For viewers who hadn’t read A Series of Unfortunate Events before watching the new Netflix show, it might have seemed like there was an outrageously high number of different characters introduced. Not only was every single character from the first four books recreated faithfully in the show, but there were brand new characters — not found in the books — too. As the second season is rumored to encompass the next five books in the series (The Austere Academy, The Ersatz Elevator, The Vile Village, The Hostile Hospital, and The Carnivorous Carnival) here’s all the characters you can expect to see whenever the show returns to Netflix. Keep in mind some of these characters have to appear with other characters, while others on this list might be really Count Olaf or some orphans in disguise.

Spoilers for all of A Series of Unfortunate Events ahead

1. The Quagmire Triplets in The Austere Academy

In a first season swimming in foreshadowing, we get our first glimpse of two-thirds of the Quagmire triplets, Isadora and Duncan (combine their names for the name of a famous dancer). The third sibling, named Quigley, is presumed dead in the same fire that killed their parents (played by Will Arnett and Cobie Smulders in Season 1), bearing a striking resemblance to the mysterious conditions that killed the Baudelaire parents. Like the Baudelaire orphans, the Quagmires have their own set of skills to get them through boarding school and the treachery of life: Isadora is a poet and Duncan is a journalist.

2. Carmelita Spats in The Austere Academy

Carmelita Spats is the first competent villain in the series who isn’t Count Olaf. Instead, the Baudelaires and Quagmires alike are harassed by a girl who seems to suffer only from her own bratty insecurity at Prufrock Prepatory School.

3. Vice Principal Nero in The Austere Academy

Although he functions in the caretaker role in the fifth installment, Vice Principal Nero is an administrator at the boarding school the Baudelaires are sent to. He forces them to take boring classes and live in a shack, and he gives long, mandatory concerts of his terrible violin playing every night. You know how Emperor Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned?

4. Coach Genghis in The Austere Academy

In one of his weirdest and most offensive disguises, Count Olaf takes a job at Prufrock Prep as a gym teacher in a turban called Coach Genghis. He forces the Baudelaires to run laps all night, every night to deplete them of energy so they can’t uncover whatever the hell he’s up to.

5. Esme Squalor in The Ersatz Elevator

In this book Count Olaf gets a hot, evil girlfriend in the form of fellow V.F.D. member Esme Squalor (a reference to Salinger’s To Esme, With Love and Squalor), whose obsession with what’s “in” and “out” causes her and her husband Jerome to acquire the Baudelaires in the sixth book. Exploiting orphans, apparently, is very in.

6. Jerome Squalor in The Ersatz Elevator

(No illustration of Jerome available. Here's his house.)
(No illustration of Jerome available. Here's his house.)

Poor Jerome. The cuckolded husband of Esme, he’s yet another submissive adult with a genuine affection for the Baudelaires, but lacks the inner strength to stand up to the authorities or his wicked wife.

7. Gunther in The Ersatz Elevator

While Olaf carries on with Esme he also moonlights as a foreign auctioneer in Ersatz, trying to smuggle a number of secret items away for safekeeping under the guise of an “in” auction with Esme.

8. The Village of Fowl Devotees in The Vile Village

The seventh and final guardian that the misguided Mr. Poe chooses for the orphans is another V.F.D., the Village of Fowl Devotees, a small community that’s normal by day and literally swarmed by crows each night.

8. Hector in The Vile Village

(No illustration of Hector available.)
(No illustration of Hector available.)

The Baudelaires find an ally and a fellow conflicted V.F.D. member Hector, who offers the Baudelaires a chance to escape the village in a hot air balloon of his own creation. After being kidnapped, the Quagmire orphans escape with Hector, but the Baudelaires just miss the balloon in a Wizard of Oz style mixup.

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9. Detective Dupin and Officer Luciana in The Vile Village

Olaf and Esme team up for a dual disguise in Village as a city detective and policewoman (wielding a harpoon gun). They take advantage of the Village of Fowl Devotees and use mob-mentality techniques to convince the town to imprison the Baudelaires for a murder that they committed.

10. Jacques Snicket in The Vile Village

Halfway through the series, we begin to realize that the narrator of the story is a little more involved in the Baudelaires’ story on a personal level than we realized, and the introduction of his brother Jacques in the seventh installment makes room for his sister Kit in future books.

11. Matthias in The Hostile Hospital

Count Olaf hides himself in everything but timbre in his final disguise of the series, controlling Heimlich Hospital exclusively over the intercom.

12. Volunteers Fighting Disease in The Hostile Hospital

As V.F.D. slowly begins to consume the better part of the series, Klaus, Violet and Sunny begin to don their own disguises to fight Count Olaf and company from the inside. In their first effort, the orphans infiltrate V.F.D., a cheery caroling group called the Volunteers Fighting Disease, that is.

13. Madame Lulu in The Carnivorous Carnival

Another layer of the V.F.D. mystery and an implied former lover of Count Olaf’s, Madame Lulu runs a carnival where she exploits and makes money off of “carnival freaks” and hoards secrets that Olaf and his henchmen are eager to extract.

14. Hugo, Collette and Kevin in The Carnivorous Carnival

The closest things to allies the Baudelaires find at the Caligari Carnival (a reference to classic horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) are their fellow circus freaks: a hunchback, a contortionist, and a very negative ambidextrous man.

15. Beverly, Elliot and Chabo the Wolf Baby in The Carnivorous Carnival

By the ninth book, the Baudelaires are getting the hang of this whole disguise thing, having already taken on the guise of hospital employees and members of a singing group. This time, they borrow Olaf’s disguise trunk and clean up rather nicely as circus freaks: Violet and Klaus pose as Beverly and Elliot the conjoined twins, and Sunny wraps herself in a wig to become Chabo the Wolf Baby.


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Season 2 promises a significant change in narrative pattern established by Season 1. And that’s because the Baudelaires will be all about donning their own disguises to hide from Count Olaf, instead of the other way around. We may not know when to expect the second season to drop, but there’s no time like the present to grab all five books and prepare yourself for a significant chunk of the series to unfold.

Photos via Brett Helquist

Jamie Loftus is a comedian, writer and animator whose baby teeth have been bronzed and loaded into a gun for when the moment is right. She's written for Playboy, VICE, Paste, and the Boston Globe.