|“||We didn't lose our family. Only our parents.||”|
— Violet to Count Olaf when he claims he triumphed the moment the Baudelaires lost their family, The Grim Grotto
Violet Baudelaire is the eldest of the three Baudelaire orphans. She has a younger brother, Klaus, and a baby sister, Sunny. Violet, along with her siblings, are the protagonists of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Like her siblings, Violet is intelligent, charming, polite, and resourceful. Lamentably, Violet is extremely unfortunate, a phrase which here means "having a continuous streak of bad luck."
Violet is fourteen at the beginning of the series, turns fifteen in The Grim Grotto, and is sixteen upon leaving the Island at the end of The End. By eighteen, she would have inherited the Baudelaire fortune.
Despite his research, Lemony Snicket does not know what happened to Violet after the final novel. She may have survived her journey to the mainland. There is also a possibility that Violet and her siblings died, although Beatrice Snicket mentions that Violet repaired the boat.
|“||I hate it too. I hate everything about our lives right now, Klaus, but we have to keep our chin up.||”|
— Violet encouraging her brother in the book The Bad Beginning
Violet is possibly the greatest inventor of her time. Prior to the demise of her parents, she liked to visit the Verne Invention Museum and its many exhibits, including one of the mechanical demonstrations that inspired her to be an inventor when she was just two years old. When Violet was five years old, she won her first invention contest with an automatic rolling pin, which she made using a window shade and six pairs of roller skates. The judge praised Violet, saying she could invent anything with both her hands tied behind her back. When Violet was around ten, she invented a new kind of pencil sharpener. Violet built a telephone from scratch. Violet also invented a device to soothe her sister's teething pains. Her favorite inventor is Nikola Tesla.
Although Violet is incredibly intelligent, there are many things Violet does not know, especially things modern 14-15 years olds would know about, so Klaus has to explain to her what many things are due to his passion of reading. This is not Violet's fault and is simply due to the series being set in an era where information access is more limited. For example, in The Wide Window, Violet does not know what leeches are, likely due to never needing to know about them. In the same book, she needs Klaus to explain to her what a widow is. Violet is still very eager to learn about the world and is willing to admit when she does not know much about something.
After her parents' deaths, Violet takes the lead in the family. Though she often collaborates with Klaus, she feels the weight of being the oldest sibling. Her parents said to her when Klaus was born, and again when they brought Sunny home from the hospital. "You are the eldest Baudelaire child," they had said, kindly but firmly. "And as the eldest, it will always be your responsibility to look after your younger siblings. Promise us that you will always watch out for them and make sure they don't get into trouble." This is why she invents the grappling hook to free Sunny from the tower: She risks her own safety and well-being to help her siblings and honor the promise she made her parents to always keep her siblings away from harm. This promise is always mentioned in all 13 books.
Violet has a backbone, can be stern and have an attitude at times, especially when angered. For example, when Violet complains to Mr. Poe about how Count Olaf slapped Klaus' face and Mr. Poe could not care less, Mr. Poe says, "Now, I hate to usher you out posthaste, but I have very much work to do. Posthaste means—" "—means you'll do nothing to help us," Violet finished for him, shaking with frustration. When Aunt Josephine threatened to give her and her siblings to Count Olaf, Violet told her, "You're supposed to be caring for us, not putting us up for grabs!" When Mr. Poe ordered her to come with him to the police station at the end of The Grim Grotto, Violet replied, "No," due to all the trouble he caused them, and walked away. She can also be very rebellious when faced with corrupt authority figures, often calling them out and refusing to go along with it, such as when she removed her blindfold during the trial in the TV series, saying, "Maybe this court deserves contempt."
Violet is possibly the cleverest of the three children. Klaus is far more open and brash with his actions, but Violet often works in secret or tries to manipulate a situation to her advantage. For example, instead of refusing to star in The Marvelous Marriage, she suggests to Count Olaf that's she not really that great of an actress: "Count Olaf," Violet said, and then stopped herself. She wanted to argue her way out of playing his bride, but she didn't want to make him angry. "Father," she said, "I'm not sure I'm talented enough to perform professionally. I would hate to disgrace your good name and the name of Al Funcoot. Plus I'll be very busy in the next few weeks working on my inventions—and learning how to prepare roast beef," she added quickly, remembering how he had behaved about dinner.
Violet is also stereotypically unfeminine in some ways, although this doesn't mean she is completely devoid of femininity as she still wears dresses. She is a poor cook and mentions she can only make toast - sometimes, she even burns the toast. She knows how to make a Molotov cocktail. Mr. Poe once admonished Violet for picking a lock, chastising her that nice girls should not have such knowledge. Klaus defends his sister, saying, "My sister is a nice girl... and she knows how to do all sorts of things." She was once given a doll called Pretty Penny, even though she does not like dolls. To be polite, she forces a smile and pats its plastic head to appease Aunt Josephine, eventually giving it to Sunny to bite on. Instead, she takes the toy meant for Klaus which is a model train that she can tinker with for engineering. It is also mentioned that Violet hates the color pink when Klaus says Violet would not wear a pink ribbon when Olaf tries to use a pink ribbon that is not hers as evidence she murdered Jacques Snicket. Despite her dislike of pink, Violet is frequently illustrated with pink hair ribbons, and she wears pink outfits in the TV series.
The Bad Beginning
Violet was at Briny Beach trying to invent a way to retrieve rocks after they have been skipped when Mr. Poe approached the orphans to regretfully inform them that their parents have perished (died) in an enormous fire that destroyed their entire home. Eventually, the children suspect that this fire was started by Count Olaf or another person on his side of the VFD schism.
The children are taken to Mr. Poe's house, where Mr. Poe lives with his wife, Polly, and their two beastly children, Edgar and Albert, before being taken to their closest relative (a phrase which here means, third or fourth cousin) Count Olaf's house.
Olaf forces the children to do difficult housework including cleaning the chimney and repairing windows. Olaf schemes a way to take over the fortune that the Baudelaire parents left behind for their children. After reading up on nuptial law, Olaf discovers that a legal husband has legal rights to any money his legal wife has. This discovery leads to a plan that will allow him to legally marry Violet.
In order to do so, he disguised his true motives as a play called "The Marvelous Marriage". He flattered his neighbor, Justice Strauss, into performing as the judge, somehow swiped a real marriage certificate from City Hall, and knew that the audience would all be the witnesses. Even though Violet offered to build the set, saying it would be something she would like to do, Olaf forces her to play the bride, saying a pretty girl like her should not be working backstage.
Ensuring that Violet would agree to the arrangement, Count Olaf trapped Sunny inside a large birdcage dangling outside his house's tower window. If Violet or Klaus did anything to disrupt the play, Sunny would be dropped from the tower and would surely not survive the fall. In an attempt to rescue her baby sister the night before the play, Violet managed to make a grappling hook out of drapes and curtain rods and succeeded in hooking her invention to the tower room's window ledge to climb up to Sunny. Unfortunately, the Hook-Handed Man, an associate of Count Olaf's, was already there waiting for her. He locked the bride-to-be inside and, for good measure, threw Klaus in there, too. Violet and Klaus tried hard to think of a way out, but by the time of the play, they had thought of nothing that would work.
Just as all seems hopeless and the soon-to-be-married couple is signing the marriage contract, Violet has an idea and signs with her left hand. Being right-handed, the signature was not "in her own hand" and therefore Justice Strauss declares it invalid, but not before Count Olaf tells his one of his henchmen to release Sunny and reveals the true purpose of the play, much to the audience's horror. Olaf angrily tries to force Violet to sign again correctly, but Sunny was released from the birdcage before she could. The plan in ruins, a henchman suffering skin problems turns out the stage lights, allowing Count Olaf and his henchpeople to escape in a black automobile. Just before he makes his escape, Count Olaf finds Violet in the darkness and tells her that he'll get his hands on her fortune if it's the last thing he'll do, and when he has it, he'll kill her and her siblings with his own two hands, making her emit a cry of terror.
The Reptile Room
The Baudelaires were then moved to the house of a distant relative and famed herpetologist Dr. Montgomery Montgomery, where he kept a large number of reptiles and snakes. Uncle Monty, as he likes to be called, is soon discovered to be a very pleasant man who can make a delicious coconut cream cake. Since he was taking the children on an expedition Peru in little more than ten days, they needed to get right to it and prepare for the trip. Violet delighted in tinkering with the cages in which the snakes would be transported to make them safer and more comfortable while her brother enjoyed reading all the books their uncle had on Peru and her sister happily bit large lengths of rope into small, workable pieces. Life was happy and comfortable, and the Baudelaires realized that they could still miss their parents, but they did not have to be miserable all the time.
They might have lived happily ever after if only Uncle Monty's new assistant "Stephano" never arrived. Right away, the Baudelaires saw through the beard and the baldness and saw that Stephano was merely Count Olaf in disguise. Uncle Monty, busy with planning for the trip, doesn't have time to properly hear them out and Stephano makes certain the children are never alone with their uncle. Stephano even rubs a knife against Violet's knee under the table during dinner. The next day, their beloved Uncle Monty is found dead. Two puncture marks are found on his neck and the venom of the deadly Mamba du Mal snake is found in his veins.
Before Stephano can force the children to Peru "where crimes are more difficult to trace", they get into a car accident with none other than Mr. Poe, who was finally bringing the children their luggage. Rescued temporarily from going to Peru alone with Stephano, the children figure out that the snake's method of killing and how Monty died does not add up, so Violet invents a lockpick from a plug outlet to rummage through Stephano's suitcase to find evidence that he killed Dr. Montgomery. Violet finds more than enough evidence to convince Mr. Poe, causing Count Olaf to flee.
The Wide Window
The Baudelaires were then sent to their next caretaker and distant relative, their aunt Josephine Anwhistle, who lives near Lake Lachrymose in a house clinging for dear life to the side of a cliff overlooking the lake. Josephine has many phobias.
Unfortunately, it's not a good time for the children to arrive, as Lake Lachrymose is expecting Hurricane Herman. Aunt Josephine asks the Baudelaires to help her gather supplies for the storm. While shopping, Violet bumps into a man with an eyepatch, a beard, and a wooden peg leg. Though the man calls himself Captain Julio Sham, Violet instantly recognizes him as another disguise of Count Olaf's. She and her siblings try to warn their new guardian, but Captain Sham flirts with Aunt Josephine and she is unwilling to believe them.
Later, Aunt Josephine receives a phone call, but as she is afraid of the phone Violet offers to answer it. Realizing the caller is none other than Captain Sham, Violet quickly pretends that it's a wrong number from the Hopalong Dancing School. When Captain Sham calls again, Violet offers to answer the phone again, but her aunt is impressed by Violet's bravery and picks it up instead. Delighted to speak with "Julio", she tells the children to go upstairs so they can't eavesdrop on the surprise he has planned for them. Though they attempt to refuse, their guardian insists and they uneasily head to their bedroom.
They immediately know it was a bad decision when they hear breaking glass and rush downstairs. Violet calls her aunt's name and can't help being reminded of how she had called out for her Uncle Monty and her parents and grows afraid that she is calling her aunt's name when her aunt can no longer hear it. The children find a suicide note pinned to Josephine's grammatical library door explaining how she finds life hopeless and leaves them to the care of Captain Sham. Violet enters the library to find that their aunt has thrown herself out the wide window overlooking the lake.
Violet calls Mr. Poe to tell him of the tragic event and waits with her siblings for him to arrive. Terribly distraught over losing yet another guardian, Violet snaps at her brother when he reads the note aloud again. Klaus believes there's something odd about the note, but Violet is too upset to care. She loses her patience at Klaus and calls him 'unbearable, with a u' causing him to call her 'stupid, with an s', prompting Sunny to stop the argument. Only when Sunny yells for them does Violet admit that she feels hopeless and helpless. They consider writing a forgery of the note to avoid being placed into Captain Sham's care and realize that that must be exactly what Sham did: throw their Aunt out the window and forged her note. Violet hurries to tell the just-barely-arrived Mr. Poe their theory when the misery of the situation crashes down on top of her and without warning, she bursts into tears.
Mr. Poe studies the note and decides it is not a forgery. He contacts Captain Sham to explain what happened and sets up a meeting at The Anxious Clown restaurant to discuss the children's future. As they prepare to leave, Violet notices that Klaus had an expression as if he just figured something out. Klaus says he needs more time to work on it, but Violet argues that she can't invent things like time. As they head down to the village, however, Violet realizes that she can use the peppermints Mr. Poe gave her to trigger the Baudelaire allergies to peppermint and get out of the meeting. When Violet breaks out in hives and Klaus's tongue swells up and poor Sunny has both happen to her, the orphans are allowed to return to Aunt Josephine's house to recover.
Violet takes a bath with Sunny to try to ease their hives while Klaus studies their aunt's note, which is filled with grammatical errors that spell out "Curdled Cave", meaning that Aunt Josephine faked her death and is hiding inside Curdled Cave. Hurricane Herman draws closer and begins to violently shake the house. Violet urges her siblings to grab an atlas and hurry outside just before the whole house falls into the waves. She and her siblings then steal a sailboat and head for Curdled Cave. Violet, having studied naval blueprints, sailed the boat as Klaus called out directions and Sunny worked the tiller.
Once they found their aunt, Violet felt tears in her eyes she was so relieved to see her guardian safe. Aunt Josephine was planning on living with them in the cave, but the children persuade her to come back to the mainland and explain to Mr. Poe who Captain Sham really is. Unfortunately, Aunt Josephine ate a banana and the smell attracts the Lachrymose Leeches, which attack their sinking boat. Violet hurriedly invents an alarm of sorts by setting the sail on fire to create a bright light and hitting a bucket to make a loud sound, prompting a rescue by another boat.
Unfortunately, Captain Sham came to the rescue, displeased with Aunt Josephine for not killing herself, and does so himself by pushing her aboard to the leeches. Violet hopes for her aunt's safety as Josephine disappears into the sea.
When they reach the shore, Mr. Poe is finally convinced Captain Sham is really Count Olaf after Sunny bites his wooden leg clean in half, exposing his real leg and the tattoo of an eye. To the dismay of the Baudelaires, he manages to escape once again.
The Miserable Mill
The Baudelaires are next placed into the care of the owner of Lucky Smells Lumbermill. His name is extraordinarily hard to pronounce, so he has everyone simply call him Sir. Instead of living in Sir's home, the children are expected to work at the Lumbermill and live in the employee dorms. Sir turns out to be a selfish, callous man who cares nothing about his employees and instead has his nasty Foreman take charge of them. The Foreman wears a surgical mask and a horrible wig that looks like a mass of pale dead worms.
Violet did not invent anything but took up as Klaus's researcher while he is hypnotized throughout the story. Klaus breaks his glasses and has to go to Dr. Orwell and get them fixed. Violet and Sunny are worried about him, he does not return until after the girls have gone to bed. They realize Klaus has been hypnotized, Dr. Orwell is using Klaus, and Olaf's next disguise is Orwell's receptionist, Shirley. After Orwell hypnotizes Klaus for the second time, Sunny battles Orwell using her sharp teeth, and Violet luckily saves Charles from being sawed in half. Orwell is thrown into the dangerously sharp knife and dies. Sir no longer wants custody of the Baudelaires due to their bad luck and sends them away.
The Austere Academy
The Baudelaires befriend Duncan and Isadora Quagmire at Prufrock Preparatory School, when Duncan defends them from Carmelita Spats and takes them to his table, where his sister is waiting. Violet's teacher is Mr. Remora who tells incredibly boring stories and asks his students to memorize the details. Meanwhile, Violet becomes bullied by Carmelita, who pokes a stick at her back constantly during class. Violet would lose her concentration and forget to write down some detail of Mr. Remora's latest story.
Count Olaf disguises himself as a gym teacher named Coach Genghis. The Baudelaires have to run hundreds of laps (Sunny crawls laps since she's a baby) to tire them out so they will fail out of school and Olaf will be able to take them in.
One night, the Quagmire triplets took the Baudelaires' place in disguise, allowing Violet and her siblings could continue studying for their exams. Violet invented a staple-making device so that Sunny could make the staples she needed to pass her secretarial test. Duncan and Isadora were not so lucky, and were kidnapped by Olaf, only able to shout one last thing to the Baudelaires: "V.F.D." The Baudelaires vowed to rescue the Quagmires.
The Ersatz Elevator
The Baudelaires were adopted by Jerome and Esmé Squalor. Olaf came disguised as an auctioneer named Gunther this time, and the Baudelaires were able to locate where he was hiding right under their noses. This hideout was a secretly empty elevator shaft in the Squalors' apartment building. Violet invented a makeshift rope to climb down the shaft, where the orphans found Duncan and Isadora, trapped in a cage. Violet was able to invent welding torches so as to free the Quagmires, but when the Baudelaires returned to the cage, it was empty.
Later, the Baudelaires were thrown down the shaft by Esmé, who was in cahoots with Olaf. Sunny saved them all, and the three discovered a secret passageway that led to the ashen remains of the Baudelaire mansion. Eventually, the Baudelaires made it to Veblen Hall, where Klaus had learned the Quagmires were to be auctioned off by "Gunther". The orphans bid on the wrong lot, however, and the Quagmires were carried away again. Instead of staying with Jerome, the Baudelaires decided to hunt down Duncan and Isadora.
The Vile Village
Following the clue of V.F.D., the Baudelaires decided to be adopted by the Village of Fowl Devotees, specifically a caring but skittish villager named Hector. Hector had an inventing studio and a library in the barn right next to his house which seemed to be very comfortable for the Baudelaires. There, the Baudelaires received coded poems from Isadora, via the migrating crows that lived in the village.
Meanwhile, the villagers thought they had caught Olaf at last, but only the Baudelaires knew that this man was not Olaf at all. The Baudelaires tried to rescue the man, whose name was Jacques Snicket, from being burned at the stake but were accused of the later murder of Jacques by none other than the real Count Olaf disguised as a Detective Dupin. All three Baudelaires were jailed by the village. In the nick of time, though, Violet invented a water pump to dissolve the mortar of the jail cell's brick walls, which then served as a handy battering ram.
After escaping, the Baudelaires rescued Duncan and Isadora from within a fountain, using clues in the coded poems. Hector arrives with his hot air balloon and offers to take the Quagmires and Baudelaires with them. The Quagmires escape first, but while the Baudelaires climb up the rope ladder, the rope ladder begins to unwind due to a harpoon shot by a villager. Realizing she and her siblings are in danger if they continue to climb, Violet weeps and the Baudelaires descend. Duncan and Isadora escape with Hector after their sad separation from the Baudelaires. Due to The Daily Punctilio, the news of what the Baudelaires were accused of spread quickly. Realizing they need to leave, the Baudelaires flee from the village.
The Hostile Hospital
While running away from the authorities after being framed for murder, the Baudelaires arrive at the Last Chance General Store to send a telegram to Mr. Poe seeking help. However, he doesn't reply before the delivery of The Daily Punctilio forces the reported murderers to flee once more. Afterwards, they were picked up by the Volunteers Fighting Disease. They arrived at Heimlich Hospital and obtained the thirteenth page of the Snicket File while working with Hal at the Library of Records. Later, Esmé chased them for the file. Violet got caught when she is too big to escape up a chute.
From then, Violet went under the name of Laura V. Bleediotie and was taken by the two white-faced women who led them to the hook-handed man and the bald-headed man. They took her to the operating theater and begin the operation to receive an unwanted "cranioectomy". However, this operation was stalled briefly by Klaus discussing the history of the long knife. Hal accused the Baudelaire children of setting the fire, but Esmé showed up with the real white-faced women and "exposes" them, revealing that she had set fire to the Library.
They hid in another closet and then diverted the crowd of escapees outside to the unfinished half of the hospital by acting like the intercom system and telling them that the Baudelaires have been spotted there. They jumped out of the building, and hide in the trunk of Olaf's car.
The Carnivorous Carnival
During the car ride, the Baudelaires overhear the conversation going on between Olaf and his theater troupe. They disguised themselves as "freaks" (Violet and Klaus as a two-headed person named Beverly and Elliot, respectively, and Sunny as Chabo the Wolf Baby) and get jobs at Caligari Carnival.
At the end of the book they pretend to decide to join Count Olaf, although since Olaf knows they are the Baudelaires, he unhooks the caravan Violet and Klaus from the one with him and his other associates. Sunny, in Olaf's car, has been kidnapped by the troupe.
The Slippery Slope
Using her wits, sticky liquids and a parachute, Violet slows down the wheels of the caravan. Violet and Klaus begin their search for Sunny. Count Olaf forces Sunny to do difficult chores that would never normally be expected of a toddler. Violet and Klaus disguise themselves as Snow Scouts and end up meeting Quigley Quagmire, who was thought to be dead in the fire that killed his parents.
There are hints of Quigley and Violet having a crush on each other. Over the course of the story, Violet and Klaus learn more about V.F.D. from him. Lemony Snicket decides to give Violet and Quigley some privacy (many readers believed they kissed) where it was possible, as they took a break from climbing up the frozen waterfall to reach Sunny.
Violet, Quigley and Klaus hatch a plan to lure Esmé to them and use her to bait Olaf into giving Sunny back. They dig a pit and light a Verdant Flammable Device next to it. Esmé sees some green smoke at the bottom of the slope. She goes down it, thinking the smoke is coming from the "in" cigarettes. The children realize that two wrongs don't equal a right and that there is a better way to rescue Sunny than kidnapping Esmé. When she reaches the bottom, she runs into three masked strangers (the Baudelaires and Quigley), and they help her climb back up the slope, hoping to bargain with Olaf for the release of Sunny.
Claiming to be Volunteers, Violet, Klaus and Quigley demand Sunny's return. Olaf refuses until Violet pretends to know the location of a missing sugar bowl (of unknown importance) from Esmé's tea set. Olaf barters for the dish, but the Snow Scouts reach the peak. Klaus, Violet, and Quigley take off their masks to convince the scouts to run. Olaf orders the two white-faced women to grab Sunny and throw her off the mountain, but they leave, quitting the troupe. As they leave, they tell Olaf that one of their siblings was killed when their house burned down.
The scouts, except Carmelita, the freaks and the hook-handed man are captured in a net and carried off by eagles. Carmelita is convinced to join Olaf and Esmé in their evil schemes. The Baudelaires and Quigley grab a toboggan and slide down the slope, but when they reach the bottom, the frozen waterfall shatters. In the ensuing flood, the Baudelaire siblings and Quigley are separated. Quigley tries to tell them to meet him somewhere, but cannot be heard over the rush of the running water.
The Grim Grotto
Poor Sunny gets poisoned by the Medusoid Mycelium but luckily Klaus and Violet rescue her in the nick of time by giving her wasabi which was used as an alternative for horseradish. Violet also has her 15th birthday in this book but never knows it. Sunny, who was the only Baudelaire sibling who remembered Violet's birthday, helped Phil bake a surprise birthday cake for her. Upon seeing it in a fridge, Violet weeps.
In the end, Fiona kisses Klaus before they say good-bye and she goes to join Count Olaf with her brother Fernald (who happens to be the hook-handed man).
The Baudelaires make it to shore and realize they're at Briny Beach, where they first received the bad news about the Baudelaire fire and the news that they were now orphans. They get a message from Quigley Quagmire, telling them to go to the Hotel Denouement. Mr. Poe finds them and tries to convince them to go with him but Violet stands up for herself, tells him, no, and they call for a taxi instead. The driver is Kit Snicket, the sister of Lemony and Jacques Snicket and she takes them away to the Hotel Denouement.
The Penultimate Peril
Kit Snicket drives the Baudelaires to the Hotel Denouement, where the Baudelaires disguise themselves as concierges. They split up and meet familiar people they met in previous books.
Later, when they try to stop Count Olaf from killing Dewey Denouement, the romantic interest of Kit and the father of her baby (later named Beatrice), the harpoon gun that they procure from Count Olaf slips from their grasp and it fires a harpoon, killing Dewey Denouement. They blame themselves for his death, even though it is not really their fault.
At the end of the book, they burn down the Hotel Denouement in order to send a message to cancel the V.F.D. gathering on Thursday of that week and escape with Olaf in a boat which continues in the next and final book.
The Baudelaires are stuck in a boat with Count Olaf. They eventually wash up on an island and meet a little girl named Friday Caliban. She takes the Baudelaires with her but abandons Count Olaf on the coastal shelf. A few days later, after thinking it is the Baudelaires' fault the Medusoid Mycelium came, the islanders abandon the Baudelaires on the coastal shelf with Olaf. The Baudelaires sneak back onto the island and forget about Count Olaf.
Count Olaf eventually follows them, and everyone sees them all. Ishmael, the facilitator, takes the harpoon gun away from Olaf. Olaf was before disguised as Kit Snicket who is pregnant and put the helmet (formerly Sunny's in book #11) which contains the poisonous mushrooms, as his false baby. Ishmael fires the harpoon gun at Olaf's "belly" and everyone except Ishmael himself gets poisoned by the Medusoid Mycelium.
Violet and Klaus think of a plan while Sunny looks around to help her siblings think of one. All three of them know why there are bitter apples on the apple tree: they contain horseradish. They each take a bite of an apple and try to get all the islanders to eat them. Unfortunately, the Islanders are almost out of sight in a boat.
At the end of the book, Kit Snicket's baby (Beatrice Snicket) is born and the Baudelaires name her Beatrice after their late mother. Kit dies as she was infected. Count Olaf dies of bleeding thanks to the harpoon in his chest (or, of bleeding). The Baudelaires bury them at the shores of the island and have adopted little Beatrice. They spend the next year cataloging the items from the arboretum and filling in the commonplace book left by their parents. At the end of the bonus mini-book, Chapter 14, the Baudelaires and Beatrice leave the island.
After The End
Though her ultimate fate is ambiguous, several sources state that something happened to The Beatrice - it sank on some sharp rocks when they were close to the mainline, though what made it hit the rocks is unknown - and Violet was forced to make an "emergency repair" to it, which allowed the ship to land, successfully, on the mainland, allowing all three siblings and Beatrice to survive: Violet is stated as returning to Briny Beach for "a third time" and, Beatrice states that Violet survived, at least as far as Briny Beach, while Sunny is known to discuss her cooking recipes on the radio as a young woman and Klaus would spend a lot of time thinking about his present situation many years later in the Reptile Room. She is most likely alive and well for it is stated that she was haunted many years later by the trials she had endured as a child.
While Klaus is the researcher, Sunny is the biter and the future chef, Violet is the inventor. The theme of children each having a particular skill that they are good at is also shown with other characters in the series. For example, with the Quagmire triplets, Isadora is a poet, Duncan is a journalist, and Quigley is a cartographer. The Baudelaires' volatile friend Fiona is a mycologist.
Violet is depicted as being extremely skilled at inventing devices. She often invents devices to help herself and her siblings in dangerous situations, using only simple objects such as rubber bands and tin cans. Whenever Violet invents something, she ties her hair up with her ribbon to keep it out of her eyes.
- In The Bad Beginning, Violet makes a grappling hook from metal rods, a wire and torn clothing. In the film adaptation, she also makes a rock retrieval device in a deleted scene. In the TV series, she made it as well.
- In The Reptile Room, she makes a lockpick, from two prongs from an electrical socket, a thumbtack, and some soap.
- In The Wide Window, she makes a signalling device, from a piece of cloth, fishing pole, a metal bucket, and a burning hairnet.
- In The Austere Academy, she makes a staple-making device, using a small crab, a potato, metal rods, creamed spinach, and a fork. She also makes a few pairs of "noisy shoes" by attaching pieces of metal to the soles of normal shoes.
- In The Ersatz Elevator, she makes rope out of extension cords, curtains, and neckties. She also makes welding torches, from heated fire tongs, which they then use as crowbars.
- In The Vile Village, she makes a mortar dissolving device of out some water, a loaf of bread and a wooden bench, which she then uses as a battering ram. She also assists Hector in constructing a Self-Sustaining Hot Air Mobile Home using various mechanical devices.
- In The Hostile Hospital, she makes a fake intercom system, using an empty soup can with a hole. She also makes an escape device, from rubber bands.
- In The Carnivorous Carnival, she tries to make a cart as an escape vehicle, using vines, roller coaster parts and a piece of rubber.
- In The Slippery Slope, she makes a drag chute, using hammocks and a mixture of sticky condiments, and a brake, using a wooden table. She also makes climbing shoes using forks, fake fingernails, ukulele strings, and a candelabra.
- In The Penultimate Peril, she makes a drag chute using dirty laundry sheets.
- In The End, Violet invents a water filter in order to make salt water drinkable. She also makes a sling for her and her siblings to use to carry baby Beatrice, and she designs life jackets in Chapter Fourteen.
- It is also mentioned that before Sunny was born, Violet thought of how to invent a device so that garbage would automatically take itself out, although it is unknown if she made it.
- In Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (film), Violet invents a device to turn the switch controlling train tracks so that they are not hit, using a coil, a car seat strap, and the bobblehead of The Littlest Elf. Although not really an invention, when the Baudelaires were stranded in the remains of Aunt Josephine's house, she used cylindrical objects to shove an anchor to break a wooden stilt to push the platform they were on closer to their escape.
- In Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (video game), Violet invents various things, such as:
- the Smasher (PC) - Using a fork, jack-in-the-box and a boot
- the Lobber (PC) - Using a toy boat, an ice cream scoop, and a bicycle
- the Lockpick (PC) - Using a pencil sharpener, wire hanger, and a record
- the Bug Sprayer (PC) - Using a bicycle pump, perfume and a gramophone cone
- the Lever Yanker (PC) - Using a bell pull rope, a clock spring, a gavel and a scale
- the Reptile Retriever (PC) - Using a large hoop, burlap, long pole with a handle, and a basket
- the Stilts (PC) - Using snowshoes, rope and an oar
- the Brilliant Bopper (console, Klaus weapon) - Using a spring, a broom, a coffee can and a boxing glove
- the Fruit Flinger (console, Violet weapon) - Using a pool toy, a fan, a funnel and a fork
- the Baby Booster (console, for Sunny to jump) - Using an extinguisher, a book strap and a pull cord
- the Steady Stilts (console, for Violet to reach high places) - Using tripod legs, a piano wire, her boots, and snowshoe straps
- the Levitating Loafers (console, for Klaus to fly) - Using Klaus' shoes, propellers, batteries and shoelaces
- the Reptile Retriever (console, for Violet to retrieve reptiles) - Using her Fruit Flinger, a lawnmower bag, a screwdriver and a garden hose
- the Lucky Lock Pick (console) - Using a spool, paintbrush and tweezers
- the Peppermint Popper (console, for Violet to shoot further) - Using a fishing pole, egg beater, and a ladle
- the Apple-Chucker (GBA) - Using a soup can, ice cream scooper and a hand-cranked device
- the Water Pump (GBA) - Using bellows, gasket, jam jar, shower head
- the Parasol Glider (GBA) - Using yarn, parasol, weathervane
- the Grappling Hook (GBA) - Using spiral carpet, shower curtain rings, parasol skeleton
- In A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series), the Netflix adaptation primarily follows the books with some divergences.
- In The Bad Beginning, she made a grandfather clock toaster, as well as the rock retrieval device. The grappling book is made differently using random objects to propel herself up using a backpack-like device.
- In The Miserable Mill, she uses gum to fix an open electrical current.
- In The Ersatz Elevator, she makes a parachute using an enormous basket, a collection of extremely long rubber bands, and Spain's largest handkerchief.
- In The Vile Village, she invents a pickaxe device to break Jacques out of prison. Later, she makes a ramming device using a suicide noose, a bench and a very hard loaf of bread.
- In The Carnivorous Carnival, she repairs the roller coaster using a noodle whip stolen from Esmé as a fan belt.
- In The Dismal Dinner, Violet invents a very cold, very hard device made from a silver pie server and the ear of the snowman ice sculpture to lessen Sunny's pain from "teething" as soon as Sunny stopped looking out the window and sucked on it.
The Baudelaire orphans were falsely accused of murder, and from this point on, they have no more guardians and are on the run from the police. While running from the police, Violet assumed the following disguises:
- In The Hostile Hospital, Count Olaf disguises her as a patient so that he can conduct a fake operation and cut her head off. The name used in disguising her is an anagram, Laura V. Bleediotie.
- In The Carnivorous Carnival, Violet and Klaus dress as a two-headed freak. Her name used here was Beverly, and Klaus's was Elliot.
- In The Slippery Slope, Violet poses as both a Snow Scout and as a volunteer to save her little sister Sunny.
- In The Penultimate Peril, Violet disguises herself as a hotel concierge, along with Klaus and Sunny.
Violet, despite being a volunteer and a considered a protagonist, she has committed crimes. She:
- Interfered with a train's destination in the film, although she would have been killed by it if she did not.
- Opened Stephano's briefcase in The Reptile Room and took his items, although it was in order to prove her uncle's death was a murder and not a snakebite.
- Stole a sailboat in The Wide Window - In order to save her aunt, although she wanted to borrow it.
- Hitchhiked without the driver's permission in the TV series.
- Broke many rules of Prufrock Preparatory School and had Isadora Quagmire impersonate her.
- Broke Rule #62 of the Village of Fowl Devotees: "No citizen is allowed to build or use any mechanical devices." - Violet secretly helped Hector build his mobile home.
- Is falsely accused of murdering Jacques Snicket.
- Broke Rule #1,742 of the Village of Fowl Devotees: "No one is allowed to escape from jail." - Violet broke out of jail during The Vile Village (though she was wrongfully imprisoned and she would have burned at the stake).
- Hitchhiked a ride in the trunk of Olaf's car without permission, in order to avoid asphyxiation and being arrested by the police in the TV series.
- Aided in burning down Caligari Carnival (in order to travel with Olaf's group).
- Pretended to be a staff member (a concierge) of Hotel Denouement, despite not being legally employed there.
- Burnt down the Hotel Denouement (as a signal to fellow VFD members), likely killing many people inside.
- Is guilty of indirect manslaughter (Count Olaf tossed a harpoon gun into her hands, which Violet accidentally slips and sets off, killing Dewey Denouement).
- Partially responsible for infecting the Islanders with the Medusoid Mycelium poison and potentially killing them, as she knew it was brought to the island and kept it a secret from the Islanders.
While Violet's physical traits are never explicitly described, she is consistently drawn as fairly tall and slim. She is about a head taller than Klaus, unlike the movie and TV series. She has black hair reaching her shoulders and cut in bangs at the front. Her eye color is indeterminable but is known to be different to Klaus's. Her eyes also seem to be fairly small in comparison to other characters. She is often drawn with rosy cheeks. The color of her hair ribbon varies on each book and illustration.
She wears a violet dress somewhat reminiscent of a sailor outfit or Japanese schoolgirl uniform.
While all three Baudelaire siblings are described as pleasant-looking, Violet is described throughout as particularly attractive; she has been referred to as 'pretty' at various times, with this occasionally being substituted with words such as 'attractive' or 'lovely' (used memorably by Quigley Quagmire).
Despite this, she is often drawn looking sickly, with dark eyes, a tired expression, pale skin, etc. There also does not seem to be any illustrations of her showing a smile; she is always neutral, worried, surprised, etc. This is in contrast to the movie and TV series where she smiles in many scenes.
In the film, Violet's appearance is significantly different from the books. Her hair is light brown, though it is still shoulder-length, and is braided on one side. She is of a similar height to Klaus, and her eyes are hazel. She wears a black dress with arm fishnets.
In the Netflix series, Violet's appearance is more true to the book. Her hair is dark brown (closer to the original black), cut in bangs at the front, and is much longer than previous incarnations. Her eyes are blue, fitting the book description of them being a different color to Klaus's. She is of a similar height to Klaus, albeit slightly shorter.
She wears a much larger variety of outfits compared to the books.
Behind the scenes
- In the film adaptation, she is played by Emily Browning.
- In the video game, she is voiced by Emily Browning.
- In the TV series, she is played by Malina Weissman.
Her name Violet was chosen because it sounded British and Daniel Handler wanted to make the setting of the series ambiguous; Violet is a fairly British name; Klaus is a fairly German name; Sunny is a fairly American name, and Olaf is a fairly Scandinavian name, and that creates a certain amount of confusion.
- "But he STRUCK my brother! Look at his face!" (to Mr. Poe)
- "Let her go! She has done nothing to you! She is an INFANT! Please... She’s just a baby. We’ll do anything, anything, just don’t harm her."
- "But we're not polygamists." (to Klaus mournfully, when he mentions that if they were polygamists, the marriage would be void)
- "I'm not your countess." (to Count Olaf)
- "Stop it! Don't talk like that!" (when "Stephano," tells the Baudelaires to "look at Monty's pale pale face" and "look at these staring eyes")
- "Don't give me that what what. You've figured something out, that's what what. I know you have. You were rereading Aunt Josephine's note for the umpteenth time, but you had an expression as if you had just figured something out. Now, what is it?" (to Klaus)
- Violet: "I don't have time to argue with you! I'm trying to save each of our lives! Give me your hairnet right now!"
Josephine: "The expression is saving all of our lives, not each of our lives."
- "I don't care if we're impolite to such a disgusting person as yourself." (to "Shirley")
- "Shirley is not a receptionist! She's not even Shirley! She's Count Olaf!"
- Violet: "We're not going to give Count Olaf a tip!" (to Nero)
Klaus: "Violet means Coach Genghis."
Violet: "I DO NOT! Klaus, our situation is too desperate to pretend not to recognize him any longer!"
- "Listen to us. We sound hopelessly spoiled. We're living in an enormous apartment. We each have our own room. The doorman has promised to watch out for Count Olaf, and at least one of our new guardians is an interesting person. And yet we're standing here complaining." (to Klaus)
- "Ugh! If I invented something as sloppily as this newspaper writes its stories, it would fall apart immediately." (about The Daily Punctilio)
- "Why would people want to look at someone with birth defects? It sounds cruel. You'd think someone would put a stop to it, but you'd think somebody would put a stop to Count Olaf, too, and nobody does."
- "We're not your henchmen! We simply happen to be travelling together!" (to Count Olaf)
- Olaf: "I'm a genius! I've solved all of our problems! Look!"
Violet: "Renaming the boat doesn't solve any of our problems."
- "I won't throw away this ribbon. I'm still going to invent things, no matter what Ishmael says."
- "You need a moral compass. The spores of the Medusoid Mycelium can kill within the hour. The entire colony could be poisoned, and even if you make it to shore, the fungus could spread to anyone you meet. You're not keeping anyone safe. You're endangering the whole world, just to keep a few of your secrets. That's not parenting! That's horrid and wrong!" (to Ishmael)
- "Don't succumb to peer pressure." (begging Friday to take an apple to save her life)
- "We are respecting our parents' wishes. They didn't want to shelter us from the world's treacheries. They wanted us to survive them." (to Ishmael)
- "We're very concerned." (in a trailer)
- "There's always something." (Violet's motto in the film)
- "A spittoon? You mean like...? ...We'll wash it twice." (when Sunny gives Violet a spittoon)
- "YOU MONSTER!" (to Count Olaf for slapping Klaus)
- "Well, maybe they did have a plan. Do you remember when Mom and Dad went to Europe? We thought they'd abandoned us because they didn't even write. We found out they'd written a letter that got lost in the mail. Do you remember how guilty we felt for thinking bad thoughts about them? This is just like that."
- Olaf: "Children, I've been contemplating our situation and I realize that I've been a bit standoffish, shall we say? Which in this case is a big, big word meaning-- "
Violet: "Pure evil."
- "WE'RE GOING TO BE HIT BY A TRAIN!"
- "No way!" (when the doorknob is about to shatter into a million tiny pieces and one of them may hit her eye)
- "JUST HELP ME!" (sick of Klaus' questioning in a dire moment)
- "No. They won't listen. They never listen." (when Klaus suggests going to the authorities)
- Klaus: "There's always something... There's always something!"
Violet: (sadly) "Not this time."
- "Hey, marriage is no picnic. Oh, and by the way, you're a terrible actor."
- "Yes, we've met." (after Count Olaf sings a song about himself)
- "You're Count Olaf, and if anyone ever deserved to travel along Lousy Lane, it's you."
- Klaus: "Do you think we made the right choice?"
Violet: "It doesn't matter if we made the right choice. What matters is what happens."
- "Why do you hate us so much?!" (to Shirley St. Ives)
- "Maybe I'm just tired, but I think she's improving." (about Carmelita's singing)
- "Of course not." (when Olaf asks if she has hunted animals)
- "There are better things to do with your life than get eaten at a carnival." (to Hugo, Colette and Kevin)
- "Some girls find "tomboy" to be an insulting term that means that their interests don't conform to somebody else's expectations." (to Nero and Esmé)
- "Maybe this court deserves contempt."
- "Justice Strauss, the law isn't always just! It isn't always good!"
- Her foil from The Luckiest Kids in the World! written by Loney M. Setnick is a blonde-haired girl named Laurie Lotsaluck who, in The Pony Party!, is treated to a fun party, a big prize, a pony ride, several kind and sensible adults, and all the cake she can eat.
- Daniel Handler once confirmed that Violet and her siblings are of Jewish descent. It is unknown if he means ethnicity only, religion only, or both. Violet is never seen practicing any religious rituals relating to Judaism (although naming a baby after a deceased relative is common in Jewish families, hence "Beatrice" in The End.)
- Her least favorite song is "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," and she especially hates the line about life being but a dream.
- She and her siblings think lavender is a rather sickly color.
- She, like her siblings, is allergic to peppermint. In her case, when she comes into close contact with peppermint, she breaks out into hives. She stated that the only relief from the hives is taking a baking soda bath.
- Violet is talented when it comes to tying knots. In The Bad Beginning, she uses the fictional "Devil's Tongue" knot to rescue Sunny. Although the book claims a group of female Finnish pirates invented it back in the fifteenth century and named it the Devil's Tongue because it twisted in a complicated and eerie way, it is not a real knot. In The Slippery Slope, she mentions that she invented a knot which she called the "Sumac", which according to her is the name of a singer she admires. This most likely refers to Yma Sumac, a Peruvian singer who was famous in the 1950s for her extraordinary vocal range.
- Violet is known as "Veronica" according to The Daily Punctilio. Violet being called "Veronica" seems to be a running gag of sorts. During The Wide Window, Captain Sham (Count Olaf) calls Violet "Veronica". During The Miserable Mill, a hypnotized Klaus calls Violet the same name.
- In The Miserable Mill, Violet mentions that if she obtained the Baudelaire Fortune, she would like to build an inventing studio for herself, potentially over Lake Lachrymose where Aunt Josephine's house used to be so she could be remembered.
- As revealed in The Ersatz Elevator, Violet once had a friend named Ben who gave her elevator blueprints for her birthday, and they were destroyed in the fire.
- In Chapter Fourteen of The End, Beatrice wrote in A Series of Unfortunate Events commonplace book that if Violet had been a boy, they would have been named Lemony. It is noted that it is a family custom to name after the deceased.
- Star anise tea helps her think, as revealed in The End.
- She may have inherited her love of inventing from her father, Bertrand, as he builds the boat both he and his wife use to leave the island.
- Violet's theme music is shared with her siblings and is composed by Thomas Newman.
- In the video game, Violet can play the piano.
- In the episode of the Netflix series entitled The Reptile Room: Part 1, when asked by Uncle Monty what her favorite movie is, she replies that it is The Dawn Patrol; the 1938 version. It is a war movie about fighter airplanes.
- Violet may have inherited her inventing skills from her father, who once repurposed a large cowbell, a hammer, and a ten-foot pole to create a makeshift fire alarm.
- In The Penultimate Peril, Violet wears an outfit resembling her book counterpart, albeit with short sleeves and a white belt.
- The Dismal Dinner (Mentioned only)
- The Bad Beginning
- The Reptile Room
- The Wide Window
- The Miserable Mill
- The Austere Academy
- The Ersatz Elevator
- The Vile Village
- The Hostile Hospital
- The Carnivorous Carnival
- The Slippery Slope
- The Grim Grotto
- The Penultimate Peril
- The End
- The Beatrice Letters (Mentioned only)
- Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography (Mentioned only)
- Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (film)
- Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (video game)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 PROSE: The Hostile Hospital
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 PROSE: The Austere Academy
- ↑ PROSE: The Carnivorous Carnival
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 PROSE: The Vile Village
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 PROSE: The Reptile Room
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 PROSE: The Wide Window
- ↑ PROSE: The Dismal Dinner
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 PROSE: The Bad Beginning
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 PROSE: The Grim Grotto
- ↑ PROSE: The Bad Beginning: Rare Edition
- ↑ PROSE: The Beatrice Letters
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz2c_zUUqd8
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 The Jewish Secrets of Lemony Snicket, Moment
- ↑ https://youtu.be/hwJouNwhtbI?t=320
- ↑ Book seen in the TV series