For similarly named characters, please see Cesare Borgia
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Never presume that I will not act on my worst instincts
~ Cesare Borgia, "The Prince"

Cesare Borgia is the eldest son of Rodrigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI) and a main character in the Showtime series The Borgias.  He is older brother to Juan, Lucrezia, and Gioffre Borgia. He acts as his father's Consigliore (second-in-command) and carries out a number of murders and other crimes to keep the Borgias in power. Although he was made a Cardinal by his father, he wishes to take command of the Papal Armies and prove his worth as a mighty commander. 

He is the inspiration for Niccolo Machiavelli's famous work The Prince, which discusses how to gain power and keep it at every cost. 


Season 1:

As the series begins Cesare is a Bishop. His first on-screen moment is when he is having sex with a woman who is shocked to find he is a clergyman. He helps his father bribe other cardinals to win the papal election. It works, and Rodrigo Borgia is crowned Pope Alexander VI. 

At a celebration dinner at Cardinal Orsini's palace, Cesare wanders into the kitchen and finds Orsini's assassin Micheletto Corella pouring cantarella poison into a chalice meant for the Pope. The two have a brief sword fight. When Cesare asks Micheletto to work for him. Micheletto jumps at the chance to become "God's Assassin" and betrays Orsini by serving the poisoned chalice to him. Micheletto then kills the men he hired to kill Cesare's siblings, and pledges his loyalty to him. 

Cesare becomes an active participant in his father's scheming. 

Cesare had a prodigious sexual appetite, which he sought to satisfy through a series of affairs. He carried on an affair with the married Ursula Bonadeo and then murdered her husband in order to make her available. Racked with guilt over this, Ursula rejected Cesare's love and became a nun. 

Season 2:

Ursula is killed when her convent is destroyed by Charles VIII of France. Cesare and Micheletto assemble a team of condottieri to take revenge on the maurading French troops. 

Season 3:

Cesare is in shock after his father is poisoned. With Micheletto's help, he thwarts an attempt by Sforza assassins to kill the rest of the Borgias off in their weakened state. After 

When Lucrezia's second husband Alfonso refused her on her wedding night Lucrezia went to Cesare's room, and brother and sister proceeded to make love. 

In the final episode, Cesare is made Gonfaloniere of the Papal Armies (at last). He heads north to Forli to attack Catherina Sforza's castle, using French troops as a decoy.

Cesare soon learned that Lucrezia's husband Alfonso was planning to kill him. When Alfonso confronted him they dueled, and Cesare managed to seriously injure Alfonso. Doctors informed Cesare that Alfonso would die, but that it would take several days for Alfonso to do so and that it would be a very painful death. His sister provided poisons to help Cesare end Alfonso's life painlessly.

Physical Appearance

Cesare has dark brown, wavy hair that goes down to his shoulders. He has hazel eyes and a weak mustache and beard. He is tall and slim. Usually he is shown wearing leather trousers and a black formal shirt with a vest, or his cardinal robe. 

As the series progresses his hair becomes thicker and curlier, and his facial hair starts to fill out. This also happens with Micheletto Corella, so it is possibly a symbol for his growing power and maturity over time. 


Cesare is a bold, thoughtful figure who yearns for power. He is loyal to the Borgia family and will do anything to keep them in power. He is unhappy being "trapped" in the life of a Cardinal, and repeatedly asks his father to release him of his vows so he can become a military leader. He is also possesive and psycopathic.  His relationships with his siblings are complex. He has always had a rivalry with Juan, who he sees as impulsive and incompetent. Their division grows throughout Season 2 and ends with him killing Juan after Juan falls to addiction and threatens the life of Lucrezia's child. He expresses no remorse at killing his brother. On the other hand, Cesare is extremely close to Lucrezia, and loves her dearly. He will do anything for her, including killing those who hurt her. Their relationship progresses to incest in Season 3, since both of them cannot find true love in anyone else. 


  • The cancellation of The Borgias meant that Cesare's storyline could not be completed. Season 4 would likely have shown his rise as a military leader who carved out a Borgia state in Italy, but lost power after his father died and Pope Julius II betrayed him. The last episode of Season 4 would probably have shown his death in battle. 
  • He has a sword that says "Aut Caesar aut nihil" (either Caesar or nothing), just like his real counterpart. 
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