Living… in North Carolina with his parents, his older brother Peter, and his older sister Valentine. Fifty years ago, a bug-like alien civilization known as the Formics attacked Earth. Ever since, the International Fleet has been searching for young military geniuses in hopes that they will save Earth when the Formics return. Colonel Graff believes that Ender is the one.
Visiting… Battle School, a space station orbiting Earth where the International Fleet grooms the next generation of military leaders. Graff, having monitored Ender since before he could walk, deems him ready for Battle School when he brutally beats up a larger bully. And with that Ender launches into space, to study strategy and stage war simulations against other cadets in the zero-gravity Battle Room.
Interests… computer games, military theory, impossible puzzles, and building rafts.
Relationship Status… none. He’s still a child, but Ender also feels emotionally isolated at Battle School. Graff blocks his emails to Valentine, the only person he truly loves, and she is the only person who unconditionally loves him back. He has no desire to contact Peter, who used to bully him sadistically. All three were hyperintelligent children who were vetted for Battle School – Peter was judged as too ruthless while Valentine was too compassionate. Colonel Graff hopes Ender can be the best of both worlds.
Challenge… becoming a great commander. Upon arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly sheds the indignity of being a freshly-minted “Launchie” – a “useless, skinny, untrained snot.” Graff places immense pressure on Ender and puts him in brutal and increasingly difficult challenges, such as outnumbering his forces 2:1 in the Battle Room. At Battle School, Ender worries he is losing his soul; he worries he is becoming too much like his brother Peter.
Personality… well-adjusted, at least for a child super-genius. Ender repeatedly demonstrates disdain for abusive authority: “I find it hard to respect someone just because they outrank me,” he tells Graff. He has a curiosity about the Formics that doesn’t align with Graff’s pure desire to annihilate them. But as Ender puts it, “I’ve been in a lot of fights. And I’ve always won because I’ve understood the way my enemy thinks.”
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