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Author Topic: Ender's Shadow...... what am I missing here?
Member # 11916

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I have been a fan of Enders Game almost since it first was published. And incidentally it was actually the first REAL book I ever read cover to cover 20 years ago now....wow, thats almost depressing to admit! LOL

Anyways, I generally consider myself a fairly intelligent person with a decent understanding of basic math and ever since listening to Enders Shadow(I always buy audiobooks as I am always on the road), I have had one question that has truly plauged me.

Immediately following the last battle in battle school where Ender turned over his army to bean, upon return to their barracks, bean and the other toon leaders and seconds all find they have been promoted to Army commanders themselves. When Bean is Chosen by the other toon leaders in Dragon to find Ender, he stops by Rabbit Army barracks and speaks with Itu. He remarks that he bets the total number of graduated commanders was NINE. Following this he ask Itu to break the news to Rabbit Army about him being made commander and goes on to tell him that EVERY toon leader and SECOND was promoted to commander.

This should have been the 10 leaders and seconds from the five toons plus Bean making a total of Eleven "graduated" Commanders(as the recently deceased Bonzo was listed as graduated).

Obviously I thought this total of nine would be normal in a regular Army that only had FOUR toons plus an extra squad, but it seemed to me to be such a glaring oversight due to the fact that such a big deal was made about Ender's strategy which involved creating Five toons instead of four, and from there divided into half toons. Bean time and again pointed out how other commanders didnt realize Wiggin had five toons, and it even led to the fight between Bean, Fly and Nicolai over Fly's open criticizing of Ender for fragmenting his army.

I thought this point was stressed so much that I MUST have missed something when Bean said the total would be nine instead of Eleven.

Did I miss anything here? Feeling kinda stupid if I did.

Just listened to "Ender In Exile" for the first time BTW and loved it! Im still hoping another novel will come out following Bean and his Children in the spaceship they left earth in. As Intelligent as those children were, I imagine they could accomplish quite a bit in the twenty years they had to live even on a starship!

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Josh Cooper
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It could be an oversight and if it is, oh well. There are plenty of stuff that goes a miss in books. But if you want an explaination of how it would not have been an oversight, concinder this. The conversation began with them talking about Bean taking the place of the former commander that was graduated, Carn Carby of Rabbit Army. At that time, Bonzo Madrid had already died leaving an open slot in Salamander Army. So the count could be graduated commanders not including Carn Carby. This isn't likely but if you want a spin, here you go.
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Member # 11482

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I figured that the adults tried to figure out who were the toon leaders, and they decided on the obvious choices and Bean. I'm not sure all the named people in their army but i bet i can come up with nine.

Han Tzu
Crazy Tom
Dink Meeker
Fly Molo

I'm missing someone... Does Ender count as the graduated?

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Member # 11916

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Are you referring to those students that were chosen by(Major Anderson?) to be the "Jeesh" of Ender at Command School?

Of the eight you mentioned, Petra and Dink Meeker were senior to Ender in Battle School and were never even in Dragon Army.

The total graduated as speculated by Bean(with his full genius intact) was nine. The total number of toon leader and seconds in Dragon Army was ten plus Bean as the leader of his "special teams" like squad of six. Making the total promoted to be new commanders 11. Also if Bean is speculating that Ender was graduated, then he makes no mention of it as He was on his way to tell Ender about his Army getting stripped(therefor he was at that time unaware that Ender HAD been Graduated afterall) which would contradict the theory that he was including nine graduated commanders, plus Ender, plus the now dead Bonzo. That at least would explain the total of nine graduates plus Ender and Bonzo, except for the fact that Bonzo was one fo the commanders listed already as "graduated" also we cannot forget that Dragon Army was disbanded following Ender's graduation from Battle School, still leaving two Dragon toon leaders or seconds with no army in which to command, even though he(or she) holds orders stating they are now a commander of an Army.

I guess the thing here that bothers me is not the fact that the math or at least the timeline is wrong in this part of the book. Instead it is the fact that its Bean making the mistake. It doesnt Jive with his character or abilities, anyone else at battle school would at least have the excuse of the lack of information for making such an error, but not Bean with his priviledged(stolen/hacked) access to the teacher database and his brilliant mind that can always make intuitive leaps the rest of us could only dream about! Just seemed so Glaringly obvious to me that it really bugged me and had to ask! lol petty I suppose since "Ender's Shadow" is still my favorite O.S.C. book!

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Member # 9499

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The one that has always bothered me is that they mention Ender having FAR more "squadron leaders" to call on in Ender's Game than we actually find out about later in Ender's Shadow. It doens't really materially change the Shadow series, but it does change things later.

Also, in Ender's Game they mention at least 2 other "squadron leaders" breaking under the strain. However, in Shadow of the Hegemon Petra specifically says that only Vlad also broke.

Still, these are relatively inconsequential details. I try not to let the gnaw at me.

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