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Abel Gideon

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It's like remembering something from your childhood but you're not sure if it's your memory or a friend's memory. And you realize, sadly, it's just some photo of an old book.
~ Gideon to Freddie Lounds

Abel Gideon is a recurring antagonist in television series Hannibal.

He is portrayed by Eddie Izzard, who played Professor Bedlam and voiced Miles Axlerod.



A pathological narcissist with psychotic episodes, Gideon was convicted in the first degree of the murders of his wife and her family and was institutionalised in Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. After killing a nurse he begins taking credit for a series of murders perpetrated by the "Chesapeake Ripper", who hasn't committed any (known) murders in two years, the same number of years Gideon has been incarcerated. Dr. Frederick Chilton was already confident that Gideon was the Ripper and had planted the thought in Gideon's mind during a session, implying that Gideon is not the Ripper but believes himself to be. He found Frederick responsible for the nurse he had killed. However, he takes responsibility for his wife's death.

Gideon's revenge


Abel Gideon, as he kills a doctor.

After the events of Entrée, Gideon apparently came to his senses somewhat and realized that he was not the Ripper after all and that Dr. Chilton had manipulated him. No longer believing in himself being the Ripper, Gideon experienced a deep identity crisis. During transport, he broke free and killed the three people escorting him and escaped, intending to take revenge on all of the doctors who ever probed or manipulated his mind in any way, including Dr. Alana Bloom. He calls Freddie Lounds pretending to be one of his own previous doctors, Dr. Carruthers, and when the two meet for a supposed interview at Dr. Carruthers' office, Gideon, who has already killed Carruthers, takes Lounds hostage. He forces her to write an article about him and also watch and "assist" while he was "operating" on Dr. Chilton, saying that it's only fair that, after Chilton got inside his head, he gets inside Chilton's belly. Gideon removes a number of Chilton's less-than-vital organs and has Lounds keep him alive by pumping a respirator.

As he prepares to escape from the scene as the police arrive, he gets held at gunpoint by Will Graham, who is feverish and sees Gideon as Garret Jacob Hobbs, and Will forces him to drive to Hannibal Lecter's house. When Will pleas to Hannibal to tell him whether the "Hobbs" he was seeing was real, Hannibal lies by saying there was no one there at all, rather than telling him the man was actually Gideon. Will shortly after has a seizure and passes out, and Hannibal takes the opportunity to tell Gideon where to find Alana Bloom. Gideon is gone by the time Will wakes up, and Hannibal tells Will he's worried about Alana because Gideon was on the loose. Apparently intending to use Will to kill Gideon, Hannibal sets Will's gun down on the table and pretends as if he intends to check up on Alana himself, and after he leaves the room to "grab his jacket", Will takes the gun and leaves. Will soon catches up to Gideon standing outside Alana's house, and he shoots him. While he was believed to be dead, series creator Bryan Fuller confirmed on the Kevin Pollak Chat Show that the character had survived his wounds.

Attempted Murder of Hannibal Lecter

Gideon reprised his role in Season 2. Will convinces Chilton to reinstate him so they can catch Hannibal. He was put into the cell of Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane once again, just next to Will Graham's cell. He overheard Will's plot to kill Hannibal Lecter through proxy, Matthew Brown, and he told Alana Bloom about it. Alana and Jack saved Hannibal from hanging and arrested Brown.

Murder of Sheldon Isley

Days after Hannibal kills Sheldon Isley, an officer of Baltimore government, Gideon was beat by hospital guards for what he said about the dead nurse and was sent to hospital; it is later revealed that his back was broken. Hannibal kidnapped Gideon and killed the guard. Lecter then had Gideon for dinner (literally) with Gideon himself being the guest of honor. One of Gideon's legs have been canniblized by them both. Lecter later killed him and frames Chilton for the murder. When Chilton discovered Gideon, he died of heart failure and had his arms and legs removed.

Known Victims

  • 2011: His wife and her entire family
  • 2013:
    • Nurse Shell (blinded, then stabbed and impaled with numerous objects in a Chesapeake Ripper copycat murder)
    • The driver, guard and orderly who transported him (killed them and hung their organs from treebranches)
    • Dr. Paul Carruthers (drained his blood, cut his throat and pulled out his tongue to form a Colombian necktie)
    • Frederick Chilton (operated on him while alive and removed several of his internal organs; survived)


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