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 both 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.
- “You see, over the centuries, I've taken a form of whatever suits my needs. A warlock, a demon, even a blizzard.”
- ―Zhan Tiri describing her shapeshifting abilities.[src]
Since Zhan Tiri is a shapeshifter, she has taken on many different forms.
When disguising herself as the Enchanted Girl, she is a light blue spirit with a blue and white dress. She also has braided hair with a head strap across her head with a gem in the middle, and she also has blue eyes. After she gains a physical form, her outfit turns black, and her eyes turn purple. It is later revealed that she was once a sorceress who retains much of her physical form, but taller and older, as her cheekbones have wrinkles while her hair is longer, implying that her appearance after being released is what she looked like as a child.
When she disguises herself as Calliope, she looks exactly the same as her: a small and slightly chubby woman with buck teeth. She also has a yellow peasant dress with a robe tied around her, orange-ish brown hair slicked back into a ponytail through a couple of strands stick out, and giant owl glasses that go over her greyish-blue eyes.
In her demon form, Zhan Tiri is an extremely tall and muscular monster with black skin, sharp teeth, curled ram-like horns, long arms with claws on each finger and a torso full of squid-like tentacles. She retains her head strap and gem. Plus, both of her eyes are in different colors due to obtaining the powers of the Moonstone and Sundrop; her right eye retains the Sundrop's yellow color while her left eye retains the Moonstone's blue color.
- “Cassandra knows only what I want her to know. I'm playing her, Rapunzel. She has no idea, but she is under my complete control.”
- ―Zhan Tiri revealing how she is manipulating Cassandra.[src]
Zhan Tiri is known in Corona legend as an extremely sadistic, malevolent, and sinister person who won't hesitate to destroy absolutely everything in her path because of some ancient grudge against the kingdom due to Lord Demanitus defeating and imprisoning her. In the past, she attempted to destroy the entire kingdom before being stopped by Lord Demanitus. Zhan Tiri is shown to go to any lengths necessary to escape, such as when she has two of her minions each concoct a plan to free her. When both of those failed, she decided to take the matter into her own hands involving Cassandra.
When Zhan Tiri presents herself as the Enchanted Girl, she pretends to be a kind, friendly, and caring person who wants to be Cassandra's friend and wants to do what's best for her. At first, the Enchanted Girl seems like a neutral character, but things start to change.
As the season progress, she shows the audience her true evil nature, as she is trying to corrupt Cassandra's mind. Zhan Tiri begins using Cassandra for her ultimate plan of freeing herself from her imprisonment.
Zhan Tiri's most defining characteristic is not her magical abilities, but her mastery of manipulation. She is successfully able to convince Cassandra to turn against Rapunzel simply by showing her past as Mother Gothel's daughter, and later, through the first half of Season Three, it's shown that she can tell people exactly what they want to hear and later admits this, and is also a master liar.
Later on, once she is released, even after tricking and lying to Cassandra in front of her, she is still somehow able to convince Cassandra, presumably, that she is still a good person and keeps Cassandra under her control. Despite Cassandra later finding out about her true nature, she is still able to keep Cassandra on her side after Cassandra finds out she lied about her mother caring about her by manipulating one of Gothel's mirrors, and that she is Zhan Tiri. Zhan Tiri is still able to keep Cassandra under control by making it seem like Rapunzel is trying to destroy her.
When Zhan Tiri is closer to finishing her plans, she constantly becomes even crazier while giving sadistic smiles, and later invades Varian's mind to sadistically taunt him while giving him the clue to opening the fourth incantation to set up a chain of events that enable her to accomplish her goal. She also expresses joy at the idea of Cassandra breaking Rapunzel's spirit, as well as demoralizing Cassandra after betraying her to get her hands on the Moonstone and Sundrop.
Zhan Tiri is also shown to not only understand right and wrong, but loves being evil and takes delight in so. For example, she doesn't deny it when people call her a villain or evil, and views certain good traits, like compassion, as a weakness, and taunts Rapunzel over it in "Race to the Spire". However, in that same episode, she actually managed to prove compassion is a weakness.
Zhan Tiri is also shown to be somewhat arrogant, such as when she kept giving sadistic smiles that could give her away to Cassandra assuming she has already won. The biggest example is in "Race to the Spire" when she tells Rapunzel everything about herself, assuming that Rapunzel won't be able to do anything and that Cassandra is under her complete control. However, she may be doing this as a part of her plan.
Zhan Tiri is also shown to be power-hungry. Even Lord Demanitus comments on this, as her main and only reason for betraying Demanitus was that she wanted the power of both the Sundrop and Moonstone all to herself. She is later shown to go to any lengths to get them, which is what causes her to do everything she did.
After finally obtaining the Sundrop and Moonstone to restore her true demon form, Zhan Tiri becomes more sadistic, arrogant, and callous as she makes good on her promise to doom Corona to an era of darkness that would put everyone (both her enemies and allies) in danger; she even taunted Cassandra for suffering her mother's fate by letting her ego overwhelm her mind. Ironically, it was Zhan Tiri's arrogance that proved to be her downfall as she underestimated both Rapunzel and Cassandra, who tricked the demon into fusing both stones, causing a horrified Zhan Tiri to perish thanks to the stones' powers.
It should be noted that unlike other villains from the Tangled franchise, who had some level of morality and redeeming qualities, Zhan Tiri has no redeeming qualities whatsoever (or at the very least, she long since abandoned any she once had in her pursuit of power) and her actions were taken completely seriously. She also shows no morality and was willing to kill everyone in Corona without hesitation or remorse.
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 thanks to Rapunzel having no knowledge of ruling a kingdom when she takes over for her parents while they're away, resulting in Corona falling to its weakest and the blizzard striking again. However, 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 while the device was activating 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.
In the prologue of "Rapunzel's Return", after Cassandra walks through a door inside the House of Yesterday's Tomorrow 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 Cassandra 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 Cassandra 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 Cassandra 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, consisting 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 being chipped at one spot, 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. She 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, and later threatens the Princess of an upcoming eclipse that will illustrate the death of Corona.
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 abandons her tower after discovering who Zhan Tiri truly is, the evil witch took matters into her own hands in order to make sure she doesn't reconcile with Rapunzel and foils her plan. During the Goodwill festival at Corona, Zhan Tiri tries to trick Cassandra—who has sneaked into the kingdom to make things right with the Princess—again by telling her that Rapunzel has authorized a weapon that will be used against her (although Rapunzel has only done so out of protecting the kingdom and to use it as a last resort) and gives Cassandra 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 sneaks up behind Cassandra (who is disguised as Faith) and removes her cloak that she had stolen from the Spire right in front of Rapunzel, which gets the Royal Guards to come to the Princess' defense. With no one noticing, Zhan Tiri next fires the weapon Varian is aiming at Cassandra to make her believe that Rapunzel now sees her as an enemy like the rest of Corona does. Zhan Tiri then watches evilly as she succeeds in getting Cassandra to conquer Corona for her, thus beginning the plans of an eclipse.
In the series finale "Plus Est En Vous", Varian learns that Lord Demanitus has built a portal 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 portal close to Zhan Tiri and the Coronans proceed to storm the castle. Rapunzel faces off with Zhan Tiri, but with the impending eclipse, Rapunzel's powers begin to wane as the Sunshine symbol on her dress transforms into a Sundrop opal. Meanwhile, the Coronans successfully build the portal, but Hamuel accidentally activates it, sucking in everyone except Eugene and King Edmund through the portal and into the Lost Realm.
Zhan Tiri soon approaches Cassandra and announces that it is time to destroy Rapunzel and steal the Sundrop. As Cassandra leaves, she betrays Zhan Tiri, imprisoning her in a cage full of Black Rocks. However, Zhan Tiri, recalling her imprisonment in the Lost Realm, escapes and makes her way to the feuding ex-friends. By that time, Cassandra has overpowered Rapunzel thanks to the eclipse in full effect; she then telekinetically removes the Sundrop from Rapunzel, whose hair turns brown as it loses its magical capabilities. Before Cassandra can take the Sundrop for herself, Zhan Tiri jumps onto Cassandra and snatches the Moonstone from her, causing Cassandra to lose her powers as well. Zhan Tiri fuses both the Sundrop and the Moonstone into her wrists and transforms into a giant demon. Meanwhile, the Coronans are rescued from the Lost Realm and prepare the portal to send Zhan Tiri back to the realm, but a debris from Zhan Tiri's transformation crushes the portal, rendering it unusable.
Zhan Tiri taunts and demoralizes Rapunzel and Cassandra before encasing them both in Yellow Rocks and heads out to fulfill her 2,000-year promise to Demanitus. Eugene leads an army of Coronans and the Brotherhood in a battle against Zhan Tiri. However, she imprisons the army in Yellow Rocks and chants the Decay Incantation to slowly drain out life from everyone and destroy the kingdom.
Meanwhile, Cassandra feels greatly and genuinely remorseful of her heinous actions against Rapunzel and apologizes to the princess, who tells Cassandra that there is more in her than she knows. This inspires Cassandra to give Rapunzel a chipped piece of the Moonstone, which grants enough energy to Rapunzel's hair to break them out of their Yellow Rock prison. Rapunzel then faces off against Zhan Tiri, who flings Yellow Rock shards at her. Just as Zhan Tiri is about to finish off Rapunzel, Cassandra knocks out the demon in the head with a frying pan, having come to assist Rapunzel to atone for her past atrocities and redeem herself. Rapunzel and Cassandra then try to merge the Sundrop and the Moonstone in the unconscious demon's wrists, but Zhan Tiri recovers and breaks free. Using Rapunzel's hair, Rapunzel and Cassandra lasso Zhan Tiri's arms and pull them apart. Cassandra then tosses a Yellow Rock shard to Rapunzel, who cuts her hair short with the shard and releases the severed hair, causing Zhan Tiri to unwittingly slam the Sundrop and the Moonstone in her wrists. The collision of the two opals produces an explosion that obliterates the wicked demon into nothingness and also makes the Black Rocks that have plagued Corona and the surrounding lands disintegrate. Following Zhan Tiri's defeat, Rapunzel chants the Healing Incantation while holding onto the merged Sundrop-Moonstone opal to revive those who have been 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 notes that the blizzard from "Queen for a Day" was actually a form she had taken, despite said blizzard being described as a spell she had cast.
- 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.
- Zhan Tiri is referred to as a male in the first 2 seasons, but in season 3, it's revealed that the demon is a female. It's possible that Zhan Tiri's misgendering was a result of her shape-shifting abilities which gave her a warlock form that was eventually accepted as the real Zhan Tiri by legend until her escape.
- It should be noted that unlike other villains from the Tangled franchise, who had some level of morality and redeeming qualities, Zhan Tiri has no redeeming qualities whatsoever (or at the very least, she long since abandoned any she once had in her pursuit of power) and her actions were taken completely seriously. She also shows no morality and was willing to kill everyone in Corona without hesitation or remorse.