Edward Cullen spent the bulk of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series brooding about his life as an immortal, but he and the rest of the Cullen family made being a vampire seem like a whole lot of fun. Sure, they couldn't ever sunbathe at a beach or grow old with a loved one, but they could run at incredible speeds, had superhuman strength and never had to worry about getting enough sleep or putting on weight! No matter how much Edward tried to convince Bella to chose a normal human life over an immortal one, readers and viewers alike sided with her in desiring to spend eternity as a vampire.
Vampires are basically like superheroes, and the whole "drinking blood" thing never stopped us fans from secretly wishing we could get turned by our own vampire soulmate. It's possible that Edward had a point, though, and that being a "cold one" isn't quite what it's chalked up to be. They have to follow a ridiculous amount of rules, and breaking a single one of them could bring about the wrath of the Volturi.
Vampires have managed to exist for thousands of years without the outside world becoming fully aware of their existence. The Volturi's laws keep vampires across the globe from exposing the truth, and the notorious coven does whatever it takes to maintain order and ensure their strict guidelines are followed. However, since there are so many rules, some vampires just can't help breaking a few of them. Here are 15 Rules Vampires Have To Follow (And 10 They Always Break).
25 HAVE TO FOLLOW: DON'T GO OUT IN THE SUNLIGHT
In some stories about vampires, the monstrous blood-suckers solely go out and hunt during the nighttime because they'll turn to ash if exposed to sunlight. Twilight vampires don't have to worry about that, but they still can't just walk around in the sun without their diamond-like skin sparking from its rays.
The Cullens chose to live in Forks because it's rarely sunny there and the constant rain allows them to go out during the daytime without people noticing the superhuman qualities of their skin. When Edward attempted to end his life in New Moon, he simply planned to walk into the sun to show the world his ability to sparkle and force the Volturi to eliminate him.
24 HAVE TO FOLLOW: NEVER TURN CHILDREN
When a human is turned into a vampire, they are permanently frozen at the same age and mental state they were in upon their transformation. This is why vampires are forbidden from turning young boys and girls into "immortal children"— they'd never be able to mature or develop proper restraint.
Many vampires feel a desire to start a family, but the Volturi doesn't allow anyone to transform kids because they'd be unable to hold back some of their most animalistic urges. Childlike tantrums, impulsive actions or irresponsible activities could expose the vampire world to humans, so immortal children are simply too much of a liability to exist.
23 ALWAYS BREAK: KEEP THEIR EXISTENCE A SECRET
All of the vampire laws exist to serve a single, essential purpose — keep the truth about vampires a secret from the rest of the world. Vampires have lurked in the shadows for countless years, and while some humans told stories of their existence, most dismissed those tales as mere rumors or scary bedtime stories.
The Volturi forbids vampires from exposing the truth to mortals, but the Cullen family seems to struggle to keep their mouths shut. Edward told Bella practically everything there is to know about vampires, and his family's interactions with the Quileutes led to many Washington residents knowing all about their big secret.
22 HAVE TO FOLLOW: DON'T STAY IN THE SAME PLACE FOR TOO LONG
Vampires lead incredibly nomadic lives, and it's not just because they get bored staying in the same place for too long. If a coven takes up residence in a certain spot for over a decade, other people living in the same town as them might notice that they don't ever appear to age, and after a while, that could arouse some major suspicion.
In order to keep people from becoming privy to their immortal status, blood-suckers have to move every few years. If they wish to return, they have to wait several decades to ensure no one could recognize them. The Cullens really enjoyed the freedom Fork's overcast weather allowed them, so they moved back nearly seventy years after they first left.
21 ALWAYS BREAK: AVOID INTERACTIONS WITH HUMANS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
The Volturi are in charge of keeping the secret society of vampires hidden from the human world, but Aro, Caius, and Marcus prefer to send their guard across the globe to enforce their laws because they like avoiding contact with humans and staying isolated in Volterra. Several members of the Cullen family similarly preferred to keep to themselves when they first became vampires, but as time went by and their coven expanded, they decided they'd rather try to live relatively normal lives and blend in with the mortal world.
No laws explicitly forbid this, but vampires are discouraged from socializing with humans unless absolutely necessary because any small slip-up could result in the exposure of vampires. Edward's multiple degrees and diplomas prove he did a good job fitting in with his "peers," but his willingness to be so close to humans definitely brought with it some big risks.
20 HAVE TO FOLLOW: DRINK BLOOD
One of the biggest deterrents that might keep someone from wanting to become a vampire is the requirement to drink blood. Vampires simply can't hold back this thirst, no matter how hard they try. Failing to drink blood for an extended period of time can physically and mentally weaken vampires, which can cause them to lose their rationality and mental faculties until they finally give in to their thirst.
Meyer explained that their throats are described to be in "burning pain" when they abstain from blood. Animal blood helps diminish this discomfort and provides enough nutrition for vampires to stay alive, but it's far less appealing and maintaining a "vegetarian" diet requires a significant amount of self-control.
19 HAVE TO FOLLOW: PRETEND TO BREATHE
Vampires are known and admired for their enhanced strength, speed, stamina and their impossible beauty, but they have one additional superhuman gift that even the biggest fans often forget. After they're transformed, vampires no longer have any need to breathe, which means they can remain submerged underwater for as long as they wish.
Even though vampires don't have any real need for air, they're expected to feign breathing to avoid suspicion. Following this rule is actually fairly easy because most vampires continue to breathe after they're turned out of habit. However, when Bella became a vampire, she had to make a conscious effort to breathe and blink so Charlie wouldn't realize that she was no longer human.
18 ALWAYS BREAK: STAY AWAY FROM WEREWOLVES AND SHAPE-SHIFTERS
While vampires are said to be the most powerful supernatural beings, they do have natural rivals that can threaten to destroy them. Shape-shifters like the Quileute tribe and werewolves, otherwise known as the Children of the Moon, have powers of their own and can't help hating vampires.
The Volturi prohibits vampires from interacting with these enemy creatures unless its for the purpose of extermination. The Cullens repeatedly broke this law — they made a treaty with the Quileutes upon their first residency in Forks, and, years later, Bella's friendship with Jacob Black forced them to constantly interact with him and his pack.
17 HAVE TO FOLLOW: INGEST HUMAN FOOD TO BLEND IN
Vampires are discouraged from trying to join in with mortal society, but if they don't want to remain in isolation and hope to blend in with the rest of the world, they have to ingest human food and drinks on occasion so others won't notice that they can survive without ever doing so.
Unfortunately, vampires can only digest blood, so everything else they eat has to be coughed up at a later time. To avoid having to throw too much food back up, the Cullens always ate very small portions of their lunch at Forks High and chose to mostly nibble and talk in the cafeteria. Luckily for them, their classmates just assumed it was because they were on some sort of supermodel diet, and that it was how they kept in such perfect shape.
16 ALWAYS BREAK: OBEY THE QUILEUTE TREATY
During the Cullen family's first stay in Forks in 1936, Carlisle offered a treaty with Quileute Alpha wolf Ephraim Black to ensure peace between the vampires and shape-shifters. Black didn't fully trust the vampires, but since the Cullens outnumbered the wolves in his tribe and could have easily just eliminated them, he accepted Carlisle's offer was genuine and agreed.
The treaty stated that the vampires couldn't injury any humans or trespass on Quileute land, and the Quileutes, in turn, couldn't tell anyone the true nature of the Cullens.
When the Cullens returned to Forks decades later, both parties failed to obey the rules of the treaty. Edward turned Bella into a vampire, vampires continually found themselves on Quileute land, and Jacob was the one who first told Bella the truth about the "cold ones."
15 HAVE TO FOLLOW: CONSTANTLY CHANGE HUNTING GROUNDS
The primary reason vampires constantly relocate is so their neighbors won't realize that they don't age, but that's not the only reason for their nomadic lifestyle. In order to consume enough blood to continue their immortal existence, vampires have to hunt, and it starts to look a little suspicious when too many people (or in the Cullen family's case, animals) start to disappear from a certain location.
Vampires have to find new hunting grounds incredibly often, so the public won't suspect anything peculiar is going on. However, thanks to their super speed, vampires can run to new towns or forests in a matter of minutes and don't struggle too much spreading out their hunts.
14 HAVE TO FOLLOW: AVOID ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS WITH HUMANS
The Twilight Saga wouldn't have had a story if Edward Cullen didn't fall in love with Bella Swan, but it's easy to see why vampires aren't supposed to enter into romantic relationships with humans.
Bella figured out that her crush was a vampire, and could have exposed the truth about supernatural beings to the rest of the world. Edward could have lost control and given in to his thirst for his girlfriend's blood, and he would have been the primary suspect in her disappearance. Bella's mortality and Edward's guilt over seemingly losing her nearly prompted him to step into the sunlight in front of countless people. And Bella nearly perished when the couple consummated their marriage.
13 ALWAYS BREAK: ELIMINATE ALL THREATS TO VAMPIRE SECRECY
Since the Volturi's laws all revolve around keeping the existence of vampires a secret, it's no surprise that all vampires are expected to eliminate anyone and everyone who might pose a threat to that secrecy.
The Cullens, of course, had some serious problems with this law. The Volturi threatened to eliminate Bella unless she was made into an immortal, but Edward wouldn't turn Bella no matter how much she assured him she wanted to become a vampire. It wasn't until she agreed to marry him that he finally changed his mind. The Cullen family also would have shown Bree Tanner mercy despite her involvement in Victoria's destructive newborn army if the Volturi didn't show up and end her life.
12 HAVE TO FOLLOW: TRAIN NEWBORN VAMPIRES
All vampires are incredibly powerful and destructive, but their strength and bloodlust are at their peaks when they are first turned into immortals due to the lingering human blood in their bodies. Newborn vampires have an incredibly difficult time restraining themselves, so their makers are expected to train them in order to keep them from accidentally revealing themselves during a crazed hunt.
Emmett was the Olympic coven's strongest vampire, but newborn Bella was actually able to best him in an arm wrestling competition. In order to keep her from underestimating her abilities and to help her master them, Edward and his siblings worked together to train Bella.
11 ALWAYS BREAK: DON'T ELIMINATE ANOTHER VAMPIRE'S MATE
Since vampires are so unchanging, when they fall in love, that love is bound for eternity. The same thing goes for a vampire's vengeful nature — when they feel wronged, they're unable to forgive or move past an insult or injury. That's why vampires aren't supposed to eliminate another vampire's mate. They'll never be able to get over their lost loved one, and they'll never stop seeking vengeance. They simply cannot rest until the responsible party is eliminated.
Victoria was made out to be a major villain for wanting revenge on Bella and Edward after they took out her mate James, but her obsession with ending the couple's happiness wasn't entirely her fault. And to her credit, Edward broke this rule first.
10 HAVE TO FOLLOW: REPORT INFRACTIONS TO THE VOLTURI
Over the centuries, the leaders of the Volturi have recruited a large number of incredibly powerful and dangerous vampires to their ranks. Their army of soldiers is massive, but that doesn't necessarily mean they have eyes everywhere. There are far too many vampires scattered across the world for them to keep track of every single one, so vampires are expected to report any infractions they spot other vampires making.
When the Volturi is informed of rule breakers who threaten to expose the secret of vampires to the outside world, they send their guard to eliminate them. Only severe infractions warrant Aro, Marcus, and Caius leaving Volterra to take care of issues themselves.
9 HAVE TO FOLLOW: FALSE WITNESS IS PROHIBITED
While the Volturi expects fellow immortals across the world to inform them of any violations of vampire law, they take false witness incredibly seriously and do not tolerate vampires wasting their time. The punishment for wrongly accusing a vampire of a crime is an untimely demise, as Irina learned firsthand in Breaking Dawn.
Irina incorrectly assumed that Renesmee was an immortal child, and her jealousy prompted her to tell the Volturi about Bella and Edward's daughter. When they discovered that she was mistaken, the Volturi immediately terminated her. So vampires have to be very careful when making accusations.
8 ALWAYS BREAK: STAY OUT OF THE PUBLIC SPOTLIGHT
Vampires are allowed to rejoin human society so long as they try to fit in and hide the truth about their supernatural gifts, but some vampires have a very difficult time just blending in with the crowd. They're more attractive and powerful than mere mortals, and that automatically causes them to receive a lot of attention.
Carlisle didn't really help matters by becoming one of the most skilled doctors in the country. Everyone in Forks knew his name, and that spotlight could have messed things up for his whole family if he made a single mistake. His "kids" didn't really do any better keeping attention off of themselves, though, as their style and good looks made them the most desirable students at Forks High.
7 HAVE TO FOLLOW: NEVER HUNT IN VOLTERRA
Vampires have to constantly change their hunting grounds and are expected to hide the bodies of their prey to avoid arousing suspicion, but outside of those guidelines, there aren't really laws dictating where and how vampires are supposed to hunt. The only place that's completely off-bounds is the Volturi's home of Volterra in Italy.
Since the Volturi resides in Volterra and has lived there for centuries, vampires cannot hunt there to ensure humans will never suspect there are vampires in the mountaintop town. The Volturi has their food brought to them from outside Volterra, often from a location far away. Violators of this important law would undoubtedly be brought to the Volturi for execution.
6 ALWAYS BREAK: ONLY USE POWERS IN PRIVATE
Vampires could easily go professional in any sporting or Olympic event they wish to compete in, because their exceptional physical gifts would allow them to excel in anything that requires speed, strength, or quick reflexes. However, they can't just go around using their powers in public, because people might notice that they're a bit too skilled and start to question whether or not they're truly human.
There are strict laws which prohibit vampires from using their powers in public, but many vampires struggle to obey those laws. Even the incredibly responsible Edward Cullen found himself pushing away a truck with his bare hand in a busy school parking lot to save his crush Bella.
5 HAVE TO FOLLOW: TEACH CREATIONS THE VAMPIRE LAWS
Vampires have to prepare themselves for a lot of responsibility when they make newborns, because vampire law dictates that they can't simply turn humans and abandon their creations. They're expected to train their newborns to help them adjust to life as a vampire, and they absolutely have to familiarize them with vampire law.
There isn't any sort of constitution vampires can read to learn what they can and can't do upon their transformation. The Volturi's laws are simply passed down from maker to creation. Newborns could easily do something that threatens all of vampirekind if they're left without guidance, so it's on makers to ensure they know the rules.
4 HAVE TO FOLLOW: HUNT HUMANS WHOSE ABSENCE WON'T BE MISSED
Some vampires enjoy the challenge of hunting well-liked, attractive humans. Some, like the tracker James, seek out prey that will present a challenge when hunting. He could have taken out any human in Forks, but he chose to stalk Bella because he wanted to see if he could consume her blood while she was under Edward and his family's protection.
Vampires are technically free to hunt whichever humans they want, but they're supposed to try to consume people that wouldn't be missed. By primarily hunting loners who don't really have friends or family to notice their absence, vampires can feed regularly without attracting too much attention from the press or police.
3 ALWAYS BREAK: EXCEPTIONALLY POWERFUL VAMPIRES MUST JOIN THE VOLTURI
The Volturi loves collecting powerful vampires to join their ranks, and Aro is especially fond of those with additional superpowers beyond those granted to all vampires. He was fascinated with Edward and Alice's psychic abilities, and couldn't accept their continued refusal to join his guard.
It's not necessarily a law that all extra-enhanced vampires must join the Volturi, but it's a rule everyone is expected to follow if they don't want to face Aro's wrath. When Edward turned his initial offer down, Aro started just looking for reasons to either force Edward to change his mind or eliminate him for daring to refuse the opportunity to fight alongside the Volturi.
2 HAVE TO FOLLOW: FOLLOW A "VEGETARIAN" DIET
If a vampire wants to join the Olympic coven and become a member of the Cullen family, they have to follow one important rule that very few other vampires across the entire world have proven capable of following: No drinking human blood.
Carlisle's family maintains a very strict "vegetarian" diet made up of exclusively animal blood. This allows them to obey the Quileute treaty which forbids them from hurting humans, helps them keep their vampiric existence a secret, and makes their eyes turn a beautiful shade of gold instead of the typical, frightening shade of red that vampires who drink human blood share.
It's incredibly difficult for vampires to suppress their thirst for human blood—Jasper followed the Cullens' diet for decades, but when Bella got a paper cut at her birthday party, the smell was almost enough to make him go back to his old bloodthirsty ways.
1 ALWAYS BREAK: OBEY SPEED LIMITS LIKE EVERYONE ELSE
Vampires don't just have their own laws to worry about—they're also expected to follow most human laws so they don't arouse too much attention. This includes following the speed limit when driving, but Edward and his siblings just can't help breaking that particular law.
Since vampires have enhanced senses, they can drive significantly faster than regular humans without any real fear of crashing. Edward is able to race at over a hundred miles per hour when driving thanks to his fast reflexes and spectacular eyesight, but his need for speed could cause police officers to ask questions he wouldn't be able to answer if he ever got caught.