Dark Scenes Left Out Of Netflix's 'A Series Of Unfortunate Events' (Plus A Few Vile Additions)

Netflix's adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events is certainly a dark and gloomy affair, but audiences might be surprised by how truly upsetting the book series was. Largely there's more death, depression, and betrayal throughout. The show is a solid adaptation, however, and it adds bits of doom and gloom along the way, sometimes making things even worse for the Baudelaire orphans.

There are various differences between the two, ranging from missing death scenes to little details that are wholly inconsequential. Either way, the Netflix show still manages to capture the spirit of Lemony Snicket's work in the eyes of many fans.

Beware of spoilers, both for the Snicket books and for the show. 


  • In The Books, The Bald Man Was Originally Eaten By Lions

    In The Books, The Bald Man Was Originally Eaten By Lions
    Photo: A Series of Unfortunate Events / Netflix

    In the show, all of Count Olaf's henchmen stick around through Season 2. In the books, new henchman are introduced when another meets their untimely end. 

    One henchman, The Bald Man with the Long Nose, is a perfect example of this deviation from the source material. In the show, he's only referred to as Bald Man. He is shown to be strong, seems genuinely evil at times, and is very tall with a low booming voice. He even manages to stick around throughout Season 2. He isn't as fortunate in the books.

    His final literary appearance is in The Carnivorous Carnival where, during the final act, he is accidentally shoved into the lion's pit during some chaos in the crowd. He is torn apart and eaten as the patrons stand there and watch. 

  • In The Show, The Audience Was Tricked Into Thinking The Baudelaire Parents Were Still Alive

    In The Show, The Audience Was Tricked Into Thinking The Baudelaire Parents Were Still Alive
    Photo: A Series of Unfortunate Events / Netflix

    Perhaps the biggest twist of the first season is the suggestion the Baudelaire parents are still alive. Audiences are shown a pair of intrepid guardians, diligently fighting to get home to their children. And in "The Miserable Mill: Part One," it seems they are about to reunite with their beloved kids. Viewers wait and watch, only to find out these are the Quagmire parents. It's a shock, and it dashes any sense of hope that was building.

    Anyone who has read the series can tell you with certainty the Baudelaire parents are dead, right from the start. There is a brief moment in the books where it is suggested one parent is alive, but that's later shown to be false.

    While this is sad and depressing, there is a comforting sense of finality in knowing the Baudelaires are orphans. The show is infinitely more cruel, as it provides the audience with false hope only to destroy those aspirations later in the season.

  • In The Books, Dr. Georgina Orwell's Death Was A Lot Bloodier

    In The Books, Dr. Georgina Orwell's Death Was A Lot Bloodier
    Photo: A Series of Unfortunate Events / Netflix

    Dr. Orwell's fall into an oven in the Netflix adaptation is about as gruesome as you can get with children's television. Depending on what kind of gore makes you squirm, however, her death scene in the book is much worse.

    In that version, she backs into a scrolling sawblade, originally meant to kill an employee at the Lumber Mill, Charles. Sunny fights her, and she falls backwards as the children watch. She gets caught in the saw and it slices her to bits in one of the bloodiest deaths in the books. 

  • In The Show, The Audience Was Introduced To Gustav While He Was Alive, Making His Death More Impactful

    In The Show, The Audience Was Introduced To Gustav While He Was Alive, Making His Death More Impactful
    Photo: A Series of Unfortunate Events / Netflix

    Viewers aren't given much time to connect with Gustav Sebald in the show, but it's enough time to recognize him as an honest and protective volunteer. When his life is abruptly cut short by a dart and he drowns in a reflecting pond, it's shocking and depressing.

    He seemed capable of providing the children with some hope and safety, but he's killed off while the Baudelaires are with Uncle Monty. It just adds to the sense of isolation that surrounds the three poor orphans.

    In the books, he's much less of a lively presence. In fact, when he is first introduced, he's already dead. He is said to be a filmmaker who worked for the secretive VFD organization, and was responsible for creating a means of relaying secret messages called the Sebald Code. Witnessing his charm in the show makes his death hurt that much more.

  • In The Books, One Of The Henchmen Died During The Heimlich Hospital Fire

    In The Books, One Of The Henchmen Died During The Heimlich Hospital Fire
    Photo: A Series of Unfortunate Events / Netflix

    Fire is frequently used throughout the series, both on Netflix and in the books. A noteworthy example is The Hostile Hospital. In the show, the children are kept in the hospital where they are captured by Count Olaf, and Violet is nearly given a horrifying surgery. At the end of the episode, they escape as the hospital burns around them, using the fire as a distraction. There is a mass evacuation, and Olaf and his minions escape unharmed.

    In the book, these events play out differently. One of Olaf's henchpeople, the Henchperson of Intermediate Gender, is burned alive in the hospital. This doesn't happen in the show, as that henchperson is clearly seen escaping with the group.

  • In The Show, Madame Lulu Turned Out To Be The Librarian In Disguise, Which Made Her Death Resonate More

    In The Show, Madame Lulu Turned Out To Be The Librarian In Disguise, Which Made Her Death Resonate More
    Photo: A Series of Unfortunate Events / Netflix

    Olivia Caliban or Madame Lulu (as she calls herself when she's acting as a fortune teller) plays a huge part in the show. She's a helpful librarian at Prufrock Preparatory School, she becomes involved with the VFD, and it's obvious she wishes to help the children and protect them. She also has a brief romantic relationship with Jacques Snicket. This is different from the books, where Madame Lulu is not a helpful librarian, but rather a former member of the VFD.

    She is never strictly good. Instead, she prefers to focus on making sure everyone gets what they want, and is shown as morally ambiguous. There's an actual uncertainty as to whether or not she will support the children or help Count Olaf, and her eventual demise in the lion's pit is not necessarily tragic. 

    While reading about another adult who can't be trusted is disheartening, watching Olivia die in the pit is much more impactful. We grow to care about this character, we admire her bravery, and we see her repeatedly try to help the Baudelaires and the Quagmires. When her death finally comes, it's heartbreaking. In the show, it's yet another spark of hope for the children that gets extinguished before their eyes.