'86 Rabbit

A FANGirl's Forkstress of Solitude

On Vampire Lore

I read a lot online about how Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight sucks because it goes against vampire canon. I have to wonder how much the people who say this actually know about vampire lore. I’ve read lots of books and seen lots of movies. Just how many, I have no idea. Vampires have been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. I’ve never liked the ugly, pure evil, demonic, Nosferatu types. Yep, it’s a demon. Clearly we’re not letting that one in. Stake it if you can. A little too straight forward and blunt for me. I’m not a fan of horror for horror’s sake. For me it’s always been about the sexy ones. That’s where the true terror is. Demons who are good-looking, to whom you might be attracted, with whom you might be friends, who might just kill you, now that’s scary to me. It gives me more to think about. There just tends to be more story there.

Already we are talking about two very different types of vampires. How can canon reconcile this? To understand this I think you have to understand a bit about the history of vampire lore.

In the beginning, vampires were generally undead, walking corpses bent on stealing your life force, usually blood. Most cultures have some form of vampire legend. According to Wikipedia the term vampire did not become popular until the early 18th Century though. At that time there was an increase in vampire superstition in Western Europe from places in Eastern Europe where vampire legends were frequent, such as The Balkans.

Different traditions say different things. The vampire might be a soul not at rest who rises from the grave to cause mischief. It might be a person who made a pact with a sorcerer or witch, trading their soul for immortality or some such thing. It might also be the sorcerer or witch him- or herself. This is what people really thought back in the day. It is largely thought that because graves weren’t marked incredibly well that when bodies were exposed, either through the digging of the new grave or by animals digging, people thought they were seeing vampires who had left their graves. During decomposition hair and nails appear to grow. It’s really just the skin receding, but it gives the appearance of growth, giving anyone not educated in these matters thoughts of the ‘living dead’. Furthermore, gases bloating the body and fluids escaping through the mouth give the impression of the belly being full, having feasted on flesh or blood. Worse yet, the death shroud, being exposed to these fluids, would have been eaten by microbes first, giving the appearance that the corpse itself ate the shroud.

Pretty gruesome stuff, huh? At least it makes sense how we got the whole image of vampires as ugly demons. What about the sexy vampire though? Where does that come from?

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July 13, 2009 Posted by | Essays, Stephenie Meyer, Twilight, Twilighters | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

New Moon Casting Video

This is the first updated casting video for New Moon that I’ve found. Enjoy, I’m sure there will be more to follow.

(Thanks Johanne6699 for the vid)

April 18, 2009 Posted by | Actors, Bella Swan, Kristen Stewart, New Moon, Robert Pattinson, Twi-Media, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Closeted Unicorn?

I accused OMB of secretly reading Twilight last night. He of course admits nothing. Here’s what happened. You decide.

Last night we went to see Monsters vs Aliens (In 3-D! So fun!). When we got home the following exchange occurred.

OMB: Oh I forgot to tell you. When I went to get our Cokes the guy’s name tag said Jasper H.

Me: (staring dumbfounded, thinking, “Kudos to him for recognizing the name Jasper, but too bad it didn’t say Jasper C,” then, “Wait, H is perfect! Wait! How did he know that?!?) I don’t think that’s his real name.

OMB: I don’t think the theater would let them use ficticious names.

Me: (gathering my wits about me) You’re reading Twilight aren’t you!

OMB: No.

Me: Well then how…

OMB: …did I know that Jasper’s last name is Hale? They said it in the movie.

Me: They did? And you just happened to pick up the one time they may have mentioned it? I don’t think they mentioned it.

OMB: Well maybe I picked it up from one of the extras on the DVD.

Me: (questioning look) And you just picked it up from that?

OMB: I’m not reading Twilight.

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Essays, Twilight, Twilighters | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

WWED?

**Moved from original blog**
**Midnight Sun spoilers**

WWED?

That’s right; the theme of this post is What Would Edward Do?

Mom just finished New Moon. She liked it, but had a problem with Edward and the rest of the Cullens leaving Bella like that. Who didn’t have a problem with Edward being gone, was my response, but I quickly learned that wasn’t what she meant. She thought it was out of character for Edward to leave Bella when she was in such danger.

What do you think? I disagree. I believe he explains this, but maybe he doesn’t explain it until Eclipse. Maybe it’s in Midnight Sun. Maybe I’m just so obsessed that I’m in Edward’s head, and this is what I imagined him to have said. I could look it up, but I can’t be bothered to get off the couch at the moment. Feel free to post books and page numbers if you have the time to look them up for the next fan or two that might actually read this post.

I’ll get to the point. Edward always believed himself to be a danger to Bella. He never wanted to leave her, but always felt he should. The whole time he was with her he was rationalizing that while he was a threat to her, he was not the greatest threat to her. He would not leave her as long as there was a greater threat to her than himself. If you’ve read Midnight Sun, you know there were more threats out there than James and his coven. Jasper’s old friends, Peter and Charlotte, came to visit. They are not vegetarians. Even though Edward knows they never hunt in the area, he couldn’t avoid thinking how appealing Bella is, and how Peter and Charlotte are not abstaining. So, with them about to visit how could he leave Bella?

Then of course there was James and the gang. Clearly James is a bigger threat to Bella than Edward is, so he’s obviously not going to leave now. But once James was defeated, and Victoria and Laurent had evidently left the area, why would Edward stay?

Personally, not only would I love to see Midnight Sun published, I’d like New Moon to be written from Edward’s point of view (and then not leaked…and then published quickly). I would love to know exactly what happened there. Here’s how I think it went.

For the first time since they had met there wasn’t a threat looming on the horizon for Bella. I’m sure it tore him up that he wouldn’t be able to protect her from mortal threats, such as the guys in Port Angeles, but what Edward wanted more than anything was for Bella to live her life without supernatural threats. He hated himself for dragging her into his world and placing her in more danger than she should have ever been in. He didn’t plan on Bella ever becoming a vampire herself, so she would always be in danger around him and the Cullens. Not only could one of them slip, but as long as they were there, there would continue to be vampires showing up, either friends or curious nomads.

Bella’s 18th birthday showed Edward that as accident prone as Bella is, it was only a matter of time before her blood was spilled in front of them again. He would not always be able to save her, and I wouldn’t blame him if part of the decision was based on not wanting to always be on guard against his own family. With no threats looming, Edward and his family were now the biggest threat to Bella. That’s what Edward had been waiting for. It was now or never. And so they left Forks. Thank goodness Bella lost her mind and Edward came to his senses.

Now that being said, I can tell you what Edward would not do. I’m thinking now of the previews of the movie I’ve seen. Edward would not take accident prone Bella through the damp, slippery, moss-covered treetops and let her go to crawl around in the trees on her own. I know Ms. Meyer supposedly signed off on this, and I know the scenery is going to be great, but I also know I’m going to be very distracted by visions of Bella plummeting to her death. This is not half as disturbing as seeing Bella in her panties, kissing Edward. No, no, it’s not jealousy talking. I say good for her! I’m also saying that Edward simply would not allow this to happen. We’re talking Twilight here. That they couldn’t get physical is sort of a big thing in the books all the way up to Eclipse, where Edward says, quite clearly, “Bella will you please stop trying to take your clothes off.”

February 13, 2009 Posted by | Eclipse, Essays, Midnight Sun, New Moon, Stephenie Meyer, Twi-Media, Twilight | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Twilight Mistakes

**Moved from original blog**

’86 Rabbit on October 30, 2008 at 10:14 pm

After a discussion on MySpace with a friend I’ll just call Stalker for now, I decided to write about why the “mistakes” in The Twilight Saga might not have been mistakes.

First, I’d like to discuss Carlisle’s many supposed mistakes. I took the Which Male Twilight Character Are You quiz and tested as Carlisle, so I feel the need to defend this “”tard” as you called him. Carlisle is a brilliant fellow, but he’s been studying human medicine for centuries. He’s not a fighter. He doesn’t like spilling blood. More than that, he’s been trying to blend in. He can’t do anything flashy. I can imagine his focus has been to save as many people as possible without getting noticed. That’s probably how he ended up in Chicago during the Spanish Influenza outbreak. So many doctors, so little time. He could work without getting noticed. With the brainpower we now know vampires to have he could have been at the forefront of the research being done. He might have saved a lot more lives, but he would have had to have worked during the day, and he would have gotten caught. Carlisle is clearly a master of flying under the radar to have practiced for so long.

We have to remember that we’re reading a fantasy book, in which we expect realism along with the drama. There’s a fine line there. If Carlisle, or anyone else, had the perfect answers immediately there would be no drama, no tension. We have the answers because we have knowledge of foreshadowing, symbolism, and having read countless other books, seen countless other movies to show us the way. Do you notice the foreshadowing in your own life while it’s happening? If you call it symbolism, do you call it that before, during, or after the event? If we want any sort of realism in our fiction, we have to allow our characters the same degree of discovery in their lives as we have in our own. It will be boring if every challange is solved in 30 seconds. Furthermore there would have only been one Twilight book, two tops, and that would have been sad.

So what does my Stalker friend think Carlisle did wrong? Let me count the ways.

1. Carlisle should have taken some of Bella’s blood as a secret weapon during the battle with Victoria’s army. I disagree. Carlisle’s talents, as mentioned earlier, lie with healing and maintaining the Cullen family’s cover. If anyone should have come up with this idea it should have been Jasper, the only one with combat experience, both human and vampire; Edward, who quickly rejected Jasper’s unspoken idea to have bella present at the battle to distract the newborns with a potential tasty treat; or Bella herself, who knew she would pull a Third Wife at some point, but didn’t think to go to Carlisle and have him take a few viles of blood in case of emergency. I for one am glad that a no one thought of this. I don’t think the battle would have gone so well for our heroes if they, too, had been distracted by Bella’s blood. Their control might be much better than the newborns’ but it would still have been a powerful distraction. Bella planting her blood on the trail to the combat zone was a much better idea. The newborns arrived already distracted.

2. Carlisle should have fed Bella blood sooner. Sure, you and I figured that out, but the drama again lies in Carlisle’s training. Human women eat, the baby gets fed, and all is good. When human women has horrible, horrible morning sickness that lasts all day and all night and doesn’t let you eat, doctors give you IV fluids and work on your nutrition that way. Treat the mom, treat the baby. Centuries of experience told him this is what to do, hybrid baby or no, the mom is still human. If, after a half hour, Carlisle said, “AHA! Screw, my medical experience, my gut tells me that Bella needs to drink blood, and a lot of it, STAT!” I, frankly, would have been disappointed. There’s no drama there.

I had a good start on “Bella’s Paper Cut,” but my computer decided to freak out and I lost it. I’ll leave that for later. It’s bed time again.

February 13, 2009 Posted by | Breaking Dawn, Eclipse, Essays, Twi-Media | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why Rosalie Doesn’t Suck

**Moved from original blog**
**Breaking Dawn spoilers**

October 13, 2008 at 10:03 pm ’86 Rabbit
Why Rosalie Doesn’t Suck

Ok, so she’s not my favorite Cullen either, but she’s not a bad person. Honestly, the only person she’s unpleasant to is Bella, and that’s only in comparison to the other Cullens who all dote on Bella whenever possible.

Apparently Rosalie has never quite gotten over Edward not being attracted to her, despite having a great guy of her own in Emmett. Be honest, don’t you have even one petty thing that you’ve had a really hard time letting go of? Aren’t you flattered when guys notice you? Aren’t you even a little threatened by guys who are prettier than you? Ok, maybe it’s hard to admit. We’re raised to be modest, even self-deprecating. Look at is this way. Bella describes Rosalie as the most beautiful woman in the world. When even other people see you that way, is it really conceit to admit it to yourself? And then what if you are turned into a vampire and are that much more beautiful?

Now, what if that’s the only strength you were allowed to have? That’s what makes me feel for Rosalie. She was born in a time that wasn’t kind to women. To make matters worse her parents were social climbers who traded on their daughter’s beauty to bring them more wealth and prestige. So Rosalie learned to use her beauty and feminine wiles to get what she wants out of life. It’s really just another kind of power, really. We all use what power we have. It’s a shame her parents didn’t put any stock in any of her other gifts. She may have turned out a little more well-rounded.

Now, I know you love Edward and Jasper. I do too, but shall we compare their “records” to Rosalie’s? You know they haven’t been nearly as good at living Carlisle’s lifestyle as Rosalie has. Sure she’s killed 7 people, but not for food. She did that out of revenge for what they did to her. Not only did they violate her, but they left her for dead, and on top of that she was made a vampire against her will because of it. I think she’s earned the right to be a little crabby here. Have you never wondered what you’d do to someone who’d attacked you if you had the strength? Ok, ok, so revenge isn’t the only reason she’d kill. She was going to kill Bella, but that was to keep her family out of trouble, to protect the life they’d built.

Family is very important to Rosalie. She would have given up all that she had to be human and have a human family. Until that time, she has the Cullens and she would do anything to protect them. Cold and calculating, sure, but not a bad person to have on your side. She just doesn’t happen to be on Bella’s side most of the time.

Still, doesn’t she help Alice dress Bella, and do her hair and make-up? That’s pretty sisterly behavior. Sure, she once had a little snit and wouldn’t get Bella dressed in new clothes really fast so they could make their escape, but what sister doesn’t have the occasional snit about clothes-sharing? And you might ask yourself how you’d feel if your sister of 50 years or so suddenly preferred hanging out with a new girl who seemed intent on becoming the very thing you would give anything not to be. I think I might feel like I was being replaced, and resent it just a little. I think I’d do the best I could, for the sake of my family’s well-being, but I might have a snit now and then.

No matter what Rosalie may have done or may have wanted to do, all goes out the window as far as I’m concerned the moment she pitted herself against the rest of the family to help Bella save Renesmee. Any hard feelings I may have harbored are only due to my being “a Bella,” and if Bella can forgive her, so can I.

So there you have it:
1. The most beautiful woman in the world.
2. A “record” second only to Carlisle’s. The girl’s got some morals.
3. A fierce protector of family. She will kill for you or just do your hair in a pinch.
4. Oh yeah, and she’s the best mechanic in the family. There’s a story in there somewhere. Why would she ever think to get her hands dirty when she could get a boy to do it? This is not the behavior of a completely shallow girl.

There are worse things to be than “a Rosalie.” You could be a Lauren, or worse, a Jessica.

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February 11, 2009 Posted by | Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer, Twi-Media, Twilight | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Names of Twilight

I’m moving some stuff from my old blog to this new one. Here’s an old post and the comments to go with it.

**Spoilers ahoy**

Bella’s the narrator, usually, so let’s start with her. First I want to say, how could anyone have ever thought that she would not become a vampire? That she would not end up with Edward? Ok, so when Edward and Bella say their I Dos on page 49 of Breaking Dawn, I was momentarily concerned that Edward might not make it to the end of the book. I thought maybe they were getting their happiness in the beginning, and that later the dog might actually have his day. But I braced myself and read on hoping otherwise. I put my faith in the fact that there was more foreshadowing in favor of Edward and Bella’s happiness. I moved on to Bella getting her wish. So on page 354, when Edward shares yet more bodily fluid with Bella, I thought, “My god, it’s only halfway into the book. They’re married. She’s a vampire. Oh man, this could get ugly.” And it did, and maybe I’ll talk about that later. For now let’s talk about Isabella Swan.

Isabella is a form of Isabel, which is a form of Elizabeth. It means God Is My Oath, or Devoted To God. How many times does she describe Edward as a god? The short form, Bella, which she prefers to go by, is the Italian word for Beautiful. It’s interesting to note that while she didn’t consider herself beautiful, many others did, and that it was the Italian vampires, the Volturi, who set Bella on the path to realizing beauty in her own eyes when they mandated she be made a vampire or die. Also interesting to note is that historical figure Isabella of France married Edward II. Isabella is the White Queen featured on the cover of Breaking Dawn, and Edward is indeed Edward II, having been named after is father. Maybe I’ll write more on that later. Back to Bella.

Swan, if you’ve read The Ugly Duckling, tells you all you need to know about the Bella’s future. She considers herself plain and feels bad at times, as if she weren’t good enough to stand next to Edward. But she is a Swan. She will blossom. She will become. And much like the Ugly Duckling of Hans Christian Anderson, she will not be proud, for a good heart is never proud. She can truly appreciate her beauty.

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February 8, 2009 Posted by | Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer, Twi-Media, Twilight, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment