I don’t care whether you admit it or not, the Twilight Saga probably held a place in your heart at one time in your life.
You may have hated it or loved it. Whatever thoughts you had about it, it was there — a part of your life.
You witnessed the growing craze that surrounded the first book, as whispers of “Edward” and “Bella” shook through the hallway. The vampire teenage romance was new to most then, probably new to you as well — a fact we forget today with the niche genre’s popularity.
Perhaps even before reading or watching the movies, you questioned the logistics of it all: How could a vampire love a human if he wants to eat her all the time? How are werewolves involved in all of this? These vampires are “good?”
These questions captivated young 14-year-old me. I absorbed the books in an instant and couldn’t wait for the movie. I admittedly even bought a “Team Edward” shirt (even though I knew deep down that Jacob was more fun).
But, through the years, Twilight has stayed the same, while I have grown older. Now, 11 years since the book came out and 8 since the first movie, Twilight is still there for me – but a little differently.
Edward’s initial interest in Bella
Then: You’re just a little confused as to why Edward is even interested in Bella. She doesn’t seem too interesting, but Edward, on the other hand, has this sort of debonair charm to him. You go along with it though, because you want to see where all of it takes you.
Now: You know Bella’s actually not as boring as maybe she initially seems. You can feel the tension between the characters for the onset, and you’re just a little too excited to watch everything unfold in front of you. For some reason, you can’t believe that you can still find new things every time you watch.
He’s a vampire!
Then: When Edward tells Bella he’s a vampire, all she says is “I’m not scared.” Really? I mean, I get it, he’s cute and stares at you semi-creepily in class, but you’re completely okay with the fact that he is wired to kill you? That’s not cool, Bella!
Now: We trust Edward, we know Edward. Everything’s going to be fine. Although if I were Bella’s parents, I would keep a closer eye on her.
Edward left and there’s a new moon
Then: You’re kidding, right? He left? Just like that? No nothing? Ugh, honestly, I couldn’t even believe it. I had spent all this time invested in this story just for Edward to get up and leave like that. I couldn’t even imagine a plausible reason for Edward to do that to Bella.
Now: It doesn’t matter, it still wasn’t justified. Bella should have always been a vampire, Edward! Also — you still have a soul and so does Bella! Stop worrying so much!
New Moon Jacob
Then: Twist! Maybe Bella and Jacob are the real love story. I mean, if he really loved her he would have never left her! And Jacob really is so cute and makes Bella happy, but maybe not as happy as she is jumping off cliffs.
Now: Poor, Jacob. And you know what? Shame on you, Bella! I know you have that whole “I love two people at once” thing going on in Eclipse, but still, c’mon! I never even felt the spark between them anyway.
Edward trying to “kill himself”
Then: I can’t believe that’s what Edward would really do for Bella. I think he really does love her!
Now: Edward, I know you’re a vampire, but there are so many more efficient ways to kill yourself. You could have just gone to any wolf pack and have them kill you, or go to some other clan of vampires that hate you or the Cullens (I’m sure there are some). And you really should have checked if Bella was actually dead before you try going on those types of escapades, but it’s fine. You didn’t end up dead, thanks to Bella.
Then: No way, I can’t believe they have these rules that want to tear Edward and Bella apart. I mean, I get that vampires aren’t supposed to reveal their secret, but it’s true love! You don’t understand what kind of dedication and love it took for Edward to be around Bella!
Now: You better watch yourselves, Volturi. The Cullens are not messing around (and neither are the wolves, but we’ll get there later).
Bella + Edward + Jacob: the ultimate love triangle
Then: That love triangle was just too much to handle. And all I could think was how in the world would Edward ever be OK with Jacob touching Bella like that? You can read his mind, you know what he’s thinking!
Now: Even though I know for sure that Bella’s going to end up with Edward and Jacob will find his happy ending, it doesn’t matter – that scene in Eclipse is just plain weird. Bella and Edward belong together!
Bella as a vampire
Then: Wow, that birth was excruciating to watch, but I thought the transition was supposed to hurt? I can’t believe this moment is finally here, though. The moment where Bella is finally a vampire, finally able to be with Edward how she was meant to. It is all so perfect — everything.
Now: Oh, there is still nothing better than seeing Bella and Edward run through the forest together and enjoy each other like they are supposed to. Now, finally we get to see the full-blown physical love between them and it’s so good.
That final scene
Then: Probably the biggest shock I have ever experienced. So many people died! It was almost unbelievable how real and frightening it all was only for it not to be real. Oh, that double ending had me going!
Now: It still has to be going! Every time. Even though I know it’s not going to happen and no one is dying. It still evokes that same kind of gut-wrenching feeling that I just can’t deny. I guess that’s what true love of a story is.
You can never forget it all
Turns out, no matter how many times you’ve seen the movies or read the books, the story doesn’t get old. Whether it’s the nostalgia that lets you transport back to an earlier time or the sheer enjoyment of the narrative arc that captures me, I’ll always put it on if it’s on TV.
I’ll always have that place in my heart of the Edward, Bella, Jacob triangle and the Cullen clan and, of course, Renesmee! This was the romance of my youth, and I’m glad to say that.