Fell into the lions' pit
Black (as Madame Lulu)
Count Olaf (Possibly)
- "You must always give people what they want."
- —Her rather dubious, questionable and flawed motto
Olivia Caliban, also known as Madame Lulu, was the fortune teller at, and owner of, Caligari Carnival. She first appeared in The Carnivorous Carnival and was the ninth, and second unofficial, guardian of the Baudelaires.
Although Olivia is her real name, she preferred to be called by the name "Madame Lulu". Her motto was "Everyone gets what they want." Her natural hair color was blonde, but she disguised this with a fake turban, the same turban Count Olaf wore in The Austere Academy when he was pretending to be Coach Genghis and spoke in the same accent that Count Olaf used when he was pretending to be Gunther, the innest auctioneer, adding "please" at odd times.
Count Olaf visited her at the carnival whenever he needed to know the latest whereabouts of the Baudelaires, believing that she could tell through psychic means. However, Madame Lulu wasn't a real psychic. Instead, she requested her guests to close their eyes, then researched the answers to their questions, using the documents in an entire archival library hidden under a table in her tent. A device that she invented would trick her guests into thinking that smoke and lightning would initiate inside the tent. It is unknown whether or not Count Olaf realized that she was a fraud.
Madame Lulu was originally, as Olivia Caliban, a member of V.F.D. It is known that Captain Widdershins taught her how to read codes on stained maps. It is unclear what side of the schism Madame Lulu was loyal to, if she chose a side at all. Madame Lulu said that she just likes giving people what they want.
The Carnivorous Carnival
Madame Lulu is aware that Caligari Carnival may close if they do not get enough customers. She hires the Baudelaire orphans disguised as freaks.
The next morning they discover that when Olaf asked Madame Lulu "Is one Baudelaire parent still alive?", she consulted the crystal ball and answered "Yes, one is up in the Mortmain Mountains."
Olaf gifts her a pack of lions, saying that if one of the freaks is devoured, it will boost popularity.
The orphans go back to Lulu's tent to search for clues. They first discover the V.F.D. symbol on the outside, and inside find a secret archival library under the table hidden by a tablecloth that she uses to aid her in her predictions. The mysterious effects behind her fortune telling turn out to be no more than ropes and pulleys. They accidentally break Lulu's crystal ball when trying to lift the tablecloth higher to get a better glimpse of the archival library, and they are discovered when Lulu comes in. Lulu breaks down and throws off her disguise, revealing herself as a woman named Olivia who just wants to give people what they want. She is a member of V.F.D. and tells them about the V.F.D. disguise kit and a schism which happened in the organization. Olivia discovers that the children are actually the Baudelaires in disguise when Klaus lets slip that Olivia made a prediction regarding the Baudelaires' parent. The Baudelaires admit to their identity and plan to travel with Olivia to the Mortmain Mountains to determine if one of their parents is really alive. Though Olivia did say to Count Olaf that one of the Baudelaires' parents is alive, she is not actually sure and only suggested the Mortmain Mountains as their possible location as that is one of the few remaining V.F.D. headquarters. Violet plans to invent a vehicle made from the cars from the nearby roller coaster and the fan belt from the lightening effects Olivia used in her fortune telling that would enable them to escape from the carnival and travel up the Mortmain Mountains.
Esmé Squalor, who is jealous of Olaf's attention to Madame Lulu, comes to the caravan of the freaks in an outfit that says I Love Freaks. Esmé tries to convince them that whoever is picked to be thrown into the pit of ravenous lions the next day should throw Madame Lulu in instead. If they do that, they will be made part of Count Olaf's theater troupe and have an exciting career as a criminal.
Madame Lulu, along with the Bald Man with the Long Nose, died after falling into the pit of lions during the skirmish at the carnival. Not wanting to watch her being eaten by lions, the Baudelaires silently walked away from the crowd. Crying and distressed, they found themselves at Madame Lulu's tent.
Later, when the Baudelaires are riding in a caravan up the mountain, Olaf reveals that before her demise, Madame Lulu told him that the Baudelaires disguised themselves as freaks. She likely did this because of her philosophy of giving people what they want, but the Baudelaires felt betrayed.
Behind the scenes
She is portrayed by Sara Rue in the TV series.
- The Carnivorous Carnival
- The Grim Grotto (Mentioned Only)
- The Penultimate Peril (Mentioned Only)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)
- It is possible that Olivia and Count Olaf were in a relationship.
- Madame Lulu may be the fortune-teller who cursed Lemony Snicket when a policeman tripped Mr. Snicket, forcing him to break the crystal ball he was holding.
- Olivia Caliban may be the sister of Thursday, the sister-in-law of Miranda Caliban, and the aunt of Friday Caliban. However, she could be also be Miranda's sister, which would still make her the aunt of Friday, but the sister-in-law of Thursday instead. If Captain Widdershins is Thursday, then the latter must be true.