Archivist Spotlight: Galra Archivist, Voltron: Legendary Defender
Updated: Dec 9, 2020
It's a short one this week, but hey, they can't all be long, drawn out examinations of the deeper meaning behind the appearance of an archives or archivists. Sometimes you just need to give your storyline some heft, so you make up a ceremony and have it presided over by someone called the Archivist. Such is what occurs in the episode "Kral Zera" of Voltron: Legendary Defender.
The title of the episode is actually the name of the ceremony that occurs among the Galra when a new leader is chosen. In the wake of the supposed death of Zarkon, the potential successors are called to the planet Feyiv by the Archivist. As the ceremony begins, he says:
Through thirty-three rulers, during times and peace and times of expanse, this flame has burned for over thirteen millennia. From our first, Brodar, to Vrig the Great, and longest and most powerful of all, Zarkon...But his time has passed. Our next ruler must ascend the steps of destiny and relight the Kral Zera.
And that's about it. The Archivist doesn't do much. He don't even have a name, just a title. He's basically there to say a thing that lets the rest of the story move forward. Nothing about the ceremony seems archival in nature, so he's there for the tradition of it, I suppose. As of the most recent season, the Archivist hasn't appeared again. The best I can figure is this was a way of creating a shorthand culture for the Galra. They're not just warmongering conquerors, they also have traditions that span several millennia. That's why they have an archivist.
Honestly, Prince Lotor's governess, Dayak, was a better example of an archivist. Her methods might have been a bit...painful, but you can't argue with the results.
Update: Spoilers for Season 8 of Voltron!
The Archivist appears once again in the second episode of Voltron's final season, "Shadows."
And then he dies.