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Squibstress’s Hierarchy of Canon Sources

Look, I made an infographic.
Click for long description for graphic: Squibstress’s Hierarchy of Canon Sources

Harry Potter canon is a lot like the Judeo-Christian Bibles.

No one really agrees what belongs in it, and people will get in the most God-awful fights over it. But, as with the various versions of the Bible, I find I’m not too fussed about any of it.

Some people are all tied up in knots wondering how to reconcile the Crimes of Grindelwald discrepancies with what went before. While I find JKR’s retconning of her own work mildly annoying, it’s her story; she can do what she likes with it. I don’t have to read/watch it if I don’t want, and I certainly don’t have to use it in my writing. I’m not going to complain too much, since she’s nice enough not to sue me for publishing free fanfic.

But since some of the things she says or writes contradict other things she’s said or written about the Potterverse, I have my own little hierarchy I try to use when I’m writing my HP fanfic. YMMV .

  1. If it ain’t in the books, it ain’t canon. The seven published Harry Potter books are the final word for me. Anything that didn’t make it into one of them isn’t canon, sez I.
  2. The other books (plus the play). To be honest, I haven’t paid much attention to these, but I’ll grudgingly admit that they’re canon too.
  3. Pottermore. Since this information wasn’t included in the books, I consider it extra-canon. I use it or not, according to my whim.
  4. The films. Since these don’t (ahem) always agree with the books, I mostly use these for stealing inspiration about settings, clothes, and sometimes character appearance.
  5. Everything else. Rowling’s interviews and tweets about the Potterverse I largely ignore.