"There is only one Emperor on Barrayar, and he permits no one to get behind him. He still remembers how he came to power"
―Aral Vorkosigan[src]

Ezar Vorbarra was a general in the Barrayaran military who orchestrated a coup against Yuri Vorbarra to seize the Barrayaran Imperium. He reigned as Emperor of Barrayar for thirty-one years.


A distant cousin of the ruling Vorbarra emperors, Ezar fought against the Cetagandan Empire in the First Cetagandan War. He was General Piotr Vorkosigan's military apprentice and spent much time in the Dendarii Mountains with Vorkosigan's guerrillas. After the Cetagandans were defeated, he continued to pursue a military career, eventually rising to the rank of general. He was in charge of Green Army Headquarters when Emperor Yuri Vorbarra decided to assassinate most of his relatives. All of the children of Prince Xav Vorbarra were slain in Yuri Vorbarra's Massacre, including Olivia Vorbarra Vorkosigan, the wife of Piotr Vorkosigan.[1][2][3]

Prince Xav and General Vorkosigan, although political opponents, immediately made common cause against Emperor Yuri. They joined their forces and sought an alliance with Ezar Vorbarra. Although Prince Xav had a better right to the Imperium, he offered it to Ezar to secure his allegiance. A two year war followed before Yuri's government was toppled.[2] During the war, Ezar married Yuri Vorbarra's sister for the purpose of making his claim to the Imperium stronger.[4] Yuri himself was captured and executed in an event known as the Dismemberment of Mad Emperor Yuri.[5][6]

The assassination of Prince SergEdit

Ezar and his wife had one son, Prince Serg Vorbarra. At some point, Ezar realized Serg was mentally unstable and unfit for military rule, and a true danger to Barrayar's future. He began to devise an elaborate, untraceable assassination that would remove an entire unwanted faction belonging to Serg and his sycophants. He and Captain Negri were the sole architects of the plan, and, along with a very few chosen agents, the only men to be privy to it. When Negri learned of the Beta Colony invention of plasma mirror weaponry, he and Ezar decided to enact their plan, and coerced an unwilling Aral Vorkosigan into helping them, leading to the Escobaran Invasion.

Features of Ezar's reignEdit

Behind the scenesEdit

For useful discussion of how Ezar was or was not related to Dorca Vorbarra and regarding his family members, see "Re: Vorbarra family tree" and 064489.html.

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Shards of Honor chapters 3,15
  2. 2.0 2.1 Barrayar chapter 6
  3. A Civil Campaign chapter 17
  4. A Civil Campaign chapter 2
  5. Shards of Honor chapter 15
  6. The Warrior's Apprentice chapter 14
  7. Shards of Honor chapters 3,5
  8. Shards of Honor chapters 2,5
  9. Barrayar chapter 1
  10. Barrayar chapter 7
  11. Shards of Honor
  12. The Vor Game chapter 17
  13. Barrayar chapter 15
  14. Barrayar chapter 14
  15. A Civil Campaign chapter 15
  16. Shards of Honor chapters 11,14

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