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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fandom School (1st period): Headcanon

Fandom school has now come full-circle, so it's time to revisit the first class in Fandom School: canon. If you haven't read it already, I suggest you go back and check out my first post about canon. Now it's time to talk about something very fun called "headcanon". Headcanon is canon for a particular fandom that is not official, but is technically possible. There are a few types:

1. Headcanon that explains a confusing detail:
For example, *SPOILER ALERT SKIP THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T FINISHED SEASON 2 OF SHERLOCK* how did Sherlock survive the fall?
  • You can believe one of the crazy theories shown at the beginning of season 3 episode 1
  • You can believe what Sherlock tells Anderson
  • You can try to come up with something from this hilarious video (the explanation starts at 2:43):
  • Or, my favorite headcanon is that the Doctor saved Sherlock.

2. Headcanon that explains how an actor from one show/movie appears in another show/movie
For example, Jonathan Aris: how is Anderson in Merlin?
Personally, I think Anderson got touched by a Weeping Angel after The Empty Hearse.

3. Headcanon that is just fun, "behind-the-scenes" sort of stuff
For example...

It should be noted that headcanon is NOT the same thing as canon. Canon is something that explicitly happens in the fandom, and is an accepted fact. Headcanon is something made up by a fan that is accepted as true by one or more fans.

Headcanon has a few levels of plausibility:
1. It is reasonable and even has subtext and various details that could support it, but is still not explicitly shown as canon.
2. It has no evidence for or against it, so it is possible.
3. It would require a significant change in the fictional universe to be plausible (e.g., Narnia doesn't exist in the Tangled universe, but it could)
4. It specifically goes against a canon event (as Adam Savage would say, "I reject your reality and substitute my own.")

No matter what type it is or how plausible it is, headcanon makes the fandom experience a lot more fun.