If you grew up in the '90s or early 2000s, chances are that you read A Series of Unfortunate Events about 1000 times. The Baudelaire kids were an important part of our childhood — and if you never had a nightmare about Count Olaf, you're made of stronger stuff than I am. But can you remember how A Series of Unfortunate Events ends?
Maybe it's because there were 13 books and the details tend to blur together; maybe it's that Lemony Snicket's warnings not to read his books started to get a little too convincing — but a lot of people seem a little hazy on the ending of this beloved book series. We can all remember the fire that killed the Baudelaire parents; we all remember the first time we saw Count Olaf's terrifying ankle tattoo; and thanks to Lemony Snicket's helpful definitions, we even remember what "adversity" means, and how to use the phrase "meanwhile, back at the ranch". But can you remember what V.F.D. meant? And can you remember if they ever escaped Olaf's clutches?
It's not long to wait until A Series of Unfortunate Events hits Netflix, and then the answers will start pouring in — but if you're too impatient to wait (and anyway, only the first four A Series of Unfortunate Events novels are in the Netflix adaptation so far), then let me help you out. But beware, here be spoilers.
Here's the most important and reassuring thing you need to know about the ending of A Series of Unfortunate Events: Count Olaf dies. After being harpooned in the stomach and poisoned by a deadly mushroom, he's finally out of the children's lives forever.
Just before he dies, however, he uses his last ounce of strength to help his former love Kit Snicket deliver her baby — so his death is bittersweet in the end.
Nonetheless, with Olaf safely out of the picture, the Baudelaire children sail off into the sunset ... and possibly sink. In the epilogue, Lemony Snicket says he's never been able to find any further traces of the Baudelaires' lives — so it's possible that the children faced one final unfortunate event, and that their boat never made it to dry land.
At the time, the children's escape was a happy ending of sorts — but all of the questions we asked ourselves throughout the thirteen books were left unanswered. Were the Baudelaire parents involved in the deaths of Count Olaf's family? And why did Beautrice Baudelaire never marry Lemony Snicket? Maybe we'll never know. Or maybe, just maybe, the upcoming Netflix Unfortunate Events adaptation will offer us a theory too good to ignore.