Count Olaf
Biographical information

In The End, due to a harpoon wound by Ishmael


O. (V.F.D. alias)
S. (used to frame Lemony Snicket)
The Count
Al Funcoot[1]
Captain Sham[3]
Shirley T. Sinoit-Pécer/St. Ives[4]
Coach Genghis[5]
Count Omar[7]
Detective Dupin[7]
Countie (by Carmelita)[9]
Kit Snicket[10]
Yessica Haircut (TV show only)

Physical description




Hair color


Eye color

Blue (some illustrations)

Skin color


Family members

Count Olaf's parents
Kit Snicket (former girlfriend)
Esmé Squalor (girlfriend from TEE to TPP)
Baudelaire children (adopted children in TBB)
Carmelita Spats (adopted daughter until TPP)

Love interests

Georgina Orwell (formerly, according to the Netflix series)
Esmé Squalor (formerly)
Kit Snicket (formerly)


"Impresario" (self-proclaimed)
Criminal Mastermind
V.F.D. Volunteer (formerly)


V.F.D. (formerly)
The Theater Troupe (formerly)
S.S.S.S.S.S. (only within his disguise as Stephano)
Dr. Georgina Orwell
Esmé Squalor (formerly)
The Man With a Beard But No Hair
The Woman With Hair But No Beard
The Baudelaire Fortune

"I'll get my hands on your fortune if it's the last thing I do. And when I have it, I'll kill you and your siblings with my own two hands."
—Olaf whispering into Violet's ear when the lights are off

Count Olaf (also known as T[11], Countie, Olaf, O[12], Al Funcoot[13], and many other aliases) is the main antagonist in A Series of Unfortunate Events. Olaf's most distinguishing marks are a unibrow and a tattoo of the V.F.D. eye on his ankle.

Count Olaf is said to be a distant relative of the Baudelaires (their third cousin four times removed or their fourth cousin three times removed, though it is not revealed as to whether he is related through Bertrand or Beatrice). It is also possible this relation is a lie he fabricated so that he could adopt the Baudelaire orphans.

In The Bad Beginning, he becomes the adoptive father of the Baudelaire orphans Violet, Klaus and Sunny after their parents' death in a mysterious fire which he may or may not have been involved in.

After he loses custody of the children after his "Marvelous Marriage" play failed, he begins stalking them everywhere and plotting complicated schemes to obtain the Baudelaire fortune, even if it means murdering them.

As Olaf had gained notoriety for numerous counts of arson, the Baudelaire orphans believed he may have caused the fire that killed their parents, but he neither confirmed nor denied it when confronted. Olaf did not seem surprised by the accusation but asked them "Is that what you think?" Whether this is a denial of involvement in the event or means something else is unknown.[10]


"I may be a terrible man, but I have been able to concoct a foolproof way of getting your fortune, which is more than you’ve been able to do. Remember that, orphans. You may have read more books than I have, but it didn’t help you gain the upper hand in this situation. Now, give me that book which gave you such grand ideas, and do the chores assigned to you."
—Olaf after being told he's a terrible man by Klaus

Olaf is greedy and he holds an unexplained fixation with the Baudelaires' inheritance in particular, and has followed them with a dogged obsession. In the TV series, he claims money is the most important substance on earth, apart from applause and lip balm. Later, it is revealed that Olaf was also an orphan, and his misfortunes throughout his life have shaped him into something grotesque.

Olaf is rather intelligent. He employs his acting skills and is a master of disguise, using various disguises in his plots. His disguises usually do little besides cover his eyebrow and tattoo, which is sufficient to fool most. The Baudelaires are able to recognize his other characteristics, such as his wheezy voice and shiny eyes, but others don't notice these marks, and very few of them believe the Baudelaires' claims to recognize him.

As the main villain of the series, Olaf can be perceived as violent, terrifying and scary. Olaf seems to be a psychopath involved with murder, kidnapping and arson. Apart from trying to kill the Baudelaires numerous times, he also once threatened to cut off one of Sunny's toes in The Reptile Room: Part One, teases that two of the Baudelaires will burned to death at the stake in The Vile Village, and demands that Sunny be thrown off a mountain in The Slippery Slope. His eyes tend to become shiny the angrier he becomes.

He is psychologically manipulative and often plays the victim card, and he views the Baudelaires as spoiled rich kids who never had to work hard in their lives -- even when the Baudelaires defend themselves by saying they often help around the house, Olaf simply doesn't care. He says he chose to offer his heart to the Baudelaires and they won't even serve him roast beef, and he blames them, despite that he never asked for it. He is also very narcissistic, frequently praising and congratulating himself, and is the self-proclaimed "world's greatest actor."

He has used child abuse, for example, he refers to the Baudelaires as "orphans" and "brats", gives them a pile of rocks as toys, he slapped Klaus' face for not serving him roast beef, locks the children in their bedroom where they sleep on one bed, treats them like slaves, forces them to do an endless list of chores, once trapped Sunny in a birdcage and hung her in a tower and threatened to drop it, and has threatened death and murder on the orphans, their relatives and their friends, following them like a shadow relentlessly. In The Reptile Room, while having dinner, under the table, he gently rubs the blade of his knife against Violet's knee for their entire meal. Klaus called him a "terrible man" while Violet called him a "monster".

"It's The Count" - Neil Patrick Harris Musical Number (Choreography by Paul Becker)

"It's The Count" - Neil Patrick Harris Musical Number (Choreography by Paul Becker)

"It's The Count".

In the film and TV series, Count Olaf is portrayed somewhat differently compared to the books. He is much more dumbed down as opposed to intelligent (for example, in the book, Count Olaf tells Klaus he knows what "nuptial" means, while in the TV series, he apparently thinks "knowledge" begins with an "n"). Live action Count Olaf has a more comedic tone instead of the sinister and serious tone Olaf has in the novels. He is also much more animated with body language in these adaptations.




Likely Count Olaf torturing ants as a child.

Not much about Count Olaf's childhood is known. Count Olaf says that when he was a child he loved raspberries. In The Wide Window, it is revealed that as a child, Count Olaf would torture and kill ants with a magnifying glass, as he would set them on fire. This shows early signs of Count Olaf's psychopathy and arson. The video game apparently has a portrait of this in his house.

When he notices a map of the Mortmain Mountains in Madame Lulu's tent, Olaf makes reference to a coded stain spilt on the Valley of Four Drafts, stating that he was taught to use such stains to mark secret locations when he was a young boy.

A letter written from Sally Sebald contains a picture of the young boy who was to play Young Rölf in Zombies in the Snow, a film directed by her brother Gustav Sebald. She says that she thinks his name might be Omar (a name that many confuse with Olaf).



Lemony Snicket and Count Olaf.

Count Olaf went to Prufrock Preparatory School with Lemony Snicket, as revealed in the TV series. Both of them were also part of their school's drama club. This is likely when he met Kit Snicket and became associated with the organization V.F.D. At some point, Count Olaf fell in love with Kit, although it is unknown when this happened.

Olaf may have also gone to Wade Academy, as there is graffiti on the tower that bears his name. (Shouldn't You be in School?) This could mean that he may have transferred, but the details are uncertain.


Olaf was a former suitor of Kit Snicket.

Olaf says that his acting career began when he was approached by Gustav Sebald (then a "young director") because he was the "most handsome fellow at school", which would make it a very old movie, since Count Olaf himself (disguised as Stephano) watches the film in theater with the Baudelaires and Dr. Montgomery.

At some point in time, Olaf became the acting teacher of Esmé Squalor.

Duncan and Isadora Quagmire mention that a man with similar traits as Olaf 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.

Olaf at one point was also after the Snicket fortune.

The White-Faced Women hint that Olaf may have been responsible for the fire that consumed their home and took the life of one of their siblings and perhaps the lives of their parents.

Count Olaf mentions that he saw Fiona when she was an infant, which would mean that he saw her thirteen years ago. He goes on to say that he was attempting to throw thumbtacks in her cradle when he saw her.

It is strongly hinted and almost outright stated by Olaf that he burned down the childhood home of Dewey Denouement and murdered almost his entire family.

In The End, Ishmael says that Olaf set fire to his home, murdered his parents, and that he locked him in a bird cage (which Ishmael also does to him) though Olaf says that he did not set that fire to his home.

Kit mentions that she was able to smuggle a box of poison darts to the Baudelaire parents before Esmé Squalor caught her. Through a few subtle hints, it becomes apparent that Lemony Snicket was present as well. Later in the book, when Olaf is confronting the Baudelaires and Dewey Denouement, he dares the Baudelaires to ask Dewey what happened that night at the theater, implying that the Baudelaire parents, Dewey, and the Snickets were there for some sort of sinister purpose. Olaf reveals that poison darts were the reason he became an orphan himself, implying that the Baudelaire parents may have murdered his own parents and possibly explaining his hatred for the Baudelaires.

In The Beatrice Letters, a young Snicket writes to Beatrice about someone he only identifies as 'O'. "A wet viper perm" is thought to be an anagram of 'Preemptive War' and 'My Silence Knot' is an anagram of Lemony Snicket, although this is never confirmed.

"The only other student in [Code Class] that I know is O., who is nothing but an annoyance. As I write this he is filling his notebook with anagrams of obscene words. I'm tempted to tell him there is no such thing as 'a wet viper perm' but after the incident with the bottle of ink and the root beer float, I think its better to spend my time inside 'My Silence Knot' whenever that nitwit raises his ugly, one-eyebrowed head."


"The brightest star cannot shine through a cloud of dark smoke, and O is the darkest of clouds I have seen in our skies. One day the world will know of his treachery and deceit, of his crimes and hygiene, but that's far too late for us."

Olaf had something to do with the schism that separated V.F.D. This is hinted the most in a letter Jacques Snicket wrote to Jerome Squalor. The letter explained that a member which he only referred to as O was acting in such a violent manner that his actions have caused the organization to split in two. As the members of the organization often use the first letter of their names to talk about one and another, it is generally assumed O stands for Olaf. Many members of V.F.D., such as Widdershins, often use Olaf's name immediately when talking about the treachery of the fire starting side of the schism. This hints that Olaf has done a great deal of harm to V.F.D. more than most of the other villains involved have, furthering the concept of him being one of the leaders of the schism.

Olaf was involved with the organization for many years and knows many, if not all, of the secrets surrounding the organization that the Baudelaire children seek to know. He is also responsible for numerous fires and deaths of V.F.D., as mentioned by Lemony Snicket himself, and plans on gaining control of all the fortunes of the members in thirst of revenge and greed.

Olaf had a very troubling past and this may be the reason for his bitterness at the world. Olaf had once loved Kit Snicket, Lemony Snicket's sister, and had told her he would kiss her one last time before his and her death.

Guardian of the Baudelaires

Count olaf

Count Olaf in The Bad Beginning.

"In agreeing to adopt you, I have become your father, and as your father I am not someone to be trifled with. I demand that you serve roast beef to myself and my guests."
—Count Olaf before slapping Klaus

The Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny, are sent to live with Count Olaf, their closest geographically living relative, after a mysterious fire destroys their home and kills their parents. Olaf was an actor and had an entire group of similarly evil associates who he refers to as his "theatre troupe". He wrote his own plays, under the pseudonym "Al Funcoot" (an anagram of "Count Olaf"). His house is covered with weird paintings of eyes that make the Baudelaires feel they are always being watched.

During the time the Baudelaires lived with him, the children immediately saw Olaf as a short tempered and violent man who was interested in obtaining their inherited fortune. He calls the Baudelaires "orphans", provided them with one filthy room with only one bed, a pile of rocks, and a cardboard box for clothes, and forced them to do difficult chores such as making them chop wood solely for his own entertainment.

When Count Olaf asked the Baudelaires to prepare dinner, the Baudelaires prepared pasta puttanesca. Count Olaf asked where the roast beef was and when the Baudelaires replied he never asked for it, Count Olaf demanded they make roast beef now. Sunny said No! No! No! and Count Olaf picked her up and dangled her in the air. After saying all they made was disgusting sauce, he let Sunny go and ordered the children to go to their beds. Klaus replied that only had one bed, prompting Olaf to reply that they could use their fortune to buy another. Klaus reminded Olaf that they can't use it until Violet is of age. Olaf then once hit Klaus hard, slapping him hard enough to leave a bruise that lasted the next day, for talking back to him. The children complain to Mr. Poe, calling Olaf a madman, but Poe does not care and dismisses their complaints.


Sunny imprisoned by Count Olaf.

One morning, Olaf revealed Mr. Poe blabbed to him about their visit. Olaf apologizes for being "standoffish" and gives the children oatmeal with raspberries. Violet and Klaus suspected the raspberries may be poison berries, so Olaf ate one to prove it is safe. While the children ate the breakfast, Olaf asked them participate in a play called "The Marvelous Marriage" in which Violet plays a woman who gets married to a character played by Olaf. The children learned that Olaf was using the play to disguise the fact that the marriage will be legally binding and that he will have control over the fortune once the wedding ceremony is complete.

To ensure that the children cooperate with the plan, Olaf kidnapped Sunny and had her tied up, mouth taped, put in a birdcage, and hung outside his tower window, threatening to murder her if the children refused to cooperate. Violet constructs a makeshift grappling hook and uses it to climb up the tower. She finds the hook-handed man (a member of Olaf's theatre troupe) waiting to capture her. Klaus is brought up to the tower and they are locked together in the room until the play begins.


Count Olaf marrying Violet.

The plan to marry Violet Baudelaire to gain the inheritance went awry. Violet managed to thwart Olaf's plan by signing the marriage with her left hand instead of her right, which as she was right-handed, was the required one to make it legally binding. Olaf was exposed as a criminal and fled, but not before promising to Violet that he would get his hands on her fortune no matter what and then murder her and her siblings with his bare hands, making her emit a cry of terror. The children were sent to different relatives, with Olaf following in pursuit.


Olaf's plans became more dangerous and murderous in nature. Many of them included the murder of the children's guardians, such as Uncle Monty and Aunt Josephine. His plots also commonly includes burning down buildings, such as the Hotel Denouement, and Caligari Carnival. His plans were often complicated and many of the earlier ones involved him attempting to get the orphans legally into his care. Later, he simply wanted to abduct one child, murder the other two, and use the kidnapped one to blackmail Mr. Poe into giving over the fortune. Regardless of his tactics, Olaf's plans were always aimed at the goal of abducting the children through elaborate methods.

Finally, the Baudelaires accuse Count Olaf of making them orphans, a suspicion that all three siblings had kept in their hearts for as long as they can remember. Count Olaf, however, upon asking the Baudelaires if that's what they really think and receiving Sunny's cold answer, "We know it," retorts that the orphans "know nothing," thus making it uncertain if he was really the one responsible for that particular fire.

At first Olaf only showed that he wanted the children's fortune, it is later revealed that he also desired the Quagmire Sapphires, the Snicket File, and The Sugar Bowl, although he is repeatedly shown to have a greater interest in the Baudelaire fortune than in any of these other treasures. Olaf also develops plans to gain control of numerous other fortunes from children whose parents are V.F.D. members by burning down their homes and murdering all their parents. Olaf then plans to recruit the children as new "associates" or more appropriately, prisoners, and help him destroy what's left of V.F.D. Olaf's other main goal is to destroy V.F.D in order to eliminate the last evidence of his plans so that he may execute any other scheme he wants to without the worry of the authorities. Eventually Olaf no longer using complicated methods to obtain the children's fortune and just intends on capturing them to get the fortune. His plans were from then on usually aimed at the goal of destroying V.F.D., although his obsession with the fortune is still to him, "the greater good."

In The Penultimate Peril, Olaf finally shows signs of hesitation at committing crimes and murder. In this volume, he was about to kill Dewey Denouement when the Baudelaires begged him to stop and be a noble person. Olaf whispered, "What else can I do?" This gave rise to speculation that Olaf was not entirely evil, but feels obligated to continue his deeds as he has already gone too far from being noble. He is able to flee the burning Hotel Denouement by boarding a boat (then called the Carmelita) with the three Baudelaires.


Olaf wears a new disguise and alias of someone who works under the guardians or works near the area, usually murdering the person who had the occupation previously, that usually fools everyone but the Baudelaires. One or two of his henchmen, also usually disguised, accompany him and aid him in executing his schemes. The following is a list his primary disguises.


Yessica Haircut.

  • Yessica Haircut - Count Olaf used this improvisational disguise to convince Mr. Poe (whom incidentally had a haircut scheduled), that the Baudelaire children should be given to him before the events of The Bad Beginning (it is exclusive to the Netflix TV series).
  • Al Funcoot - An anagram for and used by Count Olaf (the playwright of The Marvelous Marriage).
  • Stephano - Dr. Montgomery's assistant herpetologist with a long beard, no hair, and no eyebrows. He had powder covering his ankle tattoo.
  • Captain Julio Sham - A sailor with an eyepatc to hide his one eyebrow and a wooden leg to hide his left foot. The real Julio Sham is captain of the Prospero.
  • A Rabbi - Count Olaf donned this disguise in order to board a train in order to flee Lake Lacrymose's proximity.


  • Shirley T. Sinoit-Pécer/St. Ives - Dr. Orwell's receptionist (T. Sinoit-Pécer is receptionist backwards) who wears stockings with eyes on them to cover up the ankle tattoo.
  • Coach Genghis - A "renowned" gym teacher working at Prufrock Preparatory School who wears a turban to cover his one eyebrow, and expensive looking running shoes to cover his tattoo of an eye on his ankle. He is reluctant to remove his turban for "religious reasons."
  • Gunther - A pinstripe-suit wearing auctioneer. He pretends to come from another country so people believe that he doesn't speak fluent English. Olaf constantly says "please" after and in the middle of every sentence. This is also done by Madame Lulu. He wears horse riding boots to cover up his tattoo, and a monocle to distort his eyebrow.
  • Detective Dupin - A 'famous' detective obsessed with what's cool, including ridiculous sunglasses which cover up his one eyebrow and green plastic shoes with yellow lightning bolts on them that hide the tattoo of an eye on his ankle. He seemingly murdered the real police chief of the Village of Fowl Devotees.
  • Mattathias - Heimlich Hospital's new Human Resources director. His presence is only known from a voice over the intercom, while the previous HR director's fate is unknown. However, it is presumed that she was pushed off a building.
  • Kit Snicket - Count Olaf disguises himself as a pregnant Kit Snicket and uses the helmet containing the Medusoid Mycelium as his false baby (this is his only disguise that doesn't fool a single person).

It is no longer necessary for Olaf to use any disguises as he murders a man, Jacques Snicket, who was believed to be Count Olaf/Omar at the time. The Daily Punctilio published articles prior to this event that entailed that the man who committed numerous crimes was Count Omar and not Olaf. This allowed Olaf to no longer disguise himself and even use his own name as everyone believed Omar was the villain's name. Even though his need for disguises was minimum, he does so one last time in The Hostile Hospital to gain entry into the area. The eighth book also starts Olaf's open obsession with fire, as he burns down Heimlich Hospital in that book and then Caligari Carnival in the ninth book. Numerous mentions of other fires he started and others he plans to do strengthen the theory that he was the one who burnt the Baudelaire Mansion down and murdered the parents.

The End


Count Olaf on the island.

The book opens with the Baudelaires and Count Olaf trapped on a boat heading away from the Hotel Denouement and to the sea. The Baudelaires are forced to listen to Count Olaf brag about how he has triumphed and how successful he is. He mentions he intends to purchase a car with their fortune and orders them to take him to the nearest luxury car dealership, despite that they are stranded in the middle of an ocean.

Olaf was marooned with the Baudelaire orphans after a vicious storm on a remote island. He thought he "discovered" it himself and named it "Olaf-Land" after himself. Despite that Violet pointed out there were already people living on it, he wanted to be treated as their royal king anyway. However, Olaf was immediately rejected due to his unkind behavior by Friday Caliban, one of the island's inhabitants.

After a pregnant Kit Snicket was also stranded in another storm, Olaf attempts to disguise himself as her, using a round diving helmet filled with Medusoid Mycelium (a poisonous fungus whose spores cause death within the hour of exposure) to make his stomach bulge as though he were pregnant, although this disguise does not fool anyone.

Olaf's personality is significantly different as he is seen as more timid and depressed. This is probably due to the fact that none of his past methods and tactics work on the islanders and that there is truly no place for him on the island. Olaf is also shown to sympathize with the children, telling them that life is unfair and a miserable place. He seems to have gained a reluctant respect for them, calling them his new henchmen and even attempting to convince them to escape with him.

Later, the island's leader, Ishmael, fires a harpoon at Olaf (as Olaf planned) only for it to hit the encased Mycelium against his stomach and causing it to burst so that its deadly spores are released into the air, contaminating all of the islanders as well as Olaf himself. Olaf started laughing, stating that Ishmael has murdered everyone on the island as he has just released a deadly fungus into the air.

Olaf realizes that he has nothing left to live for, having lost all his henchmen, his parents, his girlfriend, his true love, all his plans ruined, and no chance of obtaining the Baudelaire fortune or any other one for that matter. Too depressed to go on living, Olaf at first refuses to take a specially produced apple (which is mixed with horseradish, the cure for the Mycelium), saying that he has lost everything important to him. However, upon finding out that Kit Snicket is going into labor, he eats the healing apple and carries her to where she can better-perform childbirth, thus performing what Violet calls the one good deed in his life (during which he surprisingly kisses Kit on the lips, hinting at a past relationship between the two).

Although Count Olaf was cured from the Medusoid Mycelium, he was still dying from the harpoon wound. He looks at the Baudelaire orphans in pain and helps the Baudelaires bring Kit on to the beach who seems to be dying from the fungus. The Baudelaires help Kit give birth when she recites the poem "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" by Francis William Bourdillion which is answered by Olaf reciting the final stanza of Philip Larkins's "This Be the Verse".

"Man hands on misery to man. It deepens like a coastal shelf. Get out as early as you can. And don't have any kids yourself."
—Count Olaf's final words

Afterwards, Olaf laughs and finally dies. Count Olaf is buried along with Kit. It's mentioned by Lemony Snicket that, despite everything he did to them, the Baudelaires would sometimes still visit Count Olaf's grave.



Count Olaf about to murder Aunt Josephine after she corrects his grammar.

"I wouldn't mind harpooning you either, orphans. When it comes to slaughtering people, I'm very flexible! Ha!"
—Count Olaf in The Penultimate Peril

Confirmed murders include:

Possible victims include:

  • Third Sibling of the White-Faced Women
  • Beatrice and Bertrand Baudelaire (implied in the movie, although set in its own canon)
  • Mr. and Mrs. Quagmire (although the TV series implied Esmé Squalor did it, she is his accomplice)
  • Denouement parents
  • Foreman Firstein
  • Ms. Tench (Vice Principal Nero claims she accidentally fell out of a third-story window a few days ago)
  • "Chief of Police" of the Village of Fowl Devotees
  • Babs (Olaf claims she resigned from the hospital because she decided to pursue a career as a stuntwoman and has begun throwing herself off buildings immediately)

It is also notable that Count Olaf burned down locations such as Heimlich Hospital, Caligari Carnival, and Hotel Denouement. His victim count could be in the hundreds, and he probably burned many people to death.

Physical appearance

Count Olaf

Olaf is described as very tall and very thin with bony hands and pale skin. His angular face is unshaven as he has a goatee beard and large sideburns. He has a long unibrow and gray-white receding hair. He has a prominent hooked nose. He has a little chest hair, as shown by one of the illustrations for The Vile Village.

His eyes have a tendency to gleam and shine when he asks serious questions, frightening the Baudelaires. His features could be interpreted as unusual, as if animalistic or demonic. Violet remarks that she cannot picture Olaf as a child — all his features seem to be those of an adult.

Tumblr inline og2uptWB711stjyoa 540

Olaf's ankle tattoo.

He has a tattoo of an eye on his left ankle which is a mark for members of VFD, the organization to which Olaf belonged before becoming what he describes as "an individual practitioner."

Clothing-wise, he meets the Baudelaires dressed in a gray suit with many dark stains on it.

He is often described as unkempt and often dirty. Olaf's poor hygiene is frequent and Olaf mentions that he often goes ten days without a shower. His lack of personal hygiene worsens although Sunny is shocked to see that Olaf has bathed and changed into a new suit.

Behind the scenes

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events An Unfortunate Actor on Acting Netflix

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events An Unfortunate Actor on Acting Netflix

Count Olaf interview.

  • In the film, Count Olaf is portrayed by Jim Carrey.
  • In the video game, he is voiced by Jim Carrey.
  • In the TV series, he is portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris.


Count is a title in European countries for a noble of varying status. It is unknown why he is "Count" Olaf. "Count" may be a self-proclaimed title he gave himself, as he is a very narcissistic character. People thought of as "royalty" have also tended to be very wealthy throughout history, although Olaf is implied to live in near poverty, so "Count" may also be a parody of his financial wealth, or technically speaking, lack of.

Olaf is a Scandinavian name, meaning "ancestor", though whether Handler picked the name for its meaning is unknown. But Handler has stated that part of the reason he picked the name was to keep the location of ASOUE unknown (as the name of the Baudelaire children are from other locations).[14]



  • Klaus: "You could say 'I don't' instead of 'I do' but I’m afraid Count Olaf would order Sunny dropped off the tower.” (to Violet)
    Olaf: "I certainly would." (sneaking up on the Baudelaires from behind, making them jump)
  • "I think the first thing I'll buy for myself is a shiny new car! Something with a powerful engine, so I can drive faster than the legal limit, and an extra-thick bumper, so I can ram into people without getting all scratched up! I'll name the car Count Olaf, after myself, and whenever people hear the squeal of brakes they'll say, 'Here comes Count Olaf!' Orphans, head for the nearest luxury car dealership!"
  • "I'm not a man. I'm a lady with a baby inside her." (disguised as Kit Snicket)


  • Olaf: "I must say, you're a gloomy looking bunch. Why so glum?"
    Klaus: "...Our parents just died."
    Olaf: "Ah, yes, of course. How very, very awful."
  • "I'm sorry, I don't speak monkey." (to Sunny)
  • "You know, there's a big world out there, filled with desperate orphans who would gladly swim across an ocean of thumbtacks just to be eclipsed by the long shadow cast by my accomplishments. But I don't care about them. I chose to open my heart to you two luvverly children... and your hideous primate! All I ask in return is that you do each and every thing that pops into my head, while I enjoy the enormous fortune your parents left behind."
  • "May I have a moment alone with the children? Goodbye, kids. It's been fun. I'm going to get you. No matter where you go, no matter what you do, I'll find you! Oh, you are so deceased! Take them, Mr. Poe... before I lose it, big time!"
  • "Ah, well, children are strange and foreign to me. I never really was one. I know that they are an important part of the ecosystem."
  • "And then I'll be arrested and sent to jail and you'll live happily ever after with a friendly guardian, spending your time inventing things and reading books and sharpening your little monkey teeth, and bravery and nobility will prevail at last, and this wicked world will slowly but surely become a place of cheerful harmony, and everybody will be singing and dancing and giggling like the Littlest Elf! A happy ending! Is that what you had in mind? Because I hardly think anyone is going to believe a dead woman."
  • "Hot potato!" (giving Sunny to Violet)
  • "Quiet, child. The adults are talking." (to Violet)
  • "Everybody be cool!" (when Mr. Poe approaches in a boat)
  • Klaus: "MR. POE, WE'RE-"
    Olaf: "DROWNING." (dunks Klaus' head into the lake)
  • "I'm the monster? You're the monster! These children tried to warn you, but you wouldn't listen. No one ever listens to children! You think you're innocent?! You're accomplices!" (to Mr. Poe and the audience)

TV series

  • "I don't have time to learn a second language besides whatever it is I'm speaking right now." (about Sunny's language)
  • "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."
  • Klaus: "You'll never touch our fortune!"
    Olaf: "Klaus, I'll touch whatever I want." (strokes Violet's shoulder)



  • Part of the depiction of Olaf being such a bad person in the narration of ASOUE seems to be from Lemony Snicket's own personal dislike of Olaf.
  • In The End, it is ironic he becomes trapped in a bird cage after what he did to Sunny.
  • In Lemony Snicket's Unauthorized Autobiography, the VFD members are talking about where to find new headquarters. O. (Olaf) and E. (Esmé) interrupt the conversation. O. Announces that he wants to be called 'T'. It is implied that his real name starts with a 'T'. However, he could only want to be called, "The Count."
  • In The Bad Beginning Special Edition, at the Author's Notes, Lemony Snicket has hinted that the City's official fire department might actually be owned by Olaf, based on the fact there is a large O signage at the fire department.
  • His license plate is IH8 ORFNS, shown in an illustration for The Carnivorous Carnival.
  • It is possible he was once in a relationship with Olivia Caliban (Madame Lulu), since she said the she remembers when he visit "only for the pleasure of [her] company."[15]
  • He seems to be an avid fan of cake as he stole 27 cakes.[9] He is also shown eating cake in the TV series.


  • Olaf may have knowledge of Italian. When the Baudelaires announce they are serving pasta puttanesca, Olaf replies, "What did you call me?" The name translates to "sauce in the style of the prostitute" or "whore’s spaghetti". Italian legend has it that this dish was named as such because it was the everyday prostitutes signature dish, due to the affordability of its ingredients and how ‘easy’ it is to make. Later, when he is disguised as Stephano, he claims to be an Italian man.
  • Olaf's eye tattoo resembles Brett Helquist's earlier illustrations, rather than the V.F.D. insignia seen in later books.
  • The children are taken out of Olaf's care after he nearly hits them with a train (he parked on the train tracks and left them there, locked in the car), and Mr. Poe takes them out of his care because Olaf "let Sunny drive".
  • When Count Olaf saves the children from the leeches they are placed back in his care and then are forced to participate in the play, The Marvelous Marriage, instead of how they left Olaf's care in the first place.
  • It is heavily implied Olaf burned down the Baudelaire mansion with a magnifying glass which can set fire at a distance using sunlight. In the books this is something left ambiguous to the reader.

TV series

Holiday Greetings from Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris)

Holiday Greetings from Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris)

Holiday greetings from Count Olaf.

  • The production company and license used to film the series in Vancouver is called "Olaf II Productions Inc."
  • Neil Patrick Harris got a real tattoo on his ankle.
  • Count Olaf sometimes make fourth-wall breaks, saying he prefers entertainment from the comfort of his own home, a reference to Netflix.

Daniel Handler possibly throwing shade at the movie.

  • In the movie theater, Olaf insults a movie theatre as a "godforsaken nickelodeon". "Nickelodeon" was in fact a term for a neighborhood movie theatre that took a nickel as the admission fee. However, some fans believe this is Daniel Handler throwing shade at the film which was produced by Nickelodeon Movies, due to the fact that he wasn't allowed to work on it much and had mixed feelings about it.



  1. PROSE: The Bad Beginning
  2. PROSE: The Reptile Room
  3. PROSE: The Wide Window
  4. PROSE: The Miserable Mill
  5. PROSE: The Austere Academy
  6. PROSE: The Ersatz Elevator
  7. 7.0 7.1 PROSE: The Vile Village
  8. PROSE: The Hostile Hospital
  9. 9.0 9.1 PROSE: The Penultimate Peril
  10. 10.0 10.1 PROSE: The End
  11. 11.0 11.1 In the transcript in Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography someone generally believed that Olaf is going by "T."
  12. O was his former V.F.D alias.
  13. In The Bad Beginning, the author of "The Marvelous Marriage" is said to be "Al Funcoot"; Al Funcoot is an anagram of Count Olaf. Sunny also refers to him as "Funcoot" in The Dismal Dinner.
  14. The Jewish Secrets of Lemony Snicket
  15. PROSE: The Carnivorous Carnival



TV series


2004 film

Video game

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