The Borgias – A Spring Of Canon

I love it when a show raises my favorite question: ‘Are this brother and this sister going to bang each other?’

THE BORGIAS

I don’t even feel the need to defend Cesare/Lurezia as a ship because everyone who watches the show ships them. EVERYONE. OK, probably not everyone, but essentially everyone. I refer to ships like Cesare/Lucrezia as gateway incest ships. Often people who have never shipped incest before, who often find it disgusting, will still ship it. Maybe even super hard. Sometimes these sorts of ships will be created through a lack of other viable options, but more often than not, it’s a positive response and not a matter of elimination. Gateway incest ships tend to take over the fandom and be the most popular ship. There are people who read books, watch movies and TV, and don’t spend much time shipping. It doesn’t become their life like it does with me. But for a lot of us, particularly those of us on the internet right now reading entries like this, not shipping was never an option.

(That was an X-Men: First Class reference, and if you didn’t get it you’ve obviously never been on tumblr. See below for the delicious Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto delivering the line ‘Peace was never an option’. Subtitled is a delightful parody, only one of many I have seen, all of them funny.)

Another picture of Michael Fassbender…included for obvious reasons

And so for those people who can’t help but ship, they might find themselves shipping incest in these certain occasions. Of course, the thing about a gateway incest ship is that you sound ridiculous when you say that they’re the only incest ship that you ship, or the only incest ship that you’ll ever ship, because once you cross that line there’s really no going back. I’m speaking from personal experience. THERE’S NO GOING BACK! That’s why I delight in gateway incest ships. Not only because I can ship them open and free without even getting weird looks (or sensing that I’m getting weird looks because actually I’m on my computer and can’t see anyone looking at me and they couldn’t even actually look at me if they wanted to), and because it opens people up to other incest ships.

Other gateway incest ships include Justin and Alex from Wizards Of Waverly Place (see my sidebar)…

…and any combination but predominantly Peter/Susan and Edmund/Lucy from The Chronicles Of Narnia.

Oh, and Wincest (Dean/Sam) from Supernatural, of course, although that’s a slash ship, which I consider to be of a different nature in many though not all ways.

Oh, just a warning: do NOT do a “wincest” google images search unless you know what you are in for.

…cannot be unseen…

So, stopping there, what I’m saying is that this isn’t a defense of the ship or even a guide as much as just an introduction and recommendation of/to the show and Cesare/Lucrezia.

The Borgias had a short season of nine episodes all of which have already aired on Showtime. It was created and written entirely by Neil Jordan.

If you haven’t heard of Neil Jordan, you should feel bad. For he is a talented man, and he is Irish, which is one of the best things a person can be if you ask me.

He wrote and directed Ondine, starring Colin Farrell. It’s about a fisherman who finds a woman in his net.

Is she a mythical sea creature? Will they fall in love? Is his daughter as cute as a bug’s nose?

These are questions that you should only know the answer to because you’ve seen it. And (as if you needed another reason!) this lovely song – Lisa Hannigal-Braille – plays during the credits. I’m sending you over to my friend youtube so you can hear it.

And I just watched High Spirits. Is it zany? Yes. Is it funny? Not as funny as the first scene of Peter O’Toole’s character on the phone with his creditor would lead you to believe it is, but yes. Will you like the ending? Probably.

He also directed Interview With A Vampire. Need I say more? Even if you don’t like that movie, you can’t really fault the directing, can you? It’s a beautiful and lavish production. As someone who tends to like all things vampire, I am probably not the most impartial judge. But that’s a good movie, am I right?

Among his more prestigious works are The Crying Game, Michael Collins, and The End Of The Affair. There are worse ways to spend your time. I’ve only seen the latter, but I’m confident they’re all quite good. You can tell he’s actually Irish because of his attention to all of those complicated and unpleasant politics.

Now, you may or may not have heard of Neil Jordan, but surely you’ve heard of the Borgias? Powerful family of the fifteenth century? Spaniards living in Italy? Rodrigo Borgia, aka Alexander VI, one of the most infamously scandalous popes? His daughter, Lucrezia Borgia, rumored poisoner, rumored to have bore both her brother and her father’s children? His son, Cesare Borgia, inspiration for Machiavelli’s The Prince? Those Borigas?

Perhaps you’ve encountered them in other works of historical fiction? You can, no doubt, imagine my interest in Lucrezia’s story, and it will not surprise you that I am familiar with some of their other manifestations.

First to mind is the book The Borgia Bride, by Jeanne Kalogridis. Believe it or not, I read this book a few years ago with zero idea of what to expect. As much time as I spend hunting out incest stories in books and movies, I am as often surprised to find it in movies and books I invest my time in for other reasons. As you must have surmised, I did not know the story of the Borgias when I picked up the book. It is told from the point of view of Sancha of Aragon, who marries the youngest Borgia son Gioffre. Although her eldest brother marries their aunt Giovanna (if I recall correctly), Sancha rather frowns on her father-in-law sucking grapes out of his daughter’s bosom (if I recall correctly). I enjoyed the book. But, then again, why wouldn’t I?

Later on, I found my way to a Borgias miniseries that aired in 1981. What can I say about it? Not a lot of good stuff. The guy who played Cesare was not attractive. There was no charisma.

The actress who played Lucrezia – Anne-Louise Lambert – was not much better, a pity and a mystery since I happen to know that she is a fantastic actress.

She is in one of my favorite movies, The Draughtsman’s Contract, from one year later in 1982, and she is simply marvelous.

I find very few miniseries from before the late 90s that are tolerable to watch, and this miniseries was no exception (unlike I, Claudius, which is somehow still great all these years later). However, I will say this: they didn’t pull too many punches. They took those rumors and told that story, and that was what I wanted to see. If I recall correctly, Cesare and Lucrezia don’t actually have sex, but there are a number of scenes in which they kiss or nearly kiss, and their interactions are always tainted with a touch of shame. I’ve included some screenshots. I’ll post some scenes on youtube if someone requests them, just drop the request into the comments section below.

Cesare greets his mother, Vanozza

Rodrigo and his mistress (Giulia Farnese?) in the foreground, Cesare and Lucrezia in the back

The same as above, only a different scene. I think Lucrezia was being sent away in this part.

Lucrezia tries to calm Cesare, if I remember right

Rodrigo and a very hesitant Lucrezia share a creepy pre-coital moment

Lucrezia and Gioffre (who is gay in this version) goof around

Cesare visits Lucrezia in a convent while she’s carrying Rodrigo’s child to term

Sancia (who is also sleeping with Cesare, unless I’m getting my redheds mixed up) and Lucrezia are catty with each other

Lucrezia and Cesare dance together at a masquerade – lots of UST

Cesare darkens her door, while he has someone off murdering her husband, I believe

After Lucrezia faints upon learning of her husband’s death, Cesare carries her back to her bed and waits until she wakes up

Beware her wrath!

A frosty dinner

He starts to win her forgiveness

Oh no! Lucrezia pulls away from the kiss

So, obviously the hair/facial hair is awful and I do not find this actor (Oliver Cotton) very attractive, but those aren’t choices that I can fault too much. However, he is way too old. Rodrigo, played by Adolfo Celi, is just plain old creepy. That man never would have been elected pope.

The Spanish did a version of the Borgia story only a few years ago in Los Borgia.

A good movie, with good looking and talented actors (Rodrigo, played by Lluis Homar, in particular, was excellent – not creepy, but not too “good”-seeming either. That whole ruthless but in it for his family thing). The cinematography is gorgeous. This version has a lot in common with the TV show. In fact, they’re companions in many ways.

But…no incest. I kept waiting for it, hopeful, but nothing. There was plenty to ship between Cesare and Lucrezia, and she forgave him for A LOT of things, but the two of them never cross that line. *sniff* What a waste!

Their scenes are sexually charged, and a couple of times they get weird looks, but nothing actually “happens”.

Again, I took some screen shots which I’ll include below. The cast for this film is absolutely gorgeous. Cesare is played by Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Lucrezia by Maria Valverde, and Caterina Sforza by the lovely Paz Vega.

Vanozza

Cesare and Lucrezia’s first scene together is him talking to her while she’s changing her clothes behind some gossamer curtains. Uh-huh.

And then they hug and she’s not even dressed yet!

Cesare being typically abusive to his squeeze. It was pretty hot. I almost shipped *them*.

Rodrigo and Lucrezia get their creep on. But it was mostly sweet. They really came off as such a loving family.

Cesare chases Lucrezia.

Oops, caught. Cue guilty look. Defenestration time? (Game of Thrones reference.)

Post murdered-husband angst.

While a different sort of film, Contes Immoraux (or Immoral Tales), a French production from 1974 containing four different shorts, dedicates one of its blocks to Lucrezia.

Unlike the other three, the Borgia portion doesn’t actually have any story to it. It’s been almost two years since I saw it, but if I recall correctly, it’s basically just 20 minutes of Lucrezia having sex with Cesare and Rodrigo.

Orgy would be too generous of a word. So would porn. There’s a baby at the end. And all sorts of sacrilege.

I wouldn’t recommend Contes Immoraux, but I did like one of the stories: Erzebet Bathory. I’m going to tell it to you, so if you don’t want to be spoiled skip the rest of this paragraph: it begins in a village, as all of the young women are being invited to come to the castle of a wealthy countess. They are all very happy to be honored in this way.

When they get there, they all take their clothes off, and for the next 10-15 minutes all you see is a bunch of naked women running around excited, showering and bathing. The Countess is always accompanied by a young man, who then makes sure that all of the young women are doing as they should. And then…are you ready?…all of the young women are slaughtered, and the countess bathes in their blood! Awesome, right? I mean, terrible, but awesome. Hardcore. And then the young man turns out to be a young woman, and she helps to take down the countess with her knight lover. She might even stab the countess herself. I can’t remember. I mean, it came as a surprise, because I was kind of rolling my eyes at all of the gratuitous lesbianism and whatnot, and then *bam!*, murder and betrayal.

There’s a film from the 40’s with Orson Welles as Cesare called Prince of Foxes. Cesare is very much the bad guy, and it’s told from the point of view of one of his underlings who grows a heart and redeems himself. The movie’s not bad, really, though a little boring. As far as I could tell, Cesare only has one scene with Lucrezia, and I got a screen shot. It’s her husband’s funeral, and Cesare leans over to her and whispers that she should pretend to be sadder. That’s the gist of what he says, anyway.

I haven’t seen any other stuff. What does exist is not easy to get a hold of (curse you, Netflix!!!)

But there is a new miniseries that is going to air in Europe at some point, developed by a man named Tom Fontana. They’re done filming it, I believe, and hopefully we’ll get some dates soon. It should be pretty, whatever happens, because apparently it’s the most expensive series ever made for the respective “studios” involved – one of which is Canal +, if I’m not wrong. The story of the Borgias is always going to be a good one, whether Lucrezia and Cesare get it on or not. I’ve heard rumors of some incest in this one, though it may not be the very nice kind.

Apparently Mario Puzo, author of the Godfather novels, also wrote a novel about the Borgias, and it contains incest. It’s called Los Borgia, or also The Family.

I also wanted to share with you a cut scene from the video game Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, which depicts Cesare and Lucrezia as incestuous. assassin's creed brotherhood cesare and lucrezia borgia kiss

The short clip can be seen here on youtube.  I don’t know their fully story from the game, but in this scene they share a kiss, and she explains that she misses him. It all seems very entertaining.

Well, all of that is my preamble to talking about the Showtime Borgias, which was renewed for a second season and will hopefully return next April.

The pilot begins quite early on, so even though a lot of what happens is part of history, I don’t want to spoil anything for you. I’ll just give you a basic lay out.

Rodrigo Borgia, when the series begins, is a cardinal in the Catholic Church. In fact, he’s vice chancellor. I don’t know what that means, but it does seem to be a position of some authority, even among cardinals, which are just about as high as you get without actually being pope.

He already has a reputation for being corrupt, even ignoring the fact that he has taken a long-term mistress named Vanozza, and she has born him FOUR children: Juan, 19, the eldest, who has a military career in front on him; Cesare, 18?, the second eldest, now a cardinal at his father’s behest, though he longs for a different life, preferably in the military; Lucrezia, 14, daddy and Cesare’s little princess; and little Gioffre, who is around 12-14.

When the current pope dies, the College of Cardinals locks itself up until they vote on a new pope. Rodrigo has Cesare working on the outside to help bribe the other cardinals for their votes. This is basically the plot of the first episode.

We also meet Cardinal Della Rovere, who is disgusted with the impurity of the church and in particular with Rodrigo. After Rodrigo succeeds in getting the papacy, he leaves in protest, and spends most of the first season trying to raise an army to take down Rodrigo. I’m not going to summarize the plot of the first season, but we meet a lot of interesting people, like Machiavelli:

Cardinal Sforza to whom I bear an irrational and inappropriate amount of love:

The French king:

Alfonso and the other Naples folks:

Cesare’s assassin Micheletto:Vanozza’s husband:

Rodrigo’s new lover Giulia Farnese:and some less interesting people, like Lucrezia’s eventual lover Paolo:and Cesare’s eventual lover Ursula “horse face” Bonadeo:The best things about this show:

1)      The relationships among the various members of the Borgia family.

  1. Cesare/Lucrezia (duh!)
  2. Cesare/Juan
  3. Cesare/Rodrigo
  4. Cesare/Vanozza
  5. Rodrigo/Juan
  6. Juan/Gioffre

2)      The complex and original characters.

  1. Rodrigo
  2. Cesare
  3. Micheletto
  4. Juan
  5. Alfonso
  6. Sancha
  7. The French king

3)      The random but somehow perfect humor

4)      Cesare

  1. Cesare’s eyes
  2. The rest of Cesare’s face
  3. Cesare’s back
  4. Cesare’s tight leather pants
  5. Cesare’s chemistry with every damn character
  6. Etc.

The bad things about this show:

1)      TMI from time to time : Rodrigo and menstruating Giulia Farnese I’m looking at you

2)      The dialogue: I will sing Neil Jordan’s praises always, but sometimes I was really facepalming. It felt like it was trying too hard.

3)      The boring. There were times when it really did drag a little. It wasn’t OMG after OMG. And I will warn you, there are entire episodes where Cesare and Lucrezia don’t interact, and if you’re watching the show for them, it will kill you. I’m going to compare it to Boardwalk Empire, a really good show that was frequently boring. The Della Rovere scenes, in particular, made me want to fast forward. Also any scene in between Cesare and Ursula, who, you may soon notice, is almost universally despised by the fandom.

Casting!

I’m sorry I don’t know where to credit this, and I wish I did because it’s lovely.

Rodrigo Borgia, a.k.a. Pope Alexander VI is played by Jeremy Irons. I have always loved Jeremy Irons. I can’t even tell you exactly why. He’s one of those older men (he’s almost the exact same age as my father) that I have always found consistently attractive. Of course he’s been in a billion different things, but I always remember him most from his roles in:

Stealing Beauty, in which he plays a dying writer ( I think) who sort of tries to seduce Liv Tyler’s teenage character.

And even though I’ve only seen the movie once, and it was years and years ago, I always remember it being super hot.

Unlike Lolita, which I just watched, and it was not hot at all. I read the book a few years ago, so I knew perfectly well what I was in for, but I just didn’t care for Jeremy Irons as Humbert Humbert. It wasn’t totally un-hot…But not a roaring success.

There’s The Lion King, of course, but that’s just a voice thing. I never seem to connect Jeremy Irons with Scar, and I’m glad, because I’m afraid if I did, that’s all I would ever hear in his voice.

The Merchant Of Venice is another film of his I revisit from time to time. I just mentioned this movie in another entry, but why? Why? I can’t remember. I guess I’ll have to look it up. *steps away*  Aha! Al Weaver, or The Kid, from Doom. He was in it. Jeremy Irons’ character in this movie is highly likeable. I just-I don’t know-I just really like him a lot.

Fulvia

His name is Antonio – not a name you can wrong with when it comes to me, since I’m, like, Marc Antony’s biggest fan on the entire planet ever, except for Fulvia, his second wife, and maybe Cleopatra.

Another favorite character he’s played is Brom in Eragon. That movie did not do well in theaters, even though it’s a decent movie. I’ve read the books, so don’t be getting on my case about that. I wasn’t crazy about the books. None of my ships were ever going to go anywhere, and they were so long with so much of what I would consider to be boring “padding”. I was thrilled when I saw that the movie had stripped the story down to it’s bare essentials. Well, I mentioned all of this in my cartoon/movie comparison for Avatar: The Last Airbender. Long story short: Brom is a great character.

Jeremy Irons was in a movie that is of some interest to this blog, called Damage, which I actually just saw this week. He stars as a British politician who begins having an affair with his son’s girlfriend and eventual fiancee, played by Juliette Binoche. That is the entire plot of the movie. You can tell from the very beginning that it’s going to end in some variety of tragedy, and if you laugh once then I owe you money. La Binoche is, of course, a gorgeous woman, but I honestly don’t understand why she has to ruin my viewing experience with her man hair-cut, even if she does still look gorgeous with it.

I can’t say I really enjoyed this movie. There are lots of sex scenes, but they are totally ridiculous. I don’t know how else to describe them. The end was earned, but it still had me sort of rolling my eyes. I sympathized somewhat with her, but I just wanted to smack Jeremy Irons’ character around the block. There was a daughter in addition to the son, who spent a lot of time frowning and I think I missed the whole point of her.

It’s quintessentially a film about passion, and I suppose it did a pretty good job at that. I’m just not much of a fan of passion, I guess. Unless it’s between members of a family. Weird, but I’ve scanned my mind and come to that conclusion. Otherwise, I think it just makes you weak. But if it’s your family, then it’s worth it.

Well, the reason I’m bothering to discuss this movie I obviously wasn’t crazy about, is because of Juliette Binoche’s character’s background. Her name is Anna, and she had a brother named Aston. Their family traveled around a lot when she was young, to different countries and such. So they really only had each other. And they were very close, and spent all of their time together, and such. But when she was 15 and he was 16, he saw her kissing another boy and he flipped out. I don’t think anything physical had happened between them, but his jealousy was obviously of a sexual nature here, because Aston yells “You’ll let him f–k you, they’ll all f–k you” or something. Whatever, you get the gist. And she gets a little scared and makes him leave. And then he sits outside her door all night yelling and crying, but she doesn’t let him in. And then he kills himself.

And she never really got over it.

She has a great line, something like: “You should be careful of the damaged ones. Because they know they can survive anything.”

Of course, I know what I just said about in-family passion being OK, but this Aston kid isn’t getting any admiration from me. He sounds more like a quitter to me than anything else. Still, it’s kind of beautiful in its way.

And Anna’s mom creates quite the awkward situation at lunch when she declares that Anna’s new fiance (the son of Jeremy Irons’ character) looks like Aston. I guess we know why Anna can’t choose between father and son.

Miranda Richardson is also in this movie, playing Jeremy Irons’ wife. She also had a terrible haircut (though you do have to remember this was made in 1992), but in her case it was much more appropriate since she was the less-sexy wife character. Miranda Richardson is another actress that I just really, really like. Even if I hate her character, I still find myself enjoying that character. Anyway, I bring her up because she was in another movie that had incest in it, called The Mad Monkey or Twisted Obsession, which I wrote about in my entry on the movie Doom.

I’ve seen lots of other stuff featuring him, but I’m going to leave it there.

I’m not familiar with Francois Arnaud (Cesare), a Quebecois actor who does English like a native speaker, or Holliday Grainger, who has a magically lyrical accent/voice that makes some of her stupid lines pleasant to listen to.

Honestly, I’m not too crazy about her as an actress, as a beauty, or Lucrezia as a character, but I’m also not complaining.

I’ll wait to see what the second season is like. She did do a great job with Lucrezia’s innocence, and made her youth believable. And she’s got stellar chemistry with Francois Arnaud.

The biggest, most pleasant surprise for me in casting was Joanne Whalley.

She’s one of my most favorite actresses.

I wouldn’t watch something just because she was in it, but I can’t help but love and root for her characters. There’s just something…enchanting about her. I don’t know.

It helps that she is one half of one of my favorite romances of all time, and one that has been a formative part of me since my earliest childhood.

I’m speaking of Sorsha and Madmartigan from Willow. Willow is a fantasy film from the 80s – not a point in its favor. But I am sitting here telling you that Willow is one of my favorite movies of all time. Top 3. TOP EFFING THREE! And it was directed by the redoubtable Ron Howard. It’s got pretty fantasy stuff, and good action stuff, and heartwarming stuff – but watch it for Sorsha and Madmartigan!

David Oakes (Juan, el pobre) is unfamiliar to me, but hot damn:

Going in, I was familiar with Colm Feore, who plays Della Rovere (I remember him most from the Stephen King TV miniseries Storm of the Century, in which he plays a creepy demon guy), and the guy who plays Vanozza’s husband, because he played Cicero in Rome.

And this is perfect, because I dislike him, because he played Cicero, and I dislike Cicero because he was always ripping on Marc Antony, and I don’t even have to explain why I dislike that (because I like Marc Antony) because I JUST DID!

Before I delve into the Cesare/Lucrezia goodness, I will take some time to mention a few other storylines that I liked.

First is Sancha. Juan goes to Naples to check her out as a bride for his younger brother Gioffre, and we meet Sancha, and she’s just badass. A sharp, clever tongue, and she’s a total slut but just doesn’t give a f—k and I admire that. Sancha’s half-brother (in the TV show, though historically that’s inaccurate) is Alfonso. There’s just something about Alfonso. He’s funny, and he’s got this squeaky voice that would be so annoying if I just didn’t love every single thing he was saying (he and Lucrezia, when they eventually marry, will be the *perfect* match! For that reason alone).

Their father is practically catatonic, and Alfonso is constantly saying insulting things to him, but he’s also the one that feeds him and there’s a pretty tender moment later on that I don’t want to spoil for you. Their father is also batsh-t crazy, but I don’t want to spoil that for you either. However, the place where Sancha takes Juan to have sex totally plays into how fearless she is.

Juan’s feelings for Sancha probably go further than the feelings he’s ever had for any other woman romantically, but the marriage goes at planned. I don’t know how old Sancha is supposed to be. 17, 19? And like I mentioned, Gioffre is practically pre-pubescent.

But they get married anyway. And the next day Sancha is in Juan’s bed having loud sex, and like the honey badger she just doesn’t give a f—k. Sancha was really sweet with Gioffre, and Juan was sweet and asked her to be. It was great. And Lucrezia, for no reason whatsoever, took an instant dislike to her, which I can’t wait to see explored. And I want Cesare (who was rumored to be involved with her as well, and that was certainly the case in The Borgia Bride) to bang her too. So much to look forward to.

Lastly is Cardinal Sforza. I just like him. And Rodrigo catches him having sex with his “distant” (or so he claims) cousin and that was even after I was like “there’s just something about this guy”. Peter Sullivan is the actor in question, but I didn’t recognize anything from his filmography.His scene with the cousin (her name is Gabriella, different last name) was just so great. They were chasing each other around the room, and it was just perfect. It looked like fun. They were having fun.

This is my favorite. Look at her smile here. She’s totally in love with him. I wish it was higher resolution so that you could see her smile better.Gabriella is an incredibly well-developed character considering she was onscreen less than 45 seconds.

And then, instead of just walking out, she backs out so that she can keep looking at him!

He’s got another cousin, Caterina, who looks like a major HBIC and I hope we’ll see more of her:

This is the same character that is played by Paz Vega in the Spanish film.

So, Cesare and Lucrezia…Where to begin?

In the first episode, Lucrezia is about 14 or so, and Cesare is about 18, I believe. The first season spans at least a complete year, and probably a few months or more than that. But this was a different time, of course, and 14 was marrying and mothering age.

The Lucrezia we meet at the beginning is in many ways like a girl, but she wises up pretty quicly. Cesare is having sex in one of his first scenes, and has none of his sister’s ignorance or innocence when it comes to other matters (such as political) either. In that way there’s a large gap between them, but she manages to bring out the best in him in pretty much every way.

It’s hard to reconcile the Cesare we see when he’s with Lucrezia, with the one that he is when he’s with his assassin Micheletto, for example, and yet at the same time you just absorb that he’s this incredibly complex person. And maybe the only pure thing about him is the love he has for his sister. He’s so gentle with her, and kind. In fact, the contrast is what makes those moments all the more sweet and rich and squee-worthy.

So, there’s going to be some spoilers ahead. You can quit now if you like. And not just spoilers for the show, but some historical spoilers, and statements from The Powers That Be.

Well, historically, I don’t believe there’s any proof of incest. That’s what I’ve read. The Borgias were a close-knit family, a little introverted, and Lucrezia and Cesare were close, but it wasn’t a case of everyone knowing what was going on behind closed doors. Lucrezia’s first husband, Giovanni Sforza, made an accusation of incest. He was an aggrieved party in a number of ways, however, so he’s probably not very reliable. (Of course, on the show, he deserved just about everything he got. Ass.) I think his accusation pertained to Rodrigo as well. If you can’t tell, I’m not in the mood to research this myself. If you really want to go know, google it. I’m just going to go by what I remember. He was probably just trying to besmirch the family after they put him on trial for impotence to get an annulment for his marriage to Lulu.

I’m not sure what else there is. I’d always considered it near fact that there was incest, but apparently that’s not the case. This is hardly conclusive, but Cesare, I believe, killed Lulu’s second husband, whom she apparently loved very much. Some attribute his motive to jealousy, but I’m sure there was something political in it for him as well.

Of course, I choose to believe there was incest. Because that’s more fun for me. In fact, I’d take incest with both Rodrigo and Cesare over no incest at all.

In the miniseries from the 80s, Lucrezia is sort of in love with Cesare, and whatever happened with Rodrigo was more like her doing what she thought was her daughterly duty.

Jeremy Irons’ Borgia still has some sense of decorum. He would never have sex with his own daughter, even if he wanted to. He’s more misguided than lecherous or evil, even naïve at times. He has a shrewd political mind, but he considers himself to be a man of God. He’s a true believer.

Well, I don’t have a direct quote for you, but what Neil Jordan has said about Cesare and Lucrezia is that they are ideals to each other – he’s her idea husband, she’s his idea wife. They’ll never meet someone they love more or whom is more perfect for them. But they are sort of unaware of the rareness of this sentiment, and certainly of the implied sexual element. He has said, I believe, that they won’t be “going there” despite the fact that in many ways they already have.

Cesare and Lucrezia are already emotionally incestuous. (Where Sam and Dean Winchester will be for the rest of their lives: erotically codependent.) This is something that exists. It’s not necessarily a stage in the development of a “regular” incestuous relationship, although it can be. But I say, if you’re going to go there, you had might as well go all the way!

I took a very long, detailed survey for Showtime in which I repeated many times that they should turn Cesare and Lucrezia’s relationship sexual because everyone would enjoy it. And with so many people watching the show just for them – well, give a frakkin’ dog a frakkin’ bone, won’t ya?

Despite the fact that Lucrezia and Cesare spend many of their scenes exchanging longing looks, talking about how much they love each other, touching each other whenever possible, talking about their love lives, etc., there usually is a chastity to their scenes.

Even when, on Lucrezia’s WEDDING NIGHT, he carries her away from her husband and into her bedroom and lays her down on her bed, the sexual element is barely detectable. But the marital and sexual imagery of that scene are there to compensate for the lack of actual visible lust. And then in other scenes, like my favorite (below), they look like they want to lick each other from head to foot.

One thing I will mention, something which is perhaps or perhaps not obvious to the casual viewer, is that the lovers that Cesare and Lucrezia do eventually take seem more like substitutes than anything else. You’ll notice that Paolo is dark like Cesare, and Ursula is blond like Lucrezia, and Lucrezia becomes involved with Paolo immediately after leaving Rome and Cesare, and Cesare gets involved with Ursula basically seconds after Lucrezia tells him not to make fun of her husband because she must accept her new life.

Well, I think I’m done. I actually don’t ship Cesare/Lucrezia all that hard right now. But they deserved a post. I do ship them, though, to make that clear. And when the show returns, I can’t wait to see them get darker and angstier and look at each other like they want to lick each other from head to foot.

Francois Arnaud – he’s a magnetic man. And he has mastered the right way to stare at Lucrezia that just makes you melt. Like he loves her soooooooooooooooooooo bad, and wants her soooooooooooooooooooooooo bad, but there’s too much goodness in her that he feels like he can’t touch it.

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55 Responses to The Borgias – A Spring Of Canon

  1. Anonymous says:

    You said there were three shows with possible brother sister incest, The Borgias are one but what are the other two? I know Game of Thrones has alot of brother sister incest but I’m not sure which ones with possible brother sister incest you were talking about.

    • Shipcestuous says:

      Ah, yes, I have been very neglectful and haven’t written the other two entries. You are right, of course, about Game of Thrones. In fact, my current Game of Thrones obsession is almost solely responsible for the fact that I haven’t written any new entries in a very long time. The other show was Camelot, on Starz. The entry I was going to write on that particular show is going to be daunting, because I plan on covering King Arthur in general, including other movies and shows.

      • Beast of the Sea says:

        Funny that you mention the Pensieve siblings… Due to reading a comic version of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe when I was younger, I believe I shipped them without even realizing they were siblings. I mean, two kings, two queens… Marriage, yes? (I think I thought they were cousins instead.)

        Anyway, just mentioning a few miscellaneous things regarding incest shipping, since I’m commenting anyway (SPOILERS for some books):
        -Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments trilogy does NOT have brother-sister incest, despite that being claimed to be the shocking twist of the first book. It’s revealed in the third that he isn’t her brother anyway, hooray, boring happy ending. I read that on Wikipedia only picked the first book up to see if she’d improved from her time writing fanfiction. (Answer: Yes… but not enough for me to justify picking up more of her stuff.)
        -Two things about the Twilight series, specifically New Moon:
        –First, Jane and Alec (the twin child-vampires in the Volturi) give off slight vibes in New Moon (the book, at any rate). It’s brief, but here is the relevant part (p464-465):
        On the other side of the wooden doors was a different kind of reception. The pale boy in the pearl gray suit could have been Jane’s twin. His hair was darker, and his lips were not as full, but he was just as lovely. He came forward to meet us. He smiled, reaching for her. “Jane.”
        “Alec,” she responded, embracing the boy. They kissed each other’s cheeks on both sides. Then he looked at us.
        “They send you out for one and you come back with two… and a half,” he noted, looking at me. “Nice work.”
        She laughed – the sound sparkled with delight like a baby’s cooing.
        […]
        Alec and Jane, holding hands, led the way down yet another wide, ornate hall – would there ever be an end?

        –Second… though it isn’t actual incest, here’s an interesting fact – you know how Bella is somewhat of Stephenie Meyer’s self-insert, and Jacob was Edward’s rival for her affections for a bit? Well… it turns out that Jacob is named after Stephenie Meyer’s brother. No word of what he thinks of that…
        -Um… Ohhhhh yesssss. http://www.fictionpress.com/s/1288930/ *points to link* Read this story. It’s good. (It’s dark, and very dark at points, but I figure that if you can manage ASOIAF, you can handle this. By the way… do you read A Song Of Ice And Fire at all, or just watch A Game of Thrones?)

        Sorry, that’s all I can recall at the moment. Hope the information is at least marginally of interest! (It’s harder to find incest subtext floating around than you make it look… that’s a compliment, by the way. 🙂 )

        • Shipcestuous says:

          Narniacest (as it is sometimes called) is almost an inevitability. I have been planning an entry on it forever, but I wanted to wait until Dawn Treader came out on DVD. Now the idea of writing it up is almost more than I can handle just because there is SO MUCH. I’ve read the first two books, but not the entire series. There are a few amusing phrases if I recall correctly, but overall I find the movies to provide much more in the way of suggestive brother/sister behavior. I should probably read the third book, though, if I’m going to cover the third movie.

          If someone didn’t know they were siblings, it would make complete sense if they thought it was sets of love-interests. Particularly towards the end of the first one when they’re all crowned.

          My favorite thing about that fandom is how many great fanfics there are.

          Your annotations on the books were great. I have read Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments trilogy. I knew that Jace and Clary went through a period where they believed they were siblings (and actually it’s quite a long period), but that in fact they weren’t. I read it anyway, because it was very popular among people who like the same things I do, but I didn’t like it at all. There were good things about it, but it reminded me so much of everything I hated about Twilight. I also found Jace and Clary quite unlikeable.

          But since we’re on the subject, there were some interesting incest-y sort of stuff that popped up.

          It turns out that Clary does have a brother, and they actually kiss, but Clary is disgusted by it and doesn’t know why, and it’s soon revealed that her brother is pretty thoroughly evil. Still, that added in some extra spice.

          A character, Maya, added in the second book, had an also thoroughly evil twin brother named Daniel who terrorized her. I don’t think sexual abuse was ever mentioned, but Daniel definitely got under her skin in a way that will be with her for the rest of her life. She goes on and on about how good looking he is, and how she fears all good looking men because of him.

          Clare has written a fourth book to the series, but I won’t be reading it. She also wrote a prequel series. The main girl in that series comes to England seeking her brother. She’s pretty much all about her brother, he’s her entire life and it’s now her entire life to find him. Guess what? He turns out to be pretty evil. It was very off-putting, his sudden change from dear brother to enemy, and the way she all of the sudden begins de-glamorizing their past together, and revealing he was a gambler, and he stole from their aunt, and stuff like that.

          I see a trend, Cassandra. One of the main characters in Mortal Instruments, Isabelle, has a brother Alec (but he’s gay), and another brother Max (but he’s a child, and then he dies). That’s the only exception to the trend, really, and then one other: a secondary character has a sister that he was estranged from for a very long period of time because of complications over him becoming a werewolf but they reconcile in the end.

          On the subject of Twilight: I didn’t like Bella, at all, for list-able reasons. Edward I just found a little boring. And I got really sick of them telling each other how much they loved each other. But I don’t hate the franchise, so I don’t want to give the wrong impression about that. I like Jacob a lot, and Rosalie, and Jasper, and I enjoy the movies, which I think did a good job of editing down the schmoopiness of the books.

          I didn’t think much of Alec and Jane when I was reading New Moon, but there is a lot of suggestiveness in that quote. Particularly considering the fact that they’re Volturi, I’m sure there’s a pretty big chance that slight incest subtext was intentional. They’re supposed to be creepy, after all.

          That bit about Jacob being the name of Stephanie Meyer’s brother is interesting. I haven’t read any quotes from her on the subject, but there’s no question that Bella is her self-insert – it’s just so obvious, even to a non-cerebral reader like me.

          I’ll have to check out that story when I’ve got more time. I definitely don’t mind dark.

          As for A Song of Ice and Fire – I am living and breathing it. I’m about to finish A Storm of Swords, so I’m still in the process of reading, but I am officially a book-reader and not a just a TV-fan.

          I feel like GRRM is one of us, because it’s possible to ship every single brother and sister in the whole thing.

          More to come on that later, of course.

          • Beast of the Sea says:

            Yeah, I believe TV Tropes linked to a GIF of one of the Pensieve girls flirting with Edmund (?). Yes, she ‘didn’t know what that look meant’ or some other silly thing, but the producers still chose to include a scene of a girl ‘accidentally’ flirting with her brother. Mm-hmm…

            Your thoughts on The Mortal Instruments and Bella & Edward mirror mine, believe me. It’s odd that Clare would keep mucking around (negatively) with sibling relationships, since “The Mortal Instruments” is actually the title of a Ron/Ginny, Harry/Draco story she wrote when she was in the HP fandom. So it’s not as if she’s adverse to it.

            Yeah, my main problem with the Twilight movies is that they reveal the disjointed nature of the plots… which isn’t really their fault, of course. And I’m a fan of Jacob, too. Werewolves rock. 🙂
            (I believe that, according to Meyer, a good deal of the werewolves are named after her siblings – which is why they have names like Seth, Leah, Jacob, etc., Meyer being Mormon and all.)

            To take a random tangent, one of the most convenient things about shipping the werewolves is the “imprinting”, since they can fall in love with literally anyone instantly. I *do* remember there was a Seth/Leah story on fanfiction.net taking advantage of that, but can’t remember the title, I’m afraid. Even minus imprinting, though, they’re (unintentionally) set up pretty well by the end of Breaking Dawn – they’re the only two members of Jacob’s mini-pack, after all. Jacob probably isn’t going to be doing much pack-bossing-around, since he’s *facepalm* busy being imprinted on a toddler,
            which leaves Seth and Leah to do as they will. Since werewolves are immortal so long as they don’t stop shifting, they have a lot of time to be in a pack with only each other for company…

            By the way, I remembered another series (this one a video game) that has some hints of incest, at least: Fire Emblem. They’re a bunch of fun tactics games, but what really makes them is the “support conversations”, which are unlocked if two characters spend enough time directly adjacent to each other on the map during battle. (The combinations with supports are predetermined.) There are three conversations (C, B, and A) for each preset pair, with topics ranging from humor to tragedy to growing romance. For the purposes of brother-sister shipping, two notable sibling pairs are Raven and Priscilla (from Fire Emblem for the GBA, known as FE7 by fans and in Japan) and Eirika and Ephraim (from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, again for the GBA, known also as FE8).

            Priscilla is notable for actually reminding her brother (pointedly, I thought) that he promised to marry her when they were children; he acts rather discomforted by this. Then again, he is probably gay, considering his extreme closeness to his loyal friend and retainer, Lucius. On Priscilla’s side, in one of her support conversations with Lucius, she comments that (due to his effeminate looks), she’s sure even ‘a few lords have fallen for him’… Priscilla and Raven being nobles, in context. She acts a bit envious, I think. She does have possible romantic interests, but in Fire Emblem, almost EVERYONE has several different possible romantic interests, so that doesn’t contradict her possible feelings for her brother. Heck, the arguable main romantic couple of the game, Eliwood and Ninian, can be split up based upon who the player decides to put Eliwood with. I’m a strong Eliwood/Ninian shipper, and I managed to miss their ending on my first time through due to not getting their support conversations! (I didn’t even know they HAD an ending together until I read about it online… boy was I annoyed with myself for missing it.)

            Eirika and Ephraim, meanwhile, are two royal twins who are the main characters of FE8. They’re very close and devoted to each other – and notably, they have a paired ending if they get up to A support. *checks* Hmm… drat. While, in FE7, there were very few non-romantic paired endings, there were apparently far more in FE8. , you can take a look at the endings at this link: http://serenesforest.net/fe8/ending.htm (Hitting the “back” link at the top of that page, you can also read the game script and all the supports in the different links, though you may desire to go looking for them on YouTube instead.) Their special, plot-important Sacred Weapons are also, apparently, named after a pair of incestuous twins in Norse mythology. Notably, it’s not just the incest shippers that see Eirika/Ephraim… Just Google “Eirika Ephraim twincest” to see what I mean.

            Now, those are the obvious two couples (though Raven isn’t sounding too enthusiastic, alas) from the games that I played. There’s apparently a suspect one in FE6 (Klein/Clarine, or something like that), but as I’ve never played that game (wasn’t localized), I wouldn’t know. FE4 is the worst, apparently, especially as part of the villain’s plot includes successfully mating a brother to his half-sister, and one of the resulting twins is into his sister (his sister doesn’t reciprocate)… and that’s just the canonical part!

            In FE7, though, there are also the siblings Nils and Ninian. I really don’t want to spoil too much information about them, since their real identities are arguably the main plot twist of the game, but the information you have about them for about half the plot is that they’re two children (Nils and Ninian look about 13 and 16 years old, respectively, I think, so take “children” to mean “anything short of full adulthood”) who are being chased after by the foul sorcerer Nergal so that he can use them to call dragons through a magical portal (the Dragon’s Gate) and devour the dragons’ life essences/use them to take over the world. They have strange powers, you see, including prophecy and sensing energy – but most importantly, they can open the Dragon’s Gate, which Nergal can’t do on his own. Now, Nergal pretty much beats Eliwood (the main hero of the game) over the head with a Lampshade during the big Plot Twist Reveal scene, noting that (paraphrased) if perhaps he’d actually given five seconds of thought to it, rather than accepting their abilities as Plot Convenient Powers, he could have easily guessed their big secret… Anyway. Enough about context, now let’s explain a bit more about them specifically.

            They were born of a – let’s call it “mixed-race” – couple and orphaned at a young age, ending up living with their mother’s people. There, they were probably ostracized a bit for their heritage, though they received decent treatment due to Ninian’s abilities as a seer. When they were about the age they are as the game starts, they were tricked by Nergal into coming with him (he was acting very charming and friendly at the time), and, once they were in his clutches, were promptly imprisoned and maltreated in an attempt to coerce them to open the Dragon’s Gate. They fled and wandered the land, barely staying a step ahead of his minions. (They were, in fact, recaptured at one point, but Eliwood’s father, who had also been taken prisoner, helped them escape.) Fortunately for them, they managed to be taken in by Eliwood’s army/ragtag forces/whatnot, and the plot proceeds from there as Eliwood and friends (who have their own reasons to be battling Nergal’s forces) seek out a way to defeat Nergal. [I’m obviously abbreviating a lot, both because FE7 has a decently long plot and I don’t want to spoil the details.] Meanwhile, though, they have to hide the identity of their mother’s people, since, while the most they got from their mother’s people was likely distaste and dislike (at worst), being descended from said people is a fast way to get a sword rammed through your gut. This deception is a source of great angst for both siblings, since they’re having to keep their benefactors in the dark.

            Okay, now for the subtext goggles. They’re a tight-knit pair of siblings, since it’s been them against the world for a VERY long time, and each cannot stand to lose the other. When Nils appears to have died during their second escape (he fell overboard on a rowboat into the ocean), Ninian was so shell-shocked that she developed complete amnesia – she didn’t even recall her own name, or that Nergal was after her! – until he turned up alive again. In a similar situation with the roles reversed, Nils managed to recover on his own to the point where he could function after a few days, but he was certainly wandering around aimlessly, mumbling his sister’s name, at one point.

            As mentioned earlier, they’re also forced to rely on each other because of their circumstances. I’m not sure if “co-dependent” is the right word, since I tend to assume that word involves some emotional obsession (all right, I may have inadvertently proven above that they ARE co-dependent, come to think of it…), but they ARE the only ones each other can depend on until the party takes them in.

            They don’t have support conversations, since they’re never in your battle party at the same time, but they do talk a lot in the regular pre-and-post-chapter conversations. At one point, Nils disapproves of his sister’s growing feelings for Eliwood – for a good reason, in the ‘This really may not work out’ sense, but if you pair Ninian and Eliwood up, love finds a way… after a VERY massive bump. More of an iceberg. With goggles on, though, you could take that differently… since what Nils specifically cites as the reason why she should resist her feelings is “We are different, you know?” He’s talking about their mother’s people, but until the very end of the game, they’re the only members of their mother’s people [except for a few cameos] anywhere near them or the party… *cough, cough*

            At the end, long story short, they return to their mother’s people together, never seeing the cast of the game again – EXCEPT if the player has paired Ninian with Eliwood, in which case he makes a heartfelt confessions of his feelings to her, and after a brief exchange, Nils steps up and concedes Ninian to Eliwood… er, I mean, he gives Ninian his permission to stay with Eliwood… Uh, wow, this all sounds a lot less incestuous in the game. The spoilers are pretty important in context, I guess. At any rate, in that case, Eliwood, Ninian, and the rest of the main heroes bid Nils a tearful farewell, and he departs to go back to his mother’s people. In this case, Nils’ ending text will include the line “[those who saw him depart] will never forget his look of sorrow”. If Ninian’s not paired with Eliwood, as I said, she’ll depart with Nils, and they’ll get a paired ending by default – though this is because they’ve essentially got the same ending, and is perfectly platonic. WARNING: Do NOT, repeat DO NOT, search out the ending texts unless you already know the truth about the siblings, since their major spoiler is embedded in their ending texts whichever way it falls out!

            May I add that, due to Ninian’s romance altering the ending, Eliwood/Ninian is Ninian’s only romantic option? (Even Eliwood has two others.) It’s Eliwood or nothing… which means that, if you’re going to take “nothing” to mean “Nils”, there isn’t much competition. Contrast Priscilla, she of the six or so romantic options (only one of which ends happily), and Eirika and Ephraim, who also have about three other options apiece for their paired endings. In case you haven’t caught on, Fire Emblem is usually not a One True Pairing universe. 😛

            Anyway, in summary – it’s them against the world, they’re everything in the world to each other (before they manage to shelter under the party’s protection, at any rate), and unless True Love makes Ninian stay, they return to their mother’s people together, where the events of the game will eventually become nothing more than a particularly traumatizing/heartwarming/extremes-of-every-emotion Big Lipped Alligator Moment to them, but they’ll still have each other.

            I recommend watching a Let’s Play of Fire Emblem on YouTube, of which I know there is at least one, to see the plot if you don’t plan to play the game yourself. Since there are multiple Fire Emblems, if there’s any ambiguity, you want the game with Eliwood and Hector and Lyn. You can find Support Conversations in their own videos. I really do recommend playing Fire Emblem, though, as it’s quite fun (though, if you want to recruit everyone you can and don’t want anyone Killed Off For Real, you NEED to check walkthroughs… and get used to restarting chapters). FE8 is a lot easier, so you could start there if you like. I’m not sure how hard it is to find the games these days, though, so a Let’s Play might be your best option.

            *looks up* Um… for clarification, the Eirika/Ephraim and (one-sided, at least) Raven/Priscilla ships are really much clearer than Nils/Ninian in-game, though the above text might give the opposite impression. I just didn’t spend as much time with Eirika and Ephraim because it’s shooting fish in a barrel, comparatively speaking, and Priscilla is not a main character, so the only subtext [bordering on text, with her] one gets for her is in her support conversations. Nils and Ninian are central to the plot of FE7, so there’s more you can mine with them – and, paradoxically, because they’re pretty much platonic, I have to pay more attention to what subtext-goggle-sensitive stuff for them exists when describing it with the proper spin. Also, to be honest… I much preferred Fire Emblem to Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (I lost interest in FE8 near the endgame, whereas I replayed FE7 multiple times and am planning to go back to finish that fourth playthrough someday), and so can recite chapter, number, and verse on one and not on the other. (And I think it came through at points that I’m primarily an Eliwood/Ninian shipper… sorry. To be fair, though, if you wanted to remove the ship from consideration, I wasn’t kidding about the iceberg. Naturally, Nergal was literally standing in the background laughing his *** off the whole while…)

            End discussion about Fire Emblem – let me just finish it off with the comment that the Fire Emblem series had an entire Incest Yay subpage devoted to the games on TV Tropes for a while, if memory serves me right. (Aha! Here it is: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/BrotherSisterIncest/FireEmblem. FE4 is “Genealogy of the Holy War” if you’re looking for it.) Also, after you finish reading the Let’s Play/playing Fire Emblem yourself, you’ll want to look up Chapter 19xx, “A Glimpse In Time” on YouTube if you don’t plan on playing any more. It has nothing to do with subtext of any sort, and doesn’t change the plot because the main information in it is contained in a flashback, but boy is that one hell of a flashback. I believe the TV Tropes term for it is Wham Episode, if I’m not misusing the phrase.

            ==

            Thanks for the reply!

            • Shipcestuous says:

              I knew Cassandra Clare had written Harry Potter fanfiction, but I’d never looked at any of her stories. Ron/Ginny? Really? That surprises me given all of the stuff I mentioned that appears in The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices (that’s the prequel series).

              I can’t believe I didn’t ship Leah and Seth harder when I was reading Breaking Dawn. Honestly, I sort of skimmed that book. It was so long, and once I realized that Bella and Jacob were clearly not going to be endgame, I lose most of my interest. I think the werewolf imprinting is an incredibly interesting part of the mythology of the sort (perhaps the only interesting part of the mythology? LOL) but it sort of takes all of the fun out of shipping. Imprinting on a young child is, while a bit eyebrow-raising, perhaps the most interesting turn it could take. I wasn’t going to see the Breaking Dawn movie(s), for the reasons listed above, but perhaps if I’m shipping Leah and Seth I would be more entertained. Bred (not bitten or scratched) werewolves raise a lot of interesting incest possibilities, because they usually have to keep the secret, and there are questions of blood purity, and the biggest one is just being naked a lot because you can shift in your clothes.

              I’m going to turn these video game discussions into mini-posts; I really appreciate all of the time you took to write out the info and to link to cut scenes, screencaps, etc. It sounds like there’s a lot to mine in Fire Emblem. I never play video games, so I’ll probably never end up playing it, though I don’t doubt it’s as fun as you say. I’m going to check out the links you sent. I know I’ve enjoyed watching the stuff from Resident Evil.

              Don’t feel bad about shipping Eliwood and Ninian. Even though Ron/Ginny is probably one of the easiest non-canonical incest ships in existence, I still ship Ron/Hermione first.

              • Beast of the Sea says:

                Alas, she took it down (along with her other fanfiction) before I ever heard of her, when she got professionally published… but yes, it had NC-17-rated Ron/Ginny in it. The Harry Potter fanfiction was taken off for a good reason – her original fiction is basically her fanfiction ‘with all the serial numbers filed off’. The Mortal Instruments were called the Four Worthy Objects back in The Draco Trilogy, Jace is TDT!Draco by any other name, Clary is TDT!Ginny, Simon is TDT!Ron with Harry’s looks, Isabelle is a slightly nicer version of TDT!Blaise Zabini (who, since this was before we learned he was male, was a red-haired girl who was temporarily Draco’s girlfriend, but ended up hooking up with Ron in the Epilogue… yes, Ron hooked up with a girl who was, in essence, a prettier, bitchier version of his sister… methinks the repressed incest-shipper protesteth too much), Valentine is a combination of TDT!Voldemort, TDT!Salazar Slytherin, and TDT!Lucius Malfoy, Alec is TDT!Harry (down to the infatuation with Draco – though it was NOMINALLY a Harry/Hermione, Draco/Ginny soap opera, and Harry and Draco were NOMINALLY straight as all get out, I have literally seen slash fics with less subtext than TDT had with Harry/Draco), etc. Jace’s tale with his falcon is taken WORD-FOR-WORD from Draco’s tale with his falcon in Draco Veritas. And that’s just what I remember off-hand.

                I have a biased view on TDT, since I participated in a group MST of it, but suffice to say that the word “silver” literally averaged one occurrence every three pages and, at one point, Voldemort’s evil plan was to cause Harry and Hermione to break up.
                But enough of Cassandra Claire…

                I agree that imprinting takes a lot of the fun out of shipping… Mind, it could be applied unconventionally, if one was, say, doing a large AU fic on the werewolves with more characters. (Could have a pair of OC twins that were naturally imprinted on each other from birth, for instance.)
                And yes, bred werewolves have a variety of interesting possibilities. One’s that the alpha male and alpha female would likely be expected to mate… and since personalities run in families… *checks* *winces* It turns out that wolves, due to decreased population numbers these days, are suffering from some nasty bone problems due to inbreeding (particularly in Scandinavia). Wolves apparently rely on wolves migrating between packs to keep up genetic diversity, since a good deal of a given pack is the offspring of the current alpha male and female. Well… so, depending on how much animal behavior one wanted to incorporate into the werewolves, one could justify inbreeding in a purebred-werewolf pack that hadn’t seen others for a while. (See this link for more information: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Wild-Animals-705/Wolves-Inbreeding.htm)

                “I’m going to turn these video game discussions into mini-posts; I really appreciate all of the time you took to write out the info and to link to cut scenes, screencaps, etc. It sounds like there’s a lot to mine in Fire Emblem. I never play video games, so I’ll probably never end up playing it, though I don’t doubt it’s as fun as you say. I’m going to check out the links you sent. I know I’ve enjoyed watching the stuff from Resident Evil. ”
                Thank you! 😀 I’m very glad to hear you say that!

                P.S.
                I discovered it was actually non-trivial to find the correct Fire Emblem Let’s Plays, so here you go:
                http://www.youtube.com/user/NickSRiddle#g/c/9F218C49FD09CE11 – A Let’s Play covering Lyn’s Mode (the tutorial and a sort of mini-prequel to the main plot) and Eliwood’s Mode (the main plot). Highly recommend you watch this first, as Hector’s Mode (which is only unlocked after you beat Eliwood’s Mode) contains spoilers for Eliwood’s Mode. All the plot (to an excellent approximation) is contained at the beginning and end of the chapters, so you can skip over the middle-of-battle videos if you like.
                http://www.youtube.com/user/McGammar#g/c/D589EE560511DC0C – A Let’s Play covering Lyn’s Mode and the aforementioned Hector’s Mode (the main plot, but focusing on Hector rather than Eliwood, and containing more chapters). Alas, this one isn’t organized by chapters, but it shouldn’t be too hard to navigate anyway.

                Have a good day!

                • Shipcestuous says:

                  Wow, Cassandra Clare’s fanfic sounds VERY involved. Knowing she had written some, i couldn’t help but look in The Mortal Instruments for similarities, and Valentine/Voldemort certainly stood out. I love that the falcon thing is almost word for word. I can’t blame her for taking it down, but I am really surprised there was Ron/Ginny and it was m-rated.

                  Hmm love all the wolf possibilities. I’m actually writing a real honest-to-God novel centered on werewolves (no vampires!), so I always welcome more ideas. Of course I started it about two years ago and only have a couple of pages and ideas that won’t even take me to the middle, but I am always *thinking* about it which must be better than nothing.

                  Thanks for the Let’s Play links!

                  You have a great day/evening too.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is this blog still active? It seems like it hasn’t been updated in a couple of months now.

    I greatly enjoy reading your delightfully twisted take on the relationships of siblings. As far as I know there aren’t many websites like this (or any for that matter, though I haven’t exactly gone searching) and while reading your blog posts I’ve often felt like the words could have been pulled straight from my own mind, so it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only crazy person in the world who thinks this way whilst watching television shows and films.
    Not to mention it is often quite funny as well.

    So I figured I’d leave this comment here at your most recent blog post in the hope that it will encourage you to write more, and to also thank you for the entertainment you’ve provided.

    • Shipcestuous says:

      This comment made my day. You have no idea how encouraging and exciting it was to hear all of this! Thank you thank you thank you!

      Yes, I know it has been a long time since my most recent post, and you can blame tumblr for that. But I’m working on a post right now. It’s about 3/4 written, though the graphics are going to take a while to make. I’ve gotten into gif-ing, which takes a long time but makes for a much better visual aid.

      This blog is important to me and I love writing these posts, and MORE WILL COME! I promise. Hearing back from even just a few of you who enjoy them makes it totally worth it for me.

      Thank you again!

      • Beast of the Sea says:

        Are you GIF-making manually (that is, frame-by-frame)? There are various video-clip-to-GIF sites out there, which may speed the process… I don’t know of their quality, but those may help. This Yahoo Answers link recommends a few:
        http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080920041138AAZkvKY

        Where do you hang out on Tumblr, anyway? I don’t have one, but I lurk as an anon around the Resident Evil tag (and, as I mentioned earlier, around sniiperinthebrain’s Tumblr).

        Randomly: Archiveofourown (a smaller [and better regulated?] alternative site to fanfiction.net that includes tags) has a pretty large Twincest tag: http://archiveofourown.org/tags/Twincest/works *rummages around and pulls one out* Look! They even have John/Samantha! http://archiveofourown.org/works/125408?view_adult=true

        This is the tag for Sibling Incest + M/F specification: http://archiveofourown.org/works?utf8=%E2%9C%93&selected_tags%5Btags%5D%5B%5D=22&selected_tags%5Btags%5D%5B%5D=21356&boolean_type=and&tag_id=Sibling+Incest&commit=Filter+Works It’s not guaranteed to catch the brother/sister stuff, specifically, since it could as easily be slash with a het relationship somewhere in there… But it catches a good deal of it. I saw Azula/Zuko and Nick/Carly on the first page alone, I think…

        At any rate, I’m looking forward to the next blog post, too! 🙂

        • Shipcestuous says:

          I have used GIF soup before, but I like making my own frame by frame because I have a lot more control. Often I’ll edit the frames to make them brighter, or I’ll only use every third frame so I can show more action without having to create a longer GIF, and therefore a smaller one. I do try and make them as big as I can.

          I’m familiar with achive of our own, but I don’t usually go there because I figured it was still sort of getting started, but I followed your links and it looks like there are a lot of stories on there, and the search options are incredible.

          I’ll have to go there more often. And I should probably post my own stories there as well from now on.

          Thanks!

          I’m working steadily on the next post. It’s going to be on iCarly, which probably isn’t going to be very exciting to anyone who doesn’t watch that show, but once I get it out of my system I’ll work on some more popular stuff. There’s a bit of a hold-up, though, because I’m trying to download higher quality episodes for my graphics and it’s taking forever.

  3. Beast of the Sea says:

    By the way, someone on Tumblr posted that she wishes to survey incest shippers for her thesis – relevant to this blog, yes?

    This is the Tumblr post in question:
    http://hakkaiduo.tumblr.com/post/10481369841/hey-fandom-i-would-love-your-help
    The LJ post she directs people to:
    http://82thesis.livejournal.com/726.html

    Anyone interested?

  4. alynk says:

    Have you started watching Season 2 of ‘The Borgias’ yet? As much as I love Lucrezia/Cesare, I’ve just watched episodes 2 and 3 of the new season and have started shipping Lucrezia/Juan as well! >_<
    With Cesare, it's like he loves Lucrezia almost to the point of worship (pure love?), but with Juan, he's got enough of a devil-may-care attitude (or he'd get drunk enough) that he'd actually get it on with her 😉 And Juan just makes sex look so fun and enjoyable XD
    It seems like Cesare and Lucrezia are always teaming up against Juan though 😛
    Looking forward to the rest of season 2. Whether they go the full-blown incest route or not (looks more likely not :/), it's always enjoyable to watch the interactions between C/L because shucks, those two really love each other; it's so "awww" X)
    And I look forward to reading what more you have to say about 'The Borgias' (no pressure 😉 because your writing is captivating, your commentary is brilliant and this site is awesome 😉

    • Shipcestuous says:

      THANK YOU! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I can’t believe that anyone would call my writing captivating or my commentary brilliant, but it pretty much meant the world to me.

      I have started watching Season 2, but I haven’t seen the second or the third episode yet. I know some of them are available through a pre-release but I usually wait until it actually airs because there’s a better selection of filetype and quality, etc.

      Cesare and Lucrezia had some great but short moments in the first episode. I’m looking forward to some scenes between her and Juan, though. The way he was having sex with Sancha last season right after she got married to Giofre, it really wouldn’t be surprise me if he was all for getting physical with Lucrezia. I know they had a moment or two from the first season which could have been taken a little suggestively – I wish I remembered exactly when they were so I could go back and rewatch. He does make sex look fun. Cesare’s so sexy, but everything is so serious with him!

      You’re so right about Cesare. Some of the moments between him and Lucrezia have had a sexual undercurrent, but he does have such a pure love for her. It really doesn’t look like the show will go anywhere physical with the two of them.

      Thanks again for the comment! I’ve been a little distracted recently, but I’d like to think I’ll make another entry on The Borgias.

      • aK says:

        Hullo again. So glad to hear that you’re at least thinking of writing more about ‘The Borgias’. But really, whatever you do write about next, I’m really looking forward to reading it; your writing is just so fun, and there are even delightfully captioned pictures – all your effort is definitely not unnoticed 😉

        Speaking of pictures, there’s this picture at IMDB of the Borgia siblings (sans Gioffre) that pretty much portrays my interpretation of their relationship: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1429059328/tt1582457 – Juan wanting more love, but because of the rivalry he’s got with Cesare, and because Lucrezia is so close to Cesare, he unfortunately seems to get teamed-up against by them (well, it’s more like Lucrezia loves them both, but she just supports Cesare more in the competition going on between her older brothers :/).

        Anyways, even with all the distractions, I hope you feel encouraged to keep posting. It’s like a one-sided conversation – a very pleasant one – where you’re doing all the talking and I pretty much agree with everything, and it’s just so nice to have a “conversation” with someone about this topic (someone above me – ‘Anonymous’ – said it more eloquently 🙂 But the point is: we’re not alone! ;D).

        Btw, if you haven’t already, I recommend that you check out these siblings: Mary Ann & Steve McGarrett (Hawaii Five-0 – the original series and the re-boot) and Samantha & Don Flack (CSI: NY) – the sisters only appear in about one hand’s fingers worth of episodes, but it’s so fun watching them make their big brothers get all worked up ;).

        Have a great day! 🙂

        • Shipcestuous says:

          I love this blog, and I always want to work on new entries, but I’ve been distracted by another fandom interest that doesn’t really fit. I hope I’ll be diving back in soon.

          That’s a great picture. And I agree, it really sums up their relationship. Now that I’ve seen the second episode, I can see why you had a new interest in Juan and Lucrezia. He was quite maniacal about keeping her away from Paolo. He made it seem like it was a class issue, but he was clearly too emotional about it for it to just be that.

          I feel so bad for Juan, because Cesare is smarter, and Lucrezia is closer with Cesare, and he’s got that whole paranoia that Rodrigo isn’t actually his father. It’s no wonder that he feels on the defensive, and that makes him aggressive. It was so sad when he kept asking Cesare to say that he loved him, because it was so obvious that he had insecurities about that. And probably not just about Cesare, but about the whole family. I feel like if he had been mollycoddled a little bit more he wouldn’t be such a loose cannon. He was so sweet about Gioffre last season (like I mentioned in the entry), and I never forget that he has that capacity. Kind of like the Lannisters on Game of Thrones, if only they could all work together they would be unstoppable.

          “We’re not alone!” was pretty much my whole goal for this blog, so it just makes me so so so happy to hear someone taking that away.

          I don’t watch either Hawaii Five-O or CSI: NY, so I’m not familiar with the brothers/sisters you mentioned, but I’m very curious. If the sisters are only in a couple of episodes, I might have to check those ones out. Thanks for the recommendations!

          And I hope you have a great day as well!

  5. Nina says:

    In the picture where you are asking “Giulia?” and claimed they were catty to each other. Giulia and Lucrezia actually were in the BBC version but the redhead in the picture is Sancia who had an episode earlier or so had a laughing fit after she slept with Cesare who then throttled here when she admitted that she had slept with every single member of the Borgia family before: His father and all his siblings.

  6. J. says:

    About novels, you shall include “Borja Papa” (Pope Borgia) of Joan Francesc Mira, is the best novel about Borgias, is the closest novel to the real history.
    And “Borja, Familia i mite” (Borgia, family & myth), is not a novel is a historical essay.

  7. Black Elegance says:

    Hi!
    I just watched season 1 and 2 of The Borgias in the last two weeks, and Cesare/Lucrezia is the ship that I’m fixated on right now. Really cool general introduction to the Borgias in all contexts (historical, literary, film); I actually laughed out loud at a few parts: such as at your rather unnecessary, straight-up observation that the actor who played Cesare in the TV miniseries was “not attractive.” What a shame! He would turn anyone off of sibling romance; then at your description of Ursula Bonadeo as “horse face.” I was actually rather taken aback at the very first instant that she was shown; rather a different sort of face indeed, though she grew on me a bit. I mean, it’s thanks to her that we do get to see more of Cesare’s sexual side- giving in to his growing desire for her, getting her into bed, and finally, displaying his lovely long torso for us! (Sorry, I find him incredibly attractive.)
    Your observation on the physical similarities of Cesare’s and Lucrezia’s lovers to each other was something that had not occurred to me, yet now that you have pointed it out, is entirely believable. They may not be consciously desiring the other yet their subconscious desires are such that their choice of partners is shaped by the image of the other…
    I am always grateful and gratified by excellent casting. Never am I so disappointed by a movie or TV show as when two actors meant to be shipped have no chemistry. The best example I can think of is Ninja Assassin. The biggest reason that movie sucked was that the main female character and Rain had zero chemistry- heck, even the fact of their ethnicities was, I felt, an issue there. A pity, since I thought Rain did great, and the movie could have done much better with better supporting actors! But I digress. The casting of The Borgias was wonderful. I can never now picture Cesare and Lucrezia as any other actor and actress. I can hardly even think that Francois Arnaud is not simply Cesare, and I find Holliday Grainger looking quite plain when she is not Lucrezia. They are simply so perfect in their roles. And Juan! What a tricky, difficult, delicious fellow. I would like to praise the beauty of the scene where Juan is speaking with his father, and revealing his fears about whether he is truly his son or not- there is a beautiful contrast between the issue they are discussing, and the visuals. The close-up shots, from Juan’s face to his father’s, show quite clearly the strong resemblance between them. It’s like a secret whispered by the show’s makers to the audience, to the ignorance of the “stage players.”
    It’s lovely to find such strong universal support for Cesare/Lucrezia; as I saw on Tumblr, “It must be the only incest television ship that the whole internet sails.” Therefore THANK YOU for doing your part in encouraging the producers to GIVE US WHAT WE WANT!!! Oh yeah, that was the other part where I laughed out loud while reading your entry above- that you took the opportunity, in your survey for Showtime, to repeatedly egg them on towards GIVING US WHAT WE WANT. I wish someone would make a list- episodes and times- of all Cesare/Lucrezia scenes. For instance, when I check out the fanmade-videos of them on YouTube, there’s the scene where Cesare is lying on a bed and Lucrezia leans over to give him a [chaste yet] full kiss on the lips. Did I miss that?? Please put me out of my misery should you know the context of that scene.
    Anyway, I look forward to Season 3. In an interview, Holliday mentioned that the fans may get some of the intimacy they have been rooting for!
    Again, overall great entry above!

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the entry! And I really appreciate your long and thoughtful comment. There’s nothing I love more.

      I was surprised to hear that you hadn’t watched The Borgias since you mentioned that you were reading Mario Puzo’s The Family. But welcome to the fandom. I can see why you would be so fixated on Cesare and Lucrezia right now, having watched and read so much about them in such a short amount of time!

      I’m glad you appreciated by mentions of other works that deal with the Borgia family. That entry is now 1.5 years old and severely outdated, since I have now read part of The Family (like I mentioned to you), seen season 2, and seen the first season of Tom Fontana/Canal+’s Borgia series. (If you are looking to see other incarnations of Cesare and Lucrezia, you might find the European series interesting. It was on Netflix when I watched it, though I’m not sure if that is still the case.) I don’t know if you read through the comments, but some of the discussion there might be informative. And if you come across any other works of fiction about the pairing, I’d be very interested to know.

      Now that I’ve seen season 2, I realize that the writers will be introducing a different Alfonso to be Lucrezia’s husband, or perhaps rearranging that altogether. And I was extremely disappointed that Sancia of Aragon completely disappeared.

      I felt bad ripping on the 80’s TV miniseries and its actors so much, but I didn’t see the point in not being honest, LOL. The actor who played Cesare was not only way too old for the role, but his hairstyle and facial hair were all extremely unflattering. Perhaps, with an extreme makeover, he might have been more attractive. But it’s just such a shame that the one movie that fully embraced the Cesare/Lucrezia incest in a way that I truly enjoyed, ended up being the one least pleasant to look at, LOL.

      The “horse face” nickname for Ursula Bonadeo is a little too harsh, but I did not come up with it myself. People frequently called her that on the TWOP messageboard. I think we all just resented her taking up scenes that might have instead been between Cesare and Lucrezia, though you make a very good point that without her, we might never have gotten to see Cesare’s sexual side.

      Francois Arnaud will forever be my Cesare. I think he is perfect for the role in every way. And while I am personally not particularly charmed by Holliday Grainger’s Lucrezia, I think she brings a light to the role, and handles the challenges of the character quite well.

      That scene between Juan and his father that you mentioned is one of my favorites. I didn’t notice everything you mentioned, but in terms of Juan’s character, it always made me feel for him, since we got some insight into his insecurities. I wish the show had included that story from The Family about Juan nearly dying when he was young, so that it made more sense when Rodrigo forgave and favored him over the clearly more intelligent and competent Cesare.

      I don’t know if my survey made any difference, but I do hope that the producers for The Borgias have gotten a sense of the popularity of the ship, and the thirst from the viewers for more.

      The scene you mentioned where Lucrezia kisses Cesare on the mouth did not ring any bells for me, but I was looking through the material I had for them and found a GIF of the scene you were talking about.
      Lucrezia kisses Cesare on the mouth

      A little research led me to the conclusion that it most likely comes from episode 2.02 called “Paolo”. It happens after Cesare agrees to help Lucrezia meet Paolo. So probably around the middle of the episode, if I am remembering the episode correctly.

      That’s great news about season 3. I hope Holliday isn’t misleading us too much.

    • Paris says:

      Hi Black Elegance! I too just had a massive Borgias marathon. I can’t believe I didn’t watch it sooner! It was so amazing on so many levels! Even though the farthest we got we C/L was a small kiss, there is just so much to their relationship and so many great scenes that they show us, you can’t help getting excited over it. You never see those kinds of relationships, especially on TV so it is a real treasure. At least I have never seen it on tv, where he is so protective over her too. It is also great that people are embracing it and that they got picked up for at least 3 seasons. People could have said “ew, why are Cesare and Lucrezia always all over each other, I am not watching this!” and it could have been very short lived. I wonder how much of that is actually in the script and how much the actors put in themselves. You would like to know.

      I thank Shipcestuous for turning me on to the Borgias. I knew about it, but never got around to watching it because I never dreamed there was a show that focuses on it to the extent this one does. When she said that the show shows C/L’s relationship I wasn’t expecting all the gush worthy scenes! I thought there might be a few quick eye glances or minor stuff. Sometimes you are lucky if you get that within a movie or a tv show, so I was pleasantly surprised to what we got. I can’t wait for season 3!

      Are you new to the shipping fandom Black Elegance?

  8. Black Elegance says:

    By the way, how funny that Willow is one of your top 3 favorite movies of all time. Val Kilmer was THE definitive favorite actor of my teens- though for The Ghost and the Darkness, and The Saint. LOVE LOVE LOVE those two movies! Too bad Val is now playing “old” roles; unlike the majority of Hollywood, he seems to not mind nor fight against the natural aging process of time…

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I just scrolled through his filmography, and the most recent movie I have seen him in is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (which I love), and it’s 8 years old. So I guess I haven’t seen him in any of the “old roles” that you referred to, but it sounds like he’s taken a very zen approach to aging in Hollywood, and I think that’s marvelous. I’m a big fan of him as an actor, aside from my deep love for Willow. The Ghost and the Darkness was a film my friend I used to watch all the time (it was my go-to when I was in an “Africa” mood) and I always enjoyed The Saint as well. (Now that you’ve reminded me of its existence, I wouldn’t mind watching it again.) And, to be totally honest, Batman Forever will forever be my favorite batman movie, and Val Kilmer’s Bruce Wayne the dearest to my heart.

      Discussing Val Kilmer sent my incest senses a-tingling, and then I remembered Doc Holliday’s deathbed confession to Wyatt Earp in Tombstone that he had been in love with his cousin. Cousin marriages were hardly uncommon in the 19th century, but I seem to remember it not having been considered acceptable in his case. It’s a really tragic, beautiful story. Almost warrants an entry.

  9. Black Elegance says:

    Hi Paris! Yes I am quite new to the shipping fandom. And quite new to having a voice online! But I am enjoying myself very much. And Shipcestuous’s blog is a cozy haven! So happy to have found it.

    I also watched the Borgias rather belatedly. I thought it would be just like the Tudors and I was like, ah, okay, I’ll watch it some time. What a delight it turned out to be! I simply adore Cesare+Lucrezia and canNOT wait for season 3!!! If we don’t get more C/L yumminess, we shall have to revolt!

    What else do you watch/read with similar sorts of ships, Paris?

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I’m so happy that you called my blog cozy! Awwwww. I really hope so. That’s exactly what I’ve always wanted it to be.

      You should check out Paris’ tumblr: incestisrelative.tumblr.com She has been posting a lot of Cesare/Lucrezia stuff, including a link to the season 3 trailer, if you haven’t seen it yet.

      It was such a funny coincidence that you both came down with Borgia fever around the same time!

      • aK says:

        Yes, ‘The Borgias’ Season 3 trailer!!! I’m afraid that they’re just teasing us and that it’ll turn out to be a dream sequence or something. But even then, YES!!! XD

        • Shipcestuous says:

          I know, right?
          cesare lucrezia the borgias season 3 trailer gif
          I have so much hope right now, but half of me expects it to be a dream or something like that.
          But maybe…

          • Black Elegance says:

            I must be the only Borgia fan who has not seen the season 3 trailer yet!!! Must look for it on Paris’ blog! By the by, love the play on words, “Incest is Relative” :p

          • aK says:

            Dat’ scene *pours liquid nitrogen on self* X)
            I’m definitely not complaining about the C/L goodness, but I’m also imagining what it’d be like if it was Juan instead of Cesare. I imagine he’d give Lucrezia a mischievous sexy grin and HOTNESS would ensue ;D

        • Black Elegance says:

          Okay I’ve seen the trailer and the GIFs and sure it got my imagination racing! But then again given the track record in seasons 1/2 of being very careful with C/L interactions, I doubt very much that we’ll see what we think we’re seeing. Pessimism will serve me now as I’m afraid to get my hopes up 🙂

          • Shipcestuous says:

            That’s a good idea. I myself am assuming it’s a dream sequence, delirium, etc. until I’ve actually seen the episode. Even if it’s not actually happening, I think it’s pretty great that the show is even teasing it all. I guess they’re listening to the fans.

            • Black Elegance says:

              In the meantime, what recommendations do you have to tide us over until season 3 is out? 🙂

              • Shipcestuous says:

                I would LOVE to help you out but I need more parameters: Canon or is non-canon OK? Genre. Type of relationship (twins vs older brother; they fight or they get along, etc.). TV or movie. Honestly, I wouldn’t even know where to start without more guidance.

                • Black Elegance says:

                  Is there seriously that much choice? Lol nice. Well, let’say TV, Canon. Any type of sibling relationship will do (same gender).

                  • Shipcestuous says:

                    I actually don’t know of any same gender canon tv incest. And here I thought I was a fountain of knowledge, LOL. There’s probably some in anime, I seem to remember something vaguely. Oh wait, I lied. The McPoyle brothers on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia are pretty open about their more-than-siblings relationsip. But they’re not regulars, and that is definitely not a recommendation. Supernatural is great for almost-canon.

                    My TV canon recommendations would be Arrested Development and Dexter if you like comedy (though Dexter is more of a dramedy); HBO’s Rome, and Spartacus: Vengeance if you like historical dramas, HBO’s Carnivale if you like supernatural historical dramas; definitely Game of Thrones if you like fantasy, or also Starz’s Camelot and sort of abandoned-canon in BBC’s Merlin (I’m not a particularly big fan of either of those shows, sadly, but the incest is there); Skins (generation 1) and The Fades are good almost-canon if you want something modern, thought they both focus on teens, and The Fades is sort of horror.

                    If you like modern fantasy, True Blood is fun. Most of the canon incest is played for ickiness, but there are two characters who have the same vampire maker and call themselves brother and sister in season 5 and they go at it like bunnies.

                    Also, for insanely-non-canon-but-almost-canon, I can definitely recommend Klaus/Rebekah from The Vampire Diaries. (But she isn’t a character until the third season.)

                    If you have any interest in mother/son incest, Boardwalk Empire is a MUST.

                    Canon really narrows it down (unfortunately!). I’m trying to think of something in the vein of The Borgias or Helios/Selene, and coming up understandably short. It’s hard to match those two.

                    Feel free to ask me for other recommendations or for more info. I’d love to help!

                    • Black Elegance says:

                      You know what’s funny? I meant to say “not same gender” lol! Anyway, despite your worries, you gave lots of great suggestions! I’m definitely going to check out Camelot, Carnivale and Vampire Diaries, and return to Game of Thrones and perhaps True Blood- I watched the first seasons of these last two but didn’t get to continue. Thanks so much!

                    • Shipcestuous says:

                      I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidentally typed the complete opposite of what I meant to type! 🙂

                      If you want to watch those series selectively for the brother/sister shippiness, then let me know and I’ll try and figure out the best episodes/seasons for it. Unfortunately, with all of those shows, it would be hard to follow if you hadn’t seen everything. Camelot only had one short season, and Carnivale only had two, so those aren’t as big of undertakings as True Blood or The Vampire Diaries.

                  • aK says:

                    Hullo. I have a few suggestions about shows with nice sibling relationships, though they aren’t really that “incest-y” (well, that’s to be expected ^^;;):
                    1. Numb3rs (Brothers Charlie and Don)
                    2. Firefly (Bro-Sis Simon and River – Apparently this ship does have a following)
                    3. Wonderfalls (Bro-Sis Aaron and Jay)
                    4. Tru Calling (Bro-Sis Harrison and Tru)
                    Yeah, these are some “older” series (3 of which ended TOO SOON >_<), but they sure were good times 😉

  10. Black Elegance says:

    Hi aK, thanks for the recommendations! Too many series with cult followings end too soon!
    I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy Camelot, Carnivale and Vampire Diaries, so, yup, I’ll watch everything. For True Blood, I’ll watch selectively; there’s just too much to catch up on and frankly it’s a bit on the icky side for me!

  11. Chelsea says:

    Ciao Bellisima
    So i must say, other than Prada, chocolate, & the movie BrightStar, I’m fully & wholly addicted to your blog. I fell in love w/ The Borgias after watching the brilliance that was The Tudors. Reading your older comments in the first section I felt like one of those incredibly irritating fangirls b/c after every opinion u expressed i found myself enthusiasticslly shouting “Yes!Yes! Exactly!” From everything to your appreciation of the seductive & sexy Jeremy Irons to your COMPLETELY rational (I assure you) fondness forCardinal Sforza, i agreeeeee! (√ out the Blooper reel sometime, it’s funny & Sforza has some great & endearing bloopers)it just seems as though the cast itself is a functioning production of chemistry, superfluous acting, & intensity-one giant machination of perfection. I expect Arnaud & Granger (who, to me, is so delicately beautiful) to combust, or at least I expect to see random sparks fly into the air whenever they’re in a scene, esp. If the scene is one of a more…intimate nature…they have THAT much chemistry. Juan (alas) was beautiful…my lord even i think the inimitable Colm Feore is classically handsome (I always thought there was something wrong w/ me b/c i lusted after his creepy evilness in SotC…lusted BIG time). And if they ever need a volunteer to help try & turn Michaletto strait—Oo oooo teacher, pick me!!! That dudes a badass ( so what if he doesn’t appear to have EVER bathed- I’LL take care of that & clean him up in no time flat, thanks!)
    Bottom line is that you’ve created a poignant & hilarious, hearfelt & creative, intelligent & abso wonderful blog. I’m sure u loved season II, BUT….MY q is….have u seen the “ONLY A BORGIA CAN LOVE A BORGIA” Season III teaser? Ummmm….√ it out. U WILL NOTNOTNOT b dissapointed. All i know is that APRIL CANNOT COME FAST ENOUGH!! Cause if i think happens what lookslike it might happen..i’ll b an extremely happy girl. O it lookssoooo hot. LuCrez on the bed& Ces staring at her naked & warily yet undeniably drawn to her ….as Barry White would say, “oh yeahhhhh”….. (ok the koolaid guy says that too but just go w/ me on this)
    So XCITED. In the meantime, Signora Astriddoza-stay awesome! & FANTASTIC blog! As ever, i look forward 2 ur thoughts! Ciao principessa!

    • Shipcestuous says:

      Wow, this comment blew me away! YOU ARE TOO KIND TO ME. I’m SO happy to hear that we agree about Cardinal Sforza (in particular) and the others as well. Handsome cast is handsome and the chemistry is amazing. I actually just rewatched Storm of the Century not too long ago and Colm Feore has a great magnetism in that role. I wouldn’t blame anyone for lusting after him! I love your description of Holliday Grainger as delicately beautiful – that’s exactly how I would describe the Lucrezia she has created. She has such a musical and flowery quality to her – it’s very unique and I think it’s such a delightful complement/contrast to Arnaud’s Cesare.

      Season 2 was lovely but I think season 3 is going to kill us all. The trailer you mentioned has definitely not escaped my radar. While I think there’s a chance that the actual sequence we saw in the trailer is a dream or a hallucination, that doesn’t preclude other wonderful things from happening and either way it’s still a huge deal!!!!!!!! Clearly the writers and Showtime are fully aware of what their audience wants to see.

      I need to see that trailer put to Barry White music. Or maybe a fanvid after that episode airs. I’m dying of laughter just thinking about it. Ohhhhh yeahhhhhhh.

      I wish I had already written about Carnivale (one of my absolute favorite shows ever) and The Tudors so I could keep you hooked here for good. Anyone would calls me Signora Astriddoza needs to never leave me! Thanks you so much for this wonderful comment and welcome to the blog!!!!!

  12. Chelsea says:

    Sorry one more thing- Carnivale?? Really?? Who are u, me? Don’t get me started on Nick Stahl…yummm. Ciao !

  13. Cesare was 18 while Lucrezia was 14, but I think he was the eldest son in the show, cause his father always says that Cesare was his eldest son and Juan also called himself “your younger brother” in front Cesare. But in the research I did some of them said that Juan was the eldest, so I am kinda confused now… and..the fifth picture from the top, where Cesare and Lucrezia have their forehead against each other, is it a screenshot from the show? Because as I remember it was the scene in episode 1 and 2 that Cesare says he shall cut Lucrezia’s husband’s heart out with a dinner knife if he shows ungallant to her. But I didn’t find it when they have their forehead against each other IN the episodes… or is it just a picture of them instead of a screenshot ?

    • shipcestuous says:

      I think Juan is supposed to be the oldest, both in real life and on the show. Is it possible when Juan said “your younger brother” that he was talking about Gioffre, who is their youngest brother? I don’t remember that scene specifically. If it’s from one my clips then the confusion is my fault because there’s no context.

      Juan being the eldest makes the most sense for his characterization – Rodrigo places him in charge, even though Cesare is the most competent, and has Cesare, his second son, join the Church. And Juan is jealous and hurt when Cesare is given power or is shown to be more competent than he is, because Juan is the oldest son and thinks it should be him.

      Historically, they actually had another brother Pedro Luis who was older than them who died in Spain before the show begins. I can’t remember if he was ever mentioned on The Borgias or not, but I know he was mentioned on at least one show about them, perhaps the European Borgia.

      The fifth picture from the top where they have their foreheads against each other is a photograph taken from the filming of that scene from the show but is not an actual screenshot from the show. It might have just been a photo snapped on set, or it might be from a different take of that scene that didn’t end up being used in the show.

      • shiyingxiaoxiao says:

        yeah, it makes more sense that Juan is the older one. And I went back to rewatch the scenes, this is the scene that Juan calls himself “your younger brother”:
        In the episode 1 in the first season, around 9:23 when Juan got into fight with someone, and he was loosing the fight and going to get killed, Cesare came in and stopped the fight and says: “My brother speaks before he thinks. He begs your pardon.” and then he whispered to Juan: “I should have let them do it.” Then Juan replied with a laugh: “Kill me? Your younger brother? Our father would never have forgiven you.”
        I think the reason why Rodrigo put Juan in charge is because Juan is his favorite son, as Juan mentioned too, he called himself “his favorite son” when people called him “pope’s bastard”, and also he said to Cesare that if Cesare kills him father would never forgive Cesare.
        There’s also a scene that mentions why Rodrigo put Cesare into the church, it was at episode 3 in the first season, around 16:03. While Cesare was trying his cardinal cloth, his father came in and says:
        “Crimson is a color that suits you.”
        Cesare: “Thank you.”
        Rodrigo:”But you regard this elevation as a burden. You will be made cardinal tomorrow. You must beware that sin St. Isidore calls the greatest of all, which only the pope can forgive.”
        Cesare: “I believe it is called despair, Father.”
        Rodrigo: “You must never, ever despair. Embrace me, Cesare. Forgive my ambitions for you. But they have been such since the day you were born. Had I not embraced a career in the church, then perhaps things would have been different. You are my eldest son. It is your destiny to follow in my footsteps. Tell me you accept this calling.”
        Cesare:”……I accept.”

        But I didn’t finish watching all the shows yet, so maybe I would change my opinions later. XD

        • shipcestuous says:

          Oh wow, yes I can completely understand your confusion. I forgot about those moments early on when Rodrigo called Cesare his eldest son and Juan referred to himself as Cesare’s younger brother. I always just had it ingrained in my mind that Cesare was in the middle. I’m not sure what to think.

          • shiyingxiaoxiao says:

            Well, I think I’ll just don’t care of which one is older since no one is really certain about the year they were born, BSI is the main thing !!!!!!! :)))) Haha thanks for the explanations and you always have my support!!! :]

      • Twincest says:

        In real life there’s some confusion about when they were born some sources list Juan as being born in 1474 but others say he was born in 1476 or 1477 while Cesare was born either on September 13th 1475 or in April 1476, so if Juan was born in 1476 then Cesare was definitely born in 1475 because they both had the same mother and couldn’t have been born in the same calendar year but if Juan was born in 1474 or 1477 then Cesare could’ve been born in 1476. They had a half brother who was definitely older than them like you said Pedro was born in either 1458 or 1460.

        • shipcestuous says:

          Oh thanks for this! I do remember seeing somewhere that there’s some confusion about exactly what year Cesare was born, which I guess makes his age in relation to Juan confusing too. It seems like the show was inconsistent about this as well.

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