Over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, there is quite a discussion going on about Edward Cullen, the vampire boyfriend of Bella Swan from Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. Sarah finally decided to read Twilight, and eventually reviewed the book and gave it a D+ grade, which I disagree with, but hey, not every book can be agreed upon equally. :D From there, Sarah wondered what is the deal with Edward? What makes all the teenage girls and some adult women become a bit swoony about him?
The great post, What Is It About Edward, raised some interesting things about this character, from him being an alpha hero stalker because he can’t stop watching over Bella. He sleeps in her bed with her every night, awake, trying to hold back his urges for her blood, along with having some major issues mainly because he is a one-hundred plus year old virgin. (This comment about Edward being a virgin is from the actor, Robert Pattinson who will play Edward in the movie Twilight). Apparently Robert didn’t have warm fuzzy feelings for Edward. And the comment he made about Edward being a virgin makes me roll my eyes.
From my point of view, I really don’t see Edward as a stalker in any way. There have been many other heroes from romances past that could be considered more of an alpha stalker than Edward. Take Christine Feehan’s heroes for instance. I can’t help but compare one trait of Feehan’s heroes with Edward for the soul purpose that Edward and Feehan’s heroes have no feelings until they meet their one true love. Other than that, the comparison ends there because, whereas Edward is willing to tell let go of Bella or tell her to stay away from him for her own safety, Feehan’s heroes are alpha jerks, who once they meet their woman, who brings the light and color back into their lives, won’t take no for an answer. They even resort to some type of forced seduction on their part to make the heroine succumb to their way of thinking. They dazzle her with their powers and in the midst of being dazzled, the hero attacks, binding them both for all eternity, just because it is meant to be, or so says the alpha hero.
I have also come to the conclusion that
To me, an alpha stalker hero will do their very best to make the heroine obey them with no consequences to her feelings. In the case of Edward, he may be a little creepy in the sense he can’t help but watch Bella and follow her wherever she goes, but I have to give the poor guy a break. In Meyer’s world, vampires don’t sleep during the day, or even sleep at all. Unless they meet their mate, they are bound to walk the Earth for eternity with no feelings, just the basic one, where the must feed on blood. The deal with Edward and his feelings for Bella, and visa-versa, is the moment they meet. They both have that soul mate moment. Edward begins to feel everything he felt when he was human. Now his urges are raging ten fold and unfortunately Bella is the victim of these feelings.
Many readers think Bella is one-dimensional and has no personality. When we are first introduced to Bella, she is much like Edward. Her life is boring, very ho-hum. She doesn’t care to make friends or where she lives. She is going through the every day motions expected of her. But when she meets Edward, it is like an electric shock, she in turn becomes alive because of Edward.
I can’t help but compare Edward and Bella’s romance to a fairy tale. Theirs is like The Beauty and The Beast tale. I think there is a great deal of comparison with that story and what Edward and Bella have. At first Bella is a bit wary of Edward, but soon she accepted him, warts and all, and even though she knows he may want to kill her, she is brave enough to say to him, I trust you not to hurt me. And because Edward loves Bella, he tries his best not to give in to those beastly urges and kill her.
What about those so horrible “urges” of Edward? In vampire mythology, the drinking of blood is very much a sexual thing, a euphemism for sex. What Meyer does here is give the readers both, the lust for blood and sex, something we have read many times before. Edward’s impulses first and foremost are for Bella’s blood. Bella’s, is for intimacy and sex. What I liked about Edward and Bella’s relationship is the slow build up of this intimacy and combating the desire they have for one another. We see things begin slowly between these two with simple kisses and holding hands. As thing continue to progress between them, into New Moon and Eclipse, their relationship has begun a very sexual one where at one point we see Bella straddling a shirtless Edward and there is some heavy kissing going on, and I assume heavy petting between the two, but the heavy petting is off screen so to speak. Edward still has not given into his urges for Bella even though his craving for other things like the intimacy Bella wants to share with him is stronger. Finally in Breaking Dawn we see the final outcome, which is marriage, and that is where Edward finally gives Bella what she wants. I was so amazed by how well Meyer handled their wedding night and honeymoon. Edward still must sacrifice his most essential hunger for Bella, but these two consummate their relationship that is very satisfying, at least from Bella’s point of view. Bella’s experience is one ultimate fantasy where I expected to see fireworks and stars before her eyes because it was exactly what she always dreamed it to be. As for Edward, his experience was a bit more uncomfortable because he thought he hurt Bella because of his superior strength. Of course Bella didn’t see it like this at all and soon after, Edward and she continued their honeymoon with very happy results.
With this in mind, is Edward really the alpha stalker hero some have made him out to be? He saves Bella from dangerous situations (even though she must be one of the most accident prone heroines in the history of literature), watches over her and protects her when she is vulnerable, especially in sleep, and introduces her to a world of unparallel delight. He gives her wonderful gifts, makes sure she is comfortable and sacrifices himself, allowing the hunger he has for her to remain inside even though, each day he longs to let it break free. He denies himself of her love and punishes himself because he thinks he is not worthy. He wants Bella to have a life filled with joy and happiness and knows that if he continues to be in her life, she may not have that, but still because she wants him, he gives her what she wants most, himself, damaged in some ways even though he may seem to be the perfect package on the outside.
Is this truly an example of an alpha stalker? So, what’s your example of a stalker hero? Does Edward really fit the profile? Can you think of any other heroes in romance that tend to be on the alpha stalker side?