In "A Choice with No Regrets" it is shown that Levi once intended to kill Erwin to gain citizenship on the surface. However, Levi later chose to instead follow Erwin and work with him to serve humanity.
Over time Erwin earned Levi's trust and subservience. Despite this Levi still spoke rudely around him sometimes, though Erwin didn't seem to mind. Erwin was also one of the few people who could maintain a casual conversation with Levi which enabled them to converse with one another on equal grounds.
When Erwin asked Levi if he would take the titan serum Kenny had swiped, Levi requested that Erwin just give him the order. During the Survey Corps' final meeting before the Battle to retake Wall Maria, Levi closed the door behind the other members to talk to Erwin privately. Levi made it clear that he was concerned about Erwin’s physical condition and told him to stay put. When Erwin declined, Levi threatened to break his legs as a joke. However, Levi soon realized that he couldn't change Erwin's mind which left him looking slightly glum.
Facing imminent defeat against the beast titan, Erwin began to grieve over the failure of his attempts to learn the truth of the world. He thought back to the many soldiers who had died for the sake of humanity and who he had used to get closer to his dream, picturing himself standing on a mountain of their corpses. Erwin began to question his dream as a childish delusion. Levi knelt down and told Erwin that the Survey Corps wouldn’t have been able to get so far without him. He then told Erwin to give up on his dreams, die and lead the new recruits into battle, promising to take down the beast titan. Despite his dreams coming to a bitter end Erwin gave a smile of relief at Levi's words and soon charged into battle. After capturing the Beast Titan Zeke, Levi had hope that Erwin was still alive so that he could revive him with the serum. Levi became enraged when the Cart Titan rescued Zeke, his only chance at reviving Erwin, from him. Levi recalled his promise to Erwin and looked pained by his failure to kill Zeke.
Levi changed his mind about saving Armin with the serum when a soldier delivered a critically wounded Erwin to him, causing Eren and Mikasa to lash out and accuse him of being biased. Once they had been restrained Levi proceeded to inject Erwin. At this point Levi thought back to Erwin's dreams and the last words of Kenny. Erwin, in his near-death state, suddenly knocked the needle out of his hand. Levi then recalled the look of relief on Erwin's face when he had resolved to sacrifice himself. He decided to let Erwin die peacefully, despite wanting to have him back. Levi told Erwin that his promise to defeat the Beast Titan would have to wait, but Erwin had already passed. Levi later admits that he was influenced by his personal feelings, having allowed Erwin to escape the burden of his responsibilities despite knowing that humanity still needed him.
Four years later, Levi is shown having an inner monologue much like Erwin's and thinking back to the promise he made. When Levi is caught in Zeke's blast, it appears that he has lost his right arm, just like Erwin had.
In an interview with Isayama, the author revealed that Erwin's bones were recovered some time after his death and Levi was the one who buried him.
Many fans have noticed that the relationship between Erwin and Levi is unique, based on deep trust and respect. Also, they have a longer history together so they have a strong personal bond. Levi did always follow Erwin around, especially in the anime (like in season 1, episode 22) and after Erwin’s death he did claim that it was his personal feelings which led to his decision.
Isayama has stated in an interview that he wanted to portray Erwin and Levi as having an "equal relationship".
With that noted, however, fans are not the only ones who have been noticing their suspicious relationship! One of the directors of the anime, Araki, recently stated when asked about Erwin and Levi's relationship, "I think you can say it's friendship. But of course there is emotion between them which cannot be concluded as 'friendship'."
In one of Isayama's interviews he was asked "please tell us the type of women Levi-heichou likes?" and answered: "Does he like women, though? Since he’s short, small people tend to like tall people… I guess he might like tall people.” Since Erwin was one of the tallest in the series it is probable that Levi took a liking toward Erwin.
Many shippers have created comics and arts to show their support of the ship. Erwin's death has not deterred the pairing's popularity as it is currently Erwin's most popular ship and Levi's second. Eruri has a long-running rivalry with Ereri, the most popular Levi ship.
|SHIPS||het||AruAni • Ereannie • EreHisu • Eremika • JeanKasa • RivaMika • Springles|
|slash||Eremin • Ereri • EruRi • JeanMarco • JeArmin • KenUri • ReiBert|
|cargo||Sasha x Potato-kun|