In the scene that goes after Hannibal and Alana’s brief encounter when she wakes up from being drugged, we see Hannibal leaving the bedroom and a Japanese samurai armour which is a clear reference to Lady Murasaki Shikibu, his aunt (she was mentioned on episode 1 of season 2).
Lady Murasaki Shikibu was a real character in Japanese history and the first woman writer in history. She was the author of Genji Monogatari, a book about Prince Genji’s romantic adventures with his many lovers but also a critic about the courtesan life at those times. She lived during the Heian period (794 to 1185). 
The armor in the screencap I took is of the Kozane dō gusoku style, built with individual scales. This type of armor belongs to the Azuchi-Momoyama period in Japanese history (1573–1603). It belongs to her ancestor Date Masamune (1567–1636). In the movie, the armor used is a mix between the one mentioned above and Tosei dō gusoku from the Edo period (1603–1868), built with iron plates. It shouldn’t be surprising that the NBC production took this as a reference. Another tiny thing you should pay attention to is is the mask, a reference to Hannibal’s iconic one. The one used in the NBC version doesn’t match the real ones used with the armor but, oh well, let’s call it artistic licence. 
In the books, the armor is a representation of power and utter respect, one that Hannibal oversteps by using the sword to kill the butcher who was rude to Lady Murasaki, considered to be Hannibal’s first love (second would be Clarice). The symbolism of having the armor right outside his bedroom speaks of a respect towards the warrior and the pain caused by his aunt, someone who rejected him in the most important moment of his life. The item, therefore, represents a crucial moment in the man’s life, and it’s too important to be put on display in his most intimate place, his bedroom. For such, it remains at the entrance, as a reminder of who his heart truly belonged to and never forget who he is. 
Basically, he’s stating that “anyone can enter this place, but the one I gave my heart to is guarding it.” So no, nobody who has slept with Hannibal holds any significance to him. When he leaves the room immediately after seeing Alana, there’s a zoom in that armor and a few seconds with the lens fixed on it, as if it was demanding us respect on its presence. The guardian sees everything that happens in that room, but it remains there to protect Hannibal’s heart, locked under a thousand keys. That armor is also the doctor as well, rigid, impermeable, with lots of battles upon its shoulders and also concealing who he truly is. It reminds us that someone was there first (Lady Murasaki) and that no one will be ever able to peek under its scales to reach him. 


(by shenyang@tokyo)


by  小梨怜