I never thought, I would watch any episode of Hannibal. And now? After 13 episodes I’m really sorry…
But I still think, the story wouldn’t have gripped me without the Dragon.
The Great Red Dragon. A man, really attractive, but shy. With a deformed lip and a deformed soul and behavior. A loaner.
A dangerous mixture. As he is not grounded in his social life, has no friends, he is victim to his own phantasy.
He imagines to become a Dragon and therewith mighty. He, who has been abused in his childhood, he imagines to have power over other people by being The Red Dragon.
He is unable to see, that the Dragon abuses him, as his grandma did. The Dragon requests the most horrible things from him. He has to transform whole families by murdering them. Just to satisfy The Dragon. To make the Dragon pass his power on to him. A power, that perhaps is symbolized to Francis by his grandmother. She had power over him. Enough power to abuse him. He makes himself similar to grandma by having the same dentures as she had. He bites his victims with his replica of grandma’s dentures.
Such a tragic story. But it’s an everyday story. Not all Francis Dolarhydes of this world become a dragon and start to kill people. But some do.
Usually we just get to know them after they committed some heavy crime. Then we are terribly shocked and wonder how that could happen. How could it be, that their surrounding didn’t notice the bomb he (it’s mostly men) is.
In this story we see how that happens. None of his workmates except Reeba took any serious notice of Francis. They all accept his wish, to be alone. And symbolized by Reeba we see, that taking an interest doesn’t help anything. She can’t stop him. Love can’t stop him.
The only person he opens himself to is Hannibal. A man as crazy as he is himself. He hopes for understanding und support. But even that fails. With the known ending.
From now on I will always remember Francis Dolarhyde when my newspaper tries to tell me, that this guy, who murdered one or several people, who raped other people without any mercy and sympathy, was a shy and polite person with little contact to his surrounding.
And I will temember Francis Dolarhyde when I read about abused children, about children who have to witness traumatic events. Some of them may not be able to deal with that and may grow to Dragons.
That I will remember Francis Dolarhyde is to thank to Richard Armitage. He did an extraordinary heartbreaking job, portraying The Red Dragon. He managed to play Francis in the beginning without any signs of the dragon, that would later grow in him. And as the dragon grew, he was able to leave Francis behind completely. Only Reeba and her soup could bring back a glimpse of Francis. Really well done!
In combination with Bryan Fuller’s huge talent to make things look epic on the TV screen it’s even possible to look at it openly. Except one scene, that I still can’t look at, he enables me to see things as they are. Horribly, deadly and not to be changed.
As Hannibal is Hannibal and stays Hannibal, The Great Red Dragon shares that fate. Only that he definitely is dead now. We don’t know about Hannibal. He might rise again and stay alive.
Sherlock showed us, how that works on TV…