Not Your Traditional Romantic Lead

It’s no secret that The Twilight Saga has had a profound impact on popular culture, captivating millions of viewers worldwide. But what if I told you that the biggest impact came from a character you probably didn’t expect to see romantic lead?

Although the franchise has primarily focused on Bella and Edward’s relationship, it’s not exactly been ignored where other characters fit into the equation. Most notably, the franchise features otherworldly creatures known as vampires. And while we’ve never seen one romantically tied to a human, it’s not exactly been unheard of. Meet Robert Pattinson.

Even before you see his character in The Twilight Saga, you know he’s different. When we first meet him, it’s immediately apparent that he’s not your typical romantic lead. In fact, he’s so far from it that you’d probably wonder why he was even considered for the part in the first place. However, once you see his character in action, the more questions you have.

The Rise Of Vampires In Literature

Let’s quickly backtrack a bit and discuss the history of vampires in literature. The modern vampire first appeared in the 19th century, with the works of writers like Bram Stoker and Anne Rice helping to popularize the trope. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that they really started to take off, with the works of authors like William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald helping to shape modern literature. What was so special about the 20th century that made it the era of the vampire? Why did they become so popular?

Well, for one, World War I significantly increased the interest in exotic locations and creatures. Traveling to Europe and back again became something of a hobby for many, as did reading about other cultures and where they came from. This curiosity about other countries and their ways of life sparked what might be called the ‘Exoticism’ of the 20th century.

In the later half of the century, filmmakers began to take notice and use the genre for some of the most popular movies of all time. Whether it was Dracula, the Wolfman, or the Mummy, these movies continually pushed the envelope of what was possible in cinema, inspiring generations of filmmakers to continue the trend.

Why Do You Need to Know About Vampires?

You may be wondering why you should care about vampires at all. After all, they don’t play a huge role in The Twilight Saga and you may not see many of them on the big screen. But that’s exactly why you should care. Just because they don’t appear often on television or in the movies doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. And although they don’t pose a direct threat to humans, they can still be considered dangerous. Especially if you’re not aware of how to deal with them safely. Because let’s face facts: we’re not exactly safe in the world of vampires anymore. Not since the Renaissance.

The Rise Of The Renaissance Vampire

Back during the Renaissance, old traditions were cast aside as people searched for a way to rediscover the ancient values that had been lost during the chaos of World War I. In the minds of many Renaissance men and women, the vampire fit perfectly into this new outlook, embodying both the decay and regeneration that characterized the era.

However, while the vampire was seen as a symbol of the chaos and decadence of the era, it was also a way to represent rebirth and reformation. Drawing upon Greek and Roman mythology, occultists like John Dee sought to incorporate vampirism into their religious practices. Not only did they see vampires as a symbol of regeneration and new life, but they viewed them as a form of divine retribution. As Dee’s disciple, Aleister Crowley, wrote:

“Vampires are older than humanity and much mightier. Therefore, it is not surprising that they should envy and hate us. For such creatures cannot live among us without eventually destroying us. We are the chosen people, the royal road to immortality. The vampires’ fangs are drawn not for blood, but with envy and horror, at the sight of our eternal youth.”

With the continued resurgence of paganism and occultism in the 20th century, it’s no surprise that vampires have once again taken the world by storm. And although it’s not always been easy, modern literature has seen fit to honor the ‘envy and horror’ that these creatures inspire in others. As John Keats wrote in his poem, ‘The Eve Of St. Agnes’:

“The world was all before them, where to choose their site, / The pleasant earth, the air, and what to eat; / But no delight could they find, no natural joy, / No love, or liking, or sport, or music for the boys / And girls. With sad and wistful looks, / The envious parents saw their children turn away, / And wept, as they beheld their babies bid farewell / For they deemed that they were going to Heaven.”

What do you think about vampires? Let us know in the comments below!