Ender's Game: Character Profiles
Alai is originally Bernard’s best friend in the Launchies group, but because of his creativity and intelligence he recognizes Ender’s superior ability and goodness. He becomes Ender’s best friend. He is one of the squadron leaders who fight the Third Invasion under Ender, his commander. Ender prizes Alai for his love and loyalty and for his ability to come up with new ideas. Alai helps Ender grow.
Petra Arkanian is the only girl in Bonzo Madrid’s Salamander Army. She is older than Ender and a persecuted outcast in Bonzo’s group, though she is the best shot. She takes Ender under her wing and practices with him since Bonzo will not allow Ender to participate in the games. Petra becomes a regular in Ender’s extra practice group and eventually one of his squadron leaders in the war. Petra is fearless, creative, and loyal.
Major Anderson is one of the teachers at the Battle School and the one Graff speaks to most often about their teaching methods. Anderson has been used to running orderly war games with rules until Ender comes. Graff has other needs in order to produce a genius commander for the bugger wars. He convinces Anderson to adopt unfair practices for the games. Anderson is promoted to Colonel and runs the Battle School after Graff leaves.
Bean is a young and raw recruit, a boy from Holland, given to Ender for his Dragon Army. Bean is like Ender, creatively and morally advanced. He is outspoken and stands up to Ender, gaining his respect and confidence. Soon, Ender is relying on him for creative solutions. He gives him his own toon (platoon) with unlimited ability to improvise. Bean is one of the squadron leaders and becomes a major character in subsequent novels.
Bernard is a French boy in Ender’s Launchy group. He gives Ender a hard time on the shuttle to the Battle School, and Ender pushes him and breaks his arm. Bernard is a bully and becomes a leader for a while, splitting the Launchies into two groups. He is vengeful and a tormentor, like Stilson and Peter. Eventually, Ender gets Alai elected leader over Bernard.
Bugger (Formic) Queen
The larva of the bugger queen is preserved and speaks to Ender telepathically to explain from her point of view why the bugger wars happened. She teaches him about peaceful co-existence of species, and he founds a new religion, The Speaker for the Dead, based on this experience. He writes the book, The Hive Queen about her.
Carn Carby is commander of Rabbit Army at the Battle School, and from him Ender learns graciousness in defeat. Carn congratulates and respects Ender for beating his army and holds no grudges. Carn is not cocky like a lot of the older boys. Carn is a squadron leader under Ender later.
Admiral Chamrajnagar is in charge at I. F. Command on Eros. He has a somewhat mystical view of outer space, believing it will unlock Ender’s greatness.
Crazy Tom is the leader of “C” toon in Ender’s Dragon Army. Each of the toon leaders is given freedom to improvise. Crazy Tom is one of Ender’s squadron leaders in the bugger war.
Dap is an officer at the Battle School in charge of the new Launchies, calling himself their “Mom.” He introduces them to the routine when they first come. Dap is the one who reports the situation at the Battle School to I. F. Command when Bonzo is killed.
Colonel Hyrum Graff
Colonel Hyrum Graff is director of the Battle School where soldiers and commanders are trained for the I. F. (International Fleet), the starship force for the military on Earth. Graff takes personal charge of training Ender, understanding intimately how to motivate him and turn him into the commander they need. His strategy is to isolate the boy and create opposition around him so he will learn problem solving. Though Graff personally loves Ender, he never lets it show, having to be merciless on him. Graff tries to break down the spirits of the children in his charge, taking them to the edge, in order to make the toughest soldiers. He allows the dangerous situation to develop between Bonzo and Ender, leading to Bonzo’s death. Graff always covers up for Ender when he injures someone else. He is put on trial for negligence in Bonzo’s death after the bugger wars, but he is acquitted because the court cannot prove that Ender would have become just as good a commander without the violence of his training. Graff escorts Ender to Command School on Eros, and after the war, he becomes the Minister of Colonization.
The Hegemon is the ruler of the world on Earth. He is an American president who presides over a world government. Peter Wiggin covets this position from childhood and eventually gets his ambition fulfilled.
Hot Soup or Han Tzu is the leader of “D” toon in Ender’s Dragon Army. He is one of Ender’s creative officers and becomes a squadron leader in the bugger wars.
Major Imbu is one of the officers at the Battle School, supposedly the one in charge of the computer games for play time. The computer games interact with the minds of the students to lead them toward the qualities of good soldiers. Graff is upset with Imbu, wondering how a photo of Peter got into Ender’s mind game. Imbu says the computer makes up things as it goes along.
Bonzo Madrid is a handsome poetic-looking boy but one of the bullies in Battle School. He is the commander of the Salamander Army, and he intimidates his underlings like Petra and Ender. Ender sees him as an example of the wrong kind of leadership. Bonzo is Spanish and is ruled by his code of honor. His honor demands satisfaction when Ender’s Dragon Army beats him, and when Ender publicly criticizes his tactics. Bonzo challenges Ender to single combat in the bathroom, and Ender beats him so badly Bonzo dies of the injuries. This incident breaks up the Battle School and forces its reorganization.
Dink Meeker is a Dutch toon leader in the Rat Army. His commander allows him to operate independently. Dink is so good he could command an army but refuses advancement. He does not trust the adults and tells Ender they are the enemy. Ender is assigned to his toon, and Dink accepts Ender’s ideas. Dink is a cynical person in the beginning, but from Ender he learns a new optimism and patriotism. He becomes a commander and finally a squadron leader. Dink tries to stop the fight between Bonzo and Ender. He is the eyewitness of what happened.
Fly Molo is the leader of “A” toon in Ender’s Dragon Army. He and the other toon leaders form a protective unit around Ender when Bonzo is stalking Ender. Fly is one of Ender’s squadron leaders in the war.
Rose the Nose
Rose the Nose is a Jewish boy who commands Rat Army, the student army in second place. There is a legend that Jewish leaders always win, so frequently the head of the I. F. Fleet is Jewish. Rose the Nose is conscious of this legacy, and for him winning is everything. Rose tries to tell Ender what to do, but Dink informs Ender he does not have to obey him. Rose is still a child and ironically afraid of the dark, so he sleeps with his men instead of in his own quarters.
General Pace is the head of the I. F. Military Police and comes to the Battle School after Dap files a report of a dangerous situation on board with Bonzo out to kill Ender. He threatens to court martial Graff if anything happens. Graff persuades him to back off.
The Polemarch is the Commander-in-chief of the I. F. Fleet. He is Graff’s superior who keeps his eye on Ender’s progress. He is a Russian and speaks to the American Hegemon, or world ruler about public opinion getting stirred up that the Russians are preparing a civil war on Earth.
Mazer Rackham is the legendary hero, whose Strike Force won the Second Invasion against the buggers. He is a fierce half Maori New Zealander, twice court-martialled, who had to give up his family after the war because he was not allowed to leave Eros. He had to remain there for eighty years training possible commanders for the fleet, waiting for Ender. He does not age in space and is still strong enough to beat Ender in personal combat. He becomes Ender’s teacher in his final stage of training.
Shen is a small boy in Ender’s Launchy group. Bernard makes fun of him, calling him Worm, and torments the boy until Ender befriends him and plays a trick on Bernard. He is one of Ender’s squadron leaders in the war.
Stilson is a boy in Ender’s grade school who tormented him because he was a Third. He and his gang waylay Ender after school. Ender beats up Stilson, injuring him so that he dies in the hospital. This fact is kept from Ender because he hates violence and is afraid of becoming like his brother Peter.
The Strategos is a General in the I. F. (International Fleet).
Andrew (Ender) Wiggin
Ender is called a Third because families are only allowed to have two children. The government has given the Wiggins a waiver to have a third child, hoping he will be the genius military commander they are waiting for.
Ender knows the Battle School is trying to make him into a murderer, which is contrary to his nature. His greatest fear is to be like his brother, Peter. Valentine is the person he loves most in the world, and he is motivated to be a soldier to save her from the buggers. Ender is a great creative problem-solver, coming up with new solutions in battle situations. He knows how to bring a group together. His troops are loyal to him, and he wins the bugger war at the age of eleven.
The adults training him secretly love him but know they have to trick Ender into committing violence against others. Ender is superior not only in intelligence but also in moral perception. He may defend himself fiercely in personal combat, but he has a sense of fairness. He can understand other points of view besides his own; in fact, he wins because he can probe the enemy mind empathetically. After the wars, however, Ender is racked with guilt at causing mass deaths. He founds a religion based on being a Speaker for the Dead, preserving the culture and memory of the buggers, or for anyone else. Ender becomes a just governor of the new colony established on the empty bugger worlds.
Peter Wiggin (“Locke”)
Peter is the eldest child in the Wiggin family. Though a genius, he is passed over for military training because of his violence. His ruthless tactics are evidenced in the way he treats his brother and sister. He tries to hurt or kill Ender, and he eventually controls Valentine and gets her help in preparing world opinion on the nets for his own ascendance to power. He takes the pseudonym “Locke” pretending to be rational and liberal in his ideas when actually he is a dictator at heart. He wants to control Ender after the war, but Valentine makes sure Ender is out of his reach. In his old age, he asks Ender to be a Speaker for him, and Ender writes the book, The Hegemon, explaining Peter’s life.
Valentine Wiggin (“Demosthenes”)
Valentine is the second child and only daughter of the Wiggin family. Like Peter, she is considered for military commander because she is a genius, but she is rejected because of her sympathy and ability to be swayed. This is illustrated in the fact that initially she is the champion of Ender, and after he goes to Battle School, she becomes the partner of Peter, even though she does not like or trust him. Valentine is key to Ender’s development, for she is the only human he truly loves and who understands him. She twice has to intervene to keep him on his course in military training. Graff uses her to keep Ender in line. Valentine’s particular gift is her persuasive writing, and so she is given the character of Demosthenes by Peter to sway public opinion in an emotional, patriotic, and conservative opposition to the Russian plans for war. After the Third Invasion, she rescues Ender from Eros and takes him to the bugger worlds that are being colonized. She becomes a historian as she travels with her brother.
Ender’s father comes from an old-fashioned Polish Catholic family with many children and was persecuted as a child for it, since large families and religion are outlawed. He changes his name and officially renounces his religion to fit in, but secretly he is still religious and baptizes his children. Mr. Wiggin is not as intelligent as the mother. He believes in the conservative opinions of “Demosthenes,” not knowing the columns are written by his daughter. He truly loves Ender and is sad at parting from him.
Mrs. Wiggin is a Mormon and still secretly follows her religion. Ender remembers her praying over him when he was little. Graff convinces Ender to leave his family because he represents a hardship for them as a Third. The children credit Mrs. Wiggin for giving them their intelligence.