In this recurring series, I’ll analyze the origins of Pokémon designs from Pokémon Sword and Shield, their culture, and their historical allusions to British culture. Today we look at the origins of Galarian Farfetch’d and Sirfetch’d.
Farfetch’d was introduced as a Normal/Flying-type Pokémon in the first generation based on the Japanese phrase “a duck comes bearing bunching onions”, referring to something that is both surprising and convenient. It’s no surprise that Farfetch’d quickly became endangered. In the original games, the only one you could get was from a trade.
Galarian Farfetch’d by contrast is not a pushover. It has a single Fighting-type and instead of holding a small leek and is holding a fairly massive leek.
The Farfetch’d of the Galar region are brave warriors, and they wield thick, tough leeks in battle.
The stalks of leeks are thicker and longer in the Galar region. Farfetch’d that adapted to these stalks took on a unique form.
Creating a regional variant of Farfetch’d is fitting for a British region, as leeks are considered the national symbol of Wales. In the age of Shakespeare people would wear a leek on their clothing to show that they were a good person. Leeks were also favored for medicinal purposes. Leeks are considered naturalized to Great Britain and evidence shows it having grown since prehistoric times.
One species of leek is known as the Giant Musselburgh, another potential reason for the larger leek that Farfetch’d holds.
If your Galarian Farfetch’d can strike three critical hits in a single fight, it will have proven itself to be an expert fighter. This is when it evolves into Sirfetch’d, an exclusive evolution for Galarian Farfetch’d. Its onion splits into two pieces, with the top leafy part becoming a shield while the rest of the stem and the bulb has been sliced and resembles a sword.
Sirfetch’d is based on the concept of a knight in European lore, those who were appointed by the king or a lord to fight in wars between kingdoms or in the crusades. In particular, Sirfetch’d might be related to the mythical knight Sir Lancelot, who was known as the “white knight” at King Arthur’s roundtable. His name is also used as the origin for the Lancelot Leek.
It charges its enemies, lances at the ready. An image of one of its duels is captured in a famous painting of Escavalier clashing with Sirfetch’d.Shield Pokédex entry for Escavalier
There is a famous painting in Galar which describes a jousting match, a common type of competitive sparring in medieval Europe.
Only Farfetch’d that have survived many battles can attain this evolution. When this Pokémon’s leek withers, it will retire from combat.
After deflecting attacks with its hard leaf shield, it strikes back with its sharp leek stalk. The leek stalk is both weapon and food.
The leek is an item that can be held in the games to boost the critical hit ratio of Farfetch’d and Sirfetch’d.
Sirfetch’d is the only Pokémon who can learn the move Meteor Assault. It is a move similar to Hyper Beam, in that it does a large amount of damage but requires a turn to recharge after using it.
Ever since the introduction of Farfetch’d in the first generation, people had been hoping for an evolution that could take it from a laughingstock to cool. Sirfetch’d finally brings justice to the Pokémon.
Let us know if you think this regional form from Sword and Shield was a good addition for Farfetch’d in the comments below or share your thoughts on Discord!