In the Twilight-Verse:
Over on Tumblr, I follow a blog called panlight. I may be erroneously assuming the person behind it is a female, but I'll go with it.
She writes rather thought-provoking commentary on Twilight when asked a question or when the topic comes up. Well, thought-provoking if one is interested in Twilight.
Today, 01/18/2014, I read yet another interesting commentary by panlight. It provoked some thoughts. I'm a simple gal—unlearned and barely educated—and I decided to blather and spout off my simple thoughts.
What she wrote is entitled On Mates, posted about two months ago. It popped up on my dashboard today.
Panlight * tumblr * com / post / 66110453445 / on-mates
(change the asterisks to dots, remove spaces.)
Mates, mates, and MATES.
My interpretation and theories concerning the phenomenon, based on what Meyer has written, however warped it may be, including why I (and so many others) think there's a "true Mate" as opposed to just a "mate."
I will differentiate between the two by capitalizing the "special" one. There can be more than one mate, and I also think there could be more than one Mate.
Though by this time in my life my hopes have been dashed, I am still a romantic at heart and believe in soul mates, twin souls, the two-halves-joining-to-make-a-whole. Though I do tend toward the soul mate thing and think there could possibly (and probably) be more than one a vamp (or even a human) could be truly happy with. The pair fitting together better with each other than with any other possible combination.
Gee, just like Stephenie Meyer, despite what she has said in interviews. She may deny it, but it's not what the four books, Midnight Sun, back stories, outtakes, and all suggest.
She has said that vampires don't imprint quite like the Quileute shape shifters do, and that they can fall in and out of love just like humans do. However, she contradicts herself when she implies there are special Mates and there is the possibility that a vampire could have more than one, though it would be unlikely.
Not impossible, just unlikely.
Which does not exclude vampires falling in love, being in love, or loving, one or more partners over their (presumably) long lives; whether the partner is human or vampire.
Panlight said in her post: "There isn't some magical moment where they see someone and instinctively know they are their mate."
In this, panlight seems to agree with Meyer.
Stephenie Meyer may have pooh-poohed this idea of Mates, but she implies the opposite with her stories and examples of Mated pairs. She says vampires fall in love, but they don't fall out.
Not true. I shall ramble since I don't know how to write an organized anything.
Who can forget Bella's devastating depression and months-long hallucinatory zombieness after Edward dumped her? I mean, really. I'd say most folks feel worthless and inadequate after getting dumped by the so-called love of their life.
But Bella's was so much more. Nothing that terrible had ever happened to anyone before. Right?
Of course, Bella thought she and Edward were special, but they were no more special than anyone else.
Anyways … this would imply that Meyer thinks there are Mates in addition to mates. Bella and Edward were meant to be together and could not survive without each other.
Edward, too, was devastated; moping, whining, and running around searching for Victoria. What was he going to do with her once he found her? Slap her? Tell her to quit it? Cry on her shoulder? Commiserate with her loss?
No. He was going to kill her.
A rather vampire-y thing to do, eh?
Why? To protect his "one and only" love.
When he heard that Bella jumped off the cliff and died, he went to attempt suicide by vampire. Well, he didn't have anyone to kill since Bella allegedly killed herself so he was going to kill himself. He just didn't have the balls to walk into a fire himself. Not immature or melodramatic enough for him, I guess. He could have done that in secret. Going to the Volturi made sure people (vampires) would know about his final, grand gesture for love.
And propagating the myth that vampires can have only one Mate. Had Aro killed him, he certainly wouldn't have had the opportunity to run across another.
Vampire King Marcus has mourned the loss of his Didyme for centuries. Perhaps, initially, he was one of the lucky ones in finding his "true other half" or his Mate in Didyme. After her death, and despite coming in contact with thousands of vampires and humans, he has not found another love. Once he found the real thing, no one else could compare.
With these examples, it is implied there is only ever one special Mate and there can be no other.
But, it's more likely due to those very strong vampire emotions, and they react by striking out at other vampires and getting themselves killed. Instead of giving themselves a chance to get the hell over it, or finding another vamp to drown their sorrows in.
Well, the males who have lost their Mate fall to pieces. The females get pissed off and kick ass.
I think Marcus had found his soul mate and there could be no other for him because he didn't look. It could also be due to his basic personality. I'm depressed, I'm gonna be depressed, I will always be depressed, and you can't make me be different.
He and Edward could have been best buds.
Think about Garrett for a moment. I'd have to say most of us would assume he was not a 200-year-old virgin; him being a wild nomad and all.
But, wait … wasn't he one of Carlisle's "civilized" friends?
Anyhow, Garrett shows up to check out the hum-vamp baby, takes one look at Kate and *BAM*
Garrett and the succubus Kate are both off the Vampire Free-Love market.
Back to Marcus. He never got over the loss of his beloved Mate. This could be due, in part, to Meyer's "thing" about vampires being unchanging and "frozen." I happen to believe she contradicts herself again with this premise. She likes to say vampires are unchanging, though enough of them seem to be doing a lot of that changing thing.
(Allow me to shoot off in a somewhat different direction for a bit.)
Vampires were once human, and like humans, would be resistant to change, but obviously capable of doing so. Humans do well with a routine, even if it's boring, and when something unexpected happens to upset that routine, some of us rise to the occasion and others kinda blow apart. We all deal with different types of change in varying ways. Basing some of our reactions on what others have done before us.
Vampires do change, otherwise, Carlisle would have learned and believed that evil spirits and curses caused illnesses, and all patients must be bled and prayed over, yadda, yadda, yadda. If he were truly unchanging and frozen, he couldn't have adapted and would never have been able to be a doctor once it was "discovered" germs made people sick, and you should wash your hands.
Carlisle had been in contact with many lovely vampires while in Volterra and during his travels (he certainly had enough friends), and he would have been in contact with many, MANY humans who were dying—even those who were not directly his patients. Was he a 300-year-old virgin when he found Esme? Well, it being Carlisle … he could have been.
What made Esme special? So he had been fond of her when she was a teenager. Carlisle being Carlisle, he would have been "fond" of countless humans and vamps over his 300-plus years before meeting a dying Esme.
Hell! He even liked Aro.
We all know, had Carlisle not been accidentally turned into a vampire, he would have gone on to live his normal, happy human life, and would have been beatified, and then eventually sainted, after his normal, happy human death.
Carlisle: Patron Saint of the Eternally Compassionate Vegan or Compassionately Eternal Vegan, or some shit.
Okay, so little ol' tree-climbing Esme Platt had a sweet crush on him when she was sixteen and met him after she broke her leg. Kids do that. Have crushes, I mean. She wouldn't have been the only one to be smitten by his prettiness, compassion, and enticing scent. Why would she be any different from any other human?
After becoming a vampire, had Esme been unchanging, she would never have gotten past or through the profound grief of losing her infant son and the miserable fear of her abusive human husband. She would have been an eternally brow beaten, running for her life, suicidal wretch.
But, no. Instead, she found her Mate in Carlisle.
What made him different from all the other pretty, good-smelling male vamps she would have come in contact with later? Or was it just an opportunistic attraction simply because Carlisle was handsome and happened to be there? What made him different from the other male vampire who was present at her awakening? And I mean Edward.
She liked blonds more than gingers? I don't think that was completely it.
How was Esme different from any other human female that was damaged and near death, in the approximately correct age range, that Carlisle had ever come across?
Then there's Edward. If vampires do not change, there would be no hope of Edward ever growing beyond his just-past-16-years-old, fight-in-the-glory-of-war, tragically angst-ridden self. He wouldn't have been able to talk himself out of his cutely and euphemistically called "Rebellion Years."
Meyer sure tried hard to convince us that Edward matured in Breaking Dawn. Golly, maturity is a sign of change, don't-cha think?
Rosalie Hale. We all know Carlisle changed her into a vamp because he thought she was pretty enough for Edward.
How'd that work out for ya, Carlisle?
Like humans, just because two pretty vamps are thrust together, it doesn't mean they could become mates, Mates, or even friends for that matter.
This leads me to think that Esme and Carlisle were meant to be. There was something about Esme that was different than any other female human that drove Carlisle to change her. They didn't become Mates just because they happened to be two vampires, of the correct genders, who happened to be in the same room together.
It's why Esme did not become romantically attached to the very pretty Edward.
It's why Rosalie and Edward were not meant to be companions, mates, or Mates. Eventually, they did become attached to each other as siblings/family members. Familiarity will do that to ya. It's lucky for Carlisle and Esme they weren't completely repelled by each other.
Rosalie would have been aware of injured and/or dying humans same as the other vampires in her household. Playing at their human roles, she would have been in contact with many appreciative human males, some of whom would have been appealingly attractive with dark hair and dimples. So she ran across a dude in the woods who had been mauled by a bear. What made Emmett special? Why was he any more special than any vamp or human she would have interacted with?
Then there's Jasper. He thought he had been in love with Maria. If you think you are, then you are. He was in love with her, but he obviously fell out of love with her.
He would have been in contact with more than his fair share of vampires and humans, yet something about Alice resonated with him and helped him to change from the constant, death-dealing beast he had been, and he chose to not do that anymore. (Gosh, that sounds like he "changed" to me.) You can't tell me Alice was the only creature EVER who emitted a feeling of glorious hope that Jasper could feel. What made hers different to him? Once he saw she was another vampire, and potentially dangerous, what made him hang out long enough to get to know her?
Then there's Maria. Jasper loved her. I think she even loved him after the initial "he might make a good tool in my plans of revenge" scheme. Yet, he was not her Mate or she wouldn't have been able to hurt him.
Maria probably wasn't always a cold-hearted bitch. She became one. That's like … change. Her Mate was killed, and being the sort of kick-ass-and-take-name kind of girl she was, she devised a plan to avenge his death. After she did away with the dude who killed her Mate, there was no longer any need for revenge because that need had been satisfied. She continued with the newborns and war because she liked the power. I mean, why else would she do it?
Potentially, she could run across another mate or Mate. She's a hard-ass though, so it's unlikely. But it could happen. In the meantime, I don't think her bed sits empty, ya know?
Why do I think she must have loved Jasper? Because, later, she ran across Jasper in Canada and did not kill him for disrespecting her and leaving her in the lurch. She carried on.
The trigger to finding a Mate and not just a mate? Scent. Pheromones. In real life, studies have shown that humans are attracted or repelled by the scent of other humans. In the Twilight-verse, venom alters the human body. They would have all the same working parts, except the heartbeat, of course. They "bleed" when they are injured. They can smell, taste, touch, and hear. They think. They feel emotion. Chemical and electrical processes in the body.
What is scent? Little, teeny, tiny bits of the "thing" that come in contact with scent receptors in the nose and mouth.
They have glands, they drool, they have tear ducts to wet their eyes, even though they don't shed tears. They emit a scent that others (humans, vamps, and animals) can detect. They leave their scent on things they touch. Evidently, male vampires ejaculate (Edward and Johan can't be the only ones). Merely another bodily fluid secreted by glands. So, their glands work. All of them. If all that stuff didn't work, they wouldn't have a scent.
In canon, Bella said all the vamps smelled good to her, but Edward's was best. To her. If it hadn't been, any male vamp would have sufficed.
Meyer goes on and on about scent. Vampires smell good to humans, some humans smell better to them than others, and the shape-shifter wolves think they stink. Bella thought Jacob smelled good until she became a vamp.
James, Victoria, and Riley.
I think James' basic personality was he was a sociopathic shit incapable of love. Victoria may have thought she loved him. She probably did love him. He was her mate/partner/companion, but not her Mate. She went postal when Jasper and Emmett killed James because that was part of her personality. She wasn't a sink into deep, dark depression kind of "person" like Marcus and Edward. She was more the action-oriented type like Maria.
And let's perpetuate the crazy, dumped bitch stereotype, okay?
I think Riley probably did love Victoria and considered her his mate. He thought he loved her, so he did. But he only knew what Victoria told him. She told him he was her mate, implying Mate, and he believed her. Of course, he didn't know any different.
In canon, had he come to realize the truth of Edward's words (in Eclipse) and not been killed, he would have "fallen out of love" with the red-haired conniving wench. He may have gone on to meet other vamps and may even have come across a Mate.
Since vampires are enhanced humans, they would have a similar, extremely wide, range of personalities just like humans do. Victoria and Maria: a couple of real go-getters. Marcus: more like Edward than anyone cares to admit.
James thought Bella smelled really good. Better than the average human. Alice's human scent is what initially drew him to her. Though they smelled really good to him, they were not his Singers.
Meyer also implies that a vampire's La Tua Cantante—"Singer"—could be a Mate. Well, could be a Mate if the human survived the encounter and became a vampire.
Singers are rare. If a vampire happens across his Singer, he drains him or her because they are irresistible.
For instance, Emmett ran across two women who were Singers to him.
Meyer implies that Singers could be Mates by going on and on about Edward's attraction to Bella—his Singer. Unlike other vampires, Edward resisted the impulse to immediately drain her. Then he thought he was in love with her. He thought he was in love, so he was.
In canon, after Bella becomes a vampire, they are Mates, not just mates—according to Meyer.
Had Emmett not killed his Singers, they could have possibly been Mates. He would have been less inclined to dally with them because he already had Rosalie, and he didn't have quite the strength of will to resist sucking them dry. Had he been made into a vampire by someone besides Carlisle, Emmett could have found a Mate in one of his Singers, if he didn't immediately kill them.
Had he somehow resisted killing the first one, he'd have found a Mate and most likely continued on to kill the second one.
Unless, in the Carlisle-verse, Emmett came across his Singers, turned them, and could convince Rosalie not to kill them.
But! Then there's jealousy. Edward spoke frequently of his jealousy when others made eyes at or had thoughts about Bella. I believe even Emmett and Jasper reacted with jealousy and possessiveness when their women were ogled. Or did Rosalie have bouts of jealousy? (I'm not reading all the books again right now to look it up.)
Apparently, Esme was so sure of Carlisle's attachment to her, she wasn't jealous of all the folks fawning over him at the hospital.
Jealousy implies insecurity. If there was really only one who could be the true Mate, there'd be no jealousy. Meyer's vamps feeling and displaying jealousy implies that it's possible that one's Mate or mate could be attracted to, and lured away by, another.
All of that also makes me think that even though Edward and Bella were mates and possibly Mates, there was still the possibility that they each could have found others. They weren't the only one on earth for the other. Meyer, through Edward's bleatings, implies that Edward could never hurt Bella and never leave her because she's his Mate and he loves her too much. Bullshit. He hurt her all the damn time.
How many times did she hurt him? Anybody remember the Jacob dude?
panlight said: "I can kind of get behind the more primal fanon mate stuff in regards to nomads and people-eating covens, but I don't buy it with the Cullens. I really don't see them as seeing the mate bond as some mystical magic thing—otherwise, why was Carlisle encouraging them all to get married?"
Why would Carlisle do that? Because …Saint Carlisle.
I'll refer you back to the saint comments made earlier.
Also, the Cullens continuously tried to renounce and deny their vampire-ness. Fought against it. Strived mightily to be human. They lived among humans, went to school among them, worked with them, dressed like them, bought houses, cars, etc. Referred to themselves as a "family" instead of a "coven." They had IDs, false credentials and backgrounds in order to fit in with humans and be able to pass in human society.
Cosplay for vamps, I guess.
Nomad "normal" vampires don't need that shit.
They spoke repeatedly about vampire instincts and emotions being so much stronger than what humans experienced, and they struggled to control themselves.
Carlisle had said to Bella that just because they were dealt a certain hand, it didn't mean they couldn't try to rise above it.
Part of the Cullen doctrine and dogma was because they drank animal blood they could form more loving, closer attachments than human-drinkers. They were more compassionate.
Well, more compassionate to humans. Not to the thinking, feeling animals they were chasing down and slaughtering.
But, wait … seems to me they found a bunch of covens who got along with each other just fine and had been together for years and years.
Jasper and Alice were not married when they met up with the Cullens. Vampires in the Twilight-verse don't do that. They only got married after Carlisle talked them into it. Saint Carlisle obviously didn't approve of living in sin. To fit in with the Cullens, Jasper and Alice got "married" like the other Cullens, even though none of their weddings were "real."
It was also a very human thing to do. In the human world, humans are married when they pay the fee and get that piece of paper. So, technically, the Cullen vamps could create those pieces of paper and their marriages would have been just as real as any human one.
Again, it's implied that among vampires, once a Mate bond is established between the two parties, there is no stronger bond. A piece of paper that can be easily faked isn't required.
The Cullens had to do it the human way.
Perhaps convoluted and slightly twisted, even illogical, but that's why I think there is a difference between mates and Mates; why I think Singers are humans who could be Mates if they were turned into vampires instead of killed; and why I think there is potential for a vampire to have more than one Mate.
Though Meyer worked really hard to convince us that her vampire couples were fated to meet, destined to be, and there was no other that could be their one true love.
It's the plot holes, inconsistencies, discrepancies, and downright contradictions that make so much fanfic possible and so darn good! Nearly endless possibilities.
Ya'll keep writin'.