Yuri Vorbarra (YOO-ree vohr-BAA-ruh) was an Emperor of Barrayar and Count Vorbarra after the Time of Isolation. He ascended to the throne following the death of his father, Dorca Vorbarra. Yuri was the older half-brother of Xav Vorbarra.
Not much is known about his role. He fought down in the trenches of the War, with a leadership role of some sort.
There is some authorial discussion of such (see Behind the scenes below for more information), and a letter from Prince Xav to him was recovered from a Cetagandan stash long after the war.
He was known as Mad Emperor Yuri during his reign.
- During his reign, he oversaw the torture of political prisoners in the Imperial Security HQ
- He performed a "Defenestration of the Privy Council" which appears to have simultaneously served to abolish the office.
- He ordered Yuri's Massacre to kill all other descendants of Dorca. The masacre was not entirely successful and it led directly to Yuri Vorbarra's Civil War when Piotr Vorkosigan, Xav Vorbarra, and Ezar Vorbarra openly rebelled after those deaths.
- His rule was called a "reign of terror"
- His rule was also referred to in terms of the "true violent stupidity of Yuri's affairs"
Death and dismemberment
- "He leered at me. 'Strike, little boy. If you dare while you wear my uniform. My uniform on a child.'"
- ―Aral's recollection of Yuri's Dismemberment[src]
In the final days of the war, Yuri was captured by the rebels and dismembered while alive in Vorhartung Castle. The first cut was taken by Aral Vorkosigan. His scalp ended up on display in the military museum in Vorhartung Castle. There were not enough pieces of Yuri for everyone who wanted one.
Behind the scenes
- On October 16, 2000, as part of a collection of answers to questions of Russian fans (see www.lavkamirov.com/bujold/enfaqlet.htm), these statements were made:
- [The Defenestration] was literally throwing people out of] the window, of course. Why do you think he’s called Mad? Messy, that. Although the actual hands-on pitching of bodies may have been by his thuggish bodyguards or other assistants at his order, I’m pretty sure Yuri was physically present in the room at the time.
- I have a little back-story on Princes Yuri and Xav. I figure that while Xav was out running around the wormhole nexus getting foreign aid for Barrayar against the Cetagandans, a sort of cross between Peter the Great and Benjamin Franklin, and getting more and more civilized as a result, Yuri was back home in the trenches actually doing the down-and-dirty fighting, and growing more and more traumatized and brutal. By the end of the war, the brothers were almost strangers to one another.
- For more authorial statements regarding Mad Emperor Yuri, see 102544.html, 064489.html, and 103216.html.
Notes and references
- Captain Vorpatril's Alliance chapter 7
- Captain Vorpatril's Alliance chapter 21
- Mirror Dance chapter 18
- Diplomatic Immunity chapter 10
- Shards of Honor chapter 14
- Shards of Honor chapter 3
- The Vor Game chapter 12
- Brothers in Arms chapter 2
- Shards of Honor chapter 15
- Mirror Dance chapter 13
- Brothers in Arms chapter 12