René Vorbretten was the eighth Count Vorbretten. He was a former military officer, and a member of the Progressive Party. René discovered that he was one-eighth Cetagandan ghem, through the male line, thus calling his right to be named Count in question and setting up part of the plot of A Civil Campaign.
René had a promising military career until the death of his father during the Cetagandan incursion into Vervain at the time of The Vor Game, and then the death of his grandfather, the then-Count. He left the military to take up the Countship. Three years before the events of A Civil Campaign, he married Tatya Vorkeres, the daughter of a wealthy Lord.
- "They were calling him René Ghembretten last week at HQ."
- ―Ivan Vorpatril[src]
When René and Tatya began their first child in a uterine replicator, a gene scan revealed René's Cetagandan lineage, through the male line along which Barrayar inherited. This information was eventually discovered by Sigur Vorbretten, René's cousin, who came from an untainted line of the Vorbretten family, and who was the son-in-law of Conservative Party leader Boriz Vormoncrief. Count Vormoncrief sued on Sigur's behalf in order to claim the Vorbretten District for him.
René and Tatya attended Miles Vorkosigan's disastrous dinner party at Vorkosigan House. Later, René joined with Miles and Dono Vorrutyer to lobby the other Counts in order to achieve a victory in getting René reconfirmed and Dono confirmed as Count. With the aid of Dono's vote, René was confirmed as Count Vorbretten with thirty-one votes, the required minimum. He and Tatya later started the birth of their son.
Personality and AppearanceEdit
- "Tall, handsome, athletic René? René, who spoke four languages in a modulated baritone that melted female hearts and male resistance, played three musical instruments entrancingly, and had perfect singing pitch to boot? René, who could make Ivan grind his teeth in sheer physical jealousy?''"
- ―Miles, contemplating René Vorbretten.[src]
He was described as an exceptionally diligent count who hated the Cetagandans with a passion. He was thoroughly spooked by the discovery that they were "in him".