Canon is a term applied to most franchises with one or more possible storylines, and refers to which of them is the official one to follow. In RuneScape, canon may be used to describe the correct or official way the world of Gielinor functions, or how things or people in the game run and act.
Jagex tries at every possible opportunity to keep to the established canon, but there is still dispute about certain subjects, especially on sketchy and highly-speculated subjects, such as the history of gods like Zaros and the Menaphite Pantheon.
Sources of information
Usually considered canon
- The RuneScape game itself is usually considered canon, although the Scale Theory suggests that it may not represent the game's story with 100% accuracy. On rare occasions, different in-game sources may contradict one another; logic and common sense should determine which is canonical.
- Information found on the official RuneScape website. This includes sources like Lores and Histories, the former Knowledge Base and news articles. Information released through sources such as the Postbag from the Hedge is more debatable; see below.
- The events of the RuneScape novels (Betrayal at Falador, Return to Canifis and Legacy of Blood) are mentioned multiple times in the game and are thus considered canon, a character from the novels - Kara-Meir - even making an appearance, rather than sole references, in the game. However, in the event of contradictions with existing in-game lore, the game's canon takes precedence.
- Information revealed through the Postbags from the Hedge is generally considered canonical unless contradicted by in-game sources. However, some responses to player letters are intended for humorous effect, and as such may not be intended to be interpreted seriously. For instance, in one Postbag from the Hedge an Isafdar tripwire responds to a player letter as though it was sentient, and, in another, Delrith says he did not immediately attack Varrock upon being summoned by Denath due to being too shy to attack without wearing any clothes. It should be noted that the letters themselves are most likely not canon, though the information within, unless contradicted by other sources or obviously intended for humour only, is.
- Information revealed during organised sessions with Jagex Moderators, such as Above the Lore, forum Q&As, livestreams or ask-me-anythings, is to be considered canon. However, the moderators may express their personal opinions or ideas about a topic, or accidentally contradict other sources, and in this case the information is considered to be non-canonical. Moreover, some visual parts of the Origins of Gielinor motion comic (such as K'ril Tsutsaroth fighting for Zaros or Zamorak stabbing Zaros in the chest with an Armadyl battlestaff (rather than in the back with the Staff of Armadyl)) are not canonical, though the narrative is.
- The God Letters are, for the greater part, non-canon, as they were written mostly for fun back in the days before RuneScape had an established storyline. The Edicts of Guthix would have prevented the gods sending letters, and thus the letters themselves can be considered non-canon, although some of the information within them (such as the Underwater City or Guthix arriving to Gielinor as a butterfly) is canon, unless, once again, contradicted or intended for humour only. The personalities of the gods' are not completely in line with their current ones, and as such are only partially canonical.
- Information revealed by official Jagex Moderators and staff. Usually information revealed on the forums or, more rarely, in-game by moderators is considered canonical, but responses received through Customer Support are less monitored and may not be official.
- The FunOrb game Armies of Gielinor. The game itself contradicts established history numerous times; locations that did not exist during the Third Age (such as Asgarnia or Misthalin) are referred to frequently, organisations and races not active at the time (such as gnomes, Black Knights or sea slugs) are present, technology not created until the Fourth and Fifth Ages (such as gnomecopters and dwarf multicannons) can be used, and events and battles are often contradictory to other accounts (for instance, Zamorak leading the invasion of Hallowvale rather than Lord Drakan). Because of this, the game is not to be considered fully canonical, although characters such as Zebub (who is referenced in the Twice Burnt story) and formerly unnamed locations such as Hallowglade can be. According to a Q&A on the FunOrb forums on 18 February 2010, the Armies of Gielinor campaigns are considered canon. It should be noted that this only applies to the parts of the campaigns that do not contradict in-game lore.
- ^ Mod Chihiro. "Fairy Tale III: Design Review." 05-Jun-2009. Developers' Blogs.
- ^ Jagex. RuneScape's Twitter account. 3 February 2013. RuneScape: "Betraual at Falador has a lot of Canon in it but a lot of individual characters opinions & interpretations of the truth as well."
- ^ Jagex. RuneScape's Twitter account. 3 February 2013. RuneScape: "it's within the RuneScape timeline & history, but as it's in the past some things have changed in the active game setting. [Ajd]"
- ^ Jagex. Postbag 30 - "Transcript:A message from the wire.", Letter 3, by Mr.T Wire, esq.. RuneScape Postbags from the Hedge.
- ^ Mod Korpz. "FunOrb Q&A - Answers." 19 February 2010. FunOrb Announcements Forums.