The story of Twilight was ultimately the love story of Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, just with a lot of extra white noise and drama going on in the background. However, that white noise often involved some of the most intriguing characters and story lines in the entire saga. Twilight is a story that is driven by romance more than anything, but when you're bringing ancient vampires and other supernatural beings into the mix it's impossible to avoid creating more interesting and complex characters too.
Twilight's intense focus on the story of Edward and Bella meant that there were a lot of satellite characters who got too little screen time/page time. While some of those characters just felt like placeholders who were there to do a job and nothing more, there were others that felt like they were so interesting that they could be the stars of their own stories. So, who were these criminally underrated characters?
10 Leah Clearwater
It's kind of a mystery why Stephenie Meyer or the film-makers who adapted her book series to screen didn't want to include more Leah Clearwater in the story. First of all, she just seems awesome and like a total badass, but secondly, she's literally the first female werewolf in the history of her tribe.
Leah has had a bit of a rough go of it throughout the Twilight saga, losing both her boyfriend and any semblance of a normal life after becoming a werewolf, but even aside from that, there are so many things that make her character interesting and unfortunately unexplored.
9 Riley Biers
Obviously, it's always fascinating to watch a story through the eyes of its protagonists (or sometimes antagonists), but in supernatural stories where the stakes are literally life and death, it's always interesting to look at some of the collateral damage too.
Riley Biers is one of those characters that is essentially just the collateral damage. Victoria turns him because she needs a lackey and Riley is all too willing to create an army of chaotic newborn vampires for her. But the mere fact that Riley could turn so many new vampires and keep them under relative control is really interesting, and it would have been nice to see more of him.
8 Jessica Stanley
Jessica Stanley is just a normal girl with no clue that the supernatural world even exists, and she's clearly just living for the drama of it all. Who can't relate to that? Jessica is supposed to be annoying and unnecessarily judgmental, but she really provides a necessary human perspective into this absurd situation that Bella and friends find themselves in.
Although she starts out as Bella's rival, it seems like they ultimately do become genuine friends. While it's easy to forget that Anna Kendrick was in Twilight, who doesn't want more Anna Kendrick?
In most fantasies of the imagination, it's easy to think that being a vampire would be really cool, but Marcus, the most disinterested member of the Volturi trio, definitely makes everyone think twice about that. I mean he's legitimately one of the three kings of vampires, he's unimaginably powerful and immortal, and he just... doesn't care.
It's awesome that he doesn't care. Even when Edward and Bella's teen drama is at it's most dramatic he can't muster a single ounce of caring, which is honestly probably the appropriate response when a bunch of teen vampires are losing their minds and upsetting the natural order of things.
It's always fun to watch the heroes of any story go toe to toe with a terrifying villainess, and Victoria was definitely a worthy opponent to Bella, Edward, and the squad. Although Victoria is not victorious in the end, it actually is pretty impressive how cleverly she waged war against the Cullens and nearly won single-handedly against an entire coven of vampires and an entire pack of werewolves.
Victoria was disappointingly relegated to the background of the story for most of her tenure, though. Often, it wasn't even clear what the threat was or who was behind it.
It seems like a big part of the whole Twilight vampire mythology is that each vampire may be gifted with different powers, and those powers seem to somehow reflect major parts of their human personalities. Bella is shy, so her power keeps people out of her mind. Human Rosalie was vain, so vampire Rosalie is irresistably beautiful.
Nobody knows what Jane was like as a human, but if her vampire power is anything to judge by, she must have been one terrifying girl. It's always fun to see a vampire living their best life, and clearly Jane is getting everything she ever wanted as the resident torturer for the Volturi.
If a character like Jane is living her best life, then a character like Caius is living his best eternity. It seems like there is only one character who can one-up Jane when it comes to hurting people and loving it, but the bloodthirsty Caius seems like everything a vampire should be.
Caius' solution to every problem seems to be torturing or killing it as brutally as possible. Twilight is generally a very fluffy, very sweet iteration of some standard vampire lore, but it's nice to change things up with a more classic and scarier vampire like Caius.
3 Jasper Hale
In theory, Jasper should be one of the main characters, but he doesn't really feel like one, does he? Jasper is a member of the Cullen-Hale clan, but this reserved lad seems to avoid becoming entangled in most of the story line even though he has one of the most interesting backstories in the entire series.
Obviously, Alice is the more outspoken and more beloved part of the Alice-Jasper duo, but Jasper's experience as a newborn vampire wrangler as well as his whole human life backstory make him one of the most intriguing and unfortunately unexplored characters in the entire Twilight universe.
Aro in the book is definitely an underrated character that it'd be nice to see more of, but Aro in the movies is a deranged lunatic in the most delightful way. The brilliant Michael Sheen unsurprisingly makes Aro the most interesting part of every scene he's in, and he's so over-the-top and absurd that it almost feels like he's a character from a different imaginary universe.
But the Volturi is one of the coolest pieces of Twilight mythology and they're all devastatingly underused as characters, no-one more so than their leader Aro.
1 Charlie Swan
In a fictional world populated by troubled teen pregnancies and man-wolves the size of horses, there is one reliable rock of a character, and that rock is Charlie Swan.
Charlie is constantly orbiting the supernatural teen drama, and he somehow manages to roll with everything, whether it's watching Jacob turn into a wolf or Bella showing up looking like a supermodel with a baby that seems to be ageing overnight. Charlie is a true man of the people.