Vampires are a species of mythological supernatural creatures that feed on the blood of either humans or animals. In the Twilight Saga, they have certain distinctive characteristics, including appearance and hunting behavior, that set them apart from other fictional vampires.
Vampires are a supernatural species in the Twilight universe (other known species are werewolves and shape-shifters). It is known that humans can be turned into vampires, and vampire venom is nothing more than a deadly poison to animals. Vampires are feral, predatory creatures, far more savage and beast-like than their human appearance suggests. They growl, snarl, hiss, and curl their lips back baring their teeth as signs of aggression when provoked. Even older "civilized" vampires (ex. the Cullens) can break their human facade and show their ferocious instincts. When they sense danger, they go almost immediately into a defensive crouch, after which they bare their teeth as a sign of warning. If the warning is not heeded, they will let out a feral snarl and attack. In a fight, vampires use both their hands (grappling) and their teeth. Their bites can sever the limbs of their opponent (vampire teeth are known to be able to cut through their skin) as well as kill (ripping out the throat). Their grappling can tear off limbs and is known as a better way to fight than just going for the kill (mostly inexperienced vampires and newborns do so).
When they hunt, they completely lose their sense of self and give in to their thirst, which can be dangerous to a nearby human.
Despite their natural instincts, vampires are also capable of human feelings, such as love, protectiveness, compassion, care, respect, self-control, empathy and remorse.
Blood is the only component of a vampire's diet in the Twilight series. When they drink blood, it is absorbed throughout the body, and it satiates their thirst and makes them physically stronger, but not necessary for life. In the Twilight universe, vampires do not starve to death without blood; but their thirst will increase and their physical capabilities will decrease the longer they abstain from blood altogether. The absence of blood will result in them weakening mentally, inhibiting their ability to think with rational thought, and ultimately resulting in them losing all sense of humanity and rationality until they drink blood. Human blood makes a vampire physically stronger, and smells most appealing - it is also the hardest to resist. However, they can receive the same nutrition from animal blood, though it smells unappetizing and makes them physically weaker than a human-feeding vampire, but only fractionally. After a vampire's thirst has been satiated, he can go on without drinking blood for a week or two.
Since newborn vampires still have their own human blood lingering in their bodies, they tend to be physically stronger and faster than older vampires, with sharper senses. This, however, doesn't last very long as the venom naturally consumes this blood throughout the course of the newborn year.
To a vampire, the taste of blood varies on a massive basis. Due to their acute senses, they can detect whether or not a human has recently consumed alcohol or drugs, because their blood tastes unclean and can leave a vampire with a nasty aftertaste.
A vampire who chooses to abstain from drinking human blood and instead drinks the blood of animals is referred to as a vegetarian vampire.
"Singer" or "la tua cantante" is the term to describe one specific humans whose blood appeals to one specific vampire more than any other human. A singer for one vampire is usually not a singer for another vampire. Such a human is nearly irresistible to that vampire, and it takes massive amounts of self-control to stop from draining the singer. These humans are considered a massive treasure.
Shape-shifters, often mistaken as werewolves, are descended from the ancient spirit warriors of the Quileute tribe. Back then, warriors and chiefs could leave their bodies and wander as spirits, communicate with animals, and hear each other's thoughts. However, a change impacted the tribe members hugely during Taha Aki's leadership and permanently changed their powers to shape-shifting into giant wolves. When a member of the current generation comes across the scent of vampires, his physique will build before he phases for the first time.
The legend goes that one spirit warrior, Utlapa, wanted to use this power to enslave neighboring tribes, the Hohs and the Makahs. Unwilling to use the warriors' powers for such monstrous purposes, his chief, Taha Aki banished him from the tribe. One day, the chief left his body in a hiding place to sweep through the valley in his spirit form, searching the area for anything that may pose a threat to the tribe. Utlapa followed him and possessed his body, then cut his own body's throat to prevent Taha Aki's return. The chief wandered for a while in spirit form, watching the thief do horrible things on his people. One day, the chief's spirit found a large, beautiful wolf in the woods. Though jealous of the wolf's physical form, an idea came to him. He asked the wolf to share his body with him, and the wolf agreed. Rushing back to the village as the wolf, he met a party of warriors, and tried to make himself known by yelping Quileute songs. One of the warriors, an elderly man named Yut, realized that the wolf was under a spirit's control, and, disobeying the usurper Utlapa's orders not to enter the spirit world, left his body to talk to the beast. The false chief, alarmed at Yut entering the spirit world as he feared that his treachery would be revealed, killed the warrior. Taha Aki became enraged, and lunged to kill the man; his emotions were too much for the wolf, and it transformed into a magnificent human, the glorious flesh interpretation of Taha Aki's flawless spirit. The false chief was killed, and things were rapidly set right. Taha Aki sired many children, and found out that his sons, at the age of manhood, could transform into wolves as well. That is how the wolves came to be. The whole pack is made of the descendants (to however many degrees) of that original wolf. Thus far only one woman, Leah Clearwater, is known to have become a shape-shifter.
A shape-shifter's appearance vary in both human and wolf form. This is a list of what every shape-shifter looks like in their wolf form:
Sam Uley: Sam is the wolf that scares Laurent away from Bella Swan in New Moon, and is described as enormous, jet black, as tall as a horse, but thicker and much more muscular, with dagger-like incisors, and a grisly snarl like a prolonged crack of thunder. His wolf form was even mistaken for a "bear".
Jacob Black: As a wolf, Jacob grows to be bigger than Sam Uley, and has deep rusty-brown fur. In Eclipse, his fur becomes shaggier than the other wolves' due to the fact that he allows his hair to grow to chin-length. When the wolves rescue Bella from Laurent, she realizes that the russet wolf has Jacob's familiar, black-brown eyes.
Paul Lahote: Paul is smaller than Sam or Jacob, and has dark silver fur. Jared Cameron: Jared is around the same size as Paul, with brown fur, darker over the face.
Quil Ateara V: Quil is described as being chocolate-brown, lighter over the face.
Embry Call: Embry is slim and sleek, with pale gray, black-spotted fur.
Leah Clearwater: As the only female member of the pack, Leah is much smaller than the males, with light gray fur.
Seth Clearwater: Seth is tall and gangly with oversized paws, and has sand-colored fur.
Brady Fuller: Brady has dark, ashy brown fur that almost appears gray.
Collin Littlesea: Collin has reddish brown fur, with a darker color on his legs, face and tail.
The appearances of the seven other wolves that join the pack at the end of Breaking Dawn are not specified.
Each wolf's distinctive color and characteristics correlates with each wolf's true self. Quil Ateara and Sam Uley joke with one another that Sam's black fur is due to his "black heart", while Quil's chocolate-brown fur reflects how "sweet" he is. No real explanation of this phenomenon is given; none, perhaps, should be sought for - variability is the one fundamental of living beings.
Active shape-shifters crop their hair short, as the length of their hair correlates with the length of their fur.
The "monstrous size" of these creatures is emphasized repeatedly. This links clearly with the actual changes in the boys as well, which Bella notes, although she doesn’t connect the two phenomenons until later. She describes the shape-shifters as "four really big half-naked boys." As humans, they are between 6'0" and 7'0" tall, and after phasing become bigger, more muscular, and harder in look and substance. Their voices also deepen considerably.
The wolves become similar in their human forms, partly due to their appearances (hard-muscled bodies, unusual height and cropped hair) and the synchronization of their movements, so that they could be mistaken for biological siblings.
Phasing appears only when vampires are in the neighborhood and the tribe is in need of protection. Jacob explains, "There's no exact age... it just builds and builds and then suddenly—" It appears to occur roughly when a boy reaches manhood, and is accompanied by a sudden growth spurt lasting for about two months. Only males were believed to be able to phase until the transformation of Leah Clearwater, which surprised everyone, even though "she's a direct descendant [of the spirit chiefs], all right." (Edward Cullen , Eclipse).
The transformation can happen at any time, and isn't dependent upon a full moon. In young shape-shifters, the change is involuntary, since they have not yet learned to control it. Phasing often occurs due to a loss of temper, and Paul is known to be the most volatile pack member, erupting into his wolf form at the slightest provocation. The effects of this sort of transformation is shown in the relationship between Sam and Emily, and the disfiguring injuries she suffered when he lost control near her. Transformation or "phasing" is a sudden and violent process. The initial transformation seems to be triggered by anger, and Jake explains that his own phasing was staved off by his happiness with Bella: "I was like a time bomb. You know what set me off? I got back from that movie, and Billy said I looked weird. That was all, but I just snapped. And then I—I exploded. I almost ripped his face off—my own father!". Sam Uley 's transformation also supports this, as it "took him two weeks to calm down enough to change back."
Jacob's point of view explains the transformation back into human form: "I ignored him [Jared], closing my eyes and pulling myself together again. It felt like the air was trembling around me, shaking out from me in small waves. I lifted myself up on my hind legs, catching the moment just right so that I was fully upright as I shimmered down into my human self." (Jacob Black, Breaking Dawn).
Jacob seems to find phasing between wolf and human form easier than most. "Even Sam couldn't have phased on the fly like that. He saw Paul losing it, and it took him, what, half a second to attack? The boy's got gift." (Embry Call, New Moon). Jacob later explains to Bella that this may be due to his ancestry: "It takes some practice to phase back and forth, but it's easier for me… because Ephraim Black was my father's grandfather, and Quil Ateara was my mother's grandfather."
Children Of The Moon
Children of the Moon are creatures most similar to the traditional werewolves of myth.
They phase, or change form, in response to the cycle of the moon. In their changed form, they do not entirely resemble actual wolves: their forelegs are more powerful than their hind legs, and they still have usable hands with opposable thumbs. In addition, their stance is more upright, making their movement somewhat apelike, rather than entirely canine.
Children of the Moon change form only at night, and during the fullest phase of the moon. While in their werewolf form, Children of the Moon are not aware of their human selves; they are feral rather than rational. Usually, they run alone, or with one companion of the opposite gender. Children of the Moon cannot breed in their animal form; they can spread their species only by infecting other humans through a bite. Infected humans who have children do not pass their abilities to their offspring.
In their animal form, Children of the Moon have heightened strength and speed that make them both deadly and difficult to kill; contrary to legend, these werewolves cannot be killed with a silver bullet, nor does silver repel them. Their amplified abilities make them capable of destroying a lone vampire while it took several shape-shifters to kill Laurent. One advantage the werewolf has in both his/her human and animal forms is immunity to vampire venom, both the transformative properties and the pain-producing properties.
Because vampires and Children of the Moon share the same food source and because each is an exception to the other's near indestructibility, they are natural enemies. Over time, however, the vampires have hunted the once populous werewolves into near extinction.
Not much is known about the Children of the Moon's history. It is known that Caius, one of the Volturi leaders, is terrified of them after he was nearly killed in a fight with one two thousand years ago. Aro and Marcus knew about Caius' encounter, and since werewolves pose a threat to vampires everywhere, they initiated a war against them, resulting in the near extinction of the werewolves in Europe and Asia. It is not known if they are found anywhere else in the world. In Eclipse, it also stated that James hunted one across Siberia though unaware of what it was.
The Volturi refuse to tolerate truces or alliances between werewolves and vampires, under likely punishment of death. This was something that Caius tried to stress when the Volturi put the Cullen family on 'trial' for creating an immortal child. But the werewolves the Cullens had allied with were really shape-shifters in wolf forms, and the law didn't apply.
Compare with each other
After the change, vampires' physical appearance and muscle mass is enhanced and perfected, eye color changes, and they no longer need to breathe, though they often still do so out of habit, and feel uncomfortable without their sense of smell - the first warning of an impending threat or the smell of potential prey. The ability to cut off airflow from their lungs allows them to remain submerged underwater for as long as they wish, and contributes greatly to their excellent swimming capabilities. Vampires have uncannily powerful senses. As they grow older and more disciplined, vampires can learn to smell differences between the scents of various humans' blood, as well as scents of other things (like fabrics - the unique scent of denim). The range of their senses can be increased (thought only fractionally) through concentration.
They can hear sounds coming from several miles away, and even with their eyes closed, they can be sure that there are multiple people in a room thanks to their varied breathing patterns. They can hear the sound of a heartbeat, a pulse thudding in a vein, and words spoken too quietly or too fast for humans to detect.
Their enhanced vision allows them to see the smallest details, and extends into the ultraviolet region of the light spectrum. Vampire vision is unhindered by darkness, and is so acute that they view humans as blind, or "mud-eyed", in comparison. Bella describes her sight as being better than an eagle's. Vampires find wearing glasses or contact lenses to be uncomfortable or irritating because they see the miniature imperfections (ex. scratches).
Their bodily scent is based on their venom, and is pleasant, not only to humans, but to other vampires as well.
Their body's natural changes no longer occur. They cannot age or grow (things such as fingernails, toenails, and hair will no longer be able to grow - if they are cut they will never grow back. However, if an arm, leg, nose, or other such appendage should be removed [still painfully], it can be easily reattached. Since the venom is adhesive, coating the severed end with it will help it heal faster). They show no physical or mental illnesses and defects, and their voice becomes more alluring, melodic, and seductive. Their heart no longer beats.
The venom, and venom based liquids replace all of the natural chemical processes and functions in the body. It wets and pools in the mouth instead of saliva. It coats the eyes, burning through contacts after only a few hours, protecting them from damage and thus eliminating all necessity and reason to produce tears. It also lubricates them, allowing them to move around more easily within their sockets. A similar venom based liquid lubricates between the vampires cells allowing their hard stone bodies to move. If a vampire were to remain motionless over thousands of years, dust will actually begin to petrify in response to the venom based liquids, turning their skin powdery and similar to shale in texture, as well as their eyes which develop a milky film over their red irises making the eyes appear pink in color. This can be seen with the ancient Volturi members. These imperfections, however, do not affect the vampires impenetrability or compromise their vision, a vampire that stays motionless would be just as indestructible and sharp as a vampire remaining active.
As vampires describe themselves, they are unchanging, "living stone" beings frozen exactly as they were when they were transformed. (Though to another vampire, the granite-skin feels smooth, soft, and warm and not the icy-hard touch a human would feel). Requiring little or no change to produce sperm, males can still breed, while female vampires cannot, their bodies no longer accommodate the changes related to pregnancy. In male vampires, the venom takes on a form so similar to seminal fluid that can bond with a human ovum, making possible the creation of a human-vampire hybrid. The underlying biochemistry and physiology is currently unknown.
Vampires, although essentially immortal and indestructible, can be killed. Even a human could accomplish it under the right circumstances - venom and venom-based fluids are very flammable. However, humans are unable to compete with vampires in strength and speed, therefore they are unlikely to succeed. If a human were to succeed in lighting a vampire on fire , the vampire could simply take a quick high-speed bound to put it out. This is why it is necessary to rip a vampire's body to pieces before incinerating them into ashes, to prevent them from putting out the fire before it can do serious damage. This is the only known way to kill a vampire.
Thanks to their much greater physical abilities, Children of the Moon and shape-shifters are instead much better equipped to kill a vampire.
Vampires are said to have two natural enemies: werewolves and shape-shifters, to each of the creatures the other smells disgusting. These smells are too enhanced for a human sense of smell. Vampires are said to be stronger than shape-shifters, and can usually overpower them easily. In Quileute history, one lone vampire was able to kill two wolves at one time, and the same vampire managed to kill three of the four wolves that hunted him another time, while the fourth managed to rip him apart.
Vampires often fight among each other. There have been many cases throughout history where vampires created armies of newborns to challenge one another and gain territory.
If a vampire's mate is attacked or killed, then he or she will likely seek revenge, hunting down and killing the attacker.
In Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, the Cullens and La Push shape-shifters become allies, partially because Jacob imprints on Renesmee.
While treating Jacob, Carlisle takes a blood sample and runs some tests on it. He discovers that they have 24 pairs of chromosomes, one more than a human and one less than a vampire, but the same number as vampire hybrids. The exact nature of the extra chromosome is unknown, but it may carry the genes needed for the shape-shifting abilities of the bearer. The hypothesis is that it is somehow passed down only in Y-chromosome carrying sperm, which would explain why almost all shape-shifters are male, while the occasional extra chromosome being passed down in an X-chromosome carrying sperm could be the basis of Leah Clearwater's appearance. Or, alternatively, it may be that it is passed regularly by both sexes (both males and females) and that testosterone may be needed as a co-inducer for the shape-shifting complex together with whatever external trigger needed for phasing - Leah having a high concentration of testosterone in her bloodstream.
During the confrontation with the Volturi, Edward reveals that the werewolves of La Push are actually shape-shifters and not Children of the Moon. The Children of the Moon go along with what people usually associate with werewolves: they only transform during a full moon, and create other werewolves by infecting a human with a venomous bite, much like a vampire, rather than genetically like the Quileutes. Though they are not harmed by silver bullets. According to Edward: "There aren't very many of them left. Caius has had them hunted into near extinction."
In the movies New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn, the members of the pack all have the same tattoo on their right shoulder.
The tattoo was created for film merchandise much like the Cullen Crest and the Volturi symbol. The tattoo features the image of two wolves to create the face of a third.
Children Of The Moon
Due to the Volturi's initial assumption that the La Push shape-shifters were Children of the Moon, the two groups probably look very similar in their wolf form. Children of the Moon rarely form packs. It is not known if they show social characteristics similar to the Quileutes, such as hierarchy. However, in Breaking Dawn, it was commented that true werewolves are disorganized compared to the shape-shifters. They only run with one companion of opposite gender.
It has been confirmed that they cannot breed in animal form. Like vampires, they change people into werewolves by biting them, infecting them with their poison. However, they do not pass this infection to their offspring. Unlike the legendary version they're based on, they are not vulnerable to silver bullets.
Werewolves do not age, show flowing blood and a beating heart like humans, and they smell unappetizing to vampires. Werewolves consume flesh, human or animal. Like shape-shifters, werewolves probably have enhanced strength and speed, rapid healing, and heightened senses. They may or may not possess gifts. Also they are immune to vampire venom in both human and animal incarnations.