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It was possible. It was hard, sometimes, to control the animal you'd morphed. So it was possible that's what had happened. The others certainly bought it. Cassie comforted him. But I have an instinct for lies. Maybe it's because I can lie pretty well when I need to. I know a lie when I hear one. David had killed that crow. Deliberately. In cold blood. For absolutely no reason.
~ Marco about David's darker side that first shown for the first time which foreshadowed his later betrayal.
David is a villain from the Animorphs book series. He is a teenager who unknowingly handed his family to the parasitic aliens known as the Yeerks and was forced to become one of the Animorphs, but ended up becoming one of their worst enemies. He appears in what is known as the David Trilogy: consisting in book 20 The Discovery, book 21 The Threat and book 22 The Solution. He later reappears in book 48 The Return. David never narrates an Animorphs book.


Prior to the story

David is described as a teenage boy around fifteen years old, with blond hair and brown eyes. He is the son of a NSA agent, who had to move from town to town for most of his life, not being able to settle anywhere, due to his father's job. He has a pet cat named Megadeth and a pet cobra, whose venom has been removed, named Spawn. The name of his parents and the profession of his mother are never revealed. His family seems to be rather wealthy, given that they own a large house with a swimming pool.

Role in the Story

David is first introduced when moving into the town where the Animorphs live. He later visits the construction site and incidentally finds the Morphing Cube, which he takes home and tries to sell on the internet. The following day, he meets Marco, one of the Animorphs, in high school. Marco spots the Morphing Cube and fails to talk David into relinquishing it; which later prompts the Animorphs to break into David's house under the shape of birdpreys to try and retrieve it, but he drives them off with a BB gun.

Things turn for the worse when the man who contacted David to buy the Morphing Cube is revealed to be none other than Visser Three posing as a human. Since David unknowingly revealed his address, Visser Three and his forces attack David's home, which is destroyed in the ensuing battle. The Animorphs barge in and manage to take back the Cube and to save David's life, but ultimately cannot save David's parents from being infested by the Yeerks. With David being tracked down by the entire Yeerk Empire, forever barred from a normal life, the Animorphs have no other choice than to take the traumatized teen in and make him into one of them; granting him the shape-shifting powers and thought-speak that they share. A decision which was welcomed with mixed reactions from the protagonists. David would then favours the shape of a lion and a golden eagle, but he is also able to turn into a rattlesnake and an orca.

Unfortunately, David could never bring himself to trust the Animorphs and to adapt into his new life as a rebel fugitive, and grew to resent the Animorphs, holding them partly responsible for his misfortune. Also, his desire to use his powers for profit, coupled to his controlling nature, resulted in him contesting Jake's leadership of the Animorphs and making too many unnecessarily bold moves, causing much troubles and tension.

As the Animorphs discover that the Yeerks are planning to assimilate most of the world leaders during a UN summit and try to prevent it, they fall into Visser Three's trap; and a frightened David turns on the Animorphs, offering to trade them to the Yeerks in exchange for his life. The Animorphs prevent him from disclosing their identities, but he returns to his old house shape-shifted as an eagle and kills a red-tailed hawk, believing him to be Tobias (an Animorph trapped under the shape of a hawk), who was sent by Jake to follow him. With Tobias seemingly killed, David confronts the Animorphs in the city mall and turns into a lion to fight Jake, who turns into a tiger. David defeats Jake by bitting his carotid open and leaves him to bleed to death. Rachel and Ax, an Andalite (the Yeerks' enemies) who has become a member of the Animorphs, go to Marco's house to warn him, but David shape-shifts as Marco to ambush them and knocks Ax out with a baseball bat. He then turn into a birdprey to escape, and almost kills Rachel when she tracks him down, but she is saved by Tobias. (It must be noted that David is convinced to have killed Tobias and believes it to be nothing but an aggressive hawk.)

The following day, David meets the Animorphs at school shape-shifted as Marco and demands the Morphing Cube, which he plans to trade to the Yeerks in exchange for his and his parents freedom. The Animorphs warn him that Visser Three would never keep his part of a bargain, but he does not relent and instead sets out to pursue his original goal of forming a gang of shape-shifting thieves. Rachel runs after him and threatens to kill him and his parent should he betray them to the Yeerks. Later, the Animorphs manage to thwart the Yeerks' plan to infest the world leaders and escape through the ocean, shape-shifted as sea animals. There, David attacks them under the shape of an orca but ends up driven away after a fierce battle. Following this, David and Rachel engage a vicious vendetta against one another, with Rachel realizing much to her horror that she shares David's violent, sociopathic tendencies.

A few days later, the Animorphs learn that Jake's and Rachel's cousin Saddler, who was fatally wounded in a car accident, has made a miraculous full recovery. However, it turns out that David killed Saddler and shape-shifted as him, in order to take his place in society and regain a normal life. Despite being tempted to leave David on his own, they eventually realize that his powers and greed were bound to become a liability sooner or later, even risking to jeopardize their chances to win the war.

You know, Rachel, it's a shame it worked out this way. I mean, if you weren't such a harsh person I would have invited you to quit this little gang and hook up with me. Jake doesn't even know how to use his powers. I mean, come on, who cares if the Yeerks are around? With Animorph powers we can have anything we want.
~ David revealed his future evil plan with Escafil Device

The Animorphs pretend to give in to David's blackmail and meet him at a Taco Bell, telling him that they divided the Morphing Cube into several pieces which are hidden in the construction site where he found it. Rachel leads David to the construction site, with the other Animorphs tailing them, but David outsmarts them and traps them under the shape of coackroches into a Pepsi bottle, running the danger of staying under this form for the rest of their lives if they keep it for more than two hours. Rachel and David turn into rats to travel into the sewers where the Morphing Cube's pieces are supposedly hidden, but she lures him into a cage. David realizes too late that this is a trap, but Rachel escapes and Tobias reveals to David that he is alive. Tobias frees his friends from the bottle and traps David in the cage, preventing him from demorphing. David is held in the cage until he becomes a nothlit. Then Rachel and Ax take him to a barren island located one mile offshore, where he would spend the rest of his life alone, ignoring his telepathic pleas and curses. Later, those boating by the island would perccieve his telepathic screams and believe the island to be haunted.

The Return

David returns much later in the series, when he strikes a bargain with Crayak. If he manages to win Rachel to Crayak's side, he would be turned back into a human. Crayak sends two teenagers to be his henchmen, and they take him out of the island.

After a strange series of disturbing dreams and situations, Rachel finds herself trapped underground inside a cube, where she encouters David in his rat form. David attempts to manipulate his archenemy, claiming that he controls an army of rats which he used to escape the island and to steal vast fortunes, which he used to bribe his two flunkies into helping him. He then shows him an image of Cassie being trapped, and tells her that is she does not turns forever into a rat, Cassie will be killed. Crayak then barges in and Rachel understands that David lied and that Crayak is the sole responsible of the recent events. Crayak offers to make her powerful enough to win the war on her own if she accepts to kill Jake, but she refuses and he retaliates by turning her into a rat and forcing her to fight David. He then stages a fight between her and Visser Three (now Visser One), but she keeps resisting him.

Furious, Crayak leaves Rachel under the shape of a rat and departs, leaving her in the hands of David and his flunkies. However, Rachel persuades David's flunkies to turn on him by promising them the money that David allegedly stole as a reward. The two teenagers free her and enable her to turn back into a human. She then frees Cassie and goes after David. Finding himself at the mercy of his archenemy for the second time, David begs her to kill him, as he would much prefer to die rather than spend the rest of his life as a rat. Whether Rachel grants his wish or take him back to the island is never revealed.


The first thing to know about David is that he is very independent, impartial, and proud. He dislikes being given orders and tends to look down on authority figures, with the exception of his father. Perhaps due to moving around the country too often to form real bonds, he avoids socializing, seems to dislike company, and he can be very scathing and vituperative when speaking to people in an extremely opprobrious manner. Moreover, he is selfish, greedy, arrogant, and domineering. He dislikes anyone having an advantage over him or being better than him in any way, he always wants to be in charge and likes to show off to prove his perceived superiority. This is why he always tries to get the better of those who have bested him, and to repay everything he perceives as a humiliation. This goes to the point that he is unable to process that the gang of thieves he plans to form could disregard his authority or betray him.

David proves to be very intelligent and driven, being skilled in exploiting the situation to his advantage and to think on the spot. However, he is also very egotistical and reckless for his own good and most often his delusions of grandeur get the better of him. For instance, he developed an obsession with beating Rachel that led to his eventual defeat. He displays very lose morals and strong sociopathic tendencies, that grows into full blown ruthlessness and cruelty as the story goes on. At first, he does not care about killing animals under a predator's shape just for the thrill of it, and immediately desires to use his shapeshifting powers to steal riches. He eventually loses all qualms about killing another Animorph under an animal shape, then about killing someone to take his place.

Although David's actions are far too repulsive and objectionable to be fully excused, it must be noted that he is mostly a scared teenager who was thrown headfirst into an extremely life-threatening and dangerous situation for which he was unprepared. David despises the Animorphs for drafting him without considering his wishes, but he equally hates the Yeerks who took away his family and wants to get away from both factions. It is made quite clear that David's sanity gradually deteriorates as the story goes on. He wants to escape the conflict and regain control over his life, and clings on any possibility to regain the semblance of a normal life, but his ruthless, sociopathic and violent tendencies make him ready for the worst to get what he wants. David's sanity slippage culminates to a point where he is willing to kill the Animorphs without second thoughts, and comes to believe that they must pay for wronging him, making him rather pathetic.

Interestingly, David could be said to be an amalgamation of all the other Animorphs in personality which made him arguably their most dangerous adversary - he was decisive and instinctive like Jake, reckless and violent like Rachel, predatory and solitary like Tobias, discerning and manipulative like Cassie, and sarcastic and clever like Marco. These personality traits made David not a very viable member of the team, as he did not mesh well with the group's dynamics. They did, however, make him a survivor, and it can be said that he was perhaps the most dangerous enemy the Animorphs ever faced.


What choice do I have, Jake? No family. No home. Can't even step out in public as a human. Yeerks after me. The rest of my life I live in Cassie's barn? Do what I'm told? Let Marco hammer me? Let Rachel look down her pretty nose at me? And in the meantime risk getting trapped as a flea or something? Or killed? Maybe you want to be the big hero, Jake, but not me. I have this power now. I'm going to use it.
~ David's despair over his life that marked his fall from grace.