What is the Rumbling? Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 3 ending explained

Lucy-Jo Finnighan
attack on titan rumbling

Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 3 begins with a cataclysmic event called the Rumbling, but what is it exactly? And how does it end?

Attack on Titan has been one of the most influential animes of recent years, so its conclusion is obviously a very big deal. Despite the fact that the final season has been stretched into three parts over almost three years – and this final part has been stretched into two movies – fans are still on the edge of their seats.

The anime, which first began as a take of the remnants of humanity fighting off giant monstrous titans, has taken many a twist and turn since it first came out in 2013, and its finale is set to be the most gut-wrenching chapter yet. One thing that sets Attack on Titan apart is just how willing it is to kill off its characters, and this is perfectly obvious in the event of the Rumbling.

The Rumbling began at the end of last season, but has come to fruition in the Season 4 Part 3 Special Episode 1, which just dropped on Crunchyroll today. But what is the Rumbling, and does it get stopped by the end of this new episode? We’ll explain, but first: MAJOR SPOILER WARNING FOR ATTACK ON TITAN. Obviously.

What is the Rumbling?

The Rumbling is an event set off by Eren Yeager that creates multiple colossal Titans, who rampage across the entire Earth.

As described by the Attack on Titan Wiki, “The Rumbling was a cataclysmic event involving Karl Fritz’s Wall Titans marching across the earth, destroying all life upon it. For over a century, it was a key deterrence factor for the Subjects of Ymir on Paradis Island until the year 854 when Eren Yeager unhardened the Walls, freed the Wall Titans, and began the Rumbling.

“Over the course of four days after first setting foot on the continental mainland, the Rumbling brought about the complete destruction of the northern continent of Marley along with significant devastation in the southern continent and neighboring nations. Approximately 80% of all human life on the planet was ended.”

You can see visuals of the Rumbling in the show’s opening sequence below, which features a kickass song also called “The Rumbling.”

Is the Rumbling stopped? Attack on Titan ending explained

As of the most recent episode of Attack on Titan, no, the Rumbling has not been stopped. In fact, our lead characters have barley survived it.

The newest episode focuses on humanity’s – mostly failed – attempts to escape the destruction. Our main heroes – that being Levi, Mikasa, Armin and co. – also struggle to outrun the rumbling, which leads to a major casualty that we won’t spoil here.

In terms of how the episode ends, we see refuges – including Reiner’s mother – racing to get picked up by aircrafts to safety. They don’t make it, but spot that the aircrafts are actually heading towards the Rumbling, as they are attempting to bomb it. This attack doesn’t succeed sadly, and the carnage continues.

However, it seems like the fight isn’t completely over, as our main heroes arrive in a plane. After failing to reach a compromise with Eren, the only choice left is to fight, and the episode ends with our heroes diving down onto the Rumbling – which also includes Eren and the Beast Titan – and transforming into titans themselves.

No doubt this will be a major battle, making the next – and final – episode of the series a seriously epic ending to the anime.

Attack on Titan Season 4 Part 3 Episode 1 is now streaming on Crunchyroll. For more coverage of Attack on Titan, click here.

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