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Ender's Game

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Ender's Game


Orson Scott Card


Ender's Game





Date of Publication


Preceded by


Followed by

Speaker for the Dead

Ender's Game is a science fiction novel by the author Orson Scott Card, published in 1985 by Tor. The book is the first novel released in the long-running Ender's Game book series. The book has won numerous awards and has earned major recognition by the public.

The story centers around the very young Ender Wiggin, who is taken into space by the International Fleet to be trained for combat in the incoming war against an alien species. Ender Wiggin makes friends and enemies in the Battle School in space, but also the attention of the teachers. Ender Wiggin is the chosen one to be savior of humanity by the International Fleet because of his major talents. Ender is put under the vast pressure of the Fleet and is in conflict with himself, for he doesn't want to be a killer, but he must often kill his enemies to survive.

The novel's ideas are those based off of a novelette named Ender's Game (short story), also by Orson Scott Card, published in the August 1977 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. Card took this story and expanded it thoroughly, creating the novel Ender's Game.

Card released an updated version of Ender's Game in 1991, changing some political facts to accurately reflect the times. The book was followed by numerous sequels, most notably Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide and Children of the Mind.

Plot Summary

The book is set in the Earth's Future, where an alien species has almost destroyed humanity twice in the first and second Invasions of the Bugger War. The International Fleet is preparing for the anticipated Third Invasion by sending the world's most intelligent children to a Battle School in space.

Andrew Wiggin, more commonly known as Ender, is the third born in his family and was only permitted to be born against the "two children per family law" because of his potential in the International Fleet. The reason they would believe his possibly in the Fleet before even being born was because both his older siblings had the genius they needed, but both had personality traits that got them rejected. Ender proved to have the traits needed, so the Fleet took him away from his home at a young age and into the Battle School in space.

From the beginning, Ender succeeds in the zero gravity rooms as a launchy, teaching himself how to maneuver and pull-off stunts. Ender makes his way into one of the "armies" at a very early age, the name army designating the groups that the older kids were assembled into. Once in a while, two armies would be given the opportunity to do battle in one of the several zero-gravity Battle Rooms. The objective of the Battle Room, was to either eliminate all of the opposing team's members by freezing them with a pistol or by getting more than a certain amount of group members to the opposing team's Gate.

Ender first joins Salamander Army, with Bonzo Madrid the leader. There he meets Petra Arkanian, who helps him out. Ender never plays any games in the Battle Room, but watches and learns, and then teaches this knowledge to the launchies. Ender realizes all the error in Bonzo Madrid's leadership techniques and makes note of them.

Ender soon is traded to another army, and then given control of his own army; Dragon Army. Dragon Amy becomes the most successful army in the history of the school, never losing one game.

Meanwhile, Ender's two siblings, Valentine and Peter, merely children, are controlling the political world of earth by writing documents on the nets under the personas of Demonsthenes and Locke. Peter is principally in charge of the project, hoping to gain political power in the future.

Bonzo Madrid then decides to kill him of jealousy. In combat, Ender ends up killing Bonzo in self-defense. Ender is mentally destroyed by the knowledge of having Bonzo vastly injured, for little does he know that Bonzo is dead.

Graff then decides to bring Ender to Earth, where hew could get Ender to enjoy it. realize it's beauty, and give him a reason to protect it in the upcoming war. Ender is then sent to Command School, where he, along with the rest of Dragon Army, commands various space battles via a simulator against the famous Mazer Rackham, a successful military commander and Ender's new teacher. Ender is then given the task of winning the last battle, dubbed "the final test". Ender goes through it, winning an impossible Battle and destroying the Bugger Planet. Ender the realizes that the whole game was real, and that he had actually just saved humanity and killed an entire race of aliens. Ender, feeling like a terrible murderer and fatigued, falls into a coma. During this coma, order is re-established on Earth and in the command school. All battle school graduates are ordered to return to their home countries, except for Ender. Ender is ordered to move to the Bugger Planet with a colonization group, to avoid conflict on Earth over Ender. It is discovered that it was Peter who gave this order. In a last hope for survival and the happiness of Ender, Valentine comes along.

Ender moves to the Bugger Planet, figuring out that the Buggers were not going to launch a Third Invasion after they discovered the intelligence of the human species. It was the human race that decided to attack the Bugger Planet, and so the innocent Buggers were all destroyed, with the exception of one of the last Bugger Queen's, who Ender finds, and promises to find it a home. Ender becomes the Speaker of Dead from that moment, speaking the truth for the Bugger's and asking for forgiveness.

Valentine Wiggin becomes a historian errant, writing down the stories of the living, and Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, becomes the Speaker for the Dead.


Main Characters

  • Andrew "Ender" Wiggin: The protagonist of the book, Ender is a young boy who is taken away from his home planet at a young age. He usually takes action in order to defend himself, but usually ends up hurting others, which usually brings up his thoughts of not wanting to be a killer and not wanting to hurt others.
  • Peter Wiggin: Peter Wiggin is the older, more violent, brother of Ender Wiggin. While Ender serves his time in the Battle School, Peter becomes a famous and influential online writer, eventually stopping a war from breaking out on Earth.
  • Valentine Wiggin: Ender's sister.
  • Hyrum Graff: Leader of the Battle School

Minor Characters


The story of Ender's Game was succeeded by eleven book sequels.

Its first true sequel is Speaker for the Dead, released in 1986. Speaker for the Dead and its two sequels, Xenocide and Children of the Mind, tell the story of the human race 3000 years into the future, but due to the laws of space, Ender is still only 36 years old, not much older than he was at the end of the first novel. Although they continue the story of Ender's Game, it is said that the three sequels are more philosophical than the first book, which dealt with warfare rather than an attempt to stop another xenocide from happening.

A group of sequels, known as the Shadow Saga, relives and continues the story of Ender's Game through the eyes of Bean, one of the boys in Ender's dragon army, who is now shown to be much more important in the events of Ender's Game than initially said. The first book of the series, Ender's Shadow, shows the Third Invasion from the perspective of Bean. The sequels of Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, and Shadow of the Giant all concentrate on the Earth's political situation, while Ender is on the Bugger planet, showing how Peter Wiggin and Achilles LeFlandre struggle for the control of the Earth.

Ender in Exile explains what happened between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. A War of Gifts: An Ender Story shows the same story of Ender's Game from the perspective of another character. It is unknown what Shadows in Flight will deal with.


Ender's Shadow was published in 1985. It was written by Orson Scott Card and published by Tor. It's genre was classified as Science Fiction and it was the first book in all of the Ender's Game series.

The novel won the Nebula Award for best novel in 1985 and the Hugo Award for best novel in 1986. These two awars are considered the most two prestigious awards in science fiction in America. Ender's Game was also nominated for a Locus Award in 1986, but never won.


In 1991, Card revised the book. He made several minor changes to reflect the political climates of the time, including the decline of the Soviet Union. In the afterword of Ender in Exile, Card stated that many of the details in chapter 15 of Ender's Game have been modified for use in the subsequent novels and short stories. In order to more closely match the other material, Card has rewritten chapter 15, and plans to offer a revised edition of the book sometime in the future.



Orson Scott Card released the latest of his author-written screenplay adaptations to Warner Brothers in May 2003. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were later signed to write a new script, working closely with director Wolfgang Petersen. Card later announced that he would be writing a new script not based on any previous one, including his own. Following the departure of Petersen from the project and Card's self-described refusal to "condescend to green-screen Hollywood," Card announced in February 2009 that he had completed a script for Odd Lot Entertainment, and that they had begun assembling a production team.


Marvel Comics has announced that they will be publishing a limited series of Ender's Game comic adaptations, which will adapt all of Card's Famous novels into a visual medium.


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