Some characters of the Dark tv series say that

The beginning is the end, and the end is the beginning.

What does it mean?

Is the quote related to the child of Jonas and Martha (because Adam and Eve think the child is the origin) or is it related to the creation of time machine by Old Tannhaus?
Or does it mean that there is no beginning and no end, and the quote applies to almost everyone in Winden e.g. Elisabeth and Charlotte Doppler.
> Noah, in a voice-over, says the beginning is the end and the end is the beginning. He couldn't tell Charlotte who her mother was.

  • 2
    I think it has to do with the fact that, since everything keeps repeating itself over and over again in essentially the same manner, the ending of certain events (such as the death of Ava) leads to the beginning of other events (i.e. young Martha begins her journey to become Ava).
    – Ski Mask
    Jul 23, 2020 at 5:15

2 Answers 2


There are numerous cyclical themes in Dark. It is the defining motif across the seasons.

Predominantly, it is used to refer to the fact that the events we are viewing are happening over and over. The predominant cause of that are Adam and Eve, who intentionally kill Martha/Jonas to set Jonas/Martha on a path that causes them to later become Adam/Eve; on top of many other actions they take to ensure that the cycle repeats.

Adam may not realize that his actions cause the cycle to repeat, but they effectively do. Eve, on the other hand, is actively working to repeat the cycle, because it's the only way for the Unknown to exist.

There are other cyclical events, such as Charlotte and Elisabeth's parentage, but those are not as essential to the core plot.

Note that Jonas and Martha's parentage is also cyclical, though it takes a few more steps:

  • Jonas > Unknown > Tronte > Ulrich > Mikkel/Michael > Jonas
  • Martha > Unknown > Tronte > Ulrich > Martha

There are many more characters who are caught up in this cyclical parentage, or who could only have been born because of time travel (e.g. Silja, since Egon and Hannah are from different times).

All of these characters are notably missing from the final dinner scene in the finale, because they only existed in Adam and Eve's worlds as their existence relies on either the cycle or time travel in general.


It is a loosely based quote from T.S.Eliot,“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” It is great stuff if you concentrate on what he's trying to say.

  • 2
    But why was the quote used and what relevance is it to the show ? The other answer comes much closer to putting those words in context.
    – iandotkelly
    Sep 11, 2021 at 4:35
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