Since the end of Attack on Titan season 4 part 2, many fans have showered praises for Floch’s brilliance during moments of crisis while some have plastered him as the first true villain of the series. Even so, the Yeagerist leader’s potential to outwit the best has many fans calling him Erwin’s successor. But the fandom is divided with their take as one side holds Armin’s tactical decision highly and rightly so, picking him as the best suitor with Erwin’s ideals.
For many AOT fans, Floch is basically the King Joffrey of Attack on Titan. Like him or hate him, his character development from being a scared new recruit in Season 3 to personifying Erwin’s leadership amid a life or death battle against an Ackerman and 4 titans in season 4 is all signs of a rising phoenix. And on the other side of the tunnel, Armin’s grey matter and valor to lay his life for the right cause show what Erwin saw in him, undoubtedly a manifestation of the Survey Corps commander himself. It begs the question, which of the two integral characters succeeded Erwin’s legacy in Attack on Titan season 4. Short answer: both of them.
Erwin’s spirit was split in two, Armin’s genius and Floch’s leadership pic.twitter.com/4GkbKlhVrV
— Attack on Titan (@AoTJewels) March 23, 2022
Let this be said, Genocide is wrong, so Floch heralding Yeagerist’s success in exterminating any sign of humanity outside the wall is unjustifiable. That said – his time under Erwin in the Return to Shiganshina arc cements his newfound ideals shinning in Attack on Titan season 4 part 2. To begin with, many avid viewers of the series were initially suspicious of Floch’s involvement with Eren, seeing him mostly as a pawn that would soon be cast off in the larger plan. But boy did Hajime Isayama surprise fans with the devious leader cheating death for the third time (if we’re counting his recent face-off with the Anti-Yeagerist squad, not as his last act in the series).
Floch claiming to know Eren’s extermination plan all along seemed all too good to be believable. Except, Attack on Titan season 4 episode 28 finally shed light on Eren’s back story with Floch listening in during Yelena and Eren’s conversation. And what’s more interesting is Floch having the privilege of knowing Eren’s intentions to backstab Zeke early on in the series.
The fall of Survey Corps’ superiors to Zeke’s spinal fluid allowed Floch to take control of the new recruits. Assuring his authoritative position in the midst of crisis, when even veterans like Jean and Armin were still in shock. It can only be compared to the likes of Erwin’s coup d’etat of the royal government to retake Wall Maria. Though the only difference, Erwin didn’t greenlight a mass execution strategy in the process nor appoint himself as Judge, jury and executioner.
Floch’s arrogance may make him seem like a frail cultist hiding behind the cloak of his master. But his ability to act calmly under pressure shows he could even counter Armin’s cunning tactics in Attack on Titan season 4 episode 26. Furthermore, in the face of odds, Floch attacked Hange’s ragtag team as a one-man army, risking his life to destroy any hopes of retaliation against Eren’s plan. He further encouraged new recruits with Erwin-Esque war speeches and came close to manipulating Jean into choosing retirement and enjoying the privilege of heroes of Paradis. So okay, Floch certainly sounds like the embodiment of Erwin but where does this leave Armin?
Unlike Floch, Armin is seen as the poster child of Erwin’s legacy. Right at the start of AOT’s season 4 Part 2, Armin’s cold stare after executing Eren’s counterattack in Marley has even Hange questioning if he’s possessed by Erwin’s ghost. Later on, the young mastermind is the first to realize Eren could be misleading everyone by aligning with Yelena and Zeke’s ideology, and perhaps there’s a larger plan at play. Additionally, he prepares for the inevitable to have another Eldian takeover Eren’s Titan abilities as well.
Still, Armin has faltered several times, particularly, after The Rumbling. Amid an existential crisis doubting if Erwin would have been the right choice to save, he throws his life to save Connie, a pivotal Survey Corps member, and a friend.
Armin’s moral compass further stops him from standing on the sidelines during the resistance’s struggle to recover the Azumabito’s flying boat. Armin’s decision even shocked Magath and ultimately brands the veteran soldier as a traitor to his own race. Talk about sticking to ideals!
All things considered, Armin and Floch are without a doubt, successors of Erwin, and rightly so. The two character’s development after the season 3 arc was inherently tied to Erwin’s final act. The two soldiers are two sides of the same coin.
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