Follow TV Tropes

This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab.


Word of Saint Paul

Go To

“Many of us have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write an account for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.”

Once a work has been published to general acclaim, speculation runs rampant. What did X really mean? How could Y do that? How are we supposed to interpret Z? For some reason or another, the primary creator keeps quiet, so when someone else with at least some authoritative status to the work says something, it can be easily accepted and incorporated into the common view.

When the Word of Saint Paul contains (or is perceived to contain) mistakes or misunderstandings of the original creator, they can easily carry the germ for future debates.

The dividing lines among Word of God, Word of Saint Paul and Word of Dante are somewhat fluid, but if it can be reasonably supposed that someone has had a role in creating the work or a close personal relation to the primary creator, then it is probably Word of Saint Paul instead of Word of Dante.


In a film or TV series, typical sources of Word of Saint Paul are the primary actors, the cameraman, the production designer, the costume designer, or the score writer. In literature, it can be the author's spouse, the editor, or the publisher. Though with franchises that change creative teams somewhat frequently, the sources can also be former primary creators.

Named for Saint Paul the Apostle, who through diligent missionary and organization work very much changed Christianity from a minor Jewish sect into a budding world religion, while clarifying or modifying lots of things about what Jesus said.

Nothing to do with the capital of Minnesota, or the Brazilian state/city, other than being named for the same guy.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • There isn't a firm, canonical statement from the Lyrical Nanoha production crew that Nanoha and Fate are lovers; they instead prefer to layer on the subtext, right up to the knife-edge of making it text (the most famous statement from the director clarifies their relationship to the daughter they're raising together, but not to each other). However, the voice actresses for the girls in question have directly stated that they think the two are married.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica is in much the same boat. The original writer, Gen Urobuchi, tends to either flip-flop on or ignore the issue of whether or not the series has a Cast Full of Gay or just a lot of Bait-and-Switch Lesbians. Meanwhile, Hanokage, who illustrated the manga adaptation and one of the spinoffs, and Ume Aoki, the show's character designer and one of the Quartet, are far less restrained. Independent of one another, they've written yonkoma, doujins, and omake that show the characters lusting after each other, going on dates, and even, on one memorable occasion, married. Ume even went so far as to hint at Mami/Charlotte.
  • Gundam Build Fighters earned the Fan Nickname "Gundam Valhalla" because its Continuity Porn includes countless cameos by other Gundam characters, all of whom were shown to be happy, especially those who died or suffered other unpleasant fates in their home series. Near the end of the show's run, Minami Fuji (the voice actress for Mao Yasaka) posted on Twitter, saying that the producers had told her "In the world of Build Fighters, all Gundam characters live in peace."
  • Attack on Titan has long left the exact nature of the relationship between Krista Lenz and Ymir somewhat ambiguous within the actual series. While Ymir is confirmed to have romantic feelings for Krista, the other girl's exact feelings have never been clarified. Then the anime adaptation's producer, George Wada, referred to them as a romantic couple during a convention panel. Creator Isayama Hajime, infamous for responding with non-answers, hasn't chimed in to confirm or deny this statement. Ultimately went on to be subverted as Ymir was Killed Off for Real before anything happened between them.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, the exact extent of how acquainted Giyu and Shinobu really were is quite bare, after their initial team-up both Hashira are never seen together again, going strictly by what just the original manga shows; the anime staff and voice actors on the other hand, were quite whimsical in trying to make the Hashira duo seem closer they than seem, ufotable has run a few promo material with Giyu and Shinobu together, and specifically told Shinobu has advised Giyu on how to properly dress himself. All of this being stirred by the anime staff while in the manga Shinobu was about to die; in the end Shinobu has no special memories of Giyu when she passes on, nor Giyu specifically recalls Shinobu in a meaningful way by the end of the series, he lives on and marries some unknown woman; ufotable really doused some shipper fuel, that in the end amounted to nothing.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Tiffany Grant, the English dub voice actress for Asuka, once mentioned that she believed that Asuka's line at the end of End of Evangelion (the widely debated "I feel sick" line), was morning sickness. Fans debate on whether Asuka was pregnant to this very day.
  • Senki Zesshou Symphogear has Hibiki and Miku, with their Two Girl Romantic Friendship being played to the hilt across three seasons (more on Miku's part). During the 2016 Symphogear Live show, Yuka Iguchi (loudly) confirmed that she plays Miku as being in love with Hibiki. And according to Aoi Yūki (Hibiki's voice actress), the feeling is mutual.
  • Pokémon:
    • According to his English voice actor, Eric Stuart, Brock's surname is supposedly "Harrison".note 
    • The original English voice of Ash, Veronica Taylor, is a believer in the theory that Giovanni is Ash's father. Giovanni is considered by fans to be one of the main contenders for being Ash's father.
  • During an interview for Little Witch Academia (2017) in which Yō Yoshinari clarified the relationship between Akko Kagari and Andrew Hanbridge as being a "Playful Guy-Guy" one, Akko's voice actress Megumi Han chimed in that Ursula or Diana would be more appropriate if they decided to do a romantic development.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 
  • Big Hero 6 gives GoGo Tomago a Race Lift from Japanese in the comics, to Korean in the movie. Because of this, "Leiko Tanaka", her very much Japanese name in the comics is obviously not her name in the movie, but what her name in the movie is never stated. According to her GoGo's voice actress Jamie Chung however, it's "something plain, like Ethel, Marge or Patty".

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Back to the Future: When asked about the origins of Doc and Marty, screenwriter Bob Gale gives two theories:
    1. That Doc was a participant in the Manhattan Project, thus explaining how he retrofitted a DeLorean with a nuclear reactor. His dialogue from the film suggests that he believes nuclear war is imminent, and he has been spending years trying to invent something — anything — to blot out the atomic bomb from his resume note 
    2. As for Marty, he was likely lured to Doc's laboratory simply because he was told not to venture there. The original draft explains that Marty took an interest in Doc's vinyl record collection.note 
  • Inception:
    • When interviewed about his role in the film, Michael Caine asserted that any scene that included him was one guaranteed to be in the real world. This either explains the film or makes the Mind Screw even more confusing.
    • A costume designer stated that the last scene showing Cobb's children, in fact, used different children from an earlier scene and they were wearing slightly different shirts, which suggests that the final scene isn't a dream.
    • Leonardo DiCaprio also personally takes the ending to mean that Cobb got home to see his kids and that it's real.
  • In the commentary on Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Aubrey Plaza, who plays Julie, asserted that her character had (and possibly has) an unrequited crush on Scott, which is why she's so hostile to him. While Bryan Lee O'Malley, the creator of the original Scott Pilgrim comics, responded that Plaza was "making shit up", Edgar Wright, the director of the film adaptation, supported this view.
  • The last Harry Potter film suggests a romance (or at least a pair of reciprocal one-sided crushes) between Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood, which is a widely fanon-supported couple, but not one that happens in canonicity. Mathew Lewis, who plays Neville, asserted the two had a brief fling but ended up marrying their canonical partners.
  • Haruo Nakajima, the original actor who played Godzilla, believes that the Showa (1955-1975) incarnation of Godzilla is female. However, according to Toho Studios, all incarnations of Godzilla to date have been male (yes, even the first remake version, which is admittedly stated in the film).
  • Johnny Depp has said that Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean has syphilis and that he is bisexual.
  • Samuel L. Jackson has stated that in Revenge of the Sith he, as Mace Windu, beat Palpatine. The novel implies that Sidious let himself lose, and the film leaves it ambiguous.
  • Tim Curry has stated that Dr. Frank N. Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show is pansexual.
    • Darren Lynn Bousman has said on his Formspring account that the Graverobber from his movie Repo! The Genetic Opera is Riff Raff's son.
    • Magenta's actress Patricia Quinn has said in the commentary that she thinks Riff Raff's relationship with her is completely innocent and that the Brother–Sister Incest is all in the minds of perverted fans.
  • At the end of Dinner for One the two characters go upstairs and, it's implied, have sex but the actors claimed it was entirely innocent.
  • Blade Runner: Harrison Ford has stated that he believed Decker to not be a replicant, as being one would undercut the theme of his character rediscovering his own humanity, and turns the man vs. machine climactic battle into a robot vs. robot fight. Ridley Scott, on the other hand, claims that Deckard was always meant to be a replicant.
  • George Clooney told Barbara Walters in an interview that he played Batman as gay in Batman & Robin.
    "I was in a rubber suit and I had rubber nipples. I could have played Batman straight, but I made him gay."
  • Danny Trejo has stated that the Machete Cortez in Machete is what the Machete Cortez from Spy Kids does when he's not taking care of the kids. As Robert Rodriguez intended to make a Machete movie years before he was able to, he inserted a more family-friendly version of the same character into Spy Kids in the meantime, so this is technically canonical.
  • Star Trek
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • A fan at Comic-Con asked both Joss Whedon and Tom Hiddleston what caused Loki's dark change between Thor and The Avengers. Joss said he hadn't thought of it yet. Hiddleston, however, said that they had talked about it a little, and said that Loki basically went through what he called the Asgardian version of Apocalypse Now, saying when Loki disappeared, he then spent a year alone, wandering through the proverbial jungles and dark alleyways of the universe which, combined with the pain that he endured during Thor, scarred him.
    • Gwyneth Paltrow asserted in interviews prior to the release of The Avengers and Iron Man 3 that, in her opinion, Tony and Pepper hadn't slept together yet. This is probably not canonical, however, considering the fact that in both films they're quite clearly living together, and are shown euphemistically discussing their sex life in a couple of scenes.
    • Tom Holland has said that the kid wearing an Iron Man mask in Iron Man 2 is a younger Peter Parker.
    • Sebastian Stan's own interpretation of Bucky saying he remembers all the people he killed as the Winter Soldier in Captain America: Civil War's climax was Bucky lying about remembering everything as he'd figured that's what Tony wanted to hear before Bucky died.
    • Thor: Ragnarok: Tom Hiddleston in this interview discloses that the Grandmaster becomes Loki's sugar daddy after the latter arrives on Sakaar.
      Hiddleston: In my head, Jeff Goldblum takes Loki out to Rodeo Drive and says, 'Pick the finest fabric you can find...'
    • Following the release of Avengers: Infinity War, Michael B. Jordan has postulated that his character of Erik Killmonger could at least have a chance against Thanos considering he "always has a plan".
    • Also post-Infinity War, Jeff Goldblum assured fans that the Grandmaster survived The Snap due to his nigh-godlike nature. This draws upon the character's portrayal in the comics, as yet unexplored on screen.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
    • Courtesy of Michael Fassbender. Magneto and Quicksilver are father and son in this universe as well; obviously, neither of them is aware of it, which also ties in with the early comics. In the film, Erik does a blink-and-you'll-miss-it Double Take when Peter mentions that his mom told him she knew a guy with similar powers. Their familial relation is confirmed in X-Men: Apocalypse.
    • According to James McAvoy and Louise Mingenbach (the costume designer), we were supposed to infer that Charles was experimenting with all sorts of narcotics to escape his psychological anguish, but there is a limit to the amount of drug use that can be shown in a PG-13 movie. Knowing that he was frequently drugged out of his mind in addition to the alcoholism and serum addiction makes Xavier's Heroic BSoD that much more tragic. (Note that the administration of the serum, especially when Charles does it by himself, is presented exactly in the same manner as heroin users.)
  • Brendan Fraser has said he thinks of his character from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Sgt. Stone, as the descendant of Rick O'Connell.
  • According to Ashley Tisdale, the reason Ryan and Sharpay's audition ("Bop To The Top") in High School Musical is so elaborate is that the two hired a professional choreographer to help them put it together. This would also explain why they use a different song than "Breaking Free", which is actually a song from the musical they're auditioning for.
  • Naomie Harris came up with a back story to explain Selena's cynical outlook in 28 Days Later. Selena apparently had to kill her whole family in one afternoon after they became infected - including a baby brother whom she had just saved. If one takes this as canonical, it adds some weight to her attitude towards Hannah and Frank.
  • In an interview with Ellen Degeneres, Oscar Isaac mentioned that he was playing a "romance" as Poe Dameron in The Force Awakens. Many fans took this as confirmation that the chemistry between Poe and Finn was intentional. John Boyega has also said that he was playing Finn's scenes with Poe as romance, so the only thing left was for a director to openly say that Finn and Poe were in a relationship. Which never happened.
  • Mila Kunis says that the main reason Jupiter from Jupiter Ascending is stuck cleaning houses is that she's too lazy to get a different job.
  • Lee Pace, who plays Thranduil the Elvenking in The Hobbit, has stated that he plays Thranduil as blind/low-vision as a result of the horrific burn scars and clouded eye that briefly show up on his face while he rants to Thorin.
  • Robert Carlyle believes that his Begbie character in Trainspotting is secretly gay and in love with Renton but admits he's not sure if author Irvine Welsh intended this or not.
  • Robin Williams thought that the movie Jumanji represented children's fear of being abandoned by their parents.
    • Jack Black believes the titular board game is alien technology.
  • Concept artist Josh Nizzi made an Instagram post claiming that Long Haul and Onslaught are twin siblings possibly explaining why Onslaught is a Palette Swap of Long Haul.
    • He also posted on his Instagram that Berserker and Dreadbot from the same film are also members of the Dreads (of whom, like Onslaught, they happen to be Palette Swaps).
  • In Forrest Gump, Forrest starts giving a speech about the Vietnam War at an anti-war protest when his superior officer pulls the plug on his microphone. By the time the hippies get it plugged again, he's ending the speech with "And that's all I have to say about that", with Abbie Hoffman saying "You said it all". According to Tom Hanks, Forrest said something like this:
    Forrest: Sometimes when people go to Vietnam, they go home to their mommas without any legs. Sometimes they don’t go home at all. That’s a bad thing. That's all I have to say about that.

  • Virginia Heinlein shaped a lot of how Robert A. Heinlein was viewed by regulating which of his books were published, and how, according to Frederik Pohl.
  • August Derleth shaped much of the popular understanding of H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos and codified a lot of it. This is hotly contested, as Derleth split the mythos between what was basically good or bad (Elder Gods vs. The Great Old Ones) with the Elder Gods having been added after Lovecraft died. The main conflict is that the Elder Gods tend be fairly benign, while The Great Old Ones try to destroy humanity, often going away from the Blue-and-Orange Morality that makes up the mythos. Derleth's concept of good and evil eventually became less common, with Call of Cthulhu removing it from the 6th edition.
  • To a similar degree, that is true of Lin Carter with the work of Robert E. Howard.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch books, Andrew Robinson, who played the character Elim Garak, has filled in much of Garak's mysterious and covert past. He felt that Garak was omnisexual with interest in men and women of any species and that Garak was particularly attracted to Bashir, whom he felt was oblivious to Garak's interest. The show's writing staff worked hard to throw this off in the show itself but Robinson's non-canonical novel, based on his personal view of the character's background and personality, was so popular, it became part of the Expanded Universe and Robinson's view of the character has been adopted by the fandom as if it was canonical.
  • Christopher Tolkien is often this to J. R. R. Tolkien when it comes to posthumous works. In particular, the published version of The Silmarillion is often assumed to be canonical, when it is simply the most well-known interpretation of a number of unfinished and contradictory sources. (It helps that The History of Middle-earth, showing many of the different versions, was also- later- published, with some commentary as to why any certain version was picked.) On the whole, Christopher is pretty careful to separate actual Word of God from his own thoughts on paper. However, it should be noted that Christopher Tolkien created the maps of Middle Earth that we all know, albeit under his father's supervision. He therefore had a hand in shaping the canon even from a very early date. This is one of the reasons, other than just reverence, why fans generally take his word on things as canonical.
  • Televangelist Wendy Alec provides a literal version of this in her Chronicles of Brothers novels. These are a very specialised sort of fantasy fiction in which Ms. Alec represents the Bible story as a sort-of sibling rivalry between five brothers, the Sons of God. She sticks very carefully and cautiously to what is "known" of Heaven, Hell and their denizens from the Bible and related religious works - but she cannot help re-interpreting the Fall of Lucifer (the black sheep of the family) with the aid of some serious Word Of Saint Paul, maybe even a little Word of Dante creeping in around the edges. (Other televangelists have denounced her as ungodly and Satanic for this reason.)
  • Jonathan Franzen plays this role with regard to David Foster Wallace, although much of what Franzen says is automatically rejected by Wallace's fans. However, the two authors were undeniably close friends, and they did discuss their writing (both content and methods) with each other, so it's difficult to disown certain statements by Franzen (e.g., whether or not Wallace embellished some of his non-fiction).

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Smallville, several actors have spoken about their own interpretation into the character on stuff the Powers That Be are quiet about. Tom Welling (Clark Kent) has talked about the psychological effects of red Kryptonite, Allison Mack (Chloe Sullivan) said Chloe is too weak for the character in season two, John Glover (Lionel Luthor) said his character is supposed to be attracted to Chloe, and so on.
  • The finale of Stargate SG-1 contains a long Time Passes Montage with little to no dialogue throughout. Several of the actors involved have given their take on what happened — such as Amanda Tapping and Chris Judge saying they played their parts as if Sam and Teal'c had developed a relationship, and Michael Shanks saying the reason that Vala is crying and being consoled by Daniel in one scene is that she miscarried.
  • Star Trek
    • The Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, in its entry on the Captain's Yacht, includes an out-of-universe sidebar that says "Patrick Stewart informs us the yacht is named Calypso after Jacques Cousteau's vessel," in a way that suggests that, as far as the writers of the Manual are concerned, he should know. This was never confirmed on-screen since the Enterprise-D yacht was never used (or even confirmed to exist), but was nodded to in Star Trek: Insurrection, where the yacht on the Enterprise-E is called the Cousteau.
    • Star Trek: Voyager:
      • Captain Janeway's actress Kate Mulgrew has said she thinks Janeway is bipolar due to the character's inconsistent characterization.
      • Garrett Wang campaigned to be the first gay Starfleet officer, but the execs said no way. (Similar instances happened on TNG and ENT.) His own view is that Harry's a closeted gay man who pursues unattainable women as a means of avoiding his feelings for Tom.
    • Star Trek: Picard: Jonathan Del Arco insists that his character Hugh is in love with Elnor despite Word of God refuting that Hugh is gay.
  • Darren Criss, who plays Blaine on Glee, said in an interview that Blaine's last name is Anderson quite some time before it was ever mentioned on the actual show. Likely it was chosen by the writers before being mentioned.
  • In a Firefly DVD Commentary, Alan Tudyk gives a semi-serious speculation on what Wash was up to during the Unification War: he got a job ferrying supplies (for which side isn't clear), but was shot down on his first mission and spent the rest of the war in prison, where he survived Scherazade-like with his puppet shows. Many fans added this to their Fanon.
  • In Blake's 7 it is generally believed that Avon survived the events of the final episode. This is probably due to the fact that at least two different sources (an Expanded Universe novel, and the actual attempt at a continuation — spearheaded by Paul Darrow) both used this as a premise for further stories. Therefore this has a bit more traction than theories about other characters surviving, which haven't managed to rise above fanon.
  • Gaius being Merlin's uncle on Merlin. It was never said onscreen or by the creators, but Richard Wilson, who plays Gaius, said it.
  • Russell Johnson has assured us that the Professor on Gilligan's Island was intentionally meant to be asexual as the producers of the show didn't want any mention of sex.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Producer John Nathan-Turner was the source of the phrase "There is no hanky panky aboard the TARDIS". It was even mentioned in a 1984 issue of Time Magazine. This makes the widespread assumption that the Doctor (especially in the classic series) is asexual more than just mere fan speculation. Since Nu Who, however, it's been treated as depending on the incarnation. Nine was very enthusiastic about 51st-century humanity's views on sexuality, Ten was more of a romantic, Eleven had no nudity taboo but did have sex, and Twelve is implied to be demisexual (some originally assumed asexual, but his interactions with Clara, Missy, and River disprove that, though it should be noted that on screen nothing sexual has ever been implied related to any of the three).
    • The very notion of the Doctor falling in love with anyone is hotly disputed among fans. Word of Saint Paul has not helped. Examples include David Tennant and others involved in the production of Series 2 confirming years after the fact that the storyline between Rose and the Tenth Doctor was a love story, and Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman stating outright that a romance existed between the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald (with Coleman upping the ante at numerous convention appearances by affirming that during a sequence in "Mummy on the Orient Express" in which Clara apparently utters the phrase "I love you" to her boyfriend, Danny, she actually addressed it to the Doctor); confusingly for fans, Capaldi had also been quoted - sometimes within the same week - as saying the opposite regarding the relationship. Nearly twenty years earlier, Paul McGann referred to That Kiss from the TV Movie as "He's just had his first kiss in the playground, and he's not sure he liked it".
    • Things got to a point during the seventies to nineties where some of the TV series' writers were pushing, effectively, for a viewpoint saying the Doctor had never had sex, despite the existence of his granddaughter Susan (which they got around by saying she'd been adopted). This never got on screen, but it did find its way into the Expanded Universe (e.g. Marc Platt's Doctor Who New Adventures novel Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible, which fed into the rest of the line, or Eric Saward's short story "Birth of a Renegade").
    • The idea might have reached the screen had Marc Platt's "Lungbarrow" been made as a TV story. Script editor Andrew Cartmel and his writers wanted to inject some mystery back into the Doctor, the so-called "Cartmel Masterplan", and "Lungbarrow", as part of this, would have taken the Doctor back to Gallifrey to confront his family and reveal his mysterious connection to a shadowy figure from the founding of Time Lord society. However, John Nathan-Turner felt it revealed too much about the Doctor too soon, and Platt reworked it into the TV story "Ghost Light", subsequently incorporating much of the Masterplan into his New Adventures, Time's Crucible and Lungbarrow.
    • How do you write the name of the Doctor's ship? There're a few ways, as it turns out; in the early days, it was given as Tardis or Tardis, without the all-caps, and sometimes the definite article would be dropped, so you'd have "There is a violent explosion and Tardis stops dead." or similar. The all-caps TARDIS was first used in the 1972 book "The Making of Doctor Who" by scriptwriters Malcolm Hulke and Terrance Dicks, who went on to establish it as default in the Target novelisations, and fandom picked it up and ran with it from there. These days, the old forms are primarily used by Radio Times (who use Tardis in their print edition, since in their house style acronyms are written with only an initial capital), intentional period pieces, or Cushing film-verse fics.
  • Good Omens (2019): Michael Sheen has said that he believed Aziraphale had his Love Epiphany for Crowley in 1941, right after Crowley saved Aziraphale's books from a German bomber that killed everyone in the vicinity except for the two of them. Crowley had no reason to save the books, really, except one: It would have upset Aziraphale if they were destroyed. In fact, the expression on David Tennant's face when Aziraphale starts bemoaning the fact that he (Aziraphale) forgot to save the books when he used a miracle to save the two of them, indicates that he saved the books for exactly that reason.
  • House:
    • Hugh Laurie once said that he thought that House was just as likely to get together with Wilson as with Cuddy or Cameron. The actual writers never said anything either way on that topic, however.
    • Laurie also said that he didn't see House intending to live very long after Wilson's death from cancer. It's a Tear Jerker that makes sense for what House is like, but again not confirmed by writers.
  • Kali Rocha originally guest starred on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Cecily, a human Spike had fallen for in his past. One season later she played Halfrek, Anya's fellow vengeance demon. Producers quickly realised that some viewers might pick up on the You Look Familiar. So in Halfrek's second appearance, she sees Spike and says "William?" before the two avoid each other's gazes (and nothing more is said). This implied that Halfrek and Cecily were the same person, though another episode has Halfrek refer to the Crimean War (when Cecily would be about five). Kali Rocha believes that they are the same person and that Halfrek was posing as Cecily on assignment.
  • In Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, according to Tetsu Inada, Deka Master’s actor, the reason why his character was seen with Carranger’s Signalman in the finale is that S.P.D.’s Earth Branch was looking after whatever inanimate object he turned into after the Legend War.
  • Mr. Robot: The mysterious hacker mercenary White Rose dresses as a woman while meeting with Elliot. Later, White Rose plots with Evil Corp CEO Phillip Price while wearing a conservative men's tuxedo. The show has, so far, left it ambiguous as to why White Rose dressed differently for each meeting and what his or her real nature is. According to the actor, B.D. Wong, he was told by the showrunner that White Rose is a trans woman.
  • Wayne Pygram, who played Scorpius in Farscape, has become mildly notorious in the fandom for having a significantly darker view of his character than much of the fanbase, or even the writers. Most notoriously, he's been quoted as claiming that he thought Scorpius's revelations about his abusive childhood in "Incubator" were totally made up to make John feel sorry for him.
  • Kamen Rider Decade: Actor Kimito Totani has said that his character Daiki Kaito (Kamen Rider Diend) "Loves Tsukasa. Like, Boys' Love". While it's never officially been confirmed, it does explain Kaito's behavior at times, particularly in the movie Kamen Rider × Super Sentai: Super Hero Taisen where he acts like a jilted lover and says things like "You hurt me so I'm going to hurt you back" and "I couldn't forget you even if I tried".
  • Johnny Yong Bosch was documented saying Adam Park lied about returning to Angel Grove to run a dojo at the end of "Once A Ranger", and instead travels the world using his powers to help others.
    • Similarly, Christopher Khayman Lee, who played Andros in Power Rangers in Space, has stated that the four morphers he gave to the depowered Turbo Rangers once belonged to a team of Rangers who died prior to the series, and this plays into his initial I Work Alone attitude towards them.
    • Another Power Rangers actor, Michael Taber from Power Rangers Dino Charge, stated in December of 2020 that he'd interpreted his character, Riley, the green ranger, as being gay with a crush on Chase the black ranger, thus giving the fandom who'd been shipping Chiley all along a very much legitimate reason to consider the Ho Yay at least partially canon. Given that Chase himself has been seen dating several girls throughout the series, it's possible that Riley's love was unrequited, or Chase could possibly be bi. The fandom may never know.
  • Jameela Jamil, who plays Tahani on The Good Place has stated via Twitter that she plays Tahani as a closeted lesbian.
  • Mike Colter who has a recurring role as the drug kingpin Lemond Bishop on The Good Wife and its Sequel Series The Good Fight has said that in his eyes Bishop only came into the drug business after he got his MBA and could make it as a legit businessman if he wanted to. Bishop doesn't actually care about the drug trade, he just sees it as the best avenue to use his skills and intelligence.
  • Humans: Actress Emily Berrington has said Niska wouldn't define herself as having any particular gender or sexual orientation, though we only see her show attraction to women in the show, while there's no mention of a non-binary identity or something else.
  • The Sopranos infamously ended with a Smash to Black, leading many people to believe that it represented Tony being killed in the last scene. There's a suspicious looking guy going to the bathroom, making some people believe he was the killer. According to one of the show's actors, Matt Servitto, the guy in the bathroom most likely was going to approach Tony. He still isn't sure if he killed him or just talked to him or something.

  • When Michael Tilson Thomas arranged and recorded some long-neglected versions of compositions by George Gershwin, he turned to Gershwin's brother and lyricist Ira Gershwin to understand George's original intentions in writing the music.
  • John Lennon's songwriting has often been explained and/or interpreted to the eager public by his ex-bandmates (one of them named Paul!), ex-wives, recording crew, childhood friends, etc...
  • In preparation for the posthumous release From a Basement on the Hill, Elliott Smith's family enlisted Rob Schnapf (who produced Smith's last two albums with Tom Rothrock) and Smith's ex-girlfriend Joanna Bolme (who had worked as a mixing engineer on Smith's album Either/Or and is the bassist for Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks), to work on the songs. The sessions' actual producer David McConnell would have been a better Saint Paul, having worked with Smith for three years and taken copious notes, but neither he nor his notes played any part and Schnapf and Bolme instead had to guess Smith's intentions. McConnell noted that Smith didn't intend to include "Pretty (Ugly Before)", which ironically became the album's best-known song, and that the interstitial piece "Ostriches & Chirping" was something he himself put together with no involvement from Smith at all.
  • Gustav Mahler originally wrote his sixth symphony with the scherzo movement second and the slow movement third. In rehearsals for the premiere, he changed them round and performed them like that for the rest of his life. When he had died, however, his widow Alma claimed that he had changed his mind and preferred the slow movement as the third one after all. This has sparked a fairly large debate about which way round it should be played.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppets:
    • Frank Oz developed a Tragic Backstory for Miss Piggy, although he sometimes changed the details. She grew up on a farm (or possibly above a butcher's shop), where her father was unfaithful and possibly died when she was young. Her mother had settled for a life of domestic drudgery, and may have been abusive. Feeling trapped, Piggy ran away to the city, and got her big break in a bacon commercial. Apart from growing up on a farm ("I built cows and milked fences!"), none of this has made it on screen.
    • Oz also developed a minor backstory for Marvin Suggs, saying he lived in a trailer where he kept the Muppephones in cages and beat them regularly.
  • According to puppeteer Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, who played the character in Sesame Beginnings, Prairie Dawn's mother is named Delta.
  • Bear in the Big Blue House:
    • According to Noel MacNeal (Bear's puppeteer), Bear and Ursa are in a romantic relationship.
    • When asked why Ojo was the only character who's home was never specified in the show, Noel half-jokingly said that Ojo's mom is probably a working single mother who lets Ojo hang out at Bear's house when she's not home as a form of free babysitting


    Video Games 
  • A developer for Infinity Ward has stated that Captain Price from Modern Warfare is the grandson of the original Captain Price. And when Price's voice actor was asked about what happened to Price and what his motivations were, he stated that Price was put in a gulag for two years at some point after Call of Duty 4 (instead of five years as most players assumed, meaning he was captured in 2014 rather than 2011) and that the experience left him rather unhinged and he is willing to do anything to win the war at this point.
  • The infamous retcon of the prison books in Myst also qualify. In the first two games, they were established as one-man prisons in an endless void. By the time Myst IV comes along, Sirrus and Achenar's books are transformed into fully developed Ages and their original function is vaguely explained away by Dr. Watson.
  • Daniel Cabuco, the art director and artist for three games out of five now acts as this concerning the Legacy of Kain series.
  • Devil May Cry: Before 5, whether or not Nero was Vergil's son was a matter of much debate. Prior to that game, this had been confirmed by an official artbook, the official novelization by the game's lead writer as well as a statement by a translator, but only strongly implied in-game. A part of the fanbase vehemently opposed the idea until 5 settled the matter permanently. Though, not all aspects are confirmed—such as exactly who Nero's mother was.
  • The Elder Scrolls series has this in the form of "Obscure Texts", supplementary items written by the series' developers and former developers. They're essentially treated as canonical by most of the fanbase (or at least the equivalent of the series' famous in-universe Unreliable Canon), but Bethesda has no official stance either way. Most prolific is former developer Michael Kirkbride, who still does some freelance work for the series. Most of what he writes about are the more obscure aspects of universe's cosmology which don't get expanded on in the games, as well as lore figures the games never touch upon or that Bethesda is simply finished with (like Vivec). 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 Saint Paul is blurred concerning his writings. As of Skyrim, some of the concepts in his works have been officially referenced in-game (the idea of "kalpas," Ysgramor and his 500 companions, and some of the motivations of the Thalmor), moving them to Canon Immigrant status. A collection of the works can be found here.
  • The Harpuia gender mixup in the Mega Man Zero series was the result of this, where false information came from an official source (Capcom of America) but not the official source (the creators). For the record, he's male. Many attribute the confusion, at the time, to Capcom's decaying quality in translation, spotty proofreading (of their manuals, sites, and sometimes in-game scripts), and a lack of communication between branches.
  • For the Fallout series we have the Fallout Bible, compiled by Chris Avellone before Bethesda gained the rights to the setting and made Fallout 3. These documents are a hodgepodge of early development ideas, concepts which did not make it into the game, and Avellone's own pet theories, which are sometimes contradictory. Avellone himself was one of several designers for Fallout 2 and had no involvement with the first game. Nevertheless, some fans consider everything mentioned in the bibles to be canonical. It probably doesn't help that the use of the term "bible" is inaccurate here; in TV land a "bible" is a brief document put together by a show's creators containing the immutable basics of the setting and characters as a guide for guest screenwriters. The Fallout Bible is not.
  • Troy Baker, the voice actor for Kanji from Persona 4 stated that he was told by the voice director to act as if Kanji were gay, and has admitted that he personally believes the character is indeed homosexual. This has led to a number of people, including Extra Credits, taking that as canonical, even though the official Word of God is that Kanji's sexuality is deliberately ambiguous.
  • Erica Lindbeck, voice actress of Futaba in Persona 5, has stated in interviews she personally interpreted Futaba as having Asperger's Syndrome.
  • There's no official word on Wingul's sexuality in Tales of Xillia, but his English voice actor, Kaiji Tang, has said that "his is the love story in the game" and occasionally reblogs sad Gaius/Wingul fanart on his Tumblr.
  • Chris Niosi (Dezel) did a podcast along with Michael Johnston (Mikleo), Kira Buckland (Edna), and Xander Mobus (Sergei Strelka) to celebrate the English release of Tales of Zestiria. Among interesting behind-the-scenes stories, Niosi remarks that Dezel has a thing for Rose; Johnston then remarks that Mikleo has a thing for Sorey.
  • Borderlands 2: Gaige is voiced by both Luci Christian and Cherami Leigh, and both credited as such in the game's credit screens. When asked why this is, Cherami confirmed that Gearbox brought her in to redub all of Luci's lines, who they felt didn't have the "Rebellious Teenager" edge in her voice that they wanted the character to have. Gaige was a pre-order bonus character, which meant she was finished and ready to be played when the game launched. It was quickly apparent that Luci's dialogue was left in the game, and it turned out to just be a last minute oversight to switch out the dialogue. Just a simple oversight. By that time though, it was already too late, so they decided to give Luci credit and just roll with it. Cherami thinks that it's rather fitting for a girl's voice to change the more she goes crazy-mad with power.note 
  • The North American manual for Mega Man made up several plot details out of whole cloth, the most notable being Dr. Wily being Dr. Light's assistant before his bid to Take Over the World. This would later be expanded in the Ruby-Spears cartoon as Wily being intensely jealous of Light, which the fandom and other adaptations would run with (most notably the Archie comic adaptation.) It wasn't until Mega Man 11 that Wily's jealous grudge against Light would become canon in the games themselves, though the details about Light and Wily's relationship would be changed to them being rival university students (a plot point that was also taken from Mega Man Megamix.)
  • In a Reddit AMA, Benjamin Byron Davis who voiced Dutch in both Red Dead games said that he personally leans towards the interpretation that Dutch wasn't Evil All Along and lost it once he got in over his head. He also said he thinks that Dutch was at Micah's hideout in the end of the epilogue to kill him himself.
  • Rather common with Girls Frontline, since several different artists are commissioned to create characters for the game, and they each have ideas about what those characters are like that isn't always brought up in-game, including statements about the characters' real names (AGS-30's three dolls are Alina, Galina and Sonya, SPAS-12 is Sabrina [which was later canonized with her summer outfit's story]), notes and details in technical diagrams (CAWS is friends with Tokarev, since both were drawn by the same artist), what they do or like when not on duty (Springfield being a huge fan of the New England Patriots), or how they interact with one another (G36's artist in particular is fond of drawing non-official art showing her interacting with others, particularly Springfield or whoever was most recently added to the game). This is somewhat infamous among the playerbase, though, thanks to the "T-Doll Maintenance Manual", a book which turned out to mostly be plagiarized fanfiction bundled together with a few of these statements from the game's artists to make it appear more official.
  • The canon of Sonic the Hedgehog is known to be all over the place, with it at times being undefined and at others changed (ex: Sonic Generations stated Classic Sonic was Modern Sonic's younger self before Sonic Forces stated that Classic Sonic is from another dimension). Ken Eva of Sega Europe stated that the Sonic canon is in flux, with what's canon and what isn't able to, have, and will, change at a moment's notice, saying that the Sonic canon is whatever they need it to be at the time. Natually, this causes continuity to be heavily debated by the fans.

    Western Animation 
  • Long before Candace and Jeremy were an established couple in Phineas and Ferb, Jeremy's voice actor commented that Jeremy liked Candace back. Of course, it really wasn't all that hard to figure out, but still.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Much of the staff engaged in this on Twitter, most prominently writer Meghan McCarthy, who would move into Word of God territory after taking Faust's role as showrunner.
    • Lauren Faust, among other things, said that she considers Spike to have been raised by Celestia after Twilight hatched him, but was quick to clarify that anything she says after leaving the show's staff is only her personal interpretations and not to be taken as Word of God. Indeed, when the show did eventually show some of Spike's infancy in its final season, he's depicted as living with Twilight's family.
    • Celestia's VA Nicole Oliver claims that Celestia's favorite music is... '80s metal.note 
  • Eric Trueheart, who worked on Invader Zim, says that one story they might have used would involve Dib finding out that he was an Artificial Human created by his father, Professor Membrane. Many fans regard this as canonical, and, since Dib and Membrane look alike, add a Fanon spin where he's a clone. The show was Left Hanging with several episodes unfinished, whether left as a voice recording, script or just a creator idea. Most fans consider them canonical.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Mae Whitman has done this twice with Katara. According to her, Katara got her First Kiss from Jet, and Aang and Katara did kiss in the "Cave of Two Lovers" episode when the lights went down.
    • Zuko's voice actor, Dante Basco, has regularly answered questions about his character. According to him, Zuko fell in love with Katara and he believes they are soulmates even if they did not end up with each other in canon.
    • Grey DeLisle has also done this with Azula. According to her, Azula does, in fact, love Ty Lee. She has also made several audio recordings in Azula's voice about their romantic relationship.
    • For The Legend of Korra, Korra's VA, Janet Varney, has stated that the time Korra realized her feelings for Asami was during the Time Skip, and that the spirits will respond positively to their relationship. This was confirmed in The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars.
  • Olivia Olson, voice actress for Marceline of Adventure Time, once stated that Marceline and Princess Bubblegum used to date. In contrast, Hynden Walch, who voices Princess Bubblegum, believed Marceline and Bubblegum's relationship as having been a platonic Cool Big Sis spin on Peter Pan and Wendy and that their friendship had a falling out when Bubblegum grew older and took on more responsibility while Marceline remained the same. By the show's finale, the show itself came to agree with the former.
  • Tangled: The Series: Answering a twitter reply thanking her for playing Cassandra in as queer a fashion as possible, her voice actor, Eden Espinosa, confirmed this was deliberate on her part, as well as the animators who worked on her. She has experience portraying female characters with heavy gay undertones. Note that she didn't actually come out and say that Cass is gay, but it's still enough for many fans to see her as gay-coded at the very least.
  • In a panel at the 2018 Emerald City Comic Con, several actors from Voltron: Legendary Defender stated that the final straw that got Keith kicked out of the Galaxy Garrison was that he punched a teacher, specifically Iverson.
  • A lot of the misinformation regarding Looney Tunes circulating the media falls at the feet of voice-acting great Mel Blanc. It was the perfect storm for confusion; Mel outlived a lot of his contemporaries, he was a celebrity (and thus his words carried a lot more weight than more qualified people like Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng), and if he couldn't remember how something happened, he was happy to make up an interesting story, with a side of Self-Serving Memory. Animation historian Michael Barrier once remarked that Blanc was as lousy a historian as he was great a voice actor. Among Mel's claims taken as gospel by many fans:
    • He came up with the idea for Porky Pig's stutter. In truth, the character and the stutter both predate Mel's hiring at Warner Bros., when Porky was initially voiced by a real-life stutterer named Joe Dougherty - Mel was specifically hired to replace Dougherty, who was having too much difficulty giving consistent line readings.
    • Mel voiced the Roadrunner after the horn used to create the "beep beep" sound broke after the first cartoon was recorded. Ignoring the fact that the "beep beep" was clearly always a human voice from the first cartoon (and that even if a horn was used, they could simply re-use the old recordings if it broke), Mel never voiced the Roadrunner - a matte painter named Paul Julian was the voice.
    • The prototypical rabbit character who eventually became Bugs Bunny was named "Happy Rabbit". No documentation at Warner Bros. indicates that this name was ever used.

    Real Life 
  • The Bible:
    • St. Paul is the Trope Namer, and there's a lot of debate about whether his opinions, particularly those about women, reflect those of Jesus, considering that St. Paul never met Jesus (aside from a vision) and did not meet any of the original apostles until quite far into his career, and in fact started his career as a persecutor of Christians. At any rate, the Christian community of his time, some of whom knew Jesus, did accept his writings.
    • Even BEFORE St. Paul, the Gospel is according to his apostles or even Apostle's disciples.
    • Most Biblical scholars posit the existence of the Q document (q is short for quelle, the German word for "source"), a collection of the sayings of Jesus which predates the synoptic Gospels of Matthew and Luke. It is used to explain why Luke and Matthew's writings contain material not found in the older Gospel of St. Mark.
    • There are also St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine, who codified many of the basic tenets of the faith such as the Trinity.
    • Then there are the founders and significant figures of all the other of the numerous sects and offshoots of the Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox groups, as well as the sects and offshoots that don't identify with the three larger classifications.
  • Islam:
    • The hadith are collections of sayings attributed to The Prophet Muhammad. The primary characteristic of hadith is that they are not dictated by the Prophet himself, but rather by people who heard from him, or by people who heard people who heard from him, and so on and so forth (the structure of a hadith always goes by "[Person] claimed to hear from the Prophet that..."). As a result, the authenticity of any hadith is debatable, especially those which have passed through so many people, but they are still an integral part of Islamic jurisprudence. In fact, rules pertaining to the Muslim community today are largely shaped up by the hadith; while The Qur'an is universally considered infallible, it addresses matters about jurisprudence very sparingly (the book is not a Doorstopper like the Bible is).
    • Depending on which sect one follows, sayings attributed to the Sahabah, companions of the Prophet, and the Ahl al-Bayt, family of the Prophet, are considered just as holy as the ones attributed to the Prophet.
  • Izo Iburi was this for Tenrikyo after the foundress Nakayama Miki’s death.
  • The most famous non-media example (apart from St. Paul) is probably Friedrich Engels. He worked closely with Karl Marx and did a lot to popularise and explain Marx's theories. However, he didn't have Marx's philosophical schooling, and thus misunderstood several elements, and made those misunderstandings stick around. To Engels' credit, there was probably no one else around who could do even remotely such a good job.
  • Psychoanalyst Anna Freud was this for the ideas and writings of her father Sigmund.
  • Want to know why Friedrich Nietzsche is associated with Nazis when he had stated that he was against antisemitism and nationalism? His sister's husband was a leading antisemite and German nationalist. She adopted the same beliefs, supporting the Nazi ideology and twisted his philosophy to support said ideology. Rather than interpreting his works questionably, she edited and obviously contradicted them.
  • The philosopher Socrates believed in communicating his ideas only through live discussion, so his student Plato is the one who wrote down his teachings, inevitably according to his own understanding of them. There are a few other primary sources on Socrates as well—most notably Xenophon (who was one of his students) and Aristophanes (who lampooned him in The Clouds)—and they portray him differently.
  • William Shakespeare existed before the notion of "Writer/Playwright as Celebrity" and as such we know very little about his own ideas of theatre and which are the definitive texts of his plays. The first collected edition, the First Folio, was published by actors who knew him and contains an introduction by Ben Jonson, a fellow great playwright and friend who affirms that Shakespeare knew little Latin and Greek (at least, by Jonson's own rather high standards) and that the famous illustration on the frontispiece is a good likeness. The Folio's title page proclaims that the plays are "Printed According to the True Original Copies," which seems to imply that the versions therein are based on Shakespeare's manuscripts, and the preface by editors Heminge and Condell proclaims that "where (before) you were abused with diverse stolne, and surreptitious copies, maimed, and deformed by the frauds and stealthes of injurious impostors, that expos'd them: even those, are now offer'd to your view cur'd, and perfect of their limbes." This would have been fine if earlier print editions of Shakespeare's plays didn't contain variations, some of them quite substantial but unquestionably Shakespearean, to choose from. Aside from that, virtually any subsequent inferences about his sexuality, personal relationships, lifestyle habits, or viewpoints have come from more recent scholars reading between the lines of his texts and what scant documentary/archaeological evidence he left behind, rather than from the actual testimony of him or his contemporaries. Even the date (April 23) typically celebrated as his birthday is only an educated guess based on baptismal records.
  • About all that can be said for sure about the Nation of Islam movement (often called—erroneously—the "Black Muslims") is that it was founded in the early 1930s in Detroit by a man called Wallace Fard Muhammad. There exists almost no historical record of Wallace Muhammad outside the time period from 1930-34, and independent sources of his life, beliefs, and practices are scarce and very vague. Virtually all of his supposed beliefs and teachings were actually publicized by his most prominent follower, Elijah Muhammad, under whom the Nation of Islam as a notable organisation, rather than an obscure and vague movement, emerged.

Alternative Title(s): Word Of St Paul, Word Of Paul


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: