|“||Leave them alone, Carmelita! You're the cakesniffer, and nobody in the right mind would want to eat with you anyway!||”|
— Duncan Quagmire, defending the Baudelaires
Duncan Quagmire is one of the Quagmire triplets, along with his sister and brother, Isadora Quagmire and Quigley Quagmire, and thus is one of the heirs to the infamous and prized Quagmire Sapphires. When many people meet Isadora and Duncan they assume they are twins, but actually, they are triplets.
He loves journalism and hopes to become a renowned journalist. He admires Dorothy Parker. He passionately hates The Daily Punctilio because of its lies and misconceptions. Duncan, like his sister, always carries around a notebook to write down thoughts and discoveries.
He has a crush on Violet Baudelaire. While there is not enough evidence in the books to prove this, the TV series confirms it.
In the TV series, he is shown to be more sensitive and shy than his sister, such as when Olaf refers to him as "The one who cries all the time". However, when the situation arises he can be very brave. He is loyal and cares a lot his siblings and the Baudelaires. He also has a large vocabulary due to being a researcher.
According to a trading card, his least favorite food is rhubarb.
Before The Austere Academy
Duncan and his sister were likely named after famous dancer Isadora Duncan. Before the Baudelaires came into the picture, Duncan and his family suffered a terrible tragedy when a fire broke out in their mansion. The Quagmire parents acted quickly for their children, stuffing Quigley down in a tunnel while running to find the other two. Duncan and Isadora are saved, although their parents died, but go on believing that Quigley also perished with them. They later find out that their brother escaped to Montgomery Montgomery's house via the underground tunnel.
The Austere Academy
Duncan is first introduced in The Austere Academy when he tells Carmelita Spats to leave the Baudelaires alone. He and his sister, Isadora, were placed in Prufrock Preparatory School in the same circumstances as the Baudelaires, except that they didn't know that villains were after them. When the Baudelaires arrived, Isadora's and Duncan's living space was "upgraded" from sleeping in the Orphans Shack to a broom closet.
Duncan and Isadora were always kind to the Baudelaires and being orphans, were highly disliked by Carmelita Spats. As orphans, Duncan and Isadora were outcasts and despised in the school, although several hints in the books say that there were probably many more orphans at the school at the same time or around when they went. Duncan's teacher was Mr. Remora, the same as Violet's.
When the Baudelaires were being harassed by Count Olaf, who was back in disguise as Coach Genghis, and made to run S.O.R.E. laps every night, the Quagmires got involved, despite the Baudelaires' apprehension. When Vice Principal Nero puts on his violin concerts that must be attended by everyone, they sneak out to watch the Baudelaires and Genghis to make sure he wouldn't try anything suspicious. Things go terribly wrong and the Quagmires are "whisked away" by Olaf and his troupe and yell "V.F.D.!" to the orphans as they are driven away.
Lemony Snicket mentions that Count Olaf would eventually force the Quagmires into puppy costumes so he could sneak them onto an airplane without anyone noticing.
The Ersatz Elevator
Throughout the sixth book, they are held prisoner by Olaf and Esmé Squalor in an empty elevator shaft. The Baudelaires find them but when they attempt to rescue them, they've already been moved. The Baudelaire orphans then discover that there is a tunnel from 667 Dark Avenue leading all the way to the remains of their mansion. When they go to the In Auction hosted by Esmé Squalor and Gunther (Olaf in disguise) they try to get Jerome to get the box of very fancy doilies that they think the Quagmires are hidden in. However, they open it and the Quagmires aren't in it. Olaf and his henchmen runoff and the Baudelaires realize the Quagmires were hidden in the red herring.
Between The Ersatz Elevator and The Vile Village
The Quagmires are temporarily kept at Count Olaf's house, locked in his forbidden tower.
The Vile Village
In the seventh installment, Mr. Poe is actively working on both the Quagmire and Baudelaire cases. He travels by helicopter looking for them while the Baudelaires are transported to their new home: the Village of Fowl Devotees the Baudelaires spend most of the book searching for their friends and finally realize they are hidden in the town center's crow fountain. As the Baudelaires had been thrown in jail on false charges of murder by Olaf (disguised as Detective Dupin), they are chased by villagers and Olaf's crew, while Hector, with his hot-air mobile, is in the sky above the house they were staying at. The Quagmires manage to climb up the rope but the Baudelaires, seeing that they cannot make the climb with the all of the villages crows flying around them and being dangerously close to being harpooned by Esmé Squalor, stay on the ground.
The Slippery Slope
Not much is said about Duncan until book ten, when we learn that the V.F.D. trained eagles (now in the clutches of Olaf) are being sent to attack the flying vessel that Duncan, Isadora, and Hector are in.
After The Slippery Slope
In the next series of stories, the Baudelaires are told that Quigley is safe and that Quigley arrived in time to fight off many eagles only to see that the hot air balloon mobile crashed directly onto the Queequeg, holding Captain Widdershins, Fiona, Fernald, and Kit, underneath them. This is told to the Baudelaires in The End by Kit after she has washed up on the shores of the island. She says that "The Great Unknown" came towards them and she did not know whether the massive creature if that is what it is, swallowed them up or saved them.
Duncan's role is mainly the same, although the implications of a crush on Violet are much more evident. For example, he wrote DQ + VB inside the red herring.
Behind the scenes
- Duncan is portrayed by Dylan Kingwell in the TV series, who also portrays Quigley.
- Due to him and his siblings being born between Violet and Klaus, it can be assumed that they are thirteen.
- Duncan and his sister are likely named after Isadora Duncan, an American-born, modern dancer from the Victorian era (born 1877). Duncan died tragically when her long, flowing scarf became caught in the open-spoked wheel of a car in which she was a passenger, breaking her neck.
- Due to the way they are drawn in the books, many fans have imagined Duncan and the Quagmires as being Asian. However, they are Caucasian in the TV series, making it a missed opportunity as the TV series lacks Asians in major roles despite that more diversity was intended, although it is not whitewashing as the Quagmires have no defined ethnicity in the books.
- The Austere Academy
- The Ersatz Elevator
- The Vile Village
- The Hostile Hospital (Mentioned only)
- The Slippery Slope (Mentioned only)
- The Grim Grotto (Mentioned only)
- The Penultimate Peril (Mentioned only)
- The End (Mentioned only)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 PROSE: The Austere Academy
- ↑ Duncan and his siblings were taken by the Great Unknown. Many readers believe the Great Unknown is the Bombinating Beast though this has not been confirmed.
In Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?, it states that Lemony killed Hangfire when he pushes the villain into the mouth of the Bombinating Beast. If the two entities are the same and Lemony did actually kill Hangfire, then Duncan would likely also be deceased.
However, at the end of the eighth chapter in The End, Lemony Snicket wrote that the Quagmire triplets "at this very moment were in circumstances just as dark although quite a bit damper than the Baudelaire's," suggesting that the Quagmires might be alive inside the Great Unknown.
Also, noteworthy, while Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights? was published after the The End, in-universe it is the report Snicket wrote as a teenager versus A Series of Unfortunate Events was written by Snicket as an adult. This means Snicket had more knowledge (about what happens to someone eaten by the Great Unknown/Bombinating Beast) when writing The End then when he wrote Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?