Alright well this is just my theory of theories.
If we subtract from Attack on Titan's fan base the amount of people who ALREADY KNOW THE ENDING (which I assume to be a VERY small amount of people, and yet a number larger than 0) Attack on Titan has a HUGE fanbase!
Some fans are geniuses, some are not geniuses, some have experience with anime and manga... the point is: I would bet a large number of the fanbase have mulled around possible theories pertaining to Attack on Titan inside their head. Some people are making two possible theories, even ten or more!
So here is an interesting concept: It is likely, that out of ALL the SERIOUS (and perhaps non-serious) fan-made theories regarding Attack on Titan that have been thought of, at least ONE is correct.
Thoughts on this?
I think yes, but, how many fan theories are? We do know all or almost all of them? I don't think so, maybe a fan has the right theory but never post it or share it publicly. So yes, I think there is a genius out there that have a big clue of what happens or what will happen but don't think we ever will know that for certain. .
The issue is how much information we have. Plots take time to unfold, and generally speaking a good plot spreads its information over the course of its run (clues, red herrings, foreshadowing, character backgrounds, themes, symbolism, set up and pay off, etc. etc.). We have to be able to assess these various of the elements that constitute a story, and from that make guesses or deductions.
There are different types of plot, in the best-crafted stories, a competent author should be able to keep the reader in the dark when it comes to the big mystery / twist of the 'a-plot', really until pretty late into the third act. It's not just about an intelligent reader, or 'genius theorists' as you'd have it... Stories that hinge on a mystery aren't very satisfying when any sufficiently obsessive reader can pick apart who the murderer was (or whatever the mystery is) within the space of the first act. That indicates a poorly-written story.
So I guess what I'm saying is, it is the nature of a well-written story that the ingredients, the narrative mechanisms, the pieces of information which constitute the story, are not forming some kind of 'magic eye picture' that if we squint at long enough, we'll suddenly see the 'real' image and unlock all of the mysteries long before the third act. Storytelling is all about sequence and order in which secrets / hidden information, is revealed. Act one lays the foundation for act two, act two sets up all of the points which will be paid off / resolved in act three.
A good mystery usually demands that new information is revealed with regularity, which ups the stakes of the story, and constantly constructs new set ups which build on what's come before. New information combines with previous information and the internal life of the story evolves.
In other words, not enough info is yet available for any reader to possibly know, in detail, the big mysteries of SnK. It would be boring & poor storytelling if that were the case.
Last edited by eton; October 25, 2013 at 06:16 PM.
The story is already finished, he is just drawing it into manga, so that means there can be theories about things that haven't even been revealed yet
I'm not saying there can't be theories, far from it.
This point about the author knowing the details & direction of his own story is redundant.
I thought the OP was basically suggesting that if you examine all of the so-far available details of a story, and you're obsessive enough about it, you can figure out major plot outcomes. I'm saying that stories, well mysteries particularly, don't work that way (the good ones don't at any rate). The fact is, until the author has released enough information into the story's universe, the reader's speculation about the big things is naturally limited. It's just sort of pointless to pretend you can be a Sherlock Holmes of plots or whatever & know everything well in advance of the 2nd/3rd act.
Mysteries succeed or fail precisely on the basis that the reader doesn't have the vital information, it is cleverly concealed from us so that we're incapable of cracking the case in the first chapter or w/e. Authors of this genre typically succeed most when the reader/viewer has realisations at the same time as the protagonist. I.e. we realise when the author wants us to realise, and hopefully not long beforehand, or else the author has made the answers too obvious.
Last edited by eton; October 27, 2013 at 01:20 PM.
Good mysteries keep you guessing. But it doesn't make them impossible.
Suggesting that is ludicrous, and makes absolutely no sense. They can be very difficult indeed, but the point of the mystery is that it has to be solved; and one of the characters is ALWAYS the answer, even if you would never have suspected them.
You have commented very intelligently on how mystery novels work. But we only have 36 chapters left, meaning we are past the halfway point, and there should be enough info for us to come up with enough theories to be able to speculate at the right answer.
It's the solution that Bruteforcers use, and cypher code crackers. If you accuse EVERY character, you'll be right at least once. If it's none of the characters, then... Wtf? Alright let's accuse plants and everything else now. Point is, you're going to be right at least once.
With thousands of fans out there creating thousands of theories; at least one is right.
Clear things up?
Well, not in my opinion. Given what we've seen so far of Isayama's writing, I believe it's the very nature of his approach to be frequently introducing new pieces of information which the reader really couldn't have guessed at, and it's these twists which make other seemingly unrelated or innocuous elements of the story coalesce into something tangible--and at that point you've got a viable theory, which is based on just enough information to stand. The guy who clocked Reiner and Bertholdt in advance of the reveal is a great example of that. We were by then at a point in that story arc where there was enough information to form that theory.
I'm not saying that having theories is a waste of time, however theories related to the big stuff simply have to be curtailed by the limits of what we know right now. That's the nature of a good mystery, and particularly with the serialised format. The information is being very carefully parcelled out. As I said, it's less like a 'magic eye' picture (basically complete, and if you just squint at it right you'll see the 'real' picture), and more like a puzzle, where particular information is missing, but once a sufficient amount of information / pieces of the puzzle are filled in, the pieces surrounding it combine to form a good suggestion of what the final picture will be. That was what happened with the Reiner/Bertholdt reveal.
Last edited by eton; October 28, 2013 at 06:08 AM.
Exactly; you are suggesting that theories have to be thought of LOGICALLY.
I dont care what you're opinion is; sure isayama's writing is fairly unpredictable. I surely didn't expect Eren to be able to control titans. But, im sure, EVEN IF ON ACCIDENT, someone, SOMEWHERE, guessed that Eren could control titans.
Out of thousands of different theories, at least one is correct. Do you get what I'm saying?
I brought this topic up now, because we are already past halfway. Novels always peak, and then cascade downwards towards the denouement, therefore producing that amazing catharsis. And you watch, when the series is coming to and end, I guarantee we will all be stumped and amazed. But, there will be one person saying "I knew it! I'm the one who guessed that!".