SM - The Volturi

Discussion area for all things Breaking Dawn
Alleymania
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Post by Alleymania »

I was creeped out. I thought Janes powers were just going to jump out of the book and cause me immeasurable pain. lol
** I'll be your Bella if you'll be my Edward**

NovaAlbion
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Post by NovaAlbion »

I posted this earlier on the Breaking Dawn Theories thread. However, parts seemed to be particularly appropriate here, especially the sections on Jane's and Alec's Powers and on Aro, Marcus and Caius. Of course, the section on Accelerants and Vampire Flesh are important to the lead up to the previously mentioned sections.

Warning: Serious geek alert!

Has anybody considered the role of fire in Breaking Dawn? I feel that there is a distinct possibility that it will play an essential element, if not as an offensive weapon for the Cullens, then as something to defend against.

There are bits of evidence scattered throughout the Twilight Saga. I will consider the nature of Accelerants and Vampire Flesh, The Promethean Myth, Jane's and Alec's Powers, "Aro, Marcus and Caius" and an undocumented advantage, for vampires, for living in Forks in this discussion.

Fire References excluded from consideration:
- La Push Bonfires (First Beach - Twilight, Bonfire celebrating Cullens' departure - New Moon, Bonfire with legends - Eclipse)
- Bella's Blood "Burning" due to James' bite - Twilight

The bonfires were a mundane usage of fire that had no meaningful relation to vampires or the course of the series. The burning sensation that Bella felt was not a literal burning, as with a flame, of her blood. It was more akin to an acid or chemical "burn", a strong, corrosive, destructive, chemical reaction. Of the three requisites for literal, rather than metaphorical, fire (fuel, oxygen and ignition source), two are missing.


ACCELERANTS? AND VAMPIRE FLESH

The most common/blatant reference to fire is the burning of vampire pieces: James - Twilight, Victoria & Riley/Newborns - Eclipse (Laurent - New Moon/I haven't been able to find where she said it, but I read that Sam carried a lighter along with his trousers for just such an incident.)

A more oblique reference to fire is on Eclipse pages 279 and 280 referring to the Victoria's/newborn murder spree in Seattle. "... 39 linked homicides and disappearances ..." and "There are enough similarities in the modus operandi to rule out unrelated crimes. Every victim discovered has been burned to the extent that dental records were necessary for identification. The use of some kind of accelerant, like gasoline or alcohol, seems to be indicated in the conflagrations; however, no traces of any accelerant have yet been found. ... More gruesome yet, most of the remains show evidence of brutal violence -- bones crushed and snapped ... which ... occurred before the time of death ..."

It seems obvious that the burnt bones found in Seattle were those belonging to newborns that were, during Victoria's "recruiting" phase, killed either from infighting or by purposeful elimination. But this gives rise to the questions: How can crystallized flesh described as stone, especially "granite", burn? How can it be consumed? What is the accelerant? Have we seen any other indications of a fire vulnerability in vampires?

It is highly likely that the "accelerant" is venom, venom being the sole "bodily fluid" of a vampire. Upon conversion, venom permeates and transforms the cells. It wets the mouth, fills the intercellular spaces and, to some degree, resides in the circulatory system, including veins, arteries and lymphatic system. (SM in Personal Correspondence #1 said, "If a vampire were cut, there would only be blood if he/she had freshly drunk blood (and drunk a lot). Otherwise, there would only be a bit of venom. It would be like cutting into granite.") Venom has volatile components to mix with the air and burn. These components make up the unique scent (to other vampires and werewolves) of each vampire. They comprise the scent that humans find alluring and werewolves find repugnant. Note: While humans have devices for the detection of various classes of and specific accelerants, they have nothing with which to detect trace amounts of venom. (Even a mass spectrometer would only show it as an unknown substance.)

We know that most stone, such as granite, is not damaged by fire, at least at the temperatures obtained by use of open air fires and liberal use of common accelerants. Other types of stone, such as marble, limestone, gypsum, etc. can be chemically changed, or even "destroyed" or reduced to powder at such temperatures. However, none of these stones "burn".

We know that only a few types of stone can burn. Coal and diamond are the most commonly known. There is also oil shale which, however, does not seem to burn completely as coal, diamond or, as described, vampire body parts. None-the-less, it is oil shale that may give us a clue. When heated, solid organic compounds within the stone vaporize, often splitting the stone. This combustible vapor migrates to the surface of the stone where it will, given the proper conditions, to mix with oxygen in the air and ignite.

It seems likely, that when a broken piece of vampire (stone) "flesh" is exposed to open flame the vapors from intercellular venom ignite. The heat of its burning vaporizes more of the intercellular venom which, in turn, ignites and intensifies the heat. As the cells of the flesh heat, the venom inside the cell vaporizes, rupturing the cell and providing more fuel for the fire and destroying the vampire (stone) flesh, reducing all but the bones and teeth to ash.

Note: It seems unlikely that, except in the most unusual of cases, that venom vapor (scent) from a "living" or intact vampire would ever become sufficiently concentrated to support ignition and/or combustion. I suppose that vampire cuspidors would be very dangerous items. ;) So, under the "wrong" conditions, it is only Edward, not Bella, that could spontaneously combust.


PROMETHEAN MYTH

The Promethean myth is associated with "the breaking dawn" and/or the dawn of human civilization. In addition to giving humankind fire, Prometheus claims to have taught them the arts of civilization, such as writing, mathematics, agriculture, medicine, and science. Also, the fire of the rising sun, the "breaking dawn" brings light to what would otherwise be endless night.


JANE'S and ALEC'S POWERS

Before I gave the role of fire, in the Twilight Saga, much thought, I developed a theory about Jane's and Alec's vampire "power". You can read it on my post here:

http://archive.twilightlexicon.com/view ... &start=690

Essentially, my theory was that Jane and Alec were severely burned prior to their "rescue". They were in excruciating pain even before they were bitten. I speculated that Alec was burned more severely than Jane, so his "power" derived from this incident was more powerful. Jane's ability isn't to make other people feel a generic pain, but to make them relive memories of her pain. As her twin, Alec had EXACTLY the same talent and he had memories of a worse pain.

In the drafting of that earlier post, I had rejected Alec actually being able to start fires because:
- It was physical rather than mental (i.e. not matched to Jane's)
- I didn't see how it would be effective ("enemy" vampires would just run around the flames)
- Also, I had forgotten that firestarters are a fairly well known/common (relatively speaking) psychic phenomena.

So the revised theory is that as Jane's twin, Alec has the exact physical counterpart/complement to her mental talent, that he can create worse pain by actually burning his target. Being a vampire firestarter would be a terrible weapon against anyone, but it would be exceptionally effective against otherwise invulnerable vampires who already have heightened senses (touch, pain, smell, heat), who are inherently flammable and who would continue to live (unlike humans who would die rather early in the process) until totally consumed. It gives the term "burned to death" a whole new meaning.

While this is a nice theory, is there any canon evidence that a vampire can be burned (other than post-mortem, so to speak)? As a matter of fact, there is.


ARO, MARCUS and CAIUS

Aro, Marcus, Caius are described as showing considerable variance from the appearance "normal" vampire. Such descriptions are consistent with changes resulting from fire or intense heat. In particular, the description of their hair, the appearance and feel of their skin can be considered evidence of their being burned. Here is Bella's description of Aro:

New Moon, page 466, at first Bella was confused by Aro's appearance, "For a moment I thought his long, jet-black hair was the hood of his cloak."

Page 467, "I couldn't decide if his face was beautiful or not. I suppose the features were perfect. But he was as different from the vampires beside him as they were from me. His skin was translucently white, like onionskin, and it looked just as delicate -- it stood in shocking contrast to the long black hair that framed his face. I felt a strange, horrifying urge to touch his cheek, to see if it was softer than Edward's or Alice's, or if it was powdery, like chalk. His eyes were red, the same as others around him, but the color was clouded, milky; I wondered if his vision was affected by the haze." He was also described as having "papery hands".

Page 469, Bella describes the faces of Marcus and Caius as, "Their faces had identical, paper-thin skin.)

Page 470, As Aro reads Marcus' observations about the strength of the Cullens' and Bella's relationships, Bella thinks, "I wondered how his papery skin did not crumple in the effort." Moments later, noting the bodyguards for Caius and Marcus, she notes, "The idea of any vampire needing a guard was faintly ridiculous to me, but maybe the ancient ones were as frail as their skin suggested."

Page 473, Bella is horrified at the prospect of touching Aro and, " ... yet also perversely intrigued by the chance to feel his strange skin." The result, "It was hard, but felt brittle -- shale rather than granite -- and even colder than I expected."

Note: Please note how SM seems to go on, and on, and ON about this.

- Hair: Am I the only one who thinks that AM&C are wearing really bad wigs? No facial hair (eye lashes/eyebrows) is described. (To be fair, nor is their absence noted.) Was their hair, which was dead before they became vampires and therefore subject to destruction, burned off in a fire?
- Eyes (red/clouded/milky): This appears to me to be cataracts, caused either by extreme age (cumulative UV damage, unlikely for a vampire) or that the surface of the eye was exposed to extreme heat and it "cooked".
- Skin Appearance (white parchment/paper thin/onion skin): Obviously, the skin has been damaged to some degree, by something.
- Skin Texture (slate vs. granite/chalky or powdery face): Again this is evidence of exposure to high heat. Slate is a metamorphic rock, which merely means that it has been changed from its original form by heat and/or pressure. High heat can also reduce stony marble/limestone/chalk to "chalky" lime, a component of cement.

Are there other explanations for the differences that Bella saw? Sure.
- These are the oldest vampires known (by a significant margin) in the Twilight Saga. These differences could be explained as part of the natural aging process of vampires. I mean even the hardest rock erodes eventually. The fact that all three (AM&C) had similar features and are of the same age is a point in favor of this argument.
- These differences could be the result of other (than fire) unspecified, environmental factors. For example, marble and limestone have been extensively damaged by air pollution and acid rain.
- The differences could be the result of factors unknown, as yet, to us as readers.

Of course this raises the question: If these differences to AM&C's appearance were caused by fire, how did all three get burned?
While there are 3000 years of potential scenarios, here are a few that I have come up with. Obviously, the probability of any of these being the "real" incident is very low.
- During rescue of Jane & Alec. We know that J&A were in the process of being "burned at the stake" when, at least, Aro intervened. This would require some exposure to fire on his part.
- During Alec's "recovery". If he had a vampire-enhanced firestarter ability, he may have lashed out during the final phases of his conversion, before he knew who was around him and before he gained control. It would seem to make sense that AM&C would be together supporting J&A through the change.
- Accidently trapped when Rome "burns" or in another municipal or wild land fire(s). While not particularly known for wild fires, I suspect Italy and Greece, having similar climates to southern California (Mediterranean), would have similar issues, especially in forested areas.
- Other: Battle (say Greek Fire), volcano's (Pompeii/elsewhere), smoking in bed, etc. ;)

There is also a non-fire related reason why AM&C are wearing wigs. They should all be bald. Vampire hair, is dead and doesn't regenerate. This means, once it is lost, it is gone for good. But hair flexes and moves. Over time, it becomes brittle and breaks. For humans this could take as little as a few years - less in the wrong conditions. It would be extremely unlikely if, over the course of 3000 years of hood/hat/wig wearing, wind tossing, fighting, love making, combing and brushing, washing, etc., each strand of hair didn't suffer "metal" fatigue and snap off at or near the surface of the skin. It would be lost forever. In fact, I am surprised that any of the Cullens still have their hair. I would expect them all to be bald as a cue ball. However, since I am personally uncomfortable envisioning a completely bald (future) Edward and Bella (Ew - gross), I will stipulate that SM has decreed that vampires get to keep their hair contrary to real physics, material science and vampire physiology as it is currently defined. ;)


FORKS

If, indeed, vampires are as flammable as I suspect they are, there is another advantage to their "living" in the Forks area. It is too wet for wild fire to be a common hazard, unlike, say, southern California.


CONCLUSION

Now, does this make a compelling case for significant plot elements in Breaking Dawn? Probably not. It is yet undetermined if the Volturi or other "non-vegetarian" vampires will even appear in BD. SM has provided no definitive statements about Alec's and Jane's powers, other than they are terribly effective, or about a vampire's vulnerability to fire. In fact, she has said, "Vampires don't really have any limits ...", although she did not specifically address invulnerability to fire.

I have done my best to set out an orderly examination of the role of fire in the Twilight Saga and present a logical, comprehensive theory of it's role in Breaking Dawn. I have undoubtedly missed by predicting specifics. Even some of the broader predictions will probably miss the mark. I do hope that this contributes to the body of knowledge/speculation regarding the Twilight Universe and especially the Volturi.

End geek alert!

This was a Jacob free post. No werewolves were harmed in its making. ;)
" ... I sometimes think I'm not writing novels, I'm writing Rorschach tests."
David Gerrold, fantasy and science fiction novelist and screenwriter

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4332809/1/Out_Of_The_Blue
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4239728/1/Shirley_The_Vampire_Slayer

debussygirl
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Post by debussygirl »

NovaAlbion, first I have to say I love the way you put out those long theory posts! It makes it a whole lot easier to follow.
But I have to disagree on one thing you wrote: "In the drafting of that earlier post, I had rejected Alec actually being able to start fires because:
- It was physical rather than mental (i.e. not matched to Jane's)"
But wouldn't it make the two of them even more indestructible if one had the mental strength and the other's power was physical? This way they couldn't just get away with making someone feel like they were tortured, they could possibly be tortured.
I was thinking about a post before (I wish I could remember where it was) that suggested Alec had the powers of the human torch from the fantastic 4. As I considered it, I thought that maybe along with that, he could possess some sort of element or something (sorry, not much of a science person, I don't know the correct terms) that would make it impossible for him to burn. So not only could he make others light on fire, but since he has the element of fire he cannot be burned, making him indestructible. And with Jane at his side, he could catch anyone he wanted so that they would light on fire.

Chessa
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Post by Chessa »

i know that this may be a bit off subject, but have andy off you thought of the appearance and the voices of the Volturi.

as i read about Jane, i imagined her as kindof like an African-Godess. with really dark beautiful skin, and no hair. ( I know it sounds Wierd, but humor me)

Also, i thought about her voice. To me she seemed to sound a bit like...Ummm...Renee zelweger *sp* when she uses that inocent voice...grr.. i can here it in my head..if only i could let you here it..

As for Felix i can kida see him as a Lucius Malfoy type character...with the blonde hair and all...
"I didn't worry about tripping over my train or giggling at the wrong moment or being too young or the staring audience or even the empty seat where my best friend should be.
I was with Edward in my happy place."

Crazy_and_Proud
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Jane Scares me...

Post by Crazy_and_Proud »

Jane scares me. She reminds me of the those dolls in horror movies...porceliean(sp?) skin, eyes that make you shudder to look into them...and they have those creepy ...yet overly sweet smiles except when you see them all you think is Oh My Gosh she's going to kill me! And like the dolls in the horror movies she has a weapon...her freaky mind powers, unlike others who use good old-fashioned knifes... To sum it up....Terrifyingly Adorable...if that makes any sense at all...
""But I am a werewolf," he said unwillingly . "And he is a vampire," he added with obvious revulsion.
"And I'm a Virgo!" I shouted, exasperated."

(TEAM EDWARD ALL THE WAY)

Sheluvstennis
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Re: Jane Scares me...

Post by Sheluvstennis »

Crazy_and_Proud wrote:Jane scares me. She reminds me of the those dolls in horror movies...porceliean(sp?) skin, eyes that make you shudder to look into them...and they have those creepy ...yet overly sweet smiles except when you see them all you think is Oh My Gosh she's going to kill me! And like the dolls in the horror movies she has a weapon...her freaky mind powers, unlike others who use good old-fashioned knifes... To sum it up....Terrifyingly Adorable...if that makes any sense at all...
Oh my heck!! yes I can totally see that about her.. She is freaking and she is one that plays by the rules... Especially about giving people second chances especially about with Bri... She is freaky in all sense of the word... I hope for Bella Edwards and the cullens sake that she is changed by the time the volturi comes however I am sure that they will be there for the wedding well maybe... Another funny thing is that Aro doesn't scare me at all I actually like him he is all about happy endings well as long as they play by his rules right??
" Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."
& " I am a VIRGO" I love this because I am a VIRGO too!! so I know where her stubbornness comes from...
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Kyo-Chan
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Post by Kyo-Chan »

I think the Volturi will play such a big part in BD. They have been real, and scary, but never a real threat.

*full theory under Theories*

Jane is scary. I think she really enjoys casuing pain! But I love Edward for taking it for Bella. ^_^ Even if it proved unnessecary.

Nova, I just finished your post. Wow, that was very well plotted-out. And a lot of it made sense. (were J&A being burned at the stake? I don't remember) If so, the part about your powers and even AC&M make a lot of sense to me. That part I identify with rather well.
So little posts! However, I've been here on the forums every day for about 2 years... reading. *SIGHS* If only my rating would reflect how many times I'm on this site a day---even if I don't always log in.

NovaAlbion
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Post by NovaAlbion »

debussygirl wrote:But I have to disagree on one thing you wrote: "In the drafting of that earlier post, I had rejected Alec actually being able to start fires because:
- It was physical rather than mental (i.e. not matched to Jane's)"
I'm sorry my meaning wasn't totally clear. I put that paragraph in for full disclosure. I didn't want to attribute my revised theory to the earlier post. As you quoted "I had rejected" (past tense) those particular reasons for discounting a physical talent for Alec. Yes, double negatives can be confusing.

The paragraph following, starting with, "So the revised (emphasis added - N.A.) theory is that as Jane's twin, Alec has the exact physical counterpart/ complement to her mental talent, that he can create worse pain by actually burning his target," parallels your concept that a complementary, to Jane, physical power would make him more effective. (It also means that it will probably be effective against Bella. At least the human Bella.)
" ... I sometimes think I'm not writing novels, I'm writing Rorschach tests."
David Gerrold, fantasy and science fiction novelist and screenwriter

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4332809/1/Out_Of_The_Blue
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4239728/1/Shirley_The_Vampire_Slayer

debussygirl
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Post by debussygirl »

Oh, thanks for clearing that up! So my revised opinion of your previous entry: I agree with every word!! :D

Alice's Twin Sister
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Volturi

Post by Alice's Twin Sister »

I am thinking that if the Volturi do become the main conflict in the story that I hope they will develop these characters more. I wantt to know so much more about the guard and I want to know who the two female family members are! Why they are family where some of the guard are just guard. What are the dynamics of the relationships therein.

After a few posts and a few other theories that have been posted in recent days. I wonder though if the Volturi will actually be the main antagonists for this story. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out!
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