Dark, Netflix’s German-language sci-fi drama, has the well-earned reputation of being one of the most confusing shows on TV. Spanning multiple timelines and diving into the intricate connections between four families in a small German town, Dark was already somewhat difficult to follow before the third and final season introduced multiple universes and split realities. That’s why we put together this timeline of everything that’s happened on Dark in every world, reality, and time. 

But before you get to the timeline itself, let us explain some of the methodology that went into creating it so it’s easier to understand and use.

[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Dark Season 3. Read at your own risk!]

When Eva uses the loophole to split reality during the 2020 apocalypse, she creates two realities. However, these two realities are inextricably intertwined and as a result are riddled with paradoxes (e.g. no one saving Jonas from the apocalypse allows for Adam to exist, but Adam kills the Martha who did save Jonas, even though he shouldn’t exist because she saved him). To make things as simple as anything with this show can be, we created a labeling system for each reality (outlined in the key below below). It isn’t a perfect system, since these realities overlap and exist simultaneously, but it can help illuminate when the realities most divide and how they coincide. For simplicity’s sake, in Adam’s world the default Reality is 1A and in Eva’s world the default reality is 1B, even though some of the events exist across realities. When there are direct paradoxical moments — such as Martha and Jonas’ sons meddling in the reality where Adam exists and therefore the sons shouldn’t — we listed both realities that intersect. Additionally, since Martha and Jonas’ son was never named, we refer to him as the Son(s) throughout.

Is it dispiriting knowing that 99.9 percent of the events detailed in this timeline wound up being wiped from existence when Jonas and Martha traveled into the origin world and saved Tannhaus’ family, thus resulting in Eva and Adam’s worlds never existing to begin with? Slightly! But understanding the complex, interwoven series of choices that led them to finally be able to break the cycle is enlightening and makes you appreciate just how expertly this show juggled its complex narratives across worlds, realities, and time. Read on for all the events in Dark in chronological order.

TIMELINE KEY

Reality 1: The reality in the origin world before Adam and Eva’s worlds are created
Reality 1A: The reality where no one saves Jonas before Old Claudia intervenes
Reality 1B: The reality where Martha saves Jonas before Old Claudia intervenes
Reality 2: The reality in all worlds after Old Claudia intervenes

Adam’s world characters = 1
Eva’s world characters = 2
Origin world characters = OG

Bold names are people in their natural time/world

~ specific date unknown

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1888

~ early 1800s (Adam, Reality 1A): Gustav Tannhaus 1‘s mother Charlotte Tannhaus 1 dies and his father becomes obsessed with time travel. Gustav Tannhaus 1’s father founds Sic Mundus to try and prevent her death.

— June 27 (Adam, Reality 1A): Adult Jonas 1, Teen Bartosz 1, Teen Magnus 1, and Teen Franziska 1 arrive from 2020 in Adam’s world by accident, get trapped, and start working for Old Gustav Tannhaus 1 to try and build a time machine.

— Sept. 21 (Adam, Reality 1A and Reality 1B): Teen Martha 2 arrives from 2019 in Eva’s world.

— Sept. 22 (Adam, Reality 1A and Reality 1B): Gustav Tannhaus 1 visits the Tannhaus factory where Adult Jonas 1 is building the time machine. Teen Bartosz 1 tells Teen Martha 2 about Sic Mundus and she tells him that Jonas and Adam are the same person.

— Sept 23 (Adam, Reality 1A and Reality 1B): The Sons kill Old Gustav Tannhaus 1 before he can send a telegram telling the world about time travelers.

— Sept. 23 (Adam, Reality 1A and Reality 1B): Teen Martha 2 gives Adult Jonas 1 a vial of the dark matter on Adam’s orders so Adult Jonas 1 can activate the God Particle. Teen Martha 2 leaves for 2053 in Adam’s world. 

— Sept. 25 (Adam, Reality 1A and Reality 1B): Adult Jonas 1 burns the copy of Martha’s letter he was given as Teen Jonas 1. Adult Martha 2 arrives from 2052 in Eva’s world and gives Adult Jonas 1 the letter and the “for Charlotte” watch, which he will eventually give to Young Noah 1 and Adult Noah 1.

1890

~ (Adam, Reality 1A): Teen Silja 1 arrives from 2053 in Adam’s world and meets Teen Bartosz 1, whom she begins a relationship with. Adult Jonas 1 begins to burn himself while trying to make the time machine work and switches his focus from trying to return to the future to trying to destroy the origin.

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1904

~ (Adam, Reality 1A): Adult Silja 1 gives birth to Noah 1.

1910

~ (Adam, Reality A): Adult Silja 1 dies giving birth to Agnes 1.

1911

~ (Adam, Reality 1A): After an old woman told Adult Hannah 1 that Adult Jonas 1 was looking for her, Adult Hannah 1 and Child Silja 1 arrive from the future in Adam’s world to find Adult Jonas 1, who is now covered in burn scars. Adult Jonas 1 kills Adult Hannah 1 and sends Child Silja 1 to the post-apocalyptic future in Adam’s world.

1920

~ (Adam, Reality 1A): Adult Noah 1 arrives from 2040 in Adam’s world and meets Teen Noah 1. Adam instructs Adult Noah 1 to begin the experiments with Helge 1 and to find the missing Triquetra notebook pages. Adult Noah 1 travels to 1986 in Adam’s world.

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