the twilight series suddenly makes 100% more sense if you read them under a specific premise that, i contend, is heavily supported by the text:
Much like Amy’s diary in Gone Girl, the books in the Twilight Saga are verbatim reproductions of in-universe diary entries carefully and deliberately created and curated by badass unreliable narrator Bella Swan as a means to achieve immortality.
1) Bella actively and persistently wants to become a vampire, both diagetically and (I contend) non-diagetically. The average vampire novel format often fails to capture realistic human behavior in one highly specific area: the protagonists are frequently mortals who grapple with the choice of whether to become a vampire. This is stupid, because being a vampire would obviously be dope as hell; particularly in the Twilight Universe, where vampires are not required to take a human life to survive, and indeed, have the capacity to live full and rewarding lives while integrated* into the human community.
(*integrated-ish; see Assumption 6)
2. There are too many coincidences for Bella to have encountered the Cullens by sheer chance, only to be the ONE person that Edward can’t live without (due largely to the novelty factor of not being able to read her ding-dang thoughts.)
3. Diagetically, the Volturi don’t even know Bella’s psyonic gifts until New Moon, but we also know that the Volturi scour the globe for recruits to enlist into the protection of their governing body.
4. Nobody wants to be a voiceless cog in a bureaucracy.
5. Nobody, and especially nobody in high school, wants to be a high school student forever.
6. Vampires in twilight are, as a group, cartoonishly terrible at disguising their true nature.
7. Forks is a backwater town approximately 3.5 hours away from the biotech hub of Seattle.
7. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney can eat my farts and they deserve to be preserved in this snapshot of an innocent author’s mind slowly unraveling.
- In 1993, there is a key system meltdown at a improvised biohacking startup in Seattle, rendering all innovative genetic modification experiments into a puddle of brown sludge that nobody can figure out how to dispose of per Federal regs, since they don’t even know what it is.
- The broke founder of the startup, who for the purposes of this timeline I will call Jeff Bezos because that’s who it was, eventually grows tired of all the discussion about what to do, and just pops it in a barrel, drives a few hours out of town, and dumps it in a pond.
- Bella Swan, a small child, is hanging out at a park with her family friend Jacob Black (and a ton of his friends) when they all decide to wade in a slightly murky pond. Thereafter, they are transformed.
- Bella grows up as a normal, highly powerful mutant with a +20 to deception checks and wisdom saves. She lives in Arizona, but up until 2002, summers in Forks. While in Forks, she picks up on the local lore about a family of vampires who don’t eat people.
- Because Forks (population: 17 + Charlie’s mustache) is boring, Bella bones up on the only interesting thing about it, i.e. Vampire Hometown baybeeeee.
- In 2000, George W. Bush gets elected president, and his evangelical politics and general bumbling ineptitude informs Bella’s opinions on authoritative governmental entities.
- In 2001, the Cullens make their intention to move back to Forks known, but they take a while because they need to pack all their stupid graduation hats and volvos, etc.
- Later in 2001, a psychic Volturi scout rolls through Forks to ensure that nobody within living memory recalls the Cullens, and notices an anomaly in the psychic field.
- The scout goes to confront Bella about joining the Volturi, and Bella immediately clocks him as a vampire, because vampires in the Twilight Universe fucking suck at looking/acting human. This leaves the scout in a bind: she’s too valuable to kill, but she’s a pre-teen, and therefore too young to be transformed per Volturi authority.
- The scout warns her he’ll have to kill her if she discusses the existence of vampires with any human. He then tells her he’ll be back in five years, and begins to sweet talk her on how good life will be when she’s a vampire, beautiful, immortal, powerful, etc. Bella asks if she has to kill, and dude says “nah, actually there’s a bunch of vegetarian vampires who are moving back here soon. Fucking nerds, but otherwise they’re doing well.” Bella is all about becoming a vampire, because Bella is a rational actor.
- Bella moves to Arizona, and as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are unjustifiedly initiated, she recognizes that while she DOES want to be a vampire, she does NOT want to be a foot soldier in any war that she can’t support. She needs a plan.
- In 2004, Bella is watching her step-dad’s minor league baseball game when it occurs to her. On her own, she’s a target for the Volturi, but if she had some people to watch her back, she might be okay. Of course, nobody fucks with the Volturi on behalf of some rando human. She’ll need to con her way into a coven who’ll have her back and also give her that +10 to constitution via vampiric transformation, which she desperately wants because she’s a rational actor. And where are the non-volturi vampires that might have her back? Fucking Forks.
- Bella moves to Forks in 2004, and upon seeing the Cullens, she immediately clocks them as vampires even though they left their “we’re all vampires” booty shorts at home, because, as previously discussed, vampires in the Twilight Universe fucking suck at looking/acting human.
- Bella notes that all the vampires but one are paired off in heterosexual bliss, and takes note of the straggler as a potential vehicle to vampyrdom.
- Bella figures out that Eddie can read everyone’s mind but hers, because Edward Cullen fucking sucks at looking/acting like a human who can’t read minds. Bella further observes that Eddie has a huge undead boner for her.
- She’s found her mark. Now she just needs to convince him that she’s better off as part of the coven than on her own. Problem: Eddie’s a self-pitying insufferably guilt-striken perpetual adolescent who keeps himself busy by feeling sorry for himself because he’s a vampire, angst angst angst etc etc. Also, I think he’s Catholic, so add some more guilt in. She’ll have to win him over by convincing him that they’re destined to be soulmates.
- What does a vampire used to having complete insight into everyone’s mind but his crush’s want? A method to know what she really thinks of him. Bella begins writing a “diary” knowing that there’s no way in hell Eddie won’t sneak in and read it. So she Gone Girls it, and begins to lay a trap to lure him in. That first diary? Twilight.
- This was just in the movie but a stoner chases her around with a worm on a stick. Nothing to do with this theory, I just like that part of the movie. Where’s my spinoff about that guy?
- Eddie won’t give Bella what she wants (eternal life) by the end of book 1, even though she asks him to EXTREMELY POLITELY. Time to hit the diary with some more promises of undying love.
- Bella reconnects with her old friend Jacob and the rest of the Mutated By Jeff Bezos Boys. Alas, they cannot turn her into a physically powerful sexy immortal with a bite, so she’s still stuck with plan A) win over a whole family of vampires with big Mormon energy. It’s the long con.
- Edward’s angst abruptly takes a swing towards terminal. He’s absolutely your classic sadboy, perhaps because Bella now has one (1) friend that he knows about.
- When Eddie begins to drift away on account of Angst, Bella conjurs up a secondary love interest who, coincidentally, is ALSO a sexy supernatural entity, and is much less coincidentally just Jacob.
- We should establish here that Edward is like a 107 year old white dude and so even though Diary!Bella pretends not to see it, Metatextual Frame Story!Bella knows that dude is super racist.
- Jacob Black is three things: 1. Like Bella, a mutant (although one with shapeshifting abilities), 2.one of Bella’s oldest and most trusted confidants, and 3. down to clown on an elderly teenage vampire who keeps stereotyping him. Sure, says Jacob, I’ll take the form of a werewolf. He seriously thinks we’re all just beastmen, huh? Hey look at me now, I’m Regis Philbin because this is 2005 and Who Wants to be a Millionaire is still sort of relevant. Sick.
- Edward does not like that Bella has one (1) other friend. Bella and Jacob plot to use this to their advantage and lure Edward back on the wings of jealousy.
- Eddie gets himself into trouble on account of Angst and poor communication, so Bella has to go rescue him from himself/the Volturi.
- Aro finally meets her and gets to test her powers, which impress him. Now she’s back on the fucking radar.
- I forget everything that happens in Eclipse, so i have chosen to omit that part.
- Eventually she extracts a quid pro quo from Eddie; i’ll marry you if you turn me into a dracula.
- We don’t really call ourselves that, Wet Blanket Cullen replies, entirely earnestly.
- Bella gets married at 18 in 2006, and Eddie starts to backtrack his promise about changing her. This won’t stand.
- Well, look, he’s an elderly guilty catholic/mormon teen who probably still uses super racist terms, but she’s stuck on honeymoon island, he has certain angles that work for him, and seriously what are they gonna do but fuck? Bella’s alternative is listening to her “husband” drone on about his interests, which are almost certainly Car, How Do I Post a Minion Picture on Facebook, and Licorice Used To Be a Lot Cheaper in the Good Old Days.
- Whoops a fetus.
- Bella recognizes that she’s GOT to have this baby: time’s running out, and Bella knows that at least two of the Vamps in her coven will cut ties if she terminates or otherwise fails to carry this baby to term because of the conservative religious subtext. She’s going to have to stick it out for 9 months, even though it’s a risky call.
- Bella gets what she wants after giving birth. “My time as a human is over, but I’ve never felt more alive. I was born to be a vampire.” That’s a direct quote. Except now she’s got a (pretty cute and easy) baby that she desperately wants to protect from Turning Into A Vaguely Religious Cullen Dressed Head To Toe In Cream Colored Wool.
- Bella decides to fake her own death and escape with the kid and Jake so they can form i guess a detective agency. Bella will get “killed” by the Volturi, move to Sydney, and open up shop, and Jake will take the kid after her a few months later.
- They’re gonna need a reason why Jake gets the kid though, and there’s only one reason to do anything amongst the Cullens: a heterosexual love interest with a super problematic age gap.
- Jesus, Jake sighs, is Eddie really going to believe I’m in romantic love with your actual infant? Does he really think that little of me?
- Bella tries to draw the Volturi’s attention.
- Works too well.
- The Cullens call up all their vague acquaintances, who are at least kind of fun. Particularly that one dude who keeps getting angry about British conduct during the American Revolution.
- Well, fuck, now the Volturi are bringing an army to fight their ragtag army of Vampires Who Are Cool And Interesting Enough That We Can Safely Presume They Are All Definitely Gay. Bella can’t let those guys die, they’re the first actually compelling vampires she’s ever talked to.
- Bella saves the day because she’s OP.
- All the Cool Vamps start packing up to leave and Bellz almost goes with them, but the Cullens would just keep sending missionaries after her if they knew.
- Bella finishes her fourth journal with the vague warning that the Volturi are still out there somewhere and they miiiight just try and get her.
- Two days later, she stages a scuffle and gets the fork out of Fucks. Her journals are the only clue.
- Sirius Black and baby nessie follow once edward has stopped sobbing into his cream colored sweater and moved on to Extended Power Pouting.
- Bella recruits her own army of fledglings.
- Bella stages a coup against the Volturi and succeeds.
- Bella sits on the iron throne with a hot lady vampire on each knee and they all kiss and stuff.
- Nessie I guess forms a post punk band?
- Edward dies from aspiration of a brussel sprout that he ate because he just wanted to feel something.
- Charlie and Billy get married.
- Charlie’s mustache develops a cult instagram following, providing them with a modest retirement income.
- Jacob shapeshifts into Bill Murray and is always crashing weddings.
- Bella’s stepdad is off in the B plot this whole time winning the world series with the help of a kooky angel.
There. Fixed. My soul is at rest.