Deer-man from Space
Aximili of Earth
The Living Legend
The Great Aximili
|Host to||Aftran 942 (briefly)|
|Hair color||Blue and tan|
|Died||2003 (assimilated by The One)|
|Family||Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul † (brother)
Captain of the Intrepid
Free Hork-Bajir (formerly)
Unit 0 (briefly; undercover)
|Behind the scenes|
|First appearance||The Message|
|Last appearance||The Beginning|
|Portrayer||Paulo Costanzo (TV series)
Adam Verner (voice, audiobooks)
- "I had seen more battles, death, and destruction than many seasoned soldiers in our Andalite fleet. I felt my throat tighten and constrict. My hearts ached with a pain I could not describe. I wondered if I were dying. I felt not sadness. I felt pity. For myself. For us all. We were children no longer. And we never would be again."
Captain-Prince Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill, also known as Ax, was the younger brother of Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul, uncle of Tobias, son of Noorlin-Sirinial-Cooraf and Forlay-Esgarrouth-Maheen, and the brother-in-law of Loren. After being rescued by the Animorphs, he aided them in their battle against the Yeerks before officially joining the team as their sixth member. Following the conclusion of the Andalite-Yeerk War, Ax came across The One, who assimilated him.
Crashing to Earth
- "The dome hit water! Boiling, steaming water It rushed over the dome. I was sinking! Sinking beneath the ocean of the blue planet. I was powerless. Terrified. Alone. After an eternity, the dome crunched heavily onto the ocean floor. Looking up, I could barely see the surface of the water a hundred feet or more over the top of the dome. I climbed shakily to my four hooves. I was standing on a vast, open plain that was a piece of my own planet. A blue-green park, hidden deep beneath an alien sea. And there I waited for weeks."
Rescued by the Animorphsacquire a tiger shark morph, to be used to flee the dome ship. Fearful to escape the confines of his ship and venture the ocean and subsequent surface world alone, he became desperate and decided to reach out to his people using a mirrorwave call, technology that would enhance and broadcast the signal of his thought-speak. He hoped that other surviving Andalites would detect the call and come to rescue him. Instead, his distress call was detected by Visser Three, Tobias and Cassie, as Visser Three possessed an Andalite host body, Tobias was trapped in morph and Cassie had the most talent with morphing.
Aximili was rescued by four of the five Animorphs, who had used bottlenose dolphin morphs to reach him. Aximili was shocked to discover that humans possessed the power to morph and that his own brother Elfangor had broken the Law of Seerow's Kindness to give them that power. After escaping the clutches of Visser Three, Aximili acquired the four human Animorphs and created a unique human morph. With no home, he was relocated to the national forest located on Cassie's farm. Aximili, dubbed "Ax" by his new friends, decided to aid them in their efforts against the Yeerks until he found a way to return home. He allowed himself to fall under the command of "Prince Jake," a term of deference given Jake's role as leader.
Aiding the Animorphs
Ax's first mission assisting the Animorphs was during Jake's plan to sabotage the Yeerks' plan to control a hospital. During their fight at the hospital, Jake became a Controller, which Ax deduced. As the Animorphs held Jake captive for three days, Ax morphed into Jake to prevent his family from noticing his absence. Following Jake's liberation, Ax joined them on their trip to the Yeerk pool to locate the Kandrona, during which he and the Animorphs were introduced to the Ellimist. After Rachel realizes that the Kandrona is located at the EGS Tower, Ax joins the Animorphs during the Battle at the EGS Tower, where they successfully manage to destroy the Kandrona.
After destroying the Kandrona, the Animorphs decided to enjoy a vacation. While Jake and Cassie attended a pool party, Ax joined Marco in mouse morph to infiltrate the party, where they encountered the Veleek, a creature from Saturn that was genetically modified by the Yeerks to serve Visser Three and seek out morphing signatures. After being kidnapped by the Veleek and brought aboard the Blade ship, Ax assisted Marco, who was also taken captive, into escaping their confines, although not before discovering the Veleek had a weakness to water.
Conflict of Interest
- "I can't answer your questions! I can't!"
"You mean, you won't! Rachel's right. We're just pawns in the big game. It's Andalites versus Yeerks in the big game and we're what? The towel boys?"
"Look... look... I have to follow the rules."
"Do you? Did Elfangor follow the rules when he gave us the power to morph?"
"I'm not Elfangor! Can't you see that? I'm not some big hero. I'm just a young Andalite, all right? You want the truth? Here's some truth for you: I'm not a warrior. I'm an aristh. A... a trainee. A cadet. A nobody."
- ―Ax, Marco and Cassie
The Animorphs inquire on Ax and Tobias' whereabouts, with Ax once again refusing to explain. Despite Ax considering himself an ally of the Animorphs as opposed to being an official member, the other Animorphs consider Ax to be one of them, and Jake informs Ax that he cannot be a part of their team if he keeps secrets from them. Emotional and upset, Ax severs his ties with the team and decides to head out to assassinate Visser Three, using a rattlesnake morph he recently acquired. After biting Visser Three's Andalite form, Ax demorphs to finish the job, but is attacked by a Hork-Bajir-Controller while he is in mid-morph, defenseless and vulnerable. However, he is saved by Rachel in her grizzly bear morph, as well as the other Animorphs, who arrive to save and assist Ax. Ax discovers that Visser Three has abandoned his host body, Andalite War-Prince Alloran-Semitur-Corrass, and cannot bring himself to kill the Andalite, despite knowing that by sparing him, Visser Three will re-infest him. Ax and the Animorphs spare Alloran's life, and return home.
Officially Joining the Animorphs
As an Animorph, Ax participates with the other members of the team in preventing the Yeerks from destroying the forest, discovering the existence of the Chee, traveling back in time, dealing with Rachel's crocodile allergy, freeing two Hork-Bajir from captivity and discovering an Andalite toilet. During their mission on Royan Island, Ax attempts to kill Visser One, although he relents when Marco inform him that Visser One's host is his mother. Shortly after, Ax is held hostage by Visser Three's twin brother, although he is rescued by the Animorphs, and aids them in their effort of weaponizing instant maple-and-ginger oatmeal, a substance that causes drug addiction-like symptoms in the Yeerks.
The Ascalin Incident
En route to Leera, Captain Samilin sliced off Harelin's tail and announced to Ax that he was working for Visser Four, and that the visser, who was close friends with Visser Three, would be delighted to receive the humans who had been causing him trouble on Earth. Ax sends a thought-speak message to warn the Animorphs, whom he believes are detained on the far end on the ship, although the Animorphs reveal that they are on the bridge in bug morph. The disabled Harelin manages to grab his Shredder and vaporize Samilin, and informs Ax that, contrary to what he said before, perhaps different species can work together; he asks Ax to escape the ship along with his human allies and make contact with Captain-Prince Galuit-Enilon-Esgarrouth on Leera. Realizing that they are behind enemy lines and that, if caught, the Yeerk Empire would receive many Andalite hosts, the numerous Andalites on board decide to perform a suicide maneuver, destroying the ship and killing themselves in the process. Ax and the Animorphs use bug morphs and are blown out of the hatch moments prior to the explosion.
Rejoining the Animorphs
- "I made a mistake trusting Captain Samilin. I made a mistake dismissing all of you. You have... you have kept me alive and befriended me for a long time. All I can say is that none of you knows what it's like to be completely cut off from your own people."
"One of us does."
"All I can do is say I'm sorry. And I will consider Jake my prince until he says otherwise. You are my prince until you, and only you, say otherwise."
- ―Ax and Tobias to the Animorphs
Sometime afterwards, a human boy named David has discovered the morphing cube. After a huge battle with Visser Three at David's house, the Animorphs reclaim the cube and decide to grant David the ability to morph, allowing him to join the Animorphs. However, the Animorphs are put in peril when David turns against them, deciding to kill them when Jake reminds him that the Animorphs would not tolerate him if he poses a threat. Ax assists Jake upon David's initial treachery and later helps the team to trap David in a rat morph. Not too long afterwards, Ax discovers that he is Tobias' uncle as Elfangor was Tobias' father, is introduced to the Helmacrons and is stranded in the North Pole momentarily with the other Animorphs.
The Animorphs are soon summoned by the Ellimist, who wishes to pit them and Erek King in a contest of champions on the Iskoort homeworld against the Howlers. Before heading to the Iskoort homeworld, the Ellimist shows them when he had transported Elfangor, in human from, from Earth. Ax's discovery that his famous brother, hailed as a war-hero, deserting combat to live as a human seemingly causes him to temporarily regress to his initial rigid Andalite behavior. After their victory in defeating the Howlers, Ax and the other Animorphs prevent Visser Three from acquiring the Pemalite ship at the bottom of the ocean, encountering the Drode in the process. Sometime before their next mission, to a meatpacking plant to prevent a supposed drug that would remove a human's free will, Ax constructs a scoop in the woods, along with cable television, and discovers a love for television, most notably commercials and soap operas.
- "You must take it out. Or I will die. When temperature goes back to normal... Tria gland out. Or disease organisms kill."
"Okay. Okay, yeah. [...] But first you have to tell me where the Tria gland is. Now, Ax!"
"I'm no brain surgeon. But it sounds to me like we're talking brain surgery here."
- ―Ax, Cassie and Marco
Since Unit 0 refused to work with them, the Animorphs staged their disbandment in order to have Ax join Unit 0 and serve as a spy. While serving with them, Ax began to develop romantic feelings and a physical attraction to Estrid-Corill-Darrath, even kissing her when they were both in human morph. As he learns, Unit 0 is actually on a suicide mission, using a virus that Estrid developed that can cripple the Yeerks but would possibly wipe out humans as well.
Ax, along with the other Animorphs and Estrid, headed into the Yeerk pool to stop the virus from being released, but Estrid, terrified and disgusted by the Yeerk pool, refused to demorph and fight to protect the humans, who are not part of their species. Ax then goes to protect his friends, telling her that she is beautiful and brilliant but he "doesn't think he likes her very much". Once the virus is destroyed, Estrid offers Ax to return home with her, but he refuses, citing that his fight is on Earth.
- "An aristh, a cadet, a warrior in training. But my existence in the group of humans that calls itself the Animorphs has, I believe, qualified me as a full warrior. An experienced fighter. Why do I fight for and with a people not my own? Because, in many ways, these humans have become my own. And the central, most important reason is that the humans are fighting off an invasion of an evil, parasitic alien species known as the Yeerks. The Yeerks must be stopped. It doesn't matter who stops them, or why. Maybe, just maybe, it doesn't even matter how."
This section requires expansion
On a mission to stop "Operation 9466", a campaign to instigate World War III by having China and the United States engage in nuclear war, being lead by Visser Two Ax has an idea to threaten to destroy the Yeerk Pool unless Visser Two calls off the attacks against China. Jake rejects it, thinking that it’s too much of a gamble and it would put all of their families in danger. Saying that he’s sorry, Ax knocks Jake unconscious and takes a hostage Visser Two in a fighter-bomber with a nuclear weapon onboard. Ax’s plan works and Visser Two calls off the attack.
As Ax flies the plane back to the Animorphs, Ax remarks that he views the Animorphs as his family and that he also considers himself human in some ways, and wonders whether the Animorphs, especially Jake, will forgive him for his actions.
- "The stated goal would be to quarantine. The orders would say to quarantine. But what everyone would understand is that a quarantine would be impossible to sustain. To enforce a quarantine, the Andalite fleet would be forced to engage. And once they engaged, they would annihilate the planet and every living thing on it. Yeerk and human. Quarantine was the first step toward genocide. The high command had made its decision. The Yeerk conquest of the galaxy would stop here on Earth. The camp came into view. I wished I could just keep going. Perhaps become a nothlit. Be free of the terrible burdens of secrecy and betrayal. I remembered the Yeerk falcon. Five minutes away from freedom. But the price of that freedom was high. Maybe too high."
Ax, after some reflection in which he remembered that Elfangor had broken Andalite military law and trusted the humans, decided to maintain his faith and loyalty in the Animorphs as opposed to the military fleet, disobeying their orders.
- "Captain Asculan issues the following orders: Four morphing cubes will be made available to aristh Aximili to use as he sees fit. Aristh Aximili is hereby elevated to the rank of prince. Prince Aximili is appointed liaison between the Andalite fleet and the people of Earth."
- ―Andalite Junior Officer
This section requires expansion
After seizing the Pool Ship, freeing Alloran from Visser One, and negotiating with the Andalite fleet, the Andalite fleet promotes Ax to the rank of prince and is appointed the official liaison between the Andalite fleet and Earth.
- "And Ax was doing great as well. He was an official prince and this huge hero back on his home planet. He had stepped out of Elfangor's shadow at long last, and was not only a hero but the one and only expert on all things human. [...] Ax worked out technology-transfer deals with some of the big corporations. They have to keep it slow because if you just dump a hundred years of technological advances overnight the stock market goes nuts. It worked out okay, though. The Andalites can definitely teach us a lot about computer architecture. But it was Microsoft and Sony and Adobe and Nintendo that came up with the killer apps. I mean, the new Palm Pilots will be actual pilots. The Andalites flatly refused to let us share their weapons technology. But NASA has had a definite revival: The first human Zero-space vehicle will be built jointly by Boeing and Lockheed and be ready for launch in three years. H. sapiens was going to the stars."
- "Even after the last year aboard the Intrepid, I sensed that my first officer did not entirely approve of my habit of explaining my actions for the deck crew. It was not usual. Captains typically played the part of far-distant and all-knowing gods. I preferred to continuously train and retrain. The more the deck officers understood, the more they would learn and the more valuable they'd be in a crisis. [...] This sort of mission wasn't supposed to be performed by me. The captain generally stays on the bridge. The T.O. normally led boarding parties. But I was bored. And I knew the T.O. wouldn't argue: I wasn't just the captain or a prince, I was Aximili of Earth. The Aximili. A living legend. I couldn't complain about being bored, of course. The fleet command had given me what was easily the best assignment around. The bulk of the fleet was engaged either in flying blockade around the Yeerk home world, convoying traders back and forth to Earth, or escorting scientific missions. The Intrepid was just about the only ship out "looking for trouble," as Marco might have put it. Every officer in the fleet was jealous of us. Especially now with so many being eased out of service. The fleet's size was being sharply reduced. War's end meant the end of glory and advancement for warriors. They all had secondary occupations — that was part of our code, that "warrior" was a temporary occupation. You were supposed to want to stop fighting and go home to your meadow and your scoop, back to your peacetime occupation, your family and friends. I guess some warriors did want all those things. At some level I did, too. But how do you weigh the sharp rush of battle against the slower, more contemplative joys of watching your trees flower?"
As First Officer Menderash-Postill-Fastill later recalls, the ship came alive and attacked. Menderash broke off from the ship, but they were then attacked by pirates.
Assimilated by The One
- "The face that filled the screen and more was a shifting image, a slow dissolve from what might be a robot's face, a machine with a rat-trap mouth and steel eyes, into a sweet, feminine, almost elfin visage, and last, and most enduring, into the face of Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill. The face that belonged to our friend Ax split wide open across the bottom and revealed a new-formed mouth full of red-rimmed teeth."
- "Up close he looks like a cross between a deer or a horse, and a human and a scorpion. Sort of like a mythical centaur. His upper body is like a boy's. He has weak-looking arms and a head with two movable stalks on top, kind of like antlers. Each stalk has an eye. The eyes are constantly looking left and right and back. Andalites are very hard to sneak up on. His body is covered in blue and tan fur, very short on his humanoid torso, a bit longer on his deer-like body. His four hooves are sharp and black. But it's the tail that grabs your attention. It's long enough that he can whip it up over his head and hit someone standing in front of him. It ends in a curved blade."
- "We could simply fly away. We could become something or someone else. Life would no doubt be simpler. Life would be a matter of life or death, survival or failure, simple, black or white choices. But in reality life seldom comes in simple shades of black and white. The choices in the real world, the choices we most often face, are all in shades of gray. And I lived in the real world."
At first he seems very serious. However, as he spends more time in the company of the Animorphs, he slowly develops a sense of humor, which they find slightly disturbing. Despite his usual seriousness, he tends to suffer from a loss of control when in human morph, demonstrating exceptional enthusiasm for exploring his sense of taste, which he does not have in his natural state, and treating human speech as a toy by repeating certain words, or even syllables, repeatedly out of the sheer joy he finds in using a human mouth. He considers the cinnamon bun one of humankind's greatest inventions, and also enjoys chocolate, cigarette butts, and just about anything with a strong taste. He has a good relationship with all of the Animorphs, but is especially close to Tobias because they both live in the woods, away from typical human habitation.
Relationships with the other Animorphs
- "Jake. Rachel. Tobias. Cassie. Marco. The humans amazed me with their resilience, their ingenuity, and their bravery. They delighted me with their humor, their passions, and their capacity for play. Their food. But they truly sickened me with their self-indulgence and their childishness. But then, I reminded myself, they are children. And so am I."
- "But Tobias is the only one I might consider a true shorm. A shorm is a deep friend, someone who knows everything there is to know about you. The word comes from the Andalite's tail blade, which looks something like what you may know as a scorpion's tail. A shorm is someone you would trust to put his tail blade against your throat. Even though Tobias does not have a tail blade – or hooves, stem eyes, and fur, the way Andalites do – he is almost one of us. Elfangor was his father, and, as strange as it is to think of, I am, in Earth terms, Tobias's uncle. But I think it is the fact that he is almost as unique on this planet as I am that makes us close. Choosing life as a red-tailed hawk has set Tobias apart from everything he once knew. We are both unique on this planet, and both very much alone."
This section requires expansion
Of all the Animorphs, Ax is closest to Tobias, whom he considers to be his shorm, an Andalite term roughly translating to best friend. The word shorm literally means "tail blade," the expression being that a shorm is someone you would trust to hold their tail blade to your throat. They bond due to both being outsiders, and this is strengthened by the revelation that Tobias is Ax's nephew.
- "I am often amazed at Prince Jake's ability to make decisions. I call him my prince because any Andalite warrior needs a prince to serve. But I know that he is just a human youth, as I am an Andalite youth. And yet he is very impressive for a human youth. He understands instinctively that making no decision is also a decision. So he accepts the responsibility. If he were an Andalite I have no doubt he would become a true prince. Still, he does very well for a human."
This section requires expansion
Ax deeply respects Jake, his "prince," and comes to consider him as a true friend. At times, Ax is torn between his loyalties to his human prince and his loyalties to his race.
- "Marco is highly intelligent. But he is also very afflicted by a condition the humans call "sense of humor." I have noticed that Marco's sense of humor sometimes makes him do strange things."
This section requires expansion
At first Marco dislikes and distrusts Ax, but as time goes on the two develop a close relationship. After Marco's cover is blown and he has to leave his regular life, he goes to live with Ax at his scoop, and the two bond over electronics and soap operas.
- "The other Animorphs and I truly worry about Rachel. On the Andalite home planet, when a warrior becomes too fond of war he is shunned. A warrior should love only the cause not the killing. [...] For a long time, I have regarded Rachel as representing one end of the continuum of human nature. What all humans would become if the war went on long enough. That perception has guided many of my decisions. An entire human race of Rachels — angry, merciless, aggressive, and equipped with Yeerk and Andalite technology. It was a terrifying specter."
This section requires expansion
Ax and Rachel rarely interact outside of a group setting. Ax worries about her bloodthirstiness and violent nature and voices his concerns later in the series, although he still respects her as a warrior.
- "I had thought I hated Cassie. But I did not. I felt for her as I felt for the others."
This section requires expansion
Ax and Cassie rarely interact one-on-one, two notable exceptions being her inviting him to have dinner with her family (in his Jake morph) and consoling him after Estrid's departure. After Cassie allows Tom to take the Escafil Device, Ax compares her to Seerow and muses in his narrative that her compassion makes her possibly the most dangerous of them all.
Television Show Morphs
|Human ("Max", male, used the Frolis Maneuver to mix DNA from Cassie , Jake, Rachel, and Marco)|
|Human (Jake)||The Capture, Part 2|
|Rabbit||Changes, Part 3|
Ax has a total of 7 morphs.
Books Narrated By Ax
- The Andalite's Gift
- The Alien
- The Decision
- In the Time of Dinosaurs
- The Experiment
- Elfangor's Secret
- The Arrival
- Back to Before
- The Deception
- The Sacrifice
- The Beginning
- Ax's middle name, Esgarrouth, is a reference to the town of Esgaroth in J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit, as K.A. is a fan.
- Ax is one of the few known Andalites to be able to speak English, along with Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul, Estrid-Corill-Darrath, Arbat-Elivat-Estoni, Gafinilan-Estrif-Valad and Alloran-Semitur-Corrass, the latter presumably through Esplin 9466's control. While other Andalites are able to understand and "speak" in English through thought-speak due to their translator chips, Ax is able to speak English verbally while in human morph. This is most likely due to the fact that his generation on the Andalite homeworld had studied Earth and its programming and therefore learned the language.
- The Alien and The Experiment came attached with a pair of Ax bookmarks with it. The bookmarks come with humorous tear-off corners, as if Ax bit into them.
- Ax's love of food while in human morph, particularly cinnamon buns, is an ongoing gag throughout the series. Ax often causes a scene in human morph either by voraciously and impolitely eating, or consuming things like cigarette butts and popcorn boxes that are not intended to be consumed.
- Although The Alien is Ax's first officially narrated book, it is not the first time that he has narrated. He narrates along with the other Animorphs in The Andalite's Gift
- Ax and Tobias were the two main characters in the series who got the least amount of numerical books to narrate. The reason for this came from Scholastic, rather than K.A. They didn't think that kids would be able to relate as well to an alien character, or to a kid trapped as a hawk. As a result, they both got their books in rotations of every 10 books, rather than the 5 like everyone else. Tobias got all the 3's in the series (#3, 13, 23, etc), while Ax got all the 8's (#8, 18, 28, etc). However, as it turned out, the books for Tobias and Ax were some of the fan's favorites, so both Ax and Tobias were brought into the equal rotation with the rest of the Animorphs near the end of the series (starting in The Familiar).
- Ax was originally going to be introduced in The Visitor. This was changed when K.A realized that Animorphs was going to be a long running series.
- In the Animorphs TV Series, Ax is portrayed much the same as his book counterpart. However, his Human form appears much more often in the show than in the books. His human name in the series is Max. Although in the TV series, after Ax's ship crash-landed on Earth, he sent out a telepathic plea for help, including images of the abandoned military base where he was hiding. (In the books, he was still in the dome of the GalaxyTree which had crashed into the Pacific Ocean.)
|Animorphs||Jake | Rachel | Tobias | Cassie | Marco | Ax | David|
|Auxiliary Animorphs||James | Collette | Timmy | Kelly | Craig | Erica | Julio | Liam | Tricia | Jessie | Judy | Ray|