Barbarians season 2 picks up the story a year after its predecessor; Ari seeks to become the king with a big rival standing in his way; a new Roman General Commander sets up camp in Germania.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
It has been one year since the Varus battle and the victorious Cherusci tribe has retreated deep into the northern forests.
Reik Ari is to become King and reunite all the tribes subsequently. However, the Roman Empire has not left the lands of the Barbarians.
What’s more, is that a new camp has settled near the lands of the tribe and many more legions are to arrive shortly. Ari’s anxiety about the impending war shoots through the sky as soon as he learns of the Romans moving in on them.
Ari worries that their defeat is certain, as the entirety of the man force would dwarf the enormous Roman legions.
Soon, he has to turn to a familiar face from his past, the chief of the Marcomanni tribe, Marbod. The tribal chief seems hesitant to the idea of waging war against the mighty Roman Empire.
He doesn’t give a clear answer when Ari asks if he’ll join forces with him in the war against the Romans.
Meanwhile, Flavus arrives at Germania, only to immediately earn scoffs and brutal words from Germanicus and Tiberius. He demands a 50-elite-stong legion of his own to defeat Ari but Tiberius refuses to give him one.
Flavus later meets with Marbod and together they conspire on something that later turns into an ambush of Ari in the forest. Ari is captured and imprisoned at the camp.
Thusnelda plans to break her husband out of his captivity. After a couple of failures, she’s saved and let into the camp by none other than Folkwin.
Meanwhile, Marbod arrives at the camp and meets Tiberius in a bid to secure peace. He demands a great deal of trade and an expensive cost for the Germanic tribes and the Roman Empire to coexist peacefully.
Folkwin, his wife Dido, and Thusnelda sneak into the camp and break Ari out of the prison. However, they encounter Gaius while breaking his father out of captivity.
Dido is injured by Gaius and consequently, she is escorted out of the camp by Thusnelda and a concealed Folkwin. Ari follows in disguise, carrying an unconscious Gaius with him and riding away.
Ari brings Gaius to the village and the boy detests the Cherusci lifestyle and his father for bringing him there. However, he gradually begins to develop a certain affinity for its brute charm.
Germanicus blames Flavus for being a traitor. Tiberius orders the beheading of all those responsible for Ari’s escape. Germanicus beheads all the men until it comes to Flavus who manages to convince Tiberius to spare him.
He reveals to him that Marbod has 70,000 men in his army and that they’ll need him for their Morbad diplomacy. The next day, Tiberius and Germanicus send Flavus off to Cherusci to deliver their token of friendship and a scroll.
Meanwhile, Thusnelda lashes out at Ari for lying and making Marbod the king of the tribes. They have a heated spat between them and a clear rift emerges in their relationship.
Tiberius’s scroll contained within it a test of loyalty for Marbod. To prove himself loyal to the Roman Empire, the scroll read, he had to kill Flavus.
However, Marbod, who’s a secret lover of Flavus, can’t bring himself to kill him, until the moment he seems to come close. Before he could do anything, though, Flavus hits him in the head with an object that Gaius handed him secretly.
Before this incident, Marbod was crowned and hailed as the king of the tribes, but his conflicts about taking on Romans remained. Flavus escapes the Cherusci camp and meets with Germanicus to present him with an offer.
He tells him the location of the tribal chiefs and also the time when they’ll be unarmed. Germanicus mobilizes his troops to attack the Barbarians.
Marbod’s wife dies from one of the countless arrows Germanicus showers upon the Barbarians at The Thing. Marbod arrives at the camp to confront Tiberius for dishonouring the peace accord.
Tiberius says the attack wasn’t approved by him but by Germanicus and Flavus. Marbod asks Tiberius to hand them over to him then, which he obviously can’t do. Marbod announces that the war will rage on now.
While Thusnelda and Folkwin head off to get the Marcomanni army, Ari and Marbod plan out the strategy. However, the impending perils of the quickly approaching reinforcements loom large over their heads.
Against time, the Barbarians distract the Romans at their camp and bait them successfully. The war commences and there’s bloodshed aplenty.
The Barbarians are victorious but not without significant casualties and some harrowing turn of events related to Ari’s family.
Barbarians season 2 ending explained in detail:
How does Folkwin die?
Folkwin deals many heavy blows to the Romans until he’s killed at the hands of Germanicus. It’s at the Roman camp where the climactic battle between the Romans and the Barbarians takes place.
Folkwin leads the charge at the Roman Camp alongside Dido, who’s hunting for Germanicus. The Roman Caesar prospect killed her father a decade ago and Dido wishes to exact her revenge upon him.
Dido contends with Germanicus first. The latter manages to stab the former in her leg, immobilising her for a while before taking off.
However, Folkwin arrives and tends to Dido for a moment, before trailing Germanicus. Folkwin moves with the intention of putting an end to Germanicus, thereby also helping Dido get her revenge.
However, the treacherous Germanicus hides betwixt the corpses piled up on the battlefield, sneaking up on Folkwin from the back and impaling him with a sword.
Who’s son is Thumelicus?
Thusnelda gives birth to a boy during her marriage with Arminius aka Ari. It’s at the end of Barbarian season 1 that Thusnelda learns about her son’s biological lineage from Runa.
The mystical woman tells her that the son doesn’t belong to Ari. Later on, in season 2, Thusnelda visits a recovering Dido and sitting beside her is Folkwin.
Thusnelda finally breaks it to Folkwin, telling him that Thumelicus is his child. However, she doesn’t mention it to Ari, something that concerns even Folkwin.
During his last moments alive, Folkwin asks for a promise from Ari. He asks him to promise that he’ll love Thumelicus as if he was his own son.
This surprises a grieving Ari, who’s a bit taken aback and the conflicting feelings are eventually abrupted by Folkwin’s insistence that he promises him that much.
What happens to Thusnelda in the end?
As soon as the remaining Romans are scared away from their camp and the Barbarians celebrate their victory, Thusnelda receives a bad omen in the form of a crow.
She follows up on her mystical hunch and the sign, rushing off to the village. There, she finds that her brother has been tied up and the woman taking care of her son has been killed.
Ansgar leads her to a place in the forest and Thusnelda follows the lead. She comes across Tiberius, along with Germanicus and other Romans who fled the camp.
Tiberius is holding on to Thumelicus, with her parents Segester and Irmina also present there. Thusnelda can’t make a move to save her baby from the clutches of the Roman general.
Helpless and out of options, Thusnelda is compelled to throw her weapons and allow the Romans to pin her to the ground. Tiberius abducts Thusnelda and Thumelicus and heads off to Rome before Barbarians season 2 concludes.
How does Tiberius abduct Thumelicus and Thusnelda?
Thusnelda’s father Segester, the morally bankrupt man and the epitome of sleaze is the person who sells off his grandson and eventually daughter to the Romans.
Segester, along with Irmina, had tipped Tiberius off about his daughter’s son, eventually aiding in the abduction of the mother and son.
Segester, being the hollow man he is, did this to secure a lavish new life in Rome.
The abduction of Thusnelda and her son is a great leverage, if not a win, for the Roman commander who just suffered a defeat at the hands of Barbarians.
However, Segester’s greed had finally blinded him enough to not see through the cunning of Tiberius.
The treacherous commander proves to be the doom of Segester, ordering his men to behead him right after Thusnelda and her son are abducted.
Segester’s wife Irmina also has to suffer the harrowing fate as she’s also beheaded seconds after Segester. It’s her death that evokes significant grief and screams of horror and anguish from Thusnelda.