- “"We'll never surrender to you, Scar!"”
- ―Kion to Scar
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.
In Season 3, as a teenager, 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 behave 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.
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.
In "Battle for the Pride Lands", as a teenager, Kion has grown taller, his mane has also became slightly larger, and most of the spots on his legs have faded. During the final confrontation with 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.
Powers and abilities
- Roar of the Elders: Kion possesses the Roar of the Elders. When he uses the Roar of the Elders, 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 it's other mysterious powers.
- 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 has not yet reached his full potential. In Season 3, as a teenager, Kion's roar has become 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 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 produce rain clouds; as explained by Zira. He does this again in "Swept Away".
- Precision: Kion can use the Roar to hit precise target(s). However, it only works if his target(s) are in front of him.
- Spiritual Summoning: Kion can use the roar to summon spirits from the afterlife.
- High-Level Intellect/Expert Tactician/Leader: Kion is highly intelligent for his age. As the leader of the Lion Guard, he is a capable tactician and leader. Kion was capable of echolocation in "Cave of Secrets". As a teenager, as demonstrated in "Battle for the Pride Lands", Kion has become a 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 and his army. He was also intelligent enough to allow the Great Kings of the Past to defeat Scar. However, in Season 3, when his scar is hurting, Kion is not intelligent when he hasn't had Tuliza for awhile, as seen in "The Accidental Avalanche".
- Expert Combatant: As the leader of the Lion Guard, Kion is a capable 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 an excellent swimmer.
- Skilled Tracker: As an apex predator, Kion can track down any animal relatively easily; making him the best tracker in the entire Lion Guard.
- Singing: As demonstrated throughout the series; Kion is an excellent singer.
- Animal Strength: Kion possesses incredible feats of strength, even for a lion cub, making him the second strongest member in the entire Lion Guard; for example, Kion was able to send Janja, a teenage spotted hyena flying several feet away with a single swing from his paw, he was able to pin Nuka, a teenage lion to the ground relatively easily; despite the latter being twice his size and weight. In "The Lost Gorillas", Kion was also proven to be strong enough to hold down two teenaged gorillas.
- Animal Speed: Kion possesses incredible feats of speed, even for a lion cub, making him the second fastest member in the entire Lion Guard.
- Animal Agility: Kion possesses incredible feats of agility, even for a lion cub, making him the third most agile member in the entire Lion Guard, after Fuli and Bunga.
- Animal Eyesight: Kion has the second best eyesight in the entire Lion Guard.
- Animal Hearing: Kion has the best hearing in the entire Lion Guard.
- Animal Smelling: Kion has the best sense of smell in the entire Lion Guard.
- Animal Stamina: Kion possesses incredible feats of stamina, even for a lion cub; for example, he can run or fight for long periods of time.
- Evil Deeds: If Kion ever uses the Roar of the Elders for evil; he will lose the power permanently.
- 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 angry roar echoed, blowing off Ono's crest feathers. In "The Rise of Scar", he made the Outlands's volcano erupt.
- 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 also became cursed and Kion is being controlled by the scar/mark of evil. It makes Kion lash out at his friends and make bad decisions. He can only calmed when eating Tuliza blossoms.
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 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 of 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, glutenous 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 to 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 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 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 able to get out safely with Fuli and Makini 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 orders Kion 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 manage 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 grew into 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 escapes through the water tunnel in their den while Anga and Hadhithi saved the royal family. When Jasiri arrives with the reformed Janja, Simba is skeptical to listen, but Kion is willing to forgive Janja because of his trust in Jasiri. 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 ocer 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 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 Land. 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 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 vog.
- 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, Kovu.
- Kion physically resembles Kopa, his unofficial brother.
- Kion's name comes from "Kiongozi" which is Swahili for "leader".
- The mark on his 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 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 his 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 power 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 in 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 (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. However, Season 3 reveals that during the second film, Kion was looking for the Tree of Life.
- 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.