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.


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,[2] and Sally Sebald, a Volunteer, seemed to know of and fear her.[3]

When Lemony Snicket is 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."[4]

She wrote a voluminous book on optometry titled Advanced Ocular Science, which she donated to Charles' library, and was 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, words which Violet guessed the meanings in order to get information.

Not only was she an optometrist, she was also a skilled hypnotist in mind control, having hypnotized many people including Klaus Baudelaire in order to get what she wanted. Although it is likely that she was a genuine optometrist, it is unclear how often she works as a hypnotist as well.

Her usual trigger word to induce obedience is "lucky," while the word to break hypnotism is "inordinate."[2]

The Miserable Mill

She sides with Count Olaf, as they had agreed to split the Baudelaire fortune equally if she assisted him, before the Baudelaires arrived at the mill. Count Olaf disguises himself as her female receptionist Shirley.

Klaus is directed to visit Orwell when his glasses are broken by Foreman Flacutono. He goes alone and ends up being hypnotized. He is able to return to normal, although Violet does not recognize it as hypnosis. The Foreman performs the same trick on Klaus, but Violet and Sunny go with Klaus.


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 and tells Violet and Sunny to sit in the waiting room. She mentions the concept of "attracting flies with honey." Violet and Sunny wonder about this before finding Count Olaf disguised as Shirley, a female receptionist wearing tights covered in eyes and a name-plate spelled out with gum. Violet realizes that Dr. Orwell is the "honey" and that they have been the "flies." She also learns that Klaus has been (and is being) hypnotized by Orwell, who is in cahoots with Olaf. They leave with Klaus, who is once again in a trance.

Eventually, the Baudelaires hear the lumbermill starting early. They find Charles strapped to a log being pushed through a buzz saw by Klaus. Foreman Flacutono is giving orders. The girls move to stop them but see Klaus' bare feet, a clue that he is still being hypnotized. Violet learns the command word (Lucky) and orders Klaus to release Charles but Flacutono orders him to continue. Shirley and Orwell arrive and the optometrist orders Klaus to ignore his sisters. Violet remembers and says the word with which Phil unhypnotized Klaus (inordinate) just in time. Sunny and Orwell have a fight with swords and teeth. Orwell was killed when she accidentally backed into a scrolling sawblade used for cutting wood, which was originally meant to kill Charles.


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

Apparently there were rumors that Lemony Snicket died instead of her, as Sally Sebald expresses when Lemony writes to her.[3]


While the books leaves it ambiguous, it is possible that she hypnotized all the workers of 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, hence the "lucky" in Lucky Smells Lumbermill. Because of this, one could theorize she is in cahoots with Sir. It is left ambiguous if they did conspire or not.

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 TV series adaptation makes it explicit that Dr. Orwell was a part of VFD. She once visited the V.F.D. Headquarters and hypnotized Gustav Sebald to go on a date with her.[5] She was once a love interest of Count Olaf, although he apparently left her to drown, causing her to resent him.[6] She also mentions a "lawsuit", likely meaning she had a lawsuit against her, and strongly implies she got plastic surgery to assume a new identity in a faraway town, and that Beatrice and Bertrand Baudelaire revealed her hypnotism, which was the cause of this.

She hypnotized all the workers of Lucky Smells Lumbermill into becoming monotonous working drones who are complacent with earning gum and coupons instead of actual income. It is also revealed that Orwell and Sir conspired as he gets free labor and they split the profits, however, Sir simply thinks that Orwell simply does "weekly eye exams to boost worker morale" instead of hypnotism.


Orwell attempts to shove Sunny inside the incinerator.

During the Baudelaires' final confrontation with her, she is willing to throw Sunny Baudelaire into a furnace just so she can obtain the Baudelaire Fortune, which she attempts to do after claiming she feels no maternal instincts happening while holding Sunny. She claims their pursuit of the Baudelaires was not really about the fortune, but rather about getting revenge at the Baudelaire parents, or possibly VFD. However, she is killed before she can go into any more detail by accidentally falling into a furnace, due to being startled by the revolting ex-hypnotized lumbermill workers.

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

She is portrayed by Catherine O'Hara in the TV series, who previously portrayed Justice Strauss in the film. This is quite the 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.



  • "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".
  • 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.



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 PROSE: The Miserable Mill
  3. 3.0 3.1 PROSE: Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography
  4. PROSE: File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents
  5. TV: The Carnivorous Carnival: Part One
  6. TV: The Miserable Mill: Part One
  7. TV: The Miserable Mill: Part Two
  8. PROSE: The Incomplete History of Secret Organizations
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