Word of Dante
Word of God is stuff the primary creators (such as George Lucas when it comes to Star Wars) have said is true about their universe, even though it's not in the actual work. Word of Saint Paul is stuff that the secondary creators (such as major actors in a movie) have said, or what those with close connections to the secondary or primary creators (such as close friends or family members) have said. Word of Dante is stuff that neither the creators nor anyone remotely involved with the work has said is true about their universe — but everyone assumes it is true because an independent authority, scholar of the work, Big Name Fan, or the creator of an adaptation has said it — often with supporting arguments. It's a kind of ascended Fanon (though not Ascended Fanon). A more literary criticism-friendly technical term for it would be deuterocanon. Why does it matter? Because everyone thinks the Word of Dante applies to the original work, and so it gets mixed into future adaptations and popular allusions. It can even overrule original canon (if that isn't known as much as it's known of) or Word of God. Take our Trope Namer: if it weren't for Dante Alighieri, later writers wouldn't speak of hell having circles with specific Karmic Punishments. Hell is depicted in broad strokes in The Bible — a place of darkness and wailing and gnashing of teeth, a lake of fire — that's really as specific as it gets. That there are specific places in Hell to send the unchaste, the literal infidels, and the betrayers is all Dante's idea. This is especially likely to happen if there is no one who can unambiguously provide Word of God. Without Word of God or Word of Saint Paul, Word of Dante is the strongest authority you have on how to interpret the canon. Often created when an Expanded Universe claims to be "official" and thus canon, but is ignored by the primary canon. If there is a Word of God, however, then what Word of Dante does get produced is just as likely as Fanon to be Jossed at some point. Frequently creates Adaptation Displacement. May also help create Misaimed Fandom if the Dante's ideas contradict true canon or Word of God. May be the cause of Newer Than They Think, especially if Dante is much younger than the work. Again, it's easier to have Word of Dante if there is no longer anyone to give Word of God. Beam Me Up, Scotty! is a version of this, where the Word of Dante is a phrase. Also related is the Death of the Author, a concept from the field of literary criticism which states that all theories about a work (regardless of their source) can be equally valid. See also God Never Said That. If Word of Dante ever becomes canon, it's Ascended Fanon. If the Dante in question was actually involved in creating the work or has a connection to the creators, then it's Word of Saint Paul.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- A popular rumor in the Digimon fandom was that Digimon Adventure was only supposed to last 13 episodes. The rumor persisted on various wikias and trivia on fansites. Thankfully, the rumor has since been debunked and most of the fandom has been made aware that it wasn't the case.
- Quite a few Dragon Ball fans (including some on this wiki) believe that the name of Lunch's blond gun-crazy alter ego is "Kushami". The name was coined by an American translator in the mid-1990s in order to distinguish between "Good Lunch" and "Bad Lunch", using the Japanese word for "sneeze".
- Most fans treat the "Akira Toriyama intended to end the series at the Freeza saga, but his editors stopped him" rumor as unquestionable fact. Many fans do the same to the "Toriyama abandoned his plan to make Gohan the hero of the Buu saga because he was sent death threats by Goku fans" rumor. In actuality, both of these rumors were started and perpetuated by fans, and have never been officially confirmed by Toriyama.
- The fangame Fullmetal Alchemist: Bluebird's Illusion was a source of something like this among some Fullmetal Alchemist fans back when Pride hadn't been introduced. There were quite a lot of fanworks based on the game.
- Code Geass:
- At no point in canon is it ever stated that Lamperouge (the last name Lelouch and Nunnaly take after faking their deaths) was Marianne's maiden name. Despite this you see this referenced at various times in fan works, including on this very wiki.
- Action Girl Kallen Kouzuki goes by her Britannian father's surname "Stadtfeld" when in public due to the social stigma against Japanese. Fans often assume that she also "westernizes" her first name to "Karen" at the same time, or occasionally that she really is named Karen, and "Kallen" is her attempt to reject her "slave name". None of this reflects on canon; in fact, characters who only know her in her Stadtfeld identity still call her "Kallen".
- The Director's Cut films of Death Note are not canon, and not generally regarded as such... except for the funeral scene. (And, more controversially, the scenes in the shinigami realm.)
- When Matt first appeared in the manga, his design wasn't colored in. It became accepted "fanon" that he had red hair and a black and white striped shirt, to the point where when his actual color scheme was revealed, some fans rejected it in favor of the fan-created one.
- Some pre-Sainthood "real names" for the main cast of Saint Seiya have been popping up in fics, particularly the last name "Amamiya" for Ikki and Shun. This in spite of the fact that only their constellation-based Saint titles have ever been used in the series proper.
- Soul Eater:
- The FUNimation dub uses male pronouns to refer to the character Crona, leading many who watched the anime to believe that Crona is officially male. At the same time, an early online fan translation of a Soul Eater chapter refers to Crona as Medusa's "daughter" causing many of those who read the manga to believe that Crona is officially a girl. Unfortunately, neither is right. Crona, in both the original anime and manga, is referred to using genderless pronouns and as Medusa's "child". FUNimation had to settle with male pronouns by default, and the translation in the manga is wrong. Many fans have decided to just call Crona an "it".
- It's commonly thought that the name of Maka's unseen mother is "Kami" because one translation group mistook part of the Japanese word for "wife" which her ex-husband Spirit used in reference to her, for her name. In actuality her name is never given.
- In Elfen Lied, Number Three (The Silpelit who infected Kurama, causing Mariko to be born a Diclonius) is often given the name Sanban by fans, even though that is simply the Number Three's Japanese translation, unlike Number Seven Nana, which is both a name and number. Further, a listing that only says it is from an official site states that Three is Nana's older sister. Nothing said in the manga or anime supports this.
- The Puella Magi Madoka Magica fandom has more or less unanimously decided that Homura is Conveniently an Orphan, given that there is no indication that she has any sort of parent or caretaker.
- It is also an absurdly common piece of fanon that Charlotte was a cancer patient. (There is some official material that seemingly contradicts this, but it's actually information about a prototype character which gives it dubious canonicity.)
- Magical girls are generally assumed to be The Ageless. To the Stars even allows them to consciously adjust their (apparent) age. It makes sense, since their souls are sealed in their soul gems and they can seemingly heal from any physical injury, but the issue is ignored in canon, even for characters like Mami and Kyouko who contracted years ago.
- Axis Powers Hetalia fandom has tons of these, partly because of Real Life being something of an alternative source material, partly because the webcomic is scattered between the site, the author's blog and — in some cases — only on fansites because strips were removed or lost from the main site. There's also the scanlations with often questionable quality translations, although they have been easier to find as of late. You can find examples in the Fanon page.
- In Fairy Tail, an early online manga translation translates the character Yajima's name as "Shitou", for whatever reason. Subsequent chapters call him "Yajima", leading people to believe he is actually called "Shitou Yajima". Seriously, it's everywhere; he's even credited as "Shitou" in the English credits of the FUNimation dub of the anime. The thing is, the chapter that gives his name in the collected manga volume calls him "Yajima", not "Shitou". The only logical explanation is that the original version of the chapter called him "Shitou", but the author changed it to "Yajima" for the manga volume. But because the original Japanese version of the chapter likely doesn't exist online, the issue may never be clarified.
- People also agree that Lucy's mother died on July 7th, despite only the year that she passed away (X777) having been shown.
- It's also assumed by the pirating crowd that Natsu and likely Gajeel are over 400 years old. Even if they were seen as children they couldn't pass through a barrier stopping people over 80, their ages are listed as unknown, and Zeref recognized Natsu, so the theory is well supported. The only flaw, as anyone who actually buys the volumes might know, is that Mashima stated in a Q&A section that this is not the case.
- Mashiro from Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo is usually taken by Western viewers as autistic. However, this was never mentioned in the original; just that the descriptions about her follows textbook definitions of autism so closely that they just can't give any other explanation.
- This trope itself is the method in which Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Apple Seed and Real Drive are all established to take place in the same universe, though it has to disregard certain parts of each history to accomodate each other.
- Apple Seed has a technical manual that details the history of Earth that leads up to the current world the series takes place in. It establishes that the Cold War came to a peaceful resolution in 1986 which resulted in 1/3rd of the United States becoming the Russo-American Alliance note , that World War III broke out in 1996, and in 1997 a giant meteor struck Beijing, China. As a result of the war and the meteor, the upper hemisphere of the planet has been severely damaged, with new lakes and seas formed and scattered all over. A map of this world can be seen at the end of 2nd Gig despite there being no mention of these events.
- Kenji Kamiyama took this foundation and added upon it in Stand Alone Complex, establishing that the 2nd American Civil War in 2016 resulted in the remaining 2/3rds of the US being split again, with 1/3rd of the states becoming Imperial Americana aka the American Empire. (The country was split up by each of the states themselves, resulting in Imperial Americana now occupying the greatest land mass of the United States note . The United States Of America was reduced to the Rocky Mountain states and the border states along Canada. The series also establishes that World War IV begins in 2019, and that Japan has developed technology to lay the foundation for the existence of the Bioroids that appear in Appleseed.
- Real Drive is an interesting example in this equation. Originally, it was going to take place in the Stand Alone Complex universe, but the director decided he would rather just make it its own universe instead, since it is mostly a Slice of Life series. However, Real Drive uses the exact same technologies established in Stand Alone Complex: Cyberbrains, full prosthetic bodies, Operator androids, and a type of nanotechnology that was developed from the "Radiation Scrubber Nanotechnology"- which itself was the project that a prominent character in Stand Alone Complex was the director overseeing the development process. All of this technology is visually presented to look just like it does in Stand Alone Complex, which makes the similarities too close to simply accept that the director said that it takes place in it's own universe.
- More minor than some of these other examples, but fans of Lyrical Nanoha will often bizzarely associate the titular character as a lover of strawberry and cream based deserts and foods even though there is little to no evidence of this matter.
- The rather popular fan theory that all of the iterations of Neon Genesis Evangelion (the anime vs the manga, for example) are in different timelines is just that: a fan theory. Though, it does rather nicely explain Kaworu's actions and attitudes towards Shinji, as well as explain some otherwise bizarre scenery, especially in Rebuild of Evangelion.
- One Piece has the Databooks, which are published to give supplementary material not crucial to the main storyline, but that many fans would probably like to know. Just how true they are, however, is up for debate as of April 2014, when something very important that was stated to be false in a Databook was confirmed as true in the main storyline: Sabo is alive.
- The fact that Akane from Psycho-Pass doesn't have her Hue clouded easily led many fans to believe that she's confirmed to be criminally asymptomatic despite the anime itself not once stating that it's the case.
- Nowhere is Misty from Pokémon canonically referred to as "Misty Waterflower", but you'll never see her surname given as anything else. This comes from episode 7 where her sisters are referred to as "The Water Flowers Of Cerulean City", which is a metaphor.
- Adrian "Ozymandias" Veidt from Watchmen is often, in fandom, depicted as German, the son of a Nazi officer, and driven to his own well intentioned extremism out of a keen desire to atone for what he feels is an inherited murderous stain. All of this was invented by Matthew Goode, who played him in the film version- in fact, there are hints that despite his looking like the Nazi party's own invented Aryan ideal, Veidt in the graphic novel very well might be the son of Jews who fled the Nazis. He's presumably named for actor Conrad Veidt, a German socialist who left the country because of how much he hated the Nazis.
- Before Watchmen makes it explicit that something similar to the latter is what happened, though whether the Veidts were Jewish is never established for certain.
- A Running Gag in Batman fandom is that Damian Wayne is supposedly crazy about cats, to the extent that some fans were even offended when a writer gave him a Great Dane named Titus in one series. While Damian does own a cat in addition to several other pets (including a cow), there's little to support the notion that he's obsessed with them to the degree fandom assumes he is.
- Lots and lots of fan characters from the Vocaloid fandom have achieved popularity status with the main characters, and in videos and songs featuring them, you'll almost certainly find people in the comments wondering if Haku (the Anthropomorphic Personification of clumsy new users), Neru (the personification of Image Board trolls) or Sai (whose creator can be clearly identified outside of image board masses and does all her own songs) is an official member of the cast. It goes the opposite way, too — because the English-speaking programs like Miriam are older and given less attention, far too many people forget they exist.
- The Star Wars Technical Commentaries fit this trope so well that much of their information overrides canon in the eyes of fans. The best example is the class name of the Star Destroyers from the original trilogy. Canonically, they're Imperial-Class according to the EU, the official website, and Word of God. Dr. Saxton, who wrote the technical commentaries, dubbed them "Imperator-Class" on the grounds that "Imperial" is a stupid name for a warship; he assumed that the Empire followed American and British tradition in naming ships and classes. Many fan works use "Imperator-class" and the name was eventually canonized in Revenge of the Sith: Incredible Cross-Sections (penned by Saxton as an author for Lucasfilm Licensing). Go, Roman naming-schemes!
- Though there has been a HMS Imperial, so the name isn't that unlikely...
- Though it's still established that, presumably out of pure ego, the Emperor changed the name to Imperial-class after he turned the Republic into The Empire.
- Probably the most widely accepted piece of fanon (even on this very wiki) is the idea that Palpatine, Thrawn (and sometimes even Revan) were actually Well Intentioned Extremists, uniting the galaxy under a single powerful rule to best prepare them for the arrival of an even more powerful foe, specifically the Yuuzhan Vong.
- Not mentioned explicitly as the Vong, but Palpatine's agent in Outbound Flight tells Thrawn that the Emperor is trying to unite the galaxy in an attempt to stand against an (at the time unnamed) enemy from beyond the Galactic Rim. This is what first convinces Thrawn to side with the Emperor, as he had encountered an unknown extra-galactic enemy before. Kreia in Knights of the Old Republic II makes a similar comment about Revan, but that later turned out to be the True Sith, members of the order that fled into solitude sometime around or before the Great Hyperspace War.
- Inception shows the agents to have Reality Warper powers within a dream allowing them to alter it as they see fit. Many fans have since adopted the belief that this altering is what's allowing them to use the various action movie tropes, like the Pin-Pulling Teeth or the Bloodless Carnage. This would make the use of almost any trope justified by the narrative, at least in the scenes that take place inside a dream. (And as for the rest...)
- The Cthulhu Mythos includes various authors contemporary with and following after HP Lovecraft whose stories are considered canonical. Some works written previous to the original Mythos are also considered canonically part of it, like some of the works of Ambrose Bierce and The King in Yellow.
- Charles Perrault and The Brothers Grimm, by committing oral traditions to print in standard versions, are as guilty of this in print as Disney has been in film.
- Gone writer Micheal Grant never specifically said that Zil Sperry was gay or bi. But judging from his narration chapters, you can see where one would get this idea, so it's basically Fanon
- Before Perrault got hold of the "Sleeping Beauty", the prince found her asleep in the forest and raped her without waking her. It was only one of their children sucking the splinter from her finger that finally woke her. Whereupon the prince went home to his wife...
- In the best-known version of "Rapunzel", the old witch learns that Rapunzel has been visited in her tower when Rapunzel foolishly answers her, "Mother Gothel, why are you so much harder to pull up than my prince?" In the first printing of their story collection, Rapunzel's question is, "Mother Gothel, why have my dresses grown so tight around the waist?"
- This is the case with the editorials of William Shakespeare's works since the 1800s.
- While old Bill was alive it's uncertain if he ever officially sanctioned any publication of his works, most printed versions from the time being shabby bootlegs. Contemporary versions of The Bard's plays rely heavily on the Word of St. Paul through the First Folio, a collection of his plays put together in 1623 by some actor pals in The King's Men. By the 1800s editors had begun to use what they considered 'good' versions of the bootlegs, which they figured were part of the Word of God. Since then scholars have been in an echo chamber debating what can be considered authentic Shakes. Today some publications of Hamlet and KingLear have decided to include different versions and leave it entirely up to readers to decide their own Word of Dante version to use. Since the Swan of Avon didn't have a Xerox to print off an official copy, basically any version of his plays that claim to be the real Mc Coy are actually just ascended Fanon that gets a stamp of approval from academics.
- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is often taken as canon for Hamlet, even if incorporating a postmodern look at the nature of theater into a straightforward if rich story about revenge makes no sense. (It helps that Tom Stoppard is careful about making sure when in Hamlet the various events of his own play happen.) Even people who can't consider the events canon "know" that they must be either allowed for or explicitly ruled out, which gives Rosencrantz and Guildenstern importance they would not otherwise have. The film of Hamlet with Laurence Olivier cut the pair entirely because they were minor characters with little effect on the main plot — which is why Tom Stoppard wrote his play in the first place. In modern versions, even ones that don't consider Stoppard canon, this is all but unthinkable. (The Mel Gibson version shows their execution, for instance.)
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes:
- The author never described the eponymous character as wearing a deerstalker cap or smoking a calabash pipenote . Those are elements that were popularized by illustrations — including the pictures printed with the storiesnote — and stage productions. So many people consider them canon that the 2009 film got criticized for dropping those elements. Basil Rathbone wore them in his classic 1939 films, The Hound Of The Baskervilles and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, more reason to associate this outfit with the great detective.
- It's generally accepted these days to present Mycroft Holmes and the Diogenes Club as some sort of cover organisation or outpost of the British secret service. This is largely an invention of later pastiches; aside from a few hints that Mycroft's job in the British government is a bit more extensive than he likes to admit ("on certain occasions he is the British government"), it's never really suggested in the original canon that either the club nor Mycroft are anything other than what they appear to be (a near-silent club for reclusive eccentrics and a Brilliant but Lazy civil servant respectively).
- Holmes' relationship with "The Woman", Irene Adler, has largely been expanded from a healthy respect for the one person we ever see outsmarting Holmes to a Dating Catwoman-like Unresolved Sexual Tension situation at the very least, thanks more or less to this trope combined with Promoted to Love Interest. This gets even weirder when one remembers that Irene married her own lawyer during that case and had no romantic interest in Holmes whatsoever. And there's the fact that he only has any contact with her once (briefly) when he's casing her house under an assumed identity. The closest that they come to even having a conversation is when Irene leaves an extended letter for Holmes after she's already escaped.
- Moriarty was never intended by Doyle to be Sherlock's arch-nemesis- this got applied to him by fans and later adaptations of the stories of Holmes. Holmes does describe Moriarty as "the Napoleon of crime" and Moriarty does play a role in two different stories, but that's as far as it got in Doyle's work in crafting Moriarty as an arch-villain — although the fact that one of these stories ended with Holmes and Moriarty fighting each other to the death and Holmes apparently killed off for good doesn't exactly hurt Moriarty's claim to the title.
- Tolkien never explicitly stated that Elves in The Lord of the Rings and related works had pointy ears — in fact, no special physical traits are given except that they seem to be more slender, more elegant, and taller than men (thus implying that they might, apart from that, look more or less alike). In his letters, he shows the assumption that such an appearance was obvious (since English "elfs" have always been described as such), and explains how the Sindarin word for "ear" originates from their word for "leaf". It's also widely accepted in Tolkien fandom that Smaug was the last dragon. In fact, this is never stated anywhere in the books, and indeed some of Gandalf's dialogue with Frodo implies that there are still dragons out there — Smaug was merely the greatest of his age.
- Arthurian legend has gone through many cycles over the centuries, so that many of the familiar features may be newer than you'd assume. The character of Lancelot, his affair with Guinevere, Mordred's incestuous parentage, and the quest for the Holy Grail all came about during the legend's resurgence in popularity during the late middle ages. Some of them likely came to us by way of Le Morte d'Arthur, which appears to be one of the older in-depth codifications of the legend. The best-known version of the "sword in the stone" story, as well as many now-common attributes of Merlin, were introduced in the 20th century with T.H. White's The Once and Future King.
- The Chronicles of Narnia:
- This series is among the few fantasy epics that doesn't have any Doorstoppers among its volumes because C. S. Lewis, while not neglecting Character Development and worldbuilding, didn't take it as seriously as either Tolkien or modern Young Adult fantasy writers. As a result, the live-action films from the 2000s have more of such activity than the books do. The Prince Caspian film deviates enough from the book that the film continuity is considered an Alternate Continuity from the books, but even Fan Fic writers who explicitly reject film continuity may unconsciously accept film characterization for the Pevensies. There is subtle Values Dissonance between the two. When there was just one film, the fandom started to accept the film's version of life for the Pevensies before going to Professor Kirke's place, since C. S. Lewis didn't consider it relevant. Technically, it wasn't, but modern fans enjoy that sort of thing. Thus, the Pevensies come from Finchley, since it's nice to narrow it down from "England".
- World War II in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is simply there to get the Pevensies where they need to go. The live-action film pushed what was implied to the foreground, reminding people that you can't ignore that war if you have been in the warzone. Fanfic post-film reflects this, and is likely to include Mr. Pevensie at war rather than at university (which The Voyage of the Dawn Treader implied). The second film similarly reminded writers that the war had not stopped during the intervening year.
- Lots of people think Caspian/Susan is canon, when actually they barely talk to each other in the Prince Caspian book. The movie, however, did make it canon. In the first book in which he appears, Caspian and Susan are both 13 years old, and he has more interactions with the 9-year-old Lucy than he ever does with her older sister. There are rumors that the movies were planning on foreshadowing Lucy/Caspian, to be properly set up in Dawn Treader, but when 26-year-old Ben Barnes was cast against 12-year-old Georgie Henley and 19-year-old Anna Popplewell, they decided not to go down that road.
- The Terrible Dogfish from The Adventures of Pinocchio is a shark. The popular misconception as a whale parallels that from the story of Jonah (see "Mythology and Religion" below), but this time we can blame Disney.
- Some critics find Plato's writing of Socrates to be this, since Socrates was emphatically opposed to writing any philosophical wisdom. Which statements were genuinely Socrates' and which ones were put in his mouth by Plato is a subject of much analytical debate. Plato certainly backpedaled on the statements that led to Socrates' execution.
- In Another Note:
- There is no explicit mention (or even hint) of Beyond Birthday consuming blood and/or flesh from any of his victims. Yet most fans depict him as a cannibal. Nor is there any mention or implication of him raping any of them. Though the idea of him being a rapist is at least more plausible, because he proudly describes himself as "an aggressive top."
- Most fanart portrays him as splattered in blood and/or wearing a black shirt. Though canonically, he wears a white shirt (to match L), and he is meticulous about cleaning up after his grisly murders. This is most likely done to distinguish him from L, especially in fanarts where they appear together.
- On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the demon in the Musical Episode is never named, and in the credits is listed as "Demon." However, fanon has named him Sweet, after a line in the credits saying "Sweet makeup provided by..." Either in confirmation or appeasal, the character was credited as Sweet on the episode's soundtrack.
- Star Trek:
- Fans referred to an unnamed, silhouetted character in Star Trek: Enterprise as "Future Guy" and, let's just say, the name caught on with the writers. SF Debris even lampshades this, noting that, for him, his use of the fan nickname wasn't supposed to be glowing:
I shouldn't have to guess the name of your villain out of sarcasm!
- There are quite a few Trek examples, leading to cases where newer Trek — particularly Star Trek: Enterprise — was accused by many of being "inaccurate". Many aspects of fanon were confused with canon. Whether Enterprise did or did not deviate from established canon (and keeping in mind Trek has never been 100% consistent anyway, simply by virtue of how big it is), many of the more frequent claims were in fact based on widely-accepted but non-canonical fan assumptions. Among the biggest Word Of Dante was the whole "Spock was the first Vulcan in Starfleet" idea. Another is the "2218 Klingon First Contact". Neither was canonical, but were widely accepted along Word Of Dante principles for years. In these two aspects at least, Enterprise didn't deviate from canon.
- Of course, since Enterprise's major first arcs involved large scale time-fuckery anyway, you have to wonder how valid the claims would have been in the first place.
- Among the biggest Word of Dantes, used in authorized but non-canon reference books and the Expanded Universe, was that many of the major races such as Klingons and Romulans come from the rarely-mentioned-in-canon Beta Quadrant. When the writers of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager indicated all the main races came from the Alpha Quadrant or had five episodes taking place over a month, many fans jumped on these as mistakes. It was finally made canon in Star Trek Into Darkness, making this an instance of Ascended Fanon. This is thrown the other way in Star Trek Online, which reveals that the majority of the Federation systems (including Vulcan, Andoria, Tellar Prime, Risa, Betazed, and even EARTHnote ) are in the Beta Quadrant.
- Starship combat in Trek video games almost universally assumes that phasers and disruptors work best against shields, and photon torpedoes work best against the hull. This is never stated in any episode or film, however.
- Fans referred to an unnamed, silhouetted character in Star Trek: Enterprise as "Future Guy" and, let's just say, the name caught on with the writers. SF Debris even lampshades this, noting that, for him, his use of the fan nickname wasn't supposed to be glowing:
- Linkara's Theory as to the cause of Power Rangers suits sparking upon being struck (essentially a Power Surge) has been adopted as canon by the franchise's fandom.
- The TV adaptation of The Green Hornet established Kato as a martial-arts expert and now audiences expect it.
- Doctor Who:
- A Big Name Fan named Jean-Marc Lofficier wrote some reference books in the eighties and nineties, which had quasi-official status through being published by Target, who also did the Doctor Who Novelisations. Although the real-world information about the series was mostly reliable, much of the Universe Concordance material included consisted of extremely speculative extrapolations from canon or pure fanfic, without any disclaimer being put in. It's still possible to find older Who fans quoting some of this stuff as canon.
- A common belief has been that the Ice Warriors of Marshave a ruling caste of Ice Lords. However, according to Doctor Who Magazine #489's "Fact of Fiction" article on The Monster of Peladon, while the Ice Warriors do have an aristocracy, the term 'Ice Lords' is never used in the TV series. Though at least three Ice Warriors in the show have been tagged as Ice Lords by fandom - Slaar in The Seeds of Death, Izlyr in The Curse of Peladon, and Azaxyr in The Monster of Peladon - only Izlyr is actually nobility, the other two being military officers. The term 'Ice Lords' apparently came from DWM themselves, back when they were Doctor Who Weekly, and quickly passed into fan consciousness.
- Avon surviving the Kill 'em All Bolivian Army Ending of Blake's 7 is pretty generally accepted in the Fandom, and might be a case of Ascended Fanon now that the possibility of a sequel/reboot including the character has been floated. The fact that one of the fans in question is Paul Darrow, the actor who played Avon, doesn't hurt this one's chances one bit.
- The second movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's 8th Symphony allegedly originated as a canon honoring Johann Nepomuk Maelzel for his invention of the metronome. This canon (WoO 162) is now considered non-canonical, merely one of Anton Schindler's more elaborate fabrications about Beethoven's life.
- The common myth that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri were enemies, or that Salieri killed Mozart, originates with the 1830 verse drama Mozart and Salieri by Alexander Pushkin, though most people know it from the film Amadeus. In real life, Mozart and Salieri stood on amicable terms, but a lot of people who should know better still discuss Salieri's supposed ill will toward Mozart as though it were historical fact.
- Thanks to Revo's complete refusal to clear up any ambiguities in the albums, most Sound Horizon "canon" is really just a large swath of widely-accepted fan theories.
- The most popular origin story of John Newton's Amazing Grace claims the author's slave ship was caught in a sudden storm, causing him to repent his evil ways on the spot, and that the song was written shortly thereafter. While it is true that John Newton was a former slave trader who had a Heel-Faith Turn and that the song was about his redemption basically everything else about the story is fabrications added by other people after the fact.
Mythology & Religion
- Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy is the Trope Namer, and the most famous example. Anything you think you know about Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory was probably popularized by Dante, though very little of it is supported by Biblical canon. Considerable portions were also based on contemporary Church positions and local superstitions, both of which were still dominated by leftover bits of Middle-Eastern, Roman and Greek mythology at the time. There are also some Real Life people (such as Francesca da Rimini and Count Ugolino) that we only know of through Dante's work and the early commentaries explaining it. Note that many of them, especially the souls found in the Inferno, could probably have gone without being mentioned. Many among that group had wronged Dante in some way, and the general consensus among modern critics of Inferno is that Dante included them for personal reasons. There are so many of these people that some say Inferno is 40-50% political satire and requires extensive knowledge of contemporary Italian politics to understand.
- This trope is older than the actual Bible we know today, with various other religious texts not included in canon but occasionally influential, known as Apocrypha. First there are the various deuterocanonical books which you might find after Revelation in your Bible (in Catholic and Orthodox Bibles, however, they'll simply be in the Old Testament- there are seven, not counting the codicils of Esther and Daniel and the appendix to Daniel). These are considered by Biblical scholars (in varying degrees) to be not canon, but not heretical. Why? A Serious Business but often some of it is as simple as obvious errors. Generally not found in modern Protestant Bibles but still available in common versions.
- Beyond this there are Apocrypha not found in any widely available version of the Bible. One of the oldest and most referenced is the Book of Enoch, which is possibly the Ur-Example of Word Of Dante for The Bible. It notably has a lot of info dumping about angels and fallen angels and either started various beliefs or at least shows they go back into ancient times. The Book of Enoch was lost to Western scholars for a time but turned up in Ethiopia and archeological finds.
- Other texts called Apocrypha were consciously discarded as Christianity took shape, some for being considered total fiction and others for being outright heretical. This category includes the Gnostic Gospels which get into very divergent beliefs compared to what Christianity became. Incidentally they contain no revelations as shocking as certain disreputable modern authors may claim to sell books.
- "Apocrypha" has a specific meaning in terms of biblical studies; it refers to Old Testament books present in Greek sources (such as the Septuagint) that aren't present in the Hebrew Tanakh.
- Some people have said that Mary Magdalene wrote a gospel, though this is generally considered non-Canon by the church. A book of it was put out a few years ago, however.
- These are only a few examples related to The Bible:
- Paradise Lost is like this for the entire book, especially Satan. Satan only gets a few lines in the Bible, and not much that you could use to establish a sympathetic character. Paradise Lost also establishes the idea of angels playing harps.
- December 25 is not mentioned as the date of the nativity. Most scholars believe it was in September.
- The names and number of Wise Men who visited Jesus were not mentioned in the Bible; they come from 6th to 8th century sources. In Western Europe they were assumed to be 3 because 3 were the gifts they gave to Jesus, but in Armenia, for example, they were 12. What's more, they likely did not visit Jesus on the day of His birth or twelve days after. It could have been up to two years.
- At no point in the Bible or any of the books that didn't make the cut is it said that there was an ox and a mule present in the Nativity scene either. Luke mentions a manger doubling for Jesus' cradle, hence why it's assumed that the birth took place in a stable. The specific animals come from the first live enactment of the Nativity scene in 13th century Italy, where these two might have been added just because there were no others around.
- The Bible also never specifically singles out the Seven Deadly Sins. That set comes from later saints and Church Fathers (and originally, there were 25 of them.)
- Mary Magdalene is often identified with other females from the Gospels, including Mary the sister of Martha, the woman who washes Jesus' feet with her tears, and the woman caught in adultery. That is, she is considered to be one or more of them. However, there is no support in the Gospels themselves for these. Some of them are Church tradition, though. The originator of this idea is the sixth century Pope Gregory the Great, also the man responsible for the Seven Deadly Sins (before him, there were eight).
- Similarly, the Antichrist, who is mentioned only in the first epistle of John in the context of "many antichrists" (who are more likely general oppressors and heretics rather than specific apocalyptic enemies; basically, anyone who isn't pro-Christ), is often identified with various apocalyptic figures, such as the Beast from the Sea from Revelation, the Man of Sin/Lawlessness from Second Thessalonians, and the Little Horn from Daniel.
- The only time "antichrist" is used is in the Johannine Epistles, and it refers to the proto-Gnostics in/around Ephesus that claimed that Jesus was a purely spiritual being (thus not really human in any meaningful sense). This was one of the major conflicts of the early church, since early Christian thought involved a mixture of very earthy Jewish ideas and very other-worldly Greek philosophy. In a society steeped in Greek thought, a divinity actually becoming human would have been ridiculous or offensive, but was right at home with the Jewish idea of YHWH being ultimately invested in human history.
- After Saul's conversion, he didn't deliberately change his name to Paul. His birth name was Sha'ul (Saul is the closest the Greek alphabet can come to rendering that name) and he never abandoned it. However, like many Romanized Jews he had a Latin name that he used when dealing with Gentiles—Paulus or "Paul." So basically, the author of Acts called him "Saul" so long as that's what his main associates (the Pharisees) called him; he got referred to as "Paul" once he began moving mainly in Gentile circles.
- Nowhere in the Garden of Eden story does the Bible mention the name of the forbidden fruit, commonly accepted as an apple by people who aren't Biblical scholars. In fact, Jewish sources debate five or six possibilities, which include everything from fig to grapes to wheat, but no apple.
- The word for "apple" in Latin is "mālum" (long 'a') similar to the Latin word for "bad". Latin being the language of the Catholic Church, someone illuminating a manuscript probably thought "evil apple" to be a rather clever pun. The Church says nothing either way; only in art does this tradition exist. Secondly, in early modern English apple was used to mean fruit in general (in the same way that "corn" meant the grain of an area, not any specific grain). When the meaning of "apple" got narrowed down, the picture of the fruit of the tree of knowledge was narrowed with it. In any case, the apple didn't make it to the Middle East until the Persian era at the earliest (they're originally from Central Asia), so Eve eating one is a bit of a stretch, to say the least.
- Jonah never spent time in the belly of a whale in The Bible; it is simply described as a big fish. At the time the story was written there was no specific Hebrew word for whale, apart from various words for large fish. The metamorphosis into a whale comes from translations. In some languages, "big fish" is a term used to refer to both whales and sharks, with little or no distinction. In later mentions of Jonah's story in the New Testament, the Greek word used for the big fish was literally "sea monster", a term often applied then to whales. The King James Version, among others, decided that a whale made more sense than just a big fish, since no known ordinary fish is that big. That whales aren't actually fish is another, unrelated issue.
- In regards of the Devil, the popular image of a red-skinned, horned, goat-legged devil with a pitchfork is neither biblical nor has it ever been mainstream Christian teaching. The picture is a steady amalgamation of pagan symbols attached to Satan over the years in order to discredit them. In fact, in many early paintings he's represented as a goat that walks on his hind legs.
- Much like the Devil, the popular image of God as an elderly, bearded man is based more off of Zeus, and violates the Second Commandment ("thou shalt have no graven images of Me"). YHWH's actual apperance in The Bible is less Physical God and more horrifying.
- The only Biblical mention of "Lilith" is in Isaiah 34:14, where it's not even clear that it refers to a person; it's a plural noun and has variously been translated as "owls" or "demons." It's used a few times in the Talmud, but never as a mysterious "first wife of Adam"—that actually comes from a mideval book called the Alphabet of ben Sirach, which is generally interpreted as some kind of vulgar parody (the whole "who's on top?" issue is only one of its lewd topics).
- Christian tradition teaches that of Jesus's 12 apostles, all but two (Judas and John) were martyred. The Bible accounts only for the fate of two of them: Judas (suicide/divinely ordained accident, the Bible gives conflicting accounts) and James (killed by order of Herod). Stories of the rest come from apocryphal and medieval sources.
- Naturally, Cracked has an entire list of this trope for Christianity. Along with those already mentioned is the entire concept of any of the fallen angels ruling Hell, as Hell is just as much a prison for them as it is for the sinners.
- Quite a few tenets affirmed of the Catholic and Orthodox Church are not actually found in the Bible. Examples include immaculate conception (not to be confused with the virgin birth), the bodily assumption of Mary, and transubstantiation. They could be considered universally believed Words of Dante that were upgraded to Words of God via Papal fiat. However, the Catholics and Orthodox accept both the validity of Scripture and Tradition, with Tradition being the results of continuous deepening of understanding of theology. The Protestants generally do not accept these due to their belief in Sola Scriptura (Scripture only): all tenets of faith must be directly extrapolated from the text.
- Exodus doesn't name the Pharaoh who Moses went up against, but pop culture has completely identified him with Ramesses II. The Ten Commandments didn't invent the idea, but it probably codified it and later The Prince of Egypt codified it again for a new generation. It's reached the point where any screen adaptation of the story which doesn't call him "Ramesses" will simply not mention his name.
- Similarly, in the Bible, Moses' birth mother Yocheved was his nursemaid and Moses probably knew he was Hebrew since childhood. Virtually all modern adaptations of the story have him not find out until he is an adult, which is useful in that it adds another layer of angst to the story.
- This results from confusion due to the mention of a couple of cities (either contemporary version of slums, or a huge collection of barns, scholars differ in opinion) built by the Hebrew slaves, one of which is called רעמסס ("Ra?amses" where /?/ is an epiglottal stop).
- The Leviathan and Behemoth are only briefly mentioned in a list of other contemporary animals. The actual descriptions sound more like a largish crocodile and a hippo than the giant monsters they are now associated with.
- There is scholarly debate on whether to understand these as descriptions of animals or mythical creatures, however a contemporary audience would be very familiar with stories of gods fighting "chaos monsters" to create the world. There are elements of this at several points, such as the Psalms and Job, where it seems that there was a tradition of YHWH battling primordial ocean monsters. As Israel began transitioning to true monotheism (after 500 BCE or so) these stories become more rare as Israel's religion became more distinct from its neighbors.
- Virtually all art works, from paintings to film, have depicted all prophets and common people in The Bible as Caucasians, including a very blue eyed and blond Jesus Christ, despite the fact that most people in the Holy Land were of Jewish or Middle Eastern descent. Jesus is also usually portrayed as a man with long hair, a beard and a white dress to emphasize his Incorruptible Pure Pureness, again something that isn't specificially described as such in the Bible!
- Virgil's Aeneid and Ovid's Metamorphoses are like this for Greco-Roman myths. Ovid cobbled together different Greek sources and added his own imaginative touches to create the definitive versions of most of the Greco-Roman myths we have today. The Aeneid standardized the story of Aeneas, which had previously existed in a bunch of variations and hadn't been as popular as, say, Romulus and Remus.
- The popular image of Santa Claus is taken from A Visit from St. Nicholas ("'Twas the night before Christmas..."). Before the poem was published in the 1820s, everyone had their own idea of what he looked like and how he traveled around. The popular modern image also owes a lot to Thomas Nast's cartoons of Santa in the 1860s.
- The modern perception of Norse Mythology and religious practices is mainly based on Christian or Muslim sources, such as the chronicle of Adam of Bremen from the 11th century, Ibn Fadlan's brief depiction of life among the Norse in Russia, or various texts by Icelandic skalds in the 13th century (such as Snorri Sturluson's manuals on how to write poetry).
- Stories about King Arthur have been told and retold to the point where this happens. T. H. White's The Once and Future King is probably the best known these days, although most people are at least aware it's based on an older set of legends. Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur (or his Complete Works) is usually the main "canon" but Malory makes no secret of drawing from other books... some of which scholars today can't identify for sure. And, even then, these books are following mostly off of Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain and the romances of Chrétien de Troyes and others, and not the often forgotten (and often missing) Welsh folktales... which may or may not predate the accounts of Roman historians from not long after the time that mention Arthur (confused especially since Gaius, who was present for this part of history, is the one person who never mentions Arthur).
- The Qur'an or Muhammad never said anything about martyrs receiving the company of 72 virgins in paradise. The idea was first written down by a commentator 200 years after the death of Muhammad. And some scholars now think the word he used meant "grapes", not virgins.
- The Hadiths of Islam can be seen as an example of this trope: a huge body of phrases attributed to the Prophet but not actually part of the Qur'an, a sort of Ascended Fanon.
- The more fundamental differences between the sects of most major religions are largely due to separated groups coming to consider Word Of Dante as Word of God due to prolonged lack of contact or as a deliberate decision.
- Everyone knows that Medea poisoned her children after Jason left her. However, older sources state it was either an accident, or the citizens of Corinth were the murderers. Medea didn't become the murderer until Euripides started writing the play, and the Corinthians convinced him to change it (with a large bribe, that is).
- Warhammer 40,000: While it is never outright stated that the priest of the Adeptus Mechanicus worship the Void Dragon (a star-eating C'tan deity that has power over machines imprisoned on Mars), most fans readily accept it as canon. Given the nature of the universe, it says something that a vital part of mankind's dominion secretly serves its own master, who actively hates all living things.
- The "official" scenario of The Seven Deadly Sins was not written by Bertolt Brecht, though it was adopted by choreographer George Balanchine.
- In a Transformers comic letters page, a female fan roleplayed as her Original Character Hotwire. The sassy Supermoto even sent in fanart. She flirted with Michael Bay's Barricade (asking to play bad cop/bad cop pretending to be good cop). He flirted back, and now it's Word of Dante that Barricade likes ladies with plenty of hardware. The smallest things can change the world.
- In Dark Souls, the identity of Lord Gwyn's firstborn son is kept ambiguous, with only a few vague hints given that he even exists. However, certain high-profile members of the Dark Souls fanbase like EpicNameBro have suggested (based on some very valid in-game clues) that it is Solaire, a theory which has become so popular among the Dark Souls community that many fans accept it as canon despite From Software's silence on the matter.
- Bungie imported the concept of rampancy from Marathon into the Halo series, and made it part of an AI's natural life cycle after seven years of existence. Nowhere, however, is it stated that Halo's AIs follow the same rampancy pattern of "Melancholia - Anger - Envy" as Marathon's AIs, or that there is a possibility for AIs to advance past those stages and become Metastable. Regardless, this has become a basic concept in the fandom, and appears commonly in post-Halo 3 fanfiction surrounding Cortana. This probably has something to do with the common fan theory that the two series share a universe.
- Pokémon has a few:
- Cubone is actually Kangaskhan's baby. Its Mother's skull is therefore a Kangaskhan's skull that eventually fuses to its head when it evolves.
- The PC from Red and Blue killed his Rival's Raticate - and that's the reason the rival was in Pokemon Tower in Lavender Town.
- Mega Mewtwo Y is a reversion of Mewtwo's powers to make it more similar to Mew and Mega Mewtwo X is when the cloning process is finally completed.
- Ditto is a failed clone of Mew.
- The Rival from Gold and Silver being Giovanni's son started off as this, until it became canon. But as for who the mother is, it's generally believed to be Executive Ariana.
- In the spanish-speaking fandom, it's pretty common to hear people calling the two factions of Team Plasma that emerged in Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 as "Equipo Plasma Negro" (Black Team Plasma) and "Equipo Plasma Blanco" (White Team Plasma). They are never named like this in the games.
- Herobrine is a character from a Minecraft creepypasta. Many people now think he's a real character, either Notch's dead brother or a dead miner. It eventually became Ascended Fanon by constantly appearing in official release notes as a Running Gag. Herobrine has now been "removed" several times from the gamenote , and another bugfix stated that "all ghost entities under the command of Lord Herobrine" had been removed.
- Some fans of Resident Evil (particularly the fan girls) seem to think that William Birkin is a loving father. However, the game never gives any evidence to support this. If you go by what his daughter Sherry and his wife Annette say, he was the complete opposite: so obsessed with his work that he hardly even knew they existed. There's also the fact that he stashed a sample of the G-Virus in Sherry's locket after he found out Umbrella wanted to steal his research early, which also made her the target of the Tyrant T-103 Type. Thus, all evidence points to this being Birkin being put into a pair of leather pants.
- Touhou runs on Word Of Dante. A character can say something once and have it become their Catch Phrase. Several of the Fan Vids and Fan Fic spawn Alternative Character Interpretation that has little to no canonical basis. The biggest example of how prevalent Word Of Dante is in Touhou is probably the two nameless mid-bosses from The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil: Fans were the ones responsible for giving them names and distinctive appearances. Their Fan Nicknames were then acknowledged by the author, and the fan depictions of them seem to have made cameos in supplementary material.
- Hisoutensoku, the third fighting game in the series (numbered 12.3) had no official English title, a first for the series. For a few months after its release (and intermittently afterwards) the game was referred to as Unthinkable Natural Law, after a loose translation of its Japanese title.
- 8-Bit Theater has led to many people assuming characterizations and personalities in the comic are canon to the Final Fantasy games. In particular, that White Mage is a girl (though many people already assumed this long before 8-Bit Theater existed), to the chagrin of male White Mage cosplayers everywhere. Or that black mages in general are psychopathic murderers, which is hinted at in Captain SNES, even though no appearances of playable black mages in the rest of the series have portrayed them as anything even close (worst would probably be Palom, who was a little bit rude, but definitely not evil). And no, despite his ears, Thief is not an elf.
- In the original Final Fantasy, the White Wizard was either a male or a Bifauxnen, with the latter being more widely believed. However, since most healers in the series since have tended to be female, and 8-Bit Theater had White Mage as a female, most fans assume the original NES White Mage is also a female. The developers seem to have gone with this, since in the remakes the White Mage's higher-resolution sprites are female or otherwise androgynous, and the games that suggest names for the party members pick mostly female names for the White Mage. In addition, Square-Enix-developed Mario Hoops 3-On-3 and Mario Sports Mix, in which White Mage is a playable character and is undeniably female◊.
- Among the fandom of The Elder Scrolls, there's the notion that Sheogorath is the only person in the Shivering Isles allowed to grow a beard, which is generally agreed upon to the point where it was stated on the wiki. The evidence for this one comes from the fact that Sheogorath has a beard and that if the player goes to the place Sheogorath teleports you to when you try to attack him, where he drops criminals from multiple feet in the sky, there's a body with a note saying that the man was executed for having a beard. However, the note doesn't specify anything other than that he had a beard — for all we know, the crime could be that it was longer than Sheogorath's, not that it was there in the first place. This being Sheogorath, he might just have made up a random baseless excuse to kill the guy.
- The out-of-game writings by former developer Michael Kirkbride count as this. However, since some of them either might be subsequently quoted or used as a mythopoeic basis for the games, the line between Word of God and Word of Dante is blurred concerning his writings.
- Mega Man:
- People who found Mega Man (Classic) through Bob and George are often confused by the fan-character "Ran", usually asking which game he came from. A lot of this has to do with the fact that, for a while, Ran's creator let just about anyone who asked use the character, meaning he showed up everywhere. This (and the very large sprite-sheet leading to him having as many or more poses as game characters) led people to believe so ubiquitous a character must have come from the games.
- If Ran himself is asked, he will often answer that he is from Rockboard, an obscure Japanese only Mega Man themed NES board game video game.
- thanks to the thousands of loose threads the franchise has, newer/more casual fans swear on their life that Zero killed off the classic characters before being sealed again for a hundred years. There were certainly hints in that direction, but Word of God (from Keiji "Inafking" Inafune) is that it never happened — and anyway, who could have sealed Zero if the whole cast was dead? Bob and George bears some responsibility for this one too, as Zero is supposed to kill everybody in its storyline; the term the comic used for this event, the Cataclysm, is now universal.
- Reno's backstory is never mentioned anywhere in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. Yet most fanfiction has him depicted as a former Street Urchin who later became a government assassin. This probably originated by someone attempting to use Rule of Drama to make for a Darker and Edgier story or a Hurt/Comfort Fic. And since this character had a past that was (at best) sketchy, everyone just went along with it, not only because it provided the Angst for whatever Ur-Example fanfiction that was/might have been, but because it somehow became one of those things that "everybody knows." Thus it is still a popular motif for many a fanfic that involves Reno.
- Any prominent Magikoopa in the Mario series is assumed to be Kamek. It doesn't help that Kamek is Magikoopa's Japanese name. The same issue happens with Toads that have red spots on their hats being assumed to be the Toad, and green Yoshis being the Yoshi.
- MSF High suffers from this at times. Since the Question and Answer threads are sometimes answered by people other than Wraith, they run the risk of being Word Of Dante. Also, a lot of people use elements that haven't fully been fleshed out, which can lead to embarassments in the forum roleplay. Such as thinking Legion have green blood.
- Homestuck has a large body of Dante-isms, since Canon is often no more than "ambiguous trolling statement from Andrew Hussie two years ago on an inactive Formspring" and the fandom is especially active and prolific.
- Ask just about any fan what the currency of the Alternian Empire is and they'll answer "caegars". The only caegar we see on screen is only used for coinflips, and their use as currency is implied only once (when Karkat described Vriska as a "run of the mill little psycho girl, a troll caegar a dozen"). Caegars as the official imperial currency has been widespread in Fanon since Nepetaquest 2011 featured the titular character using them to pay for a map.
- Likewise, the troll deity is widely assumed to be "Gog", thanks to trolls referencing "Gog" and "Jegus" in conversations with the kids. The fantroll community has pointed out that the canon uses of the term "Gog" are intentional references to a Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff misspelling. In other instances, the trolls say "oh my god" instead.
- Due to limited true canon on the workings of troll society, the fantroll community has a lot of accepted fanon that the “Stop Having Fun” Guys see it as their responsibility to defend against Canon Defilement by non-conforming fantrolls. Among these:
- That trolls see themselves as a Master Race and wipe out any species they conquer (canon never states why or how they invade planets).
- That trolls are drafted offworld when they reach 10 sweeps (canon never specifies the exact age at which this happens).
- And that they are visited by the Imperial Drone at the same time and then never again (also never specified in canon, which, in fact, seems to imply that mandatory pailing comes around on a regular basis).
- Hussie intentionally left the human characters' race and ethnicity unspecified, stating only that the sibling pairs should have similar genetics. However, generally accepted fandom is that all the kids are white but John and Jade have black hair while Rose and Dave have blond hair. Depictions of Dave with red hair used to be much more common until he was revealed to be Rose's ectosibling.
- The fan base speculated and theorized at length about the Class of Aspect titles assigned to player characters. A generally-accepted pseudocanon has accumulated to explain their mythological significance, connections to personality and characterization, and implications for future plot developments. Calliope's lecture to Roxy on the nuances of the class system (passive vs. active, gender-specific, and master classes) may actually be taken as a reference to and parody of the class/aspect Word of Dante, since the narration and some of Hussie's Tumblr statements imply that she's overgeneralized based on a limited sample size.
- Homestar Runner: On its fansite, the Homestar Runner Fanstuff Wiki, many aspects of the 20X6 characters added in the more popular fan works seem to be thought of as canon by many of the wiki's members, such as Stlunko not using contractions (only appearing in the game Stinkoman 20X6, Stlunko only had one line in the manual which had no place for a contraction in it), the most major example being 1-up's obsession with pudding, whereas in the canon pudding appeared in a single toon, and 1-up said "I want pudding" once. It also influenced the creators, giving names to the minor characters (the Visor Robot, for example) among other things.
- A related example to the Halo/Marathon one above comes into play with Red vs. Blue. The show has never officially been stated to take place in the Halo universe; while a number of things do hint at it, a lot of other things imply otherwise (or at least imply things took place in a different order from in Halo). Still, many theories revolve around how things work in the Halo universe. Interestingly enough, considering the above discussion on Halo and Marathon AIs, an episode of season 10 implies that the Marathon concept of AI development actually does hold true in the RvB universe!
- Another RvB example is how Big Name Fan Luke McKay did a well known series of what the various characters look like underneath their helmets. Since McKay both eventually did official (albeit not related to RvB) art for RT, and some of the RT guys expressed appreciation of the designs, the fandom latched into the designs as "canon". Which has led to the revelation of some of the characters turning out to not canonically look like McKay's designs (notably, South looking completely different, Wash being blond versus brunet, and Maine being bald instead of ginger) causing some grumpiness in the fandom. However, Wyoming actually looks pretty close to McKay's design.
- Fans were also fairly annoyed when Allison/Tex was shown to be blonde and not a redhead as McKay had drawn.
- RWBY seems to generate Word of Dante as a natural byproduct. The idea that any or all of the four main characters are lesbians, and specifically attracted to each other (Ruby with Weiss and Blake with Yang being the most common pairings) has very little official evidence, but to many fans it's basically viewed as canon. Other popular details like Ozpin's coffee mug being a weapon, Ruby and Yang growing up poor, Blake's catchphrase being "You fiend!" and Faunus going into heat at certain times of the year can be traced back to various fan works and not the show itself.
- In addition to the above quote, LittleKuriboh mentioned in his commentary for SPOOF MOVIE NO JUTSU!~ that a passing joke he made in that video turned into a rumour that Masako and Vetega went to Six Flags when they were supposed to be making their version of the first Naruto movie.
- A poignant final line in his first (and, for over a year, only) appearance led a fair chunk of the Welcome to Night Vale fandom to conclude that Scoutmaster Earl Harlan either had or wanted to have a romantic relationship with narrator Cecil Palmer. This in turn led to quite a fracas when Earl returned voiced by Wil Wheaton, due to Wheaton being straight (the creators had previously made a point of re-casting another role so that a gay latino character would be played by a gay latino actor.) Shortly after, Wheaton offered up Word of Saint Paul stating that the two were only good friends, proving the original romantic assumption to be this.
- Walt Disney has changed many classic fairy tales and literary classics in ways the general audience now considers to be the "official" version.
- The Three Little Pigs originally had the wolf eat the first two pigs with the one that built his house from bricks being the sole survivor. Disney's cartoon made it standard that the two pigs just run to the third pigs' house and survive from the wolf's hungry stomach.
- Snow White: Most people base this fairy tale on Disney's iconic film adaptation. For instance: many theatre actresses wear the same dress Snow White does in this film, even if their version is closer to the original fairy tale! Several things people now associate with the fairy tale are actually inventions by Disney, including the seven distinct personalities of the dwarfs and even the famous scene where Snow White is kissed back to life by the prince! (In the original the prince's servants accidentally drop Snow White's coffin on the ground, causing her apple to fly out of her throat. )
- Michael Demcio was the first to use the names Chip "Maplewood" and Dale "Oakmont" in his epic Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers Fan Fic Rhyme and Reason, released in 1996 as the first of its kind. Ever since, these names have been established as fanon.
- In the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon proper, only first names are used — except for Presto, who is only known by his nickname. An early fanfic by Victoria Bishop, "The Gathering," gives everyone full names, since it's depicting how they all met. The story in full is not part of general fanon, but most of the invented names have been reused. Two naming concepts in particular are widespread:
- Eric having the last name Montgomery. He must just look it. This concept is so established in fanon that it can easily be mistaken for canon.
- "Presto" being short for Preston. This one is probably because of elegance — making a double meaning, making the nickname a Line-of-Sight Name, and explaining why everyone uses it when names are used in true canon. The main reminder that this isn't canon is there still being disagreement on whether Preston is a given name or surname...
- Total Drama Comeback gets a good deal of this for Total Drama, especially concerning Ezekiel. Ezekiel's popularity in the fandom appears to owe more to Comeback's reinterpretation of him than to anything he did on the actual show.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's fan-favorite character Derpy gives us an interesting example. Although the show itself seems to insist quite clearly (This pic sums it up◊) that Dinky Doo is the daughter of Carrot Top/Golden Harvest and Written Script, fans of the show insist that Dinky is Derpy's daughter. Maybe it's because Derpy has been (mostly) portrayed as a loving and devoted perfect mother (most images generating nothing but "awwwwwww" from whoever sees them), but the fans get quite upset if you even suggest that Dinky isn't Derpy's daughter.
- Mostly, it's because Dinky looks so much like a younger Derpy. The fact that Derpy and Carrot/Golden have been canonically declared roommates might cool things down a bit.
- Derpy herself was almost universally portrayed as a Cute Clumsy Girl before she even got any kind of characterization on the show. This (and Derpy as a whole, really) eventually became Ascended Fanon and she was indeed made into a Cute Clumsy Girl canonically.
- Pinkie Pie being a Fourth Wall Observer. In the show, she does have some Medium Awareness, but the furthest she's ever been able to take it is messing with the Iris Out (which the Comically Serious Twilight Sparkle was able to replicate). Contrast that to the fanart, where she's basically a less violent version of Deadpool.
- The character of Scootaloo being an orphan is an idea that a lot of fans have latched on to, her parents never appearing in any episode she's involved in is what started this. Also, the idea of her having a disability that will never let her fly came up long before the season four episode that confirmed she may never fly.
- Even Princess Celestia isn't immune to this treatment. The show portrays her as a long-lived, wise, and powerful magic user, but refuses to declare her a goddess, while the fandom refuses with equal vehemency to envision her as anything less. Canon lies somewhere in between: she is not as powerful as the most omnipotent fanfic and fanart portrayals, but phrases like "Thank Celestia," "For Celestia's sake," and "As Celestia is my witness, I'll never be x again!" used in the show make it very clear that fans are not coming up with the idea of her as a goddess out of nowhere.
- A similar idea has every alicorn being portrayed as a god/dess. It's accepted that Princess Luna, who is as long-lived as her sister Celestia, and has been shown in-canon as having powers comparable to her, can be called a goddess with no objections. It's a bit more dubious with Cadance and Twilight Sparkle, both of whom were made into alicorns through their actions. Fan OCs that are alicorns get the label of Mary Sue almost immediately. Going off of the idea that alicorns are immortal (or at least very long-lived) has been portrayed with some fan works taking on the idea that Twilight Sparkle will greatly outlive all of her friends, with the added angst that comes with that. This is despite a Word of God confirming that Twilight will not outlive her friends.
- John Joseco's Ask Princess Molestia and Gamer Luna blog has firmly rooted the Fanon that Princess Luna loves video games into the brony community. A huge portion of the fan art of her just chilling out will involve a video game controller of some kind.
- No explanation for the absence of Applejack's parents is given on the show, but in "Apple Family Reunion", a pair of shooting stars are seen over the farm at night, implying that they have passed away. A show staff member subsequently confirmed via Twitter that they are indeed dead.
- Because the show is full of Ensemble Darkhorses, a lot of popular minor characters have well-established fanmade personalities which to most fans may as well be canon. For example, you have Elegant Classical Musician Octavia and DJ Pon-3 aka Vinyl Scratch being roommates, rivals and vitriolic friends (sometimes more than friends). Almost any kind of fan material featuring them will have this interaction between them, even though it's never mentioned in the show itself.note
- Many legal concepts and bits of phraseology that are treated as part of the U.S. Constitution actually originate from contemporaneous letters, speeches, or Supreme Court decisions. These are not binding legal precedent unless and until they are cited by the Supreme Court in a ruling...as many have been over the years. In accordance with The Common Law, The Supreme Court relies on such sources to determine the intended meaning of sections of the Constitution. James Madison's secret notes from the 1787 Philadelphia Convention are considered very strong evidence of original intent. The Federalist Papers are also considered particularly persuasive as they were written by major figures from the Constitutional Convention shortly after ratification.
- Ideas and phrases from the Declaration of Independence are frequently conflated with the Preamble to the Constitution. Religious conservatives use the Declaration's mentions of "Nature's God" or "Creator" to argue that the United States was intended to be a specifically Christian nation. Leaving aside the fact that many of the Founders were deists and may not have associated "Nature's God" with Christ, the Declaration holds as much legal standing as the Articles of Confederation (which is to say, none whatsoever). The only reference to religion in the original articles of the Constitution is a specific prohibition on religious tests (i.e., requiring membership in a church or profession of faith) for any federal office.
- While the phrase "separation of church and state" (and variations thereof) is always cited in discussions of the First Amendment, it derives from Thomas Jefferson's description of the intent behind the the First Amendment's Establishment and Free Exercise Clausesnote in a letter to the Danbury Baptists. The phrase has since been cited in Supreme Court rulings and thus become valid legal precedent, but it is nowhere in the original text of the First Amendment.
- The Supreme Court's power of judicial review (i.e. deciding whether or not a law is constitutional) is not enshrined in the Constitution, but was established in 1804 via the landmark decision Marbury v. Madison. This isn't to say that judicial review was created out of thin air by the Supreme Court: the Constitution is (obviously and by its own admissionnote ) a law and under The Common Law laws are subject to judicial interpretation. Marbury is simply the Supreme Court (or rather John Marshall) explaining the consequences of common law jurisprudence interacting with an entrenched, written constitution.note
- A lot of what people "know" about King Richard III comes from the imagination of William Shakespeare (whose patron was Elizabeth I, the granddaughter of Richard's rival Henry Tudor) or from earlier Tudor propagandists.
- While Richard appears to have suffered from scoliosis, he was not as severely and grotesquely deformed as Shakespeare suggested.
- Informed opinion is evenly divided as to whether Richard was responsible for the deaths of the Princes in the Tower. Even if the princes were murdered by a member of Richard's faction, that person may well have been acting alone instead of on his orders.
- The Duke of Somerset, killed by Richard in Shakespeare's play, died when Richard was three years old.
- Richard is widely believed to have ordered the extrajudicial execution of his own supporter Lord Hastings (who may have opposed his decision to depose Edward V) and of the Woodville supporters who had been escorting the prince. However, this accusation was recorded in the Croyland Chronicle by a former chancellor of Richard's who may have been currying favor with Henry Tudor. Other sources put Hastings' arrest on the 13th of June (the day of the council chamber meeting) and his execution, after a trial, on the 20th. He had legal justification for doing so, as the Woodvilles were trying to circumvent Edward VI's will naming Richard Lord Protector.
- All of this is addressed, in a well-written and fun-to-read story, in Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time. (But, whatever you do, don't take her word for it, either).
- While most people of course know that the magical and supernatural parts of Macbeth aren't real, they generally take for granted his characterisation as a power-hungry tyrant, and assume he murdered his predecessor Duncan, because that's what is portrayed in Shakespeare's play. In fact, before the play was written Macbeth was generally considered to have been a good King. Duncan was killed by Macbeth's men, but in a battle, not a planned murder.
- In a two party political system, the belief that the opposing party wants to stop your party's agenda because they don't like you or want to harm the country. In reality, the majority of the opposition just thinks your idea is bad and are saying the same things about you for proposing it.
- France's national motto "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" is generally referred to as dating back to The French Revolution. While the phrase itself does seem to have originated in the revolution, it was not an official or even common motto, while the man who coined it, Antoine-François Momoro, is generally considered a fringe extremist by historians. The phrase did not gain popularity until the 1848 Revolution, and did not become France's official motto until the 1870s.
- Napoleon Bonaparte is commonly depicted as being short, almost to the point of being a dwarf in cartoons and comics. This image is mostly based on British political cartoons who portrayed him as a pathetic little man. note In reality Napoleon's height was not much smaller than the average man in his day.
- Many of the things people think they know about the famous warrior Miyamoto Musashi aren't actually historical facts, but come from the classic novel Musashi.