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Stephenie Meyer described Marcus's powers as the following: "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."