The Lion King:
Legend of Destiny
By CJ Webster
Version 1 completed May 10, 2004
Version 2 completed September 25, 2004
(Times New Roman Italics)
February 1, 2005
(Scene One deleted)
Scene opens from African style Disney castle sequence to sound of rustling wind. Sound of wings flapping occasionally heard, but can’t see the creature making the noise yet. We can see desert sand far below. View pans up and jungle tree line with Izusa Escarpment becomes visible. Now we see Jakarta flying toward the Escarpment; now as he crosses the tree line we see by his shadow on the treetops that he is flying very quickly. As he cruises over Izusa we see his subjects look up at him, smiling. He grins back, basking in the warm air and enjoying the flight. Suddenly the midday sky darkens. Jakarta looks up and around in confusion. Close up on Jakarta’s face: in the reflection of his eyes we see the last little bit of light sky darken. His jaw drops, and the flash of a lightning bolt is seen, simultaneous with a thunderclap. The next thing we see is Jakarta’s body hit the mesa of Izusa; limp, dead, and smoldering, again in full daylight. His subjects come over to him in stunned disbelief. K’Tia pushes his way to the front.
K’TIA: “Jakarta? Brother?”
K’TIA: (Now in a voice over. The preceding scene is a past event, serving to set the stage for the story) “It all started when my brother died. Jakarta, King of Angels, blessed with wings and destined to rule. Struck dead by lightning on a clear day, never again to race the eagles.
The people grieved for their king. I, for my brother. Since we were cubs, my elder brother and I had been inseparable. Jakarta was my hero. My eldest brother, Rogan, was rarely ever seen. Though Rogan had both bright countenance and mighty strength, he was not chosen by destiny. Rogan could never forgive us all for following Jakarta.
And with Jakarta dead, it was Rogan who took the throne.
My brother and his mate had not had cubs yet, so there was no chance of a winged heir to the angel pride. For the first time since The Age began my people were without a Destined One. Rogan ruled because no one could dare challenge him save Battlechief Xater, the mightiest among our kind, and he was unwilling to rule as a king, content to lead only warriors.
It was soon apparent my brother lacked the wisdom necessary to lead our large pride. Though I did not seek to succeed my brother as king, I knew my people needed me. With the support of my wife Camiil and her sister Agani, who was Jakarta’s widow, I confronted Rogan.”
K’TIA: “Rogan. We would have a moment of the king’s time, Your Majesty.”
ROGAN: “Go away, K’Tia. I have no time for the petty headaches of commoners.”
CAMIIL: “You’re the king. The problems of your people are precisely your concern.”
K’TIA: “And we are not commoners, but a queen, a prince and princess.”
ROGAN: (Advances out of the shadows) “I have not yet chosen a queen. And I recognize no royalty but my own.”
AGANI: “We are here to discuss your future as the leader of our people, Rogan.”
ROGAN: “The future of… if this is a challenge, K’Tia, I do not fear you. Brothers or not, you will have to kill me to dethrone me and I assure you that you would not survive the attempt.”
K’TIA: “I am not here to challenge you, Rogan.”
ROGAN: “Then you are as powerless as any other commoner.”
CAMIIL: “This isn’t about power. This is about the people having confidence in their leadership. I speak for the lionesses when I say we do not have any in you alone.”
ROGAN: “What could you possibly do?”
AGANI: “We could follow K’Tia instead of you. A leader with no one following him is just taking a walk.”
ROGAN: “So that’s your game. You know you can’t win the honorable way, so you seek treachery instead.”
CAMIIL: “You are not one to speak of honor, Rogan!”
ROGAN: “How dare you…”
K’TIA: “Enough! Rogan, I have no desire to take your place, by any means. The people simply feel you need my assistance to be a more effective leader. I could advise you, resolve matters that need not trouble the king…”
ROGAN: “In other words, rule behind my back!”
AGANI: “Don’t think we don’t know what this is really about, Rogan. You just can’t admit that it takes both of you to take the place of my Jakarta.”
K’TIA: “Whereas I admit it freely.”
ROGAN: (Sneering) “You would.”
CAMIIL: “What it comes down to, Your Majesty, is this: Lady Agani and I lead the lionesses. In essence we control the pride’s food source, which is limited enough as it is.”
ROGAN: “Due to your incompetence.”
K’TIA: “Due to their color. We hardly blend in with our surroundings, if you haven’t noticed.”
AGANI: “Regardless, if the hunting teams continue to lose confidence in their royal leadership, the food situation could become quite… difficult around here.”
ROGAN: “More treachery.”
CAMIIL: “No. Simple reality.”
K’TIA: “Make your choice, Rogan. This time your options are rather limited.”
ROGAN: (Long pause) “What do you suggest?”
K’TIA: (Voice over again) “I was not disillusioned into believing Rogan had seen reason. I knew he was only biding his time. It wasn’t long before my brother had his first crisis, and it was of his own doing. Ironically, it was the same thing Camiil and Agani had warned about, but for an entirely different reason.
Our food source grew scarce. Or rather it grew imbalanced. Rogan did not limit the amount of meat the males could have at feeding time, leaving little for the lionesses that had done the hunting. But it was the cubs that suffered most. Often the little ones went to bed hungry. Soon the cubs began to starve. I tried to make Rogan see that in order to survive our pride needed living, healthy cubs, but of course he would not listen. So in order to preserve our race, in order to give us a future hope beyond the reign of my brother Rogan, we resorted to desperate measures. We found a safe haven to raise the cubs in, away from Rogan. Away from our home.
Agani found an oasis across the desert and down river that more than suited us. Most of the cubs’ parents gladly entrusted their children to us, knowing it was their best chance for survival. The difficult times were when one of the parents was blindly devoted to Rogan, unwilling to deceive him even at the potential cost of their cub’s life. Spiriting a cub away behind its parent’s back was never an enjoyable experience.
Adding to the complexity of the situation was Camiil’s own pregnancy. While we were overjoyed as parents-to-be, we worried what kind of life our cub would have at the Izusa Escarpment. Camiil and her sister discussed the option of moving permanently to the oasis until Rogan was no longer king. I was against it. I suppose I thought that if we moved out with all the cubs that we might decide to stay and just form a new pride. Splitting the Angel Pride was exactly what I was trying to avoid. Tragically, the decision was soon made for me. The memory forever burns in my mind, unquenchable fire, bright and hot as the sun.
It was the night we rescued Kardia.”
Scene blends to inside K’Tia and Camiil’s cave, they are the only ones present. Camiil is lying down, obviously very pregnant.
K’TIA: “No, Camiil. At least not yet.”
CAMIIL: “Then when, K’Tia?”
K’TIA: “Later. After ours is born and it’s safe for you to come with me.”
CAMIIL: “That could be weeks from now.”
K’TIA: “Or tomorrow.”
CAMIIL: “Even then could be too late, K’Tia. You have to take little Kardia to Agani. Tonight.”
K’TIA: “Both of his parents serve my brother devoutly. How do I get him to the oasis? Kidnapping has never appealed to me.”
CAMIIL: “Me neither. But I’m sure you’ll find a way. Tonight, my love. For the pride.”
K’TIA: (Sighs in resignation) “Very well. For the pride. You always use that on me.”
CAMIIL: “It always works. And you know why?”
K’TIA: “Enlighten me, dearest.”
CAMIIL: “Because in your heart you are a king. An even better king than your brother.”
K’TIA: (Snorts) “In Rogan’s case, that’s not saying much.”
CAMIIL: “I meant Jakarta.”
K’Tia smiles and slinks away.
Sequence of shots show K’Tia luring the playful cub Kardia out of his cave, pick him up by the scruff of the neck and take off running across the desert.
Fade from that to shot of the cave again, Camiil resting alone. Ominous shadow looms over her. She looks up in fear and surprise.
Next is a quick sequence of shots: 1) Rogan in the lit doorway to the cave. 2) Camiil scrambles to her feet. 3) Rogan leaps down, snarling, claws bared. 4) Zoom in on Camiil, terrified. 5) Zoom in on Rogan’s leaping attack, Rogan’s roar mixed with Camiil’s scream. 6) Blackout to Xater looking up, a distance away, hearing something.
We see Rogan look up, presumably from Camiil’s body. There is blood on his mouth and paws as we see them. He hops up and hurries out of the cave. We do not see Camiil’s body, but Rogan leaves bloody paw prints. We see Xater approach the cave opening from the outside. He stops at the opening, looks down at the paw prints, and starts to follow them away from the cave, but he stops as he hears Camiil moan. He turns away from the prints and enters the cave.
XATER: “K’Tia? Camiil?”
CAMIIL: (Very weakly) “Hel…help me. Ple…”
XATER: “Camiil? (Hurries over to her side) Camiil! What happened, who has done this to you?”
CAMIIL: “Xater…it was…it was Rogan.”
XATER: “Rogan! But why?”
CAMIIL: “Didn’t want…K’Tia to…have an heir…before he did.”
XATER: “That’s it. Rogan is unworthy. Camiil, I will stay here with you until K’Tia returns, and then I will not rest until you and your unborn cub have been avenged…with Rogan’s own blood!”
CAMIIL: “No! (Coughs) Xater, no. Jakarta and I have already died…no more…no more blood.”
XATER: “But Camiil, Rogan…”
CAMIIL: “…Rogan is the king. For now. To challenge him now would not set right his sins, only add to our own.”
XATER: “But what then, Camiil? What can we do?”
CAMIIL: (Beckons Xater closer, smiles, somehow peaceful) “There is another way. A better way. Rogan may have brought our kingdom into darkness for a time, but Destiny has blessed us… beyond the curse! (Close up) I have seen it!
Hours later, near dawn, K’Tia returns, having safely taken Kardia to Agani at the oasis. We see him carefully approach his cave, and stop short as he comes face-to-face with Xater, who is guarding the doorway.
K’TIA: “Xater! What are you…what’s wrong?”
XATER: “K’Tia…I’m so sorry, my Prince.”
XATER: “Lord K’Tia, its Camiil, she…I was too late.”
K’Tia pushes past Xater into the cave. A moment later we hear him scream in anguish. Xater turns and slowly follows K’Tia in. Camera view shows K’Tia standing over the body of Camiil, back turned to Xater and the opening.
K’TIA: “Why? Why have you done this to me?”
XATER: “My Lord, it was not I but…”
XATER: “Yes, milord. Camiil said so before she
K’TIA: “I know, Xater. You would never kill like this. You have a warrior’s sense of honor. Besides, the paw prints are far too small for you. I was questioning the Destiny who has allowed this fate to befall me!”
XATER: “But my Prince…”
K’TIA: “First my brother, now my wife and child! Destiny has abandoned me! It is all Rogan’s doing. Xater, I must know if you will stand by me to dethrone Rogan.”
XATER: “By my honor, no, Lord K’Tia. And you must not fight him.”
K’TIA: “But my family’s blood cries for vengeance! I vow to send Rogan to his grave or go to my own in the attempt.”
XATER: “When I saw what he did I made the same vow!”
K’TIA: “Then come with me. Together we can set this right!”
XATER: “No we can’t, K’Tia. Camiil was right.”
XATER: “Before she died, Camiil also told me that enough blood has been shed in our petty struggle for power. In the end no one has the right to take the throne by force except the Destined One. We must wait for Destiny to reveal the path.”
K’TIA: “Rogan has murdered Jakarta, Camiil, and our unborn cub! What possible path could there be?”
XATER: (Sighs) “I do not know, milord. With her last breath Camiil said that Destiny had blessed us beyond Rogan’s curse. She said she had seen it. I do not know what it was that she saw.”
At this point a small growl can be heard from the corner of the room. Both K’Tia and Xater look over in surprise. Camera shows where they are looking; the bedding of grass and feathers. Some movement can be seen. The two look at each other and slowly walk over. Camera view from inside the bed shows them peer over and gasp in astonishment. Now camera shows the newborn Zoay, eyes closed, lying on her back with her wings hidden under her, yawn in her sleep. K’Tia’s eyes tear up, as he gently picks up his daughter and sets her on the ground in front of him. Zoay stands on her feet and opens her eyes.
XATER: “It would appear Rogan was too late. Camiil gave the cub life before her own was over. Perhaps it was a future in which your daughter could live well that Camiil saw.”
At this, the infant Zoay yawns again, this time stretching her undersized wings. We see K’Tia’s and Xater’s eyes widen. Shot quickly switches to view showing little Zoay in the foreground, back turned to the camera, looking up at the two huge lions, whose heads and shoulders are initially out of shot. Almost immediately they drop, kneeling to the young cub. They mutter to each other.
XATER: “K’Tia, your daughter has wings!”
K’TIA: “I see that! How is that possible?”
XATER: “Don’t you see, milord? She is the Destined One! Blessed with Wings, Queen of the Angels! She IS the future Camiil saw!”
The two look at each other a moment more, then back to Zoay, who just blinks. They slowly rise to their feet.
K’TIA: “Xater, I have an idea.”
Show Title on screen:
THE LION KING III:
Opening notes of Title Sequence Song.
Simba bursts from shadow into light on Pride Rock, Nala steps up to his right. Kovu steps up to Simba’s left, Kiara to Kovu’s left. The monarchs look on as the other lionesses start to leave the cave. We see the various cubs say warm goodbyes to their mothers as they go off to play. Afterward, Jothra comes out alone. He watches the other cubs head out rather sadly. Kiara notices him, nudges Kovu and motions to the lonely cub.
KIARA: “Have a good morning, Jothra. Gonna play hard today?”
JOTHRA: “Actually, Your Highness, I was planning
on going to the Sands of Sleep today. To see my mom.”
KIARA: “Oh! Well, I don’t think…”
KOVU: “That’s fine, Jothra. I was going to go myself later on. We can walk together.”
JOTHRA: “Thank you, Your Majesty. I’ll see you later today then.” (Jothra hops away)
KIARA: “I don’t think it’s good for him to go there that often. Or you either, for that matter.”
KOVU: “Kiara, my love, you only say that because your parents are both still alive.”
KIARA: “Oh, Kovu, I’m sorry. I was being insensitive. To both of you. Maybe it’s better this way…”
KOVU: “Kiara, don’t start again. You’d be a great mother. You will be a great mother.”
Song continues. Shots switch between cubs playing with each other and their mothers with shots of Kiara and Jothra watching sadly from a distance. Shyntor with Shaniir, Mindo and Maliim with Johanna, and Leandra with Solomae. As song fades, camera view goes from the grassy plains to Pride Rock’s Summit, where King Simba is sitting, looking down at his kingdom.
SIMBA: “Man. This job never gets any easier, that’s for sure.”
NALA: (Coming up from behind) “Why, Simba, the kingdom’s never been in better shape. For practically the first time since assuming kingship you have the opportunity to step back and take a breath, you should take advantage of it. You’ve earned it.”
SIMBA: “I know I should be pleased, Nala, and I am for the most part.”
NALA: “Simba, Scar’s gone, Zira’s gone, the hyenas are gone, and the Outsiders are part of us again. The herds are plentiful, the waterhole is full and clean, and most importantly, we’ve had five cubs this season.”
SIMBA: “I know, I know, I’m being paranoid. Really, only one thing bothers me. (Softer) And I think you know what it is.”
NALA: (Steps up beside Simba, looks out over the plains with him, responds softly) “Yes. I know. Five cubs. But no grandchild. Poor Kiara.”
SIMBA: “I’m the eleventh king of Malachi’s Line. I had hoped to become the first to play with his grandson. The first king to pass down wisdom to two generations. But I suppose the family curse was out to get me one way or another.”
NALA: “Simba, what are you saying? There will be other seasons for cubs, after all.”
SIMBA: “Perhaps not for me.”
SIMBA: “Nala, we can’t deny the circle of life. We are getting old. (Looks back over the plains) A king’s time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. (Sighs, closes his eyes) I feel my sunset drawing near. (Nala is speechless) Kovu and Kiara will rule the Pridelands well, I have no doubt. But I would have liked to have seen Kovu’s heir. And let’s face it, Nala, if there hasn’t been a cub yet, there most likely never will be.”
From shot of Simba and Nala atop Pride Rock the camera goes into a mock helicopter shot. Once around Pride Rock, spiraling down. A butterfly flies in and out of the view. Camera view becomes 3rd person follow shot of the butterfly. Out over the plains, past Rafiki’s tree, over the waterhole, past a river full of crocodiles and out to the desert. Motion speeds up over the sand and the butterfly flies higher. Soon we can see that we are flying over the same land that Jakarta was, closing in on the jungle tree line. The butterfly dips into the trees instead of flying over them. We resume normal speed as we burst into the Escarpment’s clearing, but barely have enough time to see it before Zoay, now a cub, closes in head on and makes a playful snatch at the butterfly in midair. The screen momentarily goes black.
When we can see again, it is of a right side shot of Zoay in flight, soaring, front paws clasped in front of her. She opens her paws and the butterfly flies away. She turns her head to watch it go, laughing. She is flying out of the clearing, much faster than the butterfly was. We go into a similar follow shot of Zoay. She flies out of the clearing, over the trees, in a slightly different direction. Back over the desert, camera stops as she is lost in the sun.
Shot of the sun-filled, white-bright sky gently fades into a muted, but still bright, underwater shot. Tropical fish slowly swim by. Suddenly Zoay crashes into the pool, as the fish scatter and the water erupts into bubbles. We see her come out of the water, spitting a fountain of water as she hops out. K’Tia and Agani come out of the lush jungle, a few cubs following them.
K’TIA: “Zoay. You went to the escarpment again, didn’t you?”
ZOAY: “Don’t worry, Daddy, I stayed well above, no one saw me.”
AGANI: “Oh, Zoay, I wish you wouldn’t. You know how I worry.”
ZOAY: “I’m sorry, Aunt Agani, but we have to keep tabs on Izusa, don’t we?”
K’TIA: (Sighs) “What did you hear?”
ZOAY: “Rogan’s still king…”
K’TIA: “Could’ve guessed that.”
ZOAY: “And Kimshi hasn’t had her baby yet. But rest assured when she does, it’ll starve to death within a month. The food situation is getting desperate.”
AGANI: “Oh, the poor thing. And her parents are so devoted to Rogan, too.”
ZOAY: “They may be fools, but that doesn’t mean their child deserves to die.”
K’TIA: (After a pause) “Forgive me, Zoay, I’m just frustrated. When we started protecting the cubs like this I wasn’t planning on living in exile myself. It makes things much, much more difficult.”
ZOAY: “What are you saying, Father?”
K’TIA: “I’m saying I don’t see how we’ll be able to rescue the child.”
K’TIA: “I’m sorry, dear. When I lived at Izusa it was a simple matter to sneak out and back. Now that we all hide here, and Rogan has set his hyena guards, I can’t sneak in without being seen.”
ZOAY: “I can! Let me fly in at night…”
K’TIA: “Absolutely not. If Rogan catches you, he’ll kill you.”
ZOAY: “He’ll kill the cub with starvation for sure!”
K’TIA: “Then that is how it must be.”
AGANI: “I’m sorry, Your Highness, I know it sounds horrible but—well, your life is just worth so much more than anyone else’s. I feel terrible for the little one, but we just can’t risk it.”
ZOAY: “No real queen would be so powerless!”
K’TIA: “You are Queen, Zoay. And when you have fully come to power I know you will be the greatest ruler of The Age. But you cannot yet enforce your will over a pride that is so greatly hostile against you.”
ZOAY: “It would appear that my will means nothing even to those who claim loyalty to me!”
Zoay turns away angrily and walk off. Switch to hours later, night has fallen, we see Zoay reclining beside a pool, staring sullenly at her reflection. We see over her shoulder as she looks closely at her wings in the pool, and then try to hide them so they’re not visible in her reflection. Suddenly we hear a muted roar and Zoay looks up.
ZOAY: “What the… Rogan has called a council! (Thinks a moment) I’ve got to listen in.”
Zoay takes off into the night, upsetting the water and her reflection.
The rippling of Zoay’s pool fades into a gently flowing stream, with Jothra’s reflection looking down at it a moment in concentration before jumping. We see him land on the other side, behind Simba and Nala, and followed by Kovu and Kiara, who step across the small stream. Vitani follows them, and Rafiki brings up the rear.
They continue walking across the plains, eventually changing to loose shale and sand, and finally desert. They pass two stone markers and enter the Sands of Sleep. The path leads off to the right. Jothra turns off as Rafiki waits behind.
RAFIKI: “Be strong, young Jothra. May you find peace.”
JOTHRA: “Thank you, Teacher.”
Jothra slowly walks up the path to his mother’s cairn. It is a mound of rocks, mostly shale, with one bright blue stone holding down a hyena hide. We see Kovu, Kiara and Vitani approach two other cairns, those of Zira and Nuka. Simba and Nala continue on to the cairns of Sarabi and Sarafina, side by side. The Pridelanders spend a few moments in silence. Kiara nuzzles her mate and sister-in-law goodbye, and heads for her parents. By the time she gets to the burial plot of her grandmothers, Simba is turning back to continue further into the sacred area. He passes two much larger pillars of stone, and into the Garden of Kings. Ten cairns arranged in an arc are visible, each with a tree growing inexplicably behind them. The tree all the way to the left is the oldest, and each tree down the line to the right is a little younger. Simba heads to the cairn and tree all the way to the right. The youngest tree, the newest cairn. Here lies the great king Mufasa. Simba stops in front of the mound of rocks and closes his eyes.
SIMBA: “Well, Father, it won’t be long now. It’s been a good run, I’ve done a lot of good. But I’m tired. I can feel my sun setting, Father. But it’s time. (Silent for a moment) Kovu and Kiara will be fine. Kovu is every inch a king. As for me, I’m all ‘heroed’ out. I’ll see you soon, Father.”
Simba turns to go, but Mufasa’s muted voice can be heard from the sky. Simba turns back in surprise.
MUFASA: “Not yet, my Son. Our people still need you. Remember who you are. Be their hero. One. Last. Time.”
We see Zoay fly over the clearing, high over the Escarpment. She is listening intently, her enhanced hearing picking up voices far below, but not very clearly.
XATER: “Lord Rogan… …all here. What… …about?”
ROGAN: “You… …me as King, Xater. …understood?”
ZOAY: “Go, Xater, go! But I need to get lower, need to hear.” (She soars lower, then tenses up as she hears more)
NITKA: “Did you hear that?”
XATER: “What is it, dear?”
NITKA: “Shh! There it is again! I think someone’s spying on us.”
Zoay circles in silence for a few moments.
XATER: “I’m sure it was nothing, Nitka.”
Zoay exhales and continues circling, then hears a quiet, young voice.
BELA: “Whew! That was close. I must decrease my audio level by a few decibels.”
ZOAY: (Mutters) “What in the world? (Thinks for a moment) This is ridiculous. Pull yourself together, Zoay, you’re the queen for Pete’s sake.”
Zoay goes into a straight dive and is lost from shot.
We see Zoay again, flying cautiously around a large cave opening. We can see two guards in the doorway. Suddenly Zoay sees a small, white figure halfway up the cave wall. She carefully flies over and lands softly on the ledge. Zoay and Bela look at each other for a moment, and then start talking softly.
ZOAY: “My name is Zoay.”
BELA: “My mother called me Bela. She said it was my great-grandmother’s name. Um, I may be new at this, but I couldn’t help but notice that no other creature like us has wings.”
ZOAY: (Smiles) “Just me. It means I’m the queen.”
BELA: “I see. And the big one down there that calls himself king?”
ZOAY: “My Uncle Rogan. I can’t take the kingdom back from him ‘till I’m bigger. Um, when you say you’re new at this… how old are you, exactly?”
BELA: (Looks at the stars and the moon) “I am approximately three and a half hours old.”
ZOAY: “Hours? Are you Kimshi’s daughter?”
BELA: “Affirmative, Your Majesty.”
ZOAY: “That’s… amazing. You’re very intelligent for your age. Or anyone’s age for that matter.”
BELA: “Thank you, Your Majesty.”
ZOAY: “But you’re in terrible trouble, Bela.”
BELA: “Tell me about it. There is an inadequate food supply to support my current metabolism, to say nothing of my future years, and my parents are hopelessly aligned to the wrong monarch.”
ZOAY: “Y…yeah. Would you like to come live with me and my family at our oasis for a while?”
BELA: “I would love to, Queen Zoay. Thank you.”
ZOAY: “You’re more than welcome, Bela. Well, we’d better get going. Originally I had planned on listening in on the council, but I’ve missed a lot of it, so…”
BELA: “Oh, I haven’t. I’ve heard the whole thing. They’re done now.”
ZOAY: “You have? They are? Tell me on the way, we gotta go!”
Zoay picks up Bela and takes off. As they recede into the night, we can hear them start to talk.
BELA: “The primary subject under discussion this evening was an attack.”
ZOAY: “An attack?”
BELA: “Correct. An invasion of a domain neighboring this one, known as the Pridelands.”
An intense lightning bolt serves as transfer to next scene.
Lightning from the last scene fades to show Simba coming out of the garden, to the group waiting for him. Nala, Kiara, Vitani, Rafiki and Jothra are present. A light rain is falling.
SIMBA: “Where’s Kovu?”
KIARA: “He went into that awful hollow.”
NALA: “Simba, I wish you would just tear that thing down.”
SIMBA: “Let him be for a moment. Whatever is in the past is in the past. Kovu may visit whom he wishes here.”
JOTHRA: (Quietly, to Rafiki) “Teacher, what is in the hollow?”
RAFIKI: “A marker to Scar erected by the hyenas shortly after his demise. Personally I don’t like it, especially on these grounds. But the king permits it.”
Kovu is walking down into a rocky hollow littered with small bones He walks toward the center, where many bones lay in a pile. Out of the center of the pile is a small, dead tree, little more than a stick. Skewered on the top is a lion skull, a scar etched over the left eye socket. Kovu cautiously approaches, looks around, and closes his eyes. A voice can be heard whispering on the wind.
SCAR: “My son…”
Kovu’s eyes pop open, he looks around and then down at a puddle forming at his feet. He sees his reflection and hears the voice again.
SCAR: “Kovu. You have forgotten me.”
KOVU: “No. But I have tried.”
SCAR: “How quick you are to shun me, Kovu, when I have given you so much.”
KOVU: “What? Everything you ever told me was a lie.”
SCAR: (Somehow louder) “Silence! If not for me you would not have been born in the first place. I allowed you to live, I gave you my kingdom! Without me you never would have met Kiara. And without me you would never have become Prince of the Pridelands. Look at your reflection, Son and see the truth. Without me… (lightning flashes, Kovu’s reflection changes to Scars) …there’s no you!”
Kovu backtracks in terror, turns around and quickly walks up the crater to the others.
KOVU: “I’m done here. Let’s get going.”
(Modified to fit previous scene.)
The lions somberly begin their trek back to Pride Rock. Simba notices Rafiki worriedly looking at the sky behind them, at the coming storm.
SIMBA: “Rafiki, what’s the matter?”
RAFIKI: “The storm troubles me, Sire.”
SIMBA: “Do you think it will be especially bad?”
RAFIKI: “I do not know. It is too early for the season of rain, and yet, look at this sky, Sire. Not often have I seen the clouds so dark, the lightning so bright or the thunder so loud. But Simba, there is no longer rain nor wind.”
SIMBA: (Simba looks back at the storm) “You’re right, Rafiki. I hardly even noticed the storm on our way to the Sands of Sleep.”
At this point Kiara comes trotting up to Simba, Vitani behind her.
KIARA: “Daddy, Vitani and I are going up to the old Hyena cliffs to get a better view of the storm, okay?”
Simba looks over at Nala, who smiles and shrugs.
SIMBA: “Oh, all right, Kiara. Thanks for the heads-up. But if the wind or rain would ever start to…”
KIARA: (Over her shoulder as she and Vitani are already running ahead) “I know Daddy! See you at Pride Rock later!”
(Scene 3 deleted.)
Scene modified to reflect Sarabi’s extended presence as opposed to her recent arrival portrayed in first version.
Scene is of a hilltop in the Sky Lands. Mufasa and Sarabi are lounging on top, staring up into the bright, bright blue sky, filled with even brighter white clouds, but no sun.
SARABI: “Oh, Mufasa, the beauty here is indescribable. It never ceases to amaze me.”
MUFASA: “Is it everything you imagined?”
SARABI: “And more. Endlessly more than I imagined or hoped. Everything seems to be so alive, so vibrant. The life here makes the old land seem pale in comparison. The very colors themselves seem alive.”
MUFASA: “I know. It’s as if only now do I truly see color, and the former life was merely shades of gray. (Stands to his feet and looks down at his queen) And that’s just the beginning! Up here my youth is restored! (Leaps up and runs around as he continues talking) I have greater strength and energy than I ever knew in the lowlands; like the eagle I am again young and made new!
At this point Mufasa is interrupted by Sarabi as she tackles him. The two roll a ways down the hill, Sarabi pinning Mufasa at the bottom.
SARABI: (Smiling) “You’re not the only one to feel young again.”
MUFASA: (Softly) “Not only feel young, Sarabi. For here, we live forever. And compared to forever, any age is young.”
Suddenly, another figure flies over the couple, calling to them. He has the appearance of a lion cub, but he is flying through the air without wings, and he seems to be a source of golden light. When his eyes become visible, his they are totally glowing white without pupil or iris.
KATA: “Mufasa! Mufasa!”
MUFASA: (Looking up) “Kata! What is it?”
KATA: (Landing in front of the king and queen and hurriedly bowing to Sarabi) “King Mufasa, Queen Sarabi, there is fearsome trouble brewing in the Pridelands. Lord Zazu and I fear the worst.”
Scene is on top of the old Hyena cliffs bordering the Pridelands. Kiara and Vitani are gazing west, watching the incredible display of lightning and thunder illuminating the dim sky of dusky darkness. Lightning can be seen among the clouds, from cloud to earth, and some bolts seem to come from the stars themselves. Vitani notices a constellation, and points slightly north.
VITANI: “Kiara, look! There’s the drinking gourd, between those clouds.”
KIARA: (Looks where Vitani is pointing. She looks curiously at her friend) “Since when do you know the constellations?”
VITANI: “Oh, Rafiki’s been teaching me a little about the sky. See, above it is Huntress, and over there is Crane.”
KIARA: (Points over their heads) “I’ll bet you don’t know that one.”
VITANI: (Looks straight up) “Oh yeah? That’s K’Tia, King of the Stars, and the bright star that’s his eye named…um…”
KIARA: “Zoay. (The lionesses look at each other) Do you think you’re the only one to be subjected to Rafiki’s lessons? I still remember them, staring up at the sky, while I wanted to climb Pride Rock, or catch butterflies, or…”
VITANI: “Or play among the crocodiles with my brother.”
KIARA: (Smiles, scans the sky for another challenge for Vitani. She points behind them to the east, away from the storm) “Okay, here’s a hard one; the big, dull red star. What’s its name?”
VITANI: (Looks, thinks for a moment, and smiles) “That, my dear princess, is not a star at all.”
KIARA: “Well, then, all-knowing Vitani, if not a star, what is it?”
VITANI: “Rafiki calls them ‘wandering stars’. Big and dull red means it’s the Royal Star.”
KIARA: “Okay, fine! I give up! (Looks back west as a lightning bolt attracts her attention. As the glare fades, she notices a bright red star) Wait a minute. There’s another wandering star. (Vitani looks over as Kiara continues) This one’s smaller, but a brighter red. I don’t remember it.”
VITANI: “I don’t recognize it, either.”
KIARA: (muttering to herself) “Bright red, smaller than the Royal Star…wait, I remember!”
Scene is on the prominence of Pride Rock, Rafiki and Simba are also looking west, the bright red wandering star having caught their attention. Rafiki can see the star is glowing much brighter than it should be, and its odd course is taking it toward a vertical slash-like nebula, which had never been seen in the sky before.
RAFIKI: “It is the Star of War. The wandering star that some are beginning to call Scar.”
Up in the Sky Lands, Mufasa and Sarabi have followed the Kata to Sky Rock, where Zazu waits.
ZAZU: “Your majesties, thank goodness you’re here.”
MUFASA: “What is the matter, Zazu?”
ZAZU: “Well, Sire it’s a rather large surge of delusional power.”
KATA: “I'm afraid that’s putting it mildly, milord. It’s simply massive, and unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.”
SARABI: “Delusional power?”
MUFASA: “The power of the enemy. (He looks down and to the west) That storm is the manifestation of the surge?”
ZAZU: “I’m afraid so, Sire.”
MUFASA: “That’s not supposed to be possible.”
KATA: “It’s not supposed to be, not by a long shot.”
ZAZU: “But who could be responsible for this monstrous delusion?”
MUFASA: “Is there any doubt?”
Back on Pride Rock, Rafiki and Simba stare wide-eyed at the Star of War. It has come into the center of the nebula and now shines brightly.
Then, to their further astonishment, an image begins to take shape in the sky using clusters of stars, clouds, and brighter patches of sky. At first, only a mammoth head and shoulders are visible over the western horizon. Then, the colossal image seems to leap into the sky, freezing in a leaping attack with teeth bared and claws extended. The Star of War and the slash nebula becomes the characteristic left eye of Scar, Simba’s uncle and Mufasa’s brother, long since dead.
Simba and Rafiki start to run to the summit of Pride Rock.
SIMBA: “Rafiki, what’s going on?”
RAFIKI: “I think your uncle has found his way up to the sky!”
They reach the top and now have a better view of the immense image of Scar, and the whole of the Pridelands as well.
SIMBA: “No kidding! How, why?”
RAFIKI: (Somberly) “Revenge, I would suppose.”
SIMBA: (Shouting over the wind that has now picked up) “Revenge? Rafiki, he can’t come back from the dead can he?”
RAFIKI: “No, Sire. The sun set on his time on earth long ago. The worst he can do is growl at us. I think.”
An incredibly loud thunderclap that can be felt as well as heard knocks Simba and Rafiki off their feet. Simba mutters as he picks himself up off the stone,
SIMBA: “That’s some growl. (Looks quickly at Rafiki) Wait. ‘You think’?”
As if in response, a bolt of lightning lances out seemingly from Scar’s eye, the Star of War, to a low-hanging cloud above the plain separating Pride Rock from the old Hyena cliffs. The cloud glows, and a second bolt of lightning strikes from the cloud to the platform of Pride Rock, ripping a chunk of stone from its side. Lionesses inside the cave are seen to huddle in fear, protecting their cubs from the blast of superheated air, but no one is struck.
SIMBA: “Missed! You’ll have to do better than that, Scar!”
RAFIKI: “No, Your Highness! Look!”
The lightning-charged cloud continues to strike, starting at the base of Pride Rock and moving on to the wide plains of the Pridelands.
RAFIKI: “Sire, I fear Scar’s desire for revenge is not directed toward killing you but making you suffer. (Simba looks at him worriedly) He may leave you alive while attempting to destroy the kingdom.”
Back in the Sky Lands:
MUFASA: “I can’t allow him to do this. I must appear myself.”
ZAZU: “But Sire, the law forbids…”
MUFASA: “I know the law, Zazu. I will answer to the council later. (He takes off towards the Eastern Gate) Sarabi, stay with Zazu and the Kata, I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
SARABI: “But Mufasa, what’s hap…”
MUFASA: “They’ll explain it! Just don’t worry!”
KATA: “Good luck, Sky King! (Quieter) Lord Zazu, is he going to do what I think he’s going to do?”
ZAZU: “I’m afraid so, good Kata.”
SARABI: (Loudly) “WHAT exactly is my husband about to do?”
ZAZU: “Oh, I’m so sorry, Queen Sarabi. Kata, would you explain what’s going on? I’m afraid I’m a bit flustered…”
KATA: (Bowing to Zazu) “Of course, Milord. (Bows to Sarabi) Milady… (We see Sarabi looking very frustrated) What has happened is this: Scar has apparently found a way to pool doubt-energy from the inhabitants of the Pridelands. This is forbidden, of course, but he has done it.”
SARABI: “Kata, exactly what is doubt energy?”
KATA: “Just that, Milady, the energy of doubt. Whenever a living creature on earth believes in a lie or doubts in the truth, it releases energy of a form that Scar can apparently gather to himself. This makes him more powerful, and he has now grown powerful enough to manifest in the physical realm.”
SARABI: “But what could the Pridelanders possibly be believing or doubting that could do that?”
ZAZU: “I do not know. It could be as simple as one individual just beyond our sight, believing falsely in secret.”
KATA: “But now that Scar has made himself visible to the Pridelanders, if they believe in his power it will further increase it.”
SARABI: “And Mufasa has gone to appear himself in order to reverse the affect.”
KATA: “Exactly, Milady. When the Pridelanders see him, it should rekindle hope and trust enough to conquer fear and doubt. (Close up, quieter) But it will be close.”
Back atop Pride Rock:
Kovu appears at the top of Pride Rock, a look of relief on his face when he sees Simba.
KOVU: “Simba! You’re alright!”
SIMBA: “Yes, but if Rafiki’s fear is justified, that could change… for all of us.”
RAFIKI: “Sire! Look!”
Simba and Kovu look where Rafiki is pointing, in the direction of the Hyena cliffs. Lightning strikes repeatedly at the base of the cliffs. The lions look at each other, realizing that Kiara and Vitani are now in danger.
The King and his heir begin to run towards the cliffs, calling for Kiara and Vitani.
On the Hyena Cliffs:
Kiara and Vitani are seen staring wide-eyed at the image of Scar, even as their attention is drawn to the bolts of lightning around them, igniting fires at the base of the cliffs. The lionesses are momentarily safe on the grassless cliff, but their avenues of escape are cut off. Suddenly, a lightning bolt actually strikes the cliff in front of them, throwing them backward and singeing fur and whiskers, nearly throwing them off the cliff and into the inferno.
As they look up, they can see in the east a second sky image materialize among the stars, clouds and sky. Mufasa does not leap into the sky as did Scar, instead he steps into view, as if the sky was a mere curtain. The Royal star appears to be the Sky King’s left eye.
In the plain between Pride Rock and the old Hyena cliffs:
Simba and Kovu run through the plain, dodging fires where lightning has hit the grass.
The sun begins to rise in the east, behind the image of Mufasa, not yet visible behind the clouds that make up the sky image. The Royal Star begins to glow with power, and the power surges downward to the clouds that make up Mufasa’a paws. Rain bursts from the clouds, eventually spreading over the rest of the Pridelands and extinguishing fires.
Rafiki is still atop Pride Rock, and sounds worried even though the immediate danger is passed.
RAFIKI: “Scar strikes with fire, Mufasa defends with rain. That means this is a celestial battle, and such things do not end quickly, or easily. (Looks around) Where is Nefti? I must warn the king that Scar is far from finished!”
Back on Sky Rock:
ZAZU: “That’s it Sire! Scar is no match for you!”
KATA: “Oh, Lord Zazu, are you sure He’s doing the right thing?”
ZAZU: “He’s doing what must be done, Kata. Hang the council’s laws, and hang the danger.”
SARABI: “Danger? Mufasa’a in danger?”
ZAZU: (Realizing he shouldn’t have said that) “Oh, uh… not really… that is…”
SARABI: (Turns to the Kata) “Kata, you tell me. What is the danger of what Mufasa is doing right now?”
KATA: (Looks at Zazu, worriedly) “Well…”
SARABI: “Now, Kata!”
KATA: “Y…yes, Milady. What the Sky King is doing is forbidden by the laws of Lord-king Malachi’s Council. The Sky-king is only allowed to visibly appear to the Pride-king from here, Sky Rock, and certain exceptions the Council allows. And…”
SARABI: “And what, Kata?”
ZAZU: “It’s all right, Kata, I’ll explain now.”
KATA: (Relieved to not be under Queen Sarabi’s scrutiny) “Thank you, Milord.”
ZAZU: “It’s the Gate. The Eastern Gate is only designed to bring spirits from the Pride to the Sky Lands. One-way travel. Mufasa is using the Gate to partially travel the wrong way. He has to do this in order to have control over the pool of trust-energy, which powers the Gate.”
SARABI: “Let me guess. That’s illegal, too.”
ZAZU: “When the council has not allowed it ahead of time, yes.”
SARABI: (To herself) “But it’s the only way to save the Pridelands.”
KATA: “Milord, Milady! Scar’s doubt-energy is surging again!”
A small crowd of lionesses and cubs from Pride Rock’s cave has gathered outside to enjoy the rain and to cheer on Mufasa as he rescues the Pridelands from the fires. They stop cheering however, when they notice Scar’s eye again charged with lightning.
Nefti, an African Golden Eagle and Zazu’s replacement as majordomo, flies from Rafiki atop Pride Rock and lands near Simba and Kovu, who have reached the bottom of the Hyena cliffs and seem to be relieved that Mufasa has extinguished Scar’s fire. He calls to the king before he lands.
NEFTI: “Sire! Sire, up here!”
SIMBA: (As Nefti lands) “Yes, Nefti? Is everyone safe at Pride Rock?”
NEFTI: “For the moment. Sire, Rafiki has asked me to warn you that Scar is not yet finished; that his attack and Mufasa’s retaliation signal’s a celestial battle that can have up to three strikes each. We must prepare for two more strikes, each probably worse than the first!”
The lions and the eagle look back at the image of Scar, in time to see the appearance of Scar spitting fire. Three massive, flaming meteorites were heading directly toward where the lions were gathered. It was obvious there would be no escaping the stones’ blast range in time.
KOVU: (Whispered) “He can see us.”
NEFTI: “Oh, my.”
SIMBA: (Turns back to look at the image of this father) “Come on, Dad, do it again.”
As if in reply to his son’s plea, Mufasa’s Royal Star again glows, and sunlight streams from it, striking the land between the lions and the oncoming meteorites. Quickly and silently, the beam of light carves out a circle of land nearly the size of the Pridelands’ water hole. This chunk of land is then lifted upward, looking like an inverted mountain, into the path of the flaming stones. Upon impact, there is a thunderous explosion, and the plains are momentarily lit as day. But the meteorites are no more.
RAFIKI: “Take that! (Rafiki has suddenly appeared beside Simba, Kovu, and Nefti, taking them by surprise) Mufasa can beat you any day!”
KATA: “There! That should do it. Both Mufasa and Scar have used up as much energy as they can afford to. It ends here.”
SARABI: “It’s over?”
ZAZU: “How can you be sure, Kata?”
KATA: “Another strike would cost either combatant more than they care to pay.”
SARABI: “Do not underestimate Mufasa’s love for his people, Kata.”
The Star of War again charges with lightning.
ZAZU: “Or Scar’s hatred, for that matter.”
Shifting of Pride Rock added.
Scar’s face now seems distorted with rage. The image seems to rock with power, as if Scar is having convulsions, throwing all remaining power into his third strike. Next, although the actual stars, clouds, and patches of sky remain, the likeness of Scar begins to disappear, being sucked into his left eye. Then Scar strikes.
A massive ramrod straight cascade of searing bright lightning extended directly from the Star of War and hit the center of Mufasa’s crater, sending rolling circular shock waves across the Pridelands. The earth shudders, shakes, rumbles, rolls, splits, and cracks; trees are uprooted, caves are destroyed, great damage and destruction is caused to the whole of the Pridelands.
Pride Rock itself shifts, the summit leaning and sinking, the presentation stone grinding off its support and lying on the ground. Huge chunks of the earth and rock are thrust upward. Vitani and Kiara suddenly find themselves at an impossible height. They continue their skyward journey after the cliff has finished rising, and the return trip and downward causes them to lose consciousness. The openings in the earth are so deep the liquid fires of the earth give off their unspeakable heat, causing the very air to be consumed in flames when there is nothing to burn. Mufasa’s rain keeps the magma from coming up out onto the land, but as the cool rain hits the liquid fire it causes it to solidify, giving off so much steam that when combined with the smoke it becomes nearly impossible to see. Kiara and Vitani are trapped again and this time there is no way for Simba and Kovu to rescue them, and there’s no way the lionesses can survive the trip downward even if they awaken before they are consumed by the fire and smoke.
Higher up in the hyena cliffs above the Vitani and Kiara, We see K’Tia with Zoay riding on his back, struggling to maintain his grip on the rocks as the earth is heaved to and fro. K’Tia turns his head from left to right but can see nothing to the steam and smoke.
KATA: “That will cost Scar greatly. He went beyond free-floating doubt-power in that strike. Did you see, Lord Zazu?”
ZAZU: “Yes, Kata, I did. It appears he poured his own essence into it. How reckless. He must be very confident that he’ll be able to pool more power rather quickly.”
SARABI: (Quietly) “Look at the Pridelands. There’s nothing not damaged in some way. No doubt many herds will move on. The hunting will be difficult. The fire damage is great, far worse than Nuka’s fire years ago.”
KATA: “Yes, the damage is great. But it is not unmanageable. Mufasa will be back soon, and he can help guide Pride-king Simba through this hardship. Prince Kovu will probably still be recovering from it well into his reign, though.”
SARABI: “Mufasa can’t leave the sky yet, Kiara and Vitani are still in danger!”
KATA: “I’m afraid he has no choice, Milady. He needs his remaining energy to escape the Gate.”
SARABI: “Escape it?”
ZAZU: “Yes, Your Highness; in order to have control of the trust-power, he has to partially bind his essence with it. He could not break the bond if he used more power in another reversal strike.”
SARABI: “Mufasa loves his people more than that. He will never abandon them while he has a chance to save them.”
ZAZU: “But… (Blank stare for a moment, then turns to Kata) She’s right. Mufasa will sacrifice himself before letting the lionesses die in the cliffs.”
Zazu and the Kata start to fly towards the Eastern Gate, and Queen Sarabi follows them.
Back down in the plains Simba, Kovu and Rafiki have screamed themselves hoarse calling for the lionesses. Nefti has tried unsuccessfully to fly through the wall of fiery smoke and steam, but the gulf of Hellfire is too great. Mufasa chooses this time to implement his own third strike.
Instead of being sucked into the star as Scar has done, Mufasa begins to transform into a gigantic cloud. The already cloud parts such as the nose, mane, fore chest and paws begin to spread over the rest of him, with the Royal Star being the last to be lost from sight. In Mufasa’s place there is now a giant thunderhead still pouring rain.
As the sun begins to appear through the thunderhead the first tiny ray stretches from the Royal Star toward the constellation K’Tia.
The sunbeam enters the constellation and strikes the star that makes up the eye of the King of the Stars. The star Zoay detonates, throwing silent rings of white fire across the sky. Out of the blaze a single sky stone emerges hurtling down to the cliffs alive with white fire, continuing on and strikes the rock behind K’Tia and Zoay.
K’Tia and Zoay pick themselves off the rock and look around. They spot the unconscious forms of Vitani and Kiara lying at the other side.
K’TIA: “Golden lions.”
ZOAY: “Are they from the pride we’re looking for?”
Simba and Kovu can be heard still calling for the lionesses.
K’TIA: “They have to be, Zoay. But both they and we are in danger on top of this cliff. We must get off now.”
ZOAY: (Goes to the edge of the cliff and looks down) “It’s high, but I think you can make the jump.”
K’TIA: “Then so I shall. Help me with them.”
The father and daughter manage to get the two lionesses onto K’Tia’s back. Zoay herself clings to her father’s neck, and K’Tia prepares himself for the jump.
Simba is now in a state of panic. Then as he looks up, the flames above him part and a form speeds down towards him. The form that Simba sees is masculine and big. Bigger than himself, Kovu, or even his father Mufasa. And instead of the lion-like brownish gold, deeper orange, or the cream color common to lionesses, this one is a blazing white. His full mane is such a blinding bright white that it is almost silver. Despite the impossible height he is jumping from, not to mention the extra weight of lionesses, he lands on his enormous paws and smoothly deposits his cargo to the ground.
Zazu, Sarabi and the Kata arrive at the Eastern Gate in time to see the star Zoay explode high above them. The Gate is glowing and Mufasa is nowhere to be seen.
KATA: “What was that? What has he done?”
ZAZU: “I was about to ask you that.”
KATA: “Well, he has apparently somehow caused a star to explode. But such a thing is beyond the capabilities of a Sky-king, and it serves no discernible purpose.”
SARABI: (Points to the path of the white shooting star) “Look!”
The three watch as the star falls. The Kata looks ahead and notices K’Tia and Zoay.
KATA: “What in the world? What are they doing here? They shouldn’t be anywhere near here!”
SARABI: “Kata, who are they?”
KATA: (As if not hearing Sarabi) “Oh, I see!”
ZAZU: “The Gate!”
The gate begins to shimmer and glow brighter. Mufasa’s silhouette becomes visible, but Mufasa himself does not solidify. The silhouette begins to fade.
SARABI: “Mufasa! You can make it. Come back to me.”
The silhouette returns, flickers, and then Mufasa comes out of the Gate. He immediately collapses. The three run over to him.
KATA: “I knew a third strike would be too much for him.”
ZAZU: “But he’s back.”
KATA: “Just the shell. No energy.”
SARABI: “We’ve got to do something!”
ZAZU: “Kata, you can save him.”
KATA: “I can’t reanimate a lifeless shell without sovereign approval!”
ZAZU: “K’Tia himself just gave you approval and you know it.”
KATA: “It’s possible…”
SARABI: “I don’t know what you’re talking about but if you can save him, Kata, do so. Now!”
KATA: (Sighs) “Very well. I will try.”
The Kata steps up to Mufasa’s still form and places his paws on Mufasa’s. Kata begins to glow very brightly, causing Sarabi and Zazu to shield their eyes. Mufasa opens his eyes which also glow. He sighs and gets up as the affect fades.
MUFASA: “Yes, Sarabi. I’m going to be fine. I’m just… tired, that’s all. Must… rest a bit. Are the lionesses safe?”
SARABI: “Yes, thanks to you, Mufasa. Mufasa?”
KATA: “I was only able to perform a basic reanimation, Milady. He will need much rest in order to regain his former strength.”
Simba and Kovu approach than now awakening lionesses while Rafiki studies that the large newcomer. With Kiara and Vitani fully aware and wondering what has happened, the group stops to study the white rescuer. They then notice the furry bundle that tumbles down from the lion and rolls in front of Kovu’s feet.
Zoay stands to her feet, yawns, and stretches her wings. Everyone stares at the cub then back up to the father.
K’TIA: “Greetings, my name is K’Tia and this is my daughter Zoay.”
RAFIKI: (Whispers) “Angel Lions.”
The Kata is carrying Mufasa away from the Eastern Gate. Mufasa floats along, apparently still asleep, the Kata hovers above him, glowing. Sarabi and Zazu follow. A close up of Zazu shows him look back over his shoulder. We see the Pridelands spread out, partially on fire and damaged. Zazu looks back ahead.
ZAZU: “The council is not going to like this.”
Scene is of the cave inside Pride Rock. Simba, Nala, Kovu, Kiara, Vitani and Rafiki are circled around in the back talking. K’Tia and Zoay are in a corner eating from a wildebeest. No other lions are present.
KOVU: “What in the world is an Angel Lion?”
RAFIKI: “Until moments ago to even me they were only a legend; a legend that goes back to just before the reign of old King Malachi. The legend says that once there was only one pride, with the Angel Lions ruling over the Golden Lions. After all they were bigger and stronger and their leaders were more capable of ruling the large pride. But then there arose a leader among the golden lions named Malachi. He was almost as big as an Angel Lion and as strong as most of them; and he and his followers thought that he was a good enough leader to rule a pride. There was a revolt. Malachi and his golden lions easily outnumbered the Angel Lions but an Angel Lion could fight two or three of them and still come out on top. It was a pretty even fight.
“But Malachi and the leaders of the Angel Lions recognized the confrontation would only result in a prolonged bloody war which neither side wanted. So instead Malachi took his followers and accepted exile from their home of the Izusa Escarpment.”
NALA: “To the Pridelands?”
SIMBA: “To the Pridelands. Malachi and his followers crossed the Sea of Sand and settled at Pride Rock and have been here ever since. (Rafiki looks at Simba in astonishment) It’s not a legend. My father told me the history of the Angel Lions before he died. He said it wasn’t something the kings talk about very much. Probably because we would like to forget we ever came from the Angels Lions.”
KIARA: “So what’s with the wings?”
RAFIKI: “Whenever a cub is born with wings they are to rule upon reaching adulthood. So it is not always the oldest cub that is the heir, nor is it always male, but it does always pass from parent to cub; and they are very real wings. As soon as they learn they can fly for their entire lives.”
VITANI: “How long has it been since the exile?”
SIMBA: “I am the eleventh from Malachi. Since the separation we Pridelanders have tried to forget our angel masters and they in turn have ignored us for generations. It’s not friendship but its peace, at least not war.”
KOVU: “And they have never tried to invade our territory?”
SIMBA: “No they haven’t. Although you would think they would have, especially when Scar allowed the Hyenas to weaken us. I mean, they’re bigger than us, they’re faster, far stronger with bigger and sharper teeth and claws, they can go longer without rest or water, see better…”
K’TIA: “…hear better…”
ZOAY: “…and eat quicker!”
The Pridelanders look over to see K’Tia and Zoay standing in front of an empty wildebeest skeleton.
SIMBA: (Smiles) “Nefti! (The golden eagle answers the cave and lands before the king) Take Zoay outside and keep an eye on her. Maybe take her to where the other cubs are playing. We and K’Tia need to talk.”
RAFIKI: “I must take my leave as well, Your Highnesses. I must have a word with Mufasa, if he will hear me.”
Inserted into scene 27 (renamed 27 B)
Dialogue narrating action from scenes 0.1-0.9 deleted.
First and last half of scene designated 27 A and 27 C.
v1 scene 26 inserted as v2 scene 27 B.
Scene 25 blends into scene 27 A with no break.
K’TIA: “Thank you for your hospitality, King Simba.”
SIMBA: “You are more than welcome, K’Tia. After all, you did just save our princesses’ lives.”
K’TIA: “You are also more than welcome. Well, I suppose I owe you an explanation as to why I am here.”
SIMBA: “It’s been a long night. You are welcome to rest in what’s left of Pride Rock for the night.”
K’TIA: “Alas, Brother King, time is of the essence. Much is at stake.”
SIMBA: “I feared as much.”
KOVU: “Believe me, you have our undivided attention.”
K’TIA: “Where do I begin? (Closes his eyes, sighs) It all began when my brother died.”
Fade out as K’Tia’s voice trails, repeating the narration from the beginning.
Scene begins at the pinnacle of Pride Rock. Present are Nefti and Zoay. Nefti is pointing out locations to Zoay.
NEFTI: “To the east is the watering hole and beyond that desert and the Sands of Sleep. To the northeast is the elephant graveyard, the old Hyena cliffs and the Hakuna Matata oasis. North of us is the wildebeest gorge. To the northwest, beyond the river is the former outlands and termite mounds; also the crocodile pond. To the west is Rafiki’s tree and beyond that meerkat country. And as you can see the dreadful storm last night has wreaked great damage across our Pridelands. But there is a patch that remains intact. It is there that the other cubs are playing right now. Shall we go there?”
ZOAY: “All right. Let’s go.”
Nefti begins the flap very slowly towards the steps leading up to Pride Rock’s summit.
NEFTI: “Walk this way, Miss.”
ZOAY: “Uh, Nefti?”
NEFTI: “Yes Miss?”
ZOAY: “Do we have to walk?”
NEFTI: (Looks surprised) “You mean you can really fly with those wings?”
ZOAY: “Of course I can. I’m not an ostrich.”
NEFTI: “Well then, flight it is. Follow me and I’ll take you to the other cubs.”
ZOAY: “I can already see them. Right over there.”
NEFTI: “Well, well, Miss, you have the eyes of an eagle as well as the wings.”
ZOAY: (Smiles) “I’ll race you!”
NEFTI: “Well, I suppose I could use the exercise.”
ZOAY: “Then go!”
K’TIA: “Zoay flew all the way back to the oasis with the infant Bela, bringing the total to six cubs and two adolescents, in addition to Agani, my daughter, and myself.”
VITANI: “I hate to bring this up, but this is all on your word, K’Tia. We have no real way of knowing if what you say is the truth.”
KIARA: (Sarcasm directed at Vitani) “Not to sound ungrateful about the rescue from choking and burning to death or anything.”
VITANI: “Huh? Oh, no, of course not. I just mean we shouldn’t take one lion’s word as absolute.”
At this moment, Timon and Pumbaa burst into the cave unannounced and in a panic.
TIMON: “Simba! Simba you gotta come quick! We barely escaped our oasis alive! A huge pride of vicious white lions moved in!”
PUMBAA: “Well it wasn’t that big, Timon, I don’t think it was even a whole pride.”
TIMON: “The point is our Hakuna Matata is now chock-full of worries!”
PUMBAA: “I would say it was one adult lioness, two half-grown cubs and six little ones.”
SIMBA: (To Vitani, smiling) “How about the word of one lion, one meerkat and one warthog?”
TIMON: “Oh great, you got the whole council right here. Perfect. Let’s go give those big ugly weird-colored lions a piece of our… (Looks up and notices K’Tia) …land! A piece of our land, yes, whichever piece they want!”
SIMBA: “Relax, Timon, K’Tia and the other lions you saw are not enemies. In fact, they’re distant cousins of ours.”
TIMON: “Oh, sure, I see it now. Definite family resemblance. Except for the color and, well the sheer size and…”
K’TIA: (Jokingly to Simba) “Do you always converse with your food before eating?”
VITANI: “Well, these two are humorous sometimes, so we keep them around. For now.”
PUMBAA: (Timon has gone ashen and petrified, Pumbaa starts to back away uncertainly) “Uh… Timon? I think they’re kidding. Right, Simba?”
NALA: (Simba doesn’t answer, but Nala thinks the joke cruel) “Of course they’re kidding, Pumbaa. Now why don’t you and Timon go find the kids, K’Tia’s daughter should be with them. Could you help Nefti keep an eye on them?”
TIMON: (Nervously) “Oh sure! Babysitting! That’s gotta be my favorite thing in the whole world! We’ve already raised two lion cubs, what’s a few more?”
Timon and Pumbaa run out of the cave. K’Tia looks at Simba.
SIMBA: “Friends of mine.”
Just outside Pride Rock cave, Timon and Pumbaa head for the cubs.
TIMON: “Yeesh! Am I glad to be out of there! Imagine! A huge, giant white bloodthirsty predator making nice with our king and buddy Simba. There goes the neighborhood!”
PUMBAA: “But Simba said he was a friend.”
TIMON: “Pumbaa, if anyone ever asks for your middle name its ‘naïve’. A carnivore is a carnivore is a carnivore.”
PUMBAA: “But Timon, we’ve been living with predators since we first rescued Simba!”
TIMON: (Sighs) “You’re right Pumbaa. What was I thinking? Our pal Simba would never let us get eaten by another lion, or anything else.”
PUMBAA: “Not gonna happen!”
TIMON: “When pigs fly!”
PUMBA: “When meerkats fly!”
TIMON: “When lions fly!”
At this point Nefti and Zoay swoop down off the top of Pride Rock directly over Timon and Pumbaa. The two freeze.
TIMON: “Yeah, Pumbaa?”
PUMBAA: “Did that little white lion just fly right over us?”
TIMON: “Yeah, Pumbaa. Let’s stick with pigs and meerkats.”
We see Nefti and Zoay race each other through the air. Over the plains, around the hills, through the legs of larger animals they fly. Shot shifts to show only Nefti, as he swoops down and lands in front of the other cubs. He looks back behind them and calls to Zoay.
NEFTI: “Well done, Your Highness, but there’s no beating an African Golden Eagle for speed in the air! (He turns and screams as he sees Zoay already on the ground behind him) Where did you come from?”
ZOAY: “Well, I got here a minute or so ago, and since I had some extra time I decided to sneak up and surprise you.”
NEFTI: “Oh, really? Well, that’s… that’s nice, Your Highness. Oh, I see you’ve met the others.”
ZOAY: “Huh? (Turns to see Shyntor, Mindo, Leandra and Maliim standing behind her in a semicircle, slack-jawed and wide-eyed) Oh, no, I haven’t. Hello, everyone.”
LEANDRA: (After a long pause) “Hi.”
NEFTI: “Leave the introductions to me. This is Shyntor, Mindo and his sister Maliim, and Leandra. Everyone this is Zoay. (Silence) Come, come, now, cubs. After all, everyone’s different.”
SHYNTOR: “She’s different all right.”
MINDO: “Way different.”
LEANDRA: “So different it’s almost scary.”
MALIIM: “Tell me about it. She’s all white!”
LEANDRA: (Everyone looks at Maliim) “Hello? She has wings!”
MALIIM: (Looks back at Zoay) “Oh, yeah, wings.”
NEFTI: “Children I’m disappointed in you! Where are your manners?”
LEANDRA: “Oh, we’re not trying to be mean. Are we?” (Pause, then steps on Shyntor’s paw)
SHYNTOR: “Ow! Oh, no, of course not. So… do you want to… play with us? Zoay?”
ZOAY: “I’d love to! What are you playing?”
MINDO: “Just tag. Can you play tag?”
A close up shows Zoay grin mischievously. Then the scene cuts to a shot of Leandra running, smiling and laughing loudly. Zoay swoops down from above the shot, her tucked-in paws grazing Leandra’s back.
ZOAY: “Tag! You’re it, Leandra!”
LEANDRA: “Okay, but you gotta come down now!”
ZOAY: “I know!”
Zoay drops to the ground and runs away from Leandra, along with Maliim and the boys.
Modified slightly to fit preceding scenes.
SIMBA: “Please, continue.”
K’TIA: “When my daughter brought back Bela, she also brought back news of the council’s plans. I do not know how he even found out about these lands, let alone commit to overthrow it, but he has ordered the warband to invade these Pridelands. (Gasps from all around the circle) A scout group of six angel lionesses should arrive very soon. They do not know your true strength and must assess it before sending the warband, numbering over a dozen. The warband chief, a mountain of muscle named Xater is the largest, strongest, most battle-hardened warrior the Serengeti has ever seen. You’ll make it through the scouts, but you’ll never survive the warband. I’m sorry, I don’t think you have a chance, but I had to warn you.”
KOVU: (Muttering out loud) “Eighteen enemy lions, each capable of taking out three of us. We have maybe 23 or 24 lionesses at Pride Rock, counting the new Outsider additions and the younger ones that just finished training this season. (Looks up) That doesn’t sound like nearly enough.”
KIARA: “Daddy, what’ll we do?”
SIMBA: (Focus grows distant, face determined) “Whatever we do, we won’t give up.”
K’TIA: “Neither will you do it alone. I was uneasy about even telling you at first, but when I heard you mention that you are descendents of Malachi and of the Angel Lions… I made my decision. (Steps back and bows low to Simba) I humbly ask to join your pride.”
We see Jothra lying on his back, looking up at the clouds, smiling. Switch to a bird’s eye close up of the same. Jothra sighs contentedly and closes his eyes. We see a shadow slowly creep over him. When it passes over his eyelids, he slowly opens them. A P.O.V. shot shows the silhouette of a bird passing high in the sky in front of the sun. We see Jothra stare at it for a moment, then sit up and squint at it. It appears to be swooping closer to the earth.
JOTHRA: “What is that?”
We then can hear the other four cubs laughing, running closer. One by one they run in and out of the shot, right past the confused Jothra. He looks up in time to see Zoay barely pull out of her dive in time to not drive right into him. He rolls for cover, and then looks back at Zoay flying away along the ground, chasing the others. Zoay looks back over her shoulder and smiles at Jothra before continuing on. Jothra stands back up, a look of amazement on his face. He runs to the edge of the small hill he is on, and watches as Zoay continues to climb and dive in her game. He looks up in the tree above him where Nefti is watching the proceedings.
JOTHRA: “Nefti! Nefti, come here!”
Nefti leaves his perch and lands beside Jothra.
NEFTI: “Yes, young master Jothra?”
JOTHRA: “Who’s the newcomer, Nefti? Is she even a lion?”
NEFTI: “Well, sort of. They call themselves Angel Lions.”
JOTHRA: “So that’s an Angel Lion. My dad told me about those. He said it was a secret.”
NEFTI: “Well, as you can see, the secret’s out, I’m afraid.”
JOTHRA: “But, she has wings! Doesn’t that make her a princess?”
NEFTI: “Actually, as I hear it, Zoay is the true queen of her people, temporarily dethroned by her uncle. (Softer) Which sounds eerily familiar somehow.”
JOTHRA: (To himself) “Zoay, Queen of the Angel Lions. (Slow mo close up showing Zoay turn towards the camera, laughing) Well, one thing’s for sure. (Silly-looking grin) She most definitely is an Angel.”
Simba is seated on a stone step near the entrance of Pride Rock cave, facing the rear. Kovu is on the floor to Simba’s right, and K’Tia faces them, bowing.
KOVU: “K’Tia of the Angel Lion Pride, do you swear loyalty to the Pridelands, its lion pride, and its rulers?”
K’TIA: “I do so swear.”
KOVU: “As an official, do you swear to uphold the laws of this pride, obey orders from the rulers, to give full use of your strengths, talents and abilities for the greater good of the Pridelands?”
K’TIA: “I do so swear.”
SIMBA: “K’Tia of the Angel Lions, I now call you K’Tia the Pridelander, Battle Strategist.”
K’TIA: “I will give my all to ensure that the Pridelands are protected from its enemies.”
SIMBA: (Less formally) “We thank you, K’Tia. Without your help, we would be unable to overcome this enemy.”
K’TIA: “Your pride is strong, Simba, and brave. We are well able to overcome.”
SIMBA: (Smiles) “We will owe you a great debt. Royal protocol demands that all debts be paid. Thus, in return, we shall see your daughter placed where she belongs, as true Queen of her pride.”
K’TIA: (Returns the smile) “And for that, Simba, I will be eternally grateful.”
SIMBA: “All right, then, enough small talk. (Simba steps down and the others reform their circle) Kovu, review the facts again.”
KOVU: “Yes, Sire. An enemy three times our tactical superior is on the attack, numbering six in the scout wave and twelve or more in the warband. The leader of the warband probably rates near six or seven times our tactical superior. To put it in perspective, to us that’s like eighteen lionesses, thirty-six males, and seven Simbas; a strategic total of sixty-three Pridelanders.”
Shots around the circle shows everyone suddenly look very somber, as if they hadn’t thought of it like that.
SIMBA: “And we have…”
NALA: “Six seasoned huntresses, myself included…”
KIARA: “Ten newly trained, like me…”
VITANI: “And eight former Outlanders.”
SIMBA: “Plus Kovu, myself and K’Tia. Tactical total?”
KOVU: “Twenty-nine. We’re down by thirty-four.”
K’TIA: “And then there are the hyenas, of course.”
SIMBA: “Hyenas? What do they have to do with this?”
K’TIA “Oh, yes, the Hyenas. They all work for Rogan now. They do a bit of hunting and guard the Escarpment, officially. But truly, they are present to enforce Rogan’s will.”
VITANI: “And you didn’t mention them before because…”
K’TIA: “Well they’re not in the invasion. Unless we actually go to the Izusa Escarpment, they won’t be a problem.”
KOVU: “It doesn’t matter. A hyena only counts as about a fourth of a Pridelander, anyway. How many hyenas guard Izusa?”
K’TIA: (Gravely) “In excess of a thousand.”
KIARA: (After a moment of stunned silence) “This math is getting depressing quick.”
We see Zoay coming in for a landing. But as she lands she has a misstep, sending her rolling down a small ravine and coming to a stop upside down and staring at a swarm of multicolored insects crawling over a fallen log. Zoay slowly rights herself and stares curiously at the mass of bugs. Leandra, Maliim, Shyntor and Mindo come up behind her, screeching to a halt as they see the insect-covered log.
LEANDRA: “Eeeeeeeeeew! Gross!”
MALIIM: “Bugs! Aaaaaaaaaack!”
SHYNTOR: “Hey, cool!”
MINDO: “I wonder if you can eat them.”
LEANDRA: (Looks skeptically at Mindo) “What do you mean eat them? Nobody eats bugs!”
ZOAY: (Turns to Leandra) “Well, sometimes, like when you’re really hungry and need to use survival skills, you have to eat bugs! I ate a few back at that oasis, but I don’t recognize a few of these…”
LEANDRA: “Zoay! You can’t be serious! You’re not gonna actually… eat any of those things, are you?”
ZOAY: (Looks suspiciously at a yellow and red striped beetle) “I probably shouldn’t. I don’t know much about these bugs…”
MINDO: “Hey! Where’s Jothra? Jothra knows a lot about bugs!”
SHYNTOR: (Rolls his eyes) “Jothra knows a lot about everything… except how to have fun.”
ZOAY: (Points in Jothra’s direction) “I saw another cub as I was flying by, he was talking with Nefti.”
MALIIM: “That would be him. Ol’ stick-in-the-mud Jothra.”
NEFTI: (Flying in from above) “Stick-in-the-mud who? (Lands next to the cubs and scowls slightly) If you’re referring to Jothra, I’m sure you meant to say ‘exceptionally gifted’.”
MALIIM: “No, I meant stick-“
LEANDRA: “Yeah, exceptionally gifted. Jothra.”
NEFTI: “Good. Jothra has pursued a most strenuous education, and has excelled brilliantly.”
SHYNTOR: “Look, Nefti, no one’s disputing that he has a brain. But it’s just as obvious he doesn’t have an adventurous bone in his whole scrawny body!”
MALIIM: “Now his big brother Timusa, on the other hand… (Both lioness cubs sigh in unison)
NEFTI: “Enough! I will not have my brightest pupil talked about in this manner! Besides my history and protocol lessons, he has already in his young life learned much in the way of the living creatures from the royal lionesses, the stars and their signs from Rafiki and even desert and Outland knowledge by Vitani and Kovu. Have any of you ever even been to the Outlands? (No response) Not to mention all he has learned from his father. Honestly, you dare to question the courage of the son of a Battlechief.”
SHYNTOR: “Timusa got it all—and would the ladies please keep the sighing to a minimum?—Timusa will be the next Battlechief, and Jothra will just be a brain with nothing to do.”
ZOAY: (Stepping in between the arguing cub and very angry bird-of-prey) Jothra sounds very… accomplished and intelligent.”
NEFTI: (Brightening slightly) “Oh, yes, he is.”
ZOAY: “Perhaps you could go get him?”
NEFTI: (Tearing himself away from the defiant Shyntor) “Yes. Yes, of course. One moment then.” (He flies off)
SHYNTOR: (After Nefti has gone) “Coward.”
LEANDRA: “Shyntor, Zoay might’ve just saved your life. Remember, Zazu might’ve been just a Hornbill, but Nefti’s a Golden Eagle. I’ve seen him eat things bigger than you for lunch.”
SHYNTOR: “Whatever. Come on Mindo, lets check out these bugs some more.”
ZOAY: (Walking off a bit with Leandra) “Shyntor’s certainly… brave.”
LEANDRA: “Certainly stupid. He makes me so mad sometimes…”
ZOAY: (Smiling) “So, what about this Jothra?”
LEANDRA: “Well, Jothra really is smart. Thing is, he spends so much time with the grown-ups learning that he doesn’t have time to play with us. The others make fun of him, but I’m kinda worried about him. He’s a good friend, even if he doesn’t quite live up to his dad or brother.”
LEANDRA: (Dreamy smile) “Aww, yeah. Now that’s a lion. He’s already part of the warband, so he’s too old for any of us, of course, but cute as anything. A girl can dream, right?”
ZOAY: (Giggles) “Definitely. But surely, Jothra must have gotten some of it.”
LEANDRA: (Shrugs) “Well, Timusa isn’t really his… wait, you saw him, didn’t you?”
ZOAY: “I, well, I might have…”
LEANDRA: “I see how it is!”
LEANDRA: “If you’re interested, I can give you the hook-up, really!”
ZOAY: “Leandra! I haven’t even met him!”
LEANDRA: “Well, here’s your chance, he’s right behind you!”
ZOAY: (Terrified) “Where?” (She looks behind her, seeing no one)
LEANDRA: (Rolls on the ground, laughing) “Busted!”
SIMBA: “A thousand hyenas? Where did that many come from?”
K’TIA: “Simba… Your Majesty, I know you said you’d see Zoay to the throne, but that was before you knew…”
NALA: “Yes, Simba, think about it. A thousand hyenas…”
SIMBA: “No. If it wasn’t for K’Tia’s warning and assistance we would be sitting targets for the scouts and the warband. Besides, the threat will not go away if all we do is survive. It’s time we faced our past and set it right. How do you suggest we proceed?”
K’TIA: (Thoughtful pause) “This may be a silly question, but…”
LIONS: (In unison) “But what?”
K’TIA: “Does this pride have a warband and Battlechief?”
SIMBA: “Oh. Um, well…”
KOVU: “Difficult question.”
SIMBA: “Technically, there are a few more males…”
K’TIA: “A few? Technically?”
NALA: “Simba, tell him.”
K’TIA: “Tell me what?”
SIMBA: “It’s nothing, really.”
KIARA: “Nothing but typical male machismo.”
NALA: “She’s right, Simba. It is a bit silly.”
K’TIA: “What is?”
NALA: “There is a Pridelander warband. And the Battlechief’s name is Rashan. He has two sons, Timusa and Jothra.”
KOVU: “Problem: they don’t consider themselves Pridelanders.”
K’TIA: “They don’t? Why not? And where are they?”
KIARA: “They live down river, at Lake Takitak. Every year they come up, the newly grown ones spar for mates, and when they leave they take any male cubs that are old enough.”
NALA: “Again, technically they’re part of the Pridelands; they’re there to protect us from enemy prides that try to invade our lands. But we’ve been the biggest pride for so long that that doesn’t happen. So mostly they keep to themselves at their lake. They even refer to themselves as the Takitak Warriors, not the Pridelanders. They hunt their own food, maintain their own borders and have their own leaders.”
SIMBA: “But they are Pridelanders, and I am still their king. They will come.”
Nefti lands next to Jothra, who is looking over at the edge of the small drop-off all the cubs went down. Nefti is still scowling.
JOTHRA: “Nefti, is everyone all right?”
NEFTI: “For the time being. However, if that young Shyntor doesn’t learn how to behave himself, the only thing he’ll be good for is… is…”
JOTHRA: (Smiles) “Avian sustenance?”
NEFTI: (Smiles) “Exactly. Although you’re most likely the only one around here who would know what that means.”
JOTHRA: “Yeah. So, what are they up to down there?”
NEFTI: “Actually, they’re asking for you.”
JOTHRA: “Me? What in the world would they want me for?”
NEFTI: “Oh, you’ll see. Nothing you can’t handle, I assure you.”
JOTHRA: “I wouldn’t be too sure of that, Nefti.”
NEFTI: “Oh, young master, she’s only a girl.”
JOTHRA: “No, she’s a girl with the words ‘Queen’ and ‘Angel’ in her name, and she can fly! Not your typical lioness cub.”
NEFTI: “Oh, I thought you were referring to Miss Leandra.”
JOTHRA: “Leandra? Nefti, that was ages ago!”
NEFTI: “It was last week, Jothra.”
JOTHRA: “I’m not even six months old. A week’s a long time.”
NEFTI: “As you say, Sir. In any case, I wouldn’t set much hope in Young Zoay. She’s so very different. Now, Leandra…”
JOTHRA: “Shyntor likes Leandra. End of story, Nefti.”
NEFTI: “We’ll save this for later, Jothra, your friends want you.”
JOTHRA: “Well, all right. I wonder why?”
Jothra slowly and cautiously trots over to the edge and peers down the steep hill through the foliage.
JOTHRA: “What’s going on, guys?”
MINDO: “Come and look at these cool bugs!”
JOTHRA: “Bugs? (Under his breath) They called me over to look at bugs?”
ZOAY: (Coming back to the group with Leandra) “Hello, Jothra. (Shot shows Jothra visibly ‘melt’) I was just wondering something about these insects.”
JOTHRA: “I’ll be right down!”
Jothra takes a step forward, and trips and rolls down the small embankment, landing on his belly scant inches away from the yellow and red striped beetle Zoay had been eyeing earlier. The beetle is facing Jothra and is now hissing. The cubs laugh.
MINDO: “Hey, Jothra! Can you eat that?”
They begin to laugh harder, but stop as Jothra quickly swats the beetle with his front paw.
JOTHRA: “Actually, (wiping bug guts off his paw) that was a Tiger-Dragon Beetle, very poisonous.”
ZOAY: “Oh my gosh! I almost ate one of those!”
JOTHRA: “Well, it’s certainly a good thing you didn’t! (Close up shows a sudden, nervous smile) Before attempting to ingest any further culinary experiments, does her Highness (Here a deep bow to Zoay) have any insect-related queries she would care to pose?”
Shyntor rolls his eyes, Mindo and Maliim just stare and blink, not understanding Jothra’s preceding sentence, and Leandra silently mouths ‘Your Highness?’ to herself.
ZOAY: “Actually, I would be significantly interested in any invertebrate-related information you would deem worthy of note; either at the present moment or in the near future, Jothra.”
At this, all four Pridelander cubs turn and stare wide-eyed at Zoay, while Jothra looks as though he may burst with joy.
JOTHRA: “Very well, Your Highness, you asked for it. (He steps down among the crawling insects) Most bugs are edible, although it’s definitely an acquired taste. The few poisonous ones, though, would include our Tiger-Dragon friend, (Quick shot of the squashed bug, armor and legs sticking up at odd angles) these many-legged things, and of course, (Gestures to a hairy eight-legger) you should never eat a spider. (Moves to another part of the insect hoard) Others are quite good. We have these grubs, which are young moths and butterflies, Jungle Blue-backs, Water Crunch bugs, and… oh! The little cream-filled kind, there it is!”
MINDO: (Excitedly) “Cream-filled?”
SHYNTOR: “He’s not serious, Mindo. He’s just showing off.”
LEANDRA: “Yeah, you’re kidding, right, Jothra?”
JOTHRA: (Smiles, holds the bug over his open mouth) “Am I?”
SHYNTOR: “Bet you are.”
Jothra drops the insect into his mouth, chews a few times and swallows, apparently with great relish.
Timon and Pumbaa walk across the grasslands, Timon perched atop Pumbaa’s head. Suddenly Timon’s head whips around toward the small drop-off.
TIMON: “Pumbaa, did you hear that?”
PUMBAA: “Uh, no, what was it?”
TIMON: “It sounded like… like the crunch of cream-filled delight! You really didn’t hear it?”
JOTHRA: (Offering a big grub to Zoay) “Although to start out, I would recommend one of these.”
LEANDRA: “Zoay, don’t you dare! That’s… a bug for crying out loud!”
ZOAY: “Actually, these I have had back at the oasis.” (She makes a show of graciously accepting the grub from Jothra, and slurps it down)
PUMBAA: “No, but I definitely heard the slurp of a tantalizing grub being swallowed. Big juicy one, it sounded like!”
TIMON: “Run, Pumbaa, there’s bugs to be eaten and we’re not there!”
PUMBAA: “I’m on it, Timon! Hakuna Matata!”
SIMBA: “The warriors will come if I call them.”
K’TIA: “Call them?”
KOVU: “Yes. If the king climbs Pride Rock and roars at daybreak, it is a signal that the day is somehow a special one. If he roars again at noon, it means that the next day all animals are to assemble at Pride Rock for the presentation of a new royal cub. A third roar at sunset means war. The warband travels through the night to Pride Rock, where they prepare for the defense of our home.”
K’TIA: “How many?”
SIMBA: “It’s hard to keep track. Less than twenty.”
K’TIA: “Well, that’s something. (Long pause) All right; here’s the plan I suggest. At sunrise, begin to call the warband home. But I suggest this be done by Kovu, not Simba. At dawn, the king, I and all battle-ready lionesses will head out to meet the scout wave. We will meet them in the desert, away from the Pridelands and before they are expecting us. We will be well superior to their force and they will know this. They will probably fight us anyway, but there’s a chance they will not and the less bloodshed the better.
“Regardless, after our encounter with them we will continue on to the Izusa Escarpment. By the time we reach it night will be falling. Back in the Pridelands as the sun sets the warband will begin its journey. They should continue on through the night to the Escarpment. We and the lionesses will attack at dawn. When they see the king leading the charge they will assume that the entire force has arrived. Kovu, Rashan and the warband should arrive shortly thereafter, momentarily stunning the enemy and bringing renewed hope to our troops. Climbing the Escarpment will be half the battle. There are only a few places safe to climb up and down and that edge at the top is to be feared. One false move too close to the top will be the end. Not could be, will be. Once at the top we must fight our way to the royal caves where we will find Rogan. Once we find him I must… eliminate him. I wish there were a way to avoid that, but whomever or whatever is influencing my brother has transformed him into a… well, a demon. He must not be allowed to survive. If we concentrate all our efforts on that one goal we may be able to punch a hole through the ranks of the hyenas big enough that I can get to Rogan. After that, the fighting should end. I know Xater; he will play by the rules; once Rogan is dead that makes me king. I will then announce the existence of Zoay and bring her back to the Izusa Escarpment. Soon she will be able to rule on her own, and I know she will be the finest ruler we have ever had.”
KOVU: “A well-conceived plan.”
NALA: “It’s the best chance we’ve got.”
KIARA: “Sounds like happily ever after to me. Daddy?”
SIMBA: “K’Tia, your battle strategy is sound. We march at dawn. Dismissed.”
Timon and Pumbaa are heard yelling from the distance, coming closer and closer to the cubs. Suddenly, the cubs look up, Zoay still with a grub halfway in her mouth, as the meerkat-laden warthog bursts over top of the foliage at the ridge of the ravine, flying through the air and landing in the middle of the insect mound. Bugs go flying everywhere, momentarily filling the screen. When all settles, the cubs are seen to be sitting in a sea of teeming insects. Zoay and the boys seem annoyed at this, Leandra and Maliim are squealing in horror. Timon and Pumbaa seem overjoyed, however.
TIMON: “Pumbaa, look! This is like—like—“
PUMBAA: “This is a lot of bugs!”
TIMON: “This is the most food I’ve ever seen in one place!”
JOTHRA: “Just watch out for the occasional Tiger-Dragon, Timon.”
PUMBAA: (Looks over and sees Jothra) “Hey, Timon, look! It’s Jothra! And the other cubs, and—and the little white lion that flew over us!”
TIMON: (Spits out the bugs he is greedily chewing up) “What? (Looks over at Zoay) You! You’re one of the lions that moved in on our Hakuna Matata!”
ZOAY: “Is that what you call that beautiful oasis?”
PUMBAA: “Yeah, and please excuse my less than polite associate. Hakuna Matata is big enough for a few neighbors, right Timon?”
TIMON: “Not when they’re a crucial link above me in the food chain, Pumbaa! My entire meerkat mob has gone back to digging tunnels! Tunnels, in Hakuna Matata, Pumbaa! We haven’t been in the digging business for years now.”
PUMBAA: “They did seem a little rusty at it.”
TIMON: “Rusty? There’s an understatement. Ma, Uncle Max and the gang have a better chance of sprouting wings and flying than digging a decent… (Looks over at Zoay) Speaking of, what on earth is a lion cub doing flying around, anyway?”
LEANDRA: “Timon…that’s rude.”
TIMON: “What? Like it’s a hideous birth defect or something?”
PUMBAA: “Timon, come on. (Leandra nods at Pumbaa in approval) It’s probably embarrassing enough that she’s such a weird color. (Leandra now covers her eyes and shakes her head)
ZOAY: “Not at all. All lions in my pride are a little white. And I have wings because I’m the queen.”
ALL: (Except Jothra and Zoay herself) “Queen?”
LEANDRA: “Is that why Jothra was calling you ‘Your Highness’?”
LEANDRA: “I thought it was just his way of hitting on you.”
JOTHRA: (Suddenly looking extremely uncomfortable) “Um, I gotta go, guys. Enjoy the bugs.”
LEANDRA: (Once Jothra is gone and everyone is staring at her) “What? Someone had to get that out in the open.”
NEFTI: (From a tree branch he has just landed in) “Excuse me, everyone, but we are all to assemble at Pride Rock for a gathering. The council has been making plans all day and need to announce their conclusions. Your mothers are all waiting for you. And your father, of course, Zoay.”
TIMON: “Hey, Nefti!”
NEFTI: (Clearly annoyed with Timon) “Yes, Mr. Meerkat?”
TIMON: “‘Mr. Meerkat’, this guy’s a riot! Anyway, there’s plenty here for everyone, care for a Blue-back?” (He holds aloft a blue insect)
NEFTI: (Disdainfully) “I, good Sir, do not eat insects!”
TIMON: “You don’t? What do you eat, then?”
NEFTI: (As he spreads his large wings and flies away) “Mice, serpents, and the occasional meerkat.”
TIMON: (Stunned at the eagle’s choice of words) “Suddenly, I’m not so hungry.”
PUMBAA: “Suit yourself!” (Eats the insect out of Timon’s still outstretched hand)
Scene is at the foot of Pride Rock. Simba has finished outlining the following day’s march and is addressing the Pride.
SIMBA: “I know this is difficult for everyone to accept. We haven’t been under attack by another lion pride for many generations. Most of you have never even heard of the Angel Lions before; fortunately we have one present tonight for proof. (Slight nod by K’Tia) I have fought alongside many of you. We have overcome our enemies. I have even fought against some of you, and we overcame our hate before it destroyed us. Those of you who have recently finished training, I have seen your performances, and your teachers have the utmost confidence in you, as do I. Together we are strong; we are one and we will prevail. (Simba steps down from his rock and walks among the lionesses) Are there any further questions?”
SIMBA: “Yes, Johanna?”
JOHANNA: “Is there any chance we can meet up with the warband before we fight at the Izusa Escarpment?”
SIMBA: “I’m afraid not. We need to set out with the dawn in order to intercept the scouts before they reach the Pridelands, and the warband will not arrive until the next morning. Time is of the essence. I know you’re all anxious to see your brothers, fathers, and mates in the warband. But they can do the most good reinforcing us at Izusa. We will be reunited soon enough.”
JOHANNA: “Yes, Sire.”
SIMBA: “Then let us spend the rest of the evening with each other and sleep well, because tomorrow, for ourselves, our family and our home, we fight!”
Simba continues walking among his lionesses, encouraging them, answering questions, belaying fears. Nala and her huntresses seek out the younger lionesses they’ve been training and speak to them as well. Camera switches to Jothra, who is sitting beside Nefti. Jothra overhears Nala ask Simba a question off to the side.
NALA: “Simba, where is Rafiki?”
SIMBA: “Still at his tree. He hasn’t been himself lately, Nala.”
JOTHRA: “Nefti, I’m going to visit Rafiki, okay?”
NEFTI: “Well, I suppose. Be back to the cave by the time night has fully come.”
JOTHRA: “Will do.”
Jothra edges away from the group, undetected by all except Zoay. Once he disappears over the plain, Zoay turns to her father.
ZOAY: “Daddy, I’m gonna go for a quick flight before bed. Is that alright?”
K’TIA: “As if I could ever stop you from flying. Yes, Zoay, it’s fine, as long as you don’t stay out too long.”
ZOAY: “Okay, Daddy.”
Scene is of Rafiki’s tree. Jothra arrives at the base and looks up into it. He cannot see Rafiki. He looks around the plain and, seeing no one, begins to claw his way up the tree. When he reaches the main area of the branches, he looks around for Rafiki.
JOTHRA: “Rafiki? Rafiki, it’s me, Jothra. Are you here?”
RAFIKI: (Drops down from nowhere. Unlike others, Jothra seems accustomed to this) “Yes, my young apprentice, I am here. But you knew this already, did you not?”
JOTHRA: “Well, King Simba said you would be here. He also said you haven’t been yourself lately.”
RAFIKI: “What a curious thing to say. I certainly feel like old Rafiki. Perhaps the king needs another hit with the stick?”
JOTHRA: “No, I think he’s right. You have been very preoccupied recently. And I know that storm bothered you a lot. (Rafiki looks away, into the stars) What is wrong, Master?”
RAFIKI: (After a moment’s pause) “I myself do not know, young one. The answer eludes even I.”
JOTHRA: “We are never too old to learn, nor too young to teach, Rafiki.”
RAFIKI: (Chuckle) “I have taught you well, Jothra. Very well, listen to an old baboon if you will. For old I am, Jothra, and it is this that troubles me, among other things. Have I ever told you about old Mufasa?”
JOTHRA: “Once or twice, Master. Simba’s father sacrificed himself to save his son.”
RAFIKI: “Yes, but have I ever told you about his knowledge of the future?”
JOTHRA: (Eyes grow wide) “No. He knew the future?”
RAFIKI: “A certain part of it. Some time even before Simba was born Mufasa told me that… that he could see his own death before him. I think all kings of their kind can sense it. Mufasa knew that he would not live to see Simba grown. But what he did not know, was that his own brother would be the instrument that drove him to his grave.”
JOTHRA: “Scar. Scar killed Mufasa and tried to kill Simba, but Simba was taken care of by Timon and Pumba in the Hakuna Matata oasis.”
RAFIKI: “Yes. And in the arrogance of my younger days I thought I had foreseen it all. When Timon stumbled across my tree I sent him into the path of Pumbaa and on their way to Hakuna Matata. When I realized later on that Simba was still alive I knew at once where he was. I led him to the knowledge of his father, and set him on the path back to Pride Rock. I also helped Timon find that his place was beside his friends, not necessarily in his oasis.”
JOTHRA: “And all went well, until Zira.”
RAFIKI: “Indeed. Mufasa told me to bring together Kovu and Kiara. I did not think it would work, can you believe that? I thought I knew better than the king in the sky. Luckily, I trusted Mufasa more than I doubted the plan, and brought the princess and her beloved to Upendi, strengthening their love for each other. It was this love, along with their loves for their people that saved the two prides from destroying each other, and united them once again. I thought I knew it all, that I had seen it all. (Jumps up, saying loudly,) But I was blind! I could not see what was right before my own eyes!”
JOTHRA: “The storm?”
RAFIKI: “Yes, the storm. A Celestial Battle, Jothra! I knew nothing of it. Nothing!”
JOTHRA: “But what about before that, Rafiki? There’s more, isn’t there?”
RAFIKI: “Heh, heh. Your youth does not inhibit your observance, Jothra. Yes, there is more. I have not been able to hear from Mufasa for quite some time.”
JOTHRA: (Startled) “Really? But how can that be?”
RAFIKI: “I do not understand it either. I do not…understand. (Pause) There is nothing to be gained by hiding it from you, my brilliant student. Like Mufasa, I too can see my own death before me. It is all I can see these days.”
JOTHRA: “Really? What do you see of it?”
RAFIKI: “Only that it will be soon, and that I will not have accomplished what has been my dream all my life to do.”
JOTHRA: “What is that?”
RAFIKI: “To understand, Jothra, to understand.”
JOTHRA: “To understand what, Master?”
RAFIKI: (Deep sigh) “The Circle of Life. I can see it, I can observe it; I know that it is and that it works. But, I do not understand the how and more importantly the why of it all. All my life I have sought to find the truth, and when Mufasa took his place in the sky he began to speak to me about it. I understand more than I knew when I first began… but it has only revealed how much I do not know.”
JOTHRA: “Well, Master, maybe Mufasa doesn’t understand either.”
RAFIKI: (Eyes pop open) “What? Why would you say that? Is he not the king of the sky who sees all?”
JOTHRA: “So you have taught me, Master. But King Mufasa wasn’t the first Pride King to die, was he?”
RAFIKI: “Of course not. There have been many kings before… (Voice trails off for a moment) there have been many kings before! Eight kings before Mufasa and Malachi still before that.”
JOTHRA: “And before Malachi?”
RAFIKI: “The Angel Lions, of course.”
JOTHRA: “And before them?”
RAFIKI: “Generation upon generation, too numerous for us to know.”
JOTHRA: “But who does know? Who was there before the numerous generations?”
RAFIKI: “Jothra, if you are getting at something, speak plainly.”
JOTHRA: “Deep mysteries deserve deep words.”
RAFIKI: “Very well then! Speak your deep words, Apprentice.”
JOTHRA: “Well, it seems to me that we cannot look to any of the old Pride Kings to understand the Circle of Life, because they’re just a part of the circle. We must look for one who is outside the circle.”
RAFIKI: “Outside the Circle of Life? This is a mystery you speak to me, young Jothra.”
JOTHRA: “But it makes sense! What is the Circle of Life, after all?”
RAFIKI: “The joining of all creatures with all the earth in harmony.”
JOTHRA: “For example?”
RAFIKI: “Well, the antelope are eaten by the lions, but the bodies of the lions become the grass, which is then eaten by the antelope.”
RAFIKI: “The waters of the lakes dry and rise into the sky, but then the waters fall out of the clouds, which give life to the land before flowing back into the lakes.”
JOTHRA: “No beginnings, no ends?”
RAFIKI: “Not quite. Individual pieces, like you and I…”
JOTHRA: “And Mufasa?”
RAFIKI: “…Yes, and Mufasa… do have beginnings, and temporal endings, but the countless lesser cycles and the greater cycle have none; thus the name the Circle of Life.”
JOTHRA: “Exactly. Think about it, Master. In order for someone to create and understand something with no end and no beginning, they themselves must have no end… and no beginning.”
RAFIKI: “But how can a single living creature have no beginning?”
JOTHRA: “You’re the master, you tell me.”
RAFIKI: “Well, it seems what you’re describing is a… another circle. A circular being? (Jothra smiles and nods) The Circle of Life watched over by… by…”
JOTHRA: “The Living Circle.”
Scene is in the Sky Lands. Sarabi is with Mufasa, who is still lying down, resting, and facing the Pridelands. From the location of Rafiki’s tree in the low lands, a great pillar of blue fire reaches into the sky of the Sky Lands and bursts into a gigantic blue sun. Its rays reach down to where Mufasa is lying. He opens his eyes, yawns, and stands to his feet.
SARABI: “Mufasa? Are you alright?”
MUFASA: “Better than alright. I feel stronger than I ever have, even up here! What happened?”
SARABI: “I don’t know. A few seconds ago a pillar of blue fire exploded from Rafiki’s tree, reached into our sky and turned into a ball of fire, like a blue sun. When its rays hit you, you woke up. What does it mean?”
KATA: (He and Zazu fly in) “Sky-king Mufasa! Queen Sarabi!”
ZAZU: “Your Highness, did you see that?”
MUFASA: “I didn’t see it, but it gave me my energy back.”
ZAZU: “All of it?”
MUFASA: “And then some. Kata, was that what I think it was?”
KATA: “It has to be, Sky-king. But it’s been so long.”
SARABI: “What was it?”
MUFASA: “The only thing that produces that kind of trust-power is when someone in the lowlands seeks out a part of the Eternal Truth.”
KATA: “More than that, Sire. A Pridelander Lion would have to have found out one of the names of the Sovereignty.”
MUFASA: “Really? Dare we hope…? Sarabi, you say it came from Rafiki’s tree?”
SARABI: “Yes, but he’s not a lion…”
ZAZU: “Look! There’s a cub with him!”
MUFASA: “You’re right, Zazu. Who is it, exactly?”
SARABI: “That’s Jothra. He’s Rashan’s adopted son. He’s a grey Leo and his mother died some time ago, he’s been cared for by the rest of the Pride. Rashan has also died since Jothra last saw him. He’s an orphan and he doesn’t even know it yet. He’s been learning all there is to know from everyone he can.”
MUFASA: “Good, very good.”
ZAZU: (Landing on Mufasa’s shoulder) “Sire, do you think he… could be the one we’ve been looking for?”
MUFASA: “Perhaps. What do you think, Sarabi? I am considering Jothra for a possible heir, since Kovu and Kiara are unable to have cubs. He is being raised by the royal lions, he is well-learned, curious, brave in his own way, and as Rashan’s son he would have the loyalty of the Warband.”
SARABI: “Oh dear, Mufasa, while you were resting Simba and the others decide to send for the warband right away. Simba’s counting on them to win the fight with the Angel Lions.”
MUFASA: “Oh, of course. I forgot about them. (Voice trails off a bit, gaze grows distant) It was so strange, inside the gate at the end. An idea occurred to me that was not my own. I saw the Angel Lions, I saw the star and then, and then… A power overtook me that was far beyond the energy of the gate. I reached in deeper to the sun, and farther out to the star, and then, then the star exploded. How I do not know. But it will serve as a reminder of our victory to my people. They will see it, and trust, and believe.”
RAFIKI: “The Living Circle? The Living Circle, it… it makes sense! Why did I not see it before? Jothra! (Picks up the cub and holds him aloft) Do you know what this means?”
RAFIKI: “It means I can’t understand the Circle of Life! It’s impossible! Instead, I discover that I have been missing half of the mystery the whole time. The Circle of Life is all well and good, but the Living Circle, oh, that must be so much greater, so much more mysterious. Jothra, in attempting to answer one of my questions you have instead doubled them!”
JOTHRA: “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…”
RAFIKI: “And for that, I owe you my life! (Puts Jothra down, steps back, and bows to him) Jothra, I must show you something. Follow me!”
Rafiki begins to climb higher into the tree, Jothra struggling to keep up climbing with his claws. Rafiki reaches another area where the branches allow space to stand and walk around in, and shows Jothra a painting no one else has seen. It appears to be a young lion cub, held aloft by branches of a large tree.
RAFIKI: “Look, Jothra. Do you recognize it?”
JOTHRA: “Rafiki, is that Simba or Kiara?”
RAFIKI: “Oh, ho, neither. It is not Pride Rock but my tree, and no lion has ever been inside my tree, except one.”
JOTHRA: “That’s me?”
RAFIKI: “Yes. Jothra, I always knew you would be worthy of such note, and so I began your painting. I did not yet know exactly what form your destiny would take, but now I have a better idea.”
He steps back and fetches his paints. He begins to add to his painting. When he steps away rays of light now come from the cub in the painting, and two circles have been drawn around him, one inside the other.
RAFIKI: “Behold the great and wise Jothra, Revealer of the Double Circle and the Teacher of Teachers.”
MUFASA: “Well. It would appear I am not the only one to see designs of greatness in Jothra’s future. Rafiki wants him to be the next Wise One, I see him as the future Pride-king.”
KATA: “Sire, from what I have seen, I believe it safe to say at this point that the Sovereign-king Himself has a unique plan for this one.”
MUFASA: “Yes, so far we have had two signs that could have come from the Sovereign-king alone; the star and the fire. The star did not have anything to do with Jothra, at least not directly. But the blue fire of trust-power certainly marks Jothra as Sovereign-chosen. But that has not happened since…”
KATA: “Since Malachi himself, Sire.”
MUFASA: “Whatever the Sovereign-king wants for Jothra is what we must help to happen. Whether it be king, teacher, both, or neither, something we do not yet see, Jothra now belongs to the Sovereignty.”
KATA: “But for what purpose?”
MUFASA: “I do not know for sure, but I have an idea. Let us make plans, Kata, but keep them secret for now. The council will think me to be crazy for what I propose to do.”
KATA: “It may be a bit late to change the Council’s opinion of you, Sire.”
MUFASA: “Good point. But come, I have a plan.”
JOTHRA: “Rafiki, I’m… beyond honored.”
RAFIKI: “The honor is yours, Jothra. You have revealed my mystery and shown me a greater one. Your wisdom is not of this circle, (Points to the inner circle in his painting) which I have sought after, but of this circle, (Points to outer circle) which you yourself have revealed. And I am not yet finished.”
Rafiki jumps up one more branch and snatches something hanging on it. He lands again in front of Jothra and holds it out to him. It is a small strap of leather with a round stone hanging from it. On the stone is carved a circle.
RAFIKI: “I found this long ago and have been saving it for you in anticipation of the day you would take my place as the Wise One of the Pridelands. As far as I am concerned, that day is today. (He puts the strap around Jothra’s neck and ties it in the back) From this day forward, I call you Master.”
JOTHRA: “But Rafiki, I’m just a cub!”
RAFIKI: “We are never too young to teach, remember, Jothra?”
JOTHRA: “But… I don’t know all the answers like you do.”
RAFIKI: (Laughs loudly) “The only difference between you and I is experience, not knowledge. You will know what to say when the time comes.”
JOTHRA: “But, I came here for advice from you.”
RAFIKI: “You honor me with your request, young Wise One.”
JOTHRA: “Rafiki… it’s just Jothra.”
RAFIKI: “Just Jothra, hmm, Jothra the Just. A good name as well. What can I do for you?”
JOTHRA: “Well, I need some help with a deep, deep mystery. A secret so unfathomable lions like me have sought it out for ages, and probably will forever more.”
RAFIKI: “Well, I love a challenge, Just Jothra. What is this unfathomable mystery?”
JOTHRA: (Close up) “Girls.”
RAFIKI: “Oh, ho! I see! The female is quite the mystery, eh? What is it you wish to know?”
JOTHRA: “Well, I know it will be a while before I have to spar for a mate…”
RAFIKI: “Yes, I wouldn’t start worrying about that one yet.”
JOTHRA: “But I have this strange hunch that I’m… betrothed to Leandra.”
RAFIKI: “Really? What gave you that idea?”
JOTHRA: “Nefti, mainly.”
RAFIKI: (Moment of silence) “That blabber-mouthed eagle, I knew we shouldn’t have let him in on that meeting.”
JOTHRA: “So it’s true? But I thought only the future king got betrothed as a cub.”
RAFIKI: “We made an exception.”
JOTHRA: “I see. Well, Leandra’s a good friend; in fact she’s the only cub who really is my friend at all. But I… well… about a week ago…”
RAFIKI: “Yes, I know. The frog incident. And because she didn’t like you last week you’re afraid she won’t like you forever?”
JOTHRA: “Well, it sounds silly when you say it like that.”
RAFIKI: “Like all things, young Master, feelings can change.”
JOTHRA: “Yeah, but, I know that Shyntor likes Leandra, and as much as Leandra denies it…”
RAFIKI: “I see. And what makes you think you’re not a match for young Shyntor?”
JOTHRA: “Shyntor’s brave and adventurous.”
RAFIKI: “You are wise and kind. Is that inferior?”
JOTHRA: “You and I know it’s not, but the cubs… well, I guess they can’t help but compare me to my dad and brother.”
RAFIKI: “Rashan and Timusa have their places and you have yours. They are not the same. One day Leandra will learn this.”
JOTHRA: “But, what if I fall in love with someone else? What if they fall in love with me? Can I go against a betrothal?”
RAFIKI: “If I may say so, Teacher, it sounds as if you have someone specific in mind.”
JOTHRA: “Well, you know that, umm, new girl?”
RAFIKI: “Zoay, Queen of the Angel Lions? She of white fur and feathered wing?”
JOTHRA: “Yeah. Her. She’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, and I can’t imagine anyone else ever making me feel the way she does.”
RAFIKI: “I will not counsel you against your heart, Jothra. But I would say to be careful. She is very different from you. Again, that does not rule out love, but it warrants caution. Now then, you must be getting back to Pride Rock.”
JOTHRA: “Okay. Thanks for the advice… and for the amulet.”
RAFIKI: “Thank you, Young Master Jothra, Revealer of the Double Circle and Teacher of Teachers. (After Jothra has climbed down the tree and is on his way back, Rafiki reaches to pull on a branch above his head) You can come down now, Your Highness.”
ZOAY: (Falling to the branch-floor from her hidden perch) “You knew I was here?”
RAFIKI: “You will find that old Rafiki usually knows more than you think. What can I do for the Queen of the Ancestors?”
ZOAY: “I just… I was following… I mean I was out flying and…”
RAFIKI: “You were spying on Jothra, is what you were doing.”
ZOAY: “I was just concerned. He seemed pretty embarrassed by Leandra and I wanted to make sure he was okay.”
RAFIKI: “I see. I assume you heard him mention you?”
ZOAY: “Yeah. I’ve never… never met anyone like Jothra before.”
RAFIKI: “No one has. And what do you think of his idea of… loving you?”
ZOAY: “Do you really think he loves me?”
RAFIKI: “It is certainly worth consideration.”
ZOAY: “Well, it’s a little early to tell, of course. But as queen—even an exiled queen—I’ve grown accustomed to having to think like I’m older.”
RAFIKI: “The same is true for Jothra. He never has thought like others his age. That is why he sees beyond the friendships of cubs and sees his life as an adult. His loss during his childhood will be his people’s gain during his adulthood.”
ZOAY: “So it is with me. We are much alike, despite our differences.”
RAFIKI: “Then what is your answer?”
ZOAY: (Looks up at the painting of Jothra) “He is exactly what I need… (Looks out after Jothra and smiles) and perhaps… what I want, as well.”
RAFIKI: “Good answer.”
ZOAY: “I will speak to him.”
Zoay flies after Jothra, catching up with him before he reaches Pride Rock.
ZOAY: “Jothra! Wait up!”
JOTHRA: (Looks behind him) “Zoay? I mean Your Majesty, Ruler of the Angel Lions.” (Bows)
ZOAY: (Returns the bow) “Great and Wise Jothra the Just, Revealer of the Double Circle and Teacher of Teachers. (Jothra looks at her in astonishment and terror) Tell you what. I’ll call you Jothra, and you can call me Zoay.”
JOTHRA: “O-okay. Um… were you just talking with Rafiki, by any chance? Did he tell you what…”
ZOAY: “Jothra, I was flying around and I heard you talk. You see, I have magnified hearing, it comes with the wings. Sometimes I hear things I don’t even mean to. So I did hear what you said about me, and I thought it was really sweet.”
JOTHRA: “You… you thought it was sweet?”
ZOAY: “Yes. Jothra, as a queen I always have to keep in mind what’s the best for my pride. That includes who to become friends—and more than friends—with. I’ve always been kinda afraid that when the time came my heart wouldn’t agree with my head. But, hey, maybe I can have it both ways after all?”
JOTHRA: “Well, it’s certainly worth a shot. I… think I could love you, Zoay.”
ZOAY: “Jothra, whoever said you weren’t brave or adventurous didn’t know what he was talking about. You just showed more bravery than I’ve ever seen. Despite our different backgrounds, I think we might make a great team.”
JOTHRA: (Big smile) “Well, then, let’s give it a try.”
The two continue walking into Pride Rock cave. Zoay goes over and lies down by her father. We see Jothra look around sadly and lay down on the stone, alone.
Scene is on the pinnacle of Pride Rock. It is just before dawn, a time of indistinct shadows and dimness. Simba and Kovu are present, talking.
SIMBA: “Kovu, I want to tell you something. It is possible that Rashan… is no longer alive. A normal lion born when he was would’ve died of old age before you were born. Rashan is no normal lion, but still… If he has not survived or is unable to lead, you are to take command of the Warband as the Battlechief. Follow the plan laid out by K’Tia.”
KOVU: “Yes, Sire. Do you think the males would accept me as their leader? I know there’s been some head-butting between us royals and the warriors, and I’m an Outsider to boot.”
SIMBA: “And that is why I have confidence in you, Kovu. Ever since the warbands grew tired of our politics and declared their independence from either pride, Pride Rock has had little control over them. But I know for a fact they were very impressed by you and Kiara. Yours is the first uniting between the Pridelander and Outsider Houses for four generations, and at the royal level, no less. All in all, if it comes down to it, the warband will follow you more readily than they would me.”
KOVU: “Even though Kiara and I haven’t produced an heir to seal the prides?”
SIMBA: “I believe so.”
KOVU: “If you say so, Sire.”
SIMBA: “Who did you get to watch the cubs?”
KOVU: “Well, the usual Timon, Pumbaa, and Nefti, but I made sure Nefti has an additional three Golden Eagles close by if needed.”
SIMBA: “Good idea.”
KOVU: “Oh, Simba that reminds me. The latest scout reports say there may be a wicked sandstorm out there. It’s not very big, but it looks like it’s fresh out of the Sand of Fire desert. Sand from that desert is dangerously hotter than the Sea of Sand that separates us from Izusa.”
SIMBA: “Noted. We’ll try to steer clear of it. (Just then, Kiara comes up, and Simba smiles at her) I’ll be waiting with the lionesses, Kiara.”
KIARA: “Okay, Daddy, I’ll be right back down.”
KOVU: (After Simba goes down) “I envy Simba and your mother, getting to fight side-by-side.”
KIARA: “You have a crucial job to do here, Kovu. And… (Seems to be fighting back tears) And I, Mom and Dad, and Vitani will all be waiting for you when you reach the Escarpment with the warband.”
KOVU: “You’d better be; all of you. (Looks to the east, sees the sky lightening) Well, it’s almost show time. Goodbye, Kiara. I love you.”
KIARA: “I love you too, Kovu.”
Inside Pride Rock cave, the camera is set at a P.O.V. (Point of View) shot from where Jothra is sleeping. All we can see are Shyntor, Mindo, Leandra and Maliim looking down, presumably at Jothra sleeping.
MALIIM: “Aww, isn’t that the cutest thing?”
MINDO: “He’ll get cooties!”
LEANDRA: “See where calling a girl ‘Your Highness’ gets you, Jothra?”
SHYNTOR: “Jothra, you dog, I never knew you had it in you.”
In a close up we see Jothra sleepily open his eyes, being woken up by the voices. He looks up at his friends.
JOTHRA: “Um, hey, guys. Did I oversleep or something?”
LEANDRA: “Yeah, but I guess I can’t blame you.”
SHYNTOR: “Tell me about it, I’d sleep in as long as possible.”
JOTHRA: “What are you… (Voice trails off as the camera pulls back, revealing that Zoay is sleeping beside him, her left wing over Jothra, holding him close) …talking about?”
K’TIA: “Excuse me, children.”
The cubs scramble off to the side as K’Tia enters the cave. As K’Tia approaches the sleeping Zoay and the petrified Jothra, the cubs run out of the cave and huddle on the platform.
MINDO: “He’s a gonner!”
SHYNTOR: “He was just getting interesting, too.”
LEANDRA: “Goodbye, Jothra!”
JOTHRA: (Inside the cave, as he quickly scoots back out of Zoay’s reach) “Mr. K’Tia! Um, I’m so sorry, I didn’t… I mean it was an accident I… (K’Tia steps forward, a serious look on his face) …please don’t eat me.”
K’TIA: “Fortunately, I am not in the habit of consuming my daughter’s suitors.”
ZOAY: “Well, this is my first one, Daddy.”
K’TIA: “True. Jothra, is it?” (Jothra nods in terror)
ZOAY: “Jothra the Just, son of Rashan the Battlechief; formerly the wise baboon’s pupil, now the new Wise One.”
K’TIA: “I see. Is that what the amulet denotes?”
JOTHRA: (Nods again, then replies,) “Yes, Sir.”
K’TIA: “Planning on taking good care of my daughter one day?”
JOTHRA: (This time no hesitation) “Yes, Sir.”
K’TIA: “Good. Zoay, I came to say goodbye before the king and I head out with the lioness army.”
ZOAY: “Goodbye, Daddy. Sure you won’t reconsider and take me along?”
K’TIA: “I’m sorry, Zoay. I will send for you when we have secured the Escarpment. Your people need you, Zoay, but they need you alive, and safe.”
ZOAY: “Yes, Daddy. I love you.”
K’TIA: “I love you too, Zoay. Goodbye. (Looks up) Goodbye, Sir Jothra the Just.”
JOTHRA: “Jothra is fine, Sir. Goodbye and good luck.”
K’Tia takes his place next to Simba at the head of the lioness formation. The cubs gather around Jothra and Zoay as they come out of the cave.
LEANDRA: “Jothra! You’re alive!”
MINDO: “We thought you were gonna be that guy’s next hairball!”
JOTHRA: “Well, we reached an understanding.”
MALIIM: “An understanding? With the giant white lion?”
ZOAY: “My father can be very reasonable. Sometimes.”
JOTHRA: “Everything’s gonna be okay, guys. Look at them. (Gestures to the army) They’re going to take care of us. And the warband will be here before midnight. Ready to see our dads, everyone?”
MALIIM: “I can’t wait.”
SHYNTOR: “Yeah, I haven’t seen Dad or Grandpa in a long time.”
LEANDRA: “And don’t forget who else will be with the warband.”
JOTHRA: “Let me guess, my adorable big brother. (Another synchronized sigh from Leandra and Maliim) Yep.”
SHYNTOR: “Right in one guess, Jothra.”
We see a view of the pre-dawn horizon as the sun begins to rise above it. As the first rays of sunlight illuminate the plains, the dimness and fogginess are all gone, replaced by the brightness of the sapphire African sky. We see Kovu look up from the horizon and take a deep breath. Kovu roars and roars again, as powerful and majestic as Mufasa or Simba as the king, K’Tia, and the lioness army stampede out of the Pridelands.
Scene is at Lake Takitak. The males are gathered around various wildebeest carcasses, eating. Kovu’s roar is heard in the distance by Timusa.
TIMUSA: “What was that?”
RAZORR: “Keep quiet, Timusa. You’re hearing things. And if you don’t hurry up eating, me and the rest of the guys are going to eat all of this delicious wildebeest.”
TIMUSA: “No, Razorr, I’m serious. Listen, there it is again!”
Razorr and another lion lift their heads and listen. This time the roar is clearly audible.
RAZORR: “Everyone, listen! The king roars!”
All across the lakefront, males snap their heads up from their meal and listen. The lions begin to question among themselves.
LION: “I wonder what it means. I wish we could ask Rashan. He would know.”
RAZORR: (Looks at the lion who spoke) “Rashan is no longer with us. But I know what it means, just as you all do. It means there is something the royals deem special about this day. It could easily be an extra good hunt, such as we enjoy here. But more than likely it means Kovu and Kiara have finally had a cub. If we hear a second roar at midday we will know.”
FANG: “And if we hear a third roar at sunset, what does that mean, Father?”
RAZORR: “War, Fang, as you well know. But that is as unlikely as ever. Why are you so eager for it?”
FANG: “Because I know what it will mean. Someday Kovu will have to challenge Simba for the throne. When that day draws near the king will summon us, hoping for our loyalty. Or Kovu will call us, knowing we would like him to take the place of the royals. It doesn’t matter which, the point is there will be a fight.”
RAZORR: “And which side of that fight would you be on, my son? Simba’s? Kovu’s? Or simply whoever calls you?”
FANG: “I, uh, well…”
RAZORR: “As I thought. You haven’t thought even that far. My son, hear my words. Better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” (There are some chuckles and outright laughs as Fang slinks away.)