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Voltron: Duality is a Alternate Universe Fic of Voltron: Legendary Defender. The series page can be found here on Archive of Our Own.

This alternate take on the show is built around a few key divergences from canon:

  • Matt Holt was the one who returned to Earth in the first episode instead of Shiro.
  • Pidge is nonbinary.
  • Hunk has GAD and Lance has ADHD, while Pidge and Keith are both Autistc.
  • Keith is a full-blooded Galra, as opposed to only being a Half-Human Hybrid as he is on the show, and as such, was raised among the Galra empire, meaning he and Lance do not have the shared rivalry at the beginning.
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  • Shiro traded service to Zarkon's army in exchange for his release from the Arena, and he and Keith work to undermine the empire's expansion.
  • While Season 3 of the show establishes that Zarkon and Alfor were the first generation of Paladins, here Voltron and its Paladins have existed since the time of Allura's grandmother, and Alfor himself was never a Paladin.

From there, the story explores The Butterfly Effect of how these changes affect the story, providing a Darker and Edgier take on the fight against Zarkon that fleshes out several of the characters who have not had much screen time in the series.

The stories included in the series thus far include:


Tropes included in these fics:

  • Adaptation Expansion: These fanfics expand on many things not covered in the show (at the time of being posted) such as the history of Altea, the minutia of Zarkon's army, and what's happening back on Earth while the Paladins are in space.
    • In addition, Thace's role as a spy in Zarkon's ranks is given more focus than in the show, providing us with more backstory, including the fact that he's Keith's uncle.
    • Earth plays a more significant role in the story than in canon.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Thace is Keith's uncle.
    • Shadows of Stars provides a great deal of background on the history and culture of Olkarion.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: While on the show the lions' level of sentience is unclear, in this universe they're fully sentient.
  • Adult Fear: The parents of all the Paladins are all worried for their childrens' safety as soon as they all figure out they're alive.
  • Alien Sky: Because of the destruction brought about by an enemy attack that pulled planet Daibazaal out of its natural orbit, sunlight is so dim that it doesn't seem natural and debris orbiting the planet causes lights in the night sky that are too big to be stars and too small to be moons.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Coran had an unrequited crush on Alfor in their younger days.
  • Ambiguously Gay: One Week to Say Goodbye reveals that Coran had an unrequited crush on King Alfor, but it's unclear whether or not he's exclusively attracted to men.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: Thace and Nadezda talk about Keith's dead mother without ever specificly mentioning using death-related words. It turns out her death was faked when her cover was blown.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Besides the canonical loss of his right arm, Shiro loses his Galra arm in Someplace Like Home when Matt cuts it off in order to break Haggar's hold over him.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Karen Holt is furious at the fact that her children are fighting in an intergalactic war, particularly Pidge, but it's because she's terrified for their safety.
  • Arc Villain:
    • Commander Orgul serves as the main villain of Shiro and Keith's storyline in Another Word for Never.
    • Commander Vanda and the Galaxy Garrison in Someplace Like Home.
  • Artificial Limbs: Aside from the robot arm Haggar gave him, Shiro gets a second one in Someplace Like Home, built by Matt. Unlike his first one, this one doesn't come equipped with a weapon and isn't surgically grafted onto his body.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Nyma, Shay, and Ryner end up joining the team full time.
    • Rolo, Thace, and Pidge and Matt's mother (named Karen Holt here) also feature as important characters.
    • Allura's mother is also the previous Blue Paladin.
  • Badass and Child Duo: Lance and the Altean child he rescues from Haggar's flagship in Someplace Like Home.
  • Badass Gay: Nyma, Shiro, and Matt.
  • Badass in Distress: Shiro is captured by Haggar halfway through Someplace Like Home. And then Allura is captured when they try to rescue him.
    • Rolo is captured in the last half of Someplace Like Home and is being taken to one of the labs for Project: Robeast.
  • Be All My Sins Remembered: Shiro has a habit of blaming himself for the things he did to maintain his cover in Another Word for Never Even more so while he and Allura are under Haggar's control in Someplace Like Home.
  • Beta Couple: Nyma and Val.
    • Also Allura and Meri.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason Keith is willing to commit treason and help Shiro is because Shiro's compassion and refusal to kill when he can get away with it spits in the face of the Galra ideals and yet he continues to beat everyone who fights him in the arena.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Keith and Lance combine this with regular UST.
  • Bi the Way: Allura, Val, and Lance.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Zarkon and Haggar, with Haggar being the most direct threat Team Voltron faces on a semi-regular basis, while Zarkon serves as a Greater-Scope Villain.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Shiro and Matt's reunion on Berlou in Another Word for Never.
    • Keith and Lance in Shadows of Stars before leaving for Daibazaal.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Alcohol is poisonous to every species in the universe except for humans.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Shiro and Allura midway through Someplace Like Home.
    • Sam Holt in the final arc of Shadows of Stars as the Dark Green Paladin.
  • Breather Episode: Many of the side stories serve this purpose to distract from the drama of the main narrative. Dungeons and Dwarf Stars, Blue Arrow, and Star Wars Was Right About Spice are the most noteworthy examples.
  • Broken Pedestal: Allura's faith in her parents is shaken in Shadows of Stars Chapter 29, when she learns of the role her father played in driving Zarkon down the path to conquest.
  • Cast Herd: Because of the larger than canon ensemble cast, the characters are broken up as follows:
    • Allura, Coran, and the Paladins.
      • Shiro and Keith are their own separete group in the first "season" before being folded into Team Voltron in the final chapters.
    • The Paladins' family members back on Earth.
    • The Galra refugees liberated from the work camps of Revinor.
    • Resistance fighters such as Thace, Rolo, and Nyma.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Matt has one in Another Word for Never after a dream about what Shiro's going through.
  • Cerebus Retcon: In this fic, the Galaxy Garrison already knew about the Galra, and had offered up the Kerberos crew as a sacrifice.
  • Chek Hovs Gun:
    • Project Balmera is only mentioned in passing in Another Word for Never before becoming a major subplot in Someplace Like Home
    • New Altea is mentioned throughout the first two stories, and finally appears in Shadows of Stars.
    • In Shadows of Stars, Keith's mother gives him a secret mission that the audience thus far is not privy to. The only things known are that hearing the details sends Matt into Tranquil Fury, and the idea that his mother thinks he can do it causes Keith to question whether or not he's a good person. Finally fired in Chapter 15, where the audience learns that Keith's mission is to lead a team of Accords agents to the Galra homeworld and incite a rebellion against Zarkon with the intended goal of the Accords installing him as emperor.
    • When the Empire's knowledge of their battle plans on Olkarion indicates that there is a spy board their ship, Shiro brings up the possibility that Haggar is watching through Wyn in a manner similar to how she tracked the team through his arm back in Someplace Like Home.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Nyma gets an expanded role in the second season after a brief appearance for her canon theft of the Blue Lion.
    • Wyn, the Altean child thrown into the arena with Shiro during his time in captivity and was presumed to have been executed when Shiro refused to fight him, turns up alive as one of Haggar's test subjects for Project Robeast.
    • Commander Iverson has a more direct role in the plot after the end of the first story.
    • Vit, one of Keith's classmates during training, returns in the third act of Shadows of Stars after Keith, Lance, and Thace return to Daibazaal following Hunk and Shay's Unity.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.:
    • Keith's not-really-deceased mother Keena returns.
    • Sam Holt has been missing since being taken by the Galra and then he appears as Rolo's cellmate in the Project Robeast labs in the final chapter of Someplace Like Home. Shadows of Stars gives him several scenes focusing on his efforts to sabotage the labs and free the other prisoners.
  • Child Soldiers: A consequence of the Galra empire spreading across the universe is that few children have the luxury of not fighting.
    • While the Paladins' ages are never addressed in the actual show, here, the fact that Shiro and Matt are the only adult humans in the group until Val becomes a Paladin, is a source of tension with everyone's families back on Earth in Shadows of Stars.
    • Pidge is the biggest example of this trope among all the human paladins, because while Lance and Hunk both turn 18 over the course of the first three seasons, Pidge is still 14 in "Shadows of Stars".
    • Keith is another big example, as he tells Lance the children of Galra officers like himself and Zuza start training at the age of 8.
    • There's also Jeya, a rebel fighter whose parents died when she was younger, leaving her in the rebellion alone.
  • The Chosen Many: At the climax of Another Word for Never, the Lions start picking up multiple Paladins. Someplace Like Home reveals that this is because no single Paladin is physically capable of taking their lion to its full potential on their own, so the lions have decided on multiple paladins as a way to maximize Voltron's power.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: The rest of her crew dying in a Senseless Sacrifice is the reason Nyma is so bitter and cynical.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Keith's dad died shortly before he first met Shiro. His mom faked her death and fled to New Altea when her cover was blown.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the fics still maintain the comedic elements of the show, the dramatic moments of the Duality verse are much more intense, and the action sequences more violent, than in canon, with several chapters focused on the human characters dealing with the fact that they've still technically kids thrown into a war and the fact that they're going to have to take lives to win.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Ryner gets significantly more focus during the Olkarion arc compared to her earlier role.
  • Decisive Battle: So far, each "season" has ended with one.
    • Another Word for Never has the Battle of Beroul, where Voltron makes it's official debut in the war against the Galra and turns a doomed last stand into an outright victory for resistance forces.
    • Someplace Like Home ends with a climactic battle to defend Earth against Zarkon's main fleet, completely destroying everything related to Project Balmera.
  • Driven to Villainy: Shadows of Stars"Chapter 29 reveals that Zarkon, his Princes, and the Galra Empire as a whole started out as this. After a Vkullor attack devastated Daibazaal, the Galra were facing extinction, as their planet could no longer sustain the population. With King Alfor being an Obstructive Bureaucrat and repeatedly blocking their attempts to colonize uninhabited worlds, they were left with no other way to preserve their species but conquest.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Nyma begins to lose her cynicism after she becomes a Blue Paladin.
  • Endangered Species: The Balmera are dying off one by one from Zarkon's constant mining efforts.
  • Facial Horror: Matt develops crystal scars on his face after he's blasted with Quintessence by a brainwashed Shiro in Someplace Like Home.
  • Faking the Dead: Keith's mother is still alive as the leader of The Accords.
  • Fighting Your Friend: The team is forced to fight a mind-controlled Shiro a total of three times in the first two stories. Along with Allura twice.
    • In Shadows of Stars, Sam discovers that he, Rolo, and Rax are slated to be turned into Robeasts for this exact purpose.
  • From Bad to Worse: The team rushes in with guns blazing to rescue Shiro in Someplace Like Home. The mission ends with Allura captured and brainwashed as well, along with Keith and Matt in critical condition.
  • Gargle Blaster: Anything with alcohol is considered this by the rest of the universe, as the ingredients are toxic to seemingly every species except humans.
  • Gem Tissue: The test subjects of Project Balmera start growing crystals on their insides like Balmeras. Keeping the crystal growth in check requires specialized healing from Balmerans like Shay.
    • Matt Holt and Lance's cousin Val are both victims of these experiments.
  • Generation Xerox: Played for drama in Chapter 15 of Shadows of Stars, where Keith notes that despite his career as a Paladin and his obvious distaste for the Galran military, his mother still sees him as a Galra Prince like his father.
  • Girls' Night Out Episode: Blue Arrow is about Meri's first time going out for a Girl's Night Out with Rosario. Little do either of them know that alcohol is toxic to aliens.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Shay crushes a juice pouch when Val describes the purpose of Project Balmera in Chapter 25 of Someplace Like Home.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Zarkon is this, having only fought the Paladins once at the conclusion of Someplace Like Home while Haggar serves as a more direct antagonist.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Oriande experiences the same day over and over again. However, unlike most examples, everyone remembers what happened in previous loops.
  • Handicapped Badass: Matt becomes one once the crystals start growing inside him.
  • Has Two Mommies: Hunk has two mothers.
  • He Knows Too Much: In Chapter 26 of Someplace Like Home, Iverson finally decides to send a hit squad after Karen Holt, Eli Kahale, and Akira Shirogane when they finally become too big of a thorn in his side for him to handle without risk of Galra intervention.
  • High on Catnip: Happens to Keith in Star Wars was Right About Spice when Hunk accidentally cooks dinner with an ingredient that has the same effect on Galra that Catnip has on Earth cats. Because of their psychic link, Matt and the Red Lion fall victim to it as well.
  • Hollywood Autism: Averted as the author is autistic.
  • Humans Are Special: Played for Drama, as the very thing that makes humans special, their ability to produce significantly more Quintessence than they need to survive, is the reason the Galra Empire wants to turn Earth into a People Farm.
  • Human Popsicle: Meri takes a cyropod from Altea as she leaves, stores it in the Blue Lion's cockpit, and puts herself in it after she lands on Earth. She reamins in cyrosleep for the vast majority of 10,000 years, only waking up for good 12-13 years before canon when Blue finds her new Paladin.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Keith runs Sendak through with his mother's sword in Another Word for Never.
  • Inter Generational Friendship:
    • Coran forms one with the Galra refugees from Revinor. He also develops one with Wyn, the young Altean child Lance rescues from Haggar's clutches.
    • Kiss, Fake it Better gives us one between Lance's mother Rosario and Meri, the previous Blue Paladin.
    • One also forms between Pidge's mother, Hunk's uncle, Shiro's brother, and Lance's cousin.
  • Involuntary Group Split: Unlike the show, it's Hunk and Coran trapped on the Castle of Lions when Sendak attacks instead of Pidge, Shiro, and Lance.
    • Happens again on Vel-17, with Allura, Matt, and Lance teleported to parts unknown.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Sendak is killed off midway through Another Word for Never.
    • Commander Iverson dies in Chapter 27 of Someplace Like Home.
    • Mir, Shay's grandmother, is Killed Offscreen in Chapter 19 of Shadows of Stars.
    • Ryner is killed in Chapter 45 of Shadows of Stars.
  • La Résistance: The Accords
  • Les Collaborateurs: Iverson and most of the senior officers of Galaxy Garrison are willingly collaberating with the Galra in Project Balmera.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: In Chapter 15 of Shadows of Stars, the party splits up to accomplish multiple goals:
    • Matt, Allura, and Val travel in search of a Pygnar Master who can teach them how to use Altean magic (important for Matt and Val as a way for them to release the extra Quintessence in their bodies and keep their crystal growths in check).
    • Keith, Lance, and Thace travel to the Galran homeworld of Daibazaal in order to kick start a revolution among the local populace.
    • Meri uses her shapeshifting to infiltrate the Galra Empire's central command and gather intel alongside Nadezda.
    • The rest of Team Voltron stays on the Castle of Lions to build up the Coalition.
  • Living Battery: Project Balmera is an attempt to harvest humans and turn them into organic crystal production facilities to provide easier access to fuel for the empire. Matt was their first human test subject.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Besides Shiro's skunk stripe, Matt ends up with crystaline scars on the side of his face and one of his eyes turns electric blue.
  • Manchurian Agent: Shiro's arm has a function that allows Haggar to control him directly. She uses it once in the battle of Berlou in Another Word for Never and fails. Then she does it successfully for a large portion of Someplace Like Home.
  • The Medic: Shay fills this role once she joins Team Voltron full-time.
  • Mismatched Eyes: Matt ends up with this after being overloaded with Quintessence after the failed attempt to rescue Shiro.
  • Mole in Charge: Nadezda is an agent of The Accords undercover as head of the Galra Empire's State Sec
  • Named by the Adaptation: Several of the Paladins' family members who were unnamed as of Voltron Season 1, as the author started the series after Season 1 came out but before Season 2 came out, were given names and personalities in the Duality universe.
    • Lance's mother, Rosario
    • Lance's siblings, Matteo and Luz
    • Lance's cousin, Val
    • Hunk's mothers, Akani and Lana
    • Shay's grandmother, Mir
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The team's attempt to rescue Shiro from Haggar in Someplace Like Home results in Allura getting captured, Keith and Lance in critical condition, and the Black Lion captured by Zarkon.
    • Happens again in Shadows of Stars: After receiving a warning that an invasion of New Altea is underway, Team Voltron travels by wormhole directly to New Altea, destroying the defensive zone that kept it hidden from the Galra empire, and paving the way for the real invasion to begin.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Zarkon's princes. Since he's 10,000 years old, Zarkon never had an biological children (unlike the actual show). His inner circle have taken to calling themselves his Princes because he can't be everywhere at once, and so are the closest things the Empire has to actual heirs. As The Dragon, Haggar holds the most senior position, with the remaining Princes scheming and backstabbing for dominance.
  • Nonhuman Humanoid Hybrid: Rolo is half-Galra.
  • Official Couple: While the fics don't place much focus on romance, the story and tags make it clear that Shiro and Matt are one, along with Keith and Lance, and Hunk and Shay.
  • Ooc Is Serious Business: Coran is absolutely terrified when he learns that there was a viable Vkullor egg buried beneath Earth's surface.
  • Operation: [Blank]: Project Robeast, Project CORE, and Project Balmera.
  • Original Character: Quite a few.
    • Shiro's twin brother Akira.
    • Hunk's uncle Eli.
    • Lance's cousin Val.
    • Commander Anamuri, leader of the Kera Sector Rebellion.
    • Jeya, one of the younger members of the Kera Rebellion.
    • Meri, a close friend of Allura's who became the Blue Paladin temporarily after the death of Allura's mother. And has been living in hiding as Lance's babysitter and Cool Aunt.
    • Nadezda, an agent of The Accords and Thace's friend.
  • Parental Abandonment: When her cover as a spy for the Accords was blown, Keith's mom left him with his father, a die-hard Zarkon loyalist, faked her death, and fled to New Altea.
  • Parental Substitute: Even before her parents' deaths, Coran was like a third parent to Allura.
  • Party Scattering: The ambush on Vel-17 results in Lance, Allura, and Matt being wormholed across the galaxy, with no way to contact the others, or for the others to know if they're still alive. They reunite at the battle of Berlou at the end of the first fic.
  • People Farm: What the Galra empire ultimately plans for Earth.
  • Playing with Fire: Matt's newfound ability to manipulate Quintessence manifests as fire powers.
  • Post-Peak Oil: A sci-fi version. Balmerans across the universe have become an endangered species thanks to Galra mining efforts, and Zarkon needs to find a new source of crystals to keep his war machine going. Project Balmera is an attempt to remedy this by harvesting humans as living crystal farms.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child:
    • The crystals created by Project Balmera are grown and harvested from unwilling human hosts.
    • An integral part of robeasts are aliens and humans, forced to fight as war machines.
  • Properly Paranoid: The people of New Altea are hesitant to get directly involved in the war, but they have valid arguments for their position.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Matt has a dream about Shiro's ordeals, as mentioned above under Catapult Nightmare.
  • Psychic Link: The lions can form one with their Paladins, and all the Paladins can form one with each other as part of Voltron.
  • Really 700 Years Old:
    • Allura is about 150 years old.
    • Meri, the previous blue Paladin, was 140 when Altea fell. And now she's 2-3 years older than Allura after the time she's spent on Earth, becoming part of Lance's family and infiltrating the Garrison.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • Matt and Shiro in the climax of Another Word for Never.
    • Keith and Lance in Chapter 15 of Shadows of Stars.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Both inverted and played straight in the same example. Lotor is referenced as a Posthumous Character and one of Zarkon's original lieutenants, rather than his still-living son like in the show the fic is based on. However, it's implied in Another Word For Never that Keith is Lotor's descendant, whereas the two are unrelated in the show.
  • Rescue Romance: Nyma and Val hook up a few days after the latter is rescued from Commander Vanda's prison ship.
  • The Reveal:
    • The Galra have been to Earth before the abduction of the Kerberos crew.
    • Haggar's override and tracking functions in Shiro's arm aren't physical chips, because the arm itself is an ad hoc Bayard.
    • Matt's arrival on Earth at the beginning of the fic wasn't because he escaped. The Galaxy Garrison was willingly collaborating with the Galra, and they needed to extract the crystals growing inside him for Project: Balmera.
    • Keith's mother is alive and serving as the leader of The Accords.
    • The mission Keith was given by his mother? overthrow Zarkon and become emperor.
    • Keturah is alive, and she is Haggar.
  • Reverse Mole: Despite pledging allegiance to Zarkon's army, Shiro does what he can to undermine the Galran war machine with Keith's help.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: The crystals growing inside Matt grow when exposed to the Quintessance of the Castle's healing pods.
  • Sensory Overload: Keith undergoes this in the first chapter of "Fight the Universe." Luckily, Akira is there to help him.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Shiro and Keith's efforts to sabotage and undermine the Galra invasion of Yaltin end in vain when Zarkon grows frustrated with the drain on the empire's resources and sends Haggar to harvest the Quintessance of the planet, killing every living thing on the surface.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Genderbent example. In Chapter 19 of Shadows of Stars, Shiro and Hunk are decked out in Altean suits for the first part of the chapter.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Shiro and Matt both have PTSD from their time in captivity. The Red and Black lions have this as well.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Mama Holt's Army takes place concurrently with the events of Another World For Never.
  • Slumber Party: When Altean training proves to be ineffective at team bonding with the Paladins as stressed as they are, Pidge and Matt talk Allura into doing a group slumber party in the castle lounge as an alternative, and it works far better than Altean training does.
  • Split Personality: In Rowan, Wyn is revealed to have Dissociative Identity Disorder. His other personalities, Rowan, Eran, and Wyrda, have been around since Wyn's childhood on New Altea. A new one, Leth, appeared when Wyn was being experimented on by Haggar. Rowan acts as a protective sibling towards the Wyn while acting as a mediator between the others.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Keith and Lance in the first half of Someplace Like Home, before they evolve into Vitriolic Best Buds and then an Offical Couple.
  • The Stations of the Canon: Another Word for Never covers the dramatic crash on Earth (albeit with Matt rather than Shiro), the hunt for the lions, the training excerises, fighting the Robeast to protect the Arusian village, Sendak capturing the castle of lions, liberating the Balmera, and Nyma stealing the Blue Lion. However because of the For Want of a Nail nature of the fic, several of these events are combined and overlapped to show the divergences from canon:
    • Keith's shack on Earth doesn't exist in this fic, so Lance and Hunk find the Blue Lion on their own while exploring the caves after rescuing Matt from the Garrison.
    • The first robeast attack happens in the middle of the training exercises.
    • Coran is the one captured by Sendak instead of Lance, and Hunk is the only one on the inside instead of Pidge. Since everyone else is out of the castle at the time, the Balmera visitdoesn't happen until after Sendak is defeated.
    • The two visits to Shay's Balmera are condensed into a single event.
  • Third Line, Some Waiting: With Shiro and Keith now permanent members of Team Voltron, Someplace Like Home adds two new plotlines: one detailing what the human paladins' family members are doing back on Earth, and another focusing on Thace's missions for The Accords.
  • Time Skip:
    • Shadows of Stars picks up a few weeks after the end of Someplace Like Home.
    • Chapter 16 of Shadows of Stars takes place six months after the end of Chapter 15, with Paths May Cross detailing the important events that happen during that time.
  • Title Drop:
    • "Someday's just another word for never."
  • Transgender: Pidge is non-binary, and Akira is also transgender.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: The Spymaster, the leader of the Accords is Keith's mother, Keena.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Another Word for Never has one story-line focused on the new Paladins in the beginning of their fight against the Galra, and another focused on Shiro and Keith trying to sabotage the imperial war machine from within. The two plot-lines intersect when Sendak captures the Castle of Lions and again at the climax on Berlou when Shiro and Keith deliberately request Voltron's aid in fighting back against the Galra.
  • Vicariously Ambitious: Debatable, but an argument can be made that Keith's mother is this, considering her big plan in Shadows of Stars is to install her son as emperor.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Lance and Keith, once they get past their initial hostility.
  • War Is Hell: Even without Shiro and Keith's chapters in Another Word for Never giving readers a look at the front lines of Zarkon's conquests, this verse takes a much grittier look at what the war against the Galra entails.
  • Wartime Wedding: Hunk and Shay declare Unity in Shadows of Stars, which, while not exact, is the closest analog to marriage in Balmeran culture.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Commander Iverson is doing what he feels is necessary to defend Earth. This includes offering up Shiro and the Holt men as sacrifices to Zarkon and covertly disappearing people in order to provide Commander Vanda with lab rats for Project Balmera.
  • Wham Line:
    "System X-9-Y was indicated as the base of operations for Project Balmera". note 
    Naomi:"Get your Quiznaking hands off of her!" note 
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Subverted. Shiro and Keith have a lot of angst over all the Galra soldiers they kill in Another Word For Never, and Lance starts to do it as well in Someplace Like Home as he gets used to Keith being on the team.
  • Wishful Projection: Played for Drama. Lance spends the final chapters of Another Word for Never and the first arc of Someplace Like Home viewing Keith as a spy waiting to stab them in the back when it's convenient for them. He does this because acknowledging that Keith pulled a genuine Heel–Face Turn causes him to start angsting over all the nameless Galra mooks he's killed since becoming a Paladin that might have defected like Keith if given the chance.
  • World Building: A highlight of the series.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • Val gives this to Nyma in Chapter 4 of Stars Burn Out
    • Shiro and Nyma have this conversation in Shadows of Stars Chapter 3.

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