Ender Wiggin

From Academic Kids

Andrew "Ender" Wiggin is a fictional character from Orson Scott Card's science fiction story Ender's Game and its sequels (Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind), as well as in the first part of the spin-off series, Ender's Shadow. The book series itself is an expansion of Card's earlier short story "Ender's Game."

The book is set in a fictional universe where Mankind needs to defend itself against alien invaders.

As a young child, Ender was sent to a school that orbits the Earth, called Battle School, and was trained to be a very powerful and intelligent commander of armies. While there, Ender commands an army named Dragon Army, later graduating and attending Command School, located on Eros. He plays simulations that allow him to develop strategies to defeat the Formics or "the buggers". Soon after his arrival, a seasoned commander called Mazer Rackham helps to train him using a simulation. Months later, Ender is joined in Command School by his previous companions, Julian Delphiki (Bean), Alai, Shen, Petra Arkanian, Dink Meeker, Crazy Tom, Hot Soup, Fly Molo, Vlad, Dumper, and Carn Carby. With these trusted companions he takes on a grueling series of simulated battles, and though he wins every one, they push him to the edge of his sanity and spirit. The final battle takes place above the buggers' homeworld, which he 'destroys' in an attempt to get them to flunk him. Only then is he told that, in fact, every 'simulated' battle has been real: he has been commanding real men, destroying real fleets, and just now has destroyed the entire race of buggers, an event that eventually becomes known as the Xenocide.

Ender is essentially a religious, quasi-Messianic character, and this quality is developed substantially in the sequels to Ender's Game. Moreover he is a Messiah who is manipulated by the military complex for the execution of their militaristic intentions. Ender comes to regret his victory over the aliens and finds redemption in penitence by telling the story of the aliens.

Despite leaving Earth on a colonization ship after the Formics are destroyed, Ender's legacy lives strongly in both Bean and Peter Wiggin's minds throughout the Shadow series. They continually compare themselves to him, and both emulate him and strive to prove themselves in their own right, apart from any association with him.

The colony ship takes Ender and Valentine to the nearest Formic planet, where he discovers a milieu laid out for him, one taken (evidently telepathically) by the buggers from his dreams and nightmares during Battle School. In the heart of the artificial landscape he finds a cocoon, containing a single bugger Hive Queen. Thus Ender is entrusted with the future of the race he (almost) drove to extinction. Communicating with the Hive Queen telepathically, he tells the story of the Formic race in a short book called The Hive Queen. Later he does the same with his brother Peter, who has since become Hegemon of a united Earth. Both Hive Queen and Hegemon are written with insight and stunning compassion, and they tell their eponymous characters' stories from that person's point of view: who they tried to be, who they wanted to be, why they did what they did. Ender signs these books as Speaker for the Dead, and others are so taken by the idea that they too become Speakers, telling the story of the deceased person's life the way they would have wanted it told.

Eventually, Ender and Val leave the colony and wander the known galaxy as itinerant Speaker and historian errant, while Ender continually searches for a place to awaken the Hive Queen. This journey takes him eventually to the planet of Lusitania, where he and his loved ones are instrumental (over the next three books in the series) in establishing peaceful relations with another alien species and, eventually, preventing a second Xenocide.

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