The Borgias (2011–2013)
8.1/10
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The Banquet of Chestnuts 

Cardinal Farnese exposes the embezzlement of Cardinal Versucci while the King of Naples insists the consummation of Lucrezia's marriage to his cousin be witnessed.

Director:

Jon Amiel

Writers:

Neil Jordan (creator), Guy Burt
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Irons ... Rodrigo Borgia
François Arnaud ... Cesare Borgia
Holliday Grainger ... Lucrezia Borgia
Joanne Whalley ... Vanozza Cattaneo
Lotte Verbeek ... Giulia Farnese
Sean Harris ... Micheletto
Thure Lindhardt ... Rufio
Gina McKee ... Caterina Sforza
Peter Sullivan ... Cardinal Ascanio Sforza
Sebastian De Souza ... Alfonso of Aragon
Leo Bill ... Cardinal Costanzo
Simon McBurney ... Johannes Burchart
Cyron Melville ... Cardinal Farnese
Matias Varela ... King Ferdinand II of Naples
Antal Leisen ... Cardinal Grimani (as Antal Leiszen)
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Storyline

The Pope consecrates new Cardinals including Giulia Farnese's brother. He's put in charge of the Vatican's financial records and finds that the treasury has been emptied. The Pope orders that former Cardinal Versucci, who is traveling the countryside, be found and taught the error of his way. Giulia proposes a way to assure the future loyalty of the consistory. Alfonso admits to his cousin King Ferdinand that he and Lucrezia did not spend their wedding night together. When he does get into her bed, she proposes a different kind of relationship. Ferdinand raises the issue of the unconsummated marriage with the Pope and demands that proof be provided that the marriage contract is complete. The Pope hosts a dinner for bankers and merchants from Venice where he accedes to their request to do something about Turkish interference in their trade routes. He declares a crusade against the Turks....and then new taxes are announced. Caterina Sforza's new ally strikes. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

pope | marriage | vatican | blackmail | nun | See All (49) »


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 May 2013 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Korda Studios, Etyek, Hungary See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Banquet of the Chestnuts began on the evening of October 31,1501 and did not conclude until two o'clock in the morning, November 1, 1501, All Saint's Day. See more »

Goofs

Ferdinand II died in 1496, so it would have been impossible for him to witness the consummation of Lucrezia's marriage in 1498. See more »

Quotes

Lucrezia Borgia: [Clearly angry and humiliated that she has to consummate her marriage in front of witnesses] The act may be done in the night, but I will have blood for this!
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Soundtracks

The Borgias Main Titles (Instrumental)
Performed by Trevor Morris
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User Reviews

 
"The act may be done in the night, but I will have blood for this"
19 August 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Season 1 may have started off a touch on the slow and finding-its-feet side, though none of the episodes in my opinion were less than decent and there were some very memorable little things and scenes, but things improved by quite a bit halfway through. Season 2 was consistently great, despite one dragged out subplot, with its best assets fantastic, while fininishing to me on a contender for the best episode of 'The Borgias' with "The Confession" (especially for the Juan's burial scene).

With "The Face of Death", Season 3 started off with a bang and on an immensely powerful note with 'The Borgias' best opening, dipped a little bit with "The Purge" and then returned on form with "Siblings" despite the controversial unconventional relationship that actually was handled extremely well. "The Banquet of Chestnuts" continues the incredibly high standard set by "Siblings", with some of the highest amount of tension on the show, most of it coming from one character in particular.

Maybe it's just me but Alfonso still comes over as a little bland and hasn't progressed as much as the other characters or had anything of note to make him as memorable, apart from his anger at not feeling accepted as part of the family thanks to Cesare.

Everything that makes me love 'The Borgias' and why it is so addictive to me is here in "The Banquet of Chestnuts". As to be expected, it looks wonderful. Have never been disappointed by the photography or costumes. Likewise have never been disappointed by the music, which has lost none of its beauty and intensity. The opening titles sequence is one of my all-time favourites for any television show and actually ever, it never fails to give me goosebumps. Ferdinand has not been on the show long and he is already one of its best opponents along with Caterina, he is a nasty piece of work and contempt has rarely been portrayed this well.

Francois Arnaud still has its dark intensity as the show's most interesting character and Holliday Grainger has progressed more than believably to the young girl not as capable of making her own decisions to the more cunning and assertive, and highly strung, Lucrezia portrayed in history. Lotte Verbeek is as ravishing, sympatheric and scheming as ever and her chemistry with Jeremy Irons, here given a new dimension, is one of "The Banquet of Chestnuts" highlights. What is also striking about Irons here is, as well as his commanding presence, distinctive line delivery that is expressive and powerful and ability to tell so much by body language and his face without having to say much, his irate anger, it is chilling to watch, almost like he was having a bad day and was releasing it on set. Especially when hearing of the marriage not yet consumated.

A lot of very-difficult-to-forget moments, not just the titular event, which is done in a way that one cannot believe that it was ever approved let alone filmed, this is meant in a good way just to say. The consumation was full of tension and emotion, a masterclass of editing and Lucrezia's hurt and shock got to me. The scenes between Rodrigo and Giulia are some of their best and sees a different dimension of genuine tension (am aware of having used this term a lot in this review, but that's what the episode is full of and is), and everything to do with Ferdinand, Rodrigo and Cesare had me on the edge of my seat. The ending makes one go "ohhhh, he's in for it now."

In summary, excellent episode. 9/10


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