Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. retcon
Contracted form of the phrase 'retroactive continuity': the activity of retrospectively having an effect on previously established continuity in a fictional narrative. Simply put, retcon tends to involve rewriting the past, or adding to the past, at a later date. Retcon is often deliberate, but at times accidental.

While Knightmare has plenty of discontinuity, i.e. characters coming and going between series without explanation, it has instances of retcon too, in which narrative gaps are filled. Here are four examples:

1. Team 6 of Series 4 gave Brother Mace 'Etruscan brandy' from Hordriss. Watchers saw it turn him into a large lizard, but didn't see what consequences this had prior to Mace turning human again, which had happened by Team 8 of Series 4's quest. However, in Team 7 of Series 5's quest, Mace explained that while in his lizard state, "they wouldn't let me back in the monastery. It took me weeks to get back into shape, and even then I kept on shedding me skin." Because that series of occurrences was not seen or described at the time, it is retcon.

2. Motley, having appeared in Series 3-6, was absent from Series 7 with no explanation from other characters as to why. (Paul Valentine played Fidjit instead of Motley during S7.) In Team 1 of Series 8's quest, the team found Motley in statue form and restored him (with poo), and it was revealed that he'd been "nabbed" and frozen by the Opposition 12 months earlier. Thus an explanation for Motley's S7 absence was 'retconned' in S8.

3. Young Grimwold, who featured in Team 6 of Series 6's quest, appeared to be a retcon: a never-before-mentioned son to Mr. Grimwold and Mrs. Grimwold.

4. Although we never saw Pickle taking his leave of Knightmare Castle at/after the end of Series 6, Majida told Treguard why when Series 7 began: "He say cannot stand damp creepy castle anymore ... he go back to forest to be happier." Thus an explanation of Pickle's departure was retconned.

In the 1990s, while Knightmare was still running on CITV, Knightmare Adventurers Club members had some retcon available via the KAC's official newsletter, The Quest. Arguably, all non-episodic KM retcon is unofficial, even The Quest; nonetheless, here are examples:

The Fliolansheld: The Quest, Issue 4-2, this magical stone was named as the device that allowed dungeoneers to enter the Knightmare realm, and survive fatal incidents in the Dungeon. Lord Fear's destruction of the stone was given as the reason for the cessation of adventuring (i.e. why there would be no new series of KM).

Skeletrons: While the origins of these Series 8 monsters were not fully explained on-screen, according to Lord Fear's Diary in Issue 4.1 (Autumn 1994), skeletrons were created by Lord Fear with the help of Scurriers, who gathered ingredients from no-go areas between levels.

Miremen: According to Issue 4.1, Miremen originated from Atlantis, and were the result of 'Lissard hauling some disgusting creatures across Time and Space (with Lord Fear's help, naturally) from his birthplace, Atlantis.' (Logic might otherwise suggest, though, that Miremen were native to the Great Mire.)

Of course, it may be the case that this information was conceived by Tim Child at the same time as the creatures themselves, and merely published later, rather than having being thought up in retrospect.

Dave Morris' Knightmare books were written to complement and compliment the TV series, and offer plenty of retcon, much of it focusing on historically-based 'off-screen' adventures of Treguard. The first (known to many as Can You Beat The Challenge?), co-written by Tim Child and published the year after Series 1, gives background to Treguard's cryptic comment in KM's first episode about his mastery of the Dungeon, by showing how Treguard did so (with Folly's help) and what led up to it. The next novella, The Labyrinths of Fear, shows Treguard meeting Motley and also Velda for the first time. While some of Dave Morris' retcon is written around established episodic details, some seems to overwrite it, such as his portrayal of Pickle as an imp, not an elf. With that in mind, some people consider it best to treat Dave Morris' retcon as unofficial.

Retcon is abundant in Knightmare fanfiction, with authors often setting out to tackle specific unanswered questions from the KM episodes. Here are some examples of KM retcon from a range of authors:

Kully by Kully, a.k.a. Emii
Pickle is revealed to have a sister, Kully.

I, Julius by Drassil, a.k.a. David
Julius Scaramonger's wife and children, mentioned on-screen but never named, are named in this fanfic. Other retcon revelations include the sources of Skarkill's name and eye injury, the identity of 'flower girl', how Young Grimwold ended up working for Scaramonger (as seen in Series 6), and the consequence of Scaramonger's deer poaching (as seen in Team 3 of Series 5's quest).

Famous For Retreating by KMRAmDram
Retcon includes the origins of Lord Fear (KMRAmDRam) and the Dreadnort, the disappearances of Merlin (KMRAmDRam) and Mogdred after Series 4, a backstory for Stiletta (KMRAmDRam), and a portrayal of Lady Brinkatore.

Crossed Paths by David Ishida
Published on in March 2007. Reveals how Treguard met Pickle and came to be his master.

The Knightmare Roleplay Forum started in 2003 and has, in the course of various storylines, been responsible for retcon of episodic continuity. For example:

Young Grimwold is portrayed as a speaking character, and given a backstory;

Skarkill's sister and mother are introduced;

The Brinkatores are revealed to have a son, Marcus;

Previously unseen extensions to familiar KM locations are shown, such as the Dunnfalls in the Forest of Dunn and the Wolf's Howl Inn in Wolfenden.

All retcon found in fan projects should be regarded as unofficial.

Identification and discussion of Knightmare retcon has never been integral to an appreciation of the series, which is perhaps why the word retcon has only ever been mentioned a few times on the Knightmare Discussion Forum. Nevertheless, it can add richness and interest, and noticing it can range from a baffling and frustrating experience to a fascinating and rewarding one.

A section on retcon can also be found in the Knightmare FANSFAQ.

[Earlier version: 2008-05-25 19:09:50]

Provided By: David, 2011-10-20 17:24:03
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