- For other uses, see Twilight (disambiguation).
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|Country of Origin:||USA|
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Twilight is a series of four vampire-themed fantasy romance novels, two companion novels, and one novella by Stephenie Meyer focusing on the relationship between Bella Swan, a sixteen-year-old human girl, and Edward Cullen, a centenarian vampire who appears to be a teenager.
The book series gained five film adaptations named The Twilight Saga, with the first title being a milestone and the kick-off for several other YA adaptations in the 2010s.
Sixteen-year-old teenager Isabella Swan moves to the cloudy and rainy city of Forks after her mother remarries, going to live with her father Sheriff Charlie Swan. Reconnecting with her past, Bella, as she prefers to be called, approaches her childhood friend Jacob Black, a young Quileute Indian. Bella also comes across news like the mysterious and distance seventeen-year-old Edward with his strange adoptive family The Cullens. Bella then finds herself between two worlds, when she discovers certain truths about those around her. Vampires and Werewolves prove to be real and her life as a human is in jeopardy.
- Edward Cullen | Edythe Cullen genderbender counterpart
- Bella Swan | Beau Swan genderbender counterpart
- Jacob Black | Julie Black genderbender counterpart
- Charlie Swan
- Renée Dwyer née Higginbotham
- Carlisle Cullen | Carine Cullen genderbender counterpart
- Esme Cullen | Earnest Cullen genderbender counterpart
- Alice Cullen | Archie Cullen genderbender counterpart
- Jasper Hale | Jessamine Halle genderbender counterpart
- Rosalie Hale | Royal Hale genderbender counterpart
- Emmett Cullen | Eleanor Cullen genderbender counterpart
The Books and other media
Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined
In 2015, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the publication of the first Twilight novel, Stephenie Meyer released Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined: a rewritten version of Twilight with the gender roles reversed. Bella Swan was reborn as Beaufort "Beau" Swan, while Edward Cullen became Edythe Cullen.
Meyer stated that she wrote the book in order to address criticisms made of the original series that Bella Swan was portrayed as too weak and in need of constant rescuing, adding that:
I’ve always maintained that it would have made no difference if the human were male and the vampire female - it’s still the same story. Gender and species aside, Twilight has always been a story about the magic and obsession and frenzy of first love.
– Meyer for The Guardian 
Fan and critical reaction to the book was mixed, with Mashable's Aliza Weinberger writing that Life and Death "achieved something I never thought possible ... I was finally able to enjoy Twilight again." and Bustle's Emma Oulton writing that "The release of Life and Death has started a massive conversation about gender roles in our culture — and this kind of discussion can only ever be a good thing."
However, other publications slammed the rewrite, including Jezebel, in an article entitled Stephenie Meyer Is Not Your Friend and You Shouldn't Buy Her Dumb New Gender-Swapped Twilight. Many fans also expressed disappointment over the lack of new writing in the book (which was largely word-for-word the same as the original Twilight, with name, pronoun and minor wording changes) and commented that the gender swap made the novel lose a lot of what made the original romance work. As one reviewer wrote on Amazon.com, before completing the reading of the book:
First of all, like many of you, I loved the original series and have reread them several times. I was interested in this book, and I'm about a third of the way through - not sure I'm going to bother finishing. I've thought a bit about why this book isn't working for me. It's not the dialogue, the plot, the fact that I've read it before - it's just that I can't put myself into this story. Let me explain. I think a big part of the appeal of the Twilight series was a self-professed "ordinary" girl getting the gorgeous, unattainable guy who was totally into her and her alone - and having another gorgeous werewolf also in love with her. Since the readership of Twilight was predominantly female, the average reader was able to project herself onto the more or less blank canvas of Bella and put herself into the story as the ordinary girl who gets the extraordinary guy. Rob Pattinson and Taylor Lautner being cast as the two male leads didn't hurt, either.
Now we have a gorgeous female vampire in love with a totally ordinary guy and....yawn. Who needs more descriptions of gorgeous, perfect women? You can open up any fashion magazine or Hollywood tabloid and read about them. There is no way for the average Twilight reader to put herself into this story - especially since "Beau" is a totally unappealing character and "Edythe" is just making me picture Rob Pattinson in drag.I don't know why I'm so annoyed by this book - hey, we're not talking about a literary work like "Pride and Prejudice" here, but for the love of all that is holy (as Meyer herself likes to say), could we just have "Midnight Sun" finished before we are all too old to care about this series anymore?
– MizMoore review at Amazon 
Due to the prevalence of gender swapping as a fanfiction trope and the derivative nature of the new Twilight novel, many fans and commentators referred to Life and Death as Stephenie Meyer "writing fanfiction of her own novel". Others theorised that this may have been Stephenie Meyer taking aim at E.L. James, an author whose Twilight fanfiction, 'Master of the Universe', became the phenomenally successful novel Fifty Shades of Grey.
Regardless of conflicting opinions, Life and Death has been for many slash fans the chance to write more variations of male slash and femme slash based on the work, now that there were canon versions of the characters in genderbender versions. After the book's release, the number of new fanfics and fanartworks grew, showing that even seen as bad by some the new book was welcomed by the fandom.
In 2020, Meyer released “Midnight Sun”, another rewritten “Twilight”, this time written from Edward’s perspective instead of Bella’s. The book had been originally drafted in 2008, but Meyer had postponed publishing it indefinitely after a draft had been leaked online.  Briefly, Meyer put the leaked chapter up for free on her website so that "readers don't have to feel they have to make a sacrifice to stay honest." It was only after 12 years that she finished writing and published the novel in full.
Meyer describes it as a writing exercise that developed into a full project, and notes that she found being constrained to a prewritten script of events to be harder to write as the project continued, which contributed to the book’s delayed release.
At the very beginning, writing from Edward’s point of view was just a fun exercise. I was struck one day with how boring the experience of Bella’s first day of school was compared to what Edward’s experience had been. She’d just gone to a new school and seen a really pretty boy who wasn’t nice to her. Edward had his whole life destroyed and very nearly committed a mass murder. So I wrote that first chapter from his side, and yes, it was much more exciting. It was so thrilling to write, too! I put that chapter up on my website because I thought the readers would get a kick out of it. And because it was fun, I kept going with the project. (Fun is my primary motivation.) As the story progressed, though, it got harder and less fun. That really slowed me down. [...] It’s hard to describe how frustrating it is to write a very long book where you can’t create anything new, where everything is already scripted for you and you have no ability to go off that script. When I write, I’m fueled by creation. That’s what pulls me in and pushes me forward. And there wasn’t very much creation in this book. 
Twilight fandom is notable for having attracted many first time (and feral) fans. The outside perception, e.g. in the media — dichomite and often prejudiced —, is that its demographic consists solely of teen fangirls and middle aged women called by themselves and others as "Twimoms." However this is not the reality of fandom, with diverse fans of all types, ethnicities/races, genders and ages.
Due to this, such a term is seen by many twilighters as an insult to fandom, which is made up of a wide and diverse range of fans, who connected with the work in different degrees, whether through the film, through books, comics, fanworks or all the above alternatives.
The fandom was also highly harassed, largely because it was content primarily aimed almost exclusively at young women, — clearly a proof of how chauvinism and misogyny always extol the fan of the sex/male gender, but it radically punishes females, imposing that when fandom is aimed at men it is good, but that geared towards women he's insane and wrong.
Twilight has become quite popular around the world, having a large number of fans mainly in Brazil -- which, by the way, is an important part of the plot in some titles, since the Esme Island of the Bedward's honeymoon is close to Rio de Janeiro.
The fandom just after the last books and movies were released had its big hibernation period. But in 2018 the fandom resurged during the so-called Twilight Renaissance. The new twilighters differs from the aforementioned twifans in the fact that the majority of the returning fans had grown out of their strong behaviour.
While Twilight and its fans are the focus of a lot of mockery, thefourthvine talks about her happiness at seeing young women being openly and publicly fannish:
And, you guys, it was so awesome. Because I cannot remember the last time that I saw a lineup like that, of pretty much all fangirls, all young, all just - being fans, out there in public, like they had a total right to do it. Usually that is a privilege reserved for teenaged and twenty-something boys and sports fans! And they were so cute, all happy and waiting to see their own true love. (Which, admittedly, is not one I know much about; I know that Edward is a sparkly vampire, Bella is a clumsy mortal, and Jacob is a werewolf. I mean, Jacob doesn't even get an adjective, that's how little I know about Twilight.) And wearing their t-shirts proclaiming their allegiance to Jacob or Edward. (I guess there is no Team Bella? Or is that not how that works?) I kind of felt like I had found my people, even though there was no one wearing a t-shirt reading TEAM EDWARD DOES JACOB, which is, let's be honest, probably what my actual people would be wearing. 
Twilight: The Movie
Soon after its opening, the movie adaptation of Twilight was seen as a step forward for female fans and moviegoers, in terms of being recognized as a valuable, desirable demographic by TPTB.
The success of the Twilight film was seen as an astonishing breakthrough for a movie based on a book by a female author, with a female main character, aimed primarily at an audience of teenage girls, with a female director (Catherine Hardwicke) and screenwriter (Melissa Rosenberg).
"Teen girls rule the earth," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers. "If you look back at the 'Hannah Montana' movie, how well that did, and now this movie, the teen girl audience will never be ignored again or underestimated. It was always teen boys who were the coveted ones, but someone finally caught on to the idea that girls love movies, too, and if you create something that they're into, that they're passionate about, they will come out in big numbers and drive the box office." 
Although some fans were pleased by this, seeing it as a step forward,  others wished that this success could have been achieved by a movie where the female protagonist has goals besides making a guy fall in love with her. 
The Twilight series seems to have generated almost as much mockery or hate as it has enthusiasm.
In Brazil, ripping — a kind of sporking or MSTing, only deeper and more menacing — was widely used by antis as a way to mitigate content creation and fandom expansion. Many male fans were victims of chauvinism and homophobia - even those who were not LGBT - as some anti saw men who read such books as fa-word. And women fans of twilight in Brazil were widely viewed by antis as brainless children, dumb fanaticals, suffering all kinds of prejudice. The fandom in this country suffered a type of anti quite different from that of other regions, largely because the habit of reading is not so widespread, and by the massive wave of fans that filled bookstores and cinemas, as well as malls and parks for events and premieres, as well as the Harry Potter's fandom did, but almost exclusively by young people and women. This led to a significant shift in the way fannish was viewed in the country.
Some of the actors in the film have also expressed scepticism, over both the quality of the books, and the enthusiasm of their fans . One example was Robert Pattison who often tired of fan questions and general entertainment would give evasive or sarcastic answers about his performance in the movies.
Anti-Fandom LJ Communities
Controversy & Criticism
There is a split in fandom between those who follow the book and those who follow the film, as there are differences between both media and sometimes fans prefer to follow one strand over the other. There are also those who follow both or choose not to label themselves in either.
Because of this, there are slight disputes between them, which slightly antagonize. In addition to the "for the lulz" brand of anti-fandom, there has also been quite a bit of critical discussion by genuine fans of the books. For example, the LJ community twilight_ndnz was created as "a place for native fans -- urban or rez, full- or part-blood, Traditional or not -- to talk about what we like about Meyer's handling of her native characters, but also what we don't like." 
Also below are the criticisms of the content as a whole, such as the characterization and background of several characters taken as secondary of the Cullen family -- Jasper Hale, Rosalie Hale, Alice Cullen -- that have in their stories addressing topics of great discussion, but that are used only as a means of shaping the characters. Like Jasper being an ex-Confederate in the middle of the American Civil War, or the gang rape and objectification suffered by Rosalie and finally Alice, victim of an insane asylum that possibly used torture to keep its inmates in her first life as a human.
Some fans complain that the superficial use of such themes in the characters' plot without further elaboration is a problem since the author only uses them without thinking about the consequences. Especially after the Twilight Renaissance.
Racism and Sexism
When Catherine Hardwick decided to produce the film adaptation of Twilight, misogyny and sexism ran rampant around her, with budget cuts and lack of support because many saw productions created by women for a female audience as useless, so when the film became a hit and a sequel was confirmed, instead of rehiring her work, she and her team were let go in favor of an almost exclusively masculine team.
Years later, in interviews about what happened, Catherine confided that, in addition, the film was also a victim of possible racist attitudes by author Stephenie Meyer, who barred several of his proposals for the film, such as Alice Cullen being of Asian origin or a greater number of black actors, such as the casting of the actor to play Laurent.
According to Catherine, Meyer insisted on wanting exclusively white vampires, even though she had written in her POC books, such as the American Indians – Quileute – or the female vampire warriors that came from South America, indigenous to the Amazon rainforest, and of course the Arab characters who came from Egypt.
Several fans, upon learning of these allegations, began to look at the work with different eyes and also its author, with many corroborating Meyer's prejudiced bias.
The main canonical ship Edward/Bella is the most popular pairing in fandom as well, e.g. the LJ community Lion & Lamb has over 10,700 members as of November 2008 and over 17,800 as of June 2010. The Jacob/Bella pairing was also highly popular, and there is fan activity for a wide variety of pairings and characters, both major and minor, canonical and not. Some of the minor or rarer het pairings were Jacob/Leah, Paul/Bella, and Paul/Rebecca.
Fanfiction.net is a popular archive choice for twifans. In November 2008 there were over 45,600 stories archived.. By January 2010 there were over 125,000, making it the third largest fandom on the site (after Harry Potter and Naruto) . By June 2010 there were over 150,000 Twilight stories on ff.net. However there are a couple of archives using eFiction as well.
Twilight authors almost exclusively ignored Fanfiction.net's TOS regarding explicit, or MA rated fiction. Bouts of explicit stories reported and pulled from the website was often met with confusion and wank. Some authors began archiving their explicit fic on private websites, blogs, or livejournal, but a mass exodus never occurred.
Some twific authors archived on livejournal from the very beginning. These fans tended to be those who had experience in other fandoms prior to Twilight.
The majority of Twilight fanfiction is written in first person point of view, likely because the source is also first person. Many fics alternate the POV, changing character chapter by chapter or even scene by scene. Sometimes entire chapters or stories are rewritten in another characters POV.
In Twilight fandom, fan writers pulling their fanfiction off the Internet, lightly filing off the serial numbers and then making it available for sale to their fans through micropresses is apparently quite common, which can lead to antagonistic attitudes around sharing deleted fanworks:
"Twilight is almost completely feral--I think at one point we figured out that over 65% of the fandom has never even read in another fandom, much less written/participated in one. Very few members archive at A03, use livejournal, or know about the OTW. And consummate with that, people have created this entire genre of OOC fics that are not at all in the Twilight universe--basically, romance novels.
This genre has led to three epublishing micropresses to spring up for the purpose of republishing these fanworks with the names and locations changed. (Each of these presses is owned and operated by people from the fandom, with the biggest coming from our biggest archive.)
So what we've created in our neck of the woods are people using their fanwork to gain a huge audience, then removing the fanwork, filing it, publishing it, and sending cease and desist letters if the fanwork is shared. (The published works are then marketed back to the fandom via author profiles and banner ads on the archives.) Naturally, this created an angry backlash from readers--there's a google site now where nearly every popular fanfiction is saved in PDF. No one is confused about the purposes of that archive--it exists only to spite the authors and to essentially prevent them from taking their stories away.
[...] the CULTURE has become that fanwork is not created for any sort of archival purpose. Most popular fanfics in our fandom are removed from the internet within a few months of finishing. This has meant that readers save the fics as their default, and that they don't read stories in-progress because they're afraid they will be taken down. Because it hasn't become an issue of editing for publication or a chance of publication--if the fic is popular, it will be accepted, even recruited, by one of these micropresses--taking them down is the norm instead of having them available.
Plus, anyone who takes her fics down for personal reasons ends up publicly crucified, which, IMO is a direct result of those who've removed their stories in order to sell them back to the fandom. No one trusts anyone to be telling the truth any longer.
[...] The Twilight fandom, as far as I'm concerned, is locked in a spiral where pulling begets reposting which begets more pulling and that whole situation just leaves authors and readers at each other's throats with pitchforks."
Twilight fandom produces a variety of fanart. Traditional drawings in both realistic and comic/manga styles are popular, and the movie release added sources for photomanips and icons. Many Twilight artists archive their works on deviantART, and founded groups there.
Outside of deviantART the most visible form of fanart is photomanipulated banners that serve as cover art for fic. On some forums and blogs 'blinkies' (animated gifs) advertising fics and websites are popular. Many fans find blinkies annoying.
twificpics.com (domain no longer registered), run by ms. ambrosia, was a popular forum for photomanip artists until 2012 when many fans began drifting into other fandoms. The forum is now multi-fandom and located at ficpics.com.
In 2008, Twilight fans began forming musical groups inspired by The Twilight Saga and the wizard rock phenomenon of the Harry Potter fandom.
First-wave Twi-rockers included The Bella Cullen Project, Forks High School, Bella Rocks, The Twilight Music Girls, The Cullens, Twilight Empire, Mandala at Twilight, and Glitter and Vamp. Twi-rock artists performed at Twilight events like Twi-Con and Forks Prom. They also saw news coverage on MTV and attention from Twilight actor Kellan Lutz.
Twi-rock is seeing a small resurgence during the Twilight Renaissance.
Archives & Community
- My Own Twilight (now defunct)
- Twilight @ ff.net
- Twilight Archives (Fanfic and Fanart)
- Twilight Fan Fiction: exclusive archive
- Everglow (Edward/Bella Fanfic Archive)
- A World Beyond: Twilight AU fanfiction, invite only.
- Twilight fanworks @ AO3
- Twilight podfic @ Audiofic Archive
Much of the interaction among readers and writers of Twilight fanfiction occurred on Twitter, or forums such as Twilighted and A Different Forest. Contests were popular (usually run directly on fanfiction.net), also award websites, and rec blogs.
LiveJournal communities were plentiful, however many fans stuck to one or the other. Attitudes toward pairings, and AU or AH fic, differed greatly between those who hung out on LiveJournal and those who hung out on Twitter and posted on FFN. With the Twilight Renaissance, these activities now also take place in Tumblr and TikTok, more specifically in the latter with vids with dubbing, cosplaying or self-insert in movie scenes.
See also: List of Twilight Communities.
- The Twilighters Are Mad, And They're Not Going To Take Our Crap Anymore, Archived version, Hortense Smith (2009)
- That Girl: Bella, Buffy, and the FeministEthics of Choice in Twilight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Catherine Coker, for Slayage (2009?)
- Fanfiction: A Tale of Fandom and Morality by Has (March 2012)
- Fifty Shades of Grey: The Reddit Origins Essay (2014)
- Fifty Shades of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy - Less Wrong, Archived version (2014)
- Fan Phenomena: The Twilight Saga, edited by Laurena Aker (2016)
- Aujourd'hui, la fanfiction: nouveau mode d'expression littéraire, réinterprétation et exploration d'une sexualité alternative, a French academic paper by Marie Demers
- Twilight is a Psychological Thriller, Not a Love Story by Shanspeare (YouTube, 2020)
- Kelley Armstrong (2020-05-04). ""Thoughts on Twilight, in the wake of the Midnight Sun…". Twitter. Archived from the original on 2022-11-13.
- Kelley Armstrong (2020-05-04). ""Harry Potter primed the pump. It helped make supernatural fantasy more…". Twitter. Archived from the original on 2022-11-13.
- Kelley Armstrong (2020-05-04). ""Twilight made reading something that transcended "book worms."". Twitter. Archived from the original on 2022-11-13.
- Kelley Armstrong (2020-05-04). ""Twilight taught an entire generation of teens that reading could be fun, …". Twitter. Archived from the original on 2022-11-13.
- "Stephenie Meyer swaps genders of lovers in new Twilight novel Steph…". 2015-10-06. Archived from the original on 2022-03-29.
- "We read the gender-swapped 'Twilight' so you don't have to". 2015-10-08. Archived from the original on 2022-03-29.
- "6 Things The Gender-Swapped Twilight Book Teaches Us About Sexism". 2015-10-16. Archived from the original on 2022-03-29.
- "Stephenie Meyer Is Not Your Friend and You Shouldn't Buy Her Dumb New…". 2015-10-09. Archived from the original on 2015-10-09.
- "Meh". 2015-10-08. Archived from the original on 2022-03-29.
- "andrea (taylor's version) on Twitter: "So now Stephenie Meyer is w…". 2015-10-06. Archived from the original on 2022-03-29.
- "OFMD Stan Account on Twitter: "If you don't think this new Twilight b…". 2015-10-06. Archived from the original on 2022-03-29.
- Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight retelling Midnight Sun comes out after 12 years, The Guardian, published August 4, 2020 (Accessed March 18, 2021).
- Stephenie Meyer. Midnight Sun: Edward's Version of Twilight (Accessed 24 November 2008)
- Frequently asked questions: Midnight Sun, Stephanie Meyer (Accesses March 18, 2021)
- WE LOVE YOU, EDWARD (Accessed June 30, 2010)
- Associated Press article, 'Twilight' takes $70.6M bite out of box office Accessed November 23, 2008.
- Claudiagray, Teen girls rule the earth Posted November 23, 2008. Accessed November 23, 2008.
- Cleolinda's First Twilight Review
- Stoney321's review
- Cleolinda's gathered interviews
- twlight_ndnz community info, (Accessed 24 November 2008)
- Lion & Lamb Community Info (Accessed 24 November 2008)
- For a metafic parody account of shipwars and high-running passions in Twilight fandom, see Supernatural RPF/Twilight crossover slash crackfic Live Free or Twihard by poor_choices.
- Twilight category on ff.net (Accessed 24 November 2008)
- Twilight category on ff.net (Accessed 6 January 2010)
- From a comment by giselle_lx about fic-deletion practices in Twilight fandom, 18 Apr 2011. (Accessed 1 Jan 2012)
- British Erotica Series Catches Hollywood's Eye, Publishers Weekly.com, 9 Jan 2012. (Accessed 10 Jan 2012)
- More information and fans' reactions in Twilight Fanfiction "Master of the Universe" to become a movie thread at Fail-Fandomanon (Accessed 10 Jan 2012)
- Twilighters-Forever deviantART group (Accessed 24 November 2008)
- Twilight-fan-club deviantART group (Accessed 24 November 2008)
- LookingForAwesome. (2011). Twi-rock, the best kind of rock. YouTube video. (Accessed 27 October 2022).
- The Cullens. (2012). Lunar Crescent Part II. Album.
- The Cullens. (2009). Twilight. Album
- Twilight Empire. (2008). Music Inspired By Twilight. Album.
- Mandala at Twilight. (2010). The Soundtrack to Your Demise. Album. https://vampirerock.bandcamp.com/album/the-soundtrack-to-your-demise
- Dickerson, Paige. (2009, Jun 22). Bands offer tribute book through "Twi-Rock". Peninsula Daily News. (Accessed 22 Oct 2022).
- Martens, Todd. (2008, Nov 12). 'Twilight' countdown: Ready for Twi-rock? Meet the Twilight Girls. Los Angeles Times. (Accessed 22 Oct 2022).
- Carroll, Larry. (2008, Jul 8). 'Twilight' tribute band The Bella Cullen Project: From 'Sexy Vampire' to debut album. MTV News. (Accessed 22 Oct 2022).
- Vineyard, Jennifer. (2008, Oct 16). Kellan Lutz on the book rock of 'Twilight' and 'Harry Potter'. MTV News. (Accessed on 22 Oct 2022).