Jacob Black vs Edward Cullen in Twilight (the book)
In Twilight, Edward meets Bella Swan, a human girl whose thoughts he is unable to read, and whose blood smells overwhelmingly sweet to him. He fights a growing attraction to her, but after saving her life on several occasions, he succumbs and eventually falls in love with her. However, Edward constantly warns Bella against being with him, perceiving her life to be at risk if she continues to associate with him.
Jacob has a small role in the first book of the series. He is the son of Billy Black, an old Swan family friend. When Bella uses him to get information on Edward Cullen and his family, Jacob tells her Quileute legends and introduces her to the idea that Edward is a vampire. Bella comes to like Jacob, and he develops a crush on her.
Edward Cullen and Jacob Black in New Moon
In New Moon, Edward's fears for Bella's safety intensify when she cuts her finger and is almost attacked by his brother Jasper. In an attempt to protect her, he convinces her that he no longer loves her, and moves away with his family, leaving Bella heartbroken. Edward finds it difficult to live without Bella, and becomes severely depressed at the prospect of an infinitely long and meaningless life. After he mistakenly learns from his sister Rosalie that Bella has committed suicide, Edward attempts to convince a group of Italian vampires, the Volturi, to kill him.
Meanwhile after months of depression over Edward's leaving in New Moon, Bella finds friendship with Jacob and slowly begins to come out of her depression. Their friendship becomes very strong, but Jacob also develops romantic feelings for Bella that she does not reciprocate. Jacob is also one of an ancient line of "shape shifters" or "werewolves", a member of the Quileute tribe that has forever been the mortal enemy of vampires. Jacob undergoes his first transformation into a wolf in response to a new vampire threat, and he becomes busy patrolling the forest with his pack, searching for vampires in the area. When Bella is caught by the vampire Laurent alone in a clearing, she is saved by Jacob and the pack, who manage to kill Laurent.
Bella, who has been taking risks to feel closer to Edward, impulsively jumps off a cliff and almost drowns, but Jacob saves her life. After Edward mistakenly believes Bella to have died, she and Edward's sister, Alice, rush to Italy to stop Edward from killing himself, leaving Jacob hurt and angry. Jacob is disgusted by Edward's return and by Bella's willingness to take him back after he left her. Jacob reminds Edward of his tribe's treaty with the Cullen family, which states that the Cullens are not allowed to bite humans.
Edward and Jacob in Eclipse
In Eclipse, Bella agrees to marry Edward on the condition he will make love to her while she is still human. Edward eventually relents and agrees, on the stipulation it will only occur after they are married. The plot is driven by the machinations of the vampire Victoria, who, seeking revenge for the death of her mate James, is hunting Bella and creating new vampires to build an army.
Meanwhile Jacob attempts to distance himself from Bella by not returning her phone calls and refusing to see her, enraged by the fact that Bella plans to become a vampire. Later, Jacob visits Bella and Edward to discuss the vampire Victoria's return, and he tells Bella that he misses her and wishes that they could remain friends. With Edward's approval, Bella begins to visit Jacob on a regular basis. On one of these visits, Jacob tells Bella that he is in love with her and that he wants her to choose him over Edward. Bella is caught off guard by his confession and tells him she only thinks of him as a friend. He forcibly kisses her, much to her displeasure, and she reacts by punching him in the face - breaking her hand and not leaving a scratch on him.
A grudging truce is made between the Cullens and the Native-American werewolf pack led by Sam Uley and Jacob Black. However, the truce is endangered when Bella realizes Jacob means more to her than she thought. Before the battle, Jacob overhears Edward and Bella discussing their engagement, angering him greatly. Jacob threatens suicide and Bella, in an attempt to stop him, kisses him passionately. Afterward, she comes to the realization that she is in love with Jacob, but her love for Edward is greater.
Ultimately, Edward accepts that Bella cares for Jacob and successfully destroys Victoria, and Bella acknowledges that Edward is the most important person in her life.
The epilogue is written from Jacob's point of view; angry and hurt at Bella's decision to become a vampire, he runs away in his wolf form to escape his pain.
Edward and Jacob in Breaking Dawn
Jacob returns after an absence to attend Bella and Edward's wedding in Breaking Dawn; though still visibly pained by her decisions, he tells Bella that he wants her to be happy. He is outraged when Bella inadvertently informs him that she and Edward plan to have sex before she becomes a vampire, because he knows that Edward's strength could kill her.
When Bella and Edward return from their honeymoon, Jacob becomes the narrator of the story for the next several chapters as he learns that she is pregnant with her and Edward's half-vampire, half-human child and that she has become desperately weak. Edward tries to coerce her into having an abortion in order to save her own life. However, Bella feels a bond with her unborn child and insists on giving birth. Edward comes to feel love for the baby as well, after he hears its thoughts and learns that the baby loves Bella in return.
Bella nearly dies giving birth in an emergency c-section, but Edward successfully delivers his daughter and then injects Bella's heart with his venom, healing her wounds by turning her into an immortal vampire.
When Jacob informs the pack of Bella's pregnancy, their leader Sam plans an attack on the Cullens, the point of which is to kill Bella and the baby because of the threat he believes the child presents. Jacob, who feels that the Cullens are innocent, disobeys Sam's command and separates himself from the pack, fulfilling his birthright as an Alpha wolf. He is joined in his new pack by Seth and Leah Clearwater, and they aid Jacob and the Cullens in protecting Bella.
During Bella's painful transformation into a vampire, Jacob imprints on Renesmee, Bella and Edward's daughter. The enmity between Jacob and the Cullens is dispelled, and he and Edward come to view each other as brothers.
Reception for Edward Cullen
Since the release of the Twilight series, the character of Edward has developed somewhat of a cult following, with millions of devoted, mostly female, fans worldwide. However, while the character has been overwhelmingly well-received by readers and has been called the "obsession of teen girls", several criticisms of his character, in particular accusations of sexism, have emerged. Gina R. Dalfonzo of the National Review Online described Edward's character as mentally unstable and a "predator", using behavioural examples such as spying on Bella while she sleeps, eavesdropping on her conversations, dictating her choice of friends, and encouraging her to deceive her father as reasons why she believes he is "one of modern fiction's best candidates for a restraining order."