11. Legends

Chapter Synopsis

Bella spends the evening in La Push having a bonfire with the wolf pack, despite her apprehension going into it. Everyone in the wolf pack knows that Jacob told her about the pack, and now she’s afraid that they all hate her. However, they greet her with hugs and playful (and original) names, like ‘vampire girl.’  

What better way to celebrate a bonfire than storytime? It turns out, Bella is in the middle of a very relaxed council meeting and is about to hear stories about how the Quileute tribe came to be. (Oh yay, we’re sure this is riveting.) Commence the terrible anecdotes with Jacob telling the story in a low, soft whisper and all the little wolf-cubbies gathering closer and closer around him, waiting impatiently for each juicy tidbit to be revealed.

Alas, Jacob is just the intro, and Billy takes over from there, which is obviously not as cool. Long story short, the Quileutes have always been a small line, surviving only because of the magic in their blood. They were skilled ship builders and fisherman and Kaheleha, the first great Spirit Chief, used magic to defend the land against rival tribes. They could do all sorts of cool stuff like blow fierce winds and understand animals, etc.

One day, there was unrest and one of the strongest spirit warriors, Utlapa, decided that they should use their powers to expand and build an empire. The last of the Spirit Chiefs, Taha Aki, got pissed and threw Utlapa out of tribe. One day, when Taha Aki left his body to roam the spirit world, Utlapa followed him into the woods and, when his spirit was far enough away, Utlapa’s spirit hopped into Taha Aki’s body and then disposed of his own body so as to leave Taha Aki’s spirit trapped in the spirit world. But Utlapa didn’t really think things through; now he couldn’t leave Taha Aki’s body without Taha Aki’s spirit re-taking possession of it and telling the tribe what had happened. Taha Aki tried to kill his body by bringing a fierce wolf down from the mountains, but accidentally killed a young man instead.

Without access to his body, Taha Aki’s spirit began to dwindle and, after watching the graceful wolf, he asked the wolf to make room for his spirit inside its body. However, he was never accepted by his tribe and was constantly thrust out of the village for fear of what his wolf persona might do. One warrior decided to communicate with the wolf and, when his spirit left his body, Utlapa killed him because he knew what was going on.

The raw anger of Taha Aki’s spirit was too much for the wolf’s body, and the wolf transformed into a man — the flesh interpretation of Taha Aki’s spirit. He caught Utlapa’s spirit in his former body and crushed it.

Then, Taha Aki fathered many sons who, upon their testicles dropping, discovered they could transform, too. Each man’s wolf form was a reflection of his spirit self. However, not all Quileute men wanted this way of life, and some decided to separate themselves from their spirits, and aged and died.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Enter the story of the third wife’s sacrifice.

When Taha Aki was old as fuck, those Makahs brewed up some serious Barney when they accused the Quileute for the disappearance of some of their tribe’s women. Being able to read each other’s minds, they knew that they were not guilty and Taha Aki sent his son, Taha Wi, to find the real culprits. They searched the mountains and found a sickeningly sweet scent all over the place. Being an unfamiliar scent, they followed it, but Taha Wi and his younger brothers never returned.

The two tribes made up, only to have maidens disappear on the same night, with the same sweet scent present. When the tribe went to investigate, what did they find but a creature who looked like a man, but was pasty and hard as granite, with his lips covered in blood and each maiden laying lifeless before him. 

Eventually vampy got in a fight with wolfies and they learned that even after beheading it, its body continued to fight. They laid out the remains, and the vampire began to put itself back together like a puzzle. Finally, they set fire to the remains and spread the ashes in the ocean and the woods, and Yaha Uta, eldest son of Taka Aki’s third wife, kept a satchel with some ashes around his neck to be warned if the creature ever tried to piece itself back together again.

Then guess what Billy whips out? (No, not that; gross.) Oh, that’s right — an aged satchel with, what can we only assume, looks like body glitter inside.

This vampy also had a mate that came after the Quileutes for killing her honey, and they worshipped her beauty. Then she killed a bunch of them, even the ones that left on a ship — which she swam to and ripped to shreds. Then, the Cold Woman went ashore and fought Yaha Uta and killed him. Taha Aki, upset at the slaying of another child, turned into an old, decrepit wolf full of rage who was getting its ass kicked. His third wife sacrificed herself to save their three remaining young sons, and while the Cold Woman turned her attention to eating the wife, the three sons turned into their spirit wolves (despite not being ‘of age’) and the three and Taha Aki finished off the Cold Betch. Taha Aki left and never came back. His sons guarded the tribe, but they didn’t have problems with vampies for a bit.

*Enter the Cullens.* Carlizzle was cool and struck up a deal with Grandpapa Ephriam Black, creating ‘the treaty.’ Then, the magic fades and everyone finds themselves sitting around the campfire, canoodling.

Now Bella is comparing herself to the martyred Third Wife. A meager human woman with no special gifts or powers — physically weaker and slower than monsters in the story — had the solution. (*Gag*)

Bella ‘comes to’ in Jacob’s car, unaware of the fact that she had fallen asleep. Bella flips because she hasn’t called Eddie-kins, and that’s bad-news-bears for Jacob. Jacob, however, used Bella’s phone to call Edward and let him know that she was fine and on her way home. Might as well be civil so he can spend more time with Bella, fantasizing about his time with her. Edward is pacing at the border, waiting for his precious darling to return. He offers to carry her if she’s too tired, but she declines.

That night, she sleeps in Edward’s arms and has a terrible dream: Rosalie is lunging at an enormous wolf with a muzzle shot through with silver… Billy Black’s muzzle, to be exact. Bella runs, but in slow motion. She tries to scream, but she can’t. She waves for help and sees a dagger in her hand, encrusted in dried, blackened blood. She wakes up and snuggles into Edward’s chest, scurrrred. Bella doesn’t want to talk about it, though, and neither does Edward since he was really getting into Wuthering Heights.

The next morning, Bella is pissed because whoever took all of her clothes left her wardrobe HEAVILY impaired.

Best Worst Lines

“Hanging out with no one but extremely dexterous people all the time was going to give me a complex.” (240)

“Three words on the open page caught my eye, and I bent my head to read the paragraph more closely. It was Heathcliff speaking, and I knew the passage well.

‘And there you see the distinction between our feelings: had he been in my place and I in his, though I hated him with a hatred that turned my life to gall, I never would have raised a hand against him. You may look incredulous, if you please! I never would have banished him from her society as long as she desired his. The moment her regard ceased, I would have torn his heart out, and drank his blood! But, till then — if you don’t believe me, you don’t know me — till then, I would have died by inches before I touched a single hair of his head!’

The three words that had caught my eye were ‘drank his blood.’

I shuddered.”

Things That Really Irk Us

Call us cynical, but the fact that the story behind the Quileutes and how they came to be wolves is quite interesting irks us. What is NOT interesting is Bella beginning to compare herself to Taha Aki’s third wife, who was bad ass and sacrificed herself to save her husband, children and tribe. BOTHERED.

The silly little intermissions between each part of the story where Bella would snuggle up to Jacob or there would be a cold, spooky whistle in the wind, etc. Stereotypical Native-American mythical campfire story with Elders — check.

Bella CONSTANTLY falls asleep.  No matter where she is or who she’s with. And someone is ALWAYS there to pick her up and wake her up and it’s just *SO* romantic… right? WRONG.

Final Thoughts

This chapter wasn’t completely pointless… until the very end. When Bella was conscious. And then again when she was unconscious. And that time Edward spoke… Other than that, it was pretty bearable.

Go to Chapter 12.

10 Responses to “11. Legends”

  1. To be completely honest, the legend was pretty interesting. Of course, the scene was 100% cliche, but hey, at least we (finally) got something interesting! Too bad Meyer never intended to really explore this plot line; after all, we all know the only important thing in the Twilight universe is main character’s unhealthy obsession with each other. Still, I am ready to admit this chapter was one of Meyer’s better ones.

  2. The story was mildly interesting, but it’s hard for me to concentrate on when the rest of the book takes the brain power of a nat to understand. Besides it’s not like SMeyer would go anywhere with it from here. The wolves are NOT her precious Cullens after all.

    Bella is weird. Who falls asleep during stories like that? She has a very short intention span… she needs to sleep more or something. It’s crazy. Maybe she had epilepcy? Spelled that really wrong but I’m too lazy to look it up…

  3. True. Legend or no legend, we know Meyer won’t use it for anything. I am not quite sure why she put it in the book in the first place.

  4. We’ve just stopped asking questions. SMeyer includes so many scenes/chapters that fail to advance the plot that we are no longer surprised when a potentially budding plot point falls flat. Fail, SMeyer, fail.

  5. Well now, crap. I was actually enjoying the legend, then darn it! I saw the “Bella is comparing herself to the third wife” bit and… just… >>.

    • DAMN. I typed that again before I read what you guys typed. and I sent it prematurely, to. >>.

      “Hanging out with no one but extremely dexterous people all the time was going to give me a complex.” >> what the hell does this even mean? >>.

  6. She does not have the right to mess with legends like that.

    But Bella comparing herself to the third wife? Ohh, myyy, Goodddd…

    But where is the plot? What happened? Hm? It is just me or this is book impossible to follow? Also, Bella is such a drama queen. Had to say that.

  7. In my opinion, SMeyer comes off like an armchair anthropologist with that “legend.” Any First People out there who’d like to tell us what you think about this? Is it stereotypical and slightly offensive, or am I just getting my knickers in a bunch because I hate this book so damn much?

  8. “Complex?” Bella, honey, there is so much more wrong with you than any mere complex.

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