Keith’s Galra DNA
So this is a long one, but I think it’s important.
This will go in the “Headcanon” category. If you want to take this idea and expand upon it, please do! Tag me so I can see what you create! And HERE are my other headcanons!
I was sitting in a science class, thinking about Voltron, as you do. And a theory came up and hit me out of nowhere.
Now, I’m no biology major. But we’re talking about a show with giant space robot lions forming to make a giant space robot man piloted by an escaped prisoner with a magic/tech arm and four teenagers. I don’t think scientific accuracy is our main concern.
We know Keith is part Galra. We just don’t know how much. A lot of people are going for the 75/25 split in favor of human, because of how he looks. This is called phenotype - how our genes are expressed outwardly. But phenotype is determined by dominant and recessive genes. The genotype is what the DNA is actually made of.
With that in mind, you can have a 50/50 split in favor of Galra, with human being all dominant. With all the aliens out there that are even vaguely human-looking (with face structure, body structure, etc), it seems like human-like traits seem to be dominant in this universe’s genome. And we see Keith having human traits in the dominant form - dark hair, dark eyes. So we can think that most, if not all of Keith’s Galra DNA is in the recessive form in the genotype. It’s there, we just don’t see it. It could even be a 75/25 split in favor of Galra instead of human, but all be hidden. This is why some children look so much like one parent and almost nothing like the other.
So now that we’ve got the science out of the way, let’s talk about the Blade of Marmora episode and get some theories going.
Imagine Keith’s blade triggering the Galra DNA in his system, pulling it from genotype to phenotype. All the Galra traits were there, but they were all in the recessive form. The magic purple flash changed them all from recessive to dominant. That’s not exactly how our DNA works, but we also have this quintessence stuff that turned him a bit purple? We’re talking about alien biology, cut me some slack.
But this switch wouldn’t happen instantly (like we all wanted and made edits of). It would take time for the biology to catch up.
And that’s the transformation we wanted.
Imagine Keith getting super hungry, his body craving the nutrients to grow ears, claws, a new set of teeth, maybe a tail. With all the hand-to-hand combat he does, he must burn a lot of calories already. He goes to each meal eating three bowls of food goo, begging Hunk to make something with a lot of calcium because he’s so hungry. But once his body has stored up enough, the hunger disappears. He starts to feel nauseated. Who knows what a Galra diet entails, but it’s certainly not food goo.
Imagine him waking up to find that his body is itching from starting to sprout a fine layer of purple hair. He tries to shave it off his face, but it grows back by the end of the day (I mean, come on, they have to have razors on the castleship. There’s no way all of them stay so cleanly shaven, even if you go to the extreme and only count Shiro and Coran growing facial hair).
As his ear biology shifts, his hearing goes out of commission for a while. He tries to read lips, and it works pretty well, but you can’t read lips over an intercom through the Lions. The same thing happens with his eyes. The corners of them start to turn yellow, and his vision blurs as his actual eye is changing.
His jaw would start to ache like getting wisdom teeth, except for his entire mouth, until one day while he’s brushing them in the morning, they start to fall out. Depending on how different Galra bone structure is, he could even be incapacitated for a few days. We never see what a Galra foot looks like, or if their skull structure is different for the ears. He might even grow to a more Galra height, making him even more hungry.
I imagine that he would stay vaguely human-like. He wouldn’t change into an Ulaz-looking Galra, but a much more human-looking Galra. Short for a Galra, tall for a human, and much more human facial features. He’d keep his iconic mullet (even it turned just a tad bit more purple), his gloves would accentuate the aesthetic of claws, he’d even be able to master the very annoyed Galra snarl with the sharp teeth poking out. He would still look like Keith.
To end on a happy note, imagine the entire Voltron team being there for him during this transformation. Hunk would make him the most nutrient-packed meals he can manage, making sure to blend them up into a smoothie so his teeth don’t hurt. Pidge would dive into the science behind it, and even though Keith doesn’t fully understand, it’s somewhat comforting to know that someone does. Lance would absolutely be the personal cheerleader, always talking about how cool it is to have a Galra on their team and all the advantages it brings. Shiro would not only be the King of Moral Support but also help with the physical aspects. He’d train with Keith every day to help him adjust to the new Galra body. Coran would spout the history of Galra before Zarkon started taking over the universe, telling him about their culture and all the good things about them. And after a long period of giving him the cold shoulder, Allura would finally apologize. She’d take great strides to mend the relationship, even going so far as to do research into where his mother may have gone because she knows what it’s like to lose parents. And while that’s not directly helping him with the physical pain, it’s giving him very good peace of mind.
TL;DR: If Keith is going to have a more Galra form, it would be a much more gradual and painful change than just *poof* Galra. And everyone, even Allura, would be happy to help him with it.