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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.
Mufasa[src]

The ruler of Pride Rock is the formal title given to the reigning monarch of the Pride Lands. Being an absolute monarch, the king or queen is vested with full executive and judicial control.

Duties

I'm the king. I can do whatever I want.
Scar[src]

There are no set duties for the monarch, nor are there any obligations that they must fulfill. The monarch has absolute authority over any executive or judicial decisions, which has led some monarchs, like Scar, to use their power for selfish gain. Despite some anomalies, most monarchs respect the Circle of Life and follow the laws and traditions of the Pride Lands.[1]

Regulation of food and water

My dad says we should only take what the pride needs, to keep the Circle of Life in balance. If we took down gazelles just to learn how to do it, pretty soon, there wouldn't be any left. Then we'd be as bad as the hyenas.
Kiara[src]

Mufasa teaches Simba about the Circle of Life.

Most monarchs regulate hunting in the Pride Lands in order to ensure that the Circle of Life remains in balance. Animals are only allowed to take what they need, and excess hunting often results in the offender's banishment from the Pride Lands.[2] Additionally, if a grazing ground becomes too meager to support multiple herds, it is up to the monarch to divvy up resources.[3] The monarch likewise decides which herds have which watering holes, including during the dry season.[4] In times of emergency, the monarch may appeal to another kingdom for food or water.[5]

During the dry season, the monarch may hold a Savannah Summit so that the herds can discuss how best to share resources. Ultimately, it is up to the monarch which species may attend the Savannah Summit, even if their choice goes against the wishes of the other animal leaders in attendance.[6]

Foreign policy

A long time ago, he and I made a peace treaty. Now, every wet season, he sends a message to let me know if he still agrees to the peace...or not.
Simba on Sokwe[src]

Simba and Dhahabu discuss a water treaty during the dry season.

The Pride Lands is bordered by the Back Lands,[5] the Elephant Graveyard,[1] the Outlands,[7] and the Theluji Mountains.[8] It is up to the monarch to enforce the Pride Lands' borders[2] and maintain relations with neighboring kingdoms.[8] Most often, the monarch leaves border enforcement to the Lion Guard,[2] though they tend to negotiate with foreign powers themselves, either in person[9] or through messages.[8]

While the Pride Lands monarchy maintains good relations with the Back Lands[5][9] and the Theluji Mountains,[8] they are enemies of the Elephant Graveyard.[1] Initially, relations were similarly hostile between the Pride Lands and the Outlands, but since the start of Jasiri's reign, relations between the kingdoms have been amicable and peaceful.[10]

Banishment and citizenship

You know the penalty for returning to the Pride Lands.
―Simba to Zira[src]

A cave painting depicts the Outsiders' exile from the Pride Lands.

The monarch has ultimate authority over who is allowed to live and hunt in the Pride Lands. If a person or group is deemed an enemy of the crown, the monarch may banish them to the Outlands, as was the case with the Outsiders.[7] Conversely, the monarch can allow an outsider to become a Pride Lander, even if their species is not generally permitted within the borders of the kingdom.[11] Kion, a former leader of the Lion Guard, has been known to offer citizenship to outsiders, like Dogo and Jasiri, though it was ultimately with Simba's permission and blessing.[12][13]

Some species, such as hawks and leopards, are not allowed to hunt in the Pride Lands.[14][11]

Betrothal

It's a tradition going back generations.
Zazu on betrothal[src]

The monarch may choose to betroth their firstborn in infancy. This is considered a Pride Lands tradition, though Simba expressed interest in abolishing betrothal altogether.[1] Furthermore, Kiara became mates with Kovu of her own volition; hence, it is unclear if this law is still in effect.[7]

Succession

Scar: You see them? They think I'm king.
Nala: Well, we don't. Simba's the rightful king.
Nala and Scar[src]

Simba formally becomes the king of the Pride Lands.

The order of succession is based on equal primogeniture, meaning inheritance by the oldest surviving child without regard to gender.[2] The heir apparent is usually the eldest child, though siblings can also inherit the throne if the monarch has no living children.[1] However, it would be within the monarch's prerogative to amend the line of succession, include non-family members, or completely exclude royals from the line of succession altogether, as Scar did when he chose Kovu to succeed him.[7]

In order to ascend to the throne, the heir apparent must walk to the top of Pride Rock and roar over their kingdom. The lionesses in turn will roar back to signify their acceptance of the new monarch.[1]

Known rulers of Pride Rock

Trivia

  • Presumably, every ruler of Pride Rock since Askari's generation (with the exception of Simba) has had a younger brother. This is because the Lion Guard is traditionally led by the second-born cub of the reigning monarch,[2] and Fuli is the first female member of the Lion Guard.[15]
  • Vitani, who currently leads the Lion Guard, is not the child of the reigning monarch, which makes her the first leader of the Lion Guard to not be related to the reigning monarch by blood.[16]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Revealed in Disney's The Lion King (1994). Written by Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, and Linda Woolverton, and directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff. Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Revealed in Disney's The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (2015). Written by Ford Riley, and directed by Howy Parkins. Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc.
  3. Revealed in "The Mbali Fields Migration" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 12, Season 1. Written by Elise Allen, John Loy, and Ford Riley, and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired April 22, 2016.
  4. Revealed in "Let Sleeping Crocs Lie" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 6, Season 2. Written by Elise Allen and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired August 11, 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Revealed in "The Golden Zebra" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 14, Season 2. Written by Elise Allen and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired January 9, 2018.
  6. Revealed in "The Savannah Summit" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 2, Season 2. Written by Jack Monaco and directed by Tom Derosier and Howy Parkins. Originally aired July 7, 2017.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Revealed in Disney's The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998). Written by Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus, and directed by Rob LaDuca and Darrell Rooney. Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Revealed in "The Lost Gorillas" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 22, Season 1. Written by Elise Allen and directed by Tom Derosier and Howy Parkins. Originally aired December 2, 2016.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Revealed in "The Queen's Visit" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 27, Season 2. Written by Don Gillies and directed by Tom De Rosier. Originally aired February 18, 2019.
  10. Revealed in "Battle for the Pride Lands" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 1, Season 3. Written by Ford Riley and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired August 3, 2019.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Revealed in "The Imaginary Okapi" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 14, Season 1. Written by John Loy and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired July 8, 2016.
  12. Revealed in "The Kupatana Celebration" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 6, Season 1. Written by Elise Allen, John Loy, and Ford Riley, and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired February 12, 2016.
  13. Revealed in "The Hyena Resistance" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 23, Season 2. Written by Kendall Michele Haney and directed by Tom De Rosier. Originally aired September 6, 2018.
  14. Revealed in "Ono and the Egg" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 4, Season 2. Written by Elise Allen and directed by Tom Derosier and Howy Parkins. Originally aired July 21, 2017.
  15. Revealed in "The Lion Guard: The Rise of Scar" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 5, Season 2. Written by Ford Riley. Originally aired July 29, 2017.
  16. Revealed in "Return to the Pride Lands" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 19, Season 3. Written by Kendall Michele Haney and Ford Riley, and directed by Tom De Rosier and Howy Parkins. Originally aired November 3, 2019.
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