Edward Cullen Doesn’t Think of Bella Swan by Her Name in ‘Midnight Sun’ for a Reason

When Stephenie Meyer released Midnight Sun, it was something fans were waiting for since 2008. Now that Edward Cullen’s point of view throughout Twilight is available to fans, the well-known story took on a new light. Scenes changed, conversations had new meanings, and Edward’s opinions and thoughts on Bella Swan finally came to light. One of those things being how he refers to Bella in his mind. [Spoiler alert: Minor spoilers for Midnight Sun ahead].

Edward’s mind is specific in how he internally addresses people, and he calls Bella ‘the girl’ often

Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) in ‘Twilight.’
Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) in ‘Twilight’ | Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate

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From Bella’s perspective, she doesn’t know what Edward, or anyone, is thinking of her. You know, how most people go through life. But Edward has a different experience. He can read everyone’s thoughts, knows what everyone is going through at that moment, and, of course, knows their names. And when going through Midnight Sun, Edward mentions everyone by their full name. No matter how inconsequential they are. 

But when it comes to his family, he calls them just by their first names. And when it comes to Bella? He calls her “the girl” a lot. She’s the only character he really doesn’t use a name for other than “the girl.” While that might seem odd because she is so important to him, it’s actually due to that. 

“The reason why they have such specific names is because they don’t matter. Because Edward can’t get away with being like, ‘Some redhead who I don’t know,’” Meyer described on the Remember Twilight? Podcast. Her editor brought this issue up, and Meyer had to explain the reasoning behind it. “He knows so specifically everything that’s going on. And he knows these people — who he doesn’t care about at all — really, really well.”

Basically, as Meyer explained, a full name denotes “This person is incidental.” And then his family gets a higher recognition in his head.

“And then the girl who gets no name half the time is the whole point of his experience,” Meyer said. “So that’s kind of how that worked out. And then [my editor] left me alone.” 

If Edward were able to read Bella’s mind, it wouldn’t have changed his bloodthirst that first class

Don’t worry though; Edward becomes more enamored and endearing with his thoughts about Bella as time goes on. And he does use her name and other indicators as well, like “angel.” Because, of course, readers know that they fall in love. But in the beginning, that distinction is really interesting once you catch it. 

And even though he finds her beautiful and kind later on, in the beginning he was really just frustrated by his inability to read her mind. Then the biology class happens and he nearly kills her. When the hosts of the podcast ask whether the events of Twilight would have been different if he could read her mind, Meyer explained that her blood was too strong. Nothing would have changed that first class together.

“It’s such a short period of time between when he is intrigued with her because he can’t read her thoughts and frustrated by her. And then to the point where it doesn’t matter any more because of how she smells,” Meyer said. “It kind of just takes that away.”

Meyer said that he can read everyone’s mind, which is part of the reason why he doesn’t kill humans anyway. He already respects human life. So being able to read her mind wouldn’t have humanized her more for him; his bloodlust for Bella was too overpowering. 

“None of that would be anything because of the way she smells,” she said. “There’s nothing else that matters in that moment.” 

Having Edward’s perspective through ‘Twilight’ really deepens his and Bella’s chemistry

However, Midnight Sun does give fans more information on where Edward went when he fled the class. He spent a couple of weeks in Alaska to clear his head and think about how he could respond to this new girl with extremely potent blood. Even though he didn’t realize it then, he was already drawn to her, not just her blood, and he couldn’t stay away. 

And while it’s a retelling of Twilight, Edward’s perspective gives more depth to their relationship, even though everyone knows how it plays out. As the Remember Twilight? Podcast hosts mention, readers get to fall in love with Bella because that’s Edward’s experience. Their chemistry and conversations are more interesting, and it’s clearer how their feelings start to blossom for each other. 

If you’re a fan of Twilight, Midnight Sun is definitely a must-read to complete the full experience and see all sides. 

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