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Full Name
Mother (by her children)
Queen of the Pridelands (formerly)
Leader of the Outsiders
Powers / Skills
Fighting, leading, manipulation
Training Kovu
Avenge Scar's death and put Kovu on the throne
Type of Villain
Fanatical Seeker of Vengeance, Fearmonger, Big Bad, Neutral Evil, Sadist, Psychopath, Villain With Mentall Illness, Chaotic Evil

You're even weaker than I thought! Get out of the way!
~ Zira to Kovu

Zira is the main antagonist of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. She was the leader of the OutsidersNuka, Vitani and Kovu's mother, and Scar's devoted follower.


Amongst the members of her pride were her children Nuka, Vitani, and Kovu (who heavily resembles Scar, although they had no blood relation). Zira claimed to be fond of him, even though she regularly abused him while she trained him. In her quest for revenge against her mate's death and exile to barren lands, she had the plan of using Kovu to enter Simba's pride as a rogue, and when he and Simba were alone, Kovu would then kill him and succeed Scar as king.

As Kovu noticed right from wrong by falling in love with Simba's daughter Kiara, he refused this and Zira decided to take on Simba herself. First with an ambush, and then a final battle between the two prides. Once the fight was stopped by force, her whole pride switched sides and Zira was left standing alone against Simba. In her final attempt to kill Simba, she was knocked over a cliff by Kiara. When she refused help, Zira fell off the cliff into a raging flood and was washed away.

Despite her evil, she did love her children as she was deeply saddened when Nuka was fatally crushed by several logs and, like Claude Frollo, she appeared to care for Kovu, but actually granted him little or no freedom, usually limiting him to being in the Outlands or having freedom built under a watchful eye, usually under Nuka's. However, her love for Kovu ended permanently after he no longer wanted to kill Simba as he had devolved feelings for Kiara.

Videogame appearance

Zira appears in 2000 video game The Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure as one of the 2 bosses (the other on being Scar) where she battles Simba and roar that would cause rocks to fall towards Simba which he has to dodge before finally defeating her.


Zira is unusually rich in spirit, but her soul is steeped in hatred. She cannot come to terms with her past and is even ready to give up her children for the sake of revenge. Deep inside though, she genuinely does love them – like any loving mother, she will defend her children and was greatly saddened by Nuka's death, but she will not tolerate disobedience or failure. After Kovu had started to fall in love with Kiara, Zira's love for her youngest son ended and since then, she has hated Kovu for his final decision.


Zira appears to be slim, but unusually muscular lioness. The main two othernesses of her appearance are the notched right ear and the dark dorsal stripe, which was originally supposed to be drawn on Sarabi's head. Another peculiar detail about Zira’s appearance is the fact that her eyes switch color from maroon to Persian blue in some scenes.



  • She was voiced in the movie by the late Suzanne Pleshette. Her current voice actress is Grey DeLisle.
  • In Swahili, "Zira" means "hate".
  • Originally, as Zira was hanging for dear life and Kiara offered to help her, Zira refused her help and let go, committing suicide. Instead, it is left ambiguous as to why she fell, as suicide was considered too dark for a Disney animated film.
  • Zira was originally going to be called Bianca.
  • She was originally going to team up with the Hyenas but this was changed to Outsiders as the hyenas were responsible for Scar's death.
  • It is unknown why Zira thinks that Simba had killed Scar. Most likely she was away from Pride Rock during the events that led to Scar’s death. 
  • Since Kovu marries Kiara at the end of the film, meaning that he will succeed Simba as King of the Pride Lands eventually, Zira's plans were technically successful, but not the way she planned.
  • She is the second of two Disney Villains to show love and care for his / her family, The first being Sir Ector from The Sword in the Stone.
  • Zira is patterned after Belladonna from Osamu Tezuka's anime, Kimba the White Lion. Unlike Zira, she eventually asked forgiveness from her wrongdoings to the main character. 
  • She is similar to Shere Khan from The Jungle Book. As both are the main antagonist and share a quality not seen in most of Disney's villains: A soft spot. Zira loves her family and Shere Khan is sympathetic towards his victims, when referring to Mowgli as the "helpless little lad." Also, they both hate a certain group (Shere Kahn hates humans and Zira hates Pridelanders). In the climax of the second film, they fall from a cliff. However, Zira drowns in a raging river while Shere Kahn gets trapped in stone.
  • When Kovu's training is being reviewed, the notch in Zira's ear switches sideways to the other ear. This is considered a film goof.
  • She is similar to Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Both are the main antagonist and slim. While they appear to care for a male hero (Frollo seemingly cares for Quasimodo and Zira seemingly cares for Kovu), they actually grant them little or no freedom (Frollo kept Quasimodo isolated in Notre Dame and Zira forbade Kovu from exploring the Pride Lands). As well, both are bent on destroying a certain group (Frollo was determined to kill gypsies and Zira was determined to kill Pridelanders). In the climax, they both fall to death in disgrace. However, Zira doesn't share Frollo's egotistical and selfish ways as she shows love and cares for her family.
  • Zira is also similar to Nyra from The Guardians of Ga'Hoole books as both have sons who they want to live up to their deceased paternal figure (Zira wanted Kovu to follow in the footsteps of his adoptive father Scar and Nyra wanted her son Coyrn to be like his father Kludd). Both also give their sons scars after they turn to the good side.

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