- Great Unknown = Enemy War Base
- Sugar Bowl = Evidence Collection
- It's implied to contain evidence that proves both Lemony's innocence and the beard-man and hair-woman's heinous deeds.
- The Great Unknown is shaped like a question mark just like the Bombinating Beast in "All the Wrong Questions".
- What happened at the opera: Lemony went to meet up with Beatrice and try to win her love one last time, but with Esmé Squalor's interference, they end up killing Olaf's parents with poison darts.
- Related question: Why does the fanbase insist that her last name is either Baudelaire or Snicket, depending on who you ask, when it's been made perfectly clear that her mother is romantically (and sexually) involved with Dewey Denouement? Wouldn't she have his last name instead?
- Because on her half of the letters from "The Beatrice Letters" she signs them "Beatrice Baudelaire." Therefore, that is her canonically-established last name. And no, who her father is doesn't factor into it since not all children take on their father's last name (especially doesn't apply here since we have no confirmation as to who her father is; it's just as likely it could have been Olaf)
- Then again, wouldn't the good guy want to help the Baudelaires more than the bad guy? I think it could be Frank.
- The line right after that scene, Snicket says that he knows exactly where the man in the taxi went afterwards, who the man was, the name of the woman hiding in the trunk, the type of musical instrument carefully placed in the backseat, the ingredients to the sandwich tucked into the glove compartment, and the small item that sat on the passenger seat (implied to be the sugar bowl).
- It also mentioned him clutching a monogrammed napkin, like the ones Kit Snicket had in the beginning of the book.
- Possibly the man is Friday's father Mr. Caliban, given that Kit mentions having French coffee(presumably in a restaurant or cafe) with him a day earlier.
- No, it's basically all but said to be Lemony based on that incredibly detailed description. Lemony even canonically plays a musical instrument: An accordion. The implication is so strong that he literally, unambiguously, is the man in the taxi in the Netflix adaptation. While obviously the books and the tv show are their own entities with their own canons, its worth noting the implication was strong enough to make it real in one version.
- Or the events of the thirteenth book had already happened, but Snicket hadn't been informed about his sister's death, perhaps because he was busy trying to collect evidence for his books. All he knew was that his sister had disappeared, so he was trying to contact her through the books.
- Also, no matter how much "evidence" he gathered through conventional means, he wouldn't be able to piece together private conversations.
- And, not to mention, what the characters are thinking.
- It's worth noting that The Beatrice Letters indicate that the Baudelaire siblings have a different account of some of the events than Snicket gave in his books. But that doesn't negate any of the above. The fact that they bother to point out specific discrepancies — rather than just telling Beatrice Baudelaire II that the whole thing was made up — presumably means that, for the most part, they think Snicket was correct.
- More likely, conversations and thoughts are meant to be "reconstructed" in the same way that they are in narrative books about history. When exact phrasing used is unknown and when thoughts (which are inherently unknowable) are discussed, the author summarizes the gist of the conversation or thought process in a way that sounds like it came from the person involved. Given that the narrator is about as strange and personally involved as you can get without reaching Unreliable Narrator levels, it wouldn't be surprising that he doesn't mention that.
He seems to have incredibly detailed information about every little thing that happened to the Baudelaires, then suddenly can't find out anything about them after they sail off the island. Considering that Sunny is on the radio in "The Beatrice Letters", that would imply he has records of private conversations of three orphans in the middle of the ocean, but can't look up a number in the phone book. Alternatively, he could simply be one of the orphans he's been researching. All the Snickets are (or are thought to be) dead, so there is nobody to call him out, and he does drop a hint at the end of The End that the Baudelaires could now be using false names.
The only problem with this theory is that Lemony-Beatrice subplot would imply that he would have (presumably) had to have been in love with his own mother for it to work. But if his identity as Lemony is made up, then why can't other aspects of that persona be as well?
- The Beatrice the author/Klaus is referring to is actually Kit Snicket's daughter, not the Baudelaire's mother.
- But... That means Klaus and Beatrice would have somehow killed Count Olaf's parents after it was mentioned...
- Also, how would Klaus know about things that happened to Sunny or Violet whilst he wasn't there? Granted, they might have told him about certain events in detail, but certain things seem like a bit of a stretch - it would be out of character, for example, for Violet to share the fact that climbing wasn't the only thing she and Quigley got up to.
- Unless Violet and/or Sunny co-wrote the books under the same pseudonym? The siblings took turns in writing them.
- Guys, girls, other genders, let me explain. Klaus is the main writer - he loved his mother, but in a mother-son way. To deflect suspicion and avoid Violet or Sunny being in danger, states the love was marriage related. Violet confesses when she finds out about Klaus's self-given mission, and Klaus publishes his autobiography - A Series Of Unfortune Events - with the help of his kind editor. Find the plot hole, a phrase which here means "find the ersatz problem in my theory."
1) The idiocracy of people and the lack of common sense: You might be unlucky, but it's about 1 000 000 to 1 that 99% people you meet are evil, stupid, naive or simply nuts. Reason? AI that is specifically programmed to act out of place to test individual's problem solving and ability to work alone under stress, since there are no-one to rely. No matter how stupid you are, you still have common sense and instinct to protect yourself. These people seem to have none
2) The absence and incompetence of law-enforcement: The police can't catch a man that uses the most ridiculous disguises ever, has a crew of flunkies that are easily recognizable and is stalking three particular children...are you kidding me?! And where the cops are when you really need them? What country/region/city has that bad police ? (Apart from Springfield, of course)
3) Smallness and the bizarreness of the world: How come we are only introduced to one major city, two to three villages and occasional buildings what are scattered around (Like a boarding school and a carnival). Well, the game world can't be really that big, can it? Imagine how much data one complete building holds, imagine the size of a real-scaled city and how hard it would be to run. But since the whole program can't take place in one city (it wouldn't be efficient training) they had to code more places, but with the consequences that they aren't as vivid and detailed as a city (This explains why there is a hospital in the middle of nowhere)
5) Ability to have it all written up: See the theory above. Getting evidence out of burn-down places? Ability to know what a character thinks? Impossible. But if we are to assume, that Snicket read the backlogs of the simulation, it would make a lot more sense. Why to write about this particular use of simulation? Because it was interesting and a good material for publishing, that's why. Getting a cash flood from the books would easily fuel the work and research of VFD. It would be stupid not to do it. And if that wouldn't be enough would anyone believe in existence of such organization if it's plainly written open to a book. Textbook example of Hidden in Plain Sight. Snicket, you clever genius!
Oh, what happens to those who fail the simulation, you may ask? They go mad. The program is modified to be cause emotional trauma to see if you can take it (really, how did the Baudelaires manage through all that without turning to complete psychos?) and if you get killed, it just...too much...if you don't flip out during the simulation. It's perfect in its every single diabolical bit. If you pass, then welcome in. If you lose and go mad, you won't be any real danger for the VFD.
- The Unauthorized Autobiography has two and half pages (58-60) full of Lemony Snicket thinking up titles for a biography about his life. Several of these support this theory, such as LEMONY SNICKET: The Story of a Man Who Has Never Burned Anything Down; LEMONY SNICKET: The Story of a Man Who Has Never Burned Anything Down, Despite What You May Have Heard; LEMONY SNICKET: The Story of a Man Who Suspects Others of Having Burned Things Down, Even Though He Himself Has Not; LEMONY SNICKET: The Story of a Man, a Woman, and Several Matches; and, last but not least, DO YOU SMELL SMOKE? The Story of Lemony Snicket.
- Actually, it seemed those book titles seem to connect to the implication that the reason that he has been chased through hell and high water over the course of him authoring the book is due to him being framed for a crime. And due to well, VFD, and well it being basically arsonists vs. rich anti-arsonists, it's not very surprising that he would be accused of arson. This could connect to how he was presumed dead and all that jazz. Not to mention, the mysterious Snicket file, which Lemony implies he wrote, that gives evidence of all of Count Olaf's arson (presumably to acquit himself of accusation). Although, Lemony being forced into a situation like the Baudelaires' in which he had to burn something down, which he now regrets doing, is plausible. One vaguely remembers his his involvement with the poison dart incident as well...
- On a tiny ledge? When she's 14-15? I always took that Violets first kiss happened there, something more innocent.
- Doesn't have to be penetrative sex only; oral or manual assistance are other possibilities.
- Considering how many teenage pregnancies we have even in the real world, that's not a huge stretch. Maybe the only reason Violet didn't become pregnant is because of the trauma she went through, which can cause the spontaneous abortion of an unborn fetus.
- In that series, there's no way Violet could have sex and not get pregnant.
- Still, the point that they're on a six-inch-wide ledge on an ice-covered waterfall still stands. That would have to be one hell of an Idiot Ball...
- True, but never underestimate the creativity of socially-starved adolescents with crapsack lives and complete privacy.
- Violet would never dilly-dally when she's that close to rescuing Sunny. Family first.
Also, it was freezing. Why would they take off their clothes?
- Alternatively, Snicket is one of the orphans.
- If you are right about this, and she is, then it is much more possible that she likes Violet than if she was straight. Which means it's possible for all three of the Quagmires to be after Violet at once.
- Oh, for the love of the effing Sugar Bowl, with Handler as author, I would not be surprised. Sir and Charles are (likely) proof that Handler is okay with gays and lesbians, so yeah, why the hell not!? Isadora, Duncan, and uigley all want Violet! Have fun!!! (no personal hatred towards this, but still - Handler is clever...)
- Or maybe Snicket is actually Kinzo, and the reason he's stuck up in his study all the time is because he's been writing these books, still lamenting over Beatrice?
- Jossed. Snicket himself mentions the father by name (Bertrand) and one of the Beatrice letters has him congratulating Beatrice on her marriage to him, as well the previous letter having the two face that they themselves will not.
- Not necessarily. Perhaps Snicket is the Baudelaire's REAL father, with Beatrice having an affair with him outside her marriage.
- Also jossed. Beatrice became pregnant with Violet while on the island with Bertrand, which was over the course of at least a year. Granted, that doesn't rule out the other children, but considering how much focus Lemony gives Violet in the books compared to the other two, I would think if any of them were his, he'd focus on a character other than Violet.
- Actually it's not entirely jossed, just incredibly unlikely based on the sheer amount of events that occurred on the island while the parents were there. The notion that Violet could potentially be Lemony's biological child is at the very least tossed around: In one book Lemony notes, fairly specifically, that he didn't see Beatrice for "fifteen years", which is roughly the age Violet is during the course of the story. Violet also would have been named Lemony had she been a boy - but Klaus is a boy and was born less than two years after Violet, why didn't their parents name him Lemony? Also suspiciously, Violet vaguely remembers hearing the VFD motto in the form of a nursery song that she swears her parents sung to her before Klaus was born - Lemony is the apparent main subject of a song containing the VFD motto in it that's (sometimes) set to the tune of "row-row-row your boat". Why would Violet, and only Violet, have a song about Lemony sung to her?
- Or he sees them as his children, since their real parents are dead (one of them being the woman he loved).
- Not necessarily. Perhaps Snicket is the Baudelaire's REAL father, with Beatrice having an affair with him outside her marriage.
- A character in The Penultimate Peril says that the headquarters underneath the lake is accessible "by a secret entrance". The Great Unknown is some kind of autonomous wormhole thing, that seeks out people who the VFD want to bring to their meeting and teleports them there. However, the rooms have been taken over by Olaf's Ancient Conspiracy superiors. Olaf fears it because he doesn't want to be captured by his superiors with no progress made, while everyone else is afraid of it because they know that the insanely powerful and evil, bordering on Eldritch Abomination, "schism" group has taken over.
Their first guardian, however, is NOT with VFD. Count Olaf is simply an actor who has gone completely insane, and THINKS he's part of VFD. Then their plan becomes foolproof - trick Olaf into believing he is the villain, while doing all the dirty work themselves. As they move from place to place, Olaf begins to slip farther into his delusional fantasy. He takes credit for murders the orphans commit, and becomes dangerous himself. So they decide to off him too. But not before burning a hotel full of VFD members to the ground and sailing away to an Island to kill their scapegoat.This is why they're not completely traumatized by everything they've been through.Look for clues in the series to support this theory, you'll find some VERY blatant ones. Very Frank Depictions (couldn't resist) of the children being the masterminds behind everything. Any inconsistencies can be explained by Snicket getting his facts wrong.
- Alternatively, their misfortunes ended not because things got better, but because they died.
- Sorta confirmed by the prequel All the Wrong Questions, where the Great Unknown is hinted to be an undersea Eldritch Abomination.
Similarly, while the C branch closest to the trunk branches out to the Snicket family, the A and B branches don't go into any further detail. What are the chances that one of them turns into the Baudelaire Family Tree? I always thought it was a matter of fudging paperwork with the High Court's help, but Olaf Snicket may very well be the children's third-or-fourth cousin, four-or-three times removed.
- It seems odd that either A or B would turn out to be the Baudelaire's ancestor since they're respectively marked as "whereabouts unknown" and "whereabouts uninteresting". But there's still a good chance the Baudelaires are related to the Snickets anyway, since the tree only shows one parent (also note that E is Lemony's father, because both he and "C" have the surname Snicket, but F could just as easily be O's mother and Olaf may or may not be a Snicket in name). It makes more sense for Olaf's plan to use orphans he's already related to (the arson was already his doing, so why forge documents when you can use a target that's already going to end up in your care?), not to mention all the other theories that link the Snickets and the Baudelaires.
- Jacques is Lemony's brother; that's cannon. But in the Vile Village, who do the towns people think he is? 'Count Omar' who is really Count Olaf. So if Jacques is 'Count Omar' because of some similarities to Olaf, than they might be brothers, therefore, making Count Olaf Lemony Snicket's brother.
- In the bio of the Austure Academy, it says that Lemony Snicket 'is often mistaken for someone taller'. And in various books. it clearly says that Count Olaf is tall with long legs. Any questions?
- In the 13th book, wasn't it mentioned that Count Olaf and Kit had a relationship together?
- All but confirmed by the presence of only a single bed in their room at the Denouement. I'm pretty sure it's mentioned that they're holding hands while escaping from the fire later on.
- The Beatrice Letters also has Lemony mention "when C will realize S is unworthy of his love." Coincidence? Perhaps not.
- That actually makes some sense. They (V.F.D.) are constantly after the Sugar Bowl, but no one actually seems to know what's inside it. This may be just me, but when no one gets the Sugar Bowl or its would-be contents, no one seems to terribly upset. or maybe I just haven't read the later books in a while.
- Sort of confirmed if you read the Beatrice Letters and re-read the series. Sunny goes on the radio to talk about her recipes, which not only suggests that the Baudelaires proved their innocence but also that she became a famous chef. Violet is mentioned in one of the main series books (don't remember which one) as returning to Briny Beach, while in The Reptile Room Snicket says that Klaus would lie awake in bed many years later wishing he could have stopped Olaf from entering Monty's house.
- Also, Esmé says that they already have the Spats fortune in Book the Tenth.
- This also explains why the Village of Fowl Devotees can get away with burning people at the stake - there has not been an English-speaking country in which a municipal government could get away with that for at least a century.
- This may explain his immediate distrust of Count Olaf and his knowledge that the Baudelaires are orphans before they told him, but he also drove the Baudelaire parents off the island and leaves Kit Snicket to die on the Coastal shelf, which a loving brother (who, earlier, tried to contact his sister through one of the books, referring to her as "my dear sister") would never do.
Most likely, he has no interest in the money. Like a dog chasing cars, the point is the chase. There's no goal for what to do if he actually catches it. He's spent his entire life in a world full of people who are definitely not all that smart, and he's finally found someone else who can match wits with him. He's too cruel and emotionally stunted to interact with them like a normal person, so he chases them. Across the country. Across the world. It doesn't matter. He knows he'll never get the Baudelaire fortune, and he doesn't care.
- Alternatively, he wants the Baudelaire's fortune as a means to get back at them for "taking everything from them" in his mind. Remember that Olaf seems to believe that the Baudelaire parents made him an orphan. He wants to spite this family for ruining his life - aside from wanting to kill every other member of the VFD for also ruining his life.
- Adding even more speculation: If Olaf didn't kill the Baudelaire parents (as implied in The End), maybe he wanted to and that's why he's so driven to get Violet, Klaus and Sunny specifically even after the Quagmire and the Snicket fortunes were out of his hands - he was plotting to enact revenge but lost the chance to when the Baudelaire parents were killed by someone else, so he won't allow anyone else to destroy the Baudelaire's lives.
- Confirmed by the Netflix series, which Handler helped to write.
- They were both neutral but only in secret. While working with Violet one of them gives her the harpoon gun while asking if she should really be giving it to Esmé and Carmelita, and the birdpaper he had Klaus set up could have just as easily been a method to capture the sugar bowl as it was a means to separate the bird from the sugar bowl. This is why they both run the hotel that acts as a meeting point between the two sides. At some point Count Olaf found out about this which is why he thought he could ask either brother to help him when mistaking Dewey for one of them. Dewey knew about this but wasn't involved as they thought he steered a bit too much toward the noble side.
- As the series goes on the Baudelaire orphans have to commit some pretty heinous acts to survive or get more information on the VFD. Something about the unfortunate events they have to experience within the organization - especially since their parents wrote a book on the island about their own awful experiences, leaves me to believe the Baudelaire orphans aren't the first kids who accidentally killed people or unintentionally lead to someone's death. What if the poison darts were used in the wrong way during the "night at the opera" Olaf mentions, and his parents were killed by accident (in a similar way to how Dewey was killed)? But because his family and the Baudelaire's were on opposite ends of the schism, Olaf saw Beatrice and her future husband's act as assassination.