This site has a review of the characters in the Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon. Since the first season of the TV series Hannibal is set four years before Red Dragon, this blog may contain SPOILERS for that show.

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Francis Dolarhyde aka "The Red Dragon" aka "The Tooth Fairy" Killer aka "Pilgrim"

Francis Dolarhyde was born in 1938, his father, Michael Trevane, had left his mother, Marian Dolarhyde, before she gave birth to him. He was born at City Hospital, Springfield, Missouri with a cleft palate and was thus unable to feed  in the normal way, but thanks to the intervention of maternity aide Prince Easter Mize he survived. A surgeon at City Hospital preformed an operation to close the clefts in his lip and decided, correctly, that repair of the infant's hard palate should wait until he was five. A local dentist created an obturator; which plugged the baby's palate and permitted him to feed without flooding his nose.
Marian abandoned the boy five days after his birth and he went to the Springfield Foundling Home for a year and a half and then to Morgan Lee Memorial Orphanage. He was not treated well at the orphanage and was there until he was five years old when his grandmother took custody of him.

His grandmother's motivations for adopting the boy were far from altruistic, she used the boy to harass and punish Marian, her daughter. Marian had married a lawyer, Howard Vogt, who was candidate for the state legislature, and her mother brought Francis to Marian's new husband's political rallies and explained who he was and where he came from.

Francis lived with his grandmother for several years, the first year he was there he wet the bed one night because he was afraid to go to the bathroom in the dark, and his grandmother threatened to castrate him with a sowing scissors if he ever did it again.

The cook of the household Queen Mother Bailey was very kind to Francis, and he found solace in her until he was eight years old. At that age he was playing "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours" with a local girl, when a chicken that Queen Mother Bailey had just beheaded with an axe ran around the corner and covered the girl's legs in blood. Queen Mother Bailey calmly told Francis that he needed to do something more suitable for children and that he needed to keep his clothes on. When Francis' grandmother discussed the matter with him, and threatened to castrate him with the sowing scissors again, he assumed that Queen Mother Bailey told her and began to distrust her.

This incident prompted Francis to get an axe and stand by his grandmother's bed to protect her from burglars, he love became so great for her than night. In an effort to be ready to use the axe, he beheaded a chicken that night, and a month later, he wrung another chicken's head off. Increasingly he had developed a form of stockholm syndrome with his grandmother.

His grandmother's health declined to such an extent that she had to be confined to a private nerve sanatorium, and Francis was taken by his mother to live with her and her new family. His was nine years old at this time. He had was given a room at the top of the servants' stairs, and introduced to his twelve year old stepbrother, Ned, and his stepsisters, Victoria and Margaret, who were thirteen nine years old. At the end of his first week living there Ned began to bully him and started by smashing his face into a mirror. After a month of living there, Francis was caught hanging Victoria's cat and was sent away.

In the coming years he continued a pattern of harming and killing pets, and at age seventeen he was caught entering the window of a woman's house for a purpose never established. He was given the choice of enlisting in the Army or facing criminal charges, and took the Army. After basic training he was sent to specialist school in darkroom operation and shipped to San Antonio, where he worked on medical-corps training films at Brooke Army Hospital.

Surgeons at Brooke took a professional interest in Francis and decided to operate on his face. They performed a Z-plasty on his nose, using ear cartilage to lengthen the columella, and repaired his lip with an Abbé flap procedure.

After his service was over, he reenlisted when he was 20 years old and was stationed at Seoul, Korea, developing film from the US Army spotter planes that flew over the thirty-eighth parallel in the late 1950's.

His grandmother was released from the sanatorium when he was 23 years old, and Francis asked for and received a hardship discharge two months before his scheduled separation date and went home to take care of her. He got a job at the Gateway Film Laboratory in St. Louis. Nine years later his grandmother died, and he saw his mother for the last time when she came to the funeral, and although she tried to phone him subsequently, he wouldn't answer her.

Francis worked out all the time and could have competed successfully in a regional body-building competition.

Nine years after his grandmother died  when Francis was 40, a change occurred in him. He noticed aging in his hands and a week later he saw an image of William Blake's "The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed [in] Sun". He became obsessed with the image, he carried the picture with him for days, photographed and enlarged it in the darkroom late at night. He posted the painting beside his mirror in the weight room and stared at it while he exercised. He went to Hong Kong for three months and had the dragon from the painting tattooed on his back, and got a set of dentures made that matches his grandmothers exactly. When he returned he began killing.

 "HANNIBAL" (Four years before)
It is unknown if Francis Dolarhyde will appear before Season 4. 

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