Whoosh! Issue 34 - July 1999

LAURA PALMER: WARRIOR... PRINCESS... TRAMP... HOMECOMING QUEEN
IAXS project #705
By Robyn C. Walters
Content copyright © 1999 held by author
Edition copyright © 1999 held by Whoosh!
5956 words



Introduction (01-03)
Twin Peaks Starring... Xena As Laura Palmer
     The Scrolls (04-05)
     The Forest Adventures (06-07)
     Protecting Loved Ones (08)
     Skills (09)
     Subtext (10-11)
     Atonement (12-14)
      Embracing Duality (15-23)
...Gabrielle As Donna Hayward And Harold Smith (24-30)
...Argo As Troy (31-32)
...The Men Of XWP As The Men Of Twin Peaks
     Ares (33-37)
     Hercules (38-39)
     Solan (40-41)
     Borias (42)
     Caesar (43-44)
     Salmoneous (45-47)
     Joxer (48)
...The Women Of XWP As The Women Of Twin Peaks
     Lao Ma (49-52)
     M'Lila (53-54)
     Princess Diana (55)
...Special Guest Stars:
     Aphrodite And Hephaestus (56-58)
     Amphipolis As Twin Peaks (59-60)
     Fish As Fish (61-62)
     Dream Visions As Dream Visions (63-65)
     Tartarus As The Black Lodge (66)
     The Elysian Fields As The White Lodge (67-68)
Conclusion (69-70)
Disclaimer
Credits
Biography



Laura Palmer: Warrior...Princess...Tramp...Homecoming Queen



Lucy Lawless asleep via the new web offering, 'Lucycam: All Lucy 24
Hours A Day'


In TWIN PEAKS, the dead tended to stay that way. Well, sort of.



Introduction

[1] In a time of modern gods, drug lords and multiple felons, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. She was Laura Palmer, a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle. The power... The passion... The danger... Her courage will change the worlds.

[2] Laura Palmer was the 17-year-old homecoming queen found dead in the pilot episode of the television series called Twin Peaks (TV, 1990-91). Eventually, the enigmatic "Who killed Laura Palmer?" was answered, but not before the locale had revealed itself to be steeped in mystery, magic and myth. Laura turned out to be a deeply troubled woman, involved in many a dangerous adventure in the forest, committed to protecting her loved ones, atoning for the sins of her past, accepting her own duality, and fighting the evil entity that relentlessly pursued her.

[3] The writers of both Twin Peaks and Xena: Warrior Princess have demonstrated a belief in the transmigration of souls. The last time we saw the soul of Xena, it was in the body of Harry in modern day Los Angeles [DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN (90/422)]. Before that, we saw it temporarily inhabit the body of Melinda Pappas in 1940's Macedonia [THE XENA SCROLLS (34/210)]. My proposition is that sometime between those incarnations, the soul of Xena chose to make its way to Twin Peaks to inhabit the body of Laura Palmer (born 1972) because it afforded the best opportunity to face and accept all those demons that have plagued her for centuries.

Firebreathe with Xena, Firewalk with Laura

The movie poster for Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

Twin Peaks Starring... Xena As Laura Palmer


The Scrolls

"It has the power to turn myth into history, history into myth... The Xena Scrolls"
  -- Janice Covington in THE XENA SCROLLS (34/210).

[4] The Secret Diary Of Laura Palmer (Pocket Books, New York) was published in 1990, and information contained therein will be utilized extensively in the following article.

[5] Xena obviously learned much whilst traveling with her bard and brought that knowledge to her subsequent incarnations. Laura Palmer, sans sword, armed herself with a pen and fastidiously recorded all her own adventures. She derived much comfort from what she called her "wonderful companion", and the first entry (July 22, 1984) included the promise that, "You shall be the one I confide in the most...There are some things I can't tell anyone. I promise to tell these things to you".


The Forest Adventures

"You know, where I'm headed there'll be trouble"
   -- Xena in SINS OF THE PAST (01/101).

[6] In her diary, Laura described adventures in the forests surrounding her home - from camping out with milk and cookies with her best friend Donna, to a bloody drug seeking mission with Bobby and Leo. And then, of course, there was Laura's final foray into the forest on the night she died. She was tied up, attacked by a bird, had sex with two big bad barbarians, was dragged to an abandoned train carriage by her possessed father, killed, wrapped in plastic, and dumped in the lake.

[7] On August 6, 1986, Laura wrote the following in her diary:

"In a forest of trees again and again, I have been brought down. Surgery of a strange and indescribable nature takes place. Blood is let. This Mother Nature has not done away with this evil, nor has it opened its wood to allow a scream to escape".


Protecting Loved Ones

Yeah, right, I really look like that.


Xena and Gab have a heart-to-heart in THE GREATER GOOD.


"This was a really stupid time to try and keep something from me... You could have gotten killed!"
   -- Gabrielle in THE GREATER GOOD (21/121).

[8] Like Xena, Laura's main way of protecting her loved ones was to keep them secret (e.g., James and Harold) and/or hide her dark secrets from them (e.g., Donna and her Mother). She even sent her beloved horse away - to protect him from herself. Although effective, Laura paid a high price for these choices. This proud warrioress battled alone, and died alone.


Skills

"I have many skills!"
   -- Xena in THE BLACK WOLF (11/111)

[9] Laura recorded a conversation in her dairy (August 20, 1988) where she was asked whether she could dance. "I can do a lot of things," she answered. Some of the skills she shared with Xena included shamanism, orienteering, fire breathing, horse whispering, fort building, tree climbing, erotic dancing, meditation, modeling, seduction, sales, problem solving, comedy, stocking stuffing, martyrdom, acting, steamroom flashing, storytelling, stealing, locksmithing, food delivering, tooting, hooting, and tutoring. And she embroidered.


Subtext

"Come on Gabrielle, let's get wet! Come on Gabrielle, get your gear off!"
   -- Xena in FINS, FEMMES AND GEMS (64/318)

[10] Laura's relationship with her best friend, Donna, remained purely platonic. Apparently. Although there was the time at the lake, that Donna vividly described in episode #12, when "Laura starts to dance around... begins to move her hips back and forth... So I say, 'Let's go skinny dipping'".

[11] And similarly, in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (David Lynch, 1992), Donna stood staring in awe when Laura stripped at "PartyLand". On the morning after, Donna cried, "I do love you, Laura!", and Laura replied "I love you Donna," before adding, "but I don't want you to be like me". At this point, their faces are so close together that when Laura's father sees them, he experiences a flashback to the fateful occasion when he saw Laura and Ronette Pulaski in a bed together.


Atonement

"There's so much in my life I have to make amends for. I've got to get started."
   -- Xena in UNCHAINED HEART (H13/113)

[12] On August 16, 1984, Laura wrote: "I have been in the woods again. Lost. But have been led. I think I am a very bad person. Tomorrow I will start a new way of living... Maybe I could be like Donna. She is a good person. I am bad."

[13] Amongst Laura's good deeds were the organization of a Meals on Wheels program for people confined to their homes. She also went to Josie Packard's house twice per week to teach her English, and tutored the autistic son of Ben Horne three times per week. On July 22, 1988, Laura wrote:"I try to work hard, but I must do more. I must work harder to redeem all my evil doings...".

[14] Laura's ultimate good deed was to allow her father to kill her so that he would be released from the evil influence of BOB (See Ares).


Embracing Duality

Wow, these new mirrors are amazing!


Xena confronts her double in DREAMWORKER.


"You can't go through that door until you have the key. And you can't go through life trying to deny that I am the real you." --Xena Doppelganger in DREAMWORKER (03/103)

[15] Like Xena, Dark Laura was forged in the heat of battle. She first became a warrior simply to protect herself and her loved ones. However, she soon became addicted to the power, passion, and danger. And the hardest battle (i.e., to reestablish balance) began.

[16] On August 3, 1986, Laura wrote the following in her diary: "I am trapped inside a part of me I hate. A hard, masculine part of myself that has surfaced to fight, after small memories and scars come out of me with a suddenness that is sobering as well as horrifying".

[17] On June 24, 1987, she wrote: "I don't want to know any more about myself, from anyone... too many lies have entered me, like bullets that made wounds... slow bleeding. It would be years later that I would notice. Begin to feel the weakness. Fall into the world of drugs. The world of sex for show and power. For strength I thought I wanted, I went to the wrong people".

[18] On January 7, 1988, Laura wrote a poem, entitled "In the Eyes of the Visitor". The final verse read:

"I have no respect
Left
For the enemy
For the nest
For the tree
For the prey.
I wait
Without choice
I challenge his threat
To take this baby
And hand it to Death"

[19] Failure to accept one's own duality is considered a common lesson which keeps souls on the cyclic rebirth roundabout for century after century. In DREAMWORKER (03/103), Xena found that she could neither kill nor deny her dark self. The key to the dreamscape WAS her dark self. Laura Palmer understood this all too well, and in forest cabins, sleazy clubs and motel rooms, she thoroughly explored, and embraced, her dark side.

[20] On July 25, 1986, Laura wrote: "I see now that it is a place of darkness, but I love it. I welcome it. I will not fight it, even when it slips deep inside and cuts me. I have found light and pleasure inside this horror. I am not done with my plan".

[21] On November 13, 1988, Laura wrote about her visit with the town Psychologist: "...I will sometimes try to shock him with the details of my darker self, yet he continues to accept them, accept me, always recognizing that the lighter part of me never wanted to do them in the first place. And so he forgives me".

[22] Laura accepted and forgave herself too. As she said in the very last sentences of her diary (undated - but written just days before her death), "I only did what any of us can do, in any situation... My very best".

[23] The name Laura is derived from the Latin "laurea". In ancient times, a wreath made form the laurea tree was conferred as a mark of honor. It was given to poets, heroes, and victors in athletic competitions. Very similarly, the name Palmer is derived from the Latin "palma". The leaf of the palma tree was carried as an emblem of triumph and glory. In short, Laura Palmer was predestined before birth, in more ways than one, to prove victorious.


... Gabrielle As Donna Hayward and Harold Smith

"Take me with you. I want so much to be like you."
   -- Gabrielle in ONE AGAINST AN ARMY

[24] Donna was innocent and naive, but she was eager to explore the world with/like Laura. On July 22, 1988, Laura wrote:

"I see that I wrongly believed her a fool because she had not been made bitter - no one came late at night from the woods to reassure her there is no hope. No. That was my life".

[25] The contrast between the two women was most obvious in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me when the high-heeled Laura was preparing to go out for the night. The bobby-socked Donna asked her where she was going, and Laura answered, "Nowhere fast... and you're not coming." Donna entreated, "Remember me... I'm your best friend".

[26] Protective of Donna's innocence, Laura was angry when she saw that Donna had followed her. However, she eventually conceded to take her along to "PartyLand". At first shocked, upon consumption of some spiked alcohol and putting on an item of Laura's clothes, Donna soon got into some erotic dancing of her own. When Laura saw her friend in a state of complete surrender, like Gabrielle with the Bacchae in GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN (28/204), she screamed "Donna! Not you!" and immediately took her home.

[27] The emotional soliloquy Donna made at Laura's gravesite (episode #10) was pure Gabrielle:

"I am mad at you. I wanted so much to be like you Laura. To have your strength and your courage... .and look what it did. Look what it did to you! As much as I loved you, Laura, most of the time we were trying to solve your problems. And you know what? We still are!"

"And ever since then, all people spend their lives searching for the other half of their soul."
   -- Gabrielle in PROMETHEUS (08/108)

[28] Although Donna undoubtedly reminded Xena's soul of Gabrielle, I propose that Gabrielle's soul actually resided in Laura's secret friend, Harold. Recall that in THE XENA SCROLLS (34/210) Janice Covington, a descendant of Gabrielle, was the daughter of a grave robber named Harry who was obsessed with his search for the scrolls. And more recently, in DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN (90/422), Xena inhabited the body of a man named Harry.

[29] Harold Smith was definitely Laura's bard. He encouraged her to write; she gave him her secret diary for safekeeping; and he wrote down all her stories (and those of the entire town). On March 27, 1989, Laura wrote in her diary that he "hangs on my every word as I describe some of my adventures... My stories stimulate Harold. I know that. But yet he reacts almost violently, and with fear, when I make advances toward him, no matter how mild. I love Harold's tenderness and most often feel wonderful when I am with him and when I think about him."

[30] Laura was extremely protective of Harold. She was confident that whilst he remained inside his wooden cabin, he was safe from all evil influences. She provided him all he needed - food, stories, and love. Soon after Laura's death, Harold killed himself (episode #14). His suicide note read "Jai une ame solitaire" (ie. "I am a lonely soul").


...Argo As Troy

I know you're a star too, but you can't have your own trailer!


Xena gives instructions to Argo in ONE AGAINST AN ARMY.


"I want you to run away from here. You run as far as you can. Don't you stop for any stallions!"
   -- Xena in ONE AGAINST AN ARMY (59/313)

[31] Laura enjoyed a very special connection with her Horse whom she named Troy. On August 7, 1984, she wrote:

"I was fascinated by how much he seems to understand how I'm feeling. He nuzzled up against me for a long time while I brushed his mane and head, and when I sat down in the corner of his stall, he lowered his head, and I let him breathe all across my neck and face. I wonder if people fall deeply in love with horses the way I love mine".

[32] Nonetheless, on June 24, 1987, in an advanced state of self-loathing, Laura set Troy free "with several lashes to the *ss". Some months later (November 12, 1987), she wrote:

"I hope I didn't send it off somewhere where it might be hit, or not taken care of the way he should. I guess I should have thought of that before I allowed myself to be swept away by the drama of setting my horse free, to go and do whatever he wished... Alone".


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