Attack on Titan is one of the greatest action anime of all time. It's also one of the most expansive action series there is, with a plot that gets broader as Attack on Titan's rich timeline is slowly revealed.
As anyone who has completed the series will attest, there’s a lot more to Eren’s world than meets the eye in those early episodes.
If you’re a completionist like me, you’ll want to see where all the story’s key events stack up. The timeline provides a bird’s-eye view of Isayama’s wonderful, messed-up world.
Note: Beware heavy spoilers for Attack on Titan's anime and manga!
How Many Years Pass in Attack on Titan?
In terms of the ‘present-day’ events in Attack on Titan, the story happens incredibly quickly. However, given the amount of history attached by the end, it’s also a story that takes place over many millennia.
The first episode of Attack on Titan takes place in the year 850. While the series takes a lot of different inspirations from the real world, its setting is fictional, so 850 doesn't perfectly translate to the same time in our calendar.
If you want to include every world event that influences Attack on Titan’s story, the series takes place over nearly 2000 years, starting with the first titan Ymir in 1003 B1 (the world equivalent of BC)
However, counting the amount of time between Attack on Titan’s first and last episode, only nine years pass. In this sense, Attack on Titan’s first chapter/episode really is the beginning of the end.
Attack on Titan's Time Periods
There are so many events that take place in Attack on Titan, and much of it is dated as you would see in real historical texts. This allows us to plot significant changes in much the same way we do with our own history!
Attack on Titan’s universe uses a calendar system similar to that seen in most of the modern world. B1, like BC, indicates events happening a certain amount of time before the traditional calendar begins.
Using what we know, it's possible to divide Attack on Titan’s timeline into four crucial periods:
- The Creation Period – B1: The Titans are created, starting with Ymir before becoming the Nine Titans and being handed down through the Eldian race.
- The Great Wars Period – 700-800: Fierce battles set the balance of global power, with Eldians on Paradis Island and Marleyans controlling many of the titans on the continent.
- The Restorationist Period – 819-844: The Restorationists begin their plan to redress the balance of power in favour of the Eldians.
- The Eren Period – 845-854 – The Attack on Titan series starts. Marley begins to make moves to destroy the Eldians on Paradis, while the Eldians learn about their world and begin to fight back.
Attack on Titan’s Timeline: All Key Events
Below, we’ve collated all the events that are crucial to Attack on Titan's story to provide a picture of how the series unfolds. Most fans will recognise these from the series, although some events are somewhat glossed over as backstory.
The symbol ‘C’ (circa) indicates an approximation of the year as the actual time isn’t known.
- 1003 B1 – Ymir becomes the Founding Titan.
- 990 B1 – Ymir dies. Her body is cannibalised, creating the Nine Titans and spreading her abilities through the Eldian race.
- C. 743 – The Great Titan War takes place. Karl Fritz flees to Paradis Island to create a final refuge for Eldians with the power of the Founding Titan. Many of the other Titan holders engage in a civil war before Marleyans take control of their power and the continent.
- 819 – Eren Kruger inherits the Attack Titan and becomes the leader of an underground Eldian movement called the Restorationists.
- 824 – Grisha Jaeger (Eren’s father) joins the Restorationists.
- 825 – Grisha and Dina Fritz’s son, Zeke Jaeger, is born.
- C. 830 – Grisha convinces Zeke to join Marley’s Warrior programme in an attempt to inherit one of the Titans for the Restorationists.
- 832 – Zeke, under guidance from Marleyans, sells out his parents and the Restorationists. Grisha survives by inheriting the Attack Titan from Eren Kruger and travels to the Eldian walls on Paradis Island.
- C. 832 – Grisha ends up in Shiganshina District, where he establishes himself as a doctor and marries Carla Jaeger.
- 835 – Many of the main characters are born, including Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Jean and Historia Reiss.
- 842-843 – Titans change hands in Marley. Zeke inherits the Beast Titan, while Annie, Reiner and Bertholdt inherit their titans.
- 845 – Wall Maria falls as part of Annie, Reiner and Bertholdt’s plan. Grisha kills the royal Reiss family, motivated by an older Eren travelling back in time before passing his abilities to the younger Eren who also had his memories erased. Historia is given the new name Christa Lenz to hide her royal bloodline.
- 850 – The events of Attack on Titan Seasons 1-3 take place. Eren discovers his abilities, the Titans working for Marley are uncovered and Christa takes her place on the throne.
- 850-854 – Marley is at war with the Mid-East Allied Forces as seen at the start of Attack on Titan’s Final Season.
- 851-853 – Eren and the remaining scouts reach the sea, then go undercover in Marley. Eren stays behind while the others return to Paradis, building up the island’s fighting strength.
- 854 – The remaining events of Attack on Titan’s Final Season take place, commencing with the Raid on Liberio by the scouts.
While we don’t know it at first, the war between Eldia and Marley that dominates the Final season has already begun in episode 1! Knowing this makes re-watching Attack on Titan a fun experience that we would definitely recommend!