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Opinion

Why The Twilight Renaissance Is The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

The Twilight franchise by Stephanie Meyer has undergone some serious reform in the last couple years, proving itself as more of a cultural staple than a pariah.

Credit: Summit Entertainment

The Twilight franchise by Stephanie Meyer has undergone some serious reform in the last couple of years, proving itself as more of a cultural staple than a pariah.

As is true for any book-to-movie franchise, Twilight gained a lot of attention in 2008 with its movie release, three years after the first book came out, as a shallow romance franchise that could not hold up against its competitors of the time; i.e. the Harry Potter series or The Hunger Games. These movies were hated by anyone who was not an unapologetic teenage girl. I myself, who had never even seen the movies or read the books, was a strong member of the Twilight hate club, defending Harry Potter with my life when they were ever compared. I decided years later to finally give the movies a try and ended up enjoying them so much that they’re one of my favorite comfort movies to this day. Not to say that I think the series is a cinematic masterpiece worthy of film awards, rather it was that the dialogue and acting made it seem more like a comedy than a romance. I have found that I am not alone in this new appreciation for the previously despised franchise, as social media has blown up with Twilight memes and jokes on Tumblr, Twitter, and TikTok, even the official Lionsgate TikTok.

Credit: @lionsgate via TikTok

People are tracing this resurgence of Twilight love to the announcement Stephanie Meyer made in 2020 of her novel Midnight Sun, a Twilight retelling from the point-of-view of Edward Cullen. Since then, in the height of lockdown, people have found themselves revisiting this series of the past for a sense of nostalgia and comfort. The discussions are no longer about Team Edward versus Team Jacob (how can anyone even be Team Jacob after everything he pulled in Eclipse?), they’re about the minor characters like fan-favorite Charlie Swan or Alice Cullen. People have stopped romanticizing the relationship between a century-old vampire and a seventeen-year-old girl and started romanticizing the beauty of Forks in its blue-tinted glory. 

Credit: @SHESLIKETHEWIND via Twitter

So what happened? Why is everyone switching up their views on the series now? Although the most concrete reason can be linked to Stephanie Meyer’s announcement, the truth is that fan culture is more accepting now than it was ten years ago. Any media that was targeted toward teenage girls was immediately disregarded without the slightest consideration. A teacher in middle school once suggested the novels to me and I went back to my friends and laughed at her for claiming that such a “girly” series was any good. The same goes for things like One Direction or Justin Bieber; artists with primarily female fans were never taken seriously in society and those who were able to unabashedly enjoy what they wanted to enjoy suffered from rampant misogyny. Now, however, in a society where fan culture is more diverse and nuanced, original and new Twilight fans can rejoice because they’ll no longer be crucified for enjoying a series. Harry Styles, one of the most popular artists in the world right now, also has a primarily female fan base, but he is a well-respected artist and his fans are not being bombarded with hate for enjoying his music. This is not to say that equality has been achieved in any way in media and entertainment culture, but the Twilight renaissance shows what can be possible when there is less unnecessary hate. 

For those of you fans trying to truly immerse yourself in the Forks, Washington, here are some helpful resources.

A complete box set of the entire saga, including the two new novels, available at Barnes & Noble: Twilight Saga Complete Collection

A YouTube ”comfort” playlist to listen to while you reread the series in its entirety:

Credit: Cold Letters via Youtube

A keychain that will let you see the world through the iconic blue filter, available on Etsy: Twilight Blue Filter Keychain

Written By

English student with a passion for journalism.

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editor’s note: *remove all capital letters*