Retconning is a disputed storytelling method that involves changing or ignoring something that has officially been defined in the continuity. Retcons can also be legitimate “gotcha!” moments from a group of clever writers who overturn consumer expectations to pull off a significant twist or disclosure. Alternatively, they can be true new sources of evidence that confuse or enhance the narrative of your favorite television universe. Here are some ‘Controversial Retcons In Hit TV Shows That Made Us Rebel’.
Prison Break (So Many Fake Deaths)
Fanbases are understandably irritated by the practice of frequently faking the lead character’s death just to welcome them back in shabby “aha” methods. Recounting these deaths causes viewers to stop believing in the show they’re viewing. If you constantly retcon the deaths of the primary characters, especially ones as traumatic as Michael’s 2009 death, the sense of their being any reasons to engage in them quickly fades.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Dawn)
To sum it up, Dawn is a disliked character in the Buffy universe. Entertainment Weekly named her as one of the most irritating characters on television. She was generally unpleasant and obnoxious, and her deceptive implanting of fraudulent memories into the show never sat well with fans. Dawn Summers is undoubtedly one of the most infamous retcons in television history, simply because of its audacity. It didn’t quite pay off, and Dawn’s persona is still reviled by many, but no one can disagree that it was gutsy.
Game Of Thrones (The Deterioration Of Daenerys)
GOT is an extraordinarily well-written show, and the characters have evolved and grown brilliantly over the course of eight seasons to set the standard for which the show is known. Season 8’s writing quality dropped off a cliff, and Daenerys’ quick plummet into unimaginable crimes after knowing about her over eight years becomes little more than sloppy writing to wind up the show in fewer episodes than it needed to adequately execute the moral turn.
Sherlock (Did You Miss Me?)
“Did you miss me?” was simply a cheap tactic by the authors to entice fans into assuming Moriarty would play a significant role in the final season when he had none at all, and Sherlock‘s Abominable Bride speech was quickly retconned. Given that fans disliked Season 4 and felt the hasty introduction of Eurus to be loaded with exposition, Moriarty’s absence after what should have been such a well-executed comeback to fame for one more appearance enraged them spectacularly.
The Walking Dead (Walker Blood)
Given that the victims are several years into the apocalypse, it’s absurd that the overall cast of characters is only now recognizing this as a reason for concern and a technique of execution for Negan, despite the fact that it’s pretty much always mentioned in the comics. It just felt like a sloppy retcon of walker mythology for shocking effect in a season smack dab in the middle of the show’s apparent decline in quality.