How does the dagger work in Prince of Persia? If the holder goes to the past to change things what becomes of that time/world/characters which went through that time? Is it illusion? If it was illusion, then everything becomes illusions for everyone (since the holder can be anyone) which is impossible.

  • Can you elaborate your question a bit? What do you mean by "which passed that time" ?
    – Stark07
    Apr 23, 2014 at 7:09
  • It didn't seem to me like the movie wanted you to know how it works exactly. After all, it's in the storyteller's/moviemaker's best interest to leave you wondering instead of giving you definitive answers. And if you're still thinking about it the day after watching, they must have done something right. Apr 23, 2014 at 7:45
  • 3
    Just a clarification question here: are we talking about the movie or in the games?
    – Broklynite
    Apr 23, 2014 at 14:44

3 Answers 3


Short answer: It's not an illusion, it's an alternate timeline/reality

The dagger takes the user back in time. Basically, this means that the moment the user reaches the desired temporal point in the past, an alternate reality is generated. This is evident in the ending of the film, as well as the first game. The Prince still remembers the events of the previous timeline, but from others' point of view, that version of reality never happened. For them, the current one, is the only reality.

Prince Dastan rewinds the timeline so that Nizam's plan won't succeed. So basically, that timeline ceased to exist the moment the Prince went back. The alternate timeline doesn't get created at the point where he rewinds time, but at the point in the past where he "reaches".

So basically, everything that happens from the point that dastan gets the dagger up to Nizam unleashing the sand was replaced by the new timeline. Imagine that Dastan getting the dagger is the starting point. There are 2 timelines here. The original timeline was that Nizam kills the king, blames Dastan, kills dastan's brother, and unleashes the sands. But this timeline gets erased from existence the moment dastan arrives back in time, and exposes Nizam to be a traitor, thus avoiding all that happened in the original timeline.

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For a better understanding of how alternate timelines work, you could refer to Back to the Future, or at your own risk ;) :P , Doctor Who (where such alternate timelines are abundant.)

  • from other's point of view, that version of reality never happened. For them, the current one, is the only reality, well since the holder can be anyone so nothing happens..I still don't understand it:(
    – Tom Lynd
    Apr 24, 2014 at 9:07
  • The holder can't be "anyone". At any given time, there is only 1 single holder. There is only 1 dagger, which was last in the possession of the Prince. What exactly do you mean by "holder can be anyone so nothing happens"? Please elaborate it a bit. Your question is very confusing.
    – Stark07
    Apr 24, 2014 at 9:09
  • Consider the dagger is taken from the prince, what then? Would he become unreality?
    – Tom Lynd
    Apr 24, 2014 at 9:30
  • ofcourse not. He gets stuck in that reality. Think of it this way. Suppose there was some event, where the prince was NOT involved. Somewhere in the future, the Prince time travels back to this point. Now in the original event, the Prince was not there, but now, he is. This causes a simple paradox, the result of which is, that the timeline diverges at the point where the Prince reappears in the past. Whatever happens from that point on is part of another timeline. It is entirely separate from the original timeline.
    – Stark07
    Apr 24, 2014 at 9:33
  • you mean everyone has unique timeline and within that time line there are many time lines..Its very confusing
    – Tom Lynd
    Apr 24, 2014 at 9:35

The Sands of Time it (or them)selves cause ripples in the original timeline (as evidentiary at the point the Hourglass gets pierced) thus creating numerous different timelines for all of those close in the near vicinity of the Hourglass (though only Dastan remembers the previous timeline since he pressed the gem on the Dagger while it pierced the Hourglass thus unleashing the full power of the Sands).
The Sands, upon piercing the Hourglass, created some sort of temporal wave,a ripple if you like, which wiped the original timeline clean and returned everyone to the point the Persians led by Dastan achieved their latest victory but before Dastan himself revealed the traitor to be his uncle. So, basically, the Sands are the force that causes ripples in time thus creating alternate, or separate, timelines not only for the one using them but for all of those close to user (both personally and spacially) but they only allow the one using their powers to remember the original timeline (kinda like flashbacks of the old timeline but in the new,alternative timeline).
Hope I explained the way the Sands work. :)


This isn't exactly from the movie, but it does give you a good bit of information on it:

The Dagger of Time is an artifact linked to the Sands of Time. It enables the wielder to reverse, stop, slow, and use various Sand Powers, as well as protect them from changes in the timeline or alteration by the Sands.

It apparently works by placing sand within the dagger and pressing a small dial of some sorts at the end of the dagger.

The Sands of Time are a force, capable of controlling time itself. There are four objects related to them: the Hourglass of Time, which contains the Sands, the Dagger of Time, which unleashes them from the Hourglass, the Medallion of Time and the Staff of Time. The Sands of Time and these objects were created by Kaileena, the Empress of Time.

Hope it helped.

  • 1
    -1; This says what the dagger/sands are, not how they work (the question). ("pressing a small dial" is how to use the device, not how the device functions)
    – Brian S
    Apr 23, 2014 at 14:31
  • Its quite obvious to guess from reading answer that it functions from the sands of times. Its not my responsibility to state what we call the obvious when it is actually quite implied. So i am quite fine with the downvote. Apr 23, 2014 at 15:20
  • 1
    And the sands work... how? Saying it's obvious that the dagger works because of the sands is just moving the goalpost.
    – Brian S
    Apr 23, 2014 at 15:28

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