Season 1In the first episode, “The Rise of Voltron,” Keith is on a mission to save Shiro. After beating militarily personnel, Keith runs to Shiro who's strapped to a table. Keith tilts his face and softly says, “Shiro?” while tenderly holding Shiro’s face in his hands, he then cuts the straps. After the rescue, it is made clear that the two have history, the nature of which is left unclear. The following morning, Shiro and Keith share a scene alone together after the rescue which establishes some of their relationship cues (such as shoulder touches and longing looks); they share their first shoulder touch on the dunes since being reunited, followed with Keith saying, “It's good to have you back.” Shiro replying, “It's good to be back.”
Shiro gets clothes from Keith's shack. While there, Keith talks about feeling lost, “…and then [Shiro] showed up.”
After finding the Blue Lion, flying to planet Arus, meeting Allura and Coran, Keith, Shiro and Pidge go to retrieve the Red Lion and they decide to split up, Shiro puts his hand on Keith’s shoulder and reassures him that he’ll be fine, and says, “Just remember, patience yields focus.” Right at the end, after a successful first mission, Shiro affectionately slaps Keith’s back as they rejoin the group on the ground, and the two exchange a soft look.In “Some Assembly Required,” when a training session goes wrong and Shiro has a flashback, Keith launches himself across the room to shield Shiro from the training bot. Keith asks, “Shiro, are you okay?” They’re later seen sitting next to each other on the floor, sipping water. At the end, Keith sneaks off after Shiro when he leaves the common room to head to bed.
In “Fall of the Castle of Lions,” Shiro and Keith are separated for the most part as Keith is locked out of the castle. Once Keith does gain entrance into the castle again, the first thing he sees his Shiro getting knocked down by Sendak, Keith immediately attacks Sendak, landing a powerful kick.
In “Taking Flight,” the team encounters a dense asteroid field, Shiro trusts Keith to navigate it safely and flush out Rolo. This shows how much faith Shiro has in Keith’s abilities.
In “Crystal Venom,” Keith is the first one to realize Shiro’s in trouble, asking the others “Where’s Shiro?”
In “The Black Paladin,” Keith tells the others to go after Allura while he protects Shiro/the Black Lion. Lance asks, “What are you doing?” and mentions how they have to stick together, Keith replies, “Whatever I can.” Soon a battle between Keith and Zarkon ensues, with Keith refusing to abandon the Black Lion. Later, a severely hurt Shiro (while piloting the Black Lion) swoops down and grabs Keith/the Red Lion, saying, “I’ve got you, buddy.”
Season 2Shiro and Keith's relationship increases in the second season. In “Across the Universe,” the team is separated due to a corrupted wormhole caused by Haggar from the previous episode. Shiro and Keith wind up being stranded on the same planet with their lions disabled. As soon as Keith gets his bearings straight, his immediate next thought is where Shiro is. When Keith hears Shiro's voice, his face softens with relief. In return, as soon as Shiro exits his Lion, his immediate next thought is where Keith is. Keith calls out for Shiro and asks if he’s okay, when Shiro reports he is in danger, Keith immediately rushes to find him, overcoming various obstacles. Keith finally is able to make visual of the Black Lion, once there, he sees Shiro being chased by giant lizard-like creatures. He saves Shiro from the creatures by piloting the Black Lion, which Shiro is awestruck by. They build a fire and rest while waiting for the others to find them. Shiro is still suffering from a wound he sustained in his fight with Haggar, and tells Keith that he wants Keith to lead Voltron if he “doesn't make it out of here.” Keith stubbornly replies for Shiro to “stop talking like that”. When Pidge comes to rescue them, despite a wormhole opening in the sky, Shiro's fond gaze remains firmly fixed on Keith's face.
In “The Ark of Taujeer,” Keith voices his concerns that he thinks Zarkon imprinted on him during their fight from season 1. Shiro tells everyone to get some sleep, as the team heads for their rooms, he notices Keith, lost in thought. Shiro walks up to him, asking if he's okay, as he seems “anxious”. Keith looks at him with a weary expression before saying, “I'm fine. Just tired.” Before Shiro can get a word in, Keith walks off.
Late in the night Keith, along with Allura, take a pod. Once they're contacted, Shiro tells them to come back to the castle immediately. They both refuse as they must know if Zarkon is finding the team through them. Some time later, they're contacted by Coran telling them that Zarkon isn't tracking them, as there's a Galran fleet where the rest of the team is. Keith and Allura begin their journey back, with the Red Lion finding Keith. When Keith and Allura get back to the others, Shiro is visibly happy, saying, “Good to have you back, Keith!” In return, Keith parallels their episode one conversation by saying, “Good to be back.”
In “Space Mall,” from Keith's actions the previous episode, Shiro and team realize Zarkon keeps finding them through the Black Lion. Shiro stays back on the castleship to work on forging a greater bond with the Lion than Zarkon's. Keith and others leave for the mall to retrieve teludav lenses. When Keith and others return, Keith is the only one to ask where Shiro is, then also asks if Shiro found a way to bond with his lion. Shiro responses with a yes and that they need to get moving. He tells the team they're heading for the Blade of Marmora's base.
“The Blade of Marmora” is generally viewed as one of the episodes that supports the ship the most. The team travel to the Blade of Marmora base, with the coordinates given by Ulaz. After some back and forth, it’s agreed that Shiro and Keith take the Red Lion. The two arrive and are greeted by two Blades. All four descend to where the other Blades are. Once in, Kolivan, the leader, addresses them. One of the other Blades forcibly takes Keith’s knife; Shiro yells his name as Keith's taken down to the ground. Kolivan asks Shiro if he can corroborate Keith's story. Shiro’s unsure. Shiro realizes that if the Blades aren’t interested in forming an alliance, then he and Keith should leave. Keith is adamant that he must know how the knife ended up in his possession on Earth. If Keith seeks knowledge, Kolivan tells him he can do the Trials of Marmora, a physical and psychological test that pushes him to his limits. Should he survive, its secrets will be revealed. At hearing “survive,” Shiro turns to Keith telling him “this is crazy”. He tries again to get him and Keith out of there, but Keith won’t budge. Keith is given his knife back and the trial begins soon after. Shiro can do nothing but watch while Keith fights for his life. The more Keith fights, the more Blades he faces. Shiro tells Kolivan how this “is not a fair fight”. Shiro also questions how long the fight goes on. Kolivan tells him “sometimes the greatest challenge is knowing when to stop”. Shiro responses, “He’ll never quit.” Keith comes to the point where he is unable to take the pain any longer, so he escapes through a door hatch in the floor. As Shiro watches, he worriedly says, “Keith.”
After Keith collapses to the floor, Shiro comes up to him, helping him up. The real Shiro continues to watch on with Kolivan, asking if what he’s seeing is a hologram. Kolivan tells Shiro that Keith is wearing a special suit which creates a mind-scape that shows Keith his “greatest hopes and fears.” He goes even further by saying, “And at this moment, your friend desperately wants to see you.”Hologram!Shiro tells Keith to give up his blade so they can get back to the team. When Keith refuses, it turns away coldly and leaves, saying that Keith has “chosen to be alone.” Believing it’s really Shiro, Keith yells for it to wait before running after it. Before he can reach it, Keith sees his father. As Shiro continues to watch on, he turns to Kolivan again, saying, “You messing with his mind! You’re going to kill him!” Having had enough, Shiro walks away, saying, “I’m calling this off.” The Red Lion starts attacking the base, knowing Keith is in danger. Using this, Shiro is able to break free from the Blades restraining him. He runs to Keith, looking down at him with the most concerned expression before carefully helping him up, hooking Keith’s arm around his shoulders. The Red Lion continues its attack and Kolivan tells them to stop and that they’re not leaving with the knife, as Keith failed to awaken it. A Blade rushes them both, Shiro rushes in return, the two collide as steel and metal meet. Keith yells, “Wait! Just take the knife!” He goes on saying how he knows where he comes from and that they need to work together in order to defeat Zarkon. Just then, his knife glows and it becomes a sword. Shiro looks on in awe. In the companion book, the narration states that to Keith, “nothing was worth Shiro's pain.”
In “The Belly of the Weblum,” a plan is made to defeat Zarkon, though there is much preparation that needs to be done first. Shiro and Keith are to go on separate dangerous missions. Before Keith leaves with Hunk, he and Shiro share an intimate hug, holding their hands close to their chests, all while Keith smiles in Shiro's hold. Keith nuzzles his face into Shiro's shoulder.
In “Best Laid Plans,” the new allies Team Voltron and the Blade of Marmora are close to executing their plan to defeat Zarkon. Blade member Thace isn't checking in with the Blades, which has the them unsure of the mission. At hearing this, Keith says he'll infiltrate Zarkon's base. Kolivan doesn't like that plan as Keith is too inexperienced. Keith argues back that he's doing it. Shiro, fully believing in Keith's abilities, doesn't argue with him, though he does need a moment to compose himself before telling Keith he'll give him cover. Soon Keith is in his pod and cloaked, Shiro can't see him but he's locked onto Keith's signal. Shiro creates a safe path for Keith to the base. Once inside, Keith thanks Shiro.
In “Blackout,” the team engages in an intense battle with Zarkon. In order to protect Zarkon, Haggar hits the paladins with powerful dark magic, disabling Voltron. As the paladins float from lack of gravity, Shiro and Keith are seen in each others views; Keith in the foreground and Shiro in back, then Shiro in the foreground and Keith in the back. Once they come to, they're back in the fight. Zarkon separates Voltron back into the Lions. Keith is first to notice Shiro ins't responding, he moves into shield Shiro/the Black Lion. Shiro finally comes back to consciousness and becomes one with his Lion, he activates its Transcendent Wings to phase through Zarkon's Robeast and reclaim the Black Bayard. When Shiro says he's got Zarkon's bayard, Keith is quick to correct him by saying, “You mean you've got your bayard.”
The fight resumes and everyone comes together and stabs Zarkon with Volton's sword. At one last attempt at victory, Zarkon hits Volton's head, causing Shiro great pain. Shiro is able to active his bayard and destroy Zarkon's Robeast in a bright, powerful light. With their Lion separated from the blast, Coran calls to them and says they need to go. Keith sees Shiro isn't following them, he looks down and notices the Black Lion floating aimlessly. He and Pidge immediately fly down to toe the Lion back onto the castleship. Once abroad, Keith desperately runs to the Shiro/theBlack Lion, screaming, “Shiro!” As the door to the Lion's cockpit opens, Keith's voice softens as he says Shiro's name again. Keith looks to Shiro's seat with a broken expression as his best friend is gone.
Season 3In “Changing of the Guard,” the season starts with Keith searching the debris of the battle with Zarkon for Shiro. Keith remembers back to that battle then to him running to the Black Lion with a broken expression. In a defeated tone, he calls Coran, saying, “There's nothing out here, Coran.” Coran says he's sorry and Keith flies back. Later after Hunk and Lance return from their mission, Hunk brings up how, now with Shiro gone, they don't have Voltron. Keith is quick to reply, “We don't have Shiro anymore either. Everyone seems to have forgotten that.” Allura suggests that it's time to start thinking about finding a new pilot for the Black Lion. Keith is stunned at her words, but then stands up, saying, “No! I'm gonna find him! Shiro is the one person who never gave up on me. I won't give up on him.” With that, Keith turns and leaves.
Later the team is having a diplomatic meeting, the leaders in attending are asking for Voltron to be formed. Keith snaps at them, telling them they can't form Voltron, they can fly the Lions but “Voltron is not happening.” Allura attempts damage control, but Keith isn't having any of it. He continues by saying how Shiro was the Black Lion and until they find him there is no Voltron. Already at his end, after a leader asks the team what should tell his people, Keith hits the table and explodes at him telling them to stand up and fight for themselves and how Voltron is gone. Keith then storms out the room.Once the tension has settled, Keith is seen standing in font of the Black Lion, clearly longing for Shiro. The others come up beside him, saying a neat thing about Shiro. Allura mentions how the mission is bigger than any one individual even those that are “completely irreplaceable”. As much as it hurts Keith, he knows she's right. Keith turns to the Black Lion and says it's time to figure out how to reform Voltron.
The team decides to let the Black Lion choose its paladin. One by one everyone sits in Shiro's former seat. After Lance's turn, it's Keith's. He sighs sadly, but goes ahead inside the cockpit. He sits down and says, “I know you wanted this for me, Shiro. But I'm not you. I can't lead them like you.” Moments later, the Lion powers up, accepting Keith as its paladin. Keith quietly pleads, “Please, no.” Keith walks out of the Lion to the congratulating team. Keith tells them that he doesn't accept it, he goes further by saying how he can't replace Shiro.
In “Red Paladin,” the team is seating around the living area. Allura is asked if she can figure out who pilots what Lion now, much like how she did when they first become paladins. She says she cannot. Coran mentions how Keith was able to pilot the Black Lion in order to save Shiro, perhaps he's the one. Lance snaps that he doesn't want Keith “leading him anywhere”. Keith snaps back at him saying leading Voltron was just what Shiro wanted. Realizing what he's said, he lowers his head, his heart breaking even more.
The next scene is with Lotor and his generals. Acxa informs Lotor of where the Red Lion has been spotted in three different quadrants. This showing just how long and far Keith has been searching for Shiro.
A distressed message comes from the same leader Keith snapped at earlier. Keith and the others head for their Lions, Keith regrettably heading for the Black Lion. Once he's inside its cockpit, he says, “This one's for you, Shiro.”
In “The Journey,” Shiro wakes in a Galra base, he fights his way out, escaping with a battle cruiser to an ice planet. He's found by two rebel fighters who are untrusting of him, though once Shiro spares their lives, they change their minds of him. They help Shiro escape using their cargo ship so he can board a Galra ship that will hyperdrive to Voltron's location. The plan is a success, Shiro has Voltron in his sights though it's pulling away, soon completely out of Shiro's view. Shiro continues forward, following Voltron's path. A week goes by, during which he records logs. By his last log, he's out of food and water, along with low oxygen levels and no fuel. Not long until death, he has flashbacks of his friends and teammates, the first being of Keith on the dunes, the morning after he was rescued. As Shiro closes his eyes, some place else in the universe, the Black Lion roars and hones in on Shiro's location. Keith asks what wrong before seeing it too, saying to himself, “We found him.” Moments later, a wormwhole opens up with Keith/the Black Lion leading the castleship. As the Black Lion's shadow dusts over Shiro, Shiro opens his eyes and manages a weak smile. Keith smiles too at finally finding his best friend.
In “Tailing a Comet,” after a successful mission to liberate a Galra base, Shiro and Keith speak in presumably Shiro's room. Shiro is sitting up in bed, blanket over his lap, wearing a white tank-top. They're discussing, trying to figure out what happened that day Shiro disappeared. Keith mentions how Shiro had just unlocked the Black Lion's ability to teleport, so perhaps the Lion was trying to protect him. Before Keith leaves, he mentions how the rest of the team would be “thrilled to see [Shiro] up and around again.” This heavily implying that while Shiro's been in recovery, he's only allowed Keith to see him; he's only valuable when he's with Keith. In response to what Keith said, Shiro says he'll try. Just before Keith leaves, Shiro asks “How many times are you going to have to save me before this over?” Keith, while smiling, relies back, “As many times as it takes.”
Now with Shiro back and Keith still being the leader of Team Voltron, once Hunk and Pidge find the comet and realizes it's moving, Shiro and Keith speak up at the same time, they both look at each other for a moment before Keith apologizes and allows Shiro to speak. Shiro tells the team his plan, then the Galran ship they're looking at starts firing at the base. Seeing this, the team needs a new plan. Keith walks over to Shiro and places a hand on his shoulder, he tells him he'll stay on the castleship and provide support. Shiro looks at him and softly asks if he's sure. Keith says he is. As the others leave with their Lions, the Black Lion sits in its hanger, not responding to Shiro. Shiro calls Keith and says he'll have to lead this mission. Keith is panic stricken, asking Shiro why and what's wrong.
As Keith leads the mission, Shiro ends up being the one giving the team support from the ship. They begin to unintentionally disagree with each other on what to do. When Keith realizes it's Lotor's ship they're seeing, he says he'll go off and find him on his own. Shiro disagrees and says how the team should stay together. The rest of the team agree with with Shiro, outnumbered, Keith stubbornly says fine. After a fight with Lotor's generals, Voltron is formed, but to take out the teludav or take out Lotor are brought up again. Shiro and Keith argue more. Once the teludav is destroyed and Lotor flies off, Keith says they should go after him but Shiro disagrees again as “something strange is going on here and they need to figure it out.”Back on the castleship, Keith stands alone in a room, arms crossed and looking down. Shiro walks up behind him, placing his hand on Keith's shoulder. He apologizes for having to “step in back there.” Keith says how he “thought he had it under control” and that he's “no good at this.” Shiro immediately replies back, “Yes, you are.” Shiro continues by saying how it was Keith's quick thinking that resulted in Lotor not getting away with the teludav. Keith looks at up him with a beautiful expression, listening to Shiro's words carefully. Shiro's face softens into a warm smile, saying, “The Black Lion has chosen you. I'm proud of you, Keith.”
Season 4In “Code of Honor,” once returning from a mission with the Blades of Marorma, Keith walks up to Shiro, Shiro is quick to tell him the the other paladins are on a mission and for Keith to get to the Black Lion immediately. Keith tries to tell Shiro what he and other Blades have found and that “this is Lotor they're talking about.” Shiro isn't having any of it, as he orders, not requests, for Keith to go join the others.
After the mission, Shiro and Keith are talking over looking a sunset. Keith asks if Shiro was able to talk with Kolivan of the intel he and Blades gathered earlier, Shiro says he has, not more importantly, Voltron needs a “strong leader.” Keith is quick to respond, “I know they do... and it should be you.” Shiro tells him they've discussed this before and that the Black Lion has chosen Keith, all while smiling. Though that smile soon dropping when Keith argues back, telling Shiro he only tried once bonding with the Lion before. Shiro tells Keith he supports his Blade of Marmora training, but not at the expense of Team Voltron, not when they need a leader. Not long after a message from Kolivan comes in, needing his agents to act fast. Keith jumps in, saying he's in. Shiro gives Keith the all clear for the Blade mission before telling Keith to meet them on planet Reiphod as soon as he's back.
Keith is absent for another mission, one that put Voltron and refugees are in danger. Shiro tries again to bond with the Black Lion, this time finally getting a response; he is able to help. Once Keith is back, he's greeted with a cold shoulder from everyone. He starts by saying “this is not the way he wanted this to happen,” but it's because of his absents that Shiro was able to reestablish his bond with the Blake Lion again. Keith continues by saying how he needs to be on that mission with the supply line, also how Shiro is the rightful leader of Voltron. Shiro walks over, placing a hand on Keith's shoulder and says, “Keith, if this is what you feel is right, then we won't try to stop you. Just know that we're here for you whenever you need us.” Keith smiles up at Shiro, saying, “I know you are, and I can't tell you how much that means to me.” With that, Shiro and Keith claps their hands and bring them to their chests, bringing each other into a hug. Keith smiles into Shiro's shoulder. Moments later the entire team joins in on them, enclosing Shiro and Keith even closer together.
In “A New Defender,” Kolivan and Keith are asking if there's anyone asking for help in the fight against the Galra Empire. Coran says there's no one, other than noticing a Galran ship stopped far away from where Voltron is. Kolivan chimes in perhaps it knows it can't fight back, as the planet is too well fortified. Keith dons't buy it as it's not the Galra way - “victory or death” - immediately he realizes it's Voltron. The first thing out Keith mouth is Shiro's name, “Shiro, can you hear me! Shiro!” With Shiro nor any of the other paladins responding, Keith wants to go down there, first needing a ship. He soon spots a Galran battle cruiser, then heading out. He radios Matt, saying he can't explain why, but he knows they need to attack the fleet.
Shiro and others are finally able to escape the barrier that has come of the bomb surrounding the planet. Shiro calls Keith, Keith resounds immediately, asking where he is and if everything's okay. As Voltron struggles to fly away in time, Matt tells Keith that they'll never penitent the Galran ship. Keith lowers his voices and looks dead on to the ship before saying, “Not with our weapons,” he then thrusts his ship straight for the much larger ship. Moments later, Keith's life is spared by Lotor, who shot the barrier surrounding the ship. At having the barrier go down, Shiro is quick to praise Keith. Keith tells him it was Lotor. Lotor then calls them all saying it's come for a “discussion.”
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The Rise of Voltron
- After a successful first mission, Shiro affectionately slaps Keith's shoulder.
Some Assembly Required
- After Keith is knocked out by the Gladiator, it goes for Shiro next. Shiro freezes as it's about to attack, then Keith springs up to Shiro's defense, asking if he's okay.
- As Shiro heads to bed, Keith can be seen in the background getting up from the couch, all while smiling and looking at Shiro.
- As Pidge talks about Hunk’s “new girlfiend”, Shiro and Keith smile at each other.
- When the team remembers Sendak, Keith is first to wonder where Shiro is.
Across the Universe
- As soon as Keith gets his bearings straight, his immediate next thought is where Shiro is. In return, as soon as Shiro exits his Lion, his immediate next thought is where Keith is.
- Shiro mentions a wound, Keith is soon concerned and says, "Wait, what wound?" Shiro replies it's nothing. In return, when Keith is dangling off a high cliff, Shiro asks what's wrong, and Keith tells him, "Minor delay. But I'm on my way."
- Keith is able to pilot the Black Lion so he can save Shiro from wild creatures.
- When Keith tells Shiro to “stop talking like that”, Shiro gives Keith his best, though weak smile at his words.
The Ark of Taujeer
- Shiro walks up to Keith, asking if he's okay, as he seems "anxious".
- Once back from the mall, Keith asks where Shiro is.
The Belly of the Weblum
- Shiro and Keith share an intimate hug before going on their separate missions.
Best Laid Plans
- Keith says he's going on a dangerous. Shiro needs a moment to compose himself before telling Keith he'll give him cover.
- Shiro creates a safe path for Keith to Zarkon's base. Once inside, Keith thanks Shiro.
- Haggar hits the paladins with dark magic, disabling Voltron. As the paladins float from lack of gravity, Shiro and Keith are seen in each others views; Keith in the foreground and Shiro in back, then Shiro in the foreground and Keith in the back.
- Shiro can feel Zarkon is his mind as they fight for the Black Lion. Keith says, "Fight it, Shiro!"
- Shiro says he's got Zarkon's bayard, Keith corrects him by saying, "You mean you've got your bayard."
- Keith desperately runs to Shiro/the Black Lion, screaming Shiro's name.
Changing the Guard
- Keith is mourning Shiro.
- Acxa informs Lotor of where the Red Lion has been spotted in three different quadrants. This showing just how long and far Keith has been searching for Shiro.
Code of Honor
- Shiro and Keith share a hug before Keith leaves for the Blade of Marmora.
- Keith – “It's good to have you back.”
- Shiro – “It's good to be back.”
- ―The Rise of Voltron.
- “If it wasn’t for you, my life would have been a lot different.”
- —Keith, Across the Universe.
- Keith – “Patience yields focus.”
- Shiro – “That really stayed with you, didn’t it?”
- ―Across the Universe.
- Shiro – “Thanks for saving me.”
- Keith – “You would have done the same for me.”
- ―Across the Universe.
- Shiro – “Keith, if I don’t make it out of here, I want you to lead Voltron.”
- Keith – “Stop talking like that. You’re gonna make it.”
- ―Across the Universe.
- Shiro – “It's good to have you back, Keith!”
- Keith – “Good to be back.”
- ―The Ark of Taujeer.
- “At this moment, your friend desperately wants to see you.”
- —Kolivan to Shiro, The Blade of Marmora.
- “Shiro is the one person who never gave up on me. I won't give up on him.”
- —Keith, Changing of the Guard.
- “This one's for you, Shiro.”
- —Keith, Red Paladin.
- Shiro – “How many times are you gonna have to save me before this is over?”
- Keith – “As many times as it takes.”
- ―Tailing a Comet.
- Shiro – “Keith, if this is what you feel is right, then we won't try to stop you. Just know that we're here for you whenever you need us.”
- Keith – “I know you are, and I can't tell you how much that means to me.”
- ―Code of Honor.
- “I love you.”
- —Keith to Shiro, The Black Paladins.
Along with Klance, the ship has really taken off for modern audiences in the last couple years. This is thanks to Voltron: Legendary Defender Season 2, produced by Studio Mir (Legend of Korra). A lot of the writers and directors for Voltron migrated from Korra, famed for it's bisexual ending, and have made comments hinting at possible LGBT content, including the quote, "I think I'll just let that play out as we go. No comment on that question," when prompted about future LGBT content. Although the ship is not confirmed in canon, many fans still enjoy Keith and Shiro's dynamic in a fanon environment due to the deep connection Keith and Shiro have been shown to share over the last four seasons.
The ship has received hate because of its prospective age gap. Many contradicting age ranges have been mentioned by many different official sources, some fans consider that there are no definitive set ages for Keith or Shiro, or for any of the other Paladins, while others do not consider any published age information canon.
On AO3 it is the most written ship for Shiro, and the second most written for Keith. It is the the second most written relationship in the Voltron: Legendary Defender tag, the eight most written in the Voltron Force tag, and the fifth most written in the Voltron: Defender of the Universe tag.
The non-romantic ship between Shiro and Keith is often called "broganes". This is a portmanteau of "brother" + "gane" + "s", stemming from Keith seeing Shiro like a brother and the fact that the original characters from Beast King Golion had the last names "Shirogane" and "Kogane" respectively - although only Shiro retains his source character's name, the two surnames are very different, and the GoLion characters as well as Shiro and Keith are not related.
It manifests in a variety of AUs, including adopted brothers, half brothers, and full brothers AUs, yet it is occasionally used just as the ship name for the platonic relationship between Shiro and Keith, rather than just referring to them as "platonic Sheith."
There are also theories that have floated around the fandom from time to time about whether Shiro and Keith could be related in canon. The backing behind this is the astonishingly similar facial structure between Shiro and Keith's father, though this could simply be a design choice to help represent Shiro's mentor role in Keith's life.
Behind the Scenes
The ship has been acknowledged by countless members of Voltron's production team since the show first aired, further supporting it as a ship for fans to enjoy. These instances include:
- Members of the production team such as art director Chris Palmer, Steve Ahn, Christie Tseng, Barlee, Ki Hyun Ryu and Lauren Montgomery liking Sheith fanart on various social media platforms.
- Voice Actors such as Bex Taylor-Klaus and Josh Keaton mentioning the ship on several occasions on social media, including when Keaton suggested the ship name "sheith", and the instance wherein Taylor-Klaus declared that Keith is a powerbottom in response to Keaton posting a picture of red and black shoes.
- Members on the staff such as former art director Chris Palmer and Kim Il Kwang produced art that emphasizes the bond between Shiro and Keith, and are often theorized to have romantic undertones.
- Ki Hyun Ryu made a Sheith sketch posted to his Instagram: Keith hugging Shiro from behind all while blushing and touching Shiro's face.
- Eugene Lee drew Keith on Chris Palmer's Shiro all while laying on his chest and blushing.
- “Shiro loves Keith.”
- —Joaquim Dos Santos, answering a fan's question.
- “The fight probably strengthened their bond and showed how much they mean to each other. It was like the ultimate test, really. Shiro should make a recovery. Keith and Shiro will be stronger for it.”
- —Joaquim Dos Santos, on Shiro and Keith's relationship post S6's "The Black Paladins," San Diego Comic Con.
- “'You're my brother' it's like 'You're everything to me'.”
- —Josh Hamilton, on Keith and Shiro.
- Keith pilots the Red Lion, which forms the right-hand of Voltron, thus making him the right-hand man of Shiro, who lost his right arm to the Galra.
- Keith is part Galra, and Shiro's right hand was replaced by a Galran prosthetic.
- The ship name was coined by Shiro's voice actor, Josh Keaton, after he proposed "Sheith" on his Tumblr blog.
- Shiro's Bayard, when combined with Keith's, activates Voltron's Blazing Sword, and it's a joke within the community that Shiro lights Keith's fire.
- In season 7, Shiro becomes the Captain of the Atlas, who holds up the Sky; Keith is the Black Paladin, Guardian of the Sky.
- In an AfterBuzzTV interview, it was brought up that the fans discovered Keith and Shiro in the background flashback with Matt and Pidge. Lauren and Joaquim congratulated the fans on a well done for finding the easter egg. Lauren commented with "I put that shit in there—Oh, I just said a bad word." and "Shiro was still his guiding light, it was good."
- It placed #2 on Tumblr's Fandometrics ship list on June 18, 2018. (3 days after Season 6 aired.) This is the highest the ship has been on the list.
- Since then, it's held a steady place in the top 3, varying from the second and third spot.
- The Paladin's Handbook guidebook states that Shiro is 25 and Keith is 18, though there is some doubt as to whether this information is accurate to the canon because the book was not reviewed by executive staff.
- The show staff previously gave "safety zone" ages of "25" and "late teens" respectively, while agreeing that Shiro is an adult and the other Paladins are not.
- Official show descriptions describe the Earth paladins as "five teenagers", placing Shiro as a teenager in contrast to his published age; Josh Keaton grants some insight into the discrepancy by stating that during production of the show as early as the voice actor auditions, the pitch was "five teenagers", but certain character models ended up looking different than the description, so the writing adapted to the finalized designs. This suggests the book does not take the ages from the original pitch as staff feared and reflects the organic changes they have made, while the official show description is the original pitch that is inaccurate to the canon.
- Keirotora refers to the ship between Lotor, Allura, Shiro and Keith
- Shallureith refers to the ship between Allura, Shiro and Keith
- Sheithunk refers to the ship between Hunk, Shiro and Keith
- Sheitor refers to the ship between Lotor, Shiro and Keith
- Shkatt refers to the ship between Matt, Shiro and Keith
- Shklance refers to the ship between Lance, Shiro and Keith
- ↑ Voltron Legendary Defender Panel @ Emerald City Comic Con 2018
- ↑ Josh Keaton's Tumblr
- ↑ The Fandometrics: Week Ending June 18th, 2018
- ↑ Den of Geek: Is the Paladin's Handbook Canon? August 2017
- ↑ San Diego Comic-Con 2016
- ↑ Let's Voltron: Shironanigans! With Josh Keaton - 00:43:00 "When we first started recording this, everything kind of changed. The early description of the show was like "five teenagers" or whatever, and that's the breakdown we got when we first started recording the show, when we first auditioned for it and everything it was that. And then over the course of the show things kind of change and certain models come back looking different than what the description was. So then the writing kind of - I wouldn't say changes but... adapts to the way the character looks now. And you know a lot of things change in the early production of the show."
|Ships||het||Allurance • Allurivan • Hallura • Hidge • Hunay • Kacxa • Kallura • Kidge • Krolidad • Lotacxa • Lotidge • Lotura • Mallura • Nymatt • Plance • Plaxance • Shallura • Shidge • Zaggar|
|slash||Alforan • Corance • Hance • Hatt • Heith • Jeith • Katt • Keitor • Klance • Koliveith • Lancelot • Latte • Lokon • Shance • Sharkon • Shatt • Sheith • Shendak • Shlav • Shoran • Shotor • Shunk • Svance • Svav • Sveith • Uliro|
|femslash||Aczor • Nymallura • Pallura • Romura • Shayllura|
|poly||Klunk • Plunk • Sheitor • Shkatt • Shklance|
|family||Patt • Team Voltron Family|
|Characters||female||Acxa • Allura • Ezor • Haggar • Pidge • Krolia • Romelle • Shay • Zethrid|
|male||Coran • Hunk • Keith • Kolivan • Lance • Lotor • Matt • Sendak • Shiro • Slav • Sven • Zarkon|