What Makes Something Canon – Let’s Talk Bookish

Yes I’m a terrible blogger, I know. I had 2 weeks of freedom, and I have not drafted anything, or posted consistently, or even really planned out what to post. I just have the vague idea that I need to do my 2020 wrap ups, some reviews, some fun posts, and also some baking so I can do a post on that, but I’m not actually doing anything. Oh, and the comments that I need to respond to. I started working on that, but now I just have tabs upon tabs with things I have to comment on or reply to.

I think I’m in a somewhat blogging slump. I just don’t have the motivation to write more than necessary right now.

There. My confession is out. Lol, I need to get a grip on things, but I don’t feel like pushing myself to. It’s a weird and annoying feeling.

Anyway, it’s Friday, and that means we’re back with another Let’s Talk Bookish discussion. Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by me and Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: What Makes Something Canon?

This was Dani’s topic for this month, and I gotta be honest, I didn’t know what canon meant. And the internet is surprisingly not being so helpful, but I think I get the gist of it – at least enough to write today’s post. And hopefully I’ll learn more from everyone else’s post!

Is something canon even if it never appears in the actual work?

I guess, no. Based on the definition I’ve seen, canon is the original actual work, so if it doesn’t appear there, then it can’t be.

Sometimes though, it’s possible that a fan theory or idea is so widely accepted, it’s pretty much canon. An example of something that’s not canon would be a relationship between two characters in a movie who don’t have a relationship in the book. That would probably just be super annoying and not accepted.

Can an author tweet something and it becomes retroactively canon?

I suppose so. It’s the author that wrote the original work, so if off-page, something happened and the author asserts that it’s true, then I think they know their book and world best. So I’d say it is canon.

After a little bit of research and reading this article (I think it has Harry Potter spoilers if you want to avoid that), I kind of get what the question is referring to. And I have to agree with the article, it’s the author’s world and story. If they tweet that yes indeed, Jack actually survived an explosion that we were made to believe killed him in the book, then yeah, I’d accept it as part of the original world because it’s the author telling you that it’s real.

When a company like Disney buys something and decides to declare previously canon things non-canon is that to be respected?

No. I wouldn’t respect that because they didn’t create the original world or story. If it was canon before, then they have zero right to say that it’s not canon anymore. What, they’re just going to change the entire original story to fit the one they want to tell? I wouldn’t respect that at all. The original is the original, and it’s all been established as true by the original creators. If they want to add to it, then no problem, but they can’t say that the original isn’t true anymore.

Also, if they do add to the original story, I don’t know if I would consider that addition canon. It’s like someone writing a really good fan fiction that can pretty much be a book in the series, but it’s not written by the original author. So no, even if Disney or someone else were to add to the original story, I wouldn’t consider that canon either. It’s more like a spin-off or a continuation by someone else. It can be just as good or even better, but it’s not canon.

If events differ in different adaptations which events are the “true” canon?

The original first story.

Book to movie adaptations are a perfect example of this. I don’t think I’ll ever accept something that happens in a movie, but didn’t happen in the book as the original true version because it isn’t. The book came first, so whatever happens in it is the basis by which I’d judge the movie. What happened in the book was the author’s true and original intention, so if the adaptation differs, it wouldn’t be canon.

However, I can see how this can be tricky at times. If I watch the movie before reading the book, then I’ll be judging the book based on the movie. In definition, technically the book is the true canon, but it’d feel like the movie is instead. So, it kind of depends on how you’d personally define it.

This Week’s Participants:

Dani @ Literary Lion | Dini @ Dini Panda Reads | Raji @ Worlds Unlike Our Own

Sammie @ The Bookwyrm’s Den

I feel like I just repeated myself a few hundred times. It’s like I don’t even know how to write posts anymore 🤦🏾‍♀️

What do you think makes something canon? Can authors officially add more to the story later on (like in a tweet or a post)? Do you have any examples of things that you consider canon, but later additions to it as not canon? How do you get out of a blogging slump? Share your thoughts in the comments below?


11 thoughts on “What Makes Something Canon – Let’s Talk Bookish

  1. Hey!!!! I’m finally back into blogging and congratulations on how much your blog has grown!!! Your blog is definitely one of my favourites and I’m so glad everything’s been going good for you blogging-wise!! I hope everything is well and going good!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think your view on the author owning the world and story is really interesting! I don’t share your beliefs there but I can definitely see why you feel that way. I do completely agree with you that the original form of the story is always the most “true” canon versus any adaptation.

    Make sure you don’t push yourself too hard! Blogging can be really draining and sometimes you need a break, there’s no shame in that.


  3. Great post! I have to admit that I also didn’t know what canon really was and my brain was too foggy for me to actually process what I found on the interwebs to write anything coherent so I decided to go with week one’s topic 😂 I did learn a lot from reading your post though and I absolutely agree with what you wrote about something being canon. I was just reading Briana’s comment above and I do also agree that with authors tweeting new information about their worlds that never appeared anywhere before, where do you draw the line with what’s considered canon and not? Now that I actually get the topic, it’s a really interesting question! 🙂

    As for getting out of a slump, what usually works for me is taking a break and not making myself feel guilty for feeling slumpish. If I’ve missed too many comments previously, I will just like the comments and respond to the more recent ones (especially if I’ve missed weeks worth) because otherwise then I feel like I’ll never catchup and fall even further into a slump due to stress feels. This probably won’t help but take it a day at a time I guess?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. For me what makes something canon is if I like it, lol

    I actually have seen one adaptation where they added a relationship that wasn’t there in the book, but the relationship never really went anywhere in the adaptation, and it was more like they COULD have been romantic if not for their differing goals and worldviews. So I’m not sure if that’s quite the same.


    1. Anyway I didn’t finish that comment, I meant to say that I actually really liked what they did with the relationship in the adaptation. I agree that stuff like that could easily get really cheesy or uncomfortable in other cases though


  5. I was thinking in participating in this topic, but I have no idea what canon means, either. Though, if you’ve got the gist of it correct, then now I think I have a good idea! It absolutely makes sense that if canon has to do with just the original, anything outside of it shouldn’t be considered canon.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Usually I defer to the author, but the author tweeting is where things get weird. I’d want to say that, in some moderation, I’m inclined to believe that whatever the author says is canon, but i some authors (well, Rowling…) get a bit out of hand. What does one do with an author tweeting 100 different facts about their world and characters that never appear in any actual text? (Or official film or whatever?)

    Liked by 1 person

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