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The Lion King

The Pride Lands

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The Pride Lands
Sunrise
Title
The Pride Lands
Residents
Pridelanders
Appearances
The Lion King
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
The Lion King 1½
The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa
The Lion King: Six New Adventures
Mufasa: "Look, Simba, everything the light touches is our kingdom."
Simba: "Wow."
Mufasa: "A king's time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. One day, Simba, the sun will set on my time here and will rise with you as the new king."
Simba: "And this will all be mine?"
Mufasa: "Everything."
Simba: "Everything the light touches."
Mufasa and Simba survey the Pride Lands from Pride Rock

The Pride Lands are a vast African savanna territory controlled by a pride of lions known as the Pridelanders.

Information

History


The First King's Reign

The Great Earthquake

When Great-Fighter impersonates an early king of the Pride Lands, a pair of expert birds claim to know all about his reign. Their comments reveal an event known merely as "the great earthquake." Presumably, it took place during this king's reign.

The Hyena Invasion

The birds' comments also reveal that during this king's reign, there was a hyena invasion. During this invasion, the king defeated the hyenas with elephant tusks. It can be assumed that this was the birth of the hyena clan that would later plague the Pride Lands under Scar's reign.

The Discovery of the Elephant Graveyard

This king was known to have discovered the Elephant Graveyard, most likely shortly after the defeat of the hyenas.


Mohatu's Reign

The First Drought
Mohatu's Drought

The Pride Lands during the First Drought

During Mohatu's reign, a terrible drought strikes the Pride Lands. At first, Mohatu attempts to keep the peace by rationing water, but when a selfish lion hogs the water hole, Mohatu is forced to find a new source of water. He happens to stumble upon the jungle, which serves as a temporary water source until the drought has ceased in the Pride Lands.

The King's Death

On a winter's eve, the king dies of old age, a rare cause of death in lions. Following his death, the Pridelanders descend into a brief angst and resume their fighting until a bright star appears in the night sky, signifying Mohatu's peaceful passing.


Ahadi's Reign

The First Army Ant Attack

Mufasa briefly mentions an army ant attack that took place before his time. Presumably, it took place during Ahadi's reign, for it was Ahadi who told the story to Mufasa.

The Second Drought

A crowd of concerned Pridelanders during the Second Drought

The Second Drought

Like Mohatu, Ahadi experiences a terrible drought during his reign. While Uru sets out in search of a new water source, Ahadi stays behind to tend to the kingdom. In the end, Uru finds a new source of water on the western edge of the Pride Lands that saves the Pridelanders.

The Selection of Advisers and Majordomos

Engrossed in the chaos of the drought, Ahadi realizes that he must elect an adviser and a majordomo to help him during times of great need. Rafiki and Zuzu are the first to fill these positions, respectively, and the tradition continues into Simba's reign.


Mufasa's Reign

The Second Army Ant Attack

Like Ahadi, Mufasa also experiences an army ant attack. With the help of Zazu and a band of loyal Pridelanders, he manages to free several rocks atop Zulu Falls and drown the approaching army of killer insects.

Simba's Presentation
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The stampede floods into the gorge

Following the birth of his son, Mufasa holds a ceremony in honor of Simba's birth. During the ceremony, Simba is anointed the next rightful ruler and held up for all the Pridelanders to see.

The King's Death

The conniving Scar devises a plan to assassinate the king. Using his hyena cronies, Scar instigates a wildebeest stampede that chases Simba through the gorge. Drawn by the endangerment of his son, Mufasa rescues the cub and climbs a steep cliff, only to be thrown to his death by his brother. Upon hitting the ground, Mufasa dies, and Scar convinces Simba to run away from the Pride Lands.


Scar's Reign

The Hyena Invasion

Following Mufasa's death, Scar lies to the pride that Simba is dead and "humbly" accepts the crown from his dead brother. With this new power, he invites the hyenas from their shadowy home in the Elephant Graveyard to the lush world of the Pride Lands and stomps on every law Mufasa has kept so carefully in place.

The Famine

Due to the hyenas' over-hunting the herds, the Pride Lands fall into disrepair. The herds move on, and the water dries up, leaving behind a graveyard of brittle bones and dry dust. Scar is unconcerned with the landscape change, despite much urging from the lionesses to move to a different land.

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Scar fights Simba for the crown

The Battle of Pride Rock

Scar's sovereignty is challenged by Simba, now fully grown and bent on taking back his rightful title. After forcing Simba to admit that he was the cause of Mufasa's death, Scar corners him at the point of Pride Rock, though he makes a fatal error in revealing the truth behind Mufasa's death. Fueled by rage, Simba leaps into battle, followed by the lionesses, and throws Scar off Pride Rock.

The King's Death

Though Scar survives his falls from Pride Rock, he is met at the bottom by his servants, who feel betrayed by his accusation that the decimated condition of the Pride Lands is their fault. Enraged and fueled by hunger, they eat him alive amongst the flames that engulf Pride Rock.


Simba's Reign

Simba's Coronation

Following the Battle of Pride Rock, rain falls on the land, cleansing the fire and chasing away the last of the hyenas. Urged on by his followers as well as Rafiki, Timon, and Pumbaa, Simba ascends Pride Rock and roars, claiming his title as king. Under his reign, the Pride Lands are restored to their former glory.

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Simba takes his rightful place as king

Fluffy's Presentation

Simba's firstborn cub, called Fluffy by its creators, is presented to the Pride Lands following the kingdom's restoration to peace and prosperity.

Zira's Betrayal

Sometime following Simba's ascension on Pride Rock, Zira rebels and is subsequently ousted with her band of loyal followers, known as the Outsiders.

Kopa's Abduction

During Simba's reign, Kopa, the only son of Simba and Nala, is abducted by vultures and held ransom. Unwilling to give in to the vultures' demands, Simba comes to his son's rescue at the head of a herd of Pridelanders. Greatly outnumbered, the vultures are forced to hand the prince back to his father.

Kiara's Presentation

Simba has a daughter named Kiara, who is presented to the Pride Lands atop Pride Rock.

Kiara's First Hunt

In order to prove her status as an adult, Kiara embarks on her first hunt, though she is later caught in a rampaging fire that was started by Zira's cubs, Nuka and Vitani. When Kovu, Zira's youngest cub, rescues Kiara from the flames under the direction of his mother, Simba reluctantly inducts him into the pride.

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Kovu and Kiara are married

Zira's Ambush

When Simba leaves the shelter of Pride Rock with Kovu, Zira and her followers surround him and attempt to kill him. Instead, Nuka is killed while trying to pursue Simba up a pile of logs. Enraged over her son's death, Zira scars Kovu, blaming him for not killing Simba when he had the chance. Kovu runs away, but Zira lets him go and instead directs her pride in waging war against the Pridelanders.

The Exile of Kovu

Following Zira's ambush, Simba accuses Kovu of being a traitor and expels him from the Pride Lands. Together, the Pridelanders sing "One of Us" and drive Kovu from their lands while Kiara watches in horror.

The Pridelander-Outsider Battle

Enraged by her son's death and already bitter over Scar's, Zira wages war against the Pridelanders. The battle is soon stopped by Kovu and Kiara, though Zira refuses to give up and tries a final attempt on Simba's life. Kiara gets in the way of the vengeful lioness at the last second, and the two roll down a steep embankment. Kiara survives the fall only to watch Zira refuse her help and fall helplessly into the gorge.

The Marriage of Kovu and Kiara

After the Outsiders are inducted into the pride, the Pridelanders hold a marriage ceremony for Kovu and Kiara, where the rulers of Pride Rock reaffirm their power by roaring over a gathered crowd of animals.


Government

"If this is where the monarchy is headed, count me out! Out of service, out of Africa, I wouldn't hang about!"
Zazu in "I Just Can't Wait to be King"
"Haven't you met my son, Kovu? He was hand-chosen by Scar to follow in his paw prints and become king!"
Zira to Simba
"Father...I am lost. Kovu is one of them; Scar's heir. How can I accept him?"
—Simba to Mufasa about Kovu

The Pride Lands operates as a monarchy in which the sovereign's will is law. Regarding the order of succession, the Pride Lands monarchy appears to favor an absolute primogeniture in which the eldest child of the current ruler will inherit regardless of gender. The king or queen can hand-choose who they want to succeed them, however, as Scar apparently hand-chose Kovu to succeed him despite them having no relation.

Laws of the Land

The monarchs of the land have absolute power, and with that power, they create laws that benefit themselves and their people.

Banning the Use of Mufasa's Name (in Scar's presence)
"You know the law! Never, ever mention that name in my presence! I am the king!"
—Scar to Zazu
Put in Place by Scar

At an unknown time during his reign, Scar made it illegal to utter Mufasa's name in his presence. It isn't exactly clear why he made this law, but he presumably grew tired of his pride comparing him to his superior brother. Fortunately, this law permanently died with Scar's reign, for Mufasa's name is said freely during Simba's reign.

Penalty for Trespassing
Simba: "You know the penalty for returning to the Pride Lands!"
Zira: "But the child does not! However...if you need your pound of flesh, here."
—Simba to Zira about Kovu
Put In Place By Simba

After banishing Zira and her followers from the Pride Lands, Simba puts in place a law that discourages them from defying his decree and returning anyway. Should any outsider be found within his lands, they must pay with their lives. Kovu is offered up to Simba for recompense, as Zira had broken the law, but both she and the king knew Kovu was in no real danger. In the end, Simba spares Kovu -- either because he was too soft or because his young daughter was watching -- thus fails in enforcing his own law. This law is rendered dysfunction when Simba inducts the exiles back into his pride.

Royal Protocol and Debts
Zazu: "Mmm, yes, sire. Clearly we are in his debt, and royal protocol demands that all debts be paid. Though in this case you might want to make an exception."
Simba: "Hmmm... (looks at Kovu) My father's law will prevail. We'll see who you really are."
—Zazu and Simba
Put In Place By Mufasa

According to Zazu, the Majorodomo, all debts must be repaid (though exception can be made) somehow. Simba goes on to say that this is law put in place by his deceased father.

Anti-Poaching Laws
"Oh young master, one day you will be king. Then you can chase those slobbering, mangy, stupid poachers from dawn until dusk."
—Zazu to young Simba
"You were going to kill for sport. That is not permitted in the Pride Lands! Now go!"
— Ahadi defends Rafiki
Put In Place By Unknown

It is unknown who put this law into to place, but both Ahadi and Mufasa are both seen enforcing it. Likely, Zira was poaching in the Pride Lands as well when she just happened to spot Kovu and Kiara, even going on to mention the lack of resources in the Outlands, so Simba enforces it as well. Presumably the law has been enforced since the territory's creation.

Mohatu's Drinking Law
"Great-grandfather, being the wise king he was, made a law about how much animal could drink"
The Brightest Star, page 3


Put In Place By Mohatu

When a drought strikes the Pride Lands during King Mohatu's reign, he puts in place a law the determines how much an animal could drink to prevent fighting over the diminished waterhole. The Selfish Lion defies Mohatu, and breaks this law, drinking as much as he wants and forcing the other animals to wait. Instead of enforcing the law, King Mohatu looks for and finds a non-violent alternative.

Banishment of Shenzi's Clan
"Sire! Hyenas! In the Pride Lands!"
—Zazu to Mufasa
Put In Place By Ahadi or Mufasa

In the book A Tale of Two Brothers, during King Ahadi's reign, the hyenas seem to be tolerated if not fully accepted. However, Ahadi seems to have banished them from the Pride Lands after the end of that story. Mufasa could've gotten rid of them, however.

Induction of Shenzi's Clan
"But out of the ashes of this tragedy, we shall rise, to greet the dawning of a new Era in which lion and hyena come together in a great and glorious future!"
Scar, as he assumes the throne


Put In Place By Scar

After Mufasa's death, Scar renders the law keeping hyenas out of the Pride Lands defunct when he usurps the throne.

Engagement in Childhood
Simba: "I can't marry her. She's my friend."
Nala: "Yeah, it'd be too weird."
Zazu: "Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but you two turtle-doves have no choice. It's a tradition...going back generations."
Simba: "Well, when I'm king, that'll be the first thing to go."
—Zazu to the cubs about engagement
Put In Place By Unknown

It is unknown who put this law into place many generations ago, but according to Zazu, a king's marriage is contracted during the king's childhood. As a cub, Simba says that he will abolish the law when he becomes king, but it is unknown whether he did this or not. It appears likely that he followed through on this promise, for neither Kopa nor Kiara appear to have a betrothal.

Geographical Features

"Look, Simba. Everything the light touches is our kingdom."
—Mufasa to Simba
The Pride Lands is a very fertile place and is diverse in the way of fauna.
The Pridelands revived
Its exact size is unknown, but since it borders the desert of northern Africa and encompasses Mount Kilimanjaro as well, one could say it is quite large. The Pride Lands is also very well watered, a long river of water lying not to far from Pride Rock.

Fauna

Trivia

  • The Pride Lands has a history of going bare presumably once during the reign of every new ruler. A drought happens during Mohatu's reign, Uru and Ahadi's reign, Mufasa's reign (in a comic), and Scar's reign.

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