Farquaad is the villainous impatient, menacing, ruthless, greedy, cruel, offensive, evil, (literally), mean, furious, barbaric, loathsome, scandalous, materialistic, short-tempered, egotistical, and iron-fisted ruler of DuLoc. He is an extremely selfish, arrogant, conceited, oppressive, and power-hungry dictator who doesn't care about anyone but himself. However, despite his villainy, Farquaad didn't see himself as a monster and when this was brought up to him by Gingy, he instantly dismissed it and even went as far to call him and the rest of fairytale creatures which makes him completely xenophobic, contemptuous, and individualistic. Farquaad also suffered from a Napoleon Complex and felt the need to overcompensate for his comical stature by being domineering and controlling. Other examples of this is the towering height of castle DuLoc and in his grave when Farquaad was taller than the dragon that killed him.
Farquaad is a heartless perfectionist who saw that everything had to be done his way and the only way for DuLoc to become perfect was to exile all fairy tale creatures. Farquaad's one and only dream was to become the official ruler of DuLoc. However, to do this he needed a princess so the only reason he decided to wed Fiona was out of pure lust for power and not any love in his heart. Farquaad is also very sadistic and manipulative, as evidenced while he was torturing Gingy by severing his legs and taunting him further by repeating the line "Run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man." He is also ungrateful, since he didn't thank Shrek or Donkey for saving Fiona and acted like he did all the work.
Although in the first film where he was disgusted by Fiona's ogress appearance, he may have actually developed real feelings for her he may have developed genuine feelings for her after his death he wanted her to become his undead queen so he could rule the underworld. He was also lazy as evidenced by him not wanting to rescue the princess himself so he arranged a tournament of Knights to battle for the honor and admitting that he was willing to get them killed or put in danger. To be fair, he is incredibly short in stature, so he was likely unable to do so. Farquaad was quite offensive and had an intimidating streak which shows as he calls both Fiona and Shrek hideous at the sight of their appearance and described them both as "it". Farquaad's overall attraction towards the princess may have been solely lust and even if they did wed there was no guarantee that he would treat her right.
Lord Farquaad is the comically short-in-stature, ruthless ruler of Duloc. Several times in the film it is commented that in his capital city Duloc's towering height, Farquaad may be compensating for something. His birthday is April 15.
In pursuit of perfection, Farquaad attempts to rid his kingdom of Fairy Tale creatures, offering a bounty for their capture and then exiling imprisoned creatures to Shrek's swamp. However, because Farquaad is not of royal stock, he cannot become a king until he marries a princess. He decides that Princess Fiona will be the perfect wife and queen, but she first must be rescued from her tower which is guarded by a fire-breathing dragon.
Too lazy or perhaps unable to perform the rescue himself, Farquaad holds a tournament to discover the knight who will rescue Princess Fiona. Shrek and Donkey arrive at Duloc during the tourney and become involved, but Farquaad wants them (mainly Shrek) killed in the contest. They defeat the knights, so Farquaad decides to send Shrek on the quest. Farquaad agrees to move the Fairy Tale creatures out of Shrek's swamp if he rescues Fiona, although it's safe to assume he was gonna put them somewhere worse than the swamp.
A couple of days later, Shrek brings Farquaad to Fiona and Farquaad acts like an ungrateful jerk. He rudely hands Shrek the deed to his swamp and doesn't even thank Shrek or Donkey for bringing her to him and acts like he did all the work. He introduces himself to Fiona and tells her not to waste good manners on Shrek because he thinks "it" doesn't have feelings. Fiona, since she's angry at Shrek for not letting her explain anything, accepts Farquaad's proposal and they leave to be married at sunset.
When Shrek reconciles with Donkey, he disrupts the marriage ceremony, delaying a kiss between Farquaad and Fiona until after sunset. Fiona makes the transition from human to ogress form, upon which Farquaad rejects his new bride, banishing her back to the tower and claiming the title of King. He also sentences Shrek to death at that time. Before Farquaad finishes his claim of becoming the new King, the dragon who had guarded Fiona, and who developed a crush on Donkey while Fiona was being rescued from her castle, crashes through the window in response to a beckoning whistle from Shrek. She then devours Farquaad. Moments later the dragon burps and Farquaad's crown comes out. Farquaad was clearly hated in Duloc; when he is eaten, the citizens and guards laugh and cheer.
Farquaad also appears in the short musical film Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party!, which takes place just before Shrek and Fiona leave on their honeymoon. He is shown singing Stayin' Alive inside Dragon's stomach.
Despite being alive in Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party, Farquaad is implied to be killed and enters as a ghost in the Shrek 4-D ride at Universal Studios. He also appears as a ghost in the 30 min Shrek Special on Nick in which he attempts to murderer Shrek and Donkey, and kidnap and kill Fiona so that she can be his ghost queen. Princess Fiona is rescued when Lord Farquaad is presumably destroyed by the Dragon again.
Lord Farquaad makes a cameo appearance in Shrek the Third during Gingy the Gingerbread Man's flashbacks in which Farquaad yanks off Gingy's legs and mocks Gingy with them. This is a reference to the first Shrek film.
He was originally intended to appear in the alternate universe (in which he would still be alive due to Dragon not eating him), but the decision was apparently dropped at the last minute.
Despite being eaten by Dragon in the first film, Lord Farquaad plays a major role in the made-for-TV special Scared Shrekless. Shrek challenges his friends to spend Halloween night in Farquaad's haunted castle, Duloc. The three little pigs note that Duloc was where Farquaad lived and died. Later on, Shrek also mentions how Donkey played a role in the death of Farquaad (even though Shrek helped as well).
In the original Broadway production of Shrek the Musical, the role was played by Tony Award nominee Christopher Sieber. Since Sieber is 6'2", he played the role in his knees, to give the illusion that he is 4'2". He did, however, walk and stand for the curtain call. He earned his second Tony nomination for this part.
Though the film and musical are similar in many ways, Farquaad in the musical is more flamboyant and fun-loving, less subtle, and even more conceited.
Instead of holding a tournament, a raffle drawing is held to pick the knight to rescue Fiona with an extravagant song and dance number starring Farquaad and the Duloc Dancers called "What's Up Duloc". In one Broadway parody moment in the show, he ascends a tower at the end and imitates the end of Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked.
The inspiration debate
There is some speculation that Lord Farquaad's appearance may be inspired by Michael Eisner, the then-CEO of The Walt Disney Company, owing to producer Jeffrey Katzenberg's animosity toward his former employer. Others had noticed a resemblance to Richard III of England. The name Farquaad is thought to be a way to get away with saying "fuckwad" in a family-friendly film. Farquaad happens to be similar to the surname of film animator Mark Farquhar. Some think Farquaad was based on the 7th US President, Andrew Jackson, as he forced a group from their land (Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830).
IGN's Orlando Parfitt chose Lord Farquaad as his 14th favorite fantasy villain.
- Farquaad marks the first main villain in the Shrek franchise.
- In one scene where Farquaad lies in bed, the coat of Mother Bear from "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" is seen on his floor, hinting that he may have killed her. This makes him one of the two Shrek villains to actually kill someone, the other being Rumpelstiltskin when he "killed" King Harold and Queen Lillian (but in the alternate universe) in Shrek Forever After.
- Despite rejecting Fiona after seeing her in her ogress form, Farquaad wanted her to make her his ghostly queen in the underworld. He also seemed to still have feelings for her.
- In the intro when he was torturing Gingy, the three little pigs, and Pinocchio, he called her "His" Fiona in an affectionate way.
- He also was flirting with her while she was on the raft.
- When he thought she was dead, he called her his angel (although technically, if Fiona died, she presumably would go to the Heaven intead to the Underworld, where Farquaad would be).
- By making Shrek rescue Fiona, he made himself an enemy of all three of his successors, as for all three their plans (getting Fiona to marry Charming for Fairy Godmother, marrying Fiona for Prince Charming, and getting Harold and Lillian to sign their entire kingdom away in exchange for lifting Fiona's curse for Rumpelstiltskin) could only be ruined by somebody else than Charming (Shrek did this) saving Fiona, as Fiona would instead be supposed to marry Farquaad (though she married Shrek), ruining the Godmother and Charming's plans to have her marry him, and, with Fiona saved, Rumpelstiltskin's help was no longer needed as Fiona had been saved (though Harold and Lillian believed her saver was human, and that he kissed her after slaying the Dragon, which wasn't the case, as Shrek was an ogre, he was supposed to bring her to Farquaad, and he didn't slay the Dragon, which actually turned to his advantage when he needed to gain Fiona's true love)
- He is the most influential of the Shrek villians as without him, none of the events in the other movies would have happened.
- Despite being eaten by the Dragon, it is possible that Lord Farquaad wasn't actually killed, considering the fact that he'd been seen alive in Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party.
- If this is true, he probably died shortly after, from starvation or suffocation. Or he was digested alive.
- He may also be based on Napoleon Bonaparte due to being short yet ruling with an iron fist.
- Late actor Alan Rickman was originally offered for the role of Lord Farquaad, but he turned it down to play Severus Snape in Harry Potter instead.
- He is the most popular DreamWorks villains.
- His removal of the fairy tale characters is similar to the Indian Removal Act's Trail of Tears and the Long Walk of the Navajo (1863-1868)
Similarities with other characters
- Gaston from the 1991 Disney film "Beauty and the Beast" shares a striking resemblance to Farquaad as both:
- Both are main antagonists who weren't revealed to be evil at first.
- Both wear red costume.
- Their both hair is black, ironically Gaston tied his hair, whilst Farquaad didn't tie his hair.
- Both wanted to marry to heroine (Princess Fiona and Belle) for their selfish reasons.
- Both have been called "monster" by who (Gingy and Belle) disliked themselves.
- Both attempt to kill hideous creature (Shrek and Beast).
- Both fought with hideous creature in the castle.
- King Candy from the 2012 Disney film Wreck-It Ralph shares a striking resemblance to Farquaad as both:
- Are approached by the protagonist for something (in Shrek's case, his swamp, and Ralph's case, his medal).
- Have accepted to give this to the protagonist in exchange for something regarding a princess
- Protagonists have regretted their actions for them (though in Shrek's case, he didn't regret saving Fiona, but misunderstood Fiona and Donkey's conversation and believed Fiona thought he was a hideous beast, leaving him heartbroken, while Wreck-It Ralph regretted destroying Vanellope's cart because he realized King Candy had lied to him)
- Are Complete Monsters.
- Protagonists have come back for the Princess in question
- Have been killed during an attempt to kill the protagonist
- Have been killed by something triggered by the protagonist (Shrek's triggered whistle was the signal for Dragon to burst in and eat Farquaad; Wreck-It Ralph triggered the eruption that enchanted all Cy-Bugs including Turbo).
- Prince Charming (ironically the main antagonist of Shrek The Third and one of Farquaad's successors) shares similarities to Farquaad, as both:
- Tai Lung from Kung Fu Panda shares similarities to Farquaad, as (both):
- Have hated the protagonist from the moment they met them.
- Despite this, both were after another protagonist (Princess Fiona in Farquaad's case; Shifu in Tai Lung's case). However, Farquaad wanted to marry Fiona, whilst Tai Lung intended to kill Shifu. On another hand, Farquaad only wanted to marry Fiona in order to become king, which would mean he indirectly gave her a bad "happily ever after".
- The protagonists both came back for the protagonist. Also, neither actually had a clear idea of why they'd come back.
- On both occasions, this comeback from the protagonist ultimately led to their downfalls.
- On both occasions, the protagonist fought the antagonist in order to get what they wanted. (However, Shrek didn't actually mentally fight Farquaad; and defeating Tai Lung wasn't really what Po wanted.)
- Hal Stewart from Megamind shares similarities with Farquaad, as (both):
- Were in love with the female lead.
- The protagonist were in love with the female lead.
- They clashed with the protagonist for this, along with other reasons.
- They hated the protagonist before personally knowing them, they briefly got along with them, before resuming their clash with them, which would eventually lead to their downfall.
- They were given something (or someone) by the protagonist (Fiona in Farquaad's case; Metroman's DNA in Hal Stewart's case) which the protagonist later retook.
- They tried to kill the protagonist, an attempt which would backfire on them and lead to their downfalls.
- These attempts to kill the protagonist regarded the female lead (Farquaad's fit of rage was caused by Fiona's transformation; Hal Stewart's hate of Megamind was based on the fact that Roxanne Ritchi spurned him for Megamind.
- King Julien XIII from the Madagascar franchise shares similarities to Farquaad, despite being a protagonist in his series, as (both):
- Their power is self-proclaimed
- Didn't like the protagonist at first
- Decreed an order against the protagonist; banishment in King Julien XIII's case, death sentence in Lord Farquaad's case.
- Want to be respected by all
- Have gone back for a person they'd banished; Farquaad wanted Fiona to be his ghost queen, Julien lifted Alex's banishment, even coming with him and the other zoo animals in their quest to get back to New York.
- Stinky Pete the Prospector from Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 2:
- Both used the main character(s) to try and get their way, which backfired (although it was worse for Farquaad than it was for the Prospector)
- They both hate another race of characters (for Prospector it’s both space and western toys not related to “Woody’s Roundup” and for Farquaad it’s ogres and ogresses)
- Their plans backfired (Prospector wanted Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye to go to Japan with him and Farquaad wanted to marry Princess Fiona)
- They suffered terrible fates (Prospector got claimed by a little girl who would draw on her toys and he would get damaged and Farquaad dies in the Dragon’s stomach)
- Lord Victor Quartermaine from Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit shares a lot of similarities to Farquaad, as (both):
- Are lords
- Hate the protagonist for what they are (ogres in Shrek's case, a fairytale creature in Donkey's case for Farquaad; pest control in Wallace and Gromit's case for Quartermaine)
- Want to marry the female lead in order to get what they want out of them (being king in Farquaad's case, getting her money in Quartermaine's case)
- One of the three main characters in their movie is cursed.
- The protagonist's sidekick discovered this curse (or in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, discovered who was cursed) first, with the other of the three protagonists and the antagonist discovering this shortly after.
- This curse would be broken shortly after their defeat.
- Their movie would receive an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
- Their defeats were majorly played by the protagonist's sidekick, more than the protagonist himself.
- The first feature featuring the protagonist, but not the female lead or the antagonist, was released in 1990.
- RJ from Over the Hedge shares similarities with Farquaad, despite being the protagonist of his feature.
- Both have used people, at the expense of them and another person.
- Both were formerly friends with their opposites in their movie (Shrek in Farquaad's case, Vincent in RJ's case)
- Both were threatened by their opposites in their movie.
- Augustus May Who from Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! shares some similarities with Farquaad, as (both)
- Both are vain, selfish and corrupt leaders.
- Both were in love with a female protagonist (Fiona to Farquaad, Martha May Whovier to May Who).
- Both fight against a monster protagonist (Shrek to Farquaad, The Grinch to May Who).
- Both lose the girl to the monster hero.
- Both have bumbling henchmen (Thelonious to Farquaad, Whobris to May Who).
- Both treat the main protagonist like a freak.
- "Evening. Mirror, mirror, on the wall, is this not the most perfect kingdom of them all?"
- "Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make"
- "Run, run, run, as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"
- "I'm not the monster here, you are. You and the rest of that fairy tale trash, poisoning my perfect world. Now tell me, where are the others"
- "I am king, I will have orders, I will have perfection, I will have... (his last words.)
- "And as for you, my wife, I'll have you locked away in that tower for the rest of your days!"