If your brain is currently mush after trying to figure out how everyone and everything is related or connected in Netflix's compelling new sci-fi drama Dark, you're not alone. The streaming service's newest series, which revolves around four interconnected families in a small German town, requires the type of mental gymnastics that all the best time travel series require. But luckily for you, we're here to help you unravel the intricate web of the Kahnwalds, Nielsens, Tiedemanns and Dopplers.
Jonas Kahnwald (Louis Hofman in 2019; Andreas Pietschmann in the future)
Jonas is the son of Hannah and Michael Kahnwald, formerly known as Mikkel Nielsen, who was the younger brother of Jonas' friends in 2019 and who traveled back in time to 1986. Jonas dated Martha Nielsen prior to Michael's suicide in June 2019, but broke things off once he realized Martha was actually his aunt. The version of Jonas from the future attempts to destroy the wormhole. In the final moments of the season finale, 2019 Jonas travels from 1986 through a hole in time and space to an apocalyptic version of the future.
Michael Kahnwald/Mikkel Nielsen (Sebastian Rudolph as Michael; Daan Lennard Liebrenz as Mikkel)
Mikkel is the youngest son of Ulrich and Katharina Nielsen. Mikkel is the younger brother of Martha and Magnus Nielsen, who take Mikkel with them on a trip to the caves with Jonas Kahnwald and Bartosz Tiedemann. That night in November 2019, he falls backward through time to 1986. While being treated by Ines Kahnwald at the hospital, Mikkel meets Hannah. They eventually wed and Hannah gives birth to a son, Jonas, who was there the day Mikkel traveled back in time. Does your brain hurt yet?
Hannah Kahnwald (Maja Schöne in 2019; Ella Lee in 1986)
Hannah is the mother of Jonas and widow of Michael Kahnwald, formerly known as Mikkel Nielsen. She has been in love with Ulrich Nielsen since 1986. She has an affair with him in 2019, but Ulrich ends their arrangement after Mikkel's disappearance. She is definitely not all right in the head.
Ines Kahnwald (Angela Winkler in 2019; Anne Ratte-Polle in 1986; Lena Urzendowsky in 1953)
Ines is the adoptive mother of Michael Kahnwald, formerly known as Mikkel Nielsen. She was a nurse at the Winden hospital in 1986 and formed a bond with the stranded-in-time Mikkel. A part of her always knew that Mikkel was telling the truth when he said he was from the future. A letter written before he committed suicide on June 21, 2019 confirmed it. She is also the grandmother of Jonas and mother-in-law of Hannah. Her father was Daniel.
Mikkel Nielsen (Daan Lennard Liebrenz)
Mikkel is the youngest son of Ulrich and Katharina Nielsen. Mikkel is the younger brother of Martha and Magnus Nielsen, who take Mikkel with them on a trip to the Winden cave in 2019, where he falls backward through time to 1986. While being treated by Ines Kahnwald at the hospital, Mikkel meets 14-year-old Hannah. The two eventually wed and Hannah gives birth to a son, Jonas ... who was the friend of his older brother and sister in 2019.
Martha Nielsen (Lisa Vicari)
Martha is the middle child and only daughter of Ulrich and Katharina Nielsen. She is the sister of Magnus and Mikkel Nielsen. After the latter travels back in time and fathers a child (Jonas), it is revealed that Martha is Jonas' aunt, which is awkward since she and Jonas previously dated. She doesn't understand why Jonas suddenly starts avoiding her. She previously dated Bartosz Tiedemann while Jonas was receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress after his father's (Mikkel/Michael) suicide in June 2019.
Magnus Nielsen (Moritz Jahn)
Magnus is the eldest son of Ulrich and Katharina Nielsen. He is currently sleeping with Franziska Doppler, whose parents are Charlotte and Peter Doppler. He is the one who took Mikkel to the cave in 2019 and he does not handle Mikkel's disappearance well.
Ulrich Nielsen (Oliver Masucci in 2019; Ludger Bökelmann in 1986)
Ulrich is the eldest son of Jana and Tronte Nielsen. In 2019, Ulrich works in law enforcement alongside Charlotte Doppler, wife of Peter Doppler. He is engaged in an affair with Hannah Kahnwald prior to Mikkel's disappearance. His brother Mads (Valentin Oppermann) disappeared in similar fashion in 1986, which drives him to find Mikkel. Mads is the boy who is found dead in the woods in 2019 because time travel is weird.
Katharina Nielsen (Jördis Triebel in 2019; Nele Trebs in 1986)
Katharina is the wife of Ulrich Nielsen and the mother of Magnus, Martha and Mikkel Nielsen. In 2019 she is the principal of the local high school. In 1986, Hannah files a false police reporting accusing Ulrich of raping Katharina in order to drive them apart. Katharina believes Regina Tiedemann reported her, causing bad blood between them that still exists in 2019.
Jana Nielsen (Tatja Seibt in 2019; Anne Lebinsky in 1986; Rike Sindler in 1953)
Jana is the mother of Ulrich and Mads Nielsen. She is married to Tronte Nielsen, who had an affair with Claudia Tiedemann in 1986. After Mads' disappearance Jana is unable to function properly.
Tronte Nielsen (Walter Kreye in 2019; Felix Kramer in 1986; Joshio Marlon in 1953)
Tronte is the father of Ulrich and Mads Nielsen. He is married to Jana, but had an affair with Claudia Tiedmann in 1986. He moved to Winden with his mother Agnes in 1953. His father is unknown. When Mads' body falls through a crack in time, Peter Doppler witnesses it and calls Tronte, who relocates the body to the woods, where it is found by Ulrich and Charlotte Doppler.
Agnes Nielsen (Antje Traue)
Agnes is the mother of Tronte Nielsen. They moved to Winden in 1953; Tronte's father is never seen. Agnes seems to be interested in Doris Tiedemann, whom she befriends when she rents a room in their house.
Bartosz Tiedemann (Paul Lux)
Bartosz is the only son of Regina and Aleksander Tiedemann, who was born Boris Niewald and is the current head of nuclear power plant. He dated Martha Nielsen while Jonas Kahnwald was being treated for post-traumatic stress after his father's suicide. He is now being manipulated by the mysterious man known as Noah, much like Helge Doppler once was.
Regina Tiedemann (Deborah Kaufmann in 2019; Lydia Maria Makrides in 1986)
Regina is the mother of Bartosz Tiedemann and wife of Aleksander, who came to her defense in 1986 and now runs the nuclear power plant. Regina, who runs the only hotel in Winden, is the only daughter of Claudia Tiedemann. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She is a lifelong enemy of Katharina Nielsen.
Aleksander Tiedemann (Peter Benedict in 2019; Bela Gabor Lenz in 1986)
Aleksander is married to Regina. He is the father of Bartosz Tiedemann. Born Boris Niewald, he arrived in Winden in 1986 and stole the identity of Aleksander Kohler. Aleksander gets a job at the nuclear power plant, which is then run by Regina's mother Claudia at the time. In 2019 he is in charge of the plant.
Claudia Tiedemann (Lisa Kreuzer in 2019; Julika Jenkins in 1986; Gwendolyn Gobel in 1953)
Claudia is the daughter of Doris and Egon Tiedmann, who is a police officer in 1953 and just a few months shy of retirement when Mads Nielsen goes missing in 1986. Claudia becomes the first woman to run the nuclear power plant in Winden and also has an affair with Tronte Nielsen. Her dog disappears in 1953 and reappears in the caves in 1986, while Claudia is inspecting a stash of radioactive material from the nuclear power plant. In 2019, she appears as an elderly woman who delivers the plans to make a device that will supposedly close the wormhole in the caves.
Egon Tiedemann (Christian Patzold in 1986; Sebastian Hulk in 1953)
Egon is the father of Claudia Tiedmann. He is a police officer in 1953 and investigates the disappearance of Helge Doppler, eventually arresting Ulrich Nielsen who traveled back in time from 2019. In 1986, Egon investigates the disappearance of Mads Nielsen, believing 1986 Ulrich to be responsible for his brother's disappearance. Also in 1986, Egon — who is months away from retirement — arrests Ulrich for raping Katharina, though that was a lie made up by that psycho Hannah. He really hates Ulrich.
Elisabeth Doppler (Carlotta Von Falkenhayn)
Elisabeth is the youngest daughter of Charlotte and Peter Doppler. She is deaf and dating Yasin, who goes missing in 2019. One day, while walking home in the rain, Elisabeth meets the mysterious stranger Noah.
Franziska Doppler (Gina Alice Stiebitz)
Franziska is the eldest daughter of Charlotte and Peter Doppler. Her grandfather is Helge Doppler, whose parents were Greta and Bernd Doppler. Bernd worked for the nuclear power plant in Winden. She is currently sleeping with Magnus Nielsen and apparently takes rhythmic gymnastics.
Charlotte Doppler (Karoline Eichhorn in 2019; Stephanie Amarell in 1986)
Charlotte is the mother of Franziska and wife of Peter Doppler, who is secretly gay. Her father-in-law is Helge Doppler, who is desperate to undo everything he did in 1986. Charlotte works in law enforcement with Ulrich Nielsen and has a really bad habit of picking up dead birds, which is very unsanitary. She seemed to be a loner in high school.
Peter Doppler (Stephan Kampwirth)
Peter is a therapist and the son of Helge Doppler, who used to work at the nuclear power plant. Although he is married to Charlotte Doppler, he is gay but has not really accepted this. He witnesses the body of Mads Nielsen fall through a hole in time and space in 2019, after which he calls Tronte Nielsen, who moves Mads' body to the woods where Ulrich Nielsen and Charlotte find it. He is the father of Franziska and Elisabeth Doppler.
Helge Doppler (Hermann Beyer in 2019; Peter Schneider in 1986; Tom Philipp in 1953)
Helge Doppler was the only son of the rich and powerful Bernd and Greta Doppler, who ran the nuclear power plant. He briefly went missing in 1953, when he traveled forward through time to 1986 after being attacked by the 2019 version of Ulrich Nielsen, who thought if he killed Helge in 1953, Mikkel would never go missing in 2019. In 1986, Helge was manipulated by the mysterious stranger known as Noah, who told him to kidnap young children to use for experimentation. In 2019, Helge traveled back in time to 1986 in an attempt to stop his younger self. He dies there after ramming his car into the 1986 version of himself.
Dark is now streaming on Netflix.