As the second-born child of the Lion King, Kion served as the leader of the Lion Guard, a team of animals who protect the Pride Lands and defend the Circle of Life. He was the fiercest member of the team before retiring and passing the role onto Vitani (although he still has the Roar of the Elders). He is now married to Queen Rani and has become King of the Tree of Life.
As a cub, Kion, unlike his parents, Simba and Nala (when they were cubs) and his older sister, Kiara, he 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. Although he is 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.
In Season 3, as a teenager, after Ushari poisoned Kion with his venom, causing him to lose control of his roar and his temper. As the result, Kion occasionally thinks recklessly and behaves aggressively at his friends that can only be soothed with Tuliza blossoms. On multiple occasions, Kion was unable to trust himself and was forced to give Fuli the authority. Continuously losing control of his roar gradually caused Kion to lose confidence in leading the Guard to the point he thinks he's nothing without it until his friends helps him realize that the scar and the Roar don't make him who he is, and he is already a great leader even without the Roar.
Kion later begins to develop a secret desire to stay at the Tree of Life, not just because of his romantic feelings for Rani, but also because he believes he could choose who he could be and that it was something he truly wanted. A major factor in this desire was Queen Janna asking him to stay before she died.
Kion is also shown to have more understanding and awareness in the concept of romance due to his growing romantic feelings for Rani.
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 Guard (a lion head) 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.
In "Battle for the Pride Lands", as a teenager, Kion has grown taller, and he is showing strong shoulders and is more muscular. His mane has also grown and has more shades of red, and most of the spots on his legs have faded. During his final confrontation against Scar, Ushari bit him and placed a scar on his left eye. But unlike Scar and Kovu's, Kion's has two markings on his eyebrow instead of one. When Kion gave up his position as leader of the Lion Guard to Vitani, his Lion Guard marking on his left shoulder vanished and replaced with the Night Pride marking on his right shoulder, Kion then gains a blue mark on his forehead symbolizing him as King of the Tree of Life and the mate of Queen Rani.
Powers and abilities
- Roar of the Elders: Kion possesses the Roar of the Elders. When he uses the Roar of the Elders, spirits of multiple deceased lions 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 its other mysterious powers.
- Super Sonic Roar: Kion can use the roar to send his enemies several feet away. However, Kion's roar is not as powerful as Scar's, possibly because in Season 1 and 2 he was still quite young. In Season 3, as a teenager, Kion's roar has become ever more powerful than before. In "Dragon Island", Kion's roar has grown powerful enough to create a land bridge all the way across an island.
- Mark of the Guard: Whoever Kion chooses someone 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 own left shoulder.
- Producing Rain Clouds: Kion can use the roar on a cloud to produce rain clouds, as explained by Zira. He does this in "Lions of the Outlands", "Swept Away", and "Journey to the Pride Lands". In "Battle for the Pride Lands", he blows to appear the clouds, and the Great Lions of the Past blow to start hailing to defeat Scar.
- Precision: Kion can use the roar to hit precise target(s). However, it only works if his target(s) are in-sight of him.
- Spiritual Summoning: Kion can use the roar to summon lion spirits from their afterlife.
- Atmokinesis: Kion can use the roar to create a whirlwind to lift objects far off the ground.
- Electrogenesis: Kion can use the roar to summon a bolt of dry lightning.
- High-Level Intellect/Expert Tactician/Leader: Kion is highly intelligent for his age, as the leader of the Lion Guard, he is an excellent tactician and leader. Kion used echo-location in "Cave of Secrets". As a teenager, as demonstrated in "Battle for the Pride Lands", Kion has become an even more formidable tactician and leader than before, as he was able to unite all the animals in the Pride Lands, and lead them in the final confrontation against Scar's army. He was also intelligent enough to think to have the Great Lions of the Past to judge Scar. However, in Season 3, when his scar is hurting, Kion could not think straight with the lack of tuliza, as seen in "The Accidental Avalanche".
- Expert Combatant: As the leader of the Lion Guard, Kion is an excellent combatant; for example, he is able to hold his own against Janja and his clan for long periods of time. Kion's strength, speed, and agility also makes him a formidable opponent alone in single combat.
- Expert Swimmer: As demonstrated in "Battle for the Pride Lands", Kion is a great swimmer.
- Expert Tracker: As an apex predator, Kion can track down any animal relatively easily.
- Singing: As demonstrated throughout the series, Kion is an excellent singer.
- Lion Physiology: Kion possesses incredible feats of strength, endurance, speed, agility, eyesight, hearing, sense of smell and stamina, even for a lion cub, making Kion one of the most physically powerful animals in the entire Pride Lands, and overall one of the most physically powerful animals in the entire Lion King franchise.
- Animal Strength: Kion is the second strongest member in the entire the Lion Guard; for example, he was able to send Janja, a teenage spotted hyena, flying several feet away with a single swing from his paw. In "Lions of the Outlands", he pinned Nuka, a teenage lion, down to the ground relatively easily, despite the latter being twice his size. In "The Lost Gorillas", Kion was able to hold down both Majinuni and Hafifu, two gorillas, simultaneously with little difficulty.
- Animal Speed: Kion is the third fastest member in the entire Lion Guard; he is surpassed only by Fuli, Makucha, and Anga respectively in terms of physical speed.
- Evil Deeds: If Kion were to ever use the Roar of the Elders for evil purposes, he will (permanently) lose the power.
- Rage: If Kion ever uses the Roar of the Elders when he is in a state of rage, he will temporarily lose control of it, as he could unintentionally hurt or kill someone, as well as accidentally summon evil lion spirits. In "Never Roar Again", his roar echoed off a cliff, blowing off all five of Ono's crest feathers, as well as creating an earthquake causing the ground to open that Nala nearly fell in. In "The Rise of Scar", he made the Outlands's volcano erupt. In "The Accidental Avalanche", Kion started said avalanche while trying to blast a hole through a tall mountain. In "Dragon Island", he created a tidal wave while defending his friends. In "The Race to Tuliza", Kion almost lost control if the roar, again. In "The Tree of Life", he roared at Baliyo, sending him flying.
- Venomous Scars: Ever since Ushari bit him, Kion has experienced frequent personality changes such as aggression, irritation, dominance, hostility, frustration, impatience, quick temper, recklessness, uncertainty, pain and anger. The Roar of the Elders has become more difficult to control and Kion's darker instincts start to unfold because of this. It makes Kion lash out at his friends, demonstrating hostility to the animals they encounter and make bad decisions. He can only be calmed when eating tuliza blossoms, or by talking with Fuli. After undergoing several healing sessions with Nirmala, Kion finally became cured of the venom even though his scar would remain. However, the lessons he learned under Nirmala have allowed him to find peace with himself and accept that he is who he is and that his scar will not change that.
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 led 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 original 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 mainly by making sure no predators overeat, especially outside their own territory. Near the middle of the second season, Ushari finally gets tired of getting hurt by the Guard, so he soon forms an alliance with Janja and his clan by helping them find how to summon Scar after hearing that Kion can talk to Mufasa. Other Outlanders such as power-hungry Kiburi the Nile crocodile, gluttonous Reirei the black-backed jackal, and Mzingo the bossy vulture eventually join the cause to claim the Pride Lands.
As summoning Scar's spirit requires Kion's powerful roar, Ushari and Janja's clan stole Makini's staff and kidnaps Kiara and brigs her by the Outlands volcano, forcing the Lion Guard to go to the Outlands to rescue Kiara. Kion distracts Janja while his friends rescue Kiara, and Kion able to stall enough time without fighting Janja until Kiara is saved. However, Janja able to goad Kion to roar by threatening to kill his family next time, enraging Kion enough that he used a more powerful roar than usual. Without Kion realized, this allows Ushari to summon Scar's spirit.
For a while, Kion and his friends didn't know that Scar was behind the hyenas', jackals' and crocodiles' recent attacks on the Pride Lands. Kion got suspicious when he saw a glimpse of Scar in flame talking with Janja when they were attacking Rafiki. But because Kion is unsure of what he saw, he didn't say anything at that time. Kion and his friends finally found out about Scar's revival when Simba was stung by a scorpion sent by Scar, leading them to go to the volcano to get the ashes needed to cure Simba. Inside the volcano, Scar reveals himself and Kion instantly recognizes him. They got cornered by Scar's army as they're about to return to cure Simba, but Kion uses the Roar on them, and they are able to get out safely with Fuli and Bunga returning ahead with the ashes that cure Simba right on time.
After his father is cured, Kion tells Rafiki and Simba about Scar's revival. He and his father discusses with Mufasa about Scar's return and seeks his advice, but since the return of a lion of the past is something that never happened before, Mufasa couldn't help much. However, he assures them that since Scar has been defeated before, they can do the same again. As to not cause further panic, Simba asks Kion and the Lion Guard not to let the Pridelanders to know of Scar's return. Since then, Kion and his friends focuses on fighting against Scar's army. On two occasions, they lost against them, which caused Killio Valley and Mizimu Grove to be under Scar's control. During the fall of Mizimu Grove, the rest of Pride Landers who finally found out of Scar's revival became afraid and contemplated on leaving the Pride Lands. Fortunately, Kion manages to convince them to stay and fight back to protect their home. He also enlisted Jasiri's help who has formed the hyena resistance to fight against Scar and his army.
In the third season, Kion is shown to have grown into a teenager. Simba suggests they take the battle against Scar's army into the Outlands. The night before the attack, the Pride Rock is attacked by Janja and his clan under Scar's order. Unbeknownst to Janja himself, Scar has the vultures to set the Pride Rock on fire to kill them all. Fortunately, Kion and his friends escape through the water tunnel in their den while Anga and Hadithi saved the royal family. When Jasiri arrives with the reformed Janja, Simba is skeptical to listen to the latter, but Kion is willing to forgive Janja because of his trust in Jasiri. After Janja informs them the way how to supposedly beat Scar, Kion and the others rest for the night to prepare for tomorrow's final battle. The next day, Kion leads his Guard and the army of Pridelanders to attack Scar's army.
While the Pridelanders and Jasiri and Janja's clans fights against the Outlanders, Kion and the Guard goes into the volcano. Confronting Scar, Kion is prepared to use the roar, but got attacked by Ushari, giving a scar over his left eye similar as Scar. To make it worse, for a moment, Kion finds it difficult to think properly due to Ushari's venom inside his body. Kion almost use his roar against Scar until he recalls Mufasa's words not to fight fire with fire. Kion chooses to forgive Scar and invokes the Great Lions of the Past to cause rainfall that destroys Scar once and for all.
Despite their victory, Ushari's venom inside Kion causes him to lose control of his roar, causing him to roar at Bunga by accident. Kion goes to Rafiki for help, and ease his condition through eating tuliza blossoms. This, however, only temporarily calms him and there's no cure for Kion in the Pride Lands. Rafiki suggests that he goes to the Tree of Life to get the cure for his condition. Kion is reluctant to go with his entire Guard, but Simba gives his permission and assures him that they'll be fine. Kion relents and the next day, together with the Guard and Makini, begins their travel to the Tree of Life to cure the venom inside Kion and to restore Ono's eyesight from infectious volcanic fumes.
Throughout their journey to find the Tree of Life, Kion's condition worsened due to the venom, frequently losing his temper and became more impatient to the point he prefers to use quickest and easiest way to solve some problems they run into, resulting him jeopardizing their safety. This also caused Makini to constantly having to provide Kion with tuliza blossoms and quick to run out with Anga must always look for new ones. Once he realized this, Kion entrusts Fuli with the leadership of the guard until he heals.
Unknown to Kion and the Guard, they are followed by their old enemy, the leopard Makucha. Makucha intends to let the Guard unwillingly lead him to the Tree of Life, so he can feast on all the rare animals that can be found there and also exact revenge against Kion and his friends for his numerous humiliating defeats against them. And to make things even worse, Makucha, while following the Guard, allies with the snow leopard Chuluun, the Komodo dragon Ora, and Mama Binturong, three new foes that the Lion Guard defeated and humiliated on their way to the Tree of Life, promising them revenge against the heroes.
When they're almost arrive at the Tree of Life, Kion and his friends are mistaken as hostile animals by the guardians of the tree, the Night Pride, which is led by a lioness named Rani. The two groups were at odds until Rani informs her grandmother and the Queen of the Tree of Life, Janna, about Kion's Roar of the Elders. Janna insists that the Lion Guard to be allowed into the Tree of Life, allowing Kion to clear up the misunderstanding. After a while, Ono is able to regain his sight, but Kion needs more time to recover from Ushari's venom.
At the same time, Makucha and his group continuously try to attack the animals in the Tree of Life, which is thwarted by the Lion Guard and the Night Pride. During his recovery, Kion grows closer with Rani, and the two gradually develops feelings for each other. Nearing the end of his healing, he becomes unsure of leading the guard without the Roar because he can't control it like he used to. His friends help him realize that neither the scar nor the Roar makes him who he is and Kion is already a great leader even before having the Roar. Confident that he can continue becoming a great leader even without the Roar like Mufasa, Kion believes he should let the power go.
Following Mufasa's instruction, Kion goes to meet Askari, the leader of the first Lion Guard. Kion ready to return the Roar to the Tree of Life, but Askari then tells him that because Kion is ready to let it go that he is finally ready to learn everything about the Roar. Under Askari's guidance, Kion trains to use his Roar in various ways until he fully mastered it. Just as he finished mastering the Roar, Kion assists his friends in defeating Makucha and the other predators attacking the Tree of Life, blowing them far away with the Roar never to be seen again.
With Kion fully recovered, he and his friends are ready to return to the Pride Lands. However, Kion's feelings for Rani and her offer for them to stay as guardians of the Tree of Life makes Kion hesitant to return, especially after Rani proposed to him. Kion decides to return to Pride Lands after Jasiri and Janja, escorted by Azaad, arrives at the Tree of Life to inform that Zira is planning to attack the Pride Lands. Makini, however, decides to stay in the Tree of Life. Using the Roar, Kion and his friends are able to return at a faster rate to the Pride Lands.
At the Outlands, together with several Outlanders, the Lion Guard confronts Vitani and her team, thinking they're part of Zira's attack. Before a fight could ensue, Kiara arrives with Kovu and reveals Zira's pride has joined their pride, except Zira herself, who had died, completing her journey in the Circle of Life. Kion thanks Jasiri for all her help, and they nuzzle each other affectionately. Kiara and Kovu take the Lion Guard back to the Pride Rock and after Kion reunites with Simba and Nala, they explain everything that had happened that led to the merging of the two prides while the Lion Guard was away. Having cleared up the misunderstanding, the rest of the Lion Guard goes home to reunite with their families and friends and Kion spends the rest of the day with Simba, Nala, Kiara and Kovu.
That night, after the royal family spends some time talking with Mufasa, Kion then confides with Kiara about Rani and how he misses her, and Kiara assures him that he'll be able to go to the Tree of Life again. The next day, the Lion Guard discovers that Vitani has formed her own Lion Guard in their absence. The two Guards competes for the position and reach a tie. When it comes to Kion and Vitani's turn, she calls for a Mashindano, surprising Kion, who reminds her that he has the Roar. However, after seeing Vitani fully believes that she's fierce enough to lead the Lion Guard even without the Roar and bravely challenges him despite knowing the disadvantage, Kion finally understands Askari's words and approves of Vitani's Lion Guard, giving Vitani and her team the position as the defenders of the Pride Lands in their place. He bestows Vitani the power of the Roar of the Elders, officially ending his and his friends' generation of Lion Guard. He then bears witness as Vitani tests out the Roar, and successfully pulls it off as the Great Kings of the Past roar with her, officially marking her the new leader of the Lion Guard with her lionesses.
Askari then appears and proudly commends Kion for his decision, though Kion is confused of why he still has the Roar even though he is no longer the leader of the Lion Guard. Askari reminds Kion that he can use the Roar to protect the Tree of Life. Remembering that both Janna and Rani had acknowledged them to become protectors of the Tree of Life before they departed, Kion and his friends decides to become the Lion Guard for the Tree of Life, gaining the Mark of the Night Pride. When Vitani asks about how Kion has mastered the Roar after overhearing Askari explaining it, Kion is able to, to the amazement of his family and friends, along with Vitani and her Lion Guard, use the Roar to levitate Pride Rock into the air for several seconds before setting it back down, causing Vitani to say in amazement Kion's catchphrase of "Hevi kabisa". Kion returns to the Tree of Life where he marries Rani, officially being crowned as King of the Tree of Life with his family and friends celebrating their union as Mufasa, Janna, and Askari smile down proudly from the heavens as the Great Kings roar in celebration.
- His name is pronounced "Kai-on".
- Kion's name comes from "Kiongozi" which is Swahili for "leader".
- Kion is the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, after Kiara, who is her 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, Kovu.
- The mark on his left shoulder was going to be a paw print, but a sizzle reel showed that this was swapped out for the current lion head.
- Kion is the only member of the main royal family whose name doesn't end with A, but ends with a consonant (not including his paternal grandmother or great-uncle).
- He is also not only the only lion in his guard, but its only member whose name ends in a consonant.
- 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 in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride.
- Kion's main catchphrase Hevi kabisa means "Totally intense" in Swahili.
- Kion's secondary catchphrase is "What in the Pride Lands?"
- Unlike his older sister (who went to the Outlands where she was not allowed to go to) and his father with his mother (who went to the Elephant Graveyard where Mufasa told the former not to go), Kion is the obedient cub. Although, there is one time Kion defied his father's order by going out playing with Bunga despite being told to stay put, which led to the two of them almost got eaten by Pua and his float if not for Zazu's interference.
- As of "Battle for the Pride Lands", Kion is the fourth known lion to have a scar on his face, following the lion Scar met in a flashback during "When I Led the Guard", Scar himself, and Kovu. Interestingly, both Scar and Kion got their scars from cobra bites. In chronological order, Kion had his scar before Kovu.
- Ironically during the events of the third season after Kion, the rest of the Lion Guard (this time with Anga) and Makini journey to the Tree of Life, the third season explains Kion's absence in Simba's Pride since the events of the aforementioned film continue during the third season. However, the series finale "Return to the Pride Lands" takes place after Simba's Pride.
- Kion is the first known leader of the Lion Guard to retire from the role voluntarily.