Hive Queen

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The Hive Queen is a fictional character in Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game series. She is the central consciousness and physical embodiment of the group mind of the Formics. Along with the rest of her kind, the Hive Queen is regarded as the second-discovered ramen species. Physically, she controls her large colony of insect-like entities through faster-than-light philotic connections.

The Hive Queen is also the title of a fictional book written by Ender Wiggin under the pseudonym 'Speaker for the Dead', usually sold coupled with The Hegemon.

Ender's Game[edit]

During the Third Invasion, it became evident to the Buggers that they could not survive the war against humanity, and prepared a refuge on one of their colonies for the Hive Queen. Using ansible communication, the Hive Queen accessed the memories of the human race's battle commander, Ender Wiggin, whereupon her followers made one of their colonies resemble Ender's most powerful memory (Fairyland, from the pseudo-sentient Mind Fantasy Game). Arriving as a colonist on that world, Ender discovers the Hive Queen and takes her with him while exploring other colonies.

It is revealed that the Hive Queen's philotic connections allow her to communicate directly with Ender's mind, but is unaccustomed to using words. When she succeeds, he promises her a new home to respawn her species. In addition, the Hive Queen helps Ender write down the information concerning her life and the misunderstanding that led to the war. His finished work, titled "The Hive Queen" and published under the name "Speaker for the Dead", leads humanity to regard Ender's xenocide as an evil act. Ender travels to two dozen of Earth's Hundred Colonies, which in relativistic space travel takes three thousand years. While Ender ages only a few decades over this period, the Hive Queen is fully aware of real time due to her philotic nature, and anxious to be released.

Speaker for the Dead[edit]

Eventually Ender responds to a call for a 'Speaker for the Dead' from Lusitania, a small Catholic colony on the only planet of the third-discovered sapient race, the Pequeninos ("Piggies"). For fear of damaging the local culture, the colony is restricted in growth by the Starways Congress; wherefore the Hive Queen alleges that this makes the planet the best candidate for a new home.

On the planet, the Hive Queen occasionally makes cryptic statements to Ender that she has made contact with the Pequeninos (philotically) and agreed to live there in peace. After Ender and the Lusitanian colonists become familiar with the culture of the Pequeninos, they agree to release the Hive Queen from dormancy once they protect her from the native virus, Descolada. At the conclusion of Speaker for the Dead, the Hive Queen releases thousands of eggs.


By the time of Xenocide, three decades have passed, and the Hive Queen has established herself on Lusitania. Each chapter begins with a philosophical psychic conversation between the Hive Queen and a Pequenino Father Tree named Human. The renewed Formic species has grown, but remains hidden from the local human society. When it becomes known that Starways Congress has sent a ship to destroy Lusitania with the "Little Doctor", a molecular-disruption weapon similar to the "Doctor Device" that Ender used to destroy the Formics, the Hive Queen builds starships, with the intent of disseminating her species throughout the cosmos. When conflict breaks out between the humans and the Pequeninos, the Hive Queen sets a perimeter of Formics around the human colony to prevent the violence from escalation. The Pequeninos have allied themselves with the Hive Queen, whom they hope will construct starships in which they can travel to other worlds.

Characters Jane, Grego and Olhado learn that, when one Hive Queen wishes to spawn another, she must summon forth an Aiúa (soul) from a higher plane of existence, known as the "Outside". Each Hive Queen is imbued with an Aiúa at birth, granting her awareness and autonomy. With her vast memory bands and computing power, Jane is able to send objects and creatures "Outside", and bring them back at any point in space.

Children of the Mind[edit]

Jane's newly discovered abilities allow her to transport the various intelligent species of Lusitania to hundreds of planets throughout the cosmos. The Hive Queen's offspring are soon established on many new planets. The Hive Queen herself chooses to remain on Lusitania; Starways Congress's attack is averted, and the Hive Queen survives.

Shadows in Flight[edit]

In Shadows in Flight, Bean and his children discover a Formic Ark, most of whose inhabitants have died. Here they encounter "rabs" – creatures which appear a throwback to the Formics' evolutionary history – and conclude that the Hive Queens are capable of manipulating the DNA of their offspring to create different species for various purposes. Next they encounter male Formics from whom they learn that each Hive Queen infects all of her daughters (the female/worker Formics) with a special organelle before they hatch, killing any workers who show independence and allowing the Hive Queen to remain unchallenged. It also becomes apparent that this is not the only Formic Ark in existence, and that the Formic species is alive and well. Because this information was not in Ender Wiggin's book, The Hive Queen, Bean concludes that Ender's Hive Queen – supposedly the last – has manipulated Ender into portraying her in a positive light, and that Ender has dedicated his life to restoring a tyrant. Bean is unable to convey this to Ender, as his children have taken the ship's ansible from him.