|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|Ender's Game character|
|First appearance||Ender's Game|
|Last appearance||Ender in Exile|
|Created by||Orson Scott Card|
|Portrayed by||Hailee Steinfeld|
|Family||Stefan Arkanian (brother)
David Arkanian (brother)
|Spouse(s)||Julian Delphiki II
Julian Delphiki III
Petra Delphiki II
Five others (by Peter Wiggin)
Petra Arkanian is a major Armenian character in the Ender's Game series of science fiction novels by Orson Scott Card. She appears as a supporting character in Ender's Game, and takes on a larger role in Shadow of the Hegemon and Shadow Puppets.
In Ender's Game, Petra who is of Armenian descent, is one of the few female students at the Battle School. As something of an outcast herself, she acts as an older sister towards Ender Wiggin and teaches him how to shoot. In Shadow of the Hegemon, it's mentioned that one of her teachers found her so aggressive that he actually had her genome scanned to make sure she wasn't a boy.
Petra becomes a member of Ender's "jeesh," or informal team and as such she rejoins him in Command School, where she serves as one of his most capable lieutenants during the campaigns against the Buggers. He relies on her so heavily, in fact, that he pushes her too hard and she finally breaks during combat, dozing off from exhaustion and causing a number of casualties. Although she recovers, she loses her aggressive edge and she never quite trusts herself again, believing herself to be weak and unreliable, a judgment that later events prove wrong.
Throughout the Shadow series, Petra serves as a point of insecurity and necessity for Bean. He feels compelled to protect her, due to his failings to protect other important people in his life. In his early life he left his friend Poke alone, and she was murdered by Bean's continual nemesis Achilles de Flandres. When Petra is later captured by Achilles, Bean strives to rescue her. The subsequent death of his long-time friend and caretaker Sister Carlotta drives him even more to rescue Petra.
While believing she was a weak link in Ender's team, Petra continually fights Achilles when in captivity, and she is able to use his insecurities to both keep herself alive, and expose Achilles to danger. In fact, Achilles has a short "romance" with Petra. Her actions also end up preparing and aiding several other captives of Achilles, once Bean finally comes to rescue her.
Throughout the rest of the series, Petra and Bean's relationship evolves. Petra initially claims that she wants Bean's children because he is the man with the most desirable DNA, although she later makes it quite clear that she wants Bean's children because she loves him. Bean is reluctant, due to the fact that he considers his genetic abnormality to be a very large negative, and does not want to pass it on to his children. Petra and Bean do end up marrying, in Spain, while on the run from Achilles, and having children via in vitro fertilization.
Before Achilles dies, he acquires eight samples of Bean and Petra's embryos, and has them implanted in different women all over the world. Finding these children becomes a major plot point, and Petra is very fervent in the search. Being a mother, she seems to really grow as a character, showing much more sentimentality than she did in earlier books. She gives birth to little Ender, who unfortunately has Bean's genetic defect.
They then go on to find, with the help of the Hegemony and the I.F. Bella and Ramon–both of whom were named by their surrogate parents, and only Bella had Anton's key turned. However, when the I.F. found the other five children, only one of them having Bean's genetic defect. However, when Bean decides to go off into space, light-years ahead, he takes with him the three of his children with the defect. But because no one was to know of the ship taking off from Earth and Bean was supposed to be dead, two of the children found were also named Bella and Andrew. Bean later refers to the Andrew that he took with him as 'Ender', and Bella as 'Carlotta', after the nun who became his mother in his heart. Also, he decided to call the girl with Petra, named Petra–not wanting the children to get confused when he told them of their mother–he decided to call her 'Poke', after the nine-year-old girl who sacrificed her life for his when he was only a small four-year-old on the streets of Rotterdam–his father, as he calls her later in the book. Following Bean's 'death' (In actuality, he faked his death with the help of Hyrum Graff and went into self-imposed exile in space to prolong his genetically shortened lifespan), Petra eventually marries Peter Wiggin, the Hegemon and brother of Ender Wiggin even though she loves Bean. At the end of the novel, when Petra is alone at Peter's grave, she tells him that she loves him, even though she never stopped loving Bean.