Season 4, the Final Season of Attack on Titan, introduced us to life beyond the walls. After learning to hate the mysterious people threatening Eren and his friends from beyond the sea, we got a chance to experience the world through their eyes.
The first episode of season four introduces us to Gabi Braun, a young soldier for Marley and part of their Warrior Unit, being trained to one day take over as one of the titans. However, from the very beginning, she got mixed reactions from fans, and her popularity has dipped as events have transpired.
At this point, lots of Attack on Titan fans hate Gabi. However, they might be missing one of the most interesting and important character arcs in the whole series! Here is why I love Gabi and what she brings to the show.
Why is Gabi Hated by Attack on Titan Fans?
First of all, some context.
Gabi Braun is one of the most self-confident characters in Attack on Titan. From the very first episode of season four, she presents herself as the best Warrior candidate and lauds her self-proclaimed superiority over others in a childish way.
Gabi is a battle-hungry character, who is determined to exterminate everyone on Paradis Island, where the series has taken place so far. She also gets angry at others who don’t share her determination.
Perhaps the biggest reason why Attack on Titan fans hate Gabi, though, is when she shot and killed Sasha, one of the show’s most-loved characters. That moment itself had childish characteristics - Gabi was trapped, and there was no hope of her winning, but she still took down one of the best people in the whole series!
Unsurprisingly, the internet broke with fans calling for Gabi’s head, and she’s never been popular since.
However, maybe now it’s time for fans to forgive? Perhaps these reasons below will help.
Gabi Represents the Marleyan Outlook on Eldians
The start of season four drops us into a completely new scenario, following a war and a group of people that fans barely knew existed beforehand.
Suddenly, the people that we had developed such a bond with over the years are replaced with new, young faces, particularly the brash Gabi Braun.
However, these episodes are crucial for providing a different viewpoint on events that were about to change the world, helping us to understand Eren as the bad guy.
Gabi, being raised in the Marleyan world, represents the general public’s view of the ‘devils across the sea’, with all its flaws. Unfortunately, given our connection to Paradis, her ideas were always going to be a tough sell for viewers.
Still, without her forwardness and strong opinions, the more reasonable characters may not have had their opinions seen as clearly. Ultimately, Gabi sets the scene perfectly for events at the end of Season 4, Part 1, while also setting up an exciting character arc.
Gabi is Eren Jeager
As shown by the key visual for season 4, part 1, the story draws similarities between events in season one and season four, just with roles reversed. A bit of further digging, and there are clear similarities between Eren’s role then and Gabi’s now.
In the beginning, Eren has a single, clear goal in mind: to kill all the titans and achieve freedom beyond his walls (excluding the part where Eren went back in time). He is an angry, battle-hungry kid simply going off what he’s been told, and it’s only when the truth about the titans is revealed that he begins to mature.
Now compare that to Gabi. Part of an Eldian military family (her cousin is Reiner) living in an internment zone, she also exists with a clear goal in her mind: kill everyone on Paradis Island to free her people from the military camps.
Not only do they both share similar characteristics - resolve, leadership, anger - but they also learn to fight against the odds; Eren has to use his power to overcome waves of titans, while Gabi has to use her rifle abilities to survive a military invasion.
Thankfully for Eren, in season one, there was no other viewpoint for the audience to rally behind.
While Gabi may not be seen as ‘correct’ by viewers, her personality and story help to create an almost nostalgic feel to the show in the first part of season four. If you’re someone who is simply settling in for an action-filled ride, Gabi is one of the most exciting characters in this part of the story!
There is No Falco Without Gabi
Perhaps the biggest reason why Gabi is such a good character, however, is her relationship with Falco, the other key character introduced in season four.
Falco is another Warrior candidate with Gabi. However, while she is steadfast, Falco expresses doubt, often in the form of compassion.
Falco emerges as a crucial character for the story’s narrative, but the reality is that he is only on the battlefield because of Gabi. Falco admits that he wants to beat Gabi so she doesn’t need to become a titan. Without Gabi, it’s doubtful that Falco would have the resolve to do what he does in the show.
Even looking beyond the necessities of the story, Gabi’s personality pulls Falco out of his shell, forcing him to present his more compassionate view of the world. Ultimately, Falco feels the need to stand up to Gabi’s views, which is why we get to hear from him in the series.
Not only is Gabi a hugely important character in the series, but she is also incredibly entertaining to watch. Hopefully, her character will continue to develop at the end of Season four, cementing her place amongst the most interesting characters of the series.