Twilight series theory – Twilight as a tragedy rather than a romance.





from a post on reddit:

Let’s put problems with spelling, grammar, narrative flow, plot structure, etc. aside and just look at the story and, in particular, the character arc of Bella Swan.

At the beginning of the story, she is moving from Arizona to Washington on her own volition – she has decided to give her mother and her step-father some time and space and to spend some time with her father. At this point in the story, she is, admittedly, a bit of a Mary Sue, but an endearing one. She is sensitive to the needs of others (moves to Alaska for her Mom’s sake, helps her Dad around the house, is understanding and tries to give the benefit of the doubt even when the other students are somewhat cruel to her when she first arrives), clumsy, out-of-sorts, and a little insecure. She’s not a girly-girl or a cheerleader type, doesn’t get caught up in the typical sorts of high school behavior, and in general functions as an independent person.

It’s worth noting that if Tyler’s van had smashed her, she would have (at that point) died as a fairly well-rounded, empathetic individual. We certainly wouldn’t say she died in need of redemption, at any rate. Instead, Edward ‘saves’ her – and this supernatural ‘salvation’ marks the beginning of a journey that ultimately destroys her.

As she gets more entangled with Edward, she becomes less and less independent, more and more selfish. She is accepting of his abusive behavior (stalking her on trips with her friends, removing parts from her car so that she can’t go see Jacob, creeping into her window at night, emotional manipulation) to the point that when he completely abandons her (walking out on the trust and commitment they’ve built together, in spite of having vowed to remain with her no matter what), she is willing to take him back. Edward is clearly entirely morally bankrupt.

Her father, Charlie Swan, is sort of the Jimminy Cricket of the story. His intuition is a proxy for the reader’s intuition, and he’s generally right. He doesn’t like Edward, because he can sense the truth – not that Edward is a vampire, that doesn’t matter in particular – but that Edward is devoid of anything approximating a ‘soul’ (for those strict secularists, you could just say Charlie can see that Edward is a terrible person). Bella is warned by numerous people and events throughout the course of the story that she is actively pursuing her own destruction – but she’s so dependent on Edward and caught up in the idea of the romance that she refuses to see the situation for what it is. Charlie tells her Edward is bad news. Edward tells her that he believes he is damned, and devoid of a soul. He further tells her that making her like him is the most selfish thing he will ever do. Jacob warns her numerous times that Edward is a threat to her life and well-being. She even has examples of other women who have become involved with monsters – Emily Young bears severe and permanent facial disfigurement due to her entanglement with Sam Uley.

Her downward spiral continues when, in New Moon, she turns around and treats her father precisely as Edward has treated her – abandoning him after suffering an obvious and extended severe bout of depression, leaving him to worry that she is dead for several days. She had been emotionally absent for a period of months before that anyhow. Charlie Swan is traumatized by this event, and never quite recovers thereafter. (He is continuously suspicous of nearly everyone Bella interacts with from that point on, worries about her frequently, and seems generally less happy.)

Her refusal to break her codependence with Edward eventually leads them to selfishly endanger Carlisle’s entire clan when the Volturi threaten (and then attempt) to wipe them out for their interaction with her – so she is at this point in the story willing to put lives on both sides of the line (her family and the Cullens) at risk in favor of this abusive relationship. Just like in a real abusive relationship, she is isolated or isolates herself from nearly everyone in her life – for their safety, she believes.

Ultimately, she marries Edward, submitting to mundane domesticity and an abusive relationship – voluntarily giving up her independence in favor of fulfilling Edward’s idea of her appropriate role. Her pregnancy – which in the real world would bind her to the father of her children irrevocably (if only through the legal system or through having to answer the kid’s questions about their paternity) – completely destroys her body. The baby drains her of every resource in her body (she becomes sickly, skeletal, and unhealthy) and ultimately snaps her spine during labor. Her physical destruction tracks with and mirrors her moral and psychological destruction – both are the product of seeds that she allowed Edward to plant inside her through her failure to be independent.

Ultimately, to ‘save’ her (there’s that salvation again), Edward shoots venom directly into her heart. Let me repeat that for emphasis: The climax of the entire series is when Edward injects venom directly into Bella Swan’s heart.

Whatever wakes up in that room, it ain’t Bella.

I’ll refer to the vampire as Bella Cullen, the human as Bella Swan.

Bella Swan was clumsy.

Bella Cullen is the most graceful of all the vampires.

Bella Swan was physically weak and frequently needed protection.

Bella Cullen is among the strongest and most warlike of the vampires, standing essentially on her own against a clan that has ruled the world for centuries.

Bella Swan was empathetic to the needs of others before she met Edward.

Bella Cullen pursues two innocent human hikers through a forest, intent on ripping them to pieces to satisfy her bloodlust – and stops only because Edward calls out to her. Not because she perceives murder as wrong. (Breaking Dawn, p.417). She also attempts to kill Jacob and breaks Seth’s shoulder because she didn’t approve of what Jacob nicknamed her daughter (Breaking dawn, p.452). She no longer has morals .

Bella Swan was fairly modest and earnest.

Bella Cullen uses her sex appeal to manipulate innocent people and extract information from them (pp.638 – 461) – she does so in order to get in touch with J. Jenks.

In short, her entire identity – everything that made her who she was – has been erased.

This is powerfully underscored on p. 506, when Charlie Swan (remember, the conscience of the story) sees his own daughter for the first time after her transformation:

“Charlie’s blank expression told me how off my voice was. His eyes zeroed in on me and widened.

Shock. Disbelief. Pain. Loss. Fear. Anger. Suspicion. More pain.”

He goes through the entire grieving process right there – because at that moment, he recognizes what so many readers don’t – Bella Swan is dead.

The most tragic part of the whole story is that this empty shell of a person – which at this point is nothing more than a frozen echo of Bella, twisted and destroyed as she is by her codependence with Edward, fails to see what has happened to her. She ends the story in denial – empty, annihilated, and having learned nothing.

holy shit

now who wants to write fanfiction emphasizing this point

Now that’s cool

Did I just read a Twilight literary analysis that I liked?  

What have I become?

some Marius, Sybelle and Benji meta



I’ve always found Marius’ complete ideological 180 at the end of TVA (and presumably carrying over into his foul mood in BaG) really confusing. But rereading bits of QotD it occurred to me that Marius’ speech to Armand explaining his loss of faith has a lot of similarities with Akasha’s speech when explaining why humanity is inherently evil and overdue for a cull. 

I’ve already talked about this with a few of you guys but i-want-my-iwtv thought I should still make a proper post with quotes and things, so here goes.

Keep reading





Lestat, the prince of all vampires, now confirmed for people of

Response to this inspiring post by @luthi69


Okay but this is particularly hilarious to me because this is exactly the kind of thing Lestat canonically drags Louis for doing. Like when they get into one of their big fights in IWtV and Lestat snarks about Louis “staring for hours at candles as if they were people and standing in the rain like a zombie until your clothes are drenched and you smell like old wardrobe trunks in attics and have the look of a baffled idiot at the zoo.”

… And meanwhile he’s over here getting mesmerized by a freakin’ Wal-Mart. He’s such an absolute hypocrite and I kind of find it hilarious. Like OK Lestat, maybe Louis stares at candles like they’re people, but at least it’s more poetic than being “spellbound” by the dang aspirin bottles.

#also this art is AMAZING bless you OP #the vampire chronicles #anne rice #gorgeous art #awesome fanart #lestat de lioncourt #interview with the vampire #the tale of the body thief #funny #hilarious! #like in fairness I absolutely get why someone from 18th century France would be awe-struck by being in a Wal-Mart #even before you bring his super-intense vampire senses into the equation #but like if Lestat’s gonna dish it out at Louis that way he absolutely deserves to have it thrown back at him #that’s just how it is 😛

^^^Excellent points & tags @luanna801!


//Reminder that a lot of Louis’ problem concerning his ego has less to do with him coming from a rich bourgeois background and more to do with the fact that due to Lestat’s dominance and manipulation, Louis developed a crippling dependency on his intelligence because it was the one thing that Lestat could not take from him. He has always been philosophical, yes, but I highly doubt he was a Shakespeare fanatic or poetry addict before Lestat turned him (remember, he practically ran the plantation before his brother’s death, and after his death, Louis spent his time drinking and making half assed suicide attempts; he was never in his study reading books). And he not only sees his intelligence as something that somehow makes him better than those around him, but more importantly, something that differentiates him from Lestat. He cannot stand the thought of being anything like Lestat; he refuses to hunt like him, dress like him, or do anything that he would approve of. So, part of the reason he leans so heavily on his book smarts is because it creates a dichotomy between him and Lestat. And once he realizes how to play his cards correctly, he fucking goes all out and makes sure Lestat knows how well read he is, and how shitty and embarrassing it is that Lestat never properly learned to read. It’s no wonder he’s a rhetorical genius; I think he realized very early on in their relationship that rhetoric was his only weapon against a maker that was so much stronger than him in every other way.

He represents such an interesting mix of character traits, because while his core is highly emotional and intuitive and prone to grief, he relies heavily on logic and intelligence. He is equally headstrong as he is heartstrong, and that is where a lot of his conflict lies. In addition to all the reasons stated above, I also think his inflated self-importance connected to his intelligence may be a form of overcompensation, because Louis often feels stupid and irrational when he gets overly emotional. This doesn’t excuse his pretentiousness at all when it comes to his intellect, but I do think it presents an interesting challenge since Louis put so much effort into crafting a stuffy erudite persona that somewhere along the line he actually started to believe it. 




Comparison I’ve been meaning to do for awhile. I don’t think these shots’ similarity was an accident. 

  • Claudia and Madeleine are both wearing green, signaling youth, envy, (Madeleine’s might also relate to her still being part of nature, as a mortal). 
  • Louis and Lestat are both wearing warm colors (purple & red), being in positions of power.
  • Lighting is reversed; Lestat is back-lit and Louis is front-lit.
  • Louis and Lestat are looming into frame from the upper right, Claudia and Madeleine are pushed back, and react from the lower left. 
  • Claudia and Madeleine’s reactions are different but similar in their initial expression and silence.
  • etc…

Also can I just say I love how Louis and Lestat both express their power differently. With Louis, he doesn’t even have to touch Madeleine to intimidate her. He asserts his dominance with a piercing gaze, and his power rests in his cutting words. Meanwhile, Lestat is explosively violent; all flaring arms and snarling lips. He physically pushes Claudia, even though he’s obviously already stronger than her, which I personally interpret as Lestat being unable to trust the power in his words alone and relying on physical touch to express his emotions instead.

^Good addition @covenofthearticulate ;u; This is another one of those moments that’s easy to miss in the movie (and the book), when ppl say Louis is so weak, it’s more that he shows his strength more subtly, like you’ve described.



Send me a character and I’ll tell you:

favorite thing about them:
His despair. His tragedy. I know it’s not for everyone but it is ABSOLUTELY for me. His desire to do things with the intent of perfectly harming other’s plans and hurting himself in the process. That he cuts off his nose to spite his face, I love that. It’s the way someone who so completely hates themselves that they hate life itself behaves. I love it. LOVE IT. He encapsulates one of my favorite elements of early VC: That people do what is wrong because they want to feel in control of something. That said, I utterly despise this in real life, HAHAHA. 

least favorite thing about them:
Perhaps that he was so brief? But in a way I’m glad he didn’t get any redemption. It’s not exactly easy to come back from that.
favorite line:

“All a misunderstanding, my love,” he said. Acid on the tongue. The blood sweat had broken out again, and his eyes glistened as if they were wet. “It was to hurt others, don’t you see, the violin playing, to anger them, to secure for me an island where they could not rule. They would watch my ruin, unable to do anything about it.”

During this part I was publically weeping. HAHAH!

I don’t have one. You’re hot and cold with Nicki. Maybe Santiago was his fledgling and they got along great. 

Lestat, Armand. 

I don’t have those really. 

random headcanon
When he laughs it begins with the soft clicking of his palette like water dripping on damp wood. The back of the throat. He only breathes in as a vampire to shriek and has otherwise abandoned human habit. 

unpopular opinion
Idk, that I like him in a way that reminds me of the worst part of illness. Hell, the better I feel in life the more I love him for that snapshot of terrible times. Reminds me of the storm before a rainbow. Allows for contemplation of darker feelings. 

song i associate with them

Ysaye Violin Solo Sonata, Op. 27, No. 3, “Ballade”

When he got his violin back after turning this was the song that came to mind as I read… 

Mayumi Kanagawa’s performance is HEADS AND SHOULDERS above any other rendition of this song I’ve heard to date and it was THIS specific performance and the memory of its sound that gave me goosebumps reading. 

favorite picture of them
For SURE Victoria Fraces’ illustration of him, how haunting!!

^^^All this! 

He encapsulates one of my favorite elements of early VC: That people do what is wrong because they want to feel in control of something.

^Yes, ouch. So true.

ooc: Ok can you clear this one up for me? Did Santino ever love Armand? As a brother or family member type of thing? Or was Santino just his wicked teacher?





ooc. Well, headcanons may vary of course, but the way I read the character and the relationship he had with Armand… Yes, Santino loved him. And I will even say that he loved him very deeply. The love was likely not a very considerate kind but it was real.

I hinge this a) on Santino actively assuring Marius that he did love Armand (in TVA) and b) Santino’s exhibiting very fatherly and sympathetic behavior towards Armand. 

Santino is depicted as a very honest and very caring character. His honesty is attested by Marius (B&G) and Santino himself claims to hate evil and to suffer from the way he has to live in the cult. Further: He actually cries when he visits Armand in his cell because the torture was so cruel and he couldn’t stand it (TVA). He is evidently very taken with Armand and compliments him even when there is nothing to gain from it. (also TVA) Because of all of this I say he loved him like a son, or else a protégé.

What he feels for him nowadays is more difficult, I think.

OOC: I totally hear what you’re saying but Santino’s fucked up cruelty in the past done unto Marius, Palazzo Boys and Armand were so horrific, I just have a hard time picturing how you describe him. How can I improve my perspective of Santino?

ooc. I genuinely can’t help you there. If you don’t want to view him in a sympathetic light then nothing I say will change that. Mind you, I started out hating him, too. It took me a while to warm up to him. (cut for length)

Keep reading

This is really good !! I’m always a slut for nuanced understandings of complex characters 😍

^YES! I really enjoyed this response from @desanctii.

Perspective and context can allow us to view a character in a sympathetic light, but if you don’t want to do so, that’s fine, too. Both approaches are equal,  we all have our own interpretations of canon.





“Why do you say such things?”

I think
it’s my favorite scene in the movie, because it’s the one where – when you are
blank of later stories portrayal – you realize that Lestat is not this
one-dimensional villain. This scene is so symptomatic of his attitude:
first he’s all flame and rage, then he casts a bard, and
while fiercely smiling over his “victory”, he already regrets what he just said.
He does have a conscience, whatever kind of nasty or stupid things he can come up with, and he’s genuinely affected and
struggled by what he’s inflicting on his loved ones. He’s without any shadow of a doubt an unbearable brat, but also so much more than that. It’s not that this
dork has no affection for Louis and Claudia – he indubitably does – it’s just
than he doesn’t know how to hold a close/family relationship without being sometimes unfair and/or cruel.

Big shout
out for Kristen Dunst and Tom Cruise here, by the way. They are both amazing.

I always think the look on Lestat’s face here is him realizing is that he genuinely doesn’t have an answer for Claudia’s question. Even he doesn’t know why he acts the way he does. I think he sincerely does want them to be a happy family, and yet he’s continually the one getting in the way of that by treating Louis and Claudia does. Even here, he’s obviously touched and happy at the idea of making peace with Claudia – “We forgive each other, then?” – and yet he instinctively still twists the knife in with what he says to her. He’s making himself miserable almost as much as Louis and Claudia, but he can’t seem to just snap out of it and be a genuinely good father or partner. And deep down, I don’t think he even really understands why he’s doing it.

It’s a question for the audience to think about too, I think – why does he do it? I think when you know his backstory, you have to wonder if on some level he associates love with being hurt, and he’d rather be the one hurting others than getting hurt again. Or maybe he just literally has no idea how to have a healthy relationship or a healthy family, since the family he grew up with was horribly abusive and he hasn’t really had any positive relationships since then. (His mother and Nicki are the two possible exceptions to that, but they both came with some serious complications and ultimately dysfunction.) None of this excuses the way he acts in any way, of course – it just is interesting to think about how he became the way he is.


I’m sure we are all familiar with the scene where Lestat is speaking with Claudia and quips “I hope it’s a beautiful woman, with endowments you’ll never possess.” The line is often seen as Lestat being an absolute dick, and don’t get me wrong, he totally is here, but I think it also shows his fatherly side.

Maybe it’s just a case of my family being terrible (which I don’t think they are, usually at least), but things like that were said to me a lot growing up. That is, the “don’t grow up” part, not the “I have a murder victim in the next room” part. What I mean is that I think of this scene more in the sense of parents sensing their children are growing up, but they want to hold on to the illusion that the child is still young and in need of guidance and is completely reliant.

I think the line is really just one of Lestat’s many messed up ways of trying to say “I love you. Please don’t leave me.”


I know Louis kills indiscriminately and kills anyone who crosses his path. So if a lost child happens to cross his path or a bunch of punk preteens or teens would he kill them?

I had to think about this one for awhile, bc my immediate reaction was to defend Louis and say: “Oh no, our sweet bb Louis wouldn’t kill a child! Nor a preteen or teens! He may not choose guilty from innocent but surely a teen and under would be safe from him??!” 

But he’s NOT a sweet bb. He’s a vampire.


Louis killed Claudia, or attempted to do so. More on that in a bit. The only further explicit reference we have re: his killing methods in canon is in QOTD, when Akasha states that he kills “without regard for age or sex or will to live.“ and since she can read his mind and Louis does not correct her on that statement, I would assume that she’s pinned him accurately.**

(**Note 1: in the scene at the end of book!IWTV (which we still don’t know if it actually happened or not, bc unreliable narrators), Louis takes a baby that a young vampire brings to feed to Lestat, and returns it to its home: “I returned to the small house from which the vampire had taken the child, and left it there in its crib.” So maybe BABIES are safe from Louis!)

(**Note 2: Louis accepts the offer of taking a bite of Denis, Armand’s mortal preteen/teen pet at the Theatre des Vampires, not knowing if Armand intended him to kill this offering or not, but in the book, Louis takes it without any resistance and Armand takes Denis back before Louis can finish him BC HE MIGHT HAVE.)


TL;DR #1: Yes, I do think Louis would kill a lost child/preteen/teen, and I think that the circumstances of such a choice could be worth exploring in fiction. 

TL;DR #2: I think it would be unlikely for Louis, on his own, to kill one member of a group of ppl of any age, for the practical difficulty of killing one of them w/o the others noticing and causing a scene. I think this would make his kill more difficult than necessary, as Louis kills perfunctorily, only exerting the amount of time and effort required to satisfy the need:

“I would let the first hours of the evening accumulate in quiet, as hunger accumulated in me, till the drive grew almost too strong, so that I might give myself to it all the more completely, blindly.

“…I lingered only a short while, long enough to take what I must have, soothed in my great melancholy that the town gave me an endless train of magnificent strangers. 

“For that was it. I fed on strangers. I drew only close enough to see the pulsing beauty, the unique expression, the new and passionate voice, then killed before those feelings of revulsion could be aroused in me, that fear, that sorrow.” (IWTV)

^If his killing style had changed since then, I think he would have mentioned it to Daniel during the interview.

It also begs the question whether he would kill the elderly, people with disabilities (mental, physical, etc.), and other types of people whose defenses are lowered to some degree, and I think “indiscriminate” applies to all of those categories. Yes to all, Louis kills indiscriminately.


TL;DR #3: Claudia is a child Louis kills (well, attempts to kill) in canon, and her similarity to Anne Rice’s daughter (who died at the age Claudia was turned) was very likely the reason for Anne writing IWTV in the first place. Through the characters in IWTV, I think Anne asked the questions to get the answers to exorcise her demons regarding that loss. Fiction is a safe ground from which we can examine and lance the pain we have experienced in real life and release it, and in sharing the story, we might give others a catharsis, too. I think this novel’s rich exploration of these difficult issues is part of what has made it so beloved by her readers, we can relate deeply with her story in our own ways and feel a catharsis from her explorations. 

There are parents who outlive their children bc of these early-childhood diseases (and other reasons) and they have to find a way to go on living, and even trying to be happy again. I’m sure Anne will always experience pain from this loss, but through fiction, she may have been able to achieve enough closure to go on living her life.

I think Anne’s answer for herself at the end of writing IWTV was, “Neither you nor your daughter, nor anyone else, were being punished. Michele was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Hit the jump for more, cut for length.

1. “So if a lost child happens to cross his path would he kill them?”

A) I think that Louis feels like he, personally, shouldn’t judge who should die, and that therefore ppl who cross his path of any age are fair game. Louis was very Savage Garden about it before he was aware of the concept. In the Savage Garden, tigers can’t really be held responsible for killing the young, infirm, or elderly of their prey. Vampires are not human, even though they were once human, and some seem very human still… some of them hold themselves to human laws and morality about killing, but some of them do not. 

B) If a child is lost at night without a parent or guardian, if the child was as abandoned as Claudia was, I think Louis would probably still kill them. It could be considered a case of the child being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

After all, it would fall under the Savage Garden concept, they’re at risk of more than just being Louis’ dinner. Louis is just another risk out there, maybe scarier because you might be able to reason with him where you can’t with, for example, a virus or a tiger.

C) is for CLAUDIA: While it’s true that Claudia didn’t exactly “cross his path,”

Louis was drawn to her cries and she was a lost child, abandoned by her parents. Her father had left, her mother was dead, and she was defenseless. Claudia might have already been sick with the plague, or might have died from starvation. 

One could argue that Louis killing her was more merciful than the slow death she might have suffered if no one had found her ;A; There are situations where death is more preferable to suffering. We don’t know whether she could have been saved from death if brought to the hospital in time; even a hospital and the best medical care is not a guarantee that a life will be saved.

Louis was filled with guilt and shame when Lestat found him with Claudia, and I do think that Lestat turned Claudia to take that guilt from Louis. At that time, this was Louis’ first human kill in years, and Louis might have committed suicide for the guilt of having killed an innocent child if Lestat hadn’t “given her another life.”

2) So if a bunch of punk preteens or teens

happen to cross his path

would he kill them?

As far as “a bunch of punk preteens or teens,” Louis still would not judge them, even though society tends to think less of “punks” for disrupting the peace, vandalizing property, or otherwise purposely causing trouble. So I don’t think they would be targets for Louis specifically because of their “punk” label.

Louis would

probably not be interested in a group of any type or age (even a group of violent middle-aged bikers would be safe!); as it would be difficult to kill one of them in the presence of the others without creating trouble. He goes for people who are out on their own. I don’t think he’d want to go to the effort of coercing one away from the pack.

It’s not canon but I would think Louis can share kills with other vampires now, and he would be able to do so more stealthily with another vampire or two with him, if they wanted to take down more than one victim together, any age.

3) Re: Claudia being Michele Rice: I think that Louis’ attempted killing of Claudia is the major impetus behind IWTV being written in the first place. Anne Rice lost her own daughter at the age Claudia is turned, and Anne was going through the pain of that loss, asking why it happened to her daughter. Had Anne been an irresponsible mother? Was it God’s punishment for Anne (and/or her family) failing to be a devout enough Christian? Was her daughter being punished for some crime?

Was it Satan?? Was it a case of a bad thing happening to a good person? 

To my mind, IWTV’s real cornerstone, on which the rest of the story was built around, Anne Rice created muses through which she could ask these questions and try to get the answers.

Anne said she modeled Louis after herself, but he also represented Death. Anne wanted these answers:

  • Why did Claudia die?! Bc Louis killed her.
  • Who’s this Louis monster and why did he have to kill her?! Well, he’s a vampire, that’s what they do.
  • Ok… But why did Louis have to kill an innocent child specifically? Bc he was a vampire who had been sustaining himself on animal blood for years. and he was in a state of malnutrition and extreme desperation, and this child was nearby and defenseless. She had done nothing wrong.
  • Also, Louis felt terrible for this, even though he admits to Daniel that the act itself (as all blood drinking is to vampires) was pleasurable. Louis does not bring it up to Claudia herself until she began to rebel and demand answers. 

So I think Louis battling with his religious upbringing, whether he was from the Devil, and having so much guilt about killing all victims (especially Claudia!) was a release for Anne, bc she could empathize with the entity she created who killed her child.

If the murderer himself felt guilt over it, that may have helped Anne achieve some measure of peace.