Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that The Pillars of the Earth is a historical miniseries filled with graphic violence, including rape, murder, and torture. The series also features an incestuous sexual relationship, some sex, and partial nudity, as well as a generally dark and dreary tone.
Sex with partial nudity. An incestuous relationship between a mother and son. Close up views of venereal disease.
Nearly every kind of violent action possible before the invention of firearms, from self-flagellation and bloodletting by a priest to murder. Also: poisoning, intention to commit infanticide, burning at the stake, rape, throat cuttings, executions used as entertainment, arson, murderous plottings, violent thievery, torture, and copious amounts of splattering blood, sword fighting, and hand-to-hand combat.
References to hell and God damning people -- all in a religious/historical context, as well as "bastard" children.
Even though the bad guys ultimately get what's coming to them, the ruined lives, broken families, and large body count left in their wake doesn't leave a positive impression. Granted, the message may be realistic for the events and time period portrayed, but it's also disheartening and dreary. Plotting between various characters and factions, as well as instances of backstabbing and betrayal create a negative overall tone.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Many mugs of mead are consumed in courtyard market scenes.