This article is about the lion as it appears in Voltron: Legendary Defender-related interpretations. For a list of other meanings, see Black Lion (disambiguation).

The Black Lion is one of the components of Voltron, serving as the torso and head of the giant robot, whose current Paladin is Keith. The Black Lion is the largest of the 5 Robot Lions, and can only be piloted by a person who is a natural leader, calm and collected in the face of danger.


The Black Lion has lasers that eject from its mouth. If aimed correctly, then the lasers have the ability to blow clean through a Galra ship.

Shiro, if he chooses to do so can create a jaw blade for the Black Lion. This makes close - range combat or the destruction of a full Galra commander ship easy, especially when the Black Lion is large and able to take hits.

The Black Lion would show Shiro a vision with one of its hidden abilities, its wings could expand to have several energy-bladed feathers that could destroy many ships in one pass or drastically increase the speed of travel, in Keith's case. Later, during a climatic fight against a suit of giant Robeast armor piloted by Zarkon, Shiro unlocked this weapon himself to save the others. It was also revealed that in this state the Black Lion can be enveloped in purple energy, giving the Lion a massive speed boost and seemingly the power to mystically phase through solid objects. This also allowed Shiro to take the black bayard from Zarkon who was in his armor through teleportation, and Keith to save his comrades.

While it is unknown if the bayard can grant a unique weapon by itself, when activated with the sword formed the sword was covered in a blazing aura that greatly increased the damage it dealt. When again used at the same time as the red bayard, Voltron's wings grow in size and gain booster rockets which allows the machine to fly at incredible speeds.

Finally, the wings of the Black Lion can be used as a shield when used with Voltron. This is used for defense against attacks from other ships. It was especially useful against the robot gladiator Myzax.

Ultimately, the most astonishing capability that the Black Lion possesses is not in any energy blasts, phasing powers, or superluminal space flight. Rather, Black's most mysterious and remarkable trait is its ability to preserve the consciousness of a dead or dying being within its own mind. This was done to Shiro following his death in the final strike during the Paladins' battle against Zarkon and his mech suit. Shiro's consciousness was later transferred into the body of a clone, achieved by Allura.


  • Despite being the Black Lion, the light it emits is actually purple due to black being an absence of light and purple being a very dark color. This separates it from the other four lions who emit their own signature color when powering up.
  • The Black Lion’s cockpit and contrail coloration is likely a clever twist on the overall scheme of each lion having a matching color; in this case, the Black Lion emits black light, aka ultraviolet, which in the human visual range appears as a deep purple.
  • Zarkon refers to the Black Lion as ‘him’ several times during the season two episode ‘Best Laid Plans’, though he may also be referring to Shiro as its pilot.
  • Unlike the other lions, the Black Lion has nothing resembling ears, and instead has a golden crest resembling horns or a crown, although some may argue that the 'horns' are the Black Lion's ears.
  • The Black Lion is the only one with a red nose.
  • The Black Lion is also the only one with wings, and is also the only lion with anything resembling 'eyebrows' as it has two lights above its eyes. It can also be said that it has the only thing resembling whiskers, referencing the three light lines on its cheeks.
  • Although the Black Lion has yellow, black and red, it has no green or blue on its design with the exception of the bright teal lights on its face, chest, and wings.
  • All pilots of the Black Lion have, in someway been affiliated with the Galra species,(Ex: Zarkon was the former Emperor of the Galra Empire, Shiro was captured by the Galra and had his right arm replaced with Cybernetics and Keith has a Galra mother and Human father).
VE Team Voltron in Voltron: Legendary Defender
Voltron (Black LionRed LionGreen LionBlue LionYellow Lion)
Former Paladins KeithPidgeHunkLanceAlluraShiroShiro (clone)ZarkonAlforTrigelBlaytzGyrgan
Additional Members CoranSpace MiceRover

The Black Lion is the decisive head of Voltron. It will take a pilot who is a born leader and in control at all times, someone whose men will follow without hesitation.

The Black Lion is the Lion originally piloted by Zarkon that forms the core of Voltron as its head and torso. It is found hidden in the Castle of Lions on Arus along with Allura and Coran. The new Black Paladin who pilots the Lion is Shiro until Zarkon's initial defeat and Shiro's own mysterious disappearance, when the Lion chooses Keith as its next Paladin.

Weapons & Abilities

The Black Lion is the largest of the Lions and said to be the most skilled in combat, as well as the smartest, strongest, and most difficult Lion to fly, demanding the most energy from its Paladin.[1][2]

Standard Arsenal

  • Claws: At each of the Lion's paws, tough enough to damage armor of a Galra warship.[3]
  • Tail Laser: Mounted at the tip of the Lion's tail and moderately damages targets at long range.[2]
  • Mouth Cannon: Mounted within the Lion's jaws and severely damages targets at long range.[2]
  • Jaw Blade: Summoned at the Lion's jaws, and is dual-bladed for cutting targets at close range.[1][4] It can be tossed like a boomerang.[5]
  • Force Field: When stationary, the Lion can activate an impassible energy sphere to encase and protect itself.[3][4] The force field will react to a chosen Paladin and dissipate, or be willingly disengaged by the Lion.[3]
  • Speeder: A small transportation vehicle unique in design for its Paladin to traverse environments; the speeder drops from the Lion's chest, and is stored in the Castle of Lions when the Lion is not in use, transporting the Paladin to the Lion when needed.[4][6]
  • Thrusters: Mounted on each of the Lion's back legs and on all four paws; these powerful engines are used for initiating flight, increasing speed, or slowing descent.[3][5]
  • Headlights: The eyes of the Lion can act as headlights to illuminate dark areas.[7][8]

Voltron Ability

Once Voltron is formed, the Lion allows a weapon to be summoned when combined with a Bayard.[9] The nature of the weapon depends on the Paladin wielding the Bayard, not the Bayard or Lion itself.[10] When multiple Bayards are combined with respective Lions, the summoned weapon is upgraded into a more powerful form.[11][12]

Hidden Power

The Black Lion has an affinity with the element of sky and the cosmos at large.[2] It is able to unlock a boost in power and speed that is unleashed when the Lion unfurls its wings into an expanded form called Ephemeral Blades or Bladed Wings, allowing it to vanquish enemies instantly and phase through physical objects.[13][12]

Other Abilities

  • Shield: When formed as Voltron, the Lion's wings can detach from the robot and combine together to form a shield.[9]
  • Wing Thrusters: The Lion's wings contain powerful engines for initiating flight, increasing speed, or slowing descent.[6]

Like all Lions, the Black Lion possesses some measure of sapience. It has rushed to shield Shiro from damage with its body while no one was piloting it.[9]

Through his mental connection to the Black Lion, Shiro can see through the Lion's own eyes while piloting, and the Lion is capable of instructing Shiro on the next course of action during battle; more notably, it is capable of showing Shiro images of the past within his mind, including its form as a comet prior to becoming a spacecraft, as well as images of the present, such as Zarkon's husk of a home planet outside the Lion's displays.[13] The experiences seem real enough that Shiro mistakes he flies at high speeds, feels turbulence, and actually travels from the Castle of Lions to the planet, when in reality the Lion never leaves the Castleship.

This mental connection also allows its Paladin's essence to travel to mysterious realm where if the Paladin dies, their body in the physical realm will die as well, but while they feel all pain dealt to them, the sustained wounds do not appear on the Paladin's physical body.[13]This realm was described by Shiro as being the inner quintessence of the Black Lion, which he noted to be an almost infinite void. Communication through this realm with the outside world is limited, with notable exceptions. It appears to those within it as an expanse of outer space tinged with black and purple light.



  • If all Lions are built to standard, the Lion can be entered and exited through the mouth, the top of its head, or through its chest with its speeder.[3][6][4][14] It would also have an emergency eject function to drop passengers from the cockpit floor like the Blue Lion.[3]
  • The Black Lion is the only Lion with a dual-bladed Jaw Blade.[5][4][11]
  • The Black Lion has been piloted by more Paladins than any other Lion, with Zarkon, Shiro, and Keith each piloting it.
  • At one point during production, Christine Bian, the series design supervisor, unintentionally designed the Black Lion to look like a zebra.[16]


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