In this blog I will be analyzing how the YouTube channel AreTheyGay has evaluated Hannibal and Will's relationship. Both the video - which I am embedding in the blog - and this blog post will have spoilers from the show. So first and foremost - Spoiler Alert!
Image Source: ChicagoNow
The trailer video might contain some graphics that is too macabre and disturbing for your taste. Please watch it at your discretion. Since the blog post itself is about the relationship between Will and Hannibal, none of the macabre serial killings are discussed. So it is safe to be read by all members irrespective of age and their inclination towards gore and murder.
Trailer of the 1st season of Hannibal
Like millions of heartbroken fans, I too mourned the cancellation of Bryan Fuller's Hannibal. It was one of the most brilliant shows in this Golden Age of television. From gorgeous cinematography to mind blowing acting; from an intriguing plot to utterly captivating script, this show seemed perfect! But alas, it was a show that generated cult following in its niche and not one that could be digested (yes, this post will be peppered with food related cannibalistic puns) by everyone. But more than anything, it radically changed how we viewed relationships.
Promo poster for third season of the show.
Image Source: Hannibal Wiki
The TV series is based on Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lecter novel series: Red Dragon (1981), The Silence of the Lambs (1988), Hannibal (1999) and the prequel Hannibal Rising (2006). All of the novels have been adapted into movies (Red Dragon twice). The TV show begins before the events of Red Dragon novel but after those of Hannibal Rising.
Image Source: Birth. Movies. Death.
So...Are They Gay?
The Channel AreTheyGay posted a video titled 'Are They Gay? - Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham' on May 6, 2016 which is created by Alexander Charles and narrated by Abel Stone. It discusses the relationship between the leads of the TV series: Hannibal Lecter played by Mads Mikkelsen and Will Graham played by Hugh Dancy. The video answers its question with a resounding Yes! And one of the factors for this certainty, or for that matter, for the thriving Hannigram (merging the names of Hann from Hannibal Lecter and Gram from Will Graham) popularity is that the show's creator has acknowledged their relationship. Bryan Fuller maintains that this is not a sexual relationship, their intimacy goes beyond the physical. They are for all intents and purposes, soulmates.
Heterosexual sniffing; Image Source: Well and Truly
The narrator sarcastically (in a lighthearted manner) summarizes the show. Emphasizing in the heterosexual activities the two characters engage in, like smelling each other. The video also delves in the bizarre psychological position the show puts its viewers when you start enjoying Hannibal cooking people with some really cool classical music and those dishes actually look delicious.
Image Source: We Heart It
His tagline for Hannibal:
A cannibal who falls in love with an FBI agent.
Image Source: Tumblr
No Homosexuality Here; Nothing to See aka Naysayers
There are many naysayers when it comes to discussing homosexual ships (not the actual ship, but rather it is about championing a romantic relationship in fiction). Anticipating people's reaction who would nonetheless question how the narrator knows whether Hannibal actually loves Will, he points out the clip where Will point blank asks Bedelia Du Maurier, who is Hannibal's therapist, whether Hannibal loves him and she replies yes.
Image Source: The Fandomentals
Another scene, which is shown later in the video, where the word love is used to describe Hannibal and Will's relationship is in the beginning of 3rd season. Hannibal is chilling and killing in Italy, he is a man on the run from FBI. Will follows him in hopes of catching him and in the brief moment they cross each other's path in cathedral, Will tells Hannibal that he has forgiven him for trying to kill him and killing their surrogate daughter Abigail. When discussing this encounter with Bedelia, she remarks
Betrayal and forgiveness are best seen as something akin to falling in love.
If that wasn't enough, just to push that subtext, Hannibal replies
You cannot have control with respect to whom you fall in love.
Over here the idea of not being able to choose who you end up loving again implies how there might be people who would think that it is wrong for two men to love each other, or people who might think that relationship between a serial killer and the officer who is catching him is too warped and toxic. But either way, neither Will nor Hannibal can help it.
Image Source: Pinterest
The big question, as the narrator points out, is whether Will feels about the Hannibal in the same way. The narrator points out that even though Will is not normally fond of eye contact, there are plenty of soulful and intimate gazes he shares with Hannibal. One of which is literally the next day after he tells Hannibal that he finds eyes too distracting. Even though Will is heterosexual, there is a huge BUT that is part of his sexuality and his relationship with Hannibal. He wanted to run away with Hannibal even after discovering who he is.
Image Source: OnWednesdays
The narrator agrees with Fuller that, this relationship is better off tragic than adding a sexual element in it. That doesn't change the fact that it is an important LGBTQ story. What do you all think? Do you all think they are gay? Do you think the show is queerbaiting? Or do you think it is just a very intimate friends? Or are they truly Murder Husbands as Freddie Lounds likes to call them?
Until next time,