Kovu is the deuteragonist of the 1998 Disney animated film, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. He is the son of Zira and the younger brother of Nuka and Vitani. He is also the main love interest of Kiara.


The Lion King II: Simba's Pride


Kovu as a cub

Kovu is the son and youngest child of Zira, the head of a rogue pride that were loyal to Scar. Shortly after being born, Scar deemed Kovu to be his heir, despite not being his son. Sometime after this, Scar's nephew Simba returned, defeated Scar and banished Zira, Kovu, his siblings Nuka and Vitani and the rest of Scar's followers to the Outlands.

As a cub, Kovu ran into Simba's daughter Kiara, since he met her first. Despite being told not to mingle with Outsiders, Kovu and Kiara quickly become friends. But then Simba and Zira arrive and takes their cubs back to their homes.

Years later, Kovu and Kiara are now adolescents. Kiara is out on her first solo hunt while Kovu has been sent to kill Simba. They run into each other just as Kovu's siblings Nuka and Vitani try to trap Kiara with fire. After saving Kiara's life, Simba reluctantly lets Kovu join their pride. While among them, Kovu learns that Scar wasn't the hero his mother had held him up to be. Kovu and Simba bond, but as soon as Kovu earns Simba's complete trust, Zira and her pride attack. Nuka is killed, which earns Kovu the scorn of his mother who scratches him across the face, giving him the scar of his adoptive father.

As Kovu returns, Simba orders his exile under the belief that Kovu was part of a conspiracy. Kiara runs after Kovu and he talks of running away and starting their own pride but Kiara tells him that they have to go back and reunite their prides or they will be divided forever. The two arrive back at the Pridelands just as the Pridelanders and Outsiders are fighting and stop their parents from attacking each other, but while Simba and the rival lionesses agree to stop fighting, Zira tried to attack Simba but Kiara tackles her sending the two lionesses over the edge of the cliff, where Kiara tried to reach Zira but the evil lioness refuse her help and fell to her death and Simba help Kiara get back to the top of the cliff.

The two prides reconciled, Simba gives Kovu his blessing that one day he can be king alongside Kiara.

The Lion Guard

Kovu guests stars in the Disney Junior series (which takes place after he first meets Kiara and before he saves her from the fire during her first hunt), in the episode Lions of the Outlands. In the episode, it is revealed that the Outsiders had taken over a waterhole from a hyena clan.

He first appears when he comes across Nuka being pinned down by Kion (which he did to protect his hyena friend Jasiri (who is a member of the clan the Outsiders drive out) after Nuka tackled her). Kion at first believes that Kovu is Nuka's friend, before the former corrects him that their brothers. After learning from Jasiri that Kion is Simba's son and could perhaps convince the King to let the Outsiders return to the Pride Lands (due to being unaware of the reasons behind their exile), Kovu expresses his excitement of perhaps seeing Kiara again. Kion is surprised to hear that Kovu knows his sister, to which Kovu says that it was a while ago, before telling Nuka that they've got to take the two to see Zira.

Whilst Zira (after learning about Kion being Simba's son and leader of The Lion Guard) goes to talk with Kion privately about the Roar of the Elders, she leaves Jasiri with Kovu, Nuka and Vitani. Nuka tries to attack Jasiri, but Kovu stands in his way (as Zira didn't want anything bad happening whilst she was gone). Zira soon returns to her children and tells Jasiri that Kion has allowed the Outsiders to keep the waterhole, before ordering the hyena to leave. Kovu then goes with his mother and siblings to Kion, who is surrounded by the other Outsiders. Kovu is confused as he thought Kion was going to convince Simba to let the Outsiders return to the Pride Lands. Zira replies that Kion has sided with the hyenas and that he can't use the Roar on them as he will lose it like Scar.

Luckily, the rest of The Lion Guard (who were told by Rafiki about Zira's exile) along with Jasiri arrive to help Kion. After being told by Bunga that Scar lost the Roar due to using it for evil rather against other lion, Kion uses the Roar to blast Zira and the Outsiders to termite mounts. Kovu is able to avoid the blast, but runs after his pride when Kion starts to approach him.



Kiara is the main protagonist of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and is the main love interest of Kovu.



  • Kiara and Kovu's relationship intentionally parallels Romeo and Juliet's. Unlike Romeo and Juliet, Kovu and Kiara live happily ever after in the end and don't die, similar to Gnomeo and Juliet's relationship.
  • As a young cub, he is voiced by Ryan O'Donohue (who was known as the voice of Randall Weems in Recess), while as an older cub and an adolescent, he is voiced by Jason Marsden, with Gene Miller singing his part.

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