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You know what annoys me about this fandom: The constant throwing around of the word "retcon" where it DOES NOT APPLY.

I'm not saying that Supernatural has never retconned something - actually, I recall a discussion recently (with claudiapriscus?) where someone finally was able to point out something to me that was ACTUALLY a retcon. But most of what people are calling retcons ARE NOT RETCONS.

There is a HUGE difference between CHANGING previously established canon, and ADDING to the canon that we ASSUMED we knew.

Brady is not a retcon. Did Sam ever give us a list of his college friends? Did we ever hear the story of how he met Jess? No...therefore, writing Brady into the show in S5 isn't a retcon, it it GIVING US INFORMATION WE DIDN'T HAVE BEFORE!

The Amulet as God-EMF is also not a retcon: Did we ever learn why Bobby told Sam that the amulet was "real special"? No. Now we know though!

The Trickster actually being the arch-angel Gabriel is not a retcon. It is the arch-angel Gabriel being damn good at pretending to be a Trickster!

Sometimes I think our knowledge of the way the writers work is detrimental to the way people interpret the show. Because we KNOW that Kripke didn't set out to have angels in the show - we know that when the Trickster was first introduced they didn't plan to make him Gabriel. But that doesn't make the the Gabester a retcon. It just means that the writers decided to add in the information after his initial introduction, and were able to do it in a way where it actually made a little bit of sense (because, seriously, what was it to the Trickster that the Winchesters kept sacrificing themselves for each other?)

Now if there had been a line where Sam and Dean did some sort of crazy Angel-test on the Trickster for no reason back in S2, and Dean announced that the Trickster was definitely not secretly an arch-angel, then Gabriel would be a retcon.

Right now, the only "retcon" I'll give lea-way on is Chuck=God (which is heavily implied but not specifically stated)...and that's JUST because they met him in S4 when Dean still had the God-EMF Amulet and it never "grew hot" - at least not to the extent that Dean noticed. 

Sigh...sorry, I get so annoyed at inconsequential things sometimes.

Also, if any of you are following the twitpics of Asylum Europe Con this weekend: I like Jim's shirt, but the grammar is incorrect and it's driving me crazy.


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 23rd, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
Uh, okay. I promise not to throw around the word 'retcon' where it does not apply.

*wonders if i ever use the word before*

Anyway, it's Sunday where i am, so have a happy Sunday! :)
May. 23rd, 2010 12:59 am (UTC)
I should have clarified that it's no one on my flist...or, at least, none that I've noticed.

Yay for Sunday! I've still got a bit to go for Sunday, but I thank you for wishing me a happy one! :)
May. 23rd, 2010 01:16 am (UTC)
demons i get... this fandom is crazy.


(i think it was raloria (in an entry somewhere in my journal) who sugggested the reason the amulet didn't glow around Chuck in S4 was that maybe Castiel got bad info about it...)
May. 23rd, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
You said it.

That's the thing - there are plenty of ways to explain why the amulet didn't work.
1. He's GOD (if he doesn't want to be found...)
2. Castiel's exact words were that it was "rumoured" to grow hot in the presence of God - rumour =/= fact. For all we know, it could still be a "real special" amulet, just not how they thought.
3. Maybe it did grow hot, but not hot enough for Dean to notice. After all, it would have to grow hotter than his body...and Dean's body is pretty damn hot ;)

So, yeah, it's not even that bad of a mistake/retcon whatever. Plus, it leaves the interpretation of Chuck's final moments open. Since, you don't necessarily have to believe he's God that way...he could be Jesus (call from Mistress Magda) or just a regular prophet (who ascend to heaven when their job is complete). Actually, I kind of like the idea of him being Jesus - since Jesus is seen as a prophet in the Jewish faith, I think it fits. I should do a post about this.
May. 23rd, 2010 01:40 am (UTC)
1. heh yeah.
2. i thought rumour=fact ONLY IN the Supernatural fandom. the world revolved around the batshit crazy part of the fandom right?
3. heh.....

ooh, Mistress Magda. good catch! Jesus is a prophet and teacher and wise person according to i think everyone but Xians?

yes, do a post. a lot of my post ideas come out of a profound comment i left or read somewhere....
May. 23rd, 2010 01:56 am (UTC)
I think I will do a post. I'll look up what Islam and others think of Jesus too. I'm pretty sure it's like you said...just the Xians think Jesus is interchangeable/on-par with God.
May. 23rd, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
go for it. i'll read it. =)
May. 23rd, 2010 03:09 am (UTC)
Ooops, got that wrong. According to Wikipedia, it's Islam, not Judaism that recognizes Jesus as a prophet. Good thing I looked that up before I posted!
May. 23rd, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
right. i believe in Judaism, Jesus was just a man - if Jews do in fact believe he existed. the old testament doesn't have Jesus in it.
May. 23rd, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)
Yeah, Jews range from believing that he is just a man, to believing that he is a false-prophet deliberately leading men astray.

I'm an atheist, so to me Jesus was just some dude who was good at talking.
May. 23rd, 2010 03:57 am (UTC)
heheh, i like that - "Jesus was just some dude who was good at talking."

i was born Jewish, but over time, and following my heart and a path i didn't know what it was at the time, i now call myself an Eclectic Pagan UU. that's a mouthful.

btw. loving the Dean-doing-research icon... Dean doing research is HOT. (i had to correct just about every word in that sentence at least twice. i blame Dean.)

Edited at 2010-05-23 03:58 am (UTC)
May. 23rd, 2010 04:05 am (UTC)
Ah, cool. Yeah, that's a mouthful, but it sounds fun! ;)

I was raised Anglican (I think in the states you call it something different - episcopalian? - anyway, technically the Queen of England is the head of the church, which seems sort of bizarre). That being said, I have never once believed in any of it. Even as an impressionable child, I just didn't believe that Jesus was the son of God, or that there were angels, or heaven, or hell. I even went to a Christian based primary school - but Religion class was like story time for me. I enjoyed the stories, but that's all I ever believed them to be - fictional stories for entertainment, or interesting allegories.

This icon is my favorite, I think (besides the one I use as my default). I call it "Dean/Books OTP" because it's the only "pairing" on Supernatural that turns me on ;)
May. 23rd, 2010 04:10 am (UTC)
Religion class was like story time for me. I enjoyed the stories, but that's all I ever believed them to be - fictional stories for entertainment, or interesting allegories.
well that's cool. i really don't remember the stories i learned in Hebrew school. and as for Anglican or Episcopalian? beats the frell outta me, i have no idea. heh.

This icon is my favorite, I think (besides the one I use as my default). I call it "Dean/Books OTP" because it's the only "pairing" on Supernatural that turns me on ;)
how about Dean/Impala? =)

Edited at 2010-05-23 04:10 am (UTC)
May. 23rd, 2010 04:14 am (UTC)
Haha, Dean/Impala is pretty hot too...but man, Dean reading books is just sexy. Intelligence is hot.
May. 23rd, 2010 04:15 am (UTC)
oh yes, i totally agree. Dean can do more research in S6!
May. 23rd, 2010 04:17 am (UTC)
I sure hope so! :)
May. 23rd, 2010 04:20 am (UTC)
Dear Supernatural team,

please have Dean do lots of research in season six.

hells_half_acre & trystan
May. 23rd, 2010 07:23 am (UTC)
It seems more likely to me to see it as evidence that the writer's hadn't thought of it yet. That's not a criticism, just an observation. I see it this way:

From a story-telling point of view, if you make a point of putting a loaded gun on stage in act one, it should go off in act three. If it doesn't, that fact needs to be part of the plot and addressed. While the audience can make up reasons that it didn't go off (it was broken, it wasn't actually loaded, he forgot about it), it doesn't make it any less of a weak point. That doesn't mean every little thing needs to be followed up on nor that ambiguity is unwelcome; it's just that in the special case of big honkin' chekhov's guns, they should eventually go off, one way or another.
May. 23rd, 2010 07:26 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, I definitely agree with you there. I'm just talking about the fact that it doesn't qualify as a retcon. It's just qualifies as an unused huge chekhov gun.

I'm not saying the show isn't without it's weak writing moments. I'd be a fool to say that :P
May. 23rd, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
i do agree with you, that the writers hadn't thought of a reason for the amulet yet. but with some of the... extremeness of the fandom, do you think Eric would admit that?

and once i read your "putting a loaded gun on stage in act one," i complete laughed! there's no way you could have know this, but i have a whole "Storytelling" series in my own LJ. see, back in S2 and 3, it seemed like people on my flist didn't get even the basics of Storytelling.

and in one of my posts, Foreshadowing & Supernatural , i started with that very quote: There's an old adage that goes something like this: "If you show a gun on the mantle in Act One, you must fire the gun in Act Three." The reverse corollary is this: "If you use a gun in Act Three, it must have been on the mantle in Act One."

May. 23rd, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
Guess so :)
May. 23rd, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
May. 23rd, 2010 07:32 am (UTC)
Yup, that was me.

Though technically speaking, I wonder if any instance of reworking continuity (though not necessarily contradicting it outright) might count as a retcon, as it does stand for retroactive continuity, and that would seem to apply. But that's just technical quibbling; I get what you're saying, because the common usage (whether I'm right or wrong) is for outright contradiction of established canon, and it DOES get thrown around waaaay too much.

(Like in regards the gods in the recent episode not conforming to the believers=power trope, ala 'American Gods'. That wasn't a retcon, that was just plain...con. ;-)
May. 23rd, 2010 07:43 am (UTC)
Haha, indeed.

But yeah, I'm using it the common usage that implies changes to canon.

To me, shows would be pretty restricted if they got criticized every time they introduced an element that was not previously laid out chronologically.

Plus, stories would be pretty boring (not to mention predictable), if for instance they started out like this:
Sam has a girlfriend named Jessica, and a friend named Luis, and another friend named Brady who used to be straight-laced but then got into drugs or something...and Sam worries about him, but he's a good friend because he introduced Sam to Jessica, and Sam is planning to marry Jessica...but then his brother Dean shows up. Oh, and since we have to lay out all information immediately, so that we aren't accused of retconning later - why don't we also tell you that a demon bled into Sam's mouth because years before his mother had made a deal, and his mother was a Hunter, oh, and in the future Dean's going to travel back in time and...

I mean, really, what are these people expecting? Some of the things that they're accusing of being retcons are actually good story telling! Who cares whether the writers had the idea for these story elements from the beginning or came up with them later? If they fit in with canon and contribute to the intricacy of the overall story-arc, then it's all good.

Ugh...um...sorry about that. That rants not directed at you, obviously.
May. 23rd, 2010 07:49 am (UTC)
Oh yeah. I have no problems with the "adding to previously established canon" type of retroactive continuity. If it adds to the story, I'm all for it. I mean, man, I think "In the Beginning" was probably the best instance of it in the series. Yeah, some did argue that there were a ton of plotholes and that it didn't exactly made sense, but in my book, it added substantial significance to storylines already in place. Even the Trickster/Gabriel one works for me, because while maybe not as seemless, it works for "Mystery Spot". You watch it again with that in mind, and it still works. And more importantly: it adds new layers of meaning.
May. 23rd, 2010 07:54 am (UTC)
Yes, exactly. I loved the added meaning that Trickster/Gabriel gave the previous shows...and it doesn't necessarily add anything to "Tall Tales", but it does add a hell of a lot to "Mystery Spot."

As you said, there's nothing wrong with "adding to previously established canon" retroactive continuity - which is why it really annoys me when people throw around the word "retcon" likes its a bad thing.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )


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