[LMB] Horses in the Vorkosigan saga

Eliza Shallcross eshallcross at gmail.com
Mon Aug 15 17:48:02 BST 2016

Nice. I'm a dressage rider myself (or at least used to be) and I've always
appreciated Piotr's interest in dressage. And the author of the article is
right; it's one of Piotr's most redeeming characteristics. (Nice dressage
pictures, too.)

Though the detail of Piotr that I always love is that moment in -Shards of
Honor- when Cordelia meets Piotr for the first time. (For that matter, it's
the reader's first in person meeting of Piotr if you read the books in
chronological order, rather than starting with -Warrior's Apprentice-.)

It's so clear in other places that he was a hard father that went beyond
being to proud to have a mutie in the family. There's at least one scene in
-Barrayar- where Aral says "I was always second best for you." I.e. after
his older brother who was murdered. Some of the way that Piotr brought Aral
up can be excused by fighting a war against the man who did kill his older
son and the wife who may have been a softening influence. (We're never
told.) But making Aral think that he was second best is pretty inexcusable
in my book. Better than trying to murder your grandson, perhaps, but even
in this day and age people abort children with major health issues such as
spina bifida.

But when Cordelia meets Piotr tending his wife's grave, it's clear that his
concern for Aral goes way beyond a worry about his only heir or even about
Vorkosign pride. I don't have the book in front of me, but he makes it
pretty clear that even if it's going to take a Betan to snap Aral out of
his alcoholic stupor, then he'll take a Betan daughter-in-law. Just the
fact that Aral talked to Piotr about Cordelia is revealing, I think. I know
"Aral's Betan" was the talk of the military, but they seem to have
discussed feelings that go beyond that.

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