Chapter Number: 31
Chapter Name: Talented
Page Numbers: 594 – 606
Date of Chapter: December 16th, 2006
Summary: The chapter begins with Tanya grilling Jacob on what the werewolves’ part will be in this conflict. Jacob responds that if the Volturi won’t stop to listen, the wolves will stop them. Tanya finds his sentiment touching but does not think they will be able to do much in the way of protecting the child or the other vampires. Tanya comments on how special Renesmee is. Eleazar replies with commenting on such a “talented family” and proceeds to describe the talents that Edward, Bella and Reneesme possess; a mind reader, a shield and whatever designation you would give for Reneesme’s gift.
As Edward and Eleazar further discuss, Bella is a shield, a talent that is purely defensive, which is a complete surprise to Bella as well as the rest of the family. They believe she is a particularly powerful shield since she was able to block Edward and the Volturi while still human. Bella is confused that she is able to block Edward and not Alice and Jasper. Eleazar clarifies that her gift of blocking is for purely mental defense. Jasper’s gift affects her body, not her mind, while Alice sees the future, not into Bella’s mind.
Edward then recalls the only shield he’s ever met was Renata, who is a member of the Volturi guard. Eleazar comments that no two talents are ever alike. Renata is a very strong shield and Aro’s personal bodyguard. If someone approached her or Aro, as she is always close by him, they find themselves diverted. There is an unnoticeable force around her that repels. Plus she is able to project her shield outward several meters so that she can protect not just herself and Aro, but Marcus and Caius as well. But her gift isn’t truly physical, but mental, like most of the talents that vampires possess.
As Bella mentally tries to understand if her “odd” newborn behavior is credited to being prepared or her “shield” talent, Kate asks if she is able to project her gift. As they discuss it, we learn that Kate’s talent is an offensive skill, she is able to shock you with her touch, like a Taser. It took her centuries to learn to project it just from her palms to her entire body. Bella is excited at the prospect of being able to use her gift to protect more than just her and wants to learn how. Bella grasps Kate’s arm to beg her to teach her how to project. After Kate chides her for almost breaking her arm (with her newborn strength), Kate confirms that Bella is blocking since she didn’t feel a shock and it is the first time someone thwarted her talent. Bella didn’t realize she was even blocking. All she can think about is if she can just learn fast enough, it might aid them when the Volturi come.
Eleazer becomes disturbed at one his thoughts and refuses to explain his fear to the group. Kate appeals to Edward to disclose the discussion and he explains how confused Eliazar is over why so many of the Volturi would come to punish the Cullens. It is not how they usual do things. The Cullens maybe the biggest mature coven they’ve had to deal with but other covens have joined in the past to protect themselves. The Cullens are more closely bonded than most covens but that shouldn’t be a huge factor in the decision.
Edward goes on to explain that Eleazar remembers other times when other covens where punished and has discovered a pattern. Aro only ever attends group punishments when there is a individual in the group with a particular gift in which he is interested in obtaining for his own reasons. This member, who would be pardoned, always found themselves a place within the Volturi guard. The excused member was always deeply grateful for their pardon and the honor of being included in the guard, there was never an exception.
Kate suggests that it is an honor indeed to be chosen to be part of the guard. Eleazar scoffs at this causing Edward to explain the role and talent of Chelsea. It seems Chelsea’s gift is the ability to alter the emotional ties between people. She can either loosen or strengthen these ties. He believes anything weaker than the bond between two mates is in danger. However, because they are abstaining from human blood, it allows true bonds of love to exist between them in their coven, he doubts that Chelsea could turn the alliances within the Denali coven (and thereby the Cullen coven).
Eleazar believes Aro’s reasoning for bringing everyone is not for punishment, but acquisition. Aro would need the entire guard for protection against such a large and gifted coven and while he personally ensures that he gains what it is he desires. Therefore he must bring everyone to ensure the safety of those (the mates and others) that might be left behind. Edward isn’t surprised since his encounter with Aro last spring, Aro has never wanted anything more than Alice. Bella then asks if Alice knew this which why she and Jasper fled. Edward confirms this theory. Bella suggests that Aro also wants Edward, but he shrugs it off saying that he isn’t as valuable to Aro as Alice and that Aro would have to find a way to force him to do his will. However, Eleazar points out to Edward that not only would Aro want Edward, but Bella as well, especially since Bella’s talent was strong enough to thwart him and Jane while she was still human. Bella begins to worry that death is not the greatest concern, but capture.
Edward changes the subject and says that he knows the Volturi must have been waiting for some excuse to come down on them for punishment. It explains why Alice saw what they were going to do prior to Irina arriving there. They are shocked at the abuse of trust immortals have placed in the Volturi, but it is futile to try to take a stand or convince others that the Volturi are exploiting their power. No one can stand against them as they are the largest coven with the most talents. The key lies in being able to take away Aro’s argument against them, this way the Volturi will be forced away to leave them in peace.
The chapter ends with the sound of tires turning off the highway to come down the driveway as Peter and Charlotte are about to arrive.
Characters Involved: Tanya, Jacob Black, Edward Cullen, Reneesme Cullen, Carmen, Katrina (Kate), Eleazar, Bella Cullen
Characters Mentioned: Aro, Jasper Hale, Alice Cullen, Jane, Demetri, Alec, Renata, Caius, Marcus, Carlisle, Chelsea, Irina, Charlie Swan, Peter, Charlotte.
Places Visited: The Cullen Residence living room.
“She is special, that little one…Hard to resist.” ~ Tanya spoken aloud to herself – page 595.
“A very talented family… A mind reader for a father, a shield for a mother, and then whatever magic this extraordinary child has bewitched us with.” ~ Eleazar spoken aloud to himself – page 595.
“That would indicate a rather powerful latent talent, if it was manifesting so clearly even before the transformation. … Aro sent me all over the world searching for such anomalies, and you simply stumble across it by accident and don’t even realize what you have.” ~ Eleazar to Edward – page 595-596.
“Momma, you’re special,” ~ Reneesme to Bella – page 598.
“Once the coven was all but destroyed, Aro would grant a pardon to one member whose thoughts, he would claim, were particularly repentant. Always, it would turn out that this vampire had the gift Aro had admired. Always, this person was given a place with the guard.” ~ Eleazar to everyone – page 602.
“I could only think that the reason Aro had decided to come himself, to bring so many with him, is because his goal is not punishment but acquisition.” ~ Eleazar to everyone – page 603.
“From what I saw of his thoughts last spring, Aro’s never wanted anything more than he wants Alice.” ~ Edward to everyone – page 604.
“He probably wants your mate, too, regardless. He must have been intrigued by a talent that could defy him in its human incarnation.” ~ Eleazar to Edward – page 605.
Important Information learned:
Bella is a “special” vamp, she is what is called a shield, very rare and it seems a very powerful shield against mental abilities.
Kate’s special skill is offensive, she can shock someone by creating an electric current (like a taser), and her skill requires touch (just like Aro’s). It took a long time for her to be able to project her talent to run along her skin and not just from her hand (palm).
Chelsea can see strengthen or weaken ties between individuals.
Renata serves as Aro’s personal shield.
It is likely that the Volturi were waiting for an excuse to come to the Cullens so they could acquire Alice and possibly Edward and Bella for the guard.
Chapter Prepared By: Una