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This article is about the prince of the Galra Empire as he appears in Legendary Defender. For a list of other meanings, see Lotor (disambiguation).

Emperor Lotor is the emperor and former prince of the Galra Empire, and son of Zarkon. He was slated to take over his father's role after Zarkon's obsession with the Black Lion, coupled with aid from the Galra rebel faction called the Blade of Marmora and their allies, led to the emperor's defeat at the hands of the Voltron team. With Zarkon in a comatose state under the care of Haggar, the witch had ordered the Empire's commanders to summon the prince. He was accompanied by his four generals Acxa, Ezor, Zethrid, and Narti. After Zarkon awoke he dismissed Lotor from his duties and then declared open season on his life, even going as far as to track him down himself. With his generals turning against him and forced into a corner, Lotor assists the Voltron Coalition to win a harrowing battle at the last second and offers a truce. After being double-crossed during a prisoner exchange between Zarkon and the paladins for Samuel Holt, Lotor engages in a fierce battle against his father, ultimately killing Zarkon. With the Empire in turmoil after Zarkon's death, Lotor participates in the Kral Zera, a coronation ceremony in which a new emperor or empress of the Empire is crowned. After engaging in a fierce duel against Sendak, Lotor lights the Kral Zera and is officially coronated as the new emperor of the Galra Empire. During season 6, it is revealed that Lotor was both deceiving and using Team Voltron the entire time as well as harvesting Alteans for their quintessence. He then tricked the paladins into helping him enter the rift between realities where he ultimately was stranded after being defeated in a battle against Voltron, which beat his Sincline Mech.

Appearance

Lotor's appearance bears little in common with that of the average Galran, aside from his long limbs, lavender skin, and yellow sclera. His mane of white hair is usually kept slicked back over his shoulders with a single forelock hanging down over his face. When piloting his ship or in the gladiatorial arena, he keeps his hair tucked under a helmet. Unlike the average Galran, his eyes possess visible pupils and irises, which accentuate his rather cunning and snide facial expressions. Lotor's long, elfin face is framed by long, saber-like pointed ears that rise above his high cheekbones. He possesses Altean markings, which deviate from the common sickle-shaped markings most Alteans possess, his own being larger and arguably more jagged. It is up to speculation on whether or not these markings are always present and merely blend into his skin, or if they only exist as the "Mark of the Chosen".

Lotor's build is lean, quick, and deceptively powerful, as he was strong enough to cleave Throk's blade in two with a single-armed stroke of his blade - a feat not easily achieved by contemporary human swordsmen.

Lotor commonly wears a custom suit of Galran armor. It bears a great resemblance to the uniforms of his personal generals, being black, dark indigo, and accented with blue and orange, unlike the fatigues of his father's standard soldiers.

Personality

Unlike his father, Zarkon, Lotor sees no point in suppressing those he conquers. Rather, he prefers to amplify his strength by instilling goodwill in those under the Galra Empire's rule, sparing his enemies in exchange for loyalty and service. This is a far cry from his father's methods. However, Lotor is also quite brutal in his personality, as evidenced by him dropping the cybernetic arm of the soldier that Haggar sent to tail and observe him at her feet. Throk experienced a tandem of these traits during his dealings with Lotor: publicly he was defeated and spared from death by Lotor to gain greater support from the Galra people, only to assign him to what Throk considered to be the worst post in the Empire, the item he was protecting stolen by Lotor's own soldier, and was then both tortured and killed by Haggar for his failure which had been set up by the Prince. Also, he killed Narti after believing she was spying on him for Haggar, an action seen as brash by his team.

Lotor is willing to admit when a strategic withdrawal from battle is acceptable. This contrasts greatly with his father's brutal berserker philosophy in combat, where Zarkon would sacrifice anything, including himself, in order to achieve a goal. Lotor's greater patience allowed him to survive direct combat with the Lions of Voltron on multiple occasions, with the most damage being done to him being the freezing of a wing of his personal fighter ship.

Lotor is rather tough to read, his motives being difficult to decipher based on his fluid and changeable tactics, thus his behavior is inconsistent with his actions. As a tactician, this makes Lotor very skilled, if not bordering on genius. Lotor is also quite patient, being willing to observe his enemies, drawing them out, and engaging once he has a firm grasp of their tactics, indicating that he prefers to have the edge and control in most situations, battling on his terms alone.

One aspect of Lotor's personality that appears to be atypical of those of the Galra Empire of high standing and rank is his lack of bigotry towards Galran of mixed heritage. This can be seen in his hand-picked generals, as they have been stated to be exclusively of mixed heritage. This shows that Lotor values diversity on his force, which fits well with his mindset as a fluid and cunning strategist, keeping his tactics unpredictable and adaptive. His lack of hostility towards those who are only part Galran is most likely due to his own heritage status, being half Galran and half Altean. However, upon realizing Narti was turned into a mole within his ranks, Lotor viciously cut her down, displaying a very cold and pragmatic side of himself as well. This shows that Lotor will sacrifice his most trusted generals to ensure his survival, prompting Acxa, Zethrid, and Ezor to turn on him.

Lotor is known to revere and study his Altean ancestry, hoping to find clues to solving the problem of extracting quintessence without the cost of lives and entire planets. He has been shown to consider himself unworthy of the secrets of Altean alchemy due to giving into his more violent roots, attacking the guardian of this treasured knowledge, and praising Allura for her commitment to the pacifistic ways of their ancestors. His interactions with Allura since joining forces with the Voltron Alliance have been known to be diplomatic, polite, and kind. He sees himself and Allura as being capable of succeeding at creating a stable alliance where their fathers failed so miserably.

Lotor's relationship with his father is strained at best, and following his mother's discovery of the transreality comet in his possession, Zarkon ordered his murder, declaring Lotor to be an enemy of the state. Following Zarkon's betrayal of the prisoner exchange between the Paladins and himself, Lotor dueled his father with the Black Bayard that was loaned to him by Shiro. The duel resulted in Zarkon's death by Lotor's hands, proving that Lotor held his father in the utmost contempt to the point of committing patricide.

During season 6, it is shown that Lotor is capable of loving another being as is seen when, after coming back from the quintessence field with Allura, he slowly grew attracted to her to the point where he kissed her and even confessed that his feelings for her were true. However, all of what Lotor said was nothing more than a ruse as it was later revealed that he is not above sacrificing other innocents to get what he wants as was the case when he sacrificed thousands of Alteans in order to harvest their quintessence. Though his love for her shown to be genuine (as he visibly brokenhearted when Allura rejected her and deemed him as bad as Zarkon), the said love was ultimately outweighed by his ruthless ambitions that he turned on her without hesitation.

More of Lotor's personality is shown when, after Allura compared him to his father during his and his generals' fight with Voltron, Lotor appeared to snap simply at the possibility that he had become his father. As a result, Lotor also showed a more deranged and insane side of his personality, though this may have been due to exposure of the quintessence field since it was enough for him to be driven to the brink of madness as was shown by his violently assaulting Voltron over and over with his ship. Given that Lotor was born after Zarkon and Honerva were corrupted, all the excess Quintessence in their bloodstream was passed down to him, which could explain his own corruption and obsession with the substance. However, it can be argued that the true reason of Lotor's ruthlessness and mental instability was because of his traumatic upbringing which led to his lack of ability to truly trust anyone and complex to be seen as an individual separate from his parents and worthy to exist. In either way, Lotor had proved himself to be one of Team Voltron's most deadly and unpredictable enemies.

Abilities

Intellect

Lotor has demonstrated that he is extremely intelligent and a cunning strategist. He is a tactician of considerable skill, capable of quickly analyzing and countering his opponent's tactics, and altering his own to remain unpredictable.

Lotor's tactics include the use of probing attacks in order to gauge his opponents' strengths, weaknesses, and even their identities. His indirect methodology makes him hard to follow. He is an astute judge of his enemies, able to understand that the Paladins he fought against were not the ones who defeated his father based on their cohesion as a team. Lotor prefers to pick his battlefield, playing his enemies for fools, taking time to observe them, their methods, and more. Lotor is unlike any enemy that the Paladins have faced before, in that he emphasizes intelligence over brute military force, his methods being more akin to a snake than a dragon, as he weaves his way around his enemies before crushing them from all sides and going in for the kill.

Additionally, he is a master orator, able to inspire thousands of his people in the gladiatorial arena following his apparent mercy to Throk. Lotor's gift of eloquence allows him to seduce his followers, ensnaring their sense of loyalty to his own ends.

Swordsmanship

LotorThrokDuel

Lotor dueling Throk for the Galra throne

Aside from his intellect, Lotor is a master swordsman. In his debut, he illustrates his skill with a one-handed sword, disarming and defeating an opponent of much greater size. His technique is shown to be fluid, wasting little energy on power over grace in his swordsmanship. Lotor's grace and agility may be great, but his raw power as a swordsman allowed him to cut through Throk's blade with a single slash, bringing the treacherous Galra general to his knees.

Lotor's personal weapon is an oddity among his people: unlike the single-edged backswords that are normal among the Galra, Lotor favors a double-edged blade with a guard that angles downward toward the hilt, resembling an Altean broadsword. This blade is also incredibly durable, able to cut through standard-issue Galran swords with no visible wear or tear, and is incredibly fine tuned to Lotor, allowing him to wield it like an extension of his body.

Piloting

S3E03 - Lotor - 16

Lotor fighting solo against the Voltron Force

Lotor is shown to be an extremely competent pilot, taking his own personal fighter out to face the Paladins alone. It is during this battle that he is able to easily maneuver around the Lions, avoiding their attacks and even causing them to attack each other, so much so that Hunk eventually remarks that he believes Lotor is "toying" with them. After luring the Paladins to the planet Thayserix, Lotor's evasion tactics and piloting skills are shown again, as he continually conceals himself among the planet's gasses before flying into the haphazard formation of the Lions, catching them off-guard and goading them to attack him. He is also able to effortlessly pursue Allura while in his fighter, chasing after and separating her from the rest of the Paladins.       

Enhanced Strength

Lotor has been shown to be quite powerful in terms of brute strength despite his emphasis on grace and form in his fighting style. He is clearly a physical specimen, being in peak conditioning, but his slender body belies his insane degree of physical strength. This can be seen in his duel with his father Zarkon, who has been shown to be on par with a Voltron lion in combat due to his quintessence-enhanced physical conditioning and abilities. This marks Lotor as being almost on the same level as his father, as he was able to hold his ground against his father's overwhelming might.

Notes

  • According to series staff, Lotor is 10,000 years old because he was already conceived by the time Honerva entered the rift on Daibazaal.[2] He was born after she became Haggar and admits to living several centuries' worth of time. The exposure to Quintessence of the rift, which has become part of his DNA, allows him to retain a youthful appearance, as his body ages at a much slower rate than other Galra.[2]
    • Allura was born before Lotor, but because she was put in a stasis sleep for 10,000 years and he instead experienced those 10,000 years' worth of time, Lotor is older than her.
  • Lotor is double-jointed at his shoulders.
  • Unlike his original counterpart, Lotor shows no obsession towards Allura. His love for her is treated as genuine, as confirmed by series staff.[3]
  • According to Montgomery, the main reason why Lotor became the person he is now was his traumatic upbringing: Abandoned by his biological parents, Lotor was forced to survive on his own, even if it means manipulating others to get what he wanted. She further elaborated that had Lotor raised by genuinely loving parental figures like Allura, Lotor would likely grow into a much better person.[4]
    • Both Montgomery and Dos Santos also added that in this way, both Lotor and Keith's upbringings are indirectly parallel to each other (in Keith's case, he never met his mother until events of Bloodlines and lost his father at a young age). In fact, had Shiro never enter his life and supported him, Keith would likely ended up become as bad as Lotor.

References

  1. The Space Between Realities | DREAMWORKS VOLTRON LEGENDARY DEFENDER
  2. 2.0 2.1 AfterBuzzTV: Voltron Legendary Defender Season 5 Episodes 1 & 2 Review & Reaction with Joaquim Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery - 00:13:00 - Transcript:
    Lauren: "Being in her womb as she was being exposed to all this quintessence it's like, it's part of his DNA. It almost puts him on a level with Allura who—In which her quintessence is definitely part of her DNA. So it's uh, interesting to see."
    Joaquim: "And it's allowed him to stay so beautifully young this entire time."
    Lauren: "Yes, beautifully young. He's aged at a much slower rate than your average Galra."
  3. Den of Geek: "Voltron’s Message of Love", June 2018
  4. Voltron: The Ultimate Downfall of Lotor