A group of brave, strong, and well-known characters have banded together in Attack on Titan's concluding season in an effort to put an end to Eren Yeager's Rumbling. The group of survivors includes Hange Zo and Armin Arlert, two Ackermans with unmatched combat prowess, Reiner Braun and Annie Leonhart with Titan Shifting abilities, and others with established abilities, skills, or symbols of the next generation. One person, in particular, stands out from the group of survivors determined to stop Eren's genocidal scheme: Connie Springer.
Like the rest of the team, Connie doesn't stand out for any particular talent or ability. In actuality, his importance stems from the absence of such abilities. Throughout Attack on Titan, supporting Scouts or allies have come and gone, fighting in a cruel world and passing away before they can witness a time of peace. The people who have altered the course of history, have the power to do so, or continue to have a significant influence on it make up the final group of heroes. They are all primary protagonists or were once primary antagonists. Connie is neither; like many other characters in the tale, he served as a supporting character among a band of near superhumans. He plays a crucial role because of this.
How Connie from Attack on Titan Transformed From a Comedy to the "Every Man"
While Attack on Titan would lead audiences to believe it is in fact Jean Kirstein who fills this role, that is not entirely true. Jean was an emotional rival to Eren throughout the beginning of the series and a standout potential leader during his training. He may not have the intelligence of Armin, but his strategic mind and ability to lead was an important aspect of his characterization. The focus given to him over the rest of the 104th trainees cemented his importance in the story and leveled him from supporting trainee to the primary trainee just shy of Eren, Armin and Mikasa’s status.
Connie was seated in the area for supporting characters. They were extras who, along with Marco Bodt and Sasha Blouse, were meant to support the main protagonists of the anime in their starring roles. As the plot developed, Connie and Sasha evolved into a comedy duo and background protagonists, supporting and adding to the ranks of the heroes, particularly Jean.
With Sasha's passing, Connie's role as a humorous supporting actor was transformed into the team's crucially important "Every Man" role. The death of one of the duo's members initially reduced Connie to a shadow of his prior status within the group.
The Value of a "Every Man" in the Mold of Connie Springer
The absence of the underdog or "Every Man" can be painfully apparent in stories with a cast of supernaturally inclined characters. Similar to Hawkeye in The Avengers, Connie from Attack on Titan is a member of the team who, due to the overwhelming strength of his teammates, is never the center of attention for very long, but who nonetheless serves as a representation of the 'average joe' that viewers can identify with should they be a part of the absurdly powerful team. Connie has consistently stood by the sides of characters like Jean, Armin, Mikasa, Levi, and many others throughout the series, demonstrating his worth as a soldier despite never holding the torch of a main hero in his hands. This kind of position is essential for grounding a team's supernatural component.
What makes Connie so intriguing is his survival. He is the last surviving 104th Trainee who was considered a supporting but still background character. As the story reached its later seasons, he was given more time and his relationship with Jean explored further; this was partly due to the lack of Sasha’s presence, but Connie still filled the role of the extra who was able to walk alongside giants toward the finish line. Connie is the Wedge Antilles of Attack on Titan, and the show would not be the same without him.