Peter Wiggin

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Peter Wiggin
Ender's Game character
First appearance Ender's Game
Last appearance Shadow of the Giant
Created by Orson Scott Card
Portrayed by Jimmy Pinchak
Information
Family John Paul Wiggin (father)
Theresa Wiggin (mother)
Valentine Wiggin (sister)
Ender Wiggin (brother)
Spouse(s) Petra Arkanian
Si Wang-mu
Children Five unnamed children (by Petra)

Peter Wiggin is a fictional character in the science fiction novel Ender's Game and its sequels, written by Orson Scott Card. He has appeared in the novels Ender's Game, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind and in an upcoming short story to be published in Intergalactic Medicine Show.

In the 2013 film adaptation of Ender's Game, he was portrayed by Jimmy Pinchak.

Childhood[edit]

In Ender's Game, Peter is depicted as a sadistic bully who delights in torturing animals and terrorizing his siblings, Ender and Valentine. He is denied entrance into Battle School because he is too violent for the likings of the officers in charge. He is not without humanity, however; toward the end of the novel, Peter admits he loved Ender as a baby and felt very angry when Ender would ignore him in favour of Valentine.

After Ender leaves for Battle School, his family moves to North Carolina in an effort to curb his emerging sociopathy. The move ultimately makes the situation worse, however; Peter remains cold and cruel, but he learns how to affect a charming facade to manipulate adults into giving him what he wants. Valentine sees him for who he is, but remains silent because she feels guilty for sharing a bond with him.

At the age of 12, Peter convinces Valentine to use their father's network identity, and eventually hidden identities that they have obtained for themselves, to submit writings (in the form of blogs) to the world using pseudonyms (Locke for Peter and Demosthenes for Valentine). Demosthenes acts as a demagogue, stirring up hostility towards governments in the Second Warsaw Pact, especially Russia; Locke, meanwhile, takes a more empathic and high-minded role, calling for communication between the two nations. Each of the two writers gradually gain a following. Playing off each other’s writings, the siblings work to manipulate world events and opinions, so that when the extraterrestrials threatening the world (buggers) are defeated, the resulting League War (caused by the world’s only common enemy ceasing to exist) is quickly resolved by the "Locke proposal".

Peter sends Ender away after the five-day League War. Valentine joins Ender, leaving Peter as the only Wiggin child on Earth.

Rise to power[edit]

In Shadow of the Hegemon, Bean, the main protagonist, joins Peter when Achilles de Flandres captures all the members of Ender's jeesh. Bean decodes a message sent by Petra, one of the captured children, and provides Peter with it, which Peter reveals to the world through his Locke persona. Later, Sister Carlotta and Bean convince Peter his path to power requires him to reveal himself as the writer behind Locke and Demosthenes and to decline the position of Hegemon because of his age. Peter dislikes being told what to do, but recognizes that this is the only action he can take, as it is only a matter of time before Achilles, now pulling the strings in India, takes action to expose or kill him. He uses his influence to put Bean in a military position in Thailand, which he and Bean perceive to be the target of a future attack by Achilles' India.

Meanwhile, Peter does consultation work in Haiti to show his abilities at governing and to have a nation’s protection from Achilles. Events during Bean's time in Thailand, the way in which India is conducting its war, and information from Peter's contacts reveal to Peter and Bean that Achilles' true goals are to create a massive Chinese empire by betraying both India and Thailand. Bean and Peter disagree over the release of this information to the world.

Meanwhile, Bean acquires a group of about 300 Thai soldiers, and welds them into the most formidable fighting force of its size on Earth. They carry out missions for the government of Thailand, under the command of Suriyawong, a Thai graduate of Battle School and one of the highest ranking officials in the Thai military.

Peter eventually reports the information to the world, just before Bean rescues a group of Battle School Students from India. The reporting of China’s plans precipitates their betrayal of India and Thailand. Both of these countries are so weakened by their war with each other that China manages a nearly bloodless conquest.

This new conquest of China’s frightens much of the rest of the world, and they vote Peter in as Hegemon to try to preserve peace, even as China, now ruling over a third of the world’s population, revokes its recognition of the position. At the end of the novel, Bean turns control of his small battle group over to Hegemon Peter. Afterwards, they argue over Peter’s refusal to report on China’s plans sooner. Peter justifies himself by saying that reporting sooner would have done nothing to stop it, as he would not have been believed; and that even if he was, neither India or Thailand had the capacity to resist the Chinese aggression. By revealing the information when he did, he avoided a much bloodier war, and he cemented his reputation for prescience and as a man for peace. Another reason for that, from the point of view of other characters, is that the information being revealed before wouldn't have been as beneficial to Peter getting the office of Hegemon as it was, even if the office was only nominal in practical terms.

Peter sees himself as the only person capable of bringing peace to the warring world. Peter seems to have played his hand perfectly—he unites humanity under a single government, due to the way that he analyzed the problem as early as Shadow of the Hegemon when he decides to take action against Achilles, and releases the information that Achilles was to betray the world via Russia (and later India) to China, which is soon taken over by Han Tzu (a Battle school survivor of Ender Wiggin's jeesh). Peter runs world affairs with an articulate eye and open mind.

In Shadow Puppets, Peter invites Achilles to work for him, despite the danger this places Peter in. In the previous novel, Peter was the writer who exposed Achilles and forced him to abandon his plans for conquest. Achilles moves to subvert the Hegemony and forces Peter to go up into space. There, Colonel Graff gets suspicions that Achilles will attempt to kill Peter and his parents when they return to Earth. Graff sends a dummy ship that Achilles blows up; in doing this, Achilles all but seals his doom, since no nation will want to openly associate with him. Peter retakes the Hegemony.

It is during Peter's time as a fugitive that he begins to change and evolve into the benevolent person described in 'The Hegemon'. Accepting that he miscalculated and almost got himself and his parents killed, he begins to recognizes his parents for who they truly are: highly intelligent people who always cared for him instead of the ignorant buffoons he thought they were. After refusing to let him give up and encouraging him to take responsibility for his mistake, Peter comes full circle and apologizes to his parents for exiling Ender and scaring Valentine away from Earth.

Shadow of the Giant comes back to Peter's conquest to unite the world and shows his diplomatic and political maneuvering. He creates the Free People of Earth, a contract by all people who have ratified it. Based on principles of republican democracy, all nations—including unrecognized nations within sovereign borders—are invited to join the FPE. By joining of their own accord, the organization governs itself by the rule of law without coercing the populace. If a ratified member is attacked by hostile forces, the FPE as a whole intercedes on their behalf. It begins slowly, but quickens when he uses Bean to swiftly defeat the aggressive armies attacking the new fledgling members. As Hegemon, Peter brokers offers to the other major world forces to retain their autonomy and encourage their ratification, but without compromising the principles of the FPE. Over time, the FPE rises from obscurity and becomes a dominant economic and military force. At the very end of the novel, only the United States has not joined, but the world as a whole is united and peaceful.

Over the course of the novel Peter's growing maturity is seen in greater detail. Peter's reliance on Bean's military prowess is crucial to the FPE, but is also limited as Bean intends to leave Earth once his missing children are found. However, when Mazer Rackham informs Peter that the children were found and asks for the right time to tell Bean, Peter refuses to keep Bean away from his children and tells Rackham to tell him right away. During their conversation Rackham also reveals to Peter the true reason Ender was chosen to go to the Battle School over him: it wasn't his aggressiveness or violent attitude, both which were seen as required qualities, but rather his cold and unsociable demeanor which disqualified him. After Bean leaves Earth, Peter helps Bean's wife Petra Arkanian to raise her five remaining children and later marries her. Together, they have five additional children of their own.

Ender's and Valentine's trip through space, though short for them, lasts 50 years on Earth. By this time, Peter has united the world under the office of Hegemon and is suffering from a failing heart. As first described in Ender's Game, and later, with more detail, in Shadow of the Giant, he communicates by ansible and tells Ender what he did on Earth, both good and bad. Peter apologizes to Ender for his behavior, and Ender seems to have forgiven him. He says, "I think I can write about you." Based on these conversations, Ender writes The Hegemon and releases it after Peter's death under a pseudonym, Speaker for the Dead. This story, a frank account of Peter Wiggin's life, is later published as a single volume with Ender's The Hive Queen, a small novel about the Formics, or buggers, telling the truth behind the tale. In the end, both Peter and Ender have done great things that changed human history forever. The final irony in both of their legacies is that Peter is remembered for being a caring and peaceful leader even though he was cruel and violent as a child while Ender is remembered for being a ruthless warmonger even though he was kind and gentle as a child.

A new Peter[edit]

In Xenocide, during an experimental trip to the “outside,” Ender accidentally splits his aiúa into three parts: himself, Young Valentine, and Young Peter. Young Peter is more like a caricature of Ender’s childhood perception of Peter; he is angry, sadistic and arrogant. In spite of this, Young Peter carries a cure for OCD to the world of Path.

Fragments and parts of Peter's rule of Hegemon are also explored in Xenocide. For instance, the Hundred Worlds are settled after Peter's death, and Peter's organization, the Free People of Earth, is replaced by Starways Congress. At the end of the novel, Young Peter calls Hegemon "that book of lies" for cleaning the blood on his hands, for "as long as I was alive, I wanted blood there".

In Children of the Mind, he travels to many of the Hundred Worlds with Si Wang-Mu, now made possible due to the experimental faster than light travel that created him in Xenocide. Both of them are on a mission to persuade as many leaders as possible that the Evacuation Fleet constitutes a second xenocide. Because of him, orders are sent to the Fleet to prevent the use of the Molecular Disruption Device. However, Peter himself is forced to appear on the deck to stop the ship’s captain from taking matters into his own hands, which would have resulted in the use of the Little Doctor anyway. The Fleet is averted. During this process, Ender dies, and his aiúa is passed on to Peter, making him a "self" now. At the end, he falls in love with and marries Wang-Mu.