Literature: Hannibal Rising

The final installment to the Hannibal Lecter series that came out in 2007. Another book/film double, this time released almost simultaneously. It depicted Lecter's beginnings as a serial killer, and both film and book were quite thoroughly panned by critics and audiences alike. Harris wrote the book because he was told that if he didn't, another author almost certainly would.

Tropes:

  • Antagonist Title: Averted as Vladis Grutas is the villain.
  • Asshole Victim: Hannibal's first kill was a racist Asian-hating punk who insulted Hannibal's Japanese aunt, and was sliced up with her sword by Hannibal soon thereafter.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Schoolboy Hannibal was fine with the little kids; it was the bullies that got hurt. See Knight Templar Big Brother for what happens if you hurt Mischa.
  • Calling Card: Hannibal leaves the dog tags of the German deserters who'd eaten his little sister with their heads.
  • Death by Racism: Hannibal's first victim is an Asian-hating racist who insulted his Japanese aunt, whom he then disembowels and beheads with her family's katana the day after.
  • Dumbstruck: The young Hannibal becomes mute after losing Mischa. He is so traumatized by the event that he only starts speaking again after he meets his aunt 8 years later.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Nazi looters who eat Lecter's sister: Grutas is choleric, Dortlich is sanguine, Kolnas is phlegmatic, Grentz is melancholic, and Milko is Leukine.
  • Freudian Excuse: Retconning one into Hannibal Lecter's past was not generally viewed as a good move. It was a plausible plot device in Hannibal: it made everything else about Lecter mentioned by others (like Doemling) mesh better and completed the Failure Knight analogy hinted at since the previous book. But extending Lecter's Freudian Excuse into a full story really inflicted severe Badass Decay. However, it's arguable that Lecter has the most hilariously, unintentionally ridiculous Freudian Excuse ever: His sister was eaten by Nazi Cannibals when he was a child. Believe it or not, this Freudian excuse could be based on a Truth in Television. The infamous Ukrainian cannibal Andrei Chikatilo was told growing up that his brother was cannibalized by neighbors during the Holodomor (massive famines caused by Soviet agricultural policy). There is no conclusive proof that the Nazis engaged in cannibalism. But the Imperial Japanese certainly did. They very nearly ate George H.W. Bush.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Ironically in Rising, this trope was used on the Trope Namer Hannibal himself by Vladis Grutas. Who claimed that Hannibal is not looking for revenge, but making sure the men that participated in Mischa's murder wouldn't tell the world that Hannibal ate her too. Hannibal did not take that one well.
  • I Ate WHAT??: A long-delayed horrific version. Possibly it genuinely hadn't occurred to him for twenty years, or possibly he'd just refused to admit it to himself, but he ate his dead little sister as well, disguised in a stew.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: And that's why Hannibal uses one to performs his first kill on the Asshole Victim who insulted his Japanese aunt. Odd, because in the previous works, he'd been interested mostly in the Italian Renaissance. But Japan is popular these days. Could be some sort of poetic justice: she is descended of samurai, whom had a rigid code of honor. He's preserving her honor; especially with decapitation. As a corporal punishment, decapitation was seen as VERY dishonorable. Had Hannibal made the man commit suicide, his aunt's honor couldn't have been properly restored.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: The fate of Hannibal's dead sister. As several bad guys with varying degrees of sympathy point out, she had hypothermia and they'd all have starved otherwise. Including Hannibal.
  • Pet the Dog: Hannibal's Big Brother Instinct towards Mischa.
  • Pretty Boy: The young Lecter as played by Gaspard Ulliel.
  • Proper Lady: Lady Murasaki.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The young Lecter goes on one against all of the men who had killed his beloved baby sister.
  • Save the Day, Turn Away: Climaxes with one.
  • Timeshifted Actor: Hannibal Lecter is played by Gaspard Ulliel as young man and Aaran Thomas as a boy.
  • Weapon Stomp: In the novel, Hannibal gets into a fight with Grutas, who is scrambling toward a gun; he steps on the gun and slashes Grutas.
  • Widow Woman: When Hannibal meets his aunt Lady Murasaki for the first time, he learns that his uncle Count Robert Lecter had passed away nearly a year ago.
  • You Remind Me of X: Variant 3; Lady Murasaki tells Hannibal that he looks just like his uncle. Since the young man is physically reminiscent of her late husband, she appears to be projecting some of the feelings she had for Robert on to her nephew.