- "Maria won them all. She was smart, careful, and she had me."
- ―Jasper on Maria[src]
Maria was born somewhere in Mexico in between the 17th and 18th centuries, and changed into a vampire at the age of 19. Maria used to be part of a coven in Monterrey, where she had a mate and two older vampires who were - for all intents and purposes - her parents. During one of the battles of the Southern vampire wars, her coven was destroyed and her territory was claimed by another coven. To get her revenge, she joined forces with Lucy and Nettie, who had also lost their respective territories and covens. While Maria's goal was to reclaim her land and exact vengeance, Nettie and Lucy hoped to gain more hunting territory.
Maria took newborn armies to a new level by choosing humans with combat potential and giving them more training than anyone had bothered to do before. When she met the young Confederate officer named Jasper Whitlock, she hoped his physical stature and military experience would make him a helpful addition to the coven. When she realized his ability to control emotions, she put him in charge of her other newborns. He made the newborns cooperate with one another. With Jasper around, Nettie and Lucy, Maria's army began working together better and their army began winning back the territories they had previously lost as well as other Mexican territories belonging to other vampire clans. However, soon she became greedy and sought to extend her control further. Jasper, who she had placed as her second-in-command, was very close her, and thought of her as a god-like figure.
Jasper was often rewarded by Maria, especially for helping her defeat Nettie and Lucy when they rebelled. In the film they are portrayed as being romantically involved, with Jasper believing that she had truly loved him. He later discovered that Maria never felt that way towards him and only used him as her "puppet". She never treated him as an equal and never forgot about her deceased mate.
One night, Maria ordered Jasper to kill all of the newborns who showed no potential to remain in her coven. It made Jasper sick and depressed to do this. She became aware of Jasper's depression and became paranoid he would turn on her. So she made plans with other newborns to plot against him, promising them Jasper's position. Jasper recognized this, and did the same with other newborns. But before either of them could execute each other, Peter, a vampire whom Jasper had let escape years with another newborn named Charlotte before, returned and took him to the North for a more peaceful life.
Maria eventually forgave Jasper for his defection, and considers herself to be on good terms with him. She continues to zealously defend her territories in Mexico against interlopers.
In the Midnight Sun draft, Edward mentions that Maria once sought the Cullens out when they were in Calgary, prompting them to move again; Jasper politely told her to keep her distance in the future. Jasper also asked Peter and Charlotte to tell Maria that he wishes her well, should they meet her again.
The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide describes Maria as "very short and small-toned", being 5'1" tall, with black hair and a slight olive tone to her pale skin, denoting a darker skin pigmentation in her human life and is of Mexican descent.
In Eclipse, Maria is described as a tiny brunette with a soft and musical voice with a tendency to be sharp.
In the movie, her brown hair is altered to black, speaks with an accent and is 5'6½ ft tall.
Maria is described by Jasper for being "smart and careful" in expanding her territories, recruiting newborns for her army and remaining in the dark from human population to avoid the Volturi's attention. Knowing that she cannot keep newborns after their first year was almost up, she would order Jasper to dispose of them and then recruit new ones.
She is also manipulative, able to make Jasper willingly serve her before he left her army to find a more peaceful life with Alice and the Cullen family. Though Maria is manipulative and cold, she is not unfeeling - she grew fond of Jasper, which he also knew from his power to sense her feelings.
She had better self-control than Nettie and Lucy, but barely strong enough to restrain herself to create newborns.
Maria once belonged to a coven in Monterrey, where she also had a mate. When her coven was destroyed, she was the only one who escaped.
- "I hope you survive. You may be of great use to me."
- ―Maria on Jasper[src]
Maria is the creator of Jasper Hale. While helping her fight, win and recruit more newborn vampires into her coven, Jasper grew fond of Maria, while she only pretended to return his feelings, though she did grow fond of him. She had another mate that was killed before she met Jasper, and never moved on.
Maria found him useful in controlling and disposing of the newborn vampires of her army. When he allowed Peter and Charlotte to escape, her feelings changed and they both began to make strategy to destroy one another, but then Peter snuck back to take Jasper away from the army. Sometime after he left her, she came to forgive him for his decision and considers herself on good terms with Jasper after he joined the more peaceful Olympic Coven, though she has agreed to keep her distance in the future.