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Hannibal Stag zps46309a7c
The stag always represented the connection between Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter. He started seeing the stag after he was first exposed to Hannibal's murder of Cassie Boyle impaled on the stag head in the field.

The Stag is an unnamed entity that makes various appearances throughout Season 1, 2, and 3 of NBC's Hannibal. Due to its lack of canon title, the Stag has been given numerous monikers such as The Nightmare Stag, The Shrike Stag, and The Raven Stag. For the simplicity of the wikia page, it will be dubbed as the Stag. 

Physical DescriptionEdit

The Stag appears to Will Graham as a fully grown bull American elk, with between 6-8 tines on its antlers. To coincide with the symbolism of the Minnesota Shrike as well as the crows pecking at the corpse impaled on a stag's head, the Stag is adorned with broad plumage, which covers the majority of its body.

While it is only a hallucination, it bears similar qualities to a mythological Wendigo, which is said in Algonquian culture to be a half-man-half-beast monster associated with psychosis and cannibalism. The comparison is especially strong later on in the series when the Stag takes the very shape of Hannibal Lecter as the Wendigo in Will's hallucinations. 

A nearly identical sculpture of a stag is located in Hannibal's office, and Will first begins to see the apparition after he begins sessions with Lecter. Hannibal later uses the sculpture as a weapon to murder Tobias Budge by bludgeoning him to death.

Appearances Edit

  • Will has a vision of the stag while showering, after seeing Cassie Boyle's corpse. (Apéritif)
  • Will dreams that the stag walks by Abigail Hobbs's hospital room. In reality, the footsteps he hears belong to Alana Bloom. (Amuse-Bouche)
  • Will dreams that he slits Abigail Hobbs's throat exactly as Garrett Jacob Hobbs did as he stares at the stag. (Potage)
  • The stag walks behind Will when he sleepwalks down the road (in reality, it is his dog Winston). (Coquilles)
  • Will is drawn to the stag statue in Hannibal's office, notably when he asks Hannibal if his brain is playing tricks on him. (Coquilles)
  • Will sees the stag entering his classroom, but in reality it is Jack and Alana. (Entrée)
  • Will sees the stag entering the hotel bathroom as he reenacts Mr. Murray's death (which they suspect was performed by the Ripper, but was actually Devon Silvestri). (Sorbet)
  • Hannibal kills Tobias with the stag statue. (Fromage)
  • Will sees the stag in place of Abel Gideon outside the observatory; Gideon/the stag subsequently becomes Garret Jacob Hobbs from Will’s fever state POV. (Rôti)
  • In Will’s dream, Georgia Madchen echoes Garret Jacob Hobbs’s final words, then goes up in flames and becomes the stag. (Relevés)
  • Will hunts the stag in his dream just before he vomits up Abigail's ear; at the end of the dream, the stag first assumes the form of the man-stag or wendigo. Subsequently, Will sees the wendigo twice more: lurking behind the one-way mirror in the interrogation room just before Jack enters, and standing behind Hannibal as Will mentally catalogues the "copycat" murders. (Savoureux)
  • Will sees the stag on the shore when he is fishing in his mind palace, then sees the man-stag rise from the stream. He later sees a stag hoof outside his cell as Hannibal approaches. (Kaiseki)
  • When Alana tries to help Will recover his memories, he sees himself sitting at a huge feast in Hannibal's dining room with Abigail's ear on the plate in front of him and the man-stage seated across from him. (Kaiseki)
  • In his vision, Will sees the man-stag peering through the top of the silo in Hannibal's place. (Sakizuke)
  • Will sees the stag after he is freed from his cell in BSHCI in his dream. (Hassun)
  • Will sees the man stag in Hannibal’s place when Hannibal takes the stand. (Hassun)
  • Will sees the man-stag lurking behind the display of Beverly’s corpse. (Mukōzuke)
  • After having commissioned Hannibal’s murder, Will feels black stag antlers bursting from his own back. (Mukōzuke)
  • Will dreams of using the black stag to decapitate Hannibal, who himself transforms into the wendigo/man-stag before his death. (Shiizakana)
  • In Will’s reconstruction of the campfire murder, when he still assumes the killer had a trained beast, he envisions himself sending the stag after the couple, then the stag turns into an antlered version of Will himself as he realizes beast and master are one and the same. (Shiizakana)
  • In Will’s perspective of Randall breaking through his window, Randall takes the form of the stag, then alternately becomes the wendigo and Hannibal himself as Will kills him. (Naka-choko)
  • In an abstract opening scene, the wendigo stalks the wounded black stag. As the wendigo watches, the stag dies and an antlered Will emerges from the corpse. (Kō No Mono)
  • After Hannibal says “God is beyond measure in wanton malice and matchless in his irony,” Will and Hannibal appear to both see a giant wendigo rise in the form of the sox-armed Hindu god Shiva (god of creation and destruction), echoing the pose Hannibal put Will’s murder victim “Freddie Lounds” (actually Randall Tier) in. (Kō No Mono)
  • In a fantasy sequence, Will and Garret Jacob Hobbs sit in a deer blind which resembles Will’s house in a tree, and Will fires at the stag. (Mizumono)
  • As Will loses consciousness from his wound, after Hannibal has left, he sees the stag dying in Hannibal’s kitchen. (Mizumono)
  • Continuing directly from the end of "Mizumono," the stag's corpse spills a giant pool of blood that floods Hannibal's kitchen. (Primavera)
  • Something that looks like an antler tries to poke through Will's stitches from inside his knife wound just before he envisions himself in Hannibal's office. (Primavera)
  • The stag reborn: Will imagines the "Valentine" Hannibal manufactured from Antony Dimmond's corpse unfolding into a crawling, skinless, headless semi-human form with black stag's hooves and antlers sprouting from its neck. It advances ominously on Will. (Primavera)
  • Antlers loom behind Will as he sits by his fire on the Lecter Estate grounds. (Secondo)
  • After Chiyoh throws Will from the train, the stag nudges Will awake and then walks off down the tracks. (Contorno)
  • In the surreal sequence after Hannibal drugs Will, Will sees Hannibal turn into the wendigo, then sees the wendigo’s horns become smoky versions of himself and Hannibal. (Dolce)
  • Will sees Hannibal as the wendigo as Hannibal slices into Will's skull. (Digestivo)
  • Hannibal is reflected as the wendigo when he picks up a mirror shard in the Jacobis’ bedroom, while he and Will are sharing mind-palace space. (…And the Woman Clothed with the Sun)

GalleryEdit

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