Log Lady

Log Lady
Margaret Lanterman
First appearance Pilot
Last appearance Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
Gender female
Occupation Ballroom dancing teacher(retired)
Religion Catholic[citation needed]

Margaret Lanterman, better known as the Log Lady, is a fictional character in the television series Twin Peaks (1990–1991), created by Mark Frost and David Lynch. The character makes semi-regular appearances in both seasons, and is played by Catherine E. Coulson, who also very briefly reprised the role for a single scene in the prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.


Character overview

The Log Lady is a fixture in the town of Twin Peaks by the time of Laura Palmer's murder, and most residents in the town regard her as crazy. This is mainly due to her habit of always carrying a small log in her arms, with which she seems to share a psychic connection, often dispensing advice and visions of clairvoyance which she claims come from the log;[1] prior to the murder, she delivers moving and cryptic warnings to Laura Palmer herself.[2][3] The Log Lady does not interpret the messages transmitted by the log, but instead functions as a medium for the information it conveys.[4]

In attempting to solve Laura's murder, Dale Cooper often makes use of the Log Lady's apparent ability to communicate, through the log, with a possibly supernatural realm. Cooper gradually loses his access to this realm as the series progresses, and the Log Lady becomes a less central figure.[5] The Log Lady provides Cooper with at least one useful tip,[6] but the character, and her log, ultimately prove to be at least somewhat nonsensical.[7]

When the series was syndicated to Bravo, Lynch created new Log Lady introductions for each episode. They range in length from under a minute to about three minutes.


Conceptual history

According to David Lynch, the Log Lady was an old idea of his, where he had intended to do a television series based around the character called "I'll Test My Log with Every Branch of Knowledge". The idea came about whilst working alongside Catherine Coulson on the set of Lynch's directorial debut, Eraserhead.[citation needed]

History within the series and feature film

It is revealed that some time before the events of the series, the Log Lady's husband was a lumberjack who died in a fire on their wedding night decades before. (The Log Lady later says that her husband "met the devil"). Nothing is revealed of her husband beyond this, save for that at some point before he died, her husband returned from a trip to Glastonbury Grove (which served as an access point to the metaphysical realms of both the White and Black Lodges) with a jar of mysterious oil, which he claimed was for "opening a gateway."[citation needed] (However, when the story of her husband's death is first related in the series, Deputy Hawk mentions that the wood "holds many spirits", so it is possible that her husband's spirit resides in her log.)

Her husband, a woodsman, is thought to be the character played by Jürgen Prochnow briefly shown in the convenience store scene with other members of The Black Lodge in the film Fire Walk With Me[citation needed]

On February 18, 1989, five days before Laura Palmer is murdered, Margaret briefly encounters Laura outside the local roadhouse, the Bang Bang Bar. Putting her hand to the log and then the stunned Laura's forehead, Margaret intones: "When this kind of fire starts, it is very hard to put out. The tender boughs of innocence burn first, and the wind rises, and then all goodness is in jeopardy."

On the night Laura is murdered, Margaret later claims "my log" witnessed "two men, two girls" both approaching Jacques Renault's cabin - which is located a distance away from her own cabin home in the woods. And then, not long after, she alleges the log heard the screams of a girl.[citation needed]

The Log Lady first comes to the attention of FBI Agent Dale Cooper at a town meeting on February 24 - the day after Laura Palmer's murder, which Cooper is investigating. She later approaches Cooper in the Double R Diner, who is clearly skeptical at her claim "my log saw something that night."[citation needed]

Four days later, Cooper arrives at the Log Lady's cabin alongside Sheriff Truman, Doc Hayward, and Deputy Hawk. Cooper is now more open to the log's power following his questioning (perhaps also noting the local men's reverence for the Log Lady's knowledge)[citation needed].

The Log Lady also provides advice to the other townspeople, most notably an other-worldly message she tells Major Briggs to deliver to Cooper, and it is strongly implied, to Donna Hayward in a note mentioning Laura's involvement in the Meals-On-Wheels.

She also guides Cooper to the Bang Bang Bar to see a vision of the Giant on the stage to hear his words: "It is happening again," a reference to Maddy Ferguson's murder, which was occurring at the same time.)[citation needed]

During the disastrous Miss Twin Peaks Pageant, the Log Lady is impersonated in a bizarre disguise by the insane former FBI Agent Windom Earle, who is seeking to abduct the winning girl to help provide the means to enter the Black Lodge. When Cooper, Truman and the sheriff's deputies later regroup at the Sheriff's Station in a desperate move to learn Earle's location following his abduction of Annie Blackburn, the Log Lady also arrives. She then presents Cooper with the jar of oil her husband retrieved from Glastonbury Grove. (Thereby, providing Cooper with the means to enter the Black Lodge).[citation needed]


  1. ^ Dery, Mark (2000). The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium. Grove Press. pp. 227. ISBN 0802136702. http://books.google.com/books?id=Qm836ZnSsyoC&pg=PA227&dq=%22log+lady%22. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  2. ^ Stewart, Mark Allyn (2007). David Lynch Decoded. AuthorHouse. pp. 56. ISBN 1434349853. http://books.google.com/books?id=BGeXiWl-DQcC&pg=PA55&dq=%22log+lady%22&lr=#PPA56,M1. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  3. ^ Marcus, Greil (2007). The Shape of Things to Come. Macmillan. pp. 163–164. ISBN 0312426429. http://books.google.com/books?id=iALd6WoGtPEC&pg=PA163&dq=%22log+lady%22#PPA164,M1. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  4. ^ Lavery, David (1995). Full of Secrets. Wayne State University Press. pp. 123–124. ISBN 0814325068. http://books.google.com/books?id=m6mjuWXrqb8C&pg=PA123&dq=%22log+lady%22#PPA124,M1. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  5. ^ Nochimson, Martha (1997). The Passion of David Lynch. University of Texas Press. pp. 73–74. ISBN 0292755651. http://books.google.com/books?id=2rNQAePxT8QC&pg=PA73&dq=%22log+lady%22#PPA73,M1. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  6. ^ Johnson, Jeff (2004). Pervert in the Pulpit : Morality in the Works of David Lynch. McFarland. pp. 163. ISBN 0786417536. http://books.google.com/books?id=gwBalLB14fUC&pg=PA163&dq=%22log+lady%22. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  7. ^ Allmendinger, Blake (1998). Ten Most Wanted: The New Western Literature. Routledge. pp. 183–185. ISBN 0415914639. http://books.google.com/books?id=NWVrYCY7AtMC&pg=PA185&dq=%22log+lady%22#PPA184,M1. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 

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