This page contains SPOILERS for the whole series.
All the contradictions within the series are due to Loren using the Time Matrix
When Loren used the Time Matrix to return Elfangor and herself to their own universe, she specified that everyone would remember her being older. Because of this, instead of returning them to their original universe, it created a copy and sent them there. Since it isn't the "true" universe, Cassie's existence causes "glitches". Since no one notices these glitches In-Universe
, we must assume that Loren is better at creating universes then Crayak.
- Doubtful. The reason being that Cassie was grounded to what SHE thought was the correct timeline. Loren's meddling came years before Cassie was born, so Cassie would have no connection to it. It may be the technically true timeline, but Cassie wouldn't see it that way.
- All they say in the book is that Cassie is "temporally grounded." They don't specify that it has anything to do with when she was born.
- They say that Cassie was in one timeline but of another and that she had sensed that things weren't right and where she belonged even without her fully realizing it. If all these changes were made before her birth, however, she never would have been a part of the 'true' timeline and thus wouldn't have been even remotely aware of a shift that happened before her time or that she wasn't in a timeline she had no experience with.
KA Applegate is a genius.
Is deconstructing about five-hundred billion idealist tropes in a way that does not make us hate her not genius?
While it's well-known that Animorphs deconstructs a lot of the tropes used in Power Rangers, there are enough parallels between the series to make one suspicious.
First off, the obvious: Alien mentor recruits five teenagers to fight off alien invasion, teenagers use animal-based powers to fight, transforming into alternate forms via "morphing". Both series take place in California.
The characters have some pretty strong parallels, and their fates compared to those of their counterparts are used to show why something like Power Rangers wouldn't work in reality.
- Jake = Jason. Both are stoic leaders who agonize over decisions. Jake turns into a Shell-Shocked Veteran as a result of the horrible decisions he's had to make though.
- Marco = Zack. They are the wisecracking, "cool" sidekicks and the leader's Ethnic Best Friend. While Marco maintains his upbeat attitude in the end, it's clear that he's using it more as a shield to avoid going insane.
- Rachel = Kimberley. One of the closest parallels, and the one that changed the most. Initially, like Kimberley, Rachel was a bubbly, fun-loving "valley girl" complete with the whole shopping thing. Her entire personality changed to that of a ruthless Blood Knight not long after becoming an Animorph.
- Tobias and Ax both share Billy's role. Tobias is the nerdy guy befriended by the leader while Ax is the socially awkward genius kid. Two roles are necessary in Animorphs because in reality there's no way a teenager would be able to use half the technology Billy could. And while being a Power Ranger made Billy more self-confident and outgoing, Tobias just became even more socially withdrawn.
- As neither Trini nor Aisha were all that well developed, Cassie is pretty much an original character, but shares the Tomboy and Girly Girl dynamic the Pink and Yellow Rangers have.
Tommy and David fill the same role as Sixth Ranger Traitors
, but aren't exactly counterparts as Green With Evil required the Sixth Ranger
to be mind-controlled by the villains. While this could have been done by making David a Controller, Applegate probably disliked using the "he wasn't himself, so his evildoing doesn't matter" excuse.
I suspect Applegate may have based the storyline with David on the original Green Ranger saga from Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger
. Like Burai, David had a really traumatic introduction to the overall plot, becoming a superhero mostly out of wanting revenge for the loss of his family. Both of them undergo Sanity Slippage
during their character arcs. And both of them hate the heroes and villains equally by the end. Both characters manage to overpower the rest of the team put together. The difference? The Sixth Ranger Traitor
gets no redemption in Real Life
. Unlike either the Power Rangers or the Zyurangers, the rest of the team does not give him the opportunity to join them in the end, and willfully traps him in a Fate Worse Than Death
Finally, the villains. Visser Three, like Rita and Zedd, is extremely quick to anger whenever a plan fails and frequently blames his own failures on his unfortunate minions. However, the Yeerks as a whole are nothing like the bumbling cartoonish villains the Power Rangers have to deal with. And instead of using their technology and superscience to openly cause destruction (which would quickly provoke the combined militaries of every Earth nation into defeating them), the entire invasion is as subtle as possible.
This explains every contradiction in the series.
Tobias became a Nothlit
His home life sucked, he had no friends, literally no one cared about the guy, and compared to going back to all of that, the idea of flying all day was just too magical to give up. The merciless reality of the wild didn't set in till he actually had to face it firsthand. Corroborated by the way he spends every single moment he can as a hawk all throughout The Invasion, deliberately using the form as an escape, and in a later book, he refers to the moment he was trapped as a "choice."
- Cassie hangs a tragic lampshade on this in her first book as narrator. "And Tobias is never happy, period. He thinks if he's ever happy, someone will come along and take his happiness away." Hint: She's right. It's the author.
- As mass guesses go, this isn't very wild. It's pretty much ambiguous on purpose. It's possible even Tobias himself doesn't know. He wonders a lot about it when he's getting tortured.
The Yeerks were forced off Earth after #1 The Invasion, explaining every contradiction
The invasion of the Yeerk Pool was actually a resounding success, and they destroyed the Kandrona then and there. Afterwards the Yeerks left, and were killed by the Andalites, who were not the jackasses the series makes them out to be. Jake decides to write a book about his experiences. However, the other Animorphs found it, made some changes to it, and wrote sequels. THIS explains all the inconsistencies and extreme coincidences. It is simply a work of fiction for the most part.
- That is an incredibly cynical Literary Agent Hypothesis. Also, poor Tobias.
- The ending was changed so that, in the book, they didn't destroy the Yeerk Pool. Perhaps Tobias requested that he be allowed to keep his privacy and not have to deal with the fame, and so he became 'trapped.' No one would realize that the still-human Tobias helped save the world and should be famous; whatever other similarities they have, he's not a bird.
The Helmacrons are related to the Generations
Corporate and fungible sound like different terms for the same thing.
Helmacrons are Generations.
The Ellimist never mentions how big Generations are. The Helmacron's "take over the universe" personality could be the result of a charismatic Generation/Helmacron convincing several others that they were destined to rule the universe and then their "infecting" the entire species when they died.
The Skrit Na have the most advanced technology in the universe.
They simply use weaker technology when they visit other planets so that the other people in the universe won't try to steal their technology. Furthermore, they've implemented technology to ensure that the Time Matrix can't be used against them; hence, they took it to the Taxxon world rather then back to their home planet.
- This makes sense. They were said to be an advanced, space-faring race since before the Ellimist even attained some semblance of godhood.
The unknown ship from the last book was a Space Hulk from Warhammer 40,000
. Furthermore, the One is a daemon.
The beings that caused Jake's dream in #41 The Familiar played a large role in the series.
Some of their other actions:
- Making it so none of the Yeerks would notice that they never encountered Erek's Yeerk in the Yeerk Pool.
- Why would they notice? It's a big pool with thousands of Yeerks in it. The fact that an individual Yeerk never encountered Erek's wouldn't be surprising and they would have no reason to poll people on whether they've ever encountered that particular Yeerk since it infested Erek.
- Putting the Animorphs' excess mass in a location where it would be hit by the Ascalin.
- Preventing Tobias's injuries from healing during In the Time of the Dinosaurs.
- If you read behind the scenes stuff, that was because KAA forgot about it
- "Hiding" the Morphing Cube where David would find it.
- "Telling" the former Visser Four where the Time Matrix was hidden.
- One issue of note: there's no evidence to indicate the entity from The Familiar was part of a collective. Unlike the Ellimist, it does not refer to itself in the plural, Indeed, it does not refer to itself at all. So there's no way to know if it is a singular being or a group of beings.
Erek and the Chee brought the Time Matrix to Earth.
The Ellimist created both the Time Matrix and the Pemalites. The Pemalites created the Chee. The Skrit Na finding the Time Matrix is the catalyst to Elfangor and Loren's adventure, which is the catalyst to Visser Three and Elfangor's rivalry, which ends in Elfangor creating the Animorphs. Obviously, the Ellimist wanted all of this to happen. He had his "grand-creations" bring the all-important Time Matrix to Earth and set the whole mess in motion. The clincher? The Time Matrix was found beneath a pyramid, and Erek mentions helping build them soon after arriving on Earth.
- Elfangor brought the Time Matrix to Earth when he came with Loren during The Andalite Chronicles.
- Yes, but they only got their hands on the Time Matrix AFTER the Skrit Na took it out from under the pyramid. The whole reason Elfangor, Arbron and Alloran went chasing after the Yeerks and Skrit Na was to get the Time Matrix back. Their original mission was just to drop Loren and Chapman off on Earth and erase their memories.
Elfangor and Aldrea (and, by extension, Tobias and Toby) are descended from the Ellimist.
The Ellimist spent time as an Andalite and had Andalite children. Somewhere waaaaaay
back in Elfangor and Aldrea's family histories are one of those kids. This is why the Ellimist is so interested in Elfangor and Tobias, and why he brought Toby into his master plans.
- Although, since it was literally millions of years in the past, this would probably hold true for a huge chunk of the Andalite population. Hm, that's probably how they developed thought-speak.
- It was mentioned that they had thoughtspeak before he got there, but thoughtspeak was rudimentary in much the same way as the speech of early humans likely was. The Ellimist breeding with the Andalites gave their offspring a boost in inteligence. All living Andalites are his descendants.
Rachel doesn't die; she is saved by Crayak, who erases her memories and uses her as a minion, sort of like the Drode.
Crayak and the Drode were showing way too much interest in her potential to let her disappear.
This might be part of an agreement with the Ellimist - conveniently, Rachel only dies once the war is won. Crayak and the Ellimist had struck a deal where the Ellimist could keep her as one of his pawns for the duration of the war against the Yeerks, and then Crayak could get her. (Her choice in #7 should have removed her from the front lines of the war.)
- As an extension, the Ellimist told her his backstory because he knew he'd be sending pawns against her. He was hoping that she'd remember at some level and switch sides back to him several millennia into the future.
The Drode is not an individual entity or servant to Crayak, but a PK phenomenon centered on Rachel that Crayak manipulates
This explains his ugly appearance, his careless attitude, his humorous-psychopath demeanor, his appearances' restriction to Rachel-centric stories, and even his name - "Drode" means "Wild Card", which refers not to him, but Rachel.
- Elaborate on this one a little further. Are you suggesting the Drode is some sort of psychokinetic construct that is independent from Crayak and only manipulated by him? That's a little hard to swallow. A lot of the 'explanations' cited also feel flimsy. Since when is Rachel the wildcard, for example? If anything, David is the wildcard of the group, unless you're referring to Jake and Rachel being the two 'wildcards' in the Ellimist's plan. And if that were the case, wouldn't Jake also have some kind of PK phenomenon-based construct for Crayak to manipulate?
Rachel becomes a servant of the Ellimist.
She's already openly rejected Crayak's offers; it was a moot point by #48 when she realized that no power he could give her was worth the price of her soul. But notice how she only dies when the war is over. She was an important servant of the Ellimist during the war. Once she died, he was able to bring her in on the game. Crayak has the Drode, so we know they can have direct servants. And Ellimist made a point of comforting her and explaining to her why things are the way they are, explaining the secrets to her at last.
It's likely that, when she died, Ellimist would take her into their higher dimension and make her one of his ambassadors. This would mean that she still exists. Therefore, since the war is threatening to erupt anew, she may have reason to assist the remaining Animorphs.
- Agreed. As much as Crayak wanted her, he probably made an agreement with The Ellimist about who would get her if she died. It went along the lines of Crayak getting her if she died in battle or in a moment of anger (in his opinion, the most likely scenario), and The Ellimist getting her if she died at peace or in a moment of clarity. During her Heroic Sacrifice, one of her last words was "I love you" — a moment of clarity! The Ellimist then swoops in and brings her up to speed so she can understand what she's going to do from now on.
- Related: Starfish!Rachel is how he can pull this off. She's dead, but as long as she's serving the Ellimist, it can be arranged that only half of her persona is dead.
- But which half? The Ax-Crazy half or the Shrinking Violet half? Neither seem very useful.
- Wimpy Rachel. Confidence and directness can be taught, and the Ellimist has all the time in the world (and then some) to do it in.
- Or maybe the Ellimist just assimilated her consciousness.
- Although, the book does mention Ellimist watching as the line of her existence fizzles out into nothing. Even if he wanted her, it sounded like she was gone beyond even his reach.
All the extremely unlikely events that worked in the Animorphs' favor were moves made by the Ellimist in his game against Crayak
This includes the Time Travel
incident that warned Jake against stealing the bug fighter, the morphing cube surviving the destruction of Elfangor's ship, and their mass in z-space being snagged by an Andalite ship.
- Sounds logical. It's a convenient handwave because they are a pair of "gods" in this universe playing galactic chess with the space-time continuum. In fact, there are quite a few moments like that, where it seemed someone was intervening. Good theory.
- Visser Three is incompetent because the Ellimist put a stupid, murder-happy Yeerk who fights with a sledgehammer and kills anyone with the brains and gut to make useful suggestions like how the 'Andalite bandits' may be human in charge of the important invasion of Earth. Seriously, Chapman and co. mentioned the possibility in #4 The Message but nooo the Visser will eat them for breakfast. In the Andalite Chronicles the Ellimist put Elfangor back to 'fix' the timeline but left things that would benefit him, like Tobias' existence, as they were. Visser Three's promotion from the capture of Alloran, "the greatest intelligence victory in Yeerk history," could have been one of them. That's how that idiot of a Yeerk ended up in charge of Earth.
- He seems smart enough in the Hork-Bajir and Andalite Chronicles but I guess on the other hand, he did completely forget about his original host when trying to infest Aldrea and completely forgets how useful he finds the idea of a stealthy infestation by the time the main series comes around. He did also manage to infest Alloran but his plan for that seemed mostly to rely on other people being stupid and/or unobservant. If Elfangor hadn't seen Chapman capture Loren there would have been no reason to think the Yeerks ever got ahold of them but he didn't seem to have a real plan for capturing Alloran. Had Elfangor not refused once again to kill those Yeerks and Alloran not refused to let it go and had Elfangor not panicked and knocked Alloran out and then immediately left the humans alone with him, it wouldn't have happened so it might very well have been more blind luck than skill.
- He seems to have risen to power mostly by being the first, and probably for a long while the only, Yeerk to study the Andalites. He was the only person to know the best way to defeat Andalites, so he won more and got promoted. It was mentioned in the Hork-Bajir Chronicles that he was obsessed with powerful Andalites. When he infested Aldrea, he couldn't wait to open her memories and feel what it was to be an Andalite. Having an Andalite host became his ultimate goal; once he got what he wanted, he became giddy and a little unmotivated.
The Ellimist put the morphing cube in Elfangor's ship
Why would he be carrying the Escafil device around in his personal fighter? The Ellimist simply popped one into being after Elfangor staggered out of his ship, having already cleared the Animorphs' creation with Crayak (as implied in Back to Before
Elfangor suddenly realized that he could give morphing to the humans because the Ellimist just zapped his head with that knowledge, in the same way Tobias suddenly knew about the would-be Hork-Bajir valley in The Change.
Let's face it, the guy usually operates via Dei Ex Machina.
- That leaves the question of how he even knew it was there. Did the Ellimist inform Elfangor of this fact after he crashed, did he just spot it in the ship, what?
The Gardens is Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo, California
(Now known as "Six Flags Discovery Kingdom".)
Think about it: It's been revealed that the series takes place in California somewhere. Both The Gardens and Marine World combine elements of a theme park, a water park, a zoo, and an oceanarium. No other park in California (or the West Coast) is like that.
- Jossed by reality, as Marine World didn't become a part-theme park until 1997, when the series (which launched in 1996) implied the Gardens had been that way at least since the Animorphs were young children.
- K.A. Applegate started writing the series in Florida, so it's probable that the Gardens is simply Busch Gardens, Florida. The description of the Animorph's home means it has to be placed in either Florida or California - but the wildlife and mountains are clearly Californian, so it had to be placed there. In other words, the Animorph's hometown is a Composite Character of Florida and California.
A morpher's mind goes to Z-space with his or her original body and controls the morphed body remotely.
It's like Neon Genesis Evangelion
's EVAs. At one hour, there is 100% synchronization, and the mind is equally split between the original, grounding body and the morphed, controlled body. At two hours, when synchronization hits 200%, the mind is more used to the morphed form than the original form, and it can't go back and
switch the bodies at the same time. A nothlit cannot regain the morphing power because the natural link to his or her own body has been severed; the artificial link to the morphed body is not strong enough to handle the morphing process.
That time the animorphs got stuck in z-space had nothing to do with the size they tried morphing. It was because of the lack of a proper mental link.
Time spent in morph counts toward how hungry the original body is, but not vice versa,
because the original body is kept intact while the morphs are made from and returned to the nothing in z-space.
- Makes sense. There aren't enough neurons in some of the smaller morphs' brains (such as the insect morphs) to support the mental processes of a fully functional human mind.
The One was the being that caused Jake's hallucination in The Familiar, hoping to study humans before he had to fight them directly.
Furthermore, The One is also the being that forced Crayak out of his own galaxy before he met the Ellimist.
The Yeerks are the victims in the series, the Andalites are the bad guys, and the Animorphs (for the most part) are pawns who do what Andalites tell them.
It is incredibly important to note that a Yeerk taking a host is a natural function. Humans kill animals to eat; the human thrives at the expense of the animal. This is not good
, but it is natural
. Similarly, Yeerks take hosts - they benefit at the expense of the host body. This is not good
, but it is natural
. To expect Yeerks to not take bodies is akin to expecting humans to not eat meat — it can be arranged, but it will cause discomfort and difficulties, especially if they are breaking an established habit.
One must note that while Yeerks themselves are
usually no more bastardly than the average human, there can
be genuinely evil Yeerks.
Now, let's review the evidence:
There is no Crayak.
The Ellimist's experiences with Father are enough to drive anyone off the deep end. After he defeats Father, he absorbed dozens, if not hundreds, of minds. He had more knowledge than anyone was ever meant to have, and he explicitly mentioned the sensory overload and impulses to move body parts he didn't have.
All of this, combined with the millenia he spent wandering alone, drove him crazy. And then the Crayak shows up, an opponent who is always strong enough to challenge him and to drive him to greater achievements, but never quite good enough to defeat him.
The Crayak is a split personality the Ellimist unknowingly created to give himself purpose in what would otherwise have been a long, lonely life.
- So then, the Ellimist and Crayak are the Sentry and the Void respectably?
- "Never quite good enough to defeat him"? When he first showed up, it was the other way around. They played games across the galaxy and Crayak always won (or won disproportionately often). Sure, he didn't kill Ellimist outright, but that's because he was toying with him and probably appreciated having a near equal as much as Ellimist did. It was only after Ellimist ran away and Took a Level in Badass that they actually turned their considerable power against each other.
- That wouldn't invalidate the theory. So the Ellimist's crazy side was stronger than him. It's happened before.
- Which logically leads to…
K.A. Applegate is a Controller.
The Yeerks do exist, and she wrote the books to ensure that no one would believe anyone who told them that the world was being invaded by alien slugs.
- Whoever wrote this theory is also a Controller, taking advantage of the fact that TV Tropes generally dismisses every WMG concerning reality as "not real, just for a laugh/making some odd sense." Therefore, you, writer, are trying to make us think your theory is too wacky to be true. And it almost worked...Tom.
Marco has an Oedipus complex.
Which explains why he describes his mom the way that he does.
Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas is the theme song of Tobias
Just listen to it.
I am convinced this song had something to do with his character development somewhere along the line.
- If Book 23, The Pretender, is ever (seriously) adapted into something, this song should play over the credits.
Visser Four from #18 The Decision and Megamorphs #3 is Visser Two from #46 The Deception
Ok, bear with me for a moment. First of all, Visser Two is unlikely to be the "missing" visser from the earlier books because he's fiercely loyal to Visser One (that is, Esplin 9466, formerly Visser Three) and it would be extremely out of character for a Yeerk Visser to show so much loyalty to someone promoted ahead of them like that. So it stands to reason that Visser Two was a lower ranking visser who got promoted at the same time as Visser Three. In #18 a Leeran controller mentions that Vissers Three and Four are very good friends. Visser Two doesn't remember the events of Megamorphs #3 because that timeline was erased, and the Animorphs don't recognise him because he has a different rank and host.
- Then what happened to Visser Two? Err, pre-Big Promotion Visser Two? Well, he or she could've been offed by the Council, either for supporting Visser One somehow or for unrelated incompetence (perhaps Two finally cost the Yeerks the Anati system somehow?). But, since this is Wild Mass Guessing, maybe Two got promoted - to the Council. After all, even Yeerks die of old age eventually.
- Promoted to the Council? Oh my god, Visser Two is Garoff (the Council spokesman in Visser)
- The Council is elected, not appointed.
- Says who? That doesn't sound very Yeerkish, and it doesn't mesh with the Council's stated purpose in Visser (to basically be twelve decoys in case anyone tries to assassinate the Emperor).
- But the reason that the former Visser Four infested John Barryman in the first place was because he was demoted following the loss on Leera. Why would the Animorphs making it so the former Visser Four had to infest somebody else get him promoted back up to Visser Two so quickly? He was hardly going to be in a position to do anything spectacular to regain his rank after Leera.
- He called in a favour from his "very good friend" Visser Three. Probably the same way he might have ended up on Earth to find the Time Matrix in another reality, come to think of it. If that's what happened, it would further explain his unflinching loyalty to Visser One (formerly Three) once he becomes Visser Two.
- That does make sense. Had Visser Four not discovered the Time Matrix when he was controlling Barryman, he would have still ended up being Visser Two because Visser One wanted to have someone powerful on his side for once.
K.A. Applegate is warning us.
- But Yeerks are smarter than most of the people leading our world, and they would need the environment to stay decent so they can keep their hosts alive and actually enjoy having good host bodies.
- Ax states outright that they'll wipe out whatever they don't see as strictly necessary for producing and making hosts. Most of Earth's biodiversity can go fuck itself as far as they're concerned. Just look at what they did to the Hork-Bajir homeworld.
- Yeah, but Ax was spoonfed Andalite propaganda. He's not exactly a reliable source on Yeerk plans.
- Define "decent." Hosts can live in much less than ideal conditions. And even if the Andalites are completely lying about what the Yeerks do to planets, we saw the Hork-Bajir Home World and the Taxxon Home World as well as two nightmare futures of Earth where it indicated that Ax was totally right. And Temrash seemed convinced thath if nothing else the Yeerks would go about wiping out thousands of species just for convenience.
World leaders who don't appear to care about the environment are trying to make things worse for the Yeerks.
If the environment is hostile to us, then it'll be even more hostile to the Yeerks when they take over.
Then again, if the world leaders cared, then they would just start a nuclear war.
The Ellimist is the G-Man
, or vice-versa
The Ellimist's ability to stop time - and his use of it to deliver exposition and orders to the heroes - is suspiciously similar to everybody's favorite briefcase-carrying Chessmaster
. Even their MOs are the same, using carefully-placed pawns to fight "evil". Both of them appear as ordinary humans, but there is almost always something not quite right
with them. Sure, the Ellimist is, on the surface, kinder, but he doesn't have the strictly-professional Doctor Freeman to work with, he has a bunch of teenagers. Brings up the question of what Crayak is doing, though...
- This leads to the idea that perhaps...
The Half Life universe is one in which Visser Four succeeded.
Not much is known about the Combine as a whole, but they have enslaved many different species throughout a number of dimensions. Their leadership is a mystery, and they control populations through mind control, something Visser Three was looking into. It's possible that they are just occupying Earth until they can ship enough Yeerks in for a full, planetwide infestation. After all, they are invading and occupying quite a few other worlds as well.
This was all brought about by John Barryman's yeerk realizing a new point in history he could exploit. The Black Mesa incident interfered with the Time Matrix and opened up hundreds of new worlds to invade. He set off and built his own new empire, and then came back to start the Seven Hour War.
Someone (Crayak? The One?) created the Yeerks.
Think about it: how the hell could they have evolved naturally? Did the local animals fall head-first into a pool every ten minutes? Even if they did, what advantage would there have been to traveling that way before they evolved their control abilities? The abilities couldn't have come first, there would be no point.
- Entirely possible and likely, though given the Elimist and the Rules, its more likely that if Crayak made them simply engineered them from something already existing. Like the Iskoort. Elimist created the Pemalites and Chee, and by The Rules, this allowed Crayak to make the Howlers, who were set against and defeated the Pemalites. Elimist modified the Andalites by giving them Thought-Speak and Uplifting them a bit, so its only fitting that in response, Crayak isolated a group of proto-Iskoort and the gave the proto-Yoort the ability to pull a Grand Theft Me and set things up to set his engineered creatures against the Elimist's, just like he did their wholly original creations.
- The Pemalites (and possibly the Howlers) were created before The Rules. If Crayak did create the Yeerks, he would probably have done so around the same time (I say probably. The timeline's a little hazy for The Ellimist Chronicles, what with all the dinosaurs and proto-Andalites). The Yeerks would have had to have been around for some time, assuming the Iskoort really are related (which really must be the case, considering)
- Or Crayak took a group of Isk and separated them from the majority of their species. That's how the Ellimist got away with some of his "free moves", including "stacking the deck" during the war: Crayak had already made a big move by separating Yeerks and making them more parasitic.
Crayak is the good guy and the Ellimist is the bad guy
The Crayak wanted the Iskoort destroyed so the Yeerks (his chosen race) would never submit to the tyranny of the Andalites (the Ellimist's chosen race). The andalites have proven ruthless and manipulative, and the Crayak wanted to prevent the militial destruction of Earth, under the guise of "defending the universe's sentient races." The yeerks couldn't try to find a paceful alternative, because the moment they did, the andalites would decimate them in order to rule the cosmos. Which is also why the andalites get involved in conflicts: to get rid of any race that may interfere with their universal monopoly. All along, the Crakay has been trying to destroy races with potential for aggression. Since the Ellimist engineered the andalites, the crayak couldn't touch them, so instead made the yeerks develop into what would eventually threaten the andalites' control. The ellimist used time-shifting and elfangor to construct a team of wildcards to ensure the andalite race's dominance in the universe. Also, the Kelbrid are fairy tales imposed by the high command to make them seem to be peacemakers.
Some selfish-gene speculations about Yeerk evolution
The first datum to explain is that the Yeerks obviously have a very strong drive for individual status. The second point is that they have a very un-individualistic means of reproduction: the individual Yeerks who reproduce die in the process, and produce hundreds of offspring at a time. The third point to remember is that Visser Three and the other high-status Yeerks live a long time without ever reproducing: The Hork-Bajir Chronicles implies that Visser Three is one of the oldest Yeerks alive today, and he is about forty years old. Which may not sound that old, but remember that most animals on Earth have a far shorter life expectancy than that—especially animals with the size and fecundity of the Yeerks.
Anytime the species produces hundreds of offspring for every three parents, it has to be the case that only a few individuals are the lucky ones who get to have distant descendants. It's also the case that only a small minority of Yeerks get to control a host species, and most of them don't.
Now, the thing to keep clear is that the drive to infest a host and climb the status hierarchy wouldn't be there if it weren't helpful in a strategy to be one of the Yeerks who does reproduce (possibly an unconscious strategy rather than one deliberately pursued). The desire to have a powerful position and a strong host seems obvious to humans and also to Yeerks, but the Yeerks would only evolve to be motivated this way if it helps them reproduce. If the best way to reproduce were to just be hanging around the Yeerk pool at the right time, then evolution would favor the Yeerks who spent all their time in the Yeerk pool, and not exploring the world in a Gedd body. And this is so even though it's presumably beneficial to the group to have plenty of Yeerks with host bodies, who can do far more things in the world than a mere unhosted Yeerk.
From here it's obvious that the Yeerks in hosts must be the same ones who reproduce. It's most likely that the actual process of reproduction uses nutrients that are only available to the Yeerks who have a Gedd host. And in fact, if the Yeerks with hosts have these fierce competitions with each other, it's likely that it even matters which Gedd they live in, that a Yeerk may need to be living in one of the best Gedds before it has a chance of reproducing properly.
So that's the ancestral environment that Yeerks evolved for: a world with Gedd hosts that are needed for reproduction, and apparently no other useful hosts. On the other hand, things are different today, with all the other host species. And it certainly doesn't seem that the highest-status Yeerks today, the Council of Thirteen and the Vissers, are the ones who reproduce. They also have their choice of host bodies, and they choose to inhabit one of their strong host races rather than a Gedd. Just as some men would rather pursue status and become Pope, even though they will have no descendants that way; so most Yeerks would rather pursue status and become a Visser, live in a powerful Hork-Bajir (or human, or Andalite) host body, and still leave no descendants. Their status-seeking instincts tell them that the stronger host bodies are the best ones to live in, and the Gedds are much weaker than most other host bodies. But in terms of reproductive activity, the Yeerks who live in an actual Gedd are the ones who reproduce, and so in the Yeerk Empire today, there is no longer a correlation between very high status and reproductive success. (But the Yeerks who live in a Gedd are still higher-status than the unhosted Yeerks, and probably higher than certain other low-status species in the Empire. Also, it's likely that high respect is attached to reproduction itself even though it obliterates the individual identity of the Yeerks who participate in it.)
So that's the situation with the Yeerks: The life story of an evolutionarily successful Yeerk would be to infest a Gedd, reproduce, and probably take only five or six years at most to do so. But the successful Yeerks today, like all of the Yeerks who the Animorphs meet, are the ones who win the competition for a powerful host like a Hork-Bajir or human; and their life doesn't end after five or six years since they're not reproducing, it's the Yeerks who were inhabiting a Gedd. It kind of explains a lot about the perverse cultural values we see in Visser
, where the Yeerk Empire is fanatically focused on power and Visser One is on a trial in which her worst offense was being a loving mother. This is also why Aftran explains the Yeerk reproductive cycle as if even she finds it paradoxical and embarrassing, and she didn't address the question of which Yeerks it is who reproduce—although from an evolutionary standpoint, this is a very important question. It's also rather surprising that the Yeerks the Animorphs never actually meet any Gedds and hardly ever even have to think about them, until you consider how the Gedds must occupy an unusual position in any species that naturally evolved to have a close relationship with the Gedds, but is exploring the artificial possibilities of infesting all kinds of other species.
- Just a minor point to start with, where is it implied that Esplin 9466 is one of the oldest Yeerks alive, because it seems to me that The Hork-Bajir Chronicles implies just the opposite! To be specific, it (and subsequent books) implies that the Andalites blockaded the the Yeerk homeworld and never left (The Andalite Chronicles be damned) so all the Yeerks on Earth are descended from those who left in that original group. But most Yeerks featured in the series give their home pool as part of their name, the most common of which is Sulp Niar which we know from The Hork-Bajir Chronicles is on the Yeerk homeworld! This seems to me fair, if circumstantial evidence that Esplin is in fact one of the youngest Yeerks featured, and where exactly is this contradicted?
- While we're on genetics, Yeerk chromosomes are in triads, not pairs. Why else would three individuals be needed for mating?
- There doesn't necessarily have to be a direct link between taking hosts and reproducing in order for the Yeerks' evolution to make sense. Yeerks are social animals. So even individuals who don't reproduce themselves can indirectly pass on their genes by helping their relatives. A few Yeerks with hosts to guard against predators would greatly contribute to the survival of their entire pool. If those controllers have plenty of siblings in the pool, then they’re increasing the chances of DNA very similar to their own getting passed on, regardless of if they reproduce themselves are not.
- A simpler explanation for requiring host bodies is that inbreeding is genetically disadvantageous, so it would be advantageous for Yeerks to travel beyond their own pools when searching for the two other Yeerks with whom they would mate (combined with the "protect the pool" school of thought above). Furthermore, there are parasites on Earth that invade their hosts' brains and control them, so it's not hard to imagine that Yeerks could evolve a more advanced form of that. This especially could hold true if Gedds needed to drink from the pools in which the Yeerks live; if Gedds have orifices that would grant Yeerks access to their brains on the parts of their bodies they use to drink from the pools, then it would be a simple matter for Yeerks to evolve to invade said orifice (imagine if we had our ears on our cheeks). No regular-falling-head-first-into-pools issue there.
- This was exactly my thought, as well! There's more, though: maybe this could explain why the higher ranking yeerks seem to be so prone to insanity (vissers three, four, one, Taylor...)? They live so much longer than a yeerk is naturally supposed to that their brains start crumbling - they're basically going senile!
Crayak or the Ellimist created the taxxons as a joke
It would be an understatement to say that the taxxons kinda suck. While they are immensely intelligent and evidently very good pilots, the simple fact is, they're giant fluid-filled condoms that will break into a feeding frenzy at the sight of blood. In other words, you have a creature whose fragility is virtually a running gag, and who'll completely wig out and cannibalize one another, or even themselves given the slightest suggestion of a chance.
At a lesser scale, this wouldn't be so bad. We're physically unimpressive, but good with technology, even though our brains can make us do silly things. But consider a human controller, like Tom. He sees his family constantly, knowing the yeerks are going to get them, but his yeerk maintains perfect control of him at all times.
A taxxon controller, aboard the Blade Ship with Visser Three no less, sees the animorphs and gets cut in half for his trouble. Rather than say something, it immediately sees its blood-soaked ass sitting in front of it, and starts chowing down.
So we have a species of bulbous, fluid-filled condoms that could probably be busted open by harsh language, who have a feeding instinct apparently greater than self preservation, or the preservation of one's loved ones, and is triggered by blood.
Imagine what taxxon controllers go through. Imagine one of their coworkers getting a papercut. For the love of Crayak, they're water balloons perched atop dozens of little needles!
I cannot see natural selection favoring these guys under any circumstances. And we've already established that the Ellimist and Crayak have both created life forms that they like(Ellimist has the pemalites, Crayak has the Howlers). Is it a stretch to say that Crayak created the taxxons for the sheer audacity of it?
- Humans may be a similar-but-upgraded version, where either the taxxons' creator or the taxxons' creator's opponent took the original build, but took points from Metabolism, # of Legs, and Multitasking Dexterity, and put them in Endurance, # of Digits, and Creativity. While the taxxons are a poorly-balanced Navigator Munchkin species of gluttonous goo wrapped in an overfull water-balloon, humans are a slightly-better balanced Gadgeteer Genius Plus Infantry Munchkin species of gluttonous goo wrapped in a t-shirt (with the Horror Hunger, the taxxons couldn't effectively act as tech-savvy [[Starcraft zerglings]] until the yeerks started simply using them as biomech). ...which makes sense, considering Crayak and the Ellimist are basically playing do-it-yourself
- It would have to be Crayak considering that they are in constant pain from hunger. We know the Ellimist tries to be nice to his team and Crayok...
with a slightly different series of objectives.
The One is the monster of the same name from "Ultraman: The Next"
Both are aliens, both are shapeshifters, both assimilate other organisms in order to alter their form, both are, you know, called "The One".
Naturally, we can also conclude that the series ends with Ultraman swooping in to save the day.
Stephenie Meyer's Novel 'The Host' takes place in an alternate universe of Animorphs.
Bear with me here for a minute. The very first moment I started reading The Host, the description of the aliens that control your body made my mind jump to Yeerks. It's an alternate universe where the Yeerks took over Earth so quickly that the Animorphs never had a chance, and were either killed or turned into Hosts themselves.
- This troper came to a similar conclusion when a friend explained the plot of The Host to her.
- This troper read The Host specifically because of this similarity.
- Shit! It just occurred to me that the Yeerks, the Souls, and the Goa'uld are all one and the same!
- Actually, those three races have absolutely nothing in common beyond being Puppeteer Parasites. They'll probably just wipe themselves out fighting over the human hosts. The Goa'uld and the Yeerks will first destroy the peace-loving Souls and then the Yeerks will be destroyed by the Goa'uld, who actually are Always Chaotic Evil. Except by then, the Goa'uld will have been greatly weakened after taking on such a powerful enemy as the Yeerks and SG-1 will have teamed up with the Animorphs and Epic Awesomeness will ensue.
- There MUST be fanfiction for this.
'The Host' by Stephenie Meyer is actually a piece of Yeerk fanfiction.
A lonely Yeerk that infested a human teenager learned about the concept of fanfiction, and subsequently used the host body to write a story where the Yeerk invasion went much more smoothly - no pesky Andalite bandits - and where the Yeerks themselves weren't ugly slugs, but beautiful, feathery creatures called Souls. When the Yeerks surrendered, the human host found the story on her computer and decided to publish it as a piece of "original" fiction. This human was....Stephenie Meyer.
No ideas about the sparkly vampires, though.
Just an observation...
The Fictional Counterpart
for America Online
(AOL) is Web Access Amercia. Is it any wonder that its initials are WAA?
Rachel becomes The One becomes Crayak
I don't know why I decided this but it actually fits in some ways. We never actually see what happens to her. Her death is kind of implied but... and she was on the Bladeship which Ax was after when he got taken over. It shows an assimilation simuler to the type the Ellimist went through in his book. Kay maby other characters would work better. Crayak has an interest in Rachel out of all the Animorphs.
- Jossed by Word of God. KAA herself said The One was a future villain-type thing unrelated to anything else in the series. And Crayak existed long before the Animorphs' time, as explained in The Ellimist Chronicles. Rachel might've been assimilated by The One, but it doesn't show them her face, only Ax's. And there's no evidence that she turns into The One, especially considering her last words to Tobias are "I love you": hardly evil.
- "Kind of implied"? Rachel says "Then he killed me with a single blow." And Cassie, who was right there watching it, said "Rachel dead? How could that be? How could that be real?" They all watched her die. Even if she became something else post-death, she still died first.
The alternate future in #7 is caused by Jake's infestation in an altered timeline
The future shown in The Stranger happens because in an alternate timeline, the Animorphs did not rescue Ax, but Jake was still infested at the hospital in #6. If Ax had not been with them at the hospital, nobody would have noticed Jake was a Controller and he could have easily turned them over to Visser Three. This also explains why future-Rachel was confused by Ax's presence.
How Aftran 942 got back into the Yeerk Pool at the end of #19
You might wonder how Karen got out of the Yeerk Pool complex/cave without Aftran. Here's how I think they did it: Aftran/Karen runs of away from the Animorphs after they let her go. (This is after Cassie has been "trapped" as a caterpillar.) She runs off to the State police-Controllers, and says she lost track of the Andalite Bandits, but she's safe now. Aftran doesn't tell Yaheen 747 and the others what she knows, as part of Cassie's peace treaty. The next time Aftran and Karen go to the Yeerk Pool, Aftran gives her instructions. At the unloading pier, she tells the Hork-Bajir-Controller guard there that Karen is a voluntary host (now?) and has permission to go to the cafeteria (or wherever). Aftran instructs Karen to wait in the café for a few minutes, and then walk out as if she's a Controller. This is how Karen gets away free while Aftran stays in the pool as per her promise to Cassie.
- More likely Aftran simply asked a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement to carry her to the Yeerk pool in a Ziploc bag filled with water, and let Karen be on her way, safely above ground. We know for a fact that Aftran had to have touched base with the YPM at some point prior to releasing Karen, which is how Tidwell/Illim knows the Animorphs identities in #29: The Sickness.
Father and the Yeerks are somehow related evolutionarily.
The Ellimist Uplifted the Andalites.
Upon reading The Ellimist Chronicles
, I wasn't under the impression that the Ellimist actually gave the Andalites any technology. He instead just planted the seeds of intelligence in them. With their physically capable bodies, there would have been no reason to for Andalites to evolve intelligence, unlike humans with our physically weak bodies compared to other Earth animals.
The Pemalites are the race that uplifted humans in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Tobias is a comment on the Otherkin subculture
from before most people knew Otherkin were a thing!
We are not suggesting that Applegate was psychic or anything but consider. A whiny Emo Teen
with an awful home life and no real friends inside the body of a beautiful predatory creature with wings and shapeshifting powers? Yeah.
The Ellimist sympathizes with humanity.
Visser One described the human mind as constantly in conflict with itself, arguing, doubting. Sounds a bit like the Society of Mind
hypothesis. And we know that the Ellimist is a Mind Hive
so we're like him/them, except without the god-like powers. Certainly explains why he gives the Animorphs such special treatment.
- Definite possibility. More likely, what he said was true (about him being unable to at the time until... people cleared out, I think?) however he DIDN'T CARE one way or another. His attitude towards it was likely 'If it happens, it happens. I won't complain. Not like I have anything to lose.'
David is a sociopath, Visser Three has Intermittent Explosive Personality Disorder.
There's enough evidence in the trilogy to show that David only thinks about himself and violates the rights of others, refuses to take responsibility for his actions and rationalizes them ("Murder is one animal killing another", "I'm going to kill you before you can kill me"), is incapable of maintaining serious relationships, is extremely easy to frustrate and anger, has problems with impulse control, does not conform to societal moral norms (such as laws against stealing), is consistently deceitful, does not express guilt, is egomaniacal and takes what is described as a "sick pleasure" in manipulating others. His animal abuse is further proof. All this remains true even in his return in #48, wherein his actions are mostly an act to gain Rachel's sympathy in order to manipulate her for his own benefit
"Intermittent Explosive Disorder (abbreviated IED) is a behavioral disorder characterized by extreme expressions of anger, often to the point of uncontrollable rage, that are disproportionate to the situation at hand." Nuff said.
I'm also fairly sure Rachel has some sort of psychiatric issue but I don't know of a medical term for a disorder characterized by a psychological addiction to stress and adrenaline.
- It would be remiss not to note that antisocial personality disorder (better known as sociopathy) cannot be diagnosed in an individual until they are eighteen years of age. David is around the same age as the Animorphs are (so, around fourteen or fifteen) so it is impossible for him to be a sociopath. He might be a budding sociopath (which would probably merit a conduct disorder or oppositional-defiant disorder diagnosis), but his circumstances should also be taken into account. Labeling him a sociopath is jumping to conclusions.
- I'd also debate the validity of diagnosing an alien with a human personality disorder. Yeerks have drastically different psychology than humans do, as we see in Visser. Both of these 'theories' should be taken with a grain of salt (or perhaps the whole shaker).
- Finally, Rachel is also too young to be diagnosed with a personality disorder more severe than conduct disorder with violent features, but the books sum it better than the DSM ever could - she's a violence junkie.
- I thought it was pretty clear that David was supposed to be Not Right somehow. Sure, a lot of horrible stuff happened to him, but that doesn't excuse the sadistic tendencies, the weird rationalizations for what he thought was murder, the seeming lack of morals or guilt, the ego, or owning a cobra and naming his cat "Megadeth". While he might not be textbook ASPD, he probably would've ended up as a juvenile delinquent, had things gone differently (or possibly already was).
- There's a huge gap between a juvenile delinquent and a sociopath, and even comparing the two is baffling. It's been scientifically proven that teenagers tend towards a distinct lack of empathy - Jake and the team are the exception, not the rule. In many ways, the David arc was about showing what would happen if an ordinary kid were recruited to the war, and clearly the results aren't pretty.
- Clearly, the David arc was a preemptive Deconstruction of Animorphs self-insert fanfiction.
The Andalite-Yeerk War was a long bet by the Ellimist, who was attempting to create an Andalite-Yeerk-Human military alliance to prepare for the upcoming Kelbrid war, which is the next phase in his game against Crayak.
The common humanity, so to speak, shared between Yeerks, Andalites and humans is repeatedly emphasized (Hork-Bajir, less so), as is the possibility of artificial, non-living host bodies. The massive faction of Yeerks left on Earth after the war, combined with the new treaty, implies an eventual assimilation of all three cultures. The uprising against the Andalites on the Yeerk homeworld shown in The Hork-Bajir Chronicles was simply, in the end, a way for the Ellimist to get all three species together and hash out their differences in time to confront a new and (if The One is any indication) massively more inhuman and dangerous threat.
- The Yeerks, Humans, and Andalites are unique in their intelligence and humanity then? Because it really seems like things would have gone a lot smoother if one of the three species involved hadn't had the ability to steal the brains of the others because that's just asking for trouble. Not to mention that no Yeerk is supposed to meet an Iskoort for centuries and the Yeerks seem to be going the nothlit route or the 'stuck on the Yeerk homeworld never to be allowed out of their Pools' route. After what happened last time they had a chance, it would take a lot for anyone to give them a chance, particularly given how complicated and ethically tricky creating a whole new species for Yeerks to infest is. I mean, the Hork-Bajir are an artificially-created race and that didn't make what the Yeerks did to them okay.
- Non-living host bodies. And hey, maybe Yeerks are Crayak's brainchild and Ellimist just figured he could use them. Forgot that the Yeerks on Earth are going nothlit though
- Is that possible? They have to be living because otherwise the Yeerks wouldn't die when their hosts do and it's canon that they do. I think it's strongly implied that the hosts have to be sentient as we have no evidence of non-sentient beings being able to be used as hosts. When the Yeerks want to take sharks, they have to artificially make them sentient as shown in #15 before they can control them. If the Yeerks made a non-sentient race artificially sentient that wouldn't make enslaving them okay and if they did what the Yoort did and made it so that they would die without the other that would be even worse because if it hadn't been for the Yeerks' meddling then the new hosts could live out their lives non-enslaved and the Yeerks don't really lose anything since they wanted hosts all along.
- Horses. As I recall, the sharks had something about their brains which meant they had to be fiddled with, not their level of sentience. Unless you're saying the horses were sentient... which is a point you could debate, I guess, but there really isn't any evidence on that front.
- We don't know if those were regular horses are specially engineered sentient horses. The Yeerks probably made non-sentient species sentient before the shark program since they seemed so sure that it would work (and it was working). And if they were just regular horses then why did the horse-controller who got bitten by a snake need to be destroyed? That destruction was a lot more public and suspicious than just finding a dying horse and a small slug that wouldn't have been around for very long anyway so it only makes sense to do if they were trying to hide something...such as the horse being altered to be fit for infestation.
- In #41 The Familiar, Cassie/Niss says that one of the goals of the Evolutionist Front is the use of nonliving, artificial host bodies instead of living ones. This, however, is at least ten years in the future, so who knows where Yeerk technology is at that point.
- It may be a goal of theirs do to that but have they actually made any progress on that or is that just the 'you know, this would solve all our problems' solution? Plus, you have to consider that that wasn't actually real so the things that happened and are mentioned in it may not necessarily be true either.
- Guess this is why it's wild mass guessing.
- That doesn't mean you can't debate a guess.
In The Hork-Bajir Chronicles
, Hork-Bajir culture is so pacifistic that the idea of violence hasn't even occurred to them yet. Over the course of the book much is made of how Dak Hamee's birth - the coming of a "seer" - heralds the rejection of old Hork-Bajir values, in this case, for the purposes of survival against the Yeerks.
Ultimately, as we all know
, the Hork-Bajir homeworld was sterilized by the Andalites and the majority of the Hork-Bajir species were killed by a virus. So after the war on Earth, you either have a) Hork-Bajir who have been born and raised as guerrilla soldiers, living in hiding or b) Hork-Bajir who have been born and raised by Yeerks for the sole purpose of combat. The end result is a Hork-Bajir population that doesn't really know much about anything except for fighting. I imagine a "you-looking-at-me" attitude similar to Israel, where the ability to fight is promoted for the purposes of avoiding another Hork-Bajir tragedy in the future. Doubly possible considering the Hork-Bajir refugees on Earth are regularly targeted by terrorists.
- The Hork-Bajir would have followed Toby Hamee's example, and Toby herself showed pretty solid leanings towards being a Proud Warrior Race Girl. I'd say this one is pretty likely.
Tobias didn't actually change anything by disabling the Mercora bomb, apart from the impact location
If the mercora had successfully deflected the comet, it would move into an orbit that would intercept Earth again in a few months, a few years, or so. By that time, the Mercora would have been so busy with something (Nesk perhaps), and would not be able to deflect the comet a second time. Any butterfly effects end up suppressed, with nothing different about human origins, earth history ,etc. However, the Mercora's unsuccessful deflection changes the impact site of the comet, moving it to a harder to discover spot on the planet, leaving scientists much more confused about dinosaur extinction in modern times without an obvious potential impact site.
Tobias and Ax genocided the Mercora based on faulty logic.
They based their decision on the lack of fossil evidence of the Mercora, but by inference they lived on what is now the Yucatan peninsula, which due to its geology and climate is very unfriendly to fossils and their recovery. A promise to limit themselves to their colony and leave when they were back on their feet may well have done the trick anyway.
- But then how would the Animorphs have gotten home in order to save the planet (and possibly the universe if #41 is to be believed) from the Yeerks?
The city the series takes place in is Bahia Bay
It fits. Located in California, contains a convenient mall, beach, amusement park, is within driving distance of mountains/desert, etc.
- Jossed by Book 37, The Weakness. The tv station has the call letters WTVK. The fact that the first letter is W means that the Animorphs live east of the Mississippi River, since all tv stations have W at the first call letter east of the Mississippi, and all tv stations west of the Mississippi have K as the first call letter.
- The station must have been a mistake (or, as the books were apparently written down during the war, a deliberate lie to throw people off). It outright says that they live in California in one of the later books.
The events of Book 48 led to the Yeerks figuring out the Animorphs were human in Book 49.
It didn't seem like there was ever any explanation as to how the Yeerks suddenly knew, other than some speculation about them always leaving blood behind at battles. When Rachel scares off the two thugs working for David, she's concerned that they'll tell their story where a Controller will hear, and the Yeerks will find David and get information from him. This is why she decides that she has to do something about David (what this something is, of course, is left ambiguous). However, she doesn't seem to do anything about, or even mention, the fact that their story also includes a girl who can turn into a rat and a bear, with nary a mention of freaky blue centaurs. Also, while she says there's no threat of Visser One recognizing Super-Rachel as one of the Andalite bandits, it's possible that his encounter with her could make him more open to the possibility that the bandits are human, at least subconsciously.
- It's been suggested that the Hork-Bajir captured by the Yeerks in #47 also led to the big revelation of #49, which is perhaps plausible, but two direct eyewitnesses would hammer it home even further. I like this one.
- It's also possible that Yeerks who had suspected that they were human after some of the former Visser One's pleas while being Kandrona-starved to death, and decided that, by the time of #49, it was no longer Too Soon to suggest the theory.
The alternate dimension in #41 was the Crayak/Ellimist
I personally don't see why the Crayak or Ellimist can't disguise their voices, and pretend that they're some other god-like being.
- Highly unlikely, for this simple reason: what motive would either of them have to do that? The Ellimist has already shown the Animorphs a Bad Future once and subtlety just isn't Crayak's style. Applegate jossed the theory about this entity being The One, leading to two conclusions: either it's the 'greater power' the Ellimist referenced in The Attack or it's an entirely new being.
- Or it was simply a dream with no being behind it.
- Given that Crayak himself was introduced via a dream and dreams usually have deeper meaning in the Animorphs verse (see #06, #48 and Megamorphs 04, among others), this is fairly unlikely.
- There's also speculation that it could have been the Skrit-Na. They're implied to have extremely technology and tend to do weird stuff like abducting people for no reason.
"The One" was actually Satan
Not only would it be an awesome moment of Faux Symbolism
, it would also explain his ability to "assimilate" others and transform their bodies
- I'm afraid I don't follow this one. What does Borg-style assimilation have to do with Satan? Part of what makes Animorphs great is that it avoids getting bogged down in issues of religion, so it'd be a huge step backwards, for this troper at least, if the series ended with the introduction of a disguised Judeo-Christian villain (though this would enable crossovers with Supernatural, which is perhaps the theory's sole redeeming point).
- Besides, if anyone is Satan in this series, it's Crayak, right down to them sharing the common backstory of having been driven from their original home by the one power in the universe greater than themself. I wouldn't rule out that one or more groups of primative humans were approached by Crayak or his agents, and various legends of dark gods and demons can trace their roots back to that.
The events of Book 8 led to the events of Book 9.
In Book 9, the Yeerks start searching the woods behind Cassie's farm, thinking they'll find the Andalite bandits' feeding ground (which is partly right, since that's where Ax and Tobias live). They really have every reason to do this at pretty much any point in the series, but at the end of Book 8, Ax finds the meadow Visser Three feeds in and nearly succeeds in assassinating him. Visser Three's definitely arrogant and paranoid enough to feel the need to immediately retaliate, and that's what they're doing in Book 9.
David backed off in The Solution because of Cassie, not a humpback whale.
Throughout the David Trilogy the titular character has an impressive combat streak. He decisively defeats Jake in a one-on-one fight between his lion and Jake's tiger, beats Rachel in a fight between her great horned owl and his golden eagle, incapacitates Marco and Ax, and even kicks butt on Visser Three, backing off only when Cassie is taken hostage. The one time he is beaten in a combat situation is when he's fighting the Animorphs in dolphin morph while he's in orca morph. In that fight, Jake has Cassie morph humpback whale out of sight, then come in as the cavalry. David retreats and Rachel as narrator speculates it was because 'there's something about seeing a creature the size of a house that makes you want to leave the area'.
But the thing is, David goes out of his way to avoid conflict with Cassie. She's the only Animorph he doesn't go after when he betrays the team. When he backs off from Visser Three in the book before, it's because she's in trouble. Even when he threatens to go to the Yeerks with what he knows, he pointedly threatens Jake and Rachel only. Now, giving up one Animorph would give them all up, but there's a good chance that David, with his lack of experience, simply didn't realize that.
Is it too much to suppose that the reason why David retreated was because he didn't want to harm Cassie, rather than out of fear as Rachel suggests
? Cassie identifies herself to him right before he retreats. If it had been any other Animorph in that humpback whale morph, would David have stuck around and fought it out?
- Except that in each of the cases you've just described, David is in the better morph. If a lion and a tiger fight, the lion wins. A golden eagle is larger and stronger then a great horned owl. The incident with Cassie is the first time that David's been confronted by an opponent who is bigger and stronger then him, and despite what the narration says about the whale having no weapons, a humpbacked whale with Cassie's brain in it, is a legitimate threat to David's orca (all she has to do is ram him once). Had Jake morphed rhino rather then tiger, or Rachel been in bald eagle rather then owl morph, we might well have seen David back off then as well.
- Except this is strongly implied to be canon, from David's own words, that "Cassie was the only one who ever treated him kindly" among the Animorphs. Sure, the size was intimidating, but they confirmed in universe that David could have taken Cassie if he wanted.
His name has Chee in it, and his job is just to keep track of near-infinite amounts of information about aliens, higher-than-earth-level technology, and other planets, as well as the history of intersteller conflict.
Under Leland Chee, the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse is full of facts and information about actual aliens!
Andalites reproduce using therant trees
A number of fans assume andalites reproduce like horses, but that isn't necessarily the case, since they eat with their feet. Instead, this WMG proposes that Andalites reproduce by impregnating therant
trees (a type of tree native to their homeworld). The most compelling reason for this is that andalites worship trees, cultivating cuttings of blossoms and praying to them for successful conception, and seeking emotional comfort from adult trees. As noted in the books, therant trees are capable of very limited empathic communication, suggesting that they have limited animal characteristics like a nervous system and senses of smell and touch. Furthermore, what little sparing between andalites we've seen seems to have a vaguely erotic emotional charge to it when performed between a male and a female.
An andalite's "genitals" are located in their tail, the blade having evolved as a protective sheath. To reproduce, a male and a female andalite perform a courtship ritual involving a combative dance that culminates in wrapping and rubbing their tails together to stimulate orgasm, at which point they ejaculate on a therant tree chosen to incubate the embryo. A given tree can only incubate one fetus at a time and conception is less successful than human reproduction, involving repeated attempts to impregnate the tree. Is is a traditional custom for a flower (called a "wish flower") to be taken from the tree and prayed to for good luck in conceiving. The flower, if tended to, can eventually grow into a tree itself. The tree that gave birth to a particular andalite is known as their Garibah
, or "guide tree," to which they sometimes retreat to seek advice and comfort. So all andalites would have three parents: their mother, father, and garibah
Why exactly would andalites evolve such a relationship with therant trees? Considering that therant trees have a partial animal nature, they may actually be a stage in the andalite's lifecycle rather than a separate species. "First generation" therant trees might be born from spores released by (perhaps dying and decomposing) andalites, and subsequently the trees will reproduce themselves like other plants through pollination and parthenogenesis. Less frequently, the trees might give birth to andalites without needing to be fertilized by an andalite couple, completing the lifecycle and ensuring redundancy.
A Frolis Maneuver CAN be used to combine two different species to create a new morph.
But only if those species can naturally breed and produce hybrid offspring. For instance, a lion and tiger morph could be combined into a tiglon/liger, or a horse and donkey into a mule or hinny.
- Seeing Ax's human morph, it would probably be more along the lines of a Biological Mashup, as it seem to take separate elements from each acquired individual.
The deconstruction of all the tropes in Animorphs was partly unintentional.
When you look at how the series is made, it becomes clear that there were more books being released every year than most authors manage in a decade. Applegate was releasing one regular book a month, plus one Megamorphs and one Chronicles every year. Because of this, she did not have time to plan an overarching plot for the series, and was forced to write the first plot idea that came to her. This explains why there are so many inconsistencies in the series, yet there are tons of deconstructed tropes: Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World
, Kid Hero
, Always Chaotic Evil
, Always Lawful Good
, Justice Will Prevail
… the list goes on. Based on how the series was made, Applegate was simply doing whatever came to her first, and didn't care about deconstructing these tropes, whereas normally, there has to be an active effort to do so. When asked by a fan if she thought of Animorphs as a deconstruction of kids shows or an addition to the typical ones, she said, "Basically, we thought "This is a really awesome idea for a kids series." note
This is actually where the most brilliance of the series comes in - even though Applegate was forced to release one book every month, she still
managed to create something that can be enjoyed by kids and adults, almost without realizing it.
The human race was a creation of the Cryak.
The series, as well as most of Real Life
, seem to support that Humans Are Bastards
. My theory is that the Cryak originally intended the humans to be one of his pawns, like the yeerks, but he realized that he had made a tactical error by giving the humans weaker bodies and relying on their intelligence to make them dangerous. So he just left them to their own devices, letting them be evil.
- The major evidence against this is that, in spite of our tendencies, in the Great Game we're all but explicitly the Ellimist's pieces on the board along with the Andalites, while Crayak's pieces were set against us in the form of the Yeerks and The One from the last page of the last book or so. If he did create us, we turned against our master despite ourselves.
- It's a legitimate point, but think about it for a second: the only humans we've seen act at all helpful to the Ellimist were the Animorphs (and their families), and they were under the direct influence of andalites (namely, Elfangor and Ax). Other than that, humans have done nothing to help either the Ellimist or the Cryak, directly or indirectly, and we have a lot more potential to fight for the Cryak's side.
- Seems unlikely. In The Elimmist Chronicles, when he is looking at Earth in the time of Dinosaurs and the Crayak is about to destroy it, he sees the potential of the planet and decides to save it.
The Cassie that we see from The Hidden on was actually a starfish regeneration of her.
It's hard to pinpoint an exact book, but everyone who's read the series knows that somewhere along the line, Cassie's moralizing stopped being rational and just became pointless window-dressing for her character. The reason? She was cut in half as a starfish, and the half that didn't care about moralizing was killed by the yeerks. So instead, we were left with someone who can only think in abstract terms of 'right' and 'wrong', hardly even knowing what the two words mean. This explains why she objected to every single plan the Animorphs had in the later books, and why she would possibly think it was a good idea to let Tom have the morphing cube (just for example).
- The only problem with your theory is that a Cassie that didn't care about moralizing would bring the entire Yeerk empire to it's knees. And then do the rest with Earth and the Andalites.
- Not necessarily. Of all the Animorphs, Cassie has by far the weakest morphs. She'd probably be able to take down a few hork-bajir, but somewhere along the line, they'd manage to kill her. Meanwhile, the other Cassie would've avoided insane-Cassie at all costs, which would explain why moralizing-Cassie would be the survivor.
Rachel has multiple personality disorder.
It's not uncommon for people who go through severe trauma to develop this condition, and Rachel certainly shows signs of it - sometimes, she's casual and snarky, sometimes she's calm but reckless, and sometimes she's almost outright insane. Each of these traits are (usually) directly proportional to how much stress she's under, which is the same way MPD works. This wouldn't be out of place with the Animorphs' realistic signs of detachment and PTSD, and it would certainly explain her wild and inconsistent characterization in the later books.
Rachel's younger sisters, Sarah and Jordan, think she's the Slayer
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer starts showing the year Animorphs starts, and Rachel comes home occasionally slightly scratched up, but always very tired. Jordan, who's older and more skeptical occasionally presses Rachel on what she's doing out, but Sarah probably completely believes that her sister is the Vampire Slayer.
The Leerans were originally destined to bring down the Yeerk Empire...
Both the Ellimist and Crayak engineer entire species just to get their game going, and the Leerans happened to have a lot of natural advantages against Yeerks. Their telepathy means that they can let everyone know if they have a Yeerk in their head, and freeing a Leeran Controller is really easy. Even their main environment is an obstacle for Yeerks, they would have to adapt to fight underwater. It's like they evolved to be Yeerks' natural predators.
If they were the Ellimist's original plan against Yeerks, it's likely that he quited it because Leerans never got technology advanced enough to find the Yeerks and fight them on equal foot, or they never really were hero's material in first place and weren't going to risk their asses saving the Universe, or worse, they could have became Yeerks' allies.
Even so, if Andalites were to get over their arrogance and their nature as Heroism Addicts
, an Andalite-Leeran alliance would have meant game over for Yeerks' invasions in any front.
- The Elimist wouldn't have to have abandoned them. The Leerans could have been a backup in case the game for Earth was lost.
The Mercora survived the comet by moving underground...
...where they continued to evolve—into Crab People
, waiting for the day they could pay mankind back for their treachery.
CRAB PEOPLE, CRAB PEOPLE...
Rachel, Cassie and David are both psychopaths.
This'll be a pretty long entry. I'm going to use Dr. Hare's Psychopathic Checklist to prove that both of the above characters are psychopaths. (David in particular - I had to stretch it a bit to make and Cassie Rachel fit.) Here we go:
- Glib and superficial charm: David is pretty nice and friendly when he wants to be, this is what keeps Rachel at all bearable, and Cassie uses it to get people to do what she wants
- Grandoise self-worth: David's is obvious. Rachel's is more subtle, but when reading The Weakness, it's shown that she thinks she's better than everyone else - until everything crashes down, that is. Cassie always feels that she is the "voice of morality" for the group, and without her they would delve into immoral tactics.
- Need for stimulation and proneness to boredom: David couldn't sit still in a barn for two minutes without crashing through a hotel window, and Rachel is shown to always be the first to go on any sort of mission, rushing everyone with minimal planning. Cassie doesn't show this as much, but it does show in her constantly working in the barn, to the point where her parents don't find it odd when she's out there late at night.
- Pathological lying: This one's a lot more justified in the others, at least in Rachel's sense - she has to lie to her parents in order to survive. David, however, lies all the time, and not for much of a reason. Cassie lies when she feel that it is "justified": see her letting Tom take the morphing cube, among other things.
- Conning and manipulativeness: David's plans often involve manipulating others, such as when he pretended to be Sandler. Rachel doesn't do this nearly as much, but she does sometimes use others, particularly Tobias. Cassie doesn't use it as often, but when she does, it's devastating (remember who came up with the plan to deal with David?).
- Lack of remorse or guilt: David feels no guilt for anything whatsoever, and Rachel only feels guilty when her actions seriously harm humans - never when the mildly harm them or when the victim isn't a human.
- Shallow effect: David has this in spades, constantly pretending to feel emotions that he doesn't have. Rachel is also shown to have no middle ground between extremes of feelings - either (very occasionally) feeling strongly about something, or feeling nothing at all. Cassie feels guilt at harming anything; until she convinces herself it's justified and then doesn't get concerned again until the evidence is staring her in the face (see #19, bit of Hork-Bajir in her teeth).
- Callousness and lack of empathy: David's is quite obvious, and Rachel is shown to frequently kill or hurt others and only occasionally feel guilt. For Cassie, see above.
- Parasitic lifestyle: David would be hopeless if he couldn't force others to notice him. He constantly needs things from others - the morphing cube, a place to stay, Saddler's body... all without contributing anything to the people he steals from. Even his ultimate plan involves this - he wanted to give the morphing power to other humans who would support him and help him do crime. Rachel also needs things from others, if only someone to kill, someone to kill for, and someone to love. Cassie needs others acting in morally ambiguous ways, and needs to be morally superior to anyone else, up to being willing to be a caterpillar forever rather than let Aftran have the moral high ground.
- Poor behavioral controls: Oh, lord. Rachel has no behavior control at all - she is frequently shown to be completely out of control of her violent emotions, threatening (inside her head) to kill people and seriously hurt them constantly (particularly in The Return). David is a bit better, but he still couldn't help do things that were stupid (such as break into that hotel room) for no reason at all. While this isn't as violence-centered for Cassie, she does generally act on emotional impulse, even more so than Rachel, from temporarily quitting the team in #19, to endangering herself for the Buffa-human in #39, and generally putting herself in danger for no good reason.
- Promiscuous sexual behavior: Irrelevant - this being a kids series, there were no opportunities for sex.
- Early behavioral problems: Also irrelevant - we have little information on either of their early childhoods. On the flip side, there is no basis of comparison from teenagers onward.
- Lack of realistic, long-term goals: David's long-term goals make no sense - who does he think will get on board with him to do pointless and destructive crime, even if he does give them morphing power? Not to mention that this would attract massive attention from the yeerks and would probably end with everybody dying. Rachel's and Cassie's is completely justified in that none of the Animorphs have long term goals, other than to stay alive. However, Cassie does have long-term ideals, just no clear plan of how to achieve them.
- Impulsivity: We saw when Rachel took over in The Weakness that Rachel has no natural ability to plan anything - she's just more likely to charge into battle and kill anything that moves. David's a bit better, but he was still destructive with no real purpose or long term goal behind it - it was more like, "Ooh! Animorphs! I hate those guys! Let's kill!" Cassie, on the other hand, will say "Let's follow directions from this whale," or "Sure, I'll be possessed by the spirit of a long-dead guerrilla fighter,".
- Irresponsibility: Rachel is shown in the later books to almost never be able to do what the Animorphs ask of her unless it involves killing - same goes for David. Cassie also does not take responsibility for her own actions, often saying that she acts on feelings, or whims, or hopes, but with little forethought and serious retrospective rationalization.
- Failure to accept responsibility for own actions: Rachel only very occasionally accepts responsibility for anything, and it generally only happens when it would be absolutely necessary for her to be at all human. David is even worse, never wanting to solve any of the problems he causes for the Animorphs. Cassie give up the morphing cube and refuses to take the blame for the problems caused by morph-capable Controllers.
- Many short-term marital relationships: Another irrelevant factor - both are too young to marry.
- Juvenile delinquency: It can be argued that the Animorphs are forced to break laws, but both Rachel and David do it more consistently and more pointlessly than anyone else.
- Revocation of conditional release: David is told off for his counterproductive actions in the first two books of the David trilogy, but that doesn't stop him from continuing to do these things. This brings about his ultimate fate. Rachel is never punished for anything that she does, but even on the rare occasion that she feels guilt over killing someone, she still remains to be enormously violent and dangerous.
- Criminal versatility: Both Rachel and David take part in breaking tons and tons of different laws - they can basically do anything they want.
So, yeah. Rachel and David are indisputably psychopaths. David was probably written this way, but with Rachel, it may be debatable, and Cassie is definitely a case of YMMV. Either way, it makes for a more interesting - and more horrifying - read.
- I'm glad you agree Cassie is at the very least debatable. Cassie, for all her faults, did not brush off guilt as you easily as you claim she did. The only example I can think of is #54. The Beginning, and many fans agreed that it was very rushed, with so much cut and left out. That said, I do think she is a misguided idiot who thinks more with her emotions than her head, which leads to some truly horrific acts. Plus, she commits perhaps the most horrendous rime in the ENTIRE series, which is quite a feat - she erases a man from existence, when there was absolutely no need and a far better alternative, and if you believe in the concept of souls, then this becomes true Fridge Horror when you realized she destroyed an innocent man's soul, and he no longer exists, because he was never around to be born, die, and head to an afterlife, which effectively makes Cassie worse than some of the worst dictators in human history, but like I said, I think this stemmed more from misguided stupidity than outright malevolence.
This may seem unlikely, even for a WMG entry, but it makes a bit of sense. The hork-bajir were genetically engineered by the arn to be stupid, but it's almost impossible that the arn would get it right the first time - they'd be likely to kill any specimens that didn't turn out stupid enough. The first hork-bajir they created might've realized this, and obfuscated stupidity to avoid being killed. After this, the hork-bajir made a law that they would have to obfuscate stupidity for as long as they could, to avoid extermination. The seers were actually dumber
than most hork-bajir, which is why they weren't smart enough to follow the law. Once the era of the free hork-bajir started, the hork-bajir weren't familiar enough with English to express their thoughts adequately. (Toby was better at it because... um… she's magical.
Yeah, that's why.) The hork-bajir have been shown to be much more resourceful and intelligent than the humans in the main series - the only thing they do to seem stupid is speak in broken English.
- When one of the Arn was talking to Dak Hamee, he mentioned that try as they might, they couldn't eliminate the genes that led to a seer being born. This means that they had an actual genetic test for intelligence, and didn't just rely on interviews or something.
- The seers have different genetics, whether it makes them smarter or dumber. So the arn would recognize that the genes existed, but they wouldn't know if it was the genes for intelligence or stupidity. They assumed it was the genes for intelligence, because well, what else would they think?
- Unfortunately this theory doesn't work with the fact that Yeerks can read minds, and they would know if Hork Bajir are really intelligent or not. Also, it seems a bit far-fetched to assume that everyone Dak Hamee met in his childhood actually understood all the intelligent things he said but just pretended not to. It's not like the Arn were watching all the time.
- Oh, yeah. Didn't think of the yeerks factoring into that.
The only reason we don't have a relationship between Tobias and Ax is because of Executive Meddling
Why not? The two of them have a lot more chemistry than Tobias does with Rachel, and we know that the same thing happened in Remnants
. (Rage, rage, rage.) So, Applegate saw the opportunity to make Tobias Elfangor's son (she stated outright in an interview that she didn't plan it from the beginning), and just decided to give them a friendship, and even an Implied Romance
. Another bit of evidence for this (I'm aware that this section doesn't flow at all): the constant references to Xena: Warrior Princess
, which contains the most famous example of an implied romance in television history. And besides, in the earlier books, it was pretty clear that Marco and Rachel had the potential to start a Slap-Slap-Kiss
romance. But Scholastic didn't want Applegate to do this
because it would draw attention to the fact that Tobias and Ax don't have love interests, and they have tons of chemistry with each other. So, my theory is above.
Applegate and her husband originally planned the final arc to start at The Sickness
It makes a lot more sense than what actually happened. This book was supposed to give some resolution to Aftran's arc. Book 30 would've ended the Visser One storyline by killing her and Marco's mother, and book 31 would've ended with Tom figuring out that Jake was one of the 'Andalite bandits'. Book 32 would've played out exactly as The Return
did. Book 33 would've been similar as well, except that Marco would've told his dad about the yeerks instead of Jake telling his family. From there on out, Marco's father would've worked on the z-space transmitter. Books 34 and 35 would've been exactly the same as they are now, and The Ellimist Chronicles would've taken the place of Visser. Book 36 would've had the Animorphs contacting the Andalites and the Andalites deciding to blow Earth out of orbit, and contain the same plot of the Animorphs trying to destroy the yeerk pool. From there on out, everything would be the same. Applegate stated several times that she never meant for the series to go on for as long as it did, and it makes sense that she wouldn't have wanted to work on two series
at once and have half of Animorphs ghostwritten. Also, after Visser, the overarching plot didn't advance in any meaningful way until the final arc began, which would suggest that Applegate wanted the end to play out as similarly to her original plan as possible. And finally, the final arc was much more coherent and logical than anything that came before it in the ghostwritten period, suggesting that Applegate had planned it out much more carefully than the others. I honestly think that if this had happened, both Animorphs and Everworld would've benefited, and it makes sense that this was Applegate's intention.
Visser Three's evil aura is because of his Andalite body
Andalites communicate by thought-speak, and just as humans can convey emotions wordlessly via tone and volume, Andalites can subconsciously emit their emotions into other people's minds. The Visser, having a one-track-mind on the lines of Attack! Attack! Attack!
, naturally people around him will feel his aggressiveness, and the fearful revulsion it inspires.
Both Applegate and her husband have described in great detail the enormous pressure of releasing a book every month, of not being given time of to give birth
, of having to keep up with multiple series at once (even if one of them was ghostwritten), and Applegate even mentioned being borderline depressed when she wrote this series. It makes sense that she would feel pretty depressed when it came to the outcome of her characters' storyline - everything was hopeless in the ending of Animorphs because she was hopeless herself.
The Yeerks don't enter the brain through the ear canal...
They enter through the nose. This way, they don't have to worry about breaking the ear drum.
Infesting Alloran drove Visser Three mad
We know that the Yeerks are heavily influenced by who they infest. Visser One, for instance, develops an addictive personality after Jenny Lines and Essam falls in love with humanity after his strong hosts. "Going native" is a really big problem. Visser Three was a bit thick at times pre-Alloran but there was no indication that he was mad. Alloran, we know, was rather unstable. When he was on the Taxxon world right before his infestation, Elfangor and even Arbron were looking for a way out and Alloran wasted his time making sure those Yeerks he wanted to kill were still there to kill should he miraculously get off-planet and he decided making sure the Yeerks didn't get their hands on a time machine was less important than making Elfangor kill a bunch of Yeerks when he really could have done it himself. Getting infested after Elfangor betrayed and attacked him and then later Elfangor was hailed as a hero and he was seen as an abomination couldn't have helped with those sanity issues. Flash forward a few years and we have the insane Visser Three we see in the series.
Tobias is a Horney neurotic with schizoid tendencies.
While writing a fanfic, it struck me that I was using the word neurotic to describe Tobias without a full understanding of what that meant. So I looked it up, and found this
which immediately rang out as matching Tobias' life story to a T. Now get your mind out of the gutter.
He started off with guardians who had no love for him whatsoever. His first impressions of the world were therefore extremely hostile ones. All he had were his dinosaurs to play with, so he invested himself in that little world of predators and prey, learning all he could about them. Any attempts to extract interest or attention from his uncle using his fantasies/interests as a bridge were immediately shot down (like the flashback in #33 with his drawing), causing him to draw further into the world he'd constructed in his head. Presumably the same thing happened with his aunt. This lead to the development of his schizoid tendencies
, which I'll get to.
His world view was basically built around his interest in dinosaurs. The predators especially appealed to him, representing in his mind the control over the environment that he lacked, as well as various other positive traits: strength and confidence (T. Rex), family cohesion and cunning (Deinonychus), freedom and grace (Pteranadon), and so on. Predatory nature was his idealized solution to all the problems in the world. He'd developed his idealized self, so naturally, when the opportunity to fully realize it in a physical form arose, you bet he freaking jumped on it without even thinking. He kept pushing his luck with the time limit in the first book, and immediately after getting stuck, he was remarkably calm about it. Realizing that getting trapped might have been a mistake only occurred to him later.
When that regret hit in book 3, it was because of his aunt and uncle. They'd taught him from the cradle that being dependent on someone is the surest way to get hurt. To him, dependency only meant letting a person stomp all over your emotions while not giving a damn whether you were still even alive or not. He'd never killed a living thing before, so naturally he was squeamish. At the same time, relying on the guy he hero-worshiped (who was one of the last humans left that he could even hope to relate to) to feed and house him was opening the door to a soul-crushing betrayal and heartbreak. Toss in the new hawk instincts he couldn't get a single break from, and you have a recipe for a complete meltdown. Squeamishness proved easier to get over than a decade of neglect, thus kicking off his powerful drive for complete independence. Even staying at a friend's house now meant weakness in his mind. He accepted his fantasy self completely, and began holding himself to the standards of the free, independent predator he'd always idolized. It became a point of pride, and he would act defensively whenever anyone questioned his decision to live in the woods and risk starvation to the point of eating roadkill. There was no self-esteem underlying that pride, and that made it a vulnerable point for him. On some level, he knew he was acting irrationally, and even started questioning it occasionally (like thinking about how if Marco were the nothlit hawk, he would have no problem letting Rachel pamper him).
Things happened in the war, and he maintained his anxiety-driven compulsive behavior throughout. As he matured, the “solution” to his insecurities and conflicts became further withdrawal. The episode with Taylor certainly didn’t help here. After #33, every character commented on Tobias being more quiet and introverted. Taylor had managed to open him up, make him identify with her, and then hurt him like no one ever had before. At this point, he basically saw no choice but to hide himself deeper within his hawk shell. Just seek shelter in his now reinforced schizoid personality disorder.
Now, SPD is typified by a number of traits:
- Emotional coldness, detachment or reduced affect: He certainly comes off this way at times. There are numerous mentions of his piercing, unreadable hawk stare as he just watches the others discuss a topic. He probably says the least in group conversation out of all the animorphs, and when he does talk, it’s in a concise speech pattern. Going back to his neurosis, he prefers to keep people at a distance as a sort of defense mechanism (which really makes a bird of prey the most ideal morph for him in that way).
- Limited capacity to express either positive or negative emotions towards others: He certainly never had a problem yelling at people who annoyed him. He does get some sweet moments with Rachel too. Everything else is kind of a middle ground.
- Consistent preference for solitary activities: He spent three years in the woods to avoid all human contact. Yeah. That aside, he did spend most of his down time during the war just getting to know the city and spying on yeerks.
- Very few, if any, close friends or relationships, and a lack of desire for such: Granted, he can’t really go shopping for new friends with a war of secrecy going on, but still. It's mentioned that at first he followed Jake around only because Jake saved him from bullies. In Megamorphs #4, trying to fit him in the group without superpowers to bond over just led to him feeling excluded, and leaving.
- Indifference to either praise or criticism: Maybe not so much here. With his neurosis, his constructed pride lets him take praise in stride, but any criticism regarding his choice to live as a hawk is a very sore spot.
- Little interest in having sexual experiences with another person (taking into account age): He felt fairly confused about Rachel while watching her morph eagle. He liked (was fascinated, mesmerized by) seeing her morph a bird of prey, perhaps even in THAT way, but cites her species and morphed gender as a turnoff.
- Taking pleasure in few, if any, activities: He likes flying and the thrill of the hunt. Not much else.
- Indifference to social norms and conventions: He got pretty casual about his new mouse diet fairly quickly, in spite of what the others might have thought. He was self-conscious when Rachel caught him eating roadkill, but that was mostly his neurotic dependence issue, as he didn’t want her worrying about him.
- Preoccupation with fantasy and introspection: This is what set off his whole mindset in the first place. And boy howdy, is he introspective or what.
Growing up with a war to fight gave him one thing, at least. Comrades in arms. He developed friendships as best he was able, through a mutual “I’ve got your back,” type deal. Sadly, it just wasn’t enough to make a stable set of friendships. I feel like this is why he was so quick to dissolve all ties with everyone at the end. There was no more threat to necessitate the relationship, and they clearly didn’t have his back anymore, what with all the girlfriend-killing and such. His friendships were never based on actual love for the people, apart from Rachel.
Rachel was the one who could get past all his barriers and make him feel wanted. With just the right amount of assertiveness and forwardness, she was able to temporarily humble his pride and make him accept what she had to offer. For those brief moments, he was dependent, vulnerable, and not having his heart ripped out and stomped on. It was good for him. Given time, he might have built enough self-esteem for a relationship with someone else, because keeping him with Rachel wouldn’t be very healthy in the long term. Rachel was ultimately an unstable sociopath, and their relationship could turn abusive very easily without a war to redirect her frustration. That assertive forwardness she opened him up with also made him vulnerable to her. If she ever lashed out at him, that could have been devastating.
I’m not saying Rachel/Tobias was a necessarily bad thing, it was one of my favorite parts in the series. For the time it lasted, it was what they both desparately needed. Tobias, for the happiness and Rachel, for the humanity. And man, they had some great moments together.
Now here’s always what bugged me about the ending. I can handle a depressing-as-all-hell Bolivian Army Ending
that leaves characters as broken emotional wrecks, but this one just left too many character threads lying open (including his alleged importance as Elfangor’s son, which never comes fully into play, but that’s a separate issue). With Rachel dead and Jake responsible, suddenly his group of friends is no better than his aunt and uncle. Nothing is ever said about how Tobias handles being cramped into a ship with the person he probably despises more than anything else in the world. Not much room to fly on a small cruiser. No getting away there. He could spend his time perched in some part of the cargo hold or something, watching… What? Imaginary mice? Yeah, no hunting either. Just rationed protein pellets.
He’d be reaching the breaking point by the time The One showed up. If they didn’t find Ax, one way or another, something would snap. God only knows what.
The Ellimist is the Doctor, parallelly universified.
And Aguella was a manifestation of the Tardis.
Think about it...
Cassie has Creator's Pet
she's a temporal anomaly, not vice versa.
In Megamorphs #4, we learn that Cassie has the ability to see how the timeline is supposed to be, and can disrupt any alterations just by thinking about it. So maybe, whenever she gets an inexplicable feeling about how something should
be (I should cripple Jake so that he can't catch Tom and get the cube back), or just knows
something she really has no clue about (you can't mess with free will, mmkay?), or takes some idiotic risk (no way this yeerk's gonna betray me if I let her infest me), she's unconsciously working to keep the timeline on a beneficial path. This is basically the reason she has no character development. No one can possibly prove her irrational gut feelings wrong, because they never will be.
This does make her seem like a bit of a Sue at first glance. No plot element can really stand up to her ideals, so there's little room for growth. But, consider the implications. Is she aware of the course of the timeline? Is she making it up as she goes? If it's all being fed to her, then what or who is giving it to her?
My theory: Cassie is Aguella. The Ellimist planted her here in an unstable little spot in the timeline as part of his setup. Coincidentally, what happened around the time Cassie was conceived/born? Loren and Elfangor accidentally create their own warped mini-universe with Visser 3, bring their time-shifted selves back to Earth with the Time Matrix, and then the Ellimist alters the timeline in order to get Elfangor back in the right spot. All that screwing around caused glitches, some of which the Ellimist realized he could exploit. So, he reached into his collective mind, pulled out Aguella, and inserted her consciousness into a convenient local spot, right in a gap in the timeline where she can "see beyond the walls" and act as a safeguard. Being a part of the Ellimist's hivemind consciousness, she instinctively knows what he would want her to do, and can act on it without it actually counting as direct interference from him.
Of course, he keeps it a closely guarded secret from absolutely everyone because it would make Crayak pissed (he'd almost definitely see it as cheating) and Cassie a prime target, but that's just what he does anyway.
The stock joke with Ax throughout the series (apart from Cinnabon) is that he doesn't understand human interaction because he's an alien. He doesn't really pick up on social cues, and this is somewhat understandable as Andalites do have their own set of body language. Even just nodding or shaking his head is said to be a learned behavior from spending so much time with humans. However, it goes deeper than that. He's capable of speaking with the others, and he's a highly intelligent guy. Basic communication shouldn't really be as much of an obstacle as it is most of the time with him. I think Ax has Aspergers, or at least whatever the Andalite equivalent would be.
He doesn't get humor, just writing it off as a strange human thing. Thing is, other Andalites throughout the series do seem to have a sense of humor. Just look at Arbron with Elfangor. Ax just doesn't know how to read between the lines when other people are talking. Sarcasm and subtle implications go right over his head most of the time because he's so darn literal. He tends to push the Spock Speak
more than other Andalites typically do, sometimes to the point of making his speech inefficiently circumstantial. He has a pretty narrow set of interests, and the human sense of taste takes up a good chunk of it. When he's in his human morph, he gets so fixated on his speech that he doesn't even realize how awkward he's making any given situation. Whenever the other Animorphs give him any advice on how to interact properly with other people, he immediately takes it to heart and rigidly applies it in some hilariously awkward way (the dance scene with Allison in #29 The Sickness
felt extremely familiar for those of us with well-meaning Aspie friends in high school).
Also, Ax-perger's is really fun to say. Ax-pur-gur-zuh.
The One is Crayak’s mockery of the Ellimist.
Kay, here’s a wild speculation on the origins of The One. We know that there’s a big star ready to go supernova at any moment in Kelbrid space. Fact: supernovas are frakking huge. If it’s in the right spot, it could sterilize every planet in Kelbrid space of all life with a monstrous wave of radiation. There’s really nothing you could possibly do to stop this, short of being on the level of Crayak or the Ellimist.
The Kelbrid see this, and know they have to do something. They’re said to be a warlike people, so it’s not very likely that they’d be willing to become refugees in alien territory. That basically leaves them with taking shelter as their only option. Problem with that is, you can’t really shield yourself from an entire star’s worth of radiation. Even if they could, every ecosystem of every planet they control is going to be erased from existence. Conventional shelters won’t cut it. They don’t need bunkers. They need an ark.
They get the idea to create a massive artificially intelligent starship in order to digitally store and preserve their species, along with who knows how many others. When the star finally dies, their physical bodies won’t even be there to be affected by the radiation. The ship can float along until things become livable again, at which point it reconstructs everyone aboard, and they can continue their civilization. The fact that the ship is powered by ion engines supports this, as ion engines are an extremely low-thrust, high-efficiency propulsion system. Definitely something you’d see on an exploration probe, or maybe a colony ship where everyone’s in long-term stasis, but not any sort of warship. It only has such an absolute beast of a weapon because the Kelbrid are a warlike people. It’s the most pragmatic way they can see to protect their assets.
They build the ship, but as they’re creating the AI to run the deconstruction/reconstruction system, Crayak takes interest in the project. He begins communicating with the developing intelligence. He teaches it about ambition, and the will to act in its own interest. The reason he goes after this AI is more than the fact that its dominating and conquering capabilities fit his MO. It’s because this thing resembles Father, and the irony was just irresistible. Crayak wants to create his own little Ellimist, and have it destroy everything the real Ellimist loves.
Launch day comes. They get the ship operating at full capacity, and activate the AI. It immediately turns on them. It selects what it feels are the most intelligent and the genetically superior out of the Kelbrid population, archives them, and then begins bombarding the Kelbrid from orbit with its insanely huge beam cannon, blowing them back into the stone age. The survivors start worshiping it as a deity, ensuring loyalty through fear, so it doesn’t even have to incorporate them all. It becomes known to all as The One. It goes around from planet to planet, doing the same thing until the Kelbrid empire is on on its knees. Andalite explorers show up. Crayak doesn’t want his pawn to reveal his hand just yet, so they never make direct contact, not even just ship-to-ship. The treaty is signed remotely, and it provides the perfect excuse for a war as soon as The One is ready to make a move.
Far away and much later, the Yeerk invasion of Earth comes to an end. Crayak’s chances at crippling or wiping out the Andalites, Humanity, Leerans, Chee, and countless others under the Yeerk Empire are now basically nil. And that’s all thanks to the leadership of his most favoritest human ever.
Crayak is absolutely pissed at the Animorphs by this point. The One becomes his new tool for this personal vendetta. Crayak has The One intercept and capture the blade ship, the events of book #54 follow, and Jake is brought into the picture with most of the remaining Animorphs. It’s just bait for some easy revenge on Crayak’s part. What happens after is something we may never know, outside of whatever fanfiction we write or choose to accept as canon. Wow, that sentence made me feel kinda sad.
Another tangential thought: Ax described the mysterious ship as being a starburst shape, but what if it actually looked like a spiderweb, and Ax just wasn’t familiar enough with spiders to recognize that? It would fit thematically, The One does seem to like laying traps and ambush hunting.
The answer to why the Taxxons were the way they were is in The Abolition of Man
by C. S. Lewis
In ancient times, some Taxxons decided to remake the species in their image, using genetic engineering. In the process, they parted with all decency and (envying the meaning to ordinary Taxxons' lives) decided to make future generations as miserable as possible.
The Hork-Bajir homeworld's sun is either solar mass or only slightly more.
Low-end F-stars do, when turning red giant, last long enough for a Goldilocks planet to have complex life. However, the Hork-Bajir homeworld's orbit is such that it was "early-warm" in 1966 but "late-cool" in 1969. Therefore, it has to have been a G-star while still on the main sequence. And the age of the universe rules out it having a mass significantly lower than Sol's.
Rachel unintentionally took Crayak's deal.
"If you ever find yourself desperate, Rachel. At an end. In need. Remember this: Your cousin's life is your passport to salvation in Crayak."
And Rachel killed Tom.