"If you bake mud, you can make a vessel. So a boat made out of mud wouldn't necessarily sink."
— Norman to Ray in "131045"
|Alias|| William Minerva|
|• Characteristics •|
|Birthday||March 21, 2034|
12 (by 2046)
13 (by 2047)
|Hair Color||Platinum Blonde|
|Height|| 145 cm|
At least 170 cm (by 2047)
|• Professional Information •|
|Affiliation|| William Minerva |
The Paradise Hideout
|Prev. Affiliation|| Grace Field House (Shipped-out)|
|Prev. Occupation||Assistant Researcher|
|• Relationships •|
|Allies||Emma, Ray, Gilda, Don, Phil, Grace Field Orphans,Smee, Zazie, Vincent, Cislo, Barbara, Hayato|
|Enemies||Isabella, Krone†, Demons, Peter Ratri|
|• Debuts •|
|Other Media||A Letter from Norman (Spin-off Novel)|
|• Portrayals •|
|Japanese VA||Maaya Uchida|
|English VA||Jeannie Tirado |
Norman (ノーマン, Nōman?) is one of the protagonists of The Promised Neverland alongside Emma and Ray. Norman is a math prodigy and a model student of Grace Field House, with intelligence that surpasses his peers and even adults. Norman lived in Grace Field under the parental care of Isabella and is an orphan like all the other children.
Being one of the smartest children living in Grace Field, Norman is considered as one of Grace Field House's three "Premium quality goods" next to Ray and Emma and even achieved a full score of 300 in Grace Field's series of tests consecutively. He is known for being a genius strategist and planner, as well as unbeatable at the game of tag.
When he discovers the truth of the orphanage with Emma, he teams up with her and Ray to devise a plan to escape. Norman is, however, forced to be shipped before his 12th birthday, and he sacrifices himself and accepts his fate of inevitable death to let his family escape.
In reality, Norman was transferred to an experimentation plantation called Λ7214 under the supervision of Peter Ratri. One and a half years later, he managed to escape and destroy Λ7214 along with his new-found comrades. Witnessing the true horrors of the human farming, the adults and the demons, Norman now hopes to rally other escapees to completely annihilate all demons and create a sanctuary for all humans living in the demon world. In doing so, he also adopts the "William Minerva" alias.
Norman was born on March 21, 2034, and he was sent to Plantation 3 located in Grace Field House a year later in 2035, growing up alongside with Ray, Emma, and several other children.
On the day he would be shipped off, Norman began writing a letter to Emma, informing her about what to do, his new plan regarding the Jailbreak they had planned, as well to save Ray from committing suicide, even after he himself was long gone. As he writes, he begins going through various memories he has of Emma and the other kids in the House.
Norman is a young boy with short, tidy white hair (platinum blonde in the start of the manga) that's worn parted to his left, a prominently longer piece curving upwards on the side of his head, and narrow, inward-tilting blue eyes. The most distinctive physical trait of Norman's is his thick eyebrows. He wore the standard orphanage uniform- a white shirt and trousers along with plain shoes. His Grace Field House identification number "22194" is tattooed across the left side of his neck.
During his time in Λ7214, the plantation's identifier is tattooed onto Norman's left chest, with bruises surrounding the identifer. In the year 2047, now at the age of 13, Norman has grown to be the tallest among the trio. Standing at a height of around 170cm, Norman towers over Emma and is slightly taller than Ray. Norman's hair has become noticeably messier. His current physical appearance mirrors that of the deceased William Minerva.
Whenever Norman is outside of the paradise hideout, he wears a short hooded cape with lacy ends that has three vertically aligned diamond-shaped patterns on the back. When he is in the hideout, Norman dons a formal light-colored suit, but without the blazer.
Norman is a very kind, gentle and warm boy who exhibits a leader-type of aura, but he is also a complex individual who can be easily misunderstood due to his conflicting morality. After being exposed to the truth behind the orphanage and the House, it is revealed that Norman is similar to Ray in being a realist and wanting to take a limited group of people along in the escape. However, his love for Emma inspires him to follow her idealistic ideals, and as so he becomes determined to escape with all of his siblings despite it seeming impossible. He puts intense pressure on himself to achieve their goal of escaping the House, and he wants to use his own intellect to bring Emma's ideals to life. Norman is manipulative, ruthless and extremely rational, having no issues agreeing to the plan to kill Krone and Isabella that Ray came up with in order to escape. Norman also originally planned to just oust Ray after finding out he was the spy, but changed his mind thanks to Emma's influence.
Norman is the most intelligent child in Grace Field House, consistently getting perfect scores during their daily exams. He likes to apply what he learns to his day-to-day activities, even in a simple game of tag. He is known to be strategic, analytical, rational, and possesses logical deductive skills. He is a planner who can see the entire situation and plan for it ahead of time. Additionally, Norman is very determined and doesn't let other budge him when he has firmly put his mind into a certain decision. He has a strong sense of self-confidence which stems from assuming everything will work out in his favor in the end if he plays his gambles right. He always relies on himself to come up with the answers, and even Norman himself states that he always managed to accomplish what he set out to do.
Being an extremely caring individual who is fiercely loyal and protective of his family and friend, he has a tendency to hide his true feelings of worry, fear and hurt projecting instead a calm and collected exterior to calm down and give emotional support to the people around him. For example, after Norman’s shipping date is announced, his first priority is to comfort Emma, even though he was the one whose life was on the line. But when faced with his impending death, he realizes how badly he still wants to live.
An overall strong-willed character, he tends to disregard his own humanity and worth as a person if it means keeping everyone else safe and for the greater good.
Being held under Peter Ratri's tight supervision and jailed within Lambda 7214, Norman's personality began to change. His bright and cheerful demeanor is replaced with a more serious one, as his usual smile is diminished into a frown, which he often showed during his days in Lambda 7214, where he worked on his plan to break out. The purge orchestrated by Peter Ratri on the plantation took a pivotal turn for Norman's personality once more, as it has affected his psyche to some extent after it took the life of one of his allies as well as him getting exposed to the horrific experiments of Lambda 7214.
After running the Paradise Hideout for some time, Norman has turned into a shadow of his kind and warmly 11 year old self and has grown into a solemn and dull teenager, or as Barbara, Cislo and Vincent described, they view the current Norman as a "serious", "emperor" and "winter" person, and the fact that they have never seen him smile before genuinely surprised them when they discovered how he acted as a polar opposite of how they portray him usually when he reunites with Emma and the rest earlier that day; how he was indeed warm and cheerful during his reunion with them like how Emma described.
Taking daily tests, playing a game of tag, eating scrumptious homemade food and having a good time – Norman went through the same routine every day in Grace Field House, an orphanage where he lived since the day he was born. Under the loving parental care of Isabella and the companionship of Emma, Ray, and the other orphans, Norman spent a pleasant childhood in Grace Field.
When the day came for Conny to be sent off to foster parents, Norman, and the other orphans gave a tearful goodbye as they bade farewell to her. Sometime after Conny left with Isabella, Norman accompanied Emma to return Conny's beloved stuffed toy, as the two proceeded to the gates of Grace Field to search for the toddler.
Instead of finding Conny, Norman and Emma found Conny's corpse within a truck instead, as they stared in pure horror upon seeing their friend dead. The two later hid under the truck as they witness two demons inserting Conny's dead body into a jar. Isabella is revealed to be working for the demons, as the two witnesses in shock of how Isabella turned out to be evil. Norman and Emma returned to Grace Field unnoticed, the stuffed toy, Little Bunny, was left behind, which was eventually found by the two demons and Isabella.
Emma collapsed onto the ground in despair, as she recalled the traumatic scene she and Norman just witnessed, which soon led her to break down in tears. Norman consoled Emma and told her not to speak of the incident to anyone. During the next few days, Norman and Emma remained silent and secretive about Conny's death and the existence of demons; put on an innocent and childlike façade whenever they interact with Isabella, who was suspecting the two.With the introverted yet intelligent Ray's involvement, the three started to devise an escape plan to rescue the orphans from Isabella and the demons' clutches. The three learned and gathered every possible information they could get about the outside world and to aid in their eventual escape. Ray helped in plotting the escape plan.
Isabella eventually got Krone appointed as Grace Field's second caretaker (as the orphans' "Sister"), an additional obstacle for Norman, Emma, and Ray to deal with. Krone tried to get in the way of the trio, much to their dismay.
Norman, Emma, and Ray eventually recruited Don and Gilda into the team as additional help and told them about the secrets behind Grace Field, Isabella and the existence of demons. Along the way, the five faced obstacles and issues with working together, such as the interference of Isabella and Krone, suspicions of Gilda being on the enemies' side, Ray's double-crossing, and Don's unhappiness towards the limited trust Norman, Emma and Ray had on him and Gilda, whom they did not tell the entirety of their plan and motives to.
When Norman and his team finally managed to put Ray's escape plan into work, it was, however, foiled by Isabella, as she fractured Emma's leg and revealed how Norman will be the next to be shipped off to the demons).
Norman took care of Emma and her broken leg during his last few days at Grace Field. When Emma and Ray attempted to rescue Norman by getting him to escape alone, the plan failed, as Norman returned with the news of how steep cliffs lies beyond the walls of the plantations, making his escape impossible. He soon made a tearful goodbye to the two, as he reminisced the happy childhood he had spent with them.
During the day for Norman to depart, a desperate Emma was still keen on rescuing him, as she made her one final attempt to save him by disabling the tracker in his ear, Norman immediately prevented her from doing so, calling her reckless. When Emma explained how she did not want Norman to die, Norman was touched by Emma's words. As he cupped Emma's cheek, Isabella interrupted the two, urging Norman to prepare to depart from the orphanage. However, she allowed Norman to give Emma a proper goodbye, where he encouraged her to stay strong and never give up hope. After having a quick goodbye with Ray as well, Norman walked to the gates of Grace Field with Isabella and questioned her whether is she happy. Isabella was in shock and hesitated for a moment, before replying that she was indeed happy because she was able to meet him. The two reached the gates and though Norman was preparing himself for the demons to appear, Isabella asked him to wait in another room. When Norman looked inside, he was shocked.
What lay behind the doors turned out to be Peter Ratri, who warmly greeted the much surprised Norman. Isabella introduced Ratri as Norman's new foster father, though Ratri had Norman address him by his name instead. Ratri later asked Norman to help him with his research at Λ7214, to which he agreed.
In the subsequent months, Norman lived in Λ7214 in an enclosed room as he went through daily tasks, which includes solving a Professor's Cube and taking IQ tests. During his time there, Norman plotted to escape and reunite with Emma, Ray, and his other friends who were left at Grace Field.
Sometime between January and March of 2046, Norman anonymously sent a warning in Morse code to the telephone at Shelter B06-32. The deciphered message reads "Cannot meet now. Will contact later. You are in danger. Peter Ratri is your foe. Brother of Minerva. Ratri clan head. Do not leave. We will meet you." Ray, Emma, and Lucas received the call and Ray managed to decipher the message, realizing that it was sent by an ally. Afterward, a hooded Norman, sitting on a stump in a forest, said to himself that the children must survive till the end.
On October 2047, Norman, who took up William Minerva's name, successfully raided a factory farm together with his confidents, Zazie, Vincent, Cislo and Barbara. The five made it to the room where all the orphans were held. Unable to save them, Norman pitied the orphans before ordering his confidents to burn the factory farm to the ground. Norman and his group stared at the burning farm, the former explained how he will bring an end to the farms, free the children within and bring an end to the "neverland". Some time later, Norman and his same group of confidents stood on top of a balcony as he claimed how he will build them a "paradise".
Norman somehow heard the news of how Emma and his friends from Grace Field House had escaped from the orphanage and made it to the paradise hideout. Hayato brought Emma to Norman's office. Seeing Emma for the first time in two years, Norman said how it jas been a while since they met, as he smiled at Emma, who began to cry upon seeing her long lost friend. Norman and Emma soon shared a loving embrace before Norman reunites with Ray and his other friends soon after. Norman started to discuss about his breakout from Λ7214, as well as how he inherited Minerva's name to gather all the orphans from different farms in the paradise hideout, which was once a network belonging to an already deceased ally of Norman called Smee.
Norman disclosed to them the origins of the demons as well as how Λ7214 and the orphans born in the farm and other mass production farms came to be. Norman concluded by saying how he will purge all the demons, end the neverland where orphans could never become adults, and build a paradise for all the humans to live in once and for all. As Norman beared a villainous expression on his face whilst saying it, Emma stared at him worriedly. Norman asked the orphans to join him in his plan, to which all of them agreed, with the exception of Emma and Ray, who are visibly hesistant with Norman's plan. After some time, Norman guided the group of orphans to the hideout's dormitory and had dinner with them. Norman, Emma and Ray bonded over a game of chess before felling asleep to one another.
Norman woke up when Emma and Ray were still sleeping as he exited the dormitory and went back to his office. During the morning of the subsequent day, Vincent entered Norman's office and asked about his reunion with the Grace Field orphans. Vincent rebuked his caring and happy demeanour he had displayed the previous night and explained how the other inhabitants of the paradise hideout were shocked to see this side of him. Norman soon switched the topic and started to talk about his plan to raiding the farms. Norman prepared a letter and ordered Vincent to send it to lord Geelan and his group to seek their alliance.
After Geelan and his group received Norman's letter, Norman went to visit them with Zazie under William Minerva's name once again. Norman looked at Geelan's underlings, as he soon was greeted by the lord himself. Norman wanted to form an alliance with him, he presented to Geelan a bag of severed demon heads they got from a mass production farm he and his confidents massacred a couple days ago. Geelan was satisfied with the present Norman gave because of how they had massacred something which belonged to the royal family and the five regent houses, a group of demons who are rivals of his. Norman eventually managed to form an alliance with Geelan, as he promised the lord that he will bring an end to the royal family and the regent houses' reign and gave him the Ratri clan, in exchange for freeing the orphans that reside the farms. Geelan asked Norman what would he do if he is unable to furfill the promise, to which he replied he would let him eat him and the other freed orphans. Norman soon left Geelan's territory with Zazie, as he explained to the latter how all that he had explained to Geelan were lies, and how he will stab them in the back and not let him benefit from the promise the two made.
A flashback scene of him with Vincent, Barbara and Cislo appeared as he used a Queen chess piece (which represents him) to knock down the Pawn (which represents his enemies), a scene which juxtaposed and serves as a parallel of how he viewed Geelan and his group as nothing more than actual pawns for him to eventually knock down.
Norman and Zazie returned back to the hideout. Emma and Ray soon confronted Norman and wished to talk to him. Norman went back to his office and asked the two about their situation. Ray asked him about his strategy, to which Norman revealed his plan to them as a way to explain his strategy. When Norman was explaining his plan, Emma and Ray thought of Heathens like Mujika and Sonju, and told Norman about the existence of demons like the two said Heathens. Norman was shocked upon hearing the two's revealation of the Heathens' existence, particularly the existence of Mujika, whom Norman referred to as the "Evil-blooded Girl". Norman proceeded on to explain the history of Mujika and her clan of Heathens, and how they are now endangered thanks to the royal family and the five regent houses who had exterminated them so to operate the farms they own without the Heathens' disturbance. Now knowing the existence of Mujika and the Heathens, Norman proposed on getting rid of the last remaining members of this clan so they would not threaten the safety of him and his fellow orphans. Emma violently disagreed Norman's plan and sought to change his mind, believing how Mujika and her kind are good. Norman rebutted her claim, saying how if they do not exterminate all the demons, she and all the orphans could not live a happy life.
Norman managed to know Emma and Ray's plan on venturing to the Seven Walls. Back in his office, Vincent asked Norman when are the two going to the Seven Walls. Norman stood by the world map behind his desk, a shadow loomed over a proportion of his face as he stared dourly towards a distance. He soon replied how the two will be going when the moon comes out early than night.
Norman's ally, Jin, was spying on queen Legravalima and her army, and sent a message back to the hideout via a messenger owl. The owl gave Jin's note to Vincent, who reported to Norman on how the demons have moved. Norman said how the report showed how their plan had progressed successfully. Norman foresees the plan to sabotage the royal family and the five regent houses' control over their citizens by raiding their farms and manipulate them into fighting one another. He grabbed some of the Pawn pieces off the chess board, dumping them onto the board to show how he will divide the demon army. Norman explained to his confidents on how he will massacre the royalty and the houses in the middle of the upcoming Tifari, an major event for the demons, in a period of eight days. Vincent brought up the topic of Mujika and her kind, as he and Cislo asked him how he will deal with them. Norman replied how it has been thought out. Moments later, Norman got Hayato to call Don and Gilda to go and visit him.
Skills and Abilities
Being one of the top-ranked orphan (in other words: premium quality) of the orphanage, Norman possesses a very high level of intelligence for his age. Norman excels in his studies and was noted to achieve a full score of 300 in the orphanage's daily test. Norman also has excellent strategic skills and frequently put them into use when playing a game of tag with his friends.
Norman also possesses an incredibly high level of mental calculations, proven when Norman received a heatstroke, Isabella asked the then-unconscious Norman a complex Mathematical equation, which he immediately answered as he recovered from heatstroke.
Norman was also the only person to suspect that Ray was acting as Isabella's spy and as so, he laid a trap to confirm his suspicions. When he was able to corner Ray, even the latter was very shocked since he had been careful and discreet. He can easily plan his actions in advance and he anticipates on other's actions. He demonstrates this intellectual prowess and foresight by calculating every plan to the finest detail, which allowed him to formulate the ultimate gambit for escape.
He also discovered that the Promised Pen won't access other pages unless it is opened on the location of that page.
Unlike his keen intellect, Norman was one of the physically weakest children of the orphanage. Nonetheless, Norman actively plans strategies to win games of tag with the other children. Thus, during a game of tag, Norman could outmaneuver sister Krone, the latter considering him a weak child who she could quickly capture .
Despite his own opinions, Norman listens to the ideas of others to increase the group's cohesion. Moreover, when Ray and Emma fielded clashing ideas of how best to escape Grace Field, Norman convinced his friends to work together.
Norman has extraordinary leadership skills, and is well liked by the children in the House. For instance, while training them in escape tactics, Norman bolstered their collective teamwork as he taught the children how to think logically. Gilda also observed that their escape from Grace Field could have been smoother and more coordinated if Norman was with them.
Norman later planned a successful escape to evade Peter Ratri and the allies of the Ratri clan. He adopted the alias "William Minerva" to liberate and lead all the captive children of the demon world. Using his unmatched genius intellect, Norman clandestinely led his team of freed children to destroy many farms. While hiding his presence, Norman manipulated the demon nobility into believing other demons destroyed those farms to encourage infighting among the demons. And despite her moral objections, even Emma agreed that Norman's plan has highest probability of success.
When Norman sacrificed himself and got shipped out of the orphanage to save Emma and the other orphans, Emma was left depressed and helpless for a long period of time after his departure.
When Emma shared several photos of her and her friends during their times in the orphanage with Mujika, Emma was shown to be rather emotional when she starts talking about Norman with her. During Norman's months of being experimented on under Peter Ratri 's control, Norman had always been thinking about Emma, Ray and all of his siblings which he had been separated from. As he vowed to break out of the laboratory and find his dear siblings again.
Throughout the past 11 years of their lives, Norman has been the closest to Emma and Ray. Despite their contrasting personalities; with Norman being an enthusiastic and sociable person as opposed to Ray's sarcastic and introverted manner, Norman sees Ray as a brother figure and both deeply cared for each other's well-being. Both Norman and Ray acknowledged and understand each other's strengths and weaknesses hence seeing the opposite's skills to be useful in aiding their escape.
Besides Emma, and later Gilda and Don, Ray was the only person Norman was willing to put his trust on during their planning of escaping the orphanage. However, their trust was later limited when Norman suspected Ray to be Isabella's spy, as the two's relationship got restrained for a period of time. Nevertheless, they resumed being friends and helped to aid each other during the escape.
When Norman was shipped out of the orphanage, leaving a well-established behind for Emma and the others to use to escape, Ray was utterly shocked and awed by Norman's plan and how it was carried out smoothly as most of the orphans successfully escaped the orphanage.
Norman grew up with Don and Gilda as siblings. Norman appears to trust them, which is evident by the fact that he agreed to let them be part of the escape plan. Despite their initial fall-outs regarding Don and Gilda's reckless behavior and Norman's (and Emma's and Ray's) tendency to keep the details to themselves, they were able to work it out and became one another's most trusted allies in the escape plan. Additionally, despite being punched by Don when he was infuriated by the fact that he did not trust him completely, Norman held no grudge and apologized for his behavior as well. Upon his departure from the orphanage, he entrusted them to take care of Emma and Ray.
When Norman is reunited with them two years later, all of them are overjoyed, especially from Don and Gilda's side since they found out that Norman was alive the whole time. Norman also trusts them a whole lot and seemingly has faith in their abilities, as he entrusted them to embark on a trip to find Sonju and Mujika. When they bid farewell to Norman, the three shared a tearful hug. However, Don and Gilda are seen to be suspicious of Norman and his true intentions, and likewise, Norman does not completely trust his two siblings.
Norman loved Isabella dearly, as she was the only mother-figure he had in his life. He described her as the person who raised him and taught him ever since he was a young boy. This is why, after discovering the truth about the farm, Norman felt very betrayed by Isabella and was devastated. Ever since then, Norman's love for Isabella vanished, viewing her as "monster" akin to the demons, and nothing more than an enemy. Although the two of them can converse normally around the orphans and are 'friendly' with one another, Norman is determined to ruin Isabella's plans in any way he can, such as attempting to poisoning her or killing her in order to escape. This makes their relationship very tense.
When Isabella revealed that she was to ship Norman off, he did seemingly not hold any grudge towards her and understood the reasons behind her actions, which is why he asked her if she was truly happy when she accompanied him to the gates.
Despite everything Isabella put the children trough, she truly loved Norman and the other orphans and later expresses how she wishes she could have loved her children normally.
Norman met Smee in Λ7214 and introduced himself as a supporter of William Minerva, the two eventually became allies as Smee sought to help Norman escape the plantation. To protect his real identity, Smee did not reveal his real name to Norman, implying how there was a possibility that he did not fully trust the boy. Nonetheless, Smee's trust for Norman was enough for him to reveal a few of his network which can act as a shelter and a home for him after he escaped from the plantation.
The escape plan was eventually found out by Peter Ratri, who orchestrated a purge in Λ7214. A flashback of Norman's showed how he was desperately reaching out to Smee to rescue him but to no avail, as Smee was soon killed. Norman managed to escape the plantation and later inherited one of Smee's network.Citation needed
- A mini-game in The Promised Neverland official site revealed two manga pages for players who achieved high scores. The pages showed how Isabella named Norman after the American author, artist and illustrator Norman Rockwell.
- Isabella furthermore revealed how she was looking at a painting done by Rockwell which inspired her to gave Norman the artist's name. And how "Norman" is a masculine name of English origin, unlike Ray's which is a unisex name of no particular nationality.
- The designer who created The Promised Neverland logo created the three lines in the logo to represent Norman, Emma, and Ray. When Norman was shipped out and separated from Emma and Ray in Chapter 31, the line which represents Norman is gone, leaving only the two lines of Emma and Ray.
- Nevertheless, the manga continues to use the logo with the three lines in the proceeding chapters.
- Norman's dominant hand is left. He is also one of the three characters known to be left-handed, the other two being Leslie and Smee.
- One of Norman's favorite things to do is disassembling machines. With Ray, Norman likes to take things such as clocks apart when they were younger.
- Norman's dream, when he can get into the human world in the future is to be with Emma and Ray, as he is happy around them.
- Posuka Demizu admits how she had trouble creating Norman's character, including his body type.
- Norman has consistently achieved a perfect score of 300 points.
- Several information about Norman are revealed in an interview with Shirai and Demizu in Volume 13 Special Edition.
- Though Norman has a crush on Emma, Norman never says that he liked her. This idea was scrapped and Norman in the end does state that he likes Emma in Chapter 4 and Episode 2.
- Kaiu Shirai thinks that his co-worker Posuka Demizu is like Norman due to how reliable she is.
- Regarding Norman's initial design, Demizu receives requests on how she should make Norman look like a "knight in shining armour" instead of a "prince", and another request of how Norman should look "angelic and a bit ethereal". Demizu in the end decided to make Norman look a tad more thin and fragile (physically), and also have striking hair.
- Norman's fragility could be shown in several art drawn by Demizu, such as a bonus page in Volume 1 showing how Norman was too weak to open a jar.
- The following are Norman's rankings in some of The Promised Neverland official popularity polls.
- Announced in Chapter 75, Norman achieved the 1st position in the Color Illustration Character Poll which was held on The Promised Neverland's official LINE account.
- Norman is ranked 2nd in the Popularity Poll that was announced in Chapter 88 of the manga.
- In Shounen Jump's 2nd popularity poll results announced in Chapter 102, Norman is in 2nd place with a total of 4763 votes.
- Norman on VS Battles Wiki. (Manga spoilers ahead)