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Long live the king.

–Scar, just moments before murdering his own brother, Mufasa, in The Lion King


Scar was next in line to assume the throne as king after his older brother, Mufasa. However, his chances were lost at the birth of his nephew, Simba. This embittered Scar with jealousy and a sense of entitlement, prompting him to develop a regicidal plot to take over the kingdom, with the aid of his hyena henchmen and instigates a murderous plot, no matter who gets hurt or killed.


Scar's ruthlessness is shown by putting young Simba in extreme danger twice: he tricks Simba into the gorge below Pride Rock, before sending -- with the hyenas' help -- a stampede of wildebeests through. Mufasa is able to rescue Simba. Later, as a mourning Simba goes into self-exile from the Pride Lands following his father's death -- Scar had convinced his nephew that the death was his fault -- Scar sends the hyenas after the cub; Simba's death here is averted as he makes his getaway.


There's a reason why Scar is called Scar, and it's more than just the scar over his eye. It's because he is the scar to Simba's life, and unlike the scars that heal after in a couple of weeks, the scar on his nephew's life continued for years and years. And even after death, his impact on Simba's life still lives on as depicted in his nightmare. Scar reigns on high as an evil king for a number of years, and intends to let the pride starve to death. Scar is a narcissist (when he sings he wishes to be "Respected, saluted. And seen for the wonder I am"), and full of bitterness, greed, and jealously.


Critics have also noted allegorical resemblances between Scar and Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler which are particularly apparent during the "Be Prepared" musical number. Even the hyenas walk like the Nazi army.


Scar is an absolutely terrible ruler, and threatens or intimidates anyone who tries to tell him so. The mere mention of Mufasa is enough to send him into a rage.


Physical Appearance

Unlike most male lions who have bigger builds and lighter fur, Scar is elegant, slender, and poised. He is somewhat unkempt and wild-looking, with a sleek black mane, tawny fur, and distinctive, almond-shaped, neon green eyes. He has large, tan paws with long, curved black claws that he never retracts. Scar also sports a goatee beard. True to his namesake, his most recognizable feature is his signature small, thin, pink scar over his left eye.


As an adolescent, when he was still the leader of the Lion Guard, Scar had a slightly better build without a scar on his eye. He had the mark of the Lion Guard on his left shoulder. In addition, his mane was noticeably shorter due to his young age.


After his death, Scar becomes a spirit manifested in lava and fire. Like most spirits, Scar's ethereal form doesn't completely form his entire body, but rather only his head, with the black smoke forming his mane.



Personality and Traits

Scar starts the film off as any typical Disney villain, obviously evil but with a witty and charming side for the audience to enjoy. But once he becomes king, he loses all of his charms and devolves into a psychopathic man-child who leads the Pride Lands to ruin out of his own laziness and self-obsession, abusing and blaming everyone but himself for the problems he has caused.



Scar finds every opportunity to deceive and manipulate Simba in order to have him murdered and calculated a whole wildebeest riot just so he could kill Mufasa. Even when he's not being manipulative, backstabbing and self-centered, Scar is just plain nasty and unpleasant overall. He tries to eat Zazu for chasing away a mouse Scar was trying to eat, and dismisses his own nephew as a "little hairball". After becoming king, he's even worse, being perfectly willing to let the Pride Lands go to hell and let all his subjects starve, and going so far as to physically assault Sarabi for comparing his rule to Mufasa's.



Scar is a narcissist to the double-digit nith-degree. He harbors deep resentment that Mufasa and not him has been named the heir to the throne of Pride Rock (even before Simba's birth and before Mufasa assumed the throne). He thinks he's a better king than Mufasa, but given his disastrous reign, he is truly incapable of even acknowledging that he could be wrong. If he does, he'll instead blame others. Scar's fatal flaw is his ego. He can't comprehend anyone being even as brilliant as him, and usually assumes everyone is much stupider. He is always eager to be the smartest, most accomplished, best tyrant, and strives to make others obey. Scar is absolutely convinced that he knows what's best for others and sees no issue in forcing them to change their behavior to suit him. And god help you if you happen to disagree with him. He seems genuinely unable to understand the concept of unconditional love, being offended that such a thing was expected of him in a relationship. Scar is also unable to grasp empathy as he has none of it himself, though he's capable of making people feel sorry for him whenever he wants.



Being king means enormous responsibilities and the possibility of a revolt if said duties are neglected, and for this reason, Scar gets hated by everyone for his incompetence, including the hyenas of all animals, for letting the Pride Lands become a wasteland. As Mufasa tells Simba, "There's more to being King than getting your way all the time." This is why Scar ends up in major trouble, as his final attempt to blame the hyenas for everything proves to be the last straw, getting him torn to pieces by them.



Selfishness and envy fueled his rage, darkened his heart, and drove him to kill Mufasa. If the Roar of the Elders is used for evil intents, the user loses it permanently, as this is exactly what happened to him when he abused its power to destroy his own Lion Guard. Upon his return years later as a demonic entity, he is even more wrathful than before, and gets further enraged whenever Kion foils his schemes, whom he despises as much as he does hate Simba and Mufasa.



Family or lackeys, he'll abandon them at the drop of a hat. He's a highly functioning sociopath, able to hide his true self beneath a veneer of charming manners, by faking his sadness after letting Mufasa and seemingly Simba perish in the wildebeest stampede. However, he has the classic traits of a true sociopath, since he is lazy, irresponsible, insensitive, ruthless, greedy and self-centered.



Scar's sinister influence is still felt years after his death, since the primary villains in the sequel and TV show are his sympathizers wanting revenge. In The Lion Guard, Kion often fears that he'll end up becoming like Scar.



Appearances

The Lion King

Scar makes his first appearance directly after the presentation of Simba, trapping an unsuspecting field mouse underneath his paw and lifting it slowly to eye level. He laments aloud how life isn't fair, as he will never be king. To make himself feel better, he tells the mouse that it will never see the light of another day, chuckles evilly, and then bids it adieu, lowering it slowly into his jaws.


Just before the mouse enters his mouth, Zazu interrupts, asking sarcastically if his mother ever taught him not to play with his food. Scar responds with annoyance and tries to devour the bird after he points out that Mufasa won't be pleased with Scar's absence at Simba's ceremony. Just as he traps Zazu in his jaws, Scar is stopped by Mufasa, who commands Scar to release Zazu. Begrudgingly, Scar does, leaving the hornbill drenched in saliva.


He approaches Mufasa, carelessly invading the king's personal space as he mocks his brother, but Mufasa moves on to more pressing matters, accusing Scar of skipping the ceremony. Scar reacts again in sardonic surprise voice, pretending to feel "simply awful" for missing the presentation. Zazu points out that Scar should've been first in line at the ceremony, and Scar snaps his teeth at the bird, pointing out that before Simba was born, he had been first in line. Insulted, Mufasa meets his brother's eyes, clearly stating that the Simba is his son and the future king. Scar manages a sarcastic promise to practice his curtsy, turning his back and walking away from his brother. He veils a threat when Mufasa addresses him again, riling up the larger lion, who demands to know if he's been challenged. Scar reassures Mufasa that he wouldn't dare challenge the king, as he doesn't have the brawn to do it. He then navigates around Mufasa and Zazu, and strides off into the savannah.


Many seasons later, with Simba now a lively cub, Scar is visited by his nephew, who is excited about being given his first tour of the Pride Lands. Scar reacts with seething anger and annoyance as Simba gleefully points out he will be king one day. Not noticing his uncle's scowl, he asks Scar what he will be once he is king, to which Scar replies, "A monkey's uncle." Simba laughs, calling his uncle weird, and Scar moves on in the conversation, taking interest in the cub's previous statement about being shown the whole kingdom. Scar guesses aloud that Mufasa hadn't show Simba what's beyond the northern border, and Simba instantly saddens, explaining that he has been forbidden to go there. Scar immediately affirms Mufasa's decision and purposefully lets it slip that the forbidden land is an elephant graveyard. In reaction to Simba's amazement, Scar claims that Simba would've found out eventually. He then makes Simba promise to stay away from the graveyard and pushes the cub off with a paw, knowing that the young lion's curiosity will eventually draw him there. Scar's plan to kill Simba is foiled by Mufasa when the lion comes to the cub's rescue and fights the hyenas off. From atop a knoll, Scar watches in seething anger as Simba and his friend Nala are led out of danger by their savior Mufasa. For this, he scolds the hyenas, debating whether to provide them with food or not, as he'd "practically gift-wrapped the cubs for them." Still angry, he drops a zebra haunch to his minions, who devour the meat amid protests that they couldn't have killed the cubs with Mufasa in their defense. Banzai points out that the only thing they could do is kill Mufasa, a statement which makes Scar smile and launch into "Be Prepared." During the song, Scar plots to kill Mufasa and Simba and claim the throne with the help of the hyenas, who agree to his plan. The following day, Scar lures Simba to the gorge and instructs him to wait on a rock for a "marvelous surprise" which Mufasa has planned. Simba is extremely curious, opting to go with Scar, but the lion abruptly refuses his request. He brings up the incident with the hyenas, making Simba a little more compliant about staying on the rock, and suggests that while he's there, he work on his roar. Scar begins to move off when Simba addresses him again, asking if he will like the surprise. The evil lion smirks, telling Simba that the surprise is "to die for."



From atop the gorge's walls, he gives the signal to the hyenas, and they start up a thunderous stampede, comprised of hundreds of startled wildebeests. Scar finds Mufasa and in a staged panic, tells him about Simba being trapped in the wildebeest stampede. Both lions run to the gorge, spotting Simba clinging desperately to a weak branch. Mufasa jumps into the sea of hooves, and Scar drops his act of panic, swatting Zazu into the wall of the gorge, rendering him unconscious. The dark lion slithers across the ridges of the gorge, never taking his eyes off Mufasa's position. After rescuing Simba, the king leaps onto the gorge's walls, clinging to the side of the cliff, but Scar meets him at the top. After taking time to drink in Mufasa's helpless form, he slams his claws into his brother's paws and reveals his treachery by sinisterly whispering, "Long live the king," before he throws Mufasa to his death.


The newly labeled murderer meets Simba at the bottom of the gorge, and upon seeing the cub curled up underneath Mufasa's broken body, he manipulates Simba into believing that Mufasa's death was his fault, because"the roar that Simba worked on caused the stampede." He then instructs Simba to run away and never return, setting the hyenas on him as the cub disappears down the gorge.


When Scar returns to the pride, he delivers the news of Mufasa and Simba's deaths, feigning grief. After this, he introduces the hyenas to the pride and ascends Pride Rock to truly assume the crown. Following the start of his reign, he allows the hyenas to over-hunt the Pride Lands and deplete the land of its plentiful resources. Slowly, the Pride Lands fall into decay, with Scar remaining in his cave with not a care in the world about the famine. Meanwhile, the lionesses continue to grieve for their lost king and prince.


As meals begin to become more skimpy, Scar traps Zazu in a bone cage and forces the hornbill to sing to him as he lazes on his throne. When Zazu accidentally slips Mufasa's name, Scar reacts with rage, demanding Zazu never mention his brother's name in his presence. Shortly after this, the hyenas come before Scar, complaining. Even Scar's minions, who are used to going hungry for days, start to complain to Scar about the larder being bare. Scar, however, continues to pick his teeth with the bones of his previous meal, telling them to leave his cave when Banzai angers him by mentioning Mufasa's name as well.


Shortly after this, Scar calls Sarabi to him, asking her why the hunting party refuses to do its job, not accepting Sarabi's excuse that the herds have moved on. Scar merely passes their unsuccessful hunts off as the lionesses not looking hard enough. When Sarabi suggests they leave Pride Rock, Scar makes it clear that he isn't moving the pride anywhere. The former queen angrily points out that his decision will end in the deaths of them all. Scar turns his back on her, telling her that he's fine with this and that he is the king, so he can do whatever he wants. When she insinuates that he isn't half the king Mufasa was, he strikes her, causing a full-grown Simba, who was observing the entire scene in secret, to spring from hiding in his mother's defense. Scar at first mistakes him for Mufasa, but when it's made clear that it is Simba, he glares at the hyenas and cowers away as his nephew begins to back him into a corner.


Scar makes it clear that he isn't resigning and points to the many hyenas above him, reminding Simba that they think he is the king. However, Nala and the lionesses reject him, and Simba threatens to fight if his uncle doesn't step down. Scar slinks around Simba, hinting at Mufasa's death. The prince then tells Scar that his trick won't work, but the lionesses are curious as to what Scar is talking about.


Pleasantly surprised, the king forces Simba to admit his responsibility for Mufasa's death and proceeds to back Simba over the edge of Pride Rock's peak. As Simba slips off the peak, using his forepaws to desperately cling for his life, Scar suddenly remembers Mufasa in a similar situation years ago. Slamming his claws into Simba's paws, Scar leans in and whispers to Simba that he is responsible for Mufasa's death.


Enraged, Simba hurls himself over the cliff and pins Scar down, a paw pressing down on his throat. Scar tries to weasel his way out of the situation, but his nephew's choking forces him to admit what really happened all those years ago. The hyenas then attack Simba, prompting the lionesses to rush in to fight off the hyenas, during which Scar slinks away. Simba spots him, however, and gives chase. Trapped at Pride Rock's summit, Scar begs Simba for mercy and even places the blame on the hyenas, unaware that they are listening nearby, but Simba refuses to believe him. He then asks Simba about his intentions, relieved when his nephew decides not to kill him making it clear that Simba wasn't going to resort to killing a member of his own family like Scar had done. He is soon horrified when Simba gives him his own advice: to run away and never return.


Scar seemingly begins to cooperate, but then throws embers into Simba's eyes and attacks him while he is blinded. The two lions engage in a brutal fight, and at first they seem to be evenly matched, but Scar eventually knocks Simba onto his back. However, as Scar leaps to deliver the final blow, Simba uses his hind legs to flip Scar over the edge and send him tumbling down the cliff.


Scar survives the fall, and as he struggles to his feet, the hyenas arrive; Scar greets them in a pleasing manner, but to his horror, they reveal they overheard Scar blaming his crimes on them, and they begin to surround their treacherous fallen master. Scar cowardly pleads for his life, but the hyenas have had enough of his treachery and broken promises. The hyenas surround Scar with wide grins. The shadows of the hyenas are seen leaping on Scar and mauling him to death as flames rise around them.



Trivia

  • Considered to be one of the most evil Disney villains ever created.
  • Disney had done a fabulous job of portraying Scar with anti-social personality disorder in the movie The Lion King. In The Lion King, this disorder is seen in Scar.
    • During the animation, Scar tries to kill his brother in an attempt to gain control of The Pride Lands.
    • Once this task succeeds, he shows no remorse for Mufasa's death, nor any sympathy towards Simba. Scar then tries to kill Simba, and after thinking Simba is dead, he takes control of the land. Scar also uses the hyenas, as they are gullible and do anything Scar tells them to without questioning him.
    • This demonstrates how Scar has no worry about how the hyenas are treated. Scar also shows no sympathy towards the pride, as he does not care when the land become dry and barren. Scar also shows that he does not care about anyone other than himself, nor does he care about the well-being of anyone.
    • Scar also lies about many things, without any thought of the consequences or how it could affect others.
    • Scar may have developed this disorder as a result of Adler’s inferiority complex. This is because Scar has always been ‘below’ Mufasa. Mufasa was decided to be the heir when they were both cubs. This meant that Scar had to grow up in his brother’s shadow. As a way to deal with this, Scar developed a superiority complex, which means that he is now trying to compensate for the feeling of inferiority. This is done through bragging, being aggressive, and trying to overpower others, which in turn leads to the antisocial personality disorder
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