Canon describes works that are considered more important or more "real" than others, i.e. "official" works, in terms of works of fiction or fictional universes.
Tiers of Canon
- Main article: Contents Guide
There are several tiers of canon, running from most important to least. This means that if there are conflicts or contradictions in the information from different sources, the higher canon source will be considered the correct one, although the conflict can, of course, be mentioned in the notes or references of an article. Whenever there are conflicts or contradictions in the information from the same tier of canon, the most recent piece of information is canon (ie. The Devil is actually a fallen angel). Remember, however, the last word is for the creators of the show. Even when their intentions are perceived as errors, or they do not adhere to mainstream connotations, canonicity is determined according to the criteria in the following bullet-list. Creators of the show are entitled to the creative license and may decide to define and characterize creatures, powers, events, etc. as they see fit (ie. In Salem, 'Samhain' is primarily the head of the hive, not a harvest season festival).
- 1. The Show: What was said and shown in the aired episodes.
- 2. Authors' statements: Any information coming directly from Adam Simon and Braga. Writer's Wrap is a perfect source for explanations and insights.
- 3. Deleted scenes: Scenes from Salem that were written and/or filmed but never aired, extended scenes, original drafts of scripts, etc Currently these are not included in DVDs.
- 4. Officially-licensed sources: Information released on the official social networks (Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) including promotional descriptions and taglines.
- 5. Trusted news sources: Well known or respected news sources such as newspapers, magazines, and their websites reporting information from the series.
Fan fiction is almost never regarded as canonical. However, certain ideas may become influential or widely accepted within fan communities, who refer to such ideas as "fanon", a portmanteau of fan and canon.
An example of fanon contents on The Salem Wiki are the names of the powers. Since most of the supernatural abilities have not been specifically named by mutual agreement those powers will be nominated in accordance with canon ones, and where possible mimicking them (ie. Dead Raising is similar to Dream Walking). Sci-Fi names will not be taken into account, as out of context. Their description will follow, however, the tiers of canon.
Historical Facts is a recurring subsection in Trivia, where elements that are presented may also contradict what is shown in the TV series. In fact, this section serves to point out various references or inspirations to historical facts or beliefs, accentuating various creative liberties from the creators of the show. (ie. In-universe representation of Increase Mather is more similar to Matthew Hopkins than to his historical counterpart; In real-life Salem Witch Trials no one was burned at the stake.)
Wherever an article has a non-canon name, it is indicated by a notice on top of the page itself, that says the following: "Although this article is based on canonical information, the actual name of this subject is conjectural."
Elements and interpretations of a fictional universe accepted by an individual fan, but not necessarily found within or supported by the official canon.
- Headcanon contents should be expressed only in the forum, explicitly saying that they are personal theories and are not spoilers or by passing them as proven facts. Do not create unnecessary confusion or false expectations to other viewers who may take your headcanons as canon facts.
- The main pages are designed as a guide to fans interested in the show, not to support your theories.
- Headcanon content should not be used to strengthen one's own thesis during an argument because it is not canon material shared by all participants in the discussion.
- Just because another show establishes certain rules in its mythology, these do not apply by default to Salem or vice versa.
- Speaking of a character, power, creature, etc. in the comments section it is advisable to make primary reference to Salem's canonical material. Only then the conversation can also include comparisons with other narrative universes, trying not to make confusion nor taking things for granted.
- Headcanon contents, like any other type of comment, should not be written countless times in the comment sections, as they will be considered as spam. See: Rules/Comments and Chat Policy.