[LMB] Gregor - Raising an Emperor - Aral

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 2 04:06:22 GMT 2017

Aral's relationship with Gregor must have been awkward at times.
Aral was a brilliant Regent, steering the Empire through the turmoil
after Vordarian's big mistake, then a couple more Cetagandan
attempts to invite Barrayar into its empire.

He was brilliant in war, and equally superb at politics. He had the
respect of everyone around him. He had an incredible personal
aura, one of those people who fill a room and change it just by
being there. And he had a better claim on the throne than Gregor.

And for sixteen years almost everyone expected him to take the
throne away from Gregor - either by a regrettable, fatal Imperial
accident or just by announcing he was staying on the throne and
by sidelining Gregor. How much of that speculation reached Gregor?

It must have been daunting being a young Emperor, sitting beside
the man who was so obviously better than you in every way.

There's a whole masculine dynamic there, made stronger by
Barrayar's warrior culture.

Aral was determined to keep his word, and to hand a strong
empire over to Gregor. He had a growing fondness for the boy,
 but there would have been so many other considerations going
on - the pressure of raising someone who would be worthy to
run the Empire, and the difficulty of training someone who
outranks you.

Plus, in the back of his mind, Aral must have been watching for
signs of Serg or Yuri in the child. What if Gregor had been another

Serg? Worst came to worst, Aral would have had to remove
Gregor from power, or ensure he never achieved it.

That has to make it a bit harder to let yourself be warmly fond of
someone. Even so, he seems to have had a genuine love for
Gregor the person, as well as loyalty to his emperor.


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