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"The curt man was about forty years old, Cordelia guessed, dressed expensively in the upper-class style, dark-haired. He was rendered a bit dish-faced by a prominent forehead and jaw that his nose and moustache had trouble overpowering. Neither handsome nor ugly, in another mood one might call him strong-featured."
―Cordelia's first meeting with Vordarian[src]

Vidal Vordarian (vih-DAHL vohr-DAIR-ee-uhn) was a Vor and District Count on Barrayar which staged a rebellion and an attempt of usurpation against Emperor Gregor Vorbarra and his Regent Aral Vorkosigan. His house livery colors were maroon and gold.

His District was one of the few that the Cetagandans left by treaty instead by force; as a result it was highly modernized, with space bases, four major manufacturing cities, supply depots, and Barrayar's largest military shuttleport. A city in his district was named Weienovya; at the time of Memory, it contained a major cryorevival clinic.


Vidal Vordarian was the District Count of his District. During his military service he served in Operations, reaching the rank of Commodore.

Count Vordarian was a leader in the next-most-conservative party on Barrayar (meaning that his opinions fell only just short of "blow up the wormhole") after the dissolved War Party. He was strictly loyal to Emperor Ezar during the period of Prince Serg's machinations, and loyal to the Vor class and the Imperium.

Later years and Pretendership[]

Vidal Vordarian spent the later years of Ezar's reign by cultivating an apparently sincere romantic relationship with Princess Kareen. After this did not give Vordarian the job of Regent, he attempted to usurp Aral Vorkosigan as Regent of Barrayar by staging a coup d'etat, by declaring Aral as a traitor and by marrying Princess Kareen.

Count Vordarian then tried to overthrow the then-young Gregor Vorbarra to become Barrayaran Emperor during Vordarian's Pretendership.


As part of his machinations during that war, Vordarian took Cordelia Vorkosigan's son Miles and his uterine replicator hostage. Cordelia launched an expedition to the capitol to rescue Miles and Kareen. In their escape, Vidal Vordarian was killed and the north wing of the Imperial Residence was burned down. This event became known as the "Shopping Trip": after Sergeant Bothari chopped Vordarian's head off, Cordelia carried the head in a shopping bag back to her husband's base, and rolled it onto the table in front of a large collection of military officers.

Personality and traits[]

According to Aral Vorkosigan and Prime Minister Vortala, Vordarian spent much time studying his family tree: this seems to suggest the particular attention to the destiny of his House. Vidal Vordarian was described as a proud man, potentially capable of bravery, such as openly stepping in and contrasting Prince Serg in order to protect Princess Kareen.

When the latter requested confidential security reports to ImpSec, the reports shown Vordarian's personal integrity.