If you ever ask me who’s real space dad in Voltron my input is always Coran.
Listen- if we’re determined to cast this found family in stereotypical roles that it may or may not fit, Shiro’s not dad. He’s the perfectionist oldest son everybody calls “dad” with a mix of love and exasperation because he’s trying so dang hard to be another parent when everybody actually knows he doesn’t have it in him and he’s maybe slowly falling apart from stress, and the best thing that happens to him is he learns to stop heaping more things onto his workload.
Coran’s the guy who left his destroyed planet with the unconscious body of his best friend’s daughter and who’s just trying to take care of her and support her because they’re alone out here, and he’s quietly managing his own grief more or less behind the scenes to support everyone without running himself into the ground.
And yet, with all that hanging on his head, he gets stuck on a ship with a couple of weird alien kids and by the second day he’s got them ranked by height, he gives them juiceboxes and tells them to not overwork themselves.
Coran, with very little preamble, steps up and really takes in all of the paladins. Everybody talks about who in Avatar the Voltron guys remind them of but I don’t think anybody’s pointed out that Coran in some regards is a dead ringer for Iroh: the older mentor and surrogate father to young and troubled royalty who initially reads like comic relief and is both ready and able to raise hell if properly crossed.
But it’s not just Allura that Coran is looking out for. Consider episode s1e4, where both Lance and Shiro are withdrawing from the party and upset- and who checks on both of them, but, Coran, who does so in this completely innocuous, casual manner that makes it seem like he just happened by when we actually see him take note of Lance leaving the party.
And I mean, c’mon. He does embarrassing dad things, he worries, he uses weird turns of phrase, he’s singlehandedly the backbone of the team playing Every Support Role At Once. Coran’s the real team dad.