- “I don't need the Roar, Kion. I'm fierce enough to lead the Lion Guard without it.”
Vitani is a secondary antagonist in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. She is the daughter and middle child 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 a sterile 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. Nevertheless, Vitani is aware of her own intelligence and loyalty (that is, compared to the rest of her family). Vitani openly supports Zira's plan to make Kovu the next king, aware that Nuka is bull-headed, bitter, and unstable. However, Vitani seems to show genuine care for Kovu's safety, becoming irritated toward Nuka for leaving him on his own. 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 much that he acknowledged Vitani's worthiness and bestowed the Mark of the Guard and the Roar of the Elders 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. In addition, 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. She also gained a more healthier appearance after joining Simba's pride and she and her Lion Guard of lionesses no longer kept their claws unsheathed as when they were under Zira's command.
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 who is angered by the news 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. It appears that like Zira, Vitani blamed Kovu for Nuka's death as she glares angrily at Kovu as Zira berates him.
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 and points out what Simba told her as a cub: We are one.
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 her mother's death 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 with several lionesses that used to be part of the Outsiders. The two guards then hold a competition to see whose Guard is better. When Vitani is pitted against Kion as part of the tiebreaker, she tells him that she doesn't need the Roar of the Elders to fight him in a Mashindano because she believes that she's fierce enough to lead the Lion Guard without it. Remembering what Askari told him about how only one who is willing to let go of the Roar completely can truly master it, 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 roar with her, officially dubbing her the new leader of the Lion Guard. After Askari reveals himself and commends Kion for truly mastering the Roar by letting it go, Vitani asks Kion what Askari meant by mastering it, which Kion demonstrates by lifting the entirety of Pride Rock into the air for several seconds, astonishing and impressing 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.
- 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 "Vitelleni" rather than "Vitani", pointing out the potential that the name was changed after production had already begun and they had mixed an old take of her saying "Shetani" with a new take after the name change. The actual name "Vitani" means "Flax" or "Linens" 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.
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