Adam’s Family Tree Board: All individual photos are young versions of the characters. Left Panel: Hannah, Jonas; Doris; Egon, Claudia; Regina, Aleksander/Boris; Bartosz. Center Panel: Hannah, Jonas, Michael/Mikkel, Ines; Peter, Charlotte, Franziska, Elisabeth; Aleksander,Bartosz, Regina; Ulrich, Magnus, Martha, Katharina, Mikkel; Silja, Noah, Agnes. Right Panel: Noah?, Charlotte; Peter; Franziska, Elisabeth; Tronte, Jana, Mads; Katharina, Ulrich; Magnus, Martha; Mikkel.
Adam uses the youngest version available for his individual photos in his version of Claudia’s Winden Family Tree board. While Claudia’s board doesn’t cover the entire town, it covers most of the characters who play a significant role in season 1, and shows them in each of their phases of life. Adam’s is much more exclusive- he’s only interested in narrowing down the survivors of his apocalypse and their immediate predecessors.
Season 1 Character Board
Jonas Kahnwald, Time Traveler. Also known as the Stranger. Originates in 2019-20, but appears in every time period, except the 1950s. Son of Michael Kahnwald/Mikkel Nielsen and Hannah (Krüger) Kahnwald. Star-crossed lover of Martha Nielsen. Former best friend of Bartosz Tiedemann. Time travel partners with Claudia Tiedemann.
Jonas and Martha declare their feelings for each other and make love in June, 2019, the day before Michael dies. Then Jonas spends an extended period in a mental health facility after his Michael’s suicide. When he comes back, Bartosz has convinced Martha and the rest of the school that he was a foreign exchange student during his time away and that he spent the time sleeping around. Martha is now dating Bartosz.
On the night in November, 2019 when Mikkel disappears, Jonas is the only one of the kids who tries to keep track of Mikkel when they run from the cave, but he loses him anyway, because his slightly older alternate escorts Mikkel into the passage and waits until the boy falls asleep to leave. Jonas begins investigating Mikkel’s disappearance and learns about time travel, eventually finding Mikkel in 1986. He realizes that Mikkel is his father and tries to bring him home, but discovers that he can’t change the past.
Martha realizes that she wants to get back together with Jonas, but he now knows that she’s his aunt. He turns her down, even though he doesn’t want to, and lingers in the kiss (in the rain) she gives him. After an argument and physical fight with Bartosz and Martha, he travels back to 1986 with the goal of rescuing Mikkel, but is kidnapped by Adult Helge and Noah, who lock him in the kill chair room.
As his Adult self, The Stranger, he travels to Winden via the passage in November 2019 and takes a room in Regina’s hotel. He’s ragged and seems as though he’s been traveling for a long time. With him he carries a broken version of the time travel device in a suitcase and extensive research files on time travel, quantum physics and Winden’s history. He hangs the papers from the file on the walls of his hotel room and leaves them behind when he goes to see Tannhaus, telling Regina he expects to return soon.
The contents of Stranger Jonas’ research file appear to have much in common with the contents of the triquetra diary, though there’s no indication that Jonas also has the intricately detailed activity logs that are contained in the diary. If he was using the diary to take notes from his files and to write out his conclusions, he might not bother to also make loose chart versions of the activity logs, though.
The Stranger, whose identity as Adult Jonas isn’t confirmed until the end of season 1, gives his younger self his father’s suicide letter, a map of the caves and a lamp, so that Young Jonas knows the truth about himself and Martha before he becomes more deeply involved with her, and can more easily time travel. Stranger guides his younger self through season 1, providing wisdom and steering Young Jonas’ actions when necessary.
He also meets with HG Tannhaus in order to have Claudia’s time travel device repaired. Stranger and Tannhaus have deep conversations about science, history and philosophy that have an impact on Stranger’s decisions. At the end of season 1, he leaves Young Jonas locked in the wallpapered chair room while he uses the device in an attempt to destroy the passage. His attempt fails and instead, he opens a rift in time between 10953 and 1986. This allows Young Jonas and Child Helge, who’s locked in the bunker in 1953, to touch, and sends Young Jonas forward in time 66 years to 2052.
Young Jonas is stuck in the post apocalypse future for the next 7 months, where he meets Silja and Adult Elisabeth. When he finishes learning how to use the God particle from recordings left behind by Adult Claudia, he’s able to tame it long enough to step inside and jump to 1921.
In 1921, he meets Adam, Erna, Young Noah, and Child Agnes for the first time. He meets Adult Noah again. Adam claims to be Old Jonas, but has never revealed any knowledge of Jonas’ life that only the 2 of them would know or shown the scar that Stranger showed to his mother to prove his identity. Since lying and manipulation are Adam’s weapons of choice, I’m going to need something like a DNA test before I believe it 100%.
Adam meets privately with Young Jonas and explains that he’s fighting a war against time, who he sees as God. He wants to destroy this world and create a new world that’s beyond time and death. He manipulates Jonas into going on a mission to stop Michael’s suicide and sends him back to June 20, 2019, the day before Michael died, using the God particle Sic Mundus created, which they’ve forced out of its natural 33 year cycle. Thus, they can set it to take them to any time they want to go to, past or future.
When Jonas gets to June, 2019, he visits Martha to share his true feelings, since if he’s successful with his father he might cease to exist. This leads her to confess her feelings to his slightly younger 2019 self later in the evening. Then time traveler 2020 Jonas goes home and confronts Michael, who says he wasn’t thinking about suicide, but now sees that he needs to die so that Jonas can live.
Before they can discuss the matter further, Old Claudia appears to make sure that Michael will go through with sacrificing himself. She explains to Michael and Jonas that sacrifices must be made so that they can win the time war against Adam, then has Jonas leave with her. Jonas spends the next year as Old Claudia’s apprentice, learning about time travel, physics and the time war. During that time, he takes Mikkel to the cave.
When the year is over, Claudia leaves him to let Noah kill her and sends Young Jonas to find her Adult self, who’s just killed Egon, so that he can teach her about time travel. Except he doesn’t do that, all he does is rescue her and give her a brief explanation of how time, time travel and the God particle work, then they’re separated while she rescues Regina and goes to the bunker, and he goes to get Martha and Hannah. She must have to reinvent time travel again on her own in each cycle after the apocalypse.
Young Jonas goes to Hannah’s empty house, then Martha arrives soon after and they reconfirm their feelings for each other. Martha tells him that she knows that they are close relatives and she doesn’t care. They have a few happy moments before Adam appears and monologues about turning Jonas into Adam by causing him pain, then shoots Martha just below her rib cage. Adam taunts Jonas some more then runs away.
After Martha appears to die, Alt Martha, dressed in black, appears and tells Jonas they have to leave RIGHT NOW, no questions asked. All she’ll say is that she’s not an older version of original Martha and she’s from another world, not another time. Since the apocalypse is about to possibly kill him, Jonas has no choice but to travel with her using her magic golden sphere.
Meanwhile, Stranger Jonas spends season 2 telling his mom and his mom’s friends about time travel and Winden’s/Sic Mundus’ secrets. By the end of the season, Martha, Charlotte, Hannah, Katharina and Peter are all fully informed because of him, and all but Martha survive the season. In cycle 3, Sic Mundus won’t be able to operate secretly in the shadows throughout the 20th century the way they have in the past.
Stranger tries to save Martha from getting shot by Adam by locking her in the bunker, but of course he causes her to be shot by Adam instead. She’d have been safe if he’d left her in the Nielsen house, where she was. Then he could have rescued her along with the other teenagers. Since she wasn’t safe before, that’s more proof that events can and have changed from cycle to cycle.
Stranger sat under a Macbeth poster in Martha’s room in season 2, then created 3 witches who know the future, based on the 3 traditional fates- Hannah, Charlotte and Katharina. Regina also had time to study the contents of Jonas’ box, and Peter sat in the bunker throughout the briefings, listening to the prophecies, like lady Macbeth MacDuff.
Macbeth and many others don’t survive the play, but the witches guide the action from behind the scenes so that things are ultimately set right Scotland. If I had to guess, I’d say it would be a descendant of Egon’s who would ultimately be left as whatever will pass for the king/winner, but it won’t be Bartosz. It will be through the bloodline of a currently unknown child of Claudia’s or a child Egon has with someone else, since Claudia has blood on her hands. Maybe Silja is the child in waiting.
Hannah (Krüger) Kahnwald, 1954, 1986-87, 2019-2020. Time Traveler. Massage therapist. Daughter of Sebastian Krüger. Married to Mikkel/Michael. Jonas’ mother. Has an extramarital affair with Ulrich Nielsen. Attempts to blackmail Aleksander Tiedemann into ruining Ulrich’s life, but Ulrich ruins his own life first. Falsely accuses Ulrich of raping Katharina. Frenemies with Katharina.
Hannah is friends with Katharina and Ulrich in high school, but Katharina also ignores her and puts her down, while Ulrich flirts with her and strings her along, keeping up her hopes that he’ll choose her over Katharina. The friendships are toxic and you have to wonder why Hannah sticks around. Maybe she avoids worse bullying by being friends with the school’s biggest bullies.
As a young teen, she lives alone with her father and spends the hours after school riding along with him in his industrial cleaning service van. We haven’t been told where her mother is or if she’s even alive. It’s clear that Hannah is lonely as a teen.
She meets Mikkel when he’s in the hospital and she’s with her father on one of his cleaning runs. They are both quirky, lonely outsiders who are drawn to each other.
Hannah has a caring side that she normally has to hide in order to survive in Winden, but it comes out with Mikkel/Michael, Jonas, in her work as a massage therapist and in her sensitivity toward her friends.
Once Stranger Jonas comes home in 2020 and reveals the truth to her, she insists that he share his knowledge about what happened to the still living Winden Missing Persons with all relevant parties (the police and family) and then makes sure it happens. She’s never given credit for this, on or off screen. Martha is the only other person in the entire town who insists the knowledge of time displacement be shared once she discovers the truth.
There’s a certain amount of twinning/mirroring between Hannah and Martha, including their looks, but I don’t know what it means, beyond Jonas being attracted to a type like his mother and the possibility that they are closely related.
Hannah was framed as an evil narcissist in season 1, but season 2 showed a well rounded woman who had a career, loved her husband and son, and cared about her friends and community. She’d been drawn into an affair with Ulrich during a particularly vulnerable time in her life, when her husband’s mental illness was causing him to reject her, then take his own life.
Hannah’s livelihood was threatened by the shutdown of the nuclear power plant, which would have affected many in the town, not just the plant employees. She was already alone after losing her husband and her son to to the Time Gods within less than 6 months of each other, leaving her without family of her own. She was suicidally depressed by the time season 2 started, holding a gun to her head just before Stranger Jonas finally came home.
Stranger Jonas unfairly accuses her of never loving her husband and tells her she doesn’t need anyone. He puts the question to Hannah- Who would you choose, if you had to make the choice today, Michael or Ulrich? It’s a stupid question, because Michael left her and not the other way around, but Hannah takes it as the choice between two different potential lives, an independent life in the present, possibly with her adult son around, and the potential life she and Ulrich could make together in the past. It’s not realistic and she knows it isn’t, but she’s been pushed to the edge.
Jonas tells her that she’s the last person left in his life he thought he could trust. He was the same for her, and he’s just judged her harshly without listening to her side of the story. From her point of view, he takes a misogynist, patriarchal view of the situation and casts her aside. And he forces her to reconsider the choice between himself and Ulrich, one she’d already made, in favor of Jonas. Now she takes out her feelings for Ulrich again and finds that she might feel some guilt over abandoning him to his fate.
She borrows the time machine and travels to 1954. Once there, Hannah tests herself, and realizes that she doesn’t want Ulrich, so she leaves him to the fate he’s created for himself.
She can’t save him and she doesn’t make things worse for him. She walks away. She chooses herself and her own life after spending her life up until that time caring for one emotionally unavailable man or another.
Katharina makes a similar choice. She knows where both Mikkel and Ulrich are and has been told repeatedly that Mikkel can’t come home, but hasn’t even asked about Ulrich. She’s made the choice of her child over her husband clear all along. We don’t see Ulrich screaming as Katharina walks away from him, so no one blames her the way they blame Hannah, but she has the same opportunity to save him as Hannah does.
The reality is, neither of them could have saved Ulrich. His future in the asylum and his attempt to save Mikkel have already happened, just like Jonas birth. If we’ve been shown it, the only thing that can change it is a wave of the magic cesium 137 wand. How that works hasn’t been clearly explained.
Hannah is often framed by the production as a sneaky woman who wants to hurt a man who is framed as heroic, no matter how heinous the crimes he commits are. That’s why the audience has a knee jerk reaction against her when she does something wrong or unlikeable, while Ulrich is forgiven immediately for his offenses. We’re told that Ulrich’s desire to save his son justifies anything else he does and that nothing Hannah, as a woman, could feel or want matters in comparison. She’s a villain for getting in the way of Ulrich’s desires, pure and simple, no matter how selfish or violent his desires might be.
This thematic thread runs throughout the show, and is also an underlying theme of Ariadne’s Thread, so I’m hoping the show creators will eventually address it. Ulrich and Hannah are the most obvious instance, but Peter also makes similar accusations against Charlotte to justify his affair, for example. Daniel Kahnwald says much the same thing. The attitude is that women must be entertaining and stay out of men’s way or men are justified in tossing them aside, maybe even murdering them, the way Theseus murders Ariadne when he tires of her in the most misogynist versions of the story. And, of course, he kills her because he doesn’t want to share the glory of his victory over the minotaur with the woman who made it possible. That thread also runs through Dark. There’s a reason Claudia and Hannah are the villains and Martha had to die.
There are similarities between Dark’s Hannah and the biblical Hannah from the Book of Samuel, who is barren. Her husband’s other wife has many children and taunts Hannah, which Hannah endures with quiet dignity. Hannah prays for a son and promises that she’ll dedicate her son to God when he’s old enough, if her prayer is granted. She does have a son, Samuel, who she gives to the priests when it’s time. Then she has 5 more children. Hannah is misunderstood and criticized by others in her community, but is eventually vindicated, becoming known for her resourcefulness and perseverance.
Jewish Women’s Archive- Hannah: Bible
Daniel Kahnwald, 1953-54. Chief of Winden police. Ines’s father. Michael’s adoptive grandfather. Egon’s boss in the early 50s. Tells Egon that married women aren’t interested in sex because they’re married to their kids and advises Egon to cheat on his wife. Leads the police officers who beat Ulrich with clubs, trying to get a confession about Helge out of him. Seems to have a loose relationship with the truth and the law, which he passed on to Ines.
Expresses more of the attitude that women are meant to be men’s agreeable playthings and if a man’s wife isn’t fulfilling her duty, he’s justified in seeking playtime elsewhere. We’ll see Ulrich act out this philosophy when Katharina is overwhelmed with responsibilities and not up for sex, while Hannah is feeling rejected by her husband and lonely, so Ulrich takes advantage of the situation while his wife is right upstairs. Since Daniel refers to something disgusting like “tender buds waiting to be plucked”, he probably goes after the babysitters when he drives them home. At least Ulrich went for a woman his own age.
Ines Kahnwald, 1953, 1986-87, 2019. Mikkel/Michael’s adoptive mother. Daniel’s daughter. Jonas’ grandmother. Had a baby boy who she says died soon after he was born. Hospital nurse in the 80s. Adopts Mikkel after she gets to know him during his hospital stay when he arrives in 1986. Eventually figures out that he really is from the future. Encourages him to forget about the life he had before she adopted him. Becomes estranged from Hannah and Jonas after Michael’s death, for unknown reasons. Tells both Mikkel and Jonas to leave the past in the past and the future to the future. In 1987, she regularly drugs Mikkel with prescription sleep medication she steals from the hospital she works at. Is responsible for stopping Old Ulrich and Mikkel from escaping back to the future in 1987. Calls in Egon to help her. Asks Noah to speak to Mikkel while he is still in the hospital in November 1986.
Bartosz Tiedemann, 2019-20. Time Traveler and follower of Noah. Son of Regina and Aleksander Tiedemann. Grandson of Claudia Tiedemann. Former boyfriend of Martha and former best friend of Jonas. Hides his knowledge of time travel and Sic Mundus from everyone for months until his friends catch him in the cave with the time machine. Lies to his mother for months about her own mother, Claudia’s, visit and the fact that his grandmother is alive.
Bartosz has few redeeming qualities. When we meet him he’s stolen Jonas’ girlfriend by telling lies about his best friend in the name of covering up where Jonas was all summer. He moves on to hatching a plan to become a drug dealer using the stolen drugs of a missing, possibly dead friend. He’s recruited into Sic Mundus by Noah, who tells him what his future holds and gives him instructions on how to make sure everyone carries out Sic Mundus’ plan. Bartosz is perfect for Sic Mundus because from his father he’s already intuitively learned how to keep secrets, make threats and lie.
The one tragedy in Bartosz’s life is that he does seem to have always cared deeply about Martha, while she’s always been interested in Jonas. Otherwise, he’s spoiled and entitled and brings his problems upon himself. At the end of season 2, Stranger saves him with the device. Bartosz is busy blaming Jonas, even as Jonas is saving his life.
Regina Tiedemann, 1986-87, 2019-20. Wife of Aleksander and mother of Bartosz. Daughter of Claudia. Formerly owned a hotel which had been the Doppler’s mansion from the 50s to the 80s. She was forced to close it after the disappearances started. Dying of breast cancer. Before the apocalypse, she’s on hormone therapy, which isn’t working as well as they’d hoped, so the doctor considers switching her back to chemo.
Severely bullied by Katharina and Ulrich when she was a teenager. Mads Nielsen disappeared after walking her home. He walked her home because Katharina and Ulrich had tied her to a tree overnight not long before. She met her husband Aleksander when Katahrina and Ulrich were harassing her because they thought she’d turned Ulrich in for rape. Aleksander defended her, eventually pointing a gun at the two bullies.
Her feud with the Nielsens continued into adulthood, when Ulrich approached her at her hotel to harass her again and she told him that it was Hannah who turned him in for rape, not her, as Hannah had implied. Then she taunted Katharina after Martha’s school play, prompting Katharina to physically attack her.
She spends season 1 trying to save her hotel, but is unable to keep it open because the string of disappearances and the plant closing reduce tourism in Winden. In season 2, she’s too ill to leave her home because she’s dying from breast cancer.
Clausen and Charlotte visit her for questioning, and she gives them a box full of the stuff Stranger Jonas left in his room the night he closed the time travel passage, confirming Charlotte and Peter’s time travel suspicions. Charlotte takes the box back to the bunker, so that it completes its cycle.
Regina is one of the most honest characters in Winden and a devoted wife, mother and daughter, but she’s treated badly by almost everyone, leaving her angry and resentful. She and Aleksander are drawn together as lonely underdogs and she never loses the chip on her shoulder. She also doesn’t find out that he’s lied to her throughout their marriage before he’s apparently killed at the end of season 2, while she and Bartosz are rescued.
Aleksander Tiedemann, 1986-87, 2019-20, director of the nuclear power plant. Regina’s husband and Bartosz’ father. Arrived in Winden in 1986 with a gun and two passports under different names, while being hunted by dogs and police. Told Regina his name was Aleksander Köhler. The other passport said Boris Niewald. Has helped keep the yellow barrels of radioactive waste hidden since 1986. Dies on the day of the apocalypse, 6/27/20.
Is interrogated and harassed, then arrested and held in police custody by Inspector Clausen under suspicion of identity theft. Has police officer Torben Wöller on the take to help with his less than legal activities, which include leaning on the judge who denied the search warrant for the power plant in season 1.
He’s a devoted husband to Regina and a loving, if distant and distracted, father to Bartosz, but we know nothing of his family before he arrived in Winden in 1987. He’s lied to his loved ones for the entirety of his relationship with them, either for his own protection, theirs or both.
He’s a caring boss who believes in the promise of nuclear energy, but he’s also spent his entire career hiding a significant accident and barrels of waste that could be endangering the town and the plant employees. He arrived in Winden with knowledge of welding, suggesting a working class background and some vocational training, but seems to have quickly risen to a management position at the plant. You can’t help but wonder if he either used blackmail or a previous connection with Sic Mundus to get ahead.
Claudia Tiedemann, 1953-54, 1986-87, 2019-20, 2053 (voice recording). Time Traveler. Regina’s mother. Egon and Doris’ daughter. Bartosz’ grandmother. Has a lifelong off and on friendship, sometimes with benefits, with Tronte, which he wishes was more. Has heterochromia (one blue eye, one brown eye). Director of the power plant in 1986. Her older version is known as the White Devil by the followers of Adam.
Developed the process that stabilized the God Particle into a time travel portal and probably designed the time travel device. Frequent visitor to HG Tannhaus. She asked him to build the time travel device according to the blueprint she gave him. Old Claudia trained Young Jonas in time travel and particle physics. After Old Claudia died, Young Jonas trained Adult Claudia in time travel and the time war they’re fighting against Adam.
Accidentally caused her father Egon’s death in 1987, which she came to view as one of the necessary sacrifices of the Time War that she could try to fix. Adult Claudia rescued Adult Regina from the 2020 apocalypse, which they both survived in the bunker. She subsequently uses the post June 2020 bunker as her base of operations.
According to Noah, Claudia was the one who separated premature Baby Charlotte from her parents and gave her to HG Tannhaus to raise. Old Claudia was shot and apparently killed by Noah outside the bunker in 1954 when Agnes told him Claudia had the final pages of the triquetra diary, which revealed the identity and location of his lost daughter. Old Claudia asked Agnes to betray her to Noah.
Her body was found and autopsied in 1954. The pathologist discovered that she was highly radioactive. Before she died, she visited Young Adult Egon at the police station to apologize for all of the ways she’d hurt him in her life, leaving him confused. He recognizes her from that visit during the autopsy. As he’s dying in 1986, he remembers her 1954 visit and the autopsy and puts her entire story together, realizing that she’s the White Devil he’s been searching for all of his life.
Egon Tiedemann, 1953-54, 1986-87. Police officer. Husband of Doris. Father of Claudia. Grandfather of Regina. Was in an unhappy marriage in 1953. Arrested Adult Ulrich for murder and kidnapping in 1953 and Young Ulrich for rape in 1986. Was an alcoholic in 1986, but has quit drinking and retired from the police force by June 1987. In 1987, stops Mikkel and Old Ulrich from escaping back to 2020 after Ines calls him for help. Continues to investigate old cases involving Helge and Ulrich after he retires. Tries to do the right thing, often fails because he can’t see the whole picture yet.
In 1987, he’s dying from cancer. Later in the season he accidentally falls, hits his head and dies during a struggle with Adult Claudia in his apartment, after he’s figured out the basics of time travel and what’s going on with the passage in the cave. Claudia wants him to keep quiet about the connection between time travel, the caves and the disappearances, while he wants to report it. As he’s dying, Egon figures out that she’s the White Devil that Helge told him about in 1954 when he returned from his kidnapping.With his death, Claudia wins their argument, but she vows to find a way to change what happened.
He’s a good man and a slow and methodical detective, which causes the other detectives to lose patience with him and his methods. He often becomes sidetracked, and his tangents only sometimes pay off. Sometimes they pay off 33 years later. He doesn’t have a much of a temper and he treats Doris and Claudia with kindness and respect, even when Doris cheats on him with Agnes.
The resolution of his and Doris’ marital troubles is left up in the air at the end of season 2. The last time we see him, he’s flirting with Hannah, who’s time traveled to 1954 to start a new life. 1987 Old Ulrich taunted Egon over Doris leaving him, while bringing up his alcoholism from season 1- which had disappeared in season 2. One of Claudia’s main goals is to save Egon, so it seems as though the events of his life may be in flux, as she tries different plans each cycle to find something which changes his future.
Doris Tiedemann, 1953-54. Wife of Egon, mother of Claudia, Agnes’ lover and landlady. Starts affair with Agnes while still married to Egon. Disappears from the season 2 story once Egon and Claudia find out about her affair and Agnes gets what she wants from her.
In 1987, Ulrich said that she’d left Egon. In 1954, Claudia told Agnes that Doris loved her and could make her happy, but Agnes didn’t make any noise about seeking a relationship, and we see Agnes back with Sic Mundus soon after. So Doris’ life after her affair with Agnes is left a mystery. We only know that in one version of events, she left Egon.
Egon also tells Claudia that her mother would be proud of her for becoming the power plant director, and he says it with affection. That leaves the door open for a version of events where Doris and Egon to have reconciled their marriage and stayed together until she died. Or for them to have remained friends when she left him. It’s also possible that by “mother” he was referring to a stepmother who he married soon after Doris left and remained married to for decades. That woman would have raised Claudia through her teenage years and early career, and they could have been close.
Gretchen the Dog Tiedemann, 1953, 1986-87. Time Traveler. Claudia’s childhood dog. Old Claudia brings Gretchen to the future to help prove to Adult Claudia that time travel is real. Recognizes every version of Claudia as if she hasn’t aged, proving that the time travelers aren’t fundamentally changed by the experience, or at least Claudia hasn’t been.
In addition to the pattern of mental illness that runs through the Nielsens, from Jana to Ulrich to Michael to Jonas, there’s a pattern of child abandonment. Agnes left Tronte in an orphanage. Ulrich and Katharina left Magnus and Martha behind. Michael left Jonas behind by choosing to die. They may have all had understandable reasons, or they may have had alternatives they didn’t explore, but the pattern is there, and suggests Jonas will also leave any children he has. He and his mother have each already abandoned the other without warning.
Katharina Nielsen, 1986-87, 2019-20. Potential time traveler. School principal. Ulrich’s wife and high school girlfriend. Mother of Magnus, Martha and Mikkel. Lifelong frenemies with Hannah. No information on her family background, except that her mother was violently abusive, frequently leaving Katharina with bruises. Bullies Regina during high school, and sometimes afterward. She and Ulrich don’t stop until Aleksander threatens them with a gun. Has to defend Ulrich’s innocence in high school when Hannah wrongfully accuses him of raping Katharina and he’s held in jail.
She’s a tough, angry girl as a teenager who’s mean to Mikkel when he approaches her in 1986 and 1987. As an adult, she learns to control her temper, but it’s always just below the surface, ready to lash out. But she’s also one of the most loyal and honest characters in Winden. She sticks with Ulrich through everything and she never gives up on finding Mikkel. She and Hannah even show loyalty toward each other through season 2, despite everything.
In season 1 she was a dedicated and competent school principal and working mother who had left behind her teenage violence and created a stable, loving family. Once Mikkel disappeared her life unraveled. She found out her husband had been having an affair for months with one of her friends, a string of children disappeared which left the community torn apart and inflamed her old feud with Regina and her husband couldn’t cope with losing a son the same way he’d lost his only brother. She tried to hold her family together, but Ulrich went off the deep end and eventually disappeared as well, leaving Katharina without her anchor.
In season 2 she was obsessed with using Ulrich’s police files to continue investigating the disappearances, to the exclusion of everything else in her life. Eventually, she’s told the truth about time travel and Mikkel and Ulrich’s disappearances by Stranger Jonas, Hannnah, Charlotte and Peter in the bunker. Stranger Jonas allows her to take his light and map of the caves. At the end of season 2, she’s in the passage during the shockwave when a bright light and the glowing time fairy lights appear.
Ulrich Nielsen, 1953, 1986-87, 2019-20. Time Traveler. Police officer. Katharina’s husband and high school boyfriend. Father of Magnus, Martha and Mikkel. Son of Tronte and Jana. Grandson of Agnes. Brother of Mads, who disappears and is killed in the chair by Noah in 1986. Falsely accused by Teen Hannah of raping Teen Katharina in 1986. Has extramarital affair with Hannah Kahnwald in 2019. Becomes obsessed with finding Mikkel and convinced that the 1986 version of Helge Doppler is responsible for the disappearances. Time travels to 1953 and is later arrested there for allegedly kidnapping Child Helge and murdering 2 boys, after he brutally tried to kill Child Helge and locked him in the bunker. Committed to a mental institution in 1953. Still there in 1987.
It’s not clear if Ulrich ever had an ongoing mental illness other than the trauma of losing Mikkel, and then everything else in his life, or if the “illness” was a combination of the side effects of the medications of the mid 20th century and his strong reactions to anything related to his real life. He escapes from the asylum in 1987 after Egon tells him that Mikkel is also there and tries to bring Mikkel back to 2020, but they’re captured by Egon, Ines and the police.
He and Egon have a lifelong archenemy relationship through time that’s fueled by Ulrich’s hatred of Egon and Egon’s curiosity as a detective and desire to do the right thing.
I did more detailed analysis of both Ulrich and Egon in From the Horned God to Dionysus: The Men and Mythology of Netflix’s Dark.
Magnus Nielsen, 1921, 2019-20. Time traveler. Son of Katharina and Ulrich. Brother to Martha and Mikkel. Oldest child. Franziska Doppler’s boyfriend. Suspicious of Franziska, which causes arguments between them. Found out about time travel from Bartosz. As an older adult, becomes a member of Sic Mundus. In 1921 he is a loyal aid to Adam’s most diabolical, destructive plans. Rescued by Stranger Jonas as the June 27, 2020 apocalypse was starting. His older self helps create the apocalypse by doing something to the Sic Mundus God particle at the right time.
Martha Nielsen, 2019-20. Ariadne, metaphorically and in the school play. In love with Jonas. Bartosz’ former girlfriend. Daughter of Katharina and Ulrich. Sister of Magnus and Mikkel. Middle child. Goes on a hunger strike to help starving children. After 2020 Young Jonas confesses his feelings at the lake, she shares her feelings with 2019 Jonas during her parents’ anniversary party and they make love. It’s the night before Michael takes his life and Young Jonas leaves soon after for mental health camp. She’s tricked into dating Bartosz when he lies to her about where Jonas is and what he’s doing over the summer. She tries to get back together with Jonas, but is put off by him because he knows that she is his father’s sister. Jonas doesn’t tell her the real reason he’s refusing her, because it sounds too far fetched.
She feels it’s important that she try to get back to her normal routine after Mikkel diappears so that she doesn’t let everyone else who’s working on the school play down. Has a Macbeth poster in her room. Exchanges the St Christopher medal back and forth with Jonas, along with shared sex dreams and their mutual declaration of love, “You and I are perfect for each other. Never believe anything else.” She’s eventually told the truth about her familial relationship with Jonas by her mother, Katharina.
She accepts Stranger Jonas as a version of Jonas and decides she doesn’t care that she and Jonas are close relatives. She’s locked in the bunker by Stranger Jonas on the day of the apocalypse in an attempt to save her life, but she escapes and finds Young Jonas in Hannah’s house. Has a romantic reunion with Young Jonas just before she’s
fridged shot by Adam as the shockwave is starting. Is left for dead on the floor when Jonas escapes the apocalypse with her alternate self using a Golden Time Snitch.
Men are so stupid sometimes.
Apparently dies on June 27, 2020.
Mikkel Nielsen/ Michael Kahnwald, 1986-87, 2019-20. Time Traveler. The Boy from the Future. Artist. Magician. Interest in Hermeticism. Youngest son of Katharina and Ulrich Nielsen. Brother of Martha and Magnus. Travels 33 years backwards in time from November 2019 to Novenber 1986. Adopted in 1986 by Ines Kahnwald and raised as Michael Kahnwald. Married to Hannah (Krüger) Kahnwald. Jonas’ father. Hanged himself on 6/21/19. Willingly takes his own life so that Jonas can be born.
Has philosophical discussions with Noah, maybe more of a relationship. Mentally ill due to his untreated childhood trauma. Takes after his Grandma Jana and becomes a recluse. His adult self dissociated from his child self, so that Michael couldn’t be around Mikkel without having an anxiety attack, unlike other older and younger selves portrayed in the show. Drugged by Ines when he was a child. Creates paintings that look like either the God particle or super tangled knots, even though he’s supposedly never seen the God particle. Mikkel is a fan of shell games, comic books and Houdini. He wears a Grim Reaper costume and is a devout atheist, which would equal out to Neitzsche’s slogan that God is dead.
Mikkel loves his mother and tries to get to know Teen Katharina, but she rejects him. Michael is devoted to his son, but also confused, because as Mikkel he remembers Jonas bringing him into the cave and leaving him in the passage the night he traveled back to 1986. Both abandoned him when he needed them. Hannah loves him, but he keeps her at a distance.
Tronte Nielsen, 1953-54, 1986-87, 2019-20. Journalist. Husband of Jana, father of Ulrich and Mads, son of Agnes and lover of Claudia. He and Peter Doppler placed Mads body in the woods in 2019 on the night of Mikkel’s disappearance, based on Claudia’s instructions. They continued to be involved in the events of Cycle 1 during November 2019 in other ways, guided by the triquetra log, which Claudia gave them.
In 1986, he and Claudia have been having an affair, but she wants to break it off. He goes to her workplace and pressures her to continue and to meet him that night. She doesn’t go to the rendezvous.
In 2019, Jana tells Ulrich that Tronte has had many affairs, but it’s not clear if all of them were actually with Claudia. Jana says that she was ready to leave Tronte when Mads disappeared. It does seem like Tronte would have married Claudia if she would have had him. We haven’t been told how Tronte and Jana came to be married to each other. They seemed happy at the anniversary party, but otherwise they appear to live separate lives while living in the same flat.
As a child, Tronte had cigarette burn marks on his arm when he moved in with the Tiedemanns in 1953, suggesting abuse or self harm, and told Young Claudia that he’d spent time in an orphanage. That brings up the possibility that he’s not Agnes’ biological son. At the end of season 2, we’re not told if he goes to Sic Mundus in 1921 with Agnes or stays in 1954.
He does drop his pants for Young Claudia so that she can get a good look at male anatomy for the first time. If she needed a friend to father a child for her, she’d probably ask Tronte. There’s a reasonable chance that he’s Regina’s father.
Agnes Nielsen, 1953-54. Time Traveler. Tronte’s mother, Doris’ lover, Noah’s sister, Ulrich’s grandmother. Renting rooms at the Tiedemann home. Was working with Claudia, until Claudia ordered Agnes to betray her to Noah. According to Tronte, before they moved to Winden she was sad and he was living in an orphanage. Rejoins Sic Mundus at the end of season 2. Shoots Noah in the heart on Adam’s orders after Noah tries to kill Adam. Is probably Claudia’s spy. Femme fatale and fashion maven.
Rescued from something as a child by Stranger Jonas, along with Young Noah, and brought to Sic Mundus and/or Adam. Child Agnes and Young Noah live in the boarding house run by Erna in 1921, which Young Jonas spends the night in.
No word at the end of season 2 on where her relationship with Doris stands or where her son Tronte is. Claudia told her that she and Doris could be happy together, if Agnes made that choice, which suggests she usually doesn’t.
Alt Martha Nielsen, 2020. Time and Dimensional Traveler. Is not Original Martha. Rescues Young Jonas from the shockwave caused by the series of events at the power plant that begins with Clausen ordering a barrel of hazardous waste opened up and ends with Adult Elizabeth and Adult Charlotte touching hands through a 33 year rift in time. Tells Jonas that she’s from a different world. Perhaps the world without Jonas that Claudia said she’d seen? Uses a spherical, golden time traveling device which appears to be descended from the device in the wooden box. Likely to have been sent by either Adam or Claudia to rescue Jonas from the shockwave, and to get him out of the way before Martha’s rescue. Probably Claudia, since Alt Martha’s using technology that’s more likely to have been developed by Claudia. Though she doesn’t really answer Jonas’ questions, she also doesn’t seem to speak in riddles the way Sic Mundus do.
Counting her as a Nielsen for now, but as a distinct character from her look alike.
Peter Doppler, 2019-20. Therapist. Charlotte’s husband, father to Franziska and Elisabeth. Son of Helge Doppler. Mother unknown. Moved to Winden in 1987. Frequently visited Benni in the past, but promised Charlotte he’d stop and has kept his promise. Along with Tronte, helped Claudia in Cycle 1, guided by the triqueta log. Was Young Jonas’ counselor after he returned to Winden from the mental health facility in season 1.
Was brought in on the secret of time travel and the truth about Winden in season 2. Brought Young Elisabeth to the bunker to wait for the apocalypse, accidentally releasing Martha. Survives the shockwave in the bunker.
Charlotte Doppler, 1986, 2019-20. Winden police chief. Ulrich’s police partner. Daughter of Father Noah and Elisabeth. Wife of Peter. Mother of Franziska and Elisabeth. Raised by her grandfather/guardian, HG Tannhaus, after she was taken from her parents as a premature infant.
Charlotte began her investigation into the strange occurrences in Winden as a teenager, when she noticed what happened to the birds. She collected dead birds and kept detailed notes and records. When she was police chief, she had the pathologist examine one. The pathologist found that the birds’ eardrums and internal navigation systems were destroyed.
During season 1, Charlotte tries to keep her investigation by the book, with just a few small irregularities, like the use of the wildlife camera. She doesn’t make much official progress and the list of the missing grows. Her one piece of hard evidence is the pocket watch Noah gave to Elisabeth.
In season 2, evidence begins to build again, with lucky breaks falling her way, such as the box of Stranger’s files from Regina and the materials they find in her grandfather’s shop. Both Hannah and Clausen make sure she gets the information she needs to begin to understand what’s going on and her place in it.
Noah finds her in the clock shop and tells her that he’s her father, plus that her mother loves her and is still living. Charlotte and Peter use the information they acquire to run an in depth investigation of the Winden disappearances out of the bunker, unbeknownst to the rest of the police force or Clausen. Jonas solves the child murders for her when he tells her the truth about Noah, but she still has many more questions to answer.
Noah also warns Charlotte that an apocalypse is coming and that only those who are in the bunker will survive. She shares everything with Peter and charges him with getting the kids there. Franziska decides this is a good time to ignore her phone and make other dumb decisions.
Charlotte stops by the station and is told by Torben that Special Investigator Clausen is up to stupid stuff. She figures out that this is the stupid stuff that bring on the end of Winden, and goes to the power plant to try to stop him from causing the apocalypse. But Clausen has already established that he won’t take orders from her, no matter how much sense she makes, so he goes ahead and digs up the hazardous waste Bernd, Claudia and Aleksander spent decades hiding, then lets it out into the open air for kicks.
The God particle slithers out of the barrel, forms a cloud, then a rift in time, then reveals Elisabeth in 2053, waiting to greet her mother. Charlotte and Elisabeth touch hands and a shockwave is sent through Winden. We don’t see what happens to them. When Jonas and Helge touched through a rift, each was sent forward in time. This rift is a whole different, super powered animal though, so Charlotte and Elisabeth could be anywhere in time or in another dimension.
Charlotte said all season that she thought she was at the center of everything somehow, and she was right. Adam kept Noah in line by using Charlotte. Elisabeth is also a follower of the Prophecy. We don’t know how Charlotte was used to manipulate her, either as her mother or child, but it seems certain that she was. And Charlotte’s post apocalyptic fate may also be important.
Charlotte has been one of the few trustworthy characters through both seasons. Her status as a time anomaly may doom her or may be the key to saving Winden. But in a show that’s so obsessed with Pandora’s box and Original Sin, I have to think that they have something special in mind for Charlotte and Elisabeth, the mother daughter pair who both follow the rules, are faithful to their men, love their families and communities and are wise, intelligent leaders.
We’re due for a Ruth and Naomi pairing. Could Elisabeth and Charlotte ultimately end up alone in a strange land and choose loyalty to each other over all others?
Franziska Doppler, 2019-20. Time traveler. Daughter of Charlotte and Peter. Sister of Elisabeth. Granddaughter of Noah. Magnus’ girlfriend. Sells hormone therapy prescriptions to Benni when Benni can’t get them from Peter anymore. Values her independence, but also fights to keep her family together. Found out about time travel from Bartosz. As an older adult, presumed to become a member of Sic Mundus and travel to 1921 to work with Adam. Not a part of the teen crowd until she starts dating Magnus. Along with Magnus, tends toward amorality. Rescued from the apocalypse by Stranger Jonas and the time device.
There are hints that her younger self might be working with her older Sic Mundus self. She’s shown standing between the trucks, watching Benni’s trailer in exactly the same way Stranger Jonas is, for example. Are they pictured the same because they have similar knowledge of what’s in the trucks? And maybe of Benni’s relation to the rest of Winden? (Jonas goes into the truck to get some cesium 137.) Jonas mentors his younger self while leaving him in place in Winden. Franziska could do the same.
Elisabeth Doppler, 2019-20, 2053. Time Traveler. Leader of the apocalypse survivors in 2053. Wife/lover of Noah. Daughter of Charlotte and Peter. Sister of Franziska. Granddaughter of Noah. Briefly kidnapped by Noah in 2019 and returned with a pocket watch of Charlotte’s. Deaf, communicates using sign language. Silja is her interpreter in 2053. Yasin, one of the missing/dead boys, was her friend and crush in 2019.
Strict enforcer of the law in 2053. Hangs Young Jonas after he trespasses into the Dead Zone, but shoots the rope down before he dies. Probably either because she’s not allowed to kill him or he wouldn’t die, no matter how long he hung there. She does kill the French delegation for trespassing onto the other side of the wall where the remains of the power plant and the God particle are.
As an adult, she keeps a box of family photos buried in the woods next to an old airplane. As a child, she steals a tube of Franziska’s bright red lipstick and lies about it. Briefly time travels to 1987 with the teens so that Bartosz can prove time travel is real.
Saved from the apocalypse by sheltering in the bunker with Peter, Young Noah, Adult Regina and Adult Claudia. Grows up and falls in love with Noah, then gives birth to baby Charlotte, who is taken from Elisabeth and Noah by Claudia and given to Tannhaus to raise so that she can give birth to Elisabeth again.
On June 27, 2053, Elisabeth powers up the God particle in the remains of the power plant, then greets Charlotte when the time rift appears and touches her hand, causing the shockwave and the apocalypse. We haven’t been shown what happened to her or Charlotte. It’s probable that Elisabeth was acting according to instructions from Adam and believed she was bringing about the Prophecy.
Helge Doppler, 1953-54, 1986-87, 2019-20. Time Traveler. Noah’s assistant in the development of the evil time travel chair. Father was Bernd, the builder and first director of the Winden Nuclear Power Plant. Mother was Greta, strict disciplinarian who had a thing for Father Noah and thought Bernd might not be Helge’s biological father. Father of Peter. No information on when he fathered Peter or with who. He didn’t raise Peter. Was in an institution in 1987. Was in a nursing home with dementia in 2019. He also has some form of undiagnosed developmental disability.
Attacked by Ulrich as a child and left in the bunker for dead. Sent to 1986 after he and Jonas touched hands through a time rift, then sent back to 1954 7 months later in the only semi successful use of the chair we’ve been shown. The scars on his ear and the left side of his face are from Ulrich’s attack and the chair.
Helge knew Claudia and Tronte as a child. Claudia was his math tutor. When Egon questioned him about his disappearance and showed him Old Claudia’s picture, he called her the White Devil. That started Egon’s lifelong interest in Satanism, which also was also fed by Ulrich’s taste in music.
Helge grew close to Father Noah while he was a child in 1986, and remained close to him for decades. He was Noah’s assistant in season 1 but they had a falling out in season 2.
Helge kidnapped Mads, Eric, Yasin and maybe more for Noah to experiment on and kill, then Helge disposed of the bodies in various time periods. He helped Noah kidnap Young Jonas so that Jonas would be in place when Stranger closed the passage at the end of season 1.
The 2019 version died in a car accident in 1987 while trying to stop his younger self from helping Noah. Since the 1987 version lives in an institution and no longer works with Noah, it’s possible that his older self’s intervention worked. In 2020, no one has found the record of his death in 1987, so he’s listed as one of the missing.
It’s possible that his “dementia” is just a misunderstanding of his ramblings about time and time travel. He gave Claudia her copy of A Journey Through Time with the hope that it would help her understand him. He actually does seem lucid, right up to the end, but no one understands that he’s talking about time travel and Noah, so he repeats himself frequently and tries to solve the problem himself.
Greta Doppler, 1953-54. Helge’s mother. Bernd’s wife. Strict disciplinarian. Follower of Noah. Says that Helge wasn’t borne out of love and might not be Bernd’s child, raising the question of whether she was raped. Or maybe she means she loved the child’s father, but not Bernd, and Helge forced her into marriage with the first man she could find. She’s impatient with Helge’s flaws. Doesn’t appear in the 1980s storyline. Her future is unknown.
Bernd Doppler, 1953, 1986-87. Founder and original director of the Winden nuclear power plant. Father of Helge. Husband of Greta. May or may not be Helge’s bio dad, but still loves him. (Time?) Travels a lot on business. In charge of the power plant during the accident in 1986 that creates the God Particle and responsible for initating the cover up. Gives Claudia data on the accident, which starts her on her time travel engineering journey. Considers the plant his legacy and doesn’t want the accident made public.
Could be just what he seems or could be a member of Sic Mundus. I have a theory that he’ll turn out to be the Big Bad of season 3, having instigated the 1986 accident in order to create the God Particle, without regard to the loss of life it would cause.
HG Tannhaus (with Teen Charlotte), 1953-54, 1986-87. The Clockmaker. Time machine inventor, author of the guide to time travel “A Journey Through Time”, owner of the clock shop. Charlotte’s guardian/adoptive grandfather. Had some connection to Sic Mundus which hasn’t been revealed. Studied Hermeticism. Exchanged information with Claudia and Jonas. Tannhaus is a link between Claudia and Jonas in the cycle of the development of time travel.
He appears kindly and benign, but lately I wonder if he’s actually a villain or at the very least an unscrupulous opportunist. Claudia shares very little information with him, when he could be such an ally. He’s a detached God, closed up in his shop, stuck on the mechanistic side of the universe. He has no first name, just the initials of one of the first science fiction novelists. So his name is both secretive and a clue that he’s a storyteller, maybe not what he seems.
Stranger Jonas says he’s a pawn, just like everyone else Adam manipulates, but Jonas tends to be too trusting and easily fooled. I think at some points, maybe always, Tannhaus a member of Sic Mundus who faithfully follows Adam’s orders.
We know from the recordings that Jonas listens to that Claudia is the one who develops the physics surrounding the God particle and time travel, yet the book is in Tannhaus’ name, not hers, as if those are his ideas.
He subtly steers Stranger off course at the end of season 1 and toward trying to destroy the passage, just like Sic Mundus wants.
He gets Jonas to show him how the time machine works, including the use of cesium 137 and the port that’s waiting for it, at the very end of season 1.
By the beginning of season 2, the chair suddenly has a port for cesium 137 and works tolerably well, but we never see it again.
Why? Because Tannhaus has finished the device after it was explained to him by Jonas, who understands time travel but isn’t as savvy as Claudia.
Sic Mundus finds a way to get their hands on the time travel device at the end of the season, so they don’t need the cumbersome chair anymore.
Claudia knew all of this would happen, of course. But the point is, Tannhaus is the vehicle through which Sic Mundus steals Claudia’s physical time travel technology and her ideas. He doesn’t do the physical stealing himself, but he helps set the stage so Sic Mundus can be in the right place at the right time.
He and Claudia may start out as collaborators, since it appears that everyone is friends immediately following the apocalypse. But at some point, they split off into factions, and just as sure as Agnes is a spy for Claudia, Tannhaus is a spy for Adam. He’s already told us that he didn’t write his own book or invent his own inventions.
Even Charlotte, who he raised from infancy, doesn’t seem to know much about him or to have been close to him. We’ve never seen the two of them together in flashbacks, only the sad photo below.
Or, maybe he’s just the reclusive introvert he appears to be and the rest are all coincidences.
Claudia was aware of everything that would happen and allowed it to happen, but she’s all about making sure the cycle repeats as it always has, except the couple of small changes that benefit her directly. She doesn’t seem to care about getting credit for her scientific work in a post apocalyptic world, and seems to be focusing on the people in her life in her alterations to the timeline, whereas Tannhaus is never seen away from his machines and doesn’t mention Charlotte in his conversations with others.
He is the show’s archetype for putting things before people.
Noah, 1921, 1953-4, 1986-87, 2019-20. Time Traveler. Father of Charlotte. Husband/lover of Elisabeth. Grandfather of Franziska and Elisabeth. Brother to Agnes Nielsen. Taken in when young and named by Adam. Pastor of the Sic Mundus cover church, but doesn’t believe in God. Follower of the Prophecy who lost his faith. Shot by Agnes in the heart in Adam’s study in the Sic Mundus Temple in 1921. Shot and killed Old Claudia in 1954.
Does Adam’s dirty work, from murder to recruitment. In 1921, Young Noah is forced to murder another man who seems to be a friend in cold blood using a pick axe. In 2019, Adult Noah recruits Bartosz under the guise of dealing drugs.
In Cycle 1, Helge did Noah’s dirty work. Helge was like a son to him, starting in childhood, until he realized in middle age that what they were doing was wrong.
Mentored by Adam. Mentors the younger version of himself. The older version barely seems to age. Given Charlotte’s age, he’s old enough for there to be a third version of him, as there is with Claudia and Tronte, but the adult version also serves as the old version, as far as the audience is shown. Hasn’t been given a last name, though his sister Agnes uses Nielsen.
Charlotte was taken from him and Adult Elisabeth when she was a premature infant and not expected to survive. Claudia gave her to HG Tannhaus to raise. Noah searched for Charlotte for more than 50 years and only found her when he read the missing final pages of the triquetra diary, after murdering Claudia out of revenge.
He has a tattoo of the Emerald Tablet which covers his entire back. A tragic figure, who gives everything to the Sic Mundus cause, but has everything taken from him by the same cause. In the beginning of season 2, he tells his younger self to only listen to his inner voice, rather than accepting orders from Adam or other Sic Mundus authorities. He explains that he, Adult Noah, is the inner voice. This is a quiet rebellion.
In season 3, Young Noah will be without that external, parental inner voice and on his own for the first time. How will Cycle 3 play out, with a Noah who’s been taught to listen to himself and not Adam? In Cycle 2, Noah frequently told Young Noah that they were only going through with something because it was the only way to get to the Adult Noah who was speaking.
With that Adult Noah gone, if he is, Young Noah is now free to make his own decisions for the first time. Can he find a way to free them both? Did Noah try to teach him to help Jonas break free as well? Some of his last words to himself and Stranger Jonas could easily have contained coded messages.
I also believe he will come back to life and recover from his gunshot wound, since he’s both infused with the God particle and it probably wasn’t his time to die. I think we’ve already seen versions of Noah who survived being shot, particularly the versions who tell Young Noah not to listen to Sic Mundus.
Silja, 2052-53. The Girl from the Future. Elisabeth’s interpreter. The first person Jonas “met” when he arrived in 2052 after touching fingers with young Helge through the Cycle 1 rift in time. She and Jonas have a connection. She helped him escape from the future using the God particle after Elisabeth almost executed him. Elisabeth explains the God Particle to her, but we aren’t shown whether or not she’s executed. She might be Jonas’ daughter, based on similarities between her nickname and her relationship with Jonas to Jonas’ relationship with Mikkel.
Inspector W Clausen, 2020. Brothr to original, missing Aleksander Köhler. Changed his original last name to his mother’s maiden name, which was Clausen, when he reached the age of majority, making him untraceable by most people. He doesn’t share if his own original last name was “Köhler”, like his missing brother, or not.
Head of the “task force” meant to start a new investigation into the missing persons cases in Winden. Sent by the national government. Seems to be more than he appears. Believes in the power of careful observation and catching people off guard. Seems to assume that everyone is guilty. Despite the title of “task force”, he’s the only person sent to Winden. He insists on working closely with Charlotte, staring her directly in the face. When Charlotte is unavailable, he makes Torben his driver.
He volunteered to relocate to Winden after he received a mysterious letter which contained the Freud quote he frequently uses and suggested he’d find information about his missing brother, Aleksander Köhler, in town. His investigation quickly turns into a personal vendetta against Aleksander Tiedemann, who he’s certain has something to do with his brother’s disappearance. He arrests and interrogates Aleksander, holds him in jail without visitors, and gets a search warrant for the plant. At the plant, he orders workers to dig up barrels of radioactive waste which Aleksander buried, setting off the God particle reaction and shockwave that create the June 27, 2020 apocalypse.
Aleksander Köhler (the original, above right), (1986?), brother to Inspector Clausen. Disappeared in 1986, according to Clausen. Only known from the information given by Clausen, who came to Winden searching for him based on an anonymous letter he received prior to the start of season 2. Clausen’s letter was similar to the letter Young Noah gave to Stranger Jonas at the end of S2Ep8. In other words, a suspicious letter.
According to Clausen, Aleksander was from Marburg, Germany, was 5 foot 8 inches tall, his mother’s maiden name was Clausen and his disappearance in 1986 was similar to Mads’ disappearance. As far as we know, no one in Winden Clausen’s facts about his brother, but Officer Justina did a search for all of the Aleksander Köhlers in Marburg, in which he turned up. And Aleksander Tiedemann had his passport when he came to Winden, so we know he existed and that Clausen doesn’t think that Alexander Tiedemann is him. Aleksander Tiedmann also had a passport for Boris Niewald with his own photo, so the known facts agree with Clausen.
There are several people scattered through time who are candidates for Köhler: Udo Meier, the pathologist in 1954; and Benni, Torben’s trans sex worker sibling in 2020 are 2. But the original Aleksander could be hiding almost anywhere, from the early days of Sic Mundus to the post apocalypse in the 2050s. He could have been murdered in whatever crime brought Alexander/Boris to Winden or have been one of the boys who was experimented on by Sic Mundus, whose body has never been found.
Since Aleksander Tiedemann had his passport, it’s likely that he knows something. Aleksander Tiedemann’s own past is very murky and he could be anything from a murderer who got lucky when he came to Winden to an operative planted by Claudia or Sic Mundus. The real Aleksander Köhler could have been sent with Tiedemann and then died when something went wrong.
Given the mystery surrounding the letters, there is always the possibility that everything about Clausen’s story is a lie and he is a Sic Mundus plant as well, sent to start the apocalypse and dispose of Aleksander/Boris. He certainly wasn’t there to find the people who actually went missing from Winden.
Torben Wöller, 2019-20. Police officer. Benni’s brother. Tells her to call their mom, so Mom is still living, though unnamed. Lost an eye before the series began, but we haven’t been told how, only that something happened the summer before the series began (2019, between Michael’s death and Mikkel’s disappearance). Dedicated and conscientious police officer.
Assists and becomes the driver for Inspector Clausen when Charlotte becomes unavailable. Also works for Aleksander on the side. Responsible for the truck with the radioactive yellow barrels while they couldn’t be stored at the power plant. Eventually stops covering for Aleksander during Clausen’s investigation, deciding that maybe it’s for the best if the truth comes out. Confesses his involvement with Aleksander and the cover up to Charlotte on the day of the apocalypse, then goes with her to the power plant to try to stop Clausen. Dies on the day of the apocalypse, 6/27/20.
Benni/Bernadette (Wöller?), 2019-20. Trans sex worker. Torben’s sibling. Object of Peter Doppler’s desire. Watches the truck with the yellow barrels for Torben. Buys hormone therapy prescriptions from Franziska.
I have a hunch that she and Torben are more important than they appear, especially since they had custody of the truck for months. That’s a lot of exposure to radiation from the God particle in the barrels, but they were unfazed. And they could be twins, which becomes an important concept as the season goes on.
Benni is an oddly underdeveloped character, who seems hungry for affection. We’ve seen her as a business woman with Magnus, a jilted lover who ultimately does the right thing with Charlotte, as Torben’s helpful sibling who’s possibly not speaking to her mother, and as Peter’s tender lover. Oddly, though her main relationship is with Peter, we haven’t seen them speak together, only in montage. She’s involved in a fair amount of the story, for a character who’s kept at a distance, literally, in her parking lot at the edge of town, and figuratively, as a character who affects main characters’ actions but isn’t shown much.
Udo Meier, 1954. Pathologist. Does Old Claudia’s autopsy and reports the results to Daniel Kahnwald and Young Adult Egon. Discovers that she’s radioactive. His placement in the S2Ep7 montage suggests that he has a connection to Aleksander Tiedemann and Inspector Clausen. Possibly he’s Clausen’s missing brother, the original Marburg Aleksander Köhler, who disappeared without a trace in 1986.
Justyna Jankowksi, 2020. Police officer. Dies on the day of the apocalypse, 6/27/20. Seems to be just below Torben in police rankings. Observant and conscientious. Clausen brushes off her help in favor of Torben.
Jürgen Obendorf, 2020. Maintenance worker at the nuclear power plant. Eric Obendorf’s father and drug dealing partner. Noah was their drug supplier. Jürgen briefly appeared early in season 2 as a reminder of how long some parents have been helplessly waiting for news of the missing children. He also specifically reminded the audience of Eric’s existence, while we heard nothing from Yasin’s family. I’ve been struck all along by how much alike Jürgen and Hannah’s father, Sebastian Krüger, look. Otherwise, we haven’t been told of any Obendorf family connections.
Erna, 1921. Proprietor of the boarding house where Young Noah and Child Agnes live. The field hands who find Young Jonas after he arrives in 1921 from 2053 bring him to Erna because she has a habit of taking in “stray dogs”. She’s a good cook and a down to earth soul who feeds Jonas a hearty meal and uses common sense with him. He may not be the first person she’s come across who’s lost in time. He stays with her for one night before Young Noah takes him to meet Adam. The plaque of the Emerald Tablet, which shows up in multiple time periods, hangs in the bedroom where Jonas sleeps.
Unnamed Ulrich Look Alike, 1921. One of the 2 field hands who finds Jonas in the wheat field where the 2053 God particle drops him after he recklessly steps into it. The Ulrich look alike and his buddy assume Jonas is a returning World War 1 veteran who was held in a prisoner of war labor camp and took a long time to be released and walk home. They take Jonas under their wings and bring him to Erna so she can take care of him. Not-Ulrich is sensitive to Jonas’ situation.
Adam, 1921. Time Traveler. Says he’s Old Jonas. Does not give convincing evidence. Leader of Sic Mundus. Fanatical megalomaniac. The Devil, the Demiurge, the Bond villain. Philosopher-King. Or maybe he’s the biblical Adam, God’s first and most perfect human creation, who’s been led astray by Jonas’ 3 evil women (Claudia, Martha and Hannah) and is now trying to restore mankind to his proper place in the universe. Only time will tell.
Tells Young Jonas that he’s declared war on time and seeks to create a new world order with no time and no death. Has a replica of the God Particle from the future which he can control precisely. Brings on the June 27, 2020 apocalypse. Maybe just a touch insane.
Lives deep underground in an abandoned mine in the Winden cave system that’s been turned into a steampunk Temple of Doom. Has an artist’s sense of style and presentation. Uses lies, manipulation, guilt and betrayal to control people. Promotes a false religion religion and Prophecy which he doesn’t believe.
Seems to be obsessed with keeping families apart and setting up close relatives and friends to cause each other’s deaths and downfalls. Sends Jonas to save his father when he knows it will end in Michael’s death. Murders Martha. Orders Agnes to murder her brother, Noah. Pushes Noah to find the missing pages of the triquetra diary, knowing it will lead him to murder Claudia and try to murder Adam.
Is some kind of revenge on the entire town of Winden his ultimate motivation? Is he the Count of Monte Cristo? Hannah, Ulrich and possibly others have wished for a world without Winden. How does that relate to Adam’s plans?
Why does Adam have such extensive scarring when none of the other frequent time travelers do? Noah is ageless and Claudia aged beautifully. After his first trip in the chair, Helge seems to have traveled without damage and aged normally. Has anyone checked to see if Adam’s scarring is even real? Will we get an end of the series reveal when he pulls off the whole thing and he’s beautiful underneath, the beast returned to his true appearance? The minotaur remembered by his sister Ariadne and rescued from his imprisonment?
The Nameless Tattooed Man, 1921. Helped create the passage. Lost faith in the Prophecy, but was able to keep his sense of humor and emotional distance about the situation. Was attacked and potentially killed by Young Noah, on Adam’s and Adult Noah’s orders, likely as an initiation rite for Young Noah.
Accepted his fate. Had some prior connection to Noah that made him an interesting choice for the job. Has the same tattoo as Noah, but on his chest and abdomen, instead of his back. This also suggests a connection to Noah, and to the several episode titles referring to beginnings and ends.
The end credits call him “Man in Cave“. We’re probably supposed to think he’s Bartosz. I don’t believe it, unless he’s not really dead. I think he’s a different founder of Sic Mundus, but probably a close relation of Bartosz. He could be Noah’s brother. This season is already big on sibling relationships, and Genesis has important murderous siblings. As in the story of Joseph, they don’t always die. But some do, such as amongst Adam and Eve’s sons.
Honestly, can you imagine Bartosz digging in the tunnels, alone with just one other man, without complaining about the hard labor he was doing?
Images courtesy of Netflix.
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