10 Things You Learn Rewatching Hannibal
9. Hannibal Is A Love Story
There was always an implied, one-sided attraction between Lecter and Starling, which was fully realised at the end of the novel Hannibal (if brainwashing Starling into thinking she is Lecter’s sister, reincarnated, counts). In Hannibal, it’s Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter who have the strongest connection. Starling does not appear in any of the three seasons of course, but when writer Don Mancini suggested making the Graham/Lecter relationship “not just context or subtext but text,” it became clear that Hannibal sought to illustrate a much deeper connection between the two men.
Throughout the second series, an incarcerated Graham realises that Lecter is not merely ‘seeing what would happen’ by turning Graham into a fully fledged killer, their relationship has a taken a more balanced tone. Lecter begins to learn that his bond with Graham is becoming less parasitic and more symbiotic in nature. Are they falling in love?
Season three relocates Lecter to Florence for a period, where he replaces psychiatry for the arts and continues a dominant, sexual relationship with De Maurier. His obsession with Graham deepens, eventually drawing him back to the United States where the events of Red Dragon take place.
Of course Lecter then tries to have him killed at the hands of The Tooth Fairy but no one ever said love was easy…