History Main / RedDragon

3rd Mar '13 8:33:32 PM Xtifr
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http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/red_dragon.jpg

In 1981 Thomas Harris released a very dark thriller called ''Red Dragon'', about a gifted FBI profiler named Will Graham, who comes out of retirement to assist in the investigation of a {{Serial Killer}} known as "The Tooth Fairy" (for his habit of leaving bite marks on his victims). Throughout the novel, Graham reluctantly [[ConsultingAConvictedKiller seeks help from another serial killer]], the brilliant if amoral psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter. The two had previously forced each other into mutual retirement, Graham by catching Lecter, and Lecter by nearly disemboweling Graham while trying to escape.

The novel was well-regarded for its unyielding gothic tone and the unnerving detail and care Harris put into the psychological dysfunctions of villain Francis Dolarhyde. The book was made into the movie ''Film/{{Manhunter}}'' in 1986, starring William Petersen (yes, [[{{Series/CSI}} that one]]) as Graham and Brian Cox as Hannibal "Lecktor".

In 2002, there was a new film adaptation of ''Red Dragon'', starring Anthony Hopkins and Edward Norton and keeping the original name this time. It was a moderate success, although some fans of ''Manhunter'' complained that a remake was unnecessary, though others were just happy to see something that didn't suck as bad as ''Hannibal''. The film also included the focus on the Red Dragon's psychological torments, which was all but ignored in ''Manhunter'', and features an ending more faithful to the book's.

----
!!This series provides examples of:

* AdaptationDistillation: The 2002 film.
* AffablyEvil
* AntagonistTitle: An indirect example. "Red Dragon" is actually a shorthand for the painting "The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed In Sun" that figures into the plot. Francis Dolarhyde, the villain, believes himself to be representative of it, stating "I am the Great Red Dragon" and "I am the Dragon" at several points.
* BittersweetEnding: In the book, while Dolarhyde is eventually stopped, [[spoiler: Graham ends up hideously disfigured by Dolarhyde, and deals with it by becoming a severe alcoholic]], and Reba is implied to have been traumatized by her experience.
* BlindAndTheBeast: Francis Dolarhyde falls in love with Reba [=McClane=] partly because she's blind and can't see his harelip, although it's strongly implied that most women he knew were attracted to him already. He just thinks of his harelip as being a much greater problem then it actually is.
* BreakTheCutie: Francis Dolarhyde's whole childhood seems to revolve around this. Reba, his love interest, may also count as this too.
* CannibalismSuperpower: Hannibal Lecter invokes this to Will, at least in the 2002 film; "Such a brave boy. I think I'll eat your heart...".
* ConsultingAConvictedKiller: The TropeMaker, along with ''TheSilenceOfTheLambs''. Hannibal is approached by Graham, the FBI agent who had originally captured him, requesting his assistance in capturing a serial killer known as "The Tooth Fairy". Hannibal provides this help to Graham, [[spoiler: while secretly corresponding with the Tooth Fairy behind his back]], in exchange for a first-class meal in his cell and privileges to use the prison library.
* TheChessmaster: Hannibal Lecter.
* CradlingYourKill: Hannibal Lecter comforts protagonist Will Graham after stabbing him.
-->'''Hannibal Lecter:''' Shh. Don't move. You're in shock now. I don't want you to feel any pain. In a moment, you'll begin to feel light-headed, then drowsy. Don't resist, it's so gentle, like slipping into a warm bath. I regret it came to this, Will, but every game must have its ending.
** Then he kind of ruins the oddly touching moment by saying "I think I'll eat your heart." Or perhaps adds to it in a strange way if you consider that Hannibal might be eating his heart because he has great regard for Will's courage and strength. Luckily for him, Will survives the encounter and gets Hannibal arrested.
* TheFilmOfTheBook
* FluffyTheTerrible: Dolarhyde is often called "the Tooth Fairy".
** However, context makes this an AvertedTrope - they call him the "Tooth Fairy" because they only clue left behind are tooth-marks... ''[[spoiler: on the victims' bodies]]''.
* ForensicDrama
* FreudianExcuse: Dolarhyde; as Will Graham notes, "As a child, my heart goes out to him. As an adult, he's irredeemable."
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: Reba and Dolarhyde. Of course, D was the AxCrazy {{serial killer}} of the story, so this is either subverted, or invoked deliberately to make D more sympathetic.
* GoryDiscretionShot
* HandOfDeath
* HannibalLecture: TropeNamer.
* HaveYouToldAnyoneElse: Hannibal Lecter to Graham, at the start of the 2002 film.
** Graham's response: [[GenreBlindness "No, I needed to see you first."]]
* HiredToHuntYourself: Graham goes to Lecter to seek his help in [[spoiler:capturing a cannibalistic murderer.]]
* HouseOfBrokenMirrors
* [[ImAHumanitarian I'm a Humanitarian]]
* IAteWhat: That poor boardwoman...
* InspirationallyDisadvantaged: Reba. While blind, she is otherwise portrayed as relatively normal.
** Explicitly deconstructed in the novel: Reba mentions in internal monologue how her condition mostly just draws all the codependent people out of the woodwork.
* InsufferableGenius: Lecter himself. "It's the only weakness I ever saw in him: he has to look smart, smarter than everybody. He's been doing it for years."
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Francis Dolarhyde setting [[spoiler:Freddy Lounds]] on fire.
* ManipulativeBastard: Hannibal Lecter; arguably also Chilton, with his manipulations being wildly outclassed by Lecter's.
* MommyIssues: Dolarhyde's grandmother was rather an abusive parent who subject him to physical and emotional abuse.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate
* NotSoDifferent: Lecter taunts Graham with this.
-->'''Lecter''': You want the scent? Smell yourself.
* TheOtherDarrin: Pretty much everyone at some point.
* {{Paparazzi}}: Freddy Lounds in ''Red Dragon'', played by Stephen Lang and/or Philip Seymour Hoffman.
* PetTheDog: Dolarhyde and Reba. Characters later suggest that ThePowerOfLove almost convinced him to HeelFaceTurn, sadly the "dragon" took total control, though Dolarhyde does still end up not killing Reba.
* PhotographicMemory: Graham, Lecter to an extent.
* PublicSecretMessage: Hannibal Lecter places a personal ad filled with Bible verse numbers in a tabloid as a coded message ([[TheBookCipher the numbers refer to the nth letter on the xth page of his edition of ''The Joy of Cooking'']]) to Francis Dolarhyde. The FBI decrypts it, and realizes that it told Dolarhyde where Will Graham lives; they send Dolarhyde another message to lure him into a trap, but he recognizes it for what it is.
* RedRightHand: Francis Dolarhyde's harelip, which played a major role in his descent into madness due to his being cruelly mocked and shunned; Lecter having maroon eyes and six fingers on one hand in the books.
** Dolarhyde's yellow eyes may also count. As an impressive piece of detail, it is briefly noted that his mother also had them.
* ScareChord: The 2002 film version has a DannyElfman score which has lots of these.
* SerialKiller: Perhaps ''the'' most famous literary/film examples.
* ShoutOut
** The suit Francis Dolarhyde wears in ''Red Dragon'' [[spoiler: when he goes to eat the original "Red Dragon" painting]] is an echo of William Petersen's suit in ''Manhunter''.
** At the end of ''Red Dragon'' [[spoiler: Hannibal is informed of [[SequelHook a young female FBI agent who wants to question him]].]]
* ShownTheirWork: The manner in which Graham deals with Lecter is very in line with proper protocol with investigative questioning. When Lecter asks probing questions to Graham, he either ignores him, or provides the smallest amount of information necessary to keep Lecter talking. This is to make sure that Lecter can't get inside Graham's head.
* SociopathicHero: Averted with Hannibal Lecter; it's clear he's still a villain even if he's helping out Graham.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Freddy Lounds [[spoiler:is an unusual example, in that he still dies. He gets set on fire by Dolarhyde in the book - ''and survives for the better part of a day''. In the film he dies from the attack within minutes, '''[[ExactWords sparing]]''' him that agony.]]
* TheRemake: At least one trailer was completely {{Anvilicious}} about it, sporting this dialogue:
--> I admit I'm not smarter than you.
--> Then how did you catch me?
--> You had disadvantages.
--> What disadvantages?
--> You're insane.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Utterly subverted, since Lecter is imprisoned in a psychiatric institution and has been visited by a number of shrinks. Of course, since he's a psychiatrist himself, this [[HoistByHisOwnPetard rarely works out right]].
* TwoferTokenMinority: Reba, blind and female. Also invoked by a line of dialogue in the book, which is now on the trope's quote page.
* UnbuiltTrope: Lecter's insights and [[HannibalLecture lectures]] are unsettling, but fallible, especially against an experienced profiler like Graham. Furthermore, it is perfectly clear that beneath it all, he is, well, ''insane''.

----
<<|{{Literature}}|>>
<<|{{Film}}|>>

to:

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/red_dragon.jpg

In 1981 Thomas Harris released a very dark thriller called ''Red Dragon'', about a gifted FBI profiler named Will Graham, who comes out of retirement to assist in the investigation of a {{Serial Killer}} known as "The Tooth Fairy" (for his habit of leaving bite marks on his victims). Throughout the novel, Graham reluctantly [[ConsultingAConvictedKiller seeks help from another serial killer]], the brilliant if amoral psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter. The two had previously forced each other into mutual retirement, Graham by catching Lecter, and Lecter by nearly disemboweling Graham while trying to escape.

The novel was well-regarded for its unyielding gothic tone and the unnerving detail and care Harris put into the psychological dysfunctions of villain Francis Dolarhyde. The book was made into the movie ''Film/{{Manhunter}}'' in 1986, starring William Petersen (yes, [[{{Series/CSI}} that one]]) as Graham and Brian Cox as Hannibal "Lecktor".

In 2002, there was a new film adaptation of ''Red Dragon'', starring Anthony Hopkins and Edward Norton and keeping the original name this time. It was a moderate success, although some fans of ''Manhunter'' complained that a remake was unnecessary, though others were just happy to see something that didn't suck as bad as ''Hannibal''. The film also included the focus on the Red Dragon's psychological torments, which was all but ignored in ''Manhunter'', and features an ending more faithful to the book's.

----
!!This series provides examples of:

* AdaptationDistillation: The 2002 film.
* AffablyEvil
* AntagonistTitle: An indirect example. "Red Dragon" is actually a shorthand for the painting "The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed In Sun" that figures into the plot. Francis Dolarhyde, the villain, believes himself to be representative of it, stating "I am the Great Red Dragon" and "I am the Dragon" at several points.
* BittersweetEnding: In the book, while Dolarhyde is eventually stopped, [[spoiler: Graham ends up hideously disfigured by Dolarhyde, and deals with it by becoming a severe alcoholic]], and Reba is implied to have been traumatized by her experience.
* BlindAndTheBeast: Francis Dolarhyde falls in love with Reba [=McClane=] partly because she's blind and can't see his harelip, although it's strongly implied that most women he knew were attracted to him already. He just thinks of his harelip as being a much greater problem then it actually is.
* BreakTheCutie: Francis Dolarhyde's whole childhood seems to revolve around this. Reba, his love interest, may also count as this too.
* CannibalismSuperpower: Hannibal Lecter invokes this to Will, at least in the 2002 film; "Such a brave boy. I think I'll eat your heart...".
* ConsultingAConvictedKiller: The TropeMaker, along with ''TheSilenceOfTheLambs''. Hannibal is approached by Graham, the FBI agent who had originally captured him, requesting his assistance in capturing a serial killer known as "The Tooth Fairy". Hannibal provides this help to Graham, [[spoiler: while secretly corresponding with the Tooth Fairy behind his back]], in exchange for a first-class meal in his cell and privileges to use the prison library.
* TheChessmaster: Hannibal Lecter.
* CradlingYourKill: Hannibal Lecter comforts protagonist Will Graham after stabbing him.
-->'''Hannibal Lecter:''' Shh. Don't move. You're in shock now. I don't want you to feel any pain. In a moment, you'll begin to feel light-headed, then drowsy. Don't resist, it's so gentle, like slipping into a warm bath. I regret it came to this, Will, but every game must have its ending.
** Then he kind of ruins the oddly touching moment by saying "I think I'll eat your heart." Or perhaps adds to it in a strange way if you consider that Hannibal might be eating his heart because he has great regard for Will's courage and strength. Luckily for him, Will survives the encounter and gets Hannibal arrested.
* TheFilmOfTheBook
* FluffyTheTerrible: Dolarhyde is often called "the Tooth Fairy".
** However, context makes this an AvertedTrope - they call him the "Tooth Fairy" because they only clue left behind are tooth-marks... ''[[spoiler: on the victims' bodies]]''.
* ForensicDrama
* FreudianExcuse: Dolarhyde; as Will Graham notes, "As a child, my heart goes out to him. As an adult, he's irredeemable."
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: Reba and Dolarhyde. Of course, D was the AxCrazy {{serial killer}} of the story, so this is either subverted, or invoked deliberately to make D more sympathetic.
* GoryDiscretionShot
* HandOfDeath
* HannibalLecture: TropeNamer.
* HaveYouToldAnyoneElse: Hannibal Lecter to Graham, at the start of the 2002 film.
** Graham's response: [[GenreBlindness "No, I needed to see you first."]]
* HiredToHuntYourself: Graham goes to Lecter to seek his help in [[spoiler:capturing a cannibalistic murderer.]]
* HouseOfBrokenMirrors
* [[ImAHumanitarian I'm a Humanitarian]]
* IAteWhat: That poor boardwoman...
* InspirationallyDisadvantaged: Reba. While blind, she is otherwise portrayed as relatively normal.
** Explicitly deconstructed in the novel: Reba mentions in internal monologue how her condition mostly just draws all the codependent people out of the woodwork.
* InsufferableGenius: Lecter himself. "It's the only weakness I ever saw in him: he has to look smart, smarter than everybody. He's been doing it for years."
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Francis Dolarhyde setting [[spoiler:Freddy Lounds]] on fire.
* ManipulativeBastard: Hannibal Lecter; arguably also Chilton, with his manipulations being wildly outclassed by Lecter's.
* MommyIssues: Dolarhyde's grandmother was rather an abusive parent who subject him to physical and emotional abuse.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate
* NotSoDifferent: Lecter taunts Graham with this.
-->'''Lecter''': You want the scent? Smell yourself.
* TheOtherDarrin: Pretty much everyone at some point.
* {{Paparazzi}}: Freddy Lounds in ''Red Dragon'', played by Stephen Lang and/or Philip Seymour Hoffman.
* PetTheDog: Dolarhyde and Reba. Characters later suggest that ThePowerOfLove almost convinced him to HeelFaceTurn, sadly the "dragon" took total control, though Dolarhyde does still end up not killing Reba.
* PhotographicMemory: Graham, Lecter to an extent.
* PublicSecretMessage: Hannibal Lecter places a personal ad filled with Bible verse numbers in a tabloid as a coded message ([[TheBookCipher the numbers refer to the nth letter on the xth page of his edition of ''The Joy of Cooking'']]) to Francis Dolarhyde. The FBI decrypts it, and realizes that it told Dolarhyde where Will Graham lives; they send Dolarhyde another message to lure him into a trap, but he recognizes it for what it is.
* RedRightHand: Francis Dolarhyde's harelip, which played a major role in his descent into madness due to his being cruelly mocked and shunned; Lecter having maroon eyes and six fingers on one hand in the books.
** Dolarhyde's yellow eyes may also count. As an impressive piece of detail, it is briefly noted that his mother also had them.
* ScareChord: The 2002 film version has a DannyElfman score which has lots of these.
* SerialKiller: Perhaps ''the'' most famous literary/film examples.
* ShoutOut
** The suit Francis Dolarhyde wears in ''Red Dragon'' [[spoiler: when he goes to eat the original "Red Dragon" painting]] is an echo of William Petersen's suit in ''Manhunter''.
** At the end of ''Red Dragon'' [[spoiler: Hannibal is informed of [[SequelHook a young female FBI agent who wants to question him]].]]
* ShownTheirWork: The manner in which Graham deals with Lecter is very in line with proper protocol with investigative questioning. When Lecter asks probing questions to Graham, he either ignores him, or provides the smallest amount of information necessary to keep Lecter talking. This is to make sure that Lecter can't get inside Graham's head.
* SociopathicHero: Averted with Hannibal Lecter; it's clear he's still a villain even if he's helping out Graham.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Freddy Lounds [[spoiler:is an unusual example, in that he still dies. He gets set on fire by Dolarhyde in the book - ''and survives for the better part of a day''. In the film he dies from the attack within minutes, '''[[ExactWords sparing]]''' him that agony.]]
* TheRemake: At least one trailer was completely {{Anvilicious}} about it, sporting this dialogue:
--> I admit I'm not smarter than you.
--> Then how did you catch me?
--> You had disadvantages.
--> What disadvantages?
--> You're insane.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Utterly subverted, since Lecter is imprisoned in a psychiatric institution and has been visited by a number of shrinks. Of course, since he's a psychiatrist himself, this [[HoistByHisOwnPetard rarely works out right]].
* TwoferTokenMinority: Reba, blind and female. Also invoked by a line of dialogue in the book, which is now on the trope's quote page.
* UnbuiltTrope: Lecter's insights and [[HannibalLecture lectures]] are unsettling, but fallible, especially against an experienced profiler like Graham. Furthermore, it is perfectly clear that beneath it all, he is, well, ''insane''.

----
<<|{{Literature}}|>>
<<|{{Film}}|>>
[[redirect:Literature/RedDragon]]
22nd Feb '13 10:43:32 AM Morgenthaler
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* SparedByTheAdaptation: Freddy Lounds [[spoiler:gets set on fire by Dolarhyde in the book - ''[[AndIMustScream and survives for the better part of a day]]''. In the film he dies from the attack within minutes, '''[[ExactWords sparing]]''' him that agony.]]

to:

* SparedByTheAdaptation: Freddy Lounds [[spoiler:gets [[spoiler:is an unusual example, in that he still dies. He gets set on fire by Dolarhyde in the book - ''[[AndIMustScream and ''and survives for the better part of a day]]''.day''. In the film he dies from the attack within minutes, '''[[ExactWords sparing]]''' him that agony.]]
18th Feb '13 3:23:17 AM Morgenthaler
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Added DiffLines:

* AntagonistTitle: An indirect example. "Red Dragon" is actually a shorthand for the painting "The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed In Sun" that figures into the plot. Francis Dolarhyde, the villain, believes himself to be representative of it, stating "I am the Great Red Dragon" and "I am the Dragon" at several points.
17th Feb '13 11:24:51 AM Morgenthaler
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Added DiffLines:

* CannibalismSuperpower: Hannibal Lecter invokes this to Will, at least in the 2002 film; "Such a brave boy. I think I'll eat your heart...".
13th Feb '13 1:15:31 AM Morgenthaler
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Added DiffLines:



Added DiffLines:

* CradlingYourKill: Hannibal Lecter comforts protagonist Will Graham after stabbing him.
-->'''Hannibal Lecter:''' Shh. Don't move. You're in shock now. I don't want you to feel any pain. In a moment, you'll begin to feel light-headed, then drowsy. Don't resist, it's so gentle, like slipping into a warm bath. I regret it came to this, Will, but every game must have its ending.
** Then he kind of ruins the oddly touching moment by saying "I think I'll eat your heart." Or perhaps adds to it in a strange way if you consider that Hannibal might be eating his heart because he has great regard for Will's courage and strength. Luckily for him, Will survives the encounter and gets Hannibal arrested.
9th Feb '13 11:13:49 PM Tuckerscreator
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The novel was well-regarded for its unyielding gothic tone and the unnerving detail and care Harris put into the psychological dysfunctions of villain Francis Dolarhyde. The book was made into the movie ''Film/{{Manhunter}}'' in 1986, starring William Petersen (yes, [[{{CSI}} that one]]) as Graham and Brian Cox as Hannibal "Lecktor".

to:

The novel was well-regarded for its unyielding gothic tone and the unnerving detail and care Harris put into the psychological dysfunctions of villain Francis Dolarhyde. The book was made into the movie ''Film/{{Manhunter}}'' in 1986, starring William Petersen (yes, [[{{CSI}} [[{{Series/CSI}} that one]]) as Graham and Brian Cox as Hannibal "Lecktor".
19th Dec '12 8:05:41 PM Craver357
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Added DiffLines:

* MommyIssues: Dolarhyde's grandmother was rather an abusive parent who subject him to physical and emotional abuse.
16th Nov '12 1:42:46 PM MyTai
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Added DiffLines:

* TheRemake: At least one trailer was completely {{Anvilicious}} about it, sporting this dialogue:
--> I admit I'm not smarter than you.
--> Then how did you catch me?
--> You had disadvantages.
--> What disadvantages?
--> You're insane.
12th Nov '12 2:40:04 PM slvstrChung
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Added DiffLines:

** Explicitly deconstructed in the novel: Reba mentions in internal monologue how her condition mostly just draws all the codependent people out of the woodwork.
16th Oct '12 11:48:24 PM Craver357
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* HeroicSociopath: Averted with Hannibal Lecter; it's clear he's still a villain even if he's helping out Graham.


Added DiffLines:

* KickTheSonOfABitch: Francis Dolarhyde setting [[spoiler:Freddy Lounds]] on fire.


Added DiffLines:

* SociopathicHero: Averted with Hannibal Lecter; it's clear he's still a villain even if he's helping out Graham.
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