Talk:Earth Tribe

From BIONICLEsector01

Why don't we just quote greg in full with his explanation for this page? not saying delete what we already have, but given that greg's little blurb is basically all we have on the earth tribe, shouldn't we have that on here? Intelligence4 (talk) 17:16, 11 January 2017 (CET)

For the Element Lord of Earth is a girl, but he used male pronouns by reflex, and he posted and confirmed a lot more things about that Tribe before it was removed from that wiki. And it was removed for originally the Earth Tribe was the placeholder name of the Iron Tribe. But Greg now confirmed the whole story of them, so they were re-added to the wiki along with the older info. -- Surel-Nuva (Talk) 17:31, 11 January 2017 (CET)
Wasn't it deleted because it contradicted some things? The placeholder thing had nothing to do with it, right?
--OnionShark 17:36, 11 January 2017 (CET)
No, the placeholder thing was the first reason for deleting the original Earth Tribe page. The contradictions were the seconds, and the Journey's End still use that only 6 ELs got powers and 6 Tribes were mentioned. Someone said that the Journey's End has a hint to the Earth Tribe, but I cannot find even a word, which could be a hint for that Tribe at all... Also, the EL of Jungle said in the RotGB that he and his five brothers were transformed into Elemental Beings, but there are only 5 male ELs and 2 female ones, so... -- Surel-Nuva (Talk) 17:41, 11 January 2017 (CET)
Oh, really? OnionShark 17:46, 11 January 2017 (CET)

i think we should still quote what greg said, even if there's a minor error in it. it's still the most direct and comprehensive source of information we have on the subject. Intelligence4 (talk) 18:06, 11 January 2017 (CET)

I don't understand if you mean to make a quote of the post, or to copy&paste it on the History section. The first option would be weird, as we usually only quote one tiny excerpt, and it would be kinda useless because quotes are for things that make a place or character unique, but I'm not too opposed to the idea (maybe we could take a little excerpt from the post?), and the second one wouldn't work because Greg's language is not really wiki-like, and trust me, when I first made the sandbox for the page, I tried to keep the text as similar to the post as possible.
--OnionShark 18:37, 11 January 2017 (CET)
Maybe the last bit? "[...] After the disaster, accepted wisdom became that the Earth EL and Agori were responsible for what had happened and so no one wanted anything to do with them anymore. They were effectively banished from society."
--OnionShark 18:44, 11 January 2017 (CET)
We were given a summary by Greg, so it needed to be rephrased by someone else. And I think Morris had done a good job. -- Surel-Nuva (Talk) 19:16, 11 January 2017 (CET)
The different sections of each page rely on different quotes, so I don't see how copying Greg wholesale is any better than writing our own article. Plus it's unprofessional. -- Morris the Mata Nui Cow (talk) 01:13, 12 January 2017 (CET)
onion, i meant that we should make a quote of the post - or at least make a note of it in a trivia section or something. morris, i don't think it's unprofessional to recognise that "quoted paragraph here" is the only piece of information we have on a subject. (in fact, imo, it'd be unprofessional to make it appear that we know more than we do about a particular subject.) Intelligence4 (talk) 01:52, 19 January 2017 (CET)
But it's not the only piece of information on the ET, look at all the references. And Greg's post is one of them, so I don't see what would be the point of quoting it.
--OnionShark 11:40, 19 January 2017 (CET)


Published materials (All Our Sins Remembered, Raid on Volcanus, Journey’s End) refer to only six tribes that fought in the Core War and/or six Elemental Lords (EL) that ruled over the tribes: Fire, Water, Jungle, Ice, Rock, and Sand. There was also an Iron tribe, but the reason they were not given an EL and did not fight in the war was because they were wiped out by the Dreaming Plague before the Great Beings created the ELs.[1]

Initially, the Earth tribe was simply a placeholder tribe for Tera, a new character that would’ve been introduced in the fifth movie if not for its cancellation.[2] As Greg said, “none of the concepts or characters in it are official or have any role in the official there isn't much point in paying attention to it in terms of anything canon.”[3] The Earth tribe ended up becoming the Iron tribe.[4]

Later, Greg reintroduced the Earth tribe into canon, and explained why they were never shown in the story previously.[5] This makes sense of why Earth was never shown before, and it might be argued that it doesn't contradict the previously mentioned published materials since they are from in-universe perspectives, but it doesn’t explain the Chamber of Elements. When this was brought to his attention, Greg stated that the ELs were not created “at the same time, so [the Great Beings] were not limited to six,”[6] implying the EL of Earth was created using one of the other element’s chambers, but it doesn’t explain why Earth did not have a section of the chamber of its own. And again, the reason the Iron tribe did not have one is because they were wiped out before the creation of the ELs, and, presumably, the chamber. The whole reason the Earth Tribe was banished from society was from them basically starting the Core War, which started after the Chamber was built.

Also, in Riddle of the Great Beings, Chapter 6, the EL of Jungle says “I and five of my brothers were chosen by the Great Beings for the honor of leading the villages of Spherus Magna.” As it currently stands, the ELs of Jungle, Fire, Water, Rock, and Ice are male, while the ELs of Sand and Earth are female, and the only source I was able to find for the latter two was a fan suggestion from 2017.[7] Afterwards, in Greg’s post about the backstory of the Earth Tribe, he used male pronouns to refer to the EL of Earth, but later clarified that it was a mistake when reminded of his previous answer.[8] The basis of the suggestion is an earlier quote from Greg where he simply says that his hunch is that the ELs are mixed gender, but this answer was just the first of a few on the subject:

May 19th, 2009:[9]

“Are the elemental lords mixed gender or are they all male or all female?”

“My hunch is mixed gender.”

May 21st, 2009:[10]

“Is the Element Lord of Water female?”

“Haven't decided yet.”

July 15th, 2009:[11]

“Have you decided weather or not any of the EL's are female?”

“No, I haven't.”

July 17th, 2009:[12]

“In our Core War story, would it be okay with you if we made an Elemental Lord female?”

“Up to you. I have not decided if any of them are female, though.”

The earliest archive of Chapter 6 indicates it was uploaded to on or a little before August 7th.[13] Greg clearly changed his mind since his online answers, making the basis of the 2017 quote faulty, and it should be discarded, if not solely for the fact that serials take precedence over Greg’s online answers.

While Riddle of Great Beings is also from an in-universe perspective, it's from that of the EL of Jungle, who no doubt would've known the existence of the EL of Earth. He is simply describing the origins of the ELs, not the Core War specifically, so if the EL of Earth is indeed canon, I see no reason why she/he would've been left out. This exact problem was brought up to Greg, but he was unable to remember enough to answer it.[14]

Greg has also contradicted himself on the Earth Tribe's role in the Core War, first stating that they fought in it,[15] then later saying they didn't.[5]

My question is: why on earth (no pun intended) is the Earth tribe canon at all? To me, it seems that Angel Bob/PointlessQuestions simply wanted to reintroduce it into canon from the cancelled fifth movie, but this created the many contradictions listed above. Dag (talk) 20:22, 10 May 2021 (UTC)

Well, I can confirm that I was not trying to reintroduce it into canon. At the time, I considered myself an unofficial "journalist" for BS01, trying to supply Greg with canon grounding to clarify some of his more controversial answers. I wasn't very good at it, mind you, but that was my intent.
There were several rounds of canon controversy over the Earth Tribe; unfortunately, they were mostly centered on this talk page, which was wiped when the page was, at one point, deleted. (I'm actually the one who led the push to delete it!)
If anyone was trying to ram the Earth Tribe into canon, it was Greg. From my perspective, I was trying to give him an out to decanonize the tribe; instead, he buckled down and made new explanations for the seeming contradictions. I hesitate to read too much into his answers, but given the work he put into it, he seemed determined to introduce a new tribe retroactively.
So, why are they canon? Well, essentially, because Greg wanted them to be, as he succinctly put it here. Whether we accept that, simply on the basis of Greg's enthusiasm, is up to us as fans and custodians. --Angel Bob (talk) 21:23, 10 May 2021 (UTC)
Let me rephrase. What I meant by "why is this canon" was "why does BS01 choose these late 2014/2017 quotes as canon over earlier answers and published material?" Simply concluding that "Greg wanted it to be" isn't a sufficient answer when dealing with contradictions such as this. Greg was well aware of the origins and most, but not all, of the apparent contradictions of the existence of the Earth Tribe. This definitely isn't a forgetcon, but it does contradict published material. As I mentioned, he couldn't give an answer for the EL of Jungle's line in Riddle of the Great Beings. Dag (talk) 21:50, 10 May 2021 (UTC)
Then we're on the same page. This situation was created in an attempt to comply with Greg/BS01's vague rule on canon (for anyone unaware: earlier answers trump later answers, unless those later answers are specifically informed about contradictions and explain them), but it's landed in a middle ground (addressing some, but not all, of the contradictions).
If BS01 were to take the most strict interpretation of the later-answers "policy", then the Earth Tribe would fail to pass muster, and should not be considered canon. We've done that before, we can do it again, and I'd support it now, as I did then. But I'm not sure what is the best procedure to follow. Should we put this to a vote in the Articles for Deletion, or simply petition a mod to sign off on it? --Angel Bob (talk) 22:16, 10 May 2021 (UTC)
This felt like a PTSD, not just because someone actually thought I could delete a page as an ordinary user/editor, but I found the old AfD section.--Surel (Talk) 22:44, 10 May 2021 (UTC)
There is one thing that just occurred to me. We've been interpreting the Core War story as an explanation for why the tribes don't mention the Earth Tribe. However, it might have been Greg's intention for that to explain the Jungle Lord's comment, as well. His phrasing is vague - this is an explanation for "why the Earth tribe are never talked about", that "accepted wisdom" was that the Earth Tribe were villains, and "no one" wanted to speak of them. One 'could' argue that the concluding sentence ("They were effectively banished from society") means that this only applies to the Agori tribes, but next to all of the other vagaries, I think that would be a weak claim. It seems a bit illogical that the Element Lords would somehow have access to the same knowledge as the Agori tribes, since they were "imprisoned" at the time - but Greg isn't known for worldbuilding based on logic.
The case to decanonize the Earth Tribe rests on the assertion that it contradicts the Jungle Lord's comment in 'Riddle of the Great Beings'. If Greg's explanation were interpreted to mean that the Jungle Lord has resolved never to speak of the Earth Tribe or its Element Lord, then there would be no contradiction. I'm just as eager to delete this sordid page as anyone, but we might be incorrect in doing so. --Angel Bob (talk) 02:18, 11 May 2021 (UTC)
The case for decanonization isn't based only on the EL of Jungle's quote (although it is a big factor). I would argue it does contradict All Our Sins Remembered, Raid on Volcanus, Journey’s End, and any other materials I've missed that only refer to six tribes/ELs, but even if it doesn't, it at least causes unnecessary convolution. Why does the Earth Tribe need to exist in the story? Why did they have to instigate the Core War from behind the scenes? The story made sense prior to its canonization, so it will still make sense if its decanonized. There is also the Chamber of Elements. Greg stated that the EL of Earth was simply created using one of this six chambers, but doesn't explain why Earth wasn't given a section of its own. Again, the whole reason Earth was basically banished from society was because of their involvement in the Core War, but this Chamber predates that, so there is no reason that Earth shouldn't have had it's own section in the chamber. The only logical explanation I could see being offered is that it was later destroyed as part of the effort to erase Earth from history, but this makes no sense. It's clear from the design of the chamber that it's divided into six even sections, so there simply isn't a place for a seventh. Even if there was, who would've destroyed it? It couldn't have been anyone other than the Great Beings since it was hidden until discovered by Kiina. Dag (talk) 02:50, 11 May 2021 (UTC)
The Chamber of Elements isn’t that big of a deal as far as the canonicity of the tribe goes. Obviously it would make more sense to have 7 chambers for each EL rather then having them be used in shifts, yeah, but that’s not really a contradiction. It’s more like a convoluted justification for there only being 6 chambers, but one that is still acceptable storywise. And yeah, the entire existence of the tribe makes the story more convoluted than it needs to be, but if we didn’t consider needlessly convoluted lore canon then we should still consider Tuyet dead lol.
That said, you do make a good point in that Greg’s explanation of why the Earth Tribe was never mentioned in the main story fails to account for examples of internal dialogue or narration from no one’s particular POV that only refer to 6 ELs (like Angonce’s internal dialogue in the prologue of Journey’s End and the narration in AOSR) because the fact that people don’t like to mention the tribe doesn’t explain them not being ever even thought about. After all, one would expect Angonce to think about the tribe basically being responsible for the entire war when he’s thinking back on the past mistakes of the GBs.
So yeah, as it stands, the existence of the Earth Tribe does contradict some published material, but it seems (as Dorek suggested) that Greg meant to simply retcon the inconsistencies.
If we went by the general rule of “published material > Greg’s quotes” the Earth Tribe shouldn’t be considered canon, but I don’t think it should be applied here. It is a rule of thumb to account for accidental contradictions, not intentional retcons. So if the retcon was a conscious decision on Greg’s part then we should respect it, as he is the one in charge of the story.
I’d be opposed to having the page deleted again since Greg went out of his way to at least try and make it fit into canon the last time it happened, and while I can kinda see the case for doing so, I don’t think it’s justified by the “published material” rule, as we are talking about an intentional retcon. But if the page does end up being deleted, I think we should mention somewhere (maybe in the trivia section of the Iron Tribe?) that Greg intended to make the Earth Tribe canon but that it is not considered as such on this wiki because of the various inconsistencies. ~OnionShark 06:08, 11 May 2021 (UTC)
I think the Chamber of Elements does have importance for the Earth Tribe's canonicity. If the reason the page was recreated after being deleted was because of Greg's explanation of the inconsistencies, he didn't cover that one (he explained how the EL was created using one of the other elements' existing chambers, but not why Earth wasn't given their own in the first place). It's a simple question: do we go with the initial explanation that the Earth tribe was just a placeholder name for the Iron tribe, making it non-canon, or do we go with Greg's later explanation of why it is canon, whose sole purpose is to fix a plot hole that doesn't even exist, which in turn created plot holes? Occam's Razor, BS01's policy of preferring Greg quotes closer to the stories conclusion (2010-2011), and going with published material over his online answers would all suggest making the Earth tribe non-canon.
The idea that the “published material > Greg’s quotes” rule only applies to forgetcons is faulty. Whether that's the case for when the story was still active is debatable, but in this instance of a canonization seven years after the fact, Greg was always hesitant of retcons and deferred precedence to his previous answers.

"There are things I do not want to do. I am not going to add new Toa elements, and I do not want to start doing a lot of retcons which is why I made the rule that if one of my answers is contradicted by pre-established canon, canon takes precedence. The kind of things I have been canonizing -- an extra Rahi for Mata Nui, a name for a Toa team -- are minor and do not ruin or retcon anything from past story."[1]

"The rule is, if a previous answer already exists, that answer takes precedence. It's impossible for me to remember everything I said when I was answering hundreds a questions a day during BIONICLE's active years, so if I have answered something before, I defer to past me."[2]

"The policy here is that if pre-existing answers are out there, then they take precedence. It's impossible for me to remember every answer i have given on forums dating back 12 years."[3]

Greg makes it clear that he didn't want to do intentional retcons, and even if he did, he is simply unable to remember every detail about it (which is perfectly understandable), so he is uncomfortable doing so. That's why making the Earth tribe canon in 2014/2017 was really strange for him to do. I don't know why he wanted it canon, but it goes against pretty much everything else he has said regarding the Earth tribe previously or canon precedence in general. Dag (talk) 15:36, 11 May 2021 (UTC)

My interpretation was always that even though Greg wasn't presented with an exhaustive list of contradictions for this particular issue, the overall depth/specificity of the declaration is meant render other inconsistencies as retcons (see: Energized Flame SwordS). Frankly yes, addressing an exhaustive list would have been a better tack, but Greg and whoever was asking at the time seemed pretty bent on introducing it, so it is what it is. "Greg wanted it to be" is apparently sufficient for plenty more things that don't have any real basis, so yeah, we could be more strict, but it still requires parsing individual cases out. I'm just as happy to get rid of it. -- Dorek Talk External Image 02:39, 11 May 2021 (UTC)

The example of the Energized Flame Sword(s) is not applicable in this situation. There is contradiction among published material on how many swords Jaller actually had. In this instance, all published material is in agreement that there is no Tribe/EL of Earth directly mentioned. It's whole existence is simply a retcon after the story's conclusion based on an idea pitch for the cancelled fifth movie. Plus, Greg confirmed earlier that this "Earth" tribe was simply a place holder for what became the Iron tribe. Dag (talk) 02:50, 11 May 2021 (UTC)
Funny enough, all the published material before and after BL7, except 2 times in that book, agree that Jaller had only one Energized Flame Sword. Even in BL7, Jaller had one sword originally, before he duped it for lighting, which in that context wouldn't have required 2 swords, and seeing that the chase scene from the Zyglak was retconned in the BEU with Vezon's involvment, it makes less and less sense to have the BL7 over all the books and comics of 2006, and the BEU,,, and the Makuta's Guide.--Surel (Talk) 07:13, 11 May 2021 (UTC)
And Greg originally clarified the "swords" as a typo.[June 07] Before saying he needed Jaller to have two swords.[July 07][February 08] I'd personally go with the first quote saying it was a typo to solve the controversy by the way...--Surel (Talk) 07:41, 11 May 2021 (UTC)

I see three points of contention: Why is the Earth Tribe and its lord never mentioned? Adressed. Why are there only 6 chambers? Adressed, whether you like the answer or not. As for the genders, the "brothers" line calls the Element Lord of Sand into question, but not the existence of the Earth Tribe. ~ Wolk (talk) 06:33, 12 May 2021 (UTC)

Where was it addressed why the Earth tribe did not have its own section in the Chamber of Elements? The only answer I have found related to it was this:

"There appear to only be six chambers in the laboratory where the Element Lords were created. Was the Element Lord of Earth created elsewhere? Or was the Earth Lord perhaps created in the central chamber of that laboratory, from which all the others branch off?"

"The element lords were created in "shifts," not all at the same time, so they were not limited to six."

This only explains how the Earth EL was created using one of the other element's chambers, not why Earth wasn't given its own. It makes no sense as to why they would be left out.
The EL of Jungle's line about the gender doesn't automatically call Sand into question, it means either Earth or Sand must be male instead of female at the very least. If Earth remains canon, there is doubt whether the EL of Earth is actually female. Even more so, if one of the ELs were female, whether it be Earth or Sand, why weren't they mentioned by the EL of Jungle? He mentioned only his five brothers, not a sister. It would only make sense to say he left off Earth because they were banished from society if the EL of Earth really is female, but again, there is enough to doubt that. Dag (talk) 13:42, 12 May 2021 (UTC)
Unlike the other ELs, The EL of Earth was stuck on Bota Magna rather than Bara Magna. It's reasonable to think that the EL of Jungle assumed his sister was dead, so he only mentioned his brothers. By the sound of it, the EL of Earth was also the outlier of the group, being less violent and territorial than her brothers, so the El of Jungle might not have felt inclined to call her "sister."
Ultimately, Greg said it's canon, so it's canon. The part about the element chambers doesn't make sense to me either, but it was confirmed, so it's our duty as wiki editors to include it. -- Toa Jala Converse 00:34, 13 May 2021 (UTC)

I think my argument has been greatly misunderstood. I am not arguing that the Tribe & EL of Earth should be decanonized simply because "I don't like it" or "I don't think it makes sense." I have looked for every Greg quote, reference in published material, and even previous fan discussions even remotely related to this before starting this discussion. I don't think some of this material was even presented the first time around back in 2016-2017. After finding all I could, it is my honest conclusion that, with all things considered, they should be decanonized, and no one so far has been able to give valid reason why they should stay.

Wolk, I felt a little insulted that you said the Chamber not having a section specific to Earth was "addressed, whether you like the answer or not," which I have explained to you was definitely not addressed, and you would have known that if you thoroughly read what I had said. You are one of the most informed people I know on canon, which is why I greatly respect you, but that's also why you should have known better. And again, the EL of Jungle's quote does impact the existence of the EL of Earth. Earth and Sand were canonized as female in the same quote under the same faulty basis. The reason to leave Earth as female is to make it fit with Jungle's quote so Earth can remain canon, but that's circular logic.

Toa Jala, you are correct that, in general, what Greg says goes since he is the sole decider of canon, but that's not an acceptable answer in the case of a contradiction such as this. Greg has said quite a few things that this wiki has deemed non-canonical because they contradict something of higher precedence, so doing the same here if necessary is no different. Instead of saying "Greg said it's canon, so it's canon," which provides nothing of substance to the discussion, why not give an answer that considers Greg's answers from around the same time where he seemingly does a 180 and says he is against retconning major parts of the story and that previous answers take precedence, or how he initially said in 2009 that Earth was just a placeholder for Iron? There's even the quote from December 2014 where he says "none of the concepts or characters in [the fifth movie] are official or have any role in the official universe," which he said just months after making the Earth Tribe canon in May 2014. Greg said all these things too, so which ones are canon? When working on the Earth Tribe's backstory, Greg did not want to retcon anything, saying that he had "to check a few things to make sure it doesn't contradict past story,"[1] but he clearly forgot about the Chamber of Elements, or else he would've probably mentioned it in the backstory. It was only when a fan asked him about it did he say the EL of Earth was just created using one of the other six chambers, but still no explanation why Earth wasn't given a section for itself in the first place. That's a contradiction, and so the whole backstory should be discarded by Greg's own standard. Also, your explanation for why Earth wasn't included by Jungle does make sense, I admit, but it's simply headcanon and unconfirmed.

I genuinely believe that both of you made your votes for against on the AfD topic based on false pretenses and misunderstandings of my argument, which is why I think they should be invalided. If you have a genuine reason why the EL and Tribe of Earth should remain canon, I would love to hear it. Otherwise, I highly encourage you to reevaluate your decisions. Dag (talk) 04:56, 13 May 2021 (UTC)

Re the Cavern of Elements: you keep asking why the GBs didn’t give the EL of Earth a chamber of her own. Well, she was given one, and then it was repurposed for another EL after her shift. Why do you think this answer is not acceptable? Do you think there’s a particular reason they should have left it there untouched? For what purpose? Wouldn’t it have been more convenient to repurpose a chamber they had already used rather than making a new one for a later shift? I don’t see the contradiction here.
Re the EL of Jungle’s quote: it’s not unusual to use the plural “brothers” in a metaphorical sense to refer to comrades or peers both male and female, think of the phrase “we are all brothers.” Throughout the story many characters refer to mixed-gender groups this way, hell, 15% of the members of the Brotherhood of Makuta were female. Chirox referring to the Mistika Makuta as “our brothers down below” (BL9, ch. 8) or Mutran calling them “our brothers in the swamp” (ch. 9) doesn’t suddenly make Gorast male. Nor does Helryx calling the Toa Mata “my brothers” (BL10, interlude 3) make Gali male. So the EL of Jungle calling the other ELs his “brothers” doesn’t necessarily mean Sand or Earth can’t be female.
Re Greg’s answers: look at the quotes you provided a few edits back. When Greg says that earlier answers take precedence, he’s explicitly talking about cases in which he contradicts pre-established canon due to forgetfulness, he never said “if I take the conscious decision to retcon something later on don’t listen to me.” We are not ignoring what he said, I just think you’re misinterpreting it. And it’s also a misinterpretation to think that Greg said he would never retcon anything. He said he didn’t want to retcon anything major and that in general he didn’t want to make a lot of retcons. What does the existence of the tribe retcon? A few lines of narration and dialogue stating that there were 6 tribes or 6 ELs,. I wouldn't call that major.
Look, I’m not a fan of retcons either but ultimately Greg decides what is canon or not. It sucks but what can you do :/ ~OnionShark 08:19, 13 May 2021 (UTC)
While you are correct that it isn't explained why Earth was not given its own chamber, and while it's convoluted and not a good explaination that they used one of the other six chambers, it doesn't make it a contradiction or invalid. If this is not what adressing it is, then I don't know what you are after. ~ Wolk (talk) 11:34, 13 May 2021 (UTC)
OnionShark, you can't possibly accuse me of finding an answer I haven't heard before not acceptable. This entire time, I have not understood the Chamber of Element as Earth having a section which was repurposed for one of the other elements, but the other way around. This is clear from the fact that out-of-universe, it was designed before the Earth Tribe even existed. Even if it was as you propose, there's still one element left out, and no explanation to why that is. It's not in the novelization, but in The Legend Reborn, Kiina specifically says "each chamber contains the elements that were once plentiful on Bara Magna." You could say that since Kiina said Bara Magna, that doesn't include Bota Magna where the Earth Tribe is from, yet the Jungle Tribe is from Bota Magna too, and they were included. You could also argue that since this is from Kiina's perspective, she probably left of Earth on purpose, but that still doesn't explain why the Great Beings didn't create a separate chamber for them in the first place. I honestly don't see how you think this isn't a problem with the canonicity of the Earth Tribe.
For the EL of Jungle's quote, yes, it is true that "brothers" has been used as a general term for sibling, but every instance you gave is just that, a vague generalization. The EL of Jungle said that he had five brothers, a specific number. Coupled with the Greg quotes about how he wasn't sure if any of them were female yet, it's quite clear that he ended up wanting them all male. In another quote after Riddle of the Great Beings Chapter 6 was uploaded, Greg referred to the EL of Sand with male pronouns.[1]
For the Greg quotes, only the second and third I replied to you with directly talk about forgetcons (and honestly, I would argue that the Earth Tribe is one big forgetcon), but the first quote was about retcons in general. Greg knows he has the power to do so, but he still doesn't want to, and again he made that clear when he said he had to check if the Earth Tribe's backstory didn't contradict past story, but it does. The addition of the Earth Tribe retcons more than just the number of tribes. It retcons who found EP first, how the Core War started, and again (I'm becoming frustrated with how often I'm having to repeat myself) the Chamber of Elements.
Wolk, you finally admit that it wasn't explained why Earth didn't have it's own chamber, but you immediately contradict yourself by doubling down that it was addressed. Where was it addressed that it isn't a contradiction? All you've done is say it isn't with nothing to back it up. Dag (talk) 13:48, 13 May 2021 (UTC)
I never denied that there was no explaination for why the Great Beings reused a chamber instead of making a seventh, but there not being an explaination is different from it being a contradiction. As has been quoted previously, the Elemental Lords were not necessairily all made simultaneously, and there is nothing saying they couldn't repurpose a chamber. Thus, the Elemental Lord of Earth could have been made in one of the other six chambers, prior to whatever element it is now. Do we have this explaination spelled out? No (though it is implied). Do we have an explaination as to why the Great Beings would go about it in that way? No. Does the lack of an explaination mean it's a contradiction? No. - because nothing is stopping this from being the case. It was Greg's answer to there being seven EL but only six chambers, and this is the call that he made then to explain it. I see a stupid explaination and incomplete, not a contradiction. That doesn't invalidate it.
As for the Core War and EP, yes, it sort of retcons it, but not really. It's a method often used in media, changing the narrative that you've so far been lead to believe - because the reader hasn't been told the full truth. Sure, this wasn't planned back then, these kinds of plot threads aren't always. Point is, it isn't so much a retcon, as a change in perspective. From the perspective presented in 2009, yes, the Ice Tribe discovered it first, but we didn't have the full picture. Much like with Velika's identity. How would treat this "retcon" if it was in a serial or book?
And yes, Greg said it was originally a placeholder of the Iron Tribe; he didn't say there wasn't an Earth Tribe. That doesn't mean he can make use of the concept. I think it's evident that Greg introduced the Earth Tribe with intent, going so far as to write up a backstory post on them. I fully believe if we were to ask him today, he would still stand by that they are canonical. ~ Wolk (talk) 17:27, 13 May 2021 (UTC)

"I never denied that there was no explaination for why the Great Beings reused a chamber instead of making a seventh"

Yes, you did. You specifically said "Why are there only 6 chambers? Addressed, whether you like the answer or not" then when I asked you where it was addressed, you admitted it wasn't, but changed it to it's not a contradiction. Maybe it was just poor wording, but it seems like you just shifted the goalposts.

"Do we have an explaination as to why the Great Beings would go about it in that way? No. Does the lack of an explaination mean it's a contradiction? No."

The fact we don't have an explanation makes it an open plot hole, which, if that's not a contradiction, I don't know what is.

"It was Greg's answer to there being seven EL but only six chambers, and this is the call that he made then to explain it. I see a stupid explaination and incomplete, not a contradiction. That doesn't invalidate it."

It most certainly does. How was the EL of Earth created? Using one of the other elements chambers. Why wasn't there a separate chamber for Earth like the other tribes in the first place? No answer. These are two distinct issues that you are conflating.

"And yes, Greg said it was originally a placeholder of the Iron Tribe; he didn't say there wasn't an Earth Tribe."

That's...exactly what he said:

"Nothing from the B5 scenario was approved canon"[1]

"None of the concepts or characters in it are official or have any role in the official universe"[2]

I think I've posted the second quote 3 times now, and I'm tired of being ignored and not taken seriously. Dag (talk) 18:25, 13 May 2021 (UTC)
Wolk was saying that it has been explained why we see only six chambers, and that the answer gives rise to the question "why didn't they just make seven in the first place?" He's not shifting the goalpost, and he's not conflating the two issues.
Now, the fact that question isn't answered is not a plot hole. There are millions of possible reasons the GBs might have gone about it this way (for example, they might have used the ELoE as a first test subject and only had the other ELs transformed later as they saw the experiment was successful) and something being left unexplained is not a plot hole nor a contradiction. A plot hole is an element in a story that contradicts its otherwise coherent internal logic. There is nothing being contradicted here.
Using those quotes of Greg discussing the canonicity of stuff from the cancelled fifth movie as evidence that the Earth Tribe isn't canon is disingenuous because they're taken out of context. In the first quote (if you read in context) he's simply saying nothing from B5 was approved by the story team. He could have corrected the asker by saying the Earth Tribe wasn't canon, but he didn't. And with the second one, yeah, you could make the case that the Earth Tribe is technically a concept in the movie script, but really the one in the script and the one in canon have nothing in common but their name. They're two completely different concepts besides that, so saying that the quote invalidates the Earth Tribe's canonicity is just stretching it. Greg was just making a general statement to say that what is written in the script is not canon. ~OnionShark 19:46, 13 May 2021 (UTC)
It was not explained why there are only six chambers instead of seven to account for Earth if it really is canon, so I have no idea what you're talking about. And the fact that there is no answer for this does make it a contradiction. Apparently you don't know the meaning of the words we're using, so let me provide you the definitions:
Contradiction: a combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another.
Plot Hole: a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story's plot.
Retoactive Continuity (Retcon): a literary device in which established diegetic facts in the plot of a fictional work (those established through the narrative itself) are adjusted, ignored, or contradicted by a subsequently published work which breaks continuity with the former.
Not all retcons are contradictive, like the change in perspective about the Core War, as Wolk said, but the chamber of elements has no explanation, no literary device, nothing. Therefore, it's just a contradiction or plot hole. You can come up with as many possible solutions as you want, but it's irrelevant because it's not confirmed. You're not Greg, so your answers don't matter. Dag (talk) 20:28, 13 May 2021 (UTC)

Dag, just... stop. It just feels like you're looking for whatever excuse you can to have a page you dislike deleted.

It was not explained why there are only six chambers instead of seven to account for Earth if it really is canon, so I have no idea what you're talking about.

Reread my earlier post then. I don't know how I can make it any clearer.

And the fact that there is no answer for this does make it a contradiction.

It's ironic that you later go on to condescendingly claim I don't know what the word "contradiction" means. A contradiction would be something like introducing a character as having blue eyes and later describing them as having green eyes -- something is established, and then contradicted. Whereas leaving something that has many conceivable explanations unexplained is not a contradiction because there's nothing pre-established being contradicted. You're the one who doesn't know what the term means.

Now, can you point to what is being contradicted by there being six chambers, one of which was used by two different ELs? Was there a pre-established rule that a chamber could only be used once? Was there a pre-established rule that all ELs must have a chamber of their own? Anything to that effect? The answer is no, so there's no basis to call it a contradiction.

but the chamber of elements has no explanation, no literary device, nothing. Therefore, it's just a contradiction or plot hole.

Does plot hole mean "something that is left unexplained in a story?" Does contradicting mean "to leave something unexplained?" nO. So it's just that, something that is unexplained. Which is perfectly acceptable as canon.

You can come up with as many possible solutions as you want, but it's irrelevant because it's not confirmed.

The possible explanation I gave as an example was only meant to illustrate that it's perfectly conceivable for the GBs to only build six chambers for seven ELs, that it is not inconsistent with the rest of the story i.e it's not a contradiction. What matters here isn't the reason they did it that way, but that it isn't impossible for them to have had such a reason.

You're not Greg, so your answers don't matter.

Never claimed they did m8. Just let it go. ~OnionShark 21:55, 13 May 2021 (UTC)

BS01 is meant to be as accurate to canon as possible, and I honestly believe leaving these articles up is detrimental to that. Suggesting to "let it go" is not only insulting, but you're telling me to stop trying to maintain accuracy on the wiki. I honestly believe I'm right to argue to decanonize them, but its clear things are not going to change, unfortunately, so I'm not going to waste anymore of my time talking to you, but I will continue to maintain canon and try to resolve contradictions, and hopefully someday this can be revisited. Dag (talk) 22:22, 13 May 2021 (UTC)

First, I want to apologize for getting heated. While I still think you were misconstruing my argument and Greg’s intentions (I will explain why below), I shouldn’t have taken it so personally. By taking it personally, I wasn’t as focused on the quality of my arguments and wording, which just made things worse for everyone. Second, after taking some time away from the subject, I’d like to reevaluate some of the points brought up.

Cavern of the Elements: There is a contradiction concerning whether the ELs were made here, Greg saying once that it “makes sense” to be,[1] but there's another quote where he denies it.[2] In the first, Greg uses the same weak confirmation that the 2017 quote about Sand’s gender used, which is why I argued against Sand being female. However, Greg upholds that it is when explaining that the EL of Earth was made using one of the other element’s chambers. Assuming that it still is where the ELs were created, Greg confirmed that there were only six ELs and tribes,[3] but because the surrounding questions are about the Core War specifically, this could be understood as “there were only six ELs and tribes that fought in the Core War,” which wouldn’t contradict Earth’s backstory. However, interpreting it as there were only six ELs and tribes overall (not including Iron, of course) is corroborated with there being only six chambers in the cavern. This could be a contradiction, but it’s not strong evidence either way.

JE: The prologue of Journey’s End takes place during the Core War, shortly before the Shattering. We also know that the Great Beings knew about Earth’s hidden role in the war around this time,[4] but whether Angonce definitely knew about it before the prologue is irrelevant. There is still no reason why he should have left Earth off. It’s clear that he and the other Great Beings viewed all of the ELs as failed creations and blamed themselves for what happened, rather than the view of the Agori & Glatorian that Earth was mostly responsible, so the explanation that Earth was left off because they were blamed for the Core War is not applicable here. This is the largest contradiction concerning the Earth Tribe.

You said:

“So yeah, as it stands, the existence of the Earth Tribe does contradict some published material, but it seems (as Dorek suggested) that Greg meant to simply retcon the inconsistencies...I don’t think it’s justified by the “published material” rule, as we are talking about an intentional retcon”

You agree that the Earth Tribe does contradict previous canon, especially the JE prologue, but the idea that Greg intended to retcon the inconsistencies is verifiably false. As I mentioned before (which you seem to have glossed over), Greg checked to make sure the Earth Tribe’s backstory didn’t contradict previous canon before sharing it:

“..roughly a month ago you said you were gonna reveal a story about the Earth Tribe and why it was never mentioned in the main plot. Assuming you didn't actually reveal it, any chance of that happening soon?”

“Yes. I just have to check a few things to make sure it doesn't contradict past story.”[5]

Whether or not Greg can retcon previous canon is irrelevant because that was not his intention here. He intended to bring the Earth tribe into canon but did not intend to contradict anything by doing so. If Greg found that his backstory for Earth did contradict something, would he have shared it as it was anyway? Of course not, but he did contradict previous canon, so he clearly missed some details, like the prologue from JE, making any retcon that came from the Earth Tribe becoming canon unintentional. Knowing that, would you still say this retcon takes precedence? Dag (talk) 02:28, 17 May 2021 (UTC)

In all honesty, this reminds me of the ‘Teridax’ reveal. It was something that had never been introduced to for years until suddenly in 08, Greg revealed it out of the middle of nowhere. However, I’ve assumed that the retcon was ‘fixed’ with an explanation that Makuta had been a nickname given to him and a species this entire time and never revealed his real name until then. Did a lot of people dislike it? Sure. Do a lot of people disagree with Greg’s contradictory statements? Of course. But since Greg is the last active member representing Lego’s story team for Bionicle, we don’t really have much of a choice, especially considering how he specifically said it was canon. A lot of people also don’t like the ongoing canon contests that Greg canonizes, but again, there’s nothing you can do about it. I think it’s already been addressed that Lego is aware of Greg approving the contests so again, nothing anybody can do about it. Anyways back to The Elemental Lord of Earth, like the retcon with Jaller’s flame swords, we can’t really do anything other than just accept that what has been confirmed canon, is canon. If Greg says so, and he’s still representing Lego, then it is what it is. As much bigger of canon that Bionicle is compared to other themes, it was obvious that it could be prone to retcons somewhere or another. Greg says it’s canon, and even though media that brings up the Elemental Lords fails to bring the character up, we can only come up with head canons for that for the time being. It’s annoying, but there’s nothing anyone can do about it. I understand where your coming from and your frustrations surrounding it, but the best thing to do might be to just acknowledge that it’s canon even if it doesn’t make any sense in story. Personally, my head canon is she was a secret or she was a disgrace to the public, so perhaps the narrator(s) could’ve purposely avoided bringing her up because of so. -- FirespitterVakama 02:04 PM, 21 September 2021 (EST)

It's not a matter of like or dislike, and shouldn't be. But Greg said he didn't want to contradict anything by making the Earth tribe canon, and yet everyone, even those arguing for the Earth tribe's canonicity, admit there were contradictions that were retconned. All I want to know is how it's regarded as an acknowledged retcon despite Greg saying that's exactly what he wanted to avoid. Dag (talk) 19:44, 21 September 2021 (UTC)
Well I will say one thing. There is an explanation for why Earth replaced Iron for the Elemental Lords. It was because the Iron tribe had been wiped out before the Great Beings experimented on the tribes, thus the Great Beings decided to not even bother with Iron and instead went with Earth. I thought I heard somewhere, maybe it was here, that originally Greg wanted the seventh one to be Iron, but later chose Earth, and decided that the Iron Tribe’s nearly extinct fate would play a part into that decision. So if there is one thing for certain, nobody can say that this particular situation wasn’t ‘fixed’ as part of the retcons. -- FirespitterVakama 11:16 AM, 22 September 2021 (EST)

Canonicity (Again)

Having had some time away from the topic and still no definitive answer, it would probably be best to summarize and reevaluate the situation.

Originally, the Earth Tribe was simply the placeholder for what became the Iron Tribe.[1] Then, in May 2014, the Earth Tribe was reintroduced into canon.[2] However, this initial retcon has problems.

Greg confirmed they fought in the Core War,[3] only to confirm the opposite a few days later when reminded of other sources that say only six tribes fought in the war.[4][5][6] It was later explained that they did not fight in the war due to being pacifists and thus had no army.[7]

This was all contradicted in 2017 when Greg provided a backstory explaining why they were never in the story, thus reconfirming their canonicity.[8] In this backstory, Greg affirms the Earth Tribe did not fight in the war, but not due to being pacifists (which was a guise), rather waiting for the proper moment to take the Energized Protodermis for themselves. They have since been building up their army.[9] An earlier statement that the EL of Earth was trapped with the others in northern Bara Magna was retconned.[10][11] Greg said it became accepted knowledge that the Earth Tribe was responsible the Core War and the Shattering, even though previous canon says the Great Beings were blamed.[12][13][14][15][16] In Chapter 3 of Riddle of the Great Beings, Surel blames all of the ELs.[17]

Concerning the Cavern of the Elements, there is a contradiction as to whether the ELs were created there or not.[18][19] If they were, the EL of Earth was created using one of the other element’s chambers.[20] Regardless, there is currently no explanation as to why the Earth Tribe was not given their own chamber in the first place. It couldn’t have existed but later been destroyed since there isn’t even a place for it, as the room is evenly divided for six sections. As offered by OnionShark, it’s possible that Earth did have a chamber initially and was changed to another element, but this creates the same problem for whichever element was initially left out. In The Legend Reborn, Kiina says "each chamber contains the elements that were once plentiful on Bara Magna.” If this is true, then Earth should be present as well.

In Chapter 6 of Riddle of the Great Beings, the EL of Jungle refers to the other ELs as his “five brothers.”[21] It was confirmed that the EL of Earth was female,[22][23] and the EL of Sand’s gender is ambiguous (see the note on their page). Either way, the EL of Jungle does not include the EL of Earth with no explanation as to why. Greg could not remember the context well enough to provide an answer.[24] It was brought up on this page by OnionShark that it is not uncommon to refer to a mixed-gender group as only brothers.[25][26][27] While this is true, it does not explain why the EL of Jungle said five, not six to include Earth. This might be because the ELs share the view of the Glatorian and Agori, that the Earth Tribe was to blame for the Core War, but this seems unlikely as the ELs did not consider the war finished and still fought amongst themselves.

In the prologue of Journey’s End, the Great Being Angonce recalls the creation of the ELs, specifically that only six were made and names the tribes, leaving out Earth.[28] Even if he knew about the Earth Tribe’s involvement,[29] it’s clear that Angonce blames himself and his fellow Great Beings,[30] not the Earth Tribe, and so Angonce had no reason to leave them out. Greg did not provide an answer on this either.[31]

Whether or not the later 2017 backstory is canonical lies solely in whether it was an intentional retcon. As was already explained on this page, it’s a bit complicated. Greg intended to bring the Earth Tribe back into canon, but did not intend to contradict any previous canon in doing so.[32] With this and the several contradictions surrounding them, the Earth Tribe should ultimately be considered a forgetcon, and thus non-canon. If anyone disagrees and thinks that the Earth Tribe should remain canon for being an intentional retcon, then I ask again how it is reconciled with Greg’s statement on not wanting to contradict canon when he clearly did. Dag (talk) 18:38, 8 December 2021 (UTC)

Oof, not again. Should I ask Greg on the Ask Greg category on the TTV Message Boards what his most current stance on the subject is? I agree that Greg has went back and fourth on whether or not the Earth Tribe and EL of Earth are canon, but maybe somebody should ask again just in case. -- FirespitterVakama (talk) 02:04 PM, 8 December 2021 (EST)
Ask what, exactly? To reconcile the shown contradictions? Even if he does respond, which is a slim chance on its own, it's even less likely he'll remember enough about the context to give a detailed answer. Unfortunately, that does not seem like an option. Either way, right now we have to work with what information we have, which is again why I want to know why BS01 goes with the retcon as intentional when Greg unintentionally contradicted past canon. Dag (talk) 19:17, 8 December 2021 (UTC)
@Dag, like I said back in May, the ET's existence does contradict previously established canon, so we agree on that. I disagree, though, that we should apply the usual rule around forgetcons in this case. The rule exists for the times when Greg misremembers canon in off-the-cuff answers. This is not what happened with the ET; he decided to add something to canon and unknowingly contradicted published works. And then, when these contradictions were pointed out to him, rather than just saying that previous works take precedence, he attempted to rationalize them away. Now, yes, he failed in rationalizing them all, but we should give weight to his intention of canonizing it. The cases which the frogetcon rule addresses consist of him misremembering something from canon and giving a wrong answer, the ET's case consists of him trying to add something to canon and contradicting what was previously established. In the first cases he has no particular intention to canonize something, in the second he did.
Yes, he mistakenly believed to have resolved all contradictions with his explanation, but the fact that he didn't doesn't mean we shouldn't respect his intentions. As editors of a wiki I think we can't just dismiss what the author wanted, even if it creates problems for the internal consistency of the story.
IMO the only satisfactory solution to this quandary (excluding Greg weighing in directly) would be to say that the canonicity of the Earth Tribe is uncertain; that Greg wanted to canonize it, went out of his way to try and resolve contradictions, and believed he resolved them all, but that he missed two, and so it is unclear whether we should dismiss the Earth Tribe due to these contradictions or accept it since it's what the author intended.
I thought we could add a warning like this, maybe in a note:

All information relating to the Earth Tribe is of ambiguous canonicity.

Originally conceived of as a placeholder for what would eventually become the Iron Tribe, it was canonized by Greg Farshtey at the suggestion of a fan. But, as several published works stated clearly that only the seven previously known tribes existed on Spherus Magna, this canonization contradicted previously established canon; when this problem was pointed out to him, Farshtey provided an explanation for why the Earth Tribe was never mentioned in past works — that being that their main responsibility in starting the Core War made them pariahs in the minds of the Agori who then presumably never spoke of them out loud. Although Greg thought this would suffice to resolve all the contradictions, his given explanation failed to address all of them, as there are moments in the story where the Earth Tribe not being mentioned can’t be explained by them being pariahs. Specifically, two works are contradicted:

• In Riddle of the Great Beings Chapter 6, the Element Lord of Jungle, who was not aware of the stigma associated with the Earth Tribe, states that “[he] and [his] five brothers were chosen by the Great Beings for the honor of leading the villages of Spherus Magna.”

• In Journey’s End’s prologue, the narration describes Angonce’s recollection of the events leading up to the Core War, but only mentions six Element Lords and six tribes.

It has been difficult to contact Farshtey to ask him whether his intention of canonizing the Earth Tribe should take precedence over the two works it contradicts or vice versa, and thus its canonicity is uncertain. However, as Farshtey clearly intended at the time to make the Earth Tribe canon, the information relating to it is presented here for completeness.

Do you think it could be a good solution?
@FirespitterVakama, Greg has barely been active on the TTVMBs since March of 2020, only answering a few questions recently in November 2021. While I agree that we should ask him to resolve this issue, it's unlikely he'll respond. Doesn't hurt to try though (as long as enough context is provided for him to understand the issue) ~OnionShark 23:08, 8 December 2021 (UTC)
Regardless of Journey's End and Riddle of the Great Beings (which admittedly are ambiguous and can be interpreted differently), I think the bigger contradiction is the Cavern of the Elements. It's described on the website as containing "the six elements of Bara Magna,"[1] and Bara Magna is defined earlier as "a harsh desert land,"[2] not referring to all of Spherus Magna. Despite this, the intention was most definitely to read it as "the six elements of Spherus Magna" for two reasons. One, the lab was created before the Shattering, and so the Great Beings had no logical reason to limit their scope to the Bara Magna desert. Two, Kiina says concerning the six elements that "this was Bara Magna before the Great Beings left us here to rot."[3] If Kiina just meant the Bara Magna region, it was always a desert, so that doesn't make sense.
So, if the Cavern of the Elements represents the six elements of all of Spherus Magna, why isn't Earth there? First, we should ask why Iron isn't there, since it's an SM element as well. We can interpret "element" in the context of the cavern several different ways. If it refers to the tribes, Iron isn't represented because their tribe was wiped out by the time the lab was constructed, but the Earth Tribe was still active. If it refers to the ELs (which is made stronger depending on if its where the ELs were created), then again, Iron doesn't contradict that, but Earth still does. Earth's backstory of being exiled doesn't explain why they weren't given a chamber, because it was only after the Shattering they were exiled, but again, the lab was built before that.
Ultimately, I think the best course of action (as a temporary solution until Greg can weigh in) is to put the NonCanon template on the Earth Tribe and EL pages. The wording of the template is as follows:

The subject of this article is not part of the canon BIONICLE storyline. The information on this page was not approved by the BIONICLE Story Team. Further, it either contradicts canon events or was never referenced in canon media.

The Earth Tribe fits this description perfectly. However, I do acknowledge that Greg has left open the possibility of other elements/tribes on SM that we haven't seen.[4] So Earth could still exist, just not with their current backstory. Because of this, I'm willing to compromise and suggest adding the SemiCanon template. Is this acceptable? Dag (talk) 03:45, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
This all tracks to me, with one added concern: We tried to unilaterally remove the Earth Tribe in 2017, going so far as to delete the page, because of our reasoning on canon. When Greg was informed of this, he didn't agree, and went out of his way to try and reconcile the Earth Tribe's story so that they could remain canon (although he missed spots). Because Greg showed demonstrable intent for the tribe and element lord to remain canon, I don't feel comfortable labeling them 100% non-canon without his input. I do favor adding the Template:SemiCanon label, until/unless we can get Greg's most up-to-date perspective. --Angel Bob (talk) 05:16, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
Instead of using SemiCanon or NonCanon, I would rather see a new template for "Dubious Canon", with something along the lines of "Earth Tribe is of dubious canonicity. While some elements suggest Earth Tribe is fully canon, others suggest it isn't. See canonicity section for more details." I think that would better show the situation. --maxim21 06:32, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
I agree. Using the SemiCanon template like Dag suggested would incorrectly give the impression that some parts of the article are canon and some are not. The issue here is that there's uncertainty over the subject's canonicity, and neither the SemiCanon nor the NonCanon template seem adequate to explain that, so a new template for dubious canon sounds like a much better compromise. Should we vote on it on the AfC page? ~OnionShark 07:34, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
I don't think we need to make a whole other template for just two pages and what would (hopefully) just be a temporary solution. BS01 staff has yet to say how they will be implemented on the wiki (if at all), but if we choose to go by the Tiers of Canonicity, retcons are only acceptable "when they directly acknowledge past statements and context." Greg did not do so for the Earth Tribe, and again, even said he did not want to contradict past story. Going by the Tiers would force us to label this as semi-canon at best, and while there's a strong enough case to even label it non-canon entirely, I'm suggesting the compromise to label it semi-canon (along with adding a note in Trivia explaining the situation) for the time being. I think this is the best solution we have a chance of agreeing on. Dag (talk) 14:31, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
I've added the disputed tag where possible, and made a note of it in the Trivia sections of the Earth Tribe and EL pages. Hopefully that should suffice. Dag (talk) 15:18, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
I agree that a new template isn't necessary, and SemiCanon should capture the same quality that we're describing. The disputed tag does help, though. --Angel Bob (talk) 18:26, 11 December 2021 (UTC)

After reviewing the Earth Tribe situation once more, I still believe there is no reconciling it with the Cavern of Elements. To recall, there are 3 sources that describe the Cavern:

"The cavern is brightly lit, and contains chambers that glow with the six elements of Bara Magna."[1]
"Gesturing toward the six chambers containing mini-environments, she continued, 'This was Bara Magna before the Great Beings left us here to rot.'"[2]
"Each chamber contains the elements that were once plentiful on the surface of Bara Magna." (The only place I could find it on YouTube is an "Everything Wrong With (blank)" video.)[3]

They all agree that the Cavern contains "the six elements of Bara Magna." For Earth to not conflict, a valid interpretation of this phrase must be shown that adequately explains why the six primary elements are presented while both Iron and Earth are not.

First, we need to determine what "element" means. We know that the tribes are obviously grouped by element. Also, Greg did not know whether Air or Psionics could be an SM element simply on the basis that we have not seen an Air or Psionics tribe.[4] Although the Sisters of the Skrall gained psionic abilities from Annona, they were still considered to be affiliated with Rock.[5] This means that the Cavern is only representing elements that have corresponding tribes. While it may still be possible that an element exists that does not have a tribe, they are not represented in the Cavern for that reason. This is why Iron was not present (due to the tribe being wiped out), but an explanation is still needed for Earth.

Second, Bara Magna can refer to either:

1. The desert region of Spherus Magna (after the Shattering, this became known as the Wastelands).[6]
2. The largest fragment of Spherus Magna after the Shattering.[7]
3. All of Spherus Magna as it was prior to the Shattering.[8]

The third interpretation is supported by the conversation between Kiina, Ackar, and Mata Nui in the Cavern. Kiina explains that these elements were once plentiful, referring to before the Shattering. Additionally, Ackar calls the Great Beings the "old rulers of Bara Magna,"[9] though they ruled all of Spherus Magna (MNGtBM, p. 2). The only major contention against the third interpretation is the website’s use of the present tense, which could be referring to Bara Magna as it was in the 2009 story. The second interpretation is not possible. Since the Cavern was most certainly built before the Shattering, this would be anachronistic. This means if the website’s interpretation is correct (at least how it’s understood, that the Cavern contains the elements of only Bara Magna), it must be referring only to the Wastelands, not everything on the Bara Magna fragment. Since not every tribe had a presence or territory in the Wastelands before the Shattering,[10][11][12] the Cavern should not have had all six, but it does. This means the only possible interpretation of "the six elements of Bara Magna" is "the six tribes of Spherus Magna." This is also shown by the Tiers of Canonicity, where the TLR movie and novelization take precedence over website material. This interpretation is consistent for the primary six tribes and Iron but creates an apparent contradiction for Earth.

One might argue that because we don’t know when exactly the Cavern was built (due to the contradiction on whether it was the birthplace of the ELs), the Great Beings might have built it during the Core War after discovering the Earth tribe's involvement.[13] This would explain why Earth is not represented. However, even if this is possible, it depends on whether the Great Beings blamed the Earth tribe for the Core War. Not only is there nothing that would support this (there is evidence, however, that the Great Beings instead blamed themselves[14][15]), but Earth's backstory directly contradicts published material:

"After the disaster, accepted wisdom became that the Earth EL and Agori were responsible for what had happened and so no one wanted anything to do with them anymore."[16]
"However, the vast majority of them blamed [the Great Beings] for the catastrophe that had struck the world…Since then no one talked about the Great Beings."[17]

While it is possible to put blame on more than one group, the wording makes that difficult. One might respond saying that because the Great Beings created the ELs (which includes Earth), the other tribes blamed both, but they blamed all of the Earth tribe, not just the EL, nor do they blame all the ELs together, according to Earth’s backstory.

Regardless of the other arguments made (JE, RotGB), this is sufficient to demonstrate that the Earth tribe cannot be reconciled. Now, I want to readdress what OnionShark said:

"Yes, [Greg] mistakenly believed to have resolved all contradictions with his explanation, but the fact that he didn't doesn't mean we shouldn't respect his intentions. As editors of a wiki I think we can't just dismiss what the author wanted, even if it creates problems for the internal consistency of the story."

Again, Greg's intention was to canonize the Earth tribe and their backstory only on the condition that it didn't contradict canon.[18] Because that condition was not met, Greg's intentions with the Earth Tribe are rendered void. Because his intention was to not contradict canon, we would not be disrespecting that by recognizing that beyond reasonable doubt, the Earth tribe cannot fit into canon. So I ask again: does anyone have any strong reasoning as to why the Earth tribe should still be considered canon? Dag (talk) 20:30, 2 April 2022 (UTC)

Since no one has yet to raise any objections, I will move forward in removing the Earth Tribe. This can be easily undone if need be, but until then, this is the best course of action. Dag (talk) 22:40, 6 April 2022 (UTC)
What I would personally prefer is to keep the pages but use the Semi-canon or non-canon banner. I also think it needs more explaination on the mainspace pages than 'It contradicted canon'. ~ Wolk (talk) 23:26, 6 April 2022 (UTC)
Semi-canon is not applicable in this case, as the Earth Tribe is either completely canon, or not. From what I can tell, the NonCanon banner is used for officially released materials that aren't canon, and the only reason they have a page on the wiki is because they are officially from LEGO. The Earth Tribe, however, was only canonized through Greg quotes. There's plenty of Greg quotes that are considered non-canon and thus not recorded on the wiki (some are to document contradictions, but still). I wouldn't agree with preserving the Earth Tribe and EL pages, even with the NonCanon banner. I do agree with you about the explanation being too short, and do intended to go back to it after finishing the other pages. With a topic as complex as this, it will be difficult to condense it to a note or trivia point. Dag (talk) 02:56, 7 April 2022 (UTC)
Might as well write a page about it, isn't it⸮ Regardless of the canon status we grant to the Earth Tribe, all the info/contradictions you brought up are rich & interesting enough from a wiki perspective to be on their own page, thus making things undoubtedly clearer and more accurate for the readers. Du7734 11:05, 17 April 2022 (UTC)
This is maybe not going to be the most co-herent thing, but alright, let's adress the three different pillars I've identified.
The elemental chambers.
Either A. they are not how the Elemental Lords were made, in which case, yes, one may wonder why they did not make a chamber for Earth. However, a why not being specified, does not negate the what. Regardless of their reason for it, it would mean they simply did not make a chamber for it.
B. If the elemental lords were made there, Greg has already made the explaination that they were not made at the same time, i.e. the Element Lord of Earth was made before one of the others, and the chamber was reused, meaning one of the Elemental Lords came into existence later. There could be any number of reasons why this is the case (and I think this is a more believable option than A.) For instance, maybe the Skrall were brought in later? We do not know why it is the case, just that it is. That is not a contradiction, just a part that went unexplained.
When it comes to the Element Lords and Angonce not acknowledging the Earth Tribe, this was the intent for the Earth Tribe blurb to explain.
As for Tarduk, Kiina, etc. not mentioning the Earth Tribe but mentioning the Great Beings, I am not sure. For Kiina, I think it could well be something similar, perhaps mentioning the Earth Tribe was more "taboo" than mentioning the Great Beings? The point there is mainly that, she simply didn't mention them, for one reason another. As far as Tarduk's thoughts though, I don't know.
I stand by that there is a clear intention from Greg in having the Earth Tribe be canon. I think several people have also expressed sharing this perspective. As far as deleting the page, you were out-voted, and I don't think that should be circumvented. I think several people have also brought up that using the 'Non-canon' banner would be do-able. For most Greg quotes, it is a matter of single sentence things that have been gone back and fourth on, not an entire expanded character, faction, or event. ~ Wolk (talk) 20:54, 25 April 2022 (UTC)
Whether or not the Cavern of the Elements was the birthplace of the ELs is irrelevant. What matters is that it contains "the six elements of Bara Magna" and, as I have already shown, the context indicates this should be understood as "the six tribes of Spherus Magna," which creates an apparent contradiction with the Earth Tribe's backstory. For the sake argument, I will concede that JE's prologue and RotGB are not inherently contradictory, but the Cavern is still a major problem. Also, I don't deny that Greg clearly intended to canonize the Earth Tribe and their backstory. But he also intended to not contradict previous story in doing so. Unless you can make a strong case as to how the existence of an Earth Tribe does not contradict the Cavern of the Elements, we must consider Greg's intention of canonizing the Earth Tribe void based on his intention to not contradict past story. Finally, it does not matter whatsoever that I was outvoted in outright deleting the page. Canon isn't decided by us, it's decided by Greg, and when Greg didn't want to contradict previous story, how can we consider something that does just that as canon? Dag (talk) 21:21, 25 April 2022 (UTC)
Only the website specifies it as the six elements, and it wouldn't be the first time the web story doesn't line up. Kiina's dialogue could be read as a combination of not necessairily being meant as the chambers representing every element, and her not wanting to acknowledge Earth. Potentially, it could also be the case that the web refers to Bara Magna of the present, while Kiina refers to Spherus Magna of the past.
Greg didn't say any contradiction would rule out the Earth tribe, merely that he wanted to check if he could find any contradictions at the time before publishing.
"It is canon," a non-conditional statement. ~ Wolk (talk) 07:42, 26 April 2022 (UTC)
No, the novelization also says "six chambers," and while it is not explicitly stated in the movie, it is clearly visible that the cavern is evenly separated into six, so it's not just the website. I don't see how you could argue that the chambers don't represent every element, as the website says "the six elements of Bara Magna," Kiina says in the movie "each chamber contains the elements that were once plentiful on the surface of Bara Magna," and it is heavily implied in the novelization. It's just a matter of whether it's every element of Bara Magna or Spherus Magna. Again, if the Cavern does contain only every element of Bara Magna, it can only refer to either the planetoid (because this can only be possible after the Shattering, and the Cavern was built before that, this is anachronistic) or the Wastelands (there is no evidence, but there is evidence to the contrary, that every tribe had a presence or territory in the Wastelands before the Shattering), both of which are not possible, so the only option is Spherus Magna. Lastly, just because Greg said it is canon does not mean it is non-conditional. He only made that statement under the assumption that the back story did not contradict past canon. If he found that it did, he would not have posted it as it was anyway. That doesn't change simply because he wanted the Earth Tribe canon. Maybe he could've found a way to reconcile the rest of these contradictions, but since he hasn't, we can only deal with the information we have. Dag (talk) 12:54, 26 April 2022 (UTC)
Regarding the Cavern of Elements having six chambers, we're talking about the Great Beings here. For all we know, there could have been a seventh chamber before the Core War and, following the Earth Tribe ostracisation, one or more GB may have decided to destroy or hide the Earth chamber without leveling the entire lab, perhaps by folding space on itself to alter the lab's very symmetry. Du7734 09:02, 26 April 2022 (UTC)
Regardless of whether that's even a possibility, it is pure speculation and has no basis. Dag (talk) 12:54, 26 April 2022 (UTC)
Yes, that's just a fan-theory among many others that could be formulated. But I don't really get your point: how can the "six elements of Bara Magna/Spherus Magna" and Kiina's quotes from TLR (movie & novelization) contradict the existence of the Earth Tribe?
If I understood you correctly, your statement can be summarize as the following: if the Earth Tribe exists, an Earth Chamber is missing in the secret lab's cavern. First off, a lack of explanation for this matter isn't a contradiction by itself, but lets continue. We aslo know the Earth Tribe was ostracized during/after the Core War. That gives us already a proper explanation as to why the presupposed Earth Chamber isn't there anymore (or at least, we can rightfully say it makes sense) and why the website/Kiina doesn't refer to it, without being obliged to invalidate the existence of the Earth Tribe altogether.
Then, how the Earth Chamber was removed or the fact that the 2009 Bionicle website/TLR movie & novelization were actually referring to the only six elements of SM at the time do not matter nor do they present contradictions. Du7734 16:01, 29 April 2022 (UTC)
I believe the problem is that they are presented as the six elements of Spherus Magna, which implies definitive, all-inclusive as opposed to six of. The lack of a chamber is not the issue, it could be explained in any number of ways in theory.
Another way I'd propose to look at is Kiina choosing to not acknowledge the Earth Tribe, and thus the Earth element or that a seventh element is (conveniently) missing, and the website merely retelling what Kiina (in this case, somewhat falsely) stated. That is stretching it a bit though. ~ Wolk (talk) 16:32, 29 April 2022 (UTC)
Going back to Dag's demonstrations above, I didn't take this aspect into account since it didn't seem crucial there. But as you suggest, it feels more contextual than anything else. Du7734 09:32, 30 April 2022 (UTC)
The explanation that the Earth Tribe is ostracized due to the Core War can only be applied to the Cavern if 1) it was made after the Great Beings knew about the Earth Tribe's involvement and 2) they shared the same feelings towards the Earth Tribe as the other tribes and also blamed them (also, I don't see how it can be argued that there were originally seven chambers, but Earth's was destroyed, since the Cavern is clearly evenly divided into six). As I said in my initial post about the Cavern, there's no evidence the GBs blamed the Earth Tribe like the other tribes did. Even if that were the case, there's no evidence the Cavern was built that late into the Core War. There's currently a contradiction on whether it is the birthplace of the ELs (see the Cavern's page). While Greg has already explained that the EL of Earth was made using another element's chamber, that's not the point I'm making. The point is that if it is where the ELs were created, it must predate the Core War, and so your argument doesn't work. Dag (talk) 18:12, 29 April 2022 (UTC)
As you do, I think the safest assumption is to say that the Cavern of Elements (whether its chambers were used to create the Element Lords or not) predates the Core War by a long shot, and I don't see how it negates my point. While it's conveniant for your argument, why do you presume that the Cavern of Elements could not have been altered after its creation? The Great Beings achieved all kinds of ridiculously convoluted sci-fi feats in G1 lore. To change the symmetry of a cavern without destroying and rebuilding it does not strike me as something beyond them, whatever the means (folding a portion of space, sealing that portion into an inaccessible pocket dimension, ...)
I think it's heavly believable, implied even, that at least some Great Beings would be resentful towards the Earth Tribe. Rereading ET backstory[1], GregF stated that "no one wanted anything to do with them anymore. They were effectively banished from society." Worded that way, how one could assume that not a single GB would share the same feelings towards the Earth Tribe as the rest of the Agori society? Granted, we can argue that the Great Beings excluded themselves/where also banished from this society. But since the Core War and the Shattering, there has been growing dissension between them, with individuals going their own way (Angonce, Velika) and the formation of different ideological sides (rulling firmly over Spherus Magna vs. leaving the society for good). It doesn't seem like a stretch to me that future GB despots would choose to erase the Earth Tribe from history (as in one of their own lab ;) ) before wanting to eliminate them altogether in a foretold GB civil war. Du7734 09:32, 30 April 2022 (UTC)

Canonicity (One Last Time)

"Alright people, let's do this one last time."

As discussed on the BS01 Discord, I don’t intend to drag this debate out anymore than absolutely necessary, and I have begun drafting something to send to Greg on the TTV Boards. But, as part of preparing for that, I want to represent absolutely everything related to the Earth Tribe, and give people a chance to respond to anything before asking Greg (note: this is NOT exactly what I'll be sending Greg; I'll end up condescending this and anything relevant others might bring up).


First, I want to reevaluate the initial canonization of the Earth Tribe in 2014, which started with this post:

"Greg, you have now confirmed there are tribes on Spherus Magna which we never saw in main story. This is exciting news! My questions pertain to this new development."

The questions that follow are contingent on whether it’s possible there are more tribes than the primary six we saw in the story (and Iron, which was wiped out). The confirmation being referenced here is the following:

"Are there more Agori/Glatorian Tribes somewhere on Spherus Magna that haven't been introduced (or were there others in the past?)"

However, earlier answers contradict this.[1][2][3][4][5] Greg's earlier answers typically take precedence,[6][7][8] and when given incomplete information in a question, his answers are of course inaccurate.[9] Even assuming this CwGF answer supersedes his earlier ones, Greg answered an either or question simply with "yes". All that he confirmed here is that either there are currently more tribes or there were more in the past. It's entirely possible that while only the six primary tribes existed by the time of the 2009 story, that wasn't always the case (as already seen with Iron). However, this was assumed to be definitive confirmation that more tribes do exist presently (" have now confirmed there are tribes on Spherus Magna which we never saw…").

"If I'm reading your replies correctly, you seem to have said that the Glatorian Tera (a character who was intended for BIONICLE #5) was going to be a member of the Earth Tribe. Is this mysterious 'Earth Tribe' one of the tribes we never saw?"

The Earth Tribe from the B5 screen treatment (which wasn't even official[10][11]) was simply a placeholder for the Iron Tribe.[12] This question was not asking about an Earth Tribe, but "this mysterious 'Earth Tribe'" from B5.

Later, Greg seems to contradict himself by answering a number of B5 related questions, including whether the Earth Tribe is canon, by simply responding with "none of the concepts or characters in it are official or have any role in the official universe…so there isn't much point in paying attention to it in terms of anything canon."[13] And yet, the Earth Tribe was brought into canon solely because of B5.

To summarize, the existence of the Earth Tribe is built on shaky Greg quotes. Although the Earth Tribe that is currently considered canon is a totally distinct entity from the Earth Tribe of B5, it was only initially canonized because of its appearance in B5. As Greg explained, the Earth Tribe was canonized because he was asked about it,[14] but if that original question was shaky, then the canonization is too.

Contradictions and Their Solutions

Nearly as soon as the Earth Tribe was first made canon, many contradictions arose. First, Greg said the Earth Tribe fought in the Core War[15] but changed this when notified that it contradicted previous canon.[16] When asked about the Cavern of the Elements, Greg said the Element Lords were made in shifts[17] (although this depends on whether it actually was the birthplace of the ELs[18]). Greg said the Lord of Earth was trapped on Bara Magna with the others[19] but later said she was trapped on Bota Magna with her tribe.[20] Greg said there weren’t any members of the Earth Tribe on Bara Magna[21] but later said there were.[22][23] In 2017, Greg posted a backstory for the Earth Tribe to explain why they did not fight in the Core War, why they were never mentioned in the story, and other apparent contradictions.[24][25] This has been considered canon since. However, there are still some contradictions.

The explanation that the Earth Tribe was never brought up because they were outcasts doesn't cover everything. Mata Nui's Guide to Bara Magna states:

"Six tribes of Agori lived on this world…the Great Beings created six powerful entities they called Element Lords. Each Element Lord controlled the power of one of nature’s forces - Fire, Ice, Sand, Rock, Water and Jungle." (p. 2)

This is not Mata Nui speaking (which is indicated by the "Mata Nui's Diary" sections), but a third person narrator, which is evident from the fact that this narrator refers to Mata Nui in the third person (p. 4). The same thing with All Our Sins Remembered and its blue box text, as well as the prologue of Journey's End. An independent third person narrator would not leave out the Earth tribe for the same reason the other tribes and/or the Great Beings would, or at all. Perhaps these narrators are only telling the story through the knowledge of their respective characters (Mata Nui, Raanu, Angonce), but this is a stretch. Even if so, there is also The Crossing, Chapter 3:

"However, the vast majority of them blamed [the Great Beings] for the catastrophe that had struck the world…Since then no one talked about the Great Beings."

The 2017 backstory does not say the GBs were blamed for the Core War, only that the Earth Tribe was ("...accepted wisdom became that the Earth EL and Agori were responsible for what had happened…"). Even if the other tribes blamed both the Earth Tribe and the GBs, why doesn't Tarduk mention the Earth Tribe here? In fact, why isn't the Earth Tribe mentioned even once across the 2009-2010 story when the GBs are mentioned numerous times despite the fact "no one talked about the Great Beings"? Even in places where the Earth Tribe ought to be mentioned, they are not. Not only did the backstory fail to answer several contradictions, it even created one.

In Riddle of the Great Beings, Chapter 6, the Lord of Jungle retells the origin of the ELs:

"'Once I was a warrior, like the ones held here,' the Element Lord answered. 'Then I and five of my brothers were chosen by the Great Beings for the honor of leading the villages of Spherus Magna…'"

Because of the peculiar wording ("...five of my brothers..."), it has been suggested that the Lord Jungle is not calling his fellow ELs his brothers because they are ELs, but rather because they were all warriors. Even if this is the case, there's still no reason why the Lord of Jungle would exclude the Lord of Earth. Or, if "warriors" is meant to refer specifically to the Glatorian species, meaning Earth is included, but Rock is not for being a former Skrall, it wouldn't make sense that the Lord of Jungle would include Earth, but not Rock.

There is also the Cavern of the Elements. I have already discussed this here, so I will only give a brief summary:

  • The Cavern contains the "six elements of Bara Magna".[26][27][28]
  • The term "elements" in this context can refer to either:
    • The tribes of Agori, which are divided by element affiliation.
    • The elements themselves, i.e. the forces of nature, regardless of whether a tribe affiliated with it exists.
      • If it were representing just the elements, Iron and Earth should have been present, but they aren't, so this interpretation is impossible.
  • Because Greg did not confirm other elements simply on the basis that tribes for them have not been seen,[29] we can consider element and tribe synonymous.
  • The term "Bara Magna" in this context can refer to either:
    • The entirety of Spherus Magna as it was prior to the Shattering.[30][31]
    • The largest chunck of Spherus Magna after the Shattering.[32][33]
      • Since the Cavern was built before the Shattering, this is anachronistic.
    • The desert region of Spherus Magna (referred to as the Wastelands after the Shattering[34]).
      • Since "elements" refers to tribes, this is not possible since not every tribe had territory in the Wastelands prior to the Shattering.[35][36]
  • The only reasonable interpretation is that the Cavern represents the six tribes of Spherus Magna.
  • This does not conflict with Iron, whose tribe was wiped out. It does, however, conflict with Earth.

It has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that the 2017 backstory directly contradicts previous canon and published material. The only matter that remains, then, is whether Greg intended to retcon previous canon.

Intentional Retcon

When it comes to Greg quotes contradicting each other, Greg said:

"So if an answer already exists on something, that answer should stand except in really rare cases that I cannot even conceive of right now."[37]

The exceptions Greg more than likely was referring to were cases when his answers contradict books and other published material (in which case the books should take precedence[38][39]), but also intentional retcons.[40] To have an intentional retcon, Greg must have known what previous canon was and in full awareness superseded it. One of the most notable examples of this is Rahi not being revived on the Red Star.

What makes this quote interesting is that it was only several months after the initial Earth Tribe canonization, and it was during the time when Greg was still answering questions about them. The fact that this case did not come to his mind at that time could suggest that Greg did not intend to retcon previous canon by canonizing the Earth Tribe. In another quote from around the same time, Greg said:

"There are things I do not want to do. I am not going to add new Toa elements, and I do not want to start doing a lot of retcons which is why I made the rule that if one of my answers is contradicted by pre-established canon, canon takes precedence. The kind of things I have been canonizing -- an extra Rahi for Mata Nui, a name for a Toa team -- are minor and do not ruin or retcon anything from past story."

When Greg canonized an entirely new SM element with a corresponding tribe and EL, he did not intend to retcon past canon, based on this quote. Greg makes this clear in 2017 concerning the Earth Tribe backstory:

"I just have to check a few things to make sure it doesn't contradict past story."[41]

Once Greg posted the backstory, he declared it canon.[42] Based on his earlier quotes, it's clear that he only made this declaration under the assumption that the backstory did not contradict previous canon. If it does, however, that of course casts doubt onto the canonicity of the backstory.

In short, Greg did NOT intend to retcon past canon, so his declarative statements that the Earth Tribe is canon should not supersede it.


While I do intend to bring this to Greg so he can hopefully settle this, in the event that he doesn’t answer (which is incredibly likely), it may be beneficial to renominate this to the AfD. However, based on the responses from the initial nomination, I would have three options: delete the page, keep the page as it currently is (even with the disputed tag), or keep the page but label it as definitively non-canon. I know it's a lot, but I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Dag (talk) 17:39, 15 May 2022 (UTC)