If watching Netflix’s Dark has taught me anything, it’s that time travel makes a world smaller, not larger. Usually, when a new character is introduced, it’s secretly someone we already know, or someone who’s related to someone we know. In the little world of Winden, a fictional town in Germany, no one leaves — a fact pointed out by Clausen, a rare newcomer who is, of course, more connected to the families of Winden than he seems.
The four families at the center of Dark are tied up a million ways: There are affairs, friendships, work relationships, impossible romances made possible by time travel, incest, and a cult called Sic Mundus. If you find all of that a little difficult to keep track of, you’re not alone. Multiple characters in the show have put up conspiracy walls with photos and string and questions like “
Where When Is Mikkel?” and “Who Is Noah?” written across them. Dark has revealed a lot in two seasons, and I am here to put it all on this digital conspiracy wall for you. Let’s get into it!
Who Are The Nielsons?
The 2019 Nielson family consists of Ulrich and Katharina, a married couple, and their three children: Magnus, Martha, and Mikkel. Ulrich has an affair with Hannah Kahnwald (nee Kruger). In November of 2019, Mikkel gets stuck in 1986, and Ulrich gets stuck in 1953. Mikkel becomes Michael Kahnwald after following his adoption Ines Kahnwald.
Ulrich’s parents, Tronte and Jana, are also present in 2019. They’re still traumatized by the disappearance of Ulrich’s little brother, Mads, in 1986. Mads is killed by Noah and Helge soon after he goes missing, but his body is dumped in 2019.
Tronte’s mother (Ulrich’s grandmother) is Agnes. She came to Winden in 1953 when Tronte was a child and lived with the Tiedemans. We do not know who Tronte’s father is. Though she claimed to be “not from around here” when asking for directions, Agnes grew up in Winden in the ‘20s with her brother, Noah. In 1953, Agnes had an affair with Doris Tiedeman, whose daughter, Claudia Tiedeman, later had an affair with Tronte. How interesting!
Here we should note people who are Nielsons by blood, though not necessarily by name, which include Jonas and Noah. Jonas is the son of Michael/Mikkel, which makes him the grandson of Ulrich and Katharina, and the nephew of his love interest, Martha. Since Adam is an older version of Jonas, he is also related to all the Nielsons. Noah is Agnes’s brother, though we don’t know his last name. Noah and Agnes’s mother is Erna, who takes in Jonas when he appears, battered, in 1921.
Let’s Talk About The Noah/Elisabeth/Charlotte Situation
Noah the father of Charlotte, which means that Charlotte and Tronte are cousins; they share a grandmother, Erna. Charlotte is Ulrich’s cousin once removed. Charlotte’s daughters, Franziska and Elisabeth, are second cousins of Ulrich (because they share a great-grandmother, again, Erna), making Franziska and Magnus second cousins once removed. By comparison to other couples on the show, this is very light incest.
The real mind-blowing relationship here is that Elisabeth and Charlotte are each other’s mothers. At some point in time, at some point in Elisabeth and Noah’s lives, they were together, and had a baby, Charlotte, who was raised by HG Tannhaus, her adoptive grandfather, for unknown reasons. Charlotte grew up among Ulrich, Katherina, and Hannah’s generation, and married Peter Doppler. They had Franziska and Elisabeth.
Because Noah is Charlotte’s father, and Elisabeth is Charlotte’s daughter, Noah is Elisabeth’s grandfather, as well as Franziska’s. Elisabeth is her own grandmother, as well as Franziska’s. Charlotte is also her own grandmother, which means that Peter is her grandfather. Does your head hurt yet? I can’t even begin to think about how this breaks down from a DNA perspective.
What About The Rest Of The Dopplers?
The 2019 Doppler family is Peter, Charlotte, Franziska, and Elisabeth. Peter’s father is Helge. We don’t know who his mother is. Helge’s parents are Bernd and Greta. Bernd started the nuclear plant in Winden. In 1953, Noah took an interest in Helge, which makes sense now that we know Noah is related to Charlotte, Franziska, and Elisabeth.
Who Are The Kahwalds?
The 2019 Kahnwald family is Michael, Hannah, Jonas, and Michael’s adoptive mother, Ines. Ines’ father was Daniel Kahnwald, the chief of police in 1953. Ines’s mother is unknown. Hannah, who married Michael, unknowingly was sleeping with his father when she decided to have an affair with Ulrich. Jonas is in love with his aunt, Martha. Hannah went to 1954 to find Ulrich, telling the police she thought he might be her husband, but after sensing that he still wouldn’t choose her over Katharina, she decided to leave him in the psychiatric facility and start a new life in the '50s. She seems to have a bit of a flirtatious vibe with Egon Tiedeman, Ulrich’s nemesis, who had recently considered the idea of having an affair.
Who Are The Tiedemans?
The 2019 Tiedeman family consists of Regina, Aleksander, and Bartosz. Regina’s mother is Claudia, who went missing in the ‘80s, but is still alive. The identity of Regina’s father is unknown. Claudia’s parents are Egon and Doris, who both seem unhappy in their marriage. Doris has an affair with Agnes Nielson in the ‘50s, and Egon seems to be on the precipice of an affair with the newly arrived Hannah Kahnwald around the same time. The identity of Claudia’s husband (presumably Regina’s father) is unknown. Claudia had an affair with Tronte Nielson in the ‘80s.
Aleksander’s real name is Boris Niewald, but he took the identity of someone named Aleksander Kohler when he moved to Winden. He took Regina’s last name when they married. Clausen is the brother of the real Aleksander Kohler, which was the original reason he came to Winden to lead the task force for the six missing persons cases. We don’t know who Boris/Aleksander’s family is, but this is Dark we’re talking about, so it seems likely that we’ve already met them.
Who Are The Wollers?
The two known Wollers on the show are Benni, a sex worker, and Torben, who works with the police. Peter Doppler had an affair with Benni, and Torben works with Charlotte. Otherwise, we don’t know how the Wollers connect to the four big Winden families.