- "You're what he wants. It will work out, somehow."
- ―Esme to Bella[src]
Esme Cullen (born Esme Anne Platt, previously Evenson, born 1895) is the matriarch of the Olympic coven. She is the wife of Carlisle Cullen and the adoptive mother of Alice, Emmett, Edward Cullen, Rosalie and Jasper Hale. Esme is also the adoptive mother-in-law of Bella Swan, and the adoptive grandmother of Renesmee Cullen. She was previously married to Charles Evenson as a human.
In 1921, after losing her baby to lung fever, Esme attempted suicide, but her attempt was unsuccessful. Later, Carlisle transformed her into a vampire on her deathbed. Some time later, the pair fell in love and married, starting to build a family of like-minded vegetarian vampires around them. Esme possessed an unparalleled capacity for passionate love for those around her, which allowed the members of her adoptive family to consider her as the greatest maternal figure in their lives. She is the oldest Cullen in appearance by three years (though Jasper, Edward and Carlisle are older as they were transformed earlier in their lives.)
She is portrayed by Elizabeth Reaser in the movie adaptations.
Esme Anne Platt was born in 1895. She grew up on a farm on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio, where she had a very happy childhood. As a teenager, her playful, mischievous nature often got her into trouble. At the age of 16, she fell out of a tree, and broke her leg. Since the local doctor was out of town, she was treated by Dr. Carlisle Cullen. He moved out of town not long after that, but Esme never forgot the kind doctor with whom she had gotten along so well. Initially wanting to move west to become a school teacher, she was pressured by her parents to stay and marry. At the age of 22, in an attempt to please her parents, she married Charles Evenson, but she soon realized her husband was an abusive man. Her family urged her to keep quiet about the abuse, and Esme had no choice but to endure it. Much to her relief, her husband was drafted during World War I, finally giving her some peace.
Esme enjoyed a happy period of time while Charles was away, but when Charles returned in 1919, the abuse returned with him. Sometime after his return, Esme found out that she was pregnant. Not wanting her child to grow up in such a dangerous home, she ran away to her cousin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. When Charles found her whereabouts, she ran away again, this time to Ashland and posed as a war widow. In order to support herself, she became a school teacher, temporarily fulfilling her childhood dream. The child was born in 1921, only to die from lung fever 2 days later. Esme was devastated. After the baby's death, Esme felt that she no longer had any reason to live, and attempted suicide by jumping off a cliff. When she was found, her condition was so bad that they didn't even attempt to revive her. She was immediately brought to the morgue, although her heart was still beating faintly. Dr. Cullen was working in the area at the time, and recognized her as the happy, beautiful young girl he treated 10 years earlier. Esme regained consciousness in excruciating pain, but she was happy to see Carlisle again. In order to save her life, Carlisle decided to change her into a vampire.
When Esme first woke up from her transformation, Carlisle explained what happened and that he turned her into a vampire in order to save her life. To his surprise, Esme was not upset with his act and she easily accepted her new life. Esme and Carlisle later fell in love and got married. The real challenge for her was the blood lust, and she lost control of her thirst a few times. In time, Rosalie and Emmett were transformed by Carlisle as well, and Alice and Jasper joined the family, becoming her surrogate children, though Esme has a special place in her heart for Edward because he was the first of her adoptive children.
- Main article: Twilight
Esme first appears in Twilight when Edward takes Bella Swan to meet his family at their home outside of Forks. She and Carlisle are both warm and friendly towards Bella, and Esme welcomes her with open arms, acting as though she were already part of the family. This is due to her gratitude of the happiness Bella had brought to Edward. Knowing her son had created a song inspired by his love for Bella, Esme asks Edward to play it for her on the piano, which he does. It is mentioned that he had already composed several pieces for Esme since she loves to hear him play.
The Cullens later invite Bella to play baseball with them, and she and Esme act as umpires. Before the game begins, Esme tells Bella a little about her human life and says that she is thankful that Edward and her have come to love, as he was her first and favorite adoptive child. She even stated that she had always worried that he would never find true love. When James's coven arrives, the Cullens try to pass Bella off as a vampire, but James catches her scent and attempts to attack her. All the Cullens spring into action to protect Bella, much to the nomads' amazement. James' coven leaves and the Cullens return home, though James and Victoria have begun to hunt Bella. Esme swaps clothes with Bella so that they could try to disguise her scent. Esme remains at home with Rosalie to protect Bella's father during her escape to Phoenix with Alice and Jasper.
Esme does not play a major role in the movie, and is seen only a few times. She first appears in the kitchen, preparing dinner with Carlisle, Emmett, and Rosalie, when Edward brings Bella to meet his family. Esme becomes increasingly excited once she realizes Bella has arrived (catching her scent, like the rest of the Cullens). She is seen again during the baseball match where she acts as umpire with Bella. When the nomads arrive and James attempts to attack Bella, the Cullen family spring into action and form a protective barrier between her and James' coven.
- Main article: New Moon
- "I already consider you a part of the family."
- ―Esme, to Bella.[src]
Esme is seen briefly at Bella's birthday which Alice organized; she hugs Bella and wishes her a happy birthday. Alice gives Bella a present from Esme and Carlisle, which is two plane tickets to Jacksonville to visit Renée. While opening her present, Bella cuts her finger on the wrapping paper and Jasper attempts to attack her. Edward shoves Bella out of the way to protect her, but she crashes into the table containing her birthday cake and a pile of plates which smash, and cuts her arms on the broken shards of china and glass.
Once Jasper is subdued, the rest of the Cullen family, with the exception of Carlisle, smell Bella's blood and are suddenly ravenous. Emmett and Rosalie drag Jasper outside and Esme follows them, apologizing to Bella and deeply ashamed that she is tempted by the smell of her blood. Carlisle cleans and stitches up Bella's wounds and she leaves; in the living room, she passes Esme who is cleaning up the spilled blood.
When she and her family moved up North, she occupied herself with restoring a 17th century house in the forest north of the city of Ithaca.
Esme is not seen again until the end of the book, when she, Carlisle, Jasper, Emmett and Rosalie go to pick Edward, Alice and Bella up from the airport after Bella and Alice prevented Edward from committing suicide. She is very grateful to Bella for having saved Edward's life, and makes her son promise never to scare her like that again. The next day, Bella asks the Cullens to vote on whether or not they are willing to turn her into a vampire and let her join their coven. Esme votes "yes", and says that she already considers Bella part of the family.
- Main article: Eclipse
When a rogue vampire snuck into Bella's house to get her scent, Esme and her family allied with the Uley pack to watch Bella and Charlie.
Esme is present at Bella, Edward and Alice's graduation and the party held afterwards at their house. After realizing that someone is creating an army of newborn vampires to destroy the Cullens and get to Bella, and refused by the Denali coven's aid, Esme genuinely accepts the Uley pack's willingness to join forces with them, as Jasper is an expert on newborn vampires and teaches them how to fight them. While watching Jasper and Esme train for the upcoming battle, Bella discriminates Esme's fighting skills as weaker, compared to the rest of her family. However, she does show enough skill to handle her own opponents.
In the movie, she first appears in the forest while chasing Victoria with her family and some of the wolves. During the battle, she can be seen fighting the newborns with Carlisle as her partner.
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
- Main article: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
- "Jasper, she's just a child. We can't murder her in cold blood."
- ―Esme, to Jasper[src]
At the end of the battle, Esme and Carlisle find an intimidated newborn, Bree Tanner, and offer her asylum in exchange for surrender. She agrees immediately. When Jasper tells them that the Volturi are coming and that their protection over the newborn will cause them more trouble, Esme and Carlisle insist they should do their best to help the girl and manage to talk him into letting her live. However, despite their attempt, she is still executed by Felix on Jane's command.
- Main article: Breaking Dawn
- "I'd like to thank Renée and Charlie for bringing such a wonderful person into the world, and into our lives. We will cherish and protect her forever."
- ―Esme's speech[src]
At the beginning of Breaking Dawn, Esme is present at Bella and Edward's wedding and helps Bella to change into her going-away outfit after the ceremony and reception party. As a wedding present, she allows the newlyweds to stay on Isle Esme, a small island off the coast of Rio de Janeiro that Carlisle presented her with years ago, for their honeymoon. She grows close to Bella's mother, Renée, before the wedding.
When Bella becomes pregnant and she and Edward return to Forks, Esme sides with Rosalie and Emmett to protect Bella and her baby, something that also affects Carlisle. She is affectionate towards Jacob and his pack when they break away from Sam's pack to protect her daughter-in-law, and she and Carlisle especially are extremely grateful for their sacrifice. Esme provides Jacob and his pack with clean clothes and food, and offers to let them sleep in the beds in the Cullens' house, though most of them would decline.
In the movie, Esme gives a speech about Charlie and Renée bringing their daughter into the world and promises to cherish and protect her forever. While Renesmee is unborn, the pack prepares to attack them to prevent the baby from being born for fear of what the baby might be able to do. While the Cullens suffer starvation, Esme does her best to care for her family and Jacob's pack. As Bella's pregnancy nears its end, Esme accompanies Carlisle and Emmett in escaping the pack's observation. Esme gets caught and almost attacked by Brady Fuller and Collin Littlesea, but Emmett and Carlisle come to her rescue. They return in time to prevent the pack from killing the rest of their family, and then await Bella's conversion into a vampire.
For Bella's nineteenth birthday, Esme and the rest of the Cullens give her and Edward a little cottage in the forest that they renovated. There is an extra room which Esme hadn't found a use for, which later became Renesmee's bedroom. She also gives Bella guidance about how to act human in order to prepare her for Charlie's confrontation.
Three months after Renesmee's birth, Irina mistakes her for an immortal child and reports this breach of vampire law to the Volturi. Esme is devastated when two of her children, Alice and Jasper, leave without notice and is led to believe they had abandoned them all. She and her family then gather a large number of vampire friends to be their witnesses, testifying that Renesmee is not an immortal child but a half-human, half-vampire hybrid. After a brief confrontation with the Volturi and Jasper and Alice return with another hybrid to prove their case, they are able to prove that Renesmee is not dangerous and the Italian vampires leave in peace. As their group celebrates their victory, Esme opens her arms to welcome Alice and Jasper back into her family. Once the threat has passed, the Cullens are able to return to their normal lives.
- "She had the same pale, beautiful features as the rest of them. Something about her heart-shaped face, her billows of soft, caramel colored hair reminded me of the ingenues of the silent-movie era. She was small, slender, yet less angular, more rounded than the others."
- ―Bella, upon seeing Esme for the first time[src]
Esme is physically the oldest member in the Cullen family, being changed at the age of 26. She is described as being 5'6" tall, with billows of gently waving, caramel-colored hair. Her face is heart-shaped with dimples, and her figure is described as slender but rounded as she was changed not long after giving birth to her son. Her human eye color was brown.
She is described as being extremely beautiful and Bella says that she reminds her of "the ingenues of the silent movie era" and that meeting her was like "meeting a fairy tale – Snow White, in the flesh". She is also described as having delicate eyebrows and a warm, compassionate look to her face. In the books, Bella is always amazed by Esme's youth and beauty.
Personality and traits
Esme is an extremely warm individual who is gifted with the ability to love the people around her passionately. She has always had strong maternal instincts, which is why she is able to open her heart so easily to her adoptive children and Bella. This is due to the death of her first and only child when he was only a few days old, during her human life.
She is described as being as intelligent as her husband, and a very kind and gentle person. The people around her are genuinely drawn toward her gentle personality.
Esme is also very creative and artistic, and enjoys renovating old properties. Throughout her years as a vampire, she has studied and earned degrees in architecture, art, and photography.
Powers and abilities
Upon her transformation, Esme did not develop any special talents like Edward's telepathy, Alice's ability to see the future or Jasper's ability to control emotions. However, her ability to love the people around her was enhanced (as with all emotions after the transformation) and this has become her most prominent feature throughout the series.
Bella comments in Eclipse that Esme is not as skilled at fighting as Jasper, Edward or Alice. This is probably due to her loving nature - meaning she most likely hasn't had to fight much in her life. However, Esme should not be underestimated in battle, as Eclipse showed she is more than capable of fighting if needs be. Esme, along with the other Cullens managed to fight off an entire army of newborn vampires created by Victoria and survived.
Esme, as a very creative and artistic person, works as an architect and enjoys restoring old houses. In New Moon, Alice tells Bella that Esme has been restoring a 17th century house in the forest north of Ithaca, and in Breaking Dawn, she restores a cottage that's over a hundred years old on the Cullen estate for Bella and Edward. Her desk is said to be stacked with plans and blueprints.
She has earned degrees in architecture and art, and has studied photography.
Esme is the mother figure of the Cullen family, the ex-wife of Charles Evenson and the wife of Carlisle Cullen. She is the adoptive mother of Alice, Emmett and Edward Cullen and Rosalie and Jasper Hale, the adoptive mother-in-law of Bella Swan, and the adoptive grandmother of Renesmee Cullen, Edward and Bella's daughter. Esme has particular care for Edward, being the first of her adoptive children.
In Esme's human life, she was married to Charles Evenson. All of her friends had already married, and her parents encouraged her to marry Charles, who was a family friend and had good prospects. She agreed to the marriage only to please her father.
He was abusive, however, and shortly before her suicide attempt Esme, then pregnant, ran away from him. The baby died soon after birth and Esme jumped off a cliff in an attempt to end her life. Her body was taken to the hospital morgue though her heart was still beating, and Carlisle Cullen found her and turned her into a vampire.
- Main article: Carlisle Cullen and Esme Cullen
- "More than eighty years had passed since Carlisle had found Esme, and yet he still looked at her with those incredulous eyes of first love. It would always be that way for them."
- ―Edward, on Carlisle's feelings for Esme[src]
Carlisle Cullen is Esme's second husband, and the man of her dreams. He is also her creator. They first met in 1911 when Carlisle treated Esme's broken leg after she fell down from a tree. The two clearly left a strong impression on each other - Esme found no other man who measured up to him, and his affection for her was strong enough that he turned her into a vampire when he found her dying after a suicide attempt following the loss of her newborn child ten years later. During the transformation, Esme wasn't sure if she was in heaven or in hell, but was nevertheless grateful for the chance to meet Carlisle again. After he explained to her about what he had done, he expected her to be furious; to his surprise, she took the news quite well, and it did not take long before they married.
The relationship between Carlisle and Esme is built on a strong spiritual and intellectual bond, aided by their intense love for each other. Esme has never regretted becoming a vampire as she is able to spend eternity with someone whom she loves, and Carlisle's own love for her has never diminished.
Carlisle bought Esme an island in Brazil for their honeymoon and named it "Isle Esme".
- "If Carlisle was the soul of our family, then Esme was the heart."
- ―Edward, on Esme[src]
Edward Cullen was Esme's first adoptive son, and was turned into a vampire by Carlisle shortly before she was. Initially, they pretended to be brother and sister, but after Esme and Carlisle fell in love she began to pose as his adoptive mother. They care for each other deeply and Edward hates to cause her pain.
Esme admits to Bella that Edward means more to her than the rest of her "children" because he was her first adoptive child, and is very thankful that he has found his true love in Bella. Throughout their years together she had worried that he would never find his soulmate, until Bella came along. Esme welcomed Bella into the family right away and treated her like another daughter. Esme fondly criticizes Edward and says that he is too much of a gentleman, as he told Bella that she fell off a cliff rather than jumped.
In the movie adaptation of Twilight, Edward introduces Esme to Bella as his mother "for all intents and purposes".
- "Esme's made do with us as substitutes..."
- ―Rosalie, comparing Esme's life to Bella's humanity.[src]
Rosalie Hale was Esme's first adoptive daughter, though it was Carlisle who turned her. Esme was always very affectionate towards Rosalie and Rosalie grew to love Esme just as much. Before Rosalie transformed, she had met the Cullens before and was very jealous of their beauty, especially Edward's and Carlisle's. Esme tells Bella that she and Carlisle originally hoped that Rosalie would be a mate for Edward, but then she found Emmett and they fell in love.
After Emmett joined the family, he and Rosalie were very passionately involved for several decades and destroyed numerous houses during their lovemaking, forcing Esme and Carlisle to kick them out on several occasions but always taking them back in after a short time.
Rosalie strongly resents her inability to have children, as female vampires' bodies cannot change to accommodate a child. She acknowledges that Esme, though disappointed that she cannot have children of her own, doesn't feel as resentful about her infertility because she has her, Edward, Emmett, Jasper, and Alice as substitutes to her lost child.
Esme and Rosalie were both abused by their human partners, so they quickly bonded over that, and it was probably why Esme was so eager for Rosalie to join the family.
Emmett Cullen was Esme's second adoptive son. He joined their "family" in 1935 after Rosalie found him being mauled by a brown bear and brought him back for Carlisle to transform him.
Although Emmett can sometimes be a handful, Esme loves him as much as she loves her husband and her other "children". Though she had kicked him and Rosalie out a few times for ruining the houses that she and Carlisle bought for them.
In Breaking Dawn, when Bella challenges Emmett to an arm-wrestling match, they are about to use Esme's favorite antique dining table when Alice points out that Esme will be upset if it gets broken. Emmett agrees, and this implies that he doesn't want to upset his mother.
Alice Cullen is Esme's second adoptive daughter. Not much is known about Esme and Alice's relationship, but Esme loves Alice as much as she loves her other children, and they are willing to do anything to protect one another.
When the Volturi come to destroy their family, Alice and Jasper leave Forks without a proper goodbye; Esme is the most devastated, thinking that they have abandoned the family, but respects their decision to leave. However, Alice and Jasper return during the confrontation with the Volturi with the hybrid Nahuel and a battle is avoided. Upon their return, Esme greets them with a tight hug.
Jasper Hale is Esme's third adoptive son. Not much is known about Esme and Jasper's relationship, but Esme loves him as much as she loves her other children, and they are willing to do anything to protect one another.
When the Volturi come to destroy their family, Alice and Jasper leave Forks without a proper goodbye; Esme is the most devastated, thinking that they have abandoned the family, but respects their decision regardless. However, Alice and Jasper return during the confrontation with the Volturi with the hybrid Nahuel to testify in their favor and a battle is avoided. Upon their return, Esme embraces them in a tight hug, overjoyed to have them back.
- "You're what he wants. It'll work out... somehow."
- ―Esme, to Bella.[src]
Bella Swan is Esme's daughter-in-law, married to her son Edward.
When Bella first comes into the Cullens' lives, Esme notices the change in Edward and is grateful to her for it, as she had previously worried that he would never find the kind of happiness the rest of them had. After Edward and Bella started a romantic relationship, Esme accepts her into the family and loves her as much as her other adopted children, which she admits when Bella asks to join their family.
After Edward and Bella's wedding, Esme lets them stay on Isle Esme for their honeymoon and renovates a cottage on the Cullens' land for them to live in with their newborn daughter, Renesmee.
Renesmee Cullen is Esme's granddaughter, and the biological daughter of Edward and Bella. During Bella's pregnancy, though it endangers her life, Esme sides with her, Rosalie and Emmett to protect the baby because she believes that Bella should be allowed to make her own decisions and understands her desire to have children.
After Renesmee was born, Esme comes to adore the baby like the rest of the family, even sacrificing her second-favorite silverware to keep Nessie entertained. She worries the first time that Bella meets Nessie, as Bella has only just transformed into a vampire and they are unsure of her self-control, so she convinces her to feed before meeting her daughter, as it will make it easier for Bella to control her thirst.
- "She held the food out to me, her face all soft and pleading. I don't know how she did it, because she didn't look older than her mid-twenties, and she was bone pale, too, but something about her expression suddenly reminded me of my mom."
- ―Jacob on Esme's kindness.[src]
Jacob Black is a shape-shifting member of the Quileute tribe and a close friend to the Cullen family. Jacob initially disliked Esme and her family due to the natural enmity between vampires and shape-shifters, but after an alliance was formed to protect Bella from Victoria's army, they were able to tolerate each other better.
During Bella's pregnancy, Jacob forms a renegade pack comprised of himself, Seth and Leah Clearwater. Esme is deeply grateful for their sacrifice and feels genuine affection for Jacob's pack, providing them with food, clean clothes and even offering to let them use the beds in their house if they don't want to sleep outdoors. She and Jacob become even closer after he imprinted on Renesmee, and it is implied that he has also been accepted as part of the family.
In Book 2 of Breaking Dawn, Jacob mentions that Esme's kindness reminds him of his own mother.
Elizabeth Reaser portrays Esme Cullen throughout the franchise.
- New Moon
- Breaking Dawn
|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|