‘Hannibal’ Season 3: Why Did Lecter Really Give Himself Up?

Hannibal Lecter gave himself up to the FBI to keep Will Graham in his life — but why?

It’s been nearly a week since I watched “Digestivo” (the final episode of Hannibal Season 3’s first arc) and I still can’t wrap my head around that ending. It’s not that I’m surprised that Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) gave himself up — it always seemed like a given that that would be the only way he’d ever be caught. It’s that his exact motive remains a mystery to me.

Obviously he wants to remain in Will’s life (and vice versa), but is it because he truly can’t stand the thought of possibly never seeing Will again, or because he wants to mess with him? While most Hannigram shippers will probably hope for the former, I’m not so sure.

If Hannibal did give himself up out of his own twisted brand of love for Will, it seems as though he might regret that decision. In the trailer for the Red Dragon arc (starting tonight), we see Hannibal speaking with Francis Dolarhyde (Richard Armitage) over the phone and telling him to “kill them all.”

Those who have read the books know this conversation originally took place via newspaper ads, and the “them all” refers to Will, his wife Molly (Nina Arianda), and her young son. If Bryan Fuller has Hannibal siccing Dolarhyde on Will, could it mean Hannibal has finally given up on Will?

Doubtful. If anything, Hannibal is probably hoping Dolarhyde will take Molly and the kid out of the equation so he’ll have Will all to himself again.

Tune into the remaining Hannibal Season 3 episodes Saturdays at 10 p.m. on NBC and tell me your thoughts on Hannibal’s surrender in the comments!