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Why is Eren betraying everyone?

In one sentence, Eren is betraying his former friends and unleashing the Rumbling on the rest of the world because he believes this is the only way to secure freedom for the island of Paradis and his people, the Eldians. He will go to any lengths, even monstrous ones, to achieve that goal.

Eren‘s Main Motivation: Freedom for His People

Eren‘s driving motivation, as you may know, has always been to pursue freedom. This dates back to his traumatic childhood when he first saw the Titans breach Wall Maria and imprison humanity. After learning the truth about the outside world and the oppression faced by Eldians, Eren becomes convinced that the only path to freedom is destroying Marley and the allied nations who want to exterminate his people.

In Eren‘s mind, the ends now justify the means. To him, saving Paradis is worth any sacrifice, even if it means carrying out mass murder on an unprecedented scale. As Eren chillingly says himself in Declaration of War, "If we kill everyone else out there, will we finally be free?"

The Outside World‘s Betrayal and Persecution of Eldians

Eren feels personally betrayed by the unrelenting prejudice against the Eldian race by the rest of the world. As you‘ll recall, most of the world hates Eldians simply for existing. Over 6 million Eldians have been slaughtered in internment zones according to official statistics. Eldians are forced to wear armbands marking them as "devils."

They face segregation, violence, and oppression across the globe simply for being "Subjects of Ymir." Eren takes this persecution to heart and believes that peaceful coexistence is impossible. In his mind, the world has already declared war on Paradis. He sees his actions as justified retaliation, not unprovoked aggression.

Eren‘s Dishonest Manipulation of Former Comrades

Another painful element of Eren‘s betrayal is how he has dishonestly manipulated even his closest friends to further his goals. For instance, when the Survey Corps tried to negotiate with the Marleyan military, Eren intentionally torpedoed the talks by attacking Liberio. This forced the Survey Corps to reluctantly go along with his plans to protect him.

Eren has used the Survey Corps‘ oath to protect him as a weapon against them. By putting them into situations where they have to choose between protecting Eren or allowing mass death, he boxed them into an impossible corner. As you can imagine, this manipulation and dishonesty has made his former comrades feel used as pawns.

Eren‘s Experience Has Warped His Worldview

Eren has undergone severe trauma from a young age – seeing his mother eaten, fighting Titans, and losing friends. Learning the brutal truth about the world and receiving memories from the future has also severely impacted his psyche and moral compass.

Eren now sees the world in extremes. On one side are his loyal friends and the oppressed Eldians. On the other, the outside world that wants to destroy Paradis. With this warped us-vs-them worldview, it becomes easier for Eren to justify any atrocity against what he sees as an irredeemable enemy.

There May Be Hidden Factors Driving Eren

Some theorize that there are other reasons driving Eren that haven‘t been revealed yet. Perhaps he is being manipulated by Ymir or Zeke‘s ideology. Eren could also be putting on an act to unite the world against a common enemy.

There‘s also speculation that Eren is secretly trying to protect his friends by making them "heroes" who stop the Rumbling. By becoming the villain, he spares them the guilt. These theories suggest there could be more complexity to Eren‘s motivations than pure conviction. But these potential hidden motivations remain unclear.

Eren Chose His People Over Humanity

Ultimately, Eren has chosen his loyalty toward his home and friends over the rest of humanity. In his mind, destroying the outside world is a necessary sacrifice to break free from the cycle of hatred that has plagued Eldians. While his intentions may be sincere, his methods are undoubtedly horrific.

Only time will tell if Eren‘s global genocide will lead to freedom, or simply replace one cycle of violence with another. But from Eren‘s perspective, he made the only choice he could to secure a future for the people he cares about, even if it meant becoming a devil himself.

I hope this guide has provided more insight into Eren‘s motivations and descent into darkness. Let me know if you have any other thoughts or questions! I‘m always happy to discuss and theorize more about this complex character and story.