Pink and Black: Why Allura might end up piloting the black lion after all
A lot of people were upset that Allura did not get to pilot the black lion in season 3. She has shown her abilities to lead since the paladins first arrived at her castle. She has learned to be a leader and warrior since childhood. She clearly wanted to try. So why didn’t she get the job in season 3?
I think there are several reasons that make sense story telling wise and here they are:
1. Keith: the reluctant male heir
Shiro picked Keith as his successor and surely had good intensions when doing this. It also seems logical at first sight: Keith is his right-hand man, the oldest of the paladins and therefore the successor anyone would expect. However, Shiro forgot something really important: To discuss this with the team. Sure, Hunk and Pidge were pretty happy with their lions (but so was Keith) and Lance was far from being ready to take so much responsibility but they should at least have discussed this. Shiro knows Keith best out of these four, but that makes it even more unfair if you think about it. Assigning the lions was Allura’s task in the first place, so why does Shiro do this without even consulting her? And though the others tried to sit in the lion, it was clear that none of them really expected to be chosen (except for Lance maybe) after Keith had already said Shiro wanted him to be his successor. Does Keith agree with this decision? He doesn’t and he clearly said this several times. He is reluctant even when Shiro is gone and when he returns he rather neglects and finally leaves the team than staying in a role he doesn’t want.
Just look at the change in Keith’s face when Lance calls him “leader”. And this is
after Shiro is safe and after they managed to form Voltron under his comand…
Like many I
saw season 3 as the beginning of a leadership arc for Keith: Young male
character learns how to lead the team and becomes the new hero. But in the
first episode of season 4 just terminated it. I was confused. Why interrupting
an arc like this? Sure, Keith became more of a team player in season 3, but
maybe he really does not want to lead and I think that’s totally okay. Just
because you are the oldest male on the team does not mean you need to take this
job. Not everything has to follow patriarchal line of succession.If Keith
does not return as leader this would show us that this approach needs to be questioned. In real
life women and girls are often overlooked too when it comes to assigning leading positions. In European history they pretty much always were. Maybe this refers to this.
2. Allura’s relationship with the other paladins
Allura did not have a very close relationship to the paladins in the first two seasons. Sure, they are important to her and she regards them as family but until season 4 she had not opened to them about her fears and doubts. We saw a bit of that in the season 4 finally when she shared her self-doubts with the team. We know from Pidge’s arc that only when she shared her secret with the team she was ready to become the badass she is today.
Allura is closer to the team now, not only physically. I hope they will deepen their relationships in the future. For what we know the trust of the team is crucial to the role of the leader.
3. Something earned feels much more rewarding than something given
Giving Allura the position right away would not have felt right. She basically would have gotten it for the wrong reasons: Being the daughter of the man who build the lions or filling the gap Shiro left (which is pretty much how Keith felt about it). She wouldn’t have gotten it because she’s good at it.
As a comparison, I will use something I really liked about the movie Moana. Moana, a Polynesian princess, has a strong passion for and deep connection to the ocean and would love to travel it. But the first time she gets into a boat and tries she fails miserably. She must learn how to navigate before she can fulfill the task destiny has for her. It takes her quite a while and she needs to ask for help (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?). Watching Moana learn was so much more relatable than having her excel from the beginning. She deserved to win in the end because she had to put in a lot of work.
We also know that the paladins had to learn how to pilot their lions and the switch was hard on them. Why would Allura be an exception? Also, we see in season 3 that she has won the respect of both Lance and Keith, the two guys who usually fight over who of them is the better pilot.
They acknowledge that she progresses way faster than any of them did. Continuing at this pace it just makes sense for Allura to get to pilot the black lion at some point.
Things that might hint at black paladin Allura
VLD has a lot of foreshadowing and visual hints and here is what I found on black paladin Allura so far:
Alfor sent away all the lions, except for the black one which stays in the castle with Allura and Coran. Did Alfor anticipate that destiny would just wash up five paladins to the castle ship? Maybe. But maybe he expected that the other four lions would find their paladins and come to the castle to wake the last lion and Allura. Maybe he wanted Allura to have the black lion (but then neither his AI or Coran did not mention this…).
When Allura wakes up she gets four colorful mice to keep her company who kind of resemble four of the teenage paladins. But why only four? (Okay, there were only four mice in the 80s Voltron…) Maybe this is a parallel and tells us that Allura has four mice, four paladins and herself is the fifth and strongest person in both these groups.
just be me but, I thought it was interesting how in season 3 the colors of the
paladins didn’t match anymore. They
did not change the uniforms.
Keith’s expression summarizes pretty well how I feel about mixing red & pink…
It was kind of uncomfortable and though I was excited for them that they were going beyond their comfort zones and learned something new, it looked weird. Especially Lance in the red lighting and Keith in the pink lighting made me wish they would switch back – but wait a second – you know who would really fit the pink lighting of the black lion? The girl in the pink battle suit!
I always wondered why the black lions lighting is pink/purple (okay, it’s ultra violet light, therefore invisible - but why?). In the 80s version of Voltron is was white.
Please excuse the shitty picture.
So, this might be a hint towards Shiro’s Galra arm which lights up in the same color or a hint to the uniform of the next black paladin (and Allura’s magic sometimes has the same color too!). But why not giving her the job right away in season 1 or 3? Because it makes more sense story wise to have her go through development first.
So, what now?
Currently Allura is in the blue lion, the lion who fosters abilities in a pilot who is not yet ready to believe in themselves. Give her some time in Blue before she moves on to the black lion (after whatever scary is going to happen with “Shiro” has happened - so probably not before season 6).
Then they can go and ask Keith to come back to Red and Lance can return to Blue and they can all be accordingly color coded again.
Who would be Allura’s right hand man/woman?
takes the Black lion, it is likely that Keith and Lance would return to their
respective lions. Would this make Keith her right-hand man? These two do not
really seem to complement each other very well, but maybe they will come to
terms by the time Allura takes the leader’s seat. In 80s Voltron Sven was the
right-hand man while piloting the blue lion. Maybe this means the right-hand
man, or woman for that matter, does not have to be in the red lion? I would say
anything is possible here.
Of all the
theories and meta I’ve written so far, this one seems to be the biggest reach,
but I still wanted to post it.
Also I just generally like the idea of black paladin Allura, but whatever they have in store for her will surely be cool.
As always these are just my thoughts. Thanks for reading!