I haven’t read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series in over a decade. I used to be completely obsessed with this series. I literally helped run a Twilight fan forum. And it’s the origin of the moniker I use for almost everything. So, I decided to revisit this once-loved book series to see where my feelings on the series are now. I’m thinking of doing this with a few book series that I used to be obsessed with. But we must begin with the pinnacle obsession of my teenage years.
I’m not going to re-read the entire series because I can glance at any page and remember practically all of the details. So, I’m just going to go over stuff I overlooked as a teen and what I think about them now.
Bella and Edward’s Relationship
I’m not sure why I thought these two had a great relationship when I was younger. They don’t in any way. Edward literally stalks her (breaks into her room, appears wherever she is, etc. ), controls her life (where she’s supposed to be, who she can hang out with, etc. ), and pushes for them to marry right out of high school before he turns her into a vampire. By the way, they don’t have a choice in the matter. People seem to miss this when they say, “Bella should’ve dumped him.” And, absolutely, she should. But it would also have been a bad idea because the Volturi literally claimed at the end of New Moon that Bella could only leave Italy alive if the Cullens promised to transform her into a vampire. If Bella ended her relationship with Edward and tried to live a normal life, the Volturi would eventually discover and kill her.
Jacob: The Walking Red Flag
Ok, this one is going to be long. I never liked Jacob and looking back at the books, it’s even worse. He is the epitome of the nice guy trope. I know in my love triangle post I mentioned this, but OH MY GOD! The man is a walking red flag. He makes Bella feel awful that she wants to be his friend when he has feelings for her. And when she’s made it kind of clear it’s going to be Edward, literally, she tells him, “I love him, Jacob. He’s my whole life.” (Eclipse, Page 330). And Jacob’s reaction to that was:
His lips crushed mine, stopping my protest. He kissed me angrily, roughly, his other hand gripping tight around the back of my neck, making escape impossible. I shoved against his chest with all my strength, but he didn’t even seem to notice…
I grabbed at his face, trying to push it away, failing again. He seemed to notice this time, though, and it aggravated him. His lips forced mine open…
I opened my eyes and didn’t fight, didn’t feel… just wanted for him to stopEclipse, Chapter 15, Page 330-331
That’s right ladies, gents, and non-binaries, his response to her rejecting him was assault!
And then later in that same book, when he learns that she’s going to get married to Edward, Jacob basically tells her that he’s going to kill himself in battle.
“…I don’t think it will be that difficult to take myself out of the picture.”
His words sank into my brain, slowly, one by one, and I couldn’t breathe. Despite all my intentions to cut Jacob out of my life completely. I didn’t realize until that precise second exactly how deep the knife would have to go to do it.
“What’s the difference, Bella? This will only make it more convenient for everyone. You won’t even have to move.”
… He shrugged. “If you could convince me you really did want me to come back — more than you wanted to do the selfless thing.”Eclipse, Chapter 23, Pages 523-525
And while yes, Bella doesn’t help the matter by asking him to kiss her. She’s also put in a situation by Jacob where he manipulates Bella by saying he’s going to kill himself unless she literally plays by his rules. Those rules being: love him in not a platonic way and show him by asking him for that kiss then actually kissing him. Sure, she could’ve said no, but at this point, he’s broken her down with his manipulation. I didn’t put in the full conversation but her thoughts make it very clear she’s beyond thinking rationally at that point. Her childhood friend is telling her he’s going to kill himself if she doesn’t do this one thing for him. And she feels awful about it afterward, and tells Edward, but still.
I hate Jacob!
This doesn’t even get to the whole Breaking Dawn thing, but I’ll get to that later.
Stephenie Meyer took an actual tribe and changed their history and legend to fit her story. She appropriated their culture. The real tribe has mixed feelings about it because while the series has helped tourism, it doesn’t tell the correct story about their history. They believe the Quileutes were changed from wolves by a wandering Transformer. They cannot change back and forth between forms as Stephenie Meyer implied, nor is it triggered by vampires or Cold Ones being in the area. I linked a few resources to the Quileute Nation to this if you would like more information.
The Serious Problem with Imprinting
Ok, the next major thing I wanted to discuss was the concept of Imprinting. We’re introduced to it during Eclipse and get a deeper look into it during Breaking Dawn. Imprinting is a bond between wolves and their soulmate. Something they have no control over and was supposed to be something really rare. However, many individuals in the pack end up imprinting. Including Jacob to a literal newborn baby and Quil to a two-year-old. Both claim they are just going to be protectors until the girls get older before they make any advances. And it won’t be weird in the future because they won’t age like normal people… that’s their excuse.
Do you know what we call that in the real world?
Grooming! They are grooming literal babies to be their future love interests. I can’t! I just can’t! That is messed up and wrong on so many freaking levels.
Also, when resolving a love triangle between Bella, Edward, and Jacob why would you write in grooming as the solution?! There are other ways of going about it. Like Suzanne Collins did with Katniss, Peeta, and Gale just have one of them end up alone. Or I don’t know get in a relationship with someone the same age as them. That’s not that complicated!
Literally, Any Other Character Have a Better Story
If you strip away the love story and focus on any other character in this universe, their story is so much more interesting. This could’ve been an epic fantasy book if any of those stories were the main one instead of what we got between Edward and Bella.
My top contenders:
- Rosalie being gang raped and mutilated to the brink of death by her fiance, getting turned into a vampire by Carlisle, and then gets revenge on every single one of them without ever drinking human blood.
- The history of the Volturi, and how Aros killed Marcus’s mate, Didyme, who was also Aro’s sister to prevent them from leaving. That could’ve been an epic tale. Heart wrenching but good.
- Jasper’s life in the South when he was used for the vampire turf wars, leaving due to sensing their emotions when he had to kill the newborn soldiers, and finding the bubbly vampire Alice that was waiting for him. I bet that would’ve been interesting to read out since they balance each other out.
- Carlisle being turned into a vampire in 1640 London where his father led hunts for werewolves, witches, and vampires. Which resulted in him becoming one of the first vegetarian vampires, drinking only animal blood, and learning how to control his bloodlust in order to become a doctor.
There are others, but those four would’ve been so much more interesting. And I remember thinking the same thing when I was in high school.
What series (published 10 or more years ago) would you like to see my revisit/discuss in the future?
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