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Set in the fictional small town of Winden, Germany, Netflix’s Dark had thought-provoking storylines and quotes filled with complex narratives on time, fate, and free will. Dark follows several characters through mind-bending events after the disappearance of Mikkel, the youngest child of the Nielsen family. The show explores, through three gripping seasons, the secrets and fate of four main families and the choices and sins that each character makes.
Dark was an instant global success for Netflix as viewers engaged with the show for its mind-bending events, eerie soundtracks, remarkable scenes, and gut-wrenching dialogues. Many characters delivered profound quotes on fate, reality, and the freedom of choice. Here are the 20 best quotes in Dark, from the beginning of the show to the confusing Dark season 3 ending.
20 “What we know is a drop. What we don’t know is an ocean.” – Adam
Adam said it to Jonas Kahnwald in one of the Dark Season 3 finale revelations. He confessed to Jonas that for a long time, he believed he was the sole person responsible for changing everything. But when Claudia explained to him that both worlds—his and Martha’s—had to be destroyed, he traveled back to Jonas and convinced him that Jonas and Martha are two parts of a whole. Jonas had to time travel to Martha’s world, then teleport to the world of origin and try to stop H.G. Tannhaus’s son and family from leaving before their accident. Adam told Jonas, “You two are our last hope.”
19 “But in the end, every death is just a new beginning.” – Eve
While reaching the finale and events are getting closer to the conclusion, Martha explains the cycle of death and rebirth that both Jonas and Martha’s worlds are trapped in. They both want to keep their loved ones alive, and thus they keep repeating the same sacrifices they thought were needed to save others. She believes that death is not the end but the beginning of another cycle in time. Even though everyone is destined to repeat the same mistakes, there’s hope to end the cycles and get a new beginning for all.
18 “You and I are perfect for each other. Never believe anything else.” – Jonas Kahnwald
This is one of the most significant quotes in the show, said by Martha Nielsen and Jonas Kahnwald several times in different timelines. With the forbidden love hook and their struggles with their feelings for each other, it serves as a reminder that love is stronger than all constraints. As events unfold, the show reveals that both their worlds were not meant to be created; this quote also speaks of the tragedy of their love. Both Martha and Jonas are destined to play their part in their time loops, continuously failing to change the course of time until they realize that their stories are not the origin of their worlds.
17 “The end is the beginning and the beginning is the end.” – Adam
Another one of the most significant quotes of the show was Adam’s, which summarizes Dark’s emphasis on predetermined fate and interconnected realities. Throughout Dark Season 3, the actions of Adam and Eva continue to challenge the notion of free will. With each decision they make, hoping to disrupt the cyclical time loop, they are unable to let go of the past or change the course of the future, constrained by time and fate. The duality of the beginning and the end confirms that in order to start a new life, one must end the old, and every end inevitably leads to a new beginning.
16 “Perhaps I’m just a small part of a huge cancer that is much bigger than any of us can imagine.” – Mikkel Nielsen
In 2019, Mikkel says it to Jonas while contemplating whether to take his own life or not. Jonas thought that his mission was to convince his dad to continue on living, thus preventing Jonas’s birth in the future and preventing the apocalypse from happening. But after meeting his dad, he finds that he himself had a role in sending the younger Mikkel back to 1986 through a tunnel in the caves.
Related: Will Netflix’s Dark Season 4 Ever Happen?
His dad thinks there must be a reason why events have to unfold this way. Claudia then appears to them and tells him that each one of them has to play their part and make sacrifices in order to save everyone. This episode is among many in which viewers feel bad for Jonas in Netflix’s Dark and what life keeps throwing at him.
15 “Our thinking is shaped by dualism. Entrance, exit. Black, white. Good, evil. Everything appears as opposite pairs. But that’s wrong.” – H.G. Tannhaus
Dark has strong themes of mystery, time travel, and some philosophical dilemmas about fate and free will. In Dark’s season 1, episode 8, Dualism, Jonas Kahnwald goes back in time to speak with H.G. Tannhaus about his book on time travel theories. Tannhaus explains the duality of humankind and how opposites attract. He then mentions the Trinity Knot and how it’s going up, down, and center. Tannhaus talks about Einstein and Rosen overlooking that a wormhole connects three dimensions, not two. Tannhaus’s theories were pivotal to the whole plot, though at this point he himself wasn’t aware of how big his role was in the grand scheme of things.
14 “We all face the same end.” – Martha
This is the conclusion of everything. No matter how different events, alternate realities, and time travel happen, the same end faces all of humanity. All humans must die. That’s one of the undeniable facts of life. In both Jonas and Martha’s quest to save others, they all end up making the same choices and reaching the same conclusion: everyone dies in the apocalypse.
13 “Most people are nothing but pawns on a chessboard moved by an unknown hand.” – Noah
Noah said it to Bartosz in the Dark season 1 finale, signifying how most people move in their storylines and take certain actions without knowing what happens behind the scenes. The metaphor about the fight between light and shadow and why every step needed to be repeated exactly the same way before Noah firmly believes in Adam’s vision and thinks that all the murders he commits are necessary sacrifices in the battle to change the timeline and save everyone.
12 “The question isn’t from what time, but what world?” – Adam
This quote was said twice. In the Dark Season 2 finale, Martha from the second world appeared to Jonas, right after the original Martha was killed by Adam. She took him right before the apocalypse happened. When asked what time she came from. She said the question is, From what world? It was the first introduction for the viewers to another reality, Martha’s world.
Related: Dark Season 3 Cast Guide: Every Actor Who Plays Each Character
In The Dark’s season 3 finale, Adam goes back to Jonas and tells him about the two worlds that should not have been there. He finally finds a way to destroy the knot and convinces Jonas to take the other Martha to the original world and attempt to change the one event that created the split in time and reality.
11 “I thought I had more time. Why does everyone say that? ‘To have time.’ How can we say that, when it’s time that has us?” – Jonas
Jonas teleported from the future and waited until his old self left Martha at the beach in one of the best Dark episodes in the whole series, according to IMDb. He sat next to her and told her that he thought he had more time. Confused, Martha asked him if something had happened, stating that he seemed different. He told her that he thinks they are a perfect match and not to believe anything else. Then it was their first kiss on the beach. Jonas thought that he would be leaving her forever now to end the cycle and convince his dad, Mikkel Nielsen, not to take his own life.
10 “Your pain defines who you are, but it no longer holds power over you” – Noah
In the Dark season 1 finale, Noah stands next to Helge Doppler in 1986 and answers him when asked why people believe in a lie if God doesn’t exist. He tells him, “Because we prefer any lie to the pain”. He then recounted how he met Jonas in the past, without revealing who he was to Helge, and told him no pain anyone encounters is in vain. Noah understood that the pain that people endure gives them strength and determination. He then told Helge that the pain he faced throughout his life should no longer hold power over him.
9 “Time is an infinite field. Millions and millions of interlocking wheels. We have to be patient to be victorious.” – Noah
Noah’s presence in season 1 cannot be missed. He was perceived to be the main villain, responsible for kidnapping and murdering three children and spreading havoc across the small town of Winden. Noah contacted Bartosz and convinced him of time travel when he predicted several events with a high level of detail, knowing already how they would happen. Noah’s confidence in Adam and the bigger plan was so stubborn, and his death by his sister Agnes was one of the most shocking events that Dark viewers did not see coming.
8 “Our mistake in all of our thinking is that we each believe ourselves to be an independent entity; one self beside countless other selves. While in reality, we’re all just small fractions of an infinite whole.” – Eva
Eva brought Jonas to her world, Martha’s reality. She told him about the other reality and the countless versions of him and Martha. Eva then revealed that she is the older Martha in the future. There are countless versions of each of them, and each version can act differently than the other. They are not all the same entity, and each of their actions has consequences for others. It was also when she revealed that they both have a role in saving everyone else.
7 “The question isn’t how, the question is when.” – Mikkel Nielsen
By far, this quote was one of the most important lines in the series, among many packed lines in Netflix’s Dark Season 1 that viewers might have missed. Mikkel Nielsen loved magic. In one of the early scenes in season 1, he was playing a magic trick for his impressed dad, Ulrich. He asked Mikkel how he did it, to which he replied that what matters is not how but when. It was a strong foreshadowing moment and one of the lines that will help Ulrich later figure out time travel and where the kidnapping occurred.
6 “The distinction between past, present, and future is nothing but an illusion. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow are not consecutive, they are connected in a never-ending circle. Everything is connected.”
This was a strong, cryptic introduction to the mysteries and tragic events that will follow in the first episode of Dark. Throughout different timelines and realities, viewers have to follow the various connections between characters as they time travel and go through interconnected paradoxes. Everything is a never-ending connected cycle for Dark’s characters, from the first to the last line in the show.
5 “We all face the same end. Those above have long forgotten us. They do not judge us. In death, I am all alone, and my only judge… is me” – Martha
In Dark, season 1, episode 6, Martha is playing a character in a school play and delivers a chilling monologue. The monologue feels like a reflection of the events unfolding in her life, with her missing brother and her broken family. At the end of her live performance, Martha broke into tears, and her mother rushed to the stage to help her.
4 “Death is incomprehensible, but you can make peace with it” – Jonas
A stranger (the older Jonas) came to the graveyard and sat beside Jonas in front of his dad’s grave. He told him how he knew his father and that he saved him. He said that while he never understood Mikkel’s actions at the time, they became clearer afterward. Death surrounded every single character in the show, and maybe what older Jonas meant at the time was that death was simply part of life. It is something that human beings get used to over time.
3 “Expectations lead to disappointment. Have hope, not expectations. You might just be surprised, but not disappointed.” – Inspector Clausen
Special Task Force Investigator Clausen is one confident, albeit conceited, new face in Dark, season 2. He was determined to solve the disappearance of five people in Winden, but as the storyline progresses, viewers find that Clausen has a secret of his own as well. As the investigation broadens, Clausen learns about the toxic waste Aleksander Tiedemann tried to hide. He orders that the barrels of waste be opened against the advice of everyone around, thus causing the apocalypse.
2 “People are peculiar creatures. All their actions are driven by desire, their character forged by pain. As much as they might try to suppress that pain, to repress desire, they cannot liberate themselves from eternal servitude to their feelings.” – Adam
Adam comments on the odd nature of human beings, always seeking after their own desires, no matter what they do to escape the pain. Dark Season 3 has a lot of intelligent philosophical debates on fate and free will, and Adam is no exception. After spending decades and timelines enduring pain that was not meant for one person to endure, Adam started to believe that paradise is the one where no one exists. His desire to end the world has also enslaved him to several time loops and a great deal of sacrifice.
1 “Hell is empty. And all the devils are here.” – Adam and Eva’s son
The Unknown, Adam and Eva’s son, quoted William Shakespeare in Dark season 3. As he was about to murder Claudia Tiedemann’s secretary, he looked into her eyes and told her that line, reflecting the dark side of humanity. He thinks that all the killings are necessary in order to keep the infinite time loop and its events happening until Eva finds a way to save humanity. It could also reflect how all the characters have lied and committed sins, thinking it was for the greater good.