VOLTRON WIKI ARTICLE
|“||You want to see my power? The strength of the Empire flows through my veins, and you will feel its wrath!||”|
Zarkon was the ruthless and overbearing ruler of the Galra Empire and had been ruling into the present day for 10,000 years. He was once the a Paladin of Voltron as The pilot of the Black Lion until he attempted to use Quintessence to save his wife Honerva which resulted in them both being corrupted by it, turning Zarkon into the heartless warlord he was known as. After a battle with the new Paladins of Voltron, he was gravely injured and his son Lotor took control of the empire, until he returned and retook command, naming his own son a traitor to the Empire and for him to be killed on sight. In a final battle, Zarkon fought his son, yet was overcome and finally killed by Lotor, his death splintering the Galra Empire.
Originating from the planet Daibazaal, Zarkon was originally a freedom fighter alongside King Alfor of Altea and three others from different planets, despite their planets' histories of fighting one another. One night a comet fell from the sky while they were having dinner together. The people of Altea studied the unknown substance from the comet itself while the people of Daibazaal studied the crater it left since it seemed to lead to another world. After many years of experimenting, during which Zarkon married an Altean alchemist named Honerva, an unknown life form escaped from the rift. Worried this might doom their universe, Alfor presented five ships that he made from the comet, The Five Lions of Voltron, and Zarkon became the Black Paladin. Together they formed Voltron and destroyed the creature.
After the fight, Alfor suggested to close the rift to prevent more creatures coming through but Zarkon refused, fearing he'd lose the new power source it provided. This created a slight rift between the two.
Despite this they used Voltron along with the other Paladins to bring peace to the Galaxy over many years. However he and his wife grew obsessed with the power of Quintessence, as well as the possibility of it giving them immortality. Honerva grew ill during her studies and Zarkon tricked the other Paladins into going into the rift in an attempt to cure her, but they were both exposed to an overdose of the substance and the creatures they once fought.
Presumed dead, Alfor evacuated the planet and gave orders to destroy it in order to close the rift forever. However the two woke up, corrupted by the Quintessence, and rallied their armies to take revenge for their planet by destroying Altea, killing his former friend and enslaving the Galaxy.
But King Alfor hid the Lions of Voltron from him, to prevent him from opening another rift. However, this also meant that Zarkon's campaign of terror ran unopposed for centuries. At some point during this Zarkon had a son named Lotor who was later exiled from the empire for unknown reasons.
Allura's surprise on learning that Zarkon still lives after so many millennia suggests that his lifespan is not natural to the Galra species; it is currently unknown how he has managed to survive for so long. It is hinted that his absorption and harvesting of Quintessence may be partially responsible due to its regenerative properties, as witnessed by Keith when a container of the substance ruptured and healed his horribly burned hand. It was discovered by Honerva before her and Zarkon's first deaths that Quintessence is indeed capable of extending the lifespans of several species seemingly indefinitely, though at the cost of one's apparent sanity and ability to feel empathy or any other sort of moral emotions. Once the paladins formed Voltron, Zarkon would send troops or have his troops attacked by Voltron and defeated on many occasions, until he found a way to track the Castle of Lions through space, allowing his fleet to easily launch attacks. He furiously searched for the Black Lion, which he believed was his and that it always would be. In a massive battle, he and the new black paladin, Shiro, fought mentally for the Black Lion, Zarkon believing power would tame it, while Shiro stood by his belief that the Lion could not be controlled or bossed around, no matter how much power the paladin had. The Black Lion then chose Shiro, shutting Zarkon out for good. Voltron then fought Zarkons own Mech, in after a long and gruelling fight, Voltron destroyed the Mech, and presumably Zarkon along with it. Shiro however, vanished, as in Season 6, he later revealed to be evaoprated by Zarkon at his last moments, forcing Black Lion to preserve Shiro's consciousness at the very last moment, leaving Zarkon destroyed a lifeless body in his place.
Zarkon survived his encounter, only due to the Quintessence in his body. Haggar watched over him as he slowly recovered, while his son Lotor took over as leader of the Galra. Eventully, Zarkon returned in a far more cybernetic body, kicking Lotor off the throne and declaring open season on his life. This led Lotor to hate his father and mother even more, and as Zarkon returned to fight Voltron, Lotor gave his offer to help them defeat him. Zarkon desired to get Lotor back and kill him, so he used the captive Samuel Holt as a bargaining chip, offering to return Sam in return for Lotor. The Paladins agreed, and they met on equal terms on a barren moon. They began the exchange, but once Zarkon had Lotor, he revealed that the Sam Holt he sent to them was a hologram— The bargain was implied to be the trap for Voltron team so he can destroy them along with Lotor while reclaiming the Lions at the same time. Fortunately, as Zarkon demanded Voltron for Sam Holt, Shiro had foreseen this act of double-crossing, smuggled his bayard to Lotor so Lotor can broke out from his chains before proceeds to keep Zarkon busy long enough for he, Matt, and Pidge to free Sam by force.
Though outsmarted, Zarkon nevertheless declared that the time had come to kill Lotor once and for all. As they fight, Zarkon told his son that he is always weak and nothing more than his greatest shame, only for Lotor rightfully responed by pointing out the irony of Zarkon's statements; All this time, Zarkon had been in severe denial from his loss of Voltron, believing himself to be nobody without both Voltron and Black Bayard. Pushed to the breaking point, Zarkon used vials of quintessence in his armor to increase his powers, only for Lotor briefly overpowered him and successfully damaged his armor. Even so, Zarkon soon turned the tide of their fight and finally defeated Lotor, and almost killed him, but the Lions intervened. Zarkon then turned on the lions, preparing to fire. With no other choice, Lotor grabbed a rod of metal from one of the Galra Ships and lunged a team his father, stabbing him in the chest with a piece from his own ship. Zarkon died, killed by his own son, finally ending his 10,000 year reign for good. .
The Death of Zarkon caused a splinter in the Empire, with a power vaccum created by his demise, which many high ranking galra tried to fill in the Kral Zera. Haggar became working Shiro , while without Zarkon, and later, even Lotor, due to the Prince being lost in the quintessanice feild, many galra commanders became warlords, controlling small parts of the empire each, often even fighting and killing each other.
A illusion of Zarkon appeared alongside illusions of Haggar, Lotor and Morvok in The Feud!, as opponents for the paladins. This Zarkon was much kinder, speaking politely to Bob throughout and displayed personality reminiscent to real Zarkon's pre-resurrected self. However, when their team lost, Zarkon and his family was dumped down a hole and they disappeared.
Haggar remained active after her husband's death although she later reunite with her family as part of her sacrifice to rebuild the lost realities.
Driven by a "might makes right" sense of entitlement, Zarkon was a firm believer in a survival of the fittest philosophy, espousing that if half a platoon or fleet were slaughtered that the survivors would have been stronger for it. He truly believes that weakness is an infection and must be eradicated and that only the strongest have a right to live and that the weak exist only for the strong to become stronger by stepping along them like a brick road built of their broken bodies.
Zarkon's knowledge and past history as a Black Paladin is repeatedly hinted at, as he repeatedly states he knows the power of Voltron better than anyone. This cryptic phrasing indicates that he has piloted the Black Lion in the past, and given how Zarkon is a calm and collected natural leader, these qualities would certain make him worthy of controlling the head of Voltron. During his battle with Shiro he even expresses a small degree of nostalgia upon seeing the Black Lion. All of these instances point towards a distinctly plausible past as a Paladin. This was explicitly revealed in the last episode of Season
Zarkon was an emotionless, bitter, uncaring and cruel being, conducting gladiatorial arena battles for his amusement. He forces weak and peaceful beings to battle against monstrous fighters, likely due to his hatred for weakness in general. Despite his ostentatious lifestyle and sizable military, he despises waste and inefficiency, opting to fund and sponsor Haggar's experiments in order to harvest Quintessence directly from planets without the cost of mining and colonizing them, so that his resources can be diverted to capturing Voltron instead.
His experiences, due to his unnaturally long lifespan, left him with a rather calm and confident disposition as there is very little thus far that is seen to fluster or agitate him. Zarkon did, however, detest those who seek greater ambition without the interests of the Galra Empire being in line with those plans. He considered grandstanding to be intolerable and indicative of an inferior leader and military officer.
He also possessed an iron-clad will as nothing deterred him from conquering the known universe in ten-thousand years. Such patience and fortitude is almost pathological as it indicates an extreme obsession that goes beyond mentally ill.
His obsession with regaining the Black Lion caused him to undergo a campaign that was repeatedly advised against by Haggar, showing how his possessive and one-track mind could cause him to ignore the wisdom of even his most trusted servants and supporters. This lead to several defeats at the hands of the Paladins and the Blade of Marmora agents within his organization. His fight against Voltron in his own Robeast armor is perhaps one of the most significant examples of Zarkon's obsession getting the better of him. Despite it having never been successfully tested, with all test pilots having died, he refused all attempts and suggestions not to use it. His condition after the battle could potentially be attributed as much to this as the damage he took from Voltron's final blow with the blazing sword.
Unlike Shiro, Zarkon believed that the bond with the Black Lion is based entirely upon one's power and will to dominate rather than a mutual trust between Paladin and Lion. This lead to him being defeated time and time again by Shiro in the metaphysical plane where their mental duels to control Black took place, as Zarkon completely ignored Black's nature as a sentient being, therefore Shiro was able to outmatch him with the lion's help.
Zarkon could be described as somewhat psychotic and remorseless, to the point of turning against his own allies if it suits his needs. His unhinged need to absorb more and more quintessence is marked with utter disregard to Haggar, who has been presumably the one to administer these treatments to Zarkon for quite some time, and has been a remarkably loyal servant.
While originally an idealistic and noble young man, Zarkon's fascination with the quintessence unleashed by the transdimensional comet and his willingness to support his wife's mutual curiosity of it began to blind him. His grief was further exacerbated by the stress of losing his wife, and so he tried to absorb quintessence directly, resulting in the deaths of both himself and Honerva. However, the unforeseen consequence of being brought back from the dead rendered Zarkon an unstable and heartless embodiment of pure evil, completely devoid of goodness he originally had that explained his utter ignorance to see Black Lion's sentience and lack of attachment towards his son Lotor (see below). The just and idealistic king was dead in more than one way.
Though he had tried to be a good and just ruler, Zarkon was also a staunch traditionalist, believing that fraternization with the serving class would lead to a loss of discipline. Also, based on Alfor's commentary regarding his disbelief in Zarkon's marriage - to an Altean of all beings no less - Zarkon was implied to have been a bachelor before his marriage due to his preoccupation with his duties.
Zarkon's deep obsession with Voltron and his sense of superiority made him suspicious of his followers and granted him a short temper. He could become blind to the machinations and stratagems of his opponents when hyper-focused on his own goals of capturing the Black Lion. Zarkon's numerous defeats are attributable to this deep-seated character flaw, as it prevents him from making sound decisions on the battlefield or heeding the warnings of his allies.
Though strict and somewhat harsh even before his corruption, Zarkon was an involved and loving husband to Honerva. He found her research fascinating and her beauty left him speechless. However, Zarkon was a profound enabler of his wife's obsession and became entranced by quintessence himself, unable to see what it was doing to both of them and their home, and so he continued to sponsor her research no matter the cost. In the end, Zarkon's emotionally unrestrained and passionate nature led him down the path that would make him both Emperor of the universe and a true monster.
Zarkon had no true attachment to his son, Lotor. This estrangement between them was so great that upon his return to the throne, Zarkon relieved Lotor of his position and later declared his son a fugitive of the Empire and enemy of the state and that his son was to be killed on sight when he discovered that Lotor had harvested a trans-reality comet. Zarkon considers his son a failure as a leader, regarding his reign as a black spot on the history of the Empire and his son an utterly disposable disgrace to their people. Despite this, Lotor overcame him and eventully killed him.
Zarkon was also a genius of unknown measurements. His abilities as a military tactician are beyond reproach, and his millennia-long reign left him with an unsurpassed ability as a leader.
As the former Black Paladin, he possessed the Black Bayard as his personal weapon. His skill with it goes beyond mastery. He is capable of using the Black Bayard to create massive guns, dense energy shields, axes, swords, and chain blades, fluidly changing its form repeatedly and without breaks or hesitation. Given his extremely long life, he had ample time to gain total control of the weapon and understand all there is to know about wielding it.
Zarkon was able to commune and connect with the Black Lion from distances that are utterly unheard of, and so was able to track it down repeatedly. He is also skilled at using these augmented mental abilities of his to psychically duel someone for control of the lion, which he has shown great proficiency in. However, after losing to Shiro (with the Black Lion's aid) in psychic combat his link to it was greatly diminished even with added power from Haggar and the Druids. Zarkon would only be able to temporarily reconnect with the Lion when Shiro reopened his link to draw the tyrant into a trap.
Zarkon's abilities with the Black Bayard extended to its usage within his giant mech-suit, able to use its standard sword form along with its chain blade mode. This shows not only his great combat skills, but also his capabilities as a pilot as well.
Interestingly, during his battle with Keith, Zarkon displayed the ability to survive in a vacuum. This indicates that Zarkon's Quintessence-enhancement treatments have left him not only with a lifespan that exponentially exceeds that of unaltered Galra biology, but also with the ability to withstand environments that would easily kill any other member of his species.
Zarkon's Quintessence-enhanced body was also capable of withstanding prolonged combat with the Red Lion, indicating a massive enhancement in strength as well, as even Galra ships have been destroyed by less than what Keith unleashed on Zarkon. The limits of the Emperor's augmented biology are unknown, but they are unmatched by any other humanoid in the series thus far. However, Zarkon was rendered comatose after his fight with Voltron using his life-threatening and unstable mech suit. So, while certainly strong, seemingly bordering on immortal, Zarkon can indeed be overwhelmed and defeated.
While a strategist of considerable skill, Zarkon's tendency towards single-focused aggressive, repetitive tactics and his obsessive nature over Voltron left him vulnerable on the battlefield and easily predictable.
- This is the first version of Zarkon to pilot a Voltron lion.
- The name of Zarkon’s home planet, Daibazaal, is an homage to the character’s original name in Golion.
- During flashbacks, Zarkon is voiced by Kevin Durand instead of Neil Kaplan. Executive staff explains that a different voice actor was chosen to represent how Zarkon is not the original person he once was. 
|V • E Team Voltron in Voltron: Legendary Defender|
|Voltron (Black Lion • Red Lion • Green Lion • Blue Lion • Yellow Lion)|
|Former Paladins||Keith • Pidge • Hunk • Lance • Allura • Shiro • Shiro (clone) • Zarkon • Alfor • Trigel • Blaytz • Gyrgan|
|Additional Members||Coran • Space Mice • Rover|
There is no place in this universe beyond my vision's reach.—Zarkon, in "Eye of the Storm"
Emperor Zarkon is the former ruler of Planet Daibazaal and the original Black Paladin who rules the Galra Empire that has conquered almost all of the known universe over the past ten thousand years. Corruption from massive amounts of Quintessence and the darkness of an Alternate Reality led Zarkon to violently turn against King Alfor and attempt to claim Voltron for himself. Long believing the Lions were destroyed, he seeks to reclaim Voltron from the new Paladins; he is ultimately killed by his own son, Prince Lotor.
Zarkon has the appearance of a tall Galran male with gray skin and glowing violet eyes that have no visible pupils or irises, although his eyes were originally comprised of red irises, visible pupils, and yellow sclerae prior to his corruption by Quintessence and darkness from an Alternate Reality. His skin was also once much less pale and more purple in color. Zarkon's face is angular and square, but thin, as his skin has receded to give him prominent cheekbones and a withered appearance befitting of a revived corpse.
He has pointed ears with elongated lower lobes, a dark gray plated scalp, thick eyebrows, and two dark growths on either side of his jawline - all of which are kept mostly hidden under his maroon and gray crown; this headpiece covers the front of his scalp, extending down the length of his flat nose much like his plated scalp, and frames the length of his jaws, leaving his face and chin exposed. He has a scar extending from under his left eye down across his mouth, which has noticeably jagged lips reminiscent of fangs - although Zarkon has a true set of pointed teeth underneath.
The emperor wears maroon armor accented with dark gray over a black space suit. On his cuirass, the armor has four glowing violet lines curving downward towards the center, and upward towards his shoulders. He has thrusters mounted on the back of his legs to assist in flight instead of a jetpack on his back. Along with his armor, Zarkon usually wears a black cape clasped at his shoulders that is long enough to reach his calves, with blue lining the inside.
Additionally, Zarkon tends to wear a royal robe over his armor and black cape. This attire is comprised of gray armor with large and high-set pauldrons, and a plated front resembling the symbol of the Galra Empire. It is accented with various glowing violet areas at his neck, shoulders, back, and chest. The robes contain a long maroon cape to cover his entire body and drag along the floor, with a darker maroon cloth hanging at the front, accented near the hem with more gray design.
Ruthless and obsessed, Zarkon is a tyrant whose cruelty is known across the universe. He has a single-minded goal of capturing Voltron, particularly the Black Lion he formerly piloted. Zarkon rules his empire with a calm confidence that nothing is out of his reach or sight. He believes weakness is an "infection" best cut off than to be allowed to spread, and it is this mindset that has him order a commander executed for choosing to save his own crew than complete his mission. His view of weakness extends to the belief that concern for other people's lives is an easily manipulated and exploited target. This cruel mentality is what he instills in his personally trained commanders, such as Sendak.
As time wears on, Zarkon's obsession with the Black Lion proves the emperor is not as stoic as he lets on; he becomes frustrated and prone to violence against his own subordinates, ignoring their advice to exercise caution or concern for his health. He believes in having absolute command over the Black Lion, which he sees as nothing but a weapon, and he has no respect for trust built between a Paladin and their Lion. His relentless pursuit of the Lion is a weakness of his own that Team Voltron uses against him to secure his defeat.
Before the war, Zarkon was a far more noble soul. While still quick to anger and rather stuck up, Zarkon had good intentions throughout much of his life. He cared deeply about the safety of his people and home world and fought tooth and nail to ensure the safety of the Galrans. Moreover, Zarkon loved his wife, Honerva more than anything else. So much so that he was willing to betray his allies and dear friends for her well being. After the Paladins expedition into the Rift, Zarkon was thought to have died. In actuality, Zarkon was reborn into immortal being after the ordeal and adopted his pure evil personality he would use to rule the Universe with an iron fist for over 10,000 years.
Perhaps as consequence of his rebirth into heartless tyrant and monster he unfortunately became, Zarkon lost his ability to be a kind and considerate person, let alone to be truly compassionate to others and understanding bonds between one and another. A testament of Zarkon's dark transformation are his eagerness to turn against his own allies if it suits his needs, not comprehending the fact that bond with Black Lion only stronger through mutual trust, and having no true attachment to his son, Lotor. Worse, Zarkon also no longer concern his people's well-being due to his pursuit of power, resulting some Galrans formed Blade of Marmora to oppose him in the first place. All in all, the young and idealistic king Zarkon used to be was dead in more than one way on the very instant he was overexposed to darkness of alternate reality and Quintessence, and replaced by ruthless, treacherous, manipulative, and unstable monster with superiority complex.
- Bayard: Takes various forms depending on Zarkon's will including an energy shield, an energy sword, a greatsword, a cannon, a mace, and a chain whip.
- Royal Armor: Armor that allowed for safe travel in space; it has no helmet and therefore does not appear to provide him with a breathable atmosphere. For brief sustained flight, Zarkon has thrusters mounted to the armor at his calves instead of a jetpack on his back. His second set of royal armor entails a face covering and a supply of Quintessence.
- Quintessence: He regularly absorbs the substance to amplify his strength and seemingly extend his lifespan. After nearly dying in a battle against Voltron, Zarkon is sustained in a coma by the substance and has canisters of Quintessence built into his new royal armor when he awakens.
Apart from close-combat and piloting prowess, Zarkon has these notable abilities:
- Battle Master: When not using weapons, Zarkon has shown outright brutal hand-to-hand combat prowess. His proficiency with his Bayard's multiple forms is uncontested.
- Leadership: His skill in leadership is proven by his status as emperor on Daibazaal in the past and his former status as the Black Paladin prior to his corruption.
- Lion Bond: Because of his former status, Zarkon retains a heavy connection to the Black Lion; with assistance from Haggar and her Druids, he can determine the Lion's location across vast distances and mentally take control of it to force Voltron to disband. This connection also allows Zarkon's essence to travel to mysterious realm where if he dies, his body in the physical realm will die as well, but while he feels all pain dealt to him, the sustained wounds do not appear on the his physical body. This bond is weakened once Shiro gains the Black Lion's favor.
- Longevity: His lifespan is seemingly amplified by Quintessence or attributed to his corruption, allowing him to exist for 10,000 years. He is able to survive in the vacuum of space without breathable air.
- Super Strength: Regular absorption of Quintessence amplifies his natural Galran strength. He is a highly skilled combatant and is powerful enough to take on the Red Lion without the need to pilot a machine of equal caliber, using only the Black Bayard. His official strength stats are maxed.
- When Allura awakens from her cryo-sleep, she refers to Zarkon as the "King of the Galra", implying Zarkon's empire was spawned from a kingdom in the past. Conversely, during flashbacks prior to his planet's destruction, Zarkon is referred to as "Emperor" and refers to his own domain as the "Galra Empire", suggesting he has only ruled an empire and not a kingdom.
- During flashbacks, Zarkon is voiced by Kevin Durand instead of Neil Kaplan. Executive staff explains that a different voice actor was chosen to represent how Zarkon is not the original person he once was.
- Zarkon is based on the character Zarkon of the previous Voltron franchises, who in turn was based on the character Daibazaal of Beast King GoLion.
This is a gallery for official images of Zarkon.
In the distant past, King Zarkon of Daibazaal ruled over the Galra people and held an alliance with King Alfor of Altea as well as fellow warrior leaders Gyrgan, Trigel, and Blaytz. One fateful day, a comet crashed into Daibazaal's surface, causing a rift between realities because of the comet's unique properties. This led Altean alchemists to investigate the site, and thus Zarkon met Honerva, eventually marrying her. With the comet's substance, Alfor created the Voltron Lions and made Zarkon the leader and head of the original Paladins, first using Voltron to combat the darkness that attacked from the other side of the rift. Soon Voltron became known as a heroic fighting force and Coran's grandfather built the Castle of Lions to house the Lions.
Once Zarkon and his wife became obsessed with the Quintessence found in the reality rift, the exposure damaging Honerva's health, Zarkon attempted to bring Honerva into the rift using Voltron so he could save her with the Quintessence and darkness within. His fellow Paladins were not aware of his trickery until it was too late. The overexposure seemed to kill both he and his wife when they recklessly left the safety of Voltron inside the rift.
But after Alfor held their funeral and destroyed the evacuated Daibazaal to erase the reality rift forever, Zarkon and Honerva awakened, changed and corrupted by their ordeal. Zarkon flew into a rage at Alfor and the Alteans for the loss of the rift, sparking a war and the beginnings of the Galra Empire. Zarkon desired to capture Voltron so he could use the robot's power to create another rift and obtain the purest Quintessence of infinite amount. This led King Alfor to put Allura and Coran in a deep sleep inside cryo-pods within the Castle of Lions, and to scatter the Voltron Lions to hidden locations across the universe so they would not fall into Zarkon's hands. Alfor led Zarkon to believe the Lions were destroyed, and so Zarkon slayed the king, his fellow Paladins, and destroyed Altea.
Zarkon began expanding his military power throughout the known universe, until his kingdom became the Galra Empire that ruled over all people. At his side was his advisor and former wife, Honerva, who had become the witch Haggar; he trained Sendak personally and the commander became his first in command. Although Zarkon believed the Lions were destroyed, the Empire was able to locate the Red Lion at some point in time and it was kept on Sendak's ship as Zarkon searched the universe for the remaining Lions.
After nearly ten thousand years had passed, the unnamed Galra Commander was scouting Earth's solar system and happened upon Shiro, Samuel Holt, and Matthew Holt on Kerberos. Zarkon ordered them taken to Haggar's Druids for interrogation. Afterward, he watched Shiro battle Myzax in the Empire's arena for his own entertainment.
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