IRON REIGN on Netflix is a new Spanish thriller series (org. title: Mano de hierro) about a drug empire in Barcelona. One that is being led with an iron fist. The season has 8 hour-long episodes and a strong cast. Read our Iron Reign series review here!

IRON REIGN is a new Netflix series from Spain (org. title: Mano de hierro). The genres are thriller, drama, mystery, and crime. The latter is pretty much a given when you learn that the story involves a drug empire in Barcelona.

The title refers to how this empire is being led with an iron fist by Joaquín Manchado. There are eight hour-long episodes in the season, and while the cast is very strong, it’s also extremely male-dominated. That’s not bad in itself, but it does mean the plot focuses on a lot of “machismo” instead of being more nuanced.

Continue reading our Iron Reign series review below. Find season 1 on Netflix from March 15, 2024.

Narcos meets The Godfather

You won’t have to watch much of Iron Reign to see that this is all about drugs and power. Essentially, we’re dealing with the world we recognize from Netflix series such as Narcos, but with a heavy focus on the leader who sees himself as some sort of Godfather.

The location is Barcelona’s seaport, so we’re at the heart of a city that is always full of tourists. Though they’re not at the seaport, where almost 6,000 containers arrive per day. Hiding among all these containers full of goods, are thousands of kilos of cocaine.

This makes the Barcelona port one of Europe’s most important entrances for drug trafficking. Joaquin Manchado knows all about this. Or rather, he knows how to exploit this to the max as he’s the director of the main terminal in the port of Barcelona.

Obviously, having such power over Barcelona’s drug trafficking will make someone feel like the Godfather and desire that everyone “kisses his ring”. So to speak. After all, this isn’t actually The Godfather.

Anyone wanting to import illegal goods must first get him onboard. All is well and good with the criminal network that works to make him bigger with every shipment. That is until an unexpected incident results in the disappearance of an important load of cocaine.

Suddenly, the wannabe Godfather isn’t quite as powerful and untouchable as he imagined! Murders and revenge ensue and it is no longer a given that Joaquin Manchado will end up on top of the world again.

Iron Reign (2024) – Review | Netflix Thriller Series

Eduard Fernández is Joaquín Manchado

In the all-important lead role as Joaquín Manchado, we see Eduard Fernández. And yes, he is absolutely perfectly cast in this role. To be honest, I always see him as a villain. Even if I’m watching something where he isn’t the villain, I still expect him to be a bad guy.

He just has this air – and the face – of someone who will do whatever it takes to win.

If you’ve watched a few Spanish movies or TV series, there’s a chance you’ll recognize him. Eduard Fernández was in the HBO series 30 Coins (as Father Vergara) and also in the Netflix series Criminal: Spain. Most recently, we saw him in God’s Crooked Lines on Netflix which had a few surprises along the way.

Of course, a crime boss isn’t worth much without his family, other criminals, or even law enforcement. Among them, we find more familiar faces as the cast includes Chino Darín (Mirage), Jaime Lorente (Money Heist), Natalia de Molina (Unbridled), Sergi López (Pan’s Labyrinth), and Enric Auquer.

Watch season 1 of Iron Reign on Netflix now!

Lluís Quílez is the creator of the Netflix series Iron Reign, which he also directs. Previously, Lluís Quílez has made a lot of short films, but he also directed and co-wrote the 2021 thriller Below Zero (org. title: Bajo Cero), which we’ve reviewed here >

The series writers are creator Lluís Quílez, Daniel Corpas (The Ministry of Time), Arturo Ruiz Serrano (Sequía), and Asier Guerricaechevarría (The Passenger).

As with most Spanish productions, the bottom level is pretty high, so even if the plot isn’t your cup of tea, the quality of this production is still impressive. If you’re a fan of these crime, thriller, and mystery plots, where it’s all about survival (eat or be eaten), then you’ll want to watch Iron Reign on Netflix.

Iron Reign season 1 is on Netflix from March 15, 2024.


Creator: Lluís Quílez
Stars: Eduard Fernández, Jaime Lorente, Natalia de Molina, Sergi López, Enric Auquer, Chino Darín


Joaquín Manchado rules his drug empire from Barcelona’s seaport with an iron fist — until a new shipment sends business and family spiraling.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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