|“||The substance with the highest known energy per unit volume in the universe. Raw quintessence material is transported here from throughout the galaxy and refined into standardized Galra fuel requirements.||”|
— Galra Sentry , Season 1, Episode 10: "Collection and Extraction"
Quintessence is a mysterious substance mentioned frequently in the series, said to be life itself and a self-generating power source. Raw quintessence appears to be yellow or white in color. Quintessence refined by Druids for the Galra Empire appears violet.
Being a substance described as essentially life itself, the key aspect of quintessence seems to be its ability to heal lifeforms and enable longevity. The transfer of quintessence from Sacred Alteans to Balmera planets after power Crystals are harvested is a feat Allura is able to accomplish with her abilities to absorb and channel quintessence A simple touch or her presence on the planet surface is enough to restore the area she is contact with.
The healing property of the substance extends to small amounts on smaller lifeforms: After Keith is wounded by a Druid and knocked into a canister of raw quintessence, breaking it and spilling it over himself, the quintessence spilled on him heals is wounds shortly after the fact.
The opposite effect, death of a creature or planet, holds true when quintessence is extracted, as seen in Haggar's Komar Experiment, where a planet becomes completely barren when its entire quintessence is sapped from it in a matter of moments. Overexposure to quintessence is damaging to health and potentially fatal.
Longevity & Alteration
Quintessence is shown to enhance the abilities and alter the body of lifeforms it is absorbed by; this is discovered when Honerva used quintessence to heal Kova allowing the alien cat to live for 28 deca-phoebs, or years, and continue living for another 10,000 years. This aspect is what enables Zarkon to grow in power and continue living for 10,000 years himself, after he and Honerva seemingly "die" and resurrect. The mystical substance, coupled with mysterious darkness from an Alternate Reality, reawakens him and his wife from "death" and alters both of their minds. Quintessence is used by Haggar to create Robeasts, able to turn a simple lizard into the terrifying Drazil, or make a Robeast out of measly Galra commanders.
Lions and Power Source
Allura describes the quintessence of Paladins as being mirrored in their respective Voltron Lions, as a mystical bond that cannot be forced nor explained by science. This is because the ore of the Lions is quintessence-infused trans-reality material. A single drop of quintessence is able to power a simple machine for an entire year with no loss in performance. This principle is what powers the Lions and grants them a seemingly endless supply of energy.
- Lauren Montgomery compares Quintessence to that of the Star Wars "Force", that it exists to some degree in everything and explains the explainable. Dos Santos claims it is what the universe is powered on.
- Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos elaborate that quintessence, like medicine, is good in small doses, but too much can be fatal. The substance is not inherently good nor evil, but grabs hold of the positive and negative aspects of a person and greatly accentuates them, leading to corruption.