Even though there are plenty of devoted Team Jacob fans who still believe that Bella Swan chose the wrong supernatural suitor, it was always clear that Stephenie Meyer intended for Edward Cullen to be the biggest heartthrob of her Twilight series. He was beautiful, classically romantic and sensitive, and his initial belief that he lacked a soul and that his immortal life was a curse made him a tragic and incredibly sympathetic character that readers couldn't stop themselves from obsessing over.
Thanks to the popularity of Meyer's fantasy romance novels and the massively successful Summit Entertainment films based on them, Edward Cullen has become a household name across the world. Christian Grey, the male lead of E.L. James' 50 Shades of Grey series (which started out as Twilight fan-fiction) was actually based on Edward. Even though it's been over a decade since Breaking Dawn hit bookshelves and six years since the final Twilight film was released in theaters, fans still fantasize about the brooding teenage vampire.
Everyone knows what happened after Edward and Bella Swan began their epic love story in Forks, Washington, but only the biggest Twihards know what Bella's soulmate did before the couple first met in Twilight. Since Edward was born over a decade before he introduced himself to Bella in a Forks High School science class, his story actually began long before the woman who became his wife and mother of his child was even born.
Here are 25 Things Edward Cullen Did Before Twilight.
25 RAISED BY HIS LAWYER FATHER
Every Twilight reader or viewer knows that Edward spent most of his immortal life as the adoptive son of Carlisle and Esme Cullen, but before he became a vampire, he was the only child of Edward and Elizabeth Masen.
His father was a successful lawyer, and while that provided Edward with many advantages during his childhood, including the opportunity to attend private school and take expensive music lessons, it also meant Edward and his father didn't have a chance to get particularly close. Edward's father's busy career often drew him away from home for business. However, Edward and his mother were incredibly close, as Elizabeth made her son the center of her life.
24 BECAME AN ACCOMPLISHED PIANIST
When Edward was growing up, his parents enrolled him in piano lessons. He always took his studies extremely seriously, so over time, he became an accomplished pianist. Vampires don't need to sleep, so once Edward was turned into an immortal, he used his bevy of free time to become a virtuoso on the piano in the Cullen family home. He is also a skilled songwriter, as proven by the song he wrote Bella in the Twilight series, "Bella's Lullaby".
Robert Pattinson, the actor who portrayed Edward on the big screen, is as skilled a pianist as his character. Two of his songs—"Let Me Sign", and "Never Think"—actually appeared on the Twilight soundtrack.
23 WANTED TO FIGHT IN WORLD WAR I
Nearly a century before the epic conflict between the Cullen family and the Volturi began, Edward hoped to fight in an even bigger battle. World War I raged throughout most of Edward's adolescence, and he became enamored with the life of a soldier.
Edward proved throughout the Twilight series that he's a very traditional individual who feels a sense of responsibility to fight for and protect his loved ones, so it's not surprising that he dreamed of joining the army as soon as he turned 18. He, unfortunately, perished before he became of age, but in Stephenie Meyer's unpublished spin-off novel Midnight Sun, Edward admitted that his love and worry for his mother made him reluctant to the thought of becoming a soldier anyway.
22 LOST HIS PARENTS
The Spanish Influenza of 1918 infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide, which is about one-third of the planet's population. The flu pandemic was the deadliest in history, and Edward and his parents all fell victim to it. Edward's father perished in the first wave of influenza, and when his mother contracted it a few months later, she begged Dr. Carlisle Cullen to do everything he could to save her son.
"You must do everything in your power. What others cannot do, that is what you must do for my Edward," she pleaded. Meyer never explains how Elizabeth somehow figured out that Carlisle wasn't an ordinary doctor, but it's a good thing she did because her impassioned plea caused Carlisle to feel responsible for Edward's fate.
21 BITTEN BY CARLISLE
Carlisle was initially mortified by the idea of cursing someone else to an immortal life, but when seventeen-year-old Edward was close to passing away from the Spanish Influenza, Carlisle finally acted on Elizabeth Masen's wishes. Shortly after Elizabeth perished, Carlisle took Edward from the hospital, brought him to his house, and administered the bite that changed Edward into a vampire.
Edward immediately formed a deep bond with Carlisle, as his new adoptive father was able to give him the trust and love that his natural father never could. Carlisle and Edward then started traveling together. Once Esme joined them, Edward often said that he was the younger brother of Carlisle's late wife.
20 DEVELOPED TELEPATHIC ABILITIES
When he was a human, Edward was an incredibly observant young man and always had an impressive knack for reading people. After he was transformed into a vampire, this special skill developed into a psychic gift that actually allowed him to read minds.
Carlisle was the first to discover Edward's telepathic abilities, because he noticed when Edward started asking questions which Carlisle had not even asked aloud. Edward fine-tuned and perfected his unique gift over the years, and became capable of peering into the mind of everyone he met. This was until, of course, he came across Bella Swan. Her ability to block off her thoughts and actually surprise Edward was a contributing factor in the intuitive vampire's initial attraction to his future wife.
19 GAINED A NEW MOTHER
In 1911, Carlisle's work as a doctor in Columbus caused him to cross paths with Esme Platt, a young teenager who had broken her leg falling out of a tree. Carlisle and Esme felt a strong mutual attraction, but their encounter was brief as Carlisle had to keep moving to prevent people from noticing that he doesn't age.
Ten years later, Carlisle and Edward moved to Wisconsin, where Carlisle was called to the bedside of a woman who suffered serious injuries after an attempt to end her own life. He was shocked to discover that the woman was Esme, and changed her into a vampire to save her life. The two soon fell in love and got married, providing Edward with a new mother.
18 REBELLED AGAINST CARLISLE AND ESME
Even though Edward shared a close bond with Carlisle and received the mother's love from Esme that he craved ever since his own mother passed away, he went through the same rebellious phase which most young adults experience during their teenage years.
Edward seemed like a very noble, heroic character throughout the Twilight series, but in 1927, he actually left his adoptive parents and decided to embrace a traditional vampire diet of human blood. He used his mind-reading ability to seek out the worst people in society, under the belief that as long as he was serving justice, it didn't really matter that he was giving in to his monstrous nature and feeding on humans.
17 FOUND ESME'S EX-HUSBAND
Esme married a man named Charles Evenson at the age of 22 in an attempt to please her parents, but soon realized that her husband was incredibly abusive. Esme endured it until Charles was drafted during World War I, but as soon as he returned after the war, he went right back to hurting Esme.
When Esme became pregnant, she ran away so her child wouldn't have to be raised in a dangerous environment. Her child passed away from lung fever only two days after being born, which made Esme feel like she no longer had a reason to live and prompted her to jump off a cliff in an attempt to end her pain. Edward never forgot his adoptive mother's tragic story, so when he was out experimenting with hunting humans, Charles Evenson was at the top of his list and became his first victim.
16 RETURNED AND BEGAN HIS ANIMAL BLOOD DIET
Edward was an incredibly moral person, so it's no big surprise that his human hunting hobby didn't last very long. Even though he tried justifying his diet of human blood by solely hunting bad people, he soon felt too guilty and began to regret his decision.
In 1931, only four years after he left Carlisle and Esme, Edward returned to his vampire family and promised to stick to their diet of animal blood. He still struggled to stay calm around the scent of human blood, as shown by his difficulty sitting next to Bella Swan when he first met his sweet-smelling science classmate, but he did a fantastic job suppressing his vampiric thirst.
15 GAINED A NEW SISTER, ROSALIE
Before Carlisle married Esme, he suffered years of intense loneliness. He and his wife were concerned that Edward was similarly lonely, so Carlisle hoped to find his son a mate. An opportunity arose when the scent of blood caused Carlisle to cross paths with Rosalie Hale, a would-be socialite who was left severely injured after an attack by her fiancé and his friends. The doctor turned her into a vampire, much to Edward's displeasure.
Even though she was stunningly beautiful, Edward never took a liking to Rosalie. He couldn't stand how shallow and self-absorbed she could be, and Rosalie was furious that Edward wasn't attracted to her, even though she wasn't particularly into him either. The two beautiful young vampires became siblings instead of partners and struggled to stay on good terms.
14 MET HIS NEW BROTHER, EMMETT
The awkward tension between Rosalie and Edward luckily didn't last very long, because two years after she was turned into a vampire, Rosalie came across her soulmate, Emmett McCarty.
While hunting, Rosalie came across Emmett's body shortly after he had been mauled by a bear. Despite being a blood-thirsty newborn, Rosalie's attraction to Emmett kept her from attacking him in his bloody state. She carried her future partner over 100 miles back to Carlisle so he could change Emmett into a vampire. Emmett is significantly more upbeat and fun than Edward, but the two brothers immediately became great friends despite their differences. Their close bond may also have begun due to Edward's relief that Emmett's arrival made things between him and Rosalie less uncomfortable.
13 MET ALICE AND JASPER
When Mary Alice Brandon became a vampire in 1920, her very first vision was of Jasper Whitlock becoming her mate, and shortly after that, they would move into the Cullen household. She didn't finally meet Jasper until 1948 at a diner in Philadelphia, but the two vampires quickly fell in love and they sought out the Cullens two years later.
Alice and Jasper adopted themselves into the Cullen family, and since Alice knew she and Edward would become best friends, she moved right into his bedroom upon her arrival. Edward's psychic talent allowed him to understand the burden of her supernatural ability to see the future. To prevent people from being confused by their relationship, Alice took the Cullen last name while Jasper claimed Rosalie's last name of Hale and pretended to be her twin brother.
12 ENCOUNTERED THE DENALI COVEN
Since vampire skin sparkles like a diamond when exposed to sunlight in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, the Cullen family had to constantly seek out different locations where they could go out in public without risk of being exposed to sunlight. Their travels eventually brought them to Alaska, where they encountered the Denali coven.
Like the Cullens, the Denali coven enjoyed a diet of solely animal blood. This similarity helped the two covens get along extremely well, and the Denali leader Tanya soon developed a crush on Edward. He never returned her affections, but Tanya was able to laugh this off and seemed genuinely happy to meet Bella in Breaking Dawn. The bond between the two covens is so close, that they refer to each other as cousins.
11 ATTENDED SEVERAL SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
Edward received excellent marks in class back when he was a mortal private school student, and his love for education and thirst for knowledge continued after he became a vampire. In addition to practicing piano during his free time, Edward spent his night hours reading books, studying languages, science, and business.
Edward and his adopted siblings looked young enough to attend Forks High School, but since he could also pass as a college student, Edward attended several colleges and universities and studied countless subjects over the years. That definitely helps explain why the Cullen family had enough graduation caps to cover an entire wall of their home in the Twilight film.
10 EARNED TWO MEDICAL DEGREES
When Charlie Swan first told his daughter Bella about Carlisle Cullen, he had nothing but good things to say about the popular doctor. "Dr. Cullen is a brilliant doctor who could probably work in any hospital in the world, make ten times the salary he gets here. We're lucky to have him," he explained to his daughter when describing the man who would eventually become her father-in-law.
Carlisle did most of the medical work in the Twilight series, but he actually wasn't the only doctor in his family. Edward earned two medical degrees, but unlike his father, he never chose to work as a doctor. If Carlisle wasn't on hand to help Bella with Renesmee's birth, Edward still could have stepped in to deliver his daughter.
9 INHERITED HIS FAMILY'S FORTUNE
Carlisle's work as an incredibly talented doctor helped the Cullen family acquire their vast wealth and an enormous mansion in Forks, but Edward is actually rather wealthy all on his own. When his birth parents passed away, he inherited the Masen family home in Chicago, as well as his father's money and assets.
To avoid people asking questions about how he's owned the Masen family fortune for so long, about every 50 years, Edward "inherits" the fortune from himself by pretending to be a new heir. So even if he and the Cullens parted ways, Edward would be able to financially support Bella and Renesmee and keep a roof over their heads.
8 STARTED A CAR COLLECTION
Vampires are able to run impossibly fast, but that somehow isn't enough for the speed-loving Cullen family. Edward and his siblings all enjoy driving well above the speed limit because their enhanced senses allow them to navigate traffic without fear of ever crashing.
Edward's family fortune allowed him to pursue car collecting as a hobby. He owns a Volvo S60R, a C30 in the movie adaptation, and has an Aston Martin Vanquish which he uses as his "special occasion" car. As if all that wasn't enough, he also splurged to buy Alice a yellow Porsche 911 Turbo as a gift in Eclipse. Edward considered including motorcycles in his collection after he discovered Bella enjoyed riding on them, but he gave the one he purchased to Jasper after realizing that motorcycling was something Bella enjoyed with Jacob.
7 LEARNED HOW TO FIGHT
Vampires have accelerated speed, strength, stamina, and their senses are stronger than those of mere mortals. They don't instantly know how to control their superhuman gifts, though, so at some point, before the Twilight series began, Edward must have learned how to fight.
By the time James, Victoria, and the Volturi came to Forks to threaten Edward and his loved ones, Edward already knew how to hold his own in a battle against other vampires. He likely acquired most of his fighting skills through lessons with his brother Jasper. Jasper spent time before he met Alice dealing with newborns, so he learned how to fight vampires when they're at their most powerful and dangerous. He gave his family combat training in Eclipse, but Edward's fight with James in Twilight suggests his sibling gave him a few pointers before the series started.
6 SIGNED A TREATY WITH THE QUILEUTES
On average, residents of Forks, Washington have to deal with 210 days of rain or snowfall each year. It is one of the wettest cities in the country, so moving to Forks in 1936 allowed the Cullens to go outside during the day without worrying about exposure to sunlight.
During their first residency in Forks, the Cullen family came across the Quileute tribe that resided in a nearby reservation. There were only three Quileute shape-shifters at the time, but even though the Cullens outnumbered them, they agreed to sign a treaty with the Quileutes to keep the peace. The agreement stated that the vampires could not injure any humans or trespass on Quileute land. In exchange, the Quileutes would not be able to tell anyone the true nature of the Cullens. Edward and his family agreed to these terms.
5 ENJOYED MUSIC OF THE '50S
Edward tends to play classical music on the piano, and the first song which Stephenie Meyer mentioned Edward listening to was the Debussy hit "Clair De Lune," His music taste extends beyond that one genre, though.
During one of Bella's first drives with Edward, she noticed that he owned the same Linkin Park CD that Phil had given her as a Christmas present. When she asked her mysterious crush about his music taste, he revealed that he enjoyed listening to jazz, progressive metal, alternative rock, and punk rock, in addition to classical music. He later stated that his favorite music came out in the fifties, and added that it was "much better than the sixties, or the seventies."
4 RETURNED TO FORKS IN 2003
Even though the treaty with the Quileutes allowed the Cullen family to live in relative peace during their first stay in Forks, they had to keep moving so people wouldn't accuse them of being incapable of aging and start to suspect that they were all vampires.
The coven continued to move around the world for several decades, before finally returning to Forks in 2003. Upon their arrival, Edward, Jasper, Alice, Rosalie, and Emmett all enrolled in Forks High School. They always kept to themselves, but that wasn't enough to keep the spotlight off of the ridiculously attractive family. Two years later, Bella Swan moved to Forks and found herself in Edward's science class.
3 SPARKED SAM ULEY'S TRANSFORMATION
When some young male members of the Quileute tribe come across the scent of vampires, their physiques build until they phase for the first time and shape-shift into wolves. The Cullens and the Quileutes promised not to bring any harm to each other or the people of Forks, but when the family of vampires returned to Forks, their arrival caused Sam Uley to become the first of his generation to transform into a shape-shifter.
Sam developed the ability to turn into an enormous, jet black beast that was as tall as a horse, but thicker, and much more muscular. His wolf form was large enough to be mistaken for a bear, so Sam had no difficulty tearing apart Laurent when he discovered that vampires were threatening his homeland. As more members of his tribe began to transform, Sam started his own pack and became an Alpha.
2 CELEBRATED HIS 103RD BIRTHDAY
Bella Swan was extremely upset about turning eighteen in New Moon, because the arrival of her birthday meant she would always be physically older than her permanently seventeen-year-old boyfriend Edward. This concern was, of course, absolutely ridiculous, because Edward was actually way older than Bella.
Edward Anthony Masen was born on June 20, 1901, so when he met Bella in January of 2005, he was one hundred and three years old. When Bella was born, Edward was already technically in his eighties. Even the biggest Team Edward fans have to admit that the eighty-year gap between Edward and Bella is a bit weird. Luckily, Bella was an old soul who didn't really fit in with her peers, anyway.
1 FELL INTO A LONELY DEPRESSION
Edward may not have been desperate enough for compassion to date Rosalie when Carlisle turned her into a vampire for him, but his adoptive father did eventually turn out to be right about how lonely life as an immortal vampire can be when it's not shared with a significant other.
Before Edward met Bella in Twilight, the brooding vampire seemed to be even more depressed and sullen than normal. His family noticed this difference in his personality, and while they were all aware that Edward was missing something from his life, Edward failed to recognize what was lacking from his life himself until his soulmate Bella walked into that science classroom and changed everything.
What is your favorite part about Edward's history before Twilight? Let us know!