Count Olaf's theater troupe
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (July 2009)|
- 1 History
- 2 Members
- 3 See also
- 4 References
The members are frequently referred to as Count Olaf's "associates", "assistants", "comrades", "accomplices" or "henchmen". Although nominally an acting troupe, the members' primary occupation is serving as accomplices to Olaf in kidnap, embezzlement, larceny and, in extreme circumstances, arson and murder. Although Snicket states the troupe has ten members (and suggests Olaf may have between 25 and 41 henchman), five original members and three later recruits are the most consistently featured.
When the Baudelaires first meet the troupe, five members are described in detail: the one who looks like neither a man nor a woman, the bald man with the long nose, the two white-faced women, and the hook-handed man. When Olaf burns down the Caligari Carnival, he allows three sideshow freaks to join his ranks: Hugo (a hunchback), Colette (a contortionist), and Kevin (an ambidexter). As the series progresses, Olaf swiftly begins to lose these accomplices: the one who looks like neither a man nor a women is trapped in the burning Heimlich Hospital; the bald man with the long nose is eaten by circus lions; the two white-faced women voluntarily leave; and the hook-handed man joins his vigilante sister Fiona in mutiny. By the time Olaf burns down the Hotel Denouement, only the circus freaks remain. Whether they survive the fire is never stated.
Esmé Squalor is the girlfriend of Count Olaf. She is also the City's Sixth Most Important Financial Advisor.
The Hook-handed man
The Hook-Handed Man is known for having two large and sharp hooks where his hands should be.
The Two White-Faced Women
The Two White-Faced Women (also frequently referred to as The Two Powder-Faced Women) are original members of Count Olaf's theatre troupe. Not much is known of them, other than the fact they had another sibling who died in a fire. The women's most distinguishing feature is they always put white makeup on their faces. They consider their makeup freakish, but it is unclear why they still put it on, though it has been suggested by some that their faces might have been damaged in the fire. Their aliases are Tocuna and Flo, which, if combined, is an anagram of Count Olaf.
The women helped with Count Olaf's scheme in The Austere Academy. Disguised as two cafeteria workers with metal masks, they watched the Baudelaires and Duncan and Isadora Quagmire during the book. At the end, they forced the Quagmires into Count Olaf's automobile and drove away with them.
In The Hostile Hospital, they came into Violet Baudelaire's cranioectomy late, so that Klaus and Sunny were mistaken for the two white-faced women before they arrived. Shortly after the real white-faced women arrived, the Baudelaires ran to escape all of Count Olaf's associates in the operating theatre.
Tired with Olaf's continuous treachery, in addition to feeling sympathy for Sunny Baudelaire when she was kidnapped, the two sisters left Olaf's troupe in The Slippery Slope. The narrator states that he does not know what happened to the women after they walked away in the mountains, despite countless days of research, though there are many rumors about their fate.
The Bald Man with The Long Nose
The Bald Man with The Long Nose is one of Count Olaf's original troupe members. His alias is Flacutono, an anagram of Count Olaf.
The bald man helped with many of Count Olaf's schemes. In The Miserable Mill, wearing a white, curly wig and a surgical mask, he disguised himself as Foreman Flacutono, the foreman at Lucky Smells Lumbermill. He tripped Klaus Baudelaire several times, causing Klaus's glasses to break. The plan continued, as Klaus was then hypnotized at the optometrist's office where Count Olaf and his associate Dr. Orwell were working. His identity was revealed at the end of the book when he fled the mill with Count Olaf.
While Klaus says the one who looks like neither a man nor a woman is the scariest, Violet states the bald man is the scariest, possibly because of the threat he gave her in The Bad Beginning.
There isn't another appearance of the bald man until The Hostile Hospital. In this book, disguised in a costume similar to his disguise in The Miserable Mill, he calls himself Dr. Flacutono. He and Count Olaf's other associates attempt to perform the world's first cranioectomy (head removal) on Violet Baudelaire, with the intention of her death being ruled an accident. She is saved by her siblings when they stall the surgery and manage to escape.
The One who looks like neither a Man nor a Woman
The One who looks like neither a Man nor a Woman (also called the Brobdingnagian creature, the Person of Unknown Gender and Great Girth or, in the film, the Person of Indeterminate Gender) is so obese that he or she resembles neither a man nor a woman, is an original troupe member of Count Olaf. Both the narrator and the characters talk about this person using phrases like "he or she", "it", "the creature", "the person", "the massive creature", "the mountainous person" and "the big one". Even Olaf's other henchmen use such language, which suggests they, too, are unsure of the person's gender. The author frequently refers to it as "the overweight accomplice".
He or she is often seen guarding something for Count Olaf, due to his or her size, such as the stairs to the tower in The Bad Beginning, the keys to the sailboats in The Wide Window, and the door to the surgical ward in The Hostile Hospital. He or she has been shown to have the strength to swing Violet over his or her shoulder with one hand. In the books, he or she is often described as having a blank expression, making it even more difficult to distinguish his or her gender.
The Baudelaire children never hear this person speak, even when he or she is spoken to by others. It is unknown if it is unable to speak, or remains silent by choice. However, it apparently has some means of communication, as it informs Count Olaf, disguised as Captain Sham, that the Baudelaires stole a sailboat in The Wide Window. They do hear this person snore in the book, and later Klaus and Sunny hear him or her laugh in The Hostile Hospital. This is described as "an odd laugh that sounded like a squeal and a howl at the same time".
The character speaks a few times in the film, with a slight Scottish accent. This person is also much slimmer in the film than as described in the books. Here, he or she is a very minor character, appearing only at Olaf's dinner party and at the wedding scene, where he or she wears half of a bridesmaid gown sewn to half of a tuxedo.
Sunny Baudelaire refers to the person as "Orlando" at one point, a literary allusion to the Virginia Woolf novel, Orlando: A Biography, whose hero is a man who turns into a woman. Orlando is based on Vita Sackville-West, who was briefly Woolf's lover. In the blooper reel of the film version, the one who looks like neither a man nor a woman is referred to as "Liza." It is unknown whether this name was given by the author, director, or Jim Carrey (the actor portraying Count Olaf) as an improvised reference to singer/actress Liza Minnelli. In the books, the character is never identified by name.
In The Hostile Hospital, his or her final appearance, he or she is seen as one of Count Olaf's henchpeople, disguised as a guard at Heimlich Hospital, first seen guarding a door where two more of Olaf's associates were hidden. This person does not speak even with his or her co-workers, as he or she does not speak to Esmé Squalor or Klaus and Sunny, whom he or she thinks are the two white-faced women. It is the only one absent amongst Olaf's troupe that is trying to capture the Baudelaires in the Operating Theatre; however, as they escape, they whiz past him or her on a gurney. He or she sees them, roars and chases after them, producing the third and final sound it is heard to make. The Baudelaires manage to escape from inside a closet, leaving the person inside as the hospital burns to the ground, where he or she perishes. While the hook-handed man and the bald man with the long nose show regret at the loss of this person, Olaf claims that he or she was a fool and was not worth waiting around for.
In the film, the Person of Indeterminate Gender is played by Craig Ferguson.
The Wart-Faced Man
The Wart-Faced Man is a character who functions as a part of Count Olaf's troupe during the second half of The Bad Beginning, but is never seen or mentioned again. He also plays a minor role by flicking off the lights at the end of "The Bad Beginning" which helped Count Olaf's theatre troup escape from Mr. Poe and the authorities.
In the The Carnivorous Carnival, there was a man with pimples all over his chin. This is very unlikely, but this man may be the wart-faced man (but he has pimples not warts, and the Baudelaires didn't recognize him which probably means that he was not the wart-faced man).
On the audiobook's accompanying song the bald man is described as being "a long-nosed bald man with warts", perhaps indicating that Daniel Handler later confounded the two.
Dr. Georgina Orwell
Dr. Georgina Orwell was an optometrist living in the town of Paltryville. In The Miserable Mill, Dr. Orwell was a hypnotist and hypnotized Klaus Baudelaire. Although it is likely that she was a genuine optometrist (having fixed Klaus' glasses), it is unclear whether Dr. Orwell had recently embarked on a new career as a hypnotist, whether it is merely a hobby of hers, or whether she has always been a hypnotist in some capacity. She sides with Count Olaf, who was disguised as her receptionist, as they had agreed to split the Baudelaire fortune equally, before the Baudelaires arrived at the mill.
She was described as tall woman with blonde hair in a tight bun who wore big black boots. She was seen wearing a long white coat with a name tag that reads 'Dr. Orwell' and held a long black cane with a shiny red jewel on the top. In the same novel, she and Sunny Baudelaire had a swordfight in which Georgina pushed the red jewel on her cane, whereupon it instantly reveals a sword.
Dr. Orwell was killed just before she got the chance to slash Sunny's throat, when she accidentally backed into a saw that had been turned on for use in her and Count Olaf's conspiracy to steal the Baudelaire fortune.
She may also have been a former member of V.F.D., as the optometrist disguise described in Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography matches her appearance.
When the Baudelaires are running from the authorities, for crimes they did not commit, they disguise themselves as freaks. Violet and Klaus disguise themselves as a two-headed freak in the Caligari Carnival, while Sunny is Chabo the Wolf Baby. They then find themselves working with Hugo, Colette, and Kevin. At the end of The Carnivorous Carnival, Hugo is bribed by Count Olaf and Esmé Squalor to join their evil troupe. Hugo also appears in The Slippery Slope as a very minor character.
Hugo the Hunchback appears again in The Penultimate Peril, disguised as an attendant in Hotel Denouement as part of one of Count Olaf's schemes. It is unknown whether he survived the fire that consumed the hotel.
When Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire were running from the authorities for crimes they had not committed, the three children disguised themselves as freaks. This resulted in working with Colette and her co-workers. They lived in a caravan at the carnival with their colleagues and fellow freaks, Hugo, a hunchback and Kevin, who is ambidextrous. At the end of The Carnivorous Carnival, Colette, Hugo, and Kevin joined Count Olaf's associates.
Colette appears again as a minor character in The Slippery Slope and The Penultimate Peril. In The Penultimate Peril, she disguises herself as a chemist to help with Count Olaf's latest scheme. Whether she survives the fire or not is unknown.
Kevin is a villain in Olaf's theater troupe who is ambidextrous. He first appears in The Carnivorous Carnival, in which he is employed at the Caligari Carnival in the House of Freaks. He is paranoid about being ambidextrous and states that wherever he goes, people whisper about him being a freak.
When Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire were running from the authorities, for crimes they had not committed, the three children disguised themselves as freaks. This resulted in working with Kevin and his co-workers. They lived in a caravan at the carnival with their colleagues and fellow freaks, Hugo, a hunchback and Colette, who is a contortionist. At the end of The Carnivorous Carnival, Colette, Hugo, and Kevin joined Count Olaf's associates.
Kevin appears again as a minor character in The Slippery Slope and The Penultimate Peril. In The Penultimate Peril, he disguises himself as a washerwoman to help with Count Olaf's latest scheme. Whether he survives the fire or not is unknown.
Fiona joins and tricks Count Olaf and his troupe by saying she would join in The Grim Grotto.
Count Olaf said that Ernest Denouement was part of his troupe.
The man with a beard but no hair and the woman with hair but no beard may have been part of the troupe.
Madame Lulu may have been part of the troupe.
- Count Olaf
- Hook-handed man
- List of supporting A Series of Unfortunate Events characters
- Esmé Squalor
- V.F.D. members
- p. 30, The Bad Beginning
- p. 175, The Unauthorized Autobiography
- pp. 47 – 48, The Bad Beginning
- p. 194, The Wide Window
- p. 175, Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography