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Guilt is Agency (The Lion King) – One Small Change

If there’s one small change that I could make to The Lion King, perhaps it could’ve been in the live-action remake or stage musical, it would be this: Simba’s pride directly caused…

🚨 Spoiler Alert! 🚨 Everything that follows is spoiler territory, obviously…

Introduction

The Lion King is one of my favourite stories. It’s a tale as old as time: the naive young prince brags about one day becoming King, but one day he makes a very foolish decision, from which the King/his father sacrifices himself to save his son from.

The prince flees his kingdom ashamed and tries to bury his past under a new start in a new life in a new land. And it all seems to be perfect, until he hears that his kingdom was taken over by his tyrant uncle, and that he needs to claim his rightful throne to save the land: but that would involve bravely owning up to his mistakes in front of his mother and friends.

The Prodigal Son must stop running, come home, and face his fears and failures (and his father?) head-on. In the words of Raifiki, “You can either run from [your mistakes]… or learn from it!” The message is loud and clear: you can’t outrun your mistakes, instead, you must stand tall above them, which entails accepting the harsh consequences of your mistakes, whilst coming under confident grace as a prince-son of your king-father.

But what mistake did Simba have to face?

Scrutinising the story

Scar has been (but shouldn’t be) 100% to blame

I think the revealing answer is in the climactic dialogue:

SEQ. 19 (THE FIGHT)

EXT. PRIDE ROCK - DUSK

SCAR
Always rushing headlong into trouble -- But "Daddy" was always there to save you. As I recall, "Daddy" died trying to save you.

SIMBA
It was an accident.

SCAR
And that's why you ran away?
(to Sarabi)
Not very kingly, eh?

[...]

[Simba] dangles off the edge of the rock, his claws losing their hold with each passing second.

Simba doesn't know it, but he is in the exact same position his father was before his death. Scar savors the moment.

SCAR
Now this looks familiar. Where have I seen this before? Let me think...
(brightening)
Oh, yes -- I remember! That's just the way your father looked before he died.

Simba slips, but Scar digs his claws into Simba's, just like he did with Mufasa.

SCAR (CONT'D)
And here's my little secret.
(whispering)
I killed Mufasa.

[insert flashback, dadada, cool transition]

Simba ROARS and leaps for Scar, hitting him like a freight train. Simba flips Scar. The hyenas freeze while Simba pins Scar down:

SIMBA
Murderer!

SCAR
No, Simba, please!

SIMBA
Tell them the truth.

[...]

Simba's paw puts pressure on Scar's throat.

SCAR
(choking)
Alright! I did it.

SIMBA
(darkly)
So they can hear you.

SCAR
(louder)
I killed Mufasa.

The lionesses pounce into action at the words. A dozen hyenas pile onto Simba. A fight ensues.

What was the mistake? You could say a few different things:

  • Simba’s mistake was that he was in the gorge in the first place. But while Scar previously uses Simba’s pride (heh) against him to lure him to the dangerous elephant graveyard, this second time Scar outright just guilt trips Simba into going into the gorge. You can’t blame a small child for being guilt-tripped by a cunning manipulator. Scar is 100% to blame here for Mufasa’s death.
SCAR
Just stay on this rock. You wouldn't want to end up in another mess like you did with the hyenas.
  • Simba’s mistake was that he fled Pride Rock as a child. But at that moment, it could be justified in that such a traumatic event like his father’s death would leave any child vulnerable to manipulation, and that Scar should be totally at fault for taking advantage of his naïveté.
  • Simba’s mistake was that he never returned to Pride Rock earlier. Now this could also somewhat be justified together with the previous statement(s), that the childhood trauma and external manipulation from Scar should be to blame.

And credit to the writers, for making Scar the iconic manipulative sociopath that he is. The key to making an effective antagonist is to make them/their actions actively responsible for the plot outcomes that push our protagonist down the tough path.

But then what mistake does Simba really have to face?

But at the end of the day, when all the cards are revealed, Simba shouts: “Murderer!“. As cool as Simba looks with pure fury when he slowly makes his way to Scar through fire, the line suggests that Simba is washing his hands clean of his father’s blood, because to him, Scar had been pulling all the strings, while Simba was just a young, innocent puppet.

And I’d have to sigh. Without even needing to defend the bullet points above, the script lends itself to this conclusion; when Simba finally accuses Scar, Scar doesn’t even defend himself, not even one bit—he quickly concedes his own argument and surrenders.

SIMBA
Murderer!

SCAR
No, Simba, please!

SIMBA
Tell them the truth.

Depending on how far you perceive it: if Scar is (essentially) fully to blame, then Simba has no real/actual/substantial mistake for him to be running away from. More importantly, then Simba has no real mistake for him to learn from. Then what weight/stakes does Simba’s character arc really have?

If Scar is fully to blame, then Simba has no real mistake for him to be running away from. More importantly, then Simba has no real mistake for him to learn from.

Then what weight/stakes does Simba’s character arc really have?

If Simba had nothing to apologize for, then if someone (e.g. Raifiki) had just told him that Scar had killed his father at any time during his self-imposed exile (instead of right at the end of the movie), then Simba could’ve/would’ve just returned earlier, and the story resolves exactly the same way—without need for Simba’s wilderness/exile character development. Instead of a story about learning from your mistakes (which is what it has been building up to), then it just dissolves into a mere lesson about persevering to find the truth. Meh.

Then, if The Lion King is not a story about learning from your mistakes, then what’s the story about?™ Where’s the thematic resonance?

Onto the one small change.

(Not) Confessing crucial information

But first, a side note: it also sometimes breaks suspension of disbelief during the climax when Scar simply gloats and reveals crucial information, when the smart villain would’ve just ended the hero right there.

Scar savors the moment.

SCAR
And here's my little secret.
(whispering)
I killed Mufasa.

Why did Scar just admit to his own crime, and give Simba the moral high ground? Arguable, it’s in-character and it’s a natural progression to the plot, and this is just me nitpicking the scene because I honestly didn’t find it that big a deal but might as well bring it up while on topic… but this confession feels halfway to a dues ex machina.

In one simple villain mistake, all of Simba’s problems and insecurities are resolved, and while there is still physical life-or-death tension in the battle, however, the intellectual thematic tension suddenly leaps to completion.

The one small change: make Simba guilty

The Secret to Writing Dynamic Characters: It’s Always Their Fault - Helping Writers Become Authors is one of my favorite posts from the Helping Writers Become Authors blog that I always find myself coming back to. Because, in every analysis, the discriminatory factor that makes or breaks a story, is almost always exactly this: are the characters at fault?

If there’s one small change that I could make to The Lion King (perhaps it could’ve been in the live-action remake or stage musical adaptations) it would be this: Simba’s pride directly caused Mufasa’s death.

If there’s one small change that I could make to The Lion King, it would be this: Simba’s pride directly caused Mufasa’s death.

Changing the terms of Mufasa’s Death

Earlier in the story, Scar tempts and lures Simba into the Elephant’s Graveyard — but as manipulative as Scar is being here, we can still confidently say that Simba was completely at fault for letting his pride put himself at danger on this one.

SCAR
It's far too dangerous. Only the bravest of the lions go there.

SIMBA
(defensive)
Well, I'm brave. What's out there?

However, we can’t really say that Simba’s at fault for the second time that Scar lures him. Scar doesn’t tell Simba a single detail about the gorge (which directly leads to Mufasa’s death), so Simba innocently sits there. Simba is the prey, and Scar is the predator. This is the scene we are going to make one small change to give Simba agency.

SEQ. 10 (STAMPEDE/MUFASA'S DEATH)
EXT. PLATEAU - THE FOLLOWING DAY

Two dots are down below in a tremendous gorge.

SCAR (O.S.)
Now you wait here. Your father has a marvelous surprise for you.

SIMBA (O.S.)
What is it?

EXT. FLOOR OF THE GORGE - A SHORT TIME LATER

Scar is with Simba under a tree. Simba sits on a rock.

SCAR
If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise now, would it?

SIMBA
(sweetly shrewd)
If you tell me -- I'll still act surprised.

SCAR
(tsk-tsk-tsking)
You are such a naughty boy.

SIMBA
(man-to-man)
Come on, Uncle Scar...

SCAR
No-no-no. This is just for you and your dad. You know, a sort of father-son thing.
(a real pal)
Well, I'd better go get him.

SIMBA
I'll go with you!

SCAR
NO!
(sweetly)
No, no.

Scar starts to go.

SCAR
Just stay on this rock. You wouldn't want to end up in another mess like you did with the hyenas.
[...]
Now be a good lad and prove you can do one thing right: Stay on this rock and wait for your surprise.

The first was temptation onto a guilty criminal, while the second was deception onto an innocent victim. Simba even tries to be culpable (“I’ll still act surprised”), but Scar denies him any real accountability for what happens next. This dialogue was surely (re)written in order to have Simba’s climactic heroic line: “You killed him! All this time, I hated myself — when you’re the one who did it!”

But as we discussed, I think that’s the wrong foot to end on. Let’s start on a better foot: let’s make Simba guilty. Here’s how I would change one small thing:

SEQ. 10 (STAMPEDE/MUFASA'S DEATH)
EXT. PLATEAU - THE FOLLOWING DAY

Two dots are down below in a tremendous gorge.

SCAR (O.S.)
Now you wait here. Your father has a marvelous surprise for you.

SIMBA (O.S.)
What is it?

EXT. FLOOR OF THE GORGE - A SHORT TIME LATER

Scar is with Simba under a tree. Simba sits on a rock.

SCAR
If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise now, would it?

SIMBA
(sweetly shrewd)
If you tell me -- I'll still act surprised.

SCAR
(tsk-tsk-tsking)
You are such a naughty boy.

SIMBA
(man-to-man)
Come on, Uncle Scar...
SCAR
(feigned thinking)
All right. I promised your father I wouldn't tell you! He... wants to make you king --

SIMBA
(pouncing excitedly)
Really?! My dad actually wants me to make ME king!

SCAR
(honestly sarcastic)
-- yes, because there's no other lion more worthy to rule... but. He wanted you to first prove yourself to him, in a show of bravery. A test.

SIMBA
A test! But what do I do?

SCAR
Be creative. Look around. How can you prove that you deserve to be king?

Simba squints long and hard. His eyes glisten.

SIMBA
There's a young wildebeest at the top of the gorge.

EXT. A LEDGE ABOVE

A lone, small-sized wildebeest grazes at the ravine's edge.

BACK ON SCAR AND SIMBA

SIMBA
(with bravado)
If you can help spook it to run down towards me, then I'll ROAR and scare it away!
(fiercely)
Just like my dad did to those hyenas!

SCAR
(sarcastically nodding)
That would be spectacular feat of raw strength, obviously the necessary qualities of a great king. I couldn't have thought of a better display of bravery myself.

SIMBA
(pauses)
Hey, but it sounds a little dangerous. He said yesterday, being brave doesn't mean you go looking for trouble --

SCAR
Your father expects you to be a mighty king -- every knee of every animal will bow to you! Why, Simba, facing this frail animal will be the least of your future challenges!
(sighing)
But you shouldn't be forced into this dangerous act. I'll go tell your father that you aren't ready to be king.

Scar turns around to leave.

SIMBA
Wait! No! I am ready!

Scar smirks. Gotcha. Scar turns to face Simba.

SCAR
But what about your big mistake yesterday, with the hyenas in the Elephant Graveyard? I think you should run away from becoming king, or you'll put someone else in danger again!

SIMBA
I'm bigger and braver now! I'll even take on TEN wildebeests!

SCAR
(fake-pitifully)
Oh, Simba, if only I was half as brave as you! When your father comes, and you show him what a brave lion you are, he'll know *exactly* how worthy you are to become king.

Scar trots off. Simba centers himself on the rock, and waits.

This rewritten scene is in contrast with the original scene above: Simba doesn't just willingly endanger himself in the gorge (instead of Scar luring him unknowingly) — in fact, Simba is the one who initiates it (even though Scar had brought him to the gorge to nudge him towards dangerous actions, it was still Simba who clearly made a conscious decision here. Think the Serpent decieving Adam & Eve into making their own wrong choice).

Scar even gives Simba an out, an option to escape the trap. But no, Simba's ego to want to be worthy of being king is the exact reason for his decision to stay in the gorge (instead of simply being tricked), and there is no doubt to him and the audience that it his own ego that is the reason why Mufasa dies.

Brute-force vs. run-away

I like that Scar emotionally blackmails Simba, how his rash attempts at proving himself really do put people in danger: first, it's Nala at the Elephant Graveyard. After this, it would be Mufasa really paying the price in the gorge.

Scar would play a win-win situation to Simba's insecurities, and this organically grew as I figured out what to write. See, Scar brings up the previous Elephant Graveyard incident (Simba's mistake) and presents Simba with two choices: one, to brashly brute force succeeding the "test"/kingship—or, two to run away from the "test"/kingship.

Simba chooses to run headstrong into the "test" and force his way into becoming king, which allows Scar to attempt murder on Simba and Mufasa, and then assume the throne as sole heir.

But if Simba had chosen to run away from pursuing kingship and not do the "wildebeest test", then Scar could slowly whittle away at his confidence, until Simba becomes too afraid to ever take up the throne, leaving Scar the sole heir to the throne after somehow disposing of Mufasa. Scar wins, either ways.

Run-away vs. learn-from

As per the original script, what happens afterwards is that Mufasa sacrifices himself to save Simba from the stampede. This result is a mix of the two planned outcomes: Mufasa is murdered but Simba is saved—so Scar can go back to his original plan to guilt-trip Simba into leaving Pride Lands and giving up pursuit of the throne.

In self-exile, Simba has discarded the brute-force-through-mistakes ideology, since it clearly didn’t work, twice, and you can finally empathize why Simba is so confident towards Nala that you should just run away from every mistake and have no worries. In Simba’s experience so far, facing mistakes always led to someone getting hurt, and Hakuna Matata was the only other alternative. Having Scar outright present this shallow A-or-B dichotomy to Simba is what holds Simba back from ever growing.

Raifiki later on would also present Simba (who now only knew of running) an A-or-B fork in the road. And Simba’s tired of dichotomies. But Raifiki, he presents a third option: “You can either run from it, or learn from it.”

Simba will be tested on how well understands learning from his mistakes, in the climax.

Changing the terms of the climactic revelation

With Simba’s guilt set up, we will also need to tweak the climactic dialogue—though I’d say it still falls under the same change, since these are just the consequential effects of the one change. But the climax is where the one small change will really shine.

Curiously, I think it may be best to keep the original dialogue where Scar lets the cat out of the bag about how he murdered Mufasa. This is because Simba needs to somehow get closure and confirmation about Scar’s involvement in Mufasa’s death. But I was never satisfied with how quickly Scar is defeated by Simba (on the moral front) by a slip of Scar’s tongue. We’ll keep his confession for Simba’s closure’s sake, but we can still change what happens right after:

SEQ. 19 (THE FIGHT)

EXT. PRIDE ROCK - DUSK

[...]

Simba's paw puts pressure on Scar's throat.

SCAR
(croaking)
Alright! I did it.

SIMBA
(darkly)
So they can hear you.
In Simba's blind rage, Scar manages to wrestle himself free, pushing Simba off him. He scrambles up onto a ledge. Loose rocks fall and prevent Simba from following suit.

SCAR
(announcing)
Fifteen years ago, Simba wanted to show off to Mufasa how brave he was! He decided to face off the wildebeests in the gorge!

Simba is stunned. What's Scar trying?

SCAR (CONT'D)
I tried to tell him it was too dangerous, but he wanted to take them on! I ran to warn Mufasa, who sacrificed himself to save Simba, because the spoilt crown prince just couldn't wait to be king.

SIMBA
I just was a child, Scar!

NALA (O.S.)
But it's true?

Nala approaches Simba in disbelief.

NALA
Is Mufasa dead, because of you?

SIMBA
(long pause)
Yes.

Nala backs away, shaking her head. So do all the animals present. Behind her, Sarabi crumples over weakly.

SCAR
Elephants and earmites, you heard it here first: Simba killed Mufasa!

The hyenas' laughter echo throughout Pride Rock.

Simba just holds his tongue. His shoulders arch back and he lifts his chin, and speaks with a regal tone.

SIMBA
Yes. My pride killed my father.
(pause)
It killed *me*, because my pride would never let me return and bear the shame that I deserve.

The hyenas are poised to attack. Scar, with a curious eyebrow, gestures to them to wait.

SIMBA (CONT'D)
I hid away and forgot who I am. But that doesn't change who I always was, and who I always will be. I remember now: I'm the son of Mufasa.

A beat. Everyone could feel Mufasa's presence within Simba.

SCAR
And what a son you are, abandoning your kingdom and your subjects.

SIMBA
I thought you could lead them, Scar. But trusting you was a mistake. Someone told me: you can either run from your mistakes, or learn from them.

SCAR
(mocking)
Is that so? And, pray tell, after all these years of running, what did you learn?

SIMBA
(narrowed eyes, growling)
That there's a whole lot more to being king than getting your way all the time.

Scar snarls back. Nala steps up towards Simba. That's the king she's always seen inside.

SCAR
(temper growing)
I am the rightful king now, Simba, since you ran and never came back --

SIMBA
Correction. I'm back now.

SCAR
-- and your father is dead.

SIMBA
Nope. Wrong again. He's alive! Mufasa lives in me.
(around)
In all of us, if we remember him. Mufasa's here, right now.
(to Scar)
He wants his kingdom back.

SIMBA (CONT'D)
(chanting)
Mufasa. Mufasa. Mufasa. Mufasa.

LIONESSES
Mufasa. Mufasa. Mufasa.

Timon and Pumba join in the chant. Small prey, large predators. Birds. Insects, crawling out of the ground. The chant grows into a roar.

ALL THE ANIMALS
MUFASA! MUFASA! MUFASA!

Simba looks around. Wow.

ZIP PAN TO:

ED
MUFASA! HEE-HEE-HEE-HEE!!

Ed leaps out at Simba. Everyone springs into a all-out clash.

SCAR

surveys the battle from above. With a sour face, he slinkers into the shadows.

SIMBA

spots him, and with Nala's help, bulldozes through hyenas towards him.

So that’s 2 minutes of new material. I got a little carried away. But (very biased opinion) the dialogue is just 👌. Let’s look at it in detail.

Simba’s new decision

Let’s review the highlights of this small change to the climax: with Simba's selfish choice from earlier, Scar gets the moral high ground by bringing it up. And though deception and coercion were involved; Scar *is* right. Simba “just couldn’t wait to be king”.

Then Nala and Sarabi's reaction to the reveal. Simba's mistake is not pretty, it's pretty ugly. And with one climactic line, Scar completes the sudden reversal of power onto Simba: "Simba killed Mufasa!". Scar smashes a terrifying blast shot into Simba's court.

Simba could have chosen his next action from the following philosophies/strategies that he has learnt thus far:

1. Challenge Scar on the basis that physical strength (or rather, effort) makes up for and negates his past mistake

  • Simba’s philosophy of brute force
    • which previously caused his father’s death
  • “I made a mistake because I wasn’t physically strong enough before—so ASAP, I need to cover up that mistake by attaining a greater victory by brute force! Sparta!!!”
  • → Simba would overpower Scar, but the lionesses wouldn’t back a king who usurped the throne — Simba would be just like Scar.

2. Run away to the wilderness again, now that everyone knows his mistake

  • Simba’s later philosophy of defeatist avoidance
    • which previously caused Simba to self-exile
  • “(If they knew the truth about my past? It’d be impossible to be taken back, they’d turn away from me. So just don’t bother trying. Okay, Scar, I give up, you win again.”
  • → Simba would abdicate the throne, and Scar would continue his reign of tyranny

3. Dismiss his past failure, that Mufasa’s death doesn’t really matter, that they have to look forward and not back

  • Timon and Pumbaa’s philosophy of blind nihilism
    • which previously caused Simba to stay in exile and never return
  • “My mistakes may have killed my father, the king. But Mom, Nala, don’t worry about it! It’s in the past, you can’t change it, it doesn’t matter! What are consequences of responsibility?”
  • → Simba would overpower Scar, but the animials adored Mufasa and they wouldn’t back Simba if he were to treat every royal mistake like it was nothing. Scar would also argue, besides, if it all really meant nothing, then the throne also shouldn’t matter to Simba.

Instead, Simba learns from his mistakes, and owns up. ("Yes, mistakes were made. Yes, I am guilty. No, I've no excuse.") Then, Simba also claims responsiblity for not returning back all these years—while also giving a tone of sympathy ("My pride killed me, too"). Furthermore, he felt that his family/pride wouldn't take him back in after his error.

Simba remembers who he is

I like how this new climactic dialogue…

SIMBA
I hid away and forgot who I am. But that doesn't change who I always was, and who I always will be. I remember now: I'm the son of Mufasa.

…directly references Simba's earlier encounter with his father Mufasa and Raifiki!

MUFASA
You have forgotten who you are, and so, have forgotten me.

[...]

MUFASA
Remember who you are... You are my son and the one true king.

The vision starts to fade...

MUFASA (CONT'D)
Remember who you are...

This line from Mufasa was always my favourite dialogue line from the show. I want to see Simba repeating it aloud, in a situation that called for it. Simba finally remembers who he is, in the context of first knowing who his father is. If Mufasa is THE King, and if Mufasa calls Simba his son, then Simba will always inherit that throne and crown. Truth doesn't change; it only gets forgotten.

If Mufasa (as the original king) had announced that Simba should be the king, then no matter what Simba had done, Scar has no rightful hold to the throne.

Learning from mistakes

This following dialogue was Simba repeating what Raifiki had taught him. In fact, being able to repeat aloud and apply practically what Raifiki had said, Simba is showing (not telling) the audience exactly how he had learnt from his mistakes,

SIMBA
I thought you could lead them, Scar. But trusting you was a mistake. Someone told me: you can either run from your mistakes, or learn from them.

In the original story, Simba raised two statements, to which Raifiki refutes both to be false:

SIMBA
You knew my father?

RAIFIKI
Correction. I *know* your father.

SIMBA
[...] my father died a long time ago.

RAIFIKI
Nope. Wrong again. He's alive!

Which would be called-back in the climax when Scar makes two statements, and Simba refutes them as false:

SCAR
(losing temper)
I am the rightful king now, Simba, since you ran and never came back --

SIMBA
Correction. I'm back now.

SCAR
-- and your father is dead.

SIMBA
Nope. Wrong again. He's alive!

The king is alive

Just like Raifiki did before, Simba would bring up to Scar that Mufasa is alive. This means:

  1. Scar’s claim to the throne is forfeit and null.
  2. Scar’s philosophy of cunning/deception over Mufasa’s innocence/genuineness does not prevail, and never has.
  3. Scar’s attempt to erase Mufasa’s legacy is foiled—Mufasa’s legacy can’t be killed.
  4. Scar’s own legacy will not last—his own legacy can and was killed.

Furthermore, Simba announces that Mufasa lives *in* him. It could be said before this climax that Mufasa may have been superficially in Simba, implicitly by Simba being his birth child and having Mufasa’s mere DNA. But Mufasa’s character was never really alive in Simba amidst all of Simba’s arrogance and pride. Until now. Now, you look at Simba, and you unmistakably see Mufasa. Now, Mufasa is alive in Simba.

Then at the end of the sequence, Simba chants his name. I didn’t really know what to do at the end here. I mainly needed a way for the hyenas to initiate the fight. I think shouting “MUFASA!” is cool, considering Scar has multiple dialogues where he’s so threatened and insecure just by the mere mention of Mufasa’s name. But I don’t think that Mufasa’s name has to necessarily be repeated and chanted: saying it once with full understanding is more than enough power. Anyways, it’s cool that all the different animals join the chant, which is reminscent of how Mufasa says he lives on in "everything we see". And then it’s established that Ed goes hysterical from Mufasa’s name so all this triggers him to initiate the fight.

Alternate longer ending

This was way longer than expected already for one simple small change. But I had a much longer alternate rewrite, and I’ll just explain it plainly in this last subsection. Instead of the whole chanting sequence, instead, Simba would mirror his earlier conversation with Raifiki:

SIMBA
He's alive. I'll show him to you.

Then, Scar would doubt at first, but start to get really freaked out. The hyenas had failed to ensure Simba was dead—what if Mufasa is actually literally alive like Simba seems to be saying?

Scar would get his hyenas to attack, but flee from the battle, with Simba in hot pursuit. They reach a dead end. Scar would ask Simba where Mufasa (literally) is. Simba would reply, "Look harder." (Just like Raifiki had told Simba to do at the water's reflection when he was only seeing himself)

We would get Scar's POV angle and look at Simba, who suddenly seemed to have Mufasa's physical build (of course, after inheriting Mufasa's characteristics and spirit). Scar would just have to admit, "It really is you, Mufasa."

Then it would continue back with the original sequence of events. Simba commads Scar into exile. And even though Scar does see Simba as Mufasa now, just as Scar had backstabbed Mufasa, Scar backstabs Simba. Simba overpowers Scar anyways, and takes his rightful place on the throne.

Last words

I guess that’s all I have to say. 4.7k words. Went a little overboard with this one. But I firmly believe that if this spin was put into the live action adaptation (instead of retelling the exact same old story line-for-line), then it would have made the live action version firmly stand on its own.

Thanks for sticking all the way to the end! Share it to your friends if they like The Lion King too, if you think this one small change is worth whatever grain of salt. If you got my contact then I’d be up for a good chat about this story or stories in general :D