- "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 shows the gift of tactile telepathy, which gives him the ability to read someone's thoughts and memories with a single touch. He is the husband of Sulpicia and the older 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.
Aro was born in Greece in the 1300s B.C. He was transformed into a vampire in his mid-twenties and joined forces with Marcus and later, Caius. Together with Caius's wife, Athenodora, they created the Volturi coven.
Approximately a decade after becoming a vampire, Aro changed his younger sister Didyme, in the hope that she would develop 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. However, this experience made Aro and Caius realize how vulnerable they could be if their mates met the same fate and so they had them well protected.
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 the 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 exposure to humans. His greatest assets being the discovery of Jane and Alec, two young children gifted with enormous abilities, and waited to change them when they were older (since the law against creating immortal children had already been established). His plan backfired as the villagers deemed them as witches and burned them at the stake. Aro got to the village just in time to save the barely-alive twins and changed them into vampires, and also slaughtered the entire village to keep them from spreading the news. Since Jane and Alec joined the coven, the Volturi had been invincible.
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.
At some point Aro and the other Volturi leaders were visited by Laurent, whom was seeking to join powerful vampires and chose to join the Volturi. However, Aro turned Laurent away after he found out that he had joined with Vladimir and Stefan for a short while. He declared him untrustworthy and Laurent left.
- Main article: New Moon
- "Caius, surely you see the potential. 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's fascination to Bella's immunity[src]
At one point, Edward Cullen, one of Carlisle's adopted children, comes to the Volturi. Edward was deeply depressed because he was led to believe 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 destroy such a special gift. He later meets Bella, after she and Edward's sister Alice prevent Edward's suicide attempt. He is both surprised and intrigued by Bella's immunity to Edward's power, 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.
When Bella's life hangs on a thin line due to Caius's determination to destroy her, Alice allows Aro to touch her, allowing him to see the vision of the future she has had of Bella as a vampire by accessing Alice's mind. It is described by Edward that Aro searched 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 is nothing Aro wants more than Alice's power.
He also makes an attempt to invite all three of them to the coven, but they all decline. Disappointed as he is, Aro, patient as ever, is hopeful that the day will come when they accept his offer.
- 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.
In the movie, Felix wanted to consult with Aro about the situation in Seattle, but Jane reminds him that they have to decide on their own, because Aro's decisions are being 'watched'.
- 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 to keep them from sending a hunting party for her. Though mystified as to whether or not Bella is changed, 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, while Marcus is content to allow the child to live. Aro also uses the advance of human technology and the threat Renesmee may pose to vampires as an excuse to initiate the struggle. However, when he witnesses the potency of Bella's mental shield, which renders the Volturi's powers useless, Aro realizes 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. Alice and Jasper show up with another vampire half-breed named Nahuel just in time to prevent the battle from commencing. The knowledge that there are other half-breeds in the world heartens Aro and he is relieved to use the newfound information to get out of the fight. The Volturi leave with their confidence somewhat shaken. 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.
In Breaking Dawn - Part 2, while witnessing the effect of Bella's power, Aro is still adamant on turning the situation violent until Alice claims to have evidence to persuade him. He then experiences Alice's vision of the battle's outcome, where he kills Carlisle to initiate the battle and then witnesses the demise of most of his coven. Angered by his losses, he joins the fight, his targets being Bella and Edward. With combined forces, they manage to behead him and set his remains ablaze. After witnessing his own death, Aro uses Nahuel's presence as an excuse to leave peacefully.
Though his coven have left the Cullens in peace, Edward knows the Volturi (especially Caius) see them as a threat and expects them to someday attempt to take them out in the name of revenge.
Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined
- Main article: Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined
- "Sulpicia had Mele take Aro's gift, and then Marcus executed him."
- ―Edythe, teaching Beau the history of the Volturi[src]
In Life and Death, the alternate story corresponding the first Twilight novel with a change of gender between characters, Aro was mentioned to have been executed not long after he destroyed his sister. His wife, Sulpicia, had been the only witness to the crime. She then delivered her husband to Marcus and his soldiers. The Volturi were worried about his execution because of his gift to read minds. Sulpicia then found a female vampire named Mele, with the gift of power transferal and had her take Aro's power and then transfer it to her. Aro was then executed, along with Caius.
- "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.
Personality and traits
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" illusory power, intriguing. Though he has never wanted anything more than Alice Cullen's power, after Bella became a vampire, he twice invited her to join the Volturi guard, which she refused both times.
He exerts control over the world of vampires, and plots against any opposing coven. 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 Cullen, being the first vampire who values human life more than the rest of their kind.
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 is quite relentless in his attempts to recruit such vampires; even after a vampire would refuse the offer, he would still continue to invite said vampire, as demonstrated in his numerous attempts to get Edward and Alice, as well as Bella, to join the Volturi. Being gifted doesn't necessarily guarantee an invitation, 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.
Stephenie Meyer, when supervising the production of New Moon, told the director Chris Weitz, and Michael Sheen that she intended for Aro to seem a bit insane, quoting: "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 later proceeds to fight Edward and Bella alone. His strength theorizes that he can hold his own in battle and has more strength than the average vampire. However, though he shows to be strong, 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.
Aro was the brother of Didyme, and is married to Sulpicia. He supposedly shares his status of "king" of the vampire world with Caius and Marcus, though he is in reality, the true leader of the Volturi. Due to Chelsea's binding powers, the guard have a slave-like adoration and devotion to Aro, whom they affectionately call, "Master".
Sulpicia is Aro's wife. He had decided to choose a human and create a mate rather than look for his match in another vampire, since he feared that such a relationship would complicate his plans. He had a certain type of woman in mind and found what he looked for in Sulpicia. He courted her successfully and made her agree to become a vampire and become his wife. They remain totally loyal, devoted to and in love with each other. Aro values her life more than his talented guard members, as he always makes sure that she is closely protected, even in Volterra.
Didyme was Aro's younger sister. She was very loyal to him. After living a decade and a half as a vampire, Aro changed her in hopes of her having a beneficial ability like his. Instead she developed the power to make those around her happy, which made everyone eventually come to love her. Along with them was Marcus, one of Aro's most trusted companions. Didyme also fell in love with Marcus after her wild newborn years.
Overtime they planned to leave the Volturi and travel the world. Because of his gift, Aro was aware of these plans. He was angered by their decision, but he pretended to allow it. However, once he saw an opportunity, to keep Marcus in the Volturi, he murdered Didyme because Marcus' power was more valuable for his cause than his sister's ability. Using Chelsea's power, Marcus is subsequently bound to the Volturi.
Despite his actions, Aro loved his sister as she loved him and he felt guilty for killing her.
Marcus later fell in love with and married his sister, Didyme, centuries ago. When they grew bored of the Volturi's lifestyle, they decided to leave and Aro pretended to give them his blessing, but later killed Didyme to keep Marcus in the Volturi. Marcus lost interest in the coven, but Aro had Chelsea use her power to tie Marcus to him. Marcus became completely apathetic because of this, though Aro hoped Corin could help Marcus recover to some degree, Marcus repeatedly refused. To this day Marcus still doesn't know Aro was the one who killed Didyme.
The reason for his action is based on his desire to keep Marcus' power in order to find out the emotional ties that their enemies share with one another and then find a way to use it against them.
Caius is a co-leader of the Volturi, leading the coven alongside Marcus and Aro. They met after Aro joined forces with Marcus. Though Caius had no psychic talent, Aro saw great potential in him. He was drawn to Caius' ambitions and capacity to hate. The two of them, along with Marcus, formed the Volturi.
Caius has a type of business-like relationship with Aro. He supposedly works with Aro and Marcus to keep order in the vampire world, but in reality Caius spends his time carrying out the punitive missions of the Volturi's rule while Aro handles every other aspect of the Volturi's rule. He also feeds with them.
There are times when he finds Aro's decisions absurd, but does nothing to disobey him. This obedience comes from Chelsea's power to manipulate relationships. Aro was aware Caius wouldn't have been quite as satisfied with Aro's decisions, hence he made sure Chelsea kept him tied to the coven.
Chelsea is Aro's most valued member of the Volturi guard, because her ability is the glue that keeps their coven organized and stable. Whenever Aro is interested in adding a vampire into his coven, he would have Chelsea use her power to make the vampire join them willingly and break any ties that bound him to someone else, except for lovers.
He found her and created her at the Volturi's most troubled time because Marcus had grown suicidal by Didyme's death. Chelsea has managed to keep Marcus loyal to the Volturi, but not free him from his pain.
Because of her ability, Chelsea and Aro share a bond no other guard shares with him. Chelsea often receives what she wants from Aro, for example her less-talented mate, Afton is kept within the Guard and she wears the pure black cloak of the leaders and wives. However, Aro has also been using Corin's power to keep Chelsea from leaving the coven.
Jane and Alec
He had been interested in the twins and their special powers ever since they were very young. Aro received word of them through the thoughts of a visiting nomad. He visited Alec and Jane when their psychic talents were already quite pronounced though they were toddlers at the time. Having already prohibited the creation of immortal children, he decided to delay their transformation until they were older and left them in the care of their parents.
However, Jane and Alec's powers caused so much tension in their village that the superstitious villagers decided they were too scary. They were accused as witches and were condemned to be burned at the stake when they were around 12 years old. Aro received the news and immediately rushed to save them. He arrived just in time to save them and transformed them on the spot, and then slaughtered the entire village.
After they became vampires, their offensive gifts made the Volturi untouchable, which subsequently made Aro quite fond of them, and they remained loyal to him throughout the centuries.
Aro values his friendship with Carlisle very much, and was concerned about his diet when Carlisle first entered his life. Carlisle is most likely Aro's only friend, and would not want anything to happen to him or his coven.
Even though Aro has desired members of the Cullens, he would not give up their friendship to have them join him. It is the kindness that Carlisle showed him when he lived there, and being able to talk to him like an equal showed what a friend could be, and Aro is very sad to lose his friendship with Carlisle in Breaking Dawn and hopes to regain it. Despite his value of their friendship, he also sees Carlisle and his family as a threat because of their capabilities and unusually strong bond.
- ↑ 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 • Mele • Valentina|