Twilight: 9 Ways The Werewolves Are Different From Conventional Werewolves

The Twilight werewolves shared physical attributes of strength and speed with conventional ones, but they had more unique and different qualities too.

Vampires were not the only supernatural beings that dominated Twilight — the werewolves or shapeshifters gave them tough competition. These wolfy characters formed a large part of the love triangle between Edward, Bella, and Jacob, and they were also deadly foes to the cold ones when they had to be.

Just like the Twilight vampires were different from the conventional monsters, the werewolves also had some distinct traits unlike other werewolves in pop culture. Right from their origin story to how they phase into their canine forms, Jacob and his pack were unique supernatural beings.

Only Men Phased (With An Exception)

The Quileute wolves were always supposed to be men — the shapeshifting gene was supposed to somehow only get passed down to boys in the family, but Leah Clearwater was the exception to this otherwise blanket rule.

Whether it was because of the arrival of a deluge of vampires that the Cullen family had invited, or something else in her biology, she was the first-ever female werewolf in the pack. Conventional wolves have no gender separation, and both men and women can turn.

They Don’t Need A Full Moon

Typically, werewolves have been associated with the full moon, which is known to control their phasing into the wolf form, but the Twilight wolves had absolutely no connection to the celestial.

Anger was the main motivator for changing form, and the levels of difficulty depended on how closely the wolves were related to the Quileute founding fathers. Jacob could phase very easily because he descended from two founding members, while the others had to get used to it and practice.

The Quileute Lore Of Shapeshifters

Technically, the Twilight werewolves weren’t werewolves at all, but shapeshifters. According to legend, the Quileute clan had the ability to leave their bodies behind and travel as spirits across the land, talking to animals and nature. One day, a rogue warrior hijacked the chief, Taha-Aki’s, body while he traveled, which left his spirit unmoored.

He then found a beautiful wolf and took permission to share its body. When it came to a final war, Taha Aki’s spirit wolf transformed back into a human, and since then all of his descendants gained the power to shapeshift if the environment was right.

They Can’t “Create” Other Werewolves

Some may consider the Twilight wolves the best or worst movie werewolves, but regardless of where fans land on that spectrum, the wolves were certainly unique. They weren’t technically werewolves or “Children of the Moon”, as Edward called them, but shapeshifters who attained the wolf form because of the spirit warriors.

Therefore, the reason for their change was solely genetic, and they couldn’t bite and create more werewolves like pop culture wolves have been known to do.

The Vampire Scent Triggers The First Change

Twilight is full of pop culture references, and the famed vampire versus werewolf rivalry made it to the books and movies. There was a key difference, however, that the two supernatural beings had distinctive smells, which worked for or against each one.

The scent of vampires was sickly sweet and burning to wolves, and it played a large role in dormant werewolves phasing for the first time. The scent made the gene active, and coupled with anger, the Quileutes would shift and become new wolves. They also had a dog-like smell which vampires hated.


Stephenie Meyer’s werewolves had a completely new quality that no other classic mythological wolf was ever known to have. They would “imprint” on their soulmates, which was like a love connection, but one which was all-engrossing and unbreakable.

This meant that, like Sam Uley, if someone was already in a relationship with another and then imprinted on someone else, they would have no option but to break ties and be with their imprintee. The bond erased all other people from the wolf’s mind, and their life was dedicated to their imprintee.

They Have Pack Telepathy And Powers

Every wolf in one single pack could read each other’s minds, and communicate telepathically once they were in wolf form. Conventional werewolves have both been lone wolves as well as pack animals, but none have had these special powers connecting the pack.

This helped the wolves communicate with each other in war or crisis, and mental shields could be passed through the pack alpha to the rest of the pack, the way Bella did in Breaking Dawn. This connection could also be detrimental and interfering as a wolf couldn’t shield a single thought from their pack brothers.

They Retain Their Human Consciousness When They Phase

Typically, werewolves are always in an altered state of mind when they turn, but the Twilight wolves kept their human senses and consciousness intact in animal form, too. They did not lose control very often, they could think clearly, and they were sentient enough to communicate and strategize with each other.

Their personalities dictated who they would be as wolves, and not the other way round. Some of their human qualities would also get exacerbated when they changed into wolves.

Silver Has Nothing On Them

For centuries, silver bullets have been known to be the undoing of werewolves, but this doesn’t apply to Jacob, Sam, Paul, and the other Quileute wolves. They were quick healers, and only very fatal attacks could hurt them.

Their massive size, sharp teeth, and unusually strong bones made them impervious to most attacks, and a tiny silver bullet was the last thing that would hurt or kill the wolves.

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