The Biggest Moment in the ‘Twilight’ Movie Is Also the Most Different From the Book, Which Might Have Been a Big Mistake

The first film in The Twilight Saga — aka the saga’s namesake, of course — started it all. It’s the most stylistic, the one that really took the most risks, and the one that sticks out for being the most distinctive in its filmmaking. Director Catherine Hardwicke was really working against a lot with that film because no one knew it would do well, it didn’t have a massive budget, and they were kind of just going with her vision. 

Nowadays, the blue hue and the wet, gloomy vibe of the movie is comforting to fans, but it was definitely something people ragged on back then. And one scene, in particular, was the center for a lot of hate as well. It’s also one that is much different from the novel.

The moment Bella Swan tells Edward Cullen she knows what he is is one of the biggest moments in the movie

Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) in the woods in 'Twilight'
Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) in the woods in ‘Twilight’ | Summit Entertainment LLC.

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The whole premise of Twilight is the fact that Edward Cullen is a vampire. The whole back cover has Bella Swan’s succinct thoughts on the subject: she knows and yet she doesn’t care. Because he won’t hurt her and she’s “unconditionally and irrevocably in love” with him.

So, understandably, this is a big moment and it would make sense that the film wanted to make it a visually climactic moment as well. It’s not in the book — we’ll get to that later — but this is probably one of the biggest moments in the film. And probably the most parodied.

After Bella finally finds out what “Cold Ones” was code for in the book she bought in Port Angeles, she makes Edward follow her into the woods behind their high school. There, they have a standoff without facing each other, and Bella (played by Kristen Stewart) says the now-iconic line of “I know what you are,” to which Edward (played by Robert Pattinson) replies with the well-known “Say it, out loud. Say it!”

It all ends in, “Vampire.” After, of course, the whole “You don’t eat or drink anything,” spiel too. It’s all so dramatic, which is also the fun of it. But, again, this is worlds away from how it happens in the novel.  

It’s so different in the book, and it actually does a disservice to Bella by not showcasing her brains 

When Bella tells Edward she knows he’s a vampire in Twilight, written by Stephenie Meyer, it happens in his silver Volvo on their way home from Port Angeles. Like in the movie, it’s after she goes to the town with Angela and Jessica while they shop for dresses, but it’s in the car after the Italian restaurant. 

She starts off the conversation talking about Edward’s mindreading, and this is a continuation of the conversation in the restaurant, where she also lets it slip that she figured out she’s the only one he can’t read. So not only did she notice he’s reading minds, but she’s also clocked he can’t read hers. This scene pinpoints just how smart Bella Swan is. 

And then it goes into vampires. They don’t even use the word a ton, and definitely not like they do in the movie. It’s not scandalous, and Bella doesn’t make it this big deal, because — again — to her, it isn’t. This annoys Edward, of course, but this is all just confusing to him as well. Like, why isn’t Bella running for the hills? 

This may have changed the biggest moment for the two characters in a negative way in the film 

Basically, the scene in the car is pretty intimate, but in a slow burn, quiet way. And there is so much character development and relationship development between the characters here, that its subtlety is what makes it what it is. All the more important. 

Edward realizes right then and there, also, that he’s in love with her, even though he doesn’t verbally say that out loud. It shows him how smart she truly is, which is added to her kindness and beauty that already attracts him to her. On Bella’s front, she also feels closer to Edward after this scene. She now shares this secret with him, he’s not hiding it anymore. She’s a bit relieved, too, to get that out of the way. 

It’s not this climactic event like in the movie, but it showcases her brains and their chemistry (which is better seen in Midnight Sun). Things like this and others taken out or not put into the movies are reasons why people make fun of it with “Still a better love story than Twilight.” Which, still isn’t all that funny as is, to be honest.

But, the core heart of these characters and their most loveable moments aren’t often on display in the films. Instead, they’re chosen over flashy moments, which don’t serve as great of a service as something like this would have in its place. 

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