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Vorkosigan Wiki

Vorbarra (vohr-BAA-ruh) was the surname of the Emperors of Barrayar. All modern Emperors have carried the name Vorbarra. As of the last book in series time, the current Emperor was Emperor Gregor Vorbarra, son of the deceased Crown Prince Serg Vorbarra, and grandson of the former Emperor Ezar Vorbarra.


Vorbarra family tree

The genealogical tree of the Vorbarra family is partially unclear. Specially the descent of emperor Ezar is never mentioned, nor is the name of his wife, other than that she was a daughter of Dorca Vorbarra and sister of Yuri Vorbarra.

More clear is family of Prince Xav, who had three children, and who is stated to be a half-brother to Yuri. The eldest daughter, Olivia Vorbarra married Piotr Pierre Vorkosigan, the senior line of House Vorkosigan. His second daughter married a Vorpatril junior line and was the mother of Padma Xav Vorpatril. He also had an unnamed son.

Emperor Ezar had one son, Prince Serg. Serg married Princess Kareen and they had one son: Gregor.

Further details are shown and explained in the family tree image to the right.

Vorbarra Emperors[]

Vlad Vorbarra[]

  • Unknown dates of reign, but his marriage was almost 200 years before Gregor Vorbarra's; Time of Isolation

Xian Vorbarra[]

Emperor Dorca the Just[]

  • Partially known dates of reign; from the end of the Time of Isolation until very near the end of the First Cetagandan War (not clear whether he died shortly before the war or shortly after).

Mad Emperor Yuri[]

Emperor Yuri acquired his nickname by virtue (or vice) of being an extreme paranoid who was so worried about others stealing his power that he sent death squads to kill everyone within the Imperial Blood Line. Aral Vorkosigan witnessed Yuri's death squad execute his mother and other relatives when Emperor Yuri sent a squad to kill the Vorkosigan descendents of Prince Xav, Yuri's half-brother.

Following the murder of Aral's mother, Aral's father, Count Piotr Vorkosigan, joined forces with Ezar Vorbarra in opposition to Emperor Yuri, beginning what would become known as Emperor Yuri's Civil War. When Yuri was finally captured, Ezar orchestrated an elaborate execution for him in which the principle members of the insurgence collectively dismembered Yuri, with young Aral striking the first blow.

  • Unknown dates of reign; Reigned until his death when Aral Vorkosigan was 13. The last two years of his reign overlapped with the reign of Ezar Vorbarra, who was in revolt against him.

Emperor Ezar[]

  • Reigned from the beginning of Yuri's War (reign overlapped Yuri's for two years) until Barrayar

Emperor Gregor[]

During Gregor's youth, Aral Vorkosigan served as Regent for sixteen years.

Vorbarra Princes that never Reigned[]

Crown Prince Serg[]

Son of Emperor Ezar Vorbarra, father of Gregor Vorbarra, died before his father.

Xav Vorbarra[]

Younger son of Emperor Dorca Vorbarra, half-brother to the Mad Emperor Yuri. Diplomat, ambassador to Beta Colony, from where he brought his wife. One of his daughters was Olivia Vorbarra Vorkosigan, General Count Piotr Vorkosigan's wife and Aral Vorkosigan's mother; the other was Sonia Vorbarra Vorpatril, the mother of Lord Padma Vorpatril.

Vorbarra by Marriage[]

Lady Vorlightly[]

Principally known for marrying Vlad Vorbarra, who was already a reigning emperor at the time, during a time period when naked marriages were expected.

Kareen Vorbarra[]

Princess Kareen was the mother of Emperor Gregor, and the wife of Crown Prince Serg. Prior to her husband's death she encouraged a not-entirely platonic relationship with Count Vidal Vordarian, hoping that upon the death of her father-in-law, Emperor Ezar Vorbarra, Count Vordarian would be able to protect her from her husband Serg's cruelty and depravities.

Upon the death of Prince Serg, Count Vordarian first sought to insinuate himself into power through his open courtship of the now Dowager Crown Princess Kareen. Kareen for her part, sought to let the relationship cool, as she no longer needed protection from her husband.

When Emperor Ezar died, Count Vordarian first sought to again exploit his relationship with Kareen to have himself appointed as Regent of Barrayar. When Aral Vorkosigan, Ezar's choice, was appointed by the Council of Counts, Vordarian and his conservative Vor allies fomented a coup d'état, since called Vordarian's Pretendership, in which he seized the Imperial Residence and sought to marry Kareen and have himself declared Regent for her son, the child-emperor Gregor. Loyalists were able to rescue Gregor from the residence, although Vordarian led Kareen to believe he had been killed in the attempt. At that point, Vordarian declared himself Emperor, and compelled Kareen to share his bed, with the intentions of marrying her to cement his claim to the throne.

Kareen was killed by a guard loyal to Vordarian when Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan was able to gain entry into the Imperial Residence and convince Kareen that her son had survived, at which point the emotionally wrought Kareen leveled a weapon at Vordarian.

Princess Kareen was described as pale, even wan, woman with a slender frame, dark eyes and beautiful dark hair that was always highly coiffed and elegant. She was in her early thirties at the time of her death.

Ludmilla "Drou" Droushnakovi was her personal bodyguard before Kareen transferred her services to Cordelia Vorkosigan. Drou's daughter Kareen Koudelka was named after the Princess.

Laisa Vorbarra[]

External links[]

Vorbarra on Wikipedia