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Re: How and why did the land die during scars reign?

PostPosted: March 16th, 2017, 12:12 am
by Panpardus
A bit of an oldish thread, but if we're to take away the metaphorical metaphysical aspect of this story's events, I'd argue there's a pretty solid ecological basis for what we see in the film. It's already been more or less expressed in bits and pieces throughout this thread, so this is a combination of those and me interjecting my own knowledge of ecological systems, and the Serengeti in particular.

So for starters, we know the Pridelands itself isn't the entirety of the Serengeti - which a lot of people for some reason tend to think it is - it's pretty much just the territory that Simba's pride holds, and they even have territorial borders just as any other stable lion pride does. (A good-sized pride's territory covers about 100 square miles, which is plenty of land for us to think that it's much more expansive than it actually is compared to the rest of the Serengeti alone.) Based on film lore and what we can observe in the various canon movies themselves, it seems the normal local large predator ecology comprises of the local lions, at least two crocodile floats, cheetahs, and the occasional passing leopard. The large, seemingly hundred-strong hyena clan lives beyond the Pridelands' borders and doesn't seem to have a large impact on the prey population since they are limited to occasional small party raids. You basically have a system that would be set up if lions did become sapient; they're only keeping out species that are niche competitors (chiefly hyenas and leopards; don't know if painted dogs have been seen in any of these films, but I'd assume a few small groups would be permitted to at least pass through the territory) and it seems that this has gone on for at least a few generations, so the prey base has become used to these population dynamics.

Once Scar took power and brought in the hyenas, now you have added literally over a hundred additional mouths to feed, which puts a lot of stress on the local environment even if everyone is just hunting as much as they need to sustain themselves. Then you add another pride of lionesses (Zira and her Outsiders) and you've now added even more mouths to the local environment. Without proper partitioning (which I assume is the real central role of the king and queen) it's easy to send the local ecosystem into chaos with this kind of sudden setup. Based on my biology-based timeline of the canon cartoon story, this would have gone on for some three years or so before Simba returned, and during that time the additional pressure put on the local herbivores would've resulted in both overhunting and ultimately driving a lot of the prey base away into other lion territories. (Hence Sarabi's statement to Scar: "The herds have moved on.") None of this suffering is necessarily dependent upon the weather or the local plant ecology, which would likely stay pretty consistent in the three year reign of Scar; it could've happened even without the annual stresses caused by months of drought during the dry season. All the prey animals had to do was get fed up with the massive local influx of predators and just up and left, leaving all the predators (the only animals we see later on) to starve during the annual drought. Simba came back towards the end of said drought, and in the ensuing months the rainy season rolled in and the prey animals returned.

So yeah, long story short, Scar can easily be explained as being directly responsible for destroying the local food web by bringing in the hyena clan (and bringing in another pride of lions) and presumably not enforcing rules to limit overhunting (and at least de facto encouraging it once it became clear that the lioness' normal hunting rate wasn't going to be enough to feed the pride given the added competition of the hyenas), ultimately driving off the remaining prey base into other lands such that during the dry season when Simba came back, everyone was starving from lack of prey.

Re: How and why did the land die during scars reign?

PostPosted: March 16th, 2017, 1:05 am
by Elton John
Nice topic. Makes more sense than scar being evul destroying the pridelands because EVUL.

In The Lion Guard, at one point it's mentioned that the return of the elephants had kickstarted the pridelands back to normalcy.

Re: How and why did the land die during scars reign?

PostPosted: March 16th, 2017, 7:00 am
by Panpardus
Yeah, that's part of my explanation too; I can imagine that the rest of the Pridelands' residents see the territory as a relative safe haven due to the management of predation by the lions, and as such, when Scar came into power they decided "screw this" once everyone started getting killed off by hordes of hyenas and the Outsiders. I mean, I'd move too if the territory turned into a killing field.

Re: How and why did the land die during scars reign?

PostPosted: April 12th, 2018, 1:49 am
by TLK_Kid
Just realized this hasn't been posted in for almost a month...there's no rule about reviving old topics, is there? :-P

Anyway, I don't have much of a scientific explanation, other than Scar didn't know or care what he was doing. It was probably a normal thing in the Pride Lands, something that could usually be worked through with the proper precautions...except, you know, Scar barely left his cave, so that didn't really help anybody.

Most of my ideas are more about symbolism, though, as I see most of you have already pointed out. My theory is that the Kings of the Past -- I don't want to say they control the weather, because that sounds lame -- but I do believe maybe they affect the Pride Lands in various ways. I don't think it can be a coincidence that the lightning struck right when it did at the battle for Pride Rock, or that the second Scar dies is when it starts to rain. So if the kings can control those things, it makes sense that they could send a severe drought as well since Scar wasn't the rightful king.

That's also why I think the Pride Lands might have recovered faster than they logically would. With Simba now the king, the circle of life had been restored, and the kingdom started to recover. I pretty much just relate it all to symbolism, and having a king who actually took care of his kingdom probably didn't hurt either.

Re: How and why did the land die during scars reign?

PostPosted: April 12th, 2018, 2:23 am
by TheLionPrince
TLK_Kid wrote:Just realized this hasn't been posted in for almost a month...there's no rule about reviving old topics, is there? :-P


Nothing wrong with reviving old topics. We welcome new discussions and opinion.

TLK_Kid wrote:Anyway, I don't have much of a scientific explanation, other than Scar didn't know or care what he was doing. It was probably a normal thing in the Pride Lands, something that could usually be worked through with the proper precautions...except, you know, Scar barely left his cave, so that didn't really help anybody.

Most of my ideas are more about symbolism, though, as I see most of you have already pointed out. My theory is that the Kings of the Past -- I don't want to say they control the weather, because that sounds lame -- but I do believe maybe they affect the Pride Lands in various ways. I don't think it can be a coincidence that the lightning struck right when it did at the battle for Pride Rock, or that the second Scar dies is when it starts to rain. So if the kings can control those things, it makes sense that they could send a severe drought as well since Scar wasn't the rightful king.

That's also why I think the Pride Lands might have recovered faster than they logically would. With Simba now the king, the circle of life had been restored, and the kingdom started to recover. I pretty much just relate it all to symbolism, and having a king who actually took care of his kingdom probably didn't hurt either.


That's a pretty good theory. As for the lightning and the rain, well, we did see dark clouds approaching Pride Rock when Simba, Nala, Timon, and Pumbaa enter the Pride Lands so I assume a storm front was already brewing. Whether it would have rained regardless of who was on the throne is anyone's guess.

Re: How and why did the land die during scars reign?

PostPosted: April 12th, 2018, 4:45 am
by TLK_Kid
TheLionPrince wrote:
TLK_Kid wrote:Just realized this hasn't been posted in for almost a month...there's no rule about reviving old topics, is there? :-P


Nothing wrong with reviving old topics. We welcome new discussions and opinion.

TLK_Kid wrote:Anyway, I don't have much of a scientific explanation, other than Scar didn't know or care what he was doing. It was probably a normal thing in the Pride Lands, something that could usually be worked through with the proper precautions...except, you know, Scar barely left his cave, so that didn't really help anybody.

Most of my ideas are more about symbolism, though, as I see most of you have already pointed out. My theory is that the Kings of the Past -- I don't want to say they control the weather, because that sounds lame -- but I do believe maybe they affect the Pride Lands in various ways. I don't think it can be a coincidence that the lightning struck right when it did at the battle for Pride Rock, or that the second Scar dies is when it starts to rain. So if the kings can control those things, it makes sense that they could send a severe drought as well since Scar wasn't the rightful king.

That's also why I think the Pride Lands might have recovered faster than they logically would. With Simba now the king, the circle of life had been restored, and the kingdom started to recover. I pretty much just relate it all to symbolism, and having a king who actually took care of his kingdom probably didn't hurt either.


That's a pretty good theory. As for the lightning and the rain, well, we did see dark clouds approaching Pride Rock when Simba, Nala, Timon, and Pumbaa enter the Pride Lands so I assume a storm front was already brewing. Whether it would have rained regardless of who was on the throne is anyone's guess.


Oh, good. :peacefulzazu: I was wondering about that for a while.

True, I totally ignored that factor. I guess it can be explained scientifically or symbolically, or a mixture of both.

Re: How and why did the land die during scars reign?

PostPosted: April 15th, 2018, 8:26 am
by SimbasGuard
I have always had a problem with the idea that The Great Kings (Or Mufasa as I originally head the theory) caused the drought, because it was not just Scar that suffered from the effect of it.

Re: How and why did the land die during scars reign?

PostPosted: April 19th, 2018, 7:14 pm
by Panpardus
The symbolism is always a nice added detail; I appreciate that it's usually been executed in such a way that you can read it into situations while still having a more logical science-based explanation if you don't want to include such mystic elements in the storytelling.

SimbasGuard wrote:I have always had a problem with the idea that The Great Kings (Or Mufasa as I originally head the theory) caused the drought, because it was not just Scar that suffered from the effect of it.

In a lot of traditional sub-Saharan African mythologies, ancestral spirits and deities that operate in a manner akin to the Great Kings tend to be relatively impartial when it comes to sending down warnings to their living kin. If a king or some other influential figure is in charge, they'll usually send down afflictions upon the kingdom itself to either prompt an attitude/regime change from the sitting monarch or encourage others to actually find some way to resolve the situation (revolution or something of that nature).

Re: How and why did the land die during scars reign?

PostPosted: April 19th, 2018, 8:12 pm
by TLK_Kid
^ That's essentially what I was thinking, I just didn't know how to put it in words. :P

Re: How and why did the land die during scars reign?

PostPosted: April 21st, 2018, 6:48 am
by SimbasGuard
Panpardus wrote:In a lot of traditional sub-Saharan African mythologies, ancestral spirits and deities that operate in a manner akin to the Great Kings tend to be relatively impartial when it comes to sending down warnings to their living kin. If a king or some other influential figure is in charge, they'll usually send down afflictions upon the kingdom itself to either prompt an attitude/regime change from the sitting monarch or encourage others to actually find some way to resolve the situation (revolution or something of that nature).


O.K. that makes more since that Mufasa wanting revenge.