[LMB] Gregor - Quietly Angry

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 17 12:00:47 BST 2017

Gregor is quietly everything

So, romance is rolling along well for Gregor. Which is probably why he's slightly distracted
from Simon's condition. He accepts Haroche's reports, and allows Miles to be sidelined
from the action - like that's going to happen. Alys gets back from Komarr and starts to prod
him into action.

And now comes one of my favourite scenes - Miles wearing ALL his medals. Including the
Cetagandan one, several from other nations, and a whole lot that he's not allowed to explain
to anyone. It's nice to know that they all have a purpose. And they make a fine point to Gregor,
too, reminding him that even though Miles crashed and burned, he put a lot of points on
the scoreboard first. And Gregor knows that Miles doesn't need an Auditor, he needs to BE
an Auditor to get this job done.  (Ok, quick question - just when did Gregor start to think
about making the job permanent? From this first moment, or not till Miles did such a great
job of it all?)

An interesting comment from Gregor - he'd been dissatisfied with the way things were
being handled, but 'short of going down there in person' he couldn't do anything about it.
So why couldn't he go there? Why didn't Gregor go and visit Simon? Presumably Haroche
ran a line about unknown dangers related to Simon's condition - might have been an attack,
etc. But still, surely ImpSec HQ should have been safe for the Emperor to visit? Gregor seems
very passive sometimes. Aiming Miles at the problem is a great way out for him - it keeps
Alys happy, it gives him a new line of information, and it keeps him at one remove from the

And of course we get Gregor's motto - "Let's see what happens." Which does rather reflect
that passive approach to things. Although maybe a non-passive emperor isn't always a
good thing.

I love the scene when Ivan arrives - there's a very relaxed feel to it with the three of them
together. Gregor, perched on the edge of the desk, swinging one leg, as they bring Ivan  up to
date. And they all note that one important plus for this plan is that it'll keep Alys happy.

Gregor gets a few updates from Miles - which is as much as you can expect when Miles is
in the field, even if the field is your backyard.  He and Miles go for removal of the chip,
with a very logical approach to the possible loss of data. Notably, Haroche isn't part of the
decision-making process.

In all their discussions, I love the way they switch back and forth so easily between
personal and official. Gregor's 'I' becomes 'We' a few times, he'll go from 'Miles...' to
'Lord Vorkosigan...' to show something is more official. And they all know the codes,
instantly. Ivan tends to be a bit less formal a lot of the time, but they all have this effortless
way of knowing if they're speaking to Gregor or the Emperor, or both at once. (And then
Miles suggests that Laisa call him 'Miles' instead of 'Lord Vorkosigan' when they're in
private. Again, all kinds of lines and rules. After all, Miles knew her as Laisa before she
met Gregor. Odd bits of formality.)

Alys brings Laisa in to have coffee with them - like a reward. Oh yes, he wanted to keep
Alys onside during Simon's problems. Gregor is again rather passive and obedient in his
role - he could easily demand more time with Laisa, earlier wedding, etc, but he conforms
because it's the right thing to do - how much do the shadows of Yuri and Serg affect
Gregor? He seems to have almost a horror, or phobia, about exercising his power.

Another interesting reflection of Gregor's avoidance of using his power: when Duv is
arrested Delia not only interrupts Gregor (which shows how upset she is, because
that's SO not allowed) but Delia appeals to Cordelia to help. Gregor is standing right
there, but it's Cordelia she wants - Cordelia will act in a crisis.

Then Miles solves it all, sorts it out, Saves the Day, and keeps the ImpSec cells well
stocked. He reports to Gregor, and finally we see what it takes to get Gregor moving.

We also see Gregor furious, which as Ivan notes is just like Gregor any other time,
only even quieter. This epic betrayal, all the lies, the attempt to deny that Simon was
badly damaged; it has him quietly (of course) furious.  He's being The Emperor now,
being a symbol as well as a person.

I think that Gregor is angriest about the attempt to frame Duv. And every one of
them knows that Duv's death would have been part of that plan. (In a way, framing
Miles was almost fair game, after all he does have a few teeny treasons scattered
through his career. And his actions were at least partially responsible for the whole
situation. But Duv was an innocent in all of it. Plus he's Komarran, and of all the
people to choose this was political dynamite. Set-the-whole-situation-back-a-few-
decades serious.)

Another side note - I love all the names Haroche has for Miles. The little git, hyper
little dwarf, etc.

Miles presents his report to Gregor. The decision to offer him permanent
Auditorhood has already been made, but his superbly written report must have
been a joy to the other auditors. All research done, all details sorted, everything
perfectly presented.

So Gregor has found a use for Miles - which is important. You don't want a bored
Vorkosigan rattling around. This way he can monitor what Miles is up to, get full
value from Miles's experience and talents, have his foster-brother around as a
friend and supporter.

And all the darkness is gone, we go back to romance, and Gregor's betrothal
ceremony. And Gregor copes with all the social pressures and keeps his eyes on the
light at the end of the tunnel.

So, we see Gregor all grown up, fully in charge, doing a good job of Emperoring.
He's very controlled, still quiet but able to do whatever is needed socially. He has
a very strong conscience, and a total dedication to his role and his job. And he
was rewarded for waiting, for holding out against pressure, until he found someone
he really wanted.

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