Main Retcon Discussion

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05:19:22 PM Mar 27th 2014
Is there a trope for when a work appears to Retcon, say, a Foregone Conclusion, yet later events reveal the conclusion is still fulfilled? I'm going to do a story where the beginning shows parents telling their kid about their adventures, but one of them pulls a Fake Defector for a large portion of the series, and I'm a bit curious. And irked there isn't a trope for everything.
03:46:37 AM Mar 28th 2014
Don't think so. Maybe Lost and Found knows.
05:07:36 AM Sep 23rd 2013
edited by
Concerning the example of Samara and the Ardat-Yakshi from the Mass Effect series:

Here is the full text of the Ardat-Yakshi codex entry from ME 2.

"Ardat-Yakshi ("demon of the night winds") are asari suffering from a genetic disorder preventing conventional melding of nervous systems during mating. Instead, Ardat-Yakshi electro-chemically ravage their partners' nervous systems, in extreme cases leaving victims as vegetative invalids or corpses. Asari psychologists regard this incapacity for mental fusion as preventing the development of empathy, leading to psychopathy. There is no known cure.

The disorder generally begins in infancy, reaching full pathology during Maiden adolescent sexual development. While seductive and sexually-driven as other asari, Ardat-Yakshi are congenitally sterile.

Ancient asari mythology held Ardat-Yakshi as gods of destruction, depicting them as villains of countless legends and as the anti-heroes of numerous asari epics.

Contrary to popular belief, Ardat-Yakshi are neither extremely rare (around one per cent of asari dwell on the AY spectrum), nor are they all murderers. Most cultivate and discard countless exploitative or abusive relationships during their legally marginal lives. Despite rumors of Ardat-Yakshi syndicates, by nature Ardat-Yakshi are incapable of long-term cooperation.

As a disproportionately wealthy species, asari employ their economic reach and media ownership to hide the AY pathology from the galactic community, placing most Ardat-Yakshi in monitored work programs or seclusion. Only the most aggressive cases are sentenced to sanitaria and prisons or to the execution lists of justicars."

Again, this entry appeared in ME 2 alongside Samara. A player who paid attention to the codex could easily deduce that thousands or millions of asari were Ardat-Yakshi as of ME 2. So more than three Ardat-Yakshi existing is nothing new for the lore in ME 3.

Note the diction, particularly the phrase 'contrary to popular belief.' Samara is the only other source for the player of the numbers of Ardat-Yakshi. She's the only 'popular belief' to be compared to. There's a definite acknowledgement within the narrative that the 'popular belief' is wrong.

Given this information, I don't consider the example to qualify as a Retcon.

05:27:14 PM Sep 18th 2012
On the Patty-Cakes example, I think I remember reading a version of it on a bad fanfic blog that re-wrote the first part with the Retcon.
06:11:31 PM Feb 15th 2013
What's the source for kerrigan having split personalities?
05:12:42 PM Sep 18th 2012
The Futurama example with Nibbler isn't a Retcon, in fact you can briefly see his shadow as it happens in the first episode if I remember right. So it was more of a planned all along.
03:10:05 AM Nov 15th 2011
edited by AndrewGPaul

  • A new army book writer whos name will not be mentioned has caused a large [[Hatedom|Hatedom]] following to spring up in recent years as GW transitions from 5th to 6th Edition Warhammer 40000. He is know for creating huge, Egregious, glaring, and unpopular [[Continuity Snarl|Continuity Snarls]] which are widely considered to be ruining the depth, character, history, variability, and non-[[Mary Sue|Mary Sue]]-ness of the [[Fluff|Fluff]]. For a more unofficial explanation, see

from Tabletop Games. The first bullet isn't exactly accurate - the events in which the Squats took part are still canon, as are their presence. It's just that their exact nature is kept quiet. For example, Yarrick was still captured by Ghazgkull on Golgotha, but now he was fighting alongside "abhumans" or "xenos", not "Squats". Ian Watson's novel Space Marine which features a Squat main character is still in print, albeit non-canon. The second bullet, apart from being a rant about Matthew Ward, is ill-formatted. Oh, and if you say "A new army book writer whos name will not be mentioned", don't go and mention their name - it's just cruft and makes you look like a fool.
10:33:10 AM Jan 21st 2011
Ret Con's are a large part of franchise media. That being said....Why is the picture for this page from some obscure manga that very very very few people would know? Is that really the best we can do to show what a retcon is?
10:34:40 AM Jan 21st 2011
I agree. I don't even understand what's going one.
09:30:28 AM Aug 4th 2010
Discussion on the page (and it's subtropes) as a whole here.

Feel free to join in.
10:53:43 AM Mar 24th 2010
Does the Luke, I Am Your Father bit really count as a retcon? I thought it was made clear that Obi Wan, you know, lied.
11:51:26 AM Jan 21st 2011
That was the retcon. That is to say, it was retconned to explain that Obi Wan was lying in the first film.
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