Tattle Diary Entry #17: Someone Needs To Explain How Canon Works To Fannibals
This is an actual comment I received on an Instagram post I made explaining why Hannigram isn’t canon. Let’s take a look at it:
This isn’t how canon works. At all. Canon is like well, a bible of information. Something literally written in stone. In fact, that’s the origin of the word. From biblical times. Though I can agree to some extent, some, the bible is open to interpretation there are still a bunch of things the bible does or doesn’t say and still hard and fast rules the vast majority of Christians will all agree with, no matter how they interpret the bible otherwise. For instance, the ten commandments. No matter if you go to a Catholic church, a Baptist Church, an Evangelical church, everyone has pretty much all agreed that the 10 commandments are solid rules to live by. Even when you do find that the bible has a slightly different interpretation than others, you will not find something so wildly outlandish that it doesn’t make any sense. This is what canon is and why it exists. It’s rules that are written down, set in stone, and definitely words that define a story, ideology, whatever you want to call it.
Once canon is written it cannot be changed. This has been the rule since, well, the beginning of Goddamn time. I know I’ve already brought this up but apparently it needs to be repeated because the Hannibal fandom still doesn’t understand what canon is and what fan fiction is. It really doesn’t help that the creator of the show, Bryan Fuller, doesn’t seem to understand this either. We are talking about a guy who literally got fired from a show for demanding he be able to write fan fiction instead of follow the book adaptation, and not only is this ridiculous but he demanded the actual author allow this when the author was the producer on the show. If the creator of Hannibal is this freaking self entitled, all he does is pass it onto his fans who believe him but will defend him.
Case in point: Hannigram. It is not canon. Not by any stretch of the word. It’s not even open to interpretation given the actual facts of the show and the events that took place. You cannot possibly interpret Hannibal’s behavior towards Will as love or romance. It is factually abuse. End of story. If Bryan Fuller wanted this to be canon because he writes the canon he had all the power in the world to make it canon. He failed to do that and all the “Hannigram is canon” tweets in the universe will not change the content of the show or the scripts that he already wrote. That’s not how that works. Let’s look at the plot, just the plot, not speculation or emotion. Just straight up facts of the show as it pertains to Will Graham and Hannibal’s relationship. I’ll go in order as sort of a timeline to make it abundantly clear how bad Hannibal was to Will.
Hannibal messes up Will’s investigation into the Hobbs murders by calling Garret Jacob Hobbs to warn him that the FBI is coming for him. This triggers Hobbs into murdering his wife and attempting to murder Abigail.
Hannibal uses this situation against Will almost immediately because he notices how guilty Will feels about what happened to Abigail so he just makes it worse. On purpose. Using Abigail as a pawn to manipulate Will.
Hannibal recognizes that Will has Encephalitis. Instead of doing literally anything to help him as a friend or doctor, Hannibal lets the disease get worse and worse to use it to his advantage to manipulate Will even further.
Hannibal starts to plant evidence for his eventual crime of framing Will for murder.
Hannibal starts to sew seeds of doubt in the minds of the FBI and Will’s friends so when it finally gets to the end, no one will believe Will when he says he isn’t the copy cat and hasn’t murdered anyone. Hannibal continues to use Will’s undiagnosed condition against him.
This entire time Hannibal has been feeding Will (and several other people) human flesh without their knowledge.
Hannibal is successful with his set up and though Will eventually gets treatment for Encephalitis he ends up being framed for murder and going to prison.
This is just season one, okay? I didn’t even include episode 11 where Hannibal blatantly gaslights Will by telling him no one is there when Will brings Abel Gideon to his house. What exactly, in all of this, denotes anything more than sadistic emotional torture on Hannibal’s part? Where is the love, respect, and care this awesome, romantic, “murder husbands” relationship is about? Even if Hannibal “completely changed” and totally stopped being evil at this point, is this still not bad enough that Will should ever forgive him? Could? Especially after one of the murders Hannibal made Will think he committed was Abigail’s which basically destroyed him? Really? This is your romance? Okay, let’s move on to season two events…at least to the best of my knowledge.
Hannibal pretty much knows the whole time Will is in jail he didn’t do it but does very little of anything to help him, until he hires Matthew Brown to help.
Hannibal moves in on Alana and uses her for sex and an alibi to cover up other crimes that he intends to commit.
Hannibal also somehow has Abigail alive, not that it makes any sense, but the events of season three show he was brainwashing Abigail the entire time so this pertains to Will mostly because of how Will cared for Abigail. It’s straight up disrespectful towards him and his wishes.
Hannibal nearly kills Jack on a rampage during their fight in the kitchen, stabs Will with a linoleum knife, and then to top it all off he slits Abigail’s throat while Will watches as some sort of punishment or revenge.
Okay, so I’m willing to bet if this happened to someone or their friend in real life, at this point people would recognize the reality of the situation, namely being that this isn’t love. This is high level abuse and manipulation. Now, just to be clear, the specific shippers I am talking about are the shippers that insist this is romantic, Hannibal loved, cared for, and respected Will, and literally nothing is wrong with their relationship. I am not against toxic shipping or people shipping people DESPITE the abusive or dark nature of the ship. What I am against are people turning crap like this into romance to justify the ship. Calling this behavior LOVE and not abuse. That’s what I’m against. Ship these assholes all you want but at least admit it’s not healthy. Moving on to season three:
There’s at least one scene with Will panicked and depressed in Hannibal’s kitchen thinking he can’t live without him and not in a good way. This scene denotes massive signs of codependency which, once again, isn’t love. It’s the result of extreme emotional and physical abuse on Hannibal’s part.
Will chases Hannibal all over the world to find him and does but Hannibal attempts to cut his head open and eat his brain. Seems like he would have done it had he not been stopped by whatever deus ex machina plot device happened, think it was Chiyoh but whatever it was, trust me it was bullshit.
Hannibal and Will are brought back to Mason in the states and once again endure a bunch of torture and none of this is anything that would have happened had Hannibal not dragged Will into all of this in the first place.
They eventually escape after Hannibal kills basically everyone and takes Will home. Will tells Hannibal, point blank, he wants nothing to do with him anymore because Hannibal is bad. Very bad. Will openly recognizes this to be the case and states it. Hannibal gets upset and turns himself in just so “Will can always know where to find him” and if you wanna tell me that’s not the trademark of an emotional abuser you don’t know what emotional abuse is.
Will actually goes on to get married and loves his wife. He’s dragged back into working with Hannibal to catch another killer. Will seems to try to avoid bonding or getting near Hannibal at all costs but it’s too late. The codependent bond has already been formed, Hannibal gets into his head again.
Will, recognizing that this is a very bad situation but he’s never going to get away from it, decides to kill both Hannibal and himself instead of living this life of torment he so clearly hates. The end.
Now, if you read all of that and thought “Wow this is a beautiful romance story with loving caring devoted husbands” I got news for you, you’re insane. If you had a friend who went through all of this with a partner, you’d get them away from that partner and never let them go back. You also wouldn’t call it love or caring or anywhere near the sort, except these Hannigram shippers they do. They overly justify this behavior and call it romance. It’s sickening. It’s like they are willing to ignore 90% of the actual events of the show to insist that this ship is canon. It’s not.
Not once in the show did Hannibal and Will kiss. Not once in the show did they say “I love you”. Not once did the show establish they were actually a couple or even gay. Not once was there any factual on screen indication via dialogue or action that showed these two being sexually interested in each other or romantically linked. If these events weren’t shown or stated in the show then their relationship isn’t canon and a tweet doesn’t make it canon. All the Bryan Fuller tweets and fan service in the world can’t make it canon. What the idiot shippers bring up THE MOST is the scene where Will asks Bedelia if Hannibal loves him as if this is “the scene” where Will totally confesses his love to Hannibal. Except, that’s not what it means at all. Here’s what’s actually going on here:
If I think that a person I know has a crush on me, and I ask a friend of theirs “Does so and so love me” what indication does that give about my feelings towards that person? Did you guess none? Asking the simple question “Does X person love me” gives no indication as to how the person asking feels about the person they think loves them. None. Will never actually followed that by saying he loved Hannibal as well, and the “bride” comment the Fannibals site was clearly said in a dark sarcastic way, they remove the context to make it real. When you have to jump through this many hoops to say a ship is canon, then your Goddamn ship isn’t canon. Furthermore, Bedelia was a well established liar, manipulator, and former victim of Hannibal’s. WELL ESTABLISHED. There is literally nothing to say she actually knew what she was talking about or she wasn’t just fucking with Will. None. Because that’s all she did through the entire show was fucking lie and meddle with people, including her own patients which was shown in season three. Bedelia has no credibility on this matter because she was already established as a liar.
I do honestly wonder sometimes if I watched an entirely different show than these people. Alright, so even though I covered this before I will say it again and explain it a bit better this time. This is why Bryan Fuller tweeting “Hannigram is canon” doesn’t make it canon. Casual viewers of the show don’t follow his twitter or interviews. I know dozens of people who watched the show and only did that. Watched it. They didn’t go see what anyone had to say about it. They didn’t stalk Bryan Fuller on twitter. They didn’t read every fucking interview that ever happened. This means that what casual TV viewers saw was an absolutely NON-ROMANTIC NON-CANON relationship between Will and Hannibal. People saw what I listed. People saw abuse, manipulation, emotional anguish and torture. They weren’t cross checking with Fuller’s twitter and interviews to make sure their agenda was being pushed. This means that the only place this is canon is literally in fan fiction in the mind of Fuller and in the minds of the fan girls who believed him. It does not make this canon to the show and it certainly does not make the behavior romantic at all.
Even if, at the end of all this, after all Hannibal had done to Will, they both confessed love to each other why would anyone forgive that? Why would anyone call that romance? Why? When this was clearly a system of abuse designed to brainwash Will into codependency and anyone with two brain cells can see that. Why would you want this to represent “Gay love” why would you think this is good representation for gay couples? Why in the hell do you think this matters so much that a show that is literally about one man with power abusing another man be seen as GAY CANON. Why not choose a better more healthy relationship for your cause? What the fuck is the point of all of this? At the end of the day, Hannigram isn’t canon to the show. Hannigram is and always will be fan fiction. Since any “example” of love or romance anyone can give me boils down to nothing more than actual abuse, torture, and murder I’m going to say that it just doesn’t exist. If you want to WRONGLY BELIEVE that it’s canon you go ahead, but you’re still wrong. Opinions do not change facts no matter how badly they hurt your feelings.