- "Oh it's not fair? Welcome to life! I had a family once, did you know that? They died, and I became this. Life has never been fair, Swan, why would start being fair now? You want to be young with Edward forever? Knock yourself out, I just hope you understand what you're giving up."
- —Lillian to Bella.
Lillian Cullen (born Lillian Elizabeth Masen, on June 20, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois, she became Lillian Matthews after her marriage in 1919) is a telapathic and manipulative vampire and a member of the Olympic coven. She is somewhat of an anti-hero of the twilight saga. She is the biological twin sister of Edward Cullen, Lillian later became the adoptive daughter of Carlisle and Esme Cullen, as well as the adoptive sister of Emmett and Alice Cullen, and Rosalie and Jasper Hale. She was also the wife of Jonathan Matthews until his death in 1920. She was also the mother of Jonah Matthews.
Lillian became a vampire several years after her brother, as she was lucky enough to survive the influenza herself. Because she was now an orphan, she was taken in as the ward of her father's fellow lawyer and friend. She married a young businessman, who had just taken over his father's business, in 1919, and had a son, Jonah. Their marriage ended in tragedy in 1920, when the family was involved in a train accident on their way to New York, where they planned to live. Lillian's husband was killed instantly, but Lillian and her son were found in the wreckage, and Lillian was gravely injured.
Edward, who looked in on his sister ever so often, soon found out about his sister's condition in a hospital in New York. Not yet disillusioned with being a vampire, begged Carlisle to do all he could to save her. When Carlisle was forced to explain to him that the only way to save her would be turn her, Edward made a decision he would later regret, he told Carlisle to change her.
When Lillian awoke as a vampire, Edward explained the situation to her. Lillian found in close to impossible to cope, the Cullens would not let her see her son, worried she'd accidentally kill him. Already distraught at loosing her husband; Lillian begged to see her son, if only once, but Edward told her that they had to take him to an orphanage and refused to tell her where. This finally drove Lillian past the edge and she ran away from the Cullens.
Lillian became somewhat of a monster, living a nomadic life, feeding on any human she felt like feeding on, often finding fun in it. Whenever Edward attempted to save her soul she would say, "We're vampires, brother, we have no soul to save", which is probably the reason that Edward no longer believes he has a soul. Edward would still always offer her a place in the coven if she was ever ready.
During the intervening years she developed a power that caught the attention of the Volturi. She was able to manipulate and alter and eventually control the thoughts of others, the reverse of Edwards, a power that was attractive to Aro for very obvious reasons. With both Lillian and Chelsea on his side, he could make anyone loyal to him and stay loyal. Unfortunately for Aro, Lillian declined his offer, having no interest in joining them.
In a couple of decades, in the early 1980s, Lillian returned to the Cullens. Originally, she intended to cause some trouble, but after killing an innocent schoolgirl Edward admitted to finally giving up on her, saying that his sister had clearly died in the train wreck a long time ago. Admittedly growing tired of the emptiness nomadic life, Lillian agreed to drink only animal blood and became the most recent member of the Cullen coven.
- "I’m not saying the life I had before was perfect, it wasn't, sometimes it sucked. I’m not going to lament my lost humanity for all of eternity, I’m just saying, sometimes, I miss it."
- —Lillian about her old life
Lillian Elizabeth Masen (later known as Lillian Matthews after her marriage and then Lillian Cullen even later) was born to Edward Masen Sr. and his wife Elizabeth on June 20, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois. She is the twin sister of Edward Cullen. Lillian lost most of her family when she was 17 to the Spanish influenza, in fact as far as she knew she lost all of her family to it, her father in the first wave and her mother and brother soon after. She became the ward of her father’s fellow lawyer and friend, Mr R. Owens, who resented the promise his friend had made him make. Lillian had been in love with Jonathan Matthews, a young businessman who had just taken over his father’s business, since they were very young, the families having also been friends. She took comfort in Jonathan’s company, as she dealt with this resentful and eventually abusive relationship. Her benefactor had grown tired of her living under his roof for free, despite the fact she had no real way of getting any income, and thus, beat her.
It was just before Lillian’s 18th birthday that Jonathan asked her to marry him, agreeing; the couple rushed to have the wedding in order to get Lillian away from her benefactor as soon as possible. After the two married it wasn’t long before Lillian had, Jonah, the young couple’s first and only child. During this time Jonathan’s business was becoming quite successful, unfortunately this meant he spent a lot of time going to and from various locations, usually New York, in order to see them. This meant that Lillian found herself quite lonely. Eventually, when Jonah was about one, the family decided to move permanently to New York. The decision ended in tragedy, however. About half an hour from the Big Apple their train was involved in an accident. While Jonah survived without serious injury, Jonathan was killed instantly and Lillian wasn’t much better off. Edward Cullen, who checked in on Lillian from time to time, found out about the crash quickly. He rushed with Carlisle to a New York hospital, where his sister was close to death. In denial of his sister’s condition, Edward asked Carlisle to try to save her, forcing him to explain to Edward that the only way to do so would be to turn her. In the absence of any way to ask her whether or not she would choose death over vampirism, Edward made a decision he would come to regret, he asked Carlisle to turn her.
- Lillian: "He turned me into a…"
- Edward: "A vampire."
- Lillian: "Wh-why, why would you let him? Why did you not stop him."
- Edward: "You would have died we were trying to help you. I thought you would want to live, Lilly."
- Lillian: "But I do not want to be a monster, Edward."
- — Lillian after being turned
To Edward’s surprise, it instantly became clear that Lillian would have rather died than join the Cullens. Her immediate reaction was to ask him why he didn’t stop Carlisle from turning her, because she didn’t want to be a monster. Lillian’s second response was to ask if they had also turned her husband, it was at this point Edward had to explain that he had died instantly after the crash, news which devastated Lillian. The worst was yet to come as she, hesitantly asked about Jonah. Edward explained that he was recovering and would survive the ordeal, but that they had had to hand him over to the care of an orphanage, as Lillian’s bloodlust would likely cause her to kill him. She begged to see him if only just once, but Edward refused to tell her exactly where he was, telling her that it was “for the best” and that living a normal life would be better for him. Edward told her about the way he and Carlisle lived, without harming humans, and she agreed to try the life out, favoring the idea to becoming a true monster.
- Lilllian: "Edward, Please, just one more time, let me see him just one more time I need... In need to to see…”[breaks down] “… I-I can’t just…. He-He is my son, Edward he n-needs me and I need him he… I-I have lost everything Edward please, you can’t do this to me…. I want to see my son... I want to see Jonah... please... I just want to hold him..."
- Edward: "It’s for his own good, Lilly, you might hurt him, even kill him."
- Lilllian: " I-I wouldn’t, Edward, I couldn’t harm him, I promise, please…. I can’t…. I can’t just leave him like this… he’s my baby, please."
- — Lillian begging to see her son.
Lillian, however rejected the suggestion that she would kill her son, during her original time with the Cullens, and without the knowledge of her brother looked for her son in all of the orphanages in New York claiming at each there had been some kind of mistake. Though a rational person would realise this mission to be purely futile, Lillian was not rational, she was desperate to find her son. Lillian’s search ended a few months later when she had discretely infiltrated and checked every single orphanage in New York. This led to Lillian confronting Edward again, demanding to know where her son was. Edward refused to tell her, admitting only that he had taken Jonah to an orphanage outside of the New York area so that she couldn’t do exactly what she had tried to do. Lillian voiced her opinion that Edward had absolutely no right to decide this for her. While Edward agreed, he told her that he had had no choice.
A short while after becoming a vampire, Edward had begun to notice that whenever Lillian particularly didn’t want Edward to hear her thoughts, i.e. while she was looking for her son, her thoughts became scrambled or masked by a memory of some kind. It soon became apparent that, with the exception of Edward, Lillian could also persuade people to do as she says more than they usually would. Though she had not been aware of it at first, it soon became obvious. She started accidentally telling people to explain things they shouldn’t and never usually would. As a result Carlisle surmised that Lillian’s power was simply the opposite of Edward’s. (See Thought Manipulation).
Soon after her powers' development, Lillian left the Cullens, furious with Edward and slowly becoming bitter and jaded about life in general.
Life as a NomadEdit
- Edward: "There’s always a chance, Lillian, always."
- Lillian: "How can you still believe that? We’re vampires, brother, we have no soul to save, and I don’t care."
- Edward: "How did you get so jaded, Lillian"
- Lillian: "I lost everything, remember, and then you had someone take my soul, please do try to keep up."
- — Lillian turning down Edward's offer to join the Cullens
Soon after her powers got came in to their swing, Aro heard about the young vampire with such a useful power, as Aro often found a way to find out these things. She was invited to Volterra for an audience with Aro. To Lillian, a now nomad vampire who had just left the (at the time) small Cullen clan, the idea of such a colossal power in the vampire world intrigued her. She made her way to the small settlement in Italy in the year 1922, only 3 years after her transformation. Upon her arrival, she was treated as if an honoured guest but had to wait a while to see Aro, Caius and Marcus; who had not been expecting her arrival so soon. They discussed her powers, mostly Aro and Lillian, and after giving Aro a quick show of her power, by instructing a guard to do a set of things Aro asked her to in order to prove her power was as strong as was said, Aro offered her a place on the guard. Lillian declined, joining Aro having never been her intention, only curiosity about the powerful clan.
Lillian spent the bulk of her Vampiric life travelling the globe and being about as brutal as one could be, as a result of this, and the fact that, after several rejected requests to join them, the Volturi were trying to track her, Lillian never found a coven. Over the years, Edward would find her. He would, each time, try to offer her the chance of becoming a part of his and Carlisle’s family, and that there was a chance for her to find redemption, no matter what awful stuff she had done. Each time, however, Lillian would tell Edward that vampires had no soul and that there was no point in looking for hers. He still assured her the door was always open, should she wish to come back.
During her life as a nomad on the run from Aro, she became more and more paranoid. She concentrated on hiding all of the things she didn’t want fellow telepaths to read in her mind by putting up mental walls and diversions to prevent anyone from reading her correctly. She also had a tendency to make allies on the road, but that completely screw them over, allowing for her to not be the most popular vampire in the world. While originally callous, uncaring and cruel, she eventually crossed the line into depravity by toying with humans’ memories for fun, she would make a man believe that he was a serial killer, and create the murders to reinforce it, convince people to kill their loved ones and other such cruelties. A long time ago she had lost any semblance of the caring woman she had used to be, and she would tear apart families like her own without the faintest glimpse or glimmer of remorse.
It was only after an old memory remerged, that she began to snap back out of the cycle of vengeance against no one in particular for all that had happened to her. She had told a human man, Walter Higgins, who had been a young worker at a care home in New York in the 1910s, but who was now a man of 78, to track down her son at all costs in 1919 when she had looked desperately for Jonah. While she had not meant to influence him to try this hard at it, unintentionally she had changed this man’s life. Walter continued to peruse social work, he also continued to look for Jonah Matthews and, 60 years later, he had tracked him down. Jonah Matthews had become Jonah Cartwright, and the records had been all but lost under a stack of dusty memories. Jonah, who would now be in his sixties, had adopted by the Roberts family, grown up, had a wife, two children and a couple of grandchildren. This news came as exactly the catalyst Lillian needed.
Lillian visited her son in a small town called Burnley in Louisiana, posing as her own grandchild from another marriage. Seeing the boy she had never gotten to raise as a man of 61 was hard for her. Jonah admitted to having wondered about his birth mother, having no real memories of her. He did however, have a photograph that had been given to him of his birth parents holding him as a baby. Lillian had kept a similar photo from her human life even as she had become distant and stowed it to him to compare. Jonah noticed the resemblance immediately; this mysterious “half-niece” of his looked exactly like his biological mother. Lillian explained that “her grandmother” had been involved in the same crash Jonah and his father were in, and was thought to be gravely ill. After that she made up the details, saying that Jonah had gotten lost in paperwork at the care home before Lillian had miraculously survived.
Jonah was not convinced, however, he didn’t buy the story. He didn’t know how but he knew that this “half-niece” of his was his mother. He called her out on it toward the end of her stay, and while Lillian admitted she was, in fact, his mother, she confessed she couldn’t tell him how this was possible. Jonah asked for the story again, the true one, disregarding anything about how she came to be the way she was. She explained the truth, saying that after her “change” her brother had been concerned for Jonah’s safety around Lillian and had placed him in care against her will. She explained that she had “never given up looking for him”. She parted with him as a friend, it was not the reunion she had dreamed for all those years–– but Jonah was alive, and he was happy; and that was all Lillian needed. Lillian realised what she had become, a monster, and she only knew one place she could change that, with Edward and his family.
Reuniting with the CullensEdit
- Lillian: "What’s up, Eddie? I’m back, just like you always wanted! Can’t you just believe that I’m here because missed my brother and I want to change?"
- Edward: "No, Lillian, I don’t."
- Lillian: "Aww, why not?"
- Edward: "Because you’re a soulless monster, you don’t care about a single person much less me. Let’s also not forget that you’re a compulsive liar and you’ve probably never told the whole truth in your immortal life. And then there’s the fact I asked you to try this, for me, for nearly a hundred years and you said no in the cruelest way possible. You’re no longer my sister Lillian, she died in the train crash, so why should I trust you?"
- Lillian: "Oh dear, Eddy," [sarcastically] “you wound me."
- — Edward question ing Lillian's motives for returning
Edward questioned Lillian’s motives for returning from the instant she appeared on their doorstep in Alaska. Edward had been reaching out to Lillian for all this time; Edward had already given up long ago for her redemption, so why would he believe that she truly wanted to change. It had not helped that Lillian had lied about her true reasons for returning, stating she “merely missed her brother”, rather than telling the truth about her having had an epiphany based on meeting her now old son and his family. Lillian originally found the life hard, she refused to attend the high school, saying the tedium would drive her insane and she’d end up killing everyone out of principle. She caused trouble and ended up killing a local schoolgirl.
While this had been a genuine accident, Edward didn’t believe Lillian. He thought that she had come here to get his hopes up and taunt him. Particularly unnerved by her brother giving up on her, as he was the only person that never did for almost a decade, Lillian made sure that she did better at “the whole vegetarian shtick” for a while. Over the next decade or so, Lillian's record, in terms of killing humans, was spotless. Sure, her lack of interest in human culture and her schooling was blindingly obvious, to the extent she was seen as the "rebel child", but she never crossed the line again, so as not to hurt Edward.
- "You're human, Bella, we're vampires. I'm just being realistic. I mean, you have to realise that it won't work out, right? Not in the long run. I mean, Edward wants to eat you half of the time, and you, in 20 years you'll look like his mother in 50, his grandmother. You're ageing every single moment of every single day, and he'll never age again, ever; you know it, he knows it. I'm not trying to be vindictive, I'm trying to be kind, Bella, give it up."
- —Lillian "telling Bella how it is"
During the events of Twilight, Lillian is somewhat of an anti-hero. Though, while seemingly ill-intentioned, Lillian was only worried for her brother. Lillian greatly disapproved of Edward's fascination with Bella. She voiced her concern frankly saying that "When it all goes wrong, and you kill her, I won't be there to tell you it wasn't your fault". Furthermore, Lillian felt betrayed by Edward's, as she saw it, readiness to risk hurting Bella when he had taken her choice from her in the past. Lillian's stance drove a bit of a wedge in their relationship, which had been slowly healing. The siblings stopped talking again, as shown in Midnight Sun, and throughout Edward and Bella's conversions in Twilight her past is referred to as the example Edward gives for vampires who do not live the 'vegetarian' lifestyle.
Lillian first appears in Twilight during the cafeteria scene, during which, she is described as a "bitch from hell" by Jessica Stanley. For the most part she remains in the background occasionally pulling Edward away from Bella with an apparently disproportionate amount of impatience. Throughout the rest of Twilight, Lillian remained hostile towards Bella, even more than Rosalie was. When Bella visited the Cullens' house Lillian visibly kept her distance from her, only cracking a smile when she played baseball with her family.
The Short Second Life Of Bree TannerEdit
- Mike: "I bet $10 she got pregnant, I mean it makes sense..."
- Jessica: "Nah, I recon it was rehab, Amy Walker said she was told by Brad's older brother that she was into all kinds of gangs or something... whaich makes sense because she was barely at school... I bet she took a load of drugs or something, I mean, look at her she looks practically ill."
- Mike: "I'll see if I can talk to her" [walks off to talk to her] "Hey, I heard you were away at..."
- Lillian: "Stop speaking, I don't care." [pauses and he's still there] "leave please."
- — Jessica and Mike bitching about Lillian at the wedding
- Nina Dobrev is also known for playing a vampire in The Vampire Diaries as one of her characters.
- She plays a human, too, Elena Gilbert.
- Lillian has a few incidents where she is given something similar to the "We Can Rule Together" speech when Aro asks her to join the Volturi on several occasions.
- Edward and Alice also experience this to a degree.
- Lillian is somewhat of a Magnificent Bitch in the way she plays everyone for her own gain.
- Lillian has been through a Dark And Troubled Past, which has acted as a Freudian Excuse and has led to her becoming a Magnificent Bitch.
- She's somwhat of a Femme Fatale.