Ok, so this isn’t really a list of my favourite trinkets and treasures from Twin Peaks, more a collection of items of wonder; both good and bad, some living, some possessed by the souls of the dead, some with magical powers, and some that fill you with dread. All are unmistakably unique to Twin Peaks and are part of the reason the show lives on in our hearts. We adorn our homes and our bodies with images of these objects, in the form of jewellery and tattoos, art and rugs, even seats for our loos! Never has there been a show with such captivating mystery for the eye to behold. So let us begin…
With This Ring I Thee Wed
Don’t take the ring, Laura! For a very long time, we wondered why Dale Cooper was so adamant that Laura shouldn’t take The Owl Ring, whether in her dream or in the train car that fateful Feb 23rd night. For years it felt like it meant certain death for Laura but now it seems that it prevented her soul from being taken by BOB. Instead, her soul was whisked away to the Black Lodge—where it would remain for 25 years. That’s a Silver Anniversary in marriage terms—or a life sentence, whichever way you want to look at it. Meanwhile…
This Picture Would Look Nice On Your Wall
It was this doorway that led Laura to take the ring. The picture was gifted to her by the mysterious ‘Mrs Tremond’ and her Grandson, who beckoned Laura through the door in her dream. From within that dream, Cooper warned her not to take the ring, but she ‘awoke’ with it in her hand, lying next to a catatonic and bloodied Annie Blackburn, who gave Laura the message about the future Dale being stuck in the Lodge. When Laura awoke from her dream within a dream, the ring was gone. When Laura was just moments from being murdered in the train car, Phillip Gerard threw the ring inside and Laura put it on her finger. Perhaps she did this with prior knowledge of where it would take her; this was a choice she made in her final moments. What did she see when she followed the trainee boy Magician inside?
If what we saw in Season 3 is anything to go by, Laura’s soul was transported to the Lodge after she put on the ring—just like what happened to That Fucker Ray and Mr C at their times of death. Not that Mr C seems too dead to be honest, just kinda locked in a fiery hell. The next 25 years may have been set in stone as soon as Laura put on the ring and, perhaps, the only moment Dale needs to change in his never-ending loop to make things right.
Curiously, the last moments we know of Chet Desmond’s life were of him kneeling down and reaching for the ring underneath Teresa Banks’ trailer. If you’re alive and you wear the ring what happens? Well, your arm goes numb and things start to go wrong. Knowing that the ring definitely did not stay in Chet’s possession, I can only imagine this means that Chet is, sadly, no longer with us.
The Missing Diary Pages
I cannot tell you how much I cried when Hawk found Laura’s missing diary pages in the bathroom door of the Sheriff’s station. After Annie had been mysteriously ‘disappeared’ from The Secret History of Twin Peaks, just seeing her name meant that she did really exist—she really did visit Laura in her dream from the future, and she did reveal to Frank and Hawk that the Good Dale was in the Lodge. Poor Annie—used as a pawn, the embodiment of the greatest cliffhanger of all time, yet barely mentioned in Season 3. But she’s still a hugely important piece of the puzzle (and the Queen of my heart). As a wearer of the ring, it seems that her soul may have remained in the Lodge, but her body lives on in our world (albeit at a functional level inferior to even Dougie).
The Blue Rose
The Blue Rose has come a long way since first appearing as an adornment on Lil The Dancer’s dress. Now we know that it is symbolic of that which what is ‘manufactured.’ Blues roses do not occur in nature, and it was the blue rose that led to the revelation of tulpas—thought-forms, people conjured up into physical being by wishful thinking. But what exactly made Teresa Banks’ murder a Blue Rose case? We know that BOB/Leland killed her. But what led Gordon Cole and his task force to the, otherwise ‘straightforward’ murder of a sex worker? That mystery still remains.
Talking of tulpas, I am still not totally convinced that Diane was ever really more than Dale Cooper’s trusty tape recorder. Yes, we certainly saw a walking, talking version, but we also saw Phillip Gerard create another version of Cooper out of a golden seed, to keep Janey-E and Sonny Jim happy. (I actually think that was the real Coop, and the new version went on the mission to find Laura, but that’s a theory for another day). When it comes to Diane, I think it’s highly plausible that she was a fantasy come to life for both the Good Dale and his doppelgänger, created for a purpose by both of them. Mr C’s choice of woman was a hard liquor drinking, chain-smoking, ‘fuck you’ type of gal, whereas the Good Dale’s is more the Saint mixed with Cabaret Singer we had heard about. Both of them would do anything for the man they love. Plus it’s no coincidence that the Good Dale’s version of her wears red, black and white: not only the colours of the Black Lodge, but of the very tape recorder she once was. In the mind of young Dale Cooper, the idea of him having a secretary (none of the other Agents had secretaries as far as I’m aware), felt like a boyish fantasy, like his very own Miss Moneypenny. Scott Frost’s book, My Life My Tapes, certainly shows more of a fantastical and lustful side to Agent Cooper that would go a long way to explaining Diane’s creation. And, just as there’s more than one ‘Good Dale’, Diane saw herself dwelling on the threshold of the motel near Odessa. This was one of the creepiest moments of Season 3 for me.
Written in Lipstick, ‘Let’s Rock’
Who left the message on the car window at the Fat Trout Trailer park, the scene of Teresa Banks’ murder? The Arm was known to speak these words in the Lodge, and it seems his presence was close by at the time of Chet Desmond’s disappearance when we heard The Arm’s Native American style whooping call buzzing down the telephone pole. Lipstick seems like an odd choice for The Little Man From Another Place though, and we have never seen him outside of the Lodge, which leads me to think someone else left those words. The writing style is feminine and the colour flirtatious; it was penned recently, on top of the dirt on the windscreen. Could Teresa herself have left this message? It certainly looks like the shade she wears. She, of course, was a wearer of the owl cave ring, which was missing after her death. Should she have been wearing it the time of her death, she would have most likely been transported to the Lodge, but there’s no evidence she existed there. It appears, then, that Teresa died without the ring. It was planted on a dirt pile underneath her trailer, and not the trailer she was killed in (that would be The Chalfonts/Tremonds trailer) which is where Agent Desmond found it.
Electrical Sockets/Telephone Poles
The telephone pole once seen at the original Fat Trout Trailer Park in Deer Meadow managed to duplicate itself in Season 3, turning up at the crossroads in Twin Peaks where the boy was tragically killed, and also outside Carrie Page’s house in Odessa. If the boy’s aura leaving his body and floating off toward the power lines is any hint, this could be a sad but beautiful way of telling us that the soul needs electricity to move on to the next stage of its journey. I like to think of it as a nod to reincarnation, that the soul will travel onto a new destination and take a new body—just like Laura became Carrie Page. Electricity, like modern-day fire, can work for good or bad or, as Hawk would say, “It depends on the intention.”
As Coop was leaving the Black Lodge, he opened the curtains and saw his doppelgänger driving down the highway. He didn’t want to meet with his shadow self that’s for sure. Only one version of him can exist out there. So the doppelganger of The Arm made him fall through the zig-zag floor of the Red Room into non-existence. Cooper ended up in the Purple Room, where Naido warned him against a wall socket labelled “15.” Later, after Naido flicked the switch, he re-entered that room and “15” had changed to “3.” The “15” socket was connected to the evil doppelgänger’s electric cigarette lighter in his car, while the “3” socket was connected to Dougie’s location. Clearly, BOB/the doppelganger had wanted OG Coop to arrive in his car, and take his place as he crashed. That didn’t go as planned—Dougie was his Plan B. Dougie was manufactured for a purpose. Why the numbers 3 and 15 we may wonder? Combined, you have “315,” which was his room number at The Great Northern Hotel.
The Room 315 Key to the Great Northern
The message “Clean place, reasonably priced” written on the key ring found upon Dougie/Cooper by Jade was quite an oddity in Season 3. These were indeed the words of Cooper in a message to the dictaphone Diane when he first checked into the Great Northern in Season 1. Was he just repeating the words he’d seen on the keyring? I don’t think so. To me, it seems like these are all projections from the mind of the awakening Cooper as he starts to regain consciousness in this reality. How many strange dreams have you had which are clearly your mind processing the events of the day? The Great Northern turned out to be a place of great importance. The key to room 315 opened the door in the basement where the Tibetan singing bowl type hum was coming from. It led directly to Phillip Jeffries, who transported Cooper back to 1989 to save Laura. The symbol of Fire on the Owl Cave Map is placed right where the hotel would stand at the top of the Great Falls. Maybe the Horne family turned out the way they did due to living in close proximity to the Hellmouth.
The Circle of Sycamores at Glastonbury Grove
When Jupiter and Saturn meet, the doors to the Black Lodge open to a place between two worlds, between all worlds even. I personally like to think of it as the subconscious mind, where all thoughts collide, outside of space and time as we know it—a maze that you have to work through before seeing the light so to speak. Only once you have met your Dweller on the Threshold and won—several times—will you finally find peace. I don’t think Cooper’s quite there yet, but I feel that Laura is—the end of Fire Walk With Me was Laura’s final triumph, her angel returned and she saw the light within herself. Perhaps the other Laura’s we saw in the Lodge were her shadow selves…
The Waiting Room
Watch out for her cousin! Doesn’t she look exactly like Laura Palmer? Lynch and Frost pretty much told us there that the ‘Laura’s’ we saw in the Lodge were not what they seemed. In the Waiting Room, somewhere in between Saturn (Time) and Venus (Love), versions of her reside; tricksy messengers for Cooper. Only when Laura revealed her inner light did we know that this was a Laura we could trust and that Cooper was nearing the end of his journey—it was time for him to leave. But Laura’s whisper was not good news. While her father may not kill her this time, evil will always find a way, and hurry! Mother is coming!
‘Mother’ Playing Card. Aces!
While the exact meaning of this playing card is unclear, it appears to represent ‘Mother’. The Mother of all evil? The Mother of Abominations? Mother Nature? A lifetime’s worth of pain and suffering that lives inside Sarah Palmer? Judy?! Perhaps all and none. All we know is that Mr C, presumably at the request of BOB, wanted to find it more than anything. I wonder, was Mr C looking for his mother? Our Cooper was also looking for someone special. Someone he’d never met in real life, only in dreams—the one and only Laura Palmer. Cooper shared his dreams of BOB with two people, Laura and his own mother. What can we make of that metaphorically? Could Laura be Cooper’s mother?
It’s interesting to note the scratches on this particular card, possibly made by another tragic figure of a mother…
119! Red Balloons
We know not what tragedy was bestowed upon the ‘drugged out mom’ or even if there was one, but she appeared to have one foot in the Lodge (Mark Frost said so in his Reddit AMA, and that’s canon in my book). Sharp-eyed viewers will have noticed that the playing cards she had on her table do not have the same design on the back as the ‘Mother’ symbol card, but that’s not to say she hasn’t gone through a few decks. There is a pin on her table which could hint at her being the one who made the scratches.
If she was speaking in reverse, who exactly is she calling for help from? I can’t shake the feeling she was working for Mr C, the former FBI Agent, maybe as a spy/messenger—not unlike Mrs Tremond and her Grandson. Living across the road from the house where the original tulpa Dougie liked to entertain ladies such as the sweetheart Jade—I suspect Dougie’s job was real estate agent or similar, so he had keys to many of the empty properties at Rancho Rosa. I’d also suspect that the mom and her son were living there rent-free at the behest of Mr C. And In return for this kindness, she and her little boy were to keep a close eye on the real Coopers every move, once the switch was made. Were her calls not for help, but to warn him that things weren’t going quite as planned? Her existence was one in the space between life and death. The pills and whisky combo kept her there, perhaps giving her a direct link to the Lodge.
And what’s with the balloons? Well, they only seem to exist in Vegas—a whole town manufactured for a purpose. We see balloons at the Jones house, The Mitchum’s house, outside Lucky 7 Insurance and ‘drugged out mom’s house. I personally don’t feel like any part of what happened in Vegas really happened (they do say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas), that this was the subconscious mind of Cooper awakening, processing thoughts from the beginning of his life until now. Cooper was ‘reborn’ into this dream state having to physically learn how to walk, talk, eat and pee as a toddler would. All the while his mind was also being tweaked back into action by little reminders of the life he once led—cherry pie and coffee, the FBI, Gordon Cole in Sunset Boulevard and many more. His reliable intuition (and a little help from Gerard no doubt) got him through this stage of his journey.
Red balloons in a dream can reflect that your short-term hopes and dreams may be based on passion, impulse, and or intuition. They can show progress in reaching your goals and aspirations. In the case of ‘Drugged-Out Mom,’ the balloon by her side was deflating, signifying her loss of hope. The Mitchum’s red balloon was hidden behind frosted glass, maybe hinting that these guys really just want to do good, but they think they can’t show it without losing their power.
What strikes me most about balloons though is how they are often used to teach little children about electricity. Rub a balloon with wool and it will create static electricity (and therefore stick to a negatively charged surface). How better to remind the child-like Dougie of its importance? Sticking a fork in an electric socket would be his way of shunting himself out of that dream-like state once and for all.
Garmonbozia, Delicious Pain and Sorrow
If ambrosia is the food of the gods, then garmonbozia is the food of…well, the bad gods? It is pretty hard to classify them. Maybe sometimes they are good, and other times they are bad—just like the rest of us, doing whatever we can to survive. Mythologically, ambrosia gave the gods longevity of life or immortality. I suspect that garmonbozia has the same effect. Grandma Tremond did not wish to eat it, maybe that’s why she’s aged. Conversely, her Grandson eagerly devoured it. He could be older than the hills, but that amber nectar keeps the Magician in training looking youthful.
Ambrosia was brought to the gods by doves (and a nymph in some historical art), and doves are often interpreted as birds that bring peace and harmony. Garmonbozia was caused and reaped by BOB the Owl. It really took a turn for the gross in Season 3, including a cop being taken to hospital after catching a whiff of the barfed up contents of Mr C’s stomach. Rumour has it, it’s actually the food they serve at Calhoun Memorial Hospital. I’m kidding, sorta—well you know hospitals are the perfect place to find pain and sorrow, maybe that’s why BOB and MIKE used to hang out in the mortuary basement.
Black Box Transmitter/Silver Nugget
Argentina. Land of gold and silver mining. Somewhere underground — and between tracks — there looks like to be a sifting bowl with a black box (a transmitter controlled by the doomed Lorraine). After failing to destroy ‘Dougie’ as ordered seemingly by Mr C, Lorraine nervously typed ‘ARGENT’ into her Blackberry. With a couple of bleeps, the box imploded into the form of a silver nugget. Shortly after, Lorraine was brutally murdered by Ike The Spike. Was it her failure to dispose of Dougie or the destruction of the box that got her killed? I assume it was the former, and that getting rid of the box was a message to Mr C that the plan was aborted. But why Argentina? We know Phillip Jeffries visited there on his search for Judy. There’s a lot to be said for the importance of alchemy in the story of Twin Peaks. Laura herself was created by the Fireman and Senorita Dido in the form of a golden orb. Golden seeds are required to make tulpas. Can silver be turned into objects? Silver is the strongest conductor of electricity if that means anything.
Gold! Always Believe In Your Soul
Gold is also a conductor of electricity, whereas Mica (or the manufactured version Formica if you like) is an electrical insulator, which could explain the owl ring’s power to fend off BOB. Gold is malleable, almost indestructible.
There are many important items made of gold in Twin Peaks. The golden heart Laura gave to James: a symbol of pure and true love. Laura herself was born of a golden orb/egg as I mentioned earlier. The golden fallopian tubas (yes I do mean tubas) that deliver her to earth are the only items of any colour in the grayscale world of the White Lodge. Dr Jacoby implores you to dig yourself out of the shit with one of his golden shovels. Even the Log began turning gold for Margaret in her final moments, heralding the beginning of her ascent to heaven. Unlike the puddle of engine oil that allows access to the Black Lodge, a pool of golden elixir lies in the woods just 253 yards from Jack Rabbits Palace, which is a portal to the White Lodge. Ultimately, gold represents all that is good. A symbol of strength and light, even of Laura herself with her golden hair.
The gold item that interests me the most, however, is Gordon Coles hearing aid. How has the Director of the FBI not updated his hearing device in over 25 years? Ok maybe he has, but he always chooses gold and there’s more to that than meets the eye to be sure. I truly believe he is constantly in tune with the ‘other world’. How else would he know all he knows? His vision of Laura—a girl he never met, his knowledge of the Teresa Banks case, and so much more. I don’t believe he’s deaf, I just think he’s on another frequency—only Shelly Johnson had the power to bring him into ours.
When some viewers noticed the bonsai sitting on the table next to Sam and Tracey, their minds immediately traced back to the good old days of the deranged Windom Earle. Cooper’s greatest earthly foe, the man who tried to kill him a few times, murdered his one true Caroline (who also happened to be his own wife) and then lured him to the Black Lodge by kidnapping his new love, Annie. Before all that though, he left a bugged bonsai at the Twin Peaks Sheriffs station, listening in on the FBI Agents’ plans, putting him one step ahead of their game. Cooper was said to have learned everything he knew about being an Agent from his former partner Earle. So it’s no surprise that his doppelgänger, Mr C, copies many of his ways. He carries a similar briefcase and the bonsai is more than likely bugged—a way to ensure the glass box guardians he hires, like Sam, don’t get up to no good or spill the beans of the experiment to anyone. Well, Sam did both of those things and paid for it with his and Tracey’s lives.
I like to think that a part of Windom Earl lives on within BOB (he did take his soul after all). How else would Mr C have known where Leo Johnson was (as stated in Mark Frost’s Secret History of Twin Peaks) when he shot him dead in that cabin in the woods?
Andy’s Smoking Box of Visions
Honestly, I don’t have too many ideas about this one. Andy was given this strange contraption by The Fireman upon his arrival at The White Lodge, then he was given a very important mission. The ‘stem’ of the box bellowed with smoke in reverse, which may or may not have enabled Andy to see through an inter-dimensional window to both future and past, giving him all the information he needed to proceed. Without it, he wouldn’t have known the importance of Naido and of Lucy having to be there to shoot the doppelgänger Cooper. The box resembles an overturned origami flower head, but we have no idea what colour it is (I like to imagine it as blue).
The Boy Behind the Mask Has a Twig Sticking Out of His Forehead?
The similarities between the mask and the face of the Jumping Man are abundantly clear, but this is a mask, whereas The Jumping Man does not wear one, that white crust and long proboscis are part of his real face. This mask though has an additional twig-like form sticking from the forehead—almost antenna like. Does the mask assist the boy in being able to see through time as we know it on earth? He gave Laura the warning about the man behind the mask i.e. BOB tearing the pages from her diary at that very moment. This would lead to Laura’s discovery that BOB was her father, causing her the most intense suffering one can imagine. Both of them carry a wand of sorts, twisted branches that look pruned like a rose bush. The boy jumps while wearing the mask when he appears outside the red diamond motel, which is after Leland sees Laura with Ronette scantily clad and waiting for him to join them for some fun. Seems like someone was up to some trickery to me! And what does all this trickery cause to humans? Pain and sorrow. Stirring up trouble for their dinner.
The Jumping Man himself is surrounded by smoke, and I feel he is creating it himself. After all, there’s no smoke without fire. We have seen him only in Jeffries’ daydream recollection of his trip to the Convenience Store and again in Season 3 when a Woodsman pulls a lever on a device causing an electrical discharge. The Jumping Man appears and becomes very animated. He then runs down the stairs, and his face continuously merges with others (including Sarah Palmers’). The smoke he conjures may assist in seeing through time.
I believe that the Jumping Man is both a frog-moth, The Magician and Talisman brought to life. Could his excitable behaviour herald the reaping of garmonbozia? With much of the story of Twin Peaks founded in Native American history, could he represent Kokopelli, a fertility deity? Usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player (often with a huge phallus and antenna-like protrusions on his head), Kokopelli presides over both childbirth and agriculture. He is also a trickster god and represents the spirit of music.
The Horse is the White of the Eyes and Dark Within
Ok, so I’ve written at length about my thoughts on the white horse representing Sarah Palmer turning a blind eye to her daughter’s trauma. Therefore, I won’t go there again today. But isn’t the placement of an ornamental horse and a blue plate on Carrie Page’s mantle just bizarre? Why have the two items placed so close together? If the plate represents the pupil of an eye, then the horse would be what was reflected in Laura’s eyes when she was a child with her own horse, Troy—just like how Cooper noticed the reflection of James Hurley’s ‘hog’ in her eyes in the videotape of Laura’s picnic with Donna. The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer tells us that it was Laura’s twelfth birthday when she received a pony from her father (actually turned out to be from Benjamin Horne). It was around this same age that her father/BOB started abusing her.
Whether Carrie Page had vague memories of her former life, or if this was a hint to Cooper that she was ‘the one’, I am not quite sure. What are your thoughts?
The Living Map
I left my favourite of the mystical items for last. Hawk’s ‘Living’ map pretty much sums up everything I love about Twin Peaks, which is the detail and thought that goes into every aspect of Twin Peaks mythology. Hawk plays a huge part in Season 3, more than is mentioned I believe, from the strange moment early on in the series where Hawk witnesses the red curtains appearing at Glastonbury Grove—a plotline that, unfortunately, was not revisited again. I would have loved to learn who entered or exited the Lodge at that moment. Hawk’s awareness that the map changes as the past or future are manipulated (and a new path formed) is quite a revelation. While he doesn’t appear to be immune from forgetting the official version, he understands that it happens. He taught us about the Dweller on the Threshold and he knows all about ‘Mother.’ If I ever get lost in the woods. I hope that Hawk is sent to find me. And if there’s ever another series of Twin Peaks, I would love Hawk to be ‘The One’ waiting for Cooper at the final curtain call.
Well, that’s it. I am sure there are many other mysterious trinkets still waiting to be explored. But for now, why don’t you let us know your theories about the items above by leaving a comment below or on social media. Thanks for reading!