“Barbarians” is Netflix’s new epic series for all “Vikings” fans
There are betrayals, battles and blood in “Bárbaros”, a series that brings us a remarkable episode of history.
Missing “Vikings” and knowing how the legacy of Ragnar and his children comes to an end? The solution may be on Netflix, where the recent production “Bárbaros” debuted on Friday, October 23, and by this time is already well placed at the top of the preferences of Portuguese users of the platform.
If there is one thing that history teaches us, it is that, in war, the most powerful army does not always win. Many great armies have already felt this harsh reality. It has happened to Soviets and Americans in recent decades in Afghanistan. The United States was even forced to give up the Vietnam War. Even Portugal showed that it knew how to face invaders throughout history, whether they were Napoleon’s troops or, before that, Castilians, with emphasis on the historic battle of Aljubarrota, in 1385.
First of all, in the year 9 AD, it was the turn of the powerful Roman Empire to feel the weight of defeat with a crash. At that time, the law of Rome went beyond the banks of the River Rhine, where the most diverse tribes lived, often at war between them. For the Romans they were all the same — they were called barbarians.
Rome had a larger, more experienced, better prepared, well-equipped army with established tactics. Simple courage and unity would not be enough to face them. Strategy was needed and, if possible, a good deal of betrayal. Those barbarians had it all that year, in the battle of the Teutoburg Forest.
It is this battle that is central to “Bárbaros”, a Netflix production that shows that there is more German television on the platform besides the successful “Dark”. Arne Nolting, Jan-Martin Scharf and Andreas Heckmann are the creators of the project whose narrative focuses on three characters in particular.
Did this really happen?
Arminius (Laurence Rupp), Thusnelda (Jeanne Goursaud) and Folkwin (David Schütter) are three figures who cross in childhood and will meet again in the year in which the series takes place. Arminius was taken as a kid to be raised among Romans.
The series naturally takes some liberties with the story but there is a basis for reality here. And Arminius was in fact essential to a defeat so violent that Rome was forced to hide it, so that the Romans would not doubt the empire’s might. History would take care to confirm that Rome could fail and collapse. It is not by chance that in the following centuries the barbarians would end up being a central part of the fall of Rome.
Before all this, there was such a battle in the Teutoburg Forest. Rome wanted to cement its power in the region, maintaining a vast territory to whom they could collect taxes. Once disunited in different tribes, the peoples of that region came together.
Arminius, returned to Germanic lands as a military leader, managed to convince Varus, the man chosen by Rome to rule the territory, to take his troops along winding paths.
Roman legions went on an authentic hunt for gambuzinos, getting tired and disorganized in unknown territory. With guerrilla methods, the Romans were harassed until they ended up being defeated in battle. Three Roman legions were said to have been decimated under the swords and axes of such barbarians. The series shows us this epic side of confrontation but also the inner conflict of Arminius and the betrayals that, from side to side, animated the story.
Without the complexity of “Vikings” or “The Last Kingdom”, each one with several seasons on its back, nor the amount of blood and the crazy dialogues of “Spartacus”, it is still a production already of some dimension, capable of captivate fans of epic battles. He is also careful to jump between German and Latin, a detail that deserves praise.
The first season of “Bárbaros” has six episodes, already available on Netflix. It is not yet known if the platform will advance to a second season. You can see the series teaser below.