The Borgias Wiki
The Borgias Wiki

"War is ugly, Cardinal. Far uglier than I could ever be. One should approach it with extreme circumspection."
―Charles VIII of France[src]

Charles VIII was King of France, and the leader of one of the most powerful armies in Europe.


King of France and commander of one of the most feared armies in Europe, he claimed the throne of Naples, and was enticed by Cardinal Della Rovere to pursue those claims, in return for deposing Pope Alexander. Insecure about his height, looks and faith, he was charmed by Lucrezia Borgia on his way to seizing Rome, and later talked into an alliance by the pope, who agreed to recognize him as King of Naples.

However, Pope Alexander knew what King Charles did not--that The Plague had killed much of the population of Naples, and Prince Alfonso had intentionally left plague bodies stacked throughout the city as a line of defense against invaders. King Charles went to Naples, but as Pope Alexander had hoped, Charles himself became ill. He did not die, but was greatly weakened.

While still in Naples, Charles made alliance with the Pope's enemies, the Sforzas, and marched on Rome seeking revenge against the Borgias. Through strategy and deception, the Borgias convinced Charles the best course was to bypass Rome and return to France.[2]


Season one appearances
The Poisoned Chalice The Assassin The Moor
Lucrezia's Wedding The Borgias in Love The French King
Death, on a Pale Horse The Art of War Nessuno (Nobody)
Season two appearances
The Borgia Bull Paolo The Beautiful Deception Stray Dogs The Choice
Day of Ashes The Siege at Forli Truth and Lies World of Wonders The Confession