Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin is the central character of the Ender quartet and a constant presence in the Bean quartet. Brought into the International Fleet's Battle School for his immense potential as a commander of soldiers, he is eventually tricked into prosecuting the war against the Formics, resulting in the almost-complete destruction of that race, and spends a good part of the remainder of his life attempting to find absolution for his unknowing act of xenocide by becoming a Speaker for the Dead.
Peter Wiggin is Ender's elder brother, rejected from Battle School, initially believed to be for his ruthless and excessive ambition, but later in Shadow of the Giant revealed to be for his cold and unsociable demeanor. Despite showing sociopathic tendencies in his youth, he later becomes Hegemon of the free world due to his prescient and charismatic leadership, and founds the Free People of Earth, the Enderverse's first world government.
Valentine Wiggin is Ender's elder sister, being the middle child of the Wiggin family. Rejected from Battle School for her overwhelming compassion, she serves as the intermediary between the weaker Ender and the jealous Peter during the former's (brief) childhood. Later she helps Peter on his rise to power by becoming "Demosthenes," an essayist whose rabble-rousing demagoguery is contrasted strongly against Peter's statesmanlike essays as "Locke." After the end of the Formic War, she leaves with Ender on an odyssey through time and space, turning Demosthenes into a historian whose essays are considered the definitive word on whatever subject they address. After marrying on the planet Trondheim, she eventually uproots her family to follow Ender to Lusitania, where she helps to defuse the onrushing Lusitania Fleet and the impending shadow of xenocide.
John Paul Wiggin and Theresa Wiggin are Ender's parents. While Ender's Game portrays them as being dull and oblivious, despite the genius children they raised, both characters are fleshed out in later works and revealed to be more intelligent than even their children imagined. John Paul is Catholic and Theresa Mormon.
Ender's Jeesh is a collection of his closest friends at Battle School, particularly those who serve under him during the Third Invasion which ends in the destruction of the Formic homeworld. As chronicled in the Bean Quartet, many of them move into positions of international significance during the chaotic years after the end of the Formic War, particularly due to the machinations of Achilles de Flandres.
Achilles de Flandres (first name pronounced "ah-sheel", in the French manner) is the main villain of the Bean quartet. Like Bean, he grew up in Rotterdam, an orphan on the streets; like Peter, he displays sociopathic tendencies, particularly by murdering anyone who has ever seen or made him helpless. During the years after the Formic War, he takes steps to begin unifying the world under his rule, causing a series of costly wars between India, China, Russia, a united Islam, and large parts of Europe and southeast Asia.
Suriyawong is a Battle School grad from Thailand who becomes Bean's friend during the wars caused by Achilles. He was known as "Surly" due to his pugilistic disposition, but during his time with Bean develops into a mature and capable commander.
Virlomi is a Battle School grad from India who is instrumental in rousting Achilles from his power base in India. As the conflicts increase, she returns to rural India to devise and encourage civil disobedience there, but begins to suffer delusions of grandeur.
Hyrum Graff is the principal of Battle School, and personally supervised much of Ender's training. After the war he is put on trial for his controversial actions there, but is given a position within the Hegemony as Minister of Colonization, responsible for sending humanity out to colonize the now-deserted worlds formerly held by the Formics.
Mazer Rackham is the half-Māori captain who singlehandedly stopped the Second Invasion by realizing that the Buggers are a hive mind. Due to his inability to pass on his knowledge, he was forced to spend fifty years at relativistic speeds (eight years to Rackham) so that he could train the next commander—Ender Wiggin. After the end of the war, he joins Graff's crusade to keep the human race from destroying itself.
Major Anderson was Graff's second-in-command at Battle School, generally seen in the epistolary conversations from Ender's Game attempting to moderate his superior's unorthodox training of Ender. His passion is the Battle Room; after the war's end, he accepts the post of commissioner for an American football league, and does not appear in the latter three books of either the Ender or Bean quartets. In the film, Major Gwen Anderson is a psychologist who looks after the Battle School students, and is portrayed by The Help's lead actress Viola Davis.
Admiral Chamrajnagar is the ranking Admiral at Eros, the International Fleet's headquarters, during the final stages of the Formic War; he was not Polemarch during that time, and has assumed that post by the time Achilles de Flandres begins his power plays.
Han Fei-tzu is a "godspoken" man from the planet of Path, whose treaty ended a burgeoning rebellion within the Hundred Worlds some three thousand years after Ender's Xenocide. Since then he has been retained as an advisor to Starways Congress.
Han Jiang-qing is wife of Han Fei-tzu. She dies in the opening chapter of the novel.
Han Qing-jao is the daughter of Han Fei-tzu and Han Jiang-qing, also "godspoken" like her parents. When confronted with evidence that the godspoken affliction is not a sign of deitic favor but rather a genetic modification, giving her and all other godspoken both genius-level intelligence and obsessive-compulsive disorder, she is unable to cope with the truth and clings to her old traditions, becoming a tragic character. Her name means "Gloriously Bright."
Si Wang-mu is Qing-jao's "secret maid," an ambitious and extremely bright commoner whom Qing-jao takes under her wing. She is named after the Queen Mother of the West, a powerful figure in Chinese mythology. When the godspoken genes are studied in hopes of retaining the genius-level intellect but removing the OCD, it is discovered that Wang-mu has naturally mutated into such a condition, and her genes are treated as a model of what the revision is intended to do, making her rather outrageous name somewhat less ironic. Later, she accompanies the reborn Peter Wiggin on his quest to stop the destruction of Lusitania, and eventually marries him.
Joao Figueira Alvarez, known as "Pipo," (pronounced PEE-po) is the first xenologer of Lusitania, studying the "Lusitania Aborigines," though they are generally known as pequeninos (Portuguese for "Little Ones") or "piggies". He is one of the few people on the planet who treats Novinha as a real person, and becomes her beloved father-figure during her teenage years. He is the first human killed by the piggies, and his death prompts Novinha to call for a speaker for the dead.
Liberdade Graças a Deus Figueira de Medici, known as "Libo," (pronounced LEE-bo) is Pipo's son and the xenologer after his death. He is Novinha's first love, but she refuses to marry him after Pipo is killed, believing that one of her discoveries about the Descolada led to his murder and refusing to allow him marital access to those files. Unfortunately, he too is vivisected by the piggies, making her efforts in vain; his apprentice, Miro, calls for a speaking of his death, which Ender performs. He is the father of Novinha's children.
Ivanova Santa Catarina von Hesse, known as "Novinha," (pronounced no-VEEN-ya) is the daughter of Lusitania's xenobiologists, who were able to inhibit the descolada before it killed the entire colony but did not manage to save themselves. Orphaned, Novinha became distant and formal until finding a sanctuary with Pipo and Libo. It is her pain and sorrow that draws Ender Wiggin to Lusitania, and the two eventually marry. Despite this, Novinha never loses her fragility and fear of losing those dearest to her.
Marcos Maria Ribeira, known as "Marcão" (pronounced mar-COW) ("Big Marcos"), is Novinha's late husband. He is known for his fearsome stature, surly temper, and habit of beating his wife, traits which earned him the epithet "cão," dog; he dies a few weeks before Ender arrives at Lusitania, of a congenital disease which caused his glands to turn to fatty tissues. Among other things, this rendered him sterile, and it is revealed during Ender's speaking of his death that none of Novinha's children are actually his, but rather Libo's; the two agreed to this form of cuckoldry before getting married.
Marcos Vladimir Ribeira von Hesse, known as "Miro," (pronounced MIE-roe) is Novinha's eldest child. He follows Libo into xenology and falls in love with Ouanda, Libo's firstborn daughter by his (actual) wife. In response to this and other factors, he attempts to cross the nerve-stimulating fence separating the piggies from the human compound, suffering brain damage and becoming crippled. He is sent out into space to greet Valentine Wiggin and her family, and later becomes a key player in the events leading up to the almost-second Xenocide.
Ekaterina Elanora Ribeira von Hesse, known as "Ela," (pronounced E-la)is Novinha's second child. Like all the females in her line, she becomes a xenobiologist, and is one of the first members of the Ribeira family to warm to Ender. Later in life, she is instrumental in the destruction of the descolada virus, and its replacement with a far-more-benign variant, the recolada.
Estevão Rei Ribeira von Hesse, known as "Quim," (Quim is pronounced KEENG. Estevão is pronounced ES-te-vowng) is Novinha's third child. He is extremely pious and at first resists Andrew Wiggin on grounds of his atheistic avocation, but later warms to the Speaker, partially for his reputation as a crusader. He later becomes the first Christian evangelist to the pequeninos and holds great respect among them, but is martyred by a particularly heretical forest who believe that the descolada is the Holy Ghost and it is the pequeninos' duty to judge all humans with it.
Lauro Suleimão Ribeira von Hesse, Novinha's fourth child, is known as "Olhado," (pronounced ol-YAH-doe) "the guy with the eyes," because a freak laser accident blinded him in his youth, requiring the implant of metal replacements. He has reduced binocular vision and depth perception but can plug a computer jack directly into one eye, to upload visual recordings. Due to the resulting ostracism, he becomes a keen observer of human nature and interaction. Later in life he becomes a brickmaker (or at least a manager of them) because, to him, family is a far more important calling than the sciences that took his relatives; nonetheless he has revolutionary ways of looking at physics and metaphysics, and is crucial in the development of faster-than-light travel (via a modified hyperspace mechanic related to philotic theory). Like Ela, he quickly warms to Ender; as he relates to Valentine in Xenocide, his greatest secret is that, while alone with Ender, they call each other "Father" and "Son".
Lembrança das Milagres de Jesus Ribeira von Hesse, called "Quara," (pronounced KWA-rah) is Novinha's fifth child. Throughout her life she exhibits stubbornness and contrariness, generally doing whatever the people who love her don't want her to do. She also becomes a xenobiologist, and assists Ela in "truncating" the descolada, despite discovering that the virus is quite possibly sentient and is certainly able to communicate with other individuals of its species.
Gerão Gregorio Ribeira von Hesse, called "Grego," (pronounced GRE-goe) is Novinha's sixth child, only six years old when Ender arrives. As a child he showed a disturbing capacity for destruction, modeled on his father's habit of domestic violence, a temper which does not subside during later years. After Quim's death, he attempts to whip a mob into a frenzy to attack the responsible forest, only to have them jump on the nearest one to hand—Human and Rooter's forest—after being chewed out by Valentine, Grego tries to end the massacre with as little bloodshed as possible, eventually placing himself between the surviving piggies and his own riot. He later collaborates with Olhado on faster-than-light travel.
Rooter is a piggy who plays an influential role in human-pequenino relations. He is extremely intelligent and frequently proves the wisdom of the xenologers' directive of minimal interference; he is the first piggy to be flayed alive by his tribe after the establishment of the colony of Milagre, and thus the humans' first exposure to this practice; and his "totem tree" (as the humans think of him) provides them with wisdom and direction for years to come.
Human is a pequenino who serves as a diplomat of sorts between the piggies and the humans, helping Ender Wiggin communicate with one of the wives, Shouter, and create a treaty so that both races can live together. He is the first and last piggy to be "planted" by human hands, to sign the treaty in the piggies' way. Later in life he becomes the friend and confidant of the Lusitanian Hive Queen through philotic communication; Children of the Mind implies that the two have developed romantic feelings for each other.
Planter is a lab technician who assists Ela and Quara during the years before the arrival of the Lusitania Fleet. To prove that pequeninos can be separated from the descolada without harm, he volunteers for an "experiment" in which his body is purged of the virus, which is as vital to him as oxygen; though this loses him his "third life" as a sentient fathertree, he proves that pequenino sentience is not affected by the descolada, and as such is remembered by all peoples of Lusitania as a hero and martyr.
Glass is, like Planter, a lab technician to the Lusitanian xenobiologists. He volunteers to be a guinea piggy for the recolada virus and is successfully transformed into a fathertree, proving its suitability as a non-destructive descolada replacement.
Warmaker is a fathertree who, as his name suggests, was influential during the last great war between piggy tribes. It is his forest that develops the peculiar heresy of the descolada being the Holy Ghost, and he himself kills Quim by withholding from him the medicine all humans need to keep the descolada dormant.
Abra is the boy who Ender was with at the end of Ender's Game, when Ender discovered the cocooned Hive Queen at the End of the World the buggers built for him. In Ender in Exile, Abra is revealed to be a bright boy of eleven years old who can fix nearly any machine. Abra is not really accepted by the children of his age because he is seen as someone who is at the level of an adult, while the adults mostly see him as a child.
Randall Firth: Originally named Achilles Flanders II, Firth is the missing ninth child of Bean and Petra. Randall was born prematurely and appears to have Anton's Key turned. His mother, Nichelle Firth, also known as Randi believes Achilles is a hero assassinated by foul enemies. Nichelle allows Achilles to implant an embryo, believing that she would be carrying Achilles' child. To avoid persecution by Peter Wiggin, Randi determines to leave Earth and live in a colony, where she can raise her child and return him to Earth later to become the new Achilles. Nichelle ends up as a part of the colony Ganges led by Virlomi. Randall, called "Achilles" by Nichelle, is raised to see Peter the Hegemon and Julian Delphiki (otherwise known as Bean) as monsters, and to believe that Achilles was a true hero. Randall was one of the first to read "The Hive Queen" and treat it like a holy book, and thus he was also the first to paint Ender in a negative light, as Ender "The Xenocide". When Ender encounters Randall on Ganges, Randall plots to provoke Ender so that Ender will strike out and kill Randall. He thinks if this can be done, the universe will realize that Ender was a dangerous criminal. However, Ender does not strike out and instead tells Randall about his true mother and father: Petra Arkanian and Julian Delphiki. Randall is so enraged by this that he proceeds to brutally beat Ender, but Ender does not retaliate at all. Just before he delivers the final blow, Randall realizes that what Ender has told him is true, and he takes Ender to a doctor immediately. Randall then decides to rename himself Arkanian Delphiki, after his true parents.
The Hive Queen is the physical embodiment of the central consciousness of the Formics.
Jane is an artificial sentience thought to exist within the ansible network by which planets communicate instantly across galactic distances and instant communication is made possible through the hundred worlds.
Anton is a scientist of European descent who discovers two genetic modifications which will allow the human brain unlimited growth, at the cost of unlimited physical growth. This discovery, Anton's Key, is named in his honor. However, research into human genetic engineering was outlawed by the international community, and when the nature of his work was discovered, he was subjected to classical conditioning to make it difficult for him to continue or even discuss his research.
Volescu is an unethical scientist of European descent, and the brother of Bean's father. He illegally modified 23 human embryos, "turning" Anton's Key within them; only one, Bean himself, was ever grown to maturity. Volescu was later discovered and had to destroy all his "research," but Bean escaped him by, at the age of 9 months, hiding himself in the tank of a toilet. Volescu was later imprisoned for his crimes.
Poke is an orphan girl from the streets of Rotterdam, the leader of a "crew" of fellow orphans who eventually take in Bean—and Achilles. Poke gave Bean his name, which he was originally unfond of, but later recognizes himself as Bean and ignores Colonel Graff, who tells Bean his true identity as Julian Delphiki. In Rotterdam, Bean, on some instinct, tells Poke to kill Achilles when she has the chance; she refuses, and Achilles later kills her, after kissing her, by stabbing her in the eye and then throwing her in the Rhine. Bean witnessed the kiss in the dark and, after leaving the scene, came to the realization that Poke was unsafe. He rushes back to find Poke already dead; Bean then blames himself for Poke's death. When Bean tells the story of Poke to Ender's jeesh on the journey to Eros, he decides to trust Petra, saying to her, "You cried for Poke, and that makes us friends."
Seargent is the second in command of Poke's crew, and later Achilles' family. He finds out Achilles killed Poke, but keeps this a secret for his, and everyone else's, protection.
Sister Carlotta is a Catholicnun who works as a recruiter for Battle School. Like Poke, she takes in both Bean and Achilles; however, her battery of psychological tests manage to identify Achilles for who he truly is. Later, when he escapes from a mental institution in Belgium and begins his reign of terror, she and Bean go undercover to oppose him, eventually linking up with Peter Wiggin. She, like Poke, meets her death at Achilles' hands; Bean is never able to forgive himself for these deaths.
Ullysses is a bully in Rotterdam. To help his family receive food from a soup kitchen, Achilles makes a point of beating up Ullysses. When he is released from a hospital he gloats about getting even with him. Ullysses is later killed by Achilles.
Stilson is a bully in Ender's Game. In the very first chapter of the book, he and three friends gang up on Ender, who decides to win, not just this fight, but all fights that might happen in the near future. Ender's counterattacks are so effective that Stilson, unbeknownst to Ender, suffers enough injury to later die in the hospital.
Descoladores are a possibly sentient species that are first presented in Children of the Mind. Little is known about them other than the fact that they communicate using genes, through a virus, known as the Descolada, and that they can use that virus to alter the genes of all life on a planet, causing mostly lethal mutations. There has been much debate as to whether the Descoladores are Ramen, or whether Xenocide needs to occur (although the end of Children of the Mind lets us to know that the protagonists have decided to be Ramen themselves, and not use the Little Doctor to kill them all). It is suspected that they created the Descolada and other viruses in order to 'terraform' (to their liking) planets such as Lusitania. Upon arriving at their home planet, a group of scientists led by Miro, Jane, Quara, and Ela broadcast the remains of the Descolada found on Lusitania. This molecule contained the genetic makeup of all life on Lusitania (including humans and Pequeninos), although they did send an earlier version of the virus that had not seen the attempts to overcome it. The Descoladores responded by transmitting a genetic molecule back that affects the same place in the brain as heroin. Differing hypotheses for this transmission included a pacification attempt by the Descoladores to sedate and capture the intruders, as well as a welcoming "hug" to a new species. This led to the belief that the Descoladores communicate by transmitting a molecule meant to be manufactured and ingested by the receiving party. Another hypothesis is that this is the way the Descoladores communicate with animals, perhaps using philotic twining to communicate amongst themselves.
Andrew 'Ender' Delphiki is Bean and Petra's son who travels in the relativistic spaceship with Bean and his two siblings. He is one of four children in which Anton's Key is turned. He is determined to find a cure for Anton's Key. When he and his siblings find a new world to settle in, he devises and administers a virus that will develop an organelle to shut off their growth genome, leaving their intelligence intact but saving them from the giantism half of Anton's Key.