Making sense of Good Omens' timeline is no easy feat, but putting the Amazon Prime series' events all into chronological order might help make more sense of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's comedy of apocalyptic errors. From the beginning of time to the scheduled end of the world, Good Omens' timeline is as dense and absurd as Heaven and Hell's inevitable war to end all wars.
In Good Omens, the friendship between the demon Crowley (David Tennant) and the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) is literally one for the ages. From the Garden of Eden in 4004 B.C. to the Apocalypse, they've built one of the universe's more unusual friendships. Being on opposing sides but having the same goal has forced them into a peculiar position. Sure, they might've bonded purely on account of proximity, but over the years, little by little, they discovered that their bond is built on something substantial. They have a shared interest: the world. And, to save the world, they're forced to break some rules, though opposing God's "ineffable" plan isn't put into motion overnight. It takes times - or, in the case of Crowley and Aziraphale, a few thousand years.
Good Omens aptly kicks off in the Garden of Eden, with none other than Adam and Eve indulging in man's very first temptation. From there, the series bounces through time in a structure and pace that's as spastic as as it slightly discombobulating. Naturally, it all comes together in the end, but putting the timeline in order might help make some sense of how exactly Heaven and Hell orchestrated their harebrained idea, the Apocalypse. Here is the complete timeline of Good Omens in chronological order.
Good Omens Timeline Before The Present Day
- Sunday, October 21, 4004 B.C. at 9:13 a.m. - The creation of the universe, according to God.
- 4004 B.C., "just after the beginning" - Eve plucks the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden; Crowley and Aziraphale have their first on-screen interaction.
- 3004 B.C., Mesopotamia - Crowley and Aziraphale witness the events of Noah's Ark, revealing that unicorns once existed.
- 33 A.D., Golgotha - Crowley and Aziraphale watch as Jesus gets crucified.
- 41 A.D., Rome - Crowley and Aziraphale get drinks together.
- 537 A.D., Kingdom of West Essex - Crowley and Aziraphale discuss the possibility of playing a less active role in the Apocalypse.
- 1601, Globe Theatre, London - Crowley and Aziraphale meet William Shakespeare. Shakespeare steals a line of dialogue from Crowley that he'll eventually use in Antony and Cleopatra; Crowley performs a miracle by making Hamlet popular.
- 1656, Lancashire, England - England's last witch burning. The witch named Agnes Nutter thwarts Witchfinder Major Pulsifer when he attempts to burn her at the stake.
- 1793, Paris - Aziraphale escapes prison during the French Revolution's Reign of Terror.
- 1862, St. James Park, London - Crowley requests holy water from Aziraphale for assurance in case anything goes wrong.
- 1941, London - Aziraphale meets Nazis in a church, bringing books of prophecy for Hitler, only to double-cross them. Despite the pain of standing on consecrated ground, Crowley comes to Aziraphale's rescue.
- 1967, Soho, London - Crowley meets Lance Corporal Shadwell. Crowley attempts to steal holy water from a church; Aziraphale is worried, so he gets Crowley holy water himself.
- "Eleven Years Ago" (circa 2008) - Dukes of Hell, Hastur and Ligur, hand over the Antichrist to Crowley, who then delivers the baby to The Chattering Order of St. Beryl. The Antichrist is then misplaced, being sent to live with Deirdre and Arthur Young, while their actual child, Warlock, is sent to live with Thaddeus and Harriet Dowling. Unaware of the mistake, Crowley and Aziraphale agree to attempt preventing Armageddon from behind the scenes by coaching the boy they assume is the Antichrist.
- Five Years Later, Six Years Before the End of the World (circa 2013) - Crowley disguises himself as Warlock's nanny, while Aziraphale disguises himself as the Dowlings' gardener.
Good Omens Timeline Leading To The End Of The World
- The Present Day, Monday, Six Days Before the End of the World - Adam Young, the actual Antichrist, meets his hellhound, which he names Dog, kicking off the Apocalypse. Agnes Nutter's great-great-great-great-great granddaughter Anathema Device travels to the UK to aid in saving the world, while Witchfinder Major Pulsifer's great-great-great-great-great grandson Newton Pulsifer meets Witchfinder Sergeant Shadwell. Adam Young and the Them meet Anathema. Aziraphale discovers the true identity of the Antichrist.
- Soho, London, Thursday, Two Days to the End of the World - The Four Horsemen are beginning to converge to bring about the Apocalypse.
- Friday, One Day to the End of the World - Aziraphale admits to the angels that he misplaced the Antichrist. Crowley and Aziraphale contact Shadwell, sending him to Tadfield to find Adam. Crowley tells Aziraphale that they can leave Earth if the world ends. The lost island of Atlantis is discovered.
- Saturday, Last Day of the World - A UFO lands in Tadfield, and the aliens on board warn about the future of the planet. A kraken is discovered.
- 5 Hours and 48 Minutes to the End of the World - Warlock is brought to the fields of Megiddo, and though he is finally revealed to not be the actual Antichrist, Adam's powers are revealed and both Anathema and Newton discover his true identity. Aziraphale loses his physical form and his bookshop burns down.
- One Hour and 43 Minutes to the End of the World - Aziraphale possesses Madame Tracy.
- 17 Minutes to the End of the World - The Four Horseman, Adam Young and the Them, Crowley, Shadwell, and an Aziraphale-possessed Madame Tracy converge at the Upper Tadfield Air Base.
- 16 Minutes to the End of the World - Satan leaves Hell to confront Adam; Adam stands up to Satan and refuses to accept him as his father, canceling Armageddon.
- Sunday, Very First Day of the Rest of their Lives - The world has been saved, but Crowley and Aziraphale are taken into custody by Hell and Heaven, respectively. However, after deceiving the demons and angels, Crowley and Aziraphale are able to live freely on Earth - that is, until the next war inevitably comes.
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's novel is packed to the brim with information, characters, and timelines, and the Good Omens series does an admirable job doing the novel justice (though it certainly helps having Gaiman on board as screenwriter). And, while most adaptations have no choice but to condense and creatively reframe the source material, Good Omens' journey from page to screen still maintains the oddball nuances and preternatural eccentricities that made the novel so beloved in the first place.
While there's no telling whether or not Good Omens will get a second season - assuming Gaiman ever even bothers putting his and Pratchett's scrapped sequel ideas into motion - if it were to happen, it'd no doubt jump around time just as often. In the meantime, though, this chronological timeline ought to help give some clarity to Good Omens' less straightforward moments.
Good Omens is available to stream on Amazon Prime.