Attack on Titan and the Walnut - Symbolism
Why the walnut?
While I was driving to student teaching today, I listened to “The Great Escape” by Cinema Staff. After some thought, I wondered why the animation staff decided to show a rolling walnut for the beginning and ending of the end credits. This led me to do some research regarding walnuts their symbolic meaning.
Various websites state that many folktales and stories use the walnut to symbolize something precious hidden under a tough exterior. In this case, we can compare a walnut’s shell to the Walls that guard the cities, and the cities as the actual nut. While the nut itself may represent the importance of the walls and the cities, the task of opening walnut can represent an entirely different meaning. According to Jungian tradition opening walnuts can represent the“attempts to solve a difficult problem in which something valuable is at stake”. Woah there, that means that the struggle to open the walnut can represent the struggle to preserve humanity.
And here’s where it gets crazy. According to other websites, while it is a known struggle to open up a walnut, the individual never knows if the nut will be good or bad. If the nut is good, then it implies that the labor was well worth it. On the flip side, if the nut is rotten or bitter, this can represent failure and a person’s struggle on something worthless.
SO, because we see the walnut uncracked, we have no idea if the nut inside will be good or bad. My interpretation? Well, I like to think that the walnut represents the whether preserving humanity was worth preserving or a pointless, fruitless struggle.