- “They need a leader, and I'm the one.”
- ―Kion about the Lion Guard
As the second-born child of the Lion King, Kion serves as the leader of the Lion Guard, a team of animals who protect the Pride Lands and defend the Circle of Life. He is the fiercest member of the team.
Unlike his parents (when they were cubs) and his older sister Kiara, Kion is a stickler for the rules, even in the face of temptation, Kion heeds the words of his parents and intelligently recognizes the signs of potential danger; this strong sense of responsibility is in part why Kion has such a sturdy head on his shoulders and is far less likely to jump into dangerous situations than his best friend, Bunga. Though mature in aspects of obedience and rule-following, Kion is still young and doesn't recognize more adult concepts; such as romance.
Kion is strong-willed and able to trust his instincts, which is in part due to the gentle guidance of his grandfather and his parents, even when his ideas are challenged, Kion is faithful in his beliefs and brave enough to take a stand for what he feels is right, he takes his position as the leader of the Lion Guard very seriously and is a firm believer in the Circle of Life. Kion initially held prejudice against the inhabitants of the Outlands. However, after his first encounter with Jasiri, he realized that not all Outlanders are bad. He is trusting enough to give strangers a chance even if they cause trouble, but never to the point of being naive; as he just likes keeping an open mind.
Although Kion is capable of acknowledging his mistakes and learning from them as well, as well as the fact that he is not above apologizing or admitting when he is wrong, he can be prideful when pitted against his older sister Kiara; when he attempted to move the bees to another location, which ended in a disaster, while he admitted this mistake to his friends, he refused to admit it to Kiara; due to the fact that he did not want to give her the satisfaction of knowing that she was right. He also has a temper when it comes to his family and friends lives being in danger. Kion is well aware he needs to learn to control his temper, but still struggles with it daily, as seen by his constant need to repeat "not in anger" to himself.
Kion's discipline and sticking by his principles stem from his fear of turning out like his great-uncle Scar, time and again, he has expressed his insecurities on this matter and has made misguided choices because he feared he was becoming like Scar, such as when he considered never using the Roar of the Elders again after using it out of rage and putting his mother in danger; at one time, Zira convinced Kion that using the roar against lions would make him lose the power until Bunga reminded him of the real reason Scar lost the roar.
Though quite similar in appearance to his father, Simba, Kion bears a striking resemblance to his grandfathers, Mufasa and Nala's Father respectively, while Simba is more rounded in appearance, Kion is robust and block-like, with a square jaw and a pronounced chest. As far as coloring goes, Kion possesses a pale golden pelt broken only by patches of lighter fur on his muzzle, paws and underbelly. His fur is several shades lighter than his father's and carries more yellow undertones as opposed to his sister's orange. This trait most likely comes from Nala, whose tawny color mixed with Simba's gold to result in a rich yellow.
Kion inherited dark ear rims from his father, Simba. However, Kion's ear rims are black on the top and brown on the sides as opposed to young Simba's ear rims, which are black only on the sides. Kion bears spots on the backs of his legs and the mark of the Lion Guard on his left shoulder. His tail tuft matches his head tuft in color, being somewhat bushier than his father's, and his eye rims follow the usual pattern, with the top shade being darker than his main pelt, while the bottom shade is lighter than his main pelt. His eyes are light brown.
Powers and abilities
- Roar of the Elders: Kion possesses the Roar of the Elders. When he uses the Roar of the Elders, all the ancient lion kings roar along with him, instilling real power in the roar. With this roar, he has flattened plains, held floods back and torn down rock-slides. Throughout the series, Kion begins to learn more about the roar and it's other mysterious powers.
- Sonic Roar: Kion can use the roar to send his enemies several feet away, however, it is not as powerful as Scar's (as the roar can kill the user's opponents) possibly because he has not yet reached his full potential; though it is most likely that the true power of the roar is released from anger.
- Lion Head Mark: Whoever Kion chooses to become part of his team, he marks them with a lion head, symbolizing their positions as members of the Lion Guard, when Kion inherited the Roar of the Elders; a lion head automatically appeared on his left shoulder.
- Producing Rain Clouds: Kion can use the roar on a cloud to produced a rain cloud.
- Precision: Kion can use the roar to hit precise target(s).
- Spiritual Summoning: Kion can use the roar to summon evil spirits from the afterlife; but only when he uses the roar out of anger. He can also used it to summon good spirits of the past, like Mufasa.
- High-Level Intellect/Skilled Tactician/Leader: Kion is highly intelligent for his age, as the new leader of the Lion Guard, he is a capable leader and tactician.
- Skilled Combatant: As the new leader of the Lion Guard, Kion is a capable fighter. He is able to hold his own against Janja and his clan for long periods of time.
- Skilled Tracker: Kion is the best tracker in the Lion Guard. In "The Imaginary Okapi", he immediately realized the mysterious animal tracks that Fuli found are leopard tracks; despite the fact that the Pride Lands have no leopards in them.
- Animal Strength: Kion is the second strongest member of the Lion Guard; he is able to paw swipe the hyena Janja backward several feet. He managed to defeat a teenage lion like Nuka. He was also able to pull Swala (a fully grown gazelle) to safety by her antler.
- Animal Speed: Kion is the third fastest member of the Lion Guard, but he is considered to be the second fastest of runner.
- Animal Eyesight: Kion has the second best eyesight in the Lion Guard.
- Animal Smelling: Kion has the best sense of smell in the Lion Guard.
- Animal Hearing: Kion has the best hearing in the Lion Guard.
- Animal Stamina: Kion is able to run or fight for long periods of time.
- Animal Endurance: Kion is able to endure hits from Janja.
- Singing: As demonstrated throughout the series; Kion is an excellent singer.
- Evil Deeds: If Kion ever uses the Roar of the Elders for evil; he will lose the power permanently.
- Misdirection: If by some mishap the power of the roar is turned around; it will strike Kion, members of the Lion Guard or other animals by accident and put them in danger.
- Rage: If Kion ever uses the Roar of the Elders in anger; he will temporarily lose control of the roar, as he could unintentionally hurt or kill someone, as well as accidentally summon evil spirits.
Role in the series
Kion makes his debut in the series premiere. He first appears on Pride Rock playing Baobab Ball with his best friend, a honey badger named Bunga. At the urging of his father Simba, who is teaching Kiara the responsibilities of being Queen, the pair takes their fun to the Savannah. Their fun comes to an end when their ball gets knocked into the Outlands. Kion does not want to go in because his father told him to never go in the Outlands. Bunga, however, jumps in any way. However, Bunga runs into Cheezi and Chungu, two members of the hyena clan that used to work for Scar. Kion saves Bunga with a very powerful roar.
When the pair gets back to Pride Rock, they find Simba and Rafiki waiting for him. The pair takes Kion to the Lair of The Lion Guard and tells him about his destiny: He is the new leader of the Lion Guard and that the Roar he used is the Roar of the Elders. Kion leaves to go assemble his team and picks Bunga to be the bravest member because he is the bravest animal he knows. He picks Fuli to be the fastest, Beshte to be the strongest, and Ono to be the keenest of sight. Simba comes by and refuses to accept his son's choice of teammates telling him that the Lion Guard has always been a lion only group and asked him to take his new responsibilities seriously. This disheartens Kion and he goes off by himself. He meets the spirit of Mufasa, who tells him to trust his instincts. Later, Kion decides to stick with his choice of teammates. When the Hyena Clan lead by Janja start attacking gazelles, Kion and his team drive them off.
Watching from afar, Simba and Nala express pride in their son with Simba accepting the new Lion Guard.
Set after the film and in the middle of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Kion continues serving as leader of the Lion Guard and also continues protecting the Pride Lands' animals and defeating Janja and his clan along with other villainous animals such as Kiburi the crocodile, Reirei the jackal, Mzingo the vulture, and even the Outsiders. In the second season, the Lion Guard battle the spirit of Scar.
- His name is pronounced "Kai-on".
- Kion is the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, after Kiara, who is his only official sibling.
- Interestingly, all of Simba and Nala's children's names begin with "K" (Kopa, Kiara, Kion); though Kopa is their unofficial son, while Kiara and Kion are their official children. This trait is shared by their son-in-law too, Kovu.
- Kion physically resembles Kopa, his unofficial brother.
- It's possible Kion's name comes from "Kiongozi" which is the Swahili word that means "leader"
- The mark on his shoulder used to be a paw print, but a sizzle reel showed that this was swapped out for the current lion head.
- Kion is not the first second born child of the Lion King to take on the role of leader of the Lion Guard, as his great-uncle Scar was the leader of the Lion Guard before the events of the first film, but he tried to use his power to overthrow Mufasa by using the Roar of the Elders. However, when the rest of the Lion Guard refused to help aid him in his plan, Scar furiously used the Roar of the Elders to destroy them, and because he used his powers for evil, Scar lost his Roar of the Elders.
- It is currently unknown what the age gap between Kion and Kiara is. In the episode "Lions of the Outlands", when meeting Kovu, Kion is shown to be surprised that he knows Kiara, to which Kovu says that they met "a while ago". This could mean that Kion was either not born yet or was an infant when Kiara and Kovu met.
- Kion's catchphrase "Hevi Kabisa" translates to "Totally Intense".
- Unlike his older sister (who went to the Outlands where she was not allowed to go to) and his father (who went to the Elephant Graveyard where Mufasa told him not to go) Kion is the obedient cub. However, he isn't the first. Vitani is the other cub that is obedient to the parents until the end of the film.
- It is unknown as to where Kion was during the second half of the second film, though it could be because he was on a mission with the rest of the Guard. In truth, there is no sign or mention of him since the Simba's Pride debuted in 1998, 17 years prior to Kion's debut in return of the roar, and he was not yet created back then.
- Kion will receive two scars across his left eye in the Season 3 opener, which will make him identical to Scar.