Fatally cut by a sawblade (book)
Count Olaf (formerly, according to the Netflix series)
- "Lucky, don't listen to your sister."
- —Georgina to Klaus Baudelaire
- "You think you're so clever, but you only see in black and white. Just like your parents. They were shortsighted, too."
- —Orwell to Violet and Klaus
Orwell can be viewed as a greedy psychopath and a twisted and evil woman, willing to manipulate others by using hypnosis and exploit their lack of free will. In the TV series, she is even willing to throw Sunny Baudelaire into a furnace just so she can obtain the Baudelaire Fortune.
The TV series attempts to give reason to her actions. She claims it was not really about the fortune, but rather about getting revenge at the Baudelaire parents, who had some sort of falling out with her. However, she is killed before she can go into any more detail.
Not only was she an optometrist, but she was also a skilled hypnotist in mind control, having hypnotized many people including Klaus Baudelaire in order to get what she wanted. Although it is likely that she was a genuine optometrist, it is unclear how often she works as a hypnotist as well. In the TV series, it is revealed that she hynpotized all the workers of Lucky Smells Lumbermill into becoming monotonous working drones who are complacent with earning gum and coupons instead of actual income. She tells her victims that they are extremely lucky to be working at such a wonderful lumbermill, and uses "lucky" as a trigger, hence the "lucky" in Lucky Smells Lumbermill. Because of this, one could theorize she is in cohoots with Sir.
In the book, it is left ambiguous if she may have conspired with Sir. In the TV series, it is revealed they did conspire as he gets free labor and they split the profits, however, Sir simply thinks that Orwell simply does "weekly eye exams to boost worker morale" instead of hypnotism.
She may also have been a former member of V.F.D., as the optometrist disguise described in Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography matches her appearance, however it appears that she is an actual optometrist. She wrote a voluminous book on optometry, which she donated to Charles' library, and was a great help with Violet's research on hypnotism. Interestingly, the book contains 13 segments, the twelfth of which is about hypnotism. The book uses extremely complicated words, words which Violet guessed the meanings in order to get information. The TV series adaptation makes it explicit that Dr. Orwell was a part of V.F.D.
In the TV series, just before her death, she reveals she knew Beatrice and Bertrand Baudelaire. They told her things like, "You can't hypnotize people!" "What about free will?" "We're going to kick you out and have your license revoked and if we ever have children, we're never gonna let you anywhere near them!"
She was also once a love interest of Count Olaf, although he apparently left her to drown, causing her to resent him.
The Miserable Mill
She sides with Count Olaf, as they had agreed to split the Baudelaire fortune equally, before the Baudelaires arrived at the mill. Count Olaf disguises himself as a female receptionist Shirley.
In the books, she has a swordfight with Sunny, which was likely removed in the TV series due to the sheer absurdity.
Dr. Orwell was killed when she accidentally backed into a scrolling sawblade used for cutting wood. This buzzsaw was meant to kill Charles. However, in the TV series, she falls into a furnace after threatening to throw Sunny in it, and she is burned alive.
In the novel, she was described as tall woman with blonde hair in a tight bun with big black boots on her feet. She wore a long white coat with a name tag that reads 'Dr. Orwell' and held a long black cane with a shiny red jewel on the top. In the same novel, she and Sunny had a swordfight in which Georgina pushed the red jewel on her cane, whereupon it instantly transforms into a sword.
In the TV series, she is brunette instead of blonde. She mentions she was formerly blonde, a nod to the books. She wears large amounts of eyeliner.
- Dr. Orwell's full name is Georgina Orwell, based on that of author George Orwell. The Big Brother eye and the hypnotism plot are links to Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four."
- She is portrayed by Catherine O'Hara in the TV series, who previously portrayed Justice Strauss in the film. This is quite the dynamic, as Catherine O'Hara went from a supportive character to a villain in the same series.
- The Miserable Mill
- The Carnivorous Carnival (mentioned)
- The Slippery Slope (mentioned)
- Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography (mentioned)
- File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents (mentioned)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)