Animorph Air Force
The Forgotten Animorphs (along with Rachel)
The Winged Wonder
|Host to||Odret 177 (alternate timeline)|
|Eye color||Golden-brown (as a hawk)|
|Hair color||Blond/Dirty blond (as a human)|
|Born||1984 (conceived in 1980)|
|Family||Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul † (father)
Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill (paternal uncle)
Unnamed maternal grandfather (U.S. Army Vietnam War veteran)
Unnamed maternal grandmother
Noorlin-Sirinial-Cooraf (unnamed paternal grandfather)
Forlay-Esgarrouth-Maheen (paternal grandmother)
Unnamed maternal aunt
Unnamed maternal uncle
The Sharing (alternate timeline)
|Behind the scenes|
|First appearance||The Invasion|
|Last appearance||The Beginning|
|Portrayer||Christopher Ralph (TV series)
Matt Levin (voice, PC game)
- "Who am I? What am I? A bird. A boy. Something not quite human. Something more than human. The person Rachel loves. I discovered something amid the pain and terror and confusion. I discovered that the answer to what I am, to who I am, isn't something to be answered in a single word or a single moment. It could take a lifetime to figure out who I am. For now, I'm willing to hang in there, floating on a thermal. Biding my time."
Tobias is a founding member of the Animorphs and a red-tailed hawk nothlit, although he was granted the morphing ability again by the Ellimist. He served as the "air force" member of the team, keeping an eye up above and performing aerial support and reconnaissance. He is the son of Elfangor and Loren, the nephew of Ax and was Rachel's boyfriend.
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In the book The Change the Ellimist restores his power to morph. However, as the Ellimist does not also restore Tobias' human form as his normal body, Tobias' normal form remains that of the hawk, from which he is able to morph to any other animal, including his original human form. The Ellimist makes the human morph possible by sending Tobias, still in his red-tailed hawk form, into an illusion in which he encountered his human form the day before the Animorphs gained their morphing ability. The Ellimist's intervention gives Tobias the chance to return to life as a human, but he chooses to continue living as a morph-capable hawk, explained by the others as a need to stay in the fight. However, as the series progresses, it becomes apparent that in many ways Tobias prefers his life as a hawk to his life as a human.
Among the group, Tobias is closest to Rachel and Ax. After becoming a nothlit, he lives in the forest as a hawk along with Ax. He has a crush on Rachel during the early books and they become romantically involved later in the series.
Before he became a nothlit, Tobias lived at times with an uncle in the other Animorphs' home town and at times with an aunt on the other coast. Neither ever really cared about the boy, often not paying attention to him or just using him as free labor, and they never tried to find him after his "disappearance". His parents were believed to be dead, but towards the end of the series it was revealed that Tobias's mother, Loren, was still alive and blind. Tobias's true father was Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul, the Andalite who gave the Animorphs their powers. Elfangor was on Earth as a human nothlit hiding under the name Alan Fangor, which was shortened to Al Fangor. Because the Ellimist had wiped out all evidence of Elfangor's time on Earth, Tobias and the Animorphs were unaware of Tobias' lineage, until Visser Three got his hands on Elfangor's will. Loren and Tobias were reunited towards the end of the series, though Loren never quite remembered her son or Elfangor, due to amnesia.
After the war, Tobias completely withdraws from the rest of the world, distraught by Rachel's death and unable to forgive Jake for his role in it. He only rejoins the other Animorphs (minus Cassie) after finding out about Ax's capture by The One.
- "It suddenly occurred to me, right then, for the first time, that what I thought was so unique about me – that I was half instinctive predator, and half human being – wasn't so unique after all. Every human – Jake. Rachel. Marco. Cassie, all humans – kind of lives on that edge between savage and saint. And the thing is that sometimes when you get pushed you do have to push back. And other times, you have to turn the other cheek. [...] I guess the trick is to figure out when to do which thing. When to fight, when to let up. A balancing act. And even if I went back to being fully human in body and mind, that balancing act wouldn't go away."
Before the war, Tobias was a shy dreamer somewhat detached from the world. He was kind and gentle, and very unpopular at school and a bully magnet. He lived with his uncle, who was not very fond of him and he often got thrown between him and his uncaring aunt on the other coast. The only time he felt happy was when he was with his friend and mother-figure Professor Powers. Not very happy with his life, Tobias found meaning in the war. For the first time he felt like he had something worth fighting for, and he was particularly motivated by Elfangor's death. Tobias also found freedom in the power to morph. He became enraptured with the hawk morph, where he could just fly away from his human problems.The other Animorphs recognized Tobias' attachment to the hawk morph, and Jake warned him of the time limit. However, during their first mission to the Yeerk Pool at the end of The Invasion Tobias stays in hawk morph for over two hours, trapping him permanently. The other Animorphs sometimes speculate if Tobias trapped himself on purpose, as an excuse to escape his terrible life as a human.
Because of Tobias' dual existence as both a hawk and a human, his friends sometimes call him "bird-boy". Tobias' narrations contain many thoughts on his internal conflict between his human and hawk sides. A common issue that arises is his need to hunt and kill to survive. The ruthless nature of the hawk contrasts with the more caring nature of human Tobias. Tobias sometimes wonders if he is losing his humanity because of this.
Relationships with the other Animorphs
- "It felt good to hear Jake say I was indispensable, but with Jake you could never be sure anymore what was sincere. And what was just expedient. He'd been the most open of guys, back in the old days. What you saw with Jake was what you got. But he'd been a leader for a long time now. He'd learned to say what he needed to say. Jake needed me as one of the Animorphs. He liked me, respected me, was happy for me when I was happy. And, when he had to, he used me without regard for anything but winning."
Tobias and Jake were casual acquaintances before the series began, after Jake saved Tobias from a group of bullies. Tobias has a deep respect for Jake and rarely challenges his decisions or leadership during the series, while Jake respects Tobias's own strength; he once even nominated Tobias as the one to make a judgment call when he, Marco and Ax were out on an independent survey mission. However, Tobias was never able to forgive Jake for sacrificing Rachel in the final battle.
- "Rachel would be beautiful in the middle of mud slides and hailstorms. On a sweet, sunny day, she made my heart ache. She looked at me. Embarrassed for me. Wanting to say something that would make it all right. Not knowing what to say. Hurting for me. Feeling my humiliation."
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Rachel and Tobias were acquainted before the start of the series, although they didn't really know each other. Despite this, Tobias had a crush on Rachel. Rachel was more affectionate towards Tobias than anyone at the start, and remained as his anchor to the other Animorphs after he became trapped as a bird, with Rachel stating that she felt like she had to take care of him. Tobias often visited Rachel in the late nights or early mornings in her bedroom, and their relationship soon became romantic, with them becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. Rachel's death drives Tobias into depression and seclusion.
- "I should have flown away. I knew I should have. But Ax had said I was his shorm. It's an Andalite word for someone who is closer than a friend. During the war we'd both been exiles in the woods, Ax and me. Neither of us had a real home. His family was a billion miles away, mine didn't really exist. Only later did we discover that Ax and I were, because of almost unbelievable circumstances, actually related."
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Ax and Tobias share a close bond, with Ax regarding Tobias as his shorm (best friend). Their bond is later strengthened when they discover they are uncle and nephew.
- "Marco and I will probably never be very close. He's a typical smart-aleck kind of guy. Always confident. Always has some funny or sarcastic thing to say. He's short, or at least he's not very tall. I guess girls think he's cute because he has this long brown hair and dark eyes."
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Initially, Marco and Tobias were indifferent to one another. However, shortly after becoming Animorphs, they grew closer through the various battles they shared, and Tobias and Marco became close friends.
- "You and me, I guess."
"I'm always glad to have you along."
- ―Cassie and Tobias
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Tobias and Cassie are similar in their kind natures and understanding of animals.
|Cat (Dude)||The Invasion|
|Hork-Bajir (Ket Halpak)|
|Human (his younger self)|
|Bottlenose Dolphin||The Escape|
|Deinonychus (unusable; Sario Rip morph)||In the Time of Dinosaurs|
|African Elephant||The Solution|
|Baby Ringed Seal||The Extreme|
|Polar Bear (Nanook)|
|Sperm Whale||The Exposed|
|Mountain Goat (acquired but never used)|
|Andalite (Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill)||The Illusion|
|Orca (Swoosh)||The Mutation|
|Human (Taylor)||The Test|
|Human (male United States Navy catapult-and-arresting-gear officer)||The Deception|
|North American Beaver (acquired but never used)||The Resistance|
|German Shepherd (Champ)||The Diversion|
|Mallard Drake||The Absolute|
Television Show Morphs
|Red-Tailed Hawk - Nothlit||My Name is Jake, Part 2|
|Human (Tobias)||Face Off, Part 1|
|Skink||My Name is Jake (original acquisition)/Not My Problem (as a flashback)|
Tobias has a total of 4 morphs in the TV Show.
Books Narrated By Tobias
- The Encounter
- The Andalite's Gift
- The Change
- In the Time of Dinosaurs
- The Hork-Bajir Chronicles
- The Pretender
- Elfangor's Secret
- The Illusion
- Back to Before
- The Test
- The Diversion
- The Beginning
- In 1999, three different transforming toys of Tobias were made. The larger two were transformers sold in stores that transformed from human to hawk. One was deluxe-class and the other Mega-class. The third toy, released in 1999 as part of a Taco Bell children's meal promotion, was a smaller, clear plastic hawk with a yellow human "soul" trapped inside. KFC also released a hawk-shaped glider, and in 1998 Taco Bell released a toy that was a watch clutched by a clawed hand shape that was roughly half human.
- Tobias and Ax get the least amount of books in the series. 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 favourites, so both Ax and Tobias were brought into the equal rotation with the rest of the Animorphs near the end of the series.
- The Test featured a new Tobias cover model. Ursula Albano, the art director for Animorphs shared this story on the Anibase about the discovery of the new Tobias:
- "We couldn't find a kid in time for the shoot, so the photographer asked the agency to send over any old kid to stand in. Our artist, David Mattingly, would alter him digitally to fit the character. Well, a boy shows up kind of out of nowhere, skateboard in hand (he lives in the neighborhood) and a knit hat pulled down practically to his eyes. When he pulled his hat off, we knew we found the perfect Tobias. Tonya (the editor for Animorphs) and I just loved him. He was blonder than the first Tobias, but was perfect. He was Tobias. A happy accident from a desperate situation."
- Tobias and Marco are the only two of the Animorphs to morph into a human of the opposite gender. Tobias morphed Taylor in The Test and Marco morphed the state governor in The Absolute.
- Tobias is the first of the Animorphsto acquire and morph.
- Tobias has the distinction of any member to have a cover showing him morphing into another member of the team, as he morphed into Ax in The Illusion.
- K.A. on why she chose a red-tailed hawk morph for Tobias to be trapped in:
- "Tobias' form was chosen because red-tails are among the most common hawks in the U.S. I liked thinking that kids driving with their folks across Kansas or wherever would daydream that they were seeing Tobias. Probably should have made him a turkey buzzard, they're so ubiquitous. I knew right from the start I would trap Tobias in morph, by the way, never a doubt. Had to be. I knew it would drive some readers crazy, but I also knew they'd want to know more."
|Animorphs||Jake | Rachel | Tobias | Cassie | Marco | Ax | David|
|Auxiliary Animorphs||James | Collette | Timmy | Kelly | Craig | Erica | Julio | Liam | Tricia | Jessie | Judy | Ray|