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Keith

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After getting booted from the Garrison, I was kinda... lost and... felt myself drawn out to this place. It's like something... some energy, was telling me to search.

—Keith

Keith is the current Red Paladin who pilots the Red Lion of Voltron. He previously was an orphan[4] who became a highly skilled and promising pilot cadet at the Galaxy Garrison before being expelled for a "discipline issue". He retreated to the desert to search for a purpose and consequently felt the energy emitted by the Blue Lion, leading him to remain there and investigate the surrounding caverns full of lion carvings.

Keith suddenly appears at the crash site of Shiro's return to Earth a year after the purported Kerberos Mission's disaster, and joins Lance, Hunk, and Pidge in rescuing Shiro from the Garrison military. Their subsequent assistance in discovering the Blue Lion triggers the events leading to the return of Voltron, beginning Keith's new life as a Paladin fighting the Galra Empire. Along the way, he has discovered he has Galran heritage and ties to the Galra rebel faction called the Blade of Marmora.[5]

Appearance

Keith has the appearance a lean older teenager with a medium complexion, dark hair, fairly thick eyebrows, and blue-gray eyes that seem purple in certain lighting. Keith's hair is described as a mullet.[6] He has uneven-cut bangs that tend to sweep to the left of his face, length averaging just under his eyes, but framing his face slightly longer and curled at his cheekbones. The rest of his hair reaches the base of his neck, wildly flaring out in curved strands that tend to sit on top of his coat collar or armor. He has two strands of hair that sprout from the top of his head. Of the Paladins, Keith is the second-shortest, beating only Pidge in height.[6]

In his Paladin armor, Keith's uniform mirrors his fellow Paladins but with red accents to match that of his Lion.

When he is not in his Paladin armor, Keith wears a dark blue-gray t-shirt underneath a red cropped jacket with the large cuffs of the jacket rolled up to expose their white color. The collar of the jacket stands propped upright; a single strip of white lines his shoulders and sleeves, and one also reaches down the center of his back until it meets the darker red lining the hem of his jacket at his ribcage. The jacket has a block of yellow on each side extending downward at a slight angle across its front that meets the white lining of its opening. Although his cuffs and inner collar are white, his jacket's inner lining is the same red as most of the outside.

Keith's black gloves are fingerless and expose part of his hand before strapping together over the wrist. At his waist, Keith wears a brown utility belt, angled down from his left hip to his right, that sits over his shirt with a silver rectangular buckle in the center and two lighter brown pouches at either hip. Strapped to the belt at his lower back is a silver-colored and double-bladed knife with a black pommel, often kept wrapped in cloth and sheathed in an over-sized scabbard, allowing only the hilt to be visible. The blade is inscribed with a glowing emblem of the Blade of Marmora on its guard. Its scabbard is a simple striped design alternating between a dark gray and silver.

Keith wears black pants that his shirt overlaps; his boots are white with black accenting the shins underneath red cuffs. The toes of his boots are equally red, while his soles are lined in black with patches of red underfoot, peeking out somewhat at his inner heels.

Personality

The Red Lion is temperamental and the most difficult to master. It's faster and more agile than the others, but also more unstable. Its pilot needs to be someone who relies more on instincts than skill alone.

Allura describing the Red Lion, in "The Rise of Voltron"

Normally reserved, quiet, and calm, Keith is quick to give sarcastic quips and blunt commentary. He has a tendency to favor following his instincts above all else and will act entirely on his own regardless of the danger and challenge, but his instincts may favor infiltration, observation, and exercising caution in dealing with an enemy if the situation poses heavy or unknown risk.[7][8] While a grounded and logical thinker, he is susceptible to his honest emotions: his rebellious and impulsive nature leads him to be foiled by his own frustration, temper, and unwavering desire to defeat the Galra Empire, making him argumentative if provoked and steadfast in what he believes is the best course of action. He must reel himself in with patience and focus or ally input to help cool his head. Despite this, Keith's decisions can lead to impressive accomplishments. He is not overtly confident, but is aware of his skills and strengths to have trust in them and will ask others to do the same.[6]

Keith has embraced his role as the Red Paladin to near extremes that have shocked and confounded his teammates. He has exhibited unfettered rage, emotional instability, and ruthlessness regarding defeating the Galra Empire or perceived moral corruption.[9][8][10] Keith places such high value on the stakes of the team's mission of defending the universe that his pragmatism causes disconnect and misunderstanding between himself and the other Paladins, making him seem cold, uncaring, and selfish; this, coupled with his temper, is not aided by how Keith has yet to open up to anyone personally on the Voltron team and has revealed hardly any information about himself - though Keith knows very little about his own past to tell.

In truth, Keith places as much value on the members of his team as he does his mission and makes honest effort to connect with them no matter how often he scolds someone for their lack of focus. He is not fond of the idea of abandoning a teammate, even if he considers it thinking as a Paladin to weigh the greater good over a single life.[9][8] He desires that his teammates remain fighting at his side not only for the good they can do as Paladins,[9] but also because he highly values his bonds with others as much as he struggles to sustain them. Keith is highly observant of his team's well-being and will rush to protect or avenge them when needed even if it means putting himself directly in harm's way,[11][12][13][8] and this self-sacrifice is something he extends to the Red Lion to prove his worth. For all his seriousness, Keith is hardly stoic and is capable of loosening up and enjoying a good bout of fun, happily engaging in or instigating some of the team’s playful antics.[12][9][10]

Keith's sense of good and evil is brought into question with his suspicions and confirmation of his own connection to the Galra Empire via the Blade of Marmora, revealing he is prone to self-consciousness, afraid of abandonment by his team, and desperate to know the truth about himself; yet he willingly puts his selfish desires to discover his past aside for the sake of his duty as a Paladin.[5] Keith is equally able to accept that one evil is not the representative of all of its kind, but does not fault Allura's shunning of him for his Galran heritage and only uses her prejudice to fuel himself and prove he has a rightful place on the Voltron team. Keith's acceptance that all is not black and white makes him highly respectful of the Galran rebels such as Ulaz and Thace who sacrifice themselves to ensure Zarkon's defeat.[14][15]

It is clear that Keith has an immense sense of justice, selflessness, and the desire to fight alongside his team to bring light to the darkest time of the universe despite what costs may come.

Abilities

You fight like a Galra soldier.

Zarkon battling Keith, Episode 11: "The Black Paladin"

As the Red Paladin, Keith's Bayard takes the form of a long katar specialized for close-combat that he is significantly skilled at. Like other Paladins, his armor enables him to form an energy shield for defense and contains a jetpack for briefly sustained flight.

Keith's battle strength lies mainly in his agility, speed, and trust in his instincts. His agility stats are officially the highest.[4] He is a skilled martial artist able to take down Garrison technicians in mere moments with a few powerful strikes. As an aggressive fighter, he will plunge himself into the throes of battle. Even in the face of a powerful enemy, Keith has an unwavering determination to win no matter the cost, which can induce a berserker-like rage in him that, while clouding his judgment, can awaken new abilities within his Lion and push himself well past his limits. It is not often that Keith runs from a fight, and he has only done so when he has little understanding of the situation and truly feels vulnerable.[13][7] He is notably willing and able to go toe-to-toe with Zarkon despite the apparent difference in experience and power.[8]

While he was at the Galaxy Garrison, Keith was considered the top pilot of his class, and this holds true as the Paladin of the Red Lion: he is able to pilot the Red Lion with ease through a dense asteroid field; Keith is also able to pilot a one-man hovercraft overcrowded with passengers at high speed, use their weight to his advantage, and safely launch the hovercraft off a cliff at full speed, land it, and then continue flying. He has shown knowledge of explosives and guerilla tactics as well, applying both to infiltrate Shiro's quarantined crash site.[6]

Notable for Keith, his Galran heritage allows him to interface with Galran technology so he can open locked doors in Galra structures and activate Galra computer consoles; other Paladins and characters must use Shiro's prosthetic arms or the hands of Galra Sentry robots. The only other non-Galran pureblood seen with this ability is Allura while donning her disguise as a Galran.[7] Keith also carries a ceremonial double-bladed knife from the Blade of Marmora that his Galran heritage can activate and transform into a longer, slightly curved sword with a single blade edge.[5] He has used both forms of the blade for close-combat.

While Keith's instincts allow him to react quickly, it makes him less observant of his surroundings and more susceptible to surprise attacks.[16] When Keith is able to cool his head, he is incredibly resourceful of his surroundings and can accomplish impressive feats.[17]

Trivia

  • Keith's full name has not been revealed.
  • Keith is fond of the outdoors because of how quiet nature is.[10]
  • Keith may be ambidextrous, as he switches using his Bayard and shield between both arms. For example, Keith wields his Bayard as it first forms in his right hand and the shield on his left.[6] During his infiltration of the Galra ship to claim the Red Lion later, he attacks sentries with the Bayard in his left hand, shield on his right.[6] Keith trains and fights the corrupted Training Gladiator while wielding his Bayard in his right hand.[13] While infiltrating a Quintessence refinery, Keith fights a Galra Druid with the Bayard in his left hand.[7]
  • Keith has Galran heritage.[5] While his vision implies he has a Galran mother and human father, the exact nature of his heritage and how he appears fully human is unknown. Since Keith is described as an orphan,[4] it is not known if what he sees is an accurate vision, an adoptive human father, or his biological one.
  • It should be noted that, although reverted to normal by the healing power of Quintessence, Keith's hand becomes an oddly-discolored and patterned purple-gray when he is injured by the dark magic of a Galra Druid.[7]
  • Keith is based on the character Keith of the previous Voltron franchises, who in turn was based on the character Akira Kogane of Beast King GoLion.

References

  1. San Diego Comic-Con 2016
  2. Comic Synopses
  3. Voltron: Legendary Defender Official Website
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Voltron: Legendary Defender Official Website
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Season 2, Episode 8: "The Blade of Marmora"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Season 1, Episode 1: "The Rise of Voltron"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Season 1, Episode 10: "Collection and Extraction"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Season 1, Episode 11: "The Black Paladin"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Season 1, Episode 4: "The Fall of the Castle of Lions"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Season 2, Episode 4: "Greening the Cube"
  11. Season 1, Episode 3: "Return of the Gladiator"
  12. 12.0 12.1 Season 1, Episode 2: "Some Assembly Required"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Season 1, Episode 9: "Crystal Venom"
  14. Season 2, Episode 6: "The Ark of Traujeer"
  15. Season 2, Episode 12: "Best Laid Plans"
  16. Legendary Defender: "Volume 1 Issue 4"
  17. 17.0 17.1 Season 2, Episode 1: "Across the Universe"


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