A love a clever Disney fan theory as much as the next person, which is why when this one was submitted to Reddit the other day, it just had to be shared. Concerning itself with what is often regarded as one of the best House of Mouse creations ever, Redditor Scherazade put a new spin on the meaning of the Circle of Life in The Lion King.
Preoccupying himself with those pesky hyenas, Sherazade claims that Scar's army could not have actually made any difference to The Pride Lands's ecosystem. That is, this hellish scenario was merely a product of autumn and winter's harsh conditions (minus the fire, of course), rather than Scar's hostile rule:
Let's go into this theory a little bit more in detail then:
1. The movie begins in spring upon the savannah
Life is lush and animals quench their thirsts at waterholes. This is a time of birth and revival.
2. A scorching summer means that the lands start drying up
An arid landscape spreads from the plains, as seen from the top of Pride Rock.
3. The herds that kill Mufasa are getting ready to migrate
They are seen grazing on grass that's less lush now.
4. It is now autumn, Simba has been exiled and is living far away in an oasis with Timon and Pumbaa
During this time, The Pride Lands have succumbed to autumn. The herds have moved on in search of warmth, grass, and water, leaving the hyenas to feed on the dead lions. Let's be real, what else are they going to eat?
5. Simba finally returns just as the monsoon season begins
The rains stop the bush fires and re-hydrate the land. Consequently, the herds return, ready for the beginning of spring.
And thus, as Sherazade claims: "The circle of life continues."
Ultimately, as evil as he may have been, Scar wasn't responsible for the barren landscape of The Pride Lands under his rule, neither could he really affect the circle of life.