- “Uh, it’s hideous!”
- ―Farquaad referring to Shrek
Lord Farquaad the ruler of the kingdom of DuLoc and a man seeking "a perfect bride for a perfect ruler". He appeared in DreamWorks' 5th full-length animated film Shrek, Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party!, Shrek 4-D, Shrek the Third, Shrek Forever After, Scared Shrekless and Thriller Night.
He was voiced by John Lithgow in most appearances, and by various actors in the musical tour. Like most of the characters in the film, he doesn't appear in William Steig's picture book of the same name.
Lord Farquaad is an evil tyrannical dictator who doesn't care about anyone but himself. However, despite being evil, he 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 as monsters, which makes him completely xenophobic, contemptuous, delusional and narcissistic. 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. Even if Fiona wasn’t cursed, there’s no guarantee he would’ve treated her right. 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 chance 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 instead of 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 villains 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 villain.
- 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)
- "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!"