This probably won’t make sense to anyone who isn’t me, but let me try.
I was trying to explain my position the other day in a discussion about dusttale and Papyrus’s likeliness to be a willing co-conspirator in that kind of situation.
I was trying to express my opinion that even if there was an endless cycle of genocide runs and both brothers somehow remembered them, and even if all hope was lost, the second such a plan was actually vocalized, I felt like Papyrus would decide there had to be another way. He would never go through with it or support it unless he was completely corrupted beyond recognition (even if he was of sound mind but completely compromised morals). I was trying to express a very difficult to explain series of headcanons and analysis, which made this a personal exception, even though I enjoy Papyrus crisis-of-faith plots, angst, face heel turns, and the brothers actually being on the same page. I was trying to be both eloquent and elaborative.
But instead all my mind could conjure up was a scene of sweet, sweet sibling hypocrisy.
I suppose that’s as good a reason as any not to murder everyone you’ve ever known and corrupt the very culmination of your being in a bloody, dusty final stand.
One thing I’ve always wanted to clear up is the ‘Keith is cold-hearted’ thing. I can see how the scene of him being ready to leave Allura behind might come across as such, to quote Hunk: “Keith, that’s cold-hearted even for you.”
But that is not how things actually are. Let me explain why he acted the way he did back then, because Keith has had just as many emotions about it as everyone else.
Keith is rational, observant and tends to state stuff exactly as it is, with all facts lied out to make sure that everyone gets the whole picture. (see: how he explained his board in s1e1, how he argues with Lance at the beginning of s1e3 etc.) He has been known to accept critique pretty well - he actively tries to work on his temper (“patience yields focus”) and accepted that Lance’s plan was better than his in s1e7. In turn, however, he expects people to treat him the same way. If there isn’t any evidence to contradict it, he takes things people tell him at face value and accepts them as facts. It is one of the reasons him and Lance clash often, Keith can be found constantly correcting Lance’s statements and Lance doesn’t appreciate that.
This is coupled with his rational personality. I have no doubt that part of that comes from having been forced to grow up without a family and people to comfort him when he was feeling lost, he has had to deal with reality screwing him over quite a lot of times already. He is extremely cautious and protective of his friends when a possible threat appears (see: how he placed himself in front of the team when Klaizap appeared in s1e2), probably exactly because he knows that when they are gone, they are gone. That happened to his dad, that happened to Shiro.
And now he thinks the same thing has happened to Allura.
It is not that he doesn’t want to help her - because he does. He really does, he even said so himself. (And he wasn’t lying. We all know that Keith is an absolutely horrible liar.) In his mind, there were four facts battling with one another: 1) I want to save my friend; 2) “the ship that is headed to Zarkon’s central command?” “the place that’s way too dangerous for us to attack?” (a direct quote from an exchange between Hunk and Keith from s1e10. Keith had accepted that information a fact); 3) we are fighting against an enemy we know next to nothing about; and 4) I am responsible for the entire universe and I can only protect it with Voltron, for which Allura technically isn’t essential.
So he stands there and goes through all the facts. And he comes to the - absolutely logical - conclusion that it is too dangerous to go to Zarkon’s headquarters. He could lose even more friends. He could lose the universe’s only hope. So he does what he always does: suppress his emotions for the greater good. He did that there, he did it when he decided to give up the blade in s2e8.
But then the others turn against him. We can’t see his face when they begin to vehemently protest against his statement-
-but I have no doubt that it would be serious and reflective. The backlash would have made him reconsider the conclusion he had come to. Because that’s what he does when he faces critique: take a step back and reevaluate. Obviously, fact 2) wasn’t quite right. [Also note how open his body language is, he is more than willing to discuss this.]
And once the execution of their plan starts, which means an actual chance for getting his friend back, he is right at the front of the group again.
Keith isn’t cold-hearted. Not at all. Does this look like the face of a cold-hearted person to you?
Because that is the face he made when he came to the conclusion that it would be too dangerous to save Allura. He is not happy about it. He genuinely believed that she was already lost and they were about to condemn the universe for a suicide rescue mission. If there is anything he can do to save his friends, he will do it. Like, seriously - he had never seen Zarkon before that episode. For all he knew, Zarkon could be 5ft tall, wield magic and be immortal. But as soon as he saw a normal-sized Galra in armor, Zarkon suddenly became less of an abstract concept and more of something that he has an actual fighting chance against. Look at how his attitude towards him changed in season 2, at the end of it he volunteered to infiltrate Zarkon’s base on his own!
(Also. He was the one that asked Allura if she was sure that she wanted to come with them: “I’m sorry, princess, did you say ‘we’?!” in s1e10. He was worried for her. There is no way he didn’t want her back.)
Keith constantly watches out for the greater good. It’s what he told Pidge when she wanted to leave to go look for her family - “everyone in the universe has families!” - and what he did when he gave up finding out about his past in the Trials of Marmora. He pushes his own emotions down because he genuinely believes one person’s life and/or comfort isn’t worth putting the entire universe at risk. And that does not equal being cold-hearted.
tl;dr: Keith has had perfectly valid reasons why he hesitated to go on the rescue mission. He wanted her back just as much as everyone else. He is not a cold-hearted asshole.
What if Ventus has been having nightmares this whole time
Because he’s traumatized by all the stuff that happened in Birth by Sleep
And he’s been seeing reiterations of what happened so many times that they start to warp and they’re telling different stories
So now Ven doesn’t know what’s real or what to trust anymore, his dreams are slowly derailing further and further from the truth
Things like people’s actions and words start to get mixed up, was it Terra or Aqua who first warned him about Vanitas, did he really meet up with the others in Radiant Garden at all, how much did he enjoy growing up with Terra, Aqua, and Eraqus, again
Did Master Eraqus talk about eventually killing Ventus regularly or is that his imagination
Did Aqua leave him in Castle Oblivion to protect him or to make him a prisoner again
((oh she gets smiles out of him all the time, she’s even gotten him to laugh his ass off a few times while they were on break. took her a while to get the first one, but after that…
easiest/fastest way to get that to happen? well her singing never seems to fail, and the way she tells some of her stories is just naturally hilarious. nobody believes her when she says she gets him to smile on an almost daily basis.))
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unrelated but in ‘say no to this’ maria sings “beatin’ me, cheatin’ me, mistreatin’ me” and in queen’s ‘another one bites the dust’ the lyrics are “you can beat him, you can cheat him, you can treat him bad”