Friday, April 21, 2023

Friday Creature Feature - Yeerks

If you grew up in the 90s, you may remember the Animorphs fighting the Yeerk Empire, either in the books or on TV. However, if you’re like me, you probably didn’t finish the series. As a kid I probably only read half a dozen of the books (at most); just depended on which covers looked cool. In the last year and a half I’ve been slowly working my way through the books during my commute. I’m working on a highlight list if you want to skip the filler, but in the meantime I wanted to do a spotlight on the Yeerks while I wait for Visser to be available in audio form. 

What is a Yeerk?

On their own, they’re blind, gray slugs. Barely any sense of touch or anything. So getting a host and being able to experience sound, sight, colors, light, etc. opened a whole new world to the Yeerks. Still, there’s the limitation that they had to return to the Yeerk Pool every 72 hours to feed on Kandrona Rays. 

Using their ability of infestation, they enjoyed a semi-symbiotic relationship with the Gedds. However, these hosts were very limited. Their situation all changed when Seerow showed up… 

Seerow’s Kindness

After the Andalite Prince Seerow found the Yeerks and trusted them with some Andalite technology, things took a turn for the worst. Having betrayed the Anadalite’s kindness, the Yeerks took to space to find bigger and better hosts.

Within only a few decades on Earth, the Yeerks conquered and made hosts of a number of races, with Hork-Bajir and Taxxons being some of the more common. Eventually, their invasion brought them to Earth, where the human race provided so many potential hosts. 

Invasion of Earth

By the time Animorphs begins, the Yeerks had already controlled a substantial number of humans. The efforts of Edriss 562 (later known as Visser One) and her cohorts had been in the works for at least a decade before that fateful day when Prince Elfangor fell from the sky to Earth. 

War with the Animorphs 

A small group of teenagers with attitude fought against the Yeerks, mostly just deterring their plans and delaying the invasion. But eventually this group of misfits got the upper hand against the little slugs. 

Along the way, they met the Yeerk Peace Movement, a group of Yeerks that didn’t want to enslave other races to experience the five senses. Inspired by the Peace Movement, the Animorphs ended the war by giving the Yeerks a chance to become another animal permanently. Finally, the peace-seeking Yeerks could experience life on their own! No more need for enslavement.

Cassie once morphed into a Yeerk to save her friend Aftran.

The complex philosophical nature of the Yeerks’ inner battle is crazy when you start digging into it, which the books definitely do with 60+ novels. So if this post has wet your palette for some Animorphs, go track down the first book “The Invasion”, currently available for purchase in Graphic Novel and Audiobook forms. 

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