Voltron Legendary Defender did all of us dirty.
All of us.
No matter what you actually shipped, chances are that it did not end the way that you wanted it to. In my case, as a serial multishipper, the last half of the series was basically just a constant barrage of “yeah your ship ain’t happening” that didn’t even let up in the final episode. Between the nonsense from the fandom where a huge chunk believed firmly that shipping anything other than their ship was pretty much a sin and another chunk of the fandom went on to be the incredibly icky pro-shipper “anything goes except critical thinking” folks… I get the creators’ response to an extent. Doesn’t mean I like it though.
(A lot of being in the VLD fandom and watching the show as someone who for once wasn’t a weirdo was feeling like we were being punished for the weird shit that other people did??)
Anyway, one of the ships that I found myself interested in specifically because of a) they were pretty and I’m shallow and b) it had potential to be subversive and sexy (in fandom, not the show… a children’s cartoon) was Lotor and Allura. So in this installment of Ships ‘n Shit, we’re going to talk about Lotura, a little ship that should’ve…
Allura is a sweet but stuffy princess. And of course, she has every right to be!
She is the last living Altean royal and the second to last member of her people. She witnessed the loss of her family and has to deal with the fact that the Galra are still out there… and that they’d like to finish the job and consolidate power over the galaxy.
While early fandom decided that Allura was going to be the “mom” to Shiro’s “dad” (and don’t get me started on that), what drew me to Allura was the fact that she was going through so much loss and she had to basically run heard on the team… while little more than a teenager herself. Allura was basically a baby (to me)but she had to be the actual responsible grown up more often than not especially in the early seasons –
But then as the series progressed and she got more confident and more power, I really found myself really hoping that she’d get the happy ending- especially once Lotor showed up…
Don’t get me started on Lotor…
I love a good anti-hero (shout out to my time as an obnoxious Jason Todd fan) and that’s what I thought Lotor was going to be when he was first introduced. Lotor has incredible Zechs Marquise energy from the moment he’s introduced in the third season but unlike that character, he doesn’t get the happy-ish ending that he probably could’ve done well with.
In this series, Lotor is a half-Altean, half-Galra at odds with his Galra peers and culture and (apparently, initially) seeking to fix things for the galaxy. He’s set up as a character who thinks that the only way to true success for the Galra – and I can’t remember if he was against the colonialism for real or faking it – and he gets in good with the VLD team of teens (and Shiro, I guess…) and even essentially becomes the new emperor of the Galra… before he goes wild with power (but maybe was always kind of terrible) and dies as a result of going up against Voltron.
Pros/Cons of the Ship
- Literal starcrossed lovers… This is some good ass Romeo and Juliet shit right here
- But also arranged marriage having them go from childhood friends to tense partners to lovers… That’s also some good shit.
- They’re so tall and pretty together… but Lotor is MASSIVE so like still some size difference.
- They actually deserve happy endings and fandom likes giving them those.
- Xenobiology is absolutely in play here with Altean and Galran biology prominent across a lot of the sexy content. A lot of the writers doing NSFW content for this ship really take advantage of the different and interesting ways that Allura and Lotor’s different anatomies work to write super experimental stuff.
- Lotor’s immediate family is definitely responsible for killing Allura’s immediate family… and the majority of her people. That’s not sexy.
- One go to a bunch of folks in the fandom (back in the day, maybe not now) gravitated towards was weird sex slavery tinged arranged marriage fic and that’s just… weird.
- Despite the fact that it is kinda canon, the series does not support this pairing and, in my opinion, does not handle Allura or Lotor’s respective character arcs well at all. So, getting into this ship, like getting into VLD period, only inspires pain.
What I Liked About The Ship/Wished Was Different
I refused to rewatch any part of Voltron Legendary Defender to get this part done so if this is inaccurate on my end, I don’t apologize and you should just accept that whatever I (mis) remembered was probably miles better than what the show actually did.
The moment they introduced Lotor on VLD, I knew I was going to ship him with Allura. I knew it. I was hoping that he wouldn’t be a scummy sack of crap like Sincline was in GoLion (something I talked briefly about in “You Can’t Ship a Protagonist and an Antagonist”), but I was also ready to rewrite him as necessary in case I was wrong because somethings a character design is too good to throw away.
As it stands, what works for me for this ship is the promise. It’s the potential. It’s knowing what fans can make of a frustrating and potentially problematic canon. It’s the way that if not for the show shooting us all in the foot and making a mad wannabe emperor out of Lotor, we could’ve had a pretty solid enemies to allies to lovers romance with a happy ending from them.
I wished that the shipping discourse for other ships in the fandom (the Keith-Lance-Shiro triangle in fandom and nowhere else) hadn’t led to such awful treatment of the showrunners that they clearly sped through stuff they may have had planned… but I also just hate that we couldn’t have gotten something better than what we did get. Even if I didn’t ship Lotor and Allura, I know I’d be annoyed as hell about the way both characters ended.
Lotor going the same way as his dad and dying because he was power hungry and Allura nobly sacrificing herself for the universe –
That’s some bullshit.
In an ideal world, Lotor and Allura would be bringing the galaxy together and helping everyone heal from the harm done by the Galra across the millennia. But hey… that’s what I’ve got fan fiction for, I guess!
(Note: some of these stories have sexual content. However, none of these stories should have any sort of sexual violence unless I misread a tag or it just wasn’t there! Read the tags for yourself before diving in!)
Five thousand years after the Galra Empire destroyed Altea and rose to power, exiled and traitorous Prince Lotor – leader of the Blade of Marmora – is captured and left to Haggar’s ‘tender’ mercies until a certain Altean princess finds and frees him five thousand years later.
(AU where Lotor’s actions are less questionable, Haggar is extra horrible, and the end of season 6 and beyond will never happen)
After Lotor becomes Emperor once winning Kral Zera, Allura and the paladins discuss the best way to unionize the alliance. Allura feels a gesture of royal matrimony makes the most sense. For political reasons only, of course.
Princess Allura finds herself stranded on an icy, inhospitable planet with her least favorite “ally.” But if they don’t find a way to work together, they might not survive long enough to be rescued.
Emperor Zarkon and King Alfor united their kingdoms for peace in the universe, and in that unity, they each promised their children’s hand in marriage to ensure it. Now, Prince Lotor of the Galra Empire and Princess Allura of Altea meet once a year as each other’s betrothed. But what once felt like a curse to Lotor in childhood quickly becomes something else entirely when the man sees the woman Allura has become. As the years until their eventual wedding pass, being with her feels less like a royal obligation and more like his divine destiny.
Now that Lotor is rescued from the rift and purged of all quintessence, he and Allura have some unresolved issues between them. Issues of the emotional, romantic, and sexual kind as they work to move past the arrival of Romelle. They love each other, but after leaving the rift, somehow it’s so hard to say. Sequel to A Better Place