Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Tackling Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part Two

Bella is a newborn vampire.



But she's not a normal newborn. She has more control, more focus, more level emotion. She meets her Cullen family as a vampire (sans Renesmee, Rosalie, and Jake -- who, after imprinting, is basically part of this family now). Then Edward takes her hunting, which almost includes her killing a hiker, but her incredible restraint is really showcased as she turns back and tracks and drinks a cougar instead.




This opening part-two scene in the movie is pretty different than in the book, but the idea is still the same. The descriptions of thirst and the different scents and tastes of different types of blood really gets the reader into the vampire mind for the first time in this series. There's a lot of insight as to how vampire strength, speed, and senses work as opposed to human life now that our narrating main character is a vamp.


After hunting, Bella gets to meet her daughter, which is super sweet. Of course, she eventually has to know about the imprinting thing, which is the funniest thing ever.


Once that little tussle is over, the story mostly focuses on family bonding and Bella/Edward/Renesmee being adorable. There's still concerns -- now that Bella is a vampire, her relationship with Charlie changes, and that transition is a bit complicated by how Jacob handles it. And Renesmee's insane growth rate as a fetus has barely slowed down at all -- only a few months after her birth, she's physically at the level of a five or six year old, and mentally at the level of a well-educated, mature adult. She has a power, much like her father and her Aunt Alice, which involves "talking" to people by touching them and showing them specific memories or images from her mind to theirs.



Things get tense again when one of the Cullens' vampire "cousins," a woman from the other non-human-drinking coven, shows up to apologize for missing the wedding (in the book)/leaving the wedding on bad terms (in the movie). Except she doesn't actually talk to them, because she sees Renesmee, wolf Jacob, and Bella hanging out in a snowy field and leaves. Everyone assumes she's upset about them still fraternizing with werewolves, since she was in love with Laurent and the wolves killed him to protect Bella in New Moon. But when Alice sees a vision of the Volturi -- every last one of them -- coming to destroy the Cullens, everything changes.

They realize the vamp cousin mistook Renesmee for an Immortal Child, a child turned vampire before it is grown. These children are irresistibly beautiful and lovable, but they are still strong, thirsty vampires. Since they didn't grow up or mature, and since vampires are basically humans "frozen" at the point of their change, these children can't be controlled or taught. Their thirst rules them, and they don't follow the Volturi's laws of vampire life. Since they wreak mass destruction and risk exposing vampires to humans, they and their creators are destroyed. Creating Immortal Children is one of the worst things a vampire can do, and the Volturi are coming to kill the Cullens for doing it.

The family splits up to hunt down vampire friends all over the world and ask them to be witnesses to Renesmee's unique nature, so they can prove she's not an Immortal Child. Alice and Jasper leave with no explanation, making the whole family wonder what else Alice saw. More and more vampires come to stay with the Cullens, and the various vampire cultures and powers displayed in both the movie and the book at this point are spectacular. Benjamin, a young Egyptian vampire with control over the elements, is my favorite.



Eventually, the group's intention merely to witness and speak to Aro shifts to fighting back if necessary. To that aim, the vampires with powers begin practicing and training together. This is when, because one of the vamp friends has the power to tell what other vamps' powers are, they discover Bella is a Shield. She has the power to protect herself from other vamp powers, as long as those powers are centered in the mind (like Edward's mind-reading) rather than in physical uses (like Benjamin's element-control). One of the vegetarian vampire cousins teaches Bella how to project her power to protect those around her, enhancing the group's fighting power extensively.


Bella discovers clues Alice left her and realizes there's something she needs to do, and Alice only clued her in since Aro can read everyone's thoughts except her own. She meets with a shady man specializing in illegal documents and obtains passports and other papers for Jacob and Renesmee to flee the country if things go south with the Volturi.


The big day arrives. The Volturi rulers, along with their army/guard and a crowd of their own witnesses, stand opposed to the Cullens, two (much larger now) cooperating wolf packs, and a group of nearly thirty vampire witnesses.


A lot of tense conversation and grand speeches commence, and it's all rather majestic. Then, just when the Cullens have realized Aro intends to destroy them regardless of Renesmee's Immortal Child status -- plot twist! Alice and Jasper, along with a man and a woman nobody has seen before, arrive. Alice shows Aro a vision. In the book, we don't see what that vision is. In the movie, though... well, that's one part I won't spoil.

It turns out the man is a vampire-human hybrid, like Renesmee, whose father was a vampire and whose mother was human. Until now, nobody (except Alice, apparently) knew any other hybrids existed. The man explains his lineage and his lifestyle -- fast growth, immortal and strong like vampires, able to survive on human food or blood. He turned the woman, his maternal aunt who raised him, once he was grown. In the movie, this is the end of his explanation, but in the book he explains that he also has three half-sisters who live with the vampire father, a twisted, deranged man who intends to create a new race of "gods" by fathering many hybrids, killing off the mothers in the process. He is venomous, but his sisters and Renesmee are not -- just an interesting factoid.


At the end of the book, the family is finally all together and at peace. They know now that Renesmee can live with them forever, and that Jake and Renesmee have as perfect and happy a future before them as her parents do. The other vampires go home, a few of them with new plans for their future or new mates discovered among other vampire friends. And -- the best part of all the movies, in my opinion -- Bella gives a special gift to Edward: she's learned not only to project her shield, but to withdraw it as well. So she shows him her thoughts throughout their love story.


"And then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our forever."

2 comments:

  1. Nice post! I've really enjoyed this series! :D

    And, lol, that is one of my favorite parts, when Bella flips because Jacob imprinted on Reneesme. It's hilarious.
    AND YES BENJAMIN.
    Ahem.
    I mean, I may have kind of liked him too, lol


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Hey, I think I accidentally deleted your comment on the last post -- sorry!

      "YOU NICKNAMED MY DAUGHTER AFTER THE LOCH NESS MONSTER?!" Hahahaha so much yes

      Benjamin is the Seth of normal vampires. /endofstory #theadorbs

      Delete

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