Stephenie Meyer's iconic Twilight series centered on Bella Swan's supernatural love story with Edward Cullen, but for some fans of Meyer's books and the incredibly successful film saga they inspired, it's all about Jacob Black. While Edward was known for being very brooding, possessive and overprotective of Bella from the moment they met, Jacob became Bella's friend before he tried to pursue her romantically and was one of the brightest lights in her often dark and chaotic life.
Ever since Jacob stepped up in New Moon to become Bella's secondary love interest, readers and viewers alike have gotten into intense debates with each other over whether they should be Team Edward or Team Jacob, and while it was fairly clear that Bella would end up with her vampire soulmate at the franchise's conclusion, members of Team Jacob held hope that she'd find happiness with Jacob instead. Even now, over ten years since Breaking Dawn hit bookshelves worldwide and brought the series to a close, some Twihards still can't decide which suitor they prefer.
As the epic saga's primary male protagonist, Edward's character was fleshed out incredibly well and fans are thus able to recall nearly every detail of his life, history and the gifts granted to him when he was turned into a vampire. Jacob's backstory and other significant details about his personality, family, and Quileute shape-shifter abilities, however, remain a mystery to all but the most dedicated Twilight enthusiasts.
Here are 20 Wild Details Only True Fans Know About Jacob Black.
20 HE WAS MEANT TO BE A MINOR CHARACTER
In Twilight, Bella turned to her friend Jacob Black in hopes of getting some information about Edward Cullen. This was initially supposed to be Jacob's sole purpose in the series, but on Meyer's official website, the author revealed that since she and her editor liked Jacob so much, they decided to give him a larger role in the sequels.
"Something happened then that I didn’t expect. Jacob was my first experience with a character taking over—a minor character developing such roundness and life that I couldn’t keep him locked inside a tiny role," Meyer wrote. "From the very beginning, even when Jacob only appeared in chapter six of Twilight, he was so alive." Her agent and editor both agreed and requested more Jacob in the story, and Meyer obliged by making him a main character in New Moon and turning the mere plot device into a potential love interest for Bella.
19 HE HAS TWO OLDER SISTERS
The Twilight series gave readers and viewers a chance to get to know each member of Edward Cullen's vampire coven, but fans, unfortunately, didn't get nearly as many opportunities to learn about Jacob Black's family.
Jacob was the great-grandson of Ephraim Black, the Quileute elder who made a peace treaty with the Cullens upon their first stay in Forks. Jacob's father Billy knew the truth about the Cullens and did everything he could think of to protect Bella from the vampires, as she was the daughter of his best friend Charlie Swan. Jacob appeared to be an only child in the series because he was his father's primary caretaker, but he actually had two older sisters, Rachel and Rebecca, who were both twins.
18 HIS MOTHER PASSED AWAY WHEN HE WAS 9 YEARS OLD
In New Moon, Bella learned that Jacob loves fixing and riding motorcycles. Bella was desperate for an adrenaline rush that could help her see cautionary visions of Edward, and Jacob was more than willing to take her out for a dangerous bike ride. His lack of fear on the road is surprising, because his mother actually passed away in a car accident.
When Jacob was only nine years old, he lost his mother when she got in a tragic automobile crash. Rachel and Rebecca had a very difficult time living around the memories of their mother and became desperate to leave La Push, but Jacob never had that same desire to relocate and grew up loving his tribe and home despite the loss of his mother.
17 RACHEL AND REBECCA HELPED RAISE HIM
When Sarah Black passed away, Rachel and Rebecca stepped up to act as replacement maternal figures for their younger brother Jacob. Billy was often away from their home working on his fishing boat, so the twin sisters did their best to help raise and look after Jacob despite their desire to leave the reservation and their painful memories of their mother behind.
Billy worried about leaving La Push, because he didn't want his family to accidentally cross paths with a vampire and thus trigger Jacob's transformation into a shape-shifter. So, he kept his family from moving and thus had to deal with some resentment from the daughters who were stuck there looking after his son.
16 HE TOOK CARE OF BILLY AFTER HIS SISTERS MOVED AWAY
Rachel and Rebecca both jumped on the first opportunities they were granted to finally leave La Push and move on with their lives. Rachel got a scholarship to Washington State University and went away to school, while Rebecca quickly got married and moved to Hawaii. This left Jacob to look after their father all on his own.
Unfortunately, the progression of Billy's diabetes forced him to quit his job and lose mobility, and Jacob had to take care of Billy as he dealt with his new life in a wheelchair. Jacob truly enjoyed his father's company, though, and Billy's disability allowed them to become even closer, so Jacob didn't actually mind wheeling him around.
15 HE'S WELL-VERSED IN QUILEUTE HISTORY
Billy Black inherited his grandfather Ephraim's place on the tribal council, and that important position forced him to learn everything there is to know about the origin of the Quileutes. A majority of his tribe believed these origin stories to be mere legends, but Billy took them very seriously and made sure to bestow all of that Quileute knowledge in his son.
When Bella went to La Push hoping to get some more information on the Cullen family and the "cold ones" in the Twilight novel, Jacob was able to recall the story of his shape-shifting ancestors and their bloodthirsty immortal enemies by heart. In the film adaptation, however, Bella did most of her research alone and viewers didn't get to see Jacob's vast knowledge of Quileute history.
14 HE DIDN'T BELIEVE IN HIS TRIBE'S LEGENDS
One of Billy's earliest childhood memories was of seeing his grandfather phase into a massive wolf, so he grew up knowing that his tribe's stories of vampires and shape-shifters were all true. He initially hoped that a vampire would come near La Push again and force his own transformation so he could develop superhuman powers, but when that never happened, he became thankful that he was able to live a normal life and feared that the return of the Cullen family would spark Jacob's transformation and deny him of that same opportunity.
Jacob didn't share those same concerns, because he simply didn't believe his father's stories. He followed Billy's orders to warn Bella to stay away from the Cullens, but Jacob didn't think vampires were real or that Quileutes could turn into wolves until he started going through the transformation himself.
13 HE AND BELLA WERE CHILDHOOD FRIENDS
Billy had several close friends in La Push, but he because incredibly close with Charlie Swan because they both loved fishing, lost their wives (though Charlie's merely divorced him while Billy's had passed away), and had daughters who were often mysteries to them. Since the unlikely companions spent so much time together, Bella saw Jacob, Rachel and Rebecca on several occasions during her childhood visits to Forks before she moved there in Twilight.
Bella and Jacob weren't nearly as close growing up as they became in Meyer's series and she was never more than a mere acquaintance to Jacob's sisters, but Jacob said that he'd always enjoyed seeing Bella and fondly recalled making mud-pies with her as kids.
12 BELLA STARTED FLIRTING WITH HIM FIRST
Some Twilight fans have accused Jacob as coming onto Bella too strong, but true Jacob lovers know that he actually didn't make the first move. Bella was the one who started their flirtation and led Jacob to believe that he stood a chance with her.
When Bella tried getting information about Edward out of Jacob, she used Jacob's hormones to her advantage and feigned interest in him so he'd tell her everything she wanted to know. Jacob took her flirtation as an invitation to flirt right back, and when she again turned to him for help after Edward and the rest of the Cullen family left Forks in New Moon, he understandably saw that as another sign that she might be willing to take their friendship to the next level.
11 HE CONSIDERED LIVING LIFE AS A WOLF
In the epilogue of Eclipse, which was written from Jacob's point of view, readers got the chance to see just how distraught Jacob was about Bella's rapidly-approaching wedding to Edward and looming transformation into a vampire. In his eyes, Bella becoming a vampire was just as bad as her actually passing away, so he phased into a wolf and ran away to escape his emotions.
The rest of the Quileute wolves tried to talk to Jacob, but Sam advised them to leave him alone and Jacob ran as fast as he could away from La Push. In Breaking Dawn, Jacob was mentioned to have been gone for nearly two months. To avoid his pain, he actually lived as a wolf all that time and considered staying in that form until he ultimately decided to return back to Forks to attend Bella's wedding.
10 HE BECAME AN ALPHA TO PROTECT BELLA
As the great-grandson of Ephraim Black, it was actually Jacob's birthright to lead his generation's wolf pack and become its alpha. Jacob didn't have any interest in that responsibility, though, so he passed the title of alpha over to Sam Uley.
That all changed when Sam found out about Bella's pregnancy and decided that she and the baby must be eliminated. Jacob refused to accept this plan and rebelled against Sam's authority, which caused him to break away from Sam's pack and become the alpha of his own second pack. He, Leah and Seth then began patrolling the Cullens' territory, in order to prevent Sam's pack from attacking the woman Jacob believed he had imprinted on and the baby that would go on to become his true soulmate.
9 HE WASN'T ROMANTICALLY INTERESTED IN RENESMEE INITIALLY
One of the biggest and most controversial twists in Stephanie Meyer's entire Twilight franchise took place in Breaking Dawn, when Jacob imprinted on Bella and Edward's daughter Renesmee. This meant that Jacob's attraction to Bella throughout the series was actually just him being drawn to her because she'd go on to give birth to his true soulmate, and that Jacob was always just meant to be with his former crush's daughter.
Team Jacob fans, in particular, took offense to this idea, and were outraged that Jacob seemingly fell for a baby. In reality, that's not what happened. Jacob's initial feelings towards Renesmee were solely of responsibility for her. He felt a need to protect her and a desire to be around her, and his feelings didn't become romantic until Renesmee's rapid aging put her closer to his age.
8 HE'S DESTINED TO BE EDWARD'S SON-IN-LAW
Jacob Black and Edward Cullen spent the majority of the Twilight series viewing each other as rivals for Bella's heart. Jacob believed and tried to convince Bella that she could live a more normal life with him, and Edward hated that he was actually right and resented how much Bella seemed to enjoy spending time with her shape-shifter best friend. Jacob also had prejudices against Edward beyond his relationship with Bella, thanks to his childhood of hearing Quileute legends about the dangers of vampires.
Battles against Victoria and the Volturi forced Edward and Jacob to team up and grow closer, but while Edward expressed his thanks for Jacob's assistance, Jacob never quite warmed up to Edward. That's why it's definitely ironic that, if he and Renesmee get married, his former rival will become his father-in-law.
7 HE MAY HAVE TO COMPETE WITH NAHUEL FOR RENESMEE'S HEART
In Breaking Dawn, Alice had a vision of Jacob and Renesmee in the future which saw the couple in love and living happily with their families. Unfortunately, Alice's visions are completely dependent on the choices of the individuals in her predictions and not at all set in stone, so another outcome is entirely possible.
The Cullen family's conflict with the Volturi was ceased when Alice introduced the vampire law-enforcers to Nahuel, a human-vampire hybrid who was just like Renesmee. Bella noted in the book that he was incredibly handsome and seemed to show some interest in her daughter, so it's possible that Jacob will have competition for Renesmee's heart when she comes of age.
6 HE'S MEANT TO BE MUCH TALLER THAN TAYLOR LAUTNER
Taylor Lautner did a great job bringing the fan-favorite character of Jacob Black to life in the Summit Entertainment films, but he didn't exactly resemble Jacob as closely as some casual fans of the series seem to believe.
Lautner shared Jacob's "beautiful, silky and russet-colored" skin and dark eyes and he had his character's "long, glossy black hair pulled back with a rubber band at the nape of his neck" in Twilight, but in the books, Jacob's transformation into a shape-shifter caused him to grow from 5'10 to 6'7 within one year. Lautner, meanwhile, is only approximately 5'9, so his Jacob didn't tower over characters like Alice and Bella the way he was meant to.
5 TAYLOR WAS ALMOST RECAST IN NEW MOON
Since Taylor Lautner was much shorter than Jacob was meant to be upon his transformation in New Moon and significantly skinnier as well, he was nearly recast for the Twilight sequel despite positive fan-response to his appearance in the first film.
Lautner refused to lose the role, though, so he spent hours working to improve his body and gained an incredible thirty pounds of muscle so he could better resemble someone who evolved into a Quileute shape-shifter. “I knew if I put my mind to it, I could make it happen. It took work, but I loved the role and I couldn’t see anyone else playing Jacob,” Lautner told Digital Journal. "It was a matter of getting to the gym and eating the right food and a lot of it."
4 HE HAS A VERY POWERFUL HEALING FACTOR
Quileute shape-shifters aren't immortal like vampires are, but they do still have an incredibly powerful regenerative healing factor which allows them to stay alive through pain and injuries that would easily end the lives of normal humans. Shape-shifters heal at an abnormally-accelerate rate, and Jacob believes that the strength of his healing would allow him to survive even a bullet through his temple.
Jacob can heal from small cuts and minor injuries within seconds, and more damaging injuries like broken bones, blood loss, and even vampire venom only take him minutes to recover from. He got seriously hurt during the battle against Victoria's newborns, but he was back to being his usual self in no time.
3 JACOB CAN COMMUNICATE WITH HIS PACK TELEPATHICALLY
All vampires have hardened skin that shines like a diamond when exposed to sunlight, enhanced senses, and superhuman speed and strength, but only a select few have additional powers. The Volturi desperately wanted Edward to join their ranks because his psychic ability to read minds was so rare and valuable.
Edward's extra vampire gift isn't quite as impressive to shape-shifters, because they can all communicate telepathically. While Jacob is in his wolf form, he can talk to the members of his pack, and as alpha, he can also command his pack members to do whatever he wants them to do. He chooses not to utilize that power, however, because he believes his friends should all get to have free will.
2 HE MAINTAINS SOME OF HIS POWERS WHILE IN HUMAN FORM
Jacob's shape-shifter powers of enhanced speed, strength and healing are all stronger when he is in his wolf form, but he does maintain some semblance of those gifts as a human. He was able to carry Bella nine whole miles through a thick forest with ease while in his human form, and he is notably faster and more physically fit than other humans.
When Bella struck Jacob in the jaw with all of her strength, she ended up breaking her own hand without even remotely hurting Jacob. Jacob mentioned in Breaking Dawn that it would take a van moving at a high speed to break his bones, so he doesn't have to turn into a wolf to ensure his own safety.
1 HE'S NOT ACTUALLY A WEREWOLF
Several Twilight fans still mistakenly refer to Jacob Black as a werewolf, but in Breaking Dawn, it was revealed that there's a significant difference between true Children of the Moon and the shape-shifting Quileute wolves. Werewolves can only turn during a full moon, and become werewolves after receiving a bite from another werewolf. Shape-shifters, meanwhile, can phase at will and they pass their abilities onto their offspring.
The Volturi holds a grudge against werewolves because Caius had a near-fatal encounter with a werewolf two thousand years ago. Aro tried using the Cullen family's relationship with a pack of werewolves as another reason the Volturi should go into battle against them, but since Jacob and his pack were actually shape-shifters, he wasn't able to make this point.
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