Norman is the resident genius in The Promised Neverland. With his blue eyes and white hair, the sickly yet exceptionally smart boy supports the main character Emma, together with Ray.
However, he was thrust to a mission and an adventure of his own. And as the hit manga series by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu has recently come to an end, it is the perfect time to examine Norman’s own experiences.
Again, please consider this your one and only warning. The article contains spoilers from the recently-concluded The Promised Neverland. If you’re ready to know these little-known facts about Norman, read on:
1. The Smartest Kid in Grace Field
Yes, it has been established that Norman is the smartest kid among the Grace Field orphans. He’s smarter than both Emma and Ray. However, his feats are the true testament to the impressive mental capabilities over the series.
Norman’s Feats of Intelligence
- Norman has always aced the Grace Field tests. Unlike Emma and Ray, Norman never had a score of less than 300.
- Once, after he suffered a heatstroke, Isabella posed a difficult math problem. Norman was able to solve the complex mathematical problem mentally, and of course, give the right answer. It was shown in an extra omake panel in Chapter 97 of the manga.
- Later, also in the manga, in Chapter 152, when confronting the Demon Queen Legravalima, he fluently spoke in the language of the demons. It means that sometime during the one and a half years he has been studying the demons, their nature, origin, and history, Norman picked up the ability to speak their language.
- He figured out how to operate the Promised Pen, that is, it won’t access its other pages unless the pen is opened in the location specified on the page.
- When he is shipped away, he was not eaten immediately and instead taken to a special facility. He was given harder tests compared to those in the Grace Field House, and aced them all anyway
Furthermore, his intelligence has served as his weapon in keeping up with the more athletic Emma, Ray, Sister Krone, and even the Demons. Here are some incidents that demonstrated his capability to strategize to make up for his physical limitations:
Using His Mind to Outmaneuver Other Characters
- In the first episode of the anime, when the kids are playing tag, Norman feigned tripping to trick the concerned Emma get back to him out of worry, easily tagging her. Even Ray recognizes that while Emma is better in terms of physical ability, Norman outclasses her in terms of having a “game plan.”
- During the third episode, as they trained the other kids to better hide and escape, Norman outmaneuvered Sister Krone. The new sister dismissed him due to his frail body, leading to her defeat at the game of tag.
- Norman outsmarts Ray and identifies him as the traitor. When the trio realizes that there must be a traitor among the children, Norman creates a trap by telling the orphans who know of the escape plan, about the ropes. He later inspects the locations with Ray, and deducing that he might be the traitor.
- He later assumed the identity of William Minerva. Norman also became the “boss” of another orphanage and worked towards eliminating all the demons.
2. The Meaning of the Name “Norman”
Generally, the name “Norman” traces its origins to the Germanic terms for nord (north) and man. It used to be the term to refer to the invaders in England, the “Man from the North.”
In The Promised Neverland series, however, the meaning as to why Norman got his name has its story. In The Promised Neverland website, there was a mini-game formerly available to everyone. Players who achieved the high scores were treated to exclusive manga pages revealing how the three kids got their names.
Norman was named by Isabella after the American author, artist, and illustrator Norman Rockwell – most famous for his works that reflect the American culture. Furthermore, the Mama at Grace Field house was looking at a Rockwell painting at the time. Lastly, it creates a completion to their names – Emma is generally a feminine name, Norman is masculine, and Ray (according to some) is a unisex name.
3. Does Norman Die in The Promised Neverland
Let’s put it out here first and foremost. In the tenth episode of the anime, Norman is shipped from the Grace Field. He was sent to a side-room, waiting for the demons. We never see him again until the first season ends. That got me curious about Norman’s possible death and we look to the Manga.
In short, Norman survives up until the end of the series. He was not killed or devoured. Instead, Norman was introduced to the head of the influential Ratri Clan – Peter Ratri. Peter became Norman’s new foster father, becoming his partners in the Lambda 7214 experimental plantation experiments.
Later in the story, Norman plots to commit genocide against the demon. He was able to have his own underlings, captured and experimented on them, and created a poison against them. Through his efforts, the humans were able to bring down the Queen and the Five Regent Families. He also survives this, and together with the rest of the Grace Field house, travel to the human world.
4. Ray Vs Norman: Who is Smarter?
It was hard putting this question as it is. As if some fans were already convinced that Emma is somewhere behind these two. Anyway, as she is the most athletic among the trio, it sounds fair.
The short answer is Norman and it is a question of knowledge versus intellect. In Ray’s defense, he knows more than Norman in terms of general knowledge. Ray is “The Walking Encyclopedia,” thanks to the books he read from the orphanage. Also in the manga, Ray seems to be the only orphan who is almost at the same level of intellect as Norman.
The tiebreaker, in our opinion, in the Ray vs Norman battle is in the only time they went against each other. Early in the series, Ray was working as Isabella’s informant, but he was able to deduce his actual position through the rope trap. Also, Norman is physically weaker than Ray, so it evens everything out.
5. Does Norman Like Emma? Do They End Up Together?
Quick answer: Yes to both. But not in the sense you’re already thinking of. It’s no secret that Norman likes Emma, being inspired to act because of her selflessness. While Emma would rise against all shipping attempts and be the good “Mama” as opposed to Isabella, Norman remains supportive of her all the way.
Even after Norman was shipped away, they were still concerned for one another when they met again after a long time. In fact, at the end of the series, they will all be reunited at the human world – at the expense of Emma’s memories. Norman, Ray, and the rest of the orphans found her after some time, leading to a tearjerking finale for the hit series.
Perhaps, the most definitive proof of Norman’s feelings towards Emma is in the spinoff novel “A Letter from Norman.” It details how Norman has always loved the orange-haired girl since they were toddlers. While Emma’s dream is to ride a giraffe, Norman’s first thoughts for his “dream” is a future where he can be with Emma.
While he did plan to tell Emma the truth, he kept it instead and decided to confess when they become adults.
6. Norman’s Japanese and English Voice Actors
In the 12-episode anime adaptation courtesy of director Mamoru Kanbe (Elfen Lied, Kimi to Boku) and studio CloverWorks, Norman’s voice was voiced by seiyuu (voice actress) and singer Maaya Uchida. The 30-year-old actress has provided the voice for some of the beloved anime characters over the years:
- Yuki from The World God Only Knows
- Irina Shidou from High School DxD
- Kaguya Yamai from Date A Live II
- Alluka Zoldyck from Hunter X Hunter (2011)
- Futaba Yoshioka from Ao Haru Ride
- Yuki Hoshino from Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma
- Melty Q Melromarc from The Rising of the Shield Hero
- Lilliuka Arde from Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
- Hatsuho Shinonome from Sakura Wars: The Animation
For the Aniplex of America English dub, Jeannie Tirado provided the voice for Norman. The US-based voice actor has lent her voice for the English speaking versions of the following anime and video game characters:
7. Norman in the Live-Action Adaptation
For the upcoming live-action adaptation of Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu’s The Promised Neverland, Norman will be portrayed by Rihito Itagaki. The 18-year-old model and actor previously portrayed the character Heure in Kamen Rider Zi-O. He also portrayed the younger version of Masato Yano’s Yuichi Saeki.
An interesting fact, the order of the three main characters according to age is as follows: Ray (January 15), Norman (March 21), and Emma (August 22). However, the actors who will be portraying them respectively are in the reverse order: Jyo Kairi (13), Rihito Itagaki (18), and Minami Hamabe (20).
Also, as we have mentioned before, the trio in this adaptation will 15 in the movie. It will make the same age adjustments across all the other characters.
8. There Is A Norman In All Of Us
Norman, while he is set as the smartest of the trio, is among the most human-like characters in The Promised Neverland. He is a character a lot of us can relate to, his unbelievable intelligence aside.
Norman tackles a very realistic tendency, and that is for achievers to hold themselves to high standards. Often, this is exclusive to them and while they are understanding toward others, they can’t do the same to themselves. Norman was first shown to have this crushing emotion in Chapter 27 of the manga, or around Episode 8 of the anime. While Ray and Emma suggest that he pretends to escape, he overthinks the situation and declares that having either of them die in his place is the last thing he would ever wish for.
He also believes that it is okay for him to carry the burden of their dreams – of working towards the freedom of all the orphans. It led him to make harsh decisions, such as working towards genocide against the demons. However, it was brought to a great confrontation when Ray and Emma find him and calls him out for it. Through Norman, we see the importance of sharing burdens with friends and family.