The Social and Technical Anatomy of Digital Bodies
Edited By Jaime Banks
Chapter Fourteen: Headcanon & Lore: Owning the Narrative (John Carter McKnight)
| 137 →
Headcanon & Lore
Owning the Narrative
JOHN CARTER MCKNIGHT
Have you ever imagined what happens to characters after the credits roll or the book ends? Or thought of characters being as in a relationship, or with a background, that wasn’t spelled out on screen or in the text? If so, you’ve built a headcanon—a personal narrative to expand on or modify what the author(s) of a story have established. Headcanons can be as subtle as seeing the villain in a sympathetic light, or as profound as imagining a character is a person of color, or gay, to relate better to them and their story; this process “can make the difference between whether or not someone connects with a work” (Asher-Perrin, para. 9). Headcanons can be shared, influencing how we see the original work, and can even influence official creators as they fill in and expand on stories in games and related media.
EXPLICATING HEADCANON AND LORE
The term “canon” originally meant the group of texts accepted by authorities as part of Biblical scripture, and came to refer to a group of foundational texts of Western literature (the things teachers make you read in grade school). In popular culture use, it refers to the parts of a collection of stories that are considered by the copyright holders to have “actually happened” in the fictional universe. Canonical stories are often called...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.