Shrek character
Arthur "Artie" Pendragon
Gender Male
Type Human
Spouse N/A
Other family King Harold (uncle, deceased), Queen Lillian (aunt), Princess Fiona (cousin), unknown father, Shrek (cousin by marriage), Ogre Triplets (Second Cousins)
Voiced by Justin Timberlake, James Arnold Taylor (in the video games)

Arthur Pendragon, or Artie, is a fictional character prominently featured in the animated film Shrek the Third, based on King Arthur. In the film, he is voiced by Justin Timberlake.


Arthur Pendragon is a scrawny 16-year-old, treated badly by his peers. Known as Artie, he attends classes at a school called Worcestershire Academy, where he frequently serves as the practice dummy on the jousting field. He is the nephew of King Harold and Queen Lillian, cousin of Fiona, and the son of an unknown father who abandoned him.

When King Harold succumbs to illness, the ogre Shrek, along with his friends, Donkey and Puss, go off to find the king's nephew. When they first arrive at his school, the trio mistakenly believe that Lancelot, star of the jousting team, is the object of their search; once they correct their error, they proclaim Artie to be king in front of the entire school. Artie is initially thrilled by the news, as it means he gets to leave the school where he has endured so much torment and ill-treatment; before the purpose of Shrek's presence is known, even the school's principal joins in urging the ogre to "Eat him! Eat him!" (The academy yearbook, presented as a special feature on the DVD of the film, indicates that Artie does have a very few friends, but the movie implies that he is entirely friendless.) Unfortunately, en route to Far Far Away, Artie gets a few less than cheerful pictures of kingship painted for him by Puss and Donkey, and he tries to turn their ship around.

The result of his escape attempt is that the ship crashes on the shores of an island, where the feuding Shrek and Artie come across Merlin. Artie explains that "Mr. Merlin" used to be the school's magic teacher before his severe mental breakdown. Merlin has retired to this island and given up on magic, instead subscribing to a sort of hippie lifestyle. In order to help Shrek and Arthur reconcile, Merlin makes them look into a thick cloud of smoke to reveal their thoughts. When Arthur sees his thoughts, he sees a bird and its father, who abandons his offspring. He and Shrek talk, and grow to understand each other better.

The next morning, the island is invaded by Captain Hook and some of the other fairy tale villains. On the orders of Prince Charming, they have come to kill Artie, Puss and Donkey, and take Shrek back to Far Far Away. They defeat the attackers and send them packing, but Shrek is naturally very worried about Fiona, who is pregnant, not to mention the rest of the realm. He urges Artie to return to the comparative safety of his school. Artie has another idea, however, and cons Merlin into coming out of retirement long enough to send the four of them to Far Far Away. Not long afterward, they are captured by Charming's men and Shrek, in order to save Artie, lies and says that he tricked Artie into agreeing to be king so that he didn't have to deal with the responsibility.

Artie runs away, hurt by this news. Later, when Puss and Donkey have escaped from prison, they come across Artie and explain the truth behind Shrek's words. Artie doesn't seem to believe them, but during the climactic battle at the castle, he comes to the rescue of Shrek and all the others. He convinces the villains that they can find their own happily-ever-afters if they just let themselves try, and they drop their allegiance to Charming. Shrek prevents Charming from killing Artie, and the would-be king is soundly defeated. With the consent of the audience, Artie is crowned and hailed as the new king of Far Far Away.

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