Symbology & Names
2019.01.03 05:16 Aneris23 Symbology & Names
Contains some [Spoilers].
Hi! Binged it in the inbetween years twilight. I noticed a lot of names give away hints (or red herrings), but I saw not all that much discussion, but being a year late, that might be all said and done and archived somewhere.
Here go clues I found, anyway:
Above all, it appears to be an alchemical work of art, citing Wikipedia
1) images made within the alchemical culture proper; 2) genre images which portray alchemists and their environment; 3) religious, mythological or genre images which appropriate alchemical ideas or motifs as a kind of Panofskian ‘disguised symbolism’; 4) and images which show structural affinities with alchemy without iconographically alluding to it.
- Winden — english winding, coiling, snake-like movement (as in side-winder), something tangled around something. It is also homonymous to “wound”. It all fit the theme, a “Geschwühr” as the town was described by one character, (an ulcer, a boil, something that grows where it shouldn’t), the snake theme (satan and sin), through the Biblical motifs and of course the coiling time-line.
- Tiedemann — Northern German sounding name, where tieden and tide are common through the north sea’s strong tides, i.e. cognate “tide” related to flood. It’s a low german word, before the phonetical shift. Now it comes: in high german, it’s “Gezeiten”, “Zeit” is time. Also, Tiden literally means “times” in low german. Wiktionary also lists “tiede” in english as derived from tietää, from a way or road, “to know”, a science. Also, the tides are related to gravity (from the moon), another major theme.
- Kahnwald — a “kahn” is an old ship. Kahnwald literally means the forest of (or for) the ship. Given other motifs, the “kahn” here would be Noah’s Ark. I.e. the material to build it. The forest is one major element of the show.
- Doppler — obvious is obvious, there is the Doppler Effect, and then Doppler is cognate to “double”. “The Doppler effect (or the Doppler shift) is the change in frequency or wavelength of a wave in relation to an observer who is moving relative to the wave source”. Something observer dependent?
- Noah — in bible myth, who built the Ark, presumably by cutting down a forest for it.
- Aleksander Tiedemann — another name according to passport is Boris Niewald, Nie- as in Nielsen and -wald as in Kahnwald, Niewald also can mean “never-forest” (nie means never).
- Ariadne, Labyrinth, Minotaur etc they are are referenced many times, in the stage play, and the red cord, and the time is also a labyrinthine structure in Winden.
- Oroborous the snake that bites its own tail. Can be seen in the ring handles in the cave. Also, another symbol of alchemy (and immortality) and Jungian symbology: “The Ouroboros is a dramatic symbol for the integration and assimilation of the opposite, i.e. of the shadow. This 'feed-back' process is at the same time a symbol of immortality, since it is said of the Ouroboros that he slays himself and brings himself to life, fertilizes himself and gives birth to himself.”
- Hannah — her chief feature in the hebrew Bible is that she was childless, and deemed of lesser value, so that her husband takes another wife who eventually gets pregnant. They regularly visit a temple. Hannah cries to God. The resident priest Eli hears this, and tells her that God heard her, and she will have a child, too. This is part of the name Hannah, (related to god has mercy), she promises that the child would be God’s servant. That son, Samuel, is one of the biblical prophets, and grows up under Eli’s guidance. Samuel’s first prophecy is about the death of Eli’s own two sons who had angered god and who would not get old. Now Hannah in Dark is a kind of a “second wife” to Ullrich. Notably, he has a child-rich family, introduced early on. We also see her literally witnessing Ullrich “making” (apparently) his firstborn and see her deeply unhappy about it.
- Jonas — is the biblical Jona, also a prophet. It means “bird” via greek, “dove” in hebrew. In antiquity “gift from god”, because birds were seen as gifts of the gods, in modern times, it’s “peace”. But Jonah is also seen as a bad omen or bad luck for sailors, because his presence on a ship made God sink it (Jona himself was famously swallowed by a fish). God did it, because Jona refused to go to Ninive to warn the town of God’s wrath and instead sailed away. Anyway, he survives in the fish and finally goes to the town to warn them. The town repents, and God shows mercy. This angers Jona who camps outside town and wishes to die. Basically, God then trolls him by growing a plant that protects him from the heat, which he then withers away, making Jona feel powerless. God’s a jerk. It’s fun how in Dark the biblical stories collide: a Jonah on the Ark would doom it, by sinking it. Of course, the doomed town might be Winden. The constant rain evokes the flood.
- Dead Birds — bird’s as gifts of the gods, and Jonas (“dove”).
- The Yellow Coat (oilskin) — of Jonas is very typical fisherman’s gear, i.e. related to the sea, tides, and Frisians. Ironically called “Friesennerz” (“Frisian Mink”) and was fashionable between 1970—1985 according to german Wikipedia. Since Jonas wore it in 2019, it may be a hint, but such coats are somewhat timeless.
- Nielsen — only noted that their names tend to be notably nordic, low german, Mikkel, Tronte, Mads, Magnus. Wiktionary says that “Niel” (nielson is son of niel) is from proto finnish, for “swallowing”. That would readily fit Jona’s story, who was swallowed by a fish/whale. One can also be poetically swallowed by the flood, or the darkness.
- Ines/Agnes — Ines and Agnes are the same name, and it means “pure/virginal”. Both names appear for different people, Ines Kahnwald and Agnes Nielsen. Agnes is the mother of Tronte, father of Ullrich. Ines had a stillborn child, adopts Mikkel/Michael, brother of Ullrich and father of Jonas. So it cannot mean they are virgins (or childless), but perhaps they are “pure” in some way.
- Magnus Nielsen — Magnus is a rare name in German. It may be coincidence but there was a historical german Albertus Magnus, a german bishop, magician and alchemist and proto-scientist, and alleged discoverer of the Philosophers Stone (associated with immortality, eternal life, as well as transmuting things to gold). He also discovered arsenic, which may be relevant at some point.
- Franziska Doppler her name is related to freedom (Franziskus is “free man”). It’s implied she is a prostitute, through the matress and the hidden money. Freedom is another implied motif, through the determinism topic, but her “occupation” also has implications for everything else, since it matters quite a bit who sleeps around with whom in this show.
- One-eyed cop reaching and premature but let’s add it anyway: the one-eyed in german/germanic lore is a symbol of Odin / Wodan. That would be a bit thin, if that was all, but Odin’s symbol is three-knot called Valknut, he is the “Allfather” (now that would be entirely crazy if the cop literally is in the end), however Odin also has chiefly to do with “crossing over” boundaries, which made him a god of death, trade and war (he’s also related to poetry, and one idea is that he might be the proto-artist, intellectual, magician, which were shamanistic “dark arts”). Boundaries and the crossing / negation of them is one deeper motif, also seen in “individuation”, transmutation in alchemy, Oroboros etc. Also, Odin is the germanic version of Hermes, as in hermeticism i.e. Occultism.
- Emerald Tablet — referenced a few times in Noah’s tattoo and the triangular symbol, and a title (“Sic mundus creatus est”, “so the world was created”) is an hermetic, occult or alchemic text that describes alchemy of the philosophers stone, and on which various notable people, including Magnus, and Isaac Newton (who also was an alchemist and occultist) wrote commentaries.
- Isaac Newton — is one missing link, he is indirectly referenced many times. He was both an occultist as well as famous scientist; discovered gravity which is a central motif via the black hole, and the time topic, also the forerunner of Albert Einstein who superseded his paradigm.
- Yasin Friese the deaf boy who shows up dead in the 50s. A Friese is a frisian, the peoples of Northern Germany (and Netherlands) subject to the tides of the North Sea. It would be odd if this is coincidence. Also, occultism, and alchemy have arabian sources, though I didn’t find a “Yasin”.
- H. G. Tannhaus the clock maker. Has the same initials as H. G. Wells, author of the “The Time Machine”. “Tannhaus” means “fir house”, curiously another forest motif. A house suggests protection. More likely though, it’s derived from Wagner’s Tannhäuser, or the Minnesinger (a type of troubadour) of that name).
- Forest, Flood, Darkness & Time are referenced throughout, notably in the setting (monoculture forest, rain, low light etc), but also the names and through biblical themes.
- Noah’s Ark Let’s spell this out, is about god deeming his creation too corrupted to be saved, wants Noah to build a ship, the ark, famously out of wood, and here’s the a potential clue, saves his entire family from the floods. In the end, all four families may be the same family.
- Alchemy is a deeper motif, through symbols mentioned before. I suspect that alchemical Magnum Opus plays a role in some form, because it was used also to structure stories, as well as describing an individuation process. See here. There’s a lot to watch out for.
- Occultism another deeper motif, related to alchemy, as forbidden knowledge, but also proto-science. Occultus, clandestine, secret, also the “dark arts”, i.e. non-public, forbidden, opposite to the public (religion).
- Hermeticism (Wikipedia) “Hermeticism, also called Hermetism, is a religious, philosophical, and esoteric tradition based primarily upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus ("thrice-greatest Hermes"). The prominence that it gave to the idea of influencing or controlling nature led many scientists to look to magic and its allied arts (e.g., alchemy, astrology) which, it was thought, could put Nature to the test by means of experiments. Consequently, it was the practical aspects of Hermetic writings that attracted the attention of scientists. Isaac Newton placed great faith in the concept of an unadulterated, pure, ancient doctrine, which he studied vigorously to aid his understanding of the physical world.” Also note, that “hermetic” means isolated or sealed-off (closed time loop?). Note the connections to the other things, occultism, Newton, the one-eyed-cop, or Houdini as a notorious escape artist.
- Immortality through the Emerald Tablet (tattoo, episode name, symbol), philosopher’s stone and Oroboros snake.
- Individuation through alchemy, and Oroboros symboloy, via Jungian psychology: “In general, it is the process by which individual beings are formed and differentiated [from other human beings]; in particular, it is the development of the psychological individual as a being distinct from the general, collective psychology.”
- The Wrath of God (or his mercy) is indirectly a common motif, in Jona’s, in Hannah’s, and in Noah’s story, all of which occur as names in Winden (and Samuel’s, Biblical Hannah’s son). The use of nuclear power, or the creation of the black hole or time travel may count as a type of irredeemable “sin” of sorts.
- Michael’s Art / Dark Art? — was the black substance black paint, literally dark art? He was also a (stage) magician, touching on the magic theme, and he adored Houdini, famous escape artist.
- Dark — There’s the black hole, which traps all light, and that also causes time to distort or perhaps coil around it. When I go by the “Geschwür“ line, it also looks like there’s a linear, straight timeline, but the black hole caused it to locally coil up and outward like a boil, which has to be repaired or healed somehow. Notable is that the black hole has to do with gravity; a context where Newton shows up another time. Dark also fits the motif of “sinful” people who are doomed in some way, which the show heavily suggests, as well as “dark art” of occultism see above.
That’s it for now. I guess looking up more names will yield more.
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