The Yrr, their origins and the reason for their attacks explained

All 8 episodes of Der Schwarm have now been published on TV and in the media library. There is much to be said for a second season. But you have Yrr (pronounced “the Ör”) fully figured out after season 1? After explaining the confusing series ending, we try to make you understand the meaning of the glowing collective based on several points:

  • What exactly are the Yrr and where do they come from?
  • How do the Yrr work as a swarm?
  • Intents of the Yrr and how to fight them: how do book and series differ?

Who are the Yrr in The Swarm?

The Yrr are the major foes in The Swarm series. First things first: these alien sea intelligence doesn’t really exist. Frank Schätzing created them as a maritime threat in his novel *. Nevertheless, deep-sea researcher Dr. Antje Boetius in the Moviepilot interview that this fictional opponent has real models in nature (e.g. glowing jelly-like creatures under water and cross-species cooperation in the ocean).

In the ZDF series, the Yrr are the Pullers of the strings of worldwide catastrophes. Who exactly this enemy is, the human scientists only slowly discover over 8 episodes: It is a creature that has lived unnoticed deep in the ocean for a long time and is now attacking with animal attacks and tsunamis.

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The Swarm: the glowing yrr

The Yrr existed on planet Earth long before humans. You remember, for example, an earlier arrangement of the continents. so you are no alien visitors, but developed under water over millions of years of geological history. However, since human evolution took place on land, the two species had no points of contact for a long time.

The Yrr are named by Dr. Sigur Johanson (Alexander Karim). In the book it is a purely arbitrary neologism that he likes. In the series, the scientist chooses the three letters as opponent’s namebecause the lines of this word resemble a drawing of their chemical composition.

The Swarm: How do the Yrr “work”?

What is special about the Yrr is that there are many of them Single-celled organisms that can form a larger group. So they can act as individual beings, but also as an intelligent association: as collective consciousness of the eponymous “swarm”.

In episode 1, the school controls a school of fish

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In episode 1, the school controls a school of fish

The Yrr themselves do not have a fixed form, but they can model other living beings. They glow underwater. As a gelatinous mass, they are able connecting with and controlling other living beings. They can control their hosts to their will. That’s why otherwise peaceful whales attack boats and lobsters infect restaurant chefs. With widespread manipulation, the Yrr can coordinate their attacks anywhere in the world.

Also, the Yrr have a shared memory, which goes back many millions of years. In the book The Swarm, communication and knowledge transfer among the Yrr works with a pheromone and information stored on their DNA.

Book . Series Differences: What Does the Swarm Want and How to Defeat It?

Because the yrr perceive humans as a threat to their habitat, they resolve to strategically eradicate this threat to their oceans. After watching the polluters long enough, they want to destroy humanity before the damage to the oceans is irreversible.

They don’t see people as intelligent beings at first. Only through the successful communication of both species thanks to Dr. Samantha Crowe (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) and Charlie Wagner’s (Leonie Benesch) victims at the end of the series, they accept each other as creatures with minds and so can try to create a strive for peaceful co-existence.

The swarm

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ZDF / Schwarm TV Production GmbH & Co. KG

The swarm

However, the Yrr do not have morals like we humans do. Appealing to their conscience to stop the attacks is not possible. To defeat the swarm, the book and film take different approaches:

  • Yrr pheromones are discovered in Frank Schätzing’s novel. These chemical messengers signal to the swarm who belongs to their community and who doesn’t. A human corpse is enriched with it and taken by submarine to the Yrr “Queen” deep in the ocean (who does not exist as such in the series). The Pheromone Corpse communicates to the Yrr to stop attacking humans because they are part of his collective.
  • Instead, the series chooses the path of successful communication: Charlie surrenders himself to the Yrr in order to be “read” and consumed by them. By understanding and connecting with her, the crush may also learn human emotions and embrace peace.

Nevertheless, a possible destruction of the Yrr is also in the room for a while: Since the individual parts of the swarm are constantly communicating with each other, it could be smuggled in Poison in a chain reaction destroy. (Only in the series is the nerve poison ketamine specifically named as the Yrr killer) However, the Yrr are essential for the functioning of the ocean ecosystem and a dying sea would also wipe out humanity.

Podcast: Is the swarm a million dollar grave or better than its reputation?

The ZDF production Der Schwarm devoured around 40 million euros. The publication was accompanied by a lot of criticism. Even bestselling author Frank Schätzing took a stand against the series.

Recommended Editorial Content

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In the podcast we therefore talk about the qualities of the series. Are millions of euros wasted here or can The Swarm keep up with the big competition from Hollywood? In addition, we speculate in the spoiler section whether the finale prepares for a second season.

*The link to the Amazon offer is a so-called affiliate link. If you make a purchase through this link, we will receive a commission.

The article is in German

Tags: Yrr origins reason attacks explained