|"Black bears can swim like fish, climb like monkeys, and run like tigers. We are the kings of the forest. There is nothing that black bears can't do!"|
|— King to Lusa in The Quest Begins, page 87|
- King is first mentioned by the zoo guide in the first chapter Lusa appears in. He next appears when Lusa and Yogi collide with him and interrupt his nap. King yells at them to go away, scaring them off. Yogi thinks he's scary, but Lusa says he wouldn't hurt them. He also prefers to spend the nights outside rather than in the dens.
- King next appears when Lusa is climbing trees with Yogi, grumbling at her for climbing slowly. He teaches her to climb like a proper black bear, telling her black bears never fall out of trees.
- King seems unworried when Ashia become sick, trusting the flat-faces to do what they must do to heal her. When she returns, he greets her affectionately. As Ashia starts to talk about everything she saw—including what was beyond the Bear Bowl - King becomes angry and tells her not to talk of such nonsense. When Lusa asks him about the wild, he gets angry and tells her not to ask questions about it.
- He dismisses Oka to be crazy when she arrives in the Bear Bowl and tells Lusa to stop meeting with her. When Lusa comes to him, asking about the wild, he tells her a few things, but then stops and stomps away in anger.
- Lusa is confused as to why he would get angry since he came from the wild.
- Lusa asks King for advice about surviving in the wild, since everyone else knows she's planning to escape. King tells her to avoid claw scratches on trees which mark bears' territories, and how to get honey from bee trees, but he finds out her plan.
- Lusa misses King's grumbling more than once after her escape.
- After Lusa is injured by a firebeast, she has a dream in which King and the other bears in the Bear Bowl appear.
- King is unsurprised that his daughter survived so long in the wild. When Lusa thinks she's dying, King tells her not to give up on her journey, for the sake of the legends yet to be told.
- Lusa is shown by Arcturus what her father was like as a cub. King is an energetic cub who loves to play. He is with his mother and sister and they talk about how great the wild is. They look for spirits in the trees, and King wants to become the biggest tree in the forest. Lusa feels bad that King is now stuck in the Bear Bowl, and wishes he gets his dream as a cub to become a large tree when he dies.
- Yogi is mistakenly called his son.
- King is the only black bear in the Bear Bowl that was taken directly from the wild.