Edward Cullen’s Devastating ‘New Moon’ Decision Came a Lot Sooner Than ‘Twilight’ Fans Realized, Detailed in ‘Midnight Sun’

Midnight Sun came out in August and it shed a lot of light on Twilight. But unfortunately, Stephenie Meyer isn’t going to write the rest of the books from Edward Cullen’s point of view, even though New Moon is probably the best book to do it from since he’s gone for most of it. 

But even though fans won’t get that story, Midnight Sun revealed something really devastating about Edward’s actions in the second book: he’s already planning on leaving Bella at the end of Twilight

Edward is set on leaving Bella in Phoenix after James attacks her

Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) during prom in 'Twilight.'
Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) during prom in ‘Twilight’ | Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate

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It’s common knowledge now that Edward leaves Bella in New Moon. In both the movie and book, he sets it up as if he’s outgrown, Bella. That he realizes they don’t belong together. Of course, that was a lie; he sacrificed their happiness to give Bella a chance at a normal life. He was still desperately in love with her the whole time he was gone.  

But what Midnight Sun revealed was, as Bella recovered in the hospital from James’ attack on her, Edward decided he’d leave eventually. Edward lied to Bella in Twilight, even though she sensed he was trying to say goodbye. He slipped up a little and hinted at him leaving, but then retracted it, even though Bella felt uneasy about this. Even though she could sense something was up, Edward’s outward assurance made her relax. However, he was set on his choice. 

While on the Remember Twilight? Podcast, Meyer said that parts of that hospital conversation were frustrating because Edward does slip up a bit.

“There were a couple things that bothered me when I was writing,” Meyer said. “Particularly the scene in the hospital. Not because he’s lying to her to keep her feeling secure. But the times that he doesn’t.”

Meyer said that Edward usually would have had a better facade and not let Bella see his intention to leave. Because this riles her up. But then Meyer realized he was “emotionally distraught” and therefore making mistakes.

She also said Edward “knows he should be doing a better job” so that he doesn’t slow her recovery by upsetting her. But he can’t help his screw-ups.

And Edward already knows what it’s going to do to Bella

Another aspect of his decision that hit fans in the gut is the fact that Edward knows exactly how his leaving is going to affect Bella. Her walking zombie routine in New Moon, her refusal to socialize, and being completely devastated; Edward saw all of this happen in Alice’s vision when he decided he’d leave. 

“I thought it would be unrealistic and also unfair,” Meyer said, referring to if Edward didn’t know. “If he could just imagine [Bella] would be fine, like a normal breakup. That she would eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. And watch an empowering female movie and that she would move on. That would be making it too easy for him.”

Edward has to “know the stakes” of his eventual choice in order to really add onto his tough decision. Meyer called it a “fair way,” something that haunts him for his honestly terrible and sad choice. 

Edward does something devastating with Bella’s lemonade cap

One final nail in the coffin that Meyer wrote to torment fans is the lemonade cap. The first time that Bella and Edward have lunch together, Bella’s drinking lemonade and Edward keeps the cap. He doesn’t tell her, but it’s a little memento he keeps from this first meeting, to remind himself of her. A little token. 

The hosts of the podcast noted that they, like a ton of fans, held some comfort in imagining that Edward had the cap throughout New Moon as the two were separated. Meyer released several chapters after Midnight Sun was leaked in 2008, so fans have been holding onto that hope for over a decade. However, that was not the case.


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At the end of Midnight Sun, Edward forces himself to watch the video James took as he tortured Bella. At the end of it, when Edward realizes his existence in Bella’s life is too dangerous, he destroys the camera and the lemonade cap. So when he leaves her, he really has nothing left.

Edward Cullen really should have realized earlier on that a relationship goes both ways; he can’t just make a group decision when Bella would be affected too. Sure, you could argue that Edward did it to protect her, but he also invalidated the strength of her feelings for him by leaving. It’s basically a mess. And now knowing he was preparing to leave since the end of Twilight is a real bummer.