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Characters from the film/book series by Thomas Harris focused on serial killer Hannibal Lecter. The Film Series have their own character folders, with characters appearing under the film they first appeared in.


Characters from Manhunter, the 1986 film adaptation of the book Red Dragon.

Agent Will Graham (William Petersen)

Francis Dollarhyde (Tom Noonan)

  • Adaptational Villainy: Dollarhyde’s struggle with the Red Dragon personality is largely ignored and his backstory is entirely ignored, leaving him much less of a Tragic Villain.

Freddy Lounds (Stephen Lang)

Jack Crawford (Dennis Farina)

Molly Graham (Kim Greist)

Reba McLane (Joan Allen)

Dr. Hannibal Lecktor (Brian Cox)

 Lecktor: You want the scent? Smell yourself.

The Silence of the Lambs

Dr. Hannibal Lecter

 Played By: Anthony Hopkins

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

  • Affably Evil: Lecter is usually unfailingly polite...providing the company is polite in return.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Hannibal was retconned into being aristocracy.
  • Belated Backstory
  • Berserk Button: Just try to insult or harm Clarice Starling, and see how long you last. Remember what happened to Miggs, Chilton, and Krendler? Yeah, that's right.
  • Big Bad Friend: Acts like this in the opening for the Red Dragon movie, where he seems legitimately sad about attacking Graham, whom he honestly seemed to like. Apparently, he's a really sore loser, because when he and Graham meet again, it's pretty clear that he now hates the guy.
  • Boxed Crook
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Dr. Lecter is incarcerated, but still writes highly respected articles for psychiatric journals.
  • The Chessmaster
  • Combat Pragmatist: Lecter, Lecter, Lecter. In his deranged Crowning Moment of Awesome he bites a guard on the face, then pepper sprays him, then bludgeons the guard's friend to death with a truncheon -- friend who is unarmed, and has his hands handcuffed to the cage bars. Then listens to a piece of classical music that makes the cell kind of like a high-end restaurant.
    • It was Johann Sebastian Bach's The Goldberg Variations, recorded by Glenn Gould in 1955. [1]
  • Cultured Badass
  • Creepy Monotone
  • Dead Little Sister: One of the main problems people have with the latter two books. Giving Hannibal one of these causes instant Villain Decay.
  • Diabolical Mastermind
  • Dissonant Serenity
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Hannibal does this.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Lecter is genuinely disgusted with Mason, Chilton and Krendler.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Lecter. He gets away with being both this and Affably Evil; Faux Affably Evil is for the people he's messing with. Or plans to eat, or serve. Or is eating or serving.
  • Freudian Excuse: Thanks to retconning. The most hilariously, unintentionally ridiculous Freudian Excuse ever: His sister was fed to him by Nazi Cannibals when he was a child. As executed, it made everything else about Lecter mention by others (like Doemling) mesh better (and completed the Failure Knight analogy hinted at since the previous book), but the extension of it into a full story pretty much throws out Lecter's initial characterisation as a Complete Monster.
        • Believe it or not, this Freudian excuse could be based on a Truth in Television. The infamous Ukrainian cannibal Andrei Chikatilo was told growing up that his brother was cannibalized by neighbors during the Holodomor (massive famines caused by Soviet agricultural policy).
  • Hannibal Lecture: Trope Namer.
  • I'm a Humanitarian
  • Insufferable Genius: As Jack Crawford puts it to Starling, "He's very likely right, and he could have told you why, but he wanted to tease you with it. It's the only weakness I ever saw in him — he has to look smart, smarter than everybody. He's been doing it for years."
  • Karma Houdini - Lecter is this in spades, though Thomas Harris admitted he had grown to like his character so much this trope became inevitable.
    • At the end of the Hannibal novel Lecter even finally settles down with Starling following the events of the novel.
  • * Kubrick Stare: This is Lecter's default expression when revving up the creepy.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Morally-Ambiguous Doctorate
  • One-Scene Wonder: Anthony Hopkins won a Best Leading Actor for only 24 minutes of screen time.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In the books, Lecter is described as having maroon (brownish-red) eyes.
    • Lecter appears with bright red eyes in some posters for Hannibal and Hannibal Rising.
  • Red Right Hand
  • Serial Killer
  • Shipped in Shackles: Lecter, with his iconic mask, is the Trope Codifier. Many franchises have imitated the image as shorthand to indicate Lecter-inspired characters.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Was a minor character in the book and has limited screen time in the movie, but he is a major force in moving the story forward.
  • Sociopathic Hero
  • Stalker with a Crush: Lecter definitely counts in relation to Starling.
  • Throw It In: Ft-ft-ft-ft-ft-ft.
  • Timeshifted Actor
  • Villain Protagonist: Lector in Silence.
  • Wicked Cultured: His pathology is centred around this trope, as he eats (and serves) his victims as exquisite meals, apparently to prove how much better he is than them; or, in Starling's words, "show his disdain for those who exacerbate him" (or, sometimes, to perform a "public service"). Apart from this, and a more general love of fine dining and drink, he enjoys classical music, is a highly talented artist, and has sufficient knowledge of Dante, the Rennaisance and Renaissance literature to get a temp job as a library curator at a Florentine museum, and impress the board enough to nearly make it permanent.

Agent Clarice Starling

 Played By: Jodie Foster & Julianne Moore

Jack Crawford

 Played By: Scott Glenn & Harvey Keitel

"Believe me, you don't want Hannibal Lecter inside your head."

Jame Gumb AKA Buffalo Bill

 Played By: Ted Levine

"It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again."

Frederick Chilton

 Played By: Anthony Heald

"Oh my, does he hate us. Thinks I'm his nemesis."

Barney Matthews

 Played By: Frankie Faison


Mason Verger

 Played By: Gary Oldman

"When the fox hears the rabbit scream he comes a-runnin'... but not to help."

Paul Krendler

 Played By: Ray Liotta

"Oh my, does he hate us. Thinks I'm his nemesis."

Chief Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi

 Played By: Giancarlo Giannini

Dr Cordell Doemling

 Played By: Zeljko Ivanek

"One's eyes adjust to the darkness."

Red Dragon

Agent Will Graham

 Played By: Edward Norton

Francis Dolarhyde

 Played By: Ralph Fiennes

"Before me, you rightly tremble. But, fear is not what you owe me. You owe me awe!"

Reba Mc Clane

 Played By: Emily Watson

"If there's anything I hate worse than pity, it's fake pity."

Molly Graham

 Played By: Mary-Louise Parker

Freddy Lounds

 Played By: Phillip Seymour Hoffman


  1. It is quite good.
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