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Netflix’s Tribes of Europa is what happens when Game of Thrones and The 100 have a baby

Promotional poster for Netflix's Tribes of Europa
Promotional poster for Tribes of Europa. Pic credit: Netflix

Netflix’s Tribes of Europa is by the same producer who gave us Dark, the German-language time-traveling drama series that has become somewhat of a cult phenomenon.

However, this new series is nothing like Dark, even if some of the promotional pics and the trailer do give off that vibe. In addition, Oliver Masucci also stars in Tribes of Europa. Fans of Dark will remember him as Ulrich Nielsen. But this series is something new and unique and stands quite well on its own once viewers get over the fact that there is no time-travel here.

A new dystopian world awaits in Tribes of Europa

The premise behind this new German-language TV series is that the world went to hell after a mysterious global disaster. It is now 2074 and there are very separate tribes vying to exist.

Among the deadliest of these are the Crows. No, they are not Jon Snow, they know everything and everyone and are not impressed when a tribe called the Origines suddenly comes into control of a strange technologically advanced cube from the Atlantians. Not only this, but the Origines had flown under the radar and the Crows don’t like it when they know nothing.

As New Scientist points out, Philip Koch, who produced Tribes of Europa, came up with this premise after the Brexit vote. However, this battle is much more vicious than anything related to Brexit.

Three siblings are separated and must fight to be reunited in Tribes of Europa

Three Origine siblings, Kiano (Emilio Sakraya), Liv (Henriette Confurius), and Elja (David Ali Rashed), along with their father, Jakob (Benjamin Sadler), narrowly escape after their village is attacked by the Crows as they attempt to confiscate the Atlantian cube.

Henriette Confurius as Liv, David Ali Rashed as Elja, and Emilio Sakraya as Kiano, as seen in Netflix's Tribes of Europa
Henriette Confurius as Liv, David Ali Rashed as Elja, and Emilio Sakraya as Kiano, as seen in Tribes of Europa. Pic credit: Netflix/Gordon Timpen

Kiano and his father wind up being taken prisoner by the Crows’ Lord Varvara (Melika Foroutan), a woman I want to hate so bad but can’t help loving for her no s**ts given attitude which is the core of the Crows’ belief system. Plus, her shoe collection is absolutely outstanding.

Elja, who is super-naïve and has the Atlantian cube in his possession, winds up with Moses (Oliver Masucci), a con artist who, right away gets his mitts on the cube. However, over time, a friendship forms here and it is the expected comic relief that often crops up with younger characters in the dystopian/post-apocalyptic genre.

Oliver Masucci stars as Moses in Netflix's Tribes of Europa
Oliver Masucci stars as Moses in Tribes of Europa. Pic credit: Netflix/Gordon Timpen

Liv winds up with the Crimsons who are, essentially, the remnants of the military and whose core objective is to keep all of the tribes safe. Liv will do anything to protect her family. Literally, anything.

Because of this, I thought she would be my favorite character and, don’t get me wrong, she is as gusty as hell.

However, I was taken over by a surprise character by way of Kiano, whose initial story arc seemed to be that of the hot guy that cried a lot. Sure, it’s awesome to see a sensitive guy on TV. However, I honestly expected him to fight his way out of the situation. And he does — just not in the way I expected.

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Tribes of Europa appears to be like The 100 but is totally messed up like Game of Thrones

I went into this series thinking it would very much be like The 100. The preview trailer gave out that vibe as did the age group of the main characters. Do not be mistaken, though, this series is totally messed up — but in a good way!

Kiano’s story arc is the epitome of this, as is some of Liv’s storyline, to a degree.

Taken prisoner by the Crows, Kiano is sent to the workhouses where the life-expectancy is not particularly high. However, given certain circumstances, he is elevated to that of a Lubovnik. Which makes him a glorified plaything of Lord Varvara.

Emilio Sakraya as Kiano and Melika Foroutan as Lord Vavara, as seen in Netflix's Tribes of Europa
Emilio Sakraya as Kiano and Melika Foroutan as Lord Vavara, as seen in Tribes of Europa. Pic credit: Netflix/Gordon Timpen

It is here, that I became completely invested in the storyline and suddenly couldn’t actually care about Elja’s main plot of locating the Atlantians and finding out more about their technology.

Kiano is tortured emotionally by Varvara — by the whole situation, really. She uses him and manipulates him, toying with his emotions. However, Kiano is a quick learner and discovers that there is something called a Boj that will set him free.

The only problem is that it is a fight to the death. In this game, you win or you lose.

It is a risk that Kiano is willing to take. Particularly so when he discovers that his father is now the plaything of Lord Varvara’s boss.

Expect some Easter eggs in Tribes of Europa

Along with the engaging storyline, there are plenty of Easter eggs for fans of the genre. Not only do the opening credits greatly resemble that of The Hunger Games franchise but the Boj-Arena is definitely “an homage to one of the most iconic post-apocalyptic movies,” according to Koch. There is also plenty more to find for those with an eagle-eye.

Fans of Dark will not be disappointed either. When watching, I came across a conversation between Moses and Elja where Moses mentions “déjà vu.” Yes, that was intentional, as Koch pointed out when I asked him on Twitter.

Over all, I totally recommend Tribes of Europa if you are looking for something darker than The 100 and have a weekend to fill with a binge-worthy series.

However, if you are like me and prefer to watch your world programs with subtitles rather than English dubbing, make sure you switch this over before you start. I totally didn’t and found myself not liking the first few episodes. Once I switched (and went back and rewatched), I was totally hooked.

Tribes of Europa will premiere on Netflix on February 19.


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