Keith is a protagonist from the Netflix TV series, Voltron: Legendary Defender who serves as the Red Paladin piloting the Red Lion of Voltron. A young man of few words and dry wit, Keith is a loner and rebel by nature. Later on, he becomes the Paladin of the Black Lion of Voltron until Shiro's return where he training with the Blade of Marmora.
Keith was apparently born on Earth, with an unknown Galra ancestor in his lineage, though for many years he was unaware of this. From his earliest days he carried a mysterious dagger with a glowing rune, which he usually kept wrapped and hidden. Eventually Keith would join Galaxy Garrison as a pilot cadet, and around this became acquainted with future Black Paladin and friend Shiro. Keith would also be in the same class as fellow future Voltron Blue Paladin Lance, who regarded Keith as his rival though Keith was barely aware of his existence. Eventually Keith was drummed out of the academy due to discipline issues, and wound up living in a desert cabin which he felt he had been drawn to.
Paladin of Voltron
Keith would later be reunited with Shiro and Lance and meet new friends Pidge and Hunk after Shiro-who had been thought lost in space-returned to Earth with warnings that the Galra Empire would be invading. After luring away Galaxy Garrison some garrison personnel and subduing others, Keith freed Shiro only to encounter Lance's trio, and the three managed to escape the returning Garrison forces after a speedy chase. Keith would then explain what he had been doing to his old and new acquaintances, including his discovery of legends regarding a mysterious Blue Lion, which the group soon managed to track down. A vision granted by the vehicle soon revealed that it was but a piece of the legendary Voltron, which then took the group-with Lance at the controls-out of Earth's solar system and through a wormhole to the planet Arus.
On Arus the five encountered Princess Allura and Coran of planet Altea, long since destroyed by the Galra and their leader Emperor Zarkon, whom Shiro revealed was somehow still alive despite the 10,000 years the two Alteans had spent in stasis. As Allura selected the five as the new Paladins of Voltron, Keith was chosen to pilot the Red Lion, which Allura was at the time unable to locate. It later proved to be aboard the ship of Commander Sendak, who had arrived to attack Arus, which prompted Shiro to lead Keith and Pidge on a mission to retrieve it using the Green Lion while Lance and Hunk used the Blue and Yellow Lions to distract Sendak. Though he initially struggled to get the Red Lion to accept him, his willingness to launch himself into space after it convinced it to take him on as its Paladin. The five new Paladins would subsequently manage to form Voltron and bring down Sendak's ship, though the villainous Galra would later prove to have survived.
Keith and the others would soon be put to work training in order to bond as Paladins and gain the ability to form Voltron at will. The challenge proved difficult, particularly as Lance continued to insist on maintaining an antagonism with Keith. Keith would also lose patience with Pidge, but he and the other Paladins eventually banded together after Allura and Coran antagonized them once too often. After a food fight served as an unlikely bonding experience, the group finally master forming the giant robot. Subsequently, Keith would be the only one to regard Klyzap, one of the Arusians, as a threat when he came armed-albeit primitively-to the Castle of Lions.
Reluctantly, Keith would accompany Allura, Lance, and Hunk to the Arusian village, but found himself warming up to the diminutive aliens. When the Myzax Robeast attacked, Keith would drag Hunk along as the three went to join Pidge and Shiro in forming Voltron. Guided by Shiro's previous clash with Myzax as a gladiator, they managed to defeat him using a sword that Keith was able to unlock using his Bayard. Afterwards, the Defenders of the Universe welcomed the Arusians into the castle for a party preceding their departure from the planet, during which Keith seemed somewhat awkward, though he proved amused by Hunk's antics. Unfortunately, Sendak would choose this moment to make a second bid to claim Voltron, taking out the castle's power crystal before apparently launching an attack on the Arusian village.
Keith and Allura went to the village while Hunk and Coran departed to find a Balmera where they could find a new crystal, leaving Pidge, Shiro, and a badly injured Lance at the castle. Unfortunately, the attack on the Arusians proved to be a distraction, and Keith and Allura returned to find the castle powered by a Galra crystal and Shiro and Lance captured. Fortunately, Pidge and the Space Mice succeeded in lowering the particle barrier, allowing Keith and Allura to reenter. Keith would soon take on Sendak, and received unexpected aid from Lance when the Blue Paladin briefly regained consciousness and blasted the Galra Commander. However, after spending time in a cryo-pod for healing, Lance denied any memory of the experience.
Taking the Fight to the Galra
As the castle was preparing to depart, Pidge confessed to being a girl disguised as a boy, something that Keith accepted with no great surprise. The Castle would then set course for the Balmera Hunk and Coran had visited in order to free the inhabitants and the creature itself from the Galra. Keith and Lance would end up working together during the mission, and along with their comrades would face a Galra battleship and later a new Robeast. Shortly thereafter, Keith would find himself attacked by a combat robot when the castle's systems, corrupted by Sendak's crystal, attempted to eliminate the Paladins.
Aided by information they had obtained from Sendak's ship and the captured commander's memories, the Defenders made their way to a Galra transportation hub in search of more information about the Empire. When the hub's databanks proved unhelpful, Allura insisted on infiltrating a Galra ship that had just arrived with Shiro; Keith subsequently took off to investigate a strange delivery and the presence of one of the Galra Druids. Discovering a quintessence refinery, he attempted to steal some of it only to end up engaging the Druid, who proved more than a match for him and burned one of his hands with a blast of energy. He was later rescued by Pidge in the Green Lion, though after having some unaltered quintessence splashed on him found that it healed his injuries.
Due to Allura's capture during the mission, the Paladins were forced to do the unthinkable: attack Galra Central Command in order to rescue her. During the battle, Zarkon broke Voltron apart and later attempted to claim the Black Lion, and Keith faced off with him only to find that he possessed the Black Bayard. The weapon allowed Zarkon to gain the upper hand despite Keith being in the Red Lion, though Keith later surprised him by unlocking a laser cannon on the Lion's back. Zarkon complimented Keith on "fight[ing] like a Galra soldier" before preparing to finish him, only to be driven off by Shiro in the reclaim Black Lion. Unfortunately, while the Paladins attempted to escape, Haggar blasted their wormhole with her magic, destabilizing it and scattering the Paladins across the galaxy.
Keith and Shiro ended up on a desolate planet with their Lions inoperative, and Keith was forced to travel overland to go to the aid of an injured Shiro. Finding his friend menaced by three monstrous creatures, Keith appealed to the Black Lion to work with him to save Shiro, and the Lion responded by allowing Keith to pilot it in Shiro's defense. Afterwards, as the two sat by a fire, Shiro stunned Keith by voicing the desire for him to take over as the Black Paladin in the event anything happened to Shiro. The two were then found by Allura, Coran, and Pidge, and were soon reunited with Lance and Hunk as well. Shiro subsequently revealed that one of his repressed memories had returned, involving a Galra named Ulaz who had helped him to escape.
As the Paladins searched for coordinates that Ulaz had implanted in Shiro's arm, Shiro confronted Allura regarding Zarkon's status as the former Black Paladin, which Keith had likewise reasoned from his possession of the Black Bayard. Allura admitted to the fact, but asserted that she had wanted the Paladins to form their own bonds with the Lions. Keith and the others later confronted a disguised Ulaz after he came aboard their ship, and Keith was stunned to see that he carried a weapon with the same rune as his own knife. However, Keith was unable to find out much about it or Ulaz's organization, the Blade of Marmora, before a new Robeast attacked. Ulaz sacrificed himself to destroy the attacker and save Voltron, and was remembered as a hero by the Paladins, though Allura was still reluctant to trust any Galra.
Challenges and Mysteries
Keith and his comrades would subsequently travel to the Galra-occupied world of Olkarion, which they helped to liberate, though Keith stunned his comrades by threatening the life of King Lubos after he was discovered to be a collaborator. The Defenders were then forced to contend with recurring encounters with Galra Central Command, as Zarkon's ship found the hiding place of the Castle of Lions on several occasions, much to the bewilderment of the Paladins. They eventually managed to escape after an intense battle, but remained at a loss as to how Zarkon continued to find them. Fearing that it had something to do with him, Keith voiced the fear that Zarkon had somehow "imprinted on [him] during [their] battle." Unwilling to risk bringing further harm to his friends, Keith tried to sneak out using a pod only to catch Allura in the process of doing the same, she fearing that it was her presence that allowed Zarkon to locate them time and again.
After their absence was discovered, the pair were contacted by the castle, and refused to return until they were certain it wasn't their presence attracting Zarkon. However, as the two discussed the problem, each helped the other to see that by leaving they had done more harm than good, and were soon contacted by the others with news that a Galra ship had found them and was attacking. Keith attempted to get them back faster using a booster jet installed by Pidge, only for it to explode, with an emergency ejection being the only thing that saved the pair from the destruction of their ship. Floating in space with nothing but Keith's jetpack for propulsion, they despaired of rejoining their friends until the Red Lion arrived, having sensed Keith's danger and come to his aid. The timely occurrence allowed the two to save the other Paladins and Coran, while also confirming Shiro's own theory that Zarkon had found them using his own connection to the Black Lion.
With the ship in need of repairs, Keith and the other Paladins-minus Shiro-accompanied Coran to an Unalu market, once a shady bazaar but now more closely resembling a mall. As the Paladins wandered about the mall in search of supplies, Keith found a knife salesman and questioned him regarding his dagger, which the Unalu revealed was made of Luxite before offering to buy it from him. When Keith refused and resisted his efforts to take it by force, he was forced to flee the Galra mall cap Varkon, reuniting with the others and Coran as they made their way out of the mall, fortunately having obtained what they needed. Shiro, having made an effort to gain a greater connection with his Lion, decided that the time had come for the group to travel to the Blade of Marmora's headquarters.
Shiro later selected Keith to accompany him to the Blade's headquarters, and surprised him by once again mentioning his desire for Keith to succeed him as leader of Voltron if the need ever arose. Upon meeting with Kolivan, leader of the Blade, Keith was discovered to carry one of their ceremonial blades, which they demanded he surrender. Keith refused and was thus subjected to the Trials of Marmora, a grueling ritual in which he faced growing numbers of Blades who demanded he give the weapon up. Overcome with exhaustion, Keith experienced a series of visions produced by a suit that Kolivan had given him for the trials, causing him to see illusions of both Shiro and his own father. His emotional tumult caused the Red Lion to attack the Blade of Marmora's headquarters, but halted when he offered to surrender his Blade and thus succeeded in "awakening" it, which Kolivan revealed as a sign that Keith was part Galra.
Going After Zarkon
The revelation was an unpleasant one for Keith, as it left him with even more questions about his past and brought mixed reactions from his comrades, with Allura in particular treating him coldly. The matter was not helped when he was paired with Hunk on a mission to acquire scaultrite for their planned assault on Galra Central Command, as the Yellow Paladin kept bringing up the fact during their mission to acquire the material from the belly of a Weblum. After becoming separated from his friend in the depths of the beast, Keith came across a Galra soldier who surprised him by coming to his aid against the creature's natural defenses. The two then remained inside the creature while Hunk went back outside in order to provoke a defensive reaction that produced the scaultrite. However, his short-lived ally subsequently departed with a small supply of scaultrite, but Keith was confident that they would stop Zarkon before it could be put to use.
Keith and Hunk then received a distress call from Allura, who had returned to the Balmera for a new crystal only to be attacked by the Robeast they had faced there, now even more powerful than before. The Paladins soon reunited and came to her defense, with Keith leaving the Yellow Lion and trying to reach the castle using his jetpack. His effort failed, but the Red Lion came to him once again, and together the Paladins were able to bring their adversary down for good. Allura then congratulated Hunk for acquiring the scaultrite, but remained cold towards Keith after Hunk pointed out that he had also taken part in the mission. Returning to Olkarion, the group prepared to launch an assault on Zarkon, planning to disable Galra Central Command and then use a giant Teludav to send it to another part of the universe to finish it off, with Keith contemplating the possibility of being able to find answers about his past once Zarkon was beaten.
The Paladins and their allies soon put their plan into action, but ran into a problem when Thace-the Blade of Marmora's inside man at Central Command-failed to report in; Keith thus volunteered to board the ship in order to disable the system in Thace's place. Before he departed, he was approached by Allura, who apologized for how she had treated him recently and embraced him, asking him to "come back to us." Keith then infiltrated the ship and encountered Thace, only to find that their plans to sabotage the system had been discovered by the Druids, prompting Thace to sacrifice himself to trigger an overload while Keith escaped. Entering his Lion, Keith joined the others as they formed Voltron and attacked the disabled ship, which had been transported away from any reinforcements.
Unfortunately, Haggar then crippled Voltron using the Komar, a quintessence absorbing magical device, just prior to Zarkon attacking with a giant mecha. When the Castle of Lions attacked the armor only to have its own firepower reflected against it, the thought of Allura and their other allies coming to harm gave the Paladins the strength to recover and challenge Zarkon again. They fared well, but Zarkon eventually succeeded in causing them to break apart; with the Black Lion inert, Keith took charge and led the other four in attacking Zarkon until Shiro recovered and miraculously managed to acquire the Black Bayard. Reforming Voltron, Shiro was then able to use the Bayard to unleash Voltron's Blazing Sword, which defeated Zarkon's Armor, but the heroes were then forced to flee as the Central Command ship regained power. Having had to bring the Black Lion aboard ship, Keith and the others entered it to check on Shiro only to find him gone without a trace, leaving only his Bayard behind.
Dealing with Lotor
After the defeat of Zarkon, Keith spends all his time searching for Shiro all while the paladins go at their separate times when Lance and Hunk inform the rest of the team of how the Puigians from the planet Puig, wanted to see Voltron. Keith stating that they don't have Shiro anymore that everyone seems to have forgotten, Allura stands at this and decides that it may time to find a new pilot for the Black Lion. Most of the team is shocked by this, but Keith is rather shocked and angry refusing as he wants to find Shiro as he was the one person who never gave up on him and won't give up on him. Later on, The Team and a few unnamed people from other planets that were liberated from the Galra, Allura give a speech about how honored she, the Paladins, and Coran are to have them visit the castle, when one of the guests ask to see Voltron but Keith stated that they couldn't form Voltron without Shiro as he was the Black Lion, but they both want to see Voltron and their people have heard his legend on how HE defeated Zarkon. and gave them hope, as well as the decline for help from the Blade of Marmora, as they have been enslaved for centuries by the hands of the Galra Empire, Keith stands up to tell them to stand up and fight for themselves as Voltron is gone. Later on Keith is comfort by the others, in trun Keith
Building The Coalition
Keith has the appearance of a 18-year-old man with pale skin, black hair, and blue-gray eyes that seem purple in certain lighting.
Keith has a reserved, quiet, and calm persona but can be rebellious and reckless with instinct and skill alone.
- Skilled Pilot: Keith is an incredible pilot, being considered the best of his generation during his time at the Garrison. He's been able to control a one-man hovercraft that was overweight and still move at high speeds, and maneuver through an asteroid field without getting hit once. This skill got him his position as the Paladin of the Red Lion, and he was even good enough to briefly control the Black Lion, the lion meant for the leader of Voltron to pilot.
- Skilled Fighter: Keith is one of the team's best fighters up-close, only behind Shiro. He's been said by Zarkon to fight like a Galra soldier, never giving up unless he wins, or dies trying. However, this determination can send him into a berserker rage during combat, pushing him past his limits, at the cost of clouding his judgement. After awakening his knife and coming to terms with his Galra heritage, Keith learned to adapt his fighting style to incorporate the Blade of Marmora's techniques.
- Bond with the Red Lion:Due to Keith's similar personality to the Red Lion, the two have a close bond. This bond is intensified when Keith goes into his berserker rage while in combat, usually resulting in him gaining a new weapon for his lion.
- Galra Blood: Due to being a hybrid of human and Galra, Keith is able to interact with and activate Galra technology.
- Paladin Armor:The standard armor worn by Paladins of Voltron. The armor protects Keith from harm, allows communication with the other Paladins, and is equipped with a jetpack for sustained flight, along with an energy shield to block attacks. The helmet produces oxygen when worn, allowing Keith to function normally underwater or in a vacuum, and the bracers can fire small lasers or project holograms of Keith.
- Bayard:The Bayards are the Paladins' main weapons when on foot. When not in use, they're stored inside the Paladin's armor, and can be summoned to the hand at will. Each Bayard takes the form most suitable for its wielder, and Keith's takes the form of a sword sharp enough to easily slice through steel.
- Knife:A knife used by the Blade of Marmora, which is Keith's only remnant of his parents. The blade is made of luxite, making it incredibly sharp, and due to his Galra blood, Keith can will the knife into full-length sword.
- Unlike the past versions of Keith, this version does not pilot the Black Lion but the Red Lion, and he is not the leader of the Voltron Lion Force. However, Shiro has asked that he be the new leader of Voltron should anything happen to Shiro.
- Keith is in his late teens.
- The Legendary Defender version of Keith isn't the first one to have alien genetics. His Voltron Force incarnation was part-Arusian.
- Keith's human ethnicity is unknown. What is known about his father's background is that he highly resembles Keith, possesses a rather mild southern accent, and appeared to be in his mid-thirties in Keith's vision of him.
- The Voltron Website describes Keith as an orphan.