Vitani is the (former) tertiary antagonist of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. She is the daughter of Zira, the older sister of Kovu, and the younger sister of Nuka. She is the current leader of the Lion Guard.
Sometime in between the events of The Lion King and The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Vitani, along with her mother, brothers, and the rest of the Outsiders, was banished from the Pride Lands, for supporting Scar.
Vitani is something of a tomboy, likely from growing up in such an inhospitable environment. As a result, Vitani is portrayed as loyal to her mother's cause, though, and prickly, who has a tendency toward making sardonic taunts or sly remarks. Vitani is aware of her own intelligence and loyalty (that is, in comparison to the rest of her family). Vitani is shown to openly support Zira's plan to make Kovu the next king, aware that Nuka is bull-headed, bitter, and unstable. Vitani does seem to show genuine care for Kovu's safety, becoming irritated toward Nuka for leaving him on his own, and again when she excitedly says "Kovu, what a guy!" in Zira's number. As an adolescent, she sees the error of her ways, and becomes the next outsider, after Kovu, to rejoin Simba's pride.
After rejoining Simba's pride, Vitani becomes the leader of her own formed Lion Guard, and is devoted to the task without hesitation, although it would cause problems like when she mistook Kion, his guard and the outlanders for intruders. She showed herself to be a capable leader, commanding her guard well and showing strong camaraderie with them, and belied a fierce courage that impressed Kion so that he acknowledged Vitani's worthiness and bestowed the mark of the guard and the Roar to her. Vitani displayed a humble side to Kion's gesture and the realization that she now wields the Roar though was humbled again but also very impressed when she saw how apart she and Kion are in controlling the Roar.
Vitani bears a strong resemblance to her mother, but she is differentiated by a tuft of hair on her head, freckles, blue eyes, dark eye rims, dark pink nose, and a less prominent jaw. As an adolescent, her ears are striped with black. However, this feature was not present as a cub and appeared intermittently after it was introduced. Vitani's front claws are, like the rest of the Outsiders, constantly unsheathed. Later she got the Mark of the Guard on her shoulder after Kion appointed her as the new leader of the Lion Guard.
Vitani is seen first as a young cub, arguing with her brother Nuka over Kovu. She points out that Nuka's failure to babysit Kovu will get him in trouble, and scoffs at his claim that he could be a better leader than Kovu. When Zira returns with the wandering Kovu, Vitani greets him and challenges him to a fight. She later approves of Zira's plot to kill Simba by taking advantage of Kovu's relationship with Kiara.
As an adolescent, Vitani and Nuka are tasked with setting a wildfire in the Pride Lands while Kiara is hunting. The two gather fire from the elephant graveyard and quickly set a large blaze. This interrupts Kiara's first hunt and forces the princess to flee, which allows Kovu to rescue Kiara and eventually enter Simba's pride. She is later seen spying on Kovu and becoming dismayed when she witnesses her brother sparing Simba's life when he could have taken him from behind. Vitani quickly informs her mother. Zira is angered and plots an ambush of Simba, in which Vitani takes part. In the course of the fight, Vitani notices Kovu's attempts to defend Simba so she kicks him into a boulder and knocks him out to end his interference. When Nuka is crushed by logs that fell from the dam, she rushes forward to see her brother and witnesses his death. Along with Zira, she is shown to mourn Nuka's death, but her feelings on Kovu's betrayal are not shown.
She is shown to take part in a battle against the Pridelanders, planned by Zira as an attempt to take the throne by force. She momentarily taunts and then fights Nala but is defeated with Nala using the flip move she used on Simba in the first film, while Zira deals with Simba. Kiara and Kovu intervene, and Kiara argues that the two prides should stop fighting and come together, as there is no difference between them.
Vitani is the first to understand the truth of Kiara's words. She surprises-both Zira and Kovu by being the first to rejoin Simba's pride and makes an attempt to convince her mother that it's time to stop fighting. But Zira is angered and sees Vitani as a traitor. Zira threatens to kill her own daughter as well as Simba's pride, which shocks and disgusts the other outsiders enough to join Simba as well. She later joins Pride Rock following the death of her mother and lives the remainder of her life with the rest of the lions.
Vitani along with Kovu, Nuka, Zira, and their pride, appeared in the Disney Junior series The Lion Guard episode "Lions of the Outlands". She openly shows her distaste for Jasiri though that doesn't stop her from enjoying the young hyena's actions that help make Nuka look more like a fool than he already is. She is in awe and curious about the Roar, asking her mother to explain it before watching Kion use it on a cloud to make it rain. She is eager to fight when the Lion Guard shows up only to be taken down by Fuli. Vitani, along with the rest of the outsiders (sans Kovu), is blasted away by the Roar of the Elders to termite mounts.
Vitani later returns in the series finale "Return to the Pride Lands" (which takes place after Simba's Pride).
After Kion and his friends departed to the Tree of Life and her pride merged with Simba, Vitani formed her own lion guard to fill in for Kion's Lion Guard while they were gone. The Outlanders, not knowing that the two lion prides have merged, sends Jasiri and Janja to the Tree of Life to warn Kion. Once Kion and his friends return to the Pride Lands, they confront Vitani and her Guard, both mistaking each other as enemies, until Kiara and Kovu stop them before Kion could use the Roar. Vitani reveals that she didn't recognize Kion because he looks different from his scar and the Outlanders are with him.
The next day at the Lair of the Lion Guard, Vitani reveals that she has formed her own Lion Guard to Kion and the others. The two guards then hold a competition to see whose Guard is better. When Vitani is pitted against Kion, she tells him that she doesn't need the Roar of the Elders because she believes that she's fierce enough to lead the Lion Guard. Remembering what Askari told him, this convinced Kion to accept Vitani and her lionesses as the new Lion Guard, giving her the position as the leader, the Fiercest, and the Roar of the Elders. Vitani then tests her newly bestowed power, successfully using the Roar as the Great Kings of the Past roar with her. After Askari reveals himself and commends Kion for truly mastering the Roar, Vitani asks what he meant by mastering it, which Kion demonstrates by lifting Pride Rock, astonishing everyone, especially Vitani and her Guard. Vitani and her Lion Guard, unfortunately, were unable to attend Rani and Kion's wedding since they had to stay and watch over the Pride Lands, but they most definitely would have attended if they could.
When Vitani was younger, she cared very much for her mother and was fiercely loyal to her, following her every order without question. This loyalty continued into adulthood with Vitani serving as Zira's second-in-command. Zira, for her part, seemed to have cared about and trusted her daughter. Both mourned alongside each other when Nuka died in the failed ambush on Simba. However, during the battle between the prides, Vitani agreed with Kiara that fighting was pointless and for the first time disobeyed her mother by not continuing the battle. When she switched over to Simba's pride, Vitani tried to convince her mother that there had been enough fighting and urged her into joining the pridelanders as well, in favor of peace and a better life. However, Zira, seeing Vitani (like Kovu) as a traitor to Scar's memory, abandons all previous love she once held for her and instead threatens to kill her only daughter, with a smile on her face. Despite this, Vitani still held love for her mother and was visibly saddened when the subject of her death was raised. It is implied that the reason Vitani created her own Lion Guard was to distance herself from her mother's legacy and to atone for her past mistakes while under Zira's command.
Vitani is Kovu’s older sister. Growing up, the two of them shared a close sibling bond, being close in age and often playing together as cubs. Unlike their older brother Nuka, Vitani never resented Kovu for being chosen as Scar’s heir, despite him being younger than them. On the contrary, Vitani was very supportive of Kovu and was determined to support him in becoming the new king. Vitani also disliked Nuka’s jealousy of Kovu. Whenever Nuka left Kovu on his own instead of babysitting him like he was supposed to Vitani would get mad and berated him for leaving their little brother to fend for himself; showing concern for Kovu’s safety and well being. During "My Lullaby", Vitani swatted Nuka away when he almost woke up a sleeping Kovu, indicating she would often protect him from Nuka’s bullying. As young adults Vitani’s faith in her brother still remains, helping her mother in her plan to assassinate Simba, so Kovu can take his place. However, while checking on Kovu’s progress one night she sees that her brother purposely waists a good opportunity to kill Simba (due to falling in love with his daughter Kiara). Seeing this Vitani was heartbroken by her brother’s betrayal; her sadness quickly turning to anger. After this, she did not hesitate to attack Kovu when he attempted to interfere in the outsider’s attack on Simba, and she also blamed him for Nuka’s death, silently disowning her little brother. However, after Kiara and Kovu interrupted the battle between the prides, Vitani was the first to understand the truth in their pleas and switched over to Simba’s side, standing beside and reconciling with her brother, forgiving him for his betrayal and now realizing that Nuka’s death was not his fault. She later happily watches his marriage to Kiara. After forming her own Lion Guard (since Kion and his guard were at the Tree of Life) Vitani and Kovu’s bond seems to have grown. She justifies herself as the leader of the guard since she is the sister of the future king; this shows that she is very loyal to her brother and still intends to support his future rule one day. Kovu, in turn, is supportive of his sister in her new duties as leader of the guard.
Growing up, Vitani and Nuka had a strained sibling relationship with each other. The two would almost always bicker with each other and would often fight. Nuka would often attempt to bully his younger sister, though Vitani was never intimidated by Nuka. Despite being younger and smaller than Nuka, when she fought back Vitani would easily defeat him. Vitani lacked faith in her older brother, realizing that he was cowardly, weak, clumsy, and incompetent, and almost always found him to be annoying. She also disliked his jealousy and hatred of their little brother Kovu. Unlike Nuka, Vitani was never at all envious of Kovu being made Scar's heir despite being younger than them. It is implied during "My Lullaby", that whenever Nuka would attempt to bully Kovu, Vitani would protect him. She also got very angry at Nuka whenever he left Kovu on his own instead of babysitting him like he was supposed to. Nuka in term seemed to have a bad view of his sister, but it was never to the extent of the view he held toward Kovu, as the two seemed more civil towards each other. Their sour relationship continued all the way into adulthood. Despite their seemingly bad relationship, the two siblings worked well together when carrying out their mother's plans. However, during the Outsiders' failed ambush on Simba, Vitani, along with Zira, was horrified when Nuka fell and was crushed by the logs. When he succumbed to his injuries Vitani was devastated by his death, only able to mutter his name in sadness and bowing her head in grief, alongside her mother and pride. This shows that Vitani truly did love Nuka greatly; she just never showed it until it was too late. Nuka's death also had a profound impact on Vitani. His death only increased her hatred of the Pridelanders and thus she enthusiastically joined her mother's attack on the Pride Lands in order to avenge him. However, it was also because of Nuka's death that Vitani became to first Outsider to accept Kovu and Kiara's pleas for peace, as she did not want other members of her pride to suffer her brother's fate. Even after becoming the leader of the Lion Guard, Vitani still misses her older brother very much.
Originally, Vitani hated Kiara due to the feud between their respected prides. Vitani seemed to have little respect for Kiara, regarding her as nothing more than Simba and Nala’s "pretty daughter." As part of her mother‘s plot, Vitani and her brother Nuka set the Pridelands ablaze to trap Kiara so that Kovu could rescue her, in order to get close to and assassinate Simba. However, when Kiara and Kovu interrupted the battle between the prides, Vitani was the first to understand the truth in Kiara’s words for the fighting to stop, betraying her mother and joining the Pridelanders in favor of peace and a better life. Both lionesses become family when Kiara marries Kovu. Since then Vitani has developed newfound respect for Kiara, who in turn has developed respect for her as well. When Kion was about to use his roar on Vitani and her lion guard, Kiara, without hesitation and risking serious injury, jumped in front of her brother in order to prevent him from hurting their sister-in-law. This shows that the two lionesses have not only developed great respect for each other, but also completely accept each other as family.
When Vitani first met Kion, she was shocked to see him with a hyena. Vitani also got roared at when Kion used his Roar of the Elders on her. In "Return to the Pride Lands", Kion fights her after she made her own Lion Guard due to Kion not knowing that she and the rest of Zira's pride have joined theirs and her not recognizing Kion with his scar. After hearing the full story from his family, Kion accepts Vitani as his new sister-in-law, although he is not happy that she made her own Lion Guard in his absence. However, while trying to compete against Vitani after both Guards are tied, Kion decides to pass his role of being leader of the Lion Guard on to Vitani. After Kion does this, Vitani greatly respects Kion and becomes his friend. Both have been on far better terms ever since.
Bunga used to hate Vitani when she was younger. When she was older, she was annoyed at him because she made her own Lion Guard. In the end, they become on good terms.
Fuli used to hate Vitani when she was younger. When she was older, she was annoyed at her because she made her own Lion Guard. In the end, they become on good terms.
Beshte used to hate Vitani when she was younger. When she was older, she was annoyed at him because she made her own Lion Guard. In the end, they become on good terms.
Ono used to hate Vitani when she was younger. When she was older, she was annoyed at him because she made her own Lion Guard. In the end, they become on good terms.
Vitani was annoyed at Anga because she made her own Lion Guard. In the end, they become on good terms.
Vitani and Jasiri used to hate each other when she was younger since she stole her Watering Hole. After Zira completes her Circle of Life, they become on good terms.
While it is unknown whether or not she had any actual interactions with Scar, Vitani was born in the Pride Lands, sometime during his reign. Her mother Zira was Scar’s most loyal follower and her son Kovu, Vitani’s little brother, was chosen by Scar to be his successor. Due to her family’s loyalty to Scar, Vitani was exiled by Simba to the Outlands along with her mother and brothers. As a member of the Outsiders, Vitani held great respect for Scar, viewing him as the rightful king of the pride lands, and thus was determined to kill Simba in order to avenge his death. However, thanks to Kiara and Kovu‘s pleas to stop the fighting between the prides and after having lost her older brother Nuka, Vitani decided to abandon the Outsiders’ quest of vengeance for Scar, and submitted to Simba’s rule in favor of peace and a better life. It is possible (and implied) that after forming her own Lion Guard, Vitani discovered the truth about how Scar murdered the members of his own guard as well as his brother Mufasa. Its possible that after learning this Vitani lost all respect she once held for Scar and like her brother Kovu has rejected and despised him.
Vitani has worked with these lionesses to create their own Lion Guard after the Outsiders reformed and before Kion and his allies have returned from the Tree of Life. After competing with Kion and his team with many contests, Kion passes the role of the Lion Guard to Vitani and her friends, so that he could be with the one he loves, Rani. The lionesses are proud to protect the Pride Lands.
- Vitani and Kovu appear to be close, such as in the end when she turns to Simba's pride, she is seen standing right by Kovu.
- Despite her role as a supporting antagonist, Vitani was the only Outsider to show genuine love for Kovu.
- She is one of the few if only cubs who are actually obedient to their parents and does not appear to have a headstrong side, unlike Nuka (who neglects his mother's orders to watch over Kovu), Kovu (who promptly leaves the Outlands into a place he's not allowed), Kiara (who does the exact same thing), and Simba (who deliberately disobeys his father to check out the Elephant Graveyard). Vitani appears to be totally devoted to her mother's plot, until the very final moments of the film. The second cub to act obediently to their parents is Kion, as in The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, Kion was reluctant to enter the Outlands, hinting that he was informed by Simba of the dangers there.
- Vitani has a slightly shifting design throughout the film. As a cub, Vitani was shown without dark earmarks and pointier cheeks (Similar to Kovu). As an adolescent, her cheeks became rounded (Similarly to Kiara and Nala) and was sometimes drawn with dark earmarks, and sometimes without. One error right as Zira was leading the Outsiders to war had her drawn with pointed cheeks. This inconsistency was rectified in The Lion Guard.
- Her name was originally named "Shetani", but since the word means "Devil" in Swahili, her name was changed to "Vitani". "Vita" means "war" in Swahili and "life" in Latin, so it is suggested that her name is a portmanteau meaning "Demon of war". However, during the fight scene of the film, Nala appears to say "Shetani" rather than "Vitani", pointing out the potential that the name was changed after production had already begun. The actual name "Vitani" means "War, demon of war" in Swahili but the comparison was logical because the makers thought that "Shetani" sounded rude and was insulting to the character.
- Vitani is the second of three lionesses in The Lion King franchise to have blue eyes. The first being Nala (though her eyes are teal in The Lion King and green in The Lion King 1½) and the third is Zuri.
- Vitani bears a resemblance to Tama, a female lion cub who was a friend of Nala's in The Lion King comic Trouble in Paradise. Though unlike Vitani, Tama had brown eyes instead of blue.
- She is the first lioness leader of the Lion Guard and Vitani's Lion Guard is the first Lion Guard all of whose members are female. However, she is technically the second female, as Fuli repeatedly took command of the Guard when Kion's illness got especially bad.
- Despite being the older sibling of the future king, Vitani is still a second-born child.
- It is possible Vitani not only inherited Kion's role and power, but also his catchphrase (Heyvi Kabisa) as well. This can be implied since she was the only member of her Guard not to have her own catchphrase and her final line is Kion's favorite phrase.