Thursday, March 12, 2009

Canon: What it means and its relevance

What is Canon?

Canon is a term used to describe official aspects of a fantasy world, such as Middle Earth. In the context of this blog, canon will mean food or drink which is unequivocally present in the world because it is officially quoted. Throughout this blog I will include page numbers and quotes from my copies of the books, edition details will be provided below as specifics may vary from edition to edition.


The Lord of the Rings trilogy. (1993, Harper Collins, Great Britain)
The Hobbit. (1989, Unwin Hyman, London)
The Simarillion.
Any published literature set in or relating to Middle Earth by either of the Tolkiens.
Interviews with J.R.R Tolkien .

An example of a Canon recipe would be Seed Cake, mentioned on page nineteen of An Unexpected party.
I will provide a list of all Hobbit foodstuffs and dishes mentioned in the books shortly, and over time work to provide recipes for all specific dishes.


Guides to Middle Earth published by other writers: These can be a problem. If the scholarship is good, then they should be canonical, but if it is lacking it may be they make assumptions as to Hobbit food which may not match with what is set up by the official Canon. A grey area, requires caution.

Lord of the Rings Online: Highly scrutinized in terms of Lore by the Tolkien gurus, but not canonical. Things can be done in LOTRO which are not represented in the world of the books, so long as they are consistent with the theme and ‘flavour’. There is a Cooking profession with many recipes which could have some bearing on this blog, if it is accepted as canon. Again, discretion required.

I may on occasion discuss semi-canonical sources.

Non canon:

Fan fiction
Anything written without sources.
The Peter Jackson films. Brilliant yes, but too many liberties taken to trust (tomatoes are mentioned).

I may talk about the films now and then, but on the whole non-canon sources will be avoided.

The relevance of Canon to this blog?

Most of the recipes I post will not be mentioned in the books at all, but I will explain why I think they should be included as Hobbit recipes. In a sense these recipes will be non-canonical. But in terms of the canon mentioned above, I aim to include recipes for all specific Hobbit dishes mentioned in Canon sources. The recipes on this blog will, I hope, be acceptable as semi-canonical as my reasons for inclusion will be grounded in the canon.

1 comment:

The Dale Wardens said...

The Peter Jackson films are fan fiction. :)