Midnight Sun answered some of the questions Twilight left many years ago, among those where Edward went when he suddenly disappeared after his first encounter with Bella. In 2005, Stephenie Meyer shared her vision of vampires and werewolves in Twilight, the first in a series of four novels chronicling the problematic romance between vampire Edward Cullen and mortal Bella Swan, with werewolf Jacob Black in between and a clan of vampires trying to put an end to their relationship.
The Twilight novels made the jump to the big screen between 2008 and 2012, with the fourth book (Breaking Dawn) being divided into two parts. A couple of months before the release of the Twilight movie and days after Breaking Dawn was published, 12 chapters of a fifth book were published. Titled Midnight Sun, the book tells the events of Twilight through Edward’s perspective, but after the leak, Meyer stopped writing it and didn’t offer any updates on it for years – until May 2020, when she revealed the book was finally coming out in August. Fans of Twilight have been learning a lot from Midnight Sun, which has expanded on a couple of moments from the first book, including what Edward did during his absence early on in the story.
Edward’s first encounter with Bella was disastrous and potentially dangerous, as her scent awoke his “animal side”. Edward considered killing her and their classmates as to not leave any witnesses, realizing that as much as he tried to hold on to what’s left of his humanity, there was always that dangerous side in him. As a result of that moment, Edward decided to leave Forks for a while, and Midnight Sun revealed that he hid in the Denali National Park in Alaska with the Denali clan, who the Cullens consider as cousins. The Denali were introduced in Eclipse, where they refused to help the Cullens fight Victoria as one of their members, Irina, wanted revenge for Laurent’s death, but returned to fight with them in defense of Renesmee against the Volturi in Breaking Dawn.
Midnight Sun also revealed one of the Denali members, Tanya, had feelings for Edward, and even thought at some point that they would end up together. Tanya actually thought Edward had decided to return her feelings, and though he told her that wasn’t the case, she continued to pursue him. Tanya eventually understood the situation and persuaded Edward to find the courage and go back to Forks to face his problems, as she knew he was capable of doing it. Edward returned to Forks and had his first proper meeting with Bella, after the awkwardness of the first one.
Although Midnight Sun is mostly a retelling of Twilight with a different narrator, it does offer some new details, such as how intense Edward’s inner struggles were and his relationship with other vampires, both from the Cullen clan and outside of it. This brief glimpse at the Denali coven also shows how close they were to the Cullens, and thus how hard it must have been for Edward’s family when they refused to help them in Eclipse.