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In season 1 of Dark, adult Jonas travels to and from 2019 multiple times. He tried to close the wormhole on Nov 10 1986. According to Noah, he was deceived by Claudia into thinking he could do so. In fact, he was sending his younger self to 2052 which instigated the rest of the events including opening the wormhole in 1986.

He knows that it didn't close because otherwise he wouldn't have been able to travel through the passage later in 2019.

My questions are:

  • How could Jonas be deceived if he knows that closing the wormhole didn't work? or did it work and it was opened again?
  • Why is the wormhole closed in 2052?
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    Time is a complicated concept it is not to be looked at as linear, because the fact that Jonas would close the wormhole in 1986 wouldn't affect him traveling in 2019, because in his timeline, that was earlier, not later. And I think your question is more suitable for scifi.stackexchange.com – TK-421 Aug 28 at 6:28
  • You're right. All his travels in 2019 that happened after closing the wormhole happened using the apparatus. The kids, Claudia and adult Jonas as well. Katharina finds the passage in 2020 just as the wormhole was created during Clausen's investigation. – Bassam Aug 28 at 13:16
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Global season 2 spoilers!

There is a key concept in Dark that you're somewhat glossing over. Time is not set in stone, and the bootstrap paradox can exist. There are many of these paradoxes:

H.G. Tannhaus' machine is built by inspecting the already created machine

Charlotte's mother is Elisabeth. Elisabeth is Charlotte's mother. Charlotte is her own grandmother. Elisabeth is her own grandmother.

This already throws a wrench in our "normal" belief about timelines adhering to basic cause-and-effect rules. Causality is not an absolute in Dark. This means that older Jonas' idea about closing the wormhole is not outright impossible, which your question currently implies it is.

On top of that, remember some of Adam's statements in the end of season 2:

Not long before the last cycle (s02e06)

This knot can only be undone by destroying it completely. (s02e08)

Adam is directly confirming here that the events can be rewritten, they are not stuck in an infinite loop. This means that, at least to Adam's knowledge, the events we've seen in the show can be undone by the events in the show.

Since

Adam is (even older) Jonas

it makes sense for older Jonas to also believe that this can be undone. And that's the answer to your question. Jonas,

all three Jonases to be precise (young Jonas, older Jonas, Adam)

exhibits the belief that he can change the future/past. Regardless of whether he can, the important part is that he believes he can do it. This answers your question.


But could it actually be done?

There is no direct confirmation on that. Adam might simply be wrong. But given what we know, it's not impossible that this is possible in Dark's story.

Normally, older Jonas stopping the events (and thus himself) would trigger the grandfather paradox. In the grandfather paradox, it is stated that you cannot kill your own grandfather because then you cannot be born and thus you cannot kill your own grandfather.

However, since the bootstrap paradox clearly exists, it's not beyond belief that the grandfather paradox may be viable.

As it stands, Adam

(together with Claudia)

knows the most about the time knot and everything surrounding it. Even if we don't know everything Adam knows; it's reasonable for us to currently assume that Adam has the superior knowledge here. Adam claims it's possible, so it's reasonable for us to assume that it is (for now).

  • Worth noting that Adam could be straight up lying to the main characters about what his goals are. Although Adam talks about the last cycle and undoing the knot, it's still not clear to me if such a thing is really possible; or if Adam is just pulling strings the same way he remembers them being pulled on him. That said, a few small details in Season 2 hint that it is possible to escape the loop (such as the calendar having different dates marked). – JMac Oct 7 at 18:48
  • @JMac: If it were impossible, Adam wouldn't need to act to (allegedly) preserve it. – Flater Oct 7 at 20:40
  • If it's a predestination paradox, he would by now realize that he has no agency in how events play out. He would know by then that any attempt to change things actually leads to them in the first place, so if Adam lied to him, he would lie to them when he is Adam. It's just the way "it is". Like when Jonas tried to save Michael and realized that he led to his death. If the loop is stuck, then Adam may just be compelled to lie for some yet unknown reason which keeps perpetuating the cycle. – JMac Oct 7 at 21:15
  • "This knot can only be undone by destroying it completely." doesn't sound like rewriting events but destruction. They might be stuck in an infinite loop as a billiard ball going through a time portal just to come out to hit its older self again infinitely many times. But it also might be that ball is hitting at a slight angle and eventually the angle accumulates and the ball will miss the portal at one time, escaping the loop. – Bassam Oct 23 at 17:10

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