It’s said that revenge is a dish best served cold. But I would assume that for a starving lion settling for a warm hornbill snack would be retribution equally satisfying. Revenge is an extremely important aspect to Scar’s usurpation of Mufasa’s throne. And keeping Zazu locked in a rib-cage watching everyone and everything die around him is definitely a fitting reprisal for past scorn received. But how long was this possible? Surely hunger would have gotten the best of the aging lion and Zazu would have disappeared in one bite. I mean, when Scar wasn’t starving he tried to eat him and that was when there was plenty of food in the pride lands. So, I guess I will pose the same question about Zazu as he did about the mouse: ‘didn’t Scar’s mother ever tell him not to play with his food?’
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Maybe we have Scar all wrong. If you watch The Lion King, you can easily come away with the view that Simba’s uncle is a devious usurping murderer. And this would not necessarily be incorrect. Yet, I do question if we are not presented with a somewhat lopsided view of the Royal family that predisposes us against the dark-haired lion. Mufasa, King of the Pridelands, is seen presenting his heir to resounding cheers and hoof-stamping from his subjects leading one to believe that every animal supports his rule. But we obviously know this isn’t true. I’m not talking about Scar…I’m talking about the hyenas. This group, characterized for their low intellect and ravenous appetites, have been banished from the lands and forced to live in an elephant graveyard. We know nothing about why or when this happened, only that Mufasa and team do everything to make sure this segregation continues to occur. But does he really have that right?
Hyenas are carnivores and therefore a competitor to the Circle of Life story that Mufasa bases his whole worldview around. The hyenas also eat the antelope and when they die become grass that is eaten by the antelope. Yet for some reason, they are not allowed to live in the lush, gated community that is the Pridelands. Why? They are doing what comes naturally to them, yet Mufasa does not allow them to mingle with the other local residents. We see cheetah’s in the opening sequence, so this wasn’t a sentence based on their diet. So what was it? When we look for an answer here, the obvious thing one could point to would be what the pridelands look like after Mufasa dies and Scar & The Hyenas take over. But that could be more a case of poor leadership vs. the fault of the hyenas.
So with that question swirling in the clouds of your mind, let’s revisit Scar. Say what you want about him, but one positive thing that he does is reach out to a disenfranchised group of underdogs that results in them having the same access as every other animal. Sure his motives may have been purely self-serving, but what politician doesn’t have ulterior motives for good works? And does the ends justify the means? When Scar’s obituary came out after he was digested by those he helped to free, I hope that it would mention that for a brief moment, Scar brought a little equality and pride to these lands.
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If Banzai, Shenzi & Ed are any indication of the mental faculties for the entire population of hyenas, then I guess my question could possibly have an obvious answer. But let’s look at it anyway, shall we? As Scar lays out his master plan to take over The Pride Lands, hundreds of hyenas sing in chorus how excited they are for the coming coup. All these minions are seen happily marching in formation as their leader looks down on them proudly from above.
Did you catch that? There are hundreds of hyenas. So I ask you, why did they need Scar? As I said, simply thinking about it from an organizational perspective, if they were all just brainless savages, a leader with intelligence would be necessary to coordinate any collective action. Yet, that could only be the right answer if the odds were more or less equal…and they definitely aren’t. Mufasa and the 8 lionesses wouldn’t stand a chance against an unorganized onslaught of even 50 hyenas. And it’s not like the beasts have to operate firearms or pilot aircrafts, they just have to scratch and bite and they seem to have that down already. There has to be another reason…maybe it was a personality thing? Sure, the hyenas always enjoyed a good laugh on their own, but it was only Scar’s dry wit that could truly make them roar.
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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.
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Is Scar his real name or a nickname? I know he’s got a scar on his face but I don’t know when/where he got it. I wonder if he was born with it and his parents gave him the name. If so, I think he is completely justified in becoming a passive aggressive jerk. If my parents gave me a name based on a a facial deformity I might have turned out a little differently myself. Or maybe he got it later in life in a fight and then someone gave him a bad ass nickname that just stuck. If that’s the case he should have been sitting pretty. Tons of lionesses…and chicks dig guys with scars & accents.
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