Breaking Dawn fans are becoming interested in vampire babies, and no wonder. With Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen and Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan set to have a baby in the next chapter of the Twilight series, fans are wondering just whether vampires are able to procreate with humans.
As it turns out, they can. Or at least they have in folklore.
Edward and Bella's offspring is what folklorists would call a dhampir -- a child born to a vampire and a human. Dhampirs have different looks and abilities depending on the story and the region from which the tale originates, and Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn is no exception. Just as Meyer took a few artistic liberties with the vampires in her popular series -- such as having them sparkle in the sunlight rather than burn to a crisp -- she does the same with Edward and Bella's daughter.
Renesmee -- her first name combines Bella's mother's name of Renée with Edward's adopted mother's name Esme -- has her own set of tricks. She develops very quickly mentally and physically once she is born and possesses a keen intelligence. Edward, who can read minds, is able to read that of his daughter's while she is still in her mother's womb, and tells Bella that her unborn child adores her.
Renesmee can eat food and drink blood for sustenance, but she prefers to do the latter. She has blood running through her veins, which smells sweet to her mother, but not so sweet that Bella -- in her sensitive, post-transformation state -- wants to drink it.
Renesmee may seem like an unusual creation, but she is not the only dhampir in popular culture.
Dhampirs are featured throughout vampire fiction, including author Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series and author Melissa de la Cruz's Blue Bloods series.
Actress MacKenzie Foy will portray Renesmee Cullen in Breaking Dawn.