Oleander and Una have provided these discussion questions for us this time!
1. What are your thoughts in learning the difference in the Pack from other werewolves? This should remind you of the discussion between Edward and Victoria at the end of Eclipse when she looks at Seth in his wolf form and is reminded of the “monster” James tracked across Siberia. What do you think James tracked; a shape-shifter or a werewolf now that we know there is a difference?
I have to be honest, I found this bit of information as quite a surprise, as it sort of comes out of nowhere. You have to consider the fact that up until this moment the shapeshifters were considered werewolves and none of the vampires, such as Carisle, ever hinted at them being anything but werewolves. If we were made aware of a seperate and distructive version, one at least, so dangerous that the Vulturi wanted them extinct, earlier on, this section would have made more sense. Instead, it sort of comes out of the blue, and seems more of an afterthought than anything else. The acknowledgement of the "Children of the Moon" raises the question as to what exactly is the difference between the races, other than traditional Hollywood werewolf lore. What are the physical differences? Do the Children of the Moon look like giant wolves or are they bipedal? Are they the mindless monsters the vampires speak of, or are they simply misunderstood. What is about them that makes the Vulturi hate them so much. The Vulturi see humans as nothing more than cattle, so would it be competition for food? Who knows...
I think the greater question is what was the purpose of revealing a new seperate version of the werewolf, this late in the game? Only Steph knows for sure unfortunately...
The "good" werewolf isn't a new concept to be honest. For those interested there was an explosion of "hero" werewolf stories created in the 12th century, such as Bisclavret - or the Noble Werewolf, King Aurther and Gorlagon - the Loyal Werewolf, Melion - a righteous warroir werewolf, and my personal fav, Guilluame de Parlne the noble protector werewolf. Despite the "churches" answers to the question of the werewolf, of which was often being blamed for murders or burned to the stake, there were numerous tales of selfless men or women who either became wolves or were turned into wolves, of whom despite their disadvantages, did what they could to protect those they loved, or as one tale states, help give their dying mate a dignified death. (sorry folks, mythology is my forte, and I am a bit of a stickler for details).
2. It is interesting to see how Bella’s talent affects the wolves. If the pack was not in wolf form, would she have to extend her shield to cover all of them or just Sam? What is the significance, do you think of this, in regards to the pack?
In truth it is hard to judge this, as we don't know the full extent of Belle's powers. In many ways, she is still a newborne, and thus, how she used her powers in this instance, might totally be different once she totally masters her powers. She has forever to try things out. However, for the instance of the book, I have to agree that as the minds of the wolves are all linked, she simply had to protect the Alphas and the rest would be protected, as has already been stated.
3. What do you think of the witnesses? Did the Cullens’ witnesses behave as you suspected? What about the witnesses brought by the Volturi? Do you feel it was wise for the Volturi to bring their own witnesses or do you feel they will regret it?
I feel that the Cullens witnesses behaved as expected, for the most part at least. Other than the Romanians, most of the others didn't want a battle, and were hoping just to get things settled as quickly as possible. Personally I would have thought the Romanians would have tried to jinx it, as they wanted to bring down the Vulturi, for good reason, at least to them. Unfortunately, I feel the Vulturi are in for a bit of trouble. While it was quite wise of them to end the battle peacefully, by having all the witnesses they had, it won't take long before all of the vampire world is going to know that the Vulturi aren't as powerful as they were led to believe. This poses a troubled future for the vampire world. While the Cullens were spared this time around, I feel that the Vulturi will eventually find a loophole to wage war against the Cullens, if anything, but to make an example. We know the Romanians are just looking for the time and place to reclaim their "throne" per say. Even if the Vulturi wish to collect Belle, Edward, Alice, Benjamin, and anyone else of power, Aro may set aside his greed, in order to keep their throne. They don't want to be the next Romanians and to be ousted. It is now a matter of self preservation.
4. This battle takes place on December 31st. Do you feel that Ms. Meyer picked this date for a reason? It is not only winter, but it is the end of the year, the shadow before the dawn of a new one. What are your thoughts on this?
As a writer myself, I can see the artistic purpose for the date as it is literally the end of one era and the dawn of a new one, in many ways. Belle began the year as a mortal, and ends the year as an immortal. The year begins with a fragil treaty with the werewolves, and the year ends with a strong unbreakable treaty. Old enemies become friends, and some friends became enemies. With Jan 1st around the corner one battle ends and opens the doors to possible new uncertain battles in the future.
5. How did you feel during Edward and Bella’s goodbye to Renesmee? Do you think that Jacob and Renesmee stand a chance of escape? Do you think the Cullens stand a chance against the Volturi and any witness that side with them?
This is one of the more touching moments as you see the changing relationship between Belle & Edward and Jacob. Edward doesn't just call Jacob a friend or a brother in arms per say, but he actually calls him, his son. When Edward is first made aware of the imprinting of Jacob upon Renesmee, he isn't thrilled, as was the same with Belle. He disliked it, of which furthered his annoyance and dislike of Jacob, but by the time the battle starts, Edward has changed completely in regards to Jacob. Not only is Jacob welcomed into his family, he finally acknowledges Jacob's ultimate claim upon Renesmee, of which would be hard for any father. In this regards, Jacob is adopted into the family. This is especially important to Jacob, as he is not only gaining a very wealthy stepfather, he is also gaining his best friend as a mother. Belle in many ways was always more of a mother to Jacob throughout the series, (in my opinion), of which is probably one of the reasons, Jacob clung to her as much as he did. You have to consider that Jacob lost his own mother. I can fully relate, as I too had lost a parent and was later "adopted" into another family. In many ways he goes from rags to riches. This also leads to the heartbreak, as this admittance to acceptance and love, is being revealed at the moment of true darkness...
Jacob and Renesmee would escape without injury, largely because the Cullens are more than a match for the Vulturi, especially with Belle's powers rendering all of the Vulturi's powers useless. The Vulturi would be forced to fight tooth and claw, and they aren't about to do that with the brutal force of the werewolves on the Cullen's side. The werewolves have already proven that they are more than a match for any vampire. The Vulturi, in part already know this, or they would have wiped the Cullens off the face of the earth, before they had a chance. The Vulturi are basically putting on a show, and testing the nerve. Simply they are trying to save face, as their position on the vampire royal court is teetering and ready to fall.
6. We know the Cullens strategy in this. Do you feel that they estimated the Volturi’s intentions correctly and their strategy? Does the cover to Breaking Dawn now have more meaning as you read this chapter?