Ender’s Game – Quotes


Click here to read our discussion of Ender’s Game.

A. E. Wiggin:  When I understand my enemy well enough to defeat him, in that moment I also love him.

Col . Graff:  Raised on war games, their decisions are intuitive.

Col. Graff:  Let’s see how he handles rejection.

Ender:  You might be thinking of ganging up on me, but just remember what I do to people who try to hurt me.

Ender:  I’m a third.  I should never have been born.
Ender’s mom:  No—we wanted you.  We just needed permission.

Ender:  Knocking him down was the first fight.  I wanted to win all the next ones, too.
Col. Graff:  It was tactical, a strategy to stop future attack.

Col. Graff:  Young people integrate complex data more easily than grown ups.[IF there’s a chance you can stop [the formecs], then I have to ask you to come with me.
Ender:  That’s what I was born for, right?

Ender:  Valentine was too compassionate for battle.  Peter was too quick to battle.  Colonel Hiram says I have to find a balance between those two emotions.

Ender:  Sir, you made them hate me.

Col. Graff says they need Ender to be the next Napolean or Julius Caesar.
Ender:  Julius Caesar was assassinated and Napolean lost in the end.

Major Anderson:  He has a complicated relationship with authority.  He’s trying to please the overbearing father figure and resent the lack of affection.

Ender:  Zero gravity.  There’s no up or down.  We need a way to orient ourselves.  What if an enemy breaches a door?

Ender:  Everyone expects me to lead, but how?  What makes a good leader?

Col. Graff:  These are not your friends.  They are your competition.

Ender:  I thought our privacy rights had been restored.
Col. Graff:  Your right to think privately has been restored, but your unfiltered thoughts will not be allowed to leave this facility.

Ender:  I thought it was a legitimate question.  You said if we had a legitimate question…
Sergeant Dap:  Drop and give me twenty!

Sergeant Dap:  I will never salute to you!

Ender:  Yes, you will, sir.

Sergeant Dap:  Do not speak unless spoken to!
Ender:  Sir, yes sir!—Even if I have a legitimate question?

Trainer:  This is basic rocket science, people.  Ender, get down here and explain.

Not every battle can be won.

Cadet about Ender playing the video game:  You killed him.  Why?
Ender:  That’s what they want from us.

Petra:  At least you don’t have any bad habits.
Ender:  I don’t’ have any good ones, either.
Petra:  I can teach you those.

Ender:  I will follow all commands you are authorized to give, but if you take away my free time, I will get you iced.

Ender:  I know you want to trade me, but no one will take me if I don’t have any skills.
Bonzo:  I already gave an order, they all heard it.
Ender:  If you change your mind tomorrow, you’ll look generous and I’ll get to train.  Everyone wins.

Ender:  I find it hard to respect someone just because they out rank me.

Col. Graff:  No dragon army every won a game.
Ender:  Then why not a new name?
Col. Graff:  Because we already have the uniforms.

Ender:  Soldiers are being notified right now.  Do you think they’ll follow me?

Bernard:  What am I doing here?  You don’t even like me.
Ender:  I didn’t select this army, but I intend to make it the best it can be, and I think you can help with that.  Do you think I’m wrong?
Bernard:  No sir.

Col. Graff:  Don’t hate me, boy.  I am not the enemy.
Ender:  I am not so sure.

Major Anderson to Col. Graff:  You really don’t see them as children.

Major Anderson:  When it’s over, what will be left of the boy?
Col. Graff:  What does it matter if we lose the war?

Valentine:  You just want him to reenlist.
Col. Graff:  I want him to save lives.
Valentine:  And what about his life?

Major Anderson:  It used to be a war crime to enlist children before the age of 15.
Col. Graff:  After we win the war, we can debate [moral ethics].

Ender:  I think it’s impossible to truly understand your enemy without loving them as they love themselves.

Ender:  Dear Val, I wish there was another way, but war seems inevitable.  Love, Ender

Ender:  I still know nothing about my enemy.  What if they could speak?
Petra:  They have no vocal chords.
Ender:  But there are other ways to communicate.  What if we could feel what they feel?

Col. Graff:  With this battle, you won all future battles.  You’ve destroyed them for us.
Ender:  Stay away from me.  You lied.  I killed an entire species.  They waited.  Were they simply preparing an army, or preparing to defend themselves?

Ender:  I will bear the shame of this forever.
Col. Graff:  You will be remembered as a hero for this.

Col. Graff:  We won, that’s all that matters.
Ender:  No!  The way we won matters.

Ender:  What if they could talk to us?  What were they thinking?  What if we could think to them?

Ender:  I now know my dreams were never my own.

Ender:  I know the formecs better than any living soul.  I stole their future from her.  Now it’s up to me to make it right.

Ender:  I need to find if I am as gifted at peace as I am at war.