Sarafina is a minor character in the film, making few appearances and having only one spoken line.
Little of her past is known, though she mated with an unnamed lion with whom she had a daughter named Nala. However, as Nala is stated to be betrothed to Simba as part of a long-standing tradition, she would have presumably agreed to the betrothal at some point.
Sarafina bears a striking resemblance to her daughter Nala, appearing as as a slightly darker cream-colored lioness. She is less lithe than Nala, however, and has a more robust build like that of Sarabi’s. Her eyes are apple green, and she has a reddish-pink almost heart-shaped nose. The insides of her ears are a light brown colour, and the tuft of her tail is dark brown. Her muzzle and underside are a lighter shade of cream than the rest of her body and, like her daughter, her paws are not coloured lighter.
Sarafina is first seen sleeping with the other lionesses inside Pride Rock with Nala in her paws as Simba arrives to wake up Mufasa.
She is then seen later that day bathing Nala while visiting Sarabi. When Nala asks for permission to accompany Simba to the watering hole, she asks Sarabi for her opinion. When Sarabi gives her permission, Sarafina agrees and allows the two cubs to go.
She later appears along with Sarabi, Nala, Zazu, and the rest of the pride mourning as Scar tells them that both Mufasa and Simba had perished in a stampede. Sarafina and the pride watch in horror as Scar allow hyenas into the Pride Lands after becoming King. After that, she makes no further appearances. Therefore, her further fate is unknown.
Sarafina appears in the remake of the film voiced by Penny Johnson Jerald. Although she is called Sarafina in this film, her name was spelled as "Serafina" in the remake's novelization while her name was spelled as "Sarafina" in the end credits. Sarafina has more than one speaking line in this remake whereas, in the animated version, she only has one speaking line in the entire movie.
Sarafina first appears during the part where Sarabi gives Simba a bath, where she gives her daughter Nala a bath. Sarafina allows her daughter to play with Simba after a bath, but Simba's mother says they need Zazu to help protect the cubs from danger. Sarafina is later seen among the other lionesses mourning during Scar giving a message to the Pride Lands that Mufasa and Simba died together in a wildebeest stampede, allowing the hyena clan to inhabit the Pride Lands while Sarafina tells her daughter to be safe from them. Like in the animated version, her further fate is unknown.
Sarafina makes an appearance in the book Nala's Dare, which is part of The Lion King: Six New Adventures series. In the book, she along with a young rogue lion named Ni, rescue Nala and her friends Kula and Chumvi from hyenas. She later introduces Ni, who had been driven from his pride to the rest of the Pride Land lions.
Simba's Big Secret
After Nala goes missing, a worried Sarafina asks Simba if he has seen her. Not wanting to give away Nala's secret, Simba replies that he hasn't seen her.
However, after some coaxing from Sarabi, Simba tells Sarafina that Nala went to a secret cave near the red cliffs. Sarafina, Simba, Sarabi, and the rest of the pride goes to search for Nala and discover her trapped inside the cave. After being rescued, Nala goes to Sarafina and promises not to go anywhere without telling someone again.
Nala is Sarafina's daughter. Sarafina cares a lot about Nala. She bathes her and protects her from danger. When Simba wanted to go to the Watering Hole, she asks Sarabi what she thinks. When Scar tells them that Simba and Mufasa were gone, Sarafina comforts her daughter.
Simba is Sarafina's son in law. Sarafina knew Simba since he was a cub because he was friends with Nala. She was saddened when she believed that Simba perished in the stampede alongside Mufasa. Even though she made no further appearances, it is possible that Sarafina helped fight against Scar and his hyenas.
Sarafina and Sarabi are good friends. They always watch out for their cubs.
Sarafina and Zazu are good friends. Sarafina asks Zazu to watch over her cub when she went to the Watering Hole.
Sarafina and Mufasa are good friends. Sarafina is part of his pride, although she is never seen interacting with him. She was saddened after hearing from Scar that Mufasa perished in the stampede. After Scar revealed that he killed Mufasa, it is possible that Sarafina participated in the battle of Pride Rock and helped Simba avenge Mufasa.
It is possible that Sarafina is good friends with Timon and Pumbaa even though she never interacted with the two. The meerkat/warthog duo helped Simba defeat Scar and his hyenas.
Sarafina hates Scar since he was a poor king. She was also seen mourning with the other lionesses after Scar claimed that both Mufasa and Simba perished in the stampede. She was shocked when after becoming King, Scar let hyenas into the Pride Lands. It is possible that Sarafina helped fight in the final battle against Scar and his hyenas after he revealed that he had killed Mufasa.
- In the Broadway show in "Chow Down", Shenzi tells Banzai that Nala's mom (Sarafina) ate Banzai's dad.
- In early drafts to The Lion King, Sarafina (besides having Nala) had a son named Mheetu.
- Along with the above, originally she was named Naanda and designed to be Sarabi's younger sister as well as heavily implied to be Mufasa's mate. However, this would've created incest between Simba and Nala as half-siblings as well as first cousins, so Sarafina was designed as Sarabi's friend, rather than sister, and Mufasa was no longer implied as her mate.
- Her name is not stated in the film and is only known from being listed in the film credits.
- She appears to resemble Nala as an adult, possessing the same eyes and a similarly colored body.
- Sarafina means "bright star" in Swahili and "seraphim" in Italian.
- Much like Sarabi, Sarafina doesn’t return for the sequel and animated series. However, a lioness similar to her appears during her maternal granddaughter Kiara's first hunt, saying "My, how you've grown." Seeing as Sarabi was given no lines due to her voice actor's death—while Sarafina's actor, Zoe Leader, was alive at the time of the sequel's production—and the actor herself was known for providing voices, it's possible Sarafina made a short appearance in the film. However, she does not return for the animated series as her voice actress passed away in 2015.