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Series / Hanna

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Erik: I'm trying to give you a normal life.
Hanna: But I'm not normal, am I?

Hanna is an American action-thriller series produced by Amazon. It is a remake of the 2011 film of the same name, with David Farr as showrunner and primary writer.

It follows the journey of Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles), a genetically-enhanced young girl who was raised in isolation and trained as a living weapon by former CIA agent Erik Heller (Joel Kinnaman), as she evades the relentless pursuit of off-book CIA higher-ups Marissa Wiegler (Mireille Enos) and Jerome Sawyer (Khalid Abdalla) and tries to unearth the truth behind who she is.

The first episode was made available as a time-limited preview on February 3, 2019. The full eight-episode first season was released on Prime Video on March 29, 2019. The eight-episode second season was released on July 3, 2020. The third and final six episode season was released November 24, 2021.


Hanna provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • The Utrax girls are raised without parents, with their closest equivalent (the Utrax trainers) drugging and indoctrinating them as trained assassins.
    • Though we don't get many details, Melissa's father as she grew up was highly abusive, physically and psychologically, claiming this was to make her tough.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The story has been expanded from a 111-minute movie to a series of twenty-two episodes of 47-to-55 minutes each.
    • Adaptational Diversity: The Miller family were all white in the original film. Here, the father is South Asian, with both the kids being mixed race. Also, while the film had just one character of color with any lines (an old Moroccan man who helps Hanna) this show adds several supporting characters who are.
    • Adaptation Dye-Job: All three of the main protagonists (Hanna, Erik and Marissa), compared to the 2011 film: Saoirse Ronan was blonde, Esme Creed-Miles is a brunette; Eric Bana had brown hair, Joel Kinnaman has blond hair; and Cate Blanchett was a redhead while Mireille Enos is a blonde.
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    • Adaptational Heroism: Marissa. In the original film, she's a straight villain. Here, she starts out conflicted and then ends up aiding Hanna, turning to good.
    • Adaptational Sexuality: The movie hinted at Hanna being a lesbian, rejecting a boy but kissing Sophie later on. In the series, Hanna and Sophie are vying for a boy's attention.
    • Adapted Out: Isaacs, the sadistic jumpsuit-wearing henchman Marissa Wiegler sent to track Hanna down in the 2011 film, does not appear in this version. A character named Jacobs has a similar role, but otherwise bears little resemblance to Isaacs. His henchmen are adults rather than the young S.H.A.R.P.s (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice) seen in the film.
  • The Alcoholic: Carmichael. This habit leads him to inadvertently spill secret information regarding the organization he works for to Gelder.
  • All for Nothing: Carmichael manages to have Gelder and his associates who are aware of sensitive information regarding the Pioneer group killed; however, the official document with said information ends up being retrieved by Hanna who gives it to Marissa. Marissa then blackmails Carmichael into covering up hers, Hanna's, and Clara's betrayals or she will send the document to Carmichael's superiors who will no doubt kill him since he was the one who had inadvertently given Gelder the information regarding Pioneer in the first place.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent:
    • It's unclear what became of Marissa's mother, though her abusive father is a strong presence in the show.
    • Abbas is a father it turns out, though the mother of his daughter isn't mentioned. She instead lives with his mother, her grandmother.
  • Archnemesis Dad: The head of Pioneer is Marissa's father whom she's committed to taking down in Season 3.
  • Armor Is Useless: The Pioneer commandos use helmets and body armor, yet are still killed easily. Meanwhile, the protagonists are unarmed, but get away with flesh wounds at worse (of course, they have the far more effective Plot Armor to protect them).
  • The Atoner: After her Heel–Face Turn, Marissa is clearly striving to make up for her past misdeeds with Utrax, trying to stop their controllers Pioneer, including taking on its leader.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted throughout the series. In Season 2, Marissa collects so many bruises (mostly from a fight with Hanna) that she stages a car crash to "explain" them. In Season 3, Utrax becomes suspicious of Mia (Hanna) when they notice scratches on her face.
  • Becoming the Mask:
    • Terry is hired to communicate with the Utrax girls online and assume the personas of their fabricated family members and friends. By the end of the season, she is becoming attached to the girls and thinking of them as her family. Marissa lampshades the fact that it was probably inevitable.
    • The Utrax girls are given elaborate new identities as part of socialization and they adopt these identities as their own to the point that they become those people. They even feel real grief when they are told that one of the identity's (non-existent) sister has died of cancer. However, this is then subverted when they are given an order by their handler and they follow it even if it conflicts with what their new identity would do. They have become new people but they can suspend it and turn back into cold assassins for the duration of the mission.
  • Berserk Button: If Hanna feels physically threatened, even slightly, her combat reflexes take over. Just ask the kid who pelted her with a handful of popcorn and ended up with a bloody nose.
  • Boarding School: The Meadows training facility, disguised as an upscale girls' prep school.
  • Brainwashed: All the Utrax girls have been indoctrinated, drugged, and trained from birth to be assassins in a secret CIA program. It's not surprising that of them all, only a select few rebel against it.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Sophie, albeit one with Hidden Depths.
  • Brutal Honesty: Because she doesn't understand social cues or conversational etiquette very well at first, Hanna tends to make blunt statements where most people would take a softer approach.
  • Bury Your Gays: Nicola, who's seen in a relationship with another woman, is killed. Interestingly, it's done by Jules, who's lesbian herself.
  • Butch Lesbian: Jules, who is a short-haired tomboy, turns out to be lesbian. At the same time her sexuality is stated, she begins criticizing Utrax's heteronormative attitude (her cover involved a boyfriend, for example) and espousing some Straw Feminist views.
  • Call-Back: At the beginning of Season 2, Hanna has the role of mentor and protector for Clara, as Erik was for Hanna at the beginning of the series. In both cases, the relationship and situation are disrupted when the junior member (Hanna in Season 1, Clara in Season 2) ventures out of the forest into the wider world and attracts the attention of the CIA.
  • Car Fu:
  • Character Development:
    • Hanna gradually adapts to the world outside the Bukovina Forest.
    • Also, after losing her father at the end of Season 1, Hanna appreciates the seriousness of death and thereafter avoids using lethal force when she can.
    • Sophie and her parents seem to have a breakthrough of sorts in their relationships at the end of "Mother".
    • Clara ("Trainee 249") becomes independent-thinking as a consequence of going off her medication and meeting Hanna.
    • See also the Heel–Face Turn entry below.
  • Child Soldiers: The Utrax girls are all teenagers whom the CIA acquired while infants, modified their DNA, then drugged, indoctrinated, and trained them as assassins.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Long before they had to leave the forest, Erik made Hanna memorize a cover story and drilled her on a means of reestablishing contact after they split up.
    • In building up cover stories for the trainees, Utrax creates whole virtual families, complete with virtual parents and siblings who communicate with them by chat message.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Hanna.
    Hanna: Is there really no one like me?
    Marissa: You're unique. That's why we want to look after you.
    Hanna: "Unique" just means alone.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Hanna gets in a lot of snarking at The Meadows.
    Hanna: So you make up their names, their families and pretend lives.
    Terri: Yes I do.
    Hanna: Well, I don't need one. I already have a name.
  • Designer Babies: How Utrax creates its "trainees." They aren't just genetically modified, but have been spliced with wolf DNA to enhance them.
  • Determinator:
    • Erik. After several days of being held in a refrigerated torture room and doused with cold water at regular intervals to induce hypothermia, he escapes, killing the torturers in the process, while handcuffed.
    • Marissa has some serious moments in Season 2.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Erik dies from a bullet wound while Hanna cradles him, begging for him to stay.
  • The Dragon:
    • Jacobs is this for Marissa.
    • Sawyer (Season 1) and Carmichael (Season 2) play this role for Norris.
    • Leo is this for Carmichael.
    • Brianna Stapleton is this for Evans in Season 3.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Hanna dresses as one of the Pioneer commandos while fighting them in Season 3, which they fall for (apparently not noticing her obviously smaller build). This is achieved as they wear ski masks with helmets which conceal their features.
  • Dysfunctional Family:
  • Though not full-on dysfunctional, Marissa's home situation in Season 1 is strained because her boyfriend Oliver's young son resents her presence in the household and Oliver is uncomfortable with the secrecy surrounding her job. Later it turns out she'd estranged from her birth family, having had an abusive father who she has not seen for twenty-two years, and a sister she also wasn't in contact with for many years.
  • Kat Gelder has some serious Daddy Issues arising out of her father's intelligence-community job, and her relationship with her mother is even worse.
  • Emotionless Girl:
    • Hanna usually doesn't show a lot of emotion around other people.
    • Before undergoing "socialization", the Utrax girls are heavily medicated to suppress their emotions, to the point where they don't react when one of their number is shot dead right in front of them. Even after being "socialized", they still have a pharmaceutical implant to suppress anxiety.
  • Faceless Goons: The Pioneer commandos use ski masks and helmets that conceal their features.
  • Faking the Dead: In Season 3, to thwart Utrax Hanna and Marissa fake the deaths of two people on their death list.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Hanna has a way with dogs, a product of her wolf DNA. In "Utrax", she gets the facility's guard dog to stop barking at her and Erik just by asking nicely.
  • Freak Out: The experimental drug induces Hanna to have one. The poor pharmaceutical lab doesn't stand a chance.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Terri. The elaborate cover identities she creates for the Utrax girls can be thought of as emotional gadgets.
  • Gay Best Friend: Dan is this to Sophie. She feels safe confiding in him about her crush on Anton, since he's not interested in girls. He has no sex or romantic life onscreen, existing only to give her advice.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Hanna's mother was going to have an abortion until Erik met her outside the clinic. She at first thinks he's from a Catholic group with moral objections, but it turns out he makes her an offer-give her baby up at birth and be paid a lot of money. She agrees.
  • Government Conspiracy: The faction within the CIA that is running Utrax.
  • Gratuitous German: Lots of it, with mostly native speakers (and even Joel Kinnaman has a somewhat convincing accent).
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Marissa. She goes from being Hanna's adversary to her main ally by the end of the first season.
    • Averted with Sandy/242. She seems to be taking on the Christian values of the virtual family from her cover story, but when she goes on a mission, she has no hesitation manipulating and killing people.
    • It seems to be happening with Terri at the end of Season 2. And it is indeed the case in Season 3.
    • Jules realizes that she has been effectively brainwashed into killing innocent people because her superiors have decided that they were a threat. She tries to convince Sandy of the same thing. When Sandy refuses to go against her orders, Jules kills her to protect Hanna.
  • Heel Realization: In Season 3, Jules admits to Hanna that she regrets killing a woman just because her superiors told her to. She decides not to kill her next target, tries to convince Sandy that what they're doing is wrong, and ends up killing Sandy to protect Hanna.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Jules declares there's no God in a slightly obnoxious way, while she is a trained assassin. This is downplayed however as she's not really portrayed as worse than the other Utrax girls (who are assassins too).
  • Honey Trap: Hanna goes out with Abbas to get close so she can assassinate him. She has no intention of doing so however, faking his death instead while hiding Abbas in a safe house. They later develop real feelings for each other and have a relationship.
  • How We Got Here: Season 3 begins as Hanna and Abbas are fleeing while chased by Pioneer commandos. Over the next six episodes it's shown just how they ended up in that situation.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills:
    • Hanna rarely misses, even when firing a CZ Skorpion machine pistol one-handed on full auto.
    • Clara ("Trainee 249") is as good as Hanna if not better.
    • Erik's no slouch, either.
    • Marissa can hit a moving target with a pistol at around forty yards' distance. This example is also Actor Allusion as Mireille Enos is a trained marksman.
  • Improvised Weapon: Hanna subdues one of the guards in the underground facility by beating him senselessly with the receiver from a wall-mounted telephone.
  • Indy Ploy:
    • In "City", Erik and company improvise a beauty after Hanna detects the ambush Marissa has set for them.
    • Marissa comes up with a couple of good ones in Season 2. For instance, she extricates Hanna from an awkward situation in the restaurant parking lot by pulling up in a minivan and chewing out Hanna for stealing her "father's" sports car.
  • Little Miss Badass: Hanna. She's a short, slim teenage girl, but is a highly-skilled martial artist and quite good with firearms. Sandy is another example, though really all the Utrax girls may count, as they're just teenagers but have been trained as assassins from childhood. In fact, that's why they were chosen, as people don't expect them to be a threat.
  • Loose Lips:
    • Carmichael takes an interest in the Utrax program because he wants to use it to cover up a serious indiscretion of his. While drunk, he tried to recruit a friend into the Pioneer group and revealed too much information about their plans. The friend was repulsed by what Pioneer was doing and stole a document from Carmichael that could expose the entire conspiracy. If the leaders of Pioneer find out that Carmichael was the leak, he will be killed for it. When Marrissa finds this out, she blackmails Carmichael into covering up her and Hanna's actions.
    • Non-verbal example: By visiting Abbas at his safe house, Hanna unwittingly leads Utrax to him.
  • Love Triangle: Sophie is crushing on Anton, but Anton is more interested in Hanna.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The Ending Theme, the aptly named "Anti-Lullaby". A slow, calm song, but the lyrics make it anything but soothing — it's a warning to one's child not to fall asleep lest a monster come to kill them in their slumber. It fits the show well, as Hanna and the other Utrax girls have to live their lives constantly looking over their shoulder in fear of their superiors and their enemies.
  • The Man Behind the Man: A woman, in this case, named Norris, is this to Sawyer and Carmichael in Seasons 1 and 2. In Season 3, we learn that a man named Gordon Evans is the ultimate leader ("The Chairman") of the Utrax project.
  • Meaningful Name: The names assigned to the Utrax girls at The Meadows:
    • "Clemency" - a name meaning "official pardon" is assigned to Clara/Trainee 249 when she is brought back into Utrax without being penalized for siding with Hanna
    • "Sandy" - Trainee 242 gets the name of the female lead in Grease, reflecting her wholesome 50s-style preppy-girl cover identity
    • "Jules" - the androgynous name given to the Straw Feminist trainee who's a lesbian.
    • "Mia Wolff" - given to Hanna, whose extraordinary physical abilities come from the wolf DNA spliced into her genes before she was born. "Me, a wolf."
  • The Mole:
    • Season 1: Lucas, after he is pressured into it by Marissa..
    • Season 2:
      • Grant, one of Carmichael's people, infiltrates the anti-Utrax faction.
      • The ending of "The List" establishes that Hanna will become this within Utrax in Season 3.
  • Mooks: Pioneer employs many black-clad commandos whom the protagonists take down with relative ease, even when they greatly outnumber them.
  • Mutual Kill: Marissa and Gordon Evans, her father, end up killing each other in the finale.
  • Mythology Gag: In "Mother", Hanna comes across a deer in the forest and pantomimes drawing a bow (the character's weapon of choice in the film) to shoot it.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: One of the young activists who Utrax has been ordered to assassinate is a Czech environmentalist who resembles real activist Greta Thunberg (who's Swedish).
  • No Infantile Amnesia: In "A Way to Grieve", Hanna has a flashback to the car crash that killed her mother and Erik carrying her into the forest after he took her from Utrax. She was no more than three or four months old at the time.
  • No Social Skills:
    • At the beginning of the series, Hanna has only interacted with one other person, Erik, and has never lived anywhere but the Bukovina Forest. While she knows several languages, and a bit of cultural trivia, she's never really learned how to have a conversation and doesn't read people or social context accurately—though she gets better at it as the series progresses.
    • The Utrax girls, even more so.
      • In Season 1, they are robotic and emotionless, and the "scientist" in charge mentions at one point that they can't be kept off their psychotropic drugs for too long because they haven't yet had "socialization training."
      • Even after having their medications reduced, getting the socialization training, and being provided elaborate cover stories, there are still gaps in their knowledge of the world at large.
  • Not So Stoic: Hanna, who usually shows no emotion and acts unruffled by things, begins to cry when she gets text messages from her virtual father, remembering losing her real one.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Somewhat mild example in Season 3, with Marissa appearing to be in her 40s and the primary adversary for most of the season, Brianna Stapleton, appears to be in her early to mid 30s.
  • One-Word Title: The series. In Season 1, all eight individual episodes.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: In "Father", Marissa signals Carl that she's under duress by ordering a cup of coffee, a drink she gave up several years ago because it makes her too anxious.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Hanna has this twice over. First, she breaks contact with her birth father (who she'd never met before), considering Erik her real dad. Then Erik is killed. Meanwhile, Hanna's mother was killed in a car crash while fleeing from Utrax when Hanna was an infant.
      • Then again, in Season 3, she loses Marissa, who has become something of a mother figure.
    • After learning her birth mother's identity, Clara suffers from this, realizing that both her mother and father are gone. She later meets her mother in the Season 2 finale however, averting this in part. Most of the girls have this however, as they all were taken in by Utrax as infants (Hanna is the one lucky exception). You can see how much it affects Sandy to have a pretend family in her cover identity, so much that it soon becomes real for her.
  • Patricide: Marissa ends up killing Gordon Evans, her abusive father, to stop his misdeeds.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Hanna is a fairly small teenage girl but highly trained in martial arts, and thus capable of taking down opponents who outweigh her significantly. This also applies to most Utrax girls (none are that big) as they're teenagers as well who do the same thing.
  • Race Lift: Sophie's dad is of South Asian descent now, so she and her brother become mixed race, as their mom's still White.
  • Redemption Rejection: Jules holds Hanna at gunpoint to keep her from killing Sandy, who she was moments away from killing to keep her from killing one of Pioneer's targets. Jules tries to assure Hanna that Sandy won't kill them, despite Hanna's protests. When Sandy tries to shoot them, Jules kills her.
  • Released to Elsewhere: Carmichael hints that this will happen to Clara if they can't convince her to cooperate with Utrax.
  • Road Trip Plot: "Friend" and "Road".
  • Scenery Porn:
    • The Bukovina Forest looks awesome.
    • So does the Kreutzenberg section of Berlin in the Season 1 episode "Father".
    • In Season 2, London and Barcelona get this treatment.
  • Sensory Overload: In "City", Hanna is overloaded by the chaos in front of the Berlin hotel.
  • Straw Feminist: Jules is quick to voice her complaints about how "heteronormative" the backstories she and all of the other Utrax girls are given. She also opposes religion because it was created by men. This is despite the fact that she is an assassin who was trained by and directly takes orders from men. Not to mention that she kills a woman whose significant other is also female. Although, given the nature of her upbringing, she was most likely conditioned to not notice or care about this contradiction. She drops this attitude in Season 3.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: In "The List", Hanna disguises herself as a young man to infiltrate the hotel.
  • Sweet Tooth: Hanna really likes chocolate, especially Snickers bars.
  • Teen Superspy: Like the film it was based on, the series is about a teenage girl who escaped from a CIA assassin program and is now on the run.
  • Their First Time: Hanna has her first time with Anton, a boy she meets through Sophie. However, this then leads to a rift as Sophie also likes him.
  • Token Religious Teammate: Sandy's cover is from a Christian family, so like the rest of it she embraces this (however, it's unclear how much she gets about religion). She's the only character seen with any religious sentiments though.
  • Twofer Token Minority:
    • Sophie is a biracial girl in this adaptation, with a White mother and father of South Asian ancestry.
    • Most Utrax girls are White (to be expected, since they all came from Romania). Clara is Black though, along with a few more minor characters being girls of color. Jules is also the only queer girl shown in their ranks.
  • Train Escape: Hanna executes a Type 2 at the end of "Friend." Doubles as a demonstration of her enhanced physical abilities.
  • Training from Hell: Erik puts Hanna through a version of this. For fifteen years.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: The Utrax girls. Hanna, also, when her combat reflexes kick in.
  • Tyke Bomb: The Utrax girls are teenagers who a CIA program had "adopted" as infants to train as assassins.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • All of the Utrax girls who were in the center Hanna was rescued from got euthanized. Marissa mentions having to cremate infant corpses.
    • Carmichael has no qualms about ordering Hanna's assassination, or ordering Clara and Sandy to kill Kat Gelder, or trying to shoot Clara himself.
    • Gordon Evans goes ahead with ordering a young girl murdered since she's a witness to Pioneer's assassinations, despite his own lieutenant's objections.
  • You Are Number 6: In Season 1, the Utrax girls are referred to (and refer to themselves) by number rather than name. Season 2 sees them get names as part of their socialization training.