Don’t Family Trees in the Pride Have Branches?

This question nags at me every time I watch The Lion King. We see Simba & Nala running around as lion cubs and smile when Zazu informs them they are betrothed. We are somewhat ok when they get it on almost immediately after reuniting 10 years after Simba runs away. (still not a fan of Nala’s come hither look though). And we root for them as the new King & Queen of the Pride Lands after the defeat of Scar. But then the question hits you like a ton of bricks: are they brother & sister?


Before we continue I need you to remove the notion that we are just talking about ordinary lions and family structures are just different in the animal kingdom. Because we aren’t talking about ordinary lions. These are Disney lions. And they have been given human thoughts, feelings and voices and therefore we can judge their actions based on the laws and social conventions of human society. (At least that is what I tell myself. I’m not crazy right?) So, Mufasa is the King and Sarabi is the queen. They are happily married…or so it would seem. Also, Mufasa’s whole persona is wrapped up in morality. But is it possible that being surrounded by many other lonely female lionesses got to him? Maury, could he be the father?

If he’s not, it’s not too difficult to determine who it would be. At the end of the day, there are only two male lions in this group. If it wasn’t Mufasa, then it has to be Scar. Not only would that make them cousins, but then Simba ended up assisting in the murder of his uncle/father-in-law. Wow. So whether they are cousins or siblings, it would take a whole lot of Hakuna Matata to get past those family issues.


More to come. Follow here –> @DadsQuestions

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  1. I think the movie tried to pass them off as being cousins. Which isn’t really that much better :’)

    It’s designed to follow the typical structure of a pride, with a dominant male and lots of females. All the females are related to each other, but you can have male lions who aren’t related join the pride. So regardless who Nala’s father is, they’d be cousins.

    1. Actually, according to the Disney book series, There are other male lions. Or rather, loner lions who come by once in a while. And Mufasa doesn’t care because he has Sarabi. Doesn’t makes sense in nature really, but in Disney, I guess it does. And one of these male lions is Nala’s dad. She also had a brother name Mheetu. Though he’s in the book series, he was dropped during the movies. Further more, Scar is, for a fact, the father of all three of Zira’s children, Nuka, Vitani, and Kovu. So the only incest here is between Kovu and Kiara.

    1. If they are cousins it opens up a whole other set of worms. Like, why doesn’t Scar seem to care about his daughter? Maybe he is just a jerk or maybe he doesn’t know. And does Scar play the field while Mufasa is faithful? It appears he isn’t tied to one woman so who knows….!?!

  2. Love your blogs concept! Like many people commenting, I think they’d be more like cousins, too. But Nala’s mother being Simba’s mothers sister. I think too much into things!

    1. Thanks! Always great to find more people like myself!

      But if you are right…..then who is the father? Some nomadic lion that breezed into the Pride, fathered a child and then disappeared? Not sure Mufasa would allow that right?

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