I’m not too ashamed to admit it, but Voltron: Legendary Defender is my first true fandom. In all other fandoms that I have been a part of, I have been a late comer. I joined the Teen Titans fandom after the show had been over for a few years. I linked up with Legend of Korra in the midst of Season 3, but I did not follow enough fandom social-media to truly be a part of the fandom. Now my time has come, and I have finally reached fandom-adulthood. Adulthood in any form brings with it great joys, such as participating in speculation and theories for the future of the show and generating content in response to new releases, but there is pain to be found as well.
TLDR: THERE WAS SO MUCH INFORMATION RELEASED AT COMIC-CON YESTERDAY AND I AM NOT OK!
[SPOILERS AHEAD: YE BE WARNED]
For one thing, the writers (maybe?) released information about the ages of the main humans, Shiro, Keith, Lance, Hunk, and Pidge. Fans had at first speculated that Shiro must be in his twenties, considering his physique and mature demeanor, but official information said that they were all teenagers, to which the general fandom response was:
I was not too affected by this, but when Shiro’s age was revealed to be 25 and Pidge revealed to be 15, the general reaction from the Shiro/Pidge (Shidge) community was pretty spectacular.
Shipping is a pretty new thing for me. I might have shipped Korrasami low-key (because I did not think it would happen), and my rabid Beast Boy/Raven shipping was tempered by the fact that the series was over, and the only person I could talk about it with was my fellow Bb/Rae-trash sister. I have never truly issued the prayer of “Let it be canon,” especially when I knew it would most likely never happen. That said, in the wake of LoK and with Steven Universe getting exponentially gayer as a factor of time, hope has bloomed in my cold dead shipper heart, and now I really really feel that burning desire for the writers to make my OTP canon. I usually play it safe and ship narrative conventions (like Makorra) or what the writers seem to be implying. Not anymore! Now I am fully devoted to a non-canon ship, and I apologize to anyone who reads my blog.
Then they dropped the next big bomb-shell, that Season 2 would drop, not in 2017 as we all expected, but LATER THIS YEAR
I AM NOT EMOTIONALLY PREPARED. I barely survived Season 1, which is saying something because normally I am pretty resilient when it comes to emotional TV shows, but I think this has more to do with the fandom than it does with the show. In isolation, a moment of televised drama can be pretty significant, and perhaps it might cause a few tears to be shed. However, many of the fans can and DO analyze content in ways that other fans do not, and when they share that interpretation online, suddenly everyone can share in the pain with them. There has been so much said about character origins and sexualities and mental-disorders, many of which humanize these characters even more than the show did before, especially for people who share in these personality traits.
But nothing said before or since could have prepared the fandom for the SDCC trailer.
The d*mn thing opens with Shiro’s voice: “Keith, if anything happens to me you will lead Voltron.”
The fandom has been in absolute CHAOS in the wake of this, and people are wildly speculating as to what it means. Explanations range from Shiro’s death to his recapture by Galra forces, but all agree that this does not bode well for Space Dad.
As I mentioned before, I am pretty emotionally resilient, but something has changed within me. I think it is the fact that I watched the show with a community as it developed, and those second hand feelings are now affecting me. All my other fandoms were tempered by some degree of distance and separation. Even though he is not part of my OTP (I still ship him with one or two other characters), I am ferociously attached to Shiro. He is nice, he provides stable leadership, he is voiced by Josh Keaton (who is one of my favorite VAs), he even looks pretty good.He has also been through a LOT, often suffering from crippling flashbacks, and most of the fandom (myself included) has an unspoken wish for Shiro to finally find peace and be happy. Whatever happens in Season 2, Space Dad does not seem like he will be getting that rest any time soon. It is terrifying to not know what the writers have in store for my favorite characters, and I have not felt fear like this since “The Ultimatum” in Legend of Korra.