[LMB] Ezar the Evil Overlord and his heir problem
agnes at charrel.net
agnes at charrel.net
Mon Sep 15 20:09:04 BST 2008
> Quoting Harimad <harimad2001 at yahoo.com>:
>> My question is, why did Ezar let Serg get to that state? Why did
>> Serg have so much power and rank, when his proclivities had been
>> known for years?
Because he was the Crown Prince in a culture that doesn't value women
and has such a high tolerance/acceptance for the "boys will be boys,
ah ah" meme that Ivan, with Alys as a mother and Cordelia as an aunt,
felt fine making a "pass" (that included getting physical) to the
virgin daughter of an old close-family retainer?
Per textevd in SoH, Ezar would have accepted his son's proclivities
(up to and including rape and torture of the little people) if he had
shaped up to be a strong leader for the Empire.
Quoting Eric Oppen <technomad at intergate.com>:
> And HOW did he get that far gone without the Emperor twigging to what
> was going on? Any ruler, and I mean ANY ruler, has spies...and the
> heir to the throne is spied on, morning, noon and night. When I
> become an Evil Overlord <snip Eric's planning, including list of
> things he would do better than any other ruler in the history of
> mankind, past and present>
What makes you think Serg wasn't closely spied on? Per texevd (SoH,
discussion between Aral and Cordelia) Negri had a huge file compiling
all of his vices, from the moderately important personal (who cares if
a few slum dwellers get raped, tortured or killed, anyway?) to bigger
issues (two assassination attempts on his father in the past 18
months) and, more importantly, showing that he was getting more and
more unstable as he letting himself being manipulated by various
political factions through his vices.
> I'd know my heir's tastes in food, s*xual pleasure, clothing, and
> entertainment, possibly better than (s)he did...
Ezar certainly knew all of that, per the reference to Serg's super
secret ImpSec file.
> and an heir that was
> shaping up to be Seriously Bad News (Edward II Plantagenet and
> Commodus, to take two examples from history) would have a
> regrettable---oh, how very regrettable!---accident. If I could figure
> out a way to blame the accident on people I also needed to take out of
> the picture, that'd be gravy.
Isn't that *exactly* what Ezar did? Setting up and then using his
son's "heroic" death to take out the whole War Party and settle any
yearnings of the Empire toward expansion through military means for
the next generation or so? And he did so in well nigh perfect Evil
Overlord fashion, without any care for the deaths of thousands of
Barrayaran and Escobaran soldiers/civilians.
Frankly Ezar gets a 100% rating on the Evil Overlord rating for this one:
1) saw one and only heir become an unstable psychopath
2) not possible to get a new heir to replace him: Ezar is not that
young, he got seriously hit by mutagens/radiations during the
Cetagandan invasion (which might explain some of Serg's problems,
BTW), his own claim to the crown (Vorbarra through the male line but
not a descendant of Dorca) was shaky and only shored up by the support
of Prince Xav and Count Vorkosigan and the promise that *his* heir
would be a grandson of Dorca the Just through a war time, shotgun
marriage to an older, reclusive (have to wonder what was lurking in
*those* genes too) sister of freshly deposed and dismembered Yuri the
Mad. I am fairly sure that the fact that Serg was an only son wasn't
exactly by choice (or at least not Ezar's and the male Vor's).
3) can only get a new, more stable heir *through* Serg. Kareen was
probably chosen for her impeccable bloodlines from as stable a line as
possible (Vorbarra connections for politics, maybe, but make them
remote, as little Vorrutyer blood as possible...). Then Serg was let
loose on her long enough to get her pregnant *with a son*, at which
point Ezar "benevolently" extended his protection and took her out of
harm's way (pure self interest there, since with his son's attraction
to pregnant women and other vices... she might not have remained
pregnant long enough -- wonder if Serg realized he was signing his
death warrant by impregnating his legitimate wife).
4) spend as much time as possible (4 years) balancing the tasks of
keeping the War Party in check, keeping the Prince distracted
(whatever *that* took) and keeping his assassination attempts in check
while trying to make sure Gregor was as stable as possible. There were
probably some fairly extensive evaluations/observations there, with or
without galactic tech.
5) finally lined up all the actors for the grand final on the scene
(with the discovery of Sergyar probably being the one piece of luck
involved) and got the ball rolling. Everything works as planned, Serg
is dead, the War Party is discredited for another generation and
"spontaneous" rioting destroys the Political ministry.
6) Aral Vorkosigan is set up as the hero who saved everything that
could be saved, which is the last step in setting him up for the role
of Regent in the public/Vor view.
I am fairly sure that Aral collapsing under the weight of his guilt
and trying various suicide methods wasn't quite in the plan. Getting
Cordelia off Beta and to Barrayar was a nice piece of luck. Or not
(one has to wonder why Betan authorities got so very paranoid about
her, beyond the obvious).
More information about the Lois-Bujold