Thurston is a zebra who lived in the Pride Lands during Simba's reign. He presumably became leader of his herd sometime after reaching adulthood.
Thurston can be seen following Ma Tembo as she looks for water.
When the Lion Guard is searching for Flat Ridge Rock, Thurston approaches them and asks if they're in need of directions. They explain that they're looking for Flat Ridge Rock, and Thurston simply asks where that is, to which Fuli reacts in exasperation. Thurston, realizing that he can be of no help, asks where he had been going, and Ono suggests that he'd been returning to his herd. Thurston agrees and then leaves to rejoin his fellow zebras.
When Bunga saves Lake Kiziwa from flooding, Thurston compliments him on such a brilliant idea. He later comes before "Bunga the Wise" for advice about where to find a stick if he needs to plug up a leak. Bunga simply advises that he climb up a tree.
Not long after this, Kion attempts to put a stop to Bunga's schemes, and Thurston gasps when the cub accuses Bunga of giving out bad advice. However, when the dam breaks, Thurston flees with the other animals until they find themselves trapped in a ravine. He looks to Bunga for advice, but it's Kion who saves the day by using the Roar of the Elders.
Thurston and his herd are grazing at Chakula Plains when Ono swoops down, warning them to move so that Kion can perform the Roar of the Elders. Thurston refuses to move because he's eating, and Ono is forced to yell in order to scare the zebras into stampeding away. The herd flees to safety and continues grazing away from the ravine.
Thurston attends Kupatana.
When Mtoto and his friends cry out that there's a hyena attack, Thurston flees in panic. However, when he finds out that they'd just been playing, he complains about the false alarm.
Later, Thurston complains to Beshte about the hyenas, and Beshte promises to take care of the problem. Despite Beshte's promises, Thurston continues to complain that zebras are the best-tasting animals in the Pride Lands and that the hyenas know it. However, he is interrupted when Beshte is forced to save Mtoto, and he cries out in fear, asking who will protect him.
When Janja forces Tamaa to mimic Kion's voice, Thurston overhears the phony order for animals to go to the Outlands. In a panic, he attempts to flee, but he doesn't know which way the Outlands are, and so he runs straight into the real Kion, who denies ever having given such an order. Thurston insists that he'd heard correctly, for zebras have the best hearing in the Pride Lands.
Ignoring Thurston's boasts, Fuli questions him as to why he's not in the Outlands, and he admits to not knowing where the Outlands are. Kion then confirms that Thurston had heard, but not seen anything, after which he and his team race off to put a stop to Janja's schemes. The confused lead zebra calls out after them that he'd thought they weren't supposed to go to the Outlands.
During a thunderstorm, Thurston and his herd are spooked by thunder, and they start a stampede through the Pride Lands. The Lion Guard attempts to put a stop to the danger, and they save the herd from being crushed by a large falling boulder.
After the stampede, Kion questions Thurston as to why he had started running, and he admits that the herd had been scared of a loud "boom", which Ono figures to mean thunder. Kion then orders Ono to show the zebras the way home, and it takes Thurston a second to figure out that he doesn't have to fly to follow Ono. Hurriedly, he races to catch up with the egret.
Once at his grazing ground, Thurston and two of his fellow zebras are spooked away by Janja and his cronies, Cheezi and Chungu. The Lion Guard goes out of their way to fetch the zebras back, but when Beshte accidentally sends a rock rolling toward them, the zebras panic and jump into a nearby river. Just in time, Kion uses the Roar of the Elders to blow them to safety, and the zebras land safely among the Lion Guard.
Thurston is first seen during the musical number "Life in the Pride Lands". Shortly afterward, Ajabu the okapi approaches Thurston's herd, and Thurston asks him what he is. Before Ajabu can answer, Thurston interrupts by offering several guesses as to what species he is. Just then, Makucha the leopard approaches, and Thurston plows into him in a panic. Thurston begs not to be eaten, and Makucha declares that he is after an animal much tastier than a zebra. As Makucha races away, Thurston snorts in disgust, insulted at being called less tastier than something else.
When the trail from Big Springs to Mekundu Cliffs becomes blocked by a mudslide, Bunga and Ono attempt to prevent Pride Landers from using the trail. Thurston approaches and demands that he be let through, despite Bunga and Ono's protests. He shoves his way through them and gets stuck in a mud pool. When he demands Bunga and Ono help him, the two comply and help free him.
While searching for the Zimwi, the Lion Guard runs into a panicked Thurston. Bunga assumes that Thurston is running from the Zimwi, but Thurston states that the Zimwi is nothing more than a story and explains that he had been spooked by some genets. The very thought of the genets spins him into a panic, and he takes off again into the forest.
Later, Thurston is present when Ma Tembo calls the Lion Guard to look at a tree that has had all its leaves mysteriously stripped. Thurston informs the Guard that great patches of grass are missing as well, and asks them if they know what it all means. Ma Tembo answers that it means there is a food thief in the Pride Lands, and the Lion Guard resolves to inspect the tree further and track down the thief. Satisfied for the present, the other animals leave, but Thurston remains.
Upon inspection of the grassless ground, Bunga declares that it must have been a zebra that took all the food, and Thurston takes offense at the remark. Ono declares that it could not have been a zebra because all the bugs from under nearby rocks have been taken too, and some zebras are afraid of bugs. As Ono speaks, Thurston discovers a caterpillar among his patch of grass and takes off in a panic.
When Thurston and members of his herd get stuck in a dry riverbed, the Lion Guard arrives to help. Beshte warns the team that they must rescue the zebras quickly, else the sun will dry the mud faster, and Kion decides to use the Roar of the Elders to make a rainstorm and loosen the mud. To the rest of the Lion Guard's shock, the Roar turns a cloud into a thunderstorm, and the falling rain loosens the mud, freeing some of the zebras.
At first, the Lion Guard believes the zebras to be safe, but when the rain refuses to stop and a flood begins to rush down the riverbed, Kion orders Beshte to stop the water flow while he and the rest of the Guard free the stuck zebras. Thurston and the zebras are brought successfully to safety.
Near Pride Rock, the Lion Guard struggles to put out a brush fire. Together, they manage to dig trenches around the fire, effectively ending the danger, but the commotion frightens Thurston and his herd of zebras into stampeding across the grasslands. The Lion Guard races off to avert the danger. Once the herd slows, Ono learns from Thurston that dry lightning had caused the brush fire.
Thurston later appears during "Three of a Kind".
A herd of cape buffalo stampede across the Pride Lands, fleeing a cloud of tsetse flies, while the Lion Guard attempts to calm them. In the midst of the chase, Ono points out that tsetse flies detest water, and Kion orders the team to steer the herd to a nearby water source. After clearing Thurston and his herd from their path, the Lion Guard successfully leads the cape buffalo to a watering hole, where the tsetse flies are warded off.
Later, the Lion Guard helps Mbeya out of a ditch in which he was stuck. The team escorts him back to the watering hole, but finds themselves plagued by tsetse flies. In frustration, Beshte orders the flies to leave, and to the team's shock, the cloud disappears. Just then, Thurston and his herd appear, seeking a new watering hole, and Ono realizes that the zebras have been the ones driving off the tsetse flies. This gives Kion an idea, and he and the rest of the Lion Guard decide to escort Mbeya and the zebras to a new watering hole.
Presently, Madoa reaches the Lion Guard and tells them that Janja's clan have trapped Jasiri and two hyena pups in a steam vent. Kion attempts to lead his team in rescue, but they get caught in a cloud of tsetse flies, which prevents them from moving quickly. Kion suggests that Thurston accompany them to ward off any remaining flies, and the zebra agrees to his request, hoping to "earn a new stripe" for his bravery.
In the Outlands, Kion realizes that the tsetse flies have vanished, and he orders Thurston to return to the Pride Lands. The zebra departs, and Kion suggests that Madoa leave as well in order to protect her clan. Before they can launch their rescue, Thurston reappears, asking for directions, and the Lion Guard frustratingly points him in the right direction. However, Thurston gets turned around again and continues to follow the team deeper into the Outlands.
The team becomes irritated when they realize that Thurston is still with them, but they have no choice but to proceed with their attack. The team engages in a fight with the hyenas, and Janja and his clan are effectively steered away from the edge of the steam vent. With the hyenas out of the way, Kion orders Beshte to push a large rock into the lava flow, which allows Jasiri and the pups to clamber to safety.
After the fiasco, Jasiri thanks the Lion Guard for their help, and the Lion Guard leads Thurston back to the Pride Lands while Jasiri returns the pups to their clan.
Back in the Pride Lands, the Lion Guard thanks Thurston for his help, which leads Thurston to believe that he has been invited to join the Lion Guard. He excitedly announces his new status to his herd while the Lion Guard looks on in amusement. Just then, the tsetse flies reappear, and the team decides to hang out with the zebras.
Thurston shouts "panic and run" when his herd is startled by Kenge.
Thurston and his herd participate in the "The Twelve Ways of Christmas" performance.
Thurston enjoys a show put on by Tamaa the drongo, who takes pleasure in continually impersonating Thurston's voice.
Thurston's frightened brays attract the Lion Guard's attention, and the team approaches him and his herd, asking what the problem is. Thurston reports that a nearby rock has been talking to him, though the team has its doubts. However, Twiga soon appears with a similar claim about a tree. Kion calms the animals, promising to figure out what's going on.
The next morning, the Lion Guard notices Thurston speaking to a rock and figures that it must be Kinyonga the chameleon at work. However, Thurston is frightened by her appearance, and he and his herd flee from the rock.
Tall and stocky, Thurston is much beefier than his fellow zebras, with a thick neck and long legs. His hide is striped with black-and-white, as is his mane, which is lush and combed back from his forehead, and he has brown eyes that are framed by short lashes.
Personality and traits
As seems to be commonplace for zebras in the Pride Lands, Thurston is a bit clueless and dim-witted. Even simple concepts such as thunder confuse him, and it often takes extra explanation for him to understand a situation. His scatter-brained nature often leads to further confusion and - in many cases - unnecessary disorder and panic.
Thurston can be quite selfish, craving the protection of the Lion Guard even when their efforts are needed elsewhere, and he is quite prone to danger due to his hare-brained tendencies. He thinks highly of his species, speaking with a high-and-mighty tone and stuffy manner, and will even brag to other animals about how superior zebras are to other animals in the Pride Lands.
- Thurston's name was revealed by his voice actor, Kevin Schon, who said that it was intended to be a tribute to Jim Backus, who played Thurston Howell on the 1960s sitcom Gilligan's Island.
|Season 1 of The Lion Guard|
|Previous Season||"Never Judge a Hyena by its Spots":||"The Rise of Makuu":||"Bunga the Wise":||"Can't Wait to be Queen":||"Eye of the Beholder":||"The Kupatana Celebration":|
|"Fuli's New Family":||"The Search for Utamu":||"Follow that Hippo!":||"The Call of the Drongo":||"Paintings and Predictions":||"The Mbali Fields Migration":||"Bunga and the King":|
|"The Imaginary Okapi":||"Too Many Termites":||"The Trouble with Galagos":||"Janja's New Crew":||"Baboons!":||"Beware the Zimwi":||"Lions of the Outlands":|
|"Never Roar Again":||"The Lost Gorillas":||"The Trail to Udugu":||"Ono's Idol":||"Beshte and the Hippo Lanes":||"Ono the Tickbird":||Next Season|
|Season 2 of The Lion Guard|
|Previous Season||"Babysitter Bunga":||"The Savannah Summit":||"The Traveling Baboon Show":||"Ono and the Egg":||"The Lion Guard: The Rise of Scar":||"Let Sleeping Crocs Lie":|
|"Swept Away":||"Rafiki's New Neighbors":||"Rescue in the Outlands":||"The Ukumbusho Tradition":||"The Bite of Kenge":||"Timon and Pumbaa's Christmas":||"The Morning Report":|
|"The Golden Zebra":||"The Little Guy":||"Divide and Conquer":||"The Scorpion's Sting":||"The Wisdom of Kongwe":||"The Kilio Valley Fire":||"Undercover Kinyonga":|