Would Graff accept Peter and Valentine to Battle School if they weren't Wiggins?

We know that he didn't accept them as is because they weren't "Goldilocks" Wiggin - Valentine wasn't aggressive enough, and Peter (while not "too aggressive" - that was a lie as discussed in " Why didn't the IF want Peter Wiggin? " - he was too unloveable to be a whole war's leader - and too power hungry to follow anyone else who he didn't respect enough ).

Is there any canon evidence that they (especially Valentine) would have been accepted to Battle School if they were identical persons but not born to John Paul and Theresa Wiggin? Were there kids exactly like them accepted to Battle School?

In other words, were they unfit for Battle School in general, or merely being passed over in hopes of getting a "more ideal Wiggin"?

  • In your question, would Peter and Valentine still be siblings?
    – Izkata
    Nov 15, 2013 at 23:57
  • @Izkata - No. (but I doubt the answer would change either way - the main variable was Andrew IMHO) Nov 15, 2013 at 23:59
  • I'm pretty sure the linked question answers it as a "no" for Peter, but not certain. Nov 16, 2013 at 0:01
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    From the books, I always understood their parents were given permission for a Third because they produced both Peter and Valentine, hence my question about them still being siblings. However, their ages were too similar in the movie for that to make sense, so I'm not sure if I'm remembering the book right.
    – Izkata
    Nov 16, 2013 at 0:03
  • @Izkata - nope, your recollection is correct. Nov 16, 2013 at 0:13

4 Answers 4


It wasn't that Peter was a Wiggin alone that induced his rejection, it was that the I.F. was running out of time. The attack forces would be arriving at their targets soon and they desperately needed to find and train a commander for the battles to come. Peter would have been accepted in other circumstances if Mazer Rackham is to be believed. In Shadow Puppets Rackham says to Peter:

"No, Graff looked at your tests and watched what the monitor showed us, and then he talked to me and showed me, and we realized: You weren’t what we wanted as commander of the army, because people don’t love you. Sorry, but it’s true. You’re not warm. You don’t inspire devotion. You would have been a good commander under someone like Ender. But you could never have held the whole thing together the way he did."

Given how Peter treated Ender during his childhood it was plain that they both couldn't be in Battle School together. So they commissioned a third child from the Wiggins and lucked into Ender.

Valentine was said to have similar abilities to Ender, but tested as too pacific. From Ender's Game:

"I interviewed Colonel Graff when he arrived from the Battle School. It is his best judgment that nothing these children [Peter and Valentine] have done is out of their reach. Their abilities are virtually identical with the Wiggin. Only their temperaments are different. [...] Graff says the girl was rejected for Battle School because she was too pacific, too conciliatory, and above all, too empathic."

So it seems unlikely that Valentine would have been sent to Battle School under any circumstances. She certainly could not be there at the same time as Ender since she acted as Ender's protector and Graff wanted Ender isolated.

  1. OK, as much as one can trust Graff (and in this case, he didn't have a reason to lie), I found the answer for Valentine: NO.

    Ender: "All boys?"?
    Graff: "A few girls. They don't often pass the tests to get in. Too many centuries of evolution are working against them. None of them will be like Valentine, anyway."

  2. My earlier linked answer seems to answer that Peter was also a "NO" as well:

    This is what Mazer Rakham eventually tells Peter in Shadow of the Giant

    You weren't what we wanted as commander of the army, because people don't love you. Sorry, but it's true. You're not warm. You don't inspire devotion. You would have been a good commander under someone like Ender. But you could never have held the whole thing together the way he did."

    ... and, for why they didn't want him as a commander "under someone like Ender":

    "As I said, you weren't suited for military life. You don't take orders very well. People aren't devoted to you, and you aren't devoted to anyone else."

  • Any specific reason for downvotes for an answer backed up by canon sources? Nov 16, 2013 at 13:01
  • I agree with "No/No", but not that "none of them will be like Valentine" implies that Valentine wouldn't be qualified for Battle School. For examples, suppose qualities A and B where you must have quality A to get in to Battle School, and quality B is what makes Ender love Valentine so much. Then it's possible to have A and B, A, B, or neither. Hypothetically speaking, Valentine could be A&B, and it just so happens that all the other girls in Battle School are just A. I think Kyle's answer is a better answer to why Valentine doesn't have A.
    – waiwai933
    Nov 17, 2013 at 23:02

No. Both flunked out of school on their own "merits". Valentine was too compassionate and Peter was too prone to spontaneous violence. Peter's lack of empathy was also a factor in his dismissal.

  • If they had been the children of other people they would have likely still failed to complete the program.

  • Having been siblings, it did however inspire the command to allow the Wiggins to have a Third in the hope of a more moderate temperament in the resulting child.

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    Sorry, -1. No canon cite for Valentine in the answer - AND the linked question shows that "too prone to spontaneous violence" wasn't the reason they really rejected Peter (they also didn't reject Achilles despite Sister Charlotta's warning nor Bonzo Madrid) Nov 16, 2013 at 1:39
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    Also, as far as "spontaneous violence", Alai says: "I'm not Bernard, I never tortured cats for fun.". Might be hyperbole, but sounds a lot more like Peter than your answer implies. Nov 16, 2013 at 2:47

I can only assume they would've accepted Valentine and Peter if they weren't Wiggins but I don't think they'd end up as a commander. The thing is Graff wanted "a chosen one", the perfect leader. He was thinking too idealistic.

Frankly speaking Graff could've taken all three kids to battle school. (Peter and Ender seperate, obviously) They are all suitable. I don't buy the excuse that Valentine was "too compassionate". She's a child things can change over the years. (Remember how cold ender became by the end?) Besides if they tricked Ender about the real battle because they thought he was too compassionate then they could've done the same to Valentine.

  • 3
    Welcome to the site. Unfortunately we don't like "I can only assume" answers. If you could provide some sources and logic back up your assertion, that would be appreciated.
    – amflare
    Apr 2, 2018 at 17:18

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