how come Sam phased before Jacob?
How come Sam started phasing before Jacob if Jacob is more of a direct heir? And even more so, the other "pack" members as well?
On a practical level, its because Jacob has to be a free agent in Twilight and the first part of New Moon in order for the story to work. I remember a documentary about Danny Kaye in which it was related how the producers of The Court Jester took issue with the song Pass the Basket until the songwriters explained that it was written for a purpose; if the courtiers don't pass the basket, the baby inside it with the royal birthmark will be prematurely unmasked and assassinated.
Originally Posted by cotnut
However, Ms Meyer works to a higher standard of verisimilitude so there is more to this than dramatic convenience; albeit I am sure that dramatic convenience is the starting point. The truth is I don't know the answer to why Sam phased first. I observe though that in his beach conversation with Bella in Twilight, Jacob is all of 15 years old whereas Sam is already old enough that his failure to take up an available college place should have been challenged by the Council of Elders and wasn't, for reasons which become apparent in New Moon. Sam is clearly already a man, whereas we get to see Jacob become a man; I feel this process reaches fruition in Breaking Dawn when Jacob attends what seems like Bella's living wake at the Cullen house, before Renesmee is born, and particularly because Jacob breaks with Sam and finds to his consternation that he has started his own pack. In spite of himself, destiny finds him out and he really is "Chief Jacob", a first class pack leader precisely because he didn't want to be. One should in justice point out that Sam is a good pack leader as well, for much the same reason; its like finding out you have been appointed to command the garrison of Wake Island - a very dubious and uncomfortable honour.
My short answer: Sam was ready, Jacob wasn't ready yet, Sam was next in line of succession given that Jacob wasn't ready yet, and the Cullens were living just down the road, so the Quileutes needed a pack now. We know that later on, much younger Quileute werewolves than Jacob were created; but I see this as desperation stakes when the reservation was being hemmed in by more and more Cold Ones all the time.
I agree - it's to do with who is old enough to cope with the responsibility of defending the tribe against the vampires than who has to closest genetic connection to the original tribe members.
^ Thanks to megadazzled & Bella! Do the brave thing and bravery will follow. ~ Belle, Once Upon A Time