Can we please talk about this scene because we don’t talk enough about this scene
In the anime, as the Scouting Legion is leaving Trost, some random dude in the crowd points out Levi while Eren and Armin are still watching Erwin:
In the manga, Eren is the one to point him out, and incredibly animatedly at that. He boasts Levi’s reputation as if Mikasa and Armin don’t know — he has looked up to the guy enough to figure it out by himself, and to recognize him on sight despite that they’ve never met.
And I think this is very important.
This is why Eren is so quick to forgive Levi’s behavior at the tribunal, why he so readily believes Levi’s performance was just that — an act. This is why he’s so disappointed when Levi doesn’t give him special treatment at headquarters, why he’s so shocked to hear about his criminal past, why he’s so upset he can’t even look Levi in the eye to apologize for his injury, why he’s so visibly agitated whenever Levi tells him he must transform, it’s an order, and he’d better be able to follow through.
Levi is someone Eren has aspired to be his entire life — someone who wants to annihilate the titan invasion and has the power to do so, his background and physical stature irrelevant.
Levi is Eren’s hero.