Study Guide

Ender's Game Chapter 11

By Orson Scott Card

Chapter 11

Veni Vidi Vici

  • History lesson time: “Veni Vidi Vici” means “I came, I saw, I conquered,” and was said by Julius Caesar on the occasion of a short war. Basically it means, “I got all dressed up for this?”
  • Graff and (maybe) Anderson discuss Ender and the challenges they’re going to give him, and the potential for war on Earth.
  • Which brings us to a favorite quote, this one by Graff: “Are we absolutely sure that we ought to win this war?” (11.21). Which is a question more people should ask themselves.
  • Ender’s army has been together for a month, but he feels confident. He’s organized his army so it’s more flexible than other armies, and he’s chosen his toon leaders for their ability to think for themselves. Also, for their funny nicknames; for instance, there’s Crazy Tom and Hot Soup (Han Tzu).
  • Dragon Army is scheduled for a fight two months early, but easily beats Rabbit Army.
  • Carn Carby is the commander of Rabbit Army, and he’s a very good loser. Later in the lunchroom, when everyone else is avoiding Ender, Carn comes over to congratulate him. Ender adds Carn “to his private list of people who also qualified as human beings” (11.87). Which, we have to be honest, sounds a little bit like serial killer language.
  • Usually an army gets a rest after a fight, but the very next day, Dragon has to go up against Phoenix Army, led by Ender’s old friend Petra. Result: Ender wins, Petra is annoyed, and the reader is unsurprised.
  • Long story short, Ender’s army fights a game each day for a week and wins them all. In fact, that’s not the short version, that’s pretty much the version in the book. It’s almost as if Orson Scott Card himself is getting bored of how Ender always dominates.
  • Since Ender is so much better than all the humans, he starts watching video clips of the bugger invasions to learn from them instead.
  • One thing he learns, when he pieces together the propaganda videos so they make some sense, is that Mazer Rackham’s victory doesn’t make any sense: Mazer destroys one ship and then the buggers just stop fighting.
  • But Ender doesn’t have time to worry about that because, after beating Ferret Army in the morning, Dragon Army has to face Salamander in the afternoon. And he's informed of this only a few moments before the battle. By the time they get there, Salamander Army is already in the battleroom and already has a great position. Salamander looks unbeatable…but guess what happens?
  • Ender wins. Bonzo is humiliated.
  • Later, Ender asks Bean to think outside the box. Even though the game is just a silly game (says Ender), he still needs to win every single match. He wants Bean to come up with crazy plans and form an elite strike team. Of ten-year-olds. It’s like you crossed SWAT with Rugrats.
  • And even though Bean is about to command part of the army, he can’t find his way back to his bunk in the dark, so he sleeps in Ender’s bunk. Super-genius child soldier sleepover party!