Physical Description?

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Physical Description?

Postby luminousnerd » Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:14 am

I can't find very much physical description of anyone at all in Card's books. He says on his website that he doesn't think visually, and that he wishes he did. He says that he thinks more of a low-detail map in his head. That explains why his description of the Battle Room and Battleschool in general is so vivid, yet his description of characters is almost nonexistant.

Anyway, I was wondering how you pictured each character?

Here's what I've always thought:

Graff: Tall, black, bald
Ender: Shorter than average, brown hair brown eyes
Valentine: average height, blonde hair blue eyes
Peter: Like Ender, but taller and more of an oval-shaped head
Bean: Short (duh), brown hair, strongly influenced by Ender's Shadow cover art even though Card openly stated that he hated that art.
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Postby Bevis » Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:08 pm

A friend & I were discussing this once and he pointed out to me that I didn't envision any blondes at battle school. I described everyone with dark hair.

I'm pretty certain that conversation was sparked by OSC's textbook on characterization. He downplays physical description in that book. He even claimed to have written a story without including the looks of the female protaganist.

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Postby Seiryu » Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:01 pm

I've always seen Graff as more of a Phillip Seymore Hoffman type person. There's a picture of Graff in the short story book First Meetings where he is a squinty eyed, square jaw white man who looks pretty built and a little old.
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Postby luminousnerd » Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:18 pm

Card openly disdains just about all of the artwork released about the series, especially the cover art. XD

Also, I am re-reading Shadow of the Giant right now and found a passage that says Bean's hair is black.

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Postby Bevis » Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:24 pm

Isn't Bean's father Greek & his mother African? That give him dark hair and dark skin.

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Postby Seiryu » Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:35 pm

luminousnerd wrote:Card openly disdains just about all of the artwork released about the series, especially the cover art. XD

Also, I am re-reading Shadow of the Giant right now and found a passage that says Bean's hair is black.


Maybe, but I'm pretty sure the picture of Graff is accurate.
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Postby LilBee91 » Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:42 pm

Bean's grandma was African. He is lighter than a Thai according to Shadow Puppets, but dark enough that the Rwandans in SotG don't see him as a white boy.
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Postby luminousnerd » Fri Dec 29, 2006 1:28 am

Good point. Never put that together.

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Postby eriador » Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:41 am

Wow. That has a bunch to do with EG.

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Postby Fish Tank » Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:13 am

I pictured Bonzo with red hair.... does anyone recall whether it was mentioned if he had red hair or not?
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Postby zeroguy » Sun Jan 07, 2007 1:32 pm

Fish Tank wrote:I pictured Bonzo with red hair.... does anyone recall whether it was mentioned if he had red hair or not?


I always imagined black hair, but it doesn't say anything about either.

A boy stood there, tall and dark and slender, with beautiful black eyes and slender lips that hinted at refinement.


I think that's the only description given in EG.
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Postby luminousnerd » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:17 pm

Fish Tank wrote:I pictured Bonzo with red hair.... does anyone recall whether it was mentioned if he had red hair or not?


He's Hispanic, suggesting black hair. Also, the picture of Bonzo on "Pretty Boy" (short story about Bonzo on Intergalactic Medicine Show) has black hair. Unlike the books, Card actually has power over what pictures go on that site.
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Postby Fish Tank » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:43 pm

Hmmm wonder why I thought red hair. lol Either way he's prolly always going to have red hair when I read the books.
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Postby hive_king » Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:05 pm

I imagine Bean with that kind of light olive skin that could be from almost everywhere, which is one reason he blends in as well as he does.
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Postby Derwyddon » Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:36 pm

I didn't think about this much when I was first reading the books, but I've thought about it quite a bit since then. I've discovered unless it's vital to the plot, I generally envision the characters with whatever personal perceptions I had at the time of their introduction and am often later a bit taken off guard when their physical descriptions come back into play.
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Postby luminousnerd » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:49 pm

Card has mentioned in various interviews and other things that he's not a visual thinker. I'm not so sure even he knows what half the characters look like :P
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Postby Bean_wannabe » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:43 pm

I know what he means - I have no idea what I think any of the characters look

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Postby akrolsmir » Tue Apr 08, 2008 5:47 pm

Isn't graff supposed to be somewhat fat?
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Postby zeroguy » Wed Apr 09, 2008 2:13 am

akrolsmir wrote:Isn't graff supposed to be somewhat fat?


At certain points, yes. As I recall, he wasn't fat at first; at least, not too noticeably so. From EG:

Ender tried to remember. Graff hadn't seemed particularly fat at when Ender first met him, only four years ago.


As Ender progresses in Battle School Graff gets rather fat, to the point of where apparently his belly spills over both armests even when sitting straight up. But near the end of EG he's slimmer again.
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Postby randomicicle » Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:49 pm

I'm kindain a rush, so couldn't read the whole thread. It was funny because I was just talking with my sister about that. It was like.. the actors are going to be pretty random (if they ever do the movie) since the physical descriptions are rather open.

For what I can recall, Bean was "mediterranean" -whatever that exactly means- and Alai was black (not sure though, I just remember one of his soldiers calling him black dog, so I guess he was more black than arab). As for the Wiggins, guess they're... typical white people? However they're suppossed to "typically" look.
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Re:

Postby TerresaWiggin » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:46 am

I'm kindain a rush, so couldn't read the whole thread. It was funny because I was just talking with my sister about that. It was like.. the actors are going to be pretty random (if they ever do the movie) since the physical descriptions are rather open.

For what I can recall, Bean was "mediterranean" -whatever that exactly means- and Alai was black (not sure though, I just remember one of his soldiers calling him black dog, so I guess he was more black than arab). As for the Wiggins, guess they're... typical white people? However they're suppossed to "typically" look.
while John Paul Wiggin was Polish...
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Re: Physical Description?

Postby Boothby » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:03 pm

Polish, from personal experience, tends to point towards a rounder, flatter face, black hair (with flecks of grey as one ages, trending towards white). Or tending towards NO hair as one ages.....
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