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Girolamo Riario

General Description
Gender: Male
Hair Color: Dark brown
Eye Color: Brown
Occupation: Captain-General of the Holy Roman Church
Mother: Celia Lysimachus
Father: Alessandro della Rovere
Show Information
Portrayed by: Blake Ritson
First Appearance: 1.01 The Hanged Man

Count Lord Girolamo Riario (portrayed by Blake Ritson), is one of the main characters in Starz's Da Vinci's Demons. In season 1, he is occupied as the Captain-General of the Holy Roman Church by Pope Sixtus IV, whose illegitimate son he is. He is generally referred to as Count Riario and sometimes just The Count. Girolamo Riario was a real historical figure, who's most well known for his marriage to Caterina Sforza, who doesn't appear as a character in the series. Overall, Count Riario's character is heavily fictionalized.


[1] Girolamo is the illegitimate son of Alessandro Della Rovere and a Jewish prostitute Celia Lycemachius. He was abandoned by his mother at birth and raised in a monastery. Alessandro appears to have been a monk in his past, but it's unclear whether he lived in the same monastery as Girolamo.

Around 10 years prior to the events of Season 2. Alessandro's identical twin brother Fransesco Della Rovere was chosen as the new Pope. On the day of his annointment, Alessandro ambushed Fransesco and his daughters Lucrezia and Amelia, with Girolamo and two assassins. Alessandro killed the young Amelia with his bare hands, and imprisoned Fransesco to take his place as the Pope Sixtus IV. Girolamo tried to apologize to Lucrezia for not being able to stop Amelia for being killed. Lucrezia was furious in her agony, and had a spiteful relationship with her cousin ever since. Lucrezia was forced to become a Roman spy. Girolamo later treated her with cruelty and violence and blacmailed her with her imprisoned father.

Alessandro tested Girolamo's suitability as the sword of the church by making him follow his mother on the streets and strangling her with his bare hands. He made Girolamo into the Captain-General of the Holy Roman Church. Prior to this time, Girolamo didn't seem to have propensity for violence, but he did what he could to please his father and rise to power in Rome. Girolamo used to think that the will of God and Sixtus were one and the same; his father held him in a tight grip and he remained subordinate to his many, at times violent, whims.

Over the years he gradually started to doubt Sixtus and his personal goals as the Pope, as he didn't share Girolamo's own strong Christian Faith. Girolamo developed a growing interest in finding the mythical Book of Leaves. He thought he could use the Book for creating a God's Kingdom on Earth. While Sixtus found the idea of the Book fascinating, he didn't see it as important as he was more preoccupied with fighting the Ottoman army. Girolamo was also always interested in Leonardo, and saw his capabilities even before most others had.

Girolamo fled Italy to seek for the Book of Leaves in the New World. He freed his slave girl Zita from servitude and took her on his journey, as she had no other place to go. During the voyage, they became closer and fell in love.

Season 1[]


Count Riario and his abyssinian slave girl Zita fell in love, and her death in the second series of the show deeply affected him since she was the only person who saw beauty, piety and grace in him.

Memorable quotes[]

"Now that we've established my propensity for directness, I trust our conversation will proceed smoothly."

"God's vengeance is upon you."

"No one looks on me, and sees grace."

Image gallery[]


  1. Spoiler warning!
    This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode.