Fire That Canon!


My friends, I’ve been working with Dragonlance fandom for several years now and I have had the privilege to work alongside many talented freelancers, Sovereign Press/Margaret Weis Productions, and Wizards of the Coast. My years with Dragonlance have been one of the greatest experiences in my life, showing me that I had potential I never thought possible.

Canon has been debated as far back as I can remember, and I don’t doubt that it will continue for years to come. Yet, to me, it’s a bit of a silly argument.

Since the inception of the Nexus, I’ve maintained that all points of view of the World of Krynn are valid. All of us have our likes and dislikes about Dragonlance, and we don’t always agree with one another. Some are fans of classic Dragonlance, some are fans of the Fifth Age. Some are fans of Ansalon, and some are fans of Taladas. Despite our different tastes, we share one thing in common – a love of Dragonlance, a setting that is a patchwork quilt of adventure.

Canon comes across to me as a forced law of what is “true,” at least in the context of a fictional world. The irony doesn’t escape me. It’s hard to maintain a sense of continuity in a setting that has had so many cooks putting their hand in the pot. Add on 20 years, and the waters get a bit muddy.

We have differing views on whether or not Lord Soth went to Ravenloft. One camp says he never did, and the other says that it happened. If we impose what is canon here, then one camp is happy and the other is not.

So why impose canon? Do we not all have different views on things? Is it not true that one person’s truth does not match another person’s truth?

The key here is that we should, as Dragonlance fans, decide what we enjoy, and allow others to enjoy what they enjoy, even if it is different from what you like. We are here with myriad takes on Dragonlance. Is Krynn part of the Great Wheel? If you say it does, then sure! Or do you prefer Krynn to be separated from the TSR/WotC multiverse? That’s fine too!

It’s true that WotC will need to determine an inner continuity to keep stories as straight as possible. In the end, though, that should not affect what you, as the fan, consider to be your own personal truth.

So take my advice, and “fire” that canon. Get rid of it. Don’t let anybody ever tell you what is and what isn’t true. Only you can decide that for yourself.

About Trampas "Dragonhelm" Whiteman

Trampas “Dragonhelm” Whiteman is best known for co-creating and administering the Dragonlance Nexus fan site. He is co-author of three Dragonlance books – Holy Orders of the Stars, Knightly Orders of Ansalon, and Races of Ansalon. When not evangelizing Dragonlance and other settings, Trampas is a husband, father, podcaster, and web designer. Trampas also enjoys reading comics, reading fantasy and scifi novels, and playing D&D.
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One Comment

  1. I totally agree with you. As a DM I choose what is and is not canon in my Dragonlance campaigns. If I like something that has happened in a DL novel or module I keep it, if I don’t I change or ignore it. It’s that simple. I really don’t understand these people who got so worked up about canon in Dragonlance and other games or movies. I take what I want and discard what doesn’t work for me.

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