Rodrigo Borgia (Voiced by Manuel Tadros) is the primary antagonist of Assassin's Creed II.
Rodrigo Borgia (1 January 1431 – 18 August 1503), born Roderic Llançol, later Roderic de Borja i Borja, was the leader of the Knights Templar during the Renaissance in Italy. He was elected Pope from 1492 to 1503 as Alexander VI. His enemies called him "The Spaniard" (due to his Spanish origins) while his Templar followers called him "Maestro" ("Master" in Italian and "teacher" in Spanish). He was one of the most controversial of the Renaissance popes, and his surname (Italianized as Borgia) became a byword for the debased standards of the papacy of that era.
The Medici were the ruling family in Florence, but a conspiracy was being plotted in an attempt to overthrow the powerful Lorenzo de' Medici, and Rodrigo Borgia was at the centre of it. One night in 1476, Borgia was on his way to leave Florence with few of his men in the dark streets of the city. Suddenly, Giovanni Auditore da Firenze, an assassin, intercepted him. Borgia fled immediately as Giovanni battled his men, and, as he hid behind a corner, Borgia saw Giovanni capture one of his men. Under torture, the prisoner revealed the plotted assassination of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan and a powerful ally of Lorenzo de' Medici; Giovanni quickly went to stop the attempt, but arrived too late. Borgia and his accomplices' plan had succeeded, and Borgia began planning the next move.
Deducing the origin of the Duke of Milan's murderers by looting a Ducat from one of them, Giovanni headed to Venice. There, he intercepted an encrypted message from Marco and Silvio Barbarigo to their master, Rodrigo. After Uberto Alberti and Father Antonio Maffei decoded the letter, Giovanni carried the copied message to Rome, in order to discover who was behind the plots. Once arrived in the city, he gave the message to a man; by tailing this one, it appears that the letter travels in various hands before arriving at its final destination: Rodrigo Borgia. Borgia headed next to see Pope Sixtus IV to obtain military support in order to conquer Florence.
The night before the trial of the Auditore family, Rodrigo was at Uberto's house. Ezio came by to give Uberto his father's letters, which would prove Giovanni not guilty of the charges against him; Ezio noticed the hooded man (Rodrigo) behind Uberto, but paid him no further notice. The following morning, Borgia attended the public judgement and hanging of Giovanni and two of his sons; years later, as Ezio confronted Rodrigo, he would state that Ezio's brothers did not need to die, but he had them killed anyway to make a point to the Assassins and to Ezio.
Two years after the Auditores' murders, Rodrigo went to meetings with the Pazzi family in San Gimignano and with the Templars in a catacomb under the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. There he reminded them to beware the Assassins, and stated that the next day would be "a new dawn for Firenze".
After Ezio thwarted the Templars in Florence, Borgia was to meet with the remaining conspirators in Tuscany. The Pazzi were going to ask for asylum with Borgia in either Venice or Rome, but before the meeting could even commence, most of the conspirators were killed by Ezio, one by one. Only Jacopo de' Pazzi actually made it to the meeting alive; there Jacopo claimed that the blame rested with his nephew Francesco for his impatience, and with Emilio Barbarigo for supplying the Pazzi troops with sub-standard weaponry. Enraged by Jacopo's snivelling excuses, Borgia lectured his subordinate on his failure, then stabbed him (aided by an all-too-eager Barbarigo). Ignoring Jacopo's pleas for mercy, Borgia stabbed him in the neck, then called out Ezio (who he knew had tailed Jacopo to the meeting). Sarcastically apologizing for killing Ezio's target for him, Borgia mocked Ezio, saying that he had been doing "this" for far longer than the novice Assassin. He ordered his men to kill Ezio and left without bothering to make sure the deed was done (he might have guessed that Ezio would escape, and chose not to stick around for it).
Borgia was later found in Venice, planning with Carlo Grimaldi and the Barbarigos to murder the current Doge (Giovanni Mocenigo) so that one of them could replace him and take control of Venice. Borgia chastised the Barbarigos for making their own plans and arguing over who would be the new Doge after they took Venice; he appointed Marco Barbarigo as the next Doge, and then left them to carry out his plans.
While Ezio was hunting the Barbarigos in Venice, Borgia was tracking the location of the Piece of Eden which Altaïr once took from the Templars. He sent ships to Cyprus in order to claim it from the Vault where Altaïr sealed it away before his death. He appeared in Venice to lay claim to the Piece of Eden, but Ezio, disguised as the carrier of the artifact, attempted to kill him. Borgia, however, was prepared for the attack, and told his men to stand down so that he could deal with Ezio personally. The two began an intense battle, with Ezio emerging as the victor. Realizing he could not defeat Ezio alone, Borgia called in more guards to overwhelm Ezio who also claimed that he could not stop his plans because he was the prophet who Altaïr was talking about in the codex pages. Suddenly, many of Ezio's allies appeared, revealing themselves to be Assassins. They held off the guards to allow Ezio to re-challenge Borgia, who then escaped before Ezio could kill him.
Borgia found out that Caterina Sforza's late husband had made a map of where all the Codex pages were, so he hired the Orsi Brothers to retrieve it. The Orsi's found out that Caterina had the Apple, so they took it, planning to present it to Borgia for an extra pay off. Unfortunately for Borgia, Ezio managed to kill both of the Orsi brothers, though the Apple eventually came into the hands of Girolamo Savonarola, an arch-enemy of Borgia.
With the Apple, Savonarola took control over Florence, and Borgia repeatedly sent his men to Florence in the hopes of acquiring the Apple with no success.
In the following years, Borgia fooled the Spanish Inquisitor General Tomas Torquemada into capturing and killing Assassins in Spain. Tomas, who thought Borgia was as much as a believer of God as he was, blindly followed his orders. Borgia also found out about Christoffa Corombo's plans to sail west; Borgia knew of the presence of America and the treasures that lay there, and did not want anyone to find it before him, therefore he arranged a meeting with Christoffa in Venice. Christoffa's friend Luis Santangel (secretly an Assassin) suspected a trap, and called for Ezio's aid; Ezio successfully rescued Christoffa, and eventually Christoffa did set sail west.
Borgia was elected Pope in 1492 and established his power in Rome; his true intent, however, was to gain access to the Vault that lays under the Vatican, where, according to Borgia, God himself rested.
In 1498, Borgia continued his campaign against Savaranola but it was Ezio who killed the monk before he was burned alive by an angry riot, claiming that "no one should die in such pain" and claimed the Piece of Eden for the assassins.
Borgia offered his daughter Lucrezia to Caterina Sforza's son Ottaviano Riario; Borgia figured that with a son-in-law like Ottaviano, he could control the regions of Forlì and Imola. Caterina declined the offer, as she knew of his plans and that Lucrezia 'never stayed married for long'. This enraged Borgia, and his son Cesare began an assault on Forlì.
In 1499, Ezio chased Borgia, planning to assassinate him. Ezio snuck into the Vatican and seemingly assassinated Borgia without being seen inside the Sistine Chapel. After Ezio finished speaking with Borgia, he left-- only to see Borgia rise from the ground and use his Piece of Eden, the Papal Staff, to strike down Ezio and everyone else in the room. However, Borgia was surprised to see that Ezio was able to resist the power of his staff. Ezio brought out his own Piece of Eden: The Apple that Altaïr took from Al Mualim. Ezio then summoned four clones of himself to assist him in his battle against Borgia, eventually defeating him. But Borgia tripped Ezio with the staff, snatched The Apple from his hands, and combined it with The Staff to open up the door to the Vault, which had been underneath Rome the whole time. Ezio tried to stop him, but he was lifted into the air by Borgia, unable to resist two combined Pieces of Eden. Borgia stabbed Ezio with a dagger and left him to die on the floor of the Sistine Chapel before escaping into the Vault. Though injured, Ezio eventually made his way to the Vault, with Borgia furiously pounding the door to the inner chambers. Ezio dropped into the pit where Borgia was, and challenged him to one last fist fight, with no more weapons, no more plots, and no more decoys. Borgia accepted, and the two had one last battle. During the battle, Borgia stated that he never believed in the Bible or in God, and only became Pope to get the Staff and access to the Vault, wanting to unify Italy under the Templar rule. Ezio defeated Borgia, holding the Pope at blade-point and telling Borgia that he was not the Prophet; he never had been. Broken by this revelation and accepting defeat, Borgia told Ezio to kill him and put an end to it; however, Ezio refused, saying that killing Borgia would not bring back his family.
Borgia appeared in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, which takes place in 1503, the last year of his papacy. He appeared in the E3 trailer for Brotherhood, riding in a carriage through Rome with his son Cesare, when Ezio and his new band of Assassins appear and attack the carriage. Throughout the game, Borgia and his son are continually at odds: Cesare thinks his father is weak, while Rodrigo fears that his son's ambition is out of control. As the pressure between them (made worse by the Assassins) intensifies, Borgia in 1503 tries to do away with his son by offering him a poisoned apple, but Cesare, upon learning of his father's assassination attempt, turns the tables on Rodrigo and kills him with the same apple; later, Ezio discovers the results of Cesare's patricide, and respectfully closes Rodrigo's eyes in front of a scared Lucrezia Borgia.