6 minor characters that could rule the world of Shrek - part 2
Continued from Part 1. Contains spoilers.
Who is (s)he?
Fairy Godmother, the biggest producer of magic potions in the kingdom of Far Far Away. Oh wait, she’s not a minor character, but a major villain instead and dead to boot? Well, how about heirs to her potion empire, her 3 younger sisters/other fairies we have seen in Shrek 1? After death of successful CEO, you don’t close the company; you find someone with similar skills. Have you seen the movie Godfather? Fairy Godmother is similar position in more ways than one and it is inherited the same way.
How will (s)he take over?
Although she has extremely powerful magical wand, her main business is making potions. Potions for all sorts of things, from cures for embarrassing diseases (great chance for blackmail of the buyers) over love potions (with good matchmaking and loyal followers settled inside household of every important person in the kingdom, she doesn’t need armies to have influence and power) to “Happily ever after” potions that can change both the person and their true love with just a few sips (and their wisecracking animal companion. Never forget Donkey!). Those potions include frog-to-prince potions, swan-to-ballerina potions, humans-to-candlesticks/clocks-potions and humans-to-flock-of-doves potions and that’s just what we have seen on screen. She is quite literally a maker of good and bad endings, with good publicity as a local superstar!
And she is that on an industrial scale, we have seen her factory. Hell, just those “make my hair shiny and my teeth perfect” potions make her factory a pharmaceutical giant. And, if she can turn a frog into prince, she can regrow your limbs just the same, by turning a person into a newt then back if there’s not a potion to regrow your limb directly. But those are just a cover; her true power lies elsewhere, in a single terrifying potion.
And that’s the love potion, the most horrible one of them all. With just a single dose and a stolen kiss, the victim of the potion falls in love with the person giving the kiss, forever. Imagine that you’re a girl living in the Shrek universe, just walking along, minding your own business. You stop to have a cup of coffee/tea/drink of your own choice when a classmate/acquaintance from work you can’t stand to look at puts that potion in your drink. You drink it then he forcefully kisses you, just like Prince Charming did to Princess Fiona. Boom, you’re in love with him now, with no way to break the spell and no desire to break it either, cause you love him forever so why would you want to? That’s actually enough to rule everyone, by blackmailing everyone who uses that potion into serving Fairy Godmother forever.
And that’s just one potion. Even the least of the potions in Fairy Godmother’s arsenal can have potentially devastating effects on the economy, donkey-to-horse potion.
Imagine being a horse-and-chariot trader in that world. You bought a perfectly good horse, paid good money for him, only for that horse to turn into an ass at midnight. You bought a chariot, it turned into a pumpkin when the clock stroke twelve. You bought shoes, they dissolved into thin air. And, if you dare to go to complain to Fairy Godmother, you’d be lucky if she doesn’t turn you into a frog or bunch of bubbles, or use you as an ingredient in her potion, or turn you into a pig and sell you to the butcher. She can actually turn regular things into living things, “Beauty and the Beast” style. She can kill people by ordering their own wardrobes to fall on them, their own kitchen knives to slice their arteries if she so chooses. And that’s if she is not playing nice.
If she is playing nice, you’re in for a world of hurt anyway. You better not drink that love-spiced tea that she gave you as a courtesy while she listens to your complaint. Otherwise, you might get a kiss from that swan-turned-girl and then Fairy Godmother will own you both forever. Swan girl (the love of your life now), because she literally owes Fairy Godmother her life, shape and form and will do almost anything to keep it while being blackmailed with increasingly ludicrous demands; and you, who would do anything to make your beloved happy.
And you could also come to her because of a real need. She can heal you from an embarrassing disease and blackmail you later. She can fix your bad teeth and make them pretty, then just take them back from you whenever she wishes. She can regrow your legs and arms after that woodchucking accident. You still owe her everything. If she tells you to walk on the street tomorrow and rebel against your king, you'll damn well do it or you lose your life!
But that’s if you’re a commoner, just a regular Joe Shmoe. If you are a king, things are even worse in some ways, with diplomacy becoming a very messy affair... That’s because Fairy Godmother can play matchmaker for the kingdoms as well, with alliances and deals of the state happening according to her whims, while she could manufacture all sorts of scandals. Imagine making the son of an enemy king fall in love with a peasant girl, who turns out to be a frog in disguise? Imagine drinking your morning coffee when your potty cleaner suddenly gives you a deep kiss. Boom, you’re in love with her (or him) now. There goes your queen/king and your kids, because you don’t love them anymore, you got to marry the love of your life... with rebellions and wars popping out everywhere and thousands dying in brutal wars as a consequence. That's just two potions... What about sleeping potion? At the beginning of Shrek, Snow White is actually in a coma. There's awakened Sleeping Beauty in Shrek 3 (after the death of Fairy Godmother) who is constantly falling asleep and waking. There's a good chance Fairy had some hand in their fates.
And, to top it all off, she has an army of elvish archers working in her factory.
Why (s)he never tried to take over?
One of them fairies did take over in Shrek 2. It was only when she tried to make her rule legal by making her son a member of royalty when the whole plan went to pieces. And it was a good plan too, each step of it complementing her natural abilities, each of them fitting into one glorious whole.
And those steps are:
1) Turn a frog into prince. Help him woo a princess. With his new good looks and charm it should be easy for him.
1a) If he looks like he will fail despite everything, use one of your love potions.
2) Luckily, Princess Lillian saw the goodness in Harold and married him. Now, it’s only a matter of time before Prince Harold becomes King Harold. But, there’s another problem and you have the answer.
3) Frog genetics are strong. Either by chance or by design, your spell (or was it a potion?) which turned Harold into a prince doesn’t affect his future children. His children will all be frog-human hybrids by night, because that’s the loophole in the potion. The closest thing to that in the whole magical world are ogres, so his kids will be ogres by night. So you make an offer he cannot refuse to Harold, a solution, since he owes you and you can blackmail him. Your son will break the “curse” and his daughter will marry him. If his first child is male, you will marry that child yourself.
4) You feed Queen Lillian a story about some curse (with all details you choose to put in) and pick a castle for the girl to live at. It’s in the middle of nowhere, lava and dragon to guard her, the whole thing, but you know exactly where she is. Time to prepare your son for his mission, but no rush, you have between 1 and 17 years to do that.
5) While the girl grows up far away from her parents, she still needs food and clothes. Since it’s your dragon that guards her, you have unprecedented access to the girl, to model her as you see fit as you fly her food, news and new clothes. You tell her fairy tales about Prince Charming, your son. You are the only source of the news to her and she trusts you implicitly.
6) Your son saves her and they get married. It’s happily ever after for all, especially you. Your son will become king in the fullness of time, but you will actually rule behind the shadows even before then. After all, you have both King Harold and Prince Charming in your pocket. What can go wrong?
Alas, some ogre named Shrek messed with Fairy Godmother’s plan. Her old ally, the... Muffin Man... helped the ogre storm the castle and it ended with Fairy Godmother’s death. Even then, her plan survived for a while after her death, since Prince Charming ruled as a king for a short spell in Shrek 3. He was only overthrown with the help of another of Godmother’s former allies, a powerful wizard (number 3 on the list) and a daughter of another team mate who is...
4. The Princess