Da Vinci's Demons is a TV series about Leonardo Da Vinci's fictional early life as an artist, inventor, idealist, and a genius intellectual, which premiered on Fox and Starz networks. It was written by David S. Goyer, who collaborated with Christopher Nolan on The Dark Knight Saga, and it stars Tom Riley. The story is, for the most part, realistic, drawing from historical events and showcasing real-life historical figures, but it also contains a Low FantasyMyth Arc that involves a search for a MacGuffin called "The Book of Leaves." This single volume contains hidden knowledge about the universe, and one's possession of it can radically alter the political power-field. Most people are unaware of this book, and those who do know of it generally have ties to the Vatican or The Sons of Mithras, an ancient cult that is dedicated to the pursuit of the book.Meanwhile, Da Vinci serves as the war engineer to the Medicis, making weapons for Lorenzo the Magnificent, and becomes caught up in the political intrigue surrounding Florentine nobility, which is in the middle of a conflict with Rome. The Medicis appreciate Leo's genius, but his unorthodox methods, and general nonchalant attitude, often put them in troublesome situations.It now has a character page, which could use some love. All character tropes should be moved there.
Da Vinci's Demons provides examples of the following tropes:
Abusive Parents: Piero da Vinci (Leonardo's father) most of the time, and Pope Sixtus IV towards his illegitimate son Riario
Absent-MindedArtista: Leonardo da Vinci, of course! He can come off especially bizarre to those around him using unorthodox methods to figure out a problem or focusing on it at the exclusion of everything else.
Ambiguously Bi: Tom Riley had said before the series that they were going to make sure da Vinci was not constrained, including by sexuality, and that they were going to attempt to do justice to the historical da Vinci.
Bi the Way: Leonardo. It turns out he was guilty of sodomy, and had in fact paid a prostitute. Da Vinci explained to Jacopo Saltarelli, the prostitute, that for him, sexuality isn't as simple as men or women.
Arc Words: "I am a son of earth and starry heaven. I am thirsty. Please give me something to drink from the fountain of memory."
"Time is a river."
Artistic License - History: The second season shows Lorenzo's diplomatic mission as a failure. Whereas in history the mission was a success and led the the lifting of the inderect on Florance.
Lorenzo actually did have sons: three in fact. Piero who succeeded him; Giovanni who became Pope Leo X(and was consecrated by Pope Sixtus' grand-nephew,) and Giuliano who became Duke of Nemours in the Peerage of France. This makes Lorenzo's Anti-French, Anti-Church policies a tad surprising.
Armor-Piercing Question: "As my brother fucked you in the arse, did you smile knowing you were doing the same to him?" Especially considering Lucretia rarely gets called out on her actions, seeing as she's operating in secret.
Asshole Victim: The judge who had been bribed by the Pazzi family to convict Leonardo at his sodomy trial.
Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Vlad Tepes is hopelessly insane from the tortures inflicted on him by the Turks and has devoted the rest of his life to devising the most cruel torments imaginable on anyone of Middle-Eastern persuasion who had the misfortune of being caught alive by his men. He openly admits that he is insane, but doesn't see any alternative for a person who has experienced things that he has.
Nico gets to "interrogate" Riario after he was tortured by him.
Black Cloak: Riario has one and is overall dressed to match his black soul ()
Brandishment Bluff: When Riario and his men are prepared to lay siege to Florence, da Vinci is under pressure to make more weapons. He ends up building a small shrapnel grenade and firing it from a crossbow to demonstrate what the grenade balls as big as a human will do when fired from a gigantic crossbow. Except that, as we find out after Riario falls for it, the giant grenades have no gunpowder or other explosives, and the giant crossbow is a hastily-constructed sham. Leonardo was bluffing.
Deadpan Snarker: There are several, but Leo and Zoroaster definitely stand out.
Demonic Possession: Nuns at a convent near Florence are affected by this in Episode 3. Actually staged by Lucretzia on Count Riario's orders, by poisoning the feet of the statue of Saint Anthony, which the nuns kiss as a sign of devotion, with a hallucinogenic.
Dirty Cop: Captain Dragonetti is something of a Renaissance equivalent.
Doing in the Wizard : Leonardo accomplishes this in "The Prisoner," writing off the idea of demonic possession and concluding the cause of the nuns' symptoms was a hallucinogenic fungus placed on the feet of the statue of St. Anthony.
Dracula: Vlad the Impaler shows up in episode 6 and is legitimately scary. And possibly supernatural.
The Dog Bites Back: Two examples. First after years of abuse, cruelty, and utter lack of respect at the hands of his father. Duke Alfonso exploits the tension between the Pope and him, to kill him and seize the throne. Carlo de Medici had to spent his entire life as he put it "waiting in the shadows," as he was both illegitimate and black he was deemed unfit to rule, or even have public life, and was shuttled about by his father. While his father did love him he ultimately put his reputation first, and Carlo was forced into a religious life. Carlo responded by killing Cosimo, and defecting to the Enemies of Man.
Establishing Character Moment: Pope Sixtus is introduced in a rather ironic and funny way. When we first see the pope, he is fully naked, in a large and opulent bath with a young boy and a knife to the boy's throat.
Da Vinci is first shown strapping Nico into his flying machine to try it out, showcasing one of da Vinci's best known designs, his ambition, and his recklessness.
At the end of the pilot, Lucretia is given a box that, when she opens it, is holding a finger with a ring still on it.
Vlad Tepes cut off The Abyssinian's hand and carved his castle into it.
Font Anachronism: The show features a glaring example on a building. It is even the trope. The well-known typeface, Gotham (used in countless modern ventures) is seen on a Renaissance building. Gotham was invented in 2002. That's a difference of nearly 500 years!
Good Colors, Evil Colors: Many characters have their own theme colors in their clothing that match their personality and the amount of bad they are. The Medicis are red, blue or yellow, while the opposing family Pazzi is all green. The Pope and everyone in Vatican are white and gold, while the Officers of Night and the Rome army wear all black, and so do Riario and Lupo Mercuri, because they're bad.
I Did What I Had to Do: Riario knows many of the things he's done are terrible, and that he will do terrible things in the future. But believes his actions are in service to God, and therefor necessary and just.
Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: A lot of things related to the series Myth Arc, including Leonardo's trances (drugs or time travel), Dracula's seeming immortality and the fact that he only seems damaged by fire and being hit with a giant cross, the Spear of Destiny, and surely more to come.
Even The Book of Leaves itself, although we haven't seen it; does the book the characters are after legitimately hold deep, secret truths of our existence, or do they just think it does?
Mercy Kill: Lucrezia delivers one to Becci, who she has framed as being the traitor working for Rome. He doesn't agree about the "merciful" part and accuses her of simply tying up loose ends.
Missing Mom: Da Vinci's mother disappeared when he was young, and he cannot remember her face.
Mook Chivalry: Giuliano de Medici effectively fights three men in quick succession. Speed is a factor, but they do wait in line.
More Dakka: The premise behind Da Vinci's pipe organ muskets.
Mushroom Samba: Leonardo experiences one in Episode 3, when Vanessa kisses him in gratitude, accidentally poisoning him with the same hallucinogen that she had been affected by, as there were traces still on her lips.
Refuge in Audacity: Leonardo da Vinci's method and persistence in trying to become Lorenzo's war engineer. Despite being a Heroic Bastard who therefore has no status, Leo makes advances on Lucrezia, hoping to interest her enough to get a job painting her portrait. And as soon as he does, he proceeds to show an unsoliciting Lorenzo the Magnificent his designs. Da Vinci basically refuses to stop when people (especially his father) tell him to. And in the end, it works.
Shout-Out: The Secret Vatican Archives contain, among other things, the Ark of the Covenant. There's also a page from a magical document that changes from one language to another, at one point resembling one of the octogram symbols from LOST. The Sword in the Stone is also present.
Nico is a dead ringer for Verrocchio's David◊ (not altogether surprisingly, since he's Verrocchio's model).
Slashed Throat: Seen in episode 1; Riario slashes the young boy's who had been bathing with Pope Sixtus, throat because he heard their evil plans, 2; Riario gets Captain Grunwald to chop off one of his troop member's throat (or the whole head) apparently to threaten Nico and 4; Riario and his troops question Florentines about Bible and slash their throats if they don't know the answer
Tasty Gold: Lorenzo bribes a guard with a gold coin while travelling incognito to deliver a message after being thrown into a dungeon and being unwilling to reveal his true identity. After the guard has bit the coin, Lorenzo implies that he had smuggled it to the cell in his bottom.
Time Travel: Its possibility is implied by the visions Leonardo has and his conversations with the both the Turk and Abyssinian.