Destinypedia:Canon policy

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What Destinypedia is not

As you may already know, the goal of Destinypedia is to provide accurate and credible information on everything in the Destinyverse. To do this, however, content added to the wiki must be canon. This policy is designed to layout the standards for what Destinypedia deems as canon.

What is canon

When editing on Destinypedia, canon is defined as the characters, places, and story that are considered to be genuine (or "official"), and are considered to have inarguable existence within the Destiny universe. "Official" Destiny canon can only be created by developers, meaning only content recognized by them is actually considered canon. In keeping with this, any material added to Destinypedia must be officially recognized by the developers and must be cited from a work created or sanctioned by Bungie. For more information on what Destinypedia is not, see our policy for how the wiki should be treated.

How we interpret canon

"When a painter starts, they have an idea. They sketch, they doodle, they make strokes on canvas and paper with pencil, pen, brush, charcoal, whatever... Until the painting is finished, any previous stroke of the brush can be covered by a later one, altering the position of a tree, the color of the sky, a reflection in the water, the placement of a person, the existence of anything.... until the artist says "fin", it is not up to others to determine what is "so" and what is an "alteration"."
— Recon Number 54

There are various ways of interpreting canon, but most cases will typically refer to two modes of interpretation: Watsonian and Doylist. The most common approach in most fanbases would be from a Watsonian perspective, in which information is interpreted from the standpoint of the text. This is sometimes called an "in-universe perspective". The Doylist approach on the other hand, utilizes a real world perspective, and as Fanlore puts it; "[t]hings that happen in canon happen because of decisions made by the author or TPTB; inconsistencies are probably authorial error. These explanations will sometimes be written right into the canon."

Pros and cons

While both sides have their benefits, there are also several downsides which must be taken into consideration when choosing between the two, and while the Watsonian perspective seeks to amend canonical inconsistencies by presenting an in-universe plausible explanation, it can often risk veering into fanfiction and without an official source to support it, cannot be considered to be on the same level as canon.

Meanwhile, the Doylist perspective handles canonical inconsistencies by an explanation of what the creators were likely thinking, keeping the work grounded in the real world and letting us see what the authors may have been thinking, but it too can often involve just as much guesswork as Watsonian theories and can sometimes be misused as a platform for complaining about the story's direction.

As such, editors can use both perspectives to determine which elements remain part of the canon framework and which elements should be discarded to accommodate it. But the path to the outcome is rarely simple, and there is no guarantee that the inconsistency will be amended by the creators at a later date. Only with the community's participation can each theory be weighed, so as to ensure Destinypedia continues displaying the most accurate and consistent of Destiny information, and not a theory-based platform.

Hierarchy of canon

Here at Destinypedia, editors work tirelessly to present information to the community in the best possible light - these Destinypedians strive to interpret canon in a way that makes the most sense in the context it is given and causes the least problems in allowing readers to thrive with the interpreted information.

Often times, one source of canon may say something different than another source. While there are many reasons why this may be so—ranging from a typo to a line taken out of context, a "ladder" of canon sources exists with the sources higher on the ladder being "superior canon", which is considered more "official" than the sources below them. This hierarchy of canon can be presented as such: the games themselves would be superior, followed by the novels, then other literatures, and lastly the marketing campaigns and other promotional items. The rationale for this is that since Destiny is essentially a game franchise, game titles would be the superior source of canon, and other works intended to further expand upon the fiction would come in second, while promotional content can tend to be misleading and/or made for the sole purpose of creating anticipation.

The general rule of the canon policy is fairly simple—"the content should be considered canonical unless contradicted by more authoritative sources". For weighing each source's authority, editors may refer to the diagram below. However it is only one tool in discerning the canon from the non-canon, and oftentimes the relationships of authority may tend to overlap or be unclear. In vague cases like those, determining which contradicting fact should be posted on Destinypedia may come down to the editors' interpretation.

Published materials
Marketing and PR materials

Sources of Destiny canon

As the Destiny franchise is ever expanding, it is impossible to list out all of the sources of canon. The easiest way of knowing what would identify as canon, is anything released by an official party of the franchise. In lieu of this, any content released by Bungie throughout their contributions to the franchise from 2013 to 2021 will be considered as sources of canon.

The following is a simple list of sources for Destiny canon, and thus any material from these sources is content that can, and should be added to Destinypedia. Also note that this list does not present the entirety of canonical, but is rather a general overview of significant sources of canon.

Video Games

See also

Development of canon

More on interpreting canon