Ethan Winters' Entire Resident Evil Timeline Explained

Ethan Winters: husband, father, survivor, born without a face, hand trauma collector. While he's mostly a blank slate by design, to the point where he doesn't actually have a face model in "Resident Evil Village," Ethan's total inability to be cool combined with his absolute refusal to give up has gotten him a few fans over the last few years. After all, nobody who gets to fight a chainsaw duel about an hour into his first-ever appearance can't be all bad.


Capcom's really leaned into the pathos with Ethan in "Village," however, to the point where the collector's edition artbook is entitled "The Tragedy of Ethan Winters." Ethan's life had to get worse before it could get better ... and then it got really bad. Here's the whole story of Ethan Winters.

The following contains significant spoilers for both "Resident Evil: Biohazard" and "Resident Evil Village."

Just your everyday sysadmin

Ethan was born in 1984, according to the Japanese Enterbrain guidebook, and grew up to become a systems engineer working in Los Angeles.

On May 27th, 2011, he married Mia (born 1986), who he believed to work for a trading company. In fact, Mia worked for an organization called the Connections, a crime syndicate that produced bioweapons. She was a research assistant and occasional bodyguard, but Ethan had no idea.


While Mia worked there, the Connections finished a breakthrough project with the "E-Type," also known as Eveline: a bioweapon in the shape of an ordinary young girl. By infecting human targets with a specialized mold, Eveline could control their actions, induce hallucinations, and even give them incredible (if often gross) superhuman powers. More frequently, though, humans infected by the mold would rapidly devolve into homicidal mutants, which would come to be known as the "Molded."

Life after death, sort of

One of the scientists on the E-Type project was Miranda, who'd been working with the mold for decades. Specifically, seven decades. In 1919, after her daughter Eva had died in the outbreak of the "Spanish flu," Miranda found the original carrier of the mold, the Megamycete, in a cavern in eastern Europe. She simply wandered inside, lost in grief, and found it by mistake.


The mold had endowed Miranda with the power to control her own cells. She could shapeshift, survive massive trauma, and didn't seem to age. More importantly, she found that the mold seemed to preserve the memories of anyone who was infected by it, which suggested to Miranda that it could be used to resurrect the dead.

She ended up contributing to the E-Type project as a means towards that end, going so far as to provide a DNA sample from her deceased daughter. As a result, Eveline ended up resembling the late Eva.

2014: Mold overboard

In October of 2014, the Connections found that other unnamed organizations were planning to steal the E-Type. Mia was tapped to relocate Eveline, and booked passage aboard a ship called the Annabelle so they could travel under the radar. As far as Ethan knew, it was just another business trip for Mia, who sent him an upbeat video message while she was on the road. It would be the last time he heard from her for three years.


Unsurprisingly, black-market bioweapon developers don't make great parents. Eveline had developed an obsession with the idea of having a normal, traditional family, and that obsession would get a lot of people killed. She broke containment while she and Mia were aboard the Annabelle, and the other passengers and crew were infected with Eveline's strain of the mold, either dying or becoming homicidal Molded. Mia survived but was brought under Eveline's control. The Annabelle subsequently ran aground on the swampy coast of rural Louisiana.

Welcome to the family

The first person to find the Annabelle was Jack Baker, a local farmer. Eveline took control of him and had him bring her and Mia back to his house, where Eveline infected Jack's wife Marguerite and daughter Zoe. While Zoe never fully came under Eveline's control, Eveline used the others to form the twisted family unit she'd always wanted.


She also used Jack and Mia to abduct more people from throughout the state, in an attempt to grow that family. However, all her abductees ended up dead or Molded, despite Zoe's best efforts. Eveline herself also began to wither, as she required a drug made by the Connections to stay alive. Without it, she appeared to rapidly age. Ethan would eventually find the Bakers' house in 2017, meeting an Eveline who has been reduced to a withered old woman.

When the Connections caught word of the situation in Louisiana, they set up an observation post inside a nearby salt mine and recruited Jack's son Lucas as a double agent. Lucas, who already had a broad psychotic streak, leaped at the chance, and accepted an injection that immunized him from Eveline's mind control.


2017: The moment that he died

In 2017, Ethan gets an email from Mia: "Dulvey, Louisiana. Baker farm. Come get me." He drives out to the Bakers' farm that July, which initially appears abandoned. After he circles around to the back of the main house, however, Ethan finds Mia's driver's license in a burn pile. He investigates further, into the half-wrecked smaller house on the Bakers' farmland. There, he finds Mia herself, asleep in a cell in the basement.


Mia is initially confused, then actively homicidal. With strength far out of proportion to her size, she tries to kill Ethan with her bare hands. Out of desperation, Ethan uses a fallen axe to defend himself, landing a killing blow on Mia. Unfortunately for him, it doesn't quite take.

Ethan continues his attempts to escape from the house. Mia suddenly reappears, pinning him to the wall with a screwdriver, then severing his left hand with a chainsaw. In shock, Ethan retreats to the house's attic. There, he finds a way out in the form of a ladder to the attic's window, but Mia and her chainsaw show up seconds later. Once again, Ethan's forced to fight his wife, who shrugs off multiple gunshot wounds before she finally collapses.


Before Ethan can escape, however, he's suddenly ambushed by Jack Baker, who kills him with a vicious stomp to the face. The end. No moral.

And you thought your Thanksgivings were awkward

Before his death, Ethan had already become infected with the same strain of mold as Mia, which lent him the same recuperative powers. He doesn't exactly come back to life, but instead, wakes up as a human-shaped stack of mold that believes itself to be Ethan Winters.


When he wakes up, his hand has been stapled back on by Zoe, and he's handcuffed to a chair at the Bakers' dinner table, facing Jack, Lucas, Marguerite, and the elderly-seeming Eveline. He's meant to be the newest recruit to their mold-addled "family."

Instead, Ethan breaks free, and is forced into a game of cat and mouse with Jack throughout the Bakers' home. With the front door locked down by a strange mechanism, Ethan instead tries to flag down a local cop he sees investigating the front yard. Instead, Jack kills the cop with a shovel, then nearly runs Ethan over with Ethan's own car.

Armed with the officer's pistol and pocketknife, Ethan delivers what appears to be a killing blow to Jack. Like Mia, however, Jack is much more resilient than he appears, and lethal force just seems to annoy him. In the end, Ethan is only able to put Jack down via the traditional Louisiana method of challenging him to a chainsaw duel. Even Jack's unnatural regeneration can't cope with a running power tool to the sternum ... or so it appears.


Deciding who lives and who dies

Upon his escape from the Bakers' home, Ethan finds a trailer that belongs to Zoe. She calls him via her own phone, and explains that she's heard from Mia of a special serum. If she and Ethan can find a way to make it, they could cure both Zoe and Mia's infections and return them to normal.


Ethan and Zoe set out to find the necessary reagents. Along the way, Ethan is forced to fight and kill the heavily-mutated Marguerite, and rescues Mia from a gauntlet of bizarre traps constructed by Lucas. They're able to successfully create two vials of the serum, but are subsequently ambushed by a heavily mutated Jack Baker. Ethan is forced to use the serum against him, causing Jack's body to calcify into brittle, crystalline dust.

That leaves Ethan with two people in need of one dose of serum. He opts to cure Mia, and escapes with her into the swamp via a handy rowboat, promising to bring back help for a distraught Zoe. (It's worth noting here that saving Mia is the canon choice, and leads into the "End of Zoe" DLC. Opting to save Zoe instead triggers the bad ending of "Resident Evil VII.")



After escaping in the rowboat, Ethan and Mia find the wreckage of the Annabelle, which has become a hive of the mold. It suddenly expands as they approach, abducting Ethan and destroying their boat. Alone, Mia shoots her way through the Annabelle on a search for Ethan.


When she finds him, he's half-submerged in the mold, having a peculiar conversation with a contrite Jack — or at least a version thereof. Jack pleads with Ethan to save what's left of his family, and to kill Eveline for what she's done. Mia's able to extract Ethan, but can feel herself losing control. She locks herself in the wreck of the Annabelle so Ethan can escape.

He winds up in the old salt mine where the Connections had set up their observation post. He finds it infested with Molded, but he also discovers the Connections' lab. There, he's able to use some old tissue samples to create a specialized countermeasure that the Connections had developed to deal with Eveline: an injectable neurotoxin.


They grow up so fast

When Ethan returns to the Bakers' farm, he discovers it's come under siege by both local law enforcement and the BSAA, a special anti-bioweapons task force that's supervised by the United Nations. In a strange turn of events, the BSAA is working via a private military company called "Blue Umbrella," an organization of contrite survivors of the original megacorporation.


Eveline, stuck in her rapidly-aging body, has holed up in the smaller house's attic, where Ethan had been forced to fight Mia the night before. Despite her attempts to stop him, Ethan gets close enough to inject Eveline with the neurotoxin. Instead of dying, Eveline transforms into a monster that's big enough to destroy the house. Ethan is initially helpless against it, with no weapons powerful enough to threaten Eveline.

He's saved by the sudden appearance of the BSAA's Chris Redfield, who throws Ethan a special weapon that the BSAA had developed. The "Albert-01" pistol, loaded with custom anti-fungal ammunition, is able to kill off the E-Type for good. Chris turns both Ethan and Mia over to the BSAA and Blue Umbrella for treatment and examination. He subsequently chases down and kills Lucas Baker, then destroys Lucas' server before it can transmit data on Lucas' research to Blue Umbrella.


At roughly the same time, Jack's brother Joe, who lives a solitary life in the nearby swamp, discovers a couple of Blue Umbrella soldiers with the calcified body of Zoe Baker. Despite an initial misunderstanding, Joe is able to retrieve another dose of the serum and use it to cure Zoe's infection.

Ethan and Mia's European Vacation

The "Dulvey incident" is subsequently covered up by the local authorities and the BSAA. The deaths on the Bakers' property are written off as the result of a mysterious gas leak, while the various travelers abducted by Mia and Jack over the years are apparently left as insoluble missing-persons cases.


Ethan, Mia, and Zoe are given new identities and relocated by the BSAA. While Zoe gets a job as a rookie reporter for a small newspaper in Louisiana, Ethan and Mia are relocated to a safehouse in eastern Europe. There, they strike up a friendship with Chris, who arranges for them to receive additional combat training.

The only lasting consequence for Mia from her time as a member of Eveline's "family" is the need to stay on an unspecified course of medication. Ethan, on the other hand, seems to be just fine, but he and Mia quickly discover that he's still unnaturally resilient. They choose not to share this information with Chris.

In late 2020, Ethan and Mia have a daughter named Rosemary, who seems to be a big but healthy normal baby. What they don't know is that Rose, infected from birth if not the moment of conception by the Connections' strain of the Megamycete's mold, has the potential for great powers of her own.


2021: Guess who's coming to dinner

Through unspecified means, Miranda soon learns about Rose's existence. Her research had led her to believe that Eva's resurrection would require a vessel, a human who would serve as a compatible human host for Eva's consciousness, and she'd experimented on hundreds of people over the decades in an attempt to find the right person. Rose, who Miranda theorizes will grow up to have full control over the mold, seems like a perfect candidate.


In February of 2021, Miranda uses her mimicry abilities to assume Mia's appearance and replaces her, keeping the real Mia locked up in her old underground laboratory. As far as Ethan can tell, Mia's just in a bad mood for a few days, but still dotes on the six-month-old Rose.

What Miranda doesn't know is that her collaboration with the Connections has left enough of a data trail to get Chris Redfield's attention. Despite pressure from within the BSAA to abandon his search, Chris and his personal unit, the Hound-Wolf squad, have gone rogue and spent the last three years tracking Miranda down.

One night, three or four days into Miranda's masquerade, Chris' BSAA unit suddenly bursts into the Winters' home just before dinner and shoots Miranda-as-Mia dead on the spot. Chris enters the house to deliver the finishing blow to Miranda, which leaves Ethan with the impression that his friend has just murdered his wife. Chris, for his part, offers Ethan no explanation, because Chris Redfield does not have good communication skills. Just ask Claire.


Chris' squad knocks Ethan out and takes him and Rose with them, as well as Miranda's body. However, despite multiple gunshot wounds, Miranda is not dead. When Ethan wakes up, he's in the middle of nowhere, next to a wrecked van and the corpses of two soldiers.

Village of shadows

The nearest settlement is an unnamed village in rural Europe, which is currently the site of a massacre. Almost every living thing in the village, including much of the local wildlife, has been wiped out by a new breed of feral mutant, the werewolf-adjacent "Lycans." The last surviving villager dies at the hands of Miranda herself, who offers no explanation as to her motives.


The Lycans are, in fact, the typical result of Miranda's experiments. She'd infected hundreds of humans with the original strain of the Megamycete's mold over the last century, in an attempt to find a compatible host for Eva's consciousness. Almost every infectee has either died or become a Lycan — with just four exceptions, none of whom she saw as suitable for Eva.

Ethan, with no other choice, sets out to explore the village, looking for Rose, Chris, and a way to escape. He loses two fingers on his left hand to an attack by the Lycans, and only survives at all because he's unnaturally hard to kill. He manages to open the route to the castle that overlooks the village.

He's quickly captured by Miranda's subordinates, the four survivors of her experiments. Known as the Lords, they run him through a gauntlet of monsters for their own entertainment. The final death trap is a massive set of rotating blades that seem to reduce Ethan to mincemeat, but he's able to escape, with the Lords briefly convinced he's dead.


Vampire killer

Ethan returns to the castle, the ancestral home of the Dimitrescu family. The lady of the manor, famed winemaker Alcina Dimitrescu, was granted great strength, regeneration, and incredibly sharp claws by Miranda's experiments, at the cost of being forced to feed off of human flesh and blood. She doesn't exactly see this as a drawback.


Her "daughters," three equally bloodthirsty mutants produced by Alcina's own experiments, quickly capture Ethan, but thanks to his own regenerative abilities, he's able to escape. Ethan confronts and kills each daughter in turn, exploiting their vulnerability to cold, but is left at a loss against the seemingly invincible Alcina.

With the use of a poisoned dagger hidden within the Dimitrescu family crypt, Ethan is able to inflict enough damage on Lady Dimitrescu that she's made vulnerable. When slain, Alcina, like Jack and her daughters, calcifies into crystalline dust.

Just before he escapes the castle grounds, Ethan finds a strange container. When he takes it to the Duke, a friendly if mysterious local merchant, Ethan learns that the container actually contains Rose's severed head. Despite that, Rose is not dead. Instead, Miranda has used the mold's properties to transform Rose into an inert crystalline form, as she prepares to enact the process that she hopes will transform Rose into Eva.


The Duke tells Ethan that if he can collect and combine all four pieces of Rose, which had been given to the four Lords for safekeeping, Rose can still be saved.

Father of the year

Ethan sets out to do just that. He kills two more Lords, the puppeteer Donna Beneviento and the deformed inventor Salvatore Moreau, and retrieves their pieces of Rose. Along the way, he runs into Chris in the village's reservoir, but isn't able to get an explanation for the attack before they're separated.


To Ethan's surprise, the final Lord, Heisenberg, isn't interested in a fight. Instead, he offers Ethan a recruitment pitch: he's always hated the other Lords and Miranda, and has been planning to dispose of Miranda for some time. Towards that end, Heisenberg is building his own personal army of mechanized zombie soldiers, as one does. It's not enough to overcome Miranda, but Heisenberg can exploit Rose's unspecified powers to make up the difference. If Ethan gives the go-ahead, Heisenberg says, they can team up to kill Miranda.

Ethan refuses, and escapes into Heisenberg's factory. While Ethan's able to kill many of Heisenberg's steampunk "Soldats," including an indestructible but uncontrollable monster that Heisenberg calls a "Sturm," Heisenberg himself is nearly invincible. His mutation from Miranda's experiments gave him new organs that let him manipulate magnetic fields, allowing him to control the metal in his environment. He's effectively bulletproof.


When Ethan tries to confront Heisenberg anyway, Heisenberg simply throws Ethan off a ledge, back down into the factory's basement.

The death and life and death of Ethan Winters

Ethan, thanks to his mold-spawned resilience, survives the fall and finds Chris nearby. Chris finally offers Ethan an explanation. He hadn't killed Mia — he'd failed to kill Miranda, and was in the village to finish the job.


Chris has assembled a makeshift tank out of non-ferrous materials he's found in the factory, which he plans to use to deal with Heisenberg. He offers the tank to Ethan for use as an escape route, while Chris returns to the factory to set a series of demolition charges.

Ethan ends up using that tank in a final battle with Heisenberg, who defends himself with a makeshift mech he's built out of assorted scrap metal. Not only does their fight distract Heisenberg long enough that Chris is able to destroy his factory and the army of Soldats, but Ethan manages to kill Heisenberg with a point-blank cannon shell to the face.

It's a short-lived victory. Miranda abruptly appears and taunts Ethan. She's been letting him run rampant across the village because he's a "special case," and Miranda's curiosity about his condition was more important to her than the lives of the Lords. With Heisenberg's death, however, Ethan's entertainment value has abruptly run out.


She tells Ethan that Rose will be reborn as her daughter, then abruptly yanks out his heart. Miranda leaves him for dead and flies away to finish her ritual.

Can't die if you weren't alive

Ethan makes for a convincing enough corpse that his death enrages Chris. He and his squad return to the village, to find it overrun by Lycans and new growths of mold. Chris shoots his way through the crowds, blasts open the catacombs beneath the castle, and finds the original Megamycete in an underground cavern. He sets a bomb there to destroy it.


Nearby, he finds Miranda's original laboratory, as well as a confused but alive Mia Winters. When Chris informs her of Ethan's death, Mia reluctantly tells him about Ethan's unusual healing factor.

Meanwhile, Ethan finds himself back in the mold's bizarre memory storehouse, where he's once again confronted by Eveline. She tells him, giggling, that he's dead, and in fact has been dead since that time Jack Baker stomped on his face. This is why all the incidental stab wounds Ethan has racked up while he's been in the village have inexplicably failed to cripple him; Ethan hasn't been traditionally alive for about three-and-a-half years.

Fueled by his anger at both Eveline and Miranda, Ethan manages to regain consciousness through sheer dogged willpower. He wakes up in the wagon of the Duke, who carries him back toward the site of Miranda's ritual.


Suicide run

Ethan is on his last legs as he returns to Miranda's ceremony site, but he confronts her anyway, just in time to watch her ritual not quite work as she'd planned.

While Miranda is much stronger than he is, Ethan's dogged persistence and an intercession by Chris are enough to keep him in the fight. Then, just when she most needs them, Miranda's powers fail her. She falls, and like other hosts of the mold, calcifies into dust. In her remains, Ethan finds a restored Rose, who seems none the worse for wear.


Ethan's body is finally failing him, however. His hands begin to crumble away just as Miranda's body did, and by the time Chris catches up to him, Ethan can barely walk. In the end, he gives Rose to Chris, takes Chris' detonator, and walks back into the ceremony site to set off the bomb.

Chris is able to reach his squad's helicopter in time, and hands Rose to a furious Mia. In the distance, the explosion destroys the village, the Megamycete, and what little is left of Ethan. Ethan is later buried under his real name, eulogized on his tombstone as a "kind husband and loving father who put family above all else."

Ethan's story is now done, but he may not be dead in the traditional sense. In the epilogue of "Resident Evil Village," set years later, an older Rose seems to be better-acquainted with Ethan than she should be. With her own powers, and the mold's ability to preserve the memories of those who've touched it, a version of Ethan may have survived and had an influence on his daughter.


For now, however, the story of the father is finished.