Gregor/Laisa

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Pairing
Pairing: Gregor Vorbarra/Laisa Toscane
Alternative name(s):
Gender category: het
Fandom: Vorkosigan series
Canonical?: yes
Prevalence: moderately popular
Archives:
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Gregor/Laisa is the canonical m/f pairing of Gregor Vorbarra, Emperor of Barrayar & Komarr, and Laisa Toscane, a Komarran heiress, in the Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold. Gregor and Laisa meet in Memory and get betrothed after a brief courtship. They marry in A Civil Campaign (known as 'ImpWed' before publication).

Canon

The relationship has a lot of baggage. Gregor's father Serg's monstrous behaviour towards women, together with Gregor's relationship to Mad Emperor Yuri, make Gregor fear genetic predisposition to violent insanity. The violent death of his mother Kareen during the Vordarian Civil War and of many other relations give him a legitimate fear of commitment. Gregor's known sexual history includes only dubious consent sex with Cavilo while her prisoner. Gregor's role as emperor gives him little private time & even less privacy. As well as the privacy issues, Laisa (and her parents) must come to terms with her marrying the emperor of a planet that conquered her own, and more particularly with the Solstice Massacre in which some of her relatives died.

Fandom

The introduction of the pairing in Memory was well received, and pre-dates the popularity of slash pairings involving Gregor. Some fans had anticipated the idea that Gregor might marry a Komarran; for example, The Emperor's Wedding by Helen E. Davis, published in 1991, floats this idea. The relationship is by far the most popular het pairing for Gregor, though Miles/Gregor probably dominates overall. Laisa is only rarely paired with any other character; she usually does not exist in Miles/Gregor works. In terms of the overall fandom, Gregor/Laisa is less prevalent than some other het pairings, including Miles/Ekaterin, Aral/Cordelia & Simon/Alys.

Gregor's super-angsty backstory makes him a favourite of many fans, who often enjoy seeing him happy with Laisa, and there is quite a bit of uncomplicated fluffy fanfiction, including some stories about their children. Some fans are attracted to the complexities of the relationship, with many Gregor/Laisa stories taking a less fluffy line to address, for example, the dichotomy between Gregor the emperor and Gregor the man, how the couple negotiate a private life under the gaze of ImpSec, what Laisa's role as empress might entail, or the security threats to their children. There are also darker stories that address Laisa finding out about Gregor's history, the fraught question of their first son's name, or Gregor telling his heir about his history. Laisa-centric darker stories often deal with issues around the Solstice Massacre, such as her first meeting with Aral Vorkosigan, Gregor's foster father & the Butcher of Komarr. Her history with Duv Galeni is rarely mentioned.

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Fanfiction

Fan Art