A reader* recently posed the question of what would happen to the Volturi if Chelsea, the vampire whose gift binds the coven together, disappeared or were destroyed. Would the guard members turn on each other? Would Aro remain in control? Would the Volturi disband?
I found the question fascinating and so followed up with a little research from Stephenie Meyer’s book, The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide, where she provides background information on various coven members’ origins and loyalties. Extrapolating from there, I’ve reached a few conclusions.
Aro was exceedingly fortunate to have found Chelsea some 3,000 years ago. Changing her was the single most important thing he did to establish his power over civilized vampires around the world. As Aro’s “child,” Chelsea feels a natural loyalty to him. However, she is so vital to his maintenance of power that he reinforces her loyalty by directing the vampire Corin to constantly flood her with addictive, feel-good vibes. He also gives Chelsea, his most valuable guard member, everything she wants. For example, Aro allowed Chelsea’s mate, Afton, to take a prestigious position in the guard even though he has no special talent.**
Without Chelsea’s influence to bind them together, Aro’s brothers would be among the first to leave Volterra. Caius’s restlessness would propel him to take up vampire-punishing (and werewolf-destroying) crusades around the world. Marcus would do his best to commit suicide, though he’d have to find a brave vampire willing to help him. In lieu of that, he would wander off and become a sad, lonely nomad. Left to lead the Volturi on his own, Aro would have a difficult time holding the coven together.
Before joining the Volturi guard, Demetri (the gifted tracker) was a member of Amun’s coven in Egypt and he had no desire to leave until Chelsea broke his bond to Amun and re-bonded him to Aro. Without Chelsea’s influence to keep him in Volterra, Demetri would leave for Egypt to rejoin Amun’s coven.
With Demetri gone, other Volturi guard members would no longer live in fear of being tracked and punished, so would likely follow their hearts and break with Aro. Heidi–the attractive vampire who rounds up tourists as food for the Volturi–formerly belonged to a large, loving, German coven which Aro destroyed in order to acquire her. That bitter history leaves Heidi with nowhere to return to, but with her false bond to Aro dissolved, she would leave Volterra and go her own way.
Renata, Aro’s personal protector, still has a loving family–mixed vampire and human–in Malta, and without Chelsea’s influence, she would rejoin them as soon as she gained the courage to abandon Aro. Without Renata to deflect physical attacks, Aro would become extremely vulnerable.
One of Chelsea’s more important jobs has always been to bind the twins, Jane and Alec, tightly to Aro so they would never consider challenging his authority. If Chelsea stopped influencing them, they would quickly recognize their true power and demand more control over the Volturi guard and Aro would have no means except personal charm to stop them. Since Jane is especially power hungry, she might go so far as to oust Aro as leader of the Volturi and, using torture as an inducement, begin directing the guard herself. That is a truly scary prospect and would threaten vampires (and possibly humans) all over the world.
The Cullens–relying heavily on Bella’s shield to protect them–would eventually have to destroy Jane and Alec to prevent their own destruction.
*Thanks for the questions, GSP!
**In Breaking Dawn–Edward, I gave Afton the ability to become invisible, but he can’t control it very well and so fades in and out, making the other guard members regard him as a loser.