I recently finished watching Twin Peaks (season 2, not yet the prequel movie) and the ending has been driving me crazy. I'll spare you the rant and come straight to the point.

In Twin Peaks many scenes appear showing an owl. One I especially remember is the final scene of s02e09. In the beginning of the series aliens were hinted at. Many strange things happen related to owls. After watching the 2 seasons we still don't know what the owls themselves have to do with it?

Margaret the Log Lady also seems to know something about owls saying

The owls won't see us in here.

when the police guys pay her cabin a visit.

How are the owls connected to the events of Twin Peaks?
Are they the eyes of the inhabitants of the black lodge? What role do they play in the local Twin Peaks mythology?

I have yet to see the Fire Walk With Me movie, is it explained there or at least hinted at? I read something about Laura Palmer's diary being an actual physical product. Anything of use in there?

  • Are you asking for something to make sense in a David Lynch offering? Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 20:15

4 Answers 4


David Lynch is notorious for being able to keep a secret when he wants to. What the owls represent, seems to be one of those things.

Some of the more popular fan theories are that the owls may be aliens, eyes of the spirits in the Black Lodge, or possibly familiars to those spirits. However, Lynch has not made any official statements, and it's doubtful that he ever will.

  • Great answer! I should watch more from David Lynch and Mark Frost. They better tell more about those freaking owls in the next season! 2 months later it's still haunting me.
    – miva2
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 9:32
  • In UFOlogy, owls are commonly related to screen-memories for alien abduction. That's what I always thought the connection was, but I have no proof that was the case on ^^. Commented May 7, 2016 at 13:41
  • 1
    @MeatTrademark That's really interesting to know! Might definitely have something to do with that. I was always expecting aliens to come and abduct someone or control someone somehow.
    – miva2
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 10:47

Given that the series draws so heavily from Native American mythology, and given what I know as a social worker serving Indigenous communities in Canada.

It seems that Lynch is borrowing the owl motif from the original peoples of Turtle Island (North America). Many First Nations (Native) groups regard Owls as a symbol of death and a bad omen. You will remember seeing many Haida style totems of Owls in Ben Horne's office and other rooms at The Great Northern.

Native American symbols are geometric portrayals of celestial bodies, natural phenomena and animal designs. Native American bird and animal symbols and totems are believed to represent the physical form of a spirit helper and guide. The meaning of the Owl symbol signifies a bad omen.

From this source

According to Native American legends and myths of some tribes the Owl is a symbol of death. The owl is a creature of the night and was strongly associated with the supernatural. The circles around the eyes of an owl are believed to be made up of the fingernails of ghosts. Owls were also believed to be messengers from beyond the grave and would deliver warnings to people who had BROKEN TRIBAL TABOOS [relevant to the incest themes of TWIN PEAKS]. Even to hear an owl hooting was considered to be an unlucky omen. The Pueblo people, including the Hopi tribe, associated owls with their belief in witches [Dugpa's & Lodge Sorcery?] and the feathers of owls have a very sinister significance. For additional information refer to Power Animals.

(emphasis and parenthesis mine)

By all this I mean to add credence to the theory which states that the significance of Owls in the series is indeed a connection to the occultism of the Black Lodge and the malevolent spirits therein, as well as the way in which these entities are a reflection of the dark side of the townsfolk (Leland and Ben chiefly especially in exploiting their daughters, but most others in some sense also).

In the spirit of psychoanalytic interpretation of Lynch's cannon I wish also to state that an ethnopsychiatric perspective on the Owl mythology would suggest that they are a representation of what Freud called the 'Death Drive' or Thanatos in opposition to Eros or Love. Remember that the the keys to the white and black lodges are love [empathy] and fear [annihilation anxiety] respectively I wonder if Lynch has read Melanie Klein's work on the Good and Bad object (read: breast; peaks?) as much of his work seems to deal with schizoid defences such as splitting (the sorting of experience into polar categories of good vs evil, nurturance and pleasure vs neglect, anxiety and frustration).

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    – A J
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 8:48
  • great theory! This does shine a new light on my perception of the owls.
    – miva2
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 9:29

Maybe its related to the ancient Native American petroglyph carved into the stone wall of Owl Cave at Twin Peaks. As a map, it shows the location of the gateway to the Lodges, Glastonberry Grove. As a calendar, it predicts the time when the gateway will be open with the glyphs of Jupiter and Saturn. The gateway itself only exists at a certain point in space and time, given by the details of the map.

  • Yes Owl Cave is another mysterious connection to owls. Why is it called Owl Cave? What does the map have to do with owls? Many mysteries...
    – miva2
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 10:50

I was also thinking about Lilith, she is represented by an owl, she is seen sometimes as an owl. And in a way Laura becomes this Lilithesque persona, if you have watched Fire Walk with Me. She looks like ‘Eve’ but she is much more seductive and destructive in truth.


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