- “You win today, Kion. Next time won't be so easy.”
- ―Janja swears revenge against Kion
He is a teenage hyena who lives in the Outlands and leads a small clan of hyenas that is descended from Shenzi's Hyena Clan. He is the arch-enemy of Kion, the Leader of the Lion Guard and the younger cub of Simba and Nala.
Janja is an arrogant, selfish and greedy hyena who eats more than his fair share, and has no regard for the Circle of Life. His unabated hunger has made him ruthless and willing to go to extreme measures to satisfy it. He is also undeniably intelligent, as he is always hatching new plots to either bring down the Lion Guard or take over the Pride Lands. He correctly fears the Roar of the Elders due to knowing how Scar used it to destroy the old Lion Guard. He also understands that there is no such thing as a free meal, and hunts for his food (like real-life hyenas do). He is also shown to have a strong dislike for jackals. However, Janja is also a bit of a coward, usually only choosing to fight when the odds are in his favor.
Janja is an ashen gray hyena beefy with a lighter underbelly, black spiky mane, darker spots, and a black tail with a gray underbelly.
- High-Level Intellect/Expert Tactician/Leader: Janja is shown to have intelligence and leadership skills that rival that of Kion's. Surrounded on all sides by witless hyenas (with the exceptions of Nne and Tano), Janja stands out as the clever member of his clan, as he was able to come up with many schemes to take over the Pride Lands; such as attacking at night before the Lion Guard was official, getting Kiara as a prisoner to deal with Simba, using herd of animals to make Lion Guard unable to see, and trapping the Lion Guard by using boulders to block the path when Ono was not able to see. He also knew that vultures have information when having meetings that he can use against the Lion Guard; proven by Ono unable to see. The only reason why Janja is close to being the most intelligent of his clan is because Nne and Tano have proven to be more intelligent.
- Expert Combatant: As the leader of his hyena clan, Janja is a capable fighter. He was able to hold his own against enemies that are his size; such as Kion, Kiara, and Jasiri. He even wanted to fight Nala, though it should be noted that he had four fellow hyenas to back him up.
- Animal Strength: Janja possesses great physical strength, as he was able to hold down his enemies that are his size; such as Kion, Kiara, and Jasiri, and raise Cheezi and Chungu and launch long distance.
- Animal Stamina: Janja's stamina is high, as he is able to hunt with his pack to take out as many preys as he could.
- Animal Endurance: Janja is able to endure attacks from Beshte's brute strength and Kion's roar.
Role in the series
- “Well, if it isn't Kion the lion cub! You and your friends better leave now, before you get hurt.”
- ―Janja threatening Kion
Janja orders his clan members Cheezi and Chungu to capture a honey badger called Bunga (who had entered the Outlands to get his Baobab fruit back) so he can have him for lunch. However, Kion is able to save his friend by unknowingly using The Roar of the Elders which causes Chungu to drop Bunga who then gets to safety.
Later, Janja is informed by his vulture major-domo Mzingo that Kion is forming a Lion Guard to protect The Circle of Life. Seeing that this Lion Guard could be a threat to him and his clan, Janja declares that the clan will strike the Pride Lands that night and sings "Tonight We Strike".
Janja and his clan attack the Pride Lands and cause a gazelle stampede, which Kion's older sister Kiara gets caught in. Luckily, Kion and his Lion Guard (Bunga, Beshte, Fuli and Ono) come to Kiara's rescue by chasing the hyenas away and getting the gazelles to go in another direction before Kion confronts Janja and uses the Roar of the Elders to send him and his clan back to the Outlands, but Janja swears vengeance on Kion and the Lion Guard.
Set after the film, Janja and his clan continue terrorizing the animals of the Pride Lands, but only to be stopped by Kion and his Lion Guard.
In "Never Judge a Hyena by its Spots", Janja, Cheezi and Chungu chase a herd of oryx until the guard arrives. Janja immediately orders his two minions to return to Outlands while Kion pursues them to the border. Later Janja meets another hyena named Jasiri to whom he had said never to come to his territory. His clan comes back and encircles the young hyena who manages to put down the clan except Janja who the bowl on the ground. It seems to be about to finish but Kion arrives and saves Jasiri. Janja and his clan end up circling them until Kion uses the Roar, Janja finds himself under his minions and at the sight of Kion in front of him he decides to leave.
When Janja learns that Kiara is temporarily Queen of Pridelands in "Can't Wait to be Queen", he decides to take advantage of Kiara's inexperienceto send Mzingo to make believe that he wants to make peace with Pridelands to attract Kiara on Outlands. When Kiara arrives on his territory, Janja shows up and tells him that he is very happy that she has come to speak. But Kiara begins to be wary when she sees the other hyenas hiding in the shadows and then decides to retrace the path but is surrounded. Janja plate Kiara on the ground until the Guard came to save her. Janja prefers to escape rather than confront them with her clan.
During Kion attempted to calm a herd of wildebeest in "Eye of the Beholder" Janja sneaks up with him. When Ono locates it Janja jumps on Kion and reaches pins on the ground. Kion takes the advantage briefly but Janja takes over, Kion uses his hind legs to project Janja into the air or hit her a wildebeest who throws it away, he announces to Cheezi and Chungu that they are retreating and the three hyenas return to the Outlands.
At his lair, he listens to the conversations of the vultures and learns that Ono has lost his sight and this gives him an idea. Janja with Cheezi and Chungu returns to Pridelands in the goal to trap the guard. His plan succeeded, the guard is trapped by landslides that it provoked. The hyenas then head towards the herd of zebras to devour them, but after they began to run this allows Kion to use the roar without hurting them. After the guard is freed and this directs on the hyenas Janja returns to Outlands.
In "The Kupatana Celebration", Janja and his clan hunts a small Jackal through the Outlands until the jackal is trapped by a dead end. Janja expresses his deep hatred for the jackals and also that he had chased the little jackal from his territory yesterday but that he had nevertheless returned, Janja then said that he will give him a good lesson. The jackal smiles and Janja Kicks him but Kion arrives from above and pin the leader of the hyenas on the ground, Janja asks him what he does on Outlands, Kion tells him he wants him to let the jackal go and Bunga announces that it is Kupatana. Janja then laughs and tells Kion he can take the jackal. Kion confused departs from him and announces to his clan that they leave and that the guard renders them a great service. Janja and his clan are doing it and wishes a merry Kupatana to Kion and his friends.
In "Fuli's New Family", Janja is warned by Cheezi of the presence of Bunga who wanted to throw himself into a Volcano to show that he is immune. But before even succeeding in crunching him Fuli arrives and saves Bunga.
Janja and his clan chase the cheetah and the honey badger which ends up blocking on a trunk floating on lava. Janja, Cheezi and Chungu jumps on the trunk and tries to catch them but the Lion Guard arrives and allows Fuli and Bunga to return to the shore causing the trunk to lean down burning the buttocks of the three hyenas. Cheezi and Chungu smell the grilling meat but Janja tells them that it is they who burns causing both Hyena to get on Janja's back, Janja then told them angrily to go down immediately.
Janja sneaks into the Pride Lands in "Follow That Hippo!", only to be spotted Ono and warned his two minions to hide until the bird went away. A bit later, the trio chasing young children who played to lion guard. Janja manages to catch a small elephant named Mtoto at the water's edge but Beshte manages to save the little elephant and carry it on his back and enters in the water. The Trio continues to pursue them on the ground until Whether they are pushed into the water by Bunga and Fuli and are chased away by crocodiles.
In "Call of the Drongo", the trio pursues a herd of Antilopes until they hit Beshte. Janja tries to deny without success, Kion tells the three hyenas to leave what they are doing. After flying some put out of guard, Cheezi and Chungu hear the voice of Janja tell them that he will eat them but the true Janja informs that it was someone else who had said that and that his came from a bush, he approaches and discovers a Drongo named Tamaa who try to scare an animal to steal its food, Janja then orders Cheezi to catch the bird, so that it can be used for its new plan.
Arriving behind a plain of antelopes Janja orders Tamaa to imitate Kion's voice to attract the antelopes on his territory in the Outlands, Tamaa deny to have the ability to imitate the voice of Kion, Janja threatens to eat it if he does not do what he says. After the antelopes entered the Outlands, Janja decide to keep Tamaa because it could be very useful later. While the hyenas are about to attack the antelopes they hear the voices of the Lion Guard, hey begin to be afraid until Janja realize that Cheezi has let Tamaa go away, he then stuck the Drongo in a corner. But the real Lion Guard arrives in time and Kion pin Janja on the ground. Janja tries to make him believe that he only wanted to help the antelopes but Kion is not fooled and he, Cheezi and Chungu flee.
Janja with Cheezi and Chungu has once again sneakck into the Pride Lands in "Paintings and Predictions", this time to take down a herd of zebras. Janja, Cheezi, and Chungu watch from a hidden location as Ono leads the zebra herd to a safe grazing spot in the Pride Lands. Cheezi and Chungu ask Janja what they are going to do, and Janja replies that after Ono leaves, they will spook the zebras and then they will be theirs for the taking. When the Lion Guard arrives, Kion tells the members to go after Cheezi and Chungu and leave Janja to him. At this moment, Janja pursues an zebra that has lost its way to the herd and is about to have it, Kion and Bunga accidentally falls on it. Janja confused their request from where they went out. At this moment the rest of the Guard has managed to stop Cheezi and Chungu who are now ready to retreat. Janja agrees, and the hyenas scamper away.
In "The Mbali Fields Migration", The moaning of a small zebra that was part of a herd of zebra and antelopes that had to cross the Outlands to join the Mbali fields attracts the attention of Janja, Cheezi and Chungu. The trio rush to the herd before confronting Kion and Bunga. Janja and Kion clash until Kion is overthrown by Chungu. Janja breaks through the line of zebras until he is kicked in the face by Muhimu's foal, after which he backs off, racing away with Cheezi and Chungu. As he flees, Janja declares that he's never liked zebra anyway.
In "Janja's New Crew", Janja and his clan are preparing to invade Pride Lands again, but Janja slips on the mud and hits Beshte. Though Janja tries to cover up his plot, Cheezi and Chungu reveal that they had been planning to attack the wildebeests, and Kion use the Roar to send them back to Outlands. Cheezi and Chungu land on Janja who then throws them angrily, he tells them that if his plans always fail it's because of them and he then decides not only to fired them but also banish them from Outlands and replace them with two other hyenas named Nne and Tano.
Later, Janja discusses with his two new seconds in command a new plan but to his surprise they already have one. Their plan is to make believe that they will attack a herd of antelopes so that the guard goes on a false trail so that they can attack the oryx, Janja is very surprised but agrees. The plan goes underway, and the Lion Guard takes the bait. Janja nearly gives the hyenas away until Nne and Tano pull him into hiding. Once the Guard is gone, the hyenas begin to chase a herd of oryxes, but in the midst of the chase, Nne and Tano betray Janja, forcing him off the edge of a cliff. Janja lands safely on a ledge, but he finds himself trapped against the side of the cliff.
Janja yells angrily for their treason this draws guard and Cheezi and Chungu. Kion asks Janja what he is doing there and Janja tells him that Nne and Tano are betrayed and that they will attack the oryx. Then the guard leaves to stop them and Chezi and Chungu decide to stay with Janja to its great dissatisfaction. After Kion used the Roar to defeat Nne and Tano, Janja says this is the first time he is happy to hear the Roar, no sooner has he spoken when the Roar causes the ledge to break, taking Janja, Cheezi and Chungu with it. The three land safely on the ground, and Janja sets off to the Outlands. Cheezi and Chungu stare after him wistfully until he demands to know if they are coming with him. Delighted, the two tear after him, and once more a united crew, the three hyenas return to the Outlands.
In "Never Roar Again", Janja, Cheezi, Chungu, Nne and Tano flee the Guard and return to the Outlands. Janja announces to Kion that they have returned and that it is finished. But once the Guard is gone, Janja returns to the Pride Lands and the rest of the clan follow him.
They later cross Nala who asks Janja why he is not in Outlands. Janja claims that the clan did not know they were in the Pride Lands. Nala then warns him to return to his territory, but Janja refuses and tries to kill Nala who retreats and is surrounded by the clan. Kion arrives and when he sees his mother encircled by the hyenas he enters a great anger and uses a powerful Roar of the Elders to send the hyenas to back to the Outlands.
In "Ono's Idol", Janja, Cheezi and Chungu attempt to attack a herd of klipsingers who are trapped at the edge of a cliff. Luckily the trio are defeated by Ono, his hero Hadithi and the rest of the Guard.
In "The Traveling Baboon Show", When a baboon group arrives in Outland, Janja discovers Mwevi and Mwizi in his den, trying to steal food from him. Janja with Cheezi and Chungu hunt them down to a small cavern or they can not escape. Janja announces that there will be baboons for dinner but the lion guard arrives and Kion tells him to get away from the baboons but he refuses and enters a fight with the guard. Cheezi and Chungu are quickly beaten and Kion jumps on Janja and throws him on his two minions defeated. Kion asks if he has had enough, Janja does not respond then Kion tells them to leave and Janja tells him to keep the baboons away from his den.
In The Rise of Scar, Janja and his clan hunt elephants in the plains. Janja and Nne try to catch Mtoto until Kion interferes. Janja in fear presents Nne to Kion to give him time to flee but he and his clan are then struck by Beshte. After its attack is countered by the guard, Janja does not admit to being defeated and decides to wait before attacking the elephants again but the guard takes the elephants to a dead end and Kion uses his roar to drive out the hyenas.
Back in the Outlands, Janja listens to his minions complaining that they are hungry until Cheezi spots Ushari and they plan on eating him. Ushari shares the information he received from Makini. Ushari told Janja that the way to win against the guard was to bring in the only lion that would help hyenas: Scar. Janja unconvinced then told the snake that Scar died in Pride Rock's flames a long time ago, but Ushari explained that for Scar to appear, Kion had to use the Roar and then use the Makini's stick which convinces Janja.
Later, near the tree of Rafiki, Janja listens well to the conversation between Ushari and Makini on how to call the evil lions of the past. When Makini leaves, Janja shows up and expresses her deep doubts about the snake until he calls skinks to infiltrate the den of the guard.
Back at the Outlands Volcano, Ushari discusses the latest information with Janja's Clan, and how to get Kion to Roar. Janja eventually decides that Kion roars best when his loved ones are in danger and with their goal in sight, they decide to bring back Scar. After singing Bring Back a Legend, Janja and his henchmen leave for the Pride Lands.
After his clan kidnap Kiara and steal the Bakora Staff of Rafiki's apprentice Makini, He returns to the volcano and while Nne gives the stick to Ushari, Janja throws Kiara in a hole full of geyser to prevent her from fleeing.
The Lion Guard are able to get to the clan's volcanic lair and rescue Kiara, but Janja threatens Kion that he and his clan will keep coming back to harm his family. This statement causes Kion to use the Roar of the Elders in anger, causing the lair's volcano to erupt. After the Lion Guard return to the Pride Lands, Ushari tries to use the Bakora Staff to summon Scar, but to no avail. Angered, Janja kicks the staff into the volcano, but in the process, Scar appears in person. Frightened, Janja asks the flaming Lion if he is the one who thinks he is and Scar confirms it in a diabolical voice.
In "Swept Away", Janja is in the volcano and reminds Cheezi and Chungu that even though Scar is their boss, they are to listen to what he says over anyone else. Whilst Cheezi understands Chungu fails to grasp it. Just then, a Male Skink arrives and informs him that Beshte is alone in the Outlands. Janja dismisses it, then Scar appears and states that it's the perfect time to eliminate him. Suddenly, Janja's becomes interested in the situation. When Chungu asks his boss how they're going to take out Beshte, Janja warns him against being called 'boss' in front of their current boss, Scar. He then orders his hyenas to listen to Scar, who has a plan.
When the plan begins, Janja watches the skinks lure Beshte into a canyon below Rocky Plateau. Cheezi comments that his plans don't usually work out and Janja reminds him that this is Scar's plan. Cheezi cheers up, believing that the plan might work this time around. Janja agrees but soon becomes angry at what his clan member is saying about his own plans.
They reach the top and start to push rocks onto the ground, trapping Beshte in a small area. They continue pushing rocks, trying to squash the hippo. When he's almost out of room to dodge, Janja, Cheezi, and Chungu start to push a very large boulder that they had been saving for last. But the Lion Guard arrive just in time to save their team member, with Fuli stopping the rock from falling. Kion orders Janja to back away, and Janja claims not to have known the hippo was a member of the Lion Guard and that they were just having some fun, but Kion sees through his thinly veiled lie. When Janja gets close to the edge, Kion uses his Roar of the Elders to send the hyenas flying.
When they fall, the hyenas know that Scar will be mad with them. Janja suggests that they don't have to return right away, but Ushari is waiting nearby, telling them that Scar wishes to see him. And he's not happy. to which Janja responds "Oh boy..."
In "Rescue in the Outlands", Janja is with Cheezi and Chungu, looking for the jackals to convince them to side with Scar. The trio inadvertently enters the territory of Jasiri, which comes directly to tell them to leave. Janja, unimpressed by the little female hyena, refuses and attacks, but is tackled to the ground with Jasiri kicking the other two hyenas. Janja pushes her off and pinns her to the ground, but Jasiri manages to throw him off. Furious about being easily grounded by Jasiri, but knowing they can't beat her because of its unpredictability, Janja, Cheezi and Chungu retreat.
Back at the volcano, the three hyenas are mocked by Ushari for their incompetence to find the jackals and to have been beaten by a single hyena, to which Janja retorts that Jasiri is no ordinary hyena. Hearing this, Scar appears and thinks of recruiting Jasiri, but Janja contradicts him by saying that Jasiri is the worst hyena he knows. He then sings "The Worst Hyena We Know" to explain why he hates this hyena that respects the Circle of Life and is friends with Kion. With this information, Scar changes his mind and decides that Jasiri is a threat. He orders Janja to take his entire clan to get rid of Jasiri, since she is more than a match for only him, Cheezi and Chungu. Before leaving, Scar coldly tells Janja not to disappoint him again.
In the meantime, Jasiri plays with two hyena pups, Tunu and Wema. Janja watches from afar and orders his clan to attack the trio. The clan launches their attack, and Jasiri desperately attempts to protect the pups from harm. In the midst of the fight, Janja brutally pushes the three into an open steam vent, where lava is steadily rising to the surface. As the clan gathers around, preventing any attempt at escape, Jasiri's sister Madoa resolves to get Kion's help.
Soon, the Lion Guard arrives and engages in a fight with the hyenas, and Janja and his clan are effectively steered away from the edge of the steam vent. With the hyenas out of the way, Kion orders Beshte to push a large rock into the lava flow, which allows Jasiri and the pups to clamber to safety.
By then, all of the hyenas have fled except for Janja, who declares that he wins as long as Jasiri is out of the fight. Just then, Jasiri emerges from the steam vent and challenges Janja to take on both herself and the Lion Guard. Reluctantly, Janja gives up the fight, yelling after Jasiri that matters are not over between them.
- Janja is shown to be the leader of his clan, but in real life, hyenas are typically led by females (like Shenzi was in The Lion King).
- As there are no females in his pack, it is likely he became the de facto leader due to the lack of options. It is also possible that Janja does not believe in this logic.
- It has been revealed that Janja and his clan are descendants of Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed's clan, but it is not revealed what exactly happened to them after they killed Scar.
- In The Rise of Scar; it is revealed that Janja is unaware that Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed killed Scar because they were betrayed by him, as he states that "Scar died in the fire at Pride Rock."
- Janja strongly resembles Banzai, especially with his thick bushy eyebrows.
- It could be possible that Janja is based on Banagi, a hyena who was set to be an antagonist in the early drafts of The Lion King. Like Janja, Banagi was a hyena who was the leader of his clan despite being male.
- Judging by personality, it's assumed that Janja is the Lion Guard's equivalent of Shenzi.
- Due to their familiarity, it can be safely assumed that Jasiri and Janja have encountered each other before.
- With the apparent age of Janja and the short time passed between The Lion King and The Lion Guard, it is highly likely that Janja was born during Scar's reign.
- Though they are aware of each other, Simba is the only Pridelander lion whom Janja hasn't interacted with so far.
- Although not yet fully grown, Janja is almost as big as Nala.
- While Janja does describe Jasiri as the "worst hyena he knows", he does leave hints of admiration towards her.