Edward Cullen (né Edward Anthony Masen) is a fictional character in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. He is featured in the books Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, as well as the Twilight film, and the as yet unfinished novel Midnight Sun - a re-telling of the events of Twilight from Edward's perspective. Edward is a vampire who, over the course of the series, falls in love with, marries, and has a child with Bella Swan, a human teenager who later chooses to become a vampire also. In the Twilight film series, Edward is played by actor Robert Pattinson.
The development of the character was influenced by the fictional characters Gilbert Blythe, Fitzwilliam Darcy, and Edward Rochester — particularly the last, who, like Edward Cullen, sees himself as a "monster".
In Twilight, Edward meets Bella Swan, a human girl whose thoughts he is unable to read, and whose blood smells overwhelmingly sweet to him. He fights a growing attraction to her, but after saving her life on several occasions, he succumbs and eventually falls in love with her. Edward admits to Bella that he is a vampire, and that although he retains the physical body of a seventeen-year-old, he was actually born on June 20, 1901. His adoptive father, Carlisle Cullen, transformed him into a vampire in 1918 to prevent him from dying in the Spanish influenza epidemic in Chicago, Illinois. Carlisle instilled in him a sense of morality uncommon in most vampires, and central to his way of life is the refusal to consider humans as food.
However, Edward constantly warns Bella against being with him, perceiving her life to be at risk if she continues to associate with him. Bella's love and confidence in Edward's restraint cause her to ignore his warnings, even after she becomes the vampire James' target. Unlike the Cullen family, who are "vegetarian" vampires (committed to only feeding on animals), James regularly feeds on humans and will not stop until he drinks Bella's blood. With his family's help, Edward is able to save Bella from James' predations, but how to assure Bella's continued safety remains an open question.
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