Zhan Tiri is the main antagonist of Tangled: The Series. She is a power-hungry shapeshifting demon sorceress who dreams to gain the full control over the Sundrop and Moonstone. Once an ally of a talented engineer Lord Demanitus, Zhan Tiri engaged in war with him, until the inventor was able to imprison her within an alternate dimension to prevent her from gaining the power of the two elements. As the centuries passed, everyone came to believe that Zhan Tiri was a demonic and unstoppable warlock, while she herself patiently waited for any opportunity to break out from her prison and finally claim the powers of both the Sundrop and Moonstone, believing this to be her rightful destiny.
Over two thousand years ago, Zhan Tiri was an ally of Lord Demanitus, a brilliant engineer and inventor, who was on the quest to find the Sundrop and Moonstone, two elements that were created and divided by a mysterious cosmic event. As their quest continued, Zhan Tiri became obsessed with the idea of becoming a possessor of the powers of both the Sundrop and Moonstone, to the point that she started to believe that it was her destiny to have such power at her command. This led her to turn her back on Demanitus and become his archenemy. At some point after this, Zhan Tiri found a way to get access to very powerful dark magic which helped her to become a shapeshifter, making her able to take the form of whatever suited her needs, including a sinister-looking demon. At the same time, Zhan Tiri discovered the sentient being called the Great Tree, which she transformed into her personal stronghold, by corrupting the tree's magic and, therefore, becoming invincible. Many people tried to fight Zhan Tiri, but she easily destroyed anyone who tried to approach her.
Upon learning of Zhan Tiri's stronghold, Lord Demanitus decided to put a stop to her reign over the Great Tree, and with the use of an enchanted spear, he killed the tree's corrupted heart. This forced Zhan Tiri to finally abandon the tree, although some of her dark magic was left there. Sometime later, Demanitus found three new allies, who also became his pupils, and along with them continued his quest for the Sundrop and Moonstone. During the quest, however, the pupils betrayed the inventor and summoned Zhan Tiri back. Bent on revenge, she unleashed an all-consuming blizzard on Corona, a land that was close to Demanitus' heart. The blizzard threatened to destroy everything in her path, but luckily, Lord Demanitus was able to build a device strong enough to change the storm back into the direction of Zhan Tiri, therefore, saving Corona. Unbeknownst to him, the magic storm, although seemingly stopped, remained in Corona as a curse that waited for the land to be at its weakest and strike again.
Soon Demanitus once again confronted Zhan Tiri and, with the help of the portal he built, was able to imprison her within a netherworld-like dimension called the Lost Realm. However, right before she was sent into her prison, Zhan Tiri swore to get the powers of the Sundrop and Moonstone anyway as well as to destroy Corona. Over the course of the next few years, Demanitus was able to find and imprison a lot of other spirits that served Zhan Tiri, including one of his former pupils, Sugracha the Eternal, in the chamber where his device was located. However, some of them, like Tromus, were able to escape the inventor's persecution. Despite that, they both remained true to Zhan Tiri and promised to help their new master escape, when the time was right.
Role in the series
Zhan Tiri was the subject of the episode "Queen for a Day", where the storm curse she had cast long ago had returned to reclaim Corona, though the disaster was ultimately averted by Rapunzel. Her storm's story was told to the people of Corona by Xavier, as he hinted and showed Rapunzel and Cassandra the device that stopped it. According to "Race to the Spire", the blizzard was Zhan Tiri herself.
Zhan Tiri's presence became known in the episode "Painter's Block", in which one of Zhan Tiri's spirit allies, Sugracha the Eternel, managed to escape their prison and formed a plan to free her as well. Zhan Tiri was close to being freed, until Rapunzel, whom Sugracha had under her spell, broke free from it and disrupted the ritual, sealing the portal, but not before Fidella kicked Sugracha right through it.
Zhan Tiri is mentioned in "Rapunzel and the Great Tree". As told by Adira, Zhan Tiri took over and corrupted the Great Tree, taking it as her fortress to destroy all who approached. Ultimately, Lord Demanitus put a stop to Zhan Tiri's reign with a magic spear that rendered the evil magic in the Great Tree dormant.
In "You're Kidding Me!", one of Zhan Tiri's disciples, Matthews, later revealed in "Rapunzeltopia" to be Tromus, vows to keep the Sundrop (Rapunzel) trapped within the House of Yesterday's Tomorrow forever. Subsequently, Tromus traps Rapunzel in a dream world where she never touched the black rocks, with the intent of ensuring that she accepts the illusion, all the while transferring the Sundrop's power to Zhan Tiri, personified by a statue. However, Rapunzel is able to break free of the dream world, causing Tromus and the House of Yesterday's Tomorrow to vanish into oblivion, once again thwarting Zhan Tiri.
In "Lost and Found", Zhan Tiri was mentioned again by Demanitus when he tells the legend of the Sundrop and Moonstone to Rapunzel and Eugene. Zhan Tiri was summoned by Demanitus' former students, Sugracha, Tromus, and Gothel until she was banished back to her own realm by Demanitus.
At the House of Yesterday's Tomorrow, after Cassandra walks through a door that leads into a mysterious room, she is greeted by Zhan Tiri in the form of an enchanted girl who shows Cassandra her forgotten past, while claiming to be a new friend that has been waiting for her. Together, they witness Cassandra's childhood memories, causing Cassandra to learn she is Mother Gothel's daughter and was abandoned on the night she kidnapped the princess. As Cass' pain of remembering that cruel night causes her to cry, Zhan Tiri tells Cassandra that she is sorry that she had to live through something like that before telling her that she'll always be overshadowed by Rapunzel and that the only way for her to end it is to take the Moonstone for herself.
As Cassandra works to fully master her new magical abilities, in "Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?", Zhan Tiri approaches Cass as her mentor on the matter. She tells her that the opal reacts to negative emotions like anger and that she should use the built-up hatred Cass has for Rapunzel to power it. When Cassandra was beginning to feel guilty about her betrayal towards Rapunzel, in "Beginnings", Zhan Tiri ensures that Cassandra remains bitter towards the princess by telling her that half of the opal's power that should be hers are within Rapunzel's regrown hair, so the princess would have protection during her journey to the Dark Kingdom.
During Cassandra's training in "Be Very Afraid", Zhan Tiri tells her that she is destined to claim both the Moonstone and the Sundrop once she destroys Rapunzel, hearing this news from her had caused Cassandra to create red versions of the black rocks. Zhan Tiri explains that the Moonstone's connection to both her and the rocks have caused them to react to her own emotions of fear, as well as rage. After Rapunzel and Varian got rid of the red rocks in Corona, Zhan Tiri uses that fact to convince a doubting Cassandra that she'll always be bested by Rapunzel until she destroys her.
Sometime after Cassandra came across her adoptive father in "Islands Apart", Zhan Tiri gets Cassandra to make a return trip to the Great Tree in hopes to find anything that could help her unlock the Ultimate Power. Zhan Tiri was angry that the scrolls there were damaged like Cass said from her late time there and knew that the Graphtic Scroll was destroyed long ago until Cassandra tells her that said scroll has been restored and is currently in Corona.
In "Cassandra's Revenge", Zhan Tiri accompanies Cassandra to the Demanitus Chamber and warns her against giving in to Rapunzel, attempting to convince her that the princess is trying to trick her. Once Cassandra drugs Varian unconscious and abducts him, Zhan Tiri makes sure to warn her that she must be more prepared for Rapunzel's arrival, which gives Cassandra the idea to create a large castle of her own where Rapunzel's Tower once stood, consisted of black rocks. While Cassandra is leading a captured Varian up the stairs of her new castle, Zhan Tiri gives her additional commands to follow.
Once Rapunzel arrives at Cassandra's castle accompanied by Flynn Rider, Lance Strongbow, Pascal, Maximus, and Angry and Red, Cassandra takes amusement in their laughable failed attempts at infiltrating her castle. Just then, Zhan Tiri arrives at her and sadistically orders her to let Rapunzel in, force her to fight her, and break her spirit by killing her friends, to which Cassandra reluctantly accepts. Zhan Tiri then proceeds to invade Varian's dreams, where she hides her identity by first introducing herself to him as a big disembodied head, before splitting her spiritual form into half and twisting her head as well. There, she tells him that the only way to save Cassandra is with the fourth incantation, telling him to "use the sun to see the sun" in regards to the scroll before waking him up by purposely scaring him. As the awakened Varian expresses confusion at Zhan Tiri's words, she smiles maliciously at him.
By the time Cassandra finally gets Rapunzel to fight her by threatening Eugene's life, Zhan Tiri continues ordering her to break Rapunzel's spirit, in addition to stating Cassandra is more powerful. As both of them battle, reality warps, and Zhan Tiri gives outbursts of deranged laughter as she enters a dark purple vortex.
Following Cassandra's defeat and the Moonstone cracking, Zhan Tiri exits the portal, now having a black, gray, and purple physical form. As Cassandra watches in shock, Zhan Tiri reveals that the clash of Sun and Moon has released her from her prison, and clenches her fist and revels at her return.
In "Race to the Spire", Zhan Tiri and Cassandra headed over to the Spire to get an item from Calliope. Although they got the item but failed to get the key due to Calliope sending it to Rapunzel, Zhan Tiri and Cassandra formed a plan to get the key from her. However, Zhan Tiri didn't realize that Rapunzel isn't easy to fool but they did discover her weakness is compassion for others. When the item is revealed to be the Mind-Trap stone, Zhan Tiri and Cassandra were able to get it when Rapunzel chose Calliope's safety as they took advantage of her compassion. After leaving with Cassandra, Zhan Tiri returns to the Spire to formally introduce herself to Rapunzel and told her how they had been playing her former friend. Also, Zhan Tiri threatens Corona again with an eclipse and left the Spire.
In "A Tale of Two Sisters", to ensure Rapunzel and Cassandra don't reconcile their friendship, Zhan Tiri put one of Mother Gothel's mirrors in the princess's bag when she and Cassandra were investigating the cottage that Cassandra once lived in. Also, Zhan Tiri took a piece of the mirror off so Cassandra wouldn't see what her mother truly thought of her and to keep her against Rapunzel. After Cassandra returns to her tower, Zhan Tiri threw the piece out as they now made sure her and Rapunzel's friendship stayed broken.
In "Once a Handmaiden...", Zhan Tiri was confronted by Cassandra, after she found the missing piece from Mother Gothel's mirror, as she discovers that she tricked her into turning against Rapunzel. After Cassandra found out who they really are and left her tower, Zhan Tiri took matters into her own hands in order to make sure she doesn't reconcile with Rapunzel and put their plans into motion. During the Goodwill festival at Corona, Zhan Tiri tries to trick Cassandra, who sneaked into the kingdom to make things right with the Princess, again by telling her that Rapunzel authorizes a weapon that could be used against her, although she did it out of protecting the kingdom and would only use it as a last resort, then gave her something to defend herself against the Princess. Knowing that Corona now sees Cassandra an enemy and to make sure she falls for the ruse, Zhan Tiri unsealing removed her cloak that she stole from the Spire right in front of Rapunzel, which got the Royal Guard to come to the Princess defense. With no one noticing, Zhan Tiri fired the weapon Varian was holding at Cassandra to make her believe that Rapunzel now sees her as an enemy like the rest of Corona does. Zhan Tiri watches evilly as she succeeded in getting Cassandra to take over Corona for her thus beginning the plans of an eclipse.
In the series finale "Plus Est En Vous", Varian learns that Lord Demanitus has a machine that trapped Zhan Tiri in another world. Rapunzel, Eugene, Pascal, Varian, Lance, Angry and Red venture to Demanitus' tomb to get the plans. They realize that they have to build the machine close to Zhan Tiri and the Coronans proceed to storm the castle. Rapunzel faces off with Cassandra, but with the impending eclipse, Rapunzel's powers begin to wane, but she stands guard and the Sunshine symbol on her dress transforms into the Sunstone. Meanwhile, the Coronans successfully built the machine, but Hamuel accidentally activates it, sucking everyone except Eugene and King Edmund in.
Cassandra grabs the Sundrop from Rapunzel with the eclipse in full effect. Zhan Tiri appears and snatches it from her. She then grabs the Moonstone from Cassandra, depowering her and transforming herself into a giant demon. She locks both of them in a golden rocks prison and proceeds to use the decay incantation to destroy Corona and murder everyone inside.
Rapunzel then makes amends with Cass. They then collaborate to stop the wicked demon. Just as Zhan Tiri prepares to strike Rapunzel, Cass stuns the demon in the head with a frying pan. They try to merge the unconscious spirit's hands together, but she recovers and breaks free. Rapunzel then lassoes Zhan Tiri with her hair, then takes a shard and slashes her hair with it, merging Zhan Tiri's wrists with the Sunstone and Moonstone, causing the wicked demon to be obliterated into nothingness. Following Zhan Tiri's destruction, Rapunzel uses the Healing Incantation to revive those who were killed or otherwise weakened by the demon.
- A small statuesque figurine of Zhan Tiri is seen in "Keeper of the Spire", as one of the museums' exhibits.
- Zhan Tiri's Enchanted Girl voice actress, Jennifer Veal previously worked on Descendants: Wicked World as the daughter of Alice, Ally.
- Zhan Tiri showing Cassandra the shadows of her forgotten past, as the Enchanted Girl, is somewhat similar to the actions of The Ghost of Christmas Past from A Christmas Carol.
- Instead of doing this to help Cassandra, however, she does it for entirely malicious and selfish reasons.
- In "Cassandra's Revenge", it was revealed that no one besides Cassandra could see or hear Zhan Tiri while she was in her spirit form, the reason of this is unknown.
- In "Race to the Spire", Zhan Tiri reveals that the blizzard from "Queen for a Day" was actually a form she had taken.
- In "Once a Handmaiden...", Zhan Tiri claims that she and Cassandra aren't so different and that they were both cheated out of their destinies. This is proven true in "Plus Est En Vous" since it's revealed that she turned against Demanitus for power just like how Cassandra turned against Rapunzel for the moonstone. However, while Cassandra redeemed herself, Zhan Tiri never does.
- In "Plus Est En Vous", Zhan Tiri references Cassandra that she lost from the beginning as her mother had failed because of her ego; a major nod to villains, and those who became villains in Disney movies and the TV series.
- Zhan Tiri is perhaps the second most significant villain related to the Disney Animated Canon to not feature in the original film of his property and only appear in sequel media. The first was Dr. Hämsterviel of the Lilo & Stitch franchise.