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Hannibal's Timeline/Books and Films vs. Show Continuity

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Basically I'm posting this based on the discussion from today's EHG about Hannibal. It's going to have spoilers for all the books (and movies) in the series and also some theories about where they're going with the characters in the show. No spoilers for the show because I don't actually know anything, but some speculation based on my knowledge of the books and some casting news that names a character. Spoilers start in the next paragraph.

Hannibal is set in the time before he's caught by the FBI which is well before the events in the books but the books do have a great deal of back story and they're hitting a lot of the same marks in the show. In Red Dragon we learn that Will Graham is an ex homicide detective who left cop work to become a teacher at the FBI Academy and was sometimes used as a profiler for difficult cases. He was a Special Investigator in the field. One of his early cases was the "Minnesota Shrike" case (the first case he and Hannibal work on together in the show) which causes him to have a breakdown and be hospitalized for a month. He returns to the FBI and his next big case is the Chesapeake Ripper case (where he meets Hannibal in the books, also where he realizes Hannibal is the perpetrator of the case) he is very nearly killed by Hannibal but survives and Hannibal is convicted of the murders. Will retires from the FBI and is then brought back in to profile the Red Dragon case which is where the first book starts. The fight scene at the beginning of the second season of the show between Crawford and Lecter looks a lot like the fight that Will and Lecter have when Will figures out that Lecter is in fact the serial killer he's been hunting this whole time. 

The show is supposed to take place before/during the events outlined in the book Red Dragon as Will's backstory. They've already inserted Hannibal into the Shrike case, a case he wasn't involved with in the books and also removed Will from the Ripper case and put that FBI trainee in Will's place, to the point where she solves the case in the same way Will did, but she doesn't end up taking Lecter down. 

The show has cast Michael Pitt as Mason Verger who is a character from the book Hannibal, but who started his history with Lecter well before the events of Red Dragon. Prior to being convicted of the Ripper murders Hannibal acted as Verger's court appointed psychiatrist after Verger was convicted of child molestation. 

While they're clearly messing with the books cannon and timeline they are still keeping the same players around and in the same rolls, so I don't think they're going to kill Will, even if he's super annoying on the show. I'm also guessing that by the end of this season Crawford will know that Lecter is a killer but that maybe Lecter will still be free because no proof? I don't know. That first scene is screwing everything up. 

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Fuller has said that Cynthia Nixon's character is based on the same character as Ray Liotta in Hannibal (movie), but as the character was first mentioned in Silence of the Lambs, they couldn't use the actual name. So "Paul Krendler" gets anagramed into "Kade Prurnell."

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I also forgot that Freddie Lounds is the same character played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Red Dragon, only obviously they changed it from a tabloid journalist to a lady blogger.

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So, with all this foreshadowing about Chilton I'm wondering if he's going to bite it thus being the first really major change in the books vs. show timeline. I'm sure everyone remembers that Chilton is in Silence of the Lambs as the head of the prison where Lecter is confined. He's taken on a similar roll this season with Will, but not as antagonistically as he did in the book/movie with Lecter. I'm curious to see where they take this because if they have Chilton die that really changes things. 

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I've been thinking the same thing. Chilton may not make it to Silence of the Lambs, unfortunately. And this show may not get there either, so I'm willing to accept the story however Fuller and writers feel it best told.

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So, with all this foreshadowing about Chilton I'm wondering if he's going to bite it thus being the first really major change in the books vs. show timeline.

The character of Chilton has grown on me more and more this season - I appreciate his moments of snark to inject a bit of levity into the beautifully grim mood the show establishes.  So perhaps I'm biased because I don't want Chilton to die (yet), but I wonder if the overhyping of Chilton's Imminent Death in the recent promos is just a red herring to get us worried and throw us off the track of the real victim! As much as I adore Gillian Anderson, my gut is telling me that she might be on the chopping block this season (and clearly I've been watching too much Hannibal, because I can't stop making food/cannibal puns).

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That's what I really love about this show. People who don't know the story are being drawn in and introduced to it in the same way the readers of the books were. People who DO know the books and think they know what's coming are seeing the story they know completely turned on its head.

Events from the books are already being played out on the show, just in different ways, or involving different characters. Many aspects of the books from Hannibal's incarceration have been re-purposed for Will this season (such as Chilton's inability and desperation to figure him out). The scene from Red Dragon, where Hannibal uses Freddy Lounds and The Tattler to send a message to his admirer (The Tooth Fairy) asking him to kill Will Graham and his family... that was a major plot point from Red Dragon, and we saw that on the show just two weeks ago, only it was Will using Freddie and tattlecrime.com to send his admirer after Hannibal. The way Will caught Lecter was re-purposed for Miriam Lass, who was supposed to be a Clarice-type character, and has just returned (can't WAIT to see what her story is!), so there's no telling what will happen with her. The show seems to be taking major events from the books and twisting them up to surprise, delight and horrify us in new ways! I know Bryan Fuller wants to start covering the books in later seasons, but honestly, I bet Season 4 (the Red Dragon season) will be the characters hunting Dolarhyde, but in a completely different framework than the one the books provided. Because he seems to be not re-telling the story from the Harris books, but rather telling the story hidden between the lines. It's a very interesting way to stay faithful to the events from the books, without becoming stuck in the pattern of having to re-tell them as written. 

And since I'm enjoying the series WAY more than I did the books, I say, Bryan Fuller, have at!

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Continuing a conversation started in another thread:  the problem with Will Graham's portrayal in the books.  For an empath he's not very empathetic to those he may regard as being lower on the social scale; he's especially insensitive to his wife and step-son.  He tends to think of women as property of their husbands (his own thoughts and not just when he's crawling around in the head of a criminal).

 

Another poster found this blog post on the subject and I tend to agree with it. 
 

http://www.anamardoll.com/2013/06/film-corner-will-graham-is-raging.html

 

I like the assessment of why Molly in the book would leave him and why the film version wouldn't:

 

 

 

Whether Harris knew it or not, Molly left Graham because Graham refused to see things from her point of view -- that impression can't help but bubble up from between the pages. The Molly that stuck with him this far doesn't feel like she would then go no further because of what happened at the eleventh hour, not if Graham were as willing to work with her as she demonstrably has been willing to work with him throughout. Book-Graham isn't willing to work with her, so when she leaves him it seems to us (because we think of women as people and not possessions) entirely reasonable for her to leave because of that. Cause and effect.
 

But Norton's Graham really is empathic and really does see Molly as a person. He empathizes as strongly with her and Willy as he does with Crawford and Dolarhyde, maybe even more so because it doesn't hurt to be in their heads. He likes empathizing with them. And that fundamental change in Graham's character -- playing him as he should be played, based on his core characterization, rather than treating that core characterization as nothing more than a guilt-free card to sympathize with serial killers because it can be fun and interesting to do so -- creates an equally fundamental change in his relationship with Molly: she doesn't leave him because he doesn't drive her away.

Edited by GreyBunny

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One of the problems with reading Red Dragon is that it was published in 1981 -- which means it falls in line with certain viewpoints at the time.  Margot was changed because Bryan Fuller didn't want to portray her in the same way that Thomas Harris did in Hannibal (again, when Harris created Margot as an adult, her characterization fell in line with certain viewpoints).

 

As someone who hasn't read the books or seen the movies, I'm finding this discussion to be fascinating. I do think that DementedDaisy might have a point about the Red Dragon being written in 1981 and that it probably reflects some of the attitudes of the times--even though it may have been a minority opinion of that time. I work for a small community news paper that has archives back to 1891 and we do this feature every week where we pull out a few nuggets from the archives for 10, 20, 50 and 100 years ago and you would be amazed at how married women were referred to as "Mrs. Bob Bobson" or "Mrs. John Johnson"--they had no identity of their own outside of their marriage--up until the late 1980s. Also, I have a friend whose mother was in need of a hysterectomy in 1979 due to complications after a miscarriage and the hospital would not perform it without the written consent of her husband because he would be giving up his chances to have more children--not a lot of concern for the woman's actual heath or her own wants or opinions. So, even though it may seem rather archaic for the times, there were probably still quite a few cave men and women still around.

 

None the less, you guys are making me want to read the books now, more than I ever have before.

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If they were the viewpoints of the time it would be understandable for some of the other characters to have them, but Will, being an empath and specifically singled out for being exceptionally empathetic, I'd expect him of all people to be able to see things from a woman's or a child's point of view and regard them as people no matter what year it was.  He can crawl around in the head of a serial killer and figure out what makes him tick, but refuses to understand why his wife is and step-son are upset and resentful about the disruptions to their lives, including being uprooted and losing her job, and threats to their safety because they were targeted by the serial killer Will was chasing, and he even rubs it in her face why it was "all worth it."   That's a major failure to me.

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So far, in my re-read, no one has described Will as being empathetic or possessing "pure empathy".  Crawford says that Will is able to "see things" that others can't, but I interpreted that as Will being one of the original profilers.  He saw patterns in behavior that made him able to understand why the killer did the things he did, or he's able to see things that others have missed.  Cops and agents can't do those things, so he's ascribed "gifts" that may not actually be there.

 

I haven't seen Manhunter or Red Dragon in years, so it's possible that the idea of Will being empathetic may have come from one of them as opposed to from the book.  In fact, his failure to understand his wife and stepson are evidence, in my mind, that Thomas Harris never intended Will to be in possession of "pure empathy".

 

I also object to the idea that the tv show has "fixed" the characterization of Will Graham.  I think that the character has been updated to fit the current timeline (i.e. he's a product of the now, as opposed to the 70's), but I wouldn't call him "fixed".  

 

But miles vary, of course.  And I concede that just because I haven't found it in the book yet doesn't mean it's not there. (Will possessing "pure empathy".)

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Interesting discussion. (Perhaps the thread title could change to something less awkward?) Hugh has been saying that Will is a dick, but I never perceived him that way. I guess he and Bryan were drawing from the books and put emphasis on the need to make Will likeable.

Edited by greenbean

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"Will wants to think of this as purely an intellectual exercise, and in the narrow definition of forensics, that's what it is. He's good at that, but there are other people just as good, I imagine."

"But—"

“What he has in addition is pure empathy and projection,” Dr. Bloom said. “He can assume your point of view, or mine—and maybe some other points of view that scare and sicken him. It's an uncomfortable gift, Jack. Perception's a tool that's pointed on both ends."

 

I'm using Google Books for this, which gives it as pages 189 of the version of Red Dragon they are using.

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Thank you, WertherEffekt.  It's not on page 189 of the copy I'm reading, which is not surprising.  I assume I haven't gotten to that part of the book, as I said.

 

I agree that Will's behavior doesn't reflect "pure empathy".  Perhaps Will is suffering from PTSD after Hannibal's attack, which could mess with his ability to be empathetic.  *shrug*

 

Long story short, movie and tv versions of Will Graham are interpretations of the book character, but none are invalid, IMO.

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One of the funkiest things, from a timeline-perspective, is that we're introduced to Will in the pilot profiling the Marlowe killings, one attributed to the Tooth Fairy/Francis Dolarhyde in Red Dragon.  Dolarhyde killed on a lunar cycle, which put intense time pressure on Will and Crawford to prevent a third killing in a short span of time, hence Will's getting back into the game and agreeing to meet with his nemesis Hannibal.  I guess they can create some new victims for Dolarhyde, though. 

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I wish they had the rights to Clarice Starling and the Buffalo Bill story but I keep hearing MGM owns the rights to those names and characters. Even if they mange to get them or change the names the Hannigram shippers will chew up and spit out Clarice anyway so maybe it is for the best. 

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In the 'What the Flick?!' interview with Fuller, he said that he totally wasn't bound to canon - so maybe he doesn't want to do the canon Silence of the Lambs story, anyway?  I honestly wouldn't mind if he did whatever he wanted with it.  Season 2 has been absolutely cracking, and I just want him to have fun with the story.  It's been great having little lines from the books used here and there, too.

 

Disclaimer - providing my faves aren't killed :)  And from someone who read the books and watched the films - whoever would have thought that would have been Frederick Chilton and Freddie Lounds?  I genuinely love what this show has done with character development.

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Fuller said he and his crew were "Thomas Harris mashup DJs" so I'm hoping that Will Graham will still be around for the later parts of the series instead of just swapped out for Clarice Starling.  As much as I love Mads and his stellar version of Hannibal, I'm watching primarily for Will.

Edited by GreyBunny

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Discussion of Hannibal as anti-hero carried over from character thread:

 

I have never considered Hannibal an anti-hero, even after the events of Hannibal Rising.  The murders he commits in that book have a certain justification -- even self defense at least once -- but they are in no way heroic, IMO.  For example, he doesn't care about the prostitutes on the boat when he kills Grutas.  He doesn't know how many people are on the boat when he rigs it to blow up, and frankly doesn't care.

 

I think the movie version of Hannibal created the idea of Hannibal as anti-hero (or at least greatly contributed to it).  Apart from rooting for Hannibal to escape from Mason (and rescue Clarice in the process), the movie ending created a situation that didn't occur in the book.

 

I know many people did not like the book ending, but it never wavered from the idea that Hannibal was brainwashing Clarice and he might kill her at some point -- he even told her as much.  In the movie, however, Hannibal sacrificed his own hand to escape.

 

Yeah, that would never happen, IMO.  It suggests that Hannibal cared more about keeping Clarice safe and whole over his own self-preservation.  Clarice is safe (from Hannibal) as long as Mischa cannot take her place, but if Hannibal could find a way to do it (to make the teacup whole again), he would kill Clarice without hesitation, IMO.

 

So the movie gave a us a Hannibal who is trying to survive against a more sadistic character; who kills a deplorable man who is actively trying to sabotage Clarice's career; who sacrifices himself instead of harming the woman he may love ("That's my girl.") -- almost textbook anti-hero.

 

But mileage varies.

Edited by Demented Daisy
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IIRC, the film was originally going to use the ending from the book.  However, back when Jodie Foster was still on board to reprise her role, she objected to several aspects of the book, and apparently found the ending 'unacceptable'.  They changed it to suit her, but she ended up leaving the project anyway, and they were stuck with the changes they made.

 

I do agree, Demented Daisy, that the film version of Hannibal really helped to cement the idea of Hannibal as anti-hero.  He murders Pazzi (who was going to sell him to Mason), encourages Cordell to kill the despicable Mason, and then kills the corrupt, sexist Krendler.  As you say - he even sacrifices his own hand at the end instead of harming Clarice.  There's even fireworks and strings at the end.

 

I think the show has done a really good job of riffing on the ending of Hannibal.  There is a sense that Hannibal earnestly believes his therapy/brain-washing does Clarice/Will good and makes them a more complete person - but at the same time we see his casual disregard for their free-will. 

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I've been interested in Will Graham's story since Red Dragon was written in 1981.  I've seen the movies except the remake of Manhunter because I have no idea why a remake was necessary.  (That means I haven't seen Edward Norton's version of Graham.)

 

I came to this "adapting the series to the canon" thread because I'm just at the point where the viewer is under the impression that Graham has become an acolyte of Lecter's -- complete with killing Freddie Lounds and eating her flesh.  

 

Unless this all proves to be another encephalytic fever dream, I have serious problems with the plot taking this turn.  I rather expected to see other people taking exception as well but I don't.  Maybe I'm in the wrong thread?

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Most of the discussion at this site started after those events happened on the show. There was quite a bit of discussion about it at TWoP, as I recall. I think that's all I can say without spoiling things for you...keep watching!

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Just your last sentence renews my faith.  Thanks!

 

PS:  I'm a great fan of spoilers.  Fear not about spoiling the Captanne.  Love them.

 

ETA:  I hope you can tell from my post that I was/am already skeptical of what they "want" us to believe in the plotline as it is playing out.  This series is full of hallucinations and bait-and-switch.  I'd be a foolish viewer to take anything at face value.

Edited by Captanne
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Finished the series as it stands.  I was very pleased overall.  It's overly macabre for me but the music, sets, atmosphere, casting (fun!) and performances outweigh the "oh, stop it" moments I have with the murders.  

 

I rewatched Manhunter and BOY has that thing withstood the tests of time.  Aside from the hilarious mobile phone (weighed a pound and had an antenna) the film is just as timely now as it was in the 80s.  I still have no idea, other than cynical $$, why a remake has to exist.

 

I caught the tongue-in-cheek (ha! I see what I did there?) joke in the series Hannibal about "avid fan" and was delighted to see that my memory hadn't failed me in Manhunter.  I loved that movie and am vindicated.  Great film. 

 

This, Hannibal, is a ground breaking series when it comes to "high art".  Too bad it alienates a larger spectrum of audience because of the "literal overkill".  (I am not a show-runner but, man, a murder a season would be quite sufficient, imo.  Establish that the Chesapeake Ripper is a serial killer and then tone the body parts back a bit.  Subtlety is Hannibal's arena -- try imposing some of that on the series and it might benefit.)  

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I came to this "adapting the series to the canon" thread because I'm just at the point where the viewer is under the impression that Graham has become an acolyte of Lecter's -- complete with killing Freddie Lounds and eating her flesh.

 

Well, before that ever happened, we had the ice-fishing (In Vierginia!) scene with Jack and Will, so I'm not sure the viewer was ever supposed to be under that impression. I wasn't.

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I read Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal.  My issue with the end of Hannibal was that I couldn't picture Clarice running off with Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal; however I can totally get her running off with Mads' version of Hannibal.

 

I have a question for all who read Hannibal.  At the end of the book, there's a scene where Ardelia Mapp gets a letter from Clarice and a ring or something?  What did Clarice send her?  Thanks.  

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I was just trying to remember that too, because they seemed to be referencing that with Jack. I think it was her FBI Academy class ring.

https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/april/william-bradford-bishop-added-to-fbi-top-ten-list/image/class-ring/view

 

Clarice running off with Hannibal: In the book it made a little more sense than in the movie. You had more of the sense of how the FBI had totally hung her out to dry, and Hannibal was the only person who was on her side. Well, Ardelia was, but Ardelia wasn't in a position to help her at all. She didn't have anyone else.

Edited by Crossbow

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So I thought for a moment we were never going to have a locked up Hannibal. I am a bit bummed that Chiyoh gets the periodic table reference. Unworthy..

If Harris has another book in him I wouldn't mind Will Graham teaming up with Ardelia Mapp to hunt down Hannibal. If he watches this show he must see the potential of Graham.

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I wonder how BF is going to update how Francis picks his victims. People don't get film developed anymore. I remember being creeper out by that for years after reading the book. People who develop film are hidden.

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Since the show has referred to Hannibal killing Alana twice now, I think she gets her face bit off by him instead of the nurse. Of course our Hannibal hasn't been so crude as movie Hannibal. I can't imagine him biting a live person. Or attacking by biting.

Edited by jeansheridan

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He could be inspired by Will to do a bit of biting himself but I doubt that is how he will kill Alana. I'd expect it to be more elegant...

 

 

Speaking of Alana, this may very well be the episode she dies, for all I know... In any case, bad bad idea Alana... Feels like she just can't accept that she can't figure Hannibal out, and that he fooled her completely. There is no "redemption" for Hannibal Alana, and he doesn't care for how many people died or will die.

 

 

 

 

"HANNIBAL"
"...AND THE BEAST FROM THE SEA"

08/15/2015 (10:00PM - 11:00PM) (Saturday) : THE RED DRAGON THREATENS TO STRIKE VERY CLOSE TO THOSE WHO ARE HUNTING HIM - RICHARD ARMITAGE, RUTINA WESLEY AND NINA ARIANDA GUEST STAR - Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) are certain that Francis Dolarhyde (guest star Richard Armitage) will strike again with the approaching full moon, but without a solid lead, they remain unable to predict the next family on the Red Dragon's hit list. Certain that Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) can lead the FBI to Dolarhyde, Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) offers Hannibal a chance at redemption. Meanwhile, Dolarhyde struggles with his feelings about the one good thing that remains in his life-his coworker Reba (guest star Rutina Wesley). Gillian Anderson, Aaron Abrams and Scott Thompson also star.

http://www.spoilertv.com/2015/07/hannibal-episode-311-and-best-from-sea.html

 

 

 

Episode 10 promotional photos: http://www.spoilertv.com/2015/07/hannibal-episode-310-episode-310-and.html

 

Edited by DeadlyEuphoric
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I'm not sure he wants to kill Alana. He didn't want to initially, but she wouldn't leave. My prediction is that he'll try to kill her but something will stop him and he won't pursue it. So many people to kill, so little time.

 

I can't see this version of Hannibal biting. I also can't see him saying some of the crude things book!Hannibal says to unnerve people. This version seems to be best at unnerving people just by smiling or winking at them. I would really like to see this Hannibal getting Ingenue Starling to confide in him but I don't think that's ever going to happen. Maybe they'll bring in some other ingenue, now that Will's on to all his tricks.

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