If you’ve ever read The Twilight Saga books or watched the five movies over and over again (no shame, we’ve done it too), there might still be a bit of lingering confusion over one chain of events: the whole situation with Jacob Black imprinting on his BFF and former crush Bella Swan and her vampire husband Edward Cullen’s daughter, Renesmee. Seems a bit awk and was all a little confusing, so we’re here to settle the debate, all these years later, once and for all.
What is imprinting?
As it’s explained in the novels and in the movies, imprinting is something the Quileute shape-shifters aka werewolves do that basically finds their soulmates. They can’t control when it happens or to who, and it can happen at any age.
“Imprinting on someone is like when you see her, everything changes. All of a sudden it’s not gravity holding you the planet, it’s her. Nothing else matters. You would do anything, be anything for her,” Jacob described to Bella in Eclipse, which he only really knew about since he has a “direct line to Sam’s thoughts,” the leader of his pack. The wolves have telepathy with each other so Jacob was able to see Sam’s thoughts when he would think about the love of his life he imprinted on, Emily.
Is Jacob in love with Renesmee?
In Jacob’s case, he imprinted on Renesmee — who he affectionately dubbed Nessie — when she was a baby, so no, it doesn’t mean he’s in love with her. Jacob just has a strong bond to Renesmee and is more of a protector and as she gets older, will be a best friend, someone who’s there for her when she needs it.
When she grows up though, they’ll most likely end up together as a couple, since conveniently, she is half-human, half-vampire and as you may remember, she’s aging rapidly up until a certain point and then she’ll stay a young adult forever. And as long as Jacob keeps shapeshifting into a wolf, he will stay looking the way he does, so essentially he and Renesmee will be the same age. Here’s the moment it happens, when Jacob was set to kill Renesmee since Bella almost died during childbirth before she transitioned into a vampire, and he initially thought Nessie was a monster who had to be stopped.
As you can imagine, filming this scene wasn’t easy for Taylor Launter, who played Jacob, since the baby is actually the result of CGI, so you know, he wasn’t even looking at anything when he had to convey imprinting.
“I was given an X on a wall. I don’t know what I would have wanted [instead]; there isn’t any ideal situation here,” Taylor said at Comic-Con in 2011. “I had to walk into the room with the intention of killing this baby and then stop, twist and imprint on it, whatever that means. I spent a lot of time talking to [director] Bill [Condon] and to [author] Stephenie [Meyer] and asking, ‘What exactly does imprinting even look like?’ It was tough, so I sure hope it comes across alright.”
What happened between Bella and Jacob?
Well as you can imagine, Bella was so not happy to see her daughter for the first time after becoming a vampire and find out the guy who used to be in love with her was now super protective of her own child. She flips out over the fact that he nicknamed her child Nessie. Although she doesn’t really understand why it had to be her child Jacob imprinted on, if anything, it proves that his connection to Bella was meant for something greater. They just didn’t know it yet! And we know Jacob and Renesmee do live happily ever after together, along with Edward and Bella by the little glimpse of the future we saw at the end of Breaking Dawn: Part 2, thanks to Alice’s future-seeing vision skills.
So Jacob sees the baby, feels a connection to her, is there always fearlessly protecting her and later on in life, they end up in love. And he once kissed her mom and hated her dad. What a complicated web this is. But they, that’s the Twilight universe for you.
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