Vampires (also called The Cold Ones) are undead immortals who feed and survive on the blood of the living. Vampires are one of the three known supernatural species in Twilight Saga after shape-shifters and werewolves.
The origin of the vampire race remains a mystery, however it is known that vampires have existed nearly as long (possibly longer) as the Egyptian Pyramids. Contrary to popular belief, in the Twilight Universe, vampires deviate from those of traditional myth; a fact often alluded to in the series, usually for humor. For example, all vampires have refined and perfected physical features (including their scent and voice), allowing them to lure in prey.
Their skin is flawless and textured with a marble substance stronger than granite. Due to the crystalline properties of their cells, when a vampire is exposed to sunlight, their body will sparkle like diamonds. For vampires who feed on human blood, their eyes reflect bright red, as oppose to those who drink animal blood, whose eyes will reflect a more gold-like color. Vampires also possess superhuman powers, such as speed and strength. Vampires also have incredibly keen senses and are able to hear for miles and see in total darkness.
Vampires are indeed immortal unless destroyed. Vampires are unable to sleep, and thus spend all days and nights awake. After transformation, some vampires attribute specials abilities such as foresight or telepathy. However most vampires have no special abilities, and instead have a prominent personality or physical trait from their human life magnified. Vampires are unharmed by garlic, holy items, or wooden stakes; they have reflections and shadows, and are able to walk freely in the sunlight without being physically damaged by it.
Blood is the main component of a vampire's diet; failing to drink blood (whether human or animal) for an extended period of time will physically and mentally weaken a vampire. The longer a vampire abstains from blood, the more likely the vampire will lose their rationality and mental faculties until they give into their thirst, because their throats are described to be in burning torment which will get worse the longer they lack blood in their systems. Animal blood is less appealing to vampires, and a vampire that feeds on human blood is fractionally stronger than one that feeds on animal blood. Vampires that live on animal blood are referred to as "vegetarians".
Vampires are also capable of eating human food, however their bodies are unable to digest it and must cough it up later.
Vampires are extraordinarily beautiful, some more attractive than others, such as Heidi and Rosalie. This is one of the several features meant to attract their prey - more specifically, to attract, fascinate, and (if necessary) seduce, unsuspecting humans. How physically appealing their prey finds them is determined by how desirable they were as humans themselves. If an already attractive human were to be transformed, their physical beauty would be "breathtaking". If they were of average interest, their attractiveness would be lower. If however they were not particularly pleasing to the eye, they would become average (as shown with James), but this is a rare occurrence, as vampires normally select exceptional humans to turn.
A vampire's skin is described as "chalky", alabaster, or marble (because of its texture and feel, as well as its appearance). Regardless of original ethnicity, a vampire's skin will be exceptionally pale. The hue varies slightly, with darker-skinned humans having a barely discernible olive tone to their vampire skin, but the light shade remains the same. They owe their unnatural pale complexion to their lack of blood flow; once they reach the first anniversary of their transformation, they no longer possess blood of their own (though they still become slightly flushed after feeding). When the venom spreads, it also leeches pigment in the skin, so after the transformation is complete, the vampire loses nearly all its skin color, as well as any moles, freckles, scars, or any other part of the skin with pigment from their human life. Their strong resemblance to marble statues rests also on their skin's granite-like appearance and impenetrability, as well as the no longer need to blink - the venom-based fluid that resides in the eyes now fulfills the function of eyelids and also lubricates the eye so that it can move easily within its sockets. The vampire also is unable to produce tears after the transformation, as tears are used to remove objects harmful to the eye, and those objects would be unable to harm a vampires eye. A vampire may not move at all, if need be, and if they stay immobile for several thousand years, they will start showing the appearance of fragility or petrification, though their physical capabilities will remain unchanged. Aside from Aro's clouded, "milky" eyes, Bellanotes that his skin - as well as that of his brothers, Marcus and Caius - looks like paper. However, though they feel closer to shale than granite, they are no more fragile than those remaining active.
A wise vampire will avoid exposure to direct sunlight, so not to be seen by humans during the day, unless the sky is overcast, since their skin sparkles like diamonds; their cells have become hard and refractive as if they were so many small prisms.
A vampire's eye color changes with both his/her age and diet. Newborn vampires show bright red eyes; a diet of human blood would darken them to a rose red color. However, a diet of animal blood would instead dilute the eyes to a golden color. Thirsty vampires show dark, onyx black eyes.
Only the Cullens (the Olympic Coven) and the Denali Coven are known to be vegetarian vampires, feeding only on animal blood. Their eyes are liquid topaz, or honey-golden, reflecting their diet. These eyes, however, are viewed as strange and somewhat unnatural by other vampires whose diet consist of human blood, such as James and Victoria, and whose eyes are of a vivid deep crimson, becoming even more vivid as they continue to feed on human blood, and a darker burgundy as they abstain.
Newborn vampires are known for having incredible strength as well as brilliant crimson eyes. Both traits are caused by their own blood that still lingers within their tissues, producing the shockingly bright red eyes that "fade slowly over the course of a year" and incredible strength.
Meyer writes that, if a Cullen were to drink human blood, his/her eyes would instantly turn burgundy, and if two weeks were to pass without blood, his/her eyes would grow dark. If he/she were to return to a diet of animal blood, his/her eyes would become dark gold, and a lighter golden color, if they were to continue on animal blood. As a vampire's thirst grows, his/her eyes grow darker with it, until they at last become a coal black. In contrast, as vampires feed, their eyes become lighter. In addition to the thirst, the purplish-black bruises under their eyes become more pronounced as their thirst grows. Though if they have recently fed the bruises becomes less noticeable, and all but disappear (depending on how well-fed they are). The bruises indicate that vampires never sleep.
The bite of a vampire can sever the limbs of both animals and humans, as vampires are known for having extremely sharp and strong teeth. A vampire's teeth appear no different than regular human teeth. They do not possess fangs. However, a vampire's teeth are flawless, unbreakable, and razor sharp at the edges. They are also incredibly strong, able to bite through almost any solid substance, including vampire skin. On her first hunt as a vampire, Bella describes biting through a mountain lion's neck like biting through butter. Their teeth are also venomous, affected by the vampire venom that flows in their mouths.
A vampire's physical and mental abilities far exceed those of a human being. These traits vary between different vampires depending on what they were more capable of as humans. Certain vampires also develop one extra supernatural power manifested from his strongest trait as a human.
One of the most amazing among their abilities is their speed. They are able to run in excess of a hundred miles per hour, substantially faster than the human eye can see. When vampires run, they become "all but invisible". The Quileute wolves are noted to be one of the few things that can outrun them. This suggests that vampires are meant to move to a new location every so often. We see the speed of all the Cullens again during the baseball game. Emmett is described as "a blur around the bases", and Edward can move so quickly that he is able to intercept a ball that has been hit "like a meteor."
They can lay down and sit up within the same second, almost without having to even think about going through the motions. After being turned into a vampire, Bella describes her movements as being instantaneous.
Another enhanced trait is their unstoppable physical strength. A vampire is said to be thousands of times stronger than any human, able to lift objects hundreds of times their own weight. Edward feared his strength when first meeting Bella, and explained that there was barely a difference to him in strength between caressing her head and knocking it off. A good example of their strength is seen when Bella decides to arm wrestle Emmett after becoming a vampire. She describes the power in his one arm to be about the same as a cement truck moving downhill at over 60 miles per hour. She beats him, however, because she is a newborn at the time. Newborn vampires are always stronger than older ones, since their strength derives from the lingering human blood left in their body. Diet does not have a massive impact on strength, since it always depends on the individual vampire. A vampire's strength also enables them to leap incredible distances. Edward was able to leap over a 50 yard wide river with ease during Bella's first hunt as a vampire, while Bella was able to leap over twice his distance, while only using slightly over half of her full force.
A diet of human blood makes a vampire stronger than animal blood (though only fractionally). Vampires who feed on animal blood (vegetarian vampires) find that "big game" - predators like bears or wildcats - not only smell more appealing to them, but also make them stronger than the "weaker" blood of herd animals such as deer or cattle. Strength, of course, is not always physical. If a vampire possessed great mental strength and willpower as a human, he will find it easier to control his wild, animalistic instincts. Even so, if a vampire has not fed for a long time, he will be less likely to think clearly and more likely to give in to their thirst, attacking the first living thing he detects and draining it of blood within seconds, all without a single thought (human or animal). If, however, an unlucky human were to be near their vicinity, they will preferably attack him/her rather than the animal.
A vampire's senses (smell, sight, hearing, etc.) are also greatly enhanced, which enables them to see, hear and smell things imperceptible to humans. While running, a vampire can see and sense everything that is around them, making him able to keep tabs of their surroundings and avoid hitting anything unnecessarily. Their sense of sight exceeds by far that of a hawk.
When a vampire hunts, he uses his sense of smell to find a prey and hearing to track its movements. Smell is most intense to vampires, because one can smell the blood of his prey. By not breathing, they feel uncomfortable due to the lack of smell.
They also have an instinctive reaction to danger, usually from ill-willed vampires.
When a vampire catches his prey, he bites into its neck and injects his venom into its bloodstream while feeding. This serves as a useful way to immobilize his prey while also initiating the conversion from human to vampire, allowing the predator to feed on his prey without it trying to resist, even though it would not have done any good. While the venom is transformative to humans, it is deadly to animals and shape-shifters.
Most vampires find their key personality characteristics intensified by the vampire transformation in the same way their physical abilities are strengthened, but relatively few have abilities that can be classified as supernatural. More common would be a human with a love of learning becoming a vampire with an insatiable scholarly curiosity, or a human with a deep value for human life becoming a vampire with the strength to avoid human blood.
But a few vampires do develop additional abilities that go beyond the natural. These extra abilities are due to psychic gifts in the original human that are intensified in the resulting vampire. For example, a human who was very sensitive to other people's moods might develop the vampire ability to read thoughts or influence emotions. A human who had some limited precognition might develop into a vampire with a strong ability to see the future. A human with a good instinct for hunting might become a powerful vampire tracker. If a human already possessed a certain supernatural gift, this talent will be amplified many times after he is transformed into a vampire.
The proportion of supernaturally talented vampires to "normal" vampires is greater than the proportion of psychically gifted humans to "normal" humans. This is due to the same factor of temperament that results in more beautiful humans being selected to become vampires. Vampires are also drawn to gifted humans when they look to create companions. Some vampires actively seek out the gifted in the hope of utilizing that extra ability in their coven.
No gift ever works in the exact same way in two vampires, because no person (human or vampire) is ever exactlythe same.
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 smallest imperfections such as very small scratches and optical aberrations imperceptible to humans.
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.
Though there are a range of vampire lifestyles, the most common is nomadic. The majority of vampires move frequently, never settling permanently in one place. This pattern is partly an attempt to hide from the notice of humans. If too many humans disappear from one area, suspicion might be aroused and the Volturi might take notice. Also, if a vampire interacts regularly with humans, eventually the humans will notice that the vampire isn't aging. Another aspect is boredom; vampire lives are so long that many keep up a continuous search for novelty.
A few covens are exceptions to this rule, and maintain semi-permanent or permanent homes. Doing this requires a great deal of subterfuge - if the coven wants to avoid suspicion and keep the Volturi from becoming involved - and most vampires don't care for the hassle.
When a human becomes a vampire, all of his natural behavior, needs and characteristics are frozen within him forever, though they are also heightened at the same time. From the moment a vampire is made, his interests, dislikes and personality is permanently petrified. For instance, if a human with a loving character becomes a vampire, his or her passion is magnified, allowing him or her to love others even more intensely. Another example is if the human was ambitious and cunning, those characteristics become magnified as a vampire, thus making him a ruthless killer. The only aspect that does change is a vampire's outlook on the world.
Aside from their original personalities, they also have ferocious instincts and a compelling drive for consuming blood. The moment they give in to their thirst, all of their characteristics disappear and they could risk hurting one another by competing for the prey. The longer they abstain from blood completely, the harder it becomes for them to resist, and eventually they will give in to their thirst.
Vampires are feral, predatory creatures, and far more savage and beast-like than their human appearance suggests. They growl, hiss, snarl, and curl their lips back baring their teeth as signs of aggression when provoked. They also have a sense of self-preservation; when they are confronted with danger that proves too overwhelming for their capabilities, they will immediately evade the area, unless there is something holding them back.
Though vampires are mostly territorial and nomadic, there are few possibilities for them to bond with one another and with other species. The first bonding force is romance. If a vampire falls in love, that feeling never fades away and that love is bound for eternity. As a general rule, only the bond between mates is strong enough to survive the competitive drive for blood. Larger covens are less stable, and usually end because of internal violence. If a vampire was romantically bound to someone before he turned, that love will retain as a permanent aspect in his characteristics after the transformation. It is also possible for a vampire to fall in love after he was turned, and that love will be just as permanent as any other.
Another prevalent vampire trait is that of a vengeful nature. Related again to their unchanging state, vampires are not forgiving; they do not move past an insult or injury. The most common example of vampire vengeance is the aftermath of the loss of a mate. When a vampire loses his mate, he never recovers from the pain. He cannot rest until the party responsible is eradicated. Centuries can pass without lessening the ferocity of his need for vengeance. However, it is possible to suppress that desire if they compel themselves to focus.
The second bonding force, and one that is able to keep a large coven stable, is ambition. Vampires are competitive by nature, and some vampires have been able to evolve this competitive disposition into a greater cause capable of uniting many individuals into a secure whole. The pursuit of power is that bonding cause for vampires. The Romanians were the first to do this successfully for a significant length of time.
The third, and rarest, bonding force is the vampire conscience. Very few vampires are born with or develop a value for human life. The consumption of human blood is such a known aspect of vampire life that few ever question it; the driving thirst for human blood seems irresistible. However, those who do learn to value human life in spite of this reality are able to subsist on animal blood. Vampires who live this way are sometimes referred to as "vegetarians". Animal blood is unappealing to vampires, and thus a difficult diet to maintain. Those who make the sacrifice, though, experience related benefits. In the absence of human blood, the competitive drive disappears. Vampires are able to form bonds of love in addition to the bond between mates. The weak coven alliance is replaced by a strong, family-style union. The Olympic and Denali covens are the only two groups to have successfully adjusted to this diet.
It is known in Twilight that humans can be changed into vampires, and vampire venom is nothing more than a deadly poison to animals.
Transformation from human to vampire is described as being "the sharpest memory they have of their human life." Once a human is bitten, the venom from glands inside the vampire's mouth is injected into the bloodstream.
Depending upon "how much venom is in the bloodstream, and how close the venom is until it enters the heart", the transformation could last anywhere from 2-5 days. During this time, the human will endure indescribable pain. Once the venom is injected, it is described very close as being burned alive. The venom will then make its way throughout the body. Next through the heart, and it will pump again and again in the heart until it starts meeting itself in the veins. Then it will burn all the veins until the heart stops beating. It moves slower than blood because it is thicker, which makes the transformation long-lasting. Each beat of the heart can only push it so far. The changing/burning process is slow. The venom has to saturate every cell in the body before the process can be completed.
There is no medicine that is strong enough to numb the pain; the best one could do is to immobilize the body.
In the Twilight universe, vampires are not known to be killed by human effort, are unharmed by sunlight, garlic, holy water, silver, any kind of stake, cross, and can enter homes without permission. Also, any kind of human weapon, including bullets, bounces off of them without any pain or harm done. The only known way to kill a vampire is to dismember his or her body and burn the remains before it can reconstruct itself. Thus their weakness is the strength of their kind or something as strong, which cannot be copied by humans, and fire that consumes them.
In the films, vampires are more vulnerable as they can be killed by severing their heads or biting it off their necks. However, fire is still the only known method to destroy them completely.
"Newborn" or "newborn vampire" is the term for a vampire that has been transformed for less than one year. On average, a newborn's physical strength, senses and speed greatly surpass that of an older vampire because they still have their own blood lingering in their tissues. As time passes, however, the venom in them will consume that blood, and the newborn's physical capabilities and thirst will slowly diminish until it reaches that of a normal vampire, by the end of its first year. A newborn's thirst for blood is overwhelmingly and relentlessly painful, described by Bree Tanner as being a "fire in the throat", and they will feed as much as possible to curb it.
Newborns are often bloodthirsty, violent and uncontrollable. Their enhanced emotions are hard to control and they anger easily. They are also likely to kill one another to compete for blood. When they catch the scent of blood, their hunting instincts will take over and cloud their ability to focus, even the thought of the word "blood" is enough to make their thirst unbearable. The thirst is so maddening in the first year that most newborns are more animalistic and wild than their older counterparts. However, as time passes, their thirst will slowly diminish and become easier to manage. Their secondary human emotions and desires will mostly be dormant for a while, and resurface slowly over time.
Bella Cullen was an exception to this rule, as she had time to think about her decision and therefore did not have the first brutal year that most vampires encounter. Carlisle Cullen showed an amazing control of his thirst for human blood as a newborn, which kept him from feeding on humans and redirect his thirst to animal blood instead. Rosalie Hale had never drunk human blood in her vampire life, though she had killed her murderers and their bodyguards by torturing them to death.
It is impossible to predict how long a newborn or an average vampire will remain vicious and bloodthirsty before their secondary desires and personality resurfaces, since every person is different.
Some indications which show a newborn are their bright crimson eyes (due to the blood left in their body at the time of changing), uncontrollable thirst that makes them ferocious, and superior in strength. In the Olympic Coven, Emmett Cullen was the hardest to contain when he was a newborn because of his superior physical strength, though he did become a vegetarian successfully.
Newborns appear much like normal vampires with the exception of their eyes. A newborn's eyes are an incredibly bright crimson, indicating that their own blood is still in their system, though their heart is no longer beating. In a year that a vampire feeds on animal blood, their eyes will change from red to amber and then to gold. If he reverts to feeding on human blood, the eyes will darken to be almost a burgundy color.
Newborns are also incredibly powerful in the physical sense, being much stronger and faster than a regular vampire, with sharper senses, which allows them to easily crush an older vampire. As they become older their strength begins to wane, and after the first year, their strength will be reduced to that of an average vampire. In Breaking Dawn, Bella arm-wrestles with Emmett and wins easily because of her newborn strength.
The following is a list of vampires notably described during their newborn phase:
A vampire named Benito originally invented the idea of creating a newborn army, which were hard to stop, triggering the vampire wars of the south, and devastating their population as a result. This meant that the Volturi arrived and stopped them. A newborn armyalso appeared in Eclipse, created by a vengeful vampire namedVictoria to destroy the Cullens and Bella. The newborns caused carnage in Seattle, with many people dying at their hands. When the Cullens find out that the army is moving in on them, they form an unusual allegiance with the Uley pack and initiate a battleagainst them, and win with much ease due to Jasper's knowledge of newborn movements and weaknesses.
In Eclipse, Jasper mentions a Mexican vampire named Maria who had previously created an army with Jasper's help. When the newborns grew and became of little use, he was to dispose of them. Except for one case, Peter, who was kept as a babysitter for the newborns. Later he ran off with Charlotte, after her newborn mark, to save her from being disposed of. Years later, they came back to him, inviting him to the North and its better life. He accepted the invitation.
Introduced in the novel Breaking Dawn, immortal children are human infants and toddlers turned into vampires. They are said to be so beautiful it takes just one look to be under their control. In addition, it is said that an immortal child's tantrum can kill people, since they cannot easily control themselves. Carlisle described them as adorable little children with smiles and dimples that would destroy a village in one of their tantrums.
It is presumed that while their mental age is stuck at the age they were transformed, they still have the vampiric gifts of enhanced strength and speed as well the the supernatural gifts of certain vampires.
Because they are too young to be controlled, the Volturi killed all those who could be found. Creating one has become the worst crime in the vampire world, under penalty of death for both creator and newborn vampire. Underthis law, anyone who knows about or stands by the child is also punishable under this law.
Even after the law was established, the Volturi captured two children to experiment on. However, no matter how many centuries they'd spent to teach them, they still could not be controlled or taught. Carlisle Cullen stumbled across these children during his stay in Volterra and learned of this law. After they determined that immortal children could not be tamed, they had the children destroyed.
In Book 3 of Breaking Dawn, Irina spotted Bella, Jacob and Renesmee hunting and mistook Renesmee for one, prompting her to report the child to the Volturi. Her mother Sasha had created an immortal child called Vasilii, and she had to witness her mother's and brother's executions.
Libishomen is the word that the people in South America (tribes like the Mapuche or the Ticunas), call vampires. Libishomen are blood drinking demons who prey exclusively on beautiful women. In the Twilight Saga, the vampireJoham, who believes that he is creating a new race by impregnating women with half-mortal, half-vampire babies (like Renesmee), would be called Libishomen. Joham has created half-mortals which include Nahuel and his half-sisters.
Vampires are said to have two natural enemies: werewolves andshape-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.