|Azure Level, Seven Spar, Extension Two, Down-Messenger, Forty-one|
|Behind the scenes|
|First appearance||The Stranger|
|Last appearance||The Beginning|
|Portrayer||Peter Messaline (TV series)
Tony Larrimer (voice; PlayStation game)
- "They are all-powerful. They can cross a million light-years in a single instant. They can make entire worlds disappear. They can stop time itself."
"This one doesn't look all that powerful."
"Don't be a fool. That's not his body. He has no body. He is... everywhere at once. Inside your head. Inside this planet. Inside the fabric of space and time."
- ―Ax and Marco
The Ellimist, also known as Toomin, or more formally Azure Level, Seven Spar, Extension Two, Down-Messenger, Forty-one, was a Ketran male who, through a series of extraordinary circumstances, became an almost omnipotent, god-like being. He played a game throughout the universe with a similarly-powerful being known as Crayak, with Crayak trying to destroy worlds and the Ellimist trying to save them. He frequently interfered in the Animorphs' lives, sending them to possible futures and distant planets, so as to help defeat Crayak. The Ellimist also used the Animorphs' Chee friend, Erek King, in his endeavors. When he appeared to the Animorphs, he tended to take the form of an elderly male humanoid with glowing blue skin, similar to the typical wizard or wiseman archetype.
- "I would intrude with exquisite sensitivity and the purest motivations. I would create harmonies. Boldness allied with restraint and a minimalist aesthetic, all in the service of moral certainties: that peace was better than war, that freedom was better than slavery, that knowledge was better than ignorance. Oh, yes, the galaxy would be a wonderful place under my guidance. I flew from star to star, world to world. Here I lifted up a failing race, there I ended a plague; in another place I fed the hungry. A century flew past. And another, and more and more. Time was almost meaningless to me now. My challenges were vast and worthy, they kept my mind engaged. I made friends on many worlds, became an honorary member of a hundred families, clans, tribes, species, races. They spoke of me, of the Ellimist as I had become known, with respect, gratitude, awe."
- ―The Ellimist
Before achieving through abnormal circumstance a godlike omnipotence and omnipresence, the Ellimist was originally a Ketran named Toomin. He lived on the Equatorial High Crystal with his friends Inidar, Aguella and Wormer. Toomin could be best described as a "gamer"; he frequently played a life simulation game called Alien Civilizations, very popular among his people, which gave each player an alien species and tasked them with slightly modifying their environmental or evolutionary aspects, so as to cause change over time. The aim of the game was to keep the species alive for as long as possible; if the species became extinct, the player lost. Toomin's game name was Ellimist. He chose the name because he "thought it sounded breezy," not knowing how important the name would become.
Another society of Ketrans on his planet made the mistake of broadcasting transmissions of the game into deep space, as part of an experiment with radio transmission. Unfortunately they did not bother to include an explanation that the transmissions were only games, and a race called the Capasins annihilated the Ketrans, believing that the Ketrans meddled with the development of other species.
Toomin escaped on an experimental spacecraft with the last of his species. These last of the Ketrans roamed throughout the galaxy, searching for a new homeworld. Toomin eventually became the de facto leader of the ship's crew, and he and Aguella became a couple, though they refused to have children until a new homeworld could be found. Ketrans are approximately the size of humans, but are adapted for flight in a thick atmosphere and low gravity, and this made their search for a suitable home very difficult. Some of the last Ketrans favored a plan of re-engineering themselves, so that their children would be born adapted for life on the surface of a higher-gravity planet, and this created some controversy among them.
The Ketrans eventually came to a moon covered entirely with water. As they came close to the surface of the water, their craft was seized by the tentacle of a creature whose body covered the entire surface of the moon. It pulled the ship into the water, and there were no survivors save for Toomin.
The tentacled creature called itself Father, and was at its core merely a huge parasitic sponge. However, it had the ability to access the brains of dead creatures, and use them itself. It therefore had the combined knowledge and intelligence of every creature that had ever crashed onto the moon; the other members of the crew, although dead, still existed in the form of the data left on their brains. Toomin would interact with them metaphysically, knowing full well that they were only shadows, and his friends were actually dead.
However, since it only had dead brains, akin to biological computers, it had no creativity or imagination, and had grown terribly lonely. Father therefore kept Toomin alive, and interfaced with his brain to converse and play games with him. At first, Toomin lost every game he played with Father, as Father had perhaps millions of creatures' knowledge and memories to draw upon. Eventually, however, Toomin discovered the advantage he had over Father: creativity and the capacity for love. This allowed Toomin to best Father at every game they played, and eventually, to do to Father what Father had done to so many others: "download" its knowledge and personality into himself. As Father's intelligence consisted of that of millions of sentient beings, this made Toomin a being of unparalleled intelligence and wisdom.
Toomin found the wreckage of all the crashed spacecraft on the moon where it had been kept by Father, and used his near-infinite knowledge and insight to build a spacecraft, integrate it with his body, many times more advanced than any before or since; he experimented with spreading his existence across multiple ships, becoming unbound to just any one form. Taking the name Ellimist, he vowed that the genocide of the Ketrans would never again be repeated while he was there to stop it.
- "A hundred million years ago, we fought, Crayak and I. I wanted to stop him, to stop his destruction. He wanted to eliminate me. The result was something neither of us could tolerate. The battle we fought destroyed a tenth of the galaxy, millions of suns, millions of planets, a dozen sentient races. A dozen sentient species, and more who would have achieved sentience, all destroyed, destroyed for nothing! But Crayak was damaged as well. The fabric of space-time, the software, as you humans would say, the software that runs the galaxy was damaged, twisted by the sudden explosion of our power. All Crayak's knowledge of space-time was now shattered. The few threads he had gathered to him were yanked from his grasp. Millions of years of effort wasted. We fell back, back from our test of wills, our war."
- ―The Ellimist to the Animorphs
The Ellimist, as he came to be known, journeyed through the galaxy, ending wars with the vast power of his spacecraft-body, fostering peace, and essentially taking on the role of a deity for many of the planets he visited. Eventually, Toomin (now the Ellimist) met Crayak, an evil being who aimed to bring tyranny and death to the universe. When they met, the Ellimist could not comprehend what Crayak had done to all the innocent planets in the galaxy. The first thing he did when Ellimist met him was cause the destruction of Folk by sending an asteroid to wipe them out on their homeworld. They battled for centuries, using vast technological powers in their attempts to destroy each other. In the process, they annihilated hundreds of worlds, the Ellimist merely minimizing Crayak's destruction instead of stopping it.
Disgusted with what he was doing and knowing he could not defeat Crayak in open conflict, the Ellimist retreated from the war to a small, primitive world far from the conflict. Seeking companionship and a normal life, he transferred his original Toomin mind to a body cloned from the planet's native inhabitants and chose to live among them. He named them the Andalites, and eventually took a wife from them. They were to have a child together, but the Andalites were primitive and the baby died in birth due to improper care. The Ellimist's wife asked for another child, reasoning to him that while some children may die, more may live. The Ellimist ultimately had five children, three of which lived to adulthood.
The Ellimist lived his mortal life until his wife died, then returned to the stars emboldened by her words; as Crayak destroyed, the Ellimist would create. He traveled the galaxy, terraforming uninhabitable planets so they could sustain life, seeding new races on empty worlds, and evolving doomed species to the point they could survive. At this time he created the Pemalites to aid him in his work. The Ellimist's continuous creation of life began to outpace Crayak's spread of death, until eventually Crayak attacked him, seeking to end their game for good. The Ellimist had grown strong enough to fight back at this time and a galaxy-wide war between the two began, worlds and suns destroyed in their wake. When the tide began to turn in the Ellimist's favor, Crayak tricked him into piloting his ship-body near a black hole, which consumed the Ellimist.
Instead of dying, the Ellimist became one with the fabric of space and time, transforming from a technological deity into a real one. Moving a planet that Crayak was about to destroy, believed to be Earth, half a year in its rotation, he was able to save it. Then, Crayak too managed to find a way into the fabric of space and time. They agreed not to fight in person any longer, as it could cause immense damage to the fabric and likely destroy them both in the process. From then onwards, they played a deadly game with planets and the lives of their inhabitants.
Encounters with the Animorphs
- "The Kandrona. That's what the Ellimist wanted us to see. Just the way he let us see the dropshaft we used to escape. He wasn't interfering... technically. The choice is still ours."
"You mean maybe the Ellimist is bending his own rules? So he can say 'hey, I didn't interfere," but at the same time he's putting us where we can figure it out? I can't believe it! The Ellimist is a weasel! He found a loophole! I think I like that guy."
- ―Jake and Marco
First appearing in The Stranger, the Ellimist – without explaining about Crayak or their game – offers the Animorphs a chance to save a remnant of humanity. The Ellimist claims that he cannot interfere in the Yeerk invasion, but that he can bring some humans, as well as animals, human accomplishments, etc., to a kind of "wildlife preserve" much like Earth, thus allowing a portion of humanity to survive. He also shows them a future where Earth is completely conquered, and all the Animorphs dead or Controllers. This, however, was a ploy that allowed the Animorphs to find out information they needed to destroy the Kandrona, their trip to the future giving them a subtle but vital clue about the location of the original Kandrona on Earth; by "breaking his own rules," the Ellimist helped to deal a major blow to the Yeerks, the Animorphs destroying the Earth-based Kandrona and causing several Yeerks to starve to death before the replacement could be established (Although several human hosts were later revealed to have been killed due to the Yeerks' desire to keep their secret).
The Ellimist appeared again to Tobias in "The Change," and again, explained his desire to save a species from destruction---in this case, he had arranged to free a pair of Hork-Bajir-Controllers (Jara Hamee and Ket Halpak), and Tobias aids the alien pair in setting up a home that eventually becomes the Free Hork-Bajir colony. The Ellimist rewards Tobias by granting him a wish; Tobias' wish, to become human again (he had been trapped permanently as a red-tailed hawk) was fiddled with, so that Tobias – still a bird – could morph again, including into his own human body. This gave Tobias the ability to fight the Yeerks or, if he so wished, become a human permanently.
In The Attack, the Ellimist finally reveals the truth about Crayak to the Animorphs, and uses them to help save a race called the Iskoort from Crayak's Howlers. He makes an interesting comment in this book – that, when Crayak first saw Jake in The Capture, Crayak had seen that the Ellimist "had touched" Jake. As the Ellimist didn't appear until book 7, this implies (and Applegate confirmed on the Animorph website) that the Ellimist had "known" Jake before this point.
The eventual meaning of this comes out in Back to Before, where Jake- tempted by Crayak's servant, Drode- wishes that the Animorphs had never found Elfangor, thus never acquired the morphing powers. This new reality, however – which was supposed to give the Yeerks an easy victory – broke down, as Cassie was able to tell that the world was not as it should be, inspiring the would-have-been Animorphs to assemble and fight the Yeerks even without their morphing powers. Here the Drode reveals (in the form of complaining) that the Animorphs were, in fact, not a random assortment who had found Elfangor but that they had been picked out by the Ellimist: Elfangor's son Tobias, his brother Aximili, Cassie, and the son of Visser One's host – the Ellimist had "stacked the deck" with them for their specific abilities and positions. Any alternate timeline would collapse due to their specific involvement with the fight against the Yeerks.
The Ellimist had also meddled with the past, and caused Elfangor to go from being a human on Earth to an Andalite war-prince; this change was made in the timeline while allowing Tobias to continue to exist, thus preserving the Ellimist's plans.
The Ellimist makes his final appearance in The Beginning. There he appears to honor the dying Rachel, where he tells her the story written in "The Ellimist Chronicles." He also tells her that she was a random choice to join the team but that her life mattered greatly to the fate of the Earth.
- "It was as if the galaxy had conspired to make sense of my disjointed, fractured, bizarre life. I had been a wastrel Ketran gamer. I had been a survivor of mass destruction. I had been a Z-spaceship captain. I had been a helpless captive, forced to be a new type of gamer. I had evolved into something the galaxy had never seen before, a melding of many technologies, the minds of many civilizations, all flowing in and through a matrix of music. And now that strange resume seemed to match perfectly with a job that needed doing. I would be a peacemaker. And more: I would foster the growth and advancement of species. I would teach them the ways of peace. The massacre of my own people by the Capasins would not be repeated on any other world. Not so long as I was present!"
- ―The Ellimist
To be added
Animorphs TV Series
In the TV series, the Ellimist appears much as he did in his first book appearance: a blue, glowing humanoid, like a wizard. However, in The Stranger, much more emphasis is placed on the multiplicity of him. He is "an Ellimist," rather than "the Ellimist." He specifically refers to Ellimist as a race. In the book, this was kept more ambiguous. His role in the plot is also more minor; while he allows the Animorphs to see the location of the future Kandrona, his main goal in taking them into the future was to give Rachel a chance to acquire a knife that she could use to free them from a net that had trapped them in the past. He also returns in the equivalent of Back to Before, where he shows Jake the reality where he never discovered Elfangor to prove to Jake that his actions as an Animorph were for the best.