The Tremonds

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The Tremonds

Postby LostInTheMovies » Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:03 am

Ok, I looked through several pages of old threads and couldn't find any devoted to these characters although maybe I just missed a really obvious one on the front page or something. Apologies if so.

Anyway, I just watched a video about the grandson and grandmother (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1Q55iuJpGA) which started me thinking. I've heard the theory that the grandson is Leland, or an aspect of Leland, but this video fleshes it out in compelling detail. I particularly like the idea that it is the part of Leland aware of his possession - which to me says, just as much, the part of Leland guilty about what he has done to Laura and identifying with her as a fellow victim reaching out to warn her. Which is a very powerful idea. Also, this is not something the video's creator mentions, but when we first see the little boy he is wearing a tuxedo - which is also how we last saw Leland at the end of the previous episode. Not sure about the grandmother being "death," though - I feel like something else may be going on there, though I'm not sure what yet.

Another idea occurred to me during a cutaway which I think was intended to make a different point. Chet talks about the "uncle" and we see a shot of Gordon Cole - i.e. David Lynch - covering his face, like a mask. Recall too that in the series the little boy is played by Lynch's son, and in the film (supposedly, I haven't seen this confirmed) by his nephew. Perhaps the "man behind the mask" is Lynch, the storyteller/creator, reaching out to his creation to help her along his spiritual odyssey (and also, in a sense, helping the viewer). Very meta, but in a subtle enough way that feels consistent with Lynch.

As always - and almost not worth noting - I'm not necessarily saying these were conscious gestures on Lynch's part as I don't think that matters much since a) he operates mostly on subconscious instincts and b) his films are open enough to interpretation that the question is not so much "was that intended?" as "does that work?"
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Re: The Tremonds

Postby Jasper » Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:18 pm

I've always thought of the grandson as Lynch, the magician. That's a very simple reading. Obviously it can be more complex and less literal than that, but I think that's a big element. I mean, both grandsons look like Lynch, and seem to be styled after Lynch.
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Re: The Tremonds

Postby thegreatnorthern » Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:12 pm

fascinating, thanks lostinthemovies
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Re: The Tremonds

Postby LostInTheMovies » Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:09 pm

Jasper wrote:I've always thought of the grandson as Lynch, the magician. That's a very simple reading. Obviously it can be more complex and less literal than that, but I think that's a big element. I mean, both grandsons look like Lynch, and seem to be styled after Lynch.


Yeah, I like that. And it's yet another way in which Fire Walk With Me paves the way for Lynch's subsequent films, in which an invisible creative force shaping the narrative seems to be as much a character as anyone onscreen.
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Re: The Tremonds

Postby StealThisCorn » Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:31 pm

See I absolutely don't like the idea that the Grandson has anything explicitly to do with Leland. I've seen the same video though, but I don't find it particularly convincing. The reason I don't like it is because I don't like the attempt to tie everything back to the same few characters, Laura, Leland etc. I know those are some of the most important in the show, but, going from what we know the lore and mythology, these beings who pull their alien schemes in the background must be far older than any of the mortal lifetimes we get to see play out.

I like thinking that the Grandson is just another one the strange beings who exists in that extradimensional space the others like Bob and Mike seem to occupy, between dream and reality, preying on humanity and feeding off of their suffering like Lovecraftian horrors. And his look and mannerisms are all representative of some strange, unknown surreal symbolism language we aren't given the code to understand.

Because it's like, do the Woodsmen or the Electrician or the Jumping Man have anything to do with Leland and Laura? Or Mike does even? I think not.

I don't have a theory for all the times they appear. Like I don't know why is it that one time Donna can stumble in and meet the Tremonds, but yet later we realize those weren't the real Tremonds and we meet someone completely different and normal. The movie has them close to Teresa as the Chalfonts (implying a connection with her being given the Owl Ring?) and Carl explains that the ones who lived in that space before were also called the Chalfonts, which I think implies the same thing happened. For a brief time the Old Woman and the Grandson appeared and took over the space and identities of people living in those spaces. Two Tremonds. Two Chalfonts. And then disappeared when whatever they were there to do was done.

I think the tuxedo is just an example of how many of them *appear* to be dressed. The Little Man wears a small red suit, the Jumping Man a large red suit.

It seems like they are evil, though, since they appear in the Room Above the Convenience Store with Bob and the Little Man, with a small bowl of garmonbozia ("pain and suffering") at their feet, which the other participants also receive in various proportions. And the Grandson even says to "fell a victim".

Anyway, that's just my preference.
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Re: The Tremonds

Postby Jasper » Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:04 am

StealThisCorn wrote:It seems like they are evil, though, since they appear in the Room Above the Convenience Store with Bob and the Little Man, with a small bowl of garmonbozia ("pain and suffering") at their feet, which the other participants also receive in various proportions. And the Grandson even says to "fell a victim".


Oh, they're definitely evil, as most of us would likely define evil, at least by the time of the film (in the show it's not so clear — just like with MIKE). I think they're in charge of luring people in, while BOB's in charge of procuring garmonbozia through more direct methods (possession and murder).

"Fell a victim" is such an interesting line, because it's like felling a tree, and the Log Lady's husband is trapped in a log, Major Briggs fears his soul being trapped in a wooden table, the oil pool portal is surrounded by a ring of trees (also sung about in the lodge), and Josie is trapped in the wood of the Great Northern. All of these things have to do with wood/trees and the lodge inhabitants. Then we notice that the Grandson carries a piece of wood, kind of a tree totem, and so does the Jumping Man, and they both jump and wear masks with pointed noses.

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Re: The Tremonds

Postby gavriloP » Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:58 am

I think it is important that the only magician we see in the whole TP is the little boy (played by Lynch's own son in the series itself). To me he has always been the magician in the poem. He can do magic to open portals to the black lodge (or red room as Lynch seems to prefer). He's there when Laura enters the lodge in her dream through the picture. He also does magical circle dance (native american style) in the yard when they disappear.

All the meta stuff aside, I think he was the first victim, after all he has the same monkey in him as Laura (whispering Judy). He's the one who started it all. Perhaps he was Leland then again perhaps not. It was probably something that happened in the 50s. Then again it could've started much earlier because it seems Leland was abused by another host of BOB, which means Leland wasn't the first victim.

This is pure speculation after long festivities, so don't be cruel ;)
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Re: The Tremonds

Postby StealThisCorn » Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:58 am

I've always preferred to view "the magician" as referring to any magician or seeker of the dark forbidden knowledge or power, or maybe even just benign knowledge through paranormal means (such as Cooper) or control over one's reality. I don't think it refers to any specific character. It just seems to me that magicians would be the type of people to entreat with entities like Mike and Bob.
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Re: The Tremonds

Postby Jasper » Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:27 pm

I have a hard time separating the Grandson from magic, since he's "learning" magic, and makes quasi-garmonbozia move from one place to another. I don't know if he's "The Magician", but he may be, or he may simply be one aspect of "The Magician", if there is indeed a Magician (and if there is, it could be Lynch, making the Grandson's distinct mini-Lynch appearance all the more meaningful).

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I do not think the Grandson is Leland. I think he's first a young doppelganger for Lynch, then expands from there.

I believe the Grandson to be an original lodge spirit from another dimension, because I believe that "above the convenience store", by the time of the film, represents their home dimension, and their marriage ceremony in the convenience store scene represents their original invasion of our dimension (or at least a halfway point between theirs and ours). The lack of MIKE in the guise of Gerard in the above-the-convenience-store scene is telling. I think MIKE is wholly encompassed in the LMFAP then because he's yet to inhabit Gerard and lose the arm.

In the script, the Grandmother says "Why not be composed of materials and combinations of atoms?" and, indeed, the Tremonds/Chalfonts are the only spirits we see walking around on their own outside of the lodge. In the absence of a host, and aside from BOB's arm, and (confusingly) BOB when Leland is a child, the other lodge spirits seem confined to traveling outside of the lodge by means of electricity, dreams, and owls.

The other thing about the Grandson is his explicit connection to the Jumping Man (I'll call him TJM) that I've already mentioned. Perhaps TJM is a sort of representation of the actions or magic of the Grandson. TJM jumps up and down from a box, and I'm mostly convinced that this represents travel between their dimension and ours (or halfway to ours). The Grandson/TJM may facilitate the inter-dimensional travel of the lodge inhabitants (sort of like Lynch facilitates our travel to his Lynchian worlds). Further, the tree totems held by the Grandson and TJM may represent their power over trees/wood, such as with the sycamore grove and the trapping of victims in wood, so perhaps that is another specialty of the Grandson. The lodge inhabitants all seem to have roles to play. There's the electrician, and he may have something to do with the ability of lodge inhabitants to travel by electrical wire (and this is perhaps related to The Cowboy in the TP-signifying Mulholland Drive, who appears with the flickering of a lamp).

I imagine that eventually we'll wade into Lynch's short film, The Grandmother.

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Re: The Tremonds

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:54 pm

Jasper wrote:I have a hard time separating the Grandson from magic, since he's "learning" magic, and makes quasi-garmonbozia move from one place to another. I don't know if he's "The Magician", but he may be, or he may simply be one aspect of "The Magician", if there is indeed a Magician (and if there is, it could be Lynch, making the Grandson's distinct mini-Lynch appearance all the more meaningful). ...


Great post, and I agree with much of this. And The Grandmother connection definitely occurred to me. I think this solidifies the idea of the boy as a surrogate for Lynch above all else - since he evokes Lynch's very first (quasi-)narrative film.

The only part that doesn't resonate as much for me as much is the idea of the Lodge creatures as coming from another dimension (although I admittedly like it better than the idea they're from outer space). They make more sense to me - and feel a bit more Lynchian - as something akin to gods, inasmuch as their history is tied up with ours (perhaps preceding and motivating our own) and they dovetail with more cosmic forces and struggles which we play out in a smaller, more down-to-earth form below. I don't think Lynch sees these types of powerful forces being alien to human experience the way that interdimensional or interstellar travel would suggest (though he and Engels reportedly flirted with the latter). But it may just be a semantic thing; interdimensional beings and gods could theoretically be different descriptions of the same phenomena.
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Re: The Tremonds

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:02 pm

I'd also note that the idea of the boy as Leland and Lynch could be complementary since as Laura's creator Lynch is in some ways responsible for her suffering. He also tends to identify both with the victim and victimizer in his films (whose roles are increasingly bound together onscreen in his later works) and Eraserhead is in some ways a mirror-image of FWWM, with a father destroying his child except it's played from the father's point of view, as a positive action.

Veering off-topic a bit, one could argue that on a fundamental spiritual level, Laura's destruction is also positive since Laura's spirit is liberated through death and freed from the trap of matter much the way the Eraserhead baby's energy is released in death. Though obviously this is far more complicated, and requires more convoluted justifications, in FWWM which functions on a semi-realistic plane as well as an allegorical one. (Also, in Eraserhead the destruction of the child seems to redeem the father; in FWWM it redeems the child and the father is left as trapped as ever. Although Bob does "heal his wound" - not sure how that plays out in relation to the series or Leland's overall character arc.)

But I think when Laura accepts the ring (Mike's ring?) her death becomes as much about the liberation of her spirit as the destruction of her body.
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Re: The Tremonds

Postby Jasper » Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:21 pm

I think we’re mostly in agreement.

MIKE calls himself an “inhabiting spirit” in the series, and I think that’s true enough, despite the possible retcon of his character in the film. I don’t think it particularly matters if we call them gods, spirits, or demons. That may be mere semantics. I think you could call a god a spirit, and an evil god could be referred to as a demon, especially if we’re dealing with a polytheism. Hebe, in her youth, served ambrosia to the Greek gods, though she herself was a goddess, and I guess we could find parallels there with various lodge inhabitants.

I don’t know that Lynch bothers getting too specific about this stuff, as all of these titles seem to function interchangeably. I AM pretty committed to the idea of the interdimensional or alternative reality nature of these beings, but what IS interdimensionality in this context? To me it means they travel from one plane of existence to another. If there were a spirit world or a heavenly realm we could look at it as a different plane of existence, or alternative dimension. It could be a spiritual dimension, an undetected physical dimension, or whatever you like.

We've discussed the Soma connection to Garmonbozia, which I think is as theoretically iron-clad as any of this stuff gets. To summarize for anyone who missed it, if TM teaches that good spirits/gods feed on a kind of Soma that comes from the joy produced in the bellies of TM practitioners, and traditional Soma was a golden ritual substance (which is fully supported by ancient texts), then the lodge inhabitants (perhaps excepting the Giant) are something like evil gods/spirits/demons who feed on negative Soma (Garmonbozia), a golden substance produced not through joy, but through pain and suffering of human victims.

Happily, I’ve already transcribed some select bits of Al Strobel’s portion of the Q&A at the 2013 USC TP retrospective, and some of it relates to our discussion.

AL STROBEL: Given the nature of my character, I have tried to give a whole lot of thought to this. Because, you know, it would kind of dictate how I would play a scene, in many ways. And I have come to the conclusion that - it was never fully stated - that there is an alternate universe, maybe some of you people who have studied physics know about string theory and some of these ideas that in fact we can only see 5% of what's out there in the universe. We coexist with so many other things and so many entities that are out there, that sometimes they come into our world and sometimes they go drifting by. And I think that David was trying to get at . . . he meditates a lot, he's a great promoter of meditation, and I hope everybody does (meditate), and when you do that you do put your mind into an alternate space, other than the one that you're sitting in right now. And I really think that my character, and Leland, and BOB, and I had my dopelganger sort of in Michael J. Anderson, for the one-armed man, and the introduction of our almost otherworldly characters into the whole plot situation reflects this thinking that there is more out there than we can see.

JEFFREY MOORE (property master): It's so funny you said those words because when I was telling you about asking David about props and what I could do, he literally used those words; "Jeff, it's an alternate universe, just think of it that way." I didn't want to say that before because I thought everybody thought I'd be crazy, but that's what David said, and you just said it, so…"

AL STROBEL: "I'm retired, so I don't care what anybody thinks".


On that note, here's hoping that Al Strobel will take a break from retirement to bless us with his superb acting in 2016.
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Re: The Tremonds

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:44 pm

Jasper wrote:I think we’re mostly in agreement.

MIKE calls himself an “inhabiting spirit” in the series, and I think that’s true enough, despite the possible retcon of his character in the film. I don’t think it particularly matters if we call them gods, spirits, or demons. That may be mere semantics. I think you could call a god a spirit, and an evil god could be referred to as a demon, especially if we’re dealing with a polytheism. Hebe, in her youth, served ambrosia to the Greek gods, though she herself was a goddess, and I guess we could find parallels there with various lodge inhabitants.

I don’t know that Lynch bothers getting too specific about this stuff, as all of these titles seem to function interchangeably. I AM pretty committed to the idea of the interdimensional or alternative reality nature of these beings, but what IS interdimensionality in this context? To me it means they travel from one plane of existence to another. If there were a spirit world or a heavenly realm we could look at it as a different plane of existence, or alternative dimension. It could be a spiritual dimension, an undetected physical dimension, or whatever you like.

We've discussed the Soma connection to Garmonbozia, which I think is as theoretically iron-clad as any of this stuff gets. To summarize for anyone who missed it, if TM teaches that good spirits/gods feed on a kind of Soma that comes from the joy produced in the bellies of TM practitioners, and traditional Soma was a golden ritual substance (which is fully supported by ancient texts), then the lodge inhabitants (perhaps excepting the Giant) are something like evil gods/spirits/demons who feed on negative Soma (Garmonbozia), a golden substance produced not through joy, but through pain and suffering of human victims.

Happily, I’ve already transcribed some select bits of Al Strobel’s portion of the Q&A at the 2013 USC TP retrospective, and some of it relates to our discussion.

AL STROBEL: Given the nature of my character, I have tried to give a whole lot of thought to this. Because, you know, it would kind of dictate how I would play a scene, in many ways. And I have come to the conclusion that - it was never fully stated - that there is an alternate universe, maybe some of you people who have studied physics know about string theory and some of these ideas that in fact we can only see 5% of what's out there in the universe. We coexist with so many other things and so many entities that are out there, that sometimes they come into our world and sometimes they go drifting by. And I think that David was trying to get at . . . he meditates a lot, he's a great promoter of meditation, and I hope everybody does (meditate), and when you do that you do put your mind into an alternate space, other than the one that you're sitting in right now. And I really think that my character, and Leland, and BOB, and I had my dopelganger sort of in Michael J. Anderson, for the one-armed man. And the introduction of our almost otherworldly characters into the whole plot situation reflects this thinking that there is more out there that we can see.

JEFFREY MOORE (property master): It's so funny you said those words because when I was telling you about asking David about props and what I could do, he literally used those words; "Jeff, it's an alternate universe, just think of it that way." I didn't want to say that before because I thought everybody thought I'd be crazy, but that's what David said, and you just said it, so…"

AL STROBEL: "I'm retired, so I don't care what anybody thinks".


On that note, here's hoping that Al Strobel will take a break from retirement to bless us with his superb acting in 2016.


Fascinating stuff - the string theory in particular relates to Nochimson's discussion of Lynch and physics in David Lynch Swerves (I'm skimming it again right now for the little bits on FWWM & the Vedas here and there - wish there was more). My main question I ask about any interpretation of Twin Peaks' spirit world is: does it divide or unify? I do believe that for Lynch, at least, the latter is the goal. If interdimensionality helps us understand new and deeper ways that the characters' situations connect to larger cosmic truths, I'm for it, if it severs the spirit and human worlds too sharply, and creates ulterior motives that don't link back up to "the all" (as the Log Lady, among other spiritual gurus, calls it) than it feels too much like a distraction.

Incidentally, I am more and more of the mind that in 2016 we will see some sort of depiction of alternate universes in Twin Peaks. It makes sense on many levels. 1) It's the next logical step for TP to take in its engagement with the "supernatural" (for lack of a better word), having already embraced psychic energy and a spirit world, and flirted with time travel and teleportation. 2) It creates new opportunities to feature Laura Palmer, the character I think Lynch cares most about in Twin Peaks. 3) And it is entirely consistent with Lynch's later films (excepting the appropriately-named Straight Story), all of which involve multiple and often concurrent planes of reality. I'm a bit nervous about this as well, since alternate realities can be used to negate as well as amplify but I trust them to handle it well if they do go in this direction.
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Re: The Tremonds

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:49 pm

Jasper wrote: "Jeff, it's an alternate universe, just think of it that way." I didn't want to say that before because I thought everybody thought I'd be crazy, but that's what David said, and you just said it, so…"


Also worth remembering that the very-slightly-different home & school portraits of Laura are switched in FWWM from their usual location on the show (i.e. the school one appears at home, the home one at school).
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Re: The Tremonds

Postby LostInTheMovies » Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:26 am

An interesting thought occurred to me recently about the uniqueness of the young Tremond in Lynch's work: there are almost NO children in any of his films. Not even as minor characters. Teenagers, yes (usually played by actors in their twenties) but hardly any pre-adolescents.

Off the top of my head, the only other characters that come to mind, are: the little boy in The Grandson (this is the only child protagonist in any David Lynch movie - only Laura Palmer at 17 comes close); Bytes' assistant in The Elephant Man; Alicia Witt's characters in Dune and that one scene in Twin Peaks; the little boys, used mostly as dramatic props and only shown at the ends of the movie, in Wild at Heart and Blue Velvet. And the little Tremond - who isn't strictly speaking a child at all, but an ageless spirit that takes the form of a child. And you can add the Eraserhead baby if you like (though as an infant, it's arguably in a different category, and as a whatever-it-is creature it's almost certainly in a different category!). Oh, and some kid in a Sci-Fi Channel 30-second spot he did in the late 90s. That's fewer than ten characters with, aside from the Eraserhead baby and the Grandson in the seventies, probably less than a half-hour of screentime between them.

It's particularly interesting because so many Lynch films deal with subjects important to childhood: corruption of innocence, fear of darkness, a sense of naivitee, wonder and playful imagination. Yet virtually every character takes form as an adult. Don't know what the significance of this is, but it's striking. And also striking that the one time a doppelganger of himself appears onscreen, it's a child.

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