- "You’re all fools. The Volturi might be gone, but they will never forgive what happened here."
- ―Stefan on the Volturi[src]
Stefan is a founding member of the Romanian coven, as well as one of the only two survivors from the coven's destruction.
Stefan and his fellow Romanian vampire Vladimir once ruled the vampire world thousands of years ago with their coven, along with ten other Romanian vampires, one of which Stefan's mate. The Romanians were formed in a way similar to the Volturi: a group of ambitious vampires calling a truce to the usual squabbling between small covens and then joining forces for the purpose of gaining power. This prevailing desire to rule allowed them to overcome their competitive drives and cooperate. Not even bothering to keep the secret, they let the Romanian people in their city know that they were vampires, instead of acting under the pretense of being Christian saints (referring to St. Marcus Day in Volterra).
The eventual downfall of the Romanians was their focus on brute strength. They created a guard-like entity - a pattern later copied by the Volturi - composed entirely of vampires like Felix and Emmett. Perhaps because none of the ruling members of the coven possessed supernatural abilities themselves, they underestimated the advantage such abilities could give them in battle. They ignored talented vampires in favor of strength. This blind spot was understandable, as no one had ever used talents the way the Volturi eventually did. Talents have also grown stronger over the centuries; the talents exhibited by vampires during the Romanian rule were not as potent as the talents that developed in modern times. Much of that is due to vampires learning to seek out talented humans to transform, and also understanding how to focus and improve their talents after the transformation. Aro's innovative focus on talent over strength was the reason the Volturi were able to defeat the Romanians, though it took them more than a century, and they never wiped them out completely.
Their castles were burned and their coven destroyed when the Volturi finally overthrew them. Stefan lost his mate in the third decade of the initial battle, which ensured his permanent drive for vengeance.
When the Volturi defeated the Romanians, most of their coven was destroyed, leaving only Stefan, Vladimir and his mate as survivors. The Volturi copied many aspects of the Romanians' way of life - the formation of a permanent guard, the stationary home, and the eschewing of hunting in favor of prey being rounded up and delivered to them. The difference was that they did all of these things while remaining hidden to humans' eyes.
Stefan, Vladimir and Vladimir's mate made many attempts during the centuries to regroup, repopulate, and topple the Volturi. The Romanians amassed an army of more than a hundred new recruits and were confident that the Volturi would fall. This ill-fated assault occurred a decade after the Volturi had acquired Jane and Alec. It was the first time Aro displayed their powers in battle. Stefan and Vladimir were planning to spring a trap for the expected Volturi retreat, and so escaped slaughter when their recruits failed. After this, they made no further attempt to create more vampires for their coven, and decided to disappear until the Volturi weakened or another power presented itself.
Every few decades, the Volturi would send Demetri and others after the remaining Romanians, so Stefan and Vladimir are constantly on the move and always on their guard. If the Volturi focused their efforts, they would be able to wipe out the survivors, but since these two pose little threat, the Volturi have never committed their assets to a drawn-out chase.
- Main article: Breaking Dawn
- "We have waited a long time for the Italian scum to be challenged."
- ―Stefan on the Volturi.[src]
Stefan and Vladimir show up uninvited to the Cullen household in Breaking Dawn hoping that the controversy caused by Renesmee will finally present them with the opportunity to destroy the Volturi. However, their hopes don't falter throughout the book. In the big climax with the Volturi, the "royal vampire family" is entirely astonished to see their bitter enemies on Carlisle's side, and immediately want to take action. Aro, however, with his eternal enthusiasm, seeks the truth from Carlisle, and Stefan's and Vladimir's hope of having a battle with the Volturi is vanquished. They were happy, however, to see the Volturi run away like cowards after the confrontation.
During the month that the Romanian coven "witnesses" Renesmee, Bella has a certain aversion to having Renesmee being around the Romanians, for fear that they, too, are just like the Volturi, with their pasty-white skin and red eyes. However, Bella notices that Stefan's and Vladimir's eyes are not filmed over as the Volturi's, but she does not inquire about it, fearing that it would be rude. It is Renesmee who eventually asks, and the vampires reply that once their castle was burned they had to move, as opposed to the Volturi elders who sit still decade after decade.
Renesmee is said to have enjoyed the Romanians' company. Bella limits her time with them after they describe how they would like to rip out the eyes of the Volturi. They only seek revenge towards the Volturi, and will do anything to harm them.
He is described as being a slight and short man, dressed in simple black clothing that barely fit in with the modern times, being 5'3" tall and with eyes that are dark burgundy in color; and along with Vladimir, he too possesses the same powdery skin as the Volturi ancients, although it is said to be not as pronounced in their case. His hair is dark brown.
He speaks in a smooth tandem, with a voice so similar to Vladimir's that anyone with ears less sensitive than a vampire's would assume they were one speaker.
Stefan is noted as cunning, ambitious. He is vengeful regarding the Volturi. Though he has a survival instinct, he seems to get it under control when driven by vengeance. He and Vladimir have a tendency of finishing each other's sentences.
Powers and abilities
Stefan never demonstrated his vampiric abilities in the novels. However, in the movie adaptations, he and his covenmate, Vladimir, display amazing physical reflexes and battle skills despite the lack of special powers. They manage to avoid Jacob's attacks and confuse the wolves by jumping around trees in circles until they ran into each other.
Vladimir is a founding member of the Romanian Coven, like Stefan. He became Stefan's only company after the destruction of their coven. They have kept each other company since they both lost their mates to the Volturi's offensive forces and have traveled together since. Their voices are heard to be so similar to weaker ears can easily mistake them to be one person.
Like Stefan, Vladimir is always awaiting the opportunity to oppose the Volturi and destroy them once and for all.
Stefan had a mate during his time of reign. When the Volturi dethroned the Romanians, Stefan lost her, but he escaped with Vladimir and his. Since vampires don't overcome their grief, it is assumed that Stefan is still grieving and resenting after all the centuries.