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Jonas Kahnwald, better known as Adam, is the main antagonist of the German 2017 Netflix-series Dark. He is the future self of the main protagonist Jonas Kahnwald and wants to end the so-called time knot, which is a time-loop that has caused problems and misery for people. While he isn't actually evil, Adam believes that the only way to end the time-knot is to end the universe altogether, and takes extreme measures to do so, so people don't have to experience the misery caused by it.

He was portrayed by Dietrich Hollinderbaumer in most of his appearances, and Andreas Pietschmann as his younger self in Season 3.

Personality

Adam is highly intelligent and conniving in nature, due to the knowledge of future events. He also doesn't hesitate to manipulate his staunchest allies to do whatever he wants to let things be as they were. Due to which, he doesn't value their lives very much, demonstrated when he orders his former best friend Bartosz's death due to his disillusionment regarding Adam's plans, and directly causing his parents' deaths to perpetuate the Knot.

That said, he doesn't hold any personal malice towards his enemies due to considering them equal sufferers in the Knot, demonstrated when he aids his younger self and Claudia eventually to escape the misery of the endless time loops. He is also immensely nihilistic, truly believing the end of his universe is the only way to escape the machinations of time, and eager to go any lengths to achieve it.

Biography

When Jonas, whose is one of the many whose existence is dependent of the time knot, tried to find a solution for making things go back to the way they used to be before him and his friends entered the time loop in a cave in the town of Winden, Jonas found out that his father is Mikkel Nielsen, a missing child from his timeline who accidentally went back in time through the cave. (Adam, as Jonas, will eventually cause his disappearance.) After watching his lover, Martha die at the hands of his future self and growing older, he sets the path of his younger self discovering time-travel, and after a few months, tries to prevent Martha's death. He fails to do so with the intervention of a younger Hanno Tauber, sent to deliver a letter to Jonas, escaping the Apocalypse with his friends.

Jonas gets stuck in 1888 and meets Martha from Eva's World, now completely convinced he can't intervene directly to change his past. Meeting with Gustav Tannhaus, HG Tannhaus's grandfather, Jonas becomes enthralled with the idea of Paradise, and decides to end the knot. Knowing that ending the time knot would erase his and many others existences, he traveled through different timelines, recruiting different people from said timelines, and formed the cult known as Sic Mundus, also known as The Travelers, and adapted the name Adam with the goal of ending the universe, to end the time knot. Jonas gets multiple scars while building a brand new time travel machine, slowly disfiguring him into his old self.

In 1911, Stranger Jonas (now completely becoming Adam) received 2 guests, his mother Hannah Kahnwald and her daughter Silja, sent there with the help of Eva. In order to test if his mother's presence will deter him from ending the Knot, he personally kills Hannah and sends his half-sister Silja to 2041.

He convinced Hanno Tauber, the son of his half-sister Silja and his friend Bartosz, to kill Bartosz, and convinces his older self from 2041 to adapt the name Noah and adapt the facade of a priest, and use the chair as an experiment, resulting in the deaths of 3 children. But instead of ending the universe, he said that their goal was to elevate humanity using time travel, to re-arrange events for their wishes. Adam promised Jonas when he came from 2053 that saving Michael will end the knot, while he was setting him up to cause Michael's suicide. Adam also promised the older Noah that this would lead to him eventually reuniting with his girlfriend Elisabeth and daughter Charlotte, while Adam himself orchestrated the kidnappings and blamed Claudia. After taking the missing pages of the triquetra notebook after killing the old Claudia Tiedemann, who is against Adam's plan, Noah found out that he had been used by Adam and that his goal he told him was a lie. Noah went to the headquarters and tried to shoot Adam, but Adam explains that he can't be killed by him since his fate is predetermined, and it isn't to be killed by Noah. Becoming a liability to him, Adam has Noah killed by his own sister Agnes.

Adam later travels to 2020, in time for the reunion of his younger self with Martha. Jonas, now fed up with Adam blames him for the misery around them. Adam agrees, but states everyone is the trigger, as he shoots Martha to influence Jonas to become him. Adam circles the calendar at his house, stating his victory, and leaves them. Martha dies later in Jonas's arms.

Adam relocates Sic Mundus to 2053 to use his agents in the future, but more specifically, manipulate Martha Nielsen from Eva's World into working with him, and allows his younger self to begin the time-travel experiments, ordering her to leave him and the proto-Sic Mundus agents behind. Then he sends his agents to various points in time, to perpetuate the time loop, while planning to end everything. Adam eventually betrays Martha to kill their unborn child in order to end the time knot, but fails due to the realities overlapping.

In one of the multiple loops, Claudia eventually intervenes when Adam fails to end their worlds. She informs him about the existence of a third world, the corruption of which spawned both Adam's and Eva's Worlds, and about the quantum entanglement which allows to change things. She tells him that in his effort to destroy the Knot, Adam has always made it stronger. Adam then decides to help Claudia to restore the third world and release his and Eva's worlds from the misery of the endless loops, and goes to 2020 to save Jonas. He arrives a little after the moment when he shot Martha.

Jonas, angry and disbelieving of him due to the recent murder of Martha rejects him, but Adam informs him with sorrow that he truly thought it was all for the best, and takes him to Eva's World. Adam gives Jonas his time-travelling orb and tells him what to do, leaving soon after to confront Eva.

Eva reminisces about the day she discovered her older self shot dead by Adam, the day she began to truly call herself Eva. Goading Adam to shoot him, she is surprised and shocked as Adam has removed all of his bullets beforehand. Adam informs Eva about the existence of the third world, how they have perpetuated endless miseries and how their younger selves are about to undo it all. He tells her that they indeed are perfect for each other. Now in no need to struggle to fight and maintain or destroy everything, Adam and Eva fall into a gentle embrace as both of them are erased from existence following the prevention of the accidents of the Tannhaus family.

Trivia

  • Jonas's goals in time-traveling were to retrieve Mikkel, stop Michael's suicide, prevent the Apocalypse and prevent Martha's death. In a cruel twist, Jonas later became the cause and reason for all of them.