The Ender’s Game Plotline That’s Left Out of the Movie

It's an intriguing subplot that could be introduced if the movie spawns any sequels

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Richard Foreman / Summit Entertainment

The movie adaptation of the sci-fi novel Ender’s Game keeps intact all the main elements of the book on which it’s based: Ender, the game, et cetera. But fans of Orson Scott Card’s much-loved book will notice that a major plotline is completely left out of the movie.

(READ: Richard Corliss’ review of ‘Ender’s Game’)

Here’s a refresher on that plot, for the curious.


The cast of characters in the Ender’s movie will be a familiar list to those who have read the book. There’s Petra and Bean, Graff and Rackham, Peter and Valentine. But there are two names that aren’t mentioned: Locke and Demosthenes.

The novel, published in 1985, has a vision of the Internet that holds up surprisingly well, though where movie-Ender says “email” book-Ender just says “mail,” and the book pluralizes “the nets” as the general term for the web. In the book, Ender’s siblings Peter and Valentine use the nets to assume the identities of Locke and Demosthenes, respectively. (The other pair of that name, an Enlightenment thinker and an ancient Greek politician, don’t actually figure in either book or movie.) Under their pseudonyms, and despite their youth, Peter and Valentine publish their ideas about world politics, building a massive amount of influence and impacting the fate of every person who, unlike Ender, remains on Earth.

(PHOTOS:  A Before-and-After Gallery of Ender’s Game’s Visual F/X)

As with any compression of hundreds of pages into a normal-length movie, something has to get left out. It’s easy to see why, in making that decision, Ender’s Game would prioritize interplanetary warfare involving the title character over philosophical debates between his siblings. But Ender’s Game is only the first in a series of books, and Peter and Valentine’s political roles become increasingly important as time passes — which means the filmmakers may have a lot to catch audiences up on should the movie lead to a franchise.

(MORE: Cloudy With a Chance of Aliens)

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the original publication date of Ender’s Game.