remarks that the revolution was only moments ago and they are already fighting amongst themselves. In extension he asks how long people have been fighting people. As Moblit Berner tells Erwin that the soldiers are ready to go, Erwin coldly remarks to Pixis that humans will only stop fighting when there are one or fewer left. Pixis laughs off Erwin's comment and tells him that he doesn't want to hear such faulty logic. On horseback, Erwin puts his cloak on and announces to his soldiers that they are heading to the Reiss chapel in order to save Eren and Historia.
- He was attributed with the literal title of "leader of the [Scouting] Legion" (団長 danchō), often translated as "Commander".
- Erwin's motif was based on Adrian Alexander Veidt/Ozymandias, a character from Watchmen. 
- Another influence for the character appears to be Erwin Rommel who was known as the 'Desert Fox'. They share first names and the significant date of October 14th, which was Rommel’s death and Erwin’s birth. Rommel was a famed German Field Marshall from WWII and was noted for his exceptional skills as a commander and his willingness to defy his superiors' unjust orders. He was partially involved in the failed plan to assassinate Adolf Hitler, but was so enormously popular that it was necessary to eliminate him quietly. After being forced to commit suicide, the German government falsely claimed that his death was a result of the injuries he sustained during a strafing of his car. He was given a funeral with full state honours and proclaimed a national hero.
- According to Hajime Isayama, Erwin is single because he's not certain when he will die.
- Isayama revealed his nickname as a child was "Eyebrow". 
|Squad Leaders||Hange Zoë · Mike Zacharius|
|Team Leaders||Dita Ness · Darius Baer-Varbrun|
|Special Operations Squad|| Eld Jinn · Petra Ral · Oluo Bozado · Gunther Schultz|
Eren Yeager · Historia Reiss · Mikasa Ackerman · Armin Arlert · Jean Kirstein · Connie Springer · Sasha Blouse
|Squad Members||Braun · Dieter · Gelgar · Henning · Ilse Langnar · Jurgen · Keiji · Lauda · Luke Siss · Lynne · Moblit Berner · Nanaba · Nifa · Pere · Thomas|
|Former Members||Bertolt Hoover · Keith Shadis · Reiner Braun · Ymir|
|Before the Fall members||Carlo Pikale · Sorum Humé · Kuklo|