The Council of Elders is the group in charge of the Village of Fowl Devotees. It is a council made up of ridiculous village elders who enjoy burning people to death for not following their thousands of rules.
The 25 council members worship crows and always wear wonky black hats which have a fake crow on top. They sit on a long bench in the Town Hall to discuss what is on the platform. They strictly enforce all the rules of the village including the one where nobody can talk on the platform unless they are a police officer. The youngest member was The Woman Who Was About Eighty-One.
When Count Olaf in the alias of Detective Dupin murdered Jacques Snicket who was mistaken for Count Olaf, he pinned the blame on the Baudelaires alongside some other violations they committed as the Council of Elders support the villagers' suggestion to burn them at the stake.
When the Baudelaires have Duncan Quagmire and Isadora Quagmire evacuated onto Hector's mobile balloon home, the Council of Elders are among the villagers that witness Esmé Squalor in the alias of Officer Luciana use a harpoon gun in violation of the rules. After someone sees Detective Dupin without his sunglasses, some of the Council of Elders lunged towards Dupin to get the boot off to see if he has a tattoo on his ankle. This works as the villagers and the Council of Elders get mad even when Officer Luciana was revealed to have harmed one of the V.F.D. Crows with the harpoon gun. Both of them managed to get away. One Council of Elder member states to the Baudelaires to stay where they are and that they'll still be burned at the stake for their violations as that member leaves to assist the crowd into taking the injured crow to the veterinarian. Once the crowd was gone, the Baudelaires took the opportunity to take their leave before they return.
In the TV series, there are only three Elders seen, as opposed to twenty-five mentioned in the book. They are:
- Elder Anabelle - portrayed by Mindy Sterling
- Elder Jemma - portrayed by Carol Mansell
- Elder Sam - portrayed by Ken Jenkins
- The Council of Elders can be seen as a parody of the idea of "respecting one's elders" no matter what, as Daniel Handler is not afraid to include insane old people who, at the end of the day, really are unwise and out-of-touch jerks and refuse to change their cruel and violent ways. The Council of Elders give zero respect to the Baudelaires, making one wonder why they should deserve any respect back. The Village of Fowl Devotees is a society where the elderly hold all the power and abuse it by using peer pressure and coercion on younger generations. It could be said that many governments and societies, even today, force a system where younger people have little to no representation or power over anything, and the elderly are the ones who get to decide how everyone else lives, even on issues that affect younger people.
- This idea is continued in The End, where an elderly man named Ishmael is often quite a jerk to the Baudelaires. He hates change and insists that everyone else follow his ridiculously arbitrary rules and customs. At the end of the book, he endangers all of humanity by bringing people infected with the Medusoid Mycelium to the mainland.
- The Vile Village
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)