The first Twilight film and book take place mostly in Forks, WA, and sets the stage for Edward and Bella’s love story. But in New Moon, that story goes to Italy where Edward nearly dies and Bella comes face to face with the “governing” body of the vampire world: the Volturi.
While neither the books nor the movies really dove into the Volturi’s history outside of Carlisle’s time with them, there is a lot of it. And one story might make fans feel sorry for one key member: Marcus.
The Volturi have ‘ruled’ the vampire world for thousands of years
Stephenie Meyer published the first Twilight novel in 2005 and since then fansites like Twilight Lexicon and the Wikia Fandom pages have complied facts from Meyer’s interviews, blogs, emails, and more to create an intricate history for the Volturi. Again, not a ton is in the books, aside from Breaking Dawn which has a little more information in the back. Also, The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide came out in 2011, giving more insight.
Through this all, fans learned that the Volturi actually started in Greece and not Italy, with Aro and Marcus being the founding members. Athenodora, Aro’s mate, joined as well along with Caius later. Before they even came into power in the vampire world, they were building their coven, and Marcus ended up falling in love with Didyme, Aro’s biological sister.
In Breaking Dawn: Part 2, the very Dracula-type vampires Stefan and Vladimir have a vendetta against the Volturi because the Italian coven overthrew the Romanian coven in 500 AD. The Volturi never really saw a formidable foe since, which is why the Romanians both really wanted the Cullens and their witnesses to go into battle, but it ended peacefully in the final installment.
Marcus is noticeably reserved in the book and movie because of his mate’s death
Marcus is one of the most interesting vampires in the Volturi because he’s so obviously depressed and forlorn. He really doesn’t seem to care about the actions of the Volturi and is so old and exhausted that when he speaks it’s like a strained whisper. This is because he’s forever mourning his lover, Didyme.
For creatures that live forever unless physically killed, how did she die? This is where the sympathy might come in.
Marcus might have founded the Volturi with Aro, but he really wasn’t interested in power nor gaining vampires with special abilities to bulk up their coven after he met Didyme. She had the ability to make others wildly happy, but she also shared this love with him; they have “the greatest love of all times,” according to actor Christopher Heyerdahl who played him in the movies. But, he lost her to her brother, Aro.
Marcus and Didyme were planning on leaving because they were “discontent” with life with the Volturi. Aro pretended to bless their departure but had his own sister killed because he needed Marcus to stay for whatever reason. Marcus didn’t find out who was behind her death, and Aro had Chelsea use her powers to keep Marcus loyal to the Volturi. Chelsea is a member of their court who can influence emotional ties, which is how the Volturi can capture or keep Aro’s most prized vampires in his possession. He is a collector, remember?
Bella and Edward reminded Marcus of his lost love
It’s actually really tragic if you think about it. All Marcus wanted was to run off with his soulmate but couldn’t because of Aro’s maliciousness. Then he’s forced to stay with the Volturi for the rest of eternity, just sort of gliding through the motions. In Alice’s vision in Breaking Dawn: Part 2, when the Romanians are about to kill him, he succumbs easily just saying, “Finally” as they rip him to shreds.
So it’s no wonder that Edward and Bella’s existence made Marcus a bit wistful for his lost love.
“He relates to that. It brings him back to the old days,” actor Christopher Heyerdahl told CP24 in 2012 about Marcus’ appreciation for their passion. “At the same time, I’m sure it makes him pine much more for his love.”
Heyerdahl, who played Marcus in the last four movies, said that Marcus is the reasonable one in the Volturi, which you can see in New Moon. When Caius and Aro were on the verge of killing the two lovers, Alice de-escalated the situation and Marcus excused them.
“He really is the balance in this triumvirate of power,” Heyerdahl said. “He tries to be the voice of reason and I found that extremely interesting to play.”
Heyerdahl said he “loved” playing Marcus and came down to his tragic loss.
“I always have a soft spot for any character that I put my heart and soul into and try to create something that’s three-dimensional and has a history and a present and a future,” he said. “Even though Marcus may not necessarily want to have a future.”