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People aren't either wicked or noble. They're like chef's salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.
— Fernald, The Grim Grotto

Fernald, better known as The Hook-Handed Man, was a member of Count Olaf's theatre troupe and a former V.F.D. apprentice of Anwhistle Aquatics. He has helped torment the Baudelaire orphans in Olaf's various schemes, although he eventually loses his hostility.


Early Life

Your whole family could never choose which side of the schism was theirs. Your brother used to be a goody-goody as well, trying to prevent fires instead of encouraging them, but eventually-

Fernald and his much younger sister, Fiona, were born in a VFD-affiliated family. While his sister was young, Fernald and his stepfather Captain Widdershins worked together for Voluntary Fish Domestication, where they trained young salmon to swim upstream and search for forest fires. Widdershins later remarks that Fernald would sneak extra worms to his favorites. The program was shut down when Café Salmonella took their fleet away.

Fernald seemed to have a rocky relationship with his stepfather; they are mentioned as studying poetry and reading aloud together on the Main Hall of the Queequeg, where Fernald's mother and Widdershins were the crew of two, but he later mentions that he hated Widdershins's bossy personality and constant use of the word, "Aye!" Fiona also mentions that they would have "awful fights" at night when they thought she was asleep.

He did, however, have a good relationship with Fiona, and he taught her a card game he invented called Fernald's Folly to play whenever they were in a boring situation. He always carried a deck of cards with him in case of boredom.

While the entire situation is unclear, what is known is that when Fiona was still young, Fernald and Widdershins participated in the burning of Anwhistle Aquatics and murder of Gregor Anwhistle. It seems that this event caused Fernald to lose his hands, and he later fled out of fear and confusion as to the morality of their actions. As he fled, Jacques Snicket and Widdershins published an article in The Daily Punctilio claiming that Fernald was solely responsible for the arson.

Because of this, Fernald grew a much more morally-gray outlook on life. He ended up joining the fire-starting side of VFD, specifically under the employ of Count Olaf's acting troupe.

The Bad Beginning

If I know you, Olaf, you'll figure out a way to get at that Baudelaire money.
— Fernald, The Bad Beginning

Fernald is among the guests who arrive at Count Olaf's home for dinner, along with the Bald Man with the Long Nose, the Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender and the White-Faced Women. He and the rest of the troupe mock the orphans and later impatiently bang on the table in order to hurry the Baudelaires as they cook dinner. He is also there to witness Olaf striking Klaus. Fernald reassures Olaf afterwards that he's sure he'll find a way to get the Baudelaire Fortune.

He is later sent by Olaf to retrieve the Baudelaires when they visit Justice Strauss' house. He surprises Klaus Baudelaire and spots him reading a book on Inheritance Law. Afraid he's figured out the plan, he threatens Klaus and claims that after Olaf has their money, he may leave Klaus to him. Terrified, Klaus quiets and seems to have some kind of panic attack while Fernald leaves to fetch Violet and Sunny, the latter of whom keeps trying to bite his hooks as they return to Count Olaf's house.

Fernald appears to be left in charge of guarding the tower from the inside after Sunny is captured and hung outside the window in a birdcage. When, that night, Violet makes a grappling hook to retrieve her, the hook catches on his hooks and he allows her to climb up until he can pull her into the window. He informs Olaf of the situation with a walkie talkie, though he has brief issues using it due to his hooks. He leaves the room afterwards and locks it, trapping both Sunny and Violet inside. He retrieves Klaus from his bedroom to lock in the tower with Violet until The Marvelous Marriage can be performed. When the morning comes, he accompanies Olaf to the tower to fetch the children.

During The Marvelous Marriage, Olaf instructs Fernald to retrieve Sunny from the tower and to bring her to the theatre. Fernald does, taking her to the theatre before Olaf can retract the order. When Olaf flees the scene, Fernald and the troupe run away with him.

The Reptile Room

I believe that speed is of the essence in an emergency, don't you?
— Fernald, The Reptile Room

After Olaf disguises himself as Stephano and murders the Baudelaires' new guardian, Monty Montgomery, he has Fernald disguise himself as Dr. Lucafont. He uses fake, stiff hands to cover his hooks and arrives in a white coat.

He is a bit distracted upon arrival, forgetting that he has to look at the body and requesting a cup of coffee, and consistently referring to Olaf as his boss. After transporting Monty's body from the Reptile Room to the car, he comes to the kitchen for coffee and claims the doctor died of a snakebite from the Mamba du Mal. He also takes some canned peaches from Monty's cupboard, to Klaus's fury. He joins Olaf in attempting to have Arthur Poe ride in his car so that Olaf can drive away with the Baudelaires, while the children sneak out of the room to investigate.

They argue for some time, until finally agreeing that Poe and Lucafont will drive alone. Fernald and Olaf unload the children's bags from Monty's jeep, piling the suitcase on the ground. As they return to the house, however, Sunny begins screaming from the reptile room, and they rush in to find Sunny pretending to be attacked by the Incredibly Deadly Viper.

Olaf accidentally reveals too much, despite Fernald's warnings, and he feebly attempts to stop Violet from using evidence in Stephano's suitcase to prove he is Olaf. Once Olaf's cover is blown, Fernald offers to drive him to the police station until Sunny bites his fake hands off, revealing his hooks. Fernald and Olaf then flee.

The Ersatz Elevator

There's one good thing about this staircase. It's all uphill from here.
— Fernald, The Ersatz Elevator

He seems to have been heavily involved in the capture of the Quagmire triplets, as he mentions how they complained nonstop.[8]

Fernald is positioned as a doorman at 667 Dark Avenue in order to keep watch for Olaf and his secret associate, Esmé Squalor; he falsely promises her husband, Jerome Squalor, that he will not let Olaf into the building. When the Baudelaires arrive to live with the Squalors, he leads them inside to the dark room, as dark is in. He explains the "in and out" trends to the children before informing them that the elevator is out and sending them up the staircase.

After Olaf arrives disguised as Gunther, Esmé sends Jerome and the children away, and orders Fernald not to let them return until Gunther has left the penthouse. Olaf, however, leaves via the elevator shaft, and thus Fernald does not see him leave. He busies himself redecorating the lobby with ocean decor, as it is now in. When the Baudelaires arrive, they convince him that Gunther could be on the way down and allows them to go inside. He also mentions to Jerome that he would like to buy something ocean-themed for the lobby at the upcoming In Auction.

The next day, Fernald is still putting up decorations when the children reach the bottom of the stairwell. He does not allow them to go back up, as he still has not seen Gunther, and he claims he has not slept due to drinking coffee. He then subtly hints at the elevator, telling the Baudelaires that sometimes the solution to a problem is right under their nose, hanging a starfish on the elevator doors. Klaus picks up on this and realizes there must be a passage in the elevators. Esmé and Jerome return and Esmé orders him to allow them back up to the penthouse.

Fernald goes to the In Auction and, under Olaf's orders, purchases the Red Herring statue that holds Duncan and Isadora Quagmire. He begins to move the statue to Olaf's truck before he notices the Baudelaires, who were supposed to be trapped in the penthouse. He alerts Olaf, before going out to the truck. The Baudelaires recognize him just as he is driving away.

The Hostile Hospital

A patient's death would certainly be a terrible accident, Dr. Flacutono.

Fernald as Dr. Lucafont.

Fernald poses once again as Dr. O. Lucafont at Heimlich Hospital. He and the Bald Man meet Klaus and Sunny at the room they are holding Violet, but as her siblings are disguised they mistake them for the White-Faced Women. They are take the unconscious Violet, disguised as "Laura V. Bleediotie", to the Operating Theatre for a "cranioectomy,"  in which they will cut off her head. Fernald expresses confusion at this plan and argues with the Bald Man until Klaus interrupts them, and they take Violet to the theatre together. 

Fernald poses as a "medical host" and the Bald Man's assistant in the theater, helping him with the presentation and pressuring Klaus to try and get him to do the surgery. Klaus and Sunny buy time for Violet to regain consciousness until Esmé and the real White-Faced Women enter to expose them. They flee the theatre with Violet.

Fernald is next seen fleeing the hospital as it burns to the ground, entering Olaf's car with the rest of the troupe and driving away. He remarks as they leave that he hopes the Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender got out of the hospital alright.

The Carnivorous Carnival

This is the funniest thing I've ever seen. I always thought people with birth defects were unfortunate, but now I realize they're hilarious.

He seems a bit uncomfortable during the long car ride, constantly asking if they have arrived at Caligari Carnival yet, and if it is safe to be so out in the open. Olaf informs them that they have to ask Madame Lulu about the Snicket file and the location of the Baudelaires, for at least one of them should have gotten out of the hospital alive. Fernald remarks that he hopes it's Sunny, as he had fun putting her in a cage and would like to do it again.

When they arrive at the carnival, they enter Lulu's caravan and have wine with her; Fernald remarks that the orphans have been difficult to capture, and that they need to find out where the Snicket file is. He also compliments Lulu's roast chicken. Soon, three "freaks" arrive to audition for the freakshow- Beverly and Elliot, one person with two heads, and Chabo the Wolf Baby. Fernald finds Beverly and Elliot hilarious.

The next morning, while Olaf and Lulu fetch some lions, Fernald is put in charge of the freakshow. He awakens the performers and tells them that he has a busy day ahead of him and is already in a bad mood from finding out from Lulu that one of the Baudelaire parents may still be alive. He tells the employees to hurry up before going to the tent.

At the freakshow, Fernald displays for the employees his Tagliatelle Grande, which he has been ordered to use as a whip if the workers don't listen to him. He announces the start of the show to the crowd and is at first mistaken for one of the freaks, due to his hook-hands. When Olaf and Lulu return, he helps them dig the lion pit.

Fernald leads the freaks to the lion pit the next morning, as one of them is to be fed to the lions. There, he is once again mistaken for a freak. When the crowd begins arguing over who should throw Beverly and Elliot to the lions, Fernald says that he seems to be the only person brave enough to do it, and sneers at Hugo when he claims that he will. When the crowd turns into a mob, Fernald attempts to grab Beverly and Elliot, but his hook catches in the cord of Geraldine Julienne's microphone and becomes hopelessly entangled.

After the carnival is set on fire, Fernald escapes in a car with Olaf, Esmé, the White-Faced Women, and their new employees- Hugo, Colette and Kevin. They also take with them a captive Chabo, as Chabo is Sunny Baudelaire in disguise; they put her siblings in a caravan and cut the rope, assuming they will perish at the bottom of the mountain.

The Slippery Slope

Count Olaf, like any good businessman, has committed a wide variety of crimes.
— Chapter Three

While in the car on the way to burn a V.F.D. Headquarters, Fernald takes charge of explaining things to the new troupe members, including that they must destroy the Snicket File, as it contains evidence of Olaf's crimes. He also expresses concern over where Sunny will camp when they spend the night on Mount Fraught, as he doesn't want her to "steal his breath while he sleeps."

When they awake the next morning, he asks Kevin to help him comb his hair, as he has two equally strong hands and Fernald only has hooks. After Sunny fails to cook them a breakfast to Olaf's standards, he orders Fernald to break a hole in the ice and catch salmon for the baby to prepare. As he is doing this, he misses the arrival of the Man with a Beard but No Hair and the Woman with Hair but No Beard. When he returns, he asks about their identities, and upon receiving no answer, he gives the salmon to Sunny. She loxes them with a fire started by a green cigarette, which frightens their bosses, as it could be a signal.

The next day, Fernald helps set up a plot to kidnap the Snow Scouts on the mountain, and witnesses Violet, Klaus and Quigley Quagmire attempt to rescue Sunny, only for Sunny to free herself and escape to them. When the Snow Scouts are captured in a giant net, Fernald is stuck inside, and taken away by the eagles.

The Grim Grotto

Fiona: This is your chance to do something noble. You don't have to remain on the wrong side of the schism.
Fernald: Oh, Fiona. You don't understand. There is no wrong side of the schism.
The Grim Grotto

Fernald goes aboard The Carmelita submarine with Olaf, Esmé, and their recent adoptive daughter Carmelita Spats. He finds Carmelita to be a horrible brat.

Olaf orders him to stay in the brig when they capture the Queequeg, in order to the torture the Baudelaires for information on the Sugar Bowl. However, when the children are thrown in, Fernald is startled to find Fiona with them. While they at first joyfully reunite, they start arguing due to the fact Fernald is in Olaf's employ and Fiona is with the Baudelaires. He eventually finds out that not only do the children not know where the Sugar Bowl is, Sunny has been poisoned by the Medusoid Mycelium and needs to be brought to the Queequeg for a cure.

Fiona encourages him to bring them back to the submarine and do a noble thing, which results in Fernald explaining to the children that neither side of VFD is truly good or evil, and everyone is morally gray, like "chef's salads." He does, however, agree to take them back to the Queequeg if they allow him to go with them. While the Baudelaires are hesitant, Fiona enthusiastically agrees and refuses to leave behind her brother, the only family she has left.

They attempt to sneak across the Main Hall to get to the Queequeg, but Fernald and Fiona are spotted by Carmelita and Esmé. Fernald lies that Fiona has joined them and they need to borrow Esmé's tagliatelle grande in order to buy the Baudelaires time to escape.

What happens next is unclear; what is known is that next time Fernald and Fiona are seen by the Baudelaires, they both claim to be staunchly on Olaf's side and try to keep the Baudelaires trapped. However, as Fernald's immediate next action is to steal The Carmelita with Fiona, it is likely that Fernald realized that they had no way of escaping Olaf and planned with Fiona to pretend to betray the Baudelaires in order to steal Olaf's submarine and free the captive children on board.[9]

Nevertheless, he leaves the children on the Queequeg and goes with Olaf, while Fiona lets the Baudelaires escape.

Later Life

Fernald and Fiona immediately double-cross Olaf and steal his submarine from him.[10]

What happens next is unclear; though Kit Snicket claims that she and Widdershins reunited with Fernald and Fiona on the Queequeg, which was then crashed into by the Self-Sustaining Hot Air Mobile Home- holding Hector, Duncan, Isadora and Quigley Quagmire-[11] Lemony Snicket claims that Fernald fought the Quagmires on the mobile home before it crashed.[10]

After the crash, everyone was left in the water and approached by the Great Unknown. All but Kit decided to take their chances with it, and whether it saved them or ate them is uncertain. All that is said is that, while the Baudelaires were traveling to the arboretum of the island, the Quagmire triplets (who were among the shipwrecked) were "in circumstances just as dark although quite a bit damper than" theirs.[11]

2004 Film Divergent Canon

Fernald attacking Klaus.

He is first seen with the rest of the acting troupe when they first arrive for dinner in Count Olaf's home. He stands with Count Olaf as he instructs the orphan's to prepare dinner by 8:00, where he removes his fake hands to reveal one of his hooks and says "Sharp!"

During rehearsals, Olaf uses his hooks as a coat rack for his robe before assigning roles, Fernald suggesting out of necessity for Olaf to play the part of "The Most Handsome Count in all the world." During the rehearsals, he and the rest of the troupe fall asleep and are eventually awoken when dinner is served. Count Olaf destroys the dinner plates and rants over how the children should've served roast beef instead, and the troupe applauds him.

During the children's time with Montgomery Montgomery, he disguises himself as a doctor to confirm a false cause of death, though he and Count Olaf are eventually exposed and he flees the scene, leaving his fake hands and doctor's outfit behind.

Fernald is later seen setting up the play The Marvelous Marriage, taking people's coats and helping the Bald Man entertain a critic. During the play, Fernald plays a soldier that aids the Count in his battle against "the hordes" and eventually find his beloved. The play is suddenly interrupted when Olaf discovers the Bald Man playing the camel instead of Klaus. He orders Fernald to go find him.

As Klaus attempts to rescue Sunny from the tower and discovers the cause of the Baudelaire fire, Fernald ambushes him and expresses his involvement in the fire. After a second attack, he clumsily falls out the window and is left hanging from Sunny's suspended birdcage for Olaf and the Audience to see.

What happens to him is unknown, though it is likely he fled with Count Olaf.

He is portrayed by Jamie Harris. In the video game adaptation, he is voiced by Jay Gordon.

Netflix Series Divergent Canon

Fernald eating pasta with Olaf's troupe.

In the Netflix adaptation, his role mainly follows the books. However, there are a few differences.

He is shown to be able to understand Sunny, although it is unknown how. He seems to be friendlier with her, even playing a game of poker with her while she is trapped in the cage to ease her boredom, and saves her life in The Slippery Slope.

He is also not immediately disguised as the doorman in The Ersatz Elevator: Part One and The Ersatz Elevator: Part Two, because later on he is disguised as the waiter of Herring Houdini.

In The Carnivorous Carnival: Part One, Madame Lulu tells Fernald that his sister depends on him, referring to Fiona. He is also later seen debating about whether or not he should call his step-dad (Captain Widdershins).

In The Slippery Slope: Part One, Fernald shows a softer side to Sunny and helps her to prepare a meal for Count Olaf, and sews her warmer clothes, showing his affection for the child. He confides that he has a foster-father (Captain Widdershins) who did not approve of his life choices, and he expresses his disillusionment with Count Olaf. Fernald along with the White-Faced Women, the Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender, and The Bald Man with the Long Nose also appreciate Sunny's cooking.

In The Slippery Slope: Part Two, Sunny manages to convince Fernald to get her a soft drink, taking advantage of the distraction to communicate with Violet and Quigley Quagmire. Later, Fernald is the only member of Count Olaf's troupe to comply with his orders to throw Sunny's cage down the mountain. However, it is revealed that Sunny had escaped using an unlocking device provided by Violet. It is also implied that Fernald may have helped her escape offscreen.

Fernald and Fiona reunited.

In The Grim Grotto: Part One, Fernald's relationship with Olaf begins to sour as Olaf blames him for Sunny's escape, and Carmelita and Esmé treat him badly as well. When he next encounters the Baudelaires in the submarine, he tells Sunny he can't help her this time (more evidence he may have helped her escape before) and is sent to search the submarine, where he finds his sister Fiona and hides her presence from Olaf.

In The Grim Grotto: Part Two, Fernald's background with Gregor Anwhistle is revealed: he was once an apprentice for Anwhistle Aquatics. Gregor Anwhistle was developing the Medusoid Mycelium and despite Fernald's warnings about its dangers, Gregor refused to listen. This caused Fernald to burn Anwhistle Aquatics. Debris that exploded from Anwhistle Aquatics fell onto him. Fernald tried to block it with his hands, causing him to lose them. Fernald's arson caused him to be kicked out of the fire-fighting side of V.F.D. and Captain Widdershins was furious at Fernald but kept this truth hidden from Fiona. Fernald decided to join Count Olaf's Theater Troupe, largely due to his annoyance at Widdershins.

Olaf threatening to kill Fernald in front of Fiona.

Fernald is convinced to help the Baudelaires when he sees that Sunny's life is on the line. Eventually, Fiona is discovered and Olaf begins to choke Fernald for his betrayal, but Fiona saves him by lying to Olaf and giving him the Medusoid Mycellium. When they leave Fiona's ship, Olaf reveals he knows Fiona was lying and threatens Fernald further. Fernald and Fiona's last appearance in this episode is them stealing the submarine and driving off.

Fernald and Fiona eating salad.

In The End, Fernald and Fiona go on a mission to locate their missing stepfather. While having a salad dinner with their stepfather's portrait, they hear his voice on a radio, implying they will finally be reunited.

He is portrayed by Usman Ally.



Fernald has a typically cold and calm attitude while working with Count Olaf, rarely expressing his feelings on a matter and maintaining a stiff-upper-lip in his work. He can also be very intimidating when he finds it necessary, using his appearance and his attitude to harass and frighten the Baudelaires.

Underneath this, however, is a level of philosophy and consideration that is rarely present in characters within the series. He is convinced that the Fire Fighting Side and the Fire Starting Side of V.F.D. have more similarities than most have been led to believe.

While his hooks can possibly function as weapons, he rarely uses physical force in Count Olaf's schemes, preferring instead to outsmart his enemies.

Despite Count Olaf's fondness for the trade, Fernald ironically seems to possess a greater skill in disguises. This is due to the Baudelaires immediately recognizing Olaf in his disguises, but rarely identifying Fernald until he abandons his disguise deliberately.

He has shown to care for his sister, and he quickly prioritizes her safety over his loyalty to Count Olaf. Despite this, he has a great disdain for Captain Widdershins, so much so that he is partially the reason Fernald joined Count Olaf's troupe in the first place. He also seems to have a toxic partnership with the Bald Man with the Long Nose, arguing with and receiving insults from him. He has also shown remorse and doubt regarding his crimes and states that there are no such things as good people or bad people, that every person is like "a chef's salad with good parts and bad" arguing that good people often do bad things while bad people may do good things.

Violet has a personal hatred towards him because of his general affiliation with Count Olaf, a level of hatred not even shared by her siblings. Despite his attempts to justify his actions and exemplify their similarities on a moral level, she continues to reject the notion. This spite towards Fernald also poisons her and Klaus' opinion of Fiona as an ally.


Fernald is much more comedic and far less competent than his literary counterpart. He is often a part of gags that involve his hooks, such as people hanging coats off them, getting them stuck on surfaces and accidentally tearing clothes with them. He does not express the morally neutral behavior he has in the books either, behaving more like a simple thug and a henchman for the much more prominent and complex Count Olaf. Though this is justified since the movie had no sequels that could show Fernald’s more good side like in the books.


Fernald is a wild, yet loyal person. He normally does not think twice about his actions as seen in The Bad Beginning: Part One and The Bad Beginning: Part Two. However, like the books, he tries to redeem himself after reuniting with Fiona.

In The Slippery Slope: Part One, he tells Olaf, "I'm in love with--" but is cut off. In The Incomplete History of Secret Organizations: An Utterly Unreliable Account of Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events, it is mentioned that the idea was for Fernald to be in love with Olaf. This would explain why Fernald remains by Olaf's side longer than the rest of the henchpeople. As Daniel Handler helped write the TV series, it is unclear if this also applies to Fernald in the books. Fernald seems closeted and Esmé interrupts Fernald's apparent coming out, and he looks particularly annoyed after. Fernald exhibits similarities to Charles, and seems desperate for Olaf's praise and acceptance like how Charles wanted Sir's, possibly due to receiving little affection throughout his life.

Fernald's salad for Olaf.

In The Grim Grotto, Fernald makes a decorated salad for Olaf. Olaf asks Fernald where the beef is, but Fernald replies that it's vegetarian, causing Olaf to become aggressive and violent. This scene is made sadder because of Fernald's feelings for Olaf. Later, Fernald tries to join Olaf, Esmé and Carmelita for dinner, but he is told off by them because they feel a family includes a man, a woman and a child. Fernald replies that families can consist of all sorts of variations, but is ordered to go eat in the brig with rats, and so he is saddened again.



Fernald in the books.

Fernald is described as being a tall man, much like the Bald man with the Long Nose, and has distinctly long and skinny arms. His hands are missing and replaced with a pair of metal hooks, though how he lost his hands is unknown.

His voice is described as being croaky and dry, though he is still able to speak smoothly.

Various depictions present him in differing outfits. The Bad Beginning depicts him wearing a brown trench coat, a brown fedora, and golden hook hands. The Carnivorous Carnival shows him wearing a green overcoat with yellow pants and grey hook hands. Despite these varying depictions, his overcoat is described to be greasy.


Fernald has a slender frame, fitting his description in the books, though still differs from the depiction of him from the books. He typically wears a dark brown waistcoat, as opposed to the overcoat from the books, and a blue pair of dress pants. His hooks are shaped hexagonally and are explicitly dark grey, unlike the book counterpart's rounded golden hooks.

This design for the hook-handed man is replicated in the video game adaptations.


Fernald's design in the Netflix series is a radical departure from the book's depictions, even more so than the film's design.

In the series, he is bald with black stubbly facial hair. He wears a black leather coat with a black buttoned undershirt, dark brown pants, and black shoes. His hooks are no longer the traditional hooks and are now modern split hook hands. Each hook hand has a pair of claws capable of opening and closing to apply a grip. His hooks are also made of silver or iron, unlike in the film and books in which his hooks are made of gold.


The Bad Beginning

You can't go easy on children. They must be taught to obey their elders.
— Chapter Four
What are you doing in this musty old room, anyway?
— Chapter Seven
I'll tell you what I think. I think you should never be allowed inside this library again, at least until Friday. We don't want a little boy getting big ideas.
— Chapter Seven
Listen to me very carefully, little boy. The only reason Count Olaf hasn't torn you limb from limb is that he hasn't gotten hold of your money. He allows you to live while he works out his plans. But ask yourself this, you little bookworm: What reason will he have to keep you alive after he has your money? What do you think will happen to you then? When the time comes, I believe Count Olaf just might leave you to me. So if I were you, I'd start acting a little nicer.
— Chapter Seven
How pleasant that you could join us. I'm so glad you're here. I was just thinking how much I wanted to see your pretty face. Have a seat.
— Chapter Eleven
Fernald: Count Olaf is very displeased with his bride.
Violet Baudelaire: I'm not his bride.
Fernald: Very soon you will be. In the meantime, however, I have to go and fetch your brother. The three of you will be locked in this room until night falls. That way, Count Olaf can be sure you will all stay out of mischief.
—Chapter Eleven
No monkey business, you two, or I will have to tie you up and let you dangle out of the window as well.
— Chapter Eleven

The Reptile Room 

I am Dr. Lucafont. I received a call that there's been a terrible accident involving a snake.
— Chapter Eight
Nothing like a hearty cup of coffee before starting the day's work.
— Chapter Eight
I will have to take the body for some further tests, but my autopsy shows that the doctor died of snakebite. Is there any coffee left for me?
— Chapter Eight
Violet Baudelaire: How can you be sure?
Fernald: What do you mean? I can be sure there's coffee left because I see it right here.
—Chapter Eight
Fernald: No, no. The Mamba du Mal is safe in its cage. It must have gotten out, bitten Dr. Montgomery, and locked itself up again.
Violet Baudelaire: What? That's a ridiculous theory. A snake cannot operate a lock by itself.
Fernald: Perhaps the other snakes helped it. Is there anything here to eat? I had to rush over here without my breakfast.
Arthur Poe: Your story does seem a bit odd.
Fernald: Terrible accidents, I have found, are often odd.
—Chapter Eight
The city laws won't allow anybody else to drive my car.
— Chapter Nine
Yes. Perhaps, just this once, the snake didn't feel like bruising its victim.
— Chapter Twelve
Well, if nobody has a cloth, we might as well forget the whole thing.
— Chapter Twelve
And I am most definitely shocked.
— Chapter Thirteen

The Ersatz Elevator

Most of our visitors find it hard to spot the door. That's why they hired a doorman.
— Chapter One
Around here, people decide whether something is in, which means it's stylish and appealing, or out, which means it's not. And it changes all the time. Why, just a couple of weeks ago, dark was out, and light was in, and you should have seen this neighborhood. You had to wear sunglasses all the time or you'd hurt your eyes.
— Chapter One
Violet Baudelaire: Is the elevator out of order? I'm very good with mechanical devices, and I'd be happy to take a look at it.
Fernald: That's a very kind and unusual offer. But the elevator isn't out of order. It's just out.
—Chapter One
I had very strict instructions. Nobody is supposed to enter the penthouse apartment until the guest leaves the building, which he definitely has not done.
— Chapter Five
Fernald: Ocean decorating is in. I just got the phone call today. By tomorrow, the lobby will be filled with underwater scenery.
Jerome Squalor: I wish we'd known about this earlier. We would have brought something back from the Fish District.
Fernald: Oh, I wish you had. Everybody wants ocean decorations now, and they're getting hard to find.
Jerome Squalor: There are sure to be some ocean decorations for sale at the In Auction. Maybe you should stop by and purchase something for the lobby.
Fernald: Maybe I will. Maybe I will. Have a good evening, folks.
—Chapter Five
Fernald: I'm here all day and all night, and I haven't seen him leave. I promise you Gunther never walked out of this door.
Klaus Baudelaire: When do you sleep?
Fernald: I drink a lot of coffee.
Violet Baudelaire: It just doesn't make any sense.
Fernald: Sure it does. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a chemical stimulant. Stimulants keep people awake.
—Chapter Six
Every problem has a solution. At least, that's what a close associate of mine says. Sometimes it just takes a long time to find the solution- even if it's right in front of your nose.
— Chapter Six
Esmé Squalor: What kind of a doorman are you?
Fernald: Actually, I'm an actor, but I was still able to follow your instructions.
—Chapter Seven
Hey, boss! The orphans are here!
— Chapter Twelve

The Hostile Hospital

Fernald: I can see through your disguise.
Bald Man: Me, too, but I don't think anyone else will. I don't know how you ladies managed to do it, but you look much shorter in those white coats.
Fernald: And your faces don't looks as pale in those surgical masks. These are the best disguises Olaf- I mean Mattathias- has ever cooked up.
—Chapter Ten
I've been waiting to get my hooks on her since she escaped from marrying Mattathias.
— Chapter Ten
Fernald: I still don't understand why we have to murder her in front of all those doctors.
Bald Man: So it can look like an accident, you idiot.
Fernald: I'm not an idiot. I'm physically handicapped.
Bald Man: Just because you're physically handicapped doesn't mean you're mentally clever.
Fernald: And just because you're wearing an ugly wig doesn't mean you can insult me.
—Chapter Ten
We shouldn't behave unprofessionally, just because it's been a very stressful time at work.
— Chapter Ten
She's a pretty one, even when she's unconscious.
— Chapter Ten
Doctors, nurses, Volunteers Fighting Disease, reporters from The Daily Punctilio, distinguished guests, and regular people, welcome to the operating theater at Heimlich Hospital. I am Dr. O. Lucafont, and I will be your medical host for today's performance.
— Chapter Eleven
We all know it's a knife, Dr. Tocuna.
— Chapter Eleven
Sorry for the delay, folks. As you know, we're real doctors, so that's why we're explaining everything.
— Chapter Eleven
Esmé Squalor: The two people up on this stage are imposters.
Fernald: No we're not.
—Chapter Eleven
Surround them! But be careful. The bookworm still has the knife!
— Chapter Eleven
Bald Man: Move closer, everyone! Mattathias told me that whoever grabs them first gets to choose where to go for dinner tonight!
Fernald: Is that so? Well, I'm in the mood for pizza.
—Chapter Twelve
Klaus Baudelaire: Get back! This knife is very sharp!
Fernald: You can't kill all of us. In fact, I doubt you have the courage to kill anyone.
Klaus Baudelaire: It doesn't take courage to kill someone. It takes a severe lack of moral stamina.
—Chapter Twelve
The Ward for People with Nasty Rashes is entirely destroyed. I hope the big one got out O.K.
— Chapter Thirteen

The Carnivorous Carnival

Are we there yet?
— Chapter One
Boss, are you sure it's safe to be way out here? If the police come looking for us, there'll be no place to hide.
— Chapter One
Count Olaf: We only need one of them alive to get the fortune.
Fernald: I hope it's Sunny. It was fun putting her in a cage, and I look forward to doing it again.
—Chapter One
We've been swamped at work. Those three orphans have been very difficult to capture.
— Chapter Two
Violet Baudelaire: This is Chabo the Wolf Baby. Her mother was a hunter who fell in love with a handsome wolf, and this is their poor child.
Fernald: I didn't even know that was possible.
—Chapter Two
Wake up and hurry up! I'm in a very bad mood and have no time for your nonsense. It's a very busy day at the carnival. Madame Lulu and Count Olaf are running errands, I'm in charge of the House of Freaks, the crystal ball revealed that one of those blasted Baudelaire parents is still alive, and the gift caravan is almost out of figurines.
— Chapter Three
Fernald: Get inside and put on a good show. Madame Lulu said that if you don't give the audience what they want, I'm allowed to use this tagliatelle grande.
Colette: What's a tagliatelle grande?
Fernald: Tagliatelle is a type of Italian noodle, and grande means 'big' in Italian. This is a big noodle that a carnival worker cooked up for me this morning. If you don't do what I say, I get to hit you with the tagliatelle grande, which I've heard is an unpleasant and somewhat sticky experience.
—Chapter Four
The Man With Pimples On His Chin: Look at all those freaks! There's a man with hooks instead of hands!
Fernald: I'm not one of the freaks. I work here at the carnival!
The Man With Pimples On His Chin: Oh, I'm sorry. But if you don't mind my saying so, if you purchased a pair of realistic hands no one would make that mistake.
Fernald: It's not polite to comment on other people's appearances. Now, ladies and gentlemen, gaze with horror on Hugo, the hunchback!
—Chapter Four
You were right, boss. Things are about to get much better here.
— Chapter Five
I'm not a freak. I'm an employee of Count Olaf.
— Chapter Ten
Count Olaf: I'm allergic to cats. You see? I'm sneezing already, and I'm not even on the plank.
Violet Baudelaire: Your allergies didn't bother you when you were whipping the lions.
Fernald: That's true. I didn't even know you had allergies, Olaf.
—Chapter Eleven
Fernald: Enough of this! I'll throw them in myself. I guess I'm the only person here brave enough to do it!
Hugo: Oh, no. I'm brave enough, too, and so are Colette and Kevin.
Fernald: Freaks who are brave? Don't be ridiculous!
—Chapter Eleven

The Slippery Slope

Kidnapped children are never any fun. Remember when we had the Quagmires in our clutches, boss? They did nothing but complain. They complained when we put them in a cage. They complained when we trapped them inside a fountain. Complain, complain, complain — I was so sick of them I was almost glad when they escaped from our clutches.
— Chapter Three
You'll soon find out that much of this job involves a lot of waiting around. I usually keep something around to help pass the time, like a deck of cards or a large rock.
— Chapter Three
Where is the baby going to stay? I don't want her in my tent. I hear that babies can creep up and steal your breath while you're sleeping.
— Chapter Three
Can't we sleep ten minutes more? I was having a lovely dream about sneezing without covering my nose and mouth, and giving everybody germs.
— Chapter Five
Good idea, Olaf. You're as smart as you are intelligent.
— Chapter Five
There's a word for the way she's preparing the fish, but I can't remember what it is.
— Chapter Nine
But we never complain. I try to be as accommodating as possible.
— Chapter Nine
Why are you recruiting me, too? I already work for you.
— Chapter Thirteen

The Grim Grotto

Fernald: Fiona! Is it really you?
Fiona: Aye. I never thought I would see you again, Fernald. What happened to your hands?
Fernald: Never mind that. Why are you here? Did you join Count Olaf, too?
Fiona: Certainly not. he captured the Queequeg and threw us into the brig.
Fernald: So you've joined the Baudelaire brats. I should have known you were a goody-goody!
Fiona: I haven't joined the Baudelaires. They've joined me. Aye! I'm the captain of the Queequeg now.
Ffernald: You? What happened to Widdershins?
Fiona: He disappeared from the submarine. We don't know where he is.
Fernald: I don't care where he is. I couldn't care less about that mustached fool! He's the reason I joined Count Olaf in the first place! The captain was always shouting "Aye! Aye! Aye!" and ordering me around! So I ran away and joined Olaf's acting troupe!
—Chapter Ten
Fernald: Those are just the bad aspects of him. There are many good parts, as well. For instance, he has a wonderful laugh.
Fiona: A wonderful laugh is no excuse for villainous behavior!
Fernald: Let's just agree to disagree.
—Chapter Ten
Why should I care if she dies? She's made my life miserable from the time I met her. Every time we fail to get the Baudelaire fortune, Count Olaf yells at everyone!
— Chapter Ten
Fernald: You should have seen the fire. From a distance, it looked like an enormous black plume of smoke, rising straight out of the water. It was like the entire sea was burning down.
Fiona, bitterly: You must have been proud of your handiwork.
Fernald: Proud? It was the worst day of my life. That plume of smoke was the saddest thing I ever saw.
—Chapter Ten
The last time you saw me, I had two hands, instead of hooks. Our stepfather probably didn't tell you what happened to me- he always said there were secrets in the world too terrible for young people to know. What a fool!
— Chapter Ten
I'll return you to the Queequeg if you take me with you.
— Chapter Ten
I can't stand the brat. She's one of the reasons I'd like to leave.
— Chapter Eleven


  • "You're asking why a grown man would knowingly engage in morally questionable behavior? You'll understand when you're older." (to Sunny)
  • (Olaf) "Do you know what the question I'm asked most is?" (Fernald) "Would you please leave the premises?"


  • Fernald is the final boss of the console version of the video game, if one does not consider The Marvelous Marriage segment as the proper final boss.[12]
  • He is the longest lasting member of Count Olaf's troupe, having been a part of it since the first book and being the last of the original members to eventually leave. In the Netflix series (at least according to the tie-in book), Fernald has a crush on Olaf, which could be a possible explanation as to why he didn't leave earlier.
  • Fernald's sexual orientation is ambiguous. He makes some heterosexual comments towards Violet in the books, calling her "pretty", while he has a crush on Olaf in the Netflix series at least according to the tie-in book. As such, he could be interpreted as bisexual.
  • It is unclear why Fernald's crush on Olaf is only revealed in the tie-in book, although if it were to be revealed in the TV series, it would have been the third instance of a LGBT character being abused in a toxic one-sided manner (the first being Sir/Charles and the second being Jerome/Esmé). The writers mentioned they wanted to show Charles and Jerome being in a healthy relationship to show LGBT people in a more positive way, so not explicitly revealing Fernald's sexuality would contribute to this theme. It is also unknown as to why Fernald was made LGBT at least in the tie in book despite the fact there was nothing to suggest him being either gay or bisexual in the books.
  • Fernald is notably the only one of the associates from Count Olaf’s original theater troupe to have ever have his name be officially revealed. The other associates names from the theater troupe notably remain unknown throughout the series.
  • Mentioned in Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography, in a play by Al Funcoot, previously by V.F.D before being edited by Olaf, the part of the little Sebald lad is taken by a sinister-looking man far too old for the part. This may have been Fernald, seeing as the photo is of a suit-and-fedora-wearing man with a creepy smile.
  • A Daily Punctilio article written by Jacques Snicket claims his name is Fernald Widdershins, although Fernald claims Widdershins is not his surname and claims that Captain Widdershins is not his father. 
  • There is a theory that Mrs. Widdershins and Miranda Caliban are the same, meaning Fiona and Fernald are Friday's siblings or half-siblings (depending on whether Thursday is Captain Widdershins or someone else.)
    • Fernald, Fiona and Friday are all names beginning with F, which could support this theory.
    • Another fact supporting this theory is that most siblings in the series come in groups of three, and even on the rare occasions that only two siblings are known of, the existence of a third sibling is usually hinted at (such as the White-Faced Women). The only known siblings in groups of two (aside from Fiona and Fernald) are from All the Wrong Questions: Pip and Squeak Bellerophon, Kellar and Lizzie Haines, Zada and Zora, and Tatiana and Treacle Cozy.
    • Something against this theory could be that Kit Snicket believes Friday's father and Miranda's husband, Thursday, is alive and well, and mentions dining with him the day before meeting the Baudelaires. The day before meeting the Baudelaires, Captain Widdershins was with them on his submarine, and by the time Kit was discussing Thursday, Kit believed the Captain to be either deceased or in mortal peril due to the crash of the Queequeg and arrival of the Great Unknown.


Captain Widdershins
Mrs. Widdershins






Behind the Scenes