Edward Cullen and Bella Swan dance at prom outside under twinkle lights in "Twilight"

Your Complete Guide to The Entire ‘Twilight’ Saga

From someone who was there when It all happened

Like many others, I have gone through a Certified Twilight Girl™ phase. I was in the perfect spot, age-wise, to fall headfirst into the world of sparkly vampires and what in my early teenagehood I thought was the most captivating love story.

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I have since then recognized its many faults—from the terrible way author Stephenie Meyer chose to include and represent actual Native American people, to the myriad of red flags that are waving at every corner of Bella and Edward’s relationship. But I can’t deny that the four main novels of the saga and their five movie adaptations have definitely left their … imprint on me.

In case you aren’t exactly familiar with what has to be one of the most infamous staples in the vampire genre, here’s your complete guide to The Twilight Saga to get you ready for your next marathon. 

Twilight (2008)

The one that started it all. The first Twilight movie, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, is immediately recognizable by its distinct blue-and-green filter. It follows Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) romance from the beginning, through all the beats of their early 2000s supernatural romance.

Seventeen-year-old Bella Swan moves from Phoenix to the rainy small town of Forks, where she meets the fascinating yet incredibly distant Edward. Edward will very soon reveal himself to be a vampire, just like his whole family, and the two begin a tormented relationship. He agonizes over his monstrous nature and she would like nothing more than to become a vampire herself to be with him forever.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

The second installment, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, was directed by Chris Weitz. If Twilight was all blue and green toned, then New Moon’s palette is distinctively brown and orange—to mark the proper introduction of the third part of this love triangle. Edward decides that living in his world is too dangerous for Bella and he straight up leaves her, disappearing from her life completely.

A distraught Bella then rekindles her childhood friendship with Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) a member of the local Quileute tribe, who helps her get over Edward’s absence. Of course, Jacob is also head over heels in love with Bella, but everything gets even more complicated when she realizes that he’s a werewolf.

New Moon also introduces us to the so-called rulers of the vampire world, the Volturi. Edward pleads with them to end his life once he believes Bella has died because of course he does.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is the David Slade-directed third installment of the saga. It focuses heavily on the whole “Bella wants Edward to turn her into a vampire so that she can be with him forever and he agonizes over her soul and his monstrosity” thing. This time with a marriage twist—meaning that Edward promises that he will indeed turn Bella if she agrees to marry him.

Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard), one of the rogue vampires who tried to kill Bella in the first film is after her again. The Cullens form a shaky alliance with the werewolves to fight Victoria and her army of newborn vampires—which means that of course, the love triangle situation gets even more complicated.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011)

In peak 2010s fashion, the last installment of the saga was split into two parts, both directed by Bill Condon. The first half, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, opens with Edward and Bella’s wedding—after which the two immediately leave for their honeymoon on a private island that The Cullens own. 

There, Bella realizes she’s pregnant. Her half-human half-vampire pregnancy then completely takes over the rest of the movie, with The Cullens split on those who support it and those who see the very clear harm it’s doing to Bella. Jacob also separates from his pack—they want to kill Bella and her unborn child.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012)

The very final piece of The Twilight Saga opens with vampire newborn Bella who learns the new shapes and skills of her now immortal body. In The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, We also discover that Jacob imprinted on the newborn Renesmee, meaning that the love triangle is solved in one of the ickiest ways Stephenie Meyer could have possibly chosen.

Of course, the newfound serenity of the Cullen clan—all immortal now, and with a terribly CGI-faced toddler to look after—can’t last for long. The Volturi have concocted up an excuse to come and destroy them, and the family has to gather allies to try and stop them.

(featured image: Summit Entertainment)

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Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.