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|“||I am the Dragon. And you call me insane. You are privy to a great becoming, but you recognize nothing. To me, you are a slug in the sun. You are an ant in the afterbirth. It is your nature to do one thing correctly. Before me, you rightly tremble. But, fear is not what you owe me. YOU OWE ME AWE.||„|
|~ Francis Dolarhyde's most famous quote|
Francis Dolarhyde is a fictional serial killer and the main antagonist of both the 1981 novel and 2002 film Red Dragon, the 1986 film Manhunter, and the recurring antagonist of the third and final season of Hannibal.
He was portrayed by Tom Noonan - who also played The Ripper in Last Action Hero - in Manhunter, by Ralph Fiennes - who also played Amon Goeth in Schindler's List, Rameses in The Prince of Egypt, Lord Victor Quartermaine in DreamWorks' Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series and Hades in Clash of the Titans - in Red Dragon, and by Richard Armitage - who also played Heinz Kruger in Captain America: The First Avenger - in the TV series Hannibal.
Dolarhyde is tall, muscular, and very strong. His body is covered in tattoos, most noticeably a tattoo of William Blake's painting The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed With the Sun on his back. He has a scar on his lip from having corrective surgery to fix the cleft palate he was born with.
Dolarhyde is a serial killer nicknamed "The Tooth-Fairy" due to his tendency to bite his victims' bodies, the uncommon size and sharpness of his teeth and other apparent oral fixations. He refers to his other self as "The Great Red Dragon" after William Blake's painting "The Great Red Dragon and the Women Clothed with the Sun".
In The Novel and Films
Dolarhyde was born in Springfield, Missouri on June 14, 1938 with a cleft lip and palate. His mother, Marian Dolarhyde, had Francis with her ex-husband Michael Trevane, a broke, alcoholic, Irish musician. Francis was abandoned by his mother and cared for in an orphanage until the age of five, until Michael learned about his existence and told Marian’s mother about it, shortly before Michael’s death in a car wreck. He was then taken in by his maternal grandmother, living at the family’s mansion which also served as a nursing home for elderly people. It was here that Grandmother Dolarhyde subjected him to severe emotional and physical abuse, often threatening to cut his penis off with a pair of scissors. He began torturing animals at a young age to vent his anger over the abuse. Meanwhile, Marian remarried to a successful lawyer, Howard Vogt, and had three stepchildren. After Francis’ grandmother became afflicted with dementia, the nursing home was shut down and Dolarhyde was turned over to the care of his estranged mother and her husband in St.Louis; he was further abused by this family, including having his face smashed into a mirror by his stepbrother Ned Vogt, and is sent back to the orphanage after being caught hanging his stepsister's cat. After being caught breaking into a house at aged 17, he enlisted in the United States Army. While on his tour in Japan and neighboring countries, he learns how to develop films and receives cosmetic surgery for his cleft palate. In 1961, Grandmother is released from the mental hospital, so Francis asks for and receives a hardship discharge. He then gets a job with the Gateway Corp., eventually becoming the production manager in their home movies division, all the while he and Grandmother lived in the old mansion; while a hired nurse watched Grandmother during the day when Francis worked, he would then watch her at night, until Grandmother’s death in 1970.
Dolarhyde is a bodybuilder and exceptionally strong; it is mentioned in the novel that even in his forties, Dolarhyde could have successfully competed in regional bodybuilding competitions.
Beginning of the Killings
Dolarhyde began his killings by murdering two families within a month after discovering The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun, which gave voice to his alternate personality. He committed both crimes on or near a full moon; it is hinted in the novel that he killed before that, however. He chooses his victims through the home movies that he edits as a film processing technician. He believed that by killing people, or "transforming" them as he calls it, he can fully "become" the Dragon. On a trip to Hong Kong, he had a large dragon tattooed across his back and had two sets of false teeth made; one of them for his usual life, the other distorted and razor sharp for his killings, based on the mold of his grandmother's teeth.
Dolarhyde reads The National Tattler, a tabloid which runs sensationalistic stories, collecting clippings about his idol Hannibal Lecter’s arrest and trial, about Graham, and his own murders. He writes Lecter a “fan letter” and sends it to the mental institution where the doctor is imprisoned. Lecter writes him back, and includes a coded reference to Graham’s home address.
In an attempt to provoke Dolarhyde out of hiding, Graham interviews Freddy Lounds of The Tattler, in which he refers to "The Tooth-Fairy" as impotent, homosexual and possibly the product of incest, as well as a series of false statements from an "offended" Lecter. The interview outrages Dolarhyde, who kidnaps Lounds, intimidates him into recanting his article on tape, and then bites his tongue out. Dolarhyde returns to Chicago and sets Lounds on fire, and rolls him down a incline into The Tattler's parking garage.
Falling in Love with Reba
Dolarhyde falls in love with a blind co-worker named Reba McClane. At first the relationship quells his murderous impulses, but eventually his alter ego orders him to kill her. He flies to New York and devours the Dragon painting, believing it would destroy the Dragon, but it only made his alternate personality angrier. When he returns to see Reba, he sees her and co-worker Ralph Mandy together. This angered him and so he shot Mandy in the head and used chloroform on Reba. He brings her to his home and sets it on fire and prepares to shot Reba with a shotgun but is not able to do so and apparently shoots himself in the head.
Final Showdown with Graham and Death
It turns out that he actually shot the corpse of Mandy to fake his death and he arrived at William Graham's home in Marathon, Florida. He held Graham's son, Josh, hostage and prepared to "change" the boy in front of Graham. Noticing that Josh had wet himself, Graham used the same insults as Dolarhyde's grandmother used to make him go into a fit of rage. He severely disfigured Graham's face with the glass, but was then shot four times in the head by Graham's wife, Molly.
- Main article: Francis Dolarhyde (TV)
- Jacobi family in Birmingham, seemed sloppy but it was his first time and was panicky.
- Leeds family in Atlanta, went more smoothly and he molested Mrs. Leeds with the other corpses sitting up.
- Freddy Lounds, because of the article that portrayed him as a homosexual and an inbred child.
- Ralph Mandy, for kissing Reba and to stage his own death.
Comparisons to Real Killers
- David Berkowitz also known as the Son of Sam: Like Dolarhyde, Berkowitz believed he was becoming a new being and preferred to be called the Son of Sam by the media, rather then the .44 Caliber Killer. Berkowitz would often send letters to the media and police describing himself and his transformation, a similar fashion to Dolarhyde.
- Dennis Rader also known as the BTK Killer: Dolarhyde was known to target families and savagely kill every member of said family. One of BTKs (Bind Torture Kill) most famous victims were the Otero Family, where he killed four members of the family, with only one survivor.