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The Hanged Man
Season 1, Episode 1
Hanged man screencap
Air date April 12, 2013
Written by David S. Goyer
Directed by David S. Goyer
Episode Guide
The Serpent

The Hanged Man is the first episode (series premiere) in season 1 of Da Vinci's Demons. This episode originally aired on April 12, 2013.


An assassination stirs trouble in the political affairs of Florence. Leonardo Da Vinci demonstrates his engineering ingenuity to the Medicis. Leonardo is captivated by the beauty of Lorenzo's mistress.


On 26 December 1476, The assassination of the Duke of Milan occurs. Which—some days later—enrages Lorenzo de' Medici. In the meantime, Leonardo da Vinci is testing his newest invention, a flying glider, with his friends, Nico (also his apprentice), and Vanessa.

The Pope Sixtus IV is paid a visit from his nephew, count Girolamo Riario while enjoying the sexual company of a young boy. They plot to seize control of Florence, and capture the Turk to help them acquire the Book of Leaves.

Giuliano de' Medici pays Leonardo a visit in his workshop. While waiting for Leonardo, he almost falls victim to one of Leonardo's mischievous inventions, a chest rigged to explode when tampered with in order to protect the secrets it contains. Upon arrival, Leonardo demonstrates the flight of a model-scale Columbina. It is later revealed that Leonardo hasn't completely worked out the propulsion system for the full-scale Columbina.

In order to help himself think, he goes to the local tavern, where he first encounters the Turk, who is being bullied by the Florentine Guards. He manages to rescue the Turk, but is later captured by the Guard; the order for his capture was issued by Leonardo's father.

Leonardo visits the Turk, who tells him about a secret order, the Sons of Mithras, the Book of Leaves and his mother, of whom he barely remembers. After inhaling some sort of hallucinogenic substance, Leonardo recalls a painful vision from his childhood. The Turk tasks Leonardo with finding the Book of Leaves before putting him to sleep with an unknown, powdery substance.

Leonardo manipulates Lucrezia Donati into convincing her lover—Lorenzo—to have Leonardo paint her portrait, to get an opportunity to talk with Lorenzo about his war machines designs, which would be utilised for Florence's defence.

During the carnival, it is revealed that Leonardo successfully managed to find a solution for his Columbina design, and managed to implement it in time for the festival; it was a spectacular phenomena. After the flight of the Columbina, Leonardo and Lucreza have an intimate encounter, resulting in multiple sexual acts. It is later revealed that Lucrezia is a spy for the Vatican, serving under Riario's command. She tells the Pope about Leonardo's weapon designs, and his encounter with the Turk.


Memorable Quotes[]

  • "I am the son of Earth and Starry Heaven. I am thirsty. Please, give me something to drink from the Fountain of Memory." — The Jew to Leonardo Da Vinci.