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Character Study: Demetri

Shoefreak37 joins us today (I’m totally squeeing here, we have a guest poster!!!) and she is going to talk about Demetri 😀


Demetri

From the moment I read about Demetri, I was intrigued. Here’s this guy, this vampire, who can find anybody (unless the person in question is Bella and/or they have a love shield *eye roll*). He doesn’t have to know the person, doesn’t even have to have met them, but he can find them. Scary, right? Demetri was the main concern for the Cullen family when it came to defending Bella’s mortality in New Moon, and he was the most significant threat to all their safety in Breaking Dawn. No matter where they went, no matter what they did, he would be right behind them, potentially forever.

In my first multi-chap, Tracking Redemption, I wrote Demetri as a former sailor, an experienced navigator directly pre-dating the time of Christopher Columbus. In those human days, Demetri had an almost supernatural sense for finding things. He even attended Henry the Navigator’s school during the age of discovery. I needed an ambiguous character, in morals and sexuality, and the barely hinted at character of Demetri fit the bill (the story features an Edward/Demetri pairing). It was wonderful developing such an underdeveloped character, making him a bloodthirsty vampire who feeds on humans, yet underneath has a heart of gold. Not until Ms. Meyer published her guide did I realize how off I was about the back story, but maybe not so off about the heart of gold. 😉

Let’s talk Demetri and learn a bit about the character just barely revealed in the books.

Origin

First, let’s talk about what we glean from the books. Nothing. Haha. Yeah, we get that Demetri is an old vampire, not as old as some, but he seems familiar with the Volturi.

The only comment I’ve found that even comes close to indicating Demetri’s age is one from Breaking Dawn:

Without a doubt, he would be a fighter. There was no other way he could have survived so long…

We can also assume he was not with the Volturi when they overthrew the Romanians. In fact, Vladimir and Stefan never mention him at all, only saying the Volturi have “grown stronger with time.”

I found nothing about where Demetri might have come from, how he was changed or who changed him. I had always assumed Aro. I assumed wrong.

When the illustrated guide came out, I went looking for Demetri straightaway. What I found still wasn’t enough to quite satisfy me, but it did surprise me.

Demetri was originally from Greece (I was super excited about this, because he was originally from Greece in my fanfic, which I chose because the name is of Greek origin), born and turned around 1000 A.D. There is absolutely no mention of his human life, even in the guide written by Meyer, so one can only speculate what he did. The Roman Empire had fallen a good five hundred years prior, the Crusades were gearing up and the Ottoman Empire was threatening. All sorts of good plot bunnies there. Who was he as a human? What did he believe? What events led up to his transformation? “Around 1000 A.D.” leaves a lot of wiggle room. Why, my whole back story might just fit, with the exception of Aro being the one to change him.

Speaking of Demetri’s transformation, I had always just assumed Aro had done it, had never thought much different. Turns out Amun–leader of the Egyptian Coven–actually discovered Demetri, saw his potential and changed him. It seems Aro had a problem in those days and stealing other’s finds, generally killing off the rest of the coven under some false pretense.

What I enjoyed finding out, was Demetri had not wanted to join the Volturi. Apparently he and Amun were quite close and he had no desire to leave him. Aro had Chelsea dissolve the bond between Amun and Demetri, create loyalty in him to the Volturi, and, of course, he willfully went after that. (Which makes me wonder why Aro never had Chelsea do this with Edward or Alice when he wanted them so badly in New Moon, but that’s another story. lol. I personally believe Meyer hadn’t thought much about Chelsea prior to NM.)

I like to think this explains a lot about Amun’s behavior in Breaking Dawn, how close he comes to deserting the Cullens, how fiercely protective he is of Benjamin. Amun has no desire to face the Volturi because Aro likes to mess with Amun. Understandable. After Demetri and up until Benjamin, Amun had not tried to expand his coven.

Appearance

In New Moon, Demetri is described by Bella along with Felix:

Felix and Demetri were both of a slightly olive complexion—it looked odd combined with their chalky pallor. Felix’s black hair was cropped short, but Demetri’s waved to his shoulders.

I tend to like her description in Breaking Dawn upon seeing Demetri in the clearing at the almost-but-not battle a bit more:

Both were tall and dark-haired, Demetri hard and lean as the blade of a sword

Um, yes, please. Try not perving about that quote.

We know he’s tall from context, the guide specifies 6’3”. Does anybody else wonder how these super old vampires are so tall? lol. I mean, a 6’3” guy in the eleventh century? Geez. (Sorry, it had to be said.)

Obviously Charlie Bewley (the actor portraying Demetri in the films) though handsome, does not fit the description whatsoever. With all the horrible wigs, you’d think they could’ve found a horrible long, dark and wavy wig to slap on him.

Anyway, yeah, Demetri seems like he’d be a nice looking fellow. 😉

As far as his physical age is concerned, that is left entirely up to speculation. We know he would be on the young end, as most vampires seem to be. As tall as he was, I would assume he would’ve had full time to mature. Males stop growing (on the average) between 17-20 years of age. We can guess Demetri was 20-25, but there’s really nothing wrong with assuming he would be even as old as 30. The average life span in the eleventh century would’ve been rather short (between 30-40, maybe older for men, since they didn’t have to go through childbirth), so if he was much older he would’ve been considered somewhat of an old man.

Gift

Demetri is the most highly-skilled tracker in the world. Tracking is obviously the most common gift in the vampire world, as I can think of three vampires we were introduced to with that ability right off the top of my head. James, Alistair and Demetri.

The way Demetri’s tracking skill works is a far cry from the other vampires mentioned, however. Demetri doesn’t track by scent or sound; he tracks entirely in his mind. Demetri can find a mind no matter how far away he is. There aren’t many limitations to it. All he has to have done is either met the person he is looking for, or met someone who knows the person he is looking for.

For instance: Demetri has met Carlisle. Since he knows Carlisle, he could find Esme although he had never met her prior to the conclusion of Breaking Dawn.

If you believe in the seven degrees of separation, then you should be afraid of Demetri. Haha.

When I went researching Demetri, I couldn’t believe the amount of times he’s mentioned in Breaking Dawn. He’s the one all the Cullens want to kill. Sure, they want to take out Alec and Jane, but Demetri is the one to fear. They can kill all the Volturi, but if Demetri isn’t dead, he will find them.

Demetri is a skilled fighter as well. Continuing the quote from above, from Breaking Dawn:

My face was perfectly smooth as I considered Demetri. Without a doubt, he would be a fighter. There was no other way he could have survived so long, always at the spear point of any attack. And he must always lead, because he was their tracker–the best tracker in the world, no doubt. If there had been one better, the Volturi would have traded up. Aro didn’t surround himself with second best.

Funny, but I just realized we never really find our whether or not Demetri can find Bella. Everyone just assumes he can’t (except for Bella, she’s constantly pondering maybe his ability works differently), but we never get a confirmation. Huh. Plot bunny? Someone correct me if I’m wrong on that.

Anyway, Demetri is hardcore; he can find you and then also kick your ass.

Character

Like so many other awesome Volturi characters, Demetri doesn’t get many speaking lines.

He is one of the first members of the Volturi guard who makes an appearance in the books: New Moon, the alleyway in Volterra just after Edward exposes himself in a sparkly suicide attempt. We get right away Demetri is the kind of vampire who smooths things over, the good cop to Felix’s not so good cop.

“Felix,” the second, more reasonable shadow cautioned. “Not here.” He turned to Edward. “Aro would simply like to speak with you again, if you have decided not to force our hand after all.”

“Certainly,” Edward agreed. ‘”But the girl goes free.”

“I’m afraid that’s not possible,” the polite shadow said regretfully. “We do have rules to obey.”

I also think he can be a bit flirty and snarky. From New Moon as he escorts Bella, Edward and Alice out of underground Volterra, he speaks in reference to the flock of humans Heidi has brought:

“Nice fishing,” Demetri complimented her, and I suddenly understood the attention-grabbing outfit she wore… she was not only the fisherman, but also the bait.

“Thanks.” She flashed a stunning smile. “Aren’t you coming?”

“In a minute. Save a few for me.”

And in Breaking Dawn, in reference to the wolves:

“Interesting company you keep,” Demetri murmured to Edward.

Edward didn’t respond, but a low growl slipped through Jacob’s teeth.

It seems Felix and Demetri are sort of a package deal. Where one is, so is the other. Kind of like the Starsky and Hutch of vampires. Or the Laurel and Hardy. Ha. Picture that one. Bella is always comparing the two, mentioning them both together. Even in Eclipse, when Demetri is never mentioned by name in the clearing after the battle with the newborns, Felix shares several glances with “another shadow”.

“She has surrendered,” Edward explained, answering the confusion in her mind.

Jane’s dark eyes flashed to his face. “Surrendered?”

Felix and another shadow exchanged a quick glance.

And, when discussing the amount of newborns:

“Eighteen, including this one,” Carlisle answered.

Jane’s eyes widened, and she looked at the fire again, seeming to reassess the size of it. Felix and the other shadow exchanged a longer glance.

Sometimes I wonder about the true dynamic of their relationship.

What I find the most interesting about Demetri is the fact he did not want to join the Volturi. Aro turns away vampires all the time who wish to be a part of the guard. Vampires and humans alike seek them out either for the security, the notoriety, the fear and respect. What was so good about his vampire life he didn’t want to leave? The Cullen family refuses because of their morals, which Demetri obviously doesn’t share.

What I’ve gathered from my Demetri research is he’s a smooth, charming and witty bloodsucker with an ambiguous background. He is strong and powerful and dangerous. Not only did Aro covet him for his gift, but for his obvious strength as well. And, as Bella said, if there were any better Aro would have traded up by now. Demetri can find me any day. 😉

I don’t think I’ve ever read a Demetri slash story. There is much fertile ground to work with, many characters with which he could obviously be paired. Feel free to rec me something or share your thoughts on Demetri in the comments.


*still squeeing* Thanks, shoe! I’m with you, I wanna read some more Demetri vampslash. Bring it on! By the way, I totally wish I had a pic of Henry Cavill up there, he makes such a nicer Demetri than poor Charlie 😉 ~vampireisthenewblack

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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Character, Writing Vamp

 

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Character Study: Alec

character

Alec

twilight_saga_s_new_moon59 Alec of the Volturi Guard.  How I love this boy! True, I never gave him a second thought until I cast him as the villain in the very first brainstorm for a certain AH Edward/Seth fic I once decided to write 😉 That’s a very long story that I won’t go into here, but it is true that my love affair with Alec began with the AH incarnation of Brit Alec in Say Something Else. He still has a very cosy and warm place in my heart, of course, but it’s canon, vampire, Volturi Alec that I’m now firmly head over heels for.

The first time I wrote Alec as a vampire was in Fire, Blood, Truth for the first Beyond the Pale contest, and I wrote him canon. I re-read whole chapters of New Moon and Breaking Dawn to garner the tiny specks of information I needed to date him and to establish his gift.

But before I did that, I checked out his bio on Twilight Lexicon. Back then, they hadn’t updated to include anything about his gift, and his origin was understandably vague. One thing I did find that I’d never seen anywhere in canon, was the reference to Alec and Jane almost being burnt at the stake for witchcraft. Aha! I thought. We’re looking at somewhere in the second millennium. Inquisition I could work with, it’s an era I’ve studied before.

But lo and behold, when I re-read Breaking Dawn, I discovered that Alec and Jane had to have been changed much, much earlier.

Origin

It all hinges on the Romanian vampires, Vladimir and Stefan. When Vladimir says:

“We’ve been waiting for fifteen hundred years, Stefan. And they’ve only gotten stronger with the years.”

he is referring to the Volturi’s conquest over the Romanian coven. Later, during the epic battle that wasn’t:

“…Alec owes me many lives, but I will settle for his… He’s mine.”

suggesting that Alec was one of the main reasons for the Volturi’s conquest. Therefore, Alec existed fifteen hundred years before the events that transpired in Breaking Dawn.

I figure Alec and Jane were changed not long before. I imagine that Aro would have taken advantage of his advantage over the Romanians as soon as he was able, so I’ve dated Alec’s change at around 500AD.

There is, however, a moment in Eclipse where Jane implies that she has never met Carlisle before:

“It was nice to meet you, Carlisle—I’d thought Aro was exaggerating.”

which caused me some confusion. I can only assume that Steph didn’t have Alec and Jane’s history finalised when she wrote Eclipse, because this is one hell of a continuity issue. So when I write, I choose to ignore this little piece of canon (because it doesn’t fit later accounts). The only other option is to assume that Jane was not with the Volturi during those decades that Carlisle was staying with them—which seems a bit of a stretch.

There are no clues that I can pick up as to what part of the world Alec and Jane are originally from. Their names are English, so it’s possible that their origin is Britain in the early Middle Ages. When I first wrote Alec, however, I made him Italian and used the Byzantine culture to influence his attitudes and ideas.

Appearance

In New Moon, Bella describes Jane (and by default we assume Alec is of a similar appearance in age):

At first I thought it was a young boy. The newcomer was as tiny as Alice…

The body under the cloak…was slim and androgynous.

Her size was so insignificant…

…Jane spoke again, her childish voice…

The Twilight Lexicon entry on Alec describes his age when changed only as ‘very young’. The witchcraft story that is not found in canon implies that Aro would have preferred them a little more grown up before he changed them, but they are obviously past the uncontrollable age of the ‘immortal children’.

I’ve always interpreted this as Alec (and Jane) having been in early adolescence when changed. There’s no way they are as old as Edward was, and Jane being described as boy-like and androgynous suggests not a hell of a lot of development has gone on there.

Because I was writing for Beyond the Pale, my Alec in Fire, Blood, Truth was 12-13—though I never stated his age. When I tried submitting the fic to My Vamp Fiction, it was rejected stating they considered canon Alec to be even younger O.O

Generally I think Alec and Jane can be assumed to have between anywhere between 11 and 15 when changed, though I usually assume toward the younger end of the scale.

Gift

I don’t read much more into Alec’s gift than is given at face value in the books. He’s the antidote to Jane—and I used that literally when I wrote Fire, Blood, Truth—he takes away the senses. You can still move, as Edward explains in Breaking Dawn:

“If he uses his gift against us, we will all stand blind and deaf until they get around to killing us—maybe they’ll simply burn us without bothering to tear us apart first. Oh, we could try to fight, but we’ll be more likely to hurt one another than we would be to hurt one of them.”

but you can’t feel, see or hear. One thing I am unsure about is if any extrasensory stuff would be affected. Could Alice still have visions? Could Edward still hear thoughts? The thing is, we’ve never seen Alec’s gift used successfully in canon, so much of it is guesswork and interpretation.

Character

Alec doesn’t actually have a lot to say in any of the books. Poor lad has very little screen time. In fact, he gets spoken about more than he ever speaks. Consequently, we don’t actually know much about his personality or character. I like to think that Alec is the opposite of Jane, because frankly, she’s a raging bitch. I like to imagine Alec as I portrayed him in Fire, Blood, Truth—trying to fix the mess Jane made with her gift before they were changed. I like to think he is as playful as she is serious. I always write him as having redeeming qualities, and damn it, I just think he’s a cute kid—albeit one who has been alive for fifteen centuries.

I think the thing that fascinates me most about Alec is the dichotomy between his youthful appearance and his great age. He’s not a child, but he’s not an adult either. And something that gives me endless plot bunnies is the fact that neither he nor Jane are mated. Were they changed too young as Esme once feared for Edward? Surely if they were going to mate they would have done so in 1500 years?

I’ve based all my Alec research on what I’ve found in The Twilight Saga and what was on the Lexicon. I don’t own the Twilight Saga Guide (or whatever it’s called) and I’ve not read Bree Tanner.

Other vamp Alec fics I’ve written are The Way of Virtue, Worth the Wait, and Déjà Vu. Some others I’ve enjoyed are A Very Different Gift by giselle-lx, Numb by afragilelittlehuman, and Forbidden Love by upsidedownntwisted. I really wish there was more vamp Alec slash fic. If you know of one I don’t, please do rec me something!

Feel free to offer your own observations on Alec in the comments 😀

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Character, Writing Vamp

 

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