It's dawned on me that there is a weird kind of connection between fictional fandom and religion, and that is the goal of Gnosis, or in fandom terms, immersion is gnosis with the story/setting.
Why does setting canon (a religious term in its own right) matter? The most common answer in my experience are people saying that breaking canon kills immersion.
What is immersion in a story? Its the state where one becomes so engrossed in a story, that one can escape (as in escapism), from suffering and boredom, by becoming one with the story, you are imersed in it.
Its no accident that so much of fandom uses religious language, even the word fan is short for/derived from fanatic.
Look at how emotionally invested fans become in setting, and the kind of aggressive arguements over canon that occur that take on the character and fervour of religious debates. The reason why its so important is because it's a battle over the qualities of the setting that both shape the immersive experience and the capacity of individuals and groups into engage in the immersion, and avoid immersion breaking elements.
Fandom like religion also builds communities with common values, stories, histories, and points of discussion and debate, and the occasional heresy ( example does X violate canon?)
Many fans gather around the TV or other device like previous generations gathered around Priests during stories and simular story telling, who acted as a possible vechile through which one could immersion ones self in the stories (and in the case of the Priest via the story as intermediary, immersion with the God/Gods).
Of course this isn't the only path to gnosis or immersion, or deeprst, but one of the easiest and most common, it doesn't not even require one belief in it in a literalist sense, just temporarily suspend disbelief so one can surrend one self to the story, effectively becoming united with it.