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- For others named Rodrigo Borgia, please see Rodrigo Borgia.
Pope Alexander VI, born Rodrigo Borgia was the central character of the Showtime series The Borgias.
- The Showtime series reversed the order of Cesare and Juan from the Canal+ series and generally accepted real world history, making Cesare the eldest child.
In TV series
Prior to becoming Pope, Borgia served as the Vice-Chancellor to Pope Innocent VIII - second in rank only to the Pope. By the summer of 1492 Innocent was a frail, sickly old man. After Innocent VIII received the Viaticum (last Communion) the Cardinals of the Church, including Borgia and his arch rival Giuliano della Rovere gathered around Innocent. Innocent's last words were a regretful statement about the church being sullied by greed and lechery, and asked the Cardinals which of them would wash it clean, words that seemed to be directed at Borgia and della Rovere.
Before the Vatican was sealed for the conclave, Borgia gave his son Cesare some directions. Namely find out what the Cardinals favorite food was so that could be delivered, and arrange for gold to be delivered to the homes of the Cardinals. Borgia thus was able to bribe a large number of the Cardinals into electing him as Pope, and he took the papal name Alexander.
After becoming Pope the affair between Alexander and Vannozza cooled off, as Alexander had his heart set on a new mistress, Giulia Farnese. Farnese was a much younger woman, in her late 20's whereas Alexander was in his early 60s.
Alexander spent the next several years as Pope plotting and scheming to cement his power. He arranged the marriages of his children to various members of noble families throughout Italy. These marriages were often loveless shams that existed solely to benefit Alexander. Thanks to his daughter Lucrezia Alexander survived an assassination attempt involving the use of cantarella.
At the end of the third season Alexander had cornered the market on sulfur, restricting the ability of other city states such as Naples to manufacturer gunpowder. He was exploring making the Papacy a hereditary monarchy.
In The Borgia Apocalypse
NOTE: The Bogias was originally going to have four seasons, but when Neil Jordan thought about doing the fourth season, he didn't have the energy or even story to do ten episodes. Instead of that, he proposed Showtime to wrap up everything with a two-hour TV-Movie. He even wrote the screenplay, but the network refused, arguing it was too expensive and the season 3 ending worked as a series finale. Jordan would eventually published the screenplay as an e-book called The Borgia Apocalypse.