Scar

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Scar (also known as Taka) is the main antagonist of The Lion King and a minor antagonist in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. He is Simba's uncle and Mufasa's younger brother. Unlike his brother, Scar is small and thin, and his mane is black. There is a scar over his left eye. He is voiced by Jeremy Irons in the English version of the movie.

Contents

Childhood

In his youth, Scar was known by the name of "Taka"--Swahili slang for "trash" or "dirt". In the book A Tale of Two Brothers, he is depicted as being very jealous of his brother Mufasa. The source of this envy is the fact that Mufasa was chosen as heir over Scar. In the book, it is also revealed that Scar's friendship with Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed--the trio of hyenas who were his henchmen in The Lion King--lasted from his adolescence. Even as an adolescent, Scar was feared by the trio.

In A Tale of Two Brothers, the Pridelands is in a terrible drought. In order to handle such matters, Ahadi breaks a promise he made to Taka to take the adolescent lion hunting. Taka becomes embittered and flees to speak with Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, and there he hatches a plan to make Mufasa look like a fool, believing that if Mufasa appeared inferior to Taka, Ahadi would rescind on his decision to appoint Mufasa as heir. Taka lures Mufasa to the waterhole, where Boma, a Cape buffalo, is hoarding all the water for himself. When Mufasa tries to reason with Boma, Taka interjects with an ultimatum: Boma should clear out, or challenge Mufasa to a fight. Boma becomes enraged and attacks Mufasa, but Mufasa is rescued by Rafiki. Taka, unfortunately, becomes the target of Boma and his herd. Taka is hit in the face by one of the buffalo's horns and knocked unconscious, but before he is killed, Ahadi appears with various other animals and stops the fight. Thereafter--because of the scar on his face--Taka is branded with the moniker "Scar".

Adulthood


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Scar's jealousy of Mufasa carried over into his adulthood. During Mufasa's reign, Scar became an aloof pridal member whose presence seemed tolerated by most.

When Simba was born--quelling any chances of Scar gaining the throne--Scar's envy grew. He began to scheme ways of killing off his nephew and brother. It was Scar who tricked Simba into venturing to the Elephant Graveyard. There, Simba; his betrothed, Nala; and the majordomo, Zazu were almost killed by the hyenas Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed. They were rescued by the timely arrival of Mufasa, which angered Scar. Once Mufasa had taken the others out of the Elephant Graveyard, Scar went back, and with the hyenas, he discussed his plans to kill Mufasa and Simba both.

Not long after the incident at the Elephant Graveyard, Scar lured Simba into the Gorge by telling him that his father had a surprise for him. He left Simba at the bottom of the Gorge and snuck off to signal the hyenas, who were waiting with a wildebeest herd on the cliffs above. The hyenas forced the wildebeests into a stampede that charged into the Gorge, right towards Simba.

While Simba ran for his life, Scar returned to Pride Rock and told Mufasa that Simba was in danger. Mufasa rushed to his son's aid and succeeded in getting Simba out of the way of the herd, but when he tried to climb to safety himself, Scar intercepted him on the cliff face. Mufasa pleaded for his brother's help, but Scar instead flung him off the cliff. Mufasa was trampled to death by the wildebeest.

When Simba returned to the bottom of the Gorge and found the body of Mufasa, Scar guilted Simba into believing that he was responsible for the death of his father and urged him to run away. Simba did so, and Scar sent the hyenas after him. However, Simba managed to escape into a patch of thorns, and the hyenas left him for dead.

Scar returned to Pride Rock and delivered the news that Mufasa and Simba were both dead. With no other heirs in place, Scar was able to claim the throne.

Reign


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Scar's first order of business as new king was to give the hyenas free range of the Pridelands. He also banned his brother's name because Scar did want anybody to know he was his brother's murderer.

Specific events during Scar's reign are sketchy at best. It is speculated that during this time, he fathered Nuka and Vitani with Zira, though it has never been confirmed that Vitani or Nuka are his cubs. Neither Zira nor the two cubs appear in The Lion King.

Scar's rule lasted for quite a long time--up until Simba's ascension to adulthood. During that time, thanks to Scar's irresponsible management, the Pridelands became over-hunted and barren. The pride members began to voice their desire to follow the herds to greener, more prosperous areas, but Scar would not listen. Food became so scarce that even the hyenas--Scar's avid supporters--began to murmur against him.

During this time, Nala fled the pride. Some speculate that her reasons for leaving stemmed from a confrontation she had with Scar, in which Scar attempted to make her his queen. This idea is supported by The Lion King on Broadway show, in which Scar makes overtures towards Nala during the song The Madness of King Scar. However, when Nala explains her escape to Simba in the movie, she cites a desire to "find help" as her reason for leaving the pride.

When Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed complained to Scar about the lionesses not hunting, Scar demanded an explanation from Sarabi, whom he had demoted from queen to huntress. Sarabi tried to explain to him that the herds had moved and that the pride should leave Pride Rock, but again Scar refused. Enraged, Sarabi compared Scar to Mufasa, and Scar struck her across the face. In that moment, Simba appeared and confronted Scar. It was then that he learned the truth of Mufasa's death, and when the lionesses heard, they rallied around Simba. The hyenas backed Scar, and a battle ensued.

Simba chased Scar up to the pinnacle of Pride Rock, where Scar pleaded for his life, telling Simba that the hyenas were the ones who plotted Mufasa's death. After that, Simba says to him "Why should I believe you? Everything you ever told me was a lie". Simba agreed to spare Scar if he would "run away and never return". Scar said those same words to the younger Simba after murdering his brother years ago. However, Scar opted to attack Simba instead. In the struggle, Scar was flung off of Pride Rock. There, the hyenas--who had heard him try to slough the blame of Mufasa's death off on them--turned on Scar and killed him. Scar was also burned by the fire that surrounded the hyenas.

Legacy

In the second movie, Simba's Pride, it is alleged that before his death, Scar was able to father Nuka with Zira before he died. Some speculate that Vitani is also the offspring of this pairing, but it has not been confirmed. Despite having a cub of his own flesh and blood, Scar "hand-picked" Kovu--another one of Zira's offspring--as his heir before his death. In Simba's Pride, Nuka reveals that--despite a striking resemblance to Scar--Kovu is not Scar's son.

After Scar's death, Zira and some of her fellow lionesses were banished from the Pridelands by Simba. They became known as Outlanders, and they remained loyal to Scar. This has raised some controversy, because in The Lion King, all the lionesses fought on Simba's side.


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

In Simba's Pride, Simba relives his father's death in a dream. In this dream, Simba finds Mufasa at the edge of a cliff. Simba reaches out to grab his paw but Scar appears and prevents him. Mufasa disappears into the stampede below. Simba looks up at Scar, and Scar grabs his paw. Scar then turns into Kovu, and throws Simba off the cliff. Simba wakes up before he hits the ground.

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