Study Guide

Minor Characters in Speaker for the Dead

By Orson Scott Card

Minor Characters

There are a lot of characters in Speaker for the Dead. The list below tries to corral most of them, but if one or two escape, don't say Shmoop didn't warn you.

The Hive Queen

The Hive Queen is an advanced alien bug intelligence, mostly dormant. For the bulk of the book she sleeps, though she does occasionally pop into Ender's head to say he shouldn't feel so guilty for brutally destroying her entire civilization, which is awfully laid-back of her. She also talks to Rooter through bug-tree telepathy.

Novinha's Family

  • Gusto and Cida (Vladimir Tiago Gussman and Ekaterina Maria Aparecida do Norte von Hesse-Gussman; Os Venerados): Novinha's parents and the xenobiologists of Lusitania. They find a way to neutralize the Descolada virus, but die themselves. They are nominated for Catholic sainthood and are considered venerable at the time of the novel.
  • Marcao (Marcos Maria Ribeira, Cao): Novinha's husband, but not the father of her children. He beat her and terrorized her children.
  • Ela (Ekaterina Elanora Ribeira von Hesse): Novinha's second child; a xenobiologist who kept the household together.
  • Quim (Estevão Rei Ribeira von Hesse): Novinha's third child; a believing Catholic who resents Ender at first as a heretic.
  • Olhado (Lauro Suleimão Ribeira von Hesse): Novinha's fourth child. After an accident in his childhood he was fitted with computerized eyes. He becomes friends with Ender quickly.
  • Quara (Lembrança das Milagres de Jesus Ribeira von Hesse ): Novinha's fifth child. She is almost entirely silent until Ender brings her out of her shell.
  • Grego (Gerão Gregorio Ribeira von Hesse): Novinha's sixth and last child. He is traumatized by his father's death and acts out violently.

Libo's Family

  • Libo (Liberdade Graças a Deus Figueira de Medici): Pipo's son, Novinha's lover, and a xenologist. As a boy he is very silent and mature; as an adult he is loved throughout Lusitania. He is killed by Leaf-eater, who tries to give him the third life.
  • Ouanda (Ouanda Quenhatta Figueira Mucumbi): Libo's daughter, who follows him into xenology. She is Miro's coworker and fiancé until they discover that they are half-siblings.
  • Bruxinha: Libo's wife. She is devastated by his death, and again by the revelation that he had repeatedly committed adultery with Novinha.

The Piggies (Pequeninos)

  • Rooter: An intelligent piggie who communicates often with Pipo. He is flayed and given the third life; as a tree he communicates with the Hive Queen. He is the father of Human.
  • Mandachuva: The piggie who kills Pipo.
  • Leaf-Eater: The piggie who encourages the Wives to allow many children to be born, increasing the strength of the tribe. He kills Libo, and he is antagonistic to Human and the Speaker for the Dead in the latter part of the novel.
  • Shouter (Star-looker): The head wife of the piggies's tribe near the humans. She negotiates with Ender to make a treaty between piggies and humans.

Other Lusitanians

  • Mayor Bosquinha (Faria Lima Maria de Bosque): The mayor of the Lusitania colony. She is smart and capable.
  • Bishop Peregrino (Armao Cebola): The Bishop of Lusitania colony. He is at first opposed to Ender, but eventually respects him.
  • Dom Cristao (Amai a Tudomundo Para Que Deus vos Ame Cristao) and Dona Crista (Detetai o Pecado e Fazei o Direito Crista): The Abbot and Principal of the Children of the Mind monastery at Lusitania. They are instantly friendly with Ender, in part because he spoke the death of San Angelo, the founder of their order.
  • Navio: The doctor of Lusitania. He initially opposed Ender at the urging of the Bishop. He cares for Miro when the later is paralyzed.


  • Valentine Wiggins (Demosthenes): Ender's sister, she is a teacher and secretly the great political writer and historian Demosthenes. On Trondheim she marries Jakt.
  • Jakt: A ship captain and Valentine's husband.
  • Plikt: A student of Ender's and Valentine's, and later Valentine's children's tutor. She discovers Ender's identity and becomes a lifelong intellectual collaborator with Valentine.
  • Syft: Valentine's first child; she idolizes Ender.