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Characters: A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Baudelaires

Orphaned when their parents die in a fire, the Baudlaires now have to escape the greedy hands of Count Olaf...and on their way, they uncover a massive conspiracy.

Violet Baudelaire

The oldest of the Baudelaire Trio, Violet is an intelligent 14-15 year old inventor and responsible older sister.

Klaus Baudelaire

The middle Baudlaire and only boy, Klaus is extremely bookish and prone to using big words. The vast amount of things he's learned from his reading, as well as his research skills, come in handy.

Sunny Baudelaire

The youngest Baudelaire is only a baby and only intelligible to her brother and sister (at least at the beginning). However, she is extremely intelligent, and in addition to having four very sharp teeth as a weapon, she also demonstrates admirable cooking skills later on.

  • Baby Talk: This changes when she starts to speak coherently towards the series' end.
  • Character Tics: Sunny likes to bare or sharpen her teeth, chews on objects when she's agitated or just for fun and bites people gently in greeting and hard if she doesn't like them.
  • Chef of Iron
  • Child Prodigy: What she will definitely grow up to be.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In Baby Talk. Especially prominent in the movie, where every other thing she says is some kind of insult or sarcasm.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: People who know her well understand her.
    • In "The Slippery Slope", Sunny takes advantage of her tendency towards baby talk and repeatedly insults Olaf, knowing he can't understand her.
    • And in later books, instead of gibberish, she often says words (or partial words) that relate to her response, or at least the topic being discussed. For example, when describing a sword fight, she says "Flynn", when somebody mentions a train, she says "Esoobac", when talking about going undercover, she says "Dragnet", and when somebody asks her to do something impossible, she exclaims "Unfeasi!"
  • Little Miss Badass: She once fought against a sword-wielding hypnotist with her teeth, and held her own for a good while.

Count Olaf

The main villain of the series, Count Olaf is a villainous actor whose goal is to murder the Baudelaire children and steal their fortune, no matter where they go and how many stupid disguises he has to wear. He's revealed to have a connection to the shadowy organization known as VFD.

  • Abusive Parent: To the abusive foster parent, anyway.
  • Alas, Poor Villain
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Assuming he's actually a Count.
  • Bald(ing) Of Evil
  • Big Bad
  • Card-Carrying Villain
  • Clark Kenting
  • Creepy Crossdresser: On two occasions.
  • Devil in Plain Sight
  • Dirty Old Man: He hints he plans to consummate his marriage with Violet.
  • Evil Laugh: One of the author's more questionable choices in books 11 and 12.
  • Fauxreigner: One of his disguises.
  • Hidden Depths: Olaf has a Mysterious Past and is apparently an orphan himself. He also apparently had some sort of relationship with Kit Snicket.
  • High-Class Glass: As Gunther.
  • Illegal Guardian: Played utterly straight at first in book one.
  • Just a Stupid Accent: From the same disguise.
  • Karmic Death
  • Large Ham: Olaf's acting is VERY Narmy and over-the-top. Probably helps the Baudelaires recognize him all the time.
  • Lean and Mean
  • Manipulative Bastard: Though having said that, it doesn't really appear that difficult to manipulate someone in the Snicketverse.
  • Mysterious Past: Duncan and Isadora Quagmire mention newspaper articles that a man with similar traits as Olaf had strangled a bishop and escaped prison in just ten minutes and another report of him throwing a wealthy widow off a cliff. The Baudelaire children agree that it sounds like Olaf and believe him to be the man mentioned in the articles.
  • Older Than They Look: Hints throughout the later books would suggest that Olaf was in VFD training with Kit and Lemony, making him around 39-45, but Helquist's illustrations depict a man that looks around 50-60 years of age. Also, the movie's depiction.
  • Old Man Marrying A Child: He attempts this with Violet in the first book and the film adaptation. He fails and attempts to kill Violet and her siblings.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: His disguises only ever cover up his unibrow and ankle tattoo, which is what everyone always recognizes him by.
  • Pet the Dog: He has a moment with Kit just before his death that qualifies.
  • Pyro Maniac: It's clear that he has at least burned a hospital, a carnival and a hotel to ground and it's suggested that he also burned the Baudelaires' mansion, but Snicket never confirmed the fact.
    • In the final book, the Baudelaires confront Olaf over their suspicions of him burning down their mansion. His initial response is "Is that what you think?" followed by "You know nothing."
  • Redemption Equals Death: His last action before dying is rescuing Kit Snicket.
  • Smug Snake: Is he ever.
  • Uncleanliness Is Next to Ungodliness: Olaf has VERY poor hygiene.
  • The Unreveal: Did Olaf burn down the Baudelaire mansion?
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Maybe. It's implied that Beatrice and/or Bertrand Baudelaire and/or Lemony Snicket killed his parents with poison darts during a performance of La Forza del Destino.
  • You Are What You Hate: Olaf, a man whose parents were killed by poison darts while at an opera house, has a license plate with "IH8ORPHANS" inscribed on it.
  • You Killed My Father: The film makes it more blatant that he was responsible for the death of Baudelaires' parents and the burning of their mansion than in the book, as Klaus finds the giant magnifying glass responsible for it and exposes it by burning the wedding contract.

Esmé Gigi Genevieve Squalor

One of the Baudelaires' many foster parents turns out to be evil and becomes Count Olaf's girlfriend. She's a wealthy woman ridiculously dedicated to keeping up with every ludicrously inane fad that comes about.

Lemony Snicket

The mysterious narrator of the series who holds a torch for a deceased woman named Beatrice.

  • Alter Ego Acting: Daniel Handler and Lemony Snicket - separate characters in the books themselves.
  • Author Appeal: Mild example - Daniel Handler is something of a gourmand, and hence the Lemony Narrator never misses an opportunity to describe some delicious dish, even providing a salad recipe in the midst of an urgent-seeming message to his sister embedded in the tenth book.
  • Dogged Nice Guy
  • The Eeyore: He is very sad.
  • The Faceless: Largely because he's a wanted criminal.
  • Greek Chorus: Lemony Snicket provides a running commentary on the events, and often addresses the reader directly.
  • Lemony Narrator: Of course.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis
  • Lovable Coward
  • Narrator
  • Plot-Based Photograph Obfuscation: Snicket never shows his face in photographs, but there are several possible explanations for why this is, and most such photographs are only seen by the audience in his author bio rather than by the characters.
    • This also applies in-universe. A note in the Quagmire diaries indicate that Snicket's face is never seen in a photograph. And indeed, when the Baudelaires find a photo of their parents, there is an unidentified man with his back turned next to them.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Inverted - Lemony's a good guy, but he does stalk the children of the woman he loved but couldn't have but should have had.


The mysterious initials of a shadowy organization that everyone - from Olaf to the Baudelaires' parents - is connected to.

The Quagmires

The Baudelaires' friends are a identical brother and sister whose brother Quigley died in a fire. Referring to themselves as "triplets" (just because Quigley's dead doesn't mean they were born twins), they help the Baudelaires out and get kidnapped for their trouble. Duncan is a journalist while Isadora is a poet specializing in couplets. Later on, Quigley is revealed to have survived.

Carmelita Spats

The bratty girl becomes a hindrance to the Baudelaires in book 5 and is later adopted by Olaf and Esme.

Count Olaf's Troupe

Olaf has a large variety of henchmen he calls his "acting troupe."

  • Ambiguous Gender: The Person of Indeterminate Gender, a.k.a. the enormous person who looked like neither a man or a woman.
  • Dirty Old Man: The Hook Handed Man, aka Fernald. The Bald Man also seems to be this way in regards to Violet in the first book.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The reason that the white faced women Heel-Face Turn.
  • Heel-Face Turn: The white faced women, thanks to Sunny.
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: It seems like Fernald's whole life is a chain of Heel-Face Turn followed by Face-Heel Turn; in the eleventh book, he manages to do both in the space of three chapters.
  • Hook Hand: Fernald, a.k.a. "the hook-handed man."
  • Pet the Dog: Fernald has this in the form of his little sister Fiona. The White Faced Women also had a younger sibling that they lost.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Some of Olaf's troupe, especially the Hook-handed Man. The Bald Man is much more questional however.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The white-faced women fall victim to this in Book the Tenth, as apparently do Fernald and Fiona in Book the Twelfth (albeit off-screen).
  • Significant Anagram: Whenever they use a pseudonym while in disguise, they typically use some anagram of "Count Olaf". "O. Lucafont" and "Flacutono" are reoccurring examples for The Hook-Handed Man and The Bald Man, respectively.
  • The Trope without a Title: The white-faced women, the man with a beard but no hair... pretty much most of the troupe.

Other Characters

Septimus HeapCharacters/LiteratureThe Sevenwaters Trilogy

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