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You know, some people say that the hardest job in the world is raising a child. But it is nothing compared to conceiving, writing, directing, producing and performing in a theatrical presentation for the purposes of stealing their dead parents' fortune. It's a very difficult job, and I will not have any orphans MUCKING IT UP!
~ Count Olaf.

Count Olaf is the main antagonist in the 2017 Netflix television reboot of Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events. Much like his book and movie counterparts, he appears as a greedy, extravagant actor hell-bent on claiming the Baudelaire fortune from the children Violet, Klaus and Sunny. Later on, it is revealed he wants to destroy the Baudelaires as well as all members of the secret VFD organization, which he was once part of. 

He was portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris who also voiced Ray Thompson in Justice League, Dr. Blowhole in The Penguins of Madagascar and Music Meister in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Personality

Olaf is a very intelligent and evil mastermind being very difficult for the authorities to catch due to him always being one step ahead. He is very greedy and wants the Baudelaire fortune more than anything and will stop at nothing until he gets it, he is also a master of disguise as he has always been in previous adaptations this also proves to be helpful since he manages to fool everyone despite the Baudelaires and one of their guardians (Doctor Montgomery Montgomery). He is also very extravagant and despite his natural intelligence he appears to be rather uneducated. He sees himself as a very talented actor along with his theatre troupe despite being incredibly dull to everyone else. He also has extreme narcissism.

Biography

Series 1

The Bad Beginning

Unlike the book or movie, the second episode explains how he ended up as the Baudelaires' guardian. Shortly after the Baudelaire fire, he improvised a disguise calling himself Yessica Haircut, a consultant who arranged a meeting with Mr. Poe who unsuprisingly falls for his disguise. Haircut convinces Poe that the Baudelaires should be entrusted to their parents' closest living relative, in distance, who is of course, Count Olaf. Just like in the books and movie he first appears when Mr. Poe drops the Baudelaires off at his manor and once they arrive he greets them and explains who he is with a rather charming and elegant gratitude. As soon as Mr. Poe leaves Olaf immediately gets on with mistreating the kids and eventually forces them to do all of his chores awaiting to enjoy their enormous fortune. After a while he invites his troupe around and forces the kids to prepare them dinner and the children do so, making a pasta dish. Once the orphans present the meal to them Olaf asks them where the roast beef is and begins a rather demanding attitude, he later struck Klaus across the face for annoying him by explaining how they won't have the fortune until Violet gets to the correct age. The next morning he pretends to make amends with the Baudelaries. He learns that Klaus was correct however if he were to marry Violet then the fortune would be his. He decides to get the kids to be in his play "The Marvellous Marriage" however they find out about it being a scam so the children visit Justice Strauss, Olaf's neighbor. Soon Olaf arrives and takes advantage of his lonely neighbor and convinces her to become part of the cast in the play for her to only make the marriage official. He blackmails Violet into becoming the bride in the play by threatening to drop Sunny from a cage dangling from the roof outside. The night of the play arrives and everyone remains oblivious to his true intentions and being bored at the play constantly dragging on until the end when the marriage finally takes place. Olaf then reveals everything much to the shock of everyone attending however Violet reveals she signed the certificate with her left hand making the marriage false. After Mr. Poe demands Olaf be arrested he switches off the power and slips away from the play out of his secret exit. He is later seen murdering Gustav Sebald, Montgomery's assistant.

The Reptile Room

He appears in these two episodes in his second disguise, Dr. Stephano and arrives at the house of the new guardian of the children Dr. Montgomery and is seen posing as his new assistant despite everyone even Monty himself knowing that he was false. That night Monty takes the children and Stephano to the cinema, and looks through his spyglass to decipher a code hidden in the movie's subtitles. After a failed attempt to kidnap and kill Monty he discovers that Monty only thought he was a spy and not actually Olaf. Taking advantage of this Olaf pretends to leave in defeat only to return late that evening to murder Monty. In the next episode he is seen fooling Mr. Poe into thinking he's not Olaf, a nurse who was really The Henchperson Of Indeterminate Gender arrived to examine his body and concluded it was a bite from the Incredibly Deadly Viper. The kids however know this isn't true since it was named by Monty ironically. Violet later deciphers that Olaf stole a venom sample and made a hand crafted gun to make it seem like the murder was in fact a snake bite and shows this to Mr. Poe. After learning everything (even that the viper wasn't dangerous) Mr. Poe demands to see Olaf's ankle again and uses his hanky to wipe away the make up covering his iconic tattoo of the VFD symbol on his ankle. Olaf once again flees however and Mr. Poe takes the children to their next nearest guardian, Josephine.

The Wide Window

Olaf appeared once again nearby where the Baudelaires were dropped off to their newest guardian. After a brief battle with a VFD member Olaf found out that their new guardian was Josephine when the man he was fighting accidentally told him. He later manipulated Josephine by telling her a fake backstory in his new disguise Captain Julio Sham. The two later went to get a fried egg sandwich and this is when Olaf revealed himself to her. He forced her to write a note saying she took her own life and was leaving the children to Sham. Josephine wrote the note but hid a message for the children in it saying CURDLED CAVE then faked her death and hid inside the cave. The next morning the children were devastated after her supposed death and Mr. Poe arrived but once again he refused to listen to anything they said to him about Sham being Olaf. Olaf invited everyone to the Anxious Clown restaurant where he and Mr. Poe began work on the adoption papers while the children gave themselves allergic reactions with peppermints after Larry (the VFD member who fought Olaf earlier) gave them to the kids. While he and Mr. Poe continued to work on the papers Olaf became very suspicious of the children and left Mr. Poe to finish up on the papers. He later brought his theatre troupe on a ship and the sailed out to the lake hoping to find the children. After the leeches attacked The Baudelaire's rowboat Olaf came to their rescue. On the ship Josephine admitted to Olaf they were going back and she would betray him and she stood up to him. This however ended poorly for Josephine as Olaf shoved her overboard to the leeches who devoured her alive. Once they returned Sunny revealed to Mr. Poe the truth about Count Olaf however Olaf once again slipped away along with his theatre troupe however at the same time the Baudelaire's slipped away from Mr. Poe going to a run down mill town their parents apparently ruined leading into the events of the final episodes.

The Miserable Mill

Olaf appeared in the final two episodes first when he hitched a ride with a mill worker who told him the Baudelaires arrived in the town. He later reconnected with Dr. Georgina Orwell and disguised himself as her assistant Shirley St. Ives. The two then brainwashed Klaus during an eye exam he was getting after his glasses broke with the trigger word being INORDINATE. During a meeting with Sir, Orwell introduced Sir to her new assistant, who came up with another backstory of being a lonely woman wanting children of her own. Sir then decided to allow Shirley to have the Baudelaires should they cause any trouble. This leads the two into making Klaus cause mayhem and eventually leads to Klaus severely injuring a mill worker named Phil's leg to the point of amputation. Later Olaf and The Hook Handed Man attempt to make Klaus murder Sir's partner Charlie however Violet figured out the word that would make Klaus take out her orders  as well as the word to free the other mill workers since Hook Hands accidentally said it. At this point she and Olaf kept going back and forth between controlling Klaus until Orwell arrived and told him not to listen to her. She and Olaf then get into an argument and Violet figures out the word to free Klaus. Despite this Orwell grabs Sunny and tries to throw her into the furnace and blame it on Klaus however a mob of mill workers burst through the door catching her off guard causing her to fall backwards into the furnace to her demise. Olaf and Hook Hands successfully flee. Olaf later appears in the final scene during a musical number foreshadowing the next series.

Series 2

The Austere Academy

In the first two episodes of series two Olaf and his crew make their way to Prufrock Preparatory School the new location of the Baudelaire children, they hijack a school bus but are disrupted from entering the school after seeing an advanced super computer that is designed to recognise Count Olaf.

Stumped for a plan Olaf hides underneath the school bleachers and spots Carmelita Spats of whom he immediately convinces to let him into the school undetected. After succeeding in these he and Carmelita have a brief confrontation with Your Waiter Larry who they lock in a meat locker. Olaf than gets to work with creating a new disguise becoming Coach Genghis managing to fool the vast majority of people in the school including Vice Principal Nero and even the advanced super computer.

In this disguise Olaf manages to take over the entire school and torments the Baudelaires by forcing them to do all night laps around the school under the excuse that it was an orphan exercise program. After this the Baudelaires are forced to an examination in several areas in front of the entire school which would decide whether they stay on or get expelled, it is here that Olaf's plan is revealed to be forcing the children out of school and taking their fortune by kidnapping them.

The night before their examination the Quagmires go and do the exercises instead however this eventually backfires forcing them to hide in the closed school library where they are kidnapped by The Hook Handed Man. On the day of the exam the Baudelaires actually do well surprising most of the school however Olaf steps in saying they have to pass a fitness test. This results in Violet and Klaus arm wrestling him for their fitness test, the two win and Sunny shreds Olaf's left trainer which exposes his tattooed ankle. Olaf flees with his troupe having successfully kidnapped the Quagmires and now on the run from the law with a city sized man hunt now in search of Olaf.

The Ersatz Elevator

In the following episodes, Olaf disguises himself as a wealthy foreign man named Gunther  and strikes a deal with his former acting student Esmé Squalor to become one of the new guardians of the orphans along with her husband Jerome who is completely oblivious to their plan of using the upcoming city auction to sneak away the Quagmire triplets. He first reveals himself to the Baudelaires behind a curtain in the Squalor apartment, where he doesn't even try to hide his voice. He suggests to Esme that they take the kids out to lunch to a restaurant called Herring Houdini (which is run by the henchmen). However, Esme is horrified at the terrible state of the resuatrant and they instead have lunch at the Salmonella Cafe. Larry the Waiter (by orders of VFD) distracts them by hosting a 40-course salmon meal. Larry then suggests that Olaf sing a song to entertain the guests; he reluctantly performs "Follow Your Schemes," which is an amazing success.  In the next episode, Olaf appears with Esme at the auction. They oversee bidding on a box called VFD, which everyone (VFD agents, the henchmen, the Baudelaires) desperately try to bid on. Sunny succeeds with help from Larry and Jacqueline, who knock out the Hook-Handed Man and disrupt the auction. Olaf reveals the box is really "Very Fancy Doilies," and he and Esme escape when Esme causes a panic by saying the auction hall is "out" and another one is "in." It's revealed Olaf put the Quagmires in a fish statue strapped to their car, and they flee the city. 

The Vile Village

Now on the run from the law once again, Olaf and the gang make their way to the Village of Fowl Devotees and take refuge in a local bar where Olaf disguises himself as a barman. This disguise fools most of the village population before Jacques Snicket and Olivia Caliban arrive and uncover him. This results however in the capture of the two thanks to Esme, Olivia is placed in a prison cell while Jacques is dressed up as Count Olaf who himself takes on the new disguise of Detective Dupin with both disguises fooling all of the town's residents with the exception of the Baudelaires.

Dupin convinces the townsfolk to burn "Olaf" at the stake much to the horror of the Baudelaires who know that the perfectly innocent Jacques is going to be wrongly convicted and murdered. Jacques however is killed early and Dupin once again convinces the townsfolk that the Baudelaires are responsible with even Mr. Poe believing they are guilty. Towards the end of the episode Dupin, Esme and the rest of the troupe along with the townsfolk attempt to stop the Baudelaires escaping before Violet defeats them by revealing Esme's harpoon gun was a mechanical device.

Olaf and his troupe end up on the run again although this time only from the villagers as he is now a free man as he is presumed deceased by the public.

The Hostile Hospital

Olaf and his troupe head to the Heimlich Hospital, where Esme is convinced the mysterious sugar bowl is. They stop at a general store where Olaf finds the Baudelaires. He chases them but they are saved by a VFD van- the Hospital's "Volunteers Fighting Disease." Olaf takes the troupe to the hospital where they disguise themselves using medical clothing. Olaf gains access by disguising himself as Dr. Mattathias Medicalschool, and he takes the Head of Resources Babs hostage, effectively taking over the hospital. He issues PA announcements revealing the Baudelaire "murderers" are in the hospital, forcing them to seek shelter with librarian Hal. Esme and Olaf ambush the kids in the library as they look for the Snicket File, and Violet is kidnapped. Olaf straps Violet to a bed and reveals his plans to kill her and her siblings once he has the fortune. He puts her under anesthesia and summons all the doctors, henchmen, and Volunteers to the operating theater. His plan is to have Klaus (now disguised as a doctor) perform a cranioectomy on Violet. Klaus discovers Violet's fate and is forced by Olaf and Esme to perform the surgery. However, he stalls, allowing Violet to wake up. Olaf then reveals Klaus is a fraud to everyone. In return for Violet's life, Klaus has to hand over the Snicket File.  Olaf leaves and watches the file, learning a Baudelaire parent may be alive. He angrily smashes the projector, which burns; Olaf blows on the flame to start a fire in the library. As "Dr. Medicalschool," he issues an announcement that the Hospital is burning down, and everyone needs to catch the Baudelaire "arsonists." As everyone in the operating room (led by the Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender) chases the Baudelaires, Olaf, Esme, and the remaning henchmen escape to the car. As they wait for the henchman, the escaped Baudelaires decide to hide in the trunk of Olaf's car, since there is no other option. 

The Carnivorous Carnival

With the three Baudelaire children hiding in his trunk, he and his theatre troupe drive to Caligari Carnival. He and his troupe speak to a fortune teller, Madame Lulu, who tells them that the carnival needs more customers, otherwise it might close. As the Baudelaires get out of the trunk, they look around in Count Olaf's disguises, and decide to disguise themselves as carnival freaks. Klaus and Violet disguise themselves as a two-headed person named Beverly and Elliot, and Sunny disguises herself as a half-wolf baby named Chabo. Count Olaf finds them, and the Baudelaires explain that they're looking for a job in the house of freaks. Count Olaf makes Violet and Klaus try to eat an ear of corn, and hires them after this. He disguises himself as a ringmaster, makes the "freaks" perform in a humiliating show, and eventually decides that one of the freaks will be thrown to the lions. Later on, at a show, he picks Violet and Klaus to be thrown to the lions, but they escape. Madame Lulu, who is revealed to be Olivia Caliban (the librarian at Prufrock), falls into the pit and is eaten by lions instead. Count Olaf later burns down the carnival, taking all of the freaks with him, and puts Violet and Klaus in the freaks' caravan, taking Sunny with him in the car, and the rest of the freaks in the trunk. He later throws the Baudelaires off the cliff.

Disguises

Main article: Count Olaf#Disguises

Quotes

I don't have time to learn a second language besides whatever it is I'm speaking right now.
~ Olaf refusing to hear what Sunny has to say.
I'm handsome and I'm talented and love your bank account!
~ Olaf singing to the Baudelaires.
Klaus, I'll touch whatever I want.
~ Olaf to Klaus when he refuses to allow him to touch the Baudelaire fortune.
My name is Captain Sham and my home is the sea!
~ Count Olaf posing as Julio Sham.
My name is cookie, Shirley? Err... My name is Shirley, cookie?
~ Olaf posing as Shirley St. Ives.
Settling down is what losers do. Settling down is what started World War One. Settling down is what happens when you bite your lip and then your lip gets swollen and so you bite your lip again and then you keep doing that thing where you keep biting your lip over and over... I don't want that.
~ Olaf as Coach Genghis.
Scram, police! Oh wait... that... that's us. Right...
~ Olaf as Detective Dupin.
Attention. This is Dr. Mattathias Medicalschool with some very important news. A terrible fire has broken out in the Heimlich Hospital... Oh, and you might want to evacuate the building. Or move the patients or something. Thank you.
~ Olaf as Dr. Mattahias Medicalschool after starting the Heimlich Hospital fire.
Eat the damn corn.
~ Olaf as a ringmaster forcing the freak disguised Violet and Klaus to eat corn.
I didn't need a fortune-teller to tell me where the Baudelaire brats were hiding. I figured that out all by myself. So, allow me to tell you your future. A great deal of suffering and pain and then a long fall to rock bottom. Do you know how that feels? Because I do. But things are looking up for me. I'm cutting all ties with my past failures.
~ Olaf before dropping Klaus and Violet down a cliff.

Gallery

Navigation

           Lemony Snicket Villains

Count Olaf's Theater Troupe
Count Olaf | Count Olaf (2017) | Esmé Squalor | Hook-Handed Man | Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender | White-Faced Women | Bald Man | Carmelita Spats | Hugo, Colette & Kevin | Wart-Faced Man | The Man With a Beard But No Hair | The Woman With Hair But No Beard

Inhumane Society
Hangfire | Ellington Feint | Dr. Flammarion | Nurse Dander | Stew Mitchum | Sharon Haines

Other
Dr. Georgina Orwell | Sir | Vice Principal Nero | Ernest Denouement | Ishmael | Bombinating Beast