Vice Principal Nero
Vice Principal Nero
Biographical information

In the Hotel Denouement (possibly)


Vice Principal

Physical description



5 feet 10 inches

Hair color


Eye color


Skin color



Vice Principal of Prufrock Preparatory School

"Every night I give a violin recital for six hours, and attendance is mandatory. The word 'mandatory' means that if you don't show up, you have to buy me a large bag of candy and watch me eat it."
—Nero to the Baudelaires

Nero is the antagonistic Vice-Principal of Prufrock Preparatory School.


Nero hated the Baudelaires and the Quagmires and often mocked them by repeating what they said in a high-pitched nasal voice. He refused to make an exception for the Baudelaires to live in the dormitory, as Mr. Poe is technically not a Baudelaire guardian, and in order to live in the dorms, a student must have their guardian's permission slip.

He is also narcissistic and delusional about his ability to play the violin, and is either unable to see or simply doesn't care that his students don't like his recitals.

He adored Carmelita Spats and "plays favorites" with her. When he discovers the Baudelaires never gave her any tips for delivering messages, he says they owe her ten pairs of earrings, despite that tips are optional.

Given his personality, it is not far-fetched to assume that he is mentally unbalanced and demented.


The top of his head was bald, with his hair pulled into four short pigtails. He was mentioned to be 5 feet 10 inches tall.

Vice Principal Nero played the violin terribly, and he forced the students to listen to his terrible playing through nightly six hour recitals.

He enforced strict and cruel punishments, like taking away eating utensils (if a student entered the administrative building without an appointment) and tying hands behind students' backs during meals. He made up a punishment that if anybody missed his nightly six hour long violin concerts, he would force them to buy a large bag of candy for him and then force them to watch him eat the bag.

The Austere Academy

When the Baudelaires moved to Prufrock, Nero despised them. He also made Isadora and Duncan Quagmire live in the Orphans Shack (on separate occasions).

He hired Count Olaf who is disguised as a gym teacher called Coach Genghis. It is unknown if this was unknowing or intentional, although it is possible Nero is in cohoots with Olaf.

He expelled the Baudelaire orphans after he caught them "cheating" on their exams.

The Penultimate Peril

He makes a return in The Penultimate Peril, along with Mr. Remora and Mrs. Bass in Hotel Denouement. He intends to play at a cocktail party and be recognized as a musical genius so that he can quit his job at the school.

During the trial of the Baudelaires, he speaks out against them, claiming they were not good students, Violet and Klaus flunked all sorts of tests, and Sunny was the worst administrative assistant he has ever seen.

It is unknown if he is still alive after the fire.

Behind the scenes

He is portrayed by Roger Bart in the TV series.


  • It is unknown if there is an official principal at Prufrock Preparatory School.
  • Fans theorize he may be on the fire-starting side of V.F.D., although it is unknown if he is aware of or involved in the organization.
  • Nero might have been partially inspired by the Roman Emperor Nero, who, when a great fire was spreading across the city, famously stayed in his palace and played the fiddle while Rome burnt.
  • Near the start of The Miserable Mill: Part Two, Lemony Snicket essentially reveals that Nero is hypnotized to think that he can play the violin despite that he never studied, and that his name "Nero" acts as the trigger.
  • The Baudelaire parents may have known him, or at least went to one of his recitals. Bertrand Baudelaire said, "Children, there is no worse sound in the world than somebody who cannot play the violin who insists on doing so anyway."




TV series