Role in the filmEdit
Zira is the mother of Nuka, Vitani, and Kovu and leader of Scar's followers The Outsiders. After Simba killed Scar and banished the Outsiders to the Outlands, Zira vowed revenge for Scar. Her youngest son, Kovu, was Scar's chosen heir (despite not being related to Scar), and Zira dreamed that he could one day kill and usurp Simba. When Kovu and Kiara first met as cubs, Zira first mocked the idea that Kovu wanted to be friends with her, but then misinterpreted his innocence as a suggestion for an evil plan to get close to Simba through Kiara.
Zira then trained Kovu as a killer with hate in his heart for Simba. When he became an adult she engineered a plan to start a fire so that Kovu could save Kiara's life and get close to Simba, so as to gain his trust and eventually kill him.
This plan started well, but Kiara and Kovu ended up falling in love. Zira was determined to continue with her plan though, and ambushed Simba during a hunt, purposefully leading Simba to believe Kovu was bent on killing Simba. However, when Kovu went against his mother's wishes to kill Simba, Nuka tried to carry it out instead to gain his mother's attention and approval. However, he ended up being crushed by the falling logs and dying, and ironically, it was through his death that he finally gained the attention and affection of his mother. Enraged by the death of Nuka, Zira slashed Kovu across the face, resulting in a facial wound identical to that of Scar's. She blamed Kovu for betraying both his pride and Scar and for killing his brother Nuka, but Kovu turned against his mother one more time and decided to return to Pride Rock to ask for forgiveness.
Zira, furious at Simba's 'corruption' of Kovu, then declared open war on Simba, and launched an attack on Pride Rock. Simba and Zira were about to fight each other when Kiara and Kovu intervened and stopped the battle, convincing the Outsiders and the Pridelanders that they were the same, with Zira saying that Kovu is weak.
When Vitani sees the truth of Kiara's words and joins Simba, Zira tells her daughter that she will die as well. These words visibly shock and disgust her lionesses, who as a result leave her and join Simba. Simba tells Zira to let it go, but Zira screams that she will 'never let it go', and leaps at him. Kiara jumps in front to save her father, causing the two lionesses to go over the cliff. The dam breaks, and the river begins to flow rapidly. Kiara manages to climb to safety but Zira is left hanging precariously onto the cliff.
Kiara tries to reach out to help her, and Zira is shown trying to choose between death or accepting Kiara's help. However, Zira's pride and hate will not allow her to be rescued by her worst enemies' daughter and she rejects Kiara's help, only to finally fall off the cliff and into the water, where she is presumably washed away to her death.