- "I haven't seen a prospective talent so promising since we found Jane and Alec. Can you imagine the possibilities when she is one of us?"
- ―Aro on Bella [src]
Aro is one of the three leaders of the Volturi - the dominant coven of the vampire world. He is widely accepted as the overall leader of the Volturi, and possesses the gift of tactile telepathy, the supernatural talent to read all the thoughts and memories a person has ever had with a single touch. He is the husband of Sulpicia and the brother of Didyme. He uses Chelsea to change the loyalties of the vampires whom he wants to join the Volturi and secure his power status.
Approximately a decade after becoming a vampire, Aro changed his sister Didyme, in the hope that she would possess an ability related to his, as well as his future wife, Sulpicia. However, Didyme was blessed with an ability not as useful to him; the power to make people happy. Aro's colleague Marcus fell in love with her, and she with him. However, Marcus and Didyme eventually became discontent. In order to prevent their leaving the Volturi, Aro killed Didyme: Marcus was too integral to his plans to lose. Aro had Chelsea use her ability to ensure Marcus remained loyal to the Volturi, and Marcus never found out the truth.
By 500 AD, the Volturi had usurped control of the vampire world from the Romanian Coven. Along with Marcus and Caius, Aro ruled the Volturi, although he generally acted as its spokesperson. The Volturi, under the three ancients' leadership, set down the laws of the vampire world and punished those who did not follow them, as it posed the threat of discovery of Vampire world.
Carlisle Cullen came to live with the Volturi for some time and became close friends with Aro. However, Aro was alarmed at Carlisle's preference of "vegetarianism" and believed that this would only weaken him over time. Carlisle eventually left to find other vampires like himself. Aro became heartened when he saw Carlisle did not weaken over time as he had believed originally and, although he did not share them, Aro respected his friend's ways.
- Main article: New Moon
At one point, Edward Cullen, one of Carlisle's adopted children, comes to the Volturi. Edward was deeply depressed because he believed his love, Bella Swan, had committed suicide, and as such was himself suicidal. Aro is interested in Edward’s ability to read minds from a distance, and tries to persuade him to join the Volturi instead, saying it would be a waste to kill him. He later meets Bella, after she and Alice prevent Edward's suicide attempt. He is both surprised and intrigued in Bella's ability to block Edward's powers, and even more intrigued when she succeeds in blocking his and Jane's powers as well. He allows Edward to take Bella back to Forks after Alice shows him in a vision that Bella will eventually be transformed into a vampire, which fascinates him. He also makes an attempt to invite all three of them to the coven, but they decline.
Alice allows Aro to touch her, therefore reading her mind, so he can see the vision of the future she has had of Bella as a vampire. It is described by Edward that Aro searches through not only the vision of Bella, but much more, delving deeply into Alice's mind so he ends up "knowing her better than she knows herself." He is described as seeming "enthralled" and "delighted" by her talent, and Edward mentions in Breaking Dawn that there's nothing Aro wants more than Alice's power.
- Main article: Eclipse
- "Aro sends his regards."
- ―Jane to Carlisle.[src]
When an army of newborns begin to run a killing spree in Seattle, Aro sends Jane, Felix, Demetri, and two unknown vampires to 'deal with the newborns'. In fact, Edward notes that by delaying his company, it was speculated that Aro may have wanted to let the newborns decrease the Cullens' numbers, however this is more likely Caius as Aro deeply values his friendship with Carlisle Cullen and since he values Alice and Edward's powers so highly it stands to reason that Aro would never have risked them in such a fashion.
- Main article: Breaking Dawn
- "Maintaining our secret has never be more imperative."
- ―Aro's words.[src]
Some time after Bella and Edward's wedding, Bella receives a necklace from Aro. Alice had mailed the Volturi an announcement for Bella and Edward's wedding, and Aro in return sends Bella the necklace as a wedding gift. It is described as being ostentatious with a very large jewel, and is said to have been part of the English crown jewels.
Still some time later, Irina, a vampire from the Denali coven, comes to Volterra to inform the Volturi that the Cullens had created an immortal child. In response to this breach of their laws, the Volturi gathered the entire guard together (including the wives) and set out for Forks to destroy the Cullens. Aro, meanwhile, intends to use the situation to try and force Edward, Bella and Alice into joining the Volturi.
When the Volturi arrive, they are shocked to discover what they believe to be a vampire army that the Cullens have assembled to oppose them, furthering Aro's belief they'd created an immortal child. Carlisle, however, is able to talk to Aro and offer his hand, saying that it was never his intent. Aro, to his credit, is willing to listen and is relieved to discover that Carlisle's 'army' are in fact witnesses. Bella also describes Aro "scanning the crowd" as though searching for a certain face - most likely Alice's - and Bella feels suddenly glad Alice isn't with them after all. The Volturi notice the line of werewolves behind Carlisle's witnesses. In his usual fashion, Aro acts as speaker for the Volturi. After reading Edward's mind and learning about Renesmee, the so-called immortal child, Aro is both astounded and delighted to discover that she is actually half human. He is also amused at the idea of having the werewolves, whom he believed were the Cullens' pets, as guard dogs. Unfortunately, the angry snarls from the wolves inform him that it would never happen.
Incensed at their defiance of the Volturi, Caius declares that Renesmee has to be killed, despite Aro's attempts to keep the encounter from turning violent, while Marcus is content to allow the child to live. Realizing Bella's mental shield rendered all the Volturi's powers useless, Aro knows they are at a huge disadvantage and has to do some fast and serious smooth talking to prevent the situation form turning for the worse. Soon after, Alice and Jasper show up with another vampire half-breed named Nahuel. The knowledge that there are other half-breeds in the world heartened Aro and he was relieved to realize Renesmee would pose no threat. The Volturi left with their confidence somewhat shaken. Edward knows the Volturi (especially Caius) see them as a threat and expects them to try to pick them off one by one later. Aro desperately wants Edward, Alice, and Bella to join the Volturi, but in the end, he is genuinely saddened to lose Carlisle's friendship and hopes to regain it, and he's relieved that is all he lost; Aro is fully aware that the outcome could have been a great deal worse.
Though his coven have left the Cullens in peace, they expect that they will someday attempt to take them out in the name of revenge.
In Alice' s vision, he is beheaded by Bella and Edward after attempting to kill the both of them.
- "His skin was translucently white, like onionskin, and it looked just as delicate—it stood in shocking contrast to the long black hair that framed his face. I felt a strange, horrifying urge to touch his cheek, to see if it was softer than Edward's or Alice's, or if it was powdery, like chalk. His eyes were red, the same as the others around him, but the color was clouded, milky; I wondered if his vision was affected by the haze."
- ―Bella on seeing Aro for the first time[src]
Aro is described to have an average build, being 5'10" tall and having almost translucent skin, which throughout the series is repeatedly compared to onion skin. When Bella first meets him, she feels compelled to touch his skin to verify if it is smooth and cold, and granite-hard like Edward's or powdery like chalk. Although she describes its texture to be more like shale than granite, he, along with Marcus, and Caius, is no less indestructible than any other vampire. His hair is very long and jet black. When he moves, it appears so graceful that it looks like he is floating. His eyes are a milky red color that has a tendency to unsettle people. He is described to have been transformed into a vampire in his mid-20s and therefore very handsome.
Aro normally carries himself in a cheery disposition and has shown to be polite to the point of being at complete ease even in the most objectionable of situations. Beneath this facade of optimistic giddiness, he is power-hungry, smart with his actions and highly manipulative. He finds Bella Swan's immunity to mental powers, including Jane's "painful" power, intriguing. Though he has never wanted anything more than Alice's power, after Bella becomes a vampire, he twice invites her to join the Volturi Guard, which she refuses both times. This upsets and surprises Aro, but does not infuriate him.
He exerts control over the world of vampires, and plotted against the opposing covens. Aro made other vampires realize that it was necessary for them to live in the shadows among humans, and overtime turn their species into legends and myths instead of actual facts. To further continue this plan, he and his companions created their own vampires and taught them the laws before letting them loose. He believes, possibly correctly, that the Volturi is necessary for the survival of the vampire species, with its bylaws that hold secrecy of the existence of vampires to the utmost importance. Due to humanity's continuously advancing technological prowess to the point where there are already weapons in existence that can kill vampires, he speculates that it is only a matter of time before they create more devastating constructs that may be able to wipe out the entirety of vampire-kind on Earth.
He holds power over everything and is willing to go to any length to secure his status, even if it means killing, as it happened with his sister, Didyme, to keep Marcus in the Volturi. As he states in New Moon, he sees himself and his kind as soulless monsters. This is one of the reasons he is so intrigued and touched by Carlisle, being the first vampire who is not, which gives him hope.
He has shown himself to be an avid collector of many fine things, including vampires with powerful talents; if and when he finds a vampire with a special ability he sees as useful, he would attempt to recruit that vampire into the Volturi guard. Aro has shown to be relentless in attempting to recruit powerful vampires; even after a vampire would refuse his offer, he would still continue to invite that vampire, as demonstrated in his numerous attempts to get Edward and Alice as well as Bella to join the Volturi. He wouldn't invite all gifted vampires though; he only brings a vampire into his guard if that vampire shows a gift that will secure his power. If an individual possesses a gift stronger than the one he already has, he will reorganize the guard and have the member replaced.
Aro also possesses immense leadership and organizing skills, having amassed a powerful organization with formidable powers, and has also assigned the members with the right positions for the benefit of the coven (i.e. placing Chelsea as the core of the Volturi, while Corin as enticement to both her and the leaders' wives).
Aro is very childlike in manner, although he is deliberate and patient by nature, he can be impatient and immature at times. He is also the most curious of the Volturi and is also the one with the most zeal. The Volturi do abuse their power, but when it boils down, Aro is afraid to lose that power and will do whatever it takes to protect it. He is akin to a frightened child and does not feel safe without his guard. Aro is not an entirely cruel person and, unlike Caius, will avoid a fight or killing if possible.
"After three thousand years, you start to go nuts. That is what was intended for Aro in the book, and I hope it's in the movie."
Powers and abilities
Aro never demonstrates any physical skills in battle, probably because he never has the need to fight personally. In the movie adaptation of Breaking Dawn, he easily beheads Carlisle and then fights Edward and Bella alone. Though he shows to be a strong vampire, his skills aren't quite pronounced as it only takes two to kill him.
- Main article: Tactile telepathy
- "You see, I share some of your brother's talent, only I am limited in a way that he is not."
"And also exponentially more powerful."
- ―Aro and Edward on his gift[src]
Aro possesses the gift of "tactile telepathy", an ability to read people's minds; he can reach far more deeply into a person's mind than Edward Cullen, because he is capable of reading every thought, feeling and memory a person has ever had in the past. This power works very effectively in gathering information and looking into thoughts that his subjects may want to hide. It is, however, limited by his need to touch the subject in order for him to access that mind. Because of this power, he can learn any visitor's past and intentions of their visit. When interrogating a criminal, he uses his power to examine the guilty party's mind and see the proof they present. It has also happened on occasion that he discovers individuals with intriguing capabilities by seeing them through someone else's memories, such as Jane and Alec, Bella, Benjamin, Kate, Zafrina and Alice.
By reading Edward's mind, he can also access any mind Edward has ever read. And like Edward, he can access Alice's mind and experience the visions that she'd had.
- Twilight (Mentioned only)
- New Moon
- Eclipse (Mentioned only)
- Breaking Dawn
- ↑ From Tony Blair and Brian Clough to King of all Vampires, Michael Sheen is back in the Twilight zone. Mail Online (2009-04-12). Retrieved on 2009-04-13.
|Leaders||Aro • Caius • Marcus|
|Wives||Athenodora • Didyme • Sulpicia|
|Guard||Afton • Alec • Chelsea • Corin • Demetri • Felix • Heidi • Jane • Renata • Santiago|
|Other||Bianca • Eleazar • Gianna|