List of A Series of Unfortunate Events characters
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The children's novel series A Series of Unfortunate Events features a large cast of characters created by Lemony Snicket. The series follows the turbulent lives of the Baudelaire orphans after their parents, Bertrand and Beatrice, are killed in an arsonous structure fire.
The author of the series is Lemony Snicket (the nom de plume of Daniel Handler), who plays a major role in the plot himself. Although the series is given no distinct location, other real persons appear in the narrative as well, including the series' illustrator, Brett Helquist, and Daniel Handler himself.
- 1 Major characters
- 2 Other Baudelaire family members
- 3 Count Olaf's acting troupe
- 3.1 The Bald Man With the Long Nose
- 3.2 The Hook-Handed Man
- 3.3 The Person Who Looks Like Neither a Man Nor a Woman
- 3.4 The White-Faced Women
- 3.5 The Wart-Faced Man
- 3.6 Caligari Carnival freaks
- 3.7 The Man with a Beard But No Hair
- 3.8 The Woman with Hair But No Beard
- 4 Quagmire family
- 5 Baudelaire children guardians
- 6 Other supporting characters
- 7 See also
- 8 References
Count Olaf is the main antagonist, later antihero, and the primary character of the series. Olaf is an eccentric criminal and is known to have committed many crimes as a member of the fire-starting side of V.F.D., a Volunteer Fire Department that eventually branched into a massive secret organization, prior to the events of the first book in the series. Olaf is repeatedly described as extremely tall and thin and having a unibrow, a wheezy voice, gleaming eyes, and extremely poor hygiene. He is often distinguished by the tattoo of an eye on his left ankle.
Following the death of their parents, the Baudelaire orphans are placed under his care, and he proves to be a horrible guardian who is only interested in the fortune left behind by their parents. After Olaf loses his guardianship over the children, he begins a series of attempts to steal the fortune by wearing various disguises and murdering Gustav Sebald, Montgomery Montgomery, Josephine Anwhistle, and Jacques Snicket, among scores of other related and unrelated victims, as well as attempting to murder Charles and countless others characters. While the Baudelaire children are always able to see through his disguises and intentions, the adults around them remain completely oblivious to the villain and fail to aid the children, forcing the Baudelaires to unmask Count Olaf and his various schemes numerous times throughout the series.
With the death of Jacques, who is mistakenly identified as the count by The Daily Punctilio, the target of the police manhunt for Olaf shifts to the Baudelaires, who are framed for the murder of Jacques. Olaf uses his newfound immunity to burn down Heimlich Hospital and Caligari Carnival without repercussions. When he and the Baudelaires burn the Hotel Denouement down, however, they are forced to flee the authorities by escaping to sea, where they shipwreck on the island on the coastal shelf. In an attempt to take control of the island, Olaf threatens to release the airborne pathogens of Medusoid Mycelium on the colonists, but is harpooned by Ishmael. Olaf lives long enough to help Kit Snicket safely deliver her child, then he softly kisses her on the lips, events the Baudelaires refer to as the "one good thing" in his life.
Sunny Baudelaire is a fictional character and one of the three protagonists of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events series who appears in all thirteen novels. Sunny is the youngest of the three Baudelaire orphans, and is described as an infant through much of the series. Although Sunny cannot walk until the end of the seventh book and speaks in an idiosyncratic form of baby talk, she repeatedly demonstrates advanced problem solving skills, motor dexterity, comprehension, moral reasoning, and intelligence, similar to Maggie Simpson.
Early in the series, Sunny is frequently noted for the size and strength of her teeth. While her siblings, Klaus and Violet, often use their respective talents of reading and inventing to solve their problems, Sunny is required on multiple occasions to use her sharp teeth. As the books progress and Sunny grows out of infancy, she develops a love for cooking.
In the 2004 film, Sunny is played by Kara and Shelby Hoffman. In the 2017 TV series, she is played by Presley Smith, with Tara Strong providing her voice.
Klaus is one of the three protagonists of the series who appears in all thirteen novels. Klaus is the middle child of the Baudelaire orphans; he has an older sister named Violet and a younger sister named Sunny. His sister Violet is the family inventor, Sunny is the family biter (and later chef) and Klaus is the researcher. He is twelve years old at the beginning of the series, and turns thirteen in The Vile Village. By the end of the series, he is fourteen. Klaus is the "bookworm" of the family, and his love of books has often helped him save himself and his sisters.
Violet Baudelaire is one of the three protagonists of the series; she appears in all thirteen novels. Violet helps her 12-year-old brother Klaus and her baby sister Sunny solve problems with her inventing skills. As the eldest, she is the natural leader of the group. Violet is the eldest Baudelaire: she is fourteen at the beginning of the series, and turns fifteen in The Grim Grotto. Brett Helquist's drawings indicate she has long, brown hair. When thinking and concentrating on new inventions, she ties her hair in a purple ribbon to keep it out of her face. Violet is an inventor, inventing various items such as a grappling hook that gets her up Count Olaf's tower in The Bad Beginning, a lock pick that enables her to open up Count Olaf's suitcase in The Reptile Room, a signaling device in The Wide Window, a climbing device made from ties, curtains, and extension cords in The Ersatz Elevator, an invention created from a bread and water meal that frees the three siblings from the Village of Fowl Devotees uptown jail in The Vile Village before two of them are to be burned alive, a rubber band ladder to get out of the burning Heimlich Hospital in The Hostile Hospital, fork-assisted climbing shoes that help her and Quigley Quagmire get up the frozen waterfall of Mount Fraught in The Slippery Slope and many more.
Esmé Gigi Geniveve Squalor is an antagonist of the series. She is Count Olaf's girlfriend. Prior to the events of the series, she was a professional stage actress and member of V.F.D. Esmé is distinguished by her height (she is very tall) and her obsession with high fashion and, later, with her protégée Carmelita Spats. Both the character and her husband's names are a reference to "For Esmé – with Love and Squalor" by J. D. Salinger.
Esmé is first introduced as the materialistic and inconsiderate wife of Jerome Squalor, and, in her own right, the self-proclaimed "city's sixth most important financial advisor". When the Baudelaires discover Olaf's plan to smuggle Duncan and Isadora Quagmire through a secret passageway in 667 Dark Avenue, Esmé traps them in an unused elevator shaft and tells them their mother once stole a sugar bowl from her. Though the Baudelaires escape, Olaf's plan succeeds and Esmé leaves Jerome to join the count. During the events that follow, Esmé participates in her boyfriend's schemes but becomes increasingly disenchanted by Olaf's disregard for her interests. While Olaf sees embezzling orphans' inheritances as the "greater good", Esmé wants only the sugar bowl and Olaf's affection.
When Olaf abducts the Snow Scouts as slaves, Esmé takes an interest in the scout Carmelita Spats, welcoming her as an adoptive daughter and shifting her focus from the count. After her plans for a cocktail party at the Hotel Denouement are canceled by Olaf (who decides to murder the guests instead), Esmé leaves his theater troupe and takes Carmelita. When the hotel is set on fire, Esmé is trapped on the second floor, where she and Carmelita are presumed to die.
Arthur Poe is a banker in charge of the Baudelaire and Quagmire fortunes and the Baudelaire orphans' guardianship. He is distinguished by a congenital cough, purblind demeanor, and general inefficacy in caring for both sets of children. Poe is the first to bring the news of Bertrand and Beatrice's death to the Baudelaire children. As executor of the Baudelaire estate, he interprets the will's instructions that the children "be raised in the most convenient way possible" as meaning they should remain within the city limits, and arranges for their distant cousin Count Olaf to take custody. When the Baudelaires contact Poe at his bank, Mulctuary Money Management, to report Olaf's abuse, the banker points out that Olaf is acting in loco parentis, and can raise them as he sees fit. However, when Olaf traps Sunny in a birdcage and attempts to force Violet to marry him, Poe invokes citizen's arrest just prior to Count Olaf's escape.
Lemony Snicket was in love with Beatrice and they were engaged, but she canceled the marriage and married Bertrand instead because she believed that Lemony was dead, after his obituary appeared in The Daily Punctilio newspaper. Various hints are dispensed throughout the series as to why she called off the marriage. According to Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography, Snicket is mistakenly reported by the notoriously inaccurate Punctilio as dead. In The Grim Grotto, Lemony makes reference to Captain Widdershins's having convinced Beatrice that a story in a newspaper was true, which could be the report of his death. The other evidence for her belief was that she had planned to name Violet 'Lemony' had she been a boy, in accordance with the family custom of naming a child after a friend who had died. We can assume that Beatrice at one time believed that Snicket was dead. When Lemony was revealed to be alive, she had already married Bertrand and she could not marry him. However, in The Beatrice Letters the reader is told that Beatrice returned Lemony's engagement ring and sent him a 200-page book explaining why the two could not wed, something she could not have done had she believed Snicket to be dead; although this may have been after he was revealed to be alive. This may contradict Ishmael's statement from The End that the ring was given to Beatrice then back to Lemony to Kit to Bertrand then back to Beatrice. Also, the newspaper article mentions Lemony's work as the biographer of the Baudelaires, so this particular article could not have been published until after Beatrice's death, so this puts a damper on the idea that she read that particular article. She could, of course, have believed a completely different article about him (perhaps one accusing him of crimes he did not commit—Snicket makes frequent references to such articles and false information), sent him the book and the letter, then later when she had married Bertrand, discovered the truth and also believed him (for a time at least) to be dead for some reason—though again, it could not be the obituary that appears in the Daily Punctilio that convinces her of this as that must appear after her death. In The End, when Kit Snicket nears death, she informs the Baudelaire children that "their families have always been close, even if they had to stay apart from one another".
In the 2004 film, Beatrice is played in an uncredited cameo by Helena Bonham Carter.
Other Baudelaire family members
Bertrand Baudelaire is the father of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, the husband of Beatrice, and a V.F.D. member. Throughout the series, the children remember anecdotes about their father, such as him cooking at a dinner party. He was a childhood friend of Beatrice and a good friend of Dewey Denouement. As a member of the V.F.D., Bertrand helped train the V.F.D. lions. Count Olaf implies that Bertrand and Beatrice murdered Olaf's parents. At the outset of the series, Bertrand died in the fire that destroyed the Baudelaire Mansion.
Beatrice Baudelaire II
Beatrice Baudelaire II is the daughter of Kit Snicket, who dies after giving birth. The infant Beatrice is adopted by the Baudelaire orphans, hence the use of the surname Baudelaire. At age one, "she looks very much like her mother," according to Chapter Fourteen. The younger Beatrice was named for the Baudelaire's mother Beatrice, at Kit's request and in keeping with the tradition of naming children after deceased friends. In the Beatrice Letters, which is set ten years after the main series, she is the second Beatrice Baudelaire. She is searching for her uncle Lemony Snicket and for the Baudelaire orphans, who have apparently disappeared. She stalks her uncle and writes him six letters. However, he constantly refuses to see her and actively runs from her. She writes that she attends a "secretarial school that isn't really a secretarial school", implying that she has found a V.F.D. training school. Her sixth letter is signed "Beatrice Baudelaire, Baticeer Extraordinaire."
Dr. Montgomery Montgomery or "Uncle Monty" (introduced and killed in The Reptile Room) is Bertrand Baudelaire's cousin's brother-in-law and Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire's second guardian, but he prefers to be called Uncle Monty. His sole appearance is in The Reptile Room. It is thought that his name is inspired by Monty Python, as he is a herpetologist (one who studies snakes) whose first name is Monty.
Uncle Monty is a "fat, short, chubby man with a round red face." He discovered the Incredibly Deadly Viper (which is in fact not deadly at all). When the Baudelaires first meet him, he gives them homemade coconut cream cake, and the Baudelaires instantly warm to him. He plans to take them to Peru with his assistant Gustav, but receives Gustav's apparent letter of resignation the day before (it is later revealed that Gustav was actually killed by Count Olaf), so Uncle Monty hires "Stephano" (Count Olaf in disguise) in his place. The Baudelaires quickly recognize Stephano as Olaf. Uncle Monty, on the other hand, thinks that Stephano is a jealous spy from the herpetology society, there to steal the Incredibly Deadly Viper, which he has not yet revealed to the society. When the Baudelaires tried to tell Uncle Monty Stephano's true identity, he misunderstood them, thinking that they were saying that Stephano's "plan to steal the Incredibly Deadly Viper" was as despicable as Olaf, rather than Stephano actually being Olaf. Olaf murders Uncle Monty (using snake venom), then blames it on the Mamba Du Mal (the Incredibly Deadly Viper in the movie), another snake owned by Uncle Monty. The Baudelaires escape Olaf upon his hand in Monty's death being exposed, but they never again find a nicer or more caring guardian than Uncle Monty. Uncle Monty also had some connection to the Quagmire family because there is a tunnel connecting the two houses.
Snicket's autobiography indicates that Uncle Monty's death may be partly attributable to his failure to learn Sebald Code, with which a message intended for him was hidden in the movie Zombies in the Snow, which he had taken the children to see.
In the film, Klaus sees Uncle Monty with a spyglass similar to the one he found in his father's desk drawer, and later finds one that belongs to Aunt Josephine. Klaus also found a picture with his parents, Aunt Josephine, Uncle Monty, and other presumably VFD members, all holding spyglasses. He is older and one of the more sympathetic characters in the movie. He gives the children a wonderful home, but faces the same fate as the other sympathetic guardians. In the book, Monty dearly wishes to have a family, but never found the right woman; in the movie Monty had a wife and children, but they were killed by yet another arson attack (possibly by Count Olaf). On the book cover Monty's hair is red and in the movie it is grey, while in the video game his hair is black.
In the TV series, Monty is also shown to have a ticket taker ally who spliced the film footage so that Monty can copy down the remaining message. In addition, he fought off the two White-Faced Women's attempt to capture him.
In the book Who Could That Be at This Hour?, Monty is mentioned by Hector in the final chapter.
Aunt Josephine thinks that grammar is the greatest joy in life. She keeps many books about Lake Lachrymose under her bed. These books include The Tides of Lake Lachrymose, The Bottom of Lake Lachrymose, Lachrymose Trout, The History of the Damocles Dock Region, Ivan Lachrymose - Lake Explorer, How Water Is Made and A Lachrymose Atlas. Ever since her husband Isaac (Ike for short) was devoured by Lachrymose Leeches, she has developed numerous fears, including irrational concerns about doorknobs, radiators, telephones, and ovens. In Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, several events Josephine was irrationally afraid of occur when her home falls into the lake, including a fridge nearly falling on Klaus and a radiator exploding.
In the end, Josephine pleads with Count Olaf (in his disguise of Captain Sham) to let her live by offering the Baudelaire children and their fortune in exchange for her own safety, but he pushes her overboard from a small sailboat after she corrected the grammar of her own death sentence, literally. It is heavily implied that she meets the same fate as her husband; she is surrounded by leeches and her tattered life jackets are found later by fishermen at the time the orphans were in Prufrock Preparatory School, two books later, but it is not conclusively established if she survived or not. The Grim Grotto implies that she might still be alive.[clarification needed] She and Esmé Squalor are the only female guardians the Baudelaires have in the series.
Count Olaf's acting troupe
The Bald Man With the Long Nose
One of Olaf's henchmen, he is described as a bald man with a hooked nose who always wears a black robe. He disguises himself as Foreman Flacutono in The Miserable Mill and as a doctor in The Hostile Hospital, using a surgical mask to cover his face both times. He is devoured by a lion in The Carnivorous Carnival when he and Olivia Caliban fell into the lion pit.
- In the film, the Bald Man is portrayed by Luis Guzmán. He is shown to be the least sinister with no long nose but a short one, and for that matter least intelligent, of the troupe. The deleted scenes reveal that he wishes to have a prominent role in The Marvelous Marriage, but Count Olaf makes him the effects man instead. In the video game adaption, the Bald Man is voiced by S. Scott Bullock.
- In the Netflix series, the Bald Man is portrayed by John DeSantis. He is shown to be rather large and intimidating with a short nose instead of long one and with a deep bellowing voice. Despite this, he is shown to be just as unintelligent as his movie counterpart.
The Hook-Handed Man
Fernald, commonly known as the Hook-Handed Man, is an assistant of Count Olaf. First appearing in The Bad Beginning as part of his theatre troupe, he was the one who catches Violet when she climbs up the side of Count Olaf's tower in an attempt to rescue Sunny and informs Count Olaf about it. When Count Olaf's true nature is exposed, the Hook-Handed Man is among the members of Count Olaf's theater troupe that escape in the blackout.
The Hook-Handed Man reappears disguised as a doctor in The Reptile Room and a doorman in The Ersatz Elevator. He appears in The Hostile Hospital, assisting Olaf's surgical attempt to murder Violet; he is seen traveling around as part of Olaf's troupe following this.
In The Grim Grotto, Fiona meets him and it is revealed that they are siblings: Captain Widdershins is his stepfather. He joined Olaf and left Captain Widdershins after burning down Anwhistle Aquatics. He also joined Count Olaf because Captain Widdershins always said "Aye!" which annoyed him. Fiona convinces him to steal Olaf's submarine; their fate is unknown, as Kit Snicket reports in The End that she abandoned them in the face of the 'Great Unknown'. It is also revealed that when he had to wait, he played a card game he made up named Fernald's Folly.
- In the film, he is portrayed by Jamie Harris. He is British and as revealed in the deleted scenes, is obsessed with pirates, something that annoys Count Olaf. He seems to relish in his use of his hook hands. In the video game adaption, the Hook-Handed Man is voiced by Jay Gordon.
- In the Netflix series, he is portrayed by Usman Ally. He has scars on his face, is bald-headed, and his hook hands have claws. He has the most interaction with the Baudelaires and makes constant threats. Though he also does not appear to have any problem understanding Sunny. As a nod to the books, he likes to play cards and does so with Sunny while he is guarding her. However, just like the Bald Man, the Hook-Handed Man too appears to be comically unintelligent.
The Person Who Looks Like Neither a Man Nor a Woman
One of Olaf's henchpeople who appears in The Bad Beginning, The Wide Window, and Hostile Hospital. Described as a gigantic, overweight individual, with pure white eyes and an androgynous appearance. The Person is immensely strong and never speaks, except in bellows and roars. As the Person's gender is said to not look like a man nor a woman, even Count Olaf doesn't know what the Person's gender is. At the time when Count Olaf's true nature is exposed, the Person is among the members of Count Olaf's theatre troupe that escape during the blackout.
The Person is last seen trapped in a fire at Heimlich Hospital, and may have died in the blaze.
- In the film, the Person is portrayed by Craig Ferguson. Most of the Person's dialogue is cut from the film, they possess a Scottish accent and surprisingly they too are unsure of their gender, though Count Olaf calls them 'Eliza' even after referring to them as 'he.'
- In the Netflix series, the Person is portrayed by Matty Cardarople. The Person is the youngest member of the troupe and unlike the books, actually talks a lot. However, the Person's speaking is prone to mumbling and mostly consists of rather educated observations that tend to agree with the Baudelaires' arguments.
The White-Faced Women
The two White-Faced Women are two members of Olaf's theater troupe who always cover their faces in white powder. They are apparently sisters.
They disguise themselves as cafeteria workers in The Austere Academy and as medical workers in The Hostile Hospital.
The White-Faced Women abandon Count Olaf in The Slippery Slope after accusing him of starting a fire that killed their sibling, thus revealing that like the Baudelaires and the Quagmires, they also were three siblings.
- In the film, the White-Faced Women are portrayed by Jennifer Coolidge and Jane Adams. They are both rather vain and seem to have a slight attraction to Count Olaf. As revealed in the deleted scenes, they seem to be slightly reciprocated. In the video game adaption, the White-Faced Women are voiced by Jocelyn Blue and Kari Wahlgren.
- In the Netflix series, the White-Faced Women are portrayed by Jacqueline and Joyce Robbins. They are twins, they both wear glasses and are both elderly. They admire Count Olaf and are always finishing each other's sentences. The first part of "The Reptile Room" episode had them attempting to capture Uncle Montgomery only for him to thwart their plan.
The Wart-Faced Man
The Wart-Faced Man is a man with warts on his face that is a minor member of Count Olaf's theater troupe where he worked on Count Olaf's play that would have him actually marrying Violet. While having aided in the escape of Count Olaf's theatre troupe in the blackout upon Count Olaf's true nature being exposed, the Wart-Faced Man isn't seen again.
Caligari Carnival freaks
The Caligari Carnival freaks are members of a freak show that reside in the Caligari Carnival's House of Freaks. They later side with Count Olaf.
Hugo was a hunchback who is one of the Caligari Carnival freaks. He had a hunched back which made him look slightly awkward. He was good-natured and always flexible towards the present circumstances. He lived with the Baudelaire children for a small period of time in The Carnivorous Carnival and appears to bond with Sunny Baudelaire when they make soup together. He later became one of Count Olaf's henchmen. After discovering that the Baudelaire siblings weren't actually freaks, he appears specially bitter towards them at The Slippery Slope. In The Penultimate Peril, which marks his final appearance in the series, it is left uncertain if Hugo survived the fire at the Hotel Denouement.
Colette is a contortionist who is one of the Caligari Carnival freaks. She considers her trait to be an abnormality rather than an ability.
Kevin is an Ambidextrous Man who is one of the Caligari Carnival freaks. He considers his trait to be a disability.
The Man with a Beard But No Hair
The Man with a Beard But No Hair has no background history, but is said to be villainous to the point that even Count Olaf fears him. He is the latest member of Count Olaf's theatre troupe.
The Woman with Hair But No Beard
The Woman with Hair But No Beard is a low deep-voiced associate of the Man with a Beard But No Hair where they are the latest members of Count Olaf's theatre troupe. Her "aura of menace" even frightens Count Olaf and Lemony Snicket states that he refused to write down her real name.
Duncan and Isadora Quagmire
Duncan and Isadora Quagmire are students at Prufrock Preparatory School in The Austere Academy. Their names are an homage to Isadora Duncan, a dancer who was strangled to death when her scarf became caught in the wheel of her car. They become friends with the Baudelaires: both families lost their parents in a fire and will inherit a large fortune upon coming of age. The Quagmires attempt to help the Baudelaires work out Count Olaf's plan, but end up being kidnapped by him. They return in The Ersatz Elevator and The Vile Village and the Baudelaires try to help them escape Olaf's clutches; in the latter, they end up escaping in a hot-air balloon house with Hector. In The End, Kit Snicket tells the Baudelaires that she briefly met up with them, but does not know what happened to them as she abandoned them when threatened by the Great Unknown.
In the TV series, Duncan and Isadora are played by Dylan Kingwell and Avi Lake, respectively.
Quigley Quagmire is the brother of Duncan and Isadora, who was thought to have died in the fire which killed his parents. He escaped and eventually managed to find the Baudelaires in The Slippery Slope, where he helped Violet and Klaus rescue their sister. He was then separated from the Baudelaires; he managed to meet up with his siblings, according to Kit Snicket in The End, although she does not know what happened to him after that. He is also the love interest of Violet Baudelaire.
In the TV series, Quigley is played by Dylan Kingwell, who also plays Duncan.
Baudelaire children guardians
In the children's book series A Series of Unfortunate Events, Violet Baudelaire, Klaus Baudelaire, and Sunny Baudelaire live with various guardians following the death of Mr. and Mrs. Baudelaire. After a brief stay with Mr. Poe, the children are shuffled from one legal guardian to another until The Vile Village when they run away from the Village of Fowl Devotees and become fugitives. From this point on, there is always someone (or in some cases several someones) who takes care of them.
Besides Count Olaf, Uncle Montgomery, and Aunt Josephine, among the known guardians in order of appearance are:
|A Series of Unfortunate Events character|
|First appearance||The Miserable Mill|
|Last appearance||The Penultimate Peril|
|Portrayed by||Don Johnson (TV series)|
|Occupation||Owner of Lucky
In The Miserable Mill, Sir is the owner of the Lucky Smells Lumbermill, located in Paltryville. His real name is not known, although it has been described as hard to pronounce. Mr. Poe has attempted to pronounce the first syllable of the name, using a radically different syllable every time (Wuz, Qui, Bek, Duy, Sho, Gek, etc.). Equally obscure is Sir's appearance. Sir's entire head is hidden by the thick smoke of his ever-burning cigar. He shows little or no concern for either the Baudelaire orphans or his employees, whom he pays in coupons and provides with an unsatisfying meal of chewing gum. His partner, Charles, mentions that he has had a terrible childhood. He later appears in The Penultimate Peril. Lemony Snicket also stated that neither the Baudelaires, the reader, or himself, would ever see Sir's face.
In the 2017 Netflix series, he is portrayed by Don Johnson, where, unlike in the novel, his face is completely unobscured.
Charles is Sir's partner at the Lucky Smells Lumbermill in The Miserable Mill. Charles is kind to the Baudelaires but not very helpful; he organizes a library to be set up at the mill but it only contained three books.
Charles makes an appearance in The Penultimate Peril, staying with Sir in the Hotel Denouement. He explains to Sir that he wants to apologize to the Baudelaires for their treatment, and he is sent a letter by J.S., which assists him in his search. Although it is not stated in the book, Charles may be on the firefighting side of VFD.
Vice-Principal Nero is the vice-principal of Prufrock Preparatory School in The Austere Academy. It has been suggested that his name is an allusion to the Roman Emperor Nero, who is often said to have "fiddled while Rome burned;" Vice Principal Nero plays the violin.
Nero dresses in a brown suit with a necktie patterned with pictures of snails. In The Austere Academy, his hair is tied into four pigtails, but by The Penultimate Peril, they have grown into four long braids that dangle behind him. Nero often mimics what others have just said in a high, mocking tone and has numerous strict and unusual punishments for his students; he is a vain egotist.
|A Series of Unfortunate Events character|
|First appearance||The Ersatz Elevator|
|Last appearance||The Penultimate Peril|
|Family||Esmé Squalor (wife)|
Jerome Squalor first appears in The Ersatz Elevator. He is married to Esmé Squalor; together, they adopted the Baudelaires briefly. His wife's name is a reference to J.D. Salinger's short story "For Esme with Love and Squalor." Jerome is kind to the Baudelaires but completely submissive to Esmé and other characters due to his distaste for arguing. He is less of a follower of fashion than Esmé. He is rich and successful, as is his wife. He is perhaps the most caring guardian of the Baudelaire children since Uncle Monty. At the end of the novel, Esmé leaves Jerome to become a member of Count Olaf's troupe and Count Olaf's girlfriend; the Baudelaires leave Jerome behind as he does not wish to help them rescue the Quagmires.
In Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography, there are two letters concerning Jerome. Jerome returns in The Penultimate Peril: feeling guilty at his desertion of the Baudelaires, he has been researching their case and writing a book about injustice entitled Odious Lusting After Finance (a backronym of "Olaf"). He gives the book to Justice Strauss to be used as evidence at Olaf's trial. Jerome also meets his wife Esmé at the hotel, and when she dumps Count Olaf publicly Jerome urges her to rejoin his side. Esmé refuses his offer.
Hector is the handyman in the Village of Fowl Devotees appearing in the seventh book, The Vile Village. He was given the task of taking care of the Baudelaires under the Village Elders' direction. He is known to be skittish and always looks down and never speaks when in front of the Village Elders, even when the Baudelaires needed his help in proving their innocence of Jacques Snicket's murder. He later escapes with the Quagmire triplets on his self-sustaining hot air mobile home.
Hal first appears in the eighth novel, The Hostile Hospital. Working at the Library of Records in the Heimlich Hospital, he is one of the oldest men that the Baudelaires have ever met. However, when the Library of Records is burned down by Count Olaf, Hal is quick to believe that the Baudelaires are responsible, and so turns against them.
In The Penultimate Peril, he reappears as the owner of an Indian restaurant at the Hotel Denouement. Although he owns the restaurant, Hal is a terrible cook. He forgives the Baudelaires and apologizes for believing Geraldine Julienne's stories in The Daily Punctilio.
In The Slippery Slope, Bruce appears again as the leader of the Snow Scouts. The Baudelaires learn that he is the uncle of Carmelita Spats, a member of the Snow Scouts, and Count Olaf cheated him out of Uncle Monty's reptile collection (except for one reptile, most likely the Incredibly Deadly Viper). This was confirmed in Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography, in which Lemony receives the letter from the owners of the Prospero). Bruce is kidnapped by the Man with a Beard But No Hair and the Woman with Hair But No Beard, along with all the Snow Scouts, save for Carmelita, at the end of the book.
At Hotel Denouement shortly after Dewey Denouement is killed, someone calls for Bruce to come back to bed. Later as the hotel burns, the Baudelaires hear a man calling out for Bruce. It is unknown if Bruce survived the fire.
In The Grim Grotto, he finds Klaus, Violet, and Sunny Baudelaire at sea while he is looking for the sugar bowl and takes them aboard the Queequeg. He is extremely emphatic, with almost all of his sentences being exclamations, and permeates his speech with the word "Aye!" His personal philosophy is "He who hesitates is lost", which the Baudelaires find to be unreasonable. Captain Widdershins is considered the eleventh guardian of the Baudelaires. He seems aware that Fiona takes a fancy to Klaus (he accuses them of flirting when Fiona is proud Klaus knows what a mycologist is), stating that if Klaus finds the sugar bowl, he will "allow [Klaus] to marry Fiona."
After sending the Baudelaires and Fiona into the Gorgonian Grotto, he and Phil appear to desert the Queequeg. The reason may have to do with a woman who approached the Queequeg to tell Captain Widdershins something involving him being required to leave the submarine. In The Penultimate Peril, Kit Snicket says that she intends to meet Captain Widdershins and is later mentioned water-skiing towards and, soon after, away from him.
Kit had contacted all three of The Quagmire Triplets as well as their Guardian Hector and had met with them and the crew of the Queequeg when their self-sustaining mobile home crashed into it. This reunion was short-lived, however, as all of the crew as well as the triplets were picked up by the mysterious '?' Shape (dubbed by Kit Snicket as 'The Great Unknown'). Another note to make is that though he himself stated that The Great Unknown was "something worse than Olaf himself", he seemed to insist to take his chances with it, as mentioned by Kit Snicket in The End. It is possible that Captain Widdershins also has, or had, a fortune because when Count Olaf is talking about all the fortunes he will obtain, he says "the Widdershins fortune".
In The Grim Grotto, Widdershins says that Fiona's mother died in a manatee accident.
Dewey is the hotel manager of the Hotel Denouement, but far fewer people are aware he exists: Count Olaf describes him as a "legendary figure". He calls himself a "sub-sub-librarian", and has spent his life cataloging evidence hidden within the pool of the Hotel Denouement. When he refuses to tell Olaf the passwords to unlock a door (which supposedly led to a room containing the sugar bowl), Olaf threatens to shoot him with a harpoon gun. The Baudelaires try to save Dewey, but Olaf drops the gun and it goes off, killing Dewey.
Dewey is the father of Kit Snicket's child.
Frank and Ernest Denouement
Frank and Ernest are identical brothers of Dewey are managers of the Hotel Denouement. Frank is a "volunteer" while Ernest is a "villain". The Baudelaires work in the hotel as concierges and meet managers on several occasions, but fail to tell Frank and Ernest apart.
Other supporting characters
Babs also first appears in the Hostile Hospital. She is the head of Heimilich Hospital's Human Resources Department. She is never seen but is heard over an intercom, which distorts her voice and makes it sound 'scratchy'. She seems to believe that the Baudelaires should be 'seen and not heard' which is ironic since she can't see them anyway. Count Olaf, disguised as Mattathias, later stole her position to take control of the hospital and hinted that he pushed her off the roof of the hospital, as he said she had 'decided to pursue a career as a stuntwoman' and had 'started jumping off buildings immediately.' This means that Olaf probably pushed her off a roof or forced her to jump off one. Either way, Babs was killed.
Mrs. Bass is Klaus Baudelaire's teacher in The Austere Academy, obsessed with measuring in metric and all of her lessons are on measuring certain items. She and Mr. Remora only agree that Violet and Klaus are good students after their final examination that would determine their expulsion from Prufrock Prep. Prior to this, however, they were under the impression that Violet and Klaus were the two worst students in the history of the school. Mrs. Bass at this occasion states that she dislikes Carmelita Spats.
She reappears in The Penultimate Peril, having been invited to a cocktail party at Hotel Denouement, wearing a thin black mask and a small white wig as a disguise; it is implied, as foreshadowed in The Austere Academy and Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography, that she has robbed a bank, having in her possession several bags of money marked with name of Mulctuary Money Management. It is also implied that the money she stole is from the Spats Fortune. She makes no attempt to conceal her crime from her co-teachers, Vice Principal Nero and Mr. Remora, and they in turn do not judge her, seeming to look on her robbery as an everyday occurrence. She also reveals that her invitation to the cocktail party asked her to bring all her valuables, and since she did not earn enough as a teacher to have valuables she was forced to turn to a life of crime. Despite her defense of the Baudelaires in The Austere Academy, when their own identities are revealed at the Hotel Denouement, she is quick to accuse them of bank robbery. It is assumed that she survives the fire because it is mentioned in The Austere Academy that she was arrested for bank robbery.
Carmelita Spats is a pupil of Prufock Preparatory School and a Snow Scout, appearing in The Austere Academy, The Slippery Slope, The Grim Grotto and The Penultimate Peril. She dislikes the Baudelaires, taunting them for being orphans and calling them "cakesniffers". Her uncle Bruce is the leader of the Snow Scouts; she hikes up the Mortmain Mountain every year with the group, which celebrates the False Spring by crowning her queen. One year, she meets Olaf and Esmé at the peak of the mountain and they unofficially adopt her. In The Grim Grotto, she claims to be a "tap-dancing ballerina fairy princess veterinarian" and performs a recital; Esmé finds this adorable while Olaf is annoyed by it. In The Penultimate Peril, she dresses as a "ballplaying cowboy superhero soldier pirate" and has a pool and a ship brought to the roof of the Hotel Denouement.
Friday Caliban is a young island girl who quickly befriends the Baudelaires, giving Sunny a whisk as a gift, and making enemies with Count Olaf by abandoning him. She is the daughter of Thursday and Miranda Caliban. Her mother told her that her father was eaten by a manatee in the storm which shipwrecked her on the island, but the truth is that Miranda and Thursday were separated by the schism and Miranda did not want her daughter to know this. Friday was forced to leave the island on a boat with the other islanders, all of them infected by the Medusoid Mycelium, leaving the Baudelaires behind.
Ishmael appears in The End; he is the leader in a small colony of island inhabitants. He uses peer pressure and the sedative of fermented coconut cordial to influence the islanders; while claiming to be unable to walk, he often sneaks off to the island's arboretum, writing diary entries and organizing shipwrecked objects. The Baudelaires, when on this island, discover that he used to know their parents and forced them off the island when their mother was pregnant with Violet. When they ask him why he keeps so many secrets from the islanders, he says that he is trying to keep them safe. He is last seen on a boat leaving the island, surrounded by poisoned islanders, although he previously consumed an antidote.
Mr. Lesko is a citizen of the Village of Fowl Devotees from The Vile Village. The Baudelaires first meet him at a meeting in Town Hall where he is shown wearing plaid pants. He, and several other citizens, do not want the Baudelaires to live with him and describes them as "noisy" children. He is very mean to them and makes them and Hector clean the windows of his house. He is the one who suggests the Baudelaires be burned at the stake because he thinks they killed Count Olaf (who was actually Jacques Snicket). He returns in The Penultimate Peril as one of the hotel guests in the lobby after Dewey Denouement is killed. At the Baudelaires and Count Olaf's trial, he hands in rule books for evidence. It is not said if he survives the fire or not.
Olivia appears in The Carnivorous Carnival: posing as a fortune teller, she runs Caligari Carnival. She promises to answer questions Olaf has about V.F.D., using a hidden library and guesswork to make him believe her. She also hires the Baudelaires, disguised so they will not be recognized by Olaf, as "freaks". When the Baudelaires discover her library, she admits she was a member of V.F.D. and agrees to go with the Baudelaires to search for their parents in the Mortmain Mountains. However, she accidentally falls into the carnival's lion pit and dies after telling Olaf about the Baudelaires' disguises. She is presumed to be Thursday Caliban's sister, Miranda Caliban's sister-in-law, and Friday Caliban's aunt.
Mrs. Morrow is a citizen from the Village of Fowl Devotees in The Vile Village. She is seen at Town Hall when the Baudelaires arrive wearing a pink bathrobe. She is one of the people who does not want the Baudelaires living with her. She makes them trim her hedges, and later complains about their poor job. She delivers the news about Jacques Snicket's mysterious death, whom she, like the other villagers, thought was Count Olaf. She is one of the villagers most determined to burn the Baudelaires (and any other person in violation of the many thousands of village rules) at the stake. She (along with Mr. Lesko) reappears in The Penultimate Peril as a guest at Hotel Denouement. She is in the lobby after being woken up by a shot from the harpoon gun that killed Dewey Denouement. She submits constitutions to be used as evidence at the trial for the Baudelaires and Count Olaf. It is not revealed if she escaped from the fire at the hotel that had been set by the Baudelaires and Count Olaf, or perished.
Dr. Georgina Orwell
Dr. Georgina Orwell is an optician and an accomplice to Count Olaf in his attempts to steal the Baudelaire fortune in The Miserable Mill by hypnotizing Klaus. Her name is an allusion to George Orwell. She is killed when she falls into a gigantic lumber saw, while battling Sunny, sword vs. teeth.
In the TV series, she is played by Catherine O'Hara (who previously portrayed Justice Strauss in the film adaptation).
Phil worked at the Lucky Smells Lumbermill in The Miserable Mill. Phil was one of the friendlier mill workers, and helped the Baudelaires adjust to their new home. During the Baudelaires' stay at the lumbermill, Phil was injured by a mill machine, operated by Klaus, who was hypnotized at the time. On the bright side, Phil is an eternally optimistic character who is not upset about the accident, by saying things such as "at least no one would ask whether I'm right-handed or left-handed."
In The Grim Grotto, Phil worked as a cook at a submarine manned by Captain Widdershins (who calls him Cookie) and his stepdaughter, Fiona although all he can make are damp casseroles. Klaus believes that Phil is still being affected by the stamping machine accident, but Phil claims it to be a shark bite. He, along with Captain Widdershins, abandons the Baudelaires and Fiona during the middle of the novel for unknown reasons, (or had been captured), and does not appear in The Penultimate Peril or The End. It is suspected that Phil may have left his work at Lucky Smells Lumbermill due to a lack of sufficient pay; in The Miserable Mill he states that he has read law books and learned that being paid with coupons is illegal, and despite bringing this up with Sir, it is stated in The Penultimate Peril the workers at the mill are still being paid in coupons.
In the TV series, he is played by Chris Gauthier.
Edgar and Albert Poe
Edgar and Albert are Mr. Poe's two sons. They are only mentioned in The Bad Beginning when the Baudelaires stay with Mr. Poe following their parents' death. Their names are apparent allusions to Edgar Allan Poe, though they may also be derived from Edgar Albert Guest (who is mentioned in The Grim Grotto). The two brothers are unwelcoming to the Baudelaire orphans.
In the TV series, Edgar and Albert are played by Kaniel Jacob-Cross and Jack Forrester, respectively. Their unwelcoming attitude goes so far to the point that they both think the Baudelaires caused the fire themselves. Lemony Snicket reveals that later in life, one became a banker like their father while the other lives in a cave, but that both think that "the other has it better".
Eleanora Poe is the sister of Mr. Arthur Poe, who is in charge of the Baudelaire orphans' affairs. Eleanora is the editor in chief of The Daily Punctilio. She is first mentioned as "a tiresome woman named Eleanora" who was in an elevator at the Hotel Preludio with the Baudelaire family one day when Bertrand played a prank that forced her to stop at every floor on the way to her hotel room.
It is implied that Eleanora and Arthur are not part of the V.F.D. organization, because at The Anxious Clown, the waiter uses a code for V.F.D. members, and neither Eleanora nor Arthur seem to understand it or decide to ignore it. She was eventually locked in the basement of the newspaper building by Geraldine Julienne, her "star reporter", on the orders of Esmé Squalor. This was likely to secure the influence of the newspaper for the villainous side of V.F.D.
In the TV series her character is changed to be Mr. Poe's wife, and she is portrayed by Cleo King. She is shown to be more concerned with the Baudelaires' fame in the papers than their actual living conditions.
Polly Poe is Mr. Poe's wife. She is mentioned in The Bad Beginning when the Baudelaires stay with the Poe family, and at the theater for Count Olaf's performance of The Marvelous Marriage. While the Baudelaires stay at the Poes' she buys a lot of itchy and ugly clothing. In The Ersatz Elevator, Mr. Poe says that he will tell his wife that dark is in, indicating that she is interested in fashion.
In the film she is played by Deborah Theaker, and in the television series her character is combined with Eleanora Poe.
Mr. Remora is a teacher at Prufrock Preparatory School, in The Austere Academy teaching Violet Baudelaire. He loves bananas and is constantly seen eating one, smearing banana pulp on his moustache. In his class, students are forced to listen to tiresome and extremely short stories he dictates, after which he gives examinations on various objective aspects of the stories. He thinks that the Baudelaires are good students. Lemony Snicket also reveals that Mr. Remora later retired from his teaching job because he choked on a banana.
Whether retired or not, Mr. Remora reappears in The Penultimate Peril with his fellow teachers, having been invited to a cocktail party at the Hotel Denouement, and makes a brief reference to running from the law (possibly a reference to Mrs. Bass's bank robbery). Hal also tries to communicate with him using a V.F.D. coded phrase; however, Remora fails to understand, meaning that he is probably not part of V.F.D.
|A Series of Unfortunate Events character|
|First appearance||The Bad Beginning|
|Last appearance||The Penultimate Peril|
|Portrayed by||Catherine O'Hara (film)
Joan Cusack (TV series)
|Occupation||High Court justice|
Justice Strauss is a judge who lives next door to Count Olaf. The Baudelaires initially take a liking to her as soon as they meet in The Bad Beginning, and her library also comes in handy in the foiling of Count Olaf's plot to get the Baudelaire fortune. At the purported mock wedding that Olaf sets up, she plays the judge and unwittingly almost marries Violet to Olaf, legally. At the end of the book, she offers to look after the Baudelaires, but this is not possible due to legal obligations on the part of Mr. Poe.
Strauss reappears in The Penultimate Peril. She has been researching the Baudelaire case and attempts to bring Count Olaf to justice. Her two fellow High Court judges turn out to be Olaf's associates, the man with a beard but no hair and the woman with hair but no beard. Olaf kidnaps Justice Strauss and the Baudelaires follow the two. They end up ascending the roof of the Hotel Denouement after setting fire to the building. Justice Strauss attempts to prevent the escape of Count Olaf, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny, but they leave her behind.
- LS to BB #5, Dewey is killed in book 13 The End. When Violet accidentally drops a harpoon gun causing Dewey to be shot. The Beatrice Letters
- The Bad Beginning: Rare Edition
- Snicket, Lemony (2006). The End. A Series of Unfortunate Events. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-441016-1.
- Snicket, Lemony (2006). The Beatrice Letters. A Series of Unfortunate Events. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-058658-3.
- Melody Joy Kramer (October 12, 2006). "A Series Of Unfortunate Literary Allusions". NPR. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
- McLaughlin, Maureen; Overturf, Brenda (November 7, 2012). The Common Core: Teaching K-5 Students to Meet the Reading Standards. International Reading Assoc. p. 92. ISBN 0872078159.
clearly a reference to the Roman Emperor Nero, who allegedly fiddled while Rome burned
- Snicket, Lemony. "Lemony Snicket: The Unauthroized Autobiography". HarperCollins, 2002, p. 140-141.