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The Lion King Wiki
Return to the Pride Lands
Return to the Pride Lands
The Lion Guard Titlecard.png
Attribution information

   Howy Parkins
   Tom Derosier


   Kendall Michele Haney
   Ford Riley

Production information

The Lion Guard





Air date

November 3, 2019

Episode guide

"Journey to the Pride Lands"


End of series

Pride Landers! Welcome to the Battle of the Lion Guards. Kion's Guard will compete with Vitani's to see which team is the best. There will be one test for each traditional Lion Guard role: the fiercest, bravest, fastest, strongest, and keenest of sight.

"Return to the Pride Lands" is the nineteenth and final episode of Season 3 of The Lion Guard. It is the series finale. It premiered on November 3, 2019.

Official synopsis

"When The Lion Guard returns to the Pride Lands they discover Vitani has formed her own Lion Guard in their absence. Who is the rightful protector?"[1]

Plot summary

Vitani and her pride challenge the Lion Guard's return to the Pride Lands

The Lion Guard enters the Outlands, where they run into Madoa. Madoa, who has been in hiding with the rest of Jasiri's clan, explains that Zira's invasion of the Pride Lands has already begun. Mzingo arrives and agrees to help, per Jasiri's request.

Just then, Anga spots Zira's son, Kovu, standing on Pride Rock. Zira's daughter, Vitani, arrives with a strange pride of lionesses and launches into battle against the Lion Guard. With the help of Mzingo and his parliament, the Lion Guard manages to distract Vitani's scout, Tazama. Kion is about to use the Roar of the Elders to finish off Vitani and her pride when Kiara appears with Kovu and explains that the Outsiders have joined the Pride Landers. Though confused, Kion halts his attack.

A painting at Pride Rock depicts the final confrontation between Simba's and Zira's prides

Back at Pride Rock, Kion reunites with his parents, Simba and Nala. Rafiki approaches and comments that Makini is missing. When Kion explains that Makini had chosen to stay at the Tree of Life to be Rani's Royal Mjuzi, Rafiki states that Janna had been right about Makini's future all along.

Afterwards, Rafiki explains how Zira's pride had changed allegiance due to Kiara and Kovu's intervention. However, Zira had clung to her hatred, and it had destroyed her. The Lion Guard then leaves to greet old friends and family around the kingdom.

Kion admits his feelings for Rani to Kiara

That night, Kion gazes up at the stars, which catches Kiara's notice. Kion explains to Kiara that her relationship with Kovu has reminded him of his old friend, Rani, who is still at the Tree of Life. Kiara tells Kion that he can go back to the Tree of Life someday, as their parents would understand. Kion remains unsure.

The next morning, the Lion Guard enters the Lair of the Lion Guard, only to find that Vitani and her pride are already within. Vitani argues that she should lead the Lion Guard, as she is the sister of the future king, but Kion argues that, as the future queen's brother, it is his duty to lead the Lion Guard. Just then, Laini approaches, begging for help, and both Lion Guards rush off to assist her.

Rafiki announces the Battle of the Lion Guards to the gathered Pride Landers

They follow Laini to where Thurston is stuck in a hole. The two Lion Guards argue over who should rescue Thurston, but Azaad merely approaches Thurston and tells him to back out of the hole. Thurston does so, and Kion comments that they must sort out their problems in order to avoid quarreling. Thurston suggests a competition to determine which team is better, and both Lion Guards agree to the challenge.

Later, Rafiki announces the Battle of the Lion Guards to a crowd of Pride Landers. He explains that there will be five competitions to determine who is the fiercest, strongest, fastest, keenest of sight, and bravest in the Pride Lands.

Beshte and Imara compete to see who is the strongest

The first competition is a battle of strength between Beshte and Imara, in which they must each push a rock with an elephant on top to the finish line. Though Beshte initially has the upper hand, he has to pause and roll around in the mud due to a severe sunburn, which allows Imara to win.

The next competition is a race. Fuli allows Kasi to run ahead, but streaks to the finish line before her.

Next, Tazama challenges Anga to find Laini, who is hiding in a dark cave. Anga struggles to see in the dark, allowing Tazama to spot Laini first and win the contest.

Kion demonstrates his mastery of the Roar of the Elders by lifting Pride Rock

Finally, Bunga challenges Shabaha to beat him in an obstacle course and be the first to reach a baobab fruit that is hanging from a tree. Bunga manages to win, as Shabaha hesitates at the daunting challenges.

Since the two teams have tied, Ono announces that the win will be determined by Kion and Vitani's challenge. Vitani calls for a mashindano, or a physical fight. Kion is appalled and warns her that she does not stand a chance against the Roar, but Vitani asserts that she can be the fiercest without the Roar. This causes Kion to recall Askari's statement that only one who can let go of the Roar can truly master it. Realizing that Vitani is the true leader of the Lion Guard, Kion relinquishes his team's duties to Vitani and her pride. Vitani is then able to use the Roar of the Elders, as she is now the protector of the Pride Lands.

The spirits of Mufasa, Janna, and Askari overlook Kion and Rani's wedding at the Tree of Life

Askari appears in the clouds overhead and praises Kion for his decision. He adds that Kion has truly mastered the Roar, but Kion counters that he is no longer the leader of the Lion Guard. To this, Askari reminds him that the Tree of Life needs the Roar's protection as well. The rest of Kion's Lion Guard agrees to protect the Tree of Life alongside Kion.

After Kion's decision, Vitani questions Kion on what it means to master the Roar, and Kion demonstrates by picking up Pride Rock with the power of the Roar, which amazes Vitani.

Later, Kion marries Rani at the Tree of Life, becoming its king.

Voice cast


Guest starring





Organizations and titles


  • The episode was released early on September 2, 2019, on DisneyNOW.
  • This episode is shown to take place after the events of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. As a result, this episode is the first installment in the franchise that serves as a sequel to Simba's Pride.
  • The events of Simba's Pride are shown in a cave painting by Rafiki, and narrated by Kovu and Kiara.
  • The episode creates a slight inconsistency with Simba's Pride. In this episode, Rafiki states that Zira plotted to have Kovu kill Simba and take over the Pride Lands after the events of "Lions of the Outlands". This is shown to be false, as the said episode takes place after the first half of the second film, in which Zira had already begun her plot to have Kovu kill Simba.


  1. Watch The Lion Guard Full Episodes. Disney+. Accessed 12 November 2019.