Edward Cullen is a vampire who lives in Forks. Edward and Bella met at high school where Edward attends to appear to be a normal teenager in the eyes of the local people. However, in reality Edward has graduated high school many times because he has been seventeen for many decades. Edward has never taken a mate and has never truly been in love until he met Bella. However, Edward does not want Bella to give up her humanity in order to be with him as a young woman for the rest of eternity.
Edward has attempted to protect Bella by leaving her, but this failed. Edward now is trying to delay Bella’s transformation into a vampire long enough to experience everything about humanity she can before it is taken from her. Edward loves Bella deeply and places his life in danger multiple times in order to protect her both from the Volturi and from Victoria, a fellow vampire who wants to kill Bella in revenge for her own lover’s death. At the same time, Edward has to battle the affections of Jacob, a werewolf who is a good friend of Bella’s. Edward faces these challenges with grace stemming from his childhood in a different era where young men were taught to be gentlemen.
Jacob Black is a member of the Quileute tribe that lives near Forks, Washington. Jacob and Bella have been friends for several years because Jacob is the son of a friend of Bella’s father, Charlie. When Edward left Bella in a prior novel, she and Jacob became very good friends. As a result, Bella feels safe in Jacob’s company. However, because Jacob is a werewolf, the natural enemy of the vampire, Edward does not like Bella spending time with him.
Jacob announces to Bella that he is in love with her. Bella rejects his passions, assuring him that she is deeply in love with Edward and could not possibly love another. However, when Jacob kisses Bella she has a flash of the life they could have with one another. Bella realizes that she does love Jacob and if not for Edward she might have been able to make a life with him. Instead, Bella chooses Edward, thus devastating Jacob.
Alice Cullen is a vampire who passes herself off as Edward’s sister. As part of her powers as a vampire, Alice has visions of the future. This power comes in handy quite often when Bella is in danger because Alice can see when danger is coming and give Edward the information he needs to protect her. However, this power is limited, especially when it comes to the werewolves. Whenever Bella is with the werewolves, Alice can no longer see her because she can see nothing when it comes to the werewolves. Alice also cannot see things that a person has not actively chosen to do, therefore her power can be fooled when a person purposely refuses to make a decision about what to do. Using this flaw in Alice’s power Victoria is able to hide her intentions to come after Bella with a newborn army distraction.
Rosalie Cullen is another of Edward’s vampire sisters. Rosalie has never really liked Bella and was an active voice of dissention when the family had to make the choice whether or not to accept Bella into their family. However, now that Bella has made the choice to become a vampire, Rosalie seeks her out to give her reasons why she should not make such a choice. None of the Cullens became vampires willingly and do not know anyone who has. For this reason, Rosalie shares her story of how she became a vampire in the hopes of convincing Bella that she already has everything she could possibly want and should not rush into becoming a vampire in order to be with Edward.
Sam is the leader of the werewolves. Sam was the first to transition after a generation of Quileutes failed to become werewolves. For this reason, Sam was not prepared for what happened to him. To add to this, Sam was in love with a young woman named Leah, but after he transitioned into a werewolf, he imprinted with Leah’s cousin, Emily. This caused a great deal of heartache for Leah and created a precedent for the other werewolves that some of them have come to dread. Sam is not the true leader of the werewolves, but accepted the leadership when Jacob refused it.
Victoria is a vampire who first appeared in the original book in this series, Twilight. Victoria, her lover James, and another vampire called Laurent came to Forks and had a confrontation with the Cullens. Later there was a battle between the two families and James was killed. To get revenge, Victoria has vowed to kill Bella because Edward is responsible for James’ death and Victoria feels that if she lost her lover, Edward should lose his. For this reason, victoria has constantly come after Bella in the past two novels of the series. In this novel, Victoria makes a surprise appearance in Forks early in the novel, creating a situation that nearly led to a breaking of the truce between the Cullens and the werewolves.
Later in the novel, the Cullens comes to the realization that a newborn army has been created in Seattle. This army, it turns out, was created by Victoria in an attempt to distract the Cullens from protecting Bella so that Victoria could come and kill her. However, when Victoria makes her attempt on Bella, Edward is with her. Edward successfully kills Victoria, ending the long feud.
Jane is a member of the Volturi who has the power to cause vampires great pain without touching them. For some unknown reason Bella is immune to this power. Jane dislikes Bella and wants to kill her because she knows about the vampires, but the Volturi has decided that if the Cullens turn Bella into a vampire then there is no reason to kill her. Despite this, Jane remains a danger to Jane and will more than likely play a significant role in the next book in this series.
Renee is Bella’s mother. Renee was very young when she married a virtual stranger and gave birth to Bella. For this reason Bella is against marriage at a young age even though Edward has made it a condition of her becoming a vampire. Renee is also quite immature and Bella feels as though she has essentially raised her mother rather than it going the other way around. However, Renee is also very observant and has come to recognize that there is something odd about Bella’s relationship with Edward. Bella feels concern about what will happen when she transitions into a vampire.
Charlie is Bella’s father. Charlie is the sheriff in Forks. Charlie remains happily clueless as to the true nature of the Cullen family. However, Charlie dislikes Edward and does not approve of his relationship with Bella. For this reason, Charlie often serves as an obstacle between Edward and Bella. Despite this, Bella has doubts about the impact of her future on Charlie, specifically how it will impact Charlie when she becomes a vampire like Edward.