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Judge me now for who I am. Or am I to be blamed for a crime I didn't commit?
―Kovu to Simba

Kovu is the deuteragonist in the 1998 movie The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. He is the son and youngest child of Zira and an unknown lion, the younger brother of Nuka and Vitani, the best friend and later mate of Kiara.


Kovu is stated to be the youngest son of Zira, a follower of Scar; his two older siblings are Nuka and Vitani. He was apparently born at some point during Scar's reign, as Scar hand-picked him to be his successor. As a result, he was referred to by the Outsiders as the Chosen One. However, Scar merely adopted him, and Kovu is of no relation to Scar. His chosen path was put to a halt after Simba took back the throne from Scar and exiled the Outsiders. As a result of Scar's death, Kovu was expected to one day avenge Scar by killing Simba and usurping the throne. As a cub, he was put through harsh training by Zira to prepare him for this task.


Kovu is aggressive and crude, even as a cub. Upon first meeting Kiara, his first reaction is to snarl a challenge, and the only game he appears to understand is play-fighting. His violent tendencies are reinforced by a knack for taking care of himself, as he is physically fit and an able hunter, two features that make way for his more arrogant and cocky side. Even as a cub, Kovu strives to please and takes no shame in showing off to the more innocent Kiara. However, when faced by his mother, Kovu is submissive and prone to showing his softer side, exposing a desire to befriend and treat kindly the new cub he has just met. After meeting Kiara again as an adolescent, Kovu begins to cave to his inner good, proving himself to enjoy laughter and good times.

Physical Appearance


Kovu as a cub.

Kovu is noted by many to bear a strong resemblance to Scar.

His fur is auburn, and his muzzle, paws and underbelly are all creamy brown in color. He sports a dark brown head tuft, and also sports tufts of fur on his elbow joints that match the color of his head tuft and tail-tip. His dark eye shades mirror those of his siblings, but his emerald green eyes match no member of his family's.

As an adolescent, Kovu's mane is colored a very rich dark brown and matches the dark shades of his elbow tufts and tail-tip. He later gets a scar across his left eye that is inflicted by Zira.


The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

One day, Kovu escaped from his brother Nuka, who was supposed to be watching him. While wandering about, he met Kiara, Simba's daughter, who had wandered in the Outlands. The two cubs became friends after an incident with crocodiles, but they were quickly separated by their feuding parents. Back home, Zira angrily scolds Kovu for trying to befriend an enemy, but then realizes she may be able to use the friendship to allow Kovu to get close to Simba and kill him. She then praises Kovu for his brilliance, stating that he has the "same conniving mind" that Scar had.

When Kovu has grown into an adolescent, Zira sends him to the Pride Lands to initiate her plan. As part of the plan, he rescues Kiara from a wildfire that has been set by Nuka and his sister Vitani. After rescuing Kiara, he asks Simba to allow him to join the Pride Landers. Though Simba rejects him initially, it is pointed out that by law he owes Kovu a debt for saving Kiara. As repayment, Kovu is allowed to return to the Pride Lands; however Simba still doesn't trust him. Simba chooses to reserve his final judgment until he can learn about Kovu's character, and forces Kovu to sleep outside the den away from the pride. Kovu appears briefly in Simba's nightmare, where Scar turns into him and throws Simba off a cliff into the stampede (similar to how Scar killed Simba's father Mufasa in the first movie).

During his time at Pride Rock, it becomes apparent that Kovu has never had any real fun before. When Kiara chooses to chase birds along side Timon and Pumbaa for the fun of it, Kovu believes it to be training. Kiara teaches him to loosen up and enjoy himself. Over time, he begins to fall in love with Kiara, a feeling which is encouraged by a meeting with Rafiki, and begins to question his role in Zira's plot. Later, Simba finally warms up to Kovu and thanks him for saving his daughter's life the other day, and invites him in the den with the pride. The next morning, Kovu resolves to reveal Zira's plot to Kiara and that he doesn't want to be a part of it anymore because he loves her, but is prevented from doing so when Simba takes him alone to talk. After hearing Simba's retelling of Scar's story, he realizes how just how wrong his mother has been in her opinion of Scar. However, the two are ambushed by Zira and the Outsiders, who had been spying on Kovu and realized he was having second thoughts. Zira frames Kovu, claiming that the ambush was part of the plan. Kovu denies it, but Simba believes it anyway and quickly distrusts him. Kovu attempts to defend Simba, but is knocked unconscious by Vitani.

After Simba manages to escape the Outsiders, Kovu rushes back to the Outsiders to see about Nuka, who had been trapped under falling logs while trying to attack Simba. Nuka dies as a result of his wounds, and Zira angrily blames Kovu for Nuka's death, scarring him across one eye, reminiscent of Scar's appearance. In response, Kovu stands up to his mother for the first time, rejects Scar, and runs off. Back at Pride Rock, Simba believes that Kovu was behind the ambush, and exiles the rogue lion from the Pride Lands, ignoring Kiara's protests. As Kovu flees, he was being watched by Rafiki from a distance sighs very sadly realizing that Simba has completely defied his father's goals and broken the Circle of Life. However, Kovu later reunites with Kiara, who had run away from Pride Rock to find him. The two briefly discuss running away to form their own pride, but Kiara convinces Kovu that they need to return to try and unite their prides.

Kovu and Kiara return to find the Pride Landers and the Outsiders engaged in a bitter war, with Simba and Zira preparing to fight one on one. Kovu and Kiara manage to separate them, and Kovu publicly announces his intention to not let Zira harm either Kiara or Simba. As a result of his and Kiara's actions, Vitani leaves Zira's side, with the other Outsiders following her after Zira threatens to kill Vitani. When Zira attempts to attack Simba, Kovu looks on as Kiara fights her in an attempt to save her father. He sighs sadly as he sees his mother fall to her death. Simba apologizes to Kovu for his mistake, and allows him to return to the Pride Lands, where he is united in marriage with Kiara by Rafiki.

The Lion Guard

Kovu, along with Nuka and Vitani, is set to guest star in the Disney Junior series The Lion Guard, which takes place sometime after Kovu's first meeting with Kiara.


The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Kovu.


  • "Kovu" means "scar" in Swahili.
  • Sora's lion form in Kingdom Hearts resembles Kovu.
  • Kovu was originally going to be Scar's biological son, however Micheal Eisner decided that Kovu shouldn't be related to Scar, as it would cause incest between him and Kiara as "first-cousins". His mane was also black during early development stages.
  • In the documentary Proud of Simba's Pride, Kovu is described as a "teenage killer". So that would mean that his adolescent self is the equivalent of a 18- and 19-year old.


v - e - d

Films: The Lion King | The Lion King II: Simba's Pride | The Lion King 1½ | The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar | Video | The Lion King (live action film)
Television: Timon and Pumbaa | Timon and Pumbaa's Wild About Safety | The Lion Guard
Soundtracks: Soundtrack | Rhythm of the Pride Lands | The Legacy Collection | The Lion King Collection | Return to Pride Rock: Songs Inspired by Disney's The Lion King II: Simba's Pride | Best of the Lion King | The Lion King 1½: Songs from Timon and Pumbaa's Hilarious Adventure | Original Broadway Cast Recording | The Lion Guard
Video Games: The Lion King | Timon and Pumbaa's Jungle Games | The Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure | Kingdom Hearts II | Animated Storybook: The Lion King | Disney Universe | Disney INFINITY: 2.0 Edition | Adventures in Typing with Timon and Pumbaa | Activity Center | The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride: Active Play | The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride GameBrack | The Lion King 1½ | Disney Crossy Road
Books: Classic Storybook | Disney's Wonderful World of Reading | Golden Sight 'n' Sound Book | Little Golden Book | Marvel Comics | The Art of the Lion King | Simba and the Lost Waterfall | Morning at Pride Rock | Simba and Nala Help Bomo | The Bright Star | Simba and the Big Flood | Simba the Fortune Teller | The Pal Patrol | Simba's Hide and Seek | Far from the Pride Lands | Simba's Daring Rescue | Pumbaa Runs Away from Home | No Worries: A New Story About Simba | How Simba Met Timon and Pumbaa | Way to Go, Simba! | The Lion King 1½

Disney Parks

Rafiki's Planet Watch | Disney's Art of Animation Resort | Disney's Explorers Lodge | Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable | Disney Animation Building | It's a Small World | Mickey's PhilharMagic | Rhythm of the Jungle | Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom | Stitch and Friends Summer Surprise | The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management) | The Lion Guard Adventure
Entertainment: Animagique | Animazment - The Musical | Celebrate the Magic | Disney's Believe | Disney's Dreams: An Enchanted Classic | Disney's Wishes | Disney Classics: The Music & The Magic | Disney Dreams! | Disneyland Forever | Fantasmic! | Feel the Magic | Festival of Family & Friends | Festival of the Lion King | Ignite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light | It's Party Time... with Mickey and Friends | Mickey and the Magician | The Golden Mickeys | The Legend of the Lion King | Tree of Life Awakens | Villains Tonight! | World of Color
Restaurants: Restaurant Hakuna Matata
Parade: Disney's Magical Moments Parade | Disney Cinema Parade | Disney Magic on Parade | The Lion King Celebration | The Wonderful World of Disney Parade | Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams
Halloween: Happy Hallowishes


The Lion King: Simba | Nala | Mufasa | Scar | Rafiki | Timon | Pumbaa | Zazu | Shenzi, Banzai and Ed | Sarabi | Sarafina | The Pridelanders | Hyena Clan | Wildebeests | Cape Buffalo | Gopher
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: Kiara | Kovu | Zira | Vitani | Nuka | Outsiders | Crocodiles
The Lion King 1½: Ma | Uncle Max | Iron Joe | Meerkat Colony
Timon and Pumbaa: The Native Chief | The Three Natives | Monty | Baampu | Nobi | Fred | Quint | The Woodpecker | Bruce | Stinky | Ralph and Eddie | Teds | Savage Lion | Bartholomew | The Tarsier | Toucan Dan | Vulture Police | Ned | Rabbit | Uncle Boaris | Uncle Ernie | Boss Beaver | Boy Beaver | Lester the Whale | The Tigress | Jackal | The Cobra | Speedy the Snail | Smolder the Bear | Little Jimmy | Irwin | El Toro | Mr. Pig | Wolverine | Jumbo Jumbo the Elephant | Cheetato and Cheetata | Martin Pardon | Rita Book | Chef Claude | Captain Bloodbeard | Cisco Pig | Cisco Pig's Gang | Dr. Caliostro | Torgo | The Meerkat Angel | Pumbaa Jr. | Nefu | Dr. Happy | Leslie Lambeau | Mr. Buttons | Sharla | Herman | Lara | Mel | Claudius | Bahuka | Tutan Pharaoh | Genie | Madame Credenza | Duke Meerkat | Tatiana | Mother Eagle | Baby Earl | King Leopold | Princess Claudia | Sigmund and Lloyd | Heinrich and Schnitzel | Mad Dog McGraw, Billy the Goat, and Three-fingered Jackelope | Dr. Exceter | Sal Manders | Jungle Inspector | Pimon and Tumbaa
The Lion Guard: Kion | Bunga | Fuli | Beshte | Ono | Tiifu | Zuri | Janja | Mzingo | Cheezi | Chungu | Janja's Clan | Makuu | Pua | Basi | Ushari | Jasiri | Ma Tembo | Reirei | Goigoi | Dogo | Dogo's Brothers | Twiga | Tamaa | Swala | Muhimu | Ajabu | Makucha | Mjomba | Ogpoa | Haya | Badili | Mapigano | Gumba | Nne | Tano | Vuruga Vuruga
Printed Media: Uru | Ahadi | Kopa | Pimbi | Boma | Kula | Zuzu | Joka | Lulu
Deleted: Diku | Baasho | Iggy | Herr Rhino | Kwashi | Bhati | Mheetu | Banagi | Daabi | Dwala | Naanda | Binti | Lemuta | Timon's Father | Buzz | Tesma | Nala's Father


Timon & Pumbaa
Season One: "Boara Boara" | "Saskatchewan Catch" | "Kenya Be My Friend?" | "Good Mousekeeping" | "Brazil Nuts" | "South Sea Sick/The Lion Sleeps Tonight" | "Never Everglades" | "Cooked Goose" | "Yukon Con" | "Doubt of Africa" | "How to Beat the High Costa Rica" | "Swiss Missed" | "Russia Hour" | "You Ghana Join the Club" | "Uganda Be an Elephant" | "To Kilimanjaro Bird" | "Rocky Mountain Lie" | "Amazon Quiver" | "French Fried" | "Big Top Breakfast" | "Madagascar About You" | "Truth or Zaire/Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" | "Mojave Desserted" | "Beauty and the Wildebeest" | "Don't Break the China" | "Can't Take a Yolk" | "Stand by Me" | "The Pain in Spain" | "Frantic Atlantic" | "Unlucky in Lesotho" | "Rafiki's Apprentice" | "Tanzania Zany" | "Guatemala Malarkey" | "Mombasa-In-Law" | "TV Dinner" | "Back Out in the Outback" | "Gabon with the Wind" | "Timon's Time Togo" | "The Law of the Jungle" | "Manhattan Mishap" | "Paraguay Parable" | "Be More Pacific" | "Going Uruguay" | "Let's Serengeti Out of Here" | "Congo on Like This" | "Okay Bayou?" | "Shake Your Djibouti" | "Yosemite Remedy" | "The Sky is Calling" | "Mozam-Beaked" | "Ocean Commotion"
Season Two: "Palm Beached" | "Oregon Astray" | "New Guinea Pig" | "Isle of Manhood" | "Puttin' on the Brits" | "Klondike Con" | "Isle Find Out" | "Beetle Romania" | "Rumble in the Jungle" | "Wide Awake in Wonderland" | "Zazu's Off-by-One Day" | "Animal Barn" | "Roach Hotel" | "Africa-Dabra!" | "Shopping Mauled" | "Library Brouhaha" | "Catch Me if You Kenya" | "Scent of the South" | "Monster Massachusetts" | "Handle with Caribbean" | "Forbidden Pumbaa" | "Washington Applesauce" | "Alcatraz Mataz" | "Oahu Wahoo" | "I Think I Canada" | "Zazu's Off Day Off" | "Beast of Eden" | "Sense & Senegambia" | "Timon on the Range" | "The Man from J.U.N.G.L.E." | "Maine-Iacs" | "Fiji-Fi-Fo-Fum" | "Rome Alone" | "Amusement Bark" | "Once Upon a Timon" | "Home is Where the Hog Is" | "Beethoven's Whiff" | "Bumble in the Jungle" | "Mind Over Matterhorn"
Season Three: "Whiff" | "To Be Bee or Not to Be Bee" | "Luck Be a Meerkat" | "Just When You Thought You'd Cuisine it All" | "Lemonade Stand Off" | "Big Jungle Game" | "Boo Hoo Bouquet" | "So Sumo Me" | "Now Museum, Now You Don't" | "Visiting Pig-nitaries" | "The Truth About Kats and Hogs" | "Escape from Newark" | "Truth Be Told" | "Circus Jerks" | "Nest Best Thing" | "Super Hog-O" | "Don't Have the Vegas Idea" | "Hot Enough for Ya?" | "Werehog of London" | "Bigfoot, Littlebrain" | "Astro-Nots" | "Robin Hoodwinked" | "Seregenti Western" | "All Pets are Off" | "Two for the Zoo" | "The Swine in the Stone" | "You May Have Already Won Six Million Bakra" | "My Meteor, My Friend" | "Jungle Slickers" | "Don't Wake the Neighbear" | "Recipe for Disaster" | "Going Over-Boar'd" | "Ivy Beleaguered" | "Broadway Bound & Gagged" | "Steel Hog" | "Dealer's Choice Cut" | "Space Ham" | "You Bet Your Tukhus" | "No-Good Samaritan" | "Living in De Nile" | "One Tough Bug" | "Pirates of Pumbzance" | "Miss Perfect" | "Hakuna Matata U." | "Pig-Malion" | "Why No Rhino" | "War Hogs" | "The Big No Sleep" | "Common Scents" | "Mister Twister" | "Don't Be Elfish" | "Lights, Camera, Traction" | "The Running of the Bullies" | "Special Defects" | "Wishy Washy" | "Ice Escapades" | "Guru-Some" | "Jailhouse Shock" | "Nearly Departed" | "Early Bird Watchers" | "The Spy's the Limit" | "Ready, Aim, Fire" | "Timoncchio" | "Ghost Boosters" | "Stay Away from my Honey!" | "Sitting Pretty Awful" | "He's a Bad, Bad, Bad Sport" | "Dapper Duck Burgers" | "It Runs Good" | "Hot Air Buffoons" | "Timon in Love" | "Kahuna Potato" | "Mook Island" | "Cliphangers"

The Lion Guard
Season One: "Never Judge a Hyena by its Spots" | "The Rise of Makuu" | "Bunga the Wise" | "Can't Wait to be Queen" | "Eye of the Beholder" | "The Kupatana Celebration" | "Fuli's New Family" | "The Search for Utamu" | "Follow That Hippo!" | "Call of the Drongo" | "Paintings and Predictions" | "The Mbali Fields Migration" | "Bunga and the King" | "The Imaginary Okapi" | "Too Many Termites" | "The Trouble With Galagos" | "Janja's New Crew" | "Baboons!" | "Beware the Zimwi" | "Lions of the Outlands" | "Never Roar Again"


The Lion King Trilogy: Africa | The Zuberi River | Mount Kilimanjaro | Pride Rock | The Pride Lands | The Desert | The Water Hole | The Elephant Graveyard | The Gorge | Jungle | The Great River | Rafiki's Ancient Tree | The Outlands
Timon and Pumbaa: Zazu's Tree | Madame Credenza's Place | Savage Rock | Boss Beaver's Log Land


The Lion King: Circle of Life | The Morning Report | I Just Can't Wait to Be King | Be Prepared | Hakuna Matata | Can You Feel the Love Tonight | Hawaiian War Chant
Instrumental Scores: This Land | Hyenas | ...To Die For | Under the Stars | King of Pride Rock | Didn't Your Mother Tell You Not to Play with Your Food | We are All Connected | Hyenas in the Pride Lands | Elephant Graveyard | I Was Just Trying to Be Brave | Stampede | Mufasa Dies | If You Ever Come Back We'll Kill You | Bowling for Buzzards | We Gotta Bone to Pick With You | Kings of the Past | Nala, is It Really You? | Remember Who You Are | This is My Home | The Rightful King
Rhthym of the Pride Lands: Kube | Lea Halalela | It's Time | Lala | Busa | Noyana
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: He Lives in You | We Are One | My Lullaby | Upendi | One of Us | Love Will Find a Way
The Lion King 1½: Digga Tunnah | That's All I Need | Sunrise, Sunset | Grazing in the Grass
Musical: Lioness Hunt | Rafiki Mourns | One by One | Grasslands Chant | Chow Down | The Madness of King Scar | Shadowland | Endless Night
The Lion Guard: Call of the Guard | A Beautiful Day (Ni Siku Nzuri) | Zuka Zama | Tonight We Strike | Kion's Lament | Here Comes the Lion Guard | We're the Same (Sisi Ni Sawa) | Don't Make a Stink | Bunga the Wise | Duties of the King | Outta the Way | Jackal Style | My Own Way | Utamu | All Hail The Vultures | Your Hero Inside | Bird of a Thousand Voices | Panic and Run | Trail to Hope | Life in the Pride Lands | We'll Make You a Meal | Find Your Roar | Chungu's Lament | Baboons | Beware of the Zimwi | It is Time
Other: Alone Together | Stand by Me | Yummy, Yummy, Yummy | The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Deleted: To Be King | Warthog Rhapsody | The Lion of the Moon | Old Fearless Buzz | The Madness of King Scar | Be Prepared (reprise)


King of the Jungle | Musical | List of Species seen in The Lion King Franchise | Roar of the Elders

See Also

The Disney Afternoon | Find Out Why | House of Mouse | One by One

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