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For others named Rodrigo Borgia, please see Rodrigo Borgia.

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Villain Overview
Are you so naive? I became Pope because it gave me access! It gave me power! Do you think I believe a single god-damned word of that ridiculous book? It's all lies and superstition. Just like every other religious tract written over the past ten thousand years.
~ Rodrigo denouncing the Bible to Ezio Auditore during their confrontation in the Vatican in 1499.

Rodrigo Borgia (born: Roderic Llançol i de Borja, also known as Rodrigo Lanzol de Borgia) is the main antagonist and final boss from the 2009 video game, Assassin's Creed II and a supporting antagonist in the 2010 video game sequel, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. He was the leader of the Italian Rite of the Templar Order during the Renaissance in Italy. He was one of the most powerful men in Europe during the Renaissance, and was elected Pope from 1492 to 1503 as Alexander VI. His enemies called him "The Spaniard" because of his Spanish origins, while his Templar followers called him Maestro, which is Italian and Spanish for master.

Legacy

During the 21st century, members of the Templar inner circle thought of Rodrigo Borgia as a debased tyrant instead of a respected Grand Master. Instead of spreading knowledge to enlighten his fellow man and break down the boundaries that keep men divided, Rodrigo used his power and position as Grand Master to corrupt the Templar purpose into gaining infinite power by any means.

True Templar motives were questionable, but they intended to serve the greater good; Rodrigo however wanted power for the sake of it, and saw total domination over all as his prize. The Borgia's leadership over the Order would later be known as the "Dark Age of the Order".

Nonetheless, when Abstergo Industries, the main front of the Templars in the 21st century, commissioned a series of portraits of their most respected leaders, entitled "Great Minds of History", Rodrigo was among them. In a description accompanying his portrait, Rodrigo was described as a man of strong morals who greatly valued family, but attained a bad reputation due to the work of his enemy Ezio Auditore.

Personality and Characteristics

It's not approval I'm after. Just power.
~ Rodrigo, while dueling with Ezio.

Initially an ambitious middle-aged man, Rodrigo was intent, watchful, and circumspect, as Cesare later would be, on taking Italy in the name of the Templar Order and exterminating the Assassins. After becoming Pope, his obsession of not only conquering Italy but also of realizing what he believed to be his true calling as the Prophet intensified. He actively sought to take the Apple of Eden from Savonarola, as demonstrated when he sent battalions of his family's soldiers to Florence to retrieve it. As he said while fighting Ezio in the vault, he didn't even believe in religion.

After his duel with Ezio in the Vault, and the shattering revelation that he was not the Prophet, Rodrigo was reduced to being an empty shell, and instead of continuing to pursue his dreams of infinite power and the extermination of the Assassin Order, he focused on maintaining his monopoly over Rome.

Abilities and Equipment

  • Swordsmanship: He was able to engage a very skilled swordsman Ezio and all of his assassin allies with some difficulty. He was even able to battle Ezio and his illusionary doppelgängers with the Staff of Eden.
  • Hand-to-Hand Combat: He was able to go toe-to-toe with Ezio in the temple entrance before eventually loosing to Ezio.
  • Master Strategist: He proved to be a very capable strategist, even predicting Ezio's moves and actions in almost every encounter they had. Eventually he became the head of the Vatican Church due to his schemes.
  • Resources: As the Grandmaster of the Templar Order and Pope of the Vatican Church, he had access to all the resources of Italia.
  • Influence: As the Pope of the Vatican Church, he was highly influential even without bribery.
  • Intimidation: Due to his strong devotions and beliefs, even members of the Templar Order are afraid of him.
  • Priesthood: He seems to have great deal of knowledge about christianity and possibly other abrahamic religions, even though he is an atheist only using such knowledge for sinister purposes. He even recites verses of the bible in the original Latin.
  • The Staff of Eden: Once he became the Pope, he had access to the Papal Staff which was actually one of the Staffs of Eden, an extremely ancient artifact of supernatural power.
    • Mind Control: He was abel to make the entire Vatican Church and the pilgrims in the church bow to him.
    • Invisibility: The Staff was able to render him invisible, so as to sneak up on Ezio and take the Apple of Eden.
    • Energized Strike: The Staff's energized strike allowed for him to deliver s superhuman blow to Ezio.
    • Telekinesis: He was able to lift Ezio off the ground and levitate Ezio in the air, restraining him as he delivered a fatal blow.

Trivia

  • Rodrigo was called "The Spaniard" by the Assassins, due to his Spanish origins.
  • During some of Rodrigo's appearances, a dim red lighting effect could be seen on Rodrigo's hood and upper body, even though there was no source for this light.
  • Historically, Pope Alexander VI ordered the execution of Savonarola, the mad monk of Florence.
  • In the simulated training map of Castel Gandolfo in the Animi Training Program, portraits of Rodrigo could be seen on the walls of the location's interior.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Revelations, while Ezio was disguised as a minstrel, he sang a song about Rodrigo before and after he became Pope.
  • In the Revelations novel, Giovanni Auditore mentioned Rodrigo indirectly, implying him as the new Grand Master, "A man in Rome has taken command of our enemies who is perhaps the greatest power you and I will ever know."
  • Jeremy Irons, who plays Alan Rikkin in the 2016 movie, also portrayed another fictionalization of Rodrigo in "The Borgias".
Battling Rodrigo
  • When Ezio entered the Sistine Chapel to assassinate Rodrigo, he was proclaiming the Nicene Creed in Latin to the congregation. Ironically, Rodrigo later stated that he did not believe the concept of the Nicene Creed, which confesses the wholeness of the Roman Catholic doctrine.
  • It is possible to kill Rodrigo while in the Sistine Chapel, if Ezio poisoned him. After this, the Assassin could wield the Staff of Eden, although he could not use any of its powers.
  • Occasionally, during the fight with Rodrigo in the Sistine Chapel, he could be seen as wielding a spear instead of the Staff. This could be due to him using the other end of the weapon as a spear.
  • Although Ezio did not kill Rodrigo, he was listed as dead in the Animus' Conspirator Web after Desmond Miles completed the main memories of Assassin's Creed II and re-entered the virtual machine.
  • If you tried to kill Rodrigo in the battle in Venice or in the Sistine Chapel using the Hidden Gun, no damage would occur, nor would any sign of being hit be displayed. This is obviously so he does not die until near the end of Brotherhood.
  • Rodrigo was the first Pope to be elected from a conclave in the Sistine Chapel.
  • In Rodrigo's assassination target video, there was a scene with Rodrigo in his Papal robes standing next to his fellow Templars, who were seated at a table. This was impossible, because by the time Rodrigo became Pope, Ezio had killed all the other Templars present. The Pazzi, the Barbarigo, and Carlo Grimaldi, for example, were shown at the table.
  • In the assassination target video for the Orsi brothers set in 1488, in the Battle of Forlì DLC, Rodrigo was again shown in his Papal robes, even though he was elected Pope in 1492.
  • Rodrigo's fate in Assassin's Creed: Renaissance differed from that shown in Assassin's Creed II. In the game, after Ezio defeated and spared him, Rodrigo was left alone to come to terms with his misery as Ezio entered the Vault. In the novel, however, when Ezio emerged from the Vault, Rodrigo committed suicide with poison. His last act was to ask Ezio what he saw in the Vault, to which Ezio replied "Nothing. No one," leading him to die believing everything he had done in life was for nothing.
    • In the novelization of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, however, Rodrigo evidently survived this suicide attempt, and Mario Auditore suggested that he had not taken enough poison, or that he had been faking.
  • Rodrigo died at 72, a recurring factor in the Assassin's Creed series.