As promised, the conclusion of the sorting of Ender’s Game!  Initially I had wanted to put Peter and Valentine in the first post, but I figured that if I put all the heavy hitters in the first post, it wouldn’t make for a very exciting second post.  And I knew that writing Bean would be a challenge, as I’ve read Ender’s Shadow as well, but I really wanted to focus on the characters as they appeared in Ender’s Game.  I know the last post stirred up some controversy with how I sorted Bonzo, maybe this one will cause some rumblings as well?

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Ender’s Game, just like the last one.

Peter Wiggin: The eldest of the Wiggin children knows early on in his life that he wants to take over the world.  At ten he thinks the only way to do this is brute force, by hurting and intimidating those he views as threats.  He’s jealous of Ender’s success where he failed, jealous that Ender gets to go into space and save the world while he’s stuck on the ground, and he takes out his frustration on his younger siblings in cruel, malicious ways.  He acts out in school, an his parents worry for his future.  A short while after Ender leaves for Battle School, they move out to the country, hoping that being more in touch with nature will help soothe Peter’s violent personality.

While the move doesn’t quell Peter’s desire for power, as he grows he realizes that there are better ways to grab attention than by acting out.  He starts behaving himself in school, earning the teachers’ trust so that his parents will believe he’s calmed down.  Once that’s happened, he uses his sister’s intelligence, along with his own, to really shine – behind the anonymity of the internet, he steps onto the political stage.

He plays his own character, Locke, against his sister’s moniker, Demosthenes.  He instructs her to write Demosthenes as radical, so that Locke can come in as the voice of reason when they are eventually pitted against each other.  They start out small, just comments here or there, and eventually they’re both picked up by major news sites (I’m guessing that the internet changes vastly in the future; right now, I’m pretty sure if they tried this out the result would be exactly how xkcd predicts).  Just as Ender is taking down the Bugger’s home planet, war breaks out on Earth, and Peter’s voice (as Locke) is the only one that can resolve matters.  When Ender and Valentine go off to colonize the Bugger world, Peter becomes Hegemon and unites Earth under his rule.

To Peter, everything can be a tool to help him accomplish his goals.  His teachers’ admiration, his parents’ sympathies, his sister’s intelligence – he finds ways to use them all.  In the end he uses them for something productive, but he’s never acting for the greater good – it’s always to further his own interests.

Verdict: Slytherin

Valentine Wiggin: Valentine has all of Peter’s smarts, but in the place of his ambition, she has empathy.  She protects Ender from Peter, endangering herself in the process.  She misses Ender for far longer than the rest of the family, and worries about him constantly.

Her empathy, it turns out, becomes a tool for others to use against her.  Twice the Battle school administrators use her to encourage Ender to keep at his studies, knowing that only her influence can pull Ender from the bouts of depression he falls into.  Peter uses her, uses her intelligence to work his way up the political nets to achieve his own goals.  Throughout the book, we see her helping other people accomplish their own goals, but we never know what it is that she wants.  Only at the very end of the book does she do something for herself – she decides to leave Earth and join Ender in space, so she can spend time with the brother she loves instead of the brother she hates.

Valentine is extremely intelligent, but lacks the backbone required to keep herself from being used by others.  She’s able to use her intelligence in a way that ensures she benefits as well, eventually, but she’s certainly not as cunning or ambitious as Peter.

Verdict: Ravenclaw

Petra Arkanian: One of the only girls at Battle School, and the only one we as readers are exposed to, Petra is a fighter.  She constantly works hard to prove herself among boys, and strives to excel as a means to stand out.  When Ender joins her in Salamander Army, she sees herself in him – they’re both outcasts, and they both have far more potential than the rest of Salamander gives them credit for.  She takes him under her wing and teaches him everything she knows.

When Ender moves on to Rat Army, Petra still has an interest in Ender’s progress, even if she’s forbidden from actively teaching him anymore.  Once he’s promoted to commander, and she’s moved on to command her own army, she’s impressed with his ability to lead, but hates that he’s so easily able to beat her.

In the final battle, it’s clear that Ender still trusts and relies on Petra’s judgement, and she works herself sick to make sure she doesn’t let him down – literally.  She’s the first to collapse from exhaustion, due to Ender putting more pressure on her than anyone else.  She’s devastated that she let him down, and tries her best to make up for it.

Petra is extremely driven and is desperate to prove that she’s not only just as good as, but even better than most of the boys at Battle school.  She’s smart and an excellent teacher for Ender, and it’s clear that her influence left a strong impression on Ender, with how much he relied on her during the final battle with the Buggers.  She’s hardworking and loyal, and fights for what she believes in.

Verdict: Hufflepuff, though she could do well in Gryffindor as well.

Bean: We only see Bean for a small portion of the book, but he leaves quite an impression.  His intelligence makes up for his small stature, and Ender sees a lot of himself in the young soldier.  However, Bean is different than Ender – he’s got nerve.

Right away, with no experience, Bean confronts Ender and says he wants to be a toon leader.  Ender tells him to prove himself, and he does.  Bean constantly comes up with new ideas to help Dragon army, finding new tools and coming up with new tactics to combat the increasingly unbalanced battles.  Ender comes to rely on Bean’s brilliance, and gives him a specialized toon to command.  Ender continues to rely on Bean through the Bugger battles, and Bean never lets him down.

Bean presents an interesting problem.  Knowing his early childhood as I do from  Ender’s Shadow, I know how he scraped and fought to survive to be old enough to get to Battle School.  But as I said before, I’m only looking at him as he is portrayed in Ender’s Game.  And while I think he could fit easily into two houses, in this book, one outweighs the other.

Verdict: Ravenclaw, with very strong Slytherin leanings.

Stay tuned next week for a guest post from Geardrops, sorting the members of the Batman universe!

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