How an 'intense' dream sparked the 'Twilight' phenomenon

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Twilight 2005 Stephanie Meyer first book anniversary
Twilight 2005 Stephanie Meyer first book anniversary

This article is part of Yahoo's 'On This Day' series

When we think about vampires, we often think of the high-collared, fanged Dracula from Transylvania.

But on this day 16 years ago, Stephanie Meyer wrote about a new breed of vampire – a 104-year-old romantic vampire that sparkles.

On October 5, 2005, the Twilight phenomenon began when Stephanie Meyer published her first novel, introducing us to Bella Swan, Edward Cullen and Jacob Black.

Making history

Stephanie Meyer has said Twilight truly "started" on 2 June, 2003, after she awoke from a very vivid dream.

“In my dream, two people were having an intense conversation in a meadow in the woods,” she said.

“One of those people was just your average girl, the other person was a fantastically beautiful, sparkly vampire.”

Meyer said her dream detailed the girl and the vampire discussing the difficulties of being in love, and the fact that the vampire was attracted to the scent of her blood.

Following the dream, Meyer began transcribing her dream, and Twilight took form.

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Three months later, after sending out about 15 queries, Meyers signed a three-book deal with Little, Brown and Company for $750,000.

In late 2005, Twilight was published, and readers couldn’t get enough.

Edward vs Jacob vs Harry Potter

The book’s reception was overwhelmingly positive, with The Times applauding it for capturing “perfectly the feeling of sexual tension and alienation”, and The New York Times calling it a “literary phenomenon”.

Twilight really resonated with teens who found Bella’s character extremely relatable, and revelled in the romance captured within the pages.

However, many reviewers couldn’t help but compare it to the Harry Potter series, especially as the Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire film hit screens just a few months after the book's release.

The Daily Herald pegged the two series against each other by writing that Twilight was the “hottest publishing phenomenon since a certain bespectacled wizard cast his spell on the world”.

Cinematographer Robin Browne also famously compared the two, stating “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity… Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”

Internet drama soon followed as Potterheads and Twilighters (also referred to by some as Twihards) began butting heads over which fandom was superior.

Online, Twilight fans also battled among themselves over which male character was more loveable, in the famous Team Edward vs Team Jacob debate.

Regardless, Twilight had a powerful impact that continued well past the novel's release of Meyer’s.

Vampire mania

In the wake of the first book's overwhelming success, Meyer released sequels New Moon in 2006, Eclipse in 2007, Breaking Dawn in 2008, and Midnight Sun in 2020, which tells the original Twilight story from Edward’s perspective.

Highly successful movie adaptations of the series also followed, beginning with the original Twilight movie in 2008, starring Kristen Stewart as Bella, Robert Pattinson as Edward and Taylor Lautner as Jacob.

Sequels followed in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, with Breaking Dawn being split into two movies.

Outside the Twilight universe, Meyers’s book triggered a culture of vampire mania that is still prevalent today.

Vampire-themed TV shows like The Vampire Diaries, Shadowhunters, The Originals and True Blood all followed and audiences couldn’t get enough.

And a famous Twilight fan-fiction called “Master of the Universe”, written by E.L James, was published under the name Fifty Shades Of Grey and became a highly successful franchise of its own.

Twilight legacy

Today, 16 years after the release of the original novel, the Twilight series has collectively sold over 100 million copies worldwide in 37 languages.

In 2008, Twilight was in the top 4 in USA Today’s bestseller list.

And Forks in Washington, the setting of the famed novels and movies, has now become a popular tourist destination, offering Twilight-themed tours to keen visitors.

Whether you’re Team Edward or Team Jacob, it is evident that Twilight left a bite mark on history.

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