A Beginners Guide To Twilight

Next: The Basics: Twilight...


2. Twilight

Set primarily in the small American town of Forks, Washington (“The Logging Capital Of The World”), Twilight revolves around the romance between Isabella “Bella” Swan, a teenage girl who comes to live with her policeman father in the area and Edward Cullen, a young man who moves to her high school.

At least, he seems like a young man. But there’s something odd about Edward and his family. Bella can’t quite place it at first, but she’s irresistibly drawn to him.

She soon learns that he’s a vampire – albeit one in the Twilight mould, which means no fangs (just sharp teeth) and no particular aversion to sunlight (though he prefers to avoid it since it makes him glitter) – and that to love him is a very dangerous proposition.

When other vampires, including twisted psycho James, realise that Bella and Edward have made a connection, they plot to kill her and drink her blood. Soon she’s fighting for her life.

But it all ends happily when Edward comes to her rescue, kills the villain and the pair are reunited in Forks.

Happy ever after? Well, not quite…

Next: New Moon...


3. New Moon

The second outing, in the grand tradition of sagas, brings a much darker tone to the story.

Fearing for Bella’s life if she stays with him, Edward ditches her, leaving Forks with his family.

In return, Bella falls into a deep funk, which is only alleviated by her relationship with hunky young werewolf Jacob Black. So that’s all right, then...

Well, no. A new threat to her life emerges when Victoria, the lover of the first book’s bad guy James, decides to enact a little revenge and tries to kill the heroine.

Learning – mistakenly – of Bella’s death, Edward decides to kill himself in Italy, but is stopped by his sister Alice and the woman he loves.

Bella and Edward's relationship has caught the attention of the Volturi, a powerful ruling coven of vamps and while the pair secure their freedom from punishment, they’re released only on condition that Bella be turned into a member of the fang club as soon as possible.

And Victoria isn’t completely defeated, either. She’ll be back…

Next: Eclipse...


4. Eclipse

The third book opens with Victoria returning with an army of “newborn” vamps to take out Bella and co.

Despite centuries’ old antagonisms, Jacob Black’s werewolf pack and Edward’s vampire clan join forces to defeat her devious plan.

Bella, meanwhile, finds herself caught between her love for Edward and her feelings for Jacob.

After keeping them both dangling for a while, she eventually chooses Edward and agrees to marry him.

The book was a huge bestseller, selling more than 150,000 copies in the first 24 hours. Some copies were released early due to a computer error.

And Bella’s story isn't over yet…

Next: Breaking Dawn...


5. Breaking Dawn

In the fourth book, Bella and Edward finally get over all their angst and tie the knot, which would seem to point to a nice happy ending.

Sadly, that sort of thing doesn’t seem possible with this couple, and though Bella gets pregnant, the mixed parentage of the baby causes big problems.

The half-human/half-vampire child quickly weakens its mother thanks to a fast gestation period and Bella nearly dies giving birth to it.

Thinking quickly to save her life, Edward injects her with his venom and turns her into a vampire. She gains new powers and abilities (such as being able to lower her shield so her hubby can read her mind) and is able to survive the birth of baby Renesmee.

Their troubles are only just beginning however, as another coven snoops on them to the Volturi, outing the new arrival as a possible “immortal child”, a violation of Vampire law.

The Cullen clan rallies round the new parents, and, after a nasty conflict with the Volturi, the family is left in peace.

Though Dawn essentially wraps up the Twilight saga in book form, Meyer responded to fan pressure for more stories by starting to write a fourth, Midnight Sun, which would essentially retell Twilight from Edward’s point of view.

Unfortunately, an early draft of several chapters leaked out online, causing the author to cancel the book. She did stick the chapters up on her website for fans to read, but for now, the Twilight series is over.

At least, in book form…

Next: Twilight On Film...


Next: New Moon Rising...


The film’s story has been shifted to give everyone’s favourite brooding Brit vamp more screen time.

New Moon expands the tale out to Italy, home of the Volturi, who are being played by the eclectic likes of Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning and Cameron Bright.

Also added to the cast is a werewolf pack for Lautner’s Jacob Black who had to prove he could bulk up for the role, gaining more than 20 pounds to play the newly muscular character.

And though New Moon hasn’t seen the inside of a cinema yet, Eclipse is already up and running…

Next: Eclipsed...


We believe you, DS – let’s hope the fans do too. Twilighters can be dangerous when angered…

Next: Greet The Dawn...


But given that the studio has usually compressed the books’ plots into each movie, we’re sure some slicing and dicing is more likely.

Another challenge for any director is the sheer scope of the thing, which plays like a greatest hits of Twilight’s plot to date – Jacob and the wolves are a big part of it, as are the Volturi.

Plus the Cullens recruit lots of vampires from around the world to argue the case for Renesmee’s survival, including Nahuel, a 150-year-old human/vamp hybrid, who proves that she’s not a threat. Looks like the effects budget will be stretched to breaking point…

So who could direct this mammoth finale?

Let’s look at possible contenders…

Next: Dawn Directors?


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Freelance Journalist

James White is a freelance journalist who has been covering film and TV for over two decades. In that time, James has written for a wide variety of publications including Total Film and SFX. He has also worked for BAFTA and on ODEON's in-cinema magazine.