The Twilight Saga.
Bring on the memories…
2008. I was first exposed to the world of The Twilight Saga around the time the first movie was coming out to theatres. I have some recollection of seeing a teaser trailer of Twilight in the theatre and recognising Robert Pattinson, who I had seen in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire previously. (See I have been fangirling over people from Great Britain and Great Britain, in general, since at least 2008!)
My interest was obviously peaked, so of course the book series came into my life after my mum finished reading it before hand to make sure it was age appropriate for a young girl freshly in middle school. (I think we know the answer to how that turned out!) However, right before the movie came out, I had given up reading the first book about half-way through because I lost my focus on reading the story. (I was twelve-years old at the time, trying to read my first young adult novel, and slowly entering the fictional boy-crazy stage…and I had not discovered fan fiction yet!)
Thanksgiving Break was finally here and that year my parents and I were spending it in Virgina with my aunt and cousins. My mum made plans with my cousin and I to go see the movie in Washington DC, if I remember correctly. (Basically the only Washington people thought of at the time, at least on the East Coast!) There were not a lot of other people in the theatre with us, which might have been because we saw it early in the day. But the moment I came out of that showing, I was hooked and had to finish reading the books. (Future-Shannon here, I still have not finished the saga but I will soon!)
I was obsessed to the point where I had my hair dyed dark brown and tried to style it to match Alice Cullen’s hair. Short story, it did not work out as I thought, so I returned back to my natural hair colour, which was blonde, a few months later. (After that it took me many years to dye my hair darker than blonde because of that experience. Now I wish my hair was not blonde / dirty blonde naturally.) This also states who was my favourite male character in the series, which was Jasper Whitlock / Hale. But no worries, I really did like Edward Cullen as well! (I was just more obsessed with boys that had blonde or red hair at that time!)
And to top it all off, I saw Twilight seven times in the theatre before it went to DVD. Most of those showings, I went to the theatre on Camp Lejeune, a military base in North Carolina, that had very cheap movie tickets at the time which made it pretty easy to see anything.
2009. As time went by, my obsession grew with it. New Moon was coming out in the Fall and I was ready for it! Opening day in the theatre and I was at home due to being sick. However, I was not too sick to go to the theatre because my mum surprised me with tickets. Since I was unwell, there was one scene that made me feel nausea which was the motion of the camera spinning around Bella Swan in front of her window after Edward leaves her.
(Now I am about to call myself out on this because this was a thing that happened!)
I was Team Jacob.
(There I said it. Dark times for myself. I strongly dislike the character now, hence why the first book and movie is my absolute favourite, and I wish he would disappear forever. Thank you fan fiction which I was introduced to in 2009.)
2010. By the time Eclipse was coming out to theatres, I was still obsessed but life was taking me in new directions. (And no, this is not about One Direction. I started liking them in 2012!) This also came out in the summertime instead of around Thanksgiving break, which the rest of the films did. My family was getting ready to move to another country come Fall and I was becoming more obsessed with anything from Great Britain. My membership cards for fandoms was growing larger with Percy Jackson, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Harry Potter to name a few.
I do remember enjoying the film as a whole. I liked the new actress who portrayed Victoria more than the original. And I started my pathway back to Team Edward and by the end, Jacob Black was starting to disappear from my mind.
2011. The beginning of the end to The Twilight Saga. Breaking Dawn: Part One had a really good score soundtrack. (To be honest, all the soundtracks, both score and various artists, were really good and everyone should listen to them.) A Nova Vida, played during the start of the honeymoon part of the movie, was at one point in the top ten of my most played songs ever, coming shortly behind Gotta Be You from One Direction. (On my second trip to Hawai’i, I had this song on repeat every time we were in the car driving around the island. I am not joking. Also where is my vampire husband and why are we not on a private island?) Two other songs that I love from the score soundtrack were A Wolf Stands Up and You Kill Her You Kill Me. Even though they are Jacob related, they are just really powerful on their own so I am able to separate the two and imagine my own world when listening.
Now about Renesmee Cullen. I have no issue with Edward and Bella having a child together. I really like the character a lot, before and now. But the imprinting I have issues with and I know I am not the only one that does. (And if you are curious on what those are, I will happily discuss in the comments or elsewhere because that is not what this post is about!)
2012. Breaking Dawn: Part Two officially marks the end of the films. As most things are in the fandom world, it was a little bittersweet to see it all come to an end. (Good thing I can rewatch and reread as many times as I want!) The movies were the ones to get me interested in the saga and I have many fond memories from watching and reading them.
This movie is definitely a favourite of mine. (Second behind “Twilight” for reasons!) Finally getting to see Bella as vampire and see her interact with her new world with her family was amazing. Some of my favourite parts were when all the other vampires came to support the Cullens. I know I have a few favourites from the ones that showed up. (Hello Benjamin!)
As well, this was the year that I got to visit Italy for the first time. And while I was there I had the goal to pick up a book that I had in English in a different language. I was able to find a bookshop and the book I picked up was Twilight. Even though most of the book is set in Forks, WA, the Volturi do live in Italy, so it was a good pick.
2015. Of course the year I start my Freshman year of college is when a new Twilight book comes out! Life and Death marked the tenth anniversary of Twilight. (The novel!) And I loved it! Getting a gender bent version of Edward and Bella’s love story was something I did not know I needed. I really loved Beau and Edythe’s story just as much as I loved Edward and Bella’s. (As it will become my theme with this fandom, I wish I could another book to continue the story.)
2018. Another tenth anniversary with Twilight. (The movie!) This anniversary included a re-release of Twilight to the theatres with a new featurette from the director, Catherine Hardwicke, and actor who played Jasper Hale, Jackson Rathbone. (I now have seen the movie eight times in theatres!)
Being able to see the movie again in theatres brought back so many memories and really helped me find my love for the saga once again that faded over time. It reminded me of the times I wanted to dress like Bella and all of the google searching I did on WikiHow. (Which I still want to dress like her!) As well, I stumbled across an instagram page of Twilight Saga cosplayers called “The Olympic Coven.” They are an acting trope based in Forks, WA that portray some of our favourite characters from the saga. If you are a fan of this series, I highly recommend checking out their social media!
(I was in my happy place!)
2020. Now to present day where Midnight Sun is finally in novel form, and does not just exist as a PDF file on a website. It feels like coming home in a weird fandom way. During this time I have stumbled across many social media accounts that are dedicated to the saga and have discovered many fans ranging from since the beginning to more recent ones. I have in recently years been able to visit Forks, WA and the surrounding area which is gorgeous and I cannot wait see it again in the future. (Olympic National Park is a personal favourite of mine!)
The Twilight Saga has been a part of my life for twelve years! It is one of my oldest fandoms that I love and I am excited to return to it when I am need of a Twilight fix.
Disclaimer: I understand The Twilight Saga is not perfect for various reasons. However, this series has made an impact on so many people, myself included, who have valid reasons for loving this series. Please do not be that person who takes that joy away from someone because of what they love.
In real life, the Quileute Tribe is working on moving to higher ground to a safe location so their culture and heritage can continue to thrive. If you are able to help support them or want to know more of this move, please check out their website linked here.
*Beware! There will be SPOILERS in my review!*
Let’s just get this out of the way…I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH! This is exactly want I have been waiting for without realising it! I only wish we could get the whole saga in Edward’s point-of-view, however I understand that will not be happening and have accepted it. The first part of the book can be a bit much when Edward first meets Bella in Biology class. But I promise it does get better and so worth finishing it.
I did not know this was possible but I have fall in love with the Cullen family more than I did in the original four books. Being able to see how they act as a family both in public and when they are away from humans was exactly what I needed. Carlisle Cullen and Esme Cullen are the best parental figures ever and are so supported and love their “children” so much. (I now know that if I was a vampire, I would want them as my vampire parents!) We also got see the struggles that they are face when dealing with humans, mostly seen with Jasper who is the newest to the animal diet. All this new information definitely made the world more rich and exciting to learn.
This leads into the new scenes that we read that were glanced over in Twilight. We get new information on Bella’s likes and dislikes that were not detailed in the original, like one of her favourite movies is Empire Strikes Back. (Star Wars is always there!) However, what I found interesting was Edward calling Bella “the girl” due to him trying to distance himself away from her physically and mentally. It does switch to just “Bella” as the novel progresses when Edward cannot stay away from her anymore and fell in love.
Another detail that we finally got to understand was how Alice, Jasper, and Edward’s gifts worked. Alice has the gift of seeing the future by the choices that people make. She does experience some visions that are permeant, like Bella becoming a vampire. Jasper is able to influence the emotions around himself. He is also able to use his power to “hide” himself and others of his choosing by influencing another party to “bypass” certain people. This is showcased when the nomads show up when at the baseball game, where Jasper “hides” Alice, Esme, and Bella from them because they are the “weakest” links in the family. Edward is able to read the minds of people expect Bella. However, we do find out how her mind is able to block Edward’s gift due to genetics.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Edward’s point-of-view of Twilight. I was not annoyed with his thinking and actions. I found it very interesting to read and it really checked off boxes that I wanted checked. I am really happy that this book is finally out and that fans of the series can finally enjoy it. Now off to find my own Edward Cullen…
Lots of Love,