Archive of Our Own: A project of the OTW: “The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) is a nonprofit organization, established by fans in 2007, to serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms. We believe that fanworks are transformative and that transformative works are legitimate.”


Behaviorism: A school of psychology that seeks to understand motivation through observation of external factors, such as one’s actions, and applying the principles of conditioning. “[A] systematic approach to the understanding of human and animal behavior. It assumes that all behavior are either reflexes produced by a response to certain stimuli in the environment, or a consequence of that individual’s history, including especially reinforcement and punishment, together with the individual’s current motivational state and controlling stimuli.”


Canon: Refers to the “official” version of events/personality of a character, as shown in the source material. Something can be canon to a whole series (Hannibal Lecter is a cannibal is canon to every official version of the story) or just to one iteration (Will Graham met Hannibal Lecter during the Hobbs investigation is only canon to, I believe, the TV show; in reference to the books, you could say It’s canon that Graham met Lecter only once before he was committed to the BSHCI).

Connotation: “The associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning … the suggesting of an additional meaning for a word or expression, apart from its explicit meaning. Something suggested or implied by a word or thing, rather than being explicitly named or described …”


Denotation: “The explicit or direct meaning or set of meanings of a word or expression, as distinguished from the ideas or meanings associated with it or suggested by it; the association or set of associations that word usually elicits for most speakers of a language, as distinguished from those elicited for any individual speaker because of personal experience.



Fandom: In the widest sense, all fan communities; in the narrower sense, one can refer to the fandom of one particular series or film franchise.

Fanfiction: New stories based on the characters, setting, plot, etc. of a book, TV show, or film, which are written by anyone other than the original author of the source material.

Fanon: Fanon is like the fandom-wide version of a headcanon (see below). It’s something everyone kind of thinks or assumes, such as, oh, Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter are in love (before the third season, at least, this was fanon). Not everyone subscribes to the fanon, of course.



Hannibal (1999): The third Hannibal Lecter novel by Thomas Harris. Following Dr. Lecter’s escape in Silence of the Lambs, he is hunted worldwide by disfigured recluse Mason Verger, heir to the Verger meatpacking fortune. Meanwhile, Agent Starling is under fire at the FBI and Lecter’s interest in her has not waned as a free man. Spoilers for the ending: this book, the last chronologically in the series, concludes with Starling and Lecter becoming lovers and running away together.

Hannibal (2001): Film adaptation of 1999’s Hannibal. Stars Julianne Moore as Starling, Hopkins for a second time as Lecter, and Gary Oldman as Mason Verger sans face, looking really quite impressively gruesome in his practical effects makeup. The adaptation removes nearly everything to do with Margot Verger, Barney, and the last portion of the book in which Starling receives some custom Lecter-brand “therapy.” The film ends with Lecter escaping once again, without Starling. It’s alright, I guess.

Hannibal (2013-15): NBC three-season series developed by Bryan Fuller. Based on characters from Thomas Harris’s novel Red Dragon. Former homicide detective Will Graham, now out of the field and lecturing on behavioral science at Quantico, is reluctantly recruited by Agent Jack Crawford to find the Minnesota Shrike (Garrett Jacob Hobbs), who is abducting and murdering identical college-age girls across Minnesota. In an attempt to safeguard his “unstable” mental health, Crawford assigns esteemed psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter to monitor Graham’s state of mind.

Hannibal Rising (2006): The fourth and final, to date, Hannibal Lecter novel by Thomas Harris. Covers most of Lecter’s childhood and life as a young medical student in Paris, as well as his bizarre infatuation with his late uncle’s wife, Lady Murasaki. Lots of details about the mysterious Mischa Lecter, Hannibal’s deceased younger sister. Personally, a big fan.

Hannibal Rising (2007): Film adaptation of the 2006 Thomas Harris novel of the same name. In my opinion, criminally underrated. A bit long, and leaves some things out, but Harris wrote the screenplay and Gaspard Ulliel absolutely destroys as young Hannibal, just gnashing all the fucking scenery to shreds. And look at him, God. Directed by Peter Webber, also starring Gong Li and Rhys Ifans.

Hannigram: Also Hannigraham; I’m not sure why that spelling didn’t stick but I do occasionally see it. This is the ship name for Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham. People sometimes make up little names for their ships, like for a celebrity couple.

Headcanon: See, this is one of those words I didn’t have as a little baby internet dweller! A headcanon is your personal version of canon. Like you could say “I headcanon that Will Graham is secretly the world’s biggest Cher fan.” There’s no…actual canon support for that statement, but it’s just an idea that’s funny or cute or hot to you that you include in your personal version of Will Graham’s personality. See fanon.






Manhunter (1986): First film adaptation of 1981’s Red Dragon. Stars William Petersen as Will Graham, Brian Cox as “Lecktor,” and Tom Noonan (♥) as Francis “Red Dragon” Dolarhyde. Written and directed by Michael Mann. Aesthetically very pleasant, characterization is interesting, not sure why they decided to shoehorn Dolarhyde and Reba’s entire relationship into literally one date? Watch it, I really love how Cox plays up the “overgrown British schoolboy” thing (that scene where he’s chatting up a storm to Graham on the phone and just keeps babbling while Graham lets the receiver dangle…ha).


Non-binary: An umbrella term (for some), encompassing all genders other than Female and Male. There are many ways to be non-binary, but for myself, I move between male, female, and both at once. However, I am always non-binary.



Polyamory: A person who is poly may have more than one romantic and/or sexual partner at a time (not that they always do). There are nearly infinite ways to play this, all of which depend on communicating with your partner(s) and not being a dick. When everyone is playing nice, it’s perfect. When people don’t play nice, it’s a total disaster. Just like “regular” two-person relationships, only more so. An open relationship usually implies a mostly monogamous arrangement that allows for outside sexual encounters, while a poly relationship involves feelings and all that stuff. Very generally.



Red Dragon (1981): The first Hannibal Lecter novel by Thomas Harris. Follows FBI special investigator Will Graham as he comes out of retirement to use his expertise in behavioral profiling and uneasy relationship with brilliant incarcerated cannibal psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter to help catch serial killer the Tooth Fairy, a.k.a. Red Dragon (Francis Dolarhyde).

Red Dragon (2002): Second film adaptation of Red Dragon (1981) after 1986’s Manhunter. Stars Edward Norton as Will Graham and Anthony Hopkins reprising the role of Dr. Hannibal Lecter for the third time. Fairly close to plotline of the book but sort of boring, in my opinion (and Hopkins really hams it up, God love him). Directed by Brett Ratner.


Ship: A ship, which I assume is short for “relationship” (too lazy to investigate at the moment, I’ll get back to it when we’re talking about fandom history), is just two/three/etc. characters that you think would, basically, be super cute together, or at least have hot sex. You ship them together, you are a shipper, you are engaging in shipping; it’s first grade, Spongebob.

The Silence of the Lambs (1988): The second Hannibal Lecter novel by Thomas Harris. Trainee FBI agent Clarice Starling is assigned by Jack Crawford, head of the Behavioral Science Unit at Quantico, to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, hoping for assistance in the case of a new serial killer who “skins his humps,” Buffalo Bill, who has kidnapped a senator’s daughter.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Adaptation of the novel directed by Johnathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling and Anthony Hopkins in his first turn as Dr. Lecter. There’s not much I can say here that hasn’t been said: this is a straight-up fucking masterpiece. Only the third film of all time to win in all five top Academy Awards categories (after It Happened One Night and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest!!).

Stimming: Stimming is something autistic people and others with sensory differences do to self-stimulate a sense, in order to calm down, comfort themselves, or express emotions physically. A person might stim by rubbing a soft object, clicking a pen, flapping their arms/hands, using a weighted blanket or pad, chewing on a stim toy specially made for that purpose, rocking or bouncing, etc. Depending on the person, stimming may be involuntary or very difficult to stop.


Tumblr: It’s Tumblr, I don’t know. I guess it’s a “microblogging platform.” In practical terms, it’s sort of like you have your blog, and you can follow other people’s blogs and reply or reblog their posts from your feed. There’s a lot of fandom communities there.




“Wrath of the Lamb, The”: The final episode of season three of Hannibal. Frequently abbreviated TWotL or similar and used to denote the stopping point of canon and the beginning of “post-canon” or “post-series” fics.





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