Showtime’s The Borgias ran for three seasons from the years 2011-2013. The historical drama followed the lives of real-life members of The Borgia family.
Although several liberties were taken, the show attempted to stay as accurate as possible to the rather complicated, dastardly, and ingenious Borgia family that mostly consisted of, in the case of the show, father Rodrigo Borgia/Pope Alexander VI, brothers Cesare and Juan, and sister Lucrezia. Other characters recur often, such as mother Vanozza, mistress Giulia Farnese, and Cardinal Della Rovere.
The show did not sugarcoat the life and times of this family, nor the world itself, as war, betrayal, love, political plotting, family dynamics, and heartbreak was consistent throughout all three seasons. But if there was one character who developed the most, it is arguably Lucrezia.
Played to literal perfection by Holliday Grainger (Cinderella, C.B. Strike), Lucrezia went from the innocent, sweet, only daughter of the Pope to a cunning, bitter and historical bad#$% of a woman. So, let’s talk about her top five moments from the series and why she (Lucrezia) and the actress are not to be underestimated.
1. Lucrezia Borgia Moment: The Chandelier
The list could not be started without, personally, my favorite Lucrezia scene of the whole series. Being the only daughter of the Pope, she needed to marry into a family that would be the most beneficial to her own.
Unfortunately, that meant marrying the older brute Giovanni Sforza, who single handedly in one night, ruined Lucrezia’s hopeful ideals of having a loving marriage. Naturally, she fell in love with poor stable boy, Paolo and got pregnant.
Thankfully her marriage was annulled, hiding the fact she was pregnant through an affair and she began to raise the baby back in Rome. Paolo sought Lucrezia much to older brother Juan’s anger.
Juan at the time, was already becoming unbearable to everyone around him, even his family. Disgusted that his sister loved a peasant and bore his child, Juan kills Paolo and sets it up as suicide.
It didn’t take Lucrezia and the rest of her family to figure out Juan was behind it. Even though he outright denies it.
In retribution, while Lucrezia was trying to rock her baby to sleep that night, she overhears Juan and a prostitute being intimate. Taking a candle to light her way, she kindly asks that they quiet down, as his nephew is trying to sleep.
Juan, naturally not caring, brushes her off but does appear as least slightly apologetic. What he doesn’t notice is that Lucrezia left the lit candle behind, hovering just under a rope, that led to the heavy chandelier hanging over the bed.
What comes next is eerie and so extremely satisfying. Lucrezia returns to her room, rocking her baby while humming a tune and patiently waiting.
The chandelier indeed falls, the screams are heard, but unfortunately, it landed on the woman who was above Juan at the time. He survives, and notices the candle, realizing Lucrezia was the cause.