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Characters / The Lion King Second Film

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Characters from The Lion King franchise introduced in its second film, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. If you're looking for Kiara, see the first film's character sheet.

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"[Scar] wasn't my father, but he was...part of me."

Voiced in English by: Ryan O'Donohue (cub, Simba's Pride), Jason Marsden (adult, Simba's Pride, and as a cub in The Lion Guard)
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Alan Fernando Velazquez (cub, Simba's Pride), Roberto Villavicencio (cub, The Lion Guard), Ricardo Tejedo (adult)
Voiced in Japanese by: Wataru Kitao (cub), Kouji Yamamoto (adult)
Singing by: Gene Miller (adult, Simba's Pride)

Kovu is the deuteragonist of The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride. He is the adopted son of Zira and the love interest of Kiara.

  • Accidental Kiss: With Kiara after they hide from the rhinos.
  • Adorkable: He certainly has his moments, such as when he's with Kiara or learning new concepts like "fun things are fun."
  • Anti-Villain: He doesn't want to be evil, he's forced into it by his adopted mother. He has a high sense of morality, and - given how fast he defected - it's implied he was never comfortable with the plot in the first place.
  • Becoming the Mask: Becomes the lion he pretended to be towards Kiara and the Pridelanders. On the other hand, his more vicious side could be seen as a mask, with the real person being the lion he pretended to be.
  • Big "NO!": When his clan ambush Simba.
  • Calling the Old Woman Out: Towards the end, he lets Zira know how sick he is of being manipulated and used as a tool.
  • Character Development: As a result of Zira's harsh treatment, he initially has no concept of having fun, or at the very least, fun that isn't immediately obvious. He becomes ruthless, savage and merciless as a result of his forced training into becoming an assassin, even though it's implied he's naturally opposed to such a mindset. When he reunites with Kiara, he becomes more calm, funny, prone to his true emotions of goodness, nobility and love along with his own morals taking hold of him. He proves it when he refuses to attack Simba in the ambush, and when he stands up to his mother when she orders him to stand down. He's also depicted as uncomfortable with the plot when he was a cub, only went with it reluctantly as he grew up and the second he realized it was bad, threw his mission out the window.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Kiara, they met each other as cubs and fell in love as adults.
  • Children Are Innocent: At the beginning of Simba's Pride. Despite his outward bravado he eagerly befriends Kiara and is scared by Zira's insistence that he'll have to kill Kiara and Simba and help Zira start a new dynasty in their place. Has this in The Lion Guard, as he is ecstatic upon meeting Kion, and insists innocently that he meet Zira, not knowing his adopted mother is a deranged lunatic.
  • The Chosen One: By Scar to murder to Simba. Probably a lie since the director confirmed he is not related to Zira.
  • Cult Defector: He's done following Zira the closer he bonds with Kiara and Simba.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Has no father and was raised all his life to kill Simba.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Once he has a Heel–Face Turn. And it's implied that he and Zira have argued about this in the past.
  • Defecting for Love: Switches sides due to his love of Kiara. Its implied his own morals also played a role in his defection, given that even as a cub, he showed signs of regret.
  • Defusing the Tyke Bomb: His time with Kiara along with his own sense of morality helped him realize that his plan was wrong.
  • The Exile: He's exiled from the Pride Lands by Simba towards the end of the film when he asks the latter for forgiveness. However, Kiara helps him return to the lands and stop their parents from fighting each other.
  • Expy: Of Romeo, albeit with a Heel–Face Turn arc that the former lacks.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: As cubs, Kovu and Kiara saving each other in the crocodile swamp and gaining respect for each other's abilities.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Receives a scar over his eye by his adopted mother when she blamed him for Nuka's death.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The first one of the Outsiders to want peace with the Pridelanders.
  • Heel Realization: Once he hears Simba's side on the kind of person Scar really was.
  • Hidden Depths: Implied. During the final confrontation, Zira says that Kovu is even weaker than she thought, indicating that the two of them have argued in the past over morality. The Lion Guard shows that he is very genuinely friendly, indicating this as well.
  • Heroic BSoD: Nuka's death not only leaves him utterly shattered, but pretty much fully realizes his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Idiot Ball: Briefly grasps it during the ambush. He easily could have helped Simba up, but instead just ran off.
  • Informed Ability: Kovu is heavily stated to rival Simba in strength and be a powerful fighter. While his agility and hunting savvy is apparent, his battle skills are never really shown, and in his one physical bout he is taken out incredibly quickly. In his defense, he was kicked headfirst into a rock, which probably would knock anyone out; also said kick was delivered by Vitani who was very strong.
  • In Love with the Mark: Falls for Kiara while being sent to kill her father. Somewhat played with as Zira actually developed the assassination plan because Kovu befriended Kiara as a cub, and obviously didn't consider that his feelings might redevelop when he saw her again.
  • Love Redeems: Kovu's growing love for Kiara helped him escape his adopted mother's influence.
  • Mark of Shame: Once his adopted mother scratches him hard enough to leave a scar.
  • The McCoy: He is the most moral and emotional of the Outsiders. He does what he thinks is the right thing to do. Its implied he and Zira have butted heads over the plot in the past, and it only takes a day or two for him to try to drop the plot, even before falling in love with Kiara.
  • Meaningful Name: Kovu means "scar" in Swahili.
  • Missing Mom: Word of God says that Kovu is not biologically related to Zira, so it is unknown what happened to his biological mother. Or his biological father for that matter.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: His actions and backstory make calling him a villain at all a bit much if he is one at all, but his first reaction when he saw Timon was to slam on the brakes really fast, as he clearly did not expect to see the meerkat right then and there. He also shakes off a lifetime's worth of brainwashing and takes to Kiara's more compassionate way of living incredibly quickly.
  • Nice Guy: Despite his mother's training, he's kind, protective and friendly.
  • Not So Different: He and Simba really aren't that different. Both endured a difficult past, both have to deal with a serious inner demon that is resolved at the end of the film, and both of them have lost parents, as Kovu is an orphan while Simba lost his father.
  • Official Couple: With Kiara.
  • Oh, Crap!: The second he saw Timon, he was stunned, as he clearly didn't expect to see the meerkat there.
  • Parental Abandonment: He apparently lost his biological parents and was taken in by Scar and Zira.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: During "One Of Us", as he's being exiled from the Pride Lands, he looks at his reflection in the river. While Simba once saw Mufasa in a pool of water, all Kovu sees is Scar, which leads to this.
  • Standing Between the Enemies: Does this in the climax with Kiara between the Outsiders and Pridelanders.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Kiara. She's the princess of the Pridelands and he's supposed to take out her father Simba.
  • Token Good Teammate: Of the Outlanders.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Zira's intense training transformed Kovu from a cub who was easily scared just from looking at Simba to a full grown lion who will roar at the king himself.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Thank to Kiara's influence and his own morals, Kovu becomes a kinder lion.
  • Troubled, but Cute: He has dark charms and mysterious vibes and Princess Kiara likes him immediately. His family makes his life difficult and miserable because they supported Scar, Simba's (Kiara's father) arch-enemy.
  • Tyke Bomb: Subverted, since he never believed what he was doing was right. Was hand chosen and raised since cubhood to kill Simba one day. Probably a lie since the director revealed that Kovu is an orphan and isn't biologically related to Zira or Scar at all. It is also heavily implied that he actually didn't kill anything, given his pretty obvious dislike of violence.
  • Unknown Rival: He never seems to notice or care about the fact that Nuka resents him. He is actually shown sympathetic concerning his treatment from Zira, and is devastated by his death, suggesting he genuinely loved him.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: As a cub, he is shown to be very innocent and friendly, though he does take a moment to playfully tease Kiara when they first meet. After being trained by his adopted mother to kill Simba, Kovu transforms into a ruthless, savage and merciless assassin. It is implied he and Zira have argued about this in the past, given that she suspected that Kovu had morality which in her opinion was weakness. He gets better, though. thanks to his own morality.
  • White Sheep: Of the Outlanders. Even as a cub he's far kinder and more tender-hearted than the tough Vitani and bitter Nuka, defends his older brother despite getting in trouble, eagerly befriends Kiara and is uncomfortable with his mother's plan to make him a killer. As an adult, he quickly defects from Zira's side and takes to Kiara's and the Pridelander's gentler lifestyle like a duck to water.
  • Youngest Child Wins: Scar chose Kovu, over Nuka (the oldest) to become king of the Pridelands. He does... but not in the way Scar or Zira wanted. It's probably a lie created by Zira, since the director has confirmed that Kovu is an orphan and isn't related to Zira biologically. It also becomes obvious that Zira didn't abuse him, though whether or not she did it out of genuine love, or because she knew that would destroy his loyalty and consequently cause him to turn on her the second he got into the Pride Lands is unknown.


"His lionesses' mournful cry: that's my lullaby!"

Voiced in English by: Suzanne Pleshette (Simba's Pride), Nika Futterman (The Lion Guard)
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Joana Brito (Simba's Pride), Cony Madera (The Lion Guard),
Voiced in Japanese by: Akiko Nakamura

The Big Bad of The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride and the mother of Kovu.

  • 0% Approval Rating: The minute Zira threatens Vitani's life for siding with Simba during the final showdown, the rest of her followers promptly desert her en masse. It's also revealed in The Lion Guard that she is an outcast so hated even by the hyenas.
  • Abusive Parents: Her relationship with Nuka is a rather accurate depiction of familial abuse. Though when he dies, she shows she really did care about him. She just keeps getting worse as well; by the time of the film's climax, she's slashed Kovu across the face, scarring him in the very same place Scar had his, and openly threatened to kill Vitani for siding with Simba.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Lion Guard removed her stripe for her formal design, even though her Rafiki drawing has her with it.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Zira might have been consumed by revenge, but Kovu is saddened when she falls to her death. Even Kiara seems quite crestfallen for not being able to save her successfully.
  • And This Is for...: "This is for you, Scar!"
  • Avenging the Villain: For Scar, since she was a follower of his.
  • Ax-Crazy: She's much less composed and self-controlled than Scar, as shown during her actions in the final battle and her Villain Song.
  • Berserk Button: Doing anything that opposes Scar will trigger her wrath. She especially becomes furious when Kion tells her that Scar wasn't the rightful king of the Pride Lands, and it's revealed she first attacked Simba for saying the same thing.
  • Big Bad: Of the sequel. She wants to get rid of Simba and the other Pridelanders.
  • Cats Are Mean: She's every bit a villainous lion as Scar.
  • The Chessmaster: Despite being Ax-Crazy, she shows some aspects of this. She trained Kovu to sneak into the Pride Lands and become her instrument of Simba's destruction. Then she proceeds to use this to throw Simba off his game by revealing it to him (even though Kovu already underwent a Heel–Face Turn by the time).
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: While Scar was a high-functioning sociopath motivated by ambition and with a complete lack of empathy, Zira is way more overt in her hatred for Simba and is motivated by revenge, although she has a degree of empathy for her family. Also while Scar was ultimately a Dirty Coward and a self preservationist who died begging for his life against those he screwed over, Zira was maniacally Defiant to the End even after all had turned on her, even willingly dying before turning in the original edit.
  • The Corrupter: Attempts to do this to Kion in The Lion Guard. Hey, she learned from the best! Of course, Kion doesn't fall for her persuasion.
  • Dark Action Girl: A very dark, gothic, and insane character, and gets caught up in a lot of action.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: It's implied by how she reacts to Nuka's death that she did genuinely love her kids (and Scar, considering he's the one the revenge plot is for), but is so consumed by her thirst for revenge she's lost sight of that.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To Scar, with a similar Lean and Mean character design. Their similarity becomes even more obvious when she sings "My Lullaby".
  • Disney Villain Death: Her death was originally much darker, including her being Driven to Suicide and letting go of her own free will. It even would've shown her being crushed by logs in the torrent.
  • Dragon Ascendant: If she was Scar's mate, this was most likely make her his second-in-command. She didn't appear in the first film at all, but becomes the Big Bad of the second one.
  • Ear Notch: Has a rip on her ear. It's never explained how she got it.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She loves her kids, but she's too obsessed with revenge to show it. She is also devoted to Scar.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Simba. Both of them being the rulers of the groups of lions in conflict, those from the Pride Lands and the Outlanders respectively who look down upon each other. Both also stand in the way of their progeny, Kiara and Kovu, from fulfilling their romance with each other. Whilst Simba comes around to accept the Outlanders after his eyes become opened Zira never relents from her hatred and winds up dying because of it.
  • Evil Is Petty: At least she admits it: "Trouble is, I know it's petty, but I hate to let them live!"
  • Evil Matriarch: To her three children, especially Kovu.
  • Evil Mentor: In The Lion Guard after learning that Kion has the Roar of the Elders, Zira took an interest in taking Kion under her wing, offering to teach him to unlock the true power of the Roar of The Elders, but in exchange for him joining her pack.
  • Evil Plan: Same "take over the Pridelands" plan as Scar, but she decides on the direct approach at the end.
  • Evil Virtues: She's determined, devoted and charismatic. She's also a capable leader, given that her pride managed to survive in that wasteland.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Zira has a very deep voice for a female villain, courtesy of Suzanne Pleshette.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: She can't understand why Kovu wants to abandon the plot, and is genuinely surprised when he stands up to her at the final battle. Also when her pride defects, you can tell from her voice and her expression that she didn't anticipate that, not that it makes her stand down. This traces back to when she first developed the plan, as she saw Kovu cared about Kiara and immediately saw it as a chance for him to kill Simba, rather than considering his attachment for Kiara could lead him away from the Outlanders.
  • Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: A Big Bad lion version.
  • The Exile: Was banished from the Pride Lands along with the other Outlanders. We never find out why, but she is ticked off about it. We see her full extent of her backstory in The Lion Guard.
  • Fantastic Racism: In her appearance in The Lion Guard, her sadism is largely replaced with a lion supremacist attitude, to the point where she expects Kion to side with her over Jasiri simply because she's a lion.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her thirst for vengeance. While she shows at Nuka's death and other times that she loves her children, her all-consuming thirst for vengeance causes her to be an Abusive Parent, ultimately causing the death of one of her children and the Heel–Face Turn of the other two, as well as her own demise.
  • Faux Affably Evil: She can act polite and affable when it suits her, but can lose her composure and turn violent at the drop of a hat. Case in point: when talking to Kion, she's initially calm and somewhat kind towards him... until Kion refuses to join her and tells her that Scar was never the rightful king of the Pride Lands, upon which she loses her temper and orders the other Outsiders to attack him.
  • Foil: To Kiara. She revels in carnage and death, while Kiara hates it.
    • Zira is also arguably this to Simba. Consider how each reacts to Kovu and Kiara's first meeting: Simba teaches Kiara about love and acceptance, while Zira encourages Kovu to harbor vengefulness and hatred for Simba's pride.
  • Go for the Eye: Tells one of the members of her pride to do this during the final battle of the movie.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Though she's more of an ex-queen.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Can get physically violent very easily.
  • Hypocrite:
    • She calls Kovu out for causing his own brother's accidental death, but she worships Scar who killed his brother on purpose. It also works in the opposite way, since she mistreats Nuka because he's envious of Kovu's status, which is much like Scar felt about Mufasa.
    • She begs Kion not to use the Roar on the Outsiders because they are fellow lions, but had moments earlier shown no qualms over having Kion killed when he refused to join her side.
    • Her claim of "lions over all" reeks of this, since her actions make it clear the only lions that matter to her are the ones on her side.
  • Ignored Epiphany: After Nuka's death, she seems to blame herself but then shifts the blame to Kovu.
  • I Have No Son!: Towards Kovu as she blames him for causing Nuka's death. And later she threatens to kill Vitani for deciding to no longer take part in their war and turning to the Pridelanders.
  • Join or Die: Zira makes this offer to Kion in The Lion Guard once she finds out he has the Roar of the Elders, which would greatly benefit the Outsiders. She ordered her pack to kill him if he refused.
  • Karmic Death: Falls to her death the same way Scar fell to his. The only difference is that, instead of hyenas tearing her apart, she's swept away by a broken dam.
  • Kick the Dog: Every time Nuka does something for her, she ignores it. Until he dies.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The moment she shows up, nothing's funny or sweet anymore. Even though her menace is somewhat downplayed in The Lion Guard, she's still very clearly a danger to Kion.
  • Knight Templar: In her eyes, Scar was the legitimate king and whatever she does to avenge him is right, even if it leads to Nuka's death and, later, the other lionesses deserting her.
  • Lady Macbeth: Posthumously for Scar. Plays the role a little closer for Kovu, pushing him into power just as the original Lady Macbeth does.
  • Large Ham: Before her Villainous Breakdown.
  • Lean and Mean: Her skinniness equates to her nastiness.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Considering the events of the sequel, Zira is the only Outlander who doesn't know that Janja brought out Scar's spirit, which would be really be beneficial for her cause. The fact that she doesn't know Janja even exists would definitely support this.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Her love for Scar and the death of Nuka put her on a progressively darker path.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: Most of her Villain Song is modeled after this trope.
  • Manipulative Bitch:
    • She'll use her adopted child to get what she wants.
    • In The Lion Guard, she tries to sway Kion over to her way of thinking, and when that fails, she tricks him into believing that using the Roar of the Elders on other lions will result in him being stripped of its power.
  • Mama Bear: While her quest for revenge and insanity was already present, it gets worse after Nuka is accidentally killed.
  • Master Race: In The Lion Guard, she gets a Villain Song wherein she declares that lions are innately superior to all other animals and that they must be more ruthless in their ruling methods.
  • Meaningful Name: Zira is Swahili for "hate". Giving her thirst for vengeance, it's extremely fitting.
  • Misplaced Retribution: She wants revenge on Simba for Scar's death, when in reality, Scar was killed by his own hyena minions after trying to pass the buck onto them. Although she did have a hatred for hyenas in The Lion Guard.
  • Mood-Swinger: Can turn from charming to a screaming lunatic very quickly with no provocation.
  • Never My Fault: It was her fault her son died, but she doesn't own up to it.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Gets a thrill out of murder.
  • Parental Favoritism: She openly favored Kovu over Nuka, and ignored Nuka's attempts to win her attention and affection. This leads to Nuka attempting to kill Simba when Kovu backs down in an effort to finally win his mother's love, and costs him his life.
  • Pet the Dog: Her one and only moment of kindness to Nuka is to tenderly comfort him in his dying moments. Not taking responsibility for what happened and instead shifting the blame onto Kovu doesn't exactly help her case any, but she is well and truly horrified by her son's death, which serves as the point where Zira forgoes her Evil Plan and decides to simply attack Simba head-on in a mad display of revenge.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • She knows better than to openly assault Pride Rock before she's ready, and spends years training her lionesses into an elite fighting unit and Kovu as her chief enforcer. It's only after Nuka's death that she forgoes this and openly assaults the Pride Lands, but even then, her lionesses are well-trained enough to prove to be more than a match for the Pridelanders.
    • In The Lion Guard she won't take to Nuka pouncing on useful guests, that or she can't stand his stupidity. In the film itself, it quickly becomes obvious that she doesn't abuse Kovu, knowing that doing so would cause him to abandon the plan almost immediately after he got into the Pride Lands, not to mention the fact that Kovu could take that knowledge public and promptly cost Zira the Outsiders support.
  • Redemption Rejection: Simba tries to convince Zira to abandon her revenge against the Pridelanders, especially when Kiara convinces Vitani and the others to join their side. It doesn't work.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Her eyes are blood red, which fits her psychopathic nature along with her general mood.
  • Red Right Hand: Her Ear Notch and the stripe on the top of her head serve as this.
  • Remember the New Guy?: As with the rest of the Outlanders, she didn't appear in the first film, wherever every lioness seen vigorously took part in the battle to depose Scar.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Everything she does is to avenge Scar's death, and not even the death of Nuka in pursuit of it is enough to make her stop. If anything, it makes makes her desire for vengeance even worse as she orders a direct assault on the Pridelanders immediately afterwards. Even when the other Outlanders realize the truth in Kiara's speech and decide to give pull a Heel–Face Turn, Zira refuses to give up her mad pursuit and makes one final attack on Simba, which leads to her demise.
  • Selective Enforcement: She blames Simba for Scar's death, but places none of her vengeance onto the hyenas, who outright mauled him to death. In her defense, they had disappeared. She does resort to taking it out on other hyenas in The Lion Guard.
  • Slasher Smile: Here's a few.
  • The Social Darwinist: She seems to be a firm believer in this concept, based on her Villain Song from The Lion Guard.
  • The Strategist: Not only is she very good at crafting plans, she's also a competent leader on the battlefield. After Simba is wounded in the ambush, she decides to move on to Pride Rock as long as he's still weakened. If Kovu and Kiara hadn't got there in time, she could have won.
  • They Died Because of You: She blames Kovu for causing Nuka's death.
  • Undying Loyalty: Scar's most loyal follower, to the point that she seems obsessed with him.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Kovu raced down to help Nuka when he fell. Zira still blames him for Nuka's death.
  • Villain Song: "My Lullaby" in Simba's Pride where she lays out her desire to kill Simba and the Pridelanders as revenge for Scar; "Lions Over All" in The Lion Guard which depicts her lion-supremacist viewpoints and asks Kion to become her ally.
  • Villain Ball: Not to the same degree as Scar, but she does grapple with it in her plan. Her plan is fully dependent on Kovu being willing to carry out the murder, and given how fast he quickly decided to say "Forget it. This is wrong", he really wasn't the best choice to carry it out. This is reinforced during their confrontation in the final battle as she calls Kovu even weaker she expected, implying that the two of them have butted heads over this in the past. Also, she fails to have a Plan B in the event the first plan didn't work. She then completely grasps the ball by lunging at Simba, a move that almost certainly would have gotten her killed even if Kiara didn't intercept her.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Naturally, she was never the most sane person, but after Nuka dies, she throws her Evil Plan out the window, banishes her adopted son, and starts a full-out war with the Pride Lands. Gets even worse when Kovu and Kiara return and stop the fighting, threatening her own daughter with death.
    • In The Lion Guard, she's left begging for Kion to listen to her when the latter realizes she tricked him and is about to use the Roar on her and her pride. Before that, she nearly went psychotic when Kion tells her that Scar was never the real king of the Pride Lands.
  • Villainous Friendship: The Lion Guard has her say that she and Scar were close friends (although the emphasis she places on the word "close" strongly suggests (as every fan had assumed to this point) it may have been something more).
  • Villain Has a Point: "Lions of the Outlands" proves that Zira does know several secrets about the Roar of the Elders that Kion doesn't, so she could indeed teach Kion more about his powers if she wasn't wanting to use him for evil.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: In The Lion Guard, Zira wanted to take Kion as an apprentice, and teach him the full power of the Roar of The Elders.
  • Villainous Underdog: Zira may be dangerous on her own, but she knows facing Simba and the Pride Lands head on would be suicide. With her cunning and patience, Zira can exploit weaknesses when she can. With that, her plan is to make Kovu her Tyke-Bomb so he can gain Simba's trust through Kiara then kill him. During the events of The Lion Guard, she tries to take Kion under her wing, knowing that the Roar of the Elders can turn the tables if she successfully manipulated him. But since that fell through, she defaults to her original plan.
  • Villainous Valor: Despite being a fair amount smaller than Simba she fearlessly challenges him to a one on one fight near the end. While clearly in the middle of a Villainous Breakdown, she still seems confident that she could kill him.
  • Virtue Is Weakness: She outright calls Kovu a weakling for refusing to side with her plan and interfering with her fight with Simba.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: The Lion Guard, for whatever reason, decided to give Zira a bizarre sort of Scottish, sort of Eastern-European accent. It doesn't sound bad, it just really stands out; especially when she sings.


"I could be a leader if [Zira] would just give me a chance!"

Voiced in English by: Andy Dick
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Sergio Bonilla (Simba's Pride), Manuel Diaz (The Lion Guard),
Voiced in Japanese by: Yuji Machi

Nuka is the oldest son of Zira and is often neglected by her.

  • Adorkable: He's lanky, nervous and too bumbling to be actually despicable.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Despite being a comic relief antagonist, his death is intentionally poignant, especially in the original edit.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: He shows some histrionic traits, especially the boisterous personality and the constant need for attention, mixed with pyromania.
  • Ambiguously Related: His mother was Scar's closest follower, he would have been declared Scar's heir if not for his ineptitude, and he does resemble Scar somewhat, but so does Kovu who Word of God states was adopted.
  • Anti-Villain: He's not motivated by revenge, nor does he seem to appreciate Scar very much. He just wants to gain his mother's affection. Even worse when Word of God revealed that Kovu is an orphan, which means that Scar probably didn't chose him as successor.
  • Ax-Crazy: Like mother, like son.
  • Big Brother Bully: Acts as a minor version towards Kovu and Vitani when they were young. Vitani seems to push him around just as much however, and Kovu doesn't seem to notice.
  • Boisterous Weakling: While mildly Not So Harmless (see below), he doesn't possess any of the abilities he boasts about.
  • The Brute: He's scrawny, but he's tougher than he looks.
  • Buffoonish Tomcat: In most of the scenes he's in, he's a bumbling comic relief.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Vitani is obviously more competent than him.
  • Butt-Monkey: Scrawny, neurotic, and high-strung, with barely any mane on his neck, he's The Un-Favourite of Zira's children. As a result, he is subject to constant abuse from his mother, both physical and emotional, with his siblings usually showing frustration with his buffoonery. Despite this, (or perhaps because of this) he constantly tries to gain his mother's approval, and it ends up killing him. Only then does she come to her senses. Until she throws the blame onto Kovu of course.
  • Co-Dragons: Is this with Vitani in a way, though she clearly is more in charge and competent than he is.
  • Cool Big Bro: Well, it seems like he sees himself as this anyway. While letting Kovu wander off alone was partially a means to get rid of him, Kovu's bragging about looking after himself towards Kiara seems to be an echo of Nuka's "every lion for himself" mindset.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: During the ambush he's the first to try and challenge Simba, but is knocked away pretty quickly. This changes when he pursues Simba up the log dam where he actually seems like a legit threat until the logs collapse underneath him.
  • Dark Is Evil: He's the darkest lion in the sequel, along with Kovu.
  • Deadpan Snarker: "Kovu, what a guy." While Vitani's adoration is genuine, Nuka has a completely dry tone and rolls his eyes.
  • Disney Villain Death: Dies during a log collapse.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: As The Unfavorite, he was really willing to do anything to get Zira's attention, even prior to his own death.
  • Evil Is Petty: Most of his actions would befit a feisty kid more than the son of a schemer like Zira.
  • Expy: Of Tybalt, Romeo's boisterous rival whose death further fuels the conflict between the two families.
  • Famous Last Words: "I'm sorry, mother... I tried."
  • Fatal Flaw: His craving for Zira's affection.
  • Foil:
    • To Scar. Both are The Unfavorite and resentful towards their respective brothers (despite both of their enduring care for them), and dream of being leaders because they feel they deserve it. They are also physically unimpressive, although stronger than they look. Scar keeps his resentment hidden and puts up an affable façade with Mufasa until it's the moment to betray him, while Nuka never hides his contempt for Kovu, even if it causes him troubles with Zira. Scar, as the younger sibling, needs Mufasa's death to take the throne, while Nuka had the birth right but was passed over in favor of someone who isn't even related to Scar. Scar is willing to destroy his own family to get the throne, Nuka wants to win his mother's affection. Scar carefully studies a plan to get rid of Mufasa and throws him off a cliff, while Nuka's lack of foresight causes his own death, which greatly resembles Mufasa's demise. Scar's plan is based on treason, while Nuka is moved by devotion.
    • Also to Kiara. Despite having the birthright to the throne, Kiara often antagonizes Simba's decisions while still remaining a Daddy's Girl. Nuka's right was passed to Kovu, yet he never openly challenges his mother's preferences, and his Momma's Boy status is completely dysfunctional.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The foolish to Vitani's responsible, especially in their villainous scenes (see Those Two Bad Guys). Unfortunately, his impulsive foolishness eventually causes his death.
  • Freudian Excuse: Zira constantly abuses him, physically and verbally. As a result, he's willing to do everything to please her, even if it includes murder.
  • Go Out with a Smile: In the original workprint of his death, he goes out with a smile on his face, pleased that he finally got Zira's attention.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Not to the extent Scar was, but considering he was Zira's eldest child, it's not hard to see why he became so envious of Kovu being the Chosen One over him. Even worse given that Kovu isn't related to either Zira or Scar, which means everything that happens to him is based probably on a lie.
  • Hypocrite: He calls Kion out for siding with Jasiri the hyena, ignoring the fact that Scar note  worked with an army of hyenas. Although they did turn on him and kill him (which was his own fault) so that may be it.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: The reason behind everything he does.
  • In the Blood: Apparently being Ax-Crazy.
  • Irony:
    • He spends the whole movie trying to succeed in something to get his mother's affection... and he gets it only as he's dying after failing to kill Simba.
    • In The Lion Guard, he insults Kion for associating with a hyena, despite the fact that Scar had earlier forged an alliance with them.
  • Lean and Mean: He's skinny and vicious.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: He tries to catch Simba on the top of an unstable dam, without thinking of the danger. It backfires on him, as he dies crushed by the logs.
  • Meaningful Name: Nuka is Swahili for "stink". Given his mangy appearance, it's quite fitting.
  • Momma's Boy: A very negative and ultimately tragic version.
  • Nervous Wreck: In the first part, he can't stop stuttering or worrying.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: If it hadn't been for the logs crumbling under him he would have probably caught Simba. He also started the fire that put Kiara in grave danger.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: He survives the fall only to be crushed under several logs.
  • The One Guy: The only male lion in Zira's pride, since Kovu spends more time away from the pride due to his mission and ultimately undergoes a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Overlord Jr.: The true biological son to Scar.
  • The Pigpen: He has poor hygiene due to his poverty, so termites constantly attack him.
  • Pyro Maniac: He really loves starting a fire with Vitani and shows an unsettling glee at the sight of flames.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He's an immature Momma's Boy with an insane passion for fire.
  • The Resenter: To his stepbrother in spades, especially since bringing it up tends to make his mother abuse him more. On a lesser note, he's also dismissive of Scar, probably because all of his problems are caused by being passed over to someone who he isn't even biologically related to Scar.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: While it's a very toned down case, there are still many parallels between Nuka and Ed Gein, the murderer that inspired Psycho. Like Gein, Nuka is extremely dependent on his own abusive mother. Also, Ed had a more rebellious brother that died in a fire, probably by Ed's hand. Nuka is jealous of Kovu (who ends up rebelling against Zira) and is a Pyro Maniac.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: He's not the typically smart type, but still counts.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Not that the movie wasn't dark in the first half but, after his death, Zira goes completely off the edge, physically hurts Kovu and decides to attack Pride Rock.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He's convinced that he could be just as useful as Kovu if Zira could give him a chance, but his lack of intelligence and generally unbalanced personality prove otherwise.
  • Sorry That I'm Dying: His last words are "I'm sorry, mother... I tried."
  • Sour Supporter: He resents Kovu, but endorses Zira's plan out of devotion.
  • Stronger Than They Look: Not only he takes part to the ambush, but he also quickly climbs on an unstable dam and manages to grab Simba.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: With Vitani, with him as the incompetent one and her as his much more competent foil. He has a few parts all his own, however, while she eventually survives him.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Which ended up killing him.
  • Tragic Villain: He's grown up in a wasteland, malnourished and unkempt, abused by his mother and with a constant reminder (Kovu) of his own status as The Unfavorite. All he wants is his mother to be proud of him... and he gets killed for it.
  • Undying Loyalty: Despite Zira's cruel treatment, he's easily her most devoted follower.
  • The Un-Favourite: Zira favors Kovu over him. Much of it is due to his stupidity.
  • Villain Ball: He tries to grab Simba by the foot, to drag him down to his death, but ends up getting killed by falling logs.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Constantly tries to earn his mother's love and approval. In his final moments, he gets it.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Yes, he tried to kill Simba. But he only did it because he wanted to make his mother proud.


"Where's your pretty daughter, Nala?"

Voiced in English by: Lacey Chabert (cub), Jennifer Lien (adult)
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Gaby Ugarte (cub, Simba's Pride), Melissa Gutiérrez (cub, The Lion Guard), Laura Torres (adult)
Voiced in Japanese by: Risa Shimizu (cub), Mayumi Asano (adult)
Singing by: Crysta Macalush (cub)

Zira's only daughter and the most supportive of Kovu.

  • Action Girl: Even when she was a cub, she sent Nuka, who is many times her size, stumbling with just a shove. She also inflicted the most damage upon Simba, a fully grown male lion, during the Outsiders' ambush. Furthermore, she sends Kovu flying against a rock, knocking him out, with a single kick from her hind leg.
  • Ambiguously Related: Her mother was Scar's closest follower and she does resemble Scar somewhat, but so does Kovu who Word of God states was adopted.
  • Anti-Villain: Though more vicious than Kovu, Vitani similarly only follows her mother's whims because she genuinely believes her claims the pride is rightfully theirs. When hearing Kiara's pleas, she actually sees reason even quicker than he did.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: She's often bothered by Nuka's incompetence but she's visibly distraught when her brother dies.
  • Blood Knight: Even as a cub. The first thing she does when Kovu shows up is ask him if he wanted to roughhouse with her.
  • Co-Dragons: With Nuka in a way, though she seems to be the one in charge, or at least more responsible.
  • The Comically Serious: Plays The Straight Man to Nuka in some scenes.
  • Cool Big Sis: Shows shades of this when she understands her brother and Kiara's reasons to stop the fighting and defies Zira. She pretty much was this since their youth.
    "Hey, Kovu, wanna fight?"
  • Creepy Child: As a cub, she's a wee bit... too enthusiastic about Zira's twisted plans for revenge while singing "My Lullaby".
  • Dark Action Girl: Seems to do the most damage to Simba during the ambush. Also she is able to hold her own against Nala, who is an excellent fighter.
  • Dark Chick: She really loves to fight.
  • The Dragon: To Zira, especially after Nuka's death.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially when it comes to her brother, Nuka.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: She's blatantly hurt when it seems Kovu has turned his back on the Outlanders for Simba.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Both of her brothers have influence in her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The responsible to Nuka's foolish, with her the younger sister as the brains (see Those Two Bad Guys). Best shown by how while Nuka blindly follows his desire for Zira's approval and favor until it kills him, Vitani sees reason after his death and ultimately defies her mother to do the right thing.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Is the first of the Outlanders to see the logic in what Kovu and Kiara are trying to say.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: To show her cold, vicious nature.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Change to these once she realizes that Kovu and Kiara's requests to stop the fighting are the right way to go.
  • Meaningful Name:
  • Psycho for Hire: Appears to be this way, in an "unsettlingly devoted to the cause" kind of way, but begins to change after Nuka is killed.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: She's the spitting image of her mother, Zira.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: With Nuka at first. As her other kids the two were Zira's Co-Dragons, and most of her scenes involve the two of them playing off of each other. She takes his death especially hard, and switches sides soon after.
  • Tomboy: Shes rough, violent, and not ladylike at all.
  • Villain Ball: Given that she had to know that Kovu and Zira were probably arguing about the morality of the plot, the fact she expected him to fulfill it is certainly reaching for it.

    The Outsiders 
The lionesses who were loyal to Scar, all of whom were banished from the Pride Lands when Simba took over.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: They're initially shown skinny and sunken-eyed, but after being accepted into Simba's pride, they're shown with the same build as the Pridelands' lionesses. Justified in that food is likely more plentiful in the Pridelands.
  • Cult: They're essentially the Cult of Scar.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While they do see the truth in Kovu and Kiara's speech in the end, what really cements their Heel–Face Turn is Zira openly threatening to kill Vitani, her own daughter, for refusing to participate in Zira's second attack. All the other Outsiders shoot Zira Death Glares at that and defect to Simba's side en masse.
  • Heel–Face Turn: They ultimately defect from Zira and join Simba's pride.
  • Not So Above It All: They're a sinister vicious mook army for most of the film, with usually only the main antagonists providing any humour (and even then mostly in the form of Black Comedy). During the climax however, when Timon and Pumbaa threaten them with Fartillery, the group collectively screams like a little girl and sprint the other direction. Its a glaring Mood Whiplash to the rest of the scene.
  • Remember the New Guy?: None of them were seen during the first film fighting Simba's forces alongside the hyenas.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: They followed Zira in her pursuit of vengeance against Simba, no matter how crazy she was. The minute she threatens to kill Vitani, her own daughter, for refusing to participate in her attack on the Pride Lands, that's where they draw the line; the rest of her pride immediately turn on her in disgust.

Alternative Title(s): The Lion King II Simbas Pride


Example of: