- Hannibal – “See. This is all I ever wanted for you, Will. For both of us.”
- Will – “It's beautiful.”
- — The Wrath of the Lamb
When Will begins working for the FBI on cases, Dr. Alana Bloom refers him to the psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lector. Their relationship begins formal, however, Hannibal shows an interest in Will's ability to empathize with anyone — even murderers.
After Will kills Garrett Jacob Hobbs, he frantically tries to stop Abigail Hobbs from dying. In his panic, he fumbles around, but Hannibal takes over for him with a steady hand to staunch her bleeding. She survives, and Will and Hannibal become like new fathers to her.
Later, Will begins hallucinating, sleepwalking, and having gaps in his memory. He tells these concerns to Hannibal, who recognizes the symptoms of encephalitis, inflammation of the brain. However, Hannibal does not tell this to Will, and only later takes him to a doctor. With an MRI scan, Will is positively diagnosed with encephalitis, but Hannibal convinces the doctor to conceal this fact from Will.
Convinced he has a mental disorder, Will gradually descends into madness, all while Hannibal offers a reassuring hand. Guided by Hannibal's hand, Jack begins to believe Will has dissociative identity disorder and was the copycat killer. Eventually, Will is taken into custody, but he escapes to Hannibal's office. Together they travel to Abigail Hobbs's family home. In the same room where he killed Garrett Jacob Hobbs, Will realizes that Hannibal was behind everything, pinning the murders of five people on him.
Will is about to shoot Hannibal when Jack shoots his arm to stop him. The season ends with Will behind bars. On the other side, Hannibal visits him, a faint smile tugging on his lips.
Jack calls in Hannibal to work on the psychological profile of the Minnesota Shrike, and the two go to his office where he meets Will Graham. He informs Will of Freddie Lounds posting a pic of one of the girls online, which Will calls tasteless. Hannibal asks if he has trouble with taste. Will says his thoughts are rarely tasty, and Hannibal says that his aren't either. As Hannibal sits next to Will, he notices that he doesn't make eye contact. Will says that eyes are distracting, and it's hard for him to focus when he notices all the details. Hannibal starts to ask how Will's abilities effect everything else he does, and Will asks whose profile he's working on. Hannibal apologizes, saying he was merely observing and can't shut it off. Will asks him not to psychoanalyze him, and excuses himself so that he can go give a lecture.
A few days later, Will is woken up by knocking on his motel room door. He answers it to find Hannibal there. Hannibal tells him good morning and asks if he can come in. Will asks where Jack is, Hannibal saying it's just them today, and asks if he can come in again. Will lets him in, and Hannibal sets down some breakfast for him and Will. Will finds it delicious and thanks Hannibal. Hannibal calls it his pleasure and apologizes for analyzing him, but figures it will happen again. Will just asks to keep it professional, and Hannibal suggests they socialize like adults, they might even become friendly. Will says that he doesn't find Hannibal that interesting, but Hannibal says that he will. Will explains how wrong the girl in the field was, so it couldn't have been the shrike. Practically gift wrapped for him to find the real killer. Hannibal asks if he's reconstucting the killers fantasies, and what kind of problems he has. Will says he has a few, but doesn't elaborate. Hannibal asks if Will ever has problems, and Will says now. Hannibal believes that, and says that they're alike, nothing to feel horrible about. He then says that Jack probably sees Will like a tea cup, used only for special occasions, causing Will to laugh. He asks how Hannibal sees him, and describes him as a mongoose that hides from the snakes. Will looks at him confused, but Hannibal just tells him to finish his breakfast.
The two drive to a construction site. Will asks Hannibal what he's smiling about. Hannibal says that the peak behind what the FBI does. Will explains that they found metal in one of the girls clothing so their checking all the construction sites that use that kind of pipe. Hannibal asks what they're looking for, and Will says anything peculiur.
As Will looks through Garrett Jacob Hobbs file, Hannibal asks what he finds so peculiur about him. Will explains that he didn't leave an address, and missed work for days at a time.
Will and Hannibal arrives at the Hobbs residence and step out of the car. They walk to the front door as they see Hobbs push his bloody screaming wife out the front door. Will checks on her, before going in the house and killing Hobbs. He tries to save Abigail Hobbs, blood gushing from her neck, as Hannibal walks in. He watches for a second before leaning down next to Will, and taking over and applying pressure to Abigail's wound, Will watching him.
Will enters Abigail's hospital room, where he sees Hannibal sleeping in the chair next to her, holding her hand. Will sits in the chair on the other side of the bed, and watches the two sleep.
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Hannibal and Bedelia end up in Florence, pretending to be Mr. and Mrs. Fell. Meantime, Will wakes up in a hospital. Abigail visits him and they talk about Hannibal, who totally knew how to cut them so they survived and alternative universes where they ran away together. Will thinks about that dinner he and Hannibal planned to have with Jack. He imagines them really killing Jack, Will starting it all. He thinks about Hannibal a lot...
He starts repairing his boat. And soon Jack appears at his door. He is very curious why did Will warn Hannibal instead of letting Jack surprise him back then. Will is not sure, the only thing he knows is that he simply wanted to call Hannibal and once he heard his voice he couldn't do otherwise. Because Hannibal was his friend. And Will wanted to run away with him.
When the boat is a-ok, Will sails from the US to EU and has all the time to think about Hannibal on his NOLA ship. He ends up in Palermo, where Hannibal's favorite church is. And indeed, it's the right place where to look for him. It's around Valentine's day and a human body shaped into a big anatomical heart was found in the chapel. It's actually the guy who Hannibal met before and who blindly tried to seduce him. Will and Abigail go there to look around and talk about Hannibal's broken heart and Will's desire to be with him. Will somehow knows Hannibal is probably nearer than he seems to be. Actually, he is watching Will but never reveal himself. While thinking about what happened when they met for the last time they met, Will finally fully accepts that Abigail actually is not there with him. She is dead, only he was allowed to survive.
A while later, Will with surprisingly dark attitude walks into catacombs and Hannibal follows, although he never reveals himself. After Will scares away inspector Pazzi, he talks to unseen Hannibal and says he forgives him. When Hannibal returns to Bedelia, they talk about Will and forgiveness a lot. Two times Hannibal says he loves Will. Then, "thanks" to Bedelia he comes to a conclusion that he needs to eat Will to really forgive him...
At the same time, Will arrives in Lithuania, where he observes Hannibal's born place - a castle. Turns out Hannibal's old, sister-like friend Chyioh still lives there, keeping an eye on her prisoner who killed Mischa. She calls Will and Hannibal nakama, then Will makes her kill the prisoner and turns the body into a magnificent wine-firefly tableau. Chyioh then agrees to show him, where Hannibal is. However, in the middle of their way she fake-kiss Will and throws out of their train.
But Will is not injured too much and still knows where they were going. So he continues in that direction, soon. He finds Hannibal in Florence - sitting in front of the Primavera painting in the Uffizi gallery. They can't help themselves and exchange some wide smiles as well as long talk about acceptance, blurring, and their same stars. Still, when they are leaving, Will tries to pull out a knife and stab Hannibal. However, that will never happen because Chyioh is on a nearby roof and hoots him in a shoulder. Hannibal quickly picks Will up and carries him to an apartment. After taking care of his injury, changing his clothes and hugging him in between, Hannibal ties Will to a chair. Jack, who followed Will to Florence is eventually tied ti the opposite chair, too. Hannibal decides to open Will's head and eat his brain as he decided a while ago. Fortunately for them both, before he can finish the 1st task, some people paid by Mason Verger burst in and take Hannibal with Will back to the US.
There, everything is fine again. Mason arranges a a dinner for them three, Will bites off a piece of his caretaker's cheek and Hannibal is very proud. Mason is much less happy. He let them know that he wants to have Will's face instead of his destroyed one and eat Hannibal with it. Before that, he wants Hannibal to suffer as one of his pigs. However, Alana (who meanwhile became a girlfriend of Mason's sister Margot) still cares about Will while Margot wants brother's dead. That's why they together help Hannibal to free himself in exchange to him saving Will and helping them with Mason.
Injured Hannibal carries Will bridal style back to his old home in Wolf Trap in the dark snowy night. When Will wakes up, it's morning outside. He is in his bed in clean clothes, Hannibal just sitting down by his side. But Will is not in a good mood, he tells hannibal to go away and never return - that he won't miss him or look for him. Hannibal leaves the house. Later at night Jack Crawford and others arrive. Will tells them Hannibal is gone. However, soon, Hannibal appears and allows them to take him. He says - looking at Will - that he want him to always know where to find him.
Hannibal is in the prison about 3 years. During that time he writes some letters to Bedelia and Will as well as some articles to numerous magazines. Will, on the other hand, found himself a wife with son and moved away from Wolf Trap and FBI jobs. He has his dogs, too, but somehow lost his interest in fishing...
But then, another big serial killer targeting families appears and Jack decides Will is needed. After they talk, will wakes up in the middle of night just to pull out a letter from Hannibal he had hidden in his underwear drawer. Hannibal knew Jack will come for him and he wrote will not to come back. Will reads it by lighting fireplace, then throws it into the flames.
And of course Will do return to the investigation and of course he needs Hannibal to help. Between the things he tells him Will claims that all the "Hannibal, run away forever" incident 3 years ago was a plan how to make Hannibal turn himself in. Other things they discuss about their relationship includes Hannibal's "I gave you a child" and "You are family" toward Will. He also talks with Bedelia about Hannibal. At one point he asks her whether Hannibal is still in love with him. And she said yes.
Eventually, Will tells Jack he needs to fake Hannibals escape to catch the killer. Jack agrees and besides official plan makes a secret planning with Will - that neither the killer or Hannibal will survive this. Will also makes one more plan with the killer himself - also about killing Hannibal. The fake escape turns out to be a real one when the killer murder everyone but Will and Hannibal. The two of them go to Hannibal's secret house about which the killer somehow knows. When night comes, he shoots Hannibal through a large window and warns Will that he should not try and run. Will doesn't want to do such a thing, he says he is gonna watch him killing Hannibal. Instead, he pulls out his gun, the killer notices it in time and stabs Will. The great final fight begins. Will gets stabbed one more time before he and Hannibal kill the other man together. Blood is everywhere and Will is overwhelmed. He smuggles into Hannibals arms, embracing him on a cliff edge. Hannibal says it's all he ever wanted for him, for them both. And Will thinks it's beautiful. Then, he pulls himself and Hannibal down the cliff.
- Hannibal mentions how Will builds walls.
- Hannibal watches Will grab his stuff and leave.
- Hannibal tells Jack that he can help Will find the killer.
- Will tells Jack to have Hannibal draw up a profile on the copycat killer.
- Hannibal smiles at Will's laugh.
- Hannibal and Will search through the files on the construction site.
- Hannibal listens to Will ask about Garrett Jacob Hobbs.
- Will picks up the files after Hannibal drops a few.
- Hannibal watches Will leave the car.
- Hannibal watches Will try to save Garrett's wife.
- Will looks back to make sure Hannibal is following.
- Hannibal passes Will as he wheels Abigail away with the paramedics.
- Love Crime|Siouxsie Sioux
- Hannibal and Will kill Dolarhyde, and fall off the cliff
Fans shipped the two as early as the first episode. Although people shipped it, many believed it would never be canon since the TV Series is based on a completed book series, and the two do not end up together. But as the series went on, it became clear that the series, while adapting the novels, would not follow them entirely. This gave shippers hope for their ship, which eventually really became canon.
Many fans believe that Hannibal and Will ran away and are situated somewhere in Cuba after the finale. This was due to season 4 episodes originally were going to be named after Cuban dishes, in the same way, that season 3 named the episodes after Italian one's.
On AO3, Hannigram is the most written ship for both characters and the most written ship in the Hannibal (TV), Hannibal Lecter Series - All Media Types, and Hannibal Lecter Tetralogy - Thomas Harris tags, the second most written in the Charlie Countryman (2013) and Adam (2009) tags, the third most written in the King Arthur (2004) tag and the fourth most written in the Killing Eve (TV 2018) tag.
- Hannibal/Will tag on AO3
- Hannibal/Will (TV Series) on FanFiction.Net
- Hannibal/Will (Movies) on FanFiction.Net