|“||The Black Lion is the decisive head of Voltron. It will take a pilot who is a born leader and in control at all times, someone whose men will follow without hesitation.||”|
Not much is known of the origins of the Black Lion. It was created ten thousand years ago by King Alfor after a comet collided with Zarkon's home planet, during a time when planet Altea held an alliance with the Galrans. King Alfor built the Black Lion from the material found in the comet and Zarkon became the Black Paladin. However, once Zarkon's obsession with Voltron's power led him to violently betray Alfor and the Alteans, the Black Lion was locked within the Castle of Lions, along with Allura and Coran, and the Castle was left on Arus. The remaining Voltron Lions were scattered to hidden locations across the universe so they would not fall into Zarkon's hands, and the only way the Black Lion could be freed from the Castleship was if the four Lions returned. Alfor met his end by unknown means, and the Altean race was destroyed along with planet Altea and its entire solar system. Zarkon successfully conquered most of the known universe, believing Alfor's claim that the Lions had been destroyed.
Ten thousand years later, once Lance, Hunk, Pidge, and Keith acquire the missing four Lions, the Black Lion is unlocked from the Castle and accepts Shiro as its Paladin. However, the Lion retains a connection to Zarkon, allowing him to locate it until Shiro mentally battles the emperor and earns the Lion's favor.
Weapons & Abilities
The Black Lion is said to be the most adept at combat. The Lion's arsenal includes the standard Mouth Cannon and Tail Laser for long range combat, as well as a dual-bladed Jaw Blade for close-combat that can be tossed like a boomerang. When formed as Voltron, the Lion's wings can detach from the robot and combine together to form a shield. When combined with the Black Bayard after Voltron is formed, the Lion allows the Blazing Sword to be summoned.
The Black Lion has an affinity with the element of sky. It is able to unlock a boost in power and speed that is unleashed when the Lion unfurls its wings into an expanded form, allowing it to seemingly phase through physical objects.
Like all Lions, the Black Lion possesses some measure of sapience. It has rushed to shield Shiro from damage with its body while no one was piloting it. Through his mental connection to the Black Lion, Shiro can see through the Lion's own eyes while piloting, and the Lion is capable of instructing Shiro on the next course of action during battle; more notably, it is capable of showing Shiro images of the past within his mind, including its form as a comet prior to becoming a spacecraft, as well as images of the present, such as Zarkon's husk of a home planet outside the Lion's displays. The experiences seem real enough that Shiro mistakes he flies at high speeds, feels turbulence, and actually travels from the Castle of Lions to the planet, when in reality the Lion never leaves the Castleship.
This mental connection also allows its Paladin's essence to travel to mysterious realm where if the Paladin dies, their body in the physical realm will die as well, but while they feel all pain dealt to them, the sustained wounds do not appear on the Paladin's physical body.
- At one point during production, Christine Bian, the series design supervisor, unintentionally designed the Black Lion to look like a zebra.