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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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"He [Scar] wasn't my father, but he was still... 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)
Viced in European French by: Alexis Pivot (cub, Simba's pride), Cédric Dumond (adult in Simba's Pride, cub in The Lion Guard), Emmanuel Dahl (singing)
Singing by: Gene Miller (adult, Simba's Pride)

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

  • Accidental Kiss: With Kiara after they hide from the rhinos.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Kovu is an Anti-Villain before his redemption arc, in contrast to the original Romeo.
  • Anti-Villain: He doesn't want to be evil; he's forced into it by his mother, Zira. The way he's been raised makes him feel like he has no choice in the matter. Eventually his good heart wins out.
  • Becoming the Mask: Becomes the lion he pretended to be towards Kiara and the Pridelanders.
  • Be Yourself: Over the course of the film, he decides he won't be the role everyone believes or expects him to be and decides to be his own person, a lesson he learns alongside Kiara.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Inverted. More like little brother instinct, but he immediately takes the blame in order to protect Nuka from Zira. It is also indicated that Kovu is sickened with Zira's treatment of Nuka and is genuinely heartbroken when he dies.
  • Big "NO!": When his clan ambush Simba. He does it again when Zira accuses him of getting Nuka killed.
  • Broken Pedestal: Once he learns who Scar really was, he starts losing his loyalty to Zira's ideals of him whereas before he saw him as a brilliant leader and someone worth avenging. After the ambush he finally puts his paw down and announces he doesn't want anything to do with him, leaving the Outsiders and making Zira an example of this trope, as well.
  • 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 that deep down he's 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 eventually taking hold of him. He softens up on Simba and even instinctively helps him during the ambush. He proves his change once and for all when he stands up to his mother at the climax when she orders him to stand down.
  • Child of Two Worlds: He lived in the Outlands, but begins to fall in love with Kiara, and begins to feel far more loyalty to the Pride Landers. He ultimately decides to defect to stay with the pride he feels more loyal to, but the Outsiders try to ruin this standing, which ends with him disowned by both prides, only for him and Kiara to reconcile the two prides into one, and he ultimately marries her.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Kiara, they met each other as cubs and fell in love as adults.
  • Children Are Innocent: A complex example 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. He also has this in The Lion Guard, as he is ecstatic upon meeting Kion, and insists innocently that he meet Zira, not knowing his mother is a deranged lunatic. However his experience of growing in the Outlands along with Zira to corrupt him has left him a bit hardened and rough.
  • Covert Pervert: Downplayed, and G rated, but when he and Kiara share an Accidental Kiss, despite their mutual embarrassment over it, it is indicated that both of them, but especially Kovu, really enjoyed it. He is much more overt when he enthusiastically suggests that he and Kiara start their own pride...while wiggling his backside in the air.
  • The Chosen One: By Scar to murder Simba.
  • 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 Evil: He has a dark fur and has been raised by Zira to kill Simba and take over the Pridelands. Well...'evil' stretches it, but he's morally ambiguous at best. However...
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He is certainly not Scar, being more misguided than evil. He ends up having a Heel–Face Turn proving himself to be this at heart.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He primarily had this trait as a cub, as shown when he teases Kiara, but there are a few instances where he indicates he still has it as an adult, primarily the scene where he agrees to train Kiara.
  • Defecting for Love: Much like Love Redeems, this is handily subverted. He clearly hates the plot right from the beginning, and he defects well before he actually falls in love with Kiara, because of his own morality.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When we first meet him, he shows some form of assertiveness and a willingness to tease Kiara, but the second they run into the crocs, he doesn't hesitate to offer himself up as a distraction and tells her to run, despite her being from an enemy pride and not even knowing who she is. This shows that Kovu is a very kind, if somewhat rough, person and sets him up to rebel against his mother's morals.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: He is clearly horrified and saddened when his family set him up to be the fall guy for Zira's ambush and after they accuse him of getting Nuka killed.
  • 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, and Simba promptly undoes it, acknowledging he got it wrong.
  • Expy: Of Romeo, albeit with a Heel–Face Turn arc that the former lacks.
  • Fall Guy: He becomes one to his family over the course of the film. They set him up for an ambush on Simba and accuse him of killing Nuka, even though Nuka himself was killed by falling logs due to his own foolishness.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: As cubs, Kovu and Kiara saving each other in the crocodile swamp and gaining respect for each other's abilities.
  • Foil:
    • To Scar, as a positive foil. Scar had a very immature outlook on life, and several incredibly negative personality traits, willing to compromise his relationship with his family. Kovu, despite having negative personality traits, once he befriends and later falls in love with Kiara, it is revealed there's more to him than that and is a very good person underneath it all. Scar had a sheltered upbringing and wanted to be the king, but had serious issues with his mental health. Kovu had a very difficult upbringing, but didn't want power as a cub and realized eventually he wanted nothing to do with Zira's sadistic games. Scar looked automatically at the bad in people and couldn't let go off his hatred . Kovu, became more forgiving of Simba and saw the good in his former enemies as well, along with realizing he doesn't want to be a killer, choosing to just be himself in the end. Scar irresponsibly led the Pride Lands into a terrible state and is borderline sadistic, enjoying to hurt his enemies. Kovu, despite being shown to be uncertain about it, voluntarily went back with Kiara to reunite the prides. Scar took a throne that didn't belong to him,(in spite of being part of the royal family) violently, while Kovu, despite not having any relation to the royal family, will ascend to the throne through a peaceful marriage. Generally speaking,he is the Anti-Villain to Scar's Big Bad.
    • He also serves as one to Simba. As a cub, Kovu is clearly more mature than Simba was at that age, and unlike Simba, did not want power at all. Furthermore, despite his upbringing, Kovu almost immediately abandons the Outsiders after he joins Simba and flatly refuses to remotely consider harming Simba despite the king's open antagonism, and later tries to save him in the ambush. Simba, despite having an upbringing, completely ignores his duties as a possible king, and has to be talked by multiple people into going back, shows overt hostility, and clearly would have not hesitated to attack Kovu and treats him awfully throughout the film, ultimately banishing him despite being well aware of the fact that Kovu tried to help him in the ambush. Kovu, despite having been given every reason to run away, voluntarily goes back to the Pride Lands despite the fact he is facing a death sentence if he returns, still holds no grudge against Simba, while Simba held a grudge against anything relating to Scar before he breaks out of it.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Receives a scar over his eye by his mother when she blamed him for Nuka's death.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: The forelock Kovu had in youth becomes part of his mane when he gets older.
  • Held Gaze: Played for Laughs after he has an Accidental Kiss with Kiara in the cave, played straight during Love Will Find A Way.
  • 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, though he had already turned on Zira by that point, and learning about Scar truy cemented it.
  • Hidden Depths: The whole point of his character. He is not Scar 2.0 ; he is just a misguided but ultimately kind lion who ultimately learns from his mistakes, follows his heart and does the right thing.
  • Heroic BSoD: Nuka's death not only leaves him utterly shattered, but fully realizes his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: After Zira sets up her ambush, and Simba banishes him, every animal in the Pride Lands tries to attack him to ensure he leaves their home.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Understandable, since Zira keeps manipulating him but he keeps stomaching a lot of her crap even though he disagrees with her. He grows up believing that Scar was a brilliant leader and that the Pridelanders are evil, even wondering whether Scar is one of the 'Great Kings of The Past'.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Deep down, he isn't interested in killing Simba and claiming the throne: his mother just makes him feel like he has no choice in the matter. When Zira tells him that he will bring her back to power, he weakly protests but is shut down. He makes the point far more clearer to Zira after the ambush and she tries to pull a Not So Different speech on him, by blaming him for Nuka's death.
  • 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.
  • It Gets Easier: As pointed out in Used to Be a Sweet Kid, he was very reluctant to be Scar's successor as a child. By the time he goes back to the Pridelands as per Zira's plot, he is perfectly willing to kill Simba and betray someone he befriended before. Then he starts spending time with Kiara, and he slowly realizes this doesn't bring him happiness.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kovu is aggressive, and boastful. He also starts off perfectly willing to kill Simba and betray Kiara as a teenager. It is shown however that deep down he is a good person, who feels trapped in the role he's put in as Scar's successor before he breaks out of it. He eventually evolves into a full blown Nice Guy.
  • Love Redeems: Handily subverted, as Kovu had already turned on Zira and abandoned the plot before he fell in love with Kiara, with his own morality being the decision that drives his abandonment of Zira, and his romance of Kiara merely solidifying it rather than being the main driver.
  • Mark of Shame: Once his mother scratches him hard enough to leave a scar.
  • The McCoy: His entire character arc revolves around him turning into this: He is timid around his mother at first and follows her orders even when he doesn't believe in them. He is also afraid of falling in love with Kiara due to having to follow Scar's legacy. He realizes he should just be himself in the end.
  • Moment of Weakness: Briefly during the ambush. Although he softened on Simba to the point of instinctively helping him, he has been raised by the Outsiders for his entire life to believe he is supposed to be Scar's successor and his mind is not as made up as his heart. He easily could have helped Simba up, but instead just ran off, helping no one, and is seen as a traitor on both sides in the process.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: More like "My mother, right or wrong." He follows Zira's lead throughout the movie, in spite of showing disgust with her beliefs. He ultimately turns on her halfway through the film.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Kovu starts feeling a lot of guilt for his part in Zira's assassination plot, even if he didn't follow through with it as best shown where he attempts to hypothetically act out how he tells Kiara about it, before Simba interrupts. Upon learning that Zira's idol was a familicidal psychopathic usurper, the tone in Kovu's voice makes it clear he is sickened he trusted Zira at all.
  • Nice Guy: Kovu very quickly reveals that he is this at heart, being a kind lion who wants nothing to do with Zira's schemes, only wishes to protect the people he cares about, and is very friendly to everyone.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Subtle, 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.
  • 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 by the end of the film, and both of them have a Disappeared Dad as Simba lost his father while Kovu's real father is unknown. Also, both of them were immature but ultimately brave cubs who grew up to be deeply flawed young adults with personality traits that were similar to Scar's: Simba was irresponsible while Kovu was vengeful. However, both of them serve as positive foils by overcoming those traits and becoming better people.
  • Official Couple: With Kiara at the end of the film.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The second he saw Timon, he was stunned, as he clearly didn't expect to see the meerkat there.
    • He later has a more funny one when he has an Accidental Kiss with Kiara in the cave.
  • Pale Females, Dark Males: Kovu has dark-colored fur while Kiara has gold-colored fur.
  • 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.
  • Red Herring: In the Lion Guard finale, Anga seeing him on Pride Rock seems to insinuate something has happened to the royal family. Anyone who has seen Film Two knows that Kovu is now the legitimate successor to Simba.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Kovu proves that people, or in this case, animals, are not inherently violent or evil. He starts off as a kind child who while a bit rough doesn't actually like hurting anybody. He grows into a colder, much more ruthless person due to his upbringing, willing to kill Simba and betray an old friend, but it's only due to feeling he has no choice in the matter. He learns to let go of his hatred and forgive his enemies as well as his family for their mistakes. He grows into a mature, kind person and a true Nice Guy after becoming the mask at the end of his character arc.
  • Sadistic Choice: He faces one in the ambush. Either he helps Simba, and betrays the Outsiders or he obeys in which case he becomes king by default, but betrays Kiara . He instinctively tries to help the king. Unfortunately for him, Vitani intervened. When Simba is struggling with the logs he helps nobody and is seen as a traitor to both sides as Nuka dies and Simba is badly injured.
  • 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.
  • Thicker Than Water: He ends up retaining his relationship with Vitani even after he 'betrayed' the Outsiders. Also, his first instinct when he sees his brother Nuka fall is to race down to try to help him.
  • Token Good Teammate: Of the Outsiders. While he does have some aggressive traits (due to growing up in a wasteland) he is still the most sympathetic, and the one least interested in their ideology. He is also the first to defect. Played With as the rest of the Outsiders also prove to be capable of redemption.
  • 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: Kinda rough but still a good person, Kiara's influence brings him out of his shell, as shown when he kindly plays with her after their crocodile encounter and later on starts having fun during their hunt. While Zira did make an attempt to subdue his morals, they slowly resurface once he reunites with Kiara and starts having fun with her and falling in love, making him question his loyalty to Zira. After he learns who Scar really was, he softens on Simba as well, though it takes until after the ambush to completely abandon the Outsiders.
  • Tranquil Fury: Kovu makes it very clear that he is livid with Zira for getting him involved with her schemes, but the only thing that indicates how mad he is with her is his tone of voice.
  • 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: He was hand chosen and raised since cubhood to kill Simba one day. He is shown being incredibly comfortable with the plot and noticeably shows no hesitation to harm Simba at all at first, not that the overprotective king was helping his case. He softens on him eventually.
  • 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, showing he completly loved him.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Played With. As a cub, he is shown to be kindhearted , though he does take a moment to playfully tease Kiara when they first meet. He was always kinda rough but it's implied he wouldn't really harm a fly. But after being trained by his mother to kill Simba, Kovu transforms into a ruthless, savage and merciless assassin. It is implied that he feels trapped in his role as a 'Scar 2.0' and wishes to be with Kiara but feels he can't. He gets better, though, thanks to being a good person deep down and Kiara's kindness.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Once Kovu begins to defect for real, Zira ambushes Simba while Kovu is alone with him to see if Kovu stays loyal.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His playing with Kiara gives Zira the direct motive for setting up her scheme, ultimately resulting in his older brother and mother's deaths.
  • White Sheep: As a teenager, he rebels against Zira's plan out of love for Kiara and his own morals resurfacing. This is what causes his turnaround.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Played for Laughs. He gets these when he realizes he and Kiara have an Accidental Kiss, which leaves him very flustered and slightly embarrassed.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: A kinda dark example. His obedience towards his mother and having to survive in a wasteland as a cub is compromising his mental health. He gets to act a bit more immature when he is not around Zira, such as running away from home and acting in general arrogant and boastful.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Twice during the ambush.
    • It is implied that Kovu really is as strong as Zira claims he is, but only managed to take down one lioness because Vitani kicked him headfirst into a rock.
    • Similarly, his fast reflexes he displayed earlier in the film strongly implies the only reason Zira managed to scar him was because he was still grieving over Nuka's death.
  • 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 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.
  • Youre Not My Mother: He begins to refer to Zira by her name after he falls in love with Kiara and realizes she is a psychopath, but it really hits him after she frames him for trying to get Simba murdered and blames him for getting Nuka killed. It is indicated that he did hope she could be saved, as shown by his sad sigh when she drowns to death, but in the Lion Guard, he never refers to her in a positive tone.


"His lioness's 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
Voiced in European French by: Elisabeth Wiener

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 even the hyenas hate her.
  • 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. Ford Riley later admitted that was an error by the animators, and that Zira should have had her stripe in her scenes.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Lady Montague, while still a part of the feud, is shown to be a kind mother to Romeo and dies out of grief. Zira doesn't care about Kovu at all, only about her petty revenge on Simba and declares everyone else expendable.
  • 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.
  • Batman Gambit: Upon being told that Kovu has apparently defected, Zira decides to ambush Simba and Kovu while they are out alone. She then proceeds to congratulate Kovu, inmediatly sending the message to Simba that this was a planned ambush. Simba's paranoia gets the better of him, and he promptly banishes Kovu.
  • 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.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: In the film's original storyboard, instead of falling into the flooded chasm by accident, she would have rejected Kiara trying to save her, before committing suicide by intentionally letting go; quietly grinning venomously all the while as she plummets to her death.
    Zira: (glances toward Kiara as she struggles, then at the raging waters below, and cruelly smiles at Kiara) No. Never. (lets go)
  • Big Bad: Of the sequel. She wants to get rid of Simba and the other Pridelanders.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: She noticeably only refers to Kiara as the daughter, whereas every other member of the royal family she actually addresses by their names.
  • Bullying a Dragon: She openly slashes Kovu, and explicitly tells him to his face that he killed his own brother. Kovu has just learned about who Scar really was, Zira has framed him for an attempt on the king's life, and has now physically attacked him. Kovu is an adult male who she personally trained and in a fight with him, she would obviously lose. Kovu's tone makes it very clear that if Zira wasn't his mother, then he probably would have fought back. That said, considering Zira's personality, it's not hard to believe that she probably emotionally abused Kovu all his life. It can be difficult for victims of abuse to stand up to their abusers.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: In "My Lullaby", she says Kovu will gain a lust for being bad. Unfortunately for her, that part doesn't stick.
  • Cats Are Mean: She's every bit a villainous lion as Scar.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: If you are in the way of her revenge, she will not hesitate to stab you in the back if she thinks you are not on her side. Kovu and Vitani learn this the hard way.
  • The Caligula: Subverted. Zira is obviously far more competent than Scar ever was when it comes to leading, or at the very least, ensuing her pride did not starve to death. However, she is so focused on revenge that she deliberately decides to focus all of her pride's energy on getting the throne back, instead of trying to make the pride better. Predictably, it is implied the only reason the Outsiders follow her, in addition to genuinely believing her claims, is out of fear and the second Zira crosses one line too many by threatening Vitani, they immediately defect.
  • 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! Kion doesn't fall for her persuasion.
  • Dark Action Girl: A very sinister, psychopathic 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.
  • Death Glare: Zira delivers a nasty one to Nuka when he scoffs at Kovu.
  • 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 most likely made her his second-in-command. She didn't appear in the first film at all, but becomes the Big Bad of the second one.
  • The Dreaded: Zira is feared even by other Outlanders because of her ruthlessness. Jasiri and Janja's clans knew better than to engage Zira and her Outsiders, lest they get mauled to pieces.
    • It is subtly implied her own pride is scared of Zira badly enough to go along with her crusade out of fear she will kill them.
  • 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: "Now the past I've tried forgetting, and my foes I could forgive; trouble is, and I know it's petty, but I'd 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. The leadership part is later shown to be subverted, as while she is competent enough to ensure the pride does not die, that is all Zira cares about.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Zira has a very deep voice for a female villain, courtesy of the late Suzanne Pleshette. Nika Futterman also gives Zira a deep voice, though not as deep as Pleshette's and it is very noticeable in how much lighter it sounds.
  • 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. In the film itself, Zira actually tries to keep her violent impulses in check around Kovu to keep him from realizing who she really is, but there are a few times where the mask does slip.
  • 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.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Her little ambush was to see if Kovu really did abandon them. While she did not know Simba had told the true story of Scar to Kovu, her blaming him for Nuka's death, and ignoring that Kovu came racing down without a moment's hesitation to try to dig him out, and framing him for the ambush, causes him to completely abandon Zira and her sadistic schemes.
  • 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.
  • I Control My Minions Through...: It is heavily implied that Zira is the one real follower of Scar among the rest of the Outsiders, and every other adult is too terrified to cross her out of fear of getting killed. This ultimately backfires on Zira, as once they see the truth of Kiara's ways, and especially after Zira threatens Vitani, they immediately abandon her out of disgust.
  • 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. Kovu is shown to have somewhat had a similar sentiment towards her after he fell for Kiara but it occurs after she blames him for getting Nuka killed and framing him for trying to get Simba murdered. And later she threatens to kill Vitani for deciding to no longer take part in their war and turning to the Pridelanders.
  • It's All About Me: While Zira does want revenge on Simba for Scar's death, she often goes out of her way to emphasize this revenge through the strong stressing of "I", and rarely considers anyone else in the deal. Ultimately, this attitude backfires, as this causes the entire pride to abandon her.
  • In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves: She pulls this on Kovu, though part of it is unintentional, as she has no idea that Simba told Kovu who Scar really was.
  • 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.
  • Kill It with Water: She dies by falling into a deep flooded chasm in her last battle with Kiara; being swept away by and drowning in the torrential river below.
  • 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.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The second Zira sees Simba on the logs and he unwittingly kicks some down, Zira asks Kovu to do something, and when he ignores her, she does not order a pursuit, despite her personal hatred of the king, indicating that Zira knows it is far too dangerous to go onto the logs directly after him.
  • Lady Macbeth: Posthumously for Scar. Plays the role a little closer for Kovu, pushing him into power just as the original Lady Macbeth does.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Kiara, the one person in the royal family that Zira underestimated the most, given how she always refers to her as the daughter, and who she attempted to turn into an Unwitting Instigator of Doom is the person who stops her plans, and later personally fights in the climax. This is especially true given that she intended to keep Kiara alive in her Villain Song.
  • 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.
  • Mad Love: Implied. Even though she's vocal about her love for Scar, it's never indicated that the love was mutual. Given that Scar was incapable of love or empathy (if his horrid treatment of his own family in the first movie is any indication), it's possible he merely manipulated her to the point of insanity solely to help his own evil deeds.
  • Manipulative Bitch:
    • She'll use her youngest child to get what she wants.
    • When Vitani informs her that Kovu has apparently defected for real, she takes full advantage of Simba's paranoia by ambushing him and Kovu alone. Once she congratulates Kovu, Simba immediately falls for her tricks and believes Kovu lied.
    • 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.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Zira intends for Kovu to ascend the throne, but she will be the real ruler, with Kovu as a mere figurehead.
  • 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, so it's likely that she bears a grudge against both parties.
  • Mood-Swinger: Can turn from charming to a screaming lunatic very quickly with no provocation.
  • Never My Fault: It was her fault her son Nuka died, but she doesn't own up to it, preferring to instead throw the whole blame onto Kovu, which causes him to completely abandon her.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Gets a thrill out of murder.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: She does it twice.
    • During the ambush, her decision to throw the whole blame for Nuka's death on Kovu, combined with her having framed him for assassination, along with Simba telling him the full story of Scar is the last straw for Kovu and he makes it clear to her he is done with her schemes.
    • When Vitani defects, Zira still has the other lionesses at her command, though their loyalty is wavering, and Kiara has just made it clear she does not see them as her enemies. Zira decides to threaten Vitani, and Kiara does not have to make a similar speech to the Outsiders to get them to turn on her.
  • Offing the Offspring: She threatens to kill Vitani when the latter defects. Unfortunately this backfires, and the rest of the pride defects to Simba en masse after hearing this threat.
  • 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, and Kovu could take that knowledge public and promptly cost Zira the Outsiders support.
    • She also does her absolute best to not alienate the lionesses and her own children from her own cause, because she knows she needs their support to defeat Simba. As a result, she does the minimal best she can to ensure the pride does not starve and consider overthrowing her, and tries to keep her true nature hidden from her children, though the mask slips especially badly when Nuka gets involved.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Zira is a lot better at hiding this than Scar ever was, but her actions befit more of a tantruming child rather than a full grown adult.
  • 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.
  • Secret Test of Character: Her ambush is a subtle way to determine Kovu's loyalty. During the ambush, she sees if Kovu either attacks Simba on the logs or does nothing. Kovu does nothing to harm Simba.
  • 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.
  • So Proud of You: A horrific depraved version at the beginning of the movie, and one that is not portrayed as sympathetic at all. When Kovu innocently suggests that he and Kiara could be friends, Zira actually praises him for thinking up a brilliant plan, when that was never Kovu's intent in the first place.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: While she is prone to shouting fits, most of her dialogue lines are her primarily being calm, while still describing her sadistic blood soaked thoughts of revenge.
  • Taking You with Me: When Zira is hanging from the ledge and Kiara offers her paw, Zira attempts to swipe the princess in what is implied to be an attempt to kill the princess.
  • 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.
  • Vengeful Widow: It is very heavily implied in the Lion Guard that she and Scar were married, and that Zira is getting back at Simba because she killed her husband. The fact that Scar trusted her with some of the powers of the Roar indicates that he did see her as someone who was privileged to know this information.
  • 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. Her attempt to ambush Simba only further turns Kovu against her. 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 youngest 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. In fact this was her original plan after finding out the Roar has returned, but that failed, so she had to come up with raising Kovu to believe Simba was bad.
  • 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 in the movie 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 plan with Kovu.
  • 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. This is likely because Zira was voiced by Nika Futterman and that they were trying to tone her down from Suzanne Pleshette's Soft-Spoken Sadist voice from the film to make her less frightening in a preschool show.
  • When She Smiles: In the cut scene of Nuka's death, she gives him a warm and loving smile right before he passes away.
  • Xanatos Gambit: She pulls this off with her ambush, combined with an especially sadistic version of Secret Test of Character. Upon learning that Simba and Kovu have bonded, she decides to ambush the king when Kovu is alone. Either Simba dies in the ambush, and Kovu becomes king incredibly reluctantly, or Simba survives, but is convinced Kovu betrayed him by leading him into an ambush. It works like a charm, but however, Kovu takes a third option.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: She has this attitude to Kovu and Vitani when they defect from her cause.


"I could be a leader if she'd [Zira] 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
Voiced in European French by: Damien Boisseau

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

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Despite being a comic relief antagonist, his death is intentionally poignant, especially in the original edit.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Downplayed, but still present. Tybalt suffered a severe Hair-Trigger Temper, was incredibly rash and reckless and kills someone without a hint of remorse. Nuka, while still deeply resentful of Kovu, is far too subservient to Zira and is rather comical, though not without his threatening moments.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: He shows some histrionic traits, especially the boisterous personality and the constant need for attention, mixed with pyromania. These traits are at their worst after he gets hit with a face-full of geothermal gas.
  • Ambiguously Related: It's never made clear if he's Scar's son or not. His mother was Scar's closest follower, it's said that 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 by Scar.
  • Anti-Villain: He's not motivated by revenge, nor does he seem to appreciate Scar. He just wants to gain his mother's affection.
  • Ax-Crazy: Like mother, like son.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: He's on the bad guys' side and wanted his mom's attention? In his last moments, he finally managed to get it.
  • 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. He's more the obnoxious and annoying idiot.
  • 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.
  • 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, while waving a small flag incredibly slowly.
  • Disney Villain Death: DoubleSubverted. He doesn't die from the fall off the dam itself. He is killed by being crushed by the logs that fall off the dam straight after he lands.
  • 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. Although as an Outsider, he's a "Montague" rather than a "Capulet" (Pride Lander).
  • 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 it's ambiguous whether or not Nuka is related to Scar, he was passed over in favor of his much younger brother. 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 of taking over the throne, mainly just by being the oldest of Zira's cubs, was given to Kovu, yet he never openly challenges his mother's preferences, and his Momma's Boy status is completely dysfunctional.
    • He also serves as one to Simba. Both of them do not have the best relationship with Kovu at all throughout the movie, and both of them are very willing to take out their various issues on him. Simba treats Kovu miserably because he sees him as merely a return of Scar, not helped by his physical resemblance to him, and later decides to banish him out of petty spite, due to all the trauma Scar inflicted on him. Nuka hates Kovu because he constantly gets emphasized as the important sibling and Nuka is left starved and desperate for affection. However, Kovu is shown to genuinely love his older brother, whereas his relationship with Simba throughout the film is very rocky. Simba eventually realizes that Kovu is not Scar and acknowledges that he treated Kovu absolutely awfully and allows him to become his heir, whereas Nuka always sees Kovu as a rival for Zira's attention and ultimately dies because of it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • When he sees Kiara go into the den, he angrily thinks Kovu was foolish for letting Kiara enter the den, and says that if it was him, before Zira cuts him off, with the implication was that he would have attacked Kiara then and there, right outside the den, with at least a dozen lionesses and a very angry Papa Wolf plus Kiara herself, a fight pretty much anyone would lose.
    • His decision to chase Simba on the logs is a really bad idea. Simba clearly balks before he tries to climb them, he noticeably is having trouble, and neither Vitani or Zira decide to chase him. He ultimately gets crushed by them after they loosen under his weight.
  • 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.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: It is pretty hard to see, but if you look carefully, Simba is literally getting mauled to pieces, and it is very implied that this is the moment that gave him the most injury, and several of the lionesses are going for his throat, which would have killed him. However, Nuka pouncing on Simba at full speed causes the momentum to knock Simba off the ledge, clearly the Outsiders off of him and allowing him to get away. Later, his decision to go after Simba not only gets himself killed, but causes Kovu to completely abandon the Outsiders and ultimately results in Zira drowning to death.
  • 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.
  • The Pigpen: He has poor hygiene due to his poverty, so termites constantly attack him.
  • Pyromaniac: He really loves starting a fire with Vitani and shows an unsettling glee at the sight of flames. He's high on geothermal gas at the time.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He's an immature Momma's Boy with an insane passion for fire.
  • The Resenter: To his younger brother 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 jealousy of not being chosen to takeover the Pridelands once Scar's dead.
  • 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 Pyromaniac.
  • Sacrificial Lion: His death is meant to usher in the final act of the film, along with kicking off Zira's Villainous Breakdown.
  • 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.
  • 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. Kovu is shown to be very disgusted with this treatment.
  • 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, and even Zira and Vitani weren't willing to chase him on the 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.


Voiced in English by: Lacey Chabert (cub; cub and adult, The Lion Guard), 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)
Voiced in European French by; Dorothée Pousséo (cub); Ninou Fratellini (adult)
Singing by: Crysta Macalush (cub)

"No, Mother! Kiara's right. Enough."

Zira's middle child and 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 by Scar.
  • 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.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: She's often bothered by Nuka's incompetence but she's visibly distraught when her brother dies.
  • The Atoner: While not overtly stated, it is heavily implied the reason she created her own Lion Guard was to make up for believing in Zira's lies that the Pride Landers were evil.
  • Badass Normal: She's a capable leader of her own Lion Guard, even without the Roar, which is why Kion relinquishes his title as the Fiercest and official leader of the Lion Guard to her.
  • Broken Pedestal: Learning about who Scar really was in the Lion Guard, along with realizing her mother was a psychopath causes her to see them both as this.
  • 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 chews out Nuka for leaving Kovu on his own and when she understands her brother and Kiara's reasons to stop the fighting and defies Zira. She 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.
  • I Am Not My Mother: While not overtly stated, it is very heavily implied that the reason she created her own Lion Guard, in addition to wanting to make up for trying to take over the Pride Lands, is to distance herself from her mother's legacy.
  • 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.
  • Irony: In The Lion Guard, she becomes the leader of her own Lion Guard after Kion, who succeeded Scar, making Vitani a successor of Scar... but only as and only ever as a protector of the Pride Lands, not as its ruler.
  • Meaningful Name:
  • Nice Girl: She becomes this in her second appearance in the Lion Guard.
  • 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.
  • Pet the Dog: All of her scenes have her berating Nuka when he is alive, but she is absolutely devastated at his death and mourns over him.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: She's the spitting image of her mother, Zira.
  • Red Herring: Much like Kovu, she is set up as a villain, though anyone who has seen Film Two knows everything is all right.
  • Thicker Than Water: Ends up retaining her relationship with Kovu even after he 'betrayed' the Outsiders.
  • 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: She's rough, violent, and not ladylike at all.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Her decision to inform Zira that Kovu has apparently defected indirectly gets Nuka, and ultimately Zira killed. On the bright side, it leads to the war ending.
  • Youre Not My Mother: While done more subtly than Kovu, Vitani learning about Scar's past along with the fact Zira threatened her causes her to never refer to Zira as her mother in the Lion Guard.

    The Outsiders 
The lionesses who were loyal to Scar, all of whom were banished from the Pride Lands when Simba took over.
  • Beauty = 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.
  • Expy: Of the Montagues, albeit more villainous.
  • 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 mostly in the form of Black Comedy). During the climax however, when Timon and Pumbaa threaten four of them with Fartillery, all four lionesses collectively scream like little girls and run as fast as possible in 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!: The minute Zira 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


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