Lord Farquaad is one of the two main antagonists (alongside Fairy Godmother) of the Shrek franchise, serving as the main antagonist of Shrek, and a posthumous antagonist of its four sequels. He was the ruler of Duloc.
He is voiced by John Lithgow.
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.
Lord Farquaad is the sole ruler of Duloc. Because they don't fit in with his idea of a "perfect world", he exiles all fairytale creatures from Duloc. He rewards citizens for turning them in to his Duloc Guards, who then put the creatures into cages and wagons. They are forcibly relocated out of Duloc and into a swamp, which unbeknownst to Farquaad, is the home of an ogre.
Back in the dungeon of his castle, Farquaad and his henchman Thelonious torture the Gingerbread Man into revealing the location of other fairytale folk in hiding. 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. 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 guards take aim at Shrek, but Farquaad, seizing a golden opportunity, declares Shrek the champion of the tournament. Farquaad offers a proposition to him: if he rescues Princess Fiona, Farquaad will rid Shrek's swamp of 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 forcing 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 confesses his feelings to Fiona and tells her that the only reason Farquaad is marrying her is so that he can become king. Farquaad denies his true intentions and laughs at the thought of an ogre falling in love with a princess, and has Thelonious prompt the crowd to laugh with him. However, when the sun beings to set, Fiona reveals her curse (which the Mirror attempted to warn him about) and transforms into an ogre.
Furious and disgusted over Fiona's transformation, 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 the Dragon, who bursts through the church windows and swallows Farquaad whole. All of the people of Duloc then cheer the death of their selfish, tyrannical leader.
Farquaad also appears 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 where he is and is digested sometime after the Shrek dance party and dies.
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. He also sends a stone dragon from the graveyard after Shrek and Donkey, but 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 Farquaad heads, which disappear for good.
When Charming and the other villains raid the castle of Far Far Away, they find the three pigs, Pinocchio, Gingy, and Wolf having afternoon tea. Charming interrogates them about where Shrek is, and Captain Hook flashed his hook threateningly at Gingy who remembers when he first came out of the oven. Part of the flashback showed when he was being interrogated by Lord Farquaad in the first movie, as to where the fairytale creatures were.
Even though he is not seen nor mentioned, in Shrek's other universe, the Magic Mirror belonged to Rumpelstiltskin and so Farquaad never owned it and never knew about Fiona. Therefore, she was never saved by one of his knights. He was supposed to appear in the film, but it was dropped at the last minute. However, he only appeared in the end credits.
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).
The overall appearance of Duloc in Scared Shrekless may have been altered to a more scary and Halloween scale for the purpose of the special itself.
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 named Pea from the Princess and the Pea 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
In Shrek 2: The Video Game PC version, while not physically appearing in the game, Farquaad's face is seen on a training dummy that Shrek uses to practice fighting.
Lord Farquaad is a tyrannical dictator who will do anything to become the proper king of Duloc. He has no problem with having Gingy tortured and maimed, serenely watching Thelonius dunk Gingy in a glass of milk. He does not seem to 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 that 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 and to lock Fiona back into her tower for all time.
His obsession over "perfection", his need to be king and his short stature shows a man that has severe self-image problems. 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 which depicts him raised above Dragon. When Gingy calls him a monster, Farquaad dismisses this and claims that it is the fairytale creatures who are the monsters. 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, evidenced by the fact that he fulfilled the promise of giving Shrek the deed to his swamp back once Shrek delivered Fiona to him. However, he was still very ill-mannered, discourteous, never expressed his gratitude towards Shrek or Donkey, and completely took all credit for the rescue. He is a professional administrative figure, with the town of Duloc flourishing under his rule. At the same time he is not very popular with his citizens, as they begin to clap and cheer on Shrek during the tournament and welcome him back when he disrupts the wedding at once. They don't care much about Farquaad's demise, some even laughing and cheering.
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, sipping drinks while taking a bath, and 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.
- Despite initially rejecting Fiona after seeing her in her 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.
- Farquaad, along with Fairy Godmother, are the only villains from the Shrek franchise known to have been killed.
- He is arguably the most charming antagonist in a Shrek film. Not to mention that he is the most popular Shrek villain in general.
- 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.
- Farquaad is the only main antagonist of the franchise to have very less screen time.
- 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 so far not based on any particular fairy-tale character.
- 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.
- The lower-case F logo that Farquaad uses is somewhat reminiscent of the Facebook logo. But Facebook was not founded until 2004, several years after the film came out.