[LMB] LQ #64: Dragon Alys (Sun. July 26th, 2009)

Tony Zbaraschuk tonyz at eskimo.com
Mon Jul 27 03:54:49 BST 2009

On Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 10:26:08PM +0100, Tora K. Smulders-Srinivasan wrote:
> List Question (LQ) #64: Dragon Alys (Sun. July 26th, 2009)
> Why is Alys Vorpatril so formidable?
> Yes, by the time Miles is an adult, she's a Vor dragon to terrorize
> Vor dragons.  But as a fairly young woman in Barrayar, she _still_ has
> clout -- cf. Cordelia and Aral's exchange re: Drou's wedding in
> Barrayar, "Won't those terrible Vorish crones all Piotr's friends are
> married to complain about social over-progressiveness?"  "With Alys
> Vorpatril behind this?  They wouldn't dare."  What makes her so
> socially powerful even then?

Some of it's probably personality: she's tough and perceptive even
then (note how she hangs onto Cordelia, probably because their husbands
_are_ cousins, but probably also because she realizes that Cordelia
needs some help and doesn't know how to ask for it.)

By Drou's wedding, Alys has a certain amount of dowager clout in her own
right as mother-of-the-heir (since given Miles' apparent massive damage,
mutophobic Barrayar is odds-on going to consider Ivan as the default,
at least according to some succession theories.)  Later on this just gets

I suspect her family is already well-networked before her marriage to 
Padma, though.  Ivan is always complaining about his aunts, and _not_
the ones on the Vorkosigan/Vorpatril side of the family.

Tony Z

O, how comely it is, and how reviving
To the spirits of just men long oppressed,
When God into the hand of their deliverer
Puts invincible might.     -- Milton, _Samson Agonistes_

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