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Reiner is a passionate 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 supress his true memories in an effort to escape. What this means in terms of his personality, and how much of his observed personality is real, remains unclear.
As a human, Reiner has blonde hair. Reiner has broad shoulders and is fairly tall giving him an intimidating presence.
The Armored Titan is 15 meters tall. Its skin is completely hardened, save for muscles in its cheeks that become exposed when it opens its jaw, the muscle tissue behind his knees and elbows, and its feet. Other than that, it does not possess any notable anatomical deformities.
Like many, not much is known about Reiner's early life. Both he and Bertholdt were thought to come from a village in the mountains south-east of Wall Maria. When the Colossal Titan and the other titans attacked, the warning came too late to his village, he and Bertholdt barely made it safely to Wall Sina. This is later found untrue with Reiner's being the Armored Titan and Bertholdt being the Colossal Titan.
During his time training to become a soldier, he was considered to be one of the most adept with the 3D Maneuver Gear. When Eren was having trouble during this training, he asked advice from both he and Bertholdt. As a sort of repayment, Eren worked with him in hand-to-hand combat training.
Noting Eren's desire to apply to the Scouting Legion even after witnessing the attack in the Shiganshina District, he reveals that he wants to go back to his home town, knowing that there is likely nothing to return to. He eventually graduated in the top ten of his trainee class, coming in at second, just under 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 essentailly 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 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 refused to risk it for a titan. However, it turned out not to be necessary when it broke free at the sight of the titan that killed Tomas. He was among the first people to know about Eren's titan form, when he emerged from the giants 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.
Reiner would later join the Scouting Legion, together with the rest of the top 10 alumni with the exception of Annie. During the first expedition they take part in, he teams up with Jean to save Armin from the female-type titan after his horse runs away.
After the capture of Annie, Reiner was later seen in an abandoned mansion next to Sasha when Wall Rose supposedly got breached. He was soon dispatched to find all the survivors and tell them the news (without his 3D Maneuver Gear).
After that he and his squad went searching for the gap, though they found nothing. They met up with another team carrying the same orders and also didn't find anything. The 2 squads join together and go to the abandoned Castle Utgard to rest.
Later that night he finds Ymir searching for food and she found a can of tuna. He became suspicious when she was able to identify the label correctly. Before Reiner had the chance to question Ymir about her knowledge on titan language, he was alerted by the others about the titans attacking the castle.
Reiner and Berthold are shocked when they learn that Ymir was the deviant type titan that ate their family members.
In the following chapter, Reiner reveals to Eren that he is the Armored Titan that destroyed the gate on Wall Maria five years ago, leading to the destruction of Eren and Mikasa's hometown. He states that the objective was to wipe out mankind, but he also says that it's no longer necessary. He asks Eren to come with him, saying that if he does there will be no need to attack the wall again. When Eren acts as if can't be serious, Reiner becomes disheartened about his sentimentality towards his comrades in the Scouting Legion and declares his commitment to his responsiblity and duty as a "warrior", prompting an enraged Mikasa to attack him and Bertholdt. After he and Bertholdt Fubar, who is revealed to be the Colossal Titan, come under suprise attack by Mikasa and the rest of the Scouting Legion, he and Bertholdt transform and Reiner grabs Eren, while Berthold eats Ymir. His hand is blown off by Eren who, enraged by their betrayal of humanity, transforms in his grip. Eren and Reiner then begin to battle upon Eren's transformation.
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 2nd 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 Bertholdt 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 3DM 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 Christa 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 Bertholdt'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 Bertholdt, 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 Christa and he can ensure her future in exchange for Ymir's cooperation.
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 amongst the recruits, having also trained other skilled fighters such as Eren.
As the Armored Titan, its body produces a hardened, armor-like skin that is sturdy enough to completely repel concentrated cannon fire. It also demonstrates incredible strength and speed when it breaks down the inner gate of Wall Maria. However this hardened skin does not manifest on the Titan's joints as to allow it to retain it's high speed and mobility.
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.
- In a blog post on April 17th, the author revealed that Reiner's Titan image (the Armored Titan) were actually based on Brock Lesnar, an American professional wrestler and Mixed Martial Artist.
- In episode 2, a young Reiner and Bertholdt are in the crowd when the mission to reclaim Wall Maria is announced. This is an anime-only cameo.
- In chapter 38, he suggests in a conversation with Ymir that he is gay. However, there are hints that he may have a crush on Christa, responding to her kindness with thoughts about wanting to marry her.