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Ishmael's fearmongering has stopped work on the passageway, even though we have a plethora of horseradish in case of any emergency. We're attempting a botanical hybrid through the tuberous canopy, which should bring safety to fruition despite its dangers to our associates in utero. Of course, in case we are banished, Beatrice is hiding a small amount in a vess-
 
— Bertrand Baudelaire's journal entry into A Series of Unfortunate Events, The End

Bertrand Baudelaire was the husband of Beatrice Baudelaire, the father of Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire and a member of V.F.D.

Biography

Early Life

Theodora was still talking. She was talking about Bertrand, her previous apprentice. He was a saint. He never gave her any trouble whatsoever. He was a decent person who never gave anyone reason to lose any sleep. He'd end up married to a wonderful woman and have very charming children, while I languished alone and lonely. I sat in my towel and agreed that was likely.
 
Bertrand was an orphan[2] who was adopted by orphaned children and named after their father.[1] He was eventually recruited into VFD.

As a child, he attended classes with Beatrice and young V.F.D. members.[3] Bertrand was one of the volunteers who trained the Volunteer Feline Detectives[4] and was friends with Dewey Denouement.[5] He first met Beatrice in a candlelit restaurant.[1]

As an apprentice in V.F.D., Bertrand trained under S. Theodora Markson before Lemony Snicket.[6] She considered him a much better apprentice, as Bertrand never gave her any trouble.

Unknown Points in Time

Bertrand and Beatrice received a box of poison darts from Kit at an opera performance of La Forza del Destino; though it is never outright said, it is heavily implied that they used the darts to kill Count Olaf's parents, leaving him an orphan.[5]

Eventually, Bertrand proposed to Beatrice, unknowingly using the same ring that Lemony had used to propose to her earlier.[1]

Bertrand was one of the few people who knew of Dewey Denouement, and the two of them would signal each other with the poetry of an American humorist of the nineteenth century.[5]

Pre-A Series of Unfortunate Events

About 14-15 years before the series, he lived on The Island with Beatrice when she was pregnant with Violet. They turned the island into a wonderful place where the castaways could still further their study of the world, and to act as a place of recuperation for volunteers deeply affected by the schism. The Baudelaire parents also created a hybrid between the large apple tree and horseradishes, to be a solution to the threat of the Medusoid Mycelium. Bertrand had a few castaway construction workers install a periscope in a tree to search for storms.

Bertrand island

Beatrice and Bertrand on the Island.

Eventually, an older man named Ishmael began criticizing the various decisions of the Baudelaire parents, such as their construction project, a tunnel between the island and Anwhistle Aquatics. Ishmael took over, and they were banished from the island, escaping in a boat that Bertrand named after his wife. They left a commonplace book of the island's history on the island, although Ishmael kept it hidden away from the others in the arboretum.[1]

After returning to the city, Beatrice and Bertrand moved into a mansion, where they raised their children- Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. They appear to not have had much contact with VFD after Klaus was born, as Violet only has the barest memories of VFD-related phrases, and Klaus has none at all.[7]

The Baudelaire parents hid several books that they wanted to keep secret from their children on the top shelves of the library. When they found out that Klaus used a stepladder to take an atlas, which he and Violet ruined by leaving the window open on a rainy night, they yelled at their children, and then hid their books elsewhere.[8]

When Beatrice was pregnant with Sunny, the Baudelaires remember Bertrand fetching her lemonade and pumpernickel toast and adjusting her pillows for her, and sometimes him playing her music to dance to.[5] After Klaus and Sunny were born, Bertrand and Beatrice made Violet promise to always look out for her younger siblings.[9] Violet remembers that he would sometimes call her "Ed", after Thomas Edison.[10] The Baudelaires also remember their parents teasing each other while playing backgammon.[5]

Bertrand is noted to have sometimes gotten into a whimsical mood, where he would grab his nearest child, bounce them up and down on his lap, and recite "The Blind Men and the Elephant" by John Godfrey Saxe. Eventually, Violet and Klaus found this embarrassing, so Sunny became his primary audience, and she remembered the poem best.[5] Sometimes, Bertrand would come into Klaus's room in the mornings to wake him up and find him asleep with a book in one hand and a flashlight in the other; sometimes he would come at night, and when Klaus asked about the mysterious noises outside his window, Bertrand and Beatrice insisted it was nothing more than the wind, even on windless evenings.[1]

Bertrand took his family to a picnic at the Rutabaga River, and he was so excited about the meal that he forgot to pack silverware. They ate sweet-and-sour shrimpy with their hands, and washed their hands in the river.[11]

Bertrand and Beatrice once took their children to Hotel Preludio for the weekend, where they had carrots for breakfast, and Sunny first learned to blow bubbles in the pool. There, Bertrand taught his children a prank, where right when they were about to get off the elevator, they would push every button in order to delay the other passengers. Beatrice found this undignified, but Bertrand reminded her that she'd done magic tricks with dinner rolls that morning.[5] 

While their children were at Briny Beach, Bertrand and Beatrice perished in a fire in their mansion.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

After Beatrice and Bertrand's supposed deaths, the Baudelaires are sent to live in various places, often discovering various information about their parents.

After seeing page thirteen of the Snicket File the Baudelaire children thought he or Beatrice may still be alive, but later changed this opinion when they decided that the "survivor of the fire" was Quigley Quagmire.

One subtlety that the reader may not pick up on is how Violet, Klaus and Sunny handle their parents' death, as they go through a somewhat warped and unusual view of the "five stages of grief" (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance). The Baudelaires are sent from location to location and become so busy in a series of unfortunate events that they do not properly process their parents' deaths until The End, when they finally complete their emotional catharsis:

"They cried for the world, and most of all, of course, the Baudelaire orphans cried for their parents, who they knew, finally, they would never see again. Even though Kit Snicket had not brought news of their parents, her story of the Great Unknown made them see at last that the people who had written all those chapters in A Series of Unfortunate Events were gone forever into the great unknown, and that Violet, Klaus, and Sunny would be orphans forever, too."

2004 Film Divergent Canon

Sanctuary
In the film, the Baudelaire parents were still active members of VFD, and described by Josephine as the leaders of the organization. They went to Europe once, presumably on a mission, and upon realizing that they would be returning late, they sent a letter to their children, as well as a VFD spyglass.

The Baudelaire children receive the letter late, after their parents perish in a fire: 

Dearest children;

Since we have been abroad we have missed you all so much. Certain events have compelled us to extend our travels. One day, when you're older, you will learn all about the people we've befriended and the dangers we have faced. At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may, in fact, be the first steps of a journey. We hope to have you back in our arms soon, darlings; but in case this letter arrives before our return, know that we love you. It fills us with pride to know that, no matter what happens in this life, you three will take care of each other with kindness, and bravery and selflessness as you always have. And remember one thing my darlings and never forget it: that no matter where we are, know that as long as you have each other, you have your family and you are home.
Your loving parents

TV Series Divergent Canon

Beatrice and Bertrand

Beatrice and Bertrand leaving the Island.

He is not present for the Opera in the Netflix show, though it's implied that he may be the admirer who snuck Beatrice her poison dart. 

He helped extinguish the Paltryville fire. Violet may have inherited her inventing skills from her father, as he repurposed a large cowbell, a hammer, and a ten-foot pole to create a makeshift fire alarm.[12]

In The Endinstead of being banished from the Island, Bertrand and Beatrice decided to leave on their own, in order to face the world. 

Trivia

  • Bertrand is noted to have been a fan of American humorist poets of the nineteenth century, and had several poems committed to memory.[5] 
  • His silhouette appears in the movie and its video game adaptation.
  • In The Miserable Mill: Part One, Sir claims he and his wife burned down Paltryville. However, it is later revealed at the end that they actually put out the fire and helped survivors.
  • In the TV series, he was portrayed by Matthew James Dowden.
  • In the TV series, his Paltryville photo shown in The Penultimate Peril: Part Two is updated to show Dowden who joined near the end of production. He also has glasses, perhaps a reference to Klaus.

Appearances

TV series

Non-canon

Gallery

Movie

Sanctuary

TV series

Sources

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