i feel so guilty i just wanted to catch up on hannibal

Alana Finds Out: Zombies!

Another instalment of AFO in honour of Ladies of Hannibal week… in which Alana faces the possible end of the world… and some other unfortunate revelations.

(Also a small warning: there are mentions of offstage character deaths here. None of the major characters are affected, but be prepared in any case.)

Also on AO3.

“…the attackers can be stopped by removing the head or destroying the brain.”

Alana stood watching the television she hadn’t even known Hannibal owned, transfixed by the impossibility of what she was seeing. On the screen, a news anchor, sweating through his shirt and a face-full of makeup, was giving details of what no one could any longer deny was the rise of the undead.

“Alana,” Hannibal had appeared behind her silently, his hand on her arm causing her to jump, “I think it is time to go.”

She turned to face him and froze. The man in front of her looked very much like Hannibal Lecter, except he was dressed in jeans, heavy boots and a leather jacket and appeared to have strapped the katana from his bedroom to his back.

“Hannibal, what…”

“The transport is outside, Alana, it is time for you to go.”

She looked up from his unfamiliar ensemble, taking in the firm set of his mouth, the sad look in his eyes. “Why aren’t you coming?”

“I have a friend out there who requires my help.”

Alana didn’t have to wonder. “You’re going to find Will. Even after what he did, what he accused you of?”

Hannibal nodded. “You know as well as I that Will is not guilty.”

In the face of the zombie apocalypse, Alana found it all too easy to accept the truth of this, as well as something else she now knew should have been obvious. “You’re in love with him.”

“Yes. I’m sorry if that upsets you but if there still exists a chance to keep him safe, I must take it.”

Alana considered getting upset for a moment but she had never seen her progression from Hannibal’s friend to his lover as anything more than a clutch for comfort by either of them. Not to mention, the presence of the armed transport outside, courtesy of Jack Crawford’s calling in of every favour he’d ever earned, rather shortened the timeframe for confrontations. Instead, she simply wrapped her arms around Hannibal, with the words, “Don’t be too reckless. Take care of him.” She drew back and met his eyes, “And be honest with him. No metaphors, no literary allusions, no exquisitely crafted obfuscations. Just tell him. I’m reasonably certain you’ll get the response you want.”

Hannibal’s eyes lit at this, in a way she’d never seen before. “You are?”

She shrugged, feeling surprisingly light-hearted in the face of the end of both her relationship and, potentially, the world. “The other reason I told him I couldn’t date him? When the pair of you aren’t trading elegant couplets on the subject of murder, you’re eye-banging like no one else can see you. It’s not subtle.”

It was this final sentence that meant, as she took her bags to the door, the last thing Alana saw of her former lover, was the unexpectedly beautiful sight of Hannibal Lecter blushing.

Three years later.

Alana would know those curls anywhere.

She was in Florida, helping a colleague to run a week of counselling sessions for traumatised survivors. Given that mostly everyone still alive in the US qualified as such, these events were always utter chaos, a barely controlled swell of emotion coupled with endless paperwork and administration. The chances that Alana would catch glimpse of a living, breathing Will Graham in any context were, she contemplated, microscopic. That she would, through the packed crowds of the conference centre, simply glance towards the refreshments table to see him struggling one-handed with a coffee pot seemed impossible to the point of absurdity.

And yet.

Alana excused herself from her colleagues and crossed the room, almost in a daze. Just before she could reach him, though, she realised with horror that the reason for Will’s struggle was the total absence of his left arm. His shoulder simply ended abruptly in a stump, covered with fabric neatly tailored to his altered form. Alana was used to such injuries – there had been far greater call for medics than psychiatrists during the last few years and Alana had found herself in field hospitals all across the country – but she couldn’t keep the words from leaving her lips.

“Oh, Will.”

He turned, clearly surprised to hear his name, still holding the pot in his remaining hand. She watched his eyes light with recognition as he set down the coffee and pulled her in for an embrace.

“Alana, you’re alive! I wasn’t sure, I… I don’t have the connections I had before.” He pulled back to look at her properly. “You’re ok? You’re safe, happy?”

“All of the above.” She felt a huge grin cross her face, the same reflected a second later on Will’s. It faded after a moment, though, as she glanced at the space where his arm should have been.

Will caught her look and said, “It’s ok, it could’ve been so much worse. Should have been. I got bit,” Alana’s head snapped up and she stared at him. “I know. Thought I was done for sure. It was only because of the guy with me, he took my arm off the second after the thing got hold of me. Kept the infection from spreading. Another second…” he trailed off, eyes clouded for a second, then shrugged. “I figure, an arm’s not that much of a sacrifice. And other than that, I’m a hell of a lot healthier than I was pre-apocalypse.”

Alana took a moment to look him over. Will was right – where she had known a scruffy, twitchy, often sweaty mess of a man who concealed his looks behind stubble and poor eye contact, the man before her now was neat and clean, smartly groomed and dressed in simple but elegant clothes. He also looked healthy, well-fed and clear-skinned, with an ease in his posture that she had never seen before. More than anything, though, he was meeting her eyes without hesitation, the expression in them so warm and genuine she wondered how she had ever thought him capable of violence and murder.

She smiled, feeling a prickle of tears in her eyes and then laughed, blinking them away. “The end of the world clearly agrees with you.” Will barked out a laugh, the same one she remembered, and she reflected gladly that some things remained unchanged. Then, without warning, she blurted, “I’m so sorry I didn’t believe you, Will.”

He cast his eyes away for a second but then looked back and shrugged. “It’s ok. I wouldn’t have believed me. It’s forgotten.”

“And… you’re a free man? They didn’t try to put you back in?”

“They made some perfunctory noises about it but, given my exemplary service to the nation in zombie massacring, as well as the fact that pretty much all the evidence against me was lost one way and another, they didn’t pursue it too hard. Apparently the going rate for freedom is a couple hundred undead and my total’s well above that, thus I am a fully certified member of the post-apocalyptic society.” He rolled his eyes. “C’mon, I’m not letting you go anytime soon, Bloom,” Will told her, taking her hand and dragging her to a couch in the corner. They sat and he looked seriously at her. “Do you know what happened to the others? Crawford? Katz and her boys?” Alana noticed that he didn’t say anything about Hannibal and realised, the thought sinking like a stone within her, that if Hannibal wasn’t with Will, it was because he had died trying.

The tears returned to Alana’s eyes and Will’s expression dropped. She pulled herself together, took a deep breath and told him. “Zeller died early on. He was out on duty when the bodies at the crime scene…” she sniffled, “he went out fighting but he wouldn’t have had a clue what was going on. He wasn’t turned, they just… destroyed him. Price was distraught, of course, Beverly too. He’s still alive, got a partner and kids, named his son Brian. He says if the kid doesn’t develop a terrible sense of humour and a fascination with dead bodies he won’t have done his job right.” Will grinned weakly, his own eyes sparkling with tears.

Alana clutched tightly at his hand with both of hers. She had hoped never to tell this next part ever again. “Jack… Jack’s dead too. He…” Alana was openly crying now. “He made sure he got everybody to safety that he could. Then he… god, Will, he helped Bella to go. They were found in their bed together, there was a syringe next to her and a bullet in his head. He left a note, said that he was tired of fighting monsters and since Bella couldn’t follow him, he’d follow her.” Will pulled her tight against himself and they sobbed together.

Eventually, they quietened and Will leaned back, saying, “He was a great man. A gigantic, bull-headed bear of a great man. I’m glad they were together at the end.” He squeezed her hand and then a frown crossed his brow. “What about Beverly? Is she…”

“Don’t worry. Not all my stories are sad.” Alana took a deep breath and tried to shake off her grief. “Beverly Katz is alive, a decorated hero of the war on zombies and, other than losing an eye in combat, is both hale and hearty and every bit the snarky, badass bitch she ever was.”

The relief in Will’s eyes was dazzling. “Saved the best for last, huh? I bet she really pulls off the eye patch.”

“I think so,” Alana agreed, “it’s really the main reason I married her.”

Will’s stunned expression was a picture. “What?” he nearly squealed. “You and Katz?”

Alana held up her left hand to show off her wedding ring. “She’s pretty amazing. And stupidly hot when smiting the undead.”

Will grinned and launched himself at her for yet another hug. She felt him chuckle against her and say, “Remember when I kissed you?”

“I faintly recall.”

“Really barking up the wrong tree, huh?”

“My finding you attractive was never the problem, Graham.” She smacked him lightly on the head. “Though I must admit, I like the new look better than the flannel.”

“Ah, yeah, there’s a reason for that.” Will released her and held up his own hand, displaying a gold band. “Snap. Wrong hand, of course, but completely official.”

“You got married? To who? Is she here, can I meet her?”

Will grinned, looking pleased with himself. “I believe my darling spouse should be arriving soon. I’ll give you all the gory details when I can make the introductions.”

“You’d better.” Alana decided she had to ask, before Will’s wife appeared and the chance was lost. “Will, I don’t know if anyone’s ever told you this but the last time I saw him, Hannibal was on his way to try to save you from Chilton’s hospital. He… he was in love with you, you know.” Will looked down. “I’m sorry, maybe you didn’t want to know that but… did he ever find you, did you ever see him again?”

From behind her, a familiar voice interjected, “Who else do you know could cut off a man’s arm and then convince him to marry them?”

Will’s grin could’ve lit the city. “Alana, I’d like you to meet my husband, Dr Hannibal Lecter.”

Alana turned to raise her eyes along all six-foot plus of her former mentor, finding herself unable to move. Hannibal seemed relatively unharmed, save for a wicked-looking scar that ran the length of one cheekbone. Seeing her shock, he grinned from ear to ear and Alana realised, as he leaned down for a hug, that she had never seen such an open expression on his face. Indeed, as Hannibal crossed to his husband, stealing a kiss before sitting behind him and pulling Will back against his chest, she realised how little resemblance this relaxed, loose-limbed, contented man bore to the one she had known before.

“She looks a little dazed, don’t you think darling?” Will asked teasingly.

“Positively stunned, dearest,” agreed Hannibal.

“So, I was right about the eye-banging,” Alana interjected, not wanting to let them win.

As Hannibal smirked behind him, Will exclaimed, “What the hell does that mean?”

After they’d finished laughing, they exchanged war stories for a couple of hours, Hannibal equally delighted to hear of Alana’s marriage and Alana entirely unsurprised it took less than two weeks after Hannibal had rescued Will from the BSHCI for their first kiss to occur.

Eventually, as the venue began closing for the night, Hannibal said, “Alana, we would love to have you for dinner.” Will seemed to choke a little as Hannibal clarified, “For you to come to our house to eat dinner.”

“You still cook, Hannibal?”

Will snorted. “As if the end of the world could stop him.”

“Yes,” Alana continued, “but you always cooked meat and it’s so hard to come by now.”

“In fact, my darling husband has adjusted well to a vegetarian diet,” Will told her. “Claims a couple of years killing zombies kinda did for his bloodlust.” His eyes twinkled as he looked up at Hannibal, whose eyes crinkled in response. Clearly Alana was missing some inside joke but she chose not to pry.

“In any case,” Hannibal added, “cutting off a large part of the man you love,”

“With a katana,” Will added.

“…has the unfortunate side effect of making butchery somewhat less appealing.”

Alana began to laugh at that, with the two men joining soon after and it took a couple of minutes for them to compose themselves. Finally, she regained enough breath to say, “A vegetarian dinner cooked by Hannibal Lecter. I knew there was a reason I survived the zombie apocalypse.”

Originally posted by rayofsonnshine

#19: “If you touch her again, I’ll kill you.”

Requested by anon.

Uhh, the serial killer in this is a fairly disturbed individual and I’ve been watching too much Hannibal so cannibalism is referenced, but more in a vague sense. 

“And then what happened?”

“Well, nothing really. But what could have happened? Mm, I suppose then I could have disposed of the body. And I imagine the best way to do that would be…”

You shifted in your chair, uncomfortable with the detail the suspect was going into. He was guilty - he knew it, you knew it, everyone knew it. But that wasn’t enough; he’d been smart so far, phrasing his confession as a hypothetical.

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Hannibal Advent: 2

1.2 - Amuse-Bouche:

(Okay, I didn’t really have anything for Amuse-Bouche, I’m just titling it with that for the sake of symmetry. Aesthetics are ethics, after all.)

So here we have the traditional alignment chart re: Hannibal and I know you have questions and considerations so I will forthwith present my arguments for these arrangements (also this took so much fucking longer than I wanted it to, please appreciate it even if you don’t 100% agree with my choices)

Lawful Good: Alana Bloom
Also: Bella Crawford
Alana wants to do things right because they’re right. She wants to do them by the book because she trusts the book. There is no stronger lawful good mentality, that is it in summary. Interestingly though, alignments on this show are not locked in, which is different from many other shows. By season 3, after being royally fucked (both definitions of the word) she is so traumatized she reverts to True Neutral: I want to keep me and mine safe, screw the rest of you. That big, justice-minded heart of hers gets so damaged that she goes from advocate to jailer. That’s powerful and not many shows have the guts to let characters change that much.

Neutral Good: Beverly Katz
Also: Miriam Lass, Brian Zeller, Jimmy Price
Beverly, as well as the whole team Sassy Science and Miriam Lass, is also interested in doing the right thing. But, they are willing to break the rules to do it. They’re willing to let personal bias guide them instead of holding themselves to an abstract concept of right and wrong. Unfortunately, sometimes this backfires. Although, to be fair, both Bev and Miriam actually found the Chesapeake Ripper, their rule breaking paid off. Just… don’t fuck with Neutral Evil.

Chaotic Good: Freddie Lounds
Also: Abigail Hobbs (though being groomed to become Neutral Evil)
I know what you’re thinking, how can Freddie Lounds be good when she’s only out for herself? Well, that’s where you’d be wrong. Yes, Freddie has an ego, but what does she want above all else? The truth. She’s actually a very good investigative journalist, her practices are disreputable and her personality is a bee sting, but she does in fact search for the truth. The ‘I’ll do anything to get what’s right’ mentality is her core. We may not agree with her definition of ‘right’ but nonetheless that is what she perceives herself to be doing. The Chaotic part I think goes without saying, have you seen her methods?

Lawful Neutral: Jack Crawford
Jack, too, is a very interesting choice. Because Jack has been known to break the rules, hasn’t he? Even for the right reasons… maybe. But Jack never gets his own hands dirty. He makes Will or Miriam break the rules and lets them face the consequences. And Jack experiences guilt over this, but it doesn’t stop him. He is not settled in his role as Lawful Neutral, but he holds it well. For example, while he does feel guilty, he holds himself to a lawful authority, not a moral one. Any moral questions are undiscussed in his character, his only fears are the reprimands from his job, not the beyond. Jack moralizes and rationalizes on a need-based system. He is a practical-minded administrator. One can argue he moves towards Neutral Good in season 3 when he is relieved of the burden of his position. But even then “maybe I need you to kill him”… maybe not.

True Neutral: Margot Verger
Also: Chiyo, Reba McClane
Margot is probably the definition of a True Neutral. She has no stakes in this game. She has no interest in the moral high ground. Neither is she interested in fucking anyone’s shit up. What she wants is freedom, she wants revenge against those who have wronged her, and she wants to protect those she cares about. But she does not care one whit for the larger games being played here and, if at all possible, would like out of it, please.

Chaotic Neutral: Will Graham
Also: Abel Gideon
Ohhhh, Will Graham. The unpredictable lynch-pin on which this great game rests. Will’s number one priority is to avoid being used. Of course, that works out splendidly, but nonetheless, it is his priority. Will isn’t afraid of using unorthodox means to achieve his ends and he also never consults a higher power or… anyone on his actions. Will feels guilt or doesn’t feel guilt based solely on his own evolving sense of right and wrong. In fact that may be an overstatement; Will has no right and wrong paradigm, he’s too subjective for that. There is only right and wrong in the moment, in the action itself. He only knows what the right thing to do is when he’s in the situation. He is a Neutral because all his motives are personal and unpredictable, intuitive; he is Chaotic because he will use any means for his motives, whether that’s killing or not killing or breaking a homicidal  megalomaniac out of jail.

Lawful Evil: Frederick Chilton
Also: Bedelia DuMaurier (though was previously probably Lawful Neutral before Hannibal got his hands on her)
Frederick likes nothing better than to rain on someone’s parade. There are many, many things he won’t do and he certainly plays by the rules. But he is chiefly motivated by a desire to cause misery in others and to elevate himself as much as possible. Because he is bound by fear of consequences, he’s never really a threat, at the same time, he’s never someone you could depend on to do the right thing because he wouldn’t. And you wouldn’t want to depend on anyway.

Neutral Evil: Hannibal Lecter
Evil that plans, evil that watches, evil that waits. Evil that insists on wearing a three-piece suit to murder people but is so afraid of stains, puts clear vinyl on over it so that you can still appreciate the suit without worrying about the clean up. There was never a more intimidating force of Neutral Evil in the world than Hannibal Lecter. The bad news is he does whatever he wants simply because he wants to. The worse news is he has the self-discipline and the patience not to get caught doing it. He controls his impulses (sort of) and waits for opportunities. Or I should say arranges opportunities as Hannibal is a master of manipulation. He does play by his own rules, which might incline one to put him in the Lawful Evil category, but Hannibal never balks over means. His goals are primary and if he has to change tactics, he will. That’s what makes him so good at presenting Lawful Good, taking moral umbrage even. Beware evil like him, it is insidious.

Chaotic Evil: Mason Verger
Also: Francis Dolarhyde
And on the other hand, we have the animal category. All of the carnal, selfish urges of Neutral Evil, none of the restraint or fear of the consequences. The good news about this is they’re relatively easy to catch, cage, overcome. Mason is lead solely by selfish desire, no matter how dangerous or perverse that desire is. And he has the means to obtain whatever he wants. As a result, he is narrow-minded in his pursuits, blind to the possibility of downfall, and so very easy to trap. Chaotic Evil is violently self-destructive and you just basically have to wait for the burnout. But lord, what a mess there will be in the mean time.

Hannibal Recap: Dolce

PREVIOUSLY ON HANNIBAL: Both Will and Hannibal were unceremoniously tossed from great heights. Battered, broken, bruised, and bloody, they continue to take their goddamn sweet ass time to reunite at their telepathically agreed upon meeting place. Jack looks on in mild surprise.

The episode opens with a bloody Hannibal limping through the luckily empty streets of Florence, only stopping to fashion a tourniquet for his leg.

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Hannibal Rewatch: 2x01

Season 2, Episode 1: “Kaiseki”

**Warning: rewatch blogging, written with knowledge of the full series

Maybe not the expected opening, but, I feel S2 is significantly funnier than S1? Like, generally more ridiculous, as well more actual punchlines. Although, also more beautiful, and more heartbreaking… idk, #PEAK TV. Season 2 is everything MORE, so I’m sure I’ll be over here finger-painting tears in the shape of words and everything, but that means we’re gonna need some lols, and when they are not already there I WILL ENDEAVOR TO BRING THEM.

Ok! So let’s see if I can turn Hannibal: Season Two into a TRAGIC ROMP. Hahahaha*crying* (oh great, we’re already in the money)


Huh. I had completely forgotten that 2x01 begins with the Crawford v. Lecter Rumble of 2x13. Just, utterly out of my head. Which is crazy because this fight is so good. Bless you Laurence Fishburne & Mads Mikkelsen, bless you and your sheep and your family’s sheep.

I feel like I’m looking at my family’s cat right before she sinks her teeth into my arm.

God imagine being Jack though, and Frasier Crane is leaping bodily over his kitchen counter to come snarling after the knife he just flung into your hand. I WOULD PEE.

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sanctuary - chatper 10


“Not going to school today,” Stiles mumbles from under his comforter when his dad asks. “My brain is too fuzzy.”

“Your brain is never too fuzzy, son,” his dad tells him, and pulls the comforter back. “Come on. You can take the day off school, but I’m not leaving you in bed to sleep all day and screw up your body clock. Get up and have a shower.”

Everything aches, and his back twinges as he slowly stands, but Stiles feels a hell of a lot better than he did last night. He waves his dad’s hand away. “I’m good.”

His dad hovers, probably thinking of all the times he’s literally had to pick Stiles up from the floor when he’s overestimated his ability to stand and move. “Use the bar in the shower, kid.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Stiles shuffles toward the bathroom.

He hates the bar in the shower, and the one beside the toilet that his dad installed the day they moved in.

“And do your exercises today!” his dad yells after him.

“I will!” he yells back.

The heat of the shower unknots his muscles more and makes him feel a little guilty. He probably is well enough to go to school, but he really doesn’t want to. And then he thinks of sitting with Scott and Allison and Lydia at lunch…

When he gets downstairs with his backpack slung over his shoulder, his dad raises his eyebrows at him.

“I’ll come home if I can’t handle it,” Stiles says.

His dad nods. “And if you need anything…”

“Yeah,” Stiles says. “I’ll call you.”

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mypage4sure  asked:

BTW-had you seen the jack clawford tag? After the episode aired it was crawling with hatred for him today it's less so with some added "pro jack" posts.

No, I don’t frequent the “Jack Crawford” tag. I have a feeling it would get on my nerves. 

I’ve always said that people really just struggle to empathize with Jack. Maybe because it’s easier to blame someone and wash your hands of them than it is to comprehend that they could have a boatload of perfectly good, perfectly understandable reasons to make the wrong decisions they make.

TBH, I don’t even understand how it’s possible to hate Jack when the trajectory of his character arc is painted so clearly in the first episode. And it starts out at such a low point to begin with and clearly only gets worse from here, between his wife’s cancer and possible death of someone close to him, all leading to the ultimate discovery that he was wrong about Will and Hannibal both. 

By putting the fight scene with Hannibal first in the season and the juxtaposing it with his dinner with Hannibal, they’ve shown just to what extent he’s going to be betrayed. It’s the betrayal he thinks he’s suffered at Will’s hands, for which he already blames himself. The fandom is no more harsh on Jack than Jack is on himself. He says right away that “Will’s death is on me,” not Hannibal, and that he “can’t stop thinking that Will may be convicted of five murders while I may only be convicted of one.” 

This indicates that he’s not just brought the guilt over what happened to Will onto his own shoulders, he’s also brought over guilt for the murders of all of “Will’s” victims. He sounds defeated when he says, “We can’t define Will at all.”

In the scene between Kade Purnell, Alana and Jack, he defends Alana’s integrity and does not bully her, acknowledging that things already are “ugly,” and he’s clear that he’s both ashamed and not avoiding the consequences that lie before him. He did not try to convince Alana not to file her report, even though he knew well enough that he would “get the bayonet.”

All this ought to be enough to engender some sympathy for the man, especially keeping in mind that it’s always been Hannibal’s aim to deflect attention from himself as the real guilty party onto someone else. If the characters are all lobbing blame in a certain direction at this point in the story, that ought to be an indicator that maybe it’s going in the wrong direction. When it comes to the audience, Hannibal has been as successful in his frame job of Jack Crawford as he was successful in his frame job of Will Graham in the show. 

Jack’s visit to Will’s house is another important scene. We’ve never seen Jack at Will’s house before, other than in the finale, but he took the time somewhere to learn Winston’s name. He even says to Winston, “I suppose you blame me too, huh?” But Winston cuddles right up to him, which is significant, given how close Winston is to Will.

Jack continues showing humility with Alana, telling her that he understands why she had to file her report. When he tells her that he really wants to be convinced of Will’s innocence, he means it. It’s what drove him to Will’s house to try to find some semblance of the man he once knew—the friend he once had—and it’s what drives him to Will’s cell in their scene together.

“I needed to remind myself of who you once were,” he says to Will. He needs to remember the man who was gentle and talked to him and comforted him about his wife’s cancer and the loss of Miriam Lass and catching the Ripper. He wants to remember his friend.

But Will doesn’t greet him as a friend. Will is so caught up in his recent memory of being force-fed an ear, that he plays all the wrong cards with Jack. He’s so fixated on vengeance that he’s like a man possessed. He becomes something foreign, something accusatory and aggressive. “You let the fox into the henhouse,” he says. When Jack says that Will described himself over Cassie Boyle’s dead body, Will, in quoting himself as “not the ‘intelligent psychopath’ you’re looking for,” does it again.

It’s not just that Will says things that Jack doesn’t want to hear. He doesn’t act like the man that Jack once knew and still cares about. It’s the difference between justice and vengeance. Jack is driven to find justice, but Will at this point in time is just as driven by vengeance as he is by justice. It’s a concept that’s closer to the killers they hunt than it is to the men of law they’re supposed to be. Not that Jack is entirely above it, himself—he very much wants vengeance for Miriam Lass’s death, for example—but it still isn’t the Will Graham he remembers.

In general, I find this pretty human and pretty tragic, and far more deserving of our pity than our anger.

Why Will Got Caught in the Monster’s Web

(Just for the record; this isn’t going to argue against Hannigram. That’s not the point at all. You’ll have to look elsewhere if that’s what you want. I’m just as interested in the psychology behind it all as Bryan Fuller is interested in writing about the psychological aspect of Will and Hannibal’s relationship. I’m not attempting to prove that their relationship is unhealthy – that much is obvious. It’s not about proving it’s abusive either, that also goes without saying. I am just going to look at some possible explanations as to why Hannibal and Will chose each other. This isn’t about moral. But it will be about romance. After all, there hardly is no escaping that fact.)

I have previously established that Hannibal fits the bill for a narcissist. So can that help explaining why he singled Will out and why Will got caught up in this abusive relationship?

Narcissistic abuse may also occur in adult-to-adult relationships, where the narcissistic person tends to seek out a successful (independent, educated, and attractive) and empathic partner in order to gain admiration of own attributes - narcissistic supply. The narcissist creates a dynamic abuser and victim relationship through a cycle of abuse resulting in traumatic bonding that makes it hard for their partner to leave the increasingly abusive relationship.

Does the above quote (taken from Wikipedia, not proper source material, I know, but decent enough and accessible) sound familiar? It sounds almost as if we could stick a photo of Will and Hannibal next to that text and voilà! Hannigram described and summed up in two sentences!

It’s no wonder Hannibal so quickly became what Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier described as “obsessed with Will Graham.” Will has an extraordinary ability to empathize. Hannibal even called it “pure empathy” and said that Will can assume Hannibal’s point of view. Will continually empathized with the Chesapeake Ripper and talked with Hannibal about how the Ripper was clever and artistic – thus offering narcissistic supply in spades. Furthermore Will was arguably successful in his field and he is educated. Attractiveness is subjective and debatable but let’s agree that he is reasonably attractive.  Independent, though? Well, he lived on his own and interacted only minimally with others. Though it could be argue that it’s not because he is naturally independent that he did this but because he probably knows that he becomes unhealthily dependent if he engages in any kind of relationship. All in all, to a narcissist like Hannibal, Will couldn’t be more perfect.

So we know why Hannibal initially set out to befriend Will and keep Will in his life (at almost any cost really.) But why did Will stay? At first he wasn’t aware of exactly what Hannibal has done, that he is the very murderer Will was trying to catch. Even if he couldn’t see that, Will is still a profiler, though, with an unusual ability to understand others and their motivations. It’d be surprising if he didn’t recognize Hannibal’s narcissistic traits. In fact, he does recognize Hannibal’s, though subtle, attempts at alienating Will from others. He even calls him out on it.

“You said he was afraid?” – Hannibal

“He feels abandoned.” – Will

“Ever feel abandoned, Will?”

“Abandonment requires expectations.”

“What were your expectations of Jack Crawford and the FBI?”

“Jack hasn’t abandoned me.”

“Not in any discernable way, perhaps in the way Gods abandon their creations. You say he hasn’t abandoned you, but at the same time you find yourself wandering around Wolf Trap in the middle of the night.”

“[laughing] Well. This should be interesting. Please, Doctor, proceed.”

“Jack gave you his word he would protect your headspace. Yet he leaves you to your mental devices.”

“You tryin’a alienate me from Jack Crawford?”

“I’m trying to help you understand this Angel Maker you seek.”

“Well, help me understand how to catch him.”

Yet he allows himself to be manipulated into codependency, for example when Hannibal asks him to keep Abigail’s secret.

“You know why. Because Jack Crawford would hang her for what her father has done. And the world would burn Abigail in his place, that would be the story. That would be what Freddie Lounds writes.” - Hannibal

[Will is silent.]

“Abigail is no more a killer than you are for shooting her father or I am for the death of Tobias Budge.” - Hannibal

“It isn’t our place to decide.” - Will

“If not ours, than whose? Who knows Abigail better than you and I? Or the burden she bears? We are her fathers now. We have to serve her better than Garret Jacob Hobbs. If you go to Jack you murder Abigail’s future. Do I need to call my lawyer, Will?” - Hannibal

[Will shakes his head]

“We can tell no one. What we are doing here is the right thing. In time this will be the only story any of us cares to tell.” - Hannibal

Once he got sick, suffering from encephalitis, as it were, it of course became much more difficult for him to operate as he would normally and he couldn’t really tell real and imagined apart. For a long time he couldn’t see that it was Hannibal who was doing it to him and, though he understood that his relationship with Hannibal wasn’t balanced and perhaps wasn’t truly sound, he had no reason to suspect Hannibal. Though, it’s interesting that by then Hannibal has successfully cut out everyone else from Will’s life and Will has no one else to turn to and in his traumatic experience he turns to the only one who seems to be offering at least some kind of comfort and compassion. Thus ensuring he tangles himself up even more in the web Hannibal is weaving.

It seems like it could have, should have ended, when Will realized that Hannibal was the Chesapeake Ripper and that he had been framed. The cycle kept repeating, however. Hannibal telling Will that doubt has a short half-life and that he has changed his mind about Will telling him “There may very well be another killer” to which Will replies “I want there to be.” Despite what he has done to Will he has effectively put him in a situation where he seems like Will’s only hope. Granted, Will also tries to manipulate Hannibal and, in desperation, when nothing else works, he tries to have him killed. When Will is exonerated, however, it’s because, despite having tried to kill him, Hannibal makes sure all evidence points away from Will and he frames Frederick Chilton instead.

And Will, well, he goes right back to Hannibal.

Yes, I know. I know he and Jack had a plan. I know he said he meant to catch Hannibal. Whatever his intentions were, if he wanted Hannibal dead or caught, however he thought he was manipulating the situation to his advantage (as Bedelia would say), the fact of the matter was that he was once more emerged in the same abuser and victim cycle. Hannibal hurts him and then he cares for him. He sent Randall Tier after Will and Will killed Randall with his bare hands, bringing him back to Hannibal’s home and Hannibal praised him and gently and carefully tended to his wounds. He “gave” Will another child, what could have been a child anyway, with Margot and then he took it away via Mason. He brought Mason back to Will’s home where he got Mason to feed his own face to Will’s dogs and he asked Will “murder or mercy?” (Finally Hannibal snapped Mason’s neck, not killing him but paralyzing him almost completely.) Just like with Abigail Hannibal is fostering codependency, creating secrets he tried to force Will to keep. He put Will in scenarios where Will would feel as if though he couldn’t tell anyone; that he couldn’t tell anyone he killed Randall, he couldn’t tell anyone he killed Freddie Lounds, he couldn’t tell anyone about Mason Verger because it would put him right back in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. And that he couldn’t tell anyone about Hannibal because Will would have seemed just as guilty. Will’s tiny veil of protection here was the fact that he didn’t kill Freddie and that he did have Jack on his side this time. This time they are on more equal ground, though the scale is still tipped in Hannibal’s favour. Will, this time around, now when he sees Hannibal like he didn’t before, continues to call out Hannibal’s attempts at fostering codependency. Yet again he sees it and he tries to not fall for it.

“You’re waking up to who you are, that’s all you need to understand. There are extraordinary circumstances here, Will. And unusual opportunities.” - Hannibal

“For whom?” - Will

“For both of us.”

“Mason Verger is an opportunity?”

“Mason Verger is a problem. Problem solving is hunting. It’s a savage pleasure and we’re born to it. A pleasure we can share.”

“You’re fostering codependency.”

“Is that what I’m doing?”

“Isn’t that what you did to Abigail? Got her to take a life so she would owe you hers? I bond with Abigail, you take her away. I bond with barely more than the idea of a child, you take it away. You saw to it that I alienated Alana. Alienated Jack. You don’t want me to have anything in my life that’s not you.”

“I only want what’s best for you.”

“Please. Every moment of cogent thought under your psychiatric care is a personal victory.”

But it didn’t help.

In the end he warned Hannibal that the FBI knew and that they were coming for them. And he did it because Hannibal was his friend, and because he wanted to run away with him. Will is the kind of person to end up in unhealthy, abusive and/or codependent relationships. His work relationship with Jack was abusive, where Jack manipulated Will and got him to do what Jack wanted. His relationship with Abigail was codependent even before he found out she had actually killed Nick Boyle. What would have been his romantic relationship with Alana, had she not shut it down, would have been destructive and harmful – he knew it wasn’t good for either of them yet he pursued it. His, whatever it was, with Margot was reckless. Every relationship he has had has been unhealthy in one way or another. (Molly probably being the one exception.) It’s not so surprising then that his relationship with Hannibal conforms to that pattern. It’s not surprising that he got caught up in the cycle of abuse and traumatic bonding.

Couldn’t it have ended after Hannibal gutted him?

It could have. After everything Hannibal had done to him, could he really see the best in him still and continue to ignore the worst? It seemed reasonable that Will would walk away then. Not just yet. Hannibal had bonded them so tightly together that Will felt he had to take back his life by ending Hannibal’s, just like Miriam Lass felt compelled to try and kill Chilton to reclaim her life. He set out to find Hannibal. Not just find him psychically but find out who he was and how he became what he is. When Will does find him we see him drawing a knife but Chiyoh shoots him before we can see what would have happened. Hannibal in turn, for whom the friendship went a good deal further than he expected, made an attempt at Will’s life but he too is interrupted. We will never know what could have and would have happened in those two instances. What we do know is what happened at Muskrat Farm. We know Will takes a bite out of Cordell’s face and we see Hannibal smiling fondly at him for it. We know Hannibal kills everyone (well, except Alana, Margot and Mason, who the two former kill) to save Will and that he carries him to safety.

This is where things get tricky.

Because here Hannibal has abandoned some of his modus operandi, because something happened he didn’t intend; he fell in love with Will. He never meant for Will to be more than a friend, someone to fulfill Hannibal’s need for narcissistic supply. Yet here they are and Hannibal loves Will irreversibly and inescapably. The abuser and victim cycle has disintegrated. The fact that Hannibal cut into Will’s head with a buzz-saw in one moment and sometime later carried him to safety does not conform to the pattern. Was it still traumatic? Yes, very. But not within the same framework as previous events and not with the same goal to foster codependency. Trying to murder Will was something isolated from saving him. They are two different and separate events. In fact, Hannibal saving Will can even be seen as altruistic. This given the fact that Hannibal is anticipating rejection when Will comes back from unconsciousness. He has spent his time with equations on time-reversal and he asks about the teacup. He didn’t save Will knowing it would bond Will even more to him; he saved Will to save Will. And Will rejects him.

And here it could have ended.

Will had managed to struggle free from the monster’s web. And for three years he stayed away from Hannibal. When they finally meet again they meet on equal ground. Perhaps Will is at an advantage, even. The reason behind Will getting caught up in his relationship with Hannibal – traumatic bonding – does not come into play this time around. Only one time does Hannibal conforms to his previous pattern of “taking everyone away” that isn’t him; when he sends Francis after Will’s family. It doesn’t work the same way as all his previous acts, however, since the dynamics have shifted and the only one he alienates Will from is himself. Yet Will doesn’t see or realize the difference, he sees the act in isolation and equates it with how Hannibal used to operate. He doesn’t see that it’s a crime of passion, based in unrequited love, and not means to manipulation. Remember, I already established that Will is a skilled profiler and good at psychoanalyzing. He most likely accurately profiled Hannibal as a narcissist. Will most likely recognized that he had been in an abusive relationship with Hannibal. He didn’t realize it changed along the way.

He didn’t realize that Hannibal fell in love with him.

Will thought he fell in love with someone who did not love him back. He though he fell for someone to whom he only served as narcissistic supply. When he finally understands that somewhere down the line things changed, that he wasn’t just a victim in an abusive relationship, that Hannibal actually, genuinely loves him, that’s when it all changes. When he asks Bedelia “Is Hannibal in love with me.” and she tells him “yes.”

This is when Will set Fredrick Chiton up. Because he was curious what would happen. Because the “Divine punishment of a sinner mirrors the sin being punished.” Chilton was unrecognized until he made a name for himself by writing about “Hannibal the Cannibal.” Will undoubtedly found this tasteless. (We know he finds advertisement vulgar, “Advertising trivializes, it manipulates, it’s vulgar.” and already in Apértifi he calls Freddie Lounds journalism tasteless. Will has an aversion to exploitive and trivializing brands of writing.) He allowed himself participation, possibly because he was trying to gauge how he feels for Hannibal. Is he over him or can he live in his world?

Will gave himself one last chance of walking away, though. When he thought the dragon was dead he told Hannibal his goodbye. But the dragon wasn’t dead.

So, instead of walking away, Will goes back to Hannibal. He tells him he needs him. They fake the escape, they face the dragon and slay him and Will tells Hannibal “It’s beautiful.”  

Will may have initially been caught because he fell so easily into an emotionally abusive and codependent relationship. And he fell in love whether he wanted to or not, thinking it was one sided, that Hannibal was playing with him. And when he realized that he was loved in turn, well, there wasn’t anything left to feel bad or guilty about. So if you doubt that Will fell in love with Hannibal, don’t. It wasn’t that he didn’t, he just didn’t think he was loved in turn. But he was. And he finally knows. And that knowledge made him choose Hannibal in the end. Out of mutual and equal love, not codependency and traumatic bonding. 

They finally truly know where they are with each other. And it was enough.