All spoilers on this page are untagged; if you are not completely finished reading Animorphs and do not wish to be spoiled, do not read on.
The whole issue of the Yeerks in the Pool Ship in the last book being innocent victims
The entire reasoning behind this is totally ridiculous to this troper. Realistically and morally speaking the Yeerks who were flushed out into space could not be considered helpless innocents as far as human laws of war are concerned; troop convoys, supply trains, and other unarmed support echelons (with the exception of hospitals) are considered fair game by the laws and conventions of war. Just because a soldier is in a truck and unable to fight back doesn't mean they stop being a legitimate military target, the Yeerks in the Pool Ship would be in a comparable position. Their helplessness doesn't mitigate that they are a legitimate military target so the war crimes claim is a moot point either way.
That is a really good argument.
It's also an unnecessary argument. By the end of the series Humanity and the Animorphs were engaged in a Total War. A Total War is Serious Business wherein victory is the only objective with all directives being secondary, including the Obstructive Code of Conduct. To borrow from The Other Wiki total war is a war limitless in its scope in which a belligerent engages in the mobilization of all their available resources in order to crush their rival's capacity for resistance. In a total war, there is less differentiation between combatants and civilians than in other conflicts, and sometimes no such differentiation at all, as nearly every Alien resource, civilians and soldiers alike, can be considered to be part of the belligerent effort. In facing a war of cultural extermination Total War isn't just recommended, it's mandatory. This doesn't mean being unnecessarily cruel, but it does mean that if presented with a path to victory, you take it without regard to what that path might entail. During World War 2 the United States Army Air Force, in one night, burned to death 100,000 Japanese civilians, men, women and children and then proceeded to burn up the better part of 67 other Japanese cities before finishing up with two Atomic bombs. There might be an argument as to how that campaign may have been disproportionate, but facing a complete invasion by alien brain slugs I don't see why Jake should have any qualms about killing 17,000 of the enemy occupation force to save his planet and his species. You fight to win the war. If War Is Hell then best it be dispensed with quickly.
The whole point of Jake's depression was that, yes, he was totally justified what with it being war and everything but beat himself up about it anyway because with the benefit of hindsight he started thinking up all sorts of ways he could have changed things. If you don't see why Jake should have qualms about killing the yeerks, read the last book again. It makes it pretty clear why he does (and why he shouldn't!).
It is. But, it's a tad flawed in that not every Yeerk is evil and wants to enslave the entire human race. The series makes this fact well known. As such, I don't equate it to destroying a supply convoy. I equate it to nuking a city to kill the soldiers stationed there. And such an act would be a war crime.
Pool Ships aren't comparable to civilian cities. They are large warships that carry a substantial complement of weapons, crew, and soldiers. A city is none of those things. Unless Yeerks in their natural form have military uniforms to distinguish who in the pool is or is not a soldier any Yeerks on board would have to be assumed to be soldiers in some fashion. It is not a war crime to fire on a vessel flagged as military or anyone on board unless they are clearly marked as non-combat by some insignia like the Red Cross. The motives of the people on board the ship are irrelevant. No person or country has ever been charged with war crimes for firing on conscientious objectors. If a military officer were in Jake's position they would have flushed the pool without batting an eye.
Norfolk, Virginia holds a naval base with ships that carry substantial compliments of weapons, crew, and soldiers. The city is around the base. By refusing to attempt to distinguish those in the pool, you are essentially doing the same as someone refusing to distinguish the differences in clothing of human beings who then destroys the city to take out the base. Those in the pool are innocent victims as much as the citizens in a city would be. Or more aptly, the out-of-uniform military personnel in the city... Which, if it were possible to kill every military person in a city, without killing an actual civilian were possible, it would still be considered a war crime since they were not in uniform. However, attempting to apply standards of "war crimes" to defend the action seems faulty, as the current laws do not take into account the idea of extra-terrestrial life.
Last time I checked Norfolk, Virginia is not an aircraft carrier. You are comparing a civilian city with a military base to a warship. The two are not close to equivalent. A Pool ship is pretty clearly defined in the series quite regularly as the equivalent to a Yeerk carrier. It isn't referred to as being a city or anything remotely similar. If Jake had ordered the bombardment of planetside pools on worlds ruled by the Empire then you would have a case since there is no expectation of attack and those locations could be considered civilian. A warship in a warzone is not. Furthermore killing soldiers out of uniform is not a war crime, neither is killing civilian administrators for an occupying army. For example none of the resistance forces against the Nazis during WWII were charged with any crimes for killing civilian Nazi occupational authorities. Trying to claim that what he did was equivalent to nuking a city with military facilities doesn't wash with the facts presented by books. It is also illogical to assume that any of the Yeerks on board would have been civilians. Considering how many fronts the Yeerks were fighting on it would make no sense to waste valuable military resources to shuttle civilians who are not meant to participate in any combat or occupational role into an active front on board what would be seen as a high-value target by their enemies. If they did something like that then the blame for putting those people in harm's way, not unlike the human shields employed by Saddam Hussein during both Gulf Wars, would lie with whoever brought them on board in the first place.
You are a tad mistaken. The Pool ship has been in orbit of Earth since the beginning of the series. As such, the reason the majority of the Yeerks are on the Pool ship is not because they are being shuttled to and from areas (that's what shuttles are for), it's because they have no reason to be down on Earth at the moment (as they have no designated host at the time), or their host is used to operate the ship. The Pool ship is described as a military weapon (by Andalites, who as we all know are ''totally'' unbiased) because Yeerks are described as a Planet of Hats who are all evil. But, The Departure (#18) expressly indicates that this is not so.note The Departure also puts forth the idea that Yeerks are as guilty of war crimes against humans as humans are guilty of war crimes against cows. Take of that what you will. Since the Yeerk homeworld has been blockaded by the Andalites since Seerow's Kindness, it's highly illogical to claim that every single Yeerk, of every generation since that time, is a combatant, when we know such a statement is patently false (or the war would have ended with book 18).
Whether or not it's been there awhile, the Pool ship is still a military vessel. The only Yeerks that would need to be on board would be those somehow involved in the invasion - not civilians. The initial argument applies.
This, though, inherently implies that there is no such thing as a Yeerk civilian. As the only Yeerks that are not "active" in the war (between Yeerks and Andalites) are those on their homeworld, and that only because the homeworld is being blockaded by the Andalite fleet to ensure no Yeerks return or leave. The mere existence of the Yeerk Peace Faction implies that not every Yeerk is for the invasion, as does the fact that there have been at least 15 generations of Yeerks (30 years passed) since they left their planet. And, since the only two places a Yeerk can be if they are not in a host is in a Yeerk pool (a "valid" target because if they are there they are military) and a Pool ship (a "valid" target because if they are there they are military), one cannot have it both ways.
Except it is VERY well established a Pool ship is a warship. Ax personally witnessed it blasting an Andalite Dome ship, an unambiguously military vessel, to pieces in orbit over Earth. That pretty clearly establishes its purpose.
Ax witnessed the Visser's Blade ship blow up the Dome ship. The Andalites were entering the system expecting only a Pool ship in orbit, and were surprised. While Pool ships have weaponsnote just like every star ship of any class in every fictional setting, as evident by the finale, they are clearly not a match for an actual warship, else the Andalites would not have sent a single warship to deal with the Yeerks on Earth.
In the final book, however, one of the characters—Jake, I think?—specifically said that he wasn't sure which would win in a fight, a Pool ship or a Dome ship, meaning that it was armed beyond any civilian ship would be expected to be.
You're all looking at this wrong. The yeerks have no clear boundary between combatant and noncombatant- not to themselves, and not to humans or Andalites, since any that infest another being are automatically considered our enemies. And no Yeerk who could use a host body would not use a host body. They may be doing research, but it's military research which makes them fair game. Now, the question is whether it was alright to attack them in a setting where they had no hope of fighting back, IE a pool. I say it depends. The attack on the underground pool is ok by me- important tactical and strategic target, lotsa enemy there, lotsa equipment there- it hit the Yeerks hard. The attack on the Pool ship... pool, however, is not okay. There the only target was the pool, with explicitly defenseless inhabitants. If it had blown up with the ship, fine. But the way Jake did it, very not fine.
I can see it as justifiable, but a very dirty tactic, given the circumstances they were in. It wouldn't be the RIGHT thing to do but it isn't anywhere close to being a war crime. He could have done it better but I think by the flip side of the coin Cassie's argument of Jake doing what he had to do was a lot more persuasive than Erik's.
Any person who executes 50k+ enemies in order to secure the enemy general's surrender has committed a war crime. That they aren't charged with it because their side won the war doesn't change the facts of what happened...
There were 17,372. That's less than half of that.
Tell that to the innumerable military commanders throughout the 20th century who ordered attacks on civillian cities during wartime. By your logic, almost every officer serving in any military force has committed "war crimes".
If the definition of a war crime is going to be so expanded that it's going to cover pretty much every officer serving in any military force then the term "war crime" loses a lot of its meaning and horror. It's supposed to be something especially horrific and beyond normal warfare and not something that everyone does, even if what everyone does is wrong.
The Yeerks in the Yeerk Pool were combatants. They were actively engaged in the invasion and thus, fair game. The Yeerks in the Pool Ship, not so much. Some of them probably were. The problem is that we know for a fact that there are some Yeerks who a) are morally opposed to enslaving sentients, b) actively engaged in a resistance movement to free Earth from Yeerk invasion, or c) just grossed out by the whole thing. The Hork Bajir Chronicles showed Visser Three's first experience with a body and subsequent discussion with his fellow Yeerks back in the pool. A lot of his fellows were squicked. Since the Yeerks don't seem to have any major civilian centers, it's probably safe to assume that a number of the Yeerks killed were guilty of no greater sin than being really gross to the touch.
I'm not sure how you can determine that just based on location. The Yeerk Pool is huge but there are also a ton of Yeerks in the Pool at any given moment and I don't think that all of them in there are just there for their feeding. I also find it a little difficult to believe that when transporting thousands of Yeerks to the Pool, they were all polled on their feelings on taking a host. If you're going to say that the Yeerks on the Pool Ship were not necessarily combatants then I think it's only fair to say that some of the Yeerks in the Pool were the same. We didn't hear anything about scrambling to find enough Yeerks for those mass infestations at the end and so those Yeerks that didn't want to infest anybody were probably just left alone as the hostless Yeerks who did want to be a part of it were given bodies.
Honestly, I don't see why their moral positions on enslaving humans should be considered relevant at all. Plenty of Americans in the Vietnam War had absolutely no desire to be there and didn't care about the Viet Cong one way or another; they were only there because they were literally forced to be there. Does that mean that every member of the Cong that killed a drafted American was committing a war crime because he was killing someone who wasn't really opposed to his cause? The ones who were part of the resistance movement, okay, but the ones who just didn't really support the war in their minds while still fully participating are fair game.
It should be noted that the Yeerks breed in the pool and the pool, as their natural environment, is also where the grubs would grow as well as any Yeerk who found taking a host to be distasteful. It's not just full of soldiers, it's their primay environment, it's where they should all be in the first place, they just choose to leave it quite often.
While I haven't actually read the entire series, I feel this point needs to be belabourednote is that the right word? on. The Yeerk pools are their natural habitat, and it's even mentioned at one point that most Yeerks don't even have a host due to shortages. (This may have changed since the prequel books, though). From what I gather, this would make a Pool Ship the equivalent of a colony ship, especially if the off-world Yeerks have no way back to their homeworld. Think Homeworld or Freespace 2.
Their helplessness is actually very important. They were confined to the pool on a ship that the Animorphs controlled. They were effectively captives. In total war you bomb cities because they're supporting their army. You don't bomb cities you've already captured. Even if we consider every single Yeerk on the ship a soldier, that makes them POWs. Using mass executions of POWs as a distraction is a pretty clear cut example of a war crime.
The Animorphs didn't control it yet. They had the computer systems but that was only good for so much. If they hadn't broken the resistance on the ship then they were still going to die and how much good would Erek hacking them do? The flushing of the Yeerk Pool was what stopped Visser One from fighting and who knows how much damage he alone could have done? Surely other Yeerks chose not to fight and/or were demoralized by this as well. And kill enough of the key people and Earth (and the Pool ship where those Yeerks were) is still going to be destroyed by the Andalites. Without Jake, they might not have thought to air their broadcast to all of the Andalites and things could have fallen apart without him as figurehead. Without Ax, they probably wouldn't have even been able to patch things through to the Andalites. Without Cassie, Jake might not have pulled himself together long enough to be of any use. Without Marco, the Andalite military wouldn't have realized that they couldn't just kill everyone or else they'd have to face consequences at home. Even without Alloran the Andalites probably wouldn't have even listened to them long enough for them to realize that their home world was watching.
Cassie forgetting she could fly in 41
When Jake has the choice to save her from being thrown off the building or abort the Yeerk mission, why doesn't she morph to bird once shoved off?
Probably because A. I think it was ghostwritten and B. the entire thing was one bizarre dream sequence set up by a super being.
It was ghostwritten by Ellen Geroux, if that helps.
Wasn't there an indication that they no longer morphed in that dream future? Which only makes sense according to dream logic.
Tobias could still morph. But even in dream-logic, they tell us Once an Episode that Cassie was the fastest morpher, for whom it was almost natural.
Tobias couldn't morph in 41, even with the weird dream logic that made the others stop morphing. It was established that he'd trapped himself in his Andalite morph.
Yes, there was. Rachel was disfigured despite the fact that she should have been able to easily fix that.
So it's established that the Andalites can naturally thoughtspeak, but not in human morph. Likewise, the Animorphs can thoughtspeak in any animal form, but not in their natural human form. I can assume that the Andalites have a center in their brains that govern thoughtspeak, but I highly doubt earth animals have this structure, but clearly they can thoughtspeak in animal forms anyway. Which brings the question: Where does the Animorphs' thoughtspeak ability come from?
While Andalites may have a part of their brain that allows them to communicate telepathically, the animals they're morphing, as you say, do not. Much as we have speech centers in our brains, but wouldn't be able to speak without the right combination of voice and lips and tongues. Thus, in order to maintain the ability to communicate, Andalite scientists ensured that the capability to use thought-speak in any morph. That it works for humans as well as Andalites is a happy coincidence.
This makes sense to me, until the part where Aximili apparently can't thoughtspeak in human morph. If Aximili can thoughtspeak in the morph of any other animal, what stops him from being able to thoughtspeak as a human?
That only appeared in The Alien and was retconned later.
In other words, Ax can thought-speak in human morph after Applegate realized there was no good reason for him to not be able to. Later in the series we start to see it more and more, with even Tobias (whose human form is a morph now) using it as well.
If they could use the Blue Box to restore Tobias' morphing ability, why didn't they just restore the ability, freeze him as a human again, and then Blue Box him again? I have not read these books in at least 7 years and this has bugged me so much that I still remember it.
The Ellimist restored Tobias' morphing ability. Nothlits can't get their morphing powers back by touching the blue box.
I believe the Ellimist gave Tobias the choice of being human, but Tobias chose to remain as a hawk.
The choice was being a hawk who could morph or a nothlit "human". Tobias's human life sucked pretty hard, so the Ellimist correctly identified the thing he really wanted as being the morphing power, not humanity.
Or, more specifically, he let Tobias choose. "Humanity" and "morphing" are both things that he lost by becoming a nothlit. By restoring his morphing power and allowing him to acquire his own human body, the Ellimist leaves it to Tobias to decide which matters more.
But the whole point is there's no reason there ought to have been a choice between humanity and morphing. Ellimist just decided to do it that way because that's how he is. Also because Tobias ended up being happier that way. But he totally could have snapped his n-dimensional fingers and put Tobias back exactly the way he was before he morphed the hawk if he wanted to.
Tobias was more useful in his hawk form than returning to his human form. He was also way happier being a hawk cuz whichever relative he was supposed to be living with didn't give a damn about him. Which was particularly evident when one takes into account that they didn't care enough to find out where he was after he became a Nothlit.
As was made in clear in more than a few books the Ellimist has to deal with Crayak and probably had to make compromises.
The Yeerks never actually lost...yet everyone acted like they did.
Okay, so, Erek cracks the engine systems, and Jake flushes the Yeerk pool into space. Big deal. Those seventeen thousand were nowhere close to the entirety of the Yeerk military. And, yeah, the Andalites were arriving in a matter of hours, but how did that change anything? Okay, Visser One was at first preoccupied with Tom coming to kill him with the Blade ship but... After Rachel took care of that, where did that leave the Yeerks? A Pool ship's worth of soldiers versus Erek and the Animorphs, who are now on the bridge, surrounded by Yeerk pilots. If Visser One hadn't wasted his time bitching about the seventeen thousand, he could've just killed the Animorphs right then and there, and bam, no more problem. It's so simple. Kill the Animorphs, continue business as usual. DONE. Visser One didn't have to exit his host body. Why did everyone on the ship act as though the kids had won when they clearly hadn't?!
Because either way, Erek was in control of the ship. Maybe he hadn't hacked into every single system, but he had put the ship's engines into standby. He was in the middle of disabling the weapons systems when the kids got to the bridge and the Visser tried taking shots at the Blade ship, which is why the kids could only get off one or two shots at quarter strength. For all intents and purposes the kids had captured the Pool ship. Sure, Visser One could've just killed the kids right there on the bridge - as Jake notes before deciding not to demorph - but in either case, it would take hours to conduct a full systems overhaul, and the Andalites would've arrived well before they'd finished. It was more a matter of "screw it, the Yeerk Empire's finished no matter what we do."
This. Plus, as Jake and the Yeerk in his head from when he was made a controller noted, Yeerks view human's tendency to keep fighting even when they know they can't win to be folly, and Jake notes that this is their weakness: The Yeeks will stop fighting if they can't win. Humans won't, which means they always have a chance.
Victory isn't that simple. In the end, the completion of strategic goals counts far more than any tactical situation. Take the Vietnam war for example. The US technically won most of the major combat operations in Vietnam, yet they failed all of their strategic goals. They still had to pull out and they failed to keep the government of South Vietnam from going under. Same thing here. No matter the tactical situation, the Yeerks ultimately failed their strategic objectives of completeting their invasion of Earth and holding the planet. And that's all that matters.
And it occured to Jake that Visser One might decide to try something like that which is why before he demorphs he has Ax knock Alloran out. Once he's unconscious, Visser One's options were leaving voluntarily or they threatened to cut him out. The Yeerks aboard the Pool Ship declared their intention to continue fighting if they weren't given amnesty and access to the morphing cube. If they didn't surrender, they either would have lost to the Andalites and been killed or they would have beaten the Andalites (unlikely with the Blade Ship gone and Erek disabling weapons) and still not have had access to morphing. They were getting a pretty good deal, all things considering, and this was really the first opportunity they had to surrender that wouldn't have resulted in the best-case scenario being them forced back to their planet and never being allowed to leave again with nothing better than Gedds to infest.
Also, Visser One said that surrendering to Jake and the Animorphs, no matter what happened, would be infinitely better than anything that the Council of Thirteen would do to him for losing all the Yeerks in the pool.
In #7 The Stranger, Rachel says "You might be a Controller".
This indicates that (in-universe) the series is being written and published DURING THE WAR. So...why don't the Yeerks ever notice that a bunch of humans know about them, can morph, and have been mistaken for Andalite bandits?
In #2 The Visitor, Rachel says she "Always wanted to write" a certain dramatic line. So we know that the stories are actually being written as books, we aren't just "riding inside the heads of the narrators" the way most first-person stories work.
And in #16 The Warning, the Yeerks notice the anti-Yeerk web sites, so they ARE paying attention to media which could expose them
The Animorphs all have horrible hand writing.
Huh? Are you talking about the badly-written messages from the chat room regulars in that book? The Animorphs didn't write any of them.
Plus, it isn't as if they really seem to truly think about security - Marco makes it quite well-known to the reader that he's the child of Visser One's host.
The whole Literary Agent Hypothesis was never taken to be totally true. There are plenty of times that they wrote down things that they didn't remember (all of Megamorphs #4), there are accounts that they never had an opportunity to record (many parts of the last book), or their statements are contradicted later. It's mostly a device to add even more Paranoia Fuel.
Alternately, they aren't actually publishing them during the war. Plenty of people write things they don't intend to publish.
So Jake just has a diary about the war with a Controller in the same house?
Course not, he's a guy. Its a journal
^ I lol'd. But getting back to the point, not necessarily a diary - it's just said that they've created accounts of the war, not necessarily in book form. Hell, they could be referring to the books they wrote after the war (sure, Tobias and Ax never wrote books, but Rachel kept narrating after she died, so it's not like this whole diary thing is consistent anyway).
Actually, Rachel's consciousness lasted for a few moments in, well, non-time with the Ellimist after her body was more or less dead. She has that last conversation with him, and her consciousness fades out of existence mid-sentence (the Ellimist describes this, in the Chronicles book, as her space-time light line fading away). My take on the opening post used to be that the books may have been written as the war was going on and published later, but that's one of several instances that messes with that perspective. (Also, high security risk having a written copy. Jake doesn't tell us his name until 53, but Tom would know what was going on if he found any of the stories in a notebook in the house.) It hadn't occurred to me that the Ellimist was actually writing these things, but that makes a lot more sense, especially with the erased timelines that the kids don't remember in real time.
Here's what I thought: Over the years of the war, the six kids (Jake, Marco, Rachel, Cassie, Tobias - through Rachel or someone else - , and Ax) kept either simple journals or took time to fully write everything down in secret. They saved these notes somewhere like Cassie's barn, and when the war was all over, Cassie used her free time to edit everything and publish their saga as books for everyone to read how they won the war against the Yeerks. Doesn't that make sense?
No. Try reading the stuff above yours for why that makes no freaking sense whatsoever.
Was the above comment really necessary?
This troper simply took it as that controllers would not take childrens books seriously. Controllers wouldn't read childrens books as most are adults with some teenagers, and if they did hear about them from other people, it would be mostly "kids turning into animals" which they would dismiss as stories.
They wouldn't hear 'children using alien technology to morph to fight off an alien invasion' and dismiss it. The odds of those books being published and not one Controller reading it or even hearing something about morphing, Andalites, Yeerks, whatever is incredibly small.
One could assume that the Animorphs wrote those books after the war ended, at least that was my guess at first, but I just want to drop in some reasons for why it's probably not true:
Rachel and Tobias are unavailable to do so
The Narrator's knowledge changes over time. E.g., when Rachel narrates book 7, she says she doesn't know why Marco isn't reluctant to fight anymore (since she doesn't know about his mom).
For this one, I think it's completely plausible that Rachel would report that at the time she didn't know instead of pretending that she did know or even saying 'not that I knew at the time but...' since it was unnecessary as the audience had already been informed in 5 and 6.
And allow me to also point out some more security flaws that would come with writing down these books, wether you give your last name or not:
The books reveal the Animorphs are not andalites
The books reveal Marco is Visser One's son (as has been mentioned), that Jake has a controller brother named Tom, that they go to school where Chapman is Assistant Principle, the school underneath which there's a big yeerk pool, Rachel is friends with Melissa Chapman, and that Tobias is Elfangor's son.
Even if it weren't for the above: How many kids are there named Jake, whose best friend is named Marco and whose cousin is named Rachel, whose best friend in turn is named Cassie, etc? The Yeerk should be able to find and enslave the matching group quickly enough.
The movies make it even more absurd, with the Animorphs videotaping themselves rather than writing it down, so their faces are actually shown onscreen to anyone watching.
This troper agrees that the Animorphs never really wrote anything down, but that that was just added in for coolness.
I actually don't think that all the details about Visser One's son and where they go to school stuff are that much of a security risk (though apparently every last name except the ones they're using at the end are faked). After all, they're not trying to publish these anonymously. No, the security risk is the very existence of journals or whatever detailing the Yeerk invasion. If a normal human found them, there's the risk they'd tell someone (possibly a child therapist) about it and the story could spread to a controller that way or they might get infested in the future. And they'd definitely be disturbed by this imagining and the graphic violence. If Tom happened to find it, he wouldn't have to get past 'and then Elfangor landed in frong of us in the construction site' before he sends Jake to the Yeerks and probably the people he hangs out with (his best friend, his girlfriend, his cousin...) even if he doesn't manage to get Jake infested.
In #23 The Pretender why did Visser Three go to the weapons facility in his Aria morph (thus blowing his cover) when he could have simply used another human morph?
I think it said he (probably) didn't have time to demorph and remorph before getting in the helicopter, and it's hard to turn into an Andalite while sitting down. That, and he didn't expect Tobias to be one of the "Andalite bandits," let alone their eyes in the sky.
Er, yes he did. The reason for the Aria thing is that the Yeerks knew that Tobias was Elfangor's son and suspected that he might be involved with the Andalite force on Earth.
The Visser knew that the Free Hork-Bajir and the "Andalite Bandits" were tenuously connected, but he also knew that Andalites do not work jointly with their allies. The Hork-Bajir had been raiding the facility on their own for several months, without any direct involvement from the "Andalite Bandits". He was on his way to observe captured Free Hork-Bajir raiders, and had little reason to believe the Animorphs would be present.
Maybe he didn't want to risk being too exhausted from all the extra morphing? Or, knowing Visser Three, he probably didn't think about any possible risks to his plan if he showed up to this one event as Aria
In #29 The Sickness why doesn't Cassie (or anyone else for that matter) consider using Erek's Kandrona generator to feed Aftran every three days?
Because Erek's head probably has no space for two Yeerks?
Then, why not use a Chee who doesn't have a Yeerk in its head?
From what I remember of #10, most of the other Chee not pretending to be Controllers were very opposed to getting involved in any manner whatsoever.
He could have taken his Yeerk out and kept it in a bucket of water or something during Aftran's feedings.
Maybe the Chee never let the Yeerks go because they would know better than to climb back in? And once they were weak enough from hunger to voluntarily imprison themselves, they wouldn't be able to enter the Chee's kandrona-chamber skull cavity thing?
Why would she want to be in a Chee's head instead of the ocean?
Having contact with other fully sapient beings is usually considered a plus. And regardless of what solution they ultimately went with, it was rather jarring that they didn't even consider the possibility that the Chee could help when Erik was right there in the barn with them at the time.
She'd have no freedom of movement. I would choose ocean.
Aftran wouldn't have to stay inside a Chee all the time. She only needs to feed once every three days. Cassie was suggesting Aftran stay in her symbiotically like Mr. Tidwell and Illim. That idea was rejected because it would be too dangerous for them to make regular visits to the pool. So it was weird that no one even mentioned that the friendly robot with them could produce kandrona rays himself.
I think it was also rejected as no one but Cassie would have been even remotely okay with that (they probably would have approved of the 'kill Aftran' plan first) and I think Aftran knew that. She just used the equally valid security reason as something Cassie would have to accept. Aftran didn't have to choose a water morph. She could have gotten a human morph from their combined DNA like Ax did and move out of the state. She could have gone Hork-Bajir and lived in the Valley. She could have picked a non-sentient animal like a bird or a dog and hung around on occasion. She's the one who picked an animal where she had little to no chance of ever talking to anyone ever again. The problem with the Chee plan is that she would still have to spend a great deal of her time in her natural form as she had a two hour limit.
She does have contact with other sapient beings in the ocean. Whales.
But they can't really talk. I mean, I guess it's better than nothing but she can still barely communicate with anyone.
I believe the reason Aftran went whale is because it's like being a yeerk, swimming in fluid, therefore comfortable, but with fringe benefits like sight, sensory input and such. I don't think Aftran would be alone: She accepted Cassie (a human) as a friend, so why not a whale? Humans are still a foreign species to yeerks, as much as whales. And if Aftran connected with humans by living their lives, I think it's in a yeerk's capacity to adapt to different species' societies. It would kind of be a part of the way they function genetically, wouldn't it? To blend in.
How much of a society do they have to ease any loneliness? They're barely sentient.
Related question: Why didn't Mr. King "pull an Erek" so to speak and pretend to be infested when the Yeerks tried to infest him in #38 The Arrival? He clearly has no reservation about resisting the Yeerks, and if he already had a Yeerk why not claim protection on that basis?
Why do Andalites, a species that communicates telepathically, still have names that could be said vocally?
That might just be how those names 'show up' in English. That is to say - English-speaking minds process them in a way that's legible and pronounceable.
Yeah, telepathy still has to have a specific language. It' a lot easier and faster to transmit a specific word than an entire concept. They presumably have a written language as well, which requires specific words and possibly letters.
Actually it's established in the Hork-Bajir Chronicles that telepathy functions as a universal language. Also, it has been confirmed that they have a written language and a sign language.
The sign language was only mentioned in The Ellimist Chronicles. Presumably they phased it out as they learned to use their thought-speak more robustly. And IIRC, Aldrea's mother said it used universal symbols in addition to whatever else.
More specifically, Dak's narration said that the thought-speak communicated "words that were not my own," but it also communicated the basic concepts behind them, which he was able to understand.
Andalite Chronicles mentions translator chips implanted in Andalite warriors' heads, as I recall. So the telepathy and the chips probably work jointly to transmit thought-speak in the "listener's" native tongue. Somehow.
I don't think the translator chips have anything to do with the Andalites themselves being understood. After all, on two separate occasions (with Loren in the Andalite Chronicles and Dak in the Hork-Bajir Chronicles) the Andalites need a minute for their translator to process the language but they were understood from the start. The fact that it's mind-to-mind communication is what probably does it as they don't send words exactly but thoughts.
When someone morphs what determines whether an internal organism is incorporated into the morph (e.g. a Yeerk), purged from the body (e.g. the rabies virus), or not directly affected (e.g. a Helmacron)?
Maybe the organism's size and its ability to live within the morphed host.
The Yeerks getting incorporated into the morph might partially be because it wants to get incorporated. Much like the animorphs can incorporate tight clothing by concentrating or something.
Viruses are not separate organisms. Viruses aren't really alive; they're just fragments of DNA and RNA that insinuate themselves into host cells. Since morphing specifically works by storing a snapshot of DNA (among other things) and regenerating that same DNA each time, viral infections are something that morphing would definitely simply obliterate. (Infection by a truly separate organism like a fungus or protozoa would be more ambiguous; infection by a full-size multicellular parasite, like a Yeerk, we know survives the morphing process.)
On a related note, what about the fact that our bodies are covered inside and out in friendly bacteria?
They must get reconsistituted. The technology involved has to be "smart" to be working at all.
Why doesn't the fact the Yeerk's have managed to infiltrate the Andalite home world (according to Alloran in book #8 The Alien) play any role in the series.
Have you forgotten the Ascalin incident in book 18?
No, but I failed to make the connection because I was expecting Yeerks on the Andalite homeworld to lead to more Andalite-Controllers not to some Andalites being traitors...
It would be difficult, if not impossible, to infiltrate Andalite society at this point. The Yeerk invasion plans rely heavily on not being noticed. There's no way to get a Yeerk pool on the planet, and since the Andalites know about Yeerks, they could just starve any suspected Controllers of Kandrona rays very easily.
As far as I could tell, whenever Andalite forces show up, the Yeerks just run away, because they're not advanced enough to take Andalites head-on (Elfangor only brought a single Dome ship to Earth and the entire Yeerk armada ambushed him, and Visser Three expresses admiration at the fact that he was still able to take out several Yeerk cruisers before abandoning ship). The Yeerks have landed on several Andalite moons - Visser Three morphs an Andalite moon bird to psych out Ax in an early book - but they haven't tried to tale the planet yet, as they don't have the military strength. Basically the Yeerks need Earth as a foothold to get the manpower and raw materials to be able to fight the Andalites - the reason they invaded in the first place is because there are so many humans, compared to other species. According to #41 (one of the two Bad Future books), once the Yeerks take over Earth, they attack the Andalite homeworld and kill millions, taking thousands as hosts.
The Yeerks did NOT invade the Andalite planet. The only reason Ax thought that the kafit bird indicated this was because KAA forgot that, since Alloran had the morphing power, and since the kafit bird is what novice morphers practiced on, he probably would already have had that morph to begin with. It wouldn't have been something that the Visser had acquired later.
I don't think it had to be an author mistake. Ax was just panicking at the very notion of 'the Abomination' stepping foor on the Andalite world and he had already heard Alloran's warning about the Yeerks being on the home world a few months earlier.
It's nice to have an in-universe explanation as well.
Speaking of morphing that bird to creep Ax...
We learn in The Hork-Bajir Chronicles that almost EVERY morph-capable Andalite acquires a Kafit. How, exactly, does Alloran's body having acquired a Kafit spook Ax in any way whatsoever?
No, you're thinking of the Chadoo, a Hork-Bajir bird that only Aldrea can morph.
Elfangor does comment in the Andalite Chronicles that almost every Aristh has aquired one. Maybe he's just not thinking clearly. Alloran did tell him a few months back that Yeerks had infiltrated the Home World, even if that's never really expanded on besides the traitors in the war on Leera.
No the Chadoo was Hork-Bajir world animal.
Easy enough to answer. I assumed it was because when Alloran was a War-Prince or other high-rank when the morphing technology was invented, he never went through the training but instead was given the technology and decided he didn't have a use for it. Remember that when it was new, most Andalites (except for Aldrea, apparently) pretty much disregarded it.
Since Alloran was disgraced after the Quantum Virus and losing the Hork-Bajir home world and he was not familiar enough with morphing technology to recognize Aldrea acquiring him or have any sort of safeguards against someone impersonating him by morph, I doubt he would have been in a good place once he got the technology to go messing around with it.
The Kafit bird isn't part of morph training. It's just a very common form of recreation for young arisths. It's also frowned upon. Ax, for example, never morphed one (his first experience of flying is as a harrier). So there's no reason to assume that Alloran would have aquired the Kafit before being infested. On the other hand there's no reason to assume he didn't either, and it is a bit untenable that nobody even considers the possibility. Is there a trope for a bleedingly obvious explanation that never occurs to the characters in favour of a much less intuitive one that turns out to be right?
The Untwist is the likeliest answer that I can think of.
KAA said herself that this is a KASU. note A KASU is KAA's own term for when Katherine Applegate Screws Up. She forgot that Alloran would prolly have had this morph.
In The Andalite Chronicles
I'm sure they could have come up with a better plot device for sticking with the humans long enough to discover the Time Matrix, because "moving slowly so as not to distort time" just breaks my brain with stupid - but what? It can't be fuel conservation, given that the Andalites have apparently moved past that...
It was probably just a simple misunderstanding on how the theory of relativity works
Why is Rachel's combat morph a bear and not the elephant?
Elephants are bigger, faster(do NOT underestimate a charging elephant), tougher and just plain most destructive. It seems to fit her more.
A lot less flexible and maneuverable. A bear is directly built for killing, and can kill as easily by swiping its paw. An elephant has no appendage it can easily use to strike — it needs to charge with the full weight of its body to hurt you, which puts itself at more risk.
In the real world, people generally don't use elephants for warfare anymore because they just aren't coordinated enough not to trample people on the same team as them.
True, and they also take up a lot of room. Turning into an elephant while riding an elevator = very bad idea.
Not to mention that a bigger body means a bigger target for guns and Dracon Beams.
Even so, this always bothered me when I was a kid. It almost felt like the point when she switched to the bear was a moment of (very, very) partial Badass Decay, because the elephant just kind of stampeded over everything like an unstoppable juggernaut, whereas the bear ended up getting brutally injured at least Once an Episode.
If Rachel hadn't switched to using bear morph as her primary battle morph we never would have got the amusing mental image of her using her detached arm to beat Hork-Bajir to death.
Why is it that sentence, which by all rights should be hard core Nightmare Fuel, ended up making me laugh uncontrollably?
So why did Elfangor have a morphing cube in his fighter?
An Elimist Did It. It was revealed in one of the Megamorphs that the Animorphs coming was part of the game he's playing with Crayak, so he forced the situation to happen.
Did he put the cube there personally, though? That doesn't seem like his style. The five of them being together that night, sure - at least those of them he wanted specifically - but actually putting the cube in the fighter? I'd think The Andalite Chronicles would've mentioned Elfangor seeing it in there for no immediately apparent reason.
In Book #13, the Ellimist makes Tobias know about a place that he's never been to, which he acknowledges is weird. This Troper's theory is that the Ellimist poofed the cube onto the ship while Elfangor and the Animorphs were talking, then did the same thing, making Elfangor magically know that it was there (the way Elfangor suddenly realizes he can give them the power could thus be read as him suddenly gaining the knoweldge). It's at least more subtle than the Ellimist's strategy of stopping time for a quick chit-chat.
The Ellimist wouldn't even have to "poof" a cube, just set up a string of contrivances, like five kids deciding to take a specific route home. From all hints the Animorphs are one of Crayak's "concessions", so they need to come into existence somehow for the little game to keep going.
Alternatively, maybe some of the Andalite cadets Elfangor and Ax were traveling with couldn't morph yet, and Princes are put in charge of the morphing cubes?
Didn't he have it without permission? Or was that a different morphing cube?
Maybe it's standard procedure for senior officers to take the morphing cube with them if their ship is about to be destroyed, to ensure that it doesn't fall into enemy hands? Presuming there was only one aboard Elfangor's dome ship... I can't remember if he knew the capital ship was going to be destroyed when he boarded his fighter, though.
They didn't. Elfangor seemed confident when he and Ax last spoke and Visser Three's Blade Ship took them all by surprise. Without the Blade Ship, they likely would have won. Ax was also left behind on the Dome Ship for safety and had Elfangor known the ship was going to be destroyed, he would not have allowed that.
Since the Taxxons decide to permanently morph into pythons rather than deal with their constant hunger...
Won't their offspring just be regular pythons, thereby rendering the Taxxon species extinct after a generation or so?
Possibly, but then again, Tobias (having never met his father) automatically felt a strong rapport with Elfangor and Ax, was the first to morph, and easily the most Andalite sensibilities of the human kids. Perhaps more than genetics get passed down.
Consider what life is like for a Taxxon. Would you want to bring children into that kind of life?
It is sort of tragic, if you think about it. Taxxons are a species defined by their hunger. They're clearly sentient and some are capable of keeping hold of their baser urges. But for the most part, they're driven to eat everything they can. Friends. Family members. Lovers. Then they become pythons and are effectively freed of this, free to find some semblance of peace and to transform into genuine people, so to speak, and their civilization is dead within a generation.
Maybe they consciously chose oblivion rather than the stress of trying to adapt to life as an entirely separate sentient species, like trying to take on human or Andalite forms. The morphed Taxxons probably intentionally "release themselves to the morph" and surrender their consciousness, like we're told Tobias was on the brink of doing a few times.
Also, wouldn't the sudden addition of twenty thousand predators destroy the Amazon's ecosystem completely? Sucks to be anything that pythons eat.
The book mentions this one: "If you were a guinea pig walking around the rainforest now you were toast."
The Amazon Rainforest covers an area of five and a half million square kilometers. If there were 20,000 of them, there would be an average distribution of one former taxxon per 275 square kilometers. Even if the taxxon-snakes were distributed in clusters, I doubt they would have much of an effect on the ecosystem.
There's also the issue that pythons (as far as we can tell) are not sentient. Would taxxon-python offspring even be taxxon-pythons, or just pythons devoid of sentience?
There's still the taxxons on other planets to consider. Perhaps some of them are still roaming around unmorphed keeping their race alive.
Simple answer: yes. The Taxxons will give birth to regular pythons. The moment all the Taxxons became python nothlits, the Taxxon species was extinct. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The Taxxons willingly chose to abandon ship on their own species and become something else. It's like evolution, but more abrupt and voluntary.
On a related topic, I wish she had gone into more detail about what happened to the Yeerks who became nothlits, presumably human nothlits since that's the best form available to them (Andalites would never consent to give Yeerks their DNA). And did not all of them receive this chance? A patrol around the Yeerk homeworld is mentioned, still.
It's only the surrendered Yeerks that get the chance to become nothlit, and it's only the isolated Yeerks on Earth that even get the proposal. The Yeerk homeworld is still technically an Empire, but it has no military strength * at all* and it's under a blockade from the Andalites. Some of the Yeerk ships on Earth contact the Empire and recieve orders to keep fighting, but since the kids and the Andalites have the Pool ship at that point, they're easily destroyed. So, in short, only some of the Yeerks on Earth (and nowhere else) turn nothlit.
That part about contacting the home world and receiving orders to keep fighting always struck me as strange. The Council of Thirteen has no Gedds on it so they can't be on the home world. The Yeerks on the home world only had Gedd hosts so if it hadn't been for the element of surprise they never would have escaped the home world. The Andalites would have immediately set up the blockade and made sure that no Yeerk still on their home world had access to technology that could let them do something like that again or communicate with the Yeerks who escaped. I do think that if the terms of the Yeerk surrender on Earth went well and the Yeerks becoming nothlits was a great success then it might have been used when other parts of the empire surrendered, especially now that there was a precedent for it.
Why would the highest-ranking Yeerks be given Gedd bodies? Rank and host are tied together, and Visser 3 was given a promotion simply because he infested an Andalite. The Yeerk in Tom's head was transferred to a different host after a promotion too. There's no reason the Council can't be on the homeworld. I would imagine that they stole Andalite ships at the beginning of The Hork-Bajir Chronicles, and they used the ships to prevent a blockade and start building a fleet.
That's just it: the hightest-ranking Yeerks wouldn't be. We are told on multiple occasions that the Andalites have completely blockaded the planet so all of the Yeerk Empire comes from that one ship with its few Gedd-Controllers and the half a million Yeerks they loaded onto it before escaping the planet. It is possible that the Yeerks on the home world (who either have no hosts or are in Gedds) still have the technology to communicate with the Yeerks not on the planet but there is no way that Hork-Bajir and Taxxons could have been sent past the blockade. The Andalites really aren't messing around on that front because they're having a hard enough time with the results of one escaped ship, never mind what happens if most of the species can join the conquering. And if it were possible to slip a ship past the blockade to bring in hosts then it only makes sense to get the Council off of the Yeerk home world where they would be at the mercy of the Andalites. I think that the Council of Thirteen probably escaped on that one ship that got away but if it didn't then a new Council was formed from Yeerks who weren't on the home world and therefore had better hosts. Why would the Yeerks contact the home world in #54 to see if they should surrender given that that's not where they usually take their orders from?
Even before the outcome of the story when the nothlit solution was presented to the Yeerks I started to wonder about why the hell didn't Andalite use that alternative as a propaganda tool against the Empire? I can't imagine that any sensible Yeerk would prefer a life of a parasite with its constant fighting to suppress your host and pereniall addiction to Kandrona rays to a full-blown life of a self-reliant creature. Perhaps some power-hungry maniacs like Visser 3 would deny that for the sake of rulling the galaxy, but I think it's certain that most of the Yeerks are not inherently evil and just want a better place in the life.
Life in the Yeerk Empire seemed pretty strict. I doubt they have freedom of information or any kind of non-biased source of news, so anything an average Yeerk hears about the Andalites is going to be filtered by the people at the top, who would definitely hide something like that. As a result, offering morphing technology probably wouldn't help that much. Besides, the last time the Andalites gave technology to the Yeerks, they were promptly stabbed in the back and the Yeerks flew off to conquer the galaxy. I doubt they would be in a hurry to do the same thing again.
To add on the point above; It's against the Andalites law to give any other species Andalite technology. Throughout the series we see Andalites learn that the Animorphs were morph-capable humans and they were horrified by the idea. It would be immensely out of character.
The Andalites have developed a racial hatred of the Yeerks. As a society, they would never offer to make the Yeerks' lives better. It took pressure from Alloran, Ax and the Animorphs to make their military honor the deal at the end of the war. It's well-established that, for all their intelligence, the Andalites suffer from pride that hampers their common sense.
And it would be extremely risky to try to make all the Yeerks nothlits as they couldn't be trusted to actually have the power to morph. The fact that many Yeerks wasnted to infest them as the best bodies around also complicated things.
There's an easy answer here: The taxxons are aliens, and we don't know how they reproduce. They have some sort of "hive" thing on their home planet, its possible that's what produces the baby taxxons. It makes more sense than expecting these guys to successfully mate with each other. This makes the answer simple: From now on, once a taxxon is old enough, it permanaently morphs to a python.
In #12 The Reaction, Ax says that the "hereth illint" process involves "[creating] a whole, living animal out of the excess matter floating in Zero-Space". I suppose the extra mass when morphing big comes from this "excess matter" as well.
But in #18 The Decision, As they accidentally warp themselves into Z-space by morphing too tiny, Ax is quoted as saying "Nothing exists in Z-space. Nothing."
He means "nothing exists in Z-Space naturally". Clearly, they existed in Z-Space at the time. As does the excess mass from morphing small (mentioned too many times to cite one specifically). As does, apparently, a bunch of excess matter which the Andalites stuck in Z-Space so they could morph big.
So then theoretically, if enough morphers tried to morph big in a short amount of time, they could run out of material?
More likely, Ax meant there's no natural MATTER in Z-space but plenty of energy which the morphing technology could convert into the necessary matter.
Why can data signals travel through Z-Space instantly, but ships take significant (if random) time to travel through it?
Maybe it has something to do with mass? We know that still has some significance in Z-space. Data signals, however, would have no mass to speak of.
data signals travel at the speed of light. even the longest trips in z-space appear to be just several months in the far far slower ships, so the lag on z-space calls shold be pretty short.
How powerful was Super-Rachel?
Specifically could she have beaten someone as powerful as the Ellimist and Crayak were prior to ascending?
I doubt it. Admittedly, it's been a while since I've read the books, but if I remember right: Super-Rachel's primary powers were super strength, extendable claws, and the ability to morph anything she wanted (there are probably others I'm forgetting). Compare the Ellimist, who just prior to ascending consisted of a gargantuan fleet of interstellar warships that destroyed many planets as a result of his war with Crayak, and had to be pushed into a black hole to be defeated. Ditto Crayak. They could have simply exploded whatever planet Super-Rachel was on. Or tricked her into boarding one of their ships and then just spaced her. I can't think of much she could morph that could withstand vacuum, or even if she could, how would she move? She'd be stuck in place, forever. No longer a threat.
Unless she could morph something with engines.
I interpreted her new morphing abilities were only limited by her imagination and/or necessity. In which case she may have been able to defeat their pre-ascended forms.
Yes, if she was able to imagine herself as a fleet of sentient spaceships even bigger and badder than theirs. Or as a virus that kills fleets of sentient spaceships.
Super-Rachel got her power from Crayak. Crayak is evil, not stupid. He wouldn't have given her enough power to actually be a threat to him. Besides, IIRC Crayak is sealed in a black hole or something, so she wouldn't be able to reach him anyway.
Well, she was strong enough to slam herself through a concrete floor with only an involuntary twitch of her muscles! I'd place her overhead lifting capacity in that form at around 10 tons, which is like spidermans level. Also, surviving a vacuum isn't that hard. Soft bodied creatures (I.E, with endoskeletons) have a hard time doing it only because, when they are not under earth level atmospheric pressure, their bodys expand to an unsafe volume. An animal which possess an exoskeleton, can go a long time without oxygen, and can use a gas propellant system for mobility (AKA, bombardier beetle) would be perfectly suitable for life in space. Why bother mentioning this? Rachels enhanced cabilitys meant she morph and demorph super rapidly, into any creature that entered her mind, without even needing to frikkin aquire it! I do not, however, contend that she could take on pre-ascended Crayak or Ellimist. They were giant space ships back then, possibly 90% solid (and what little interior space there was onboard would not bloody likely be habitable to biological life). Against anyone other than those two, however, Rachel would be a huge threat, even more deadly than visser 3 was at his peak. She would certainly give someone like erek a hell of a fight.
We're talking about her having the power to defeat his pre-ascended form. That's not relevant to ascended Crayak. And his pre-ascended body doesn't still exist somewhere in the black hole.
If morphing and then unmorphing acts as a Healing Factor and can even remove all scars from a person's body..
* Then would any of the Animorphs still have belly-buttons?
In the second book, it's stated that morphing and then demorphing doesn't affect a person's haircut (don't ask why, it just doesn't), so it probably only heals explicit injuries.
I was going to say that it's probably sort of like "restoring from backup" rather than a total recompilation from someone's DNA, but then I remembered that the disabled auxiliary Animorphs whose conditions didn't result from genetic defects were restored to full health, so it's probably more complicated than simply one or the other. (Morphogenetic fields, perhaps?)
It's mental IIRC. In the 2nd book Rachel "fixes" a bad haircut by thinking about her hair as she morphed back into her human form. Therefore, when they think of their bodies to morph into, they think of their belly buttons, foreskins (...) etc
No, she tries to fix the bad haircut by thinking about it, but it doesn't work because "morphing doesn't work that way." That's where the "doesn't affect a person's haircut" thing comes from.
It's a good thing that didn't work because unless she quickly went out and got her hair cut that short or shorter, how would she explain that?
A working theory might be that when demorphing, only unhealed wounds are restored from DNA. A chronic malady like Jame's legs or normal wounds and such would be erased by the morphing process, but integrated aspects like belly buttons are long-since fully healed and thus preserved.
The real question is, do the boys have foreskins or no? Most males in the United States are circumcised at birth (or close to, anyway), so this would presumably cover Marco, Tobias, and Jake (who's Jewish anyway). Do they still "blend," as it were?
Presumably morphing has a limit to how much tissue it makes out of thin air (or Z-space mass or whatever). I doubt if you chopped someone's leg off and they morphed and demorphed the leg would just grow back.
I don't see why it would. The Animorphs have lost limbs numerous times in morph with little ill effect.
Except for when starfish-Rachel was split in two. Now that qualified as "ill effect".
There doesn't actually appear to be a limit to how much matter the morphing can create. I mean, a leg is way less mass than a HUMPBACK WHALE.]
When changes into canine forms are described, the knees change direction, which of course, is wrong (that's your dog's ankle.) And Tobias has excellent vision in dusk and at night, which a daytime-hunting hawk doesn't have (you're thinking of owls). This bugs me! (But teenagers turning into animals to fight aliens? That's quite okay.)
Actually, Tobias says his night vision isn't much better then a humans.
This series includes detailed descriptions of how many species? 50? 100? I'd say K.A. Wins Biology Forever if the only thing she got wrong was a dog's knee...
Also, you could use the argument that "morphing is different every time you do it." Sometimes Ax's legs jutted out of his stomach, sometimes his human legs became his front Andalite legs, etc. Just because she said the knees reversed doesn't mean that she misunderstood canine skeletons. Besides, you could argue even further that Applegate understood perfectly but had her narrators misunderstand because hey, they're just kids.
Particularly capable morphers (like Cassie) are able to control the path of their morph -Cassie managed to make herself look a bit like an Andalite using a horse morph way back in the very first book. I think during morphing, the body might reshape itself in the same way you'd reshape a ball of clay (i.e. there's no real pattern to it) rather than reshaping itself in the same way as, say... evolution, which would extend/reduce and reform various important body parts.
The "ball of clay" theory is supported by later books, where morphs like fish and snakes, which have tails but no hind legs, involve the legs fusing into the tail. Also, when Marco morphs the cobra in #19 The Discovery, it describes his spine growing down one leg while the other leg wraps around it, then melds. Reversing knees seem pretty tame by comparison.
It's also supported by the female Andalite Ax develops a crush on. I forget her name. At one point, she basically morphs by turning into a ball of flesh, and then sprouting a bunch of appendages all at once.
This might also have something to do with the fact that books, what, 15-45? Were all ghost-written. She made the plot outline and passed the description to whoever was typing it up that month. You really think a Scholastic intern is going to look up animal biology? That said, it bugs me too, but it's not really the author's fault.
This is also easily explained by the fact that the kids wouldn't necessarily know this, being adolescents who aren't necessarily experts in animal biology. Except for Cassie, but then she might just be dumbing it down.
In the Ellimist Chronicles, the Ellimist visits the Andalites and lives with them.
Then, presumably many years later, he gets ascended and saves Earth (in the age of dinosaurs) from Crayak. Then, the Animorphs travel back in time to the Cretaceus and Ax says Andalites haven't evolved by then. So, which one is it? Oh, now I think about it, the Ellimist Chronicles was published after In the Time of Dinosaurs, but this still really bugs me.
Ax simply hadn't paid enough attention in class.
Actually, he says that his world was still molten. He definitely wasn't paying attention in class.
There was probably a game... and a female... That Ax isn't a great student and fell asleep in class is pretty well-established. Conversely, the Andalite scientists in charge of studying these kinds of things might be wrong. The Ellimist also points out that understanding the evolution of another species is easier than figuring out the evolution/history of your own.
More Ellimist Chronicles timeline problems: according to Word OfSufficiently Advanced Alien, the Pemalites were created some time after the Andalites had learned to use fire. In book ten, Erek says "A hundred thousand years before the Andalites learned to make fire, the Pemalites were capable of faster-than-light travel." Any explanation for the Retcon, or is that bit now simply in Canon Discontinuity?
Logically, the Ellimist created the Pemalites with a tech level such that if they had evolved naturally, they would have had FTL travel at that time. However, the Ellimist created the Pemalites at a higher technology stage, with pseudo-history such that they believed that they had FTL travel before the Andalites had discovered fire, but did not actually exist before that time.
Its possible that the Chee were mis programmed. Just because the Pemalites were incapable of cruelty doesn't mean that they were incapable of hubris and programming their robots to stoke their egos.
Or Erek just felt bitchy and wanted to insult Andalites. Or he didn't pay attention in school, either...
Having not read the Ellimist bit, I suspect time travel was to blame. Because individual species simply do not exist the same way after 65 million years. If our ancestors were sentient at that point, they'd have been rats.
None of those remained the same species, though. Sharks and grasshoppers haven't changed much as superorders and suborders, respectively. Crocodylidae is an entire family. The vast majority of species, however, were born yesterday, geologically speaking. Even the famous coelacanth is an entirely different genus from the one that existed millennia ago.
The proto-Andalites Ellimist met weren't the same species either. Their tails were shorter, their thoughtspeak was less developed, there were probably other differences as well. Also consider that in our modern society natural selection is impeded, if not halted entirely, by technological and sociological advances. Once the Andalites got to that stage, whenever it might be, they could conceivably stay pretty much the same for millions of years.
My interpretation of this is that the Ellimist exists outside of time, as it's shown that he basically transcended the physical universe when he became godlike. It's possible that he could have been running around the galaxy and spending time with the Andalites not too long ago, then saving the earth and creating the Pemalites in the "past", millions of years ago, in some weird version of a Stable Time Loop.
No, no. He created Pemalites, inspired by what his Andalite wife said, before becoming godlike. He saved Earth from a pre-god-like Crayak who expected no challenge because had just killed off pre-god-like Ellimist.
There's a simple explanation, really: the Ellimist created the Pemalites with faster-than-light travel technology. Presumably the Pemalites didn't know they were literally created yesterday, just like that; the Ellimist likely gave them a false history of developing fire, airplanes, faster-than-light travel, and everything in between. Thus, according to Erek's Pemalite History Records or whatever, the Permalites invented faster-than-light travel shortly before Andalites harnessed fire.
The weirdness doesn't end there: So the Ellimist visited Andalites before the time of the dinosaurs, he taught them the word "Ellimist", and named them "Andalites", and the Andalites still remember those words to the present day? Meaning not only their species didn't change much, but not even their language?? This only makes sense if the Ellimist revisited the Andalite planet a few million years later, unmentioned in the chronicle, and re-taught these words to the andalites.
But, aside from possibly a few words, the Andalites don't really have a language. They just communicate the general idea to whoever they're thinking at and it's automatically translated to whatever language the person speaks. And once the Andalites overcame their predators, they probably didn't need to change much. There are certain specids on Earth who are pretty unchanged by the passage of millions of years.
Freezing Grizzly Bears
In book 25 (The Extreme), Rachel's grizzly bear and Cassie's wolf morphs are seriously suffering from cold in the Arctic. Considering that the sun rises and sets on a normal time scale, it must be near the equinox - and neither grizzly bears or wolves ought to be that vulnerable to cold.
The wolves they morph into are local wolves from their hometown, which is in California, so they're probably used to warm temperatures, and the bear was most likely raised in captivity, or at least spent several years in the zoo. If I recall correctly, animals need to build up fat to resist cold and neither wolves or grizzly bears are Arctic animals.
Oh yeah, and grizzlies hibernate during the winter, they don't go hunting around in the Arctic like polar bears and Rachel lost a large patch of fur on the Blade ship, meaning she wasn't as resistant to cold as she might have been. And as for Marco not morphing into a wolf, nobody knew that they were heading up into the Arctic (only that they were heading north), their backs were against the wall in the Blade ship and his gorilla morph is much better than a wolf for combat. As for why he didn't morph into a wolf instantly once they realized they were in the Arctic, you need to become your normal self before turning into an animal and morphing takes a few minutes. They knew the Yeerks most likely mounted a pursuit on them (which they did) not to mention any ships that might be overhead and being open to gunfire for a few minutes (not to mention risking revealing their identities) isn't really worth changing into a slightly better cold-weather morph until the time is almost up.
Grizzlies don't actually hibernate - no bears do. That's just a misconception.
Similarly, why was Jake's Siberian tiger morph suffering from the cold so much as well?
We actually donít know if it was. Marco simply says that if Jake was feeling the cold, he wasnít showing it, naturally because he needs to keep showing confidence as the leader. If he was freezing cold, it could easily be chalked up to the same answer as Rachelís: that the tiger came from a zoo and thus wouldnít be as adapted.
Being raised in a zoo or in the wild wouldn't change their DNA so the life experiences of the creatures they morph shouldn't matter. It's why they ended up accidentally morphing bulls instead of steers in 28.
Actually, heat and cold tolerance is determined more by epigenetics (heritable changes in gene expression) than by DNA, and epigenetics can change in less than a generation. The newborn children of wolves who live in a zoo in California will be less cold-tolerant than the children of Arctic wolves; it makes sense that the same would be true of their morphs. Now, Applegate almost certainly didn't know this (epigenetics is a pretty new field), but the explanation does make sense with 2013 science.
Yeerk biology and abilities
How do they get through the ear canal without breaking anything? You can't just drill through the ear drum and then have unimpaired hearing in that ear. Other speculation I've read comments on damage to the eye and perhaps the brain as well. Another person mentioned that the part past the inner ear would be damaged by the yeerk's movement, since it's sensitive enough to react to sound. (If the yeerk paralyzes those parts, as that person suggested, then the books should probably mention that.)
The Hork-Bajir Chronicles mentions that Yeerks release some sort of chemical that dulls the hosts senses when they enter the ear canal.
How come the yeerks never have to push past any ear wax, or ever get hampered by the hairs inside the ear that exist specifically to keep things out of the ear? It's not like the ear canal is unguarded.
Yeah against dust particles, maybe a fly if you're getting extreme - a Slug that is mobile, immersed in liquid at the time of entry (usually) and can paralyze the ear as it goes? Hairs and wax don't stand a huge chance. The ear drum is likely to pose more of a challenge to bypass though.
It would make a lot of sense if controllers (humans, at least) always being deaf in one ear. I wondered at first if they always put the yeerk in the same ear, or if it was all down to which way their head turned when they were shoved into the pool head lock things.
I've read that it causes the host immense pain when the Yeerk is moving in and out of the ear canal, at least if it doesn't use the chemical thingie mentioned above. This would support the theory that the Yeerks burst that ear's eardrum when they enter, not that I am any expert on human biology....
If they break the eardrum, the human wouldn't be able to hear. The eardrum picks up vibrations and the rest of the ear translates it into what we understand as sound. I'm not that far into the story, but personally I'm of the theory that the Yeerks are not literally slugs, but a fluid of sorts in the form of slugs. So they can seep through the ear and into the auditory nerve like some kind of "amoeba" and attach every part of themselves to every part of the host's brain.
Unless the Yeerks are significantly smaller than anything we see in the rare art of them, it shouldn't be possible. Besides damaging the ears (which assumes that nearly every species in the galaxy has ears among other things) this doesn't explain how they avoid damaging the brain. Chemicals dulling pain isn't going to help at all if you have a sudden mass pressing down on the part of brain responsible for controlling the left hand.
It says that they spread "paper-thin" over the brain and seep into the crevices.
I believe most of the books say Yeerks are 2 to 4 inches long. The art in #29 makes it seem 2 or 3 feet long. Also, I am only on book 35 right now, and I hope that the later books with all-out war between humans and Yeerks will include some plot device of identifying a Controller by examining their ear canal and checking for the damage a Yeerk would inflict on it.
In book six, Jake estimates that the Yeerk that just came out of his head was no longer than six inches. The pictures of Cassie in the Yeerk Pool with Aftran in a cage and of Cassie turning into a Yeerk are obviously not done to scale as we want to be able to see the Yeerks in more detail. The Yeerks are never shown to do any visible damage to the ear canal as they seem to have the ability to become all liquid-like as they enter the brain. If identifying a Controller were really so easy as examining the visible part of their ear then there's no way they'd ever be able to pull off a covert operation. Even people not in the know would wonder about the sudden outbreak of damaged ear canals.
If memory serves, there was once a throwaway line from a book in a doctor's office (don't remember which book) Anyway, the line stated that there was a sudden outbreak of ear infections, obviously not as bad as what the Yeerks should be doing, but at least it's something.
In book 31, someone informs Jake's pediatrician father that it's 'ear infection centrai' in the waiting room. I don't think that has anything to do with Yeerks. Children aren't very useful hosts and so they're only taken if they're really needed (like when they couldn't get at Karen's father) and parents wouldn't pick up on any ear pain their controller child was having if the Yeerk wasn't an idiot and knew why there was pain and that a visit to the doctor wouldn't help but might actually lead to exposure of said Yeerk. It also doesn't sound like this kind of thing happens often so I think it's really more one of those things that are going around (like the flu or chicken pox) than a sudden outbreak of newly-infested children.
I always got the impression that they were able to "melt down" to a near-liquid substance. It says in "The Sickness" that Yeerks have surprising strength, and use a combination of this strength and echolocation to navigate/plow through the ear canal. "It was a tight fit. I squirted out some kind of painkiller to deaden the canal and squirmed, stretched, pushed bones and tissue aside with surprising strength. I penetrated. Deeper. Puncturing flesh now. Deeper inside." Wow, is anyone else getting some weird sexual vibe from all of that? Or maybe it's because the music video for Teenage Dream is on. Nope, it's the book.
If we're looking for precedent, sea cucumber's have the ability to partially liquefy themselves so that can fit in small crevices, nooks, and crannies. I'd subscribe to the theory that Yeerks probably have a similar ability
How come we never got to see a yeerk's point of view on mimicking their host? Done well, it would have been cool. Same thing happens in fanfiction, but most fanfiction about yeerks and their hosts tends to be written from the point of view of the controllers. (Usually female controllers infested with male yeerks. My plot bunnies have female hosts-male yeerks as well. Why does this pattern exist?)
Since when are there male and female yeerks? Considering their method of reproduction (three yeerks join together, then break apart into a bunch of little yeerks), you'd think that, if they had genders, they'd have three of them. Some yeerks identify as male or female in the series, but that's probably just referring to their current host, or when they take on characteristics of their hosts, like in Visser.
To answer your question, this is mainly just fanwank on my part, but I think it's because the process of infestation is so visually and emotionally linked to rape. Think about it—a six inch long alien force penetrating a vital organ, causing pain, emitting substance, leaving the victim entirely powerless and at its whim. Total domination from a phallus. Of course this just may be me reading a little too much gender theory in college, but I think that's why it's so terrifying—it's not only physical domination, but mental, psychological, and emotional as well.
I just mentioned the sexual vibe under "Yeerk Biology". Seriously, read the passage I took directed from "The Sickness". Even in Animorphs, where the most the characters do is KISS, there's sex! How could I not have noticed that when I was a smaller perv child?
Yeerks sometimes act like they had genders. In book 8, a Yeerk wants to take revenge against Visser 3 because he was in love with another Yeerk, and, at least in the Spanish version, he talks like they were male and female. Probably sometihng that got retconned in posterior books, but another possibility is that they end up acquiring (at least in their minds) the gender of their hosts, like Visser One.
Huh, and there's me thinking it was scary because you're trapped conscious in your head while another mind controls your body and lives your life for you. Sometimes, an alien slug is just an alien slug...
Yeah, Yeerks were scary enough without considering rape implications.
Wait a second...I know I haven't read the series in quite some time, but I seem to remember numerous instances of seeing a controller through the Yeerk's perspective. Wasn't that the whole point of Visser?
The Hork-Bajir Chronicles and Visser focused on that. You also get an insight into imitation abilities in the book where Jake gets infested. The reason Yeerks are so good at imitating their hosts because the host's mind can't conceal thoughts and feelings from the Yeerk. So the Yeerk just sees what the host feels and acts it out. Quote Jake: "I felt my heart sink. I knew Cassie would buy it, because it was exactly what I would have said."
In the last book Visser One (formerly known as Visser Three) is charged with committing war crimes
How could he have committed any war crimes when the Yeerk Empire hasn't signed the Geneva convention and thus by definition anything they do can not be a war crime.
The aknowledgement of sapient alien life would obviously lead to a major rewrite of international (interplanetary?) treaty.
True, but if the Yeerk Empire doesn't sign any of the treaties the Visser's actions can not be considered war crimes.
Well, they made some sort of agreement with the Andalites when Seerow gave them technology.
That, and the whole thing is clearly a show trial anyway, as cynical Marco wryly noted in his thoughts.
Was it ever specified whether Visser One was being tried under Human law, Andalite law, Yeerk law or some kind of Interstellar law? (I know it was in the Hague, which suggests the international criminal court)
Given the lack of legal precedent, he could possibly be tried on the grounds that he ordered his human "subjects" to commit war crimes on human territory, and since he was subsequently taken as a Prisoner or War by human forces, he became subject to human jurisdiction.
The humans, or an individual country, can just assert every act carried out by sentient aliens on Earth, or on their countries' territory, is under UN and national jurisdiction, the same way that an act by any foreigner or foreign occupier on a nation's territory is under their jurisdiction. Military law generally also allows captured enemy fighters to be tried for war crimes, or ordinary crimes in some cases. Moreover, many treaties and national laws provide universal jurisdiction over crimes such as piracy, torture and war crimes. The way these laws are drafted, they could certainly be interpreted to apply even to acts in outer space or on other planets.
In Visser Visser One mentions that she fears "Death by Kandrona Starvation" the most because Visser Three knows how to prolong it.
Given that prolonging Kandrona Starvation definitely qualifies as torture in and of itself, what exactly would "Death By Torture" consist of given that its implied to be a lesser punishment at least in the particular circumstances.
Probably more physical, "conventional" torture that eventually kills the yeerk, but the yeerk is kept reasonably well-fed. Kandrona starvation could be considered torture too, but I imagine they would consider it (with good reason) a much worse way to die.
Food in morphs.
If the food eaten in one form is taken to Z-space with the rest of the morph's body, implied by Ax suffering no ill effects as an Andalite from eating cinnabons, nachos and hamburgers, raisinettes, and even cigarette butts, why do the Animorphs get hungry after a normal period of time? 6 hours total minus five (non-consecutive) hours of morphing should equal only one hour of food expenditure. Are their normal bodies stored in Z-space, and the morphs made from and reverted to null matter? (that would actually be pretty cool if they control the morph from z-space, but it would leave Starfish Rachel unexplained.) If they eat in a morph, are they hungry again when reverting to their original form?
The feeling of hunger is caused by chemicals in the brain that I'm not knowledgeable enough to explain. Something about the morphing technology seems to keep the brain working separately, so it may have something to do with that.
OOH! I have an explanation! What if the nutrients are attained from the excess matter in Z-space, and morphing back gives you a stomach full of Z-space morphing goo. Yum.
That seems highly unlikely. How would Z-Space know what nutrients to give you and not to give you too much or something inedible? And that ignores the initial question of why they are hungry after they've spent the day in various morphs.
I'm sure that part of it is that morphing is hard work. You do tend to be hungrier when you've spent the day exercising than if you've spent the day doing absolutely nothing.
Why didn't Elfangor morph the moment his ship touched ground?
He could morph into a small, quick form one should assume he possessed and hightail it. He could have warned the the group to run away too. Maybe the Yeerks might still have shot him, but anyway it would have been worth a try. And if he then morphed back into his own body his wounds would have been healed.
He says at one point in the prologue of the Andalite Chronicles that he is too weak to morph. Remember that morphing does require a fair bit of energy. Besides, it's not really in his character to bail on a direct threat, especially his arch nemesis. The fact that he stood up to Visser Three despite his imminent death is one of his defining character moments.
Moreover, as a rule, Andalites don't morph as often as the Animorphs do. It's safe to say that he hasn't done it for thirteen years or so (or however long he's been away from Earth). He simply doesn't have the stamina to morph at near-death that the kids do.
Andalites don't see morphing as a weapon. It's just a piece of technology, alebit a very advanced one. It was Visser Three and the Animorphs who thought up the military applications. Of course, the Andalites knew that it could potentially be used as a weapon, shown by the fact that Elfangor gave the kids the power to morph, but it's not something Andalites do themselves - it was really all Elfangor had to give them. It's likely that if he had some Andalite Shredders he would've given them those too.
To be fair, for the Andalites morphing really isn't that useful even for intelligence. The Andalites are already fairly dangerous in hand to hand combat and normally wouldn't have much use for morphs that can only be used for less than two hours. Hand to hand combat itself probably is actually more rare than we see considering that a good deal of fighting probably happens in space. Morphing is only useful to humans who are seriously outgunned, and even then if the series were more realistic they should have been shot down in a matter of minutes.
I don't see how Elfangor was 'too weak' to morph when the Animorphs managed it while not only dying but while unconscious.
The Animorphs were rarely ever wounded while in human form, they mostly morphed out when the animal form was damaged, which might imply that all the thinking was being done in the Z-space mass connected to the animal.
Finally, during Megamorphs 1, Marco and Ax escape a Yeerk containment box by morphing small - on account of the fact that neither the Yeerks nor the Andalites actually had that many tiny creatures on their homeworlds, and would never have thought of it.
Visser Three realized it pretty instantly. He told them not to open the cage but it was too late. He doesn't really have the most competent people (part of which is his own fault for being so murder-happy).
Given that Elfangor apparently saw his life as mostly one long list of failures seems to have spent at least part of the past 13 or so Earth years as suicidal or borderline suicidal, I'm pretty sure that it's just because he was really tired of fighting. If he'd really wanted to survive, there were a number of things he could have tried - morphing, using his shredder to blast free the Time Matrix so that he could fix things, etc. He didn't even try anything. It seems less like he was running to try to survive, and more like he was coming home to die.
I don't think he needed anything more than his presence and the incoming presence of the Yeerks (including the morph-happy Visser) to prove his story to the Animorphs. It's possible that he was just too weak to morph and it's not like he has anything that could defeat all of the Yeerks gathered to watch his execution. Morphing also doesn't consistently heal wounds sustained in your normal body. Remember Tobias and his broken wing in MM 2? Sure, he might have been able to morph and flee but that would make the Yeerks start looking for him and what would they have found? The Animorphs.
As somebody that's read all of the books countless times, I have seen no real in universe explaination for Elfangor failing to take this rather obvious way out. There's no indication in anything we see about him, either in the main books or the Andalite Chronicles that he was suicidal or didn't want to fight, or was panicking at the time and didn't think of it, or was too weak to do it (the Animorphs have been on the verge of death or really really exausted countless times and still been able to morph) Tobias' broken wing was the sole exception in the entire series to complete morph healing that they never give any explaination to either, and there was MORE than enough time for Elfangor and the Animorphs to escape from the construction site before the Yeerks managed to show up. The out of universe reason? Ol' Applegate probably just didn't think of it, or she just didn't want to use the character for some reason.
If you've read the books countless times, you'd know the in-universe explanation... Elfangor became a nothlit, trapped in human form. The Ellimist turned Elfangor back into an Andalite so he could turn the tide of the war, and meet the kids on Earth. But there is no evidence that the Ellimnist gave Elfangor his morphing ability back. And it's actions when it gave the morphing ability back to Tobias(rather than turning him human and giving him the morphing ability) is evidence to show that the Ellimnist likely didn't give Elfangor the ability.
There's no evidence that Elfangor WASN'T able to morph after the Ellimist returned him to his normal body either, so the whole issue is unanswerable anyway.
We also know that morphing requires "concentration on the animal you're morphing". For someone out of practice like Elfangor it may have been too difficult with his blood loss. When you get light-headed your brain tends to wander mid sentence, let alone keeping a focus for two minutes straight. It may also be easier to revert than to change.
It's also possible that Elfangor may just not have anything small he could have morphed.
If you morph into, say, a five-year-old kid, can you still conserve dimensions, and think in abstract terms?
First, What does "conserve dimensions" mean? Second, yes, of course, one can still think in abstract terms. Its clearly established that when one morphs one retains all of one's mental capabilities.
Though the animal's mind does interfere a bit (unless Jake likes eating Spiders and Tobias loves the taste of rat) so maybe you'd have to fight the urge to go play with blocks
Not really. The animorphs are described as dealing with the foreign emotions and instincts that the animals have. A human would have the same primal instincts and therefore it would just be like putting yourself in another person's body rather than possessing them.
Why, oh why, didn't they just use the Chee to save everyone?
We know the Chee are natural hackers, have camouflage the Yeerks can't detect (If the Taxxons could see through, they'd know by now) and inhumanly fast. So my question is, if they used Erek to hack the Blade Ship, why didn't they get a few more into the Pool Ship and take it over?
Um, they did. They captured the Pool Ship with Erek, not the Blade Ship. That was the whole point. That was why they needed Erek there.
But since the minute Jake realized that the Yeerk in Tom couldn't be trusted, he sent Marco to find Erek, why couldn't he have just ignored the question of the Yeerk's trustworthiness, captured him, sent a Chee to replace him, and saved everybody a whole lot of grief? Erek was always far better at computers than Ax anyway.
Jake only saw through Tom's plan after they left the Taxxon tunnel, which was the only place they could've concievably captured him.
Whenever they morph, the kids always make sure to avoid any actual onlookers. But that doesn't change the fact they use some very public places. And over the course of three in-universe years, you'd think at least one would be outfitted with a security camera. Granted, even the most meticulous store-owners probably wouldn't check all their tapes for no reason, but still. Three years of adventuring, and this kind of behavior takes place at least once per book. This could be an acceptable break from reality, but it's really inconsistent, in-story. They make a point not to hang out together at school for fear of looking like a group, but they're so sloppy here?
Until the war officially begins (the day Tom sees Jake morph), the group never actually morphs in a building or area that should have a security camera. All of their morphing in the mall is done in dressing rooms or restrooms. Any change of battle-morphs are done in elevators or other small rooms. Some of the elevators could have cameras in them, but at the same time, those would have been seen by at least Ax if they were present. Most of the controller owned areas it's an acceptable break that there are no cameras. The Yeerks likely wouldn't want footage to somehow leak out to the general public. Even if they can control the general flow of media, they can't control everything. And most of the places the Animorphs attack would be areas the Yeerk's don't want the general public to know about. Keep in mind the books all took place before Cellphone cameras and the Patriot act...
As early as the 1990s, courts had ruled that clothing stores were allowed to have security camera pointed at their dressing rooms for purposes of theft prevention, something ruled because many stores were already doing it and someone tried (and failed) to sue. Chances are, those dressing rooms realistically shouldn't have been camera-free.
Pointed at the dressing rooms, but not inside the dressing rooms. Seeing a bunch of kids go into a dressing room (and IIRC Rachel always insists they bring something with them to 'try on') and then not seeing them come out should seem odd, except for the fact that it's not just these same group of kids. It's also any Controller that uses that Yeerk Pool entrance. If there are tapes of the inside of the dressing room, seeing the kids morph, that means there's tapes of the inside of the dressing room, seeing mundanes try on clothes. Which is a definite invasion of privacy.
In the case of cameras pointing the dressing room Yeerk Pool entrances, it's likely the Yeerks have made it so there are no cameras pointing to these places or something like that.
Computers before books
How could Andalites possibly have invented computers before books? Computers require the encoding of information in some sort of language, the logical step from codifying such a language to simply writing it down is not a huge one, and you have to wonder how they remembered the blueprints for the first computer.
One must remember that the Elimnist made himself an Andalite and lived with them for a time. It's not unreasonable that he just "invented" the computer. Or at least "invented" enough tech for the computer to be the next logical step without books having been written.
I always figured they had books (or at least something close) thousands of generations ago and Ax just assumes books are more advanced technology because he's never seen one before and is written by a person with a vested interest in books. Most of his complaints such as portability and loading times really aren't an issue for Andalite computers.
Relatively simple explanation: Binary. They didn't have a written language when they were originally inventing computers (possibly inspired by myths of the Ellimist). Assuming they were using relatively normal materials (silicon, etc), binary is the only choice for coding, which wouldn't necessarily lead to a normal written language—and since binary would be a terrible written language. Presumably, they invented something along those lines soon after, when they realized that sound bytes took up too much space. Then, they realized there was a way to write stuff down without batteries or power cords...
They did have a written language. Ax specifically mentions tail blade carvings made by "ancient" Andalites. Now, maybe "ancient" is post-computers for such an advanced civilisation, but that's not the impression Ax gives.
It's also worth noting that Andalites are herbivorous naturists with a quasi-religious relationship with trees. It's quite possible that they simply never invented paper.
Some trees, not all trees. And if they didn't have some kind of easy information storage, they wouldn't have been able to get past the stone age. They could have had tail-blade carvings on stone tablets or tree bark, and graduated to books later on. Ax is just a terrible history student.
The way I see it, they defeated the yeerks, who were under the control of the Crayak. But the Crayak has many other species to throw at the Animorphs (and, given the Bolivian Army Ending, already has). Given how much the Yeerk victory taxed them, it seems to me that the implication is that the Crayak is just going to throw wave after wave of species at Earth until he succeeds, as he tends to do to other planets. Basically, the Animorphs only got humanity past stage one, and now the hard part begins. Given how much attention the Animorphs drew to Earth, and given the Crayak's nature, this seems to be what the entire ending suggets. An Endor Holocaust.
Crayak isn't unopposed. The implication is that the Ellimist and him were using Humanity vs Yeerks as pawns in their game. In this case, Crayak lost. It's true that he will probably keep trying to destroy the earth, but losing the Yeerks as a tool for destruction was a big setback for him, far more than what the Ellimist lost in this battle. In this case, the good guys come out ahead.
The kids' victory was a very very small one, it's true. Crayak and Ellmist's war lasted millions of years and continued after the Yeerk Empire was defeated. But it was still a victory nonetheless.
Remember that they did stop the Howlers and that was seen as a crushing defeat by Crayak and the Ellimist. Losing a whole race from your team would be a pretty hefty setback I'm sure - maybe not in terms of what Crayak lost but in terms of what Crayak could have had if the Yeerks had gained 6 billion new hosts and been allowed to rampage throughout the universe. Earth was the springboard for domination by the Yeerks, once they had gotten that big the Ellimist would have been hard pressed to stop them within the confines of the rules.
Yep, they pacified the Howlers, who were Crayak's next step, so presumably he had to call on his then current third-step (assuming that's who the aliens at the end were). Plus they now have the Yeerks' factories and stuff, and the humans, and so they're going to be a lot tougher to beat.
Crayak wasn't drawn to Earth for any particular reason. It just happened to be the next part of the great intergalactic chess game between Crayak and the Ellimist. The same goes for the Animorphs, except for Jake his main problem with them was they were the reason he lost part of his and Ellimist's game. If he did have a problem with them, then that may be part of the reason they were drawn into the new war at the end of 54. Crayak or Ellimist could have requested the Animorphs be a part of their new game, Crayak for revenge, Ellimist for the simple fact that they fought and won a 3 year war with only one casualty from their main team.
It's also worth noting that the Ellimist left the door open that the Yeerks ARE indeed willing to be redeemed like the Iskoort. For all that we know, the early defeat of the Yeerks (which, back during their time on the Iskoort homeworld, it was implied that, as things then stood, the Yeerk Empire would still exist in 300 years) may even lead them to join their local interstellar community as a positive force for good, possibly acting as the third party in  with Humans and Andalties, which, Ellimist have mercy on whoever turns his guns on that force.
Which Yeerks are that? The ones that the Animorphs likely killed at the end of 54? The ones that became nothlits after the Animorphs won Earth? The ones that the Andalites probably still won't let leave their home planet? And the Ellimist cannot see the future. He can only see possibilities. If he actually knew what was going to happen no matter what he or Crayak or the creatures with free will did then there would be no point in his game with Crayak. Neither of them knew for a fact what would happen with the Iskoort even though they made guesses and the Ellimist's plan worked (perhaps better than he thought if he didn't expect the kiss). If he can see possibilities then he was just planning for the eventuality that the Animorphs would lose or Yeerks would escape and never be tracked down and in three hundred years would come across the Iskoort.
How does the blue box work?
In the first book when kids receive their powers, each of them AND Elfangor places their respective palms against sides of the box. Much later in the story the blue box gets temporarily lost, some animals touch it and get morphing powers. So does a morphing-capable person need to touch a box to endow somebody with the power or not?
It can't possibly require a morph-capable person to activate it, or else how would Escafil have gained the morphing power? Possibly Applegate realised this after the initial scene with Elfangor and so subsequent appearances work this way. It's not a huge Retcon to have Elfangor's place being basically symbolic.
We don't know how the technology was invented. It's probable that Escafil invented the technology to give the ability in a completely different (and presumably inefficient) way, and later developments led to a simpler method. As for the animals gaining the morphing power, I remember the box being in Cassie's possession at that point, so she would probably be touching it, although it has been a few years since his last reading.
Yes, every time an animal gained the morphing ability in that book, Cassie was touching the Escafil device. Additionally, if a morph-capable person didn't need to be touching it, they wouldn't have needed to give David the morphing ability because he would have gotten it when he found the cube.
I would imagine the prototype blue box would give anything morphing ability when touched. Then someone realized the chaos that would bring and created a failsafe mechanism limiting later versions to only work in the presence of someone that can already morph.
It's a blue freakin' box. All the explanation needed.
It's mentioned repeatedly, that the course of morphing is out-of-hand and only Cassie can control it to some extent. Still, in "The Capture" Jakes manages to morph into a wolf just enough to alter his vocal cords and give his Controller brother a reassuring phone call and say: "Don't give up, Tom!"
Now that I think of it, this episode bugs me a lot more. Think of it, the kids are lucky as hell that their enemy mistakes them for Andalites and go to lengths to support that illusion. And then Jake, the f* g leader of the team just goes and blows their cover like that! If you doubt he did, just take a look at that episode from the Tom's Yeerk perception. The caller definitely didn't get a wrong number and it didn't sound as a phone prank either. Anyway, the choise of words was too specific to brush them aside as a coincidence and the answer simply suggested itself: the caller knew about his secret. But beyond the Controllers only the Andalite bandits did. But why in the world would arrogant and aloof Andalites care to call Controllers just for some encouraging words? The answer, once more, suggests itself: the Andalite bandits are not Andalite. Here goes your secrecy, kids, thank your whiny leader for that. WTF?!!
I suppose he could have attempted the morph multiple times untile he got it right but the secrecy...it's even worse when you consider that the Yeerk had already noted how suspiciously Jake was acting over the past three days and according to Ax later his parents even took him to a psychiatrist. Although, this might explain why the Yeerk failed to get promoted for three years: he's an absolute moron.
Actually Tom did suspect that the "Andalite Bandits" were humans early on in the series, but didn't voice these suspicions out of fear of what Visser Three would do. Whcih make sense considering the good Visser is totally Ax-Crazy
That was Temrash 114 (Tom's first Yeerk), not the second. Temrash 114, by the way, who was still absolutely shocked when he infested Jake because he was a human. It was probably more idle musings than a serious theory.
Imagine yourself as the Yeerk in the scenario. You just got this weird phone call, your host's brother has been acting odd for three days, and the previous owner of your host was promoted and subsequently killed by the Andalite bandits. After getting the phone call you really only have two options, do nothing and pray that it was a mistake, or inform Visser Three of the situation. The latter is less and less appealing when one knows the nature of Visser Three, and also know he's more likely to ask why Andalites are calling you directly, rather than reward you for the information. Especially since the phone call doesn't mean that a human made it, an Andalite could have just morphed into a human.
Why would an Andalite call to encourage a controlled human? Andalite military despise all lesser races including humans! Anyway, I see how Tom's Yeerk would decide against reporting to Visser 3 just to be on the safe side. But surely jake couldn't rely on that when he made his phone call! After all the perennial precatuions I can't believe he took such a risk for such a stupid emotional reason. I understand that nobody is safe from the Idiot Ball and the following entry proves it best but still...so un-Jake-like.
I think it was mostly a knee-jerk reaction to his infestation and having to deal with the same Yeerk that Tom did and the others were still treating him like glass a few weeks later in book 7. That said, if Andalites were going to go around randomly giving encouraging messages to controllers, at least they had a slight reason to call Tom as he saved them on their first mission. They really would have no reason to track him down, but should they come across that information, it at least would explain why they would even be aware of him.
Just because the Andalite high command doesn't give a damn doesn't mean that the individual Andalites don't and all it takes is one individual Andalite to make the call. And even if all of the Andalites in the military felt that way (though Elfangor clearly didn't and Tom was present for that) then that doesn't mean the Yeerk would know that. What they eventually do on Earth is still three years away.
What'd you mean, he saved them? When was it?
During their first raid on the Yeerk pool, Tom distracted Visser Three while the kids escaped. And in any case, it's not like this wasn't lampshaded in the series itself. Tom had suspicious about Jake being an "Andalite bandit" at least a year before the final story arc began, he just didn't act on them. I mean, Jake coming home late at night in spandex covered in blood isn't exactly great security either.
Tom's yeerk was killed by the "Andalites" just after he was promoted, but they killed every yeerk in that hospital. They have no reason to believe that anything special happened to that particular yeerk. From Tom's perspective, the Andalites attack the hospital they'd plan to use as a controller factory, his brother acted weird for a few days, and then a little while later he gets a strange phone call. There's nothing suggesting that these events are connected. And the phone call could just be a prank, or some weird motivational program, or something. It may make him suspicious, but it's a huge leap to go from "some weird guy called me with an encouraging message" to "the Andalite bandits must be humans." Besides, in another book, a group of controllers actually speculate that the Andalites may be humans, but don't make these speculations public because no one was willing to tell Visser 3 that he might be wrong. That's probably a big reason why the Animorphs managed to stay hidden for so long.
The book version's better than the TV series version where Jake makes it perfectly obvious that he couldn't have been talking about anything OTHER than infestation (ex: 'no matter what it makes you do') as opposed to just giving a motivational message. Also, despite the fact that Temrash himself suggests to Chapman that the 'Andalite Bandits' might be human (and Chapman points out how Visser Three would react to that suggestion), he's still absolutely shocked to find out that they are - lo and behold - actually human just two books later. Although I do like the 'the Yeerk is just a moron' theory.
Speaking of which, Marco manages to morph his voicebox to human in #28 The Experiment, just enough to growl out a few words.
The final battle was full of holes.
Firstly: why did Tom even need the kids? He could've pulled off his entire plan without any help from the Taxxons or the Animorphs. Just tell the Visser the Taxxons are revolting, take the ship, then kill Visser Three. He planned to kill them as soon as they got on the ship, and he disabled the Pool ship's engines by himself anyway, so it's not like he was counting on the kids disabling the ship from within - remember, he was surprised to see Jake and the rest alive.
He wanted to get revenge on them for all the problems they'd caused him. Getting them on the bridge of the Pool Ship along with the Visser would have enabled him to take out two birds with one stone on the off chance they were able to survive.
Tom didn't need the kids themselves. He needed the Taxxons, who needed the kids to win (though he did, predictably, betray the Taxxons too). In addition, remember Tom's terms: Jake agreed to give up the morphing cube and the Blade ship. Tom wanted Jake to give up all that and give him a free pass out of the system. If Tom had never approached them, he couldn't be sure they'd let him get into a position where he'd be able to snag all three of his terms.
More importantly, Tom may not have needed the kids, but he wanted them. They had cost him badly, since he was punished by Visser Three/One numerous times for their successes. He says as much in his meeting with Jake. So his desire for revenge on them was one of his major motivators. Remember, as Cassie said, personality is more important than plot.
Secondly: For that matter, why did Jake need Tom? They had their own plan to get onboard the ship, and they only went along with his plan because he said that he changed the code cycle to fifteen minutes, which Ax couldn't beat. But they were already planning to use Erek, who could beat the codes and, as Ax notes, the codes Tom gave them were probably self-destruct codes anyway. Why did they pretend to go along with Tom's plan? They could've easily just saved Tom and done everything themselves.
Jake had a vague plan for what to do once they were onboard the ship. But, as he noted in his thoughts, he didn't actually have any plan concerning infiltrating the ship in the first place. Which is why they used Tom to get onboard the ship. Unfortunately this necessitated giving Tom the Blade ship and the Morphing Cube, and since Jake couldn't allow that from a moral standpoint, he got Rachel to provide a diversion.
Thirdly: Why did the kids need to be on the bridge? Either Erek had control of all the ship's systems, in which case they had access to weapons and didn't need Visser One, or Erek only had control of the engines, in which case the kid's didn't capture the ship and Visser One's surrender was too stupid for words (he has an entire Pool ship's worth of soldiers, minus seventeen thousand, and he surrenders?).
Because Visser One had access to the weapons. He did not, however, have access to the whole ship. Erek was in control of the ship's engines and had put them in a sort of "sleep" mode. Jake altered his plan at the last minute to try to get the visser to take out the Blade ship; Jake and the others knew from the beginning that Erek wouldn't help then gain access to weapons. What they didn't expect was for Erek to drain the Dracon beams, thereby making the weapons systems completely useless. Remember, Jake's original plan was to capture the Pool ship, use it to call the Andalite fleet, and then hand it over to them. Once the engines were disabled the ship was a sitting duck and useless as a weapons platform, so the Andalites easily could have picked up the ship once they arrived.
Jake's Unbelievable Procrastination
Jake knows that the Yeerks know they're human (after rescuing Eva and even more so after trying to sabotage the 'blood drive'), he knows that they found Tobias's missing mother, he knows that the Sharing is sponsoring the blood drive. Even though the Yeerks probably didn't think that any of their hosts would be closely related to any of the bandits - or else they would have noticed over the past three years - in order to keep their cover of it being a blood drive to help the community, they all would give blood anyway so it was only a matter of time until they found Tom. Why in the world did he choose to put off getting his parents, at the very least, out and replacing them with Chee? Or at least having someone keep an eye on his family so they could see if the Yeerks made a move? And for that matter why didn't he hit all three houses simultaneously? There were six animorphs and at least four Chee willing to help them, they could have sent the person whose family it was, another animorph, and a Chee or two and they would have been able to pull it off fine, with the only possible complication being Jake's house.
Lampshaded many many times by Jake, who blames himself for his parents' infestation. When Ax tells him that there was nothing he could've done, Jake replies: "Yeah, Ax, there was. What's the matter with me? Why didn't I get them out sooner? Why did I wait? When we need to sit back, plan, wait for information... I charge in. And then one time we need to rush in, throw caution to the wind, I hang back. Screw things up permanently. "Get some sleep," I said. Fantastic. Great plan. I got sleep. My parents got Yeerks." At the time, Jake was concerned about the gravity of pulling his parents out of the lives they knew and plunging them into an interstellar war, but as we see, the alternative was much much worse.
When the Ellimist first gained godlike power, why didn't he immediately destroy Crayak?
In the book detailing the Ellimist's life and rise to being an extra-dimensional supergod, there is a slight gap between when the Ellimist becomes one with the universe and when Crayak does the same. So, why didn't the Ellimist just take advantage of that time to wipe Crayak out of existence? He would certainly be capable of it, and seemed to be rather dedicated to the idea of killing Crayak. Instead he just waits around until Crayak becomes omnipotent as well. What's up with that?
He isn't quite omnipotent. Crayak was quite advanced at the time, so any assault the Ellimist tried might not have succeeded before Crayak himself achieved the godlike state he was in.
Also, the Ellimist likes having someone to play against so he doesn't appear to have ever tried all that hard. Being alone and seemingly omnipotent would kind of suck after awhile.
He did say it took him a while to figure out how to manipulate things in his new state. But I'm afraid he wanted a worthy opponent, too.
None of the above answer the question, since Crayak was pretty much the same after Ellimist figured out how to use his newfound abilities (and who knows how long that took). The Ellimist could have destroyed Crayak right then with no effort whatsoever, instead of revealing himself and clueing Crayak in on how to become omnipotent himself, otherwise Crayak might never have achieved godhood at all. Ellimist was perfectly happy with just observing learning about life throughout the eons both before and after he became omnipotent, so even needing a worthy opponent to keep himself occupied is a bit of a stretch.
OK, so they cant use their own surnames. And we'll assume the names given are also fictitious. But they can tell us that Marco's mom is Visser One?
Because that's not identifying at all, I guess?
Hell, revealing that they're all human isn't identifying at all, even though that's a huge plot point and causes quite a stir when the Yeerks finally figure it out? The whole "We can't tell you who we are because you might be one of them" thing never made sense.
I suppose the in-universe explanation could be that these are memoirs, written "after the war," with the "can't tell you who we are" as a literary device to induce the FUD of wartime. In reality, of course, it's probably either Idiot Ball or Viewers Are Morons .
I prefer MST3K Mantra. What with all the events that couldn't possibly have been written (due to memory loss and/or the timeline being erased) not to mention certain first person viewpoints couldn't exactly have been represented after the war, it's just a book series, we should really just relax.
An alternative could be a storytelling method similar to the Hork-Bajir genetic memory. Not a clue HOW that would work, of course, but it's safe to assume Jara didn't get Visser Three's play-by-play of the early war.
Do we know that Hork-Bajir have a genetic memory? That seems unlikely given their designed lack of intelligence. The Howlers were created to have a genetic memory in order to make each generation better killers than the last but what good would giving the Hork-Bajir (created to tend the trees and leave the Arn alone) a genetic memory do? And Jara got Visser Three's memories of the early war because when the Visser half-infested Aldrea he was so excited that he started opening his memories to her before he even got all the way in and so she was able to share that the way she was able to share her own memories and Dak was able to share his.
How did Jake in the first book use thought speak in human form,yet in every other book they say it's impossible?
The author changed her mind. It's not really an explanation but it is the reason. It was a mistake.
Don't the Animorphs and Visser 3 all have massive anteater morphs?
In The Suspicion they're shrunk by the Helmacrons. So is all the animal DNA inside them, so the morphs are only in proportion to what their size is now. So they aquire anteater morphs, which is fresh DNA, and so they morph to the right size. Then they get unshrunk, all the DNA is restored so they can morph the right size animals. But the anteater DNA surely would also have changed, so afterwards they should be able to morph into massive anteaters. Which I think would be a pretty good battle morph.
Except an anteater that size would literally burst open under its own weight.
K.A.: "As long as they don't take over the world with them, I'll let them keep the anteaters." To the Animorphs and V3: "Guys? I'm trusting you with this power. Don't make me regret it."
That in itself has bugged this troper, just because they're shrung (and gods knows how that's done), why the hell do all their morph's get shrunk, does the Helmacron weapon work on DNA or something?
The Helmacron weapon uses the Escafil device in some way. How it works isn't exactly explained, but it makes at least as much sense as anything else that it would interact with the Escafil device's other functions.
In these regards, the shrinking should probably be considered a separate, layered morph form, like using a red and yellow lens to see orange. And as it's established morphing technology somehow opens wormholes into Z-Space to facilitate the transfer of matter, an altered/suped-up version could possibly move the quarks inside molecules to compress them, or negates the force of electro magnetism by funneling it into Z-Space, or some other random ill-defined quantum mechanical process.
Wouldn't the kids, Tobias especially, be intellectually stunted due to the fact that they haven't received a proper high school education? Tobias stops going to school when he's thirteen, and the rest of the kids' attendance and marks go down significantly during the ensuing years. They wouldn't know a lot of basic math, history, science, whatever.
No. Public schools are a joke. The compiled total of everything they missed out on in 4 years of high school, Ax could teach them in one afternoon. Except for history, but honestly, what they teach in highschool barely qualifies as history. Actually, same goes for science. So, they're missing out on a bit of math, maybe, but honestly, who the hell uses calculus to get through the day unless your job specifically involves it?
Ax probably could teach them history. Remember he read that Almanac early on. Add in the fact that he was on Earth with the Animorphs for 3 years, he probably would have gotten a few more books (considering he seems to consider them superior to computers) and he managed to gain internet access. All they'd have need to do was spend a few hours with Ax before a test or exam and they'd be able to ace it. Although he may teach them maths and sciencey things the way Andalites have it figured out which may cause some alarm bells to ring with the Yeerks.
Not all public schools are worthless- however, the Animorphs were in California, where that is true. It varies from state to state. Which brings up the issue- why weren't most of them in private school?
Marco, Cassie, and Tobias make sense as to why they're in public school. Tobias' guardian doesn't care, and it's unlikely Marco's dad (and unknown if Cassie's parents) could afford it. Jake is a 50-50 proposition, but likely that he'd have lobbied for public school to stay with his friend (Marco) more than anything. Rachel is actually the only one I think should be in private school. What with one of the parents being a lawyer (in California, no less).
I'd say Rachel is the same explanation you gave for Jake: she most likely wanted to stay with Cassie. But... how long've they been friends? They're real tight, but I don't exactly remember...
"what they teach in highschool barely qualifies as history" True. Remember how they weren't sure if the Battle of Trafalgar was something that was supposed to happen?
Rachel's mom is a lawyer, yes, and Jake's dad is a doctor. BOTH of Cassie's parents are vets and as Marco's dad was an engineer working on a project that discovered Z-Space (coincidentally, named the same thing everyone else calls it) I think we can assume that all of them were pretty comfortably off. Marco's dad only lost his job two years prior to the start of the series and nothing is mentioned of Marco having to change schools on top of having to move.
Marco's dad names it Z-Space because thats what Marco suggests he calls it.
Not so. The guy who is so paranoid he doesn't even want to get medical attention when Tobias and Cassie collapse in #4 after getting Ax's message isn't going to be so stupid as to practically announce that he's aware of aliens, particularly as he spends that conversation trying to decide if his dad is a controller. What happens is this:
"'What are you calling your discovery?' I heard Nora ask.
'I don't really know,' Dad said tentatively. 'What can you call something that is nothing at all?'
There wasn't anything on TV. An old Star Trek. A new Star Trek. My life was plenty sci-fi. How about some Real World?
'What could you call it?' Dad continued. 'Zero, I suppose. Zero-space.'"
Except... having a lawyer as a parent in California doesn't PUT you in private school. This troper would wager all the above information is gleaned from stereotypes, and he lives in California, under the roof of a lawyer, and has never KNOWN anyone to attend private school.
Going to school whether private or public doesn't guarantee or disqualify someone being smart. There are a lot of instances in which people are self taught in what they know and never went to school for what they learned or best known for, and neither does good grades.
This is especially easy to note in that Cassie and Ax are both made out to be bad students for one reason or another and they performed brain surgery and constructed an intergalactic communicator respectively. Then you take in the fact that Marco and Rachel are presented as fairly intelligent and good students, and Jake and Tobias being reasonably knowledgeable in fields of their interest. I'd say it's a better example as to how school just isn't for everyone.
Morphing and Though-Speak?
The one thing that's always bugged the hell out of me more than anything else in the series is when the animorphs or an andalite inexplicably lose their ability to thought-speak while in human morph. I think this happened with a Hork-Bajir morph too. Based on the logic of the morphing technology, even a human who morphs another human should be able to thought-speak while in morph.
... They do. They use thought-speak in human and Hork-Bajir form.
Because their latent communication centre looks for the easiest reasonably complex communication method, and that's vocal in humans and hork-bajir?
In 34, Aldrea notes that while she speaks aloud as a Hork-Bajir, the others are probably using thought-speech because it's eaiser for them.
Yes, Ax can thoughtspeak in human morph despite what he says in #8 (the author thought more about the series' internal logic since then). He doesn't do it often, because he likes making "mouth sounds" but he uses it occasionally to pass on messages in secret or out of earshot.
Throughout the David trilogy he showed himself to be incredibly cunning...so he never thought "gee, a Big Damn Heroes was performed by a wild animal, not once, but twice when I was about to kill an Animorph. Not only that, the first time was by a red-tailed hawk- oh crap, Tobias is still alive!" The one thing that bugged me about a really great plotline.
When David was attacked by Tobias, he thought it was another one of the Animorphs that attacked him, not a random wild bird. He was too busy fleeing to get a good look at who ambushed him.
Of course he showed a good deal of idiocy later when he actually believed that the Animorphs would give him the Escafil device.
Feeding David's ego so that he wouldn't be smart enough to figure out what they were doing was all part of their plan.
In book #23 a major point about 'Aria' that's supposed to suggest she isn't all she seems is that she pays attention to her appearance. So apparently we're supposed to believe that if you are in the sciences and spend a lot of time in the wilds it's impossible for you to want to look good? This is even more of a headache when you consider that the cover story is that Aria is going to meet her orphaned relative for the first time. Why wouldn't she want to look her best?
The Animorphs are a bunch of kids, really. They could've been wrong about that point — maybe someone who'd been in the wilderness for years would care about her appearance — but it doesn't really matter, because the real tip-off was the whole "she's in Visser Three's helicopter" deal, IIRC.
Yeah, Tobias just thought that it was a little weird (and he was a teenage boy) until he knew about Visser Three and then he took it as further proof.
Joe Bob Fenestre's Yeerk is Visser Three's twin
What the heck does being a twin mean exactly when your species' reprouduction process involves three Yeerks joining together and spliting into "hundreds" of new Yeerks?
Maybe they split off later, after most of the other siblings have already begun development?
That IS the implication. Three Yeerks join together and split off not into hundreds of new Yeerks, but into hundreds of Yeerk grubs, which then grow into young Yeerks. The case of Yeerk 'twins' is that after they've begun to grow, one grub splits again, resulting in two genetically identical Yeerks, the 'twins'. Think identical twins vs. fraternal twins.
Such things happen with Earth species as well. I had a dog who had a litter of three puppies. Two of them look exactly alike. Clearly, they're identical twins that split in the womb, while the other was a fraternal sibling.
The Chee's inability to forget.
After using the Pemalite crystal to remove his Restraining Bolt and brutally destroying the Controllers that the Animorphs are fighting, Erek opts to restore the restrictions on the grounds that his memory will never fade and he wasn't willing to add similar experiences. Later, he downloads a number of Howler memories and mentions that he will never be able to remove them. What an incredibly stupid way to design a computer. Without the ability to delete or degrade data, Eric (and all the Chee) are doomed to eventually die from lack of storage capacity (not too dissimilar to Cortana's problem, really). Worse, these androids probably have super-HD cameras for eyes and extremely sensitive mics for ears, pouring gigabytes (or more) of data into their storage banks every second of every day. Unless they have enough storage to last until the heat death of the universe (which may be entirely possible), all the Chee will eventually crash. It's also frustrating that Erek's refusal to participate in the war came down to the Pemalites not giving their robots lossy compression and a recycle bin.
The Chee are super advanced androids, so they might just have a ridiculous amount of storage capacity. It's also possible, what with the "remember forever" thing, that recording stuff was one of the Chee's jobs, and deleting data was only done when a Pemalite decided the information was no longer necessary. It wasn't really a problem before, but once the Pelmalites were all dead, the Chee were screwed.
So Erek can instantly reprogram himself to be able to kill but he can't reprogram his memory? Lame.
Maybe he didn't want to? Before he reprogrammed himself, he seemed to view the non-violence programming as a serious burden and was desperate to get rid of it, or at least to bend the rules as much as possible. Later in the series, especially in the final book, he's much more of an Actual Pacifist, objecting to some of the Animorphs actions not because he is physically incapable of helping, but for actual moral and ethical reasons. Experiencing violence first hand made him appreciate his programming, and perhaps he wanted to keep the memory as a pennance of sorts and to remind him exactly how horrible it is.
Oh Dear, Maths...
In #2 (The Visitor), Cassie says that Rachel has 4 morphs (Elephant, Bald Eagle, Shrew, Housecat) and that it is more than any of the other animorphs have. However, at that point, Jake also has 4 morphs (Dog, Green Anole, Siberian Tiger, Peregrin Falcon). This is probably best dismissed as a memory error on Cassie's part.
The girl who writes down everything noticed that too. I just scoffed and told her to borrow my list sometime.
Jake has a perfectly engineered killing machine on hand, why no use?
In #26, Jake acquires a Howler, which are described as a race of creatures bred and engineered specifically to kill, a lone Howler kicking the collective asses of a grizzly bear, tiger, wolf, gorilla, and Andalite. Yet Jake never uses this morph in actual combat, only to defeat the (real) Howlers. Surely something like that could deal out some serious damage at the Yeerk pool... why no useage? (And, having the human mind in control, he should logically be able to control the uploaded desire to kiss everything in sight.)
Would you want to be responsible for telling a Hive Mind of perfectly-engineered killing machines, "eh, kissing is great, but it's not like it and killing everything in sight are mutually exclusive"? I think not.
Crayak destroyed all the Howlers after the whole Iskoort incident. Jake, being the only one left, wouldn't have to deal with the Hive Mind at all.
No Crayak destroyed all the Howlers involved in the Iskoort incident. The Ellimist tells the animorphs that the Howlers attempted to kiss their next target instead of kill it. There is no mention of Crayak killing them after this indicent (though I suppose Crayak would have stopped making them and thus they would die out pretty soon afterwards).
True. Crayak initially just destroys the ones the Animorphs contaminated to stop the memories from tainting the others. Jake morphs Howler and tells Crayak that a memory of love got through but perhaps he didn't think that one kiss was enough to override all the memories of destruction. Once the collective memory was tainted, I'm not sure why Crayak didn't just purge that one moment. Against the rules? The Ellimist now has an easy way to defeat all his Howlers? He's not happy now that they aren't perfect? He doesn't want to have to start all over?
I think this fact would have made it that much worse for Jake to morph back into a Howler. The problem itself is the Hive Mind. Every time the Animorphs have become a member of such a group, they have lost their individual sense of self. That isn't something any of them liked. And I think Jake feared more what would happen if he morphed into the lone Howler in the universe more than how good of a morph it would be.
There's nothing anywhere to suggest that the Howlers are similar to ants in how they think (or don't). Jake compared the Howler brain to a dolphin's and showed no problems controlling it. Also there are plenty of Howlers in the universe. The Ellimist explicitly stated that at some point in the future the Howlers would be sent to destroy another species and would instead kiss them.
Why would Crayak even send them to try to kill another species in the first place? If the Ellimist can see the result of it, why wouldn't Crayak be able to? It's not like he doesn't have all the information like in megamorphs 4 where he doesn't know Cassie is an anomaly. He knows that the Animorphs destroyed the Howlers because they have love introduced into their memory. If this wasn't a huge problem and prevented them from being the perfect killers he wants then this wouldn't have made the Animorphs win. Yes, he destroyed them before most of the memories could upload but the kiss was still there.
He might not really have a choice in sending the Howlers anymore. Remember that the entire base of the Ellimist and Crayak's game is that one of them is only allowed to make a move (or in other words, do anything at all) if the other person does as well. It also seems that they both have to agree on the actions they will make beforehand, and afterwords they must simply watch to see how things play out. The Ellimist probably set up a deal like "If you allow me to send Jake and the gang to this place, I will allow you to send the Howlers to wipe out a certain species". Crayak agreed, because it seemed to be a good deal for him, and afterwords he couldn't take his move back, even though he knew it would fail.
Considering that the Ellimist and Crayak don't seem to view time the same way a human would it's entirely possible that from their perspective the botched Howler invasion had already happened.
Alternately, morphing the Howler would make the Yeerks wonder what type of creature it was. And while it would improve the whole "We're Andalite bandits" motif, it would have probably caused more trouble than it would be worth.
How so? Aside from the fact that the Howl might kill those they don't want it to, what does it matter if the Yeerks try to figure out what a Howler is? Information on them is hard to come by as they always destroy the races that see them and Erek only knows about them as he and the other Chee witnessed their creator's deaths. The only race that would know something would be the Iskoort and they're too far away for the Yeerks to reach out of idle curiousity about where they acquired the morph or because Visser Three wants one, too.
Throughout the series the Animorphs, especially Cassie, shy away from morphing Sentient creatures because they believe it is ethically wrong. They frequently compare it to being almost, but not quite, as bad as what the Yeerks do. They go through great emotional dialogs about when they should and should not do so and even try to ask permission first in most cases. Jake is often made out to be the "leader"; but he typically does what the other Animorphs, especially Cassie, want.
There's also the fact that the Howler's most efficient weapon was it's, well, howl, which would kill indiscriminately. That would mean Jake could only ever use the morph to any reasonable degree of success if there were no Human Controllers, Animorphs or Allies, or innocents around. Imagine the angst if Jake had morphed Howler, screamed a bit, and discovered that Tom had been in the next room? Yeah, it's not very surprising he opted not to use the morph.
The Howlers are shown to be very lethal even without their special attack.
A few more things: the Crayak loves killing for the sake of killing, and created the Howlers for this specific purpose. Maybe they felt that using the Howler morph in battle would be giving the Crayak some sort of victory. Or maybe Jake thought that the Howler morph would run the risk of having some sort of mental connection to the Crayak. Or maybe (and I know this probably would've been brought up but I can't remember if it was) the Howler mind was so cheerful it would make one so giddy it'd be hard to control and you'd wind up killing indiscriminately. Add that with the issue of it being a sentient species, the howl, the (possible) hive mind, and the fact that it's overtly alien, he's got a lot of reason not to use it, and even though some of them might not always apply it's better to just draw the line and never using it at all, if that makes sense.
What about the possibility that since Crayak hates Jake, the giant eye would destroy him if he ever morphed into a Howler again? I mean, it'd have the right to since Howlers are its creation, after all.
He can't just destroy him regardless of if he morphs Howlers again. The Ellimist would never let him and it would break the rules of the game. Pluss 26 was from Jake's perspective and we didn't see a hint of a threat.
To be fair, Jake not seeing a threat would not be unexpected given he doesn't have a full understanding of the rules. But yeah, you do have a good point. I think I'll take the opportunity to say that the Howlers didn't understand killing was wrong, only that it was fun. That plus their giddy nature made them really effective at mass murder. I think that Jake could keep that under control, given he actually knows the difference between right and wrong.
It's possible something like Megamorph 2 is in effect. When the kids became temporally displaced they lost their dino morphs. When Crayak killed the Howlers and they all found themselves in the ethereal space, he might have been taking his ball and going home and the entire timeline was undone, so all that remained were their memories.
Ax not killing Visser Three
In #8, the Alien, Ax attacks Visser Three while Visser Three feeds his andalite body. After the short battle the yeerk crawls out of the body and escapes in the stream. The andalite, lying there dying, asks them to kill him and let his family know. Ax doesn't. He just lets the yeerks take back the body and eventually recover Visser Three (somehow). There is one major tactical flaw here: The Andalite can morph! That is what has already foiled several plans, Visser Three may yet live, but he won't have an andalite body anymore. That is a serious threat diminished. I'm reading through the rest of the series currently, so there may be another reason, but I doubt it. And I can guess Ax didn't want to kill a fellow andalite (though the poison would have done that anyways), and probably some honor rules would make him stop, but none of that is brought up. They just allow Visser Three to come back... I know he's a more credible enemy with the ability to morph... but this just bugs me.
The only real explanation is that Ax can't bring himself to kill a fellow Andalite. Of course that still never explains why Alloran didn't morph (especially when the Animorphs manage to morph even after taking fatal injuries consistently) and the best explanation is that Status Quo is God. Another question brought up from that scene is why Ax doesn't take the time in his last message to the homeworld to warn them that Alloran claimed that the Yeerks had infiltrated the Andalites. Of course it's possible that he did off screen but we never see anything anywhere to suggest that he did.
I can understand Alloran not morphing, he was old and pumped full of venom that had been circulating through his system for a few minutes by that point, he likely didn't have the energy, not to mention he'd be very much not used to being in control of his own body after being infested for so long. I can't figue out how Alloran ddn't die before the Yeerks recovered his body, he was pretty much out before the Animorphs even leave.
If it had been a human begging one of the others to kill him rather than let him be reinfested, would they be able to do it,especially at this point in the series, before they are too hardened by war? Lousy military tactics or not, what kid could bring himself to do that? And remember, even if he is a military cadet, Ax is still a kid. If their positions were reversed, Alloran would have killed Ax without a second thought, but Ax isn't a cold-blooded killer.
Everyone always referring to the new Yeerk in Tom as 'Tom'
They do this for several controllers ('Chapman' even though they know that's 'Innis' and Taylor, for example) but they call Visser One by her title rather than Eva. I can't believe that in three years they never learn his name. It reaches it's most unbelievable level in book fifty when Jake faces off with Visser One for the first time since he's been outed as a human. He says, "Release Tomís hostís parents and I will let you live." So now Tom has a host? Does the Yeerk hate his name and refuse to be referred to as anything but Tom? Does he have a name similar to Tom and just shortens it? It makes no sense.
Maybe they refer to Visser One by her title because she actually has a title. Whenever they encounter a Yeerk with a title that's what they call them (Vissers One-Four, the Inspector), but since Tom's, Chapman's and Taylor's Yeerks aren't given titles (IIRC) they call them by their hosts name.
Taylor's Yeerk does introduce herself with a title (Sub-Visser Fifty-One). It may be that the different convention for Visser One is because Marco would have too much trouble fighting against her if he thought of her as "my mother."
How come the Dome Ships have no weapons to use against Blade Ships
I mean come on, Alloran sees them when they're first deployed, Elfangor sees them years later, isn't it reasonable to assume they've been building a few more in the meantime? Or why not build a few of their own, or at least build a bunch of fighters that could take them on, or something?
Dome ships have big guns. This does not mean they can take on every ship in the Yeerk fleet at once. In every case where a Dome ship is destroyed, the ship was flanked by a Blade ship while taking on another ship.
Except that the Andalites don't seem to have even thought about adding secondary armaments to their ships, a practise which in our world has been going on at least since the early 17th century. They also haven't apparently realised the potential of these things as they haven't tried to build any themselves. Really, they've been asking to lose a few Dome-Ships to the Blade-Ships.
I am pretty sure it was stated by Applegate either in the books or elsewhere that dome-ships do have secondary weapons. Why they are not shown using them to great efficiency is, of course, another question. As for smaller ships, that's also clearly stated: the fighters have one main gun on their "tail", several secondary guns around the belly and are also said to carry "bombs" to be used against ground targets - what kind of bombs (you'd assume some kind of smart missile, given everything we know about the andelites and modern warfare, but then again, aliens) is not specified.
Consider that Andalites are more a species of scientists, while humans are a species that are generally more inclined towards war. The Andalites have only been fighting the war with the Yeerks for about 30 Earth years and chances are, considering their technology (Shredders) they may not have had to fight a war for many years beforehand, resulting in a lack of military tactics as advanced as those of humans.
They do have smaller ships (like the Ascalin), and we don't know what kind of armament Dome-ships carry in detail.
I thought it was fairly clear that the Dome ships have various weapons, but the Blade ships vastly outgun them. Now, if you're asking "why don't the Andalites have battleship analogs like the Blade ship?", then I can only say that they probably do — they didn't expect Earth to be a flashpoint (after all, they only sent one ship) or they would have brought some. In addition, the Dome ship is badly out of position when the Blade ship arrives; it and its fighters are fully engaged against a separate vessel, and it's implied the Dome ship was crippled by the Blade ship's surprise volley.
It seems most likely that the Dome Ship's main battery could take out the Blade Ship, but the Blade Ship crippled its engines before it could successfully maneuver to engage
The Dome Ships and Blade Ships are both equivalents: they are heavy cruisers to their respective empires. Though Pool Ships are armed, they are more of mobile command centers/troop transports. And we do know Dome Ships were in the pipeline BEFORE the Yeerk War, as Visser Three/Esplin describes the files he's read in the HBC. This would put the Dome Ships in a similar setting as the Enterprise D in Star Trek: ships designed primarily for exploration, diplomacy, and police actions, which were totally unprepared for a full out military engagement (in the Borg and Yeerks respectively). If, however, the question is more "why haven't the Andalties built a counter-Bladeship yet?", the reason is probably due to culture. A Dome Ship is a piece of the Andalite homeworld projected across the stars. A Bladeship is an extension of power, like a battle tank. Also important, the Bladeship is a uniquely Yeerkan idea, a personal command craft for their powerful Vissers and (presumably) councilors if the need arises. The Blade ship is an extension of the Visser's ego. Such a concept is completely alien to the Andalites. Elfangor leads the troops from a starfighter, that's just how they fight. And, further on the culture thing...Andalites are arrogant to the point of indolence. We have repeatedly seen them underestimate the power of the Yeerk Empire. They did not believe Aldrea, Elfangor messed up and didn't even consider Alloran becoming a Controller (though he was a rookie so somewhat more appropriate), they CONSTANTLY pull a Borg and send ONE ship to handle something that really should be done by task force, even 30 years into said war, they wave of Ax's concerns when he reaches the homeworld, and their ultimate plan is to wait until the Yeerks commit their full forces to Earth and quarantine it, despite having NO reliable intelligence within the Earth operation to tell when it's the perfect time to strike. In short, Andalite arrogance probably blinds them to the need to come up with something "harsher".
Doubly so as, when the Bladeship was designed, it was as a weapon to liberate the Yeerk homeworld, currently blockaded by Andalite ships. With people like Esplin, having an intricate knowledge of Andalite tactics and weapons (whereas the Yeerks were still infants to space, and had to build new standard tactics from scratch, while at war with the Andalites), designing the black axe monster, it was almost DEFINITELY designed for the specific purpose of destroying Dome Ships.
Also, due to our limited view of the war (we see about four separate engagements between Andalites and Yeerks, and one of them was by accident in TAC), we don't know the full range of the KINDS of wars being fought. The Dome Ship may be a superior listening post, espionage platform, transport ship, better battlestar, not to mention peaceful operations like science stations, and if it is stronger is many more areas...the Andalites may not see the need to compensate for that ONE weakness. (also, see above, Andalite arrogance)
Issue of the kids problems with footwear
It's stated that they can't morph shoes, only skintight clothing. Fair enough. On several occasions, being barefoot has also caused them problems as well. Why does it not occur to them to try and morph socks, seeing how they are also skintight?
And precisely how much use would socks be as compared to just going bare-foot?
Socks aren't skintight like spandex is anyway. Unless you want them to go around wearing nylon stockings.
What about ankle socks? And they learn to morph clothes other than spandex eventually, right?
The captured Hork-Bajir in #47
The Valley needs to be evacuated because said captured Hork-Bajir can lead the Yeerks right to them but somehow this Hork-Bajir is completely unaware of the fact that the Animorphs are humans? How do the Yeerks NOT manage to find this information?
Maybe that one Hork-Bajir was ignorant enough to not know what the Animorphs are/were? It's possible, given Hork-Bajir intelligence. Toby didn't have to tell all of her people who they were.
It's possible that not all Hork-Bajir have seen the Animorphs. Or maybe they just hadn't been to the Valley since that particular Hork-Bajir was liberated.
How do you know the Yeerks didn't find out that the Animorphs are human? Remember, they start investigating the idea only two books later. Even better, it explains why the Yeerks suddenly start considering the possibility that the Animorphs are human after ignoring it for three years.
I did consider that (and it explains why the Yeerks know to call them Animorphs) but that still leaves the problem of the Hork-Bajir not knowing what the Animorphs look like or their names. Maybe if the Hork-Bajir had only been freed a very short time ago I could buy him not knowing but they show up often enough that that's the only way it's plausible.
Even if the Hork-Bajir knew what they looked like, what good would it do? A description like "short, teenage black girl" doesn't actually help the Yeerks find anyone. And I doubt the Animorphs ever would have given a Hork-Bajir any useful info like a last name or anything.
In Visser we find out that Yeerks are capable of sharing memories with each other outside of infestation via memory dumps. If the Yeerk in the Hork-Bajir could approximate that they were teenagers then they could make sure that Chapman and other Yeerks with hosts that would be likely to recognize teenagers would see the memory of the Animorphs. If the Yeerk in the Hork-Bajir was not capable of telling about the ages then they would just need any Yeerk with a human host to see the memory to figure that out. It could have been done a lot easier and subtler than the blood drive.
Cassie the anomaly
If Cassie's mere presence will prevent any alternative timelines from taking root, why wasn't there a problem when Visser Four used the Time Matrix? Did that just not exist long enough for Cassie to cause it to start breaking down?
Possibly because the temporal switch took place before she was born. Thus, the new timeline was protected from her interference. If Visser Four had gone back a decade to futz with time, it wouldn't have worked; Cassie was around then.
Alternatively, Cassie seems the most "normal" of all the Animorphs (except Ax, who's history was unchanged, and Rachel, who we're only told about and might be different in other ways). That is, she seems to hold views much more in line with her "real" counterpart (albeit hidden from the others), treating the slaves well and objecting to the war in Brazil. This might be a symptom of her subtemporal grounding. As an aside, it's also interesting that the deck is still stacked, as the Drode puts it, Cassie is still in the Animorphs but Rachel (Ellimist's happy accident) is not. Since Crayak was willing to undo this timeline anyway, it makes sense that Ellimist would want to keep his trump card for later so Cassie never came into it.
Maybe there is a threshold amount of change that prevents anomalies from causing reality crashes. The timeline that broke down was relatively close to the true one. Visser 4's timeline was way off course by that point, perhaps too far for Cassie's presence to affect.
My theory is that Cassie only collapses artificially constructed timelines. Because Visser Four was actually physically going around changing the course of history by being present, it was a naturally constructed timeline instead of artificial like MM 4's, and Cassie was grounded in it.
The Animorphs getting caught in #50
Why, exactly, were the Yeerks so quick to show up after the Animorphs arrived? It can't be that they discovered the Animorphs were up to something with James and the others because the Auxiliary Animorphs were left alone and Cassie had no problems appealing to them for help. Did the room just happen to have a campera and Controller was on duty monitoring it all night despite the first center not having a camera at all?
The Council of Thirteen
So while the exact nature of how the Council works remains unstated, any one of the thirteen members could be emperor. At the time of Visser One's trial, there are nine Hork-Bajir, two Taxxon, and two that Visser One apparently couldn't identify because their robes were covering them too well. Everyone acknowledges that a Taxxon is pretty much the worst host ever since they can't control their hunger and even when there is no blood around they can't stop thinking about it. Being a Taxxon sucks so badly that many of them were willing to be enslaved by the Yeerks in order to try and lessen the hunger. Why would anywhere from two to four members of the Yeerk ruling body have Taxxon hosts? Surely they're not THAT short on Hork-Bajir.
You'd be surprised. It really all depends on how many Hork-Bajir there were prior to the Yeerks finding them (I assume not much more than 100 Million only because of the small portion of the planet they lived, and that their existence was highly regulated). Then take into account the virus that was released. No real numbers were given, but one could safely assume at least 50% (likely closer to 75%) died. But even on the low side, 50 Million hosts is not a lot in comparison to the numbers of the galaxy (or even compared to Earth)... But as to why not everyone on the council has a Hork-Bajir host? Unknown.
They are kept better fed than your normal Taxxon controller too, so the hunger may be less of a factor. Perhaps their Yeerk prefers the dexterity of Taxxon arms.
Besides, keep in mind, that all the infested Taxxons are voluntary Controllers. Not everybody wishes to contstantly cope with a struggling host.
Yeah, but even though it doesn't come up very often, Elfangor mentions there are voluntary Hork-Bajir controllers and Jake spots some on their first trip to the Yeerk Pool. They might be in the minority, but surely if one of the Council of Thirteen wanted a voluntary Hork-Bajir host, they could find one for them.
The reason for including Taxxon hosts on the Council of Thirteen is probably token politics. It is better for the loyalty of Taxxon-Controllers, and the Taxxon voluntary hosts themselves, if they have two of their own on the Council of Thirteen—having an empire where the whole Council of Thirteen is composed of Hork-Bajir would be like a world government where the thirteen highest members are all white men.
I don't think it's quite the same thing. The loyal Taxxons are in it for the steady supply of meat and because they hoped the Yeerks would be able to at least help with their hunger. They don't seem to have any illusions of being considered equals. Also, Yeerks switch hosts as they move up in rank. Everyone knows Gedds are horrible hosts, Taxxons are better, and Hork-Bajir and humans are superior to the first two. No one really cares what the Taxxons think and the Yeerks controlling Taxxons will get better hosts if they advance in rank. I doubt you'd ever find a Visser or even a sub-Visser stuck in such a species with such a serious drawback so it makes no sense to have the only people ranked above the Vissers in one. The Yeerk Empire is also not a democracy. It may not be stictly legal for those in power to kill their subordinates but there doesn't seem to be anything done to stop it. The Council doesn't need to try to trick the Yeerks into thinking that they care about them or can identify with them or any other reason to purposely pick an inferior host for their sake.
Maybe this particular taxxon and this particular yeerk just happen to go way back and enjoy each other's company?
Highly unlikely. In Visser, we get an idea of the Yeerk legal system. Incompetence and violating established procedure get death by Dracon beam. Murdering subordinate Yeerks gets exile to punishment duty. Contact with Andalites gets death by torture. The sentence Visser One was most afraid of was sympathy with a subject species which was punished by Kandrona starvation. Given that their entire society is built upon enslaving other sentient life, they can't afford to do anything less. Given the other charges levied and their punishments, this really seems like the worst crime a Yeerk can commit. If anyone even suspected that the two Taxxons were staying Taxxons because they were fond of a host they'd be out of there and probably killed. Not to mention that given that all that Taxxons can think about to the point where most of the race invited the Yeerks in to try and control their hunger (it failed), it seems quite unlikely that anyone would like a host that much to willingly choose to stay there, let alone two of the most powerful Yeerks in the Empire.
They're the bloomin' Council of Thirteen! They can do whatever they want!
And the question is WHY. But I don't think they can do anything they want. If the other council members thought that they were a traitor then presumably they could be removed. Sympathy with a host species is the most serious charge of treason that we've seen presented and Visser One was accused of a great deal. Besides, if any of them were the type to make friends with their host then it doesn't make sense how they'd climb the ladder high enough to become a council member. You have to fight your way up the vicious Visser hierarchy before you're appointed to the council, after all.
Not neccesarily, it's stated in Hork-Bajir chronicles that the Visser system is a recent development, and the Council of Thirteen has always been there.
Do you think it's been the same Council all this time? We know that one of the Council was Visser One's mentor and the Inspector of book 37 was being considered for the Council. Once the Visser ranks were formed, it's more than likely that Council members were appointed from the ranks of the Vissers instead of just the random powerless everyday Yeerks. And it's equally likely that if the path to Visserhood requires so much ruthlessness than the path to being even more powerful and important requires no less. Host sympathies is the sort of thing that gets you killed, not promoted.
It's already been stated that Taxxons are intelligent, despite their constant hunger. What if those Taxxons are just useful sources of knowledge or insight? It makes sense for a government to have advisors, so using your host as an advisor is convenient, while also bypassing the possibility that one's advisor might have ulterior motives....
My assumption was that it's a hedonism thing. Normally being a Taxxon sucks, but if you're constantly being fed it probably feels pretty good.
One of the members of the Council of Thirteen is the Emperor. If someone makes plans to kill the Emperor, which one of them would they suspect is the Emperor's host? A mighty Hork Bajir or a lowly Taxxon? Honestly, I don't think that's really the case, because having only one Taxxon would ring anyone's bells anyway, but it's an amusing explanation.
What does the dentist say about the missing fillings?
Since morphing heals all scars and wounds, and at least some of the Animorphs must visit the dentist once in a while, wouldn't there have been fillings that were replaced by whole, perfect teeth in the morphing process?
They seem like kids who would brush regularly.
Maybe the fillings are incorporated into the morph.
Unlikely, the devices in #15 didn't get incorporated into their morphs.
But skintight clothing is? Maybe they needed to focus on it (and just didn't for the device for some reason)? Or maybe morphing's just weird that way.
Perhaps, the devices were designed not to get incorporated into morphs.
Doesn't Estrid manage to morph normal clothing? How much you can incorporate into a morph seems to be something based on talent/concentration/practice.
This actually fits in with later books as the Animorphs gain the ability to morph more clothes.
This is a weird question. It's not like most people have fillings.
It's a valid one, though. #36 implies that Rachel at least has had fillings.
Rachel dying in vain
Even the book claims that she did but...did she really? Yes, Erek's actions stopped them from having any chance of stopping the Blade Ship at that time (as well as the Andalites being absolute morons and not even checking the coordinates Ax gave them) but it was clear that the Yeerk in Tom was going to kill everyone on the Pool Ship the minute he saw Jake and once Rachel killed him, the Blade Ship left without killing anyone but Rachel and even returned her body. It could be the case that Tom's Yeerk wasn't going to kill those on the Pool Ship until he saw Jake and panicked but Visser One feels that he is and Rachel hears Tom's Yeerk saying that Jake flushing the Yeerk Pool saves them the effort of having to do it themselves. Rachel's death may not have stopped the Blade Ship from escaping but it did save the lives of everyone on the Pool Ship and, because of that, the lives of everyone on Earth as the Andalites were blackmailed into abandoning their original plan. How, exactly, is this dying in vain?
When the Animorphs discovered that the Iskoort were really the Isk and the Yoort (formerly 'Yeerk') they understandably freaked it but they promptly calmed down once they learned that both species were engineered so that they cannot survive without the other. That doesn't answer one important question, though: Are the Isk sentient? If they are, are the Yoort always in control? The Yeerks could have genetically altered themselves and all Hork-Bajir so that they couldn't survive without each other and that wouldn't make it any less enslavement. Even if the Isk would have been raised to accept this unquestionably, that wouldn't have made it any better than the humans raised to accept it in Jake's nightmare future in #41. As for needing each other...the Yoort obviously need the Isk because they have no body of their own. Aside from the fact that the Yoort engineered the Isk so that they would die without the Yoort, what would the Isk be getting out of the arrangement? In the Hork-Bajir/Yeerk example, the Hork-Bajir would be getting nothing except life which wouldn't be in danger if it weren't for the Yeerks' meddling in the first place. Is it really okay that since the Yoort are restricting themselves to enslaving just one species what they are doing to that one species isn't wrong? Would the Animorphs be so fine with it if the Yeerks decided that humans were their one species they were going to force a symbiosis on?
Haven't read the books in a while but weren't the Isk created by the Yoort? They could have been made with no minds at all and would be an empty shell without their Yoort. No Minds = No Sentience = No Problem.
It might be possible (although #28 seemed to indicate that you couldn't just get rid of a person's free will because that was tied up in sentience and they didn't seem to be able to get rid of that) but what about the fact that the two can't live without each other? I can see why the Yoort would make it impossible for them to live without the Isk. If they didn't then they might be tempted someday to find better bodies and start enslaving. Guide said it worked both ways, though. What's the point in making mindless sentience-less creatures die without a Yoort? Making themselves feel better that they really aren't being parasites though the Isk still don't seem to be getting anything out of the arrangement?
It seems likely that the Isk were similar to the Gedds. Most likely, the Yeerks that came to that world were survivors from a damaged ship, and were forced to take primative hosts to survive. Over time, since they were confined to a single world, they lost their desire for conquest and decided on symbiosis. They modified the Isk to be intelligent, while at the same time making both species dependant on the other genetically for survival.
Getting rid of the sentience wouldn't be a problem if the Isk were created by the Yoorts. From the book, it seems like it was the case, the Isk were created by Yoorts, not a preexisting race altered to be hosts. In that case, the most likely is that they made them empty shells, with a brain that controls involuntary functions, but when the Yoort lives they just lie in a vegetative, unconscious state.
The Idiocy of Chapman
Okay, I think we can all agree that in the Andalite Chronicles he was a horrible person. I can accept that and accept that he's changed by the time the series comes around. Just the same: what was up with him offering the Yeerks Earth? What did he think that he was going to get out of that? He wouldn't be infested and would be given some sort of material power in exchange for the enslavement of his entire species? Why whould they honor that? Was he trying to get a ride home because he hated the Andalites that much? It makes no sense at all. It would be one thing if he had a rational if horrible reason to do so but he just seemed like an impulsive idiot trying to spite the Andalites. Also, if Loren already didn't trust him and she had a shredder while he was unarmed, how did he manage to capture her in the first place?
The plot demanded it. Elfangor even points out how stupid Chapman was later on, although apparently Chapman still didn't learn his lesson since he promptly tries to trick Elfangor into alerting the Yeerks to their position.
I'd say his sole motivation was fear for his hide. It wasn't about remaning free, let alone gaining any gains - it was about survival. He saw the power the Yeerks possessed and he didn't believe the Andalites would win (he even said something to that sound to Alloran). As a paragon of Dirty Coward he reasoned: "Sooner or later they'll find Earth anyway, and then it'll all about orbital bombardement and other unhealthy activities. Forget that, I'd better hurry up and stake my lap-dog position now!"
If the Furry Fandom completely absent from the Animorphs Universe? I mean I would have thought there would have been some references to them as Acceptable Targets if not some acknowledged Furry minor character that ends up with a big old case of jealously. In the final arc they could have even recieved morphing powers and found a way to go Anthro as sort of :-P to "expert morpher" Cassie. Still, it's rather unrealistic that Mr Internet Porn (Marco) would have never come across the Fandom in his "travels" and then not made some witty remarks about it.
I don't think Applegate or any of the ghostwriters would have wanted to touch on that subject.
I think the Animorphs may have had enough to worry about without a jealous Furry begging for the morphing power.
Remember, this was written in the 1990s, when internet fandoms were much more obscure in general. Even adults probably wouldn't have gotten it.
Did they even have furries back then? It seems like a fairly recent development almost unheard of before the rise of the internet.
As someone who likely would've classed themselves as "Furry" had they known back then, I think furries would've been much smaller as to be nonexistent at the time, the same way you don't see Otaku in the books. Also, the average "Furry" is much older than the given age of the Animorphs (as a kid, nobody really gives a crap about you liking animals or animal-based cartoons), and likely would've been ignored as a result of that anyway.
Infested World Leader
So we learn in #20 that the Yeerks are really looking to branch out with the invasion by trying to infest six major world leaders. What's more, they already have one. Sure the Animorphs bust up the summit and maybe the Yeerks can't find another opportunity to infest the five free leaders. Still, that's one powerful foreign leader as a controller meaning that the Yeerks do have operations going on outside of California. Why, then, do we never hear anything about this ever again? Do the Yeerks just decide that the summit being a failure means they should focus on conquering one town before trying for two continents and kill/transfer that leader?
I think considering the leader left, and the Animorphs became a bit preoccupied with David it may not have meant that much in the grand scheme of things. Besides, the Animorphs aim for most of the war was simply to hold the Yeerks back as much as possible until the Andalites got there. By the time they found out about the Andalites plan to use the Quantum Virus on Earth and decided to flat-out stop the invasion, the main thing they had to do was force Visser Three to surrender.
The issue isn't necessarily that the Animorphs didn't do anything about it (they probably couldn't have) but that we never hear about it. We don't even get a post-war mention of 'and it turned out the Yeerks were in France, as well' or whatever.
This is really more fanwank than anything else, but are we even sure the thing about an infested head of state was true? Like, I'm pretty sure they never encountered one that called them Andalites or anything. We know the Yeerks knew they would try to infiltrate the summit, what with the hologram trap and all, and I'm pretty sure it was already established by that point that they knew there were traitors among their ranks giving the Andalite bandits information, so it's possible they intentionally spread a rumor about one (or more) of the heads of state being infested to stop them from approaching any of them and telling them what was happening.
At the time the yeerks had no idea that the opposition was human. If an andalite group approached a human leader, at best it would be a host and the yeerks could try to do something. But even if it was a host leader, it still wouldn't have cost an andalite group anything.
Level of paranoia
So a few times they mention that they are always very careful not to reveal any relationships at school that didn't exist before they went into the construction site and became Animorphs. Obviously, they really need to be careful but...really? They think someone might find it suspicious for people who were not really friends to become friends? That a controller might say 'You know, Jake and Marco used to be best friends and Jake and Rachel were cousins but not close while Jake and Cassie liked each other. They never used to sit together at lunch but now they do every day. They must know all about our invasion and be the Andalite Bandits!'? It's not even like there isn't a perfectly innocent reason for them to be spending time together. Jake and Cassie liking each other means they spend time together and, as the best friends, Marco and Rachel often tag along. Thus, new friendships are formed and no one is even slightly suspicious. Besides, they publicly hang out enough at the mall and other places that the whole 'pretending to not really know each other at school' thing is kind of pointless and may confuse those who see them hanging out outside of school. It might even make them suspicious.
They're kids. They sometimes get paranoid about the wrong things. Heck, adults do too. I think they miscalculated, that's all. Plus, we readers have the benefit of distance and objectivity. The Animorphs are justifiably paranoid.
They don't pretend not to know each other at school... Just that they aren't as close as they are. Considering they're 13 at the start of the series and are willing to use their powers to fight an alien invasion and are able to keep it secret for 3 years while maintaining enough of their normal lives to avoid suspicion for the most part, I believe they've earned the right to be a little paranoid about the evil aliens who've almost managed to kill them thousands of times.
It says that they are careful not to reveal any relationships that did not exist before they met Elfangor. I'm not saying that they haven't 'earned the right' to be extra-paranoid, just commenting on how unnecessary it is.
The whole Z-Space/"Rubber band" thing in book 18
While in mosquito morphs to get Hewlett Aldershot III's DNA from his blood, the Animorphs' extra mass is hit by an Andalite ship in Z-Space. Toward the end of their adventure on planet Leera, the slowly disappear, one by one, with the disappearances speeding up. They "pop" back to Earth in this order: Tobias, Rachel, Marco, Cassie, Jake, and Ax. However, when Ax pops back to Earth (he's the narrator, after all), no time at all has passed on Earth, and all six Animorphs arrive back on Earth at exactly the same time. My question is, if no time passed on Earth, how were they able to accomplish what they did on the Leeran planet? Did all that take place before or after they morphed the mosquitos? It's not like the sario rip thing from Book 11 where Jake was in two places at once, and had flashes of being in the other location where the timelines overlapped. And it can't be like hypertime where everything took place in an instant. So how did it happen? When did the bulk of The Decision's plot take place?
I get that his escaping with the morphing cube and allowing Yeerks their first opportunity to become morph-capable warranted a promotion but...really? Head of security? Why would anyone in their right mind appoint the guy who failed to notice Jake was an Animorph for three years in charge of security? He's clearly very bad at noticing security breaches.
Head of Security. Under Visser Three. Considering how many problems the Animorphs have caused over the years and how much Visser Three likes decapitating underlings, I'm willing to bet that they can barely find anyone for that position anymore. They probably just stick anyone who gets a promotion into that slot, because someone has to do it and no one wants to volunteer.
The Dock Incident
So in #31, the first two attempts to neutralize Jake's dad failed due to 'vandals' and Jake accidentally throwing off the gunman's aim. Once Chapman had been kidnapped, they did need a lot of manpower to find him given that he was higher ranking than Tom's Yeerk and the Animorphs might have gotten a lot of information out of him had that actually been their goal. Obviously they had to divide their forces but...leaving Tom's Yeerk completely alone to probably cause a security problem when he died or killed someone? Really? They can't focus on two problems at once? And then there's Tom's Yeerk himself. Why in the world would he even actually go off to his probable death? He could fake his death, fake a kidnapping, all sorts of things. And once he did end up going, if his ultimate plan was basically just to run back to the Yeerk Pool (which would have been far easier to accomplish if he never went in the first place) then why would he need to kill Jake's dad? He could sneak off without committing murder and since the only reason he went was to preserve his cover, something like that would have completely blown it and made going pointless.
Maybe Tom's Yeerk wasn't thinking very clearly because he was going crazy over his possible Kandrona starvation.
The attempt to kill Marco's dad in #45
Obviously, the Yeerks wanted Peter infested or dead but why did they give up on infestation and go straight for assassination after one failed infestation? Granted, the 'Andalite Bandits' busted up the attempt but why not try again? If they thought that the attack was random then a second attempt should work out fine and if they felt that it wasn't random and the Animorphs had an interest in saving Peter then it makes even less sense for them to quickly kill him off instead of trying to find the connection. And why go staight for a suspicious death-by-gunman with no corpses in a safe neighborhood without even using actual human guns? If the Yeerks thought that the Animorphs would show up again to block the infestation then why did they think an assassination would work so well? Marco's plan to make himself and his father disappear without ruining the cover of the others or make the Yeerks suspicious would have been a lot harder had the Yeerks tried an infestation again but that hardly factored into the Yeerks decision.
Maybe it was directly ordered by Visser Three. The good Visser isn't exactly known for his patience.
The attempt to kill Jake's dad in #31
By all accounts, the attempt to get Steve infested at the Sharing meeting failed because delinquents just happened to smash some cars. The Animorphs had to be careful not to keep 'coincidentally' stopping the Yeerks going after Steve, but no one seemed suspicious after the one block. Why then did the Yeerks turn immediately to a drive-by shooting in broad daylight done by an important human-controller whose position is so valuable as to force Visser Three to keep a deal he made with a host? The fact that they really should have sent someone who wouldn't hurt the Sharing's reputation and the Yeerk cause if anyone had happened to have identified him as the shooter aside, why turn so quickly to murder? They couldn't have offered to meet with him at the actual Sharing building or, if Steve wanted nothing more to do with the Sharing, had someone go after him at his home/workplace/anywhere? They managed to pull it off just fine in #49. Yes, Jake would have interfered in any subsequent attempts but the Yeerks didn't know that.
This could have all been avoided if Tom's Yeerk had borrowed a portable Kandrona generator from someone.
And as explained further down the page, that would be impractical and out-of-character for the Yeerks, so that never would have happened.
Jake not being a nothlit after #6
Jake is infested by his brother's Yeerk, who was promoted (so he has to be somewhat competent). This Yeerk has all the knowledge available to Jake. And he doesn't even attempt to leverage the situation, after his failed escape attempts, with "Get this host to a Yeerk Pool, or he will remain a (insert animal here, but best the bet—dog) forever." Sure the Animorphs would likely have called the bluff... But the ultimatum should have been attempted.
I don't think there would have been any point in trying to force the Animorphs to do that. Jake becoming a nothlit would be horrible but it would not be as bad as Jake-the-Controller getting them and possibly their families all infested, thus dooming the only even token resistance Earth had. Now, if Temrash were really dedicated then he could have cripped the Animorphs by becoming a nothlit just for the purpose of taking Jake out of the war but I guess it comes down to Jake's observation that Yeerks as a species tend to quit when they know they can't win.
Beyond which, it's just such an obvious bluff, it would have been a waste of time. No Yeerk would ever waste a morph-capable host, and everyone knew it. Even the "take Jake out of the war" idea wouldn't work, since he could still continue to plan missions and command and do all that leader stuff as a nothlit.
And yet his usefulness would be greatly diminished. At least when Tobias became a nothlit he could still provide much-needed air support and was of some use in actual fights. Depending on what species the Yeerk chose to morph, Jake might not even be able to provide that. Plus, whose to say that the Yeerk would even die in three days? If the Yeerk were to morph a lizard, for instance, then the Yeerk body would have been incorporated into the morph so it wouldn't need its physical needs met. You'd have a Yeerk-controlled nothlit.
The yeerk probably didn't want to spend the rest of it's life as a lizard. Presumably, it didn't want to waste a morph-capable host as long as there was a chance of escape or rescue, and by the time it realized it had no chance, it was too weak to force Jake to morph. It's also possible that the Yeerk simply couldn't figure out how to make a human morph - Visser Three was the only other Yeerk ever to morph at that point, and he might have been a prodigy or something. We don't know how long it took the later controllers like Tom to master it.
It is not possible that the Yeerk did not know how to morph. He had already morphed several times by that point. He got morphing right on his first try, too. Presumably Visser Three got it right on his first try as well while other Controllers may have taken longer not because he's some sort of prodigy but because Jake and Alloran already knew how to morph and so therefore Temrash and Visser Three did, too. Temrash gave up any real hope of being rescued before the Fugue started so I doubt a lack of strength was a part of it (and indeed, Jake notes that even while the Yeerk is dying he still can't control himself so it's not like the Yeerk's control was slipping). It's possible it never occured to Temrash to trap himself, it's possible that it was the result of the Yeerk tendency Jake noted to quit when it's hopeless, and it's also possible that he'd rather die than spend the rest of his (presumably short) life as a nothlit. Becoming a nothlit would have destroyed the Animorphs by destroying their leader but Temrash either didn't have the smarts or the will to pull that off.
The Ellimist "stacking the deck."
At the end of Megamorphs #4, the Drode accuses the Ellimist of stacking the deck because the group of "random" Animorphs include Cassie the subtemporal anomaly, Ax the brother of Elfangor, Tobias the son of Elfangor, Marco the son of Visser One's host body, and Jake and Rachel who I guess really were just along for the ride. Cassie's unique value is clear since being a subtemporal anomaly is implied to be really rare and this guards against any attempt Crayak or anyone else might make to mess with the timeline. Ax's unique importance is a little less clear but perhaps his connection to the Earth-loving Elfangor makes him more inclined than another Andalite might be to break the law of Seerow's Kindness and to side with the Animorphs over his own people. Tobias and Marco, though? What exactly does being the son of Elfangor or of Visser One(/Eva) bring to the table? Finding out this information helps motivate Tobias and Marco, certainly, but the others find it within themselves to be motivated without this and surely other humans could have been motivated without this connection. It can't just be that Marco was related to a Controller as Jake is, too. Why were Marco and Tobias specifically chosen and not Rachel and Jake? It sounds more impressive to be able to say that about them but it doesn't seem to give them any added advantages in the fight.
Tobias' usefulness (besides being the eye in the sky) was particullarly evident in the first book. He was the most willing to believe Elfangor, he helped Jake believe that it all actually happened and he helped everyone realise that they needed to fight the war, if only to respect Elfangors dying wish that Earth be defended. In short, his connection to Elfangor made it easier for the Animorphs to decide to fight. Marco might have been chosen because his connection to Visser One would have made him want to free her from Yeerk control, removing a high ranking Yeerk. Considering what happened after the Animorphs freed Eva (Visser Three's promotion, the declaration of all-out war, the Animorphs actually getting help with defeating Yeerks from other humans, WINNING THE WAR), that was a smart move.
Tobias didn't know that Elfangor was his father, though, so that wasn't much good back then. I'm not saying Tobias wasn't useful, just that the fact that he happened to be Elfangor's son didn't seem to be of much use ever. And say Eva wasn't the host of Visser One. She still would have ended up dying in book 45 but the Animorphs wouldn't have shown up to try to save the random host so Marco being Eva's son still doesn't seem to be very important. He may have wanted to free her but this desire only led to keep Visser One around longer.
Tobias may not have known that Elfangor was his father, but he said himself that he felt a connection to him. Saving Eva from death alongside Visser One allowed the Animorphs to get direct information from the former host of one of the highest ranking Yeerk's in the entire Yeerk Empire. They wouldn't have made the effort save to the host if it was just some random.
Marco could probably be explained as a "half gamble". Would the Animorphs have gone through as much trouble to save Eva if she was some woman from Kentucky? Having access to her knowledge is important. And, as we know that Ellimist and Crayak don't tamper with free will, the Ellimist may have been gambling that since Visser One had an attachment to her previous human children, perhaps a similar response could be invoked for Marco. Ultimately that gamble lost. Sort of. Ax was probably more "the Andalite". It's why he had to be introduced so early in the series: the first three books were twisting at explaining how the Animorphs obtained information about Yeerk technology. Once Ax was on board, they had an access to ALL of his scientific and military knowledge, which though perhaps seen as green on his own people, was a comparative giant to the rest. It's safe to say they would not have survived without his help, and a full grown "grr" warrior Andalite or other Prince would have probably A) not wasted his time dealing with children. and B) would also have been appalled that Elfangor broke Seerow's Kindness. Ax wasn't as indoctrinated that he was at least willing to give it a shot, BECAUSE his brother (and Prince) entrusted the Earth resistance to our heroes. As for Tobias...positing a hypothetical: the Ellimist may have been able to bend the rules with Tobias acquiring his Human morph because there is a loophole in his contract, as he's not TECHNICALLY "supposed" to exist. Because his father was an Andalite, and written out of history on Earth, it may have been what made it possible to bend the rules for him. And retaining his Human form, however peripheral he may have treated it, was an important anchor to the team, specifically through Rachel, who always seemed to get through to him best with that form. And Tobias' importance was shown at least once: the De-Morphing Ray, which no other Animorph could have "broken".
This is assuming that the demorphing ray even worked which we have no conclusive answer on. I'm disinclined to think that it would have worked because how were the Yeerks going to study morphing to the extent that they'd understand how to break it? Visser Three, as they mentioned, certainly wasn't going to volunteer.
The Andalite language makes no sense
Why are the Andalite names strange words like Aximili and Elfangor when they use thought-speak and don't have a verbal language? Wouldn't their names be meaningful like Big Tree or Tasty Grass? For that matter, why does shorm mean tail-blade? Why not just say tail-blade?
Its stated that thought-speak uses universal imagery in addition to conventional words, not in lieu of; presumably those universal images cause what they say to be heard in the language of the listener, but nor for things like names where there is no meaning beyond the alien. How they developed conventional words I have no idea.
I don't see why the fact that the Andalites have no verbal languages means that it makes any more sense to start naming them after objects and descriptives and not something more unique.
Interestingly that's what they did before their thoughtspeak developed to such an extent (when they used sign language with a limited vocabulary). In The Ellimist Chronicles, Ellimist's wife is named Tree, and so are about 15% of the other females in the tribe.
Since when does "shorm" mean "Tail-blade?" I thought "shorm" was "a person you trust enough to allow them to put their tail-blade to your throat"...
To quote book eight: "Sometimes I think Tobias and I could be true shorm. A shorm is a deep friend, someone you never lie to, someone who knows all your secrets. The word shorm means "tail blade." See, it's supposed to mean a person you would trust so much they could put their tail blade right up against your throat and you wouldn't even worry."
How did the Andalites not just lose their words once the Ellimist left?
I get that the Ellimist taught them how to speak, but if their language is so dependent on thoughts, how would they just not have lost that ability a few years after the Ellimist left them? It's not like they have mouths, so they wouldn't need to think in words like we would.
They don't need to but it's part of their culture. And we only heard of a handful of Andalite words so perhaps they only still use a few important words.
John Berryman's Fate
Visser Four has been flung into the fire (why, instead of just letting it die or leaving it alone, Marco had to do this as his 'terrible sin' when they were about to stop all of that from happening is beyond me). Jake is dead. Berryman is dying. The Animorphs now have the Time Matrix and they have to prevent the events from occuring in order to put history back and save Jake. Cassie immediately jumps to 'we have to stop Berryman from ever being born.' Why? Just...why? I get that earlier in the book, they had been told that if Visser Four hadn't been in Berryman than that wouldn't have happened but couldn't they have gone a different less pointlessly horrible way of doing it than preventing his parents from ever meeting? Was Berryman an only child? Just how many people did they needlessly prevent from existing here? Why couldn't they ask to know how he got infested and do something about that? They could have asked how he moved into the area. They could have asked how he first heard of the Sharing. They could have asked what led to Visser Four discovering the Time Matrix and distracting him with a bandit sighting. There were a lot of things they could have asked. They could have even asked Berryman (who, being an involuntary Controller, has probably given this a great deal of thought) at what point could them showing up and distracting him have either stopped or delayed his infestation (thus giving him a different Yeerk who wouldn't discover the Time Matrix). Their identity wouldn't be at risk if they all morphed before using the Time Matrix and maybe focused on appearing in a place without witnesses. If they didn't succeed in distracting him at one juncture, they could have tried another and they'd know if they succeeded because they'd no longer have the Time Matrix. They should have gone the 'prevent Berryman's parents from meeting' route only after they ran out of ideas for stopping Visser Four from infesting Berryman and discovering the Time Matrix. Instead, they jump straight to one of the most horrifying acts in the series.
If the Animorphs had shown up to stop Visser Four from getting to the Time Matrix for no reason he probably would have wondered why and gone back to investigate with back-up. They didn't want to risk him showing up anyway and screwing with everything again. Basically stopping him from being born was easier than preventing any of a million other scenarios that could have gone terribly, terribly wrong. Besides that, they had just lost Jake. They were grieving for their friend/cousin/boyfriend and wanted revenge, even if Cassie would never admit it.
It depends on what the reason was. The Animorphs could have easily gotten the specifics from Berryman. If Visser Four had had some time to kill and thus decided to explore the construction site, if the Animorphs had shown up earlier that day, why would he take backup to the construction site? And that's assuming that they had an obviously-bandit type distraction instead of just morphing a dog and chasing him home or something. Aside from that, they had infinite chances as long as they didn't let Visser Four see them demorphed or get near the Time Matrix. And there's still the 'stop or delay Berryman's infestion' plan. I know stopping him from being born was easier but doing such a horrific thing because doing something else would have taken more effort just makes it worse. That them wanting vengeance on an innocent victim played into it still doesn't make what they did any better.
What about Homer?
What ever happened to him? I think the last we hear of him is in book 47 when Jean is taking him to the vet. Did Jake take him to the Chee residence? Was he left behind when Jake fled? Did the Yeerks kill him? Did the vet end up putting him down? What?
Everybody just knows Elfangor's backstory because of a letter.
As far as we know, Tobias only find out until that controller read him the letter with Aria/Visser Three. So, well. We know the rest thanks to The Andalite Chronicles. But after that incident, somehow, everybody knows Elfangor became a nothlit, married Loren, had Tobias, then the Elimist came in. The thing is... they only have a letter! The witnesses have forgotten all due to the Time changes going on witht he Time Matrix and the Elimist. And Elfangor ship (where he saved his last memories) was destroyed. Not to mention Loren got amnesia, and she was found later anyway. There was no way to know the rest. Yet, they did it. How was that possible?
How is everyone and what do they know that they shouldn't? Even Tobias knows his mother's name so it's not at all strange that literally anyone could find that out. Tobias and Visser Three both see the letter making it clear that he is Tobias' father and the Ellimist is involved. The Yeerks were actively looking for Tobias and so may have known about Elfangor and Tobias told all his friends at some point. Elfangor fully expected his ship would be gotten rid of so if he were saving his thoughts to the ship then that would be pointless. It was likely transmitted somewhere. We don't know what, exactly, was edited out of people's memories or how far back in time (if he was sent back in time at all) Elfangor was sent. Chapman remembers nothing, thanks to Loren's car crash she remembers little, Elfanogr remembered everything. Arbron remembered enough and so did the Visser. All that was really important for Visser Three to forget was how Loren humiliated him so perhaps all memory of using the Time Matrix was erased.
The Animorphs seem to know all the details even though there are large gaps in information that get inexplicably filled.
They Yeerks know it easy enough: they intercepted the transmission of Elfangor's Hirac Delest. Presumably he completed it before the kids found him what with the bookend. Finding a Lori who's husband had mysteriously disappeared some 15ish years ago wouldn't be beyond their resources. This would actually ALSO explain how a Yeerk found the location of the Time Matrix.
Her name is Loren and her husband didn't mysteriously disappear. The timeline changed so whatever happened to the human that Loren married isn't all that mysterious. If he died or abandoned her then it's a story that happened to a lot of other people and isn't cause for investigation. If they found the Hirac Delest then they'd know what she looked like but if that's the case then there's no way that Visser Three would have just left her alone given what she did to him. And Elfangor made sure not to mention where the Time Matrix was in his Hirac Delest because he wanted people to find his account but did not under any circumstances trust anybody with the Time Matrix. Visser Four just stumbled across it.
Tobias is definitely Elfnagor's son. The Ellimist showing him how his little life thread merged into Tobias' is proof of that. It is the problem with erasing it, yet not erasing it. Did she always assume there was a human counterpart to Elfangor in her memories? Did Tobias' birth certificate still say Al Fangor with no person there to match? It is also foolish assuming the Yeerks went after one child who fit the profile of being born to a woman named Loren 12-14 years prior. It seems more in character for Visser Three to simply approach all of them and have them removed/infested/whatever grisly fate he had in store. Loren also had a character shield preventing the Visser from taking action before she was reunited with Tobias, of course. Though perhaps the whole explanation boils to the Ellimist aborting the messed up universe and doing things beyond the comprehension of mere mortals to space-time.
I never said that Tobias wasn't Elfangor's son. The Ellimist told Elfangor that the child would be raised as the son of another. It seems to me that in the restored timeline she married and slept with someone else but, due to the interference, she still conceived Elfangor's son at the same time. The Yeerks didn't go after Tobias because he fit any profile. They had no idea that Elfangor had a son until a Controller lawyer came across a letter explicitly from Elfangor identifying Tobias as his son. Maybe Visser Three remembers Loren and maybe he doesn't (I'm inclined to think he doesn't since no one on Earth remembered Elfangor and keeping Visser Three from Loren was part of what convinced Elfangor) but if he did remember her then he must have decided that he had more pressing concerns than trying to hunt down one woman and that sooner or later she'd be a Controller anyway if she was even still alive. Once Chapman was infested and had no idea who he was, Visser Three may have assumed that Elfangor had erased his memory and erased Loren's, too, thus diminishing not only any need for revenge but any satisfaction he might have gotten from it.
Even though the Animorphs pledged to return to the cave after the Yeerk war was over and bring them to justice, they never do. In fact, it's never even mentioned again, not even as a brief footnote in the final book. Why
There is SO MUCH that they never mention ever again. They only mention Rachel's mother in the final book at the funeral and no other parents. We don't know if Ax had to kill Chaptman or not. We don't know what happened to former Controllers or if Yeerks and hosts who wanted to stay together were allowed to do that. There's so much that they don't mention. It's possible that while the Animorphs themselves had other things to do, they told people about the Nartec and someone went down there and stopped the horror show.
The Nesk are enormous wusses, and Tobias is a genocidical murderer.
So the Nesk were at war with the Mercora for a long time, but the appearance of the Animorphs (who basically get in there long enough to steal a nuke and get their asses handed to them by the Nesk ships) is enough to force them into retreat and launch a scorched earth strategy? And Tobias knows full well about this and proceeds to allow an entire race to die, not to mention every single dinosaur species?!
I don't think the Nesk were necessarily scared off by the Animorphs (though they may have worried that the Animorphs were stronger and more numerous than they actually were). As for Tobias, genocide is never going to be the morally correct option but I don't think his choosing to sacrifice the Mecora was necessarily the wrong choice. His logic about how the Mecora must die now (or at least soon) because no one has ever found a Mecora fossil so they can't have spread across the entire planet may or may not hold up but the fact remains that without either the nuke or the Nesk attack, the Animorphs would not have found their way back home. It's not just a matter of six people wanting to go home; the Animorphs are the only thing standing between the Yeerks and the complete enslavement and/or destruction of the human race. The Mecora and dinosaurs were doomed already, history told them that. Maybe they didn't originally die because of the Nesk and died a little down the road. Either way, their fate was sealed and if Tobias hadn't done what he did and the other Animorphs saved the dinosaurs and the Mecora, they risked averting what really killed the dinosaurs and thus letting them continue to live forever and preventing their own species from even evolving. Even if the dinosaurs did die off and the human race managed to evolve, there was still the fact that they basically screwed Earth by leaving them completely defenselesss against the Yeerks. I think Tobias made the right decision under the circumstances (though of course not the moral one) and so my issue with him is that he gave the Mecora false hope and pretended to help them. The vote was two to two before Tobias and Ax both voted to give the nuke to the Mecora, I believe, so if they had just both voted to go home then the Mecora at least would have been aware of their fate. That seemed unnecesssary and cruel of Tobias but I suppose he was trying to stop the other Animorphs (save Ax) from feeling the weight of his actions. This way, even the people who wanted to leave the Mecora to their fate didn't have to live with the guilt of killing them. And it's possible that, as nice as the Mercora were, if the Animorphs had said no then they would have tried to forcibly take the nuke. Terribly rude, of course, but it was their entire species on the line and this way they didn't have to take the risk.
Ax's useless translator chip
Ax doedsn't actually speak any language in particular since his species communicates through telepathy. Instead, they have translator chips in their heads that allow them to understand other languages after hearing a sample of it. Ax learns English this way and yet he can't help them communicate with the Spanish-speaking people in the rain forest (even though if he didn't get enough of a sample he could have just requested that they continue speaking and they'd hear his request in Spanish) and he never seems to hear enough of the Hork-Bajir or Taxxon language? Visser Three can speak Taxxon and presumably neither he nor Alloran ever bothered manually learning it and in the Hork-Bajir Chronicles Aldrea's whole family has the Hork-Bajir language translated.
Something that always bothered me, why didn't Jake send two Animorphs instead of one to take Tom out? Rachel nearly beat them all by herself, with another person in there as backup she could have survived. Why didn't he send in Tobias to help her, or even if his core team was occupied, another auxiliary Animorph? Sending Rachel to her death without any backup whatsoever always seemed needlessly pointless to me.
What happens if Rachel survives the encounter on the bridge of the ship? She has the bridge but the entire ship is full of morph-capable hostiles. The Animorphs on the Pool Ship fight to a standstill with the five of them, the freed hosts, and plenty of Toby's people plus the Yeerks see a better option in the form of the morphing cube. The Yeerks on the Blade Ship already have a morphing cube so they don't want or need a deal with the Animorphs. Rachel says that there were a half-dozen people she was fighting on the bridge so I'd put the highest number at eight. How many hosts were there on the Blade Ship? Tom's Yeerk said he wanted a hundred of his people and even if we take him at his word, that's still at least ninety-two people for two or three Animorphs to deal with. Could they seal the bridge off? Once the bridge lost contact with the rest of the ship, would Rachel and the others be able to get to any hosts in the Yeerk Pool and free them? Would they even know how to since morph-capable hosts would be under more security (and in some cases drugged, I'm sure, in the case of suicidal hosts or those willing to become nothlits) than the ones the Animorphs barely managed to free on the Pool Ship? Jake and Rachel didn't think that it would be a suicide mission solely because the people on the bridge would be too much to take out but because there was no way out and surviving with no escape on a Yeerk vessel is worse than the death Rachel received. She is actually REALLY lucky that the Yeerk that killed her was kind enough or respected her enough to actually kill her and not knock her unconscious and take her prisoner.
The Animorphs' deception in #38
So basically, the Animorphs play on the fact that the Andalites think that theyíre incompetent and liable to fall apart at the slightest set-back and stage a break-up so that they can spy on the Andalites and send Ax to them without arousing suspicion. Presumably, Ax is in on the plan but if heís aware at the time of the break-up (and not informed afterwards) then he thinks some very strange things like ĎI had never heard Marco speak so harshly to Cassie. But more shocking still was that Jake did not step in to silence himí when if he knew then he wouldn't find it strange or shocking that they were playing their parts to fool the Andalites. I know that the reason for Ax's narration is to lend credence to the unlikely event that the Animorphs really are over but in-universe it doesnít make sense.
A few thoughts: 1. The writers and editors didn't think through the implications of hiding the deception from the audience in this particular way. 2. Ax is thinking the thoughts he would have had if the deception were real, to better play his own role. 3. Ax knows the Animorphs will pretend to be unskilled, but does not know the details, so is surprised at how they actually act things out.
So what happens if you morph while you're pregnant?
Does the fetus get morphed along with you? For instance if you morph into a female jackrabbit you'll then be pregnant with a jackrabbit baby, and then if that's the case, what happens if you morph something that reproduces in an extremely different way from humans (a yeerk for instance), or a male animal? Potentially the fetus might go into Z-space and return to you when you demorph, but what happens if you become a nothlit? Could you travel around in Z-space and find the matter making up the baby and then knock it loose like when the Animorphs tried morphing mosquitoes?
I would imagine that people would take great care not ot risk it by morphing while pregnant. It might not be able to be avoided if you morph before pregnancy but I highly doubt that it would morph along with you and you'd be a pregnant morph.
Cassie's ethical issues
I find a lot of Cassie's ethical issues bizarre but none so much as her issue with morphing creatures that might be sentient. In book four, she actually asks how morphing a dolphin is any different than the Yeerks enslaving people. Rachel tries to point out that, unlike the Yeerks, they aren't enslaving anything but rather creating an entire new creature...which Cassie insists that they enslave. But the thing is, morphing doesn't copy over the brain of the morphed creature nor does it create a new one. All morphing does is copy the mindless body over and gives them the same instincts that animals - even sentient ones - have. If Cassie is 'controlling' the dolphin then it's no different then 'controlling' the bird because she's just ignoring their instincts. And humans have instincts that we ignore all the time. Whenever Cassie gets scared and doesn't run away, she's ignoring her instincts. By her own logic, that would make her no different than the Yeerks. And the reason that everyone is horrified by the Yeerks isn't just because they are taking bodies, it's because they are taking the bodies of sentient creatures that are forced to watch the Yeerks ruin their lives. If there is no sentience (as is the case with morphing) then there isn't really a problem. And while Cassie never outright accuses them of being Yeerk-like again, the refusal to morph a human or Hork-Bajir without their permission continues to cause problems until the very end of the series. Take book sixteen when they're trying to find the names of the people on the Yeerk chatroom. Cassie decides that's it's wrong to morph humans (more wrong than killing people, apparently) and so they all take a terrible risk that could get them killed or trapped by morphing their battle morphs and wandering around the office causing a distraction and hoping no one calls animal control or gets a gun. It just seems that the Animorphs have enough legitimate moral dilemmas that they should stop needlessly complicating things and wasting time on frivolous ones like this.
Frivolous moral issues are kind of Cassie's stock in trade, though. They had to give her something to do. Marco already had the market cornered on strategy, Jake's the leader, and everyone else fills a useful archetype of some kind. Someone had to be The Load, and Cassie stepped, uh, admirably into the position.
The Hork-Bajir Colony
How did they expand from the first two members? By the time Tobias stops by and meets young Toby, there are already plenty of others. I know that the Hork-Bajir are said to raid factories and seize Hork-Bajir but the average Hork-Bajir is the type to need to be told to not stare at the thing they're supposed to be hiding so I doubt they could come up with that plan and carry it out successfully multiple times by themselves. Are they having baby Toby planning everything? Is the Ellimist getting involved? The Animorphs don't seem to be as Toby doesn't even want them knowing what they've been up to.
You are overestimating their stupidity.
No, I'm not. I chose that example specifically because it really happened. In book 23, one of the free Hork-Bajir is captured by the Yeerks and the Animorphs spend a great deal of time trying to get him back. They find out that the Hork-Bajir have been raiding Yeerk facilities to free Hork-Bajir and a group of the free Hork-Bajir (four like their standard facility-raiding size) get themselves captured on purpose so that the Animomrphs (hiding in bug or spider morph on them) can rescue this captured Hork-Bajir. Tobias is chosen to demorph because he is the smallest and requests that the Hork-Bajir stand in a circle around him so that he can demorph without anyone seeing him. They do so and Tobias has to tell them to turn around because it's really obvious that they're hiding something. Maybe the Hork-Bajir already knew where the facilities were but surely sneaking in, pretending to be Controllers if need be, getting Hork-Bajir alone and then knocking them out, and taking them back to their camp without being seen requires something that people who literally don't get that hiding something doesn't work if you're looking intently at it are capable of. Do they wait for Toby to be born, realize that she's a Seer, and she plans this out for them?
They are simple enough for the example you cited, but not so much that the plan you describe is beyond them. It's a lot like what they did for years against the Yeerks on their homeworld, for one thing.
Yes, when Dak and Aldrea were leading them. Pre-Toby they had no such leader. Also, these were the people who got confused when Tobias gave them multiple directions on how to escape the Yeerks chasing them when they first met.
This might be Fridge, but how come no one thought of going to a Veteran's hospital and recruiting a few soldiers who are missing limbs? They'd have to be followed for three days to make sure no family member was a Controller, but you could be certain that the veteran wasn't (Yeerks wouldn't control the handicapped). For your efforts, you get experienced combatants on the team, and they get fully healed from their injuries.
The kids discussed this when recruiting the Auxiliary Animorphs - there was a general decision to avoid adults for fear of simply not being believed. Given the proof at their disposal, that is bullcrap, of course, but that was the basic reasoning.
The Animorphs adjusted to the war better than their parents did (except for Eva and Loren, of course) and Jordan and Sara handled it better than the adults as well. They believed children to be more open-minded and there was the concern that adults wouldn't take orders from the sixteen-year-old Jake.
Also, wounded Veterans DO have value to the morality of a western society. You can't take the chance that a Marine who had his legs taken away wouldn't become the posterboy for the Sharing.
Morphing tech would change the world, and not even as a weapon. Anybody with organ failure could morph their way back to health, making transplants unnecessary. Traffic would probably be cut severely by people choosing to go bird for short trips instead of driving. Going back to the medical application, someone like Stephen Hawking could be cured of his ALS by acquiring some healthy volunteer humans in a Frolis Maneuver, and becoming a nothlit in that form. Granted, he wouldn't look like himself, but he'd probably get used to it, and consider it a good trade. This would work for anyone that had a severe genetic disease (which plain morphing can't cure).
Morphing wasn't that wide-spread at the end of the series not because people couldn't see the potential. The Andalites had only just agreed to allow a few elite soldiers the ability and they had a lot of classes to take, some of which Jake taught. The previously xenophobic Andalites aren't just going to hand the technology over so that any impatient human doesn't have to fight traffic.
Tobias after the war.
I get that he's depressed over Rachel's death, but surely she wasn't the ONLY thing anchoring him to the human world? What about his, you know, humanity itself? What about his friends? Not to mention his MOTHER, whom he's been reunited with after over a decade and who would probably be happy to reconcile with. And he has an Andalite family he could connect with, since the Andalites can openly enter earth now. Seriously, Tobias has a whole bunch of people who care about him and he chooses to hide out in the woods like a bird over a girl he was in love with for three years.
A girl whose death was the straw that broke the camel's back. He clearly had a whole bunch of issues that built up over the course of the war. Rachel was one of the things which he personally felt kept him sane and human. He did have several other reasons to keep him in the human world but he wasn't exactly thinking rationally. Depressed and traumatised people often have trouble beliving in the reasons not to give up on life, Tobias had a easy way out so he took it.
My interpretation of it was that so many years in a hawk's body had totally destroyed Tobias' ability to relate to humans in a social way. Remember, after a while, he has difficulty making facial expressions while in human morph, and he even forgets his own birthday.
Plus, we have to remember that Tobias was more or less a psychological nightmare even before the war. He had abandonment issues from his parents, he was neglected and abused by his aunt and uncle, he was bullied at school... His ties to humanity were tenuous at best to begin with. Add in the ridiculous torments of the war, his grief for Rachel, and everything else, and it's not hard to see why he'd break away from people.
In book 31, The Conspiracy, why was Tom's Yeerk afraid of being away from the Yeerk Pool for more than three days?
Couldn't he have requested to borrow a portable Kandrona generator to take into the mountains with Tom's family? Sure, that would have eliminated the majority of this book's story, but it would have been smarter.
How portable is "portable"? Would it have been small enough that he could carry it around without his parents and Jake noticing? (He doesn't know Jake knows he's a Controller.) I doubt it, because if it was, there'd be no need for the Yeerk Pool in the first place; they'd just give everyone the portable generators.
They are probably expensive and complex. While sub-vissers and mid-level officers could get one for a few days, the grunts were probably not considered worth the expense.
We know that portable generators are the size of a suitcase from when Visser One had one. I also think, in addition to the Yeerk not being important enough, a problem was that there would be nowhere quiet and uninterrupted to set the think up for a few hours and the risk that someone would come across it. Actually, this incident and the fact that the Visser hadn't promoted him to a level where he could take a portable Kandrona and thus he nearly died might have been what started souring him on the Visser in the first place.
Don't forget also: Tom was an unwilling host. He only cooperated because they threatened to bring in Jake as well. It's one thing when Tom is in the Yeerk Pool under guard. It's another entirely to let an unwilling host go off into the woods with advanced technology that requires them to be left unattended for several hours.
How did Visser Three acquire his more dangerous morphs?
Visser Three has a ton of morphs that involve some kind of monster with skin that melts whatever it touches. He has the fire monster morph from the Nartec, as well as a full on acidic blob form. How exactly did he acquire those? You need to be able to touch something to get it's DNA, so how did he manage to touch those creatures without dying?
It's been repeatedly stated that non-genetic damage (i.e a poisoning or loss of limb) will be fixed as part of the morphing process. Vissor Three probably morphed immediately and then morphed back.
Ok, but what about the fact that he'd be acquiring something with a hand that just got dissolved.
The hand doesn't go away instantly.
It only takes a few seconds to aquire.
In one book Ax states that it's "possible" to acquire DNA from blood. If it turns out to be not possible, there's always the option of half killing the monster - maybe dumping something on the acid blob that neutralizes the acid - and touching it while it's dying. Tobias once acquires a dying Taxxon, so we know that works.
Another possibility. You need to acquire creature's DNA, right? Well, maybe that's what Visser was touching - he had the monsters killed, proccessed and their DNA extracted for safe aquisition.
In book 2, why couldn't Chapman stand and talk on his own very well? The voluntary Controllers have been shown repeatedly relaxing and socializing in the Yeerk pool while their Yeerks feed. He shouldn't have been out of practice using his own body.
How voluntary is Chapman exactly? He might be considered too much of a risk to be allowed to be totally free, but too voluntary to have to be in a cage. There might be some kind of middle ground.
I don't think there needs to be any middle ground. If they don't trust him to be in the voluntary area then they'd put him in the cages. The only alternative I can think of is drugging him but he's not morph-capable so I don't see why they would need to waste the effort since they could just lock him up. Given the threat to Melissa, I think he could be trusted in the voluntary area. I think this was just a case of this taking place in the second book before the details were worked out.
But Chapman's only a voluntary host to save his daughter: I don't see him chatting with the others in the pool. For how long the guy's been infested, he may well just sit silently until his Yeerk is done feeding, so he wouldn't have any practice with his own body.
Hork-Bajir Quantum virus
In the Hork-Bajir Chronicles, why do the Andalites create a quantum virus that kills the Hork-Bajir? Why not, y'know, the Yeerks? They don't even mention the possibility of it and shoot it down. They just flat out do not consider killing the Yeerks instead of potential hosts.
They try that in #38. I think the problem they were facing is that there were a lot of Yeerks who weren't on the planet and they can expand their population freakishly quickly by having hundreds of grubs coming from three Yeerks. It just seems more practical to wipe out the species that the Yeerks are acquiring that could make them an actual threat to the Andalites rather than just wiping out whichever Yeerks were on the planet and allowing the Yeerks to come back once the virus had passed.
Anyway, the idea was worth a shot. A virus that can kill Yeerks but leave the hosts alive wouldn't have ended the war, but it would have been tremendously useful to detect and rescue Controllers.
The Andalites objected to germ warfare on a moral basis (and the situation was not bad enough to make them desperate enough to publicly do that) but that was what Arbat was up to in 38. It turns out that because of the Yeerks habit of disappearing into other species, viruses targeting them have a habit of mutating.
Visser Three gets to keep the body?
Maybe Yeerks have some sort of "right of conquest" thing, but does anybody think it's weird that Visser Three was allowed to keep Alloran as a host? If I were in the Council of Thirteen I'd give him a big congratulations, a promotion, and an order to hand over that cool, morph-capable body to me or one of the other Councilors.
While having an Andalite host would be a nice status symbol, it would be utterly wasted on a Councilor since they never fight. Having an Andalite-controller on the Council of Thirteen would be embarrassing for the Andalites but it would not be nearly the horror of having Visser Three alternatively morphing and slicing a bloody swath across the galaxy. And since there's no point in taking the body for themselves, why take it from the only Yeerk who has ever been clever and daring enough to steal an Andalite and give it to someone who didn't manage to do that? Esplin really earned it.
It would probably promote ingenuity and the like by allowing Esplin to keep the Andalite host. It would show other Yeerks that if they are capable of taking an "all-powerful" species, they too will be able to keep it. It should also be pointed out that just because the Council didn't take the Andalite from Esplin, doesn't mean they didn't put him in positions to fail the Yeerk Empire(not get himself killed, but screw up so that he can be "punished.") If that were so, Esplin succeeding would have shown that he was more "deserving" of the host...
In addition to what's already been said, remember that there is one leader on the Council— it's just that no outsiders know who it is in order to protect them from assassination. Being the only Council member to have an Andalite host would probably make them a target, regardless of whether they were the leader or not.
Time Machine of Vagueness
So where exactly did the Time Matrix come from? Elfangor briefly suggests that the Ellimist created it in The Andalite Chronicles but the Ellimist never says anything to confirm it and the idea doesn't match what we see in The Ellimist Chronicles.
Given the Ellimist's ascension, it may be entirely possible that it was just spare bits and pieces of his power that still existed in a physical way, and that when he gathered the bits together they just naturally formed the Time Matrix
In-series indicates that the Ellimist created it for the use of the Pemalites. In #10, Erek reveals that the Chee first started masquerading as humans in ancient Egypt, while in the Andalite Chronicles it's revealed that the Skrit Na found the Time Matrix on Earth, buried beneath a pyramid.
During the Ellmist's time as a mortal he never indicated that he had anything remotely similar to time travel technology and after he and Crayak ascended it seems extremely unlikely that he would create a Time Matrix that lesser beings could use, much less give it to them (even Crayak gets scared at the idea of a mortal with that power). Besides that, if the Chee did have access to the Time Matrix then why didn't they ever use it to warn their creators and get away before the Howlers showed up? The last problem, even if the Chee did hide it there why would they hide at that point on the planet and not move it once humans started constructing buildings certain to attract attention?
Let's review the evidence, shall we?
1. The Time Matrix is buried beneath a pyramid on Earth, per the Andalite Chronicles.
2. The Chee arrived on Earth during the time of ancient Egypt, per The Android.
3. The Chee assisted in building the pyramids, per The Android.
While you are correct in saying that it is never explicitly stated that the Ellimist created the Time Matrix for the Pemalites or the Chee hid it away, it's pretty obviously inferred from the text. Entertaining your implausible scenario that some mysterious other creature or creatures placed the Time Matrix beneath the pyramids, there is absolutely no reason why the Chee would not have detected it and done something to contain it. If the Skrit Na could detect the Time Matrix, it's pretty safe to say the Chee could do so as well. I'm sorry, but you're trying to fabricate a conspiracy where none exists. Using your very tenuous 'logic', I could argue that Arbat survived #38, Tobias really did have a cousin named Aria, or hell, something even more implausible like Visser One cheating death in #45. If you're looking for something to be explicitly spelled out for you before you accept it as fact, I'm afraid you're reading the wrong series.
The Chee didn't arrive on Earth around the time of the Egyptian empires. They arrived at least tens of thousands of years earlier. The pyramids were built over a two thousand year period which means that we don't even have a guarantee that the Chee were anywhere near Egypt when the Time Matrix was put there. There's still nothing to explain why the Ellimist would ever trust a mortal species, even the Pemalites, with the power of time travel, there's no indication that the Ellimist developed the technology while mortal, nothing is ever said about the Pemalites to suggest they had the technology and that's not even addressing how improbable it is that Crayak would just let the Ellimist give it to them. Lastly none of that can explain why the Chee wouldn't use the Time Matrix or if they didn't want it to be used why they wouldn't keep it and never leave it near any large buildings likely to attract lots of attention. Ultimately either Applegate completely forgot about it, the Chee had access to a time machine but never used it to stop the genocide of their creators, or it was someone else.
How could the Chee possibly have stopped the genocide of their creators? The Chee are more than a match for the Howlers but the Pemalite were stubborn and stpuid and refused to alter the programming of the Chee so that they could be saved. Going back, they still couldn't fight the Howlers. Were they supposed to replicate Jake and Cassie's introduction of love or something? That never would have occured to them until Erek discovered the Howler's shared memory and by that time Crayak wouldn't let them do it and would immediately destroy any Howler that gets corrupted (I don't think that he'd need permission to kill his own pieces but even if he does he'd think it was worth it). The Chee can't even take the Pemalites into hiding because even if they managed to convince them, Crayak could find them and send the Howlers wherever they fled. The Pemalites strict devotion to pacifism meant that they were always doomed no matter how much advanced warning they got.
They could have always simply left the planet. If the Crayak had the right to tell the Howlers exactly where to find their next target then what's stopping the Ellimist from telling them what's coming? If Crayak won the right to tell the Howler's then why couldn't Ellimist demand that he play another game for the right to tell them a second time? Was the Ellimist willing to go to the wall for the Iskoort why not for the Pemalites? Or, if for some reason they couldn't shift the population even with the forewarning of a time travel device why not evacuate a select group for a colony? The Howlers clearly either couldn't or didn't go after the Chee even though Drode mentions that the Chee, as androids, aren't considered living creatures and aren't protected. Setting aside all of that, if we do assume that for some reason the Ellimist ignored the incredible dangers and gave the Pemalites a time travel device (and that Crayak let the Ellimist do this) what possible reason would they have to use it if not to prevent the extinction of their own species?
They did leave the planet. Or at least a few hundred Howlers and Chee did. The problem was that the Howlers chased them and used germ warfare so that the Pemalites died off. And since only a few hundred Chee escaped with theh Pemalites, what happened to the rest of them? I suspect that the Howlers found a way to kill them and were able to use it when faced with a planet full of androids who couldn't fight back and all the time in the world. As to what's stopping the Ellimist from warning them, I'm supposing it was whatever stopped the Ellimst from warning them in the original timeline. I suspect that if the Chee showed up with the Time Matrix and warned the Pemalites then all that would accomplish is Crayak sending his Howlers sooner than anticipated and the race dying off faster because the Chee would not be able to instantaneously get people to leave and Crayak was already watching that planet. Besides, Crayak and the Ellimist don't seem to approve of people using the Time Matrix to change the past if MM#3 is anything to go by. They're more open to people changing their present as evidenced in the Andalite Chronicles but even then all the Time Matrix was really used for was getting out of a black hole (and when they didn't save Chapman, the Ellimist did because he was needed or whatever though I don't see how he was relevant after that point) and then getting Loren and Elfangor out of an artificial dimension (and someone probably interfered to get the Visser out of there, too) and to Earth which is where they were probably going to end up anyway if they'd still had a ship. The only time alteration was just changing people's memories so they didn't freak out that Loren was a few years older which practically had to be done and was really minor. Hardly saving an entire race worth of meddling.
The original point was that they, by your argument, had a time machine. It would really never occur to them to go back even just a single (Earth) century and say 'big genocidal species coming, run'? Or even ten years earlier? Or forget running, just tell them to spread out across the galaxy. It's a big place to hide in and clearly the Howlers aren't permitted to go after everyone or the Andalites, Leeran, Helmacrons and other species would already be dead. Going back to my argument, if we're still working on the assumption that the Ellimist was at all involved with them then what exactly would stop them Ellimist from saying every time Crayak wants them dead 'play the game'. If the Chee and Pemalites have a time machine they can do this as often as they need to, which would force Crayak to play the exact same game for an eternity. Lastly, your own final argument seems to put the final nail in the idea that the Ellimist would have given it to them. The Ellimist and Crayak don't seem to want mortals using time travel. As long as mortals do have the device, they will want to use it and after they witness the genocide of their beloved creators the urge to use it will only grow. Even if we assume for some reason that androids can't it still would be incredibly easy to convince a human to do it for them. The only possible response would be to take it from them which, if your theory is correct, the Ellimist demonstrably didn't do.
Any use of a Time Machine results in millions (or hell, infinite depending on how you count) deaths. The Pemalites aren't capable of causing even 1.
When, if ever, was that stated? Who was going to die if the Pemalites, Chee or anyone else used the machine to prevent the genocide of the Pemalites? And if you mean that by indirect means any use of it might cause people to not live/not be saved in the future, you could make that argument about anything. Species dying off from a plague? Don't use technology to save them, it might cause deaths in the future. Species using a fuel and technology that will destroy all life on the planet? Don't use technology to warn them, it might cause deaths in the future.
Not that guy, but it never seems to come up in time travel stories that logically, any alteration to the timeline is technically killing trillions. A thousand thousand thousand lives that no longer exist because even the genetic combinations required for their embryonic state to eventually come into existence didn't happen a million years ago. If your system calls for a single timeline, then by definition, any alteration to that timeline means that you're snuffing out one reality to restructure it into another reality that suits your own whims. (This doesn't apply for eternist universes or universes with multiple timelines, of course.) Unless your fictional reality calls for it, there is no such thing as the soul, and a human life can only be defined by its, well, life. There's no ethical difference thus, then between time travel, and brainwashing/memory alteration/genocide on a societal scale. Just because you're replacing one system with another system just as complex, doesn't make it so that you aren't destroying the previous system.
Considering that this idea is not presented once by anyone in the entire series or even remotely hinted at I think this concept has widely veered into Poison Oak Epileptic Trees territory. Also even if we do somehow assume that this is how the Time Matrix would work that still doesn't avoid the problem that not using it would have the same impact of possibly preventing life from being created (which would create the issue of conflicting orders), doesn't at all explain why the Pemalites would ever have the Time Matrix in the first place if they couldn't actually use it and it can't get past one very simple thing we see in canon. The Chee have no limitation stopping them from getting other people to help them past any programming stopping them from using devices to hurt others. Therefore we have no logical reason for why the Chee wouldn't use the Time Matrix. From all this there's only one explanation that seems likely. Applegate never got around to figuring out where the Time Matrix came from.
It's all in the implications, really. The Time Matrix actually created a world when three conflicting orders were given to it, and when Loren and Elfangor used it to return home, they returned home to a planet where Loren was (and always had been) over eighteen. The Animorphs didn't think it through, but even they felt guilty about using the device to wipe out Visser 4's host's entire existence. It's good for the kids that they didn't work out all the logical implications of that choice. The device is basically the worst weapon in all of creation.
And? The Animorphs and a former Visser proved that it could be used without creating that problem, so logically if wasn't a weapon and the Pemalites and Chee had access to it they would have used it, and if it did have the unstoppable effect of killing all life with each use there's no reason ever remotely hinted at for why the Pemalites would have it in the first place or why the Chee wouldn't keep it safe. Are we really supposed to believe that the same androids who thoroughly infiltrated the Yeerks and went undetected on Earth for tens of thousands of years couldn't manage to fool a few Skrit Na if the Chee had known it was there?
The Animorphs' reaction to Cassie's betrayal
Marco tells them that Cassie voluntarily became a Controller and that the Yeerk in her head has probably turned them all in and their lives, their families' lives, and the war is pretty much over. The Animorphs don't consider the possiblity that Aftran will be won over by Cassie and their plan is to find her before she can destroy everything by reaching the Yeerks. And yet...no one but Marco is the slightest bit upset with her. At that point, Cassie probably ruined everything and they don't even have a moment where they're mad. They immediately start saying things like "Cassie must have had a reason", "I can't get mad at someone for not wanting to take a life", and "You really don't know, Marco? You really don't know why someone would not want to kill?" Marco's "What reason could she have for giving us all up to the Yeerks?" seems not only more sensible in general but a more realistic initial reaction to finding out that Cassie gave them all up for the Yeerks. Why doesn't anybody else get even slightly put-out that Cassie sold them out? Yes, Cassie's wonderful for not wanting to kill someone but what she actually did...They had no way of knowing how that was going to turn out and it's not even like at the end when they decide to let Karen go where they have Cassie's sacrifice (and the desire not to invalidate it) to inspire them. I would expect that even if they ultimately forgave her and understood they'd take the time to be mad for a minute first. That just seems like the most unrealistic reaction to anything in the whole series.
There's a very simple explanation for this: Cassie is Applegate's Author Avatar.
I mean, if he had time to explain everything to the kids and send one into his ship to get the Cube, then why didn't he have time to send one in to grab it while he morphed and domorphed (thereby saving his own life), then getting everyone out of there to explain somewhere else (somewhere safer!)? Yes, Visser Three would have likely continued looking for him, but he spent how many books looking for the "Andalite bandits" before they had to go underground? Ax managed to hide for all that time, so I bet Elfangor could have done it, too.
He might have been too weak to morph. Yes, the Animorphs manage to morph in worse conditions but they usually have someone to talk them through it and they pushed the boundaries of morphing far past what anyone else did so he might have thought he was too weak to morph.
He may also have not regained his morphing ability after the Ellimist returned him to his proper time. Remember that Elfangor was a nothlit in human form and restoring them is a Big Deal even for beings as powerful as the Ellimist. The best he can give Tobias is his powers without his original form, and Crayak doesn't even do that much for David when he recruits him. It's possible that Elfangor may have been restored to his original Andalite body, but at the cost of his morphing power. This would explain why merely being injured was enough to make him desperate enough to go after the Time Matrix again.
Elfangor explicitly states that he's too weak to morph in the Andalite Chronicles prologue.
Why do the Andalites believe in multiple Ellimists?
Is this just a case of fairy tales being distorted over time and the Ellimist's habit of always appearing in different guises? Because Toomin always refers to himself as THE Ellimist, never AN Ellimist, and yet Ax talks about him as if he's one of many. Of course, there might also be other omniscient beings running around (other than Crayak and The Ellimist).
Well, the Ellimist did split himself up into multiple bodies/ships with one shared mind way back when he was hanging out with the Andalites. Might of been a misunderstanding, with the early Andalites not getting that he was just one guy, and assuming that there were many "Ellimists" in the galaxy.
Actually, in early books the Ellimist does refer to himself as one of many (see: #07 The Stranger, #13 The Change). Even by #26 The Attack the Ellimist is referring to himself in the plural. It's not until the Ellimist Chronicles that we learn the Ellimist is (more or less) a singular individual. It's relatively easy to conclude that the Ellimist referred to himself in the plural and the Andalites concluded he was one of a race.
How can Tobias change to any other morphs besides human?
So hear me out. I've never read the complete series and haven't read most of them. However, I do know Tobias became a Nothlit after the first book. As a Hawk he could not morph into anything. Yet later in the series he gets the power to morph human and than can morph into any animal. Also, if Morphing tech existed why didn't Elfangor consider giving other Alien species the ability and save earth in secret? I know about the kindness thing but the idea never even crossed an Andalite's mind?
The Ellimist and Crayak are gods compared to humans, Andalites and assorted species. Maybe the Ellimist duplicated whatever energy the morphing device emits and used it on Tobias? Maybe it was something else. For a creature like the Ellimist, there aren't many obstacles besides Crayak. And who's Elfangor going to give the technology to? It's made clear multiple times that sharing Andalite tech has become a serious taboo if not a crime since they uplifted the Yeerks. Elfangor only gave the kids the ability because he was literally out of alternatives (i.e dying) and he was one short step away from being eaten. The guy didn't exactly have a lot of time to find some other species.
Thanks that is a good answer to my first question. However, in the Andalite book(s?) they never thought "maybe I should break the law just this once so we can win the war?" before Elfangor? I realize he only did that as a last-ditch type thing but it just bugs me that every other Andalite never once thought to break the rule before him. I guess AX helping them is breaking the rule but that was after Elfangor did it first.
Giving technology to other species is what caused the war in the first place. When Andalites decide to break the law in order to defeat the Yeerks, they seem to be more likely to resort to biological warfare in order to destroy the enemy they have, than to give morphing to other aliens races and risk creating more enemies.
We never really see the Andalites using the morphing technology for much (none of the Andalites in 18 had a bug morph so they could survive the destruction of their ship like the Animorphs did), aside from spies, and estreens, who morph as performance art. Visser Three has been running around since nearly the beginning of the war, however, and showing exactly how much damage just one morph-capable enemy can do. And the technology the Yeerks took from the Andalites appears to be just six small ships, portable Kandronas, and whatever knowledge they could get from the ships and Seerow. With this, they managed to come alarmingly close to winning and terrorized large sections of the galaxy for three decades or so. The most sacred law the Andalites have won't even let them tell people why they won't share anything. Ax isn't even permitted to tell the others that destroying the Kandrona means the Yeerks will start killing hosts to silence them. Giving another species morphing powers is no guarantee that they'll actually fight the Yeerks (David quickly lost interest in saving his planet) and even if they do they might become a large threat themselves one day.
The Ellimist made Tobias a morph-capable red-tailed hawk. He can morph human because the Ellimist let him acquire his past self. He can morph other animals because he acquires them too. He is in hawk form when he acquires them.
Aftran's Inexplicable Surprise
The Yeerks in general have a bad habit of forgetting everything that the Animorphs have pulled off and thinking that they must be really stupid and incompetent the minute they find out that they're human. Aftran, though, gets the most glaring example. She must know that the Animorphs destroyed the Kandrona back in #7. Even if she hadn't been on Earth back then (which was likely less than a year ago) then the huge disaster, massive deaths, cover-up, and then the scrambling after one of the shuttles was sabotaged and Yeerks started dying in public was something she should have heard about. Maybe something about why they were hiding the new Kandrona instead of putting it practically out in the open like the last one. And yet, somehow, she is shocked, absolutely shocked, to learn that Cassie knows what a Kandrona is after she's infested her. Was she under the impression that Ax found the Kandrona and destroyed it by himself? Or did she just fall victim to the typical Yeerk 'The Andalite Bandits are a serious threat we must watch out for...oh, wait, just humans? They've probably never even heard of a Yeerk Pool'?
Yeerks belittling the Animorphs
I know that it's perfectly normal to insult your enemies, but given that the Animorphs have been 'shifting a balance' and driving the Yeerks to frustration for three years, how exactly does making them out to be incompetent idiots benefit them? Because if a bunch of incompetent idiots have been more or less wiping the floor with your forces whenever they show up, then that really says something about your own forces, doesn't it? It's particularly glaring when Tom's Yeerk tells Jake he's never been all that smart. Yes, the Yeerk hates him and wants to insult him but this is still the guy who didn't notice Jake was an Animorph for three years and might never have noticed without that blood test. Yeerks are incredibly reluctant to acknowledge the skill or intelligence of anyone who is not a Yeerk, but there comes a time when doing it is just beyond stupid. They really should have been claiming the Animorphs were all prodigies or something or benefited from Andalite guidance and that they weren't like most humans who are totally inferior in every way.
The Chee lack of creativity
Okay, we know three important facts about the Chee. First, they want to protect humanity from the Yeerks, albeit mostly due to our symbiotic relationship with dogs. Second, they are made to be nonviolent. Third, they are geniuses with technology and science that put even Andalites to shame in many areas. So, why didn't they try to come up with a nonviolent solution, like producing nonsapient-but-compatible-as-host robot bodies for the Yeerks to make the invasion obsolete? They're friggin' robots integrated into organic society themselves, if there's anything they should be able to do, its make robots that can interface with organic stuff.
The Chee are really more interested in protecting the dogs than people. They might be more advanced in many ways but who is to say that one of those ways is in creating life or robotic bodies ther are good enough that Yeerks would take those instead of hosts? And how are they supposed to build the bodies? They don't really have resources outside of human resources and even then they lack access to them. Even Edriss only arrived on Earth less than a decade before the series started so who knows when the Chee found out about them? And just because they're advanced doesn't mean that they can do things instantaneously. For all we know, the Chee were trying to design robots that would work for that purpose but hadn't succeeded by the time the war ended. And how would the Chee even get the message about these 'bodies' to the Yeerks? And would they really be able to mass-produce them in sufficient numbers? And would the Yeerks even take them given that the leaders are all conquest-happy and robots can't be as pleasurable to control as a human host (which several Yeerks and Andalites praised for the pleasure capability)? And even if the Chee did have the power to create thousands of robot-hosts for the Yeerks, what is to stop the Yeerks from taking these robots and having Yeerks infest them in order to further their conquest of the rest of the galaxy? There is just so much that could go wrong and the Chee might make things worse. It's like when Cassie gave the morphing cube to the Yeerks and even though technically they could have all become nothlits right there, they just used that to continue the conquest and it was only when they were kind of forced to stop and become nothlits that they did so. Some of the Yeerks wanted to become a nothlit right away just like some might want to keep their robot bodies and leave the rest of the galaxy alone. But that really isn't enough to stop the invasion and it's not solely about the fact that the Yeerks believe that they need hosts. Plus, they're robots themselves. Very advanced, yes, but have we actually seen them display any creative brilliance that would be necessary for coming up with such a genius invention? Oh, and if the Yeerks were really that interested in building bodies for themselves instead of taking bodies, they wouldn't have wiped out the Arn. Wiped out a lot of them, sure, but once they knew of the Arn's easy ability to create life (which, sooner or later, they'd have picked up on when they kept infesting Aldrea's people) they would have stopped shooting some of them or using them for heavy labor and would have set them to work building them bodies. Even if they weren't capable of producing life without sentience, it would still be a lot more convenient and likely cause less outrage than invading other planets and enslaving naturally-occuring species.
Also, in Book 10 when the Animorphs first meet the Chee, Ax points out how advanced the Chee are and Erek says something like "we are merely the creations. Our creators were the great engineers", implying that being advanced technology doesn't necessarily mean they can make advanced technology. In the same book, we get the impression that most Chee don't want to interfere at all, even to the extent that Erek does before he meets the Animorphs.
Why didn't the Animorphs ever acquire Ax?
There may be some moral dilemma or some reason humans can't morph Andalites but I don't see it. Visser Three and his forces think the kids are "Andalite Bandits" for most of the series. Why not get Ax's form in case you get captured and need to fool the Yeerks into thinking that you're not human? Even if it didn't work and the Yeerks noticed all the five looked the same it should probably be a tactic the kids discussed.
They did. Tobias had an Andalite morph in The Test when he and Ax went to go acquire Taxxons.
There's an obvious explanation for why the 'Andalite Bandits' were never in Andalite form. They preferred to fight using their battle morphs and morphing or demorphing in the middle of a battle (unless you're Visser Three and usually have guards to cover for you) is suicidal. And how, exactly, would having an Andalite morph help in case they were captured? The only one it could help was Tobias because the others would have to morph Andalite from their human bodies and if the Yeerks aren't watching them thus giving them the opportunity to do that then chances are they'd be better off looking for an escape rather than hoping help comes in less than two hours. When Cassie was captured in 37, she stayed polar bear because the Yeerks would believe she wouldn't demorph just to be stubborn and in case you couldn't infeset a polar bear. They wouldn't believe that she morphed straight from polar bear to - inexplicably - human and then demorphed to Andalite. There's just no point in having an Andalite morph unless they were going to use it for battle and, yes, Cassie would make it a moral dilemma. She made them ask permission before they could acquire the Hork-Bajir when they had Taxxons closing in on them and in 43, Ax makes it sound like he's only cool with Tobias acquiring him because he's sort-of part Andalite. The kids would also need to do extensive training in order to be good with an Andalite morph and their other morphs work just fine. Just look at all the problems it caused in 37 when they all went polar bear to trick the Yeerks into thinking there were more of them but they were at a disadvantage because (despite the polar bear's superior power) they weren't used to the morphs and the new battle dynamics. It would probably also actually make them more suspicious. If they're Andalites then it might be insulting for them if the Yeerks thought that they were human but, otherwise, it's no big deal. If Visser Three accused them of being human one day because they were always in morph then it really wouldn't make a difference or influence their behavior. If, on the other hand, the Visser made that same accusation to a bunch of humans who then freaked out and started showing up in 'Andalite' form (and, controlling Alloran, Visser Three would see through that as fast as anyone else would see through everyone going into battle in Marco morph)...well, that's suspicious, isn't it? Maybe there's some merit to that theory after all.
If they are captured in human form than most of them would be able to just morph Andalite and than try to find a way out of there. As for training I think tactically Ax could probably teach them the "ins and outs" of how to control such a body. Or the others would at least get Ax to try and teach them. The Yeerks believe they are Andalites in human morph or at least suspect it from what I've heard, (I think it said in The Invasion that they thought the kids who escaped were Andalites in disguise because they didn't think they had any reason to be near the fighter) so even if all that is true it is something that I think Jake would at least discuss with Ax. I know they would than have to alter their apperence and hide but at least then any Animorphs not captured would probably not be seen in "human morph" and have slightly less to fear.
Actually, in the first book the Yeerks do not come to that conclusion. They believe that there were kids just walking home through the construction site (Tom suspects Jake) and coincidentally met Elfangor. That's why they had Controllers asking everyone and put the story about fireworks and looking for the kids who set them off in the paper. And since it was a fighter for one and no Andalite except Elfangor would have had an opportunity to get a human morph, it likely never even crossed their mind that what appears to be a straightforward case of witnesses to the killing of Elfangor were actually disguised Andalites. The Yeerks might believe that the Animorphs have human morphs but they never go after the "human morphs." And what would Andalites need a human morph for anyway? Gathering information or supplies, possibly, not going out in public and living life. And again, if the Yeerks didn't see the Animorph then chances are they couldn't capture them and if they somehow could then morphing to Andalite wouldn't be as useful as, say, morphing to a fly and waiting by the door to escape. And even if the Yeerks were stupid enough to believe that catching a human when they thought they were dealing with an Andalite was an Andalite in morph (why would a cornered Andalite morph a human? The fact that the Yeerks knew an Andalite was there and a human is the only one there isn't going to stump them) then there are a ton of people the Animorphs know who are Controllers and they run the risk of being identified, even if it's just after the fact and one of the Yeerk witnesses shared their memory of the 'morph.' Even if Ax could be persuaded to try and teach years of combat training to the Animorphs in a couple of weeks, there really is no point. The Animorphs were never caught in human morph and there was only a threat that they might have been with the Anti-Morphing Ray. There was a threat that they could get caught in morph while they were dying or be trapped because they couldn't demorph but there was never a time that they considered demorphing while captured and the Yeerks could see them (except for in 32 when super-impulsive Rachel doesn't even think that the Yeerks might be watching her and planning Rachel notes she got lucky). And if they do demorph then no one is going to believe that they're an Andalite.
Fair enough. Though wouldn't an Andalite still be a good tactical morph if they could convince Ax to let them teach them fighting? As long as Visser three isn't there they would have a decent chance against human controllers in that form.
If they were ever going to do that, they'd have Tobias learn how to fight when he's going to be in an actual combat morph and not just flying around distracting the enemy and providing air support. Instead, he usually morphs a Hork-Bajir because the blades they have all over their bodies are easier to fight with than the one blade that an Andalite has.
It would be totally weird to see 6 genetically equal Andalites roaming around. Even if Andalites look all the same for humans, Yeerks, that are used to fight them, would be instantly tipped off. Visser Three even has the eyes of an Andalite. Maybe it would be a stretch to deduce, just from that, that the bandits are all humans that acquired an Andalite, but, as a cover, it would be equally weird. Imagine yourselves facing an unknown enemy with the power to morph, you assume that they're human, but when you see them in their human, supposedly real, form, they're all exactly alike, a team of 6 twins. What would you think?
Can Humans become a Nothlit in an Andalite body?
If a human were to become an Andalite for more than two hours it would make that body their "main" one correct? However since Andalite's have the morphing power as a natural ability could a human avoid being turned into a nothlit by becoming an Andalite? Sure they wouldn't have their original body but they could change into any other creature and any other human besides themselves right? Or would the human's morphing power somehow override the natural morphing power?
I realize it is a strange question. It just never gets brought up in the books and I think it is an interesting idea.
It never gets brought up in the books because morphing is not a natural Andalite ability. They (like the Animorphs, the Taxxons, and the various Yeerks) only have the power to morph because of the morphing cube. Aside from the fact that we're explicitly told that it's not a natural ability, it wouldn't make any sense for it to be a natural ability for them because if that was the case then why would they need to create a way to give other species the poewr when they don't believe in sharing technology with other species? And what kind of 'natural ability' only gives you two hours to turn back? We know there have been Andalite nothlits with Elfangor, Aldrea, and Arbron. And in the alternate future of 41, Tobias does indeed become an Andalite nothlit when he stays in Ax's form for longer than two hours.
Really? Huh, never heard the morphing cube explanation. I thought it was a natural ability because I wondered how Ax got it when there was no morphing cube there. Or do does the military of their world all get this once they enter the military? Or was Ax on Elfangor's squad? Sorry it has been a long time sense I've read any of the books.
Every member of the Andalite military had the ability although they rarely used it unless they were in espionage. And it wasn't just the military who had the power to morph because there is a whole Andalite profession called 'morph dancing' where talented morphers morph in interesting or appealing ways in front of crowds.
So if a human acquired a morph-capable andelite would they be able to morph as well? Or is that filtered out along with injuries and the like?
Tobias became a nothlit in 41 when he acquired the morph-capable Ax and yet he wasn't still able to morph. The power to morph is a technology and not part of your DNA so acquiring someone morph-capable will not give you the power to morph to something else while in morph.
Why do the Andalites hardly ever use morphing for combat?
I mean really? With all the various species that we see Visser 3 morph into that are incredibly powerful, being strong enough to easily defeat the entire team of Animorphs in the deadlist animal morphs on the Earth and barely be scratched by Dracon Beams (at best) why is it explicitly stated the Andalites only use morphing for infiltration? I mean, it's not like they're solely fighting their wars only in fighters and other kinds of ships either, such as the hundreds of Andalites fighting on foot during the battle on Leeran. In other words, they've got what is potentially the most powerful weapon in the universe, why don't they ever use it?!?
It's not that no Andalites ever use it for fighting, it's just that most don't do it often. If it was never done, then Visser 3 (with Alloran's knowledge) would have been incredibly suspicious of the Animorphs fighting as animals. Andalite bodies are pretty suited for combat, so they don't acquire as many morphs. Also, Visser 3 was the leader of an invasion. It's likely most lowly Andalite soldiers don't have the time/resources to go to whatever planet they want to acquire whatever morph they want.
It still doesn't make much sense. When we see Andalites fighting on other worlds, they are always in their natural bodies; Given the monsters that Visser 3 turns into, couldn't the Andalite government establish an armory-zoo on the homeworld for warriors to acquire/train with more powerful morphs?
As rare as it is for Andalites to use the morphing power the way the Visser does, there's nothing inherently suspicious about a group of Andalites (or perhaps just one Andalite leader issuing orders to his subordinates) who also believe that morphing can be a powerful weapon. However, it's really not something that is necessary for Andalite warriors. They fight with ships and morphing does not matter, they fight with shredders and morphing does not matter, and they fight with their tails in which case their Andalite forms are perfectly adequate for the job. Morphing something large and obnoxious is not always going to be a good idea and the Visser isn't the type to care about collateral damage the way that the Andalites who don't want to be killing each other would. Besides, they probably never thought of using it like the Visser did until he did and he might have gotten the idea from Aldrea using morphing as her only way to escape him. After that, their pride would prevent them from copying the Visser and admitting he makes better use of their technology than he does.
I see where you're coming from, but the problem is that it's been stated numerous times that Andalites use morphing for infiltration, JUST infiltration, there's no mention whatsoever that anybody aside from Visser Three and the Animorphs themselves ever use morphing for actual fighting, despite the fact that there are creatures out there in the Animorphs universe that just a few of them could take out entire armies of Hork-Bajir and Taxxons like they were nothing during their ground battles. I know that it would be impractical for the entire Andalite military force to use powerful creature morphs as weapons with every soldier because each Andalite would have to be trained so each wouldn't submit to the animal's instincts and to be able to effectively use the morph, but I'd at least expect to see a few crack teams of battle morphers in each large scale battle. ...Now that I think of it, from what we actually see Andalites doing with it they don't seem to use morphing for escape (such as during the Ascalin incident, when only the Animorphs morph small and escape, the others just blow themselves up instead of trying to escape too) or just for simple healing either, they don't seem to use it for much of anything at all.
Which is a major flaw in their tactics and part of what makes the Animorphs ultimately more effective. The Andalites have severely underestimated the extent of the usefulness of morphing technology, whereas the Animorphs have pushed it to its limits.
What's stopping the Andalites from actually winning the war in the first place is their huge egos. They think they're the only worthwhile species in the universe. They refuse to work with any other species, they condensed everyone who isn't one of them, and hate admitting that other species can do things that they can't. From what we know, it's even not a stretch to think that the Yeerks went rogue in the first place because they got sick of the Andalites' attitude. Their reluctance to morph ties into this mentality.
Using birds of prey for travel
Why do the Animorphs insist on using hawks and eagles for long distance travel? You might not want to be a pigeon because they are vulnerable. But take geese for example: they could fly as a flock without drawing attention, fly tirelessly, and aren't vulnerable to predators when in flight.
Would you believe that it honestly didn't occur to them? They morph ducks and do exactly that in one of the later books. They even grouse to themselves about why they didn't think about it earlier.
Thanks. Guess they couldn't avoid Rule of Cool. Being an eagle is about 1,632 times as cool as being a duck.
In The Reaction Rachel describes him as some kind of creep and traitor to his species. The problem is that she never heard enough to say that he was willingly becoming a Controller. For all she knew he just assumed that the Sharing would help him move into serious acting (which was implied by what Visser Three said to him) and was forcibly enslaved. Certainly the worst we ever see him do is focus on his career over his fans and (when the yeerk is mimicking his behavior) act like a jerk at the talk show.
She's fourteen years old and had a kneejerk reaction to an unpleasant truth about a celebrity she had previously idol-worshipped.
Not only that but while the Yeerks may have needed to feed him some BS about helping his career to get near him, once he was on their boat they didn't need to be friendly and discuss things with them and so their only reason for doing so was that he was going to be a voluntary host. Additionally, he watched the Animorphs face off against Visser Three and openly cheered for the Visser. He knew something of what was going on and just had buyer's remorse afterwards when he realized just how much being a Controller sucked.
The fourteen year-old part may be valid but the conversation that Rachel heard was on the boat and from the bits provided just sounded like a guarantee of a better career. As for Visser Three, all he saw was a man transform into some kind of sea creature. Suspicious but still nothing to prove that he had the faintest idea that he was going to be helping enslave humanity.
It doesn't have to be true but it does paint a pretty strong circumstantial picture so, in the absence of any evidence showing he didn't know what was going on save his not wanting to be a Controller at the end, it's perfectly understandable that she would assume the worst.
Tobias' Pity/Hatred of Taylor
Now, I understand that Taylor is a horrible, horrible person, undoubtedly very much a psychopath, and probably wasn't very nice even back when she was human (before her personality merged with that of a deranged yeerk torturemaster), and given that she just spent half the book torturing him he probably isn't going to have a very favorable opinion of her. But one thing still bugs me: near the end, when he realizes how pathetic she is and tells Rachel not to maul her, he muses about he she was a bad person because she cared only about her looks. Okay, so she was vain - I'll give him that, and vanity is certainly not a virtue - but the way he's saying it you could think that she just heard the yeerks were offering free boobjobs and sold her soul to alien brain slugs for one. He apparently forgot the part where she explained (in however incoherent a manner) that she was horrifically disfigured and crippled in a fire, and that she was so completely surrounded by jerks that they all turned her into a social outcast the moment she lost her pretty skin. Can you honestly blame her for going with who, at the time, seemed to be simply a bunch of caring people who were willing to be her friends? The free medical treatment they were offering was just icing on the cake. She also specifically states that she didn't know about the whole "alien brain slug" part of the deal until they shoved her head into the pool - what exactly did he expect her to do? Run away? Fight them? She was in a wheelchair at the time. I'm not justifying anything she did or is, but you have to at least give her that.
She could not still be voluntary despite knowing what the Yeerks are now and despite the fact that they enslaved her mother. In that book, she acts like she loved becoming a Controller because now she's pretty again and gets even more power than popularity could ever afford her.
Why is Jake the leader?
Bear with me for a moment, I'm mostly talking the first book.
So, I'm going through the series again and the first thing that I'm noticing is that Jake is totally not suited to be leader. It actually seems that Rachel would make a better leader in this part of the series.
He's impulsive and aggressive when Visser Three eats Elfangor
He has to be told to go get the Escafil device by both Cassie and Tobias
He has to be talked into most of the things that he does.
He is typically reactionary to everything.
By contrast, Rachel is more direct, actually makes a plan, and makes frequent requests for information. She is also more likely to make better snap decisions and act upon them. It feels like their roles got switched around after the first part of the book.
Nobody wants to be the leader, not even Rachel. Jake has the biggest reason to fight at this point. I don't think it's fair to hold anything about the first time they found out about the Yeerks against then and Cassie and Tobias told him to do it instead of someone else or doing it themselves because he was the person they looked to as leader. Jake is also the only one with a real connection to everyone. He's Marco's best friend, Tobias' hero, Rachel's cousin, and Cassie's crush. They all know and trust him as well as or more than they do anyone else. And let's not pretend that Rachel's not still incredibly reckless at this point. She doesn't have much time to be reckless in the first book because it takes place over the course of four days but she still morphs while not properly hidden (though out of sight of the one Controller threatening them) and then by book two she's already morphing in public with little regard for the consequences until afterwards and lying to her friends about the fact that Visser Three has ordered Chapman to kill her if she shows up again. And she doesn't do it because she wants a chance to get more information from the Yeerks; she just wants to help comfort Melissa. She only appears not reckless if you are comparing her to her later self. Jake's initially reckless when it comes to his initial reaction to finding out about aliens and when he's getting used to the idea of Tom being a controller but those are situations that are making him reckless and not a core part of his personality like with Rachel. As he got used to Yeerks and Tom being a controller, the recklessness disappeared.
Yeerks and morphing.
In The Capture, the Yeerk in Jake's head uses his ant morph. But the Yeerk does not have morphing powers, it's simply controlling someone who does. It is not part of its host's DNA. How can it morph a creature smaller than itself? OK, so the Yeerks wrap around people's brains; they can clearly change their shape a bit. But an ant? Unless Yeerks are capable of shrinking, it should have just burst out of Jake's head.
Morphing has shown to be capable of affecting more than just the literal DNA of the user. That's how the kids can morph spandex. It was probably designed that way so that whatever benevolent organisms Andalites have in their bodies didn't get killed every time they morphed.
Acquiring morphs, and The Invasion.
First off, a wider issue with the series; why is it that only the characters who are about to do a new morph acquire the animal? Even if the others aren't doing it right now, more is better. Why don't they just acquire every animal they come across that could potentially be useful? There doesn't seem to be a limit on how many they can do, I'm sure Ax would have said something if there was. So why not have the morph there if they need it?
On to The Invasion specifically. They go to The Gardens to acquire some battle morphs. Only Marco gets the gorilla, but someone sees them stood there, so I'm willing to believe they just don't want the guy to come back and see them in the same place (although it doesn't even seem to occur to them that more than one person can have the same morph). And only Jake gets the tiger, but that's because they were in there by accident, and Marco was clearly too terrified to do any acquiring. Plus, this was before they met Ax, so maybe they just wanted a variety, and were scared of a limit.
However, when they find the others again, they find out that they 'just went on' acquiring more morphs. We only ever see one of these morphs, Rachel's elephant. For the series, Cassie uses the wolf she acquires in book three as a battle morph. So what, exactly, was she doing when she was supposed to be finding a battle morph? Yeah, it's Cassie, she doesn't like fighting, but she's already agreed to at this point. At that point, you should acquire a battle morph if you have any common sense. Tobias also doesn't do any other morph, but he was obsessing over the hawk morph by that point. Using it to go to the Yeerk pool wasn't a sensible thing to do, but I can believe it of his character. But Cassie... there's no excuse for Cassie.
Because they're kids, not military strategists. As the series goes on, they get better at all grabbing the same morph if it would be useful, but at the start they're just thinking "I like this animal, you like that one." Plus, maybe they think there's a limit to how many morphs they can have. You'll also note that in the epilogue book, with Jake teaching a new generation of morphers, he notes that many of the things they did were stupid, and his students need to learn from his mistakes (the specific example was going into battle with a morph you hadn't tested).
I acknowledged the thing about limits; after the fourth book, that shouldn't be a problem because they had Ax. I guess I could buy the thing about them being kids... but it's not exactly rocket science that you should acquire a good morph while you've got the chance. And still, what about Cassie? They went to The Gardens specifically to acquire battle morphs, the narrative tells the reader that Rachel, Cassie and Tobias have been acquiring morphs, and yet Cassie does not have a battle morph until the third book. That's just bad writing.
At least it was better than the show where her battle morph was a horse. Also, they do mention off screen morphing a few times, it is possible that whatever morph she picked up for battle at the gardens ended up not working for her as well as the wolf does. Tobias didn't just obsess over flight with the hawk, he obsessed with it's temperament as well, maybe Cassie just loved the wolf's "mind?"
In one of the books, they wonder if there is a limit, and Marco jokingly replies with "We'll probably find out at the worst possible time" keep in mind that Ax is also a kid, and that the Andalites didn't use morphing anywhere near as much as the Animorphs did, so it is easy to say that he wouldn't know if there is a limit either.
The updated books/Mobile Phones''.
So, as most of you know, the book series is getting re-released with supposed changes. The main thing is supposedly to remove plot holes that developed over the series, but at the same time, to remove the 90's references from the series and update them. However, this raises a question of how are they going to explain why these kids don't have mobile phones. We live in an age where 8yr olds have them, so why wouldn't a bunch of teenagers? There have been plenty of moments in the series where having one would have solved a lot of problems, so it will properly just create more plot holes. And then there is the case of parents checking up on them. Later on in the series, it doesn't matter since they have the Chee replace them whenever they need to, but there will be plenty of times when their parents try to contact them (such as the many times they have stayed out all day) and it won't work since they presumably can't carry their phone with them through the morphing process. Bear in mind that the series takes place whilst they are 13-16, which is still a time when your parents check up on you regularly.
Cell phones have tracking devices in them; they'll probably just tell their parents they feel uncomfortable with that intrusion on privacy and leave the reasons why to their parent's imaginations (they ARE the right age for that sort of pointless 'activism', after all).
But that makes no sense. The general public can't access the tracking device function.
Sure they can. It's advertised for parents to keep track of their kids. Of course, even if they wanted to keep their cell phones, they can't because they can't morph them, so they'll probably just tell their parents they keep forgetting them.
Just get Ax to disable the tracking.
Why did Cassie infest Mr. Tidwell in The Sickness?
Wouldn't it make infinitely more sense for Illim to just infest Tidwell as usual and have Cassie be the one in the plastic bag?
I do not think so. If Cassie was in the plastic bag she would be going in blind. She would not know where Aftran was being kept or how tight security was. And, depending on whether Visser Three literally broadcasts his speech so that all unhosted Yeerks can hear him or not, she might not have even known he was there. Tidwell would have no way of communicating with her and Illum would have to waste time trying to get her to understand his communication if he could find her in time to let her know. It makes far more sense to just let Cassie see what she's up against.
There's a little strategic value I suppose, but the part that really doesn't make sense is that Tidwell wouldn't want someone unfamiliar in his head - he got so used to Illim that anyone else would feel like an invasion. Plus, Cassie and Illim would have a way to communicate with each other: they both go into the Yeerk Pool at the same time, and it's been established that Yeerks can communicate with chemicals. Cassie would know exactly what she's up against, and Mr. Tidwell wouldn't have anyone unfamiliar in his head.
It would be a little awkward having someone unfamiliar in his head but he agreed to do it so it's not really a violation of his rights and his comfort level about something he agreed to is really the least important part of the mission. Saving Aftran so that she is not forced to reveal the Animorphs and the Peace Movement and doom Earth as well as Tidwell, Illum, and Cassie personally is far more important. And do we know for sure that Cassie would even be able to understand Tidwell or that they'd be able to find each other fast enough? It would just be inefficient and if the ONLY problem with the Cassie infesting him plan is that Tidwell is happier having Illum in his head...that's a really minor and petty concern. They did what they had to do. Maybe having Cassie there instead of Illum wouldn't give them much of an advantage but having Illum there would definitely not do anything for them assuming Cassie was capable of controlling Tidwell and could manage to pretend to be unaffected by the horror of the Yeerk Pool (which she managed just fine).
How did the Ellimist get extra senses after breaking free of Father?
So the Ellimist absorbs all the other minds, becoming a Mind Hive. It explains his extra intelligence, but as he flies over the ocean, he is also described as suddenly seeing and hearing much more clearly than he did before, since some of the creatures he absorbed had better eyes or heard different frequencies. But how does that work, when at the time he didn't have the physical eyes and ears of said species? All he had was their thoughts!
At the Conference Why Did The Animorphs Stay?
In The Threat Jake realizes that the banquet they're staking out is actually a trap for them and orders everyone into battle morphs. Why? It should have been pretty obvious that a trap would presumably be set up to kill them. Why not simply go to insect forms and head for the nearest exit. It's not as though the yeerks have a good record on catching insects.
Presumably he still didn't want to drop the chance that this actually was the real banquet. If they were in battle morphs, they could still speak to the presidents/prime ministers through thought speak to tell them the truth and also have a form for display; a whole crowd can't deny a talking tiger/bear/wolf/lion. In fly morph few would be able to see them, and even fewer realize the flies are the ones talking.
"New rule: never morphing ants again."
The Crayak has no reason to play the Ellimist's game.
They play the game because open conflict would cause massive destruction. But Crayak's goal is massive destruction, so why did he play the game with Ellimist?
They also play the game because they are immortal creatures and that gets boring after awhile. Say Crayak destroys everything. What then?
Also, Crayak doesn't want to destroy himself, and Ellimist stated that if they were to fight where they are, the destruction would extend to the higher plane on which they now exist, presumably killing them.
It's stated that the battle between the Ellimist and Crayak was so destructive, that it altered the very fabric of reality, causing Crayak to lose millennias' worth of effort spent learning how to control it. He doesn't want to repeat that loss of progress.
What happened to the other guys in Joe Bob Fenestre's chat room?
Go Vikes is a moron, Yrk H8er is an obvious Controller, Gump is some kid, and Joe Bob Fenestre is Visser Three's brother. But what about the other guys? Most of them seem to have an actual idea what they're talking about, and moreover, most of them — Chazz especially — seem to be really fucking competent! Why did the Animorphs never even try to get in touch with them? It's handwaved in-story by saying they live too far away, but A) they've hopped one out of two planes with no issues, and by mid-to-late series they're going to Alaska and Australia and the fucking Pacific Ocean, and B) if anything that only makes them more valuable to the Animorphs, as they don't live close enough to the only Yeerk pool on the planet to conceivably be Controllers. It's enough of an oversight that I actually think KAA planned another book for it — the end of #16 is too much of a sequel hook.
If they lived too far away for the Animorphs to contact then they lived too far away for the Yeerks to bother doing anything about, especially on a fringe chat room if they even knew about it. Visser Three and his complete lack of understanding of humans and Earth certainly wouldn't have ordered anything. They probably continued to be paranoid and then when the truth came out were horrified but got to say "I told you so." The only question I have is how they managed to get so much accurate information in the first place if they're so not involved.
I always just assumed Joe Bob Fenestre fed them information (plus some misinformation.)