In several places in Shadow of the Hegemon, Bean asserts that Ender grew up in Greensboro.

"We'll buy you new clothes in Greensboro," said Sister Carlotta.

Greensboro. "The place where Ender grew up."

"And where he killed for the first time," said Sister Carlotta.

"You just won't let go of that, will you?" said Bean.

Bean took, not the bus to the hotel, but the one that passed nearest the school Ender had attended just before being taken into Battle School. The whole story of Ender's life had come out in the inquiry into Graff's conduct: Ender's first killing had taken place here, a boy named Stilson who had set on Ender with his gang.

Bean realized that in his disappointment-no, call it despair-he had forgotten his vigilance. This house might be watched. Even if it was not, Mrs. Wiggin herself might remember him, this young boy who appeared in front of her house during school hours.

"Is this where Ender Wiggin grew up?"

A cloud passed across her face, just momentarily, but Bean saw how her expression saddened before her smile could be put back. "Yes, it is," she said. "But we don't give tours."

However, in Ender's Game we see, that not only did Ender not grow up there, his family didn't even move there until close to two years after he left.

Valentine celebrated Ender's eighth birthday alone, in the wooded back yard of their new home in Greensboro.

And when Mother and Father announced to them that they were leaving the city to move to North Carolina, of all places, Valentine knew that they never expected to see Ender again. They were leaving the only place where he knew to find them.

The only time that Ender ever ended up spending in Greensboro was his 2 or 3 month earthside leave.

He handed her a paper. It was a release form, and her parents had signed it.

"I guess you're not a stranger. Where are we going?"

"To see a young soldier who is in Greensboro on leave."

She got in the car. "Ender's only ten years old," she said. "I thought you told us the first time he'd be eligible for a leave was when he was twelve."

So then why does Bean think that Ender grew up there? And why does no one ever correct him?

  • 3
    Good catch!!! It's simply possible that the fact of the move was never made public, not being important to anyone. During Graff's trial, they would care about what was done, not the name of the town. Or, that Card just forgot that detail - on Hatrack he confessed to not remembering some details. Nov 26, 2015 at 15:26

2 Answers 2


This was a mistake by Orson Scott Card, and he posted fixed passages on his website here.

For example,

Greensboro. "The place where Ender grew up."
"And where he killed for the first time." said Sister Carlotta.

Was replaced by

Greensboro. "Ender's home town."
"He only visited there once. His family moved there after he left for Battle School."
"Oh, é. He grew up in the big city, like me."
Sister Carlotta gave one bark of a laugh. "Not at all like you."
"Because he didn't have to fight off other children just to eat?"
"Plenty to eat," said Sister Carlotta. "Yet he did his first killing there all the same."

These changes reflect that in fact, Bean did not think that Ender grew up in Greensboro.

  • Is this new or was this always on hatrack? Is there similar errata for the other books?
    – ibid
    Oct 9, 2016 at 3:14
  • @ibid These fixes have existed for years but I'm not sure exactly how long. I don't know about other books.
    – Neithan
    Oct 9, 2016 at 3:20

You wouldn't say you were moving to North Carolina if you were remaining in the same state.

In the chapter Ender's Teacher there is this quote:

[Ender] wanted to see travel orders that said Greensboro. Success meant it would go on. Fail meant he could go home.

Whether he thought of the lake house as home or where his parents (or Valentine) currently lived as home isn't clear. But he did think of it as home.

It is possible sometime during Command School Ender told Bean he was from Greensboro. That doesn't explain why Bean wouldn't know he wasn't really from there via Graff's inquiry information.

Also considering Mrs. Wiggin says "yes, this is where he grew up." Is she intentionally trying to mislead Bean, or is it simply too much effort to explain they had moved after Ender was taken to Battle School? Maybe for the sake of the Stilson boy's family, she intentionally says this is where he grew up so that people don't go and harass the Stilsons.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.