|“||And the clouds! They turned into roaring lions!||”|
The Great Lions of the Past, also known as the Great Kings of the Past, are deceased pure-of-heart lions whom watch over the Pride Lands and the Tree of Life.
The Great Lions of the Past control a great power called the Roar of the Elders, which is bestowed on the second-born cub of the monarch, who is also tasked with leading the Lion Guard. The Great Lions control this power's use and can take it away if the user does not respect their gift, as was the case with Scar. They have the ability to have their spirits appear partially formed in the clouds and communicate with the living.
They are also responsible for choosing the next Royal Mjuzi for the next generation of the monarchy.
There are also the evil Lions of the Past, referred to by Makini as the Bad Lions of the Past. Instead of cirrus clouds, they appear in fire. Only the Great Lions of the Past can judge and put out evil lion spirits like Scar.
When Kion receives the gift of the Roar, he uses it to free his best friend Bunga from the clutches of two villainous hyenas. The Great Lions can be seen roaring alongside him in the clouds. Rafiki later explains to him why his roar sounded different, telling him that the Great Lions of the Past roar with him when he uses the Roar of the Elders.
The Great Lions of the Past appear whenever Kion uses his Roar. In addition, they are featured briefly in the song Here Comes the Lion Guard, which plays during the credits of most episodes.
Rafiki explains that the good kings of the past appear in the sky, their voices are in wind and Kion makes them appear every time he uses the Roar of the Elders. He also explains that the bad lions of the past are summoned with the roar and fire instead of clouds, (but he doesn't mention that it happens once a Royal Mjuzi's staff is thrown into the source of the fire, regardless of whether the staff is from a master or an apprentice).
When summoned, the bad lions of the past don't stay connected to the source of the fire where the Royal Mjuzi's staff from a full fledged, or an apprentice is thrown into like the Outlands volcano. They also can appear in wildfires and leave their own mark burned into the ground as the flame disappears.
Remembering his grandfather's words, Kion summons the Great Lions of the Past by using a soft blow. They appear in the storm clouds making it rain, putting out Scar's fire
and ending him. (The rain even close the Earth's crust to retire the volcano.)
That the leader of the Night Pride can also speak to the Great Lions of the Past.
Askari teaches Kion new ways to use the Roar.
The Great Lions of the Past watched the wedding of Rani and Kion, roaring from
within the clouds in celebration with the Roar of the Elders restored to it's original home at the Tree of Life.