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Author Topic: Bean vs Ender
theinvid
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While I really like Bean and his ongoing story line...I think I'm likely not alone in saying that it miffs me when I read about how much smarter Bean is than Ender and how Bean could have beaten the buggers without Ender's help blah blah.
Let me love Ender for being the best and being humble.
I don't like the idea of knocking Ender down a status rung or two by the constant reminder of how smart Bean is...etc.

Sorry, just ranting.

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LAParent
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Yeah, I'm an Ender kind of gal myself. Bean may have been able to beat the buggers in theory, but he could never have written The Hive Queen and the Hegemon.
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Lostinspace
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The honest truth about it is that Bean has the intelligence to beat the buggers. When it comes down to it, however, if Bean would have been the choice then Earth would have lost. The buggers would have connected with the thoughts of Bean who would have revealed his strategies to them through his thoughts. Ender was a leader by allowing his team to do what they knew how to do. Bean could have never done that. Smarter is not always better!
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adenam
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Even though Bean is smarter than Ender he was not the right choice. Ender is the one who has the innate capabiliy for empathy which allows him to be a great leader. Bean has to consciously learn this since he is not completely human. This is why Ender was the right choice. The other commanders wanted to follow him and worked better for him than they could have for Bean.
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theinvid
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you guys/gals are right.... there are things that make Ender great that Bean just could not have done.
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Josh Cooper
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I agree 100%. While Ender's Shadow was a good and interesting book, it did kinda annoy me how much Bean was made out to be. I think Card was saying that Bean was smarter while Ender was a better leader, but it still takes away from the great Ender Wiggin.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
there are things that make Ender great that Bean just could not have done.
Of course, we only know this because the book tells us so. We never actually see any of Bean's flaws manifest.
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AchillesHeel
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Beans selfishness is his flaw, he hated Peter because he couldnt stand the fact that they both looked at the world in terms of how it could be pinched and pulled for personal gain. Ender had to be forced to defend himself, while Bean was always doing something to ensure his own safety and comfort (as much as he ever afforded himself). Beans selfish ways only changed when he fell in love, and even then all he wanted was safety and good health for his family, even with all he did for that fictional world he never really cared for humanity at large.

So, Ender spoke of love and understanding, but Bean, being smarter acted out self interest. I dont consider that to tarnish the character of Ender Wiggin, it says more about him when he'd rather have a soul than a pulse.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Ender had to be forced to defend himself, while Bean was always doing something to ensure his own safety and comfort (as much as he ever afforded himself).
I'm not sure how that would have negatively impacted his ability to kill the buggers.
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Scott R
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quote:
Ender spoke of love and understanding...
He did?
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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Josh Cooper:
I agree 100%. While Ender's Shadow was a good and interesting book, it did kinda annoy me how much Bean was made out to be. I think Card was saying that Bean was smarter while Ender was a better leader, but it still takes away from the great Ender Wiggin.

True. I recently reread Ender's Shadow.
Bean sort of annoyed me. He annoyed me deeply.

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Sterling
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I like both series, but I've kind of had to decide that for myself they occupy seperate universes. I just can't quite accept that Bean of the "Shadow" series is the same as Bean of "Ender's Game"; if he was, then Ender had to be startlingly oblivious, and that's a quality that's hard to buy in a world-saving military commander.
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theinvid
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I agree with you Sterling. How could Ender miss the mark so completely with the Bean of Ender's Game?
I do like Bean...but frankly I liked Bean better in Ender's Game.
I like him as a genius tactical surgeon/tool of Ender Wiggin the master surgeon.

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Damian313
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quote:
Originally posted by Lostinspace:
The buggers would have connected with the thoughts of Bean who would have revealed his strategies to them through his thoughts. Ender was a leader by allowing his team to do what they knew how to do. Bean could have never done that. Smarter is not always better!

Actually Ender in "Exile" mentioned that Bean Gave him the strategy in the final battle and that he was confident that Bean could have won the war without Ender altogether if needed.

Also, if you remember the Buggers did say that they tried to reach out to make contact with the other Children and Humans in general, and seem to have done so at one point with Bean's Mind shortly after he and the rest of the jeesh arrive at Aros. Remember his dream about Bugger Larvae Burrowing into his brain? Based upon what was said by the Hive Queen in the later Ender books, I feel certain that this is the case. Also, if Bean was in charge the whole time the buggers would NOT have found their way into his mind like they did with Ender's. Ender was more or less found by the buggers through the medium of the mind game as the queens cast the philotic webs into the universe searching for the one who would destroy them. This in turn created the beginnings of Jane, Ender's future friend, which fully came into her own being, from there she grew and watched until revealing herself for the first time to Ender in "First Meetings." After the buggers made direct contact with Ender's mind, they then abandoned the philotic connection through the mind game, thus freeing Jane to grow on her own(to the surprise of all a philote worthy of being a Hive Queen, it survived without a host body!).

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Damian313
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And I meant to add, this would not have happened with Bean as he played the Mind/Fantasy Game only once.

Personally I like Bean, ass though he is! He is just not as well explained in EG but what happens is fairly consistent between the two novels. Surprisingly I actually like the Shadow Series better than the EG series! But I still Recommend EG as a must read to anyone and everyone I find has not yet read it. To date I have purchased no less than 10 copies for myself and given away as gifts to others. Anyone else have the problem if NEVER getting EG back from ppl you let borrow and read it? My Mother has been through at least 4 or 5 copies herself!

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Traceria
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quote:
Originally posted by theinvid:
I do like Bean...but frankly I liked Bean better in Ender's Game.
I like him as a genius tactical surgeon/tool of Ender Wiggin the master surgeon.

That is it exactly! Couldn't have put it better.

Since both series are fairly new to me, I hadn't taken much time to reflect on which I enjoyed better, but like some others here, I think it would be Ender's Game and the books that follow. Huh. Didn't see that coming.

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Xann.
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I personally think that Ender wouldn't be as good a character if it weren't for the Shadow series. To me Bean was the more realistic character, he had a simple reason for what he did and just acted his part. Ender needed Bean to seem human in my mind, someone who could relate to him, or at least someone to make Ender seem like less of a god. I disagree that Bean took something away form Ender, I think that he made him human.
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theinvid
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I understand where you are coming from Xann. I can intellectualize what you are saying and even agree with it on some level BUT I still don't like the 'feeling' it gives me to hear about how much smarter/better Bean was or could have been if given the opportunity to replace Ender in the final battle.
I like Ender on his pedestal, right where he belongs! [Smile]

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badman
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I feel this way too as I stated in the Ender in Exile topic...

******************SLIGHT ENDER IN EXILE SPOILERS********************

quote:
one annoying thing was that since being bowled over by Ender's game, I've grudgingly put up with Bean being given a lot of the credit for what we all thought was all Ender originally. Now in this book it is suggested that the formics LET Ender destroy them all. Sometimes I think OSC is determined to undermine Ender for some reason. Of course that's his perogative. .......
.....Besides, this is not the only thing Bean took credit for. In Ender's Shadow Bean describes how Ender's orders were often vague and he interpreted them to the Jeesh more clearly. Also Bean was responsible for putting together Dragon Army and responsible for their final victory against 2 armies. Ender says in Ender's Exile that bean practically told him how to win the final battle. It's almost like Ender's Game has been unwritten by the bean quartet.

Another thign I didn't like was the portrayal of Peter. In the original series he is a ruthless genius. The shadow series makes him out to be a weak, bungling idiot, who relies on his parents and Bean for everything. That isn't even an exageration.
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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by badman:
I feel this way too as I stated in the Ender in Exile topic...

******************SLIGHT ENDER IN EXILE SPOILERS********************

quote:
one annoying thing was that since being bowled over by Ender's game, I've grudgingly put up with Bean being given a lot of the credit for what we all thought was all Ender originally. Now in this book it is suggested that the formics LET Ender destroy them all. Sometimes I think OSC is determined to undermine Ender for some reason. Of course that's his perogative. .......
.....Besides, this is not the only thing Bean took credit for. In Ender's Shadow Bean describes how Ender's orders were often vague and he interpreted them to the Jeesh more clearly. Also Bean was responsible for putting together Dragon Army and responsible for their final victory against 2 armies. Ender says in Ender's Exile that bean practically told him how to win the final battle. It's almost like Ender's Game has been unwritten by the bean quartet.

Another thign I didn't like was the portrayal of Peter. In the original series he is a ruthless genius. The shadow series makes him out to be a weak, bungling idiot, who relies on his parents and Bean for everything. That isn't even an exageration.
Yes, I agree with that. I found I didn't need to know HOW Peter became the hegemon. The details were not interesting and sort of undermined Peter and his power.
Plus I was bothered by the fact that his parents knew about Peter and Valentine's net activities but they didn't seem to know or do anything about Peter bullying his younger siblings.
That bothers me.

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theinvid
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dang...
the more you guys bring these things up...the more I dislike what's happened in the Ender's Shadow series.
That might explain why I've only read that series ONCE compared to several readings of the EG series.
Why Uncle Orson?!...Why?? Let me continue to worship Ender without you dismantling his accomplishments as I perceive them from the original series.

Oh well, It certainly won't stop me from buying more EG books and reading them as they come out.

Heck, I'm sure I'll likely re-read the shadow series too at some point...but it will likely anger me a bit [Smile]

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Damian313
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quote:
one annoying thing was that since being bowled over by Ender's game, I've grudgingly put up with Bean being given a lot of the credit for what we all thought was all Ender originally. Now in this book it is suggested that the formics LET Ender destroy them all. Sometimes I think OSC is determined to undermine Ender for some reason.
Is this really undercutting what Ender did or accomplished in any way? No, the fact is the things openly revealed about the origins of the "Little Doctor" make perfect sense for the Enderverse, and whats more all the other "revelations" about how the Queens more or less "allowed" Ender to destroy them is nothing more than a basic logical deduction based upon the facts. The Queens developed the very technologies we used to destroy all but one of them.

For the Queens, it was clearly a philosophical choice, knowing they had stowed a new queen safely away in a cocoon, would it be right to revert to such a brutality as using an ultimate weapon against an enemy? If someone uses a Nuke against us, should we respond in kind by Launching World War 3 complete with a full Nuclear Holocaust of the Earth? Maybe a dissimilar situation but the point is pretty much the same moral dilemma the Queens faced.

quote:
.....Besides, this is not the only thing Bean took credit for. In Ender's Shadow Bean describes how Ender's orders were often vague and he interpreted them to the Jeesh more clearly. Also Bean was responsible for putting together Dragon Army and responsible for their final victory against 2 armies. Ender says in Ender's Exile that bean practically told him how to win the final battle. It's almost like Ender's Game has been unwritten by the bean quartet.
Ender's orders were vague. The orginal EG and Shadow book certainly went well out of the way to describe how Ender was breaking down progressively under the strain, so what would you expect competent military commanders to do? Fall apart? no the reverted to conversing among themselves for plans and running them by another commander in whom they had confidence. For the final battle, wasnt it in Ender's very Nature to be humble? He never shied away from giving credit where credit is due. He gives full credit where he felt it was justified. Bean stated himself that he had no plan when faced with that final battle and uttered what he thought to be an ironic Joke. As it turned out it was the very thing needed for Ender to come up with his strategy to attack the planet. Both were necessary and it is entirely likely that NEITHER alone could have done it. They both deserve credit for their contributions. It does not diminish one or the other to give credit to both for the victory!

quote:
Another thign I didn't like was the portrayal of Peter. In the original series he is a ruthless genius. The shadow series makes him out to be a weak, bungling idiot, who relies on his parents and Bean for everything. That isn't even an exageration.
The Shadow series shows that Peter was still Human, and not the smartest person on the planet. No great leader accomplishes anything significant without a great team there working behind the scene advising and basically being honest enough to tell the leader when he(or she) is being stupid! Peter was extremely bright and was almost accepted by battle school, except for what would have been his inability to submit to someone elses will if necessary. In his "journey" to become Hegemon, he never really had to do that except showing the good sense to bite his own toungue when necessary, and even then had a hard time of not bieng in complete control. And that fact is about some things, he was so pre-occupied with himself that he couldnt even see the intelligence of his own parents.
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Xann.
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I can see what you mean about Ender's "pedestal", but i can remember a moment when Bean admits he couldn't have done what Ender did. Something about how he couldn't connect to people like Ender could. I always took it that Bean would never have been what he was without Ender.

I know that was never said in the book, but i took it as a "read between the lines" type thing from when Endedr originally pushed Bean up against the wall the first time they talked.

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DC Morphis
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I believe Bean is more program and Ender is more human. I don't mean to bring up the issue whether Bean is human or another species. I mean to say with all his intelligence and experiences, he lacks the human touch Ender has developed. I'm not through the Shadow series yet, and have noticed Bean is developing a human touch, and still I think he and Ender might make different choices when facing the same situations, even if they have the same information.

Most definitely Bean holds Ender on a pedestal, as did everyone who knew him well enough to deeply admire and love him. The funny thing is, Bean is more intelligent than Ender (even if not by much) and still knows and understands Ender so well to hold him in such high regard, as the person to measure himself by sometimes.

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Pennie-Lain
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Do any of you ever read all this and marvel at how smart you all are?
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DC Morphis
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Pennie-Lain,

Is this sarcasm I'm reading? Just to let you know, you entered a discussion on Bean vs. Ender, to literary characters who are quite possibly the smartest people in their spere.

It just so happens those commenting are avid book readers, and book readers are often intelligent. If it sounds like these readers are intelligent, then I'm sure they take that as a compliment.

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Pennie-Lain
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It wasn't sarcasm, I'm only 15 and you guys are amazing. I meant it sincerely, I'm sorry to offend.
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DC Morphis
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Pennie,
Thank you for your reply. Now I feel bad for snapping at you. The comment seemed to come off sarcastically (at least to me), just because it was blunt.
You don't know me, and I don't know you so as far as this advice goes- well take it or leave it how you like.
Since words on a screen aren't accompanied with intonation and other body language that is a part of regular person-to-person conversation, it's important to watch word use. Re-read what you intend on submitting, and think of ways it might be taken. You might be surprised how often you'll be re-writing before sending. Again, take it or leave it I'm sorry for snapping at you.

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Mark Demon
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I think Bean was "smarter" than Ender but, they were different leaders.

Bean was a brilliant tactician. Ender was the Strategist. As mentioned above Ender made the decisions and then let his commanders do what they felt was best for their men.

As a hobbiest Military Historian. That is the big difference. Which makes both men equally smart in the way they handled their own forces.

that is what makes a great leader. Knowing when to trust the people under you to make the right decision.

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scifibum
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DC: it doesn't seem fair to advise Pennie to craft her compliments defensively. Rather, I think in this case the onus rests on the reader. It's good advice for trying to be funny or sarcastic, though.
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DC Morphis
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Scifibum:
I suppose there are times for defensive writing, and times to try and be funny or sarcastic. My real point was to re-read before hitting send. Words have power, and even great writers can write something meaning something else. You're right that the reader carrys with him the responsibility of understanding, and maybe I was being unfair to Pennie. As I said to her, it was advice for the sake of unsolicited advice, and anyone is welcome to take it or leave it as they like.

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KidDanger
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To be quite blunt I found it patently unnecessary to tell another story via the perspective of Bean. Simply put, the very nature of Battle School and the selection process affirmed that Ender was their greatest hope at achieving the success the human race needed. This was made obvious in the very first sentence of the book Ender's Game.

I imagine that, like most people, every member of that elite team that Ender led probably felt that their skills were superior in some manner, or in the least bit, vital to the success of the mission.

The addition of the other story besmirches Ender's character in my opinion. I'm not taking anyhing away from the book, because I enjoyed reding it and it was well written, but I started hating Bean more and more after reading it. There was always such an atmoshpere of faux entitlement that surrounded Bean. Would the mission have succeeded without Bean? Would the mission have succeeded without any of the commanders?

Ender is, and always will be better than Bean because he merely is. He saved the world. I don't know how else to judge the characters other than based by their respective actions. The level of respect demonstrated to Achilles proves to me, that Ender demonstrated the utmost integrity in keeping with his admiration for Bean and his squad.

He's just a straight shooter with upper management written all over him.

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BlueWizard
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I've never quite understood this train of thought. While others are certainly entitled to their opinion, I don't see Bean's story as diminishing Ender's at all.

Generals always get credit for winning battles or wars, but the wars are really won by unnamed privates. In some case, though not Ender's, wars are won in spite of Generals, not because of them.

Even with the new light on Bean's actions in the parallel shadow series, that doesn't change the fact that Ender made the final decisions; he chose the course of action. It is alway easy to second guess or arm-chair quarterback the person responsible for the decision, but ultimately without those decisions, nothing ever happens.

We know that Bean was the second best hope for success. We know that if Ender failed or faltered, it was going to be turned over to Bean. But that was something Bean was desperately hoping would not happen, because even he recognized the Ender was superior at getting the job done.

Now in the continuation of the Shadow series, Bean is the smartest person on earth, and certainly the smartest military leader. Why? Because Ender was gone.

It is easy to seem smart when you are the smartest person in the room. But when you are in the room full of geniuses, it is hard to distinguish yourself. While Ender was 'in the room', it made it very difficult for anyone else to distinguish themselves. It made it difficult to out do a person that everyone knew you couldn't out do.

Bean knew he couldn't do what Ender did, but he also knew he has a role in the background helping Ender accomplish what he did.

So, Bean put together Dragon Army with some intelligence and forethought. Ender didn't know that. All he knew is he has a bunch of green recruits who has little obvious potential. Yet, he was able to bring them together and bring out that full potential. Bean say the potential for greatness, but it took Ender to bring that greatness out of them. Bean would be the first to admit he couldn't do that.

In the continuation of the Shadow series, Bean's intelligence is growing at an astronomical rate. Further, he is getting older and maturing. He is not a little kid looking for a hot meal and a warm bed. He is now, at this later date, a teenager who is engaged in the world and part of a new family. He has influences in his family for how life is suppose to work and how people are suppose to interact. Something he never had on the streets.

Then Bean is thrust into circumstances that force him to take control, that force him to take action, action that was well within his capabilities.

This action forced more action. He is drawn into the fray. He took on his leadership role because it was a task that needed to be done, and he was the only one available to do it. The more he was forced to do it, the better he got at it.

Again, wars are never won by one man. Ender saw the overview, but relied on Bean and the others to work out the details themselves. And when it came to working out the details, Bean was better than most. So, he clarified Ender's order. He interpreted Ender's strategy. Which is exactly what Ender expected him to do, and what Gaff and the other adult commanders expected him to do.

I just don't see that in anyway diminishing the fact that when orders needed to be given, when decisions needed to be made, all eyes turned to Ender, not Bean.

Once the decision was made, once the direction was clear, Bean certainly more than other commanders was able to work out the details as he was expected to by Ender.

So, again, believe what you want, but I just don't see Bean's story diminishing Ender's in any way.

We all know Bean was smarter in terms of raw intelligence, but intelligence isn't everything. Ender could make people love him and follow him and his orders unquestioningly. That is something that it took Bean a long time to accomplish, and part of that accomplishment was being forced by circumstances to step up to the task.

In some sense, we could say the Ender didn't really have the ability, he was also forced by circumstances and outside forces to step up and deliver.

You learn and grow quickly when that kind of weight is place on your shoulders. And when the weight was place, both Ender and Bean stepped up, just at different times and under different circumstances.

Steve/bluewizard

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apexspeed
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In reading this thread, I feel like there was a stepping stone left out: Ender's awareness of Bean's true abilities.

In Ender's Shadow, OSC laid out a neat little path for Bean; Ender was always there for him to study, hence Bean never knew a Battle School without Ender's reputation and presence. Therefore never had to come to grips with his role vs. Ender's, because the roles were transparent early on.

What I didn't get out of Ender in Exile, and would have dearly loved to read, is how Ender became aware of Bean's intelligence, and his role as Ender's understudy. How did he reconcile those facts against the small child he knew, pitied even, who could (to paraphrase Ender's use of him at "command school") only be trusted with a small group of ships? How did he so easily accept that Bean was in fact significantly (and measurably) smarter? Even if Ender's ego wasn't bruised (OSC has done an admirable job of preparing us for the possibility that Ender can take nearly any news or confrontation in stride), he still would have had to mentally replay all his encounters with Bean to figure out how he missed something so significant.

I can only wonder if this bit of revelation and introspection that ran through my mind while reading EiE also took place inside OSC's head, and if so, why he chose to omit it.

My apologies if this has already been discussed in another thread - if so, please point me to it.

quote:
Originally posted by Damian313:
No, the fact is the things openly revealed about the origins of the "Little Doctor" make perfect sense for the Enderverse, and whats more all the other "revelations" about how the Queens more or less "allowed" Ender to destroy them is nothing more than a basic logical deduction based upon the facts. The Queens developed the very technologies we used to destroy all but one of them.

For the Queens, it was clearly a philosophical choice, knowing they had stowed a new queen safely away in a cocoon, would it be right to revert to such a brutality as using an ultimate weapon against an enemy?

Although I've read all of the Ender books, I did not re-read them prior to picking up Ender in Exile a few days ago, so my apologies if my memory of the prior books fails me. I was under the impression that this concept of the Queens "letting" Ender and the IF defeat them was only just introduced in EiE. I based my interpretations/projections of what that strategy meant on a few short lines from p.68 of EiE - Ender receives "a stab of insight" when the captain giving him a tour says, "If you hadn't whupped them for good and all, sir, we'd be looking over our shoulder through the next ten thousand years of human history". Thinking back to the end of Ender's Game, (again, working from memory - sorry!) when the cocooned Queen puts in Ender's head the image of the first IF fighters slowing from light speed and making their attack (screaming out of the darkness, was it?) and the Queen(s) realized then that humankind had neither forgotten nor forgiven the first two invasions... I felt like OSC brought it full circle there on p68 of EiE. The Queens understood that they had earned the retribution the IF intended to deliver, and they would accept it - not with surrender, obviously, but with a plan in place, so that even if they were defeated, their race would be able to start over once time had healed some of humanity's wounds. Is that the insight OSC alluded to? It fits, in my mind (which is a very small place, so a variety of different ideas will fit comfortably... just not very many at the same time).
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Brayden
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
Beans selfishness is his flaw, he hated Peter because he couldnt stand the fact that they both looked at the world in terms of how it could be pinched and pulled for personal gain.

Bean didn't look for personal gain. He looked for survival. At first it was only for himself, then for his family with Petra. Bean was a kind man, he looked out for Ender, and he was afraid Peter was going to destroy the world. True Bean couldn't do what Ender did, but the same goes the other way; Ender couldn't have done what Bean did. Ender couldn't have killed Achilles, and there's no way on earth Ender could have hid himself like Bean did, let alone change Peter's ways.
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Brayden
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Bean gave up in the final game, that's why he couldn't have won the war. He matured after that. Bean wasn't as good a military genius in Ender's Game. He matured while he was planning the war for Suri in Thailand. Also, when Ender first met him, he was just fresh outta the launchies. Ender was just beginning to trust him at the end of Ender's Game, don't forget that.
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EndertheJedi
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I never really thought of Bean form the concept of his genius being greater than enders somehow lowering the value of enders accomplishments.
i do agree that when I first read Enders Shadow I did not think that Bean was not the most obvious chose for OSC to expound on the battle school days of the enderverse with. but iI do think so now after reading the shadow series. I don't think it is so much a case of downplaying ender, so much as Card has more expertise as awriter to portay the geniusness of the battle school brats, and bean is raw intelligence perasonfied , the ultimate learner , and he learned war and was an expert at it but could never understand leadership the way ender did because ender was the ultimate healer, mind and soul , he has to be a genius to understand the human mind so well and that happens to help in war a lot and be just what the human race needed at that time in that way, while his main purpose as a character was to become the speaker for the dead. beans main purpose as a character was to be the perennial sidekick,first to ender, then to peter,always making sure the y made the right moves, sort of like the angel on the shoulder.

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dictatorlv44
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I don't think Bean's story really took anything away from Ender, at least in Ender's Shadow. Through the entirety of the book, you see Bean evolve from a cold, calculating little boy, only interested in survival to a more compassionate boy.

Ender's Shadow showed how although Bean was smarter, he could never have defeated the buggers. He wasn't willing to do anything to win, and in the end, even though Bean got the power to override Ender's authority, he didn't because he couldn't think of anything. He valued life too much to knowingly destroy a planet.

Yes, Ender valued life too, but he valued winning more.

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Grinwell
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The fact that Bean was smarter than Ender doesn't diminish Ender at all. All the kids at Battle School were brilliant, but Ender had the whole package. Ender saw Bean's immense capabilities and trusted him completely. But they were only together for a very short time. For the rest of his life, Bean was in awe of Ender. In his most difficult times, he guided himself by what Ender would have done.

The Shadow series is a great achievement. It only adds to the legacy of Ender by showing what his jeesh was able to accomplish on Earth. They were constantly in his shadow and he was the one who literally made their lives possible.

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Clumpy
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quote:
Originally posted by Sterling:
I like both series, but I've kind of had to decide that for myself they occupy seperate universes. I just can't quite accept that Bean of the "Shadow" series is the same as Bean of "Ender's Game"; if he was, then Ender had to be startlingly oblivious, and that's a quality that's hard to buy in a world-saving military commander.

There's little lines here and there where OSC tries to resolve the inconsistencies between the two stories. I think that they're both valid stories, though, and Shadow is well-written enough in my opinion that it doesn't come across as badly as you'd think it would from the description, or badly at all.

Just don't think too much about the difficulties of fitting some of the character-based elements of the story together or reconciling Bean's running commentary with the dialogue from Ender's Game and you'll be fine.

Read the two books side-by-side and it's interesting how much of the text (not just the dialogue) and descriptions were actually copied word-for-word from Ender's Game, usually when there wouldn't be a better way to describe what happened.

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CreoleBeanFan
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I have never understood why people get so incensed about Bean in comparison to Ender. I think OSC is a masterful writer, and frankly I have loved all of the books in the Enderverse. I will admit that in a couple of instances when I initially read the book I was a bit disappointed with the direction that OSC took the characters - but in subsequent readings, I have enjoyed them. Once I let my own preconceived notions of what should happen I enjoyed the stories.

I find that a common strategy OSC took in the Enderverse is that of developing a different character. When I go back and reexamine my initial reaction to the stories I find that I was annoyed because I was expecting the sequels to follow up on a certain character/idea/path, and OSC went a different direction, and developed different characters. He did this with the first four books, but it's even more evident in the Shadow series. The Shadow series is about Bean, right? But after Ender's Shadow, the books all go LONG stretches without even mentioning Bean. They are about Bean, Peter, Petra, Alai, Graff, Mazer, Han-Tsu ... Suriyawong and Virlomi aren't even mentioned in EG, and they are major characters in the Shadow series.

When I first read Shadow Puppets, for instance, I absolutely HATED it because it wasn't what I expected. Then I went back and read/listened to it a few times (I've actually lost count of how many times I've digested all eight-plus books I've read/listened to them so much) and I was surprised to find that I enjoyed it. Likely because I didn't have preconceived expectations of it, and just enjoyed it for what it was.

I have only listened to EiE once, but I am sure I will have the same reaction to it the second time around. I think I'll start today.

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...Arson
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Peter and Valentine are also as smart as Ender, but as many have said they didn't posses his innate empathy, and total understanding of everyone else. I personally believe Bean was maybe created for this reason: to compare the perfect strategist vs. the best leader. Bean saw so completely yet Ender, also very skilled, could use his army as parts of his body because he knew them so well.
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HeatherD
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What's with the Bean bashing? Yes, the character began as selfish, with all his decisions made to ensure his survival... But I think we can agree he didn't finish that way! Anyway, Bean himself admits that Ender was the better leader. Yes, Bean was ridiculously intelligent and an amazing tactition, but he admitted himself that he lacked whatever made Ender the brilliant leader that he was. But still, both characters had flaws and redeeming characteristics, one was not necessarily better than the other.
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Threads
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You guys (and gals) should all participate more often! I like this thread [Smile]
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Lourinha
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i like Bean
i think he was as good a person as Ender.
of course he came off differently to people in the shadow books than EG.
in Enders Game he'd been plucked off the streeets of Rotterdam. by Shadow of the Hegemon he'd learnt how to be human.

i like Ender too but i just don't love him the way i love bean. maybe its the way he was wwith petra and his babies. he was more human than ender i think. ender always seemed so detatched to me.

sorry if this comes out a a massive jumble of incoherent thoughts

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Grsiv
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I know this is a moot point, but I always found Ender's incessant sulking and humorlessness really annoying. I know the weight of the world was upon him, and that the burden he carried would have driven lesser men to suicide...but the whole reluctant-messiah complex got tiresome.

Spoiler Alert: On the other hand the merging of Peter's and Ender's "essences" at the end of Children of the Mind would make for a great character. (Peter has always been my favorite character with Bean coming in second) I really hope we see more of the new improved Peter/Ender during Shadow's in Flight.

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The Black Pearl
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Andrew joked around a little in Speaker for the Dead. He makes his class laugh in the beginning of the book.
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vorbis
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In most interviews I have read with authors, they say that the book they wrote when they were younger is not the book they would have written now - similar, but significantly different.

I believe that is what we see in the Shadow books compared to the original Ender books. Card has changed his perception of his original characters, which is partially a result of his maturity, and partially a result of a poor memory and understanding of his own feelings at the time he wrote the original stories.

In neuroscience they say that every time you access a memory, every time you remember something, the act of pulling up that memory and looking at it changes it. You bring your new perceptions to the old memory whether you want to or not. Which means that OSC cannot have his original Ender, Bean and Peter in his head in the same way they were several decades ago.

Personally I think of this as a loss, because I think the character he has changed the most is one of his most powerful - Peter. I'd say Peter was always possibly the character OSC was most uncomfortable with; as Valentine says, the two boys were two sides of the same coin. OSC wrote the novels about the potential he saw in his son, but he put a lot of himself into it. It was really his story about political manipulations and war. Peter was his flip-side, too.

As OSC got older, his religious conflicts or doubts lessoned, his family came to the center of his life, he became a much happier and more fulfilled person. I think this is a wonderful thing.

But it does mean he no longer understands Peter to be the same character he was when Ender was created. There was genuine fear around Peter's character, because he had so much raw power and potential. Peter was, I think, OSC's rage. He was certainly the character I identified with, anyway - the one with great ability, but no structure to use it in. Capable of great love and compassion, but too isolated and overwhelmed by everyone around him being futile to help.

Consider the world from Peter's perspective: He is one of the few, the very very few great geniuses who would be left on Earth. All the rest were taken to battle school. His parents willfully ignored his genius, and Valentine's too, in favour of pursuing their own lives. His teachers were incapable of teaching him anything. His peers were comparative idiots. He was too young to be taken seriously.

All those rants and conditions are what a lot of kids feel today, and what I'm betting OSC felt at the time he wrote it. He has changed Peter's character now because he isn't alone anymore. He has lost touch with his anger, which is why Achilles is such a weak character - there are no explanations of how Achilles comes to power, because it would be impossible to justify. You couldn't write a story from Achilles' perspective because it would be nonsense, he is a classic Bad Guy with no depth and no explanation for his sudden wealth or contacts.

Achilles is the new Peter, capable of shifting the world on its axis, capable of great cruelty. Which you will see that Shadowverse Peter is no longer capable of. New Peter is moderate, learns compassion, has weaknesses. I think that OSC simply couldn't slip himself back into the mindset of alienation he once had; it just hurt too much, and lost too much personal ground he had gained. As OSC grew as a person, Peter ceased to exist.

So after I got over being betrayed that one of the most genuine characters in the Enderverse had been effectively character-raped, had his very identity violated, I worked out why it had happened and accepted that they are effectively completely new and separate characters. I can still appreciate the Shadow books, without in any way believing they represent the original characters of Peter or Bean as they are truly. Almost like fan-fiction [Wink]

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Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged
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Did you read Ender's Stocking Intergalactic Medicine Sow issue #6 yet? It's a short story set from a 14 year old Peter's perspective. Read it, I think it will make you feel better.


http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com/cgi-bin/mag.cgi?do=issue&vol=i6&article=_card

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Brayden
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I like Bean because he show's a real friendship. When he goes to Graff and has Ender's funds locked and the system created to manage his money I was overwhelmed. Ender was gone, and there was no possible way for Bean to ever see him again. Bean had no reason to care where the money came from, but he did the right thing even though it didn't help him live longer anyways. Just more proof that he wasn't selfish all the time!
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