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Hero Overview

I'm on the side of the Circle of Life
~ Kion.
They need a leader, and I'm the one.
~ Kion about the Lion Guard.
Hevi Kabisa!
~ Kion's Catchphrase.

Kion (pronounced Kai-on) is the son and youngest child of Simba and Nala, the younger brother of Kiara, the husband of Rani, the grandson of Mufasa, Sarabi, Sarafina, and an unnamed lion, the great-nephew of Scar, the former Prince of the Pride Lands, the King of the Tree of Life and the main protagonist of the 2015 TV film The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar and its 2016 follow-up TV series The Lion Guard, both of which are sequels to the 1994 film The Lion King.

As tradition follows to all second born children of the Pride Lands's monarchs, Kion led a group called the Lion Guard with his friends Bunga, Fuli, Beshte, and Ono to protect The Pride Lands and defend The Circle of Life. As leader and the fiercest member, Kion had a power called The Roar of the Elders, which when used, causes the lions of the Pride Lands past to roar with him. Though after being poisoned by Ushari, Kion and the Lion Guard went on an expedition to the Tree of Life in order to cure Kion of Ushari's poison, preventing him from becoming just like Scar.

At the end of the series, Kion retires as leader of the Lion Guard and becomes King of the Tree of Life by marriage to a young lioness named Rani.

He's voiced by Max Charles (who also played Harvey Beaks, Spin, and Sherman) throughout the show. Charles did his own singing for the first two seasons, but for the third, Kion's singing voice was done by Aaron Daniel Jacobs.

Biography

Backstory

Kion was born to Simba and Nala sometime after the birth of his sister Kiara.

At some point in his early childhood, Kion befriended a young honey badger named Bunga (who was in the care of Simba's friends and childhood guardians Timon and Pumbaa).

One time, Kion and Bunga went out to play in the Pride Lands, despite Simba telling Kion to stay put. They encountered a float of crocodiles and were nearly devoured by them after Bunga unintentionally challenged one of the members named Makuu. Luckily, Simba's majordomo Zazu showed up and ready to sacrifice himself to protect the youngsters. However, seeing this act of courage, the crocodiles leader Pua decided to spare the children and let them depart with Zazu.

The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar

First, Kion appears in the film when he and Bunga are playing Baobab ball on Pride Rock and end up disrupting Simba, who is teaching Kiara about being future Queen. Simba briefly stops the game and says that he has to talk to Kiara and that she is going to track gazelles with her friends that day. Kiara starts to say that she's training to be Queen of The Pride Lands, but an irritated Kion rudely interrupts and completes her sentence, saying he knows all about it. Kiara replies that at least she has her life figured out and asks Kion what he's going to grow up to be (since Kion is second born and can't inherit the throne unless Kiara abdicates and/or doesn't have cubs) to which Kion replies "Happy". Simba breaks up the two and Kion departs Pride Rock with Bunga to continue their game (with Bunga tickling Kion's tummy to make him drop the baobab fruit), but the baobab fruit ends up falling into the Outlands. Kion does not wish to enter the Outlands (having been strictly forbidden to do so by Simba), but Bunga goes in and ends up being captured by two hyenas named Cheezi and Chungu on the orders of their villainous leader Janja. Kion orders the two hyenas to release Bunga, but Cheezi dares him to come and get Bunga to which Chungu says that Kion is too frightened and the two hyenas poke fun at Kion and call him a fraidy cat. Those taunts infuriate Kion and he lets out a mighty roar, which causes Chungu to drop Bunga, who climbs up to safety.

Kion and Bunga head back to Pride Rock where Simba and Rafiki (who heard Kion's roar) tell Kion the roar he did was the Roar of the Elders before taking him and Bunga to a part of Pride Rock called The Lair of the Lion Guard where Simba tells Kion the history of the Lion Guard that contained the fiercest, bravest, fastest, strongest, and keenest of sight in the Pride Lands and that Kion's great-uncle Scar (who was the fiercest) used to the lead it and possessed the Roar of the Elders until he lost his Roar when he used it to eliminate the other members of his Lion Guard when they declined to assist him overthrow his older brother Mufasa as well. After Simba informs him he is now the leader of the new Lion Guard, Kion goes out into the Pride Lands to find members. He picks Bunga to be the first member as he is the bravest animal Kion knows, unmindful that Janja's vulture ally Mzingo has overheard them and reports this news to Janja.

Later, Kion and Bunga assist Kiara's friend Zuri get unstuck from a log (which she was using to sharpen her claws) and meet with Simba's friends and Bunga's adoptive uncles Timon and Pumbaa. Kion and Bunga tell the two of them, Kiara, Zuri and Tiifu about the new Lion Guard before going to find the other animals to be the fastest, strongest and keenest of sight. Kion recruits an egret named Ono to be the keenest of sight, a hippopotamus named Beshte to be the strongest and a cheetah named Fuli to be the fastest.

Then, all of a sudden, Bunga convinces Kion to demonstrate the Roar to Beshte, Fuli, and Ono, but when Kion attempts to do so, only a squeak comes out. Just then, Simba (after being informed by Kiara about Kion putting Bunga into the Lion Guard) shows up and is not pleased with the members Kion has picked and tells Kion the Lion Guard has always be made up of lions and tells his son to not treat his position as leader as a game, but instead take his responsibilities seriously like Kiara does with hers. Having some alone time, Kion feels discouraged about what Simba said before he encounters the ghost of Mufasa who applauds him to trust his instincts.

After learning from Bunga that Janja and his clan are attacking a gazelle herd and have caused a stampede trapping Kiara, Kion, Bunga, Beshte, Fuli and Ono jump into action with Simba, Nala, and Tiifu watching from afar. The group are able to rescue Kiara and get her to safety before Kion uses the Roar to drive Janja and his clan out of the Pride Lands.

Following this, Simba and Nala express pride for their son.

The Lion Guard

Kion returns as the protagonist of The Lion Guard, which takes place some short time after the film. In the series, Kion and the Lion Guard continue to fight against Janja and his clan, but also other villainous animals who also come from the Outlands, other areas of Africa and even the Pride Lands.

Despite being the protagonist of the series, not every episode focuses on Kion, as some episodes center on another member of the Guard.

The most notable villains Kion and the Lion Guard encounter in the series besides Janja's Clan are: Makuu (who leads the crocodiles after defeating Pua in a fight for leadership now), Reirei the jackal and her family, a leopard named Makucha and Zira and her pride the Outsiders (who Kiara encountered in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride).

In the second season, Kion and the Lion Guard are made peace with Makuu and his float and continued to battle Janja and his clan (who along with Kiburi's float of crocodiles, Reirei's pack and a vengeful cobra named Ushari, worked for the spirit of Scar).

In the third season, (which takes place some time after Season 2) an adolescent Kion and the Lion Guard defeated Scar and make peace with Janja's clan. After being scarred by Ushari during the battle, Kion, along with the rest of the Lion Guard, Makini, and Anga (who becomes the Keenest of Sight after Ono starts to lose his eyesight), depart the Pride Lands to seek the Tree of Life with hope of returning to the Pride Lands in time for Kiara's first hunt. In this series, Kion and the Lion Guard come up against their old enemy Makucha and his army. Due to the effects of the venomous bite, Kion had a hard time thinking clearly and would sometimes let Fuli lead the Lion Guard in his place.

Later in Season 3, The Lion Guard reach the Tree of Life and meet its protectors The Night Pride and Kion develops romantic feelings for its leader (and eventual queen) Rani. After being cured from the venom, Kion feels uncertain about leading the Lion Guard without the Roar of the Elders as he cannot control it like he used to. He meets with Mufasa's spirit and realizes it is not the Roar or who he is that makes him leader of the Lion Guard, but his own decision. Kion decides to let go of his power afterwards. He also encounters the spirit of The Lion Guard's first leader Askari, who tells Kion he's ready to let go of the Roar now, he's ready to learn everything about it. Kion trains to use the Roar in various ways until he masters it.

In the episode "Return to the Pride Lands," after assisting The Night Pride protect the Tree of Life from Makucha's army, Kion (who was reluctant to head back due to his feelings for Rani) and the Lion Guard return to The Pride Lands after being informed by Jasiri and Janja that Zira and the Outsiders were going to ambush the Pride Lands. As they arrive back in the Pride Lands, The Lion Guard, Jasiri and Janja are ambushed by Zira's daughter Vitani and four other lionesses. As the two groups battle, Kiara shows up with her husband and Vitani's brother Kovu and stop the fight. They along with Simba, Nala and Rafiki explain to Kion that whilst he and the Lion Guard were away, the Outsiders reformed and joined the pride (with the exception of Zira, who passed away) and Vitani formed her own Lion Guard in Kion's Guard's absence.

The two Lion Guards have a challenge over who should be the Pridelands' Lion Guard with Kion's emerging victorious afterwards. After seeing that Vitani fully believes that she's fierce enough to lead the Lion Guard even without the Roar of the Elders, Kion decides to step down as leader of the Lion Guard and makes Vitani the new leader and passes the Roar of the Elders over to her, ending Kion and his friends roles in the Lion Guard. And yet, Kion can still use the Roar, much to his bewilderment. Askari explains to Kion he can use the Roar to protect the Tree of Life. This makes Kion remember Rani's late grandmother Janna acknowledged him to protect the Tree of Life. This makes Kion and his friends decide to be the Lion Guard of the Tree of Life.

Then, all of a sudden, Kion and his family and friends head back to The Tree of Life where Kion marries Rani, and they become the King and Queen of the Tree of Life.

Personality

Kion is described as one who "defies tradition," as he has assembled a guard that consists of creatures other than lions. In this way, he's open to other species and ready to give underdogs a chance at making a difference.

Unlike his father (when he was a cub) and sister, Kion is very slick with rules and is hesitant to go against them, whilst a younger Simba headed to the Elephant Graveyard, despite being told not to go there by Mufasa, whilst Kiara sneaked into the Outlands, despite being told not to.

In Season 3, after Ushari bites him, Kion undergoes a massive personality shift as a result of Ushari's venom, showing recklessness, pride (not referring to a group of lions, but a personality point), overconfidence, being bellicose to the different animals and incredibly dismissive to the rest of the Guard. Kion is pretty appalled when he breaks out of the fits, and on several instances, gives command to Fuli when he can't trust his own decisions.

With the assistance of the Night Pride, Kion was able to get over with poison and retains his good self again.

Physical appearance

Kion bares a striking resemblance to both his father Simba and his paternal grandfather Mufasa. Small and skinny, Kion is in good shape, bearing slight shoulders and a moderately well-muscled build. His fur is bright gold (which is resulted with Simba's gold fur mixing with Nala's tawny shades) while his muzzle, paws and underbelly are all lighter in color. Although his lower eye shades are also light, his upper eye shades are chestnut. His most distinctive features are his ear rims (which were inherited from his father (who lost them when he reached adolescence) and paternal grandmother Sarabi) and a tuft of reddish fur on his head that is the beginnings of his mane. Unlike cub Simba's tuft, it's swept back in a style similar to that of Scar's. Kion has spots on the backs of his legs.

After becoming leader of the Lion Guard, Kion (along with the other members of the Guard) gained a lion head shaped marking on his left shoulder known as the Mark of the Guard.

Kion also bears a resemblance to his maternal grandfather, when he was a cub.

In the third season of The Lion Guard, Kion's appearance changes slightly with his hair tuft being longer at the back. He also gains three scars on his left eye after being ambushed by Ushari. After stepping down as the leader of the Lion Guard, his mark on his left shoulder disappears and his right shoulder gains the mark of the Night Pride. He gains a blue mark on his forehead as he's crowned king of the Tree of Life and the husband to Queen Rani.

Quotes

If we do what you suggest we'd be evil and cruel using force and threat that is no away to rule. Stay noble and grand. We must protect the land friendships and kindness will always find us.
~ Kion to Zira

Trivia

  • Like his father, Simba when he was a cub, Kion has told hyenas to pick on somebody their own size (Simba to Shenzi, Banzai and Ed and Kion to Cheezi and Chungu). Also, like his father, when he was a cub, Kion refers to his hair tuft as his mane.
  • Kion also shares similarites with his sister Kiara as both have been to the Outlands and both encountered crocodiles when they were young cubs.
  • Kion is the second of three named leaders of the Lion Guard. The first being his great-uncle Scar and the third being his distant relative Askari.
  • In earlier promo photos for The Lion Guard, Kion's Mark of the Guard was a pawprint rather than a lion's head.
  • Currently, it's unknown how younger Kion is than Kiara. Whether they're twins (with Kion being the younger twin) or that Kion was born a few months after Kiara, it has not yet been confirmed. Though in the episode "Lions of the Outlands," when he met Kovu, Kion is shocked to learn that he met Kiara, to which Kovu says that was a while ago. This could mean that when Kiara met Kovu, Kion was either not born yet, was an infant or was doing his own thing and that Kiara and Simba choose not to tell him about the incident, possibly to defend him.
  • Despite being the youngest of Simba and Nala's children, Kion is shown to be slightly larger than Kiara. This could be because in real life, male lions are larger than females.
  • Though not outright mentioned, in the episode "Paintings and Predictions," it's revealed that Kion had a great-great uncle who led The Lion Guard that rescued his maternal grandfather when he was a cub.
  • Kion's name comes from the word Kiongozi, which means Leader in Swahili.
  • Everytime the Lion Guard faces their enemies, Kion will constantly jump on the leader of the group (ex: Janja, Makuu, Kiburi, and Reirei)
  • In a flashback in the Season 2 episode "The Morning Report," it's revealed that Kion has known Bunga and Fuli since he was a young cub.
  • As a younger cub, Kion spoke with a lisp.
  • Kion is the only other on-screen member of the Pride Lands' royal family to not have a love interest or significant other so far. The other being Scar, though many fan theories suggest that he may have had a romantic relationship with Zira at one point. This is supported in "Lions of the Outlands," where Zira tells Kion she and Scar were "very close," saying it in a way that would make viewers suggest the relationship was romantic. This changes when he falls in love and ultimately marries Rani later on.
  • Kion is one of three members of the Pride Lands' royal family to have a scar on their left eye. The other two being Scar and Kovu.
  • When Zira asked him if he's on the lions or the hyenas's side, he said "I'm on the side of the Circle of Life", which is a reference to Avengers: Age of Ultron from the scene where The Avengers ask Vision if he's on their side and he answers "I am on the side of life".

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