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Parents Guide

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Sex & Nudity

  • Very little sex or nudity. There are some double entendres in various episodes (nothing explicit or graphic). In the second episode, "Manifest Destiny", one female character is forcibly married to an Indian chief and he begins to force himself on her, she recites several nursery rhymes, causing him to stop and leave. In another episode, a newly married couple is seen kissing but again nothing is shown. Several characters kiss and embrace passionately, but aside from loving glances, hand holding, and the like, there is no sexual content.
  • A woman is offered for sale to the highest bidder; presumably to be a sex slave.

Violence & Gore

  • Violence is perhaps the most obvious in the series. Characters are shot, impaled, wounded, etc... In the first episode, we see a Lakota ritual, the Sun Dance. Skewers are placed through a young man's chest and attached to a tether; skewers he eventually pulls through his skin by dancing from sunup to sundown (we see blood and the skin pulled taut). Also in the first episode is a scene in which a group of innocent bystanders are trampled to death by a herd of stampeding buffalo (nothing terribly bloody or graphic here).
  • One female character is hit by a runaway wagon and subsequently has her leg amputated (we see the gangrenous, maggot-filled wound before the amputation), but the amputation itself is off screen (an amputation which, we're told, results in the death of the character).
  • Two characters in one episode fight over gold and both are killed, one by drowning, the other is practically beaten to death. It should be noted that in every episode, there are casualties. Particular episodes of note would probably be: "Hell on Wheels", in which the infamous Washita massacre takes place and we see men, women, and children slaughtered (there is also the Sand Creek Massacre, which takes place prior to Washita). In "Casualties of War" and "Ghost Dance", we see the effects of the Indian boarding schools (children are forced to chew on bars of soap as punishment for speaking their native language, etc.), and in "Ghost Dance", there is a focus on the massacre of Wounded Knee, along with glimpses of the Battle of Little Bighorn.


  • Scattered throughout all the episodes; words such as a--, h---, ba-----, d---.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • In the first episode, characters smoke a pipe. Other characters drink various alcoholic drinks (beer, whiskey, etc.) throughout the other episodes.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • Watching people kill other people, particularly when those people are killed with little or no warning, can be very hard to watch and very intense for some viewers. Perhaps the most heart-wrenching scenes take place in the sixth episode "Ghost Dance", which culminates in the bloody massacre of Wounded Knee. But it should be noted that these are historical events and are played very realistically. (Please don't tell parents what they should do.)
  • One character suffers head injuries when mauled by a bear.
  • A woman falls from a wagon into a raging river.

See also

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