Emperor Zarkon is the ruler of the Galra Empire that has conquered almost all of the known universe over the past ten thousand years, and is a main antagonist of the series. Once the Black Paladin in the past, he now seeks to capture all of the Voltron Lions to take their combined power for himself.

Particularly, he is obsessed with reclaiming the Black Lion from Shiro, and has Haggar send Robeasts out to battle Voltron for him. His obsession leads to his downfall and defeat at the hands of Voltron's team and allies after an epic battle between the robot and the emperor's own massive robotic suit. Zarkon is currently in a comatose state, surviving only from Haggar's care and a machine infusing him with Quintessence. His son, Prince Lotor, is slated to take over his role.



Ruthless and obsessed, Zarkon is a tyrant whose cruelty is known across the universe. He has a single-minded goal of capturing Voltron, particularly the Black Lion he formerly piloted.


Zarkon is known to have superior strength and longevity that he amplifies by absorbing Quintessence. His skills in leadership are proven by his ten thousand-year reign of the known universe itself. As well as being an efficient ruler, Zarkon is a highly skilled combatant and is powerful enough to take on the Red Lion without the need to pilot a machine of equal caliber, using only the Black Bayard. He has shown outright brutal hand-to-hand combat prowess.[3]

As a the former Black Paladin, Zarkon can will the Black Bayard to take multiple combative forms such as an energy shield, a sword, a cannon, and a whip.[4] Zarkon's proficiency with the Black Bayard surpasses that of the current Paladins as no other Paladin has been shown able to alter the form of their Bayard at will.


  • When Allura awakens from her sleep, she refers to Zarkon as the "King of the Galra" rather than "Emperor", implying Zarkon's empire was spawned from a kingdom in the past.[1]
  • Zarkon is based on the character Zarkon of the previous Voltron franchises, who in turn was based on the character Daibazaal of Beast King GoLion.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Season One: Episode 1, "The Rise of Voltron"
  2. Voltron: Legendary Defender Official Website
  3. Season Two: Episode 7, "Space Mall"
  4. Season One: Episode 11, "The Black Paladin"


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