28 Ender’s Game Quotes: Truths and Life Lessons

American author Orson Scott Card’s novel “Ender’s Game” is a military science fiction novel from 1985. Set at an unspecified future date on Earth, the story revolves around humans after they face two conflicts with the Formics, an insectoid alien species who are dubbed “the buggers”. Check out some of the top Ender’s Game quotes here.

28 Quotes from Ender’s Game That Will Leave You Thinking

Quotes from Ender’s Game That Are Hard Truths

#1. “Perhaps it’s impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be.” ― Valentine Wiggin.

#2. “I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.” ― Ender Wiggin.

#3. “Maybe humanity needs me—to find out what you’re good for. We might both do despicable things, Ender, but if humankind survives, then we were good tools.” ― Mazer Rackham.

#4. “Sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth.” ― Ender Wiggin.

#5. “I think that most of us, anyway, read these stories that we know are not “true” because we’re hungry for another kind of truth: the mythic truth about human nature in general, the particular truth about those life-communities that define our own identity, and the most specific truth of all: our own self-story.” ― Orson Scott Card.

#6. “Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliant on its behalf.” ― Ender Wiggin.

#7. “Peter, you’re twelve years old. I’m ten. They have a word for people our age. They call us children and they treat us like mice.” ― Valentine Wiggin.

#8. “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man stupid and blind in the eyes.” ― Mazer Rackham.

#9. “I have to win this now, and for all time, or I’ll fight it every day and it will get worse and worse.” ― Ender Wiggin.

#10. “As a species, we have evolved to survive. And the way we do it is by straining and straining and, at last, every few generations, giving birth to genius. The one who invents the wheel. And light. And flight. The one who builds a city, a nation, an empire. Human beings are free except when humanity needs them. Maybe humanity needs you. To do something.” ― Colonel Graff.

#11. “This was supposed to be a game. Not a choice between his own grisly death and an even worse murder. I’m a murderer, even when I play. Peter would be proud of me.” ― Ender Wiggin.

#12. “It’s the teachers, they’re the enemy. They get us to fight each other, to hate each other. The game is everything. Win win win. It amounts to nothing.” ― Dink.

#13. “You’re just what the world needs. A twelve-year-old to solve all our problems.’ ‘It’s not my fault I’m twelve right now. And it’s not my fault that right now is when the opportunity is open. Right now, is the time when I can shape events. The world is always a democracy in times of flux, and the man with the best voice will win.” ― Valentine Wiggin.

#14. “I make it impossible for them to ever hurt me again. I grind them and grind them until they don’t exist.” ― Ender Wiggin.

Quotes from Ender’s Game That Are Life Lessons

#15. “There are times when the world is rearranging itself, and at times like that, the right words can change the world.” ― Orson Scott Card.

#16. “I am your enemy, the first one you’ve ever had who was smarter than you. There is no teacher but the enemy. No one but the enemy will tell you what the enemy is going to do. No one but the enemy will ever teach you how to destroy and conquer. Only the enemy shows you where you are weak. Only the enemy tells you where he is strong. And the rules of the game are what you can do to him and what you can stop him from doing to you. I am your enemy from now on. From now on I am your teacher.” ― Mazer Rackham.

#17. “I need you to be clever, Bean. I need you to think of solutions to problems we haven’t seen yet. I want you to try things that no one has ever tried because they’re absolutely stupid.” ― Ender Wiggin.

#18. “I will remember this, thought Ender, when I am defeated. To keep dignity, and give honor where it’s due, so that defeat is not disgrace. And I hope I don’t have to do it often.” ― Orson Scott Card.

Other Ender’s Game Quotes

#19. “So that’s why you brought me here, thought Ender. With all your hurry, that’s why you took three months, to make me love Earth. Well, it worked. All your tricks worked. Valentine, too; she was another one of your tricks, to make me remember that I’m not going to school for myself. Well, I remember.” ― Ender Wiggin

#20. “So, if we can we’ll kill every last one of the buggers, and if they can they’ll kill every last one of us.’ ‘As for me,’ said Ender, ‘I’m in favor of surviving.” ― Colonel Graff and Ender Wiggin.

#21. “Real. Not a game. Ender’s mind was too tired to cope with it all. They weren’t just points of light in the air, they were real ships that he had fought with and real ships he had destroyed. And a real world that he had blasted into oblivion. He walked through the crowd, dodging their congratulations, ignoring their hands, their words, their rejoicing. When he got to his own room, he stripped off his clothes, climbed into bed, and slept.” ― Ender Wiggin.

#22. “I didn’t want to kill them all. I didn’t want to kill anybody! I’m not a killer! You didn’t want me, you bastards, you wanted Peter, but you made me do it, you tricked me into it!’ He was crying. He was out of control.” ― Ender Wiggin.

#23. “’I’ll carry you,’ said Ender, ‘I’ll go from world to world until I find a time and a place where you can come awake in safety. And I’ll tell your story to my people, so that perhaps in time, they can forgive you, too. The way that you’ve forgiven me.’” ― Ender Wiggin.

#24. “The story is one that you and I will construct together in your memory. If the story means anything to you at all, then when you remember it afterward, think of it, not as something I created, but rather as something that we made together.” ― Orson Scott Card.

#25. “Because never in my entire childhood did, I feel like a child. I felt like a person all along―the same person that I am today.” ― Orson Scott Card.

#26. “I also remembered that you were beautiful. Memory does play tricks on us. No. Your face is the same, but I don’t remember what beautiful means anymore.” ― Orson Scott Card.

#27. “Fiction, because it is not about somebody who actually lived in the real world, always has the possibility of being about oneself.” ― Orson Scott Card.

#28. “The story itself, the true story, is the one that the audience members create in their minds, guided and shaped by my text, but then transformed, elucidated, expanded, edited, and clarified by their own experience, their own desires, their own hopes and fears.” ― Orson Scott Card.


Ender’s Game was adapted into a film by Gavin Hood and released in October 2013. Orson Scott Card co-produced the film. The novel has also been adapted into a two-part comic book series, and is a cult favorite amongst fans till date.

Image source: Ender’s Game photo from theanomaloushost.org