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It’s Valentine’s Day today and I’d like to wish all you fellow fans out there a day full of love and happiness! Did you know that Ender’s Game is a book full of love?

The word ‘love’, I mean. There are a grand total of 66 instances in Ender’s Game where the word love is used in some form, although it’s not always in a positive way.

Here’s a list of all of the uses of the word love in the book:

  1. “Hey, Third, we’re talkin to you, Third, hey bugger-lover, we’re talkin to you.”
  2. “You can make yourselves sound like pathetic, cute little children so we’ll love you and be nice to you. But it doesn’t work. I can see you for what you really are.”
  3. “Ender, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I know how it feels, I’m sorry, I’m your brother, I love you.”
  4. “The sister is our weak link. He really loves her.”
  5. “You’ll still love her, Ender, but you won’t know her.”
  6. “They do love you, Ender. But you have to understand what your life has cost them.”
  7. “So my parents love me and don’t love me?” (2)
  8. “They love you. The question is whether they want you here.”
  9. “Valentine loves me.”
  10. “I love you, Andrew!” Mother called.
  11. “Come back to me! I love you forever!”
  12. “So? What will you do about it? Crawl into a corner? Start kissing their little backsides so they’ll love you again?”
  13. His accent made him exotic and interesting; his broken arm made him a martyr; his sadism made him a natural focus for all those who loved pain in others.
  15. “Let’s go get Bernard and Shen and freeze these bugger-lovers.”
  16. Ender had never spoken of that to anyone, not even to Mother, but had kept it as a memory of holiness, of how his mother loved him when she thought that no one, not even he, could see or hear.
  17. “Major Anderson, I know I’m wrecking the game, and I know you love it better than any of the boys who play. Hate me if you like, but don’t stop me.”
  18. Dink smiled crookedly. “Because I can’t give up the game.” He tugged at the fabric of his flash suit, which lay on the bunk beside him. “Because I love this.”
  19. “A model student,” said his teachers. “I wish we had a hundred others in the school just like him. Studies all the time, turns in all his work on time. He loves to learn.”
  20. Valentine knew it was a fraud. Peter loved to learn, all right, but the teachers hadn’t taught him anything, ever.
  21. Valentine leaned against the trunk of the pine tree, her little fire a few smoldering ashes. “I love you, too, Peter.”
  22. “I didn’t hate you. I loved you both, I just had to be—had to have control, do you understand that?”
  23. “I don’t believe what you did to those squirrels was part of an act. I think you did it because you love to do it.”
  24. It was possible, wasn’t it, that he loved her, and that in this time of terrifying opportunity he was willing to weaken himself before her in order to win her love. (2)
  25. Because if it were true, even partly true, then Peter was not a monster, and so she could satisfy her Peter-like love of power without fear of becoming monstrous herself.
  26. “I’m trying to solve this problem now, with the person Ender loves and trusts most in the world, perhaps the only person he loves and trusts at all.” (2)
  27. The only person Ender loves and trusts at all. She felt a deep stab of pain, of regret, of shame that now it was Peter she was close to, Peter who was the center of her life.
  29. The one real thing, the one precious real thing was his memory of Valentine, the person who loved him before he ever played a game, who loved him whether there was a bugger war or not, and they had taken her and put her on their side. (2)
  30. Dink was right, they were the enemy, they loved nothing and cared for nothing and he was not going to do what they wanted, he was damn well not going to do anything for them.
  31. “And what do you want, love and kisses?”
  32. “He would love to see you now, come to fight a naked boy in a shower, smaller than you, and you brought six friends. He would say, Oh, what honor.”
  33. Ah, thought Ender, he loves to have someone recognize that he is the one in control, that he has power.
  34. “If you touch him you’re a buggerlover!” cried Dink.
  35. Peter loved it when Father did that—”See, it shows that the common man is paying attention”—but it made Valentine feel humiliated for Father.
  36. “And you love it that you got that before I did.”
  37. It was a lovely bite at the party in power, and she got a lot of good mail about it.
  38. “I was afraid that I’d still love you.”
  39. “In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them—” (4)
  40. “Look him in the eye when all the world loves and reveres you. That’ll be defeat in his eyes, Ender. That’s how you win.”
  41. “I want him to love me.”
  42. She had no answer. As far as she knew, Peter didn’t love anybody.
  43. When they got to the shore, she climbed onto the dock and said, “I love you, Ender. More than ever. No matter what you decide.”
  44. With all your hurry, that’s why you took three months, to make me love Earth. Well, it worked.
  45. Valentine, who still loved Ender no matter what happened.
  46. The same voice that he would do anything to keep alive, even return to school, even leave Earth behind again for another four or forty or four thousand years. Even if she loved Peter more.
  47. I was cut off from all the people that I loved, everything I knew, living in this alien catacomb and forced to do nothing of importance but teach student after student, each one so hopeful, each one, ultimately, a weakling, a failure.
  48. “I can’t bear to see what this is doing to him.” And the other voice answered, “I know. I love him too.”
  49. All dreams. If there was love or pity for him, it was only in his dreams.
  50. Take me home, he said silently to Graff. In my dream you said you loved me. Take me home.
  51. So much compassion that he could win the love of his underlings and work with them like a perfect machine, as perfect as the buggers.
  52. Whatever they may feel about other people, Ender, they love you.
  53. And we can take with us what their worlds have never known—cities full of people who live private, individual lives, who love and hate each other for their own reasons.
  54. The best you can do is choose to fill the roles given you by good people, by people who love you.
  55. I came because I’ve spent my whole life in the company of the brother that I hated. Now I want a chance to know the brother that I love, before it’s too late, before we’re not children anymore.”
  56. They knew him now, and he had won their love and their respect.
  57. There were crimes and quarrels, alongside kindness and cooperation; there were people who loved each other and people who did not; it was a human world.
  58. This was a new thing in the world, two queens that loved and helped each other instead of battling, and together they were stronger than any other hive.
  59. They began to live by it as best they could, and when their loved ones died, a believer would arise beside the grave to be the Speaker for the Dead, and say what the dead one would have said, but with full candor, hiding no faults and pretending no virtues.

Source: Kindle Edition of Ender’s Game

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