Thomas Harris hates Hannibal Lector. No, I mean he fucking HATES Hannibal Lector. Hates the ever loving shit out of him. There’s no other explanation outside of mental illness. No, fuck you. It ain’t greed. Harris is a solid writer and Hannibal Lector books wouldn’t be a hard thing to write. He could write book after book after book of Hannibal eating his way across the world while a different cop narrowly misses catching him at the end of EVERY FUCKING BOOK and yet it would still be readable. It would have an audience. And an unending series of cinematic adaptations steadily declining in quality and budget. But this. There is no explanation for this. No explanation for the end of Hannibal. No explanation but that he has come to hate Hannibal Lector and keeps trying to write himself into a hole that no one will bother paying him to write himself out of.
Actually, the same thought occurred to me after reading Hannibal: Harris looked like he was trying to make Lecter so terrible that he'd never have to see his incarnation again.
Bonus: I'm not a big comments reader, but in the AICN comments section are two inspired bits. The first is simply, "Hannibal gotta eat." Nice to see the Rev. Al Sharpton getting some love. The second is,
Read between the lines in the author's end note in Hannibal. Harris hates the good doctor and doesn't want him living in his head. He couldn't get him to go away by giving him a 'happily ever after' with Starling, so now he's trying to pull a Terminator and kill him off as a child.
Harris's problem, however, is that he was on the leading edge--heck, he have even been the leading edge--of the torture-porn industry. And his efforts to wreck the franchise have only stoked demand.