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"He will never be restored to his normal self. And now, I am no longer a warrior in the service of the Andalite world. I am Mertil's protector and friend."
―Gafinilan to Ax and Marco[src]

Gafinilan-Estrif-Valad was an Andalite fighter pilot and warrior and one of the four Andalites who survived the battle between the GalaxyTree and the Blade ship and crash landed on Earth, along with Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul, Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill and Mertil-Iscar-Elmand. Gafinilan eventually contracted Soola's Disease, a genetic illness, and teamed up with the Animorphs to rescue his mate Mertil when the latter was captured by the Yeerks.


Famous Fighter Pilot[]

"Mertil and I were fighter pilots. We came up through the academy together and each earned a reputation for excellence and bravery. However, no one is immune to the vagaries of war. During the battle with the Blade ship, the battle that destroyed the Dome ship, my fighter was hit and the main engine was destroyed. Almost immediately I lost control and slammed into Mertil's already damaged fighter. Our wings somehow locked and, as one, the ships spiraled to the ground. I was sure we would both be killed."
―Gafinilan to Ax and Marco[src]

Gafinilan avoided actively engaging the Yeerks in combat because he had to take care of his shorm and mate Mertil-Iscar-Elmand, who had an apparent allergy to the morphing technology that left him unable to use it and had lost his tail-blade in the crash.

Living on Earth[]

Henry McClellan[]

"You see, I only sustained minor injuries. A few burns, easily healed broken ribs. Mertil, however, was more seriously hurt. In time, he recovered from his other injuries. But his tail — it was severed. And because of his inability to utilize the morphing technology, there was nothing that could be done."
―Gafinilan to Ax and Marco[src]

While Gafinilan was able to morph, he suffered from Soola's Disease. a rare genetic disease that would eventually kill him, requiring him to take medicine to dull the pain of his illness as he could not overcome it naturally; even if he morphed, his body retained the disease when he demorphed.

Eventually making a life for himself as Henry McClellan, a professor at a nearby university, Gafinilan attempted to care for Mertil while trying to find a cure for his disease. When Mertil was captured by Visser Three, Visser Three attempted to force Gafinilan to lead the 'Andalite bandits' into a trap in exchange for Mertil, having no use for Mertil or Gafinilan as hosts due to their respective disabilities.

Meeting the Animorphs[]

Despite his attempted betrayal, the Animorphs helped Gafinilan rescue Mertil, Mertil subsequently assuring them that he would take care of his mate as his condition worsened.


"You are willing to betray one of your own people to the Yeerks in exchange for your friend's life? For the life of a mere vecol?"
"For me, it is not about action traitorous to my world. For me, it is personal."
Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill and Gafinilan-Estrif-Valad[src]

To be added


  • Though not mentioned in the series, Michael Grant later revealed that Gafinilan and Mertil were in fact a couple.