Zira giving a menacing look to Simba
|Close Relations||Assumed Mate of Scar, Mother of Kovu, Nuka, and Vitani|
|Appearances||The Lion King II: Simba's Pride|
|Voice Actor(s)||Suzanne Pleshette|
Zira is the main antagonist in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. She's extremely loyal to Scar throughout the movie. She takes care of 3 cubs: Vitani, Nuka, and Kovu. It is unknown whether any of these cubs are actually Zira's as it's hinted that Kovu was "handpicked by Scar" in the film, and none of the others origins are known. All three cubs have an unknown father, though it is speculated that Scar may be the father of Nuka and/or Vitani.
- "Oh no, Simba, we have barely begun."
Zira has pale brown fur with a darker brown stripe running down her face, a cream chest, brownish-red eyes, and a notch in her left ear (possibly from a previous fight).
Like Scar, she is bitter to the point of murder, though acts through her son, Kovu. All her hopes are placed in rearing Kovu as Scar's replica, caring little for his or her other children's welfare if it gets in the way of her plans to retake Pride Rock.
In the end she is the only one left standing in her meaningless alliance to Scar and tries to kill Simba in front of everyone. She dies without redemption or regret except for herself and Scar. However despite her predominately evil traits and her harshness to her own children, she still treated them with some affection. When Nuka was in his dying breaths she soothed him and showed genuine grief once he died.
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
Kovu becomes affectionate with Simba's daughter Kiara after the two cubs escape from crocodiles on the Outland borders. Simba and Zira clash over this, but the two leave without fighting. Zira plots to train Kovu so he can easily kill Simba at the right moment (the "My Lullaby" song scene). Kovu was to save Kiara from a fire (of Nuka and Vitani's own making) so he could get closer to her and in turn, Simba. Then, when Simba was alone, Kovu would kill him.
The plan starts well, but Kiara and Kovu fall in love, which causes Zira to plan an ambush on Simba and Kovu while the two lions are out walking. Simba falls into a gorge during the ensuing fight, but escapes via a log dam piled up against one end of the gorge. The logs fall and crush Nuka, killing him. Zira pauses to mourn her son's demise, but quickly takes out her anger on Kovu, giving him a scar identical to Scar's. Kovu, defiant for the first time, flees for the Pride Lands as Zira declares war on Simba.
Zira rallies her lionesses and they travel to the Pride Lands for the final battle. At the battle's climax, Simba and Zira are about to fight each other when Kiara and Kovu intervene and stop the battle before it can begin, convincing the Outsiders and the Pridelanders that "they are one." Vitani is the first to realize this and switch sides. Zira threatens to kill Vitani if she doesn't come back, disgusting the other lionesses, who subsequently abandon her.
Enraged, Zira charges at Simba, stating that "this is for you, Scar." Kiara leaps into Zira's path, causing Zira to knock Kiara and herself off the edge of a nearby cliff, sending them both tumbling into the gorge. Kiara lands safely on a ledge, but Zira slides off the edge and hangs precariously onto it. Kiara makes an attempt to rescue Zira, but Zira swipes at her, rejecting help. Zira, having rejected aid, slips and falls into the river below and drowns.
In a scene that survived to the rough animation stage, Zira in effect committed suicide: Kiara offers Zira aid, but Zira, with a twisted grin, replies "No, Never." and releases her claws from the cliff, falling into the swollen river below. This was considered too dark for a Disney film and was cut.
Similarly, Daisy Duck's suicide plot used for Donald Duck's short Donald's Dilemma has often suffered the same fate. Surprisingly, a suicide theme was used later in the 2004 Disney/Pixar film The Incredibles (however in this case it should be considered that the person wished to end his life due to emotional stress while Zira's act was a gesture of spite, as well as the fact the suicidal man in The Incredibles was a very minor character, seen twice, and Zira was a major character throughout the second Lion King film).
- The notch in Zira's left ear occasionally changes sides during the movie. This is most likely an error on the animators part.
- Zira's Suicide at The Lion King Theatre