[LMB] Next stray thought...

Richard Molpus rgmolpus at flash.net
Sun Aug 25 18:29:56 BST 2019

If Kareen had lived - Cordelia;s early influence on Gregor would have been reduced, he would have grown up during critical years wrapped in a blanket of privilege.
Aral being regent, Gregor would have spent time at Vorkosigan Surlea and the Long lake, but with Kareen present, limiting the contact he'd have with Piotr. Gregor wouldn't have been as close to Miles - but closer to Ivan.  Contact with Elena would have been limited - she being a Prole - and Bothari would have been more remote, since Gregor's playtime with (could he really be a mutant?) Miles would have been smaller.
Other Counts would have had more time with Gregor, as Kareen used them as a balance to Aral. Vordarien might have been more familiar with Gregor; as he'd have hosted him at his estates regularly; He was a relative, and had to be honored.
Lady Alys would have been Kareen's assistant in social planning, not the Doyen-to-be; reducing her general social influence. This would affect many later events, as she wouldn't be the Social arbiter of Barrayaran society.
Tension would have grown between Cordelia, Simon, and Kareen about Gregor's education; Cordelia would have wanted him to have a Galactic-oriented education, Kareen a more Barayaran focused one; Simon would have been in tension as he had to review and clear all the training supplies and lesson materials, he'd have been duty bound to respect Kareen's wishes over Cordelia's. This would have limited Gregor's view of Barrayar's place in the Nexus, less egalitarian, more feudal. In the long run, this would have made diplomatic relations harder; as Gregor would have had biases against some planets and their politics.
(I expect Cordelia had shown Gregor a balanced view of Cetagandan society; pointing out their social stability, artworks, architecture, and Scientific developments. This would have reduced the (understandable!) Barrayaran bias against all things Ceta; making Gregor more open to friendly offers from Ceta.)
Kareen was trained to live in the bubble of Imperial Privilege, she would have maintained that with Gregor; with Aral and Cordelia he lived away from that bubble - mainly when at the long Lake - so 'our' Gregor knew more about how Proles lived that Kareen's Gregor; which changed the politics of the Council. Gregor would have leaned more to Count Vorhalas and the Conservatives, not Vorbretton and the Progressives. 

    On Friday, August 23, 2019, 11:31:57 PM CDT, Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com> wrote:  
 Still thinking about Gregor...

So, how different would Gregor have been if Kareen had lived?

Aral would still have been a huge figure in his life, and Drou. But Cordelia
and Miles would have been a lot less.

How would that have made Gregor a different person? And a different

(I have a sad, sneaking suspicion that Kareen's death was, in the long run,
a good thing for the empire.)
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