|Former Affiliation|| Survey Corps|
104th Trainees Squad
|Species||Human, Titan Shifter|
|Manga||To You, 2000 Years From Now|
|Anime|| Yoshimasa Hosoya (Japanese)|
Robert McCollum (English)
Reiner Braun (ライナー・ブラウン Rainā Buraun?) is a graduate of the 104th Trainees Squad and a former member of the Survey Corps. He ranked 2nd in the class, and was regarded by others as a charismatic and a reliable big brother-like figure.
Along with Bertolt and Annie, he is a person that possesses the ability to transform into a Titan and serves an as-yet unrevealed group. He comes from a mysterious homeland outside the Walls, and was on a mission to infiltrate the military in search of the mysterious power known as the "Coordinate". After his true identity is revealed, he serves as a major antagonist and foil to Eren Yeager, as well as illustrating the complex morality of the series.
Reiner is a passionate and honest person, with a strong sense of duty. He takes his role as a soldier very seriously, and encourages others to do the same. However, he is also noted to have a kind heart and a tendency to always think of others before himself, taking on extra burdens for the sake of his comrades. He is stated to be the "big brother" of the other trainees.
However, he is also revealed to have serious emotional and mental problems as a result of his actions. While still loyal to his cause, he was unable to cope with the guilt and has begun to suppress his true memories in an effort to escape. During these episodes, he forgets his true identity, believing himself to be a human soldier. There appear to be few differences between his "soldier" persona and his true self, though his true self is more ruthless and fatalistic out of necessity. He harbors a negative attitude towards himself, referring to himself as a "villain" and a "short-lived killer" that only Bertolt and Annie can understand. Even so, he continually places himself at risk in an effort to reach out to Eren and Ymir, trusting them more than is wise.
Human | Titan
In human form, Reiner has short blond hair and gold eyes. His large height and broad shoulders give him an intimidating presence.
The Armored Titan is 15 meters tall. It has hardened plates covering the entirety of its skin, except for muscles in its cheeks that become exposed when it opens its jaw, as well as the muscle tissue behind its knees and elbows, and its feet. It does not possess any other notable anatomical deformities.
Reiner comes from a mysterious location simply referred to as his hometown (or homeland), and began a mission to attack humanity in the year 845. Little is known about his life prior to undertaking his mission, other than the fact that Bertolt and Marcel were his childhood friends. The exact nature of their group, and their mission is yet unknown. It is stated that their goal was to exterminate humanity, but their mission also involved locating and retrieving the Beast Titan and the mysterious ability called the Coordinate, possessed by Eren Yeager.
At some point prior to the attack on Wall Maria, he was attacked by a Titan later revealed to be Ymir. In the chaos, his friend Marcel pushed him to safety and died protecting him. This event appears to have left him deeply traumatized, as he flashes back to it in moments of stress and expresses an almost suicidal desire to place himself into harms' way for the sake of others.
He first appeared in the year 845 as the Armored Titan, shortly after the Colossal Titan first breached Wall Maria, participating in the attack on Shiganshina. During the chaos of the initial breach, he entered the city in his Titan form and made his way across it to the interior gate. Once there, he charged towards the gate and smashed through it, allowing Titans to invade Wall Maria. At some point during the abandonment of Wall Maria, he passed himself off as a refugee and infiltrated human territory. He was seen with Bertolt as the campaign to retake Wall Maria was announced, wearing a shocked expression.
Two years later after the destruction of Wall Maria, Reiner became enlisted in the military and becomes a member of the 104th Trainees Squad.
Moments later, Eren struggled with the Three Dimensional Maneuver Gear and began to look for advice from the other trainees; Marco Bott, who advised him to approach Reiner and Bertolt for help. Though initially unfriendly towards Eren and Armin, he quickly warmed up to them after learning of their being from Shiganshina District and still willing to enlist in the Survey Corps. He shared his desire to return to his lost homeland, and would become a surrogate big brother to both.
During hand-to-hand combat training, he advised Eren to take his duty as a soldier seriously. Noticing Annie attempting to sneak away from training, he intercepted her and goaded her into sparring with Eren. After seeing her easily dispatch Eren, he hesitated to take her on himself but was goaded into it by Eren and quickly defeated. This introduction would lead to Eren and Annie becoming close, with her tutoring him in unarmed combat.
Reiner was noted by Keith Shadis to have exceptional mental and physical fortitude, as well as great ability to gain the confidence of his comrades. He would eventually graduate 2nd in the class, finishing just behind Mikasa Ackerman.
As part of the defensive effort of the military after the second attack of the Colossal Titan, he eventually found himself with the front guard. However, with the supply team stuck in the headquarters, he was essentially immobilized with many of his teammates on a rooftop. Joining Jean's group in the rush to the HQ, he was among the survivors. With the subsequent arrival of Armin and Mikasa, by way of the Rogue Titan, he helped to clear and secure the supply room.
Initially skeptical, Reiner suggested they help the Rogue Titan when it was being overwhelmed by a group. Jean was hesitant and disagreed with his suggestion, stating they barely made it with their own lives and could use the opportunity to escape. However, it turned out not to be necessary when it broke free at the sight of the Titan that killed Thomas Wagner. He was among the first people to know about Eren's Titan form, when he emerged from the giant's body. Later this same day, after seeing what appeared to be Titan vapor from inside the city, he and a small group scaled the wall to see what was happening. Over the wall they found Eren protecting Mikasa and Armin from cannon fire, with a shield made from the torso of his Titan form.
In the aftermath of Trost, Reiner would enlist in the Survey Corps. During the 57th Expedition, he came across Armin after the other boy had narrowly survived an encounter with the Female Titan. Along with Jean, they devised a plan to follow the Female Titan and distract her to allow the formation time to regroup. Though advised against attempting to attack directly, Reiner used Armin's distraction to launch himself at the Titan's weak point. However, he was instead caught in her grasp and nearly squeezed to death. He managed to slice himself free, scooping up a wounded Armin before running away on foot.
Afterwards, Reiner tended to Armin's head wound while Jean attempted to call back his missing horse. The group was preparing to decide who to leave behind, when their signal flare brought Historia Reiss—who came with two extra horses, saving them. Stunned by her timely rescue and beauty, Reiner mentally expressed the desire to marry her.
The group rejoined the main force soon after, though frustrated by Erwin Smith's decision to continue the doomed mission and the lack of information available. Assigned to stand by at the edge of the Forest of Giant Trees and act as bait for the Titans, Reiner repeatedly expressed concern about what was going on inside the forest. When the mission ended in failure, he returned to Wall Rose in poor spirits.
Suspecting a traitor in their midst, Commander Smith sent those under suspicion to an abandoned mansion on the outskirts of Wall Rose. The group was placed under the watch of Mike Zacharius and his squad, ordered to stand by without their gear until further notice. Reiner expressed his doubts over these orders, discussing his concerns with Connie Springer and offering to help his friend sneak out. They would never get a chance, as Sasha Blouse alerted the group to an oncoming horde of Titans. The recruits were sent out without their equipment, and ordered to travel to the nearby villages and warn them to evacuate.
Reiner would join the Southern squad and accompany Connie to his home village, Ragako. There, they discovered the village in ruins and a single crippled Titan collapsed on the Springer house. Unable to locate survivors or signs of bloodshed, the soldiers gathered torches and prepared to begin looking for the Titans' entry point. When Connie related that the strange Titan had greeted him, Reiner harshly chided him for imagining things and ordered him to stay focused on the mission. After many hours of searching, the squad encountered Nanaba's squad and realized that they needed to rest for the night. Locating the ruins of Castle Utgard, the soldiers took shelter inside for the night. When Connie mentioned the strange Titan from his village again, Reiner began to harshly lecture him again—Ymir interrupted their argument by mocking Connie, ending the conversation there.
Later that night he finds Ymir searching for food, and she teases him by suggesting that he is attempting to sneak a grope. Continuing to tease him, she suggests that he might not be interested in women, and in response he suggests she's uninterested in men. She agrees with his assessment, relaxing and hearing out his request to continue distracting Connie so he doesn't worry about his missing family. However, he becomes suspicious of her when she's able to read the strange characters on a can. But before he can say more, the soldiers are summed to the tower by their superiors—Titans have appeared and are attacking the castle even though it is night.
During the nighttime attack, Reiner and the others are ordered to head deeper into the castle to defend against invading Titans. He rushes ahead of the others to investigate, and barely manages to keep a Titan from breaking into the stairwell with the assistance of Bertolt and the others, who use an old cannon to crush it. While the group is recovering, a second Titan manages to enter the room and attacks Connie. Reiner pushes him to safety and is injured in the process, suffering a broken arm before the others are able to save him.
Eventually, their superiors are all killed and the unarmed recruits are left to fend for themselves. In order to save the others, Ymir reveals herself to be a Titan Shifter and goes to fight alone. Reiner and Bertolt are shocked to recognize her as the Titan responsible for killing their childhood friend, Marcel.
As Ymir fights the many Titans, Historia almost falls off the tower but is saved by Reiner and Connie, though he doesn't let go of her foot for a few more seconds and apologizes for that. They continue to watch the battle down below with uncertainty, unable to make sense of Ymir's choice to allow their superiors to die and wondering what side she might be on. Krista firmly states she is on their side, and shouts for Ymir to tear down the tower if necessary to save herself. She does exactly that, but climbs up to rescue her comrades and rides the falling tower down to safety. However, several Titans survive and continue their attack on the survivors. Ymir is partially devoured, and Krista nearly caught before Hange Zoë's squad arrives to finally rescue the survivors.
In the aftermath of the battle, Reiner crumbles under the stress, worrying that he won't last much longer. Prompted by Eren's mention of their hometown, Bertolt attempts to cheer his friend up by reminding Reiner that now they are able to return home. The two briefly converse, before approaching Eren for a private talk. Reiner confesses their true identities as the Armored Titan and Colossal Titan, stating that if Eren leaves with them the Walls will be safe. Eren initially plays it off as a joke, causing Reiner to wonder about his sanity and break down. Though deeply troubled, he accepts that he has no other options and decides to fight. Mikasa intervenes before he can attack Eren, seriously wounding Reiner and Bertolt.
When she moves in to finish off a critically-wounded Bertolt, Reiner throws her from the Wall before transforming. He manages to catch Eren, who is able to transform and engage the Armored Titan in battle. As Eren and Reiner continued to fight, he was able to hold off Mikasa when she attempted to slice off nape of his neck in his Titan form.
Eventually, Armin was able to discover a weak link to his line of defense because as he's protecting the nape of his neck, he suggested that she attack at his knee caps. Reiner was taken by surprise for a second attack by Mikasa, this time he was hit at the back of his knee. As the armor continued to break, he was able to scream and summon Bertolt to rescue him by leaping from the wall.The resulting explosion wounded most of the Scouts present, and allowed him to capture Eren and escape the scene.
Several hours later, he took refuge in the Forest of Giant Trees and took the opportunity to take Eren's 3DMG gear for himself. He informs Eren and Ymir of their intentions to provide them entry into their homeland, but admits that he knows Eren won't come along with them willingly. Their location has become surrounded by Titans, and so he advises them to wait until nightfall before making any sort of move, to avoid being devoured. Ymir guesses this means he's also too exhausted to transform, something he refuses to answer.
However, during a conversation with Ymir about their dire situation, he begins to behave strangely and talks about requesting promotions. As the others look on with shock, he continues discussing the events at Castle Utgard and claims that Krista must like him since she's always so nice. When Eren loses his temper and threatens him, Reiner becomes confused and asks what he said wrong. Ymir notices Bertolt's expression, and confronts him about what they are witnessing. He finally speaks up, informing Reiner that he is "not a soldier" and that "we are warriors", prompting a sudden change in his behavior.
As Reiner collapses onto the branch and buries his face in his hand, Ymir theorizes that his strange behavior resulted from repressing his own memories to cope with extreme guilt. She guesses he became so attached to his role as a human soldier, that his heart "broke" and his memories were altered to suit his delusional state. When she mentions his "earnest" personality and guesses this was the reason behind tensions with Bertolt, he explodes at her to stop.
Eren accuses him of playing the victim, and insists that he is a murderer that gave up being human. The two briefly argue, with Reiner agreeing to this assessment but demanding what Eren wants from them. Ymir interrupts their argument, and attempts to gather more information concerning the ape-like Titan. Reiner makes several vague comments, and suggests that Ymir should ally with them since she also knows some of what is really going on. He insists that she is trustworthy, since they share the goal of protecting Krista and he can ensure her future in exchange for Ymir's cooperation.
Bertolt expresses his concern over allying with Ymir, and they recall how she once ate their friend, Marcel. But Reiner argues that this further proves that Ymir can be trusted to cooperate with them, since her motivations are obvious. This causes Bertolt to question Reiner's state of mind, but he reassures him and reminds him that Krista is an important member of a Noble family. They discuss whether or not Eren is the "Coordinate" they were sent to find, and decide that Krista's ties to the Wall Cult may help their mission.
The two briefly discuss accomplishing their mission and returning home. Reiner suggests that Bertolt confess his feelings to Annie once they return home, and bitterly notes that their crimes mean no one else could understand them. Their conversation is cut short when they notice signal flares in the distance, and realize that soldiers have pursued them. He attempts to convince Eren to cooperate and go quietly with them, but is forced to choke him into unconsciousness after a brief struggle.
As they flee through the forest, Ymir notices the flares and demands to be allowed to see Krista. Reiner and Bertolt refuse her at first, but are forced to give into her demands after she threatens them. Once Ymir returns from successfully kidnapping Krista, he transforms into his Titan form and flees with the others clinging to his back. The other graduates of the 104th manage to catch up to him, climbing onto his Titan form. He ignores them until Mikasa attacks Bertolt, cupping his hands around his neck in order to provide his partner a safe place to hide. While the others confront Bertolt over his actions, Reiner continues to focus on fleeing towards Wall Maria.
Commander Erwin Smith lures a massive horde of Titans directly into his path, forcing Reiner to make a suicidal charge. Their sheer numbers overwhelm him, restricting his movement and eventually forcing him to begin fighting back—leaving Bertolt and Eren exposed. This allows the soldiers to make a second rush, and in the chaos, Armin is able to get onto his head and confront Bertolt. He reveals that Annie has been captured, and claims she is being tortured in order to confuse and upset the pair. Reiner is horrified by this news, and is unable to prevent Erwin from ambushing Bertolt. With Eren freed, the soldiers begin to retreat. In an act of desperation, he begins to throw the Titans attacking him into the path of the fleeing humans.
This causes chaos on the battlefield, as soldiers are knocked from their horses and the Titans begin to attack them. Jean Kirstein and Armin Arlert express horror at his actions, wondering whether he even cares anymore about the danger of Eren being killed. His assault is only stopped when Eren's power as the Coordinate manifests, causing the Titan horde to attack the Smiling Titan in his stead. This shocks and horrifies Reiner, who senses the power but seems resistant to Eren's control.
He realizes that this is the worst possible situation, thinking that Eren is the worst possible person to possess that power. Free from the Titan horde, he charges after Eren with unknown intentions. However, he is stopped in his tracks when Eren screams at him to stay away and threatens to kill him. The Titan horde react to this command by abandoning their previous kill, swarming the Armored Titan with renewed aggression. Reiner realizes they've lost, expressing the fear that he won't be able to keep Bertolt safe.
The soldiers take the chance to retreat, leaving Reiner to the Titan horde. He desperately attempts to fend them off, shielding Bertolt with one hand. Just as he'd feared, he's quickly overwhelmed and unable to protect his partner from the Titans. But before one can kill Bertolt, Ymir reappears and begins to fight alongside the pair.
The narration notes that the Armored Titan did not pursue the soldiers further, leaving his exact fate unknown in the aftermath of the battle. Eren later expresses the desire to catch him and make him pay for his crimes, suggesting that he believes they survived.
An epilogue reveals that he survived the battle, and returned with his allies to the ruins of the Shiganshina District. Though unharmed, he is physically exhausted and deeply shaken by the events of the past two days. He questions Ymir about her actions, and tries to persuade her to escape since her fate is uncertain if she goes with them. However, she refuses and instead expresses her gratitude towards the traitors for their role in freeing her from her Titan form. He is silent in response to this, expression grim as she states her understanding for their situation.
Armed with Eren's recollections of the conversation between Bertolt and Ymir, Hange theorizes that Titans can absorb powers from devoured victims. Based on this, she theorizes that the Armored Titan's reason for throwing Titans during the previous battle was an attempt to have Eren devoured. This would have allowed the creation of a new Titan Shifter with the Coordinate, one more amiable to their group. She theorizes that the Reiss family intends to do the same thing to Eren.
As one of the top ten graduates of the 104th squad, Reiner is likely highly competent in the use of 3D Maneuver Gear and respective weapons. He is also one of the best hand-to-hand fighters among the recruits, having also trained other skilled fighters such as Eren.
Reiner is able to transform into a 15 meter Titan referred to as the Armored Titan (鎧の巨人 Yoroi no Kyojin?) in the series. Reiner uses this form to break down the inner gate of Wall Maria and actively uses it after he reveals his identity and objective to Eren. It is unknown how Reiner acquired his powers. The Armored Titan is capable of assuming human form at will, due to the intelligence it demonstrates in appearing to work with the Colossal Titan in breaching Wall Maria. As he retains his human intelligence, he uses his hand-to-hand combat skills against other human-turned-Titans such as Eren, which in conjunction with his armor-like skin, gives him a solid advantage in combat.
- Regeneration: Reiner, like all other Titans and Titan Shifters alike, has the power to automatically regenerate any wounds sustained and even entire limbs. This also applies to his human form as seen when he sustained a broken arm in a scuffle against a Titan in Castle Utgard, his arm was almost fully healed when he rejoins the Survey Corp on top of Wall Rose. Furthermore, Reiner loses the bottom part of his forearm when it is sliced off by Mikasa, however, he is seen with a complete limb by the time he is in the Forest of Giant Trees.
- Enhanced Strength: During the battle in the Shiganshina District, Reiner in his Titan form demonstrated enough physical power to smash through the inner gate of Wall Maria with a running start. While squaring off in an attempt to capture Eren in his Titan form, Reiner was shown to easily overpower his opponent with punches powerful enough to blow at least half of his head off. Reiner’s tackle had enough force to throw Eren’s titan form back into Wall Rose cracking it in the process. In addition, he uses his unique hardened skin to supplement his physical blows making them deadlier than those of normal-based Titans.
- Enhanced Speed: During the battle in the Shiganshina District, Reiner in his Titan form demonstrated enough speed to quickly cross the gap to the inner gate of Wall Maria preventing cannons from accurately firing at him. While fully armored his speed is noted to be much slower, however, Reiner has shown that he can choose to shed certain areas of his armor, such as joints located at the back of his legs, boosting his overall speed. This tactic was used several times by him successfully during his fight against Eren’s Titan form. However, the Armored Titan form is more suited for physical combat, and performs less well in running large distances seeing as how the Survey Corps were able to reach him via horseback after leaving the Forest of Giant Trees.
- Armor Hardening: While transforming into the Armored Titan, Reiner's body automatically produces a hardened, armor-like skin that covers most of his body, save for areas such as his joints at the back of his legs. The armor is hard enough to repel concentrated cannon fire, blows from other Titan Shifters such as Eren, as well as blade strikes from the Three Dimensional Maneuver Gear. The durability of this armor is enough to withstand a direct collision from the Colossal Titan who fell from the top of Wall Rose wounding most people in the area, incapacitating Eren's Titan form, and leaving a large crater in the ground. As stated previously, the Armored Titan can choose to harden or not to harden joints at will, sacrificing speed and combat ability for protection.
- Steam Generation: Similar to the Colossal Titan, Reiner was shown to be able to power his Titan form with steam that erupted from the bowls of his body and later breathed this steam after breaching Wall Maria, which seemingly required immense energy.
- Bertolt Hoover - Bertolt is his childhood friend and partner, working closely with him in their mission. They are rarely seen apart, with Reiner taking the lead most of the time. Ymir notes that his psychological issues have caused friction between them, though it is revealed that Bertolt is vital in helping him maintain his grasp on reality. During their failed mission to kidnap Eren, he expresses a great desire to keep Bertolt safe, placing himself at a major disadvantage in order to protect him.
- Historia Reiss - It has been hinted that he may have feelings for her, though it is unclear whether this is a simple crush or something stronger. It is also unclear whether these feelings are part of his delusions, or genuine.
- Eren Yeager - Eren was one of his closest friends, and it was stated that Eren considered him both a "strong, capable guy" and something of a big brother. However, their friendship turns violently antagonistic once he reveals his true identity to Eren. Upon learning of Eren's power as the Coordinate, he reacts with great concern and notes that Eren is the worst person to possess it. Later, it is revealed that he could have obtained a less dangerous host for the Coordinate all along. However, since it required Eren's death, he avoided such extreme measures until pushed too far. This suggests a lingering affection towards Eren, even after they become enemies.
- Connie Springer - Connie is one of his close friends, and someone that Reiner has repeatedly put himself into harm's way to protect. After his true nature is revealed, Connie refuses to believe that Reiner is truly their enemy. Both are in Sasha's team in Sudden Visitors.
- Armin Arlert - Reiner had a close friendship with Armin, even risking his own scores to help the smaller boy during training. They frequently sat together during meals , and played Chess during their free time. When the Female Titan attacked, Reiner seemingly came to his rescue. However, this turns out to have been a ruse and their friendship is shattered by the revelation of Reiner's true identity.
- Sasha Blouse - In Sudden Visitors, he is shown to work closely with Sasha and Connie during training and later, during her contest against Jean. When he expresses doubt and attempts to abandon their hunt for the Colossal Boar, she slaps and then elbows him. She shouts nonsense at him about his ancestors, and while he admits he doesn't quite get it he apologizes to her and rejoins the hunt.
- Annie Leonhart - Reiner and Annie have a somewhat strained relationship, though they work closely towards accomplishing their mission. His efforts to prank her or strike up conversations tend to go over poorly.
- Ymir - Their relationship is complex. They recognize quite a bit about each other's motivations, and share a desire to keep Historia safe from harm. He uses these feelings to manipulate Ymir into becoming their ally, but he also expresses more trust in her than Bertolt feels is wise. Unlike Bertolt, he does not appear to harbor any ill will towards her for nearly killing him as a child, nor for killing Marcel. Having failed his mission and even knowing that he cannot go home empty handed, he attempts to persuade Ymir to save herself by escaping.
- In a blog post on April 17, Isayama revealed that Reiner's Titan image (the Armored Titan) was actually based on Brock Lesnar, an American professional wrestler and former Mixed Martial Artist.
- In Episode 2 of the anime, a young Reiner and Bertolt are in the crowd when the mission to reclaim Wall Maria is announced. This is an anime-only cameo.
- August 1, Reiner's birthday, is celebrated as an unofficial fan holiday known as "Yaoi Day". This is due to Japanese wordplay, with 801 being short hand for the genre which focuses on homosexual themes.
- This date is also Lammas Day (Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, "loaf-mass"), the festival of the wheat harvest, and is the first harvest festival of the year.
- His name is Old Norse in origin, and means "Counseling Warrior".
- In the early draft of the series, when the graduates discuss the branches they intend to join, Reiner states his intention to join the Survey Corps. In the published version, he never states his intentions.
- (To Eren) "We're soldiers, aren't we? There are times when we can't back out."
- "We were just kids ... we didn't know anything."
|104th Trainees Squad|
|Squad Leaders||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 · Erwin Smith · Keith Shadis · Reiner Braun · Ymir|
|Before the Fall members||Carlo Pikale · Sorum Humé · Kuklo|