Ender’s Game

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Ender’s older brother. Peter Wiggin is a cruel, bullying child who resents Ender for being smarter and better suited for Battle School than he is. Peter’s natural impulse is to hurt and destroy, and at one point he skins a squirrel while it’s still alive. Although Peter loves to hurt others, he also has flashes of kindness and humanity, even toward Ender, and he claims that he always loved his family. Ironically, Peter, who is violent and cruel as a child, uses politics and writing to become the leader of Earth—an advocate for peace and understanding—while Ender, who is gentle and kind as a child, grows up to be the murderer of the Bugger species. Late in his life, Peter reaches out to Ender and confesses all his secrets and weaknesses—the resulting book, written by Ender, becomes famous throughout the galaxy, ensuring that Peter will be remembered as a complicated but noble leader.

Peter Wiggin Quotes in Ender’s Game

The Ender’s Game quotes below are all either spoken by Peter Wiggin or refer to Peter Wiggin . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Tor edition of Ender’s Game published in 2008.
Chapter 2 Quotes

Dad pointed out that the war wouldn’t go away just because you hid Bugger masks and wouldn’t let your kids play with make-believe laser guns. Better to play the war games, and have a better chance of surviving when the Buggers came again.

Related Characters: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin , Peter Wiggin , Mr. Wiggin / Father
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quotation, Card explains why games have become so important to the world in his vision of the future. For centuries, people have learned about fighting, war, and strategy by playing games—chess, for example, has trained generals for thousands of years. In the future, Card explains, games continue to train people to fight from an early age. Parents encourage their children to play games in which they fight "Buggers," the alien race that is (supposedly) the archenemy of humanity. By playing games of this kind, children like Ender inadvertently train themselves for a lifetime of war with the Buggers.

One of the reasons that games are so important for the generals and warriors of the future is that they're not real. As the quotation suggests, the death and destruction is "make believe." (The real violence comes later.) By playing games that use fake violence, children gradually become desensitized to the idea of violence itself, so that when it's time for them to fight a real Bugger, they won't feel pangs of guilt or hesitation about killing it. At the end of the novel, it'll become clear how games have taught Ender to suppress his natural feelings of sympathy and compassion.

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But he did not reach for a pillow to smother Ender. He did not have a weapon.

He whispered, “Ender, I’m sorry, I know how it feels. I’m sorry, I’m your brother. I love you.”

Related Characters: Peter Wiggin (speaker), Andrew “Ender” Wiggin
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

In one of the most poignant passages in the novel, Ender's brutal older brother, Peter Wiggin, offers Ender a surprising apology. Peter has spent the entire day tormenting Ender—criticizing him for being a "Third," and even threatening to kill him—and yet here, late at night, Peter doesn't try to hurt Ender. On the contrary, he apologizes and insists that he loves Ender.

It's crucial to recognize that Peter and Ender are speaking alone. In public, or even when he's with Valentine Wiggin (the middle child), Peter has a chip on his shoulder about being inferior to Ender. In a society where the government has to grant special permission for third children to be born, Ender is living proof that Peter isn't good enough to fight the Buggers in Battle School. Although Peter doesn't like appearing weak or second-rate around other people, he's more likely to let his guard down when he's alone.

Alternatively, this sene might just be Peter manipulating Ender, similar to the way he usually does—but this time by acting unpredictably and making Ender think that he's truly compassionate, in order to make Ender let his guard down. We are never given an inside look at Peter's consciousness, and he remains an intriguing and frightening character throughout the book.

Chapter 5 Quotes

He could not cry. There was no chance that he would be treated with compassion. Dap was not Mother. Any sign of weakness would tell the Stilsons and the Peters that this boy could be broken.

Related Characters: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (speaker), Peter Wiggin , Stilson , Dap
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

In the course of Ender's time in Battle School, he trains himself to control his emotions. In this quotation, for instance, he forces himself not to cry late at night, even though Dap—the caretaker and self-described "mom" of the new recruits—is offering his support. Although Ender is lonely and misses his family, he also believes that he'll be ridiculed for his weaknesses.

By this point in the novel, Ender has learned not to trust authority of any kind. Even though Dap seems to be a kind, sympathetic man, Ender doesn't trust him. He knows that Dap and Graff are associates; in other words, if Ender exposes any weakness to Dap, Graff will use it against him. Ender's self-control is incredible, but also tragic—this is essentially a six-year-old boy learning how to dehumanize himself in order to survive.

Chapter 6 Quotes

He hadn’t meant to kill the Giant. This was supposed to be a game. Not a choice between his own grisly death and an even worse murder. I’m a murderer, even when I play. Peter would be proud of me.

Related Characters: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (speaker), Peter Wiggin
Related Symbols: The Giant
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, Ender plays a game called the Giant's Drink. In the game, Ender faces off against a computer-generated giant who forces him to choose between two drinks, one of which is poisoned. Ender finally wins the game by simply attacking the giant, killing him brutally. Ender feels a sudden rush of guilt after murdering the giant. He doesn't want to believe that he's a violent, brutal person—he's always tried to distance himself from Peter, his older brother (a cruel bully, as we've already seen).

The scene also provides some important foreshadowing for the climactic events of the novel. Ender finds the confidence and creativity to fight the giant so brutally because he thinks that this is just a game—the artificiality of the Giant's Drink allows him to be crueler and more destructive than he would be in the real world. It's also crucial to notice that Ender, in spite of his compassion and guilt, doesn't feel guilty for his actions until after he's finished. This is what makes Ender such a great soldier: he's smart and empathetic enough to understand his opponents, but he can also suppress his sense of compassion until after his opponents are dead.

Chapter 9 Quotes

“When the Bugger wars are over, all that power will vanish, because it’s all built on fear of the Buggers. And suddenly we’ll look around and discover that all the old alliances are gone, dead and gone, except one, the Warsaw Pact. And it’ll be the dollar against five million lasers.”

Related Characters: Peter Wiggin (speaker)
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:

Peter, still a teenager, tries to convince Valentine that the Earth is facing an impending crisis. If the Buggers are defeated in battle, the nations of the Earth will begin a scramble for power. The world's great powers have only united together temporarily out of fear that they'll be wiped out by Bugger warriors. If there are no more Buggers, there's no more unity—war is inevitable.

Peter's speech—which he uses as justification for his own plan to become the leader of the world—is interesting because it sheds light on Peter's own definition of leadership. Ender, a soldier and a general, thinks of a leader as a calm, collected figure who comes up with the best strategies. Peter, on the other hand, thinks of a leader as a political figure, someone whose principle job is to maintain a delicate balance of power between many rivals. Peter's speech also presupposes that human beings are basically selfish entities—they'll do whatever it takes to gain as much power for themselves as possible. We can guess that Peter sees himself in exactly the same terms—he's a power-hungry young man.

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Peter Wiggin Character Timeline in Ender’s Game

The timeline below shows where the character Peter Wiggin appears in Ender’s Game. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Third
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...he’ll be a normal kid, and will be able to get along with his brother, Peter. But even as Ender thinks about getting along with Peter, he realizes that nothing is... (full context)
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...he seems calm, he cries and thinks to himself that deep down he’s “Just like Peter.” (full context)
Chapter 2: Peter
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...with his older sister, Valentine. Valentine gently tells Ender that she’s sorry. Suddenly, their brother Peter, the oldest child, walks in. Peter is a charismatic 10-year-old boy, but from Ender’s perspective... (full context)
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Peter and Ender begin playing Astronauts and Buggers. Ender imagines the Buggers, living on another planet,... (full context)
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Later in the night, Ender goes to bed. Peter, who sleeps in the bunk above Ender’s bed, walks into the room, and stops by... (full context)
Chapter 3: Graff
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...chapter. Ender is sitting at breakfast, wondering if he’ll have a tough day at school. Peter enters the room and teases Ender for being “slimy.” As Peter, Ender, Mother, and Father... (full context)
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...commander one day. Ender is reluctant to agree to fight. He’s always hated those like Peter and Stilson who enjoy violence and conflict. Graff proposes that he and Ender speak privately,... (full context)
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...the students at Battle School are boys, with a handful of exceptions. Graff explains that Peter was in serious consideration for Battle School, but ultimately, the IF decided that he was... (full context)
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...to his family. He hugs his Father and Mother (who cries), and shakes hands with Peter. Valentine cries and kisses Ender. With this, Graff takes Ender to his car, and drives... (full context)
Chapter 5: Games
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...he listens to the loud sounds of his peers weeping, he realizes that living with Peter has trained him to suppress embarrassing emotions. (full context)
Chapter 6: The Giant’s Drink
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...however, Ender signs out of the game, thinking that he’s every bit as brutal as Peter. (full context)
Chapter 8: Rat
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...confronts a monster with the body of a snake and the face of his brother, Peter. Without thinking, Ender shouts, turning the heads of the other boys in the game room.... (full context)
Chapter 9: Locke and Demosthenes
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...self-hatred because of his acts of violence. He also points out that the picture of Peter in the game is very recent—somebody back on Earth must have gotten a new image... (full context)
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...left. Valentine, however, continues to love Ender more than anyone or anything. She notes that Peter has seemingly become calmer and more mature—but Valentine has also seen evidence that Peter is... (full context)
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One day, Valentine is walking through the woods near her house when Peter approaches her. Peter makes an interesting point: the world is preparing for war. If the... (full context)
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Peter proposes to Valentine that they can use their intelligence to influence global politics and keep... (full context)
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As they walk through the woods, Peter asks Valentine to ask Father to give his children his “citizen’s access,” which will enable... (full context)
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In the coming weeks, Valentine succeeds in convincing Father to give his children internet access. Peter and Valentine begin writing articles and posting them anonymously. They read the writing of famous... (full context)
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Seven months after Peter and Valentine begin writing as Locke and Demosthenes, “Demosthenes” has received an invitation from a... (full context)
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...Shortly afterwards, “Locke” is asked to write a weekly column for another major news network. Peter plans to write intelligent, measured responses to Demosthenes’ columns, creating an atmosphere of uncertainty in... (full context)
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...finds himself drowning in water. He also notices a mirror, in which he can see Peter’s face. (full context)
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...inspire him. He describes the Giant game that Ender plays, and mentions the images of Peter that Ender repeatedly sees. Valentine points out that Ender and Peter are polar opposites—Peter is... (full context)
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...to calm her by agreeing with her: he claims he doesn’t think Ender is like Peter at all. He asks Valentine to help Ender by writing him a letter in which... (full context)
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...to play the Giant game. He returns to the End of the World, and sees Peter’s face in the mirror. Then it occurs to him that the IF has forced Valentine... (full context)
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...with the line, “The most noble title any child can have is Third,” which amuses Peter greatly. (full context)
Chapter 13: Valentine
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...with a conversation between two unnamed government officials. The two officials note that Valentine and Peter Wiggin are Demosthenes and Locke, two highly influential journalists. The officials note that Valentine, ironically... (full context)
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...they’re always forced to turn down the invitations in order to keep their identities secret. Peter is worried that Demosthenes is becoming more influential than Locke—exactly the opposite of what he’d... (full context)
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...of his family. As a result, he’ll only visit with her, not Father, Mother, or Peter. Valentine agrees to come with Graff. In the car, Graff tells Valentine the truth: he... (full context)
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...Battle School, just as she did before. Ender nods, and insists that Valentine not mention Peter. Ender mentions that he’s been watching videos of Bugger invasions, and he’s noticed that there’s... (full context)
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Valentine can’t help but tell Ender about Peter. She tells him that Peter is writing under an alias, and wants to run the... (full context)
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...become a killer, but not a savior. As a result, he’ll always feel weaker than Peter. Valentine tells Ender that the only way he’ll be able to outshine Peter is by... (full context)
Chapter 14: Ender’s Teacher
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
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...Giant. Sometimes in his dreams he sees wolves with the faces of children—Stilson, Bonzo, and Peter, but also Alai, Dink, and Valentine. Once in his dream Ender attacks Valentine and drowns... (full context)
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...have been drafted by none other than Locke, who Ender knows (from Valentine) to be Peter. (full context)
Chapter 15: Speaker for the Dead
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...years to her. Valentine wants Ender to come with her. Valentine explains to Ender that Peter is consolidating power using his Locke persona. He’s gained prestige for himself with the “Locke... (full context)
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Valentine insists that Ender can never return to Earth—if he does, then he’ll be Peter’s pawn. Valentine pressured Peter into arguing that Ender should be kept from returning to Earth.... (full context)
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Inside the castle, Ender finds the mirror in which he once saw Peter’s face. Behind the mirror, Ender finds a large silky pupa. Ender intuits that this is... (full context)
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More time passes. Ender and Valentine are in their early twenties, but back on Earth, Peter—now the leader of the Earth—is 77 years old, and dying of heart disease. He sends... (full context)