Zira is a lioness and the main villain in The Lion King 2 Simba's Pride. In Swahili, 'Zira' means hate.
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Zira is the true main antagonist of the film. She is a lioness with dark coloration. She has red eyes, one notched ear, and a stripe down the center of her head. Zira is a hate-filled character, and is very conniving. She seems to be patient, as she was willing to wait until Kovu reached adulthood before putting her plans into motion. She generally shows little affection even for her children unless they are of use to her, and is willing to abandon or even kill them if they will not follow her path of vengeance. However, despite her strengths, she suffers the same downfall as Scar; her hatred blinds her. She also seems to care for Kovu but grants him very little freedom and keeps him under a watchful eye usually under Nuka's eye.

Shortly before the end of The Lion King, Zira was Scar's most devoted of his followers. However, after Simba returned, Zira was exiled along with her followers for their continued loyalty to Scar. After that, Zira held Simba responsible for Scar's death, and plotted to both avenge Scar and take back the throne. Zira and her followers became known as Outsiders.


Zira is a snide lioness who dislikes Simba. She cares for her children and she likes Scar.


Film Appearances

The Lion King 2 Simba's Pride

Zira is the mother of Nuka, Vitani and Kovu. She is the leader of Scar's followers The Outsiders. After Simba killed Scar and banished the Outsiders to the Outlands, Zira vowed revenge for Scar. Her youngest son, Kovu, was Scar's chosen heir (despite not being related to Scar), and Zira dreamed that he could one day kill and usurp Simba. When Kovu and Kiara first met as cubs, Zira first mocked the idea that Kovu wanted to be friends with her, but then misinterpreted his innocence as a suggestion for an evil plan to get close to Simba through Kiara.

Zira then trained Kovu as a killer with hate in his heart for Simba. When he became an adult she engineered a plan to start a fire so that Kovu could save Kiara's life and get close to Simba, to gain his trust and eventually kill him.

This plan started well, but Kiara and Kovu ended up falling in love. Zira was determined to continue with her plan though, and ambushed Simba during a hunt, purposefully leading Simba to believe Kovu was bent on killing him. However, when Kovu went against his mother's wishes to kill Simba, Nuka tried to carry it out instead to gain his mother's attention and approval. However, he ended up being crushed by the falling logs and dying.

Ironically, it was through his death that he finally gained the attention and affection of his mother. Enraged by the death of Nuka, Zira slashed Kovu across the face, resulting in a facial wound identical to that of Scar's. She blamed Kovu for betraying both his pride and Scar including for killing his brother Nuka, but Kovu turned against his mother one more time and decided to return to Pride Rock to ask for forgiveness.

Zira, furious at Simba's 'corruption' of Kovu, then declared open war on Simba, and launched an attack on Pride Rock. Simba and Zira were about to fight each other when Kiara and Kovu intervened and stopped the battle, convincing the Outsiders and the Pridelanders that they were the same.

When Vitani sees the truth of Kiara's words and joins Simba, Zira tells her daughter that she will die as well. These words visibly shock and disgust her lionesses, who as a result leave her and join Simba. Simba tells Zira to let it go, but Zira screams that she will 'never let it go', and leaps at him, still intent on killing Simba to avenge Scar. Kiara jumps in front causing the two lionesses to go over the cliff. The dam breaks, and the river begins to flow rapidly. Kiara manages to climb to safety but Zira is left hanging desperately onto the cliff.

Kiara tries to reach out to help her, and Zira is shown trying to choose between death or accepting Kiara's help. However, Zira's pride and hate will not allow her to be rescued by her worst enemies' daughter and she rejects Kiara's help, only to finally fall off the cliff and into the water and is washed away.

TV Show Appearances

The Lion Guard

Zira, along with Kovu, Nuka, Vitani and her pride, is set to guest star in the Disney Junior series The Lion Guard episode "Lions of the Outlands", which takes place sometime after Kovu's first meeting with Kiara.


Songs sung by Zira






Timon and Pumbaa

Knownable Relatives


  • It was originally planned for Zira to deliberately let go of the branches rather than simply reject Kiara's help, but her fall was instead depicted as her simply slipping while rejecting Kiara's aid as it was felt that the villain committing suicide was too 'adult' for a Disney movie. Despite this, however, while "screaming" during her fall, the scene depicts her smiling.
  • When Zira and Simba encounter each other onscreen for the first time, Zira's line "If you need your pound of flesh..." as she pushes Kovu forward is actually a reference to the Shakespearian play "The Merchant of Venice", even though "Simba's Pride" is based on "Romeo and Juliet".
  • During early production the producer's had originally named Zira "Bianca" but this wasn't "swahillian" enough in which her name was changed to Zira.
  • When Zira blames Kovu for the death of Nuka, her reasoning seems somewhat ironic for someone who had a high opinion of Scar.
  • She told Kovu that he betrayed his pride, which is exactly what Scar did when he allowed the hyenas to take over.
  • She also told him that he "Killed his own brother", which, again, is exactly what Scar did.
  • In early production, Zira was originally going to be Scar's mate and the mother of his cub Kovu. Because this would cause incest between her son, Kovu, and Scar's great-niece and Simba's daughter, Kiara, this relation was obscured to make her 'just a follower'. However, some fans of the film still consider Zira to be Scar's mate, and at least one novelization did explictly refer to her as Scar's mate.
  • When Kovu's training is being reviewed, the notch in Zira's ear switches sideways to the other ear.
  • She's one of the few, if only non-comedic villains to display love and actually care for her family.
  • In some Lion King 2: Simba's Pride reading books, her eyes are mistakingly colored dark blue or dark green.
  • She is similar to Judge Claude Frollo. When they seem to care for another character and they actually grant them no freedom to interact into society.

Voice Actresses

  • Japanese : Akiko Nakamura
  • English : the late Susan Pleshette, Nika Futterman (The Lion Guard)

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