Barbarians season 2 review: Explicit in visuals but not in themes

Barbarians season 2 sees the titular tribal people contending with new waves of Roman inquisition amid internal strife related to the unification of all tribes. Ari prepares for the attack while a new contender for the title of tribal king emerges.


A year has passed since Varus lost the battle of Teutoburg Forest and the Cherusci have retreated deep within the Northern forests.

Ari, who had become the Reik of the Cherusci tribe, is to be made the king soon, uniting all the tribes for the first time. Meanwhile, the Germania soil is still not washed off its Roman imprints.

Ari discovers that a large Roman camp has settled not too far from his village, with many more reinforcements to arrive soon. Realizing that war is imminent, Ari seeks to bring all the tribes together and fight the Romans.

The numbers of the tribal armies are comparatively very low, even after several tribes joined hands together. However, an eastern tribe called the Marcomanni boasts astounding manpower of 70,000 soldiers.

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Ari tries to convince the Marcomanni chief, Marbod, to join him and chase the Romans off their lands. However, Marbod is very diplomatic and peace-loving.

Behind Ari’s back, Marbod gets into peace accords with Commander Tiberius. However, Ari’s brother Favlus and Tiberius’s son Germanicus violate the peace accords, ending up swaying Marbod’s mind.

Peace is over and the war commences, with many casualties on both sides. Tiberius and Germanicus flee the battlefield but not before abducting Thusnelda and her newborn son.

Folkwin dies and before his last breath, he reveals to Ari that Thumelicus is not his son, asking him to promise that he’ll take care of him like he were his own. During the battle, Marbod’s secret lover and Ari’s brother Flavus dies.

The Barbarians win the battle and secure victory. They also lose some of the most significant figures in doing so.


Barbarians season 2 is never dull because of the acting department. All the actors in the ensemble cast are at the top of their game.

The series often backs on the heightened emotional content of the scene and the actors manage to sell it nearly every time.


The concise runtime of Barbarians seasons 2 (as was the case with the season preceding it) is an uncommon sight to behold amid strenuously lengthy runtimes all across pop-culture media.

The commitment to linguistic authenticity is commendable once again as the second season follows closely in the footsteps of the first one.

The Netflix show makes great use of special effects and the gory elements of the scene truly shine in all their visual depravity.


Unfortunately, due to a shorter runtime, Barbarians season 2 suffers from a deficit of themes and an elaborate delve into said themes.

Characters like Dio, in the grand scheme of things, are almost wasted by the time their arcs come to a close.

The story is rife with more complex characters who warrant more prominent screentime but are ultimately sidelined or underused.


Barbarians season 2 is a true successor of the first season, in that the things that work for season 1 also work for the sophomore instalment.

With a clear and concise runtime, Barbarians season 2 has plenty of time to spare on blood, guts, and gore and little on the underlying themes that surround the key characters.

Barbarians season 2
Barbarians season 2 review: Explicit in visuals but not in themes 1

Director: Stephen St. Leger and Barbara Eder

Date Created: 2022-10-21 12:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Barbarians season 2 ending explained: What happens to Thusnelda and Thumelicus?