24

In the movie Ender's Game, Andrew just got in the program and was on the space ship. He was late and he introduces himself to kid beside him. He introduces himself as "Ender" instead of "Andrew".

Why doesn't he introduce himself as "Andrew"? Why would he use his middle name (near the start, he was called while walking down the halls - "Andrew Wiggin, Andrew Ender Wiggin")?

  • 30
    In the book Ender was a nickname (mispronounciation of "Andrew") not a middle name, is it really different in the movie ? – Eike Pierstorff Mar 3 '15 at 13:39
  • 8
    @Huangism Yeah, I'm the same way. For what it's worth, in the script it probably had quotes, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin like Tony "Iron Man" Stark. That's a common way to indicate nicknames. But you obviously couldn't have heard that when spoken aloud. – Nerrolken Mar 3 '15 at 18:21
  • 2
    That line could still mean Ender is a nickname not his middle-name. You can't tell if there are quotes when spoken aloud; nicknames are often stated like Andrew "Ender" Wiggin. Does the movie say anything else about his name? – jhocking Mar 3 '15 at 20:30
  • 4
    I knew several people in college who literally went by their last names to the point of introducing themselves by those names, and a couple people who went by nicknames that had absolutely nothing to do with their names at all (notably, "Donny", whose actual legal name was "Stephen"). He would introduce himself to people as "Donny", not as "Stephen but you can call me Donny". – neminem Mar 3 '15 at 22:04
  • 9
    I hate it when people talk about me behind my back -.- – Ender Mar 3 '15 at 23:11
55

The book Ender in Exile confirms that "Ender" is just a nickname, and not a middle name.

My name is Andrew Wiggin, but I have usually been called by my childhood nickname, Ender.

Andrew Wiggin goes by the name "Ender" because that was what his older sister called him growing up.

From a similar scene in the original Ender's Game book (this takes place in a cafeteria, not on a shuttle):

A bigger boy came to sit by him. Not just a little bigger- he looked to be twelve or thirteen. Getting his man's growth started.

"Hi," he said.

 "Hi," Ender said.

 "I'm Mick.”

 "Ender.”

 "That's a name?”

"Since I was little. It's what my sister called me.”

"Not a bad name here. Ender. Finisher. Hey.”

I believe she went with this name because she couldn't pronounce "Andrew", but I'm still looking for the quote.

  • 12
    You are correct about “Ender” being young Valentine’s mispronunciation of “Andrew.” – KRyan Mar 3 '15 at 14:52
  • 5
    For some reason, I was always under the impression that it was a derogatory term because Ender was the third child and in their society, having more than two children was illegal or highly frowned on. Guess I need to go re-read it. Been too long. – BBlake Mar 3 '15 at 15:10
  • 6
    @BBlake i believe the derogatory term the kids at his school used, was litterally calling him third, and for somereason i remeber a third the turd chant though i could be making that up haha. – Himarm Mar 3 '15 at 15:20
  • 3
    His brother Peter called him a "third turd". Bullies called him "third", "thirdie", and "turd" I don't recall him being a third being public knowledge once he left Earth. – phantom42 Mar 3 '15 at 15:21
  • 2
    @phantom42 after he left Earth, being a "third" wasn't an issue since Earth simply sent it's surplus elsewhere. It isn't until much later in the series that it's brought up - mainly as "Wow He's older than he looks if he had THAT issue" – WernerCD Mar 3 '15 at 16:54
14

'Ender' is the name he goes by. His given name may be 'Andrew', but his internal identity is 'Ender'.

This is no different than someone who is named 'Jeffrey' but has gone by 'Jeff' for a long period, or a 'Robert' who is always called 'Bob'.

  • 1
    Your answer implies that Ender is derived from Andrew as Jeff is derived from Jeffrey. It's not an obvious derivation like that, but it's also not a common nickname like Bob:Robert or Jim:James or Dick:Richard (English names are actually pretty weird...), so I think you should include a quote that distinguishes it as a derivation rather than a characteristic nickname. – Dacio Mar 3 '15 at 18:04
  • @Dacio Ender is at least as clear a derivation as Dick from Richard or any of your other examples. There's no D in Richard, only one B in Robert, and no I in James. It's not relevant anyway. It's his nickname, it's what people call him, it's how he introduces himself. – DCShannon Nov 5 '15 at 22:37
  • 1
    It's true that a lot of common nicknames don't have a clear relationship with their 'proper' forms. But Jeffrey -> Jeff is a clear derivation and Robert -> Bob is very common. 'Ender' is a unique moniker that was given by his sister; it's neither derived nor common, which I why I said Jeff should come up with a quote from cannon or the author if he did intend to imply that Ender was similar to Jeff, Bob, Jim, Dick, et al. I didn't make it clear, but I don't think there is any evidence this is the case. I think it was intended by Valentine and Orson Scott Card as Mick interpreted it: "Finisher" – Dacio Nov 9 '15 at 20:17
  • @DCShannon There's a "d" in Richard. ;) – user31178 Nov 26 '15 at 0:08
  • @CreationEdge Well, yeah I guess there is one at the end. You know what I meant. – DCShannon Nov 29 '15 at 18:21
4

The book makes it quite clear that his legal name was 'Andrew', but he went by the nickname 'Ender'.

"It wasn't a charade, Mrs. Wiggin. Until we knew what Ender's motivation was, we couldn't be sure he wasn't another-- we had to know what the action meant. Or at least what Ender believed that it meant."
"Must you call him that stupid nickname?" Mother began to cry.
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Wiggin. But that's the name he calls himself."
-- Ender's Game (Chapter 3)

Throughout the book, he is refereed to as 'Ender' by the narrator, and by all of the kids. (his siblings, Stilson's Gang, etc.) The Adults (Nurse Deedee, Miss Pumphrey, his parents) refer to him by his legal name, 'Andrew'.

It is a sign of the importance that Graff and the rest of the IF places on the Battle School kids, that they choose to use Ender's self-chosen name.

The in-universe explanation for the name is that Valentine found 'Andrew' hard to pronounce.

"Hi," he said.
"Hi," Ender said.
"I'm Mick.”
"Ender.”
"That's a name?”
"Since I was little. It's what my sister called me.”
"Not a bad name here. Ender. Finisher. Hey.”
-- Ender's Game (Chapter 5)


They knew their teacher only as Speaker for the Dead; they did not know that when he was a mere infant, his older sister, Valentine, could not pronounce the name Andrew, and so called him Ender, the name that he made infamous before he was fifteen years old.
-- Speaker for the Dead (Chapter 2)

Orson Scott Card says that he choose the name 'Ender' to make the title sound like Endgame.

But then again, these are just the reasons from the book. The movie may very well have 'Ender' as his middle name, it wouldn't be the worst change that it has made.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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