|“||Well, if you're breaking out now, I'd better go. I don't want to get in trouble. I just want to say that if you don't make it and you are burned at the stake, it was very nice making your acquaintance.||”|
— Hector to the Baudelaire orphans
Hector is the handyman in the Village of Fowl Devotees appearing in the seventh book, The Vile Village. While the entire village could be considered the guardian of the Baudelaires, they live with Hector who helps care for them.
He is appalled at the many rules of the village (for example, there are to be no mechanical devices, no crows are to be harmed, there are to be no books that break the rules.) and thinks that burning people to death at the stake is a very repulsive thing to do, but he was cowardly and skittish and could never bring himself to speak around the Council of Elders. In the TV series, he faints when his courage is challenged.
Near his house, he secretly has an unfinished Self-Sustaining Hot Air Mobile Home in his barn, which is banned under the village rules and wants to use it to fly away from the village. He also collected many of the village's banned books before they could be burned. The roosting place of the V.F.D. Crows is the Nevermore Tree, which is located in Hector's backyard.
He is described as having a knack for cooking Mexican cuisine.
Hector is almost certainly either a volunteer in V.F.D. or has some other connection to it. Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography quotes a letter from Jacques Snicket to Lemony Snicket that says, "I feel, Lemony, as if we are drifting away from one another, as if one of us is on the ground and the other is in some wondrous device, floating away into the sky, like that self-sustaining hot-air mobile home he is always talking about building," indicating that the brothers were familiar with Hector. It is possible that Hector is the brother of Gregor and Isaac Anwhistle (see also: Snicket family).
Hector also appears at the end of Who Could That Be at This Hour?, on his twelfth birthday, talking to Lemony Snicket. He possibly got his ambition of the self-sustaining hot-air balloon from his training, as Snicket refers to ballooning projects and he states that Stain'd-by-the-Sea has no good Mexican restaurants.
The Vile Village
Violet Baudelaire, while under his care, helps him finish the hot air balloon. As the Baudelaires and Quagmires were running from a mob of villagers, Hector finally overcomes his fears when he appears in his (now functioning) balloon, scolds the Elders for their rules, and tries to help the Baudelaires and Duncan and Isadora Quagmire aboard. The Baudelaires are unable to make it because Officer Luciana (Esmé Squalor) destroys the rope with a harpoon gun. He was last seen flying away with Duncan and Isadora.
It is mentioned that Hector, Isadora and Duncan's mobile home were attacked by V.F.D. eagles. They sent an incomplete distress signal for help. Quigley Quagmire eventually came in a helicopter and took care of the eagles with a net. However, the mobile home sustained heavy damage from the eagles and crashed into the Queequeg.
Hector's role is largely the same in the TV series, with him getting assigned the responsibility of being the Baudelaire guardian and revealing his Self-Sustaining Hot Air Mobile Home along with his dislike at the many strict rules of the village. He manages to launch his balloon but only manages to get away with Duncan and Isadora Quagmire, leaving the Baudelaires behind who willingly sacrifice their escape.
His balloon is later seen falling out of the air briefly and is implied to be the reason Kit Snicket left the Baudelaires at Hotel Denouement in order to answer his distress call.
In The End, one of final scenes is Quigley Quagmire climbing up into the balloon, finally uniting the Quagmire triplets once and for all. Although Hector is not shown, he is presumably behind the Quagmires which would change his fate from the books. This also implies Kit Snicket likely helped repair their balloon.
Neither him nor the Quagmires are implied to have been swallowed up by the Great Unknown in this version, and never are even seen interacting with it in any way.
Behind the scenes
He is portrayed by Ithamar Enriquez in the TV series.
- Who Could That Be at This Hour?
- Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights? (mentioned only)
- The Vile Village
- The Slippery Slope (mentioned only)
- The Grim Grotto (mentioned only)
- The Penultimate Peril (mentioned only)
- The End (mentioned only)
- Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography (mentioned only)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)
- "Goodbye crow hats! Goodbye rules! Goodbye punishments! Goodbye Town Hall where I always used to faint. Goodbye Uptown Jail where I was afraid I'd get locked up. Goodbye dry saloon and dry fountain and dry county. Goodbye crows. You were scary. Goodbye donkey. I'll miss you. Goodbye barn. Goodbye Nevermore Tree. Goodbye Baudelaires." (escaping in his mobile home)
- He may be of Hispanic/Latino/Mexican descent, as Mexican food is his specialty. In the first book of All the Wrong Questions, he complains that there is probably not a single decent Mexican restaurant in Stain'd-by-the-Sea. He is also portrayed by a Hispanic/Latino/Mexican-looking actor in the TV series.
- It is highly likely that he is H. Anwhistle, the sibling of Gregor and Isaac, who appears on the family tree. However, in the TV series, he appears much too young to be older than Isaac (Isaac is the youngest because naming went in GHI alphabetical order), although that could just be a minor inconsistency in the TV series.
- Hector and the fate of the Quagmires is one of many that are much happier in the TV series than in the books, especially those connected with the Great Unknown.