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Georgina Orwell: Have you ever encountered in your reading, the expression 'You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar'?
Sunny Baudelaire: Tuzmo.
Violet Baudelaire: I haven't read too many books about flies.
Georgina Orwell: Well, the expression doesn't really have to do with flies. It's just a fancy way of saying that you're more likely to get what you want by acting in a sweet way, like honey, rather than in a distasteful way, like vinegar.
The Miserable Mill

Dr. Georgina Orwell was an optometrist living in the town of Paltryville. She had an eye-shaped office located near Lucky Smells Lumbermill. She is one of the main antagonists of The Miserable Mill.


Early Life

Her involvement with VFD is ambiguous; the optometrist disguise described in Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography matches her appearance, however, it appears that Orwell is an actual optometrist. She also designed the cover of her book off of the V.F.D. Eye, which also decorates her office,[4] and Sally Sebald, a Volunteer, seemed to know of and fear her.[5]

During the time when Lemony Snicket was a child, Moxie Mallahan mentions that the nearest optometrist to Stain'd-by-the-Sea is in Paltryville, but she "doesn't have a very good reputation."[6]

She wrote a voluminous book on optometry titled Advanced Ocular Science, which she donated to Charles' library. The book later on turned out to be a great help with Violet's research on hypnotism. Interestingly, the book contains 13 segments, the twelfth of which is about hypnotism. The book uses extremely complicated words, which Violet had to guess the definitions for in order to understand the text better.

Not only was Georgina an optometrist, she was also a skilled hypnotist, having brainwashed many people including Klaus Baudelaire in order to get what she desired. Although it is likely that she was a genuine optometrist, it is unclear how often she works as a hypnotist as well even if she was legally certified to practice it.

Her usual trigger word to induce obedience is "lucky," while the word often spoken to restore her victims' minds to their original states is "inordinate."[4]

The Miserable Mill

Before the Baudelaire orphans arrived at the Lucky Smells Lumbermill, she and Count Olaf had agreed to split the Baudelaire fortune equally in exchange for assisting him with one of his schemes. Olaf proceeds to wear tights covered in eyes and obtains a name-plate spelled out with gum to disguise himself as Orwell's receptionist, Shirley.

Klaus is directed to visit the mischievous optometrist when his glasses were intentionally broken by Foreman Flacutono. He goes alone despite his reluctance and ends up being hypnotized as a result. He returns to normal the next day, although Violet does not recognize it as hypnosis. The Foreman performs the same trick on Klaus, but Violet and Sunny insist on going with Klaus because they were suspicious about the changes to his behavior being linked to his first visit.

The Baudelaires visit Orwell's office.

Together, they arrive at the eye-shaped building. They knock on the door and Dr. Orwell opens it. She is seemingly pleasant to the three siblings and tells Violet and Sunny to sit in the waiting room. She mentions the concept of "attracting flies with honey," causing Violet and Sunny to ponder about this expression before they immediately see through Olaf's feminine disguise. Violet realizes that Dr. Orwell is the "honey" and that they have been the "flies." She also learns that Klaus has been hypnotized by Orwell when she puts two and two together. They leave with Klaus, who is once again in a trance.

Eventually, the Baudelaire sisters hear the lumbermill starting early. They rush over to find out that Charles had been strapped to a log being pushed through a buzz saw by Klaus. The girls see Klaus' bare feet, a clue that he was still being hypnotized. Violet learns the command word, "Lucky," and uses it to her advantage by ordering Klaus to release Charles, however, Flacutono orders him to continue. To add insult to injury, Shirley and Orwell arrive and the optometrist orders Klaus to ignore his sisters. In a desperate attempt to get through to her brother before it was too late, Violet recalls and yells the word, "Inordinate," with which Phil unhypnotized Klaus earlier, saving Charles's life. Sunny and Orwell then have a fight with swords and teeth shortly before the latter was accidentally sawed to death when she backed into the scrolling sawblade used for cutting wood.


Orwell's death was investigated by Jacques Snicket, a writer of The Daily Punctilio, although he arrived at the lumbermill sometime after the Baudelaires left. Though he announced the death was a murder with Olaf at fault, this was later redacted because three detectives- Detective Smith, Detective Jones and Detective Smithjones- claimed that her death was accidental.

Apparently there were rumors that Lemony Snicket died instead of her, as Sally Sebald had expressed when Lemony had written to her.[5]


While the books leaves this hypothesis ambiguous, it is possible that Dr. Orwell hypnotized all of the individuals employed at the Lucky Smells Lumbermill into becoming monotonous working drones who are complacent with earning gum and coupons instead of actual income. She tells her victims that they are extremely lucky to be working at such a wonderful lumbermill, and uses "lucky" as a trigger word as an allusion to the actual name of the mill. Because of this, one could theorize she was in cahoots with Sir, but that possibility is also uncertain.

TV Series Divergent Canon

You think you're so clever, but you only see in black and white. Just like your parents. They were shortsighted, too.
— Georgina Orwell, "The Miserable Mill: Part Two"

Georgina (first from the left) with members of V.F.D. in Paltryville

The Netflix series adaptation makes it explicit that Dr. Orwell was a part of V.F.D. She once visited the V.F.D. Headquarters and hypnotized Gustav Sebald to go on a date with her.[2] She was once one of Count Olaf's love interests, although he apparently left her to drown, causing her to resent him.[3] She also mentions a "lawsuit", likely meaning she had one filed against her, and strongly implies she got plastic surgery to assume a new identity from that point forward, and that Beatrice and Bertrand Baudelaire revealed her illicit hypnotism, which was probably the cause of the legal case and Orwell fleeing to start a new life.

She hypnotized all the workers of Lucky Smells Lumbermill into becoming monotonous working drones who are suspiciously content with earning gum and coupons instead of receiving actual income. It is also revealed that Orwell and Sir conspired on this plan since the latter gets free labor and they split the profits. Sir, on the other hand, simply thinks that Orwell simply does "weekly eye exams to boost worker morale" instead of hypnotism. This either implies that he could instead be oblivious to Dr. Orwell's intentions or his claim covers up the possibility he was in on this.

Orwell attempts to shove Sunny inside the incinerator.

During the Baudelaires' final confrontation with Dr. Orwell, she is willing to throw Sunny Baudelaire into a furnace so she can obtain the Baudelaire Fortune, which she attempts to do after claiming she feels no maternal instincts kicking while holding the youngest Baudelaire child. She claims their pursuit of the children was not really about the fortune, but rather about getting revenge on their parents, or possibly V.F.D. as a whole. However, she died before she can go into any more detail by accidentally falling into a furnace. This was due to being startled by the revolting ex-hypnotized lumbermill workers. By the time the fire in the furnace dies down, the only thing remaining of Dr. Orwell were her glasses.

In this adaptation, she only uses the trigger word "inordinate" for Klaus to break the hypnotism affecting him while for the rest of the workers, it is "fire."[7]

Dr. Orwell was portrayed by Catherine O'Hara in the TV series, who previously portrayed Justice Strauss in the film. This is quite dynamic, as Catherine O'Hara went from portraying a supportive character to portraying a villain.

Physical appearance

In the novel, she was described as tall woman with blonde hair in a tight bun with big black boots on her feet. She wore a long white coat with a name tag that reads 'Dr. Orwell' and held a long black cane with a shiny red jewel on the top. In the same novel, she and Sunny had a swordfight in which Georgina pushed the red jewel on her cane, whereupon it instantly transforms into a sword.

Orwell and Shirley in the TV series.

In the TV series, she is brunette instead of blonde. She mentions she was formerly blonde, a nod to the books. She wears large amounts of eyeliner. She uses the same cane as Olaf does as Gunther in The Ersatz Elevator. This cane has a metal V.F.D. emblem on it and has a blade which can retract on the end.


Orwell can be viewed as a greedy psychopath and a twisted and evil woman, willing to manipulate others by using hypnosis and exploit their lack of free will. In the TV series, however, it is revealed that while obtaining money is one of her main motivations, getting revenge on the Baudelaire parents by getting revenge on their children is a higher priority, suggesting she is unable to let go of grudges.



  • "Hypnotized? Goodness, no. Hypnosis is only in scary movies."
  • "They are stupid, aren't they? They must have very low self-esteem." (insulting the Baudelaires)
  • "It is a terrible thing, I know. But it's a terrible thing that the Baudelaire fortune goes to you three brats, instead of to me and Shirley. We're going to split the money fifty-fifty... after expenses, of course."
  • "I do believe that there will be an accident at Lucky Smells Lumbermill after all!" (trying to stab Sunny to death with her sword)

TV series

  • "You left me to drown." (to Count Olaf)
  • "Sorry, I have my own life now, with my own evil scheme, which I've put a lot of work into and I don't need you ruining, like that bar mitzvah." (to Count Olaf)
  • Orwell: "Well, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."
    Klaus: "Actually, you catch the most flies with manure."
    Orwell: "Aren't you smart? It's just an expression. A fancy way of saying you're more likely to get what you want by acting in a sweet way, than in a distasteful way, like vinegar."
  • "Now focus here, Klaus, and tell me what you see. An E or an A? An A or a C? A sea or a lake? A reptile or an amphibian? Fire or accident? A blonde or a bottle blonde? A parent or an arsonist? Tell me what you see, Klaus!"
  • "You know, they say holding a baby can make all these deep, primal parenting instincts kick in. I don't see it." (while holding Sunny)
  • "You think you're so clever, but you only see in black and white. Just like your parents. They were shortsighted, too." (to Violet and Klaus)


  • Dr. Orwell's full name is Georgina Orwell, based on that of author George Orwell. The Big Brother eye and the hypnotism plot are links to Orwell's novel, " Nineteen Eighty-Four".
    • Dr. Orwell's name is also based on the saying "sick or well?"
  • In the books, she has a swordfight with Sunny, which was removed in the TV series both due to practical reasons of having little budget left with which to do the effects,[8] and also because Presley Smith was teething at the time and did not want to be on set for very long.
  • She is a possible Quagmire mansion arsonist.
  • According to the Netflix show she drinks coffee and drank all of Count Olaf's wine once.[7]



Season 1

Season 2


  1. In the reprise of That's Not How The Story Goes in The Penultimate Peril: Part 2, a copy of the Daily Punctilio on the accident at Lucky Smells Lumbermill is labelled as "LOCAL CITY NEWS AUGUST 23 ACCIDENT AT LUCKY SMELL" with the rest of the words cut off.
  2. 2.0 2.1 TV: The Carnivorous Carnival: Part One
  3. 3.0 3.1 TV: The Miserable Mill: Part One
  4. 4.0 4.1 PROSE: The Miserable Mill
  5. 5.0 5.1 PROSE: Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography
  6. PROSE: File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents
  7. 7.0 7.1 TV: The Miserable Mill: Part Two
  8. PROSE: The Incomplete History of Secret Organizations