Now we see Rogan, eyes closed with a slight evil smile. Xater is getting quite close to the Pridelanders. Suddenly Rogan’s expression changes to one of annoyance as he opens one eye and looks in the direction of the Royal Cave. Due to the distraction Xater halts.
Cut to a quick shot of Shenzi, Bonzai and Ed climbing the steep tunnel in the semidarkness. Next sequence of shots shows what Rogan ‘sees’ with the aid of Legion’s power. Even though the hyenas are on the other side of solid rock, Rogan can see faint outlines, perhaps in an otherworldly color, of the hyenas getting closer to the opening of the secret tunnel opening in the Royal Cave. He smiles again.
ROGAN: “Slaves! You dare to oppose me? Most unwise.”
We see Shenzi reach the closed up end of the tunnel. Bonzai and Ed are behind her.
SHENZI: “Something’s wrong. The end is closed up.”
BONZAI: “What? How?”
SHENZI: “I have no idea. It doesn’t make any sense!”
Rogan rears up and stomps on the ground with his front paws, sending a visible, slightly green glowing shockwave across the ground in the direction of the Royal Cave. We see the cave walls shake slightly, small rocks fall from the ceiling. We then see this from Shenzi’s position, wedged between a flooring rock and the capping rock blocking her. She suddenly looks very worried. We see a close up shot of the capping rock from inside the Royal Cave. It doesn’t fall in, but it shifts downward enough to pin Shenzi. We see her struggle to get out as the rocks continue to shudder.
BONZAI: “Shenzi! Are you okay?”
SHENZI: (Sounding like she’s having difficulty breathing) “I’m… I’m stuck! The rock fell and pinned me here!”
BONZAI: (Struggles to get up to Shenzi, but there’s no room) “I can’t get to you!”
Medium sized rocks fall behind Bonzai, causing Ed to back out of the tunnel, coming out the hole by the fork, where the rest of Division 3 is running for the exits. Ed is caught up in the crowd as they all head out into the clearing.
Camera pans over to Pumbaa running bravely down into and up out of the large trench, heading toward the oncoming firestorm. Timon is on top of Pumbaa’s head, holding the warthog’s ears in his left hand and the stick with his right, straight out like a jouster. As soon as they’re on the other side of the ditch they enter the jungle, and so they weave between trees and rocks as the ominous orange glow grows ever nearer, visible behind the leaves and vines in the trees ahead of them. Pumbaa runs on until they come to the wall of flame. Pumbaa stops quickly, digging his hooves into the dirt and ‘screeching’ to a stop. Timon extends his arm and we see the wad of Fire Leaf burst into flames.
TIMON: “That’s it, Pumbaa! Let’s beat it!”
PUMBAA: “Read you loud and clear, Timon!”
Pumbaa quickly does an about face and starts to run back toward the ditch. But on a close up we see that the end of his tail catches fire as he is turning. At first he does not notice this. He continues running, Timon still holding the makeshift torch straight out ahead. As they near the edge of the clearing we see Pumbaa’s eyes widen as he feels the burn. He looks behind him, sees that his tail is on fire, and panics. He begins to run somewhat erratically as he tries to blow out the flame.
Timon looks, sees the fire, and whirls around in an attempt to help. But as he twirls his long torch about, it only serves to scare Pumbaa even more. He stops running towards the ditch and starts running in a circle, as if trying to catch his tail and keep away from the end of the torch. Finally, Timon loses his grip on the torch and it goes flying away. With both hands now free he is able to reach out and extinguish the flame, but once he does he and Pumbaa look up and see the torch spin through the air. It lands in the ditch, and moments later we see the Fire Leaf in the ditch ignite, spreading around the ditch and encircling the Escarpment with another ring of fire. Unfortunately Timon and Pumbaa are on the wrong side, now between the two fires.
The two look at each other in alarm. The shot then switches back to the mob, watching from the other side.
MA: “Oh, no. Timon!”
SHYNTOR: “Pumbaa, Timon, get out of there!”
Back inside the jungle, Pumbaa slowly stands to his feet, Timon still in his perch. The two look at the new fire, burning brightly, behind them at the approaching forest fire, and back at the new fire. Then Pumbaa looks up at Timon and Timon looks down at Pumbaa.
TIMON: “Pumbaa. I’m not really seeing a way… out of this one.”
PUMBAA: “Me neither.”
TIMON: “I’m sorry, buddy. I’m sorry I let you down.”
PUMBAA: “It wasn’t your fault, Timon. If my tail hadn’t caught on fire…”
TIMON: “Just forget it, Pumbaa. (Close up, showing the reflection of the fire in Timon’s eyes) Our friends are safe. That’s what matters.”
We then hear an approaching eagle screech, as the shot suddenly widens to show Pumbaa’s face as Nefti swoops out of nowhere and picks up Pumbaa by the tusks with his talons. He lifts them straight up off the ground as the forest fire consumes the grass where they were just standing. He flies over the flames and deposits them safely on the other side, in the midst of the cubs and the meerkats. They all run up to the heroes, relieved to have them alive. Timon is hugged from both sides by his Ma and Vixy. Pumbaa is likewise surrounded by adoring meerkats and lion cubs.
TIMON: “Thank you, thank you everyone. You are too kind.”
PUMBAA: “They love me. They really love me!”
NEFTI: “Yes. You’re welcome.”
TIMON: (Extradites himself and goes over to Nefti) “Thanks a bunch, Nefti; love your timing. Where did you come from?”
NEFTI: “I’ve been searching for Jothra and Zoay for quite some times now. The fire obviously caught my eye and I headed here. Just in time, fortunately for you.”
PUMBAA: “I’ll say! That was fun! Can I go for another ride?”
NEFTI: “I think not, actually.”
PUMBAA: (Pumbaa approaches and starts pulling on Nefti’s wing) “Oh please? Oh please oh please oh please oh please…”
Nefti adopts a look of disgust as he pulls his wing out of Pumbaa’s grasp. Since the forest fire had reached the trench fire as Nefti pulled out Timon and Pumbaa, everyone is relieved to see that it has come no closer.
MA: “It worked!”
VIXY: “Three cheers for Timon!”
TIMON: “And for Pumbaa!”
PUMBAA: “And for Nefti!”
LEANDRA: “And for Bela!”
SHYNTOR: “Hip hip…”
SHYNTOR: “Hip hip…”
SHYNTOR: “Hip hip…”
Before they can finish their third cheer, the ground shudders as hyenas begin to pour out of the honeycomb caves. The meerkats suddenly look very worried.
FLINCHY: “Cue the thousand hyenas.”
MAX: “So we’ve gone from being extra crispy to original recipe.”
VIXY: “We knew this might happen, everyone. We’ve saved the Pridelanders from the fire. We die with honor.”
NEFTI: “I wouldn’t worry about the hyenas. I saw a portion of the battle on my way over. They are apparently fighting with us.”
MA: “They’re… what?”
LEANDRA: “The hyenas are on our side?”
NEFTI: “Indeed. I saw the hyena leaders fighting side-by-side with Nala and Kiara.”
TIMON: “Then we have to see if we can help!”
The mob and the cubs begin to go over to where the hyenas are spilling out into the clearing. Nefti takes off and heads for the top of the Escarpment. View changes back to Shenzi and Bonzai, under the Royal Cave. Shenzi is still pinned, unable to move. Rocks are still falling, Bonzai is getting pelted.
BONZAI: “Ow! Ah!”
SHENZI: “Bonzai, you gotta get out of here!”
BONZAI: “But I gotta help you get free!”
SHENZI: “It’s useless, Bonzai. This tunnel’s coming down on top of us, and if you don’t get out you’ll get yourself killed.”
BONZAI: “I won’t leave you here to die, Shenzi.”
SHENZI: “Bonzai, look at me. (Close up of Bonzai) Bonzai, baby, I’m gone already. There’s nothing you can do for me now. Just go.”
With a look of intense frustration, Bonzai turns and leaves. We see Shenzi sigh, resigned to her fate.
Bonzai is the last to leave the caves, still looking very angry at himself. He finds Ed, who looks expectant, and Bonzai shakes his head slowly. Ed lowers his head in sadness.
PUMBAA: “Hey, Timon, aren’t those two of the hyenas that are always chasing us?”
TIMON: “Yeah, Pumbaa. I’d recognize them anywhere. Well, time to test ‘ol Nefti’s theory. (The two trot up to Bonzai and Ed) Um, excuse me, good hyenas. Bonzai, is it?”
BONZAI: “Yeah, what’s it to… Hey! You guys are Simba’s pets, aren’t you?”
PUMBAA: “We’re his friends!”
BONZAI: “What are you doing here?”
TIMON: “Most recently, putting out that fire.”
BONZAI: (Looks impressed) “I guess that makes us allies.”
TIMON: “So I hear. Where’s Shenzi Marie?”
BONZAI: (Looks away) “Dead.”
TIMON: “Shenzi’s dead?”
BONZAI: “She might as well be. She’s stuck in a collapsing tunnel and I can’t dig her out. The tunnels are too small for us now.”
TIMON: “Have no fear, the meerkats are here!”
BONZAI: “You’ll help Shenzi?”
TIMON: “If there’s digging to be done, we’re the ones to do it! (He turns to his mob) Your attention, everyone! One of the leaders of the hyena army—our allies!—is trapped in a tunnel, and we gotta dig her out! I need the best diggers, the bravest warriors; the finest meerkats in the mob, to join me in a daring rescue mission! (The mob surges forward, eager to help. We see Bonzai and Ed exchange astonished glances) Alright then! Bonzai, take your troops back topside and rejoin the fight. Wait for us there. Pumbaa, make sure the cubs stay away from those warriors till this is over. Patrol the ditch and keep an eye on the fire or something. Mob, with me. Move out!”
The groups split and head for their assignments. We see the meerkats racing through the tunnels, small enough that the walls and falling rocks pose no problem. In no time they come to the vertical tunnel and scurry up towards the trapped Shenzi. View switches back to Shenzi, eyes rolling back in her head as she starts to lose consciousness.
SHENZI: “So this is it. Not a bad death, I guess. At least no one’s chewing on me in my last moments.”
TIMON: (From a distance) “Shenzi! Are you there?”
SHENZI: (Quietly) “I can hear the voices from the other side, beckoning me…”
TIMON: (Right in front of Shenzi’s face) “Hello? Still with us, Hon?”
SHENZI: (Eyes pop open) “Wha… Timon?”
TIMON: “Shenzi Marie Predatora Veldeta Jackalina Hyena!”
SHENZI: “It is you! What are you doing here?”
TIMON: “We’re here to get you outta here, of course. Okay, everyone! Get to it! First free Miss Hyena and then clear the tunnel straight up. I know the rock is pretty tough, but we can do this. Let’s move!”
SHENZI: “Timon, why are you doing this? I try to eat you whenever I see you.”
TIMON: “You’re a carnivore, you can’t help it. And after all… some of my best friends are carnivores.”
SHENZI: “I don’t understand, Timon. But thank you.”
View goes back to the top of the Izusa Escarpment. Xater is standing unmoving, ominous, towering over Simba, Jothra, Kovu and Vitani. Zoay lies next to her fallen father, whose shoulder bleeds freely, bright red against his white fur and silver mane. Rogan throws his head back in laughter at his destruction of the tunnels. Simba speaks to Jothra in an undertone.
SIMBA: “Jothra, are you sure about this? I mean, did you really see my father?”
JOTHRA: “Your father… and his father, and his father before him… back to Lord-king Malachi, and Mufasa is the bravest of them all. They do watch over us, Sire, with knowledge and power.”
SIMBA: “What about Legion and Rogan? They obviously have power.”
JOTHRA: “Their power is a lie. If you realize this, their power is meaningless to you.”
ROGAN: “Now that was entertaining! Ah, well, all good things must come to an end, after all. My enemies, I bid you adieu. Xater, I know you’re hungry after all this activity. Feel free to consume the Pridelanders after you have eliminated them.”
At this, both Kovu and Vitani launch themselves at Xater, dwarfed by his size. Simba looks fearful for them, and then intent as he looks back to Rogan. He charges Rogan.
We see Xater shrug off Vitani to the ground and rear up over her. Kovu positions himself to block Xater’s massive clawed paw as he raises it to strike. Rogan notices Simba’s advance and turns to face him. Xater freezes as Rogan hits Simba with twin lightning bolts from his eyes. Simba, though he halts and grimaces, is not driven back. Jothra, still on his back, encourages him.
JOTHRA: “It’s a lie, Sire! Remember that!”
SIMBA: (Through clenched teeth) “It… sure seems… real!”
JOTHRA: “It becomes real if you accept it, but it’s not true!”
SIMBA: “How can I believe that?”
JOTHRA: “You already do, you must! If you didn’t, the lightning might’ve destroyed you!”
SIMBA: “Jothra, I don’t know… how long I… can resist this!”
JOTHRA: “Hold on, Simba!”
We see Simba struggling, and Rogan pouring more of himself into the attack. Suddenly Zoay flies from her position by K’Tia and dive-bombs Rogan in the eyes. We see her engulfed by the charge, but managing to get several clawed swipes at his eyes. Rogan howls from the pain, and ceases his attack. At this, Simba charges and tackles Rogan off the edge of the cliff, managing to stop himself and Jothra from sliding off, as well. Rogan screams as he falls.
Suddenly, we see a sandstorm take form in the sand at the base of the Escarpment where Rogan is falling. It grows, rises, and covers the falling form of Rogan. Rogan slows in his descent, stops, and begins to rise in the whirlwind’s current. The lions gathered at the edge of the cliff, including Kovu, Vitani and K’Tia who have come over, stare in disbelief. We see Simba look up into the sky. In the sky, sunlight breaks through the dark cloud cover, and we hear Mufasa’s voice from above.
MUFASA: “My son… it is time.”
Simba widens his eyes, looks down at the rising Angel Lion, and at his subjects, who look very afraid. Jothra has jumped off of Simba to try to help Zoay, singed from her attack. Simba looks back down at Rogan, who is nearly at the top again, sets his jaw, and jumps off the cliff at Rogan.
Simba hits Rogan hard, digging his front claws into Rogan’s mane, and his rear claws into his underbelly. Rogan roars in pain and look into Simba’s face with scarred eyes.
SIMBA: (Through clenched teeth) “I don’t think so, Rogan. (Rogan’s eyes widen as he stops rising) The cub is right. Your power is meaningless.”
The whirlwind dissipates immediately. The black clouds evaporate and bright sunlight streams down again. The forest fire is extinguished altogether. Simba and Rogan, fighting tooth and claw all the way down, fall to their deaths on the rocks and sand below.
As Rogan dies, Xater’s eyes clear, he loses consciousness and slumps to the ground. A moment later, the same thing happens to all eight guardians. The fighting stops and the outer forces surge forward. Nala arrives at the edge and looks down.
NALA: “Simba! Oh, Simba, no!”
KIARA: “Daddy! What happened?”
K’TIA: (Somberly) “He sacrificed himself… to save us.”
KIARA: “No! Oh, Daddy…”
Scene is in the Sky lands, at the Eastern Gate. Scene opens in blinding light that fills the view. As it fades, we see Simba standing between the two pillars. He looks around for a moment and then smiles as he looks down at those gathered to greet him.
SIMBA: “Father! Mother! Even Zazu!”
SARABI: “I didn’t think to see you again so soon, Simba. But it is so good to!”
ZAZU: “Congratulations on a long and distinguished reign, Sire. May your time as Sky king be so as well.”
MUFASA: “Welcome, my son. We have waited long.”
SIMBA: “Father, the battle. Is everyone safe?”
MUFASA: “Yes, Simba. Your sacrifice has broken the dark power and ended the battle.”
SIMBA: “So… now what?”
Another blinding light enters the scene, this one from the other side, behind Mufasa, Sarabi and Zazu. We see the shadows cast by such a light as the voice speaks. We only see the lions looking in the direction of the light, not the speaker or source of the light.
SOZO: “Simba, my brother. Welcome to the Sky lands. Like the rest of your family, I am so very proud of you.”
SIMBA: “Who are you?”
SOZO: “I am known by many names and I reveal them as I see fit. But you, Simba, will in time learn them all. For starters, you may call me Brother.”
SIMBA: “But… who are you? A Pridelander?”
SOZO: (Laughs warmly) “No, at least not yet. I am a Sky Lander.”
MUFASA: “He and his kind are our kings, Simba.”
SIMBA: (Bows to Sozo) “Then I am truly honored to call you Brother.”
SOZO: “It is for this honor that I appear here now. For in your death, Simba, you attained something that has not been attained for nine generations. Not since the days of Malachi and Aslos. By refusing to believe the enemy’s lie and overcoming it with truth you are now a follower of the Path of Sozo.”
SOZO: “One of my favorite names. Simba, eleventh king of Malachi’s line, stand and receive your honor.”
Simba stands to his feet. The blinding light forms around his neck, solidifies, and fades to reveal a gold disc necklace like Malachi’s and Aslos’. Then the source of light fades as well, and Simba is left alone with his family.
MUFASA: “Simba. I know you don’t fully understand it yet, but that is the greatest honor anyone can achieve. Ever.”
SIMBA: “But what did I do to deserve it?”
SARABI: “You believed.”
Some time passes between scenes. K’Tia and Kovu are on top of the Royal Cave, addressing the leaders of the various armies on the top of the Escarpment. Nala, Kiara, Vitani from the Pridelanders; Razorr, Timusa, Fang from the Takitak Warriors; Bram, Chula, Agani, Taros from the Angel Lions; Bonzai, Ed and the recently unearthed Shenzi from the Hyenas; and Timon, Pumbaa, Ma, Max, Vixy and Flinchy from the mob are gathered. The eight guardians are still unconscious, piled more or less in a heap behind the cave. Xater and Zoay are also unconscious, near the edge of the Escarpment. Nitka is with Xater, Jothra with Zoay.
K’TIA: “We gather here today in victory, tainted with loss; in celebration, mixed with mourning; in joy, mingled with grief. Rogan, murderer of Jakarta and Camiil, and usurper of our royal throne, has been defeated. We will once again be ruled by the winged destined one. Will someone assist my daughter, please?”
NITKA: (To Jothra, from Xater’s side) “I suppose I should help her now…”
JOTHRA: “No, you can stay here with your husband. I’ll take her.”
NITKA: “Are you sure? Oh, thank you, little one.”
Nitka helps Jothra position the singed and still Zoay on his back. Jothra slowly starts walking toward the cave. The crowd begins to part for him as he approaches. The hyenas bow to him as they step aside to make room for him. All the Angel Lions do so as well. Then the meerkats, and finally all the Pridelanders and the Warband bow as well. By the time Jothra makes it to the top of the Royal Cave, all the delegates are bowing.
K’TIA: “Thank you, Jothra. (Softly) And I’m sure my daughter thanks you as well; from the bottom of her heart.”
JOTHRA: “Thank you, Lord K’Tia.”
K’TIA: “Jothra, please, just call me K’Tia. (Back to the crowd) My daughter, Zoay, destined Queen of the Angel Lion pride. As you can see, she has been injured in the fight. But she will recover. On her behalf, I wish to do what I can to make up for the generations of our injustice toward the Golden Lions, the Pridelanders. Kovu, this pride officially acknowledges the Pridelands as its own sovereign territory, ruled by capable leaders and in no way inferior to the Angel Lions. And if you are willing, I would like to continue the alliance begun today between our prides.”
KOVU: “On behalf of King Simba, I accept your generous offer and thank you for saving us from invasion.”
NALA: “Kovu. Simba is gone now. You are the king of the Pridelands.”
KOVU: (Sighs, then nods) “Yes. K’Tia, let us meet again in one moon’s time to discuss more. I think we all need to be getting home.”
K’TIA: “Yes, of course, King Kovu.”
KOVU: “Let’s all go home.” (The Pridelanders, Warriors, and Meerkats turn to leave)
K’TIA: “We will never forget you, bravest of warriors from the Pridelands! Nor will we forget Simba, Hero of Izusa!”
Scene is back at Pride Rock, late the night after the Izusa Battle. Kovu is on the lower announcement stone, addressing the pride. The lionesses, warband and cubs are all present.
KOVU: “I wish I could comfort you. I wish I could say some words to make everyone feel better, to make everything right again. But I have no such words. Simba is gone. He has gone on to his fathers and nothing can bring him back to us. Let me just say that I share your grief. I… loved King Simba like a father. I…” (Voice waivers and fails)
NALA: (Jumps up on the rock with Kovu) “And he loved you like a son. (Kovu looks up, and in a close up we see a tear in his scarred eye) He could never say it himself, Kovu, but you became the son he never had to him. To both of us. (Nala embraces Kovu as Kiara also comes up on the rock. Nala gestures to her) Simba loved Kiara more than anything, more than life itself. And we couldn’t have picked a better husband for her than you, Kovu.”
KIARA: “Or a better new ruler. Kovu, you’re ready. We all need you. You will be a great Lion King.”
KOVU: (Sighs, then draws himself up, standing straight) “How could I be anything else? That is, with you by my side, Kiara. (Looks to Nala) And you… Mother.”
NALA: (Smiles as she again embraces Kovu) “Consider yourself adopted. (Gestures to the prominence of Pride Rock) Take the throne, son. Roar for all to hear.”
KOVU: “I will roar, but not till daybreak.”
RAZORR: “Why, Sire?”
KOVU: “Because I need to gather the herds to Pride Rock.”
RAZORR: “You wish to assert your kingship before all the creatures of the Pridelands?”
KOVU: “Not just that. (Looks to Kiara) This is a good time, right Kiara?”
KIARA: (Smiles) “None better.”
NALA: “What is it, dear?”
KIARA: “Well, Kovu and I would like to make an adoption of our own.”
Kovu and Kiara looks down to Jothra, who has been quiet so far. He looks up, bewildered.
JOTHRA: “Me? You want to… adopt me?”
KOVU: “If you want to be. Jothra, I know in many ways you’re like an adult already, but you are still a cub. You need parents, and, well…”
JOTHRA: “And you need a cub. To be your heir.”
KOVU: (Surprised by the response) “Well, it’s not just a need…”
KIARA: “Jothra, listen to me. We do need an heir, but we want a cub, and we both love you.”
JOTHRA: “You… you do?” (Kovu smiles and nods)
KIARA: “We’ve all helped raise you for a long time, Jothra, and we already think of you like a son. If you don’t want to be adopted, we’ll understand. You’re probably ready to join your brother and the rest of the warband, if you want…”
JOTHRA: “No, no! I mean… yes, I want to be adopted. By you two.”
KOVU: (Actually looks really happy now) “Really? Are you sure, Jothra?”
JOTHRA: “Yes, I’m sure!”
KIARA: “Kovu, he’s sure already!”
KOVU: “That’s… that’s great! Come here, Jothra!”
Jothra hops up on the rock and is hugged by his new parents. Kovu raises his voice to the crowd. Contrary to his usual personality, he sounds as excited as a little kid on his birthday.
KOVU: “Hey, everyone! I have a son! We have a son, his name is Jothra!”
We see Jothra smile broadly, not able to believe what is happening. Kiara licks him. Scene melds from Jothra’s smiling face to early the following day, as Rafiki smears the gourd juice across his forehead, anointing him as the future king. Jothra screws up his face, fighting a sneeze as Rafiki then sprinkles sand from Pride Rock on his head. We see Kovu and Kiara together watching. All the animals have gathered at Pride Rock for the ceremony. Jothra looks around.
RAFIKI: “Yes, Teacher?”
JOTHRA: “I feel ridiculous.”
RAFIKI: “That is why this is usually done when you’re much younger.”
JOTHRA: “Isn’t there another way of doing this?”
RAFIKI: “Nope. Now then, enough of this. Come to me.”
Jothra steps forward and Rafiki picks him up. Rafiki then steps to the edge of Pride Rock and holds Jothra high in the air for all to see. The animals rear up and make noise in celebration of the new cub. Then, Kovu steps forward beside Rafiki. Rafiki lowers Jothra onto Kovu’s back. Then, Kovu roars, announcing his kingship’s official beginning. Caught up in the moment, Jothra smiles and ‘roars’ himself, perhaps hoping the supernatural voice will again take over his own like when he dispelled lies. Instead, it is a rather pitiful sounding growl. Jothra looks embarrassed, and buries his face in Kovu’s mane as his new father grins and continues to roar. When Jothra looks up, Kiara is beside them, smiling at Jothra. She licks Jothra and nuzzles Kovu, then joins her husband in the roar.
When the ceremony is over, the three walk back toward the cave. Kovu slides Jothra off his back, and he almost collides with Zoay.
JOTHRA: “Zoay! What are you doing here?”
ZOAY: (Laughs) “It’s good to see you too, Jothra.”
JOTHRA: “Sorry. I mean, I thought you were still injured.”
ZOAY: “Well, I am a little sore, but I flew here, so it must not be too bad.”
JOTHRA: (Remembers Kovu and Kiara standing behind him) “Oh, Zoay! King Kovu and Queen Kiara adopted me! They’re my new mom and dad!”
ZOAY: “Jothra, that’s wonderful. It’s great to have a mother again, isn’t it?”
JOTHRA: (Rubbing against Kiara’s leg) “You bet! (Remembering that Camiil, Zoay’s mother, was murdered) Oh, Zoay, I’m so sorry. I forgot that…”
ZOAY: “Don’t worry about it, Jothra. Daddy’s going to marry Aunt Agani, my mother’s sister. So, I will have a mother pretty soon.”
JOTHRA: “Well, hey, that’s… (repeats Zoay) wonderful!”
ZOAY: “Yep. Sure is.” (Awkward pause)
KIARA: “Son, why don’t you show your friend the view from the top?”
JOTHRA: “Well, she’s already…”
ZOAY: “That’s a great idea. Let’s go, Jothra.” (Starts walking up the rocky trail)
JOTHRA: “Oh. Okay.”
KIARA: (Sighs) “Boys are funny at that age. He really couldn’t tell Zoay wanted to talk to him alone.”
KOVU: “Huh? She did?” (Kiara rolls her eyes)
On the summit of Pride Rock, Jothra and Zoay sit side by side, watching the herds and warband head out.
ZOAY: “Good to see the herds came back.”
JOTHRA: “Most of them. The Pridelands should survive. We’re still rather out of balance, though.”
ZOAY: “Out of balance?”
JOTHRA: “Not enough food to go around.”
ZOAY: “Not enough prey?”
JOTHRA: “More like too many predators. Lions, specifically.”
ZOAY: “Too many lions?”
JOTHRA: “Yes, believe it or not. The pride is way too big. No other Golden lion pride that we know of has more than twenty-five lions, including males and cubs. We have more than forty. The land just can’t support us for much longer.”
ZOAY: “Do the royals know?”
JOTHRA: “Everybody does. And we all know the solution, but don’t want to admit it.”
ZOAY: “What is that?”
JOTHRA: “The hyenas. Ever since they got kicked out of the Pridelands, lions have had very little hunting competition, which led to a population explosion. And since we only eat what we kill, the bodies of naturally dead animals that are usually taken care of by hyenas just go to waste. The herds lose more members than are born.”
ZOAY: “What will you do?”
JOTHRA: “Well, I have to bring it up to Kov… to my dad. I’m not looking forward to that one. How do you tell a king he has too many subjects?”
ZOAY: “I see your point. But you do have a plan, right?”
JOTHRA: (Sly smile) “Maaaaaaaaybe.”
ZOAY: “I knew it. Not even adolescent yet, and already indispensable to his people. That’s my Jothra. (Jothra gives her a funny look) What?”
JOTHRA: “Just… something about the way you said that.”
ZOAY: “Said what?”
JOTHRA: (Pause) “Am I your Jothra?”
ZOAY: (Sighs) “Should’ve known better than to try to beat around the bush. You’re mad, aren’t you? I can explain, Jothra…”
JOTHRA: “No, Zoay, I’m not mad. And you don’t have to explain.”
ZOAY: “Sure I do…”
JOTHRA: “You said it yourself: You have to choose between your heart and your head. A good ruler—and you’re the best—always puts her people ahead of herself.”
ZOAY: (Stunned silence) “Wow. You are smart.”
JOTHRA: (“Tuh”) “Smart’s easy. Wisdom… not so much.”
ZOAY: (Slight smile) “What do you mean?”
JOTHRA: “Wisdom is knowing what the best thing is to do with your knowledge, more or less. For instance, I know that I love you, and I also know you love me.”
ZOAY: (Looks taken aback) “But I never actually said… why do you say…”
JOTHRA: “They told me (points to the sky). Trust me on this one.”
ZOAY: “O… okay. Jothra, this is getting kinda scary.”
JOTHRA: “It’s okay. Anyway, it’s what to do with that knowledge that is difficult. I know what I want to do. I want to undo the ceremony that just happened, get rid of this collar and run away to Izusa, so that I could always be with you.”
JOTHRA: “…but that wouldn’t be a very wise decision. I’m needed here, you’re needed there. With our peoples, with our families…”
ZOAY: “I was going to mention that. Regardless of the battle we just took part in, we are still cubs.”
JOTHRA: “True. We had to grow up temporarily because our survival demanded it, but back in the real world, we need to be cubs for a while still, and do what cubs do.”
ZOAY: “Couldn’t be more correct. (Pause) What exactly do cubs do again?”
JOTHRA: (Laughs) “Well, I hear we play and act silly a lot.”
ZOAY: (Also laughs) “Strange rumor. Anything else?”
JOTHRA: (Seriously) “We learn. All we can.”
ZOAY: “Now that I can do. (Takes a deep breath) So…”
JOTHRA: “Yeah, we should just say it. (Stands up and looks down at Zoay) Zoay, I think we should put our personal relationship on hold for a while. Do some growing up and all that. Don’t deny our feelings, but leave them be, and in a couple years… who knows?”
ZOAY: (Big sigh of relief, then chuckles) “You took the words right out of my mouth, Jothra.”
JOTHRA: “Ha! I know I did. And let me tell you, it was a painful extraction.”
The two laugh light heartedly as Kiara comes up to the summit.
KIARA: “I hate to interrupt you two, but Kovu is just about ready to start the council of the herd leaders. He wanted you there, Jothra, so you could share that idea with us you mentioned.”
ZOAY: “It’s okay, I was just about to say goodbye anyway.”
JOTHRA: “Yeah. Well, until next time, Your Royal Highness, Zoay, Angel Lion Queen and Winged Destined One.”
ZOAY: “Until our paths again shall cross, Jothra the Just, Revealer of the Double Circle, Wise One, Heir to the Pridelands. (Zoay turns and trots to the edge of the cliff, and quickly looks back over her shoulder) See ya, Stud.”
JOTHRA: (Quietly, after Zoay flies off) “Farewell, my Angel. (Looks back at his mother, voice quivering, on the edge of tears) How long were you waiting there?”
KIARA: (Sadly) “Long enough, son. (Jothra turns and buries himself in his mother’s embrace, crying freely) For what it’s worth, Jothra, you did the right thing.”
JOTHRA: “Tell that to my heart. What’s left of it.”
Time has passed between scenes. Jothra, Zoay, Leandra, Shyntor, Timusa, Bram, Chula, Lexy, Grace, Jenna, and Kardia are adults. Mindo, Maliim, and Bela are adolescents. The Pridelands are largely green again, and inhabited by the herds once more. But there are still small cliffs and new gullies from the upheaval caused by Scar’s storm. After a mock helicopter shot showing this damage, the camera moves into a shot of Kovu, Razorr, and the now adult Timusa standing on the edge of one of the new earthen cliffs, surveying the valley before them. They are looking in the direction of the old hyena cliffs. The green grass they are standing on terminates about halfway to the cliffs, giving way to bare rock. Visible in the distant cliffs is the glow of the still flowing liquid rock in the deep crevices of the earth.
RAZORR: “Two years. Two years since the storm and still the land is not healed.”
KOVU: “Grass has grown back much too slowly. So far the herds have been staying, but… for how long? Battlechief Timusa, what do you think?”
TIMUSA: “Well, Your Majesty, taking the nature of the storm into account, I tend to believe the long lasting damage is supernatural.”
RAZORR: “Then again, we’ve never seen a canyon so deep that it reached the earth’s inner fires. Perhaps this is how long such a thing always takes to heal.”
TIMUSA: “But then there’s the curse.”
RAZORR: “I do not believe in such things.”
TIMUSA: “Other animals can approach the canyon at will, but any lion that crosses the grass line instantly loses consciousness. I call that a curse.”
RAZORR: “And doubtless your brother agrees.”
TIMUSA: “Who knows what he thinks? Spends all his time up in that tree, like he always has. (Turns to Kovu) Will he be joining the council tonight, Sire?”
KOVU: (Smiles) “He wouldn’t miss it.”
Without missing a beat, scene switches to Leandra, Maliim, Shyntor and Mindo reclining in the grass, the same area that they staged their game of tag.
LEANDRA: “He wouldn’t miss it.”
SHYNTOR: “I wish I could sit in on a council sometime.”
LEANDRA: “You’re not Kovu’s son and heir, Shyntor.”
MINDO: “I wonder who will be with the delegation this time.”
MALIIM: “Well, Agani almost always comes. Sometimes both Bram and Chula, but at least one definitely.”
LEANDRA: “Yeah, Nitka’s usually there, especially if Bram comes.”
SHYNTOR: “And of course the queen. Zoay always comes.”
LEANDRA: “Yes, and that’s why Jothra always does.”
MINDO: “I don’t see why they don’t just get married.”
SHYNTOR: “‘Cause we need him here, that’s why.”
LEANDRA: “Still, if you love someone you make it work. (Looks over shyly at Shyntor) Right, Shyntor?”
SHYNTOR: (Suddenly uncomfortable) “Uh, yeah, I guess. Whatever.”
MINDO: “Aw, come on, Bro. Be nice to you girlfriend.”
SHYNTOR: “Hey, shut up, Mindo!”
LEANDRA: “He’s just jealous ‘cause he can’t get Bela to pay any attention to him.”
MINDO: (Gritted teeth) “Leaaaandraaa…”
LEANDRA: “Well, someone had to get that one out in the open.”
JOTHRA: (Appearing completely out of nowhere) “Now where have I heard that one?”
Jothra’s appearance isn’t too great at the moment. His paws are mud colored; leaves and burs can be seen is his mane. He smiles as his friends freak out at his sudden appearance.
LEANDRA: “Jothra! How many times do I gotta tell you not to do that?”
JOTHRA: “Sorry. It’s a habit I picked up from Rafiki.”
SHYNTOR: “Where is the old guy?”
JOTHRA: “No idea. He drops in every now and again, but most of the year he’s traveling the Serengeti.”
MINDO: “And you don’t know what he’s doing out there?”
MALIIM: “Of course he knows. The Naba knows all.”
JOTHRA: “My friends don’t call me that, Maliim, and I know because he told me.”
LEANDRA: “Let me guess. You can’t tell us.”
JOTHRA: “He asked me not to. At least for now.”
SHYNTOR: “Whatever. You on your way to the council, Jothra?”
JOTHRA: “Yes I am. I couldn’t help but overhear…”
LEANDRA: “Every single thing we say or think?”
JOTHRA: “…what you guys said about my motivation for attending the meetings.”
SHYNTOR: “Look, Jothra, before you lecture us about your ‘purely professional’ relationship with Queen Zoay, we were kidding, okay? We know you go to the councils because you’re our Wise One and our Future King, not because you’re still in love with the queen of another pride, ‘cause you’re not.”
JOTHRA: “Sure I am.”
But Jothra is gone, disappearing as quickly as he appeared. The lions look around in vain to find him.
MINDO: “How exactly does he do that?”
MALIIM: “No idea.”
LEANDRA: “Did you hear what he said?”
SHYNTOR: “That he’s still in love with Zoay?”
MALIIM: “He said that?”
MINDO: “Aw, man.”
SHYNTOR: “Poor guy.”
LEANDRA: “Oh, Jothra, be careful. I’d hate to see you get hurt.”
Scene begins outside Pride rock. Kiara is outside the back tunnel she found in LKII. Jothra approaches.
JOTHRA: “Hello, Mother, fancy meeting you here.”
KIARA: “I knew you would want to sneak in like you do.”
JOTHRA: “And this is the only quiet way in. Good call, mom.”
KIARA: “You may know just about everything else, Jothra, but no one knows you better than I do.”
JOTHRA: “Too true, too true. So what do I have to do to get by?”
KIARA: “Just hold still.” (Kiara begins to lick Jothra, getting him clean)
JOTHRA: “Mom, I’m a little old for you to be giving me a bath.”
KIARA: “You’d think so, wouldn’t you? And yet here you are, apparently unable to clean yourself.”
JOTHRA: “I just… spend a lot of time with nature.”
KIARA: “Yes, as well as in nature, on nature, and under nature. However, when you are going to spend time in Pride Rock and around our Angel Lion allies who hold you in such high regard, you need a bath. (She finishes) Now, where is that… (finds the collar medallion in Jothra’s mane and positions it so it’s visible) There it is. (Looks off to the west) Now, they’ll be here any moment and before then I wanted to talk… (Looks back and Jothra is gone) …to you. About something.”
Inside the cave, Kovu, Timusa, Nala, and Razorr are waiting at the mouth of the cave looking out. The camera is positioned just outside, so that their faces are visible. Behind them, we see Jothra slowly and silently step out of the shadows. The males say nothing, but Nala apparently hears him without turning around.
NALA: “Hello, Jothra. Nice of you to join us.”
The males now whirl around, noticing Jothra behind them, who smiles in greeting.
JOTHRA: “Good ears, Grandma Nala.”
NALA: “Ears nothing, I smelled you. Don’t you males ever bathe?”
JOTHRA: “Well, I do. A lot. I just get dirty even more often. Right, Timusa?”
TIMUSA: “Right on, little brother.”
JOTHRA: “Say, Mr. Battlechief, when you gonna get yourself a mate and settle down?” (He then ‘coughs’, sounding a lot like the name ‘Vitani’)
TIMUSA: “I could ask you the same thing, Mr. Future King.” (Responds with his own cough of ‘Zoay’)
JOTHRA: “You’re older. Just following your example.”
NEFTI: (Flying in just then) “Sire, the Angel Lion delegation is here. (Angel Lions begin to enter the cave and Nefti introduces them) Her Highness Princess Agani, Chief Huntress Nitka, Acting Battlechief Bram, and Young Lord Kardia of the Angel Lion pride.”
AGANI: “Queen Zoay sends her regards and apologies for being unable to attend. I have been authorized to speak on her behalf.”
KOVU: “Welcome, all of you. Nothing serious detains her Majesty, I hope?”
AGANI: “Oh no, the queen is well. She cited personal reasons.”
JOTHRA: “Personal reasons?”
KARDIA: “Yes. Personal reasons.”
KIARA: (Walking in the main entrance) “Sorry I’m late, everyone.”
AGANI: “Oh, not at all, Kiara, we just got here ourselves. Well, now that we are all here, let’s get this party started! (The others look at her curiously) What, isn’t that cool anymore?”
BRAM: “Still a little behind, but you’re getting closer.”
As the lions recede into the cool of the cave, Kiara hangs back with Jothra.
KIARA: “Zoay didn’t come?”
JOTHRA: “No. They say she had personal reasons.”
KIARA: “What? What reasons could possibly keep Zoay away from these meetings? Relations between our two prides are one of her highest priorities.”
JOTHRA: “That’s what I thought. I’m sure Kardia has something to do with it, though.”
KIARA: “Is that who that is. I didn’t recognize him.”
JOTHRA: “This is his first council. They introduced him as ‘Lord’ Kardia.”
KIARA: “I’m still a little fuzzy on Angel Lion hierarchy. What does that mean?”
JOTHRA: “I don’t know. And I’m afraid to guess.”
It is after the council, Kovu, Kiara, Nala and Jothra are on Pride Rock’s summit, looking west into the setting sun as the Angel delegation goes back home.
NALA: “Well, that was an… interesting council.”
KIARA: “Interesting? We didn’t get anything done!”
KOVU: “Now, that’s not true. They had lots of new ideas.”
JOTHRA: “Kardia had lots of new ideas. I didn’t really care for any of them.”
KOVU: “Well, they were significant policy departures.”
KIARA: “And did you notice how the others just let Kardia have the floor? Even Agani.”
NALA: “Yes, I did find that rather strange. He is the youngest, after all. And what is this ‘Lord’ business?”
JOTHRA: “I don’t know. (Pause, then Jothra tries to change the subject) Well, we did find out that their oddities from the battle still persist, as do our own.”
KOVU: “Yes. Xater and the eight guardians still lie in their mysterious sleep. Still alive, not needing food or water, but nothing can wake them.”
NALA: “They might as well be dead.”
JOTHRA: “It is a problem. Xater is their greatest warrior, and we don’t even fully understand where those guardians came from.”
KIARA: “They’re the eight kings of the neighboring lion prides.”
NALA: “Yes, but all the other prides are nomads; they don’t stay in one place for more than a generation or so. And we’ve had no contact with them for like, seven or eight generations.”
KIARA: “Over all, I still say that council left us with more questions and fewer answers.”
JOTHRA: “Yes. Father, I must beg leave for a few days. I have much to ponder.”
KOVU: “Of course, son. Where will you go?”
JOTHRA: “To the oasis, I think. It is peaceful. I’ll pick up Timon on the way.”
KIARA: “Timon? Why, where is he?”
NALA: “Where I was this morning. (Blank stares from Kovu and Kiara) It’s been two years today since the Izusa Battle.”
KIARA: (Whisper) “Daddy’s grave.”
A light rain starts to fall as the scene fades into the next.
Scene takes place in the Sands of Sleep, in the Gardne of Kings, at Simba’s burial spot. Timon is standing alone in the light rain, looking very sadly at the cairn. Simba’s tree is very young.
TIMON: “Well… two years today, big guy. Look, neither of us is real good at this, so… well, I just wanted you to know I remembered. And, that I miss you, Simba. (Pause) Hey, your daughter and Kovu are doing a great job, by the way. ‘Course, they got your little lady showing them the ropes and all. She’s a wonder, that Nala is. Oh, yeah, Pumbaa says hi. He didn’t forget or anything, I just… wanted to do this one alone. So, how’s the weather up there? Aw, jeez I really am bad at this…”
At this point, a breeze kicks up and blows a red desert flower across Timon’s field of vision. It lands on the sand a few feet in front of him and gets blown a little ways further. Timon takes a few steps toward it.
TIMON: “What in the world? Where did you come from?”
Timon reaches for it, and at the same time we see a hyena snout come into view and reach for the flower. Timon and Shenzi both withdraw from the flower as they notice each other.
SHENZI: “Timon, relax!”
TIMON: “Shenzi Marie! Oh, thank goodness. Thought I was a gonner there.”
SHENZI: “Yeah, I would ask what you’re doing out here all alone, but I think I figured it out. Two years already?”
TIMON: “Yeah. (Shenzi puts the flower at the base of Simba’s seedling of a tree.) How’s the kids?”
SHENZI: (Smiles) “Well, little Bonzai is exactly like his father, which worries me a little, and Shasta is starting to take after me, which scares me a lot. Vixy have hers yet?”
TIMON: “Oh, yeah, last month. We were gonna name him Simba, but that’s kind of a lion’s name, then I thought about naming the little guy Buzz, after Vixy’s father, but…”
SHENZI: “But what?”
TIMON: “It turned out to be a little girl.”
SHENZI: “Ha! So what did you pick?”
TIMON: “We named her after Bela.”
TIMON: “Oh, she is. (Looks down for a second, then back up) Hey, Shenzi, um, it was really nice of you to remember Simba like this. Considering you’re a hyena and once upon a time hated him…”
SHENZI: “Well, that was before he gave his life to save ours and free my people. That tends to change one’s outlook. And I haven’t forgotten you, either, Timon. You were there risking your neck along with the rest of us.”
TIMON: “Well, I couldn’t very well not, now could I? Hyenas helping Simba but not me? I’d never live it down.”
SHENZI: “None of us would’ve lived at all after that fire got through with us.”
TIMON: “Now that was actually Bela’s idea. The cub Bela.”
SHENZI: “I guess we all had something to do that night, didn’t we?”
TIMON: “Yep. (Quietly) So why was it Simba that had to die?”
SHENZI: “Timon, don’t go thinking like that. They were isolated; there was nothing anyone could do.”
TIMON: “That’s what I mean! I rescued him from the desert, raised him to adulthood, and helped him take back his kingdom from the clutches of the evil, smelly hyenas—no offense…”
SHENZI: (Dryly) “None taken.”
TIMON: “…I was there for his wedding, Kiara’s birth, and I was with him when his mother died: but when he faced his own death was I there? No! Where was I?”
SHENZI: “You were digging me out of my rocky grave, that’s where you were. I know that Simba was more than your friend, he was like your son. You may have lost him, Timon, but you’ve gained a friend in the hyenas. All of us.”
JOTHRA: (Entering the Garden of Kings) “And believe me, Timon, hyenas make great friends.”
SHENZI: (Bows) “Lord Jothra the Just. As always, it is an honor to be in your presence.”
JOTHRA: “Shenzi, please. My name is Jothra. And the only title I’m comfortable with is ‘Teacher’. Keeping the king company?”
SHENZI: “Just offering a blood-petal.”
JOTHRA: “Very rare.”
SHENZI: “I’ve only found them in our old canyon. The sole beauty of that place, let me tell you.”
JOTHRA: “Timon, I didn’t mean to intrude your solitude. If you’re not finished…”
TIMON: “Naw, I’m done, kiddo. Going my way?”
JOTHRA: “Yes, just heading to the oasis. Care for a ride?”
TIMON: “You bet. Coming, Shenzi?”
Scene cuts to a few hours later. The stars are out in the clear sky. Jothra walks slowly, Timon riding on the back of his neck, Shenzi walking beside them. They are walking and laughing in the desert, Hakuna Matata visible in the background.
TIMON: “So then Pumbaa says, ‘Balls of gas burning billions of miles away!’ Can you believe it?”
SHENZI: “Ha ha! Oh, that pig is a crack-up!”
JOTHRA: “Yeah. So, Timon, what was your theory?”
TIMON: “I… well, I don’t really remember my first one, but now I’m going with Simba’s royal dead guys theory. Seeing as he is one now.”
JOTHRA: (Small smile) “Good choice. Say you two, I should get going now. You keep going.”
TIMON: “I thought you were coming in.”
JOTHRA: “I prefer to sneak in.”
SHENZI: “The guards will let you pass, Teacher.”
JOTHRA: “Yeah, but I came here to think, and I don’t get much thinking done when my presence is formally announced.”
TIMON: “How do you sneak in?”
JOTHRA: “Well, do you see that break in the trees at the border?”
Timon and Shenzi look, and strain to see in the falling darkness.
TIMON: “Okay, I’m sorry, but I don’t see it.”
SHENZI: “There’s no break in the border.”
TIMON: “What’s the deal, Jothra? (Looks around) Jothra?”
SHENZI: “He’s gone!”
TIMON: “Man, he’s good at that.” (Quick cut to Jothra inside the dark oasis, peeking out at Timon and Shenzi in the distance)
JOTHRA: “Man, I’m good at that.”
RAFIKI: (Appearing from nowhere as usual) “Good at what?”
JOTHRA: “Aaaahh! Rafiki! Where did… never mind. Pride comes before getting scared out of your wits, I guess.”
RAFIKI: “Usually. Come here to think, have you?”
JOTHRA: “Yes, master. Any luck in your quest?”
RAFIKI: (Sighs) “Not yet, O Teacher of Teachers, not yet. But I know I’m getting close. And you?”
JOTHRA: “And me what?”
RAFIKI: “Your quest!”
JOTHRA: “What quest?”
RAFIKI: “For the heart of the queen! For the love of Zoay!”
JOTHRA: “Master, I told you, I’m trying to get over that. (Looks away) Zoay apparently has.”
RAFIKI: “You are worried she has chosen another during the years you have been apart.”
JOTHRA: “No fair using my own skill against me.”
RAFIKI: “Old Rafiki was using psychological deductive analysis before your grandparents were born, young one.”
JOTHRA: (Nodding his head) “PDA. Best trick you ever taught me.”
RAFIKI: “Better than disappearing into your surroundings?”
JOTHRA: “Well, it’s a toss-up, anyway. (Looks Rafiki in the eye) At the council they introduced Kardia as a lord.”
RAFIKI: “I see. However, neither of us knows enough about their government to make any kind of…”
JOTHRA: “The only satisfactory explanation is that Zoay has chosen him.”
RAFIKI: “Is he such a bad choice?”
JOTHRA: “Dang it, Rafiki I don’t care, he’s not me! (Settles down) I’m sorry, Master.”
RAFIKI: “Pardon my intrusion, O Revealer of the Double Circle, but it doesn’t sound as if you are ‘over’ anything.”
JOTHRA: “I can’t hide it from anyone, least of all you. Rafiki, what in the world am I going to do?”
RAFIKI: (Looking up) “Look to the sky, Jothra.”
JOTHRA: “I’ve tried talking to the great kings, and the Living Circle. Nothing has changed.”
RAFIKI: “Look to the sky.”
JOTHRA: “They steal me away to the Sky-lands when they please, but the one time I need help, they are silent. Why do they torment me?”
RAFIKI: (Hits Jothra over the head with his walking stick) “Will you shut up and look to the sky already?”
JOTHRA: (Looks up, rubbing his head, and sees Zoay’s silhouette cross over the full moon, heading toward the sky island) “Oh. The sky. Well, I suppose I could just… ask her. (Looks around, Rafiki is gone) Right then. Up I go.”
What follows is a scene showing Jothra climbing the Hakuna Matata monolith. At first he is able to stay in the trees growing out of the sides. Then, the trees give way to smaller bushes. After the bushes comes sparse vegetation. Finally, Jothra is left with a final vertical climb of bare rock. He digs his claws in and climbs slowly but steadily. At one point his view is obscured by a mist, and a pull-back shot reveals this to be a cloud. At long last, as the sun is rising, he pulls himself over the top, breathing heavily in the thin air. The now adult Zoay turns her head to look at Jothra from the far side of the island where she has been sitting.
ZOAY: “Who… Jothra?”
JOTHRA: (Panting) “Y… yeah. What’s le… left of me, anyway.”
ZOAY: (Comes over) “Oh my goodness, Jothra, what are you doing here? How did you get here?”
JOTHRA: “I climbed.”
ZOAY: “You climbed? Are you serious?”
JOTHRA: “We can’t all have wings, I guess.”
ZOAY: “But, the fall would’ve killed you.”
JOTHRA: “Only if I fell after the first two minutes.”
ZOAY: “How long were you climbing?”
JOTHRA: “Well, I started a little before midnight.”
ZOAY: “You’ve been climbing all night?”
JOTHRA: “I guess so. Time flies when you’re hanging for dear life to a mile-high monolith.”
JOTHRA: (Weak smile) “Yes, Zoay?”
Jothra slumps to the rock surface and loses consciousness immediately. We cut to noon that day.
ZOAY: “Quit pretending you’re still asleep, Jothra. Your breathing pattern changed and your eyes aren’t fully closed. (Nothing) Jothra. (Pause) Ha! Your heart rate increases when I say your name. Quit faking it.”
JOTHRA: “Your hearing is amazing. You heard my breath and my heart?”
ZOAY: “Breathing, yes. Heart, no. I bluffed and you fell for it.”
JOTHRA: “Aw, shucks. I was hoping for a wake-up like I got the last time I slept up here. (Zoay looks away, embarrassed) No such luck, huh? Look, Zoay, I climbed up here to ask you something.”
ZOAY: “Jothra, I know you went through a lot of trouble for this, but…”
JOTHRA: “One question. Yes or no. Come on, I think you owe it to me.”
ZOAY: (Sighs) “Fine, one yes or no question. That’s all I promise.”
JOTHRA: “Okay. Are you married to Kardia?”
ZOAY: (Whips her head around to look at him) “No!”
JOTHRA: “But you are promised to him.”
ZOAY: “That’s a second question!”
JOTHRA: “No, it was a statement. I bluffed and you fell for it.”
ZOAY: “Ouch. Had that coming, I suppose. Look, Jothra…”
JOTHRA: “No, no, one answer’s all I get. I’ll just be leaving you alone from now on.”
ZOAY: “Jothra, don’t act like this.”
JOTHRA: (Shouting) “Like what? Like someone who’s just had the last remaining shards of his heart ripped out?”
ZOAY: “Your people need you level-headed.”
JOTHRA: “I’m sick of being level-headed! I’m sick of being needed by my people! And I’m really sick of having the most overpowering sensation of love one can feel continue to go on unreturned.”
ZOAY: (Whisper) “Jothra… I never promised…”
JOTHRA: “No, you were careful about that. I see your talent for strategy is not limited to the battlefield.”
ZOAY: (A little angry) “That wasn’t necessary. Or true. You weren’t part of a strategy, Jothra. I had feelings for you as you well know.”
JOTHRA: “Well, I still do have feelings for you. I love you Zoay. I only wish I could stop. I wish I could not love you.”
ZOAY: “Jothra… I… I’m sorry, I…”
JOTHRA: “Kardia’s a good guy. Really. He’ll make a good king, a good leader for the angel lions.”
ZOAY: “Yes, he will. And you will make a good king as well. For the Pridelanders.”
JOTHRA: “Mutually exclusive destinies.”
ZOAY: “I’m afraid so. I hope we can still be friends.”
JOTHRA: “Someone write that phrase down.”
ZOAY: “I’m serious, Jothra. We’re going to be rulers together. We can’t let personal stuff jeopardize relations between our prides. Agreed?”
JOTHRA: “Agreed. For the people.”
ZOAY: “For the people.”
JOTHRA: “Well, it’s been nice chatting, but I should be going. My people need me and all that.”
ZOAY: “How are you getting down? (Looks over the edge) I hope you’re not gonna ask me to carry you again. (Looks back up, Jothra is gone) Oh. Right. Should’ve known.”
Scene cuts away to Jothra walking slowly back toward Pride Rock. Shyntor meets up with him.
SHYNTOR: “Hey, Jothra! Where’ve you been, I’ve been looking all over for you. You just disappeared.”
JOTHRA: “I do that every now and again.”
SHYNTOR: “Tell me about it. Listen, are you okay? I wanted to talk with you a second.”
JOTHRA: “In what capacity?”
SHYNTOR: “Well, a little of everything—future king, wise one, and my friend.”
JOTHRA: “In that case, yes, I’m fine. How can I help, Shyntor?”
SHYNTOR: “Well, see, I got this problem. Leandra and I are in love.”
JOTHRA: “I can tell. How is that a problem?”
SHYNTOR: “Well, I mentioned it to Nefti—for some reason, don’t ask me why—and he says we can’t get married.”
JOTHRA: “Why in the world not?”
SHYNTOR: “Well, he says Leandra is betrothed to you.”
JOTHRA: “Oh, that.”
SHYNTOR: “You know? Wait, of course you know.”
JOTHRA: “I found out when I was a cub.”
SHYNTOR: “Before or after the infamous frog incident?”
JOTHRA: “After. And please, I’m hoping people will forget that.”
SHYNTOR: “Right. Anyway, I know that you liked her back in the day.”
JOTHRA: “That was before both the frog and Zoay.”
SHYNTOR: “Well, Zoay’s over, right? And as the future king you can marry who you want. I just wanted to tell you that if you wanted Leandra, she’s yours. I respect you too much to even bother to spar you.”
JOTHRA: “Oh for Pete’s sake, Shyntor, will you shut up? You don’t seriously think I’d take Leandra knowing full well that she loves you, do I?”
SHYNTOR: “Well, I’m just saying you’re the future king and our wise one…”
JOTHRA: “Not on purpose on either count. (Shyntor gives Jothra a puzzled look) Look, Shyntor, you love her, she loves you. She’s yours.”
SHYNTOR: “You mean it?”
JOTHRA: “As Future King and Wise One of the Pridelands, I dissolve and forfeit my betrothal to Leandra. She may marry whom she chooses, as is right and just.”
SHYNTOR: “For real?”
JOTHRA: “Yes, for real! I’ll make it official with Dad tomorrow. I don’t think I’m up to much tonight. I had kind of a long day.”
SHYNTOR: “Oh, Jothra, I don’t care what we all said when we were little, you are the coolest! How can I pay you back?”
JOTHRA: (Wry smile) “Name a cub after me. I have a feeling it’s the only way to pass on my name to the next generation.”
SHYNTOR: (Completely missing the meaning of Jothra’s second sentence) “Cub?”
JOTHRA: “It has been know to happen when lions get married, you know.”
SHYNTOR: (Seeming to grasp this for the first time) “Oh, yeah. Me, a father?”
JOTHRA: “Spooky, huh? Now go tell your new fiancé the news.”
SHYNTOR: “Will do! Thanks again Jothra, you’re the greatest!”
JOTHRA: (After Shyntor has run out of earshot) “Second greatest. You forgot about Kardia.”
Scene is the next morning, in the cave at Pride Rock. Gathered are Jothra, Kiara, Leandra, Maliim, Lexy, Bela, Grace, Jenna, Chula, Agani and Kardia.
JOTHRA: “Ah, Kardia. Back so soon?”
KARDIA: “It’s Lord Kardia. We met the ladies on their way here and I decided to accompany them. Allow me to introduce…”
JOTHRA: “Lexy, Bela, Jenna, Grace, Chula and Princess Agani. A pleasure to meet you all again. Welcome to the Pridelands.”
AGANI: “He remembers us all, isn’t that sweet?”
KARDIA: “We were just here yesterday, Agani.”
BELA: “It’s Princess Agani, Milord. And the girls and I weren’t here yesterday.”
KARDIA: “Of course. Now, as to the reason for our visit…”
AGANI: “Quiet, Kardia. I’ll handle this if you don’t mind. (Kardia falls silent) Kiara, the girls and I were wondering if you and Leandra and Maliim would care to join us back at the Escarpment for a day or so.”
KIARA: “We’d love to, Agani. What’s the occasion?”
AGANI: “Oh, we’re just throwing a bit of a girl party for the queen. You know, a chance to get away from the men for a night. We all need it from time to time.”
KIARA: “In that case, we’d definitely love to. I’ll go tell Kovu and we can get going.”
JOTHRA: “I’ll let him know, Mother. You and the girls go ahead. (Looks to Kardia) Would you care to stay here as my guest, Kardia? No place for us at a girls’ party, after all.”
KARDIA: “A capital idea, Jothra. And it’s Lord Kardia.”
JOTHRA: “You’re not my lord. And it’s Teacher Jothra. Even to you, as I recall.”
BELA: (Breaking it up) “Before anyone starts choking on the heightened levels of ambient testosterone in here, may I recommend a cessation of verbal activity? And if the heir of the sovereignty we are currently visiting would just escort us to the border of said locale, we will be on our way.”
KARDIA: (Slight pause) “Capital.”
JOTHRA: (Follows the lionesses out of the cave, but turns to Kardia one last time) “You didn’t understand a word of that, don’t even lie.” (Kardia is speechless. The lionesses move out, Bela and Leandra hang back with Jothra, walking as they talk.)
LEANDRA: “Don’t let him get to you, Jothra.”
JOTHRA: “Yeah, I’ve let enough get to me recently, I guess. Is he always so… so…”
JOTHRA: “A little harsh, but…”
BELA: “Only when he feels threatened. You’re very intimidating, Jothra.”
JOTHRA: “Me? Intimidating? He’s nearly twice my size.”
BELA: “Not like that. You’re a war hero. He takes it personally that you were winning a battle while he was sitting pretty in a nice, safe canyon.”
JOTHRA: “Jeez, get over it, Kardia. Anyway, he’s the one Zoay’s gonna marry, not me.”
BELA: “Yeah, you’d think he… how in the world did you know that?”
LEANDRA: “You forget who you’re talking to, Bela.”
BELA: “But… she only decided that a couple days ago! What gave you the idea that…”
JOTHRA: “That’s what the party’s about. Kind of a bachelorette party.”
BELA: “Right again. You’re amazing.”
JOTHRA: “No, amazing would be doing something about it, which I can’t.”
LEANDRA: “Wait, Jothra, did you find out about all this before or after last night?”
LEANDRA: “So… you gave up your betrothal knowing you could never marry Zoay either?”
JOTHRA: “Because you and Shyntor love each other. And I still love Zoay.”
BELA: “But, Jothra, you’re the heir to the throne, you need a mate. Why give up a perfectly good betrothal?”
JOTHRA: (Stops on the bank of a small stream) “Because, I’d rather live the rest of my life alone than marry someone I don’t love. And I rather die than knowingly come between two lions that love each other. Well, this is the border. I’d better go back and make my guest comfortable. Goodbye, ladies, enjoy your party.”
The lionesses continue on as Jothra turns back. Leandra turns to Bela.
LEANDRA: “Kinda wish there was more than one of him, huh?”
BELA: (Sighs) “One would be enough for me.”
Scene is back in the Pridelands, in the plains at the foot of Pride Rock. Present are Jothra, Shyntor, Mindo, and Kardia. Kardia is commenting on the Pridelands.
KARDIA: “It’s not a bad bit of real estate, I suppose. It’s certainly big enough. Not much to do, though, is there?”
MINDO: “Plenty to eat.”
SHYNTOR: “Warm sun to sleep in, waterhole to drink from.”
KARDIA: “Yes, yes, but what do you do for fun?”
JOTHRA: (Smiles) “Rescue Angel Lions.” (Mindo and Shyntor laugh)
KARDIA: (Looks sullen for a moment, then smiles evilly) “So, who wants to guess what the ladies’ party is about?”
MINDO: “Why would we care?”
SHYNTOR: “All I know is the timing stinks. Leandra and I just got engaged, and she leaves for the night!”
KARDIA: “See, you’re good at this, you’ve almost guessed already.”
SHYNTOR: “I did? How, what part?”
KARDIA: “Exhausted your little golden brain already, have you?”
JOTHRA: “Engagement, Shyntor. The party is for an engagement.”
KARDIA: “I say, Teacher, spot on. Now then, who are the lucky two?”
JOTHRA: “The lucky one is you.”
KARDIA: “Are you suggesting my bride-to-be is getting the short end of the arrangement?”
MINDO: “Your bride-to-be?”
SHYNTOR: “Um, congratulations, Lord Kardia.”
KARDIA: “Why thank you, my good Pridelander. I’m sorry; I’ve forgotten your name.”
JOTHRA: “His name is Shyntor. And Queen Zoay gets the short end of any marriage arrangement. Wouldn’t you agree, Lord Kardia?”
KARDIA: “You’ve got me there, Joth.”
MINDO: “You’re engaged to Queen Zoay?”
SHYNTOR: “You’ve got to be kidding. She picked the likes of you over Teacher Jothra?”
KARDIA: “I don’t believe I like your tone, Pridelander. And anyway, as I hear it all the other ‘Wise Ones’ your kind has had live alone their whole lives.”
MINDO: “Until Jothra they were also all half crazed baboons. It’s what we call progress.”
KARDIA: “At any rate, the best lion won in the end, eh Jothra the Just? Or is it just Jothra?”
TIMUSA: (Appearing from the direction of Pride Rock) “Jothra! (Jothra looks back at his older brother) Pardon me for the interruption, Teacher, but the king requests your council.”
JOTHRA: “Very well. Good evening, gentlemen.” (He quickly runs off in the direction of Pride Rock)
TIMUSA: “I’m sorry to even bother you guys with this; my ears must be failing me. But I didn’t by chance hear any one of you degrading Jothra, did I?”
MINDO: “No, Battlechief Timusa.”
SHYNTOR: “Degrade Jothra the Just? Revealer of the Double Circle, Teacher of Teachers? Heir to our throne and the sole reason for our continued freedom? Victorious One of the Izusa Battle? Surely not, my Lord Battlechief.”
TIMUSA: “No, you’re right. Don’t even know why I brought it up.”
KARDIA: “Yes, well, who cares, anyway? If he’s all you people say he is—which I doubt—is he not capable of fighting his own battles?”
TIMUSA: “Oh, more than capable. You forget, you squalling little ingrate, that I was there at Izusa. I saw Jothra leading hundreds of hyena soldiers into battle that night. I saw him kill three Spectres by speaking to them. I was there when he took on Xater single handedly. No, wait, he wasn’t alone. Your Queen was at his side. And keep in mind he was six month old at the time. Oh, but what am I going on like this for? I am my pride’s Battlechief; I have better things to do than lecture ignorant little pricks like you.” (Timusa storms off)
KARDIA: “That was your Battlechief? Xater or even Bram would never talk to someone like me in such a manner!”
SHYNTOR: “Not even after you insulted their brother?”
KARDIA: “Brother? I didn’t… Oh.”
MINDO: “So tell me something Lord Kardia. How does getting on the bad side of our heir and our Battlechief factor in to being a permanent member of your people’s delegation?”
SHYNTOR: (After a moment of silence) “Something you might want to bring up to the queen. Preferably before the marriage, I think.”
We see Jothra climb to the top of Pride Rock to greet Kovu.
JOTHRA: “Good evening, Father.”
KOVU: “Oh, hello, Jothra. Beautiful, clear night tonight.”
JOTHRA: “Yes. Did you want me for something, Dad?”
KOVU: “Huh? Um, no Jothra, I’ve just been sitting here.”
JOTHRA: “Timusa said you requested my council.”
KOVU: “I haven’t seen him all night.”
JOTHRA: “Then why would he…”
KOVU: “Son, judging from your mood, maybe your brother was just rescuing you from a… situation?”
JOTHRA: (Breaks out in a smile) “Heh, that was probably it. Good old Timusa.”
TIMUSA: (Joins them) “You called?”
JOTHRA: “Timusa, thanks. Kardia was itching for a fight and I almost gave it to him.”
TIMUSA: “You’re not the only one.”
KOVU: “Careful, boys, the kid is an Angel Lion, after all.”
TIMUSA: “I know. I restricted my attack to verbal abuse.”
JOTHRA: “You did? Sweet.”
KOVU: (Sighs) “You can tell you two are brothers. Words as weapons.”
JOTHRA: “Hey, why outfight something you can outsmart?”
TIMUSA: “That’s what I’m talking about.”
Their laughter and lightheartedness is interrupted by a sudden, drastic decrease in light. The moon is blotted out, and dark clouds from nowhere obscure the stars. In a moment it is lifted, as if an immense cloud has just streaked over their heads, heading west.
KOVU: “What in the world?”
TIMUSA: “It was dark. I felt darkness as it passed.”
KOVU: “Jothra, do you have any… Jothra?”
JOTHRA: (Stares wide eyed toward the western horizon) “I know that feeling. That was false power.”
JOTHRA: “Doubt-energy. The power of the enemy.”
TIMUSA: “But what could cause…”
They are again interrupted by distant lightning flashes. On the wind, almost inaudible, is heard a diabolical laugh.
TIMUSA: “Okay, did anyone else hear that?”
KOVU: “That was Legion. I think.”
JOTHRA: “It’s another storm. This time at Izusa.”
KOVU: “Are you sure?”
JOTHRA: “Yes, Father. Everyone at that Escarpment is in mortal danger. The Angel Lions… Zoay…”
KOVU: “And Kiara. Timusa, alert Lady Nala and assume command here.”
TIMUSA: “Yes, Sire. You two come back in one piece, you hear?”
The king and his heir swing themselves over the edge of the summit, dig their claws into the rock and slide down the rock face. They land and hit the ground running. We see them race over grassland and through desert, keeping neck and neck with each other. Shot pulls back and we see this from the Sky Lands’ perspective. Simba is watching from on top the Sky Rock, his father beside him. Simba is still wearing the Sozo necklace.
MUFASA: “We knew this day would come.”
SIMBA: “Yes. After dreading it for two years it is almost a relief to have it upon us.”
MUFASA: “But only almost.”
SIMBA: “Yes. Still, they are not totally unprepared.”
MUFASA: “The enemy is greater than they know of.”
SIMBA: “But so are we. We are equal to the task.”
MUFASA: “We always are. Are they?”
SIMBA: “We shall soon find out. (Quick shot of the two lions still running, determined) Look at them, Father. They could overcome with determination alone.”
MUFASA “If only such was possible.”
SIMBA: “Look at Kovu. He is brave, full of courage and love for Kiara, but he is anxious.”
MUFASA: “Perfectly normal, considering the situation. They are two lone lions running into an unholy natural disaster. And they know that Legion is behind it.”
SIMBA: “Oh, I know. Perfectly normal to have worries, doubts. But now look at Jothra.”
MUFASA: (Eyes widen) “Nothing.”
SIMBA: “He is totally focused. No fear. No anxiety. He has no doubt whatsoever that the outcome will be in his favor.”
MUFASA: “His time on the Path of Sozo has changed him.”
SIMBA: “And I can use that.”
Scene switches to on top of the Izusa Escarpment. There is a near-tornado strength wind whirling through the entire clearing as well as lightning all around, some bolts striking the Escarpment. We see Queen Zoay flying with difficulty in the strong wind, carrying Maliim. She takes Maliim to the base of the Escarpment by the lower steppe, where the rest of the Angel lions have taken shelter. Bela is already there. K’Tia is watching over the lions on the ground, limping visibly on his injured left front shoulder where Rogan struck him.
ZOAY: (Shouting above the wind) “This is Maliim! I’m going back up for Leandra, then the other three younger ones.”
K’TIA: “What about Agani and the Pridelander queen?”
ZOAY: “They refuse to come down until the others are safe.”
K’TIA: “Figures. Then hurry, Zoay!”
ZOAY: (Takes off again, heads for the Royal Cave, against the wind) “I wish you were here, Jothra. This is no mere storm.”
JOTHRA: (Back in the desert, to himself) “I hear ya, Zoay. I’m coming.”
SIMBA: (In the Sky lands) “That’s it.”
We see Jothra and Kovu running, a small desert cliff coming up. We see Jothra’s face, then go to slow motion. Ahead of him, over past the edge of the cliff, there appears a circular gate, transparent and glowing slightly blue. Jothra’s eyes widen.
SIMBA: “Come on, Jothra. Trust me. This once more.”
Jothra jets his jaw and jumps over the edge of the cliff. Kovu screeches to a halt at the edge.
KOVU: “Jothra! Nooooooo!”
Jothra continues to fly through the air in slow motion; we can’t see the gate from Kovu’s POV. Switch back to Jothra’s POV, the gate blazing in front of him. Then motion returns to normal and Jothra disappears in mid-air. Kovu looks around.
KOVU: (Short stunned silence) “I knew he was good but that was ridiculous.”
Back at the Escarpment, Zoay is carrying Lexy, the last lioness aside from Kiara and Agani, from the Royal Cave slowly toward the edge of the Escarpment, planning on taking her down with the rest of the others. Suddenly, a lightning bolt strikes the Escarpment directly in front of her as she gets airborne. She recoils in the air, loses control and is swept up in the circular wind. We see her lose her grip on Lexy, who begins to fall toward the ground.
We then see Jothra materialize from the air, the gate briefly visible. He lands on the rock and has just enough time to take in his surroundings before Lexy lands on him. She looks bewildered as she gets up, and Zoay manages to land in front of them.
ZOAY: “Jothra?! How on earth did you… Where did you…”
JOTHRA: “I have no idea. And you wouldn’t believe me if I tried to explain.”
LEXY: “Well, whatever, thanks for breaking my fall. You okay?”
JOTHRA: “Oh yeah. What happened here?”
ZOAY: “This just came up all of a sudden! Wind and lightning, but no rain! It’s eating away at the cliff itself and destroying what little jungle we have left!”
LEXY: “It’s unnatural!”
JOTHRA: “Supernatural, in a bad way.”
ZOAY: “Jothra, can you help us?”
JOTHRA: “You called, I came. I must be able to help somehow!”
ZOAY: “I’m sorry for getting you into this.”
JOTHRA: “Don’t worry! I’d rather be here than have to spend another minute with Kardia! (Lexy laughs at this, Zoay looks away) Sorry. Just get your people to safety!”
Zoay picks up Lexy again and this time manages to get her safely down the cliff. Jothra trots over to the cave.
JOTHRA: “Mother! Are you alright?”
KIARA: “Jothra! What took you so long?”
JOTHRA: (Dry humor) “Sorry it took me nearly eight whole minutes to get here. Dad slowed me down. Are you or Agani hurt?”
KIARA: “No, thank goodness. What can you do, Jothra?”
JOTHRA: “I’m going to find out! Stay here until Zoay comes for you! (Jothra ducks back out of the cave, looks around at the chaos, and then climbs on top of the cave) Legion! False power behind the storm! I, the Naba command you to show yourself!” (In response, two more lightning bolts hit the surface of the Escarpment)
SIMBA: (In the Sky lands) “Come on Jothra, you know better than that.”
JOTHRA: “That’s not right. Their supposed to call me Naba. (Addressing the storm again) Legion! Who am I? WHO AM I?”
This time, a lightning bolt strikes the Royal Cave, throwing Jothra backwards, unconscious, and blowing the top off the cave, exposing Agani and Kiara. Jothra goes skidding across the rock face; Zoay comes above the top and catches him, saving him from flying off the Escarpment.
ZOAY: “Jothra! (No response) Jothra, speak to me!”
JOTHRA: “Unh, wha… what’s wrong? Zoay, I… I can’t feel anything.”
ZOAY: “You may be hurt, but you’re alive. I have to get you out of here.”
JOTHRA: “No! Get… my mother and Agani first.”
ZOAY: “Jothra, you’re injured! You go first and that’s final! The storm is too strong for you!”
JOTHRA: (Finally dawns on him) “Of… course it is. How could I be so stupid?”
ZOAY: “Don’t worry, Jothra, it will be o…”
JOTHRA: (Suddenly bursts out) “Legion! By the power and in the name of the Living Circle I command you to show yourself!”
Finally, three lightning bolts strike the rock face between Jothra and the cave. Instead of ripping out chunks of rock, they hold their position, coalesce, and assume the form of Legion. The lightning glare dies down and Legion is left standing there, smiling even though he is still crippled.
LEGION: “Well, since you asked so nicely, I suppose I must drop in and say hello. What can I do for you in your final moments of life, Jothra?”
ZOAY: “He is nowhere near the end of his life, foul apparition!”
JOTHRA: (Has gone pale) “Wh… what did you just call me?”
LEGION: “Jothra. That is your name, is it not?”
JOTHRA: “But… you must call me…”
LEGION: “The ‘N’ word? I think not. That is only for people under your control. I am not such a one.”
ZOAY: “Don’t listen to him, Jothra!”
JOTHRA: “No… he’s right.”
LEGION: “I knew you were a bright one, Jothra. It takes a big man to admit he’s defeated.”
ZOAY: “Jothra, I’ve seen you in your power. You reduced Spectres to ash as a cub; you are more than a match for this cripple in your adulthood!”
JOTHRA: “No… I’m not. I never was. That’s the point.”
LEGION: “Yes, that is the point, isn’t it?”
JOTHRA: “But you made one mistake, Legion.”
LEGION: “Oh, not this routine again. But seeing as you are now a quadriplegic and in no shape to attack even a cripple I shall humor you. What fatal mistake have I made this time?”
JOTHRA: (Zoay helps Jothra up a bit, although he can no longer support his own weight) “You see, Legion, you’re more powerful than I am. More powerful than I can ever be. Because you operate on the power of fear and doubt, of which there is an almost endless supply. And I am just a lion, after all.”
LEGION: “I fail to see the downside of that arrangement.”
JOTHRA: “You’re not fighting me, Legion. We are both just servants, after all. You may be stronger than I, but my master is stronger than your master. You are nothing compared to the Living Circle.”
LEGION: (Narrows his eyes) “And where is this master of yours? Have you ever even seen him?”
JOTHRA: “No. I don’t need to. That’s why he’s so powerful.”
LEGION: “Nonsense. I must admit, Jothra, you have provided me entertainment, but now the show must end. Goodbye.”
Legion roars and the same dark green flames as from the first Spectre come from his mouth and envelop Jothra and Zoay. We cannot see them for a few moments as they are blocked from view, and we see Agani and Kiara looking from above the rubble of the cave, fearing the worst.
We then see the flames die down, and above the roar of the wind we can hear laughter. As Jothra and Zoay come fully into view we see that they are both laughing, and that the flames have not harmed them. Legion’s eyes grow wide with fear.
LEGION: “That’s impossible.”
JOTHRA: (Somehow manages to shrug as he smiles) “Hasn’t stopped me yet!”
ZOAY: “You are beaten, Legion. Your master has failed you.”
At these words the whirlwind suddenly shifts away from the Escarpment, so that the lions are no longer in the thick of it. The whirlwind kicks up ash from the burnt and burning forest to the north of the Escarpment, and quickly becomes a black dust devil. It sweeps up flames as well, giving parts of it an orange glow. Then, inexplicably, as lightning strikes the interior of the dust storm, it morphs from a typical whirlwind into the shape of giant lion. A portion of flame takes up permanent residence around the lion’s left eye, as the tornado-sized lion takes on the image of Scar.
SCAR: “Your master is here, Legion. And I am not pleased, to say the least.”
LEGION: “Father, please, I don’t know what happened…”
SCAR: “It seems obvious, deformed mortal! Even though I give you power over minds and over nature, you cannot overcome two cubs!”
LEGION: “Father Scar, I beg you…”
SCAR: “Silence! As you are so fond of putting it, you are quickly losing your usefulness. (Legion cowers as the storm-Scar walks toward the Escarpment) Good help is so hard to find these days.”
JOTHRA: “In… in the name of the Liv…”
SCAR: “Jothra, listen to me and listen very carefully. Your tricks with words may give you some sway over Spectres and lesser mortals, but I am above such nonsense. Your time has come, Jothra. Prepare yourself to return to Malachi. This time for good.”
JOTHRA: “If the worst you can do is send me to the Sky lands… I have already won.”
Scar is enraged by this last comment. He steps forward, places one paw on the edge of the Escarpment, raises himself up on that paw, and lifts his other to slam down on the Escarpment top. Kiara and Agani dive out of the cave as the paw of wind and fire with lightning claws destroys the Royal cave.
Tossed backward, Zoay struggles to get a grip on the deadweight Jothra. She manages to do so, and begins to fly awkwardly away from the carnage that was once her home. Scar looks up, sees her, and squints his scarred eye. A flaming lightning bolt comes from his eye and sears a hole completely through Zoay’s wing. She loses her grip on Jothra and they both fall to the ground far below. Scar laughs, his voice reverberating for miles and miles.
We see Kovu finally arrive, and he comes across the bodies of Jothra and Zoay.
KOVU: “Jothra? Zoay? Son, speak to me! Son! (He gets closer, nudging them with no response) Jothra! No, not my son! (He looks up and sees the giant image of Scar looming above the Escarpment) No longer, Scar. You have hurt me long enough. You will haunt me no more!”
Kovu continues running toward the Escarpment. K’Tia sees him coming.
K’TIA: “King Kovu! You have come! Agani and Kiara are still on top of the cliff, but I don’t know if…”
Without acknowledging K’Tia even said anything, Kovu takes the ten-foot rise of the lower steppe in one leap then continues to the cliff. He jumps, digs his front claws into the solid rock, and begins a vertical solider crawl up the cliff face. He makes it to the top in record time and screams at the stormy lion.
SCAR: “Well, isn’t this nice? A family reunion between a supernatural father and his two mortal disappointments.”
KOVU: “You’re no father of mine!”
SCAR: “You keep saying that. And yet you are no closer to believing it yourself.”
Back at the site where Zoay and Jothra’s bodies hit the ground, we see a rather strange sight. Jothra is standing over his own body, looking down at his unmoving self.
JOTHRA: “So. This is what it’s like.”
SOZO: “What, to be dead? Yep.”
Appearing from nowhere, Sozo is a standard-size golden lion, light brown with a dark brown mane. His eyes are brown and he wears no necklace or crown. His mane is actually a bit unkempt and scraggly.
JOTHRA: “Who are you?”
SOZO: “My name is Sozo. I’m a friend, from the Sky lands.”
JOTHRA: “Are you like Kata?”
SOZO: (Shrugs) “Kinda. I’m here to escort you to the Sky lands. Probably.”
JOTHRA: “Probably? Hey, wait, where’s Zoay?”
SOZO: (Points to Zoay’s body) “Right there.”
JOTHRA: “No, I mean the other Zoay.”
SOZO: “Oh… she’s not dead.”
JOTHRA: “She’s not?”
SOZO: “Nope. She slowed herself down with her good wing and only lost consciousness. With wounds like that she’s on her way out, though. It’s only a matter of time.”
JOTHRA: “Are we going to wait for her?”
SOZO: “Would you like to?”
JOTHRA: “Well, if I wasn’t already dead myself I’d think it really morbid, but, sure, why not?”
SOZO: “Then we’ll wait.”
Back on the Escarpment, we see Kiara and Agani make a break for Kovu. Scar notices this and breaths fire and lightning out at them. They are suddenly trapped by a small ring of fire.
KOVU: “Leave them alone! It’s me you want, Scar!”
The wind that is Scar assumes a sort of inverted tornado shape, the point of the cone curves around and down and touches the surface of the Escarpment. Eventually Scar retakes his old bodily form. We can still somewhat see and hear the forces of nature contained inside him.
SCAR: “True, Kovu, true. I must say it’s good to hear you finally coming to grips with your irrefutable past. And your equally sure future. You are mine, Kovu. You always have been, and you will be until you die.”
LEGION: “But father, he shuns you! I have remained loyal to you through everything!”
SCAR: “Also true. Oh what have I done to deserve such sons?”
KOVU: (Gritted teeth) “Let me think.”
SCAR: “Son of mine or not, Kovu, you must mind your manners. I see that I have a decision to make. Legion or Kovu? Crippled son of my blood or strong and healthy son of my mind?”
LEGION: “I’m afraid Kovu has already made up his mind, Father. He would rather die than join us.”
SCAR: “He would rather die than serve you, Legion, and at this point I can’t say I blame him.”
LEGION: “F… Father? What are you saying?”
SCAR: “It would appear I can only afford one son. I’m afraid you two must meet on the field of battle. The winner will rule at my side, the loser, obviously, will be dead.”
LEGION: “But Kovu is a warrior! I am a cripple!”
KOVU: “I have no interest in ruling with you, Scar!”
SCAR: (To Legion, as if Kovu had not spoken) “Ah yes, Legion, but yours is the superior intellect. And you have mastered use of our dark power.”
LEGION: (Smiling for the first time since he failed to kill Jothra and Zoay) “So it wouldn’t just be a contest of strength.”
SCAR: “No. (Louder, as if announcing the fight) In this corner, Legion, son of Scar, cripple in body but warrior in mind and spirit, commanding use of the dark power. In the other corner, Kovu, son of Zira, Chosen One of Scar, King of the Pridelands, commanding great strength and craft of the warrior.”
KOVU: “I will not fight for your entertain…”
SCAR: “The stakes of the contest are this: If Kovu wins, I will grant unto him all the powers over nature and minds that I have previously extended to Legion. If Legion wins, I will heal his deformity, and give him the physical strength and endurance that Kovu has enjoyed all his life.”
LEGION: “Thank you, Father Scar. You will not be disappointed!”
KOVU: (Shouts) “I will never take on your dark power!”
SCAR: (Frowns) “Then we will raise the stakes a final time. The winner will decide the fate of the lionesses. (Kiara and Agani recoil in terror) Tell me, my son. What would you do with them?”
LEGION: (Smiles and shrugs) “I have no use for them. I will most likely kill them.”
SCAR: (Looks to Kovu) “What do you say now, Kovu? You will fight, won’t you?”
KOVU: (Looks fondly at Kiara, who looks pleadingly back) “I have no choice.”
Back in the clearing, we see Zoay stir, open her eyes and sit up.
SOZO: “Oh, good for her. I knew you had it in you, Zoay!”
JOTHRA: “I thought you said she was dying.”
SOZO: “Oh, she is, undoubtedly. But she somehow found the inner strength to regain consciousness one more time.”
JOTHRA: “Wouldn’t it be better for her to… die while asleep?”
SOZO: “Less painful, definitely. But it is her choice, after all. Anything else you want to know?”
JOTHRA: “Huh? What do you mean?”
SOZO: “Is there anything else at all you want to know? Now that you’re officially dead you can ask anything you want. Want to start with the whole Zoay-Kardia thing?”
JOTHRA: “Anything but, actually. Have I been doing the right thing?”
SOZO: “They always ask that. Fortunately, in your case the answer is yes. Mostly.”
SOZO: “Oh, look, Zoay’s gonna say something. Amazing she can still talk.”
ZOAY: “J… Jothra? Jothra, can you hear me?”
JOTHRA: “Oh, come one. I’m obviously dead.”
ZOAY: “Jothra, get up! GET UP!”
SOZO: “Well, maybe so, but there’s always hope.”
ZOAY: “Jothra, you cannot be dead. Your people need you! My people need you!”
JOTHRA: (Mumbled) “That’s all I’ve heard my whole life. Does she have to keep saying it now that I’m dead?”
ZOAY: (Bows head sadly, realizing Jothra is dead) “I need you.”
SOZO: (At Jothra’s stunned expression) “Let me guess. That one was new.”
ZOAY: “I… I love you, Jothra.”
SOZO: “Also new?”
JOTHRA: “This is crazy! When I’m alive she brushes me off and gets engaged to someone else, and now after I die she says she loves me?”
SOZO: “Kinda seems like a waste of time, don’t it?”
JOTHRA: “I’ll say! What good is loving someone that’ll be eaten by hyenas in a day or so?”
ZOAY: “Jothra, I’m so sorry. I… I should’ve told you when I could.”
JOTHRA: “You got that right!”
SOZO: “Now, now. A lady’s pouring her heart out to you, try to be sensitive.”
JOTHRA: “Sensitive? I’M DEAD!”
ZOAY: “I’ve always loved you, Jothra. I just… thought it was better… that I didn’t tell you. I thought it was better that we stay apart.”
JOTHRA: (Softens, turns so that he faces Zoay, as if she could see him standing over his own body) “But Zoay, why?”
ZOAY: (Sniffs) “I don’t know why, I suppose I thought you’d be better off without me.”
JOTHRA: “Can she hear me?”
SOZO: “No. Mostly.”
SOZO: “Well, no one else can. Your connection with her is pretty strong, so she picks up a little.”
ZOAY: “I knew your people needed you at Pride Rock, I didn’t want to keep you to myself…”
JOTHRA: “You didn’t want to be selfish.”
ZOAY: “I didn’t want to be selfish.”
JOTHRA: “That was… admirable of you.”
ZOAY: (Looks away, tears streaming down her face) “Yeah, right.”
JOTHRA: “Zoay, you know I love you.”
ZOAY: “Yes. I know.”
JOTHRA: “And you love me?”
ZOAY: “Oh, yes, Jothra, I love you more than anything. More than life. And I mean that, ‘cause I can tell I’m dying.”
JOTHRA: “Well, we’ll be together soon enough, then. We love each other, Zoay. For now, that’s enough.”
ZOAY: “Oh, Jothra. I’m so sorry.”
Zoay slowly, painfully, lies back down beside Jothra. She drapes her injured wing over him and holds him close, like the morning in Pride Rock cave. She closes her eyes and stops moving.
ZOAY: (Softly, under her breath) “Sorry…”
JOTHRA/SOZO: “I forgive you.”
Back at Izusa, Kiara and Agani are still trapped on the east edge of the Escarpment, and the manifestation of Scar has withdrawn to the west edge. Kovu is poised to run from the north edge, Legion sits quietly at the south.
SCAR: “Ready, boys? For the survival of the fittest!”
Immediately, Legion leans forward and lightning leaps from his eyes. Kovu jumps to the side, rolling as he lands, as the lightning scorches the rock where he was standing. Legion continues to attack in this manner; Kovu manages to stay one step ahead. He finds shelter behind a boulder from the ruin of the Royal cave. The lightning doesn’t seem to be able to get through.
KOVU: “You’ll have to do better than that, Legion! Come to me, face me like a warrior!”
LEGION: “I’d rather burn you alive, insolent fool!”
Legion exhales a ball of flame that strikes the rock Kovu is hiding behind. Kovu sees the fire spreading across the rock and looks around for another hiding spot. He decides to try to reach the lionesses again, and leaps for them. Legion hits Kovu in midair with lightning and Kovu goes down, writhing in pain. Legion throws his head back in laughter, a beam of green-tinted warped space extends skyward, and a massive charge builds up in the clouds. We see Kovu look up, terrified, but he jumps out of the way at the last second. The bolt from the clouds carves a crater in the Escarpment, but the view of the crater and Kovu is quickly obscured by the cloud of dust and smoke from the blast. Legion continues to laugh as the dust settles.
LEGION: “I believe I have proved myself, Father.”
SCAR: “Yes, well, forgive me for reaching a different conclusion, Son. Observe the crater.”
LEGION: (Looks down at the crater, Kovu is nowhere to be seen) “Ha! The body was completely incinerated.”
KIARA: “You missed him, Legion! Or are you blind as well as crazy?”
AGANI: “Kiara, shush!”
LEGION: “You’re next, spawn of Simba!”
SCAR: “I hate to tell you this, Legion, but you did miss. Kovu is gone, not dead. And you may not dispense of the lionesses until you have dealt with Kovu.”
LEGION: (Starts hobbling toward the crater) “I couldn’t have missed with a bolt like that! Look what it did to the… rock.”
Legion’s voice trails off as he sees the crater up close. The lightning bolt tore through the top layer of rock, exposing a tunnel underneath.
LEGION: “He’s in the tunnel system.”
SCAR: “A fair assessment. (Sighs) Too much, too soon, Legion. It must be genetic. That was my blunder two years ago in the Pridelands.”
JOTHRA: “This isn’t right.”
SOZO: “What’s that?”
JOTHRA: “This. This death, this life… it’s just not right.”
SOZO: “Feel like you could’ve done more?”
JOTHRA: “Yes. Why didn’t my power work against Scar?”
SOZO: “Because you don’t have…”
JOTHRA: “…Any power, right. I remembered that a little late.”
SOZO: “’Fraid so, Jothra.”
JOTHRA: “But still, I used the name of the Living Circle on Sc… wait, no I didn’t. When he appeared in that tornado, I panicked. What went wrong?”
SOZO: “Well, I’ll tell ya, it was the same old same old. Scar had saved up enough doubt-power to manifest in that tornado. It was a lie, and…”
JOTHRA: “And I believed it. So it became real. I doubted the truth, and that gave Scar the power to defeat me.”
SOZO: “The power and the right. You sealed the deal by inviting him to send you to the Sky lands, though I must admit it was a stinging comment to him. And here you are; dead way before your time, before you could accomplish what the Sovereignty wanted you to. You remember what you were called to do?”
JOTHRA: “To demonstrate the power, to not grow prideful in the power, and to teach others the power. I haven’t done all that well.”
SOZO: “Come, come. You’ve certainly demonstrated the power. You only grew prideful for a moment, and snapped out of it.”
JOTHRA: “But that slip-up cost me my life. And I didn’t teach anyone else the power.”
SOZO: “Sure you did. Simba believed, and defeated Rogan. And you weren’t the only one laughing away Legion’s fire just then.”
ZOAY: “This isn’t right.”
SOZO: “Speaking of Zoay…”
We see Legion leaning over the hole in the Escarpment, breathing fire into it. He can’t seem to sustain a blast, though.
SCAR: “You’ve exhausted yourself, Legion. Give it a rest.”
LEGION: “Where is he? How do you know he wasn’t killed in the blast?”
SCAR: “Oh, I can feel him. He’s alive and moving.”
SCAR: “Ah, ah, Legion. Sportsmanship and all that. This is to be a fair fight.”
LEGION: (Turns his head away to look at his father) “Well how am I supposed to…”
At this point Kovu’s front paw snakes out of the hole, grabs Legion by the mane and pulls forward, striking his head on the rocks. Legion cries out in pain, jerks his head back, and we see Kovu’s clawed paw recede into the tunnel again, a large clump of Legion’s mane in its grasp. Legion looks wildly around, and rolls a large rock over to the lip of the hole.
LEGION: “This has gone on far enough!”
SCAR: “You don’t have enough ambient energy to do that, Son.”
LEGION: “I shall pour my essence into it! The fools will believe anything.”
Scar rolls his eyes. Legion leans his head against the rock, closes his eyes, and seems to concentrate very hard. We see a spot near the bottom of the rock begin to glow pink, then red, increasing in intensity. The glowing rock begins to liquefy, and a drop of magma begins to fall into the hole.
Now from inside the tunnel we see Kovu, crouched down in the low tunnel. He sees the thick glowing drop hanging in space for a moment, small flames whisping off of it. He narrows his eyes, uncertain of what he is seeing. Then the drop falls and hits the tunnel floor, a cloud of flame billowing from the point of impact. Kovu turns away from the heat and turns his head around to see another drop forming. He starts moving more quickly through the tunnel. Legion squeezes his eyes shut even tighter, as if wringing the stone into magma. The rock liquefies at a faster rate, like a light faucet. We see Kovu crawling further down the tunnel, the fire burning bright and hot behind him, and spreading.
ZOAY: “This can not be how it ends.”
JOTHRA: “Not to sound eager for my beloved to die or anything, but is she dying or what?”
SOZO: “Physically, yes. By all the laws of nature she should’ve quit breathing a while ago.”
ZOAY: “There has got to be more than this. I refuse to accept this death.”
JOTHRA: “Man, she’s stubborn.”
SOZO: “Oh yeah. We’ve always admired her for that.”
ZOAY: “Jothra, you cannot be dead. You simply cannot.”
JOTHRA: “There’s admirable stubbornness and there’s insanity. She must’ve hit her head in the fall. I wish she’d just leave my dead self be.”
SOZO: “Well, I am certainly glad you’re the only one here with that opinion.”
ZOAY: “I at least learned a little about the Living Circle from you. And the Living Circle I learned about wouldn’t allow this to happen!”
JOTHRA: “She didn’t learn anything! The Living Circle watches us with power and love, yes. But we are limited by our choices! For better or for worse I chose to believe a lie, and I have paid the price.”
SOZO: “So, we should just let the governing laws have their way?”
JOTHRA: “Exactly. Except… that hasn’t happened. Zoay’s still alive when the governing laws say she should be dead. What’s going on, Sozo?”
ZOAY: “Sozo… where did that name come from?”
SOZO: “Oh, good, she’s hearing the good stuff. You see, Jothra, the laws are always obeyed. But some laws can be--”
SOZO: “No. Overridden.”
JOTHRA: “Even laws of nature?”
SOZO: “Especially laws of nature. Come on, think about it. With a little help from Zoay you’ve overridden a specific law of nature lots of times.”
JOTHRA: “I… oh! Gravity!”
JOTHRA: “When Zoay flies, she’s overcoming gravity. Gravity doesn’t go away, it’s just…”
SOZO: “Just not as powerful as Zoay.”
JOTHRA: “Are you saying that even though I haven’t fulfilled my mission that Zoay can?”
SOZO: “Not exactly.”
ZOAY: “Sozo means something, I know it. Jothra, you’ve got to wake up. Somehow, you will get up.”
JOTHRA: “What’s going on?”
SOZO: “Jothra, there are laws older and more powerful than the laws that allowed you to die. With your help, and with my help, Zoay is about to invoke one of them.”
JOTHRA: “Laws older than death? Like what?”
ZOAY: “Jothra! Get up now! Get up because Sozo wants you to!”
SOZO: “Well, the lawful reversal of death, for one.”
We see Jothra’s previously dead form suddenly open its eyes and sit up with a start.
Immediately following the startling end of the previous scene, we see Kovu burst out of a tunnel exit near the base of the upper steppe, on the opposite side of the Escarpment from the Angel Lions. He looks around and starts to climb the cliff, slowly this time. As he reaches about midway we see flame billow out of the tunnel exit, followed by a slow moving stream of lava.
Kovu reaches the top and peers carefully over the edge. He sees Legion by the hole, by the adjacent edge of the Escarpment. Kovu starts rock climbing laterally; inching around the side of the cliff, getting closer to the edge his brother is closest to.
Legion has all but collapsed into the hole.
LEGION: “Th… there. It’s over. As soon as I gain my strength back, you two (Looks up to Kiara and Agani) are dead.”
AGANI: “Don’t listen to him, Kiara, dear. As long he hasn’t killed us, it means he hasn’t killed Kovu.”
LEGION: “I did get him, didn’t I, Father?”
SCAR: “I think I’ve helped you enough, Legion. For instance if I wasn’t keeping the fire burning around the lionesses, they would’ve killed you themselves by now.”
KIARA: “The night isn’t over.”
SCAR: (Smile) “Indeed.”
At this Kovu leaps from his spot hidden on the cliff. He hits Legion in one leap and hits him across the side of the face with claws extended. The force of the blow renders Legion unconscious, and sends him skidding across the stone. The lionesses cheer and Scar grins.
SCAR: “Well done, my son. You have proved yourself your brother’s better. All that remains is to finish him off, and all that was his will be yours. (Kovu stares at his brother’s form in silence, breathing heavily) Kovu, listen to me. I’m proud of you. Your mother would be proud of you. Isn’t that enough?”
KOVU: “It will never be enough until you are gone for good, Scar. No matter what happens, I can and will never join you. (Voice softens, looks to Scar with genuine remorse) I’m sorry, Father. I wish there was some way… I never knew you when you were alive. You would be proud of the way Zira brought me up; you were our hero and king from beyond the grave. Mother did everything she could.”
KOVU: “But I met Kiara. And Simba. And I heard their story of what happened. I made a choice. I do not regret my choice, even if it means I must forever me separated from you, Father. Come what may, I must oppose you as long as I live.”
SCAR: (Scowl turns to an expression of understanding) “Believe it or not, Kovu, I understand. (Legion stirs, raises his head) I cannot make you accept power against your will, Son. Finish off your unworthy brother, and may go free. You, Kiara, your people, the Angel Lions, everyone. As the victor your wishes must be respected.”
KIARA: (Kovu turns and walks back over to Legion. His brother looks up at him pitifully. Kovu looks torn) “Kovu, please. Let us all go home.”
Kovu smiles at his wife. The fire around her and Agani starts to die down. Kovu looks back at Legion and steels himself.
SCAR: “I know it’s difficult, Kovu. Just think of all he’s done to you. All the Pridelanders that died in that battle died because of him. He is responsible for Simba’s death, Kovu, think of that. He murdered your king. Hate him, Kovu. See him for who he is, hate him for it, and then kill him.”
Kovu closes his eyes a moment, then partially rears up, bringing his right front paw back, claws fully extended, preparing to deliver a deathblow. Motion temporarily freezes, and we see a close up of Legion, smiling strangely. Kovu strikes forward, aiming for the side of Legion’s face. As he nears contact, however, his strike is somehow repelled away from his brother. The space around Legion warps and Kovu is thrown backward, landing halfway between Legion and the lionesses. Scar and Legion begin to laugh as Legion stands to his feet.
KIARA: “Kovu! No!!”
SCAR: “Well done, Legion.”
LEGION: “Thank you, father Scar. You had me scared for a moment.”
SCAR: “It was necessary for the full deception.”
LEGION: “Fair fight. Good one, Father.”
SCAR: “Yes. And now my son, prepare for the reward you so richly deserve. As you are to be my earthly prince you will require your faculties. Are you ready?”
LEGION: “Oh, yes, Father, yes.”
Scar slowly returns to his elemental form, becoming a flaming wind swirling around Legion. The wind whirls in tighter and tighter circles, until Legion breathes it in. At this moment, lightning flashes anew in what’s left of the surrounding jungle. We see Legion’s deformed leg slowly heal; separating from itself, growing the fur it was missing, and gain muscle to match the other. Then, his body as one increase in size and strength, until he is larger and stronger than Kovu. He looks at himself and begins to laugh. As he laughs, he exhales the flaming wind, and it coalesces back into Scar.
SCAR: “Well, my son? What do you think?”
LEGION: (Voices much deeper) “Superb in every way, Father. After so long being a cripple, I am finally a warrior!”
SCAR: “With power over nature to boot. You shall rule over all my earthly dominion, Son.”
LEGION: “I almost feel sorry for my dead brother. He never knew what happened.”
KOVU: “Yes I do.”
LEGION: (Scar and Legion whip their heads toward Kovu, who is slowly and painfully standing up) “What? I just killed him!”
SCAR: “I gave you all of his strength, he should be dead.”
KOVU: “I deserve to be. You tricked me, Scar.”
SCAR: “Obviously. Did you honestly believe I would ever even think of sharing my power with a follower of Simba?”
KOVU: “I never wanted your power. But I did have to save my wife, and you used that to make me fight. And I won, too. At least, until I started to hate.”
SCAR: “I must say I’m impressed you figured it out. I always took you for the strong back weak head sort.”
KOVU: “You got me to hate Legion. For what he did, for who he is. For killing Simba. But I remember… (panting) …what Jothra told Simba two years ago. Hatred and revenge is your area, and you have more hatred than I’ll ever have. That’s why K’Tia couldn’t kill Rogan, and that’s why I can’t kill you.”
SCAR: “Congratulations on your revelation. Sadly it comes too late. Legion, destroy Kovu.”
Legion takes off running for the dying Kovu. As he leaps for the kill, Kovu collapses to the ground. From behind him leaps Agani, with Kiara right behind her. Agani, with the larger size inherent to her sub-species, slams into Legion mid air. Their momentums cancel and they fall to the ground in front of Kovu. They both leap back to their feet, but Kiara hits Legion straight on and deals a few blows to his mane and head. Legion hits her and she goes sprawling, dangerously close to the edge. As Legion turns to finish her off, Agani leaps on him from behind, reaching around him and raking her front and back claws across his underbelly.
In the confusion, Kiara runs back to Kovu. She gets him to lift his head ever so slightly.
KIARA: “Kovu? Kovu, answer me.”
KOVU: “Kiara… I love you.”
KIARA: “I love you too, Kovu. Can you get up?”
KOVU: “It’s… over for me, Kiara.”
KIARA: “Oh, Kovu. I can’t live without you.”
They look up and see Legion throw Agani off his back and onto the rock. She hits hard and goes limp. Legion stops for a moment, catching his breath and examining his wounds. He is near the edge of the Escarpment.
KIARA: “Yes, Kovu. I know what I have to do. See you on the other side.”
We see Kiara jump up and run for Legion in slow mo. She takes the distance in leaping strides, tears streaming but jaw set in determination. Still in slow mo, Legion looks up from his bleeding chest and makes eye contact with Kiara. Speed snaps back to normal as Kiara slams into Legion at top speed, propelling them both off the top of the Izusa Escarpment and into empty space beyond. Again in slow motion, Kiara has her jaws latched onto Legion’s throat as they spin through the air, spiraling downward. We see Zoay flying into the shot as Kiara and Legion break away and continue falling. As the camera follows Legion ever downward, we see Zoay catch the smaller Kiara and fly out of shot with her. Camera shot blacks out just before Legion would hit the ground.
Camera is just behind Scar as he watches Zoay circle through the air with Kiara. He opens his mouth and more flaming bolts of lightning shoot forth. Zoay rolls and dodges the bolts as she heads for the Escarpment floor. She finally lands, Kiara in front of her. Scar laughs and fires off one more bolt, straight at Kiara. Zoay brings her wings forward, crossing them in front of the smaller lioness, shielding her from the oncoming blast. Incredibly, the beam of fire and lightning hits Zoay’s wings and diffuses off, leaving both Zoay and Kiara unharmed. Zoay lowers her wings and smiles at Scar’s flabbergasted expression.
SCAR: (Softly) “That’s impossible.”
ZOAY: “So is that.” (She does the ‘turn-around’ motion with what would be her finger)
We see a close up of the side of Scar’s face, Jothra running toward him in the background. Scar looks to that side with his eyes and an ever-so-slight turn of his head. Instead of turning around, Scar disassociates into wind and flaming ash, reassembling in an identical pose, facing the other way. Camera is fixed on a close up of the new location of his face as this happens. As he reforms Scar is smiling, but this quickly changes to newfound shock. Jothra has run right at Scar, not slowing down a bit. He hauls off and hammers the side of Scar’s face with clawed paw, sending Scar sprawling across the rock. He slides off the edge of the Escarpment and explodes into flame. The flames are whipped by wind, and gradually the tornado version of Scar is back.
SCAR: “Fools! You dare think you can defeat me? I shall so utterly destroy you that…”
JOTHRA: (Almost happily) “Shut your pie hole you big ugly sack of wind!”
SCAR: “What? What did you call me?”
JOTHRA: “You heard me, Scar! You’re a weenie and a loser and you can’t fool me anymore!”
SCAR: (Sputters incoherently for a moment)
JOTHRA: “Aren’t you the least bit curious to know how I’m still standing here?”
SCAR: “Whatever mistake I made in killing you I am about to remedy. Any last words?”
JOTHRA: “Just one.”
SCAR: “And it is?”
JOTHRA: (Big smile) “Sozo.”
SCAR: (If his face was human, it would lose all its color. Scar looks severely frightened, as if his life is in danger) “Wh… what did you say?”
Jothra just smiles and mimics the gesture Zoay did a few moments ago. Scar quickly turns his larger-than-life frame around to look behind him. A POV shot shows nothing but the smoldering remains of the Izusa jungle. Scar turns back around in disgust, starts to speak, then yelps in fear like a cub, jumping back a step. View returns to Jothra, who is no longer alone. Sozo stands on one side of him, Zoay on the other.
SOZO: “Thought you were smarter than that.”
SOZO: “Yes, Scar, it’s me. And these are my friends Zoay and Jothra. But you can call him Naba.”
SCAR: “We meet in combat at last.”
SOZO: “Not yet, Scar. Not yet. Be gone.”
SCAR: “But… where would I go?”
SOZO: “Where your kind belong.”
At these words, the skies over the Escarpment burst open and blinding blue light pours down from above. The figure of Scar cringes from the light. The circle of light is centered on Sozo; a spotlight of the brightest white illuminates him. Gone is the scraggly mane and unkempt fur. Instead we see him wearing a crown of light, disk necklace of light, with blue-white light pouring from his eyes. His mane is light brown and bright red, as if flaming copper. In the light he looks every bit the great king of the heavens. His voice thunders across the valley.
SOZO: “Scar, you have broken my law and so must be punished. Your lineage has been cut off, no son of yours will ever reign on any throne, while the king who is not your son shall rule and reign according to my statutes. He who was once lost is now found.”
SCAR: “But I…”
Sozo roars, a beam of golden light coming from his mouth, just like Jothra destroying the Spectres. The beam hits the whirlwind of Scar, and he is consumed with golden flames. Scar appears to be fighting it, but soon he is a colossal mass of gold fire. Finally, he explodes with the force of a bomb, sending a gold and blue tsunami-sized ring of glowing fire across the landscape.
As this shockwave travels, everything in its wake is restored to the way it was before either storm or either battle. The jungle springs to life. Grass grows back. The Escarpment shifts back to its original form and the rocks making up the Royal Cave are reordered. We see the Angel Lion Pride, looking around at the new jungle, as Xater wakes up.
As the glow and rumbling recede into the distance, we see Jothra and Zoay locked in an embrace. They pull back smiling.
ZOAY: “Jothra, forget what I said earlier. I love you.”
JOTHRA: “I know.”
ZOAY: “Of course you know. Tell me how.”
JOTHRA: “I could hear you while I was dead. And I love you too. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
ZOAY: (Laughs) “That’s good, ‘cause I’m never leaving your side, regardless.”
The pair embraces again and looks around. Kovu and Kiara have gotten up and are walking over, as does Agani. They look over to the side and see K’Tia and Xater climbing over the top of the newly restored cliff.
ZOAY: “Daddy! Xater, you’re awake!”
XATER: “Yes, Your Majesty. I am finally released from my nightmares. But I see you are now a grown lioness. How long was I asleep?”
ZOAY: “The Izusa Battle was two years ago.”
XATER: “Two years? I shall never need sleep again!”
K’TIA: “Zoay, look! My shoulder is whole! I can climb the cliffs again!”
Jothra and Zoay, who are facing Kovu, Kiara, Agani, K’Tia and Xater, see their focus shift to behind them, looks of awe coming across their faces. Jothra and Zoay turn around and see Sozo in his more earthy form, walking slowly toward them. Jothra and Zoay bow to Sozo, the others soon follow suit.
SOZO: “Well done, my good and faithful servants. You have proved your faith by your works.”
JOTHRA: “It was all you, Master.”
ZOAY: “All we did was believe.”
SOZO: “That’s all you have to do. And all I ask of you. Bless you, Jothra and Zoay, my friends, King and Queen, joined as one forever.”
K’TIA: “Master, were you the voice we heard cast away Scar?”
SOZO: “I was. Well done and thank you, K’Tia and Agani, for completing the task I gave you. (Moves on to Xater, who still looks rather confused) Xater, your task has only now begun. Receive the memories of time past that was stolen from you, Mighty Warrior of the Light, and regain knowledge. See, I have redeemed the time.”
XATER: (Eyes brighten as he remembers what has been going on around him while he was asleep) “Oh thank you, Master Sozo. I am yours forever.”
SOZO: “Yes. You are. (Now moves to Kovu and Kiara) Kovu from Zira, Kiara from Simba. King and Queen of the Pridelands, destined from birth for such a time as this. Your task remains for many years, and is a difficult one. Kovu, you must lead your pride through perilous times yet to come. Kiara, you must uphold him in this, and serve as a beacon of hope to your people. Yet I will always be with you, though you may not see me, I will forever work on your behalf.”
KOVU: “We will follow you, Master Sozo. Thank you for everything.”
SOZO: “You are very welcome. And now, I must have a moment alone with my Naba, Jothra.”
JOTHRA: (Comes to stand beside Sozo) “Of course, Master.”
Sozo gently exhales, as Malachi did to the cub Jothra, and suddenly Sozo and Jothra are transported to the plains of the Pridelands. They are still half-destroyed and burnt.
SOZO: “Watch, Jothra. Your redemption draws near.”
Over the western horizon, the blue-gold fire wave is closing in on the Pridelands as the sun begins to rise on the eastern horizon. Blue to the west blends with red in the east, creating a violet hue to north and south, like a surreal rainbow surrounding the entire visible earth.
JOTHRA: “It’s beautiful.”
The wave continues to close, working its magic. Grass grows back, slabs of rock and earth right themselves, making the uneven surface into healthy plains again. Jothra hears noise behind him, and turns around to see the old hyena cliffs shift into their rightful positions, the seeping lava withdrawn into the cracks as they close. The grass regrows in the area that once stunned any lion that crossed into it.
SOZO: “Only one thing remains.”
Jothra turns around to see Sozo looking at the tilted Pride Rock, shaken by the original storm. The summit rock has been leaning to its right, the presentation stone still slid off its support, lying along the ground. A pull back view from the air shows this. We see the wave and the daylight terminus closing in on the stone arrangement. As they collide, Pride Rock is engulfed in blue and gold flames. The dawn fully comes, and the blue wave evaporates in the daylight, its work complete. The flaming stones of Pride Rock shudder and creak. Suddenly, the presentation rock is lifted off the ground as if by unseen hands, turned back straight, and set on its support with a resounding thud. The summit stone merely slowly tilts back until upright, sinking a bit into its original hole. The flames begin to dissipate.
SOZO: (Back to the personality he had when he originally met Jothra) “All right all right! Ooh, I like that! Jothra, look at that rock. I’m proud of that one right there, yes I am. I’m going to have to sign this piece of work.”
The remainder of the blue fire concentrates itself on the front of the wall of the summit rock. The fire burns a replica of the symbol on Jothra’s collar. After this the fire finally disappears completely.
SOZO: “Well, that’s that. The lie is dispelled. I must be going now, Jothra. Keep on believing! Fight the good fight!” (In a flash of blue and one last deafening roar, Sozo is gone)
We see Nala and Timusa stroll out of Pride Rock Cave, yawning as if they’re just waking up. Jothra runs up to meet them.
JOTHRA: “Brother! Grandma Nala!”
NALA: “Jothra! Good to see you back so soon.”
TIMUSA: “How was the storm at Izusa? Not as bad as we thought, then?”
JOTHRA: (Comes up to the cave) “You’re kidding, right? You seriously slept through that?”
NALA: “Slept through what, dear?”
JOTHRA: “Look around you! Look at Pride Rock!” (They do so)
TIMUSA: “Wh… what happened?!”
NALA: “The stones have been fixed!”
Scene’s visuals take place along with a voice-over by Rafiki.
Scene begins where previous scene left off, with Pridelanders coming out of the cave and looking about in wonder. View pulls back into an airborne, sweeping panoramic view. A mock helicopter shot continues across the Pridelands, showing them repaired, teeming with vegetation and herds. View heads over the plains and desert to Hakuna Matata, showing the hyenas and meerkats coexisting in the near-paradise conditions there. Then up the monolith and over the plains to the new hyena canyon, then a straight shot to the Izusa Escarpment, repaired and again surrounded by lush jungle. Zoay is perched atop the Royal Cave.
RAFIKI: “And so the Living Circle restored the Circle of Life to its rightful state. The land was healed, the herds restored, and the hyenas brought out of servitude. Scar was not heard of in those parts again. Jothra continued to teach us about the Living Circle and Zoay continued to rule as the destined one; their union began to reweave the Pridelanders and the Angel Lions, thus fulfilling the Sovereignty’s plan all along.”
At the words ‘Zoay continued to rule’, Zoay takes off from the Royal Cave and starts to fly around the clearing. We see various Angel Lions around the Escarpment, the steppes and the clearing. They all wave and bow to Zoay as she flies. As Rafiki starts his next set of lines, Zoay breaks from her pattern and begins to fly over the tree tops towards the Pridelands.
RAFIKI: “Our two prides became part of each other. Zoay became our princess and Jothra became their prince, and they were rarely seen apart. Everyone was just as welcome in one home as in the other. (Zoay soars over Rafiki’s tree, slows down and begins to circle it) Kovu and Kiara were among the finest rulers we ever had, and served well for many long years. But no one lives forever. (We see Rafiki in his tree, waving to Zoay) Not even old Rafiki.”
At this statement, the screen temporarily goes dark, but soon we see Rafiki back on Pride Rock, with Kovu, Kiara, Jothra and Zoay, preparing to present a cub. We do not fully see the cub until the end.
RAFIKI: “But by the grace of the kings in the sky I was allowed to remain long enough to present one final cub. The son of Jothra and Zoay, who would one day rule over the Angel and Golden lions as a single pride. The hero of legends and songs to come, the sire of a noble line of kings, the great and powerful…”
We fully see the cub in Rafiki’s hands; he is white with golden wings, dark spots under one eye. Before Rafiki can say the name of the cub, the screen goes dark again. Rafiki laughs as he delivers his last line.
RAFIKI: “Oh ho ho, but old Rafiki is getting ahead of himself. That’s another story.”
Start roll end credits.