|“||Knights, new plan - the one who kills the ogre will be named champion. Have at him!||„|
|~ Lord Farquaad's ordering the knights to kill Shrek.|
Lord Maximus Farquaad is the main antagonist of DreamWorks' fifth full-length animated feature film Shrek, the first installment of the Shrek film series, and its 2003 3D short Shrek 4-D (also known as The Ghost of Lord Farquaad).
He is the oppressive ruler of a kingdom called DuLoc and he spent the first part capturing fairytale creatures, so that he could find the magic mirror. Once he did, he asked if DuLoc, the place where he ruled, was the perfect kingdom, but as he was not a king, DuLoc was not a kingdom, so he tried to marry Princess Fiona to become king. He is very opprobrious, despicable and abhorrent, so he loathes creatures of any kind and sought to relocate the fairytale creatures to Shrek's swamp. He attempts to cut a deal with Shrek by promising to remove the monsters from his swamp if Shrek could bring Princess Fiona to him, as he wanted to marry her.
He was voiced by John Lithgow, who also played Burke in Blow Out, Lord John Whorfin in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, B.Z. in Santa Claus: The Movie, Earl Talbot Blake in Ricochet, Eric Qualen in the 1993 film Cliffhanger, Jean-Claude in Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, Arthur Mitchell in Dexter, and Lamar Blackburn in The Accountant. In the videogame adaptation of the film, he was voiced by André Sogliuzzo. In the musical, he was portrayed by Christopher Siber.
Farquaad is the ruthless, deceptive, ill-tempered, egotistical and iron-fisted ruler of DuLoc. He is an extremely prideful, oppressive and power-hungry dictator who doesn’t care about everyone but himself. However, despite his villainy, Farquaad does not see himself as a monster and when this was brought up to him by the gingerbread man named Gingy, he dismissed it and even went as far to call him and the rest of fairytale creatures trash and viewed them as poisoning his perfect world, which makes him completely xenophobic, contemptuous and individualistic at once. Farquaad also suffered from a Napoleon Complex and felt the need to overcompensate for his diminutive stature (which is a constant source of humor throughout the film) by being extremely despotic, domineering, authoritative and controlling.
Other examples of this are the perspective trick used when he's first introduced, Shrek's comment on the towering height of the castle of DuLoc, his own visage plastered on the village of DuLoc, confirming his apparent narcissism disorder, and in his grave where the statue of Farquaad was portrayed as being taller than the dragon that slaughtered him. Farquaad is an insensitive and uncompromising perfectionist who saw that everything had to be done his way and the only way for DuLoc to become perfect was to exile all of the fairytale creatures. Farquaad's one and only dream was to become the official ruler of DuLoc which pushed him to levels of manic absurdity. However, to do this, he needed a princess, so the only reason that he decided to propose to Fiona was out of pure lust for power and her appearance, not for her personality or soul.
Farquaad is also very sadistic and manipulative, as evidenced while he was torturing Gingy by severing his legs and torturing him further by repeating the line "Run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man.". He also threatened to draw and quarter Shrek and Fiona until they would beg him for death. Although in the first film, where he was grossed out by Fiona's grotesque appearance, he might have actually developed real feelings for her as after his demise as he flirted with her while she was on the raft and he wanted her to become his undead queen, so he could rule the underworld. When he thought she was dead, he called her his angel though this could've been an act for power after all.
He is also very work-shy and neglectful, as evidenced by him not wanting to save the princess himself, so he arranged a tournament of Knights to battle for the honor, though this might also be because he was too afraid to risk his own life and take his chances with a volcanic castle inhabited by a ginormous dragon. To be fair, he is incredibly short in stature, so he was likely unable to do so. Farquaad is also shown to be quite discourteous, cocky, obnoxious and quarrelsome, so he has 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 proposed to each other, there was no guarantee that he would treat her rightly.
His hatred of fairytale creatures, desire to export them and his tendency to stand on podiums giving speeches give Farquaad a strong vibe similar to that of Adolf Hitler. Despite all his negative traits, he is 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 ungrateful, rude, never thanked Shrek or Donkey, and completely took all credit for the rescue. He is apparently a competent administrative figure, with the town of Duloc flourishing under his rule. At the same time he isn't very popular with his citizens, as they quickly begin to clap and cheer on Shrek during the tournament and welcome him back when he interrupts the wedding. They don't seem to care much about Farquaad's death, some even laughing and cheering.
In the musical, he was shown to be quite duplicitous, persuasive, treacherous, harsh and sanctimonious, as he was revealed to be the offspring of fairytale creatures (the princess from "The Princess and the Pea" and the dwarf Grumpy from "Snow White") in spite of his laws of expelling them from DuLoc; this was proven when the fairytale creatures brought in Grumpy to encounter Farquaad for accusing him of abandoning Farquaad in the woods when he actually kicked Farquaad out because he was 28 and living in his basement.
Farquaad has exiled all of the fairytale creatures from his land, forcing them to take refuge in Shrek's swamp. Back at his castle, Farquaad tortures the Gingerbread Man named Gingy into revealing the location of the other fairytale folk that he has been unable to capture or exile. Just as the Gingerbread Man is planning to reveal what he knows, the captain of the guards shows up and announces that they have found the Magic Mirror. After dispensing with the Gingerbread Man, Lord Farquaad asks the mirror if DuLoc is the most perfect kingdom of them all. The Magic Mirror tells him technically he is not a king as he is not descended from royalty, but he can become one officially if he marries a princess.
In a parody of dating shows, the mirror introduces three different princesses for Farquaad to choose from: Cinderella, Snow White, and Princess Fiona. At the suggestion of his henchman named Thelonious, Farquaad chooses Princess Fiona, who has been locked away in a castle tower protected by a ferocious dragon. Despite the mirror's attempt to warn him about what happens at midnight, Lord Farquaad decides to plan a tournament to see which knight will be worthy enough to embark on a quest to retrieve Fiona.
However, Shrek, who would’ve traveled from his swamp to DuLoc accompanied by Donkey to ask Farquaad to move the fairytale creatures off his swamp disrupts the tournament. Farquaad changes his mind and decides that whoever slaughters Shrek will be named champion. However, despite the knights best efforts, they’re all defeated by Shrek and Donkey. Impressed by Shrek's actions, Farquaad awards the ogre with the quest he would’ve set to his knights. Shrek remarks that he is already on a quest to get his swamp back. Farquaad makes a deal with Shrek that if he succeeds in the quest to rescue Princess Fiona, he’ll give the ogre his swamp back, fully restored to the way it was before the fairytale folk overran the place.
Shrek and Donkey successfully rescue Princess Fiona from the dragon and the trio journey onward back to DuLoc. Shrek and Fiona start falling in love, but Shrek overhears Fiona talking about how no one could love a hideous beast and thinks she’s referring to him.
The next morning, Shrek brings Lord Farquaad to Fiona, and Farquaad hands over the deed of the swamp to Shrek, telling him it is cleared out as agreed. Farquaad proposes marriage to Fiona right away, who agrees on the condition that they have the wedding before sunset. He takes Fiona back to his castle, while Shrek is heartbroken and returns to his swamp. However, Donkey comes to Shrek and tells him Fiona was not referring to him when she said no one could love a hideous beast afterwards. So Shrek and Donkey go to crash the wedding, where Shrek confesses his love for Fiona. Farquaad finds this amusing and he tries to get Fiona to marry him afterwards. But then, Fiona sees the sun setting and decides to reveal her secret that she is an ogre as well.
Furious and disgusted over the change, Farquaad orders for Shrek to be drawn and quartered, and for Fiona to be locked back in the tower, as he places the crown on his head, declaring himself king. As Farquaad gloats, Shrek whistles for the Dragon, who destructively bursts in the window and swallows Farquaad whole in one bite, and she belches his crown back out afterwards.
He also appears in Shrektacular's Karaoke Swamp, where he is seen in the Dragon's stomach with a match singing "Staying Alive" and is digested sometime after or during the Shrek dance party and presumably dies of starvation later on.
Farquaad returns as a ghost and sent his henchman Thelonious to take Fiona to him so he could murder her by sending her over a waterfall, to make her his ghost queen so he could rule the underworld. He also sent a giant stone dragon to devour Shrek and Donkey, but this failed, as (during the fight between Dragon and the stone dragon) the stone dragon lost its wings in a tunnel and fell into a watery grave. After Shrek, Donkey, Fiona, and Thelonious fell over the waterfall and they were saved by Dragon. Dragon slaughtered Farquaad (again) by breathing fire at him, due to this Farquaad does not appear in Shrek 2 and despite appearing in flashbacks of Shrek The Third and Shrek Forever After, he never physically appeared again and only made cameo in the sequels. The short is also known as The Ghost of Lord Farquaad.
Shrek The Third
Farquaad is not seen or mentioned once in Shrek 2. However, he did appear in its second sequel Shrek The Third. When Prince Charming and Captain Hook demand Shrek's whereabouts, Gingy's life flashed before his eyes and he recalls the moment when Farquaad tortured them for the other fairytale creatures whereabouts.
Shrek Forever After
Farquaad appears during the end credits of Shrek Forever After. He was planned to appear in the alternate world, but was cut.
In the Shrek Halloween special Scared Shrekless, Shrek and his friends return to DuLoc to tell scary stories. It’s revealed that DuLoc turned into a dark and terrifying place since Farquaad passed away. Shrek and Fiona used Farquaad's demise as their own main weapon to frighten Donkey. Farquaad's picture is seen everywhere.
In Thriller Night, Farquaad made a cameo appearance along with other Shrek villains being resurrected as zombies and with Shrek beginning to dance after getting controlled by the Pied Piper.
Shrek the Musical
In Shrek the Musical, Farquaad's role is the same as the movie, but he was portrayed as more of a comedic and less dignified egomaniac. It was revealed that he was the son of the dwarf Grumpy and the princess from "The Princess and the Pea", which explains his "little" height. Farquaad explained to his subjects that following his mother's demise, Farquaad was deserted in the woods by his father and he disliked him for it. However, this turns out to be a fib as the fairytale creatures encountered Farquaad during the wedding by bringing in Grumpy, who revealed that he only kicked Farquaad out because he was a slacker in his early 30s living in his basement. This made all of the people in Duloc to see what a total hypocrite Farquaad really is.
Farquaad's fate is also changed, as opposed to being devoured by Dragoness, he was burned to death by Dragoness under Shrek's command instead.
|“||With you as my spirit queen, I'll be king of the Underworld.||„|
|~ Farquaad to Fiona.|
- IGN's Orlando Parfitt chose Lord Farquaad as his 14th favorite fantasy villain.
- Farquaad is the only main villain in the Shrek franchise who does not come from a fairytale, as Fairy Godmother, Prince Charming, and Rumpelstiltskin, the main antagonists of Shrek's three sequels, Shrek 2, Shrek The Third and Shrek Forever After, actually came from them.
- Farquaad is based on the former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, as Jeffrey Katzenberg (one of the founders of DreamWorks and a former executive of Disney) holds some animosity towards the former following his refusal to promote him to president of Disney after the death of Frank Wells, which lead to Katzenberg resigning from Disney to establish Dreamworks. Farquaad may also be based on the French Emperor Napoleon, due to his short stature (even though in truth Napoleon was average height-wise), yet ruling with an iron fist and crowning himself to king. He may also be based on the late Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States as he forces fairytale creatures from their home while Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830 that led to the forced removal of the Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes called the Chickasaw, the Creek, the Seminole, the Cherokee and the Choctaw.
- The late 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.
- In a general way, Lord Farquaad serves technically as the catalyst of the film series' events. As Shrek rescued Fiona from the castle under Farquaad's orders, this not only ruined the Fairy Godmother's plan of having Prince Charming rescuing Fiona to take control of Far Far Away, but also Rumpelstiltskin's negotiations with King Harold and Queen Lillian to take over Far Far Away. Interestingly, when asked why he rescued Fiona in the first place, Shrek never mentions Farquaad to be the one to blame.
- Originally, Lord Farquaad was meant to return in Shrek Forever After, where he was going to appear in Rumpelstiltskin's alternate reality because he was never killed by the Dragon in such timeline as Shrek was never born. John Lithgow even hinted his involvement. However, the idea was dropped during production. Interestingly, some Shrek Forever After DVD cases mention that in the world where Shrek was never born, Lord Farquaad was still alive, which could suggest that the decision to remove Farquaad from the film was late.
- However, over the years, most Shrek fans have speculated what became of Farquaad in this alternate timeline. However, given that Farquaad just wanted Fiona to be crowned as king, but Fiona mentions that no one was able to rescue her so she decided to escape herself, it is possible that Farquaad selected another knight to go after Fiona. Given Farquaad's ego and nature, it is likely that after the knight failed and Fiona lost her royal status as Rumpel took over Far Far Away, Farquaad just opted for another princess instead and succeeded in becoming King of DuLoc.
- His first name "Maximus" is never mentioned in the film.
- Although Farquaad is the main antagonist of the film, he has only around 7 minutes of screen-time.
- Farquaad's name is a pun, intended to sound like the insult "f-ckwad" once it's heard repeatedly.
- Lord Farquaad serves as a dark parallel to Shrek as they both dislike fairy tale creatures (or anyone in Shrek's case) on their lands. However, when Donkey told Shrek that friends forgive each other, he apologized for disowning him & not letting him visit his land whereas Farquaad refuses to accept them. If Shrek hadn't met Donkey, Fiona or the fairy tale creatures and accept company, he would've ended up like Lord Farquaad.