NAME: Carlisle Cullen
Nickname: Master (by Esme) and Sweet Cheeks (by Edward).
DATE OF BIRTH: circa 1640
DATE OF TRANSFORMATION: 1663, at approximately age 23
Even the “dad” can’t be over thirty. I get that part of the allure of vampirism is that you can be young forever, but Smeyer takes it to ridiculous heights.
SOURCE OF TRANSFORMATION: An ancient vampire living in the sewers of London
“CHANGE? YOU GOT CHANGE?”
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Carlisle has a well-toned medium frame,
How the hell can you even tell? According to Smeyer, being made out of rock means you look super-muscular.
collar-length hair, and movie-star good looks.
In particular, Steve Buscemi.
He has a slight English accent from his youth,
He must be deliberately hanging on to that by watching a lot of Masterpiece Theater.
SPECIAL ABILITIES: He does not possess a quantifiable supernatural ability.
Really? He hasn’t unlocked the “creeper who hangs around high schools” achievement? Or the “saintlier than thou” ability?
He has attended many universities, both as a student and as a professor.
His favorite subject: taxidermy.
HOBBIES: He collects art and books.
He doesn’t actually look at any of his art and books. He just puts them there to make himself look smart.
VEHICLE: A black Mercedes S55 AMG
Let’s all say it together now: WHO CARES?!
FAMILY/COVEN RELATIONSHIPS: He is married to Esme Cullen and considers Edward Cullen, Rosalie Hale, Emmett Cullen, Alice Cullen, and Jasper Hale his children; Bella Cullen his daughter-in-law; and Renesmee Cullen his granddaughter.
Carlisle‘s father was his only family. His mother died giving birth to him, and he had no siblings.
Is it just me, or does Smeyer write about a LOT of ch
An Anglican pastor, Carlisle‘s father was a crusader against evil, leading hunts through London and the surrounding areas for witches, werewolves, and vampires. Self-righteous and compassionless, Carlisle‘s father caused many innocent people to be burned.
When he grew too old, he put Carlisle in charge of these raids. However, Carlisle had a very different temperament. He was not as quick to see evil where there was none. He was smart and persistent, though, and he eventually discovered an actual coven of vampires living in the sewers. He gathered a group of hunters and they waited for darkness to fall, suspecting that this was when the vampires would come out.
When a thirsty vampire did emerge, he attacked the hunters. Two were killed and Carlisle was wounded. Knowing that anything infected by the monster would be burned, Carlisle hid himself in a nearby cellar. During the transformation he never cried out, despite the agony he felt. When it was finally over and he realized what he had become, he was horror-struck. He tried to destroy himself by jumping from great heights and attempting to drown himself. When these methods didn‘t work, he tried to starve himself to death.
A newborn vampire‘s thirst is overwhelming, but Carlisle found the strength to resist. Months passed, and Carlisle, filled with self-loathing, kept to the loneliest places he could find, places where he wouldn‘t stumble across a human. He understood his willpower was weakening.
One night a herd of deer passed by and, crazed with thirst, Carlisle attacked without thinking. After feeding, he felt his strength and sense of self return, and he realized he could live without killing human beings. He would feed on animals, just as he always had, drinking their blood now instead of eating their flesh.Knowing that his father would hate him no matter how he lived his new life, Carlisle never returned home. He watched his father a few times from a distance but never made contact.
Carlisle had always been eager to learn, and now he had unlimited time. By night he studied music, science, and medicine in the universities of Europe. During his travels Carlisle encountered others of his kind. Most vampires Carlisle crossed paths with responded to his natural amicability; in this way he is a novelty among vampires.
The vampires of this coven were very different from the sewer-dwellers of London. They were refined and cultured, and Carlisle admired their civility.
While studying in Italy in the early 1700s, Carlisle was discovered by the Volturi, an ancient coven of vampires founded by Aro, Caius, and Marcus. The vampires of this coven were very different from the sewer-dwellers of London. They were refined and cultured, and Carlisle admired their civility. But Aro, Caius, and Marcus never stopped trying to change Carlisle‘s aversion to what they called his ―natural food source,‖ and Carlisle never stopped trying to persuade them of the value of his pro-human philosophy. Over time, a legend formed among the humans in Italy of a stregoni benefici, or ―good vampire,‖ who was the avowed enemy of evil vampires, though Carlisle was always on friendly terms with the Volturi. After about two decades in Italy, Carlisle decided to travel to the New World. He was growing increasingly lonely and longed to find other vampires who believed there was a life for them that didn‘t involve murder.
When Carlisle reached America, things didn‘t change for him the way he‘d hoped. He didn‘t find other vampires like him. He was, however, able to begin a career in medicine. He felt that by saving human lives he could compensate in some measure for the existence of vampires.
Carlisle couldn‘t risk more than a cordial acquaintance with his coworkers, for fear of exposing what he was, and his enforced solitude and lack of intimacy pained him. So he began to deliberate creating a companion. However, he was reluctant to steal a life the way his had been stolen.
The goodness and purity in Edward‘s face finally convinced Carlisle to take action. For decades he debated with himself about whether or not it was right to doom another to
the life of a vampire. The plea of a dying woman, Elizabeth Masen, helped him make his decision. In 1918, Carlisle was working nights at a hospital in Chicago as an epidemic of Spanish influenza raged through the city. Elizabeth‘s husband died in the first wave of the epidemic, but Elizabeth and her teenage son, Edward, managed to stay alive for a while longer. Carlisle was with Elizabeth on her last night. She begged him to save her son, intuiting that Carlisle was more than what he seemed. She died less than an hour later. Her son lay in the room with her, his own death imminent. The goodness and purity in Edward‘s face finally convinced Carlisle to take action. Carlisle bit Edward, effecting his transformation.
―CARLISLE FOUND ME IN A HOSPITAL IN THE SUMMER OF 1918. I WAS SEVENTEEN, AND DYING OF THE SPANISH INFLUENZA.‖
—Edward (Twilight, Chapter 14) Both Carlisle and Edward were surprised to discover Edward‘s ability to read minds, but
due to his experience with the Volturi, Carlisle quickly understood the phenomenon. Carlisle and Edward began traveling together, using the cover story that Edward was the
younger brother of Carlisle‘s late wife. In 1921, they moved to Ashland, Wisconsin, and there the Cullen coven gained another member. While working in a local hospital, Carlisle was called to the bedside of a young woman grievously injured in a suicide attempt. Carlisle was surprised to recognize Esme Evenson, whom he had treated for a broken leg about ten years earlier, when she was a teenager. It was almost impossible for him to believe that that vivacious, beautiful girl had come to this tragic end. Carlisle knew he could not save her life through conventional methods.
Influenced by his memory of the happy girl Esme had been, Carlisle bit the dying woman and took her to the home he shared with Edward to wait for the transformation to be complete. When it was over, Carlisle apologized for what he had done, but Esme was not unhappy with the situation. She remembered their first meeting, too, and had always considered Carlisle her ideal of a gentleman. Carlisle and Esme soon fell in love and were married.
The coven‘s cover story now changed: Edward began to be introduced as Esme‘s brother. In many ways, however, Edward regarded Carlisle as his father and Esme as his mother. Carlisle now had more than the companion he‘d longed for; he had a family.
Carlisle wasn‘t expecting the coven to get any bigger, but one night while on his way to work at a hospital in Rochester, New York, he discovered the nearly lifeless body of Rosalie
Hale lying in the road. She had been beaten, sexually assaulted, and left for dead. Struck by the waste of a beautiful young life, Carlisle brought Rosalie home and transformed her, hoping in the back of his mind that one day she might be a companion for Edward.
Two years later, Rosalie had only reluctantly assimilated to vampire life. The relationship Carlisle had hoped would spark between her and Edward hadn‘t happened. So when Rosalie carried the dying Emmett McCarty to Carlisle and begged Carlisle to change him, Carlisle did as she asked. Rosalie wanted a companion of her choosing, and Carlisle felt he could make amends to her in this way.
At this point Carlisle and his family moved to Washington State, west of the Olympic Peninsula. To his surprise, he discovered a local Native American tribe who had the ability to transform into wolves. The Quileutes had previous experience with vampires, whom they called the cold ones, and they considered it their sacred duty to protect humans from them.
Unwilling to harm the werewolves, Carlisle brokered a treaty with the leader of the pack, Ephraim Black, utilizing Edward‘s mind-reading abilities to communicate. The treaty established boundary lines for both the Cullens and the Quileutes. The Cullens agreed never to hurt a human, which included never transforming a human into a vampire, since the Quileutes considered transformation the same as killing. Both the vampires and the werewolves promised to keep the true nature of the other secret from humans.
The family continued to move when necessary, and in Denali, Alaska, Carlisle found what he‘d been looking for when he set off for America—a coven of vampires who shared his philosophy and drank only animal blood. The two covens ended up close friends, viewing each other as extended family.
The Cullen family grew when they were joined by Alice Brandon and Jasper Whitlock, who had been traveling together as a couple. Since the family was now quite large, a new cover story was devised. Edward, Alice, and Emmett were now said to be the adopted children of Carlisle and Esme. Jasper and Rosalie, who looked alike, were passed off as Esme‘s twin orphaned cousins.
Eventually, the Cullen family returned to Washington State, this time to Forks, somewhat north of their previous location. Carlisle took a job at Forks Hospital and became well regarded in the community as a doctor and a citizen.
“I look at my… son. His strength, his goodness, the brightness that shines out of him… How could there not be more for one such as Edward?” New Moon, Chapter 2
“How could there not be heaven for such douchiness, such sour contempt for everyone, such self-centered snobbery? Surely he is a gem among vampires!”
“I can imagine what you think of me for that. But I can‟t ignore her will. It wouldn‟t be right to make such a choice for her, to force her.” Breaking Dawn, Chapter 12
“She hasn‟t gone for his throat even once.” Breaking Dawn, Chapter 22
“It‟s an interesting twist. Like she‟s doing the exact opposite of what you can.” Breaking Dawn, Chapter 34