|Also known as||
Mother (by Belee and Harak)
Ashtaa is an elephant who lived within or close-by the jungle during Scar's reign. It can be assumed that she succeeded her mother as the leader of her herd and will eventually hand off the position to her daughter, Belee.
Ashtaa is first mentioned by her daughter, Belee, who, in losing her herd, has run into Simba and his friends, Timon and Pumbaa. While staying with the trio, Belee talks about life in a herd and how her mother is the leader of her particular herd. Not long after this, Ashtaa herself shows up with her trunk wrapped tightly around a surprised Timon. Belee is delighted at the sight of her mother and rushes forward to embrace her. Grateful to Simba and his friends for taking care of Belee, Ashtaa offers the trio a place to stay in the herd.
With the added presence of Simba and his friends, the herd rejoices Belee's return, save Harak, who is jealous of Belee for hogging Ashtaa's attention. After the close of the celebrations, the herd moves out with Simba and his friends at the head with Ashtaa and Belee.
When the elephants stop to bathe at a water hole, Ashtaa pulls Simba aside and questions him on his family life. Though saddened by memories of his life in the Pride Lands, Simba explains that Timon and Pumbaa are his family now. Intent on changing the subject, he asks Ashtaa where the herd is headed, and Ashtaa explains that they are going to an "elephants' graveyard." She then points out to Simba her Aunt Darann, who is preparing for a peaceful death in the graveyard. In answer to Simba's horror, Ashtaa explains that all living creatures must accept their fate, even if those left behind are in grief.
The next day, Ashtaa and her herd reach the elephants' graveyard. As Darann prepares for death, Ashtaa instructs the children to go elsewhere and enjoy themselves. She then leans down beside her aunt and stays with her as she dies. However, the peace is soon broken by Claws, who has been hired by Harak to distract Ashtaa while Belee is put to death. In order to protect her aunt, Ashtaa waves her trunk at the bird, fending him off.
When the incident is over and Ashtaa has heard the whole story, she thanks Simba for protecting her daughter. She then berates Harak for his jealous behavior and assures him that she loves him just as much as she loves Belee. Because Belee is younger, she requires more attention from her mother. This does not mean that she is any more loved than her brother. Harak accepts his mother's words and vows to never be jealous of his sister again.
When the elephants return to the graveyard, they find that Darann has died peacefully among the skeletons. Though Simba is sad at the old elephant's passing, Ashtaa is at peace, for it was Darann's time. The herd then sets out from the graveyard en route to the jungle and home. On the way, Ashtaa gives birth to a son, who becomes a part of life and death's ever-turning circle. Once home, Simba tells Ashtaa that he hopes to be as wise as she is when he grows up. Ashtaa smiles and assures him that he will.
Personality and traits
True to her name, Ashtaa is a warm light for young and old. Her many years as a herd leader have built her into a pillar of strength, able to withstand the deaths of close family members while simultaneously comforting others in their grief. She is a strong influence on her children especially, watching out for them and caring for them when she sees them in need. Punishment does not seem to be a frequent use of Ashtaa's, as her children tend to learn from their own mistakes, receiving gentle motherly advice when it is offered.
Even Simba, who has only known Ashtaa for a brief time, can recognize the many years of experience and wisdom which she bears upon her shoulders. In tough situations, such as hostility between her children and an oncoming death within the family, she is able to offer advice and remind others that there is always good that comes out of sadness. She is also a firm believer in living life to its fullest so that precious days are not wasted.
Despite her wisdom and many years as a mother, Ashtaa is not always able to distinguish when her children need her most, as she is oblivious to Harak's growing resentment for his seemingly more loved younger sister. Although she loves them both equally, Ashtaa gives Belee more attention, as she is the younger of the two. However, even in the face of accusations made by her son, she is calm and keeps a cool head. Her opinion is not so easily swayed, as she tends to think through each and every step before taking action. This trait carries through to her everyday life as a herd leader.