The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
2 Points

Scar is the True Protagonist of "The Lion King"

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/17/2015 Category: Movies
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,509 times Debate No: 75422
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




Although Simba was portrayed as the clear-cut protagonist in Disney's "The Lion King", and Scar as the antagonist, this viewpoint is made for a Disney-age audience. When examined closer, Scar's actions begin to become not only justifiable, but potentially heroic as well. Meanwhile, Simba and Mufasa become the antagonists against the "Dark Prince".

Ahadi's selection of Mufasa as his successor shows baffling favoritism of strength over intelligence. Scar states in the film, and I look forward to any disagreement, that "as far as brains go, I got the lion's share. But, when it comes to brute strength, I'm afraid I'm at the shallow end of the gene pool." Mufasa's strength as a leader comes in his literal strength. Is this truly the best quality in a leader? Or is intelligence the preferred trait?

The banishment of the hyenas was the other pre-film event that needed to be explained in order to prevent this case. Under Ahadi's, or perhaps a previous king, rule, the entire species of hyenas were banished from the rich and sustaining Pridelands. Why? What could have happened to condemn an entire species to die, albeit indirectly? Mufasa upholds this ruling, which makes him an oppressor of the army that Scar later raises.

In the film, we see Mufasa passing on his wisdom to Simba, which will later be the basis of his rule in the sequel. Because of this dependence on his father's teachings, it can be assumed that Simba would carry on Mufasa's support of the banishment of the hyenas. It can also be assumed, to a degree, that Scar is aware of this dependence as well.

We learn off screen that Scar has discovered that the hyenas, as a species, do not deserve to waste away and eventually die of starvation. He is also aware, as stated in the previous paragraph, that Simba would continue Mufasa's policies in the event of Mufasa's death. So, Scar rallies his allies with the promise that *they would not starve to death*.

Killing Mufasa and the attempt to kill Simba can be seen in one of two primary ways. The first being the one that the film intended, a power-hungry tyrant willing to do anything for the throne. Or, as I believe, it can be seen as a necessary way to prevent the deaths of hundreds, which can be seen in the "Be Prepared" scene, at the price of two deaths.

With Mufasa and Simba gone, Scar brings his army into a land where they can survive. The over hunting that occurs, a minimum of three years later, is a natural process that occurs when there are too many predators for the available to prey to sustain. Some predators die off, and the levels return to a balance. Being that this process is a bit too intense for Disney, it is shown as a way to further show that Scar's coup was a disaster, and that Simba must return to save them all from Scar's tyranny.

Meanwhile, in the Oasis, Simba spends at least three years, based on his visible aging, frolicking through the jungle learning not to worry about anything. Less than ideal training for the heroic king-to-be of the film.

Going back to Scar, I feel the need to reinstate this. He spend at least three years ruling, and the confrontation with Sarabi is the only episode of conflict we see between Scar and the rest of his pride. We can assume, because of this, that Scar's rule was at least successful enough to keep everyone in line for years before serious conflict arose.

When Simba does finally return, he confesses to killing Mufasa. A battle ensues, and Scar admits to killing Mufasa. This would cause reasonable confusion among the other members of the pride. After Scar's death, Simba *instantly* expects everyone present to breathe a sigh of relief, because the true king that's been missing for years and could have still, in their eyes, commited patricidal regicide, was finally ready to assume his responsibilities.

In the sequel, we learn that Simba has banished everyone that did not rapidly accept him, instead of allowing reasonable time to process all that had occurred. This rightfully causes tensions with those banished, and the entire conflict of the sequel was created. By the end, we learn that the vast majority of those banished did, in fact, come to accept Simba as a leader. They were not, however, allowed to return to the rich Pridelands. Their lack of instant transition from king to king granted them death if they were to return to the land of the king they'd come to accept.

To summarize, Scar killed Mufasa and attempted to kill Simba in order to save hundreds of lives. His qualities as a leader are more realistic and generally desirable than those of Mufasa and, arguably, Simba. He was overthrown by the true antagonist of the film, who quickly erased all traces of Scar from the Pridelands through banishing his one time followers.


I accept this debate and hope for a very interesting debate.
the main character in a novel, play, movie, etc.[1]

Observation 1: As my opponent is moving for a change in the status quo of Simba being considered the protagonist, the burden of proof will be on Pro's shoulders.
Observation 2: Since there is no record of pre-film time in The Lion King, all claims about what might have happened before the events in the movie must be backed up by solid logic, not assumptions.

I will itemize my attacks for organizational purposes.

1: Favoritism My opponent stated that Ahadi showed favoritism for strength over intelligence. He quoted Scar saying that he "got the lion's share" of brains, but not as much strength. However, there is no logic behind this claim other than Scar's word. It takes more than just brute strength to rule a kingdom, and Mufasa had managed to keep a very good rule over the Pridelands for his entire life. This fact directly contradicts Scar's anecdotal claim.

2: Banishment of the Hyenas: Now we come to what I think will be one of the bigger points of this debate: the banishment of the hyenas.
2a: Over hunting: I would like to pose a question for my opponent: what is to say that the elephant graveyard was not once as rich as the Pridelands? It is distinctly possible that the king who banished the hyenas did so for what, apparently, my opponent considers a valid reason: sacrificing a few lives to save many. Based on what happens when Scar brings back the hyenas, there are massive amounts of over hunting. My opponent asked what the hyenas could have done to deserve banishment. Perhaps they did exactly what they do when Scar brings them back: ate too much. As the hyenas consumed all of the food in the Pridelands, they not only affect themselves, but the lions, and all other animals, predator and prey on the savannas. By eating all of the food, they are dooming not only themselves, but the lions to starvation. They were most likely banished so that the natural event of predators dying and balancing out the ecosystem that my opponent described could take place.
2b: Scar's Motives: If Scar was, in fact, as intelligent as my opponent claims him to be, then he would have seen the obvious harms of bringing the hyenas back to the Pridelands. Knowing that his actions would most likely mean the downfall of the Pridelands, Scar still continues with his plan, purely to sate his own desire to rule. There is a scene in which Scar is asking Sarabi why the lionesses aren't hunting, and Sarabi says that they don't have enough food to hunt. She poses the ultimatum: leave Pride Rock or starve to death. Stubbornly, with no thought to those that he supposedly staged his coup to save, Scar retains his elitist regime, even at the cost of the entire Pridelands. This shows an amount of greed and selfishness unprecedented by neither Mufasa nor, apparently, Ahadi.
2c: Elitism: By reinstating the hyenas to the Pridelands, and promising them all free food, Scar is establishing a massive elitist class. It is clear from the scene during which Scar sings "Be Prepared" that the hyenas far outnumber the lionesses...and yet Scar still forces them to do all of the hunting. This has obvious detriments. First of all, there is the enormous workload that Scar's actions put on the lionesses. Having to hunt for potentially hundreds of hyenas, plus themselves, and Scar, who, based on his lack of hunger complaints and the amount of bones strewn about his throne room, is not lacking in food. This again brings into question the "heroism" of Scar.

3: Character Arc:
My opponent brought up that Simba spent the approximately three years of his exile "frolicking through the jungle learning not to worry about anything". However, looking at this from a critical standpoint, the whole point of that space of time is to show how much Mufasa's death affected him, and how he coped with it. Besides that, it juxtaposes the carefree, happy-go-lucky king that Simba is projected to be in the song "I Just Can't Wait to be King" with the majestic, powerful, and just ruler that he turns out to be.

4: Scar Maintaining Rule: My opponent stated that Scar has maintained his rule over the Pridelands for at least three years, with the confrontation with Sarabi being the only time there is conflict between him and the lionesses. First of all, I would like to point out that, based on the ruling system of the pride, only male lions can rule. So, for all we know, there could have been many conflicts between Scar and the lionesses. However, they could never openly revolt because they could not rule. This idea is reinforced because when Simba, the rightful heir to the throne returns, they do revolt; now they have someone who can rule in Scar's stead.

5: Who Killed Mufasa: My opponent says that because both Simba and Scar confessing to killing Mufasa, and both while under threat from the other, there would be some confusion as to who actually did it from the lionesses' perspective. However, my opponent failed to mention the fact that the lionesses only started fighting after Scar confessed to being the killer. Besides disproving my opponent's point, this shows Simba's superior leadership and honesty.

6: Banishment of Scar's Followers: If the Thirteen Colonies had been defeated by the British when they revolted, then all of the revolutionaries would have been charged with treason and executed. If we look at Simba's banishment that way, you can see that Simba was actually being merciful. He could have killed all of them for treason, and because they posed a threat to the throne. But instead, he only exiled them, resulting in them remaining alive long enough for them to revolt again. The fact that they revolted a second time perfectly illustrates my point that Simba was right in banishing them. If he had let them stay, it would have been that much easier for them to sow dissension among the lions and lionesses, and incite a full-scale rebellion, potentially toppling Simba from his rightful place on the throne.

7: Justification for Murder: There is no justification for murder. Even if Scar did do it to "save hundreds of lives", it is still murder. Lives cannot justly be weighed against other lives. It is not Scar's duty to decide who lives and who dies.

8: Definition of "Protagonist": Even if my judges consider all of my other points to be invalid, the fact remains that morality does not determine the protagonist. Contrary to popular belief, the protagonist is not "the good guy", it is merely the main character. The fact that very little of the movie's story is focused around Scar, and almost all of it is centered around Simba shows that Simba is, in fact, the protagonist. However immoral Simba may have been, he is still the main character.

[1] -
Debate Round No. 1


I can already tell that this will indeed be a lively debate, and I look forward to its resolution.

I accept my opponent's first observation, however, I cannot accept his second. The grounds for this rejection include the following information:
- this observation is flawed on a fundamental level, in that there are records, acknowledged as canon by the creators of the film, in existence, which show key events prior to the film
- what my opponent considers "solid logic" may differ from my own, as well as that of our judges. Because of this, neither of us has the right to decide which logic is sound and which is flawed without providing evidence
- logic does not need to be based on definite evidence in order to be considered valid. It can also be based on reasonable assumptions derived from the evidence presented

With this out of the way, I will go about responding to my opponent's claims using a similar method of organization.

1: Favoritism - While I agree with the premise that Mufasa was indeed a reasonably successful leader, my opponent fails to provide any conclusive evidence that this success was a result of anything other than his physical strength. At no point in the film does Mufasa show the ability of his mind during his rule, only intimidation and dominance. Also, my opponent claims that Mufasa held control over the Pridelands for his entire life. This claim is entirely false, as it is unknown when Mufasa took the throne from his father, Ahadi. However, based on how rapidly Nala gave birth to Kiara, it can be deduced that a king bears cubs very soon after assuming the throne. Based on Simba's youth in the beginning of the first film, Mufasa presumably held the throne for, at most, three years, and as little as one. Note that the maximum estimate is the minimal estimate for Scar's time of rule, meaning that Mufasa's successful rule could *possibly* have lasted as long as Scar's. This, although not as a stand-alone piece of information, provides further evidence for Scar's, and his intelligence's, able and successful leadership.

2a: Over hunting - My opponent contradicts his own request in "Observation 2" when he speculates on what the Elephant Graveyard might have been. I ask that he either refrain from making these assumptions in the future, or that he not use my own similar assumptions as a way to degrade the argument that I am making. By my opponent's logic, I could, within the boundaries of his usage, but not within the boundaries which he has set for me, respond to the question I have been asked with, "What's to say that it was?" However, I intend to support that generic response with evidence from the film(s). At no point, in any of the films, is there any indication that the Pridelands were at any point suffering a decline. They are consistently described as rich and sustaining. The territory that the hyenas were banished to was presumably outside the Pridelands, since it was referred to as the hyenas' territory, and they were also said to have been banished. This suggests that they were not merely confined to a certain area which they depleted, but removed from land that could sustain them, leaving the question previously posed. Why?

2b: Scar's Motives - My opponent, although forgivable, continues to base his arguments on the idea that Scar was the power hungry tyrant that the film portrayed him as. He fails to recognize the likelihood that Scar intended to reduce the number of predators in the Pridelands, both lions and hyenas, so that members of all species could survive there, not only the lions that lived under Mufasa's and Ahadi's rule. Scar recognized the possibility of both lions and hyenas surviving at an equal rate, not just a single group.

2c: Elitism - My opponent appears to argue against an elite class, yet he stands by a regime that supported an elite class of lions. The lions under Ahadi, Mufasa, and later, Simba, held a monopoly over the food supply, leaving the "lower class" of hyenas to starve. I must ask my opponent, how is one elite class better than another? Also, there is no evidence in the film stating that the hyenas, also predators, did not hunt. This is an assumption made by my opponent. As to Scar's supply of food, he is the last surviving male of the pride. If he starves, there is no generation to follow. *Of course* he's going to be kept alive by the others, he's their only chance to continue the pride.

3: Character Arc - The years in the jungle to not serve to show the impact of Mufasa's death on Simba, with the exception of the opening scene, the scene under the stars with Timon and Pumbaa, and the scene with Rafiki. The rest shows him learning "no worries" from a meerkat and a pig, and growing physically stronger, yet my opponent makes the case that this made for an ideal leader? I will speak to the "just ruler" remark later in this round.

4: Scar Maintaining Rule - My opponent's case that a male replacement was needed before confronting the king is blatantly disproven by the sequel, in which a pride of lionesses and two male cubs, not yet of age to rule, clearly opposed Simba's rule. They wish to operate under the same ruling system, only a different leader, Zira. The lionesses that made up this revolt came from the same pride as the other lionesses, showing that a revolt was possible.

5: Who Killed Mufasa - The fighters against Scar were members of Mufasa's elite class, so they would obviously fight his killer. There is no evidence that a fight would not have ensued against Simba had Scar not confessed. Also, this case in no way proves Simba's leadership capacity as my opponent states.

6: Banishment of Scar's Followers - My opponent's analogy is flawed. Simba, a male, depended on the lionesses to keep him and the pride alive. Had he killed anyone with ties to Scar, he would only doom himself. The fact that Scar had roughly as many supporters as Simba at the time of their banishment furthers the point that Scar was a successful ruler. Also, being next-in-line for the throne does not make for a "good" king, only a proper one. If a more capable ruler was present, then a revolt becomes more attractive. This proves Simba's partial failure as a leader, as well as Scar's success, in the form of a lasting legacy that his supporters would die for.

7: Justification for Murder - This is an entirely different debate, but I will comment nonetheless. A hero generally is forced to make a sacrifice for the greater good. Saving hundreds of lives is an admirable and possibly heroic cause, even if the means of doing so are considered immoral by some. This was a necessary evil, and Mufasa's death *ended* the elitist class that my opponent argued against earlier. An oppressor to the masses was killed, freeing them. This can be seen when taken out of the tragic context that the film put it in.

8: Definitions - My opponent provided an accurate definition for the word "protagonist". He did not, however, provide all definitions of the word. He conveniently added the definition that supports his case, while leaving out the one that supports mine. Therefore, I feel I must add this for the voters to be aware of.

Protagonist - a leader, proponent, or supporter of a cause
Antagonist - one that contends with or opposes another

By these definitions, my usage in the question and throughout my argument remain valid

I ask the voters and my opponent to look outside of what the films are showing you about right and wrong. Then, and only then, you may see that you have been mislead by popular opinion, and through closer analysis, the true hero of this story will become clear.


Oho, boy. This is definitely going to be a debate of epic proportions. Good opponents always make a good debate, just like good villains make a good movie.

I thank my opponent for the acceptation of my first observation. (For those voters who don't know, an observation is something that can be used to clarify the round and provide more specific guidelines than those already in place. They are debatable.)

Observation Rebuttal: My opponent contradicts himself in his 2nd and 3rd points against my observation. In his 2nd point, he says that we cannot define "solid logic", and as such, we must provide evidence for our claims. Then, in his 3rd point, he says that logic does not need to be based off of evidence to be considered valid. This is an obvious contradiction, and as such, both points should be considered invalid. In his first point against my observation, he says that there are records of pre-film history. I would like my opponent to provide me a link with these sources as I cannot find any.


1. Favoritism: My opponent agreed with me that Mufasa was a reasonably successful leader, however, I did not show that it was because of anything more than strength. In the first round, my opponent asked, "Mufasa's strength as a leader comes in his literal strength. Is this truly the best quality in a leader? Or is intelligence the preferred trait?" Apparently, strength is the best quality in a leader. Even by my opponent's own admission, Mufasa was a successful leader. If we assume that he isn't intelligent like my opponent claims, then clearly strength is more beneficial. While I am not arguing that leaders should gain their position by strength alone, there is clear evidence that strength is a beneficial trait. My opponent's only piece of evidence for Mufasa not being intelligent is Scar's own opinion, which is anecdotal. Anecdotes are unreliable and highly biased as they are based off of personal experience and not anything else. My opponent also attacked me by saying that Mufasa had only held the throne for a maximum of three years, and this is true...because he was murdered by his jealous younger brother. Lions mature at age 3, live around 14 years, and mate around the ages of 4 to 6. By this information, we can deduce that Mufasa was approximately 9 years old when he became king. Simba was approximately 1 when Mufasa died, so Mufasa was probably 10 to 11. As there is no evidence that Pridelanders were unhappy with Mufasa's rule, if Scar hadn't murdered him, Mufasa's reign would have continued for at least two more years, maybe more, almost twice as long as Scar held it. If that isn't a sign of good leadership, I don't know what is.

2a. Overhunting: My opponent's statement that I contradicted my own observation is completely false. My observation says that we must back up speculations with logic, as I have done. I stated that when the hyenas were introduced to the Pridelands, it ran out of food. Based on this, it is likely that this same phenomenon was already occurring, and the hyenas were banished to prevent it. Pro goes on to say that there is no point at which the Pridelands suffer a decline. Interestingly, this is true...until the hyenas were introduced to it. At that point, there were far too many predators and far too little prey, so they started to run out of food. Simple ecology. Again, the only logical reason why the hyenas were banished is to prevent overhunting. Besides this, my opponent agreed that he has the burden of proof; therefore, as I have presented my logic and refuted his own, he must prove that the hyenas were banished for a reason other than overhunting.

2b. Scar's Motives: My opponent's only rebuttal about Scar's motives is restating basically what this whole debate is about. As my opponent did mount any attack on my logical arguments, i.e. Scar's confrontation with Sarabi, his stubbornness in leaving (essentially sentencing all of the Pridelanders to death). I must also stress the point that when Scar did this, he was starving the very creatures that my opponent claims he was trying to save with his coup. Because my opponent did not attack this point, it must be considered valid and flow through the round.

2c. Elitism: My opponent states that I attack elitism, and then in the same breath support a regime that is heavily elitist. This is not true; I am not attacking elitism itself, but the fact that Scar's elitism put an unbearable strain on the lionesses to hunt, and the prey to survive. With the lions' elitism, they do their own hunting, and make sure that they don't overhunt. Also, there is evidence that the hyenas don't hunt: the hyenas came complaining to Scar that they don't have any food, and Scar, heaving a sigh, says that it is the lionesses' job to do the hunting. None of the hyenas respond to this, indicating that it is, in fact, true. If the hyenas did their own hunting, then why would they come complaining to Scar that the lionesses aren't hunting? Answer: they wouldn't. My opponent continues by saying that the had to keep Scar alive because he didn't have a male heir, and the pride would die. However, in The Lion King 2, Zira says that Kovu is Scar's handpicked successor. This clearly shows that Kovu was, in fact, alive during Scar's reign, and that he did, in fact, have an heir, therefore proving that Scar was eating tons of food while everyone else starved for no other reason than his own greed.

3. Character Arc: My opponent says that this time does nothing to show Simba coping with his father's death, but the fact is, it does. Any time his father is mentioned, he gets upset and depressed. Learning "hakuna matata" is especially important for the character arc because it shows that Simba is so scarred with his father's death that he would rather forget about it completely than learn from it, as Rafiki explains to him. Then, when he is forced to accept that he is the rightful king, he turns away from the hakuna matata ideal, instead taking the place of his father. Because it is obvious that thoughts of his father hurt him, the fact that he was able to push through the pain and assume the throne shows how much he has evolved from the beginning of the film to the end, becoming far more mature.

4. Scar Maintaining Rule: My opponent states that a pride of lionesses try to take over the Pridelands with the intention to rule, but this is only a partial truth. Yes, the lionesses plan to take over the Pridelands, but they do not intend to rule it themselves. They have Kovu, who, as I have said before, is Scar's handpicked heir. They want to reinstate him as king of the Pridelands, thus disproving my opponent's claim that prides can be ruled by lionesses as well as lions.

5. Who Killed Mufasa: There is logic behind the claim that the lionesses would not attack Simba if Scar hadn't confessed, contrary to what my opponent stated. Basically, it boils down to this: Scar's life was at the mercy of Simba, and if he hadn't confessed, Simba would have most likely killed him. While he does say that he isn't like Scar in that he won't kill his own family, he does end up fighting Scar very aggressively, and essentially killing him in the end. Thus, with Scar dead, Simba would be king and the lionesses would not attack their king, especially since he would have a chance to explain what had happened. And, contrary to what my opponent claims, it does prove Simba's superior leadership abilities through the fact that when Simba admitted to killing Mufasa, they stayed where they were, unsure if Simba was truly Mufasa's murderer. Then, when Scar confesses, they immediately jump into the fray and follow Simba's leadership. If people are willing to die to put you on the throne, then you must be doing something right.

Unfotunately, my rebuttal is too long to fit within the character limit. I have PM'ed Pro, and he agreed to let me post the rest of my rebuttal in the comments section, so there it will be.

Debate Round No. 2


My opponent misinterprets my points against his observation. My second point stated that one cannot discredit their opponent's logic without evidence, while the third stated that one's logic can be based on assumptions gathered from the evidence. No contradiction takes place, only a need for evidence to make assumptions and draw conclusions. My opponent and I have discussed the lack of availability online of the resources mentioned, as they are primarily in print.

1: Favoritism - In this situation, Mufasa's strength served him well. However, this is neither a) evidence pointing away from Scar's abilities as a leader, or b) evidence proving Mufasa's inherent "good". Scar's intelligence is shown throughout the film in his ability to manipulate situations and individuals toward his goals, not simply through his opinion. Con argues that Mufasa took the throne at age 9, yet there is no true way to determine Mufasa's age, other than that he must be older than 3. An estimate of Mufasa's remaining reign cannot be considered accurate.

2a: Overhunting - Yes, the Pridelands ran out of food...after at least 3 years. It is shown in the Elephant Graveyard that hundreds of hyenas survived on very little food. This means that another outside cause MUST have been present to force the herds to leave. The sickly appearance of the land at the end of Scar's rule, as well as its flammability, suggests a large drought. Such an event would force prey to move in search of water. Since the massive increase of food needs that my opponent believes there was would RAPIDLY decrease the population of prey, this influx cannot have been as drastic as he would have the voters believe. Being that there is no official reason for the hyenas' banishment, any theories put forward by my opponent or myself will be only speculation. To avoid speculating, I will not provide an alternative reason for the original banishment.

2b: Scar's Motives - I will raise a question for the consideration of all readers. If Scar's purpose for gaining the throne was to gain limitless power over the Pridelanders, would he have remained in a situation in which they would starve? Kill the subjects my opponent believes he was so desperate to gain? This would leave him with no one to rule over, an entirely illogical chain of events for a power-hungry leader. Therefore, I maintain that Scar ruled with the goal of lowering populations of both lions and hyenas, allowing members of both species to live.

2c: Elitism - The arguments toward the hyenas' eating and its strain on the ecosystem can be seen above. Also, and I realize that this is a minor contradiction, hyenas are primarily scavengers, living off of other predators remaining hunts. The lionesses would have to slightly increase their workload, a reasonable task, seeing their success without the hyenas, and leave some nourishment for the hyenas, as is the natural way. Kovu, an incredibly young cub at the END of Scar's reign, would be far too young to rule in the event of Scar's death, and nonexistent early in Scar's reign. There was a male present, but not yet a POSSIBLE eligible heir.

3: Character Arc - The decision to return to the Pridelands showed a deviation from Hakuna Matata, but the damage was done. Simba's developmental years were spent trying to push away his past, not to become a better leader as he should have been. Though I am aware that he was uninformed about his status in the pride, the fact remains that he was entirely unprepared for the position he took. The single moment of maturity was greatly dampened by the years preceding it.

4: Scar Maintaining Rule - Zira WAS the leader of a pride while raising Kovu, proving that a lioness is capable of doing so in this franchise.

5: Who Killed Mufasa - Simba killing Scar would have been the least intelligent move possible by Simba. Killing the ONE lion capable of clearing his name, even when he wasn't aware that his name should be cleared, would have doomed Simba. In addition, the pride was aware that Simba was a cub at the time of Mufasa's death, so it is unlikely that he would have been killed even if Scar hadn't confessed. Con makes the mistake of stating that the lionesses jump to Simba's rule, while a large percentage remain true to Scar. Simba had proven NOTHING to the people he hoped to lead, his only credentials for being a good leader are in his parentage.

6: Banishment of Scar's Followers - There is a key flaw in my opponent's logic. Stating that the Outlanders rejoined the Pridelands at the end of the sequel is true...but not because of Simba. Simba was prepared to battle to the death, recklessly risking the lives of those in his own pride. The union was a result of the actions of Kovu and Kiara, which lessened the tensions that Simba had a large hand in creating, not ending. Simba grudgingly accepts the resolution, he was not responsible for it. Being that my opponent did not comment on my attack, stating that Simba's birthright did NOT make him a good or just king, the point carries through this round.

7: Justification for Murder - Again, my opponent's logic is flawed. Firstly, he makes the assumption that the hero of a story must be successful in each and every thing that they set out to do, which is entirely false. Secondly, Scar DID save lives, just not the ones that the film or my opponent deem worthy of saving. As I have shown, the hyenas consumed far less food than the lions, and they managed to coexist for several years. Lionesses doing what they've been doing since the species has existed, hunting, does not show oppression, it is continuation. The fact that they did not leave food behind for a population of scavengers, as is the natural way, shows the elite class that existed under Mufasa. Some lions and some hyenas may have eventually died under Scar, but the balance would be restored, and a single species would not be singled out to die entirely by the wishes of those that would live. The hyenas were not oppressive, they survived as nature intended, and it worked UNTIL a DROUGHT drastically and rapidly decreased the prey available. Also, any killing of another is murder, I'm not arguing that Scar didn't kill Mufasa. However, look to the French Revolution, an oddly similar example. An oppressive monarch was executed, freeing the masses under a new leader. Was the monarch murdered? Yes. Was he good and just? No. This situation is almost exactly the same.

8: Definitions - While Oxford may favor Con's definition, the connotation of "protagonist" suggests the hero or "good-guy". My opponent even points out that this is a common error, meaning that this connotation is more widely accepted than the appropriate definition. I will admit that the phrasing of the question may have been technically improper, however, Con did not respond in a single sentence that amounted to "The story followed Simba, he was clearly the main character." For the sake of clarity, the claim being made is as follows: Scar was the True HERO of "The Lion King".

To conclude, I ask that you remove yourselves from the dramatic story for a moment, in which a vile uncle's greed led to a terrible murder, and the heroic son comes to reclaim his birthright to save everyone from certain doom. Look at the timeline, and how it shows that things did NOT quickly fall apart for Scar. Look at the relations before and after Scar's death between all groups presented to you. Look at how well Simba and Mufasa ruled over those NOT included in their selective elite society. You will see, if you can overcome the emotions that the film tapped into, that Scar was the most just ruler to the most subjects. He was the most successful in maintaining peace, and the most efficient in usage of resources available. That Simba and Mufasa, the "heroes", were oppressive and unjust to the many, and kind to the few that the film follows. These true villains caused the deaths of too many, while maintaining their elite support.


Great speech; I look forward to the final round.

Observation Rebuttal: I believe that there has been a mutual misunderstanding about my second observation. While I will accept that there is pre-film history (I apologize for my ignorance; the only pre-film evidence I could find was in a wiki, and I make it a point never to use wikis as sources), I am not saying that we do not require evidence. By solid logic, I mean making inferences and deductions based on logic. As Sherlock Holmes states in A Scandal in Bohemia, "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." As such, I will modify my observation for increased clarity.

Observation: All logical assumptions must be backed by evidence. E.g. one cannot say that if Scar had remained king longer, a meteor would have hit the Earth wiping out all life, as that assumption has no evidence, i.e. logic behind it.

1. Favoritism: First of all, I would like to remind my voters that Pro accepted the burden of proof. Unless he intends to back out of his word, it is his responsibility to prove that Mufasa was not intelligent. The only evidence he has provided is Scar's anecdotal claim and the fact that he is manipulative. While I will admit that he is manipulative, the fact that he is shows that he only cares about his own agenda. Scar's claim of intelligence should be disregarded as it is anecdotal. And, contrary to what Pro thinks, it can be proven that Mufasa takes the throne at age 9. According to the ages I presented in my last speech, we can figure that Mufasa was born when Ahadi was around 5. Since it is assumed Ahadi died of old age, and lions live to be 14, Mufasa would have taken the throne when he was 9. Therefore, it can be proven that Mufasa would have reigned longer than Scar.

2a. Overhunting: Even if there was a drought as my opponent claims, the fact remains that many animals died under Scar's rule, despite my opponent's claims that he was trying to save them. Also, my opponent has not addressed the fact that he blatantly denied the option of leaving the Pridelands. And so, while I am willing to accept that a drought occurred, the fact remains that Scar cares nothing for the life of the pride.

2c. Elitism: Contrary to what my opponent claims, hyenas do hunt[1]. Because of this, bringing so many hyenas into the Pridelands unbalanced the ecosystem, again resulting in many deaths. The drought my opponent claims happened only exacerbated it, but didn't cause it. And it says in the movie that Kovu is Scar's handpicked heir. Scar wouldn't be able to handpick anyone if Kovu wasn't alive.

I apologize, but I have been very busy over the past few days (I'm moving) and so was unable to get to the computer for any reasonable amount of time. As such, I will post the rest of my case in the comments. If Pro disagrees with this, he can PM me and we will decide if this round should count as forfeiture.

[1] -

Debate Round No. 3


I would like to thank Con for an excellent debate, and I would also like to apologize for the circumstances surrounding his arguments last round. For the voters, I am also very busy these next few days, being finals week, and I simply cannot afford to wait for Con to finish his arguments during my time to argue. I asked Con in a PM to finish his arguments by a certain time, and at the time of this writing, nothing had been posted. Therefore, any arguments in the comments for this round must be considered invalid, as I will have already responded to those presented.

Thank you for the clarification, this observation, I accept.

1: Favoritism - I in no way back out of my word, but my opponent misinterprets my meaning. I stated that Mufasa relies only on his strength as a leader, not that he was unintelligent. Scar's manipulations are proof of intelligence, and they do NOT show that he cares only for himself. I would like to point out, once again, that Scar's actions pulled hundreds out of starvation, yet Con states that he cares only for his own agenda. I would like to thank Con for spelling out the aging process, but I see one fatal flaw. He states that "it can be proven that Mufasa would have reigned longer than Scar." This is interesting to me, seeing that he argues earlier that Mufasa's reign was cut short when he was murdered, which is true. It also happens to be exactly what happened to Scar. I'd like to note that the drought, which forced all the prey to leave, ended not a half hour after Sarabi confronted Scar about it. Had Simba not shown, the water supply would have been restored, and the herds would have returned as they did at the end of the film. This would restore the balance that had existed before the drastic event, and in turn, restored the ability of both lion and hyena to survive. If Simba hadn't killed Scar, albeit indirectly, his reign would have continued to flourish.

2a: Overhunting - Actually, there is no evidence that any predators died under Scar. Sarabi wouldn't confront Scar after they started dying off, it would have to be before. The situation is also true with the hyenas. How difficult would it be to pack up and leave if they were starving to death? In addition, in accepting a drought toward the end of Scar's reign, Con accepts that overhunting did NOT cause the lack of prey, as he has argued throughout the debate. As I have stated many a time, Scar hoped to rebalance the populations of lions and hyenas. The drought was a way to thin the herd, as had been his goal throughout his reign. This does not mean that he didn't care about his pride, it means that he didn't care ONLY for his pride, showing more fair and just leadership than those preceding and following him.

2b: Scar's Motives - I extend my argument

2c: Elitism - I would ask that Con and the voters take another look at that source. It states that hyenas are scavengers that CAN hunt. Had they hunted for themselves, THEN there would have been overhunting. Because they survived by scavenging, overhunting did NOT occur. Also, and I believe I stated this before, Kovu was alive at the END of Scar's rule, not during the majority of it.

3-8: I extend my arguments

I would like to take the remainder of this final round to make closing remarks.

Due to the nature of this debate format, I am unable to respond to anything Con states in his final round. This is a distinct advantage in his favor, giving my opponent the final word. So, I must ask something of the voters. Take my place after Con responds. Look at the information presented to you, from both sides, and look for holes in the story that Disney has told you.

Ask yourselves, how can leaders that condemn a massive percentage of their population to starve, only to slightly improve the lives of the few elite that the story chooses to follow, be considered heroic? How can the leader that allows the masses to survive for the entirety of his reign, at the expense of the ruler that oppressed them, be considered villainous? How can an occurrence as natural as the weather, and its effects, be blamed on an individual? How can ending an elitist society, in favor of a natural balance, be considered evil? How can someone that takes into account the needs of the many, not just the few, and acts to provide those needs, be considered a tyrant? How can someone that maintains support of half of the former elite society be seen as an unjust king? How can a leader that removes the slightest traces of progress that occurred previous to his rule be viewed as a just, fair, and kind ruler?

Voters, if any of the above questions were answered with something to the effect of, "they can't", or, "they shouldn't", then you must accept that you have been mislead about the role of these characters. Once again, I will ask that you allow yourself to take a step back from the dramatic tone of The Lion King. Let yourself examine the facts objectively, and to develop your opinion based on what you have observed here, not based on what the film wants your opinion to be.

Whether you now agree that Scar was wrongly viewed in the film or not is now out of my hands. I would like to thank my opponent for a heated debate, which has actually strengthened my opinion on this issue. I wish him the best of luck in the polls, and I would be more than glad to debate again if one of us should find an intriguing question. I would also like to thank the voters for their consideration of our arguments, and I greatly anticipate seeing whether I was successful in expressing my views, or whether Con managed to hold on to your opinion of the film.


evanallred123 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by bsh1 1 year ago

While I think Con does successfully defend his observations and his claims regarding Mufasa's intelligence, by Round 3, Con had dropped quite a few points. Pro is demonstrating that Simba's time in the jungle did not make him a more qualified leader, that the lionesses did not really fail to support Scar, etc. I was also intrigued by Pro's assertions that Scar did not support elitism, but rather liberated an oppressed class. I am not, therefore, sure who won the elitism point. I think Con has the more reasonable definition of a protagonist, but--again--it's dropped. This debate ended up not discussing who was the protagonist, but rather who was the better leader. Ultimately, Pro proves that the hyenas may not have been engaged in overhunting (given that they could survive on little food), but that doesn't show that they weren't the cause of food shortage. This point also ties. Pro has the sole BOP, so he needed to show that Scar was a better leader than Simba (given how the round was defined). He managed to show that Scar was not bad, but his evidence showing that Scar was a better leader is slim--really, all I can identify in that regard is that the lionesses generally supported him and that Simba was ill-prepared. That's hardly conclusive, and highly ad populum, but it does stand. So, I vote Pro, but only by the slimmest of margins. Had Con gotten out more rebuttals, this would've be a Con win.


Debaters NEED to weigh args better/clearly. Manage your time effectively so you don't drop arguments. Also, many args (e.g. Mufasa) were irrelevant to the Simba v. Scar issue. Always make sure your points have clear relevance to the issue at hand, or don't make them.
Posted by evanallred123 1 year ago
7. Justification for Murder: Pro claims that saving hundreds of lives is worth losing a few, especially if the loss of those few eliminates the elitist class. This, similar to point 6, would be true, if Scar had saved hundreds of lives and if he had removed the elitist class; the fact is, he did neither of these things. The reinstating of the hyenas totally destroyed the balance of predators and prey, resulting in starvation and death. My opponent even said in his first speech that in order for the balance to return, predators need to die off. Through this admission, my opponent is essentially contradicting his own claim that Scar was trying to save lives. About the elitist class; my opponent claims that Scar overthrew an oppressive elitist class and restored freedom to the masses. Interestingly, with this freedom of the masses, they became the elite class, as stated in point 2c. Not only that, but they were even larger and far more oppressive than the lions, therefore proving that Scar did not eradicate the elitist class. Since Scar did not fulfill any of the criteria for Pro's justification, he is not only a murderer, but a usurper of a rightful and just king.

8. Definitions: The thing about my opponent's definition is that it does not apply to literature or filmmaking. The protagonist of a story (we are arguing about a story, are we not?) is defined as "the main character in a novel, play, movie, etc." As we are arguing about a movie, my definition is far more valid than my opponent's, which is referring to a movement or ideal, etc.

In conclusion, look at the facts presented before you, and you will see that Simba will remain seated on his rightful throne as protagonist of The Lion King, despite Scar's best efforts to usurp him.
Posted by evanallred123 1 year ago
6. Banishment of Scar's Followers: My opponent admits that it is the lionesses job to do the hunting, contrary to what he stated in point 2c. Also, I do not quite understand my opponent's logic. He says that " Simba, a male, depended on the lionesses to keep him and the pride alive. Had he killed anyone with ties to Scar, he would only doom himself." there were plenty of lionesses on Simba's side as well. Killing all of Scar's lionesses would have made little to no impact on the welfare of the pride, as the amount of lionesses and the amount of hunting necessary are directly proportional, i.e., with the decrease in lionesses, there would be less hunting to do for less mouths, therefore leaving the amount of work necessary exactly the same. My opponent states that because Scar had approximately the same amount of followers as Simba, he was at least an equivalent ruler. This would have been true if none of the lionesses had returned to Simba's side by the end of the second movie. However, every single one of them returns to Simba except Zira. Clearly Simba is a far superior leader than Scar if he is able to not only maintain his own followers, but bring others over to his side.
Posted by emporer1 1 year ago
Wow. Good points. I also believe that (to compare to real life) Scar pulled something huge off. In real life Hyenas and Lions have been at "war" for millenia. Scar managed to create peace between the two species rather than continuing to feed the fire. That is another argument for Scar being the better leader.
Posted by AgainstAllOdds 1 year ago
Great argument, I cant argue against that. the question I have is, is intelligence really give Scar the right to leadership, and if murdering is OK for a leader to do, Scar specifically.
Posted by sillydebater 1 year ago
Nice argument! You've done a good job making me second guess my view of the film.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bsh1 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:42 
Reasons for voting decision: FF = Conduct to Pro. Sources = Con for using them. RFD in Comments = Args to Pro.