Released over 23-years-old ago, The Lion King continues to be one of Disney’s most endearing and popular films. But it turns out that we’ve been getting one integral plot point from the animated hit wrong all this time, because in one of the biggest Disney secrets ever revealed, it turns out that Mufasa and his murderer Scar weren’t actually brothers.
Based on William Shakespeare’s legendary tragedy Hamlet, it was widely assumed that Mufasa was the King Hamlet to Scar’s Claudius, who in the play killed his brother so that he could seize the throne, while also marrying his widowed sister-in-law.
But in a recent interview with Hello Giggles, The Lion King’s producer Dan Hahn stunningly revealed that Scar and Mufasa weren’t brothers. “[While making the movie] we talked about the fact that it was very likely [Scar and Mufasa] would not have both the same parents,” Hahn explained.
“The way lions operate in the wild…when the male lion gets old, another rogue lion comes and kills the head of the pride. What that does is it causes the female lions to go into heat [to reproduce], and then the new younger lion kills the king and then he kills all the babies. Now he’s the new lion that’s running the pride.”
“There was always this thing about well, how do you have these two [male] lions? Occasionally there are prides that do have two male lions, in an interesting dynamic because they’re not equals [since they don’t have the same parents]. One lion will always kind of be off in the shadows,” Hahn continued.
“We were trying to use those animal truths to underpin the story so we sort of figured Scar and Mufasa couldn’t really be from the same gene pool. In fact, that’s what [Scar] says. There’s a line, he goes, ‘I’m from the shallow end of the gene pool.’ When he’s talking to Mufasa, when Mufasa gets mad at him for not coming up to the coronation of Simba.”
All of which makes it a little bit easier to stomach that Scar didn’t kill his brother and instead just murdered his superior and King. In fact, you might even say that it was a smart career choice from the villain, as he takes over the throne after killing Mufasa. Of course, this murder and the fact that he convinces Mufasa’s son Simba he was the one responsible for his father’s death, directly causing the cub to go into exile for years, confirms he was a somewhat flawed individual. But no-one is perfect.