At the end of Shrek 2, Fairy Godmother said"I told you ogres don't live happily ever after" then she shot something at him but King Harold jumped in front of it. What was it she shot? What was it supposed to do to Shrek? Why did it turn King Harold into a frog?

  • 6
    If it turned Harold into a frog, is there a reason you don't think it was supposed to do the same to Shrek?
    – phantom42
    Jul 8, 2015 at 16:27

2 Answers 2


First of all, King Harold was always a frog. That's the big reveal at the end of the movie: he was playing the role of "the frog who turned into a prince" from various fairy tales. Based on the Fairy Godmother's blackmail of Harold throughout the movie, she seems to be the one who did that for him, and he was worried that his secret would get out and his wife and daughter would reject him.

As far as what the Fairy Godmother's spell would have done to Shrek, we have no idea, since it never hit. The simplest explanation is that it would have turned Shrek into a frog (or maybe some other animal).

However, I think there was more to the spell than that, based on her comment that "ogres don't live happily ever after", combined with the effect of turning Harold back into a frog, the most likely intention of the spell is to cancel out someone's happy ending. As @Paul A. Clayton points out, we also see errant blasts from the wand switch Pinocchio from a real boy and back, which reinforces the idea that Fairy Godmother's magic is related to "granting wishes". This would also line up nicely with her role in the original fairy tales.

The way the movie had played out up until that point, I think the most likely result of the spell hitting Shrek would have been:

Reverse the magic that turned him and Fiona human -- but only for him.

Remember, Shrek's happy ending spell did two things:

  1. Turned Shrek and Fiona into humans, and
  2. Put a timer on the transformation: if it wasn't made permanent by a certain time, it would undo itself.

To ruin Shrek's happy ending, the Fairy Godmother would have needed to break the spell for Shrek but make it permanent for Fiona. That would have had the effect of completely undoing not only the happy she gave Shrek, but the happy ending from the previous movie. Even if Fiona would have been OK with the situation, it would have be disastrous for Shrek's self-worth.

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    It might be worthwhile explicitly stating the other shown effects of the wand (in particular, Pinocchio's transformation to "real boy" and back, hinting at a kind of toggling of heart's desire at least as a default effect).
    – user11683
    Jul 8, 2015 at 17:18
  • Except that Pinocchio was hit by a random blast from the wand hitting the ground, whereas for her final blast, it looked like she took her time to channel a much stronger spell.
    – Clockwork
    Jul 6, 2023 at 14:59

It would appear that the spell was intended to do no more (or less) than to kill Shrek. It rebounded off the King's armour and hit her instead. In the novelisation she explodes. In the film she pops into bubbles but either way the end-result is her demise.

The Fairy Godmother summoned up every ounce of her power, preparing for one massive magical attack on Shrek. As she rose off the-ground, her face took on an eerie glow.

The King looked at his daughter, then at Shrek.

Just as the Fairy Godmother released her magic, Shrek pushed Fiona to safety.

But the King dived in front of Shrek, taking the blast full-on.

The wicked magic deflected off the King's shiny armor and bounced right back at the Fairy Godmother.

THOOM! The Fairy Godmother disappeared in a thunderous explosion. As the smoke cleared, all that was left were her glasses.

Shrek 2: The Movie Novel

We have confirmation from the novelisation of the sequel that her spell turned him back into a frog (noting that he was a frog to begin with), presumably because some fraction of the power wasn't deflected by the armor. This at least rules out the idea that his humanity was somehow linked to her casting some sort of "stop being a frog" spell on an ongoing basis.

“Don’t forget to pay the gardener, Lillian,” he replied. “Of course, darling,” she said, humoring him. She had grown accustomed to his random thoughts since the Fairy Godmother had turned him back into a frog.

Shrek the Third: The Movie Storybook

  • 1
    This would make more sense, seeing that it did kill her.
    – Clockwork
    Jul 6, 2023 at 6:48

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