Please provide specific citations from reputable—canonical—sources and not just idle speculation.

Yes, I know… David Lynch is obtuse in his storytelling and it’s hard to tell what is “real” and what is imagination. Especially in the context of the finale of the recent Twin Peaks: The Return (2017).

But after finally watching all of the original Twin Peaks TV series (1990-91), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992) and Twin Peaks: The Return (2017), the whole concept of what the “Black Lodge” and “White Lodge” actually are still confuses me. Are these real places? Or are they psychological places/states where characters simply—and coincidentally—share some common dream?

In season 1, when Agent Cooper enters a dream-like state—related to his idioyncratic “Tibetan Method” take on crime solved—he goes to a red room with a zig-zag floor pattern that we later learn is the “Black Lodge.” We only really learn about this during season 2 and this seems to be hammered home in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. But in season 3, the concept of what is real or not is made to be even more abstract and confusing even in light of the conclusion.

So are the “Black Lodge” and “White Lodge” actual places? Is it still really the case in light of everything? Or maybe I am missing something that might have been alluded to in the official “canon” books such as The Secret History of Twin Peaks: A Novel or Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier?

1 Answer 1


Black and White Lodge seem to be both: real places and dreamlike realms that characters have experienced in a common dream. In the last episode of season 2 Cooper enters the Red Room through the curtains at Glastonbury Grove and Sheriff Truman sees him disappear. There is no indication in that episode that Cooper and/or Truman are dreaming. The same goes for Windom Earle and Annie Blackburn, who entered the Red Room prior to Cooper.

Hawk explains that:

"the White Lodge is a place where the spirits that rule man and nature here reside. [...] There is also a legend of a place called the Black Lodge, the shadow self of the White Lodge. Legend says that every spirit must pass through there on a way to perfection. There, you will meet your own shadow self."

To my knowledge, it has never been said that Mr. C. is Cooper's shadow self, but it is likely that Doppelganger and shadow self are the same. Mr. C. managed to leave the Red Room and started a criminal career in reality.

In episode 3 of season 1 Cooper dreams of the Red Room, where he meets Laura Palmer, who tells him the name of her killer. (He forgets the name). In episode 9 of season 2 Donna reads from a page of Laura's secret diary, where Laura refers to the same dream. In Fire Walk With Me Annie appears to Laura in a dream, where she tells Laura to write in her diary that the good Dale is trapped in the Lodge and can't leave. When it comes to dreams and Lodges, time isn't linear.

But, one might argue that the whole of Twin Peaks is a dream anyway. Phillip Jeffries reports to Cole, Cooper and Rosenfield that "we live inside a dream." Cole tells his Monica Belluci dream, where Monica Belucci says "We're like the dreamer, who dreams and then lives inside the dream." Then she asks "But who is the dreamer?" while she's looking at the viewer. With that in mind, I suggest that Black and White Lodge are dreamlike realms in a dreamlike realm, where daily reality is on a different level, less deep than the dream in the Lodges. Therefore reality as we experience it is more flexible in the fictional reality of Twin Peaks, and therefore it is possible for Cooper to travel back in time and save Laura Palmer.

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