Characters: Da Vinci's Demons
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Leonardo da Vinci
The Man Himself
Played By: Tom Riley
- The Ace: He's charming, handsome, brilliant, and skilled in the arts, sciences, and combat.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: As he tells Lorenzo, he takes many commissions but finishes few, because his attention always shifts before their completion.
- Awesome by Analysis: Many times; he can determine the architecture of a castle, the weaknesses of a combatant, and the inner workings of lost technology.
- Badass Beard: Usually keeps it neatly trimmed, though it gets rather ratty while he's imprisoned.
- Badass Bookworm: He's among the most capable combatants in the series, having been outmatched only by Vlad Tepes, Alfonso, and a particularly badass papal guard.
- Bi the Way: Turns out he is a sodomite, as he doesn't like being defined and labelled by something silly like sexuality.
- Combat Pragmatist: If he can't win a fight fairly, he will win it unfairly.
- Dual Wielding: His preferred fighting style, being completely ambidextrous.
- Gadgeteer Genius: He is of course Leonardo da Vinci and seems to have put more of his plans into actual action, like the rotating Cannon than the historical da Vinci ever did.
- Good Is Not Nice: Leonardo is a good character, but he can sometimes be a dick.
- Guile Hero: Though it's honestly not his strong suite, though that's more due to bad luck than anything.
- Historical-Domain Character: He was a real historical figure.
- Hyper Awareness: After seeing a model of the view from one tower carved into a human hand, he's able to completely deduce the architexture and layout of Vlad's castle.
- Insufferable Genius: Egotistical, irresponsible and obsessive but brilliant.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: His inusfferable genius qualities make him a bit of a jerk, as does his obsession with finding the Book of Leaves and his Mother, but ultimately he wants to do the right thing and will come to his friends aid.
- Large Ham: He hams it up when he straps down that magister and threatens to smear his image forever by showing everyone a photo of him fucking a pig. And many other times, such as when he turns down the Vatican's offer with his new guns while putting on a show of his loyalty for Lorenzo.
- Missing Mom: He mother's whereabouts have been unknown since his childhood. She was a member of the Sons of Mithras, and the last person known to possess the Book of Leaves.
- Sanity Slippage: After Leonardo is arrested, some are convinced he has slowly lost his mind in prison. Even Leo himself wonders that. And given his behavior at the trial...
- Sherlock Scan: Animated to look a lot like Leonardo's historical drawings and blueprints.
Played By: Laura Haddock
- Action Girl: When it comes down to it, she can usually handle herself.
- Foil: To da Vinci. She says herself that the two of them are living proof of his belief that people are capable of anything; he's proof of the heights they can reach, and she's proof of the depths they can sink to.
- Historical-Domain Character: Although not much is known besides the fact that she was Lorenzo's mistress.
- The Mole: She uses her relationship with Lorenzo as a means to gather information for Rome.
Lorenzo de' Medici
Played By: Elliot Cowan
- Authority Equals Asskicking: While not as skilled as his brother, he's shown to be able to more than hold his own when he needs to. Notably, in the season 2 finale, he almost effortlessly disarms Alfonso, who had been one of the only combatants in the series to outmatch Leonardo.
- Berserk Button: Being betrayed sets him in huge rage.
- Historical-Domain Character: He was a real historical figure.
- Hot-Blooded: Giuliano 's ghost claims he works best when angry.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Most of the time. When Leonardo's first prototype cannon explodes, he gives him another chance to fix the flaws in the design.
- The Resenter: He secretly always resented Giuliano for being better at him in martial pursuits and living a life free of responsibility, and ultimatley, for dying before him.
- Revenge Before Reason: When he gets mad enough. When Lorenzo thought Becci betrayed him, he had the man who had taught him as a child and advised him all of his life sentenced to a painful death, despite several others criticizing this and even suggesting that Becci might not have been the spy.
- Unstoppable Rage: Combines it with Tranquil Fury; when he's significantly angry, his mind becomes more focused, significantly improving his combat abilities.
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on his wife frequently; at the start of the series he's having an affair with Lucricia, and she's not his first mistress. Later in season 2, he resumes a romance from his youth with Ippolita, Alfonso's wife.
Giuliano de' Medici
Played By: Tom Bateman
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He is both the co-ruler of Florence and very good in a sword fight. He's notably more capable than his brother in combat, and his brother is a badass in his own right.
- Babies Make Everything Better: He impregnates Vanessa days before his death.
- Back for the Dead: He was set up to look killed, but turned out to be alive, only to actually be killed.
- The Charmer: He has this reputation; the Pazzis note that though Lorenzo is the brains of the Medici family and handles the politics, it's Giuliano who's charmed the hearts of Florence's people.
- Handsome Lech: He has a well earned reputation as a ladies man, helped by his good looks and the fact that his family rules the city.
- Hidden Depths: Originally presented as a small minded, anti-intellectual brute of a man, as the series progresses he's shown to be genuinely charming and caring, protective of his family, to truly believe in Florences' ideals, and to have more cunning than most credit him with.
- Historical-Domain Character: Like most of the main cast.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's rather hostile towards Leonardo as he sees the artist as a social climber, but he genuinely cares for his family and for Florence.
Played By: Gregg Chillin
- Ambiguously Brown: His exact race is unknown, as he's very dark for an Italian. He's implied to be a Half Breed, of some sort, and fans usually assume that he is of Arab decent. Or perhaps Persian since Zoroaster is the name of a famous Persian religious figure.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's been known to throw out a barb or two.
- The Lancer: To Leonardo
- Loveable Rogue: He's a gambler and a con-artist, but a loyal friend.
Nico, full name Niccolò Machiavelli
Played By: Eros Vlahos
- Butt Monkey: He's been both tortured and kidnapped by Riario.
- Deadpan Snarker: "Like I said, we're all going to die."
- Historical-Domain Character: Although his identity was ambiguous in the first season the second season finale has given us his full name, and his character isn't just based on Machiavelli, he is Machiavelli.
- The Smart Guy: He's well versed in Florentine law.
- Took a Level in Badass: Over the course of the series, eventually standing up to Riario, Leonardo, and Clarice at separate occasions.
Played By: Blake Ritson
- Affably Evil: He tends to be very cordial, be it with friends or enemies.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: He's a count, leader of the Papal armies, and a coldblooded murderer.
- Badass: One of the more capable combatants in the series.
- Badass Bookworm: Not quite up to Leonardo's level, but he's one of the few who comes close. He's able to calculate the rate of fire of Leonardo's pipe-organ muskets after watching a single demonstration.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Riario is the Renaissance equivalent.
- Cultured Badass: He projects this aura.
- Bastard Bastard: He's the bastard son of the fake Pope and a jewish prostitute.
- The Dragon: To Sixtus.
- Driven to Suicide: After his Heel Face Door Slam, he slashes his own wrists. It doesn't stick.
- Faux Affably Evil: Also this. Really depends on who he's talking to.
- The Heavy: He's the antagonist who the plot for most of the first season.
- Heel Face Door Slam: After a traumatic series of experiences in South America, throws himself on the mercy of his uncle, the real Sixtus, begging for either absolution or death. Sixtus grants him neither, refusing to forgive him for standing by while his daughter was slaughtered.
- Historical-Domain Character: Also an actual historical figure.
- The Reveal: Later in the series it's revealed that Riario and Lucrezia are cousins.
- Shadow Archetype: To Leonardo. They're brilliant bastards with abusive fathers. Leonardo let his experience bring out the best in him, while Riario let it bring out his worst.
- Sinister Shades: Pitch black wrap-arounds. Such an iconic part of his image that Leonardo dons a pair while impersonating him in season 2.
- Smug Snake: Can certainly come off as this.
- The Sociopath: He has a clear lack of empathy for other human beings.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: He's the patron saint of this trope. He hardly ever raises his voice. Parodied in season two where Leonardo impersonates him.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: He's tall, he has dark hair and wears dark clothes, and he's been known to throw out a snark or two.
- Torture Technician: He threatens to castrate Zoroaster, and have him become a castrato singer on the Vatican choir.
Played By: Hera Hilmar
- Babies Make Everything Better: Sleeps with Giuliano and finds out she's carrying his child days before he dies.
- The Chick: She's the heart and conscious of Leonardo's friends.
- You Are in Command Now: In the season 2 finale, she is declared Regent of Florence after Clarice flees the city with her children, leaving Vanessa's new born son as the only Medici left in the city.
Played By: Lara Pulver
- Arranged Marriage: To Lorenzo, to further alliances between Florence and Rome. While the alliance didn't last, the marriage is a mostly successful one.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: She's capable of defending herself.
- Badass: Is able to both verbally and physically handle herself.
- Deadpan Snarker: Her tongue is as sharp as the knife she'll stick in you.
- Dramatic Irony: She chews out her husband for having an affair with a traitor. Season 2 has her engage in an affair with Carlo, who is revealed to be worse than a traitor.
- Historical-Domain Character: Like her husband and brother-in-law.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Clarice and Lorenzo's marriage was arranged. They're pretty happy together, even with Lorenzo's infidelity.
- Politically Active Princess: Well, not a princess, but close enough. She's an equal partner to her husband in ruling the city, and takes over full time when he leaves on an extended political mission.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: She doesn't just sit around on the throne; she's active in running the city as well as the Medici bank.
- Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: In the season 2 finale, she flees Florence with her children, deep in shame over her affair with the traitor Carlo, and after learning that a massive sum of money was withdrawn from the bank by a member of the Medici family and that she'll now be held accountable.
- Silk Hiding Steel: She's a lady, but much more knowledgeable and canny than most would assume.
- Your Cheating Heart: Season one drops hints that she has an interest in her brother-in-law, Giuliano, but they never act on it. Season 2 has her begin an affair with Carlo da Medici, her husband's great uncle(who's about his age.)
Rome and Allies
Federico da Montefeltro/Duke of Urbino
Played By: Vincent Riotta
- Badass: He's more than a match for Leonardo in combat, only being defeated when da Vinci exploits his lack of depth perception.
- Blood Knight: He's very eager to lead his men into combat; he doesn't particularly care who's paying him.
- The Brute: He's employed by Rome to act as their muscle.
- Combat Pragmatist: Once he lost his eye, he also removed the bridge of his nose so as not to lose his peripheral vision. Unfortunately, he can't do anything about his lack of depth perception.
- Even Evil Has Standards: After taking Florence and imprisoning Clarice, he refuses to rape her, stating that he'll only have her if she's willing.
- Genius Bruiser: He shows himself to be capable of strategy.
- Face-Heel Turn: He's initially engaged by Lorenzo as an ally against the Vatican. This lasts for all of twenty minutes of screen time before he opts to take the Pope's offer, instead.
- Historical-Domain Character: He was a real historical figure.
- Punch Clock Villain: He and his men are mercenaries, after all.
- Red Right Hand: He has a missing eye, which is a sign of his villainy.
Francesco (Alessandro) Della Rovere/Pope Sixtus IV
Played By: James Faulkner
- Acting for Two: James Faulkner plays both Sixtus and his brother.
- Bald of Evil: His baldness marks him as evil.
- Cain and Abel: He's the evil sibling. His brother, the real Francesco, is the good one.
- Evil Twin: To Lucrezia's father, the real Francesco Della Rovere.
- Evil Uncle: To Lucrezia. He imprisons her father, who's the real pope, and killed her younger sister right in front of her.
- Depraved Bisexual: He first shows up molesting a young man while holding a knife to his throat, though there are later allusions to him having affairs with women as well, with comments by one of the women that he "hurts" her.
- Enfante Terrible: As a child, he had attempted to drown his brother.
- Evil Sounds Deep: He has quite an imposing voice.
- Large Ham: KISS THIS RING!!
- Manipulative Bastard: He tries tempting Da Vinci with the Vatican Secret Archives, and claims that the Turk is actually a secret agent of the Ottoman Empire to discourage Da Vinci.
- Knight Templar: His ultimate plan is taking Florence and the rest of Italy to wage war against the Ottoman Empire.
- Pedophile Priest: The first we see of him, he's naked in his bath with a young boy and a knife on the boy's neck. Subverted in that he isn't actually a member of the clergy at all, he's just impersonating one.
- The Usurper: To Francesco, the true Pope Sixtus. He is shown to have initiated a coup, in the second season.
Francesco de' Pazzi
Played By: Elliot Levey
Played By: Nick Dunning
- The Brute: He strangles those poor nuns, obviously feeling pleasure from it, all the while claiming to be doing the work of God.
- Face-Heel Turn: He's apparently a fallen Son of Mithras.
- Heel-Face Turn: Eventually he's enlightened to the fact that Sixtus is an impostor and begins working against him.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Gets a well-deserved beating from Sixtus.
- Kill It with Fire: His ultimate solution for the "possessed" nuns is burning them all.
- Shadow Archetype:
- Seems to be one for Zoroaster, doing the heavy work for Riario much like Zoroaster does for Leonardo.
- To Leonardo, as he's a fallen Son of Mithras who became guardian of the Vatican Secret Archives, whereas Leonardo was offered to become one by Sixtus and refused.
Florence and Allies
Captain Nazzareno Dragonetti
Played By: Ian Pirie
- Badass: He admits he's not as skilled of a swordsman as Leonardo, but he can definitely hold his own in a fight and take a hell of a beating.
- Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: Dragonetti is always switching sides and playing them against one another.
The Prisoner/ Francesco Della Rovere/ Pope Sixtus IV
Played By: James Faulkner
- Acting for Two: He has the same actor as Sixtus.
- Cain and Abel: His brother had usurped the papacy from him, in addition to attempting to drown him as a child. According to Lucrezia, Alessandro has always resented the fact that Francesco is the firstborn.
- The Chess Master: He's shown to be a master of go, and he's playing the long game to gain his freedom and vengeance all in one swoop, passing up opportunities to escape because the time isn't right yet.
- Cruel Mercy: When Riario throws himself at his mercy, begging for either absolution or death, he refuses to grant either, forcing Riario to live with the weight of his sins.
- Hermit Guru: Played With. He's an Italian prisoner, but he functions as an advice-giving hermit..
- Revenge Before Reason: Bizarrely mixed with Cruel Mercy; he refuses to kill Riario when Riario tries to offer his services to the Prisoner as penance, unable to forgive Riario for the role he played in his daughter's death, despite the fact that Riario is perhaps the most valuable pawn he could hope for, but at the same time, he refuses to kill Riario, either.
- Smart People Play Chess: He is usually seen to be playing the Chinese game of go, and is shown to be quite capable of strategy.
- Shadow Archetype: To the Pope. The similarities in their deception are discussed by Lucrezia and The Turk.
- Walking Spoiler: His exact nature is a major reveal, during season 2.
Sons of Mithras
Played By: Alexander Siddig
- The Obi-Wan: To Leonardo, as his most frequent contact with the Sons of Mithras.
Cosimo de' Medici/The Italian