When I was the Lion Guard's fiercest
|~ Scar explaining how he met the Strange Lion.|
The Strange Lion is the posthumous overarching antagonist of The Lion King franchise, appearing as a minor yet significant flashback antagonist in the The Lion Guard special "Battle of the Pride Lands". He was an unnamed lion whom Scar met in the past when he was young, and was the one who gave him his signature Scar. Because of this, the Strange Lion is responsible for almost all the events of the franchise.
The Strange Lion's origins are unknown, but given the fact that Scar did not recognize him, it seems to be likely that he may have come from somewhere far away from the Pride Lands and the Outlands. According to Scar, he met him when he was still the leader of the Lion Guard (going under the name Askari) at the time while scouting the Outlands alone.
He somehow knew Askari was second-best in power to his older brother by the name of King Mufasa, yet possesses a special power called the Roar of the Elders, which is always granted to every leader of the Lion Guard. The Strange Lion claimed to have wisdom and power, and that with the help from Askari and the Roar, they could overthrow Mufasa and rule the Pride Lands together as equals. Askari finds the idea to be intriguing, due to his desire to become king himself because of his jealously of Mufasa, but as he follows the Strange Lion to a volcano, the lion leads him to an ambush by having his friend, the Strange Cobra, attack Askari, biting him on his right eye and giving him his trademark scar.
As Askari fumes in pain due to the venomous bite, the Strange Lion reveals his true colors by implying that he intends to exploit Askari to overthrow Mufasa and take over the Pride Lands for himself by blackmailing Askari into serving for him in exchange for the cure of the venom. But Askari, angry that he was lied to and losing control of himself due to the snake venom, instead uses the Roar of the Elder to blast both the lion and cobra away, sending them towards the lava river behind to their deaths.
Returning to Pride Rock, Askari explained his story to Mufasa and expected to be praised for stopping the Strange Lion's attempted coup d'etat, but Mufasa just friendly patted Askari while giving him his nickname Scar, causing him to despise Mufasa and ultimately decide to overthrow him.
While the Strange Lion and Cobra were never able to proceed with their plans to take over the Pride Lands, their attack on Scar, coupled with the Strange Cobra's venom slowly poisoning his mind, makes certain one thing about them: they are indirectly responsible for making Scar turn into the selfish and tyrannical monster he later became, leading to the tragic events of The Lion King.
In Battle for the Pride Lands, right before the final battle between his army and the Pridelanders, Scar told his right-hand snake, Ushari the tale of his facial scar. He then replicates this event by having Ushari bite Kion on the face while the latter was distracted in order to get him to violently roar at Scar so that the volcano they were in would erupt and kill everyone outside. This plan fails, however, when Kion instead summons a rain storm to extinguish Scar, but not before the phantom warns him about his upcoming plight. In revenge, Ushari attempts to attack Kion again, but is stopped by Bunga and both fall into the lava to their deaths. Ono was able to save Bunga at the cost of his eyesight, leaving Ushari to perish alone.
Ultimately, Scar and Ushari ironically suffered the same fate as the Strange Lion and Cobra from many years ago, albeit in a different manner.
The Strange Lion had tan coloured fur with a dark brown stripe on his forehead, a dark brown mane which reached to his lower chest, red eyes and a scar over his left eye.
- The Strange Lion is considered to be the Greater-Scope Villain of The Lion King series as his actions against Scar are what caused him to become the hate-filled tyrant he was in the first film and the Big Bad of the series, who in turn inspired the Outsiders to engage in a war against Simba's pride in the second film and left the Pride Lands without a Lion Guard, leading Simba to recruit Kion and his friends to lead a new one in The Lion Guard.
- The Strange Lion is the second lion in The Lion King series to have a stripe on their forehead. The first being Zira. Both the strange lion and Zira also has the same eye color.
- This has caused several fans to theorize that he was Zira's father, even though this may not be the case as Zira was born in the Pride Lands while the Strange Lion wasn't. Ford Riley, the show's creator, hinted at the possibility that the Strange Lion is related to Zira, but refused to confirm or deny anything, and refused to delve into his character any further.
- He is one of four lions in The Lion Guard to have a scar on his eye. The other three being Scar, Kovu and Kion.
- Despite his importance in Scar's descent into villainy, the Strange Lion's name is never revealed (as perhaps Scar didn't know his name). Considering that Scar was destroyed for good in the same episode he reveals how he got his namesake and since the show is over, it's likely that we will never learn the Strange Lion's name.
- He bears resemblance to the franchise's protagonist Simba and his father Mufasa.