|“||I just think, even in changing context, that marriage is an inherently patriarchal construction that is likely to further the hegemonic juggernaut that's problematizing a lot of genders.||”|
— Them in the TV series
The Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender, also known as the "Enormous Androgynous Person" and the one who looked like neither a man nor a woman in the books, Orlando by Sunny Baudelaire (a reference to a novel where the protagonist changes gender), and Lisa in the movie, is an androgynous individual.
They were part of Count Olaf's theatre troupe. They were one of the eleven people that the Baudelaires served dinner, and watched Olaf strike Klaus across the face. They never seem to speak, though they have laughed and made grunts and squeals.
They were disguised as a security guard at Heimlich Hospital. They may have subsequently died in the fire that destroyed the building as they never appear after, but this is uncertain. However, the book implies they did burn as it says, "The children could see a tiny orange light shining in the hallway and realized that the fire and the associate must have reached the door at the same time. The associate kicked the door again, forcing a few sparks through the crack in the door."
Along with the rest of the troupe, they arrive home with Olaf to find Violet and Klaus scrubbing the floor. They are wearing a brown dress and clutching a beer bottle, and appear to be drunk. One of the White-Faced Women says sarcastically that they don't look rich, and the Henchperson of indeterminate laughs while drinking some beer. Olaf orders the orphans to make dinner for them, before the Count and his troupe walk into the entertainment room to rehearse their upcoming performance. The Henchperson sits awkwardly in between the two White-faced women, still clutching their now empty bottle. They watch Olaf punishing the orphans after they prepare pasta puttanesca instead of roast beef.
During the troupe's performance of The Marvelous Marriage, which was actually a scheme of Olaf's that involved him really marrying Violet and therefore gaining the Baudelaire fortune, the Henchperson walks Violet down the aisle before standing near her and Olaf for the remainder of the play. After Olaf's plan is thwarted and he is taken away by the authorities, the fate of his associates is left unclear.
In the TV series, the Henchperson's narrative role is akin to the books, but they are portrayed rather differently as a character; the Henchperson, often using the alias "Lucafont", is portrayed as affable and far from obviously evil (being one of the only people to speak out against Count Olaf's shaming of the "freaks" at Caligari Carnival). They aren't shown as particularly enormous in width, though they are taller than the other members of the troupe with the exception of the bald man. Not only do they speak in more than grunts, they occasionally say insightful and thoughtful things which could be considered "deep", leaving many fans to call them in more modern language, "woke". They seem to be interested in LGBT activism and related discussions.
The four major changes to the Henchperson's narrative role are as follow:
In "The Reptile Room: Part Two", they disguise themselves as "Nurse Lucafont", differing from the books where the hook-handed man portrayed "Dr. O. Lucafont".
In "The Wide Window: Part Two", the hook-handed man guarded Captain Sham's Sailboat Rentals instead of them.
In "The Hostile Hospital: Part Two", they survive the fire at Heimlich Hospital and keep traveling with Olaf. This is because the writers wanted Olaf to be at his highest moment at the end of season 2, as well as the beginning of season 3.
In "The Slippery Slope: Part One", Hugo's rant against the troupe helps the Henchperson to question their life choices. In "The Slippery Slope: Part Two", they join the White-Faced Women and The Bald Man with the Long Nose in rejecting Count Olaf's orders to throw Sunny Baudelaire from the peak of Mount Fraught. They and their companions are then seen traveling down the mountain. The four eventually become a successful theatre troupe.
In the books, they are mentioned to be very overweight and drawn with blonde hair.
In the film, they seem to wear pale make-up, perhaps the same the white-faced women wear, and they have rather short hair.
In the TV series, they have much longer brown hair.
Behind the scenes
- They are portrayed by Craig Ferguson in the Brad Silberling film adaptation.
- They are portrayed by Matty Cardarople in the Netflix TV series.
- Mr. Poe: "May I help you ma'am? Sir? Uh..."
Henchperson: "I'm nurse Lucafont."
Stefano: "Nurse Lucafont. From the local sheriff's department's medical examiner's office?"
Henchperson: "From the local..." (Stefano mouths the words) "I hear there's been a terrible accident involving a snake."
- Larry: "It's Larry. I told you my name is Larry."
Hook-Handed Man: "We don't care what your name is!"
Henchperson: "Or what gender you are."
- Henchperson: "Open up in there!"
- "Here I am. Nurse Lucafont." (a Shining reference)
- "Is a personal philosophy of moral relativism the only way to survive in an ethically complex world, or is it an excuse we use to justify doing bad things?"
- "I joined Count Olaf because I thought he could teach me things, like how to harness my natural charisma into a career in the performing art, but I'm beginning to question my life choices."
- "Smoking is very very bad for you." (to Esmé)
- In the book The Wide Window, Klaus finds them the scariest in Olaf's troupe. Violet disagrees, saying she finds the Bald Man the scariest.
- In the book The Hostile Hospital, the henchperson is called an "it" in the line, "Olaf's overweight assistant had reached the supply closet and was now fumbling at the door with its enormous hands." Calling androgynous or trans people "it" is seen by many as dehumanizing and offensive, with "they/their" being a better alternative. The book was written in a time when pronouns were not yet at the forefront of the gender discourse. It is possible that Daniel Handler would agree to change the language if he could do it again.
- Their gender has never been confirmed. While they are played by a male actor in both the movie and TV series adaptions, it is still possible they are transgender.
- In the TV series, they mention their opinion that asparagus is more delicious than corn.
- The TV series version of them has a large following in the fandom, and they are a fan favorite.
|A Series of Unfortunate Events (Books)|
|1. The Bad Beginning (1999):||Debut||7. The Vile Village (2001):||Absent|
|2. The Reptile Room (1999):||Absent||8. The Hostile Hospital (2001):||Appears|
|3. The Wide Window (2000):||Appears||9. The Carnivorous Carnival (2002):||Absent|
|4. The Miserable Mill (2000):||Absent||10. The Slippery Slope (2003):||Absent|
|5. The Austere Academy (2000):||Absent||11. The Grim Grotto (2004):||Absent|
|6. The Ersatz Elevator (2001):||Absent||12. The Penultimate Peril (2005):||Absent|
|13. The End (2006):||Absent|
|All the Wrong Questions|
|Who Could That Be at This Hour? (2012):||Absent||Shouldn't You Be in School? (2014):||Absent|
|When Did You See Her Last? (2013):||Absent||Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights? (2015):||Absent|
|File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents (2014):||Absent|
|Other Snicket Books|
|Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography (2002):||Mentioned|
|The Dismal Dinner (2004):||Absent|
|The Beatrice Letters (2006):||Absent|
|The Hero of the Story (2017):||Absent|
- The Bad Beginning
- The Reptile Room (Mentioned only)
- The Wide Window
- The Miserable Mill (Mentioned only)
- The Hostile Hospital
- Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (film)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)