The Volturi are essentially the law enforcement of the Twilight vampire world, but so much underlies their thirst for domination. Even the most dedicated Twihards won’t know many of these details about the most threatening vampire coven out there. Author Stephenie Meyer revealed a lot about the Volturi outside of the four main Twilight books, as she continued building her world in side novels. These give us fascinating tidbits about the Volturi’s history and true motivations.
The core members, Aro, Marcus, and Caius, are flanked by other infamous vamps like Jane and Alec. We first meet them in New Moon, but the Volturi had dealings with the Cullens long before then. They’ve also established themselves as the sole rulers among all vampires. Their rigid policies are in place to avoid detection from humans, and the consequences of defying them are not pretty.
Every vampire in the series seems to obey their laws without question, showing the extent of their power and reach. With so many vampires on their side who have extraordinary supernatural gifts, it’s no wonder they'd never lost a conflict until the encounter in Breaking Dawn. The Cullens and their many vampire connections saved Edward and Bella’s daughter, Renesmee, from destruction, but there is a lot leading up to this that reveals why the Volturi ruled unquestioned for thousands of years. We hardly know everything about the individuals that make up the Volturi. Just the movies and main books won’t give you the big picture, but we'll do our best.
Here are 20 Wild Details Only True Fans Know About The Volturi.
20 They’re seen as a force for peace
It’s true; Edward really does describe the Volturi as peaceful to Bella, though this was before they went after Renesmee. Before Breaking Dawn, nearly the entire vampire world thought of the Volturi as a necessity for maintaining peace among vampires. They do this by ensuring the secrecy of vampires' existence.
However, the use of aggressive tactics against their own kind is startling. It is a supposed inevitability that the coven will need to destroy other clans of vampires or anyone showing signs of resistance. It must be crucial for all vampires to believe the Volturi are the peaceful foundation of the supernatural world in order to put up with these violent campaigns.
19 Aro destroyed his own sister
Don’t ever doubt how vicious the Volturi can be, even when it comes to their own family. Aro ended Didyme’s life after she and her husband, Marcus, decided to leave the coven once and for all. They had lost satisfaction with the constant tension and combat that characterizes the Volturi’s lifestyle. Make no mistake, though, this was not a revenge slaying for Aro.
Aro viewed this harsh action toward his sister as mere strategy. He valued Marcus’ supernatural talent more than Didyme’s. Marcus had the ability to read any emotional ties between people, and Didyme only had the capacity to make people happy. The most tragic part is that Marcus still doesn’t know who did it, and stayed in the Volturi without anywhere else to go. Aro definitely got his wish, but clearly he has no hint of a conscience.
18 They’ve ruled for 25 centuries
The Volturi have been around for a huge chunk of history, with 25 centuries of collective experience behind them, but they weren’t always the leaders of the vampire world. They had to destroy another coven in order to gain control in the ancient period. A coven from Romania was actually the original ruling group, but the Volturi managed to defeat them after a century of fighting. They also defeated the vampires from Egypt, leaving only two survivors who fight on Bella and Edward’s side of the conflict in Breaking Dawn.
It’s hard to imagine doing the same thing for 2500 years, but the Volturi pride themselves on their longevity. They haven’t yet been overthrown, so they must have been doing something right all this time.
17 Carlisle tried to persuade them to spare humans
The Cullens weren’t always on bad terms with the Volturi. Carlisle had visited them long before the books began. They tried to persuade him to join them, but he obviously declined. He did however put effort into showing them the value of human life. It’s no secret that the Cullens drink only animal blood and vow not to harm people. Carlisle wanted the Volturi to follow this same diet, but to no avail.
It’s a bit of a stretch to believe the Volturi, of all covens, would be willing to give this lifestyle a shot. They feed on dozens of humans per day, and don’t even avoid harming their own species.
16 They’re the largest vampire coven
The five core members of the Volturi are definitely not the extent of the group. The Volturi guard are additional members recruited for their spectacular abilities that allow the coven’s power to grow. It is the mass number of extra vampires that make the Volturi the largest coven in the world.
It’s surprising that the guard is only part of the outer circle of the Volturi. The infamous guard members we know so well in the series do not actually have a leadership role. For example, Jane is a member of the guard due to her ability to inflict imaginary pain. She is high-ranking, but was not actually there for the formation of the Volturi, nor their fight against ruling covens.
15 They forbid hunting in Volterra
Volterra is the town in Italy in which the Volturi reside. Despite their endless thirst for power and disrespect for human life, they don’t allow any vampires to hunt in Volterra, including themselves. Their biggest concern is secrecy, and this is just one of their rules that maintains their way of life without leaving a trace.
They have their food brought in from outside sources, luring mostly tourists into their trap. Heidi, a member of the guard with the power of attraction, has the task of acquiring humans without leaving behind any evidence. This is often easy for her to do, given her unique ability. Even with all their self-imposed limitations, the Volturi never go hungry.
14 They don’t always get involved when humans discover vampires
The Volturi’s laws seem to be absolute, but there are instances in which they’ve sat on the sidelines. They consider it the vampire's responsibility to silence the human, either by destroying them or making them a vampire as well. Often, the Volturi don't even find out about these instances because vampires take care of them immediately. They obviously fear the consequences should the Volturi see the need to get involved. There must be a great deal of attention drawn in order for them to see the situation as a threat to the whole species.
The glaring exception to this is Bella and Edward's relationship, which the Cullens let be for too long. Though the couple made a deal with the Volturi to transform Bella into a vampire, they were really pushing their limits. Thankfully Bella did eventually transform, but it was definitely a little later than the Volturi would have hoped.
13 They’re originally from ancient Greece
Volterra is definitely a town in Italy town, but the Volturi leaders themselves are originally from ancient Greece. They all grew up in Greece and were turned into vampires there. They became established as a coven, and by the time they had overthrown the coven of vampires from Romania, they had already relocated to Italy. It’s unclear why exactly they did this, but Italy is not a far cry from their roots.
We can only imagine the pieces of history they’ve seen unfold over time. Historians spend decades trying to discover secrets of the ancient world, but the original five Volturi members must know it all. It's too bad they rarely leave their haven in Volterra, and that when they do, it’s only to fight a battle or quell unrest.
12 A werewolf almost eliminated Caius
About 2000 years before we see Caius for the first time, a werewolf nearly ended him. The entire species of werewolves were no match for Caius’ rage, and he hunted them almost to extinction. Don’t confuse werewolves with our favourite Quileute wolf pack, though. Jacob and his fellow wolves are more like shape-shifters than werewolves, considering they can change at will.
Caius’ scary run-in with a real werewolf may be the reason we don’t see any in the series. It might be for the best, seeing as there’s enough supernatural activity to deal with already. That they were able to eliminate an entire species definitely shows off the Volturi’s power.
11 They wanted all the Cullens destroyed
It seems a far-off conflict by the end of Breaking Dawn, but in the earlier books the Cullens feared Victoria’s newborn vampire army. She was mobilizing troops to destroy the Cullens to avenge her mate, and little did we know that the Volturi was in on it.
Meyer reveals this crazy detail in The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. Though Jane and other members of the guard come to settle the chaos the newborns are bound to create, she makes Victoria an offer. She wants them to do what they were created for (eliminating the Cullens), or she will destroy the newborn army. In the main books, this is a moot point because the Cullens already did that themselves. However, it’s intriguing that the Volturi had a secret one-sided dispute against the Cullens long before Renesmee.
10 Immortal children are the only thing that scares them
There’s not much the Volturi can’t handle, but one of their most significant contributions as vampire rulers is the outlawing of immortal children. Even speaking of them is taboo. These children have been transformed into vampires at an early age, so their mind remains childlike and they lack self-control. The problem is that they also now have vampire-level strength and thirst for blood, and can destroy entire villages.
It’s to be expected that even the most powerful vampires would fear these beings that can’t be controlled or manipulated. The Volturi took it upon themselves to destroy all immortal children and anyone who creates them. The Volturi can quell any uprising, but know their limits when it comes to these vampire kids. It's a good thing Renesmee turned out to just be a human/vampire hybrid!
9 Bella’s power negates all of the Volturi’s talents
Much of the reason Bella’s side won the final encounter with the Volturi has to do with her vampire talent. It’s not an offensive skill, by any means, but that’s probably why it works better than anyone else's. Bella's ability to shield herself and those around her renders the Volturi’s skills irrelevant, no matter how powerful they may be. Jane’s infliction of pain on opponents couldn’t get past Bella’s shield, nor could Alec’s ability to eliminate a person’s senses.
The Volturi has spent centuries building up a guard with handpicked powers. In the end, though, Bella proved that one awesome defensive tactic is really all you need to defeat them.
8 Caius is the only leader with no supernatural talent
Caius is one of the original leaders of the Volturi, yet unlike Aro and Marcus, he has no ability other than simply being a vampire. It actually makes sense that he’s a leader and not one of the guard, seeing as the guard must have something special to gain admission. He joined Aro and Marcus to form the original coven, and they were impressed by his ruthlessness.
This might be seen as a talent in itself. He has a strong hatred for those who wrong him, which is the driving force behind his exploits. Though Caius doesn’t have anything extra to help him out, it seems he may not need it.
7 Their laws are never written down
It would be very out of character for the Volturi to leave any trace that could give away their existence. Despite having many rules, they don’t put them in print for good reason. They expect vampires to spread their decrees through word of mouth, which seems to be working. There hasn’t been a vampire in the series who hasn’t taken the Volturi seriously, even if they oppose their values.
Any physical evidence for vampirism would constitute a breech of the Volturi’s law, so even to write these laws down would be illegal. At least the Volturi seem to follow their own rules and set an example for the rest of vampire society.
6 The leaders’ wives are essentially hostages
With Aro, Marcus, and Caius mentioned most often, it’s easy to forget there are two other main members of the coven. Aro’s wife Sulpicia and Caius’ wife Athenodora have been with them for thousands of years. However, these probably aren’t miraculous marriages. Corin, a member of the guard, keeps them content using her vampire power to simulate feelings of happiness. In reality, the wives only leave their tower in Volterra every few hundred years.
It’s also a shame that, when they do accompany their husbands on certain important missions, they don’t get involved in the action. They’re only in the background of the interactions in Breaking Dawn.
5 Many members of the guard are disposable
We know of Jane, Alecm and a few Volturi guard members who are more high-ranking, but a lot of the clan’s power comes from the sheer number of vampires they have in the outer circles of the guard itself. They carry out assignments and act as a defense for the core Volturi members. There are really only nine permanent members in the guard, and the rest are easily replaceable.
Each guard member wears a cloak that signifies ranking – the darker cloaks indicate a more important position. This doesn’t mean they aren’t talented, but with so many vampires to choose from, the Volturi can afford to have this kind of hierarchy.
4 Aro wanted wolves on his side
The Volturi envied the Cullens for the Quileute wolf pack that help defend them in the last book. The shape-shifting wolves must have looked menacing to Aro, who wanted them on his side instead. This is in spite of the fact that vampires and wolves are natural enemies and usually can’t stand the sight of each other.
To be fair, though, Aro had assumed the Cullens trained the wolves to carry out their commands. In reality, Jacob and his pack put aside their differences with vampires to aid the specific cause of protecting Renesmee. They were acting out of their own free will, so they’re unlikely to help the Volturi anytime soon.
3 They study the arts at night
Not being capable of sleep is a blessing and a curse for vampires. Their superhuman bodies don’t need to rest, forcing them to be awake all hours of the night. They don’t waste that time, though. The Volturi are considered patrons of the arts for their nighttime studies. They may enforce their strict laws by day, but when the sun goes down, they dedicate themselves to becoming experts on all sorts of artistic work.
We can only imagine how knowledgeable they are by now, having lived thousands of years and never sleeping. It shows a more human side to the Volturi, who are often ruthless, but have an appreciation for life’s pleasures.
2 They’re the inspiration for Italian paintings
Stephenie Meyer makes reference to real-life painter Francesco Solimena by tying his work into her story. Carlisle Cullen owns several of his paintings, and Edward tells Bella that Aro, Marcus, and Caius directly inspired them. This would make sense considering the Volturi would have been alive and already in Italy during this period.
The artist painted them as gods due to their extraordinary looks. He must have been impressed by their otherworldly beauty and fascinating features characteristic of being a vampire. Maybe assumed they were gods themselves, since their beauty is unlike anything you could find in a human.
1 Their rules are a scheme for vampire domination
It’s common knowledge among vampires that the Volturi work to protect the secret of vampirism. This is supposed justification for their rule and harsh actions against their own kind. They do achieve this goal, but there's more to their plans than that.
The Volturi love to be in charge, and being seen as the protectors of vampire society is a convenient explanation for their power. The coven that ruled before them wasn’t so concerned with secrecy, and got overthrown merely because of their obvious power. The Volturi’s growing numbers and special talents are unlikely to be challenged when everyone believes they are a necessary evil.
What else fascinates you about the Volturi in Twilight? Let us know in the comments!