|“||I know he sometimes is a little mean, but you'll have to excuse him. He had a very terrible childhood.||”|
— Charles explaining Sir's selfish attitude to the Baudelaire orphans
The Miserable Mill
Charles is a rather passive man with a penchant for being indecisive, and although he became friends with the Baudelaire children in The Miserable Mill, his lack of help left the three siblings in perilous situations at the lumber mill, in which they were forced to fend for themselves.
In the TV series, Charles was hypnotized by Georgina Orwell to dislike the Baudelaires and get rid of them, although it is unknown how successful this hypnotism was, and if he was hypnotized in other ways.
Hoping to get Charles out of the way and blame this "accident" on the Baudelaire orphans so that they wind up in the care of "Shirley", Charles is tied to a log and is almost sawed to death by Orwell, having been grabbed by Foreman Flacutono in the middle of the night. Fortunately, Charles is rescued by the Baudelaires at the last second, with only a small cut on his foot.
When Sir demands the Baudelaires leave the lumbermill, Charles attempts to defend the Baudelaires, but Sir says his word is final. Charles tells the Baudelaires he is sorry that he won't be able to see them anymore.
The Penultimate Peril
After the Baudelaires left the mill, Charles, like Justice Strauss, began to do research about the Baudelaire orphans as well as their family, and because of this, became a member of V.F.D. In The Penultimate Peril, Kit says soon after she meets the Baudelaires, "I've scarcely looked at these maps, poems, and blueprints that Charles sent me." This is evidence that Charles is a volunteer and later confirms it himself.
Charles was seen as a guest at the Hotel Denouement with Sir. A disguised Klaus takes him and Charles to the sauna. While Charles tells Sir that he wants to apologize to the Baudelaires for what happened at the mill, they both talk about a cocktail party held by someone named J.S. When Sir claimed that the Baudelaires caused accidents at the Lucky Smells Lumbermill following the death of Dewey Denouement, Charles quoted to Sir that Count Olaf caused the accidents as Mrs. Morrow stated that Count Olaf was "murdered" by the Baudelaire children at the Village of Fowl Devotees.
During the trial of the Baudelaire children and Count Olaf, Charles submitted his environmental studies as evidence. When the Hotel Denouement Fire was started, Sir and Charles were holding hands in order to not lose each other as they argue on if fires are good for the lumber business or not. It is unknown if they survived.
Sir and Charles relationship
It is thought by some readers that Charles is in a relationship with his boss and partner, Sir:
- Some moments in The Miserable Mill in combination with their chat in The Penultimate Peril have suggestive lines
- In The Penultimate Peril, they share a room when they travel together to the Hotel Denoument, share a relaxing sauna together there, and when the hotel is set on fire, they are holding hands as they attempt to escape.
- In The Beatrice Letters, Lemony Snicket tells Beatrice Baudelaire that he will love her until "C realizes that S is not worthy of his love," confirming suspicions of the relationship.
- They are mentioned to be partners—the lack of mention of them being business partners is unusual, and suggests they may be romantic partners.
The TV series adaptation made this relationship more explicit.
- Klaus: Doesn't "partner" mean "equal"?
- Lemony Snicket: Well, in fact, "partners" can mean several things. It could mean "two people who own a lumbermill together, or a cupcakery." Now, with the advent of more progressive cultural mores, not to mention certain High Court rulings, it could also mean...
- Sir: I do all the work. He irons my clothes.
- Charles: I also cook your omelets.
- Lemony Snicket: The definitions are not mutually exclusive.
At one point, while Violet is snooping around the library, she eavesdrops on Sir and Charles. Charles attempts to kiss Sir but Sir does not notice.
At the end of Episode 8, Violet asks what Charles plans on doing next. Charles responds that he plans on searching for Sir even though he's not a good person. He tells the Baudelaires, "Some day you will learn that some things aren't always black and white."
When asked about LGBT characters in his novels, Daniel Handler specifically mentioned Sir and Charles despite there being no prior mention:
|“||I grew up in an environment of queerness of every stripe, and I'd like to believe my work reflects such a world, even if the romantic and sexual lives and preferences of many of my characters are not explicit, as they aren't in life. (After all, we don't know what Sir and Charles do when we're not around, as we don't know, and thank goodness, with many friends; my new forthcoming YA novel has already ruffled the feathers of both queer and straight readers for scenes portraying certain flexibilities.)||”|
— Daniel Handler
In another interview, when Daniel was asked about who is LGBT in A Series of Unfortunate Events, he replied he wanted to leave it up to speculation, but said, "More than you probably think, as in real life."(25:00)
Behind the scenes
He is portrayed by Rhys Darby in the TV series.
- Charles' duties involve ironing Sir's shirts, cooking him omelettes, and making him milkshakes.
- Charles is not Charles Snicket because Charles (of TMM) and Kit Snicket exist in the same time, and Charles Snicket is supposed to be the grandfather of Kit. It is probably merely a naming coincidence.
- The Miserable Mill
- The Penultimate Peril
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)