I just finished reading Ender's Game, and I'm about to start Speaker of the Dead tonight. Sadly, I waited until after watching the motion picture before reading the book. I wish I would've listened to my dad when he told me I should read it about a bazillion times growing up.

Anyways, near the end of the book, we find out that on Eros, the Buggers attempted to recreate the scene with the Giant and the playground from Fairyland from the game he played in Battle School.

It seems like the book suggests that the Bugger queen was able to extract this information from Ender himself via the Philotic connection during the final war.

However, the book also seems to suggest that the Buggers invaded human-kind because they couldn't understand that we were intelligent due to not being able to connect Philotically (sp?).


How were the Buggers able to recreate the game world from Battle School on Eros? Does this contradict the fact that the Buggers were unable to comprehend human-kind's intelligence?


If an answer to this will lead to a spoiler in Speaker of the Dead or Xenocide please preface your answer with this warning. Thanks!

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    The answer to this will lead to a spoiler in Speaker of the Dead or Xenocide. Sep 12, 2014 at 21:31

2 Answers 2


BOTH of those statements were true.

At first, buggers didn't comprehend that humans were intelligent.

Later on, they learned that humans were intelligent, and eventually tried to communicate with Ender. They could read, but not "speak" to him.

Warning! Spoilers!

In addition, as we learn in the sequels, the reason they could communicate to Ender in the first place was because they connected the Battle School Game AI to an auia (soul) which was in a way twined with Ender's.

  • Was it due to them not being able to connect Philotically, or was it due to them not getting a response? (it being them thinking we aren't intelligent)
    – crush
    Jan 31, 2014 at 21:04
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    @crush - it's hard to communicate to someone telepathically when the target isn't use to telepathic communication. Especially when you're of 2 widely different species. Takes a lot of learning to do that. Jan 31, 2014 at 21:05
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    @crush - Xenocide Jan 31, 2014 at 21:11
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    Retcon alert. As far as I'm aware most the "twinned souls / philotes/auia" gumf was added substantially later as OSC expanded the book series.
    – Valorum
    Jan 31, 2014 at 21:16
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    @Richard I thought OSC claimed he expanded his Ender's Game short story into a full book specifically because of what he had planned for Speaker/Xenocide.
    – Zoredache
    Jan 31, 2014 at 23:17

For the record, the Buggers (AKA Formics) didn't recreate the "Giant's Game" on Eros (which by the time of the second invasion was already under Earth control) but on the nearest livable planet to Earth; Originally known as "Ender's World" but latterly renamed Planet Shakespeare

In addition to recreating the shape and feel of the game world (out of concrete) in an attempt to posthumously communicate with Ender, they also left a cocoon with a fertilised female queen for Ender to find and take to a new world after humanity's fear of the Buggers had abated.

Ender's quest to demonise himself (in the eyes of his fellow humans) occupies most of the 2000 year interregnum between 'Ender's Game' and 'Speaker for the Dead'

The hill was hollow. A deep depression in the middle, partially filled with water, was ringed by concave slopes that cantilevered dangerously over the water. In one direction the hill gave way to two long ridges that made a V-shaped valley: in the other direction the rose to a piece of white rock, grinning like a skull with a tree growing out of its mouth. "It's like a giant died here," said Abra, "and the Earth grew up to cover his carcass,” Now Ender knew why it had looked familiar. The Giant's corpse. He had played here too many times as a child not to know this place. But it was not possible. The computer in the Battle School could not possibly have seen this place. He looked through his binoculars in a direction he knew well, fearing and hoping that he would see what belonged in that place. Swings and slides. Monkey bars. Now overgrown, but the shapes still unmistakable.
"Somebody had to have built this," Abra said, "Look, this skull place, it's not rock, look at it. This is concrete.”


Only me, he realized. They found me through the ansible, followed it and dwelt in my mind. In the agony of my tortured dreams they came to know me, even as I spent my days destroying them; they found my fear of them, and found also that I had no knowledge I was killing them. In the few weeks they had, they built this place for me, and the Giant's corpse and the playground and the ledge at the End of the World, so I would find this place by the evidence of my eyes. I am the only one they know, and so they can only talk to me, and through me.


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