The very start of the latest trailer for the upcoming Ender's Game movie features Mazer Rackham and Colonel Graff sitting across the table from one another:

Rackham: He's not ready.

Graff: You're never ready. You go when you're ready enough.

I don't recall the two of them ever having a conversation in either Ender's Game or Ender's Shadow. Or am I misremembering?

  • Unfortunately, we're going to have to expect this movie to not really be super-accurate. Card recorded a line for the movie and when asked about it, he said "The scene does not come from the book – very few of the scenes in this movie do"
    – phantom42
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 20:17
  • 1
    @phantom42 and my worst fears are realized... I love this book, have for years, and have read all of the crazy squeals (in the Ender line, not shadow though I have read those too). I think I shall go in a corner, cry, and then pretend this movie never happened.
    – Ryan
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 21:05

3 Answers 3


There is at least one - after the final battle, both Graff and Mazer speak to Ender briefly. They explain (among other things) why the commander had to be a child, kept in the dark about the fact that the ships and men were real. After Ender turns away and tries to go to sleep, Graff and Mazer argue about whether they pushed him too far, and Mazer ends the conversation by essentially stating "I did what I did, and we won. You can criticize my methods, but you can't prove I did anything I didn't have to do." (This defense is later used by Graff in his court-martial.)

There is a different conversation - just before the final battle. While he's sleeping, he hears two voices:

During the night he thought he felt hands touching him gently. Hands with affection in them, and gentleness. He dreamed he heard voices.

"You haven't been kind to him.”

"That wasn't the assignment.”

"How long can he go on? He's breaking down.”

"Long enough. It's nearly finished.”

"So soon?”

"A few days, and then he's through.”

"How will he do, when he's already like this?”

"Fine. Even today, he fought better than ever.”

In his dream, the voices sounded like Colonel Graff and Mazer Rackham. But that was the way dreams were, the craziest things could happen, because he dreamed he heard one of the voices saying, "I can't bear to see what this is doing to him." And the other voice answered, "I know. I love him too." And then they changed into Valentine and Alai, and in his dream they were burying him, only a hill grew up where they laid his body down, and he dried out and became a home for buggers, like the Giant was.

It's uncertain who the voices are (though I always believed they actually were Mazer and Graff).

  • 1
    I've edited this answer to contain the actual content of that dream conversation. I forgot about that it, good answer. Hope that's okay.
    – Plutor
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 11:56
  • That's great, thanks! I appreciate it.
    – Adam V
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 14:10

For completeness, they actually first spoke when Mazer was still in a courier ship flying at relativistic speeds away from Earth, and Graff was a green young Lieutenant assigned to find the next commander for Third Invasion. Pretty much entire short story "Mazer in Prison" is of how they first communicated to each other. It's implied that they were in regular communication since then since Mazer was Graff's main trusted "consultant" on what to look for in a commander and how to train him.

@Adam's excellent answer lists all the conversations in Ender's Game proper.


Graff and Mazer were certainly in contact throughout the short story entitled "Mazer in Prison" which is where (and when) they first met.

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. The question was specifically about the time period after Ender arrives in Battle School (and before he starts commanding actual battles). Are there any points between those times in the novels when they are shown to speak?
    – DavidW
    Commented Apr 26, 2020 at 3:24

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