On Tuesday, Magic: The Gathering's newest novel, War of the Spark: Forsaken, hit the shelves, and reactions to the book have been overwhelmingly negative. Indeed, fans have taken issue with much that is found in War of the Spark: Forsaken, including its prose, but it is a change that the book seems to make to one of the most beloved Magic: The Gathering Planeswalkers that has really set the community on fire.
Specifically, War of the Spark: Forsaken's descriptions of Chandra, a female Planeswalker that first appeared in Magic: The Gathering in 2007, and her romantic relationship with Nissa Revane, another female Planeswalker and member of the Gatewatch, are not sitting well with many fans. These descriptions suggest that Chandra's romantic interests have always been primarily for "the brawny (and decidedly male) types," and there is indication that the love that she shared with Nissa was "platonic."
For many, including some vocal individuals that have been officially involved in crafting the stories around Chandra, Nissa, and MTG in general, this feels like a retcon of the iconic Planeswalker, and fans suggest that Forsaken has stripped Chandra of her pansexuality. These fans support this suggestion by pointing to the depictions of Chandra and Nissa's relationship in previous Magic: The Gathering stories, such as those contained within the Bolas arc, which appear to counter the idea that their love was merely "platonic."
With respect to how these fans would like to see the portrayal of Chandra in War of the Spark: Forsaken addressed, some believe that Wizards of the Coast should declare the new book noncanonical. This would allow the next Magic: The Gathering stories to feature the version of Chandra that fans feel has been lost with Forsaken, and perhaps her relationship with Nissa could end, if that is indeed the desired direction, in a way that does not seemingly diminish what has been established previously.
That said, removing War of the Spark: Forsaken from the canon may simply not be something that Wizards is willing to do, and no official word on the controversy has come from the developer. If indeed Forsaken's take on Chandra continues into MTG's next sets, hopefully upcoming stories will at least be more careful in their consideration of how character changes such as this one can affect a community.
The Magic: The Gathering Throne of Eldraine expansion set is available now.