Fandom has its own rules…

What’s Fanon?

…Plus the difference between fanon, canon, and headcanon.

Cee Arr
2 min readApr 12, 2022
Dude sitting cross-legged in a room and playing with a rubik’s cube. The room is small and painted with bright, pop-art verging on trippy, hearts and mountains.
Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

If you’re a lover of fanfiction, or general internet-ish fan spaces, you can’t escape fanon.

It’s everywhere.

But what is fanon?

Fanon is headcanon that is so widely accepted within fandom that it is treated as canon.

Granted, if you don’t speak fandom, that statement’s gonna confuse you as much as you were before — so lemme clear up a few more terms while we’re at it.

So, what’s canon?

Canon is the official, on-page/on-screen stuff that happens as part of a book/series/whatever

So it’s the ‘official’ source material that fan-created works are based on. Anything found in the source material itself is canon.

OK, so we’ve sorted canon… but WTF is headcannon?

Headcanon (aka Headcannon, cos it blows your mind) is something an individual accepts as canon, despite there being no official explicit canon to back it up.

This is often something that can be extrapolated from canon — e.g. there being a specific reason behind a fear, a friendship, an attitude, etc.

…So basically, headcannon is when you accept a fan theory as canon (give or take some nuance here and there!)

Let’s take another look at fanon, then:

Fanon is headcanon that is so widely accepted within fandom that it is treated as canon.

So instead of being just your headcanon, it’s headcanon to enough people that the fandom refers to it in the same way they would refer to the ‘official’ canon!



Cee Arr

Writer, reader, poet, (book) blogger @ , Queer, weird, bookish rebel. Welsh as a tractor on the M4. She/Her. Buy me a coffee @