Jason Marsden (young adult)
Gene Miller (young adult singing voice)
Kovu is the deuteragonist of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. He is the son of Zira and an unknown lion, the younger brother of Nuka and Vitani, the adoptive son of Scar, the husband of Kiara, and the son-in-law of Simba and Nala.
Kovu is sneaky and arrogant as a cub, but as he grows, his personality changes, and softens in to love for Kiara. He first wanted to come to Simba's Pride as an assassin, but changes after teaching Kiara how to hunt, and learning the meaning of "fun."
Kovu is auburn with a dark brown mane, emerald green eyes and later a pink scar over his left eye.
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
Kovu first appears in the film as a cub who has wondered away from his brother Nuka (who was supposed to be watching him) and is knocked over by Kiara and growls at her. Then Kiara keeps an eye on Kovu to which he asks what she's doing to which she says that her father told her to never turn her back on an Outsider. Kovu teases her and calls her a Daddy's Little Girl and says that an Outsider doesn't need anybody and that he takes care of himself which impresses Kiara. The two cubs end up wandering onto crocodiles but they are able to climb up to higher ground to safety. Kovu introduces himself to the other cub who introduces herself as Kiara. Kiara then tries to play tag with Kovu, but he doesn't know how to. Just when Kovu gets the hang of it, Kiara's father Simba arrives and roars before Kovu's mother Zira appears and roars back at Simba. It is revealed that Kovu was hand chosen by Simba's uncle Scar to follow in his paw prints and become king and he was also the last born before Simba banished Kovu, Zira and the rest of Scar's followers to The Outlands. After the brief face off, Simba tells Zira to take Kovu and leave before picking up Kiara and leaving.
Zira picks up Kovu and takes him back to The Outlands where she scolds Nuka for not watching Kovu whom jumps to his Nuka's defense saying he went out on his own and says he thought he could be friends with Kiara. Zira at first thinks that it's a stupid idea, but changes her mind when she sees that she could use Kovu's friendship with Kiara to kill Simba and avenge Scar's death.
Years later, Kovu now a young adult, has completed his training and is ready to avenge Scar, kill Simba and become king. As part of the plan, Kovu rescues Kiara from a fire set up by Nuka and his sister Vitani and is allowed into the Pridelander pride by Simba as thanks but is not allowed to sleep inside Pride Rock with the other lions. Kiara thanks Kovu for saving her and makes an agreement with him to teach her to hunt at dawn. The next day, Kovu sees Simba by himself drinking out of a lake and sees this as a chance to kill the king, but Kiara arrives and ends up distracting him. During the lesson, Kovu and Kiara run into Timon and Pumbaa and help them chase away. The group end up being chased by rhinos but are able to hide in a narrow gap where Kovu and Kiara end up accidentally kissing when getting out of the gap. That night, Kovu and Kiara stargaze where Kiara talks about The Great Kings of the Past being up in the stars to which Kovu asks if Scar's up there. Kovu says that though Scar wasn't his father, he was still part of him. Kiara tells Kovu that Simba told her that there was a blackness in Scar, one he couldn't escape which makes Kovu wonder it he has a blackness in him too.
Kovu nearly tells Kiara his part in Zira's plan, but can't bring himself to and begins to leave, but then Rafiki appears and takes him and Kiara to Upendi where the two young lions end up falling in love. Later, the two return to Pride Rock where Simba (having been encouraged by Nala to give Kovu a chance) allows Kovu to sleep inside with the rest of the pride, whilst unaware that they are being watched by Vitani, who tells Zira of Kovu's failure to kill Simba. The next morning, Kovu decides to tell Kiara the truth about him being in on Zira's plot, but Simba arrives and takes Kovu for a walk, wishing to talk to him. Simba tells Kovu that Scar couldn't let go of his hate and in the end it destroyed him which surprises Kovu as he had never heard the story of Scar that way. Just then, Zira, Nuka, Vitani and the other Outsiders arrive and attack Simba, but when Kovu tries to stop this, Vitani kicks him away and sends him crashing into a rock where he falls unconscious. When he wakes up, Kovu finds Simba climbing up logs and runs away when Zira tells him to kills Simba. The ambush fails and Simba escapes back to The Pride Lands but during this, Nuka dies after being crushed by logs. Zira is saddened by her eldest son's death and angrily scratches Kovu in the face, leaving a scar over his left eye like Scar's. Zira accuses Kovu of betraying his pride, betraying Scar and for killing Nuka which causes Kovu to run off and return to The Pride Lands where he is banished by Simba (who believed he was part of the ambush).
Rejected by his mother and Simba, Kovu wanders into the desert where he sees that Kiara has came looking for him. Kovu suggests they run away and start a pride of their own, but Kiara tells him that that have to go back as their place is within their pride's and if they left, they would be diveded forever. Kovu and Kiara return to The Pride Lands and see that The Pridelanders and Outsiders are fighting and they stop the fight just as Simba and Zira are about to fight. Zira tells Kovu to get out of the way, but Kovu tells his mother that she won't hurt Kiara or Simba while he is here. After Vitani and the Outsiders rejoin the Pridelanders, Kovu witnesses Kiara and Zira fall of the edge of a cliff and is shown to be saddened when Zira falls to her death, having lost both his brother and mother in a short space of time.
Kovu happily embraces Kiara after Simba gets her back up the cliff to safety, where Simba admits he was wrong about Kovu and that he did belong with the pride and allows him and the Outsiders to rejoin. Back at Pride Rock, the reformed pride watches on as Kovu and Kiara get married and then roar alongside Simba and Nala.
- Kovu was originally going to be called Nunka and was to be the son of both Zira and Scar. However, this was changed as this would have made Nunka Simba's cousin and Kiara's second cousin, resulting in incest. So Nunka became Kovu and was instead Scar's adoptive son.