"Mommy, is that the guy you said bats for the other team?" -Rifftrax
Aro is one of the triumvirate that rules the vampire world. He has the power to hear "every thought you've ever had" by touching someone, nudge nudge wink wink, say no more, know what I mean? But this doesn't apply to Bella because she's way too special for the most powerful vampires in the world to be able to affect her at all. He is cheerful, bubbly, and generally acts like a Barbie doll, which rather makes you wonder how the rest of the Volturi put up with him. He also collects interesting vampires, many of whom are drafted into the guard. He especially wants Edward and Alice, but is too friendly with Carlisle to take them by force. He has a mate, but being female, she only appears as a side mention in the last book. He used to have a sister, but unfortunately she mated with someone he wanted in his coven and tried to strike off on her own. Then she died. It was a terrible accident. Her head just fell off and caught fire of its own accord. It was a magical feat.
Despite having unsubtly murdered his own sister to keep hold of a vampire he wanted in his collection, he doesn't want to kill Carlisle in order to get his hands on Edward and Alice.
Meyerpire Power Edit
Aro's special power is to hear every thought you have ever had. In order for it to work, however, he has to touch you, so if you stay away from him, it won't work. It's said that it is stronger then Edward's power; however, as Edward can hear the thoughts of everyone in a mile radius with no effort, and Aro's power requires bad touches to work, Edward probably wins. As usual.
Dumber Than a Sackful of HammersEdit
Aro is clearly supposed to be a manipulative, magnificent bastard on the level of Petyr Littlefinger or Benjamin Linus. He's actually, as you may have noticed from the section header, dumber than the proverbial hammersack. Here is a partial list of his failures:
1) Fun with Alec and Jane. The twins lived in a village somewhere in Eastern Europe, under the surveillance of the Volturi, because Aro intended to change them and draft them into the Guard as soon as they got out of puberty. Unfortunately, the Volturi's no doubt brilliant surveillance missed that the villagers were about to burn the duo at the stake until they were on fire. The vamps promptly swooped in, grabbed the twins, massacred the village, and went back to Volterra, where Aro turned the twins into vampires despite having wanted them to reach adulthood first.
Proof of Aro's Idiocy: First, the twins were left living in a village full of people who wanted to kill them, being guarded by idiots who almost let them be burned at the stake, instead of being quietly kidnapped well before they were in danger. Of course, kidnapped children would make the news, except that a) this is an area of Eastern Europe where they still burn people at the stake, and b) it wouldn't attract nearly as much attention as massacring a whole village. Second, Aro turned the twins while they were still young, even though he didn't originally want to do that, as opposed to just sending them to live somewhere not full of vampires until they were adults. Either he never thought of that, in which case he is an idiot, or he can't control his subordinates well enough for that to be successful, in which case he is an idiot.
It has been theorized that Aro orchestrated the attack on Jane and Alec in order to ensure their loyalty to the Volturi when they were rescued. If so, he is an idiot for going to such trouble to accomplish something that Chelsea could do for far less effort, and causing a huge dramatic incident at the same time. If he is willing to kill people for public sparkling, why would he engineer the destruction of an entire village? Because he's an idiot.
2) Edward Cullen and the Sparkling of Unwanted Publicity. Aro refuses to kill Edward because he might join Aro's special club one day. Edward therefore goes off to make the Volturi kill him via public sparkling, because apparently a man sparkling at a carnival will reveal the vampire world, while cloaked figures swooping in to eliminate said sparkler will go completely unnoticed. Meanwhile Chelsea, a member of the guard with the ability to alter people's relationships to each other, paints her nails back at the lair.
Proof of Aro's Idiocy: Aro can't figure out a way to make Edward join the Volturi or not kill himself over Bella despite having a vampire with the ability to alter people's relationships with others sitting right there. Moreover, he was going to have Edward killed rather than just dragged back to Forks to get over himself, even though this would damage the Volturi's relationship with the other Cullens, just about all of whom he wants to join his club.
3) The Curious Affair of the Wedding in the Fourth Book. Early in Breaking Dawn, Caius plans to send a hunting party to Forks to see if Bella is still human. Alice foresees this and sends them a wedding announcement instead. The Volturi then sit around for a few months wondering whether this means that she's been turned or literally that they've gotten married. Eventually, Aro just posts Bella a wedding present and a note asking her to visit soon.
Proof of Aro's Idiocy: Though a hunting party had already been prepared to just barge into Forks and see if Bella was a vampire yet, when the Volturi get their vague message they sit on their asses for a while before deciding to just invite Bella to Volterra. If anything, the wedding announcement should have been just the excuse the Volturi needed to send a hunting party to Forks legitimately, so that they could "congratulate the couple in person".
4) Across the Atlantic in Thirty Days. In Breaking Dawn, the Cullens hear that the Volturi are gearing up to visit Forks. A month later, they arrive.
Proof of Aro's Idiocy: Either Aro doesn't have the organizational skills to book a private jet within a month or the common sense to go and buy some tickets on Air America, in which case he is an idiot, or he decided the Volturi would all swim the Atlantic and then hike the rest of the way, in which case he is an idiot. He isn't piss poor either, because
a) He lives in a castle.
b) He owned one of the most valuble jewels in the world.
c) He's had thousands of years to earn cash.
In the MoviesEdit
Aro is portrayed in the Twilight movies by Michael Sheen. Why Sheen went from the likes of Frost/Nixon and Blood Diamond to Twilight is anyone's guess. It could be for the (reported) 2 million dollars they paid him for doing a 10 minute scene, which he only accepted after the casting director had to hunt him down. Or it could be because his young daughter is a fan of the series. Though (according to an interview) when Mr. Sheen told his daughter he was playing Aro, she kicked him. That probably means she is growing out of the phase and realizes that this is now going to embarrass her in the near future (Oh well, one less Twilight fan).
Movie!Aro won an award for the most ridiculous "villainous" laughter ever portrayed in any media.