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Vorkosigan Wiki

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.

Cetagandan War[]

Not much is known about his role. He fought down in the trenches of the War, with a leadership role of some sort.[1]

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.[2]


He was known as Mad Emperor Yuri during his reign.

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[9]. The first cut was taken by Aral Vorkosigan[9]. His scalp ended up on display in the military museum in Vorhartung Castle[10]. There were not enough pieces of Yuri for everyone who wanted one.[11]

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[]