- "When I looked at Jacob's father, I always felt like I was seeing two people rather than just one. There was the old man in the wheelchair with the lined face and the white smile that everyone else saw. And then there was the direct descendant of a long line of powerful, magical chieftains cloaked in the authority he'd been born with."
William "Billy" Black, Jr. is the father of Rachel, Rebecca and Jacob Black, and the father-in-law of Solomon Finau. It is also possible that he is the father of Embry Call. His wife, Sarah Black, died in a car accident when Rachel, Rebecca, and Jacob were young. He resides in La Push, Washington, and is confined to a wheelchair due to complications from diabetes. He is Charlie Swan's best friend.
Billy's grandfather was Ephraim Black, a former elder of the Quileute tribe. He inherited Ephraim's place on the tribal council and knows the tales of the origins of the Quileutes. Since no vampires were around when he was young, he never phased. His Life and Death counterpart is Bonnie Black.
He is portrayed by Gil Birmingham in the movie adaptations.
Billy Black has lived in La Push his entire life. One of his earliest childhood memories is being held in his father's arms while he watched his wrinkled, stooped grandfather explode into a giant russet-colored wolf along with his two best friends, Quil Ateara II and Levi Uley. All three seemed ancient to Billy; their wolf forms were ancient, too, with grizzled muzzles and stiff joints. Yet Billy remembers them making a noise like laughter as they went for one last run through the woods.
Because of this experience, Billy grew up in a different world than most—a world where magic was absolutely real and lived in his blood. It was a world where evil was real, too. As a teenager, Billy always hoped a vampire would be foolish enough to cross Quileute land. He dreamed of being a powerful wolf, a savior to his tribe. Around the time he turned twenty he realized that he would never have the chance to be a superhero, and for many years that was hard thing for him to accept. Most of the time, however, he was happy. After all, it was a good thing that vampires had learned to stay away from La Push. He became a man with a family, and he learned to treasure the peace of his small town and the safety it promised his wife and daughters. When Jacob was born, he saw the curse of his wolf heritage for the first time, he fervently hoped that vampires would never trouble the Quileute tribe again. He wanted his son to have the same peaceful life that he'd had.
His wife, Sarah, died in a car accident 9 years later. Rachel and Rebecca had a very difficult time living around the memories of their mother, and both of them found ways to leave La Push as soon as they were old enough. Billy wouldn't leave; he felt like his children, his young son particularly, needed the stability of the place where they'd grown up. Billy was away working on his fishing boat so often, and he wanted Jacob to be with people he could trust. In the back of his mind, Billy always worried about accidentally taking Jacob away to a place where he might encounter vampires. The same thing could happen in La Push someday, of course, but at least then Jacob would have the support of a pack, and tribal members who understood. A few years later, Billy had to quit his job because of the progression of his diabetes. It was difficult for him to lose mobility, but it gave him more time with his children. With his daughters more active socially, it was Jacob who cared for his father most often. They became very close.
Billy was always a social person; he had many friends. Harry Clearwater and Quil Ateara IV were his closest friends, almost his brothers. They, too, grew up in a world with magic, and also spent a few years wishing for the chance to be superheroes. If the vampires had come, Harry and Quil would have been his packmates. When Quil's small boat was destroyed in a storm, killing Quil, it was hard for both Harry and Billy; if Quil had been a shape-shifter, he would have been able to survive the accident.
Billy was also close with Charlie Swan, despite the fact that Charlie could know nothing about Billy's secrets. Charlie did know about losing a wife, though not in the same circumstances, and they both had daughters who were often mysteries to their fathers. Billy and Charlie also shared a love for fishing.
In 2003, Billy received a phone call. The caller turned out to be Carlisle Cullen. Billy knew the Cullens were vampires. He had no history with them, only the tales of his grandfather, as passed to him by his father. He did not believe that the Cullens were as harmless as they presented themselves to be. He feared that without a strong pack to enforce the treaty, the Cullens would take advantage. Despite Billy's anguish of their return, he nevertheless granted them permission.
When the Cullens did return to Forks, it was a dark time for the tribe. Billy knew exactly what this would mean for his son, and he mourned for the safe and commonplace life Jacob would lose. The elders had taught the histories to their sons, but the entire tribe had begun to believe that the stories were only legend. Billy had warned Jacob about the signs of the werewolf—the heat, the growth spurt, the anger—but Jacob had totally ignored him, thinking Billy no more than superstitious. Billy knew that his son was unprepared for what was coming.
He worried for his tribe, and for his friends in Forks. He tried to warn Charlie to stay away from the Cullens, but his warning backfired. Charlie had already taken a liking to Carlisle, and he was upset about Billy's prejudice against the newcomers. When Charlie learned that members of the Quileute tribe were boycotting the hospital, it caused a rift between Billy and Charlie for a few years.
Watching Sam deal with the blows his werewolf heritage had forced upon him, Billy was even more concerned for Jacob.
Billy is first mentioned in Twilight as having sold his old pickup truck to Charlie so that he can give it to Bella. Charlie and Billy have had disagreements in the past, and seem to agree to disagree. After he becomes aware that Bella is dating one of the Cullens, Billy stops by on the pretense of dropping off fish fry for Charlie. When he gets a moment alone with Bella, he tries to talk her out of her relationship with Edward, informing her that the Cullen family has an "unpleasant" reputation on the reservation. Bella counters that the Cullens have done nothing to deserve it, as they have never set foot on the reservation. Her knowledge on the subject takes him off guard, and Bella says that she may be more informed than Billy himself is. He agrees this is possible, but is concerned for Charlie. Bella says that it is her business whether or not Charlie needs to be informed. Billy agrees to this, and is then forced to change the subject when Jacob enters the room.
According to Jacob, Billy reacted "over the top" after Bella became injured in Phoenix, since he assumed that Edward had something to do with Bella's injuries. At the end of the story, when Bella is at prom, Billy pays Jacob $20 to talk to her. Jacob tells Bella that Billy wants her to "please" break up with Edward. He also asks Jacob to tell her that "we'll be watching." Bella, not liking that Billy bribed his son into talking to her, but knowing that Billy means well, thanks him.
After Jacob's transformation into a wolf, Billy constantly lies to Bella on Jacob's whereabouts to protect the tribe's secret. After she realizes that Jacob is a werewolf, Billy is once again polite to her, and, during the crisis with Victoria, helps the wolves in protecting Charlie by frequently inviting him and Bella over to his house for dinner.
In Eclipse, Billy plays a larger role, since Bella desperately needs an escape and comes over more and more often to visit Jacob. She also finds out that Billy is the chief of the Quileute tribe council.
While learning the tribe's oral history at the secret bonfire, she sees in him a certain majesty and power she had always missed before. During the confrontation with the newborn vampire army, Billy keeps Charlie safe by orchestrating a fishing trip. Charlie comments to Bella that in retrospect Billy was very worried and distracted during, betraying Billy's concern for Jacob and the rest of the pack during the battle. His prejudice against the Cullens lessens after this allegiance.
In Breaking Dawn, while Jacob runs away after throwing down a piece of paper on the ground, Billy retrieves it and reveals to be a wedding invitation from Bella and Edward. Billy doesn't do anything about Jacob running away, since he understood that he was in pain over Bella's decision to choose Edward.
Billy later attends Bella and Edward's wedding, and appears to have gotten over his warnings to Bella. He even seems fairly content to be there, despite considering the wedding "the worst thing that could happen to his son's best friend," as Bella puts it. He also unsuccessfully tries to talk Jacob out of attacking the Cullens. Later, Jacob, Seth and Leah break off from Sam's pack to join the Cullens when Sam decides to kill Bella and her unborn child. When Sam reports this, the Quileute Council, specifically Billy and Sue, support Jacob's actions, forbidding Sam and his pack from killing Bella. Despite this decision though, Jacob and his pack still refuse to return to La Push until Bella gives birth. Everything is resolved after Bella became a vampire and Jacob imprinted on her daughter, Renesmee Cullen, thus freeing him from his heartbreak permanently.
It is hinted that Billy's friendship with Charlie has drifted off course after Charlie became romantically involved with Sue, the widow of their deceased best friend, Harry.
Billy is heavyset, with a deeply wrinkled face and dark russet skin with black eyes. He is currently wheelchair-bound as a result of nerve damage due to complications from diabetes.
Personality and traits
Billy is a wise Quileute elder who takes his tribe's history and legends much more seriously that some kids in the tribe believe it. He is very mistrustful of the Cullens due to the previous encounters between the Quileutes and vampires, and tried to talk the locals in Forks out of being near them. When Bella became romantically involved with Edward Cullen, he also tried to talk her out of it without telling her how much he knew. None of his attempts succeeded. His prejudice of the Cullens lessens somewhat after the pack worked with the Cullen family to dispatch the Seattle newborn army.
Aside from his role in the tribe, he is a loving father who cares for his children more than anything. He accepted Rebecca's decision to marry Solomon Finau and move to Hawaii, but when Paul Lahote imprinted on Rachel, he and Jacob became annoyed at Paul for constantly being at their house and taking up most of the room on the couch, controlling the TV and eating their food. However, Billy is also happy that Rachel stayed in La Push because of her relationship with Paul that he tolerates the latter.
He is also mentioned to be good at carving wood figurines.
Billy is the husband of the late Sarah Black and the father of twin daughters Rachel and Rebecca and Jacob Black, as well as the father-in-law of Solomon Finau and future father-in-law of Paul Lahote, who imprinted on Rachel.
Jacob Black is Billy's only son and the youngest of his children. After his wife's death and Rachel's and Rebecca's moving, Jacob became his sole caretaker; and he enjoyed spending time with his father.
Ever since Jacob was born, Billy and his wife worried that he would become a shape-shifter like his grandfather; Ephraim Black. He expected Jacob to phase after the Cullens moved to Forks.
When Charlie married Renée, Billy was one of the few guests invited to their private wedding. They were there for each other when their wives died and left, respectively.
Their friendship took a strain when Billy tried to warn Charlie about the Cullens being dangerous then tried to persuade the locals from going near the local hospital where one of the Cullens worked. When Charlie's daughter Bella became involved with the Cullens as well, he felt it his duty to protect her and tried to give her the same warning, though she persuaded him to leave her alone.
His friendship with Charlie seemed to have taken a permanent change after he became romantically involved with Harry's wife, Sue.
Harry Clearwater was one of Billy's best friends, along with Charlie Swan. The three often hung out as teenagers, going together on fishing trips and watching football games.
Billy was closer to Harry than to Charlie because they were both born and raised on the reservation, and taught the same culture as well as the shared secrecy of the supernatural world.
After Harry passed away in early 2006, Billy started to look after Harry's wife and children while tending to his elder duties for the wolf pack.
- New Moon
- Breaking Dawn
There has been some speculation that Billy is really Ephraim Black. Stephenie Meyer, however, has denied the truth of the idea, confirming that Billy is Ephraim's grandson.