Biggest Differences Between the Book and the Movie

The Big Picture

  • Unlike the first Twilight film, New Moon makes very little changes from its source material, with small adjustments like adding in the infamous “Where the hell have you been, loca?” line, which is not featured in the book.
  • The biggest change from the book to the movie is the confrontation with the Volturi at the end of the film, which is much more dramatic in the movie in order to appeal to audiences.
  • While New Moon is famously slow-paced, it is the ultimate movie for Team Jacob fans.

New Moon is the second book and film in the Twilight Saga, and like its predecessor, it took the world by storm when it hit the big screen, but it still managed to stay true to its source material. Unlike the changes made from book to movie with Twilight, a lot of the changes in New Moon are relatively minuscule — things only diehard fans would clock. However, there are still some moments that differ from the source material to the big screen that were changed to better execute the story and keep the audience engaged. New Moon is famously slow-paced, even in the movie, with a lot of the plot centering around Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) depression over Edward’s (Robert Pattinson) leaving. But it is the ultimate movie for those who are Team Jacob (Taylor Lautner). The filmmakers upped the ante when it came time to adapt the second novel, and one of the biggest moments in the film never actually took place in the novel. But there are plenty of other changes made too, and some of them are quite surprising.

“Where the Hell Have You Been, Loca?”

Jacob (Taylor Lautner) running toward Bella with a smile on his face during the
Image via Summit Entertainment

This infamous line spoken by Jacob Black recently trended and took the internet by storm. It’s lines like these that give Twilight a lousy rep and spawn merciless teasing among audiences. But like the “hold on tight, spider monkey” line from the first film, “Where the hell have you been, loca?” was not a line written in the novel, but simply a special film addition. It may be cheesy and bad, but it gives New Moon a little extra bite and elicits a chuckle in an otherwise dreary and atmospheric movie.

Bella Has a Job in the ‘New Moon’ Book

Movie Bella is fairly bland compared to book Bella, and that’s saying something since Bella isn’t exactly the most exciting heroine. However, in the Twilight novel, we discover that she cooks every night for her and Charlie (Billy Burke), but in the movie, they’re regulars at a local diner. New Moon once again adds to Bella’s character, this time giving her a job at a sports hardware store. In the movie, there is no mention of Bella having a job, leaving us to presume she doesn’t work.

RELATED:A ‘Twilight’ TV Show Is a Great Idea, Actually

Jacob Gives Bella a Birthday Present in the Book

Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart in Twilight: New Moon
Image via Summit Entertainment

New Moon begins with Bella’s birthday, something she isn’t too keen on celebrating. After all, Edward is forever 17 (technically he’s about 105 years old by this movie, but you know.) and she’s turning 18, and she doesn’t want to be older than him since he physically doesn’t age. In the movie, Jacob shows up at Bella’s school and gives her a birthday present, a dream catcher he made. In the book, however, Bella hasn’t even seen Jacob since he showed up at the prom to warn her away from Edward. Book Jacob misses her birthday, and she doesn’t see him again until she brings the motorcycles to him. And though he does give her conversation hearts on Valentine’s Day, he doesn’t give her a dream catcher at any point in the book.

Edward’s Vampire Origins Are Different in the Movie

Edward Cullen in Twilight
Image via Summit Entertainment 

New Moon tells us a bit about Edward’s backstory and how Carlisle (Peter Facinelli) changed him, but the accounts differ from book to movie. In the book, Carlisle explains that he took an ailing and dying Edward back to his home, where he promptly turned him into a vampire. In the movie, Carlisle turned Edward as he lay dying in his hospital bed — no transfer took place.

Bella’s Dangerous Encounter Plays Out Differently in the ‘New Moon’ Book

In Twilight, Bella is accosted by a group of dangerous men while in Port Angeles. Edward, who is able to hear all of the nasty thoughts these men are having, saves her. But in New Moon, he obviously isn’t around to save her since he’s left her, and she’s trying desperately to get him to come back. And so, she finds a group of men again in the second film and hops on the back of one of their motorcycles, despite an Edward apparition warning her against it. She eventually panics and gets off, coming out unscathed, but in the book she doesn’t get remotely close to doing this. In the book, as she goes to approach the men, she hears Edward’s voice in her head telling her to turn around — and unlike in the movie, she actually listens.

Edward’s Warning Signs Are Different

Speaking of Edward’s guidance, in the movie, Bella sees a vision of Edward any time she’s in or near danger, like when she gets on the motorcycle, or of course, when she jumps off the cliff. But in the book, Bella simply hears Edward’s voice when she’s in danger — she never sees a vision of him.

Jacob’s Transformation Plays Out Differently in the Movie

Taylor Lautner as Jacob in Eclipse, shirtless with his arms folded
Image via Summit Entertainment

One of the biggest parts of New Moon is the reveal that Jacob is a werewolf. As he spends more and more time with Bella in the book, he slowly undergoes changes such as developing mood swings and a short temper. Bella eventually figures out his secret, and she and Jacob confront the rest of the pack together. However, in the movie, Bella goes alone, not bothering to wait for Jacob to wake up before berating the tribe for whatever they’ve done to him. Both the movie and the book result in a fight between Jacob and Paul (Alex Meraz), but in the movie, this comes about when Bella punches Paul, angering him and causing him to turn into a werewolf, thus revealing his true identity to Bella. Jacob then leaps in to save the day, and he too transforms into a werewolf, much to Bella’s shock.

The Cause of Harry Clearwater’s Heart Attack

Harry Clearwater (Graham Greene) dies of a heart attack in New Moon, but the cause differs between film and novel. In the book, the heart attack is caused by his daughter Leah’s (Julia Jones) sudden phasing into a wolf (as confirmed by The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide). The movie version instead has Harry’s heart attack come after an altercation with Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre), in which she lifts him straight off the ground when he plans to shoot at her.

Victoria’s Pursuit

Speaking of Victoria, in the book, the Cullen family is unaware that Victoria is pursuing Edward and Bella, and Edward says he wouldn’t have left if he had known her plan. In the movie, however, it’s revealed that the Cullens do know about Victoria’s pursuit and choose to leave anyway, with Edward relying on Alice’s (Ashley Greene) powers to foresee Victoria’s attack.

Jasper Was Aged Down for the ‘New Moon’ Movie

Jackson Rathbone as Jasper Hale in the Twilight films
Image via Summit Entertainment

In the first book, Rosalie (Nikki Reed), Emmett (Kellan Lutz), and Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) are all seniors, and in New Moon, it’s explained that they are now in college. In the film though, Jasper is still in high school and greets Bella on her birthday at the school alongside Alice, meaning he was likely aged down for the film.

The Cullens’ Changing Eye Color

One of the most distinguishing features of the Cullens is their eyes. Due to their “vegetarian” lifestyle, their eyes are a golden color, as opposed to the red eyes that blood-drinking vampires have. When hungry, a vampire’s eyes turn black, and this is mentioned throughout the book. But the film adaptation is notably the only film in the saga that doesn’t once show the changing eye color. Their eyes stay golden all the way through.

Bella and Edward’s Reunion

In both the book and the movie, Edward mistakenly believes Bella has committed suicide by jumping off of a cliff, and so he intends to kill himself as well. Only, it’s not quite as easy for vampires to die, so he has to go about his intention quite elaborately. He goes to Volterra, Italy where the Volturi resides and plans to reveal himself as a vampire to the humans. This will anger the Volturi, thus forcing them to kill Edward. In both the book and movie, Bella stops him before he can do so, proving to him that she’s alive and well and saving his life in the process. But in the movie, he still does step out into the sunlight, where a little girl watches him and notices him begin to sparkle, just before Bella pushes him out of the sun. In the book, she manages to stop him before he ever steps foot in the light.

The Volturi Showdown Is Drastically Different in the ‘New Moon’ Book

Bella (Kristen Stewart) with her hands on her chest, looking concerned, as she stands amongst a group of red-hooded Volturi in Twilight: New Moon
Image via Summit Entertainment

The confrontation with the Volturi is the shining moment of the movie, but it differs quite drastically from the book. In the book, this confrontation is just a long, tense conversation between Bella, Alice, Edward, and the Volturi, during which they are asked to join the coven. When they refuse, Caius (Jamie Campbell Bower) says that Bella must be killed since she knows their secrets. However, the movie version has Aro (Michael Sheen) order Felix (Daniel Cudmore) to kill Bella, which naturally sets off Edward and starts a fight between the two. During the fight, Felix nearly kills Edward by ripping off his head, until Aro tells him to stop when Bella offers up her own life in favor of Edward’s. Both versions end with Alice showing Aro a vision she has of Bella as a vampire some time in the future, proving that she will not be a threat. The movie version is much more Hollywood-esque, and it’s understandable why it was added instead of just the conversation, and it is by far the biggest change New Moon made from book to movie.

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