Is Jacob a real werewolf or a shape shifter in New Moon and the Twilight series?
Even though Jacob and all of the Quileute wolves from the Twilight series often refer to themselves as werewolves, they are actually shapeshifters. In Eclispe, when Bella visits the tribal meeting at La Push, Billy tells the ancient stories connected with the Quileute tribe:
"there has always been magic in our blood. It wasn't always the magic of shape-shifting--that came later. First we were spirit warriors" (244).
Jacob is able to change into a powerful wolf because of the 'magic' in his blood, magic that has reawakened since the Cullens' reappearance in Forks. For the Quileutes, their ability to transform into wolves is a defense mechanism built in to protect them from vampires. Unlike werewolves, shapeshifters' ability to change shape is not dependant on the lunar cycle. In most legends, people become werewolves because they were bitten by another werewolf, but Jacob, Sam, and the other boys become wolves due to a dormant 'magical wolf' gene in their DNA.
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