[LMB] Gregor: The beginning

Lois Bujold lbujold at myinfmail.com
Sat Dec 31 00:17:59 GMT 2016

[LMB] Gregor: The beginning
Ursula uleubner at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 30 23:23:57 GMT 2016


Must admit, I never ever, read the events in the Vor Game under this

And frankly, they don't make sense for me, at all.

Kareen sought Vordarian, yes, but only because she wasn't sure Ezar would
succeed in getting rid of Serg and she knew of Sergs's proclivities... Once
Serg was out of the picture, Kareen wanted only one thing, safety for her
son... Incidentally, the same thing Ezar wanted, so that the dynasty may
continue, which explain why Negri was assigned to Kareen.
At the time of the coup, Kareen wanted to protect Gregor, she didn't side
with Vordarian. (see other post by Herself Herself as answer to you).
One other thing: Kareen's power was granted her only through men, you seem
to forget that Barrayar at that time was very, very patriarcal... Did Ezar
protect the girl Kareen, nope. But he did protect Gregor's mother...Kareen
knew exactly that the only power she had was through her son. And she was a
very, very devoted mother. As for Drou being sent as a spy... Not
believable, the girl has the wrong character for that.

As for Kareen being executed as a traitor, if the story had a different
outcome, I don't think so... Aral wouldn't have done it for two reasons:
first because it would have been wrong and he knew it and second because it
would have been interpreted as getting rid of a potential problem towards
his accession to the Emperor's throne himself....


All of that is Cordelia's assumptions, and things Kareen was willing to 
tell Cordelia.
Cordelia assumes Kareen wants a safe, peaceful life, because that is 
what Cordelia wants.  Kareen told her nothing else, because if Kareen 
had ambitions for political power, they put her at odds with the 
Vorkosigans, and she would never confide them in Cordelia.
But look at it from Kareen's perspective.  She's an aristocratic young 
woman, who had to see her marriage to Serg as a political triumph, 
winning influence for herself and her family.  Hoping to be a confidante 
and trusted adviser to her her husband, his proxy when he can't be in 
two places at once.

Kareen's political prospects at marriage were better than Ista's - she 
was likely to be mother to an heir, not a spare.  Not quite as good as 
Iselle.  But with the potential to be a close confidante of two 
Emperors, her husband and her son. Potentially a Dowager Regent, if Serg 
died before Gregor came of age.
If, in her despair over Serg, she looked for safety and was willing to 
betray Serg, that doesn't mean that was the limits of her ambitions.
As for Kareen being a target for execution as a traitor, Aral made it 
clear that low ranked collaborators could be pardoned, but higher ranked 
ones would be executed.  And Kareen is the highest ranked collaborator - 
one who sat next to Vordarian in the Counsel of Counts, accepted his 
hand in marriage, etc.
And whether or not Kareen was still interested in furthering Vordarian's 
plot after Serg's death, she was in on it from the beginning.  That 
makes her guilty of being part of the conspiracy, by any law.  
Particularly since she did nothing to expose the plot in advance or help 
prevent it.  A word from her to Aral, and none of this would have 
happened.  Whatever Cordelia may hope or believe about Kareen, I don't 
see Aral being able to overlook that.

LMB:  This would make a very interesting AU fanfic, but it's not canon.  
Really.  I would know.

That said, another interesting speculation is how much active 
cooperation Kareen gave Aral and Negri, in helping set up the arrest of 
Vordarian that was just hours too late off the mark.  If you really want 
a conspiratorial Kareen, that one's rather more likely.  Vordarian was 
less danger to Gregor and Kareen (and Barrayar) than Serg, not a high 
bar to get over, but more danger to Gregor than no ambitious spouse at 
all, if her survival could be assured without one.  Once Serg was off 
the table, Vordarian was converted from asset to liability, as Kareen as 
much as said to Cordelia at one point. (Which almost makes me feel a 
little sorry for him.  Almost.)  Especially if he wasn't taking "No, 
wait, I've changed my mind," from Kareen well.

Ta, L.

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