- For similarly named characters, please see Cesare Borgia.
Cesare Borgia was a villain and central character in the 2011 Canal+ television series Borgia.
He was portrayed by the Irish actor Mark Ryder.
As a young man Cesare indulged his prodigious sexual appetites with a number of willing young women, including nuns in a local convent. At least one of his affairs resulted in a pregnancy. In one case when Cesare met his infant son he took that son out and left him to die of exposure. His friend Alessandro Farnese (the future Pope Paul III) was unwilling to allow that to happen and returned the infant to his mother.
After his father was elected Pope Alexander VI Cesare was quickly named a Cardinal and Archbishop of Valencia in Spain. His father intended to transform the Papacy into a hereditary monarchy, with Cesare succeeding him as Pope. Cesare was sent on a peace mission to Marcantonio Colonna, however upon arrival Colonna imprisoned him and subjected to him to much abuse. This included the brutal rape of Cesare by Colonna.
Meanwhile Cesare's elder brother Juan was named Captain-General of the Papal forces, however Juan was incompetent and too arrogant to accept assistance from others, leading to devastating defeats. These defeats increased the tension between Cesare and Juan to the point that both brothers were willing to commit fratricide against the other. Soon after a night of heavy drinking Juan's corpse was pulled out of the Tiber River. Suspicion naturally fell on Cesare, but it was actually their sister Lucrezia and her lover who had murdered the elder brother.
After the death of his elder brother Juan Cesare later convinced his father and the College of Cardinals of his desire not to lead a religious life, and he was allowed to resign from the College and assume his brother's place as Captain-General.
When Girolamo Savonarola began speaking out against the church in Florence Cesare was sent to deal with the situation. Cesare offered Savonarola the red hat of a Cardinal but was firmly rebuffed. He and his allies eventually had Savonarola arrested, tortured, and burned at the stake.
Upon his father's death in 1503 Cesare began maneuvering to secure his family's position in Italy. He convinced the Italians that he was a very ill sick man who was at death's door. Leaving Rome he managed to secure support for Cardinal Piccolomini, who was soon elected as Pope Pius III. Pius only managed to live about a month after his election. Cesare then allied himself with Guiliano delle Rovere, who was soon elected as Pope Julius II. Before his election della Rovere insinuated that he, not Alexander, was Cesare's father.
After the election of Julius II Cesare was put on trial for treason against the Holy See. He was later brought to La Mancha and was put on trial before the inquistion. Cesare managed to escape to the Kingdom of Navarre and was put in charge of the military there ahead of an invasion. He apparently died while on campaign there after being attacked in the woods in the middle of the night. Some months after Cesare's supposed death, funeral, and burial a sailing ship arrived in the New World. A small boat pulled up on shore, and Cesare jumped off the boat and walked up on to the shore, repeating the first words from Genesis, "In the beginning..."