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Fanon

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'''Fanon''' is a term used to refer to "fan [[canon]]" (of which the term is a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/portmanteau portmanteau]). It applies to certain "facts" that may have been accepted as a truth by a large number of fans, and thus either replaces an established canonical fact in the minds of those fans, or fills a plot-hole.  Frequently, these fanonical facts arise due to screen adaptations (esp. [[Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings]]).
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'''Fanon''' is a term used to refer to "fan [[canon]]" (of which the term is a [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/portmanteau portmanteau]). It applies to certain "facts" that may have been accepted as a truth by a large number of fans, and thus either replaces an established canonical fact in the minds of those fans, or fills a plot-hole.  Frequently, these fanonical facts arise due to screen adaptations (esp. [[The Lord of the Rings (film series)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (film series)]]).
  
''When writing a fanon article, be sure to use the [[Template:Fanon|Fanon Template]]''
 
 
==Examples of fanon==
 
 
===Definition of First Age; Third Age "of the Sun"===
 
 
*The [[First Age]] began with the first sunrise over [[Middle-earth]] and the events of ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'' took place in the ''Third Age of the Sun''.
 
**Actually, Tolkien never described his ages as being linked to the Sun and specifically wrote that the "First Age of the [[Children of Ilúvatar]]" began with the [[Awakening of the Elves]], long before the first sunrise. Despite this, many fans believe the 'Ages of the Sun' version is ''correct'' because it has been repeated so often. For example, it is found in ''[[Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia]]'' by [[David Day]], whose books are generally considered unreliable by Tolkien scholars on the internet such as Conrad Dunkerson and Steuard Jensen.
 
 
===Homosexuality===
 
 
*[[Fingon]] and [[Maedhros]] were lovers.
 
**This concept, which frequently appears in slash fan fiction (where writers explore homosexual pairings), derives from their close friendship in the book, but would most likely have been rejected by Tolkien, a devout Roman Catholic.  The less detailed nature of the ''[[The Silmarillion|Silmarillion]]'' narrative in comparison to ''The Lord of the Rings'' gives fan fiction writers more leeway for developing a Fingon-Maedhros romance and its possible historical significance than exists with respect to a [[Frodo Baggins|Frodo]]-[[Samwise Gamgee|Sam]] or [[Aragorn]]-[[Legolas]] relationship.
 
*The friendship of Frodo and Sam had homoerotic overtones. 
 
**This concept, which has generated a great deal of slash fan fiction, derives from a modern interpretation of a book written in a different era, and would also have been likely rejected by Tolkien. (In an amusing nod to this idea, when TBS aired the film trilogy, some of their ads implied a homosexual relationship between Frodo and Sam, with the song "Secret Lovers" being played during the commercial.)
 
*The friendship of Aragorn and Legolas had homoerotic overtones. 
 
**As with Frodo and Sam, this idea has produced a large amount of slash and would most likely have been rejected by Tolkien.  However, this case is slightly different in that the idea largely derives from the films rather than the books, since the films emphasize the Aragorn-Legolas friendship more than the books do.
 
 
===The Arkenstone was a Silmaril===
 
 
*The [[Arkenstone]] was a [[Silmaril]], probably the one thrown into a fiery pit by Maedhros, and found its way (geologically?) to the north, to be rediscovered by the [[Khazad]] of [[Erebor]]. Tolkien wrote that the two lost Silmarils would remain lost until the end of Arda. However, in a partial translation of early Silmarillion texts into Old English Tolkien used the etymologically related term 'Eorclanstanas' ('holy stones') to translate 'Silmarils' - suggesting that he may have borrowed the name and other concepts from the Silmarils in describing the Arkenstone.
 
 
===Elrond visits Elros in Númenor===
 
 
*Late in the life of [[Elros]] his brother [[Elrond]] visited him in [[Númenor]] and was shocked to see how old he had grown, having chosen the mortality of [[Men]].
 
**An obscure note published in ''[[The Lost Road and Other Writings]]'' implies that Tolkien considered the possibility that Elrond and Elros originally sailed to Númenor together and that Elrond later returned to Middle-earth.  However, there is no reference in Tolkien's writings to Elrond visiting Elros in his old age.
 
 
===Arwen's brothers are mischevious===
 
 
*[[Elladan]] and [[Elrohir]], the twin sons of Elrond, are jokesters and tricksters. 
 
**This is a common characterization of them in fan fiction and may have been inspired by the depiction of the Weasley twins in J.K. Rowling's ''Harry Potter'' books as well as that of Merry and Pippin in Peter Jackson's films.
 
 
===Celebrian was raped by Orcs===
 
 
*[[Celebrían]], the mother of [[Arwen]], wife of Elrond and daughter of [[Galadriel]], was raped by the [[Orcs]] who captured her.
 
**According to this theory, Tolkien intended to convey the fact of the rape obliquely when he wrote that Celebrían received a "poisoned wound".  This idea may or may not be contradicted by Tolkien's statement (in the notes to "[[Laws and Customs Among the Eldar]]" in ''[[Morgoth's Ring]]'') that [[Elves]] passed directly to [[Mandos]] (i.e. die) if they were raped, since that statement seems to refer specifically to rape committed by an Elf.
 
 
===Aragorn's illegitimate children===
 
 
*Aragorn may have become the biological father of [[Boromir]] and/or [[Faramir]] during his time in [[Gondor]] as "[[Thorongil]]". 
 
**According to Appendices A and B of ''The Lord of the Rings'', "Thorongil" departed from Gondor in T.A. 2980; Boromir was born in 2978 and Faramir in 2983.  Thus Aragorn was apparently in Gondor at the time of Boromir's birth (but not Faramir's).  However, there is no evidence whatsoever in Tolkien's writings for an affair between Aragorn and [[Finduilas]] (the wife of [[Denethor]]).  Such an occurrence would contradict Tolkien's devout Catholic viewpoint and the fact that Aragorn was raised among the Elves, for whom adultery was unthinkable.
 
 
===Faramir, Raven of Gondor===
 
 
*[[Faramir]] was known as "the Raven of [[Gondor]]" due to his status as the guardian of [[Ithilien]].
 
**This concept apparently derives from Tolkien describing Faramir's ''hair color'' as "raven".  The designers of ''[[Peter Jackson's The Two Towers|The Two Towers]]'' film used ravens as a visual motif for Faramir.  However, the title "the Raven of Gondor" is never used in Tolkien's writings or in the films.
 
 
===Arwen, the lastborn of the Elves===
 
 
*Arwen was the last Elf born in Middle-earth. 
 
**This concept derives from publicity for the films, but is never stated in the films or the books.
 
 
===Legolas's age===
 
 
*Legolas is 2931 years old during the [[War of the Ring]], and thus was born in T.A. 87. 
 
**This information also comes from film publicity and is never stated in the films or books.  It may derive from the fact that ''Aragorn'' was born in the ''year'' T.A. 2931.  The date of T.A. 87 for Legolas' birth agrees with another common fan theory, namely that Legolas was born during the period of peace at the beginning of the [[Third Age]].  This is neither confirmed nor denied by Tolkien, who never reveals Legolas' birthdate.
 
 
===Legolas is blond===
 
 
*Legolas is blond.
 
**This is a visual tradition dating back to the works of the [[Brothers Hildebrandt]] in the 1970s and followed in both the [[Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings|animated]] and [[Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings|live action]] LotR films.  However, Tolkien never specifies Legolas' hair color (although ''[[The Hobbit]]'' mentions that [[Thranduil]], Legolas' father, was blond).  Legolas' hair color is one of the most enduring controversies in [[Tolkien fandom]].
 
 
===Legolas the abused child===
 
 
*Thranduil, Legolas' father, was an abusive parent. 
 
**This characterization appears frequently in fan fiction and is proposed as an explanation for Legolas being sent to Rivendell and for his referring to Thranduil as "my Elven lord" rather than "my father".  However, ''The Hobbit'' depicts Thranduil in reasonably positive terms, especially given his status as the [[Dwarves]]' antagonist for part of the story.
 
 
===Names of the Nazgûl===
 
 
*The names of all nine [[Nazgûl]] are known:  Er-Murazor (the [[Witch-king of Angmar]]), [[Khamûl]], Dwar of Waw, Ji Indur Dawndeath, Akhorahil, Hoarmurath, Adunaphel the Quiet (female — see below), Ren the Unclean and Uvatha the Horseman. 
 
**In fact Tolkien recorded the name of only one Nazgûl:  Khamûl, the [[Black Rider]] who barely missed catching the [[Hobbits]] at [[Bucklebury Ferry]].  Even the personal name of the [[Witch-king of Angmar]] was not given by Tolkien, although some fans refer to him as "[[Angmar]]".  The names for the eight Nazgûl other than Khamûl which some fans think were coined by Tolkien were actually invented for the [[Middle-earth Role Playing]] game (MERP) published by [[Iron Crown Enterprises]] (ICE).
 
 
===A female Nazgûl===
 
 
*One of the nine Nazgûl was female. 
 
**This concept also comes from MERP.  Tolkien's texts seemingly contradict this idea with their consistent references to the Nazgûl as "Men" and "kings", although it could be argued that "Men" includes women and "kings" includes queens.  Unsurprisingly, the film version of ''[[Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring|The Fellowship of the Ring]]'' contradicts this idea by showing all nine Nazgûl as men when they received their [[Rings of Power]].
 
 
===Elf extras with fan-made names===
 
 
*There is an Elven-archer in [[Mirkwood]] named Silindë, described as a tall, blond Sinda. Also, the infamous [[Figwit]] has a Elvish name, Melpomaen.
 
**''Silindë'' is [[Quenya]] and should not be used to name an Elf in Mirkwood.  Nor is it likely that a Sinda would be blond.  Silindë is one of the more prominent characters in a large group of Elves in the films whose names are in use on the Internet despite not being established by Tolkien.  Some of these Elves (including Silindë) were named in [[Decipher Inc.]]'s [[The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game]]; others were simply assigned names by Internet fandom.  The Elf named Silindë by Decipher appears at the [[Council of Elrond]] in the film of ''[[Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring|The Fellowship of the Ring]]'', and is played by [[Sam Kelly]]. Figwit (standing for "Frodo Is Great! Who Is That?), played by [[Bret McKenzie]], has no official name in the cast list for ''The Return of the King'', and is credited as "Elf Escort". ''Melpomaen'' is completely fabricated, and does not resemble any of Tolkien's authentic Quenya and Sindarin names.
 
 
===Mrs. Thranduil===
 
 
*The name of Legolas' mother is known.
 
**In fact a name was coined for her for MERP, but never by Tolkien.
 
 
===The War in the North===
 
 
*The [[War of the Ring]] included a "War in the North", which involved fighting in [[Eriador]] and around [[Rivendell]]. 
 
**This has been stated as fact by the writers of the films in a DVD commentary and has formed the basis for parts of the 2006 computer game ''[[The Lord of the Rings:  The Battle for Middle-earth II]]''.  However, although Tolkien mentions violent incidents around [[Bree]] during the War (not to mention the [[Scouring of the Shire]]), no extensive military campaign in Eriador is mentioned in the [[Tale of Years]] in Appendix B of ''The Lord of the Rings''.  Since the Tale of Years does mention the [[Battle of Dale]] and the fighting around [[Lothlórien]], it is clear that it would also have mentioned the "War in the North" if it had been part of Tolkien's conception.  Moreover, the section of Appendix A on the Dwarves includes comments by [[Gandalf]] to the effect that extensive, destructive fighting in Eriador was averted by the death of [[Smaug]] and the Battles of [[Battle of Five Armies|Five Armies]] and of [[Dale]].
 
 
===Aragorn and Arwen's daughters===
 
 
*In addition to their son [[Eldarion]], Aragorn and Arwen had as many as four or eight daughters.
 
**Tolkien's only reference to their children other than Eldarion is a mention of Arwen's "daughters", which could refer to as few as two.  Moreover, Elves tended to have few childbirths (the six births of [[Fëanor]] and [[Nerdanel]]'s seven children were unparallelled), and Arwen was [[Half-elven]].
 
 
===The shape of Middle-earth===
 
 
*The whole continent of [[Middle-earth]] resembles Europe with respective continents for Asia and Africa, while [[Valinor]] is in the place of the Americas and has a crescent shape.
 
**This derives from ''[[The Atlas of Middle-earth]]'', which tried to composite a map of [[Arda]] based on a drawing by Tolkien (made in the late 1930s or early 40s and published in ''[[The Shaping of Middle-earth]]'') and the later well-known maps of [[Beleriand]] and the coasts of Middle-earth. Although this old map generally fits the descriptions of the canonical ''Silmarillion'', it is a matter of debate whether earlier concepts of Tolkien's can be used to fill the gaps of later works such as LotR. The Central American coastline does look somewhat like a crescent, but it is unlikely that Tolkien was influenced by it in choosing the shape for the shores of Valinor.
 
 
===Pointed ears===
 
 
*Elves and Hobbits have pointed ears.
 
**This is nowhere stated in ''The Hobbit'', ''The Lord of the Rings'' and in ''The Silmarillion'', though Tolkien stated that Hobbit ears were pointed in a letter he wrote later about illustrations, and that Elven ears were pointed in the "[[The Etymologies (Tolkien)|Etymologies]]" published in ''[[The Lost Road]]''. See [[Elves]], [http://www.tolkiensociety.org/faq01.html#pointed_ears Tolkien FAQ].
 
 
===Hobbit feet===
 
 
*Hobbits have huge feet.
 
**Tolkien wrote: "their feet had tough leathery soles and were clad in a thick curling hair, much like the hair of their heads".  The idea that they have very large feet, as depicted in the movies, probably derives from illustrations by the [[Brothers Hildebrandt]].
 
 
===Déagol/Sméagol relationship===
 
 
*Déagol is Sméagol's cousin.
 
**Tolkien only calls him Sméagol's ''friend'' in ''The Lord of the Rings'', though in ''The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien'' he writes that Déagol was "evidently a relative (as no doubt all the members of the small community were)" of Sméagol’s. This fanon probably dates from ''[[The Complete Guide to Middle-earth]]'' by [[Robert Foster]] and ''[[Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia]]'' by [[David Day]]. [http://greenbooks.theonering.net/questions/files/020101.html]
 
 
===Gollum's age===
 
*Sméagol was born in the year 2430 of the Third Age, found the Ring on his 33rd birthday in 2463,  and thus was 589 years old when he died in 3019.
 
**33 is the age a Shire Hobbit becomes officially an adult. Sméagol "found" the Ring on his birthday. The filmmakers evidently decided that the day Sméagol found the Ring was his 33rd birthday. However: Sméagol was not a Shire Hobbit, but a Stoor, and these had different customs - Tolkien states that the  Stoors of Rhovanion received, and did not give gifts on their birthdays (in ''Unfinished Tales'', ''The History of Middle-earth'' and ''Letters''); and T.A. 2463 as the date of the discovery of the Ring is an approximate, not a precise date. Thus, there is no exact indication of Gollum's age in Tolkien's books. [http://www.theonering.net/movie/char/smeagol.html See http://www.theonering.net/movie/char/smeagol.html]<!--Borrowed from Gollum talk page on Wikipedia-->
 
 
===Runes on Sting===
 
 
*The [[Sindarin]] words ''Maegnas aen estar nin dagnir in yngyl im'' are engraved on the blade of [[Sting]].  The worlds translate as "Magenas is my name, I am the spider's bane".
 
**Tolkien describes Sting as a rather plain weapon with a simple leather sheath.  Unlike [[Glamdring]] and [[Orcrist]], it bears no runes for [[Elrond]] to translate in ''[[The Hobbit]]''.  It first receives a name from [[Bilbo Baggins]] after he uses it against the giant spiders of [[Mirkwood]].
 
**The origin of the runes appears to be the prop department for [[Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings]].
 
 
==Other kinds of fanon==
 
 
Due to the nature of the work, much pseudo-scientific speculation is encouraged in order to explain motivations, facts, reactions and generally fill some gaps. This differs from proper fanon since such study does not invent new elements from scratch, but rather attempts to reveal ''how'' canon is. See also [[Tolkienology]].
 
Due to the nature of the work, much pseudo-scientific speculation is encouraged in order to explain motivations, facts, reactions and generally fill some gaps. This differs from proper fanon since such study does not invent new elements from scratch, but rather attempts to reveal ''how'' canon is. See also [[Tolkienology]].
  
 
Fanon can also take the form of personal beliefs held by individuals. In this case, an individual may create an expansive backstory, possibly a fan fiction, which they accept as "true." These have less standing than even the fanon mentioned above, and thus are not included on [[Tolkien Gateway]].
 
Fanon can also take the form of personal beliefs held by individuals. In this case, an individual may create an expansive backstory, possibly a fan fiction, which they accept as "true." These have less standing than even the fanon mentioned above, and thus are not included on [[Tolkien Gateway]].
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[[Category: Fandom]]

Latest revision as of 16:47, 10 December 2012

Fanon is a term used to refer to "fan canon" (of which the term is a portmanteau). It applies to certain "facts" that may have been accepted as a truth by a large number of fans, and thus either replaces an established canonical fact in the minds of those fans, or fills a plot-hole. Frequently, these fanonical facts arise due to screen adaptations (esp. The Lord of the Rings (film series)).

Due to the nature of the work, much pseudo-scientific speculation is encouraged in order to explain motivations, facts, reactions and generally fill some gaps. This differs from proper fanon since such study does not invent new elements from scratch, but rather attempts to reveal how canon is. See also Tolkienology.

Fanon can also take the form of personal beliefs held by individuals. In this case, an individual may create an expansive backstory, possibly a fan fiction, which they accept as "true." These have less standing than even the fanon mentioned above, and thus are not included on Tolkien Gateway.