|“||For instance, I heard of a great swarm of eagles that recently stole a great crowd of children. What do you think of that?||„|
|~ Ernest makes a sinister comment to Klaus|
Ernest Denouement is the main antagonist of the twelfth book in A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. Ernest is one of the identical brothers of the triplet Denouement family, consisting of Frank, Dewey and himself, and Ernest used to be a member of V.F.D. until he betrayed the organization by siding with the villainous side.
|“||Under no circumstances should you reveal yourselves to Frank's identical treacherous brother Ernest||„|
|~ Kit Snicket warns the Baudelaires of Ernest's nature|
Ernest Denouement is first mentioned by Kit Snicket, Lemony's sister, when she recruits the Baudelaires to become concierges at the famous Hotel Denouement. Kit says about the supposedly twin brothers, Frank and Ernest, and says they're identical. Violet asks how to tell Ernest, who is evil, from Frank, who is good, if this is so, and Kit says to use their judgements of character as to who they think is good.
Immediately upon entering the hotel, they are met by Ernest instantly, who navigates them through the hotel and introduces himself. He is about to explain the system of the Dewey Decimal system, a librarian cataloging system, but he is interrupted by a bellgirl who says a taxi driver came with luggage for a man to arrive on Thursday, and is confused by what to do with it. Ernest says Thursday is very important for him because of the upcoming V.F.D. trial, to put Count Olaf and other villains in jail, and he leaves with the bellgirl. Violet correctly guesses that the man was Ernest, as "his comment about the hotel's safety seemed very sinister" and that they should hide their identities to prevent Ernest recognizing them. Klaus then says what if they've changed so much they no longer look like their younger selves, and then incorrectly guesses Ernest was Frank.
Soon after the other brother appears, Frank, and tries communicating with them in the Sebald Code, but the Baudelaires have never learned the Code and fail to get his hidden message ("I can't tell if you are friends or enemies, please respond!") Frank then assigns them to different locations in the hotel for their duties.
In Klaus' mission, he has the misfortune to meet Ernest himself, who clears Sir out of the sauna and summons Klaus to help him hung bird paper from the window so when Carmelita Spats kills the V.F.D. crows with her harpoon Violet gave her, then the sugar bowl will fall into the laundry room and Ernest will get it! Ernest has Klaus hang bird paper out the window while Klaus wonders if he did the right thing. His siblings are also wondering the right thing, as each of them encounter a manager before three o clock, and at the time Dewey is unknown so its a mystery who Sunny encountered.
Ernest later loses his brother Dewey when Olaf drops the gun to Violet who accidentally shoots Dewey and Dewey falls into the pond moments after Dewey finally introduced himself and befriended the Baudelaires.
In the trial on Thursday, Ernest is present and when Olaf and Esme announce their upcoming party, Ernest says all gifts are free. Justice Strauss sharply tells him he's out of order.
When the Baudelaires finally tell their life story, they are interrupted by Justice Struass repeatedly "humming" and the judges (whose voices sound familiar) tell lies that she is enjoying tea or saltwater taffy. When the Baudelaires cannot stand it, they lift their blindfolds (as the High Court, for some reason, took the phrase "justice is blind" literally, which Sunny rightfully says it doesn't make any sense) and peek. When they see Justice Strauss being kidnapped by Count Olaf, they recognize the man with a beard but no hair and the woman with hair but no beard, two villains of great evil even Count Olaf is afraid of them. They accuse the Baudelaires of contempt of court, which Violet says is right because this court is dishonourable. When Klaus says the judges are evil villains, Ernest accuses him and his sisters of lying.
Ernest is one of the ones to roam the hotel (albeit still blindfolded) to search for anyone who might be in contempt of court. However, Sunny sets the hotel on fire to tell V.F.D. they have failed. This indicates Ernest may have died. However, Lemony Snicket says that all the Denouement brothers (aside from Dewey, who did die) are working in less glamorous inns under different names nowadays. So, its probable Ernest was clever enough to escape the hotel even if he didn't believe the Baudelaires' warning of the fire.