Colonel Farley is one of the first members of the Scarlet Guard. Before the Guard had spread beyond the Lakelands, they weren't as careful. One of their operatives was caught and knew too much, including the location of Colonel Farley and his family. While Farley and her father were away, King Orrec Cygnet raised the water of the Hud, a bay near their village, and drowned the entire village as a show of power and force. Among those who drowned were Clara Farley and Madeline Farley, the Colonel's wife and youngest daughter.
The Colonel told their story up and down the lakes, in too many villages and towns to count, and the Guard flourished. Reds across the country were inflamed by what came to be known as the Drowning of the Northlands.
Upon initially meeting Mare, the Colonel doesn't trust her and other newbloods. He softens up to her after she kills Elara Merandus and chooses to lead the rebellion inside Norta instead of taking the offer to support it from the safety of Montfort.
The Colonel has an icy disposition and used to have a deep hatred of Silvers. He is sharp, dangerous and strong.
Colonel Farley has light blond hair, white at the temples, and blue eyes. His left eye was injured during a fight and is covered in a film of red blood, making it his most distinctive feature. He is tall and a "wiry mass of old muscle". He has straight, gleaming teeth.
Diana used to call him "Papa". After the Drowning of the Northlands, Willis and Diana have a strained relationship, despite being father and daughter. In spite of it, Command repeatedly teams them up together as they produce the best teamwork. The Colonel does love Farley, and is hurt by the anger she treats him with. He humiliates her when he strips her of her rank and command. However, when Mare tells him that Farley survived the attack on Corros Prison, he is visibly relieved. He is in the hallway, out of sight, when Farley gives birth.