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Cowardly Lion

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Cowardly Lion
The Cowardly Lion as portrayed by Bert Lahr in the 1939 film
Title King of the Forest, Dandy Lion
Gender Male
Species Lion
Origin Forest in Munchkin Country
Residence Forest of Wild Beasts (Quadling Country)
Occupation Ruler of the Forest of Wild Beasts; Ozma's chariot puller
Affiliation Dorothy Gale, Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, Hungry Tiger, Land of Oz
First Appearance The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

"For my life is simply unbearable without a bit of courage."
―Cowardly Lion[src]

The Cowardly Lion is a huge beast who lives in the Land of Oz.


The cowardly Lion is a fictional character of L. Frank Baum, author and creator of the Oz legacy. Out of the fourteen Oz books by Baum, the Cowardly Lion is introduced in the first Oz book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He is a very important key character in the Oz stories.

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Baum describes the Cowardly Lion as being grandiose, handsome and nearly as big as a horse in size. He has clear and sparkling, intelligent eyes with a bushy, tawny, curly and soft mane. He often wears a brightly colored bow at the end of his long tail or on the top of his fluffy maine, usually of green or red silk. The Cowardly Lion is loved by all in the land of Oz, his best friend is another animal named The Hungry Tiger, both can be found sitting on soft cushions beside Princess Ozma as she sits upon her royal throne in the Royal Palace of Oz within the Emerald. City.

Since all lions in general are supposed to be "The Kings of all Beasts," the Cowardly Lion believes that his fear makes him inadequate to other lions. He does not understand that courage means acting in the face of fear, which he does frequently. Only during the aftereffects of the Wizard's gift, when he is under the influence of an unknown green liquid substance that the Wizard orders him to drink out of a small bowl, (perhaps gin) is he not filled with fear anymore. This is a subconsciously physiological thought in the Cowardly Lions mind as it is clear throughout his journey that he always had courage within himself that he was just unaware of.

He argues that the courage from the Wizard is only temporary, although he continues to do brave deeds while openly and embarrassedly fearful.

The Cowardly Lion can sing songs, in a "deep bass voice." (Glinda of Oz)


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The Cowardly Lion and friends as depicted by W. W. Denslow.

The Cowardly Lion was born in the wilderness in the land of Oz. He was also born without any courage. The other animals expected him to be brave, so he bluffed and became a bit of a bully. He met Dorothy Gale, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and Toto in the forest while they were journeying to the Emerald City to see the Wizard of Oz and decided to accompany them to ask the Wizard for some courage. After several adventures, the humbug Wizard gave the Lion a large bowl of green liquid courage which he drank, making him full of courage.

While accompanying Dorothy to find Glinda, the party traveled through a dark forest in the Quadling Country which was home to hundreds of beasts. These animals were being terrorized by a spi

der-like monster the size of an elephant. The Cowardly Lion agreed to fight this monster, but found it asleep and snapped its thin neck. The grateful animals made him their king, and after fulfilling his duty to Dorothy, he returned to rule over them. (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)

After Princess Ozma ascended to the throne, the Cowardly Lion traveled back to the Emerald City with his friend the Hungry Tiger to meet their new ruler. When they learned of her plan to journey to the Land of Ev and rescue the Royal Family from the Nome King, they asked to join the party and were given the honor of pulling Ozma's chariot.

In t
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he Land of Ev, the Cowardly Lion was reunited with Dorothy, who joined their party. On their way to the Nome Kingdom the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger bravely carried most of the party under the deadly hammer of the iron giant. The mission ended successfuly and the Ozites eventually returned to the Land of Oz. (Ozma of Oz)

The two beasts are Ozma's chief guardians, and they keep guard in her Royal Throne Room. However, because everyone loves Ozma, there has never been a disturbance and there is nothing for the guardians to do. ("The Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger")



In the Magic Land stories of Alexander Volkov and his followers, the Cowardly Lion is re-named the Courageous Lion. March Laumer, an adaptor of Volkov, follows this in his own Oz novels; and in his short story "Th e Cowardly Lion Changes His Name," Laumer dubs the Lion "Rex the X."

Volkov's books make several mentions of the Lion's wife and children.

Brrr was the name of the Cowardly Lion in Gregory Maguire's A Lion Among Men.

In the Oz Squad, years after his adventures in Oz, the Lion accompanied Dorothy back to America along with the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow. There, the four of them formed the Oz Squad, a team of quasi-superheroes who protect America from Ozian threats.

In Emerald City Confidential, he became an evil businessman who, while maintaining a good reputation amongst the citizens of Oz, secretly was responsible for a number of crimes.

In Family of Oz (2011), by James C. Wallace II, the Cowardly Lion holds court in the great northern forests of Gillikin Country and makes a "Leap of Faith" in the climactic battle against Cobbler the Dog (a mechanical dog made by the Wogglebug as a pet for Tik-Tok), who was possesed by the Evil remnants of the Wicked Witch of the East. He also has a gate leading into the northern part of Emerald City named for him called the Lion's Gate.

Depictions on Stage and Screen

The Lion of Oz

Based off of the Book written by Roger Baum, the Lion of Oz is a cartoon movie which tells the orgins of the Lion, how he came to Oz, and how he become known as a Cowardly beast.
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Oz the Great and Powerful

In Disney's 2013 prequel movie to the 1939 musical, in Oz the Great and Powerful the Cowardly Lion makes a brief cameo appearance in the forest.

Cowardly Lion
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Return to Oz

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In Disney's 1985 cult clasic Return to Oz, the Cowardly is not a main character in this film. But he does have more than one cameo aappearances during a few scenes throughout the movie.

The Wizard of Oz 1939 Musical

Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion in the 1939 film.
Muppets101Added by Muppets101

Bert Lahr is justifiably famous for his portra yal of the Lion in the 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz.

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Ted Ross as the Cowardly Lion
LarrySpring96Added by LarrySpring96

The Wiz

Ted Ross portrayed the role twice on stage and in the film, he won a Tony award for the role in 1975 when The Wiz was on Broadway.

Fozzie Bear as the Cowardly Lion
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The Muppets' Wizard of Oz

The Muppet Fozzie Bear plays the Cowardly Lion in the 2005 TV movie, The Muppets' Wizard of Oz. Like Fozzie, the Lion's dream is to become a professional stand-up comedian. The Wizard gave the Lion a courage mircophone.

Tin Man

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Glitch, Raw, and Cain from Tin Man
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Raw is a member of a telepathic race of genetic hybrids called Viewers, which are enslaved by Azkadelia. He joins DG, Glitch, and Wyatt Cain in their quest to stop Azkadelia. He is sensitive and easily frightened, but also compassionate and uses his abilities to help. (Tin Man)

Dorothy and the Witches of Oz

The Cowardly Lion appears in Dorothy and the Witches of Oz played by Barry Ratcliffe. He appears on Earth in the form of Bryan Jennings.

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Jeroen Phaff
LarrySpring96Added by LarrySpring96

De Musical The Wiz

The Cowardly Lion was portrayed by Jeroen Phaff.

Oz the Great and Powerful

In the 2013 film Oz the Great and Powerful, the Cowardly lion

made a cameo appearance when Oz saves Finley being eaten. In this version, the Lion does not speak, but he does keep his personality. He tries to attack Finley when he is trapped in weeds. Oz saves him by performing "magic" (a puff of red smoke) in the animal's face. He becomes scared and runs away. 



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