Werewolf Fact of the Day

Werewolf Book 2e
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What popular teen books feature werewolves descendent from a Spirit Warrior?

  • The most prominent werewolf in the series is a descendant of Taha Aki.
  • The werewolves in the series were born from a pact with a wolf.
  • The werewolves only transform when they are near vampires.
  • The movie adaptations started being released in 2008.


Twilight Saga

Joshua L. Roberts

While the phenomenally successful Twilight Saga franchise is mostly a romance between Bella, a mortal, and Edward, a vampire, the series also features werewolves, in the form of Bella's best friend, Jacob Black.

Jacob Black's tribe, the Quileute, believe that their ancestor, Taha Aki, a Spirit Warrior, became a shape-shifter when he was betrayed by a fellow Spirit Warrior, Utlapa, who destroyed Taha Aki's body while his spirit was roaming the Quileute territory. Unable to regain human form, Taha Aki made a pact with a large wolf and entered the beast's body, thus the first shape-shifter was born.

Years later, when Taha Aki's tribe is attacked by strange creatures, known only to them as the Cold Ones (vampires) the wolf gene was reawakened in his sons, and it has been this way ever since. It is due to the presence of the Cullens, "vegetarian" vampires (they don't feed on human prey), who made a treaty with Jacob Black's grandfather, that inadvertently kicked the wolf gene back into high gear during the events of the Twilight Saga. Sam Uley was the first to "phase."

Jacob Black would soon follow. The normally happy-go-lucky boy became cold and resentful, as he viewed his new werewolf condition as a curse, especially as it further complicated his relationship with Bella Swan. He's always had a crush on her, and when Edward left in New Moon, he thought that this would be his chance. Jacob's plans fell through when Bella rescued Edward from the Volturi, a ruling class of vampires. Even though Jacob Black's attempts to swoon Bella to choose him over Edward failed, he still remained by her side as her best friend. During the events of the last book, Breaking Dawn, Jacob Black actually "imprinted" (a magical bond between a werewolf and the one that would be their soulmate) on Bella and Edward's daughter Renesmee.

When establishing the appearance of the werewolves, author Stephanie Meyer opted to forego the hybrid man-wolf variant as is seen in most Hollywood movies and comics. Instead she created them to appear as horse-sized wolves, with only their human eyes to betray their animalistic appearance. When Bella first encountered the werewolves in the meadow, it was the eyes of Jacob Black she saw when she stared into the eyes of the russet wolf closest to her. In the film adaptations, director Chris Weitz would follow through with the humanized wolf eyes for New Moon, while director David Slade would opt for more lupine eyes, breaking away from the books, for the film adaptation of Eclipse.

Meyer's werewolves also differ from more modern werewolves in the form of their transmutation. To become a werewolf, you have to be a direct descendant of Taha Aki, as with Jacob, or indirectly as with Embry. It is believed that the "Wolf Gene" is passed on between father and son and can be latent with one generation, such as Billy Black's generation, and active in others. This belief was thrown out the window when Leah Clearwater, daughter of Harry Clearwater, phased. She is reportedly (by Meyer) the only female to have made the change thus far. Meyer's werewolves can shift at any time, but are more prone to shift during times of extreme emotions, with anger being the biggest trigger. It was because of anger that Sam Uley phased in front of Emily (his wife-to-be) and unintentionally mauled her, leaving her permanently scarred. Notable werewolf perks are the ability to heal quickly, and when in wolf form they can use telepathy to hear each other's thoughts, which helps in pack coordination.

With the massive success of the Twilight Saga, Summit Entertainment purchased the rights for the book series, and adapted them, starting with Twilight in 2008, followed by New Moon in 2009, Eclipse in 2010, and Breaking Dawn, which will be comprised of two movies to be released respectively in 2011 and 2012. The movie adaptations star Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan), Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen), and Taylor Lautner (Jacob Black).

From The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Beings, Second Edition by Brad Steiger, (c) 2012 Visible Ink Press(R) Steiger's homage to the beast within provides meaty facts for the lycanthropic in all of us.

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