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Ho Yay / Hannibal

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“Did you just smell me?”
"Hannibal does have agency in the world. He has you."
Bedelia to Will, S03E012 — The Number Of The Beast Is 666

"The homoerotic tension between Will and Hannibal is crazy. But no-one ever says, like, 'Would you guys fuck already?' Like, no-one ever says 'I think Hannibal's interest is a little gay.' It's never said, even Jack, who you'd expect to go 'What the fuck is going on? I mean, do you want—? Does he—? What does he want with you?!'"
Scott Thompson

So, as a fan of Thomas Harris novels and the subsequent film adaptations, you settle down and decide to watch a prequel to the award winning Lecter series and... wait, what? You remember Hannibal smelling people in the books, but certainly don't remember characters getting that facially close or forcing plastic tubes down throats and pining for each other...

Since relationships are key to character arcs, and that we can't exactly white out the entire page, please note that spoilers can and will be unmarked. Proceed at your own risk!

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    Season 1 

Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham

  • "Apéritif": Hannibal and Will eat breakfast together after Hannibal shows up at Will's house. At one point Hannibal refers to Will as "a fragile little teacup." He then says he's made of the "finest china" and is "used only for special guests".
    • Upon first meeting, Will is curt and cold toward Hannibal. Hannibal, a serial killer who normally kills people who are discourteous to him, is far too intrigued with Will's wit and empathy to be mad at the man's less than friendly attitude.
  • "Coquilles": "Did you just smell me?"
  • "Sorbet": "I have a date with the Chesapeake Ripper."
    • There's also the scene where Will misses his appointment with Hannibal. Hannibal opens the door to his lobby at exactly at 7:30, their appointment time, visibly disappointed to see it empty. Intensely dramatic opera music plays while he quietly fiddles with his things, opens his schedule book to just to look at Will's name, and proceeds to drive from his office in Baltimore to Quantico with no other motive than to just see him.
    • The subsequent scene is also fairly charged, given they're both alone together, each hovering close around the other looking over crime scene photos, not to mention Hannibal's strong curiosity over how correct Will is about his murders and motives because of his rare empathy.
  • "Trou Normand": "We are her fathers now."
  • "Fromage" Hannibal's reaction when he briefly thinks Tobias may have killed Will. There's a flicker of 'something' that crosses his otherwise impassive features. Later when Will arrives alive and well, Hannibal's visible relief is the most remarkable show of emotion we get from him, before and arguably since. That he goes on to immediately declare 'I was worried you were dead' while gazing up at Will from a prone position? Well...
  • "Buffet Froid" has the ladder scene, a tiny moment of physical closeness and intimacy so prolific amongst shippers that the creators and actors know exactly what "the ladder scene" means when it's brought up.
  • And their penultimate scene together in Season 1 looks very much like Hannibal trying to seduce Will and implicitly encourages him to embrace his dark side which finally clues Will into seeing Hannibal for what he really is.
  • And then there's (S1 finale spoilers) certain comments from Word of God:
    Interviewer: Is Hannibal's obsession with Will also an attempt to more fully understand himself?
    Fuller: Hannibal's absolutely on a journey of self-exploration, and he's fascinated by his fascination with Will. He is curious about this change that's come over him. It's sort of like somebody who is falling in love for the first time and had never felt that was actually a possibility for them. That's a fresh, unexplored territory for Hannibal that is exciting to him and interesting to him. Maybe his ultimate downfall is his attraction and affection for Will Graham.
    • Not to mention Word Of God describing, in an interview about the Season 2 episode "Yakimono", Will's intent in starting their therapy again as to "seduce" Hannibal, as Hannibal has previously been "working very hard" on doing.
    • Mads Mikkelsen, for his part, talks about how much Hannibal loves Will more than a little.
    Mikkelsen: ...But he [Hannibal] definitely, definitely loves Will Graham. As pure as love can get.

Hannibal Lecter and Other

Tobias Budge:

  • On the Foe Yay front, there's Tobias Budge, who seemed to be attracted to both Hannibal the murderer and Hannibal the man. Tobias serenades Hannibal and flirts with him; Hannibal reciprocates at first, but ends whatever game he was playing with Tobias at their dinner date.
  • As if Tobias' vaguely effeminate body language wasn't enough, the music is what seals the deal.
    • The prelude to Tobias' serenade is Christian Petzold's "Minuet in G Major", played by Tobias' student. This Petzold piece was adapted by The Toys in the sixties by the name of "A Lover’s Concerto" with added lyrics:
    "How gentle is the rain
    That falls softly on the meadow?
    Birds, high up in the trees,
    Serenade the clouds with their melodies.

    Oh, see, there beyond the hill,
    The bright colours of the rainbow.
    Some magic from above
    Made this day for us just to fall in love [...]"
    • Following the musical cues, at their dinner, the background music is Mendelssohn's "Intermezzo OP. 61 No. 2" for Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream". A song described by the composer as the music for "one's desperate search for a bewitched lover".


Tobias Budge and Franklyn Froideveaux:
  • It's not hard to read Tobias as Franklyn's jealous boyfriend in "Sorbet". He stares at Hannibal with a sour expression and comments on Franklyn's "wandering eyes", complaining of either Franklyn not paying attention to the concert or Franklyn not paying attention to him.
  • Their homoerotic subtext is lampshaded by Hannibal in the same episode, in which Hannibal directly asks Franklyn if he's attracted to Tobias.

    Season 2 

Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham

  • "Sakizuki":
    • First, there was the scene where Hannibal visits Will in jail, and this statement, which out of context seems straight out of a romance novel, happens:
    Will: (to Hannibal) I can't get you out of my head.
    • Then there is Bedelia outwardly pointing out what was very obvious but never outright stated.
    Bedelia: You are obsessed with Will Graham.
    • There's also a moment where Hannibal tells Bedelia that he genuinely misses Will. Despite, you know, Hannibal being the one to frame him for his murders and getting him arrested in the first place.
    • Then there's the fact that Hannibal and Will never seem to shut up about each other, both Frederick and Bedelia lampshade this. But the slashiest scene out of them all had to the one where Will remembers how on earth Hannibal got Abigail's ear into his stomach. Hannibal drugged him and shoved a long plastic tube down his throat, which er, symbolized something to a great deal of fans. The choking noises Will was making, dear god... a common statement in the fandom already is that they "didn't even need photoshop!" (seriously, listen to that scene without watching what's happening). Also after Hannibal removes the tube, he caresses Will's face a great deal — they're not even trying to be subtle about the subtext at this point.
  • "Hassun":
    • Someone kills a bailiff and a judge so as to make it seem like the real perpetrator of Will's alleged crimes is still out there, which means Will is not guilty of the murders he's on trial for. Hannibal urges Will to use that at his trial, and when Will is reluctant, Hannibal says, "This killer wrote you a poem. Are you going to let his love go to waste?"
    • The same episode suggests that Hannibal has become a Stalker with a Crush toward Will, and that his murders and machinations are a twisted attempt to show love for Will.
    • "He wants to know me." As all the fans responded, in unison: "Biblically!"
  • "Mukōzuke":
    • We get a shot of Will ripping off his clothes and falling forward to his hands and knees, while antlers (Hannibal's symbol) erupt out of his bare back. Um...
    • Later, in "Futamono", we see him standing in one of the cages waiting for a visitor, again picturing antlers sprouting from his back again, but much more serenely. The visitor he was expecting was Hannibal.
    • In the same episode, Hannibal's entire conversation with Will where he expresses hurt over Will having "betrayed" (read: attempted to murder) him could out of context look like a jilted lover confronting someone who cheated on him. Hell, even in context it looks like it.
  • Any shot of Hannibal sitting in his chair, staring sadly across at Will's empty chair while sad music plays in the background, which occurs in more than one episode.
  • "Yakimono": "I have to deal with you... and my feelings about you." This after Will shows up at Hannibal's door uncharacteristically cleaned up, coat folded neatly over his arm. Hannibal, for his part, is pretty copacetic to letting a person who almost shot him (twice) and tried to murder him by proxy back into his home. But then, he has been missing Will so very sorely.
  • "Su-zakana":
    • The fact that Hannibal can't stop talking about Will even when he's in bed with someone else. To be entirely fair, his sexual partner is just as bad — but at least she actually does stop talking to Will when she said she was going to, unlike Hannibal.
    • Hannibal's absolutely delighted smile in reaction to Will declaring "I finally find you interesting".
    • Will makes some cannibalism jokes at dinner. Hannibal is rather pleased.
    • The extended conversation where Hannibal cradles Will's face and compares him to a butterfly. While the suspect of the week is hanging out a few feet away, they're both too caught up in the moment to care. It needs to be noted that the butterfly quote is from the books, and was originally used to describe Clarice Starling, who became Hannibal's lover. So, if we take the parallel to its logical extreme... Just look at them!
    Hannibal: With all my knowledge and intrusion, I could never entirely predict you. I can feed the caterpillar; I can whisper through the chrysalis; but... what hatches... follows its own nature and is beyond me. (smile)
    • Hannibal getting Will to describe how he'd kill him. Will plainly states, "With my hands". Watch Hannibal's face. He's barely containing his excitement.
      • Here, this video pretty much sums up the subtext beautifully.
    • The way Will tells Peter he envies his hate, as "knowing how to feel makes it easier", suggests that Will himself doesn't know how he feels with regards to Hannibal.
  • "Shiizakana":
    • The episode opens with a dream where Will has tied Hannibal to a tree, in which Hannibal explains his actions obliquely as an attempt to understand his "beloved". Will is literally dreaming about Hannibal confessing that he loves him. Admittedly, just before Will decapitates him.
    Hannibal: By that love we see potential in our beloved, and through that love, we allow our beloved to see that potential. By expressing that love, our beloved's potential comes true.
    • "You must allow yourself to be intimate with your instincts, Will," Hannibal says as he stares at Will intently.
    • Hannibal asking Will how he felt when he killed Garret Jacob Hobbes and thought he'd killed Hannibal. It's... hard to put into words how transparently he's looking forward to Will's response, but the way he pauses and licks his lips before quietly asking Will how it felt is a good start.
  • "Naka Choko":
    • Hannibal tenderly dresses Will's hand wounds from previous episodes. When he tells Will not to retreat from him and what he's done, Will asks where he would go.
    • Hannibal and Will wax poetically on a killer at the latest crime scene. Given the context, it reads like they're flirting and Jack's "WTF" look does not help.
    • Hannibal tells Margot she can't kill her brother because she still loves him. Parallels have been drawn between Margot's relationship with her brother and Will's relationship with Hannibal, so if the parallel is taken to its logical conclusion, Will can't kill Hannibal because he loves him.
    • There is a brief shot of Hannibal, Alana and Will in bed together.
    • Romantic music plays as Hannibal and Will eat what is implied to be a piece of Freddie Lounds. That Will killed and brought to Hannibal.
    • While Will is having sex with Margot, he sees the wendigo that represents Hannibal to him.
    • Hannibal has both Will and Alana over for dinner near the end of the episode wherein Alana points out the strange boundaries Hannibal and Will have in their relationship. This is happening while Hannibal is simultaneously dating Alana and intellectually courting Will as his new "partner".
      Alana: "It's just hard to know where you are with each other."
      Will: "We know where we are with each other. Shouldn't that be enough?"
  • "Ko no Mono":
    • Fuller told us there would be a scene dripping with Ho Yay. Look no further than the Ortolan Bunting dinner between Will and Hannibal. It's somewhat hilarious how heavy handed the eating of the birds is treated to invoke fellatio.
    • "It's a courtship."
  • "Tome-wan":
    • The opening fantasy sequence with Will murdering Hannibal is incredibly sexualized. Bryan Fuller's tweet on the scene describes it as "WILL GRAHAM IS COVERED IN #HANNIBAL'S BODILY FLUIDS #GAYAGENDA."
    • Here's this exchange dripping in some Homoerotic Subtext while Hannibal and Will drink wine and discuss "problem solving" in Hannibal's office, fireplace lit:
      Hannibal: "There are extraordinary circumstances here, Will. And unusual opportunities."
      Will: "For whom?"
      Hannibal: "For both of us."
      Will: "Mason Verger is an opportunity?"
      Hannibal: "Mason Verger is a problem. Problem solving is hunting. It's a savage pleasure and we are born to it. A pleasure we can share."
    • Will notes that Hannibal doesn't want anyone else in Will's life except himself, citing the relationships he's destroyed and distanced Will from.
    • "You're right. We are just alike. You're as alone as I am. And we're both alone without each other."
    • There is some concentrated eye contact happening between Hannibal and Will, mainly when Hannibal is tied up and suspended.
    • The plan, as far as Will tells Jack, is to get comfortable enough with Hannibal that, when he gets Hannibal to kill Mason Verger, he'll arrest him. When Will does get Hannibal to snap Mason's neck, he simple stands idly by, watching Hannibal with an unidentifiable look on his face.
    • Hannibal compares himself and Will to Achilles and Patroclus, known for being lovers as well as comrades in arms.
      • Possibly YMMV but the actual drawing of said Achilles and Patroclus, seems to look an awful lot like himself and Will. Hannibal's pretty much officially thrown subtle entirely out the window, and just stares at Will meaningfully, pencil in hand.
  • "Mizumono":
    • Everything Hannibal does to Will in the last few minutes of the episode is the equivalent of a scorned lover getting their petty revenge against the person who rejected them. Him gently stroking Will's face and pulling him in for an embrace before he stabs him in the gut with a linoleum knife, standing above Will and looking down at him while he bleeds out on the floor... Even him slashing Abigail's throat — a young girl who Will has long viewed as a potential daughter — and leaving her for dead is completely symbolic of Hannibal destroying the life he and Will could have had together.
    Hannibal: I let you know me... see me... I gave you a rare gift... but you didn't want it."
    Will: Didn't I?
    • Will inevitably survives Hannibal's rampage and the wound Hannibal gave his gut. The very fact that Hannibal didn't ensure the wound was fatal hints at lingering feelings, despite Will's betrayal — it would have been all too easy to kill him otherwise.
    Hannibal: Do you believe you could change me, the way I've changed you?
    Will: I already did.
    • Before that, there's a scene where Hannibal asks Will to run away with him that very night rather than follow their plan. It comes soon after Hannibal discovers Freddie is alive, so it feels like Hannibal's trying to test if there were any genuine feelings on Will's part or if it was all an act. In the same conversation, Hannibal indirectly states that he will always carry a mental picture of Will with him as a loved one.
    • Hannibal leaves his house wearing Will's coat. Ostensibly, it's to cover the blood stains on his shirt, but he had a chance to grab a coat of his own and instead chose to grab Will's rain-soaked one as a memento.

Hannibal Lecter and Other

Matthew Brown:
  • Brown and Hannibal's half-naked torture session definitely brings the Foe Yay.

Frederick Chilton:

  • There was something very odd going on with their relationship in Season 2 up 'til then already, but the wink Hannibal gave Chilton in "Futamono" really came across as flirty.

Will Graham and Other

Matthew Brown
  • Matthew's intense, worshipful obsession with Will, and the way Will totally plays on it, practically batting his eyelashes at Matthew to get him to do a favour.
  • He killed his friend in an attempt to prove Will innocent, hacked and reread Will's files, seemed to go out of his way to be the one who cared for and accompanied Will in or outside the hospital, and rewired the mics so that Will's conversations weren't always being eavesdropped on. And all this occurred before Matthew even talked to him.
  • Despite knowing how dangerous Hannibal is, Matthew does what Will asks and goes after him within two days of Will's request. Then he brutally tortures, crucifies, and hangs Hannibal in a manner reminiscent of Judas Iscariot. And, as this all happens in/around a swimming pool, they're both wet and half-naked.
  • When Hannibal tries to turn Matthew to his side by telling him that Will isn't a serial killer, he says that he doesn't care and then criticizes Hannibal for betraying Will's trust. Matthew is obsessed with Will himself, not the murders attributed to him, which he gleefully makes clear to Hannibal.
    Matthew: Judas had the decency to hang himself in shame at his betrayal. But I thought you needed the help.
  • Matthew's also the one who killed the bailiff and wrote the "love poem" (as described by Hannibal) for Will as well.

Frederick Chilton

  • Will butters up Chilton in "Takiawase": "I will be under your exclusive care."

    Season 3 

Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham

  • "Antipasto":
    • Hannibal tries to attract Will's attention by carving and binding Dimmond's body into the shape of a heart and impaled by three swords. Visually, it resembles the three of swords from the Rider-Waite Tarot in the inverted position. It symbolizes, amongst other things, reconciliation between lovers.
    • Abel Gideon is already dead by this point, but even he can see that Hannibal misses Will. Due to the fact that these conversations are happening in Hannibal's mind, it might just be his subconscious talking to him, instead.
    Gideon: "Snails aren't the only creatures who prefer eating with company. If only that company could be Will Graham."
  • "Primavera":
    • Will has conversations with a ghost of Abigail that's entirely in his head through a good portion of the episode. Given the fact that he's essentially talking to himself, the fact that she mentions things like "he misses us" and "he's playing with us" while he says Dimmond's twisted corpse is Hannibal "leaving [them] his broken heart" says quite a bit. Even moreso when he asks her if she still wants to go with him, and she says yes.
      "I do feel closer to Hannibal here. God only knows where I'd be without him."
    • Pazzi asks Will what he plans on doing with "your [his] il Monstro." Will is curious about that himself. He also tells Pazzi to not necessarily trust him, as he could very well still be loyal to Hannibal.
    • The final scenes of the episode are set in the catacombs beneath the church both Hannibal and Will are in. Hannibal watches Will from the shadows, with Will acutely aware of his presence but unable to find him. He calls out to him, addressing him using only his forename for the first time in the entire show, and vocally forgives him for killing their surrogate daughter.
  • "Secendo":
  • "Aperitivo":
    • After Chilton tells him that he is in his best possible world and that he won't get another one, Will fantasizes about helping Hannibal kill Jack as they intended, implying that that is what he believes his "better world" would be.
    • Will reveals that he called to warn Hannibal because he wanted to save his life, and that he did, in fact, want to run away with him.
    • When Jack and Chilton are discussing Hannibal and Will, there's this exchange:
      Jack: Maybe it's one of those friendships that ends after the disemboweling.
      Chilton: I would argue that with these two that's tantamount to flirtation.
      • In the same conversation, Chilton elaborates that Jack is alive entirely because of dumb luck while Will is alive "because Hannibal Lecter likes him that way", and that if Jack doesn't follow Will to Hannibal, he'll be "letting Hannibal have him, hook, line and sinker."
    • Apparently Will can't just buy a plane ticket to Europe in his pursuit of Hannibal and instead fixes up his sailboat to single-handedly voyage across to Atlantic to collect him. He named his boat The Nola, named after the battle that first took down the historical military commander Hannibal.
  • "Dolce":
    • Will tells Jack there will always be a part of him that wants to slip away with Hannibal.
    • Hannibal sketches Will and Bedelia into a recreation of Botticelli's Primavera, essentially sketching both his "wives" into one of his favorite pieces of art.
    • Hannibal and Will meeting in the museum feels like two lovers reuniting. All the talk about "blurring" with each other, followed suggestively by a sex scene in which the lovers — Margot and Alana — are visually blurring. It also stands to mention that the difference Will sees between his past self and his present self is that one came before Hannibal and the other after.
    • "If I saw you every day, forever, Will, I would remember this time."
    • After Chiyoh shoots Will to keep him from stabbing Hannibal, Hannibal gets him secluded, takes a moment while Will is heaving in pain to hold him against him and smell him, cuts open his shirt to remove the bullet, and gives Will a look of complete adoration as he drugs him.
      • Will's drug-induced state is shown as vapors of smoke wherein he and Hannibal are visually blurring together, even appearing on both ends of the wendigo's horns (symbolic since the wendigo was a symbol of just Hannibal's true nature in the first two seasons). Then there's Hannibal spoon-feeding him soup that'll help him taste better while he laments that he would have enjoyed showing Will Florence.
  • Mason's dinner conversation with Hannibal and Will consists of talking about a real case where a German cannibal advertised for a willing victim wherein a lot of emphasis is put on the fact that he did, in fact, eat the penis. And the dinner is upturned sausages. It's not subtle.
  • After Will bites off part of Cordell's face, Hannibal looks at him with absolute reverence in his eyes.
  • When Will tells Alana that she "helped Mason Verger find us" she corrects him in that she "helped Mason find Hannibal."
  • Instead of escaping when he had the chance, Hannibal instead goes back and saves Will from his anesthesia-free face removal surgery. While escaping the Verger family home, Hannibal carries an unconscious Will home bridal style, just as his literary counterpart did for Clarice.
  • Hannibal looks absolutely broken when Will tells him that he will not miss Hannibal, and the whole thing comes across as a breakup:
Will: When it comes to you and me, there can be no decisive victory.
Hannibal: We are in zero-sum game?
Will: I miss my dogs... but I'm not going to miss you. I'm not going to find you. I'm not going to look for you. I don't want to know where you are or what you do. I don't want to think about you anymore.
Hannibal: You delight in wickedness, and then berate yourself for the delight.
Will: You delight. I tolerate. I don't have your appetite. Goodbye, Hannibal.
  • Topped off with Hannibal then calmly leaving the house, before he waits for Jack to arrive and surrenders, implying that he saw no reason to live as a free man without Will at his side.
  • "The Great Red Dragon":
    • We see what rooms of Hannibal's mind palace different characters are allowed in. Alana makes it to his Baltimore office, Chilton doesn't even make it in at all, and Will manages to march right into the center all on his own.
    • Will receives a letter from Hannibal in the mail, which he proceeds to hide from his wife in a dresser drawer to read it behind her back while she's sleeping.
  • "...And The Woman Clothed With the Sun":
    • The entire opening scene. From Hannibal looking visibly disappointed that Will will only call him Dr. Lecter to keep things "less personal", to him telling Will that he gave him a child first, and then completely derailing the conversation to tell Will that he only came to look at him. When he says that if Will wants to get "the old scent again" he should just smell himself. Will doesn't actively deny any of this, by the way, simply stating that he expected more out of Hannibal. Not to mention Hannibal calling Will his family.
    • Hannibal telling Will "You know better than to breed." Even Bryan Fuller pointed out the obvious subtext of the line.
    • Freddie Lounds uses the term "Murder Husbands" canonically in her article on Hannibal and Will. When she tells Will, "You did run off to Europe together," he has no sassy comeback for her like he usually does.
  • "...And the Woman Clothed in Sun":
    • The utter bitchy and unpleasant way Will acts towards Bedelia comes across pretty transparently as jealousy over her time with Hannibal in Italy. When he calls her the Bride of Frankenstein, she comments that, actually, they've "both been his bride", and when he admits that he has been to see him, Bedelia chastises him for not learning his lesson and missing him "that much."
      Will: "I wasn't wearing adequate armour."
      Bedelia: "No. You were naked."
    • Hannibal goes against Alana's orders to not pursue Will by hot-wiring a telephone to dial Chilton's office, charming his secretary into giving him Will's address, and sicking the Great Red Dragon on his family during a time he knows Will won't be present with his wife and step-son.
    • The second to last scene shows Hannibal and Will discussing William Blake's The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun while Will hides a charmed smile at Hannibal's words and Hannibal talks about how the dragon's depiction "radiates such a unique and nightmarish charge of demonic sexuality" while keeping up some firm eye contact.
  • "...And the Beast From the Sea":
    • Will saying he isn't fortune's fool, he's Hannibal's.
    • "Don't you crave change, Will?"
  • "The Number of the Beast is 666":
    • The entire beginning exchange with Will and Bedelia. Not only do we get to hear that Hannibal gets a thrill out of having Will marked, but we also get solid confirmation that yes, Hannibal is indeed in love with him, as much as he is capable.
      Will: "Is Hannibal... in love with me?"
      • All this after a conversation of Bluebeard's wives, a French folk tale about a man who kills his first six wives but doesn't survive the seventh. Bedelia compares Will to the last wife, tearful that this makes her one of the wives that does not survive their Bluebeard.
  • "The Wrath of the Lamb":
    • Will and Reba both bond over being Weirdness Magnets for attracting serial killers.
    • Hannibal's prideful expression as he congratulates Will for setting up and almost killing Chilton, complete with him saying "What a cunning boy you are" with an affectionate tone.
      • Hannibal then turns their conversation toward whether there's any point in Will returning to normal living now that he's immersed himself again in Hannibal's dark world of murder.
      Hannibal: "When life becomes maddeningly polite, think about me. Think about me, Will. Don't worry about me."
    • Hannibal will only agree to Alana's deal if it's Will who asks him, and he wants him to say please. When Will hears this, he cavalierly states "I'll say pretty please." When he does give Hannibal a whispered please, they both share a smile between them.
    • The word choice Hannibal uses after he and Will escape police custody with Dolerhyde's help to get Will to follow him are too obvious to be subtext.
      Hannibal: "You know, Will, you worry too much. You would be much more comfortable if you relaxed with yourself." * Hannibal steals a police car, opening the passenger door for Will while shoving a corpse out of the way for him* "Going my way?"
    • When a fan asked what Hannibal and Will talked about on the drive up to the cliff side house, Bryan Fuller responded with an enthusiastic "Their lips were busy!"
    • The two flee to one of Hannibal's cliff side homes where, in the time span between their escape and nightfall, they've changed into clean clothes and opened the bottle of wine Will brought him in season one to share together. When Hannibal tells him to "save yourself, kill them all", Will responds that he might not be able to save himself and that might be "just fine," implying that he means saving himself from Hannibal.
      "My compassion for you is inconvenient, Will."
    • Hannibal moves to stand between Will and the window, knowing full well the Red Dragon is watching them from that vantage point, and is shot in his place. The fact that eternally self-serving, sociopathic Hannibal is using himself to shield Will clearly shows Will is the only other person he's capable of truly loving.
    • Will more or less declares that he does return Hannibal's feelings through their shared brutal pack hunting and killing of Dolerhyde. Covered in blood in the moonlight they embrace tenderly with looks of overwhelmed exhaustion and intense affection. Will's telling Hannibal that their murder is "beautiful" and initiating their loving nuzzle is leaps and bounds of progression for his character who otherwise is never seen being physically affectionate with anyone else, even his wife.
    • Hannibal and Will's Love Theme, Love Crime, fully plays over their final embrace. With lines like "Oh, the skies, tumbling from your eyes," it's hard to read the scene as literally anything but a romantic coupling.
  • The ship is already canon at this point, but Bryan Fuller has mentioned that during the filming of the series finale, there were many takes of the final scene — minus The Stinger — where Hannibal and Will nearly kissed, and what was seen in the clips of the alternative takes were far more intimate than the final take. The comments of the cast and the crew weren't helping.
    Fuller: Mads and Hugh, there were a lot of takes where they got very intimate, and lips were hovering over lips. I definitely had the footage to go there, because Mads and Hugh were so game. They called me and warned me: “We really went for it!”
  • Despite being canceled after the third season, Fuller has gone on record online multiple times to say, not only is the ship completely canon, but that season four would have featured them on the run from Jack, Alana and Chilton, likely going to Cuba to continue hunting together as one.
  • In the years following the show's cancellation, Bryan Fuller has gone out of his way to not only wear fan-made Hannibal merch with full on Hannigram kissing, but he's also helped advertise a fan's coffee cup design that reads "my ship is canon" depicting Hannibal's affectionate hold to Will's head in Su-zakana.
  • Mads himself has also answered fan questions about Hannibal and Will's fate, recently claiming that they are "already married" at Russia Comic Con 2019 when asked just that. He's also stated that Hannibal doesn't care about Will's occasional rudeness because "love is blind".

Hannibal Lecter and Other

  • Hannibal's whole conversation with Antony Dimmond. Actually, everything Dimmond says or does.
    "Shall I... untwist you?"
  • The fact that Dimmond was implied to be expecting a three-way with Hannibal and Bedelia and looks disappointed when he's wrong. This is enhanced by a bit of esoteric Bi Yay in the episode: both snails and oysters are prominently featured as food items, referencing a famous scene in Spartacus.


  • Lingering glances and gaze-y shots aside, Alana and Margot's first meeting is innuendo-laden to the point of hilarity.
    Alana: I'm not sure if this is my entrance.
    Margot: This can be your entrance. It isn't easy to find the first time you come.
    • Possibly a coincidence with the dialogue or maybe a cleverly hidden Brick Joke from Ko No Momo, it looks like Mason wasn't too far off telling how Margot's "got a bloom".
    • And then, in "Dolce", they finally unambiguously do the do!
    • After the timeskip we learn in "...And The Woman Clothed With The Sun" that they're now an Official Couple who are married with a baby son.
  • The back-and-forth between Chilton and Mason in "Aperitivo" has a palpable sexual tone. ("I'll show you mine if you show me yours.") However, the two having the conversation with their deformed faces exposed makes it more No Yay territory.


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