After the defeat of the Oni, Zane and his friends experience months of peace. However, Zane would have dreams foreshadowing an invasion of Pyro Vipers, the Ice Emperor, and Blizzard Samurai. The events would happen and the Ninja would accidentally release Aspheera and the Pyro Vipers shortly afterwards. During the siege of Aspheera, he used Forbidden Spinjitzu to defeat Aspheera only to be banished to Never-Realm alongside the second Scroll of Forbidden Spinjitzu, after taking a blow meant for Wu. While trapped, he fell under the sway of the manipulative Formling Vex and the corrupting power of the scroll, followed when the Formling caused his memory loss. For decades (due to the flow of time being different than in Ninjago), he and his Blizzard Samurai have ruled over the Never-Realm. His identity would be uncovered by Lloyd. In the final battle with Lloyd, Zane not only regain his memories but relinquish his control of the room by destroying his scepter, freeing all those frozen as well as freezing Vex. After being freed of his dark urges, Zane subsequently returned to Ninjago where he reunited with his loved ones.
Zane is asleep in the Monastery of Spinjitzu when he wakes up to a rumbling sound coming from outside. He goes to investigate and finds the Monastery wall door shaking and glowing. The door suddenly opens, and Aspheera, holding a staff, appears and attacks Zane. She says that she wants revenge.
Zane suddenly has several visions. He sees another, larger serpentine wreaking havoc in Ninjago City and sees a frozen palace. He sees a vision of a man with familiar glowing eyes and clad in samurai armor sitting on a throne, and then a legion of Pyro Vipers marching through Ninjago City terrorizing the people. He then sees an Ice Dragon freeze over a small village, freezing several people solid, including the other Ninja. Jay calls out to him to tell him that Cole has almost beaten his high score in Lava Zombies.
Zane wakes up again to find that it was all, other than the part about Cole beating his high scores, a dream. Zane tells Jay about the dream, and how it was surely a vision. He also other times his visions occurred before Jay tells him not to worry about it, and to watch Cole with the others.
He joins the others as they play a game on the TV. The Ninja are engrossed in this game, and Cole eventually beats Zane’s score, which Zane congratulates him for. They get the idea to go hang out in the hot tub, so they do. Kai uses his fire to make it hotter, and the Ninja relax. Master Wu barges in and tells them that they are slacking and have forgotten what it means to be Ninja, reminding them that it had been months since they'd defeated the Oni. He takes them out of the hot tub and tells them that they’ve gotten weak. Inside the Monastery, he tells them that long ago, the monks in the Monastery built high walls to keep out beasts, but failed. To defend from the beasts, these monks became Ninja. Wu tells them that if they can survive in a room with the beast for five minutes, they can prove themselves. The Ninja end up getting the beast into a box, but Master Wu tells them that he will be training them more.
Throughout the day, each Ninja would find booby-traps all around the Monastery, leaving them all exhausted. Eventually, they would meet Master Wu outside, and he challenges them to a fight. If they could defeat him, they'd prove that he was wrong.
Each Ninja attacks Wu, but none of them are strong enough to defeat him. Even their elemental powers had weakened at that point. Zane and the others are knocked into a pile, and Wu says that they have all failed, before siccing the lightning chicken at them.
Zane and the others are in the Monastery courtyard, trying to think of a way to get back in action. They try to take a dip in the hot tub to see if that will help them think while debating what villains they could go after to pass the time. They find that all of the villains still around haven't been causing any trouble, so they decide to go to the Commissioner to see if he has any jobs for them.
They meet with the Commissioner, and he tells them that Ninjago City has had nothing but peace for a long time. An officer eventually comes in and gives them several jobs to do around Ninjago City, but all of them are busts. They try to save a bank robbery, but it's staged for a TV show, they try to break up a fight at the prison, but it was already resolved. After wasting the day looking for things to do, and ultimately failing, they return home and put on the TV.
Gayle Gossip comes on with breaking news. In the Desert of Doom, she meets with Clutch Powers. He tells the TV that he has dug up a mysterious pyramid within the Desert and would need the help of the Ninja to explore it. The Ninja quickly run off to the Desert to investigate. The TV shows an ancient plate that appears to have the Serpentine from Zane's dream on it.
The Ninja are scrambling around the Monastery trying to get ready to go investigate the Desert of Doom.
Once they’re all packed, P.I.X.A.L. shows them to the Underground Base, where she has made several new vehicles for the Ninja, including the Land Bounty. Zane, Jay, Nya, and Lloyd board the Land Bounty, while Kai and Cole take their own vehicles to the Desert.
When they finally arrive, they set up a camp around an oasis they have found. Zane reads a book about the Desert, telling them that long ago, an ancient tribe once lived in the Desert. They worshipped a thousand-year-old giant scarab beetle called Beohernie. One day, the beetle went out of control, and destroyed the civilization, seemingly for no reason. The beetle suddenly appears and attacks, and the Ninja make a run for it to the Bounty.
As the beetle chases them, Cole is knocked over and is almost left behind. He recuperates himself, and the Ninja are continued to be chased by the giant.
While making a run for it, a major component to the Land Bounty is devoured by the Beetle, and the Ninja are left stranded on a plateau, surrounded by two more scarab beetles.
Zane attempts to repair the Land Bounty, but it will be impossible to escape without the component the beetle ate.
That night, Zane says that the Bounty is useless without the component, and the only way to retrieve it is to go to the belly of the beast itself. He then gets the idea that one of them has to be strapped to a rope and sent into the stomach of the beetle. They play a rock-paper-clamp tournament in order to decide who goes in, and Zane ends up being the winner.
The next morning, they hook up a wire to Cole's Dirt Bike and tie it to Zane. Once Zane is inside, he suddenly has another set of visions. He sees an enormous snake made of fire emerges from a pyramid in the Desert, and sees the female snake from his previous dream attacking him in the Underground base. His visions continue, and he sees himself hurt in a world made of ice and snow.
He then awakens in the stomach of the beetle and finds the component. The Ninja get him out quickly, and they reattach the mechanism to the Bounty, and head off, finally escaping from the three beetles.
Zane and the others meet up with Clutch Powers in his camp in the Desert of Doom. Clutch refuses to enter the temple. The Ninja tries to convince him, but he is unwilling. Zane points out that his book, Boobytraps and How to Survive Them, is key in helping explorers enter ancient tombs and whatnot. Clutch suddenly gets a call from the Explorers Club, saying that since he hasn't explored in over ten years, his membership will be redacted. In order to preserve his place in the Club, he tells him that he will now be exploring the ancient pyramid.
Clutch and the others enter the Pyramid and find that it is filled with booby traps and ancient markings. He tells them that his book is key in surviving. Their first obstacle is a rickety old wooden bridge. Zane and the others stumble across, but they survive without trouble. Clutch tells them they got lucky, but luck runs out.
As they continue through, they trip over a trap that sends them all sliding down a corridor to a pit of spikes. Kai blasts the spikes with his fire, securing their lives. At the bottom of the pit, they find a dead explorer called Hageman, who failed to read Clutch's book about cobweb traps before heading down a pathway to the next room.
Finally, they find the main chamber, where several sarcophagi are lined out. In the next room, they find a large puzzle on the wall, and Zane points out that when solved, might lead them to a treasure behind the door.
While Jay and Nya attempt to solve it, Zane inspects the ancient markings on the walls. He translates the writing, which is a warning to those attempting to enter the tomb. It tells the story of a serpent whose anger almost destroyed Ninjago until a foolish boy locked her away. He suddenly has a vision of his dream with Aspheera and warns the others not to open the door. He is too late, and the sorceress is awakened. She asks the Ninja where the "Treacherous Deceiver" was hiding. The Ninja doesn't know who she is talking about and Zane and the others attempt to fight her with Spinjitzu, but she knows the art, and they are unable to stop her.
She takes an interest in Kai, calling him a Fire Elemental, and tells him that for thousands of years she has been locked up, cold and alone. She starts to steal his power from him, and the others are no match for her, and she successfully steals his powers and becomes empowered by fire.
Clutch runs away as the Ninja are tied up in chains by Aspheera. She escapes the pyramid and unleashes her army of Pyro Vipers onto Ninjago City.
The Ninja are tied up in the ancient pyramid, as lava erupts from within it. The temple begins to collapse upon itself, as Jay attempts to calm himself with Clutch Power's book. They are under the impression that Clutch has abandoned them.
Zane inspects Kai, who has fallen unconscious after his fire was taken. He says his vitals are fine, and he will recover shortly. The lights suddenly go out, and lava floods the room. Lloyd leads the others to break the chains binding them to the wall, which frees them (albeit, still being tied to each other.)
They get out of the crypt, all the while evading the rising lava and dragging Kai behind them. They return to the room of sarcophagi and find that they are filled with ancient Serpentine mummies. As the lava flows around them, the vipers return to life. The Ninja attempt to fight back, but are unable while chained together.
They eventually escape and come across Hageman's skeleton once again. They find that it has several exploring tools in his backpack, and use them to further advance out of the pyramid. After passing through the wooden bridge again, they exit the temple to find that it is absolutely surrounded in lava, with no way of escaping.
They have failed each other. The Ninja accepts their fate, and sit, making no more attempt to escape... Suddenly, P.I.X.A.L. arrives in the ShuriCopter to save them. She tells them that Lil Nelson told them where they were after Clutch Powers spread the news in Ninjago City.
Kai suddenly awakens, and the Ninja rejoice. They make plans to now return to Ninjago City to stop Aspheera.
The Ninja arrive in Ninjago City just in time to save Fred Finely from being eaten by an Elemental Cobra. The reporter tells them that Aspheera is on her way to the Ninjago Museum of History with Gayle Gossip and her cameraman, Vinny.
Along their way to the Ninjago Museum of History, the Ninja save the Police Commissioner and his crew before heading off to the Museum without Kai.
The Ninja are able to get to the Scroll first, and upon Lloyd reading it, the scroll's power begins to rush through Lloyd's body and leaves him paralyzed before Nya knocks the scroll out of Lloyd's hands. After the Ninja questioned what the scroll did to Lloyd, another door opens which turns out to be Aspheera and her army. With the scroll now on the ground, Char spots it, informs Aspheera, and both sides attack.
Zane fights the Elemental Cobras while Lloyd fights Aspheera and ultimately losses to her. She then performs Spinjitzu against the Ninja and successfully defeats them. Aspheera then used her staff to destroy parts of the roof and cause the debris to fall on the Ninja. After that, she reawakens the Pyro Vipers still in their tombs and tells them to follow her out of the museum, and the Elemental Cobras to finish off the Ninja.
Before the Elemental Cobras destroy the Ninja, Jake comes in to shield the Ninja, but Kai catches up and rescues Jake out of trouble while turning on the fire sprinklers to distract the Elemental Cobras before Zane finishes them using his ice powers.
Lloyd, Zane, and Nya head off to stop Aspheera by taking a shortcut using Zane's GPS system. After arriving close to Aspheera, Zane headed off somewhere and promised to return.
When Lloyd and Nya were surrounded by Pyro Vipers, Zane arrives in his Shuricopter and creates an ice barrier, giving Lloyd and Nya enough time to escape.
While Lloyd, Nya, and Zane are in Ninjago City looking for Aspheera, Cole notifies them that she is on her way to the Monastery. In addition, he tells them to find Clutch Powers; believing he knows the second Scroll of Forbidden Spinjitzu's whereabouts.
When Lloyd, Nya, and Zane arrive at the Ninjago City Hospital, Clutch Powers tells them that the second scroll is at the Explorers Club, but he refuses to leave. When Nya pulls him from his bed, Clutch calls the nurses who escort the Ninja away.
When Lloyd, Nya, and Zane enter the Explorers Club, they are welcomed by Cecil Putnam, and the trio explains that they need the second Scroll of Forbidden Spinjitzu. Luckily for them, the Explorers Club possessed the scroll; however, the Ninja needed a membership for the club. Since the Ninja didn't have a membership, they were pushed out from the building.
The Ninja tried again, but this time, they used Zane disguised as Clutch Powers. Once Zane entered the building, he is confronted by Putnam who tells Zane that his membership had been suspended and cannot obtain any artifacts.
After the two failed attempts, Nya decided to be bold by sneaking in the building and stealing the scroll. Lloyd and Zane follow up, and all three reach the rooftop. The trio then shut down a fan by using Lloyd's sword and Zane's ice to prevent it from moving and made their way down the ventilator using a rope hook. Suddenly, the fan broke free causing the Ninja to fall and crash into a middle of a meeting between Shippelton, Smythe, and Underhill. Lloyd tried to come up with an excuse by saying they were working on the air conditioning, but his sword came tumbling down. Shippelton knew he was lying and calls for security, causing the Ninja to flee into a room.
After more searching, Lloyd came across the Mirror of Fears and it showed his greatest fear of becoming his father. For Nya, her greatest fear was just being a normal citizen, and for Zane, his greatest fear was having no life. While Lloyd was talking to Zane, something crawled on Nya, causing her to freak out and throw the mysterious object onto Lloyd and Zane. Then, the door opened and the security guards tried to seize the Ninja, but they were able to enter another room.
Zane realized they entered the entomology room prompting Nya to tell Lloyd to not touch anything, but Nya knocked down a glass containing Venomasicus Tigrus which happened to have the second-most painful stings. The Ninja tried to outrun the sworn of wasps, but they are stopped by Cecil Putnam and his security forces; nevertheless, the wasps attack them. Putnam is able to get away from the wasps and shoots a blowdart at Zane, but it deflects off him and hits a glass holding Vastodectrus Venomous which happens to have the most painful stings. Amongst the chaos, Nya told Lloyd and Zane to regroup and they enter another room.
This time, Nya found the second Scroll of Forbidden Spinjitzu, so they wrapped it up and exited the building, leaving everyone else inside the Explorers Club in disarray.
Zane and the others battle Aspheera who used the power of the Scroll and her sorcery to make the Titan mech disappear instead. After his friends used the other scroll to battle Aspheera, she overcame them but after getting the scroll Zane used the Scroll to freeze Aspheera and the Pyro Vipers. Jay questions Zane on how he was able to do that and Wu replies that it was the power of the Scroll of Forbidden Spinjitzu and asks Zane to give the Scroll to him. Under the influence, Zane hesitated to hand it over at first but regained his wits long enough to try and give the Scroll to Wu.
However, before Zane could, he noticed Aspheera has managed to break her arm free from the Ice and aim her staff to use one final hit at Wu but Zane pushed his master out of harm's way causing him to be hit instead and was seemingly destroyed. The Ninja, Wu, and P.I.X.A.L. were heartbroken that Zane is gone once more.
When visiting an imprisoned Aspheera, Wu criticized her for supposedly destroying his pupil. However, she informs him that Zane was not destroyed but banished to the Never-Realm, something that horrified him.
In a snow-like area, the Titan Mech is laying on the ground while Zane's footprints are shown leading away from it.
Zane fell from a portal in the sky and landed in the Never-Realm, where he dropped the staff and found himself in another world. After waking up, he called out for help but received no answer and soon tried to repair the mech and find shelter. He attempted to create a board, but the crash landing had damaged him, so he had to reluctantly use the scroll. After dealing with an attacking Ice Bird, Zane makes an encampment in its cave. While repairing the mech, Zane records a message to anyone who finds it.
After the message, Zane attempted to reboot the mech, only for Vex, who had been tailing him since his arrival and after his failed attempt to use the Scroll, to remove the plug, erasing Zane’s memories as a result. Upon rebooting, Vex tells the amnesiac Zane that he is his advisor and that Zane is the Ice Emperor, who was overthrown. Handing Zane his scepter, he tells him that they can take back what is "theirs."
Manipulated by the Formling, Zane uses the staff holding the scroll of Forbidden Spinjitzu to attack Grimfax at his castle. Zane subsequently overpowered and turned most of the soldiers to his side by corrupting them and forced Grimfax into submission. Given new armor, Zane became the Ice Emperor with Vex serving as his advisor. He then sent an eternal winter across the land.
Time in the Never-Realm
At some point, Zane created the Ice Dragon Boreal and was slowly corrupted by the Scroll of Forbidden Spinjitzu, with his face becoming deformed by ice from the over usage of the staff, which became covered in ice while his voice changed by becoming distorted and deeper. He then created the Blizzard Samurai, Blizzard Sword Masters, and other Blizzard Archers. He later ordered the deaths of the Yeti and conquered the realm as the Ice Emperor.
The Last of the Formlings (Flashback)
After the Formlings didn't pledge alliance to Vex, Vex persuaded Zane to attack the Formlings’ Village after telling him that they are war driven beings and a threat. Zane and Boreal proceeded to freeze the village of the Formlings, leaving Akita to be the only survivor. With the Formlings gone, the trio left the area to continue their reign of terror and took Kataru as a prize.
Wu returned to the Monastery where he informs the Ninja of how he discovered that Zane is still alive but trapped in the Never-Realm, a place his father told him to never go.
The Ninja later detain Wu and go to the realm to rescue Zane.
When General Vex went to his throne room, Ice Emperor questions him on why he had disturbed his thoughts. Vex tells him that strangers had come to the Never-Realm, are looking for their prisoner and want to stop his rule. Ice Emperor says that the strangers should be punished, but Vex suggests that they should be destroyed. Zane agrees and orders for his samurai to destroy the strangers and adds those who aid them to the lists once Vex suggests it.
In Ultra Violet's false story, Zane attacked her with his jet. When she jumped on, they had a brief fight before he started to transform and pin her down to freeze her in ice. Fugi-Dove questions the story’s authenticity and the true story of her defeat by Zane’s ice dragon was mentioned but Ultra Violet refused to acknowledge it, claiming the true story is a lie.
Zane doesn't physically appear but Lloyd comes across his message when he stumbled upon his camp. He had lost track of how many days it has been since he was banished to the Never-Realm, he spent his time trying to repair the mech, but was unable to finish it, and had now given up hope of ever being rescued. He tells the viewer to give his friends a message:
"This is the last recording of Zane. Master of Ice. Son of Dr. Julien. Student of Master Wu. I was built to protect those who cannot protect themselves. I have tried to fulfill this purpose. I have no regrets. I had the best friends anyone could ask for. P.I.X.A.L., I love you. Farewell."
When the remaining Blizzard Samurai return to the castle, Grimfax steps forward to report their victory. Vex is quick to tell them that they actually failed, after displaying the fire still remains and how their numbers are lacking. Zane is displeased at this and starts to freeze Grimfax whom Vex persuaded him to punish. However, he stops midway and tells Grimfax that he will atone for his mistake. When Vex tells him of a green outfit stranger approaching, he seems to be momentarily perplexed by this news. He determines to finish the Ice Fishers with Boreal and says that "the green one will meet a different fate."
Later, Ice Emperor summons Boreal from his resting spot with his staff.
When Boreal injures Lloyd, he is instructed to bring him to Ice Emperor. Vex brings him before Zane. When Lloyd recovered from his trance, he is shocked to see his friend corrupted by the Scroll of Forbidden Spinjitzu.
When Lloyd referred to Zane by his real name, he was confused, not remembering Ninjago, Wu, P.I.X.A.L. or Kai. Lloyd continued to try and get through to him by reminding him of his banishment and asking if he remembered the time Lloyd once turned his white gi pink; all of which Vex convinces him are just lies.
Believing it was the Scroll corrupting him due to holding it for decades (due to the difference in the passage of time in the Never-Realm,) Lloyd attempts to take it from the Emperor but is incapacitated by him.
As Vex tries to persuade him into killing his friend, Zane instead orders him to have the unconscious Lloyd thrown in the dungeon, and harshly orders him to comply.
When Akita burst into the throne room, Zane was disturbed by her presence and fought her, thinking she was after his scepter as well. He learns that she wanted revenge for the freezing of her people, the Formlings, who Zane states war driven because of what Vex told him.
The two fought until he froze her and moved to finish the latter before Lloyd showed up to finish their talk.
Still denying his past, Zane fights Lloyd as well as froze Akita until he froze him by the steps. Vex then attempted to get Zane to kill his friend, but he relents.
When Vex planned on doing it himself and said the word "protect." this got Zane to remember what his father told him about protecting those who cannot protect themselves and soon recovered every memory he had while breaking free of his corruption. As Vex prepared to kill Lloyd, Zane blocks the attack before removing the lower part of his helmet, returning his face to normal, and struck him aside before destroying his scepter, returning the Never-Realm back to its original state.
Zane proceeded to help Lloyd to his feet as his friend was happy to see him back to normal. Thanking him for restoring his memory, he inquired about their friends before he saw that Vex attempted to kill him but was frozen in place, defeating the corrupt general. The other Ninja soon arrive and see Zane back to his old self, and the latter greets them with a hug.
Sometime later Grimfax took back power and he along with the Formlings came to the mutual decision to banish Vex to the outskirts of the never realm for his crimes. Zane returns to the Great Lake with his friends and learns there was no way to return to Ninjago until Cole finds a way by showing the berry he had been saving and a portal is open.
Returning home, Zane greets his Master Wu who hugged him before Zane has a touching reunion with P.I.X.A.L., who happily embraces him.