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Scar is the overall main antagonist of The Lion King franchise, serving as the main antagonist of Disney's 32nd full-length animated feature film The Lion King, a posthumous antagonist in the 1998 sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, the overarching antagonist of the 2004 prequel/parallel The Lion King 1 1/2, and the animated television series The Lion Guard, serving as the main antagonist of the second season and the special "Battle for the Pride Lands", and later as a posthumous antagonist for the remainder of the third season. He is Mufasa's jealous younger brother and Simba's uncle and arch-nemesis. Scar's desire to rule Pride Rock drives him to enact a regicidal plot to kill both his brother and nephew to leave himself the sole royal in line for the throne as the "true" ruler.
In the original film, he was voiced by the Academy Award winning actor Jeremy Irons, who also played Simon Gruber in Die Hard with a Vengeance and Profion in Dungeons & Dragons.
In the 1998 sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, he was voiced by Jim Cummings, who was his singing voice in the first film and also voiced Jacques from Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island released that same year.
In the Kingdom Hearts franchise, he was voiced by James Horan, who also voiced Skull Face in Metal Gear Solid V.
In The Lion Guard, he was voiced by David Oyelowo, who also played Steven Jacobs in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Agent Kallus in Star Wars Rebels.
In the 2019 CGI live action remake, he was voiced by the Academy Award nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, who also portrayed Victor Sweet in Four Brothers, Luke in Children of Men, and Baron Mordo in Doctor Strange.
Well, as far as brains go, I got the lion's share, but when it comes to brute strength..... I'm afraid I'm at the shallow end of the gene pool...
~ Scar remarking on his poor genetics despite his high intelligence.
Scar is a slender lion, but stands eye to eye with Mufasa and Simba, making him tall - otherwise bulky - like they are. He has sharp features and is a gangly lion, thanks to poor genes, with orangish-brown fur and striking green eyes. He has a silky black mane, elbow tufts, a goatee beard and his claws are always extended. He also has a pink scar over his left eye, earning him his name. Despite his poor genetics, Scar is surprisingly strong, as he held his own very well against the much younger and more powerfully built Simba during their final battle.
As a young lion, Scar was leader of the Lion Guard that protected the Pride Lands from danger. Scar proved to be a good leader and always followed his duties and was loyal, though had a lust for power and attention. One day he met a strange lion and Scar was poisoned by his cobra. The poison slowly filled Scar with greed, jealousy and hatred. The leader of the Lion Guard had fallen to the one would become the tyrannical usurper.
As an adult, Scar is a cunning, sarcastic and narcissistic lion with a cultured and chivalrous demeanor, and a wry and cynical wit. However, even with his evil and deceiving ways, he is still very cowardly and prefers to run rather than fight, though if cornered Scar has shown the ability to hold his own as seen in his final fight with Simba.
Scar is filled with hate and disgust for his brother and nephew, and most likely everybody against him. He does not care much about the hyenas and seems to view them only as tools and weapons to use for his own gain, which ultimately resulted in his death when he tried to blame his crimes on them.
Scar is also very antipathetic and intolerant of failure, berating the hyenas for their failure to kill Simba, even though it wasn't their fault, and angrily throwing them out after they made the mistake of mentioning his brother, Mufasa, of whom Scar was extremely jealous.
Nevertheless, Scar is also very sophisticated, charismatic, and persuasive, able to rally the hyenas to his cause and inspire fanatical loyalty from Zira and her pride of lionesses.
He is also highly intelligent and knowledgeable, able to manipulate conversations and situations to his advantage with relative ease. Scar also proved to be extremely sadistic and merciless, convincing his own nephew, Simba, that he was responsible for the death of his father, Mufasa, and later going on to taunt him that in fact, he himself was responsible for Mufasa's demise, which also led to his own demise.
Upon his return in The Lion Guard, Scar became more chaotic in nature, as he was willing to break the Circle of Life and take over the entire Pride Lands by turning it into chaos as revenge for his defeat.
The Lion King
Life's not fair, is it? You see I-- well, I... shall never be King. And you... shall never see the light of another day. Adieu... (Zazu: Didn't your mother ever tell you not to play with your food?) What do you want? (Zazu: I'm here to announce that King Mufasa is on his way. So you'd better have a good excuse for missing the ceremony this morning.) Oh now look, Zazu, you've made me lose my lunch. (Zazu: Hah! You'll lose more than that when the king gets through with you. He's as mad as a hippo with a hernia.) Oooh, I quiver with fear. (Zazu: Sacr, don't look at me that way. Help!) (*Scar grabs Zazu in his mouth and Mufasa enters*) (Mufasa: Scar. Drop him.) (Zazu: Impeccable timing, syer.) (*Scar spits Zazu out*) Why, If it isn't my big brother descending from on high to mingle with the commoners. (Mufasa: Sarabi and I didn't see you at the presentation of Simba.) That was today? Oh, I feel simply awful. Must have slipped my mind. (Zazu: Yes, well, as slippery as your mind is, as the king's brother, you should have been first in line!) Well, I was first in line... until the little hairball was born. (Mufasa: That "hairball" is my son and your future king.) Ohh, I shall practice my curtsy. (Mufasa: Don't turn your back on me, Scar.) Oh, no, Mufasa. Perhaps YOU shouldn't turn YOUR back on me. (Mufasa: Is that a CHALLENGE?) Temper. Temper. I wouldn't dream of challenging you. (Zazu: Pity. Why not?) Well, as far as brains go, I got the lion's share. But, when it comes to brute strength ...I'm afraid I'm at the shallow end of the gene pool.
~ Scar making up excuses for missing Simba's ceremony and reassuring Mufasa that he wouldn't dare to challenge him as he doesn't have the brawn to do it.
(Simba: Hey Uncle Scar! Guess what!) I despise guessing games. (Simba: I'm going to be king of Pride Rock.) Oh goody. (Simba: My dad just showed me the whole kingdom; and I'm going to rule it all. Heh heh.) Yes. Well... forgive me for not leaping for joy. Bad back, you know. (Simba: Hey, Uncle Scar? When I'm king, what'll that make you?) A monkey's uncle. (Simba: Heh heh. You're so weird.) You have NO idea..So, your father showed you the whole kingdom, did he? (Simba: Everything.) He didn't show you what's beyond that rise at the northern border...? (Simba: Well, no... he said I can't go there.) And he's absolutely right. It's far too dangerous. Only the bravest lions go there. (Simba: Well, I'm brave! What's out th--) No, I'm sorry, Simba, I just can't tell you. (Simba: Why not?) Simba, Simba, I'm only looking out for the well- being of my favorite nephew. (Simba: Yeah, right, I'm your only nephew.) All the more reason for me to be protective... An elephant graveyard is no place for a young prince... Oops! (Simba: An elephant what? Whoa.) Oh dear, I've said too much... Well, I suppose you'd have found sooner or later, you being SO clever and all...Oh, just do me one favor - promise me you'll never visit that dreadful place. (Simba: No problem.) There's a good lad. You run along now and have fun. And remember... it's our little secret.
~ Scar tricking Simba into going to the Elephant Graveyard after he intentionally reveals its existence to the cub.
Oh, surely we lions are not all THAT bad. (Banzai: Ohh. Oh, Scar, it's just you.) (Shenzi: We were afraid it was somebody important.) (Banzai: Yeah, you know, like Mufasa.) (Shenzi: Yeah.) I see. (Banzai: Now that's power.) (Shenzi: Tell me about it. I just hear that name and I shudder.) (Banzai: Mufasa.) (Shenzi: Ooooh. ... Do it again.) (Banzai: Mufasa.) (Shenzi: Ooooh!) (Banzai: Mufasa. Mufasa! Mufasa!) (Shenzi: ...Oooh! It tingles me.) I'm surrounded by idiots. (Banzai: Not you, Scar. You're our pal. Hey, did you bring us anything to eat) (*Scar gives a zebra leg*) I don't think you really deserve this. I practically gift-wrapped those cubs for you. And you couldn't even dispose of them. (Shenzi: Well, ya know. It wasn't exactly like they was alone, Scar.) (Banzai: Yeah. What are we supposed to do? Kill Mufasa?) Precisely.
~ Scar scolding the hyenas for failing to kill Simba and Nala before his song "Be Prepared" starts.
Now you wait here. Your father has a marvelous surprise for you. (Simba: Oooh. What is it?) If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise, now would it? (Simba: If you tell me, I'll still act surprised.) Ho ho ho. You are such a naughty boy. (Simba: Come on, Uncle Scar.) No-no-no-no-no-no-no. This is just for you and your daddy. You know, a sort of... father-son... thing. Well! I'd better go get him. (Simba: I'll go with you.) No! Heh heh heh. No. Just stay on this rock. You wouldn't want to end up in another mess like you did with the hyenas... (Simba: You know about that?) Simba, everybody knows about that. (Simba: Really?) Oh, yes. Lucky Daddy was there to save you, eh? Oh... and just between us, you might want to work on that little roar of yours. Hmm? (Simba: Oh... Okay... Hey, Uncle Scar, will I like the surprise?) Simba, it's to DIE for.
~ Scar tricking Simba into staying in a gorge in order to have him and Mufasa killed by a wildebeest stampede.
Simba, what have you done? (Simba: There were wildebeests and he tried to save me... it was an accident, I... I didn't mean for it to happen.) Of course, of course you didn't. No one... ever means for these things to happen. ...But the king IS dead. And if it weren't for you, he'd still be alive. Oh! What will your mother think? (Simba: What am I gonna do?) Run away, Simba. Run... Run away and never return. (*Simba runs off the Hyenas appear*) Kill him.
~ Scar tricking Simba into thinking that his father's death was his fault and leaving the Pride Lands.
Mufasa's death is a terrible tragedy; but to lose Simba, who had barely begun to live for me it is a deep personal loss. So it is with a heavy heart that I assume the throne. Yet, out of the ashes of this tragedy, we shall rise to greet the dawning of a new era in which lion and hyena come together, in a great and glorious future.
~ Scar delivering the news about Mufasa and "Simba's" deaths and introducing the hyenas as he takes over the crown.
Oh Zazu, do lighten up. Sing something with a little... bounce in it. (Zazu: It's a small world after all...) No! No. Anything but that! (Zazu: I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts diddely-dee-dee. There they are a-standing in a row.) Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head... (Zazu: Oh... I would never have had to do this for Mufasa.) What? What did you say? (Zazu: Oh, nothing!) You know the law: Never, ever mention THAT name in my presence. I... am... the KING! (Zazu: Yes, sire. You ARE the king. I... I... Well, I only mentioned it to illustrate the differences in your royal managerial approaches.) (*The hyenas enter*) (Banzai: Hey Boss!) Oh, what is it this time? (Banzai: We got a bone to pick with you.) (Shenzi: I'll handle this. Scar, there's no food, no water...) (Banzai: Yeah, it's dinner time, and we ain't got no stinkin' entrees.) It's the lionesses' job to do the hunting... (Banzai: Yeah, but they won't go hunt.) Oh... eat Zazu. (Zazu: Oh, you wouldn't want me! I'd be so tough and gamey and... eeww...) Oh, Zazu, don't be ridiculous. All you need is a little garnish. (Banzai: I thought things were bad under Mufasa.) What did you say? (Banzai: I said Muf... I said, uh "Qué pasa?") Good. Now get out. (Banzai: Mm... yeah, but - we're still hungry.) Out!
~ Scar listening to the hyenas' complaints about the Pride Lands with no food and water and demanding that they leave his cave after Banzai accidentally mentions Mufasa's name.
SARABI! (Sarabi: Yes, Scar?) Where is your hunting party? They're not doing their job. (Sarabi: Scar, there is no food. The herds have moved on.) No. You're just not looking hard enough. (Sarabi: It's over. There is nothing left. We have only one choice. We must leave Pride Rock.) We're not going anywhere. (Sarabi: Then you have sentenced us to death.) Then so be it. (Sarabi: You can't do that.) I'm the king. I can do whatever I want. (Sarabi: If you were half the king Mufasa was you would nev-) I'm ten times the king Mufasa was! (*Scar sees Simba*) Mufasa? No. You're dead. (Sarabi: Mufasa?) (Simba: No. It's me.) (Sarabi: Simba? You're alive? How can that be?) (Simba: It doesn't matter; I'm home.) Simba...? Simba! I'm a little surprised to see you, alive. (Simba: Give me one good reason why I shouldn't rip you apart.) Oh, Simba, you must understand. The pressures of ruling a kingdom... (Simba: ...Are no longer yours. Step down, Scar.) Oh, oh, ye - Well, I would, heh, naturally, heh - however, there is one little problem. You see them? They think I'M king. (Nala: Well, we don't. Simba is the rightful king.) (Simba: The choice is yours, Scar. Either step down or fight.) Oh, must it all end in violence? I'd hate to be responsible for the death of a family member. Wouldn't you agree, Simba? (Simba: That's not gonna work, Scar. I've put it behind me.) Eh, but what about your faithful subjects? Have they put it behind them? (Nala: Simba, what is he talking about?) Ahh, so you haven't told them your little secret. Well, Simba, now's your chance to tell them. Tell them who is responsible for Mufasa's death! (Simba: I am.) (Sarabi: It's not true. Tell me it's not true.) (Simba: It's true.) You see, He admits it! Murderer! (Simba: No. It was an accident.) If it weren't for you, Mufasa would still be alive. It's your fault he's dead; do you deny it? (Simba: No.) Then... you're... guilty. (Simba: No. I'm not a murderer.) Oh, Simba, you're in trouble again. But this time, Daddy isn't here to save you. And now EVERYONE.. KNOWS... WHY! (Nala: Simba!) Now this looks familiar. Hmm. Where have I seen this before? Let me think. Hmmm... hmmm. Oh yes, I remember. This is just the way your father looked before he died. (Scar pierces Simba's paws with his razor-sharp claws and pulls him close to his face) And here's MY little secret: (whispers in Simba's ear) I killed Mufasa. (Simba: NoooooOOOO!) (*Simba jumps Scar*) (Simba: Murderer!) No, Simba, please. (Simba: Tell them the truth!) Truth? But truth is in the eye of the behold - (Simba presses his paw down on Scar's throat) llgkkk! All right. All right. (faintly) I did it. (Simba: So they can hear you.) I KILLED MUFASA!
~ Scar being forced by Simba to admit his role on Mufasa's death.
(Simba: Murderer.) Simba, Simba. Please. Please have mercy. I beg you. (Simba: You don't deserve to live.) But, Simba, I am... ah... family. It's the hyenas who are the real enemy. It was their fault - it was their idea! (Shenzi, Banzai and Ed are in the background. They overhear and back away growling at Scar's betrayal.) (Simba: Why should I believe you? Everything you ever told me was a lie.) What are you going to do? You wouldn't kill your own Uncle...? (Simba: No, Scar. I'm not like you.) Oh, Simba, thank you. You are truly noble. I'll make it up to you, I promise. How can I, ah, prove myself to you? Tell me; I mean, anything. (Simba: Run. Run away, Scar. And never return.) Yes. Of course. As you wish... ...your Majesty!
~ Scar pathetically pleading Simba for mercy even blaming Mufasa's death on the hyenas (unaware that they overheard him) and being relieved when Simba decides to spare him and tells him to run away and never return, but Scar, refusing to accept defeat throws embers at Simba and attempts to kill him.
Ahh, my friends. (Shenzi: Friends? I thought he said we were the enemy.) (Banzai: Yeah, that's what I heard.) (Scar's eyes widen with terror.) (Both: Ed?) (Ed cackles deviously as a whole horde hungry hyenas surround Scar) No! L-L-L-Le-Le-Le-Le-Let me explain. No, you don't understand! No, I didn't mean for... no, no! Look, I'm sorry I called you... no! NOOOO!!!
~ Scar's last words before the hyenas close in on him and fiercely rip him apart.
Enough! Janja, I summoned you here for a reason. You have the honor of carrying out my latest plan. It will bring suffering into the Pridelands and will leave them weakened and begging to surrender. Janja, take your hyenas into the Pridelands. Go to the rocky river bank abive Hakuna Matata falls. Wait for the cover of darkness, then push the rocks into the river and block the water from flowing.
~ Scar explaining his plan to cut off a major water supply in the Pridelands during the dry season.
That's right, Simba! You never thought you'd see me again, did you? (Simba: What do you want?) What do I want? Ah, Simba, Simba. Always so naive. First, we took Kilio Valley. Then we wrecked Big Springs. And now your precious Mizimu Grove is doomed! It's only a matter of time before all of the Pride Lands is mine!
~ Scar confronts Simba
No! NOOOOOOO! The roar is a curse, Kion! You'll see! Sisi Ni Sawaaaaaaa!!!!!
~ Scar's final words before he is extinguished for good.
Scar has received widespread acclaim from both critics and audiences alike, who consider Scar to be one of Disney’s greatest villains, with some stating that he was a better character than Simba. Critics who didn’t like the film tended to enjoy Scar’s characterization and Irons’ performance. Irons himself said that compared to most villains he played, Scar "measures very highly," having "charm," "Machiavellian qualities" and being "iconic in some of the things he says. Irons would then win an Annie Award for Best Achievement for Voice Acting. Watchmojo.com placed Scar as #1 on “Top 10 Animated Disney Villains”. Due to his critcial acclaim, Scar is one of the primary members of the Disney Villains franchise.
According to the French, Scar is the only character who is not from Swahili, but from English.
His birth name, "Taka" means "waste" in Swahili.
According to Andreas Deja, Scar is modelled after his voice actor Jeremy Irons.
Scar is notable for being voiced by Jeremy Irons and animated by Andreas Deja (who also animated Jafar, Alameda Slim, Dr. Frankenollie, and Gaston).
In Disney's Hercules, the Nemean Lion that Hades sends to fight Hercules bears an exact resemblance to Scar after it is killed and turned into a skin by the former. Given that Andreas Deja was the lead animator of the film, this cameo was likely a reference to his previous work; and may also be a reference to Zazu's joke that Scar could make "handsome throw rug" as well.
Scar's character is loosely based on Claudius from the Shakespearean play Hamlet; both are the uncle of the main character, and both kill their brother, the main character's father, in order to rule over a land originally lorded over by said brother. This is part in due to the various parallels The Lion King shares with Hamlet. However, unlike Claudius, who seems to hold some regret over killing his brother, Scar holds no guilt over killing Mufasa. Also, unlike Hamlet (who kills Claudius to avenge his father's death), Simba refuses to kill Scar (as he doesn't want to be like him).
Scar is also based on real-life dictator Adolf Hitler; as the scene where Scar is over looking his hyena army mimics the scene where Hitler over looks his army and stretches out his hand over them.
It is said that there is no blood relation between Scar and Kovu, who appeared in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, so there is no blood relation between Kovu and Kiara. However, Nuka mentions that Scar took Kovu in before he died.
In the early drafts of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Scar was meant to be Kovu's father. However, this was changed as this would have made Kovu and Kiara's relationship incestuous as they would have been first cousins once removed.
In an earlier draft for The Lion King, Scar was originally a baboon as the plot of the film would have been about a battle between lions and baboons. The only thing that was kept was the scar in the his left eye.
In an early script for The Lion King, Scar was a rogue lion who was never related to Mufasa and Simba. However, this was changed after the writers decided later in production that the threat should come from within the family for a bigger impact on the characters.
Scar was originally going to reveal his allegiance with the hyenas to the pride some years into his reign instead of straight after becoming king.
Before Jeremy Irons was cast, actors such as Malcolm McDowell and Tim Curry were considered for the role.
Scar was initially thought to be the main antagonist of the third season of The Lion Guard much like in the second season, but this later turned out to be false as Scar gets destroyed for good in the season premiere and Makucha takes over his role as main antagonist, having bigger plans than Scar. However, even after his ultimate defeat, Scar still serves as a posthumous antagonist for the rest of the season due Kion questioning himself if he will succumb to his great-uncle's fate or not.
In the episode "Battle for the Pride Lands" of The Lion Guard, it is revealed that Scar got his scar from a cobra who was a friend of a unnamed lion that Scar befriended. The lion promised to cure his scar if Scar agreed to do whatever he said, instead Scar destroyed him and the cobra with the roar. When Scar hoped that Mufasa would praise him for destroying the scheming lion. Mufasa mocked him instead by nicknaming him "Scar". The poison from the cobra later turned Scar's personality dark.
This means that Mufasa was partially responsible, albeit unintentionally, for the creation of Scar.
Scar is easily the most evil villain in the The Lion King franchise as most villains have redeeming traits (like Janja and the Outsiders), taken comically (like Nuka or Shenzi, Banzai and Ed) or have noble goals. While Scar does have a motive on being evil by being bitten by the Strange Cobra and then being nicknamed by Mufasa turned him evil, he goes way past from being excused by that by not just by outright murdering Mufasa, but tried to kill his nephew, Simba, mostly when he was a child and blamed Mufasa's death on him and literally wants to turn the Pridelands into a wasteland without life as revenge for his demise.
Scar is considered a foil to both Simba and Kion. He is an example of Simba if he realized that being king takes responsibilities and forgets about the past. He is also an example of what Kion would be if he didn't decide to search for a cure for his scar.
Scar is a member of Disney's Sinister Cats, a sub-franchise of the mainline Disney Villains franchise.