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  • The New Unofficial Canon Rule-Let's Talk

    Right so it looks like that the Buffyverse will never return to live action stuff again. And to be honest with you, i think Buffy will become a massive comic book franchise and the television show will only be a small fragment in Buffyverse history (My belief)
    So well I was thinking, 'Okay this could work, buffy becoming a massive comic book franchise' But then something hit me, canon is a massive part of what makes the Buffyverse what it is. I mean it creates an official story. Well, if we start getting loads of series' and miniseries and start arguing over what is canon and what is not, much like the new Aftermath fro Angel series. Well, hoe do we do it. This idea came to me when I heard that they are doing a Drusilla mini-series.

    So I think the new rule should go like this. Currently canon that stands include:

    Tales of the Vampires
    Tales of the Slayers
    The Origin
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    Angel
    Buffy Season Eight
    Angel: After The Fall
    Spike: After The Fall
    Angel: Aftermath
    Fray

    (Some people say asylum and shadow puppets as well, but not me, ill wait till we get official confirmation)

    So I believe that when new comic series are released we should all automatically recognise them as canon, but only, and only if these comic series/miniseries are set after the end of Buffy or Angel. But it only works like this.

    If they release a new Buffy comic that is set after chosen but before not fade away that is classed as canon. But if they release a new angel comic after chosen but before not fade away that is not canon.

    So any Buffy comic that is set after Chosen from now on should be classed as canon.
    Any Angel comic set after Not Fade Away is canon from now on.
    When it comes to comics that are set after chosen and before not fade away it has to be a buffy comic to be canon and if it has a character from both series, for instance Drusilla then we can class it as canon as long as it does not interfere with Angel series 5.

    For instance they are releasing a new Drusilla miniseries. If this is set after Not Fade Away then it is canon. If they set it before Chosen and Not Fade Away then it is not canon.

    I believe they are doing an Angel comic set in WWI well this comic is not canon, because it is set before Chosen and Not fade Away and could possibly mess up stuff Angel has said in the series.

    Understand?

    Thought please.

  • #2
    But....why do we have to classify something as "officially canon". Can't we just choose individually if we want to accept that story? It's like, "You may hate it, but YOU MUST CONSIDER THIS PART OF THE VERSE YOU LOVE EVEN IF YOU HATE IT." I think that totally detracts from the whole verse, if something you hate is made canon by someone else (even if it is the creator). I don't think it really matters what is canon or not. I think if you want to consider it canon, do that. If not, do that! Whatever makes the verse more enjoyable, do that. That's what the verse is for. Right?

    Just my stance on the whole "canon" issue.

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    • #3
      To me canon is important, and Joss believes it as well. It's great to have side stories, but it is nice to have an official line between what is just a story and what is official.

      I know what you are saying, but i made this rule up so people who accept canon know what to accept, i know its unofficial. But you said if someone doesnt like a story then they should not be made to think it is canon. But like what if someone doesn't like an episode of Buffy or Angel or even a complete series. I hate series 5 of Buffy, i still regard it as canon. Because it is.

      Canon is one of those topics where people are divided over it. Some people love it, overs think it is pointless. Im one of the people who love it. I think it should be up to the creators to make something canon but with my rule it just says that everything after Not Fade Away is canon.
      Last edited by -beardo-; 19-02-09, 01:18 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by -beardo- View Post
        To me canon is important, and Joss believes it as well. It's great to have side stories, but it is nice to have an official line between what is just a story and what is official.

        I know what you are saying, but i made this rule up so people who accept canon know what to accept, i know its unofficial. But you said if someone doesnt like a story then they should not be made to think it is canon. But like what if someone doesn't like an episode of Buffy or Angel or even a complete series. I hate series 5 of Buffy, i still regard it as canon. Because it is.

        Canon is one of those topics where people are divided over it. Some people love it, overs think it is pointless. Im one of the people who love it. I think it should be up to the creators to make something canon but with my rule it just says that everything after Not Fade Away is canon.
        But, if this canon rule you made up is unofficial, doesn't this NOT draw a fine line of what is official and not?

        Well, when you use the television show analogy, my opinion is basically, fine, don't accept Season 5 as canon. But...do you accept Season 6 and 7 as canon? If so, then your opinion of what is the complete show doesn't make any sense and, IMO, detracts from your enjoyment. If you ONLY like Seasons 1-4 and want to only consider them canon, so be it!

        Yeah, to be quite honest, I think "canon" is pretty pointless. I mean, television is made to make you think and for your enjoyment. The idea of creators deciding what is "canon", IMO, takes away from BOTH of those. They are telling you what to think, and telling you that even if you absolutely hate something (aka the comics in my case) but love the rest (aka the shows in my case), you must add the comics as canon, therein making the whole verse a worse place in their opinion. I know I'm talking in circles and am pretty confusing, so I'll leave it at that

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        • #5
          I see what you are saying. My rule sort of omits what i believe but basically we are going to be getting alot of series thrown at us e.g. Drusilla series etc. So it is important that there is a guideline, i mean come on we dont even have any confirmation that Aftermath is canon from Joss yet. So i think my rule should only be a guideline if things are not ever considered in interviews buy Joss etc. I mean if we follow my rule then we have a guideline, and if something doesnt work with my rule, then it doesnt, but we can still use it as a guideline.

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          • #6
            I think canon comics need to have a link to the creator, Joss Whedon. That's why After the Fall was considered canon at all and that's why Season 8 was declared to be canon. The creator, Whedon, said it was canon and dat's it. The highest authority spoke and there we go.

            Season 8 and After the Fall are canon. Anything else I don't view as canon continuations really. Aftermath resides in an uncertain terrain for me canon-wise. I'm waiting to see how it plays out. At best, I'm going to accept it as a good story (hopefully great) but canon is determined by Whedon's involvement or his tapping someone to be the "showrunner" of ANGEL's side of the pond.

            I definitely don't view Shadow Puppets and Asylum as canon. They weren't created as such so no, they aren't canon in my opinion. At best, they were an excellent audition of Lynch's talent that got him the gig for writing After the Fall. But it's similar to the deleted scenes where Amy Acker auditioned for her part where Wes and Gunn are drugged-up-in-love Shakespeare-style with Fred - it got her the job of playing Fred, but that scene isn't canon. Although that scene has a better case for being canon than Shadow Puppets and Asylum do because it actually was created and produced by the people who made canon AtS.
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            • #7
              I view canon as determined by Whedon. If he views Season 8 as the next chapter in Buffy's story, then it is. You can choose not to follow it, but that doesn't make it less official. Some fans stopped watching after the high school years, some after Buffy died in the Gift - it doesn't make the seasons that followed less real in the canon sense, though to fans it doesn't fit their own personal canon. So there's two canons here: official canon and personal canon. Official canon is what is universally known to be true and it is universal because it's determined by one voice.

              The one rule that does encompass everything that truly is canon is Whedon's involvement and what he views as canon. Everything else if determined by the fans is just too diverse to actually be considered a rule of canon.

              The way I view this, the historical basis of the word "canon" revolves around how it applies to Christian scripture and canon law. The books that are accepted as canon. And canon is determined by authority and is ultimately determined by the greatest authority present. In the Catholic Church, that's the Pope. In the Buffyverse, that's Joss Whedon.

              And there's a hierarchy of authority over the story with Whedon at the top followed by his showrunners: Noxon, Minear, Greenwalt, Fury, and his TV show writers. And all these people who follow after Whedon might disagree with Whedon but still accede that he is the greater authority on the topic.
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              • #8
                For me, it all comes back to intellectual property. I assume that Joss has final approval over anything new that's produced using the characters and settings from 'Buffy' or 'Angel'. He has to either write it himself, or give his permission to someone else to write it.

                For something to be canon, then, it has to be something Joss is happy about including in every future story he writes. If it's not canon, he's free to ignore it.

                Oz went to Tibet and learned how to restrain himself from changing into a werewolf, but sometimes loses control if he's angry = canon. It was shown in 'New Moon Rising'. Therefore when Oz shows up again in Season 8, then he will still have that ability... or at least if he doesn't, there needs to be an explanation given.

                While in Tibet, Oz teamed up with a friendly female shapechanging demon named Jinan, whose last words to him before he left to go back to America were "I... I wish you weren't leaving, but I really am happy for you. Just don't forget me, okay?" = not canon. It was in the non-canonical Dark Horse 'Oz' comic written by Chris Golden. So when he writes more stories about Oz, Joss is entirely free to assume Jinan never existed and something entirely different happened in Tibet. He can even write flashbacks about it set in S4, and they will become canon.


                tl;dr = it's canon if Joss says it is.

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                • #9
                  Blasterboy, the problem with totally individual canon is... what *happened*? When listing Buffy's best or worst relationships, does Satsu count, or not? That's just one example. All discussion becomes moot when someone can just say something doesn't count, didn't "really" happen to the characters. What about discounting parts of the televised seasons?
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                    Blasterboy, the problem with totally individual canon is... what *happened*? When listing Buffy's best or worst relationships, does Satsu count, or not? That's just one example. All discussion becomes moot when someone can just say something doesn't count, didn't "really" happen to the characters. What about discounting parts of the televised seasons?
                    That really strikes at the heart of the issue. Individual canon is by definition *not* canon because its only recognized by one person. So it's what the viewer most enjoys and in some ways it bears truth for the viewer. But canon is the agreed upon, universal truth or as close to a universally shared truth of judgment. Canon is shared, not individual.

                    This brings me back to the theme of The Chain and Season 8 regarding the subjectivity of reality. To a degree, truth will always vary depending on the individual's experience and this is 'true' for viewers. But canon isn't meant to be determined by the individual viewer, but by the highest authority over the subject that is recognized by a wider audience. Saying the viewer determines the truth of the story feels like a backwards flip of the reality and control of the storyteller. Now there certainly is a give and take between the creator and the audience, and the audience may see nuances that the creator unintentionally created. But the creator is still in control of the story and is the authority that will be recognized as possessing inside knowledge of how it all works.

                    Individual canon is incapable of being widely accepted because it would possess infinite variations and contradictions. Now, the individual viewer can say that don't like this part or they choose to skip this part (like how I like to skip watching episodes) but that doesn't make it not canon.

                    I think I'd prefer if people just said they didn't like Season 8 or AtF rather than saying they don't view it as canon. Odd that I never considered the word canon until the comics were created and I accepted Season 8 as the canon continuation. Yet it seems that the people who don't accept it don't like it or the medium, but I fail to see what basis that has on its canon status. Quality is subjective and while I find Season 8 great, I know that others do not. Many people hate Season 7 and find the quality sub-par to seasons past, but the lower quality doesn't make it less canon.

                    The word canon is irrevocably linked to an authoritative figure who can pronounce works as canon. Saying *this* is what really happened and connecting longterm character progression.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BlasterBoy View Post
                      They are telling you what to think, and telling you that even if you absolutely hate something (aka the comics in my case) but love the rest (aka the shows in my case), you must add the comics as canon, therein making the whole verse a worse place in their opinion.
                      But you're not being forced to watch it, so it doesn't have to make the verse terrible for you. Someone can deal with the fact season eight is canon and just choose to not continue the story after 'Chosen' just like as others have pointed out, people did after 'Graduation Day' or 'The Gift.'

                      As others have said, individual canon poses a whole lot of problems. On messages boards such as this people like to talk about the show, it wouldn't function if everybody just adopted their own individual canon and included side comics from years back or the novels ect Because where's the authority in what actually happened to the character and what didn't? "Official canon" is important in telling us what Buffy actually has been through/is going through so people can actually talk about the series in any real structured manner. It'd be a mess if people all had their own ideas of what happened it'd just be a whole lot of "that never happened!" "yes it did, Joss said I can make canon whatever I want it to be!" We could never discuss 'Buffy' if every single person had their own version of what actually happens with her.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                        But you're not being forced to watch it, so it doesn't have to make the verse terrible for you. Someone can deal with the fact season eight is canon and just choose to not continue the story after 'Chosen' just like as others have pointed out, people did after 'Graduation Day' or 'The Gift.'

                        As others have said, individual canon poses a whole lot of problems. On messages boards such as this people like to talk about the show, it wouldn't function if everybody just adopted their own individual canon and included side comics from years back or the novels ect Because where's the authority in what actually happened to the character and what didn't? "Official canon" is important in telling us what Buffy actually has been through/is going through so people can actually talk about the series in any real structured manner. It'd be a mess if people all had their own ideas of what happened it'd just be a whole lot of "that never happened!" "yes it did, Joss said I can make canon whatever I want it to be!" We could never discuss 'Buffy' if every single person had their own version of what actually happens with her.
                        Yes, but (for me at least) having a bad thing attached to a good thing detracts from the good thing, if that makes any sense at all

                        It's the difference between watching something as you know it as a whole and watching it as it airs. An example? Someone deciding to not consider the end of Season 3 and Season 4 of Bones canon makes sense to me, as that is where one of the main characters is revealed....

                        Spoiler:
                        to be a killer...


                        and knowing that could detach from their enjoyment watching it again from the beginning. Knowing that this person is doing this or their development and story ends like this could really get rid of some of the enjoyment of the series. Of course, this is probably just me being an idiot

                        And vampmogs, I get what you are saying about not having to watch it, but I know members on other boards like Buffy-Boards attacking people for not reading Season 8 or something and saying that they aren't "true fans" because they aren't understanding the full story and can't structure full opinions of characters legitimately because they don't read the comics. Again, this is from OTHER BOARDS, but it was kind of ridiculous IMO.

                        So, all in all? I'm fine with people considering anything canon, to be honest, and in my case, I just consider the television shows canon

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BlasterBoy View Post
                          Yes, but (for me at least) having a bad thing attached to a good thing detracts from the good thing, if that makes any sense at all
                          Yeah but if your not reading it how much can it really spoil the televised seasons for you!

                          It's the difference between watching something as you know it as a whole and watching it as it airs. An example? Someone deciding to not consider the end of Season 3 and Season 4 of Bones canon makes sense to me, as that is where one of the main characters is revealed....
                          I think that's just where we're totally different, if someone claimed it didn't happen when I was discussing the characters with them I'd get frustrated! I remember on Darkhorse when I was talking about Angel and Spike and how they're technically murderers and then a fan was like "in my eyes Spike isn't a murderer so it doesn't matter" which just frustrated the hell outta me. I don't get the point of watching something if your going to blatantly ignore parts of a characters history, a story ect. But like I said that's just me, I just don't really get why people watch something if they're not prepared to take what they get..

                          Season eight's different because you can refuse to read it before it comes out but if you started reading it and kept reading it, only choosing to say "this issue didn't happen because I don't like what the character did so it didn't happen ok!" I'd be confused and irritated if I was trying to talk to that person and they were telling me I was wrong.

                          And vampmogs, I get what you are saying about not having to watch it, but I know members on other boards like Buffy-Boards attacking people for not reading Season 8 or something and saying that they aren't "true fans" because they aren't understanding the full story and can't structure full opinions of characters legitimately because they don't read the comics. Again, this is from OTHER BOARDS, but it was kind of ridiculous IMO.
                          Well yeah I find that ridiculous as well. I'm a massive fan of season eight but I'm not going to hate on someone who's never read it, for never reading it. That's their choice. Deep down I think it's the massive fan in me that made me get hold of the books, I was actually worried and sceptical when I first heard it was coming out, and then fell in love when I got them. However, I wouldn't claim someone else isn't as big of a fan as me if they don't do the same thing. Fans just want different things out of the series, of course I think you're missing out if you don't read it because I happen to like it but it's also perfectly fine and *understandable* if people decided to end their time with Buffy at 'Chosen' because they felt it was a good ending.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                            I think that's just where we're totally different, if someone claimed it didn't happen when I was discussing the characters with them I'd get frustrated! I remember on Darkhorse when I was talking about Angel and Spike and how they're technically murderers and then a fan was like "in my eyes Spike isn't a murderer so it doesn't matter" which just frustrated the hell outta me. I don't get the point of watching something if your going to blatantly ignore parts of a characters history, a story ect. But like I said that's just me, I just don't really get why people watch something if they're not prepared to take what they get..

                            Season eight's different because you can refuse to read it before it comes out but if you started reading it and kept reading it, only choosing to say "this issue didn't happen because I don't like what the character did so it didn't happen ok!" I'd be confused and irritated if I was trying to talk to that person and they were telling me I was wrong.

                            Well yeah I find that ridiculous as well. I'm a massive fan of season eight but I'm not going to hate on someone who's never read it, for never reading it. That's their choice. Deep down I think it's the massive fan in me that made me get hold of the books, I was actually worried and sceptical when I first heard it was coming out, and then fell in love when I got them. However, I wouldn't claim someone else isn't as big of a fan as me if they don't do the same thing. Fans just want different things out of the series, of course I think you're missing out if you don't read it because I happen to like it but it's also perfectly fine and *understandable* if people decided to end their time with Buffy at 'Chosen' because they felt it was a good ending.
                            Okay, in the end, I think I pretty much agree with you I really don't pay attention to canon and don't care what's "canon" and what's not as long as I can just have the story end with the television shows

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                            • #15
                              I think individualistic canon is a necessity. And it doesn't even have to be whole seasons or works of writing.

                              Sometimes just a sentence or look will be so out of line with how you perceive a character. Rather than have everything you love about a character be forever fractured, why not just pretend it didn't exist or was just a mistake regretted by the character or person that conceived it?

                              The fact is that being alive means that we are dynamic, ever changing and not uniform. We're a million different things pulling at each other and sometimes even the weaker impulses break through and act. Humans, characters, and stories are all alive.

                              Individualistic canon is about forgiveness. That you can accept that a person or entity is not perfect but you still accept them. In a more humanistic comparison, can I be friends with someone who smokes? Yes. Is it something I believe in? No. But the fact that they smoke is not ALL of who they are but just one aspect. And something that they do not around me and I do not encourage. In truth, it is a part of them, but I can choose to only see the other aspects of them.

                              I think it is important to choose what aspects you like and then focus upon them to encourage a change in the whole to what you perceive as good. To accept everything at face value without any desire to change what you don't like reflects one's futility to stand up for what you believe. Forever stuck in the machine rather than trying improve the world.

                              Canon itself is ever evolving. What was canon in S1 and S2 is not canon now. To say that canon can change but we must remain in its same resonance is unfair.

                              We fall in love with a show/character when the canon comes closest to our own values. When canon moves away from us, we have a choice. Are we changed and found new reason? Or are original values still worth fighting for? Neither is right or wrong, they are own individual choices.

                              To slam a fan for not 100% believing in canon is unfair to that person for having values different to that of the person who defines canon. It creates exclusivity to the canon of Now. And obscures the values that canon once emphasized.

                              There is a canon. But being a fan isn't about mindlessly succumbing to canon's every change. Being a fan is at least as equally about holding in high regard the canon of the past and forgiving the parts that clash with your own personal ideals.

                              Lydia made the punch!

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                              • #16
                                In case anyone was confused, since this was the same exact topic in the Angel Comics Thread, I've merged the two threads.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Ehlwyen View Post
                                  I think it is important to choose what aspects you like and then focus upon them to encourage a change in the whole to what you perceive as good. To accept everything at face value without any desire to change what you don't like reflects one's futility to stand up for what you believe. Forever stuck in the machine rather than trying improve the world.
                                  But accepting parts as canon doesn't stop me from criticizing and evaluating. If anything, it's canon status being widely recognized inspires me to criticize and evaluate the piece more because it counts in the greater scheme.

                                  I just think personal interpretation and canon are two very different things. I view canon as the seasons of the shows and now the comic. It's all encompassed within the canon order. And then you can start to nitpick and evaluate the subjective actions and parts of the story, but some things are simply true to canon and aren't as open for interpretation.

                                  Like Buffy died in Season 5. Buffy was resurrected in Season 6. Fans who stopped watching after Season 5 for whatever reason or who dislike the latter seasons might wish to discount Season 6 and 7 as canon. But that's a wholly subjective viewpoint that is a complete denial of the story rather than a finer interpretation of what occured within the story. Their dislike of the later seasons shouldn't mean they can completely invalidate it. They just dislike it. Doesn't mean that the later seasons aren't canon because they are. It just means they dislike the canon after a certain point and that's okay. It makes me wonder why do people feel the need to label things as canon or non-canon in order to validate or invalidate them.

                                  I see canon as finite. While the interpretation of the actions and developments within canon is subjective depending on the situation. But they're interpretations of canon events (Faith shot Angel with a poisoned arrow in GD pt 1, Buffy hit Angel until he drank from her, etc.). The meaning and subtext of these moments are open to interpretation, but the actions themselves are fairly clear. Character motivation is another avenue that lends itself towards various degrees of interpretation - did Buffy jump in The Gift because she wanted to save the world or because she was tired of living? Was it both? But the canon event is that Buffy did in fact jump into the portal and saved Dawn and the world through her sacrifice.

                                  Canon merely provides the parameters, defines what actions are connected to later stories in order to create a whole entity. But rigidly defining canon in no way limits the vast range of interpretation available in such a complex world as the Buffyverse.
                                  Last edited by Emmie; 19-02-09, 06:56 AM.
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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Emmie View Post
                                    But accepting parts as canon doesn't stop me from criticizing and evaluating. If anything, it's canon status being widely recognized inspires me to criticize and evaluate the piece more because it counts in the greater scheme.
                                    Your type actions are not what I was referring to in that paragraph. The fact that you criticize means that something within the canon doesn't agree with you and you voice your opinion that it should be different. Your actions strive to cause change in hopes that canon will evolve in a way you find more acceptable.

                                    I accept all of the show and what Joss has endorsed as canon. It's just that my own individualistic canon is what keeps me loving the show and not being utterly disheartened at a story that doesn't follow my own beliefs.

                                    I just think personal interpretation and canon are two very different things. I view canon as the seasons of the shows and now the comic. It's all encompassed within the canon order. And then you can start to nitpick and evaluate the subjective actions and parts of the story, but some things are simply true to canon and aren't as open for interpretation.
                                    See, I think all things in life are a matter of perspective. What one person might determine a character aspect, another person might see as an errant impulse.

                                    I can follow the story, but it doesn't keep me from imagining the what could have been. Therein is the pitfall of watching a show as it airs or a comic as it is released. You are given the canon piece by piece. After each episode you have at least a week to analyze canon and then extrapolate how you believe things will manifest in later episodes. Just because the show doesn't take your turn, doesn't mean that those interpretations and predictions vanish into nothing. They become a part of you and your own individualistic canon based on your own beliefs.

                                    To consume the entire body of Buffyverse in one gulp would give a person a different appreciation of the whole of canon. Even watching the show by season in a few sittings gives a different opinion of canon.

                                    I'm not trying to say that agreeing with canon is wrong. It's just important to accept that fans can still be fans even if they choose to feel that certain things shouldn't be canon.


                                    Like Buffy died in Season 5. Buffy was resurrected in Season 6. Fans who stopped watching after Season 5 for whatever reason or who dislike the latter seasons might wish to discount Season 6 and 7 as canon. But that's a wholly subjective viewpoint that is a complete denial of the story rather than a finer interpretation of what occured within the story. Their dislike of the later seasons shouldn't mean they can completely invalidate it. They just dislike it. Doesn't mean that the later seasons aren't canon because they are. It just means they dislike the canon after a certain point and that's okay. It makes me wonder why do people feel the need to label things as canon or non-canon in order to validate or invalidate them.
                                    I definitely agree that the need for people to label stuff as canon can seem to be wasteful. But I think at the root there is a personal attachment that is too much of a lifeline to be broken.

                                    I see canon as finite. While the interpretation of the actions and developments within canon is subjective depending on the situation. But they're interpretations of canon events (Faith shot Angel with a poisoned arrow in GD pt 1, Buffy hit Angel until he drank from her, etc.). The meaning and subtext of these moments are open to interpretation, but the actions themselves are fairly clear. Character motivation is another avenue that lends itself towards various degrees of interpretation - did Buffy jump in The Gift because she wanted to save the world or because she was tired of living? Was it both? But the canon event is that Buffy did in fact jump into the portal and saved Dawn and the world through her sacrifice.

                                    Canon merely provides the parameters, defines what actions are connected to later stories in order to create a whole entity. But rigidly defining canon in no way limits the vast range of interpretation available in such a complex world as the Buffyverse.
                                    While I definitely agree with what you've eloquently said, it's much more fun to probe the other side.

                                    As long as a fan isn't unreasonably bashing or arguing, then I see no reason why they can't define the show in their own mind as happening different than canon. Particularly in Buffy where in S5, the monks rewrote all of S1-S4 to happening in the characters memories as having Dawn. For me, having younger sisters, this was impossible for me to believe that Buffy would be the same person to have evolved over the years. A single child and an older sister would have different characters.

                                    Joss created a disconnect in his canon here and forever fractured it. Many of the S1-S4 events are unlikely to have unfolded the way they did if Dawn had been there to spy and tell on her sister. However the canon says that this is how the characters remember life and in life based on perception, this new view is the canon.

                                    It's unfair to not allow a fan to believe the way they saw S1-S4 unfold to be considered a form of canon.

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                                    • #19
                                      I think we might be speaking at cross-purposes here. When I criticize and analyze the show, I don't see the action as an evaluation of canon. Rather it's a subjective analysis of the story that is canon. Canon is separate from whether the story is good or bad. When I criticize I don't hope to change the story, but rather to comment on what worked and what didn't. But it's canon irregardless. So while I never liked Doublemeat Palace or I Robot, You Jane, the events of those episodes are canon and I accept them as such.

                                      I see canon as the "books" that are classed together on the same shelf. And individual passages aren't removed or chopped out of the book. The entire book is included, the good and the bad.

                                      Canon is all the televised seasons, Season 8, After the Fall, Fray. Within that canon is where you can re-interpret and find your own viewpoint of actions. Though some plot points lend themselves more towards a subjective analysis. This is where the individual viewer gains free rein and can voice their opinion. This is where viewers can so cleverly analyze the Buffy/Faith subtext of Season 3 that they change even Joss' mind about the lesbian subtext in the story he wrote and initially denied existed.

                                      I see individual interpretation existing within canon. Canon is what the creators tell us the official story is and then we dive in and analyze. But the interpretation itself is not what should be labeled as canon. That seems like stretching the definition of the word a bit too far. The word "canon" holds the weight of authority to define the boundaries (this and not that), where as interpretation lies with the individual.

                                      Regarding the addition of Dawn, I see S1-S4 still completely as canon. The change only occurs once memories of Dawn are added. The memories alter the characters but to me don't alter that in reality Dawn didn't exist before Real Me. But again, this goes to the interpretation of reality. Subjectivity of reality which is boundless and counter to the definition and main intent of canon - to create a universally agreed upon order. One agreed upon truth. The whole set of the story.
                                      Last edited by Emmie; 19-02-09, 08:21 AM.
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                                      • #20
                                        I agree with both Emmie and Ehlwyen, just in different ways. And you too Blasterboy!

                                        I see where Ehlwyen is coming from in creating "your own canon" through interpretation, but I certainly agree with Emmie that, that interpretation is only possible because of a factual canonical event- ie. Buffy jumps in 'The Gift' there's no disputing that, it happened. But it's open to interpretation as to why.

                                        What I draw the line at is when someone blatantly says something didn't happen or a character didn't do this, like the example I used above about the discussion I had with a poster who decided in their canon Spike had never murdered anyone and thus, I am wrong. I can't get behind that because we're not talking about an interpretation of a scene or a character's line, we're talking about the cold hard facts. Spike snaps the father's neck in 'Schoolhard' how else could you possibly interpret that as anything but murder ect? It doesn't make sense to me.

                                        Ehlwyen brings up an interesting point about a character saying a certain thing or doing something that you find it so OOC you'll try and ignore it ever happening to sustain the love. I would be guilty of this at least twice from memory. The first being Xander in ?Once More With Feeling' with the utter ridiculous notion that he never mentioned a word about his involvement in the spell even though he knew it was killing people. The other being Buffy's line in ?Empty Places' that Spike's the only one who's watching her back, which is the only time I have ever hated my favourite character "Buffy" in the series. Both situations are so hard for me to handle, both so ridiculous or outrageous I'll try and keep it out of my mind or rationalise it to work for me.

                                        However, if someone brought it up in a discussion I'd never dispute that it in fact happened, I just try not to concentrate on it when I don't need to.

                                        Ehlwyen raises an interesting point about Buffy season 1-4 and how Dawn effectively changes that canon. My own personal theory is that Dawn always feels like she's not effecting anything because she never actually did, they have memories of her being there but she never changed the result of anything that happened to the Scoobies in seasons 1-4 in any dramatic way, hence why she feels like she's not a part of anything or has never made an impact on anyone; because she hadn't. But that's my own personal interpretation, which fits in to Ehlwyen's theory. I do think Buffy changed as a character, there's a difference in her priorities the second Dawn shows up and I actually prefer pre-Dawn Buffy, but that's another issue all together.

                                        But everyone is different as to what they consider canon through interpretation. Just recently we were debating the authority behind Fury's claim that he thinks from memory Angel said Buffy's name in 'Awakening' through memory and not because he was thinking about her. Many people assumed their interpretation was now more correct than others whereas I've never took what a writer has said as validation to an opposing viewpoint or even my own if I happen to agree with them. I've very much about interpreting what I saw on screen in my own way, and external interviews have no effect on my own interpretation, I don't believe people create a show so that we should defer our opinion to a writers. They may have a reason for why they created the art but if I don't feel it came through in their artwork I'm not going to just stop thinking how I think and just agree with them because of their status. I find that mind-boggling and rather sheepish. Other's don't, so it shows how different people view the series.

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