Shay is a character from the Netflix TV series Voltron: Legendary Defender. She is a Balmeran resident of a Balmera, a living planet, who worked under the rule of the Galra Empire to mine crystals grown by their home to serve as power sources.
Shay has lived on her particular Balmera for her entire life, spending the earliest part of it in fear of the Galra with her father and mother, grandmother, and her brother Rax. Forbidden from leaving the depths of their home, the Balmerans never saw the sky above their Balmera, though Shay would sometimes make her move as was close to the surface as she dared and tried to imagine what it was like. She also heard tales of the legendary Voltron, but dismissed them as children's fables until the day she and Rax met Hunk and Coran, two of the Defenders of the Universe. The pair had been shot down by Galra forces while attempting to land on the Balmera in search of a crystal, and despite Rax's protests Shay decided to help the "Skylings" hide from their pursuers.
Shay's kindness and the plight of her people proved to be the spark that pushed Hunk into embracing his role as a Paladin of Voltron, and he and Corran set out to recover a crystal. They were captured, but Shay was able to rescue them and help them get the crystal to their ship, only to run into a group of Galra Sentries alerted by Rax, who believed the strangers were a danger to his family. Shay then called upon the Balmera to save them, and urged Hunk and Corran to flee with the crystal, though Hunk promised he would return. When at last they did return, accompanied by their teammates with the five Voltron Lions and the Castle of Lions, Shay was placed at the core of the Balmera as part of a plan to trap them. This effort succeeded, but Shay was able to call upon her family for help, and they-including a repentant Rax-freed the Paladins just in time to save the Voltron Lions from a Galra fleet.
As a Robeast arrived to battle Voltron, it became evident that the abuses the Balmera had endured had taken a huge toll: the ancient creature was dying. Princess Allura pled with the Balmerans to evacuate, and succeeded in convincing them to do so despite their initial wish to perish with their home. However, when the battle against the Robeast hindered the effort, Allura and the Balmerans instead worked together to rejuvenate the Balmera, restoring it to health through an ancient Altean ceremony. The grateful creature then used it's powers to entrap the Robeast, and Shay was able to view a sunset for the first time in her life from atop Hunk's Yellow Lion.
Some time later, Shay was among the Balmerans to greet Allura when she returned to the Balmera in search of a massive crystal, and inquired as to whether Hunk had accompanied her. They then led Allura to a gigantic crystal that had been hidden by the Balmera itself during the Galra occupation, and called upon the creature to surrender it. During the process, they felt a strange disturbance, prompting Shay to question whether the ritual should continue; after a brief hesitation her grandmother moved to complete the ceremony. With the crystal loaded, Allura prepared to depart, only for the entrapped Robeast to emerge, now more powerful than ever. Fortunately, it's focus proved to be Allura and her castle rather than the Balmera and its inhabitants, and it followed the princess into space leaving the Balmerans in peace.
Shay is a kind, compassionate individual who is willing to help anyone in need, regardless of whether she knows them or not or whatever her own danger might be. Despite this, she is deeply dedicated to her home and family, initially preferring the idea of dying with the Balmera to leaving it, though she was eventually persuaded otherwise.
Like most Balmerans Shay is larger than most humans or Alteans and appears powerfully built; however she is not known to have any ability in combat due to the peaceful ways of her people. Like others of her kind she can also communicate the Balmera on which she lives, enabling her to call upon it for help in various situations.