What Is the Meaning of Adrian Veidt's Birthday Cake in Watchmen?
We finally have a definitive answer to Veidt's timeline! Back in 2009, Adrian is disillusioned with the world. When Dr. Manhattan visits him, seeking answers to his own problems, he tells Veidt of Europa and his creations. Liking the idea of being idolized by uncomplicated creatures, Veidt asks Dr. Manhattan to send him to Europa.
By the time he's jailed by the Gamekeeper, seven years have passed. How do we know this? Every one of Veidt's scenes takes place on the anniversary of his arrival. To celebrate it, Mr. Phillips and Mrs. Crookshanks bake him a cake every time. Counting the candles reveals what year we are in; this week's cake has seven candles. Watchmen takes place in 2019 — meaning there are still three years missing from Veidt's story — but we might've figured out that part already. (Interestingly enough, fans have pointed out that a journey from Europa to Earth would take about three years).