The Twilight Saga is packed with Easter eggs and references to the books, and each movie subtly references the book cover of its source material – here’s how and where you’ll find them. Vampires and werewolves are two of the most popular and beloved monsters and creatures in pop culture, and even though they have gone through many changes depending on the artist, author Stephenie Meyer definitely gave them a unique twist in her Twilight novel series. The core of the books is the problematic romance between vampire Edward Cullen and mortal Bella Swan, who come across different obstacles – from other vampire covens such as the Volturi to a pack of werewolves, among those Bella’s best friend, Jacob Black
The Twilight book series was a big success with readers (though not so much with critics) and quickly built a solid fanbase, which expanded once the novels made the jump to the big screen. The Twilight Saga was released between 2008 and 2012, with the fourth and final novel, Breaking Dawn, split into two movies, and while the saga wasn’t a favorite among critics, it met its goal of appealing to its target audience, mostly the fans of the novels. The Twilight movies were as loyal to the source material as possible, with a couple of changes here and there to better fit the format and tell the story of Bella and Edward in the best way.
While many scenes and dialogues (most notably the infamous “lion and lamb” line from the first book) were included in the movies, the creative teams behind them also made sure to include visual pieces of foreshadowing and references to the covers of the books. As it turns out, each movie in The Twilight Saga has a subtle but clever reference to the cover of the book it’s based on, and here’s exactly what they are and where you’ll find them.
Twilight is all about how Bella and Edward met and the beginning of their relationship, along with the dangers that came with it. The cover of the Twilight book features two hands holding a red apple, which are implied to be Edward’s hands given the tone and texture of them, as vampires in the Twilight world have marble-like skin (that sparkles under sunlight). According to Meyer, the cover represents the forbidden fruit from the Book of Genesis and thus symbolizes the forbidden love between Edward and Bella, as well as Bella’s knowledge of good and evil. The reference to the book cover in Twilight is pretty obvious, and it happens in the cafeteria scene where Edward approaches Bella and startles her, so she drops an apple. Edward catches it and the camera focuses on his hands cradling the apple, just like in the cover.
New Moon saw Edward and Bella’s relationship coming to an end, but only temporarily, though that break-up brought a lot of trouble for both. Before that, the Cullens celebrate Bella’s birthday at their home. Bella gets a paper cut while opening one of her presents and bleeds, which triggers Jasper. Edward pushes her away but she ends up cutting her arm with a vase, so Carlisle later tends to the cut on her arm. To prevent any more incidents, he sets the bloody gauze on fire, with the camera lingering on the bowl as it burns. This is a subtle reference to the New Moon book cover which features a ruffled, red and white tulip, and the bloody gauze has a similar shape to it. This was the event that made Edward break up with Bella as he realized he was putting her in danger, but by the end of the book and movie, they were back together.
Eclipse introduced an army of newborn vampires led by Victoria and Riley who wanted revenge on the Cullens and Bella for the death of James in Twilight. The cover of Eclipse features a torn red ribbon which symbolizes choice, specifically Bella’s choice between Edward and Jacob, as this is the story where she makes her final decision. The reference to the cover in the movie is the most subtle and easy to miss of all, as it isn’t represented through a ribbon but with blood – Bella’s blood, of course. This can be found in the scene where Riley and Victoria are about to kill Edward, so Bella cuts her arm to distract them from doing so. Blood starts to run down Bella’s arm, in a shape similar to that of the ribbon in the cover of Eclipse. Surely, it’s not as obvious as the previous ones, but it further settles that Bella had made her choice, which was to stay with Edward and make sure he was safe.
Breaking Dawn – Part 1 & Part 2
As Breaking Dawn was divided into two movies, the reference to the book’s cover can only be found in one movie, and it’s Breaking Dawn – Part 1. The cover of the final novel in the Twilight series features a chessboard with a white queen in the foreground and a red pawn in the background, partially hidden in the shadows. These pieces represent Bella’s progression through the series, as she began as the weakest player on the board (the pawn) and ended as the strongest one (the queen) after her transformation into a vampire. The chessboard also represents the battle of “wits and strategy” between the Cullens (and their allies) and the Volturi, triggered by the birth of Bella and Edward’s hybrid child, Renesmee. As mentioned before, the reference to Breaking Dawn’s cover is in Breaking Dawn – Part 1, in one of the scenes from Bella and Edward’s honeymoon, where they play chess, and the board is black and white while the pieces are red and white.