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Warhammer 40k - Lexicanum:Trivia

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The Trivia section forms an optional part of the General article structure. In this section (and only here) possible or confirmed "real world" references, inspirations, puns etc. behind the fictional characters, places or events of the Warhammer 40,000 universe can be listed and explained. It is also the place for Notes and Conflicting sources (see below for more details). The word trivia is normally used to describe "information and data that are considered to be of little value" (Wikipedia), but here the expression of "little value" is only to be understood in reference to the main body text which concentrates on the hard, verifiable "facts" of the subject matter as opposed to the Trivia section that is much less "robust".


The Lexicanum covers a fictional setting, the Warhammer 40,000 universe, and the games and products set therein. And while the creators of this setting, Games Workshop, have (partly) based their setting on the "real world" it should be immediately obvious that Warhammer 40,000 is anything but realistic, it is entirely fictional and even when "real world" names, events or references are used as in-universe references nobody knows in how far (if at all beyond the name) the known real world facts apply to the fictionalized Warhammer 40,000 version.

It is explicitly not the task or mission of the Lexicanum to try to make sense of the setting beyond what has actually been stated in Accepted sources or to try to create what Games Workshop themselves do not provide - a unified and stringent continuum of lore. The mission of the Lexicanum as an encyclopaedia limits itself to document - not to interpret, extrapolate, fill in gaps or the like. Therefore no "real world" references can be used within the main body text.

Nevertheless the "real world" references, inspirations, puns etc. behind the fictional characters, places or events might hold an interest for some readers. The Trivia section is there to satisfy this interest. These references can be confirmed references (because Accepted sources have confirmed them) - or unconfirmed because overall it is rather rare that an author explicitly confirms where he gets his references from. Normally any unconfirmed information is strictly forbidden in the Lexicanum, as stated before interpreting, extrapolating, filling in gaps etc. is beyond the scope of the Lexicanum. With one exception - the Trivia section. Due to the very nature of references and inspirations it might not always be possible to provide rock-solid "proof" that a writer got his reference from here or there or that a specific element in the setting is a nod to or pun of certain "real world" elements. Or maybe said writer did actually confirm it but only in a private capacity that does not necessarily reflect official company line.

Taking into account what has just been explained it is quite obvious that (almost) none of the information listed in the Trivia section should be regarded as "official" (or "canon", or "confirmed" or whatever you like to call it). In the vast majority of cases the information here has not explicitly been confirmed or sanctioned by Games Workshop, its subsidiaries or licenseholders. In addition much of this information can also not be regarded as in-universe information, as it was never officially established that the Warhammer 40,000 universe is actually a fictional future of "our real" Earth/ universe.

Thus this section serves to inform readers of the Lexicanum of possible parallels and inspirations for events, names, places, etc. Sometimes it also points out contradictions (or so-called "canon conflicts") and tries to explain how the Lexicanum subjectively sees the situation and why certain information might be regarded as problematic. All this information is - unless stated otherwise - non-binding and informal. It is interpretation by the Lexicanum authors and every reader has to decide for himself or herself, whether he/ she accepts the information presented as plausible or not. All information listed here is sourced as far as possible with trustworthy and publicly available sources (for the formatting of the sources of this section see here).


The most important element to include is the following warning template that the reader is entering the Trivia section:

To include this template you simply have to include the code {{Trivia}} directly under the heading "Trivia".

Note: The usual Citation rules do not apply in this section. Instead of using footnotes like in the main body text direct Internal or External links to the relevant source material are used. Do pay attention to use Wikipedia whenever possible and that any source must be trustworthy and be available to the general public. So for example a private photo hidden in your socks drawer would not be acceptable. Neither would be the ramblings of some random blogger who claims to have heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend whose kid goes to the same kindergarden as the brat of the binman who cleans up the Games Workshop offices.

Example of the Trivia section of the article Wandering Inquisitor

What to include

There is no definitive and exhaustive list on what can be included here due to the very diverse form inspirations or allusions can take. Examples of what could be included in the Trivia section are:

  • puns
  • homages
  • references
  • inspirations
  • allusions
  • plays on words
  • "Easter eggs"
  • and similar items

These references can be from all kinds of sources:

  • pop culture in general
  • historical events or figures
  • literature
  • movies
  • ...

The most important guideline to respect for including items in the Trivia section is that any reference listed should be clearly explained and comprehensible to somebody "not in the know". And every item must be backed up by links (internal or external).

Special case: Notes

The Trivia section is also the place where an Editor can include diverse other notes on the subject of the page. For example if a specific Space Marine Chapter was originally created by somebody for a competition or as a private army but later on included in an Accepted source this can be noted here.

Special case: Conflicting sources (aka "Canon conflicts")

Sometimes (okay, not that seldomly actually) information from Accepted sources conflicts with or plainly contradicts itself (see the Help article on Accepted sources on why this might happen). Such issues can be explained in the Trivia section but:

  • in its own subsection entitled Conflicting sources
  • only while strictly observing the general Citation requirements
  • very strictly refraining from inserting a personal spin, interpretation, extrapolation etc.
Example of the Trivia section of the article Fenris with a Conflicting sources section

How to mark and include a Conflicting sources section

The problematic information should (similarly to the system used for Citations) be marked with the footnote {{Fn|Conflicting sources}}. Then the heading of the Conflicting sources section must be formatted in the following way: {{Endn|Conflicting sources}}. Like this a reader can click on the Conflicting sources footnote and is directly and automatically taken to the Conflicting sources section.

Example of an information marked with the Conflicting sources footnote

What not to include

If a theory is too far-fetched and plain bonkers (i.e. nobody can follow the Editor's train of thought) or when there are no sources or illustrative material to back up the claim it cannot be included in the Trivia section.

See also

For more information on the Trivia section as a stylistic element in Wikipedia see here.