The Wendigo in “Hannibal”

Don’t ask me, where this idea came from, when I thought: Oh, yes, let me write an article about this creepy thing, the Wendigo.

I looked to my Funko-Wendigo and then I got inspired and words came and came and came…

What can one say about this monstrous being?

It appears in Will Graham’s dreams and hallucinations. The Wendigo appears as either a stag with raven feathers, or as a man with stag horns and charred skin – and it’s voiceless (but talks through its actions).

It’s such a symbolic, animalistic (in its stag form) and humanoid, horned abomination, which represents different aspects:

For example, it’s an arc symbol and stands for Hannibal’s evil influence and cannibalism. Then there is this play with “dark is evil” – in its humanoid form, the Wendigo has charred, blackened skin, as if to evoke Georgia’s charred corpse in season 1.

You can also talk of a “Glamour Failure”. It’s played with. On several occasions, Will has suddenly seen the Wendigo standing in Hannibal’s place. When Will sees the Wendigo, it represents his awareness of Hannibal’s monstrous nature.

When we see the stag, we can talk about something like a marvelous deer, a mysterious presence while being hard to reach for humans.

Overall the Wendigo – regardless of the series Hannibal – is known as this: In Algonquian folklore, people who indulge in cannibalism transform into wendigo monsters, making the creature an appropriate symbol for Hannibal.

The causes of this transformation and the Wendigo’s general appearance vary from region to region. Some lores have it that eating human flesh is what makes you turn into one, but in others you can become one just by coming across a Wendigo or by being possessed by the spirit of a Wendigo. Its most common description is a dreadfully skinny giant of ice devoid of lips and toes, or alternatively a hunchbacked creature with a deer’s skull for a head. The more it devours, the larger it grows, and thus it can never find enough food to satisfy its hunger. In the mythologies of several Amerindian Nations, the Wendigo can revive if you don’t destroy its body entirely, which may lead to “kill it with fire”.

Let’s see, if we will see our dark friend again, when #HannibalReturnsJune4 ;-)!


About Patricia 17 Articles
Known as “Pola” or “Polanetta” on her social networks, living in Germany. Studying social sciences, often speaking both in German and English, thanks to the international profile of her courses. Pola loves to read, write, and paint. For friends and anyone interested, she creates commissioned work. She also has a passion for pottery and soccer. Met Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Scott Thompson, Aaron Abrams, Katie Isabelle, Lara Jean Chorostecki, Kacey Rohl and Loretta Ramos. Pola’s big wish is to meet Bryan Fuller someday as well :).

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