The year 2018 marks ten years since the first Twilight movie was released. Since the vampire craze has faced since the last Breaking Dawn movie came out in 2012, it’s easy to forget the level that Twilight hysteria reached.
In the late 2000s, especially 2008-2010, it was almost impossible to open a magazine or turn on the news without it being mentioned in some way.
The Twilight craze was definitely a huge moment in pop culture, even if we’d much rather forget some of the details. (We’re sure Anne Rice fans will never forgive Stephenie Meyer for making vampires sparkle.)
We’re going to look back at the book and movie series to rank the most powerful vampires who have appeared in it from weakest to strongest.
To create this ranking, we looked at physical strength, additional powers (such as the ability to read minds), and political power since it plays a big part in the last three books. If a character has all three qualities, they’ll be higher on the list. If they just have one, like brute strength alone, they might not be on here.
We also took into account how long each character survived and which ones passed away at the hands of another character. We’re only looking at people who appear in the main timeline of the books -- so vampires who appear only in flashbacks don’t count.
Ready to take a trip down memory lane? Here are The 16 Most Powerful Vampires In Twilight, Ranked From Weakest To Strongest.
16 Riley Biers
Riley was Victoria’s right-hand man in Eclipse. He was responsible for finding loners and troubled kids and bringing them to Victoria so that she could change them into vampires. (Many were only fifteen or sixteen when they were changed.)
He’s also the leader of the newborns since Victoria apparently has better things to do.
Riley is obviously in love with Victoria, who is still in love with the sadistic James. Victoria has no issues with manipulating his emotions for her own good, though, and lets him believe whatever he wants as long as he keeps working for her.
He’s physically strong and described as muscular, even for a vampire. He’s also able to lead the army of newborns with only a little bit of dissent from the ranks, as far as we know. That’s proof that had he been left on his own, he probably would have survived for a lot longer.
Unfortunately for Riley though, although he was physically strong, his life still ended early on after being manipulated by Victoria during the final battle.
Plus, unlike many of the other vampires on this list, he has no powers. That lands him at the bottom of our list.
15 Alice Cullen
There are plenty of people who have probably forgotten about Riley, but Alice Cullen is a fan favorite. Alice is Edward’s adoptive sister, and she quickly becomes best friends with Bella as well.
Although Carlisle is responsible for bringing together the vast majority of the Cullen clan, Alice found her own way to the Cullen clan because of her gift. Alice’s main character trait is that she can see the future -- kind of.
Her ability comes in handy many times throughout the series, but it’s surprisingly limited. She can’t see the future outright -- she can only see the outcomes of certain decisions people make.
As people make decisions, her visions change, and she can’t see their future at all if they make a spur of the moment decision. She also can’t see futures involving werewolves, which is endlessly annoying to her.
Her power might be limited, but she makes up for it with her biggest strength -- her loving and caring nature. When combined, she’s able to pull amazing things off, like somehow finding one of the only other vampire/human hybrids in the world to save Renesmee’s life.
As impressive as she is, though, she still doesn’t quite match up with some of the other vampires on this list.
14 Jasper Hale
Jasper Hale is one of the main characters of the Twilight saga, but he can still be forgotten sometimes. He’s Edward’s adoptive brother and Alice’s partner.
Both Jasper and Rosalie use the last name Hale because they’re the only ones who can pass as biological siblings. (All of the Cullens technically pretend to be siblings, but their backstory is that they’ve all been adopted by the young doctor and his wife.)
Jasper is mainly remarkable because of the unique ability he has.
He’s able to manipulate the emotions of those around him. If a situation is becoming particularly heated, he can soothe someone who was just about to throw a punch. If he needs to manipulate someone into trusting the Cullens, he can inspire feelings of safety.
This is an incredibly useful power to have, and one that has come in handy for him many times throughout his years as a vampire. It’s not that much of a stretch to say that he probably wouldn’t have survived to meet Bella if he didn’t have that ace in his pocket.
Although his power to manipulate emotions is impressive, his willpower could use some work (as we see in New Moon).
Also, this skill probably wouldn’t save him from some of the other vampires on this list.
13 Renesmee Cullen
Although Renesmee is only half-vampire, she still earns a spot in this ranking for how unique she is. Renesmee is the half-vampire, half-human child of Bella and Edward, also known as the child with really creepy CGI in Breaking Dawn. (Granted, she was also creepy in the book, we just couldn’t see it for ourselves.)
As a vampire/human hybrid, Renesmee is crazy smart, has skin as strong as a vampire’s, and ages rapidly -- or at least she will until she’s seven years old, by which time she’ll stop aging and appear to be seventeen. (Don’t think about it too much.)
Renesmee has the ability to transmit thoughts to other people as long as she is touching their skin. She can also penetrate others’ mental shields, which means she has the exact opposite abilities of both of her parents.
Each vampire who meets her -- and there are a lot who traipse through the pages of Breaking Dawn -- is instantly impressed with her.
Although we only see her as a kid, Meyer seems to be implying that once she’s an adult, she’ll be the most powerful one in the Cullen clan, or at least be close.
Since she only appears in the series as a child, though, she’s still lower on our list.
We first meet Marcus in New Moon after Edward fails to claim his own life in Italy and almost gets destroyed. Marcus is a member of the Volturi, a powerful coven that’s basically vampire royalty.
They are responsible for enforcing the laws of the vampire world -- don’t turn kids into vampires, don’t let the human food know that we exist, things like that.
Marcus’ power is less impressive than some of the other members of the Volturi but still comes in handy for them as they dole out justice to law-breaking vampires.
He can sense the power and strength of relationships. This sounds less like a special ability and more like someone who just pays attention to human emotion, but we’ll roll with it.
Marcus mainly earns his spot on our list because of his position within the Volturi, not his ability to tell if someone’s dating or just friends.
He’s one of the three leaders of the Volturi and so is feared and respected by vampires across the globe. He’s even famous among humans as “Saint Marcus,” who is said to have driven out all of the vampires from Volterra.
His political power and age (dude is ancient) make up for how useless his special ability is, so we’re ranking him at twelve.
Zafrina is introduced in Breaking Dawn as a member of the Amazonian coven. She travels to Forks from South America to bear witness to the fact that Renesmee is not an illegal immortal child created by the Cullens, but is actually just Bella and Edward’s hybrid daughter.
Zafrina is the one who teaches Bella how to harness her psychic shield and use it to protect others from psychic attacks. She also has impressive abilities of her own.
She’s described as one of the most fierce vampires and has an unorthodox fighting style that easily overpowers people. She can also create powerful illusions in people’s minds -- they see whatever she wants them to see.
This is so useful in a fight that at the climax of Breaking Dawn, Zafrina is supposed to be one of the Cullens’ main lines of defense against the Volturi.
She could easily confuse and disorient the Volturi with her visions, allowing other characters to step in and make quick work of them. Of course, there’s not actually a battle in the book, and in the movie, we don’t get to see her use this ability on a grand scale.
Zafrina’s talent is so remarkable that she was offered a place in the Volturi by Aro, the leader, although she turned it down.
The next vamp on our list is a member of the Volturi, and one of its more feared members. Demetri is able to track people not from the physical trails they leave behind, but through their minds.
He’s able to follow anyone in the world as long as he has physically encountered them before.
It’s impossible for people to hide from him, and since he’s a member of the Volturi, it is impossible for vampires to hide from the Volturi.
The Volturi wanted his power so much that they “replaced” (likely ended the life of) their old tracker to get Demetri instead. Bella is the only known character who can block Demetri’s power since vampires’ psychic abilities didn’t have an effect on her as a human or a vampire.
Demetri joined the Volturi thanks to the emotional manipulation of Chelsea, who has a similar power to Jasper. When he’s not needed for tracking, though, he mostly stays in the background and is usually seen rather than heard.
He’s first introduced in New Moon as the member who was supposed to take down Edward if he’d exposed himself to humans, but he ends up lurking in the background as Aro and Jane play games with Edward and Bella.
Breaking Dawn’s thinly veiled religious allegory, also known as the plot line when the Cullen family has to find lots of vampires to “bear witness” to the fact that Renesmee is not an immortal child, introduced us to a lot of new vampires.
We finally get to see members of the Denali coven that Carlisle talked about over the past three books, including Kate.
Kate is one of the original Denali coven sisters and is a "vegetarian," like the Cullen clan. Out of all of them, though, she’s easily one of the best fighters.
She was born in medieval Slovakia and was trained in her tribe’s martial arts when she was still a human.
As a vampire, she’s even more formidable. She can generate an electric current over her skin, shocking whoever touches her without her permission.
With Zafrina, she uses this power to help Bella figure out her shield. While there’s no battle in the book, Kate is ready and willing to fight.
In the movie, we can see her using her power against some of the most senior members of the Volturi, helping the Cullens to protect Renesmee even while grieving the passing of her sister.
That’s physical and emotional strength. Don’t underestimate Kate.
There are only two people who have escaped James once he’s made a decision about them -- Alice Cullen and Bella Swan.
As the main antagonist of Twilight (well, the end of Twilight, anyway), James is an unusually gifted and sadistic tracker. Just tracking his victims isn’t enough for him. He enjoys playing with them and drawing out the process to have as much "fun" with each poor soul as possible.
He’s the vampire that non-Twilight fans enjoyed when they were dragged to the theater by their friends... until he was torn into pieces and burned by Edward, anyway.
James is able to track people through a heightened sixth sense of sorts after latching onto their scent. Unlike some other trackers, he didn’t just hunt humans for food. Since humans were usually too easy, he also hunted other vampires for sport.
Laurent, another member of James’ coven, calls him the most gifted and lethal tracker he’s ever seen.
Because James drinks human blood rather than animal blood, he’s also physically stronger than the rest of the Cullen clan, posing an additional threat.
Eventually, though, he is overpowered and taken out by Edward and the rest of the Cullens, setting in motion the events of Eclipse.
After her mate James' life is taken by the Cullens, Victoria becomes the antagonist of both New Moon and Eclipse. She makes it her mission to destroy Bella as revenge for the demise of James so that she can hurt the Cullens the same way that they hurt her.
Victoria doesn’t seem to have any enhanced abilities at first glance, but her real power is that she’s particularly skilled at self-preservation.
It doesn’t matter if she’s being pursued by an entire pack of giant werewolves or a family with a vampire that can literally see versions of the future -- she always finds a way to stay alive. That in itself is powerful.
Victoria also creates and leads her own army of newborns in Eclipse to fight the Cullens, giving herself even more power to reckon with. Since the newborns don’t yet understand their new "lives" as vampires and are only familiar with the way Victoria operates, they stay by her side out of a combination of loyalty and fear.
Victoria probably would have outlasted everyone in the series if she hadn’t let her emotions get the best of her during her battle with Edward in Eclipse.
It’s the one time she went against her survival instinct, and it cost her her life.
Alec is one of the highest ranking members of the Volturi, though characters who aren’t in the know probably wouldn’t guess that at first glance.
Along with his twin sister, Jane, he appears to be a young child until you look closer, only twelve or thirteen years old. (Their characters were aged up for the movies.)
In reality, both of them are ancient and are two of the main offensive weapons that the law enforcing coven has.
Alec can arguably take down any vampire regardless of size or other mental abilities due to his powerful gift.
He is able to create complete sensory deprivation in anyone he focuses on. Unlike some of the other vampires on this list, his gift can also affect multiple people at once. It looks like a mist that slowly creeps toward you that you still can’t escape.
Like some of the other vampires with particularly powerful abilities, he showed evidence of this power when he was still human, drawing attention to himself early. He and Jane were specially recruited by the Volturi for their abilities.
Together, they have helped the Volturi take down dozens of other vampires at once when their powers are combined.
Alec’s position within the Volturi and his unique ability make him one of the most powerful vampires in the world.
Alec’s twin sister is the second half of the Volturi's offensive plan. Similar to her brother, she can take down any vampire she chooses, regardless of size or age, simply by looking at them.
Jane’s power is more aggressive -- she can inspire horrific, debilitating pain in anyone she chooses to focus her power on. She can basically cast the Cruciatus Curse in real life.
She gets her ability from the last experience she had as a human. When they were children, she and Alec were accused of being witches and dragged to be burned at the stake.
Even though she already had some psychic abilities before being turned -- which is why she was accused of witchcraft -- they were just strengthened by her transformation into a vampire. Now she can inflict that same burning sensation on anyone she wants.
Her power is psychic, not physical, so once she lets up the pain vanishes completely without any other effect.
Unlike Alec, though, her power inspires fear in anyone who hears of her. The fear of Jane alone is enough to keep many people in line, as is the fact that she clearly gets a twisted sort of joy from torturing other people.
4 Edward Cullen
Edward Cullen, aka everyone’s favorite emotionally abusive romantic lead, comes in at number four on our list. If Stephenie Meyer were writing this list, he’d probably come in at number one, but we already had to suspend our disbelief that he defeated a lot of the other people on this list. We’re compromising here.
Edward’s story is pretty well-known amongst fans -- he was born at the start of the twentieth century, was changed by Carlisle in 1918 during a Spanish influenza outbreak, and became a moody vampire spending eternal life in high school until he met Bella Swan.
Edward is so notable for his power that we learn about in the very first Twilight book.
He is able to read minds, a power that comes naturally to him. Unlike some of the other vampires, which require touch or a specific focus to enact their abilities, Edward seems to always be able to hear the thoughts of the people around him -- except for Bella’s, of course.
In addition to his psychic abilities, which give him an edge in most situations, he’s also physically strong.
Victoria and James both met their ends at the hands of Edward, and Aro admires both his physical and mental abilities.
3 Bella Swan Cullen
Human Bella might have been the weakest person in the beginning series, but because her character is wish-fulfillment personified, she becomes the strongest once she’s turned into a vampire. It doesn’t make much sense, but we’re going to roll with it.
As a human, Bella was notable because she wasn’t affected by the psychic abilities of other vampires. Edward was intrigued by her because he couldn’t read her mind, and Jane was infuriated by her because her psychic torture didn’t work.
No one really knew why it was that she was so special, but she is because it’s Bella.
When she became a vampire, that quality was turned into a psychic shield that Bella can extend over other people with some effort. When she’s using her shield, anyone within its radius is safe from another vampire’s psychic effects.
Jane and Alec’s powers, though famous in the vampire world, are rendered useless, and people like Marcus are unable to track her.
Because so many of the vampires in the Twilight world are especially powerful because of their psychic abilities, and since Bella’s power makes all of them null and void, her defensive power is one of the most powerful of all. Who would have guessed?
Even though Meyer gave some hefty advantages to her protagonist, there are still people who are far stronger than Bella. Aro, the leader of the Volturi, easily makes our ranking at number two.
Aro is ancient, born around 1300 BC in Greece. He was changed in his mid-twenties and quickly joined forces with the equally ancient Marcus, later recruiting Caius to finally form the early ranks of the Volturi.
The fact that he stayed "alive" for over a thousand years is already proof that Aro is not someone you want to mess with. (Even if the way he was portrayed in the movies doesn’t necessarily get that message across.)
Like Edward, Aro can also read minds, though his power works differently. Edward can hear the thoughts of anyone around him at any given time, but he can only hear what they’re thinking currently.
Aro can only read the minds of someone he is currently touching, but if he touches your hand, he can read every thought you’ve ever had.
This has allowed him to learn enough about people to manipulate them, be the judge in cases where vampires have broken the law, and find ways to continue staying in power.
As powerful as the rest of the vampires on this list are, there can still only be one who beats them all. Even though he only makes an appearance in Breaking Dawn, Benjamin has proven that he’s the most powerful vampire introduced in the series.
Benjamin is from the Egyptian coven and is one of the vampires who travels to Forks to bear witness to Renesmee’s half-human, half-vampire existence. He was born in Cairo in the late eighteenth century and showed special talents early on.
This made him an excellent street performer, which eventually drew the attention of the vampire Amun. Amun wanted to have a powerful vampire in his coven, so he stole Benjamin away and turned him.
That turned out to be a great decision since Benjamin is the only known vampire to be able to manipulate the natural elements: earth, water, air, and fire.
While the abilities of all the other vampires are psychic, Benjamin’s can actually affect the physical world.
We sadly don’t get to see these powers in action much in the book, but in the movie’s version of the final battle, we see him use his powers to open up a rift in the ground so deep it leads to the magma below. We’d say that he's easily more powerful than anyone else.
What do you think of our ranking of Twilight's vampires? Who do you think is the most powerful? Let us know in the comments!