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Ender's Game quotes


  • The story itself, the true story, is the one that the audience members create in their minds, guided and shaped by my text, but then transformed, elucidated, expanded, edited, and clarified by their own experience, their own desires, their own hopes and fears.
  • Introduction

  • The power to cause pain is the only power that matters, the power to kill and destroy, because if you can’t kill then you are always subject to those who can, and nothing and no one will ever save you.
  • Ender Wiggin

  • I’ve lived too long with pain. I won’t know who I am without it.
  • Ender Wiggin to Valentine

  • As he thought of it, though, he could not imagine what “just living” might actually be. He had never done it in his life. But he wanted to do it anyway.

  • I need you to be clever, Bean. I need you to think of solutions to problems we haven’t seen yet. I want you to try things that no one has ever tried because they’re absolutely stupid.
  • Ender Wiggin

  • He toyed with the idea of trying to be like the other boys. But he couldn’t think of any jokes, and none of theirs seemed funny. Wherever their laughter came from, Ender couldn’t find such a place in himself. He was afraid and fear made him serious.

  • We have to go. I’m almost happy here.
  • Ender Wiggin

  • It was just him and me. He fought with honor. If it weren’t for his honor, he and the others would have beaten me together. They might have killed me, then. His sense of honor saved my life. I didn’t fight with honor… I fought to win.
  • Ender Wiggin

  • So he believed. Believed, but the seed of doubt was there, and it stayed, and every now and then sent out a little root. It changed everything, to have that seed growing. It made [him] listen more carefully to what people meant, instead of what they said. It made him wise.

  • I will remember this, when I am defeated. To keep dignity, and give honor where it’s due, so that defeat is not a disgrace. And I hope I don’t have to do it often.
  • Ender Wiggin

  • In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him.
  • Ender Wiggin

  • Perhaps it’s impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be.
  • Valentine

  • The world is always a democracy in times of flux, and the man with the best voice will win.
  • Peter

  • Everyone thinks Hitler got to power because of his armies, because they were willing to kill, and that’s partly true, because in the real world power is always build on the threat of death and dishonor. But mostly he got to power on words, on the right words at the right time.

  • He was a soldier, and if anyone had asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he wouldn’t have known what they meant.

  • “I’ll lie to him.”

“And if that doesn’t work?”
“Then I’ll tell the truth. We’re allowed to do that, in emergencies. We can’t plan for everything, you know.”

  • Human beings are free except when humanity needs them.
  • Colonel Graff

  • There is no teacher but the enemy. No one but the enemy will tell you what the enemy is going to do. No one but the enemy will ever teach you how to destroy and conquer. Only the enemy shows you where you are weak. Only the enemy tells you where he is strong.
  • Mazer Rackham

  • Since when do you have to tell the enemy when he has won?
  • Mazer Rackham

  • Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man stupid and blind in the eyes.
  • Mazer Rackham

  • Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliant on its behalf. Survival first, then happiness as we can manage it.
  • Mazer Rackham

  • No. Your face is the same. I just don’t know what beautiful means anymore.
  • Ender Wiggin

  • Nobody controls his own life, Ender. The best you can do is choose to be controlled by good people, by people who love you.
  • Valentine Wiggin

  • At last he came to a door, with these words in glowing emeralds: The End Of The World. He did not hesitate. He opened the door and stepped through.

  • It was a lie of course, that it wouldn’t hurt a bit. But since adults always said that when it was going to hurt, he could count on that statement as an accurate prediction of the future. Sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth.

  • You remember this little boy, they never tell you any more truth than they have to.

  • He isn’t a killer. He just wins — thoroughly.

  • I don’t care how much you eat, Ender, self-cannibalism is not going to get you out of this school.
  • Mazer Rackham

  • Somebody with that much compassion could never be the killer we needed. Could never go into battle willing to win at all costs. If you knew, you couldn’t do it. If you were the kind of person who would do it even if you knew, you could never have understood [them] well enough.

  • He is dead… because we have forgotten him.

  • I don’t care if I follow your rules. If you can cheat, so can I. I won’t let you beat me unfairly — I’ll beat you unfairly first.
  • Ender Wiggin

  • I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.
  • Ender Wiggin

  • Earth was the constant noise of crickets and winds and birds. And the voice of one girl, who spoke to him out of his far-off childhood. The same voice that had once protected him from terror. The same voice that he would do anything to keep alive, even return to school, even leave Earth behind again for another four or forty or four thousand years. Even if she loved Peter more.
  • Ender Wiggin

  • Mazer, I don’t want to keep dreaming these things. I’m afraid of sleep. I keep thinking of things that I don’t want to remember. My whole life keeps playing out as if I were a recorder and someone else wanted to watch the most terrible parts of my life.
  • Ender Wiggin

  • As a species, we have evolved to survive. And the way we do that is by straining and straining and, at last, every few generations, giving birth to genius.
  • Colonel Graff, to Ender

  • You’ve been here a year, you think these people are normal. Well, they’re not. We’re not… I’ve got a pretty good idea of what children are, and we’re not children. Children can lose sometimes, and it doesn’t matter. Children aren’t in armies, they aren’t commanders, it’s more than anyone can take and not get crazy.
  • Dink Meeker

Related topics

Ender’s Game series

;Speaker for the Dead
;Children of the Mind
;Shadow Puppets
;Ender’s Shadow


;Hidden Empire
;Orson Scott Card

Source: Wikiquote