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** Much is also made of the Vorkosigan family's status as the Spares to the Emperor's throne. After Mad Yuri's pruning of the family tree, and since Ezar only had one son (Serg), Aral was the closest thing to a spare if anything happened to Serg or (later) Serg's son Gregor. After Serg died and Ezar soon followed, Aral became Gregor's regent and remained the Spare, followed by Miles later on. [[spoiler:Only it's an open secret that nobody would accept a "mutie" and "cripple" like Miles on the throne so the real successor if something was to happen to Gregor would be ''Ivan'', who wants nothing of it.]] The Vorkosigan family's proximity to the throne is an extremely important plot point in several books, and the pressure is only lifted off Miles late in the series when Gregor finally gets married and works on some heirs.

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** Much is also made of the Vorkosigan family's status as the Spares to the Emperor's throne. After Mad Yuri's pruning of the family tree, and since Ezar only had one son (Serg), Aral was the closest thing to a spare if anything happened to Serg or (later) Serg's son Gregor. After Serg died and Ezar soon followed, Aral became Gregor's regent and remained the Spare, followed by Miles later on. [[spoiler:Only it's an open secret that nobody would accept a "mutie" and "cripple" like Miles on the throne so the real successor if something was to happen to Gregor would be ''Ivan'', who wants nothing of it.]] The Vorkosigan family's proximity to the throne is an extremely important plot point in several books, and the pressure is only lifted off Miles late in the series when Gregor finally gets married and works on some heirs. [[spoiler:Ivan is thrilled when it's pointed out Tej's Cetagandan heritage will remove him and any children from the succession]]

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** In ''Mirror Dance'', Miles is deathly afraid of Ryoval getting his hands on Taura again, especially if he found out whose hand it was that destroyed his treasured biotech samples, as seen in Finger Poke Of Doom below.

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* WeCouldHaveAvoidedAllThis: Miles notes had Cavilo simply ferried Gregor back to Barrayar, she could have earned a king's ransom as a reward. Instead, she succumbed to her two {{Fatal Flaw}}s: ComplexityAddiction and ChronicBackstabbingDisorder.

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* PsychoticSmirk: When Bothari tortures a jump pilot, he wears a creepy one. It's a (bad) revelation for Miles, who underestimated how dastardly Bothari could be when given the leeway. [[CriticalResearchFailure Had Miles asked his father]] ''[[CriticalResearchFailure anything]]'' [[CriticalResearchFailure about Bothari's past, he'd have never asked him to torture anyone for information]], especially since it directly leads to the jump pilot's death later. [[invoked]]


* ShroudedInMyth: [=ImpSec=] is shrouded in myth not only in Barrayar but elsewhere. In Jackson's Whole they are apparently a bogeyman, chiefly due to a single [=ImpSec=] agent taking down ''all'' of House Ryoval.



* ShroudedInMyth: [=ImpSec=] is shrouded in myth not only in Barrayar but elsewhere. In Jackson's Whole they are apparently a bogeyman.


* CitizenshipMarriage: [[spoiler:Ivan and Tej, who both gain from the arrangement: Tej was keen to avoid being abducted from Immigration's custody, while Ivan needed a way to avoid a charge of kidnapping]]. Played with a bit: it takes place as the authorities are breaking down the barricaded door to get at both principals, the government accepts it immediately, they tell everyone it is meant to be temporary...and then they cannot get out of it.

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* CitizenshipMarriage: CitizenshipMarriage:
**
[[spoiler:Ivan and Tej, who both gain from the arrangement: Tej was keen to avoid being abducted from Immigration's custody, while Ivan needed a way to avoid a charge of kidnapping]]. Played with a bit: it takes place as the authorities are breaking down the barricaded door to get at both principals, the government accepts it immediately, they tell everyone it is meant to be temporary...and then they cannot get out of it.it.
** In ''Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen'', a panicked Cetagandan consul aide who does ''not'' return to his family and deal with IToldYouSo mockery tries to propose to Jole's aide in an attempt to get Barrayaran citizenship. She rejects it immediately, one because they'd only known each other for less than a few months, and two, having a Cetagandan husband would be bad for her military career.


* ShownTheirWork: In a case of WriteWhatYouKnow, all engineering and building mechanics are extremely detailed and in-depth -- because the author's father was an engineer. From Leo Graf and his philosophizing about safety in ''Falling Free'' to ''Captain Vorpatril's Alliance'' and the event concerning [=ImpSec=] HQ to the B-plot of the "dodgy" plascrete in ''Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen'', a lot of thought and detail go into those situations.

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* ShownTheirWork: In a case of WriteWhatYouKnow, all engineering and building mechanics are extremely detailed and in-depth -- because the author's father was an engineer. From Leo Graf and his philosophizing about safety in ''Falling Free'' to ''Captain Vorpatril's Alliance'' and the event concerning [=ImpSec=] HQ to the B-plot of the "dodgy" plascrete in ''Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen'', a lot of thought and detail go into those situations.[[invoked]]

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* ShownTheirWork: In a case of WriteWhatYouKnow, all engineering and building mechanics are extremely detailed and in-depth -- because the author's father was an engineer. From Leo Graf and his philosophizing about safety in ''Falling Free'' to ''Captain Vorpatril's Alliance'' and the event concerning [=ImpSec=] HQ to the B-plot of the "dodgy" plascrete in ''Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen'', a lot of thought and detail go into those situations.

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** Lady Donna's transformation into Lord Dono was chiefly due to her rage at Richars, though she (then he) never raises his voice ever. Ekaterin recognized the level of anger behind the plan.


* JustFriends: Galeni gets friend zoned in a major way by Laisa in ''Memory'', and it nearly gets him cashiered for treason.
* KarmaHoudini: Cavilo.

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* JustFriends: JustFriends:
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Galeni gets friend zoned in a major way by Laisa in ''Memory'', and it nearly gets him cashiered for treason.
** Miles himself gets told by Elena that she's fond of Miles, but there's no way she'd ever get into a serious relationship with him. "He just takes you over" is a common complaint of Miles' potential partners.
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* KarmaHoudini: Cavilo.


** In ''Captain Vorpatril's Alliance'', Ivan states a CitizenMarriage with him can't ''possibly'' be worse than suicide.

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** In ''Captain Vorpatril's Alliance'', Ivan states a CitizenMarriage CitizenshipMarriage with him can't ''possibly'' be worse than suicide.

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** In ''Captain Vorpatril's Alliance'', Ivan states a CitizenMarriage with him can't ''possibly'' be worse than suicide.


** Note that the Athosians are an isolationist backwater colony that seems to have been founded within a few decades of the Uterine Replicator's invention, with widespread censorship of any off-world media (including, it appears, scientific journals for all but a tiny minority of security-cleared citizens). It's not too implausible for their reproductive science to be lagging behind.

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** Note that the Athosians are an isolationist backwater colony that seems to have been founded within a few decades of the Uterine Replicator's invention, with widespread censorship of any off-world media (including, it appears, scientific journals for all but a tiny minority of security-cleared citizens). It's not too implausible for their reproductive science to be lagging behind. They also believe in LamarckWasRight, and choose ovarian cultures as sources for specific traits (scientific proclivity, martial ability, and so on.)


* HeroicSacrifice: To prevent the Escobarans from following the retreating Barrayarans through the wormhole, a pilot self-destructed his ship in the middle of it to temporarily collapse it. He volunteered.

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* HeroicSacrifice: To prevent the Escobarans from following the retreating Barrayarans through the wormhole, a pilot self-destructed his ship in the middle of it to temporarily collapse it. He volunteered.volunteered; Cordelia is gobsmacked at the concept.


** The Koudelkas saw this coming and had four girls. All of them make advantageous alignments. [[spoiler: Kareen joins the Vorkosigan clan, Delia marries Duv (a highly placed [=ImpSec=] man), Martya is with a genius scientist (a wealthy genius to boot, thanks to being one of Mark's projects), and Olivia becomes a ''countess''.]]

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** The Koudelkas saw this coming and had four girls. All of them make advantageous alignments. [[spoiler: Kareen joins the Vorkosigan clan, Delia marries Duv (a highly placed [=ImpSec=] man), Martya is with a genius scientist (a wealthy genius to boot, thanks to being one of Mark's projects), and Olivia becomes a ''countess''.]] Miles notes that each of them picked a different sphere of power (Kareen -- business, Delia -- government, Martya -- science, Olivia -- high society.)]]

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