Who is Nala's father? Four options explored: Rogue lions, Pridelander lions, Scar and Mufasa
Nala is one of the most important characters in The Lion King, playing a major role as Simba's cubhood friend and eventually Queen. She is a very central character to the plot, but she also plays a part in one of the largest mysteries in the movie... only her mother, Sarafina, is shown in a scene where Nala is a cub. So, the fans wonder, who could be her father?
There are a few theories - some say Mufasa (Simba's father), others say Scar (Mufasa's brother), and still some say it could be another male in the pride or out of the pride.
This article is going to explore all of the possibilities.
First up, a male lion out of the pride. This has been suggested by several fans and their fan characters. I'm not personally sure on the mating rules regarding this sort of thing, but I'm not too sure Mufasa would have been too thrilled if one of his lionesses became pregnant with a wandering lion. Nala looks very much like a Pridelander, so perhaps it could have been a lion of a neighbouring pride - but, we do not know, as this is a very open idea.
What about a male lion in the pride? Although the movie makes no mention about other males in the pride, I believe the Six Adventures series does make a few mentions about and several depictions of some, the main one I can think of being Leo, another being Mega.
But, if we are to narrow this down to official opinion, we do have a hint. At the Lion King Reunion in 2004, the directors (Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff) said Nala's father was not originally determined, but that it could be either of our next two prime contenders - Scar or Mufasa.
Let's first focus on the idea that Mufasa is Nala's father. This would mean however that Nala is Simba's half-sister, an idea that makes us humans a little squeamish. It would certainly account for Nala's bright colors and Priderlander look, plus the leader of the pride in the wild has mating rights with all of the lionesses. Although, surely Mufasa wouldn't quite want Simba to be married to his sister? Perhaps this added incentive for them to be betrothed though, because Mufasa could trust one of his own blood a bit better, but this wouldn't make too much sense either. Why would they interbreed when in the wild lions rarely interbreed?
There is possible proof that Mufasa is Nala's father, however, in the movie, when Nala and Simba argue in the jungle. This is said:
Simba: You're starting to sound like my father.
Nala: Good. At least one of us does.
Doesn't that sound like... ?
The other contender is Scar. Hold on tight for this paragraph, this gets a bit complex
In the physical features section, it would account for her green eyes, but not so much the fact that her fur color is a touch lighter than her mother's. But if Scar was Nala's father, she would only be Simba's cousin - less icky than half-siblings.
There is also another reason to support that Scar is Nala's father - Scar did not kill Nala when he murdered Mufasa/made Simba disappear/took over the pride. Seeing as Sarabi technically has no claim to the throne since her husband, the old King, is dead, and she is not part of the royal bloodline, if Nala was Mufasa's daughter she would be second-in-line after Scar... and a threat.
In wild lion prides, when a new lion takes over the pride, he kills all the cubs and sometimes female adolescents. But Scar did not kill Nala. Why? Perhaps because she is his daughter, and he couldn't risk angering the other lionesses?
This also brings me to the next point though. In The Lion King on Broadway musical, Scar wants Nala as his mate. It'd be a bit wrong to be pursuing your daughter for a mate... but then again, by this stage Scar has gone power-mad. Who knows?
That's why I've left it up to you to decide. The "other lion" theories are plausible but not canon-supported like the Mufasa and Scar ones are. Mufasa is a bright-colored Pridelander and was the Lion King. Green-eyed Scar didn't kill Nala when he otherwise should have, but may have had his eyes on her as a mate.
There are supportive ideas and not-so-supportive ideas for all of our four common opinions. Hopefully after reading this you will be able to make a more informed decision based on the points I have written here, and also importantly, I hope you enjoyed reading.