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Saying Dark has Loads and Loads of Characters would be an understatement, and this page attempts to list all the important ones. Note that while spoilers in body text are not whited out, due to the heavily mysterious nature of the show's story, many of the trope names themselves are spoilers. So watch out.

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Nielsen Family

An affluent family, its roots in Winden begin with its matriarch, Agnes Nielsen, returning to the town in 1953. An ordinary family at first glance, it has lots of secrets to hide, especially after the family is thrown into disarray due to the disappearance of its youngest son, Mikkel.

    Agnes 

Agnes Nielsen

Actor: Antje Traue

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/8c857c3072eaa6c3e024e876393f9d77.png
Agnes in 1953

An elegant woman who moves to Winden in 1953 with her son, Tronte, looking for a change.


  • Abusive Parents: In Season 3, she has returned to Sic Mundus, apparently leaving Tronte behind without a second thought, and Tronte admits that he isn't really sad about it. It is implied that she and Tronte's father didn't love each other but conceived Tronte out of duty to their causes, which might be an explanation why she is so cold towards him.
  • Ambiguously Bi: She subtly hits on Doris Tiedemann, who remains indifferent at first, but later on reciprocates her feelings. She was previously married to a man later revealed to be the Unknown himself, however, but given the societal norms of the time period and her indications that he was not a good man, how genuine her feelings for him were is unclear.
  • Apocalypse Cult: Is revealed to be a member of Sic Mundus.
  • Creepy Child: Comes across as a bit of one when she's seen in 1921.
  • Death by Childbirth: Her own very difficult birth killed her mother Silja.
  • Femme Fatale: Her style and demeanor play to the trope, especially in her interactions with her brother Noah. Character-wise, she is shown to betray quite a lot of people close to her, from Adam, to Claudia, to Noah to Tronte and her lover Doris, both of whom she abandons.
  • Generation Xerox: To her mother, Silja Tiedemann. Raised within an Apocalypse Cult, she becomes a cold and ruthless individual. And she ultimately marries and has children not for love, but to fulfill Adam's orders and help perpetuate the Knot's existence.
  • Glamorous Single Mother: She's extremely bold, flamboyant, fashionable, and surprisingly unperturbed for a widow and single mother in the 1950s.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: It's impossible to pinpoint her ultimate motivations and allegiances throughout Season 2. in Season 3, she finally settles for Adam, and remains loyally at his side. In fact, due to her having an Aborted Arc, it's not entirely clear if she really ever abandoned it in the first place.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Is revealed to be the estranged sister of Noah, and in Season 3, the daughter of Bartosz and Silja.
  • Sibling Murder: Shoots her brother Noah dead at Adam's behest in the Season 2 finale.
  • Surprise Incest: Agnes was having an affair with her great-great grandmother Doris.
    • Earlier, she married the Unknown, who is her great-great-great-grandson/great-great-grandson depending on the 2 worlds.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Disappears from the plot during Season 3, after being sent away by Adam on an important quest that is never explained - though it appears likely it's the conception of Tronte, and informing Claudia about her incoming death - and is never seen again afterwards.

    Tronte 

Tronte Nielsen

Actor: Walter Kreye (old), Felix Kramer (middle-aged), Joshio Marlon (young)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/a4801d4e30b723b17079e30794fb1a4d.jpg
Tronte in 2019 timeline
The son of Agnes, with whom he arrived in Winden in 1953. Between 1953 and 1986 Tronte grows up to marry Jana, get a job at the paper, and father Ulrich and Mads. In 2019, he lives with Jana in an apartment.

  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • In Season 1 he is positioned as a potential suspect in the child disappearances, though it turns out he was only helping Claudia maintain the timeline.
    • In Season 3, the audience is made to believe that he is Regina's father, largely because everyone in the two worlds believes he is. Even Tronte himself came to believe this, carrying on to his old age. Claudia later gently explains him she would have loved him to be, but he's not.
  • Covered with Scars: As a child, his arms were covered in cigarette burns, some scarred over, some more recent. In Season 3, he tells the younger version of Jana that he was burned while staying at an orphanage.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: He and Jana are very unhappily married, but put up with each other for appearances' sake. Jana even lies to the police and says that Tronte was with her the night Mads disappeared, because she didn't want to go through the scandal of having his affair with Claudia revealed. In Season 3, this changes after Jana confronts him at Mads' belated funeral about still looking for Claudia, who has disappeared a few months earlier. Tronte, after some soulsearching, promises her to commit himself to her and Ulrich instead of continuing his search, and it is implied he kept his promise until he meets the old Claudia in 2019.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: His father, the Unknown, was a man whose entire life was predetermined for him. He was a killer robbed of love, passion, desire, family, and even identity. This in contrast to his estranged son, Tronte, who had seemingly no path after he was abandoned by his mother. He grew up to be a writer/journalist, torn between two women and ultimately stayed committed to the family he had built. And the only time he kills someone is an act of mercy.
  • Long-Lost Relative: He is actually Jonas's great-grandfather. AND his grandson.
  • Manly Tears: He is understandably overwhelmed with emotion when confronted with the corpse of his long missing son, Mads, having been sent from 1986 to 2019.
  • Mercy Kill: Gives this to Regina on her mother's request, so that she could finally find a way to break the Knot.
  • Really Gets Around: Jana claims that the affair with Claudia wasn't the only time he stepped out. He certainly catches the girls' eyes even in the 1950s, where Claudia likens him to James Dean.
  • Secret Keeper: Along with Peter Doppler in 2019. He knows the murdered boy found in the first episode is Mads, and thanks to the future version of Claudia, he knows about the time travel plot too.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Adolescent Tronte. An aloof boy, abused at an orphanage and abandoned by both parents, who looks like a young James Dean and wants to be a writer. Claudia and Jana both had eyes for him in their youth.

    Jana 

Jana Nielsen

Actor: Tatja Seibt (2019), Anne Lebinsky (1986), Rike Siedler (1953)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tve191307_4172_20171201_0.jpg
Jana in 2019

Tronte's wife and Mads and Ulrich's mother. Her sanity has not been the same since Mads's disappearance in 1986.


  • Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Claudia's Veronica and Tronte's Archie.
  • Broken Bird: As a girl, Jana was very quiet and her peers were often dismissive of her. In 1986, her youngest son is abducted and never seen again while her oldest later is arrested on a false rape allegation. At the same time, she realizes her husband is cheating on her. She is still haunted by all of this in 2019, which only gets worse when her youngest grandchild is then abducted.
  • Happy Marriage Charade
  • Long-Lost Relative: Is Jonas's great-grandmother.
  • Nice Girl: In Season 3, she is the only one of the girls in 1954 who cares what Tronte might be feeling about his mother's disappearance, while Claudia and Ines only giggle about his attractive appearance.
  • Sanity Slippage: Her mental state hasn't exactly been stable since Mads disappeared.
  • Tragic Keepsake: During their teens, Tronte gives her the Ouroboros band that his father, The Unknown, gave to him. Neither of them understand what it's meant to signify, though.
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    Ulrich 

Ulrich Nielsen

Actor: Oliver Masucci (middle-aged), Ludger Bökelmann (young), Winfried Glatzeder (old)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/maxresdefault_9158.jpg
Ulrich in 2019

Tronte and Jana's eldest son. In 2019, Ulrich is a police officer and Charlotte's partner. He is married to Katharina (whom he was dating in 1986) and father to Magnus, Martha, and Mikkel, but is having an affair with Hannah.


  • A Fate Worse Than Death: He fails to save his family or prevent the child murders, unintentionally helps create the murderer, gets arrested in the 1950s as a suspected child killer and spends the rest of his life in a mental asylum. He's given the hope of escape and salvation several times, but they are repeatedly shattered.
  • Berserk Button: Is prompted to attack Egon and break out of the hospital upon being shown a picture of Mikkel taken in 1986.
  • Big Brother Instinct: A belated example, but another motive for Ulrich's disastrous attempts to change the past is his belief that he can save his little brother Mads, in addition to his own son Mikkel.
  • The Bully: Shown to be this in 1986.
  • Cowboy Cop: Seems like this compared to Charlotte. A deconstructed example though, as every time he tries to go above the law something bad happens to him or someone else.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Still deeply affected by his younger brother's disappearance in 1986.
  • Decoy Protagonist: In the early episodes of season 1 Ulrich gets more screentime than Jonas, but then he gets imprisoned for attempting a murder to change the timeline.
  • Demoted to Extra: In season 2, due to being trapped in a psychiatric institution decades in the past.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • In the first season he vanishes from Winden, leaving behind his wife and two remaining kids, due to being Trapped in the Past.
    • In the third season he voluntarily left Katharina for Hannah, and Magnus and Martha resent him for it.
  • Failed a Spot Check:He fails to recognize Mads' dead body when he first finds it. It takes him six episodes to do so, and he's devastated when he does.
  • Former Teen Rebel: Was known to get into quite a lot of trouble as an edgy punk during his teen years. In Season 3, young Ulrich is wearing a jacket with the words "No Future" on the back.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Just as his attempt to kill Helge as a child led to adult Helge becoming involved in the child murders, Ulrich's crazed ramblings about how he can "change the past and the future" later influences Helge to travel back in time as a senile old man to try to stop his younger self from continuing to serve Noah. In doing so, old Helge gets himself killed, ironically finishing what Ulrich started after he met Helge's younger self decades earlier.
  • Hated by All: While he's amended it somewhat after becoming a family man and local police detective, Ulrich used to be despised by many citizens of Winden, particularly Regina and Egon Tiedemann.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Even in the alternate universe, Ulrich still follows old Helge to the cave and travels back in time. Only then he takes the passage back to 1986 instead of 1953, where he still tries to kill a younger version of Helge (albeit his middle-aged self instead of his child self, this time) in the hopes of preventing his brother's murder. However, right after he thinks he's beaten Helge to death, old Helge gets the drop on Ulrich and beats him to death.
  • I'll Kill You!: Threatens Egon he would be back for him once he escapes the asylum after the latter foils his escape attempt again. Unfortunately, Claudia accidentally killed Egon before he got a chance to fulfill on his promise.
  • It's All About Me: Crops up a bit after his son goes missing and he finds himself grasping at straws to make sense of the child abductions both in the present and the past. When he levels accusations against Regina and then Hannah, he believes they're motivated by a desire to see him ruined. He also completely absorbs himself in the search for Mikkel and spends almost no time with his wife and two older children.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ulrich is quite cynical and selfish, not to mention dangerously reckless when under great pressure. But his noble intentions, deep love for his family and capacity for self-reflection reveals a softer character beneath the brash front he puts on.
  • Kissing Cousins: During Season 3. In Eva's world, Alternate-Ulrich is having an affair with his friend and colleague, the alternate Charlotte Doppler, who is technically Ulrich's cousin in both worlds.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Upon finding the boy who will go on to abduct several children, he doesn't stop to think before attempting to brutally murder him.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Ulrich is a local family man who is first cheating on his wife and then is made to feel helpless when his youngest child vanishes without a trace, just like his father Tronte.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Is actually Jonas' grandfather and Hannah's great-great-grandson.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: His attempt to kill Helge as a child in 1953 not only failed, but also likely caused the brain damage that made Helge so vulnerable to manipulation by Noah.
  • Papa Wolf: Some of Ulrich's worst impulsive actions is to ensure his son being safe at the end. E.g., he tries to kill Helge in a misguided attempt to keep Mikkel and Mads from falling into his hands.
  • Precrime Arrest: After time-traveling to 1953, he tries to kill Helge, whom he knows to be involved in the kidnapping, but fails and maims Helge instead. He's trapped in the loony bin for his efforts.
  • Sanity Slippage: Becomes more injured, disheveled, and unstable as his desperation to find his son increases. His old self is much calmer, though, even with him being kept in a psychiatric facility for 34 years.
  • Trapped in the Past: Arrested and then incarcerated in a mental institution back in the mid 50s...and still there as of 1987.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Teenage Ulrich was a smoking, troublemaking, hard rock fan, brooding over his missing brother.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Ending up in 1953, he encounters a young Helge and repeatedly bashes the boy's face with a rock in an attempt to kill him and prevent the disappearance of Mads and Mikkel in the future. Instead, he only gives Helge his distinctive facial scars and brain damage.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: He is told this by Regina, who always thought it should have been him who was taken instead of Mads.

    Mads 

Mads Nielsen

Actor: Valentin Oppermann

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_p1kn62vxca1wkcik6o1_1280.jpg
Mads in a family photo from 1986

Ulrich's younger brother, who went missing in 1986.


  • Children Are Innocent: According to Regina, Mads was a kind soul who never had a bad word to say about anyone.
  • Eye Scream: The upper half of his face, including his eyes, were burnt beyond recognition by the bunker's chair.
  • Nice Guy: Well, nice kid. Regina tells Ulrich that Mads was the only one who treated her kindly. After Ulrich and Katharina left her tied to a tree in the forest, Mads would walk with her to make sure they left her alone.
  • Posthumous Character: He was killed by Noah before the show starts. His body was displaced 33 years into the future.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Was Ulrich's brother who disappeared and was killed by Noah as the first test subject of his time machine bunker only to end up in 2019. In spite of the time traveling plot, we never see him alive, and in the end, he never even existed.

    Katharina 

Katharina Nielsen, nee Albers

Actor: Jördis Triebel (middle-aged), Nele Trebs (young)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mv5bndbjnjniotqtnme3mi00mgvhlwe0zdktntu4ymu5ytyxzjm5xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyodeymzi2ote_v1_sy445_cr00780445_al.jpg
Katharina in 2019 timeline

Ulrich's high school girlfriend and later wife. In 2019, she is the principal of the local school, and despairs at the tragedies befalling her family.


  • Abusive Parents: Received a beating from her mother as a teenager when her mother found out she had sex with Ulrich. We find out later that her mother habitually abuses her.
  • And I Must Scream: She will either be bludgeoned to death by her own mother, or perish in the Apocalypse with everyone else.
  • Brutal Honesty: She'll say exactly what she thinks of someone, feelings be damned.
  • The Bully: Is rough with Mikkel, the new face at school, and relentlessly bullies Regina in 1986. To be fair, she was falsely led to believe that Regina was the one who told police that Ulrich had raped her... However, she clearly had been horribly bullying Regina long before that.
  • The Determinator: Is not dissuaded by anyone, anything, or any explanation in her desire to get her son and husband back.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Her plan to break old Ulrich out of the mental asylum, find Mikkel and return to their present. Especially the part that involves her stealing the key from her mother.
  • Former Teen Rebel: From smoking, swearing Alpha Bitch, who once tied a girl to a tree for kicks, to the school principal.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Alternate-universe Katharina wears glasses.
  • Kick the Dog: Her bullying of Regina, especially when they are adults and Katharina viciously attacks Regina in front of Martha and Magnus, not knowing that Regina is suffering from cancer at the time.
  • The Lad-ette: At least as a teenager. She wears a letterman jacket, swears and smokes a lot, and gets physical with people often, in both senses of the word. It mellows out by the time she grows up, though.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Is actually Jonas' grandmother.
  • Mama Bear: Would not hesitate to go to any end getting back her son.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Her taunting of Hannah regarding how she and Ulrich begun their affair and Ulrich left her later on, and saying how Ulrich will always choose his family in the end incensed Hannah so much that she chose to leave Ulrich to his Fate Worse than Death in 1954.
  • Sanity Slippage: Gradually falls apart after the disappearance of Mikkel and then Ulrich.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Her quest to bring back Mikkel and Ulrich in 1987 are for naught as she is killed by her own mother, who fails to recognize her.
  • Skeptic No Longer: She initially thinks everyone privy to the time travel plot is insane and even laughs when Stranger Jonas reveals that he is Mikkel's son and her grandson. However, upon racing to the school and finding an old class photo featuring Mikkel as "Michael Kahnwald" in 1986, she realizes it's all true.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Katharina overcame a troubled youth and incredibly abusive mother to become a loving mother of three children and a respected member of the community. Then her family is torn apart by circumstances beyond their control, and her reward for desperately attempting to rescue her husband and son from being trapped in the past is to be beaten to death in a confrontation with her mother and left to rot at the bottom of a lake.
  • You Already Changed the Past: Is warned by future Jonas that her attempts to get Mikkel back will fail for this reason. Sadly, he was right.

    Magnus 

Magnus Nielsen

Actor: Moritz Jahn (young), Wolfram Koch (middle-aged)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/0bf5f974faee6df47d0016053b3c857a.jpg
Magnus in 2019 timeline

Oldest son of Ulrich and Katharina. He is dating Franziska.


  • The Big Guy: Magnus is the tallest teen and fairly muscular. He's responsible for overpowering Bartosz when he, Franziska and Martha kidnap him.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: One of Magnus's few character moments is when he castigates Ulrich in the second universe over being a deadbeat dad.
  • Characterization Marches On: In the first episode, Magnus picks on his younger brother Mikkel, repeatedly giving him a Dope Slap. However, throughout the rest of the series, he seems to have a predominantly passive personality.
  • The Constant: His relationship with Franziska Doppler, which occurs in both Adam and Eve's realities.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Being stranded in the 1880s, knowing that his family is likely dead, and then being abandoned by another version of his sister from an alternate reality, eventually wears Magnus down to the point that he transforms from a rebellious teen to an eerily devoted member of the Sic Mundus cult.
  • Going Native: He has no problems settling in 1888 after escaping the Apocalypse and establishing Sic Mundus with Franziska, Bartosz and Stranger!Jonas, who will eventualy become Adam.
  • The Generic Guy: Magnus doesn't have any well-established personality traits beyond his appearance. He's just sort of there. Extended to his adult Sic Mundus state as well.
  • Hot-Blooded: Is often passionate, reacting in anger when situations intensify. He gradually becomes more callous as he grows up, ultimately leading to the older version of himself, who is The Stoic Knight Templar.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Alternate universe Magnus has dark hair.
  • Like Father, Like Son: In the second universe, Magnus has become a serious punk rocker, similar to his father's teenage obsession with heavy metal in the 1980s. Ironically, in this timeline, Magnus is estranged from his father.
    • Meanwhile, in the first universe, Magnus is a rebellious young man who falls in love with his Fiery Redhead high school sweetheart, only to later end up Trapped in the Past. And after struggling for a long time to escape his miserable existence, he eventually accepts that he is doomed to this fate.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Is actually Jonas' uncle.
  • One Head Taller: Magnus is almost exactly one head taller than his girlfriend Franziska.
  • Sole Survivor: The only surviving child of Ulrich and Katharina by Season 3, with his brother Mikkel committing suicide and his sister Martha being killed by Adam.
  • The Stoner: He's a pot smoker.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: In the second universe, Magnus is covered in punk rock tattoos to hint at some sort of characterization.

    Martha 

Martha Nielsen

Actor: Lisa Vicari (young), Nina Kronjäger (middle-aged), Barbara Nüsse (old)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_p16ye0zbf51wkxnj3o1_400.png
Martha in 2019 timeline

Only daughter of Ulrich and Katharina. She and Jonas have nebulous feelings for each other, but at the start of the show she is dating his best friend Bartosz.


  • A Death in the Limelight: In the Season 2 finale, when her dramatic death is followed by the introduction of another Martha from an alternate universe, who is the protagonist of her own time travel journey.
  • Alternate Self: Another version of her shows up to save Jonas from the apocalypse after this universe's Martha is killed.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Archie to Jonas' Betty and Bartosz' Veronica.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Generally one of the more reasonable and normal members of the cast. But when she finds out Bartosz might have something to do with the disappearance of Jonas, Mikkel and Ulrich, she has no problem leaving her ex-boyfriend tied up in the caves.
  • Break the Cutie: Her Alternate Self undergoes this for her eventual transformation into Eva.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Like Jonas, she begins to experience these.
  • Deuteragonist: Is revealed to be just as essential to the plot of the show as Jonas in the third season.
  • Dead Alternate Counterpart: Inverted. Shortly after the Martha Jonas loves is killed, the version of her from Eva's world shows up.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Died in Jonas's arms, after being shot by his future self.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: In Eva's world, Martha gets a 'good' scar early on: a little nick on her cheekbone. This spooks Jonas when he realizes that although Martha is well-meaning, they are still being manipulated to continue the loop. Later on Eva slashes Martha's face to set her on the path to become Eva.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Alternate universe Martha has shorter, darker hair and bangs.
  • Killed Off for Real: The first version we meet is shot by Adam in the Second Season finale, though an alternate version appears a few minutes later.
  • Like Father, Like Son: She and her brother Magnus leave Bartosz tied up in the caves overnight, similar to what their parents did to Bartosz's mother when they were kids.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Is actually Jonas' aunt.
  • The Lost Lenore: To Jonas, in more ways than one.
  • Morality Chain: Considering how Adam believes that killing her is the event that will eventually cause Jonas to become him, she can be considered this.
  • My Own Grampa: Her Alternate Self is the mother of the Unknown, who goes off to start the Nielsen line in both worlds, giving birth to her and the Alternate Self eventually.
  • Sanity Slippage: With Jonas's behavior after learning she's his aunt and Mikkel's disappearance, she pretty much is a Broken Bird by the end of the first season, and Ulrich and Jonas' disappearances at the end of the first season just adds to this in the second season. Her Alternate Self undergoes another one after her future selves kill Jonas.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She's taller than Jonas and has a statuesque figure. She's desired by both Bartosz and Jonas, and she's the lead in the school play.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Adam inflicts this on himself. He kills Martha as Jonas's Start of Darkness, that will set him on the path to becoming him.
  • Surprise Incest:
    • She falls in love with and has sex with Jonas before later discovering that her younger brother Mikkel is his father, making her Jonas's aunt. Jonas is also her great-great-grandfather, due to the Stable Time Loop ensuring the Nielsens' existence.
    • Her relationship with Bartosz counts as well. Neither knew it at the time, but she was technically making out with her great-great grandfather.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Her alternate self quickly grows accustomed to time travel, jumping from one reality to another, and perpetuating the Stable Time Loop.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Her Alternate Self who saves Jonas is this to Adam.
  • Yo Yo Plot Point: Her relationships with Jonas and Bartosz.
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    Mikkel 

Mikkel Nielsen

Actor: Daan Lennard Liebrenz

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_4600ad1826302a4a8e091ded110ef99d_05ab2122_640.png
Mikkel in 2019 timeline
Ulrich and Katharina's youngest son.
  • Children Are Innocent: He's probably the only kid within the universe of Dark that's a good kid, showing he loves doing magic and overall is shown bonding with all the characters, including Jonas who's his future son.
  • The Cynic: A downplayed example, since he is just a kid. Mikkel is a casual atheist, believing in the big bang and not believing in actual magic despite wanting to be a magician. It's implied that he gets it from his parents.
  • Demoted to Extra: Has extremely little screen time in season 3 compared to the previous seasons.
  • Dull Eyes Of Sadness: Implied to be partly due to the injuries he suffered in the caves as he traveled between time periods and partly due to depression over his inability to return to his own time.
  • Hope Spot: He briefly reunites with his aged father, Ulrich, and the two nearly make it back to the caves before they are stopped by Egon, Ines and the police.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Gets trapped in the past and forced to live the rest of his life in a different era, up to and after the point at which he is chronologically born, the same as Ulrich.
  • Kid from the Future: Mikkel interacts with the teenage Ulrich and Katharina and claims that they're his parents, but everyone dismisses him, and the two are already dating besides.
  • Stage Magician: Is shown to be talented with sleight of hand tricks and idolizes Houdini.
  • Trapped in the Past: He becomes trapped in 1986, is adopted by Ines Kahnwald, and grows up to become Michael Kahnwald, Jonas's father.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Him disappearing and traveling through time literally sets the plot in motion, as he goes on to father Jonas Kahnwald, who goes on to have a relationship with an alternate universe version of his sister Martha and birth the Unknown, who perpetuates the Incident and the Apocalypse in Winden and sires the bloodline that will eventually lead to Mikkel's birth, repeating the cycle over and over again.

Tiedemann Family

A wealthy family in 2019, it has had 2 directors of the power plant and owned the largest hotel in Winden. Had its humble origins with Egon as the police chief after 1954.

    Egon 

Egon Tiedemann

Actor: Christian Pätzold (old), Sebastian Hülk (middle-aged)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dark_egon_tiedemann_1986_e1550826124627.png
Egon in 1986 timeline

The Tiedemann patriarch and a policeman. In 1953, he is a police officer; by 1986 he is the police chief on the verge of retirement. He was married to Doris and is Claudia's father.


  • The Alcoholic: He turns to drinking after his marriage falls apart, and by 1986, he is implied to have developed a serious addiction.
  • Clueless Detective: Subverted. Yes, he's completely out of his depth, doesn't really get what is going on in Winden and how he's constantly at odds with multiple versions of the same people who consistently fuck with his life (mostly inadvertedly), and on top of that isn't even a good detective in the first place. But... well, one really can't blame the guy - after all, it isn't really his fault that as one of the very few people in the series, he was never informed of time travel being a thing and therefore has the best excuse possible for not connecting the dots.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: While he's always been somewhat underestimated due to his naiveté, he proves that he's no joke when he chases down and successfully captures adult Ulrich all on his own in the 1950s. In Eva's reality, his older self is revealed to be an experienced time-traveler and member of the Erit Lux cult.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: His love affair and his marriage break apart on the same day, driving him to take what is implied to be the first of many, many drinks.
  • Innocent Bystander: Is framed as such over the course of Season 2, and outright called one by his daughter, being a small-town cop with no real aspirations outside of police work, as he becomes more and more affected by the machinations surrounding the town.
  • Inspector Lestrade:
    • Poorly handles the case of Mads Nielsen, and Ulrich considers him an incompetent drunk. He also very quickly jumps to conclusions when Hannah accuses Ulrich of rape, despite Katharina, the supposed victim, denying it wholeheartedly (although the fact her abusive mother hit her after the rumors went around didn't help, as he clearly assumed the bruise was Ulrich's work).
    • Implied in the alternate world, he purposefully botched Mads's case in 1986 because he was directly working with the perpetrator, Mads's niece Eva.
    • In the 50s, Egon assumes that suspicious stranger Ulrich is responsible for the disappearance of Helge and the murder of the two boys at the plant. To be fair, Ulrich did imply to have something to do with Helge, but there's a big jump from that to the other two boys.
  • It Was with You All Along: He had been haunted by young Helge's warnings about the "White Devil" since 1954. In his last few moments of consciousness in 1987, he realizes that the White Devil is his own daughter, who had just accidentally caused his death. He also realizes why her older self told him she was sorry 33 years before.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: He was quite handsome as a young man in the 1950s, but by the '80s, age and decades of alcohol abuse have visibly taken their toll on him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is initially portrayed as a drunkard who stubbornly tries to get teenage Ulrich arrested for real or imagined offences instead of concentrating on the more pressing case of Mads' disappearance. However, it soon turns out that he is a flawed, but genuinely caring person, who tries on his own to find out what is happening in Winden, and is one of the few people who actually tries to make up for his mistakes.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Claudia leaves him to die in order to keep the involvement of the power plant in the time travel plot a secret.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Is Silja's father, from Hannah, which makes him father-in-law of Bartosz, who's his great-grandson.
  • Old-Fashioned Copper: As a young man in the 1950s, he had no qualms about torturing a murder suspect in order to get a confession, and by 1986, he still tries to arrest Ulrich on mere suspicions, which earns him a scolding from his younger superior who favours more thorough police work. In Season 2, Egon acknowledges that he needs to adjust his methods to the modern age if he wants to solve the cold cases that have haunted him throughout his career, and actually succeeds in uncovering some vital clues.
  • Police Are Useless: Ulrich sees Egon as an incompetent drunk who botched the search for his missing brother, and even his younger colleagues seem to regard him as a useless relic of a bygone era. As the show progresses, however, Egon turns out to be more competent than he is given credit for.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: He has an almost obsessive animosity toward Ulrich Nielsen, whom he tries to get arrested for vandalism, various petty crimes, and a false rape accusation. Ulrich, in turn, antagonizes Egon at every opportunity, calling him a useless drunk to his face and taunting him over his failed marriage. It is eventually revealed that this obsession is another result of the time loop, as Egon subconsciously recognizes young Ulrich as the murder suspect he arrested in 1953.
  • Skeptic No Longer: In Season 2, old Egon finally puts the pieces together and recognizes that the mysterious events taking place over the last 33 years have been the result of time travel.
  • Something Only They Would Say: A phrase uttered by his young daughter in 1954 makes him realize that the wild-haired old woman with mismatched eyes who came to his police station earlier may have also been his daughter.

    Doris 

Doris Tiedemann

Actor: Luise Heyer

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_pggrkrx0xr1te4j5q_1280.jpg
Doris in 1986 timeline

Egon's wife, who quickly bonds with Agnes.


  • Alone with the Psycho: In Season 3, she goes to the Church to find out more about Agnes' disappearance. The "priest" is the Unknown, who has killed enough characters by that point that the audience has every reason to be fearful for Doris' safety. Their meeting thankfully does not end in violence, though the Unknown makes Doris realize that she loves Agnes and that Egon is having an affair, both of which lead to her deciding to leave Egon.
  • Break the Cutie: Doris, a gentle and shy person, goes through a series of emotional blows that leave her alone and desperate.
  • Gayngst: Due to living in a rural German community in the conservative 1950s, Doris cannot realize her feelings for other women, and might in fact not even know that she's a lesbian; instead, she is trapped in a straight marriage that grows increasingly stale. She does enter a relationship with another woman, Agnes, but it ends when Agnes abruptly leaves her to return to Sic Mundus.
  • Opt Out: After realizing that her marriage is a sham, Doris explains to Egon that she doesn't want to go on living a life based on secrets, and asks him for a divorce.

    Claudia 

Claudia Tiedemann

Actor: Julika Jenkins (middle-aged), Gwendolyn Gabel (young), Lisa Kreuzer (old)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/52gw59t029g31.jpg
Claudia in 1986 timeline

The only child of Egon and Doris and mother of Regina. In 1953 she is a young girl who befriends Tronte when he and his mother rent rooms in the Tiedemanns' home. In 1986 she has become the new boss of the power plant, taking over from Bernd Doppler.


  • Adorably Precocious Child: As a young girl she was highly intelligent (Bernd paid her to tutor Helge) and perceptive (she is aware of the reality of her parents' marriage).
  • Big Good: Implied if the Stranger/future Jonas gives any indication with her actions to stop him and prevent more of the loops. Outright by the end of the series as she leads Adam to finally cut the knot without destroying everything.
  • Boom, Headshot!: After her alt-world counterpart recruits her as a spy for Eva, Claudia realizes at a certain point that the older version of herself who set her on the path to become a time traveler was acting independently of Adam or Eva. This prompts her to turn on Eva, starting by putting a bullet in the head of the alternate Claudia.
  • The Chessmaster: She travels to all timelines to make slight changes that will eventually lead to the prevention of the time knot. It takes her around 33 years to piece it all together and manouever everyone in just the right directions.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Upon assuming leadership of the power plant, she learns about the massive stockpile of improperly disposed-of toxic waste barrels and agrees to continue hiding their existence. Although, to be fair, she's not just motivated by her own profit, but by the fact that if the plant is shut down, it will economically devastate Winden.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Her heterochromia is one of her defining traits; early on characters recognize her older and younger forms through it.
  • Failure-to-Save Murder: Essentially allows her father to die after she unintentionally caused him to fall and hit his head.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: 1987 Claudia time-travels to 2020, and she's a bit confused and overwhelmed by the technology she encounters.
  • Flash Sideways: The Claudia from Eva's world directly contacts her alternate self to ensure the loop persists.
  • Good Is Not Nice: She bluntly tells people that everyone has to make sacrifices to guarantee that the loop is broken - down to killing themselves. She also manipulates people into following the original path of the loop without showing any qualms. She does show softness towards her father though, apologizing to him for the things she'll do to him, and telling him that he's a good person the world doesn't deserve.
  • Glamorous Single Mother: In the '80s, she's the wealthy new power plant boss who is raising Regina by herself. The finale eventually reveals Regina's father is Bernd Doppler.
  • It Was with You All Along: Helge's cryptic warning about the "White Devil" haunted Claudia's father, Egon, for 33 years. He realizes, in the very last moments of his life, that the White Devil was in fact his own daughter, and why future Claudia told him she was sorry as her first words to him in 1954.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Claudia can be very self-centered and inconsiderate of other people's feelings, including her own family, but she's not a bad person. Being exposed to her older self and the time travel plot in Winden makes her realize that she's taken her father and daughter for granted. Saving her loved ones becomes her prime motivation. This trope is even more applicable to her older self, who makes a lot of questionable decisions and perpetuates the time knot along with Adam and Eva, but does so because she knows how to truly set everything right and prevent all the suffering the parallel worlds are doomed to endure.
  • Likes Older Men: She never goes for Tronte (whom she was attracted to) or for Helge Doppler (whom she definitely was not attracted to), but instead has a child and ultimately (in the "paradise" timeline) a family with Bernd Doppler, who is old enough to be her father.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Her reaction to accidentally causing her father's death.
  • Mama Bear: Claudia's entire shtick is this, wanting to break the knot, wants nothing more to save Regina from dying. Her motivation for this is what pushes her to finally find a way to untwist the Knot, just so Regina can finally live a happy life.
  • Mysterious Backer: Claudia is the one who gave Tannhaus the blueprint for the time machine, and the one who told the Stranger to use it to destroy the wormhole. Noah claims she is "the dark", but then again, it's Noah.
  • No Social Skills:
    • The adult Claudia, especially during her time in The '80s, is extremely awkward in her dealings with other people, either going full Ice Queen on them or having enormous trouble expressing affection and similar emotions. A bit strange because neither her younger nor her older selves display this trait.
    • This trait is present in her younger and elder versions, but are less noticeable because child Claudia is an Adorably Precocious Child and old Claudia is a Seen It All Magnificent Bastard. Adult Claudia has the misfortune of being a professional but ordinary woman in an almost constant state of bewilderment due to her sudden exposure to the time travel plot in Winden and her greater role in things.
  • Not Quite Dead: Was presumed dead after she vanished suddenly in 1987, but had really travelled to the future. Adam is shocked to find she has somehow returned from being killed, on his orders no less, but Claudia points out that even after all these endless cycles there's still things about the knot he doesn't know.
  • Parents as People: She loves her daughter, but is a workaholic (especially because, as a female boss in the 1980s, she feels she has something to prove), and sincerely regrets never properly being there for Regina.
  • Playing Both Sides: Revealed to be doing this in Season 3. After killing her alt-world counterpart, Claudia disguises herself as the Claudia who is loyal to Erit Lux. This allows her to intimately understand both Eva and Adam's plans in both worlds, thus allowing her to figure out how to navigate around them.
  • Sacrificial Lion:
    • Goes to her death fully aware of what is about to happen, and does not resist.
    • Ensures the Loop's destruction so that Regina could live a healthy life, and the Origin world could be restored.
  • Serial Homewrecker: A very rare heroic example. She has a long-lasting affair with Tronte and also one with Bernd Doppler (who is about 30 years her senior), whom she ultimately sticks to for good in the "paradise" timeline.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Noah just before she is killed.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Claudia learns that the knot and the two worlds born of it should not exist. They are a "cancer" born of another world and not everyone is tied to the fate of the knot. This means saving the origin world would not only end their infinite cycle of misery but spare anyone not tied to it. This leads her to realise she can save her daughter.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: As far as we know, the poor French delegation is still waiting on her...
  • You Already Changed the Past: A variation on this. 1987 Claudia, thanks to time travel, knows the date of her father's death. Unfortunately, in her attempts to prevent it, she ends up causing it.
  • Younger Than They Look: In 1986/87, she's in her early-to-mid 40s, but looks notably older (though the actress herself indeed was only a few years older than that at the time).

    Regina 

Regina Tiedemann

Actor: Deborah Kaufmann (middle-aged), Lydia Maria Makrides (young)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/171205_dark_regina.png
Regina in 2019 timeline

Claudia's only child. In 1986, Regina is an introverted nerd who is picked on by Ulrich and Katharina. In 2019, she is manager of the local hotel, wife to Aleksander, and mother to Bartosz.


  • Broken Bird: Seems to always have something weighing on her. Initially, it's her breast cancer diagnosis and struggling hotel business. Then we meet her younger self, who is regularly bullied at school, struggles with loneliness, self-harming and a distant mother who later disappears, and she never knew her father. In Adam's reality, she ends up surviving the apocalypse in Winden, only to continue slowly dying of cancer, coping with a dead husband and a missing son, and is finally euthanized to prevent her from suffering any further.
  • Cheated Death, Died Anyway: In 2020, Regina seems doubly doomed — she is dying of cancer, and the apocalypse is imminent. Her Mama Bear Claudia rescues her from the latter at the last minute, but Regina dies three months later anyway — not from the cancer, but from Tronte killing her with a Vorpal Pillow on Claudia's orders. Subverted in the end; Regina is one of the few characters who survives the knot's undoing.
  • Dead Alternate Counterpart: Her alternate counterpart has died of cancer by the time the story starts, not that the Regina of Adam's world is very far behind.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: The second thing she does after meeting her future husband is get him some bandages for his bullet wound.
  • Happily Married: To Aleksander in 2019, which is pretty remarkable, considering how awful everyone else's relationships are.
  • Long-Lost Relative: She's the daughter of Bernd Doppler, grandmother of Noah and Agnes, and via the latter, rather ironically, the ancestor of the Nielsen family.
  • Mercy Kill: Tronte kills her as she's weakened of cancer at her mother's command.
  • Morality Pet: To her mother, Claudia. Ultimately, it is Claudia's determination to save Regina from her miserable fate that leads her to work against Adam and Eva, destroy the time knot and save the origin world.
  • Nerd Glasses: Teenage Regina sports a pair of these, leading to the nickname "Four Eyes."
  • Rescue Romance: She and Aleksander meet when he comes upon Katharina and Ulrich bullying her and pulls a gun to make them back off.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Her appearance improves as a teenager as her relationship with Aleksander goes on.
  • Shrinking Violet: She was a very shy teenager, making her an easy target for bullies.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Due to being a career woman and later investigating the wormhole, her mother is not a huge presence in her life.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Is diagnosed with breast cancer. Passes away after the Apocalypse due to Tronte Mercy Killing her at Claudia's request, which is the sole reason for Claudia's crusade to break the loop.

    Aleksander 

Aleksander Tiedemann, née Kohler

Actor: Peter Benedict (middle-aged), Béla Gabor Lenz (young)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dark_aleksander_tiedemann_2019.png
Aleksander in 2019 timeline

Bartosz's father and Regina's husband, whom she met in 1986. In 2019, he is managing the power plant, taking over from his mother-in-law Claudia.


  • Becoming the Mask: Adjusts rather well to his life as Aleksander.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Enough so that he felt the need to take on a new identity.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Is actually named Boris Niewald, having stolen the identity of a man he murdered in 1986.
  • Forced into Evil: Is blackmailed by Hannah into trying to ruin Ulrich's life, but ultimately doesn't do anything against him as Ulrich disappears from 2019 and gets arrested in 1953.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Marries the nerdy Regina, and ends up with a powerful job and the most normal marriage of anyone in Winden.
  • Given Name Reveal: Claims that he took his wife's last name because she was an only child, and wanted to keep her name alive. He claims his "real" last name is Köhler...
  • Happily Married: Surprisingly, seems to have the most normal and loving relationship with his spouse out of any of the adults in Winden.
  • Hidden Depths: Not so much hidden since we see his adult self first, but for what presumably is a violent felon as a young adult he certainly has adjusted very well to the role of a titan of industry.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Alternate universe Aleksander has a beard.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: His younger self apparently killed a guy and stole his identity, but also saves Regina from being bullied by Katharina and Ulrich.
  • Long-Lost Relative: As the grandfather of Noah and Agnes, he's this to Charlotte, Franziska, Elisabeth and the Nielsen family.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Despite his critical position in the story, Aleksander doesn't really know what's going on.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: Took Regina's last name when he married her, which Clausen notes as unusual for the '80s. He explains it as wanting to keep the family name alive (since Regina was an only child), and he inherited the "family business" from Regina's mother. It has the added benefit of hiding his crime even further. If he kept using his original false identity's last name it would be easier for people to look that person up or encounter his relatives and have questions.
  • Not So Stoic: He puts on a very cool front at home and as head of the power plant, but in private he's not so sure of himself. And he really loses his cool when someone confronts him about the truth of his past.
  • Oh, Crap!: His reaction to Clausen's revelation that his real last name is also Köhler, and that he had a brother named Aleksander who disappeared around the time "Aleksander" first came to Winden...
  • Rags to Riches: He abandoned life as a petty criminal during his teens, barely escaping the police with a bullet wound and arriving in Winden under a false identity in 1986. As luck would have it, he immediately makes the acquaintance of Regina Tiedemann and subsequently began working for her mother, head of the nuclear power plant. By 2019, he's the head of the plant and patriarch of the wealthy Tiedemann family.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Tragically, Aleksander ends up being partly responsible for the apocalypse in two different realities, either due to releasing the god particle on his own or failing to prevent someone else from releasing it.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the final episode, it's not known what happens to him after the origin world is restored. Presumably he still existed since he was not part of the knot, but it seems he never came to Winden.

    Bartosz 

Bartosz Tiedemann

Actor: Paul Lux (young), Roman Knizka (middle-aged)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/a1daa6f2d1416629a2af13989ebcaa9f.jpg
Bartosz in 2019 timeline

Aleksander and Regina's son. He goes to school with the other kids; he is Jonas's best friend and Martha's boyfriend.


  • A Chat with Satan: His conversations with Noah in Season 1 give off VERY strong hints of this. In Season 3 they take on a very different meaning, when it turns out that Noah is Bartosz's son.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Jonas' Betty and Martha's Archie.
  • Break the Haughty: He starts out pretty arrogant, but the events of the series quickly chip away at his ego.
  • Butt-Monkey: The girl he's dating leaves him for his best friend. His mom's dying of cancer. He finds himself manipulated by his long-lost grandmother and his future son. He is recruited to the Sic Mundus time travel cult, only for Martha, Magnus and Franziska to steal the time machine he was given and leave him tied up in the caves all day and night. He narrowly avoids the apocalypse in 2020, only to end up trapped over a hundred years in the past. His frustration with his situation is only lessened by his relationship with Silja, who acted as a Honey Pot, using him to perpetuate the existence of the Nielsen family and thus ensuring everything that happened to him will happen again. With nothing else left, he becomes a passive member of the Sic Mundus cult he helped unwittingly create. Finally, he is murdered by his own son for "losing faith" in their cause.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Towards Martha before they started dating.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: He'd already reached the Despair Event Horizon by the time he met Silja as a young man. Her Death by Childbirth and the realization that their marriage and the children they had together were all part of Adam's plan to bring about the future apocalypse is what leads to him becoming the disillusioned middle-aged man we see at the start of Season 2.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In his first scene, he appears to be a good friend to Jonas, but later we learn that he swooped in on Martha while Jonas was away and never even mentioned it to Jonas. He finally shows his true colors as a bit of a dick when he shoves Franziska on her ass to steal the stash of drugs she found.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Calmly accepts it when he realizes Adam has instructed Noah to kill him in 1921, as he evidently expected this outcome.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Alternate universe Bartosz has longer hair that he slicks back.
  • Incest Is Relative: Ends up with Silja, who is the illegitimate child of his grand-grandfather and the half-sister of his grandmother. Still vastly better than other cases in the series (like Jonas boinking his own aunt, or Charlotte and Elisabeth essentially having a kid with their own grandfather due to the My Own Grampa being at work here) because at that point, they're relatively far removed genetically.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Cares for Jonas and even covered up for him when he vanishes due to his father's suicide. Later evolves into We Used to Be Friends.
  • Long-Lost Relative: In Season 3, it turns out he's the future husband of Silja, the girl living with Elisabeth in the bad future, and the father of Agnes and Noah. Since Silja is Jonas' and Claudia's half-sister, this makes him their brother-in-law.
  • The Lost Lenore: First, Martha Nielsen. Then his wife/aunt, Silja Tiedemann.
  • Riches to Rags: Goes from a rich kid with a cushy life in 2019 to roughing it in 1888.
  • Unwitting Pawn: He becomes one to Sic Mundus due to his anger about Jonas and Noah's manipulations. This is revealed to be a lot more complicated in Season 3 when it turns out that he was part of the group that made Sic Mundus the cult it grows to be in the first place.
  • We Used to Be Friends: He and Jonas's friendship crumbles after Martha tells him about their kiss and his frustration with how Jonas has been distant. Gets even worse when he realizes he was being played by Jonas to perpetuate the Nielsen line which will birth Jonas himself, and is murdered by his own son by Jonas/Adam's order.
  • Would Hit a Girl: When Franziska taunts the rest of the teens about finding Erik's stash first, Bartosz simply shoves her to the ground and takes it from her.

Kahnwald Family

A middle-class family in 2019, it has been struggling with a suicide recently, and the fallout of a generational struggle that followed it.

    Jonas 

Jonas Kahnwald

Actor: Louis Hofmann (young)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/eqby8_sh_400x400.jpg
Jonas in 2019 timeline

The son of Hannah and Michael, a teenager who is deeply shaken by his father's recent suicide.


  • Action Survivor: A very unglamorous example, especially during his struggles to escape both the future and the past in Season 2.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Bartosz' Veronica and Martha's Archie.
  • Big Bad Slippage: He will inevitably transform into the ruthless and omnicidal Adam, the Big Bad of the show.
  • Broken Bird: Pretty much. The suicide of his father left him shaken and went to a mental institution afterwards, and the revelation his dad is the young boy that goes missing in his town and his crush is his aunt makes things worse.
    • Season 2 makes it worse with him being stuck in the Bad Future for six months, thrown into 1921 (when the time-travel tunnels in the Winden caves were made), meets his Omnicidal Maniac future self, is tricked into leading his father/Mikkel to suicide, and then witnessing Martha die by said genocidal maniac future self in order to preserve the timelines. Yikes.
  • Byronic Hero: Dear lord, yes.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Jonas has a lot of these. Often involving Martha and combined with Erotic Dream.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: And future.
  • Death Seeker: Didn't seem too troubled that saving Mikkel would erase him from existence. It's mentioned that this gets worse when he gets older. And eventually he does attempt to commit suicide only to learn he cannot die..
  • Distinguishing Mark: Hannah is able to connect the Stranger with Jonas by the scar on his forearm. Later, Adam is identified to be Jonas' future self by the scar around his neck.
  • Dull Eyes Of Sadness: His default look for most of the show. Understandable, given the amount of hell the kid is put through.
  • Future Me Scares Me: He's...not particularly enthused about becoming Adam.
  • Hurting Hero: He is increasingly traumatized, demoralized and left emotionally and physically scarred by his journey.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: He attempts to kill himself at some point, but gets rescued by Hanno in time who informs him that he simply won't be able to die because the time loop will prevent his death.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Is blood-related to the entire Nielsen family.
  • The Man They Couldn't Hang: Survives death by hanging twice. The first time, he is being executed but gets spared by Elisabeth. The second, he's committing suicide but gets saved by Noah.
  • My Future Self and Me: He's able to interact with his future selves with no complications.
  • My Own Grampa: Jonas is the father of the Unknown, who is the father of Tronte, who is his great-grandfather.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Returns to 1986 seemingly with the intention of returning Mikkel to the present at the expense of his own existence, only to be captured and thrown into a Bad Future to suffer.
    • Made worse in Season 2 when he tries to prevent Michael's suicide in 2019...only to realize Adam tricked him into causing said suicide.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Stranger Jonas is sent back to 1888 where he grows obsessed with finding and destroying the origin, becoming Adam.
  • Raincoat of Horror: Jonas is often seen wearing a distinctive bright yellow raincoat.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: At the end of Season 2, after spending a year under the mentorship of Future Claudia, Jonas sets aside his yellow raincoat and dons a dark blue one, showing his shift toward becoming the Stranger.
  • Start of Darkness: Adam killing his lover, Martha, gradually deadens Jonas into becoming The Stranger and later on, Adam.
  • Surprise Incest: Jonas kisses and has sex with Martha, only to discover that she is his aunt.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: He is the Stranger, and Adam.
    • He's the cause behind both Mikkel's disappearance and suicide.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the beginning, Jonas is just a clueless teenager, but he becomes bolder as he is exposed to the time travel plot and is a full-on Action Survivor after spending a year in post-Apocalyptic Winden. His evolution with this trope is best illustrated by his very distinct middle-age and elder selves, The Stranger and Adam.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The St. Christopher necklace he and Martha find buried in the sand by the lake. It becomes a symbol of their time-and-space spanning romance, but its existence runs much deeper than that.
  • Unwitting Pawn: What he turns out to be at the hands of his future self, Adam. A quantum-entangled version of him is this to Eva as well.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Ultimately, all of Jonas' actions (and those of his older incarnations The Stranger & Adam) come down to this. When he learns in season 3 episode 7 that he Cannot Self Terminate because his older self already exists, he starts down the path that The Stranger and Adam are already on, one that leads to him desperately seeking a way to end his cycle of pain by destroying the world. He eventually succeeds.

    Hannah 

Hannah Kahnwald, née Krüger

Actor: Maja Schöne (middle-aged), Ella Lee (young)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/31aed5a4990ec4a0a29eacc3de1aa63e.jpg
Hannah in 2019 timeline

Jonas's mother and Michael's widow. She is having an affair with Ulrich, whom she has carried a torch for since their school years.


  • Alas, Poor Villain: After spending half of the series being vengeful over Ulrich not loving her and then ditching 1954 after blaming Egon for getting her pregnant, she reunites with an already-transitioning Jonas-into-Adam, and tearfully finally accepts responsibility for how she ruins everyone's lives with her behavior, especially after giving birth to Silja. Adam, later on, suffocates her.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Initially seems to be one of the more sympathetic characters, but is gradually revealed to be cruel, vindictive, and self-centred to the point of outright sociopathy as the series progresses.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Where her infatuation with Ulrich comes from.
  • Consummate Liar: Oh, yes.
  • Driven to Suicide: Had been just about to shoot herself when her missing son suddenly showed up at her door six months later...and 33 years older.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Genuinely loves her son Jonas and later her daughter, Silja.
  • Evil Is Petty: She bothers to go back in time to the 50’s to visit Ulrich (as she now knows he is stuck in there accused of murdering the children)... but instead of saving him she decides to leave him Trapped in the Past as an act of spite for not loving her.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Eventually realizes all the damage she has done and goes to Jonas in the 1910's in order to fix it.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Wants Ulrich all for herself, and will stop at nothing to drive him and his wife apart.
  • I Choose to Stay: Steals the time machine, and apparently decides to travel back to 1954 and remain there, seeing nothing for herself back in her own time, not to mention the impending Apocalypse.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Her obsession over Ulrich causes her to accuse him of rape as a kid, plotting against his family as an adult and even leaves Ulrich to his Fate Worse than Death in prison in the year 1953 when she HAD the chance to bring him out.
  • Manipulative Bitch: She plays with Katarinas emotions to go against Ulrich.
  • Missing Mom: To her daughter Silja, due to Jonas/Adam killing her to enable Silja's kidnapping.
  • The Mistress: To Ulrich.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After she realizes all she has done she does goes back to Adam and tries to fix things. He kills her.
  • Slimeball: She turns out to be a pretty cold and cunning individual whose main motive is her envy.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Hannah in the original timeline seems to be this way, coming off less of a stressed individual and more friendly, even being closer to Katharina and Regina, people she'd hurt in the erased timelines. All in all, it really looks as if Ulrich's existence brought out the worst in her, and with him never existing in the first place, all this never happened.
  • Unrequited Love: For Ulrich.
  • Woman Scorned:
    • After realizing that Ulrich will never leave Katharina for her, she blackmails Aleksander to ruin his life. That doesn't work because Ulrich gets Trapped in the Past, but when she has the opportunity to rescue him, she doesn't.
    • In the third season, she blackmails Aleksander into ruining Charlottes life, after she realizes Ulrich is cheating on her with Charlotte.
  • Yandere: Hannah is this for Ulrich, destroying his and his family's life when rejected by him.

    Michael 

Michael Kahnwald

Actor: Sebastian Rudolph

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jonas_continues_the_cycle.jpg
Michael in 2019 timeline

Ines's adoptive son, Jonas's father, and Hannah's husband. He kills himself at the beginning of the show.


  • Broken Bird: Ye the gods..., considering who he is, it's obvious he wouldn't be mentally well in the end...
  • Dark and Troubled Past: As we learn why under the Nielsen family page...
  • Driven to Suicide: His death kicks off the entire show and is what drives Jonas into his angst plot. It comes off as tragically heartbreaking when you know Michael originally was from 2019 as Mikkel who somehow ended up in 1986 and was adopted by Ines, leading him to become Jonas's father as Michael. Ultimately subverted, as season 2 reveals that Michael was not "driven" to suicide by tragedy or depression, but rationally chose to take his own life to ensure that Jonas would come into existence.
  • Happily Adopted: After finding himself unable to return to his family in 2019, Mikkel stays behind in 1986 and is eventually adopted by Ines Kahnwald, who raises him as if he were her own son.
  • Nice Guy: A surprising breath of fresh air in the world of Dark too; Michael, in his own episode in Season 2, is shown to be a kind heart and genuinely shy person who loved Jonas and Hannah dearly. Which makes his suicide a lot more heartbreaking.
  • Posthumous Character: Committed suicide a few months before the start of the series, except not because of depression but rather needing to die to allow Jonas to exist.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: He is Mikkel Nielsen.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Jonas' attempts to prevent him from hanging himself were for naught and even he seems relatively calm about it, even telling Jonas that God probably had something planned for it.

    Ines 

Ines Kahnwald

Actor: Angela Winkler (old), Anne Ratte-Polle (middle-aged), Lena Urzendowsky (young)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/d5edfa97_1f41_44ea_8963_9e2310962abf_dark_screenshots_season_2_episode_5_lost_found_123.jpg
Ines in 1986 timeline

Michael's adoptive mother. In 1986, she was a nurse at the local hospital.


  • Beauty Mark: Has a prominent mole on her upper lip.
  • Jerkass: Subverted. Hannah hates her mother-in-law, but Ines's interactions with a young Michael showcase that she's actually a loving woman.
  • My Beloved Smother: Turns out to have been secretly drugging Mikkel with sleeping pills in a misguided attempt to keep him calm and safe.
  • Old Maid: Implied. By 1986, Ines's schoolmates Tronte, Jana, and Claudia have teenaged children of their own, while Ines's coworkers point out that Ines doesn't have a family.note  She adopts Michael shortly after.
  • Parental Substitute: She adopted Michael after he time traveled to 1986 and raised him like she would her own son, since it is implied that she can't have children of her own.
  • Secret Keeper: She had already known that Mikkel was Michael years before and even was the one who took the suicide note that Michael/Mikkel left behind.

Doppler Family

Another fairly affluent family. Its patriarch Bernd opened and managed the first German nuclear power plant, and they originally owned the large mansion became the Waldhotel Winden.

    Bernd 

Bernd Doppler

Actor: Michael Mendl (old), Anatole Taubman (nuddke0aged)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dark_bernd_doppler_1986.png
Bernd in 1986 timeline

Husband to Greta and father to Helge. The first manager of the Winden nuclear power plant in 1953. In 1986, he is retiring and passing on the reins to Claudia Tiedemann.


  • Age-Gap Romance: Had an affair with Claudia, who is about the same age as his son Helge, in 1970. This led to Regina's birth.
  • Family Man: When his son goes missing, nothing else, not even the opening of his nuclear power plant, takes precedence in his mind.
  • Genius Cripple: He's the bigshot in town, living in a mansion and being responsible for opening the nuclear power plant that will provide the town jobs. He walks with a severe limp and a cane as a middle-aged man and is consigned to a wheelchair in old age. There's no explanation for what his condition is.
  • Good Parents:
    • Has an apparently warm, happy relationship with his son, even when Helge might not have been his.
    • He's implied to have been this to Regina in the Original World as well, since a photograph with the three of them shows them as a family.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Covered up the 1986 Winden Power Plant disaster because it was just months after Chernobyl, and most of Winden depended on the Power Plant for jobs.
  • Long-Lost Relative: In Season 3 it turns out that he is Regina Tiedemann's father, and by proxy related to the Nielsen family.
  • Papa Wolf: Orders Egon to do everything possible to find his son.
  • Sinister Suffocation: Garrotted by the Unknown in order to acquire the power plant's master key.

    Greta 

Greta Doppler

Actor: Cordelia Wege

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gretta_doppler_768x448.jpg
Greta in 1953 timeline

Bernd's wife and Helge's mother, who was not loving towards him.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: In one of her first scenes, she greets young Egon quite suggestively. Although, she quickly loses interest in him and instead becomes infatuated with the new preacher in town, Noah.
  • Abusive Parents: She was quite cold and unforgiving when it came to Helge. She forced him to strip down to his underwear when he got his clothes a little dirty on his way home, appearing to smile slightly as he cowers in front of her. And when he returns in a state of trauma after being missing for months, it isn't long before she gets over her joy and starts finding reasons to be disappointed in him again.
  • Killed Offscreen: Passed away in 1972.
  • Freudian Excuse: The reason she's so hard on Helge is that a man raped her, and because of the timing, she doesn't know whether the rapist or her husband is Helge's father.
  • Iron Lady: She's a rather strict, dour, cold woman.
  • My Beloved Smother: She's very controlling over her son, though she softens a little after Helge returns six months after he disappeared.
  • Skewed Priorities: At one point, Greta goes to Egon demanding help. He assumes it has to do with her previously-abducted son Helge, but she firmly corrects him because she wants to know what he's doing to find out what happened to "Father Hanno" aka Noah.
  • Tough Love: From her perspective.

    Helge 

Helge Doppler

Actor: Hermann Beyer (old), Peter Schneider (middle-aged), Tom Philipp (young)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tve168444_4172_20171201_0.jpg
Helge in 2019 timeline

Bernd and Greta's mentally slow son. In 1953, Helge is a kind boy who plays with Claudia and Tronte. In 1986, he is working as a guard at the power plant. In 2019, he has dementia and is living in a nursing home, occasionally visited by his son Peter and daughter-in-law Charlotte.


  • The Atoner: Aided Noah in the abduction and eventual murder of three children, and spends the latter half of the series' first season trying to make up for it by going back in time in his dementia-addled state and preventing his past self from pursuing further killings.
  • Childhood Brain Damage: It's definitely possible that his low intelligence was caused by the head trauma he suffered during his childhood, but on the other hand, he thoroughly sucked at basic calculus before that, and his mother commented how he never had been a bright kid. And the Helge from the parallel universe, who never got attacked as a kid in the first place, doesn't appear to be any smarter.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: As a child, he was attacked with a rock by Ulrich and locked in a room to die.
  • Empty Shell: His mother describes him as such after his return in 1953. He gets better when Noah takes him on.
  • Eye Scream: In Eva's world, Helge lost an eye after Ulrich tried to bash his head in with a rock.
  • Guilt-Ridden Accomplice: Clearly feels guilty about participating in Noah's crimes, but is so psychologically damaged that he's easily cowed into submission.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Old Helge kills himself by ramming his car into 1986 Helge's.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Alternate universe Helge is missing an eye instead of an ear.
  • Madness Mantra: Mumbling "Tick, tock, tick, tock" in 1986 and "I can change the past." in 2019.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Seems to have affection for Noah after his release from the time bunker.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: His inversion of this trope is a sign of his immaturity as an adult.
  • Reluctant Psycho: Suffered brain damage as a result of Ulrich's attempt to kill him, and clearly feels tremendous guilt over the acts Noah manipulates him into performing.
  • Talking to Themself: Does this a lot in the throes of dementia And then literally when 2019 Helge travels back to 1986.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: His favourite snack appears to be chocolate bars, of the Raider brand (before it was renamed as Twix in the 90s).
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Whereas his sympathy is in the eye of the beholder, Helge qualifies as this. His life was shattered beyond repair after a murder attempt when he was just a little boy, for crimes he hasn't even committed yet. The broken man is then manipulated by Father Noah into committing the very crimes he was almost killed for, and while his past doesn't excuse his actions, he eventually comes to realize what he's done. He dies in a futile attempt to stop his past self from listening to Noah any longer, a sad, lonely old man consumed by guilt.

    Peter 

Peter Doppler

Actor: Stephan Kampwirth (middle-aged), Pablo Striebeck (young)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dark_peter_doppler_e1550825759300.png
Peter in 2019 timeline

Helge's son, Charlotte's husband, and Franziska and Elisabeth's father. He is a therapist who moved to Winden after an incident involving his father in 1986.


  • Ambiguously Bi: Franziska says, “My mom found out that Dad's actually into dicks.” However, the person Peter has an affair with, Benni, presents as female. In the alt-world, Peter has an affair with Benjamin Wöller, that world’s version of Benni. In the origin world, Peter and Benni are in a happy relationship.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: Remains married to Charlotte, but only for the sake of their daughters.
  • Innocent Bystander: Going down into the bunker for some quiet self-reflection/self-loathing one night resulted in him becoming intimately involved in unlocking the mysteries of time travel in Winden with his wife.
  • Madness Mantra: Begins reciting the "Serenity Prayer" in moments of emotional stress.
  • Papa Wolf: Sacrifices himself in a successful attempt to save Elisabeth from her rape.
  • Skeptic No Longer: Having seen the bodies of dead children appear through a rip in space-time before his eyes, he rather quickly becomes accustomed to the idea of time travel.

    Charlotte 

Charlotte Doppler

Actor: Karoline Eichhorn (middle-aged), Stephanie Amarell (young)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2c6993d0_af4d_11e9_a98f_89cc90c812e0_800_420.jpeg
Charlotte in 2019 timeline

Peter's wife and Franziska and Elisabeth's mother. In 1986 she is a quiet girl fixated on the birds who die throughout Winden. In 2019 timeline she is chief of police and Ulrich's partner; thus, the community looks to her to solve the disappearances.


  • Agent Mulder: Together with Peter, she tries to unravel the mysteries of time travel in Winden throughout season 2.
  • Amicable Exes: Though technically they are still married (and putting up a charade for the sake of the kids), her relationship with Peter is for all intents and purposes defunct since the beginning of the series. However, them working together to unravel the weirdness and the mysteries surrounding the disappearances in Winden manages to bring them closer.
  • Animal Motif: Birds. As a young girl in 1986, Charlotte is seen sketching a dead bird in her notebook, and as an adult in 2019 she witnessed birds falling from the sky.
  • Birds of a Feather: Appears to be the root of her relationship with her husband, Peter. When they first met as teenagers, Charlotte was an orphan raised by a man she had no relation to, and Peter came to live with his estranged father after his mother died. Both were outsiders and uncertain of their futures.
  • By-the-Book Cop: In stark contrast to her more hot-headed colleague Ulrich.
  • Cowboy Cop: Turns into this in season 2, investigating the mysteries of Winden secretly on her own time.
  • Da Chief: Despite them being good friends, Charlotte is quite critical of Ulrich's tendency to go above the law, and ends up suspending him once she decides that he's too personally involved in the case.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Is revealed to be named after herself, as in her older self, whom Noah and Elisabeth believed to have died in the Apocalypse. They didn't know they were the same person, until Noah and later Elisabeth discover it. She also has the name/identity of Tannhaus’s deceased granddaughter.
  • Gone to the Future: Disappears from 2020 due to her and Adult Elisabeth interacting right before the Apocalypse, and her accidentally time-travelling to 2053. She is declared missing/dead by her remaining family back in 2020.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: Remains married to Peter, but only for the sake of their daughters.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Alternate universe Charlotte has long hair.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Finds out that Noah is her father...and that her mother is still alive.
  • My Own Grampa: Turns out to be her own grandmother, as her own daughter turns out to be her mother.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: With regard to the Alternate-Charlotte. In Eva's world, Charlotte never really gets a clue as to what is going on. Then all of her investigative efforts are rendered meaningless when she and Aleksander unwittingly release the God Particle, becoming the first victims of the Apocalypse in that reality.
  • Skeptic No Longer: When she finds Ulrich's picture in a 1953 newspaper.
  • The Stoic: Though not emotionless, Charlotte is often eerily coolheaded and reserved.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Finds out she's actually the daughter of the time-traveling child murderer she's been hunting... and her own daughter.
  • Rogue Agent: Tries to investigate the mysteries of Winden without the oversight of her new superior, Clausen.

    Franziska 

Franziska Doppler

Actor: Gina Stiebitz (young), Carina Wiese (middle-aged)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_ca6e7e57ca243cec18cb557b037a6fc7_ccc27efb_640.png
Franziska in 2019 timeline

Peter and Charlotte's eldest daughter, who is in something of a relationship with Magnus.


  • Berserk Button: People, especially her parents, keeping secrets from others (though her parents arguably have a pretty good reason for doing so).
  • The Dragon: To Adam along with Magnus, after Noah's betrayal.
  • Fiery Redhead: She spprts red hair and a aggressive, independent and bold personality. She deals drugs on the side in an effort to raise enough money to escape Winden. When Erik disappears, she shows up at his drug stash before everyone else. Even in the second universe, where she's deaf, she still manages to be forceful, as shown when she smacks Magnus's chest and demands that he keep her in the loop of the conversation.
  • Hypocrite: Is furious when others keep secrets from her, but has more than a few secrets herself.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Magnus spies on her leaving money in a box at the train tracks, which he later sees get picked up by Benni. He concludes that she is a prostitute, and angrily confronts her over this. In actuality, she was helping Benni to afford her hormone drugs, since her father was no longer her patron. Naturally, this leads to their breakup.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She's an attractive young woman who appears nude in all three seasons, the only character to do so.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: She and Magnus have a lot of arguments and a lot of intense eye contact, and end up in a relationship.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: She's seen in extremely short shorts during her teen years.

    Elisabeth 

Elisabeth Doppler

Actor: Carlotta von Falkenhayn (young), Sandra Borgmann (middle-aged)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/160229_1535033306.jpg
Elisabeth in 2019 timeline

Youngest daughter of Peter and Charlotte. Elisabeth is deaf and communicates via sign language.


  • Apocalypse Cult: 2053 Elisabeth leads a group of tough-as-nails survivors, who seem like an offshot of Sic Mundus/The Travellers. In Season 3, it turns out they are Sic Mundus, and were simply waiting for Adam to join them and lead them into a better world.
  • Break the Cutie: The murder of her father, and the attempted rape by the man who does it, who Elisabeth has to kill, leave her pretty broken by the time Noah finds her.
  • Cheerful Child: At least, she was. This is before the apocalypse horribly traumatizes her.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Defying normal expectations of a deaf young girl, she can be quite the wise-ass.
  • Future Badass: Is a ruthless leader of survivors in the future.
  • Handicapped Badass: In 2052 she's deaf and blind and one eye, but is the cold and competent leader of the post-apocalyptic survivors.
  • My Own Grampa: Turns out to be her own grandmother, birthing Charlotte with Noah.
  • Parental Substitute: To Silja after Adam sends Silja to her in order to raise.
  • Pet the Dog: Spares Jonas from being hanged in the future after he ventures into the Dead Zone.
  • Prophet Eyes: Is blind in one eye in the apocalyptic future, and constantly rants about the "prophecy."
  • Secret Keeper: In the post-apocalyptic future, she hides the existence of the dark matter time orb in the old nuclear plant from others, executing anyone who ventures into the "dead zone".
  • Tragic Keepsake: Still keeps her animal hat and looks upon it fondly, even in the post-apocalypse.
  • Trauma Conga Line: In Season 3, she lives with her father in a Winden destroyed by the apocalypse, still searching for her mother and sister, the former who has reunited with her daughter's future self in 2053, and the latter travelling into the distant past to help build Sic Mundus. Everyone she ever knew is dead or lost. Her father is afraid of a boy who is nice to her, but doesn't tell her why. Then she is attacked and wounded by a squatter, who tries to rape her, and has to witness her father's death at the squatter's hands when he tries to help her. In trying to defend herself, she brutally kills the squatter, and flees to the boy - Noah - who is nice to her, but can't really help her because he's emotionally damaged and socially awkward because he was raised by an Apocalypse Cult. They live in a cave for a few years, then join other survivors. As adults, they have a child, but it gets stolen. Noah gets lost searching for the child. Then, like a miracle, Elisabeth gets her daughter back, but it turns out she is also her mother. And then Adam asks them to steal Baby Charlotte from Elisabeth's younger self and Noah, meaning she causes part of her own misery and helps put Noah on his path to murdering children in endless repetition.
  • Wasteland Warlord: As the ruthless leader of a heavily-armed band of survivors in the post-apocalyptic future.

Sic Mundus / The Travellers (Major Spoilers)

    Sic Mundus 

Sic Mundus

  • Apocalypse Cult: What it is revealed to be.
  • Darker and Edgier: The cult was originally just a collection of wealthy aristocrats held together by the Tannhaus family's belief in time travel and resurrection of the dead. It becomes a lot more ominous in nature when it is joined and then taken over by actual time travelers.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: It takes them a long time to get there, with countless horrible mistakes along the way, but, with Claudia's help, Adam and Jonas are able to break the knot and save all of existence.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: They are based out of an opulently-decorated lair deep underground.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: It's ultimately revealed that many of the cult's most ardent members in the 1920s are actually the adult/elderly versions of the teen characters from 2019. Jonas is the cult's leader, Adam, while Bartosz, Magnus and Franziska are his loyal followers.
  • Necromancy: The cult was originally founded by Gustav Tannhaus's father in the early 1800s, born out of his desire to resurrect his late wife Charlotte by manipulating time and space. He never succeeded, but Gustav did eventually discover that time travel was possible. And this does eventually lead to Jonas (a future leader of Sic Mundus) manipulating time and space to prevent the death of H.G. Tannhaus's son, daughter-in law and granddaughter in the 1970s.
  • Straw Nihilist: The hat that members of this cult wear. One way or another, their goal is to bring about the end of the world.
    Adam: There's no hope. No salvation. No paradise.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: This is essentially what drives the cult under Adam's leadership. All of them have been worn down by loss and the reality of their seemingly inescapable doom, to the point that they all eventually accept Adam's deranged plan to perpetuate the knot until he has the opportunity to destroy the origin of the knot and the two worlds connected by it, creating "The Paradise." Meaning they don't care what they have to do to past versions of themselves, strangers or loved ones if it means creating a world where all their suffering never happens. Too bad this is a lie Adam uses to control them.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: As dark as their actions are, they do what they do because they genuinely believe what they do will bring about a world free of the pain and misery.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: To Sic Mundus and Adam, this is a command. Adam's lies, manipulation, and false hope were to ultimately ensure that everything—including the apocalypse—happened exactly as it was "supposed" to. Of course, their prime motive is to Screw Destiny, in order to free humanity from the pain brought about by the Stable Time Loops.

    Noah 

Noah

Actor: Mark Waschke (middle-aged), Max Schimmelpfennig (young)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/syuecrjibvb31.png

A mysterious pastor who appears throughout the timeline, seemingly to further the agenda of Sic Mundus.


  • Affably Evil: In Season 1. He really is friendly to everyone, whether he is manipulating them, kidnapping them, or keeping them from leaving the cause.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Becomes this by the end of Season 2, upon realizing he was being manipulated by Adam/Jonas and is killed by Agnes, all while Adam/Jonas makes it clear that everything happens because it's been predetermined. The gradual learning of this is rather pitiful for someone who killed three kids just to reunite with his daughter.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Initially, his motive for serving Adam in kidnapping and killing the children was rather ambiguous, claiming it was for a greater good. Then we learn that he is doing all this because he thinks it will prevent it from ever happening and that he will have his daughter back eventually.
  • Anti-Villain: Of the types Well-Intentioned Extremist and especially Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. It is revealed that the reason for why he helped Adam with the kidnappings and murders is that he was expecting to eventually get his family back in return.
  • The Atoner: Attempts to become this when he realizes that he has been tricked by Adam. Unfortunately, Adam once again manipulates Noah into standing down, then has him executed by his own sister.
  • Big Bad: Of season 1. An enigmatic priest who seamlessly travels between several time periods 33 years apart, and who's the apparent mastermind behind the disappearance of children in Winden.
  • Dark Messiah: Subverted. He appears to be this in Season 1, if his speech to Helge about the faulty chair being his 'Ark' is any indication, but turns out to be simply fulfilling orders from Adam in Season 2.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Silja names him Hanno, for her own dead mother Hannah.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of the Villain persona and The Dragon. Noah isn’s actually evil, and had no wish to be, but the reason for why he joins Sic Mundus and becomes Adam’s dragon is because he is just an ordinary man who happens was manipulated by his fatalist uncle. Later, he is given more ”reasons” to act as his dragon because his daughter was kidnapped and was promised to reunite with her if he helped Adam. And as the story progresses, it becomes harder and harder to pin down Noah as an actual ”villain”.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Everything he does in Season 1 and early Season 2 happens because he wants to find his daughter Charlotte and bring her back to his girlfriend Elisabeth.
  • Forced into Evil: As a teenager, he is clearly distraught when Adam orders him to kill his own father. His adult self just dryly tells him he'll get used to the feeling eventually.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: He starts out extremely devoted to Adam, even murdering his father on Adam's orders, then develops doubts when it turns out the post-apocalyptic Winden is not the promised paradise but a dreadful, dangerous wasteland. After years of unsuccessfully trying to build a stable time portal with Jonas and Claudia he becomes suspicious that Claudia is secretly sabotaging their efforts and he's right, which leads him to incorrectly assume that Claudia is to blame when his daughter Charlotte is kidnapped, causing him to first turn against Jonas and Claudia, and eventually rejoin Adam. This changes again when he discovers Adam's real plans, and he decides to stop him.
  • Heel Realization: Comes to realize that Adam has lied to him, and everything he had done was not to save the world after all...
  • Knight of Cerebus: Especially during the first and second season. The show's atmosphere becomes intensely foreboding whenever he is on screen or his presence is addressed.
  • Leitmotif: Noah's appearance on screen, either in person or as a drawing, is always accompanied by sporadic, dissonant, sinister-sounding electronic chords. He keeps it even after it turns out he has sympathetic motives and isn't a complete bad guy.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Has the Emerald Tablet tattooed on him, is an Unwitting Pawn to Jonas, loses his loved ones to the Knot, and ends up dying at the hands of a family member.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Is the brother of Agnes, the father of Charlotte, and husband/grandfather of Elisabeth. He is also the son of Bartosz and Silja, and through his mother, the nephew of both Jonas/Adam and Claudia, and via his father, Claudia's great-grandson as well.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Charlotte, Noah is your father.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He seems to be one, but ultimately, he is the one being manipulated.
  • Meaningful Rename: Adam was the one who named him Noah and by the end of Season 2, he lives up to his namesake since due to his warning to Charlotte, Peter and Elisabeth are both in the bunker when the apocalypse hits.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Killing the other miner in the Season 2 opening really shook young Noah up, unlike the stoic person he grows up as. Once we know that the miner was his father...
  • Not So Stoic: Seems to be at least slightly touched when 1954 Helge runs up to hug him...and is horrified when he realizes that Adam has lied to him. In his conversation with his long-lost daughter, Charlotte, he is also far from calm, even rambling when he tells her about her early childhood. With Season 3, it becomes clear that he is actually pretty emotional, but was taught to suppress his feelings from very early on.
  • Oh, Crap!: Gets this look when he realizes he's unable to kill Adam, and then his sister his ordered to kill him...
  • Papa Wolf: Defies Adam and nearly sabotages him to ensure his daughter Charlotte would be safe.
  • Patricide: Noah killed his father, Bartosz Tiedemann, after the latter began expressing doubts about Sic Mundus.
  • Pet the Dog: Comforts Elisabeth after Peter is killed.
  • Red Herring: Season 1 does a lot to set him up as the main bad guy of the story— only to have him turn out to be The Dragon to Adam in Season 2, and not even entirely bad besides.
  • Self-Made Orphan: His mother died giving birth to his sister, and then he kills his own father, Bartosz under influence of Adam.
  • Sinister Minister: Show and actor play the cliché to the hilt. He's a softspoken clergyman who travels through time and is connected to the deaths and disappearances of young boys. However, Noah isn't actually a real priest.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Although not a sadist. He rarely raises his voice. In fact, he is very softspoken and collected even if he is the one who kidnapped and killed the children.
  • Talking to Themself: Has a few conversations with his 1921 self.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Confronts Adam at the end of Season 2, accusing him of really wanting to destroy humanity and using Noah to do his dirty work.
  • Time-Travel Romance: With Elisabeth Doppler. She meets him first when she's 8 and he's in his forties; he first meets her when he's a teenager and has been sent forward in time from 1921 to 2020. At some point, they have a daughter, Charlotte — which leads to Elisabeth becoming her own grandmother.
  • The Mutiny: Turns against Adam after he figures out his real agenda.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Realizes that Adam is just using him a little too late. In fact, this happens to him a lot: he is also Eva's pawn through Claudia, and Claudia's pawn after she starts to develop her own plans.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He really did believe everything he was doing was for the greater good...but realized that the truth had been hidden from him the whole time.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Two teenagers and an eight-year-old boy die during the experiments to get the time machine in the bunker working. Noah rationalizes that he does it so it never has to happen again (meaning that it will lead to the loop being destroyed). He is right, after a fashion.
  • You Are Not My Father: Does not take it well to Charlotte saying this to his face due to his role in the murders of kids.

    Silja 

Silja

Actor: Lea van Acken

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/507699.jpg

Elisabeth's right-hand woman in 2052.


  • Apocalypse Cult: Is part of Elisabeth's cult in 2052.
  • Crisis of Faith: Has one when Jonas reveals the true nature of the "portal to paradise" in the exclusion zone.
  • Death by Childbirth: Dies shortly after giving birth to Agnes.
  • Distinguishing Mark: She has had the scar running across her face since childhood. When Hannah first brings her to Sic Mundus, Bartosz instantly recognizes her as the child form of his dead wife because of it.
  • The Dragon: To Elisabeth, and to Adam after Elisabeth goes off with Charlotte.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a single, long scar running diagonally across her face, and is not overly disfigured at all. She's correspondingly very tough, acting as Elisabeth's second in command.
  • Harmful to Minors: Witnesses her mother's death at the hands of her much older half-brother, and gets transported to 2041.
  • Honey Trap: She is send back to the 19th century to keep Bartosz from abandoning Sic Mundus, and to conceive Noah and Agnes with him. It's not revealed if she actually cares for him beyond that.
  • Long-Lost Relative: She is the daughter of Hannah and Egon, the wife of Bartosz, and the mother of Noah and Agnes.
  • Not So Stoic: However, she has trouble hiding her emotion when dealing with those she is close to, such as her half-brother, Jonas, her future daughter, Agnes, and her mentor/daughter-in-law/great-granddaughter, Elisabeth.
  • Missing Mom: Has this in Hannah, her mother. She is also this to Noah and Agnes, due to her death giving birth to the latter.
  • The Stoic: Often silent and brooding, due to being a hardened survivor of the post-apocalyptic Winden.

    Adam 

Adam

Actor: Dietrich Hollinderbaumer

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/netflix_dark_season_2_explained_characters_adam_ending_spoilers.jpeg

The mysterious leader of Sic Mundus.


  • Affably Evil: He is very spoftspoken, well-mannered and polite towards his followers AND enemies alike. This is ultimately due to the fact that he really believes that ending the universe is the only way to end the time knot, so he doesn’t actually hold any malice or anything personal towards anyone.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: All the way. It's revealed in Season 3 that for how villainous he was, he truly felt that destroying Time and sacrificing the other Martha to the Dark Matter would end the knot... except it didn't. He seems devastated when he realizes the true height of it all and when finally confronted by Claudia about the implication of a third world, he comes to the realization all his actions were pointless and urges his younger self to finally destroy the knot and even comforts Eve and faces death peacefully with her as he (and everyone else) fades away from existence.
  • Anti-Villain: There is no real malice in him, he just thinks that ending the time knot requires extreme methods. Once he is made aware of a third world, he abandons these methods.
  • Apocalypse Cult: The leader of Sic Mundus, the group of "travelers" dedicated to starting the world anew with the destruction of the old.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Eve. Just as Adam is obsessed with destroying the loop at all costs, his rival is obsessed with preserving it with equal ruthlessness. Ultimately Adam wins, after an endless number of cycles, though he makes peace with Eve in his last moments, and fades out of existence with her.
  • Bald of Evil: He's bald and covered in scars due to experimentation with the god particle and time traveling. By contrast, his younger selves have full heads of hair.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Essentially believes that everything, including the apocalypse, must happen exactly as it does, and goes to extreme lengths to ensure this.
  • Big Bad: Of the series as a whole, but particularly in in season 2. Noah is revealed to merely be The Dragon to Adam, the leader of the "Sic Mundus" secret society, who seek to free mankind from the shackles of time by destroying this world and creating a new one.
  • Contemplative Boss: Often assumes this pose when inside his office at the secret underground base.
  • Covered with Scars: So heavily that he appears to have been fried from head to toe.
  • Dark Is Evil: While not evil, per se. When Jonas has turned villainous (whenever that actually happened), he always wears dark clothes.
  • Dark Messiah: Wants to free humanity from the shackles of time and God, even if it means killing humanity.
  • Death Seeker: Part of his motivation. At a certain point, Jonas would rather commit suicide than continue enduring his miserable fate, but can't even kill himself because his future self already exists. So is it any wonder Adam's entire mission is to destroy all of existence itself?
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Played With. Is the leader of an Apocalypse Cult and has the ability to travel through time... and wants to end the universe. But we learn that all the things he did only contributed to the present time, and quickly goes with the third option that Claudia offers him.
  • Distinguishing Mark: He points out the scar on his throat from the near-hanging in 2053 as proof to Jonas that they are one and the same.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Building the time machine heavily disfigured him, eventually becoming what we know is “Adam”.
  • The Extremist Was Right: His solution in ending the two timelines is true, on the condition that a third one will continue.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Actively encourages Jonas to break the loop, and fades out of existence with Eve peacefully, knowing that the Origin World will be free from all miseries they suffered.
  • Facial Horror: His skin is gruesomely wrinkled and burned-looking - first explained as the consequence of frequent time traveling during Jonas' life; but later implied to be the result of an accident that happened while building his tesla coil-driven time machine with 19th century machinery.
  • The Fatalist: Is all of this, an apathetic and bitter man who feels the end of all existence and time is fitting to "free" humanity from God and Time.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Is horrifically scarred across his entire body and face, and is the Big Bad of the series.
  • The Grotesque: His appearance. He dresses very sharp...but his burnt face gives a lot of horrifying implications.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Upon realizing that sacrificing Eve!Martha (who's womb has the Origin) to the Dark Matter didn't end the universe and learning there is a third world, Adam immediately jumps at the opportunity to help his past self into breaking the knot, even if it means he ceases to exist.
  • The Leader: Of the Apocalypse Cult known as Sic Mundus.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Finds this out while still in his young Jonas-persona: Since he's alive as his future version, this automatically means that he can't die and that his destiny is determined to turn out that way. This realization most likely contributed a lot to how he ultimately developed the idea that the loop can only be broken by erasing time altogether.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Noah is the primary antagonistic figure in season 1; season 2 reveals he was acting on Adam's orders.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Possibly the biggest one in the series, even manipulating his own younger selves.
  • Meaningful Rename: Names himself Adam at some point likely to mark that he's abandoning Jonas' and the Stranger's ideals and Claudia's path.
  • Nothing Personal: Despite Jonas, Noah and Bartosz hating him for ruining their lives, Adam doesn't hold any real enmity towards them, and only acts against them to maintain the loop so that he can break the knot and 'save' them all.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Deconstructed. He doesn't want to create a new world as humanity will still be slaves to Time/God. He wants to destroy the world entirely so that humanity can finally be free from the time knot.
  • Overarching Villain: He is the villain who is some kind of antagonist in each season. He was the unseen Greater-Scope Villain in Season 1 while Noah was acting as The Heavy; the Big Bad in Season 2; and a part of the Big Bad Ensemble in Season 3.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: He wants to destroy Time/God, which he considers to be one and the same. Subverted in that it seems he does not see God as being a sentient entity, per se.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Adam has come to believe their world should never have been and the only way to free humanity from time's grasp and their endlessly repeating loop of misery is to destroy existence and the time knot with them. He is certain destroying both worlds will accomplish this. It turns out that both worlds are indeed a mistake, endlessly dying and being reborn, and must be erased. But the key to ending their two worlds is not to destroy them, they're already doomed, but rather to save a third world: The world that birthed the time knot.
  • Self-Made Orphan: His machinations ensures that his younger self causes Michael's suicide, and he kills Hannah to maintain the time loop and to take his half-sister Silja to the 2040s.
  • Start of Darkness: Shoots and kills (this world's version of) Martha to set off the "pain" that will lead Jonas to become him. This one day culminates in him being ruthless enough to kill his own mother and manipulate himself into abetting his father's suicide.
  • Talking to Themself: When he meets his past self...Jonas.
  • Tragic Villain: Is aware of his moral transgressions and indicates that he understands Jonas' disgust at his actions. This is made particularly poignant by the fact that his plans essentially amount to a suicide attempt that he is prepared to sacrifice almost anything to accomplish, including the lives of a version of the alternate Martha and the unborn Origin.
  • Villain Has a Point: Turns out Adam's idea, to literally destroy the universes to end their suffering was the right move all along, as even Claudia eventually agrees when she got a chance to Take a Third Option. He simply lacked the necessary knowledge of a third world to accomplish this goal with less brutal methods.
  • Villain Protagonist: Guaranteed that he's Jonas, but Season 3 mostly consists of him trying to actively break the Stable Time Loop plaguing both sides, willing to do anything to bring it about, even attempted murder of his own son, and succeeding in the season finale.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Averted. After killing one if the Marthas along with their unborn child, he believes that that is the moment when the universe will be disintegrated. But nothing happens. Instead Claudia walks to him explaining that she had manipulated the timelines enough to show him that there is a way to end the time knot that doesn’t require ending the entire universe altogether. Since he truly wants what is best for humanity (even if ending the universe was the only way), he actually listens to Claudia and agrees to follow her way.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: His philosophy. As it turns out, both universes are inevitably doomed and simply keep ending over and over again. Claudia reaffirms this, telling him no matter who comes out on top of Adam and Eve's war over the timelines, the world's always end and the loop begins all over again.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Eva states that everything Adam does is guided by her and Erit Lux, down to Eva's eventual murder to facilitate her younger self's transformation. Adam defies Eva once he uses the loophole Eva's been exploiting all this time.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: What makes him the Big Bad. He honestly believes his actions, no matter how awful, serve the greater good. Ending the enslavement to the time knot, even if it means oblivion, is the only way he can see to free humanity. When he is presented with another alternative to ending the time loop, he embraces it.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Has Agnes kill her brother Noah after he attempts to stop Adam.
    • Kills Martha from Eva's World after getting her to help their younger selves in order to kill the Unknown and erase their existences, but fails in the latter due to quantum-entanglement allowing another Martha to exist.

    The Stranger 

The Stranger

Actor: Andreas Pietschmann

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/stranger_9.jpg

A mysterious man who pops up in Winden in 2019.


  • Covered with Scars: While not as bad as his elderly counterpart, his body has dozens of visible scars. He eventually gets more and more scars as he creates the God Particle at Sic Mundus base due to the faulty Tesla machine.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Points out a scar on his arm and the story behind it to prove to Hannah that he is Jonas.
  • Face–Heel Turn: After meeting with Gustav Tannhaus in 1888 who sets him on the path to 'Paradise' and being betrayed by Alt!Martha (on his own orders in the future, no less), Jonas decides to wipe both universes out of existence, even threatening Bartosz to stay with him in 1890, slowly but inevitably becoming Adam.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has significant back and neck scars but a more or less clean face, and tends to be a well-meaning character. Leans more towards the latter as he gets stuck in 1888 and begins working to get out of it...
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Stranger wasn't villainous to say the least, but indifferent to everything. Upon finishing his task in the events of Season 1 however, he begins to move away from trying to prevent his imminent transformation into Adam. Eventually, he makes the disastrous decision of kidnapping Martha in a futile attempt to save her, which allows Adam to bring about the apocalypse and sets the Stranger's own journey to become Adam in stone.
  • Hope Spot: Meeting Martha and learning he still failed to save her Prime counterpart destroys him.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: He gets stuck in 1888 and is so obsessed to find the Origin and change the timeline, that he gradually turns into Adam.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Hannah about her affair with Ulrich, asking between Michael and Ulrich, whom she will choose if fate gave her the opportunity to.
  • Shirtless Scene: Is seen at least twice without a shirt for obvious fanservice.
  • The Stoic: Or at least always being somber anyway. The Stranger more or less always has a sense of strict or somber aura, and even acts indifferent when he meets his 2019 self. This facade begins to crack in season 2, and shatters entirely when he believes he can save Martha.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Getting stuck in the distant past and meeting a Martha that is from another universe didn't do anything good to his sanity.
  • Trapped in the Past: After the apocalypse he, Magnus, Franziska, and Bartosz get stuck in 1888. It takes them over 30 years to build the time machine.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Claudia as well as his future self, Adam.
  • You Already Changed the Past:
    • He warns Katharina that her attempts to get Mikkel back are doomed to fail, for this reason. Because it is a Stable Time Loop, Katharina's attempts to do so only help the current loop along.
    • He himself seemed to forget this, when he kidnaps Martha and brings her to the bunker to safeguard her from Adam. Noah then arrives and gives him Martha's letter, running off to rescue Bartosz, Magnus and Franziska. Martha, not trusting the older Jonas, flees the bunker at the first chance she gets, and is there when Adam reaches the Kahnwald home. Adam then kills Martha and causes the events that will directly lead to him becoming Adam.
  • You Can't Fight Fate:The Stranger tells this to Jonas, his past self of 2019 that he cannot change what will happen to them, as everything is predetermined. When Jonas shows frustration about this, The Stranger responds with cold indifference that he was once confused as well but will understand. Then he actually tries fighting fate, but then slips right into being Adam.

Erit Lux/The Protectors of the Knot

     Eve 

Eve

Actor: Barbara Nüsse (old)

Adam's counterpart in the alternate world.


  • Abusive Parents: Basically makes her son a Tyke Bomb to bring about the stability of the time loops, even encouraging murder to do so.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Despite seeing herself as the Big Good and her side as "the side of the light" vs. Adam's "the side of darkness", she ultimately is just as much the villain of the show he is; since she contributes equally to perpetuating the cycle of suffering.
  • Death Seeker: In the final episode, she reveals that what solidifies her transformation into Eva is when a younger version of herself finds her lying dead in her lair, gunned down by Adam after his plan to destroy the knot fails. So the entire time she is Eva, she is knowingly fighting for an outcome that ends with her ignominious death. When Adam does not attempt to kill her, she guides his gun to her chest, tells him to do it, and pulls the trigger herself when he doesn't. The gun is empty.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Perpetuates the cycle of suffering to let her family and friends live for a little bit longer, even though it will end futilely, but with the knowledge they will live again when the loop begins a new.
  • Good Counterpart: Well, slightly less Evil Counterpart to Adam. Is also motivated to bring the Apocalypse in her world like Adam, but she genuinely wants to keep all of them alive once the loop resets, unlike Adam's short-term motivation to give himself some time. Eva also inspired loyalty among her followers, retaining Noah, Bartosz and Claudia while their Adam's World counterparts eventually turned on Adam.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Due to her behind the Incident in both Adam's and Eva's worlds as well as using the Unknown to keep things in balance, she is evidently this to the first 2 seasons.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: She keeps the same bangs and shoulder-ish-length hair from her teen years to her elderly years.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Once Adam/Jonas informs her the loop is broken, she ditches all her scheming tactics and calmly faces the end together with him.
  • Mama Bear: Perpetuates the Knot to save her son from his father, while both of them are in the misguided belief that he's behind the two worlds.
  • Meaningful Rename: Renames herself Eva in contrast with her antagonist, Adam. As well as being the name of the Biblical first woman, Eve also means "to live" or "to breathe." Which is fitting, since her entire motivation is to ensure the continuation the cycle of neverending creation and destruction for the sake of her loved ones.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Eva reveals that the final push Martha (or her) needed to adopt her views and ideas was when Adam gunned her down and her body discovered by a young Martha. Adam removes the bullets, meaning he defied the Stable Time Loop.
  • Not Afraid to Die: She spends her entire time confronting Adam, gloating to him that how her death will keep on stabilizing the loop, like it did endless times, even daring Adam to shoot her. She is more freaked out when she does not die.
  • The Leader: Of Erit Lux.
  • Oh, Crap!: Gives an epic one as she realises the loop is broken.
  • Sole Survivor: Of the Nielsen family in her world. Ulrich gets killed by Helge after traveling to 1986, and her mother, brothers and grandparents all die when the Apocalypse hits. Leaving only Martha/Eva and, the Unknown, her son by Jonas.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is interchangeably referred to as "Eve" and "Eva."
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Her main role is to stabilize the time loop, as its destruction will cause the eradication of both their universes. It's how she initially manages to turn Claudia against Jonas/Adam. In her eyes, a miserable existence is better than oblivion and ultimately everyone will "live again" when the cycle restarts all over again.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Eve allows herself to be killed by Adam at the end of every cycle so her body will be found by her younger self, Martha. Eve even tells Adam that it's the moment she finally turns against him forever. Subverted when Adam arrives on schedule but has zero intention of killing her. Eve is stunned as it means Adam has broken the cycle.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Orders her younger self to kill Jonas once his task is completed.

    The Unknown 

The Unknown

Actor: Claude Heinrich (young), Jakob Diehl (middle-aged), Hans Diehl (old)

An agent of Erit Lux, who always appears in the company of a younger and older version of himself. He seems to be the Knot that ties the universes of Dark together.

  • Been There, Shaped History: Is behind the Incident at the Power Plant in both worlds, which eventually caused the wormhole to open up, causing the series, and also is behind the existence of the Power Plant in the first place, having blackmailed the Mayor to approve it.
  • Child of Two Worlds: He is the child of Adam and Eve, and the only character born from two different universes. Because of this trait, Adam believes only the power of the apocalypse can kill him.
  • Creepy Child: The child version ups the Unknown's creep factor by being just as murderous and unsettling as the adult versions.
  • The Dividual: In contrast to other characters in the series, who change over time and are often at odds with their younger or older selves, the different versions of the Unknown act as one single-minded individual.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The adult Unknown occasionally reveals a sardonic wit, albeit understated. After successfully strong-arming the mayor of Winden to sign off on Bernd Doppler's power plant, he makes a salute "To the future!"
  • Disappeared Dad: Tronte's. He also has one himself in his own father, Jonas Kahnwald/Adam, who either dies the day after he is conceived in one reality or wants nothing to do with him and actively wants to destroy him in the other reality.
  • The Dragon: He is Eva's right-hand man, traveling between various time periods in both universes and taking the necessary actions to keep the time loop stable.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first thing he does when he appears is to enter the base of Sic Mundus and set it ablaze with his two counterparts. All with a completely stoic face.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: When introduced to his mother a young Martha, pregnant with him at the time, it's a rare show of emotion from him. The boy hugs her like any son would, the adult wipes away his mother's tears and the old man offers a sad smile.
  • Immortal Assassin: Adam claims that due to being born of two different worlds, the Unknown cannot be killed by normal means, and believes that the only thing strong enough to kill him is the combined energy of the apocalypses in both worlds.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The beginning of Season 3 makes it clear that serious shit is going down whenever the Unknown shows up.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Is Jonas and Martha's son, and is raised by the latter. He also married Agnes Nielsen, his ancestor before divorcing for unknown reasons, fathering Tronte.
  • My Own Grampa: In both universes he conceives Tronte with Agnes; Tronte will later on bring about the lineage that will birth him via Jonas and Martha. The Unknown is his own great-great/great-great-great-grandfather, and literally the beginning and the end of the Nielsen line.
  • No Name Given: Literally so. Throughout the show, he/they are never named or even given a name, to the point where the show flat out declares them/him as just "The Unknown".
  • Pet the Dog: A brief moment where he meets his teenage son Tronte for the first time, revealing he chose his name, and gifts him with the ouroboros bracelet that Tronte will pass on to Jana.
  • Red Herring: It's believed as he's the child of Jonas and Martha from different worlds, that he is the Origin of the knot that binds the two worlds together. To this end, Adam becomes obsessed with ending him before he exists whilst Martha is dedicated to ensuring he comes to exist. As it turns out, he is not the Origin of the knot but simply another symptom of it. When Adam succeeds in destroying him in the womb, along with a version of Martha, it accomplishes absolutely nothing.
  • Red Right Hand: His cleft lip serves as an indicator of his sinister nature.
  • The Stoic: All three version of him have a face of pure apathy and indifference, the younger Unknown in particular being a Creepy Child.
  • Time Police: He carries out murders to ensure that events play out as supposed to so that the two worlds stay in balance.
  • Tyke-Bomb: He was raised from infancy to be an emotionless killing tool for his mother's machinations.

Winden Residents and Visitors

    Wöller 

Torben Wöller

Actor: Leopold Hornung

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tl40zbw1j2831.jpg
Woller in 2019 timeline

A policeman.


  • An Arm and a Leg: Has a missing left arm in Eva's World.
  • Eye Scream: Woller is missing an eye. In season one, the wounds are still fresh, but in season 2 and beyond he wears a permanent eyepatch. He lost it "last summer" but won't tell anyone about it. Whenever he's persuaed to talk abotu it, he's immediately cut off.
  • Inspector Lestrade: Of a sort. He's mostly around the station following Charlotte and Ulrich's orders, but he finds it hard to keep up with either of their lines of reasoning and favors more traditional, if futile, methods of investigation, such as investigating the car tracks that may be linked with Erik's disappearance.
  • The Mole: By Episode 9, it's revealed that Aleksander has Torben in on the plan to hide the barrels of toxic wasted resulting from the 1986 accident at the nuclear plant. Not only this, Aleksander relies on him to find dirt on Ulrich when Hannah Kahnwald blackmails him into destroying Ulrich's life.
  • Number Two: To either Charlotte or Ulrich, whoever is taking charge at the moment. Basically the go-to policeman shown whenever Charlotte or Ulrich needs something done around the station.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Is Happily Married to Hannah in the Origin World, is expecting a child with her, and his eye injury is also not so severe as it was in Adam's World.

    Clausen 

Investigator Clausen

Actor: Sylvester Groth

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/eayhiv_x4aeaqdo.jpg
Clausen in 2019 timeline

A federal officer who takes over the investigation of the Winden disappearances.


  • Cowboy Cop: He's frighteningly ruthless in his pursuit of the truth, seemingly not caring one bit about the distress he constantly causes in the ones he interrogates. Even his colleagues are seriously unnerved by his antics. And then he waves his service piece in Aleksander's face during the latter's interrogation at the cop shop, which in Real Life would be the last thing he ever did as a policeman.
  • Does Not Drive: He doesn't have a driver's license, so he constantly requisitions Charlotte or Wöller to drive him places. In fact, this seems to be almost the only thing he uses them for.
  • Given Name Reveal: After Aleksander claims his real last name is Köhler while being interrogated, Clausen reveals that his real last name is Köhler too...and that his brother was named Aleksander, and that he disappeared about 1986, around the time Aleksander first appeared in Winden. And this Aleksander is definitely not his brother...
  • Hypocrite: He keeps pointing out how everyone in Winden is lying to further their own hidden agendas, but although he seems to be honest most of the time, he also had ulterior motives for coming to Winden himself.
  • Jerkass: He may mean well, but his methods and behavior don't endear him to anyone.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He's the one who orders the nuclear waste (which actually contain "time particles," a.k.a The God Particle) to be unearthed, which eventually unleashes the apocalyptic event.
  • Mysterious Note: Reveals that his reason for coming to Widen started with a letter sent by someone hinting that possible clues to his brother's disappearance in 1986 could be found there.
  • Strange Cop in a Strange Land: Constantly remarks on how strange and secretive people in Winden seem to be.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • He certainly thinks of himself as The Chessmaster and a crusader for justice in his quest to find his missing brother, and he might have been right as well, but is ultimately a pawn in the game played by the true chessmasters of the show, manipulated into causing the Apocalypse.
    • He thinks he's solving a cold but otherwise mundane missing persons case, and has no idea he's in a time travel story. To him, opening up the barrels of radioactive waste at the power plant is uncovering damning evidence; to the characters who know what's coming, it's the trigger that causes the end of the world.

    The Obendorfs 

Erik Obendorf

Actor: Paul Radom

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ak2iiee.png
Erik in a missing poster in 2019 timeline
  • For Want of a Nail: Is alive in the Origin World.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Was apparently the school's drug dealer and his disappearance and stash at the Winden caves kick starts Mikkel's disappearance and dies halfway due to Noah's machine.

Jürgen Obendorf

Actor: Tom Jahn

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mv5bndhlndvjytctzdk5yi00mjnllwi0otitymqzmwq2otewy2myxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjuxmjc1otm_v1.jpg
Jürgen in 2019 timeline
  • Lower-Class Lout: The Obendorfs live in a trailer in a junk yard and sell drugs.
  • Red Herring: Ulrich approaches him about his son's disappearance as he suspects him, but it's obvious he didn't do it.

Kilian Obendorf

Actor: Sammy Scheuritzel

  • Ascended Extra: He's a bit role in the first season, but becomes more prominent in season 3's alternate world, where he rounds out the fivesome of teenagers instead of Jonas.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: He accuses Martha of only dating him to rile up her parents.

    Benni 

Bernadette "Benni" Wöller

Actor: Anton Rubtsov

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dark_s1ep4_benni.png
Benni in 2019 timeline

A prostitute who lives in a trailer. She is Torben's sister.


  • The Mistress: She initially seems to be a prostitute that Peter frequents, but there are hints that they have real feelings for each other early on. The very ending of the series shows her as one of the few surviving characters, now openly as Peter's girlfriend.
  • Sobriquet Sex Switch: Benni is implied to have gone from "Benjamin" to "Bernadette". Downplayed — these names don't have a common etymology, but "Benni", which she goes by, is an acceptable nickname for both.

    Yasin 

Yasin Friese

Actor: Vico Mücke

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/du4a5wmx4aest1w.jpg
Yasin in 2019 timeline
  • For Want of a Nail: Is alive in the Origin World.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Despite two children going missing beforehand and a dead child appearing, he decides to go to school alone. He promptly get abducted and killed by Noah. Somewhat forgivable, though, since he is, after all, a young child.

    Tannhaus Family (spoilers

H.G. Tannhaus

Actor: Christian Steyer (1986), Arnd Klawitter (1953)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hg_tannhaus_as_seen_in_1986.png

A local clockmaker. He raised Charlotte after the deaths of her parents.


  • Ascended Extra: HG plays a much wider role in Season 3 without him realizing it, having been the reason for the Knot's actual creation when attempting to create a time machine to prevent the deaths of his family.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: He wanted his son Marek to inherit the family business. Marek was none too happy about this.
  • Generation Xerox: The original founder of Sic Mundus was his great-grandfather, Heinrich, who hoped to find a way to bring his beloved wife Charlotte back from the dead. H.G. follows in his footsteps after his son Marek, Marek's wife Sonja, and their infant daughter Charlotte are killed in a car accident, trying to develop time travel to save their lives.
  • Impossible Genius: Played straight. While it takes him decades to invent his device and it doesn't function remotely as it was intended, he is able to single-handedly create a machine that is capable of destroying the universe and creating two new ones in its place, whilst enabling time travel in each of them. Although it is hinted that he has a deep understanding of theoretical physics, to accomplish this would also require him to be an unparalledled engineer capable of assembling a physics-defying doomsday machine in his garage without aid.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Quite the literal loop. In the end, he never became aware about the existence of the Knot or the fact that he created it since Jonas and Martha end up saving his family from their car accident, erasing both of their universes in the process.
  • Meaningful Name: "H.G." is an allusion to H. G. Wells, author of The Time Machine. Tannhaus himself is the inventor of, you guessed it, a time machine.
  • Mr. Exposition: He frequently provides other characters (and, by extension, the audience) with expository dialogue on the theoretical physics behind time travel.
  • Parents as People: Didn't connect properly with his son and his family due to being engrossed in his scientific endeavors. He wanted him to inherit the clock shop and continue the family business as well, to Marek's immense disapproval. Doesn't mean he didn't love his family though, risking his entire reality to bring them Back from the Dead and unwittingly cause the Knot to form.
  • Parting Words Regret: His last interaction with his son was an argument, which he deeply regrets. Marek stormed out and proceeded to die in a car accident along with his wife and daughter.
  • Posthumous Character: In 2019, as he's mentioned by Charlotte to have passed sometime between 1986 and 2019.
  • Promotion to Parent: Raised Charlotte after the supposed deaths of her parents.
  • Seeks Another's Resurrection: He wanted to build a time machine to bring back his family, who died in a car accident.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Is the true creator of the Knot, and subsequently, both Adam and Eva's universes, as revealed in Season 3.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Tannhaus is revealed in Episode 8 of Season 3 to be the true reason of the Knot in the first place: After losing his son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter to a car accident, his grief lead to him trying to create a time machine to, as Adam and Eve describe "bring the dead back to life", but in doing so, accidentally destroying his own world and creating Adam and Eve's intertwined worlds and the knot that ties them together indefinitely. Jonas and the Other Martha preventing the accident untangles the Knot, but also erases their worlds and all their descendants.
  • The Watchmaker: A clockmaker who built a time machine and is responsible for many of the philosophical voiceovers and time travel explanations in the show. He even wrote a book about it. He is descended from people who wanted to discover time travel and was helped along by actual time travelers.

Gustav Tannhaus

Actor: Axel Werner

The grandfather of H.G. Tannhaus.


  • Cool Old Guy: Has no troubles interacting with the time-travelers from the future.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: The Unknown kills him so that he couldn't leak the secret of time-travellers existing and breaking the loop.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Only appears in 2 episodes, and killed off in the beginning of the second, but he's the reason why Sic Mundus exists in the first place. He is also the reason why Jonas as Adam is able to influence others with his 'Paradise'.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Gives Stranger!Jonas the idea of Paradise, which the latter adopts as the nihilistic Adam, using it to manipulate various individuals across the Knot and inspiring him to end everything to avoid all the suffering caused by it.

Marek, Sonja, and Charlotte Tannhaus

Actor: Merlin Rose (Marek), Svenja Jung (Sonja)

The son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter of H.G. Tannhaus.


  • Chekhov's Gunman: They are first mentioned by Tannhaus when Charlotte asks him about her parents, who states they all died in an accident. Their accident later turns out to be the instigating factor for Adam's and Eva's universes.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Their daughter Charlotte is named for Marek's great-great-grandmother.
  • Minor Major Character: Their deaths are the whole reason the Knot existed, but they only show up in the Grand Finale.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Their deaths in a car accident are responsible for the entire plot, as Tannhaus's grief motivated him to build a time machine that accidentally split the world. Jonas and Martha averting said accident causes everything to become undone.
  • Women Are Wiser: Sonja seems much calmer than Marek; when he blows up at his dad she encourages him to think about it and make up.

     Helene Albers 

Helene Albers

Katharina's mother, a nurse in the psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Helene is strict, judgemental, and abusive towards her daughter.

  • Abusive Parents: Gives Katharina a black eye after discovering that she was having sex when Ulrich is arrested. It's not clear if she did it despite Ulrich having been accused of raping Katharina, or if Katharina told her the relationship was consensual. She kills her own daughter as an adult, but she doesn't realize it for obvious reasons.
  • The Alcoholic: Possibly. After her run-in with adult Katharina, that ended in her unknowingly killing her daughter she gets home and takes a long swig from a bottle of spirits stashed in a kitchen cabinet. Her teen daugher, who is in the kitchen at this moment, doesn't seem surprised by this.
  • Freudian Excuse: A very young Helene is shown to have an abortion in the 1950s. Both the circumstances of the abortion - she seems quite young to be having sex on her own, possibly hinting at her getting pregnant through sexual abuse/rape - and her believe that the souls of aborted children go to hell could be a reason why discovering that Katharina is having sex with Ulrich leads her to violently attack her daughter.
  • Offing the Offspring: She kills an adult Katharina, falsely believing she is the child from her terminated pregnancy returned from hell to torment her.
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