The Lion King

The Hyenas (characters)

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The Hyenas (characters)
The Hyenas
The Elephant Graveyard
The Lion King
The Lion King 1½
The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
"Look at you guys. No wonder we're dangling at the bottom of the food chain."
Shenzi about the hyenas

The Hyenas are a pack of hyenas who lived in the Elephant Graveyard during the reign of Mufasa. They later became allied with Scar under the leadership of their matriarch, Shenzi.


The Lion King

"Well, not you, Scar. I mean, you're one of us. You're our pal!"
Banzai to Scar

The most famous of the clan are Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, the "friends" and allies of Scar. The three first appear in the Elephant Graveyard, trying to dispose of Simba and Nala when they wander into their territory, a plan later revealed to be orchestrated by Scar. When the hyenas fail due to Mufasa's intervention, Scar is furious but quickly forms another plan, promising the hyenas that when he becomes king, they will never go hungry again.


An explanation of pack structure

The hyenas then kill Mufasa, via a stampede, and chase Simba away from the resulting corpse. After the monarch and his heir are done away with, the hyenas infest the Pride Lands with Scar as their king and become, presumably, his new bodyguards.

Much later, as the Pride Lands become barren, the hyenas start to become more hungry and complain to their king, but Scar just ignores them.

When Simba returns from his self-exile from the Pride Lands, the hyenas reinforce Scar's position as king when Simba orders for Scar to step down. After Scar gets his nephew to confess his responsibility for Mufasa's death, the hyenas surround the two lions as they head toward the edge of Pride Rock, presumably protecting Scar.


Scar's army of hyenas

After Simba gets Scar to confess that he killed Mufasa, a climatic battle between the Pridelanders (along with Timon and Pumbaa) and the hyenas break out while Simba goes after Scar at the top of Pride Rock in hopes of avenging his father's death. Scar tells the confronting Simba that the hyenas were "the real enemies" that were responsible for killing Mufasa, which angers the hyenas who overhear him. A brief duel erupts between the two lions, which ends with Simba flipping his uncle over a cliff where Scar lands in an area with the defeated hyenas.

The hyenas, determined to get revenge on Scar, surround their fallen leader while Scar continually pleads for his life. The hyenas leap upon Scar and begin to maul him alive, as they are all engulfed in flames; however, the former are confirmed to have made it out alive in the sequel.

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

"Ewww, this place is even creepier since the hyenas ran off"
Nuka about the hyenas

According to Nuka, the hyenas fled from the Pride Lands after the battle, implying that some, if not all, hyenas survived the battle at Pride Rock.

The Lion King 1½

Timon: "Hey, Pumbaa. What do you call a hyena with half a brain?"
Pumbaa: "Beats me, Timon. What?"
Timon: "Gifted!"
—Timon and Pumbaa joking about hyenas

When Timon and Pumbaa venture into a different section of the Elephant Graveyard, they view Scar's hyena army singing "Be Prepared" while marching. Later on in the film, after Timon and Pumbaa perform their hula song to clear the way for Simba to confront Scar, some of the hyenas pursue them, only to flee after being gassed by Pumbaa's stench.


The hyenas in The Lion King 1½

After Timon reunites with his mother and his uncle, Pumbaa notices the hyenas protecting Scar while Simba is dangling from the edge of Pride Rock. Timon coordinates a plan for Ma and Uncle Max to dig a tunnel to trap the hyenas while he and Pumbaa try to get the hyenas away from Simba.

When Simba goes after Scar, the hyenas follow him and try to prevent him from reaching Scar, but are distracted by Timon and Pumbaa, who insult the hyena pack with offensive jokes. Ed stupidly laughs at them, to which Banzai slaps him. The hyenas then go after Timon and Pumbaa and manage to corner them at the edge of Pride Rock. Timon and Pumbaa try several tactics to stall them while Uncle Max and Ma dig a tunnel underneath them to make them fall off of Pride Rock. But when the trap tunnel initially fails, the hyenas move in to kill Ma, Pumbaa, and Uncle Max. Unwilling to give up, Timon jumps down between Shenzi's legs, and bravely completes the tunnel. The hyenas then fall through the ground and plummet to the bottom of Pride Rock, where they meet Scar after he is thrown off a cliff by Simba.

The Lion King: Six New Adventures

A Tale of Two Brothers

Taka: "No wonder you begged me to join your little gang"
Banzai: "Hey! Who begged who?"
Shenzi: "He's right."
—Scar reminds the hyenas of his superiority

Banzai, Ed, and Shenzi seem to be the only hyenas allied to Scar when he is a young adult. It could be possible Scar didn't know about the rest of the clan, but this is unlikely, since it is revealed they begged him to join their gang. However, the gang is described as little, so it could be just those three or the hyena clan isn't as big as it was in the movie, but grew with time.

Notable Members

  • Shenzi: the leader of the clan
  • Banzai: friend of Shenzi
  • Ed: friend of Shenzi


  • In the musical, they are revealed to be one of the reasons the Pride Lands depletes, as they force the lionesses to over-hunt.
  • During "Be Prepared," the hyena army is shown marching like Nazis.
  • It is possible that the hyenas were reintegrated into the Pride Lands after the defeat of Scar, as they appear to be Pridelanders in Vulture Shock.[1]
  • During the early stages of the film, Zira was supposed to ally side-by-side with the surviving members of Scar's former army, who fled the battle. However, this idea was scrapped, probably because the hyenas are the ones who really killed Scar and Zira would never ally with them had she known such a fact.


  1. Hyenasinpride
  2. CapeHuntingDogs

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