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A pale horse was seen by Sarah Palmer on separate occasions right before she lost consciousness, due to being drugged by Leland when someone was going to be killed by BOB. It was usually accompanied by a bright flashing light.
After crossing over, Dale Cooper saw a kiddie ride of a white horse outside Eat at Judy's in Odessa, Texas. A waitress at Judy's, Carrie Page, had a small white horse figurine in front of a blue plate sitting on her mantelpiece.
- For her 12th birthday, Laura was given the pony, Troy, but it is likely not linked to the white horse since Troy is "cinnamon red and deep brown."
- Twin Peaks had the legend of a white moose appearing to those with troubled minds near a lone Ponderosa Pine past the Owl Cave, Dominick Renault being one of its sighters.
- The Log Lady references the pale horse:
- "A poem as lovely as a tree: As the night wind blows, the boughs move to and fro. The rustling, the magic rustling that brings on the dark dream. The dream of suffering and pain. Pain for the victim, pain for the inflicter of pain. A circle of pain, a circle of suffering. Woe to the ones who behold the pale horse."
- The pale horse is being referred to in the naming of the Silver Mustang Casino, which is the centerpiece of the Las Vegas storyline in Season 3.
- A horse is mentioned in the chant repeated by the woodsman in New Mexico in Part 8: “This is the water. And this is the well. Drink full and descend. The horse is the white of the eyes and dark within.”
- In the same episode, during the beginning of the credits, a horse whinnying can be clearly heard. However, the horse is not seen, so its color cannot be determined.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Perhaps the most straightforward theory regarding the white horse is that it is a character foreshadowing death or impending danger. This equates the pale horse with the "pale horse of Death", of one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the Bible (the White one being traditionally associated with Conquest, so we probably mean the pale one). This appears to be the best supported theory at this time, since each appearance of the horse can be associated with a specific death or deaths. To wit: each time Sarah saw the horse, Leland killed a girl. When Cooper sees it in the Red Room, the scene immediately shifts to Evil Cooper killing his assistants. The white horse on the mantle at Carrie's house pans over directly to the recently shot corpse on the chair nearby. It is noteworthy that, despite the alternate theory of the horse representing cocaine, the latter two appearances of the horse have no obvious connection to drug use, and that cases of drug use without death never cause an appearance of the horse throughout the entire run of the series.
- It has been theorized that the horse is connected in some way to the White Lodge. It is possible that the horse is an embodiment of intoxication, the elephant in the room, or perhaps a spirit protector.
- According to a USA Today article shortly after the episode's original broadcast, the horse represented cocaine use. As Sarah's previous visions had established that she was experiencing visions of Laura's trauma, this also implies that Laura was using cocaine, and that Sarah's husband, Leland, was drugging Sarah's nightly glass of milk. In the 2017 revival of Twin Peaks, the white horse appears in a wide shot of the Red Room. Given the drug use of the characters in Parts 1-6, including the Drugged-Out Mother, who recites "119" instinctually whenever police are around (reverse speak for "911"), the horse could still represent drug abuse—and perhaps omnipresent drug abuse in the town of Twin Peaks, and with those affected by the influence of the Lodges.
- In Episode 14's script and Log Lady intro it is referred as "PALE HORSE" but in the script of Fire Walk with Me it is written "WHITE HORSE". Interestingly both of these colors are commonly used to describe the four horsemen of the apocalypse: the white one being frequently known as Conquest while the pale one is Death.
- One possible inspiration for the horse might be recounted in the Lynch (One) (2007) documentary: In this documentary Lynch relates him seeing the French documentary Blood of the Beasts about slaughterhouses. Especially, he vividly remembered the scene in which a tall and majestic white horse is abruptly killed and whose steaming blood is then being collected in a square box.