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The Twilight Saga's Biggest Changes From Book to Screen
Nicole Waxman
2021-08-06T23:31:38
twilight saga movies and books
twilight saga movies and books
Now that Netflix has brought The Twilight Saga back in its entirety, many fans are revisiting it after a long time. The Twilight Saga began with Twilight in 2008 and ended with Breaking Dawn Part 2 in 2012. Considering they're based on novels of the same name by Stephanie Meyer, they do a fairly decent job of covering the original content. But no adaptation is perfect, especially when dealing with four, fairly large, detailed books. In order to adapt the final book, they had to break it into two parts.
That being said, the writers left some pretty major moments out of the films from the books, and die-hard fans will notice. Here's a list of some of the biggest changes from the books to the movies.

When Bella Confronts Edward About Being A Vampire

Edward and Bella lying in the forest as he sparkles.
Edward and Bella lying in the forest as he sparkles.
One of the biggest moments in the Twilight movie is when Bella tells Edward she knows he's a vampire. He even makes her say it out loud so that the impact really hits her. This moment launches into an intense scene, in which he displays his strength and speed. Unfortunately, that's not quite how it happens in the book. While the movie scene is much more exciting and dramatic, the original feels more in line with their characters.
In the book, Bella does some research on her own and confronts Edward in his car when he's driving her after the attack in Port Angeles. They have a fairly casual conversation on the drive home about his various abilities and the fact that he can read her mind. While it's certainly not as dramatic as the movie version, it's a revealing conversation that the movie simply excludes.

Bella's Lullaby

Edward playing on the piano in front of Bella in Twilight.
Edward playing on the piano in front of Bella in Twilight.
Bella's lullaby, written by Edward, is a staple of their romance and the film handles it differently from the book. In the film, Carter Burwell writes an amazing composition for the scene when Edward plays the piano for Bella at his house. While it's a beautiful song, Edward never once mentions that it's a lullaby, nor that it's been written for her. The film does, however, use this song in later moments in a reprised version, making it a sort of theme song for their love.
One thing the book does better is it makes sure readers know that this song is Bella's lullaby specifically. Edward mentions that he wrote it for her, and he is often heard humming it through the books. He even puts it on a CD for her in New Moon. In the movie, it's just a pretty song that goes unnamed and almost unnoticed. In the book, it becomes a symbol of their love and is incredibly important.

Bella's Dangerous Bike Ride

Jacob helps Bella with her bike in New Moon.
Jacob helps Bella with her bike in New Moon.
There's a moment in New Moon that acts as a turning point for Bella, and that's when she starts to hear Edward's voice in her head, warning her away from danger. In the film version, Bella is called out to by a group of bikers and she takes one of them up on their offer of a ride, prompting Edward to speak up. In the book, however, she sees a group of ill-mannered men from her night in Port Angeles in Twilight, and as she gets closer to them, Edward begins to speak. Though they are both a means to an end, it's understandable why the films made the change - viewers don't need any prior knowledge for this scene and it's more visually stimulating.

Alice Cullen's Backstory

Alice Cullen promotional picture.
Alice Cullen promotional picture.
The film adaptations of The Twilight Saga pay close attention to character details, giving fans the visual version of their favorite characters' backstories. Though they may be shortened due to the adaptation process, at least fans get to see some of it. That is, except for fans of Alice. For some reason, Alice's backstory is completely left out of the films, even though it plays an important role in both Twilight and Eclipse.
Alice was placed in an asylum when she was a human due to her ability to see the future sometimes. When a vicious tracker that some will remember as the antagonist from Twilight, James, becomes obsessed with her, a friendly vampire turns her so that James will leave her alone, sacrificing himself in the process. This is how she has a connection to James when Bella becomes his next target.

Breaking Dawn Part 2's Battle Sequence

Werewolves prepare for battle in Breaking Dawn Part 2
Werewolves prepare for battle in Breaking Dawn Part 2
The climactic battle sequence at the end of Breaking Dawn Part 2 is one of the biggest moments in the whole series, and yet it simply does not exist in the book. While the Cullens do gather their witnesses on behalf of Renesmee and prepare for the worst, no battle breaks out. Alice and Jasper return from their mission with a 150-year-old vampire-human hybrid like Renesmee to convince the Volturi. Even though technically speaking, the battle doesn't happen in the film either because it's only a prediction in Alice's mind, the film does take the time to flesh out the very real potential of the worst-case scenario. It makes for great filmmaking and a more climactic ending.

Edward's Vigilante Years

Edward Cullen from Twilight.
Edward Cullen from Twilight.
One of the biggest differences between the Cullen family and other vampires is that they choose to be "vegetarian," meaning they don't drink the blood of humans, only animals. This is one of the biggest reasons that Bella is able to trust Edward and his family, especially since Carlisle is so dedicated to the practice. But Edward fails to tell Bella, at least in the movie, that he used to kill people. He does mention it in passing, but the book elaborates much more about his time as a sort of vigilante.
Edward left Carlisle and Esme sometime after being turned into a vampire and he spent his time using his mind-reading ability to track down the worst criminals. These are who he chose as his prey, feeling that it was at least more moral, considering he was saving people from their criminal actions. This information, which might be handy for a romantic partner to know, is not divulged to Bella in the movie, only in the book.
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