We begin episode 2 of Barbarians with Thusnelda working together with her brothers to hunt down a rogue wolf and take its teeth for themselves. This flashback sees the trio together but cornered by Romans.
After making a pact, the trio are brought before Segimer who’s forced to hand over his son. In order to keep the peace, Segimer suffers through his agonizing decision as Ari is taken away.
This cuts us back to the present as Arminius (Ari’s new name) returns and asks where his Mother is. She’s passed, six winters ago to be precise, thanks to a fever. Arminius hands over an hourglass – what they’re using in Rome to tell the time – and talks about the marvels of Rome. Those marvels also include the eagle, which he demands be returned.
However, not everyone is happy to see Arminius. Berulf arrives on the scene and confronts Segimer about his son’s return. While he does, out in the fields Thusnelda is reunited with her brother. Folkwin is equally as enthused to see Arminius, with the pair uttering bemusement upon hearing his new name.
After brief pleasantries, Arminius tells them he knows the pair took the eagle and shows them the tooth necklace. With Hadgan a cripple, Thusnelda is filled with rage but Arminius pleads with them to see reason. If they don’t give back the eagle they’re going to run into problems.
Meanwhile, Segestes leaves the camp and heads up to visit Varus. He knows where the eagle is and sells out the village.
Back in town, Arminius is surrounded by angry villagers – led by Berulf – who mention the dead villager killed at his hands in the Roman camp last episode. The pair fight, with Arminius managing to best the big man. He decides against killing him though, allowing Berulf to get back to his feet.
It’s just the opening this man needs to blindside the Roman and knock him to the ground. As Arminius is pummeled to a pulp, Folkwin interjects and stops this from continuing. Segimer patches up his son as best he can, but when Berulf regains consciousness, Arminius is forced to flee on horseback.
Folkwin follows on foot though, attempting to outrun his brother and spear the man in the forest. Only, he happens to be chasing a lone horse as Arminius takes off with the golden eagle on foot. Folkwin finds him eventually and screams at his brother, calling the man a Roman rat.
Arminius makes it down to the lake and loses the golden eagle inside the water.
With Segester at his side, Varus rides into the village looking for that very same eagle. While Thusnelda to save as many villagers as possible, Varus taunts Segimer after asking exactly where the eagle is.
Unfortunately the Roman punishment comes in the form of numerous people hung and forced to remain that way until Folkwin and the eagle return. They all turn on Segestes, telling him it’s his fault. Segimer forces all the villagers to return home while he mourns the loss of their own.
Out in the woods, Thusnelda finds Folkwin and returns him to the village where he finds the bodies hanging. It’s a clear message toward him but as he mourns, Berulf holds his face and agrees to follow Segimer’s son. As he talks about freeing the prisoners from their crosses, Berulf knocks him out.
Arminius meanwhile stumbles back to the Roman camp and is patched up. He requests reassignment but Varus tells him it’s not possible. After all, he has a knighthood awaiting him in Rome if he can complete his next task. That mission? Bringing Folkwin’s severed head.
The Episode Review
Arminius’ confliction echoes across the episode as we learn what happened to him in the past. It makes for quite the interesting character and it’s backed up by more players entering the fray – specifically Berulf for the Germanians.
The costume and set design in this is excellent and the entire production is oozing with realism. The tense peace alliance between the Romans and Germania looks like it could sever at any moment and that certainly won’t pose well for our characters.
Will all-out war a certainty, who will survive the final conflict?