Note: For the book and movie versions see Mason Verger.
Mason Verger is a supporting antagonist in the NBC series Hannibal, appearing as a villain in the second half of the second season and first half of the third season. He was played by Michael Pitt - who also portrayed Justin Pendleton in Murder By Numbers - in the second season and Joe Anderson in the third. He is described by showrunner Bryan Fuller as the Joker to Hannibal Lecter's Batman.
Mason was the heir to a fortune left to him by his father, Molson, who founded a successful meat packing company. From a young age, he took sadistic pleasure in torturing and sexually abusing those weaker than him, especially children. He took special pleasure in making children cry and flavoring his martinis with their tears. As a young man, he ran a private Christian camp for children, founded by his father, and "took advantage" of the campers, whom he described as "poor unfortunate castoff boys and girls, who would do anything for a candy bar."
He reserved the worst abuse for his twin sister Margot, whom he molested and degraded for years, at one point sexually assaulting her with a chocolate bar. Margot was helpless to fight back because Mason controlled the family money; their father had disinherited her after she came out as a lesbian, so if she ever wanted to see her share of the Verger fortune, she would have to do as Mason told her.
Mason was eventually arrested for abusing children, but he used his family's political connections to have the charges dropped. Instead of going to prison, he was sentenced to community service and court-mandated therapy. He got the doctor involved in "something unethical" to make sure he was pronounced cured.
Margot eventually snapped and tried, unsuccessfully, to kill Mason. He sent her to therapy with Lecter, who told her it would be cathartic to kill her brother. Mason told her he wanted to have a "Verger baby", the implication being that he wanted to father his own sister's child. Desperate, Margot slept with Will Graham and got pregnant. Mason retaliated by getting her into a car accident and having her womb surgically removed.
Mason went into therapy with Lecter to find out what Margot was saying about him. Lecter took an instant dislike to Mason, considering him "discourteous". Mason grew suspicious of Lecter and tried to feed him and Graham to his prize pigs. Lecter escaped, however, and kidnapped Mason. He fed Mason a hallucinogenic drug cocktail and told him to cut off pieces of his own face and feed them to Graham's dogs. Mason, in a state of drug-induced euphoria, did as Lecter told him, and also obeyed Lecter's command to cut off his own nose and eat it. Lecter then broke Mason's neck with his bare hands, rendering Mason a horribly disfigured quadriplegic.
After Lecter was exposed as a serial killer and fled to Italy, Mason put a bounty on his head. He enlisted Lecter's ex-lover, Alana Bloom, to help him track Lecter down, and hired a corrupt Italian police detective named Pazzi to capture him. Mason's plans were briefly foiled when Lecter killed Pazzi, but he bribed other Italian police officers to capture Lecter and Graham and bring them to his Baltimore estate, Muskrat Farms.
Mason planned to torture Lecter to death and eat his flesh, and then have Graham's face cut off and grafted onto his own. However, Lecter killed Mason's right-hand man Cordell Doemling and escaped in time to prevent the surgery. Lecter then showed Margot how to "milk" the unconscious Mason's prostate for the sperm she would need to conceive a child with Alana, with whom she was in a relationship. When Mason regained consciousness, he tried to kill Alana, but Margot intervened and held him underwater in his pet Moray eel's tank; the eel then slithered down Mason's throat and suffocated him.
- "Kō No Mono"
- Unlike the novel and film canon, Mason Verger's death precedes the events of Red Dragon rather than after it.