I always bubble with excitement as we get closer to the drop of a new season of DreamWorks and Netflix’s Voltron: Legendary Defender
. And now that season seven is going to be a full 13 episodes, it’s going to make for a very busy weekend for a lot of people. It’s crazy to think we’ve already seen 50 whole episodes of the show since its launch in June of 2016. So much has happened in that time—like, SO much—and a lot of the show’s many twists and turns regarding our team of heroes have left us downright shook.
Below are our picks for the eight most shocking moments of Voltron: Legendary Defender so far. Spoilers for seasons one through six, duh.
8. PIDGE’S REVEAL
I’m putting this one at the bottom of the list because it was integrated so well into the fabric of the story, and was all but immediately accepted by both the characters and the fan community, rendering it less a “shock” than it otherwise might be. But anyone who had watched the original Voltron series knows that Pidge was traditionally a boy; it looked like this series was following suit, but it soon became part of the show’s narrative that Katie Holt assumed the identity of a male to attempt to search for her father and brother. The choice added so much depth to Pidge and made her a much richer and more interesting character. All thanks to the showrunners not playing by “established rules,” something which they’ve done time and again since.
7. LOTOR’S TRUCE
Zarkon’s son, Prince Lotor, was first introduced in season three as the successor to the Galra throne, and we knew almost immediately he would be a different kind of villain to his father. More calculating, more suave, and ultimately more sympathetic, Lotor proved he was several steps ahead at all times, which culminated in his saving Keith and the Voltron paladins at the end of season four, and offering a truce as the cliffhanger. It took another two seasons until we knew Lotor’s true machinations, but after a long while setting wheels in motion, this was his first master stroke.
6. THE BLAZING SWORD
Easily the most fist-pumping shock in the show: when Voltron gathered all of its might—and the animation went all pencil-scratched—and summoned, for the first time on the series, the incredibly powerful blazing sword in order to finish off Zarkon’s massive mech. It was a battle it looked as though the paladins were destined to lose, and Zarkon was poised to take possession of the Black Lion again. But no! Don’t count out the good guys, nor their ability to have a sword catch fire in outer space.
5. KEITH’S BLADE
We knew something was up with Keith for a while, and there’d definitely been murmurings on the internet about it, but when Keith unwraps the dagger he keeps in his bunk to reveal a Galra symbol, it was still a huge smack to the chops. It immediately transformed Keith from simply the hotheaded Red Lion pilot to a character with a whole backstory we were incredibly excited to learn. His connection to the Blade of Marmora took a fair bit of time to uncover, and at this point we know all about his mom and her reasons for leaving, but the moment we found out Keith was part Galra still rings as one of the standout moments of the series.
4. SHIRO’S…WELL, EVERYTHING
For being “Space Dad,” the stalwart, upstanding leader of the team, Shiro had some real baggage. From being kidnapped by the Galra at the beginning of the series, to later fully disappearing following their run-in with Zarkon, to his reappearance and subsequent awakening as a sleeper cell clone working for Haggar, Shiro continues to be the source of most of the series’ biggest mysteries and major reveals. Perhaps the biggest? The realization that he was legitimately dead, and his essence was trapped in a temporal void for…a super long time. Damn, Shiro.
3. THE BLACK BAYARD
In most of the show’s first season, Zarkon was the big and ominous threat that seemed too unknowable and inorganic for our paladins to have to deal with on a personal level. Then the moment came when we learn the truth: that Zarkon was once the Black Lion’s paladin, and he still had a strong connection to it, leading to the moment the Black Bayard is revealed as being in his possession. This brought immediacy to the struggle and tested Shiro’s connection with the largest and most powerful of the lions, and led to the series’ first best battle.
2. HAGGAR IS ALTEAN?!?!
There was soooo much going on in the episode “Blackout,” it’s almost hard to remember it was ALSO the episode where Allura and the Blade of Marmora infiltrated Zarkon’s command ship and had an amazing fight with Haggar and the Druids. We lose Antok in that fight, but we gain a major realization: Haggar’s hood comes off and Allura sees she’s actual Altean. I remember being completely floored by that one, and it’s a realization that still has ramifications on the series. From there we learn she was Zarkon’s wife, and the mother of Lotor, but lost her mind to the Quintessence. It added so much to the story of the Galra’s two main villains, and she continues to be the show’s biggest threat, whether they know it or not.
1. THE CASTLESHIP IS DESTROYED
So many shocking moments, but the show’s most recent season ended with the biggest yet. After a massive duel within the Quintessence field between Voltron and Lotor’s mech armor, only one thing could save our heroes: Coran, proving he’s a true hero as well as a silly man, sacrifices the Castle of Lions, which served as their base, their back-up defense, and their home since the journey began. It changes everything going into season seven, and will make traveling and lying low so much more difficult. It’s somewhat trite to say a setting is a character, but when it came to the Castleship, it’s like saying goodbye to an old friend.
And there you have it. Do you have shocking moments we missed out? What moment had your jaw on the floor the longest? Let us know in the comments below!
Images: DreamWorks Animation
Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. He’s also the host of Nerdist’s official Voltron commentary podcast, Form Podcast! Subscribe here or wherever you get podcast. Follow him on Twitter!