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When the fox hears the rabbit scream he comes a-running... but not to help.
~ Mason Verger

Mason Verger is the main antagonist of the 2000 book and 2001 film Hannibal, the sequel to The Silence of the Lambs.

In the 2001 film, he was portrayed by the Academy Award nominated actor, Gary Oldman, who also played Norman Stansfield, Count Dracula, Drexl Spivey, Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg, Baron Ruber, General GrawlLord Shen, and Dreyfus.


Verger is the only surviving victim of Hannibal Lecter. He is the billionaire owner of a meat-packing company he inherited from his father, Molson; he is also a sadistic pedophile who enjoys raping and torturing children.

He also enjoys flavoring his martinis with children's tears, torturing animals and performing autoerotic asphyxiation. A self-proclaimed born-again Christian, he perverts his faith by committing such cruel acts as re-enacting the crucifixion of Jesus by nailing a migrant worker to a cross and leaving him to die.

He preserves his greatest cruelty for his twin sister Margot. When they were teenagers, he molested and raped her, biting a chunk out of her buttock and permanently dislocating her arm in the process. When their father disinherits her after she comes out as a lesbian, Mason uses the situation to extort sexual favors from her by threatening to cut her off financially if she disobeys him.

He is eventually arrested for "taking advantage" of children at a Christian camp that his father had started, but he uses his family's political connections to make sure he is sentenced to community service and counseling instead of prison time. Lecter is his court-appointed therapist; coincidentally, Lecter had years earlier treated Margot for the abuse that she suffered at Mason's hands, and told her that it would be therapeutic to kill her brother.

Mason invites Lecter to his pied a tierre for their first session. Lecter gives him amyl nitrate and asks him to demonstrate autoerotic asphyxiation. Deliriously high, Mason hangs himself with a noose and crashes into a mirror. Lecter picks up a shard of broken glass and tells Mason to peel off his own face with it. Mason once again complies, and Lecter feeds the pieces of Mason's face to his dogs; under Lecter's orders, Mason also eats his own nose. Finally, Lecter breaks Mason's neck with the noose and leaves him for dead. Mason survives, but is left a hideously disfigured quadriplegic.

After Lecter is arrested for committing a series of murders, Mason tries to make sure that he gets the death penalty, but Lecter is instead found insane and institutionalized. When Lecter escapes years later, Mason begins planning to feed him alive to a pack of omnivorous wild boars specially bred for this purpose. He becomes a hermit, rarely leaving his estate, Muskrat Farms, and has only his physician (and fellow sex offender) Cordell Doemling and Margot, who works as his bodyguard, for company. Margot hates Mason, but stays in his employ out of hope that he will donate sperm to her and her partner Judy, so they can conceive a child.

When Lecter is spotted in Italy, Mason tries to draw him out by discrediting the doctor's foil Clarice Starling, with help from her corrupt boss, Paul Krendler. He also bribes Italian detective Rinaldo Pazzi to bring Lecter in. Lecter kills Pazzi, however, and flees to the U.S. Mason's men eventually kidnap Lecter and Starling, and bring them to Muskrat Farms. Before Mason can enjoy his long-awaited revenge, however, Lecter escapes his bindings and convinces Margot to kill Mason. Margot sodomizes Mason with a cattle prod, causing him to ejaculate and provide her with sperm to make a baby, and then kills him by shoving his pet Moray eel down his throat.

Difference between novel and film

In the film adaptation of Hannibal, the character of Margot Verger is omitted, and Mason's death is altered. In the film, Lecter convinces Cordell to throw his hated boss into the boar pen where Lecter is intended to die, promising to take the blame. Cordell does so, and the boars eat Mason alive.

Hannibal (TV Series)

Main article: Mason Verger (TV)



In the flashbacks, Mason appeared as a young and slender man. However, the incident left him horribly disfigured, as a symbol of how evil the character is. Since then, he cannot walk or even stand and is left in a wheelchair.


Mason Verger was nothing more than a complete monster, a being of pure malevolence, and certainly the most evil Hannibal character (along Grutas). He is a highly remorseless and sadistic pervert who took immense joy in tormenting everyone around him, especially his sister Margot and the unfortunate children he has raped. However, his cruelty goes beyond this as he even tortures animals. He is shown to be masochistic as he performed self-asphyxation prior his disfigurement. For obvious reasons, he despises Hannibal and wishes above all to make him suffer.

He is extremely cunning and manipulative, as he successfully lured countless children when he was active and almost killed Hannibal, though the trust he put in his entourage was his biggest mistake as it ultimately backfired and led to the outcome he deserved.


           Hannibal Villains

Hannibal LecterFrancis Dolarhyde† • Buffalo Bill† • Mason Verger† • Rinaldo Pazzi† • Cordell Doemling† • Vladis Grutas† • Grutas' Group† (Petras Kolnas† • Zigmas Milko† • Enrikas Dortlich† • Bronys Grentz† • Kazys Porvik†) • Paul Momund† • Dieter

TV series
Hannibal LecterAlana BloomGarret Jacob Hobbs† • Abel Gideon† • Tobias Budge† • Randall Tier† • EvaClark IngramEldon StammetsElliot Buddish† • Tobias Budge† • Lawrence WellsKade PrurnellMason Verger† • Matteo Deogracias† • Tommaso† • Francis Dolarhyde