It’s the petrification thing that throws me.
"Some very old vampires are visibly different from others because of this stillness. If a vampire remains unmoving often enough over thousands of years, dust actually begins to petrify in response to the venom-like liquids that lubricate his eyes and skin. Eventually, a vampire’s skin begins to appear thin and translucent, like the skin of an onion—though the strength of the skin is not compromised. A milky film covers the eyes, making the irises appear pink in color. Again, the vampire’s eyesight is not compromised."
"We sat still for a very long time. Contemplating our own divinity. It was a sign of our power that everything came to us. Prey, diplomats, those seeking our favor. We sat on our thrones and thought ourselves gods. We didn’t notice for a long time that we were changing – almost petrifying. I suppose the Volturi did us one favor when they burned our castles. Stefan and I, at least, did not continue to petrify. Now the Volturi’s eyes are filmed with dusty scum, but ours are bright. I imagine that will give us an advantage when we gouge theirs from their sockets.”
Stephenie: For me it’s not like aging but it’s more like petrification, they never go anywhere, they’re not very active. In my mind it was like year and years of dust settling on their skin. Tanya and her sister the Denali family are over a thousand years old but they look like Carlisle as they’re still very active.
The Amazons and Egyptians (Amun & Kebi) are as old as the Volturi or Romanians or older but they don’t have the onion skin or milky eyes (the Romanians don’t have the milky eyes either). So the Volturi must have been really still for a really long time. That still doesn’t make much sense to me though. I mean even if Heidi is bringing them food, they still have to stand up and kill the human themselves, right? That’s moving. And if vampire love is so intense and the sexual drive is as strong as most in fandom believe, then how on earth were the Volturi and their wives just standing/sitting still for years and years at a time—sex requires quite a bit of movement!
I’d love to hear SM explain the petrification stuff more. I’ve read it in the guide and in her FAQ and I still don’t get it. I don’t get how creatures who are blessed with these brilliant minds and enhanced senses would CHOSE to just … sit still for centuries upon centuries. Wouldn’t they want to indulge those senses? Wouldn’t they want to think and wonder and read and explore and make use of those extraordinary minds?