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Fanon / The Lion King

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  • The Selfish Lion, an antagonistic character in the book The Brightest Star, is usually depicted by fans as the younger brother of the book’s chief protagonist Mohatu, King of the Pridelands and grandfather of Mufasa and Scar. Fittingly, many fans dub him Choyo, meaning "selfish" or "self-centered" in Swahili.
  • In fan art, Mohatu’s mate is usually depicted as a light-colored lioness (often in varying shades of yellow). This is irrespective of whether she is written as either the mother of Uru or Ahadi.
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  • It's more common to depict Mufasa and Scar's mother, Uru, as the daughter of the previous king, Mohatu, than it is to depict Ahadi as his son. This is likely to contrast with Mufasa and Simba, who were male heirs.
  • While the text of the The Lion King: Six New Adventures book A Tale of Two Brothers states that Ahadi (Mufasa's and Scar's father) has "a long black mane and bright green eyes", the art makes him look like Mufasa - golden fur with a reddish mane and brown-red eyes. However, many fans have taken a third option and combine the two elements; the most common combination is his bulky artwork build but with the colors of the text - golden fur with a long black mane and bright green eyes.
  • Ahadi's mate, Uru, is often depicted as having dark brown fur with a diamond-shaped marking somewhere on her body (usually her head).
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  • Scar was The Unfavorite to at least his father. While the Six New Adventure books do imply that Ahadi favored Mufasa, they suggest it was because he was more dependable than his self-centered brother. Fans however have Scar's father disliking him for varying reasons that go against this. This is because his birth name "Taka" translates to "trash"note . As a contrast to his dad's disdain and his brother favoring his dad, Scar is often depicted as being a Momma's Boy.
  • A large number of fan-works have a Sibling Triangle between Mufasa, Sarabi (who is their Childhood Friend), and Scar occurring when they were younger. Often times Scar is still bitter over it.
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  • If not Sarabi, then Sarafina is a common love interest for Scar. Fans of the pair differ whether Scar is Nala's father or not. As common as it is to see him as Nala's father, it's just as common to see Scar written as Sarafina's childhood friend who she grew apart from as he became colder over time.
  • In the original draft of the film, Sarabi had three sisters, Naanda, Diku, and Dwala. Usually at least one of them will be depicted with blue eyes and/or a Zira-like dorsal stripe. According to a semi-canon comic, Sarabi has an unknown sister with a cub named "Mtoto". His mother is usually written as one of Sarabi's scrapped sisters.
  • Nala was meant to have a younger brother named Mheetu but he was taken out of the final product. Fans often include him in fan-works, either as her off-screen brother or her dead sibling. Mheetu is often shown to be albino or at least light-furred. This comes from fans mistaking the uncolored art for his official color. In works that depict him as an adult, Mheetu has either has a dark brown or black mane.
  • Before Nala's father was revealed in The Lion Guard to be a previously unknown (and possibly rogue) dark-furred lion with a red mane, many other options were argued by fans:
    • Scar was the most common choice for fans due to the fact Scar and Mufasa were the only two males in the pride (or at least the only two males seen and mentioned in the film). It was also the most controversial choice, due to the fact the idea made Nala and Simba Kissing Cousins and due to a deleted scene existing where Scar tried to seduce (or at least mate with) Nala. The scene was recycled for the musical and it's highly unlikely Disney was going for a Villainous Incest route with Scar. Still, the concept did and still does have its supporters.
    • Two semi-canon lions Ni and "Tanglemane" were often considered to possibly be Nala's dad, or at the very least Mheetu's.
    • An idea spouted by fans who look back at the film and notices the Fridge Logic of Nala's parentage is that Mufasa was Nala's father. Nothing in the film even remotely implies this; however, in a very early script, Simba and Nala were both written as both being Mufasa's cubs. The idea almost never gets brought up within the fandom and is largely dismissed, but often appears among more casual fans.
  • There is a sequence from "Be Prepared" that was cut from the film and is only canon in the musical's canon (where it became "Madness of the King"). Despite this, a large number of fans see it as canon because it doesn't contradict anything in canon. It also gives an explanation for Nala running away from the Pridelands.
  • Many fans think Simba and Nala had a son named Kopa who was either then killed by Zira, otherwise died, or is at least gone somewhere awaiting a fanfic plot that re-unites him with his lost family (sometimes he just leaves to start his own pride while other times he got lost or was driven away as a cub by Zira). A confusing example, as Kopa was a character in the semi-canonical (or non-canonical) storybook The Lion King: Six New Adventures published between the two movies, but was then never mentioned in the second film. This has been speculated to be due to grief, but it's more likely that he was just retconned out of existence or that he only exists in an Alternate Continuity. It's thought that he, and not Kiara, was the cub pictured at the end of the original movie. It's also due to the cub's coloration at the end of the first movie (he resembles Simba's at the beginning, has male markings, and all the lionesses are a lighter color).
  • Before the Six New Adventures books came out, it was popular to depict Simba's and Nala's cub from the end of the first film as a male named Tanabi. This theory has long since fallen out of popularity, but there are still some fans who feature Tanabi in their headcanons, usually alongside Kopa and Kiara.
  • Considering the Lion King sequels aren't officially in the Disney Animated Canon (which doesn't necessarily mean anything to the Lion King universe), some fans just dismiss Kiara's existence completely and replace her with Kopa (or an OC).
  • When it comes to Zira herself, fan theories are all over the place. This is especially with regards to her origins, age, and relationships with other characters:
    • Despite the fact that it’s never been officially stated, most fans consider Scar and Zira mates nonetheless, with Zira as Queen of the Pridelands during Scar’s reign. The latter has some canon support, since a deleted scene of Simba’s Pride has Zira lamenting about how had Simba not overthrown Scar, she would have still been his queen; in the same scene, she also calls Scar “my beloved”. That – plus The Lion Guard episode "Lions of the Outlands" where it’s revealed that Scar shared intimate knowledge with her about the Roar of the Elders, Zira describing her relationship with Scar as “very close”, and a cave painting in Pride Rock depicting her and Scar together – all lends a good deal of credence to the idea that Zira was much more than just a follower.
    • With regards to her age, many fans usually consider her part of Mufasa and Scar’s generation, either at around the same age as the aforementioned characters or a younger member of that generation. However, there are a few who consider her part of Simba and Nala’s generation, albeit at the older end of that generation.
    • It is not uncommon for fans to have Zira biologically-linked with Sarabi – usually as either a younger half-sister, one of her three sisters who renamed herself "Zira" (Swahili for "hate") following a traumatic life-changing experience (taking a cue from Six New Adventures, regarding how Taka renamed himself Scar), or as a niece – a daughter of one of her three sisters. In any case, the first two scenarios would make her Simba’s aunt (twice-over if she was also Scar’s mate), while the third would make her his 1st cousin (as well as his aunt, if she was also Scar’s mate).
    • There is also some debate as to how long Zira lived in the Pridelands prior to her banishment. Some fans have her living there both before Simba’s birth and during his childhood, whereas others depict her as first arriving at some point during Scar’s reign. It usually hinges on whether or not fans believe Zira already had some prior connection to the Pridelands and/or its monarchy.
    • In terms of her early life, it’s almost always depicted as tragic. She will have at least one physically and/or emotionally abusive parent (usually her father), at least one of her parents dying violently (usually her mother), and that her living circumstances were materially poor. This is meant to explain, at least in part, why Zira developed Ax-Crazy tendencies.
    • When it comes to why Zira and the other future Outsiders were absent in the original film during the climatic battle, most fans usually just write it off by theorizing that they were out hunting or patrolling.
  • Scar chose Kovu as his successor instead of Zira's other two cubs (who are usually written as his biological children) because Nuka was an Ill Boy and Vitani was female.
  • Kovu is still considered Scar's biological son by some fans, even though the film goes out of its way on several occasions to say that he is not.
  • Word of God is that Kovu is Zira's adopted son. This isn't mentioned in-series and wasn't noted until years after release, so most fans assume that Kovu is her biological son with either Scar or a rogue.
  • Vitani and Nuka (particularly the latter) are almost across-the-chart considered Scar's children with Zira.
  • There's a sum of fans who believe Vitani is Nala's daughter with Scar. The theory goes that Scar rejected Nuka for being scrawny so he had a child (often a Child by Rape) with Nala. Nala either didn't want Vitani to be raised as Scar's heir or Scar outright rejected Vitani for being female, so she gave her to Zira (with a more uncommon interpretation being that Zira stole Vitani herself). It's less common to believe she's Nala's and Simba's child, with many of her traits being explained as recessive.
  • Fans who consider both Kovu and Vitani to be Zira's biological cubs sometimes have them as littermates/twins, explaining why they're so similar in age.
  • Some fanworks present Vitani as being adopted. This theory often goes hand-in-hand with Vitani being Nala's cub; however, it isn't required.
  • There are several Outsider Recurring Extras. Fans have given them nicknames and they often appear as OC Stand Ins in fanworks. Spotty and Dotty are almost always fraternal twins (or outright identical twins, despite having their markings in different areas).
  • Sarabi is not present in the second film due to her voice actress dying. She doesn't appear in a speaking role or even in a background role, though fan theories exist that she's in the movie somewhere. The fan consensus is Sarabi died somewhere during Kiara's youth.
  • Sarafina is usually considered to be the lioness that tells Kiara "My, how you've grown" during her first hunt scene. The design doesn't completely match hers however it's close enough for fans. Others argue that it's Sarabi, however due to the above fanon and her appearance most prefer her as Sarafina.
  • To explain why Kion is absent in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, The Lion Guard fans have come up with some ideas. To explain why he wasn't around in opening scenes, he either wasn't born yet or was too young. On why he's absent when Kiara is an adult, fans usually say that he and the rest of the Lion Guard have been gone on some mission somewhere for a while.
  • Kiara and Kovu are often depicted with twin cubs, Shani and Chaka. Shani was Kiara's prototypical name and Chaka was her scrapped brother.
  • When it comes to humanized versions of the characters, artists have usually taken two different routes: They either base them off the Broadway musical designs or they make them Shakespearean and European looking. However, fan art depicting the characters as African (usually using the Broadway musical as a basis) has grown in recent years.

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