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Born in 1951, Orson Scott Card is a renowned science fiction and fantasy author, most notably for the science fiction book Ender's Game. Raised and still a practicing Mormon in Utah, religious themes appear in many of his books, if not explicitly. All of his books concern moral dilemmas for the central characters, and often these books involve characters discovering a higher truth which makes these dilemmas moot. The central characters are usually complex and evolving, almost never simply good or bad. Card does not limit himself to science fiction/fantasy novels - he writes regular political commentary on his website, enjoys writing short stories and was a playwright for some years of his life. He presently lives in North Carolina, with his wife and five children.
Card won two notable science fiction awards, the Hugo and Nebula, for Ender's Game, an unprecedented event. He has written three books as sequels: Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind. These sequels are far less popular than the original book, as they deal with more adult themes and bear little resemblance to their inspiration.
Unable to leave the story alone, Card picked it back up to write a parallel set of novels describing Bean, Ender's savant underling and only confidante at Battle School. The first three books, Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, and Shadow Puppets have been published with a fourth, and presumably final, installment due out as of the writing of this biography.
"Ender's Game" started out in recesses of Card's mind, inspired by Isaac Asimov's Foundation series and Card's own interest in military and military training. It resurfaced years later, when Card was trying to make it a science fiction writer (but failing because he was writing fantasies instead!). An editor told him his story, "Tinker," was good, but they wanted science fiction. "Ender's Game" which first appeared as a short story/novella in an science fiction magazine, was published in 1977.
Card has noted that later on, in the early 1980's, he intended to write one book, Speaker, with Ender as its main character. Then, he realized that he needed to backfill and edit Ender's life from the short story, which became Ender's Game. As he wrote the two books (Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead), he realized that Speaker would be too long and he needed to split it into two book. Then, as Xenocide became longer, the story split again. Speaker also won both science fiction awards (the following year), cementing Card's reputation as a dominant sci-fi writer.
Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow are currently under development as a movie, indicating the series' popularity and cultural significance.
Hatrack River: The Official Web Site of Orson Scott Card. http://www.hatrack.com/ Viewed 24 February 2004
Card, Orson Scott. Ender's Game. New York: Tor, 1991.
Card, Orson Scott. Speaker for the Dead. New York: Tor, 1991.
"Orson Scott Card." BrainyEncyclopedia. http://www.brainyencyclopedia.com/encyclopedia/o/or/orson_scott_card.html Viewed 24 February 2004
"Ender's Game." BrainyEncyclopedia. http://www.brainyencyclopedia.com/encyclopedia/e/en/ender_s_game.html Viewed 24 February 2004.
In the future, the world has been twice attacked by aliens called Buggers, and humanity almost perished. To prepare for the next battle, the world unites around the cause of collecting and training military geniuses from early childhood. their one goal in life is to be the leaders of the army that defends Earth from the "Third Invasion."
Ender is one of those children. Andrew Wiggin's very birth was government-mandated - most families are allowed only two children, but the government requisitioned his birth. After a short six years of torment from his genius older brother Peter, and love from his genius older sister Valentine, Ender is recruited into the army after passing tests, and quickly rises to the top of the talent pool. Loved or hated by other students at Battle School, Ender is isolated by excellence in the games that the students play, and by the teachers' treatment of his excellence. The adults do not give him the chance to settle in and find a peer group - they push him with such urgency that they are willing to break the entire Battle School system down.
Colonel Graff, the one who found and groomed Ender, runs Battle School and risks his reputation, and humanity's existence, on his vehement belief that Ender is the one who can defeat the Buggers.
Battle School consists of games - there is a Fantasy Game, a game room (like an arcade), and the battleroom, where war games are played in zero gravity. The battleroom plays a central role in Battle School, and students often get so caught up in the game that they seldom realize that they're at the school to defeat the Buggers. One such student, Bonzo Madrid, comes to hate Ender, and Bonzo plans to kill him. Ender's excellence shines through in battle after battle, despite being given a green army and the most intense schedule ever given an army. Bonzo's rage turns murderous, and they fight in the showers. Once again, Ender's penchant for breaking the rules to win, and win completely, leads him to kill Bonzo in self-defense.
Ender's only respite in life is the thought of Valentine, his compassionate older sister, who defended Ender against the vicious Peter. However, on Earth, Valentine and Peter are now working together to use their collective genius and drive world affairs. Peter does this with the dream of world domination in mind, and Valentine does this reluctantly, as more of a game that she can play to keep her excellent mind busy. As Locke and Demosthenes, respectively, Peter and Valentine quickly become influential, despite being barely pubescent.
Ender's success at Battle School reaches a point where he must be promoted and leave his few trusted friends, Petra, Dink, Alai, and Bean, behind. He goes to Command School and finds only more games waiting for him. These games are intensely strategic, and Ender once again masters them. He also discovers that the "Third Invasion" is not Buggers attacking humans, but vice versa.
At this point, he meets Mazer Rackham, hero from the previous war, and trains under Mazer. Ender is reunited - albeit over a headset - with his friends, who serve as some of his squadron leaders. They train together and enter the most intense training scenario of their lives-an invasion scenario run by Mazer. The scenario strains all of them, ender most of all, who is nearly driven insane. At the final test, Ender faces the biggest lopsided scenario of all and decides to cheat, to give up. In so doing, he actually destroys the simulated enemy, which turns out to be the real enemy all along - the Buggers. Ender is distraught, and refuses a military life for himself.
Meanwhile, Peter reaches his goal and is named leader of the world. Valentine rejoins Ender, and the two go to a new Earth colony world where Ender discovers the egg of one single Bugger queen (which can spawn a whole new race of Buggers). It is his chance at redemption and he writes a short text from her perspective which becomes highly influential. In the end, Ender chooses an itinerant life, trying to speak for the dead, and trying to find a suitable place where Buggers can flourish once again.
Ender: The nickname of Andrew Wiggin, multi-talented savant and protagonist. We see him between the ages of five and thirteen. Ender is needed to defend Earth from the aliens who have twice tried to colonize Earth, the Buggers. Ender is a Third, a government-mandated additional child (families are only allowed two) in the security state of the precarious world government. His older siblings, Peter and Valentine, showed enough potential for the I.F. to "requisition" Enders birth. From that time, he has been groomed to be the best possible military leader that the government can make. In every encounter, he not only wins, but wins completely, something the military appreciates. The military tests and trains its students, most notably Ender, through games. Ender is the most successful student ever at Battle School. Ender trained relentlessly, and finds success when under the most emotional and social strain — when he is angry and isolated. the adults recognize this and capitalize on it — isolating and angering Ender as often as possible. When assigned to an army, Ender rises to the top of the leader board. From this point on, he was the one everyone compared themselves to. As training progresses, Ender becomes a commander of his own army, and wins handily again. He is the best strategist the school has ever seen. His isolation is broken infrequently by fleeting friendships, and even more fleeting contact with his sister, Valentine. Each contact with her is planned to rejuvenate his mind, and both times it works. He comes to understand isolation as a fact of life at Command School, and over the next year and few months, is put through more games. The games drive Ender to his breaking point, and, angered and isolated, he breaks the rules and wins the game. Only it turns out it wasnt a game. The games were real, and Ender defeated the enemy soundly. Defeated and celebrated, Ender never returns to Earth. He travels with Valentine to a new colony world and tries to recant for his sins by writing the most influential religious text in a long time — "The Hive Queen." The book ends with him as an itinerant preacher known as a Speaker for the Dead."
Valentine: Enders older sister, and the middle Wiggin child. She is exceptional in her mind, like Ender and Peter (the oldest), but her temperament is soft — she exhibits the greatest level of compassion for everything. While Ender was away, she was the only family member to celebrate his birthdays and write consistent letters to him. All but one of the messages were blocked by the IF (the international governments military arm named the International Fleet). This one message was requested by Colonel Graff to help Ender regain a willingness to participate in Battle School activities, to which he had soured. Valentine is also the only family member who was allowed to meet Ender during his military training. Between Battle School and Command School, Ender was distraught and unwilling to fight. He was brought to Earth where Valentine was recruited again by Graff to restore his confidence and mental strength. Again, Valentine served as the perfect salve to Enders emotional weakness. In addition to her rare contact to Ender, Valentines life is defined by its opposition to Peter. Though reluctant to join Peter in his endeavor to shape world affairs, she serves to be his rhetorical foil in print and in person. While she writes for the harsher commentator, named Demosthenes, she believes the points of view of the more centrist Locke, written by Peter. Her pseudonym gains popularity with much of the world in its hawkish view of the "New Warsaw Pact," a federation of countries run by Russia (much like the USSR). One of Demosthenes fans is her father, an idea that disgusts her. In the end, however, she and Peter affect significant change through their anonymous identities and the world is eventually run by Peter, who becomes Hegemon. Valentine, after playing second fiddle to Peter for Peters gain, makes one demand — that the hero of the third Bugger War, Ender, does not return to Earth to become another lackey to Peter. She arranges to join Ender and accompanies him to the first human colony world. As second fiddle to Ender, she writes the history of the bugger wars as Demosthenes, and includes Enders Hive-Queen text at the end."
Peter: Enders oldest sibling, and primal fear. Exceptional and brutal, he is what Ender fears becoming—something so confident in its ability it almost loses its humanity and compassion. Peter tormented Ender when they were at home together, and threatened Enders life. But, as the years passed, he appeared to mellow. Peter develops a plan to take over the world through the nets. He devises a plan whereby he uses his superior intellect, along with Valentines, and drives world opinion. He writes for the centrist Locke while Valentine writes for Demosthenes. By using to opposing commentators who will eventually unite at the critical moment, Peter creates a situation where he, as Locke, will be the only acceptable choice as world leader. he wants to lead a bloodless coup. His plan is bold and eventually works, as he is named Hegemon at the end of the third Bugger War. His siblings leave Earth, and relativity allows them to stay young while Peter ages as ruler of Earth. When he reads the Speaker for the Deads text, called the Hive Queen, he demands that Ender write him a similar text. He recounts his life to Ender and Ender publishes a text called "the Hegemon," chronicling Peters life, and capping Peters world-changing career."
Colonel Graff: The ultimate in manipulators and chief teacher of Ender. At first, he recruits Ender to Battle School, believing Ender to be the best chance at defeating the Buggers. He uses isolation and torment through others as his chief method of forcing Ender to reach the latters full potential. Ender is his project, though he is the principal of Battle School, and he uses games to assess, manipulate, and isolate Ender. Graff is ultimately the one who allows — indeed, forces — Ender to be a double murderer (both by accident) and the one who eventually wins in the end. Graff becomes something of a distant, untrustworthy father-figure to Ender. He teaches Ender a lot, and Ender emulates his approach at times, but Graff is ultimately manipulating Ender to destroy the Buggers."
Buggers: The alien creatures that have twice almost wiped out humanity. They are insect-like in shape and lack any apparent individuality. The world, since the Second Bugger War, has been united under an international government.
Stilson: The first tormentor the audience meets. Faceless, almost nameless, he is a bully without teeth, who pushes Ender too far into a corner. Ender brutally beats up the bigger, stronger Stilson, and leaves Stilson laying supine. When we later hear of Stilson, it is after the war, and we learn that Enders attack killed Stilson.
Major Anderson: A teacher at Battle School. He often serves as Graffs foil, second-guessing and suggesting ideas. With students, Anderson is identical to Graff in function.
Dap: Teacher for Enders launch group. He acquaints the students with the Battle School systems, and is rarely seen again. He is laid-back but stern and the students instantly take to him. His approach to teaching is militaristic — everyone starts out with the same stuff, so if they beat you, you havent tried hard enough.
Bernard: The tormentor Ender faces as a Launchie. Bernard was the one whose arm was broken at Enders hand, and then became Enders bully. Bernard participated in a few anti-Ender activities while at Battle School, but in the end proved harmless as Ender was able to make friends with Bernards closest friend — Alai.
Shen: A dependable small student in Enders launch crew, and a friend throughout his time. Shen is unassuming and friendly, and chooses not to get himself involved in the politics of hierarchy, which quickly earns Enders respect.
Petra Arkanian: A swaggering girl who is the best sharpshooter in the battleroom. She and Ender meet in Salamander Army and she teaches him how to shoot a gun. Though she and Ender are not always close, she is there for him and with him through the story, from Battle School through Command School to the final battle, and he depends very heavily on her.
Bonzo Madrid: The second student at Battle School to torment Ender. He commands Ender in Salamander Army, feels betrayed by Enders insubordination and threatened by Enders excellence. Angry at Enders rise to leadership of all students, Bonzo stirs dissent from those students threatened by Ender. Eventually, he attacks Ender and is defeated, only because Ender harnesses Bonzos sense of Spanish honor.
Rose de Nose: Commander of Rat Army. He has an army that wins, and he does not know why, but he attributes it to his Jewish heritage. The man who had saved Earth from the last attack from the buggers was a Jew, so there has been a belief that they are somehow blessed as military leaders.
Dink Meeker: Enders first toon leader, who led the only efficient toon in Rat Army. He was reluctant to become a commander, though the adults had promoted him many times. The only reason he encounters Ender is that he observed Petra and Enders practice sessions, along with Enders sessions with the launch group; Dink wanted Ender in his toon. Eventually, at Enders persuasion, Dink becomes one, and is one of the friends who Ender is not sure about during Enders first weeks as a commander. Finally, he serves as one of Enders squadron leaders at Command School.
Locke: Peters pseudonym when he writes on the nets. Locke is a measured, thoughtful person whose opinions and attitudes are statesmanlike and well-respected. Though slow to gain support, his word is solidly respected.
Demosthenes: Valentines pseudonym when she writes on the nets. Demosthenes is a rabble-rouser who can easily bend someone to "his" side with his sharp wit. He gains a fast following, but his support is from more whimsical people, and not as solid as Lockes.
Bean: A member of Enders army, Dragon, who proves himself to be as fast a learner as Ender. He is the smallest in the army, and Ender at first picks on him. Bean is precocious and arrogant about his skills, but backs it up with action. His attitude demands a smart commander, and Ender proves to be it. Bean comes to command a mini-toon in Dragon, and uses it with efficiency and deadliness. In the final battles at Command School, Bean is used for small, but intricate, missions.
Carn Carby: Commander of Rabbit Army, and first victim to Enders Dragon Army. Gracious in defeat, and innovative with his command, Carn earns Enders respect. Carn also appears at Command School as one of Enders squadron leaders.
Mazer Rackham: The person who won the Second Bugger War. He discovered the secret of the Buggers almost by accident, and used the remaining members of the fleet to defeat the Buggers. He was not Jewish and set an example that it wasn't just Jews who could save the world. It turns out that, though some four generations had nearly passed, Rackham was not dead. He was sent off in a lightspeed ship and returned ready to train the next leader to defeat the Buggers once and for all. As that teacher, Rackham puts Ender through a grueling set of "tests" and games to make sure Ender is ready for actual battle with the Buggers.
Pol Slattery: One of the few commanders who Ender respects. With a growing revolt against Ender brewing, Pol tells Ender that he respects Enders ability and wanted to win fair (even though he could not win with the rules working in his own favor).
Monitor: A device implanted directly to a person’s brain at a very young age, which allows government officials to determine if these children are capable of being the future leaders in the military. It is connected to the brainstem and allows the government to monitor the events of the child, both inside their minds and out.
Desk: A portable computerized workspace. It is best described as a wirelessly-connected tablet computer. Someone can have access to information without wires, and also use the desk as a notebook to write and doodle upon. There is the capability of browsing the "nets," getting mail, and playing games as well. Desks are very common and not very valuable in this future.
Third: A third child in a family. In this security-state future, every pair of parents is allowed only two children. Presumably, the government also created a taboo out of the notion of a third child. Ender, however, was a "waiver," because excellence was noted in his family, and was looking for the perfect set of traits for a military leader.
Nets: Card invented an ambiguous notion about interconnected computers that look like networks, and called it "the nets." It is strikingly similar to the modern-day internet, and appears to be the medium that has completely replaced print. The anonymity provided by the nets (parallel to the real-world’s internet) was critical to Peter and Valentine’s own plan.
Battle School: A wheel-shaped station in the Asteroid Belt, where exceptional youth are taught the basics of military and academic disciplines. The central feature of this school is a game which occurs in the "Battle Room."
Game Room: A room like an arcade where students, during free time, can play games alone or against each other. This is all geared towards their military training, so the games appear to be mostly strategy games.
Battleroom: A place where battles occur between teams of youth under the command of one, in zero-gravity (called nullo by the children). This is a large cube-shaped room with doors placed in the middle of two opposite walls. There are, apparently nine rooms which the teachers can change the configuration of, and add floating large objects, called "stars," by the students. Students learn three-dimensional strategy and how to command (or follow command) in the battleroom in a glorified game of laser tag.
Flash suits: Plastic suits for use in the Battle Room. These suits indicate whether someone has been hit, and completely stiffen (or freeze) upon being hit. Someone can be damaged (hit in a place that does not remove their ability to fight), disabled (damaged in a way that makes them harmless), or frozen (completely stiff from head to toe).
Fantasy Game: A game one can play on his/her desk in which the player has to solve situational puzzles. The game adapts and changes to what the player does. It is called the "mind game" by the adults when they are alone, and as such is intended to interact with the student to analyze and shape his/her psyche.
Armies: Armies are the main social unit in Battle School. They function like sports teams — they live, practice, and fight together. There are forty members of the army, plus a commander.
Toons: In every army, a Commander assigns leaders of smaller units called toons. They usually consist of ten soldiers, though they not always do.
Deadline: A very strong and very thin wire used to hold objects together during construction in space. Bean innovated its use in the battleroom.
Ansible: Term for a method of instant (and therefore faster-than-light) communication over huge distances. It is by this technological method that the human invasion fleet communicates with Earth. The Buggers use a biological analogue of the ansible (dependent on the same physical properties) to communicate across light-years instantly.
Dr. Device: The M.D. Device (called Doctor Device or Little Doctor for slang) stands for "Molecular Disruption" Device, and it is a weapon that makes it impossible for any two atoms to coexist in a molecule. Use of this weapon creates a field in which this physical property is the case, and the result is total destruction of the object. It is the ultimate weapon to use against the buggers.
Quote 1: "And there are doubts about him. He's too malleable. Too willing to submerge himself in someone else's will." Chapter 1, pg 1
Quote 2: "It was not his fault he was a Third. It was the government's idea, they were the ones who authorized it - how else could a Third like Ender have got into school?" Chapter 1, pg 7
Quote 3: " 'I could kill you like this,' Peter whispered. 'Just press and press until you're dead.'" Chapter 2, pg 12
Quote 4: " 'And do you know why you don't mean it?' Valentine asked. 'Because you want to be in the government someday. you want to be elected. And they won't elect you if your opponents can dig up the fact that your brother and sister died in suspicious accidents... 'You're his monitor now,' said Peter. 'You better watch him day and night.'" Chapter 2, pg 13
Quote 5: "Knocking him down won the first fight. I wanted to win all the next ones, too. So they'd leave me alone." Chapter 3, pg 1
Quote 6: "[Peter] was the best we'd seen in a long time. We asked your parents to choose a daughter next - they would have anyway - hoping that Valentine would be Peter, but milder. She was too mild. And so we requisitioned you." Chapter 3, pg 24
Quote 7: " 'It was what I was born for, isn't it? If I don't go, why am I alive?' 'Not good enough,' Graff said. 'I don't want to go,' said Ender, 'but I will.'" Chapter 3, pg 26
Quote 8: "With Ender, we have to strike a delicate balance. Isolate him enough that he remains creative - otherwise he'll adopt the systems here and we'll lose him. At the same time, we need to make sure he keeps a strong ability to lead." Chapter 4, pg 27
Quote 9: " 'Anderson, think what we're going to do to him.' ... 'We're going to make him the best military commander in history.' 'And then put the fate of the world on his shoulders.'" Chapter 4, pg 36
Quote 10: "I noticed you eating all alone... I think the teachers do that on purpose. The teachers aren't very nice... Make friends. Be a leader. Kiss butts if you have to, but if the other guys despise you-you know what I mean?" Chapter 5, pg 42-3
Quote 11: "[Shen and Ender] laughed together. Ender's isolation was over." Chapter 5, pg 53
Quote 12: " 'Why weren't you ready?' asked Dap. 'you had your suits just as long as they did.'" Chapter 6, pg 61
Quote 13: "...His desk would go dark, 'Free Play Over' would march around the desk, and Ender would lie back and tremble until he could finally go to sleep." Chapter 6, pg 64
Quote 14: "I'm a murderer, even when I play. Peter would be proud of me." Chapter 6, pg 65
Quote 15: "Whatever it meant to Alai, Ender knew that it was sacred; that he had uncovered himself for Ender..." Chapter 7, pg 70
Quote 16: That was stupid... It set her apart, made her different, split the army..." Chapter 7, pg 81
Quote 17: "It's Wiggin. You know, that smartass Launchie from the game room." Chapter 7, pg 81
Quote 18: "... the adults are the enemies, not the other armies. They do not tell us the truth." Chapter 7, pg 82
Quote 19: "Bonzo's anger [was] growing hot. Hot anger was bad. Ender's anger was cold, and he could use it. Bonzo's was hot, so it used him." Chapter 7, pg 87
Quote 20: "If you want, I'll pretend you won this argument. Then tomorrow you can tell me you changed your mind." Chapter 7, pg 87
Quote 21: "Listen, Ender, commanders have just as much authority as you let them have. The more you obey, the more power they have over you." Chapter 8, pg 102
Quote 22: "I can't believe you haven't seen through all this crap yet, Ender... These other armies, they aren't the enemy. It's the teachers, they're the enemy. They get us to fight each other, to hate each other." Chapter 8, pg 108
Quote 23: "This game knows too much about me. This game tells filthy lies. I am not Peter. I don't have murder in my heart... And then a worse fear, that he was a killer, only better at it than Peter... Well, I'm the bloody bastard you wanted when you had me spawned." Chapter 8, pg 119
Quote 24: "What do you tell him, I need citizen's access so I can take over the world?" Chapter 9, pg 129
Quote 25: "I'm going to rule, Val... But I want it to be something worth ruling... A Pax Americana through the whole world." Chapter 9, pg 131-2
Quote 26: "She was one of them now." Chapter 9, pg 151
Quote 27: " 'What if I've got a soldier I just can't get along with?' 'Get along with him.' Graff closed his eyes." Chapter 10, pg 157
Quote 28: "It was the teachers who had done it... It was a strategy. Graff had deliberately set him up to be separate from the other boys, made it impossible for him to be close to them." Chapter 10, pg 167
Quote 29: "And with that anger, he decided he was strong enough to defeat them-the teachers, his enemies." Chapter 10, pg 172
Quote 30: "Most of the vids were a waste of time. Heroic music, closeups...But here and there he found useful sequences... So it was from the Buggers, not the humans, learned strategy." Chapter 11, pg 188
Quote 31: " 'Those videos were created for propaganda purposes. All the strategies have been edited out.' 'I know.' Graff and Anderson exchanged glances again." Chapter 11, pg 191
Quote 32: "You want to make me the best soldier possible. Go down and look at the standings. Look at the all-time standings. So far you're doing an excellent job with me. Congratulations. Now when are you going to put me up against a good army?" Chapter 11, pg 191
Quote 33: "The teachers got me into this-they can keep me safe." Chapter 11, pg 195
Quote 34: "Ender Wiggin must believe that no matter what happens, no adult will ever, ever step in to help him in any way... If he does not believe that, then he will never reach the peak of his abilities." Chapter 12, pg 202
Quote 35: "Don't be alone. Ever. -Dink." Chapter 12, pg 205
Quote 36: "Your father would be proud of you... Oh, what honor... You can go home and tell [him]... I only had six of my friends to help me... even though he was naked and wet and alone," Chapter 12, pg 208-9
Quote 37: "Naked and wet and alone... I can't help that I'm bigger than you. You're such a genius, you figure out how to handle me." Chapter 12, pg 209
Quote 38: I may have used Valentine... [but] it only works because what's between you, that's real, that matters." Chapter 13, pg 244
Quote 39: "We are the Third Invasion." Chapter 13, pg 250
Quote 40: "I will program your battles now, not the computer... From now on the enemy is more clever than you. From now on the enemy is stronger than you. From now on you are always about to lose... but you will win. You will learn to defeat the enemy." Chapter 14, pg 263-4
Quote 41: Strange dreams are a safety valve, Ender. I'm putting you under a little pressure for the first time in your life." Chapter 14, pg 287
Quote 42: " 'You beat them, and it's all over.' All over. Beat them. Ender didn't understand... 'Ender, you never played me... This was the Third Invasion... the battles were real and the only enemies you fought were the buggers.'" Chapter 14, pg 296
Quote 43: "And always Ender carried with him a dry white cocoon, looking for a place where the hive-queen could awaken and thrive in peace. He looked a long time." Chapter 15, pg 324
Anger 1: Ender, having verbally deflected Stilson's assault, then attacked his assailant. Stilson went down hard on the first kick, but Ender continued to kick, knowing full well that he was breaking the unwritten rules of combat. Afterwards, he spoke threatening words to Stilson's gang. This example of anger is the one aspect of himself that Ender hates the most, and he cries to himself that he is "just like Peter." (Chapter 1, pg 8)
Anger 2: Peter quickly gets angry that Ender "beat him," by going further into the I.F.'s monitoring program than Ender. Peter's mood was not inviting: "Ender looked at Peter only to detect anger or boredom, the dangerous moods that almost always led to pain." (Chapter 2, pg 10) Peter's angry assault was nearly fatal, due to its wrath, but Ender survived.
Anger 3: Bernard and Ender both get angry in this chapter, and Ender analyzes it. "What enraged Ender was how willingly the others went along with [Bernard]." (Chapter 5, pg 48) Ender refuses to let his anger control his actions, instead waiting for a time to let thoughtfulness defeat his enemy.
Anger 4: "I hate this game. It isn't fair. It's stupid. It's rotten." (Chapter 6, pg 64) It is not until Ender gets so angry at the Fantasy Game and decides to give up "playing the game" that he can defeat it. His anger enables him to find a way to break the rules and win.
Anger 5: Ender, angry at his assignment to an army without the rest of his launch group, decided to prolong the misery by avoiding reporting to barracks. He instead went to play the personalized game in the game room. There, he vents his anger by defeating another puzzle that is less direct. One thing leads to another in the puzzle, and Ender's anger allows him to intuitively see the cause, and does the harshest possible thing: he kills apparent bystanders.
Anger 6: "Bonzo's anger [was] growing hot. Hot anger was bad. Ender's anger was cold, and he could use it. Bonzo's was hot, so it used him." (Chapter 7, pg 87) Ender understood that he needed to use his anger as a tool. Still, "Bonzo was not such a fool that anger kept him from recognizing good sense..." (Chapter 7, pg 87) Ender was able to effectively harness his anger at Bonzo to get what he wanted and be magnanimous, while Bonzo let the anger control him and cloud his judgment.
Anger 7: Ender's anger at the fantasy game, for making him into Peter, gives way to a cold realization that maybe he is a killer, only better at it than Peter because Ender wins so soundly when faced with a challenge.
Anger 8: Ender and Valentine both get angry at Graff for Graff's use of Valentine to make Ender want to be productive at Battle School. Both get angrier when it works. However, it only works because Graff tapped into the one source where there was no bitterness for Ender, Valentine. Valentine's rage allowed her to write an article exalting a third child, as Demosthenes.
Anger 9: It is Ender's anger at himself that allowed him to come to his most important realization. It wasn't some social fluke that caused his isolation, it was Graff during the flight to Battle School. This, connected with Dink and Petra's warnings about the teachers, led Ender to the momentous decision: to turn his anger away from the other armies and himself, and toward the adults.
Anger 10: Ender's anger reaches a breaking point. His army is being run ragged, still winning, and he is tired of the adults. When they meet to talk with him, he is short and snaps at them. After the battle with Salamander, he feels rage towards the adults for being incompetent. I the back of his mind, he knows his rage would be misinterpreted by Bonzo as a critique on the latter's command style.
Anger 11: Ender's anger in his fight with Bonzo is cold, and he uses it to provoke Bonzo into fighting with honor. Bonzo flies into a rage at Dink's remark that Ender is needed, and is hot anger allows him to try to kill Ender. Ender, again, uses his calculating anger to defeat Bonzo soundly.
Anger 12: Ender's anger at the adults makes him give up and try to be deemed unfit for command. He, of course, does the one taboo thing he can do, destroy the planet. It turns out the simulation was real, and his anger at the adults boils over. His body shuts down in reaction to the overwhelming grief and anger.
Excellence 1: Ender's excellence is quickly made clear to the reader within the first few pages of the book. Ender is in class, doodling a highly complex three dimensional image, and not paying attention. "The teacher would know, of course, that he wasn't paying attention, but she wouldn't bother him. He always knew the answer, even when she thought he wasn't paying attention." (Chapter 1, pg 5) Stilson begins to torment Ender through the medium of their computerized desks - a message marching around. Ender smiles, and muses that he was taunted using a system that he, Ender, invented.
Excellence 2: Peter says to Ender, "They only authorized you because I was so promising. But I didn't pan out. You did better. They think you're better. But I don't want a better little brother, Ender." (Chapter 2, pg 12) Valentine, in protecting Ender, indicates to Peter how they are all "wonderfully bright," and Peter is simply "the biggest." (Chapter 2, pg 13)
Excellence 3: Ender's life was "requisitioned" because of how excellent Peter and Valentine were as candidates. Graff tells him Battle School is horribly difficult, and Ender has to hold his tongue from saying that he wants to succeed there. He is compelled by Graff's honesty and his own ambition to be excellent.
Excellence 4: Graff indicates to the launch group that only Ender has an excellent mind worth training, and he is the best of the launch. By virtue of breaking the arm of his assailant, Ender's excellence is only confirmed to Graff.
Excellence 5: Ender defeats a much older student at a strategy game in the game room. His strategy confounds the older student and he wins two out of three. He feels at last comfortable that he is not in over his head and is sure that he will not become like Mick - he can excel if he chooses.
Excellence 6: Ender shows off his excellence once more by tormenting the tormentor with his superior mental skills. He hacks into the desk computer systems and sends messages as "God" and as "Bernard," enraging Bernard.
Excellence 7: Ender finds a way to defeat the "impossible puzzle" of the Giant's Drink. The voices at the beginning of the chapter are scared that he will commit suicide if he keeps playing, and they hope he gives up, as almost every student has done. The fact that he defeats the unbeatable means even their own assessments of his ability to win were under the mark.
Excellence 8: Ender is transferred above and beyond is launch group to an army, and left to figure out the problem. Even Alai is skeptical, but acknowledges, "You're smart, Ender, but you don't do battleroom any better than me." (Chapter 7, pg 68) It is Ender's mind that the adults want to harness, not his battleroom skills, and his mind has quickly risen to the top of the Launchie heap.
Excellence 9: Dink intentionally brings Ender into Rat Army because Ender is a smart soldier. Then, in one of the earliest practice sessions, Ender is asked to explain an idea he has to attack feet-first. While others complain, Dink simply runs Ender's idea through. Dink shows that there are students who see Ender's excellence and want to harness and nurture its growth
Excellence 10: Ender's sibling discuss how there excellent minds can be used for something useful-changing politics. When Peter and Valentine start to gain influence, their excellence is only confirmed.
Excellence 11: Ender is given command of an army well before anyone else in history had received one. Everyone in Phoenix barracks accepted it and understood it. In addition, other armies began holding extra practices upon that announcement-they all know he is the best, he is excellent, and they want to be able to compete with him.
Excellence 12: Ender is frustrated at how he acted in his first day as commander. He felt like he was being like those commanders he criticized. He wished it could be like the extra practices he held: "No authority except excellence." (Chapter 10, pg 167)
Excellence 13: Ender's army is the best, and they soundly defeat everyone they face, ending the chapter at 8-0. In fact, he is so used to being the best that he tells Dink, after the first victory, that winning is a habit. This army had the deck stacked against them by the teachers, and yet they win so soundly that the teachers try to stack the deck further. Considering that Ender's army was completely green, it is simply an indication of his excellence, as compared to his peers.
Excellence 14: Another character has risen to the point of excellence - Bean. While Ender had a comrade in Alai, and always considered Alai an equal, only Bean was taken completely into Ender's confidence. Ender sees the same qualities in Bean that the adults saw in Ender - quick wit, extremely strategic mind, small size, and confidence. Bean is given a special toon because of his excellence, and Ender carries out the type of recognition of excellence that Graff started with him.
Excellence 15: Ender gets recognition from some opponents for his excellence in this chapter, but Ender does not care anymore. He has emotionally shut down and refuses to play anymore.
Excellence 16: Ender is excellent and defeats every enemy in the final stage of his training. He kills the Buggers, and saves humanity. He was the perfect combination of compassion and brutality. Only he could do it, according to the adults.
Games 1: Peter decides, upon discovering that Ender has lost his monitor, that the two boys should play "buggers and astronauts," a futuristic update of "Cowboys and Indians." Peter always chooses to be the astronaut (as always), which means Ender must wear the bugger mask. Even as a six-year-old, Ender realizes that this "game" is actually a representation of some reality. He also knows that his life would be in danger from the moment he starts to play. Therefore, he resists, and Peter forces him to "play." The game quickly turns sinister, and Peter appears ready to kill Ender when Valentine intervenes. Whether it was Valentine's intervention that saved Ender, or the fact that Peter was actually "just playing," is unclear.
Games 2: The game room is a central part of life at Battle School, and Ender sees the military strategy in the games. He critiques the computer's strategy and the strategy of the other students. He develops strategies of his own to defeat the game before sitting at the controls. Then, he defeats an experienced student, indicating to Ender that his ability in the game, and therefore the military, was more than adequate.
Games 3: Ender plays the Fantasy Game. As the game adapts to his play, it challenges him to try to solve puzzle after puzzle until the Giant's Drink, the "impossible" puzzle. Normally, students eventually give up, the voices at the beginning of the chapter tell us, but Ender does not. He plays and plays until he decides to break the rules in order to win. The game which tormented him was vanquished.
Games 4: The most obvious game is the battleroom's war games between "armies" of students is the central feature of life in an army. Everything that is done is done in a pseudo-military structure. Though the students take the game as seriously as one would real war, Petra reminds Ender that it is a game, and the teachers are the real enemy.
Games 5: Ender participates in the games and proves himself to be a worthy player. He is reminded by Dink, though, that the games are only games, and that teachers are the true enemies.
Games 6: It is important to note that the adults do not refer to the fantasy game as such - they call it the "mind game." It is obviously important as one component in a slew of "games" they use to analyze their students.
Games 7: Ender, at the end of the chapter, makes an important decision. Though he will command his army and make the best of his teacher-imposed isolation, he will no longer play to win the game. He decides to defeat the adults in the real war. He wants to put the games away.
Games 8: The teachers start destroying the normal structure of the war games, to see how well Ender can handle it. Ender does not see himself as playing against the other army, but the teachers. The other army is simply a proxy for the teacher's wishes. Ender expresses this after battling Salamander, telling Major Anderson that the adults need to cheat intelligently.
Games 9: Ender was on the verge of giving up on the teachers before fighting Bonzo, but afterwards, he gives up on the games completely. He doesn't want to play their games anymore.
Games 10: Ender's final training consists of, of course, games on a simulator. The adults seem to take it seriously, so Ender does as well. Eventually, he's scared that they will kill him if he fails, and Mazer reassures him that this final training scenario is just a game. Of course, it is not. For the adults, the games were the only real thing, and Ender finally understands that when he defeats the Buggers through this supposed "game."
Isolation 1: In chapter one, after half a lifetime of being "Monitored," Ender is finally alone. He muses at the possibility of being accepted by his older brother, Peter, who had shunned Ender. At school, already isolated as a Third, Ender is now without eyes and ears in the government protecting him. He faces the bully Stilson and his gang all alone. "His monitor wasn't perched on his neck, hearing what he heard and seeing what he saw... [The bullies] might even hit him now-no one could see them anymore, and so no one would come to Ender's rescue. There were advantages to the monitor, and he would miss them." (Chapter 1, pg 6) Ender ends up fighting Stilson.
Isolation 2: When Ender's parents returns home, his father rejoices that he gets to keep his Third child. Ender cries out in his mind, "I'm sorry I lost the monitor and now you have three kids and no obvious explanation, so inconvenient for you..." (Chapter 1, pg 15)
Isolation 3: Ender's presence causes tension in the Wiggin household. Despite renouncing their religions and secretly practicing them, the Wiggins feel in a peculiar bind of wanting to obey the law, wanting to defy the law for religious reasons, and defying them instead due to government requisition. Ender is by his very nature isolated.
Isolation 4: As Graff indicates in the pre-action dialogue, he will isolate Ender before arrival at Battle School. By telling the rest of the launch group that Ender is the only excellent mind in the group, Graff quickly allows the rest of the group to become distrustful of Ender. After Ender is pokes by a sharp object repeatedly, and Ender responds by unintentionally breaking his arm, Graff further isolates Ender by insulting the launch crew and exalting Ender as the best.
Isolation 5: Bernard helps isolate Ender some more, as the former builds a gang around himself. They torment him as often as they can, kicking, insulting, and excluding him. Ender allows himself to move to the fringes. After Ender undercuts Bernard's power, Ender is no longer isolated - he has a friend in Shen.
Isolation 6: Ender finally is able to end his rift with Bernard, and is no longer tormented. He befriends Alai. He feels relief that not only is he not isolated, he is connected to the crew.
Isolation 7: The intent of the adults, by promoting him to Salamander Army, was to isolate Ender and force him to rise to the occasion. Ender is remorseful at losing the camaraderie that he took so long to cultivate with the launch group. He is alone at Salamander, but luckily finds an acquaintance (if not a friend) in Petra.
Isolation 8: Ender, because of his talents, and because of his amazing abilities, is again alone. Everyone treats him with respect, but he has no friends, nobody who allows him to be a friend. By virtue of his standing as the best student at Battle School, he is alone, and he pities himself for it. Graff explains why Ender is isolated to Valentine: "Isolation is-the optimum environment for creativity." (Chapter 9, pg 149)
Isolation 9: After isolating Bean, Ender realizes that Graff had deliberately isolated Ender throughout his stay at Battle School. While Bonzo and Rose tried, they were not the first, they were simply part of Graff's deliberate strategy. Ender realizes that he was only then forced to prove that he was far better than everyone else and not only deserved to be at Battle School, but was its very best soldier.
Isolation 10: After deliberately isolating himself to be a better commander to the crew, Ender brings Bean to his side of the isolation. He does this by confiding in Bean, giving Ender his first confidante and equal. Nonetheless, Ender feels isolated, and weight is growing upon him that only he seems to face.
Isolation 11: Ender feels isolated, and Colonel Graff explains that he must be isolated to reach his potential. It is in this state of isolation that Ender faces Bonzo, and defeats his attacker soundly. Ender shuts down, and refuses to play by their rules in his final battle.
Isolation 12: Ender is told why he is isolated, and Graff tells him that sometimes the isolation needs to end, so a soldier can be remember why he fights.
Isolation 13: Ender is completely isolated during this final stage of his training. He is aware of it, and it starts to destroy him. He feels more isolated than ever, but is somewhat resigned to it.
Ender is monitored by faceless, action-less voices. (Every chapter in the book begins with a conversation between voices.) We get the sense that they believe Ender to be the best possible chance to save the world from the Buggers, aliens who tried twice to destroy humanity. However, the voices are concerned: "And there are doubts about him. He's too malleable. Too willing to submerge himself in someone else's will." Chapter 1, pg 1 They decide to select him, in spite of these doubts.
In the story, Ender loses his Monitor. When he returns to his seat, he sees on his deskthat he is taunted by a student named Stilson at school for being a Third. "It was not his fault he was a Third. It was the government's idea, they were the ones who authorized it - how else could a Third like Ender have got into school?"Chapter 1, pg 7
School ends, and students transfer their files home using the nets. Stilson's gang confronts Ender, after the hallways empty, and threatens to beat Ender up. Ender responds by brutally attacking the older, bigger, and heavier Stilson. He kicks the child's face, ribs, and groin while he is down, though it is obvious that Stilson could not fight back. Stilson is severely injured at Ender's no-holds attack. Ender is remorseful at chapter's end, and weeps.
Topic Tracking: Isolation 1
Topic Tracking: Excellence 1
Topic Tracking: Anger 1
We meet Valentine and Peter in this chapter, Ender's siblings after Ender gets home from school. While all three children are obviously brilliant, they have extremely different personalities. Peter (the eldest) is brutal, angry, and remorseless. Valentine, the second, is sweet, compassionate, and hopeful. Ender, the youngest, feels himself torn as he is as brutal as Peter, but as compassionate as Valentine. This chapter explores their relationship. All three children had been "Monitored" at one time, and losing it was a rite-of-passage: the government does not consider the child worthy of becoming an officer in Earth's army to defend against the Buggers. Peter feels vindicated that no sibling is superior to him, and, predictably, bullies Ender. " 'I could kill you like this,' Peter whispered. 'Just press and press until you're dead.'" Chapter 2, pg 12
Valentine feels compassion for Ender. With Peter's bullying of Ender, she, predictably, defends the youngest against Peter's nearly fatal attack. " 'And do you know why you don't mean it?' Valentine asked. 'Because you want to be in the government someday. you want to be elected. And they won't elect you if your opponents can dig up the fact that your brother and sister died in suspicious accidents... 'You're his monitor now,' said Peter. 'You better watch him day and night.'" Chapter 2, pg 13
At the end of the chapter, Ender lay awake, awaiting Peter's final attack. When Peter approaches, Peter apologizes over the apparently-sleeping Ender, surprising Ender.
Topic Tracking: Games 1
Topic Tracking: Anger 2
Topic Tracking: Excellence 2
Topic Tracking: Isolation 2
An officer from International Fleet (or I.F., Earth's government and army to fight against the Buggers) named Colonel Graff comes under the pretense of interrogating Ender for the incident with Stilson the previous day. Ender explains that he defended himself, and then decided to keep kicking because, "Knocking him down won the first fight. I wanted to win all the next ones, too. So they'd leave me alone." Chapter 3, pg 19 The rationale is enough for Colonel Graff to invite Ender to join Battle School, the elite training facility where future commanders of the army were trained as youth. Ender's parents had signed papers for him to go to Battle School at birth, because his status as a Third child is illegal in this future, except with government waiver. As Graff explains, "[Peter] was the best we'd seen in a long time. We asked your parents to choose a daughter next - they would have anyway - hoping that Valentine would be Peter, but milder. She was too mild. And so we requisitioned you." Chapter 3, pg 24
Ender is ultimately given the choice, however, because Graff wanted a volunteer, not a conscript. The prospects looked dim - ten years with zero contact between him and his family, intense military and academic training, and the possibility of future glory. Ender's greatest motivation to leave is fear of his own life at Peter's hands. Ender's only reason to say no is Valentine. Graff is not only aware of these factors, but confirms them. His parents will miss him but they will get over it, Peter will not miss Ender, and only Valentine will think of him consistently in the years that follow. Ender, impressed with Graff's forthrightness, feels more comfortable. Ender decides to go, reluctantly: " 'It was what I was born for, isn't it? If I don't go, why am I alive?' 'Not good enough,' Graff said. 'I don't want to go,' said Ender, 'but I will.'" Chapter 3, pg 26
Topic Tracking: Excellence 3
Topic Tracking: Isolation 3
The voices (one of them evidently Graff) decide that Ender needs a very special sort of social balance: "With Ender, we have to strike a delicate balance. Isolate him enough that he remains creative - otherwise he'll adopt the systems here and we'll lose him. At the same time, we need to make sure he keeps a strong ability to lead." Chapter 4, pg 27 The isolation as a leader will happen, Graff says, before the ship reaches the school, so Ender will have no chance to become complacent.
On the spacecraft, we learn that Graff runs the Battle School, and he quickly lectures the launch group of twenty boys that Ender is the only one in the group with a mind worth training at school, because Ender has a mind that excels. As soon as Graff returns to his cabin, boys start picking on Ender because of Graff's work. The child behind Ender pokes him in the head repeatedly. Patiently, Ender times when the next blow would arrive, and breaks the assailant's arm. At that point, Graff returns, and reiterates his previous comments. After arrival, Graff and Ender talk, and Graff explains that Ender is not going to have any friends in the adults, just teachers. Afterwards, Graff and Major Anderson discuss Ender. " 'Anderson, think what we're going to do to him.' ... 'We're going to make him the best military commander in history.' 'And then put the fate of the world on his shoulders.'" Chapter 4, pg 36
Topic Tracking: Isolation 4
Topic Tracking: Excellence 4
The voices discuss the fact that the broken arm might overly isolate Ender from the rest of the school so that he cannot become the success. They hope the damage is not detrimental. Ender, by simply familiarizing himself with the bunk and locker systems, is again an example of excellence to the adults. This adult, Dap, was the teacher whose job was to be their "mom," as he put it.
It turns out that Ender's newest tormentor is that boy who broke his arm, Bernard. To his own dismay, Ender remains isolated. At dinner, in the mess hall, Ender notices the central placement of the scoreboards, and realizes that the team games are central to life in Battle School. There he meets Mick, a jaded older student who tries to help him: "I noticed you eating all alone... I think the teachers do that on purpose. The teachers aren't very nice... Make friends. Be a leader. Kiss butts if you have to, but if the other guys despise you-you know what I mean?" Chapter 5, pg 42-3 Ender decides he will not be the failure Mick has become, but he will not become another Mick either.
Ender becomes acquainted with Battle School basics - lockers, bunks, how to know where to go, how time is spent, mess hall, and the game room. In the game room, Ender beats a much older student (2 out of 3) in ender's first try. This indicates to Ender that he is not only equipped to be at Battle School, but that he is indeed a top-flight student.
Back at the barracks, Bernard has made life more and more difficult for Ender, and another student who does not follow Bernard's antics named Shen. Ender decides to undercut Bernard's power by sending messages via the desk system. The first is from "God," and the second is from "Bernard," though it puts Bernard in a very compromising position. Bernard's power over the entire launch group is then undercut, and he only sustains a small core of followers. Ender is happy, because he is no longer a target: "[Shen and Ender] laughed together. Ender's isolation was over." Chapter 5, pg 53
Topic Tracking: Games 2
Topic Tracking: Excellence 5
Topic Tracking: Anger 3
Topic Tracking: Isolation 5
Topic Tracking: Excellence 6
The students are introduced to the battleroom for the first time. They wear stiff flash suits and have glass-like laser guns. Ender begins flying around and testing out the suit. He saw that pulling the trigger on the gun illuminated some light on the floor. At this point, he befriends Alai, one of Bernard's friends, and the only other student trying to figure out how to maneuver in the battleroom. they test the gun out on each other's feet, and realize that it immobilizes whatever part of the suit it hits The two new friends collect their closest friends, Shen and Bernard, and attack the other sixteen launch members.
When the others complain at this attack by "Bernard and Alai," Dap is unsympathetic: " 'Why weren't you ready?' asked Dap. 'you had your suits just as long as they did.'" Chapter 6, pg 61 To Ender's eyes, the largest divide in the launch group, between his crew of "outcasts" and Bernard's gang of bullies, was bridged by Alai. As a result, Alai was elected launch leader.
Later, Ender is playing The Fantasy Game However, he has reached an impasse: he cannot defeat the Giant's puzzle. Ender's character is faced with two drinks, and if he chooses right, he can go to "Fairyland." The game is rigged, though, because all the drinks kill him and it cannot be defeated. The character's deaths are always gruesome, and Ender has tried and tried until the game shuts down. "...His desk would go dark, 'Free Play Over' would march around the desk, and Ender would lie back and tremble until he could finally go to sleep." Chapter 6, pg 64
Ender gets fed up this time, and decides not to play by the rules. His character kicks the drinks over and claws into the Giant's eye, knocking the Giant over and killing him. Ender is simultaneously excited and revolted. ender thinks, "I'm a murderer, even when I play. Peter would be proud of me." Chapter 6, pg 65
Topic Tracking: Isolation 6
Topic Tracking Games 3
Topic Tracking: Anger 4
Topic Tracking: Excellence 7
The voices at the beginning of the chapter are excited that Ender has defeated the Giant. they decide that he has reached his full potential as a Launchie, and defeated every obstacle they have put in his way.
In the story, Alai tells Ender that he finally realized how Ender sent the message from "Bernard," which undercut Bernard's power. Alai also noticed that Ender created a security system. When they return to the barracks so that Ender can give it to Alai, there is a slip of paper waiting for Ender. He is transferred to Salamander Army, effective immediately.
Before leaving his barracks, he and Alai share a moment of true friendship in which Alai kisses Ender's cheek and whispers, "Salaam," with reverence. "Whatever it meant to Alai, Ender knew that it was sacred; that he had uncovered himself for Ender..." Chapter 7, pg 70 Ender, enraged, goes to the game room, and tries to play the Fantasy Game. He, in a fit of anger, is able to defeat a particularly difficult situation in the game, and he arrives at a place called "The End of the World." The game then shuts down and he is forced to report to his new home.
Upon arrival, he meets Petra Arkanian and Bonzo Madrid. Petra quickly reveals herself to be the outcast of the group, being the only girl in the army (and one of the few in Battle School) and a very vocal critic of Bonzo. Bonzo (pronounced "Bone-so") is a quiet, though angry, Commander who is very unhappy with Ender's placement there. Petra makes a snide comment, and the commander strikes her. Bonzo then tells Ender to be prepared to do nothing, and be prepared to be traded to another team.
Petra approaches Ender later. She offers to help Ender by teaching him the basics of military in the battleroom during free time.
Later Ender learns that Bonzo makes different rules for Petra and the boys. Ender already thought little of Bonzo: "That was stupid... It set her apart, made her different, split the army..." Chapter 7, pg 81 Ender resolved he would be a better commander. In the bathroom, Ender is taunted for his size. As he exits, an older student says, "It's Wiggin. You know, that smartass Launchie from the game room." Chapter 7, pg 81
Ender has his first lesson with Petra the next day, where he learns two things: 1) Petra is one of the best shooters in all of the game; and 2) "... the adults are the enemies, not the other armies. They do not tell us the truth." Chapter 7, pg 82 The officers are hiding from the students some truths about the Battle School (including gravity generation) and few students remember that. At team practice, Ender watches Bonzo drill his army with formations, and realizes that, though he isn't experienced enough to fight with them, the army's strategy is too dependent on the Commander.
That night, he decides to use free play time to go back to his old barracks and start practicing with his launch group. When he returns to Salamander barracks, he is confronted by Bonzo, who orders him not to practice. Ender requests a private conference with his commander and tells Bonzo that he isn't authorized to give that order. "Bonzo's anger [was] growing hot. Hot anger was bad. Ender's anger was cold, and he could use it. Bonzo's was hot, so it used him." Chapter 7, pg 87 Bonzo realizes, through his anger, that Ender is right. Ender then rubs salt in Bonzo's wound by allowing Bonzo to keep his dignity with the army -Ender tells Bonzo, "If you want, I'll pretend you won this argument. Then tomorrow you can tell me you changed your mind." Chapter 7, pg 87
Bonzo angrily follows Ender's advice. Later, Salamander has a battle and Ender, as ordered, does not fight. He sees Bonzo's weak strategy, and starts figuring out better ones. Condor Army barely defeated Salamander because of Bonzo's strategy, and Ender did note the discipline that Bonzo's system did create. However, other boys were frustrated that Ender did not disobey orders. Ender replied that he follows orders, and later Bonzo reiterated the order, which Ender thought was stupid.
Ender followed orders for some time, and noted Salamander's deficiencies from the sidelines, though he also noted that Salamander was indeed quite good. He was at the top of the leader board because he did had the best efficiency of all students. As time passed, Ender celebrated his seventh birthday silently. Ender appeared in his fourth game, and ended up facing the same situation as the first one-the other team had defeated Salamander, or so they thought. Ender drew his gun and fired at enough of the enemy soldiers to create a stalemate. Bonzo was furious that, once again, Ender's idea saved face for Bonzo's reputation.
That evening, Ender was finally traded to Rat Army. Ender was relieved, but Bonzo had one parting shot-he hit Ender and loudly said that no soldier should ever disobey a commander. Ender, for Petra's sake, ended the extra practice sessions with her.
Topic Tracking: Excellence 8
Topic Tracking: Isolation 7
Topic Tracking Games 4
Topic Tracking: Anger 5
Topic Tracking: Anger 6
Colonel Graff says to Major Anderson that Ender is the one, reiterating his belief that this boy can save the world from the Buggers.
Ender arrives at Rat Army and meets the slovenly casual "Rose de Nose," commander of Rat. Ender is then instructed to his toon leader, Dink Meeker. Dink is quiet and intelligent, and understand his importance to Rat Army. He leads separate practices during Rat's practice time, and is a key to Rat's success. Dink indicates that he will let Ender continue his own personal training, and add to it by learning from Dink. He also gives Ender a piece of useful advice, "Listen, Ender, commanders have just as much authority as you let them have. The more you obey, the more power they have over you." Chapter 8, pg 102
Dink asks Ender to teach the toon Ender's most critical piece of advice-once in the battleroom, ignore the gravity. The best way to think of things is that the enemy's gate is down. With a feet-first approach, the enemy will not be able hit as much of a soldier. Dink's toon eventually adopts it as a normal attack approach. In battles under Dink's command, Ender would be a part of the action. In the barracks, Ender defends himself to Rose when the commander gives a useless order. Dink indicates to Ender that Ender can take care of himself, and Rose decides Ender will attack the next army, Ender's first real battle, all by himself. Ender puts real damage into the enemy, and no longer gets bothered by Rose.
Ender notices that Dink never leaves with the team after practice, so Ender decides to wait for him. Dink was alone (with Ender) in the battleroom, and, as if meditating, took of his clothes and drifted in the room. He then puts his clothes on, and starts talking to Ender. He explains that this is why he isn't a commander. "I can't believe you haven't seen through all this crap yet, Ender... These other armies, they aren't the enemy. It's the teachers, they're the enemy. They get us to fight each other, to hate each other." Chapter 8, pg 108 Dink brings up the taboo subject of home, Ender thinks of Valentine, and starts to cry. Dink remarks that students aren't even supposed to cry. Dink keeps going, saying that Battle School is crazy, and he doesn't want it. Ender says maybe a commander doesn't have to be crazy.
Then Dink drops a bombshell - the supposed excuse for being at school, the Buggers, are a phantom threat. If they would be attacking, they would already have reached Earth, and all the videos are from the first two wars. Dink believes that the entire system is there to sustain the power of the I.F.
In the world of Battle School, some commanders decided that Ender's extra practice with Launchies is grounds for commanders to refuse to draft the soldiers. These commanders and their lackeys took down names at the next practice, and attacked the students in the battleroom the second one. However, they were not wearing uniforms, and some were seriously injured by Ender, who was cornered.
At the barracks, he learned that the adults would not punish anyone for the incident, and he frustratedly began playing the Fantasy Game. He arrived at a place called, "The End of the World," went inside, defeated a snake, and saw a mirror on the wall. As he approached, and looked into it, he saw Peter's face. Frightened, he smashed the mirror, and a number of snakes came out from behind it to kill him. Ender signed off.
The next day, other commanders said they would send some members of their army to protect Ender's practice session, and that they supported him. But in the back of his mind was the Fantasy Game, how it said that he is Peter. Angrily, Ender berates himself in his thought: "This game knows too much about me. This game tells filthy lies. I am not Peter. I don't have murder in my heart." Then, second guessing himself, "And then a worse fear, that he was a killer, only better at it than Peter... Well, I'm the bloody bastard you wanted when you had me spawned."Chapter 8, pg 119
Topic Tracking Games 5
Topic Tracking: Anger 7
Topic Tracking: Excellence 9
The voices at the chapter's beginning (one of them Graff) are shocked at the fact that the Fantasy Game (or "Mind Game," as the adults call it), which they do not control, automatically pulled a current picture of Peter from Earthside. Apparently, the game knows something about Ender. The voices agree that Peter is dangerous, and are scared of what outcome this may have on Ender.
This chapter returns to Ender's siblings. We know a year has passed because Valentine celebrates Ender's eighth birthday. Peter has become a model student, on the surface, but Valentine sees the splayed and skewered squirrels in the woods behind their home and knows better.
The two begin discussing world politics. There are two major powers in the world united, through a shaky agreement, by the threat of the Buggers. One the one side is the American Hegemony, and on the other is the Russian "New Warsaw Pact." Peter suspects there is something happening in the bugger war, because he has figured out the troop movements of the Russians. Valentine, intrigued but nervous talks with him about this and their ability to influence world affairs. As the two talk, they discuss their own excellence and how, on the nets, they are anonymous and can influence politics. all they need is their father's permission for "citizen's access." Valentine sees through the sugarcoating and cuts to the chase, "What do you tell him, I need citizen's access so I can take over the world?" Chapter 9, pg 129
Peter responds as honestly: "I'm going to rule, Val... But I want it to be something worth ruling... A Pax Americana through the whole world." Chapter 9, pg 131-2 Convinced, they earned access, and Peter and Val started playing as adults on the nets. As they became more experienced, Peter hatched his plan: each would take on one identity, apparently completely disconnected. They would comment on political affairs and become influential. Peter would be Locke, the statesman whose opinion is measured and compassionate. Valentine would be Demosthenes, the rabble-rouser who moves people to action. Peter knew that this was counter to their opinions, but also made sure his identity would have power.
Demosthenes quickly gets picked up by a regional newspaper on the west coast. Peter is frustrated, but Val assures him that rabble-rousers gain audiences, but little respect. What frustrates Valentine is that Demosthenes has an avid reader in her father. Locke later gains a wider audience in New England.
A year again has passed, and at Battle School, Ender is still the best there is. He is a toon leader in Petra's Army, Phoenix. Dink is finally a commander, of Rat. What he hated was how other players, who treated Ender as a peer a few years ago, now treated him with revered respect. They don't play with him. By virtue of being the best, being an obvious leader at Battle School, he again is alone.
Valentine receives a visit from Colonel Graff at school. He asks her to write a letter to Ender, because he is depressed and not living up to his ability. He asks her to console the way she did before he left home. When Ender receives the letter, reassuring him that he is not Peter, he is not cruel, he becomes angry - the adults asked her to write this one, while all the others didn't come through. It was still fake, though it was still from her. "She was one of them now." Chapter 9, pg 151
Ender wept openly and started playing the Fantasy Game, as he had done so many times in the past two years. Ender was angry because the adults asked her to tell him he was not Peter, which meant they were analyzing the game. Instead of killing the snake on the floor, Ender's character kissed it. It became Valentine. It led Ender to the mirror, where for two years Ender saw Peter's face, and they saw a dragon and unicorn in the reflection. They mirror fell away, and he had finally escaped the End of the World, with Valentine.
Topic Tracking: Games 6
Topic Tracking: Anger 8
Topic Tracking: Excellence 10
Topic Tracking: Isolation 8
A new army is commissioned for Ender - Dragon. Ender is the youngest commander in history. The entire group consists of Launchies and rejects (those on the trading block) from other armies. In addition, Graff tells Ender that he may not practice with his extra practice group, and he can't have any trades. His army is his. " 'What if I've got a soldier I just can't get along with?' 'Get along with him.' Graff closed his eyes." Chapter 10, pg 157
Ender starts his army off on a new foot. Up until this time, all armies bunked veterans near the front of the room, and new soldiers at the back. He wanted the reverse order. His veterans had, at most, little more than a year of experience. He took command quickly and naturally, and expected promptness. They were to be extremely regimented.
At the battleroom, he saw how inexperienced his soldiers were. His first order of business was reorienting the students so that they would always think of the enemy's gate as down. When he orders students to the north wall, only Bean seems comfortable with it. Ender repeatedly challenges Bean, and Bean remains calm, almost surly. Ender settles into the first practice, trying to teach the soldiers, many of which are green, to maneuver.
After practice, Bean and Ender have a confrontation. Bean demands a toon. Ender is skeptical about Bean's ability to lead it. He then treats Bean in a way that both Bean and Ender realize is similar to the way Bonzo treated Ender in Salamander Army. Ender realizes, later on, that Bonzo wasn't the first person to isolate and pick on Ender the way that Ender picked on Bean. "It was the teachers who had done it... It was a strategy. Graff had deliberately set him up to be separate from the other boys, made it impossible for him to be close to them." Chapter 10, pg 167
Other armies are now holding extra practices because the best-ever student at Battle School is a commander, and they want to be ready. He meets Alai, and realizes a rift between the two of them, a further confirmation of the teacher-imposed isolation. Alai is now an enemy in the game, and a stranger outside of it. This angers Ender. "And with that anger, he decided he was strong enough to defeat them-the teachers, his enemies." Chapter 10, pg 172
Topic Tracking: Excellence 11
Topic Tracking: Excellence 12
Topic Tracking: Anger 9
Topic Tracking: Isolation 8
Topic Tracking: Games 7
Ender has his first battle and first victory as a commander against Rabbit Army, commanded by Carn Carby, someone who earns Ender's respect for not getting angry at him for being excellent. The victory was swift. In the commander's mess hall, a group starts forming around Bonzo, and Ender sense that they are planning to do something to him. Ender tells Dink that winning is a habit, which angers Dink. Dink responds that he (Ender) is a threat. Ender replies that the game doesn't matter, something Dink told him two years earlier.
The next day, he battles the army he left less than a month before, Phoenix, commanded by his friend. Petra. Most armies have a month between battles, but it is obvious that Ender is not worried. Again his army wins, but not quite as soundly. Petra is angry after the battle, she is humiliated.
After one full week of battles, Dragon was undefeated, 7-0. The most difficult battle was with Petra, but commanders are furious about his success. They begin tormenting him in non-verbal ways, and Ender is reminded of Peter's bullying. He deems it threatening, but ultimately harmless.
Ender, bored at the ease with which his army wins and amused at how other armies imitate him, begins to watch the videos of how humans, led by Mazer Rackham, defeated the Buggers. "Most of the vids were a waste of time. Heroic music, closeups...But here and there he found useful sequences... So it was from the Buggers, not the humans, learned strategy." Chapter 11, pg 188 Again, Ender drew crowds trying to emulate him, but none got the right lesson, and he volunteered nothing.
Graff and Anderson talk to Ender, and Ender says that he was given a group that can do what he asks. When asked about the videos he watches, he responds honestly - he is trying to learn strategy. " 'Those videos were created for propaganda purposes. All the strategies have been edited out.' 'I know.' Graff and Anderson exchanged glances again." Chapter 11, pg 191 When they inquire about the Fantasy Game, Ender says that he won. Graff continues questioning, and Ender gets annoyed: "You want to make me the best soldier possible. Go down and look at the standings. Look at the all-time standings. So far you're doing an excellent job with me. Congratulations. Now when are you going to put me up against a good army?" Chapter 11, pg 191 They hand him a slip of paper.
They set Dragon up against Salamander Army, and Bonzo has had extra time to prepare. Dragon soundly defeats them. Ender is visibly angry at how easy it is to win, and breaks proper victory procedure. With Salamander waiting to be unfrozen after the battle, Ender asks Bean for a proper strategy that Salamander should have used. Bean responds quickly and easily. Ender yells at Major Anderson to find someone who can cheat intelligently, and leaves.
As Ender exits, he realizes that this break of proper surrender procedures means that Bonzo's sense of honor would be further bruised. Bonzo would now be so wrathful as to make him want blood. Ender then relaxes: "The teachers got me into this-they can keep me safe." Chapter 11, pg 195
Ender calls Bean into his quarters. He confides in Bean that he is tired, and doesn't want to be clever anymore. Bean is surprised. He and Ender agree to allow him to lead a special forces toon, as Bean was not assigned a toon. Bean can choose five people to help him. Bean's team is to do advanced maneuvers and training, under Bean's sharp mind and control.
Topic Tracking: Excellence 13
Topic Tracking: Excellence 14
Topic Tracking: Anger 10
Topic Tracking: Games 8
topic Tracking: Isolation 10
The voices argue about the danger Ender is in from Bonzo and his gang. They refer to how Ender defended himself. Other voices disagree, saying Ender is too important to risk. Colonel Graff argues that "Ender Wiggin must believe that no matter what happens, no adult will ever, ever step in to help him in any way... If he does not believe that, then he will never reach the peak of his abilities." Chapter 12, pg 202
Bean, meanwhile, has a new toy called a deadline and they are using it to make quick changes in direction. Meanwhile, it seems that Bonzo was planning to do something to Ender. After practice, Petra approached Ender and told him of a plot - what she did not know was that she was part of a trap that Ender saw. He kept walking and forced her to stay with his army, thus sparing him a fight. His toon leaders worried, Ender was escorted to his barracks, where a message from Dink was waiting: "Don't be alone. Ever. -Dink." Chapter 12, pg 205 Ender was relieved that Dink was still his friend.
That night Ender dreamed that Stilson did everything to Ender that Ender did to him. He awoke with a start, but relaxed with the knowledge that the entire school - most importantly the adults - valued him. The next morning, he had battle against Badger Army, and the teachers gave Badger an advantage - after a period of time, members of that army who were not completely frozen would "thaw" and be able to fight again. Dragon won anyway. Badger's commander, Pol Slattery treats Ender with respect and doesn't like how the game is being stacked against Ender.
Ender goes to shower alone. He is ambushed by seven boys (including Bernard), Bonzo at the lead. Ender, seeing that he is not going to be able to get out of this with words, tilts the odds in his favor by taunting Bonzo where Bonzo is most sensitive - honor. Ender is "Your father would be proud of you... Oh, what honor... You can go home and tell [him]... I only had six of my friends to help me... even though he was naked and wet and alone," Chapter 12, pg 208-9
This taunt forces Bonzo to attack Ender alone in the shower. He strips down. "Naked and wet and alone... I can't help that I'm bigger than you. You're such a genius, you figure out how to handle me." Chapter 12, pg 209 Dink arrives, held back by the other boys, and forces Bonzo into murderous rage by saying that Ender is needed, that he is the only one who can defeat the Buggers.
They fight, and Ender, with soap on his body, defeats Bonzo by using the soap on his own body, steam from hot showers, and Bonzo's honor as weapons. Bonzo is defeated as Stilson was, soundly and brutally. Adults then arrive, and Dink takes Ender out of there.
The result was what Graff expected: Ender felt completely alone to solve his own problems. Dragon had a battle later that day, against two armies, and Ender decided to give up on the rules. He did the victory ceremony during the battle, which told the battleroom that the game is over. Ender did not care, he was done.
As usual, as soon as Ender defeated every enemy, he was promoted to Command School (where college-aged students typically go) and Bean was promoted to command of Rabbit Army. Ender was emotionally defeated, however, and complacent.
At chapter's end, the voices talk, and the audience discovers that not only did Ender defeat Bonzo, the vicious attack killed him. Likewise, we learn that Stilson died at Ender's hand as well.
Topic Tracking: Anger 11
Topic Tracking: Isolation 11
Topic Tracking: Excellence 15
Topic Tracking: Games 9
The voices have discovered that Locke and Demosthenes, up until this point believed to be two very separate commentators, are Peter and Valentine, respectively. The voices feel, however, that Locke and Demosthenes are still containable.
Valentine and Peter continue their exploits and continue to gain influence. At this point, Graff approaches Valentine to meet Ender, and also that he knows about the Wiggin sibling exploits on Earth. Graff reveals that maybe six people know, and it was going to stay that way, for the time being.
Ender and Valentine meet in person. Ender is on Earth and has been for three months. Valentine again serves as a salve. She fears the hardness and distance in his eyes. However, in the end, she rejuvenates him with compassion, with honesty, and with a little bit of pain. She tells him that it's kill or be killed, and, yes, the weight of the world is on his shoulders. she leaves him and reminds him that, regardless of what the teachers do, she loves him.
Moments later, Ender requests to leave. While leaving, Graff tells Ender that military training intentionally isolates its trainees so that they may think in a way that is strategic, but the soldiers lose sight of why they even fight. A reminder is sometimes useful. Ender resents that Graff forced him to love Earth, and used Valentine. "I may have used Valentine... [but] it only works because what's between you, that's real, that matters." Chapter 13, pg 244
They fly to Command School, on the giant asteroid Eros, together, and Graff becomes Ender's teacher. He tells Ender that Buggers were once like Earth insects and evolved to be the most advanced species around. They communicate mind to mind, the same way humans can communicate instantly (using technology) across long distances in this time period.
Graff is relentless in his teaching of Ender in the ship. We learn of the ansible, Bugger anatomy, and the most important, top secret, fact of Ender's training:. "We are the Third Invasion." Chapter 13, pg 250 The Buggers are not planning to attack Earth, Earth is attacking the Buggers, on every world they live on, including their home world. The first fleets were launched generations ago, and they would arrive in a matter of years.
Since humans and Buggers cannot communicate with humans, it becomes a question of us or them. When faced with that question, Ender chooses humanity.
Topic Tracking: Isolation 12
The center of his training on the asteroid was a simulator. The computer was very intelligent and adapted to Ender as quickly as he did to it. However, he became its master during his first year there, able to command everything from a single ship to an entire fleet with ease, and winning. Ender asked Graff one day why the game isn't getting harder anymore. Graff seemed unconcerned and disappeared the next day.
In his place was an old man who tells Ender that his mind better be sharper with the simulator than he is with his body. "I will program your battles now, not the computer... From now on the enemy is more clever than you. From now on the enemy is stronger than you. From now on you are always about to lose... but you will win. You will learn to defeat the enemy." Chapter 14, pg 263-4 When asked his name, the old man responds that he is Mazer Rackham (hero of the Second Bugger War of seventy years before).
Rackham had been sent away on a lightspeed ship and brought back at verge of the Third Invasion. Relativity allowed only eight years to pass for him, while fifty years passed for everyone else. People realized only Mazer Rackham could teach the next leader how to think against the Buggers, because he won due to intelligence, not luck.
They discussed battles with the Buggers, and Ender explains what he knows of Mazer's victory - a few ships against the Bugger fleet, they attack one ship, it explodes, and then nothing. Mazer says that exactly that happened. He explained that the Buggers are still insects - they function as a hive, but at a higher level. They communicate from mind to mind. In fact, the queen of this hive has so much control, Mazer reasoned, that she controls the hive the way a human controls his or her own body. Every Bugger was like a hand or foot. Mazer then proved it by replaying the battle, and Ender saw that every decision was made from a self-aware center.
Mazer turns to strategy. Humanity's weakness of lack of single purpose is its strength - each ship has an intelligent thinking commander. In addition, Mazer explains, the Dr. Device is more powerful weapon than anything the Buggers have.
Ender is to be the commander, and to train squadron leaders. They turn out to be all the students at Battle School whom he recognized as excellent or respectable, including Bean, Petra, Dink, and many others. They train together and Ender learns their strengths and weaknesses on this simulator. They worked together seamlessly. Under Mazer's exercises, Mazer explained, Ender will be forever outnumbered.
Mazer then says the final stage of his training will begin - a full invasion scenario. At first, it will be easy, at the outskirts of Bugger-controlled space, but it will quickly become harder as Mazer will program each successive battle. Mazer's goal is to break Ender, and Ender responds that he won't be broken.
The battles begin easy, and quickly become harder - the enemy would undoubtedly learn from Ender. Mazer debriefs with Ender after each battle. Battles happen at all hours, with little or no sleep, and Ender is expected to the best job he could. Ender feels more isolated than ever, never being able to see his friends and interacting only with a simulator or Rackham. Ender becomes a relentless trainer of his army, and the friendships give way to a command structure, only further isolating Ender. Excellence is his goal, and they battle often.
Ender's psyche begins to respond to the pressure - he has nightmares, calls out in his sleep, his body can only handle bland foods, he gnaws at himself in his sleep, and becomes completely isolated. His dreams blend the Fantasy Game's Giant with the Buggers. His squadron leaders start to falter - Petra, whom he had leaned upon the most, stops functioning, and a battle is nearly lost. He now has to take into account their fatigue and ignore his own even more.
Ender takes the simulations deadly seriously, no doubt influenced by the dire tone of his dreams. Mazer respond that Ender is only playing games. Mazer responds, "Strange dreams are a safety valve, Ender. I'm putting you under a little pressure for the first time in your life." Chapter 14, pg 287
His body finally gives up during practice, and he blacks out. He thinks he hears Graff and Mazer both saying they love him, and that the trial is almost over, but then they turn into Valentine and Alai.
The final test comes after Ender is recovered. There are adults in the audience of this final test. There is one new wrinkle - there is a planet. This is the simulated end of an invasion. Ender would be ready to be a commander if he can pass this final test. Mazer reiterates that he is not going to coddle Ender, and the odds are probably overwhelmingly against him.
Ender asks Mazer if Dr. Device works against a planet. Mazer coldly responds that the Buggers never knowingly attacked civilians.
Ender's fleet is composed of less than a hundred old, slow, poorly-armed fighter. And the odds are a thousand-to-one. It was like the final battle at Battle School, the teachers stacked the deck against too far this time. Ender decides to give up. He will be free of their games once and for all. As strategy, he sends the ships into the swarming mass of "Bugger" ships. Only fourteen of eighty fighters remain, at the other side of the main enemy contingent, near the planet.
The enemy closes off the ships' escape from the planet, because Ender, until this point in his training, tried to preserve every ship. The ships then went for the planet. Once within range, he would set the Dr. Device off and destroy everything. The enemy realized too late what was happening, and then started destroying the ships one by one. Nonetheless, it was too late, the planet, and everything near it, bubbled and exploded. Ender had beat his teachers.
His squadron erupted in cheers, and Ender realized that his audience did too. Graff hugs Ender, and Mazer congratulates him. " 'You beat them, and it's all over.' All over. Beat them. Ender didn't understand... 'Ender, you never played me... This was the Third Invasion... the battles were real and the only enemies you fought were the buggers.'" Chapter 14, pg 296
Ender did not want to kill them. He wanted to be deemed unfit for command. Graff explains he had to be tricked, because they needed someone as compassionate as Valentine to think like the Buggers, and someone as brutal as Peter to completely destroy them.
Earth is chaos - the main reason for unity has been destroyed, and everyone is wrangling for supremacy. Ender shuts down, and finally awakes to his friends, in person, for the first time. He is melancholy, but relieved to have friends.
Topic Tracking: Isolation 13
Topic Tracking: Anger 12
Topic Tracking: Excellence 16
Topic Tracking: Games 10
This chapter is the epilogue. Ender is again isolated as every student from Battle School is repatriated a hero, except Ender. His brother, Peter, as Locke, came up with a plan to restore world peace, and place Locke as Hegemon. However, since every country wanted to tap Ender to for his military mind, he was never to return to Earth. Demosthenes supported the plan, the first time the two were ever united, and the fulfillment of Peter's plan to run everything. Graff explained to Anderson that Ender's desire to rest would never be satisfied on Earth.
Valentine arrives on the station and tells him that Ender is to be governor of the first new colony, and Mazer Rackham would pilot the ship flying to that colony. She tells him that she devised the plan to keep him from Earth, because Peter wanted to use him to only further Peter's own reputation and Ender would never be happy. She also tells him that she will join him. He agrees only to go because he wants to be at peace, and with two friends there, he won't be isolated.
On the new colony, a few years later, he is respected, and he discovers an area that looks familiar. A boy tells him that it looked like a giant died there. Ender suddenly realized it - it was the Fantasy Game landscape come to life. The Buggers somehow reached into his mind, and sent him a message. Ender goes to the "End of the World," pulls the mirror off the wall, and finds a cocoon containing a Bugger egg for a new queen, to be hatched at a time and place where it is safe for them to survive. He did not kill them all. Ender was their destroyer and was to be their savior.
Due to chance at redemption, Ender writes a text, "The Hive Queen," that becomes the central text of a future religion, and signed it "Speaker for the Dead." The text related the life of the Buggers from their own perspective - their triumphs, tragedies, successes and failures. Ender receives a message from Peter, the old-aged Hegemon (due to the relativity of Ender's travel to the new planet). Peter recognized the voice of "The Hive Queen" instantly, and wanted Ender to speak for him.
Ender gets bored of this planet and decides it is time to leave. Valentine, who had become a full-time historian as Demosthenes, decides to join him, to be his companion. Ender is itinerant, an anonymous preacher within a burgeoning religion. "And always Ender carried with him a dry white cocoon, looking for a place where the hive-queen could awaken and thrive in peace. He looked a long time." Chapter 15, pg 324 And with that, the book ends.