Not sure if I have missed something, but how did the hive queen in the ark which Bean's ship encounters in "Shadows in Flight" die? She was still alive years after her homeworld was blown up by Ender and just suddenly died without an prepared daughter ready to inherit?

  • have you read the speaker of the dead series? Because it answers the question about what becomes of the Buggers after enders game
    – Himarm
    Jul 16, 2015 at 13:19
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    @Himarm - Speaker of the dead Queen is completely independent from the one in Shadows in Flight as far as I understand Jul 16, 2015 at 15:07
  • @DVK all the queens still shared being able to contact each other instantly afaik so if she knew she didn't need to prepare a daughter she wouldn't ect. (and you learn how much the queens dont care about there workers in speaker so if she didnt Need to reproduce, why bother since she doesn't care if all the workers with her die) basically just asking if he had the knowledge of the other books before an answer could potentially have spoilers in it.
    – Himarm
    Jul 16, 2015 at 15:16
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    @Himarm i think you missing my point, my question is why the Queen in Shadow of flight DIE ? The idea of inherit just a after though (and you have answer though not so sure about that because if you have knowledge of the other books you also know the Queen on Lusitania had prepare not only one daughter to transport to another planets to ensure her species exist so at the time of SiF why the Queen in the ark bet all hope to the cocoon in Ender hand?). And why the workers involve here? I'm asking about the Queen!
    – Eezo
    Jul 17, 2015 at 1:57
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    @HenryVarro: I have the vaguest recollection that there was some disease that killed her unexpectedly, but I can't recall if that actually happened or if it was a thought I had. Nov 4, 2015 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


We don't know for sure.

Bean and his prosperity speculate.

"If it really is a Formic ship," said Cincinnatus, "and it really has been going for seven or weight or ten centuries, anything could have happened. A disease. Running out of unrecoverable trace elements. I think maybe they got to their original destination centuries ago, but it was uninhabitable so they went on, looking for another world. This might be the first one they found." - Shadows in Flight, ch. 4

The Queen did try to make daughters. For whatever reason none of them survived.

Carlotta looked up. Lots of stringy protuberances hung down from the highest points. A few of them had melon-sized balls hanging from them.
"What's that?" Carlotta asked.
"Cocoons. I'm sure they're all dead, but I'm going to want to take one ack to the lab to study. - Shadows in Flight, ch. 8

Later the drones confirm this.

The cocoon Ender had offered them was empty. Dead. It was just another of the cocoons from the Queen's chamber -- they had all died with the Queen. - Shadows in Flight, ch. 8

Ender's communication with the drones also does not explain the Queen's death. One minute she was feeding them, the next she laid down and died.

Whatever happened to her it clearly prevented her from making viable cocoons. Maybe 700-1000 years in an old spaceship eventually allowed radiation in space to make her sterile.

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