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Barbarians season 2, episode 4 recap – “The Oath”

October 22, 2022

This Barbarians Season 2 Episode 4 recap for the episode titled “The Oath” contains spoilers.

In Barbarians season 2, episode 3, Ari named Marbod the King of the United Germanic Tribes. It’s not quite official yet – there must be a thing for that – but it should spark some degree of jubilation. Absolutely no one, however, seems particularly happy about it. Why? Well, it’s complicated.

Barbarians season 2, episode 4 recap

Marbod’s problem is that since Ari defeated him in single combat, he has suffered damage to his reputation. Marbod may be the token leader, but everyone now knows that if the going gets tough, Ari is the alpha. Not a great look for a barbarian leader. And that’s not even his biggest problem in “The Oath,” but we’ll get to that in a minute.

For Ari, the problem is that he had to bestow the kingship on a traitor. But what was the alternative? Rome wants the barbarian tribes to eradicate each other. If he killed Marbod, he would play into their hands – but Marbod would never kneel before him. Thusnelda doesn’t understand this, but again, she’s not a political strategist, she’s a fighter through and through. But her conflict with Ari escalates and reconciliation seems less and less likely.

And then Flavus arrives. He was sent as an envoy from Rome with a gift from Tiberius, but he also has another function. To prove his loyalty, Marbod must kill him, which is easier said than done since the two are in love, but becomes easier when he despises Marbod’s life and people. Eventually, Marbod gets drunk enough to make an attempt, but Gaius, having realized something was wrong due to Odarike’s loose lips, has already freed Flavus. He is able to hit Marbod on the head with a piece of metal and run away. He heads straight for the nearby Roman camp and tells Germanicus that he will lead him to the Thing so that Rome can take out all the heads of the unarmed Reiks in one fell swoop.

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None of the barbarians suspect this, of course, because they are quite convinced by the idea of ​​peace. But Gaius knows it, which is why at the Thing he is scarce before the festivities begin. And, by chance, Folkwin knows it, since he met Thusnelda’s mother and brother, who encountered a horde of Romans on the road, heading west. He mounts his horse to intervene, leaving behind a now cured Dido, for whom he sacrificed his life earlier.

To be clear on this, he made the sacrifice in a magical sense, which means it hasn’t happened yet. But it was either that or sacrifice his firstborn. To avoid damning Thumelicus, he had to give it up, making his own life the only viable alternative. Thusnelda appreciates the gesture so much that she gives him a kiss, but getting away from Thumelicus also means getting away from his mother, so it’s more of a goodbye than anything. We’ll see how that plays out when Folkwin comes to The Thing.

And there’s sure to be chaos to deal with, as ‘The Oath’ ends with Marbod being crowned king…until an arrow pierces the back of the crowning Reik’s head and shoots out of his eye. ‘other side. The Romans joined in the fun. And something tells me they’re not looking for peace.

Further reading:

  • Barbarians season 2 review.
  • Barbarians season 2 episode 5 recap.

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