Even though it's been over a decade since Breaking Dawn hit bookshelves worldwide and six years since Summit Entertainment's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part II officially brought Stephenie Meyer's iconic young adult romantic fantasy series to a close, fans still can't stop talking about Bella Swan and her supernatural adventures in Forks.
The Twilight books and films had everything readers and audiences alike could possibly want. There was action, adventure, suspense, horror, and enough passion to inspire E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey novels. The series also featured one of the most complex love triangles ever, and while most fans rejoiced when Bella married Edward Cullen and earned a happy ending with her supposed soulmate, some still argue to this day that she should have chosen Jacob Black instead.
Stephenie Meyer did her best to appease Team Jacob fans by giving the kind-hearted young member of the Quileute tribe his own happy ending with Bella and Edward's daughter, but that wasn't enough to stifle the debate over whether or not Bella chose the right man. Members of Team Edward are always quick to point out that the beautiful and brooding vampire was significantly more romantic than his shape-shifting competition for Bella's heart, but while Jacob didn't lay with Bella in fields of flowers or watch her while she slept, there are plenty of things that he could do and offer than Edward would never be capable of.
Here are 20 Things Jacob Can Do (That Edward Can't).
Edward Cullen's love for Bella throughout the Twilight series was unquestionable, but it may not be as strong as the emotions shape-shifters feel for the people they imprint upon. The involuntary mechanism that helps Quileutes find their soulmates can yield some unusual results, as shown when Jacob imprinted on his former crush's daughter, but it sounds beautifully intimate.
"It's not like love at first sight, really. It's more like… gravity moves… suddenly. It's not the earth holding you here anymore, she does," Jacob explained to Bella. "You become whatever she needs you to be, whether that's a protector, or a lover, or a friend." Edward could theoretically fall out of love with Bella, but when a shape-shifter imprints on a partner, he is unconditionally bound to her for life.
19 KEEP BELLA WARM
Edward's enhanced senses, speed, and strength make him a great protector, but he's not exactly the best person to snuggle up with. Since he doesn't have blood pumping through his veins, his skin is incredibly cold. When Bella was forced to hide on a frigid, snow-filled mountaintop from Victoria and her army of newborns, she found herself unable to lay next to Edward because doing so made her even colder.
Jacob, however, is the perfect guy to hold close on a cold, winter's night. His skin actually runs warmer than the average person's, so he was able to warm Bella right up when she jumped into a sleeping bag with him (much to Edward's displeasure).
18 TELEPATHICALLY COMMUNICATE WITH HIS PACK
Edward's ability to read minds is impressive and definitely useful, but his telepathic communication skills only go one way. He can hear what others are thinking, but they can't tell what he's thinking. Jacob, meanwhile, can communicate with his entire pack without ever saying a word.
Shape-shifters have the ability to telepathically speak to each other while in their wolf forms, which helps them fight as one when in combat. This pack mentality makes the Quileutes a force to be reckoned with, even when they're battling an army of vampire newborns or members of the Volturi. In addition to being able to read the thoughts of members of their pack, Alphas like Jacob can also mentally speak to Alphas of other packs.
17 TURN INTO A WOLF
Vampires and shape-shifters have the potential to be scary supernatural monsters, but when they're not hunting their prey, they're both incredibly cool creatures. They share enhanced strength, speed, and stamina. Both creatures have the ability to quickly heal from wounds and can live longer lives than humans.
Only shape-shifters, however, have the ability to turn into massive wolves! When Jacob gets angry or needs to protect someone he cares about, he can change his form into that of a 10-foot-long, russet wolf with dark, intelligent eyes. He grows to be the largest and strongest wolf in Sam's pack, and even Sam gave him credit for being the pack's best fighter.
16 RIDE A MOTORCYCLE
When Edward and the rest of the Cullens left Forks, Bella discovered that rushes of adrenaline in her system allowed her to see hallucinations of her vampire ex-boyfriend. She tried every dangerous activity she could think of to see or hear Edward again, and that eventually led her to ask Jacob Black to teach her how to ride a motorcycle.
Jacob's motorcycle wasn't as stylish or expensive as the cars Edward and his family were able to afford, but it gave Bella the adrenaline rush she so desperately craved. The time she spent with Jacob learning how to ride the motorcycle also helped keep her mind off of her depression, so Jacob's teaching and riding skills were incredibly important in New Moon.
15 GO OUT IN THE SUN PUBLICLY
The Cullens were able to leave their home and lead somewhat normal lives in Forks because the town happens to be one of the rainiest places in the entire U.S. However, if they were forced to relocate to a sunnier locale, they wouldn't even be able to go outside.
Vampires aren't allowed to reveal their existence to the mortal world, so Edward can't go out in public on a sunny day without getting in trouble with the Volturi. In Meyer's series, vampires don't burst into flames or experience extreme pain when exposed to sunlight; their skin simply sparkles like a diamond. That phenomenon makes it clear that they're not typical humans. Jacob Black, meanwhile, has no problem walking around wherever he wants, no matter how nice the forecast is.
14 RESPECT BOUNDARIES
Some Twilight fans seem to think that Edward is the perfect guy, but there's really nothing romantic about breaking into a stranger's house and watching them sleep every night. Maybe it'd be okay if he and Bella were in a relationship and Bella gave him permission to watch over her, but Edward's late-night invasions of Bella's privacy started before he got to know her.
In fact, it was even before he learned to control his thirst around her. Jacob was far more respectful of Bella's privacy. He made it clear that he'd always be there for her, but he didn't feel a need to climb through her windows while she slept to ensure her safety.
13 BE EMOTIONALLY SUPPORTIVE
Edward may have been the man who helped Bella get out of her shy, awkward shell and blossom into the confident, powerful woman she became by the end of the Twilight series, but he wasn't exactly the most emotionally supportive partner. In New Moon, he caused Bella to plummet into a horrible depression by choosing to leave her in an attempt to protect her, and Jacob was the one who helped Bella through that difficult time in her life.
Jacob did everything he could to be an amazing friend to Bella. He kept her mind off her heartbreak by hanging out with her every day after the Cullens disappeared, while also giving her a shoulder to cry on when she needed one.
12 GROW OLD
Edward and Bella will forever appear to be the same age they were when they were bitten and turned into vampires. The idea of staying young and beautiful forever sounds amazing, but there are definitely a few downsides to not being able to grow old. The couple will have to relocate every few years, since people will start to be suspicious if they notice Edward and Bella never seem to age. Over time, they'll have to see loved ones like Charlie, Renee, and Bella's high school friends whither away, while they stay teenagers forever.
Jacob and his fellow shape-shifters age at a slower rate than average humans, but they are capable of growing old and perishing. Team Edward fans think this is a bad thing, but there's something to be said about being able to grow old with a loved one.
11 STAY CALM AROUND THE BLOOD
Even though it was primarily marketed as a fantasy romance series, Meyer's Twilight novels included a number of violent action sequences. There was a constant risk of blood being spilled, which is especially dangerous because vampires struggle to stay calm when they smell blood.
Edward and his family did their best to solely hunt animals and keep their cool around human blood, but it wasn't always easy. Edward had a hard time suppressing his vampiric urges when he first met Bella, and Jasper nearly attacked her when she got a simple paper cut at her birthday party. Jacob has no problem being around blood, so it's not a big deal to get a few minor cuts or scrapes around him.
10 WIN OVER BELLA'S DAD
Asking a woman's father for permission to marry her is now considered to be a fairly outdated tradition, but it's still important for men to have a father's approval. Charlie saw just how traumatized Edward made Bella when he abandoned her for several months, and never really forgave him for that. Jacob, however, never had any sort of difficulty winning Charlie over.
Whenever Bella seemed to be in a bad mood, Charlie suggested she spend more time with Jacob. It was always clear which of Bella's two suitors he preferred. While he eventually warmed up to Edward enough to give Bella away to him at their wedding, the look on his face revealed he still wasn't too keen on his daughter's choice of husband.
9 HAVE A NORMAL ROMANTIC LIFE
When Bella was still a human, Edward was scared to be intimate with her. She was incredibly delicate and he had superhuman strength, so he could easily injure her if he wasn't careful. Once he and Bella took their relationship to the next level, it became clear that Jacob's concerns were entirely warranted.
Bella woke up after their night together covered in scrapes and bruises. She wasn't concerned about the pain that came with their passion, but Edward was mortified by what he accidentally did to his wife. Jacob had warned Bella about the dangers of being intimate with a vampire, but Bella refused to listen. Shape-shifters have enhanced strength that nearly matches that of vampires, but Jacob had far better control of his abilities and would be a safer partner.
8 GET A TAN
Pale skin used to be a marker of social status and class, but nowadays, men and women purposefully lay in the sun in hopes of giving their skin a bronzed hue. Paleness is no longer a desirable trait, so Edward's bright white skin likely wouldn't look as attractive in real life as it seemed on the pages of Meyer's novels.
Edward is unable to spend time out in the sun, and his body is incapable of change, so he can't ever get a tan. Edward is made out to be the perfect guy, but Jacob is the tall, dark, and handsome type many women desire. He spends most of his time shirtless and out in the sun, so he has a gorgeous tan all over his body.
7 KEEP HIS KIND FROM HURTING HIS LOVED ONES
Bella refused to let Edward take the blame for all the danger she experienced throughout the Twilight series, but if she never met Edward, she probably would have lived a quiet, normal, vampire-free life. Edward tried his best to protect Bella, but he simply couldn't stop James, Victoria, Laurent, and the Volturi from threatening to harm his mortal girlfriend.
Members of the Quileute tribe considered attacking the Cullens and Renesmee for breaking the treaty and posing a risk to the people of Forks, but Jacob always managed to talk them out of it. Shape-shifters have just as much destructive potential as vampires, but they were never genuine threats to Bella because Jacob was better than Edward at keeping his kind from hurting his loved ones.
6 BE OPTIMISTIC
Some people say that "opposites attract," but unfortunately for Team Jacob fans, that didn't seem to be the case when it came to Bella Swan. Bella wasn't a particularly positive or upbeat person. She didn't know how to make friends, she wasn't much of a conversationalist, and she mostly preferred just keeping to herself and blending in with the crowd.
Jacob was just the opposite—he was always smiling, talking, and trying to make sure Bella was having fun. His constant optimism helped Bella cheer up and at least slightly get over her depression and heartbreak when Edward left her, so she likely could have lived a very positive, happy life with him. Instead, Bella chose to be with Edward, the man who spent most of the series brooding and talking about how tragic his existence was, and how dangerous their relationship was.
5 BECOME AN ALPHA
Edward may be the most well-known member of the Cullen family, but he's definitely not its leader. His adoptive father Carlisle and mother Esme seem to call the majority of the shots, and his brother Emmett is the family's muscle. Jasper is the clan's most skilled combatant, and Alice watches over them all by looking into the future. Jacob, meanwhile, is actually the leader of his own pack and has a number of wolves who depend on him.
When he broke off from Sam's pack, Jacob became an Alpha, which is the highest ranking member of a shape-shifter's wolf pack. When an Alpha shape-shifter gives orders to members of his pack, they have to obey his commands blindly, even if they are in disagreement.
4 BE THERE FOR BELLA
It's easy to understand why Edward left Bella in New Moon. He didn't want to endanger Bella's life any more than he and his family already had, and Edward felt that leaving her was the only way to truly protect her. He failed to realize that doing so would cause Bella to have a mental and emotional breakdown that would inspire her to put herself into dangerous situations in an attempt to see hallucinations of him.
Jacob may have distanced himself from Bella for a few days each time she chose Edward over him, but he always came right back and proved that he was there for her, no matter how hard things got or how much it hurt him. He could have abandoned Bella the way Edward did, but he was mature about his situation with Bella, and knew that he could not leave her.
3 HANG OUT AT THE BEACH
La Push is a Quileute reservation located near Forks that features the best surfing and whale-watching in the area. Bella and her high school friends enjoyed traveling there to hang out at the beach and meet up with her friend Jacob, but Edward wasn't exactly allowed to join her there.
In 1936, the Cullens and the Quileute tribe signed a peace treaty in which the vampires promised not to injure any humans or trespass on Quileute land. The shape-shifters took the agreement incredibly seriously, and threatened to fight the "cold ones" any time they suspected the Cullens were considering breaking it. While Jacob could spend a relaxing day with Bella on the beaches of La Push, Edward definitely could not.
2 CHANGE HAIRSTYLES
When audiences first met Jacob Black in Twilight, the cute young Quileute had long, glossy, raven-black hair that was pulled back with a rubber band at the nape of his neck. Once he started turning into a shape-shifter, he chose to change his appearance and swapped his long locks for a more cropped look that brought attention to his new physique. This makeover opened viewers' eyes to just how attractive Bella's friend really was.
Edward isn't really capable of changing his look, because his hair is incapable of growth. His body is entirely and eternally unchanging. It's possible that no scissors on Earth would even be strong enough to cut his hair.
1 GIVE BELLA A NORMAL LIFE
Team Edward fans who think Bella's immortal life with her husband sounds perfect fail to realize how many things the pair can't do together. They can't go out in public in the sun, they can't stay in the same place for too long, and they can't grow old with mortal loved ones. Their long lives will never be anything even close to normal.
If Bella had chosen to be with Jacob, that wouldn't have been the case. The pair could have traveled the world without fear of anyone realizing Jacob is a supernatural being. Bella never would have had to say goodbye to her friends. She could have gone to college and gotten an adult job. She and Jacob could have started a family that they could actually grow old raising. Life as a vampire may seem more exciting, but life with a shape-shifter sounds far less complicated.
Do you prefer Edward or Jacob in Twilight? Let us know in the comments!