- "And yet, they were all exactly alike. Every one of them was chalky pale, the palest of all the students living in this sunless town... They all had very dark eyes despite the range in hair tones. They also had dark shadows under those eyes - purplish, bruise-like shadows. As if they were all suffering from a sleepless night... Their faces, so different, so similar, were all devastatingly, inhumanly beautiful."
- ―Bella on seeing the Cullens for the first time[src]
The Olympic coven, more commonly known as the Cullen family, and also known as Cullen clan, or Cullen coven, is a coven of vegetarian vampires. It consists of Carlisle, Esme, Alice, Emmett, and Edward Cullen, as well as Rosalie and Jasper Hale. Later in the series, Bella Swan and her vampire hybrid daughter with Edward, Renesmee Cullen, are also introduced to the coven. Five of nine members are supernaturally gifted.
The Cullens are the second largest and most powerful coven, with only the Volturi ranking higher in number and power, but more mature and stable than most others, a result of abstaining from human blood and hunger for power.
They are known to be very loyal to each other and put more value on human life than most other vampires. Abstaining from human blood takes the competitive aspect out of their hunting instincts, and as a result allows them to form stronger family bonds than traditional vampires. They currently live in Forks, Washington, which they have no plans of leaving, unless forced to.
The Cullens prefer to stay in one place as long as possible, choosing cloudy climates where they can go outside during the day without revealing their inhuman nature. But after 6-7 years, they are forced to move on before their lack of aging is noticed. They own several residences so that they can return to places they have especially enjoyed - but only after enough time has passed that they won't be recognized as the same people who once lived there.
Each member maintains several well-tended identities, complete with documents to support them, which allows the Cullens to establish themselves in new locations as necessary.
Each time the Cullens move to a new place, the relationships they claim to share with one another may shift, too. In one place, two members might pose as father and adopted son, in another, brothers, or uncle and nephew. Regardless, the bonds of love and respect between them are the same.
Carlisle Cullen: Born in 1640 in England, Carlisle Cullen is the founder of the Olympic coven. At a time when humankind believed in mythical creatures, he was tasked by his father to hunt evil creatures. He then found an actual coven of vampires and was bitten by one when he led a mob to kill them. He was repulsed when he realized what had happened to him, and tried many times to kill himself, though ultimately unsuccessful. He eventually found that he could survive on a diet of animal blood without harming human beings, and so began to practice feeding only on animals.
He traveled to Europe to study in universities at night, and eventually met the Volturi. After staying with them for two decades, he left because he was unwilling to feed on humans, which they endlessly attempted to entice him to. He eventually found his way to America, and became a doctor in hopes of using what he had to help those in need.
Edward Masen, Jr: In September of 1918, Carlisle was working night shifts in a Chicago hospital, when the Spanish influenza hit the city. Among the many people who were dying from it, there was a 17-year old boy named Edward Anthony Masen, Jr. After being unable to save his parents, Carlisle decided to turn him, partly out of loneliness and partly because Edward's mother, Elizabeth asked him to do anything he could to save Edward. By changing Edward, the Olympic coven was formed. Carlisle realized Edward's power soon after his transformation. They began to travel together, using the cover story of Edward being the younger brother of Carlisle's late wife.
Esme Platt-Evenson: In 1921, Carlisle changed a young 26-year-old woman named Esme Anne Platt Evenson to save her from dying after an attempted suicide. They first met each other in 1911 when Carlisle treated her broken leg. The encounter made an impact on both of them so much that neither forgot the other. Esme accepted her new destiny with grace, and soon Carlisle and Esme fell in love and got married.
In between 1927 and 1931, Edward left Esme and Carlisle to try a vampire/vigilante lifestyle, preying only on the worst people in society while avoiding the innocent. His first victim was Esme's abusive ex-husband. Over time, however, his guilt of these justifiable murders became too much, compelling him to return to them and drink animal blood again.
Rosalie Hale: While living in New York in 1933, Carlisle found an 18-year old girl named Rosalie Lillian Hale after she was assaulted near death by her drunken fiancé, Royce King, and his friends. Wanting to save her and partly intending for her to become Edward's mate, Carlisle took her home and changed her. However, Edward and Rosalie's relationship never advanced beyond that of siblings. After getting revenge on her fiancé and his friends, Rosalie begrudgingly joined their family in order to avoid loneliness. Other than Carlisle, she was the only one who retained her surname.
Emmett McCarty: In 1935, Rosalie found a young 20-year old man named Emmett McCarty being mauled by a bear. Rosalie carried him for miles to Carlisle, who then changed him into a vampire. Emmett, having already fallen in love with Rosalie, accepted his new state rather quickly. Emmett and Rosalie soon fell in love and married and did so repeatedly over the decades. After leaving a small bag of fortune for his human family, Emmett never looked back. In 1936, the Cullens moved to Forks, where they ran into a pack of shape-shifters led by Ephraim Black. The two groups signed a treaty, agreeing to a truce as long as the Cullens lived there. The Cullen family moved away from Forks some time after this.
Jasper Whitlock and Mary Alice Brandon: 19-year olds Mary Alice Brandon — known as Alice — and Jasper Whitlock, found the Cullens and joined them in 1950. Alice changed her surname to Cullen and Jasper changed his to Rosalie's surname of Hale, and out of the similarities in their appearance he posed as Rosalie's twin. This becomes their cover story while attending school with humans.
The Cullen family encountered many vampire covens, but never found one that shared the same dietary on animal blood until they met the Denali coven, and stayed with them for a while. They eventually began to attract too much attention - due to their similarities and the amount of numbers - and the Cullens moved back to Forks. By this time, the Cullens were aware that Ephraim and his pack were dead, but still respected the treaty by staying away from Quileute traditional lands and not harming humans.
- Main article: Twilight
Two years after moving to Forks, Edward fell in love with a young 17-year old human girl named Isabella Marie Swan, who shared his feelings. Edward found Bella interesting in two ways: first, she was completely immune to his power of telepathy; and second, her blood appealed to him in a way no human had ever had. The entire family worried about the safety of their secret after Edward saved Bella from being crushed by a van, which inadvertently exposed his inhuman strength and invulnerability. But most of them learned to cope when Edward and Bella become romantically involved. Bella found out about the family being vampires and accepted them in stride. Though she wasn't part of the family, everyone but Rosalie accepted her as one of them.
Another vampire coven came to Forks soonafter, and the leader, James, decided to hunt Bella for sport, with help from his mate, Victoria. After a hectic chase and close call, the Cullens killed James and saved her. Soon after this, the Cullens became aware that a new pack of wolves, led by Sam Uley had taken the place of Ephraim's. The truce between vampires and wolves was kept in place.
- Main article: New Moon
The family made a birthday party for Bella. However, the celebration is cut short when Bella cuts her finger by accident, prompting Jasper to lose control of his thirst. Though he fails to harm her, Bella is shoved into a pile of glass, receiving more serious injuries.
After the incident, the family moved to Ithaca, except Edward, who traveled the world trying to dismiss his depression. While there, Alice researched her past with information from Bella provided by the tracker James. Carlisle worked at a new hospital; Esme restored an old residence and Jasper studied philosophy. When Alice suddenly receives a vision of Bella jumping a cliff, she rushed back to Forks, only to find her alive. However, Rosalie reported the previous information to Edward, who then lost the will to live and traveled to the Volturi for a suicide attempt. After Bella and Alice stopped him, the family moved back to Forks.
With the Volturi now aware of Bella, the Cullens agree to let her become one of them after graduation, except Edward and Rosalie.
- Main article: Eclipse
Weeks before graduation, the Cullens found out that an army of newborn vampires was being created in Seattle, and, on graduation day, they also realized that Victoria was behind the creation, bent on revenge for James's death. When Alice foresaw their approach to Forks. Worse, the newborns are given Bella's scent, and therefore declare her as the target.
After being abandoned by the Denalis, the Cullens approached the Uley pack for help. With Jasper's guidance, they learn the techniques and knowledge required for destroying newborns. To protect Bella from harm, Edward and Seth take her to a mountain peak for safe hiding. While the Cullens and the wolves destroy Victoria's army, Seth and Edward destroy Victoria and her second-hand, Riley, who tracked them to their hiding spot with Edward's scent.
At the end of Eclipse, Bella and Edward were engaged.
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
- Main article: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
The Cullens appeared at the end of the novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner near the end of the battle when Carlisle, his family and the Uley pack finished off the newborns. Carlisle spotted a frightened newborn, Bree Tanner, and offered her asylum in exchange for her surrender, which she agreed. Jasper was against the idea of leaving the newborn alone for fear of what could happen when the Volturi arrived, but Carlisle and Esme talked him into leaving her be. When the Volturi arrived and interrogated the Cullens about the situation, the family was spared, but the newborn was ordered to be executed. Carlisle, Esme and Edward attempted to convince the guard to spare her life to no avail, and eventually witnessed her destruction.
- Main article: Breaking Dawn
Bella and Edward eventually married. A few weeks later, Bella was shocked to discover that she was pregnant. This news caused a split in the La Push pack, and the Cullens welcomed the wolves on their side into their home. After approximately a month, Bella gave birth to a daughter, Renesmee Carlie Cullen, almost dying in the process. Edward injected his venom into Bella seconds later, turning her into a vampire. Jacob Black imprinted on the baby, forcing the other wolves to declare peace with the Cullens, thus cementing the alliance between the two groups.
Three months later, the Denali coven's member Irina saw Renesmee and mistook her for an immortal child: a forbidden creation wherein a child has been transformed into a vampire, and reported her to the Volturi. After Alice had a vision of the Volturi coming to destroy their family as well as claim her, Bella and Edward into their "collection", the Cullens spent the month looking for friends around the world to witness for them. Alice and Jasper split away from the family to look for another half-vampire hybrid who could help provide prominent information. Eventually, a group of witnesses, including the wolves of La Push, the remaining Denali coven, and other vampires from around the world, gathered to testify that Renesmee was not an immortal child; some also agreed to defend her if the Volturi refused to listen and a fight proved inevitable. Through this experience, the vampires learn the Volturi's true agenda hidden behind their justifiable methods. Meanwhile, Bella found out that she had a very useful gift and learned to use it against the Volturi's strongest weapons.
Upon arrival to Forks, Aro was convinced that Renesmee was not a forbidden immortal child, and attempted to find a new strategy to destroy the Cullens by questioning Renesmee's unknown development. However, Bella manages to block the Volturi's most powerful members' gifts, providing an advantage to her side. Alice and Jasper return in time to present Nahuel, another hybrid, who could provide with information on behalf of their non-threatening existence. On the discovery of the strength of the Cullens and their allies, Aro was forced to retreat with the Volturi for self-preservation. The Cullen family, however, realized that the coven had been disgraced, and that someday in the future would probably attempt to avenge themselves for it, though it will not be quite as easy as long as they had Bella.
|Name||Image||Full Name||Born||Turned||Perpetual Age||Special Ability|
|Carlisle Cullen||Carlisle Cullen||Early 1640|
in London, England
by a vampire in the sewers of London
|Edward Cullen||Edward Anthony Masen Cullen||June 20, 1901|
in Chicago, Illinois
by Carlisle Cullen
|Esme Cullen||Esme Anne Platt Evenson Cullen||1895|
in Columbia, Ohio
by Carlisle Cullen
|Rosalie Hale||Rosalie Lillian Hale||Early 1915|
in Rochester, New York
by Carlisle Cullen
|Emmett Cullen||Emmett McCarty Cullen||1915|
in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
by Carlisle Cullen
|Alice Cullen||Mary Alice Brandon Cullen||1901|
in Biloxi, Mississippi
by a staff member of a mental institution
|Jasper Hale||Jasper Whitlock Hale||1844|
in Houston, Texas
|Bella Swan||Isabella Marie Swan Cullen||September 13, 1987|
in Forks, Washington
|September 11, 2006|
by Edward Cullen
|Renesmee Cullen||Renesmee Carlie Cullen||September 11, 2006|
in Forks, Washington
|Born human/vampire hybrid||Tactile thought projection and shield penetration|
Olympic coven extension
- The Swan and Dwyer families: Bella and Edward's marriage makes Charlie, as well as his ex-wife Renée, in-law relatives to the Cullen family. Edward and Bella's daughter, Renesmee is the strongest link between the two families, because they are related by blood. Renée's new husband, Phil Dwyer, could also be considered an indirect family member. Charlie is currently the only family member who is aware of the supernatural and the existence of his granddaughter.
- The Quileute wolf packs: The tribe's original pack was initially very hostile toward the Cullen family due to the danger they represented, but were unable to attack due to their great-grandfathers' treaty that keeps them from attacking as long as the Cullens didn't "bite" a human or cross on over to their land. On September 11, 2006, Jacob Black imprints on vampire hybrid Renesmee, and through this incident, he becomes connected to the Cullens and the treaty becomes stronger than before, whereas Quileute laws state that "no wolf should harm another wolf's imprinted one" for fear of destructive results. Sam has stated that since Jacob imprinted on Renesmee, she is as much part of their tribe's family as she is the Cullens'. This makes the Quileutes and the Olympic coven an extended family of sorts, particularly the Black family. The Clearwater family also shares a connection to the Cullens due to Bella's father Charlie dating single parent, Sue Clearwater.
- The Denali coven: On the basis of their similar diet, the Denali coven is considered a loyal extension of Carlisle's coven, calling themselves cousins. In Breaking Dawn, Tanya apologizes for not aiding the Cullens in the newborn army crisis and states that she and her mates are part of the Olympic coven, too. The Denali coven consists of Tanya, Kate, Eleazar, Carmen and Garrett; former members are the deceased Irina, Laurent, Sasha and Vasilii.
- Bree Tanner: A newborn vampire created by Victoria for her newborn army. She surrendered at the end of the battle between her army and the Cullen family. Unable to kill a child in cold blood and knowing that she was merely a puppet in Victoria's schemes, Carlisle offered her asylum in exchange for her surrender. However, Jane had Felix execute her, because she did not comply with the vampire laws despite her ignorance of them. Even though the Cullens' attempt to save her was unsuccessful, Bree was grateful that they had at least tried. She was the only one who failed to join the family.
- Forks, Washington (current)
- Denali, Alaska
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- Rochester, New York
- Appalachia, New York
- Chicago, Illinois
- Hoquiam, Washington
- Seattle, Washington
- Ithaca, New York
- Dartmouth, Massachusetts
- Isle Esme, Brazil
- In the Vampire Index of Breaking Dawn, the Cullen family is called "Olympic coven".
- In the films, each member is shown wearing a piece of jewelry featuring the Cullen crest.
- Carlisle Cullen and Esme Cullen
- Bella Swan and Edward Cullen
- Emmett Cullen and Rosalie Hale
- Alice Cullen and Jasper Hale
- Jacob Black and Renesmee Cullen
| Olympic • Volturi|
Amazon • Arkansas • Benito's • Denali • Egyptian • French • Hilda's • Irish • James's • Joss's • Mexican • Monterrey • Northern Texas • Romanian • Sancar's harem • Seattle newborn army