The Hive Queen teaches us that aiúas are called from the Outside to fill a form that is appropriate to their abilities. A small and lowly aiúa would form a subatomic particle. A greater, but still mundane one would fill a dust mite, and so on through cells, organs, and eventually a strong one would fill a human. A very powerful one would fill a Hive Queen. This is because an aiúa has a limited capacity for willing philotes to organize, or something to that effect.

We also learn that Jane was an aiúa called from the outside, just like a Hive Queen, to fill the program making up the Fantasy Game and perhaps a slightly larger computer network. Yet we see that she is capable of ordering far more than that later, practically ruling the entire ansible network of the Hundred Worlds and even transporting spaceships to the Outside and back again just by sheer will. Her aiúa could easily overwhelm the network of Father and Mother trees if she wasn't careful, and the visionary Samoan (name?) compared her light to that of a powerful god.

If she was meant only to fill a relatively small program when called from the Outside, why was she so big? Or is there evidence that aiúas can grow so drastically that they can become like a god?

  • 12
    Jeez, I'd forgotten how crazy this series got after Speaker for the Dead. Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 22:46
  • There's a difference between a relatively small program which stacks block shapes, and a relatively small program that's meant to bridge communications and comprehension between two utterly alien species... If they just wanted to play Tetris, they wouldn't have gotten Jane.
    – gowenfawr
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 0:52
  • @MooingDuck Your point rests on semantics and doesn't really change the question, but I will edit my question to align with it.
    – BlackThorn
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 22:36
  • I dont think this is tagged right? I don't recall any of this from my several readings of Enders Game. Maybe it's from a later book?
    – Paul
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 1:25
  • 1
    @paul this is from the Ender's Game saga. If you've only read the first book, I can see how confusing this might be, haha.
    – BlackThorn
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 1:28

1 Answer 1


I'd kind of place this between a comment and an answer, but this quote helps answer your question. Jane wasn't meant to fill the program - the Hive Queen called for a bridge to fit the pattern generated by Ender as part of the fantasy game, and Jane answered.

Xenocide, Ch. 15 - Life and Death

< Jane. We've seen this name in your mind many times. But the bridge wasn't a person with a face -- >

"Neither is Jane."

< We see a face in your mind when you think of this name. We still see it. Always we thought it was a person. But now -- >

"She's the bridge. You made her"

< Called her. You made the pattern. She possessed it. What she is, this Jane, this bridge, she began with the pattern we discovered in you and the Fantasy Game, yes, but she has imagined herself to be much larger. She must have been a very strong and powerful -- philote, if your word is the right name -- to be able to change her own pattern and still remember to be herself >

A conversation between Ender and the Hive Queen

This helps understand - Jane may have started small, but she imagined herself bigger. Her Aiúa must have been strong (like all humans are different, not all aiúa are the same).

  • What's with the < and >? Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 11:03
  • Couldn't figure out how to just have the < and > without the weird formatting. The actual meaning behind it is that's the Hive Queen's part of the conversation - Buggers cannot talk - they think to communicate. In the book, their thoughts to others are shown inside the < > pads.
    – Guy S
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 11:10
  • 1
    I see - it's because of the HTML stuff. How does my edit look? I added the backslash \ which stops the markdown from being recognised. Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 11:14
  • 1
    Much better Aziz, thank you
    – Guy S
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 11:17
  • @GuyShapter So, what you are saying is that she was already really powerful, but she kind of re-imagined her identity to fill a larger role?
    – BlackThorn
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 15:45

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.