Do Ari, Thusnelda, and Folkwin Die in Barbarians? [Spoilers]

Inspired by historical events, Netflix’s ‘Barbarians’ tells the story of the Germanic resistance against the Roman occupation under the legendary Arminius, also known in the show as Ari. The first season focuses on the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, where the tribes achieve a decisive victory against the empire, annihilating three legions. In season 2, Ari and his allies attempt to drive the Romans out of Germania completely.

There are three main characters in the first two seasons of the show — Ari, Thusnelda, and Folkwin. When season 2 begins, Thusnelda is Ari’s wife, whereas Folkwin has left the Cherusci tribe and travels around with a Carthaginian woman named Dido. If you are wondering whether Ari, Thusnelda, and Folkwin die in ‘Barbarians,’ we got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Ari’s Fate in Barbarians

No, Ari doesn’t die in ‘Barbarians’ season 2. He was originally sent to Rome as a tribute. He returns to Germania and rebels against the empire, taking on his foster father, Publius Quinctilius Varus, the commander of the Roman forces, defeating him at Teutoburg Forest, which led to Varus’ committing suicide. In season 2, Ari is plagued by nightmares because of his actions, even though he ardently believes himself to be a liberator.

The second season is set a year after the Teutoburg Forest. After learning that Tiberius, the heir to Emperor Augustus, is currently in command of the Roman camp and discovering the Romans are gearing up to house tens of thousands of soldiers, Ari realizes that war is imminent. He reaches out to Marbod, the leader of the Marcomanni, for support, but Marbod betrays him, handing him over to the Romans.

After he makes his escape, Ari swallows his pride and kneels before Marbod, accepting him as his king. However, it isn’t until Marbod’s wife is killed during a Roman attack on the Thing that he firmly joins Ari’s side. In the climactic battle of the second season, Ari leads the tribes to another victory, forcing the Romans to desert their camps before the reinforcement arrives.

Thusnelda is Not Dead

No, Thusnelda doesn’t die in the second season of ‘Barbarians.’ When season 2 begins, she rules the Cherusci alongside Ari and is greatly respected by other tribal leaders because of her accomplishments on the battlefield. Despite all the happiness that she and Ari seem to share, she hasn’t told him that Folkwin is the father of Thumelicus, the child. Ari believes it to be his.

After Ari is imprisoned, Thusnelda unsuccessfully tries to convince other tribes to help her rescue him, but their support and respect for her suddenly vanish. She eventually gets him out with Folkwin and Dido’s help but becomes furious when she encounters Gaius, realizing that Ari left a family behind in Rome.

Thusnelda and Ari ultimately reconcile before the battle against the Roman forces. She plays a pivotal part in the Germanic victory. But then, she sees a crow and starts to get the inclination that something is wrong. She follows the crow back to her home and finds that her son is missing. Thusnelda later discovers that her parents have betrayed her to the Romans. However, what they don’t realize is that people like Tiberius don’t take kindly to treachery, even if it’s done to their enemies. Thusnelda’s parents are killed, and she, her son, and her brother Segimundus are taken captive.

Folkwin’s Tragic Fate

Yes, Folkwin Dies in the second season of ‘Barbarians.’ In season 2, episode 2, Folkwin stops Thusnelda from trying to get into the Roman camp and later introduces her to Dido. Later, Folkwin reluctantly helps Dido and Thusnelda get Ari out of Roman captivity. When Folkwin learns that Thumelicus is his son, he becomes terrified for the boy, remembering that he promised the gods that he would sacrifice his firstborn if the tribes won at the Teutoburg Forest. He pleads to the gods again, offering himself in his son’s place.

During the battle in the season finale, Folkwin comes to aid Dido, who would have been otherwise killed by the Roman prefect Germanicus. Folkwin tries to follow him, but Germanicus gets behind him by hiding under a pile of dead bodies and stabbing him from behind. Before his death, Folkwin tells Ari the truth about Thumelicus’ parentage, pleading to him to look after his son as if he is his own.

Read More: Is Barbarians’ Marbod Based on a Real German King?