Hannibal will always want to be close to Will. He sees a great potential in Will as this pure human being, and he’s seduced by Will’s purity. He’s attracted to it, and he’s also very eager to conquer it in some way. […] Hannibal’s absolutely on a journey of self-exploration, and he’s fascinated by his fascination with Will. He is curious about this change that’s come over him. It’s sort of like somebody who is falling in love for the first time and had never felt that was actually a possibility for them. That’s a fresh, unexplored territory for Hannibal that is exciting to him and interesting to him. Maybe his ultimate downfall is his attraction and affection for Will Graham.
— Bryan Fuller, TV Guide