A statement regarding some ambiguous or undefined aspect of a work, the Word of God comes from someone considered to be the ultimate authority, such as the creator, director, or producer. Such edicts can even go against events as were broadcast, due to someone making a mistake.
Fans may look for the Word of God to settle Fanon disputes, but the Authority may have moved on and doesn't care to respond. In many cases the authority does not feel the need to respond; further pressure simply leads to suggestions that the fandom is misaimed and Viewers Are Morons.
Note that a number of people reject the notion of Word of God, considering something to be canon only if it appeared in the original source material, and that if the creator wanted a certain fact to be canon, they should have included it in the work to begin with. Some people go even further, considering the uncertainty and ambiguity of canon to be a good thing and decry the Word of God as shackling the imagination and interpretations of the fans — a belief supported by some modern literary criticism, notably in Wimstatt and Beardsley's "The Intentional Fallacy" and Barthes' Death of the Author essay, both of which argue that the interpretation of a work cannot be limited to attempts to discern the "author's intentions."
Another thorny issue is that not all stories have a single creator, and the collaborators may not actually agree with interpretations of their story that weren't made explicit in the work. This is especially likely if they no longer work together, and particularly if they had a real-life falling out. In this case, there are multiple "Gods" given potentially contradictory explanations, so whose word is to be considered correct? Likewise, in many cases the writers of a story are not the copyright holders, meaning that they're not the highest authorities on its meaning even if you do subscribe to the Word of God theory.
It's important to remember that if you disagree with the Word of God, there's nothing wrong with writing fan fiction that contradicts it, just don't try to foist your preferred Fanon on fans who acknowledge the official canon or on the actual creator of the work.
If a work has more than one creator and they disagree with each other on a crucial point, you'll likely see fans embrace conflicting statements. What happens when multiple fans are equipped with the Word of God? What happens when one Word turns out to be more ridiculous than expected? Bible fight! The term 'Story Bible' is sometimes used for the definitive guidelines for writing an episode of a TV series. Two writers quoting the Story Bible back and forth are having a Bible Fight.
See also: Revision, Canon Discontinuity, Creator Worship, Broken Base. When the word does not come from the creator himself but from someone involved in some ancillary role in production, that's Word of Saint Paul. When the word does not come from the original creators but over time is still treated as such it is Word of Dante. Doesn't always end up giving fans the answers they were looking for, such as in the case of a Flip Flop of God or a Shrug of God. Cases of God deliberately misleading the audience go under Lying Creator or Trolling Creator. Contrast Death of the Author, What Could Have Been and God Never Said That. Word of Gay is a subtrope. One way that a theory can be Jossed. For actual scripture, see "Religion" under Useful Notes.
Examples with sources cited.
When or where this example can be found is included
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Anime and Manga
Eiichiro Oda, creator of One Piece, runs a column in the collected volumes of his work, devoted to Word of God explanations of various One Piece minutia. He is delightfully laid back about it, sometimes making explanations up on the spot, or even allowing fans to write the canon for him:
Fan: I think Chopper's birthday should be December 24th!
In an interview in the "How To Read" volume of Death Note, Tsugumi Ohba expressly states that the random girl at the very end is not Misa Amane and is just stuck in there for the sake of something pretty. Many actively ignore this for the sole reason that they think that's how it should be.
Ohba also states that s/he wanted it clear that dead characters are dead forever and can't come back to life. Sorry, guys, they're not hiding.
Other things Ohba and Obata are explicit about include the fact that L lies about Light being his friend, and that Light, while "diabolical", genuinely loves his family and "humanity as a whole". You can imagine how this goes down with some sectionsof fandom.
However, in regards to L lying about Light being his friend, "How to Read" also says on L's character page that "Even while fighting him as an enemy, L establishes a weird friendship with Light." in regards to that quote. So while the initial statement may have been a lie, it eventually became true.
It also gives us the closest we're ever going to get to an official answer regarding Matsuda's theory that Near controlled Mikami with the Death Note: that readers are meant to draw their own conclusions. However, said book also mentions that Near is "dishonest" and "the more evil" of him and Mello.
In an interview about X1999, Nanase Ohkawa, the script writer for CLAMP, mentioned several times to the interviewer that Kamui and Fuuma are now more than friends, apparently, despite the fact that not only are they mortal enemies, and while tension is apparent, they've stayed pretty firmly in "good friends" territory, but Kamui is still enamored with his dead childhood friend, the (female) Kotori. She even told the interviewer not to call them friends, as if no one can figure out that CLAMP has a thing for sudden homosexual relationships.
Masaki Kajishima, the original creator of Tenchi Muyo! and the main writer for the Ryo-Oh-KiOVAs (even called "Kajishima canon" in Japan), is very fond of releasing tie-in novels, factbooks, doujinshis and other infodumps, where he explains his 'verse in more depth — mainly because he couldn't readily obtain funding for the next series, but still has something to say. These infodumps are generally treated as canon by Japanese fans, but tend not to appear in the West. Basically, these are the things that Kajishima will make canon if/when the copyright holder (AIC) greenlights more OVAs. Until then, he's left in the unusual circumstance of essentially writing fanfic about his own anime.
Hellsing creator Kouta Hirano grew tired of fielding questions from detail obsessed fans about Alucard never being shown reloading his guns and where Anderson kept all of his bayonets in the manga. He got around this in a Q&A Omake by saying that "they're all cosmoguns that hold a million rounds" and "Anderson is four dimensional".
Ken Akamatsu occasionally has interviews in the Omake sections of the compiled Mahou Sensei Negima! volumes where he sometimes clears up questions unanswered in the actual manga, such as the specifics of the pactio system, or how Kaede carries her giant shuriken around.
He also tends to update his Twitter account and online journal to point out errors in the chapters (from important points such as one character's element being labeled Ice instead of Water by mistake to trivial matters such as one character being shaded incorrectly), among other things.
George Morikawa, the author of Hajime No Ippo, named the top three boxers in chapter 361 of the manga. The strongest pound-for-pound boxer is, without a doubt, Takamura. Ranking second is Ricardo Martinez. Surprisingly, he names Miyata as the third best boxer and Ippo around the 8th place.
In terms of Miyata, it makes perfect sense. His fighting style is a mix of "high-risk, high-reward" with his impeccable countering and critical speed followed by his extremely risky counter techniques that do MAJOR damage on par with Ippo's Dempsey Roll. It just shows that "physical power" isn't the only application that can garner "pound-for-pound" abilities, as though he may be less powerful naturally, countering more than makes up for such weakness.
Dragon Ball author Akira Toriyama has provided a fair bit of information in interview sections of guide books ranging from the structure of the afterlife to Saiyan biology.
Hajime Kanzaka, the writer for the original Slayers novels and head writer for the anime, often answers and confirms anything involving how the fantasy elements in the series works, or who is who and what they are.
Fullmetal Alchemist creator Hiromu Arakawa stated in an artbook that the only reason Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye aren't married is because of the military regulations. This was implied to be the only reason, effectively validating fans' theories of their romantic involvement.
The creator of YuYu Hakusho, Yoshihiro Togashi, has stated that Sensui and Itsuki are a gay male couple. He experiences as much backlash as he does because the only open affection shown is on Itsuki's part.
Tiger & Bunny's director and scriptwriter have given dozens of tidbits about events and characters, from trivial (Keith's a bit of a health nut and Antonio's afraid of heights) to rather serious (Kotetsu's Fatal Flaw stems from a fear of hurting people he developed after gaining his powers, and Maverick has screwed with Barnaby's memories quite a bit more than what was shown in the series). The Hero Gossip Book gives even more info — from their pajamas to first crushes to everyone's daily schedules.
Gerry Conway said in this podcast interview (about 34 minutes in) (http://wordballoon.blogspot.com/2009/06/gerry-conway-on-last-days-of-animal-man.html) that Gwen Stacy was killed because John Romita, Sr. wanted to shake up Spider-Man by killing off a major character. Romita wanted to kill off Aunt May but Conway suggested killing Gwen because he thought she was a fairly standard superhero love interest and thought Mary Jane would make a more interesting love interest.
On December 15, 2010, Spider-Man creator Stan Lee posted the following tweet: "I herewith proclaim, for the world to see, that J. Jonah Jameson’s first name is — Jeremiah! And so it shall remain—till I change my mind!" (Although this does seem a bit contradictory, however; while Jameson never actually confirmed that his name was "John" in the comic, almost everyone assumed that it was, due to the fact it is the name of both his father and son.)
Speaking of Stan Lee and J. Jonah Jameson, Lee has also admitted on Talk of the Nation that the character was designed as a grouchier caricature of himself, and has also said that he would have jumped on the opportunity to portray him in a movie.
The author of The Lion King Adventures, ThatPersonYouMightKnow, has confirmed many things on the fan forum that pertain to the series. Here are some notable examples:
Tama and Tojo both went to heaven after dying, despite their sinister actions.
The Interceptor became the pride's best hunter after The End.
Haiba never entered a proper relationship when he grew up.
Haiba did eventually get over murdering Tama.
The fan nickname Anti-Haiba was accepted as canon.
Rafiki existed, hence why he is occasionally referenced, but ThatPersonYouMightKnow has confirmed that he died after Series 3.
Twiga, the giraffe from Haiba's Wish, is in fact gay.
The author of Kira Is Justice uses Author's Notes often to elaborate about facts in the story, and is always happy to give Word of God.
Sometimes used in White Devil of the Moon to address matters such as Nanoha's reactions to her past life as Serenity, and how four Inner Senshi are able to defeat six trained Bureau operatives despite being less well-trained and not having Usagi/Nanoha's leadership.
The character's corner and author's note in The Tainted Grimoire have both clarified a few things, such as reasons for making one thing the way it is. Also, through private messaging, cuttingmoon57 revealed him/herself to be a fan of TV Tropes.
Monica Gilbey-Bieber, the author of the Troll FicOne Less Lonely Gurl, has a commentary of his own fanfic in his blog. The commentary reveals interesting bits and trivia about the fanfic.
Magic Conan 14 gives bits of trivia on her profile page, on her blog and in author notes. One reference in The Dove Thief gets the award for most notable because there's an asterisk sitting in the middle of the fic.
The author of Sonic X: Dark Chaos keeps updates on his works and answers questions about the story. He also has explained many parts of the backstory and fleshed out the setting, and he has explained his reasoning for rewriting his story.
Ridley Scott has been very clear in interviews in stating that, in his film Blade Runner, Deckard himself was a replicant. The only clues that this might be true in the movie, though, are the fact that Deckard's eyes briefly luminesce in one shot (and he's out of focus and in the background, at that) and the origami unicorn left by Gaff (Edward James Olmos) after Deckard dreamed of a unicorn. Unfortunately for anyone who saw the film in theaters and was trying to add up the clues, the unicorn dream was one of the victims of the Executive Meddling that the film underwent after leaving Scott's hands. The final half of a line by Gaff at the end of the film ("You've done a man's job sir... but are you a man?"), which raises the issue even if it fails to resolve it, was also cut. (It appears in its entirety in "Dangerous Days," the documentary about the making of the film in the 5-disc Final Cut collector's edition.)
This is also a very good example of a deeply conflicted idea among the core creative team, as nearly everybody else involved with the making of the film believed that Deckard is a human, albeit one whose humanity has been ground down by the nature of his job. From Philip K. Dick (who wrote the original novel), to Hampton Fancher and David Peoples (who wrote the screenplay), to Harrison Ford (who played Deckard), the list of people who thought Scott was wrong is extensive, and powerful enough in creative terms to give Auteur Theory advocates a headache. It was hardly the only case of duelling Word of God during the filming; the scene where Deckard essentially forces Rachael to kiss him (with all its squicky undertones) was another case where the screenwriters (and Rutger Hauer, who played Roy Batty) deeply disagreed with Scott's take on the material. It's very possible that the conflicts are what make the film such a Cult hit: whatever your take on the film, it's likely there was someone involved in making it who shared that view, simultaneously vindicating your reading and providing lots and lots to debate about with other fans.
Ridley Scott again; is Hannibal Lecter a madman? While most, including Anthony Hopkins, would not deny it, Scott does not think so. In Scott's own words in his audio commentary on Hannibal, "There is something very moral about Lecter in this film. The behavior of Hannibal is never insane – [I] didn't want to use that excuse. Is he insane? No, I think he's as sane as you or I. He just likes it." Having said that, Scott went on to say that he did think that Verger's objective in the film, wanting to capture Hannibal and subject him to a horrible death by torture, likely made him replace Hannibal as the true antagonist.
In the introductory documentary from the VHS Special Edition of Star Wars: A New Hope (as well as an interview for The Mythology of Star Wars with George Lucas and Bill Moyers) George Lucas stomped on the idea that "bringing balance to the Force" involved equalising the Light and Dark sides — apparently, the Dark Side is inherently an imbalance. Wookieepedia has the relevant quotes in their article on the Chosen One.
Pans Labyrinth left it ambiguous whether the fairy tale stuff was real or all in Ophelia's head, as if it was intentionally open to interpretation and left for the viewer to decide. However in the DVD commentary, the director Guilermo Del Toro says that it was real, or at least that he believes it is.
The original Total Recall (1990) leaves it ambiguous whether Arnold Schwarzenegger's character actually is having the adventure, or he is hallucinating as his brain is being fried by a memory-implantation malfunction. The fact that the film ends with a fade to white instead of black suggests it's a hallucination, and Paul Verhoeven confirms this in the commentary; Arnold Schwarzenegger played the part using the assumption that it was real.
In Mr. Brooks, it's implied that Mr. Brooks' daughter killed a man and hid it from him, but it was off screen and never shown. We never find out definitively whether she did it or not, and some viewers don't accept that she did. However, the DVD commentary says definitively that she did.
In The Dark Knight, though it's not actually explicitly stated, Harvey Dent/Two Face is, according to Christopher Nolan, dead. Additionally, the screenplay explicitly states that Harvey/Two Face "dies from a broken neck". Even if it’s a case of two separate personalities, that still doesn’t allow Harvey to die and Two-Face to live.
Aaron Eckhart has also mentioned in interviews that he asked Nolan if Harvey Dent/Two Face was dead. Nolan confirmed it to Eckhart.
The director of the 2008 The Incredible Hulk had a rare chance on the DVD commentary to fully explain a cliffhanger ending, as he himself doesn't know whether Bruce has turned evil: if his next appearance is in the Avengers film he has, and if it's another Hulk film he hasn't.
Since The Avengers has hit the theaters this situation can be solved: Although there is a lot of tension in the beginning and everybody treads very carefully around the Hulk, he is part of the team and drives into the sunset with Tony Stark.
This is the reason that the Wachowskis refuse to talk about their own interpretation of the Matrixtrilogy; in the introduction they wrote for the Ultimate Matrix Collection, they state that they don't want their own opinions to be cited as definitive, since the blind acceptance of dogma flies in the face of the trilogy's themes.
Hot Fuzz includes a special feature called the Fuzz-o-Meter, which pops up bits of trivia about the film. Much of the trivia includes bits and pieces about the story or characters that had been written into the script, but never made it to film. One of the 'facts' claims that the film was inspired by true events, only they involved zombies.
Another 'fact' states that director Edgar Wright's eyeballs exploded during post-production.
In Saw, the commentaries have answered a few unanswered questions, specifically in Saw 3D, in which the writers have stated that Hoffman does not escape the bathroom and dies there, and that the two pig masks who helped Dr. Gordon capture him are Brad and Ryan from the opening.
For the Friday the 13th series, there has been a bit of debate (particularly by a stubborn wikipedia admin) as to whether Jason is dead after being completely incinerated in Earth 2's atmosphere (except for his mask) at the end of Jason X. Though a comic and a novel series retcons this, most Jason comics fit into Canon Discontinuity, and it's Word of God that Jason is listed under the Jump to Death menu on the official DVD, with "Atmosphere" even listed as cause of death.
The strength of Word of God in the Harry Potter fandom seems unusual compared to many other literature fandoms, possibly because of the sheer amount of interview material given by Rowling. The massive success of the series made her very powerful, to the point that most people in the fandom have read a great number of interviews, and everything she says gets archived and treated as gospel truth (even though she sometimes contradicts herself or changes things later on). It's nearly impossible to find a Harry Potter roleplay or fandom community that doesn't treat interview material as equally important as the content of the actual series, and individuals who try to theorize about or play characters based solely on the book content will find themselves attacked for not knowing enough about the character.
JK Rowling loves giving Word of God so much that she is apparently launching a whole new website just to give her fans some more.
However, her claim about Dumbledore's sexuality could be an exception: a large part of both fandom and critics refuses to accept it, since it heavily changes the understanding of some of the character's motives and doesn't fit into their mental image of Dumbledore.
David Weber, writer of (among other things) the Honor Harrington series, occasionally makes proclamations on points of confusion by fans, on the newsgroup featuring him (alt.books.david-weber) and the Baen Bar, a forum maintained by Baen Books, the publisher of many Science Fiction and Fantasy works. These are occasionally collected, and posted here for perusal by those not reading the forums and/or newsgroup, maintained by Joe Buckley (who's a regular Red Shirt in various Baen-published novels; Honor Harrington has had several Buckleys killed in and of itself).
Aaron Allston, writer of part of the X-Wing Series, in his faq posits what he thinks happened to his characters in the twenty or so years between Wraith Squadron and the Vong War, as well as some details that never made it into the books, like ship names.
John Scalzi parodied the controversy over the canonicity of J.K. Rowling's Word of Gay for Dumbledore by posting a list of facts about the protagonist of Old Man's War on his blog and declaring them canonical. They included "He is allergic to blueberries" and "He is distantly related to Dwight Eisenhower".
Orson Scott Card's book Empire (a prequel, of sorts, to the X Box Live Arcade game Shadow Complex) ends with an interesting, and quite apt, afterward written by the author about the problems of extremisim in the American Political Parties, which we're told is what moral of the book was meant to be.
For a while, Lois Lowry refused to explain the Gainax Ending of The Giver, which could be interpreted as either the main character's triumphant escape from his dystopian society or a Dying Dream as he froze to death. However, after asking if anyone had any questions at the author Q&A of the 2009 National Book Festival in Washington, DC, Lowry added, "Jonas is alive, by the way. You don't have to ask that one."
Brandon Sanderson provides a lot of Word of God on his books mostly in the chapter annotations and blog on his site and also in interviews, which are usually linked to on his blog.
Jim Butcher has given so much Word of God over the years that it has been fan-dubbed the Word of Jim, most of which can be found on the Jim Butcher Forums. Interviews, convention panels, forum threads, you name it; if he says it, it gets written down as truth—even Twitter has been used to convey Word of Jim. There's so much Word of Jim there's even a board dedicated to archiving it.
Isaac Asimov used to tell a story about how he once got into an argument with a literary critic—who didn't know he was speaking with the author—about the meaning of one of his stories. At the end Asimov pulled out what he thought was his trump card: "I should know; I wrote it!" to which the critic replied "What's that got to do with it?" Asimov later turned this into a story with William Shakespeare (brought forward in time) flunks a class in his works.
Anne McCaffrey, starting in the mid '90s, put out several Word of God proclamations regarding The Dragonriders of Pern series. She also responded personally to emails during the period from the early 90s through the very early 2000s, and the resulting canon arguments based on interpretations of her letters could get fierce. Now, people are more likely to just attribute things to Anne Science and move on, and in some cases even the books themselves aren't considered canon by many groups, especially those written by her son.
The most notable of her edicts was the one titled "Pern's Renewable Airforce". There were two versions of this, one from 1997, and an edited and slightly saner version which was propagated in 2000. The earlier version prompted many fan groups to suddenly require characters to adhere to rules regarding sexual orientation that in many ways made no sense, like all male green and blueriders suddenly having to be gay, and absolutely no lesbian or bisexual dragonriders, period. People who entered fandom before this point or through a group which never adopted these rules still largely think they're absolutely insane; people who started later tended to accept them more as a matter.
Then there was the tent peg, full sources for which are scarce on the web a decade and a half later, but the full thing was circulated around the same time as the original Renewable Airforce memo.
Tamora Pierce has done this on numerous occasions. The blog Words of Tamora Pierce has gathered numerous statements taken from forum discussions, con appearances, etcetera, although it's limited to the Tortall Universe and hasn't updated for a couple of years. You can also find her on Mark Reads under the username "scrivener212," every now and again.
Live Action TV
In later seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, questions not answered in the actual show tended to be addressed only in Joss Whedon's interviews. Some fans considered anything Joss said in an interview to be canon, while others did not and were annoyed by this practice.
Responding to a message board request, Coupling creator (and sole writer) Steven Moffat wrote a breakdown of the characters' lives several years after the fourth and final season. This gave Moffat the chance to write an "ending" for the character of Jeff, despite actor Richard Coyle leaving the previous year.
Unfortunately, because the primary source (an old Dr. Who forum called Outpost Gallifrey) has closed, The Other Wiki wouldn't keep it on the show's page anymore because of lack of citation, so if it pleases the crowds, here is the text to be preserved for everyone to read:
"Sally said yes to Patrick, they got married and are very happy... especially as Sally beat Susan to the altar, and finally did something first. Patrick is now a completely devoted husband, who lives in total denial that he was anything other an upstanding member of the community. Or possibly he's actually forgotten. He doesn't like remembering things because it's a bit like thinking.
Jane and Oliver never actually did have sex, but they did become very good friends. They often rejoice together that their friendship is uncomplicated by any kind of sexual attraction - but they both get murderously jealous when the other is dating. Jane has a job at Oliver's science fiction book shop now - and since Oliver has that one moment of Naked Jane burnt on the inside of his eyelids, he now loses the place in one in every three sentences. People who know them well think something's gotta give - and they're right. Especially as Jane comes to work in a metal bikini.
Steve and Susan have two children now, and have recently completed work on a sitcom about their early lives together. They're developing a new television project, but it keeps getting delayed as he insists on writing episodes of some old kids show they recently pulled out of mothballs. She gets very cross about this, and if he says "Yeah but check out the season poll!" one more time, he will not live to write another word.
Jeff is still abroad. He lives a life of complete peace and serenity now, having taken the precaution of not learning a word of the local language and therefore protecting himself from the consequences of his own special brand of communication. If any English speakers turn up, he pretends he only speaks Hebrew. He is, at this very moment, staring out to sea, and sighing happily every thirty-eight seconds.
What he doesn't know, of course, is that even now a beautiful Israeli girl he once met in a bar, is heading towards his apartment, having been directed to the only Hebrew speaker on the island. What he also doesn't know is that she is being driven by a young ex-pat English woman, who is still grieving the loss of a charming, one-legged Welshman she once met on a train. And he cannot possibly suspect that (owing to a laundry mix-up, and a stag party the previous night in the same block) he is wearing heat-dissolving trunks.
As the doorbell rings, it is best that we draw a veil."
Moffat also demonstrated his power on his twitter, in relation to Doctor Who:
"Not it isn't [his name]. That's just what some guy CALLED him. And WHOOSH! that's canonical now. See my power!!!"
In weekly podcasts, the producers of LOST have occasionally clarified plot points, such as confirming Jae Lee's death in "The Glass Ballerina" was a suicide. However, they are not always to be taken at their word: before season 3, in a long list of things we wouldn't see, they named "Desmond running naked through the jungle." Which did show up.
Nearly two decades after the series finale of Family Ties, and after a couple years of speculation from fans, Gary David Goldberg (the creator of the sitcom) has finally given his own input on Alex P. Keaton's current political leanings. Quite naturally, his response has managed to alienate certain fans of the show. The speculations have arose during the 2006 US elections, where Michael J. Fox (who played Alex P. Keaton) was lobbying for the legalization of ESCR. Furthermore, Michael J. Fox has also given his input on Alex P. Keaton's current political leanings (and place of residence).
TV execs had told creator Ryan Murphy he had the greenlight for season 3 of Popular, which is why the season 2 season finale was a cliffhanger. After the series was cancelled, Murphy released the rough outline of season 3 that he'd already worked out.
Dan Schneider who runs iCarly is very active in this regard. In addition to twittering, set pictures and livejournal discussion, he also posts episodic fact sheets. Some of these contain Word of God interpretations of events on the show, one example from the iFight episode is that Carly was at least a little jealous when Freddie made some comments about Shelby being hot and future wife material.
His blog for the finale of the show, iGoodbye is an example of the creator using his Word of God to make things unclear rather than clearing up misconceptions. This episode featured a Last Minute Kiss moment between one pairing, and the other major pairings supporters were not happy with it. Knowing that he had a Spin-Off show involving the 'third wheel' to promote, he took to his blog to creatively muddy the water, attempting to confuse the meaning behind the kisses, the romances, how much the romances meant in the context of the episode and the very idea that there was a romantic hookup involved. All without giving either side any additional content or clarity beyond what happened in the episode itself.
The Star Trek franchise as a whole is subject to one of the more controversial "words of God" in science fiction fandom: Paramount Studios (owners of the franchise) and Gene Roddenberry (creator of the franchise) established prior to Roddenberry's death in 1991 that only live-action Star Trek productions count as official canon; the 1970s animated series plus the novels, comic books and other spinoffs were not to be counted. That hasn't stopped some creative script-writers from sneaking references and concepts from the "expanded universe" into TV episodes and films.
An attempt at subverting this occurred when Jeri Taylor, co-creator of Star Trek: Voyager, wrote an original novel, Mosaic, based upon characters she helped create. Although originally thought to be the first canonical novel, given her special status (the only other Trek creator to pen a Trek novel was Roddenberry himself when he wrote the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture), it was later confirmed that the non-canon rule still applied, even to Taylor's novels.
What ultimately came of it was that, while Taylor may have intended Mosaic, as well as a follow-up novel focused on the other characters, Pathways, to be the canon background and story for the characters, and while she may have had these backgrounds in mind during her time on the show, once she stepped down from her position as executive producer, later material could and was established that was contradictory with them.
D.C. Fontana is also considered a Trek creator. She wrote much of the continuity for TOS including Spock's background, plus several episodes. Her animated-series episode Yesteryear is generally regarded as canon. Her novel Vulcan's Glory, is accepted as canon by many fans, but officially it is not.
He also canonicized the proper term for a Star Trek fan. Once at a convention, he used the term "Trekkie" and a fan corrected him with "Trekker" - the response? "No, it's Trekkie. I should know, I created them!"
On a now-defunct section of Sony's website, Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak said that the show got rid of the returning-champions format because it was deemed unfair: a contestant might be great at solving puzzles, but have little to show for it thanks to just one Bankrupt, while the dummy of the group could end up having victory dumped in his lap again and again.
J. Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5, was one of the first to interact directly with fans via the Internet, via USENet and CompuServe. He often directly answered fan questions, explaining many things about each episode. Fan website The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5 has archived most, if not all, of his comments, sorted by episode. A more direct link is here.
The Community episode Remedial Chaos Theory has the show's timeline branching based on the outcome of a roll of a die. Due to the episode being aired out of order some plot details from the episode intended to air after it such as Shirley calling Britta's lighter a Marijuana Lighter implied the canon timeline was the one based on the winner of the roll being Abed. Word of God in the form of a blog post from show creator Dan Harmon on his official blog (Entitled "Fine, we're geniuses but not EVIL geniuses") apologized for the confusion and stated that the canon timeline was actually Abed grabbing the dice, making Jeff get the pizza.
In the eighth season finale of Scrubs, the Janitor finally reveals his real name as Glen Matthews. Throughout the series, the Janitor has many aliases, and seconds later after he reveals his "real name", someone walking by calls him "Tommy". However, series creator Bill Lawrence stated on his Twitter account that Glen Matthews is the Janitor's real name.
Horatio Hornblower: According to Jamie Bamber, the character he portrayed, Midshipman (later Lieutenant) Archie Kennedy, is the third son of a Scottish lord. He mentioned it in an interview for the A&E Network and it appears in the book The Making of C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower. Given Archie's status as a Composite Character and Ascended Extra, the majority of his backstory is composed of either the actors' and writers' statements about him, or Fanon.
It's often speculated that the Generation X/Billy Idol song "Dancing with Myself" is about masturbation, but according to Idol, no, it really is about actually dancing without a partner. The clip shows him dancing by himself because everybody else died and became zombies.
Unusually for Bob Dylan, he has officially confirmed the subject of his song Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands - it's about his wife Sara. (See his song 'Sara' which contains the lyric 'Writing Sad Eyed Lady for you'.)
The website Rap Genius, which allows users to provide analysis of rap songs, also allows for musicians/producers to provide insight on the lyrics.
"I don't know. I fooled around with it once; began to think the Kat is a girl, even drew up some strips with her being pregnant. It wasn't the Kat any more. Then I realized Krazy was something like a sprite, an elf. They have no sex. So the Kat can't be a he or a she. The Kat's a spirit- a pixie- free to butt into anything. See what I mean?"
Despite this, the 1962 animated series made Krazy explicitly female, to avoid controversy.
Concerning the middle initial of Olivier B. Bommel, Oliver B. Bumble for the anglophones, there is a historic disagreement of Words of Gods, it was declared to be short for "Berendinus" on the letter page of the Tom Poes weekly magazine by an editor, but the author and creator stated clearly that the B. was just an initial.
The CCG Yu-Gi-Oh game has what's known as "BKSS — Because Konami Said So", a phenomenon where certain cards are given rulings that make no sense whatsoever, but are rendered iron-clad enforceable, because Konami — the game's creator — said that's how it went. At one point, UDE, the English Yu-Gi-Oh distributor, refused to administer a ruling on the card "Elemental Hero Rampart Blaster" that completely contradicted the card's text itself; when this discrepancy was pointed out to them, even Konami themselves admitted that the ruling was in error, yet still refused to change it.
Magic: The Gathering has a seasonally updated database that updates the wording of every card in the game, to the point that year-old cards already have official wordings that differ from what is printed on the cards. While these changes do not usually affect how the cards work, every so often the game is given a major overhaul that changes many things at once. Changes to timing rules with the advent of 6th Edition, the Grand Creature Type Update of 2007, and the changes to combat rules and terminology for Magic 2010 come to mind.
The card Time Vault. For many years, Wizards of the Coast had evoked errata to curb card power and keep what were considered the 'functional intent' cards in place. After sweeping cleanup of power controlling errata on other cards, Time Vault continued to suffer with such errata under the claim that it was the functional intent of the card. Eventually, a player was able to address Richard Garfield, creator of Magic, about the card. Garfield confirmed the card was supposed to function as it was originally printed. The errata was fully undone shortly afterwards.
Gary Gygax, in the years before his death, went onto a number of Internet forums and served as something of a Word of God in that he offered rules clarifications and design justifications for the Dungeons & Dragons rules system he created.
Another example in D&D comes from Keith Baker's presence on the official Dungeons and Dragons forums, where he goes by the handle HellCow. As creator of the Eberron Campaign Setting, his posts regarding the world of Eberron are largely taken as "Word of God" for the setting, though he purposefully makes sure that he is ambiguous enough that DMs can make their own choices on how they want their world to run.
GURPS has the "Word of Kromm", referring to the rule interpretations of Sean Punch who not only designed much of the third and fourth editions but is the editor of all official material put out for the game.
The writers for Exalted appear regularly on both the White Wolf forums and rpgnet and say a great deal...or, more often, offer a few tidbits for a forthcoming release while giggling and waving non-disclosure agreements. Here and here are collections of said Words, the latter skewing more towards the current writing team.
2E Mutants & Masterminds had a forum for system developer Steve Kenson to answer the questions of the players although he often answered questions indicating that a particular ruling was only his opinion in his games.
He told Colin Duckworth that Pozzo is not Godot. The statement is quoted in the introduction to Duckworth’s En attendant Godot
He also said numerous times that "Godot is not God".
The Exile in Knights of the Old Republic 2 is canonically female, which caused an outcry among fans, since the Handmaiden romance was far more interesting and rounded than the alternative. This was likely in response to the angry response in making Revan canonically male, despite Female Revan fanfic and fan art having a 5:1 ratio over male Revans. Making the whole thing clear as mud is that while Leland Chee (the canon keeper of the Star Wars Expanded Universe) declared the canonical genders of male Revan and female Exile, Word of God from BioWare and Obsidian was the opposite. Obsidian's own trailer and promo art refer to Exile as "he" while David Gailder of BioWare went on fan boards and admitted he viewed the character of Revan as female, even writing an epilogue of sorts. For good or ill, it's the verdict from LucasArts that stands. Years later, Drew Karpyshyn(who wrote KOTOR 1 and created Revan) permanently defined the character as a man in his novel Revan.
The Metal Gear series contains a great number of mysteries, many of which are introduced in one game, with potential answers hinted at in that game or its sequels, only for the true (and completely different) answers to be revealed in even later games. To this end, in the credits for Metal Gear Solid 4, the final game which answers all important questions, Hideo Kojima (the series' creator) is credited as the "Voice of God".
The Japan-only video game Neon Genesis Evangelion 2 had a set of unlockable files, supposedly based on those of the shadowy organization SEELE and revealing the deep secrets of the series, based on a series of interviews with the show's creator, Hideaki Anno. The extra information might not allow Neon Genesis Evangelion to make complete sense, but it certainly does help...
The main oddity is that the supposed God is notoriously unwilling to divulge any information about the series he worked on, generally advocating "Death of the Author" to the point of "Suicide of the Author". All the actual information seems to have come from an older Proposal, which could technically fit, but just somehow feels....off in relation to the actual finished product.
In 2011 a The Legend of Zelda art book and encyclopedia called Hyrule Historia came out included with an in-game timeline section from director Eiji Aonuma. This timeline is Nintendo's first complete document on the series chronology, which up until that point had been solely the realm of vague hints and fans Wild Mass Guessing.
A less timeline-centric Word of God involved confirmation that the Zora became the Rito, a fact only loosely hinted at by Medli's implied Ruto ancestry in The Wind Waker.
The Super Smash Bros. Dojo includes a lot of clarifying information about the storyline of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, since all the characters are Heroic Mimes.
Back in the old days of Fallout 2, there was much confusion regarding Super Mutant sterility especially given an offhanded comment made by a certain Super Mutant. And lo', clarification was given by Chris Avellone in the Fallout Bible that said comment was indeed a poor-taste joke and that mutants were definitely and undeniably sterile, Despite this, the entire community ignored this and still bicker amongst themselves like frellin' idiots to this day. Amen.
Shadow of the Colossus featured sixteen colossi that are not named in-game. Eventually names started to pop-up with sources claiming to be from either Dengeki or Famitsu, which are usually Word Of God sources for Japanese games. Fumito Ueda eventually stated in the official artbook that none of the colossi have names — only nicknames given by the staff during development.
Resident Evil 5 with the death of Albert Wesker, a major plot driven and entirely important story character. This drove fans to disbelieve his fate heavily, many of which fought between each other as to the character's potential mortality. Lo and behold, Hand of God states in a paraphrase that " Wesker will NEVER return". However, most fans have either accepted it or rejected it entirely based on different reasons. Even years afterwards, some fans still believe the word to be wrong, regardless of already being possibly replaced which is hinted in the game as him having a brother who may be alive.
The Medic from Team Fortress 2 despite have numerous allusions to the Nazis in his spoken lines and overall character, the creators have said that he is in fact not a former Nazi.
"Medic is not a Nazi not because it’d offend people, but because it’d be too easy/lazy to slap that kind of label on him. They want a more dynamic character."
In a September 2012 interview with Game Informer, Mario creator Shigeru Miyomoto had this to say: "[Nintendo's] current story is that the seven Koopalings are not Bowser's children" .
According to this interview with Persona 4's staff, all the entries in the Persona series do in fact take place in the same verse.
Related to that, an interview with Atlus in P4's DoubleJump guide confirms that the blue butterflies in Persona 3 and 4 are supposed to be Philemon.
At the end of the Dark Seed 2 wrongpurae, slowbeef said he contacted the creator of the game, who said that it was intentionally left vague whether or not the dark world actually exists, or if Mike Dawson is just crazy. Fortunately, nobody cares about Dark Seed canon.
During Dragon Age II, several characters make comments that hint that Fenris' former master, Danarius, had....more interest in him than just a super-powered bodyguard. Bioware eventually confirmed this.
The Order of the Stick creator Rich Burlew has outright stated, several times that Belkar is Chaotic Evil (and no other alignment is remotely compatible with either his observed behavior or things like the effects, or lack thereof, of various spells on him); this doesn't stop some fans insisting that he is Chaotic Neutral. He's said it in the Giant In The Playground forums, he put it in this comic, not only explicitly states that Belkar is Chaotic Evil, but lampshades it by making it the literal Word of Archon (angel). And if you still don't believe it (fool), Belkar even says so himselfhere
8-Bit Theater creator Brian Clevinger has had to repeatedly enforce the idea that Black Belt was Killed Off for Real to the point where a strip which was (presumably) created to actually shoot down a fan theory was titled "Now Shut Up".
Similarly, the writer of In Wily's Defense assures quite often that Pharoah Man is dead for good and created a strip to reaffirm that.
Tom Siddell, author of Gunnerkrigg Court, is very helpful about providing background info and answering fan questions. So much, in fact, that it's become necessary to make an index(called the Word of Tom) to keep track of it all. There were two threads on the forum (54 combined pages, and counting) consisting of nothing but Tom answering fans' questions. The forum threads have since been abandoned in favor of Tom's formspring account, in which he has answered over 5000 questions at the time of this edit
Does that mean, that every Death was originally the first person to die by that method?
No, it doesn't mean that at all. In #1970: "ACCORDIN' TO THE LAWS OF THE OONIVERSE, CHOO'RE NOW DEFF OF GOIN' BACK IN TIME 'N' MURDERIN' CHORESELF." But what exactly the relevant law is, is not explained. It may or may not have anything to do with being the first person to have gone back in time and murdered oneself. Word Of God.
Averted in the Erfworld IRC. According to a "news" post on the main site, "You may NOT quote what I say as Word of God. There's a lot of thinking out loud. Anything I say in there is not canon, and may be changed, ignored, or totally reversed."
T Campbell of Penny and Aggie often responds on the forum to questions about aspects of, or incidents in, the characters' lives not covered in the comic, as long as answering wouldn't constitute a spoiler or limit his future options.
In Ultima-Java's UJ-verse a lot of the unimportant background and world establishing information is described on the Wiki or through discussion on the UJ Forums.
He also answers fan questions on his formspring, though he is just as likely subvert it by responding to persistently asked questions with "I don't know. At this point I'm probably just withholding those details to bug people."
Dan Shive of El Goonish Shive has often answered questions through Q&A comics. He also used to do so through the forum but has since ceased posting because of repetitive, predictable complaining. He has started answering questions via formspring but seems to be very selective about which questions he answers. On the other hand he tweets liberally about El Goonish Shive, often using the hashtag #EGS and more recently #EGScomics.
Tales Of MU has a lot of this, possibly driven by the blog format.
Stuart Slade, author of The Salvation War, will answer any serious question about the logistics of his versions of Hell and Heaven and their relationship with our universe that isn't explicitly spelled out in the story itself. None of these are necessary to following the story, but they do make a great display of how much thought he puts into it.
Sam Hughes, the author of Fine Structure has a page devoted to Q&A with the readers. During the original run of the story, he also clarified certain points as they were raised.
The Tim Tang Test, the hardest puzzle in the world (no-one has ever solved it!) has a chat box at the bottom of each level that lets you talk to anyone else taking the test. Almost every single day, Tim himself is on the chat box and is available to talk about anything.
Serris, the creator of the Darwin's Soldiers universe will answer any questions raised on the discussion topic and issue proclamations with regards to the canon as well.
Burnie Burns, writer of Red vs. Blue, gave the community the chance to conduct twointerviews just for this purpose, so long as nobody asked questions about Tex or future episodes. It is unclear whether or not that helped, though - some of the fan community believes his adherence to Rule of Funny makes Wild Mass Guessing a fruitless endeavor, while others simply believe that Burnie lies.
Due to its audio-only nature, Welcome to Night Vale often requires Word of God for basic clarification. The FAQ section on the Commonplace Books website provides a helpful guide on spelling the names of the characters. Woe upon those who try to spell Khoshekh without their assistance.
Many statements of canon in We Are All Pokémon Trainers are often made either in the discussion thread, the wiki, or within the chatroom.
BK: I think it's important to note one thing I have heard from the internet is that some fans have the idea we've put shipping into the show because they've asked for it...requested it. This is totally not the case. Mike and I like to do melodrama stuff and we wanted that in there. Not that it's all cheesy, but we wanted that from the get-go. Five years ago when we were developing this.
MDD: Yeah, Aang-Katara, that romance. Some stuff developed along the way, and we're glad some fans are more receptive to that element of the show, but it was in the DNA of the thing from the start.
Nickelodeon's site states the final fate of Azula: locked up in an asylum and monitored around the clock for her own protection. She just may have a chance of recovery in the future, however. This later gets fully canonized in a comic book sequel.
Following his split with Disney, Gargoyles creator Greg Weismanhas addressed many obscure questions otherwise unanswered by show material and is considered the authoritative source, to the point most fans do not consider the last season canon. The comic book moreover continues where the second season left off and completely ignores the third season.
The creators of Kim Possible, Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle, have said on numerous occasions that Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable will be together forever and were meant to get together from the start of the series. The director Steve Loter has said that the alien villains died, and that Shego and Drakken are definitely dating at the end of "Graduation".
The creators of The Simpsons often explain the "real meaning" of various episodes on DVD commentary—such as "Homer's Enemy" being about how a "normal" person couldn't survive in Springfield, or (more recently) "The Principal and the Pauper" being a jab at the Suspiciously Similar Substitute idea.
Dwayne McDuffie ran a Q&A thread about Ben 10: Alien Force, where he (among other things) clarified such contested points as Gwen's magic and Kevin's powers. Some fans like to ignore it, because he lied once, about Grandpa Max's fate, though it could be said that lying was the only way to preserve any suspense when asked that question.
Transformers has featured numerous instances of this, but in particular, Transformers Animated featured a cameo by an unnamed red Bumblebee-like robot. When character designer Derrick Wyatt saw that TFWiki.net, in accordance with its policies on nameless characters, was referring to the character as "Little red Autobot," he wrote in and told them that the character was indeed named Cliffjumper and the page should be moved to that name.
Also, he clarified Alpha Trion's role in the Autobot government (He's the civilian leader, as opposed to Ultra Magnus' military leadership).
Two volumes of a book called The Allspark Almanac have been published. It is comprised of almost entirely Word of God, including things like the name of the planet Sentinel, Optimus, and Elita visit in “Along came a spider” Archa-7; the name of Ultra Magnus' hammer The Stormbringer; what Meltdown's creatures were before they were mutated his lawyer and stock broker; and the name of his company Biotech Unbound.
If you want some Word of God relating to The Venture Bros., swing by the official site and watch some of the authors' appearances at conventions. (Beware, the third season finale is relentlessly spoiled.) They are just as likely to provide background information as they are Shrug of God and Ascended Fanon, and are very entertaining while doing it. The DVD commentary also has tons of info that didn't make it into the show.
In both the Franklin books and animated series, the character Badger walks using crutches. Though it has never been stated on either of those, Word of God on the official Internet site for the series revealed that she has cerebral palsy.
Teen Titans provided very little backstory for most of the main characters and none at all for the characters created specifically for the show who never appeared in the original comics. However, Word Of God from Amy Wolfram has given us an origin story for the Amazing Mumbo: he was an ordinary Stage Magician who got his hands on a real magic wand, which gave him Functional Magic at the expense of his sanity. This is stated in the special features on the third season DVD.
Dwayne McDuffie, creator of Static Shock, has stated here that Richie, Static's sidekick and best friend, is in fact gay, as is his comic book counterpart. When asked if Static knew, he replied "Not yet."
Pendleton Ward's formspring almost seems to contain more background information about Adventure Time than the show itself does. If you include Word of Saint Paul from creative director Adam Muto, character designer Natasha Allegri, and others, there's no contest. Ages, species, lands, history, clarification, there's a lot on there. (This may be in part because of Adventure Time's notoriously Rule of Cool driven nature.) Notably, Ward confirmed that Ooo is set After the End years before this was explicitly confirmed in the show itself.
Jorge Gutierrez described the film as being set during "a magic-realist version of 1920" on his Twitter.
He also confirmed the protagonists' ages. Manolo, Maria and Joaquin are respectively 9, 8 and 10 in the prologue and 19, 18 and 20 in the story proper.
Examples that need identification of the source:
If you know when or where this was said, please add that information and move the example to the "identified" section.
Anime and Manga
The author of the Sailor Moon manga has affirmed that the characters of Haruka Tenou (Sailor Uranus) and Michiru Kaiou (Sailor Neptune) were intended as a lesbian couple. This is heavily hinted at in both the anime and manga, but never stated outright and occasionally a point of contention among some fans.
Another Sailor Moon statement is the identity of Sailor Cosmos which shows word of god can be very vague. She stated that "In the very last manga, the last book, she is the future Sailor Moon." but canon also states that Usagi lost her powers as a Senshi after becoming Queen. Many fans assume she's Chibi-Usa's sister or Daughter, which are both also ruled out. Those who do the reading assume she's a future incarnation but it's unknown if that theory is right or not.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Gainax Studio, among other things, has claimed that Kamina is a virgin, Simon isn't, and Viral is a shark with feline genetics.
The odd translation errors like "New Yark" and the "Great Canyon" from the dub of Mobile Suit Gundam were not actually errors. According to one translator, Yoshiyuki Tomino himself (or "a little bald wizard," as the translator put it) requested the changes; this would not be surprising at all considering the same little bald wizard requested that one episode be taken out of the US release, for very obvious reasons.
For Code Geass the Word of God, according to the writer, is that Lelouch is, in fact, dead, despite a popular fan theory that he is 'the cart-driver' in the final scene. The Official Guide Book repeatedly mentions Lelouch's passing and the Special Edition Zero Requiem DVD replaces the entire last scene with a monologue by C.C. expressing her sadness over Lelouch's death. However, many fans choose to discount this with the theory that his identity as Lelouch vi Britannia is dead, but he might be living on as an immortal..
At the same time, the director has made statements that can be taken as Word of Dante, in the sense that he prefers Shrug of God and leaving it to the fans to decide for themselves, which adds fuel to the fire and polarizes an already badly Broken Base.
Hideaki Anno, creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion, does not often comment on Eva unless he feels it is an important issue. The most famous of his statements is the one jossing the theory that Misato shot Kaji. He specified that it was a nameless security agent.
Ranma 1/2 has had Rumiko Takahashi state that the Jusenkyo Nanniichuan (Spring of Drowned Man) will cure Ranma and the other cursed men. It's possible that this clarification would never have needed to have been made, if not for an early plot hole (the Saotomes not getting cured right there and then, and then following the guide to the Joketsuzoku) that then developed a Fanon theory of its own, and, worse still, a villainous character returning with an extra curse having been "merged" into his original one.
Similarly, the reason many fans of the series deride Akari Unryuu as a Relationship Sue is because the author has admitted she was created solely for the purpose of giving Ryoga a "happy ending" and someone else to chase after besides Akane when The Rival managed to become so popular with the fans.
And regarding the endless fan speculation about whether girl Ranma can get knocked up: "I don't think about that, and you shouldn't either!"
The creator of Slayers has insisted that Idiot Hero Gourry Gabriev actually has the potential to be a sorcerer of power perhaps equal to Lina Inverse — it's just his Swiss-cheese memory stops him.
The director of Digimon Adventure 02 has stated that there's Digidestined in every country. We just didn't get to see all of them because it would've expanded the series by a good hundred or so more episodes.
Scott Lobdell himself stated he was very surprised at the amount of controversy the first issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws caused. He goes on to say that he doesn't see why people see Starfire as an ADD-stricken Ethical Slut. He also assures disgruntled readers to keep reading, as answers will be revealed later, not that this has stopped some people from dropping the book outright.
Transformers left plenty of questions unanswered and a few Sequel Hooks, and with Transformers fans being who they are have asked a lot of questions. One in particular was whether or not Starscream took part in the F-22 assault on Megatron hiding in his alternate form. It would certainly be in tradition with the character, and the writers have said Sure Why Not so far. Another question was the unexplained absence of Barricade from the final battle. The comic book depicted him being killed by Optimus Prime, but the writers said they did it deliberately to bring him back in the sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Despite this, Barricade makes no appearance. He did, however, appear in the climatic battle of Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Richard O'Brien has stated that it was actually Riff Raff, and not Dr. Frank N. Furter, who did most of the work on Rocky in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Richard has also stated that the reason Riff killed Frank is because Riff was jealous.
Jon Favreau, the director of Iron Man, has stated that The Ten Rings, the terrorist organization that kidnaps Tony at the beginning of the film, in fact, works for The Mandarin, one of Iron Man's enemies from the comics.
As of Iron Man 3, this seems to be Jossed due to the true nature of The Mandarin.
Unjossed as of All Hail The King, which states that there is a real Mandarin who is angry about his name being stolen.
Stephen Sondheim has gone on record saying that Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street DID have sex, disappointing or disgusting many fans. This appears to be averted in the movie version, where Sweeney balks from kissing her in her own fantasy sequence. It's also averted in several theatre productions, including the 2012 London one with Michael Ball. As she sings By The Sea, he ignores her completely in favour of reading the newspaper.
The Dresden Files: "Justin's dead! D-E-D dead!", frequent reply of the author to fan theories that Harry Dresden's Evil Mentor (whom, canonically, Harry burned to death) may somehow still be alive, and involved in the events of the various novels.
As of Changes, Jim states that Harry is D-E-D dead, and we know the series isn't over yet. This sparks even more discussion, as some believe Justin will come back with or after Harry or that they will meet in the afterlife, or wherever Harry winds up in Ghost Story
As of Ghost Story: Harry isn't dead, but his soul is removed from his body. His body was technically kept alive by Mab and the genus loci of Demonreach. He gets better.
According to Word Of Jim, one of "Gentleman" Jonny Marcone's bodyguards Cujo Hendricks, believed by Harry Dresden to be a dumb thug, is actually working on his Doctorate and quotes classic literature when he disagrees with his employer. In the Marcone PoV story "Even Hand", Cujo allegedly shows his True Colors.
This is a link to a guide to most of the Words of Jim.
Warrior Cats: Though it's only hinted at in the actual books, Word Of God has revealed that Cinderpelt and Firestar is a canon pairing... sort of. Firestar, being a complete idiot when it comes to she-cats, still thinks he and Cinderpelt were "Just Friends". The author(s) often give out Word Of God statements. Though many questions are answered with a "why, I can't tell you that" response, fans have learned such things as Firestar and Scourge being half-brothers and Leopardstar was in love with Tigerstar.
In the Dragonlance series of books, it is rumored, debated, and shot down by a character, that Usha is Raistlin's daughter. The books never revealed the truth in certain terms however, and debate among readers raged for years until the authors, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman answered the question definitively: That she is not Raistlin's daughter.
The creator of Twilight stated that the reason why Jacob was so fixated on Bella up until Renesmee's birth was because he sensed the child's egg inside her mother, even before she was conceived. Squick.
The Doctor Who episode "The Brain of Morbius" shows the faces of several actors who, depending on your interpretation of the scene, may be Doctors predating the canonical first Doctor. Despite the fact that the canon is very clear on the fact that the Doctor's lives are all accounted for, some people on the production staff have affirmed that they intended the faces to be earlier Doctors.
What today is regarded as canon in Doctor Who was actually only settled on relatively late in the day. For example, it wasn't even established during "The Brain of Morbius" that Time Lords are limited to twelve regenerations (that was first mentioned in "The Deadly Assassin", broadcast the following year). Terrance Dicks, onetime script editor of Doctor Who and the man who introduced the concept of the Time Lords themselves to the show, famously once stated that 'canon was what the production team could remember on any given day.'
When "The End of Time" aired, there was considerable dispute over the true identity of The Woman who kept showing up. Russell T. Davies has confirmed that she is in fact meant to be the Doctor's mother, although they intentionally left it open to interpretation.
Creator of the tragically short lived Pushing Daisies Bryan Fuller reveled how he envisioned the show ending in a TV Guide interview.
Emerson gets back together with his wife. The watches only led to a buried treasure and had no bearing on Ned's powers. The world finds out about Chuck and she goes off and travels with her parents to hide from the attention. She and Ned have a long, loving relationship. Many, many years later they finally kiss when Ned is on his deathbed and Chuck hasn't aged a day.
The new Battlestar Galactica has occasionally relied on this, such as producer Mark Verheiden confirming that Six was released from prison as part of President Lee Adama's amnesty to the rebel and Final Five Cylons in the episode "Revelations".
At times, the Word of God has simply made things more confused. In the episode "Hero" it is stated that Tigh and Adama served on the battlestar Valkyrie one year before the series begins and were moved to Galactica as punishment after a vital mission failed. This contradicts statements made in several other episodes that Adama had commanded Galactica for 2-3 years prior to the series. And worse still, a document seen on-screen in the very same episode suggested he'd actually been in command of Galactica for six years. When asked about the problem, producer Ronald D. Moore said there wasn't a problem, they'd worked it out behind the scenes and it all tracked, but didn't share this explanation with fans, leaving the situation unresolved. Many people resolve this by assuming they were moved back to Galactica from active duty on the Valkyrie, the punishment being command of an inactive ship.
Power Rangers RPM is stated to take place in an Alternate Universe, separate from the other Ranger series. Good thing too, or else that would have meant all the previous Rangers and/or their descendants would have been horribly killed in the end and all their work for naught. This was later canonized when Scott crossed dimensions and guest-starred in Power Rangers Samurai.
On a lighter note, Tommy really does end up marrying Kat and Kimberly eventually marries Skull, although for obvious reasons, those little tidbits are all but ignored. Even when such relationships should get referenced in later series, the subject never comes up (Tommy's a regular in Dino Thunder but apparently still single, Skull's son appears in Samurai but his mom is never mentioned).
Also, Power Rangers S.P.D. had the writers explain a lot of things that had not been competently conveyed in the series itself.
There was some speculation that the Father Ted character Father Noel Furlong, a youth group leader, was having sex with the young people in his charge and was therefore a comment on paedophillia in the Catholic Church. (The fact that the character was played by Graham Norton helped this view). The creators have confirmed that the character is actually asexual and the joke is that the character is too enthusiastic about the quite normal behaviour of the young people.
A strange example of this trope is Twin Peaks, as creator David Lynch has stated that he does not support the identity of Laura Palmer's killer being her father, as he was a victim to Executive Meddling, and wanted the mystery of the killer to go on for the entire series. He therefore claims that the killer could be anybody.
Charles Schulz of Peanuts stated that Linus' belief in the Great Pumpkin is not and was never intended to be a metaphor for faith. Strips later in the run (featuring such things as Linus going door to door to spread the word of the Great Pumpkin, convincing Marcie before she is sent to be "deprogrammed" by her parents) suggest he was open to playing with the idea.
Other issues for which Schulz gave official answers include stating that the comic strip was canon and the animated specials and movies weren't, explaining how Snoopy can sleep on top of his doghouse (his ears lock him into place), confirming that Charlie Brown isn't bald (he has really short blond hair), and perhaps indirectly the Peppermint Patty-Marcie-lesbian issue (when asked whether he ever dealt with sexuality in Peanuts, he said "These are just little kids. That really puts a lid on it right there.")
Warhammer 40,000 creator Rick Priestly has confirmed that the two "missing" Primarchs exist to provide fodder for player-created Space Marine chapters and Chaos Space Marine Legions, and will never be identified.
Nasu and the Nasuverse. Most fans chose to simply ignore Nasu's official statements since the Nasuverse is complex enough as it is. It also doesn't help that officially he isn't sure if the Forest of Einasshe thing in Tsukihime is canon or just cool fluff.
The director of Dark Souls has provided several minor clarifications regarding the storyline, including the facts that Ceaseless Discharge is the son of the Witch of Izalith (which was heavily hinted at by the Orange Charred Ring's description), that the Pendant is totally unimportant (after some trolling on the topic), and that if Solaire survives to fight Gwyn with you, he Links the Fire in his own world.
MSF High: There are no incubus in the msfhigh universe and there never will be. This is the only known race to be directly stated not to exist in the MSF High universe. Though it is for good reason.
Mike and Bryan have divulged that Aang does, in fact, have a tattoo there.
The two of them also confirmed that Jet really is dead. In commentary, they laughed that he's now in "Hot Guy Heaven". The in-series lack-of-clarity on the issue is later Lampshaded in season 3.
They've also confirmed that no, the Air Nomads as a people aren't gonna make a comeback. (which tends to fall on deaf ears.) Although the continuation in Korra does at least confirm that the discipline of airbending does survive.
A minor one from Korra: After the Relationship Writing Fumble in season 1 that made Mako look like a cheating jerk, fans pounced on him advising Bolin to "pull off the leech" in his own bad relationship. Mike and Bryan stepped in and clarified that it was just a play on the expression "rip off the band-aid," and he wasn't calling Asami a leech.
Butch Hartman stated in an interview that the ghosts in Danny Phantom are really monsters from a different dimension, that is the Ghost Zone. Explains why they can have offspring and apparently age, but doesn't explain why some were once human to begin with. This contradicts some of the actual dead ghosts in the series. However, Danny's mom once described them as something like "ectoplasmic manifestations of post-human consciousnenss", which implies that they're simply monsters that think they're dead humans.
The creators of Hey Arnold!! have purportedly stated that Helga's mother is an alcoholic, although they knew that saying so directly would never fly on Nickelodeon. Incidentally, they said in the same interview that Arnold's last name is Shortman.
The Executive Producer of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated confirmed Cassidy Williams and Ed Machine's deaths. It was common speculation that he may not have been telling the truth, and that they were just hiding. In the series finale, Cassidy (and presumably Ed Machine) are both alive in the alternate timeline created by the destruction of the Nibiru Entity. This means that they actually did end up dying in the original timeline, as they never returned in it.
People love the Donnie and April relationship and have so many fan-works available. However, unbeknowst to some of them, the creators only made Donnie crush on April for comic relief. April's real love interest is introduced in season 2 and he's someone whom she's been paired up with since the original comics.
BIONICLE story writer Greg Farshtey kept a good relationship with the fan community. Not only did Greg provide Word of God for any question a fan might have had, but he sometimes distributed advance information and occasionally allowed fans to influence minor details, with "Sure Why Not"? Around the time the franchise ended, Greg wanted and give the fans more of a say in where the story should go, but his newborn child kept him from this, and later LEGO adopted a rule that forbid him from talking to fans online. However, they still let him occasionally use the official LEGO message boards to answer fan questions.