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White-Faced Women

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The White-Faced Women are henchwomen of Count Olaf and are members of his theatre troupe. In the film version they are played by Jennifer Coolidge and Jane Adams.

Biography

The two white-faced women (also frequently referred to as the powder-faced women) are original members of Count Olaf's theatre troupe. Not much is known of them, other than the fact they had another sibling who died in a fire. The women's most distinguishing feature is they always put white makeup on their faces. They consider their makeup freakish, but it is unclear why they still put it on, though it has been suggested by some that their faces might have been damaged in the fire. Their aliases are Tocuna and Flo, which, if combined, is an anagram of Count Olaf.


The Bad Beginning

The white-faced women are introduced in The Bad Beginning, the first book. Here, they mock the Baudelaires for their predicament and they appear at the climactic play, The Marvellous Marriage, where Olaf plans to marry Violet for real in guise of a play to get her fortune. The white-faced women grab Violet and Klaus and stuff them into their costumes, then they make them sit through the duration of the play.

The Austere Academy

The women helped with Count Olaf's scheme in The Austere Academy. Disguised as two cafeteria workers with metal masks, they watched the Baudelaires and Duncan and Isadora Quagmire during the book. At the end, they forced the Quagmires into Count Olaf's automobile and drove away with them. This was said to be their most villainous act.

The Hostile Hospital

In The Hostile Hospital, they came into Violet Baudelaire's cranioectomy late, so that Klaus and Sunny were mistaken for the two white-faced women before they arrived. Shortly after the real white-faced women arrived, the Baudelaires ran to escape all of Count Olaf's associates in the operating theatre.

One of the white-faced women called that she didn't want to be left behind as they threw items in the car boot, unbeknowest that the Baudelaires were hiding in the wooden chest inside. Though Olaf threatened to leave them both behind if they dawdled, they got in the car quickly and they left the Hospital.


The Carnivorous Carnival

On the way out to the Hinterlands, one of the white faced women complained that she needed to use the toilet and asked Olaf to stop. Uncaring that they had just fled from a burning hospital, Olaf regarded that the woman should've gone to the toilet in the hospital.

During Olaf's stay at the Caligari Carnival, one of the women is seen at the House of Freaks, selling cold drinks for guests. The white faced women helped Olaf dig the lion pit and then they took part in the show and the argument which followed, trying to be the one to throw a freak to their death. The argument was unnecessary, however, as Madame Lulu and the Bald Man got eaten instead.


The Slippery Slope

Tired with Olaf's continuous treachery, in addition to feeling sympathy for Sunny Baudelaire when she was kidnapped, the two sisters left Olaf's troupe in The Slippery Slope. Lemony Snicket states that he does not know what happened to the women after they walked away in the mountains, despite countless days of research, though there are many rumors about their fate. One rumor, told in The Slippery Slope, said that they lived in the mountain, but the location is unknown.


Personality

For such ruthless henchwomen, the white faced women showed quite a compassionate side towards their victims. Its possible they may have not been as brutal to the Quagmires upon the kidnap, despite how the Quagmires felt. The white faced women did indeed show compassion for Sunny and were the only ones to compliment her meals. One of the women even went so far as to say Sunny's coffee was not bad and could she have some sugar.

However, the request for sugar marks the women as villains because apparently only villains request sugar in tea. The white faced women did start by being as ruthless as Olaf only to defect when they'd had enough. They said it was fun to fight fire with fire but they seemed to be committing so many fires it made them remember their own fire at their old home.


Trivia

  • The aliases of the white faced women, Dr Tocuna and Nurse Flo, form an anagram of Count Olaf, showing his egomaniacal nature.
  • The white faced women are perhaps the only members of Olaf's troupe who manage to redeem themselves, the second one is Fernald the Hook-Handed Man.
  • The white faced women seem neutral in the V.F.D. Schism, yet they stick together, unlike the Widdershins family.

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