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"He was having an affair. It wasn't the first one. And the night Mads disappeared... he was with her. While your brother disappeared, he was sleeping with another woman.... Claudia... Claudia Tiedemann."
―Tronte's wife Jana to their son Ulrich[src]

Tronte Nielsen is the father of Ulrich and Mads Nielsen. He is married to Jana Nielsen. He is the son of Agnes Nielsen and the Unknown, the nameless son of Jonas Kahnwald and the alternate Martha Nielsen. Throughout his life, he had a close relationship with Claudia Tiedemann.

Biography []

Background[]

Tronte Nielsen was born in 1941 to his mother Agnes Nielsen and the Unknown, the nameless son of Jonas Kahnwald (Tronte's own great-grandson) and the alternate Martha Nielsen.[1][3]

Little is known about his life growing up. However, his father was never in his life, and Tronte never knew the man and believed him to be a bad person, as his mother told him.[3] Tronte's early life was spent seemingly very little under the care of his mother. He spent a period of his childhood in a home, where he was physically abused, during which it is not known where his mother was.[3][4] At a certain point close to the fall of 1953 (by the looks of his wounds in early November), his mother collected him from the home he was in and the two moved to the town of Winden, where Agnes's grandmother purportedly had been from.[4]

Tronte would later describe his mother as often sad. He was aware that she had a brother, but he had never met him and sensed the siblings hated each other.[5]

1953[]

November 10[]

Tronte moved to Winden in 1953 with his mother, Agnes. They rent rooms in the house of Egon and Doris Tiedemann, where he first meets their young daughter, Claudia, one year his junior. Doris asks Agnes about her husband, to which she replies he is dead. Mother and son share a glance at the response.

Claudia takes Tronte on a tour of the forest, rejecting the company of the nine-year-old Helge Doppler, who sends her dog Gretchen into the Winden Caves out of spite. Later, when alone, Tronte pulls up his sleeve to reveal apparent cigarette or cigar burns made on his arms.[4]

November 11[]

The next day, Tronte accompanies Claudia to look for Gretchen in the woods. The girl compliments his good looks, comparing him to James Dean and saying that the girls will be after him in droves, and Tronte smiles. Claudia inquires why the two left where they came from, wondering if they might be bank robbers on the run. Tronte gives a rehearsed-sounding answer that his mother wanted a change. Claudia then compliments Agnes, stating that she's never seen anyone who is so elegant.[6]

1954[]

June 23[]

On their way to school through the forest, Claudia complains to Tronte that her mother acts like she doesn't understand anything. She says when she becomes a mother she will be different. She asks him about his time before they came to Winden. He says his mother was sad all the time, and that she has a brother, but they seem to hate each other. She asks him if she is happy here, but he shrugs. She then asks Tronte if he will "show it" to her now, and after a brief hesitation, he pulls down his pants.[5]

June 26[]

After June 26, Tronte's mother Agnes goes missing.[3][7] It is not known if the two ever reunite in their lifetimes, but it seems that they never do.

September 24[]

In the morning, on his way to school through the woods, Tronte encounters a strange man near the cave entrance. The man tells Tronte that he's grown. When Tronte asks if they know each other, the man replies that he knew his mother, but it was a long time ago. He tells Tronte that he resembles his mother. The boy asks who he is, and the man says strangely that he has no name, that he was never given one. But he chose Tronte's.

Just then, two others approach: a young boy and an old man. When Tronte gets spooked, the first man offers him a gift: an ouroboros bracelet, which belonged to Agnes. Tronte accepts it and flees the scene, but does not go to school.

Later that day, Tronte is sitting by the lake looking at the necklace. Jana, a girl from school, approaches him. The two greet each other and the girl sits down. She notices the bracelet and notes its beauty. Tronte quickly pockets it. She asks where he was that day at school. When he doesn't answer immediately, she asks what he's doing here. He says he likes it there, in its desolation. He then shares that he likes to write, stories. Jana smiles, and Tronte compliments the beauty of the sight.

The two walk together through the woods at twilight. Jana inquires about Tronte's mother, and he affirms he has no idea where she is. She asks about the man he saw that morning, and whether he thinks that could actually be his father. Tronte shares what his mother told him about his father. He admits he was in a home for a long time. When she asks what that was like, he reveals the scars on his arm. He then reveals a secret: He doesn't want to know whether the man that morning was his father, and he doesn't care if his mother ever returns. He gives Jana the bracelet, which she takes.

Just then they are interrupted by Claudia, who is surprised to see Jana there. Claudia collects Tronte, saying that her mother is surely waiting with dinner, and takes him by the hand back home. At home, they encounter Claudia's father Egon at the dining room table, taking shots and not responding to questions. The two go upstairs. Later that night, Claudia enters Tronte's bedroom. She drops her night gown, revealing her body to him.[3]

Adult life[]

Tronte eventually marries Jana, and the two have two sons, Ulrich in 1971 and Mads in 1973. At a certain point Tronte acquires the Tiedemann family home, in which he lived in his youth. Whatever nice feelings the marriage might have been built on, Tronte's eyes are rarely on his wife. He apparently has multiple affairs during the course of his marriage. The most notable is that with Claudia Tiedemann, his childhood flame. All this cheating at a certain point leads Jana to desire a divorce, but it never comes to pass.[8]

Tronte works as a journalist to support the family.[9] It is not known what paper he writes for, but it is possibly the town's local paper, the Windener Tageblatt.

1986[]

October 9[]

On the night that Tronte and Jana's son Mads disappears, Tronte is with Claudia. Later when Jana is interviewed by the police, she lies, saying that the three of them—she, Tronte, and Ulrich—were at home that night.[8]

The disappearance of Mads shatters the family. Jana becomes distraught and withdrawn, and Ulrich becomes rebellious.[9]

November 5[]

Tronte approaches Claudia at the Winden Nuclear Power Plant on her first day as director before she takes over fully from Bernd Doppler the next day. He is ostensibly there for an interview, given the historic nature of her appointment to the post, but really he feels the undying urge to cheat on his wife. Claudia is resistant, but Tronte begs her. She eventually concedes to consider it and walks off.

That night, Tronte waits by the bus stop for an outing with Claudia, but she never comes. He returns home and gets into bed as his wife lies awake silently beside him.[9]

1987[]

Summer[]

After the disappearance of Claudia on June 26, Tronte spends his time in search of answers, gathering newspaper clippings and other items in a vain attempt to find his old flame.[10]

September 22[]

Almost a year after the disappearance of Mads, Tronte suggests that they place a gravestone for their son, to get closure. But Jana never gets closure—the grave is empty, and she always holds onto hope that her son is somewhere alive, free and happy.[8]

After the mock burial at the St. Christopher church, the Nielsens hold a wake at their house. Hermann Albers commends the parents for doing what they did, to get closure, and says that at least they still have each other. Jana makes a mock toast to this idea, knowing her marriage better than strangers. Tronte comes over to take the bottle of alcohol away from her. Jana demands he tell everyone where he was when Mads disappeared. When he does not respond, she proclaims that he was "screwing Claudia Tiedemann." She then says that if he put as much effort into finding his son as he did into finding his mistress, then Mads might be back by now. Tronte feigns ignorance, and Jana leaves the room and returns with her purse, which she dumps out to reveal that she found all his "research". Tronte takes his coat and leaves the house.

Tronte goes to the nuclear power plant to speak with Jasmin Trewen, Claudia's secretary. Jasmin is reticent to talk because she already told everything to the police, but Tronte just wants to know if she noticed anything about Claudia the week before she disappeared. Jasmin shares that Claudia's appearance, usually so important to her, became increasingly disheveled over the week, and she seemed distracted. Jasmin states that she thinks it must have had something to do with the old woman who visited Claudia a few days before she disappeared, claiming that the dog Claudia had found was in fact hers, but then not taking it with her when she left. After that, Claudia was not the same.

Later Tronte is driving by the bus stop when he notices Claudia's now-orphaned daughter Regina sitting there with a poodle. He inquires about the dog and if it is hers, and Regina says it belonged to her mother. Tronte offers her a ride. In the car, he is distracted by the dog, feeling it looks like Gretchen, Claudia's dog he once met in his youth. Regina says she thinks that's why her mother kept the dog. She asks if Tronte thinks there might be a connection between the disappearances of her mother and his son Mads, but he says he doesn't know. He asks about the week before Claudia's disappearance and if she ever mentioned an old woman, but Regina shakes her head. He asks if her mother ever mentioned him, but Regina shakes her head quickly again, tears forming in her eyes. Tronte laments that he thought she might have said something. Regina asks to be let out. Tronte stops and offers her anything she might need before she gets out.

When he returns home that night, Jana is sitting on the couch. He sits down beside her. She tells him that he will have to decide at some point, either for them or against them. Tronte tells her he saw Regina that day, remarking how much she's grown. Jana notes how Claudia never did tell anyone who the father really was. Tronte says simply that she is right: He has to make a choice. He takes her hand in his.[10]

2019[]

Photographs of Tronte in 1953, 1986, and 2019, on the string wall

June 20[]

Tronte and Jana attend Ulrich and his wife Katharina's twenty-fifth anniversary party at their house. They congratulate Magnus for something, and Tronte offers to buy him his driver's license.[11]

November 4[]

Tronte is called out to the Doppler cabin by Peter Doppler late at night. Peter says it's to do with his son—not Ulrich, Mads.

Tronte arrives at the bunker, where he finds what Peter has discovered: the corpse of the missing Mads. Tronte weeps over the body. At that moment, an elderly and long-missing Claudia Tiedemann arrives and has them move Mads body into the forest where it will be later found by the police.[12]

That same night, Tronte's grandson Mikkel goes missing under very similar circumstances as Mads did thirty-three years ago.[13]

November 5[]

At their apartment the following morning, Tronte stuffs the sweater he was wearing the night before, covered in red soil, into the washing machine. Jana enters the room and confronts him about where he was the night before. He says he was in the garden, getting the bushes ready for winter. When she counters that she looked out there and saw no one, he says that he went to the gas station to get more wire. He leaves then to join a search party for Mikkel. Jana laments about the similarity between the two disappearances.

Tronte combs through the forest half-heartedly. A woman joins him, also lamenting about the tragic recurrence in Tronte's life. She assures him they will find Mikkel. He responds, "Maybe, maybe not." It seems clear he knows that Mikkel is never returning. Claudia explained much the night before. Tronte secures the triquetra notebook given to him by Claudia in his pocket.[14]

November 8[]

Ulrich comes to visit Jana. As Ulrich is standing alone in the kitchen, Tronte enters and hugs him. He inquires about the family and how they're doing. Ulrich ignores this and asks about Jana, and Tronte says she's sleeping. Ulrich asks about the Mads case and if there was ever a suspect, if Egon Tiedemann ever found anything. Tronte denounces the officer as an idiot and says he wanted only to retire. Ulrich then brings up the dead boy found in the woods and how he was dressed in '80s clothing. He suggests this all might have something to do with the case back then, that the perpetrator might be the same. He begins asking forcefully where he was the night Mads disappeared, knowing that Jana lied to the police about his being at home. Tronte is affronted at the suggestion that he might have something to do with his son's disappearance. Ulrich assaults his father, grabbing him by the face and asking where he was the night Mikkel disappeared. Jana enters and attests that he was home. Tronte takes his coat and leaves.

That night in the bunker, Tronte and Peter wait for the passage in the caves to be used. At 9:17, Jonas Kahnwald uses the wormhole to travel to the year 1986. The two men are shocked at the notebook's accuracy, looking at a table of times.[8]

November 12[]

Tronte and Peter are sitting in the bunker. Peter, distressed, shares that his wife Charlotte asked him about the cabin and his father Helge and what happened there in 1953—a key event in the sequence of interconnected events between 1953, 1986, and 2019 of the past eight days that Tronte is surely aware of. Tronte says just a few more hours, and it'll be over; Mads will live. Peter asks if he trusts Claudia. Tronte says simply that everything she predicted has happened the past eight days, just as it's written in the notebook. Peter asks about the bulk of pages that are missing from it and what's supposed to happen after today. Tronte states that after today, everything will be new.

At 11:59 that night, Tronte and Jana are hugging each other in their apartment as the lights flash wildly around them. Unbeknownst to them, a middle-aged Jonas Kahnwald is attempting to destroy the wormhole in 1986. He's really only shutting it.[12]

2020[]

Tronte survives the apocalypse of June 27, 2020, though it is not clear how he did it. Jana's fate is not known.[10]

2053 (time travel)[]

An older Claudia Tiedemann, though not quite as old as the one he met the year before, brings him to Regina's grave in 2053. She reveals that Regina is not in fact his daughter, despite the suspicions of many. Tronte says that even he believed she was his daughter. Claudia reassures him that it's better this way, because then Regina is not a part of the knot: She will live once it is destroyed. However, she instructs him to kill Regina in order to maintain the knot for now. With the death of Regina, Claudia will become who she is and will try to find any way to make her survive. The two old lovers part ways, for the last time for Tronte, but not for Claudia.[2]

2020 (time travel)[]

September 22[]

Tronte returns to 2020. He meets Regina in the Winden Police station, where she and her mother (a younger version of the one he just met) are staying in the wake of the apocalypse. He apologizes before suffocating her with a pillow.[10]

Appearances[]

Season 1[]

Season 2[]

Season 3[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 https://dark.netflix.io/en/event-timeline/tronte-nielsen
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dark Season 3 Episode 8: "The Paradise"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Dark Season 3 Episode 4: "The Origin"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Dark Season 1 Episode 8: "As You Sow, so You Shall Reap"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dark Season 2 Episode 3: "Ghosts"
  6. Dark Season 1 Episode 9: "Everything Is Now"
  7. Dark Season 2 Episode 8: "Endings and Beginnings"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Dark Season 1 Episode 6: "Sic Mundus Creatus Est"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Dark Season 1 Episode 3: "Past and Present"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Dark Season 3 Episode 2: "The Survivors"
  11. Dark Season 2 Episode 6: "An Endless Cycle"
  12. 12.0 12.1 Dark Season 1 Episode 10: "Alpha and Omega"
  13. Dark Season 1 Episode 1: "Secrets"
  14. Dark Season 1 Episode 2: "Lies"