Twilight is infamous for containing some egregious plot holes, but one of the hardest details to justify is Alice Cullen’s inconsistent powers and their effect on the ending of the series. Beginning with Thirteen director Catherine Hardwicke’s blockbuster teen romance Twilight in 2008, the Twilight saga was a string of critically abhorred, financially lucrative adaptations of Stephenie Meyers’ young adult publishing sensation of the same name.
The Twilight series saw Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star as Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, a small-town girl and her immortal vampire love interest who was caught up in an eons-old battle between vampire covens, werewolf tribes, and the occasional unsuspecting human. The series infamously upended vampire lore with its depiction of the bloodsuckers as unique individuals each of whom had a different power, but one Twilight character’s abilities left the plot a little difficult to decipher in retrospect.
No one could accuse the Twilight saga’s plot of being too airtight, but Alice Cullen’s inconsistent powers derailed suspension of disbelief at numerous important points throughout the series, including the already-despised ending of the final installment, Breaking Dawn. To see why Alice’s power, intended to be foresight, doesn’t make a lot of sense, a deep dive into the story of her Twilight character is necessary.
Alice can, thanks to what the Twilight series refers to as her “foresight,” see how individual decisions by individual people will pan out for them. This ability is notably different from seeing the future, in that she can only see how a decision will affect a person’s path after they have settled on a choice by their own free will and now can’t change what they do (and thus alter what her vision depicts). Now, according to the Twilight saga, this lets Alice predict how the stock market is trending, thus allowing the Cullen family to amass a huge fortune without arousing suspicion. But the problem with this explanation is that the stock market is comprised of the decisions of thousands of people, and Alice is only ever able to envision the consequences of one person’s decision at a time.
Look at the recent historical Gamestop trading — how can the ability to track a single decision’s effect on a single life allow Alice to predict something so huge and nebulous? These premonitions that Alice sees do let her see the impact of one decision at a time, but unless she is constantly checking in with thousands of minds daily, that’s not going to help her stick portfolio grow. The Twilight series might treat the stock market as if it were a human being, but there’s nothing natural about trading, and as such, no reason that insight into an individual’s decisions would make another rich.
According to her dark Twilight backstory, Alice met Jasper and fell for him because she had a vision of them being happy together. But if this was a vision of the future, then she wasn’t predicting how any decision would pan out other than her own. If she saw herself being happy with Jasper, then she didn’t have any say in this happiness, as it was caused by the vision. But if the vision was a prediction of her decision to be with Jasper, wasn’t that decision affected by the vision itself, in classic Back to the Future/Bill & Ted’s time paradox fashion?
To unknot a complicated problem of free will and predetermination, the issue that arises here is that Alice’s Twilight powers shouldn’t allow her to see herself happy with Jasper. She can only see the result of people’s decisions once they have been made—so if she saw herself happy with Jasper Cullen before she ever met him, that means she decided to be with someone before she ever knew that he existed. It’s a plot hole that is difficult to explain, let alone solve, which is probably why Twilight never offers an answer to the question.
It’s clear that Alice’s powers create numerous plot holes in both her backstory and the action of Twilight, casting the fortune of the Cullens and her connection to lifetime mate Jasper into doubt. But the biggest problem that this member of the Cullen clan’s questionable abilities creates comes in the closing scenes of Twilight’s final outing, Breaking Dawn. In the critically abhorred ending of Breaking Dawn, Alice foresees a huge battle that doesn’t actually end up happening, as she shows the Volturi how many men they’ll lose and they back down. The problem is, it has previously been established earlier in the Twilight series that Alice’s powers don’t work in the presence of werewolves or human-vampire hybrids, both of whom are on the battlefield. Renesmee is a hybrid and the Quileute tribe members who back up the Cullens are all werewolves, meaning the vision that Alice shows Aro shouldn’t have been clear to her. Of course, even if Alice could somehow see the future despite the presence of her two proverbial Kryptonites to block her foresight, the fact that she can only see the results of decisions that are already made means she shouldn’t be able to change Aro’s mind anyway, since his decision had to be already made.
The ending of Breaking Dawn was already hated by fans, but the fact that it doesn’t add up really doesn’t help matters. The final novel in the Twilight series is based on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, wherein a similarly unlikely twist allows the protagonists to enjoy an unexpectedly bloodless happy ending. But the fact that Alice’s vision shouldn’t have worked on the battlefield and Aro’s decision shouldn’t have been revisable means that the battle sequence which was revealed to be a vision really should have actually occurred, even though it would have killed off a lot of Twilight’s central cast. It’s understandable that Twilight fans felt shortchanged by the An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge style twist, particularly when it isn’t backed up by consistent powers from Alice Cullen, the character that the shaky revelation hinges on.