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Every day, I'll feed Mason some new part of you. Don't worry, doctor. You will always be cooked to perfection.
~ Cordell taunting Hannibal Lecter

Dr. Cordell Doemling is a supporting antagonist in the Thomas Harris' book Hannibal. He served as one of the secondary antagonist (alongside Paul Krendler) of the 2001 film, and the secondary antagonist in the first half of the third season of the NBC series Hannibal, in which he is portrayed as the caretaker and henchman of Mason Verger who helps Verger in his vendetta against Hannibal Lecter.

In the TV series, he was portrayed by Glenn Fleshler, who also portrayed Errol Childress in True Detective, Randall in Joker and voiced Timur in Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony. In the film, and was portrayed by Zeljko Ivanek, who also portrayed Andre Drazen in 24, Phillip Swann in Law & Order, and Mark Jennings in Tex.


Novel synopsis

In Thomas Harris' novel Hannibal, the characters are actually two people. Cordell is a minor antagonist. He is Mason Verger's personal physician, and a sex offender. (It is implied that he is a pedophile.) Cordell assists eagerly with Mason’s plans, and helps him torment children. Mason’s sister Margot kills him with a hammer as Lecter and Clarice Starling escape from Verger's farm.

Dr Doemling is a psychiatrist who offers insight into Dr Lecter’s psyche. He is often insulting and belittling of others such as Barney, Lecter’s former caregiver. However, Barney reminds Doemling that Lecter made him cry during a visit to the asylum, and offered an extremely harsh review.

Film Synopsis

In the 2001 film adaptation of the novel, Cordell is Mason Verger's doctor and much-abused right hand man. He reluctantly goes along with Verger's plan to kidnap Lecter and Starling. However, when Lecter suggests that Cordell kill Verger, he pushes his hated boss into the boar pen in which Lecter was intended to die, where Verger is devoured by wild boars.

TV series synopsis

Cordell Doemling is hired by Mason Verger to become his caretaker in place of his sister Margot. When Mason has Hannibal Lecter kidnapped along with Will Graham as part of his plot to get revenge against Lecter for disfiguring and paralyzing him, he orders Cordell to cut off Graham's face and graft it to Mason's own, and then over a period of time feed each part of Lecter to Mason. Cordell is all too happy to comply.

However, Alana Bloom releases Lecter in order to save Graham, and stops Cordell from cutting off Graham's face. Lecter then shoots and kills Cordell, cuts off his face, and places it over that of an unconscious Mason, who is later killed by Alana and Margot.


  • Unlike his film counterpart, who carried out the deed of murdering Mason after getting fed up with his abuse, the TV version is a sadist, who is all too happy to comply with Mason's schemes.
  • The original Cordell from the books is similar to his TV series counterpart. However, even the book version, who was fully on board with Mason and implied to be a child molester, never showed his TV series counterpart's level of sadism.
  • As the movie adaptation omitted Margot Verger, Cordell is instead merged with the character's role as he is mistreated by Mason and ends up being the one to kill him. The film Cordell is the only version to survive.


           HannibalTitle.png Villains

Hannibal LecterGarret Jacob Hobbs† • Abigail HobbsFrancis Dolarhyde† • Paul Krendler† • 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

Hannibal LecterFrancis Dolarhyde† • Paul Krendler† • 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

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

Paul Krendler