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Returning: The Borgias

Jeremy Irons returns as Rodrigo, the cunning, manipulative Borgia patriarch who ascended to become Pope Alexander VI.

The second season of The Borgias begins on W next month.

Jeremy Irons returns as Rodrigo, the cunning, manipulative Borgia patriarch who ascended to become Pope Alexander VI.

Season two features a bareback horserace through the Roman streets, a bloody castle siege, a sumptuous masked ball and the notorious “Bonfire of Vanities”.

Once again Neil Jordan wrote and directed the first two episodes of the Canadian-Irish-Hungarian drama, which began in the US earlier this month.

While rats, disease and poverty festered outside the Vatican walls, the infamous Borgia family ruthlessly held power through the Papal throne during the turbulent Bacchanalian decadence of 15th century Rome. They ruled via intimidation and violence, crushing their enemies and inciting fear, division, and revulsion among anyone who would dare challenge their power.

As the ten episode season unfolds, the greatest threat to Alexander’s Papacy may not come from foreign adversaries or ambitious political operatives, instead it may linger within his own brood.

He seeks to consolidate his power and enlists his family to take an oath of revenge on the great noble houses that dared to stand against him.

But Alexander’s children are growing up and defying his authority. Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger), now with her own child to tend, starts asserting some independence. The sibling rivalry between Cesare (François Arnaud) and Juan (David Oakes) will soon turn to hatred as their father’s unwavering favouritism toward Juan triggers Cesare to engage his dark side.

An unlikely alliance is forged between the mother of Alexander’s children, Vanozza (Joanne Whalley), and his mistress, Giulia (Lotte Verbeek), when he takes yet another lover.

And, Alexander’s old enemy Cardinal Della Rovere (Colm Feore) continues to conspire against him.

 

7.30pm Thursday May 17 on W.

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