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Characters: Hannibal

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Will Graham

"This is my design."
Played By: Hugh Dancy

"Playing a God has other advantages. One of them... is always being alone."

Former homicide detective turned teacher, Will Graham is pulled into the dark world of criminal profiling by Jack Crawford to help catch some of the most demented serial killers known to man. Socially awkward, but brilliantly gifted, Graham navigates his way through the dark amalgam of haunting cases � guided by his FBI-appointed psychologist, Hannibal Lecter. Graham is constantly on guard against and fearful of being consumed by the darkness he confronts on each case.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: He's directly asked if he falls somewhere on the autism spectrum and exhibits several characteristics commonly associated with Asperger's (e.g. difficulties in grasping social norms, inappropriately blunt remarks and trouble maintaining eye contact). Bryan Fuller has stated that "[With Asperger's] you can't read social cues.note  He has an empathy disorder where he reads too much and it overwhelms him." Expanded upon in Buffet Froid where Hannibal says that Will possesses an abnormally high number of Mirror Neurons.
  • Adopt the Dog: In a quite literal sense. The first episode shows him as odd, glum and unsocial - until the halfway mark, when he rescues and adopts a stray. His compassion for the dog (as well as for the five others he rescued before) marks him as a genuinely good person.
    • Heroes Love Dogs: He has adopted many stray dogs (to the point of being a Crazy Dog Dude) and seems much more comfortable around them than he is around people.
  • Alone with the Psycho: In Savoureux, Will takes Hannibal back to Abigail's house in Minnesota. There, Will is horrified to realize that Hannibal is a serial killer and has been cruelly manipulating him all along.
  • Anti-Hero
    • Classical Anti-Hero: In Season 1. He's highly moral and uses his perception to capture serial killers, but tormented by the idea of coming closer to them in personality. He's also unreceptive to social niceties, quiet, scruffy, a loner, and distinctly odd - in many ways, someone your average person would suspect of being a criminal on first impression, if they didn't know better than to make such assumptions.
    • Unscrupulous Hero: After being institutionalized and framed for Hannibal's murders, Will is forced to use increasingly risky and extreme methods in his attempts to expose Hannibal. When working with Beverly results in her death at Lecter's hands, Will goes all out and sends Matthew Brown to kill him.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: He can exactly work out a killer's methods, motivation and mindset by studying crime scenes. While this is often disturbing, he uses this ability to directly profit himself once, by mimicking Dr Gideon's method to escape a van when handcuffed. He was nice enough to skip the parts where he murdered anybody.
  • Badass Bookworm
  • Bad Dreams: A frequent victim of them. They get worse after he starts working on cases again with Jack, to the point where he begins to sleepwalk.
  • Batman Gambit: In Season 2, Will starts to perform these. In Mukōzuke, he plays on Freddie Lounds' obsession with him and offers her an exclusive interview as part of his plan to discover his secret admirer. He then plays on his admirer's affections by convincing him to kill Hannibal.
  • Black and Grey Morality: In Season 2, Will slides into this. While Hannibal is a deeply evil man who must be stopped, Will's efforts to undermine him grow morally darker as Season 2 progresses. Will uses manipulation and quid pro quo tactics to influence events while imprisoned. In Mukōzuke, grief over Beverly's death drives him to collaborate with another serial killer to bring down Hannibal.
  • Blessed with Suck: His gift, while helpful where work is concerned, has made Will unsociable and mentally disturbed.
  • Broken Pedestal: To Alana in Season 2 after he attempts to get Hannibal murdered from behind bars.
  • Brutal Honesty: He is very blunt when voicing his opinions, such as when he flat-out tells Hannibal he doesn't find the latter an interesting person.
  • Bunny Ears Profiler: But a decidedly unfunny use of the trope. Graham's empathy makes him approach profiling killers very differently and causes him to come across as strange and off-putting to others.
  • Cassandra Truth: Will is the first person to realize that Hannibal is indeed the Chesapeake Ripper, and he spends most of the second season repeating this to anyone who would hear him out, but by that point Hannibal has well and truly both framed Will for his murders and driven him insane to the point where he's more or less an unreliable witness. Alana, while sympathetic, believes Will is delusional and trying to misdirect his guilt, while Jack outright indulges the possibility Will an intelligent psychopath trying to frame someone for his murders.
  • Catch Phrase: When he is taking on a killer's persona, he describes the killer's actions and reasoning in first person with the phrase "This is my design."
    • Averted frequently, however, as Will does not always drop this line. This usually indicates that he's dwelling upon another killing still. Subverted in another killing, when he angrily notes an element outside the killer's intention is "not my design".
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Despite how much his gift torments him, Graham feels this way with regards to it, explaining his need to sleep in victim Abigail Hobbs's hospital room night after night — something Crawford questions, but Lecter understands. In episode 5, he realizes just how bad profiling and empathizing with serial killers is for him, despite all the good it does. He ultimately can't bring himself to leave the job.
  • Creepy Good: Will is a good person who wants to help others, but most people keep their distance around him and vice versa. Taking on the personalities of serial killers does not make him the most friendly or comforting individual.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Between his neurotic tics and reserved nature, Will finds time to weave in some truly beautiful snark.
  • Dead Person Conversation: In prison, with barely any contact to the outside world (except Chilton, who's Chilton), Will has taken to occasionally addressing shades of people he's lost, recalling what they said to him in life, especially in his mental river-space.
  • Defective Detective: As Freddie Lounds cruelly points out.
  • Drugs Are Bad/Drugs Are Good: Hannibal was secretly administering mind-altering drugs to Will in order to induce his blackouts and possibly aggravate his encephalitis. In Season 2, however, narco-analytic therapy allows Will to recover buried memories and reconstruct Hannibal's machinations.
  • The Empath: Deconstructed. His ability is described as "pure empathy." He can feel exactly what others feel and get into their heads to take on their point of view. The downside is that he is deeply disturbed, finding himself too able to sympathise with killers while rarely getting exposure to those with kinder natures, and often considered to be on the edge of madness himself by those around him. Bites him in the ass at the end of Season 1 when Hannibal convinces everyone that Will murdered Abigail Hobbs.
  • Eureka Moment: In Savoureux, he realizes that Hannibal is a serial killer.
    Will: I know who I am. I'm not so sure I know who you are anymore. [...] You - you have no traceable motive. Which is why you were so hard to see. You were just - curious what I would do. Someone like me, someone who thinks how I think. Wind 'em up, and watch 'em go. Well, apparently, Doctor Lecter...this is how I go.
    • Has another in episode 4 of Season 2, when he realises that Hannibal's a cannibal.
  • Fair Cop
  • Fragile Flower: But it isn't so much "bursting into tears" as it is "becoming insane". He does exhibit extreme distress to the point of tears after one exceptionally brutal re-imagining in "Entre" and has to take a moment or two to gather himself. Subverted in Sakizuki, when Will breaks down crying during a prison visit with Hannibal and Alana, begging Hannibal to help him, and Hannibal accepts. Will's fragility lasts exactly as long as it takes to get back to his cell. It turns out Hannibal isn't the only one who can manipulate other people's perception of him.
  • Frame-Up: Hannibal frames him for several of his murders. In the Season 1 finale, he is incarcerated at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Graham has a soft spot for stray dogs, patiently rescuing a skittish one, taking him home, and giving him a bath in the pilot. It's revealed it's his sixth dog. He named it Winston. As of Fromage, he's up to seven.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Graham's involuntary mental intimacy with hardened psychopaths (and general lack of social skills) makes him somewhat hard to get along with, in contrast to the charming Dr. Lecter. He has a kindly nature (if inappropriately honest) when he's not flipping out. It's just that he's usually flipping out.
    • He starts becoming more ruthless in Season 2 in his desperation to catch Lecter. He bargains his help with an ongoing investigation for another look at the evidence against him from Beverly, and he later tries to arrange Hannibal's murder, though he does not seem happy resorting to either for obvious reasons.
  • Guile Hero: Will very rarely encounters physical confrontations and uses his sidearm rather than fighting hand-to-hand. He instead overcomes challenges using a combination of his native intelligence, lateral thinking and the empathic gift - though he almost never does so, he can manipulate people's emotions and perceptions as well (or nearly) as Doctor Lecter.
  • Happy Place: Will's coping mechanism in Season 2 is to imagine that he's fishing in a quiet river, alone and free. The alternative is to rot in his cell. Occasionally, he imagines extra factors influenced by recent experiences, such as Abigail Hobbs when he's trying to avenge her death, and floating corpses when he thinks about a murder.
  • Hearing Voices: He starts having auditory hallucinations in Fromage, the cause of which are unknown, until Buffet Froid where he is revealed to have encephalitis. And by "revealed," we mean to the audience, not to him.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Subverted. His extreme empathy is very useful in his line of work but is a source of massive psychological issues and makes it hard for him to have even casual social relationships. And that was before Jack Crawford started using him to back-engineer the psychoses of serial killers.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Courtesy of Freddie Lounds and, as of the finale, Hannibal himself.
  • Heroic RROD: The more he uses his empathic ability to scan the crime scene and extrapolate what happened, the more problems Will seems to develop.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: People around him wonder whether he's on the path to becoming a killer himself. Naturally, he shares their fears.
    "It's not a good idea to piss off somebody who thinks about killing for a living."
    • Illustrated vividly in Mukōzuke, when he imagines growing his own pair of Wendigo antlers after asking a serial killer to murder Hannibal.
  • Hot Teacher
  • Ill Boy: In Buffet Froid, it's revealed he has severe encephalitis on the right side of his brain, which is causing most of his symptoms. Dr. Sutcliffe, with Hannibal's urging, decides to keep this from him so they can observe his symptoms. As of the second season, the inflammation has been revealed and treated.
  • Important Haircut: After he's released from the asylum. Will's curls had been growing steadily longer and more wild, but are now cut shorter than they were originally, presenting a much less hapless face to the world (and to Hannibal).
  • The Insomniac: As a side effect of his abilities.
  • Knight in Sour Armour: Will might not much like being around people, and he might regularly expose himself to the worst they have to offer, but his foremost priority is bringing killers to justice. Even behind bars, he wants to escape because only he knows Hannibal for what he is, and refuses to lie and plead guilty even if it would save his life.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: In Mukōzuke, he asks another serial killer to kill Hannibal.
  • Loners Are Freaks: At the beginning of the series, Will does not have friends unless you count his dogs. His empathy makes others wary of him and Will himself prefers to be alone. This starts to change as the series goes on - the list of people Will has become familiar with includes Jack, Hannibal, Abigail, Alana, and Beverly.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Will starts to show shades of this in Season 2, after Hannibal frames him and gets him sent to an insane asylum. His conversations with Beverly in particular begin to evoke this feeling, starting as early as Sakizuki. It's clear from the beginning of the episode that he is willing to lie and deceive those around him to bring Hannibal down. However, Mukōzoke really marks the beginning of Will's manipulative tendencies, as continues to play everyone in his ongoing game of Xanatos Speed Chess with Hannibal, this time by playing on his secret admirer's affection to convince him to kill Hannibal.
  • Mathematician's Answer:
    Hannibal: Am I your psychiatrist or are we simply having conversation?
    Graham: 'Yes', I think is the answer to that.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: His ability to empathize with serial killers leaves him unstable and gives him terrible nightmares. They only gets worse as the first season wears on.
  • Messianic Archetype: He's tempted by a Satan figure (Hannibal), persecuted by Freddie Lounds, betrayed by one of the men he trusted most, and unjustly punished. His daydreams in Season 2 show him standing in a stream, as if to invoke the image of baptism. In Hassun, Hannibal likens himself to the disciple Peter and Will to Jesus when he says that he cannot deny Will a third time, a reference to Matthew 26:69-75.
    • In Mukōzuke, Matthew Brown compares Hannibal to Judas for his betrayal, so he similarly hangs Hannibal while ironically crucifying him.
  • Messy Hair: It doesn't matter whether he's asleep, just woken up, wandering around semi-conscious in his underwear, dressed for teaching, or visiting someone; his hair is always the same mass of untamed curls. One suspects that if he does own a comb, it gets used on his dogs (who all have very well-maintained coats). Likewise, though he owns a hair dryer, we only see him using it to dry a dog after its bath. As of the end of Yakimono, however, he's sporting a quite neatly styled new 'do as part of his new "lure" for Hannibal.
  • Missing Mom: His dad looked after him as a child.
  • Missing Time: Experiences periods of this as a symptom of his encephalitis which disturb him greatly.
  • Mr Fan Service: Nearly every episode so far has featured Hugh Dancy in tight briefs (they're his usual sleepwear, and we frequently see him suddenly awakened) that leave little to the imagination. In Sakizuki, he wound up totally naked.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: After Beverly's murder disproves Will as the Ripper, he decides to send another killer after Hannibal in revenge, leaving very obvious hints from Gideon to tip off Alana and Jack about it, and thus incriminating him for conspiring to kill another man. Thankfully nothing serious comes of it, but it's the moment when Will becomes a Broken Pedestal to Alana.
  • Not Good with People: He's much better at dealing with animals. His reluctance to interact with others slowly diminishes, though he's still twitchy and awkward around others most of the time.
  • Not Helping Your Case: While incarcerated, his repeated accusations of Hannibal tire Jack and Alana to no end, with each subsequent accusation causing more and more disbelief.
  • Odd Friendship/Opposites Attract: With Hannibal Lecter.
    • Pretty much any friendship he manages to have is odd, because he still exudes discomfort when interacting with anyone, even people he likes. High-powered, dominant, loud Jack and twitchy, sensitive Will are a strange match too.
  • Once More with Clarity: In Season 2, Will regains some of his lost memories from Season 1, and relives events with his hallucinations removed, showing that in spite of his illness he could perceive reality on some level. Will learns some things the audience already knew, such as the fact that his hallucination of Garrett Jacob Hobbs was in reality Dr. Gideonnote  and Hannibal's lies about the clock drawing test. But new things are also shown the audience missed, such as Hannibal force feeding Will an ear and purposefully inducing his seizures.
  • Only Child Syndrome: As Brian correctly and nastily guessed.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: At the end of Yakimono, when he goes to resume his therapy with Hannibal, he's better-groomed than we've ever seen him, indicating he has an ulterior motive.
  • Parental Substitute: He has paternal feelings towards Abigail Hobbs, although we haven't seen him in that role outside of dream sequences. When he tries to act on his paternal impulses toward her, the fact that he killed her father makes her resentful. But she also looks to him for understanding about how it feels to kill somebody.
  • Overly Nervous Flop Sweat: Will always wakes up sweating, and frequently sweats when stressed or scared. In Roti, his sweat reaches new levels of moisture as his illness worsens.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: He sends Matthew Brown to murder Hannibal, a task that Brown almost completes.
  • Perma Stubble
  • Perpetual Frowner: Not that he has much to smile about.
    • When He Smiles: It's a little awkward and he's obviously not used to the expression, but it's all the sweeter for it.
  • The Philosopher: He can be quite poetic and philosophical at times, and is capable of holding a conversation with Hannibal Lecter in this regard.
  • The Profiler: Profilers, generally, tend to have mental breakdowns because they realize they share traits with the killers they hunt. This is a characteristic Graham shares, for example, with profiler Frank Black in Millennium. Frank Black had a total breakdown that forced him out of the FBI.
  • Sleepwalking: Starts having bouts of this. First he wakes up on the road a few miles from his house, and then later wakes up standing on his own roof, having somehow gotten out there during the night.
  • Sanity Slippage: As detailed above - he feels the way killers feel, and worries he'll eventually do as they do. Suffering from a neurodegenerative illness which he was unaware of from as early as Coquilles certainly didn't help one bit. As of Season 2, he's finally been treated for encephalitis, so the worst of his neurological madness is behind him. Now he simply has to cope with being framed, locked up in an insane asylum, and potentially executed for his crimes, along with his original mild instability. Easy-peasy.
  • Specs of Awesome: In their first scene together, Jack cannily realizes Will uses his glasses as a means to avoid direct eye-contact. He always removes them when about to empath a crime scene. You can generally tell how much he trusts another character by whether he wears his glasses in their presence. Tellingly, if Freddie Lounds is in the same scene, he always either has them on or puts them on.
  • Thinking Tic: Will is twitchy and tends to move around a lot anyway, but it's especially noticeable when he's deep in thought. When hashing out a case he often wanders around Hannibal's office fidgeting with whatever's in reach (another contrast with Hannibal, who maintains a predatory stillness and moves very deliberately).
  • Took a Level in Badass: When Will gets released in Yakimono, his entire demeanor has shifted. No longer is he the nervous, mentally unstable wreck he was prior to his incarceration, but he is clear-headed, confident in his words, and possibly even colder than he was before, but out of determined clarity rather than from his antisocial tendencies.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Although partially a result of his profession, Will seems to be attractive to killers who love his "pure empathy" and want him to understand them. Hannibal Lecter is obsessed with him from early on in the first season, Matthew Brown protects and kills for him throughout the second season, Georgia Madchen stalked him, and Abel Gideon turns to Will to confess his fears about his lost identity.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: He's been having terrible nightmares and hallucinations the more involved he becomes with serial killer cases.

Dr. Hannibal Lecter

"It's nice to have an old friend for dinner."
Played By: Mads Mikkelsen

"I learned very early a scalpel cuts better points than a pencil sharpener."

Accomplished psychiatrist, and sociopathic serial killer known as the Chesapeake Ripper, at the height of his career(s). Dr. Lecter is assigned to be Will Graham's psychiatrist - helping navigate the increasingly disturbing cases Graham encounters, while gaining unprecedented access to the FBI for himself. Excepting his homicidal tendencies, Dr. Lecter is every bit the gentleman, with his impeccable wit, astonishing intellect, gourmet palate and eye for the more refined aspects of life.
  • A God Am I: Implied. He justifies his murders by claiming that God enjoys killing and that we are made in God's image. When he discovers the human "mural", he looks down on the "muralist" through an opening in a grain silo, making him appear high and godlike. However, he fails to realize that he's merely a devilish man imitating God's power over life and death. See Fallen Angel below.
  • Affably Evil: In addition to being Faux Affably Evil, since it seems he does genuinely have sincere regard for the other characters he interacts with. The events of the season can be seen as the doctor's efforts first to make Will into his friend and get him to quit profiling in order to ensure he never captures Hannibal, and then deciding to betray Will and make him an enemy, because otherwise Will would ultimately capture Hannibal. Allowing Will's encephalitis to cloud his mind could similarly be seen as pre-emptive self-defense. He seems to display genuine regret for Will's incarceration and Abigail's murder, evil though he might be. Of course, in keeping with the source material, this is left deliberately ambiguous...
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: A creepy variant. Hannibal has a habit of stroking people's faces, as if to comfort or caress them, right before or after doing something horrible to them. Sometimes you could pass it off as simple practical touching, such as the brief physical check-up (pulse, muscle tension, temperature) on Will when he has a seizure brought on by an illness that Hannibal knows about and Will doesn't. Other times, it seems like genuinely trying to reassure them that what he will do/has done/is doing means he cares for them even while administering cruelty. Examples are when he strokes Miriam's face in Entree as he chokes her (and then kisses the top of her head when she goes limp), when he cradles Abigail's face moments before killing her, drugs Will and shoves a tube down his oesophagus to stuff a human ear into his stomach and pets him afterward, touches Bella's face after aborting her suicide attempt, does something like embracing Beverly Katz before he strangles her, and gently strokes the nameless mural-maker while sewing him into his own mural before he dies.
  • Agent Peacock: He loves elegant (and brightly-colored) clothes, opera, art, interior design, and fine food. He's also a formidable serial killer and skilled fighter, as his encounter with Tobias and later Beverly and Jack demonstrated.
  • Anti-Villain: Subverted. The first season was crafted to lull the audience into developing a fondness for him before really springing the duplicity and mindgames and worse, and eventually clarifying his depraved motives for what were earlier seemingly, possibly well-intentioned actions.
  • Apologetic Attacker: He apologizes to Abigail and caresses her face before killing her offscreen.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: It's a key part of his job as a psychologist and he tends to do this more than Breaking Speech.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In Savoureux, Hannibal successfully frames Will for his murders. Whether Will can turn the tables and bring Hannibal to justice from behind bars remains to be seen.
  • Bad Samaritan: Oh yes. From the very first episode, we can see that Lecter just seems to take up Will Graham and the Hobbs case as he is approached by Jack Crawford. The main plot moves from there.
  • Bait the Dog: Lecter is pretty enjoyable as a character and likeable (despite us knowing his true nature) until Entre. See Offscreen Villainy.
    • Similarly, the episodes Sorbet and Fromage seem to be about Hannibal's admittedly peculiar way of approaching friendship with Will. But in later episodes, it turns out being Hannibal Lecter's friend might be worse than being his enemy, and similar to being his plaything.
    • Fuller confirms that this was entirely deliberate:
    Bryan Fuller: I wanted to lull the audience into a false sense of security with who this character was. We had seen him in the films and the literature post-incarceration where the world knows exactly who he is and what he is and what he's capable of. He had no motivation to hide any of it, so I wanted to really get the audience into Hannibal's corner as a likeable character. Then when he does terrible things, you've already fallen in love with him and like him as a character. So you have to then juxtapose what you've just seen against what you've experienced in the previous episodes. But the first time he smashed Alana Bloom's head against the wall, it's startling. It's like, "Oh, yeah. We're watching Hannibal. He's that guy."
  • Badass
    Matthew Brown: Maybe your murders will become my murders. I'll be the Chesapeake Ripper now.
    Hannibal: Only if you eat me.
    • Badass Bookworm: His office is full of books.
    • Badass in Distress: He's captured and almost killed by Will's other murderous admirer in Mukōzuke.
    • Badass in a Nice Suit
    • Cultured Badass
    • Deadly Doctor: Used to work as a surgeon and thus still has the medical experience to use in carrying out his killings or saving a life.
    • Hidden Badass: Much like the literary counterpart, Hannibal Lecter can be badass when he needs to be. As shown in Fromage, Hannibal managed to kill Tobias by using his office library ladder to break one of Tobias' arms, throat punching him, and finally smashing his head in with a statue. And when the FBI come and see what happened, Hannibal "explains" it was all self-defense.
  • Beneath the Mask: His civilized facade masks his depraved appetites and propensity for horrific crimes.
    • While Hannibal always speaks to Jack politely and respectfully, he's contemptuous of him behind his back. He derisively refers to him as "Uncle Jack" in a conversation with Will and cultivates distrust between Jack and Will.
    • Bedelia even calls Hannibal out for wearing a "person suit" to veil who he is inside.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones
  • Big Bad: His mark as the Chesapeake Ripper is referenced often, with him being suspected for certain murders, and having never been caught.
  • Big Bad Friend: To Will.
  • Blatant Lies: From the audience's perspective, anyway. But in-universe, he mostly relies on twisting things or loopholes and ambiguities to cover himself, so it's noticeable to the viewer when he just flat-out says something that contradicts what they've seen.
  • Blood Lust: When not using his civilized veil, Lecter exhibits this trait (the character in any medium has often been compared to Dracula). When testing the point of a fish hook in �uf, he draws blood and sucks at the cut for a disquietingly long time. In Fromage, when the inside of his mouth is bleeding, there's a brief shot of him licking his teeth.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Possibly, if he truly means it when he refers to Will as a friend. In Kaiseki, his session with Bedelia and his scene with Will both indicate that he seems to genuinely consider his relationship with Will friendly, after his fashion.
    • Alana and Bedelia also note how distasteful Hannibal views rudeness, which is one of his primary motives for murder, and Hannibal evens seems offended by the accusation that he poisoned a dinner — he would never do that to the food.
  • Character Tic: Lecter always takes a little pause before and after taking a sip or a bite to savor the taste and smell. He may even give the fork an appreciative smile, which is kind of awful when you consider what was probably on it.
  • The Chessmaster
    • Xanatos Speed Chess: If something unexpected happens, he'll take it in stride. It's rare that he's off balance or blind-sided.
  • Classical Motif
  • Close Range Combatant: Hannibal is a devastating melee combatant, and will kill his foes with anything at hand - except guns, in contrast to all the FBI characters and several serial killers. This is used in one murder to show the audience that Hannibal wasn't responsible.
    • He's so effective that he manages to get close to and disarm a gun-wielding Beverly Katz from halfway across the room.
  • Combat Pragmatist: As an ex-surgeon, Hannibal knows where your weak-points are, and will use anything at hand to strike them. Weapons he has used include: scalpel, ladder, pen, heavy statue, candlestick, kitchen knife (multiple), pepper mill, fridge door, shard of broken glass, his own apron and a freaking dish cloth.
    • When he encounters Beverly Katz snooping around his house, he switches off the lights to prevent his opponent drawing a bead on him while he approaches.
    • This is also clearly show in his fight with Jack, at the start of season 2 who he is outmatched by. Mads Mikkelsen himself remarked the only way for him to win in that fight was to cheat.
  • Control Freak: Comes with being a psychopath, but Hannibal is so Genre Savvy and immaculately prepared for every crime he commits that it's rare we ever see him lose his cool. When he does, however...
  • Consummate Liar: Lies to everyone around him and is rarely caught. When he does get caught, he flawlessly spins a new lie.
  • The Corrupter: To impressive, though believable, extents. He has manipulated both Abigail and Will into lying, and based upon a conversation from the season finale, it seems clear that he aims to turn Will into a killer like himself. Dr. Du Maurier also seems to be corrupted by her association with him, if her lying to Jack for him is any indication.
    • Season 2 illustrates how his corrupting influence is having a long-term impact on Will. By framing Will and having him institutionalized, Hannibal has put Will in a position where he must make morally dark choices to survive. In Mukōzuke, Hannibal's corrupting influence is symbolized by stag antlers erupting out of Will's back during a dream.
    • He also instilled Miriam Lass with a fear-response that caused her to be driven mad with fear when she came across whomever he hypnotically convinced her was the Chesapeake Ripper; in this case, Chilton.
  • Cruel Mercy: Showcases a variation of this to Bella Crawford in the Season 2 episode Takiawase by actually keeping her alive when she attempts suicide by drug overdose.
  • Crocodile Tears: Zig-zagged in Savoureux. During a session with Dr. Du Maurier, Hannibal sheds tears for Abigail and Will, one of whom he himself killed and the other which he framed. Whether or not the tears in question are sincere is left extremely ambigious either way.
  • The Dandy: He's near-obsessed with his appearance and likes to leave an "indelible impression" wherever he goes.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: God. He leaves no prints, no evidence, nothing. He effortlessly deceives and manipulates everyone around him. He realized that Miriam Lass would discover his criminality and captured her a split second after she did, and then kept her alive for two years just so he can use her two pin the blame on someone else two years later.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: While the audience certainly knows what Hannibal is, nobody else does, nor do they even suspect him until Abigail in Relevs and Will in Savoureux. He almost seems aware this is the case (or possibly fond of private jokes); any meal with him will usually involve a food-related pun, or several.
    Bryan Fuller: If you look at Hannibal Lecter, he is — beyond the European dandy aesthetic and the accent, you're essentially dealing with Frasier Crane. It would be like suspecting Kelsey Grammer. Most audiences wouldn't suspect him of doing horrible things. Frasier Crane is very uptight, very fussy, he wouldn't dream of doing something terrible, because he's such a gentleman. That was the idea behind portraying Hannibal Lecter as an idiosyncratic guy, as opposed to somebody who instantly sets off everybody's alarm bells.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: He brutally murders people who have been discourteous to him. As seen in Sorbet, he collects business cards, then waits for years before collecting their owners.
  • Dissonant Serenity: A master, of course.
    • Just watch him near the end of episode one. Hannibal walks calmly and sedately into the house, simply observing Will and what's going on as people bleed to death.
    • He's also unnervingly calm as he strangles Miriam Lass. He doesn't even flinch as she fights and struggles.
    • He also saves the life of Bella Crawford after she overdosed on morphine to kill herself before the cancer could without a care in his face.
  • Distressed Dude: Will Graham forces Hannibal to drive with him to Minnesota in Savoreaux, and he's narrowly rescued by Jack. In Mukōzuke, Matthew Brown knocks him unconscious with a tranquilizer dart, then arranges him in a crucifixion pose with a noose around his neck. Jack and Alana shoot Brown and narrowly rescue Hannibal.
  • Doesn't Like Guns
  • Egocentrically Religious: He justifies his murders to himself and to the "muralist" by claiming that God enjoys killing and that humans are made in God's image. He killed the "muralist" and placed him in the pupil of his human "mural" to symbolically reflect the light of God, assuring the "muralist" that God does exist.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His first appearance comes with a succession of these. We first see him in decidedly sinister lighting, but enjoying a fine meal as classical music plays. The scene comes directly after Will having a realization that the killer they're hunting is eating his victims... specifically, their livers, as a nod to arguably Anthony Hopkins's most famous line.
  • Evil Feels Good: Almost states as such when he compares the act of killing to acting in God's image.
  • Evil Mentor: Appears to take this role toward Abigail, in addition to the complex relationship he has with Graham. He certainly seems to like corrupting others or at least lead them down mentally unhealthy roads.
    • Also he's a former university professor of psychology, although how evil he was in that capacity is not stated.
  • Evil Tastes Good: But you already knew it.
  • Fallen Angel: Certainly not a literal example, but the concept is a strong influence on the show's characterisation of Dr. Lecter.
    Bryan Fuller: [Mads Mikkelsen] talked about the character not so much as 'Hannibal Lecter the cannibal psychiatrist', but as Satan � this fallen angel who's enamored with mankind and had an affinity for who we are as people, but was definitely not among us � he was other. I thought that was a really cool, interesting approach, because I love science fiction and horror and � not that we'd ever do anything deliberately to suggest this � but having it subtextually play as him being Lucifer felt like a really interesting kink to the series. It was slightly different than anything that's been done before and it also gives it a slightly more epic quality if you watch the show through the prism of, 'This is Satan at work, tempting someone with the apple of their psyche'.
  • False Friend: To everyone but especially Will, Jack, and Alana. Throughout the first season, he counsels Will and speaks of him as a friend, only to undermine Will's sanity, frame him for murder, and gloat over him at the psychiatric facility once Will is incarcerated. Regarding Abigail, despite his outward concern for her, he's certainly made sure she feels trapped and alone by convincing her to hide the body of Cassie Boyle's brother and not tell anyone she unwillingly helped her father with his murders. When she seeks solace with Hannibal after witnessing Will's sanity slippage, he murders her.
    • This is played with later on; it's clear that he genuinely likes Will, Alana, and Abigail at the very least (Word of God also confirms this). It just doesn't make him unwilling to hurt them, manipulate them, kill them, frame them for his murders, or otherwise act as a friend wouldn't. It's difficult to say whether his friendship is false or not because Hannibal himself certainly doesn't see it as such.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He counsels Will and speaks of him as a "friend". His definition of friendship, however, involves driving Will to the Gaslighting brink of a mental breakdown, and in Buffet Froid, he hides the fact that Will has severe encephalitis, which is terrible for his mental state and could also kill him or leave permanent brain damage. In Savoureux, he frames Will for Abigail's murder and gloats over Will in the psychiatric facility.
  • Foil: To Will. Where Will is an anxiety-ridden, twitchy, scruffy, Good Is Not Nice Anti-Hero, Lecter is a calm, splendidly well-clothed, Affably Evil Villain Protagonist. To boot, Will is brutally honest, while Hannibal lives a life of deception.
    • And finally, they both share stunning, paralyzing insight into other peoples' personalities. But Lecter does it through detached analysis while Graham gets under their skin and walks a mile in their shoes.
  • For the Evulz: At the end of Relevs, Hannibal admits to Abigail that he called her father just to see how he would react to news that law enforcement was coming for him. He also arranged for Abigail's tormentor to confront her because he wanted to see how she'd react. When he finally realises Hannibal is a killer, Graham specifically says the reason Hannibal was so hard to "see" was because he has no motive. He was simply curious to see what would happen. One could interpret his gaslighting and framing Will in this manner as well.
    • Yakimono reveals that all his crimes as the Chesapeake Ripper are more or less works of art he does for personal enjoyment rather than any sort of vengeance or self-preservation.
  • Frame-Up: He murders Dr. Sutcliffe, then frames Georgia for the killing. In the season 1 finale, he framed Will for his murder of Abigail, leading to Will's incarceration in a psychiatric facility. In season 2, he frames Chilton for the murders of Abel Gideon and two FBI agents.
  • Friendless Background: It seems being a sociopathic serial killer and cannibal makes it hard to relate to people and have friends.
  • Gaslighting: Starting when Lecter smells Will in Coquilles,Lecter discovers Will has encephalitis but decides to keep this from him, and convinces Will that his various symptoms, including hallucinations, lost time and other unpleasant effects are the result of a purely mental illness. He also convinces Will that Gideon (who Will is seeing as Garrett Jacob Hobbs) isn't actually there when he bursts into his house with Gideon at gunpoint in Roti.
    • He also did this to Miriam Lass, setting her up as his insurance policy to frame Chilton.
  • Genius Bruiser: His fight with Tobias left no doubt of this. Also, the fact that he can overpower and murder multiple people suggests that he's physically formidable. He also gives Jack Crawford a run for his money in the opening sequence of Kaiseki.
  • Genre Savvy: When he realizes from Jack Crawford's cryptic comments that he's under suspicion, Hannibal doesn't serve human meat at his next dinner party. This is all on the off-chance that Jack tests a sample.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: He acts very classy with his three piece suits, fancy meals, and kindly - though detached - attitude towards others. He's also pretty sharp and well-educated; not only is he a well-known psychiatrist, he also used to work as a surgeon.
  • Gentleman Snarker
  • Hazmat Suit: Hannibal wears a plastic body suit, sans head covering, so that he won't get blood and viscera on his elegant clothes.
  • Hypocrite: Hannibal repeatedly tells Bedelia Du Maurier that he wants to be Will's friend, and yet acts in ways that no real friend would, such as manipulating Will, lying to him about his encephalitis, and knowingly undermining his sanity.
    • In Rti, Hannibal waxes poetic about mental illness, telling Du Marier "Madness can be a medicine for the modern world ... a boost to the psychological immune system to help fight the existential crisis of modern life." This from a man who is watching his colleague's life fall apart due to mental illness, and who knows firsthand how mental illness can drive people to destructive acts!
  • I'm a Humanitarian: This is Hannibal Lecter, after all.
    • It's heavily implied that most of his meat dishes, if not all, qualify — even ones he serves to others, making much of the cast unwitting cannibals.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Shows shades of this in Sorbet.
  • Implied Death Threat: In Kaiseki, when Bedelia expresses discomfort with the idea of lying to the FBI about Hannibal, he delivers a subtle threat.
    Bedelia: Jack Crawford doesn't know what you�re capable of.
    Hannibal: Neither do you.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: At first it seems like Hannibal truly does value Will's friendship and well being, and goes to many lengths to secure his trust and confidence. But then he lets Will's encephalitis go untreated as well as gaslighting him, seemingly solely to watch what happens, followed by framing Will for several of his murders and driving him to the brink of insanity. While Hannibal certainly believes his friendship with Will to be real and values it as such, it's been made quite clear that his own interests come before anything and everything else.
  • Karma Houdini: For now. He's committed dozens of murders, including that of Abigail Hobbs, whom he promised to protect, intentionally drove Will Graham insane, and framed Will for several of his crimes., but Hannibal remains a free man with a squeaky clean reputation.
  • Lack of Empathy: For the banal and the rude especially.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Of the several fights we see Hannibal engage in over the course of the first two seasons, we see that he can dish out a lot of pain when necessary, and he is incredibly fast. His speed in particular is showcased at the end of Takiawase, when he manages to outmanoeuvre and overpower Beverly while she has a gun pointed at him. It's mostly off-screen, but it's there.
  • Long Game: Yakimono reveals Hannibal that everything Hannibal has been doing as the Chesapeake Ripper has been leading towards a culmination of all his crimes. To what exact end is yet to be seen, but you can tell how far back he's been planning it since keeping Miriam Lass alive and using Chilton to hypnotically influence her, in the process setting him up to be framed as the Ripper. He did this over the course of at least two years.
  • Mad Artist: He executed several of his copycat killings in an artistic manner. He also completes a human "mural" created by another artistically-inclined serial killer, by using the serial killer's body.
  • Mad Doctor: Both of psychiatry and surgery. He even lampshades it to Abigail right before he kills her offscreen, saying he wanted to see what people would do given the problem in a very For Science! type of way.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: He kills Tobias by clobbering him with a statue. Hannibal leaves no fingerprints on the statue, and carefully topples the stand it was on as well, making it appear that the statue fell on Tobias' head during their struggle.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Hannibal is this in spades. He's brought in to help Will mentally, but, if anything, only serves to quietly undermine his stability. He also manipulates Dr. Sutcliffe into not telling Will about his severe illness by playing on the research merits of watching a man go insane, real time.
    • In Futamono, he seduces and roofies Alana Bloom in order to use her spending the night with him as an alibi for extracting Abel Gideon from the hospital. It's especially potent since Alana herself seems genuinely invested, with Hannibal playing on her disillusionment of Will to fuel it.
    • Taken up even further in Yakimono when it's revealed he let Miriam Lass live so he could use her to frame and possibly even kill Chilton for his crimes.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Everything he owns or wears screams, "I am very wealthy and not afraid to show it." .
  • Master Of All: He's a skilled surgeon, an expert psychiatrist, a gourmet chef, a musician and composer, is trained in hand-to-hand combat, and stays in peak physical condition. It's almost impossible to believe how many fields Hannibal is expertly talented in.
  • Master Poisoner: In Takiawase, we learn that Hannibal was secretly administering drugs to Will in order to induce his blackouts and possibly aggravate his encephalitis. In Futamono, he sedates Alana with drugged wine after they make love so that she won't wake up when he departs to amputate Gideon.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate
  • Narcissist: His murders are motivated by his god complex and disdain for people he feels are wasting their lives. He demonstrates his superiority by degrading them and either leaving them on display or turning them into lavish meals. Moreover, he sees the people around him, even the people he likes, as being far beneath him- toys at the very best and mindless animals at worst. He indirectly refers to the common people as 'sheep' in a very condescending way, and Will remarks about the murder of Cassie Boyle that her killer 'thought that she was a pig', not to mention the "wind him up and watch him go" speech.
  • Nephewism: He was apparently raised by his uncle (and mentions cooking meals for an aunt).
  • Nerves of Steel: Inhumanly calm and calculating in any situation. This overlaps with Dissonant Serenity in some cases.
  • The Nose Knows: He recounts how he was able to use this to tell his teacher was dying of stomach cancer before the teacher was diagnosed. He also uses this to find out that both Bella Crawford and Will are sick, and suffering from stage 4 lung cancer and encephalitis respectively, and is able to tell that Georgia has entered the room where he's killing Dr. Sutcliffe when he smells her.
  • Not So Different: From Franklyn. Both men try to dissolve professional boundaries with their respective psychiatrists. Also, both men have an unhealthy fixation on another person that leads to unpleasant behavior. Franklyn is obsessed with Hannibal and stalks him, whereas Hannibal is fascinated with Will and plays deadly mind games with him.
  • Odd Friendship/Opposites Attract: With Will Graham. He even Lampshades it in Fromage.
  • Offing The Annoyance: Before his fight with Tobias, Hannibal snapped Franklyn's neck because Franklyn annoyed him one too many times.
  • Offscreen Villainy: His kills are mistakenly attributed to another serial killer, a copycat. As is often the case with this show, the aftermath of his killings are shown over the actual deeds. It's quite a while before the audience witnesses him killing. There are even one or two fake-outs. In Entre, when he strangled Miriam Lass, she wasn't killed in that moment; she lived long enough after that to leave her last message. Only in Fromage does it finally happen.
  • Paranoia Gambit: Pulls off a sinister variation of this on Jack Crawford.
  • Pet the Dog: He comforts Abigail when she confesses that her father forced her to recruit his victims. Lecter hugs her and assures her that she is a victim, not a monster.
    • When Margot Verger comes to him for therapy, he's respectful and supportive of her, giving her the affirmation that her family will not. This being Hannibal, however, it remains to be seen if his kindness is genuine or part of a larger scheme.
  • The Philosopher
  • Poisonous Friend: He endangers Will's mental and physical health, and yet still speaks of himself and Will as friends.
  • Pride: Every single thing about him, from his dress sense to his dietary habits, is a way of proving his superiority over everyone else. Even his crime scenes are theatrical and showy.
  • Psycho Psychologist: A zig-zagged trope; he's psycho, he's a psychologist; but he's actually a psychiatric genius. It's whether or not you're on the receiving end of his mind games that determines how psycho he is at any given moment.
  • Parental Substitute: For Abigail Hobbs - even up to the moment he kills her offscreen, in a twisted way.
  • Renaissance Man: Gifted psychiatrist, chef, surgeon, artist, and musician.
  • Satanic Archetype: He tempts, manipulates, deceives, and destroys those around him. He appeals to the worst impulses in his targets (fear in Abigail, guilt in Jack, and ambition in Sutcliffe). He mimics God's power over life and death and arrogantly thinks he understands the Almighty, as suggested by his conversation with Will about how God enjoys killing, and his conversation with the "muralist" about reflecting God's light in his "mural". In several scenes, he's lit with bright light from behind, evoking Lucifer as an angel of light. In Will's dreams and hallucinations, Hannibal is symbolized by a monstrous horned man. Finally, just as Satan imprisons his victims in the pits of hell, Hannibal imprisons Miriam Lass in a hellish pit. See Fallen Angel above.
  • Serial Killer: He's the Chesapeake Ripper.
  • Serial-Killer Killer: In season 1, he kills Tobias in self-defense, and later kills Georgia because she witnessed Sutcliffe's murder. In season 2, he murders the man responsible for a wave of killings and installs him in his own "mural" made of human bodies. Subverted in that Hannibal kills other serial killers for pragmatic rather than moral reasons.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Again, in contrast to the often scruffy-looking Will.
    Beverly: You might want to think about supplementing your wardrobe.
    Hannibal: I often do.
  • Shirtless Scene: He has several in Mukōzuke, such as when he's swimming, and later when Matthew Brown torments him and nearly kills him while he's wearing nothing but swimming trunks. His love scenes with Alana in season 2 also show him shirtless.
  • The Sociopath: Portrayed somewhat ambiguously. Whether or not he possesses empathy for the people he harms is unclear, but his anti-social actions are undeniable.
  • Soft Spoken Sadist: He speaks calmly and gently at all times.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Hannibal is obsessed with Will, talking about him endlessly with Jack, Chilton, and Bedelia. He even longs to be Will, bragging to Bedelia that he "gets to be" Will Graham in his new role as an FBI profiler. When gruesome crimes mirroring Will's alleged ones are committed in Hassun, Hannibal makes thinly-veiled remarks attributing the killer's "love" for Will to himself, and questioning Will's unwillingness to accept him.
  • Step into the Blinding Fight: On the attack against Beverly Katz, who is armed, he slams the light off before lunging.
  • The Stoic: His demeanor is always calm and reserved.
  • Supreme Chef: Dr. Lecter is an amazing chef, and his guests almost always rave about his food. However given what's usually in it it crosses into Food Porn Fan Disservice. Food Gorn?
  • A Taste Of Their Own Medicine: After tormenting, murdering, and publicly displaying countless victims, Hannibal gets a taste of his own medicine in Mukōzuke. Matthew Brown tortures and nearly kills Hannibal, and had Brown succeeded, Hannibal's corpse would have been on public display. He also now bears prominent scars on his wrists and forearms from Brown cutting into them.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: In the first episode he turns up at Will's doorstep with scrambled eggs and suspicious sausages. As the two eat breakfast together, Will warms up to the psychiatrist.
    • In Savoureux, he arrives at Bedelia Du Maurier's house with an elegant dinner, and their mealtime conversation suggests that they are bonding.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Most of his students thought he was having an affair with Alana Bloom. He wasn't, but he was having an affair, according to Alana.
  • Tranquil Fury: When he discovers Beverly in his basement, he says not a word, but his displeasure is palpable.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Or perhaps Traitorous Counsellor?
  • The Unfettered: Hannibal has absolutely no restraining morals or principles, and is in fact driven largely by curiosity or self-amusement. This is shown best by his choice to save the life of Bella being decided by a casual coin toss.
  • Unusual Eyebrows: Of the non-existent to barely visibly variety.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: Seeing as he's played by Mads Mikkelsen, it's hardly a surprise.
  • Villain Protagonist
  • Villain with Good Publicity
  • Voice Changeling: During Miriam's captivity, he discarded his European accent and mimicked Chilton's voice so that Miriam wouldn't know he was her captor. When Hannibal chloroforms Chilton, he mimics Chilton's voice to call out to two FBI agents who are knocking on the door.
  • Waistcoat of Style
  • Wakeup Makeup: He looks more put together first thing in the morning than Will Graham does ever.
  • Wendigo: In Savoureux, Will hallucinates that Hannibal is a wendigo, with a black, emaciated body and antlers. Hannibal's monstrous crimes and cannibalism make the symbolism appropriate.
    • The statuette in Hannibal's library is of the same creature in its earliest appearances of Graham's dreams.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: In true Hannibal Lecter fashion no one is quite sure what his accent is. note 
  • Wicked Cultured: Dr. Lecter, obviously, with his love of refined music, food, and wine. Sorbet confirms this with having him attend the opera. His appreciation for Glenn Gould appears earlier on, as a Call Forward to The Silence of the Lambs when he butchered two prison guards in his successful escape from the asylum to the accompaniment of Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Fans have noticed romantic tension between Hannibal and Bedelia Du Maurier, although where this will go remains to be seen. Bryan Fuller's interview with Collider indicates that future seasons will explore romance with Hannibal, but it's not clear if this will be with Bedelia. This tension also seems to exist with Alana Bloom, although it's not highlighted as much.
    • Also, to an extent, with Will. The nature of their relationship is ambiguous, to say the least (though Word of God says that from Hannibal's side it is genuine love, though that love doesn't necessarily have to be romantic or sexual) and whether it really is just Foe Yay or legitimate Ship Tease is just as vague. Bryan Fuller's response to being asked if they're ever going to kiss (apparently quite a common question) was... not saying one way or another.
    • In Futamono, Hannibal becomes sexually involved with Alana.
  • Worf Had The Flu: The only reason he's so easily subdued by Matthew Brown is because he was caught off guard and sedated by a villain absolutely no-one would have suspected.
  • Yandere: To Will Graham. Season 2 suggests that his manipulation of Will and many of his murders are attempts to understand Will and express a twisted "love" for him.
    Hannibal: This killer wrote you a poem. Are you going to let his love go to waste?

Jack Crawford

"We have a difference of opinion. Therefore I'm going to choose the opinion that best serves my agenda."
Miriam Lass: We call you "the guru". You have a peculiar cleverness.

Head of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, Jack Crawford is laser-focused on his mission to apprehend the most vicious serial killers known to man. His unstoppable drive and dogged determination sometimes cause him to lose sight of the well-being of his team, particularly his most valuable weapon, Will Graham, who Crawford keeps on a tight leash. It also constantly threatens the delicate balance he strikes between his professional and personal life.
  • Anxiety Dreams: As a result of My Greatest Failure.
  • Badass: The opening of Kaiseki proves that he can match Hannibal blow-for-blow despite starting the fight with a knife through his palm. Jack ends up body-slamming Hannibal and choking him to near-death with his tie; Hannibal only gets the upper hand by playing possum. This marks the only time that someone has physically overpowered Hannibal in a straight fight, as Hannibal only survived through trickery.
  • Big Eater: He was "thin as a boy" and is a huge fan of Hannibal's cooking, good-naturedly grumbling that neither his mother nor his wife are great chefs. Fishburne himself is a self-confessed foodie and "Fannibal of dining with Hannibal."
  • Collateral Angst: The death of Miriam Lass caused this for him.
  • Combat Pragmatist: In Kaiseki's flashforward, he uses a kitchen knife he's been stabbed with, a chopping board and his own tie as weapons. After gaining the upper hand on Hannibal, Jack proceeds to punch the man in the face while he's lying stunned, then strangle him.
  • Da Chief
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: During flashbacks to the first investigation of the Chesapeake Ripper, he has a lot more facial hair than in the present day, where it's confined to a small patch under his chin.
  • Eureka Moment: A sad version, since he puts the pieces together and figures out his wife is dying of cancer as they're discussing the Angel killer.
  • FBI Agent
  • Genre Blind: In Futamono, he very blatantly asks Hannibal if he can take some food to go. Even if Hannibal wasn't prepared (all the meat he prepared was proper animal meat, not human meat), that alone would have given the very Genre Savvy Hannibal time to think of a contingency.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He's obviously quite intent on catching serial killers, but isn't beyond strong-arming Will into helping him or threatening Freddie into silence.
    • Also encouraging Miriam Lass to follow her own leads, even though she's rapidly moving out of her depth. Then there's Clarice...
  • Hyper Awareness: As the head of the Behavioral Science Unit he's very good at reading people. He already knows that his wife is keeping something from him, but also says that he won't ask her about it.
  • It's Personal: After the death of Miriam Lass, he's particularly obsessed with catching the Chesapeake Ripper.
  • Jerk With a Heart of Gold: He can come across as harsh and demanding to Will, but he means well. Both he and Will agree that Will is saving people's lives and stopping dangerous killers. Jack is well aware that he's endangering Will both physically and mentally, and he even has nightmares about Will sharing Miriam's fate. Ultimately, however, he believes that he must serve a greater good. He won't force Will to continue investigating, but he'll do everything short of it. (Hannibal, of course, likes to twist Jack's focus on the needs of the many into Will being dragged into performing an ugly job he doesn't want at the behest of a "devil" to erode Will's trust in Jack.)
  • Manipulative Bastard: He knows that Graham's obviously not doing well mentally, but keeps pushing him to help him solve more murders. And aside from that, he's also fine with taking less than legal means to get what he wants.
  • Manly Tears: He tears up when he realizes that the reason his wife is so distant from him is because she is dying of cancer.
    • And again when he sees Beverly's corpse.
  • My Greatest Failure: He's obviously still feeling quite guilty about the death of Miriam Lass the point that it's successfully used to manipulate him.
  • Never My Fault: He forces his way in a lot of situations where people advise him otherwise, and then gets mad and yells at other people when their Cassandra Truth comes true. When everyone thinks Will has snapped and become a serial killer, he yells at Alana for not seeing the signs even though she and every other member of the starring cast have tried to get him to cut Will some slack, for fear of Will snapping. He even admits to pushing Will anyway, without acknowledging the connection between that and their current outcome.
    • Miriam's death is unusual in that he internalized responsibility for it. Although she's not actually dead
    • He develops beyond this in season 2, accepting his complicity in what happened to Will, and telling Alana she was right to report him, even though it may destroy his career.
  • No Indoor Voice: Occasionally.
    • In Coquilles his voice actually manages to echo in the alleyway even though he didn't shout; "I did not just hear that, did I?"
  • The Profiler: He would have to be, to be the head of the Behavioral Science Unit.
  • Race Lift: The character was white in the books and the movies, but it was mentioned only in the context of describing his appearance and has no effect on the plot.
  • Renowned Selective Mentor: Especially apparent in the flashbacks with Miriam Lass.
  • Stout Strength: As show in the season 2 opener against Hannibal, who is more of a Lightning Bruiser.
  • Suddenly Shouting
  • Tranquil Fury: When he confronts and attempts to kill Hannibal.

Dr. Alana Bloom

"Nothing wrong with a little self-medication."
Played By: Caroline Dhavernas

Dr. Alana Bloom is a psychology professor, FBI consultant, and colleague to Will Graham, who is able to keep her work at a strict intellectual distance from her private life. She recognizes Will's strange gift of empathizing with the murderers he hunts, but worries about Jack putting Will in harm's way. A former student of Hannibal Lecter, Alana sometimes clashes with him over his unconventional treatments.
  • Ascended Extra: Her basis, Alan Bloom, appears only briefly in the film Manhunter and is Adapted Out of the Foster/Hopkins canon.
  • Berserk Button: Calls Hannibal Lecter, serial killer who murders people specifically for their lack of courtesy, rude for removing her patient (Abigail Hobbs) from psychiatric care without even consulting her.
  • The Cassandra: As she points out to Jack in the season finale, she told him not to put Will out in the field but was ignored.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Eureka Moment: In the season finale, after she hears Will mention that Lecter had him draw a clock she asks him to do it again, and sees how distorted it is because of his encephalitis. She looks ready to cry when she sees this since it tells her that there is a physiological reason for Will's behavior.
  • Gender Flip
  • The Heart: At complete odds with certain other psychiatric professionals on the show, Alana wants to help her patients heal and be happy on their own terms.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes
  • Nice Girl: She's quite concerned for both Abigail and Will.
  • Not So Stoic: After remaining composed even through the events of the season she outright yells at Jack in the season finale, and then bursts into tears in her car.
  • Only Sane Woman
  • Parental Substitute: For Abigail Hobbs, while not as obviously and more reluctantly than Hannibal, it becomes apparent when she and Hannibal appear as Abigail's biological parents in a hallucination.
  • Sex for Solace: In Futamono pretty much directly stated to be the reason she winds up in bed with Hannibal, since they've both symbolically "buried" Will by cutting ties with him.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: She's kindly and compassionate, and she will pursue what she believes to be the right course with unyielding will.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension/Will They or Won't They?: With Will Graham, and with Hannibal, though she seems to prefer Will.
    • In Futamono, she becomes romantically involved with Hannibal.


Jack Crawford

See Main Characters

Beverly Katz

"I like having a big family� I was the oldest, so all the friction rolled down the hill."
Played By: Hettienne Park

A member of the Behavioral Science Unit, specializing in fibers. Beverly has a keen sensibility when it comes to piecing together fragments of evidence. And she never handles Will with kid gloves, a trait appreciated by Will.

Jimmy Price

Played By: Scott Thompson

Price is a master of forensics and technology within the Behavioral Science Unit. He makes the most of his years of experience, and knows the importance of levity and wit in maintaining one's sanity on the job.
  • The Alcoholic: Mentioned, but off-screen.
  • Functional Addict: Cheerily admits as much in Amuse-Bouche.
    Zeller: Recovering alcoholics, they crave sugar — don't take that personally, buddy.
    Price: Oh, I'm not recovering.
  • Nice Guy: Nicer than Zeller at least. (An inversion from the novels, where he is described as a Grumpy Old Man who, amongst other things, threw some nasty lab work at Clarice Starling primarily for the lulz.)
  • Those Two Guys: With Zeller below. In the first few episodes they don't do/say much beside give annoyed looks when Graham shows them up.

Brian Zeller

Played By: Aaron Abrams

A member of the Behavioral Science Unit, Zeller uses his medical degree to determine causes of death in victims. His arrogance and competitive nature sometimes place him at odds with Will.
  • Competition Freak: In Sorbet we see him get into a distinctly childish argument with Will over who is right.
    • In Amuse-Bouche we learn Zeller leaked the majority of information about Will because, as Freddie implied, there's "rivalry of who gets the collar".
  • Jerkass: Downplayed. He can be a bit of a jerk, especially to Will, but he's never nasty to the extent of Freddie Lounds.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: When Beverly dies, he can barely hold back the tears. Even if he's somewhat prickly at times, he has a heart. When Will is proven innocent, Brian apologizes to him for not letting himself believe he wasn't guilty.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: As Will points out to him, and not very kindly.
  • Those Two Guys: With Price above. In the first few episodes they don't do/say much beside give annoyed looks when Graham shows them up.

Miriam Lass

Played By: Anna Chlumsky

Miriam Regina Lass was an FBI trainee assigned by Jack Crawford to the Chesapeake Ripper Task Force, as they tried to track down the infamous serial killer during one of his active periods. Lass was a highly intelligent profiler who, in her youthful zeal to solve crimes, sometimes flouted standard procedure. It is believed that Lass was following her own lead in the Ripper case when she vanished � presumably murdered by the Ripper himself. Her tragic end has haunted Jack, her mentor, for years.
  • The Ace
  • An Arm and a Leg: Hannibal amputated her arm to leave for the FBI. She gets an electronic prosthetic.
  • Break the Cutie: If the recording is anything to go by. It's later shown she's been stored by Hannibal in a pit after her amputation.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: It's heavily implied Hannibal spared her so she would erroneously identify Dr. Chilton as the Chesapeake Ripper.
  • Damsel in Distress: Hannibal secretly holds her captive in a squalid pit until Jack rescues her in Futamono.
  • Expy: For Will Graham, of all people. The way she discovers the identity of the Chesapeake Ripper is the same way that Will Graham did in the novels.
  • Fate Worse than Death
  • Genki Girl
  • Gone Horribly Right: Jack hired her to help him find the identity of the Chesapeake Ripper. Well, she did. And then the Ripper found her right back.
  • Not Quite Dead: Jack finds her in Futamono.
  • Sanity Slippage: As Will points out, having Hannibal Lecter messing with your mind for two years isn't going to leave you very stable.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: Played with. While Jack seems to think the reason she was killed was to hurt him and she is later used to get under his skin, it turns out her death was because she got way too close to figuring out who the Ripper actually was, and it actually had nothing to do with Crawford except tangentially. Instead it comes off more as Collateral Angst for Crawford. Also she turns out to not actually be dead.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: She illegally looked through the private medical files of the Ripper's victims because she believed the Ripper was a surgeon and had treated at least one of them.
  • She Knows Too Much: Hannibal kidnapped her as soon as she realized that he was the Chesapeake Ripper.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Clarice Starling.
    • And ironically Catherine Martin, what with being trapped at the bottom of a pit (in her case a well) by a psycho.
  • Walking Spoiler: She discovers Hannibal's secret and is attacked. Jack finds her much later in a pit, the only surviving victim.

Kade Prurnell

"There is a general desire to see this go away quickly and quietly."
Played By: Cynthia Nixon

An official from the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General, who has been sent to handle the fallout from Will Graham's arrest.
  • Captain Ersatz: Kade is based on Paul Krendler, an antagonist from the novels who was introduced in The Silence of the Lambs. Since the producers don't have the television rights to Silence, Kade is, like many other characters, a lawyer-friendly re-imagining... not to mention an anagram of the original character.
  • Gender Flip
  • Good Is Not Nice: She carries out her investigation in the name of ethics and the law, knowing full well that it could cost Jack Crawford his job. However, she performs her job without malice, doing what she believes is fair and ethical.
  • Hero Antagonist: Her investigation could easily cost Jack Crawford his job and find Will Graham guilty of crimes he didn't commit. However, Prurnell is simply carrying out the law by investigating possible ethics violations and Will's alleged crimes. She shows no malice toward any of the people involved in her investigation, even flat-out stating to Alana that she and her office would greatly prefer if this whole situation just quietly went away, and says to Will she's trying to save his life because he will be proven guilty and sentenced to death if he pleas innocent.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Prurnell's only priority is ensuring the investigation is over as quickly and painlessly as possible.

    Recurring Characters 

Fredricka "Freddie" Lounds

"Here we are: bunch of psychopaths helping each other out."
Played By: Lara Jean Chorostecki

"Would it be an imposition to ask a few things?"

Trashy tabloid blogger and aspiring journalist Freddie Lounds is as driven, ambitious, and cunning as she is unscrupulous, stopping at nothing to get her story. Lounds sees Will Graham and the FBI as targets, using them as fodder for her next sensational expos.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: "Lounds was lumpy and ugly and small. He had buck teeth and his rat eyes had the sheen of spit on asphalt." Not words that could be used to describe Lara Jean Chorostecki.
  • Amoral Vegetarian: Which makes her the one person shown so far to avoid eating human meat served by Hannibal.
  • Blatant Lies: In Hassun, when she testifies at Will's trial, she falsely claims that Abigail was afraid that Will would murder and cannibalize her in the manner of her father. Will's attorney quickly reminds the court that Freddie attracted six libel suits.
  • Damsel in Distress: She's kidnapped by Dr. Gideon in Rti.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Determinator: But a decidedly unpleasant one.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She's clearly disturbed by Gideon's vivisection of Chilton in Rti. When law enforcement finds her, she looks visibly traumatized. She even keeps Chilton alive with the ventilator rather than abandon him.
    • In Mukōzuke, she's genuinely shaken to find Beverly's dissected body, and warns Jack that he shouldn't be the one to go in.
  • Evil Redhead: She's not evil per se, but she's definitely an amoral character.
  • Foil: Narratively, to Hannibal. He's a neatly dressed, outwardly warm psychiatrist liked by the police and the main characters; she's a garishly dressed, outwardly cold tabloid reporter greatly disliked by the main characters and the police. He's a murderous cannibal and she's not as bad as she seems.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Freddie Lounds, full first name: Fredricka. Par for the course since this is a Bryan Fuller show.
  • Gender Flip: To go with that Gender-Blender Name above.
  • Hate Sink: She's a character that's very easy to dislike.
  • Hot Scoop
  • I Call It Vera: Keeps a derringer pistol in her purse, which is apparently named Lois.
  • Intrepid Reporter: A very negative version of the trope.
  • Jerkass: Quite so. Some of her appeal (in whatever appeal she has) lies in how completely aware and entirely unabashed she is about being one.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Freddie is objectively an awful human being, but she's not a criminal or a serial killer. When she screws somebody over, she's upfront about it, aware the victim will probably want restitution, and has an obvious motivation (the story). That, in a way, makes her less dangerous than Hannibal, who'd destroy someone's life and/or drive them to kill in complete certainty that he knows what's best. Or just for giggles.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Though only a hero in her own mind, this happens several times. First after speaking to the police officer she got fired he gets promptly shot in the head by the Gardener killer, who had been tipped off by reading her website and then later the brother of the Shrike's copycat killer's (aka Hannibal) victim winds up dead when Abigail stabs him in self defense, and he only came to see her after being goaded by Freddie.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: She has a close (and intentional) resemblance to former British newspaper editor Rebekah Brooks.
  • Number of the Beast: In Hassun, Will's attorney reminds Lounds that she has six prior libel suits against her. The number "six" is repeated; Freddie winds up saying it three times in a row, and nothing else.
  • Paparazzi: Lounds, going beyond simple harassment and straight into flagrantly illegal territory in her pursuit of stories; she lies to the police, contaminates crime scenes, records a conversation between a psychiatrist and his patient, and it's made clear that she's gotten more than one cop fired.
    "Well, unfortunately, I did not evolve the ability to feel shame."
  • Pet the Dog: When confronted by Crawford over her first story about Will Graham, he asks how she got all her information, knowing she talked to a local police officer, but believing she could have got information from elsewhere as well. Lounds had gotten info from Zeller (who is in the room with Crawford and other FBI agents), but she doesn't give him up or get him in trouble. Later, when speaking to the police officer she got fired, she offers to get him a higher-paying job in private security though he gets shot in the head by the Gardener a few seconds later so it's a moot point. Her helping Abigail tell her side of the story could also be seen as a sort of Pet The Dog, especially since she seems very supportive and makes it clear that Abigail will receive money for the story (something Abigail desperately needs).
    • She also tries to keep Crawford from seeing Beverly's remains.
  • Quirky Curls: She has quite a mane of hair - its distinctiveness is even briefly a plot point (she left a strand behind on a crime scene).
  • Smug Snake: She's rarely anything other than cool and cunning. Occasionally, though, she's visibly rattled or irritated.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: In Rti, she's clearly got one of these after Gideon kidnaps her and forces her to stand by and watch what he does to Chilton, including keeping him alive with a ventilator when Crawford eventually finds them.
  • Toplessness from the Back: How she's introduced.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: Her villainy may be questionable but she still has the cheekbones for it.

Abigail Hobbs

"I'm not normal. Not anymore."
Played By: Kacey Rohl

Abigail Hobbs is a Minnesota teenager whose father Garret Jacob Hobbs was the prime suspect in the Minnesota Shrike case, in which eight Minnesota college students who bore a physical resemblance to Abigail were abducted and presumably murdered. Abigail's father killed her mother, then slashed Abigail's own throat, before he was gunned down by Will Graham. Abigail survived the attack and was transferred to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for treatment and observation.
  • Accidental Murder: Out of self defense.
  • Alone with the Psycho: When Abigail flees from Will after witnessing his sanity slippage, she finds Hannibal Lecter at her old home. There, Hannibal reveals his true colors to her and murders her offscreen.
  • Ascended Extra: Her role is vastly expanded from Red Dragon where she is only mentioned as having received psychotherapy and moved on with her life.
  • Beneath the Mask: Becomes a virtual Stepford Smiler as a coping mechanism with her True Self only revealed around Hannibal and in her Bad Dreams.
  • Break the Cutie: Her father began using her to lure girls for him to murder with the reasoning that if she refused, she'd be the victim instead. When he's caught, he kills her mother and then non-fatally slashes Abigail's throat. Though she survives, her saviour being none other than Hannibal Lecter indicates her troubles are only beginning.
  • Broken Bird: She develops into one following the events of the pilot. After a dark and frightening past, her father kills her mother by slashing her throat, then tries to do the same to his daughter, but gets interrupted when he's shot dead by Will right in front of her eyes. Combine that with her guilt and the suspicions people have about her and you get a very glum young woman.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: She was accused of being such, and it turns out to be true. But not of her own free will.
  • Dark Secret: She reveals to Lecter that her father forced her to recruit his victims.
  • Death by Adaptation: However...
  • Forced Into Evil: See the above tropes.
  • Guilt Complex: Because of her father, and her own killing of Nick Boyle.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: The poor girl is clearly more comfortable with Hannibal than with Will, despite knowing Hannibal gave her dad the tip-off.
  • Icy Blue Eyes/Innocent Blue Eyes/Creepy Blue Eyes: She often seems to have a combination of the three, which is odd considering that The Minnesota Shrike's victims - chosen for their resemblance to her - all had Brown Eyes.
  • In the Blood: Jack Crawford and other characters seem to think so. She herself wonders about it at times.
  • Meaningful Name: Abigail means "father's joy" and she was Garret Jacob Hobbs's "golden ticket". However, given her strange relationships with her biological and surrogate fathers, the "joy" part is a bit complicated.
  • Scars Are Forever: She hides the scar on her throat with a scarf.
  • Slashed Throat: He father tried to kill her by slitting her throat with a kitchen knife. Fortunately, she survived, but not without a scar.

Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier

"You cannot function as an agent of friendship for a man disconnected from the concept as a man disconnected from the concept."
Played By: Gillian Anderson

One of the few people whom Hannibal Lecter calls "friend", Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier had a thriving career as a psychiatrist until she was brutally attacked by a patient. Now extremely reclusive, she has abandoned her practice, with the exception of one client: Hannibal.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Very carefully doesn't really confirm or deny Jack's growing suspicions about Hannibal, flat-out tells Hannibal to stop "whatever [he's] doing with Will Graham", but says she likes what she's seen of Hannibal's true self and omitted significant details about her attack when talking to Jack.
    • She knows he has a hard time understanding friendship and expresses an awareness that he has a habit of getting deeply involved with his patients who have tendencies toward violence (which might include the patient he referred to her who attacked her), but Word of God states that she doesn't know any more about his...proclivities than the other characters do.
  • Beneath the Mask: Throughout season 1, Bedelia presents herself as calm and confident. In season 2, when she ends her therapy sessions with Hannibal, the mask drops. Her voice and body language become that of a fragile, traumatized woman.
  • Broken Bird: Was the target of an obsessive patient who attacked her, which is why she doesn't officially practice clinical psychology anymore. This patient may have been sicced on her by Hannibal, and she may or may not know that.
  • Casting Gag: Given that Anderson played a Clarice Starling-inspired FBI Agent for 10 years...
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Throughout season 1, she presents a cool exterior while maintaining professional boundaries with Hannibal. By "Savoureux", however, she agrees to see Hannibal outside of a clinical context when they dine at her house one evening.
  • Dirty Business: In Kaiseki, Hannibal signs a form authorizing her to speak with the FBI about their therapeutic relationship. Bedelia understands that he expects her to lie to the FBI, and is visibly disgusted.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Various viewers have noted too distinct to be coincidental parallels between Dr. du Maurier and her patient: the way they part their hair, the way they tilt their head, their perpetually immaculate presentation. The vast majority of their sessions are also shot head-on, in contrast to the side-view we're given when Hannibal talks to Will or even Franklyn, as if Hannibal is talking to a mirror.
  • Genre Savvy: She's smart enough to vanish without a trace when she breaks off her relationship with Hannibal, realizing he wasn't going to take it kindly. She was right to do so; Hannibal breaks into her house with his kill suit on after she does.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Zig-zagged; she's the first character to recognize Hannibal isn't what he presents himself as, but conjectures that she likes what she's seen of the real him thus far.
    • Subverted in season 2 when she realizes that Hannibal is dangerous, and that he may have had something to do with Will Graham's institutionalization.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In season 2, she realizes that Hannibal is dangerous and ends their therapeutic relationship. Soon thereafter, she goes into self-imposed exile, disappearing without a trace.
  • The Shrink's Shrink: Hannibal's insistence that she be his shrink is, in fact, the only reason she isn't retired.
  • The Stoic: Maintains this demeanour professionally, due to the need of a psychiatrist to (as she put it) "take a step back" whenever they feel the urge to take a step forward.
  • Unexpectedly Abandoned: After Bedelia stops providing therapy to Hannibal, he breaks into her house while wearing his plastic body suit in order to murder her. Instead, he finds Bedelia gone and her house abandoned.
  • Wakeup Makeup: Like Hannibal, Dr. du Maurier looks more put together when surprise-visited by Jack Crawford in the middle of the afternoon than Will or even the rest of Team Science does... ever.

Phyllis "Bella" Crawford

"I resent that Jack has too much to worry about, to worry about me."
Played By: Gina Torres

Phyllis "Bella" Crawford is a NATO staff member and wife to FBI Behavioral Science Unit chief Jack Crawford. The two met many years ago in Italy; Phyllis earned the nickname "Bella" because the local Italian men kept calling her "bella, bella" ("beautiful, beautiful"). She and Jack have maintained a basically happy marriage, but as two headstrong, career-oriented individuals, communication between them has often been strained � especially during Bella�s most recent crisis, which she hoped to hide from her husband.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Bella, for beautiful, the nickname many admirers called her during her time as a NATO agent in Italy.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: A very impressive one to Hannibal, as she pulls it off from a hospital bed, while she has barely any energy left from chemotherapy and a suicide attempt.
  • Doomed by Canon: She reveals her cancer to Jack in the show, but is actively dying by the time of Silence of the Lambs and dies near the end of the book.
  • Driven to Suicide: Overdoses on morphine in Hannibal's office. He then flips a coin to decide whether to save her life, and injects her with Naloxone he stores in his cabinet.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Bella longs for a dignified death, rather than a slow, painful death from cancer. She attempts suicide by overdosing on morphine in Takiawase so that she can die with dignity.
  • Interrupted Suicide: After she overdoses on morphine, Hannibal injects her with a drug that counters the morphine's effects, thereby saving her life.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Her real name is Phyllis, but Jack only calls her that when they're arguing.
  • Out of Focus: She completely disappears halfway through the first season. This may just be because she has no relevance to the overall plot beyond how her cancer affects Jack.
  • Secretly Dying: Of cancer. Stage four lung cancer, to be specific. As she notes herself, there's no stage five. She had hoped to keep this secret from Jack until she was too sick to hide it.

Dr. Frederick Chilton

Played By: Ral Esparza

Dr. Frederick Chilton is a psychiatrist and chief of staff at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. A man who has always taken great pride in his accomplishments, Dr. Chilton is especially proud to have discovered � or so he purports � that his prisoner Abel Gideon is in fact the Chesapeake Ripper, the notorious serial killer who has eluded the FBI for years.

Chilton is, of course, wrong, and suffers the consequences. Despite this blunder, he remains in his position at the hospital and a recurring character on the show.
  • A Death in the Limelight
  • And Show It to You: In Rti, Dr. Gideon kidnaps him and begins taking out his organs while he's still conscious. He doesn't quite get to his heart and Chilton is still alive when Crawford arrives because Freddie is keeping him alive with a ventilator. He eventually recovers by season two, minus one kidney and forced to go vegetarian.
    • Continuity Nod: In Yakimono, Hannibal Lecter disembowels one of the dead FBI agents in Chilton's house, knowing Chilton will be reminded of what Gideon did to him. This is a particularly cruel bit of genius since Hannibal's Batman Gambit relies on Chilton panicking and fleeing, which is exactly what happens.
  • Asshole Victim: A non-fatal instance, where Dr. Gideon kidnaps and performs torturous surgery on him.
  • Audience Surrogate: Temporarily assumes this role in Futamono, giving voice to the "It's people" and "It fucking rhymes" jokes that have been a key part of fandom since the first season.
  • Beard of Evil: Not so much evil as despicable. Season 2 he's shaven it off. Whether this may be symbolic is yet to be seen.
  • Boom, Headshot: When Miriam hears his voice, she mistakenly thinks he was her captor and shoots him in the head.
  • Break the Haughty: His experiences in season 1, which damaged his professional reputation, left him minus one kidney and with what's likely a hefty load of PTSD seem to have tempered his smugness, if only slightly.
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat
  • Chronic Back Stabbing Disorder: It's hard to tell whether he's in an Enemy Mine with Will Graham or Villain Team-Up with Hannibal. By Mukozuke, it seems like Chilton's made his decision clear and is now distinctly working with Will (even if just to save his own skin).
  • Death by Adaptation
  • Dumbass Has a Point: In the second season, Chilton actually gives an extremely accurate summation of Hannibal's pathology and his God Complex... The "dumbass" bit comes from the fact that Chilton believes he's profiling Will Graham.
    • Jerkass Has a Point: Later in the same season he's one of the first people to seriously suspect Hannibal and realize Will may be on to something, and bluntly tells Jack that he's letting his personal relationship with Hannibal keep him from seeing the obvious.
  • Evil Cripple: Has trouble walking in Season 2 due to Abel Gideon's vivisection of him. He's toting a fancy cane in most of his scenes as a result.
  • Foil: To Hannibal Lecter, as a nattily-dressed psychiatrist guilty of psychic driving, although Chilton quickly enters Even Evil Has Standards territory when he realizes just what Hannibal is guilty of.
    • Also to Will Graham, with his flailing, terrified reaction to being framed by Hannibal a contrast to the more calculating way Will handled being in the same situation.
  • For Science!: His stated motivation, but he seems more interested in personal glory.
  • Foreshadowing/Phrase Catcher: He coins the phrase 'Hannibal the Cannibal' before Hannibal is ever caught.
  • Frame-Up: Hannibal frames him for the murder of Abel Gideon and two FBI agents.
  • Genre Savvy: In Futamono, he says to Jack he'd be wise to distance himself from him in case Hannibal ever catches on. Of course, he's in league with Hannibal too, but to what extent he's willing to defend him is unknown.
  • Hidden Depths: He is visibly disturbed, and convinced to alter his diagnosis, when Will offers compelling arguments for how Hannibal framed him.
  • Hope Spot: FBI agents knock on his door just as Hannibal chloroforms him.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Even when Chilton pulls a gun on Will in Yakimono, Will openly dismisses it as the panic move it is.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: We learn a lot of his bluster is to hide the fact he'll never get the acknowledgements of colleagues in his field that Hannibal does, and is the initial reason why he's willing to help Will.
  • It's All About Me: Far more concerned with the backlash onto him of psychic driving Abel Gideon into thinking he's the Chesapeake Ripper (causing him to kill again) than the actual moral consequences of it or the deaths it caused.
  • Laughably Evil: Chilton, while still being an unethical jerk, takes a level in hilarity in the second season.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate
  • More than Mind Control: He manipulated Abel Gideon to convince him that he was the Chesapeake Ripper, which aggravated Gideon's existing instability.
  • Murder by Mistake: Miriam incorrectly believes that he was her captor and shoots him in the head.
  • Never My Fault: His reaction to Dr. Bloom's outraged "You told him he was the Chesapeake Ripper!" was basically "Yeah, well, you told him he wasn't, so this is really your fault." Also counts as a case of No, You.
  • Not His Sled: Plays an important role in Yakimono in telling the audience that the T.V. show Hannibal will be an Alternate Continuity to the original series. Instead of living on to see Hannibal get caught and housed at his facility (and then escape a few years later, at which time Chilton flees the country and gets tracked down and eaten by Hannibal anyway), Chilton gets killed very abruptly and shockingly by Miriam, who's been brainwashed into believing he was her captor. While there had been many, many differences between the two continuities before this, the twist with Chilton was the first real difference that one simply cannot reconcile between the two. (Though, of course, it's always possible that there will be a new chief of staff at Baltimore State Hospital who will not only take over Chilton's job but also his role in the books and movies.)
  • Obnoxious Snarker
  • Race Lift: He's played by a Hispanic actor in the television continuity.
  • Pride: He oozes it. Will uses Chilton's pride to his advantage in season 2, offering Chilton the privilege of studying his mind as long as he removes Hannibal from the equation.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He looks to his high-profile patients for validation while simultaneously resenting them; on the one hand, these famous criminals are his wards to analyse and question. On the other, all the attention goes to them, rather than him.
  • Smart Ball: Picked it up and ran with it in the second season, to fandom's delight.
  • Smug Smiler: He is very convinced of his own talent for psychoanalysis, telling the seasoned FBI profiler Dr Bloom that her observations were "more or less helpful" to him. And his reaction to Will is appalling, describing the empathic gift as a "thing" he'd love to dissect to Will's face - basically embodying all the reasons Will doesn't much like psychoanalysts or psychiatric hospitals. In the season 2 premiere, he can barely contain his excitement towards Will during their sessions as Will serenely ignores every single thing that comes out of his mouth. Just to drive Will's opinion of Chilton home, he disdainfully points out he's completely aware Chilton records any conversations he has and calls it "gossipy".
  • Smug Snake: Chilton is extremely attached to the idea that he was holding the Chesapeake Ripper in his asylum, seeing it as a point of pride. Not only is this untrue, if it were true it would be a coincidence, not the result of anything Chilton did. That pretty much summarizes him as a character.
  • Slimeball: He seems to consider himself charming, but his 'charm' is clumsy and overly-familar, to the point in Season 2 that he is clearly attempting to copy Hannibal's sense of style, having shaved his beard and altered his wardrobe to checked suits. This is a plot point; Hannibal later uses their newfound similarities to frame Chilton for his crimes as the Chesapeake Ripper.
  • Unwitting Pawn: to Hannibal Lecter.
  • Wardens Are Evil: Boy howdy. He brainwashes Gideon into believing he's the Chesapeake Ripper. He secretly records nearly all of his inmate's conversations, and secretly shares Will's conversations with Hannibal without his consent. He also hired Matthew Brown as an orderly, despite Brown's history of mental illness.

     Notable Killers (spoilers) 

NOTE: As the occasional killer can be a Walking Spoiler, be wary of unmarked spoilers, and proceed at your own risk.

Garrett Jacob Hobbs AKA "Minnesota Shrike"

"Eating her is honoring her. Otherwise, it's just... murder."
Played By: Vladimir Jon Cubrt

Garrett Jacob Hobbs was a pipe threader who lived in Bloomfield, Minnesota with his wife Louise and his daughter Abigail. It is believed that Hobbs suffered a severe psychological break over Abigail's impending departure for college, and over the course of eight months, he allegedly murdered and cannibalized eight young Minnesota college students � all of whom bore a striking resemblance to his daughter. These murders earned Hobbs the nickname "The Minnesota Shrike".

When he was secretly informed by Hannibal Lecter – a man whom he had never met � that he had become the prime suspect in the Shrike case, Hobbs killed his wife and was about to kill his daughter when Will Graham arrived at the Hobbs residence and shot him to death.
  • Arc Villain: Of Season 1. All the problems Will's having relate back to Hobbs.
  • Apologetic Attacker: He returns one of his victims to the place where he found her because of his inability to "honor" her and use every part of her body, as intended, due to her liver cancer.
  • Ascended Extra: He is a Posthumous Character in Red Dragon where he is the first of two Serial Killers Will caught prior to the story (the second was Lecter). He retains elements of his novel counterpart - he targets college-age girls, he kills his wife and he tries to kill his daughter before Will shoots him dead. In both cases the experience leaves Will psychologically shaken, and in the book checks himself into a mental institution to recover. In the series, that still happens, but Will is involuntarily locked up for a very different reason with Hobbs only tangentially involved. Also, in the book, Hannibal had nothing to do with his case, never called the house, and Hobbs only realised the game was up when Will arrived to question him. His crimes and motives are not detailed, and he was likely intended to be no more than a bogstandard Serial Killer who murdered girls For the Evulz, rather than a twisted cannibal perversely obsessed with keeping his daughter forever.
  • Balding Of Evil
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The reason he returned one of his victims to her bed after killing her, since he found out that he wouldn't be able to eat her cancerous liver - and thus would not be "honoring" her death. Explained in a flashback: he tells Abigail after she shoots her first deer that if they don't use every part of the deer, "It's just murder."
  • Expy: Clearly meant to be one of infamous Real Life Serial Killer Ed Gein, going by his hunting themes and desire to use all parts of his victims.
  • Knife Nut
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Unusually, however, he only performs it after death, mounting his victims on antlers like meat on hooks.
  • Incest Subtext: His obsession with killing and eating girls who look like Abigail in order to "keep [some part of her] inside" definitely crosses into this territory.
  • Posthumous Character: After his death, Graham starts seeing him in hallucinations, and his actions haunt Abigail, who is accused of being an accessory to his crimes.
  • Serial Killer: Of the first episode.
  • Small Role, Big Impact

Tobias Budge

"You have to learn how to bow authentic strings, to better bow strings how they're made today."
Played By: Demore Barnes

Owner of the Chordophone String Shop in downtown Baltimore, Tobias Budge had long been killing men in secrecy, removing their intestines and treating them as a string maker would treat catgut. Tobias would then sell his "authentic" handmade instrument strings in his shop.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Tobias is very cultured and well dressed and targets exclusively male victims. His orientation isn't elaborated on but it's just enough to make you wonder. Lampshaded when Lecter directly asks Franklyn whether his interest in Tobias is sexual.
  • Badass: He deserves special mention. He kills two police officers and proves the first person in the series to provide a physical danger to Hannibal.
    • Badass Gay: By extension, if he actually is homosexual.
  • Birds of a Feather: He and Hannibal. Ultimately, Hannibal rejects Tobias's potential friendship in favour of his Opposites Attract relationship with Will Graham. This does not end well for Tobias.
  • Combat Pragmatist
  • Instrument of Murder: Steel strings; used for everything from cutting to whipping to improvised garrotting.
  • Mad Artist: Of the musical kind. He turns his victims into musical strings similar to catgut.
  • Scary Black Man
  • Serial Killer
  • The Sociopath
  • Sharp-Dressed Man
  • Waistcoat of Style
  • Wicked Cultured: Witty, urbane, well-dressed with a passion for classical music. Also a vicious murderer.

Dr. Abel Gideon

"It's hard to be your own person when you can't get out of your own head."
Played By: Eddie Izzard

"I don't know if I will ever be myself again. I don't know if I've got any self leftover. I spent so long thinking I was him it's gotten really hard to remember who I was when I wasn't him."

Abel Gideon was a respected Baltimore surgeon who murdered his wife and her family one Thanksgiving. Committed to the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, Gideon proved himself to be a cooperative prisoner who was responding well to therapy.

Two years after he was incarcerated, however, Gideon murdered a night nurse in the style of the elusive serial killer known as the Chesapeake Ripper. In the wake of this crime, Gideon readily admitted to being the Ripper. However, the truth comes to light that Gideon was simply convinced of this by Chilton (who was hoping to squeeze some fame from having the notorious murderer already in his asylum). He escaped, murdered several of the doctors who had analysed him, captured and non-fatally mutilated Chilton, and was then badly wounded by Will and returned to incarceration.
  • Affably Evil: He was apparently doing quite well in the asylum. Until, of course, he violently murdered a night nurse.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Hannibal chops off his leg and serves it to him.
  • Bad Ass: Takes out two orderlies when handcuffed. He also completely stoically faces Hannibal serving him his own leg and planning his death.
  • Beard of Evil: A little Van Dyke.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He isn't the Chesapeake Ripper, and it's hinted at that he was manipulated into acting like him by Chilton.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Invokes this when offering vital information to Alana Bloom in exchange for her habitual courtesy.
  • Boxed Crook: He was imprisoned after murdering his wife and his in-laws on Thanksgiving. Doesn't stop him from murdering again while imprisoned.
  • Deadly Doctor: He was a renowned transplant surgeon prior to killing his wife, and demonstrates that his skills have not gotten rusty when he nabs Chilton and starts vivisecting him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Taunts Will, Chilton and the rest of the hospital staff.
  • Expy: Much of his character is a homage to Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of Hannibal Lecter. The name 'Gideon' is a reference to Hannibal's original name in the script for Silence of the Lambs before they knew they could use Hannibal's name due to rights issues.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He tries to make casual chit-chat with two of his guards, even making light jokes about having murdered his wife. He then kills them both.
  • Hidden Badass: Manages to kill two guards when handcuffed within a van, by dislocating his thumb to slip off the cuff. He then cracks one's neck against the roof by kicking him when held down, and cuts the other guard's throat with his handcuff.
  • I Taste Delicious: After Hannibal amputates Gideon's legs and prepares a dish made from his flesh, he compels Gideon to sample some. Gideon thinks it's delicious.
  • It Amused Me: A motivation in season 2.
  • Killed Off Screen: Presumably killed straight after his morbid last meal with Hannibal.
  • Loss of Identity: By the end of his story arc in season one he's fallen fully into this.
  • Mad Doctor: Just ask Chilton and Freddie Lounds.
  • Manipulative Bastard: In season 2.
  • Meaningful Name: The name "Abel" foreshadows his behavior is due to being someone else's victim, though his behavior is otherwise much more Cain.
  • Not Quite Dead: As revealed in season 2. Turns out Will's shot to the head wasn't as fatal as it appeared, something he snarks about.
  • Not So Different: From Will. Gideon abandons his glibness and cruelty to truly confess to Will his own confusion and pain at the loss of his identity.
  • Pet the Dog: According to Bryan Fuller, he genuinely wanted to prevent Will from becoming a killer in season 2. Why he did so is anyone's guess, considering Will tried to kill him.
  • Smug Snake
  • Soft Spoken Sadist: He speaks in a very slow, disarming tone, echoing the traditional depiction of Hannibal.
  • The Sociopath: Sociopathic enough that he murdered his wife and his in-laws, and two guards to escape. But perhaps not enough to be the Chesapeake Ripper.
  • The Stoic: One of his defining features.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Years of psychoanalysis from scores of quack doctors combined with Chilton convincing him that he was the Chesapeake Ripper has left him without any certainty of who he really is. His quiet scene with Will reveals that he's actually scared and confused about this.

Georgia Madchen

"Am I alive?"
Played by: Ellen Muth

A disturbed young woman and murder suspect.
  • Ax-Crazy
  • Body Horror: Large bits of her skin are coming off. When Will confronts her and seizes her arm, her skin sloughs off in his hand. When she is apprehended and rushed to the hospital, her skin condition is so severe that she is treated as a burn victim.
  • The Blank: How others appear to her, due to a neurological conditions that prevents her from recognizing faces. When she walks in on Hannibal Lecter after he murders Dr. Sutcliffe, his facial features appear flat and skull-like to her.
  • Death by Irony: The hospital treated her like a burn patient and put her in an oxygen chamber. When she combed her hair, a static spark caused the chamber to ignite.
  • Enfant Terrible: How her long-suffering mother saw her when she exhibited symptoms of severe mental illness in her youth. Georgia spoke of homicidal thoughts, believed she was dead, and occasionally lashed out violently.
  • Frame-Up: Hannibal Lecter frames her for Dr. Sutcliffe's murder.
  • Glasgow Grin: She inflicts this on her childhood friend during a murder.
  • Ill Girl
  • Kill It with Fire: Hannibal slips her a plastic comb that makes a spark while she's inside an oxygen-rich chamber to cure her physical condition.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: She's pure Nightmare Fuel when we meet her, but "Relevs" makes it clear that she had no idea what she was doing when she killed her friend, and is simply a very sad, sick girl who has lost any hope of finding proper treatment.
  • Not So Different: Will's increasingly intense struggle with mental illness (or so he thinks) leads him to empathize (regular empathy as well as pendulum crime scene magic) with Georgia's condition; he's not the only one to draw parallels, just the only one to do it explicitly.
    • The details of their conditions overlap with Foil; Will believes he is mentally ill (and certainly he is unstable), but he is unaware that he also suffers from encephalitis, a physical sickness. Georgia believes she is physically ill - more precisely, that she's dead - and her skin condition has advanced far enough that she looks the part, but she has real mental disorders that prevent her from "seeing" faces and make her believe she's dead.
  • Obliviously Evil: Because of her severe mental illness, Georgia doesn't fully realize what she's doing.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: A few days of oxygen treatment and she looks much less dead - Will even says she's "pretty" (though the skin of her arm is still very raw).
  • Sickbed Slaying: Hannibal slips her a plastic comb while she is recuperating from her skin condition in an oxygen chamber.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Her appearance seems to invoke this. In Will's dream after she is murdered, she moves in stop-motion jerks like a J-horror ghost.
  • Things That Go Bump in the Night: In the episode that introduces her, she is literally the monster under the bed.
  • Tragic Monster/Tragic Villain
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She killed her childhood friend and stalked Will, but wasn't fully aware of what she was doing. She suffered from severe mental illness from childhood, wasn't sure if she was alive or dead, couldn't see faces, suffered from a loathsome skin disease, found herself framed by Hannibal for Sutcliffe's murder, and felt frightened and alone. Even if she is a deranged killer, her backstory is tragic.

Lawrence Wells

Played By: Lance Henriksen

An aged Serial Killer who creates a 'totem pole' of his victims.
  • Casting Gag: Henriksen played a troubled, Graham-esque criminal profiler in Millennium, Frank Black.
  • Evil Old Folks: He's well into his old age, and his latest actions are a 'retirement plan' since he wants to avoid being put in a nursing home.
  • For the Evulz: Unlike other serial killers on the show who had a twisted purpose like Tobias Budge, or a warped 'love' for their victims like Garret Jacob Hobbs, Wells just wanted to see the despair of his victims' loved ones.
  • Mad Artist: He assembles the body parts of his victims into an elaborate totem pole, which he leaves in plain view on a beach.
  • Offing the Offspring: Unbeknownst to him, his last victim was his own son, whom he never knew he had.
  • Serial Killer
  • Smug Snake: He's very self-assured and cocky when confronted by Will and Jack.
  • Villainous BSOD: Spaces out in shock when he realises his last victim was his son.

James Grey AKA "The Muralist"

Played By: Patrick Garrow

A corn farmer who creates a mural out of human bodies.
  • Death by Irony: Becomes a part of his own art due to Hannibal convincing him it would improve the piece. This is also a rare subversion, as the Muralist recognizes the poetry in dying this way, and thanks Lecter for helping him.
  • Drugs Are Bad: In this instance, they're the murder weapon - each victim receives a lethal dose of heroin before they're installed into the mural. This turns out to be Grey's undoing when one victim, a recovering addict, survived his dose and made an escape.
  • Expy: Between his method of abducting his victims, his value of their skin, and his similar name, he is very reminiscent of Jame Gumb.
  • Faceless Eye: His human "mural" is in the shape of an eye.
  • Farm Boy: While hardly a boy, he runs a corn farm and creates a human mural in one of his grain silos.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Hannibal's explanation of the change to his mural seems to comfort him as he dies. Admittedly, he'd also just been administered a thoroughly lethal dose of heroin.
  • Karmic Death: Hannibal installs him in his own mural.
  • Mad Artist: He creates an eye-shaped "mural" out of the bodies of his victims.
  • Meaningful Name: Was trying to create a mural based off of a color palette, and his name evokes an absence of color.

Katherine Pims

Played By: Amanda Plummer

An acupuncturist who lobotomizes her patients in the worst pain.

  • Blue and Orange Morality: She quickly confesses everything to Crawford when he shows up, not seeing her actions as anything but merciful.
  • Creepy Monotone: Even when she's trying to act normal.
  • Cute and Psycho: She's a sweet, disarming older woman.
  • Everything's Worse With Bees: She lets bees build hives in and on the dead bodies of her victims.
  • Eye Scream: She removes her victims' eyes so as to lobotomize them through their eye sockets.
  • Graceful Loser: When the FBI arrives at her door, she sits them down, confesses everything, and goes with them quietly.
  • Lobotomy: After using acupuncture to anesthetize a patient, she lobotomized him with a pointed object through the eye socket.
  • Mad Doctor: She's a professional acupuncturist.
  • Mercy Kill: What she sees herself as doing, since her victims suffered terrible pain and had no hope of any cure.
  • Mythology Gag: Her name comes from the alias Chuck Charles used to infiltrate a company that produced bee-related cosmetic products.

Matthew Brown

Played By: Jonathan Tucker

An orderly at the Baltimore Hospital for the Criminally Insane, who is disturbingly obsessed with Will Graham to the point that he kills people in order to help Will.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: To Will. However, considering that Will's other admirer is Hannibal, it can safely be said that Matthew is the Lesser of Two Evils in this particular equation.
  • Affably Evil: At least to Will Graham, while Faux Affably Evil to the bailiff he killed and to Hannibal.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Hannibal seems to think so, describing Matthew's first murder as a poem and asking Will if he's going to let Matthew's love go to waste. Then there is how, despite knowing how dangerous Hannibal is, he does what Will asks and goes after him within two days of Will's request. Not to mention how much he criticises Hannibal for betraying Will and that his attempted murder of Hannibal is done while both of them are half naked.
    • Notably, Matthew is obsessed with Will himself, not the murders attributed to him as Hannibal tries to get Matthew on his side by telling him that Will is not a serial killer and Matthew immediately replies that he doesn't care.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Not that Will was in a position to do much of anything.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Matthew aspires to be as an effective killer as Hannibal. However, of the two murder attempts we see, one was a "homage" to the murders attributed to Will, and the other was a crudely overstated fresco that failed when he made the error of not removing Hannibal's phone battery.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Determinator: Even after being shot in the shoulder by Jack Crawford, Matthew still pushes himself across the floor and kicks the bucket out from beneath Hannibal's feet.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind
  • Evil Versus Evil: He nearly kills Hannibal.
  • Expy: Hes a serial killer who occasionally slurs his speech with an obsession with an (alleged) serial killer already incarcerated and goes to kill someone under his direction. In other words, he seems to have been inspired by Francis Dolarhyde.
  • Fake Weakness: Not a weakness per se, but the slouch and lisp he has around Freddie vanish when he's talking to Will and Hannibal.
  • Genre Savvy: One of the few individuals to almost kill Hannibal. He does this by avoiding getting close to Hannibal or even fighting him on anything approaching equal terms. Instead, he tranquilizes Hannibal in a swimming pool, then both slashes Hannibal's wrists and improvises a noose.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Captures, strings up, and slashes Hannibal's wrists to bleed out simply because Will asked him to as a favor. He doesn't care that Hannibal is a murderer; he just felt like helping a "friend."
  • Legacy Character: Played with. While Matthew doesn't manage to kill him, he does gloat to Hannibal about wanting to become the new Chesapeake Ripper.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: One of the reasons Will presumably works with him. Hannibal is far more prolific.
  • Meaningful Name: Matthew 27:3-10 describes the suicide by hanging of Judas Iscariot. After subduing and accusing him of betraying Will, Matthew tortures, crucifies, and then hangs Hannibal.
    Matthew: Judas had the decency to hang himself in shame at his betrayal. But I thought you needed the help.
  • Mr. Fanservice: One of his key scenes, where he manages to tranquilize Hannibal, has him swimming a few pool laps in a speedo.
  • Orderlies Are Creeps: He even says that being an orderly is good for people like him and Will; if institutionalized, once you already know a lot of the drills, no one suspects you, and you learn a lot.
  • Psycho Sidekick: Sees himself as this to Will.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: An unusual example without the involvement of law enforcement.
  • Serial-Killer Killer: Played with. He only attempted it as a one time deal, and failed.
  • Shirtless Scene: He wears nothing more than a speedo when he attacks Hannibal in the pool, and then continues to walk around half naked while torturing and crucifying him.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Kills his friend in an attempt to prove Will innocent, hacks and rereads Will's files, seems to go out of his way to be the one who accompanies Will, and all this before he even talks to him. And then, when Hannibal assumes that he's only obsessed with Will because of his alleged crimes and attempts to tell him that Will's not a serial killer, Matthew states that he doesn't care.
  • The Sociopath: And a soft-spoken one at that.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Will makes Matthew think he's a cold-hearted killer like him.
    • Averted. When Hannibal tries to recruit him, it's revealed that Matthew knew that Will wasn't a murderer all along. He's just happy to have the opportunity to kill Hannibal for a "friend".

Clark Ingram

Played By: Chris Diamontopoulos

A social worker who kills a number of women and frames his charge Peter Bernardone for the crimes.

  • Kick the Dog: He releases all of Peter's pets and kills a horse for Peter to find.
  • Hates Being Touched: Shrinks away from Alana when she reaches out to touch his arm.
  • Not So Different: From Hannibal. Both men manipulated and framed vulnerable people whom they were supposed to be helping.
  • Psycho Psychologist: As he says in interview he's not a psychiatrist, but he uses his working social/psychological knowledge to manipulate Peter.
  • Smug Snake: He and Peter are presented as a parallel to Hannibal and Will, but he lacks Hannibal's complexity and genuine scientific interest.
  • The Sociopath: At the very least, someone who doesn't show any capability for remorse.
  • A Taste Of Their Own Medicine: Peter overpowers him and sews him into the horse he killed so that he'll understand how his last victim suffered.


Franklyn Froidevaux

"I hate being this neurotic."
Played By: Dan Fogler

One of Hannibal's patients.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: To Hannibal.
  • Alliterative Name
  • Ambiguously Gay: While he admits to having "tried things" (finger quotes and all) while he was in a fraternity, he denies having any sexual feelings towards his friend, Tobias. Any feelings towards Hannibal, on the other hand, are rather ambiguous.
  • Birds of a Feather: Firmly believes that he and Hannibal are this.
  • Blessed Are the Cheesemakers: One of his obsessions is cheese, and he makes reference to Tyromancy, which is divination through cheese.
  • Captain Ersatz: According to Word of God he is one of Benjamin Raspail.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Talking about cheese for too long, his peculiar tangent about being friends with Michael Jackson, and utterly failing to recognise that neither of the people he wants as "friends" actually like him. At all.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: He mostly just really wants a friend.
  • Experimented in College
  • Expy: He has similarities to the book character Benjamin Raspail, one of Hannibal's patients who he killed for being whiny and annoying.
  • Forbidden Friendship: He desperately wants to be friends with Hannibal, who reminds him that they cannot be friends because of their doctor-patient relationship.
    • Franklyn was referred around to nine different doctors before Hannibal, suggesting that he behaved in a similarly inappropriate manner toward his previous psychiatrists.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Thinks Hannibal is a great guy with lots in common with him and doesn't think anything's wrong with Tobias until he outright talks about wanting to kill people. In detail. But even more egregious is his completely misjudged attempt to psychoanalyze and reason with Tobias, who he reads as conflicted and distraught when Tobias is really looking forward to killing his "friend".
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Franklyn's self-worth is entirely tied not just to being liked, but to being liked by famous or talented people.
  • Inelegant Blubbering
  • Ironic Death: Lecter compares Franklyn's neurotic tendencies to feeling as if there is a lion in the room, and assures Franklyn that if a lion were actually there, Franklyn would know. In the end, Franklyn fails to notice both lions in the room.
  • Neck Snap: Hannibal snaps his neck in Fromage.
  • No Social Skills: He's lousy at reading people, says inappropriate or odd things, and doesn't seem to understand that he's stalking his therapist.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Starts behaving this way towards Hannibal in Sorbet. It's also very likely that Hannibal is not the first therapist he's stalked - he's been referred nine times, which he calls being "dumped".
  • The Power of Friendship: He believes Michael Jackson wouldn't have died if they had been friends.
  • Transparent Closet: As seen above, when Hannibal questions his sexuality, Franklyn reacts defensively, admitting experimentation while in a fraternity, but denying being gay. The viewer can take it at face value or interpret it as denial. Though both are valid interpretations, the majority of the viewers have agreed on this trope, with some of them choosing this interpretation due to the fact that Benjamin Raspail is a gay man in the source material.
  • With Friends Like These...: When Franklyn introduces his "friend" Tobias to Hannibal, Tobias states that Franklyn seemed more interested in staring at Hannibal than watching the show.

Dr. Donald Sutcliffe

"This will be over before you know it."
Played By: John Benjamin Hickey

A Baltimore-based neurologist, was a colleague of Hannibal Lecter's when both were young doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
  • Asshole Victim: Lecter kills him and frames Georgia for it.
  • Blatant Lies: He tells Will that his tests came up normal, knowing full well that Will has encephalitis.
  • For Science!: When Lecter comes to him with an offer to commit blatant malpractice, this is his reasoning. It's not often you get to study a person with this condition as they deteriorate in real time.
  • Jerkass: He constantly snarks at Hannibal about the superiority of neurology over psychiatry, refers to Will as Hannibal's "pig", and lies to Will about his diagnosis.
  • Karmic Death: He happily agrees to Hannibal's scheme to conceal Will's condition from him, not realizing Hannibal is planning to kill him to drive Will further over the edge.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: He lies to Will about his encephalitis, intrigued by the opportunity to study him without his knowledge.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Named after Peter Sutcliffe, an infamous serial killer nicknamed The Yorkshire Ripper.

Leonard Brauer

Played By: Shawn Doyle

Will Graham's attorney in season 2.

  • Amoral Attorney: Played with. While he's working diligently to save Will from a guilty verdict, his means are manipulative.
  • The Cynic: He's fully aware that the criminal justice system is flawed and that emotional manipulation, not necesssarily evidence or logic, is the key to winning court cases. He even likens his work to advertising, in which attorneys "sell" listeners a case.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Good Is Not Nice: He may be representing Will and struggling to keep him from being found guilty, but he's a cynical man using manipulative means in the courtroom.
  • Jerkass: He's cynical and rude, particularly in his interactions with Alana.
    • Jerkass Has a Point: During a practice testimony session, he bluntly warns Alana that her icy composure won't play well in the courtroom, and that her testimony will require a different emotional approach.

Mrs. Komeda

Played By: Ellen Greene

A Boston novelist and friend of Dr. Lecter.
  • Lady in Red: She's first seen wearing a classy red dress at an opera.
  • Socialite: While she has a career as an author, she still fits the role.

Margot Verger

Played By: Katharine Isabelle

One of Hannibal Lecter's patients.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the original Hannibal novel, she was a husky butch-looking woman. In the TV series, however, she's feminine and slim.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: Her brother Mason attacked her, but her family quickly forgave him, much to her disgust.
  • Broken Bird: She's traumatized and angry after her brother Mason attacked her.
  • Revenge: She plays with the idea of killing her brother during her therapy session with Hannibal.
  • The Unfavorite: Her family considers her "weird" and was less than supportive after her brother brutalized her.

Peter Bernadone

Played By: Jeremy Davies

A mentally disabled man whom Will Graham questions about a murder in Su-zakana.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After his social worker Clark Ingram manipulates him, frames him, and releases all his pets, Peter overpowers him and sews him into a dead horse so that he'll understand how his victims suffered.
  • Disabled Means Helpless: Subverted. While Peter is psychologically vulnerable, he's capable of caring for multiple animals and turning the tables on Clark Ingram.
  • Frame-Up: His social worker tries to frame him for a series of murders.
  • Friend to All Living Things: His barn is full of animals. When he learns that a starling was discovered in a murder victim's body, he's concerned about who's caring for it.
  • Kick the Dog: Clark Ingram releases all his animals and kills a horse in his barn.
  • Man Child
  • Not So Different: From Will Graham. Both Peter and Will were manipulated and framed by men who were supposed to help them.
  • Speech Impediment: He was kicked in the head by a horse. Because of his brain damage, his speech is slurred and halting.
  • A Taste Of Their Own Medicine: He sews Clark Ingram up in a dead horse, just as Ingram did to his last victim.

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