Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Saw X.We think it’s safe to say that we would all lose if figuring out the twisty and turbulent timeline of the Saw series was one of Jigsaw’s (Tobin Bell) torture games. This long-running and beloved horror franchise is notorious for its wacky, crazy, and convoluted timeline. The franchise is almost like a jigsaw puzzle in itself, with the seemingly connected events in each film taking place at widely different points in time. To put it into context just how crazy the timeline of the Saw movies is, this is a franchise where its main villain definitively dies of cancer in Saw III, yet there have been seven movies to come after it that still contain John Kramer as a central figure (with the only real exception being Spiral).

The tenth installment, Saw X, has been praised by fans as one of the best entries to come from the series in a long time, and we think a big part of it is how it steps away from the infamous time skips. Instead, Saw X tells a much more self-contained story that largely stands entirely on its own, so much to the point where one could argue that Saw X can be enjoyed without any prior knowledge of the prior films. This all works to the benefit of the film, as getting to see a more vulnerable and emotional side of John Kramer is a great change of pace for a franchise as long-running as Saw.

That said, some may still be wondering when exactly Saw X takes place in relation to the other nine films. As we mentioned earlier, John Kramer died in Saw III, so how does he return in Saw X? Not to mention, Kramer is not the only character from the franchise who returns in Saw X either. It seems that the simple answer would be to say that Saw X takes place in between the events of certain films — but as fans of the franchise already know, it can be a bit more complicated than that.

In short, the answer to when Saw X takes place in the Saw franchise is before the main plot of the original 2004 film — and by “main plot,” we mean the events where Adam (Leigh Whannell) and Lawrence (Cary Elwes) are trapped together inside one of Jigsaw’s games. All this happens while Jigsaw himself is lying on the floor and posing as a lifeless corpse.

However, not all the events of the original Saw take place at that same time, with the key case being Amanda’s (Shawnee Smith) survival of the reverse bear trap. Amanda is actually the first ever person to survive one of Jigsaw’s games and ultimately becomes his apprentice and accomplice in his various crimes. She likely assists her mentor in setting up future games in the franchise, including Adam and Lawrence’s test.

Rather than go through Kramer’s life movie by movie, all of which insert new events from Kramer’s life into various points in time. we’re just going to give you a brief biography of Jigsaw’s life up until the events of Saw X. We’ll also reference where these events appear in each movie, but don’t let all the different numbered entries confuse you too much.

The earliest part of John Kramer’s life that we’ve seen in the franchise thus far is during one of the many flashbacks in Saw III, where, like many villains before they broke bad, Kramer lived a normal and sometimes even noble life. He was a brilliant and experienced architect who was in a happy marriage with his wife, Jill Kramer (Betsy Russell). In a flashback in the subsequent film, Saw IV, Jill even starts a clinic for those suffering from drug addiction. In a case of cosmic coincidence, John Kramer’s future apprentice Amanda is a patient at that very clinic.

Saw IV also shows John Kramer’s altruism continuing when he becomes the owner of his own company, hoping to dedicate his life to creating housing for struggling individuals who can’t afford homes of their own. Even better, Jill is pregnant with her and John’s first child, sowing the seeds for a new and happy life for them both. That happiness is short-lived when tragedy strikes. Cecil (Billy Otis), a career criminal and patient at Jill’s clinic, decides to rob the place. When Cecil and Jill get into a physical altercation, this results in the miscarriage of John and Jill’s child.

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