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"We were peaceful people, tending our trees, ignorant of our creators. Unaware of everyone else in the galaxy. Now look at us. Now look what has become of us. The despised children of the Arn. Slaves of the Yeerks. Tools of the Andalites."
Dak Hamee[src]

The Hork-Bajir /ˌhɔːrk.bəˈdʒɪər/[1] are a peaceful alien race, who became enslaved by the Yeerks and used by them as shock troops.


"Hork-Bajir are incredibly dangerous and very powerful. They stand on two legs, balanced by a tail. Each leg ends in a foot, like an Earth bird of prey. They have two arms. There are curved blades at their knees, at their elbows, at their wrists. Blades similar to my own tail blade. Atop their snakelike heads are two more blades, swept forward. And their tails end in long, sharp spikes. They are not a species you want to start a fight with. Which may be why they were such a peaceful, even poetic, species. They had no one to fear. Until the Yeerks began to make them into Controllers."

The Hork-Bajir are bipedal, have strong reptilian bodies with dark green-black leathery skin, and two hearts. They have snake-like necks with a sharp beak at the end of their heads, tyrannosaurus-like feet, three claw-tipped fingers and a thumb on each hand, and measure to a height of seven feet in adulthood. Their most notable feature is that they have huge, long blades all over their bodies: their elbows, wrists, feet, legs, head, and tail. Male and female Hork-Bajir are told apart by the number of blades on their heads; males have three blades while females have two. According to Ket Halpak, there is another difference, but claims that it was only for Hork-Bajir to know.[2]

Hork Bajir feet Book 20 the discovery inside cover

Hork-Bajir feet

Although they look fierce, the Hork-Bajir are a race of pacifists. They never even understood the concept of violence or fighting until the Yeerks showed up. Their blades are used for stripping bark off the huge 100 to 1,300-foot trees on their homeworld. Their intelligence is equivalent to that of a human toddler. They cannot see well in the dark, but they do have an excellent sense of hearing[3] and smell.[4] Their blood appears in shades of deep red and deeper blue-green. They also possess a high tolerance to pain and are capable of healing quickly.


"They aren't a city-building or road-building species. They are quite primitive, according to the data from the robot probes. Their appearance can be very fearsome, but they are harmless, gentle herbivores. Not especially bright, I'm afraid. No culture to speak of. No written language. No music, as far as we know. They don't build much, if anything. And they are technologically the equivalent of a primordial civilization."

Before their enslavement by the Yeerks, the Hork-Bajir were regarded as a simple, peaceful race that possessed little evidence of art, language or even music. They were divided into separate tribal groups, that spread across the valleys of their world. Centered around each of these tribes was the Tribe Tree, the main tree used by the Hork-Bajir as their center of social organization. Despite their primitive state, the Hork-Bajir had a rich oral culture centered around their two creator deities Father Deep and Mother Sky. In addition, they were technologically adept at using hollowed-out trees, known as the Speaking Trees, as a means of primitive long-distance communication.


"We may be simple people. But we don't use biology to invent monsters. And we don't enslave other species. And we don't unleash a plague of parasites on the galaxy, endangering every other free species, and then go swaggering around like the lords of the universe. No, we're too simple for all that. We're too stupid to lie and manipulate. We're too stupid to be ruthless. We're too stupid to know how to build powerful weapons designed to annihilate our enemies. Until you came, Andalite, we were too stupid to know how to kill."
Dak Hamee to Aldrea-Iskillion-Falan[src]
This section requires expansion

The Arn, a now extinct race and the original inhabitants of the Hork-Bajir homeworld, created the Hork-Bajir to look after the huge trees of their homeworld by stripping and eating the bark off of them. When the Arn created the Hork-Bajir, there was a gene they could not weed out, the gene of intelligence. Every thousand years or so, one of the Hork-Bajir is born a "seer". The seers are much more intelligent than their brothers and sisters and in times of trouble, the other Hork-Bajir may look to them to lead.

The Hork-Bajir homeworld was the first world the Yeerks reached out to for conquest. When they first saw them, the Yeerks thought the Hork-Bajir were huge warriors, not peaceful, gentle bark eaters. So they enslaved them to become fierce soldiers. The remaining free Hork-Bajir were destroyed by the Quantum Virus, which War-Prince Alloran-Semitur-Corrass had programmed to kill all Hork-Bajir – Controllers as well as the free Hork-Bajir still alive on the planet – to prevent them from becoming enslaved. In The Hork-Bajir Chronicles, a young Hork-Bajir seer named Dak Hamee befriended an Andalite named Aldrea-Iskillion-Falan during the Hork-Bajir war. Aldrea morphed and became a Hork-Bajir nothlit, and the two later married. They had a son Aldrea named Seerow (after her father). Her great-granddaughter, Toby Hamee is also a seer.

In The Change, with the interference of the Ellimist, Tobias and the other Animorphs help a Hork-Bajir couple named Jara Hamee and Ket Halpak escape the Yeerk Pool and establish a colony for free Hork-Bajir in a hidden valley deep in the forest that was created by the Ellimist. Throughout the series, Jara and Ket continue to help other Hork-Bajir to freedom. By the end of the series, they became a free species, establishing a new home, protected by the American government, on Earth.


"The Hork-Bajir stood peacefully as Rachel reached out her slender fingers to touch the creature's back. The Hork-Bajir went slightly limp as she began to "acquire" him. To absorb his DNA and make it part of her."

The first Hork-Bajir to have been acquired was Delf Hajool, by Aldrea-Iskillion-Falan. Alloran-Semitur-Corrass also acquired a Hork-Bajir morph during his trip to the Taxxon homeworld. Rachel and Tobias acquired Jara Hamee and Ket Halpak respectively in The Change, Ax acquired Jara Hamee sometime prior to The Reunion while Jake, Cassie and Marco acquired Hork-Bajir morphs in The Prophecy, with Cassie acquiring Jara as well. Cassie and Marco also acquired another Hork-Bajir morph in The Unexpected and The Revelation respectively.


General Usage

Cassie morphing Hork-Bajir (Jara Hamee)

Cassie morphing into Jara Hamee.

"We morphed. Six panting, muscular, seven-foot-tall, blade-wielding bodies made the Bug fighter a tight fit. But it was the morph for the job and I knew what to expect. Good eyes. Slow mind, a little apprehensive. Powerful body. Just one of hundreds, maybe thousands of slaves to the Yeerks. No one would notice us. No one would know we were not Controllers."

Aldrea-Iskillion-Falan was the first to acquire and morph a Hork-Bajir, acquiring Delf Hajool in order to show Dak Hamee the acquisition trance and later morphing into her in order to traverse the trees of the Hork-Bajir homeworld. However, the pair were caught by Esplin 9466, and in the ensuing chaos, she was knocked out. When Aldrea came to, she realized she had been trapped in Hork-Bajir morph. Aldrea then chose to live on the homeworld with Dak Hamee, marrying him and conceiving a son, Seerow Hamee. Nearly a decade later, Alloran-Semitur-Corrass acquired and morphed a Hork-Bajir-Controller on the Taxxon homeworld, as an alternative to being in a Taxxon morph. Alloran then used the morph to threaten Esplin 9466 in allowing safe passage for himself, Elfangor, Chapman, Loren and Arbron.

Rachel was the first Animorph to use a Hork-Bajir morph, morphing into Jara Hamee in The Change in order to lead the Yeerks on a false trail while the real Jara escaped. However, that only proved to be a temporary solution, and thus Rachel and Tobias, with the latter morphing into Ket Halpak, faked the Hork-Bajir couple's death in order to free them from Yeerk persecution. Tobias morphed into Ket once more in The Pretender to rescue a baby Hork-Bajir, and used the morph again, along with Rachel, to trick Visser One in The Reunion. Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Marco and Ax also morphed Hork-Bajir in The Prophecy, during a trip to the Hork-Bajir homeworld, with Aldrea, controlling Cassie's body at times, using the Hork-Bajir morph as well. The Animorphs used their Hork-Bajir morphs again in The Revelation, first with Tobias morphing Ket to stage a trapped Hork-Bajir, and then all six members using it to infiltrate the Yeerk pool and rescue Eva. In The Diversion, Jake, Tobias, Cassie, Marco and Ax used their Hork-Bajir morphs to infiltrate into a Yeerk-run medical facility, posing as Blue Band Hork-Bajir, with the morph being used again in The Absolute by Tobias and Ax, who easily defeat three human-Controllers and liberate Marco. In The Sacrifice, Rachel uses her Hork-Bajir morph to perform reconnaissance on the Yeerks and their new subway system.

Battle Morph

"Rachel and Tobias were both well into morphing Hork-Bajir. When fighting Hork-Bajir-Controllers there is nothing quite as useful as having a few of our own to confuse things."

Tobias began to use his Hork-Bajir morph as a battle morph in Elfangor's Secret, using it to save Rachel from being trampled to death during the Battle of Agincourt and using it once more to retrieve the Time Matrix from Nazi custody. Tobias used it once again shortly after in The Separation, during the Animorphs' attempt to destroy the Anti-Morphing Ray, and was commended on the decision by Mean Rachel, who had used it as her battle morph as well, blending in with the Hork-Bajir-Controllers. In order to trick Visser Three, Nice Rachel also assumed the morph, passing herself off as Mean Rachel. Both Tobias and Rachel used their Hork-Bajir morphs as battle morphs during VISSER, fighting a small army of Yeerks in the presence of the Council of Thirteen at Visser One's request. In The Journey, after being chosen as part of the combat team fighting Helmacrons in Marco's nose, Tobias elected to use his Hork-Bajir morph. While attempting to rescue Eva in The Revelation, Rachel used her Hork-Bajir morph to fight a few members of the Blue Band Hork-Bajir, including their leader, Grath. In The Diversion, Jake, Tobias, Cassie and Marco are forced to use their Hork-Bajir morphs as battle morphs after failing to successfully pose as Blue Band Hork-Bajir. Tobias elects to use his Hork-Bajir morph as his battle morph in The Absolute, when Marco asks Tobias to provide additional firepower. Tobias and Rachel often used their Hork-Bajir morphs to fight Hork-Bajir and human Controllers, with Rachel having adopted it as a secondary battle morph at this point and using in tandem with Tobias when fighting other Hork-Bajir-Controllers; Jake remarks that it was a useful tactic as the Controllers could not differentiate between their own and the Animorphs.

Surgical Usage

"I was Hork-Bajir. And not just any Hork-Bajir. I had two Hork-Bajir morphs now, but I had chosen to become the one I'd acquired on the airplane, the Hork-Bajir who had vaporized under the Dracon beam. I was a Xerox copy of a Hork-Bajir who could no longer exist except through the DNA in my blood. And I was not a killer, not a natural terrorist for Visser Three. The Hork-Bajir was gentle, curious, and a little afraid. And he was going to help me save a life."

While struck in the Australian Outback in The Unexpected, Cassie used her secondary Hork-Bajir morph to perform an operation on Yami's grandfather, where she used the Hork-Bajir's natural blades to amputate his infected leg. She remarked that while she could have merely used the blades, she needed the Hork-Bajir's muscles to perform the task as well.[5]

Known Hork-Bajir

Known Morphers


  • Ax once claimed that Hork-Bajir frequently fought each other due to a biological clock in The Alien. This is later proven to be false and is rectified in the 2012 reprint.
  • In The Prophecy, Aldrea refers to the sky as 'father' while in all other books it is referred to as 'mother.' In a Discord interview on 1/13/2018, Michael Grant explained this by saying that Hork-Bajir don't have a human concept of gender, and that mother and father can be used interchangeably in their language. However, this contradicts The Change and The Hork-Bajir Chronicles, where the Hork-Bajir are aware of the male and female gender.


Elfangor eye closeup andalite chron "Someone took a picture of me? Not cool. Do you see what I'm wearing? I'm Spandex-boy. Totally not cool."

The image gallery for Hork-Bajir may be viewed here


  1. K. A. Applegate (December 14, 2007). All About Applegate: K.A. Speaks. author Q&A. Archived from the original on 14 December 2007. Retrieved on 12 September 2016.
  2. The Change, page 153
  3. The Invasion, page 32
  4. The Secret, page 146
  5. The Unexpected