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

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

He is portrayed by Gary Oldman in the 2001 film and by Michael Pitt (Season 2) and Joe Anderson (Season 3) in the NBC televsion series as a recurring antagonist.


Verger is the only surviving victim of Hannibal Lecter, who was high on drugs when Hannibal convinced him to simultaneously hang himself and cut off most of his own face with a knife ("It seemed like a good idea at the time") leaving him crippled and horrifically deformed. He is a highly sadistic pedophile who enjoys watching children suffer, and even after being crippled by Lecter he continues to torment children emotionally. Verger also drinks martinis with children's tears in them. Before his injuries, he practised other paraphilias such as zoosadism, sadomasochism and auto-erotic asphyxiation.

Verger is obsessed with getting revenge on Hannibal Lecter, and during the story he tries to lure him into a trap by kidnapping Clarice Starling, working with Clarice's personal enemy Paul Krendler. In the book, he is killed at the end by his long-suffering and disturbed sister Margot (who doesn't appear in the movie). In the film, Hannibal convinces Verger's assistant Cordell to turn on his abusive and ungrateful master and push him into a pit of vicious boars he bred to kill, promising Cordell that he himself will take the blame. Convinced, Cordell pushes Verger into the pen before leaving, and Verger is last seen being torn apart and eaten by the omnivorous boars.

Hannibal (TV Series)

Main article: Mason Verger (TV)


  • Due to his heartless and twisted nature, he is widlely and highly considered to be one of the worst, most dangerous and most disgusting villains of Hannibal Lecter series (besides Vladis Grutas only). Perhaps, Mason proves that Hannibal Lecter is not that vile compared to Verger.