AVClub: Hannibal, as we learn, understands an important rule: You can never go home again.
One of the reasons I’ve always been attracted to Hannibal as a villain is because he was so mysterious that I never really wanted to know where he came from, what his origin story was. In all of his portrayals, he’s an otherworldly being, so advanced beyond the other characters. He’s so inherently evil that a lot of his power, a lot of what made him so scary, was based in the not knowing. If I didn’t know where he came from, what made him what he was, then it had to be worse than anything I could imagine. Not only that, I didn’t want his evil justified or explained away. (The same could be said for other great characters that aren’t evil at all. The Man With No Name immediately comes to mind). It’s one of the reasons I stayed away from Hannibal Rising, both author Thomas Harris’ prequel (and fourth novel featuring Hannibal) and the subsequent film version.