The Twilight Saga – The Novels, the Films and the Hype

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The Twilight saga is a series that you’re either obsessed with or you’re a hater. I read many of the books when they weren’t popular and I found myself really enjoying them. For anybody who hasn’t read the books or seen the films, there are a couple of spoilers.

The books themselves, although I wouldn’t say spectacularly well-written, present a compelling story. Critics of the series are fond of saying that the Twilight series was unoriginal and boring, but in fact, Meyer’s success led to an eruption of vampire love story fiction, as every other publisher in the world knew that vampires were a hot trend. Not only that, but Meyer also inspired fan-fiction forums, most famously resulting in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.

I’ve seen all of the films and it seems they do their best to stay true to the books, encapsulating many intricate details. The cast also remain true to the book, Alice being the best example of this. Alice is described in the book as “pixielike” with “deep black hair” – Ashley Greene is the perfect fit. However, whereas the films focus solely on the Edward and Bella romance, the books take the time to develop the characters. Meyer portrays Bella Swan as independent, sarcastic and self-deprecating. This is far from Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of the character, as Stewart is known for her complete lack of expression. The lack of detail in the films about Edward and Bella’s courtship gives weight to this perception that Bella is nothing more than a selfish and annoying teenager. In the books, Bella is not only responsible and conscientious taking care of her father Charlie, she is also very aware of how ridiculous her situation is. When researching vampires, she acknowledges that her hunch is “pretty crazy stuff” and that her obsession with a boy she barely knew was “pathetic” and “unhealthy”.New Moon and Eclipse, in both the books and the films, aim to introduce the character of Jacob. A major difference between Jacob in the books and in the films is that the relationship between him and Bella never blossoms. I found myself torn whilst reading the books after witnessing the friendship and intimacy that develops in the films.

The problem with the Twilight films is something that was nothing to do with the films themselves; it is the audience they attracted. Nothing boils my blood more than hearing the argument of whether Harry Potter is better than Twilight; the two series’ are so different. However, I do think that the decision to split the final book over two films was a ridiculous excuse to drag them out. After Bella’s conversion and the birth of her sprog, there’s not a lot going on.  The final film seemed to focus solely on a battle that didn’t really take up much time in actual fact. All in all, for anybody reluctant to give the Twilight series a chance, I’d encourage you to let go of your prejudice.

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