|“||Mufasa: Simba... Let me tell you something that my father told me... Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars.|
Mufasa: Yes... So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you ... And so will I.
The Great Kings of the Past, according to Mufasa, are deceased rulers of the Pride Lands, who look down on the living beings from the stars. While it is commonly believed that the lions in The Lion King believe the stars themselves are the Great Kings of the Past, it was never actually confirmed in the film.
You mean a bunch of royal dead guys are watching us? Pfft.
After Mufasa briefly plays with Simba after scolding him for his disobedience, Simba cheerfully tells Mufasa that they will always be together. However, Mufasa tells Simba about the Great Kings of the Past, who are former monarchs of the Pride Lands who look down on the living. Mufasa later tells his son that when he feels alone, the Great Kings will always be there to guide him, and so he, one day.
The Great Kings of the Past are mentioned in the film again by Simba when he, Timon, and Pumbaa offer up their theories of stars. Timon mocks what Mufasa told Simba and indirectly calls Mufasa "a mook."
|“||Kovu: Heh, I've never done this before.|
Kiara: Really? My father and I used to do this all the time. He says all the Great Kings of the Past are up there.
Kovu: You think Scar is up there?
After the rhino chase, Kiara and Kovu stargaze later that night. Kiara sees a constellation of a baby rabbit while Kovu sees a constellation of two lions fighting each other. Kovu enjoys this pastime, and states he's never done this before. Kiara states the great Kings of the Past are up there, indicating Simba told Kiara of what Mufasa told Simba when he was young. Kovu responds by wondering if Scar is one of the Great Kings of the Past.
The Great Kings of the Past control a great power called the Roar of the Elders, which is bestowed on the second-born cub of the monarch, who is also tasked with leading the Lion Guard. The Great Kings control this power's use and can take it away if the user does not respect their gift, as is the case with Scar.
As Rafiki grants Nobi his wish of flying like a bird, swimming like a fish, and being as tall as a giraffe so that he can earn respect, the baboon speaks to the Great Kings and Warriors of the Past to make the mouse's wish come true.
In the stage musical productions of the original film, Mufasa sings "They Live in You" when Simba asks whether he and his father will always be together, causing Mufasa to look up to the night sky. He tells Simba about the Great Kings of the Past, and how they guide and watch over everything. Again, the Great Kings of the Past are mentioned when Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa look up at the stars, wondering what they are. Simba recalls Mufasa's words regarding the great kings of the past, but Timon and Pumbaa dismiss it and laugh at the notion.
While sitting under the stars with Rafiki, Mufasa admits that he likes to talk to the Great Kings of the Past.
After learning about the Great Kings of the Past from Mufasa, Simba mistakes a harmless rogue named "Great-Fighter" as a Great King of the Past.
Confirmed great kings
|Mohatu||Mohatu is the oldest known Great King of the Past. He died of old age and was manifested as a star in the heavens.||Book||The Brightest Star|
|Mufasa||Mufasa is the newest known Great King of the Past. He died in a wildebeest stampede and appeared years later to his son Simba, urging him to take his place as the rightful king.||Film||The Lion King|
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
The Lion King 1½
The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar
The Lion Guard