At the end of the day, Bryan Fuller‘s three-season series “Hannibal” was a love story between Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), the series finale culminating in what seemed like an inevitable fate for both characters. Hannibal and Will consummate their relationship by killing the Red Dragon, and then plunging off a cliff together.
Of course, Fuller had plans for Hannibal and Will beyond the episode that ultimately became the show’s finale, but unless/until “Hannibal” is someday revived, it’s probably safe to say that Hannibal and Will died together on that fateful night. Their fates were intertwined from the moment they met, and it only makes sense that they went out in a blaze of togetherness.
As Samantha McLaren wrote in the article The Queer Legacy of Hannibal, “While countless shows shamelessly queerbait then ridicule their fans for reading into the subtext, Hannibal drags its subtext so far out of the closet that by the third season, it’s undeniably just text. Before long, the leads have basically adopted a child together, and Lecter is reminding Graham on the regular that he loves him. A love ballad plays over their final scene together.”
As it turns out, that final moment between Hannibal and Will was at one point going to be even more romantic than it ended up being. Speaking with Vulture this week, Mads Mikkelsen explains that the season three finale almost ended with a kiss between the two.
“We actually did a couple of takes of the very last scene where we were looking at each other, and it was a little too obvious — it was almost a kiss,” Mikkelsen explains. “Me and Hugh were like, ‘Why not? We have a couple of takes. Let’s do one. It might be cool.’”
He continues, “We never went for the kiss. Bryan loved it, but he was like, ‘Too much, guys. It’s too obvious.’ And he was absolutely right. I think we were just stuck on that. And a lot of the Fannibals wanted it as well. It’s been a subject of homoerotic fan art. And for good reason, because they are so united as twins in many ways.
“But we never wanted it to be a physical thing. It was something much bigger than that.”