The concept of daemons is borrowed from the His Dark Materials series. A daemon is a person’s soul manifested outside of their body in a tangible, physical form, which permanently settles into the form of an animal that most resembles them in character as the individual matures.
Human and daemon are not separate beings, but two halves of one mental coin, which means that they each know everything the other does and thinks and senses. Daemons have a distinct personality than their human to a certain degree, as human and dæmon represent different aspects of the same whole. Dæmons are almost always the opposite gender of the human.They cannot move more than a few yards from each other without severe mental anguish.
Although they take on animal form, dæmons can speak aloud, though they rarely do. There is a set of etiquette around dæmons. Humans address humans, and dæmons address dæmons, unless the two people know each other very well. The most important rule is the taboo: it is considered a violation tantamount to rape to for a human to touch the dæmon of another without permission. Permission is only given in the most intimate of relationships.
HUNK + BUMBLEBEE
Hunk’s daemon is a member of the largest and gentlest of all the known species of bees, well known for their communicative, group-oriented, nurturing, and hardworking natures; bumblebees are social, docile, non-aggressive insects and only sting if they absolutely must, but if their colony is threatened, they will not hesitate to put everything on the line to protect it. She represents Hunk's stubborn, outspoken, protective side, while Hunk himself is more domestic, habitual, and practical.
Hunk usually transports his daemon in a small case he wears on a lanyard around his neck to keep her from being accidentally harmed due to her tiny size, though she can also be commonly found nestling in his hair. And though as a daemon she doesn’t need to eat, he always lets her have a tiny taste of anything sweet he makes in the kitchen.
As the smallest daemon on the team, Hunk’s bee is sometimes frustrated by the fact that she cannot be as physically affectionate with her daemon friends as her human can, though she makes up for it in her own ways. She will often flit from daemon to daemon and bodily nudge them companionably while hovering beside them, and will also simply land on and cling to them if they allow it. If someone is feeling down, she’ll even stroke them with one of her small legs to impart what reassurance she can while humming comfortingly to them.
LANCE + WHITE WAGTAIL
Lance’s daemon takes the form of a small, agile, extremely energetic and verbose black and white bird that can survive and thrive in almost any environment; it can be quite territorial, brash, and competitive over its mate and nesting sites, but it is also extroverted, playful, and cooperative, as it is monogamous and sometimes flocks together with other wagtails in groups for warmth and to find food more easily. She represents the introspective side of Lance, the one that's nostalgic and sentimental and just a wee bit insecure. Lance is the confident, spontaneous, innovative side.
She is almost always in motion, constantly jumping from his shoulders to his head to his arms and back again, wagging her tail all the while. Alternatively, she will fly around above his head, doing little aerial twirls and tricks to show off her agility.
Lance’s wagtail is quite forward and casual with the other daemons who live in the Castle of Lions. She takes great joy in playing practical jokes on them, fearlessly sneaking up and pouncing on them, pulling their tails, cawing in their ears, etc., but she’s also quite affectionate and enjoys letting the smaller daemons hang out on her back or perching on the larger ones’ heads from time to time. She also has absolutely no fear of Keith’s eagle daemon, even though the larger bird could utterly mangle her in seconds if she felt so inclined. The sight of a huge eagle and a tiny passerine angrily screeching and posturing at each other while their humans argue in the background never fails to be vaguely surreal to any onlookers who happen to witness it.
PIDGE + GREEN AND BRONZE POISON DART FROG
Pidge is initially the only member of Team Voltron to have not settled on a stable form before the start of the series. Instead, her daemon usually takes the forms of small, intelligent mammals, reptiles, and perhaps the occasional insect, which helps him to stay out of sight of teachers and other cadets so they more readily assume he’s female and buy Pidge’s disguise. He represents the driven, calculating, protective side of Pidge, while Pidge herself is more impulsive, open, and emotional.
It isn’t until she fully commits to her team and accepts her duty as the Green Paladin that her daemon finally settles as a green and bronze poison dart frog, a tiny, bold, inquisitive, intelligent amphibian that secretes highly toxic poison from its brightly colored skin when it feels threatened, and - despite its tendency to form loose groups with others of its kind - which is fiercely protective of its individual territory and young.
After settling, her daemon can usually be found tucked in her pockets, balanced on her shoulder or head, or clinging to the folds of her clothes or one of the lenses of her glasses. While not the most open or touchy-feely of daemons, Pidge’s frog does come to enjoy occasionally perching on the heads of his teammates’ daemons, and will sometimes burrow into their feathers/fur for warmth or when he’s feeling particularly affectionate. Alternatively, Hunk’s bee, as the smallest member of their group, will sometimes perch on her fellow daemon’s head, and the two small creatures can often be found in this position when their technologically-inclined human halves are doing sciencey stuff together.
KEITH + GOLDEN EAGLE
Keith’s deamon is a large, imposing, powerful species of raptor that is an apex predator in its range, with few to none natural enemies and only other golden eagles for competition; they are territorial, private, aggressive birds, though they can and will bond closely and work well with their exclusive mates for years, sometimes even for life. Keith is more taciturn, focused, and analytical, while his daemon is the passionate, reckless, and confrontational part of his personality.
Keith wears thick falconer’s gloves in this AU instead of the light fingerless ones that he wears in canon, so that his daemon can safely perch on him without accidentally hurting him. His jacket is reinforced in the same way so she can ride on his shoulders if she so chooses as well. One of their favorite pastimes on Earth was for Keith to ride his hover bike over the open plains around their shack while his eagle flew as fast as she could overhead to keep up, and they enjoy doing that in the Red Lion as well when they get some downtime on the planets the team visits.
Keith’s eagle is quite standoffish around other daemons and is usually openly affectionate only to her human. In fact, initially, the only daemon she showed even an ounce of respect or affection for was Shiro’s, as the other three were so new and small and helpless and inexperienced to her. However, as Keith and his daemon got to know their team, their protective instincts started to surface and she began to open up to them a little more and tolerate their affection (though that doesn’t mean they don’t still butt heads with Lance and his wagtail on occasion).
SHIRO + PYRENEAN MOUNTAIN DOG
Shiro’s daemon is a large livestock guardian dog that is known for its loyalty, strong will, and calm, patient, protective disposition, fierce and powerful enough to maul animals as large as bears that threaten its charges, but also gentle and approachable enough that a child or lamb can approach and fall asleep on it with no fear of reprimand. She represents Shiro's nurturing, affectionate, sillier side, while Shiro himself represents the stoic, authoritative, dutiful side.
Shiro's daemon can usually be found standing at her human’s side or laying at his feet, one of his hands more often than not tangled in her long, soft fur. She quickly develops the same relationship with the other paladins’ daemons as their humans do with Shiro, and has her work cut out for her mediating disputes, keeping everyone on track, and making sure no one gets themselves killed. She’s very physically demonstrative, and doesn’t mind in the least if the other smaller deamons hitch rides on her back or use her as a pillow.
Seeing how caring and unflappable Shiro’s dog acts around the younger deamons under her care makes it easy to forget that her jaws are as fully capable crushing metal and rending flesh as her human’s metal arm is. And at night, when the castle is asleep, she’ll curl up against Shiro on his bunk, somehow managing to fit despite her size, the contact comforting to them both. They’ll sometimes dream of standing in a dusty arena, the roar of the crowd swelling around them, the fur around her mouth and the metal of his arm drenched and dripping with foul, viscous, alien blood; of walls and steel and space, space, space, too much space between them, horrible, agonizing, soul-crushing loneliness the likes of which no human or daemon should ever experience as they are incarcerated separately every night; of bright lights overhead, restraints holding them down, sharp metal and violet electricity, hands on him, hands on her, and how dare they, how dare they, let her go, it hurts, don’t touch her, stop it it hurts, this is wrongdisgustingperverserevoltingsick, stop touching her, it hurts it hurts, stop it stop it stop it S T O P- When they finally wake from these dreams, panicked and panting, tears stinging his eyes and puppyish whimpers fighting their way out of her throat, his arms will inevitably find their way around his daemon’s scarred neck and he’ll bury his face in her fur, reminding himself for the hundredth time that he has her, he has her, not them, and though what he and his daemon have isn’t the same as it was before (nothing will be the same ever again, you’re both dirty, unclean, tainted, broken, broken, broken), it’s enough. They have each other, they have their team, and it’s enough.
So because I've fallen headfirst into Robot Space Lion Purgatory lately, I thought it might be fun to put together a list of my headcanons for the Voltron paladins' daemons. Hope you guys enjoyed!