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Writer Conflicts With Canon

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When the creator of the work has something to say about said work, the audience often deems their word as something that follows the canon.

Sometimes, however, it's not the case — what the creator said and what's shown in the work are different.

What could that mean?

This is often why God may opt to be ambiguous instead. Depending on the case, this may lead to Canon Discontinuity or Author's Saving Throw.

Compare Death of the Author, a belief that the writers have as much of an idea as the audience about the story and thus the writers' interpretation of the story are no more (or less) valid than the audience's, Voodoo Shark, which is when an explanation just causes more confusion, Negative Continuity, and Schrödinger's Canon. This trope often causes a Fan-Disliked Explanation.

Please be particular when citing these claims. If second-hand accounts of authorial intent blatantly conflict canon, there's a good chance the author never said that at all.

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Examples:

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     Anime & Manga 
  • Vampire Knight: One of the main characters, Kaname, is given a flashback with a woman that he's eventually shown kissing. The author came out a while later and said that he only saw the woman as a mother figure, which naturally had many fans raising an eyebrow.
  • Pokémon:
    • Word of God is that the original intention was for it to take place in an Earth where aliens (Pokémon) have displaced all the animals. This is supported by the Broad Strokes novelization Pocket Monsters: The Animation and by some early Kanto episodes (namely, the Mt. Moon one). Word of God is also that the third movie's plot was originally meant to be about a dinosaur getting revived and no one knowing what dinosaurs are, because Pokémon have replaced all the animals. Despite this, early Kanto media clearly show that fish, bugs, and even non-human mammals such as cows and dogs exist (or at least "existed") in the anime.
    • Word of God is that Misty and Ash are completely platonic. Despite this, they do have Ship Tease even in Japanese episodes. At the minimum, it's implied that Misty likes Ash while, Ash being Ash, is Oblivious to Love.
  • In what is likely due to a Relationship Writing Fumble, as per Word of God, Lelouch's and CC's feelings in Code Geass are platonic and CC's feelings for Lelouch are even called maternal. The two have too much Ship Tease for their relationship to be strictly familial.
  • Ranma ½: Rumiko Takahashi (in)famously replied to the "Pregnant Ranma" problem by saying "I don't think about that, and neither should you." She then went on to write the Musk Dynasty storyline, where animals cursed in the same spring as Ranma were subjected to Shapeshifter Mode Lock, taken as wives, and bore children. This answered the first half of the question ("What if Ranma got pregnant...?") and, indirectly, answers what would be needed to avoid the second half ("...and then changed back to a guy?")
  • In YuYu Hakusho Yusuke left for demon world on what he stated to be his birthday, and that Kurama left 2 mouths later in July suggesting Yusuke's birthday to be sometime in May. However Togashi later claimed that Yusuke's birthday was March 26th, making it impossible for Kurama to have left in July like he said.

     Comic Books 
  • One of the writers for Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog said that Sonic's name is a nickname to hide his Preppy Name, Ogilvie Maurice Hedgehog. No other writer has officially used this idea, one writer said that he legally changed his name off-screen, and in-series Sonic's real name is treated as "Sonic" (no Species Surname, Only One Name).
  • It was initially said Identity Crisis was still canon to New 52, despite a lot of it no longer being possible. Later, it was established as not being canon anymore, and even later, in The Button (a Rebirth story), Barry Allen and Bruce Wayne actually witness a scene from it when running through the time stream and don't remember it.

     Films — Animation 
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     Films — Live-Action 
  • Terminator:
    • James Cameron stated in an interview that Skynet sent the T-1000 back inside a "flesh sac" to get around the "nothing dead will travel through time" rule of time travel. Not only is this a Voodoo Shark which begs the question of why Skynet didn't send anything else like weapons or supplies inside the sac, but it also contradicts every single other piece of Terminator media which comes later — which state that mimetic polyalloy is just good enough to simulate flesh.
    • Cameron also stated that Skynet sent the T-1000 after realizing that the original Terminator failed in 1984. This contradicts several time travel rules established throughout the franchise, including raising the question of how Skynet would know that a Terminator failed.
    • And lastly, behind-the-scenes footage shows Cameron telling Arnold Schwarzenegger and Robert Patrick that the battle between the T-800 and T-1000 was the first time that any Terminators had fought each other. This information never appears in the film and contradicts several other sources which state that reprogrammed Terminators fighting for the resistance was a common occurrence — so common that the machines created various ways to counter it.
  • Blade Runner: Director Ridley Scott has repeatedly claimed Harrison Ford's character, Rick Deckard, is a replicant but has not realized that he is one even though there is nothing in the film nor script to explicitly or implicitly indicate so. Deckard being a replicant would actually create several potential plot holes: Replicants have a set lifespan of five years, and Deckard's recollections and familiarity with his hometown suggest he has been alive for well longer. Being a replicant would also have required Deckard to have fled from the colony, lost his memory of being a replicant, and became a Blade Runner in 2-3 months at the longest. The sequel Blade Runner 2049 leaves Deckard's true nature ambiguous.
  • After Thor: The Dark World, both Anthony Hopkins and director Alan Taylor confirmed that the ending was meant to indicate that Odin had been murdered and replaced by Loki offscreen. Odin would later return, alive and well, for Thor: Ragnarok.

     Literature 
  • The writer of the first The Lion King: Six New Adventures book has stated that it is a prequel to The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. While fanon has Kopa as Kiara's missing/deceased older brother, canon has yet to acknowledge him. Kiara is Simba and Nala's firstborn according to the sequel and The Lion Guard, though in truth both Kopa and Kiara are Canon Foreigners as Disney doesn't acknowledge direct-to-video sequels or licensed books as canon.
  • Warrior Cats: Word of God is that Willowpelt and Patchpelt are Graystripe's parents. The problem is that they're full-siblings from different litters. The series occasionally ships distant relatives together but not close ones, especially siblings. It was clearly accidental, in-series they haven't been depicted as mates, and Graystripe's father is unknown.
  • J.K. Rowling's Word of God concerning Professor Quirrel (Voldemort's main henchman in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) is grossly inconsistent with the book.
    • Firstly, Rowling mentions that Quirrel was made fun of at school for his stutter. In the book, Quirrel's stutter was implied to be an Obfuscating Disability, since he drops it as soon as he reveals his true colors; even if the stutter was genuine, he'd reportedly gained it "a few years ago" after confronting Hags, and didn't have it as a child.
    • Secondly, she says that Voldemort possessed Quirrel as soon as the two met. Although the Dark Lord was certainly the boss of old Quirinus from day one, he only began directly possessing him as a way to "keep a closer watch" on Quirrel after his failure to rob Gringotts Bank. Indeed, Quirrel and Harry couldn't have shaken hands earlier that day if Quirrel was already possessed then.
    • The Rita Skeeter article about Teddy and Victoire already having hot snogging sessions at the 2016 Quidditch World Cup is at least rather implausible, since it implies that they were tabloid fodder for three years before James Sirius had any idea that they were dating.
  • A lot of the controversies over Starship Troopers are exacerbated by fans believing that things Robert A. Heinlein subsequently said about the novel's world-building in interviews and essays are contradicted by the actual content of the novel, in particular as to whether any form of public service can qualify you to vote or whether it has to be front-line military service.

     Video Games 
  • Kingdom Hearts: Originally, Tetsuya Nomura stated that Nobodies don't age. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep shows some of Organization XIII ten years before Kingdom Hearts II. Although they would be Nobodies for nine of the next ten years, they look significantly more than one year younger.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: The Series Bible says that the games take place on two planets: "Sonic's World" without humans and "Earth" with humans. The characters swap between worlds at will. The games themselves however don't support this aside from no Funny Animal NPCs existing prior to Sonic Forces. There are no mentions of the characters going between dimensions in-series and multiple games (including Sonic Battle and the two Sonic Adventure games) heavily imply that they live on Earth.
  • Toby Fox, creator of Undertale, has said that Sans is too lazy to date anybody. Buts Sans said in-game that he's not actually lazy, and it's all but directly stated that he's depressed and overworked.

     Western Animation 
  • Danny Phantom:
    • The creator, Butch Hartman, insists that ghosts are not actually ghosts, that they are a ghost-like species that takes on the memories and appearances of dead people. While the show has one throwaway line in this regard, overwhelming in-series evidence otherwise establish that (at least most) ghosts are deceased humans.
    • Hartman has stated that Ember is in her twenties, despite her being called a teenager in her debut episode.
  • Gravity Falls: In the episode commentary for "Boyz Crazy", Alex Hirsch says the show does not take place in any specific year. However, there are numerous in-show details that specifically set it in 2012 (the year it first started airing): the June calendar from "Summerween" is the one from 2012 while the Author is shown or stated to have disappeared thirty years ago and in 1982 (it's the year on his calendar from "Carpet Diem" and map in "Into the Bunker", and the year McGucket said he can't remember anything before).
  • Several things from the Jem Series Bible are ignored in the series itself. For example Clash and Video were supposed to be born on the same day according to the Series Bible, but the series shows that Video was already a toddler when Clash was born.
  • The various writers of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic are happy enough to answer fan questions about the show, but they're pretty upfront about the fact that the show is the only real canon — and anything they say might be overruled by future episodes. In particular things that Lauren Faust, the creator, say are often ignored by the series as she stopped being involved with it after season 2. Examples include:
    • Word of God has stated that, if Nightmare Moon had won in the series premiere, then her eternal night would have resulted in all plants and animals dying. Later, the season 5 finale "The Cutie Re-Mark" shows a Bad Future where Nightmare Moon did win and has ruled for years, but with no negative effect on the environment — or at least what little of it is seen during Twilight's very brief stay there.
    • According to Faust, the reason for Luna's season one design, which is markedly different from her appearance in other episodes, was that she lacked most of her magic at the time. She has said it was an on-the-spot explanation and that the writers could explain it some other way. Thus far, no writer has tried to, with the IDW comics randomly using her original design at different points, and the show featuring Luna with little-to-no magic but keeping her redesign and ethereal mane.
    • In season 1, one of the writers stated that all hooved animals were Civilized Animals. The show itself hasn't seemed to take note of this. While the IDW comics featured sentient deer and there were once plans for an episode featuring deer, the show itself ultimately presents them as just another animal. Pigs and giraffes are also Nearly Normal Animals as well. The rule seems to be less "all hooved animals, and several mythological creatures, are sapient" and more "all equine and bovine, and several mythological creatures, are sapient".
    • Speaking of, Hasbro itself has claimed that the IDW comics are canon with the IDW writers maintaining that the comics and the show exist in the same continuity. This is in spite of events in the show conflicting heavily with the comics, such as the nature of Nightmare Moonnote , the origins of the sirensnote , and King Sombra's appearance in Season 9note . The actual writers of the show were less than enthusiastic about the idea and seem to consider the comics to be an Alternate Continuity.
    • Faust has stated that, in her opinion, Celestia raised Spike growing up, not Twilight. She however said this after resigning from the show and notes that it is thus little more than a semi-official headcanon. Spike's backstory has never been delved into much, but while we've never been presented Celestia's bond with Spike as mother/son, several episodes have implied that Twilight raised Spike and that she's the closest thing he has to a mother (while "Sparkle's Seven" shows that Spike was raised alongside Twilight as her adopted brother).
    • Lauren Faust has suggested that Luna is still growing and is physically a teenager. The series itself treats Luna as a full-grown adult.
  • Word of God is that Lincoln from The Loud House is not naturally white haired. Photos from his infancy however depict him with white hair, not brown or blond like the rest of his family.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Former supervising director Ian Jones-Quartey stated on Something Awful that "Steven was never 12 onscreen". This contradicts the timeline evident in the actual show, where one summer begins, fall and winter pass, and it's the next summer by Steven's 14th birthday. There were even two annual Beach-a-Paloozas in the meantime.
    • While on the show's podcast, the co-head writers for the first five seasons concluded Lapis did not take all the Earth's oceans in "Ocean Gem", just in the area around Beach City. However, that begs the question of why the surrounding water didn't flow in, and several shots in the episode from space appear to show the planet with no oceans. Granted, the whole scenario is bizarre and highly unrealistic no matter how you cut it.
  • One of the main writers from W.I.T.C.H. has stated that Irma is a lesbian. Even considering this was a Disney cartoon in the mid-2000s, Irma shown no sign of romantic interest in other girls, and had male love interests. It's unknown whether he meant that she's bisexual, a strong closet case, or she hasn't realized her sexuality yet.
  • According to writer Tad Stones, DuckTales (1987) and Darkwing Duck don't have a true Shared Universe, and the characters in both are actually different versions thereof. However, while it might be taken as explaining some aspects, it raises questions given that the Darkwing cartoon and the comics of both series seem to imply they take place in the same world. At one point in the comics, Launchpad (seeing a magical clone of himself) asks if this means he can have one "him" with both Scrooge and Darkwing now, all but blatantly stating that it's a single universe.
  • Word of God is that Plank from Ed, Edd n Eddy is just a normal piece of wood. The series itself presents him as doing things that a block of wood couldn't do on its own.
  • In the 1990s, when asked, producers involved with The Simpsons would claim Smithers was not generally attracted to men, but just Mr. Burns specifically (the phrase "Burns-sexual" was sometimes used). As the series progressed, this logic was clearly abandoned and Smithers was shown dating and interested in men other than Burns.
  • The South Park writers had said that they wouldn't allow Cartman to murder anyone. This was after Cartman tricked a farmer into killing Scott Tenorman's parents in "Scott Tenorman Must Die". Cartman would later run over numerous people in "Poor and Stupid" had Cthulhu kill tons of people in the "Coon vs. Coon and Friends".

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