I make the argument that Scar was a better king than Mufasa or Simba. He’s not a hero, but was a better king.
He named himself Scar after getting his scar. His real name was Taka, which literally translates as “Trash” in Swahili. Of the two brothers, he was older, therefore had a more traditional right to the throne. But was overlooked because Mufasa was the favorite. Just to clarify, this was before Scar was evil.
And of the two other lions in question, rules with intellect above all else. The state of the Pride Lands once he becomes king aren’t necessarily his fault. It just means he was ruling over crappy subjects.
Mufasa ruled with a “Might makes Right” policy. His circle of life speech to his son sounds a little too much like a fascist doctrine. The “I can eat anything that isn’t a lion” speech. Remember, Mufasa did segregate an entire race outside his kingdom to starve to death.
And then there’s Simba, besides “Hakuna Matata” which by the way is a terrible life philosophy, his first song in the film, “I just can’t wait to be king” is LITERALLY about how he’s going to corrupt the throne once he’s got the power.
So, a fascist king, a lazy king, and a manipulative king. At least the manipulative one uses his brain.
While there have been many parallels with “The Lion King” and William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, Scar as a character fits the profile of a tragic villain like Macbeth. Destined to be king, but is terrible at being king. As deemed by his enemies.