‘Twilight’ from A to Z
With the arrival of “Eclipse” in movie theaters – the third installment of the popular “Twilight” series – it’s time to sink your teeth into the world of vampires, werewolves and glistening. If you haven’t been seduced by the pop-cultural prowess of the book series and subsequent films, this A-to-Z primer should bring you up to speed.
Portrayed by actress Ashley Greene, this member of the Cullen clan is Bella’s best friend and has the gift of foresight. However, not all of her visions of the future are accurate, as any change in behavior can alter the course of what is to come.
Bella Swan is the human half of “Twilight’s” heart and is the novels’ narrator. She keeps to herself, but as the new girl at school, she quickly becomes the object of affection for many boys. Played by Kristen Stewart in the movie franchise, Bella is also very accident-prone, stubborn and inquisitive, often getting into danger.
The Cullens are a “family,” but not blood relatives. Carlisle, the group’s father-figure, is a doctor from the 1600s who “turned” (as they call creating vampires) people who were suffering and near death: “son” Edward; Esme, now Carlisle’s wife; and “daughter” Rosalie, who later turned Emmett. Alice and Jasper found the vampire coven after already having been turned.
The Cullens are vampire “vegetarians,” meaning they don’t eat people. Instead, they hunt for wild game in the woods. Edward’s meal of choice is deer. Many think Carlisle and his clan just want to bond during their recurring “camping trips,” in which they’ll feed in the surrounding parks for a few days before returning to society.
Ah, Edward Cullen. The boy against whom all “Twilight” fans’ boyfriends will be forever measured. Edward, played in the movies by Robert Pattinson, is always looking out for Bella, putting her needs before his, or anyone else’s. He has been waiting for her for more than 100 years, after all.
The majority of the action in all the books takes place in Forks, Wash., a real town. Author Stephenie Meyer found it after doing a search for the rainiest place in the United States. The rain was crucial because in the “Twilight” universe, vampires don’t go out in sunlight. Which leads us to …
Bryce Dallas Howard replaces Rachelle Lefevre as the evil Victoria in “Eclipse.” Victoria is still on the blood hunt for Bella after Edward kills her mate (the terminology used in the novel), James, in “Twilight.” Victoria feels the only way to get even with Edward for killing James is to kill Bella.
When not hanging out with blood-suckers, Bella does have human friends at school. While popular boy Mike Newton crushes on Bella, friend Jessica crushes on Mike. There are also Eric (the nerd), Angela (the good friend) and Tyler (the comic). These characters, along with Bella’s dad, Charlie, let Bella escape from the craziness.
Imprinting is like a very intense version of love at first sight. When wolves first meet their (pretty literal) soul mates, they imprint. This connects them wholeheartedly, causing them to protect and look out for each other for a lifetime.
Jacob Black,played by heartthrobTaylor Lautner, creates a triangle for the Bella-Edward romance. A member of the Quileute tribe, Jacob is the son of Charlie’s best friend, Billy Black. He becomes Bella’s best friend, but the friendly feelings are one-sided as he tries to win her away from archenemy Edward.
The hardest part about dating a vampire? At any moment he could suck your blood. You’ve got to have a lot of trust – and he’s got to have a lot of self-control. Edward and Bella make it work, and their kissing scenes are always fan favorites.
LION AND THE LAMB.
“And so the lion fell in love with the lamb,” is a popular “Twilight” quote, with Edward as lion and Bella as lamb. Fans even have it tattooed on their bodies.
All vampires have incredible speed and heightened hearing, but some also gain a special gift – an enhanced version of an existing gift from their former human life. Edward can read people’s minds – except for Bella’s, which intrigues him.
This term refers to the army of new vampires created by the evil Victoria (above) for the sole purpose of destroying Bella. This term can also, in the generic, refer to newly created vampires.
Fans are obsessed with Edward. Fans are obsessed with Jacob. Fans are obsessed with wanting to be Bella. Edward is a little obsessed with Bella. Bella is a little obsessed with Edward. We could go on …
When you live as long as vampires do, different roles and life experiences are to be expected. Jasper’s previous life and experience as a soldier in the Civil War and his knowledge of New Borns give the Cullens an advantage against their foes.
This Native American tribe lives in La Push, Wash.
They have a deal with the vampires that the tribe would not reveal them to humans as long as the vampires stayed out of La Push and did not feed on humans. At a certain age, members of the Quileute tribe turn into wolves.
We’d be remiss not to mention the pop-culture phenomenon surrounding “Twilight” that is Robert Pattinson. His tousled locks send teen girls into a tizzy. Hair aside, fans love pondering rampant Stewart-Pattinson dating rumors.
Let’s not forget who created this world.Meyer has said the idea for “Twilight” came to her in avivid dream. The author provided input into the movie versions of her books, even making a cameo in “Twilight.”
TEAM EDWARDOR TEAM JACOB?
Once you have given in to your inner 15-year-old, you must pick a side. There are those who remain neutral, but we say if Bella can choose, so can you.
After the events of “New Moon,” the Volturi (see next entry) demand that the Cullens turn Bella into a vampire – she’s a human who knows all their secrets after all. They give the Cullens an ultimatum: Change Bella or else.
Based in Volterra, Italy, the Volturi are vampire royalty, laying down the law for the vampire world. Each member has been chosen for an intense, special power, which keeps them intimidating enough to rule, while helping to protect the world’s vampire community.
The Quileute members “phase” into wolves from human form, although often one doesn’t get to choose when to phase. The wolves also have accelerated healing powers and can read one anothers’ minds.
The “Twilight” movies have vaulted the careers of its two young stars, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. The novels have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and the first two films – “Twilight” and “New Moon” – have raked in more than $487 million combined at the worldwide box office.
And that’s what it’s all about, folks. The appeal of “Twilight” comes down to love – an intense love between Bella and Edward (and Jacob); familial love among the Cullens, Bella and Charlie.
Love it, hate it or don’t understand it, the “Twilight” phenomenon has contributed greatly to the recent vampire-loving cultural zeitgeist, becoming unavoidable in the pop-culture landscape.