- "I have lived a full life. I survived the disgrace of my family and their corruption of the church. I have seen, and survived, the dangers of the New World and much more."
- ―Giovanni Borgia, 1542.[src]
Giovanni Borgia (1498 – 1548) was a member of the Italian Brotherhood of Assassins, and was known to his Brothers as one who was particularly receptive to Pieces of Eden due to his bond with an Isu entity named Consus.
- "Lucrezia is pregnant! This is a complication we did not need!"
- ―Perotto discovering Giovanni's conception.[src]
Giovanni was secretly born in Rome to Lucrezia Borgia, the illegitimate daughter of Pope Alexander VI, and her lover Perotto Calderon. However, there were always a doubt that his father was not Perotto Calderon, an undercover Assassin acting as a Borgia messenger, but instead Lucrezia's own brother Cesare.
Upon his birth, Giovanni was discovered to be malformed, and he was expected to die within a few days. In a drastic attempt to save his assumed child's life, Perotto broke out of prison (in which he was being held due to the discovery of his affair with Lucrezia) and escaped to Agnadello. There, he knew the Assassins were guarding the Piece of Eden known as the Shroud, which Perotto thought would be able to heal his son.
Upon arriving there, having slain both his brother Assassins and Borgia soldiers along the way, Perotto asked the Shroud to heal his son, which it did, despite its initial protests. The child would live, but would forever be mentally altered.
Giovanni was trained to be cruel by both Cesare, and the latter's friend, Micheletto Corella; though he rejected many of their teachings, and grew to fear and hate them. Since Cesare was often away, Giovanni was allowed to spend time with his "aunt" Lucrezia, who enjoyed their bonding, but was saddened by seeing her son raised in such a harsh environment.
Apple of Eden
- "Nonno is going to let me play with the Apple today! He says it is not a toy, but I think it is a toy. It glows. It makes noises. Sometimes it talks to me like Consus does."
- ―Giovanni, regarding the Apple.[src]
At times, Giovanni's grandfather would allow him to "play" with the Apple of Eden, and would take notes when he discovered that Giovanni had the ability to turn his thoughts into reality with the power of the Apple. Simply by willing it, he was able to create the image of an eagle out of thin air.
Giovanni made use of this skill as a means of defending himself once, when he was five. Upon being taken out for a "lesson" with Micheletto, he witnessed Micheletto kill an old man, simply to teach Giovanni the cruelties of the world. Afraid, Giovanni used the Apple (which he had taken from his grandfather in secret) to create an illusion of Cesare to scare Micheletto. However, when Cesare discovered this, Giovanni was punished.
Giovanni also made use of another of the Apple's power, albeit accidentally, when he stumbled upon Fiora Cavazza sneaking around his home, seeking to steal the Piece of Eden for the Assassins. Thinking she had come to play, Giovanni snatched the Apple and gleefully ran with it, calling for Fiora to catch him.
Fearing that he would alert the guards of her presence, Fiora told him to stop and attempted to take the Apple from him. However, she was frozen in place by its power, and was ultimately caught by Cesare, who had been woken by the commotion. Giovanni fearfully asked Cesare what he would do with her, but he simply sent the boy from the room and told him he would hurt her.
Becoming an Assassin
- "I hate Papà. Nonno only cares about the Apple. Zia is always sad. I want to run away from them! I want to live somewhere else."
- ―Giovanni, contemplating on running away from home.[src]
Eventually, in 1503, Giovanni planned to leave his life of fear behind. After he received a letter from a courier pigeon, sent by an unknown individual, he was even more encouraged to do so. Making sure that he wasn't seen, he went to the meeting place by a fountain, and, as instructed, used his "other eyes" to recognize the individual from the crowd.
Giovanni followed the individual running across the rooftops, until he finally reached an alleyway, where he was abruptly halted by two thieves, who attempted to rob him. The individual leapt down from above and plunged his Hidden Blades into both men, rescuing the boy. The individual then introduced himself as Francesco Vecellio, who turned out to be the former understudy of Perotto.
Giovanni happily agreed to Francesco's offer to bring him "to live with his Brothers", and was thus taken in and trained into the Assassin Order.
Training with Hiram
- "Hiram, I'm sorry. It was my fault. I was wrong, stupid."
- ―Giovanni to Hiram, 1516.[src]
By 1515, the prideful Giovanni was trained by the legendary Ezio Auditore da Firenze alongside another apprentice, the roguish and cheerful Hiram Stoddard. Giovanni, believing that his special abilities warranted him a special status among his brothers, was frustated with Hiram being his better both in the eyes of their master and in the heart of Elena. A rivalry developed between the two young Assassins; Giovanni often loosing his temper out of jealousy while Ezio tried to teach him patience and humility.
The rivality culminated during a mission to recover an Apple of Eden and stop a Templar plot in Florence that was lead by Hiram. Despite being assisted by Michelangelo, the two apprentices failed to recover the artifact entrusted to Dei Petrucci. Several days later, after Giovanni told Elena, who had come to confort her lover, that Hiram cheated on her with the tavern girl, a fight ensued between the two rivals. During the brawl, Giovanni was hit to the head by an enraged and innocent Stoddard and was possessed once again by Consus before fainting. Convinced that Hiram was responsible for what happened to Giovanni, Elena tried to flee but fell from the tavern's roof and died. Giovanni never knew what truly happened on the roof but the ordeal deeply affected Hiram, provoking an intense hatred for Giovanni.
One year later, a darker Hiram was no longer following the Creed, obsessed with finding back the Apple that he tracked for the Brotherhood a year before in order to find "her". In Greece, he assaulted the Assassin hideout where the artifact was hidden, but was ambushed by Giovanni. While dueling for the artifact, a now humble Borgia asked for Hiram's forgiveness and tried to convince his former rival to come back into the Brotherhood but to no avail. Eventually, Giovanni bested Hiram, but chose to spare him and left with the artifact.
Journey to Mexico
- "I have studied these relics from our past, these Pieces of Eden, and I have even wielded them on rare occasion. I have spent my life theorizing and mapping, but never before have I had the opportunity to hunt one."
- ―Giovanni, as he travels to the New World.[src]
In 1519, Giovanni was secured a position aboard Hernán Cortés ship, which was to sail towards the New World. Though posing as a chronicler and astrologer, Giovanni had been tasked by the Brotherhood to identify and recover a Piece of Eden from the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan.
After examining several idols and artifacts, Giovanni finally sensed the presence of the Piece of Eden, recognizing the same "hum" he remembered from the Apple of Eden. He pinpointed the artifact to be a Crystal Skull in the possession of an Aztec priest, who used it as part of a human sacrificial ritual.
The Skull's Purpose
- "Maria protests how much time I spend with the skull. At least an hour each day. Gazing into it, listening. The hum has grown louder over the years. It feels as if something is coming."
- ―Giovanni, regarding his study of the Skull.[src]
Upon returning to Europe, Giovanni brought the Crystal Skull to his ally Bombastus in 1527 to discover its purpose. Bombastus was confident that they would successfully uncover its secrets, referring to Giovanni as "the one who talks to these things".
Despite much examination, however, they were unable to discover how to use the Skull. After this, the other members of the Order began to doubt Giovanni's abilities, and merely dismissed the Skull as little more than an ornate treasure.
Nevertheless, Giovanni persisted in studying the Skull for about twenty years, and in 1542, received some answers. Upon discovering the Skull glowing with a faint light, he shook it and began to hear words in a foreign language, as well as see visions of a man dressed in Chinese garb. Though he could not understand the speech, he realized the man's intent, and hurried to alert the Brotherhood of this revelation.
Giovanni confronted Bombastus to ask him further questions. However, the Professor only proclaimed that he could help him no longer, and that the Book held no more answers as it was incomplete.
Completing the Book
- "The book is incomplete. For the answers you seek... you will need the other half."
- ―Bombastus to Giovanni.[src]
Thus, Giovanni began to research a means of finding the other half of the Book, with the help of one of Bombastus' apprentices, Maria Amiel. The two found that the tome was entitled "Divine Science", and had been written by a French alchemist named Nicolas Flamel. They thus traveled together to Paris, France, where Giovanni received permission to consult the Royal library in the Louvre.
They tracked a grimoire down to the nephew of Perenelle Flamel, but found that the manuscript was only a translation. However, the grimoire contained Pythagorean symbols, and notes of Hermetic practices, thus reminding Giovanni of an ancient Pythagorean temple found by his master Ezio in 1506.
Return to Basel
- "Giovanni's mood continues to darken. When we enter Troyes, he calls it "the Vipers' Nest." It is only a whisper. I do not dare question him."
- ―Maria observing Giovanni as they visit Troyes.[src]
On their way back to Basel, Giovanni insisted that they pass by Troyes, though he did not tell Maria why. As Maria lingered by a clothier near Troyes' cathedral, Giovanni vanished from her side, and soon after, she was approached by a man in a tunic marked with a red cross.
As he began to ask her peculiar questions, Giovanni appeared behind him and ended his life with his Hidden Blade. Though he at first accused Maria of "conspiring with the Viper", upon seeing her tears, he realized his mistake, and the two returned their attention to their travels.
Since Giovanni had discovered a report containing their descriptions, he and Maria fled Troyes. In a nearby wood, they were attacked by "Minions of the Cross", though Giovanni was able to drive them off; and afterwards, the two were able to avoid further trouble.
Upon arriving in Basel, they found that Bombastus had gone mad, and had begun burning books and accusing doctors of unholy practices. Giovanni was forced to restrain him, and later, he and Maria retrieved the first half of the Book from Bombastus' laboratory.
- "We must go to this place, Maria. I know there is something there. I know it! Trust me!"
- ―Giovanni, after finding a map to the temple.[src]
Some time after, Giovanni discovered a map to the Pythagorean temple, and asked that Maria accompany him. Though he admitted that the previous visitors, Ezio and Leonardo da Vinci, had found nothing, he insisted that he knew there was something that still lay hidden within it. Trusting him, Maria agreed, and the two traveled together down into the catacombs.
Giovanni opened the way for them, rearranging bricks and lighting an urn that lit the room with a trail of fire. Finally, as they entered the last chamber, it became illuminated with eerie patterns, numbers, and glyphs.
At that moment, Giovanni fell unconscious, and when he woke, his face had been altered, startling Maria. He then spoke in a distant voice that was not his, but appeared to be from an entity far older; one that called itself "Consus, the Erudite God".
Centuries later, Giovanni would come to be known as the Infans Romanus, or "Child of Rome". Interested in the mystery of his parentage, as well as the events of his supposedly insignificant life, Abstergo Industries would later have their recruits analyze large sections of Giovanni's memories, including the circumstances of his birth, much of his childhood, and his search for the Pieces of Eden.
Personality and characteristics
- Maria: "Remind me again why I married you?"
- Giovanni: "Because I charmed you off your feet and never let you down!"
- ―Giovanni teasing Maria as they travel through the catacombs.[src]
Giovanni was a very gracious and confident nobleman, who often spoke lightheartedly, and teased his friends. Despite his cheerful nature, he also had something of a temper, once shouting at and threatening Bombastus for not answering his questions.
He was also quite serious in his work as an Assassin, often becoming withdrawn and moody when concentrating on his assignments. Though protective of his allies, he once assaulted Maria, merely out of the suspicion that she had been conspiring with the Templars.
From an early age, Giovanni suffered several Bleeding Effect-like symptoms, likely as a result of being healed by the Shroud. He would often dream of the memories of Assassins past, including those of Perotto, and Marcus Junius Brutus. Because of these hallucinations, he once almost stabbed Cesare while sleepwalking, thinking himself to be Brutus, and his uncle to be Gaius Julius Caesar. However, he was caught and subsequently punished by Micheletto.
For possibly the same reasons, throughout his childhood, Giovanni would speak to a mystical being called Consus, whom no one else could see. Consus acted as his guardian, encouraging him to join the Assassins, and eventually seeming to "possess" him in the Pythagorean Temple.
- "For a long time, Giovanni gazes into my eyes, his fury gradually melting. His hold upon me remains strong, but I stop trembling. We kiss, passionately."
- ―Giovanni and Maria finally sharing a romantic moment.[src]
After meeting each other in 1527, Giovanni and Maria became inseparable, growing close over their travels to Paris and back to Basel. He protected her from brigands who once attempted to rob them, as well as Templars who attacked them as they fled Troyes.
After Maria accidentally spoke with one of Giovanni's assassination targets in Troyes, he began to suspect her, holding a blade to her throat and demanding to know why she was conspiring with his enemy. When she began to cry, he realized his mistake, and after a moment, the two kissed, and admitted their feelings for one another.
Several years afterwards, Giovanni married her. Though Maria only later found out about Giovanni's allegiance to the Assassin Order, she nevertheless supported him in his assignments, even accompanying him through the catacombs into the Pythagorean Temple.
They remained together at least until 1542, when Maria protested against Giovanni's obsession with studying the Crystal Skull.
- Giovanni's memories were extracted from the genetic memory of one of his descendants by Abstergo Industries, and were relived as part of Project Legacy in 2012.
- Giovanni and his wife Maria shared the names of Ezio's parents, Giovanni and Maria Auditore da Firenze.
- Frater V.O.V. often thought of Giovanni and Maria, once even confusing Giovanni's memories with his own.
- Historically, Giovanni had three daughters.
- Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy (first appearance)
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue (mentioned only)
- Assassin's Creed
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Italian Wars: Chapter 4 – Perotto Calderon
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Rome: Chapter 2 – Giovanni Borgia
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Rome: Chapter 1 – Fiora Cavazza
- ↑ Assassin's Creed #012
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Rome: Chapter 4 – Giovanni Borgia
- ↑ 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy - Divine Science: Chapter 1 – Maria Amiel
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood - The Da Vinci Disappearance
- ↑ Assassin's Creed: Rogue