Fanon / Literature

  • Many Discworld fans complained when later books established that Vetinari went to the Assassins' Guild school, when previous books had established he'd invented the modern, legal Assassins' Guild. They hadn't, although they did establish he'd legalized the Thieves Guild. A continuity problem is that the first Guild master introduced in the series, in fact in the very first book, is the distinctly shabby, low-life and down-at-heel Zlorf Flanellfoot, who leads a band of equally gutter-level killers. This character is totally against the evolving perception of the Assassins' Guild being a college for gentlemen of good family, which reaches its most detailed description in Pyramids. And the events of Night Watch occuring thirty years before the Discworld "present" clash badly with the Flanellfoot-era Guild (which must be in the same timeband): here we see the college for gentlemen killers with an entirely different President, the urbane and well-bred Dr Follett. So... which of two entirely different perceptions of the Guild is "right"?
    • The Assassins' Guild Diary notes that Flannelfoot was one of the few "scholarship boys" to attain high office in the Guild, suggesting his era was a brief anomaly between Follett and Cruces. Presumably, the low-status killers he surrounded himself with are fellow scholarshitp boys, either out of fellow-feeling or, more likely, because he didn't like the "proper" assassins very much.
  • Phantom, Susan Kay's retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, has achieved this in some parts of the fandom, especially regarding the names of characters who went nameless in the original Gaston Leroux novel (eg. Nadir for the Persian).
  • Many fans of His Dark Materials assumed that having a dæmon of the same sex indicated homosexuality. This is often considered truth nowadays by most fans, and when asked about the matter Philip Pullman said that he'd never thought about it, but that he liked the idea. One wonders what a bisexual would have. A hermaphrodite dæmon? To confuse the matter, some animals are naturally hermaphrodite.
  • Animorphs: Marco is gay or bi. Notable because (since the characters themselves take turns narrating) the numerous instances of the canon explicitly stating the opposite can be completely disregarded by accounting them to self-denial. This neatly allows all the Animorphs to be paired up by putting Marco and Ax together instead of having two odd men out from the established Jake/Cassie and Rachel/Tobias couples. Marco and Ax are also each other's best friends after Jake and Tobias and briefly live together near the end of the series.
    • The Yeerk hierarchy is called a Visserarchy
  • Good Omens:
    • That Gadre'el is Crowley's True Name. This actually comes from the passage 1 Enoch 69:6,
      And the third was named Gadreel: he it is who showed the children of men all the blows of death, and he led astray Eve, and showed [the weapons of death to the sons of men] the shield and the coat of mail, and the sword for battle, and all the weapons of death to the children of men. And from his hand they have proceeded against those who dwell on the earth from that day and for evermore.
    • Pretty much every Good Omens fanfic describes Crowley as tall and lean and Aziraphale as plump and blonde, even though the most we get in the book is that Crowley has dark hair, good cheekbones and Cool Shades, and Aziraphale gets manicures.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire is rife with fanon theories, helped by the author's tendency to leave a lot of foreshadowing and subtle clues throughout the novels:
    • One of the most widely supported theories in the fandom is that Jon Snow's parents were Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, instead of Ned and an unknown woman. For a good example of the arguments made on behalf of it, there's this essay.
    • It is also common in fanfics for the eldest sibling to Arthur and Ashara Dayne and parent to Edric Dayne to be a man named Allem.
    • Other fan theories taken as true in some circles of the fandom include:
      • Jeyne Westerling, or perhaps her mother bewitched Robb to fall in love with Jeyne.
      • Tyrion is Aerys Targaryen's bastard, and thus Daenarys's half-brother. Supporting this theory is the fact that Aerys apparently was "quite taken" with Tywin's wife, that he "took liberties" during the bedding of she and Tywin, and that the passage from the Hand's chamber might have been used by Aerys, not Tywin. Also, Tyrion's hair, in the novels, is a fine blonde, almost white, like a Targaryen. Tywin's line that "I cannot prove you are not mine" is, in the minds of some fans, proof that he suspected or even knew about his wife sleeping with, or being raped by, Aerys.
      • Maege Mormont is a lesbian, or her brother Jeor is gay, which is why he went to the wall willingly. Both have children, but that proves nothing, of course.
      • Benjen Stark was as gay as it gets. In fact the wall is pretty much a non-stop man-on-man orgy behind closed doors.
    • Since "The Rains of Castamere" was only ever given one verse and a chorus by Martin, there's a fan-written second verse that has become popular in fan renditions of the song. At one point, it was so well-known in the fandom that it was erroneously listed with the official lyrics on the series' Wiki.
    "Oh, hear my call!" the lookout cried, his eyes upon the Vale,
    "I see sunlight upon armor, many riders on the trail!"
    But still, Lord Reyne of Castamere harped on his elegy:
    "No stripling boy, untried by arms, will play lord over me!"
    And so he spoke, and so he spoke, the Lord of Castamere,
    Now rains weep all o'er his walls, with not a soul to hear,
    The lions at the gate had come, to lift his infant heirs on spears...
    • Among fans who don't believe that the series will end with either Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen on the Iron Throne, it's taken as a Foregone Conclusion that the series will end with the Tyrells on the throne. Thanks to the series' loose basis in the Real Life Wars of the Roses (with the Starks, Lannisters and Targaryens as stand-ins for the Houses of York, Lancaster and Plantagenet), many history buffs in the fandom have latched onto the theory that the Tyrells are meant to be stand-ins for the ultimately victorious House of Tudor. It helps that the family names are vaguely similar, they're the rather treacherous allies of the Lancaster stand-ins, the Reach's position in Westeros corresponds to the position of Wales (where the Tudor line originated) in Britain, and the family's golden rose sigil looks almost identical to the Tudors' famous red and white rose sigil.
  • A lot of The Chronicles of Narnia fandom seems to firmly believe that the Pevensies got married and had kids while they were in Narnia. There is one segment of the plot involving romance for any of them in the entire series, and it never comes up again. That would be the part of The Horse And his Boy where Rabadash wants to force a marriage on Susan.
    • At least 50% of the fandom believe that The Lady of the Green Kirtle from The Silver Chair is actually Jadis the White Witch reincarnated. This partly comes from a character bio (that was not written by Lewis himself) for an updated version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - that describes Jadis as being evil, "even in The Silver Chair". It's never said how Jadis would find a way to resurrect (aside from a line in Prince Caspian that says "who ever heard of a witch that really died?"). The actual text only describes the Lady of the Green Kirtle as one of the "Northern Witches". The issue further gets confused by the BBC adaptations, which cast Barbara Kellerman in both roles. However this is ignoring that a few other actors doubled up and played more than one character (and that Kellerman also played the hag in Prince Caspian). As such, many fans want Tilda Swinton to play the role in the film adaptation of The Silver Chair.
    • If they don't think the Lady of the Green Kirtle is the White Witch, then they probably think she's related to her - or knew her in some way. The text does suggest that she may have come from the same place as Jadis (the north, not Charn) but nothing is confirmed. Additionally the character is also referred to as the Green Lady or the Emerald Witch, when neither name appears in the text.
  • Tales of the Frog Princess has loads where Garrid and his past is concerned. This is what happens when an author leaves so much of an awesome character's life up for interpretation. We have all agreed that:
    • Garrid had an emotionally abusive father (names tend to vary), but his mother (who is always named Lucia) loved him very much.
    • Furthering that, Lucia was not in love with Garrid's father. The most popular reasons for marriage are that it was arranged, or that Garrid's father was a Stalker with a Crush, and forced her to marry him.
      • Also, Garrid's mother was born a human, but his father turned her into a vampire when they argued. Bit of a nasty shock for her...
      • Also, she died young, when Garrid was a teen.
    • Garrid's best friends are Andrea "Andy" Blackskull and Benjamin "Ben" Toumbclaw. Ben and Andy have a thing for each other.
    • Garrid had a love for mischief and is also a Deadpan Snarker. Especially where Eadric is concerned.
      • ...but he's totally sweet to Li'l. This isn't that far from Canon, really...
    • He met Li'l at the age of 19.
    • He ran away from home, due to his father not wanting him to marry Li'l.
    • His surname is Finnegan.
  • The Hatter's famous riddle from Alice in Wonderland — "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" — was intended, according to Word of God, to have no answer. Even so, the fanonical answer is almost as well-known as the riddle itself: "Poe wrote on both."
    • The Annotated Alice gives other speculative answers, including "Because they should be shut up" and "The notes they are noted for are not musical."
    • Silverlock implies another tack by having the Hatter ask "Why is an angleworm like a parallelogram?" and when challenged respond "I don't know as they're alike."
    • Originally the raven riddle had no answer, but Lewis Carroll got so many letters begging for an answer that in a later edition he offered a solution to the riddle. The answer is, "Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is nevar put with the wrong end in front". The misspelling of the word nevar was intentional as it is raven backwards. But editors thought it was a typo and decided to "correct" it to never, which only served to make the answer nonsensical and to confuse fans for years on end.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians has several character facts that are fanon:
    • The most prominent is that Annabeth can't swim. It does make sense within the canon considering she's a daughter of Athena, an therefore naturally born a rival of Poseidon meaning that her and water do not mix.
    • A lot of fans think Artemis has a kid she either hides or doesn't learn about for a long period of time. Artemis may be cool, but she's never been hinted at being a mother to anything but her hunters in spirit.
    • Fans believe that Nico has Roman Blood in him, because he was able to find Camp Jupiter without help.
      • Some think he may even have Egyptian blood, due to him looking like Anubis. Some even wrote him as his host.....
    • It's the general consensus amongst fans that ALL campers from a certain cabin will have matching hair and eyes.
    • Apollo demands the oracle is a 'virgin', so he can sleep with her. (Mostly in Rache/Nico fics).
    • The idea that Katie Gardner and Travis Stoll are dating is so widely spread that even the most knowledgable of fans get confused. Bear in mind they are mentioned interacting once throughout the whole series; and that was a throwaway comment about a prank Travis pulled. Yet in fanfiction they have almost as many stories as official couples Annabeth/Percy and Piper/Jason.
  • The 39 Clues has some prominent fanon.
    • Most fans believe that Kurt, who appeared in all of one book and was never mentioned thereafter, was an undercover Vesper, despite there being no canon evidence supporting this.
    • It's generally taken for granted that Isabel Kabra nee Vesper-Hollingsworth and Arthur Trent ( revealed to be a Vesper) interacted with each other in their youth, with many fans going so far as to believe they were in a relationship prior to Arthur meeting Hope.
    • Quite a few fans are absolutely convinced that Amy's full name is Amy Hope Cahill.
  • The Hunger Games:
    • Many fanfiction stories give Peeta's brother (who is never named in the book or film) the name Rye. This is based off the idea that their father is a baker and because Peeta's name is vaguely related to bread (sounds similar to "pita"), that their other sons would have bread-related names too.
    • The idea that Katniss is a woman of color - and thus, the controversy when casting the white Jennifer Lawrence - results from the book mentioning that she had olive skin. What fans forgot is that many groups of white people also have olive skin, and failed to notice that some of the international covers showed she was white. This meme became so persistent that some fanart straight-up depicted Katniss as a black woman, with skin much darker than "olive". In the films, Katniss is a white woman with olive skin, and since we never see a color photo of her father, it's still possible she's still mixed-race.
  • Similar to the example with Katniss above, fans cried fowl when the Dornish were introduced in Game of Thrones, since the book supposedly described them as being black. Except the book did not describe them as being black. It described people from the Summer Isles, which is near Dorne, as being black. Dornish actually come in three flavors: Rocky Dornishmen, who are pale-skinned and fair- or red-haired, Sandy Dornishmen, who appear Mediterranean, and Salty Dornishmen, who look Arabic. The words "olive-skinned" were used to describe Sandy Dornishmen, and some fans interpreted this to mean "black, like a black olive", because olives are otherwise green and no one is green-skinned. Apparently the term "olive-skinned" isn't as widely known as it should be, since fans of both this series and The Hunger Games decided it meant "black".
  • The Mistborn Adventures novels, focusing on Wax and Wayne, are Steam Punk. This is due mainly to Wax being depicted with goggles on the cover of The Alloy of Law and Wayne holding an old flintlock pistol, which has become encompassed by Steampunk fandom. However, despite the presence of a couple of powerful machines, this is really more "Weird West" than Steampunk, and many of the Steampunk trappings like air ships are not present.
  • Cthulhu Mythos: The nickname of Miskatonic University's sports teams is the Fighting Cephelapods.
  • David Mc Daniel (author of eight books in the Ace Books "Man from Uncle" series) introduced lots of fanon in what was, essentially official fanfic. These include (but are most definitely not limited to) the revelation that THRUSH evolved from the remnants of Professor Moriarty's organisation (and is an acronym for "Technological Hierarchy for Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity", that Solo is Waverly's designated successor, that THRUSH actively attempted to recruit Fu Manchu and that UNCLE has "stringer" agents (like "stringer" reporters for news agencies) and (in the unpublished "The Final Affair") that UNCLE and THRUSH are, essentially, subsidiaries of the same secret conglomerate.
  • Land of Oz:
    • Lurline is a god-like fairy queen in canon but fanon has taken her to outright be a goddess that the residents of Oz worship. This has been used in several derivative works such as Wicked.
    • Ozma canonically has "ruddy blonde" hair but fanon (and many adaptations) portray her with wavy brown hair. This issue is due to many official illustrations portraying her with brown hair. Her age is ambiguous in canon but she is usually seen as looking like a girl between ten and fourteen.