"He can see the relationships or connections people have to one another. For example, in a group situation he can easily pick out the leader, or sense the strength of the bond between mates or friends. He can also see where those bonds are weak."
―Entry on Marcus's gift
to sense relationships, or connections, between people.
Marcus uses this ability to see the relationships of his opponents on the battle field. Allowing him to see who would die for one another, or turn traitor given incentive. He also uses it to sense how someone feels about the Volturi if they refuse contact with Aro. When utilizing this skill in a fight, Marcus is quite dangerous. This gift is probably unaffected by Bella's shield, as he is able to read the intensity of her and Edward's relationship in New Moon.
"Marcus's gift is actually quite valuable in the hands of someone who knows how to use it. For example, imagine Marcus on the battle field. He sees the binding ties between the enemy the guard faces. He can tell who the leader is just by watching the way the others are tied to him/her. He can see how to destroy the resistance simply by picking off a few key people. He doesn't just see romantic relationships, but also ties of family and friends, loyalty and devotion. He can tell if any given person would die for another. Off the field of battle (as the Volturi rarely leave their home), Marcus's gift is valuable politically (for lack of a better word). It's an amazing gift in a diplomatic situation. Plus, when you're sitting on an empire, it's nice to be able to see when someone's loyalty starts wavering. Or if anyone is getting too fond of anyone else. Can you see the potential now? Marcus didn't get where he is with some fluff skill."
―Stephenie Meyer's description of Marcus's gift.
- Chelsea's ability to manipulate relationships bears a resemblance to Marcus's power, though she can also influence the emotional bonds between people while Marcus can only recognize them. It is presumed that Marcus can identify several emotional links at the same time while Chelsea can only detect those she wants to alter.
- Eleazar can identify a person's gift by being in close proximity with them.
- Edward Cullen's telepathy works by being in close proximity with a person.
- Jasper Hale can sense and control the emotions of those around him. With it, he can recognize the emotional bonds between people, similarly to Marcus's ability
Zada using it on Paul and Alex
- "They bond is strong more then anybody ju to them both imprinting on each other."
- —Zada you' sing her powers on them and telling Bella and Edward. [src]