Lord Farquaad was created by the animators at DreamWorks Animation, who developed the character for the 2001 film “Shrek.” The character was voiced by actor John Lithgow in the film and its sequels, “Shrek 2” and “Shrek the Third.”
In the musical version of “Shrek,” the role of Lord Farquaad was originated by the Tony Award-winning actor Sutton Foster on Broadway and by many other actors around the world. Sutton Foster provided the voice and played the character on stage, and often, the actor who play the role also do some movement and acrobatics to perform the short stature of Farquaad.
Who Is Lord Farquaad?
Lord Farquaad, the ruthless ruler of Duloc in the popular animated film “Shrek,” may seem like just a comical villain, but his actions and character traits reveal a more sinister reality. Here are 10 facts about Lord Farquaad that will give you a new perspective on the character and show just how dreadfully villainous he truly is.
Lord Farquaad’s ultimate goal is to create a perfect kingdom in Duloc, and he will stop at nothing to achieve it. He is incredibly cruel, willing to evict anyone and everyone who doesn’t fit his idea of perfection, including the beloved Fairy Tale characters of Shrek’s swamp.
Lord Maximus Farquaad also shows himself to be highly narcissistic, demonstrated by his desire to marry Princess Fiona solely for the purpose of becoming king and gaining political power. Furthermore, Lord Farquaad is not above taking lives to achieve his goals. He orders his knights to kill the dragon that guards Princess Fiona in order to clear the path for him to marry her.
Farquaad is also shown to be ruthless, he doesn’t mind being dishonest and uses any means necessary to get what he wants, also, he doesn’t care about the welfare of others, he sees them only as tools to achieve his dream. He is also not above putting innocent people in danger, he doesn’t hesitate to put Shrek in charge of rescuing Fiona because it is more convenient for him, endangering the ogre and those around him, showing an utter lack of empathy.
Overall, Lord Farquaad is not just a comical villain, but a true embodiment of evil, selfishness, and oppression. These facts about him reveal the true nature of his character and make it clear that there is nothing redeemable about him.
These facts are directly taken from the movie and Shrek Musical: “The Ballad of Farquaad” so this can be considered canon.
1. Lord Farquaad’s Parents Were Fairy Tale Royalty
Lord Farquaad was born out of an unlikely pair of parents, his mother, a princess, gave up her throne out of her love for a diamond-mining dwarf. This gave Farquaad the proper birthright to one day become king, which is the sole reason he wanted to marry Princess Fiona in the Shrek series.
- Father – Grumpy From The Fairy Tale: “Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs”
Lord Farquaad’s father is loosely based on the Disney character Grumpy. Since the Shrek universe is almost a Satire of Disney characters, it is implied that his diamond-miner dad was indeed Grumpy. It is clear where he got his height (and attitude) from.
- Mother – Daria Sebastian From The Fairy Tale: “The Princess And The Pea”
His mother is based on the princess from the fairy tale “The Princess And The Pea”. She abdicated her throne to be with grumpy and was the princess of Duloc.
2. Lord Farquaad’s Father Passed Away Early
With his mother marrying such a diminutive person, she was forced to have an extremely high bed created (20 mattresses) because it became too uncomfortable for her. This ties into the storyline of the Princess And The Pea fairly tale (Hans Christian Andersen) from where she originally is based, where the princess’ pedigree is tested by making her sleep on a pile of mattresses while inserting a pea between it. In the Shrek musical, however, the princess falls off her high bed while sleeping and dies.
3. He Had A Bad Relationship With His Father
With his mother gone, both father and son had a very distant relationship. Grumpy, his father, felt that Farquaad wasn’t interested in diamond mining in the caves which caused a rift between them. Farquaad was more interested in his mother’s birthright and stature and thought less of his cave-dwelling father.
4. He Hated Fairy Tale Beings And Magical Creatures
He developed a hatred for fairy tale beings like his father once his father got fed up with his entitlement and left him in the woods at age 28. Since then Lord Farquaad vowed to rid the land of fairy tale beings and went on a mission to build his idea of a perfect kingdom from which he reclaims his birthright.
5. He Ruled Duloc With An Iron Fist
With his obsession with ruling a perfect kingdom, he imposed rules on Duloc’s citizenry to behave unnaturally compliant with his draconian policies and laws. His kingdom was built around and based on these laws, making people fear him. He surrounded himself with armed guards like Thelonius who was his loyal enforcer that believed in his vision and leadership.
Everything about Duloc was about his narcissism and ego, but its people have gotten used to it to survive. Duloc was pretty much like modern-day North Korea, with Lord Farquaad as its fairy tale version of Kim Jong-un, atop his castle which is at the center of Duloc.
6. Farquaad Tortured, Jailed, And Murdered Fairy Tale Beings
Farquaad orders the eviction of all of the Fairy Tale creatures from their homes in the first film, and it is suggested that those who refused to comply were captured, tortured, and possibly murdered.
In one scene in the Shrek movie, he interrogates a gingerbread man and threatens to remove his body parts just to extract information. He also had mama bear executed to be turned into his personal rug for his bedroom out of vanity.
Furthermore, in the musical version of “Shrek”, Farquaad is shown to be even more ruthless and sadistic, he is depicted to have a dungeon where he imprisons and tortures fairy tale creatures who refuse to conform to his ideal of a “perfect” kingdom. He goes so far as to execute some of the creatures in a public setting in order to send a message to others who might oppose him.
7. Farquaad Made Use Of Magical Artifacts From Fairy Tales
Lord Farquaad has made use of magical artifacts from various fairy tales in order to maintain control over his kingdom of Duloc and assert his authority over the inhabitants. For example, in the first film, Farquaad orders the eviction of all of the Fairy Tale creatures from their homes in order to create a “perfect” kingdom. In order to accomplish this, he uses a magical mirror that shows him the location of all of the Fairy Tale creatures, and he sends his knights to round them up.
Additionally, in the musical version of “Shrek” Farquaad has a magical crystal ball that he uses to spy on the citizens of Duloc, which is one of the ways that allows him to know what is happening in his kingdom and have full control over the population.
This use of magical artifacts further emphasizes Lord Farquaad’s power-hungry and manipulative nature, as he uses them not for good but for his own personal gain and control. It also highlights how willing he is to use any means necessary to achieve his goals, including exploiting and manipulating magical powers that do not belong to him.
8. Farquaad Vanity
Lord Farquaad is shown to have a strong vanity and obsession with his appearance in the “Shrek” movies and musicals. He is self-conscious about his short stature and uses various methods to try to appear taller, such as standing on high platforms and wearing lifts in his shoes. He also pays a great deal of attention to his appearance, grooming, and dressing meticulously.
His vanity is also highlighted in his desire to marry Princess Fiona, the daughter of King Harold. Farquaad believes that by marrying her, he will become King and gain the respect and admiration he craves. He is not truly interested in Fiona, but only in the status and prestige that comes with being a King, it is also implied that he wants to improve his appearance by becoming a King.
Farquaad’s vanity is also depicted as a weakness in the film, his obsession with his appearance and status makes him vulnerable to manipulation, for example, Shrek used his vanity against him to make him agree to the terms of the deal, and it ultimately is a contributing factor in his downfall.
9. Farquaad Death
Lord Farquaad meets his demise at the end of the first Shrek film, in a comical and ironic way. After Shrek successfully rescues Princess Fiona and brings her back to Farquaad, Farquaad agrees to call off the eviction of the Fairy Tale creatures in exchange for Fiona’s hand in marriage.
However, when Farquaad is about to marry Fiona, she reveals her secret that she is cursed to turn into an ogre at night, which she did and Farquaad, disgusted with her appearance, orders that she be jailed when all of a sudden a Dragon comes flying in, with Donkey atop it, swallows and eats Farquaad alive.
In summary, Lord Farquaad is the villain of the “Shrek” franchise, created by DreamWorks Animation and voiced by John Lithgow. He is depicted as a ruthless dictator who will do anything to achieve his goal of a “perfect” kingdom, including evictions, tortures, and even murders of Fairy Tale creatures.
His vanity and obsession with status are also a crucial part of his character, as well as his weaknesses. His death at the end of the first movie is a fitting end for his villainous character, highlighting the consequences of his actions.