Why Team Edward Is Superior

The “Twilight” saga may have ended a decade ago, but that hasn’t stopped us from continuing the conversation that dominated teen girl discourse in the late 2000s and early 2010s: Team Edward or Team Jacob?

By Meghan Dillon3 min read

I was a teenager when Twilight took over pop culture in the late 2000s and 2010s, so I basically have a de facto Ph.D. in Twilight lore. I devoured every book and was, admittedly, a little too obsessed with the movies – and even more obsessed with Jacob.

When I was in high school, my friends and I were divided into two camps: Team Edward and Team Jacob. Many of my friends and I were Team Jacob because he was hot and never left Bella heartbroken (who could possibly forget the sad breakup montage in New Moon?) and was fiercely loyal to her, while my friends who were Team Edward chose him for his unconditional love for Bella and his drive to protect her.

Edward vs. Jacob

Jacob is the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome, so it’s understandable to think he’s the more masculine of the two men (and Taylor Lautner definitely helps). He’s a werewolf, and we all see wolves as a strong, masculine animal, which adds to his appeal.

Like Edward, one of Jacob’s positive traits is that he’s protective of Bella. When Edward breaks up with her at the beginning of New Moon, he’s there to lend her moral support and later protects her from his pack when he becomes a werewolf. But here’s the catch – Jacob’s protectiveness is really just an offshoot of his possessiveness. Jacob is much more possessive over Bella than Edward is, which is where their relationship shifts from sweet to toxic. He gives serious “pick me” energy while trying to prove to Bella that he’s better than Edward, and it’s cringey at best. Plus, he imprinted on Renessme when she was only a few hours old. That’s super creepy and possibly the greatest red flag of all time.

As the series goes on, it’s clear that Jacob is effeminate in that he is quick to anger and cannot control his emotions. He even goes as far as kissing Bella when she clearly doesn’t want him to, proving that he cares more about himself and his desires than her and her boundaries. If he truly loved Bella, like he says he does, he would let her make the choice for herself, without trying to forcefully “persuade” her. 

Edward may not be perfect, but he’s still virtuous in his desire to protect Bella, even if it backfires. He leaves Bella in New Moon because he wants to “protect” her from the dangers of vampirism, only to break her heart and drive her to put herself in danger to get his attention. We can’t blame Edward for Bella’s extreme (dare we say, even manipulative?) actions, and his instinct to protect Bella makes him a good and masculine man.

Humans interacting with vampires is dangerous for obvious reasons, so much so that Edward’s first instinct is to avoid Bella to protect her. When he realizes that his heart can no longer resist pining for her, he learns to resist his vampire urges instead. 

As their relationship progresses, he becomes protective over Bella in other ways. In the books, he’s attracted to her because he can’t read her like he can other humans, making him want to protect her from the dangers around her. He insists on waiting to have sex until marriage because he believes that is best for both of them. Despite Bella wanting to become a vampire before they get married, Edward is hesitant to let her become one because he knows the dangers and the consequences that come along with it. 

"Love" has too many uses and definitions in today's age, but at the end of the day it boils down to choosing what is best for the other person. Edward displays both virtue (a habit of good activity ordered by love) and prudence (knowing what the right choice/action is and doing it in the right way at the right time) in his ability to put aside his desires for Bella in order to do the right thing and protect her.

Edward loves Bella for who she is. He loves her quirks and doesn’t want her to change (so much that he’s against turning her into a vampire) and likes that she’s different from the other girls at school. She’s the girl he’s waited over a century for, and he’s willing to do anything to protect her, even if that means letting her go.

The Verdict

The main difference between Edward and Jacob is that Edward loves Bella unconditionally, but Jacob doesn’t. TikTok user @sabregaming demonstrates this in a hilarious video of a fictional conversation between Edward and Jacob.

In the video, Jacob tells Edward that he doesn’t want Bella to turn into a vampire, only for Edward to say he doesn’t want her to become one either. When Jacob accuses Edward of being possessive of Bella and that she’d be better off with Jacob, Edward admits that Jacob is better for her and that he went as far as leaving Forks to protect Bella from himself. When Jacob asks Edward how he would react if she ended up with Jacob instead of him, Edward says that he just wants the best for Bella.

Similar to Conrad from The Summer I Turned Pretty, Edward has made peace with the fact that he might not end up with Bella because he loves her unconditionally and wants what is best for her, even if it’s not him. This is a stark contrast to Jacob (and Jeremiah from TSITP), who wants Bella (or Belly) for himself and himself only. The men who acknowledge the possibility of them not ending up with the woman of their dreams love them more than the men who only want them for themselves – true love is wanting the person you love to be happy in any circumstance.

When you look at it from this point of view, Edward is not only the better prospect for a husband but a much more masculine man and a better person in general. Edward shows selfless unconditional love, whereas Jacob shows a selfish desire to possess Bella.

Closing Thoughts

Despite the films wrapping up over a decade ago, plenty of women still love Twilight, keeping the Team Edward vs. Team Jacob debate ongoing. While Jacob may appear to be the more muscular choice, it’s clear that Edward takes the cake when it comes to real masculinity, and that’s coming from someone who used to be Team Jacob. 

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