Zira is a lioness in The Lion Guard. She was Kovu, Nuka and Vitani's mother the wife of Scar and the leader of the Outsiders who all live in the Outlands. She appeared in one episode, Lions of the Outlands.
Zira is a thin, fully grown lioness with dusty brown fur and a notch on one of her striped ears. Her angular eyes are red, and her nose is black. The fur on either side of her face is long, forming two triangular points. Her muzzle is also longer than the average lion's, with the fur at the end of her chin scruffy. Her claws are always extended.
Zira is sneaky and devious, feigning hospitality on numerous occasions in an attempt to get someone to side with her. She is set in her beliefs and cannot be swayed. Zira also loathes hyenas. In addition to this, she believes that lions should rule with an iron fist as opposed to being benevolent to all living creatures. She does not have much respect for the Circle of Life, and is ruthless enough to kill a cub if they do not do as she wants them to.
Prior to The Lion Guard
Zira lived in the Pride Lands during the reign of Scar, who selected her son, Kovu, to become the next ruler of Pride Rock. Scar was later defeated by his nephew Simba, who took over as the rightful king. However, Zira disputed this attacked Kopa and fought Simba, as she was very close to Scar. Alas Simba won and she lost, but after a crushing defeat Simba banished her and her family even followers to the Outlands for the murder of their son Kopa.
Many years later, Zira trespasses into the Pride Lands and closely examines Kovu's interactions with Kiara, the daughter of Simba. When the king himself appears, ready to defend his cub, Zira quickly intervenes, roaring at Simba in the defense of her own son. The two lions converse bitterly, Simba reminding her that she has broken the law of the land and thus must suffer the consequences. She offers up Kovu to Simba, who hesitates to kill the cub, something Zira had predicted from the start.
Simba orders the Outsiders to get out, ending their business, but Zira corrects him and smirks dangerously and knowingly at Kiara. She then grabs Kovu, more forcefully than Simba picked up Kiara, and leaves, returning to her home in the Outlands.
Once home, Zira strides by Nuka, ignoring him with a less-than-pleased expression on her face and a helpless Kovu in her mouth. She then drops the cub none-too-gently in the sand and turns her fury about the cub's disobedience on Nuka, screaming that he was supposed to be overseeing his actions. Kovu steps in on his brother's behalf, and Zira redirects her wrath. Zira then questions Kovu into oblivion about acting friendly toward a Pride Lander rather than repelling them like he should have done.
Through her scolding, she suddenly gets an idea: Kovu can be used to get to Kiara so he can kill Simba. Zira turns gentle, praising her son for possessing a mind of ill will (situational irony, considering how Kovu had no evil in his innocent mind). Nuka expresses disgust at his mother's praise, but she turns and snarls at him dangerously. Her anger makes Nuka back down in fear, and Zira grabs Kovu, leading him into the termite mound where his bed is set. Zira softly coos a lullaby to her son, stating that he will be a king someday. Before Kovu falls asleep, she informs him that his training is going to intensify. In a heavy song, Zira outlines her dreams about the blood-soaked payback that she will levy on Simba.
When Kovu is a young adult and has completed his training, Zira circles her son, very much approving of the manipulated monster which she has created in Scar's image. She comments that he has the same darkness in his soul that Scar had and reaffirms her teachings by questioning Kovu himself about his destiny. After stating he is ready, she prepares a plan that will involve Kovu infiltrating the Pride Lands by rescuing Kiara, integrating himself into the pride, and then killing Simba once he has gained the king's trust.
Meanwhile, Nuka and Vitani ignite the Pride Lands during Kiara's first solo hunt, and Zira watches the flare with Kovu by her side. She commands him into action and then leaves herself.
After the fire rescue, Zira and Nuka sit a little ways from Pride Rock and observe Kovu's actions. Nuka is disapproving of his brother for not harming Kiara, but Zira rebukes him, stating that Kovu is following the plan as he was supposed to and
Vitani later reports to Zira that Kovu is no longer on board with the plan because of a love affair between him and Kiara. Zira is angered by this apparent betrayal and quickly devises a plan to get Kovu back on their side. The next morning, Simba takes Kovu out on a walk, and while he is making his speech, Zira cackles evilly and emerges from the dust with Nuka, Vitani and the rest of her pride, preparing an ambush. She subtly taunts Simba and then credits Kovu for leading him into the ambush (again, ironic, considering Simba chose the spot to visit). As Simba loses his trust in Kovu, Zira and her pride attack. They pursue him through the clogged gorge and eventually trap him at a dam.that the fire rescue worked perfectly. She expresses her approval and anticipation by snapping a branch in half.
With her son dead and the chosen one "corrupted," Zira has had enough and announces to her pride that Simba has taken away her children in one way or another. She decides to take advantage of Simba climbs up the wall of logs and upon seeing Kovu at the top, Zira commands him to kill Simba. Kovu instead does nothing, so Nuka climbs up the dam, seeing his chance to prove to everyone that he is the lion Kovu cannot be. However, he is pinned under the logs and dies in the process. When Kovu tries to dig up Nuka, Zira frantically pushes him out of the way and clears the logs herself. Near tears, she comforts her son until he dies. Zira mourns her son's death and sends a desperate prayer to Scar to watch over Nuka up in Heaven. Her sorrowful mood quickly turns angry as she blames Kovu for Nuka's death and then proceeds to hit him, scratching at his face and making a scar identical to Scar's. Zira then blames Kovu for Nuka's death, coughing out angry invective at her remaining son about how he has betrayed his pride, his mother, and even Scar, making Kovu run away in outrage.
The two are dangerously close to having a blood-soaked battle, but Kiara and Kovu intervene, much to Zira's annoyance. Kiara tells Simba that they are all one and that the fighting is pointless. Taking advantage of a tender moment between Simba and Kiara, Zira orders Vitani to attack, but the younger lioness is moved by Kiara's words and disobeys her mother. Blinded by fury and sadness, Zira threatens her own daughter impulsively. Disgusted by their leader, the Outsiders cross over to the Pride Landers' side and stand against a shocked but unrelenting Zira, leaving the lioness unwilling to let go of the past.Simba's injury and prepares a full-scale war on the Pride Lands to the unanimous acceptance of her whole pride. The Pride Landers meet the Outsiders head-on as Zira triumphantly mocks Simba, saying this battle is the moment that she has dreamed of for years. After Simba commands her to return home, Zira says that she is home and orders her troops to attack. Zira stays on an elevated knoll for the beginning of the fight, commanding her lionesses, but upon seeing Simba swarmed by Outsiders, she attacks.
On Scar's behalf, Zira leaps out to kill Simba, but Kiara intercepts, and the two roll over the side of a cliff. During this time, logs off to the side of the gorge burst, opening a massive river underneath the two struggling lionesses. Zira hits multiple rocks and is left dangling off a ledge while an addled Kiara offers to help Zira, who is seen torn between choosing life or death. However, unable to let go of her hate and seeing that her dreams are lost, Zira refuses Kiara's help and proceeds to fall to her death into the river. She is presumed to be swept away by the tide.