If Mufasa and Scar were the only adult males in the Lion King, that means…

Did Simba marry his sister or his cousin?

I started babysitting a few months ago. My partner’s ex wife had a last minute emergency and since we are one of those happy non nuclear families, she was fine with me watching the girls. The twins are lovely, afro puff laden angels who I am starting to think may be robots because they never fuss. They eat vegetables and take naps when asked. Part of me is paranoid and thinks they are plottjng against me. The other part just wants to pick flowers and get my hair braided.

But this is not a tale of two kiddies. No, this is a revelation. Upon my 57th viewing of the Lion King I realized a horrible truth — Nala and Simba are brother and sister.

Remember when Simba recruited Nala to ventire into the elephant graveyard? Nala’s mother was sitting next to Sirabi (Simba’s mother) bathing her. Nala’s mother essentially asked Sirabi for permission to send Nala off with Simba because Sirabi is the first wife.

Then there is the scene where Simba tries to wake his father. All the lionesses are asleep in a pile. Mufasa and Sirabi are cuddled next to each other, seemingly because it is her turn to spend time with the king.

When Mufasa dies, Scar announces himself as the new king. This could only be done if no other males were arpund to challenge him, as Scar elluded to when we first met him after the oresentation of Simba. Similarly, during the major climax of the film when Simba returns to a desolated Pride Rock, there are no other males present to challenge Scar. Only the lionessses step up. This is further proof that Nala’s father can only be one of two characters: Mufasa or Scar.

So how do we determine which one of these lions is Nala’s father?

There are three piece of evidence that prove Scar is not the father:

  1. Fictive kinship: Look at the different reactions to their deaths. When Nala learns of Mufasa’s death, she is visibly hurt. She seeks comfort. When Scar dies, it doesn’t even register. Regardless of whether she was aware that Mufasa was her father, she had an unspoken bond with him. This is circumstantial, but still worth considering.
  2. Lineage: in order to be in line for the title of king or queen, you must share the royal bloodline. That is monarchy 101, people. Zazu even said that the two of them (Simba and Nala) were betrothed. Disney’s attempt to educate us on polygamy was subtle, but not entirely apparent to someone who has watched it less than 50 times.
  3. Duh: Do you really think Scar was getting laid by anyone from Pride Rock? He was hyper focused on getting his dues. A lioness needs at least a little attention to get in the mood. Scar was dedicated to becomming king which meant that he had not enjoyed the privileges of the title (namely, Mufasa’s herum).

Mind blowing, right? Absent an aninated Maury Povich in the Lion King prequel, we may never know the truth. One thing is clear, though: Pride Rock will never be the same.