If you easily get attached to anime characters, Attack on Titan might have been an anime that ripped your heart a dozen times over with the numerous character deaths you would experience in one season. One of the deaths in Attack on Titan that hit hard was when the manga author decided to kill one of the most beloved characters ever, such as the eccentric titan lover, Hange Zoe.
Hange made the tough decision to sacrifice themself in order to allow the other characters to escape. Unfortunately, Hange couldn’t handle the heat being released from the titans and eventually died due to suffering from burns. However, before their death, they took out two titans and lasted long enough for the steam to escape.
What caused Hange to make this difficult choice and hand the commander title to Armin instead of Levi? Did she make the right choice, or was her sacrifice meaningless to the plot? This article will cover the reason behind Hange’s death and its effects on the outcome of the manga.
Why Did Hange Decide to Sacrifice Themself?
Hange decided that all of the titan shifters on their side should be kept alive for the final battle against Eren. Rainer and Armin initially argued about which of the two of them should stay behind to hold off the titans. However, Hange decided that the both of them should assist in the final fight and appoint Armin as the Commander.
Aside from that, Armin and Rainer have already exhausted their powers at this point in time, meaning their transformation isn’t guaranteed or will leave them too weak to fight back. This would mean they wouldn’t buy enough time for the others to escape, and their sacrifice would be meaningless.
Hange’s sacrifice allowed Armin to be the new Commander, which was heavily implied that he would be the next great Commander aside from Erwin to lead the survey corps. It isn’t beyond Survey Corps members to sacrifice their lives for a greater cause.
Hange somehow knew the new generation and Levi would be more useful during the late game rather than themself. They also made a choice because they knew Reiner or Armin would be the only ones willing to do the deed over the other soldiers, two assets the Corps could not afford to lose.
Was There Any Meaning to Their Death?
It is a meaningful death that allowed the story to progress the story. Her death allowed Armin more freedom for Armin to make decisions, something he had been weak at doing. Hange was also giving way for younger Corps members to make the future. Most of the older officers have already passed by this time, including Erwin. This left Levi as one of their generation’s surviving corps members.
Why Did They Choose Armin instead of Levi to Succeed Them?
Hange saw great potential in Armin, and it was also hinted that Erwin saw this potential as well. Hange probably made the decision based on how Erwin would have appointed the new leader. Even Levi ultimately decided to save Armin instead of the Commander, believing that Armin would be more useful to humanity in the long run.
Hange couldn’t have chosen Levi. First off, Levi was in very bad shape at this point in the manga. While he was kept alive to see things through to the end, Hange wouldn’t have known that. So, they also chose who of the two would have a larger chance at survival.
Next would be that someone would need to know how to lead the Corps even after the Rumbling. Given how Levi was raised and his violent nature, he would be able to figure out alternatives for the Corps. Armin would have been the right choice to lead the Corps and humanity into a peaceful time. However, it was hinted the organization failed in maintaining peace in the long term.
What Happened After Hange’s Death?
Right before Hange sacrifices herself to have her soldiers escape, she gives up the title of Commander to Armin Alert. This made Armin the 15th Commander of the Corps. Once Hange finally scumbags to all the injuries, they awaken in front of their fallen comrades. Instead of feeling like they had lost, Hange was overjoyed to be reunited with the comrades she d lost over the years.
Meanwhile, the remaining members of the Survey Corps prepare to face Eren and stop the Rumbling once and for all. Levi is left as one of the last older members of the Corps and even manages to will himself to fight in the battle against Eren. However, it was Mikasa who delivered the final blow and freed both Eren and Ymir from their ties to the Founding Titan.
Towards the end of the series, everyone under the Titan’s curse is also set free and can continue living a normal life. Those who have fought against Eren have become ambassadors of peace and now handle peace talks between the islands.
Was Hange’s Gender Ever Revealed After Their Death?
One of the manga’s largest questions was never answered, even during the time of Hange’s death. According to the manga author, Hajime Isayama, he leaves it up to the reader’s interpretation if they want Hange to be male or female in their perspective because either gender works for the character.
In the anime, Hange is portrayed to be female to stop any confusion, but the manga keeps their gender mostly hidden. Kodansha Comics was even instructed to remove gender pronouns to keep Hange’s gender ambiguous throughout the Attack on Titan run.
Other translations of the manga might have followed the anime and depicted Hange as a female to follow the anime, where neutral pronouns are hard to translate into different languages.
Does Hange Leave Any Descendants?
It was never stated if Hange ever had a family or left any descendants behind after the events of Attack on Titan. It seems most members of the Survey Corps have avoided getting involved in any romantic relationships since most of them knew they could possibly die at any given moment, especially during missions. The only people Hange would probably consider family are the other members of the Survey Corps since it seems they value the Corps more than anything else.