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Villain Overview
You win today, Kion. Next time won't be so easy.
~ Janja warning Kion that their fight is just beginning.
Yeah. I think we're on the right side now. (Jasiri: You sure are.) You know, I think I could get used to that laugh.
~ Janja's redemption.

Janja is the main antagonist of the 2015 Disney Channel TV film The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, and one of the primary antagonists (later reformed character) of its 2016 follow-up series The Lion Guard before Makucha took over. He serves as the main antagonist of the first season and one of the secondary antagonists of the second season (along with Ushari) and a supporting antagonist turned supporting protagonist of the third season. He is the head of a teenage clan of Hyenas in the Outlands, who are descendants of the hyena clan who served Scar. Janja is also the arch-nemesis of Kion, the protagonist of the show, and the rival leader of Jasiri. After many failures, Janja summoned Scar's ghost in the hope of defeating the guard, but over time he finally doubted his choices and eventually turned on Scar and made peace with Kion. Later, after reforming he plays a minor yet still important role.

He is voiced by Andrew Kishino, who also played VECTOR in Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, Shredder in Batman VS. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Shang Tsung and Sektor in Mortal Kombat 9, and another antagonist Ora of the show.

Personality

Like his hyena ancestors before him, Janja is a greedy, arrogant, eccentric, temperamental and vicious individual with no regard for the Circle of Life. His unabated hunger drives him to extreme measures, as he is willing to stand against Simba and the Lion Guard, and his ruthless nature shines through in even everyday interactions.

In addition to being the leader, Janja is one of the smartest hyenas of his clan, with only Nne and Tano being smarter. He often refers to his clan members, especially his right-hand minions Cheezi and Chungu, as "fur brains" whenever they make mistakes or do or say something stupid. He was also smart enough to revive Scar with some help.

Janja's intelligence is undeniable. He is an exploitative and devious planner who is always hatching new plots to bring down the Lion Guard or take over the Pride Lands. Janja is notably the only hyena in his clan who uses cunning to obtain what he wants.

True to his name, he is very sly and treacherous, but also highly charismatic, utilizing his allies in his nefarious schemes. Under Janja's guidance, the hyenas prove a great threat, especially since they are often swayed to his side through his natural charisma and cunning. That said, his cunning has limits as shown when Nne and Tano foiled him with little effort/

Janja will ensure that the clan's goals always align with his own. Janja is also proved to be ambitious: Hyenas are a matriarchy, meaning they are led by females and males are of lesser statuses (in real life hyenas). By going against this and desiring to be a leader of his own clan despite being a male, unusual for his kind.

Despite his burning ambitions and sharp intellect, Janja is also somewhat pusillanimous and cowardly, usually only choosing to fight when the odds are in his favor, and he is known to promptly turn tail and run when faced with a fair fight. This along with his impulsive nature makes him struggle against those who match his power.

Despite his actions and personality, however, Janja also appears to have empathy as shown in Season 2 in The Hyena Resistance. When Janja was accidentally knocked into a lava pit by one of the crocodiles and hanging for dear life from certain death, after the army was blown away, Jasiri came to his rescue, leaving the speechless hyena hesitant. Janja was shown to less aggressive once being saved and despite his refusal, Jasiri remains hopeful and sure that he'll come around soon and skinks doubtful of his loyalty.

Jasiri's hopes finally turned out to be true when Janja began to doubt his life in the service of Scar and when he was betrayed by the evil lion he sided with Kion and Jasiri to defeat him and even chose to accept the Circle of Life he had always despised. He later displays remorse as shown when he and Jasiri wish Kion and the Guard farewell as he had a sad look on his face.

Powers and Abilities

  • Alpha: Janja is revealed to have leadership prowess that rivals Kion.
  • Strength and Combat: Janja is also strong. In fact, he is just as strong as Kion as he was able to hold down his enemies that are his size such as Kion, Kiara, and Jasiri. That said, he becomes weaker than Kion overtime after Kion becomes bigger.
  • High-level Intellect: Janja is highly intelligent and cunning. Surrounded on all sides by other more witless hyenas, he stands out as the one clever member of his clan, as he knew the story of the Lion Guard and was able to come up with many schemes to take over the Pride Land; such as attacking at night before the Lion Guard was official, getting Kiara as prisoner to deal with Simba, using herd of animals to make the Lion Guard unable to see and trapping the Lion Guard by using boulders to block the path when Ono was not able to see. He also knew that vultures have come information when having meetings that he can use against the Lion Guard proven by Ono unable to see. He was also able to fool the Lion Guard into believing that he and his clan were giving up and immediately returned to Pride lands.
  • Endurance and Stamina: His stamina is high as he is able to hunt down with his pack to take out much prey as he could, able to endure the attack of Beshte's brute strength and sometimes run away from Kion's roar. Furthermore, even Kion's most powerful roar sometimes can do little more than make him dazed.

Quotes

The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar

What do you take me for, a vegetarian?
~ Janja to Cheezi and Chungu when they suggest the hyenas eat a baobab fruit.
Stuff it fur-brains.
~ Janja
Mzingo, What are you doing this far into the Outlands? Looking for leftovers?
~ Janja to Mzingo.
Simba's cub Kion managed to cancel our lunch plans.
~ Janja
Don't you know the stories, The Lion Guard was legendary. The most powerful team of lions in the Pride Lands.
~ Janja about The Lion Guard.
Tonight, we Outlanders will feast! Hyenas and vultures alike! Tonight we strike!
~ Janja
Outlanders, all rise and follow me! The Pridelands will never know what bit em!
~ Janja to his clan.
Well, if it isn't Kion the lion cub! You and your friends better leave now, before you get hurt.
~ Janja threatens Kion and his friends.

The Lion Guard

Well if it isn't Jasiri. Thought I told you to stay off our turf.
~ Janja to Jasiri.
Dunno why you're in the Outlands helpin a hyena Kion, but it's the last thing you're gonna do.
~ Janja mocking Kion helping Jasiri.
Be a shame if their family squabbles led to chaos in the Pride Lands.
~ Janja taunting the problems of Kion and Kiara.
Too bad you're out here all on your own.
~ Janja to Kiara.
Gotcha now, lion cub!
~ Janja about of attacking Kion from behind.
I've had enough!
~ Janja after having been knocked down by a wildebeest.
Oh, you jackals are so annoying!
~ Janja expressing that he hated the jackals.
We just chased ya out of our den yesterday. And now you're back? Guess I need to make an example of ya!
~ Janja about to attack the little jackal before being stopped by Kion.
What're you doing in the Outlands, anyway?
~ Janja asking Kion what he's doing on Outlands.
Okay, Kion, you want the jackal? He's all yours.
~ Janja agreeing to leave Dogo.
Merry Kupatana!
~ Janja happy that the guard got rid of Dogo.
There ain't no new plan! You're not in the crew anymore! Get out of the Outlands! You two, I'm giving you a promotion.
~ Janja fired Cheezi and Chungu and replaced by Nne and Tano.
All right, you twos, listen up. Now that you're my seconds-in-command, you gotta learn the rules. Rule number one, I am the smartest hyena around! Rule number three...
~ Janja explains the rules to his new henchmens.
Uh-huh. Uh, well, good plan. Yeah! Finally. Hyenas who got smarts like me. Those other fur-brains never knew what they were doing.
~ Janja congratulating the new henchmen.
I thought it couldn't get any worse
~ Janja as he is stuck on a cliff and watched by the Guard.
Yeah. And since when do we take orders from the Lion Guard?
~ Janja says he does not care what the Lion Guard says.
Relax. She ain't so tough. Out here all alone. Outnumbered.
~ Janja on the verge of attacking Nala.
Oh, you mean Scar? Hate to break it to ya, Ushari. But Scar died in the fire at Pride Rock a long time ago.
~ Janja talking about Scar's death.
Uh... Are you...(Scar: Yes. I am Scar.)
~ Janja sees Scar for the first time.
It don't matter what he say, you two always gotta listen to me!
~ Janja reminding Cheezi and Chungu that although Scar is in charge, they still has to listen him.
Okay, that lizards.... definitely not little.
~ Janja after meeting Kenge.
Oh, yeah? Well... So what! We'll keep comin' back, Kion! Again and again. Maybe next time we'll actually get rid of Kiara. Or Bunga. Or maybe even your Mom or Dad. Right there on Pride Rock!
~ Janja warns Kion that he will always come back and never stop.
Why? Why did you help me? (Jasiri: I'd help any hyena, Janja. Sisi ni Sawa.) We're the same? (Jasiri: You and your clan don't have to be on Scar's side Janja.You could join us. The Hyena Resistance and help defeat him.) Hmm uh... I don't think so. We ain't the same Jasiri! (Jasiri, confident and hopeful: We'll see.)
~ Janja showing his empathy to Jasiri after she saved him from the lava pit and shows hesitation about Jasiri's offer just as he declines the offer before he returns to Scar and the rest of the army, the same response that made Jasiri confident and hopeful he'll come around and made the skinks report the events to Scar when they doubt his loyalty.
They all run away! Mizimu Grove is ours!
~ Janja celebrates the latest victory of Scar's army.
Maybe Jasiri was right. Her hyenas seem to be happy working with the Lion Guard. Wonder if we would be too.
~ Janja begins to reconsider his choices.
But Scar told us to go in there... We've been double-crossed!
~ Janja realizes that Scar has tried to kill him, as well as his clan.
(Jasiri: Janja! What are you doing here? This isn't your territory.) Yeah, I know. I just, uh...(Jasiri: You what?) I've been thinking, about something you said to me a while ago. (Jasiri: And, what's that?) Aw, you know... "Sisi ni sawa means we're the same" (Jasiri: Well! I never thought I'd hear you say that.) You were right. Scar don't care about us hyenas. (Jasiri: And, what made you realize that?) The rest of my clan is trapped! In a fire at Pride Rock. (Jasiri: A fire at Pride Rock?) The Lion Guard's trapped, too. (Jasiri: And, you're standing here singing? There's no time to lose! Let's go!) Uh, uh, okay. Uh, whatever you say Jasiri!
~ Janja ask Jasiri to help for saved his clan and The Lion Guard.
(Simba: Janja, what brings you here?) I, uh... I know some stuff that might be helpful. (Simba: Helpful how?) I know how to defeat Scar. (Simba: And, why should we believe you? A sworn enemy of the Pride Lands.) (Jasiri: Go on.) Uh, well... " Sisi ni sawa means we're the same. Though I've got spots and you have a mane. At the end of the..." (Jasiri: Janja! Ugh, I meant, tell Simba what you know.) Oh! Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right. (Simba: No offense, Jasiri. But, it is difficult for me to believe that Janja has changed sides.) (Makuu: Your Highness, you gave me a chance when no one else in the Pride Lands would. If Janja's information is useful, we should use it to beat Scar. If it isn't, then we crocodiles will be happy to have him for a late night snack.) (Kion: Makuu's right, dad. If Jasiri believes Janja, I think we should at least hear what he has to say.) (Simba: Kion. Always willing to forgive your enemies. It's a noble trait. And, part of what makes you you. Very well. Janja.) Okay. Well, Scar says that only Kion can defeat him. By using the Roar. (Kion: If the Roar brought Scar back, I guess it could get rid of him, too.) But, it's gotta be the most powerful Roar you've got.
~ Janja wins the Pridelanders's trust.
If you ask me, there's only one animal that can keep the peace between the Pride Lands and the Outlands. (Kiburi: And, who's that? You?) Nope, I ain't that dumb. From now on, Jasiri should be in charge of the Outlands. (JASIRI: Me?) (Kion: Makes sense to me.) (Jasiri: Outlanders, I know we can all get along here in the Outlands. Just so long as we respect the Circle of Life.) And if you don't, then you'll have to answer to Jasiri's new clan, which includes us.
~ Janja chose Jasiri as the new leader of the Oultands while merging his clan with her.
Sure thing, Jasiri. Hey, being a good guy is just like being a bad guy. Execpt you don't try eating everything you chase.
~ Janja compares the past and now.

Songs sung by Janja

  • "Tonight We Strike."
  • "Outta the Way."
  • "Panic and Run."
  • "Bring Back a Legend."
  • "The Worst Hyena We Know."
  • "We're the Smartest."
  • "I'm gonna run this Dump."
  • "A New Way To Go."

Trivia

  • The name "Janja" means "crafty" in Swahili.
  • Janja is male and leader of his clan, but in real life, hyenas are led by females. Thus, it's theorized that Janja's clan lacked from females and he was allowed to take over the reins due being a dominant male.
  • Janja and his clan are descendants of the Hyena Clan from the original film.
  • It is possible that Janja was inspired by Banagi, a hyena who was an antagonist in the early drafts of The Lion King, who like Janja was male and led his clan.
  • Judging by personality, Janja can be assumed to be The Lion Guard's equivalent of Shenzi:
    • Both are the leaders of their clans
    • Both are accompanied by two other members of their species (Cheezi and Chungu for Janja and Banzai and Ed for Shenzi).
      • Given this, some fans speculate that Janja is the offspring of Shenzi and Banzai, yet there's no solid arguments to support this theory.
  • Janja and the other hyenas believe that Scar died in the great fire years ago after Simba defeated him, unaware of the fact that their ancestors, Shenzi's hyena clan, killed Scar in revenge for his betrayal and broken promises. This happened to Zira in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride which Zira, who is avenging Scar thinks that Simba killed him though Simba only got him flipped and fall to the place he gets killed when he tried to kill him.
  • Although a teenager, Janja is almost the same size as Nala. In season 3, Janja is the same size as Teen Kion and seems to be at Simba's chin, which is probably the same size as the original movie's hyenas.
  • According to the show's creator, Ford Riley, Janja secretly has romantic feelings for Jasiri, despite his rivalry and hatred for her beliefs. The special "Battle for the Pride Lands" pretty hints at Riley's declarations, as Janja starts realizing that Jasiri might be right after all and ultimately chooses to defect from Scar's Army along with Cheezi and Chungu, joins the Pride Landers and proposes Jasiri to be the leader of the Outlands.
  • As shown in The Lake of Reflection, Janja knew Kion since they were very young and the hyena was already evil at that age.

Navigation

           The Lion King Logo Villains

Movies
The Lion King (1994): Scar | Hyena Clan (Shenzi, Banzai and Ed)
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: Outsiders (Zira, Nuka & Vitani) | Scar
The Lion King 1 1/2: Hyena Clan (Shenzi, Banzai and Ed) | Scar
The Lion King (2019): Scar | Hyena Clan (Shenzi, Kamari and Azizi)

Television
Timon & Pumbaa: Quint | Mel | Shenzi, Banzai and Ed | Pimon and Tumbaa | Ralph and Eddie | El Toro | Claudius | Native Chief | The Three Natives | Cheetayta and Cheetahto | Dragon
The Lion Guard: Janja's Clan (Janja, Mzingo, Cheezi and Chungu, Nne & Tano) | Scar's Army (Scar, Ushari, Kiburi, Reirei, Goigoi, Dogo, Kenge & Sumu) | Outsiders (Zira, Nuka & Vitani) | Makuu | Mapigano | Makucha | Mama Binturong | Chuluun | Ora | Strange Lion | Strange Cobra

Books
One-Eye | Chewa | Growler | Joka | Kesho

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