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Lord Farquaad was the tyrannical and ruthless ruler of Duloc, who yearned for a "perfect world" free of all things magical.

He is voiced by John Lithgow, and is portrayed by Christopher Sieber in Shrek the Musical.

Appearance

Lord Farquaad wears his signature outfit of mainly red and black. He wears a red hat with white top and red cape to match his red tunic with black sleeves. He also wears red gloves with gold trims, black pants, a black belt with a gold buckle around his waist, and black boots. He has a big chin, a pageboy haircut, and is quite short.

History

Shrek

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Farquaad taunting Gingerbread Man with his torn-off legs.

Lord Farquaad was the sole ruler of Duloc and strove to make everything in his kingdom completely perfect. However, all the fairytale creatures didn't fit in with his idea of a "perfect world", so he evicted them all from Duloc. He would reward citizens if they turn them in to his Guards, who would put them into cages to be moved to another location. It is revealed that they were forcibly relocated out of Duloc and into a swamp, which unbeknownst to Farquaad, is the home of a local ogre named Shrek.

Back in the dungeon of his castle, Farquaad and his henchman Thelonious torture the Gingerbread Man (or Gingy) into revealing the location of the other fairytale creatures, which Gingy spits in Farquaad's face. The Captain of the Guards interrupts the interrogation to announce that they have found the Magic Mirror, much to Farquaad's excitement. Farquaad boasts that Duloc is the "most perfect kingdom of them all", only for the Mirror to inform him that he is not actually a king and therefore, Duloc isn’t an official kingdom. Farquaad takes this is an insult and threatens the Mirror, causing him to elaborate that Farquaad can become a king if he marries a princess.

In a parody of dating shows, the Mirror introduces three eligible princesses for Lord Farquaad to choose from: Cinderella, Snow White, and Princess Fiona. Won over by her beauty (and Thelonius's suggestion), Farquaad chooses Princess Fiona, who happens to be locked away in a castle guarded by a ferocious dragon. Lord Farquaad begins devising a plan to rescue his future queen, and when the Mirror attempts to warn him about what happens at sunset Farquaad silences him. Having come up with a plan, Farquaad orders his captain to round up the finest Duloc Knights for a tournament.

The tournament is held in an arena with the citizens of Duloc watching on as Farquaad announces his plan: the winner of the tournament will be sent to rescue Fiona for him and he adds that should the winner fail, the next runner up with take his place and so on until one of them is successful. Just as he announces the beginning of the tournament it is disrupted by Shrek and Donkey, who have come to demand that the fairytale creatures be removed from Shrek's swamp. Disgusted by Shrek, Farquaad declares that the knight who kills him will be named champion. Despite the knights' best efforts, they are all defeated with relative ease by both Shrek and Donkey. Farquaad's archers take aim at Shrek, but Farquaad, seizing a golden opportunity, declares Shrek the champion of the tournament. He offers a proposition to him: if he rescues Princess Fiona, Farquaad will rid Shrek's swamp of all the unwanted fairytale creatures.

Shrek and Donkey successfully rescue Fiona and the trio journey back to Duloc. At one point, Farquaad is shown to be commanding the Magic Mirror to show him an image of Fiona as he lies in bed, waiting for her to be delivered. Shrek and Fiona begin falling in love, but the day before they are set to return to Duloc, they have a falling out over a misunderstanding. The next morning, Shrek brings Lord Farquaad along with a host of guards to exchange Fiona for the deed to his swamp. Farquaad callously tells Shrek to take the deed and leave before he changes his mind. Farquaad proposes marriage to Fiona right away, who agrees on the condition that they have the wedding before sunset.

He travels with Fiona back to Duloc and eagerly prepares himself for the wedding. Fiona isn’t too thrilled with her new groom, though Farquaad doesn't seem to notice or even care. At the wedding, just as Farquaad and Fiona are about to kiss, Shrek bursts in to object to the marriage. Shrek reveals his to Fiona that the only reason Farquaad is marrying her is so that he could be king. Farquaad denies his true intentions and pretends to be offended and then laughs when Shrek confesses his feelings for Fiona and has a servant prompt the crowd to laugh with him. However, when the sun beings to set, Fiona reveals her curse (which the Magic Mirror attempted to warn Farquaad about) and transforms into an ogress, much to Farquaad's shock and disgust.

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Farquaad declares himself king of Duloc

Furious, Farquaad orders his guards to seize both of them as he places the crown on his head, declaring himself king. He threatens Shrek to be drawn and quartered, and for Fiona to be locked back in the tower for the rest of her days. However, as Farquaad gloats and declares what he’ll do as king, Shrek whistles for Dragon, who bursts through the church windows and swallows Farquaad whole which led to the people of Duloc being satisfied with and cheering the death of their selfish, tyrannical ruler.

Farquaad reappears in Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Party, where he is seen in Dragon's stomach holding a lit match singing "Stayin' Alive" while Dragon holds a microphone in front of her stomach and is later digested sometime after the party ended.

Shrek 4-D

In Shrek 4-D, Farquaad returns as a ghost and has Thelonious capture Fiona so he can kill her, make her his "spirit queen" (despite rejecting Fiona in her ogress form), and make him king of the underworld. In the cemetery, he sends a stone statue of Dragon after Shrek and Donkey, but the real Dragon comes to their rescue. During a chase scene (reminiscent of the Death Star trench run in Star Wars), the stone dragon loses its wings and falls to a presumed demise. After Dragon rescues Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, and Thelonius from falling to their demises over a waterfall, she eliminates Farquaad by breathing fire at him-- reducing him to several miniature duplicates of his head, which then faded away.

Shrek (Dark Horse Comics)

Lord Farquaad is a recurring antagonist in the comic mini-series. He first appears in the first issue in his ghost form, playing a similar role as the Shrek 4-D film. However, he is shown to be more dangerous and snarky, rudely taunting his surroundings. Unlike in the film, Farquaad is only implied to have been effected by Dragon's fire breath. In the second issue, Farquaad's ghost is shown to have survived the previous events and is still running Duloc. He is also still bent on trying to capture and destroy Shrek, hiring hitmen Ferret and Vesuvius to bring the ogre to him. Also due to the death of his former henchman Thelonious, he turned to his royal chef Pierre as his second-in-command. After the events of the story, he is unaware of the fates of the hitmen (who have turned into sheep), and laments his disappointment in not defeating Shrek. He is mentioned as "Prince Farquaad" in the third and final issue as part of questions asked by Sidney the Troll to Shrek and Donkey. It is here where Farquaad is said to have killed 1,000 people in the "Battle of 1,000 Deaths."

Shrek the Third

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Lord Farquaad torturing Gingy in a flashback in Shrek the Third

When Captain Hook threatens Gingy, his life begins to flash before his eyes. Part of the flashback showed him being interrogated by Lord Farquaad.

Shrek Forever After

He was supposed to appear in the film, but was dropped last minute. He only appeared in the credits from recycled footage of the torture scene in the first Shrek film.

Scared Shrekless

In Scared Shrekless, Shrek and his friends go to Duloc Castle to tell frightening stories. It turns out the entire lordship of Duloc was abandoned and had fallen into disrepair after Farquaad's death, thus making it seem all the more terrifying. Shrek, Fiona, and the babies fake a haunting by Lord Farquaad to frighten Donkey, as he had a role in his demise (even though it was to save Shrek and Fiona's lives).

Past (Shrek the Musical only)

In Shrek the Musical, Farquaad's past is revealed during the musical number "The Ballad of Farquaad". Farquaad's mother was revealed to be a princess and his father being Grumpy (which explains his comically short stature) from Snow White. They married for love, and his mother was apparently disinherited from her crown. Because his mother had a hard time sleeping on her husband's lumpy mattress, his dwarf father placed twenty-five mattresses on top of one another hoping to give her some rest. However, this caused Farquaad's mother to fall from the top mattress to her death. Farquaad claims to have never known her, meaning it probably happened during early childhood. Farquaad lived with his father until, he claims, his father abandoned him in the woods and left him for dead while he was still a child. This was proven false at Farquaad's wedding when the fairytale creatures bring Grumpy to his wedding, however. His father reveals that the reason he kicked Farquaad out was because he was twenty-eight years old and living in the basement.

Video Game Appearances

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Farquaad as a training dummy.

Lord Farquaad appears in the following video games:

In the PC version of Shrek 2: The Video Game, while not physically appearing in the game, Farquaad's face is seen on a training dummy that Shrek uses to practice fighting.

*- Indicates playable role

Personality

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Lord Farquaad is a tyrannical dictator who will do anything to become king. He has no problem with having Gingy tortured and maimed, serenely watching Thelonious dunk him in a glass of milk. Farquaad also doesn't care about the well-being of his people, as he openly admits his willingness to risk the lives of all of his own knights to rescue Fiona so he doesn't have to. Though he finds Fiona beautiful, his choice to marry her is purely out of a hunger for power. The full extent of his callousness is revealed towards the end of the film, when he threatens to have Shrek drawn and quartered for no reason (even going as far to say "kill him if you have to") and to lock Fiona back into her tower for all time.

His obsession over "perfection", need to be king, and short stature shows that he was a man with severe self-image problems, as noted by Shrek in the film. Farquaad overcompensates for his short stature by being domineering and controlling. In order, other examples of this include: The towering height of Castle Duloc, the numerous statues and murals of himself around Duloc, and his grave depicts him in a heroic battle with Dragon- which represents his ongoing vanity and narcissism. When Gingy calls him a monster, Farquaad denies this by wrongly claiming that it's the fairytale creatures who are the monsters and lies that was being fair to them. Despite finding fairytale creatures to be a blight upon his perfect world, he has no issues marrying a princess from a fairytale to become king; and while he claims that his goal is to make Duloc perfect, he doesn't view his own shortness as a problem to this "perfection" in addition.

Despite all those traits, he remains true to his word and never goes back on something- evidenced by the fact that he fulfilled his promise of giving Shrek his swamp back once he delivered Fiona to him. However, Farquaad was still very ill-mannered, discourteous, and never expressed his gratitude towards Shrek or Donkey, completely taking all the credit for himself. He is a professional administrative figure, with the town of Duloc flourishing under his rule. At the same time, he's not very popular with his people due to his tyrannical ways. A prominent example was during the tournament where they begin to clap and cheer on Shrek during the tournament, despite having jeered at the ogre at the beginning. They also don't care about Farquaad meeting his doom at the hands of Dragon, with some even laughing and cheering in satisfaction, proving that Farquaad is a truly despicable person. All of this made Farquaad the most dangerous villain in the franchise until "Big" Jack Horner was introduced.

Little else is known about him in the film, though the (non-canon) musical delved deeper into his past and his hatred towards fairytale creatures. In this version, he spends much of his time in the torture chamber; playing video games on the Magic Mirror, and sipping drinks while taking a bath. He also enjoys putting on an elaborate musical number when the time comes to choose the knight to rescue Fiona. His backup dancers mention that he is talented in dancing, though he'll torture anyone who makes a single mistake in the routine. Evidently, he has enforced a dress code as well, as all the citizens are dressed like the dolls from "Welcome to Duloc" in order to make his kingdom more his way. This shows that in the musical, Farquaad has more strict rules compared to the film- although he is considerably less threatening.

Trivia

  • Despite initially rejecting Fiona after seeing her in ogress form, Farquaad wanted her to become his ghostly queen in the Underworld. This implies he still possess some feelings for her.
    • In the intro when he was torturing Gingy, the pigs, and Pinocchio, he called her "his" Fiona affectionately.
    • He also was flirting with her while she was on the raft.
    • When he thought she was dead, he called her his angel.
      • This could have all been an act for power.
  • Of all the antagonists, Farquaad had the most influence in all the films. His desire to pursue Fiona is what lead to her being rescued by Shrek instead of Prince Charming and her rescue prevented Rumpelstiltskin from getting her parents, King Harold and Queen Lillian, to sign over Far Far Away. So, essentially, these movies are his fault.
    • Even further, the only reason why Shrek got involved at all was because he was angry with Farquaad for sending all of the fairy tale creatures to his swamp.
  • Shrek 2 is the only Shrek film where Farquaad is entirely absent.
    • Despite this, Duloc was seen on a world map that was intended to appear, but was ultimately scrapped.
  • Farquaad is the only main antagonist of the franchise to have very little screen time. He has around 8-9 minutes of total screentime.
  • Farquaad's removal of fairytale characters parallels the Indian Removal Act of 1830, signed into law by President Andrew Jackson.
  • Farquaad is notably the only villain to be an original character and not based on any particular character from pre-existing works, stories, and folklore.
  • Farquaad supposedly killed Mama Bear, explaining why she didn't appear with her family when Papa Bear and Baby Bear were banished into Shrek's swamp, as well as her being shown as a rug in his room.
  • Before John Lithgow was cast, Alan Rickman was originally offered the role of Lord Farquaad, but he turned it down to play Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series instead. Coincidentally, both film sagas began in 2001.
  • Lord Farquaad is said to be based from former Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner, who feuded with Jeffrey Katzenberg before he left the company.
  • Farquaad's more diminutive stature seems to be something of an open secret, since Shrek and Donkey proceeded to joke about his being short twice despite not getting a good look at him until the climax (though it could be argued that they may have actually been referencing his genitalia).
    • The first time was after Shrek glimpses on Castle Duloc, where he quips to Donkey that Farquaad might be "compensating for something".
    • The second time was when describing Farquaad to Fiona just before her first sunset outside the Dragon's castle, where Shrek joked that men like Farquaad were of "short-supply" and Donkey interjects by saying that the people of Duloc thought little of him, with "short" and "little" being given particular emphasis by the two. When Fiona calls them out on mocking him, Shrek says she can "measure" him for herself once she meets him.
  • Farquaad's name is a play on the insult 'fuckwad'.
    • Although the filmmakers denied this by saying it was a play on deprecating a piece of football terminology, which was a "far quad."
    • However, his real name, Maximus Farquaad, supports the claim that his name alludes to the swear and not the football term.
  • Lord Farquaad is the only villain in the Shrek saga to return as an antagonist in a short (not counting dreams like in Thriller Night or made up stories like in Scared Shrekless), whether canon or non-canon.
  • According to his character tagline in DreamWorks All-Star Kart Racing, Lord Farquaad is exactly four feet tall.
  • Lord Farquaad has appeared on more official merchandise than the other Shrek villains.
  • Despite not appearing in the film, the Puss in Boots TikTok account promoting Puss in Boots: The Last Wish frequently featured Farquaad in joke videos.

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