Love, tears, friendship and riots — those of us who lived through the exhilarating time of the Twilight fandom have stories to tell.
Do you remember what it was like to be a Twihard back in the early days of Twilight? Everyone wanted to know what “Team” you were on, it was routine to stare at pictures of Robert Pattinson’s hair, and everyone was obsessed with exactly how much of the abs on the werewolves was painted on.
It’s easy to forget how intense the fandom was while the books and movies were coming out. But as we approach the 10th anniversary of Twilight hitting theaters in (November 2008), the Hypable staff is here to tell you their sordid tales of those wild, dazzling days:
Smuggled Twilight books
I wasn’t allowed to read Twilight, because my parents thought I was too young to read romance (I was in seventh grade, and maybe my obsession was just proof that they were right?). But I was committed to my literary pursuits. After reading about the books online, my best friend and I took a school trip to a book fair as the perfect opportunity to purchase the forbidden book… only to find that we didn’t have enough money between the two of us to pay for one.
In the end, we borrowed money from our science teacher to buy Twilight. That was the beginning of a wild time. To read the books, I had to hide them in various places so that they wouldn’t be discovered. And since we were all in middle school and had very little pocket money, we would all chip in and owned the books communally. That meant that I sometimes had to transport books back and forth for friends who wanted their turn. That was my short-lived stint as a book smuggler who was convinced that she would never be discovered.
Spoiler alert: I was discovered. But by then it was too late — I was already a full-fledged fan, eventually with a “signed” Edward poster on my wall, and multiple folders in my computer stashing thousands of saved stills and behind-the-scenes photos that my friends and I would send back and forth. And while I’m no longer such an outspoken fan, Twilight will always have a piece of my heart; especially the Twilight fanfiction community, which has produced some stellar works.
Became a vampire for a night
Much like Bella for Edward, I fell fast and hard for Twilight. When the fandom was at its peak, it boasted some of the most passionate fans that pop culture has ever known, and I would count myself among their number. Being a “Twihard” was an all-consuming experience.
One of my most extra moments in the Twilight fandom occurred on the night that Breaking Dawn (the book) was released. My friends and I gave ourselves full vampire make up and went out on the town, unintentionally scaring everyone who crossed our paths.
This got even better when my best friend took an image of me from that night and photoshopped it onto Bella’s face on the Twilight movie poster. She also covered the poster in the best Edward Cullen quotes and got a large version printed for me (she’s pretty epic). It’s something I cherish to this day!
Made a ‘Twilight’ fansite and podcast
I ran a Twilight fansite and podcast, TwilightSource.com and Imprint, during the key years of the fandom. I have no regrets. For me, in the days before Hypable, launching a website and podcast for another huge fandom was a breath of fresh air after being exclusively focused on Harry Potter.
It felt good to be a part of another fandom that wanted to celebrate a fictional world. I loved going to the midnight release parties, I loved attending conventions, I loved new previews of each movie. The enthusiasm from the fandom was infectious — how could you not look forward to what everyone was excited for?
The fandom was passionate and fun. I genuinely enjoyed the books and movies, and I would read them again. Not sorry!
See Andrew’s famous Twilight Trailer reaction below:
Cried because of a Tumblr post
I will readily admit to the fact that, like a lot of teenagers, I was moody and overemotional at least 90% of the time. So it seems fitting that some of first and last experiences with Twilight consisted of some truly embarrassing, utterly melodramatic meltdowns.
When Twilight was first released, I checked it out from the library, read a few chapters, and promptly returned it; for whatever reason, I just didn’t care enough to keep reading. Fast forward to the release of New Moon. For some reason, I start reading it – despite having never finished the first book and having barely any context for what was happening in the book. On that one fateful afternoon, I read through to where Edward breaks up with Bella and leaves her in the woods. I immediately fell into disrepair; hysterical tears ensued, the likes of which I’d never experienced while reading a book. It was overwhelming to say the least, but that sincere and significant emotional response hooked me into coming back for more and more (and got me to go back and actually finish the first book).
Fast forward again, this time to the release of Breaking Dawn. I picked up my copy at the midnight release party at my local Borders, but planned to wait until the following morning to start reading it. The next morning, however, I woke up with a list of chores waiting for me. Before I started the chores, I made the stupid mistake of checking Tumblr and read a text post that said something like, “I CAN’T BELIEVE SHE ACTUALLY KILLED EDWARD!!!!!!”
Just like that, the tears came again. This time, they wouldn’t stop, even as I went outside and started up the lawn mower. I spent an hour mowing my neighbors’ lawn, wailing over the sound of the motor as the dirt and grass clippings stuck to my face. Turns out, my neighbors were so concerned for me, they called my dad who came over to check on me.
Imagine how stupid I felt when I read the book and found out that Edward doesn’t die. I just got fooled by a dumb post on the Internet.
Was nearly trampled by fans
Like many that lived and breathed Twilight, I’ve come away with a few fandom battle scars, but it’s safe to say that none has cut deeper than the one time I tried to meet Rob Pattinson at one of his first public signing events tied to the yet-to-be-released first installment of the film franchise.
If you were around from the beginning, you probably remember hearing about how what was meant to be an exciting meet and greet opportunity put on by Hot Topic in San Francisco quickly turned into a stampede of thousands of angry fans.
As someone who was actually there I can confirm that it was just as scary as the news made it out to be — one girl even got trampled and walked away with a bloody nose. (It’s okay though, because she was fine and also I think Tyra Banks gave her a shiny Volvo of her own which is pretty cool!)
If I’m being honest, the entire experience was so horrific that to this day I definitely think twice before willingly queueing up for any fan related event with the world “limited” attached to it. But at least I can always say that my first foray into the Twilight fandom manifested itself in the form of an angry mob of fangirls!