Hannibal Lecter/Clarice Starling

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Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Clarice Starling
Alternative name(s): Clannibal
Gender category: het
Fandom: The Silence of the Lambs
Canonical?: Yes
Prevalence: Common
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Hannibal/Clarice is the pairing of cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter and FBI profiler Clarice Starling from Thomas Harris's book series. Both characters appeared in the 1991 adaptation of Harris's book The Silence of the Lambs



These characters appear in two Thomas Harris books: Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal.


Hannibal and Clarice appeared in two movie adaptations: The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Hannibal (2001). Hannibal was portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in both films. Clarice was portrayed by Jodie Foster and Julianne Moore.


This article or section needs expansion.

More fandom history needed

Controversial Ending

By the time the novel Hannibal was released many fans had joined the fandom due to the adaptation of the first novel. In the second novel, the pairing of Hannibal and Clarice became canon but some fans were unhappy with the controversial ending, and the abusive nature of their relationship. Others saw this as an accurate representation of Hannibal's twisted love for Clarice.

And nothing upsets me more when I hear people tear down the Hannibal novel. [...] Perhaps the question I ask most people when they say that they hated the end of Hannibal is: Did you expect it to end in any other way? Did you really see Clarice leading a happy ending life? Did you really see Hannibal losing his life or going back into custody? Sound questions, ones that have made some consider for a moment that perhaps the ending of the novel was a “logical conclusion” but still something that went unsatisfied by many readers. Heroes don’t always win.[1]

Prior to the release of the movie, there was much speculation about whether or not Hannibal would follow through with the novel's storyline. Jodie Foster passed on the chance to reprise her role due to what she saw as a disturbing ending.[2] Creators were open about their plans to rewrite the ending and this was disappointing for fans of the novels. Some fans believed the final scenes of the film did not go far enough. Even fans who had issues with the original ending were disappointed that it had been scrapped entirely and rewritten.

Hannibal TV Series and Clannibal fans

The premiere of NBC's Hannibal raised hopes among fans of this pairing that Clarice would appear in future seasons and they might get a live action adaptation of the Hannibal novel after all. However NBC did not have the rights to Clarice's character although creators remained hopeful that she may be able to join the cast in future seasons.[3] Some fans were unhappy with the queer interpretation of Hannibal by show fans, as they believed Hannibal/Clarice was the endgame pairing.

This lead to some wank between Clannibal and Hannigram fans, and much discussion about how Clannibal could fit into the storyline of the show. Some fans viewed the show as a fanfiction created by Bryan Fuller and were able to separate it from their own accepted canon.[4] Some fans believed Clarice was on the show, in so far as Will Graham had been given much of her storyline. Others viewed elements of Miriam Lass and Bedelia du Maruier's storylines as homage to Clarice, and perhaps foreshadowing her appearance. While some still believed that Clannibal was still possible even if Hannigram was canon.

Besides, if by some miracle we get a season four and up? Then I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Hannibal, as he does in the books, will never physically harm Clarice. And that every time he considers playing with her mind, or manipulating her, he will think back to Will.
Hannigram, therefore, will not have been “in vain.” It will not have been betrayed by Clannibal. It will all fit together beautifully, like one of those damn teacups we keep dropping around here.[5]

As the probability of Hannigram becoming canon became more likely, the pairing of Clannigram (Clarice/Hannibal/Will Graham) became to grow in popularity.

Common Tropes & Storylines

  • Future fics set following the end of Hannibal often depict the two living together while on the run. In some works they may bump into acquaintances from their old lives or be discovered in another way. There is a surprising amount of domestic future fics in this pairing.
  • Works set between Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, often depict the two as still been in contact despite Hannibal been a wanted man and Clarice working for the FBI. This can take the form of phone calls, letters or unexpected visits from Hannibal. In some works, Hannibal is stalking Clarice and steps in to protect her.
  • AUs often take the form of alternative first meetings.
  • Canon mash-up fics where the events of the Hannibal TV series and the Hannibal books/movies are set in the same Universe. This may include Clannigram works.


Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.


  • Perspective by Zircon (fan), Clarice, on the trail of another serial killer, gets some unexpected help from an old friend. Set three years after Silence of the lambs (2001)
  • Four Months by apckrfan, Four months after his escape, Lecter returns to the US to be closer to Clarice. But can he stay away from her entirely? (2001)
  • For Old Times Sake by Hannah7876, Crawford tracks down Will Graham to help him find Starling when she goes missing from Muskrat Farm. (2002)
  • Siren sweet & Harpy shrill by Natasha von Lecter, A disgraced Clarice is used as bait to lure Dr. Lecter. Set after Hannibal the movie.. (2003)
  • Paper Trails by kalabangsilver, Ardelia Mapp is on a mission - to save Starling from the clutches of Hannibal Lecter. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Starling and her companion have their own problems, least of which are a few connecting paper trails... (2008)
  • No more a savage life by lovinghannibal, Immediately follows the events of the movie Hannibal. Clarice is accused of having a relationship with Hannibal and aiding his escape. Haunted by the events of their last meeting, both must come to terms with their feelings. He is certain, but will she see through the bars of his plight and ache for him? (2012)



TV Series Vids with Dreamcast Clarice

Archives & Fannish Links


  1. In defense of Hannibal, excerpt from Tumblr post by agentmstarling, posted 2013. Accessed 6 May 2018.
  2. Why Julianne took on Hannibal article on the dailymail.co.uk.
  3. 'Hannibal’ Producers Explain When Clarice Starling Enters Show, Who Survived Season 2 posted on thewrap.com, 24 July 2014. Accessed 7 May 2018.
  4. Response to Tumblr ask by HannibalLectorMD, 2015. Access 7 May 2018.
  5. Comment from Tumblr post by teachustobestill, 28 July 2015. Accessed 7 May 2018.