Voltron: Legendary Defender

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Spoiler Warning: This article may contain spoilers. If this bothers you, proceed with caution.

Fandom
Name: Voltron: Legendary Defender
Abbreviation(s): Voltron
Creator: Joaquim Dos Santos, Lauren Montgomery
Date(s): June 10, 2016 – present
Medium: Cartoon
Country of Origin: USA
External Links:
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Voltron: Legendary Defender is an animated web television series (a Netflix Original Series) that reboots both the Beast King GoLion anime series and the Voltron franchise.

Canon

For millennia, the evil Galra empire has plagued the universe by destroying other civilizations and enslaving various races. The only known threat strong enough against the empire's power and plans is the legendary "Defender of the Universe" Voltron, a 100 meter tall robot warrior composed of five lion mechas whose pilots are known as the Paladins. At the crux of the war that ended with the destruction of planet Altea, Voltron was separated by King Alfor of Altea in order to protect Voltron from falling into the Galran Emperor Zarkon's possession. King Alfor bonded the five lion's energies to his daughter Allura's life force and sent them across the universe to different locations until the time for the next generation of Paladins to appear and pilot Voltron arrived. Princess Allura, her retainer Coran, and the Altean Castle of Lions were hidden on planet Arus along with the Black Lion.
In the present, the Galra Empire's path of conquest and search for Voltron has led them to Earth's solar system. A group of space pilots – Shiro, Keith, Lance, Pidge, and Hunk – discover the Blue Lion and immediately get swept up into the Galran War. They meet Princess Allura, become the next Paladins, and reunite the five lions to form Voltron and combat Emperor Zarkon's nefarious schemes, with the hopes of ultimately defeating the entire Galra Empire.[1]

Main Protagonists

Main Antagonists

Secondary Characters

Fandom

About the Fandom

The age range of the audience varies for this show. Some adults watch it because they watched the original 80s show and many teenagers also watch it, but the target audience is generally children. The Tumblr fandom is generally made up of teenagers and young adults and is one of the most popular fandoms on Tumblr according to thefandometrics.

There has been some controversy in the fandom surrounding the shipping of Shiro with the other paladins (including Allura), due to unclear information about the paladins' official ages. As of July 2017, no definitive ages have been provided for any of the characters. The crew has implied that none will be given and has encouraged fans to use their imaginations, but “safe zones” were given via Word of God (ie, unofficially) to a fan at a convention [citation needed]. Shipping between Shiro and the other paladins is referred to as Shaladin, often used pejoratively by anti-shippers. Other fans draw the line at shipping Pidge with other characters, referred to as Piladin (portmanteau of Pidge + Paladin).

Recently, the fandom has generated even more controversy over the introduction of the character Lotor. This is due to his status as a villain and problematic behavior of past iterations of this character. Some fans are concerned that others may sympathize with his character, victimize his character, and/or enjoy him non-critically. There is also controversy surrounding shipping Lotor with the paladins, similar to Shaladin, and is referred to as Palotor.

Fans have created public blacklists listing Tumblr users who support certain ships. This has garnered even more controversy, and led to a backlash by pro-shippers in fandom. After anti-shippers threatened and harassed voice actor Josh Keaton and his family in early 2018, a sizeable portion of the Tumblr fandom adopted a zero tolerance policy for anti behavior, refusing to follow, like or reblog posts made by antis regardless of content.

The fandom continues to be one of the largest on Tumblr, with Klance and Sheith consistently ranking on Fandometrics top pairings lists.

Terminology

  • Shaladin: All Shiro/paladin ships.
  • Piladin: All Pidge/paladin ships.
  • Palotor: All Lotor/paladin ships.
  • Klanti: A Klance fan who is also an anti.
  • Laith: An alternative name for Klance coined by shippers who wanted to distance themselves from the more notorious and toxic parts of their fandom.
  • Langst: Lance angst

Controversies

This article or section needs expansion.

Voltron controversies might need its own page. It's also an unfolding situation.

Shipping Controversies

There have been numerous instances of spam in the main ship tag for Sheith and in private messages on Tumblr, the most infamous of which being those being Tumblr user fairymatsu (link to Tumblr user huntypastellance's records FM's abuse), who spammed users with gore, child porn and rape images.

POC fans of various Shaladin ships were also often subjected to racist anon hate and harrassment.

Another controversy involved the Sheith tag on AO3, where a user (or users) would write anti-shipping messages as 'fic' in the Sheith tag on AO3, then 'orphan' the work leaving it in the tag without an author to trace back to. This person or persons has since been IP blocked from AO3 after being reported for abuse.

The Sheith Fanlore page has also been subjected to hostile editing from various people identifying themselves as Klance fans.

Fandom Response to Shipping Controversies

In response to voice actor Josh Keaton's Tumblr post, many BNF banded together to create a campaign to stop harmful rhetoric in the fandom, particularly that of the anti-Shaladin faction on Tumblr. The movement encouraged fans on both sides of the shipping wars to unfollow, block and report 'fans' with the anti label and those who were harassing others.

Fanart Controversies

There have also been numerous controversies over fanart:

  • "Whitewashing" and subsequent "darkwashing" characters' skintones

Mostly about Lance and Allura but to a lesser degree Hunk, Shiro and Keith. Controversy continues over whether lightening characters' skintones in fanart is racist, and/or whether darkening skintones or giving characters "stereotypical" facial features (i.e. giving Shiro stereotypical Asian features and Allura stereotypical Black features) in more realistic art styles is racist.

  • Shiro's eyes

Originally, it was joked that Shiro's eyes have wings because he wears eyeliner, but many fans took this joke too literally. Now many fans condemn the headcanon that Shiro wears eyeliner as racist, and maintain that his eyes are drawn to indicate monolids consistent with his Japanese heritage.

Headcanons

Some people like to think the following, even if they have not been confirmed:

Interestingly, certain headcanons that were prevalent after the first season aired were confirmed canon in the second season. These included:

  • Lance being Cuban.
  • Keith being part Galra (and southern!), though arguably, his Galra heritage was already planned and was foreshadowed in the first season.
  • Lotor existing in the show's universe.

Shipping

Soon after the first season was released slash dominated the fandom with Lance/Keith emerging as the juggernaut ship. Slash ship Shiro/Keith also gained popularity after the second season. While there is some het shipping and fanworks, it's seen less often, with the notable exceptions of Allura/Shiro and after season three, Lance/Allura. Femslash is very uncommon in fanworks. Ship names take the namesmoosh approach.

Common Pairings

Other Pairings

Common OT3s

Polydins

Polydins is a play on the words "poly", referring to a polyamorous relationship, and "paladins" referring the the main characters in the show. This is the relatively common practice of shipping three or more of the paladins (including Allura) in a Poly relationship.

Fanworks

Fanfiction

Fanart

Zines

See Category:Voltron Zines for the full list. See also vldfanmerch's zine tag.

Archives & Fannish Links

References

  1. Wikipedia