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.

Allura, in "The Rise of Voltron"

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]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Voltron: Legendary Defender Official Website
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Guidebook: "The Paladin's Handbook"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Season One: Episode 1, "The Rise of Voltron"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Season One: Episode 7, "Return to the Balmera"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Season One: Episode 6, "Taking Flight"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Season One: Episode 2, "Some Assembly Required"
  7. Season Two: Episode 2, "The Depths"
  8. Season Three: Episode 3, "The Hunted"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Season One: Episode 3, "Return of the Gladiator"
  10. Season Three: Episode 6, "Tailing a Comet"
  11. 11.0 11.1 Season Two: Episode 6, "The Ark of Taujeer"
  12. 12.0 12.1 Season Two: Episode 13, "Blackout"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Season Two: Episode 7, "Space Mall"
  14. Season Two: Episode 1, "Across the Universe"
  15. Comic: Vol. 1 Issue #1
  16. Nerdist with Lauren Montgomery, Joaquim Dos Santos, and Christine Bian March 2016