- "At least our dispute with the Cullens is over."
- ―Marcus as he receives a note about Carlisle's newest addition to his coven.[src]
Marcus is one of the three leaders the Volturi coven. He possesses the gift of relationship identification, allowing him to see the emotional ties between individuals. He was the husband of Didyme until her death. The loss of his wife forced him into a withdrawn, introverted state. He is only kept in the coven by Chelsea's power over his loyalty. In Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined, Marcus controls the Volturi with Athenodora and Sulpicia instead of Caius and Aro.
He is portrayed by Christopher Heyerdahl in the movie adaptations.
- "He is the vampire that had the greatest love of all times. And lost the greatest love of all times."
- ―Christopher Heyerdahl[src]
Marcus became a vampire at the age of 19 and acquired the power to read the emotional ties between people. Aro first met him shortly after his own transformation. Together with Caius and Athenodora, he formed the core of the Volturi. Marcus then met Didyme, who was Aro's biological sister, and became her mate. Didyme was blessed with the ability to make people happy. Marcus and Didyme eventually became discontent with the Volturi, and planned on leaving. In order to prevent Marcus from leaving the Volturi, Aro, who pretended to give his blessing, killed Didyme because he was too integral to his plans to lose. Marcus never found out what Aro did to Didyme, and afterwards Aro had Chelsea use her ability to ensure Marcus remained loyal to the Volturi. Aro also intended to use Corin to make him happier, but he refused the comfort.
By 500 AD, the Volturi had usurped control of the vampire world from the Romanian coven. Aro ruled the Volturi, along with Marcus and Caius, although he generally acted as spokesperson. The Volturi, under the three ancients' control and leadership, set down the laws of the vampire world and cruelly punished those who did not follow to them. Carlisle Cullen came to live with the Volturi for some time. The Volturi, as well as a majority of the vampire species, did not understand Carlisle's "vegetarian" lifestyle and tried to convert him to human blood; they failed to do so. After staying with the Volturi for a decade, Carlisle decided to leave for the New World.
Marcus, as well as the rest of the Volturi, are both feared and respected throughout the vampire world as the guardians who keep the human world ignorant of the supernatural. He is also known to be respected in the human world as "Saint Marcus", the holy priest who drove all the vampires from Volterra. His national holiday, St. Marcus Day on the 19th of March, is celebrated each year by the people of Volterra. The legend most likely developed out the fact that the Volturi do not permit hunting within the walls of Volterra.
- Main article: New Moon
- "Let us be done with this. Heidi will arrive any moment. Thank you for your visit."
- ―Marcus, to Edward, Bella, and Alice.[src]
At one point, Edward Cullen, one of Carlisle's adopted children, comes to the Volturi because he believed that his love, Bella Swan, had committed suicide, and is thus suicidal himself. Aro is interested in Edward’s ability to read minds from a distance, and offers to make him part of their coven, to which he declines. After Edward’s failed suicide attempt, Marcus meets Bella and is surprised by the intensity of her relationship with Edward, which reminded himself of his relationship with Didyme. One touch with Aro reveals this information. It is decided by the end that Bella should become a vampire, given her ability to withstand Edward's, as well as Aro's and Jane's, powers.
- Main article: Breaking Dawn
- "I see no immediate danger. The child is safe enough for now. We can always reevaluate later. Let us leave in peace."
- ―Marcus's vote.[src]
Sometime after Bella became a vampire, Irina, a vampire from the Denali coven, comes to Volterra to tell the Volturi that the Cullens have created a immortal child. The Volturi responded by gathering an army and the entire guard (including the wives) to destroy the Cullens. When the Volturi arrived, Marcus, Aro, Caius and the others were surprised that the Cullens assembled to oppose them, thus furthering Aro's belief that they have created an immortal child. The Volturi stopped launching an attack when they start seeing the werewolves. After reading Edward’s mind about Renesmee, the so-called immortal child, he found himself astonished and delighted to discover that she is actually a vampire-human hybrid. The Volturi put to a vote on whether or not Renesmee should be killed because Caius didn’t know if she would become a threat to the exposure of the vampire community. It was voted to let her be until they know if she is a danger to the vampire world. Marcus was the only known one in the Volturi to vote against Renesmee being destroyed. Alice Cullen and Jasper Hale show up with another vampire half-breed named Nahuel, who gave information valuable enough for the Volturi to leave in peace.
In the post-credits scene of the first movie, Marcus, Aro and Caius receive a note that informs the addition to Carlisle's coven (Bella). Marcus declares that their dispute with the Cullens is over at last, but Aro disagrees, saying that he still wants something from the Cullens: i.e, the powers of Bella, Edward, and Alice.
In Breaking Dawn - Part 2, Alice shares a vision with Aro regarding the outcome of the battle, which shows Marcus welcoming Stefan and Vladimir's assault and his own death, muttering "Finally." In the end, the battle is avoided and Marcus leaves with his coven.
Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined
- Main article: Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined
In the alternate story where nearly all characters have swapped gender and names, Marcus is one of few who stays the same. In this story, he found out about Aro's involvement in his wife's demise through Sulpicia, the only witness to the scene, and together executed him and Caius. Since then, he had ruled alongside Sulpicia and Athenodora. Carine Cullen came to live with the Volturi for some time in the 17th century. The Volturi, as well as a majority of the vampire species, did not understand Carine's "vegetarian" lifestyle and tried to convert her to human blood; they failed to do so. After staying with the Volturi for two decades, Carine decided to leave for the New World.
In the books, Marcus is noted to have been transformed at the age of 19. He has black hair to shoulder length, standing 6'0" tall, with an average build and, like Aro and Caius, is incredibly graceful in his movements. His white skin is translucent with a papery texture, and his red vampire eyes have an overlying milk film. As the co-leader of the Volturi, he wears a black cloak. The loss of Didyme has made him totally expressionless and uninterested about everything else in existence.
In the films, Marcus has the appearance of a middle-aged man, exactly opposite to Caius, who appears incredibly young in the films, while being in late 40s in the books. He has black hair with the same expressionless face.
Personality and traits
As a result of losing his mate, Didyme, Marcus eventually became extremely apathetic. Marcus has never recovered from the loss of Didyme (unknowingly at the hands of Aro) and accounts for his apathetic and callous ways. He voted against destroying Renesmee in an 'almost bored fashion', not even looking at the Cullens and their allies while doing so. The others of the Volturi seem to recognize this aspect of himself, as none of the Volturi reacted at all to his vote. Marcus' personality is unknown prior to the death of Didyme, but he apparently loved her deeply. Ever since her death Marcus has sunk in to an extreme state of depression and apathy and is barely alive even by vampire standards. His state of mind seems to have been made worse by the fact that Aro had Chelsea force him to feel loyal to the Volturi and it has resulted in him being locked in a permanent state of grief-related apathy.
During the meeting to discuss the Cullen situation in New Moon he barely acknowledges the proceedings and hardly speaks; just sits staring off in an almost bored manner. Despite this he does become animate in the presence of people with strong emotional ties like Bella and Edward and defends them on several occasions during encounters with the Volturi, possibly because their love reminds him of the love he once had with Didyme.
Powers and abilities: relationship identification
- Main article: Relationship identification
- "Marcus's gift is actually quite valuable in the hands of someone who knows how to use it. For example, imagine Marcus on the battle field. He sees the binding ties between the enemy the guard faces. He can tell who the leader is just by watching the way the others are tied to him or her. He can see how to destroy the resistance simply by picking off a few key people. He doesn't just see romantic relationships, but also ties of family and friends, loyalty and devotion. He can tell if any given person would die for another. Off the field of battle (as the Volturi rarely leave their home), Marcus's gift is valuable politically (for lack of a better word). It's an amazing gift in a diplomatic situation. Plus, when you're sitting on an empire, it’s nice to be able to see when someone's loyalty starts wavering. Or if anyone is getting too fond of anyone else. Can you see the potential now? Marcus didn't get where he is with some fluff skill."
- ―Stephenie Meyer's description of Marcus's gift.
Marcus has the ability to recognize the types of relationships between people and their strong and weak spots. He usually shares this information mentally with Aro, by touching his palm, which is useful when Aro specifically wants something as he can use Marcus's power to determine who his enemies are and how close they are bonded to one another. He can also see if someone's loyalty is weaker than someone else's or if a new bond is being formed.
He can identify bonds between several people at the same time, identified by portrayer Christopher Heyerdahl in an interview.
When Marcus first encounters Bella and Edward, he is surprised by the intensity of their relationship.
- Main article: Marcus and Didyme
Marcus first met Didyme when her older brother Aro brought her into the coven. Meeting her changed his life and eventually they fell deeply in love with each other. They were so happy being together that Aro's ambition for domination of the vampire world became increasingly less important to them. Soon enough they began talking about leaving the Volturi to lead a life together. Needless to say, Aro was well aware of these plans. During a battle with another coven Aro took the opportunity and secretly killed Didyme in order to keep Marcus in the Volturi. Marcus was totally debilitated by her death and became suicidal but Aro had Chelsea utilize her talent to tie Marcus to the Volturi. Marcus has never recovered from Didyme's death, and probably never will since vampires never recover from the loss of their mate.
Aro is Marcus's brother-in-law and co-leader in the Volturi. When they first met, Marcus was Aro's first friend as a vampire and became his most trusted companion. Marcus intrigued by his young friend's enthusiastic personality and hunger for power as they were both talented vampires.
After they formed the Volturi and claimed power over the vampire world, Marcus fell in love with his younger sister, Didyme, and planned to leave the coven to lead a normal life. Aro pretended to give them both his blessing but intended to stop them so he murdered Didyme to keep Marcus in the coven as his gift was much more useful than his sisters' for Aro's cause.
Aro then had Chelsea tie Marcus to him so he couldn't abandon the Volturi. He also hoped that Corin could help Marcus recover to show enthusiasm for the Volturi, but Marcus refused the comfort. To this day, Marcus still doesn't know Aro killed Didyme.
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 hate. The two of them, along with Marcus, formed the Volturi.
Caius has a somewhat 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.
At times, 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 otherwise quite as satisfied with Aro's decisions, so he made sure Chelsea kept him tied to the coven.
|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|