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"I will protect you... protect our family... with my life if needs be."
―Cesare Borgia to Rodrigo Borgia[src]

Cesare Borgia is a main character in the first, second and third seasons. He is portrayed by François Arnaud, and makes his debut in the series premiere.

Cesare is the oldest child of Rodrigo Borgia and Vanozza Cattaneo, and the brother of Juan Borgia, Lucrezia Borgia and Joffre Borgia.


Season one[]

Forced into the priesthood against his will by his father, Cesare is in reality violent, dashing, and cavalier. He serves as his father's Consigliore and carries out the most heinous crimes to advance the family's cause. His love for the beautiful but married Ursula Bonadeo brings him to murder her husband and drive her to a nunnery to spend her life in penance.[1]

Season two[]

He consistently proves his military and strategic prowess, helping his father amass tremendous wealth and power. While devoted to his sister and mother, Cesare has a bitter rivalry with his brother Juan, causing him to commit the ultimate crime, fratricide, thus threatening the very foundation of the Borgias' power.[2]

Season three[]

As plots to assassinate his family become increasingly prevalent, Cesare’s hatred for the House of Sforza escalates. Released from cardinalate, he is sent to France by his father to ascertain the friendship of King Louis XII and to find himself a bride, while at the same time his relationship with Lucrezia grows more intimate. As war continues to threaten Rome, Cesare seeks out allies and finds them in the bastard sons of Orsini, Vitelli, and Baglioni, eventually rising to command both the French and papal armies as the Gonfalonier of Rome.


Lucrezia Borgia[]

Cesare and Lucrezia in "The Moor".

Lucrezia is Cesare's younger sister. The two of them are extremely close and that can be seen from the very first episode. He takes care of her and her son and is even willing to kill for them. 

He doesn't want Lucrezia to get married off without her consent and that's often a point of conflict between him and his father, Rodrigo, who prefers political marriages to ensure allies for the family. Cesare is also the one to kill both of Lucrezia's husbands, first stabbing  Lucrezia's first husband Giovanni Sforza with a dinner knife, then killing Alfonso of Aragon as self-defense during a fight.

That he and Lucrezia have committed incest has been rumored throughout the whole of Italy. They share several kisses, first friendly, later romantically, and they finally make love when Lucrezia's second husband refused her on their wedding night.

Micheletto Corella[]

Micheletto and Cesare in "The Art of War."

Cesare first meets Micheletto at Cardinal Orsini's palace, when he finds the assassin preparing a poison destined for his father and himself. Micheletto tells him that he'd gladly serve him and his father. Cesare then orders him to poison Orsini instead and he does so.

The relationship between Cesare and Micheletto gradually turns into one of mutual friendship and trust. Cesare even entrusts Micheletto with the safety of his family, the most sacred thing to him.  After Micheleto goes into hiding after killing his lover, Cesare confesses that he misses Micheletto's counsel and the communication between them.

Charlotte of Albret[]

Cesare and Charlotte in "The Wolf and the Lamb".

Cesare meets Charlotte of Albret during his journey to France. King Louis of France offers her, among other things, to him as a wife, in exchange for the Papal bull that annuls his marriage. Charlotte and Cesare seem to have chemistry right from the start. Both claim to be to each other's satisfaction. None of them seems to really care about whether or not they will truly love each other. Charlotte's dowry is 50,000 ducats and property to match his title of Duke of Valentinois.

Ursula Bonadeo[]

Cesare and Ursula dancing in "Lucrezia's Wedding".

Cesare first meets Ursula at his sister's wedding to Giovanni Sforza. There, he also meets Ursula's husband, who insults Cesare's mother, Vanozza. Cesare tells him that this calls for something not appropriate at that time and place and then Ursula's husband takes his wife and leaves. Before departing, Ursula asks Cesare to liberate her. Cesare and Ursula meet again when Ursula requests a private confession from him. However, the reason she is there is because she has realized that he intends to fight with her husband. She asks him to promise her not to put himself in harm's way. Cesare however, locates Ursula's husband on the road to Ostia, fights with him, and kills him. Cesare then enters a relationship with Ursula during the three weeks her husband was supposed to be away. Three weeks later, Ursula finds Cesare in the Vatican and informs him that her husband was found in the Tiber, dead. She admits that he gave her joy, though her future is now lifelong penance, and enters a nunnery. Cesare doesn't seem to get over her until she is killed by the French army, which makes him vengeful.

Catherina Sforza[]

Catherina Sforza shared her bed with Cesare when he was visiting her, insisting that she comes with him to Rome to kiss the Pope's ring. Cesare and Catherina have a bitter militaristic feud.


Season one appearances
The Poisoned Chalice The Assassin The Moor
Lucrezia's Wedding The Borgias in Love The French King
Death, on a Pale Horse The Art of War Nessuno (Nobody)
Season two appearances
The Borgia Bull Paolo The Beautiful Deception Stray Dogs The Choice
Day of Ashes The Siege at Forli Truth and Lies World of Wonders The Confession
Season three appearances
The Face of Death The Purge Siblings The Banquet of Chestnuts The Wolf and the Lamb
Relics Lucrezia's Gambit Tears of Blood The Gunpowder Plot The Prince


Every photo of Cesare Borgia on this wiki can be seen here.

Family tree[]

Rodrigo Borgia
Vanozza Cattaneo
Charlotte of Albret
Cesare Borgia
Lucrezia Borgia
(b. 1477/1478)
Maria Enriquez de Luna
Juan Borgia
(d. 1498)
Sancia of Naples
Joffre Borgia
Giovanni Sforza
Alfonso of Aragon
Giovanni Borgia

Historical notes[]

  • Cesare is portrayed as the oldest of child of Rodrigo Borgia and Vanozza Cattaneo in the series, but this is inaccurate with history. The oldest son of Rodrigo Borgia was Pier Luigi de Borgia, the half-brother of Cesare and his siblings.[3]
  • Cesare did not murder Giovanni Sforza. Giovanni died in Pesaro in 1510, outliving Cesare by three years.[4]
  • Juan Borgia never besieged Forli and Ravaldino castle. The city of Forli was taken and Ravaldino besieged by Cesare Borgia in December and January of 1499. (The new year of 1500 did not start until March prior to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar many decades later.)[5]