- Mufasa: "Don't turn your back on me, Scar!"
- Scar: "Oh, no, Mufasa. Perhaps you shouldn't turn your back on me."
- ―Mufasa and Scar
Scar is the main antagonist of Disney's 1994 animated feature film The Lion King. As the younger brother of Mufasa and second-born prince of the Pride Lands, Scar was next in line to assume the throne as king. His chances were lost, however, at the arrival 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.
As one of Disney's most infamous villains—made especially notorious for his success in murdering Mufasa—Scar is a primary member of the Disney Villains franchise.
Two versions of Scar's backstory exist. In the novel A Tale of Two Brothers, Scar was once named Taka (meaning "wish" or "want" in Swahili), and had become upset when he learned that his older brother Mufasa was chosen to be king over himself. Taka would come to meet three hyenas named Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, who tell him that if Mufasa is made to look like a failure, then he will look kingly in comparison and soon take the throne. This leads to Taka tricking his brother into going down to the waterhole, where a Cape buffalo called Boma is refusing to share the water with the rest of The Pride Lands which, at the time, is having a terrible drought. While there Mufasa starts to try to reason with Boma and Taka roars and tells Boma that he must move by order of the Lion King, or fight Mufasa, Boma then charges out of the water at Mufasa. Mufasa escapes with the aid of a mandrill called Rafiki, and Boma goes after Taka instead.
Mufasa runs back and finds Taka being attacked by Boma's herd. A large buffalo slashes Taka with his horns, causing him to be knocked unconscious. Mufasa leaps in to save his brother and the buffaloes prepare to attack again. Before they can do so, King Ahadi, father of Taka and Mufasa, appears with a large herd of animals that surrounds the Buffaloes. It was during this attack that Taka got a scar on his eye, and renamed himself "Scar", as a reminder of his mistake, explaining his cruel name.
In The Lion Guard, Scar was at one point selected as leader of the Lion Guard: a team of lions who would protect the Pride Lands and the Circle of Life, as part of a tradition to all second-born children of the king. With this responsibility, Scar was given a power called the "Roar of the Elders". One day, Scar encountered a strange lion, who suggested that Scar should be the king of the Pride Lands. However, the strange lion led him to a trap where a cobra bit his left eye and left him his famous scar. The strange lion then offered to cure the cobra's venom in return for Scar's servitude, but Scar instead killed them both with the roar in a fit of rage. After talking about it to his brother, he received the nickname Scar from his elder and which would eventually become his only name. After that, Scar began to become jealous and hateful of Mufasa and thought that his brother should no longer be the king. When the Lion Guard refused to help Scar take down his brother, Scar used the Roar of the Elders to destroy them. Due to using the Roar of the Elders for evil, Scar lost the power completely and descended into depression, becoming shriveled and weak.
In an early treatment for an African-centered feature called King of the Jungle, a main point of conflict was a war between lions and baboons. In this iteration of the story, Scar was portrayed as a baboon and served as the leader of the baboons. Eventually, Scar became a rogue lion that was out for the throne with the J.T. Allen treatment of the story, as well as the King of the Beasts version by Allen and Ron Bass. This rendition of Scar was closer to a minion than the actual main antagonist (being subservient to Banagi, the leader of the Hyena Clan as well as a puppet king), and in the King of the Beasts version was also depicted as being a bit more honorable compared to the final version of the character, as he twice angrily denounces the Hyena Clan's attempts at aiding him when about to lose against Mufasa and later Simba, repeatedly insisting he fight his foes alone. The filmmakers, however, believed it would be more impactful if Scar had a deeper connection to the heroes; therefore, he was rewritten as Mufasa's envious, younger brother.
Andreas Deja was assigned as Scar's supervising animator. Rather than working on Pocahontas, Deja chose to work on King of the Jungle due to his love for The Jungle Book and Milt Kahl's animation of Shere Khan. Despite this, Deja did not study Khal's animation when working on The Lion King, so to prevent himself from simply copying what was done before. He, instead, studied real lions (some of which were brought into the Disney studio) and relied on the vocal performance and facial features of Jeremy Irons. Scar was designed to stand out from the other lions and reflect his sinister nature—he was given dark fur, a black mane, and his claws are consistently featured, as opposed to the other lions whose claws only appeared during points of contention.
Scar's song, written by Elton John and Tim Rice, was originally titled "Thanks to Me" and was performed after Mufasa's death. As the development on the story progressed, the filmmakers felt that Scar's song was performed too late in the film. They also wanted to use Scar's number as a build up to his eventual takeover, thus it was renamed "Be Prepared" and featured Scar and his hyenas plotting to kill Mufasa and rule the Pride Lands.
Infamously, a deleted plot point included Scar banishing Nala from Pride Rock because she ignored his romantic approaches, after which she finds Simba alive and well with Timon and Pumbaa. This idea was ultimately abandoned, presumably because sexual harassment (and sexual advances in particular) was considered improper in a family movie at the time. However, the stage musical adaptation includes this plot development as part of director Julie Taymor's efforts to expand the female characters' presence in the story.
Malcolm McDowell and Tim Curry were once considered for the role of Scar. Jeremy Irons was approached thereafter due to his theatre background, as the filmmakers had envisioned Scar as a "Shakespearean" villain. Initially, Irons was reluctant to voicing a role in an animated feature, as his career was built on dramatic, live-action roles. He was swayed after watching test animation matched to his voice. Irons would give up to ten and fifteen takes on a line, which would be reviewed by the directors and editor and chosen from there.
When it came to "Be Prepared", Irons endured numerous rehearsals and an eight hour session at a studio to perform the song. By the end of the session, Irons literally blew out his voice (specifically with the line "You won't get a sniff without me!"), and the rest of the song is sung by Jim Cummings, who voiced Ed the hyena.
Scar was known to be very resentful of Mufasa and Simba, the latter for essentially ruining any chance of him becoming king. His resentment and anger towards Mufasa were strong enough that, after he usurped Mufasa's place on the throne by murdering him, he outlawed the very mention of Mufasa's name in his presence.
Scar seemed to possess somewhat of an inferiority complex, as evidenced by his sad resignation to the fact that he was passed over in the gene pool regarding brute strength. Scar is egotistical and prides himself on his intelligence, saying "As far as brains go, I got the lion share" and was somewhat of a narcissist, the latter trait being especially prevalent when plotting the murder of Mufasa after the hyenas' failed attempt at murdering Simba at the Elephant Graveyard where he mentions that when he becomes king, they will see him "for the wonder [he is]." He has some odd quirks that he is aware of, as when Simba affectionately states "You're so weird," Scar tells Simba "You have no idea" (although this specific line was an intentional in-joke referring to Reversal of Fortune, in which Jeremy Irons utters the same line).
Scar was heavily sardonic, frequently replying to attempts at conversation with sarcasm and subtle insults. After taking over Pride Rock, Scar's overall demeanor took a turn for the worse, becoming somewhat deluded, if not in self-denial, in believing that he is still an efficient ruler despite clear evidence to the contrary, apparently being unwilling to admit even to himself that Mufasa was a better king or finding fault in his own leadership. As such, in a dark parallel to Simba's initial idealism to becoming king, he also proceeded to refuse relocating the Pride from Pride Rock despite being confronted with clear evidence that any surviving animals in the region had fled the premises as well as there being an ongoing drought, not caring if this resulted in the kingdom's, or his own, death, while claiming himself to be king. This implied that a large part of the reason why he decided this course of action was simply because he could give that order as king.
Scar was highly intelligent as he himself liked to boast, easily able to manipulate situations and conversations to his advantage. This made up for Scar's lack of physical strength, which was further demonstrated by his decision to subject a fully grown Simba to a court rather than fighting him openly. Despite this, he didn't appear to mind doing his own hunts, as evidenced when he brought a zebra leg for the hyenas, and in the 2019 remake apparently killed an oryx and dragged it to the rest of the pride. He was a fierce fighter who held his own against the much younger and more powerfully built Simba and came very close to killing him. However, Scar will not hesitate to cheat in a fight, as seen when he flings embers into Simba's eyes, temporarily blinding him, to gain the upper hand. Scar was a very charismatic individual, able to inspire the hyenas to follow his cause and gain fanatical loyalty from Zira and her pride of lionesses, the latter party even in death.
Regarding his treatment of Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, he was somewhat harsh with them, as evidenced by his berating them regarding their failure to kill Simba and Nala (even though they only escaped because of Mufasa's timely arrival), and his angrily kicking them out after Banzai made the mistake of mentioning Mufasa within earshot. He could barely tolerate the idea of relying on "idiots" like them. Worst of all, when he realized that they lied to him about Simba's fate, he gave them a glance which seemed to indicate he would deal with them later. In the beginning intro of his theme song, "Be Prepared", he deems the hyenas not essential. And while the hyenas treated Scar as one of them, Scar merely saw them as his tools to usurp the throne and has no hesitation to betray them to save his own skin, which in the end consequently resulted in his demise at their hands.
He was also a sadist, convincing his own nephew he was responsible for Mufasa's death and then taunting him for it further. He even toyed with Zazu whenever the Majordomo tried talking back at him. Despite his negative traits, he attempted to encourage Zazu to sing a more "bouncy" song, other than "It's a Small World", which he apparently finds to be extremely annoying (like a lot of people do in real life), because when Zazu starts to sing it, Scar snaps at him, telling him to stop ("NO, no! Anything but that!").
He remains conniving and power-hungry, even after his death, as evidently shown by his schemes to weaken the Lion Guard, led by his grandnephew, Kion, and he has apparently become less forgiving of failure to the point that Janja fears Scar greatly. In death, he is still manipulative and—in spite of his arrogance—knows that his goals cannot be accomplished without the assistance of the Outlanders, prompting him to use both intimidation and temptation to keep his new lackeys compliant.
Scar is elegant and poised, but also unkempt and wild looking. He also speaks with an English accent. He is perhaps the most evidently feline lion in the film, lithe and melanistic in appearance with a sleek, black mane, brownish-orange fur, and distinctive, almond-shaped neon green eyes. He has large, tan paws with long, curving black claws that unlike those of other lions in the film are always bared and never retracted, perhaps alluding to his vicious nature.
Scar also sports a white goatee beard, characteristic of villains, particularly the evil twin archetype which is fitting given his relationship with Mufasa. Finally, Scar has a small, thin, pink scar over his left eye, thus earning him his namesake (which happened to him during his younger days). Some of his physical traits were also based in part on his original voice actor, Jeremy Irons.
After his death, Scar became a spirit manifested in lava and fire.
On the day of Simba's presentation, Scar remains in his cave, where he laments the loss of the throne. He suddenly receives a visit from Zazu, who reprimands Scar for his failure to attend Simba's presentation. Scar wickedly attempts to eat Zazu out of irritation, but Mufasa interferes. Mufasa questions Scar's absence, but Scar shows no remorse and merely expresses disdain for the young prince before leaving Pride Rock, dejected, much to the chagrin of Mufasa. As some time passed, Scar rapidly became jealous of his nephew Simba's position as the next king of Pride Rock and started plotting to kill him in order to take out the competition for the throne. He started to recruit hyenas—primarily Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed—to build an army. He used bribes of food to get them on his side. In the first attempt, Scar lured Simba to the hyenas' domain at the Elephant Graveyard, where Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed were to kill Simba and his friend, Nala. When Mufasa foiled that plan, Scar saw the whole scene with great unhappiness. Later, Scar admonishes the hyenas for failing to kill Simba, but rewards them with food nonetheless. Knowing Simba will always be safe so long as Mufasa is around, Scar proposes they kill both Simba and Mufasa.
To motivate and mobilize the hyenas, Scar promises that under his rule, the hyenas will never go hungry again, a promise which he clearly could not (and ultimately failed to) keep. With their help, he engineers a wildebeest stampede meant to kill both Simba and Mufasa, tricking Simba into waiting in a gorge under the notion that Mufasa has a 'marvelous surprise' for him. Scar alerts Mufasa, who rushes to Simba's aid. Mufasa manages to save his son and ends up clinging to a cliff where he spots Scar and pleads with his brother to help him. However, Scar instead pierces Mufasa's paws with his claws and, grinning wickedly, throws his brother off the cliff to his death with the taunting words, "Long live the king". Scar discovers Simba still alive and places the blame of Mufasa's death on his nephew. He orders Simba to run away and never return as punishment. Scar then sends the hyenas to kill Simba, but they fail this task as Simba escapes into the desert. Believing Simba is as good as dead in the wasteland, the hyenas let the cub escape, and lie to Scar about it.
Shortly after, with feigned grief, Scar then tells the lionesses that Mufasa and Simba died and takes over the Pride Lands, using the hyena clan as muscle to ensure his reign goes undisputed. As king, Scar enacts a law that forbids the mention of Mufasa's name in his presence. He also grants the hyenas' unrestricted hunting rights, resulting in a shortage of food due to the hyenas' overeating. Additionally, a drought deprives the kingdom of water, driving away most animals. After receiving complaints, Scar summons Sarabi and questions her as to why she and the rest of the lionesses are not hunting for food, to which Sarabi explains the state of the kingdom. She suggests they leave Pride Rock to survive, but Scar stubbornly rejects the idea. With Sarabi pushed beyond composure, she openly compares Scar to Mufasa in a condescending manner, angering Scar to the point of ruthlessly striking Sarabi. Just as this occurs, an adult Simba, alive and well, returns and confronts the anxious Scar, who initially mistakes Simba for Mufasa. However, after learning it is his nephew, Scar sarcastically expresses "joy" at seeing him alive, and gives a dirty look at the hyenas, knowing they had in fact failed at their task and lied to him.
Simba orders Scar to resign as king or engage in battle for the throne. Knowing he lacks the physical strength, Scar initiates a trial against Simba, blaming him for Mufasa's death in an attempt to turn the pride against him. Simba, still believing it was he who was responsible for his father's death, admits his "crime," and tries to explain he's not really a murderer, but Scar backs him up until he is left dangling over the ledge of Pride Rock. As a lightning bolt strikes beneath Pride Rock and causes a wildfire due to the dry grass, Scar quietly admits to killing Mufasa, enraging Simba who, in a burst of adrenaline, furiously tackles Scar and forces him to confess his murder. This leads to a ferocious battle in which the lionesses, Timon, Pumbaa, and Rafiki, work together to defeat the hyenas. Scar tries to escape in the chaos, but is confronted by Simba at the top of Pride Rock. On the edge of panic, Scar tries to pin the blame on the hyenas (unaware that Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed are listening nearby), but Simba refuses to believe him. When Simba chooses to exile Scar rather than kill him, Scar appears to concede, but then does a sneak attack by throwing the closest embers available into Simba's face. Scar viciously attacks Simba, and they engage in a fierce fight.
Scar eventually gains the upper hand by bashing Simba across the face and knocking him onto his back. As Scar leaps to deliver the deathblow, Simba uses his hind legs to hurl Scar over the edge of Pride Rock, sending him tumbling down a rocky slope to the base of the formation. Scar survives the fall, and as he slowly gets to his feet, the hyenas arrive. At first, Scar is relieved to see his "friends", but to his horror, they reveal that they overheard Scar calling them "the enemy," and they begin to surround their fallen master with wide grins. Realizing his mistake too late, Scar begs for mercy and attempts to explain himself, but the hyenas, giving into their hunger and rage, leap upon him, and viciously maul him to death as flames surround them. With Scar dead, Simba ascends Pride Rock and reclaims the Pride Lands as the new king.
Despite his ultimate demise, Scar maintained the loyalty of the Outsiders, a pride of lionesses led by a lioness named Zira, who were banished to the Outlands by Simba. Zira was fanatically loyal to Scar and intended to install her son Kovu as King of Pride Rock, as he was chosen by Scar personally to be his heir and successor. They would continue to create trouble for Simba in the following years.
Scar also appeared in Simba's dream. Mufasa clings to the high cliff above the stampede and an adult Simba tries to save his father. However, Scar grabs Simba's paw, stopping from reaching him. As Mufasa falls off the cliff into the stampede, Scar morphs into Kovu and throws Simba into the stampede too. In addition, Scar was also mentioned by Simba when he explains to Kovu the true history of the fight between Scar and him. He also implies during this time that, in addition to the hyenas exacting revenge on Scar, Scar also ended up burned alive by the wildfire.
Scar makes another brief appearance when Kovu is exiled from the Pride Lands by Simba, he stops by a lake where he sees Scar's reflection instead of his own as Mufasa did to Simba.
In the end, Scar's dying wish would be fulfilled (Kovu becoming the king of the Pride Lands) since Simba would choose Kovu to become the king consort of his daughter Kiara, Scar's great-niece. However, unlike Scar's plan, Kovu would rule for the sake of his subjects under the concept of the Circle of Life rather than his own sake.
In the direct-to-video "parallel film" The Lion King 1½, Scar makes a few brief, non-speaking appearances in the scenes for which he was present in the original Lion King film.
Scar's song, "Be Prepared" is heard briefly as Timon and Pumbaa tour Scar's lair as a possible new home, commenting on how it is quiet, secluded and with no uninvited visitors. The shadows of the goose-stepping hyena army are then seen marching in front of them, though they haven't started singing yet. This convinces Timon and Pumbaa to look elsewhere.
He is also mentioned by Nala when tells Timon and Pumbaa that Simba needs their help in order to defeat Scar. Later, he is shown making Simba fall over Pride Rock's peak and fleeing from Simba after admitting he murdered Mufasa, where the hyenas were protecting him. Finally, after Timon, Ma, Pumbaa, and Uncle Max defeat the hyenas, Simba kicks Scar over the side of Pride Rock's summit, into the hole the hyenas fell into, and to his death by his minions' jaws.
In The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, Simba's second born cub—and Scar's grandnephew—Kion is told that Scar was once the leader of the Lion Guard, until it met a disastrous end when the power went to his head. As such, Kion makes a great effort to refrain from misusing his gift and becoming the dark figure his granduncle had been.
In "The Rise of Scar", a hyena named Janja tires of living under the harsh conditions of the Outlands, but refuses to accept the fact that he and the other hyenas only reside there because they selfishly refuse to adhere to the laws set by the Circle of Life. Instead, they want to eliminate Kion, but each of their attempts have failed. A snake named Ushari claims that the secret to Kion's success is his ability to talk to the Great Kings of the Past, more specifically Mufasa. This gives them the idea to find a way to summon the only lion that's ever sided with the hyenas: Scar. Under Scar's authority, they hope to eliminate Kion and create a new order amongst the Pride Lands that gives them the freedom to devour as much as they want. By using both the combined powers of Kion's roar and Makini's magical bakora staff, Janja and Ushari successfully manage to summon Scar's spirit, manifested in lava and fire.
Revived and reinvigorated, Scar sees this as an opportunity to exact revenge against Simba and overthrow him as king. As revealed in "Let Sleeping Crocs Lie", Scar plots to gather all the animals in the Outlands to create a new legion of followers. With an army of henchmen at his disposal once more, Scar seeks to ignite a hostile takeover of the Pride Lands and reclaim the kingdom as his own domain.
In "The Scorpion's Sting", Scar sends a scorpion named Sumu to poison Simba. Knowing that volcanic ash is needed to remedy the fatal sting, Scar sends his crocodile, jackal, and hyena minions to slow the Lion Guard, accompanied by Makini, down. It is then that they overpower these foes and secure the ash that he finally makes himself known to his grandnephew and his friends. After his father's life is saved, Kion vows to defeat his granduncle once and for all.
In "The Fall of Mizimu Grove", the Outlanders ambush on Mizimu Grove, attacking the Pride Landers in which the battle against them pauses when Scar appears in front of them as he plans to take over the Pride Lands, frightening away the Pride Landers. He also crosses Simba for the first time since his death. However, after Kion tells the Pride Landers to remain in Pride Rock and Makini's baobab tree survived the fire, it inspires them to stay in the kingdom and work with each other as a plan to defeat Scar.
In "Battle for the Pride Lands" the Lion Guard will try to defeat Scar by taking the battle in the Outlands. While having a discussion with Ushari after learning that the Pridelanders will attack the Outlands, he told Ushari about his scar was given to him by a strange Lion with his cobra snake friend and Mufasa then gave him his current name, Scar. After hearing from the skinks that Janja is considering joining Jasiri's clan, Scar devised a scheme to take out Janja's clan together with the royal family and Lion Guard by using them as distraction while the vultures cause fire in Pride Rock, hoping to eliminate all of them at once. In anticipation should they survive, Scar gave Janja false information that Kion can destroy him by using his powerful roar right at the volcano where Scar is while in reality using the roar would cause eruption that would kill Lion Guard and strengthened Scar further. To make sure his plan would work more efficiently, Scar enlisted Ushari's help to make Kion lose control of his roar.
After the defeat of the Outlanders, the Lion Guard enters the volcano and Kion confronts Scar, but is sneakily attacked by Ushari who leaves him a scar like Scar's and venom inside Kion that causes him to have difficulty in thinking, hoping this will make Kion to lose control of his roar. The evil lion then mocks his grandnephew, declaring that they are now the same and goads his grandnephew to use his roar against him. To Scar's surprise, Kion instead forgives him and declares that he can't judge him for everything he has done but the lions of the past can. Kion then invokes the lions of the past that made the rain fall in the volcano, contaminating the fallen lion. Knowing to be doomed, Scar screams to Kion that his roar is just a curse and that he will become like him before being annihilated once and for all, ending his tyrannical rule over the Outlands, and his threat towards the Pride Lands forever. Despite his ultimate destruction, the venom inflicted upon Kion by Ushari, (who is later killed by Bunga after being thrown into a fire pit) would alter his mind, and give him a personality disorder, one that brings out his darker intentions and makes him lose control of the Roar of the Elders, prompting him to travel to the Tree of Life in order to heal his wounds. Whilst Kion is on his journey, Zira, Scar's most loyal follower, and her youngest son Kovu, whom Scar adopted as his successor during his reign, plot to kill Simba and take over the Pride Lands but ultimately ends with Zira meeting her demise and Kovu and the rest of Zira’s pride of lionesses joining Simba’s thanks to Kiara.
Scar appears in the 2019 film, voiced by Chiwetel Ejiofor. In this version, Scar has a notably more sinister and unhealthy appearance, with a very lean build, graying-gold fur, amber eyes, and a thin, pale, mangy mane. In addition to the signature scar over his left eye (which is now larger and darker), Scar also has a noticeable notch in his right ear and several small scratch marks and bruises on his body, while his facial structure gives him an angry look. This change from his animated depiction was, according to director Jon Favreau, meant to emphasize Scar's inner trauma and evil nature. In this film, it is heavily implied Scar got his scars from challenging Mufasa for the right to rule the Pride Lands and in an attempt to win Sarabi's affections, though she chose Mufasa over him.
Scar first appears when a mouse wanders into his lair while he muses mid-chase about how unfair it is that his "right" to become next in line to rule has been taken by Simba, who was born earlier that day. When Zazu shows up to inform him that Mufasa is on his way to see him after he failed to be present, Scar tries to eat the hornbill, saying that he can do as he pleases. When Mufasa stops him, Scar feigns forgetting and starts to leave, saying that Mufasa shouldn't turn his back on him after Mufasa tells Scar not to likewise turn his back on him. Mufasa prepares to challenge Scar as a result, but Scar backs down, saying that he won't dare challenge Mufasa again. As he leaves, Zazu retorts to Mufasa that Scar should have been exiled from the Pride Lands long ago, but Mufasa refuses, saying that as his brother Scar has every right to live in the kingdom so long as Mufasa reigns as leader.
Later, Scar sees Simba chasing a beetle and tells him to run along, as he doesn't babysit cubs. When Simba brags about seeing the kingdom with his father and one day having to tell Scar what to do when he becomes king in the future, a visibly bitter Scar weaves a lie that the elephant graveyard is a place where all lions have gone to show their bravery. Wanting to prove he's brave, Simba asks more about it, and Scar, knowing full well that Simba wants to explore it, tells him how dangerous and forbidding the elephant graveyard is before making him promise not to tell about it.
After finding out his attempt to have Simba killed by the hyenas failed, Scar meets with Shenzi and her clan to form an alliance in order to kill him and Mufasa. Scar promises them that the mighty will be able to take whatever they want when they want. The next day, Scar takes Simba to the gorge in the Pride Lands, saying that to impress Mufasa after getting in trouble, he must find his roar in the gorge, which all lions do according to Scar. Scar leaves him to practice as the hyenas stampede the wildebeest herd into the gorge, setting the trap as Scar tells Mufasa that Simba is in danger. During the stampede, Scar sends Zazu to rally the lionesses to help while he tries to help Mufasa, leaving no witnesses to his plans. After Mufasa saves Simba, Scar waits as his brother tries to scale the walls of the gorge and escape. When Mufasa begs him for help, Scar instead sends Mufasa falling to his death with a swipe of his paw, murdering him. He then tricks Simba into believing Mufasa's death is his fault, and tells him to run away as the pride won't accept him for killing his father. After Simba flees, Scar orders Shenzi and the hyenas to kill Simba, but unknown to him and Shenzi alike, Simba escapes after nearly falling to his death during the escape.
When telling the pride about Mufasa's death, Scar lies that he didn't make it to the gorge in time. Scar then takes the throne and brings in the hyenas as his enforcers. Afterwards, he personally leads the hyenas to hunt instead of the lionesses so he can show his dominance over the kingdom, resulting in the Pride Lands becoming a wasteland years later due to his desire to kill prey where and when he wants, making the other lionesses unhappy. He offers Sarabi to become his queen, but she refuses, citing his greed and selfishness. To corner her, Scar enforces the rule that the lionesses can only eat the scraps from hyenas' foods until she agrees to become his queen. This causes Nala to leave and find help, resulting in her finding Simba as Nala manages to leave Pride Rock without getting caught by Scar.
When Simba returns home and confronts Scar after he attacks Sarabi, he goads him into revealing his "role" in Mufasa's death. Scar then pushes him into slipping at the edge of Pride Rock, where he cites Mufasa had the same look in his eyes before he died, before Scar tells him that he killed Mufasa. upon hearing the truth, a furious Simba bites him on his mane and pulls himself back up, asking Scar how he could do this to his own brother. Scar tries to defend himself by calling Simba crazy and that he is the one who killed Mufasa and now plans to kill him next, but Sarabi reveals that she overheard Scar talk about seeing Mufasa's face before he died and, the pride, remembering that Scar told them he didn't arrive at the gorge in time, turns on him. Scar, realizing too late that he accidentally exposed himself, orders the hyenas to kill all the other lions and Simba as Nala orders the lionesses to fight against the hyenas.
When he sees the pride defeat his forces, Scar flees, climbing to a ledge near the top of Pride Rock, where he is cornered by Simba. Scar begs for mercy and even double-crosses the hyenas in his desperation, lying that they forced him into committing Mufusa's murder and denouncing them as "revolting scavengers" he was planning to kill. Unknown to him, Shenzi, Kamari and Azizi are listening nearby and are enraged by Scar's treacherous words, leaving to inform the other hyenas. Simba refuses to believe Scar's lies, but chooses to exile his uncle rather than kill him. Scar appears to concede, but then throws burning embers in Simba's face and attacks him while he is blinded. The two lions engage in a fierce duel and although Scar proves to be a surprisingly formidable opponent despite his weak appearance, Simba ultimately proves to be the stronger fighter and throws Scar off the edge of Pride Rock.
Scar survives the fall and as he struggles to his feet, Shenzi, Kamari, Azizi and several other surviving hyenas arrive and encircle him. At first, Scar is relieved to see them, saying that they will rebuild their army together to take revenge against Simba, but to his horror, the hyenas reveal they overheard his attempt to betray them. Realizing they are turning against him, Scar desperately tries to justify what he said, but Shenzi coldly tells him that the only true thing he ever said was that "a hyena's belly is never full", indirectly ordering her clan to kill him in revenge. Cornered and outnumbered, Scar vainly attempts to fight back until he is overwhelmed and eaten alive by the hyenas, bringing his reign to a well-deserved end.
Scar makes a few cameos meant for comedy purposes in the animated series Timon & Pumbaa. He is seen when Timon tries to revive Pumbaa's amnesia after being struck by lightning, and when Zazu cleans out his trash can.
In Hercules, Scar makes a cameo as a lion skin briefly worn by Hercules at one point, which in itself was a reference to one of Hercules' twelve labors, which was killing the Nemean Lion. It may also be a reference to a joke made by Zazu in the first film, where he suggested that Scar be made into a throw rug.
In House of Mouse, Scar made few minor cameos. In the episode "Jiminy Cricket", Jiminy used Scar as an example of temptations. At the end of that same episode, Scar was seen aside some of the other guests when they were arguing over Jiminy. In the episode "Ask Von Drake", Scar can be briefly seen being held by Rafiki just as Simba was in the film. In the episode "Goofy's Valentine Date", Scar was seen along with the other guests.
In the animated blooper reel featured in the The Lion King: Diamond Edition special features, Scar makes a cameo appearance, seen botching his line during Simba's climactic trial at Pride Rock.
In the Disney Crossy Road: The Animated Series episode "Hyena Havoc", Scar appears in pursuit of Simba, alongside the hyenas. Simba crosses a road of animals for safety, and Scar orders the hyenas to capture him. When they fail, Scar attempts to cross the road, himself, though he is comically trampled in the process, humiliating him.
Scar appeared in this video game as the final boss.
Scar appears as one of the bosses in this video game. He battles Simba and would jump onto a platform to roar, causing rocks to fall towards Simba which he has to dodge before he finally defeats Scar.
Largely following the story of the film, Scar is the tyrannical ruler of the Pridelands, after earning his throne through regicide (the murder of King Mufasa and supposedly Prince Simba). At some point, Scar meets Pete, an invader on a quest to dominate the worlds using a legion of demons known as the Heartless. Together, they rule the pride with discipline until Sora, Donald and Goofy arrive. With little food elsewhere, Scar attempts to devour the trio, only to be stopped by Nala, allowing them to escape. Once they do, they head out to find Simba, who was revealed to be alive by Sora. The group eventually finds him, and together, they return to Pride Rock to battle Scar. The tyrant is forced into revealing that he killed Mufasa, and a battle breaks loose, resulting in Scar's demise. However, the darkness of anger and jealousy in Scar's heart corrupts the lion and revives him in the form of a Heartless, drenching the Pride Lands in darkness as well. Sora and friends battle Scar, and he is eventually killed off for good.
During the second visit, it is revealed an army of Scar's ghost is haunting the Pridelands. According to Rafiki, the ghosts feed off of Simba's insecurity towards being king. As a manifestation, Scar constantly tortures and taunts the new ruler, until a turn of events prompts Simba to stand up to the demon, finally having the courage necessary to send him off for good. However, the army then comes together and converge to create the Groundshaker Heartless to face Simba and Sora before the two are able to destroy it and the ghosts of Scar for good.
This rendition of Scar is somewhat darker than in the original film since, aside from him becoming a full Heartless upon being defeated by Simba, he was also implied to be a cannibal due to his attempting to devour Sora (who at the time appeared as a lion cub).
Like the cameo in the film Hercules, Scar also makes a cameo as a throw rug in a specific area of the game Hades Challenge. Like before, the cameo also references one of Hercules' twelve labors, specifically his defeating the Nemean Lion.
In Epic Mickey, Scar appears as a stained-glass portrait in the Mad Doctor's laboratory along with Maleficent and Captain Hook. There are also two lion statues in the courtyard of Dark Beauty Castle that bare resemblance to Scar.
Scar also appeared as an unlockable costume character in Disney Universe. He is also the boss of the last level of The Lion King universe, where you ride on a train for transportation to battle him with a cannon.
Scar is the main villain in the Broadway musical adaptation of The Lion King. In the original run of the show, in 1997, the character of Scar was portrayed by John Vickery, and is generally portrayed as an intellectual, immature prince, with a heavy hint of comedic elements in an (arguably) more prominent light than his animated counterpart.
Scar's role is also expanded upon with the song "The Madness of King Scar". In it, Scar begins doubting his reign, fearing that he might be losing the respect of the lionesses and indirectly receives an idea from Zazu that he needs a queen to ensure that his family line continues for generations, thus giving him immortality. He attempts to seduce Nala when he chooses her as his queen, promising to share the throne with her, to bear many cubs and to love her dearly, but she rebukes him by scratching his face after realizing what this would truly mean for her. The musical also implies that he might harbor some guilt for murdering Mufasa, as he mentions that Mufasa's ghost kept on haunting him. The musical also implies that his main motives for wanting to become king were due to neglect that he suffered while he was young, especially in comparison to Mufasa.
In World of Color, Scar can be briefly seen in the water projectors and heard vocally throughout a sequence based on the wildebeest stampede from the film. In addition, Scar was featured in the 2015 rendition of the show, during the brief montage celebrating villains.
Scar plays a role in Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. In Adventureland, Scar returns from the dead via Hades and is given a proposition to live forever in exchange for the crystal of the Magic Kingdom. Scar tricks the hyenas into believing he is invincible and forces them to work for him again. However, the park guests prove that Scar lied by injuring him in front of the hyenas, prompting them to leave their former boss. Scar consoles Hades for more power, but Hades refuses and leaves the lion to battle the park guests alone. Scar is defeated, but a recovered piece of the crystal imbues him with magic, allowing him to take on the guests once again. Scar is once again defeated, however, saving the kingdom from his wrath.
Scar appears as one of the main villains in the live nighttime spectacular Fantasmic!. In the show, Scar is called forth by The Evil Queen to destroy Mickey Mouse once and for all. In the end, Scar is killed by Mickey along with the other villains. His only line was "Yes, perfect."
In Happily Ever After, Scar is one of the villains featured during the adversity segment. He is seen battling Simba on Pride Rock as it is engulfed in flames.
Scar's likeness is also featured in Disney's Art of Animation Resort.
In France, Scar was featured on the villains' float in Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade.
Scar appears as one of Maleficent's invited guests during the climactic projection montage of Villains Night Out!
Scar appears in the Shanghai resort's production of The Lion King stage musical.
Aboard the Disney Dream, Scar and the hyenas are featured in Villains Tonight as some of the villains that assist Hades in retaining ownership of the Underworld. Their motif in the show resembles that of a biker gang.
- Scar is based on Claudius from Hamlet who was a prince who murdered his brother the king for the sake of his throne. However, unlike the diabolically evil Scar, Claudius had a kind side and genuinely believed that he could make the country a better place and was a highly competent king whereas Scar cared only for himself. Like Scar, Claudius was cunning, intelligent, manipulative, charismatic and cowardly. Unlike the diabolically evil Scar, Claudius repented from his wrongdoings but did not reveal the secret truth about his brother's murder to his family.
- He is also similar to the Shakespearean villain Iago from Othello, being sadistic, charming, smooth-talking, bitter, envious and narcissistic.
- He also shares many similarities to the title tragic anti-hero character in Macbeth. Although not directly related, he started out as an honorable soldier to King Duncan. Like Scar, he believed he would be next in line for the throne as the king's son Malcolm was too young. However, when it became official that Malcolm would take over as king, Macbeth then plotted to kill King Duncan in order to scare his children away from the kingdom over accusations of murder, thus taking the throne for himself (similar to what Scar had happened to Mufasa and Simba). Macbeth succeeded in this and became a ruthless greedy king like Scar, leading to corruption in his kingdom, as he also had many people whom he thought were suspicious of him all murdered. Eventually, Malcolm returned to the kingdom and got his revenge (though more indirectly as he let Macduff fight and kill Macbeth rather than facing the latter himself, like Simba did) and claimed his rightful place as king of Scotland.
- Scar's birth name, Taka, is the Swahili word for "waste".
- In an original draft for the ending of The Lion King, Scar was to be shown burned alive after defeating Simba, and throwing him off the ledge to his apparent demise, with Scar laughing as he did so (presumably due to completely losing his sanity over losing everything along with the belief that Simba fell to his death), which also results in the Pride Lands' destruction. The ending was cut due to its dark and horrific nature being too mature for a Disney film. The final version of Scar's death was based on an original draft for Gaston's demise in Beauty and the Beast, in which the wolves would have attacked Gaston after surviving the fall from the Beast's castle with a broken leg.
- Originally, Scar would chase Simba out of the Pride Lands himself.
- Scar apparently hates the song "It's a Small World", as he tells Zazu "No, no. Anything but that" when he tries to sing it. In some productions of the stage show held, Zazu originally sang "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", prior to the world premiere of Mary Poppins in Bristol, England, shortly before transferring to London's West End in 2004, but soon after the release of Frozen, Zazu sang "Let It Go" instead. Scar's reaction was the same.
- Scar is the first Disney villain to be biologically related to the protagonist in the Disney canon. The previous villains such as the Evil Queen and Lady Tremaine were related to the protagonists only by marriage.
- When he killed Mufasa, he was originally supposed to say "Good night, sweet prince!" immediately before throwing him off, referring to the Shakespearean play Hamlet. However, it was changed to Scar smugly saying "Long live the king!" to Mufasa because the former line seemed too "self-aware" to be taken seriously. In the alternate ending, Scar also was supposed to say the former line when attempting to finish off Simba, but it was instead changed to Scar admitting his crime to his nephew.
- Scar's greed for power is very similar to Adolf Hitler when he stands on a cliff and looks on his Hyena "army" in "Be Prepared". It shows the classic Nazi-Germany influence with hundreds of "soldiers" on the march when their "dictator" is watching on at the moment of power. In fact, a behind the scenes documentary for the film revealed that they used documentary footage relating to Hitler and Nazi Germany for designing "Be Prepared".
- Scar makes a nod to an earlier film starring Jeremy Irons. When Simba remarks that Scar is weird, Scar replies "You have no idea." The character played by Irons makes exactly the same response to this statement in the film Reversal of Fortune.
- As explained in "Lions of the Outlands" during his reign, he shared the knowledge of the Roar of the Elders with Zira.
- In an interview with HelloGiggles, The Lion King producer Don Hahn claimed that Mufasa and Scar were actually not related by blood. Instead, he clarified that, as with real lions, Scar and Mufasa were a coalition of two unrelated males, with one being dominant over the other. The onscreen dynamic between Scar and Mufasa was heavily inspired by this real-life behavior, and that Scar's well-known quote of "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." references this lack of family bond between the two characters.
- However, little over a week later, director Rob Minkoff "cleared up" in an interview with Screen Junkies that Mufasa and Scar grew up together and were, in fact, blood-related. He also claimed that Scar's name is a "really mean nickname", and that he believes that Mufasa was the one who gave Scar his scar when they were cubs.
- Though he is well known after his death, Scar's demise at the jaws of his hyena minions is not well known. Both Simba and Janja claim that Scar dies in the fire. It's likely that Janja was either not born, or an infant when he was exiled along with the surviving members of Scar's former enemies. This may also imply that Simba didn't see Scar being devoured alive by the hyenas because of the flames and thick smoke below, and thus Simba assumes that Scar died in the fire when he threw him from the top of Pride Rock. This would explain why Zira believes that Simba is the one who killed Scar. It's also possible that Zira and her followers were out somewhere else during the battle of Pride Rock, and returned after Scar had been killed.
- Throughout the movie, Scar rarely retracts his claws. This is purposely done to differentiate him from the others as he is the antagonist.
- As shown in the flashback to "Battle for the Pride Lands", Scar had already come to the Outlands and it was also in this same place that he was scratched to the eye and where he killed his lion guard and lost the roar.
- There are three conflicting accounts on how Scar got his trademark deformity, and by extension his nickname.
- In A Tale of Two Brothers, he got it from recklessly engineering a Water Buffalo riot and getting cut in the face with one of the horns.
- In The Lion Guard, a snake attacked him and successfully bit him in the eye before he ultimately killed it. After reporting this to Mufasa, he would've been given the terrible nickname of Scar, which would've motivated him to kill the King and take over the Pride Lands. Scar would later reference this account to Kion just before his permanent demise.
- In the 2019 remake, Mufasa was heavily implied to have given him that scar as a result of a fight between the two regarding vying for Sarabi's paw in marriage and who got to become king.
- However, as A Tale of Two Brothers is not canon, and The Lion Guard, unlike the remake, is a sequel to the original film, then the version in The Lion Guard is likely the most canon option.
- Scar is considered a foil to Simba and Kion. If Simba didn't realize that being king takes responsibilities and forgot about the past, he would've ended up like Scar. He is an example of what Kion would become if he didn't find the cure for the poison.