Locke & Key Wiki

Season 3 has premiered on Netflix. This wiki contains spoilers for episodes of the final season. Read at your own risk.


Locke & Key Wiki
Locke & Key Wiki

The Timeshift Key is one of the Keys created by Harland Locke.


Graphic Novels[]

The Timeshift Key was created sometime prior to 1912, by Harland Locke. Its original purpose is unclear, but Chamberlin Locke would use it as a way to revisit the history of his son, Ian. Chamberlin considered his use of the Timeshift Key to be a more responsible method to see his son, rather than the alternative, the Echo Key.[1]

The Timeshift Key was used by the Tamers of the Tempest circa 1988 to gain information about the Black Door and the demons that lurked beyond it.[2][3]

By the time the Locke children moved to Keyhouse, the Timeshift Key remained on top of the clock. When Tyler, influenced by Kinsey's fears and tears, attempted to destroy Keyhouse, he knocked over the clock and discovered the key.[4]

Tyler and Kinsey Locke first used the key to visit the earliest date they could, January 13, 1775. There, they learned the history of the Whispering Iron, Benjamin Locke, and the Black Door.[5]

They then used the Timeshift Key to witness the events surrounding the Tamers of the Tempest in 1988, and the history of Dodge.[6]

Netflix Series[]

Timeshift Key Netflix S1E1

The Timeshift Key on a map of Keyhouse.

A map of Keyhouse, from the safe of Mark Cho, has a depiction of the Timeshift Key, implying its existence in the Netflix series. This map is subsequently burned along with Mark and several other papers with the Matchstick Key in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of Dodge.[7]

The Timeshift Key is eventually found by Bode Locke who repeatedly uses it to go back in time in an attempt to talk to his dead father despite Duncan's warnings not to use the key at all. On one trip, Bode inadvertently travels back in time to the night that Dodge forced Duncan to forge the Demon Key for her where he interacts with the past versions of himself, his siblings, Duncan, Dodge, Eden Hawkins and Scot Cavendish. Although Scot worries that Bode's actions will change the past, Duncan reassures him that that's not how the Timeshift Key works. Dodge attempts to take the Timeshift Key from Bode, chasing him through Keyhouse. Just as Bode returns to his own time, Dodge grabs onto his leg. In the present, the hourglass spins over and begins counting down and Bode discovers that he has pulled Dodge through time with him.[8]

After noticing the hourglass counting down, Kinsey calls Duncan who leaves her a voicemail revealing that the hourglass is the Timeshift Key's failsafe - a time limit that something displaced in time by the key can remain in the present before it is sent back like it never existed. Now possessing Bode's body, Dodge is sent back to her own time, inadvertently leaving the Timeshift Key in Frederick Gideon's hands. As a consequence, however, Bode's body is erased from existence, killing him and leaving Bode trapped as a Keyhouse ghost.[9]

Before sending all of the keys through Gideon's portal to his world, the Lockes use the Timeshift Key together to go back in time and see Rendell a final time to say goodbye.[10]


The Timeshift Key allows the user to witness past events as chosen through the grandfather clock in Keyhouse. Though they cannot interfere with the past, it can be used to gain information.

The date can be selected using the clock itself, and the earliest date available is January 13, 1775, the date Benjamin and Miranda Locke first encountered the Black Door.[5] The latest date available is December 31, 1999.[6]

While time-traveling, the user can also leave the premises of Keyhouse.[2] In the present, they appear "white" to witnesses, though this may be just to people who can see the magic.

Time in the present passes much slower than the time spent witnessing the past. When Tyler and Kinsey spent two days in the past, they only "went all white for a second" in the present.[6]

Netflix Adaptation[]

The Timeshift Key allows the user to travel in time and interact with the past. However, altering events in the past doesn't change the future as confirmed by Duncan.[8] No one who interacts with the time traveler in the past will remember the encounter.[10]

When the time limit set for the key is up, objects or entities from the past can be brought to the present so long as they are holding onto the user.[8] In order to prevent a temporal paradox, the Timeshift Key puts a time limit on how long a time-displaced object can remain in the present before it vanishes back to its own time, depicted by a sand hourglass in the Timeshift Clock. In the case of Bode Locke and Dodge, this resulted in Bode's body being erased from existence as Dodge was possessing it at the time that she was sent back.[8]


Main article: Timeshift Clock

The Timeshift Key's door is the Timeshift Clock, a grandfather clock that is located on the stairway between the third and fourth floor of Keyhouse.[11]

Guide to the Known Keys entry[]

TimeShift Key Excerpt

"...Occasionally people will ask me about Ian, wanting to know how I am managing without him. I tell them honestly that I see him everyday, that he is with me always, here in this house. This unusually earns me a consoling, worried look, but it is the perfect truth. With the aid of Harland's ingenious Timeshift Key and Clock, I am able to revisit all of the best days of Ian's life, as I wish. Of course I may also return Ian to our world with the Echo Key... but a human soul that has had its time on our earth longs for the warmth and comfort of That Other Place, and I know that bringing him back is something I would do for me, not for him. So I leave him be. I wonder, sometimes, what would happen if a truly twisted soul were to be reanimated with the Echo Key - someone with designs on the world of the living. Fortunately, I safeguard that key too closely for..."


  • Joe Hill stated that the Timeshift Key is his favorite key.[12]
  • The Timeshift Key is similar to the Tempus Fugit Key in which both Keys have a "time" themed design and both go into clocks.