Hey! First off I wanted to say that your analysis and meta posts are both very interesting and very illuminating. Which is to say they’re awesome! I’ve been trying to dabble in writing some fic on my own time and I’d been looking for decent, thorough, ACCURATE character meta posts for Lance in particular for awhile. Yours so far was the one (and a half) that I’ve found that really hit the nail on the head for me and it’s actually helped me figure out how to better write him emotionally. Thank you so much for that!
Second, I super dig all the meta. I’m hugely interested in contrasting themes and duality and I was super into how you described the Blue and Yellow Lions as being Voltron’s motion and stability, respectively. But, I didn’t see something equivalent explicitly describing what what the opposing/similar roles of the two arms are (though it’s possible I missed it I’ve been rather harried this week). I wanted to know if you had more thoughts on the subject.
On a related note, there was some subtext for common ground between Lance and Pidge that was sussed out that I also thought was interesting. You described Pidge as being adaptable, in that she can branch out into new territory and remake herself to fit the situation in a pinch. I think that’s 100% accurate to her and her element. I’ve seen people claim that the unknown virtues of the Blue Lion was adaptability before, and in a sense I also don’t think that’s entirely wrong; based on what you said, a better word for it as it encompasses Lance would probably be “flexible”.
So in theory, Pidge and Lance both share two different facets of the same trait (Pidge is adaptable and uses it defensively while Lance is flexible and uses it offensively?). Being that they’re differing limbs on opposing sides, you’d think they’d have the least in common of the paladins but I don’t think that’s quite the case. There’s possibly a diametric kind of theme to them revolving around how they operate. I was wondering if there was a similar parallel that could be made between Keith and Hunk and I wanted to know if you had any thoughts on that, too.
Sorry if it seems like a lot of nonsense but – I just really love duality themes and I feel like there’s more here. And you had a lot of interesting things to say about it already. ^^;;
So you’re suggesting that basically, besides the already established horizontal (arms vs. legs) and vertical (left vs. right) duality, there’s another duality that’s cross-body (left arm to right leg, right arm to left leg)?
Because that’s honestly a very interesting idea. As you say, there’s a bit of similarity in Lance and Pidge, but also some distinctions.
I’d agree with what you say about flexibility vs. adaptability. Because Pidge has this thing of changing character- reinventing herself, even at the cost of sacrificing things that she really values.
We’re shown that cutting her hair was a sacrifice, though I don’t think at this point we have the context to understand exactly what she was giving up or setting aside for her mission. I personally like the theory of trans girl Pidge, because I feel like that explains it nicely- Pidge is setting aside the, potentially hard fought presentation she prefers and is most comfortable with to find her family. It also explains how her telling the team that she’s a girl comes after she’s decided to think of them as family, too.
(also it just makes… Allura’s whole approach to the situation infinitely more comfortable to me, because it suggests that 1. it’s likely the mice know because Pidge talked to them the way she tends to talk to a lot of things that she doesn’t think can necessarily understand her, like Rover or the space caterpillars, and 2. it frames Allura as trying to respect Pidge but also encourage her that she can trust Allura with the pronouns she’s more comfortable with, that she may have already mentioned to the mice.
If Pidge is dfab and the mice knew her “secret” by looking at her body, not only is that a rather uncomfortable invasion of privacy in and of itself, but Allura’s pushiness gets real, egh, because as a dfab demiboy I know I would really not appreciate someone trying to encourage me into telling them that I’m a girl, because I’m not.)
But that all aside- adaptability is Pidge’s thing. She changes in order to proceed in her given environment.
Conversely, Lance is much more flexible, in the sense of… Lance never really leaves his core. We don’t see him really reimagine his behavior or appearance and there isn’t much to suggest he reinvents himself. He has an American accent but that doesn’t suggest he consciously got rid of a different Cuban accent- there’s lots of ways that could’ve happened, and Lance otherwise is completely comfortable making it clear where he’s from.
So this would suggest the idea there’s some thread of commonality between Keith and Hunk.
…Possibly, opposing Lance and Pidge’s shared category- Keith and Hunk are both people who are very confident and do great in their favored environment, but, outside of that- struggle a lot- Hunk is anxious and hesitant unless he’s in an area of personal mastery in which case he’s unstoppable, Keith is a real hotshot right up until he’s in say, a social get-together and “I. don’t. usually hug strangers…”
And it makes sense elementally, albeit in different ways. Hunk’s earth element makes sense that he, well, needs a foundation to operate comfortably. With Keith, it’s more a matter of, well, fire actually has a lot of needs- oxygen, fuel, and heat, in the right balance, or it’s very easily snuffed out.
It’d also fit because it’s another axis where Shiro fits smoothly in the middle- usually, Shiro is pretty flexible and versatile, as evidenced by his fighting style, but, there’s certain situations where he is intensely vulnerable to things throwing him off his groove (see: Beta Traz)
I’ve seen a couple of posts of Lance having healing powers with the idea of him basically being a martyr where using his power at all places serious hazards on him and overusing it hurts him, and while that’s a cool idea and a possible jumping-off-point to explore Lance’s lack of self worth, I feel like… it doesn’t really fit with him.
I feel like if you’re going to explore a narrative of self-sacrifice for the benefit of the team I’d look a lot more at Shiro and Allura who are very bad at burying their issues and internalizing them.
thanks for the post about black paladin lance! i love him but find that a lot of the meta is more about confirming his insecurities than defying them? like the only way for lance to feel better about himself is to be chosen over keith for something when i think the show would more go the route of lance realizing they're equals and letting go of that need to one-up him (barring lighter things like the spore ball battle). also, the point about being able to lead from other lions is spot on!
Right, and I think it ignores that… Shiro is just as daunting a figure as Keith. Because Lance’s rivalry with Keith to a certain degree really isn’t about Keith- other times, Keith is his friend, someone who he has no qualms admitting to the good qualities of or even bragging about how cool Keith is (see: S2e10). He likes Keith.
What he doesn’t like is feeling like he can never escape this attitude of being second-best. Commander Iverson talks Keith up as the Garrison’s golden boy, the best pilot of their class, and Iverson’s hard to impress. He basically suggests Lance is just bargain bin Keith.
And that’s the issue. It’s not that it’s Keith, it’s that Keith is good, and talented, and people celebrate those talents, and Lance can see why! He knows Keith is a good pilot! Compared to himself- Lance is excellent at spotlighting and identifying the good qualities of others. He has a very good read on people.
But when we see Lance buttering himself up- he doesn’t usually identify specific qualities. On the Beta Traz mission when he says that sharpshooting is his thing, Pidge’s response is “Since when?” and that’s kind of how the audience feels as well.
Lance has been a good shot for a while- as early as s1e5, he hits Sendak at center mass when he’s barely conscious. But Lance trying to specifically identify what his role in the team is, it being mentioned- that’s a new development and it’s not obvious, which is why he’s insecure. Lance is good at reading other people. He’s not so good at reading himself and that leads to him having this doubt that maybe his good qualities aren’t there. It doesn’t help that Allura passed over him and, seemingly, he hasn’t worked up the nerve to specifically ask either her or Coran what are the virtues of the Blue Lion.
If Black had chosen Lance right away, I think his reaction would be a little like Hunk’s- “wait, me?” but it would help with his attitude. As it is? Her choosing him now would just fill his perception bias that all his hard work and accomplishments just make him second best. Only this time he’s not being second-best to Keith, he’s being second-best to Shiro. Black wants Shiro back- because let’s be honest, Shiro really touched Black’s heart in s2e7. If Black does work with anyone in Shiro’s absence, it’s going to be pretty clear that she’s missing Shiro deeply.
Lance wouldn’t want to aggrandize himself by dancing on Shiro’s figurative space grave like that*. Moreover, it’d just feed right back into- he’s discount Shiro now, he guesses. Trying awkwardly to replace someone he admires and really does care about isn’t going to make him feel better about himself, it’s going to make him feel worse because he can’t be Shiro and it’d feel wrong to try.
*not to be an alarmist- I’m firmly of the frame of mind that Shiro’s not remotely out of the game here- but just, him disappearing with no warning or leads will seem bleak to the team, so that’s how it would seem to Lance.
Ever notice how people who make a big fuss over the tiniest things are usually silent when it comes to serious issues? I've noticed the people who are quick to cry antisemitism over villainous /ugly characters being given big noses ,cry rape culture/sexism over "manspreading" or cry homophobia over a fictional LGBT+ pairing NOT made canon are completely silent when it comes to actual antisemitism/homophobia/sexism/racism. Especially when its being perpetuated by nonwhites/nonchristians
You’re talking to the person that’s been attacked by Jumblr for daring to say that it’s not right for Jews to automatically hate non-Jews, Jumblr using that as an excuse to call me a Nazi apologist, and yet when I was busy arguing with actual Nazis and showing others how vile Nazis are, when actual Nazis were busy calling me a kike and sent me death wishes, not a single member of Jumblr came to stand up for me or show solidarity.
Those people spend all their time in the “antisemitism” tag, and they saw that. I know that they did. But because they’re so wrapped up in virtue-signalling and obsessing over the best way to justify feeling like perma-victims, hating others and spreading hate, they would rather dismiss me as a Nazi apologist for daring to not tow the party line and then conveniently ignore that I’m one of the very few openly Jewish Tumblr users to actually tackle and condemn Nazis to their faces.
You know, in the past I’ve said that these people will jump to attack as long as the perpetrators of bigotry are white, Right-leaning and/or Christian, but I was wrong. That’s not true. They’re not even happy to do that.
All they do is attack white, Right-leaning and/or Christian bigots that are in the news. As long as they’re not real people on Tumblr.
They only go over people that they can pretend are guilty of the smallest possible infractions against their oh-so-fragile sensibilities, because they’re nothing but cowards. They’ll gang together and cluck their tongues and spread their hate that way because they’re entirely confident that nothing bad could possibly happen to them.
They pretend to care about the issues. They virtue-signal until their blue in their fake “I’m so pure” masks, but at the end of the day, they’re worthless, bullying cowards.
And when I realised this recently, it made sense that these kinds of people attacked me, my friends or others like me. They know that we’re too moral to do anything more than condemn them.
Do you think that Lance and Hunk will ever get storylines? Or did S2 set up Keith, Allura and Shiro as the definitive leads of the show?
…Balmera arc and mermaid planet confirmed to have never happened I guess. Also Lance’s consistent insecurity, Hunk coming into his own power and overcoming his motion sickness and anxiety to steadily gain in willpower and resolve when he was the least eager to fight the empire in the first place.
Plot threads with Lance that I think are in our future:
Earth is personal to almost the whole team, but especially to Lance. Whenever Earth becomes plot relevant again, which, boy howdy will it, it’s going to be a big deal for Lance.
The still unknown virtues of the Blue Lion.
Overlapping a bit with Keith’s development: if I’m right in my theory that the Blue Lion had a major role in how Keith got on Earth in the first place then a pretty significant chunk of Keith’s history is only accessible through Lance.
Lance’s sense of self-worth.
Lance near-singlehandedly secured the alliance of the entire mermaid planet, so any future plot with the mermaids aside- guy’s a diplomatic force to be reckoned with.
Zarkon is a villainous counterpart to Shiro and both are currently out of the picture. What we’ve seen of Lotor so far is he’s heavily associated with the color blue, is seemingly unlikely and/or overshadowed by his father (“this little fellow”) and is incredibly charismatic and well-spoken. I have very good reason to believe Lance’s villainous counterpart has made his appearance now and Lance is accordingly going to shift into prominence and match against Lotor directly in a similar vein to how Zarkon and Shiro were matched off in seasons 1 and 2.
We still don’t know the original planet and people of the Blue Lion, which could be a major arc for Lance if the assumption is Olkarion was the original planet of the Green Lion (and a location where Pidge had a major character arc)
Plot threads with Hunk that I think are in our future:
The whole implications in space mall and the idea that the galra may actually be struggling to really have and hold onto their own culture, despite their relative position of dominance- and how Hunk has someone who now admires him deeply.
The Yellow Lion being Alfor’s, and Alfor having had some plot-relevant information that apparently needed to be hidden- telling us that at some point the heroes are gonna want that information.
Putting a different spin on that: Hunk is the same magic profile as the architect of Voltron, so secrets of Voltron’s construction (you know, kinda the namesake of the show and the main weapon of the heroes) would probably feature Hunk pretty dang heavily.
In GoLion/DotU, there’s a point where the castle is completely destroyed and rebuilt. Pidge is not the only resident scientist and also she’s more of a hacker, Hunk is the team engineer.
It’s heavily implied that Altea was the original planet of the Yellow Lion so there’s a lot of potential for bonding with Coran and Allura and exploring their characters more.