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JKR Constantly Adding to "Canon": SMH - alley_skywalker [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
alley_skywalker

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JKR Constantly Adding to "Canon": SMH [Jan. 3rd, 2015|09:00 am]
alley_skywalker
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I've never liked this thing JKR (and HP fandom) does, where he adds stuff to canon in interviews and Pottermore and Twitter (etc) and fandom accepts it as canon. I've recently realized that my reason for this dislike is two-fold:

1) On purely ideological grounds. I'm a canon purist. If it's not in the text, it's not actually canon. (Although I will often incorporate some of these things in my personal understanding of canon.) It's also frustrating to have to follow what is now canon and what isn't if you're not obsessed with JKR or the series to the point of constantly searching out new information. It's a closed canon, let it be closed for goodness sake.

2) On a more person note: it messes with fandom things + I just don't trust JRK with characters or aspects of the universe that I DO like. I think this comes from my own interaction with the books and the reason I'm in fandom. The story was fun, I do like some of the characters and fine others interesting. But the reason I'm in fandom is for the universe. The civil wars and politics, the Houses, the ability to play around with magical theory and culture. I'm in HP fandom to fill up the gaps, sometimes with more well-known characters sometimes with name-only characters. I guess the reason I like the background characters so much is because I can build up characters I like, correct some of JKRs black-and-white morality, plus engage in worldbuilding. I dislike Harry, I'm neutral-positive on Hermione, and I identify with Ron. I dislike Sirius, don't care about Tonks, Minerva and Dumbledore, like Remus. Let's not talk about Snape. That's not a very good track record for being into a fandom for the characters. But even when I do like a certain reading of a character which has been settled, even through my own interpretations or through fanon, I'm afraid JKR will throw something out there that will turn everything tipsy-turvy. I don't like how that living-on-the-edge feeling feels. And I don't trust JKR to actually add information that will actual meaningful complexity or depth to her minor characters, especially the "darker" ones. So that doesn't help.

This rant was brought to you by the "Draco backstory" thingie Rowling released on Pottermore. From what I understand, nothing too new has been revealed (other than how Astoria and Draco decided to raise Scorpius, which while not unpredictable always makes me go argh, you're making my Ides of March potentially OOC, stop it!) but I'm still going to ignore it for the most part. If she cared that much, she would have written it in the books.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: gracerene
2015-01-03 05:58 pm (UTC)
Ooo, you've got some interesting thoughts! That's one of the things I love about this fandom, that the world is so complex and vast and there are so many characters with so many different motivations and personalities that everybody can really get whatever they want to from this verse. :D And Ron is one of my favorites, so that makes me happy. :D
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[User Picture]From: nearlyconscious
2015-01-03 07:49 pm (UTC)
THANK. YOU.
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[User Picture]From: deslea
2015-01-06 05:16 am (UTC)
Here more-or-less by accident (FOAF), but I saw this and had to comment.

I am so with you on this. I don't mind if it's not a closed canon, but it's so clear JKR is just pumping out any old crap to keep Sony happy and the money rolling in.

JKR said previously that Draco and Narcissa rejected Lucius and what he stood for after the war and never had anything to do with him again. Well, I never liked that much, but fine, it's internally consistent. I can always disregard it for fanfic. But then she turns around with Pottermore and intimates that Lucius and Narcissa are together and still both mutually bigoted, to the point of being frosty to Astoria because she won't raise Scorpius a bigot. So are Lucius and Narcissa together, or not? Did Narcissa reject Lucius' values, or not? Do all these people see each other, or not? Or... *drumroll* ...is JKR just making random shit up to keep making money off us?

I think there is some good in Pottermore. There are clearly some ideas she already had, like McGonagall's backstory, and those are okay. She's not revising herself for profit with those. But, you know, she clearly dislikes her antagonists and isn't interested in their backstories, and is really offended that her fans like them, and basically wants to put us back in our box due to some misplaced sense of responsibility. I'm a grown-ass woman and I'm not going to go and marry a bigot just because I can sympathise with, and see emotional appeal, in the culturally-indoctrinated characters she wrote. If you don't want people seeing your characters in shades of grey, don't bloody write dystopia.
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[User Picture]From: alley_skywalker
2015-01-06 03:29 pm (UTC)
Ooof. I wasn't even aware of that inconsistency.

I don't mind Pottermore and secondary canon per se. I mean, I do, but I think my feelings on it also depends on how fandom reacts to it. Star Wars fandom has a similar problem, although theirs comes mostly from all the books and EU stuff, but also Lucas' inconsistent comments and the continuum disaster that is the Clone Wars cartoons. There the fandom had (at the time I was active in it) a pretty deep seated divide between the canon purists and everything-is-canon people existed. But in HP fandom, most people just want to make everything canon, and it's not just spin-off works but every comment JKR ever makes, which is terribly stressful and frustrating.

But, of course, fandom only acts this way because they have reason to and JKR is obviously trying to shore up all the things she is "disturbed" by, which makes it harder for fandom to creatively and critically interact with the canon. Which...I guess, is what she wants anyway. It's this attitude, also, that JKR has that she should somehow try to be everyone's moral compass or whatever, is frustrating and one of the reasons why I don't really like JKR, her having written a series I've enjoyed not withstanding.

Edited at 2015-01-06 03:33 pm (UTC)
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