Season one
001 Season one promo photo of Gioffre Borgia, Cesare Borgia, Lucrezia Borgia, Rodrigo Borgia, Giulia Farnese and Juan Borgia 250px
Number of episodes 9
Run April 3 - May 22, 2011
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 August 30, 2011[1]
Region 2 December 5, 2011[2]
Region 4 June 20, 2011[3]
Blu-ray release
Region A December 27, 2011[4]
Season chronology
Next Season two

The first season was shot at Korda Studios, Budapest, Hungary, and premiered on April 3, 2011 on Showtime with a double episode, with the season finale airing May 22, 2011.

Rodrigo Borgia schemes and bribes his way to the Papacy and ascends to the throne as Pope Alexander VI, then uses his cunning son Cesare Borgia and the family's new assassin Micheletto Corella to secure his power; Rodrigo forges strategic alliances by offering the hands of his daughter Lucrezia Borgia and his son Joffre Borgia in marriage to rival aristocrats; the Borgias' mortal enemy Cardinal Giuliano Della Rovere wields his influence to persuade King Charles VIII of France to invade Italy and depose the corrupt Pope.[5]


Title Director Writer Air date
1x01 The Poisoned Chalice Neil Jordan Neil Jordan April 3, 2011
In the Season 1 premiere, Rodrigo successfully bribes and intimidates his way into an election as Pope Alexander VI, making him the new leader of the Catholic Church; powerful Cardinals Della Rovere and Orsini oppose his rise; the Borgias recruit a talented assassin named Micheletto to their cause.[6]
1x02 The Assassin Neil Jordan Neil Jordan April 3, 2011
The new Pope wastes no time consolidating power and balancing opposition to him in the College of Cardinals by elevating his children to high office, installing Juan as head of the papal armies and Cesare as a cardinal and his successor, while seeking a politically fortuitous marriage for daughter Lucrezia.[7]
1x03 The Moor Simon Cellan Jones Neil Jordan April 10, 2011
His coffers depleted by his expensive rise to power, Rodrigo seeks funds through a profitable marriage for Lucrezia that will ally with him Milan, and charges a fee for safe haven in the Holy City to Jews displaced by the Spanish Inquisition; the Borgias host a charming Turkish prince; Micheletto is ordered to rid his patrons of the ongoing threat posed by Della Rovere.[8]
1x04 Lucrezia's Wedding Simon Cellan Jones Neil Jordan April 17, 2011
Lucrezia's financially and politically motivated wedding to Milanese nobleman Giovanni Sforza is a disaster thanks to Juan's inappropriately bawdy play in his sister's honor, Cesare's brazen flirting with a married baroness, and the arrival of the Borgia children's illegitimate mother; Della Rovere seeks the aid of the illustrious Medici family and their counselor, Machiavelli.[9]
1x05 The Borgias in Love John Maybury Neil Jordan April 24, 2011
Alternately neglected and abused by her cruel husband, Lucrezia has an affair with Paolo, a handsome stable boy; Cesare strikes a bargain with Machiavelli: deny French troops passage across his masters' lands in exchange for suppression of Savonarola, a fiery preacher of anti-Medici sermons; in love with baroness Ursula, Cesare takes drastic action to get rid of her husband.[10]
1x06 The French King John Maybury Neil Jordan May 1, 2011
Della Rovere reaches France and strikes a bargain with its ruler to invade Italy and install him on the Papal throne in exchange for control of Naples; Rodrigo attempts to thwart the invasion through an alliance by marrying his youngest son Joffre to Princess Sancia of Naples, but Juan nearly sabotages the plan by seducing his prospective sister-in-law.[11]
1x07 Death, on a Pale Horse Jeremy Podeswa Neil Jordan May 8, 2011
The invasion by King Charles of France and Della Rovere proceeds with victory seemingly inevitable as the French sack the city of Lucca and the Italian powers flee to their banner, with Lucrezia's husband Giovanni Sforza poised to join them in the name of Milan; inventor Leonardo Da Vinci shows his drawings and blueprints for war machinery to the invaders.[12]
1x08 The Art of War Jeremy Podeswa Neil Jordan May 15, 2011
The invaders capture a fleeing and pregnant Lucrezia as they march on Rome, but she charms King Charles and is allowed to persuade her brother Juan to withdraw his hopelessly outmatched defensive troops; Pope Alexander VI awaits to learn of his fate as Charles enters the city and makes his way to the Vatican.[13]
1x09 Nessuno (Nobody) Jeremy Podeswa Neil Jordan May 22, 2011
In the Season 1 finale, abandoned by even his cardinals, Alexander meets King Charles with humility and saves his throne, even eliciting a confession from the conqueror he crowns as the new "King of France and Naples;" Della Rovere despairs as Charles abandons him; Lucrezia safely gives birth to a son in a convent as the Borgias secure an annulment of her marriage and plot revenge on their enemies.[14]


Main castEdit

Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo Borgia (9 episodes)
François Arnaud as Cesare Borgia (9 episodes)
Holliday Grainger as Lucrezia Borgia (9 episodes)
David Oakes as Juan Borgia (9 episodes)
Colm Feore as Giuliano Della Rovere (9 episodes)
Peter Sullivan as Ascanio Sforza (9 episodes)
Sean Harris as Micheletto Corella (9 episodes)
Joanne Whalley as Vanozza Cattaneo (8 episodes)
Lotte Verbeek as Giulia Farnese (8 episodes)

Recurring castEdit

Ronan Vibert as Giovanni Sforza (6 episodes)
Ruta Gedmintas as Ursula Bonadeo (6 episodes)
Simon McBurney as Johannes Burchart (5 episodes)
Aidan Alexander as Joffre Borgia (5 episodes)
Luke Pasqualino as Paolo (5 episodes)
Vernon Dobtcheff as Cardinal Julius Versucci (5 episodes)
László Konter as Cardinal Colonna (5 episodes)
Bosco Hogan as Cardinal Alessandro Piccolomini (5 episodes)

Recurring guest starsEdit

Michel Muller as King Charles VIII (4 episodes)
Mickey Sumner as Francesca (4 episodes)
Augustus Prew as Prince Alfonso of Naples (3 episodes)
Joseph Kelly as King Ferrante of Naples (3 episodes)
Emmanuelle Chriqui as Sancia of Naples (3 episodes)
Nicholas Rowe as Baron Bonadeo (2 episodes)
Gina McKee as Catherina Sforza (2 episodes)
David Bamber as Theo (2 episodes)
Cesare Taurasi as Piero De Medici (2 episodes)


Which season one episode is your favorite?

The poll was created at 04:18 on April 18, 2013, and so far 5 people voted.


  • Originally, season 1 was going to have ten episodes, but according to Neil Jordan they ran out of money and had to adapt to nine.[15]



Season one promo 1 Vicar of Rome00:40

Season one promo 1 Vicar of Rome

Behind the scenesEdit

The Borgias - Behind the Scenes The Borgias04:40

The Borgias - Behind the Scenes The Borgias

The Borgias - House of Borgias03:25

The Borgias - House of Borgias

The Borgias - Hanging with Jeremy Irons03:15

The Borgias - Hanging with Jeremy Irons

The Borgias - Politically Influential Holliday Grainger04:08

The Borgias - Politically Influential Holliday Grainger

The Borgias - Enormous Power Jeremy Irons03:27

The Borgias - Enormous Power Jeremy Irons

The Borgias - Eldest Son Francois Arnaud03:32

The Borgias - Eldest Son Francois Arnaud

The Borgias - A Truce Colm Feore03:51

The Borgias - A Truce Colm Feore

The Borgias - The Borgias The Original Crime Family02:56

The Borgias - The Borgias The Original Crime Family

The Borgias - Justified Neil Jordan02:36

The Borgias - Justified Neil Jordan

The Borgias - The Borgias Casting Cesare03:05

The Borgias - The Borgias Casting Cesare

The Borgias - Emmanuelle Chriqui on The Borgias01:20

The Borgias - Emmanuelle Chriqui on The Borgias



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