Pure Fiction But We Wish It Was Real: The Trill

The concept of a symbiotic species that can outlive it’s hosts isn’t a new concept. The concept was explored on Star Trek Next Generation. A species who, in some cases, live in symbiosis with an implanted sentient worm-like creature. 

The long-lived symbionts often take many hosts during their lives, allowing their hosts access to previous hosts’ memories. Thus the original consciousness though lost is not forgotten and in a sense incorporated for the life of the symbiot.

Stephanie Meyer created a similar kind of alien in her book the Host. One of my all time favorites of hers. The relationship however was less symbiotic and more parasitic, since the humans aren’t willing hosts.

In recent years, the concept of multiple bodies but one consciousness is also explored in movies like Everyday. Where the idea of maintaining a lasting relationship with someone who can change genders daily can cause some problems.

So in this scenario we as humans would have a hard time imagining our lives as willing hosts for such a species. But imagine if you had the ability to keep your consciousness while using a willing host’s body. It would allow you to live for hundreds of years instead of 80 years or so. 

The concept is fascinating though problematic. What problems do you foresee occurring among this species? What would be your favorite part if this was your species?

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T.S. Valmond is the science fiction and young adult fantasy author of The Bolaji Kingdoms Series and The Verity Chronicles. As an award-winning poet, world traveler, and sign language interpreter she uses her experiences to fuel her stories. She’s a regular contributor to the website and founder of the Riders & Flyers group.


  1. Hang on, there was a FILM of Every Day? I read and loved the novel by David Levithan. Unusual for him, although now I think of it, he does something different each time. I lent out a novel he wrote with Rachel Cohn, Dash And Lily’s Book of Dares, and the kids were asking for more by him. I had to warn them that his other books were very different! They had left school by the time the sequel came out.

    The Trill are an interesting concept. We discover in DS9 that the humanoid people of that planet compete for a symbiont worm and are thrilled to receive one, or I would feel dubious about it.

    You do have to wonder how it works, though, since it requires surgery, despite being a regular part of that world, with the people having a part of their bodies available for it, and the worms surely can’t possibly survive without a host?
    Well, Gene Roddenberry stopped hiring science fiction writers with STNG…

  2. It’s an interesting concept, living for hundreds of years, even if it is just your consciousness. I’m not sure I would want to.

    Returning your A-Z visit from AJ Blythe

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