- "My time as a human is over, but I've never felt more alive. I was born to be a vampire."
Isabella "Bella" Marie Swan (later Cullen), was born to Charlie Swan and Renée Dwyer on September 13, 1987, and is the main protagonist of the Twilight Saga. In Twilight, she is a 17-year-old girl who transfers schools from Phoenix, Arizona to Forks, Washington to live with her father Charlie, where she meets and falls in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen.
In Breaking Dawn, she marries Edward on August 13, 2006 and becomes a member of the Olympic coven. She is transformed into a vampire by Edward after nearly dying giving birth to their daughter, Renesmee Cullen, a human/vampire hybrid. Bella is the daughter-in-law of Edward Masen Senior and Elizabeth Masen, as well as the adoptive daughter-in-law of Carlisle and Esme Cullen. She is the adoptive sister-in-law of Alice and Emmett Cullen, and of Jasper and Rosalie Hale.
As a human, Bella possessed a natural immunity to the mental powers of vampires. After her transformation into a vampire, she develops it into the ability to project a mental shield that protects others from the psychic powers of other vampires.
Isabella Marie Swan was born on September 13, 1987, to Renée and Charlie Swan, a young couple living in the small town of Forks, Washington. Her parents divorced when she was only three months old. Renée took Bella with her to Downey, California, to live with her difficult grandmother, before moving to Riverside after her mother got her education degree and landed a job as a kindergarten teacher at a local school.
When Bella was six years old, they moved to Phoenix, Arizona. During most of her childhood, she would visit her father in Forks for a month every summer, and also spent time with Rachel, Rebecca and Jacob Black, the children of Charlie's best friend, Billy Black, though they never became real friends. Bella found the climate in Forks unpleasant, though, and from 2002 onwards, Charlie vacationed with her in California instead. She briefly took ballet and piano lessons, but quit them after some time because she found them too difficult.
Bella never fit in with her peers in California or Arizona. She had always had the feeling of being a little out of sync with everyone - including her mother, who was her best friend. While her mother was impractical, absentminded and liked to shift from one interest to the next, Bella grew up as the more responsible and independent individual. At an early age, she took over most of the household responsibilities. Sometimes, she would feel like she was the adult and Renée was the child.
During free time, she preferred to sit home and read, in part because she was extraordinarily clumsy. Her naturally responsible nature carried over into her schoolwork, where Bella was generally a straight-A student. Her plan for the future was to get a degree in education and teach, like her mother. Renee's career was the one thing that Bella truly respected. However, she intended to teach at the high school level.
When Bella noticed that Renée felt lonely due to the lack of romance in her life, she encouraged her mother to go on more dates. Eventually, Renée fell in love with and married a minor league baseball player named Phil Dwyer. They married in the same month that Bella turned 17. While Phil traveled around for his job, Renée stayed home with Bella; however, Bella, noticing her mother's unhappiness with this arrangement, chose to move in with her father in Forks so Renée could go on the road with Phil during baseball season, leading to the beginning of Twilight.
- Main article: Twilight
- "I've never given much thought to how I would die. But dying in the place of someone I love seemed like a good way to go."
- ―Bella's quote in Twilight[src]
At the beginning of Twilight, Bella moves back to her birth town of Forks, Washington, to live with her father, Charlie Swan, to let her mother, Renée Dwyer, travel with her new husband, Phil. She enrolls at Forks High School in the middle of her junior year. She does not notice the physical attraction she holds for the male students at the school, and makes a few new friends, including Jessica Stanley, Angela Weber, and Mike Newton, the latter of whom she later discovers is very interested in her.
The one group of people at Forks High School that truly intrigues Bella are the Cullens, a mysterious family consisting of five adopted children. Edward Cullen, in particular, captures her attention, along with his adopted siblings, namely: Alice, a petite girl with black, pixie-cut hair, who has the ability to see the future; Jasper, her husband, who has the hardest time in the family abstaining from human blood; Emmett, a broad, extremely muscular vampire; finally, Rosalie, his wife, who is a beautiful, self-absorbed woman. Due to Bella's uncanny ability to attract accidents, Edward finds himself often protecting her from various unlikely calamities, and finds himself growing extremely protective of her - to the point where even he admits he sometimes goes too far.
When a car almost hits Bella, Edward knocks her out of the way and shields her from the collision. Bella realizes that it would have been physically impossible for a ordinary human being to cross the distance to her in time - as Edward was four cars away from her a split-second before the truck would have crushed her - or hold back, much less push away, a pick-up truck with his bare hands. She confronts him in the hospital, but he dismisses her accusations in an unsuccessful attempt to throw her off the scent, instead leaving her more suspicious than ever.
Later, Edward rescues Bella from a gang of men in Port Angeles. As there is no possible way he could have known where she was, she becomes convinced that he indeed has supernatural powers, and, as he drives her home, she tells him about her theories on his true nature in an attempt to get him to divulge more information about himself. He merely finds these amusing, though he does all but admit to his mind-reading abilities and her immunity to them.
As the story progresses, a family friend, Jacob Black, informs Bella that the Cullens are supposedly vampires according to his tribe's legend. However, they are different from other vampires in that they are "vegetarians", meaning they drink the blood of animals rather than of humans. Edward and Bella get to know each other better, and he reveals that he has great difficulty being near her due to the unusually appetizing smell of her blood; he must constantly control his thirst, lest his vampiric instincts take over and drive him to slaughter her.
Despite his desire for her blood, Edward and Bella fall passionately in love. Edward introduces her to his family, and soon after she is invited to watch their baseball game. During the game, danger reveals itself in the form of a visiting vampire coven consisting of Laurent, Victoria, and James. Victoria's mate, James, is a sadistic tracker vampire who has set his sights on killing Bella for sports; he was fascinated by Edward's protectiveness of a human. He tricks her into coming to her old ballet studio with the sound of her mother's voice, where he bites her wrist and almost transforms her into a vampire. But the Cullen family rush to Bella's aid and Edward manages to drain the venom out of her system before it was too late. They destroy James, though the other vampires of his coven, Victoria and Laurent, run and survive. Bella spends time in a hospital with Edward constantly by her side, where he admits that his sister Alice saw a vision of Bella becoming a vampire. However, he is determined to keep her human, despite her own will to become a vampire. The reasons behind his intentions are revealed in New Moon.
Two months after James's demise, Edward takes Bella to their high school prom, despite her broken leg and angry protests. There are high levels of tension as he turns to action, caused by Edward and Bella's differences of opinion about her becoming a vampire. Bella is determined to be with Edward forever, but at the age of 17. Edward wants her to have a normal human life, in other words saying that he will love her on any condition, mortal or not. In the end, they put their arguments aside to enjoy the evening, but Bella knows the conversation is not over.
- Main article: New Moon
- "These violent delights have violent ends."
"And in their triumph die, like fire and powder."
"Which, as they kiss, consume."
- ―Bella's quote of Romeo and Juliet in New Moon[src]
The events of New Moon begin on Bella's 18th birthday. Bella is especially upset because it is the day that she becomes older, physically, than Edward, who will always be 17. It doesn't help that she also has a nightmare, where she is with who she believes to be her Grandma Marie, but who turns out to be herself. Edward comes to her side in the dream and is just as young and flawless as always. Edward persuades her to come to his house on the evening of her birthday for a party thrown by his sister, Alice. Bella receives a paper cut while opening one of her gifts, drawing a single drop of blood and causing Edward's brother, Jasper, to try to attack her. Edward, in the process of defending Bella from Jasper, throws her into a table filled with crystal, which results in Bella getting a deep cut from her wrist to her elbow.
Although Bella's injuries are not life-threatening, Edward decides that she would be safer without him, his family, and his dangerous lifestyle, so he deceives Bella into thinking that he does not love her any longer and leaves Forks with his family. She tries to find him in the woods, but he was already gone. That night, Sam Uley tracks her down and takes her home. However, when she returns to her room, she realizes that she has nothing that reminds her of Edward and sinks into deep depression. One week after Edward's departure, her parents decide it would be better for her to move to Jacksonville to live with her mother. But when they pack, she throws tantrums at them, expressing her anger and pain for the first time since they left. After that, she tried to act as normal as possible to keep her parents from moving her away from Forks, but her depression doesn't relent, which worries her parents.
Four months later, Charlie, her father, threatens to send her back to live with her mother in Jacksonville because he is worried about her behavior. To appease her father, she tries to engage in normal, teenage-like behavior. She invites her friend Jessica to go to Port Angeles with her for dinner and a movie. While there, she carelessly approaches four men standing outside a bar. This results in her hearing Edward's voice inside her head, warning her to turn around. Bella soon realizes that whenever she puts herself in a dangerous situation, she can hear Edward's voice with perfect clarity. With this discovery in mind, Bella seeks out Jacob and convinces him to fix a motorcycle for her and teach her how to ride. Jacob and Bella become friends, when suddenly Jacob refuses to answer any of her calls and asks her not to come to his house anymore. It is not until two weeks later that Bella learns what has happened to her friend: he has become a werewolf and is avoiding Bella for her own safety. She also learns that Victoria has returned to kill her, out of revenge for Edward killing Victoria's mate, James, in Twilight. Bella and Jacob reconcile, and she assists his werewolf pack in hunting down Victoria.
To hear Edward's voice again, Bella attempts cliff-diving and nearly drowns. When Alice, who has the power to see the future, sees Bella jump, she believes Bella has committed suicide and subsequently returns to Forks. Edward, isolated from his family by his own volition, is told by Rosalie, his other adopted sister, that Bella is dead. Alice finds Bella and tells her that Edward is going to Volterra to ask the Volturi to kill him, because he believes Bella is dead. Bella and Alice quickly pursue Edward to Italy, and stop him from being killed, even though Jacob protested to this decision. Afterwards they are brought to speak with the Volturi, where the leader Aro tests her immunity to psychic powers by trying to read mind and then tell Jane to try her powers, neither proves to affect her. She is then offered a place within the Volturi, along with Edward and Alice, but none of them accept the offer. When the Volturi leaders find Bella a liability due to her knowledge of vampires, the Cullens make a promise to change her into a vampire so that they can be let free.
Back in Forks, Edward explains why he had to leave and begs her forgiveness. He confesses his true feelings and promises to never leave her again. She forgives him, and they continue their relationship as if Edward never left. When Edward once again refuses to transform Bella into a vampire, she decides to let his family decide whether she should be changed and thus join their family. All except Edward and Rosalie vote affirmatively for her to be changed. Although initially outraged by his family's decision, Edward later agrees to change her himself if she agrees to marry him first. Later, Jacob meets with Edward and Bella to remind Edward and his family of the treaty made between the Cullens and the La Push werewolves, which states that no Cullen may bite a human. Bella is thus left in a difficult position: if she does not become a vampire, the Volturi will come to kill her. However, if the Cullens do make her into a vampire, they will have broken their treaty with the La Push werewolves, which would start a war with the Cullens. To make her father ground her, he turns in her motorcycle.
- Main article: Eclipse
- "Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice."
"From what I've tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire."
"But if I had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate to say it for destruction"
"Ice is also great and would suffice."
- ―Bella's quote of Fire and Ice in Eclipse[src]
Eclipse serves as a rite of passage for Bella's maturity as her days of humanity are coming to an end. She is forced to fully realize the outcomes and consequences of her decision, as well as her options and desires before becoming an immortal.
The story begins with Bella reading a letter from Jacob that says that they can't be friends anymore. She is upset about this, but her mood greatly improves when Edward comes to visit her. While she is still grounded by her father, Edward is allowed into the house until nine o'clock. He continuously tries to convince Bella to fill out more application forms for Dartmouth after getting accepted to the University of Alaska, but Bella thinks that college is pointless since she will become a vampire soon anyway. Edward then sees an article in the newspaper about a series of mysterious killings in Seattle and explains to Bella that these killings are most likely caused by a newborn; a recently turned vampire who is unable to control its thirst. Bella tries to make things right with Jacob, to which Edward strongly objects, stating that werewolves are unstable and that they could hurt her. Later on that day in school, Bella witnesses Alice having a vision: Victoria is coming back to Forks to hunt her. Edward denies what he saw and talks Bella into leaving town to visit her mom for the weekend, saying that it might be her last chance to see her before she graduates. When she returns, Jacob confronts Edward and Bella finds out that Victoria is back.
Ultimately, Edward must go hunting and leave Bella alone. For fear of Bella putting herself in danger, he bribes Alice with a yellow 911 Porsche Turbo to watch over Bella while he's gone and keep her away from Jacob. Bella is furious at Edward's presumption and manages to slip away to see Jacob. While staying at the Cullens' house, Rosalie tries to convince her to stay human by telling her human background story. Edward returns early for the weekend. He is not upset that Bella ran away, and realizes that he has been overprotective. Bella thanks Edward, and he begins occasionally taking her to the La Push line for regular visits with Jacob. During one of the visits, Jacob admits that he is in love with Bella and forcefully kisses her. Bella is furious and punches him in the face, succeeding only in breaking her hand. Edward later threatens to break Jacob's jaw for Bella if he ever kisses her without her permission again.
She later finds out that the killings in Seattle is caused not just by newborns, but an entire army of them. Jasper presents his past and experience with newborns. They suspect that the army is directed toward them, but decide to play it by "ear".
Meanwhile, Bella still has her heart set on joining Edward and his family as a vampire. But, after little consideration, she decides that there is one thing she would like to do while still human: she wants to make love with Edward. Edward immediately refuses this demand, explaining that although he wants her as much as she wants him, he could easily kill her if he lost control. Bella insists that he would never allow himself to let that happen. Eventually, Edward agrees to try, but she must marry him first. Bella reluctantly agrees and becomes Edward's fiancée.
Moments before Bella's graduation, she realizes that the army of newborn vampires are under the control of Victoria and therefore will be coming after her. Having no other allies since the Denali coven refused to get involved in the fight, the Cullens and the La Push wolf pack join forces to battle Victoria and her army in order to protect Forks and Bella.
Before the battle, Jacob overhears Bella and Edward discussing their engagement and becomes very upset. He tells Bella that he will go in battle with the intentions of dying because she won't love him back. Bella asks him to kiss her so he will think she loves him back, but as she kisses him, she realizes that she does love Jacob after all. She feels terrible after doing so, but Edward isn't angry. Despite realizing her feelings for Jacob, Bella knows that those feelings could never compare to the intense love she has for Edward.
Soon after this, Victoria and Riley, another vampire, find their hiding spot. With Edward outnumbered, it at first looks like Victoria will be successful in killing Bella. But Seth, another shape-shifter, arrives to assist them. Seth kills Riley, and Edward beheads Victoria seconds later. After a brief confrontation with several Volturi soldiers, Bella goes to visit Jacob, who was wounded in the battle. She tells him that, while she does love him, she has chosen Edward. Jacob reluctantly agrees to stop trying to come between Edward and her, and assures her that he'll be there if she ever needs him. Later that night, Bella cries about having to reject Jacob, while Edward comforts her through the night. She vows that she'll never let Edward see her shed a tear for Jacob again.
Bella realizes that she needs to take responsibilities for the choices that she has made, to properly say goodbye to her friends and family and tie herself to Edward in every human way, and later allows Alice to plan the wedding, with few limitations and makes her maid-of-honor. Bella and Edward then go to their meadow, and they agree to tell Charlie about their engagement.
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
- Main article: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
- "I met the girl's stare for a long moment. Chin-length dark hair framed her face, which was alabaster pale. It was hard to tell if her features were beautiful, twisted as they were by rage and thirst. The feral red eyes were dominant—hard to look away from. She glared at me vigorously, shuddering and writhing every few seconds."
- ―Bella on Bree Tanner[src]
In The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, Riley stole Bella's red blouse and brought it to the newborns while telling them about the Cullens, saying that they are out to get them to reclaim Seattle to themselves and that Bella is kept as their "pet". The shirt gave Bella's scent to the newborns, which Bree Tanner described as the sweetest scent she'd ever smelled.
Bella appears at the end of the novella, when Edward brings her into the battlefield after the battle was over. She spots the surrendered newborn, Bree, who believed Bella was a vampire until her face is revealed. Although she is tempted by Bella's blood, Carlisle manages to talk her into composing herself. Bella observes the newborn's frantic, blood-craving expression and begins to realize what problems she may have to face after becoming a vampire.
She mostly stays in the background while observing the Volturi's interrogation on the Cullens and Bree. Jane tries against to inflict her power on her, again to no avail. She then expresses Caius's interest to hear that she is still human, but Alice counters by saying that the date is set.
- Main article: Breaking Dawn
- "Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age."
"The child is grown, and puts away childish things."
"Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies."
- ―Bella quoting Edna St. Vincent Millay in Breaking Dawn: Part 1.[src]
In the first chapter of Breaking Dawn, it is revealed that Bella and Edward have told both of her parents about their engagement and both given their blessing, though Charlie is still slightly resistant to the thought of their marriage. Alice is busy making preparations for the wedding, which is only one day away. Meanwhile, Edward has bought her a Mercedes Guardian, which she sees as either a sign of compassion and caring or as over-protectiveness and worry about her safety. This car is for temporary use until she is changed into a vampire, when she will not need the protection, and then he will replace it with a red Ferrari. Meanwhile, Bella feels guilty about Jacob, believing that her rejection caused him to run away.
The wedding goes smoothly, and Bella meets the Denali Coven for the first time. Jacob arrives at the party despite her rejection of him, and Bella is very relieved that Jacob has decided to come after all. However, he gets into an argument with Bella about her wanting to make love with Edward while she is still human. Luckily, only the werewolves and the Cullens hear the argument.
Edward and Bella leave for their honeymoon to Isle Esme, where they consummate their marriage. Edward is horrified when he sees that he bruised Bella while doing so. He vows not to make love with her again until she has been turned, but Bella succeeds in getting him to do so. Bella later notices that she is getting unusual illnesses and changes of appetite, but does not make anything of it. After seeing a bag of unused tampons, she realizes that she is pregnant with a half-human half-vampire offspring. Edward immediately takes her back to Forks where he and Carlisle can abort the baby, but Bella asks Rosalie to protect her as she has already learned to love the child.
Her baby develops at an extremely fast rate, and she becomes very sick. She becomes unable to adjust food, and is dying slowly. Edward asks Jacob to try to convince her to kill the baby that was killing her, but Bella refuses, because she loves it. Through Jacob's joking, Edward then suggests for Bella to drink donated human blood, and she quickly becomes stronger, but it also makes the baby so strong that it breaks her ribs by accident. Soon after, Edward realizes that he can hear the baby's thoughts now that it has developed enough of its brain, and starts to love the baby when he hears that it "absolutely adores Bella." Jacob remarks that Edward could never hate anyone who loved Bella, which is why Edward did not hate him. Also, after going against Sam's orders to kill Bella and her baby, Jacob forms his own pack with Leah and Seth Clearwater to protect her and the Cullens.
After having a typical Bella moment, which includes dropping a cup full of blood, the hardened placenta detaches, and Edward, Rosalie, and Jacob are forced to perform an emergency surgery since Carlisle is hunting with Esme. Bella's body is nearly destroyed in the process - with several ribs broken, she loses vast amounts of blood, and her spinal cord is snapped. Seeing the baby is a girl, Bella decides to name the baby "Renesmee" right before her heart stops beating. Edward then injects her heart with some of his own venom and bites her body in several places, turning Bella into a vampire. Jacob goes to kill Renesmee since he believes she killed Bella while she was giving birth, but imprints on her instead.
Bella experiences the full agony of the transformation - the feeling of being burned alive, which she comments that James snapping her leg couldn't come close to this. But she decides to remain completely still throughout the process to keep from hurting Edward's feelings. Her transformation completes after three days, now a vampire. She claims that she can notice how everything is different now that she is a newborn: Her senses are improved by great lengths. She explains her new eyesight, laying her new eyes first on a light on the ceiling, claiming to see an "eighth" color emanating from it—UV light. Shortly after her creation, Edward takes her out on her first hunt. She jumps out of the window very gracefully, impressing Edward, kicks off her shoes and runs barefoot through the forest. She proves to have incredible self control when she runs away from the scent of human blood, something newborns aren't supposed to be able to do. After she is full, they return to meet Renesmee. Even more so, she is amazed by the passionate touches of Edward now that he no longer has to worry about hurting her.
While everyone is worried about her thirst, she manages to retain complete control and hugs her daughter. Bella later finds out Jacob imprinted on Renesmee, which makes her very angry; she calms down quickly, but not before trying to kill Jacob after also finding out that he had nicknamed her daughter "Nessie", after the Loch Ness Monster. Later, Jacob, aware that the Cullens are planning to move away, phases into his wolf form in front of Charlie (he thought Charlie was the reason they were leaving). Charlie is shocked to discover Bella has known about the mythical world for years, and tells her to tell him only what is absolutely necessary for him to know. This allows Bella to keep her father in her new life without putting him in danger. Bella adjusts to her new life extremely well, going as far as to think she was destined to be a vampire.
Months later, Bella is hunting with Jacob and Renesmee in the forest when a vampire, Irina, sees her daughter and mistakes her for an immortal child, whose creation is a heinous crime of the vampire world. When Alice learns that the Volturi and their entire guard are coming to destroy the Cullens, she flees with Jasper on a secret mission and leaves clues for Bella to find Jason Jenks to forge passports and IDs for Renesmee and Jacob if they fail to stop the Volturi. The Cullens look for other vampires to be witnesses, including nomads and other covens, such as the Irish and the Amazon covens. In the meantime, Bella finds out that she possesses the power to shield herself from the mental abilities of vampires. Kate, a member of Denali Coven, tries to teach Bella to project her power, so she could protect others from the Volturi's powers.
When the Volturi arrive at the end of December, the Cullens and their allies manage to convince them that Renesmee really is half-human, but Aro, dead-set on claiming the gifts of the Cullens and some of their friends, plots every possible justification to kill Renesmee. When Edward faces Aro alone, Bella's anger triggers her shield with absolute control, allowing her to shield everyone in her surrounding. Before the Volturi declare a war, Alice and Jasper arrive with vampires Kachiri and Huilen and half-vampire Nahuel, to prove that Renesmee's future is safe to the vampire world. The Volturi have no more plots to declare a war with the Cullens, and, with the help of the shape-shifters, Alice's research, and Bella's gift, retreat to Volterra, though Irina pays for her mistake with her life. After the confrontation Bella, Edward and Renesmee return to their cottage where Bella drops her shield and allows Edward to read her mind for the first time, showing him how much she really loves him. In the end, Edward, Bella, and Renesmee live their lives freely. The happily ever after begins here.
- "My first reaction was an unthinking pleasure. The alien creature in the glass was indisputably beautiful, every bit as beautiful as Alice or Esme. She was fluid even in stillness, and her flawless face was pale as the moon against the frame of her dark, heavy hair. Her limbs were smooth and strong, skin glistening subtly, luminous as a pearl."
- ―Bella on seeing herself for the first time since her transformation
Bella is described as having a very pale complexion with long, straight, dark brown hair, a widow's peak, unique chocolate brown eyes and a heart-shaped face with a wide forehead. Her eyes are large and widely spaced. Her nose is thin and her cheekbones are prominent. Her lips are a bit too full for her slim jawline. Her eyebrows are darker than her hair and are straighter than they are arched. As such, even before she became a vampire and inherited god-like beauty, Bella was rather pretty, as she unintentionally attracted the attention of several boys in school, not just Edward.
As for distinguishing features, Bella has a small crescent-shaped scar on her hand where she was bitten by James, a tracker vampire, in Twilight. The scar is described as being pale, always a few degrees colder than the rest of her body, and it shines like a vampire's skin when exposed to the sunlight. After Bella is changed into a vampire by Edward, she becomes extremely beautiful with even paler skin, straight waist-length hair, and crimson red eyes that will eventually turn gold after months of drinking animal blood.
Bella mostly prefers to wear shirts, jeans and sneakers everywhere she goes, as she lacks an interest in fashion.
- "I'm really more of a 'suffer-in-silence' type."
- ―Bella on herself[src]
Bella is described as being exceptionally clumsy, dropping and tripping over everything in sight, and so is easily described as the most fragile human in the world; however this changes once she is transformed into a vampire. Bella is also described as reclusive, quiet, insecure but kind-hearted, compassionate and caring towards others. She also cares for the rest of the Cullen family, her father Charlie and mother Renée, and her friend Jacob Black. She has a tendency to underestimate the people around her mainly because of her concerns for their safety.
Having learned to take care of her mother over the years and being naturally responsible, Bella had developed into a very mature person, especially for her age. Because she lacks any skill in anything noticeable as a human, she mostly prefers to spend her free time reading, especially classics, and listening to music.
When it comes to fashion, Bella is somewhat of a tomboy. She hates dressing up, saying that makeup "is a pain" and that she feels uncomfortable in impractical, elegant clothes; however, Alice doesn't care what Bella thinks and continues to persuade her to dress up and look glamorous. She doesn't like spending money on luxurious items, as she stated to Edward in New Moon 'not to spend a dime on my birthday,' and that fast cars are unnecessary, saying that Edward gave her himself and anything else he gives her would throw their relationship off balance. She hates being singled out, and doesn't like her birthday being celebrated. She also has very negative views on teen marriage due to her parents' early experience, but learns to overcome them later.
She prefers to keep her thoughts and feelings to herself and hates when someone tries to understand her, which is thought to be why Edward is unable to hear her thoughts. She is also known to be incredibly stubborn, because of her determination to become a vampire in order to be with Edward forever. She is also said to possess poor acting skills. Ironically, she demonstrates good acting ability in Twilight when she makes her father believe that she has dumped Edward and is leaving Forks. She has a habit of biting her lip, which she shares with Kristen Stewart. As a human, Bella easily fainted at the sight or smell of blood, which she said smells like rust and salt in Twilight, though it changes after she became a vampire. Bella is also shown in Breaking Dawn, to have a good mood climate, and is able to run away from the smell of human blood when she goes on her first hunting trip as a vampire.
Bella has a sarcastic sense of humor, especially when she gets mad. She is also very brave, able to block painful thoughts and memories (hence her special vampire ability), and tends to come face-to-face with life-threatening danger head-on, even though she can get scared later. She puts Edward before herself and everybody and everything else, but several 'selfish' tendencies emerge (as when she asked Edward to stay with her instead of fighting vampires in Eclipse). Stephenie Meyer has stated that Bella's "tragic flaw" in Eclipse is her lack of self-knowledge. This is most obviously illustrated in her consistent denial of any romantic feelings for Jacob Black, despite the fact that she later realizes that she is, indeed, in love with him.
Bella is also a very bad liar. According to Eclipse, Jacob and Edward saying that she's a terrible liar, are evidence to this. Besides, she also admits this throughout the whole saga, though she seemingly manages to lie to herself about her romantic feelings for Jacob.
Bella, according to Edward in Midnight Sun, has no sense of fear when she finds out Edward is a vampire. Instead of running away, as she should have, she decides to ask lots of questions with extreme curiosity. This makes Edward believe that it is not bad luck that follows her around, but that she has no sense of self-preservation.
She dislikes cold and wet climates, even snow, which is why she initially hated to live in Forks. However, after meeting Edward, she found the town much more comfortable, even calling it "home". As a vampire, she also dislikes the idea of feeding on humans, but is glad to have found the strength she needed to protect her loved ones.
Powers and abilities
- "I realized now that I'd long ago given up any aspirations of shining at anything. I just did the best with what I had, never quite fitting into my world. So this was really different. I was amazing now - both to them and to myself. It was like I had been born to be a vampire. The idea made me want to laugh, but it also made me want to sing. I had found my true place in the world, the place I fit, the place I shined."
- ―Bella on her new life.[src]
After becoming a vampire, Bella explains that she has a clearer view of the world, and was impressed with her new family's and her husband Edward's physical appearance.
As a newborn vampire, she demonstrates a very high level of self-control; being able to run away from the scent of human blood on her first hunting trip, and later, restrain herself from attacking her father; this is unusual for newborn vampires, because their state as new vampires brings an overwhelming thirst for blood, and thus they usually have a hard time controlling their urges and desires. This led her to believe that her self-control was her gift when it was really a production of her mental preparation and maturity. Eleazar corrects this when he discovers her true gift. Bella appears to be talented at being a vampire, as she learns to control her new abilities and urges very quickly, even saying that she felt like she was born to be one, and is very graceful in her new state. Several people, including Aro, Felix, and Edward, have commented that immortality fits her perfectly.
In Breaking Dawn, Bella can detect minor changes in Renesmee's physical appearance, such as her hair growing a couple of millimeters. She also adapts to fighting by taking lessons from Edward, Rosalie, Emmett, Garrett, Tanya, Eleazar and Zafrina.
- Main article: Mental shield
Bella's gift allows her to shield herself and those around her from supernatural powers that affect the mind (such as Edward's and Aro's telepathy, Jane's illusionary pain, Alec's sensory paralysis, Eleazar's ability identification, Kate's electric shock, and Zafrina's illusion), which explains why most of their powers were useless against her when she was still human. She had displayed this power since before the beginning of the Twilight series, and by becoming a vampire, her shield was greatly intensified in strength. It has been speculated in the first three novels about what her gift might be after she was changed. This power comes from her subconscious desire to protect her mind above everything else, and as long as she holds on to that desire, it makes the shield difficult to extract. Her father Charlie shows a less developed form of this shield; indeed, Edward finds him difficult to read, but not completely closed off like Bella.
In Breaking Dawn, Bella uses her shielding power as a giant dome to protect her family and friends when the Volturi attempt to make a move on them, when she was enraged by Edward facing danger alone and she is forced to stay behind, with an antagonistic smile emitted from Jane to push her anger further. Freed from her desire to protect herself, she is able to shape her shield in any way she wills it; such as creating a giant protective bubble, or wrapping it around her targets like plastic bags. When she shields others, her mind will form an extra shield to protect herself. Those she shields will also become a part of her, allowing her to feel them in range without having to look. Bella can also remove her shield completely and allow vampires' mental powers work on her if she so chooses, though it is more difficult than pushing it out.
Though her shield is powerful, it has many limitations: it has no effect against a physical attack, which makes it easy for an enemy to invade her shield and use his power on those she protects. Additionally, it has no effect against Alice's power of precognition, Jasper's ability to control her mood, Benjamin's power to control the elements of nature, and Marcus's power to detect relationships, since her shield can only block psychic powers that are connected to the mind. The only person who is truly immune to her shield is Renesmee, who is capable of penetrating it.
Aro, the leader of the Volturi who "collects" vampires with useful talents, was so intrigued that Bella could block out mental powers, even as a human, that he twice offered her a place among his guard. She refused both times. Because of her shield, Bella is considered one of the most powerful vampires alive.
Bella is the wife of Edward Cullen and the mother of Renesmee Cullen, as well as the daughter of Charlie Swan and Renée Dwyer, the stepdaughter of Phil Dwyer and the daughter-in-law of Edward and Elizabeth Masen. She is also the adoptive daughter-in-law of Carlisle and Esme Cullen and the adoptive sister-in-law of Alice and Emmett Cullen, and Rosalie and Jasper Hale. She is also the granddaughter of Geoffrey and Helen Swan, as well as Marie Higgenbotham and her ex-husband.
- Main article: Bella Swan and Edward Cullen
- "About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him - and I didn't know how potent that part might be - that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him."
- ―Bella's feelings for Edward.[src]
When Edward and Bella first realize their strong feelings for each other, Bella loves him unconditionally, believing Edward to be absolutely perfect, and does not believe or consider herself as being worthy of his love. Edward first became fascinated with her due to his inability to read her mind, but her blood smells unbearably enticing to him that he finds it hard to be in her presence. Bella subsequently is very fascinated with his physique, and skills, and the purity of his heart. She often describes him as "God-like" in physical appearance, comparing him to the Greek hero Adonis, and hopes that by becoming a vampire, she will become beautiful and graceful like him and the rest of his family. Edward disapproves of this greatly and always tries to reassure her that she is more than worthy of his love, and that she has his heart forever. Bella sometimes thinks of Edward as an angel. Edward proposes to Bella in New Moon and she eventually accepts in Eclipse, looking down on the prospect of marriage but not entirely opposed to it. As part of a deal with Edward, she promises to marry him if he promises to make love with her and then change her into a vampire. She sees this as the only part of the marriage to look forward to.
In Breaking Dawn, Bella overcomes her fear of marriage and happily marries Edward, becoming "Bella Cullen". During their honeymoon on a private island, Isle Esme, Edward and Bella consummate their marriage and conceive a vampire-human hybrid child. During the birth, complications occur and Edward, after delivering their baby via caesarean section, injects Bella with his venom by biting her, thereby transforming her into a vampire, to help save her life.
After Bella's transformation, she and Edward become equals on all levels and can experience a vastly easier life together, though they find it very hard to satisfy their sexual desire for each other. At the end of Breaking Dawn, Bella learns how to lower her mental shield allowing Edward to read her thoughts for the first time, which brings them even closer together. At the series end, Edward and Bella live happily together, presumably forever, as husband and wife with their daughter, Renesmee.
- "The sound of her cry, the familiarity of her eyes, the way she seemed even more impatient than I did for this reunion - all of it wove together into the most natural of patterns as she clutched the air between us. Suddenly, she was absolutely real, and of course I knew her. It was perfectly ordinary that I should take that very last step and reach for her, putting my hands exactly where they would fit best as I pulled her gently toward me."
- ―Bella on seeing Renesmee for the first time[src]
According to myths and legends on the south, the mothers of this particular kind of children have never survived the pregnancy. Knowing this, Edward tries to convince Bella to save her life by having an abortion, but Bella refuses, as she has come to love the child. To protect the baby, she has Rosalie be her guardian, and Emmett and Esme side with her. Edward's hatred ceases when he hears the child's thoughts to find that she already loves her parents, and that she has been hurting her mother by accident, and tries hard not to hurt her again. Bella originally believed that she was carrying a boy and named her "E.J." (Edward Jacob), but saved up the name "Renesmee" in case it's a girl, which proves to be true. After a painful childbirth and transformation, Bella is taken to hunt before she can meet her daughter, because she has blood of her own and Bella cannot guarantee not to hurt her. After she was done, she finally reunites with her daughter without hurting her in any way. She later learns that Jacob has imprinted on Renesmee, which angers her. She later accepts it when she learns Jacob's imprinting is involuntary, and that Renesmee loves Jacob as well, though she finds this annoying. She tries to attack Jacob when she finds out that he has nicknamed her "Nessie", which is nicknamed after the Loch Ness Monster. Though everyone else in her family has grown used to the nickname, she continues refers to her by her real name. She ultimately gives in after three months.
Renesmee can implant images and thoughts in her mind without hindrance by the shield, and it has been speculated that she has reversed her mother's gift. In addition, she has inherited Bella's chocolate brown eyes.
Before the arrival and judgment of the Volturi, Bella gives Renesmee a golden locket (inscribed with the words "plus que ma propre vie" which means "more than my own life" in French). Bella puts her love for her daughter on an equal level as her love to Edward.
- Main article: Bella Swan and Jacob Black
- "Why wasn't I stopping this? Worse than that, why couldn't I find in myself even the desire to want to stop? What did it mean that I didn't want him to stop? That my hands clung to his shoulders, and liked that they were wide and strong? That his hands pulled me too tight against his body, and yet it was not tight enough for me?
The questions were stupid, because I knew the answer: I'd been lying to myself.
Jacob was right. He'd been right all along. He was more than just my friend. That's why it was so impossible to tell him goodbye - because I was in love with him. Too."
- ―Bella's thoughts while kissing Jacob[src]
Jacob Black, a Quileute and the son of Charlie Swan's friend, Billy Black, is Bella's best friend since she came to live in Forks. He falls in love with Bella after some time and spends a lot of time with her during the period of Edward's absence. While Edward was away, Bella found that Jacob's presence soothed the "hole" in her chest that resulted from Edward leaving her. Being around Jacob brought a measure of happiness back to Bella's life, though he was unable to replace Edward. Bella felt that Jacob was a good friend, and that he was her own "personal little sun" which would beam happiness in every direction wherever he went. When Jacob underwent his transformation into a werewolf, it put a distance in their friendship.
In Eclipse, Jacob acts upon his romantic feelings for Bella, and tries to convince her to leave Edward for him. Jacob thinks that, since he is more human than Edward, he will be safer for Bella to have a relationship with. Edward sees this, but is still willing to fight for her. Jacob forcefully kisses Bella, resulting in her punching him, breaking her hand and almost ending their friendship. Sometime later, Jacob overhears that Bella and Edward are engaged and makes Bella kiss him, saying that if she doesn't he will get himself killed. She does so, and realizes that she is in love with Jacob. But Bella soon realizes that her love for Jacob is not as strong as her love for Edward. She later tells Jacob that she has chosen Edward over him, breaking his heart.
A devastated Jacob remains at odds with Edward and Bella after this. Eventually, Jacob imprints on Edward and Bella's daughter, Renesmee, ridding him of his heartache for Bella. Bella and Edward are furious and, after hearing that he nicknamed her Nessie, after the Loch Ness Monster, Bella loses control of her anger and tries to kill Jacob. But she soon regains self-control, and Bella, Edward, and Jacob make peace. She comes to accept Jacob's imprinting on Renesmee during the Volturi crisis, and they remain best friends. In addition, Jacob continues to think of her as just Bella rather than a vampire with a powerful gift.
- "Mom... I miss you."
- ―Bella to Renée[src]
Renée Dwyer is Bella's mother. Bella is very close to her mother, though she sometimes feels like she is the mother and Renée is the child. In many ways, she doesn't feel fit in with anyone, including her mom. Renée has always put her relationships with men first, although has been very clear that she wants Bella to remain independent. Bella was born in Forks but raised in Phoenix with her mother, as Renée left Charlie soon after Bella was born.
At a young age, Bella held more responsibilities for the house than her mother. Her career as a kindergarten teacher was the one thing that Bella respected.
When Bella moves back to Forks, Renée is the main reason, as she renders her unhappy every time her new husband, Phil Dwyer, is away due to his job, and she decides to move back to Forks so that her mother wouldn't have to stay home with her.
She visits her mother in Eclipse after Edward talks her into using the plane tickets she'd got from his parents, and finds herself in torment as her time as a human is shortening by the day. Despite being childish and naive, Renée loves her very much and wishes her to be happy.
She supports her daughter's choice to marry young wholeheartedly when she first tells her about the engagement, despite her great dislike of young marriage, and attends her daughter's wedding. After Bella was changed into a vampire and has a daughter with Edward, she decides to keep these facts hidden from Renée to protect her, as these facts are not easy to for the fainthearted to accept. Also, she combines her name with Esme's, naming her newborn granddaughter "Renesmee", in honor of her mother and mother-in-law.
- "See you tomorrow, Bella. I mean, it's not like you don't look... good. I'll get used to it."
- ―Charlie on Bella's change[src]
Charlie Swan is Bella's father. Bella's relationship with her father is also very odd. After Renée took her away to Phoenix, the only times Bella would see Charlie was in the summer. Even at a young age it became clear that Bella hated Forks, and when she visited Charlie would take her fishing, which Bella also hated. Bella moved to Forks to live with her father in Twilight to give her mother space with her new husband, Phil. She finds it much easier to live with her father, because he respects her privacy. Even though they hardly talk, the two really care for each other. Her father is very protective and therefore very suspicious of Edward Cullen, for having caused great emotional pain to his daughter. Among other "Bella moments" he has shown great concern for her when she has been in the hospital for her broken leg, in Twilight, and a check-up.
After Bella became a vampire and mothered a half-vampire half-human child, Jacob told Charlie about the mystical world to keep the Cullens in Forks. Though Charlie was shocked by the sudden information, he adjusts to it very quickly and demands to be told as little as possible about the supernatural in order to keep Bella and her in-law family in Forks. Renesmee's middle-name of "Carlie" is derived from a combination of Carlisle and Charlie to honor them.
It seems likely that Bella inherited her personality and power from Charlie, who has a similar, though less powerful, mental defense.
- "Bella is already a daughter to me. A beloved daughter."
- ―Carlisle about Bella[src]
Carlisle Cullen is Bella's adoptive father-in-law. Like Esme, he was worried for Edward's sake about lacking happiness, therefore he is very grateful to Bella when she brought him to life. From then on, he thinks of her as part of the family and welcomes her with his heart. In New Moon, he tells Bella of Edward's last moments as a human, and later agrees to let Bella join their family as a vampire in order to protect Edward from committing suicide.
When she became pregnant with Renesmee, Carlisle and Edward wanted to abort the child for her health, but Esme, Emmett and Rosalie siding with Bella compels him to think otherwise.
In the movie of New Moon, Bella comforts him that he cannot be damned to be a vampire. Renesmee's middle name of "Carlie" is derived from a combination of Carlisle and Charlie to honor them.
- "Edward was the first of my new sons. I've always thought of him that way, even though he's older than I, in one way at least. That's why I'm so happy that he's found you, dear."
- ―Esme to Bella[src]
Esme Cullen is Bella's adoptive mother-in-law. Esme loved Edward so much that she wished for him to find happiness that he was lacking. When he fell in love with Bella, Esme discovered the change in him and was grateful to her for it. Despite her family's partial protests, she wholeheartedly embraces Bella as one of them.
She agrees to let Bella become one them during a family assembly in New Moon.
Bella combines her name with her mother's to name her daughter "Renesmee" in honor of her mother and Esme.
- "Thank you, Alice. It was the most beautiful wedding anyone ever had. Everything was exactly right. You're the best, smartest, most talented sister in the whole world."
- ―Bella, to Alice[src]
Alice Cullen is Bella's adoptive sister-in-law. Aside from Edward and Renesmee, she is the closest to her in the Cullen family. Alice has been eager to become her friend after she saw their united future, she eventually gets her wish after Bella became romantically involved with Edward. Alice likes to dress her up and provide any kind of fashion to make her look pretty, although Bella dislikes the idea of fashion.
Bella allows Alice to arrange her wedding after her endless pleading and made her maid of honor, although she retains veto-power on the guest list.
When the Volturi prepare to end their family, Alice runs away with Jasper but leaves clues for Bella to find a lawyer named Jason Jenks to help her arrange legal paperwork for Renesmee to escape. Alice and Jasper return with a half-vampire, half-human hybrid named Nahuel. They arrive just on time to prevent the confrontation from turning into an ugly fight and save their family from slaughter. That same night, Bella angrily confronts her for leaving her cryptic clues that caused her endless mental pain.
- "You have a choice. I didn't. None of us did, but you do and you're choosing wrong!"
- ―Rosalie to Bella's decision[src]
Rosalie Hale is Bella's adoptive sister-in-law. Rosalie initially disliked her for the attention she was receiving from Edward, and later for wanting to become a vampire; something she would never have considered if she'd had a choice. Her dislike of Bella began to fade a little bit after she risked her life to save Edward from committing suicide, but she still wanted her to remain human.
Rosalie tells her life story to Bella in Eclipse, hoping to make her consider her options before making her decision. Although she still chose immortality over mortality, Rosalie volunteered to help do Bella's hair on her wedding day.
When Bella was pregnant with Renesmee , she asked Rosalie to be her guardian, knowing that she would side with her. During pregnancy, Rosalie cared for and protected Bella, though she mostly focused on the baby. After Bella gave birth to Renesmee, they shared a genuine love for the baby and became close sisters at last. Rosalie admitted that she envied Bella in Eclipse, because she wished she was still a human.
- "Bad-ass. You'll be one tough little newborn."
- ―Emmett on Bella[src]
Emmett Cullen is Bella's adoptive brother-in-law. Bella found him intimidating but fine to be with, describing him as the kind of big brother she'd wanted but much more horrifying.
When Edward saved Bella from a car accident, Emmett was upset that he had exposed their family secret, but quickly warmed up to her involvement after finding out that Edward had fallen in love with her. He likes to make Bella blush.
He votes in her favor of becoming one of them in New Moon, despite Edward's suggestion of hiding Bella and fighting the Volturi in the process.
After she becomes a vampire, she challenges Emmett to an arm-wrestling match and wins the right to prohibit him from joking about her sex life with Edward. He demands several rematches, only to fail over and over again. When he is put in charge with teaching Bella how to fight, she notes that he's using the opportunity as a vendetta for all the losses of arm-wrestling.
- "She's one of us now."
- ―Jasper on Bella[src]
Jasper Hale is Bella's adoptive brother-in-law. Jasper wanted to kill Bella after Edward used his strength and speed to save her, but Jasper waited until the Cullens had a talk about it, and in the talk Alice says that Bella is going to be her friend, and convinced Jasper to let her be. Jasper initially disliked Bella for her involvement with the family, but later warms up to her, though he keeps in distance to avoid losing control of his bloodlust, which happens in New Moon, when Bella cuts her finger. He tries to attack her, but Edward and Emmett are able to stop him.
He votes in her favor to become one of them, partly because he wants to stop the constant urge to kill her, but also because he already thinks of her as part of their family, like the others. On occasion, Jasper would use his power to calm Bella.
They become closer to each other after Bella became a vampire. He initially expected her to act like any newborn vampire; vicious and uncontrollable by thirst, and was always near her side to immobilize her; however, to his surprise, she is very in control of her new instincts. This allows him to re-evaluate his view on newborns.
Angela Weber, kind and shy yet insightful, is among the human friends Bella made after moving to Forks.
Although she is a minor character in the books, she becomes Bella's best friend on the human category, comforting Bella during her depression in New Moon and attending Bella's wedding in Breaking Dawn. Her kindness towards Bella also appeals to Edward. Bella always finds Angela better to be around than Jessica, though she would avoid her sometimes to save her worries. In Eclipse, she admits to herself that Angela will be one of the people she will miss the most after graduation.
In Breaking Dawn, Angela is the one who catches Bella's wedding bouquet at her reception. Also, Angela appears in a nightmare Bella had in Breaking Dawn as one of the victims of an immortal child who kills Bella's mother, father, Mike Newton, Ben Cheney, and Jessica Stanley.
- "Well, Bella was just like everybody else, totally mesmerized by Edward, or "The Hair," as I call him. Um... and then suddenly, Edward is all about Bella. Even though she's not the captain of the volleyball team. I'm just kidding, I'm just kidding. Or the president of the student council."
- ―Jessica's toast at Bella's wedding[src]
Jessica Stanley has an on and off friendship with Bella, particularly since Edward and Bella started dating. She was 'practically' the first person Bella had a full conversation with in school as well as being her first friend, although Bella initially disregarded her as "superficial". In New Moon, Bella hangs out with Jessica to avoid her father, but ends up angering her by putting herself in danger and ignoring Jessica. Jessica later ignores Bella and starts hanging out with Lauren. She tends to get overtly excited, such as on graduation day, where she states that they were friends right away, even though at one point she ignored Bella for most of the semester. This allowed the two of them to end their relationship on friendly terms. She was later invited as a guest at Bella and Edward's wedding. Jessica has an on-and off-relationship with Mike, though is seemingly jealous of Mike's affection towards Bella.
Bella and Jessica have a closer friendship in the movie adaptations than in the books.
Mike Newton is a generically popular boy at Bella's new high school who is instantly attracted to Bella. He is friendly and Bella thinks he possesses traits like a golden retriever: his happiness and loyalty in walking her to class and speaking with her every day. Mike frequently tries to ask Bella out, but she always declines. He becomes jealous when he realizes that Bella and Edward Cullen are dating.
In New Moon, after a movie date with Bella, Jacob and Mike, Mike has seemingly given up on Bella, and tells her that "girls are cruel". Mike develops a new romantic relationship with Jessica Stanley when he accepts that Edward is Bella's boyfriend. In New Moon, Bella tries to rekindle their friendship after four months of "being a zombie" after the Cullens left Forks. Mike becomes her friend again, although not with the same enthusiasm and also never forgets his fondness of Bella.
Mike apparently never got over his infatuation for Bella. At Edward and Bella's wedding reception, Edward commented that Mike was having improper thoughts about her again.
- "I'm so sorry, Bella."
- ―Tyler apologizing to Bella after almost crushing her[src]
Tyler Crowley is Bella's schoolmate in Forks and her "almost-murderer".
After nearly killing Bella in a car accident, Tyler feels obliged to make things even. After Bella declines, insisting that she must be in Seattle that day, he insists on taking her to prom. He tells the whole school and convinces most of the students that he is taking Bella to prom, much to her annoyance. He shows up at Bella's house on prom night, only to be told over the phone by Edward that she would be unavailable every night as far as anyone but himself was concerned.
They drifted apart after Twilight.
Eric Yorkie, like Mike Newton, immediately took an interest in Bella when she arrived in Forks. Bella described him as being the "overtly eager" chess club type, and he was one of the three boys (Mike, Tyler and himself) who asked Bella to the spring dance, though she declined all three. He develops a rivalry with Mike Newton, and later a dislike for Tyler as well. His friendship sways and mostly falls after Bella goes through a depression in the absence of Edward and the rest of the Cullen family. He later develops a romantic relationship with a redheaded junior by the name of Katie Marshall, who lives next door to Bella, as stated in New Moon.
In the movies, he begins a relationship with Angela Weber after she asked him to be her prom date.
J. Jenks is a lawyer who forges papers for people. Jasper has been his priority client for over twenty years. He knows nothing of vampires, but he is well aware that Jasper and the rest of the Cullens never age and that he is dealing with the supernatural whenever they are involved.
In Breaking Dawn, Alice sends Bella to Jenks to forge documents for Renesmee and Jacob to escape the Volturi's slaughter. After that, Bella decides to take over Jenks's business relationship with Jasper to spare him a heart attack.
Bella has received negative reception from critics.
Publishers Weekly states that, after her transformation into a vampire, "it's almost impossible to identify with her" in Breaking Dawn.
Lilah Lohr of the Chicago Tribune compares Bella's character to the story of the Quileute wolves and describes it as "less satisfying."
During Twilight, Kirkus Reviews stated that "Bella's appeal is based on magic rather than character", but that her and Edward's "portrayal of dangerous lovers hits the spot." In the review of New Moon, Kirkus Reviews said that Bella's personality was "flat and obsessive."
Laura Miller of salon.com said, in regards to Edward and Bella, "neither of them has much personality to speak of."
Entertainment Weekly's Jennifer Reese, in her review of Breaking Dawn noted, in regard to Bella, "You may wish she had loftier goals and a mind of her own, but these are fairy tales, and as a steadfast lover in the Disney princess mold, Bella has a certain saccharine appeal", and that during Bella's pregnancy "she is not only hard to identify with but positively horrifying, especially while guzzling human blood to nourish the infant."
Washington Post journalist Elizabeth Hand noted how Bella was often described as breakable and that "Edward's habit of constantly pulling her onto his lap or having her ride on his back further emphasize her childlike qualities", continuing to write that "the overall effect is a weird infantilization that has repellent overtones to an adult reader and hardly seems like an admirable model to foist upon our daughters (or sons)."
Gina Dalfonzo, in an article posted on the National Review website, calls Bella "self-deprecating" before her transformation into a vampire, and afterwards she is "insufferably vain." Dalfonzo also states that Bella gets what she wants and discovers her worth "by giving up her identity and throwing away nearly everything in life that matters."
Some fan critics argue that Bella is a "Mary Sue" due to the striking resemblance between Stephenie Meyer's and Bella's physical traits and personality characteristics, suggesting that Twilight may have been an expression of Meyer's personal fantasy.
Bella also does not have any acknowledged flaws in the novels, besides her clumsiness, which is generally agreed to be depicted as endearing and cute. The fact that she is also an exception to many established rules, such as Edward's inability to read her mind, and her exceptional control over her thirst, which no other character in the novels have, is also indicative as another "Mary Sue" trait - the fact that she attains and learns skills significantly faster than what is thought to be normal.
Bella is a short form of Isabella. Stephenie Meyer said on her website that Isabella is the name she had planned to name her daughter, if she had one.
On November 16, 2007 it was announced that Kristen Stewart was to play the role of Bella in the Twilight film. Meyer stated that she was "very excited" to see Stewart play the part. She reprised her role in both New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn - Part 1, and will be returning in Breaking Dawn - Part 2. Since she has green eyes, brown contacts were required to match Bella's eye color.
- New Moon
- Breaking Dawn
- Gallery:Bella Swan and Edward Cullen
- Gallery:Jacob Black and Bella Swan
- Gallery:Bella Swan, Edward Cullen, and Jacob Black
- Gallery:Bella Swan, Edward Cullen, and Renesmee Cullen
|Bella Swan • Edward Cullen • Jacob Black • Renesmee Cullen • Carlisle Cullen • Esme Cullen • Rosalie Hale • Emmett Cullen • Alice Cullen • Jasper Hale • Charlie Swan • Victoria • Bree Tanner|