12 Monkeys TV Series Wiki

Olivia Kirschner is the leader of the Army of the 12 Monkeys. She begins her leadership role as second only to The Witness, communicating frequently with The Witness and leading the organization. After being replaced by the Pallid Man, Olivia stages a coup.


Olivia was genetically engineered by a German doctor named Albert Kirschner in the late 1950s. She was raised in a small, windowless room. Kirschner based her genetic profile on the ova from Mantis, whose genetics were likewise derived from Olivia in 2015 as a part of a closed time loop.


Early Life[]

Olivia is discovered by Cole, Cassie, and Ramse in a Dr. Kirschner's West Berlin lab. She is enclosed in a small room with a one-way mirror that prevents her from seeing outside. After Kirschner's betrayal, Mantis and the 12 Monkeys kill him and take Olivia to the mansion in the United States.[1]

Season 1[]

Olivia recruits Ramse into the Army of the 12 Monkeys, sending him letters and books in prison and promising his son would be safe if he joined them. When he is released, she welcomes him and leads a ritual where Ramse is initiated into the Army. In the years since meeting Ramse, the two prepare the Army for the next cycle, making wise investments and slowly nudging all the pieces necessary into motion. In 2011, she and Ramse meet with Leland Goines, under the guise of silent partners who had been investing in the Markridge Group.[2]

In 2015, Olivia helps the Pallid Man administer a drug to Cassandra Railly. She then leads Cassie through a visualization of the Red Forest. The Pallid Man wants to kill Cassie, but Olivia says The Witness does not want that to happen.[3]

Later, Olivia meets Aaron Marker, asking him what he would do to protect Railly.[4]

Olivia visits with Senator Royce to begin the process of starting Spearhead. She encounters Aaron as she enters Royce's office.

Aaron later meets with Olivia, agreeing to betray Cole's location to the Army in exchange for their assurance that Railly would be safe. Olivia assures him that he is doing the right thing, as he is merely protecting what is his.

On November 11, 2015, Olivia oversees the birth of the Messengers, who were genetically engineered using her ova.[5]

Season 2[]

Olivia led a group of Army members in Budapest in an attempt to kill Cole and Ramse. She declared to them that the Witness had already foreseen that Ramse was fated to die. After they escaped, she ordered one of her subordinates to follow Jennifer and ensure she released the plague virus, despite his objections that that was not "the will of the Witness."

Shaken by Cole's ability to change fate, Olivia takes the red herb and enters a vision to speak with the Witness. He orders her to find and prepare Railly. When she insists on killing Railly, the Witness emphatically refuses and Olivia awakens from her vision to find her nose bleeding. The Pallid Man challenges Olivia's authority over the Army, and Olivia reacts angrily, telling him to focus on recreating the plague. Olivia doses a captured Railly with the red herb, causing her to hallucinate, emphasizing that Railly is important to the Witness, but not to her. Jennifer distracts Olivia and rescues Railly. Olivia confronts Jennifer and tries to convince her that she can be a daughter again if she surrenders; Jennifer responds by stabbing her and pushing her into an empty pool. The Pallid Man finds Olivia bleeding and paralyzed, and tells her he is disappointed in her and her leadership. The Witness later gives command of the Army to the Pallid Man instead.

Olivia returns to Berlin to see the ruins of Kirschner's laboratory, where she grew up. Later, she abandons the Army, declaring the Witness had betrayed her and that her cycle had ended.

Season 3[]

Ramse is rescued from Titan by a mysterious man as the city is about to splinter; the man leads him to Olivia, who has visibly aged compared to her 2016 self. She says she is no longer working with the Army and takes Ramse to see his son Sam.

Olivia hatches a scheme to overthrow the Army of the 12 Monkeys, believing Athan Cole had failed her. She reveals to Ramse that The Witness is Cassie and Cole's son. She manipulates him into traveling to 2007 with the intent of murdering Cassie. Cole kills Ramse to stop him, proving to Olivia that she had found the person who would kill the Guardians for her. Olivia manipulates the entire team, setting herself up for her coup.

Olivia drinks the red tea and discovers Athan, Cassie, and Cole are in 1959. She sends the team after him, stages a breakout, and follows them shortly after to complete her power grab.

Olivia stages a coup at Titan, murdering the Pallid Man. After confronting Athan, the supposed Witness, she is shocked to discover that Athan refuses the destiny laid out to him by the Army of the 12 Monkeys. He reveals to her that the real Witness has been herself all along.

Season 4[]

To be added

As The Witness[]

Season 1[]

After being kidnapped by the 12 Monkeys, Jennifer Goines is drugged and sees The Witness approaching her.[6]

After Cassie is abducted and drugged, she sees The Witness in the distance standing near the House of Cedar and Pine.[3]

Season 2[]

Cassie and Jennifer are both abducted by the Army of the 12 Monkeys again. The Witness, giving orders to the present day Olivia, requests Cassie be "prepared." Cassie is drugged and The Witness takes over her mind. [7]

The Witness appears to Cassie as Aaron Marker and then as James Cole.[8]

After Railly returns from 2016 after her kidnapping by the Army, her hallucinations worsen. She sees The Witness doing something to the time machine. Adler discovers that a phantom tether entered the Temporal Facility along with Railly. The machine malfunctions and Railly takes Sam hostage to stop Cole and Ramse from shutting down the machine. A vision unfolds in Railly's mind, where she goes through the Red Forest with Sam and is locked inside the house on the hill. She also sees a place called Titan, which she interprets as a place where The Witness feels safe. When Cole speaks with Railly, he realizes that she has been possessed by The Witness, who forced her to sabotage the machine. Cole then speaks directly to The Witness, who claims to have seen "the end. The beginning." Cole forces Ramse to shoot him, breaking The Witness's hold on Railly. Later Jones explains that the phantom tether was attached to a consciousness, not a body, and allowed The Witness to control her.[9]

Under the influence of the red tea, Cole sees The Witness approaching him inside the temporal facility.[10]

Appearance and Personality[]

Olivia's childhood was spent as a test subject for "father," the German scientist, Albert Kirschner. So much time trapped in a small room behind a one-way mirror left her with a lasting fear of being "a thing in a box."

Olivia is consistently depicted as ruthless and manipulative and utterly devoted to her purpose of executing the Witness's grand plan. Even as a teenager, when Olivia escaped from Mantis because she was disgusted by her mother's doubts in the Witness, she murdered a fellow runaway who had been helping her out, just to ensure that she couldn't disclose anything about her plans. She was able to convince Railly, who had gone back in time to kill Olivia, that she was the victim of her mother's devotion to the Army, when in fact Mantis was trying to break her free of the Army.

As an adult, Olivia became the undisputed leader of the Army, charged with communing with the Witness and putting his plans in motion. Her certainty started to crack as Cole and Railly's actions led to deviations from the Witness's predictions. These growing doubts, along with the Pallid Man's coup, replacing her as leader of the Army, lead Olivia to hate the Witness and his inability to deliver on his promises of the Red Forest and always being there for her. Olivia would start a rebellion within the Army to depose him.

As the Witness[]

As The Witness, Olivia dresses in a dark cloak and a medieval plague doctor mask. Her face and eyes emit a red glow from her exposure to the timestream to gain Primary-like access to past, present, and future events.

Athan Cole describes Olivia as the "sad, lonely demon at the end of time" and the Primaries know that Olivia seeks to bring about the end of time because she is afraid of loneliness and death.

Skills and Abilities[]

As a result of her Messenger DNA, Olivia was far stronger and more durable than a normal human being. She was shown to be able to quickly dispatch multiple Daughters who were guarding her and was able to throw her opponents around, including Deacon and Railly.

After Jennifer stabbed Olivia, an injury that should have paralyzed her, Olivia was actually able to regain her mobility thanks to these modifications. When the splinter team was torturing Olivia—with Jones using the Machine to splinter her body apart at a slower rate—Cole observed that she was "designed to handle pain" and that a different approach was needed.

Olivia was also a master manipulator, able to convince the splinter team that she had been broken and had the same goals as them. Jones was bought in to the act to the point of trusting Olivia almost completely, despite Jennifer's warnings that Olivia "was never anywhere that didn't want to be."

Members of the Army have been seen to communicate with The Witness by taking the red herb, which induces a vision. In the vision, they pass through the Red Forest and see a house made of cedar and pine which constantly disintegrates and rebuilds itself. Inside the house, they may speak to The Witness; her responses appear on the walls, though the Witness may choose to appear in person.


  • Olivia whole existence is part of a closed time loop. She's been engineered from the ova of Mantis who was also created from her DNA.


Season 1
"Splinter" "Mentally Divergent" "Cassandra Complex" "Atari" "The Night Room"
"The Red Forest" "The Keys" "Yesterday" "Tomorrow" "Divine Move"
"Shonin" "Paradox" "Arms of Mine"
Season 2
"Year of the Monkey" "Primary" "One Hundred Years" "Emergence" "Bodies of Water"
"Immortal" "Meltdown" "Lullaby" "Hyena" "Fatherland"
"Resurrection" "Blood Washed Away" "Memory of Tomorrow"
Season 3
"Mother" "Guardians" "Enemy" "Brothers" "Causality"
"Nature" "Nurture" "Masks" "Thief" "Witness"
Season 4
"The End" "Ouroboros" "45 RPM" "Legacy" "After"
"Die Glocke" "Daughters" "Demons" "One Minute More" "The Beginning Part 1"
"The Beginning Part 2"