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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. mr_mond
    June 20, 2017 @ 9:33 am

    “Hannibal does not consistently seem conscious of the full depths of the game he’s playing here, driving Will towards identifying himself as the killer with such determination that he does not seem to appreciate the identification Will is in fact on the brink of.”

    Which would be…? (I’ll understand if you want to keep that card close to your chest for the moment).

    “He recognizes Will as having imagination, but mistakes his inspirations and urges for his own, fundamentally failing to appreciate the rich grandeur of Will’s interior world.”

    Ah, yes. If Hannibal indeed offers initiations and the possibility of ascension, he simultaneously tries to direct it, at least in Will’s case. If he was a gardener instead of a chef, he wouldn’t just help the Will tree grow to its fullest potential, but try to arrange it into his own shape. Or, if he’s the devil, his deals are always designed to benefit himself (until the mortals inevitably find a way to cheat him out of his dues). That’s a nice reconciliation between your reading of him as an ascended being offering ascensions to others, and my own, in which Hannibal’s demiurgic and manipulative aspects seem to play a much larger role.

    If Will has a potential to become a murderer, it’s definitely not the amoral murderer in Hannibal’s vein, but rather an wrathful angel, protecting or avenging the victims (this will become more visible in the second season). It is therefore fitting that their shared murder is of Dollarhyde. But that’s a matter for a later entry.


  2. mr_mond
    June 20, 2017 @ 10:32 am

    Oh, one more thing:

    “But the fishing lures complicate things. Hannibal was shown messing with them all the way back in “Œuf,” in one of the clips posted to the web in lieu of the episode, a detail that makes clear that this is when the human remains are added (at least for the first two victims).”

    I don’t recall the scene exactly, but another possibility could be that it was only meant to set up the lures and show that Hannibal noticed them. If that had been the case, he could have inserted the human remains around the time he fed Will Abigail’s ear.


  3. Przemek
    June 20, 2017 @ 10:33 am

    I love how the “reality” created by dr. Lecter is so well-crafted and persuasive that it almost asserts itself as the true reality. His artistic abilities are indeed praiseworthy. To craft a story so powerful that it becomes accepted reality… Like Ollivander said of Voldemort: the things he accomplished were horrible, but still great. It’s quite possibly the best depiction of manipulation and gaslighting I saw in any kind of fiction.

    The only person who didn’t fall in love with Hannibal’s story is Will. His supension of disbelief got broken, he got thrown out of the story and saw it for what it really was: words, hanging in the air. His efforts then become focused on making everybody see that there is a man behind the curtain. That the accepted reality was crafted by an author. Reality cannot be changed. A story can.


    • mr_mond
      June 20, 2017 @ 10:41 am

      He’s the demiurge and the central character, of course he has significant power to warp reality and dictate his own narrative. In the world of the story, they’re one and the same.

      What’s interesting about Hannibal’s dual role as a satanic and demiurgic figure, is that if he wants to give other characters knowledge, he has to diminish his own power. Everything goes well for him as long as he only manipulates Will, but he wants to bring Will to his level, so at some point the veil of lies has to be removed, leaving Hannibal more vulnerable to Will’s plans.


      • Przemek
        June 20, 2017 @ 2:14 pm

        That’s very true. I never thought about it before. Thanks for that insight! So giving other characters knowledge would be equivalent to giving them some power over the narrative. Elevating them, perhaps, to supernatural beings akin to him. Being a god must feel lonely.

        I feel like Hannibal’s “reality” – a story – ultimately fails because he didn’t really craft a plausible role for himself in it. In his story Will is the murderer, Jack is the hero and so on. But Hannibal himself is meant to be a great therapist who nonetheless didn’t notice for months that his patient is unravelling. It’s just not believable. It’s out of character. The “person suit” he crafted for himself in this story is too small for him to fit in it. Just look how close Alana and Jack come to noticing it.

        It’s like Hannibal can fit perfectly well into stories crafted by other (FBI, the city’s rich elite etc.). But when he tells his own story he just can’t force himself to make his own role smaller, less visible, more believable. He creates characters for everyone else. He creates a self-insert for himself. And that’s what Will realizes. What happened to him didn’t happen organically. It happened by authorial fiat. And so he ascends. He steps out of the story and grabs a pen to correct it.

        (I don’t know if any of that makes sense, but there you go).


        • mr_mond
          June 21, 2017 @ 7:36 am

          (I often get the same feeling, but then if a comment on Hannibal makes 100% sense… what’s the point?)

          And you’re very right about the crafting of Hannibal’s person suit. Someone predisposed to read Hannibal as a love story (i.e. me) might say this works a bit like seduction: he covers himself, but leaves a tiny bit revealed in the hopes that someone (read: Will) will want to peel the whole outer layer off and he will be seen as he is.


  4. Aurora
    July 9, 2017 @ 4:05 am

    It was such a pleasure to read these 13 posts–very insightful analysis! I look forward to more!


  5. puzzle jigsaw
    November 9, 2020 @ 8:20 am

    today I watched this movie. Am I too old-fashioned 🙁


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