Nuka is a teenage lion, the older brother of Kovu and Vitani, and the son of Zira and Scar.
Nuka is a scraggly lion with brown fur, with grey fur on his mouth and underbelly, red eyes and a scrawly black budding mane, goatee and elbow hair. His whiskers are bent in a few places on either side. His inner ears are a darker brown with a tuft of black fur sticking out from each.
Nuka is very hot headed, and leaps into fights constantly underestimating his opponent. He is somewhat cowardly at times, leaping high into the air when he is caught off guard. Nuka is constantly trying to get on his mother's good side, even though he is not above disobeying her words if he decides that his way is better. Nuka is also seemingly disgusted at the idea of lions working alongside hyenas.
Nuka, along with his siblings and mother used to be a part of Simba's Pride during Scar's rule. After Scar was defeated by his nephew Simba, his mother, Zira could not accept Simba as the true king. She struck out and, as a result, she and her family were banished to the Outlands.
Not long afterward Nuka mutters angrily to himself about how Kovu is the chosen one despite not being Scar's son. Catching sight of his sister, he asks her where their younger brother is and interrupts her battle with a dry root by cutting it in half with his claw. As Nuka laughs, Vitani accusingly asks Nuka the same question, to which Nuka replies that it's every lion for himself in the Outlands and that Kovu needs to learn to be on his own. Vitani threatens to tell their mother, but Nuka shrugs off her threat, since he should have been the chosen one, as he's the "oldest," the "strongest," and the "smartest." He goes on to say that he would make a good leader if Zira would just give him a chance. Vitani doubts her brother's words but then teasingly informs him of Zira's arrival. Seeing his mother, Nuka becomes nervous and informs Zira that he's caught her field mice for dinner. When he is ignored, he deflates but follows her anyway, only to be scolded at when she tells Nuka that he was supposed to be watching Kovu. Seeing his brother in trouble, Kovu takes the blame, only to accidentally give his mother a plan to get revenge on Simba. When Zira compliments Kovu for thinking like Scar, Nuka reacts with disgust. Angry, Zira whips around and snarls at him, and the young lion laughs nervously, allowing Zira's glare to linger a bit longer before she gathers up Kovu and carries him into the termite mound. As his mother and brother leave, Nuka once more mutters angrily about Kovu being the chosen one. Shortly after his mother and brother disappear into the termite mound, Nuka sings a song about bringing harm to the royal family of the Pride Lands. When Zira goes on to praise Kovu, Nuka becomes lethargic and jealous again. At one point, he is forced to sing his brother a lullaby, but he instead forces a sarcastic song of his own. Vitani is angered by this and kicks Nuka away from Kovu. Later on, when Nuka and Vitani sing together, Nuka is seen holding a homemade flag, reluctantly waving it in honor of Kovu. Years later, Nuka and Vitani pay a visit to the Elephant Graveyard. Nuka reacts with disgust to the hazy environment, but Vitani dismisses his behavior as fear. Denying her, Nuka laments not having the chance to be the chosen one, wondering why Kovu needs their help if he is so special. In the middle of his rant, a geyser erupts, frightening him, and he races toward Vitani, who rolls her eyes at his immature behavior. The two sticks they bring are ignited by the geysers, and turned into torches. Vitani picks hers up, and Nuka does the same, getting his face singed by the geyser along with the stick. He and his sister then intrude the Pride Lands, spot Kiara, and proceed to set the plains alight. Nuka ends up making a ring of fire around himself and jumps high to escape it, laughing at his own foolishness. Seeing nothing funny about their situation, Vitani drags him away. After the plan is a success, with Simba accepting Kovu into the Pride Lands, Nuka and his mother observe Kovu's process from a distance. Nuka is displeased at Kovu for not attacking Kiara and complains about this to Zira, who hushes him and assures him that everything is going according to plan. Not long after this, Nuka joins his mother's ambush, being the first to confront Simba, only to get whacked away. When the Outsiders swarm the king, he tackles Simba alongside his pride and chases the king through the gorge. Simba tries to escape up an unstable dam, and when Kovu refuses to kill Simba, Nuka sees his chance to do better than his brother. Yelling for his mother's attention, he goes after Simba alone and succeeds in grabbing the king's ankle. No sooner has Nuka thought himself victorious when a weak log gives way under his paw, and he slips. Simba clambers safely onto a nearby cliff at the top of the dam, causing more logs to go down the pile and onto Nuka, crushing him. In a panic, Kovu descends, throwing the clutter out of the way in an attempt to save his brother, but he is pushed aside by Zira, who digs madly for her son. She is too late, and after Nuka gains the affection that he's always desired from his mother, he dies in her paw. Brokenhearted at Nuka's death.