Originally Posted by TeamBella76
I always used to think that (having shown their true colours in the Gathering scene), the Volturi were quite hypocritical in their share of the general indignition when the story of Joham and Pire is told. Caius, who is quite the Nazi if truth be told, seems genuine enough; he wants to mount a genocide of all the half-vampires, starting with Renesmee and Nehuel. Aro know better than to try that one on because the odds are not in the Volturi's favour, Bella has cancelled out most of the special talents Aro depends on when wiping out covens, and there is a large team of vampires and werewolves who can and will fight the Volturi over any attempt to kill Renesmee. Nehuel is also on that team and they will not hang him out to dry. Having touched hands with Edward, Aro will be quite aware that the oppositions has detailed and very coherent tactical plans, in particular, Aro almost certainly will lose Demetri because Edward has prioritised Demetri; Jane has top billing with Kate and Caius himself is in big trouble, because Tanya intends to turn him into oxo cubes. So Aro comes up with the usual blarney to justify permitting the existence of the half vampires just as he was previously talking himself into exterminating Renesmee when she was thought to the one-and-only and before he had grasped that he was painting himself into a corner. Bella's gift was the decisive factor; it made the situation of the Volturi extremely perilous when they had counted on being in no danger at all. But when he has been robbed of his overwhelming power, Aro also loses most of his mystique and in changing his mind on the Cullen extermination project (at least pro-tem) he is publicly exposed. His judicial rulings are entirely self-serving, but he is rarely as transparent as he is forced to be in backing down over Renesmee.
Originally Posted by IHeartEddie
So this was always the basis on which I assessed the Volturi in their reaction to Joham and their decision to visit him. Partly hypocrisy - as quasi judges they have to pretend to feel shocked by such socially unacceptable behaviour, but would they hesitate to utilise Gianna as Joham utilised Pire if it suited their purposes? Partly spite - Caius has had his toys taken away, he was counting on a big killing spree. So Joham will be victimised to make Caius feel better.
However, I am not quite certain now that the Volturi are being hypocritical towards Joham. That detail about Aro courting his wife when he was already a vampire and she was still human; that's significant. He is extremely wicked, but he is still classy, a genuine gentleman-villain. Had New Moon been made into a film in the early 1970s, Anthony Valentine could have played Aro well. Aro has a complex character and is, on a whim (nothing to do with justice), quite capable of mercy. He let Bella and Edward off the hook in New Moon. Some of that was a goodwill gesture towards Alice, who has seriously pleased him and whose future membership of the Volturi guard he already has in mind as a possibility. Alice bought Edward's and Bella's lives by joining hands with Aro, much against her own inclinations. But there is something else going on as well. When Aro greeted Bella so effusively as though she were an old friend, he was playing a game to amuse himself, but the game was an interesting one. Aro was very intrigued by Bella, the human who dared to love a vampire; he has known one other human girl to compare with her and has a frame of reference. He doesn't need to have it explained to him that Edward and Bella have a very special relationship indeed. Aro's words are sentimental, and even though his character is not sentimental, he has just enough sentiment that, when he has made certain that there is no risk to The Secret, and when he has taken a view on which course is more profitable and reprieved Edward, Alice and Bella for the sake of future gain, he is pleased to see them leave alive. They have entertained him.
Even though he is pitiless, Aro loves his once-human wife and is so paranoid about the fear of her death that he keeps her in virtual bubble wrap. He related to the story of Edward and Bella, as I described above. I have to wonder if he related to the story of Joham and Pire in a different way, similar to the way Edward Cullen would relate to this story. It is the story of a human girl seduced by a vampire and then betrayed in the coldest way one could imagine. In the dark days of Bella's pregnancy, Edward thought that his story was like this, except that Bella is integral to himself and he is not even capable of abandoning her. But what did Aro think when he heard the story?
I think it might have touched a nerve. Aro once persuaded a human girl to trust him unconditionally. I am convnced that Aro believes he has been faithful to her trust and never would break that trust (how true that belief is is another matter); he is very likely to be extremely disgusted by Joham's conduct. It is something Aro himself would not do, something Aro proved in his own life that he would not do, and because it is against Aro's personal code. I used to think the excursion to visit Joham was just a bit of windowdressing but I rather think now, after reading Aro's background in the Guide, that this is just what Aro would want to do, to set Caius on Joham and watch Joham pay for what he did.
Edward and Bella speak to Aro's loneliness. Others keep showing up with vampires- the easy reach. It takes a grand passion, great love, fortitude, and so on- for these two to come together as Edward and Bella have done.
I'd wondered about how Edward was the advocate for the whole Cullen family. I think, honestly, although he is not planning on passing off the scene yet, Aro sees his true heir.
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