Asp Army: the Hufflepuff of Ender’s Game

So this is a much-needed rant; I will explode if I don’t say this. I just took the Ender’s Game: IF Strategic Aptitude Test, which is basically to sort you into one of four armies: Dragon, Rat, Salamander and Asp. I got drafted into Asp. The asp, by the way, is a venemous snake,most popular for being used by Cleopatra to commit suicide. But, I digress. Before you read on, I would like to warn you with a SPOILER ALERT. If you’re like me, and absolutely abhor spoilers, please don’t read on. If, on the other hand, you’re another hardcore fan, or else don’t mind spoilers, please continue.

Dragon Army: Anyone who’s read the book knows that, like Gryffindor, Dragon Army is where you want to be. Created specifically for Ender, this army has the best, most coveted, most talented students.

Traits: Intelligence, Improvisation Ability, Tactical Ability, and everything else awesome and embodying perfection.

Salamander Army: Led by the devil himself, Bonzo Madrid, Salamander Army is the equivalent of Slytherin in terms of popular perception. It differs in that it is badly-captained, and lack of respect reigns everywhere. Run by fear, it’s not the place you want to be. Still Salamander has Petra, and Petra is awesome. At the end of the day, Salamander does well – they’re just not the most welcoming or easy at improvisation. Stick to the plan and work hard is a motto that normally works for them.

Traits: Ambition, Hubris, Order, Hierarchy, Following the Plan (sometimes blindly)

Rat Army: The Ravenclaw of the Enderverse, Rat Army commander is Rose de Nose, but seeing as he’s not really commander material, I consider him a bad example. Rat is chaotic and disorderly, but they possess an open-mindedness that I like. Dink Meeker, in my opinion, is the embodiment of Rat. Cool, calm and collected, Dink is perfect commander material. Dink actually thinks. He sees the bigger picture and predicts the war that’s going to happen on Earth. He sees the teachers playing them, and he comes to his own conclusions and decision: that he won’t take part in the *ahem* rat race.

Traits: Analytical Skill, Adaptability, Chaos (creativity?)

Asp Army: Here we reach the point of this post and the root of the problem. Despite being a fan, (or maybe precisely because I am a fan) I cannot, for the life of me, recall any part of the book that does more than name Asp Army as a statistic, along with all the other armies. Nowhere is Asp given any character. We have no idea whether it’s a good team or a bad team or what the army’s like. Hence, the Hufflepuff reference.The Asp snake looks more like a nice tough-looking fourth-army-mascot than anything else.

Traits(according to the quiz): Creativity, Innovation

Now, for the rant. I highly dislike the fact that, once again, we have a house/army/category that it is IMPOSSIBLE to identify with for fans. Note that I don’t say that the traits are hard to identify with: I think their analysis of me as creative and innovative is pretty much right. I just don’t feel like I belong in Asp because they’ve obviously just picked up a fourth army to round it off and assigned these character traits to them because, for a quiz, we need the artsy, right-brained house.

Disclaimer: I’m not just jealous that I wasn’t put into Dragon. Although I am jealous. It’s obvious what answers are required to get Dragon, and I decided to be honest and see what I got.

Also, it still remains that Dragon Army is the creme de la creme of Battle School – a sort of Special Ops squad. In short, it’s like Dumbledore’s Army – a collection of the best from each category – not a category of its own, and definitely not comparable with Rat, Salamander and *snort* Asp. Therefore, not being sorted into Dragon automatically makes you inferior.

Back to the Hufflepuff comparison. I’m not saying either Hufflepuff or Asp are inherently bad. I’m just reminded of Harry Potter fans’ disconnect with Hufflepuff because it plays such a minor role in the books/movies. We don’t even get to see their Common Room. So imagine my frustration when I’m placed in an Army which:

  • is not even one of four main armies – it’s just one of many, randomly selected to fill the vacancy. Even Condor and Rabbit were given bigger roles.
  • doesn’t have any significant role or scene in the book
  • does not even have any distinguishing characteristics mentioned in the book – we just have to take Lionsgate’s word for it. At least Hufflepuff has loyalty and magnanimity as guideposts.

Coincidentally, Asp Army has a significantly lesser number of insignias (those circular army-badge-things) on Google image search, as I found out when trying to find images for this post. Hence the slight size difference, for any of you that noticed. Just thought I’d mention it.

So anyway, I’m really angry and really frustrated. The “sorting” does not make sense to me to begin with, and although I’m happy to be pronounced creative and innovative, I hate that I was sorted into Asp. It honestly bothers me.

Also, they do not allow you to retake the quiz. I’ve tried. Even if you revoke app permission on Facebook and try again. Yeah, I know. Another little warning: there’s no guarantee that all your information will be deleted from their system if you decide to back out. It’s part of their Privacy Policy, which – yes – i read. Yes, I was that angry. Although I must admit this would be pretty much a non-issue if I’d gotten Dragon.

I know I can’t be alone in feeling this annoyed. I ranted to two people already and cursed being placed in Asp till my throat went sore. What hurts the most is the fact that the quiz is supposed to make you get more excited and involved with Ender’s Game; they just alienated me from it. Asp has no role in the book. I’ve been placed in a background army with randomly-assigned traits. That makes me feel lost. Even though I know it’s just a game, and it’s just for fun, and it should probably be considered a bonus that we have a somewhat official quiz at all, I’m still annoyed at the illogical way in which it was handled. Sure, I realize that for moviegoers, or people who are only reading the book to get an idea of the story before the movie releases, it’ll be all in fun and it won’t really matter. But for me, as a devoted fan, it does.

I, immature or not, will continue to hate Asp Army as one of the four advertised/promoted armies until I hear word from Card about Asp. It’s his world: if he says Asp is important and creative, I will believe that Asp is important and creative. But not until then.  So please, if anyone hears any official news about Asp or has proof or views to the contrary, please let me know. I am definitely open to persuasion.

As a side note: it sucks that I got 5/5 in the YA quiz, and I can’t go to the comic-con and collect my prize. Cue loud weeping.

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6 comments on “Asp Army: the Hufflepuff of Ender’s Game

  1. I agree, Rabbit would have made a much better choice. It became Bean’s Army and fits the characteristics better. And for those that think rabbits are “girly”, its the 22rd or 23rd century. Grow up.

    • I’m glad you agree. And you’re right – Rabbit, Bean’s Army, was ALL ABOUT creativity and innovation – literally all they did was find new ways of doing things. That would have been a much better fit. It would have felt more true to the book. Ho, Dragon. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • “And for those that think Rabbits are “girly”, it’s the 22nd or 23rd century. Grow up”

      It is actually the 21st century, but that is beside the point.

      You beautiful, beautiful person. Thank you. It’s always difficult to make this point to somebody. People just do not seem to understand that at the end of the day, we are all human. Our constant attempts to compete and oppress each other utilizing gender, race, and age is both illogical and detrimental. I commend you for your maturity and wise thoughts. If only more people could rationalize this way.

      Incidentally, I’m sorry for the author of this post. It IS too bad that there is always one group of people that are marginalized. I never particularly liked this part of the Harry potter series because of this; how can you categorize people into “good” and “bad” houses. Who’s to say everybody in Slytherin is evil? You cannot just group people that way. Nobody can! People are so diverse and complicated, it would be near impossible to do this. The “house system” always seemed dreadfully transparent and phony, as well as 1 dimensional to me because of this. Furthermore, I do not think hufflepuff was given enough credit. Integrity, hardworking,and kind/loyalty? These should be the qualities we value most. Instead, integrity and harmony are pushed to the side lines to make way for more “important” characteristics; violence and bravery.

      Whoopdie freakin’ do.

      I’m not trying to soil gryffindor, but I really don’t think it is the most important one. Similarly to The hogwart’s houses, Dragon was not the only “good” one, the other armies also had something speacial to them (incidentally I’m going to have to disagree with you on the gryffindor-dragon rat-rave claw dynamic. Let’s face it, Ender is no coward, but Dink’s leaps and bounds over Ender in the confrontation/rebellious/courage department. Have doubts? Just read “A War of Gifts.”) .l commend you for your honesty, even if it was only a quiz, I believe Introspection to be something very valuable. It is to bad intojection is so much more popular…… Still though, if it makes you feel any better, we can just mentally switch out rabbit for Asp. It makes more sense anyways.

      Scenes invoving Bean, and Carn Carby were admittedly some of the best moments (and best characters) of the book anyways. If not the most. And they certainly can be creative.

      • Hi, Excel. First of all, thanks for stopping by and commenting! I will for sure take your advice about substituting Rabbit for Asp. (I feel better already!) Funny how much power a name has, isn’t it?

        I actually have read “A War of Gifts”, and although I agree that Dink is more rebellious than Ender, I think they’re both evenly matched in terms of courage – courage is courage, no matter how its test or how its manifestation. Maybe it’s Ender’s introversion that’s dissuading you?

        My classification was done on the basis of popular perception/ army generalities, not on the basis of a detailed character analysis of one person. (even one who can be used as a good example of his army) However, I’d love to hear your views on House-Army comparisons.

        Incidentally, I consider Dink a prime example of Rat, but not necessarily Ravenclaw. That would be Bean for his brainpower, natural or not. Ender I would place in Hufflepuff, as his defining character trait is empathy, and Dink I would put in Gryffindor for the very same rebellious streak you just mentioned. Plus he’s instinctively good as a leader, in my opinion. You know what they say – those most suited to power are those who never actively seek it out!

ask. debate. scribble.

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