*whipsers* im new in the voltron fandom and im really confused. who is Mothman?
Alrighty Anon, so this is a question I see asked/reflected in a LOT of the tags whenever I post Meithman, and as a result, I’ve actually been meaning to make a post to explain it as best I can for those folks! SO I GUESS THIS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO ACTUALLY DO IT!
The “who” is just as important, however, as the “why,” and to be frank, the “why” isn’t super clear to me, and when I go digging deeper, I feel like Tumblr isn’t actually showing all the results when I search for the truth! (CONSPIRACY!) So my information is a) not 100% certain, and b) I can’t back it up to give credit where credit is due to whoever made the first, shall we say, “connections” in building this piece of fandom lore, such as it is. I’d love to know as much as anyone!
AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE, no longer with deep-digging stripes required, by semi-popular demand!
So first off, is the answer to your ACTUAL question: WHO IS MOTHMAN?
Essentially, Mothman can perhaps best be summed up as an urban legend/cryptid with no actual canon connection to the Voltron show. That’s right, you’re not crazy, you didn’t miss something glaringly obvious! (OR DID YOU.)
[An artist’s interpretation.]
From the Wikipedia article on Mothman, “In West Virginia folklore,
the Mothman is a legendary creature
reportedly seen in the Point Pleasant area from
November 12, 1966, to December 15, 1967. The first newspaper report was
published in the Point
Pleasant Register dated November 16, 1966, titled
“Couples See Man-Sized Bird … Creature … Something”. The
national press soon picked up the reports and helped spread the story across
[What a fantastic
There were various Mothman sightings back around ‘66-’67 or so, etc, etc, and while many of those sightings are suspected of being hoaxes or misattributions of perfectly normal phenomena (as well as tricksters), the sightings were also sometimes said to precede catastrophic events, etc., leading to the additional conspiracy theory of the of a prophetic element, popularized in John A. Keel’s 1975 book, “The Mothman Prophecies,” made into a movie in 2002. (One such “linked” disaster being the collapse of the Silver Bridge, which included the very real, very tragic loss of many lives.) IIRC some conspiracy theory-type TV shows postulated that Mothman kind of “came” to the town and revealed itself as something of a warning that something bad was about to happen, while others believed Mothman somehow caused the disasters. (Ah, good old conspiracy theory TV…)
Now, with all this unrelated-to-Voltron stuff in mind, the next logical question you might be asking would, of course, be: WHY MOTHMAN?
And it’s a great one! And I’ll be honest, I probably know about as well as you do - my own assumptions are merely that: assumptions. Like most people, I saw the art/tags/head-canons and went, “…What…?” I kind of pieced together what I assume is the reasoning for how it came to be on my own - so my explanation could be spot on, or it could be way off - but I’ve seen similar opinions reflected elsewhere, so I’m fairly confident that my best guess is at least somewhat relevant to why this all came together.
[Keith reveals his chef d’oeuvre at Gallery Desert Shack, June 10th, 2016.]
Honestly, it largely comes down to Keith’s S1E1 living situation and preoccupations. Living alone in a shack in the desert, tracking conspiracies on a cork board, linked together with COLOURED FLIPPIN’ YARN FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! (And tied in weensy bows! uwu)
So, from there, if you narrow down conspiracy theorist!Keith a bit and you come to him searching, specifically, for the Blue Lion, which, on its own, basically sounds like a cryptid (cryptids, of course, being creatures who cannot be/have not been proven or disproven by science. Well-known examples include the Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch, Yeti, etc.). After all, a blue lion sounds about as likely as Bigfoot, right?
Conspiracy theorist!Keith, not too surprisingly, is often paired with conspiracy theorist!Pidge, who similarly was preoccupied with the conviction that there were aliens puttering about, having a good old chin-wag about something called Voltron, and that said aliens were, in some way, possibly connected to the disappearance of the Kerberos crew, etc.
So. Conspiracy Theorist!Keith begets General Cryptid-Seeking!Keith. You follow?
(Somewhat unrelated, but while you’re here - along a similar vein, Lance, whilst skeptical of all of this, latches on later to the idea that the Castle-Ship is haunted, which, when you float them all together, makes for a really fun paranormal investigation team AU! I like to think Hunk would be really into gemology, Allura would have some possible psychic ability, and Coran would be in charge of setting up the technical experiments & baseline tests, while Shiro would be the resident skeptic with a dark past/experience he refuses to admit was real. GOOD TIMES! But nobody asked about my random AU head-canons…)
[Honestly, THAT LIL’ BOW IS CANON. I DIDN’T ADD IT. CHECK FOR YOURSELF! KEEF TIED WEE BOWS!]
So then, why exactly did anyone arrive at focusing on Mothman specifically? I’m… not really sure. D: It’s something I’d lovet to know; I’ve tried to look into it, but, as I said, Tumblr doesn’t want me to know. Maybe because Mothman toes the line between being considered a cryptid and an alien? (There are UFO theories as well as cryptid theories regarding Mothy.) Idk. I’m pretty sure someone (I don’t know who, I’d source if I knew for certain) just kind of latched onto cryptid-seeking Keith, it evolved specifically towards a fascination with Mothman in particular, and then before you know it, other people followed suit, and then there were posts and art about Mothman’s fantastic abs, and it escalated. (Or maybe it didn’t really escalate. I don’t actually see a lot of Meithman content these days… What a loss…)
There is this line: “It’s like something… some energy was telling me to search. […] Each [carving] tells a slightly different story about a blue lion… but they all share clues, leading to some event, some arrival happening last night.”
This could be a reason as to why Mothman might have been the cryptid of focus - the prophecy connection. But I feel like this is perhaps grasping…? It could have been that someone just kinda said, “Mothman,” and it stuck. (Or, as with the Meithman valentine I posted the other day, MAYBE IT’S A MOTH-TO-A-FLAME ATTRACTION JOKE? A+ if so. If not, I feel blessed anyway. What a perfect OTP.)
I also like to think this lil’ carving of Voltron’s silhouette could be said to vaaaaguely resemble Mothman. At least in so far as it also does not really resemble Voltron either. Let’s be real though; it could also be a very distinguished looking Kaltenecker.
Anyway, fast-forward a bit through the random conception of this, and Keith pining for Mothman is suddenly a… thing… understood and accepted (well, accepted, anyway) by a large segment of the fandom, VERY MUCH NOT UNDERSTOOD by another segment, and for other people, whichever side of it they’re on, it just confuses them anyway. The fandom, therefore, is suddenly left with the pairing that, by and large, seems to be colloquially accepted as “Meithman” (though I have also seen “Meith,” “Keithman,” and “help how tf do I tag this?”).
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT. My BEST-GUESS NOT-SO-DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO HOW MEITHMAN MAY HAVE COME TO BE, UNSOURCED AND UNRELIABLE!
I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, so thanks for asking, Anon! I hope this has been enlightening and entertaining, if not precisely helpful!