Edward Cullen (born Edward Anthony Masen) was born on June 20, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois, and is frozen in his 17-year-old body. While dying of the Spanish influenza, he was changed into a vampire by Dr. Carlisle Cullen after Edward’s mother, Elizabeth, begged him to save Edward as her dying wish. Edward only drinks animal blood and has the special ability to read minds, with the exception of Bella Swan’s. He falls in love with Bella soon after she arrives in Forks. Edward knows that he could kill Bella easily, a fact that torments him so much that, in the book New Moon, he decides to leave Forks with his family so they won’t be able to hurt her. He returns, however, because he realizes he cannot live without her. Edward marries Bella in Breaking Dawn and they have a child, Renesmee.
Carlisle Cullen (also known as Stregone Benefice) is Esme’s husband and Edward, Rosalie, Emmett, Alice, and Jasper’s adoptive father. His first appearance was in Twilight and his physical age is 23. Carlisle is described to look like a model; he has blond hair, and is slender but muscular. Carlisle theorizes that when a human is turned into a vampire, they will have an enhanced ability from their previous life. He believes he brought compassion from his human life. Carlisle has had centuries to perfect his medicinal talents, therefore making him an excellent doctor. Unlike most vampires, he is not at all tempted by the scent of human blood, due to the over 300 years he has spent holding back his temptations. Carlisle Cullen was the son of an Anglican pastor, born in 1640s London, England, during a time of religious upheaval. His father and other pastors hunted creatures such as witches, werewolves, and vampires, often mistaking humans for them. As his father grew older, Carlisle assumed his role. One night, he was attacked by a vampire and left to die on the streets. Knowing he would be rejected by society, he hid himself and silently endured the painful transformation, emerging as a vampire. Horrified by what he had become, he tried killing himself many different ways, but all failed due to his power. One night, unable to endure hunger any longer, he fed on some passing deer. Subsequently realizing he could avoid feeding on humans, he committed himself to resisting his blood lust and to becoming a doctor.
For a short time, Carlisle lived with the Volturi, though he eventually left and traveled to the New World. While treating patients with the Spanish Influenza, he met an ill woman who begged him to save her dying son, Edward. Out of loneliness, Carlisle transformed Edward into a vampire, and Edward became his companion. Soon after, in 1921, Carlisle moved to Wisconsin where he treated Esme after her failed suicide attempt brought on by her infant son’s death. Carlisle felt compelled to save her and transformed her into a vampire, subsequently falling in love with her, and later marrying her. Carlisle then transformed Rosalie Hale, a young woman nearly killed by her drunken fiancé and his friends in Rochester, New York, and left in the street to die. Later, while hunting, Rosalie found a young man named Emmett who had been mauled by a bear, and carried him over 100 miles to Carlisle. Carlisle then transformed Emmett, since Rosalie was unwilling to do it herself, fearing her blood lust would overwhelm her. After Carlisle changed Emmett, Carlisle and his family moved to Hoquiam, Washington where the Quileute Native American tribe offered the Cullens a treaty: the Quileutes would leave them alone if the Cullen family never attacked any humans or trespassed on Quileute land. The Cullens agreed and lived in relative peace until they had to move on. Between the Cullens’ first and second stay in Forks, Alice and Jasper joined his coven as well, having found Carlisle on their own. Throughout the Twilight saga, Carlisle works as a doctor, acting as the coven leader and offering medical advice and help when Bella is pregnant in Breaking Dawn.
Esme Cullen (born Esme Platt and later Esme Evenson) is Carlisle Cullen’s wife and the adoptive mother of Edward, Rosalie, Emmett, Alice, and Jasper. She enjoys restoring old houses and her physical age is 26. She has no special power, but has a strong ability to love passionately. Esme is described as having caramel-colored hair; she also has a heart-shaped face with dimples, and her figure is slender, but rounded and soft. Esme was born in 1895 in Columbus, Ohio, where she was treated at the age of 16 by Carlisle after breaking her leg when climbing a tree. She married Charles Evenson, but was abused by him. After finding out she was pregnant, she ran away and gave birth to a son, who subsequently died a few days later. Grief-stricken by his death, Esme attempted to kill herself by jumping off a cliff. Presumed dead, she was brought to a morgue. Carlisle, who remembered treating her years before, was able to sense her heartbeat and transformed her into a vampire. Esme fell in love and married Carlisle soon after. She loves her adoptive children as much as she did her own son, but still grieves that she is unable to bear children.
Esme is present throughout the entire Twilight series, revealing her past to Bella during the Cullens’ baseball game in Twilight. Esme treats Bella as her own daughter, comforting her after several traumatic events. In Breaking Dawn, it is revealed that Esme owns a South American island named “Isle Esme” that was purchased for her by Carlisle, and where Edward and Bella spend their honeymoon.
Alice Cullen (born Mary Alice Brandon) is the adopted daughter of Carlisle and Esme, adoptive sister of Edward, Rosalie, and Emmett, and wife of Jasper. Alice is described as being petite and pixie-like, with a graceful gait and hair that is short, spiky, and black. Her special ability is to see the future, an enhanced version of her ability to have premonitions as a human. However, her ability is limited; she is only able to see the outcome of a decision once it is made. Due to this, decisions made in the spur of the moment can not be foreseen. Alice can see futures involving humans and vampires, but is unable to see those of werewolves or half-breeds, such as Renesmee. In Breaking Dawn, Alice theorizes that she can see vampires very clearly because she is one, can see humans somewhat less clearly because she was one, and cannot see werewolves or half-breeds because she never was one. Alice is portrayed as being bubbly and optimistic, and loves and cares for Bella like a sister. She is also close to her brother Edward, and enjoys shopping, make-overs, and throwing parties. Alice’s early history is vague, as she remembers nothing about her human life and woke up alone as a vampire. It is eventually revealed that she was born around 1901 in Biloxi, Mississippi, and was committed to an asylum because she had premonitions. Alice was transformed by an old vampire who worked at the asylum to protect her from James, a tracker vampire who was hunting her. After some research, Alice found her grave and discovered that the date on her tombstone matches the date of her admission to the asylum. Through her research she additionally discovered that she had a younger sister named Cynthia, and that Cynthia’s daughter, Alice’s niece, is still alive in Biloxi.
Throughout Twilight, Alice uses her ability to see the future and help Bella when she is in danger. The two soon become friends, loving each other like sisters. In New Moon, Alice foresees Bella jumping off a cliff and assumes she is trying to commit suicide, though Bella actually was partaking in the sport of cliff diving. Rosalie, believing Bella to be dead, informs Edward. After discovering the truth, Bella accompanies Alice to Italy to prevent Edward from killing himself. They are successful, but are taken to see the Volturi, who police the vampire world. Through Alice’s premonitions, Aro is able to see that Bella will eventually become a vampire and invites her, Alice, and Edward to stay with them. They all refuse and return to Forks. In Eclipse, Alice, who proves to be an adept fighter, joins the fight to destroy a group of rampaging newborn vampires, created by Victoria in an effort to take revenge on Edward. Alice acts as Bella’s maid of honor at her wedding in Breaking Dawn and helps care for Renesmee until leaving to search out a crossbreed after the Volturi plan to destroy Renesmee, believing her to be an immortal child. Alice is successful and the Volturi, convinced there is no threat, leave.
Jasper Hale (born Jasper Whitlock) is the adopted son of Carlisle and Esme, adoptive brother of Edward, Emmett, and Rosalie, and husband of Alice – he takes the name Hale to pass as Rosalie’s sibling. He was born in Texas and joined the Confederate States Army in 1861 to serve in the Civil War. Due to his extremely charismatic personality, he ascended through the ranks quickly. Jasper was turned into a vampire in 1863 by a vampire named Maria when he was 20 years old. As a vampire, he gained the ability to manipulate the emotions of those around him. Recognizing his high rank in the army, Maria decided to change him into a vampire to help her claim territory in Monterrey. Jasper’s responsibility was to train young vampires and then kill them when they were no longer useful (about a year after their transformation- when their strength began to fade). After about a century of this, he grew weary of the lifestyle and joined an old friend, Peter, and his mate Charlotte. Jasper left the two eventually, not wanting to feed on humans because he could feel his prey’s emotions as they died. Alice, foreseeing that they would be together, met him in a half-empty diner in Philadelphia, and together they sought out the Cullen family. Due to his past, where he was able to feed on humans whenever he chose, Jasper lacks strong self-control. However, in Eclipse it is suggested that the “vegetarian” lifestyle is not Jasper’s first choice and that this also affects his self-control. He is described as tall with honey blond hair, and is muscular but lean. His body is covered with crescent-shaped scars, after the many years of fighting and training newborn vampires.
In Twilight, Jasper accompanies Alice and Bella when they are hiding from James. He uses his ability to calm Bella when she is stressed or afraid. In New Moon, he attacks Bella after she gets a paper cut, prompting the Cullen family to leave Forks to protect Bella. In Eclipse, Jasper teaches the werewolves and vampires fighting techniques to defend themselves against newborn vampires. In Breaking Dawn, Jasper leaves with Alice to find a vampire-human hybrid, and returns with her to defend Renesmee from the Volturi.
Rosalie Hale is the adopted daughter of Esme and Carlisle, adoptive sister of Edward, Alice, and Jasper, and wife of Emmett. Her physical age is 18, and she was born in 1915 in Rochester, New York, as the daughter of a banker. Rosalie is described as being the most beautiful person in the world, even for a vampire; she is tall, statuesque, and has long, wavy blonde hair. As a human, Rosalie was described as a woman who had beauty, elegance, class, and eyes resembling violets. Royce King II took an interest in her and soon the two became engaged. Rosalie was extremely envious of her good friend Vera and her baby boy and, while on a visit, noticed that she did not share the same relationship with Royce as Vera did with her husband. Dismissing it, Rosalie later walked home and met an intoxicated Royce and his friends. Royce bragged about his fiancée’s beauty, leading to her being beaten, presumably raped, and left to die. Carlisle, coming across her, decided to change her into a vampire. After her transformation, she tortured and killed those who had beaten her, including Royce, but did not drink their blood.
When Rosalie first appears in Twilight she is mean to Bella, jealous of her humanity, and not wanting Bella to choose a life as a vampire. Rosalie is vain, self-centered, and wishes to be human and have children, so much so that she would give up her immortality and beauty for it. In New Moon, she mistakenly reports to Edward that Bella is dead after she supposedly commits suicide, though Bella was actually just partaking in the sport of cliff-diving. Edward thus proceeds to travel to Italy, desiring to have the Volturi kill him. In Eclipse, Rosalie reveals her past to Bella with the hopes that she will choose to stay human. She also joins the fight against a group of savage newborn vampires. In Breaking Dawn, Bella contacts Rosalie after finding out she is pregnant, knowing that Rosalie has always wanted children. She stays by Bella’s side throughout the pregnancy, defending her choice to keep the baby. Rosalie acts as a guardian to the child, Renesmee, taking care of her while Bella is going through her transformation into a vampire. When the Volturi plot to destroy Renesmee, Rosalie helps gather vampire nomads to provide evidence that Renesmee isn’t a danger.
Emmett Cullen (born Emmett McCarty) is Rosalie’s husband, Carlisle and Esme’s adopted son, and Edward, Alice, and Jasper’s adoptive brother. Emmett is described as being tall, burly, extremely muscular, and, to most humans, the most intimidating of his adoptive siblings. He has slightly curly dark hair and dimpled cheeks.
Emmett was 20 and living in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in 1935 when he was mauled by a bear. The injuries from the attack were severe and he was found by Rosalie, who had been hunting in the area at the time. Rosalie, who was reminded of her friend’s baby having the same curls, dimples, and innocent appearance, carried him over a hundred miles to Appalachia where Carlisle Cullen was, asking him to spare Emmett’s life by turning him into a vampire. Emmett joined Carlisle’s coven, but initially had trouble adjusting to the family’s diet of animal blood. In Twilight, Emmett is at first wary of Bella, but eventually warms up to her. He often teases her for her clumsiness and constant blushing, and votes in favor of her becoming a vampire in New Moon. In Breaking Dawn Emmett jokingly makes innuendos about Bella’s sex life, until being silenced when she defeats him in an arm wrestling match.
Renesmee “Nessie” Carlie Cullen is the half-vampire, half-human daughter of Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, born on September 10, three days before Bella’s nineteenth birthday in Breaking Dawn. Her name is derived from the amalgamation of the names of Bella’s mother, Renée, and Edward’s adoptive mother, Esme. Her middle name, Carlie, is a portmanteau of the names Carlisle, Edward’s adoptive father, and Charlie, Bella’s father. She has the same facial features and hair color as Edward, but has her grandfather, Charlie Swan’s, curly hair, and brown eyes like Bella. Bella and Jacob describe her as being the most beautiful person in the world, even though she is so young. Her heart pumps blood, giving her a blush, and her pale skin glows in the sunlight. Her skin is warm and soft to the touch, but it is as strong as a vampire’s. Renesmee can survive on either blood or human food, though she prefers blood, and she does not produce venom. Her special abilities are transmitting thoughts to others by touching their skin and penetrating shields, the opposite abilities of each of her parents. Renesmee rapidly grows both mentally and physically, able to speak only seven days after her birth, and by the end of Breaking Dawn she can read, run, hunt, and perform other tasks at advanced levels for her young age. Her intelligence stuns everyone – Bella and Edward especially – as she is able to understand what is happening around her when the Volturi arrive. Jacob Black nicknames her “Nessie” because he considers her full name to be a mouthful, though Bella strongly dislikes her child being nicknamed “after the Loch Ness Monster”. However, by the book’s end, all the characters adopt this shortened version. She will reach physical maturity after about seven years, when her physical appearance will be around seventeen, and then stop aging.
After Jacob Black imprints on Renesmee, Irina, a vampire from another coven, sees Renesmee and believes she is an “immortal child”, a young child who had been bitten by a vampire. She informs the Volturi, as immortal children are not permitted to live, due to their unpredictable nature. Intent on killing Renesmee and all the Cullens, the Volturi travel to Forks. However, the Cullen family members gather witnesses from around the world to testify that they have seen her mature and grow, and so she is therefore not an immortal child. Alice brings another half-breed, 150-year-old Nahuel, who explains that half-breeds pose no danger to the vampires. Convinced that Renesmee is not a threat, the Volturi leave, and Renesmee and her family are left in peace.
The vampire coven known as the Volturi live in Volterra, Italy. They are regarded as “royalty” by other vampires because they have lived for well over three thousand years and act as police, enforcing the rule that vampires’ existence remain a secret from humans. They often send emissaries or enforcers from Volterra to prevent overzealous covens and renegade vampires from exposing their kind. They are guarded by several powerful vampires who have been recruited for their powers and skills. Carlisle once stayed with the coven as a guest, but left due to his desire to avoid harming humans and established his own coven in the United States. At the end of New Moon, the Volturi discover that Bella, a human, has learned that vampires exist and demand that she become a vampire or else be killed. In Breaking Dawn, the vampire Irina goes to the Volturi and warns them that the Cullens have created an immortal child after seeing Edward and Bella’s daughter, Renesmee, hunting close to the Cullens’ house. The Volturi coven travel to Forks to destroy Renesmee, but leave when they are outfaced by the group gathered there.
The Volturi leaders include Aro, who can read every thought a person has ever had once he has made physical contact, Marcus, who senses relationships, and Caius, who has no known power. Aro’s wife, Sulpicia, Caius’ wife, Athenodora, and formerly Marcus’ wife, Didyme, who had the power to make others happy, also act as leaders.The Volturi guard consists of 32 members, including Jane, who creates illusions of pain; Alec, who is able to block the others’ senses; Demetri, who can track anyone once he has the tenor of their mind; Chelsea, who can change emotional bondings; and Renata, who can make anyone feel distracted and wandering when they are near her (classified as a “shield”). The majority of the Volturi remain nameless throughout the series. There is also a human secretary named Gianna who appears in New Moon. Despite her hopes to become a vampire, she is killed by the Volturi by the events of Breaking Dawn. The Volturi have invited Carlisle, Edward, Alice, Kate, Benjamin, Zafrina, and Bella to join them, though all have refused.
The major antagonist of the novel Twilight, James is depicted as a merciless “tracker” vampire who hunts human beings or, in some cases, animals, for sport. Fellow coven member Laurent says that James is unusually gifted at what he does and always gets what he wants, though it is later revealed that a then-human Alice Cullen escaped his clutches some time ago by being turned into a vampire before James could attack. Unlike the Cullen family, he drinks human blood as his food source. Towards the end of Twilight, James is dismembered and set on fire (thus permanently destroyed) by Cullen brothers Emmett and Jasper after he lures Bella to an empty ballet studio and nearly kills her. The shimmery scar left by his venomous bite still remains on Bella’s hand as a symbol of his unsuccessful attempt on her life. James is described as having light brown hair and being quite unremarkable and average-looking.
A red-haired, cat-like vampire, Victoria is originally a member of James’ coven. She plays a small role in the first book assisting James, her lover and coven leader, in hunting Bella Swan. After James is killed, she decides to exact revenge on Edward Cullen by plotting to kill his partner, Bella. However, Bella is sufficiently protected from her wrath by the Quileute shape-shifting wolves. Months later in Eclipse, Victoria creates an army of bloodthirsty newborn vampires in Seattle to rise up against the combined forces of the werewolves and Cullen family. During this battle, both she and her new fighting partner, Riley, are destroyed by Edward and the young wolf Seth Clearwater. Her supernatural talent is self-preservation.
LaurentA dark-haired, olive-toned vampire, Laurent is a member of James’ coven in Twilight. When James and Victoria choose to track and murder Bella, Laurent leaves them and travels to Denali, Alaska, hoping to find solace among a coven of “vegetarian” vampires. However, he never adopts their strict diet of drinking animal blood, and “cheats” by occasionally feeding on humans. During this stay he takes a special liking to a vampire named Irina, though the infatuation is not strong enough to keep him there, as he later returns to Forks in New Moon as a favor to Victoria. During this visit, he stumbles across Bella and tries to kill her, before being ambushed by the Quileute wolves and subsequently destroyed.
As a vampire, Riley is tall and muscular with bright red eyes and blond hair. Victoria bites and changes Riley when he is approximately Bella’s age in Eclipse. Once Riley ages and gains some control, he helps to lead Victoria’s army of newborn vampires. He performs his work faithfully because of his love for Victoria, which she pretends to return. However, in a battle between the army of newborns and the Cullens at the end of Eclipse, Edward voices Riley’s concern that Victoria has been lying to him. Edward first tries to convince Riley to stop fighting, but finally kills him with the help of Seth Clearwater.
Zafrina, Senna, and Kachiri are members of the Amazonian coven. Zafrina’s special ability is to create illusions; however, they do not affect Bella or anyone who is under her protective shield. She builds a strong relationship with Renesmee Cullen, who is said to have liked Zafrina and her “pretty pictures”. Zafrina has Bella promise to bring Renesmee to visit her in the future.
Peter, his mate Charlotte, Mary, and Randall are American nomads. Peter is Jasper’s good friend, and helped Jasper escape his previous life as a general of newborn vampires. Though he feeds on human blood, he does not agree with the execution of newborns after they have outlived their usefulness. In the past, Jasper lived with Peter and Charlotte, but chose to leave because of his ability to sense his human prey’s emotions.
Eleazar and his mate Carmen, sisters Tanya, Irina (deceased), and Kate, and later Kate’s mate Garrett are members of the Denali coven. Like the Cullens, the Denali coven practices a diet of drinking animal instead of human blood. They are on good terms with the Cullens, though the relationship is stressed during Eclipse when they refuse to fight Victoria and her army. Tanya is their leader and is described as having strawberry blonde hair, and once expressed an interest in Edward Cullen, though he turned her down. Carmen speaks fluent Spanish and was the first to listen to and not fear Renesmee for being a half-breed. Eleazar, a former member of the Volturi guard, speaks fluent Spanish as well and has the ability to vaguely identify the gifts of other vampires. Garrett is a tall, rangy vampire with ruby eyes and long sandy hair that he keeps tied back. He is an adventurer, and alludes to being an American Patriot. He joins the Denali coven in Breaking Dawn and becomes Kate’s mate. Kate is described as beautiful and blonde. Her special ability is the production of an electric current over her skin that can shock and incapacitate attackers. She assists Bella in learning to use her new ability to mentally shield those around her.
Sasha, Vasilii, and Irina were former members of the Denali coven. Sasha, who created Tanya, Kate, Irina, and Vasilii, was executed by the Volturi for creating an immortal child, Vasilii. Vampire law prohibits creating an immortal child, as they are unpredictable and have no self-control. For this reason, both Sasha and Vasilii were destroyed. Laurent was Irina’s mate, and she holds a grudge against the Quileute wolves for destroying him. She arrives to make peace with the Cullens in Breaking Dawn, but before speaking with them, she sees Renesmee and mistakenly assumes she is an immortal child. Irina reports the Cullens to the Volturi. After determining that Renesmee is not an immortal child, the Volturi destroy Irina for her mistake.
Tia, Amun, Benjamin, and Kebi are members of the Egyptian coven. Amun, the mate of Kebi, is shown to be very unhappy to stand witness for the Cullens in Breaking Dawn. Benjamin, the mate of Tia, has a high awareness of what is right and wrong. His special ability is to control the elements of nature, air, earth, fire, and water. Benjamin’s ability is unique in that it involves physical manipulation, as opposed to illusions of the mind.
Alistair, Charles, and Makenna are European nomads. Alistair is good friends with Carlisle, though he does not visit him often. His special ability is tracking. When he is called to be a witness for the Cullens, he leaves before he has a chance to do so out of fear of the Volturi. Charles is the mate of Makenna, and his special ability is to sense if a statement is true.
Siobhan, Liam, and Maggie are members of the Irish coven. Liam, the mate of Siobhan, is very protective of Siobhan and Maggie. Siobhan’s suspected special ability is to alter the course of a situation through willpower. Maggie, a redhead, has the ability to sense if someone is lying. They were called upon to witness for the Cullen clan in face of the Volturi in Breaking Dawn.
Vladimir and Stefan used to rule along with other Romanian vampires about 1500 years ago. The Volturi overthrew them, however, and destroyed their castle. After the rebellion, it became apparent that Vladimir and Stefan were the only survivors of their coven. They hold a grudge against the Volturi, and are willing to do anything for revenge.