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The Untold Truth Of Twilight's Alice Cullen

Deciding what makes it to the screen when adapting a book is always a tough decision. Entire backstories get left out for the sake of time, or to avoid overloading a two-hour film with the book's deep well of information. The silver screen reimaginings of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga focused on the relationship between Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, and while viewers were filled in on some of the details that made their fateful romance inevitable, some of the novels' key facts were omitted. One prime example is the character of Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene), Edward's adoptive sister and fellow vampire, who has the gift of subjective precognition. Gifted with clairvoyance before she became a vampire, Alice's dark past — mostly left out of the films — intertwines heavily with the central plot of Twilight.

Although Alice begins the story with no memories of being human, in New Moon she delves into historical records about herself and her bloodline. She was born in 1901 to a middle class family in Biloxi, Mississippi. As a child, she began predicting events, but they would not always be correct. As a vampire, Alice explains that while she can see visions of the future, those events are dependent on decisions that the subjects make, and thus are not always accurate.

Of course, these powers were just the beginning. Here's what happened to Alice Cullen before the events of Twilight.

Alice Cullen's troubled past set her on the road to her future

When little Alice began having visions of her mother dying, she begged her mother to stay home. Alice's mother agreed, but her father disapproved of the child's behavior. Time passed and her mother eventually let her guard down. It wasn't long before she was murdered, though her death was ruled an accident. As a result of her visions, Alice knew better, but was threatened by her father into silence. 

Her father quickly remarried, and young Alice had another vision, this time of her father and her new stepmother paying off a stranger to kill her mother. Alice ran and sought refuge with relatives, but they, like many of the people in her town, feared her and blamed her visions for the death of others. With nowhere to go, Alice tried to explain to the police what she saw, but her father caught up with her and threw her into a mental asylum.

At the asylum, Alice was subjected to electroshock treatments. The painful treatment erased her memory of her recent past, and she reverted to a cheerful, easygoing person... or so it seemed. She began having visions of a tracker, a type of vampire that prefers to hunt humans over an extended period, based on their scent. In her visions, Alice saw this tracker, James, kill her and a vampire friend she'd met while committed. The mysterious vampire decided to turn Alice, left her in hiding, and distract James at all costs. Alice completed her transformation, but the one who changed her never returned, presumably killed by the tracker.

Alice's gifts are often the reason Bella survives

The venom in the vampire's bite had caused such extreme pain that when she awakened, Alice had no recollection of how she had turned. James eventually found her, but as she was a fully formed vampire, he didn't attack her. Instead, he left her alone, expecting to return a later time to finish her off. Meanwhile, her premonitions became stronger, and she had a vision of her future partner, Jasper Hale. Alice worked on restricting her consumption of human blood, and eventually met Jasper and the rest of the Cullen Family.

That's where we meet Alice during the events of the Twilight saga. While Bella sits on the sidelines of a Cullen family baseball game, three outsider vampires — Laurent, Victoria, and James — arrive. The tracker that once hunted for Alice recognizes her, and locks onto the fact that the clan has a human in their midst. James decides to hunt down Bella, and finally finish off Alice.

Alice and Jasper help devise a plan for Bella to escape to Arizona with her mother. At the airport, Bella slips away from Alice. Eventually, the Cullen family realizes that James has lured Bella to her mother's dance studio, and arrive just in time to save Bella and destroy James.

The sad tale of Alice before her life with the Cullen family could take up an entire film on its own, and although there were some details that the film included about Alice's past (particularly in the second installment), there's not quite enough there to illustrate just how deeply her history impacts Edward and Bella's story. Maybe one of these days Meyer will elaborate on her side characters, a la Midnight Sun's shift to Edward's point of view.