Is it appropriate to dismiss from consideration an answer that mixes book canon with movie canon? The reason I ask is I just looked over an answer to a question of mine and the user answering had used a quote from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (film), that does not appear in the book, as part of her argument (for lack of a better word). In this instance (and perhaps this isn't a great example, but it's the only one I can find immediately) I don't think that one particular error affects the overall answer, so it's an answer I might consider. However, I think especially in the Harry Potter questions, answers quoting non-canon movie lines as a basis for a canon answer are not unusual.

Is there a guideline on how to handle answers that mix non-corresponding book and movie canon? Or is it just up to the individual user on how to deal with these kind of situations?

2 Answers 2


If you don't want movie "canon", simply indicate so explicitly in a question footnote. Whether you want a movie canon or not is up to question asker.

(it may not be very fair to the answerer to update the question later to clarify that, but life's not fair)


The appropriate thing to do is preemptively notate your question with what you are discounting from answers, so that people are aware of what you are looking for.

That being said, I disagree with DVK...I think it is less than "not very fair" to the answerer to update the question after they have answered to specifically discount their answer. I think it shouldn't be allowed, as it is very rude to the people that answered in good faith to the original question without stipulations.

  • I'd say that as a general rule I agree with you that changing a question later to disqualify an answer is rude (having had that done to myself). But, in THIS specific case, it's significantly colored by the fact that if you don't know that movies and books for HP differ, AND that movies are not really canon, you aren't the kind of expert who should be answering HP questions in the first place. And if you didn't bother asking the OP in the comment if they are OK with movie-only answer, you were rude for imposing an answer that clearly could have been wrong (similar to Trek answers from books). Feb 19, 2013 at 18:11
  • Nowhere in my question did I even broach the subject of changing a question's guidelines after an answer is given. Please show me exactly where I said such a thing. My question is What do I do when a book canon question is answered with movie information -- may I ignore the answer? Should I point out the discrepancy? Should I downvote? Should I VTC? I'm asking how to handle this particular situation, not how to cheat someone after they've answered in good faith. Also, stating what sources one wants, or doesn't, mainly leads to downvoting by those who feel all sources should be equally valid. Feb 19, 2013 at 18:25
  • @aSlytherin I didn't say that you did...I was offering a different view than DVKs answer in which he talked about updating the question later to clarify. If you are going to discount answers from certain levels of canon then the appropriate thing to do IMO is to preemptively state what source you want. Granted this may lead to downvoting, but if you want your answer to only include certain sources, you either have to preempt your question with that information and deal with possible downvoting, or don't, and get answers that come from sources you don't want.
    – NominSim
    Feb 20, 2013 at 1:50
  • (In other words if you care about the down votes then don't preempt your questions and avoid that issue, if you care about getting answers to your question as intended then preempt your question with where you feel acceptable answers will come from.)
    – NominSim
    Feb 20, 2013 at 1:52

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