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Cowardly Lion

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The Cowardly Lion
Cowardly lion

Real Name

Lion

First Appearance

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Original Publisher

Reilly & Britton

Created by

L. Frank Baum

Origin

The Cowardly Lion was born without 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 Good Witch of the South, 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 spider-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.

After Princess Ozma of Oz 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 the 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.

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 can sing songs, in a "deep bass voice."

Appearance

He is nearly as big as a horse, with clear, intelligent eyes and a bushy, tawny mane. He often wears a brightly colored bow on his tail.

Public Domain Appearances

Books:

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Ozma of Oz
  • Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
  • The Road to Oz
  • The Emerald City of Oz
  • Tik-Tok of Oz
  • Little Wizard Stories of Oz
  • The Scarecrow of Oz
  • The Magic of Oz
  • The Royal Book of Oz

Film:

  • The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Dorothy and the Scarecrow in Oz
  • The Land of Oz
  • His Majesty, The Scarecrow of Oz
  • The Patchwork Girl of Oz

Notes

  • While the original character is in public domain, the versions of the character used by MGM, Disney or by Marvel Comics are NOT in the public domain.

See Also

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