Sep 01


beautymasen said: Question of the day: What do you consider to be Carlisle's flaws?

The thing with Carlisle is that he’s way older than the others, so in terms of self-improvement he’s made more progress.  He’s not perfect, but he has had 350 years to work on himself and his flaws.

I think in his early days he was more preachy and judgmental, I think he kind of honestly thought vampires would be thrilled to find out they didn’t have to kill people after all and was kind of shocked/horrified when they all didn’t rejoice at his ‘good news.’ I think he’s learned to just sort of show the way by example rather than try to evangelize the vampire world. But although he doesn’t say so out loud and he tries not to think ill of them, I think there is some judgement there.  ”How can you kill people? How can you not see that it’s WRONG?” 

Which is another thing: he is absolutely 100% convinced that he is right about this. He will not be swayed from this path. Not by his vampire friends, not by the Volturi, not by Edward, not by anyone. If the Cullens all took a vote and decided they wanted to hunt humans or drink blood from the hospital, Carlisle would still refuse. If they find out an animal-blood diet can only sustain you for 500 years and in another 150 Carlisle starts wasting away and dying, he’s still not going to do it. And I think this is his inheritance from his father: this stubborn adherence to a particular belief. Thankfully Carlisle’s focusing that zealotry in a much more positive way than his father did and he doesn’t violently impose his beliefs on others. 

I think he can retreat into himself when he’s upset rather than reach out to others. He loves to help other people with their problems (witness the 2719312 times Edward is all “I have to talk to Carlisle about that” or runs to him for advice/guidance/comfort) but he doesn’t want help with is own problems. I think it drives Esme nuts sometimes that when something is bothering Carlisle he just says “I’m fine” and heads to his study to be alone for awhile as he tries to sort it out on his own. And he demands more from himself than he does from others.  He can forgive the other Cullens their mistakes, but I don’t think he could ever have forgiven himself had he slipped up. 

Obviously has a bit of a God complex but again, I think he’s learned to temper that. Rosalie was a harsh lesson. Edward worked out well, Esme worked out even better, so of course he was thinking he was on the right track with this ‘saving people from death via vampirism’ thing, and then the whole Rosalie thing blows up in his face and he has to look at himself and realize he had kind of let it go to his head thinking he knew what would be best for these people and oh God what have I done?  So he swears he’ll never do it again, that it’s not his place to play God, and then Rosalie shows up with this big random dying guy none of them know from Adam (he could be an escaped murderer for all they know) and demands that Carlisle save him. And he caves, because he feels he owes it to Rosalie, and it works out great for everyone, but he doesn’t change people anymore. I’m sure there have been times since 1935 that he has been tempted, but he looked at himself and looked at Rosalie and won’t do it anymore.  There’s a certain pride/arrogance that comes with thinking you are meant to save the world, but he indulges that tendency in a healthy way via his doctoring. 

There’s a widely-held idea in fandom that he plays favorites with Edward, but I don’t know that we can say that with any certainty given the bias of Bella’s (and Edward’s in MS) narration. Bella’s focus is always Edward, so she sees how Carlisle and Esme interact with Edward but not necessarily what is going on with Carlisle and the other ‘kids.’ There’s also the fact that Edward demands more attention and focus in this part of his life because he’s going through a lot with all this Bella drama, so we can’t really say if this ”favoritism” for Edward is normal for the Cullens or a result of the extraordinary circumstances. I tend to think there probably is a little favoritism there—Edward has been with Carlisle the longest—but not the exaggerated ‘omg anything for Edward/Edward is always right!” way that is often portrayed in fanfic.  Carlisle’s not totally blind to Edward’s flaws and the whole leaving in NM wasn’t just “it’s what Edward wants” but also because Carlisle kind of agrees that vampirism is a less-than-ideal existence and Bella deserved a chance at a human life. Carlisle left Columbus after meeting Esme for the first time, after all. 

Aug 31


A Twilight AU where Bella and Edward don’t exist, and it’s just the other Cullens.

I’d read it in a heartbeat. 

actionfollowsbelief said: How do you feel about Bella describing Carlisle as tired-looking and in NM, Edward as having dark circles under his eyes if they don't sleep, it's not like they're "sleep deprived"?

That always seemed a bit strange to me, like they are supposed to be ~perfectly beautiful~ but they look tired all the time?  It’s my understanding that the dark circles get darker the longer they go without blood, but that they’re always present to some degree or another. It’s hard for me to make a good picture in my head of like: “okay, pale white skin, with dark purple bruise-like shadows under the golden colored eyes… and yet super beautiful.” I mean people don’t generally think someone with a black eye or deep purple shadows under their eyes looks like the paragon of beauty. 

I think someone (Nikki Reed?) mentioned that in early make-up tests for the first movie they tried to do the dark shadows/tired-looking effect but they couldn’t do it without them all looking *terrible.* They couldn’t make it look even remotely attractive, so they ditched it. 

But yeah, since they don’t sleep it’s not like they can ever actually be physically tired. It’s related to the blood intake instead, but I guess the “tired” look helps them blend in.  Probably works in Carlisle’s favor anyway, being an emergency room doctor with erratic hours. 

h0neyb1rd said: What are the worst ways you've seen each of the Cullens portrayed in fanfic??

Carlisle and Esme spanking the kids. Like, no, never in a million years. Aside from the fact that their ‘children’ are all married adults and C/Es don’t have the parental authority to ground them let alone spank them, Carlisle *hates violence.” If he were in a position to discipline the kids, it wouldn’t be with spankings. He’d take away their shiny black Cullen credit cards. 

Whenever Carlisle is portrayed as like, a sleazy lawyer, or ruthless businessman, Mafia boss, or some rich snob who is forcing Edward to marry Tanya because reasons in any AH/AU fanfic. I don’t know who that character is, but it sure as hell ain’t Carlisle. 

Esme being so crazy and filled with maternal longing that she literally babies the kids, like makes them wear diapers and feeds them out of a bottle. I have seen this in more than one fic.

When Rosalie is just mean for no reason at all.  Like when she just goes around and spreads vicious lies about Edward or Bella, or actively tries to break them up.  She was *never* like that in the books or movies. She had her issues with Edward/Bella but she has REASONS for them and she was never all that mean to Bella when you go back and look for examples of her being mean. “What is she to me?” is pretty much the worst thing she says, and that was literally the first day the family officially met Bella.  By the end of New Moon (the second book!) she’s apologizing for her behavior.

Emmett the complete and utter moron.  He’s not a nerd or especially booksmart, but he’s not dumb. I think it was his idea to get witnesses in BD, and while I have some issues with that whole scenario, it worked so good for him.  It’s annoying in fanfic when he’s written like he’s stupid, when all vampires are by nature of the transformation very smart. 

Alice who literally has nothing going on in her brain except shopping, makeovers, and parties. Admittedly SM herself started to go overboard wtih this in Eclipse/BD, but Alice is also creative and musical (helps Edward with his composing of Bella’s lullaby in MS) and speaks several languages. 

Jasper the delicate little flower who cries all the time and is an emotional wreck and needs Mommy Esme to comfort him constantly. 

bellamariemasen said: I'm not sure if you've been asked something like this but do you that Rosalie, Jasper or the other Cullens (including Edward, excluding bella) give their life up to save Renesmee in a life or death situation? Would Rosalie who is pretty much living to be with Emmett give her life to save her niece? Would Jasper, who is essentially bound to do anything for Alice give his? What are your thoughts about the other cullens doing so and having to leave their soulmates?

I guess so?  I’d say pretty much all of them would do it, given how we’re told in BD that Nessie has them all wrapped around her finger (we don’t actually see much actual evidence of this other than the time they’re all watching her toss Esme’s silverware around, though), but I’d go further and say pretty much any of them would risk/give their life for anyone in the family.  I think Carlisle would do it in a heartbeat because he would honestly believe that he would be with Esme again someday in Heaven/the afterlife.  He’d hate to hurt Esme but he routinely chooses the “right” course of action over the “safe” one. The exception might be Jasper because he’s just not as connected to the rest of the family; he likes them well enough, but is mostly there because that’s where Alice wanted to be, and Alice is his world.  

Although that’s kind of the major issue I have this this “all vampires go mad with revenge and/or suicidal if their mate dies” thing because then it’s like, if say Carlisle sacrifices himself to save Renesmee or Alice or whoever, then he’s basically risking Esme’s life along with his own, because she won’t be able to live without him. Bella flat-out said in BD that if Edward died in the battle she would be close behind him, that she couldn’t live without him, so killing Edward basically kills Bella too—two for the price of one. Or like in the New Moon movie where Bella is like “kill me instead!” … but Edward already tried to kill himself when he just *thought* Bella was dead. .. the the Volturi kill Bella in Edward’s place, Edward’s just going to want to kill himself, right? So her sacrifice wouldn’t have really accomplished anything? 

So, yeah, I don’ t know.  SM’s love for “i literally cannot live without you” romances makes the self-sacrifice thing tough, because if it’s true it means the ‘hero’ who sacrifices himself or herself is basically also killing their significant other.


karaloves12 said: Aro likes to collect the rare and unusual. Do you think it's just vampires? Or would he (after pulling the knowledge out of Edward's head) want to collect the only known female shapeshifter in history? How do you think he would go about trying to collect Leah Clearwater into his guard?

I think he’d be interested, certainly, but I don’t know that he would find it worth the effort at this time. Edward’s experienced the pack mind so Aro would experience it through Edward’s memories and so I think Aro kind of gets how tightly the wolves are bound together and how much they hate vampires.  She’d be a fine addition to his collection though, and more useful than Renesmee.  I mean Renesmee is rare and special but she’s weaker than full vampires and her power has no use in battle. But Leah not only the only female shapeshifter but also the fastest. She is capable of killing vampires, what a prize! Wouldn’t it be marvelous if she were on Aro’s side! A lovely guard dog, and the rarest of breed! 

I suppose he could try to manipulate her, “oh I see how you feel like an outcast with your pack brothers, how they mistreat you. .. if you came with me you would be one of my most precious dear ones, and you would not have to think about Sam and Emily anymore… ” but I don’t think it would ever work. Leah’s very sure of herself, that kind of emotional ploy only works on the weak, and I don’t think Chelsea would be able to break Leah’s bonds to Seth and Sue and the other people she loves. 

molly-miranda said: Let's say that has passed 50 years in the twilight universe. How do you think things are now? What are the cullens doing, and how are they relating between themselves? Do you think that bella finaly is a oficial cullen and bond with everybody? And do you think that edward is still soo happy? And the others?

I don’t think the “perfect piece of forever” happiness can last forever, no.  I think after the shiny newness of Bella and Renesmee wear off, things will sort of go back to ‘normal’ in the Cullen family. Nessie’s going to be fully grown in only 7 years, so that’s only 7 years of entertainment for the Cullens. They will go about their usual routines (assuming the Volturi hasn’t come back to kill them): Carlisle working at a hospital, the kids going to high school or college, Esme restoring houses. Lather, rinse, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat… 

in 50 years Bella might finally get what they were saying about being stuck. I think she’s always going to be happier about it than most of the other Cullens (she got everything she wanted—none of the others did) but that level of perfect bliss is not sustainable for eternity, and eventually even happiness will get monotonous. 

I like to think Nessie and Jake live separately from the family and have their own lives, but who knows. Nessie gets to grow up—she gets to complete her development and become an adult hybrid (whatever that means).  I think she’d want her own life away from her parents. 

Bella’s probably more integrated into the family—not just Edward’s wife but has relationships with other characters.  Still close to Alice, maybe closer to Esme? I don’t think she and Rosalie will ever be besties. Likewise I think Jasper was only hanging around for her happy emotional climate, so once that fizzles he’ll be less interested.  Emmett’s not going to find her as funny now that she’s a vampire and doesn’t trip and fall and blush.  In 50 years Charlie will most likely be dead but it’s still probably too soon for Bella to really think of Carlisle and Esme as her ‘parents.’ I’m not sure she ever will, honestly, because again, she married in to the family, she wasn’t ‘adopted’ like the others.  She considers them her in-laws.  They consider her their daughter-in-law. It’s a different dynamic.  Not better or worse, just different.

So basically?  More of the same for the Cullens, but now with Bella. I don’t think she’s going to end up changing their routine too much in all honesty. Edward’s just got a partner now. Other than that, same old same old. That’s the reality of eternity. Fabulous adventures are few and far between, that’s why Emmett was so on board with all the drama and danger Edward’s romance with Bella brought—at least it was something to *do!*  

jasongracefanclub said: I think an interesting difference between canon and a lot of pack fics is that SM did a fairly decent job of not being racist when it came to the pack, and some of the fics are like "all the native americans are adopted and spanked by the cullens and become civilized" and i'm like wth do some of the fic writers think was up. They have families and lives. smh. I really like your blog and your perspective on the saga, and the fic links you post. keep up the good work.

Thanks! Glad you enjoy the blog. I agree with you on smeyer; people tend to blast the series for being anti-modern and regressive, but Twilight is the only mainstream big Hollywood project I can think of that features Native Americans (or American Indian) in a modern setting. And it’s not a western! And they wear t shirts and jeans like your average American teen! It’s very unusual. I think we forget that these are people who still exist and aren’t trapped in time. Granted I think Smeyer could have made them a lot more interesting, but that wasn’t her point in her story.

and WORD on some of this creepy/weird fanfic.