Wikipedia defines eating as 'the ingestion of food or other object, usually to provide heterotrophic organism particularly for energy and growth.' Maybe some of the Titanized humans rely on some source of energy, but by no stretch of the imagination do they need any kind of food in order to survive. We've seen what happens when they eat human flesh: it just stays in their body, and when there's no room for it anymore, they just start regurgitating it.
So why do Titans manifest the behavior of 'eating' human flesh? Well, in the past, I was totally puzzled by that question, but I believe the answer's been given to us in one of the recent chapters, through that conversation between Ymir and Berthold about Ymir's past. Out of that conversation, we can come to two inferences: first, when humans get turned into mindless Titans, there's still some part of their body that remains somewhere in there, and they are still conscious to a certain extent, although they have obviously no control of their actions; and secondly, through a process that involves a mindless Titan literally ingesting the body of a Titan-shifter, the former can acquire the latter's power and regain control of his body.
Now, based on this, here's my theory:
I believe that, at the start, there were at least two people at war with each other. One of them somehow developped what we know as the Titan's power, and then made two variants of it: one that would not only render their enemies powerless, but also turn them against their own people, by transforming them into mindless Titans that are programmed to try and 'eat' humans; and another much more powerful variant that would allow them to empower their own people and turn them into weapons of war (aka the Titan-shifters).
However, later, someone else acquired that Titan's power and turned it against its creator, by altering it so that people who would be turned into mindless Titans would be able to steal a Titan-shifter's power through a process that would involve ingesting his body.
I know it's somewhat far-strected, but there are two things that make me believe this.
First, we know from the anime that the world outside the walls is a war-torn one, and that the first generation of people who came to the world within the walls were lead by a bunch of religious, well-off men who wanted to establish a war-free society. Furthermore, it was said that the walls had been created using the Titan's power prior to the arrival of the people there, which implies that the Titan's power existed long before that.
Secondly, we know from both the anime and the manga that the society in which RBA live seems to be a typically ruthless, warfare-oriented one, in which people start training for fightning at a young age and fight all their life.
Based on that, I believe that the people living outside the walls have been at war and fightning each other using the Titan's power for a very long time, possibly for centuries before the start of the story. And it's easy to imagine how having the Coordinate's power would allow RBA's people to turn the tide of that war/conflict that they're in.
Anyway, tell me what you guys think. This is my theory on why Titans try to 'eat' people even though they get seemingly no benefit from doing so, based mostly on that conversation between Berthold and Ymir about the latter eating the former's friend who was most likely also a Titan-shifter.
Well Titans are ( from what we know so far ) type of biological weapon.
Their purpose is to kill Humans until there are none left, that's pretty much it.
If the mindless titans become shifter titans by eating another shifter (like ymir) then why didn't the titan that eat Eren change into a shifter?
That Titan only swallowed an injured Eren so the powers can't be passed
on through blood alone (vampire buisness).
It's in my opinion thus very likely that the shifter's powers reside
in the central nervous system just like that part - the neck (spine) is the
common weakness of all types of Titans we know of.
It would also explain why the Smiley Titan (I think) killed a person before eating it
- anti-shifter measure...
TL;DR - Santa Titan should have chewed his meals properly.
what do u mean by anti - shifting? do u mean the smiling was intellegent or it just that the mechanism didnt work properly for the sabta?
maybe santa was just young and inexperienced
we all know titans can learn so, hell knows, their instincts may manifest to various extents; probably not much of mystery here, isayama might've not cares 1/50th as much as the fanbase does, he's an inconsistent fuck isn't he
With that I meant that some (of the newer) Titans might beQuote:
programmed to kill humans before eating humans them
that way Annie for example would have been killed for sure
if a Titan got her during her desperate escape
(where she called in the Titans to eat her Titan-form)
If on the other hand they just got swallowed they can easily
escape so making Titans break their preys spine or
bitting them in half is important when it comes to them being
used against (inexperienced) shifters...
It might have also saved R&Bs friend's life but Y. wasn't that
careless apparently even in her mindless Titan-form.
Granted this theory is probably to explicit and more
of a fan explanation than anything we can expect to be confirmed.
reason why the neck and spine are the weakness for a titan is because, presumably, that is where the tissue that basically IS them resides. and the reason it is a weakness is because the blow basically removes a portion of the spine and the piece of gthe brain in charge of motor functions. basically shutting down the titan.
---------- Post added at 07:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:34 PM ----------
the smiling titan broke the spine of eren's mother because it was struggling.
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i think that there is a reason why the titans eat humans. rather than being programmed to do it, what if they are instictually driven towards regaining their humanity?
if titan were original human, they have basically lost their humanity. they are made incomplete. so by instinct they seek out humans in some futile attempt to regain that lost humanity.
Aberrant titans are a bit different. while driven to regain their humanity their minds are not totally lost and are thus insane, either unnaturally clever or unpredictable in their behavior.
the reason why titans seem to go after titan shifters is because they sense their humanity and, thus, want it. ironically enough the titan shifters are something that can allow a titan to regain its humanity. ymir is an example of a titan who regained humanity.