En español | You don't need to read the books or see the films (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2 is the current, fifth and final movie — see the video above) to understand what your Twilight-obsessed daughter, granddaughter, colleague or beloved is talking about. With these basic details you can join the conversation.
See also: Why grown women love Edward Cullen.
The original novel, Twilight, was released in 2005 with a targeted audience of teenage girls. First-time author Stephenie Meyer says the love story of a 17-year-old human girl and an irresistible teenage vampire came to her in a dream. Three more books — New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn — followed. Each was a No. 1 New York Times best-seller.
The film versions of Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn: Part 1 set box office records and proved a draw for teenagers and their moms. The story's location, rural Forks, Wash., is a real place that's now a tourist destination for fans.
Isabella ("Bella") Swan: teenage human girl. Played in the movie by Kristen Stewart.
Edward Cullen: a 100+-year-old vampire who, as an immortal, is forever 17. Portrayed by British actor Robert Pattinson.
Jacob Black: Bella's childhood friend, a member of the Native American Quileutes tribe and a werewolf, played by Taylor Lautner, inevitably shirtless (see "Werewolves" on the next page).
THE LOVE STORY
Edward, who has never had a girlfriend (yes, he's a 100+-year-old virgin) unexpectedly falls in love with Bella, a human girl he wants to both protect and literally devour. As Edward declares to Bella in a scene that sends readers and movie audiences swooning, "The lion fell in love with the lamb." Jacob, who also loves and wants to protect Bella (mainly from vampires), challenges Edward for her affections. Fans take sides, being on either "Team Edward" or "Team Jacob." Bella knows that her two suitors are in essence monsters, but she doesn't care.
THE SUPPORTING CAST
Carlisle Cullen: Edward's "dad" leads a family of moral, well-behaved vampires who are related by choice, not blood ... so to speak. Carlisle works as an emergency room doctor.
Esmé Cullen: Edward's "mom." The Cullens are vegetarians, which in the vampire world means they only drink the blood of animals.
Next Page: More vampires and werewolves. >>