- This article is about the television series version of the character. You may be looking for the character from the novels and films.
|SPOILERS: Being smart spoils a lot of things, doesn't it? -Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of the Lambs|
|The Hannibal Wiki is currently updating as much information as possible about the television show, novels, and movies. If you are not up to date on the most recent episode, "The Wrath of the Lamb", the latest novel, "Hannibal Rising", or the Bryan Fuller Twitter updates, you should be wary of which page you plan to visit.|
Will Graham is the main protagonist of NBC's Hannibal. He is a criminal profiler and hunter of serial killers, who has a unique ability he uses to identify and understand the killers he tracks. Will lives in a farm house in Wolf Trap, Virginia, where he shares his residence with his family of dogs (all of whom he adopted as strays). Originally teaching forensic classes for the FBI, he was brought back into the field by Jack Crawford and worked alongside Hannibal Lecter to track down serial killers.
Will has a unique psychological ability that he refers to as "interpreting the evidence". In reality, he is able to assume the state of mind a murderer has after visiting the crime scene and recreates the thinking (as well as the actions) with himself as the killer in order to understand more about them. Hannibal Lecter describes his ability as "pure empathy", even though Will is shown being able to empathize only with dark people, which posits a question about his real state of mind.
Despite suffering from Anti-NMDA encephalitis, Will eventually realized that Hannibal is the Chesapeake Ripper. Will had spent some time in the Baltimore State Hospital For The Criminally Insane after being framed as the "Copycat Killer", a serial killer responsible for the deaths of four individuals resembling the work of other killers. In reality, these acts were committed by the Chesapeake Ripper who later laid claim to these murders which set Will free. With Frederick Chilton currently considered the Chesapeake Ripper by the FBI, Will remains unswayed from his certainty that the killer is, in fact, Hannibal Lecter. He's currently playing his own game with Hannibal, resuming his "therapy" and seemingly befriending the man he's been at odds with since his own manipulation. However, Will quickly becomes lost in the game, and more and more, he sides with Hannibal.
Will kills Randall Tier, sent to him by Hannibal, with his bare hands, inspired by his and Hannibal's conversation about guns lacking intimacy. However, Will lies to Hannibal by faking the death of Freddie Lounds in an effort to further gain his friendship and trust. Will even stores and brings parts of Randall Tier to Hannibal and consumes them with him, claiming that it was actually parts of Freddie Lounds. Hannibal only realized the ruse because his heightened sense of smell helped him realize that Freddie Lounds was not, in fact, dead. Will chooses to warn Hannibal about the danger in the end, but it is too late, and Hannibal's response to Will's betrayal left Will himself, Abigail Hobbs, Alana Bloom, and Jack Crawford barely clinging to life in the Season 2 finale, "Mizumono."
Will is a former homicide detective who lost his job due to not being able to use his gun when necessary. Therefore, he teaches at the FBI college. He has no recollection of his mother, who left his life when he was very young.
Will is a deeply complex man. He describes himself as being on the autism spectrum, due to his social difficulties and lack of eye contact - however, it is contrasted by his sociopathic tendencies and his enjoyment of killing, which makes his statement to Jack questionable. Will has trouble making friends and can be perceived as awkward or even cold by others. He is courageous and highly intelligent, and develops a knack for manipulation, even being able to trick Hannibal on several occasions. Will has an incredible gift for empathy, described by Hannibal as "pure empathy", easily being able to sense and interpret the feelings and motives of other people, specifically killers. However, this has a downside; whilst it makes him a brilliant profiler and invaluable asset to the FBI, it also feeds his darkness, which begins to resurface more and more often with Hannibal's help. Will regularly adopts and cares for stray dogs. He is protective of his friends, in particular Abigail Hobbs, whom he comes to view as a surrogate daughter.
Will constantly struggles to hold back his dark side. He derived a sense of pleasure in killing Garret Jacob Hobbs and often dreams or fantasizes about committing murders, though he tries not to act on them. Will finds himself tempted to run away with Hannibal, as he feels Hannibal is the only person who has ever truly understood and accepted Will unconditionally. In the end, Will's darkness gains its full potential - he indirectly assists in mutilating Dr. Chilton and organizes the death of numerous FBI agents to set up Hannibal's escape from prison. He then describes his killing of Francis Dolarhyde with Hannibal as "beautiful". Will appears to lack remorse for the killing of those who died because of him, such as Hobbs, Randall Tier, Francis Dolarhyde, Mason Verger, Chiyoh's prisoner, FBI agents, etc. In the post-credits of Season 3, it is implied that Will and Hannibal pay a visit to Hannibal's friend Bedelia, mutilating and consuming her leg.
In the first episode, Will shot and killed Garrett Jacob Hobbs, aka the "Minnesota Shrike". Hobbs had his daughter in his arms and started to slit her throat when Will shot him. Abigail fell to the floor, blood rushing from her neck. Will did his best to apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding. This was after Hobbs had already killed his wife, discarding her body on the front porch. After some time, the EMTs arrived and Abigail received the medical attention she required. She survived the ordeal, witnessing Will kill her father. Hobbs' death still haunts Will in his hallucinations and dreams.
Graham reportedly is no longer a field agent where he worked homicide, due to the complexities of his condition, and has settled into life as an educator - but he is soon called into the field once more. Will says that his "horse is hitched to a post that is closer to Asperger's [Syndrome] and Autistics…"
This is evident when he and Jack Crawford meet and he avoids looking him in the eye. Indefinitely, he seems to take in any stray dog that he finds. One night, as he's driving home, he finds a stray and manages to lure it to him with food. He takes him home and introduces the dog to the rest of his "family". He introduces the dog as Winston.
Will never knew his mother and his father worked on shipyards (possibly fixing boat motors, as Will has been seen doing this too. However, it could have been working on diesel engines. Will commented to Crawford that's what he would go do if he were to quit.)
He moved around a lot during his childhood and was "always the stranger" at his new schools. His family was poor.
Will has a love interest, Alana Bloom. However, Alana told him they could not be together because he was too unstable despite having feelings for him. Will confirmed her suspicions after telling her he felt unstable. This happened the day following the day the two kissed in Will's home.
He begins teaching at the FBI Academy (Quantico, Virginia) because he doesn't like to socialize with other people. He says that when he's teaching, he's "talking at them", not necessarily "socializing" with them. After he shot Hobbs, he walked into class to a standing ovation. He told everyone to sit down that their applause was misguided. This is the attitude of Will when it comes to people. He wants no special attention and just wants to be left alone. When speaking to people, he avoids eye contact.
He can empathize with psychopaths and other people of the sort. He sees crime scenes and plays them out in his mind with vividly gruesome detail. Will closes his eyes and a pendulum of light flashes in front of him, sending him into the mind of the killer. When he opens his eyes, he is alone at the scene of the crime. The scene changes retracting back to before the killing happened. Will then assumes the role of the killer. He moves to the victim and carries out the crime just as the killer would have. He can see the killer's "design" just as the killer designed it. This allows him to know every detail about the crime and access information that would have otherwise not been known. He has admitted to Crawford that it was becoming harder and harder for him to look. The crimes were getting into his head and leaving him confused and disorientated. During one such experience, he lost track of what was going on and thought he was murdering a victim. He threw the door open, drenched in terror, only to see the BAU team standing outside the door. They all looked as confused as Will when they saw the terror on his face. Will was relieved to know he was working but worried his ability was starting to take its toll on him.
Will had advanced encephalitis, which is why he often suffered from hallucinations, the loss of time, and disorientation. He has since received treatments of antibiotic and viral medication therapy to reduce the swelling on his brain. Dr. Lecter had previously diagnosed the condition but kept the information from Will. He allowed Will to believe his hallucinations and breakdowns were due to a mental condition and not from an illness. He did this to observe Will and see how he would handle the stress of these symptoms. You could also say he allowed the illness to progress so that it would make framing Will easier.
Will currently resides at the Baltimore State Hospital For The Criminally Insane. He is charged with the murder of Abigail Hobbs, as well as being the Copy Cat killer. Those victims included Cassie Boyle, Georgia Madchen, Dr. Donald Sutcliffe, and Marissa Schurr. After previously escaping custody by dislocating his finger and sliding the cuffs off his wrists, he attacked his guards and managed to escape. He made his way to Dr. Lecter's office where he asked him to take him to the Hobbs' residence in Minnesota.
Once they made their way there, theories started to form in Will's head after an intense conversation with Dr. Lecter, Will told him, "The scales have fallen away from my eyes. I can see you now." This confirmed for him that Dr. Lecter was responsible for the crimes Will was charged with.
Will had been seeing him for some time for psychiatric care, only to realize Dr. Lecter was manipulating him, using him as study material and personal entertainment. While at the Hobbs' residence, he explained this to Dr. Lecter, comparing it to a wind-up toy while holding a gun on Lecter at the time.
He was all set to shoot Dr. Lecter in the head before Crawford intervened, shooting Will in the arm and knocking him backward. While Will was against the counter, where he landed, he saw Dr. Lecter clearly for the person he was, sealing the idea that he set Will up for the crimes he had committed. While Will has not yet shared this information with anyone else, he remains vigilant that Dr. Lecter is, in fact, the killer. The charges against Will are very damning, giving the length of detail Dr. Lecter had to go through to frame him, including somehow feeding Will Abigail Hobbs' ear.
After failing to shoot Hannibal Lecter, Will is sent to Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane for serial murder. After several corpses are found in a dam, Beverly Katz finds Will and let him profiling the images of several missing persons. With the help of Alana Bloom, Will tries to recover his lost memories through hypnosis. He's not immediately successful but experiences a flashback of Hannibal forcing Abigail's ear down his throat afterward. Bedelia Du Maurier visits Will in prison, telling him that she believes him. In exchange for Will's help on the case, Beverly Katz promises to look for evidence of Will's innocence. Beverly starts to suspect Hannibal and breaks into his home against Wil's advice. Hannibal catches her and kills her. The next day, Freddie Lounds finds Beverly's crime scene and alarms Jack. Jack takes Will to the crime scene and lets him examine Beverly's body, sectioned vertically and displayed in tableau.
The Trial Of Will Graham
The prosecution describes Will as an intelligent psychopath. To ease his guilt, Jack Crawford risks his job by confessing that he may have pushed Will too far. Will's lawyer receives a parcel with an ear in it, which was cut off within the last 49 hours. This causes many people to doubt Will's guilt, especially after Katz, Price, and Feller confirm that the ear was cut off with the same knife that was used for Abigail's ear. The FBI finds Andrew Sykes's corpse in his own apartment after Sykes signed the knife out of the courthouse evidence room. His corpse misses an ear, his face was cut into a Glasgow smile and set on fire. All of those things that Will supposedly did to his victims. Hannibal discusses the file with Will and agrees that Sykes was killed in a too different way to be killed by the same killer. Nonetheless, he wants Will to lie about it to prove Will's innocence. Later, it turns out that Matthew Brown was responsible for Sykes' murder. The prosecution and the judge agree about the dissimilarities and deem Sykes' murder inadmissible. On the next day, the judge is found murdered in the courtroom, his brain and heart on a weighing scale. This is followed by a mistrial.
Attempted Murder of Hannibal Lecter
While committed to the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally insane, Will befriends an orderly, Matthew Brown, who happens to be an admirer of his. Brown confesses the murder of Andrew Sykes. Will asks Matthew Brown to kill Hannibal Lecter. Abel Gideon overhears them talking and tips Alana Bloom off. Brown follows Hannibal to an indoor swimming pool, subdues him, and attempts to hang Hannibal while telling him that Will asked him to kill Hannibal. Before he is successful though, Jack and Alana track down Hannibal and shoots Brown in the left side of his chest. Failing to do so before the man kicks the bucket out from under Hannibal's feet, Jack rushes over to Hannibal lifting him up, saving him.
Afterward, Jack confronts Will about Hannibal's almost-murder but Will denies it and tries to convince Jack that Hannibal's the Chesapeake Ripper by claiming that Hannibal is going give a dinner party, shortly after the next Chesapeake murder.
After Miriam Lass is found alive, she's got no clear memory of the Chesapeake Ripper but is positive that it's not Hannibal. The evidence gathered from the most recent Ripper killings serves to prove that Will's supposedly victims were actually the Rippers. Will is released from the BSHCI.
He visits Miriam Lass and they talk about their experience with the flashes of light which induce blackouts. Will breaks into Hannibal's house and threatens him with a gun. He says that killing Hannibal would feel right but doesn't kill him. He starts to work with the FBI again and wants to continue his therapy with Hannibal. They work on a case together, about a man (Peter Bernadone) who seemingly killed a woman and stuffed her inside a dead horse's uterus. Will empathizes with Peter and observing that he's innocent, he accuses Peter's social worker, Clerk Ingram. Ingram is questioned by Alana Bloom but Jack lets him go, seeing he can't prove Ingram's guilt. Ingram returns to the horse stables and kills a horse with a hammer. When Will and Hannibal arrive at the stables, they find Peter sewing up the dead horse's torso. Will guesses that Ingram is in that horse and after Peter tells them he trapped Ingram in the horse's torso alive, Will and Hannibal go back into the stable, where Ingram had already made his way out of the horse. Will threatens him with a gun and is stopped by Hannibal who tells him that killing Ingram won't feel like killing him [Hannibal]. He also tells Will that he's fascinated with Will's unpredictability.
Margot Verger comes to Will's house and they share some personal problems and talk about Hannibal's therapy. Randall Tier, who is responsible for some murders is warned by Hannibal that the FBI is investigating him and is asked by him to kill Will. Will survives the attack and kills Randell Tier himself. He takes the corpse to Hannibal's house and tells him that they are even. He then combines Tier with a saber-tooth display, turning him into an animal. Hannibal and Will are asked to analyze Tier's body by Jack. Margot Verger visits Will again and they have sex.
After Freddie Lounds finds some remains of Randall Tier in Will's shed, they fake Freddie Lounds murder. Jack investigates her murder and questions, Will, about her in the presence of Hannibal. Hannibal invites Will for dinner with Will providing the meat. Will makes Hannibal believe it's Freddie Lounds' meat, even though it's Randall Tier's, to further gain his trust. Margot Verger meets with Will and Hannibal, confessing that she's pregnant but hiding it from Mason Verger. Will is visited by Alana, she asks him if he killed Freddie. He answers vaguely but gives her a gun to practice. After Freddie Lounds' funeral, her grave is found disturbed, her body posed like Shiva, which Alana deduces was done by an admirer of Lounds' killer in an act of "courtship."
Mason Verger's having Margot's uterus removed, to prevent her from giving birth. When Will finds out, he breaks into Mason's farm and hangs him over his pit of pigs. He spares Mason's life but suggests that Mason should feed Hannibal to his pigs. All the while, Will keeps gaining Hannibal's trust. When Will is brought to Verger's farm to witness Hannibal being fed to the pigs, he helps Hannibal by cutting him free. Will gets knocked out and when he regains consciousness, he's alone with the pigs. He drives home to find Hannibal and a drugged Mason Verger in his living room. Mason cuts of pieces of his face and feeds them to Will's dogs. Hannibal breaks Mason's neck, leaving him alive but paralyzed. Later, Hannibal and Will talk about their friendship and Will warns him that they will soon be caught.
While Will and Hannibal destroy Hannibal's patient's records, Hannibal breathes in Will's smell and recognized Freddie Lounds' scent whom Will was meeting before. He knows that Will is betraying him and when he suggests that they escape without confessing, Will brushes it off, saying they owed Jack the truth. The next day, Alana tells Will that the FBI is on their way to arrest Hannibal and Will calls Hannibal to warn him. He then drives to Hannibal's house and finds Alana, who was pushed out of the window by Abigail, lying on the front stairs. Will goes inside to find Jack but meets Abigail instead, who he believed was dead. She says that she didn't know what to do, so she just did what he [Hannibal] told her. Will turns around to find Hannibal standing behind him. Hannibal confesses that they couldn't leave without him [Will]. He touches Will's face with his hand and, after stabbing him with a karambit, he hugs Will and explains that he wanted to surprise Will with Abigail. Hannibal cries and tells Will, that he let him [Will] know and see him [Hannibal]. He forgives Will and cuts Abigail's throat, leaving them both bleeding on the floor.
Will Graham survives the attack at Hannibal Lecter's hands because Hannibal wanted him to live and thus deliberately inflicted a non-fatal wound, though it takes Will several months to recover. Abigail died from her wounds, although Will continues to imagine her still being alive. When he goes to look for Hannibal in Europe, he imagines doing so with Abigail before finally coming to terms with the fact she is dead. Jack Crawford joins Will on the hunt for Hannibal after the passing of his wife Bella.
Will and Hannibal are captured by a vengeful Mason Verger, who has them transported back to his estate in Baltimore where he plans to have Will's face cut off and surgically attached to his own, where Verger then plans to eat Hannibal piece by piece. Alana has also been working with Verger to assure Hannibal is punished, however, betrays him and releases Hannibal, who takes out Verger's men and rescues Will. Alana and Verger's sister Margot (whom Alana is in a relationship with) murder Verger after getting hold of his sperm to create an heir.
Hannibal takes Will back to his home, but Will tells him that he doesn't want to see Hannibal again. Hannibal leaves and Crawford and the FBI show up afterward. Will states Hannibal is gone, however, Hannibal appears and surrenders himself to the police. Hannibal is imprisoned, but in doing so Will knows where exactly he is if he needs him.
In the subsequent three years, Will settles down and marries a woman named Molly and becomes a father figure to her son Wally. With that Will lives a seemingly normal life away from the darkness of tracing serial killers, at least for the time being, even though he is shown to be unhappy, avoiding physical contact with his wife and not returning her 'I love you'.
Three years after Hannibal's imprisonment and the bloodbath at Mason's manor, Crawford contacts Will again to help try and catch another serial killer dubbed the "Tooth Fairy" who kills entire families. Will visits Hannibal in prison under the pretence of trying to gain back his gift of getting into the minds of serial killers, though it is shown to be untrue. Bedelia calls WIll out on visiting Hannibal because he missed him. Things take a dark turn when Hannibal gives Will's address to the Tooth Fairy - Francis Dolarhyde, who tries to kill Molly and Walter but the pair escape, although Molly is injured and hospitalized. During this time, Will sets up Frederick Chilton, conducting an insulting profile of the Tooth Fairy. This ends with Dolarhyde kidnapping and burning Chilton.
Dolarhyde seemingly commits suicide and is burned in a fire, but this is a ruse. He confronts Will at his hotel, but Will offers to get him, Hannibal, to kill. Will lies to the FBI and Jack, making a deal where they will transfer Hannibal and lure out Dolarhyde and hiding the fact of Dolarhyde's survival. With Will's help, Dolarhyde successfully attacks the prison transport and kills the guards, keeping Will and Hannibal alive. Hannibal takes Will to a seaside house where he kept Lass and Abigail and the pair await the arrival of Dolarhyde. Dolarhyde attacks them and shoots Hannibal and stabs Will in the face. The fight ends up outside, where Will and Hannibal team up and savagely attack Dolarhyde, which results in his defeat and death.
After the fight, the pair embrace, with Hannibal telling Will that this is all he ever wanted for him. Will says it is beautiful. The pair continue to embrace, which is followed by Will pulling him and Hannibal over the cliff and into the tides below.
The scene post-credits shows Bedelia with her leg amputated and served on the table in Hannibal's style, with three places at the table, hinting that Hannibal and Will survived and are now hunting together.
- Garret Jacob Hobbs - Shot multiple times in the chest, saving Abigail Hobbs in the process. (Apéritif)
- Randall Tier - Beaten to unconsciousness and neck snapped. (Shiizakana)
- Matteo Deogracias - By proxy, manipulated Hannibal Lecter to stab him in the femoral artery. (Tome-wan)
- Carlo Deogracias - By proxy, manipulated Hannibal Lecter to kill him before feeding him to Mason's pigs. (Tome-wan)
- Unnamed man - By proxy, manipulated Chiyoh to stab him once in the neck. (Secondo)
- Two unnamed bodyguards - By proxy, manipulated Francis Dolarhyde to kill them to get to Chilton. (The Number of the Beast is 666)
- Six unnamed cops - By proxy, conspired with Francis Dolarhyde to kill them to get to Hannibal. (The Wrath of the Lamb)
- Francis Dolarhyde - Repeatedly stabbed along with Hannibal. (The Wrath of the Lamb)
- Abel Gideon - Shot in the gut, later revealed Gideon survived the wound.
- Hannibal Lecter - By proxy, sent Matthew Brown to kill Hannibal, but the latter was stopped and shot by Jack Crawford. Later dragged Hannibal off the side of a cliff, the intent of which could be debated either way. (The Wrath of the Lamb)
- Clark Ingram - Almost shot him in the head, but was stopped by Hannibal. (Su-zakana)
- Frederick Chilton - By proxy, manipulated Francis Dolarhyde to rip his lips off and set him on fire. (The Number of the Beast is 666)
Though Will visualizes himself as the killer to emulate their methods and find clues, the following are the only victims he has fantasized about killing all by himself.
- Hannibal Lecter - Decapitated/suffocated with a rope while tied to a tree (Shiizakana), as well as allegedly multiple other times. When questioned in Su-zakana on the matter, Will admits to fantasizing about killing Hannibal "with [his] hands." Considering his repeated satisfaction in seeing Hannibal in near-death situations, one can only assume Will has put deep and intricate thought into how best he'd like Dr. Lecter to die.
- Clark Ingram - Shot in the head, after Hannibal asked Will to visualize a scenario without regrets. (Shiizakana)
- During the time period in which Will was prosecuted and treated as the Copycat Killer, he was accused of all the murders attributed to the copycat (in fact - Hannibal Lecter).
- Freddie Lounds - Was thought to be killed and cannibalized by him, but it turned out she's alive. (Naka-Choko)
Will and Hannibal
Will's and Hannibal's relationship is undeniably the central focus of all three seasons. Beginning Season 1, Will is vocally uninterested in a friendship with Hannibal, although he gradually begins to view him as a friend as the season progresses. Unfortunately, after finding out that Hannibal had been manipulating him all along and framed for his own murders, Will is full of vengeance and declares a reckoning against Hannibal, successfully terminating any genuine friendship the two might have shared. ("You're not my friend. The light of friendship won't reach us in a million of years, that's how far away from friendship we are.")
After Will is released from prison he begins playing Hannibal's game in full, resuming their therapy with the intention of "dealing with his feelings" for Hannibal. He proceeds to brutalize and murder Randall Tier, who Hannibal sent to attack him as atonement for Will's previous attempt on his life using Matthew Brown. Will would later shamelessly admit to having fantasized killing Hannibal in his place. On the surface, Will appears to be submitting to the darker urges Hannibal has been nurturing within him all along, deceiving Jack and even Hannibal himself on his true intentions, enough so that Hannibal fully intends to leave his life behind to run away with Will. However, Hannibal finds out that Will's loyalties are not as decided as he previously thought and is utterly heartbroken at having been deceived so cruelly. He offers Will a chance to confess and unconditional forgiveness if he were to come clean, but Will chooses to let it lie. Although he betrayed Hannibal, he still calls him the night of the raid to tell him Jack and the FBI are inbound. Upon arriving to Hannibal's house, Will stumbles upon a grisly scene with both Jack and Alana incapacitated. He's startled by the revelation that Abigail, who had previously been thought deceased, had not actually died. Instead, Hannibal had been sheltering her with the intention of surprising Will as they began their new life together. Unfortunately, this path was not an option for Will anymore, Hannibal tenderly strokes Will's face before plunging a knife into his gut. He laments that he had given Will a rare gift, the ability to see Hannibal and be seen in return, but that Will didn't want it. Will refutes his claim, affirming that he had wanted it, wounding Hannibal into silence. Afterwards, Hannibal appears to attempt to fully sever their relationship by slitting Abigail's throat, although, it is noted in Season 3 that he only cut Abigail fatally, not Will. Hannibal then flees to Florence, leaving Will to bleed out in his kitchen.
Season 3 begins with Hannibal and Bedelia, who has accompanied Hannibal to Florence in Will's place, discussing the nature of his relationship with Will. Bedelia notes that betrayal and forgiveness are similar to falling in love, to which Hannibal forlornly admits that one cannot control who they fall in love with. Followed up by Bedelia comparing Hannibal's love for Will to his love for Mischa, although her intentions with the analogy are anything but pure, Hannibal confirms that what he feels for Will is love. After recovering from his injuries, Will begins making repairs to his sailboat, during which he admits to Jack that he had wanted to run away with Hannibal. He then takes off to Florence in pursuit of Hannibal. Upon recalling its significance, he makes his way to the Palermo Cathedral, which is currently taped off as a crime scene. Hannibal, revealed to be "Il Mostro di Firenze," had mutilated a corpse into a life-size recreation of a human heart pierced by three swords, it notably mirrors the Three of Swords tarot in the reversed position, which signifies reconciliation. After Will caresses the heart sculpture in his crime scene recreation, it begins to beat before shifting into a horned, hideous creature that begins to obsessively pursue him, not dissimilar to Hannibal's all-consuming love for him. Waking from the illusion, Will vocalizes that Hannibal has sent him his broken heart. After determining that Hannibal had not yet left the cathedral, Will wanders the catacombs and calls out to Hannibal, heeding that he forgives him. He later admits to Jack that a part of him will always want to run away with Hannibal. After his encounter in the catacombs, Will makes his way to Lithuania to attempt to understand Hannibal more, climbing the gates to the ruins of Castle Lecter in pursuit of afterimages of him. There he meets Chiyoh, Lady Murasaki's former attendant, to which Will confesses the reason he's looking for Hannibal is because he's never known himself the way he knows himself when he's with Hannibal. Hannibal and Will meet each other again for the first time in the Uffizi Gallery where they discuss Will's discoveries and the nature of their fatally dependent relationship. Hannibal cordially tells him that if he saw him every day for the rest of his life, he would always remember this moment. The conversation is oddly bittersweet, which makes sense considering it's followed shortly by Will making an attempt on Hannibal's life to try and sever their relationship once and for all, he fails, and Hannibal seems to take serious consideration to Bedelia's advice on eating Will to forgive him. At a critical moment, Will and Hannibal are captured by Mason Verger, in which Mason intends to eat Hannibal and remove Will's face respectively. Fortunately, Hannibal saves Will from his face transplant after being freed by Alana and carries Will home. After Will wakes, Hannibal suggests they finally talk about the mess they've gotten themselves into, but Will rejects Hannibal, announcing that he doesn't want to know where Hannibal is or what he does and that he doesn't want to think about him anymore. Although it is later revealed that Will lied to get Hannibal to turn himself in, Hannibal is deeply hurt by his rejection and proceeds to sit outside of his house (in tears, according to Bryan Fuller) until Jack arrives to arrest him. He falls to his knees before the FBI, glancing at Will as he voices that he wants him to know where he can always find him.
They see each other again after three years when Jack manages to recruit Will for the Red Dragon case, not absent of spiteful influence due to receiving a cautionary letter from Hannibal. While the case is ongoing, Will begins pursuing unprofessional therapy with Bedelia, in which the two throw jabs at each other much like two jealous lovers, which isn't a stretch, considering Bedelia reminds Will that they've both been Hannibal's bride, and that Hannibal, much to Bedelia's distain, intends for Will to be his last. After a long game of cat and mouse between Hannibal and Will in which the latter begins to spiral back into the darkness Hannibal seems to invoke in him, Will learns from Bedelia that Hannibal is in love with him. She asks if his feelings are reciprocated, Will, who has verbally expressed his preference of sins of omission to outright lies in the past, sits in all-telling silence. At the end of Season 3, Will ultimately abandons his wife and step-son in favor of aiding in Hannibal's escape, together, the two successfully slay the Red Dragon to their haunting love theme, "Love Crime." Bloodied and cradled in each other's embrace, Hannibal admits to Will that this is all he has ever wanted for him, for the both of them, together. Will laughs softly and admits that it truly is beautiful, pulling Hannibal deeper into his embrace before tilting them over the edge of the cliff into the Atlantic below. The after-credits scene heavily implicates that both survived the fall and are now living this "beautiful" life together. Making well on Will's sneering remark to Bedelia that she's fated, and deservedly so, to end up on Hannibal's table.
Even though Will never explicitly confirms it, it is safe to assume he feels some level of romantic (and sexual) attraction towards Hannibal. This is shown in a multitude of ways, such as Will's desire to run away with Hannibal (and eventually doing so), Will admitting that he feels the most known and seen with Hannibal, and their physical intimacy with one another (as well as their undeniable sexual tension). Hannibal loves Will unconditionally, and the latter seems to be aware of this (albeit in denial), even before he asks Bedelia. Will struggles with giving in to his urges, whether it be a desire to kill or a desire to be with Hannibal, all the while knowing Hannibal is the only person who would accept him despite it all. Will fights these urges until the Season 3 finale, in which he gives in to all of his suppressed desires at once by killing the Red Dragon with Hannibal and accepting (and seemingly reciprocating) Hannibal's feelings.
- "Everyone has thought about killing someone, one way or another." (during his psychoanalyzing class)
- "You won't like me when I'm psychoanalyzed." (to Lecter)
- "My thoughts are often not tasty." (to Lecter)
- "He won't know he's dying. I don't need him to. This is my design." (while empathizing with a serial killer)
- "I liked killing Hobbs." (to Lecter)
- "We don’t know what nightmares lie coiled beneath Will’s pillow." (Lecter)
- "Last time he sent me into a dark place, I brought something back."
- "I don't know how much longer I can be all that useful to you, Jack."
- "It's not very smart to piss off a guy who thinks about killing people for a living." (to Freddie)
- "Are you experiencing difficulty with aggressive feelings?" (Lecter to Will)
- "You know what looking at this does." (to Jack)
- "What do you see behind closed eyes?" (Lecter)
- "There was no animal in the chimney. It was all in my head." (to Lecter)
- "It's not any easier, Jack. Shake it off. Keep on looking."
- "I feel unstable." (to Lecter)
- "I can make myself look, but the thinking is shutting down." (to Jack)
- "I'm sleep walking, experiencing hallucinations. Maybe I should get a brain scan." (to Lecter)
- "When faced with this killer's achievements, your mind needed to escape. And you lost time." (Lecter)
- "You have an empathy disorder. What you feel is overwhelming you." (Lecter)
- "I wasn't feeling like myself." (to Jack)
- "You empathize completely with the killers; Jack has your mind wrapped around that you lose yourself to them. What if you lose time and hurt yourself, or someone else? I don't want you to wake up and see a totem of your own making." (Lecter)
- "You're grieving, Will. Not for the life you have taken, but for the life that was taken from you." (Lecter)
- "Do you feel alive, Will?" (Lecter)
- "I feel like I'm fading." (to Lecter)
- "7:16 pm. I'm in Baltimore, Maryland. My name is Will Graham."
- "I know what kind of crazy I am. But this isn't that kind of crazy." (to Lecter)
- "Will is an innocent." (Lecter to Jack)
- "What you do is: you take all of the evidence available at the crime scene, you extrapolate, you reconstruct the thinking of a killer. You don't think of yourself as the killer." (Jack, to Will)
- "I don't feel like myself. I feel like I've been gradually becoming different for a while. I just feel like somebody else." (to Lecter)
- "I fear not knowing who I am." (to Lecter)
- "I'm having a hard time thinking. I'm losing my mind. I don't know what's real." (to Lecter)
- "I know who Will is. Will knows who he is. Our experiences shape us. How is this experience going to shape Will?" (to Jack)
- "I've interviewed enough serial killers to know one when I see one. I see it every time I look at Will Graham." (Freddie to Abigail)
- "I feel like I am spilling." (To Jack)
- "I guess you dodged a bullet with me." (To Alana)
- "I am who I have always been; the scales have fallen away from my eyes. I can see you now." (To Lecter)
- "I know who I am." (To Lecter)
- "But it wasn't real, it wasn't real." (to Lecter)
- "At night I leave the lights on in my little house and walks across the flat fields. When I look back from a distance the house is like a boat on the sea. It's really the only time I feel safe." (To Lecter)
- "She's confused about who I am, which I can relate to." (To Jack)
- "I'm having a hard time thinking. I'm losing my mind. I don't know what's real." (To Lecter)
- "This is my design." (During an ability session)
- "This is my legacy." (During an ability session)
- "Eyes are distracting. You see too much. You don't see enough." (To Lecter)
- "I feel like I have dragged you into my world." (To Lecter)
- "If you can't beat God, become him." (to Lecter)
- "[The Ripper] would consider that rude." (To Alana)
- "Don't lie to me! Don't lie to me!" (To Lecter)
- "What's happening to me?" (To Lecter)
- "I could use a good scream. I can feel one perched under my chin." (To Alana)
- "All I heard was my heart, dim but fast, like footsteps fleeing into silence." (To Lecter)
- "I can feel my nerves clicking like roller coaster cogs… pulling up to the inevitable long plunge." (To Lecter)
- "I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and I looked right through me, past me, as if I was just a stranger." (To Lecter)
- "It feels like I'm talking to his shadow, suspended on dust." (To Abigail)
- "I stared at Hobbs, and the space opposite me assumed the shape of a man filled with dark and swarming flies. Then I scattered them." (To Lecter)
- "I felt terrified. And then I felt powerful." (About killing Hobbs)
- "Is Hannibal in love with me?" (To Bedelia)
- "It's beautiful." (To Lecter)
- He needs a sanctuary from the intensity of his “gifts” and so surrounds himself in actual nature. He lives in the farmlands outside Quantico. (Patti Podesta, “Hannibal’s” production designer)