What We Learned From Stephenie Meyer's 'The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide'


The official 543-page encyclopedia to Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series hit bookstores Tuesday, offering in-depth profiles of even the most peripheral characters, outtakes from the novels, genealogical charts, and original illustrations (including the sketch of Bella’s wedding dress seen exclusively on EW.com last week). Meyer clearly wanted The Illustrated Guide to supplement her series, to put on paper the world she carried for so long in her head. Some of the book’s notable tidbits:

—It includes a 2008 Q&A between Meyer and her friend Shannon Hale (Princess Academy) in which Meyer says Jacob was originally an afterthought. “Jacob was born — as a device really — to tell Bella what she needed to know [about Edward being a vampire].”

—Edward’s first human victim was actually Esme’s abusive ex-husband from her pre-vampire days. (Edward tracked him down and sought vengeance for his adopted mother.)

—When Quileute Leah Clearwater first turned into a werewolf, the shock of seeing her transformation caused her father (and Charlie Swan’s best friend) Harry Clearwater to have a heart attack.

—Bella’s parents met at First Beach, on the La Push reservation, during Charlie’s rookie year on the police force. They fell in love and were married within a few weeks.

—Meyer offers an annotated playlist of songs that influenced certain moments in the series. The description of Edward and Bella’s first dance as husband and wife was inspired by Muse’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”

—The book outtakes include a section cut from New Moon in which Bella got high on Percocet after slugging Jacob and hurting her hand. “How’s your arm?” “I can’t feel it. Is it still there?”

Twilight fans — who’s bought the book? Who’s planning to (or not planning to)?

Comments (67 total) Add your comment
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  • Laurie

    Stephenie – Please stop beating this dead horse and write something new.

    • Kat

      Hey, it’s making her money, and certainly there are fans out there who will love this. I’m not one of them, but I can’t blame her for publishing this if people want it.

    • Jeremy

      In the words of Stephen King: Stephanie Meyers can’t write. Amen to that.

      • Karate Pants

        What an unoriginal comment, Jeremy.
        The thing that seems to elude you and you’re lame hater brethren, is that while the technical elements of Meyers’ writing may disappoint the nitpickers, she’s a hell of a storyteller and to me and millions of others who thoroughly enjoyed her stories and characters, THAT’S more important.

      • Gracie

        Warped characters, hinky punctuation, grammar slips, plot holes, cheating at narration, etc.

        Proof: reasoningwithvampires.tumblr.com

      • A

        @Karate Pants: She’s “a hell of a storyteller?” Really? She has no sense of pacing and is ridiculously longwinded. Oh, yeah, and according to her, it’s cool to be in an abusive relationship as long as the guy is really cute.

    • tash

      You mean like The Host?

      • Yeika

        About the face and neck: a little bit, yeah. I also think her waist looks aatunurnlly small in the pic on the left, although that could be because her hair makes the top of her body look so big.They’re both beautiful pictures, but tbh, they’re not the way I pictured them at all. I didn’t picture the veil to be so long, and I thought there was a bunch of lace on the actual dress. Ah well. They’re still beautiful. I can’t wait for the illustrated guide! I’ve been looking forward to it for FOREVER. I can’t wait to learn all the back-stories of all the characters. Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one who’s excited, though.

    • Summer

      She is writing something new, Laurie.

      It’s about time traveling cannibal mermaids. Haven’t you heard?

    • Jonathan Franz will never happen, Oprah!

      She can’t write anything new. She’s a lousy writer.

  • sammy

    waiting for haters…

    • lefty

      boo hiss twilight

  • FTS

    PT Barnum; smartest man ever.

  • Bob

    In the words of Paul Simon (slightly modified for gender):

    “[S]he’s a one trick pony
    One trick is all that horse can do
    [S]he does one trick only
    It’s the principal source of [her] revenue…”

    Like JK Rowling, it’s great that one series hit big, but subsequent work has been a failure.

    • welshgirl

      JK rowling hasn’t written anything to follow up HP yet. JKR is far and away a superior writer to stephanie meyer. JKR knows how to tell a story and have it mean something. SM got lucky.

      • Leah

        Hear Hear! Even though JK hasn’t published her compendium yet I feel like Meyer’s ripped off JK’s idea.

    • MikeMagpuyo

      You douche. She hasn’t published anything yet beyond Harry Potter. Now, with Meyer on the other hand..

    • larkwoodgirl

      While I don’t particularly like Stephenie Meyer’s writing, you are in fact not correct about the failure of her subsequent work. The Host remained on the New York Times Best Seller list for 50 weeks. I would hardly call it a failure.

      • Dayane

        StSimonMartyr on April 9, 2011 If sued, Elect Arbitration- JAMS and AAA.It allows a Debtor to go on Offense, and crhage creditor with $ Violations on FDCPA- FCRA, they break the law every time they collect a debt.Debtor Boards advocates this, if you dont know your rights, you have none.Get your case Out of Court, elect Arbitration, it costs Creditors $3000-10000 to pursue it, most wont.NAF- declared a Fraud and moratorium, Arb is now working!Creditors have No note, Affadavit is bogus & $ Securitized

  • Jeremy

    This will make a great item for the bottom of the parrot cage!

  • Juli

    So in the Ateara Family tree, Quil’s grandmother’s name is Molly Swan. Billy Black’s wife was the niece of Molly Swan. What does it mean?!?!??!

  • Karate Pants

    I can’t imagine any fan who spent any length of time with that “Bree Tanner” mess wanting to bother with this.
    Besides, who really pictured some weird anime looking sketch of “Bella” in her wedding dress? What fan would really believe that Edward’s first victim would have been Esme’s ex-husband? And why would Harry Clearwater – well aware of the whole wolf transformation history – have a heart attack about Leah?
    It just doesn’t make any sense.

    • Arandil

      Have you read any of the books or seen the movies? NONE of it makes any sense.

      • Kuba

        drumallday8 on February 15, 2011 This is crap. You are a fraud. My damn grandpa moves more when she does uhpusps. Seriously dude, it looked more like a seizure than a pushup, and I know because I have done both. The pullups wouldnt count in a middle school PE class, so they shouldnt count for you, a PERSONAL TRAINER! You should be setting a good example for your clients, not a bad one. If I was your client and saw this, I would fire your ass.

    • Colleen

      Leah is a girl. No other females in known Quileute history phased into wolves. The shock of seeing his DAUGHTER turn into a giant wolf caused his heart attack.

      • Lora

        Colleen, you’re a brave woman. I thought about correcting the haters, but I figured it wasn’t worth the abuse I would end up taking for it. It amazes me that people can’t just be content to dislike something. They trip over themselves trying to ruin it for the ones who enjoy it.

      • Karate Pants

        (slow clap for brave Colleen) Uh, Lora? Did you seriously just call me “a hater”?? LOL! I might just be a superior fan, because I love the story enough to be disappointed with these inferior subsequent efforts riding the coattails of the original four books. I’m a fan of the books and I have every right to criticize the guide as NOT being true to the story.

    • Hallie S

      The sketch was done by the artist who does the Twilight Graphic Novel. I thought it was awell done and looked like the description that you find in the book.

    • Anabelle

      Don’t you anything about Quilette legends? Most of them revealed that ‘grandsons’ were supposed to turn into wolves and here, Leah was a BIG exception. So, Harry had a heart attack seeing his daughter transform. Figures. I love the book!

      • Dimpal

        You gave me some more books to add to my list of 2008 reads. I also have a Book reievw blog.

  • im sorry

    i have to do this but before i do let me say I AM NOT A TWIHARD the movies are crap and the books aren’t classics but i do like them anywhoo…its actually bella get’s high on percocet after edward threw her across the room and hurt her arm at her birthday party, she punches jacob in eclipse…

  • Caroline

    I got the book and it was amazing! It gave me a better insight on the characters that I love. All the haters really need to find something better to do with their time. Going on a page about something you don’t like just to bash it is really pathetic.

  • get over it

    While I am a huge fan of twilight I can understand that meyers writing is questionable, at the least. The illustrated novel is just for the hardcore fans who can’t let go of the story and just want to continue living in the make believe world, haters just leave them to it! They aint harming anyone!

  • Sia

    I love this guide and POTTER FANS GET A LIFE ALREADY! Why are you comparing the books? There different and your JEALOUS OBVIOUSLY BECAUSE YOU KEEP commenting on Twilight stuff.

    • Nirveeze

      You know, that JEALOUZ OMG@!!!!!!!! is really immature, not to mention getting old. It’s like, you guys (and Meyer herself) cannot figure out any other reason people would not like something or someone.

      How old are you? 14? If you’re older, that paints a worse picture of your life than ours. Otherwise, you could come up with a better argument or actually defend the series rather than attacking the people who DARE to SPURN IT! CAUSE WE ALL MUST LOVE IT AND DESPAIR!

  • Jennifer

    i will DEFINETLY be buying the book within the next 2 weeks

  • Necro

    Without a doubt, one of the worst writers…EVER!

    • Amanda

      yeah but she’s still making millions of our dollars

  • Amy

    Don’t you just love the fact that people click onto this page JUST to insult Twilight? :’)

    Yeah, it’s not the best book ever, far from it, but it makes people (mostly teenage girls) happy.

    They are not THAT bad :P

  • Selena

    Bought it Tuesday (release day) and I’m enjoying it very much :-)

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