This just came up to my mind. There's probably a thread about this, I tried to search but didn't find anything, so sorry in advance for that.
Olaf is, without a doubt, the villain of ASOUE. He's treacherous, mean, evil, disgusting and awful in general.
But if you think about it, he's always described by Lemony, his former brother in law, who seems to hate him a lot. So... how reliable his opinions are? Is Olaf really THAT bad, or is it nothing but the subjective point of view of LS, maybe right in some things but exaggerated?
Post by Linda Rhaldeen on Apr 23, 2016 22:39:33 GMT -5
I was thinking about this the other day when people were discussing how all the members of the troupe have some disability or physical abnormality and started daydreaming a version of ASOUE with Olaf as the protagonist who takes care of the people society has abandoned, and Lemony being a self-righteous and judgemental jerk. Sort of like in Dr. Horrible, actually, which is fitting considering casting.
I will send a fully-armed battalion to remind you of my love.
Lemony is not omniscient, as he's a character in the universe he describes, but we also have to trust what he says to quite a substantial extent because we have no other perspective to see things from. Adult Lemony is certainly a well-meaning person, if a very eccentric one... I'm not sure I'd like him in person, with his over-exaggerated woe and hyperbolic pessimism, but I think he's well suited to narrate the story. His intense, perhaps even creepy, love for Beatrice has driven him to research every detail of the story as best he can, and I think that it's fair for him to add some mean personal commentary about a man who has committed arson, murder, kidnap, theft etc. If we believe just about any of the plot, then Olaf probably is as bad as he is described. But there could be other places where bias seeps through. He's very fair in his descriptions of Bertrand, given that he married the love of Lemony's life, so not there; he might be biased to give overly positive descriptions of Beatrice or other V.F.D. friends of his whom the Baudelaire children encounter. Or descriptions of Josephine or Widdershins or other flawed characters could be exaggerations based on personal grudges - although both of these characters are friends with Snicket at the time of ATWQ, they could have all fallen out at some point.
I also think Lemony's biases toward Olaf are justified. I'm sure there's some exaggeration, but probably not much when you consider everything he's done to the Baudelaires, Quagmires, and Snickets whether directly or indirectly, has to be accurate. The bias is quite tame, really. Though now I'm imagining drafts of ASOUE that veered off intoOlaf bashing rants. I pity Lemony as an adult and headcannon ways for him to be happy, or cope with the world if he can't be happy, and agree that young Lemony is precious. Also, between series, mid-TBL Lemony is adorable.
I've seen a couple of attempts at "good Olaf" in theory and fanfiction over the years, but they all tend to fall apart on a conceptual level pretty soon, so it'll be interesting to see how your version of events holds up, Linda. For myself, I know exactly how I'd handle this premise: I'd simply make the Baudelaire children evil, the very Baudelaire butchers the newspapers tar them as, framing Olaf for all sorts of crimes while he pursues them to try and bring them to justice.
I like him the most as a kid in ATWQ, because he's just like a little smartie. And as an adult he's kind of just the sarcastic narrator who you can't really help but like, but won't end up being you'r favorite character. My intake.
Post by justsylvia on Jan 18, 2017 15:12:28 GMT -5
My own picture of Lemony Snicket in the books was of a man with a more slight figure, surviving on his wits and knowledge rather than his strength. He once was a very hopeful, passionate young man, but has since fallen into depression. The only thing that keeps him going now is a dogged obsession with following the history of his beloved's offspring, as he still cannot let go of his love for Beatrice and the sense of wrongness that looms around him, that he couldn't make things work with her or for her. The entire series seems a direct reflection of LS's own personality-- that is, full of tragedy and despair yet unwilling or unable to give up on that last thread of hope that somehow things might be made right again. He finds the silver lining in even the most unfortunate of circumstances. But I get the impression that deep down he blames himself for all the unfortunate things that happen to the Baudelaires, like he is cursed to be a bad luck charm to everyone he ever grows close to (which could explain why he seems to avoid direct contact with the younger BB in TBL).