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The Headless Horseman is a minor character seen in Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third. He serves as a supporting antagonist who joins Prince Charming in his plan to take over Far Far Away. The characters is based on the myth and legend of the same name, made popular in Washington Irving's short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Appearances

Shrek 2

The Headless Horseman had a very minor role in the film. He appears in the Poison Apple drinking in his first scene. He later appears to be given a sobriety test by some knights before Shrek and Donkey burst past him after hearing the Fairy Godmother’s plan.

Shrek the Third

The Horseman has a major role in this film. He joins Prince Charming's team of villains and helped him take over Far Far Away. At the end of the film, he reveals he has always wanted to play the flute.

Thriller Night

The Headless Horseman appears as a zombie in Shrek's dream.

Shrek Comics

Headless Horseman in the comics

The Headless Horseman as he appears in the comics

The Headless Horseman appears in one of the issues as the main antagonist. He's the leader of a group of monsters residing in the Serenity Forest, an area that was currently up for sale. It turns out he and the others were evicted from their homes, leading them to let their anger out by scaring visitors of the forest. In the end however, Shrek and his friends are able to spread awareness of the forest and the land is bought out by friendly public figures.

Trivia

  • He is the only character in the Shrek series to originate from a horror story; he's also the only non-fairy tale based character to appear thus far.
  • While all of the villains in Shrek the Third had established rivals that motivates them to reign terror, the Horseman didn't have anyone who particularly made him drown in sorrow. At the very least his backstory wasn't mentioned by Charming during his speech.
  • His reasons for drinking in the Poison Apple might have to do with his inability to properly chop heads off, opting to throw flaming pumpkins instead as seen in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
  • Despite being a recurring character, he never appeared in the video games.
  • Headless Horseman shadow

    Donkey seeing the Headless Horseman's shadow in the dark

    In the Shrek comics, he has a different outfit; it's more faithful to his descriptions in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, as he's wearing a uniform worn by soldiers during the American Revolution.
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