Barbarians Season 2 Review – A much-improved second chapter

Season 1

Season 2

Episode Guide

New Legions
The Oath
The Price


When Barbarians dropped on Netflix, it became one of the bigger surprises of the year. A perfectly enjoyable show in its own right, the historical drama shot up in popularity to receive a rare renewal order from the streaming giants.

This time around, things are much more dynamic and intricately tied. After establishing the character relations last time out, Barbarians season 2 starts to push for deeper alliances and bigger betrayals, setting up for a dramatic and bloody finish to this season.

Before we reach that point though, the story picks up a year after the big fight in the forest. The Germanic tribes have formed a loose alliance under Ari’s banner but there are some that question his rule. Ari is married to Thusnelda, and they have a child together. Of course, this causes friction with Folkwin, given he was originally in a relationship with Thusnelda.

Meanwhile, the Roman Empire is intent on revenge following the battle. Tiberius and his son Germanicus amass their forces and try to enlist the help of a tribal leader called Marbod, who becomes an integral part of this story moving forward.

I won’t reveal more but suffice to say that Barbarians really comes into its own and you can feel the confidence rippling through every facet of the production. The choreography for battles is really well done while the costume design across the board is excellent.

While the visuals are an improvement, what really stands out here is the writing. Sure, the Germania VS Empire plotline is still utilized – and in many ways rehashed – this second season, but there’s a much more potent and dramatic edge to proceedings. Meetings are given much more gravitas, the dialogue flows nicely and there are some genuinely surprising moments too.

The show isn’t perfect though and at times the pace does slow quite considerably. There’s a good deal of baggage in the middle of this story, with the chapter “Fathers” spending a lot of its time building relationships. While that in itself is fine, these sort of moments don’t actually push the character or story forward all that much.

Still that’s a minor gripe in what’s otherwise a really enjoyable follow-up. If you enjoyed the first season, chances are you’ll find more than enough to like in this follow-up. Barbarians has really come into its own this year and the 6 episodes are a joy to sit through. Well-written, bloody and gripping throughout, Barbarians season 2 is an easy recommend.

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  • Verdict - 7.5/10

30 thoughts on “Barbarians Season 2 Review – A much-improved second chapter”

  1. Please make a third season and try to redeem the show. Remove the woke culture and get your history right again just like season 1. That’s all.

  2. Season 1 was great. Season 2 is ridiculous; actually haven’t made it pass episode 2. I suppose I can get past the absurdity of having a black person in ancient Germany, but then the hasty injection of a gay story line is just nuts. Why put that crap in this type of show??? Just completely unnecessary and no one wants to see that junk. Went from a double thumbs up to a double thumbs down

  3. Awful, just awful. Quite a drop from season 1. I’m not sure if its worse than the latest season of Vikings but it’s close. The dialog is poor. Yes, I realize that it’s done originally in German but for example having Thusnelda call the tribal chief a “wimp” is too much. The directing is terrible. The fight scenes make the romans look like the three stooges. And I haven’t even gotten to the acting……. Please put it out of our misery.

  4. I can’t believe all the howls about the black girl and some homosexuality. The first season was FICTIONAL as well. Folkwin? Varus is Arminius’ father? The fictions are endless in the first season. So why would anyone expect historical accuracy in the second? I’m surprised Arminius didn’t get a light saber and Thusnelda turns out to be Wonder Woman’s mom.

  5. This second season was diabolically bad. This show rewrites history for entertainment purposes. It was laughably bad from Germanicus getting captured to the portrayal of Roman legionnaires as being the worst soldiers in the ancient world. What a terrible waste of money. To all those idiots who say its only entertainment and it doesn’t matter if the show just makes things up. How would they like it if we had a show that shows the confederacy winning the US civil war or the Nazis defeating the Allies at the Dday landings. I really hope this show gets cancelled.

  6. 1 ep. in and I can tell it’s different from season 1, in a bad way. My issue is not with the historical correctness but with the writing, in particular the dialog writing. It doesn’t feel natural at all which automatically affects the acting and the end product feels weird.

  7. Unbelievable how many ignorant, and racist, people are out there. Stop using ‘historical accuracy’ to justify keeping people of colour from participating in full within today’s entertainment industry. It’s not a documentary, it’s a fictional show. Any commentary on homosexuality or race is irrelevant and ridiculous. This season was brilliant. Everyone involved should be very proud. I am quite sure they are. David Schütter in particular was a revelation. I hope the third instalment has more episodes so that they can explore more relationships even more meaningfully, and possibly be given a bigger budget so that we can experience a grand depiction of Rome (or wherever they film next..!)

  8. this show cannot be further from actual history, everything in the 2nd season is basicly made up. no wonder all the actual historians they hired to assist with the show quit or were fired cuz they didnt want to bend history to fit whos ever agenda they were trying to push. dont care about homosexuality in the show , it was pretty normal back then in Roman n Greek cultures, a girl from carthage made no fucking sence, she was there for the minority quota i guess…

  9. @Truth matters

    Carthaginians were not subsaharan Africans. The were originally middle eastern Phoenician colonists that carved a sizeable empire in the Mediterranean basin.
    Besides North Africans didn’t live with subsaharans nor were aware of their existence since they were separated by a huge ocean of desolation and wasteland called the Sahara desert.

    Add this to the show many historical inaccuracies and you get one of the worst sequels in the history of television series sequels.

  10. This new season moves away from the historical truth. It is regulated by political correctness. It invents a role for a black woman, named Dido, a fictional black woman (so called “Carthaginian”). At the time of Arminius, the Carthaginian were for centuries extinguished. This new season advertise homosexuality. There is no historical evidence to suggest that Marbod ever met Flavus, or that Matbod was gay or bisexual. Season 2 is definitely worse than Season 1.

  11. Horribleeeee….I can accept the first season because is more accurate with the historical context. BUT SECOND SEASON! No words needed… PC of Sht like the last season of Vikings. And they have a lot of historical material to make more than this..SHT.
    Although Arminius never again convincingly won any battle against Germanicus/Rome, he was close to win many battles against romans. Rome – apparently the winner of all the battles- lost the war. Arminius is the real winner. As a result of Arminius guerrilla tactics, romans goes off from Germania Magna due to the amount of losses and tired to fight.

    from Magna Germania.

  12. Utter nonsense. A deeply disappointing second series.

    As for the pc stuff……jheez give us a fkn break.

    And Ashleigh….. It’s not about narrow mindedness (an accusation I’d sling right back at you), it’s about fkn context. I have zero issues with black or homosexual characters, I have huge issues with the bastardising of historical context (or for that matter creative works) for the sake of advancing an agenda. It’s dishonest and arrogant, much like yourself Ashleigh.

  13. Carthaginian character made me turn off the show. Painfully innacurate. And thoroughly forced as a “boss woman” with the name of the mythical founder of Carthage, nonetheless. Shame, first season was great.

  14. Awful historical liberties. The usual pointless armour, why wear the heavy stuff if you can push a kitchen knife through it.
    As for the bay storyline. Tacitus tells us the German tribes would put homosexuals in a big and then press down on them with a wicker hurdle to drown them and push the shame out of sight.

  15. Such a disappointment! While the 1st season was reasonably historically correct Barbarians II is a totally fictional scenario pretending to use actual historical names and framework. Just take historical character’s names and events, , put them in a blender and voila’ you have your pseudo historical milkshake. Glorified, inaccurate pangermanic undertones, Roman legionnaires’ ineptness, 150+ years old characters such as Dido who survived Carthage destruction in 146 BC ..just ridiculous. In real life Arminus after Teutoburg lost one engagement after another and was forced into exile. Battle scenes are so onesided to be almost humorous. At this point no hope for recovery in a possible series III.

  16. Loved the show but was really dissappointed when I noticed they used the same fight scene twice with five minutes in between (s2e6 ~ 22.15 and 17.14 minutes left)

  17. A giant fall compared with the first season.
    The second season:
    – incredibly boring;
    – historically inaccurate (for instance, Germanicus was Germanicus even before to became Germanicus!), almost a fantasy; – characters are rough-edged: Germanicus, a clever and reasonable commander, is paint like a mad, spoiled child. Tiberius like a sadist, cynical and hysterical politician;
    – Flavius, who has been always a loyal and respected servant of the Roman Empire, was pictured like a tankie, constantly persecuted by roman commanders because it was not ethnically roman (whatever it means).
    – Roman commander and army pictured as racists (just ridiculous, given the empire was at that time already multicultural) and German tribes (tribes!) pictured as totally mulicultural!
    Season two is the German cheap version of Bravehearth. Briefly, unwatchable.

  18. The Show was good. I do agree that the Homosexuality shouldn’t have been in the movie and the Black character is ridiculous. However i do have to correct the commentators that Cartheginians was a mixed soceity and was located in Africa and this myth that there was no Black people in North Africa shows that these people have been brainwashed by Eurocentric Jewish controlled Hollywood movies and history textbooks.

  19. @Ashleigh
    This is actual history….if you want fantasy you should watch some other show. Everything has to be white because it happened, how would you feel if they made Mansa Musa white???

  20. Laughing at all the people outraged over the “homosexuality”, which was hardly shown, just steamy looks and close proximity. Hardly gratuitous as some idiot on here stated. Although your narrow minds cant comprehend it, the stereotyped hairy and beastly men of that era could also be GAY! Further, ONE black women (not even essential to the overall storyline) cast amidst this all white cast and getting maybe 10 minutes of total screen time the ENTIRE season has caused certain ppl to lose their collective minds. Historical inaccuracies–its a f*cking TV show–what did you expect?? Also, its possible her family were captives from another country (very typical) and she was born in Cath. If not –who cares? Why does it matter, the show never claims to be historically accurate. Just admit you’re racist and homophobic, and go find a TV show that doesn’t upset your delicate and narrow worldview. Stop blaming so called woke PC culture just because you’re being forced to learn that NOT everything has to be ALL white All the time.

  21. Was enjoying this season until the gratuitous homosexuality between ostensibly macho men Marbod and Flavus. Unbelievably stupid and without any significance whatsoever to the overall story.
    Had to quit watching. I thought I was seeing a historical military struggle, and then it suddenly descended into an unpleasant-to-watch smoochfest between 2 hairy beasts of men.
    Frankly disgusting to this man. Sorry, I don’t care to have PC shit forced on me for no reason

  22. I am at the third episode of season 2 and i am really tempted to stop watching it… Carthaginians were not black (Netflix agenda) and, above all, Carthage was destroyed (and absorbed) by the Romans hundreds of years ago before the events of the show. If you add the completely fabricated homosexual relationship between Flavus and Marbod (another part of the Netflix agenda) and the fact that Romans legionnaires (professional disciplined soldiers who trained for years before entering service) look and get killed like mindless idiots then you understand why is difficult to watch it if have even a vague knowledge of the historical events

  23. Due to pro pedophilia, homosexuality, cancel culture nature of Netflix’s programs I’ve been thinking to cancel the subscription. Haven’t done it because I was waiting for the second season of an awesome first season Barbarians. Sorry to say it but second season is just Netflix PC garbage. Blacks in Germany 2000 years ago claiming to be Carthaginian ( they were not blacks and were destroyed few hundred years before depicted events in this show). That and Homosexuality, historical falsehood finally convinced me Netflix is not worth the money

  24. Disturbing to see the political correctness in such a show. Blacks in Germany 2000 years ago? ….. Really? How about if Netflix makes a movie about Zulu worriers played by white people? How black community would feel about that?
    These cancel culture attitude only makes people upset

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