hannibal meta

After all these years, the thing that still gets me about Hannibal is the idea that someone could see all of someone else’s messy inner workings and still want them - and it’s even more than that, it’s the idea that someone could want someone else because of their messy inner workings.

This seems like such an insane and unrealistic thing to me, but isn’t that exactly what we all want in life? Just to be seen and understood and wanted, not in spite of yourself, but because of exactly who you are?

Like, shit, can you even imagine someone knowing about the awful way you organize your sock drawer, or how you actually take your pizza when you’re only ordering for yourself, or what your workout playlist looks like, or the way you threw on up on the staircase in front of everyone in the fourth grade, or the secret stash of Velveeta you keep in the pantry, or the recurring dream you have about getting lost in a nail salon, or your permanent and unabiding fear that love is fake and everyone’s been lying to you this whole time - can you even imagine someone knowing all that stuff about you, and still wanting you in every way? Damn, that’s some heavy shit.

I think possibly the most twisted side of Hannibal and Will’s relationship, but also the one that shows the most how they’re made for each other and pretty much no one else, is how they get each other’s sense of humor, in whatever form it comes. Hannibal sees Will’s bitter misanthropic sarcasm and is endeared by it, instead of kept at a distance by it like everybody else; Will should really not find Hannibal’s irony funny since it mostly involves murdering and eating people, stabbing, or making victims into art, but he tragically does. To the point that it gets him to smile, laugh, turn a dead man into a firefly, or watch an asshole eat his own face.


There was yet another discussion about the appearance of Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy’s names in the Hannibal opening titles which inspired me to do some digging. 

Martha de Laurentiis has confirmed that the fact the names switch is contractual.  My eye is always drawn to the name on the upper right, for whatever reason, so that’s why I used that as a point of reference.

I imagine the layout is meant to both convey equal billing for the actors and the sense of the power struggle going on in the show, although I tend to agree there’s no alignment between how the names appear on the titles and who is “in control” in the episode.

Over the 39 episodes made for the three NBC seasons, Mads’ name appears above and to the right 20 times - 7 times each in S1 and S2, and Hugh’s 19 times. Season one is the only time there’s not a pure switch back and forth - Hugh’s stays above and to the right for 104 and 105, Mads’ then is on the top right for 106 and 107. 

Mads is on the top right for the season premiere and finale for S1 and S2, Hugh is for S3. 

There are only four variations - all 19 times that Hugh’s on the top right, both names appear laid out the same. 

There’s three variations on when Mads’ is in the top right. The unique Apéritif version, the season one version (used 6 times), and the season 2-3 version, used 13 times, where his name is still above Hugh’s, but by a smaller margin. 

Here’s a chart with the breakdown. 

What literally always gets me about Anthony Dimmond is like. He’s waaaayy more suited to Hannibal than Will at first glance; he’s witty and charming, full of social graces and knowledge of obscure and/or archaic poetry, and very obviously morally gray. Like, at first glance, he’s much more suited to Hannibal’s lifestyle than fly-fishing, dog-hoarding, socially inept and downright rude Will Graham. And yet, Hannibal and Will are far more suited to one another in their differences than Anthony and Hannibal are in their similarities. Although, if Hannibal had met Anthony before Will, or both of them close to one another, I daresay we’d have a very different story on our hands. Either way, Anthony’s only real crime, regrettably, was…not being Will Graham, at the wrong time. Bit of a shame, really, he’d be a very interesting character to have over the course of a season

Can we talk about Hannigram sharing a bath? Can we talk about them snuggled in a clawfoot tub, one of them cradled between the other’s thighs? Can we talk about slow, sleepy kisses as they wash each other’s hair? Can we talk about years of ache and tension melting out of them into the water? (and the water is posh and fragrant because Hannibal?) Can we talk about this because this is seriously one of my deepest kinks I love it so much.


at RDC3, bryan said this would be hannibal’s theme song. the title sounds tongue-in-cheek, but read the lyrics - they are quite poignant. bonus: raul esparza sings it.

Being Alive
by Stephen Sondheim
from “Company”

Someone to hold me too close.
Someone to hurt me too deep.
Someone to sit in my chair,
And ruin my sleep,
And make me aware,
Of being alive.
Being alive.

Somebody need me too much.
Somebody know me too well.
Somebody pull me up short,
And put me through hell,
And give me support,
For being alive.
Make me alive.
Make me alive.

Make me confused.
Mock me with praise.
Let me be used.
Vary my days.

But alone,
Is alone,
Not alive.

Somebody crowd me with love.
Somebody force me to care.
Somebody let me come through,
I’ll always be there,
As frightened as you,
To help us survive,
Being alive.
Being alive.
Being alive!

6 Times I Have Been 100% Convinced That Hannibal and Will Were About To Kiss - A List

1. Fromage - Post Tobias fight / death when Hannibal realises that Will didn’t actually die ( and does a lil gasp n swallow oh lordy) and that he has FEELINGS about that and he looks up at Will with tear glistening eyes and absolute adoration ‘I was worried you were dead’ (fyi this is one of my fav scenes ever it’s so angsty and beautiful and uGHHH) 

2. Su-Zakana - post turducken horse birth gross times when Hannibal cha chas in real smooth and takes Will’s gun out of his hand ( no that’s not a euphemism) in the most erotically charged scene i’ve seen on TV in a long time despite the gross ass surrounding setting, and he grabs Will’s FACE in his HAND and they are so close to kissing holy shit I really don’t know how that didn’t happen especially cause Hannibal at the same time is barely containing his boner for Will’s mind 

3. Mizumono - Post horrendously heart wrenching ( or should I say gut wrenching ) betrayal stab goodbye moment when Hannibal is literally crying and stabs Will and embraces him like oh my GOD 

4. Dolce - almost every single moment in the scene in the art gallery but especially possibly the most romantic thing Hannibal has ever said ‘If I saw you everyday forever Will, I would remember this time’ 

5. The Wrath Of The Lamb - When Hannibal and Will are about to enjoy a nice glass of wine together before The Red Dragon shows up and Will says ‘ I don’t know if I can save myself, maybe that’s just fine.’ and Hannibal gives him the most intense smoulder look I have almost ever seen with SUCH a pause that I honestly was like ‘this is it, this is the moment’ 

6. The Wrath Of The Lamb
- The ‘It’s beautiful’ moment just before the cliff hanger 

honourable mention 

(if these are ur gifs let me know and I’ll pop credit in cause I just used google sozzzz ) 

anonymous asked:

Hi! I was wondering something. In the TV show, is Hannibal ever wrong? Like, he's kind of wrong in thinking Will will run away with him at the end of season 2 but not entirely either, since Will doesn't really know himself. Is there another instance where he's really, really wrong about something? Can't seem to find anything. Penny for your thoughts!

Is Hannibal ever wrong? IS HANNIBAL EVER WRONG???? Well, there was that one time he thought Will had murdered Freddie Lounds until he smelled her shampoo on him. That was a doozy.

You’re right that Hannibal isn’t wrong often, and when he is, it’s often either debatable or utterly catastrophic. Or both. Like…I would say he was definitely wrong that eating Will’s brains was a good idea, but it would have accomplished what he wanted it to, which was to allow him to forgive Will in perpetuity. So…*shrug.*

Debatable or not, here’s a list of a few ways in which Hannibal has been wrong from at least one point of view:

  • That Abigail would behave herself and not go digging up Nick Boyle’s body.
  • That no one would know what Abigail did.
  • That Will would believe that he could have killed all those people in S1 (yes, he intended that: that’s the point of the therapy scene with the shadow figures in Hannibal’s office in “Savoureux”)
  • That Leda and the Swan is appropriate dining room art.
  • That Bedelia would just hang around her house waiting for him to kill her.
  • That Will changing his strategy mid-trial would work.
  • That his own testimony would be helpful.
  • That Bella wouldn’t smack the bejesus out of him if he leaned over her.
  • That he could kill Beverly without exacting retribution from Will.
  • That that dude swimming next to him was not a threat.
  • That a squab foot on a fig newton is a good hors d'oeuvre.
  • That Will would be happy with him for getting him out of jail.
  • That complaining about your boyfriend’s aftershave is either flirting or going to get him to change it.
  • That there wasn’t a dude in that horse.
  • That Freddie would just hang around her hotel room waiting for him to kill her.
  • That Will sliced the ginger.
  • That Will could get over his betrayal more easily and wasn’t deceiving him in S2.
  • That cutting Will open and slicing Abigail’s neck was a good idea.
  • That he could just get over Will if he shacked up with his own psychiatrist.
  • That he would not be recognized as Not Roman Fell.
  • That he could keep Jack from kicking his whole ass that one time.
  • That Will might have thought it would be good to see him. 
  • That Alana’s wife and child belong to him.
  • That he should stand that close to the edge of a cliff.

And his most egregious sin:

  • Serving fish jello.

Feel free to add more!

Will’s Mind Pendulum

Has anyone else noticed the difference between Will analyzing Hannibal’s crime scene and Will analyzing someone else’s crime scene?

When he investigates the Leeds murder in The Great Red Dragon, his mind pendulum makes an appearance for the first time in season 3.

The pendulum is a way for Will to get into the murder empathy mindset, but it also represents a physical barrier between him and the subject he wants to analyze. In essence, it establishes a defensive barrier between his sense of self and his sense of the killer’s self, keeping them completely separate from each other. The stronger the pendulum, the stronger his sense of self.

Compare this to his analysis of the Hannibal’s crime scene in Primavera. Here, Will doesn’t use a pendulum. There is just a brief blur in and blur out to signify his entrance into Hannibal’s state of mind.

At this point, his mind is so intertwined with Hannibal’s that he doesn’t need the physical act of the pendulum to get him into the correct mindset. His sense of self is already almost entirely wrapped up and muddled up with Hannibal’s. Not only does he not need to use his pendulum in this moment, he probably can’t use his pendulum to put up a mental barrier between them. They’re already conjoined after all.

In Dolce, Will says to Hannibal, “You and I have begun to blur.” I think it’s pretty neat that they were able to illustrate that with the simple absence of a pendulum effect.

You know, I was thinking about Hannibal’s insistence on Will using his hands. I mean, that was practically an arc in and of itself. It got me to thinking about how Will habitually uses guns. They’re impersonal, etc. And I’m thinking it’s important to note that Will WANTS to treat weapons as tools. He WANTS to distance himself. Certainly, that’s for different reasons at different times, but the point still stands.

But forgiveness isn’t a gun, not to Will. Forgiveness is a blade. And that’s very important for me to note.

Hannibal would never use a gun. It’s not that I don’t think he could, per se. In fact I have every confidence that Hannibal probably knows how to use one, at least theoretically. But I don’t think it’s just pretentiousness that keeps Hannibal from using one, and I don’t think it’s just a sadism thing. It has to do with it being personal.

Hannibal’s aunt (who is mentioned in the show), Lady Murasaki, is Japanese. She’s the one who Hannibal inherits the armor from, and the swords. And man, there is TRADITION there. How and when you clean a sword. How you treat the sword generally. You bow to the sword. (I’m not kidding–we still do this in iaido. You bow to the lowliest cheap bokken like mine or the genuine samurai katana my sensei has. Even in kendo, where the sword is bamboo and not a real katana, you still don’t step over it, lean it with its tip on the ground, or point it at someone you don’t intend to fight. The idea that it is a part of you and representative of your actions is very real.) If the katana is on your hip, you have a hand on it. If it’s not on your hip, it’s never more than five feet from you. That sword was probably blessed by one or more priests and prayed over during its forging. A sword was said to contain part of a samurai’s soul. Lady Murasaki was fully aware of that and cleaned the armor and the swords religiously, and passed that knowledge on to Hannibal.

So what I’m saying is, Hannibal was made aware of these myths and blade traditions at a young age. No wonder, then, that he so clearly prefers knives and hands over anything that puts distance between himself and the act of killing itself. No wonder he pushes Will to abandon them, if to Hannibal, Will’s heart, Will’s SOUL was so clearly not in the act.

Not to mention–this makes Will’s method of forgiveness in Dolce that much more interesting. Forgiveness is a blade, to Will. It’s safe to say his heart is in it.

anonymous asked:

Im sry but 4-5years??? Most ppl moved on during those 2 years, after that there will only be a small amount of ppl left and Hannibal will again be cancelled after one season. I feel betrayed. I feel its bc of his new show - of course it is or how else would be earn money during the next 4-5years. I feel let down. I feel used. Are my feelings even legit? Am I just sensitive and impatient? Im just angry now.. pls console me somehow .___.

Okay, I’ll do my best. <3

4-5 years is not the best news, but I think Bryan is giving us a broad window of what to expect in a realistic way. I’d always said that it would be at least two more, probably three (keeping in mind that writing and production happen only after a deal is inked). So it being a year or two longer than that doesn’t really surprise me, fwiw.

Where I think you’re jumping to conclusions is with regard to the audience, both in the fandom and the general audience. A great deal of people have moved on in the last two or three years, yes, but I tend to think there isn’t going to be any more mass exodus: the same people who are here after two years will be here after two more, by and large. And we might pick up a few souls in the meantime.

And it’s really only a two year wait, not four of five, until we would start getting information about dates, plans, ideas, and eventually production news and bts photos and all that. True content drought isn’t going to last that long for the fandom. There will be hype. There always is.

That brings us to the issue of the general audience, whether it will be so depleted that Hannibal will be cancelled again. Cancellation is always a possibility, ofc, but there’s no real connection between who is going to be watching the show and the number of people in the fandom at any given moment. It’s not like the people who have left the fandom or don’t post about the show anymore are just going to boycott a new season, should it come. They’ll check it out. The general audience is going to depend on advertising campaigns and hype, the television landscape of the time, the network its on, and what the reputation that Hannibal had gained during its initial run does to the franchise burnout that had hampered the show in the first place. Worrying about whether a theoretical next season would get cancelled again is just borrowing trouble, imo. And even if it did happen, we’d still…have another season in the meantime? What’s there to get upset about in that?

What Bryan’s tweets tell us is that the show is at full reset, and it’s going to have to go through the full process that any new show goes through to get made. We’re probably not going to get news in the next few months that a series is being ordered, which I think was the best-case scenario that most people were hoping against hope would come about. He estimates it’ll take a couple years to settle negotiations between the two studios that they have to work this out with (which tends to indicate they’re going after Clarice and Will together after all). That could turn out to be something less than two years, as well. It’s not like he can anticipate that. If, at the end of two or three years, it’s not looking likely that the studios can ever come to some kind of agreement, then we’ll know that it’s not really going to happen after all. In the meantime, we also know that they’re at least aiming for a proper show (not a single movie event or some such) and they’re trying to do it right, and make it complete.

What Bryan’s done, since he can’t give us any guarantees, is given us a window of possibility, and an honest explanation of the timeframe of hoops the process has for him and DLC to jump through. American Gods most certainly plays some part in that delay, and like you, I find that frustrating. But Bryan would have been a fool not to have taken that American Gods contract when it came to him, since it was such a major project and they were willing to wait till he was ready (had Hannibal stayed on for a full seven seasons, they would not have made American Gods till it was done). And he’s paid for it too–he lost his dream job of showrunning a Star Trek series largely because of American Gods

So I wouldn’t feel betrayed. He’s being as faithful and open as he can be: he’s pursuing the show, giving us an understanding of what it takes to get there, and telling us what to expect. Hannibal was terribly difficult for him in terms of exhaustion and budget and subject matter. Him making sure that he takes the time to do it right this time is good for everyone. 

I asked the following question during the second Hugh/Bryan panel at RDC3 (To be fully transparent, it’s @bonearenaofmyskull‘s question)

ECDH: Hannibal insists that Will is a killer, that it’s his base nature, while Bedelia says that Will is capable of violence because he is compassionate (the sheepdog doesn’t savage the sheep vs he always wants to). Who do you think is right? 

Hugh Dancy: I don’t think that Will is the killer that Hannibal believes or wants him to be. But I think that Bedelia is maybe letting him off the hook a little. He’s got the propensity for it, but that doesn’t mean that’s exclusively who he is. The answer to your question may not be a yes/no kind of a question.  

Bryan Fuller: […]The compassion between Will and Hannibal is all based on the fact they understand each other. For Hannibal that’s such a rare gift, to be understood, and to see somebody and have them see him back. So I think with Hannibal there’s a lot of wanting Will to be the killer. When you’re in a kind of relationship with somebody and you project upon them things that you want them to be because you’re seeing them as a mirror to who you are. So I feel like, yes, Will is capable of murder because he will defend…whoever. So I feel like Bedelia is closer to being right than Hannibal. If it was Politifacts, I’d say she’s leaning towards true and Hannibal’s leaning towards a lie.

ECDH: […]I’ve found when people ask me questions about how I think Will thinks, the answer is usually not either or, but both.

Hugh: Yes, exactly.

Bryan: Yes, I think that’s accurate.  

On the surface, Will telling Hannibal “I don’t find you that interesting” seems unbelievably rude. Ah, we think, Hannibal must find Will special if he puts up with that. But, this early on Hannibal has only shown Will his mask, his human suit. To most people, the facade is interesting enough. That’s the point. All the trappings were put there by Hannibal to distract everyone from his real self. When Will is not impressed by this smoke screen, he has passed an important test.

In Re: the Verger Baby

 I once knew a woman who was good at being pregnant. I didn’t know her well, but we attended the same drop-in yoga class for a few years. The knock-on effect of having a consistent yoga practice with the same small group is learning the peculiarities of someone’s body even as you keep forgetting their name.

This woman had a naturally open, hyperflexible spine. In sessions where we focused on backbend poses, she would move into Camel or Upward Bow effortlessly and keep going, seeking the full extension of the pose. It was extraordinary to watch: the rest of us back on our mats untwisting the insides of our shoulders, her still arched, the instructor giving correction and guidance as she inched hands and feet ever closer to each other, or allowed her heart-center to sink closer to the floor.

In the time that we practiced together she gave birth to one daughter who she was raising and another child she placed in an open adoption. There might have been another child she’d given up before I met her, I’m not sure. I do know she loved all her children and would go on loving them, no matter if she saw them every moment or a few times a year.

Pregnancy is a sea change. (I’m speaking in the abstract here; I don’t expect I’ll ever know this from the inside out.) Even in the best-case scenario it’s all-consuming, often grueling. There are worst-case scenarios that can feel like a suicide pact, and some of them more or less are. I’ll allow that maybe I only saw this woman on her best days. But every day I saw her she had that glow, a singularity of purpose shimmering around her. It seemed to me that her body held no storms she couldn’t weather, and she knew it.

I want to give all this to Alana Bloom. I want to give her an uncomplicated pregnancy and easy birth. The universe places no limit on how much pain a person might be required to endure, but I do.

Alana stops worrying the day her test comes back positive. Before, she’d hought of motherhood in vague terms: if/then, maybe someday, the right man. Now she has Margot and a turkey baster and a means to get them both free. What better reason is there, really?

It’s Margot who worries. She researches different brands of prenatal vitamins. She has the OB-GYN on speed-dial. She prints out articles on gestational diabetes and preeclampsia and the pros and cons of amniocentesis. She knows exactly what Alana is and isn’t supposed to eat and changes her own diet to match. She interviews four prospective doulas before Alana tells her to knock it off.

Alana drops the articles in the recycling without reading them. She has a canned speech for her most hypochondriac patients, about the worried well and the danger of too much unfiltered information. Instead she says: tonight I want to have a beer. One won’t do any harm.

It’s a Sierra Nevada Pale. Margot’s Aperol spritzer is the palest pink, mostly bubbles and ice.

This is when they have the conversation about sex-selective abortion. I don’t know what they say to to each other, nor do I know Alana’s answer. I think they might tell me, which is why I won’t ask.

The second trimester is hell on Alana’s newly reconstructed pelvis, and it only gets worse. It took months for her body to knit itself together and now there’s a blind kicking thing inside her, testing the seams. Extra-strength Tylenol is no substitute for Percocet, but it’s all she’s allowed on account of the baby. And not too much of that, because it can cause liver damage.

Margot offers herbal remedies that don’t help at all and  heating pads that don’t help all that much. She touches Alana more often, and holds her tighter. It doesn’t help with the pain. But it helps.

Towards the end Alana has to go back to using a wheelchair. Don’t get me something fancy, she tells Margot. I want the same model as before. At least I won’t have to relearn the basics. And yes, on the surface it resembles the worst, most wobbly stage of her recovery, but it feels like a retrenchment. Alana is doubling down on her new life. She feels doubled. What was a faraway glint; then a blind kicking thing; then a healthy fetus, everything checks out, perfectly normal is making itself into a real baby. There is an entire, perfect, unknowable person inside her, and all three of them have a lifetime to get to know one another.

It goes without saying that Alana has to give birth via C-section. She insists on spinal anaesthesia, though, and the Johns Hopkins Birthing Center. She’ll be conscious, and Margot will be with her. The moment the Verger baby leaves her womb and the moment he is returned to her arms will be on the record. No hidden surgical suites, no fudged paperwork. That’s not Alana’s world and it doesn’t have to be Margot’s, not anymore.

Except now she and Margot have the same scar, for opposite reasons.

There’s no such thing as a happy ending on this damn show, but you can have one if you know when to quit. Here’s mine: we leave mothers and baby whole and healthy, with free uncharted lives ahead of them.

Reciprocity/ Reckoning

The concept of “reciprocity” between Hannibal and Will is often overlooked in the plot and in the motivations of both characters. Will has his own term for it: “reckoning”. Hannibal brings up the concept in the context of sending Randall Tier after Will. They each have their own concept of it but it amounts to the same thing and it becomes a cornerstone of their relationship in my opinion. Things that can be hard to understand in the story, especially in terms of motivations, become a lot clearer when view in the context of “reciprocity” or “reckoning”. 

Hannibal looks on while Will is shot S1

Will looks on while Hannibal is shot S3

In each case too it is as a result of the other’s plan. Will gets shot in the course of Hannibal’s plan to frame him. Hannibal gets shot in the course of Will’s plan to work with the dragon/eat bedelia/escape or whichever one you ascribe to since it’s still somewhat unclear at this point.

Hannibal guts Will S2

Will tries to stab Hannibal S3

This one is pretty self explanatory. But it helps to clear the fog of questions about why Will would show up to see Hannibal, have a nice chat with him and then suddenly pull a knife on him in the middle of the street after he’d “forgiven” him in the catacombs.

Hannibal lies to put Will in jail S1

Will lies to put Hannibal in jail S3

Since Hannibal framed Will in Season 1, Will decided to do the equivalent in Season 3. At first it seems like Will is simply telling Hannibal he doesn’t want to see him anymore. He’s tired of him. But we later learn that Will did it quite deliberately in order to trick Will into going to jail. “You’d only do that, if I’d rejected you.” 

Will saves Hannibal from Mason S2

Hannibal saves Will from Mason S3 

This one is actually quite symmetrical since Will was the one who put Hannibal in the position to be captured by Mason. “You put the snare around my neck.” And he cuts him down from the straight jacket instead of killing him. In the same way, Will gets caught by Mason because he is first caught by Hannibal. And Hannibal rescues Will instead of killing him as he was in the process of doing when they were caught (seemingly at least). 

Hannibal runs off with Bedelia S3

Will runs off with Molly S3

I don’t think Hannibal’s explanation that Will needed a family to escape himself, was wrong, but I don’t think that’s all it was either. The jealousy in both cases is quite clear.

Hannibal tries to kill Molly S3

Will tries to (or does) kill Bedelia S3/4

One of the hardest plot points to understand is why Will wanted so badly to kill Bedelia. She was not a hardened serial killer, she did little more than “participate” and lie about it. If we view it in the framework of reciprocity/reckoning it becomes almost obligatory. 

There are many such examples between Will and Hannibal throughout the series. But I think these illustrate the idea well enough. There is a case to be made that some of these examples are simply parallels but since “reciprocity” and “reckoning” are concepts that both characters bring into their relationship, I don’t see how they can ever be cast aside when analyzing their motivations. It may not be stated explicitly that they did a certain thing for the purpose of getting “even steven” but I don’t think it can be avoided in any of their actions with regards to each other.

crimsonsoulpower  asked:

How do you want S4 to be? Hannigramatic? How so? Do you believe they'll still be angsting or would have been mellowed a but? :D

My ideal for S4 (or 4, 5 and 6, for that matter–I’m not too particular on the time frame, so if Bryan wants to draw it out over more than one season, more power to him) is for Will to learn who he is: the limitations of him being a killer, that he’s NOT cut out for Hannibal’s lifestyle even if he tries, that no matter how beautiful he may have felt killing by Hannibal’s side was, it doesn’t sustain him and is only one aspect of the creature that he is.

This is why I asked @existingcharactersdiehorribly to ask the question that she did at RDC3, which was more or less a S4 question, disguised. S3 left us with a truly borderline Will Graham, one who had both finally accepted himself as a killer and sentenced himself to die for it, and Bryan has talked about how a future season of Hannibal would show Will truly on the other side of the wall for the first time, with his “tether” cut. So if that’s where they start him, then where do they intend to go? What’s the final destination? That disagreement between Hannibal and Bedelia, which was left somewhat open-ended in S3, seemed like it presented an opportunity to take the temperature of the writer’s room on the matter, so to speak. The answers they gave were exactly the answers I hoped and suspected that they would give, indicating both a dedication to Will’s duality (on Hugh’s part) as well as a remembrance of and dedication to his heroism (on Bryan’s part). Bryan’s answer is especially encouraging because he’s the one who holds the vision for the future and the direction the story would take for Will.

In conjunction with Will truly learning who he is, I also want to see Hannibal finally coming to accept this fact also. Sometimes I just want to ask Bryan and Mads, “Hey, do you think it could ever occur to Hannibal that if he wants to be with Will that maybe–MAYBE–he should stop trying to change Will and just maybe work on, oh, I dunno…CHANGING HIMSELF?”

I’m not necessarily holding my breath for this particular revelation to ever occur to Hannibal, or that the tiger could change its stripes if it did occur to him. But the course of the story that’s been told so far, from Hannibal’s side, has been about his gradual release of control in spite of his absolute reluctance to let go. I remember Hugh saying in some interview way back when something about how Hannibal wanted to control their relationship, but in the end it’s Hannibal who is willing to burn the world to the ground for Will, and that puts Will in control. I want to see a continuation of that.

S1 was about how Hannibal nearly got caught because he began taking risks for Will and Abigail, but he put Will in prison instead, to preserve his life and lifestyle and freedom. So he maintained his control. But S2 saw him begin the process of gradually dismantling everything in his life for Will. First the Chesapeake Ripper got sacrificed, along with Miriam Lass, his “get out of jail free” card. Then he gave up his anonymity and prestige and cushy life in Baltimore to go on the run for Will. When that didn’t work out, he could recreate those things somewhat, but then he chose to give them up again, along with his freedom–the very thing that he’d held back from giving up in both S1 and S2, that caused all this mess in the first place. Through all this, though, Hannibal has maintained a steadfast belief that Will is that mirror image of him, and so the one integral thing that he hasn’t given up is that slight lie that he’s told himself. That is the one aspect of their relationship that he has absolutely clung to, and it has controlled the nature of the relationship: that not only is Will a killer, but that bringing this out in him is the best thing for him.

I want to see Hannibal and Will both learn that Hannibal has been, to some extent, telling them both a lie. And I want to see Hannibal accept it, and love Will anyway. I want his love to truly become unconditional.

I’d like to see Will’s coming to a truer understanding of himself through Hannibal’s influence and mentoring as the “continuation” of their relationship that Bryan talked about, and Hannibal finally coming to understand the limits of his vision for Will as the “subversion/inversion” of it. 

Why it’s important to recognize Will rescues strays

So here’s why I think it’s such a disservice to Will Graham as a character to joking dismiss his interaction with Winston as “stealing” as opposed to rescuing.[*]

We’ve seen Jack drag Will, very reluctantly, into the initial Shrike investigation. 

And Will has just had a Very Bad Horrible No Good Day. He’s had to interview the parents of a missing young woman, when he’s pretty certain she’s probably already dead. 

He then discovered the dead body of that young woman – in her own bed – in front of her father. He had to find a way to prevent her father from disrupting the crime scene, while having full awareness of just how horrific this had to be for her father. 

He had to reconstruct the horrific murder of this young woman, and be disrupted during that process by someone who had to remind him that he wasn’t mentally stable enough to be a full time FBI agent. And then there’s Zeller being all Zeller in his space. 

Oh, and the first signs of his encephalitis making him feel unaccustomedly bad after the reconstruction, starting to mainline aspirin. 

So, after a day that is pretty fucking horrible, and having to fly home, he finally gets into his car to drive home – and he sees a stray dog with a rope around its neck.

He can ignore the dog. He can just go home and go to sleep. But he doesn’t. He tries to engage the dog. Running around with a goddamn rope tied around its neck. 

He could call animal control, and just go home. But he doesn’t. Despite being more tired and stressed than anyone should have to deal with, he goes and gets treats, and coaxes the dog to come to him. 

And takes the obviously ill-treated stray dog home. And then gives the dog a proper grooming. And then, being a concerned dog owner, doesn’t just let it loose among his existing pack, but gives the dog a safe space of its own while introducing it. 

Can you imagine how tired Will was? What a horrific day he’d had? And yet he still found the energy to connect with Winston, and introduce Winston to his new family. 

That’s who Will Graham is. That’s the Will Graham who will become concerned about Abigail Hobbs, and Georgia Madchen, and Margot Verger. That’s the Will Graham who will be angry about the Lost Boys who gave away their families. That’s the Will Graham who will torment himself over enjoying killing Garret Jacob Hobbs. 

So to dismiss his behavior as “dog thief” is to miss the whole point of what it says about who Will Graham really is. 

[*] you can certainly find me making/reblogging jokes about Will Graham, dog thief, and I undoubtedly will again. There are fandom shorthand jokes we know are jokes, but occasionally it’s useful to revisit the core character. 

let’s play hannibal or pushing daisies!

  • the Main Guy really likes to cook. like really likes to
  • his kinda love interest slash other main character (now known as The Brunette) likes dogs
  • there’s an african american Detective Guy who just wants to do his job and is involved somehow with Gina Torres
  • the Sassy Blonde character 
    • bonus points if the Main Guy, The Brunette, and the Sassy Blonde are in a weird kind of love triangle
  • Bees? BEES.
    • bees as an accessory to murder 
  • Ellen Greene
  • Female Horse Jockeys
  • ~aesthetic~ color palette 
  • Raul Esparza
  • Many great shots of food
    • but you’re going to be thinking of dead things when you look at the food #sorrynotsorry
  • Ridiculous, elaborate murders
Relieving the Pressure

Hannibal has a “pattern” of having relationships with violent patients, according to Bedelia. Will is the one who not only breaks this pattern but completely upends it. Hannibal has to adopt various strategies in order to get close to people, let them “see” him and keep them in his life. 

Bedelia: You have to maintain boundaries Hannibal.

Hannibal: When the pressures of my personal and professional relationships with Will grow too great, I assure you I’ll find a way to relieve them.

Hannibal “relieves the pressure” of those who he becomes personal with by neutralizing them. They can “see” him only if there is some other factor that prevents them from exposing who he is to the authorities. He does this by various methods and always by sharing in some kind of murder with the person. If all of these strategies fail, then he will kill the person before they can expose him. There is a definite pattern of how he does this even though it involves different situations and different people. 

With Bedelia we don’t get much of a description about how Hannibal carried out his strategy of keeping her in his life while letting her “see” him. We don’t know how long they had known each other or how close they were before he deployed his strategy. What we do know is that he sent a violent patient to her and when she killed him in “self defense” he helped her to cover up her crime. They were bound together through that and Hannibal took advantage of that. When Bedelia said she wanted to retire, Hannibal was her only patient who refused to stop therapy with her. That’s both because Bedelia refused a more friendly or informal relationship with him and also because of the amount of work he put into being able to have any kind of relationship with her. However, Bedelia only saw “enough” of him, not everything. At the point when she saw more of who he really was Hannibal immediately took lethal action. He went to her home in his murder suit ready to kill her. She only escaped because she had already run away before he showed up at her home. And in the end, he is eating her with Will.

With how quickly Hannibal moved to establish a connection with Will and Abigail, we can assume that Hannibal probably moved at probably a similar rate with Bedelia. He realizes who can “see” or understand him pretty much right away and starts a strategy to establish the connection. With Bedelia it was with a violent secret. With Abigail it was the same thing. He knew that Abigail helped her Father kill the girls and he also helped her to cover up her murder of Nick Boyle and Abigail knew that he called her Father. Like Bedelia, she didn’t “see” all of him and once she hit that point of no return, Hannibal again initiated violent action against her. This time, because of the relationship he wanted with Will, he faked her death instead of killing her. But he still cut off her ear and isolated her from public life and does kill her in the end.

Will started out very much like the others, but because of the special nature of their relationship the pattern is broken pretty quickly. Will was also a very fast connection. Like with Bedelia and Abigail they are bound together by a violent action. However, unlike Bedelia and Abigail, the murder was ruled as legitimate self defense and didn’t have to be kept secret or covered up. Hannibal still used this to establish that trust with Will. Will admitted that he liked killing Hobbs, something he would not admit to anyone else. But Hannibal didn’t show much of himself to Will until he brought Will into the secret that Abigail and he already shared. We can see that at the moment Will says that he knows about Nick Boyle, Hannibal briefly contemplates lethal action by touching his scalpel. But he doesn’t do it.

Originally posted by existingcharactersdiehorribly

When Will “sees” him more fully Hannibal still doesn’t take any lethal action against him. In a definite break of pattern Hannibal lets Will take the lethal action. Will tries to shoot Hannibal and he also sends Matthew Brown after him. And he also has a gun and a knife that he uses against Hannibal unsuccessfully. Then there is the ultimate ending when Will takes Hannibal over the cliff (however that action is interpreted; symbolically or literally). Initially it seemed Hannibal did want to neutralize Will and succeeded to some extent by framing him. Will knew who Hannibal was but because he was framed, nobody believed him. And when Chilton was framed instead of Will, Hannibal felt safe enough to let Will out of prison. When the authorities were getting too close again, and Will says that what they are doing isn’t “sustainable”, he doesn’t decide to protect himself by neutralizing Jack or Will. Instead he decides to end his life in Baltimore and he just wants Will to run away with him. In the end, Hannibal chose not to neutralize Will, certainly not with lethal action as he did and does with Abigail and Bedelia. 

Hannibal decides to neutralize himself

He gives himself up to the authorities, he relieves the pressure, so that Will can decide when he wants to see him again or not. By completely reversing the pattern, and their roles, Hannibal adopted a new strategy to try to make sure that someday Will might be in his life again. Though we don’t know exactly what their relationship looks like after this new strategy, we know it was successful. Hannibal has Will in his life in the end. 

What I find so interesting about this pattern break and role reversal is that Hannibal didn’t need to do it. Will essentially neutralized himself in Digestivo before Hannibal did. He said he would not chase after Hannibal anymore and since Will is really the only person who could catch Hannibal, he could have run away again and been fairly secure in his new life. I think this speaks to the fact that Hannibal never wanted to truly neutralize Will. What he wanted was for Will to be in his life permanently. And as we see with the previous examples, neutralizing a person is never permanent unless it ends with Hannibal killing them. With Will it becomes permanent by Will “killing” Hannibal.