Bean (Ender's Game)

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Julian Delphiki II
Ender's Game character
First appearance "Ender's Game"
Last appearance Shadows in Flight
Created by Orson Scott Card
Portrayed by Aramis Knight
Family Julian Delphiki I (father)
Elena Delphiki (mother)
Nikolai Delphiki (brother)
Constantine Volescu (half-uncle)
Spouse(s) Petra Arkanian
Children Ender Delphiki
Carlotta Delphiki
Cincinnatus Delphiki
Andrew Delphiki
Bella Delphiki
Ramón Delphiki
Julian Delphiki III
Petra Delphiki II
Arkanian Delphiki

Julian Delphiki II, more commonly known by his nickname Bean, is a major character in the Ender's Game series of science fiction novels by Orson Scott Card. A friend of Ender Wiggin, Bean is an important supporting character in Ender's Game, and the main character of the eponymous Bean Quartet (or Shadow Saga as it is officially known), which consists of Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, and Shadow of the Giant. Bean is also featured in Card's latest novel, Shadows in Flight, which was released on January 17, 2012.

Aramis Knight portrayed him in the Ender's Game film.

Ender's Shadow[edit]

At the age of four, Bean is living on the streets of Rotterdam.[1] He is ostracized by the other children on the streets for his small size. Desperate for food, Bean talks to Poke, the leader of a small gang of children, called a crew. Poke names Bean when she flippantly tells him that he isn't worth a bean. But he proceeds to convince her to give him food in exchange for him giving her an idea. He advises Poke to have her crew gang up on one of the bullies who prowl the streets, and get him to work for her crew. When Poke agrees and attempts to attack Achilles (pronounced 'ah-sheel' [French pronunciation]), a bully with a crippled foot, Bean is struck with foreboding. Soon after, though Achilles makes a good 'papa' to the crew, getting them into the soup kitchen and protecting them, his insane need to kill anyone who has seen him in a vulnerable position causes him to murder Poke. This marks the end of Bean's street career.

Subsequently, Sister Carlotta, an unconventional nun, recognizes Bean's and Achilles' intelligence, and plucks them out of life on the street, to be trained at Battle School, though Achilles' entrance is delayed by his need for surgery to correct his leg. At school, Bean makes it clear that his abilities far exceed the possible—for a human. While Bean is studying at Battle School, Sister Carlotta does some research, and soon discovers that Bean is actually the son of Julian and Elena Delphiki, parents of Nikolai, a fellow Battle School student. Bean and 22 other fertilized eggs were stolen from a lab, genetically altered by his half Uncle, Constantine Volescu, then matured in artificial conditions. The 23 babies were then reared in a lab that was experimenting with augmented intelligence. When the lab was raided, the one-year-old Bean was able to hide in a toilet tank and escape being killed.

The alteration turns a genetic switch called Anton's Key for the scientist who discovered it. This greatly enhances Bean's mental powers, but at the cost of a normal lifespan, which by the time of these tales is well over 100 years. Very under-sized at age six, Bean's half-uncle predicts that he will continue to grow to where he will eventually be seen as a giant, dying perhaps before he turns 20; due to the demands placed on his heart and other organs.

At the Battle School, Bean knows nothing of these events except what he can glean from his expeditions through the ventilation system. As an extremely bright boy with a knack for extrapolation, he decides that to wait for the Formics (Buggers) to come and attack Earth would be strategic suicide. He states that the best idea would be a human invasion, The Third Invasion, and correctly guesses that such a fleet is already on its way to the Bugger home world. However, lacking knowledge of the Ansible, he does not initially guess that they will be commanding the fleet; instead he believes they will be used to quell fighting on Earth once the Buggers are defeated.

Meanwhile, Bean does much work behind the scenes, putting together Ender's Dragon Army and helping as much as he can. While at command school, a chance malfunction gives Bean the information he needs to realize that, in fact, they are commanding real soldiers instead of playing a simulation. He keeps this information to himself, reasoning that if the others, especially Ender, were to find out, they would not be able to command effectively. In the final battle of the Third Invasion, Bean was designated as the backup commander of the International Fleet, and when Ender showed hesitation during the final battle, a command was enabled that would have allowed him to take control. He refused to take command, as he could not think of a strategy; instead he made a wry remark in reaction to the impossible task ahead ("The enemy's gate is down") which triggers Ender's ultimately successful venture. When he realizes that the operation is a suicide mission, he briefly engages the override so he can send a brief message to the fleet ships: "O my son Absalom, My son, my son Absalom. Would God I could die for thee, O Absalom, my son. My sons!”

The book ends with Bean being told of his past, and then meeting his parents for the first time.

Though Bean is only seven when the Buggers are eliminated, it is later stated that he does not return to Earth and his parents until age eleven. This four-year difference is due to the turmoil that existed on Earth from the subsequent power play from the different Earth powers.

Shadow of the Hegemon[edit]

Bean's tranquil life with the Delphikis is short-lived. While the family is on vacation, Achilles, who, since the events of Ender's Shadow, has used his considerable intellect to gain influence and power in Russia and other empire-minded countries, tries to kill them outright. Bean and the Delphikis separate; Bean goes into hiding with Sister Carlotta, and the Delphiki family disappears with the help of Graff. Bean later learns that Achilles has captured all of Ender's "jeesh" (the command group that was with Ender during the final battles of the Formic Wars) except for Bean (whom he tried to kill) and Ender (who is among the first to colonize a former bugger world). Bean later allies himself with Peter Wiggin to combat this threat. Bean is most concerned for Petra's welfare, and finds a coded message sent by Petra that leads to the release of all of Ender's jeesh except for her. Achilles captures Petra while she is being released and takes her to India where he already has a position of power. From there he negotiates a non-aggression pact between India and Pakistan. This agreement allows India to pursue an empire in Southeast Asia and Pakistan to prepare for a war to unite the Islamic nations.

Bean travels to Thailand, which is threatened by a newly adventurous India, where he helps train a strike force under Suriyawong (a member of Ender's Dragon Army). He assumes the name Borommakot, the name of a former Thai king. Another assassination attempt on him (and Suriyawong) leads Bean to request Sister Carlotta's presence. Achilles, however, shoots down the plane in which she is traveling. Near the end of the novel, Bean engineers a rescue mission in which he successfully, and without casualties on either side, rescues Petra from Achilles, who has betrayed India by making them vulnerable to the Chinese. India and all of Southeast Asia is conquered by China. Pakistan aborts their war with the rest of the Islamic nations in order to unite with them against this new enemy. A subsequent scene at Sister Carlotta's cenotaph foreshadows Bean and Petra's future romance. Finally, Peter Wiggin, newly elected Hegemon, bestows the office of Strategos on Bean. Peter relocates the main Hegemony offices to Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, where Bean and his family are reunited.

Shadow Puppets[edit]

Following Peter's decision to free Achilles and bring him to Ribeirão Preto, Bean and Petra leave the Hegemon's employ and travel the world under false identities to remain hidden to Achilles. Bean meets with Ambul, a former soldier under Bean in Battle School's Rabbit Army, and gives him the task of finding a way to meet with Alai, who has dropped out of sight but is assumed to be highly placed in the Muslim defense forces. In an attempt to convince Bean to have children, Bean and Petra meet with Anton, the scientist who discovered Anton's Key, and then with Volescu, who genetically enhanced Bean's embryo by turning it. Bean is assured by Volescu that he can determine the status of Anton's Key within an embryo, and agrees to create nine embryos but destroy those with Anton's Key turned. Volescu implants one of the embryos into Petra, appears to destroy three more, and places the remaining five into safekeeping under the eye of a guard hired by Bean. However, Volescu faked the destruction of the three embryos in the lab and bribes the guard to reacquire the other five.

Bean and Petra split up; Bean places Petra in the cab of an Indonesian cabdriver secretly in the employ of the Caliph, who takes her to the airport to fly to Damascus. Bean gets into a different cab and is nearly assassinated by the driver. Saved by other agents of the Caliph, he also makes his way to meet with Petra and Alai. While in Damascus, Achilles contacts Bean to tell him that he possesses the five stolen embryos, offering him a chance to meet at the Hegemon compound and take them back. Bean flies to Brazil and kills Achilles, having already decided that Achilles was lying about possessing the embryos and that Volescu must still have them. Petra flies to Brazil to meet up with Bean again and settle down in Araraquara, a city Bean had visited while traveling with Sister Carlotta. The novel ends with Bean and Petra determined to find the stolen embryos.

Shadow of the Giant[edit]

In this novel, Bean is around 16 years old (his exact age is unknown because Volescu destroyed all of his records, and author Orson Scott Card does not specify anyone's particular age throughout the novel). Anton's Key has caused his body to undergo rapidly accelerated growth; he is becoming extremely tall and strong, and is nicknamed "the African Giant" by the Rwandans, due to his noticeably African features. Bean's time left is very limited; there is simply not enough time left to him to find a cure.

As commander, Bean plays a pivotal role in helping Peter unite the world under the Hegemony. Peter creates the Free People of Earth (FPE) organization. To join, the population of a country must hold plebiscites to vote to ratify the FPE constitution as their own. Once part of the FPE, a country is protected by FPE military forces. Rwanda is one of the earliest countries to agree to join FPE. However, Felix Starman, the head of Rwanda, requests that Giant Julian lead the Rwandan army. Aside from Bean being the greatest military mind in human history, having a commander with some African heritage and features would play to the patriotic side of the Rwandan soldiers. Bean turns the Rwandan army into an irresistible force. The effectiveness of his leadership initially frightens many countries into holding plebiscites to discuss joining FPE rather than getting defeated by an army Bean commands.

Taking the advice of the Minister of Colonization Graff, Bean follows in Ender's footsteps, living at relativistic light-speed along with the three of his children who share his disorder, in the hope that a cure can be found for the condition, while Petra and Bean's five 'normal' children remain on Earth. It is revealed that a ninth child of Bean's, who also has Anton's Key, was birthed by and is under the care of a woman named Randi, who plans to take the child with her to a colony world and raise him as Achilles' heir. By the end of the novel decades later, a cure has still not been discovered, and it is unknown how Bean lives the remainder of his life. The fate of Bean's ninth child is revealed in Card's novel Ender in Exile.

Shadows in Flight[edit]

As he continues to grow, twenty-two-year-old Bean has reached a height of four and a half meters and is relegated to the cargo hold of his relativistic spaceship. Bean is able to monitor the work of his three now six-year-old "antonite" children. His son, Andrew "Ender" Delphiki, is determined to find a "cure" for Anton's Key.

Bean and his children find a new world and settle in it. His son Ender devised and administered a virus that will develop an organelle to shut off their growth genome, leaving their intelligence intact but saving them from the gigantism half of Anton's Key.

With renewed hope for the future, Bean looks at the beauty around him and remembers all those whom he loved and who loved him in his life. With his children's help, he stands at four and a half meters for the first time in years, and walks with labored breathing in the sunlight. Happy for his children and for his own short but brilliant life, Bean lies down and dies in peace.


  1. ^ Chung, Jennifer (31 August 1991). "Ender's Shadow". The Tech. Retrieved 3 June 2012.