'Dark' Season 3: What is the significance of Greek mythical princess Ariadne in Jonas and Martha's lives?

It is in Season 1 Episode 6 that Martha Nielsen first plays the leading role in the play


                            'Dark' Season 3: What is the significance of Greek mythical princess Ariadne in Jonas and Martha's lives?
(Netflix)

Spoilers for Netflix's 'Dark' 

"From then on I knew nothing would change; everything would remain the same. the wheel continues to turn, round and round - one fate tied to the next; a thread, blood red, that connects us all." Read that once again. Take a moment and consider the aforementioned lines from Greek mythical princess Ariadne, who is mostly associated with mazes and labyrinths.

This right here forms a solid foundation of the Netflix German series 'Dark'. The mind-bending show finally arrived to its conclusion — a twisted tale fusing science-fiction, religion, mythology and the human need to survive. We waited a long time for the series to conclude and now with all the pages open, it seems as if the truth was in front of us the entire time.  

It is in Season 1 Episode 6 that Martha Nielsen (Lisa Vicari) first plays the leading role in the play. In Greek mythology, Ariadne is the daughter of the Cretan king Minos. She helps the Athenian prince Theseus defeat the half-human, half-Minotaur that lives in a labyrinth. Theseus is only able to find his way back out after his battle, emerging victorious, using a red thread that Ariadne fixes at the entrance. 

Now let's dissect the above plotline. This "blood-red thread" is present in the Winden caves. "Follow the Signal" as is written on the map that Stranger (Andreas Pietschmann) has. This thread leads directly to the metal door of the time travel passage. The string is attached to a metal ring in the shape of an ouroboros (an ancient symbol appearing in Egyptian imagery, Nordic mythology and Hindu religion) and is subsequently followed by everyone who enters the cave with the map. 

The play is an important part of the show. It must also be noted that 'Ariadne' is a story that is close to Gustav Tannhuas (Axel Werner) as well. As a child, his father had told him that the play used to be his late mother's favorite and he has cherished it ever since. In 1888, when he is on the way to send a telegram with news of the time travelers, Unknown (played by Jakob Diehl, Old Unknown by Hans Diehl and Young Unknown by Claude Heinrich) stops him and kills him, but takes the copy of Ariadne he is carrying and then brings it to Eva. The story is important to her too as she played the lead role once upon a time. 

A fan suggests that the links of the story of 'Ariadne' run deeper than this. "Ariadne is eventually killed by Perseus (Adam), who is known for beheading Medusa (Claudia’s downfall?). Theseus (young Jonas) has a lot of myths surrounding him but he is known for killing foes associated with an archaic religious/social order which helped eventually establish a new Olympus (the new world Adam refers to?). He was the unifying king and built a palace where he started the Cult of Aphrodite (the church we see in the 1920s where Sic Mundus meet)," a fan had written, way before the show dropped its final season. 

But there is a bigger discovery. "Myth says there was 2 copies of Ariadne (Martha) - an earthly one and a celestial one," pointing to the Martha of Jonas' world and the Other Martha. 

In the final season, when Unknown's role in the labyrinth of Winden in revealed, it is accompanied by the painfully beautifully, perfectly apt background score of Asaf Avidan 'The Labyrinth Song', a haunting song that encapsulated the heartbreaking tale of Ariadne. 

Creators Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese seamlessly fused this Greek mythology in their story. Friese had said, "I personally read probably one hundred books or so over the course of the three seasons, and only on the science stuff behind it, but also philosophical pieces and a lot of spiritual writing. Because there are so many layers of science philosophy and metaphysics and spiritual stuff, and it was quite interesting to see that they are all actually talking about the same thing, just from different angles."

All episodes of 'Dark' are currently streaming on Netflix.

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