Jazz Girl wrote:More than that, I don't think he honestly ever truly did figure it out. I mean, I think he understood it academically, as a matter of process. But, I don't think that Aro ever really truly understood the depth of the impact it could have. That honestly shocked me. His reaction to Edward's request, his reaction to Marcus' continued grieving and his refusal to let Corin ease the pain... it's just a complete demonstration of Aro's inability to empathize or to comprehend the true nature of emotional connections. Which, of course, essentially let to his downfall.
JG, I think you hit the nail right on the head, and I also think to an extent that his understanding is still academic. I'm not sure he knows even today what his exact reaction would be if Sulpicia died, but he seems more terrified about being potentially incapacitated from grief than her death itself. Which means, yes, he is a very cold fish indeed, but then you have to be to offer sparing Bella and Edward's lives if only they would step aside and let him slaughter their child.