Hannibal Extended Universe

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Tropes and genres
Synonym(s)HEU, Hannigram Extended Universe, Hannigram rarepairs
Related tropes/genresHannigram, Adjacent ships
Related articles on Fanlore.

Hannibal Extended Universe is a subgenre of Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham fanworks, that pair characters other than Hannibal and Will portrayed by the same actors.

On Ao3, these works can be found in the canon tag, Hugh Dancy/Mads Mikkelsen Character Combinations, but many writers choose to use the freeform Hannibal Extended Universe tag instead. (The freeform tag is synned to the canon tag, which means all works tagged HEU are in the canon tag)

Within the Hannibal fandom, a broader definition of the HEU can also be applied. The Hannibal Extended Universe may also refer to any fanwork containing at least one character portrayed by an actor who appeared in Hannibal, or a character from Hannibal.[1]



  • Nigel/Adam Raki (Spacedogs)
  • Galahad/Tristan
  • Elias/Adam Towers
  • Le Chiffre/Adam Towers

Fan Comments

A reddit user explains the Hannibal Extended Universe and wonders if other fandoms also have extended universes:

I’m currently reading for the Hannibal TV fandom, and I noticed an interesting trend of fanfictions. Under the tag of usually Hannibal Extended Universe, there are over 700 crossover fanfictions for the movie Charlie Countryman and another movie called Adam. Mads Mikkelsen, the actor who plays Hannibal, stars as Nigel in Charlie Countryman and Hugh Dancy, who plays Will Graham, stars as Adam in Adam. Almost all these fics ship them together. Writers and fans call this ship Spacedogs — for reasons that are apparent when you know the plots of the movies. I have never seen a fandom delve so deeply into the extended universe of the actors without involving RPF. I was just wondering if anyone else has noted a similar trend in any other fandom.

Star Wars has a thing called "adjacent ships" (I don't think this is the most accurate terminology, but whatever, that's what they call it) I think it started because of all the SNL skits Adam Driver is in. The whole Matt the Radar Technician thing.[2]

On the development of the original Hannibal Extended Universe tag following the reporting of mistagged fic:

The thing with Hannibal fandom–Hannigram shippers, to be specific–is that we like to ship all of Hugh’s characters from various shows and movies with all of Mads’ characters. Some of these rare pairs are very well known–Spacedogs, Tristhad, Valhalla Enchanted–to the point where they have their own established sub-fandoms. There are many other ships, as well, though they aren’t as common. Still, we’ll literally ship them all with each other. Fannibals don’t care what you write in there.

As with Madancy (the RPF in question), we tag all these rare pairs with Hannibal (TV), because none of these ships would exist had it not been for Hannibal and Hannigram. But, considering so many Madancy fics had been reported, many of us started talking about what we would do regarding the rare pair fics.

After much discussion on twitter and some great input from fannibals here on tumblr (we had no idea so many people didn’t like the cross-tagging until the issue came up!), the concept of the Hannibal Extended Universe was formed. It’s a branch fandom, much like C6D is for Due South. (I had never even heard of another giant rare pair fandom before.)

So now, we’re trying to spread the word and get all the rare pair fics retagged to list the fandom as Hannibal Extended Universe instead of Hannibal (TV). I have high hopes that it will eventually become a categorized and filterable fandom! It’s currently stalled at 23 pages, and I know there are more rare pair fics that haven’t been switched. Baby steps, though.

I hope that explained it! <3 [3]

The original Hannibal Extended Universe tag was in the Fandom category and never canonized in accordance with AO3 tag wrangling policy. More of the tagging discussion on Tumblr can be found here and here. Fail_fandomanon also discussed the tagging situation here.

Example Fanworks







  1. ^ Hannibal-Extended-Universe FAQ on tumblr, accessed 7 June 2023
  2. ^ Original post and comment on 'Fandom extending out of original universe' on /r/fanfiction, July 01 2020
  3. ^ I have a question about the hannibal fic issue, Archived version, an ask answered by shiphitsthefan, 25 February 2018. As of 24 March 2022, this tumblr post has 130 notes.