Who else would you expect to find lurking about this blog on this particular Immortal Monday than a vampire? And not just any vampire, but the pretty boy Edward Cullen! What with his big movie hitting theaters this week, he’s been extremely busy playing the part of the media whore and doing everything he can to get his face out in front of the public. Because if he doesn’t, we might forget all about those vegetarian vamps from Forks. Riiiiight.
Before taking a closer look at Edward, let’s step back and run down what we know of
traditional vampires… because Edward, as we all know, isn’t going to fit nice and snuggly into that traditional mold.
When Bram Stoker first gave us the vampire in the form of Dracula, it was a creature to
be feared! Thirsty for human blood, it was a creature cursed to walk an eternity in darkness, never again to enjoy the warmth of sunlight, for this meant extreme harm or even death. Yes, even though vampires are immortal, they can be killed. In many ways, as it turns out.
We all know the traditional ways to off a vamp. There is the tried and true favorite – a good ol’ stake through the heart. And of course, there’s exposing them to sunlight, fire, or silver. Even tearing their head off is a commonly accepted method. Thanks to Buffy (who saved the world… a lot) and more recently our friends on True Blood, Vampire Killing 101 has been solidified in our collective consciousness.
But let’s take a look at how Stephanie Meyer has changed things up a bit. With so many vampire stories in this world, it’s not surprising that some authors have chosen to add their own unique twists to the standard vampire mythology. In many ways it makes sense.
Bring something new to the reader, right? Then again, many readers are purists. Change what they expect and you end up staked through the heart on message boards. It’s the controversy that is often more interesting than the changes themselves.
One defining difference in the world of Twilight is that vampires are no longer staked through the heart. They are hard as stone and cold as ice. Killing one requires ripping them into multiple pieces. Yes, multiple… as in just the head won’t do. Then you have to burn them to cinders. Yep, it turns out the Twilight vamps are actually quite badass. Sure they look like runway models, but good luck trying to take one out. Makes you realize that Buffy had it kind of easy (we still love her, though).
At least there are fangs in Twilight. Wait, what’s that? No fangs either? Another interesting choice by Meyer, especially given fangs are the essential means of how a vampire feeds. Even death by sunlight has been changed from the standard mythology. Instead, the Twilight vamps actually glitter in the sun, revealing them as what they are if you know that sparkling skin means you’re a very attractive immortal bloodsucker.
Since Edward and his siblings first arrived on the scene, they’ve stirred up quite a
commotion. Readers everywhere have fallen into two distinct camps. They either
love Twilight or hate it. There doesn’t seem to be much of a middle ground. I find this very interesting. The haters criticize the books – and now the movies – on all levels while Twi-hards endlessly debate the virtues of being Team Edward or Team Jacob. And this is
where I think the great divide lies. Meyer chose to write a love story. It just happens to have vampires and werewolves, which provides a much more interesting foundation for telling the stories of these characters. Imagine if they were just everyday high school students. Pretty boring, right? Setting the story in the world of vampires, with their own unique twists, made all the difference.
Born Edward Anthony Mason in 1901, he was saved from death by the Spanish influenza by a vampire named Carlisle, who became his adoptive father. Taught to be moral and one of the “good” vamps, he doesn’t drink human blood. He resides with his
vegetarian vampire family in Forks, Washington. Being one of the soggiest places in the U.S, it’s always cloudy, meaning the vamps can walk around in
daylight without worrying about the sun making their skin go all sparkly. Oh, and let’s not forget – Edward can read minds!
So what is it about this immortal pretty boy that makes him so popular… so irresistible to the ladies? Here he is at 107 years old and forever frozen with the body and face of a seventeen year old. Has his mind stayed frozen at seventeen as well that he would give his undying love to Bella, a young high school girl?
Is it his undying love and devotion that makes him so attractive? Or does every girl
secretly desire a glittery stalker lurking in the dark recesses of her room at night? Okay, seriously. Did this not stand out to anyone else? My guess is that Meyer never had to deal with any stalker type boyfriends in her youth, like – EVER. Had she, she probably wouldn’t have written it into her story in such a romanticized manner.
On the other hand, despite his stalkerish ways, Edward did everything in his power to
protect the girl he loved from the big bad vamp James. AND – and this is a big one for a vamp – he sucked the venom out of Bella’s system while controlling his urge to suck her dry of blood. I’d say that’s pretty commendable. But that same devotion also has him totally abandoning her in the very next book, leaving her to become extremely messed up. Okay, maybe Edward is just a misguided soul. At the end of the day, I do love his devotion to Bella.
I’ve heard a lot of people put down Edward and his sparkling friends for veering from the traditional mythology. And while Meyer’s proficiency as a writer is often debated, it’s hard to argue what I think was a smart choice on her part to ground Twilight in something everyone can relate to – high school – and couple it with something else very familiar – vampires – but in a way that brings its own sense of identity, flair, and romance.
Sure, Twilight has its flaws, but many stories do. And the great thing is that every individual can decide for themselves what they think is flawed and what isn’t. In the meantime, don’t worry Edward. You may be a vegetarian immortal stalker, but one that is loved by millions. You will get the girl and hopefully your “happily ever after” too. That is, if the Volturi don’t return for your head. But will Stephanie ever return to write that story? Will she ever even sit down and finish Edward’s side of the story, Midnight Sun? Who’s to say? What we know is that Meyer has tapped into the hearts of many women and young girls. Just look at the craziness Twilight has created at the box office and the careers it has launched for these young actors and actresses.
It’s hard to know what, if anything, will become of Edward and the people of Forks beyond
the release Breaking Dawn Part 2 in 2012. Oh well. Guess we’ll assume all has gone well and the little E. Cullen family lives happily ever after. *Shrugs* It was fun while it lasted.
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49 thoughts on “Immortal Monday ~ Edward Cullen * Sparkling Prince or Creepy Stalker?”
I actually haven’t had the itch to read/watch this series. I’m not sure why, I love vampire stories and am a huge True Blood fan. Maybe it’s the fact they’re teenagers and I’m not really interested in reliving all that teenage angst that comes with budding relationships. Maybe I’ll rent the first movie next time the hubby goes out of town just to see what all the fuss is about. 🙂
Keep in mind, if you do, that the first movie was not as good as New Moon and Eclipse. Although it was good enough that it got me started with the books. All I can say is I’m glad I watched the movie first, because after watching it again on the DVD I gave my daughter for her birthday, I spend a lot of time being annoyed at the screen adaptation.
Oh, Edward. 🙂 Twilight is just plain, old fun. That’s it. People like to knock Ms. M’s books, but I think that’s silly. She did what she was out to do: she entertained us. All the nonsense from Stephen King and Anne Rice totally has me rolling my eyes.
Love your Immortal Monday posts, Debra!
Thank you Myndi! Glad you like the immortal concept. Who shall I cover next week? Hmmm?
Damon Salvatore. 🙂
Well, I guess you’d have to put me in the middle. I’ve never read Twilight, haven’t seen the movies and I may or may not, but I’m not going to stress over it. Why? No real reason except my daughter told me they would make me cranky. She read all the books as a teenager and warned me away from them. I’m such a picky reader and she knows me too well.
Here’s where Myndi and I might have to agree to disagree… Anne Rice totally knocked my socks off with Interview with a Vampire. Sure, her books got kind of lame after the first three, but her vampires were tortured souls and I respected that. I’m older than both of you and come from the Bram Stoker tradition, so it’s hard for me to imagine vampires sparkling. Fae, yes, vamps? Um, no.
What a great read!! Thanks to you, I am up on the Twilight series and thoroughly engaged – even at my “mature age”. Love your take on things….and yes, I have wondered too if it would be romantic or just creepy to wake up and find this person (no matter how good looking) in my room staring at me while I sleep.
I love and dislike Twilight. As entertainment value, the whole thing is great. He’s waited 100 years for her and she finally shows up, and now it’s true love forever. There’s a divide between book Edward and screen Edward as well, they aren’t exactly the same in my mind.
The books are not a good role model for the 12 year old girls who want to be Bella. The relationships portrayed are messed up at best and abusive at worst. People who get into relationships with this type of behaviour don’t usually end up in a good place. I’m watching a immature couple have a slow meltdown.
I love the series, and the movies even more. I resisted – mightily – but then got sucked in and I don’t regret it. Yes, you can pull ANY piece of fiction to pieces. But why bother? Love it or hate it, Stephenie got people talking – and READING – and it doesn’t get better than that. Great post, Debra!
I read all 4 books in a week – and have seen every movie opening weekend. as a die-hard romance fan, the whole undying love bit gets me every time. There’s something about a man strong enough to protect you in any circumstance – regardless of whether you’d actually want that in real life (as said bedroom stalking demonstrates).
To be honest, this never really struck me as a true vampire story – Edward and the Cullens are too easy to like. My problem is with Bella – I just want to smack her at times – but that’s another post 🙂
I took my daughter to see Twilight in November of 2008, bought the series for her for Christmas, and read them all before New Years Eve. Glad I’m not the only one!
And Bella gets on my nerves, too. 🙂
I haven’t read the books or seen the movies, I’m so behind the times:) The first time I heard the book Twilight mentioned was at an elementary book sale and they were sold out. I do remember asking myself, once I realized what the book was about, if we should really be selling it at an elementary book fair. But since I haven’t read them I’ll reserve judgement:) And I will say that the author has engaged many with her writings and in the end isn’t that what it is all about? Enjoyed reading your post!
I zipped through the first 3 books. Best writing in the world. No. Compelling story, YES! So I went along for the ride. I read the 4th book and I should maybe not comment any further because my opinions are strong about this one! 🙂
Another thing I’ll add is that I don’t believe the books are really Bella’s story. She doesn’t change. She makes no decisions (or hardly any!) for herself. Things happen TO her throughout the series. The books are about the Cullens and Edward in particular, but the character with the most growth and change is Jacob. I feel the books are really HIS story. –Until that last atrocious book.
I really enjoyed the first movie and have kept up with the others since I did read the books but I wasn’t in a rush and waited for DVD. 🙂
P.S. In my heart, Robert Pattenson will ALWAYS be Cedric Diggory! ~swoon~
haha – I posted about this very thing not long about when I compared Bella to Buffy. Bella is really reactive throughout the entire series – until she’s changed that is. Someone left a comment on the post – can’t remember who, that got me thinking. Bella is the POV character in Twilight – she’s telling the story, but is she the protagonist? It would break rules, but isn’t the story really about Edward finally finding true love, and redeeming his soul? And I agree, not sure the 9-12yr old age group is the appropriate target market for this age – but to each parent their own discretion.
I have serious loyalty to Twilight because, in a convoluted way, it got me back into writing and helped me change careers. I fell in love with the series’s characters, wrote a ton of fanfic that I am actually quite proud of. Sure, Stephenie Meyer is not Steinbeck, but her storytelling is good; she even says she’s not the best writer in the world, but she is an excellent storyteller.
Edward is a great character, and I honestly didn’t get a stalker-ish vibe from him, it’s more an intense devotion. He never threatened her, and he would have gone away if she asked him to–and she never did! After Bella got over the initial shock, she enjoyed having him there, watching over her, and she missed him when he was gone. Explain to me how this is stalking someone! It’s two people who are obsessed with each other. In New Moon he only left her because it’s what he thought was best for her: his presence was, he believed, putting her in danger, and he never would have left if he’d known that the opposite was actually true.
I don’t get the comments about unhealthy relationships. This isn’t about normal relationships–he’s a friggin vampire, so that immediately rules out “normal” as a possibility!
LOL…yes, it does rule out normal, doesn’t it? I hope I didn’t wake anyone up just then. Thanks for the giggle. 🙂
I’m not sure why but I have had no desire to read these books. I’m not much of a movie goes, so I will miss it. But I enjoyed your blog because you clearly do.
I haven’t read the books and I’ve seen only the first two movies. It’s light entertainment value, something we all need after a hard day of work. Wonderful discussion of the story!
What a great post, Debra. I love the Twilight books and movies. The stories are compelling. So what if the writing isn’t perfect. Those who were drawn in couldn’t put the books down. I love how you added the polls. Good going!
I love all of the diverse opinions. Thank you everyone for taking the time to chime in. I love the fact that Stephanie Meyer got so many people reading books!
I was sucked into the story from the moment the movie started, then I read the books between Christmas and New Years 2008…and have been in line with my daughter opening weekend for New Moon and Eclipse. We’re currently discussing whether we want to try to go to the midnight showing Thursday night. Right now we’re on the fence and will do a drive-by around eleven to see how long the line is. Oh, and we’ve also made the midnight trip to Blockbuster for each DVD release (they always fall near her birthday, so it’s part of her gift).
Did I ever think Edward was a stalker? Nope. Am I Team Edward? Nope. Team Jacob all the way. 🙂
Oops. Loved the post!
Oh my goodness Kristy! You are too cute! Thank you for the extreme blog love tonight. If you think there is a chance you may want to catch the midnight showing, then you might want to check with your local theater’s advance ticket sales. I saw people posting on-line that they were already sold out and I know several of the Friday evening shows in my area already are as well. Like I said – craziness. I used to have to stand in line, but we now have a theater where you can reserve your seat. Pretty cool!
LOL…thanks, and you’re welcome. I really enjoy your posts. Even more, I appreciate the suggestion to check on advance ticket sales! I’ll be looking into that as soon as the theater opens today. If that would eliminate the need to stand in line, I’m all for it! Bad enough in Blockbuster…where it’s heated. Our highs for Thursday are supposed to be 37 degrees, so it’ll be a bit colder at midnight. Brr! 🙂
I love the Twilight Saga. The story is romantic and what you’ll do for the person you love. My daughter and I have gone every opening night at midnight. This year we’ll be in Vegas for the opening, so we’re going on Friday afternoon, but I can’t wait!!!
Super cool Jillian. I don’t think I could stay awake. Not with the hour I need to be up the next morning. I usually go to the Friday morning showing while my little kids are trapped in school. *snickers* But the girlfriend’s work schedule changed. So this year we will be with the crazy Friday evening crowd. Thank goodness for reserved seats.
I enjoyed the books, but it wasn’t because of Bella/Edward. The other characters were the best. Edward was a jerk to Bella the entire time. He was condescending and treated her like she was a stupid mindless bimbo who needed to be rescued all the time (and she played the part very well). The movies are pretty bad. I hate the dynamic between Stewart and Pattenson. I don’t think they work well together. New Moon was actually pretty good, and I think it’s because they’re not in very many scenes at the same time. That said, I will be going to see the new movie, but it will be under duress and I will not be paying for my ticket. =P
I absolutely adore this series and have read the books more times than I care to reveal to the public. Say what you want about the Twilight Series, I don’t think the numbers lie. But in all honesty I’m a Jacob fan more than Edward and if that doesn’t make me feel like a cougar nothing will! LOL I have a son older than him.
Michelle Hughes, Author of A Night at Tears of Crimson
I’m not a fan of the Twilight saga. (*dodging tomatoes*) I do love what the books have done for literacy in youth, however. More kids are reading because of the series than ever before (…also thanks to Harry Potter). And I respect Meyer as an author with her own voice and points she wishes to make. We should celebrate most authors’ success. 🙂 I’m glad the new film is out, as other theaters will be empty. LOL
I’ve read the Twilight saga and have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I can get myself sucked into it and enjoy it, but on the other hand, Edward totes gets my back up with the whole creeptastic stalker-y vibe and a lot of his condescending and downright demeaning commentary to Bella about her intelligence and capabilities.
At the end of the day, (At Twilight? Pahahaha….um, no.) I think that as an adult with a clear perspective on what things are unhealthy behavior in a relationship, I can take that stuff with a grain of salt and enjoy the fun of the books and the facility of the reading level, but I’m not so sure I feel okay with young women using Bella as a role model. Generally — by that I mean always — it’s not cool for some dude to sneak into your bedroom at night and watch you sleep for weeks on end whether you’re dating him or not. That’s beyond creeptastic and into creeptacular.
Awesome blog. 🙂 I dissected the Twilight saga a bit on me own blog a couple weeks back and found you via Mr. Regected Riter.
Talk about “high concept!” 🙂
A while back, Beth Revis sponsored a blogfest where you had to name one book you were grateful for. I participated, and then went and read each and every entry – most of which were written by teens. A majority of them named Twilight as “that book” for “making them love reading.” Many of these girls said they’ve gone on to read many more books since Twilight.
For that reason, I think we should all be happy Twilight came along. It kept the Harry Potter generation going. People criticize Meyer’s writing, but honestly? It goes to show you that a compelling story trumps almost anything else. Meanwhile, she’s taking all the criticism about her writing straight to the bank!
Which is not to say I’m a proponent of mediocre writing – I’m not! But it’s always a balance between writing quality and the story. Twilight wasn’t meant to be literary in any way, so we probably shouldn’t judge it as such.
Thank you everyone for stopping in and taking the time to comment!
Samantha! Glad you’re getting to go on someone else’s dime this time around. You deserve it! 😉 It’s funny you mention Stewart and Pattenson, and their dynamics together. I saw an interview years ago that basically said he got the job because she picked him for Edward. So…
Michelle! Wonderful of you to stop in. You’re not alone where Jacob is concerned. I’ve heard a lot of chatter via internet and in person from older women swooning over him. And plenty of people have read the book multiple times. The sign of a compelling story.
August! We would never throw tomatoes at you here. This is a happy discussion. We should celebrate authors more. It hurts to hear authors tear each other apart. And you’re probably right; this would be a great weekend to go see any other movie. LOL
Hi Emmie! I love AG! Glad you found me through her. The thing you need to keep in mind with Edward is (I say this from an objective point of view) he’s a vampire. A monster. And that probably brings out his bad traits to the extreme. That’s why the over-protective nature becomes the stalker type manner portrayed. That’s just my take anyway. Sam and Dean might have a different theory. A stake him and get going already type attitude. 🙂
Julie – I may have seen that, or something similar. But I agree with you 100% And for that reason right there I love Stephanie Meyer. She got more girls reading than I think anyone before her ever had.
Speaking of swooning…Taylor Lautner is adorable but Sam and Dean…? I hate scary shows and movies, but I’m tuned in to see Supernatural most weeks. Might not watch it this Friday though. I should have known that since last week’s was kind of lighthearted that they’d make up for it in the next show. Even the scenes gave me the creeps, so we’ll see. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had to leave the room when it’s on. 🙂
That is cedric diggary of hufflepuff
Ok, I’ve never read Twilight, and when I saw the movie I kept falling asleep! So maybe I’m going to have to give the book a try. When I keep hearing how compelling the story is to trump Meyer’s writing skills, well, now I’m intrigued…
I devoured the books and have a love/hate relationship with the movies. Not gonna lie, Edward totally makes me swoon. I never thought too deeply into the creepiness of his actions or the health of their relationship until I saw the very loud opinions online. I think people are always going to find the things that tween girls obsess and scream over “less than”. If the movies had not created such tween hype I doubt the intense reactions and hate would have been as prevalent.
I LOVE this post. And I voted creepy stalker LOL! That poll is really interesting :0)
You’re right Isis, he was Cedric! Thanks for stopping in!
Serena – I put the first book down several times in the beginning before I got hooked enough to read through. It may take a few chapters, be prepared. Then again, you may not feel it at all. It’s not for everyone.
Jessica – You are probably right. The movies thrust the book out into the public’s eye, making it a topic of discussion. More so than it would have been had it stayed amongst readers like so many other books.
Elisa – you crack me up! Sheesh. Look at the time. I need to get to work for tomorrow. Eeek.