Has there ever been a TV show more complicated than Netflix's
Dark? Sure, there have been other shows involving time travel, but nothing approaching the complex web of relationships and timelines that is this German-language sci-fi series. You may find yourself in need of a after watching the series; even if you're already poring over it for the second or third time, it can Dark character map still be hard to keep track of who's related to who and which timeline you've seen them in before and whose daughter is actually their mother, and so on.
The series revolves primarily around four families living in the town of Winden, Germany: the Kahnwalds, the Nielsens, the Dopplers, and the Tiedemanns. Thanks to a wormhole in the caves under the nuclear power plant that can transport you through time in 33-year increments, it turns out these four families are even more closely related than they knew. In fact, practically the whole town is a Gordian knot of
bootstrap paradoxes and secret incest. (And you thought the Lannisters were messed up.) NOTE: In this map, each direct descendant will be written in ALL CAPS. The person they had a child with will be written (in parentheses). Siblings are | separated | by straight lines. Aliases will be denoted with a slash/between names. (WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for all three seasons of Dark.) THE ORIGIN (Agnes Nielsen)
A child of two worlds,
The Origin (real name unknown) is the son of Jonas Kahnwald from the Prime world and Martha Nielsen from the Mirror world. He fathered Tronte Nielsen with Agnes Nielsen in both worlds, becoming the center of the complicated knot that is the Winden family tree. TRONTE NIELSEN (Jana) The Origin and Agnes Nielsen had one child: Tronte Nielsen. After growing up away from his hometown, Tronte moved back to Winden with Agnes when he was a teenager. They rented a room from Egon and Doris Tiedemann, and Tronte became close with their daughter Claudia Tiedemann, while Agnes carried on an affair with Doris. Despite his close childhood relationship with Claudia, Tronte ended up marrying Claudia's classmate, Jana. MADS NIELSEN | ULRICH NIELSEN (Katharina Albers) Tronte and Jana Nielsen had two children: Mads and Ulrich. Mads disappeared in 1986 and was killed during Noah's attempts to build a time machine, with his body later appearing in 2019. Ulrich grew up and married his high school sweetheart, Katharina Albers. Ulrich got trapped in the past after traveling back to try to kill Helge Doppler before Helge could help Noah kill Mads. After traveling back to try to save Ulrich, Katharina was murdered by her own abusive mother, Helene Albers. MAGNUS NIELSEN | MARTHA NIELSEN | MIKKEL NIELSEN/Michael Kahnwald (Hannah Krüger) Ulrich and Katharina Nielsen had three children: Magnus, Martha, and Mikkel. Mikkel disappeared in 2019, traveling through time to 1986, where he was adopted by nurse Ines Kahnwald, daughter of former Winden Police Chief Daniel Kahnwald (boss of Egon Tiedemann). His name was changed to Michael Kahnwald, and as an adult he married Hannah Krüger. Martha was killed by Adam (old Jonas) shortly before the apocalypse. Magnus was saved by The Stranger (adult Jonas) and transported to 1888, where he became a member of Sic Mundus. JONAS KAHNWALD (Martha Nielsen*) Michael and Hannah Kahnwald had one child: Jonas. Since Michael is actually Mikkel Nielsen, Jonas' crush Martha Nielsen is actually his aunt. Thanks to the manipulations of Eva (old Martha* from the Mirror world), two versions of Jonas exist: one who was taken to the Mirror world, where he fathered The Origin (thus becoming his own great-great-great-grandfather) and was subsequently killed; and one who never traveled to the Mirror world, and grew up to become The Stranger and then Adam. EGON TIEDEMANN (Doris) (Hannah Krüger)
Another strand of the knot begins with Winden police officer
Egon Tiedemann, who fathered two children with two different women: his wife, Doris, and Hannah Krüger, who traveled back in time from 2020 to 1954 and carried on an affair with the married man. (Doris also carried on her own affair with the Tiedemanns' tenant, Agnes Nielsen.) CLAUDIA TIEDEMANN (Bernd Doppler) | SILJA TIEDEMANN (Bartosz Tiedemann) Egon and Doris Tiedemann had one child: Claudia. As a girl, Claudia had a crush on Tronte Nielsen, the son of her family's tenant, Agnes Nielsen. However, Tronte married Jana and Claudia never married. Egon and Hannah Krüger had one child as a product of their affair: Silja. After leaving Egon, Hannah took her daughter and traveled back in time to 1888. There, Jonas Kahnwald killed his mother and transported Silja to the post-apocalyptic future. REGINA TIEDEMANN (Boris Niewald/Aleksander Köhler)
Claudia Tiedemann never married, she did have one child: Regina. Many people both in the show and watching the show assumed Tronte Nielsen was her father, but it's ultimately revealed that Regina's father was Bernd Doppler, Claudia's predecessor as director of the power plant. As a young girl, Regina met Aleksander Köhler (real name Boris Niewald) shortly after his arrival in Winden. Aleksander would go on to take over directorship of the power plant from Regina's mother. BARTOSZ TIEDEMANN (Silja Tiedemann) Regina and Aleksander Tiedemann had one child: Bartosz. Bartosz was best friends with Jonas Kahnwald and the boyfriend of Martha Nielsen. Bartosz was saved from the apocalypse by The Stranger and transported to 1888, where he became a member of Sic Mundus. While in 1888, he met and fell in love with Silja Tiedemann (his grandmother's half-sister), who was sent back in time by Adam. AGNES NIELSEN (The Origin) | HANNO TAUBER/Noah (Elisabeth Doppler) Bartosz and Silja Tiedemann had two children: Agnes Nielsen and Hanno Tauber. Together with The Origin, Agnes would have one child: Tronte Nielsen. Agnes' brother Hanno, given the name Noah by Adam, murdered his own father, Bartosz, for losing faith in Sic Mundus. He was then sent to 2020, where he survived the apocalypse in the bunker alongside his grandmother Regina Tiedemann, his great-grandmother Claudia Tiedemann, and Peter and Elisabeth Doppler. After the apocalypse, Hanno and Elisabeth fell in love. CHARLOTTE DOPPLER (Peter Doppler) Hanno Tauber and Elisabeth Doppler had one child: Charlotte. An older version of Elisabeth traveled through time and kidnapped her own daughter. (An older Charlotte also traveled with her and helped kidnap herself.) Elisabeth and Charlotte took baby Charlotte to the past, where they delivered her to H.G. Tannhaus, author of A Journey Through Time and inventor of the time machine. Charlotte grew up with Tannhaus as her adoptive guardian, and eventually married Peter Doppler, the son of Helge Doppler and an unknown woman, and the grandson of Bernd Doppler, the power plant's original director, and his wife, Greta (although Greta confessed to her priest, Noah, that Bernd was not Helge's real father). FRANZISKA DOPPLER | ELISABETH DOPPLER (Hanno Tauber / Noah) Charlotte and Peter Doppler had two children: Franziska and Elisabeth. Franziska was saved from the apocalypse by The Stranger and transported to 1888, where she became a member of Sic Mundus. Elisabeth survived the apocalypse in the bunker alongside her father Peter, Claudia and Regina Tiedemann, and Hanno Tauber. After the apocalypse, Elisabeth and Hanno fell in love. Elisabeth would go on to give birth to Charlotte, her own mother. NOTE:
In the Mirror world, the family tree is exactly the same — except
Mikkel Nielsen never traveled back in time, never became Michael Kahnwald, and never married Hannah Krüger… so Jonas Kahnwald does not exist. Rather than marrying Michael, Hannah married Mikkel's father Ulrich Nielsen, who left Katharina Albers for her but is now carrying on an affair with his colleague Charlotte Doppler.
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This article was originally published on
July 2, 2019