Prior to his death, Mufasa brought Simba to an open field to look upon the stars and to teach him about the great kings of the past. Mufasa explains generations of lions have ruled the Pride Lands and it was Simba’s destiny to continue to preserve the balance of the circle of life when it was his time to rule as king. Through years of powerful and wise leadership, the great kings of the past shine across the night sky, but at times it is difficult to understand who all of the king’s families are and how they relate to one another.
In the days of the great lion Mohatu, long before the rule of Simba, there was a great drought. Through the leadership and guidance from Mohatu, the Pride lands were united under his guiding rules to facilitate their survival through the horrendous conditions, leading to the Pride Landers pronouncing Mohatu as their King. Years passed and Mohatu was praised for his selflessness and bravery, but when he died, the Pride Lands were devastated. In the evening when the animals looked at the sky they felt the spirit of their king watching from the stars.
The next king of Pride Rock was Mufasa’s father Ahadi who was either the son or son in law of Mohatu. Ahadi was a brave and firm king. He was willing to listen to the pride landers, but would not tolerate subjects divergence from the laws; this is especially seen when he punishes the hyenas for hunting for sport in the pride lands. Ahadi and his wife Uru, the first named queen of Pride Rock, had two cubs: Taka, who was later known as Scar, and Mufasa. Ahadi was very strict with his boys, leading to resentment from Scar which would build up over time and have long lasting effects. Regardless, Ahadi did love his children dearly and taught them about the history of the past kings and how to be a respected leader.
After Ahadi’s passing Mufasa became leader since he was Ahadi’s first son. Mufasa stood as a powerful lion, but underneath that intimidating exterior was a very playful and kind side. He was very protective of his family when they were endangered and had the courage to do whatever it took to keep them safe.
Mufasa’s wife and the mother to Simba was Sarabi who was the leader of the lionesses during Mufasa and Scar’s rule. She was a supportive and protective mother allowing Simba to explore the Pride Lands just with some oversight.
Following years of jealousy and anger from Mufasa’s rule, Scar finally struck back against his brother to put him in position to pronounce himself as king. In a stampede orchestrated by Scar, Mufasa gave his own life to protect his son Simba. Before his passing he instilled in Simba the need for respect for all animals to keep balance in the world showing how wise he truly was, but it would be many years until Simba used the lessons from his father because Scar had driven Simba out of the Pride Lands.
As Scar’s rule prolonged, he was driven by arrogance and narcissism which blinded him from the realization that his policies were bringing the Pride Landers to over consume and eradicate the Pride Lands.
Luckily, the lion Nala, daughter of Sarafina and an unnamed lion, went on a search to locate help. During her search she located the rightful king of Pride Rock: Simba. Simba returned to Pride Rock to reclaim the throne and accept his destiny. Scar would not give up being King easily and fought Simba, but once the hyenas realized their grand leader had tried to gain mercy from Simba by betraying them, they ended Scar themselves giving the thrown back to Mufasa’s heir.
Simba marries his childhood friend Nala and together they have two cubs Kiara and Kion. Kiara would one day become Queen and as the second son of Simba, Kion would be given the position of the leader of the Lion Guard tasked with protecting the pride lands.
Originally, the lion at the end of the Lion King was given the name Kopa, but this lion was eventually replaced by Kiara in the Lion King II. Simba as a young cub was very adventurous and a risk taker, but after his return to the Pride Lands he changed his ways; he was very protective of his children and was prejudice towards those who still aligned themselves with Scar even going as far as banishing them into the Outlands.
Simba’s ideology was eventually questioned by Kiara and her friend and future mate Kovu. Through the persuasion of the future Queen of the Pride Lands, Simba determined he needed to move past the era of hatred and unite the lions once again under Pride Rock.
Kovu, the future King and father to the following ruler, had a brother and sister known as Nuka and Vitani respectfully; these cubs were all conceived by Zira who was the leader of a pride of lions who continued to align themselves with Scar’s teachings. Many people believe Kovu and his siblings to be descendents of Scar, but there is no indication of that in any of the Lion King story arcs; there must have been a mysterious other lion to father these cubs. Kovu was brought in and chosen by Scar to be his heir prior to Simba’s return to Pride Rock.
One day, Kovu and Kiara’s child will continue the legacy of their ancestors and they will be tasked with maintaining balance in the Pride Lands. Many trials have faced the rulers, and many more will continue to arise, but as long as the future Kings and Queens are willing to respect, love and sacrifice their lives for the Pride Landers, then they will protect the Circle of Life.