Lois McMaster Bujold Fans discussion

Vorkosigan Universe > Ekaterin and Tien's difficult relationship

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message 1: by Kiri (new)

Kiri (kirious) | 147 comments Mod
I'm just going to go ahead and start this topic. It's obvious to me why it was so hard for her to reach that point of leaving Tien - I was kinda in the same place at one point in my life, except without the kid and the serious disease - but this is probably not so obvious to everyone. Clearly she felt a great deal of obligation to stay with Tien. How much of that has to do with being Vor, and how much with what kind of person she is?

message 2: by Vorlady, ImpSec Tech (new)

Vorlady | 285 comments Mod
We know that all Vor aren't as honorable as Miles and his family and Ekaterine (Tien for example!). I have a feeling that this type of honor has more to do with the individual person than the title. Miles often equates Vor with Honor, but he seems to be an idealist in this regard I think.

I agree that she felt she had an obligation and a duty to stay. She had given her word (a binding agreement for her as well as Miles) and so she must stick with things. I like to think that if Nikki had developed symptoms and Tien refused him treatment that she would have come to realize that Tien had long ago broken his word to her and his family and would take matters into her own hands at that point...

message 3: by vorbore, Ma Kosti's Apprentice (new)

vorbore | 284 comments Mod
And on the other hand, she would feel that the failure of her marriage would be her personal failure. That is often so in societies where woman are subdued to man, as the Vor society is. In such societies, all the fault is on woman, while all the credit goes to man.

message 4: by Kiri (new)

Kiri (kirious) | 147 comments Mod
She didn't grow up in a society where such things were done, which makes it very difficult to conceive of taking such action when warranted.

How satisfying, when reading this book, to see her finally reach that point.

message 5: by Vorlady, ImpSec Tech (new)

Vorlady | 285 comments Mod
What role does love play in their relationship? Do you think they love each other? did they when they married? Would love have played a role in why she stayed for so long?

message 6: by Kiri (new)

Kiri (kirious) | 147 comments Mod
She does say something to the effect of "I must have loved him at one time" and I can believe it. I had my own experience of love turning to habit. Sometimes it's just easier to stay with what you know, especially when there's a child involved.

message 7: by C12vt (new)

C12vt | 11 comments I think one of the biggest reasons she didn't leave before was that under Barrayaran law, male Vor children stay with their fathers after divorce. So she would lose Nikki, unless she could prove Tien was an incompetent father in the courts. The only evidence she could really give against Tien is his refusal to get Nikki medical treatment; to make that argument she would have to tell Tien's secret, which I think would feel like even more of a betrayal to her than leaving him.

message 8: by vorbore, Ma Kosti's Apprentice (new)

vorbore | 284 comments Mod
Actually, I do not believe that the kinds of Tien can love anybody, not even themselves. They are so full of resentment and mockery towards love. Ekaterin said something in that tone, about him turning every emotion to a mockery, or something similar, I can't exactly remember. It may be the result of growing up in such atmosphere, of making fun of emotions and referring to them as to weakness.
Ekaterin was on the other hand very young when she married him. I got the feeling that she was more in love with love itself and her being a family founder, builder, gardener of sorts. She had a pretty picture in her head and wanted to be a part of it. She stayed with him for many reasons, but I don't see any of them as love.

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