Levi Ackerman is a fan-favorite character of Attack on Titan, even surpassing the protagonist Eren Yeager in popularity for much of the show’s runtime. Because of this, many fans have taken an interest in Levi’s personality, backstory, and relationships. However, Levi comes off as mysterious and cold to others, so it’s difficult to tell what other people mean to him. One of the biggest questions fans have had when it comes to Levi is whether he has ever had a significant other.
Levi Ackerman is always out fighting Titans with the Survey Corps and putting himself in danger. Being “humanity’s strongest soldier” doesn’t leave Levi with the time or desire to get close to others, let alone be romantically involved with them. The closest individual Levi has as a love interest is Petra Ral, though she perished in the battle against the Female Titan.
This character might be mysterious, but his backstory is rich with drama and intrigue. Most of Levi’s relationships, the vast majority platonic in nature, ended in tragedy. Let’s dive into Levi’s relationships throughout his life, his relationship with Petra, and other potential relationships he might have had that we don’t know about.
Levi’s relationships in the Underground District
It seems like Levi’s occupation has closed him off from friendships and relationships. Levi didn’t have many relationships growing up in the Underground District, as her mother died in a brothel when he was very young.
Kenny Ackerman, Kuchel’s brother, took Levi under his wing out of pity. However, this arrangement didn’t last, as Kenny thought he wouldn’t have made a good father. One day, he left Levi on his own.
Growing up in the Underground District made Levi adopt a cold and unapproachable persona, though one of his defining characteristics is his strong sense of empathy. He lived alongside two companions, Isabel Magnolia, and Furlan Church.
Levi’s relationship with Isabel and Furlan was one of the most prominent ones in Levi’s life. Though strictly a platonic relationship, they looked out for each other and made up something of a found family together.
One day, Isabel and Furlan insisted on accompanying Levi to a scouting mission. Despite Levi’s objections, they came along and were unexpectedly killed by an Abnormal Titan while Levi was not present. When Erwin Smith and the Scouts captured them, they all went to the surface together. Levi only returns in time to watch Furlan get devoured by the Titan. He kills the Titan, but this doesn’t bring his friends back.
Levi’s relationship with Petra Ral
Petra Ral was an Eldian soldier who was part of the Special Operations Squad, a group of elite soldiers hand-picked by Levi Ackerman. Petra earned Eren’s trust when he joined the squad, which was vital to preserving his life. Petra was shown to be a genuinely kind and caring person.
This isn’t to say that Petra was too soft to be a good soldier. She was fast on her feet and ready to react to any threat. She had one of the highest Titan kills in the series, having killed 10 Titans alone and 48 Titans in a team. On top of that, Petra was very loyal to her superiors.
When first watching the series, fans got the impression that Petra had feelings for Levi. Petra is indeed completely devoted to Levi and ready to sacrifice her life if he orders it. This connects to her unwavering loyalty as a soldier, but her personal feelings may also be involved.
Petra was often at odds with Oruo, a fellow Special Operations Squad member who habitually imitated Levi. She found this annoying and would tell him to stop.
We don’t know much more than this about Petra’s feelings toward Levi, and we know even less about Levi’s feelings toward Petra. Even if they had mutual romantic feelings towards each other, Levi chose not to act on them due to the grim nature of their work. His judgment proved to be correct when the Female Titan violently killed Petra.
The mission to capture the Female Titan
The primary goal of this mission was to protect Eren Yeager from harm, but the secret goal was to lure the Female Titan into a trap and capture her. At one point, the battle focuses on Petra, and some of her comrades as Eren escapes harm’s way.
They initially have the advantage, as they manage to blind the Female Titan and incapacitate her arms. However, the Female Titan focused her regeneration on only healing one of her eyes instead of all her wounds, making that eye regenerate much faster.
This ability was unknown to the Scouts up until this moment, so it was unexpected. With one of her eyes restored, the Female Titan splatters Petra against a tree with a powerful kick.
After Levi discovered Petra’s body, he guarded it until the Survey Corps were told to retreat to Wall Maria. Petra’s father later said to him that Petra fully intended to dedicate her life to serving the Special Operations Squad.
Petra’s father seems to have been under the impression that Petra had feelings for Levi. This could be because Petra was honest about her feelings with her father, or it could be a classic case of a parent reading too much into their child’s relationships. Either way, it’s pretty tragic that Levi’s unwillingness to open himself up to people is proven right again and again, as almost everyone he cares about is eventually killed.