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, The Lion Guard|
|Voice Actor(s)|| Suzanne Pleshette (The Lion King II: Simba's Pride)|
Nika Futterman (The Lion Guard)
Zira is the main antagonist in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and a guest antagonist in it's midquel television series The Lion Guard. She's extremely loyal to Scar throughout the movie. She takes care of 3 cubs: a daughter Vitani, and two sons Nuka, and Kovu. 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). Years later, a young adult Kovu saves 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 Lion Guard
Zira along with her children and pride, makes an appearance in the episode "Lions of the Outlands" (which takes place after the "My Lullaby" scene and before Zira sends Kovu to rescue Kiara from the fire). It is revealed by Rafiki that after Simba defeated Scar, Zira informed him that Scar had chosen Kovu to be the next King after him. However, Simba told her that Scar was never the true King, causing an outraged Zira to attack Simba. After defeating Zira, Simba was left with no choice but to banish her along with her children and the rest of Scar's followers.
Zira and her pride have taken over a part of the Outlands where a waterhole is located and have driven out a hyena clan that lived there. One of the clan's members Jasiri comes to her friend Kion (who is Simba's son) for help. Confused as to why there are lions in the Outlands and unaware of the exile, Kion agrees to help.
Kion comes to Jasiri's aid after she is attacked by Nuka and then meets Kovu, who after discovering that Kion is Simba's son and could convince the King to allow the Outsiders back into the Pride Lands, declares to Nuka that they have got to take the two to Zira. The two brothers take Kion and Jasiri to Zira (who is drinking from the waterhole with Vitani). After discovering that Kion is Simba's son and also the leader of the Lion Guard, has him use the Roar of the Elders on a rain cloud to make it rain (something Kion did not know he could do), before taking him away to talk privately.
After failing to convince Kion to side with her over Jasiri, Zira has her lionesses surround him. She then reveals to him that she knew a lion who had the Roar of the Elders, but lost it after using it on his fellow lions. Kion realizes that the said lion is Scar, to which Zira replies that she and Scar were very close and if it weren't for Simba, Scar would still be King. When Kion says that Scar was never the true King, an offended Zira orders her lionesses to attack Kion, but changes her mind immediately and leaves Kion with her pride to fetch her children.
After returning with her children, Zira tells them that Kion can't use the Roar on them as he will lose it like Scar did and if he doesn't use the Roar, he still loses thus leaving the Pride Lands defenceless. Luckily, the Lion Guard (who learnt about Zira from Rafiki) and Jasiri arrive to help Kion. After being told by Bunga that Scar had actually lost the Roar because he used it for evil rather against other lions, Kion uses the Roar to blast Zira and the Outsiders (except Kovu, who avoids the blast and runs after his pride) to termite mounts (similar to the ones seen in the first half of the second film).
- Lions Over All
- 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