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    In General
Your average Yeerk outside their host

  • Alien Catnip: Instant maple-and-ginger oatmeal, oddly enough. It's very much like a drug to Yeerks, and if taken too much it can lead to a Yeerk losing its ability to separate from its human host. In the most extreme cases, the host is trapped in a living hell with an insane Yeerk permanently fused to their brain stem.
  • Aliens Steal Cable: When the Yeerks (aka Edriss and Essam) first visit Earth, they park in orbit and attempt to learn what they can from television and radio transmissions. Amusingly, this leads to Edriss deciding to land in Hollywood, since it comes up the most in the transmissions and therefore must be the most important city on the planet.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • When a host, or Controller, is infested by a Yeerk, their memory and body is completely at the Yeerk's command, but the host's mind and intelligence are left intact. They're fully aware of what's going on, but can do nothing but watch as their "guests" use their bodies to do all sorts of horrible things; they're essentially trapped in their own heads.
    • Yeerks themselves suffer this in their natural state, being blind, mostly deaf slugs who also happen to be sentient.
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: Yeerks reproduce by three of them performing a Fusion Dance and then exploding into hundreds of newborn Yeerks. Naturally, the desire to sire children is not one that is very common to their species.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: A major pitfall a lot of them seem to run into. The two most obvious examples are Visser One and Visser Three, but half the characters on this list fall into this for reasons described in more detail in their entries. In general, Yeerks seem naturally inclined to focus narrowly on a particular field or discipline, and founder when put in a situation outside of their expertise.
  • The Empire: They develop pretty quickly into a galaxy-spanning civilization, and are eager to assimilate more species into their fold so they can use them as hosts.
  • Fantastic Diet Requirement: Their main weakness is that they need to exit the host and absorb Kandrona rays in a pool every three days, with the host left caged by other Controllers or enjoying themselves in the case of voluntary Controllers. If the Yeerk isn't fed in time, it dies slowly and horribly, mentally torturing its host all the while.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: This is what gave rise to the Yeerk Empire in the first place. On an expedition to the Yeerk homeworld, the Andalite Prince Seerow felt sorry for the Yeerks, who were fully sapient but limited by the need for their hosts and Kandrona rays. Thus, he gave them access to Andalite technology and taught them writing, science, astronomy, and even how to build their own portable Kandrona generators. The Yeerks thanked Seerow by betraying him, escaping into space, murdering Seerow along with most of his family, and enslaving multiple races and civilizations to use as host bodies. It's because of this that the Andalites created a law, aptly titled "Seerow's Kindness," that expressly forbade any Andalite from sharing their technology and secrets with non-Andalites.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: The Yeerk Empire maintains an iron-fisted control over its people (who are effectively all conscripted from birth to serve as soldiers) and they not only have no concept of recreation to speak of, recreation is effectively a crime by their draconian laws. This is lampshaded in VISSER when Allison Kim remarks that the Yeerks are "all work and no play" and confidently predicts that will be their downfall. And indeed, the fascist Yeerk Empire proves incapable of maintaining its control once the Yeerk population is exposed to humanity. Between all the host sympathizing, oatmeal-snorting, and Peace Movement joining, the occupation of Earth probably would have failed eventually even if the Animorphs had never been formed to fight the invasion.
  • Galactic Conqueror: They've already taken over several planets by the time they invade Earth.
  • Going Native: Like Crippling Overspecialization, this is another pitfall Yeerks seem naturally prone to, particularly with intelligent hosts. This isn't a problem for them until they get to Earth, as their top three hosts up to that time are all handicapped in one way or another (Gedds are naturally dim and not very dangerous, Hork-Bajir are physically very threatening but not very smart and Taxxons, while intelligent, have most of their mentality tied up in their Horror Hunger). Humans, being a sapient species of high intelligence and superb senses (relative to a Yeerk's experience) are like catnip to them. It's hardly a surprise, then, when organizations like the Yeerk Peace Movement rise up and various Yeerks throughout the series get wrapped up in the psychology of their human hosts.
  • Graceful Loser: An interesting aspect of Yeerk psychology. Being a race more given to pragmatism than humans, they see no point in fighting battles when the odds are against them, and consider humans mad for their Determinator tendencies. This is first revealed by Edriss in VISSER, and becomes something of a Chekhov's Gun gun late in the series when Visser Three surrenders to the kids in the final battle without a fight, subverting the expectations of many readers expecting a climatic battle but rewarding anyone who remembered Edriss's dialogue some 15-books back.
  • Mechanical Insects: The Bug Fighter is the standard Yeerk combat ship, resembling a headless cockroach with two spear-like protusions for energy weapons.
  • More Than Mind Control: There are voluntary Controllers, people who willingly let a Yeerk infest them. Many of them are simply so alone, so desperate to be part of something, that they're willing to give up their free will. The Sharing's main purpose is to find these sort of people and indoctrinate them.
  • No Such Thing as Alien Pop Culture: As strict as the Andalites are, the Yeerks make them look like a bunch of laid-black slackers. The Yeerk extent of pop culture can basically be summed up as "No Fun Allowed", and in fact if a Yeerk fraternizes with its human host too much, it risks being charged with treason by sympathy with a subject species, a crime which carries an automatic sentence of death by Kandrona starvation.
  • Orifice Invasion: They infest other beings by forcing their way through the ear canal and wrapping themselves around the brain.
  • Parasites Are Evil: Yeerk infestation is often portrayed as a terrifying, dehumanizing experience, and the Yeerks themselves are encouraged to treat their hosts as little more than cattle — to the point of psychologically torturing them in order to force them to submit. However, the portrayal becomes much more complex as the series continues, especially once it becomes clear that the Yeerk Empire is harbouring a freedom movement that wants to shift the species away from parasitism and into symbiosis; these rebel Yeerks are regarded as sympathetic and even serve as tentative allies of the Animorphs on occasion.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: They don't kill the host, have full access to the host's memories, and usually do a pretty good job of pretending to be the host, but they have to leave the host every three days to feed (the temporarily-free hosts are generally locked up in the meantime, but more than once the heroes take advantage of this — as if the Yeerk does not feed within those three days, it automatically leaves the host as it dies). They're also a bit more sympathetic, due to not being evolved on a Planet of Hats — as it turns out, most of them simply have no opportunity or capacity to do anything else. They are also stuck in a blind slug-type body unless they take over the body of another (both described by a friendly Yeerk and experienced by Cassie when she morphs into one).
  • Sensory Overload: Not quite, but close — being very naturally limited in terms of senses in their natural states, Yeerks are shown to get quite giddy with the senses humans take for granted, particularly sight. In some cases, Yeerks taking their first host do get overloaded from their first sensory experiences. In The Hork-Bajir Chronicles, some Yeerks even reject the experience as frightening, though Esplin disagrees.
  • Technology Uplift: The Andalites (more specifically Prince Seerow) elevated them from a primitive, barely-tool using (through the Gedds) race into one with tech surpassing mankind's by sharing their technology (which the Andalites quickly came to regret).
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: The Yeerks have full access to their host's memories and can mimic their behavior and personalities perfectly; the Animorphs are fully aware that anyone they know could be a Controller. To really drive the paranoia home, it's not at all uncommon for the Animorphs to cause a public spectacle... and start getting attacked by random members of the crowd.
  • Villainous Underdog: Though it's not very evident to the main characters, the Yeerks are easily this in relation to the Andalites. They're a relatively young power, having only obtained significant technology thirty years ago, they lost their original homeworld relatively early, meaning that most of the race is now confined to spaceships, their technology is mostly knockoffs of Andalite tech, and they do not have enough hosts to win a war of attrition. Earth is so important to them because being able to convert most of Earth's population into Controllers is the only way they'll have even a chance of winning. Of course, this doesn't make much difference to the Animorphs themselves, as a relatively weak Galactic Conqueror is still a massive threat to Earth as a whole.

    Visser Three (Esplin Nine-Four-Six-Six)  

Visser Three (Esplin 9466 the primary)
Debut: Animorphs #1: The Invasion (1996)

He looked so much like Ax. So much like Prince Elfangor. And yet, so totally different. The difference wasn't something you saw. It was something you felt. A shadow on your soul. A darkness that blotted out the light of the sun. Evil. Destruction. His body was an Andalite. He was the only Andalite-Controller in existence. The only Yeerk ever to infest an Andalite body. The only Yeerk with the Andalite power to morph. Visser Three.

The only Yeerk to ever infest an Andalite, Esplin 9466 Primary, in his time as Visser Three, was put in charge of operations on Earth. Though he carried out the orders of his superiors and employed the strategy of infiltration and subversion suggested by his rival Visser One, his violent and impulsive personality lent itself more brutal tactics. A long-time proponent of a strategy of open war, his efforts to be promoted to Visser One were stymied by his inability to capture or kill what he believed to be "Andalite bandits", and his growing obsession with the Animorphs paved the way for his descent into insanity and paranoia.
  • 0% Approval Rating: He's an Ax-Crazy Evil Overlord who executes his subordinates at the drop of a hat and makes a hobby out of collecting torture devices and morphing giant alien monsters. Consequently, he's almost universally hated and feared among his fellow Yeerks, with only a few die-hard fanatics expressing loyalty towards him. This actually becomes a plot point several times. Early in the series many Yeerks suspect some of the "Andalite bandits" are humans, but they don't talk about it openly because he hates that idea. Later, as the Animorphs are threatened with the prospect of Visser One taking over the invasion, they decide it's more to their advantage that Visser Three remain in charge, as his leadership makes the Yeerks less effective.
  • Acid Attack: Two of his morphs have been known to use it: the Kaftid he morphs in The Pretender and an unnamed morph from The Return that's described as a giant alien alligator gorilla.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: An Ax-Crazy Jerkass who kills whoever and whenever he wants.
  • And I Must Scream: His final fate is imprisonment forever in his natural Yeerk form. Cut off from any sense he once enjoyed, powerless and alone for the rest of his miserable life.
  • Animorphism: Mostly using scary giant alien monsters.
  • Antagonist Abilities: Played with as to make him a Foil to the Animorphs. While they technically have the same powers, the heroes are mostly limited to Earth animals in their choice of forms, and each of them has a favorite 'combat morph'. Visser Three is a galactic conqueror who has the access to a set of terrifying forms mimicking abominations from distant planets, making the most ferocious Earth predators look like fluffy kittens in comparison. He has so many of them that he rarely reuses a shape. Due to this, the heroes stand not a shadow of a chance against him in a straight fight, except the rare times when they make a serendipitous discovery of a particular morph's weakness.
    • He also possesses an Andalite body and sometimes fights like an Andalite, with his tail blade, but he doesn't have Ax's tailfighting skill and usually has to put some distance between them and morph to get out of those confrontations.
  • Archenemy: Outside of his general enmity with the Animorphs, he's involved in a set of two one-directional archenemy relationships; Ax considers him to be his because Visser Three killed his brother and Ax is expected to kill his brother's killer, and Visser Three considers Jake to be his even when all he knew about him was his status as the leader of the "Andalite Bandits" and his preferred battle morph.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority/Authority Equals Asskicking: One of the main reasons, if not the main reason, why he's still in power. Getting Alloran's body boosted him in a few years from Sub-Visser Seven to Visser Thirty-two to Visser Three... and then he stalls out at Visser Three for something like twenty years.
  • Ax-Crazy: Viciously insane, with a Hair-Trigger Temper, and executes his subordinates at the drop of a hat.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: He apparently favors this pose, as seen on the cover of VISSER on the right.
  • Bad Boss: He could well be the Trope Namer. Not only does he sarcastically mock his subordinates, but he kills them for little-to-no reason, ranging from such things as general failure to simply questioning his orders. Many Yeerks actually go so far as to pass up promotions to avoid working with him; those who do work alongside him live in constant fear of his wrath and do everything they can to avoid pissing him off.
    • One of the worst moments of this was when the Animorphs, needing to get the Visser out of the room they were in, imitated his voice, prompting a guard to walk into his room. Visser Three chases him out, screaming that he's going to execute him for his crime of entering without being summoned.
  • Big Bad: There's two Vissers and the Council of Thirteen above him in the Yeerk hierarchy, but Visser Three is the leader of the Earth invasion, the Arch-Enemy of the Animorphs and the primary antagonist of the series. Further solidified when he is ultimately promoted to Visser One and becomes commander-in-chief of the entire Yeerk forces. And in one Bad Future, he works his way up to The Emperor.
  • Big Eater: As a Yeerk with an Andalite host he seems to add the Yeerk delight in a host's senses to the general Andalite reaction to taste to an even more extreme extent than Ax or Estrid. Unfortunately for just about everyone, his Nightmare Fetishist tendencies lead to him choosing predatory creatures for the express purpose of eating his victims alive.
  • Bigger Is Better: A philosophy he subscribes to wholeheartedly. Subverted in The Arrival, when he finally realizes bigger is not always better and morphs a small creature to avoid being assassinated. Ax's narration sardonically treats this like the Visser has learned some astonishing new trick.
  • Blob Monster: One of his morphs in The Return. Rachel aptly describes it as 'Killer Jell-O'.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Tom sells him out to the Animorphs in the hopes of seizing his Blade ship and escaping before the Andalites move in.
  • Bond One-Liner: After eating Elfangor, he makes a really bad one about using the morph to "take a bite out of [his] enemies." He's also deployed equally bad one-liners when he feels like he has the upper hand, as seen in The Threat and The Mutation.
  • Breath Weapon: His most powerful and only recurring combat morph, the eight-everythinged creature seen in The Invasion and The Resistance, breathes fireballs from each of its eight heads.
  • The Brute: While he's the Big Bad to the Animorphs, this is his overall position in the Yeerk hierarchy. The main reason he became a Visser in the first place was just because he captured the first Andalite host and delivered a bunch of valuable enemy intelligence with it, but otherwise he's a General Failure prone to Cartoonish Supervillainy who is useful primarily because he is personally extremely powerful and dangerous. He's otherwise a terrible general and tactician with no sense of political savviness and is so arrogant and proud that it's crippling. It says something that Visser One, his primary rival in the Yeerk hierarchy, is a normal human he could kill with ease, but she's able to outplay him through intelligence and cunning because she's fully aware he has neither.
  • The Caligula: Violent, sadistic, and murderously insane, he fits every bullet on the list.
  • Cartoonish Supervillainy: At his lowest points.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: The chameleon crab morph he uses in The Reunion has this as its gimmick.
  • Combat Tentacles: More than a few of his morphs feature them, most notably the Lerdethak from The Forgotten and the unnamed monster he morphs in The Ultimate.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: As a battle commander Visser Three is unrivaled by any other character in the story. As anything else, particularly as the stealthy invasion commander that he's been tasked to be by his masters in the Council, he fails in epic fashion.
  • Cruel Mercy: After he's finally beaten, he's robbed of his prized Andalite body and forced to live out the rest of his natural life in his original Yeerk state, blind and helpless. For Visser Three, who was in love with the sense of sight, this is very fitting.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He's had plenty of time on both ends on this trope. Even though he's a bloodthirsty brute with a bottomless grab bag of powerful alien morphs, he's also very stupid and willfully ignorant of indirect tactics and the Earth morphs that the kids use against him — so on one hand, you have the Visser using his eight-everythinged morph in The Invasion to immediately force the Animorphs to retreat, and on the other, you have the Visser laughing his ass off at Cassie's skunk morph in The Secret and leaving himself wide open to a good spraying.
  • Cyclops: In The Sickness he morphs a creature that's basically a giant, tentacled eyeball.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of the Evil Overlord type — he is a terrifying and intimidating presence, tolerates no failure from his minions, and is brutal and violent. However, these traits that would make him a great warlord make him terrible at leading a covert infiltration force, which is what Visser One wants the Earth invasion to be. His Bad Boss tendencies result in him being surrounded by sycophants who are terrified of displeasing him and can't do their jobs properly out of fear of death at any moment, and others are willing to betray him because they hate him; he has no ability to formulate long-term strategies or plan, and the handful of times he tries, they never work out; and whenever he enters a fight he tends to cause massive destruction to the place without concern for being noticed. His Cartoonish Supervillainy results in three years of wasted time and resources, and he can't even manage to capture a group of six "Andalite bandits" despite all the resources he could possibly need to do so at his command. It says something that when he becomes Visser One and can finally push for a frontal assault and invasion of Earth like he's been itching to do all along, he becomes a lot more dangerous.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: In The Visitor he morphs a three-legged, twenty-foot tall creature that's strong enough to rip up chunks of cement from the ground and throw them.
  • Dragon Ascendant: By the series' end, he rises to become Visser One and leads the invasion.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: He's subservient to the Council of Thirteen, but because they're basically a non-entity in the story being the ones he and Visser One report to, and because he's handily the strongest Yeerk thanks to his Andalite host, he is thus much more threatening as the leader of the Earth invasion and primary opponent of the Animorphs. Ultimately, it's his defeat and capture that puts an end to the war, all while the Council of Thirteen remain in the background.
  • The Dreaded: Feared by Andalite and Animorph both. The Visser may be a General Failure, but in a fight he defeats the kids nearly every time, due to his greater experience and arsenal of alien morphs.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the second book Rachel describes him as "not a creature that makes impetuous decisions". Given the Visser's later behavior, this assessment of him is nothing short of laughable.
  • Enemy Mine: Teams up with the Animorphs to escape the Helmacrons in The Suspicion and the Nartec in The Mutation, as well as with Elfangor and Loren in The Andalite Chronicles.
  • Enfant Terrible: He was 'born' in the two-year period between the Yeerks stealing ships and leaving their homeworld and finding the Hork-Bajir, at which point he was instrumental in enslaving them. He's five or so during The Andalite Chronicles and in his mid to late twenties in the main series. Maybe Yeerks just have brief childhoods.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first thing he does when the kids see him the first time is morphs into a giant monster and eats Elfangor alive, both showing how evil he is and showcasing his ability to morph into alien monsters (which would result in him becoming a one person Monster of the Week throughout the series).
  • Evil Gloating: He's a master of this, and he uses public thought-speak to ensure everyone can hear him.
  • Evil Is Bigger: All of his morphs are ridiculously large.
  • Evil Overlord: In charge of the infiltration of efforts of Earth, alongside Visser One. Eventually, he takes full control, turning the invasion from a quiet takeover to a full-blown war.
  • Exotic Entree: He has two morphs, the Antarean Bogg and Vanarx, specifically devoted to being bad enough to do this to other species. In the first book, he devours Elfangor.
  • Fate Worse than Death: His fate is being contained in a custom-made prison without a body for the rest of his life, helpless and only able to see through the box's sensors. For a power hungry monster like Visser Three who was in love with the sense of sight, this is most certainly one of these.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He often speaks politely, but doesn't even try to hide his Ax-Crazy nature.
  • Feathered Fiend: In The Decision he attacks Ax as a kafit bird, which comes from the Andalite home world.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: In The Reunion he morphs an alien chameleon crab.
  • Giant Flyer: He's got two known morphs that fall under this banner: the Bievilerd from The Revelation and an unnamed monster described as something like a giant winged porcupine pterodactyl in The Underground.
  • Giant Squid: The last morph he ever uses is one of these, seen in The Sacrifice. He may have used it before in The Mutation.
  • General Failure: He embodies this trope. That's what you get for having a society basically built on Asskicking Equals AuthorityThe Peter Principle kicks in and your stealth invasion ends up being run by a guy who kills his own troops at the slightest provocation. The heroes occasionally work to keep him in charge, but are hamstrung by the 'stealth' aspect. What really drives the point home is that Visser Three's entire species is built around, and understands the importance of a stealthy approachnote . Even the superiors nearly as ruthless as he is manage to understand this. Visser Three was a nobody whose violent obvious tactics mostly worked on the Hork-Bajir homeworld because the hosts there were plentiful and didn't know to fight back until relatively late. This got him some rank, but it skyrocketed when he became the only Yeerk to possess a morph-capable Andalite (out of sheer luck as much as anything else), and his ego ballooned from there.
    Visser One: I understand you perfectly, Esplin 9466. You have the necessary brutality without the necessary subtlety. You are crude and emotional. You've made no progress with Earth. None. For all your grandiose schemes, you are no further toward your goal than when you took over.
  • Graceful Loser: Very surprisingly done at the end. He surrenders to the Animorphs without a fight and leaves his host willingly. In previous encounters where he'd come off the worse and had to retreat he was angry and petulant. The difference is probably the scope of his defeats — failing at one plan or another left room to come back, but the loss of his entire army and capture due to betrayal at a critical moment left him completely without wiggle room.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take a lot to make him lose control and lash out violently at whatever's annoying him.
  • Hate Sink: He's a sadistic, murderous tyrant, and colossal asshole as well. He's clearly not intended to be liked.
  • The Heavy: Visser One and the Council of Thirteen are above him, but he's in charge of the invasion of Earth, so he is the main enemy.
  • Hero Killer: Probably the most dangerous combatant in the series, and more than lives up to this reputation.
  • Humiliation Conga: He goes through one at the end of the series. The Animorphs tricked him into believing that they were dying on the ground, Tom stole the Blade ship from him and got away with it, and he's forced to release his Andalite host and spend the rest of his life in a box, without the ability to see except through its sensors.
  • Hydro-Electro Combo: One of Visser Three's many horrible morphs is a Luminar, a humanoid alien that emits electricity. It works decently enough against the Nartec, but as the Animorphs are about to escape in a submarine with the Visser onboard, they open the hatch, and suddenly the Luminar morph isn't doing so well.
    Jake: <Interesting morph, Visser. Does it work underwater?>
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: In The Hork-Bajir Chronicles he has a fixation on Andalites that borders on the sexual and is wildly delighted when he captures Aldrea and starts to infest her.
    "Hello, Andalite! You are mine! My host! My slave! Do you see who I am? Do you see that I am your master?"
  • Insane Admiral: This is the default mindset for Yeerk Vissers, most of whom are shown to be motivated more by their personal agendas rather than military objectives. Visser Three is the standout, a dim-witted egomaniac with an unquenchable thirst for violence and a questionable grip on reality. He finds every excuse he can to butcher his own subordinates, spends the rest of his time playing politics with his superiors, and reacts to defeat like an angry child. His fanatical subordinate, Visser Two, is even more crazed, if that's possible to imagine. He also gets bonus points for taking an actual admiral as his host. Interestingly, Visser Three actually shows far more effectiveness, restraint, and... well, sanity, in the prequel Chronicles books. He gets a narrating role in The Hork-Bajir Chronicles in which he's downright the Only Sane Man among the Yeerks invading the Hork-Bajir homeworld.
  • The Juggernaut: In The Message he chases the kids as a giant, untiring Sea Monster called a Mardrut. They're only saved by the fortuitous arrival of magic talking whales.
    • Most of the Visser's morphs trend towards this, due to their size, overwhelming power, and general unstoppability.
  • Kill It with Fire: He's fond of this. In the first book he morphs a monstrous, unnamed eight-headed creature and in The Mutation he morphs the Luminar, a blazing creature that can flash-fry its enemies by pointing a finger. Hasbro must have caught on to it, because the first Visser Three toy transformed into a form never seen in the books dubbed the Inferno Beast.
  • Klingon Promotion: An indirect example: In book 45, we learn that Visser One failed at the Anati invasion, and is sentenced to die. Visser Three presides over her execution, and gets promoted to Visser One a few months later.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: When he's finally cornered by the team he surrenders without a fight.
  • Large Ham/ Evil Is Hammy: Something of a Running Gag; every time it is explained that thought-speak can be sent to one person or a few, that's when the Visser ANNOUNCES HIS PRESENCE TO EVERY PERSON IN RANGE!
  • The Leader: He's the very definition of an evil Headstrong type leader.
  • Lesser of Two Evils:
    • The entire reason he willingly surrenders to the Animorphs at the end of the series; as he himself states, no punishment he might receive from the Animorphs could possibly be worse than what he would receive from the Council of Thirteen.
    • Also, the main characters see him as this compared to the much more competent Visser One (see below).
  • Manipulative Bastard: Largely averted, but he runs a pretty good plot to smoke out Elfangor's son in The Pretender. He's smart when he wants to be. Usually, he doesn't want to be.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: He is not afraid to eat other Yeerks — host and all — who fail him. His brother, who figured out a means to survive without recharging in a Kandrona pool by consuming other Yeerks, implies that if Visser Three figured out that trick he wouldn't hesitate to use it.
  • Monster of the Week: He's basically a one person example as he has a vast array of alien monsters acquired (most of which are powerful enough to be a match for the whole Animorphs team), and uses a new one practically every other book (indeed, he only re-uses one once in the series.)
  • Muck Monster: He's got two known morphs like this, one seen in The Weakness and the other in The Hidden.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: The unnamed creature he morphs in The Threat. All we know about it is that it is 'dark and large and has more arms than it should'.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Among Andalites, he is known as 'The Abomination'.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: His private room on the Blade Ship is decorated with torture devices from around the galaxy, including an iron maiden.
  • No One Could Survive That!: The actual Yeerk Esplin 9466 has made a shtick out of surviving against impossible odds. See The Andalite Chronicles, The Hork-Bajir Chronicles, and The Alien. He also survives the war, which is no mean feat when you consider how many people want him dead.
  • Off with His Head!: His preferred method of execution. The fact that his underlings can escape the host before dying as well makes this a somewhat less destructive punishment than normal, but it's still a demotion.
  • One-Winged Angel: He has a menagerie of monstrous morphs he's acquired from across the galaxy.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Downplayed, since he doesn't have a mouth, but the graphic novels show him giving an angry, disapproving look in all his appearances.
  • The Peter Principle: He was quite a competent villain in the Chronicles prequels, but it's pretty clear that trying to run a stealthy infiltration campaign really doesn't fit his skillset, making him a General Failure in the main series.
  • Pet the Dog: A possible example: In one book, he has to go to a makeshift circus, and complains about the bad treatment of animals there. He is in a morph at the time and trying to fool Tobias, so it's possible he's just acting nice to fool him better.
  • Plant Aliens: His Lerdethak morph from The Forgotten.
  • Prehensile Hair: In The Suspicion he morphs a Medusa-like creature with scythe-tentacles for hair.
  • Powerful, but Incompetent: He can morph into things that it would take an entire army to stop, but mentally he's the equivalent of a Saturday morning cartoon villain and so has been handed multiple embarrassing defeats in spite of his vast power.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: His troops wear red and black.
  • Sadist: Esplin loves torturing others and causing pain to his enemies. Or anyone really.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: The main reason the Animorphs manage to survive the entire war against the Yeerks without a single casualty until the last book in the series is because Visser Three is an Ax-Crazy, supremely arrogant, ignorant, megalomaniac psychopath who makes Bond villains look intelligent and rational by comparison and is such a Bad Boss that his soldiers are too terrified of him to do anything without his express orders. More than once, the Animorphs conspire to keep Visser Three in power specifically because the Visser's insanity causes more damage to the efforts of the Yeerks to take over Earth than the Animorphs could ever do.
  • Sanity Slippage: Not that he's particularly sane even to start with, but what little stability Visser Three does have steadily erodes over his three years of fighting the Animorphs. By the end he's clearly suffering the evil equivalent of Heroic Fatigue, being increasingly apathetic and delegating more and more of his authority to his treacherous lieutenant Tom.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: In the final book, he is removed from his host and sentenced to life imprisonment in a metal container.
  • Sea Monster: In The Escape he morphs a bright yellow alien sea serpent. His Lebtin Javelin Fish from The Reaction and Mardrut from The Message also count.
  • Sense Freak: He particularly loves the 360-degree sight Andalites have.
  • Shoot the Messenger: All the goddamn time.
  • Signature Move: Averted, since he has a penchant for hauling out a new alien monster morph every book. In a way, you could say his Signature Move is being a permanent one-man Monster of the Week.
  • The Sociopath: An incredibly low-functioning example of one, due to his Lack of Empathy, volatile temper, and proclivity towards committing Stupid Evil acts. He may have been different in his youth, as in the Hork-Bajir Chronicles he mentions joking with his twin and having friends, but by the main series it's different.
  • Spike Shooter: In The Reaction he morphs a Lebtin Javelin Fish, a kind of manta ray that fires spears from its mouth. His Dule Fansa also shoots spikes from its four arms.
  • The Starscream: To Visser One. He succeeds eventually. However, their hatred of each other is mutual.
  • Start of Darkness: The Hork-Bajir Chronicles probably counts, since aside from Dak and Alrea's story, about a third of the novel is spent exploring his own back story.
  • Stronger Sibling: Labeled as such at birth, hence his 'primary' designation.
  • Stupid Evil: It's only most of the way through the series when he even begins to suspect that the Animorphs are human. Possibly influenced by his Andalite host; Alloran is smarter than Esplin seems to be, but might be slow to believe that Andalites broke the law and gave the morphing power to humans who prove very effective guerrillas.
    • Book 28 has him react so badly to researchers claiming there's no way to add something to food that removes free will that the survivors entirely fake the results of their research and claim complete effectiveness. The last one is so beaten down by this that he just cooperates with the Animorphs when they show up, saying he'd rather die of Kandrona starvation than be there when Visser Three realizes what happened.
  • Torture Technician: In The Extreme, it's revealed that he collects torture devices from around the universe.
  • Ultimate Job Security: To a truly breathtaking degree, as he remains commander of the Earth invasion for the entire series despite making zero progress at all, and indeed remaining confined to only a single metropolitan area (all his attempts to expand Yeerk influence are met with failure). Several Yeerks, including Visser One, are executed for failures far less egregious than Visser Three's, and yet not only is he not executed, he's even promoted! The Animorphs wonder more than once if he isn't just a Lucky Bastard, and with his track record readers will wonder that too.
  • Uniqueness Value: Being the only Andalite-Controller, and the only morph-capable one, makes him one of the most powerful Yeerks, and it sometimes seems that he wants to keep it that way, sabotaging any chances that other Yeerks would get hosts that could do the same as his.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: On multiple occasions — including one time in an Alternate Universe where he fights a very green, untested Ax — the Visser fights one-on-one with the Animorphs and loses, often decisively. That being said, he has a vast arsenal of powerful morphs, with which he has defeated the Animorphs in a straight fight and even forced them into a complete retreat more than once.
  • Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: In The Discovery, he morphs a purple four-armed beast called a Dule Fansa, variously described as an 'evil Barney' and 'Hitmonchan with traffic-cone arms'.
  • Villain Decay: Suffers from it, due to being the main villain for the entire series. Even more extreme if you read the Hork-Bajir or Andalite Chronicles, in which we see his beginnings as a very capable Manipulative Bastard, and long before his degeneration into the General Failure he is now. Despite this, fighting him head-on is still not a good idea.
  • Villainous Breakdown: His repeated defeats and humiliations at the hands of the Animorphs take their toll.
  • Villainous Rescue: In The Mutation. Without him, those kids would have been screwed by the Nartec.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Just as surprisingly as his Graceful Loser moment above, he brutally mocks Jake for trying to take the high ground right afterward:
    "He's a prisoner of war. We don't kill prisoners."
    "No, of course not. You merely destroy the ground-based Yeerk pool and kill thousands. And you add another seventeen thousand here on this ship. All defenseless, unhosted Yeerks. But you don't kill prisoners."
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: A curious character trait to be sure, and one that definitely contributes to his at-times cartoonish nature, but several times over the series (The Suspicion, The Mutation) he finds himself in Enemy Mine situations that force him to team up with the Animorphs, and in spite of his otherwise malicious personality, fully (and sometimes even enthusiastically) commits to the team-up, only to find himself surprised when the Animorphs turn the tables on him. In some books, like The Secret, this aspect of him is even made outrightly cartoonish.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: His victories in rising within the Yeerk hierarchy are typically the result of this. For example, in The Weakness he beat his rival the Inspector simply by standing back and letting him and the Animorphs fight to the death (he even allows the Animorphs to escape unimpeded!). He also achieves his ultimate triumph over his hated rival Edriss simply by not failing as badly on Earth as she fails in Anati.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: It's theorized by fans that this is the direct cause behind Visser Three's incompetence in the main series — in the Chronicles books he has a tendency to grandstand and rant and gloat but can be patient, thoughtful and manipulative, unlike the General Failure seen in the main series. Then he gets himself an Andalite host, becomes the most physically powerful Controller in the Empire, and it's all downhill from there.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • It says something about his character that probably the closest thing to a sympathetic moment that he ever had in the series to round him out was in The Pretender, when he mused to a seemingly-oblivious Tobias that Elfangor was a great man, and that he should be proud to be his son.
    • Later, Visser Three comes to regard team leader Jake as such too, repeatedly complimenting his tiger morph. Near the very end of the series, a former hostage of the enemy says they should listen to Jake — a sixteen year old boy — because he's the only person Visser Three is afraid of.
  • The Xenophile: His whole rise to power began because he was fascinated by Andalites and believed that by becoming the nascent Empire's expert on Andalites he could make himself indispensable. Briefly infesting Aldrea turned this fascination to an obsession.
  • You Have Failed Me: A lot. Visser One notes that he's executed subordinates "by the poolful," which basically means thousands or more. He does this so reliably that Marco's able to bluff his way out of a situation where three flunkies were expected by saying, "I think Visser Three killed them for doing something wrong". He chastises himself for this, calling it the worst lie he's ever told, only for it to be believed.
  • Younger Than They Look: Yeerks grow up quickly. He was born in the two years between the Yeerks leaving their homeworld and finding the Hork-Bajir and started to gain in authority almost instantly. At the start of the main series he's only in his midtwenties.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He has a form devoted to this, a Vanarx, which can suck the Yeerk out of its host and eat it.

    Visser One (Edriss-Five-Six-Two) 

Visser One (Edriss-Five-Six-Two)

Debut: Animorphs #5: The Predator (1996)

I took a human host and learned about the planet and humans, and because of that I was able to begin the invasion that you have now endangered with your criminal incompetence! ...You want to be Visser One? You want to take my title? We shall see.

Cold and calculating, it was Edriss 562 who suggested the strategy of infiltration that defined the war for the majority of the series, after years of living amongst her enemies (some of it under the guise of Marco's mother, Eva). Though she punished failure harshly, she also rewarded well for success, and her calm and collected tactical abilities made her a star in the eyes of the Council.
  • Archenemy: To Marco, whose life's goal quickly becomes killing Visser One.
  • Becoming the Mask: Subverted in VISSER. However, the ending suggests that despite her best efforts, she had became the mask ever so slightly — just not enough to overtake her ambition.
  • Body Surf: In a sense during VISSER. Over the course of the narrative she moves through seven different hosts.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: She's the exact inversion of her rival Visser Three's overspecialization. Put her in charge of a stealthy invasion, as she initially was with Earth, and Edriss will deliver results every time. But put her in charge of a military campaign, as the Council of Thirteen idiotically decided to do twice, and all the cunning wit in the world won't save her. Ironically, this serves to heighten her role as an evil Foil to Marco, who gladly serves as The Lancer of the Animorphs because he knows himself well enough to know he doesn't have the chops to lead the team.
  • Dark Chick: She founds The Sharing and chooses a host with natural charisma to lead it, effectively providing the Yeerks with willing hosts by recognizing and taking advantage of the human need to belong.
  • Daydream Believer: When she first arrived on Earth, she and Essam picked up broadcasts of Star Trek, which they believed were real footage, and that humans were capable of Faster-Than-Light Travel.
  • Deliver Us from Evil: Ultimately subverted. Having children through Allison certainly had an effect on her but ultimately she prioritized the Yeerk Empire. She cared about those children, she liked being a mother enough to choose another one as her host, but had no concern about the rest of the human species.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: She's set up as the Big Bad above Visser Three for the first half, only to be displaced from her position after too many failures, and for Esplin to eventually be elevated to Visser One in her place.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: She hides the truth about her past from her host because she'd rather have Eva's hate than her pity.
  • Drives Like Crazy: While controlling Eva she drives like Eva — that is, aggressively and way too fast. Where do you think Marco learned to drive so bad?
  • Enemy Mine: She aids the Animorphs for her own ends in The Predator, reluctantly works with them in The Reunion, and allies with them against Visser Three in Visser.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Her human children. Though her understanding of "love" is more about control and the appearance of love.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Seen at the end of VISSER. She muses about finding Madra and how she'll love her when she does — and if Madra doesn't, she'll just infest her with a Yeerk and then she'll have to love her. The monologue proves that, in spite of everything she's seen and learned, Edriss doesn't understand the concept of love any more than she did before she experienced humanity.
  • Evil Genius: Her plans for the invasion are much more strategic and pragmatic than Visser Three's, and her distaste for him is built on how his lack of subtlety poses a threat to the invasion on its own.
  • Evil Matriarch: Has Marco's mother's body as her host.
  • Evil Overlord: Definitely gives off this vibe, especially in The Predator and The Escape.
  • Evil Versus Evil: She is a heated rival of Visser Three.
  • Faking the Dead: Faked Eva's death in order to get off planet.
  • Finger Gun: During The Reunion she tells the Animorphs she knows something is up with their group and she'll find out what it is. Then she makes a "gun hand", points it at Marco, and grinning, says "and then... TSEEEEW!"
  • Friendly Enemy: With Allison Kim, one of her earlier hosts. Edriss and Allison respected each other as fellow scientists, and Edriss notes in her narration that Allison was willing to be pleasant to her if it meant learning more about the Yeerks' more advanced science. For her part, Edriss respected Allison's intelligence so much that she would occasionally relinquish control of some part of her body, just to see how long it took Allison to a) realize it, and b) use it against her.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Like Visser Three, she was a nobody who through a combination of skill and luck made it to the top in record time.
  • General Failure: An interesting example. She's a good administrator, very clever, and knows stealth and infiltration like the back of her hand. But she's not much for military tactics, and her approach is slow and steady. When she's put into actual warfare scenarios like Leera or Anati, she tends to bungle them pretty hard. (Ironically, it seems like Visser Three would have handled them with aplomb.)
  • Going Native: Played with, but ultimately subverted.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: Her troops wear gold and black.
  • Graceful Loser: Discussed during VISSER. After infesting her first human host, an Iraqi soldier in the Gulf War, Edriss is shocked to learn that humans will keep fighting even when victory seems impossible. She contrasts this with the Yeerk philosophy of surrendering once defeat is imminent, which ends up foreshadowing Visser Three's anticlimactic surrender in the series finale.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: She and her assistant Essam were the first long-term Human-Controllers, and found the experience much more addicting than any other Yeerk host species. When sharing memories of her first infestation of a human with the Council of Thirteen she fully expects that some of them will go on to take human hosts.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: We learn early on that she's the one pushing for the steady infiltration strategy of the invasion, but we never really learn why until VISSER.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: In VISSER, where she narrates.
  • Ignored Epiphany: She experiences humanity but turns her back on it.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: Edriss initially approaches humanity in a curious but clinically detached manner. Infesting the human scientist Allison Kim is what causes her studies to become more intimate.
  • It Doesn't Mean Anything: In VISSER, between her and Essam.
  • The Leader: For most of the series, anyway.
  • Love Is a Weakness: She comes to feel this way.
  • Mama Bear: She gives her children up for adoption but continues watching them from afar.
  • Morality Pet: Darwin and Madra, her children through a previous host. She made the decision to conceive them, so she considers them hers.
  • Mouth of Sauron: She serves as the main representative for the Council of Thirteen in the series.
  • Never Found the Body: Three times: in the backstory, The Escape and The Reunion.
  • Path of Inspiration: She uses a charismatic host, Lore David Altman, to create this ideology in the form of The Sharing.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Unlike Visser Three, Visser One only attempts to achieve realistic goals, and refrains from being a sadistic madwoman since it doesn't do anything for her, but make her underlings hate her.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Her usual facial expression.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: She presents herself as this to her underlings. She harshly punishes failure, but she also rewards well underlings who fulfill her expectations. In VISSER, before going in search of Earth she punishes a subordinate who questions whether Class Five hosts even exist by killing his host but pulling him out of said host's brain and taking him to the nearest Pool, declaring in narration that he'll learn. This is... not the usual definition of reasonable, but compared to Visser Three it sort of is.
  • Secret-Keeper: She eventually figures out the Animorphs are human (including figuring out the specific identify of one of them — Marco, to be precise), but keeps the secret out of spite for Visser Three.
  • Social Darwinist: Believes the strong have an inherent right to prey on the weak.
  • Superior Species: Sees the Yeerks as one.
  • Take a Third Option: In VISSER she's presented with a Sadistic Choice by Visser Three. She finds a way out.
  • Unexpected Successor: Before VISSER, Edriss held the lowly rank of Sub-Visser Four-hundred-nine.
  • Villain Episode: She (and Visser Three) have a starring role in VISSER.
  • Weak, but Skilled: A master of stealth, manipulation, and espionage it is no wonder she got the position of head of the Yeerk military. Although, while she is an excellent commander, she is a poor combatant, as virtually every physical encounter she has with the Animorphs ends with her at their mercy. It's only because she inhabits Marco's mother that she has survived as long as she did.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: With the odd exception of Eva, Edriss treats her hosts like paper cups — use them, then throw them away. Ironically, she becomes a victim of this by both Yeerks and the Animorphs. The Yeerks condemn her to death for failing to stall the Andalite fleet in the Anati system. Meanwhile, the Animorphs left her alone in VISSER because she was the sole power capable of stopping the Yeerks from forcefully invading and killing millions. When Edriss lost her credibility among the Yeerks, the Animorphs saw no point in keeping her alive and nobody stops Eva from personally killing her.

    Hedrick Chapman (Iniss-Two-Two-Six) 

Hedrick Chapman (Iniss-Two-Two-Six)

Debut: Animorphs #1: The Invasion (1996)

Sorry I skipped class, Mr. Chapman, but I've been in this lizard body, watching you because I know you're a Controller and part of a giant alien conspiracy to take over the Earth.

Assistant principal at the school attended by the Animorphs and a prominent Human-Controller, he and his wife became Controllers to protect his daughter Melissa from infestation. One of the more frequently-recurring antagonists, he has a prominent role in The Andalite Chronicles as a villain, contradicting everything about him learned up to that point.
  • Asshole Victim: If you take The Andalite Chronicles as fact, it's really hard to feel sorry for Chapman in the main series.
  • Butt-Monkey: His later appearances in the series tended to consist of this.
  • Children Raise You: If his appearance in The Andalite Chronicles is the same guy, it's clear that getting married and having a daughter made the human Chapman much less of an asshole.
  • Dirty Coward: This is Ax's assessment of his character in The Deception.
  • Evil Principal: He is secretly a Controller with a Yeerk in his brain, helping them take over more people including the students in his school. Upon finding out Chapman is a Controller, Marco jokes this is why he's so strict.
  • Fighting from the Inside: He and his wife in The Visitor. It's notable as the greatest act of resistance an infested human in the series ever puts up.
  • Hostage Situation: Twice the Animorphs make him victim of it, in The Conspiracy and The Answer.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: In The Andalite Chronicles Elfangor meets him on Earth and he remembers nothing of their encounters in space. This is revealed to be the Ellimist's doing.
  • Last-Name Basis: Even before he became a Controller, he preferred that people call him Chapman.
  • Middle-Management Mook: As the vice principal and key leader of the Sharing, he oversees a lot of the day-to-day infiltration of the Yeerks.
  • Mook Lieutenant: His position is important enough that Visser Three can't risk the real Chapman rebel against his host, as it might cause parents to think Chapman is mentally ill, and thus get fired.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Midway through The Andalite Chronicles he falls into a frigging black hole, something neither the Ellimist or Crayak could handle. He shows up in the third arc none the worse for wear.
  • Non-Action Guy: Since he occupies the body of a middle aged principal, he's not really anywhere near the league of the Animorphs or Visser Three.
  • Off with His Head!: His introduction to the series has him ordering a Hork-Bajir to decapitate the kids and bring their heads back for identification.
    • Though it may or may have been intentional, this becomes a nice touch when later books reveal how Chapman's boss Visser Three prefers to deal with those who've earned his ire.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: The entirety of his role in The Andalite Chronicles. It's so extreme that fans have suggested the Chapman seen there is actually a different guy with the same name. Granted, the Chapman there is a teenager prior to a mind-wipe, so it's not out of the question he developed very differently later in life.
  • Papa Wolf: "If you harm my daughter I will fight you. I will fight you forever."
  • Recurring Character: For the first third of the series, and makes a cameo in the penultimate book.
  • The Quisling: In The Andalite Chronicles.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: When he tries to cut a deal with the Yeerks in The Andalite Chronicles.
  • Same Character, but Different: Inverted, time-wise; fans are generally confused by how differently he's portrayed in the prequel book compared to the main series.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Chapman is a relatively minor villain, and his host body is an even more minor character, but in the Andalite Chronicles? He's the one who first informed the future Visser Three of the existence of humanity.
  • Starter Villain: For the first five books the Animorphs encountered him pretty regularly and then he faded into the background as more formidable threats began to make themselves known.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: His and his wife's final fates are both left unknown.

    Joe Bob Fenestre (Esplin Nine-Four-Six-Six the lesser) 

Joe Bob Fenestre (Esplin 9466 the lesser)

Debut: Animorphs #16: The Warning (1998)

My brother, my twin, is the prime. To him go the best assignments, the best hosts, the rank, the power, the glory. And to me, only what I can take. Well, that wasn't good enough. I wanted more. And if I couldn't have it as a Yeerk, I'd have it as a human.

The billionaire owner of Web Access America and mastermind behind a web site devoted to exposing Yeerks, the Animorphs seek him out to learn if he is friend or foe. It turns out he's a Controller, but no ordinary Controller- he is in fact the twin brother of Visser Three, a lowly Yeerk who amassed a personal empire by allying with his host.
  • Big Fancy House: And it's virtually impregnable to boot! The keyword here is 'virtually'.
  • Cain and Abel: He and his twin hate each other.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: He can live without the life-giving Kandrona rays Yeerks need to survive, but only by consuming another Yeerk once every three days.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He's the CEO of Web Access America and, as the spoilered examples here demonstrate, is richly corrupt.
  • Crazy-Prepared: His house is filled with tons of traps, fences, and guards trained to kill any animal, from predator to bug. Is the animal part coincidence? It isn't since it's to defend against his morph-capable brother. It doesn't stop one of the Animorphs from razing the place to the ground.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Averted, and that fact makes perhaps the strongest case for him being the single most intelligent Yeerk seen in the series, surpassing even Visser One. Like Edriss, he's a Yeerk who demonstrates aptitude in multiple disciplines (technology via his reverse engineering and downgrading of Yeerk tech to build his empire, biology via his figuring out how to stay alive without the Kandrona, psychology via his scheme to isolate and capture Yeerks, etc), but unlike Edriss he's smart enough to recognize his limitations and never tries to fight either the Animorphs or Visser Three directly. He also recognizes that he'll never achieve his ambitions by working within the rigid confines of the Yeerk Empire, and so acts outside of the Empire's purview to get what he wants.
  • Deal with the Devil: The real Fenestre made one with his Yeerk to get rich.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Fits most of the items on the checklist.
  • Eccentric Millionaire: He's got extraordinary defenses around his mansion to keep any animal out and his guards see him as a paranoid eccentric in the vein of Howard Hughes. It turns out he's just making sure his brother doesn't come pay him a house call.
  • ET Gave Us Wifi: His tech empire is built on reverse-engineered Yeerk tech.
  • Evil Genius: In contrast to his more brutish twin.
  • Evil Versus Evil: He's wiping out a hundred or so Yeerks a year, but he's doing it to survive, not out of any heroic leanings. He's also killing the hosts.
  • Expy: His company, Web Access America, is a thinly-veiled take on America Online.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He takes a page out of Visser One's book. Surprising, considering who he's related to.
  • Fiction 500: He's identified as the second wealthiest man in the world. Net worth? 24.9 billion dollars.
  • Fictional Counterpart: Of Bill Gates. Interestingly, The Andalite Chronicles hints at the real Bill Gates being around in the Animorphs verse. He's also got shades of Hannibal Lecter to him.
  • Friend or Foe: The kids spend most of the book trying to figure out which side he is on.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: Cannibalises fellow Yeerks in order to live without Kandrona rays.
  • Last-Name Basis: Always addressed as Fenestre.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Dresses according to his station.
  • Meaningful Name: 'Fenestre' is the Latin word for 'window'.
  • Non-Idle Rich: He secretly runs a website that gathers humans who suspect the truth about the Yeerk invasion.
  • Nouveau Riche: Joe Bob Fenestre was a lowly programmer working in the bowels of a telephone company before building Web Access America.
  • Rags to Riches: Fenestre's backstory, which his company plays up for the public.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: He's able to circumvent a death sentence from the Yeerk Empire using his vast fortune.
  • Self-Made Man: Subverted — Fenestre allied with his Yeerk to transcend poverty and become what he is today.
  • Serial Killer: Kills Controllers so he can eat their Yeerks.
  • The Sociopath: Esplin the Lesser is every bit as bad in this regard as his brother.
  • Villain of the Week: In The Warning. He's never seen or even mentioned again afterward outside of an extremely small cameo in the prequel book The Hork-Bajir Chronicles.
  • We Can Rule Together: Worked with his human host to achieve the power and wealth neither could have achieved alone among their respective species.

    Karen (Aftran-Nine-Four-Two) 

Karen (Aftran-Nine-Four-Two)

Debut: Animorphs #19: The Departure (1998)

You tell me what you think I should do. Andalites, humans, there's no difference: You're both smug, moralizing, superior races. You both live in beautiful worlds. You have hands and eyes and the freedom to move about wherever you like. And you hate us for wanting all those same things.

A low-ranking Yeerk assigned to the daughter of a billionaire banker. By chance she observes Cassie leaving a battle and begins to follow her, convinced she has some connection to the Andalite bandits. Due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, they get stranded together in the woods and Aftran learns Cassie's secret, forcing Cassie to face the other side of the war head on.
  • Animorphism: After she's rescued by the Animorphs, they give her the morphing power. She doesn't keep it very long though.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: She views infestation as just what a Yeerk has to do to gain sense and expand, and that it's no different from a human raising cattle to eat them. Her mind is eventually changed.
  • Creepy Child: In her first few appearances, before Cassie figures out what she is.
  • Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: The Hork-Bajir Controller Cassie killed at the beginning of the book turns out to be Aftran's brother.
  • First-Name Basis: Karen's last name is never revealed.
  • Mook–Face Turn: Her time with Cassie and witnessing her willingly becoming a caterpillar nothlit convinces her that the Animorphs are not the selfish bigots that she envisioned them as. She subsequently voluntarily frees Karen and later founds the Yeerk Peace Movement.
  • Mercy Kill: Subverted. After she's rescued in The Sickness, she asks Cassie to kill her so that she doesn't have to starve to death. Instead, Jake lets her become a whale nothlit.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Two different instances.
    • Karen's pleas for freedom, while ignorable, were wearing Aftran down and Cassie's example was the last straw. Thus she's convinced to let Karen free, on one condition.
    • Aftran forced Cassie to become a caterpillar nothlit for Karen to be freed, but changed her mind when seeing Cassie was actually keeping her end of the bargain. She tried her hardest to warn her to demorph, but unfortunately Cassie was too small to hear her.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Founds the Yeerk Peace Movement, which allies members who refuse to take unwilling hosts. When Visser Three discovers this, he certainly isn't thrilled.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Invokes this many times during her debates with Cassie, saying infestation is just like humans killing to eat.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: It's not slavery to her, it's just what she has to do to survive.
  • Put on a Bus: Ultimately, after Cassie helps her escape execution in The Sickness, she chooses to permanently become a whale nothlit, rather than perish from Kandrona starvation, gaining, as the kids put it, a fast, powerful form with strong senses and the ability to communicate.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: She gives Cassie a few in The Departure.
  • Recurring Character: Aftran appears in The Departure and The Sickness.
  • Redemption Earns Life: Her choice to try and save Cassie from being trapped as a nothlit, and later to found the Yeerk Peace Movement, earn her salvation from the death sentence that Visser Three passes on her.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • Set Karen free at the cost of being a blind slug again, or keep her enslaved and live with her screams in your mind?
    • Aftran invokes this upon Cassie by saying she'll set Karen free if Cassie is trapped in a caterpillar body. If Cassie doesn't do it, then Aftran keeps Karen's body.
    • In the end, ask Cassie to kill her quickly, or wait for the slow, agonizing death by Kandrona starvation? Cassie manages to Take a Third Option.
  • Sapient Cetaceans: At the end of The Sickness she willingly becomes a humpback whale nothlit.
  • Secret-Keeper: She willingly keeps the Animorphs' true identities a secret.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: She becomes a whale permanently so she'll no longer have to seek Kandrona rays.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Throughout The Departure she is stalked by a leopard.

    Tidwell (Illim) 

Tidwell (Illim)

Debut: Animorphs #29: The Sickness (1999)

When I first entered Mr. Tidwell, I was not part of the peace movement. He was an involuntary host. No. That is too nice a way to say it. He was my host, my slave. [...] It didn't happen all at once. But gradually I realized that I did not want to inhabit Mr. Tidwell's body if it meant sacrificing his freedom for mine.

The strictest teacher at the kids' school, and, unbeknownst to them, a Controller in the Yeerk Peace Movement. He contacts the team not only to help them escape the school when an alien disease is causing Ax to undergo Power Incontinence, but to warn them that Visser Three is preparing to execute Aftran.
  • The Atoner: Illim, at least, is motivated by a desire to make up for having once been a complicit cog in the Yeerk war machine.
  • Brutal Honesty: A subtle difference in characterization between Illim and Tidwell. Tidwell is more diplomatic and well-spoken, while Illim is factual and somewhat poor at expressing emotion. When Cassie asks for assurance that it is indeed Tidwell who is about to speak during their first conversation, Illim coldly tells her he can't give it, that she can believe him or not. He is equally blunt when she tries to complain that they can't free Aftran due to a disease outbreak in their ranks; that Aftran will be tortured until she cracks, and then the information she knows will be used to annihilate the nascent Peace Movement, and to kill or infest all the Animorphs and everyone they care about.
  • The Cameo: Tidwell actually appears in the television program, helping Tom escape into the mountains where he can try to starve out his Yeerk.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: Averted. Mr. Tidwell has "watery blue" eyes, but he's not in any way creepy, he's just a middle-aged man who happens to be a Controller.
  • Crusading Widower: Played with. Mr. Tidwell is widowed, and losing his wife was a defining moment for him as a person, leaving him alone and without purpose. It was this loneliness that allowed him to embrace Illim, and this lack of purpose that drove him to do something with the freedom that Illim gave back to him. But he isn't a straight example of this trope, since the Yeerks didn't kill his wife.
  • Defector from Decadence: As he himself says, he was not always a peacenik with abolitionist sentiments. But, between his long association with Tidwell and being exposed to the ideas of the Peace Movement, he decided to work as a subversive within the Empire. He's even formed a rather friendly and symbiotic relationship with Tidwell.
  • Heel Realization: Tidwell appears to have been Illim's first host, since it was experiencing his distress that led Illim to conclude that taking involuntary hosts was wrong.
  • Heroic B So D: Tidwell admits that before he was involuntarily infested, he'd been coping extremely poorly with his grief after his wife's death, and that when Illim converted to the Peace Movement, he decided to help out and do something with his life.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: By the time they make contact with the Animorphs, Tidwell and Illim have actually become friends. Tidwell even admits that Illim is good company, and that he had been rather lonely and listless since the death of his wife and enjoys having someone to talk to. He is later a bit weirded out at the idea of Cassie becoming a Yeerk and entering his head.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: In a sense, as it was being exposed to human values via his initially-unwilling host that allowed Illim to make a very un-Yeerkish choice by deciding that taking hosts against their will was morally wrongnote .
  • The Infiltration: With all other alternatives exhausted, Tidwell and Illim agree to help Cassie do this pretty directly. Illim grants Cassie his DNA, and she puts him in a ziplock, morphs him, enters Tidwell's head, and then the three of them walk right into the Yeerk Pool so she can figure out how to extract Aftran.
  • Last-Name Basis: Tidwell surely has a first name, but it is never revealed over the course of the book.
  • Mook–Face Turn: Like Aftran, Illim was just a common foot soldier in the Yeerk Empire before deciding that taking hosts involuntarily was wrong.
  • Non-Action Guy: As committed as Tidwell and Illim are to the Yeerk Peace Movement, the fact remains that Tidwell is a paunchy middle-aged man with no combat training. As he wryly admits to Cassie, he's probably not going to be throwing down with Hork-Bajir very successfully.
  • Number Two: While not stated outright, it can be inferred that Tidwell and Illim effectively serve this role to Aftran in the Yeerk Peace Movement, or at the very least are among her trusted inner circle. They are the ones chosen to contact the Animorphs for help, and Aftran divulged all their identities to them, information she hopefully doesn't give out willy-nilly to every Controller in the Peace Movement. They also knows the group's exact size and which Yeerks have what hosts, information one would expect a trusted second-in-command to know.
  • The Only One I Trust: Because Cassie is the only Animorph that Aftran trusts, she is also the only Animorph that Illim and Tidwell trust, at least implicitly.
  • One-Shot Character: Never makes another appearance after his debut, though he represents one of the few insights we ever receive into the Yeerk Peace Movement from the inside. He's mentioned a few more times in later books that deal with the Peace Movement, but never makes another appearance and never contacts the Animorphs after the war, for intuitively-obvious reasons.
  • Only One Name: Both Illim and Tidwell are only known by one name; neither Illim's Yeerk number designation nor Tidwell's first name are ever revealed.
  • Only Sane Man: Interestingly, Illim (the one Yeerk controlling a host voluntarily that we meet) is more psychologically stable than many other Yeerks the Animorphs encounter, suggesting that not only is joining with hosts in a cooperative union more ethical for Yeerks, it's also more beneficial to their mental health. This might explain the oft-described Yeerk preference for a voluntary host.
  • Secret-Keeper: Tidwell and Illim know the identities of all the Animorphs and like Aftran, both protect that knowledge from the greater Yeerk Empire.
  • Shown Their Work: When Cassie morphs Illim he is sealed inside a plastic bag, which feels like it ought to a be a death sentence. But real-life slugs can actually survive a few days in the same situation since their bodies require very little oxygen.
  • Stern Teacher: Originally introduced as "the strictest teacher in school," it turns out Tidwell and Illim both are actually decent, humanized (for lack of a better word in the latter case) people.
  • Symbiotic Possession: A rare heroic example from a series where willing hosts are usually The Quisling. Illim introduces himself by claiming that both he and Tidwell are part of the Yeerk Peace Movement, and the two have since become close friends. They even do the "handing off control" thing most Yeerks in the series are very unpracticed at with great ease in their first scene. This suggests the symbiotic, more-benign form of union rather than infestation that is later explored by the Iskoort.

    John Berryman Jr. (Visser Four) 

John Berryman Jr. (Visser Four)

Debut: Animorphs #18: The Decision (1998, mentioned), Megamorphs #3: Elfangor's Secret (full appearance)

One doesn't want mere baboons blundering about with Time Matrices, does one? Who knows what harm they might do?

The commander of the Yeerk invasion of Leera, Visser Four is demoted and assigned lowly actor John Berryman as punishment after the Animorphs thwart his plans in The Decision. While on Earth he finds the Time Matrix and attempts to use it to alter history in his favor. He's the main villain of Megamorphs #03: Elfangor's Secret.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: After getting the Time Matrix, his goal is to rewrite all of history to favor the Yeerks. In practice, what he achieves is decidedly less impressive. He screws up history and makes an annoyance of himself, but never really accomplishes anything. Lampshaded by the Drode, who refers to him disparagingly as a 'mere baboon' with no idea what he's doing.
  • Butterfly of Doom: Meddling with history turns out to be too complicated for him. When he tries to kill Einstein at Princeton University in 1934, he finds that preventing the United States from being founded resulted in him never immigrating. When he tries to warn the Nazis of the Normandy landings, he finds that the Nazis don't even exist, part of Germany is allied with France, and another German faction arrests him.
  • Conflict Killer: Visser Four is unique in being the only threat in the series that forces Crayak and the Ellimist to agree to a truce, however temporary.
  • Dirty Coward: He runs from the heroes every time he encounters them and flees his host after he's crippled.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: He literally screams "I have the POWER!" when the kids first corner him.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He's first mentioned (though not seen) in The Decision.
  • Evil Gloating: When Rachel's shot to pieces in front of him in the Battle of Trafalgar. It doesn't stick.
  • Evil Is Petty: Tries to change the outcome of various wars throughout history in order to make humanity more easily conquerable (and according to the Drode, succeeded). Except for Agincourt. That was just so his human host would stop endlessly quoting the Band of Brothers speech from Henry V at him.
  • Godwin's Law of Time Travel: Inverted. His actions accidentally caused the Nazis to never be formed.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Once the kids admit that they won't be able to undo everything he's done, Cassie gently asks him how his parents met. After a moment's hesitation, John tells them, knowing full well what they're going to do.
  • Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: Subverted. His actions unintentionally turn Adolf Hitler into an insignificant jeep driver who never harmed anybody. Not that it saves Hitler.
  • Kill It with Fire: After the Yeerk crawls out of his crippled host, Marco grabs him and throws him into the wreckage of a burning tank, saying his only choices are to starve or burn.
  • Powder Trail: He uses this to blow a hole in HMS Victory.
  • The Power of Acting: Aside from the Psychic Static John Berryman uses it for, Visser Four uses his host's experience to more effectively disguise himself. He blends in well at Agincourt and Trafalgar, but abandons disguise after that as the Animorphs already know what he looks like, and blending in becomes less and less of a concern for him.
  • Psychic Static: John Berryman Jr. has Henry V memorized, and constantly recites it at Visser Four so much so that the very first thing he does when he finds the Time Matrix is try to change the result of the Battle of Agincourt so that Shakespeare would never be inspired to write it.
  • Ret-Gone: John Berryman Jr's final, willing fate.
  • The Story That Never Was: In order to repair the damage that Visser Four did to the timeline, the Animorphs erase his host John Berryman from existence by preventing him from being born. This makes it so that Visser Four never had a host to find the Time Matrix, wiping out the entire alternate timeline.
  • Villain of the Week: In Megamorphs #3: Elfangor's Secret.
  • Villainous Friendship: The Andalite traitor in The Decision says that Visser Four and Visser Three are 'such good friends'. If that's true, Esplin's influence wasn't enough to keep him from being demoted after losing Leera. Then again, despite the catastrophe on Leera (which the Andalite commander described as potentially being enough to turn the entire war against the Yeerks) he at least escaped execution.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: When the Animorphs erase Berryman from history, Visser Four is spared — all that changes in his history is that Berryman never becomes his host and he never gets the Time Matrix. Despite this, he never appears again, possibly due to his "demotion."

    Taylor (Sub-Visser Fifty-one) 

Taylor (Sub-Visser Fifty-one)

Debut: Animorphs #33: The Illusion (1999)

Join me in my madness, Andalite.

A sadistic Yeerk sub-visser responsible for capturing and torturing Tobias, Taylor is a horrific example of what happens when a host with a fractured psyche is infested by an already unstable Yeerk. Later gets the kids involved in a plot to murder Visser Three in revenge for her demotion. It turns out to be a trap meant to eliminate both the Animorphs and the Yeerk Peace Faction.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In-universe. Tobias sees her as a badly, badly Broken Bird, and feels a lot of pity for her, even empathising to a degree, despite being absolutely terrified of her. Rachel, on the other hand, sees the girl as deserving to burn for her choices. The truth is somewhere in the middle.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Tobias, as he becomes afflicted by a twisted form of Stockholm Syndrome after being tortured by her.
  • Agony Beam: Uses one on Tobias, to terrifying effect, completely shattering his psyche.
  • Alpha Bitch: Comes across this way in her saner moments, what with her rants about her popularity and how important it is to her. It's not clear how much is the host's personality or the power-hungry Yeerk.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Even more than Visser Three.
  • Arm Cannon: Not quite, but her prosthetic arm does fire darts and emit gasses that are capable of paralysing the target. And she may have an actual cannon or grenade launcher in there; it's unclear whether she used a handheld Dracon beam or an integral weapon to destroy the natural gas pipeline.
  • Artificial Limbs: One of Taylor's arms is a prosthetic, as is one of her legs.
  • Ax-Crazy: In addition to being an obvious psychopath, the former Sub-Visser Fifty-one suffers from rapid mood swings, and is unable to differentiate between herself and her host, frequently confusing memories and events, and speaking of the two of them as one being. She's also absorbed the real Taylor's narcissism and obsessive need to be pretty, and added rampant paranoia and anger at all the people who betrayed her. It's a horribly unstable mix — she makes Visser Three, Crayak, and a whole host of alien monsters look stable by comparison.
  • The Baroness: Taylor may be pretty, but she's as cold and ruthless as any Rosa Klebb type.
  • Beauty Is Bad: She originally agreed to be infested in exchange for Yeerk Magic Plastic Surgery after a fire destroyed her face.
  • Becoming the Mask: Sub-Visser Fifty-one wasn't even supposed to keep Taylor as her host originally — she was a stepping stone to infest Taylor's mother, a chief of police and the Yeerks' true target. But the Sub-Visser ends up falling in love with Taylor's life and palms off her mother to a lower-ranked Yeerk so she can play out Taylor's life for herself. Ultimately, this ends with the Sub-Visser completely unable to distinguish herself from her host. By Book #43, she's more or less regained control of herself, and now has Taylor firmly under her thumb.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: She tortures Tobias using a machine to electrically stimulate the brain's pain and pleasure centers. It's so effective, he actually breaks down and volunteers information on his friends, but by that point, Taylor herself is too far gone to care.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Taylor's a great Torture Technician, but it's hard to see any qualities in her that merited being promoted to Visser Three's second-in-command. Well, other than being as Ax-Crazy as he is.
  • Cyborg: The human girl who lost limbs and half of her flesh in a fire was healed by advanced alien technology. Her artificial limbs carry conventional and chemical weapons.
  • Dark Action Girl: Taylor would rather manipulate than fight; she's nowhere near the badass that Rachel can become, and maybe not even at Cassie's level. But the girl can still take and dish our far more damage than you would expect her to be able to, and seems to be one of the few Yeerks who didn't get her training at the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy. In Book 43, she's able to take out the entire team (minus Cassie and Tobias) when she catches them by surprise, and fights a Taxxon-morphed Tobias on a fairly even basis. Not bad for a (relatively) normal girl.
  • Deal with the Devil: Taylor the girl made one with the Yeerks in order to be pretty again. It involved selling out herself and her mom. Taylor the Yeerk makes another one with Visser Three following her demotion from Sub-Visser, becoming part of his plot against the Animorphs and the Peace Faction in return for promotion. And the Animorphs make one with her in order to try and assassinate Visser Three.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Taylor crossed it when she lost everything in the fire.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: To Tobias in The Test.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Can verge on this, when she's not using her situation to her advantage.
  • Double Consciousness: Literally, sort of; see Humanity Is Infectious below.
  • The Dragon: To Visser Three, apparently. She claims to be second-in-command in Earth's sector.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Tobias sees her as his. Like him, she had a good inherent nature but is a damaged person from a lousy background, who became involved in the war due to alien intervention in her life. Like him, she has a lot of insecurites that prevent her from dealing with life, and Tobias frequently compares her decision to become a Controller to his own entrapment in hawk morph. Tobias, of course, is still a hero, whereas Taylor...well just look at the list of tropes she's associated with.
    • Also to Rachel, since both are blonde, immaculate-looking valley girl types who are capable of extraordinary violence and are associated with Tobias.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Taylor's still very pretty, but since the Sub-Visser can't manage to fake humanity convincingly, it doesn't matter at all — people feel uncomfortable around her, even when she smiles, and turn happily towards Tobias-morphed-as-Taylor, who looks identical.
  • Fallen Princess: Taylor the girl was homecoming queen, tennis champion, and the envy of her school. After the fire she was left an insecure wreck, and now she's a torture-happy administrator who's literally unable to differentiate between the Yeerk and the host.
  • Femme Fatale: Seems like she's going for this, but is too sick to fully achieve it. At one point, Tobias meets with her in morph as her (they're pretending to be identical twins), and notices that while he's getting a lot of male attention, nobody's attracted to Taylor, because she is so obviously dead inside. It's especially noticeable because Tobias hardly ever refers to himself as human, but does say that he's a lot more human than Taylor.
  • First-Name Basis: Taylor's last name is never revealed.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Taylor the Yeerk fakes one in order to bring the kids in on her plot. Taylor the human pulls one in Book 43, temporarily taking control of her body in order to warn Tobias out of trusting her master.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: Taylor's human and Yeerk personalities seem to be closer than in most Controllers, making Yeerk!Taylor somewhat unable to differentiate herself from her host. Whether this is the cause or effect of her insanity (or both) is hard to determine. Edriss experienced a similar confusion of identity before becoming Visser One, but less extreme.
  • I Am Legion: A fairly disturbing example; the union of an unstable girl with an unstable Yeerk has left Taylor with no idea of who or what she is. She manages to keep up a façade of sanity, but as Tobias gets into her head she starts referring to herself as Yeerk and girl at once, and eventually abandons the pretense of a dual identity altogether.
    Taylor: I waited down in the pool, not knowing what host, I'd only ever been Hork-Bajir before. I allowed myself to be infested, she opened herself to me, willingly. Until that moment, until I was lying on my stomach, my head held over the surface of the pool, she hadn't known, of course, how could she? How could I?
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Sub-Visser Fifty-one's arrogant, icy facade is used to cover up the fact that she's internalized much of Taylor's self-loathing.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: Yeerk cybernetics were used in reconstructing her arm and face.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Plays mindgames with Tobias, tricks the kids into helping her plot to attack the Yeerk pool, and generally manipulates everyone's emotions for kicks and profit. She's good at it too, to the point where Tobias cannot get her out of his head.
  • Mood-Swinger: Taylor can shift from cold and in control to wheedling to psychotic rage in a moment.
  • Narcissist: The real Taylor can come off this way, due to having her thoughts filtered through the Sub-Visser.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Claims she and Tobias aren't in order to screw with his mind. On some level, he seems to believe her.
    • Specifically Tobias thinks about this in her first appearance, when it becomes clear that her perception of the human-Yeerk relationship is similar to Tobias's Double Consciousness about being a hawk.
  • Psycho for Hire: Or whatever the "gainfully employed by a megalomaniacal alien empire" equivalent is. She's a voluntary controller because the Yeerks helped get her life back, and immediately turned over her mother as payment.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: Sub-Visser Fifty-one, whos actual Yeerk name is never revealed.
  • The Quisling: Taylor sold out her species for a chance to be pretty.
  • Recurring Character: Appears in The Illusion and The Test, both written by the same ghostwriter.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilised: Subverted. She pretends to be a member of a Yeerk resistance movement in order to gain the kids' assistance in Book 43.
  • Robotic Torture Device: To which the Agony Beam is attached.
  • Sanity Slippage: From the moment she's introduced in The Illusion there's a hint of something wrong about her- she refers to herself by her host name and insists others call her that as well, something ranking Yeerks almost never do. But she presents a powerful façade, and it's not until Tobias turns the tables on his interrogator that the first cracks begin to show. From that point the pretense of sanity crumbles in very short order.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Spiritually at least. Part of Taylor's deal with the Yeerks involved allowing not only her own infestation, but that of her mother as well.
  • The Sociopath: Not Taylor the girl, who is at worst a narcissist, but the Yeerk Sub-Visser? Every bit as much as Visser Three.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Even for a member of the Yeerk military she's a twisted bitch.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Causes it in Tobias, who becomes uncomfortably attached to her.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Taylor's somewhere in high school, and was willing to betray the human race for a new face.
  • Torture Technician: Mentally, physically and emotionally, using a machine which stimulates the pleasure and pain centers of the brain.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: On some level. When Tobias acquires human-Taylor and later morphs into her, he expects to find some inkling of her cruel, manipulative side, but what he finds in her genetic nature is "gentleness, fear, and joy", with very little cunning or hatred. Her worst traits are from nurture, her choices, and the Yeerk.
  • Villain of the Week: Twice, appearing in books #33 and #43.
  • We Can Rule Together: Offers Tobias this deal in The Test. He turns her down.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Tobias almost shuts down when he runs into her again in The Test.

    The Inspector 

The Inspector

Debut: Animorphs #37: The Weakness (1999)

That's where this thing belonged. In a cartoon. Where the impossible is possible.

A candidate member for The Council of Thirteen, sent to investigate Visser Three's progress on earth. Is hosted by a Garatron, one of the Yeerk's "Newest and most capable host species." A real problem in The Weakness.
  • Always Someone Better: To quote the last words said to him by Marco in cobra morph:
    "Hey Yeerk. You're fast. I'm faster."
  • Crippling Overspecialization: His Super Speed makes him more than a match for the kids, but his combative personality makes one wonder why the Council ever picked him to be their representative (until one remembers their stellar track record for these things, anyway).
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Bitten by Marco's cobra morph and left to die by the Visser. Ouch.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Any physical confrontation with the Inspector's ungodly fast host tends to end this way for the heroes. Except if on morphed a snake.
  • The Dog Bites Back: He spends the whole issue mocking and humiliating Visser Three. When Marco poisons him, Visser Three lets him die, and lets them escape.
  • Evil Counterpart Race: His host species, the Garatron, looks suspiciously like an Andalite, complete with a tail and No Mouth. Ax has no explanation for this, and it's Left Hanging since no other Garatron appear again.
  • Eviler Than Thou: With Visser Three, on a political, though not physical basis.
  • Foil: He's a nice foil for Rachel, given that her Pride is examined and deconstructed in the book he appears in.
  • Glass Cannon: His Garatron host body is extremely fast and can lacerate even large animals with whips of its tail, but it's smaller and lighter than an Andalite, and its faster metabolism renders it very vulnerable to poison.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: He represents them, being the appointed representative of the Council of Thirteen.
  • Insistent Terminology: "You will address me as Councillor Thirteen, Visser."
  • Jerkass: He's the very definition of a Smug Super, lords his powers over even his fellow Yeerks, and his entire character is just ambition and gloating. It's safe to say he qualifies.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: He regularly mocks, taunts, threatens, and otherwise humiliates...Visser Three. It's kind of fun to watch.
  • Large Ham: On par with the Visser. When the two of them are together, it's like a pork convention.
  • Monster of the Aesop: In a book about Rachel learning to deal with her own hubris, who should show up? A villain whose overconfidence enables his defeat.
  • Motor Mouth: He speaks incredibly rapidly, represented by speech with no spaces between words.
  • No Mouth: The Garatron host, another of its numerous similarities to Andalites.
  • Not Worth Killing: He feels this way about the Animorphs. At least, not when he'd rather see them humiliate Visser Three.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: His Garatron host body is of very similar build to Ax actually, albeit lighter.
  • Pride: Even as Yeerks go, he's pretty stuck-up.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Instant acceleration and deceleration.
  • Smug Snake: Par for the course for most Yeerks, though the Inspector really pushes the envelope, being a sneering jackass to everyone, including Visser Three.
  • Smug Super: Jeez, a little overconfident, aren't we Inspector?
  • Super Speed: To cartoon levels. He runs down several cheetahs with ease but even he isn't faster than a cobra.
  • Tail Slap: His preferred method of attack. Even though his Garatron host lacks the tail blade of Andalites, his super speed makes his tail whips nasty enough to lacerate polar bears.
  • Villain of the Week: And an extremely successful one. In the one book he appears in he nicely upstages Visser Three as the biggest threat to the cast.

    Admiral Carrington (Visser Two) 

Visser Two

Debut: Animorphs #46: The Deception (2000)

I don’t fear death. You may kill me now, if it pleases you. The plan will unfold whether I live or die. What I fear is failure.

Appearing only late in the series, Visser Two is a Yeerk distinguished primarily by his fanatical loyalty to Esplin 9466. Joining his newly promoted master on Earth, he hatches a diabolical scheme to ignite World War III between America and China.
  • False Flag Operation: He's given a U.S. Navy admiral for his host and plans to use that host to false-flag a war between the U.S. and China.
  • General Ripper: His host's an admiral, not a general, but he's still a high-ranking military officer who is the Yeerk equivalent of a patriotic madman.
  • Insane Admiral: He's infesting a Navy admiral and is clearly not playing with a full deck of cards.
  • Mysterious Past: His fanatical loyalty to Esplin 9466 doesn't really fit with him occupying a rank that would have been higher than Esplin's for most of the war. Given that he only appears after Esplin's promotion to Visser One, fan speculation runs rampant that he was a Yeerk of lower rank promoted along with Esplin, possibly even the previously-appearing Visser Four.
  • Non-Action Guy: For all his tough talk, he's hardly in the former Visser Three's league, or even in the ranks of unpowered-but-still-tough Yeerks like Visser One and Taylor.
  • Psycho Supporter: So much so that he names his Evil Plan Operation 9466 in honor of his master.
  • Sycophantic Servant: He's downright Renfield-esque in his slavish devotion to Esplin, constantly referring to him in fawning terms and even naming his evil plan after him.
  • Undying Loyalty: For better or worse, he's completely devoted to Esplin.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Him and his evil plan both would have been a lot more threatening if they'd appeared early in the series. But since they hit the scene after the series had officially hit its "shit got real" phase, he's treated as something of a Starter Villain for the final arc.
  • Villain of the Week: He only appears in The Deception.
  • Victory Through Intimidation: Ax defeats him by threatening to bomb the Yeerk Pool if he doesn't call off his attack.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: He never appears again after The Deception and his final fate is unknown.

    Tom Berenson (and his Yeerks) 

Tom Berenson (and his Yeerks)

Debut: Animorphs #1: The Invasion (1996, Tom and his first Yeerk), #6: The Capture (second Yeerk)

I had to rein in a powerful desire to go after him. It's hard to conceive of the impotent rage you feel watching someone you love be reduced to a mindless puppet.

The real Thomas Berenson was the eldest son of Jean and Steven Berenson, and Jake's brother. Although three years older, Tom is described as almost identical to Jake in looks, though different in temperament. Growing up, Jake and Tom were extremely close, but Tom became more distant due to his infestation (prior to Elfangor's crash). His status as a Controller caused Jake a great deal of emotional suffering, as the latter saw it as his duty to rescue him.

Although he may have been infested by several Yeerks, the reader only meets two. The first was an overly-ambitious low-level grunt (Temrash 114) who was starved to death by the group after managing to infest Jake. The second was a much more dangerous and capable enemy who rose to minor success by becoming one of Visser Three's most capable lieutenants. After Visser Three refused to promote him past the rank of chief of security (a position he achieved despite a stunning failure to notice what might be the single biggest security breach in the war for months) Tom's Yeerk became sick of taking orders from superiors he perceived to be incompetent failures, and began scheming for ways to amass greater power for himself.

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Invoked when Temrash starves to death in Jake's head. Jake comments that it is the strangest and saddest experience of his life and led to his encountering Crayak.
  • Ascended Extra: For most of the series Tom is a background villain, only having any starring roles in two books (The Capture and The Conspiracy). Come the final five books, he takes Taylor's role as The Dragon to Visser Three and even eclipses him in threat level to the kids, being a much more proactive character than the Visser by that time.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Both Yeerks, though Tom's second Yeerk came a lot closer to realizing his aspirations.
  • Animorphism: Very late in the series, Tom acquires the morphing ability. He adopts a jaguar and cobra as his primary battle morphs.
  • Bad Liar: Temrash doesn't put much effort into imitating his hosts. He dismisses Tom's old hobbies as unimportant and blows his cover as Jake by failing to conceal his hatred of "Andalite filth." Tom's second Yeerk is noted to be much better at imitating him.
  • Big Brother Worship: Jake had this for Tom, until he learned he was a Yeerk.
  • Big Man on Campus: Tom was the leading scorer on the varsity basketball team, and Jake recalls how he was the "big basketball hero" at school. Once he became a Controller, however, he quit the team.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Tom's first Yeerk had this in spades. For better or worse, his second Yeerk was much more cunning.
  • Bound and Gagged: Tom's first Yeerk fantasizes about seeing the Animorphs like this on the floor of Visser Three's Blade Ship. It's a disturbing little image.
  • Cain and Abel: With his, or more specifically his host's, brother, Jake.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Ironically, Visser Three never clicks to it until the end. Jake does.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Tom's second Yeerk is good at backstabbing his boss, but as with other Yeerks, he fails at any other job he takes on. And given his failure to backstab Jake, he's really not even very good at that. Most of his mileage comes from the Visser being so burnt out that he delegates most of his authority to Tom, which he takes full advantage of.
  • Dirty Coward: He sells Visser Three out to the Animorphs in the hopes of stealing his Blade ship and escaping before the Andalites show up.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Finally lashes out at the Visser for years of abuse.
  • The Dragon: By the time the war goes public, he seems to have taken Taylor's role as Visser Three's second.
  • Enemy Mine: In The Answer it's revealed that he's allied himself with Arbron.
  • Evil Gloating: He indulges in The Answer at the expense of the Visser.
    • In the Alternate Universe of Megamorphs #4, Rachel disarms the gun-toting Tom before beating him half to death with a bat. He gets the last word as
    Tom: "The real war is about to begin. We'll have you all! You're our meat! You're our meat!!"
  • He Knows Too Much: A non-fatal version, as it resulted in infestation rather than death (at the time). According to Temrash's memories in The Capture, Tom initially joined The Sharing because a pretty girl he liked was a member. During one meeting, she went off to meet with other Yeerks. Tom, thinking she was sneaking off to see another guy, followed her and saw Visser Three in Andalite form, and for this was captured, dragged off to the Yeerk pool and infested.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: He tries to use this on Jake in The Answer to make him more receptive to his offer of an alliance.
  • Impersonation-Exclusive Character: Tom is a constant presence throughout the series, but the only time he's seen without a Yeerk controlling him is at the climax of the first book. Most of his characterisation comes from Jake comparing his Yeerks' impersonation to the real Tom he knew.
  • Informed Ability: He claims he's acquired the morphing power for his own Yeerk body. We never really learn if this is true or not.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Implied to be the reason why he's promoted to security chief in spite of his stunning failure to notice one of the 'Andalite bandits' living under his own roof.
  • Mook Promotion: Promoted from random mook to chief of security.
  • No Name Given: Tom's second Yeerk. Even among fellow Yeerks, he is referred to simply as Tom.
  • Panthera Awesome: He's acquired a jaguar battle morph, though we never get to see it.
  • Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: Deliberately invoked in The Answer:
    Tom: Oh, you're a surly bunch, aren't you? No one talks to me. No one but Rachel, who told me to... well, you can guess what Rachel told me to do.
    Jake: Whatever she said goes for all of us.
    Tom: Surly and unpleasant. Oh well.
  • Replacement Goldfish: His original Yeerk gets killed early in the series and a new Yeerk quickly infests him.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Jake has Rachel reward Tom's Yeerk for his assistance by killing him.
  • Scaled Up: Fitting his deceptive and duplicitous personality, one of the last morphs he's seen utilizing is a cobra.
  • Smug Snake: Both of Tom's Yeerks are classic examples: arrogant, sure of their own supremacy, and incapable of believing they could be outsmarted.
  • The Starscream: Believes he is more deserving of promotion than all his fellows, and turns on the Visser when he won't give it.
  • Starter Villain: Tom's first Yeerk is only around for the first six books, while his second Yeerk lasts for the rest of the series.
  • Tom the Dark Lord: Played with. Tom is hardly all-powerful, but he's more or less the final series antagonist and we never learn his Yeerk's name.

    Council of Thirteen 

Council of Thirteen

Debut: VISSER (1999)

Nine Hork-Bajir, two Taxxons, and two whose host bodies were so concealed that I could not guess at their form. They were dressed in dark red robes, so dark that they were almost black. They stood, motionless, held in place, suspended by gravity-neutral fields, fed by a continuous refined current of Kandrona rays.

The ruling body of the Yeerks, containing the highest positions in the Empire. It is comprised of The Emperor and twelve others. The identity of the Emperor is kept secret to everyone outside the council, in order to combat assassination attempts.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: They're not cackling cartoon supervillains and at least one of them is capable of being Affably Evil, but their concepts of right and wrong, along with politeness and rudeness, are completely divorced from human morals and values. A good example is at the end of VISSER when Edriss has been acquitted and Eva briefly seizes control to scream in protest; the Councillors react roughly in the same way Americans would react to someone belching in a restaurant.
  • Boring, but Practical: Most of the Councilors control standard Hork-Bajir or Taxxon bodies. Justified by those being the two most capable species that the Empire has conquered.
  • Decoy Leader: Ultimately the real purpose of the council is to act as this for the Yeerk Emperor. Because the Emperor's identity is kept secret, to ensure he was eliminated one would have to kill all thirteen members of the council.
  • The Emperor: Is ruled by one.
  • Evil Mentor: Garoff 168, the only Councilor that is identified by name. He took Edriss under his wing after her promotion to Visser One and she strongly suspects he may well be the Emperor, but it's never confirmed.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: They're the rulers of the Yeerk Empire, but they have little influence over the individual obstacles encountered by the Animorphs, which are mainly provided by Visser Three.
  • In the Hood: They all wear cowls to conceal their identities.
  • Karma Houdini: While the Empire falls by the end of the series, the Council is never apprehended.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The borderline Enemy Civil War politics that the Yeerk Empire lives by come directly from the top down. When they debate Edriss and Esplin's fate in VISSER, they lose a couple of members trying to decide upon a verdict.
  • The Paranoiac: The Yeerk Emperor, given that whoever they are, they have twelve underlings whose job at the end of the day is to be meat shields to protect them from possible assassination attempts.
  • The Peter Principle: The process by which they promote vissers. Sometimes this works out for them (such as when they promoted the unknown Edriss 562 straight to Visser One), and sometimes it doesn't (promoting the similarly unknown Esplin 9466, which they all lived to regret).
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Garoff tries to be one, at least as far as is possible for a conquest-hungry Yeerk. He carefully weighs Edriss's tale and while he forces her to reveal all her memories, he inserts himself alone into her mind rather than force her to suffer Esplin rooting around in it.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Like Esplin's personal guard, the Council all favor red and black in their wardrobe.
  • Shadow Dictator: The Yeerk Emperor's identity is not known outside the council, as mentioned above.
  • Spanner in the Works: Edriss served up the fabled Class 5 species the Yeerk Empire had been so long searching for all but gift-wrapped, with a subversive organization already established and a plan that, while very long-term in scope, ultimately would have resulted in the eventual conquest of Earth without a single shot being fired. So what does the Council do? They transfer Edriss away from operations on Earth and send in Esplin, the ultimate Yeerk General Ripper who wouldn't know subtlety if it slugged him in the face. And to further establish the Council as Incompetence, Inc., they double down on this at the end of VISSER, even after it has become abundantly clear that Esplin's efforts on Earth are going nowhere. This utter inability to send their generals to where they are needed is what ultimately winds up costing them not just the campaign for Earth, but multiple ongoing invasions on other planets such as Leera and Anati as well.
  • The Spook: Two of the Councilors inhabit host bodies that are so hidden by their robes that even Edriss cannot figure out what they are.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: The number of their members is clearly meant to invoke classic Western triskaidekaphobia, though as aliens the Yeerks certainly don't share this approach and may even venerate the number. Esplin reveals in The Hork-Bajir Chronicles that while the number of Vissers and Sub-Vissers fluctuated early in the Empire's history, the Council has had thirteen members since "ancient" Yeerk history.
  • The Un Fought: They never set foot on Earth personally and the Animorphs never get to take a crack at them in any way, shape, or form.
  • Villainous Glutton: The Two Taxxon-Controller Councilors are hideously bloated compared to regular Taxxons, having their Horror Hunger sated by Gedd attendants always on call with fresh meat. Sometimes this isn't enough and the attendants become meals themselves.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: As mentioned above, they are plagued by infighting, and actively encourage the culture of infighting among the vissers that leads to their operations so often being hindered.
  • With Us or Against Us: They're the ones who set the law that any sympathy for a host species at all be a crime so severe it warrants agonizing death.
  • You Have Failed Me: They spare Edriss's life at the end of Visser but after she loses Anati as well they sentence her to death. Bizarrely, they send her all the way back to Earth for her execution, which allows the Animorphs to rescue Edriss's host Eva.