|“||We know what happened that night at the opera.||”|
— The Man to Olaf
The Man With a Beard But No Hair is a mysterious antagonist. He is so villainous that even Count Olaf fears him. His name apparently brings such terror that it is never mentioned, but he is described as having a high, scratchy voice. He is known to have an associate that goes by the name of the Woman with Hair but No Beard that can be seen in both books The Slippery Slope and The Penultimate Peril.
When VFD was torn apart by a schism, the Man With a Hair But No Beard joined the firestarting side. He and the Woman with Hair but No Beard became incredibly infamous figures, so much so that in writing the accounts of the Baudelaires, Lemony Snicket cannot bring himself to say their names. They have such an aura of menace that even other firestaters, such as Count Olaf and Esmé Squalor, are frightened of them.
He had been apart from the Volunteers for a long while, seeing as he didn't recognize many of their codes.
He and the Woman were high court judges, and got information about the Baudelaires from Justice Strauss, who did not understand their connections to VFD.
He and the Woman stole the trained eagles from the Volunteers, and he used a whip to force them to obey him.
Soon after, the two join Olaf and his troupe at the highest peak in the Mortmain Mountains, in order to congratulate Olaf on destroying the Caligari Carnival and present him with the coveted Snicket File, which they burn.
They plan to kidnap the Snow Scouts and recruit them as firestarters, as well as kill their parents and burn down their homes, before meeting at the Hotel Denouement. He also unknowingly provides Esmé with a Verdant Flammable Device, thinking it a cigarette.
After the eagles kidnap the Snow Scouts, the Man and Woman have the eagles carry them off.
He and the Woman are present for the Baudelaires' and Olaf's court hearing as judges, rigging it in Olaf's favor. When they kidnap Justice Strauss, the Baudelaires remove their blindfolds and beg everyone to do the same, which causes the Man and Woman to find them guilty of contempt of court.
TV Series Divergent Canon
The Man with a Beard but No Hair and the Woman with Hair but No Beard are first seen in The Slippery Slope: Part One, chasing Kit Snicket around the top of Mount Fraught. After Kit jumps off, the pair runs into Hugo, Colette and Kevin who they threaten with swords. It is later implied that they killed them.
When they visit Olaf, it is revealed they raised him as mentors. They don't congratulate him on his destroying of Caligari Carnival and reveal that it was them who burnt down the VFD headquarters while also being quite disappointed in his failures to capture the Baudelaires. Because of this, Olaf attempts to kill Sunny Baudelaire in order to gain their respect, but fails. They actually take a shine to Esmé Squalor, much to Olaf's envy. Later, the Man and Woman are seen watching various fires throughout the City burn.
Although they do not physically appear again until The Penultimate Peril, they arrange the boat that Olaf and his remaining team use to pursue the Baudelaires through the sea. They specifically had the boat arranged for Esmé rather than Olaf, angering him further.
They later appear as Justice Strauss's fellow judges of the high court. Toward the end of The Penultimate Peril episodes, they belittle Olaf for not starting a fire, as he tells them that the smoke they can smell is coming from a barbecue. He claims this in the hopes of having them burn to get revenge for how they treated him. They are never seen again, leaving their fates unknown.
Behind the scenes
In the Netflix series, he is portrayed by Richard E. Grant.
- His identity has been speculated to be the chaperone (Gifford) who tried to kidnap Lemony at the start of ATWQ.
- Another is that he might be Stew Mitchum or a Hangfire who may have survived being swallowed by the Bombinating Beast.
- The Slippery Slope
- The Grim Grotto (mentioned)
- The Penultimate Peril
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)