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Literature / Hannibal Rising

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Hannibal Rising is a novel and the final installment to the Hannibal Lecter series, published in 2006. It depicted cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter's beginnings as a serial killer.

The novel was adapted into a film of the same name in 2007, directed by Peter Webber, starring Gaspard Ulliel as the title character.


  • 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.
  • Breaking Speech: This trope was used on the Trope Namer Hannibal himself by Vladis Grutas. He 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.
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  • 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.
  • Enemy Mine: Lecter joins the French Communist party in order to gain access into USSR. Later, when Lecter gets arrested, the communists protest his arrest. Lecter has no sympathy for their ideas, of course, but finds them useful and even writes an article for them about the benefits of collectivization in Soviet Lithuania.
  • 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.
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  • Freudian Excuse: Hannibal Lecter witnessed his little sister being eaten by a group of Lithuanian Nazi collaborators when he was a child. The group's leader later reveals that Lecter had suppressed the worst part: He was forced to survive by eating his sister's flesh as 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 a descendent of samurai, who 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.
  • Pet the Dog / Karma Houdini: In the novel, when Pot Watcher (one of the Lithuanian deserters) runs back into the Lector’s lodge to retrieve the group members’ dog tags, he takes a second to throw young Hannibal the key to the shackles keeping him chained up, giving him a chance to free himself and escape. Pot Watcher’s death by collapsing staircase a split second later is a subtle sort of Karma Houdini escapism. He was just as responsible for killing and cannibalizing Mischa as his companions, but committing one kind act for Hannibal led to his not being subjected to the same type of vicious, bloody revenge-fueled executions that they were. So even though Karma didn’t exactly miss its target, his death was much more merciful than it could have been.
  • Pocket Protector: Lector gets a bullet between shoulder blades, but is saved by a tanto which he earlier secreted on his back.
  • 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.
  • Tattooed Crook: Grutas-the-gangster apparently has a tattoo of the SS symbol — long after he failed to make it as a Nazi.
  • 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.


Example of: