Dark Season 3 Ending Explained

Unpacking the finale of season three of Netflix's twisty time travel series Dark

Dark season 3
Photo: Netflix

This whole article contains spoilers for Dark Season 3

The third season of Netflix hit Dark has brought the massively complicated show to an end. The finale was as mind boggling and epic as expected. But, in true Dark fashion, fans are still calling out for questions about the ending to be answered. We’ve given it our best shot.. 

Even then, a show like this will never be easy to understand, the complications and paradoxes of the show are exactly what makes it. Just as Jonas (Louis Hofmann) says, “it’s a bit complicated to explain”. Like the fact Charlotte may be her own Grandma… Yep, we’re as confused as you are. 

We’re reminded time and time again that everything and everyone is connected in Dark, and the final few episodes of this season gives this a whole new meaning. 

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The Origin World 

In between the initial two worlds we know in Dark, Claudia (Julika Jenkins) – being somebody disconnected from the Nielsen family tree – discovered there was a third world, which she named the Origin World – because, you might have guessed it, it’s the ‘real world’. 

You may have heard the word ‘Origin’ mentioned throughout the series. In order for the knot and loop to stop, of course, the Origin needed to be destroyed. 

The Origin came as the product of a car crash, where the death of HG Tannhaus’ (Christian Steyer) son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter prompted Tannhaus to think up and use a time machine in the first place, in an attempt to save them. 

Jonas realises he has been stuck in a cycle that will continue for all time. In this cycle each character is doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over. Jonas begins to learn that he has kept trying to bring about the apocalypse. 

After finding out from Claudia that there was a moment where time could be stopped and the Origin World visited, Jonas and Martha (Lisa Vicari) time travel through Winden back to June 1986. They manage to prevent the car crash deaths and Tannhaus creating the time machine, but in doing so, wipe their own worlds away. 

It’s almost as though being in this place acts as a black hole void where Jonas and Martha are sent to in a non-existent place. 

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In the Origin World the Nielsen family tree was never created, and the events of the last two seasons never really happened. 

Does that mean Martha and Jonas die? 

Technically, no. They are completely wiped from any form of existence. So they don’t need to die, because they stop existing altogether. They wonder what seeing childhood versions of themselves could mean and hold hands as they disappear from existence while ‘What a Wonderful World’ plays in the background – sob. 

Because they managed to destroy the knot, it wasn’t just Jonas and Martha that were wiped out – every character in Adam and Eva’s world also now cease to exist. 

The Final Scene 

The final scene sees a group of characters enjoying a dinner party in modern day Winden. Peter Doppler (Stephan Kampwirth), Hannah Kahnwald (Maja Schöne), Katharina Nielson (Jördis Triebel), and Benni (Anton Rubtsov) and Torben Wöller (Leopold Hornung) were all present. They are the only ones who survived with everybody in Adam and Eva’s world ceasing to exist. This is because these characters were not born as a product of time travel. 

Regina (Deborah Kaufmann) hasn’t died of cancer, Hannah is pregnant (although her partner Mikkel doesn’t exist anymore), and Peter seems to be happy with his transgender partner and not Charlotte – because now she doesn’t exist. 

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A Glitch 

There is a strange sense that even though the other two worlds no longer exist, they have definitely had a profound impact on the lives that remain. Hannah talks about having ‘deja vu or something’, and wears a coat identical to Jonas’ yellow one. Hannah is asked what name she likes for her unborn baby, and in an emotional final line, she says “I think Jonas is a beautiful name.” 

Jonas and Martha previously referred to the feeling of déjà vu as a ‘glitch in the Matrix’ – implying that even though these characters have been wiped from existence, some things are not predicted by people, but are determined by the system, or a higher power. Despite Jonas and Martha’s attempts to make sure that events don’t repeat themselves, some things are destined. 

Even when Jonas is gone, some memory of him still lingers as the lights flicker. 

Questions left unanswered 

What happened to Wöller’s eye?

It may seem insignificant, but in the final scene, he still has his scars and even begins to try and explain how they got there. 

Is the knot broken for sure?

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It’s clear that Adam and Eva’s worlds have vanished, but what is not so clear is why Hannah still has flash-backs. It could just be a way for the show’s writers to keep the fans wanting more, but it could also signify a wrinkle in time, and a glitch in the system.

Did Tannhaus’ relatives discover time travel?

We know that Tannhaus’ great grandfather, Heinrich, became obsessed with bringing his wife Charlotte back. We know he founded Sid Mundus, but he failed to bring Charlotte back. We don’t really know much more about Tannhaus’ relatives any further back than that. We also don’t know if the clock obsession comes from his heritage.