In the recent adaptation of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, the character Arthur Poe is portrayed with a consistent cough. This is never touched on in the Netflix series, but is it explained why he has this cough in the books at all? If so, why?

  • 7
    It is my sad duty to inform you that asking for in-universe explanations for ASoUE elements will end in nothing but misery and despair. I'm sorry to have to tell you this. But that is how the story goes.
    – Standback
    Mar 6, 2017 at 14:28
  • 2
    The character's name Poe evokes comparison with Edgar Allen Poe whose wife died of tuberculosis. Does this suggest a diagnosis of TB for Arthur Poe?
    – DJohnson
    Apr 17, 2018 at 11:29
  • 4 theories: popsugar.co.uk/celebrity/…
    – A E
    Jul 9, 2018 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


The children remembered Mr. Poe because he always had a cold and was constantly excusing himself fromthe table to have a fit of coughing in the next room.

The top quote is from Book 1 (The Bad Beginning) and the next is from Book 2 (The Reptile Room).

The driver of the car was Mr. Poe, a family friend who worked at a bank and always had a cough.

It seems he is just sickly, and is constantly at a state of having a cold--which seems like a rather unfortunate event to me. Or he has constant year-round mild allergies and hasn't found a fix for them yet.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.