Twilight

Twilight’s Strangest Relationship Is More Problematic Than You Remember

The Twilight Saga is full of cringe-worthy moments, but they all pale in comparison to the franchise's weirdest relationship.

Many people can argue that The Twilight Saga had many cringe-worthy moments, especially in the sequel movies. But one moment, in particular, stands out among the rest. Nothing quite beats the weird relationship between Jacob Black and Edward and Bella’s vampire-human hybrid daughter, Renesmee. And while Stephanie Meyer tried to explain their connection by having Jacob imprint on her as a werewolf, it still doesn’t make it any less problematic.

Imprinting is the means by which Quileute shape-shifters, aka werewolves, find their soulmates. It’s difficult for any of them to explain how it feels — it seems beyond words. But it seems as though there is an immediate connection that is almost tangible and cannot be denied. Nothing else matters except this one person — they hold their person’s life by a string.

The main reason that Jacob’s imprint on Renesmee is so problematic is that he imprints on her as soon as she’s born. More often than not, imprinting happens when one is an adult, and because they’re dealing with soulmates, there is always a sexual component involved. So when Jacob imprints on an infant child, it’s immediately a problem — for both the audience and for Bella, who fully understands the implications of Jacob’s imprint.

Jacob tries to explain that he’ll be what she needs him to be throughout her life — a mentor, a friend and then eventually a lover when she grows up. Like Bella, any reader or viewer would cringe at the weirdness of the situation. His explanation doesn’t make the circumstance any less weird and inappropriate. It also doesn’t help that Jacob spent years in love with Bella, and then suddenly, he’s in love with her child.

While Jacob’s imprinting on Renesmee may seem like an easy way to wrap up his storyline, considering he’s left in the dust of Edward and Bella’s romance, it was not a great move to pair him with their daughter. When Bella was pregnant with her, Jacob hovered around Bella under the idea that he was mourning the last vestiges of his friend and love. But after Renesmee is born, he acknowledges that he was hovering because he could already feel the connection to her.

Even though the timelines of their lifespans work out, Renesmee will ultimately outlive Jacob because she is part vampire, and while it seems endearing that Jacob would live his entire life dedicated to her, it comes across as a sad puppy dog who is begging for attention. Fortunately for viewers, the only time that they actually see Jacob and Renesmee spend time together, other than when she is a child, is in a few montage sequences that briefly encapsulate their future together. Thankfully, that’s kept brief and doesn’t linger on any details, particularly how their relationship affects Bella and Edward.

After spending time believing he’ll never imprint, and watching all of his werewolf buddies imprint around him, Jacob felt like his luck with love would never win out, especially since Bella had clearly chosen Edward over him. But as soon as Bella had their child, Jacob’s life was turned upside down. Again, from a writer’s perspective, it seems like an easy way to keep the whole family together while finally giving Jacob a shot at love. But it just doesn’t come across like a wholesome event. While there are plenty of cringe moments throughout The Twilight Saga, having a grown man fall in love with a child definitely takes the cake.

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