Attention! This text contains spoilers from the two seasons of dark.
In dark, it is always a risk to try to guess who is at which moment, and, as the series establishes that time is cyclical and not linear, the future can determine events from the past, making everything more complex and confusing. With the third season set to open on June 27 (or the day of apocalypse in the series), we’ve prepared a guide to help you remember the main events and connections between the characters.
Dark: Past, present and future
Before talking about who’s who in the series, it’s worth remembering that the people of Widen can travel exactly 33 years into the future or the past. As always, there is an exception, but first let’s go to the more “conventional” ways. The first option is through the wormhole created in the cave. Its origin is related to the accident that happened at the nuclear plant.
The accident also released radioactive material, creating a dark matter that allows you to travel through time. In addition to these “natural” ways, two time machines were created: one by master watchmaker HG Tannhaus; and the other, used by Noah. He performs tests with children, but the results are usually not very pleasant. As for the way to travel to any day in the past or the future, it is through a dark matter created by Sic Mundus.
the four families
In dark, everything revolves around four families. That could simplify things, but the way the series is built, this is where the plot gets confused. We follow these four nuclei in five moments: 1921, 1953/54, 1986/87, 2019/20 and 2052/53.
the Nielsen family
This family appears in 1921, when two men are shown building a tunnel in caves that will later become important for time travel. One of the men is Hanno Tauber, Noah. He is involved in the disappearance of children in Winden, to test a time machine, and who helps him is his sister Agnes. She kills Noah shortly after he finds out that his daughter, Charlotte, is Elizabeth’s mother, the same woman he had Charlotte with – but we’ve already got to her.
The Nielsen family still has Tronte, son of Agnes and father of Ulrich and Mads, who becomes one of the children kidnapped by Noah. Meanwhile, Ulrich marries Katharina and has three more children: Mikkel, Magnus and Martha. After Mikkel mysteriously disappears, Ulrich travels back in time to try to find him, but goes to the wrong year and fails to return (so did Mikkel). As an adult, Magnus is part of Sic Mundus and Martha, who will get involved with Jonas, is killed by Adam, but a “second version” emerges and claims to be from another world – which should be explored in the third season.
The Kahnwald family
We started in 1953 with Daniel Kahnwald, the Winden Police Chief, who has a daughter named Inês. In 1986, she adopts Mikkel Nielsen and names him Michael. In this way, Mikkel grows up at the wrong time, marries Hanna, and the two have a son: Jonas. Thus, the Kahnwald family is directly related to the Nielsen, as Jonas becomes involved with Martha, Mikkel’s sister.
The big revelation of the series is that Adam, responsible for Sic Mundus, is the older version of Jonas. He has a deformed face, due to the various time travels he has taken, and tries to convince his younger version not to allow the cycles to be interrupted.
The Tiedemann family
Here, the focus is on the family’s relationship with the nuclear plant. It all starts with the couple Egon and Doris, who have a daughter named Claudia. This first nucleus takes place in 1953/54, when Egon, who is a police officer, detains Ulrich (Egon also arrests Ulrich in 1986). Also in 1953, Agnes Nielsen rents a room at the Tiedemanns’ house, where she raises her son, Tronte.
In 1986, Claudia is director of the Winden nuclear power plant. She has a daughter, Regina, whose father is unknown, but could be Tronte, with whom she had an affair. Claudia also becomes a time traveler and decides to confront Sic Mundus; however, upon discovering the date that her father will die, she tries to save him and finds herself the cause of his death.
the Doppler family
Here is where the confusion gets more complex. That’s because Charlotte is Elizabeth’s daughter and mother, all because of a time travel she didn’t know she had taken. Charlotte never knew the origins of her parents. She was created by Tannhaus in the 70s, not knowing that she was actually born after the Winden apocalypse. She lives normally and has a daughter, Elizabeth, with Peter.
This happens before Charlotte is born, in what would be the “correct” chronology. Elizabeth meets Noah and the two fall in love and have a daughter, who is Charlotte – then taken to the 70s and left with Tannhaus. Once the headache is over, it’s important to remember that Peter is Helge’s son, who also helped Noah kidnap the children. Ulrich travels back in time to try to kill him as a child and prevent him from kidnapping Mads, not knowing that this is exactly what gives rise to the cycle.
In the post-apocalypse, Elizabeth is the one who leads the Winden survivors. It prohibits people from trying to go beyond the wall, where the old plant is located, condemning them to be hanged. One of them is Jonas, but at the last minute she decides to spare his life, leaving a scar on his neck. With this brand, Adam manages to convince Jonas that they are the same person.
See too: Dark Season 3: Watch trailer full of mysteries by Netflix