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Who am I, mother? Who am I and what do I do?
~ Norman to his mother, Norma.
~ Norman's common phrase.
I'm not mad - except in the British sense of the word, like the Mad Hatter. In that way, I am mad. But there are plenty of mad people who function, some of whom are heads of state. So I think I can manage running a motel.
~ Norman in Season 5, "Marion".
Thank you.
~ Norman's last words to Dylan.

Norman Bates (October 14, 1995 - November/December, 2017) is the main protagonist of Bates Motel tv series. He is a smart, quietly funny, handsome and sometimes shy seventeen-year-old boy with an intensely close bond with his mother, Norma Bates. Norman is resistant to starting over in a new town, but changes his mind as he begins to spread his wings. Norman slowly transforms into the iconic character depicted in Robert Bloch's popular novel and Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film adaption of that novel, Psycho.

He is portrayed by Freddie Highmore, who also portrayed Jared and Simon Grace, Shaun Murphy, Arthur, Charlie Bucket, and voiced Astro Boy.

The character is also portrayed by Vera Farmiga in his Mother persona, who also portrays Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring series and its universe, and Emma Russell in Godzilla: King of the Monsters.


Norman was born on October 14, 1995, to Sam Bates and Norma Bates, who left her abusive life and moved to the Southwestern state, Arizona. One day, Norman killed his father in a fugue state for beating up Norma and didn't remember the event. Norma made Sam's death look like an accident, and decided to move to White Pine Bay, Oregon to start over and protect Norman.

Season One

Moving to White Pine Bay, Norman and Norma decide to run a motel and start a new life there. Norman befriends Bradley Martin, the popular girl of White Pine, and Emma Decody, a girl who suffers from cystic fibrosis and harbors feelings for him. In addition, Norman also becomes close with his teacher Blaire Watson, who sees his potential.

However, the Bates find themselves unwelcomed by the former motel owner, Keith Summers, who stalks and rapes Norma. Norman stops him, but witnesses his mother kill him out of rage, the two then hid the body by dumping it in the river. The two are suspected by Sheriff Alex Romero, as Norman keeps two of Summer's items, his belt, and journal.

Norman's cousin Dylan arrives at Wine Pine Bay to stay, but this escalates the tension between the two. After seeing Dylan's phone having Norma as "The Whore", the two fight, but Dylan easily beats Norman and leaves him with a black eye. Norman and Emma eventually discover a marijuana field from the journal, and continue to investigate. Norman begins to investigate Zack Shelby, breaking into his house after the deputy took Keith's belt from the Bates' motel. Aided by Dylan, the two later bond after he tells him of Keith and the journal, and later goes to Bradley's house and has a one night stand.

After Norma was arrested by Summers' murder, Norman bailed her out and found the girl that was in Shelby's basement. Shelby eventually held the Bates family at gunpoint and assaulted Norma, leading Norman to go into rage until Shelby was killed by Dylan. Dylan was informed by Norma of Sam's death and why Norman needed to be protected. Norman later befriended a dog he named Juno, and went to Bradley to confess his love for her. Bradley rejected his confession and stated they were not meant for each other, leaving him enraged. Returning home, Norman witnesses Juno being hit and killed by a car and become devastated.

Norman took Juno to Emma's father, Will and learned taxidermy from him. Norman later saw a psychology and was considered to be under his mother's will (as Norma was accused of having control issues over him). Norman later went to the dance with Emma, but she left heartbroken after seeing him eye Bradley who was dancing with Richard. Richard took Norman outside and punched him, telling him to stay away from Bradley. Walking home in the rain, he is picked up by Blaire Watson, who took him to her home and cleaned his face. She went to change in another room and left the door open, undressing as Norman saw this in a mirror. A hallucination of Norman appeared to Norman, telling him that Miss Watson was planning to seduce him, much to his disbelief. Telling he knows what to do, Norman had sex with Miss Watson, and sliced her throat and took her necklace as a trophy. Despite murdering Miss Watson, Norman wouldn't remember the event (suffering from a blackout). Running home, Norman told Norma that he remembered being picked up by Miss Watson, but the next thing he knows he was running home.

Season Two

Four months passed since Blaire Watson's death, and Norma starts to worry about Norman, as he was showing abnormal behavior. This included Norman committing taxidermy, and becoming deeply obsessed with Miss Watson's death, frequently visiting her grave. During one visit, he saw a mysterious man, and decided to take a picture of him to give to Sheriff Romero. The sheriff questioned where Norman was the night of Miss Watson's murder, but Norman stated that he couldn't remember.

Norman was later greeted by Bradley, who snuck into his house for his help, since she committed the murder of Gil Turner to avenge her father's death. While helping Bradley hid at his home, the police discovered seamen on Blaire Watson, one being a stoner named Kyle, and the other unidentified. Norma signed Norman and herself up for a musical, but he was troubled by the fact that he needed to get Bradley on a bus out of a town. Norman asked Dylan to take Bradley to the bus, as he attended rehearsal with his mother.

While helping with the musical, Norman befriended Cody Brennen, and later returned home to hear his mother and Dylan arguing over her brother Caleb. Norma revealed to Dylan that Caleb raped her in their childhood, and Norman tackled him when Dylan defended his uncle. Norma stopped the fight by revealing that Caleb is Dylan's father, putting Norman into a blank trance. Norman traveled to Caleb's motel room, with his split psyche lashing out at Caleb until he hit him. Norman was picked up by Cody, but stated he didn't remember anything. Norman and Cody discussed on his past blackouts before having sex in her secret tree house.

Norman and Cody spent quality time with Emma and Gunner, but after Emma nearly drowned, Norman berated Gunner and had another black out. Becoming concerned, Cody told Emma, who informed Norma, and she stopped Norman from getting his driver license. Angered, Norman walked to Cody's home, and accidently killed her abusive father when he attacked her. Norman's DNA was taken by the police on the death, but he was let go before they discovered that his DNA matched with the seamen on Miss Watson. Before Cody left to Indiana, she informed Norman that Norma was hiding something from him.

While his relationship with his mother became distant, Norman was kidnapped by Nick Ford's henchmen, and kept in a hot box. Norman's sanity slipped, and he recalled the night he murdered Miss Watson when they engaged in sex. He was rescued by Romero and Dylan, and later sent to a hospital to recover, but told his mother of having a dream of killing Miss Watson. Norman decided to check things off his list, he stopped committing taxidermy, informed Emma that his mother was raped and of Dylan's paternity, and danced with his mother. Norman attempted to commit suicide, but was stopped by his mother, and decided to take the polygraph test. Norman's "Mother" persona re-emerged, and answered no when asked if he killed Miss Watson, and he passed with a smile.

Season Three

Norman spends the summer in the hotel with his mother, and becomes ready for his senior year in school. In the cafeteria, he was haunted by a hallucination of Miss Watson, who started to bleed from her neck. Norman ran home to his mother, telling her of his hallucination, and she decided tom home school him. Norman started to break boundaries by sleeping in the same as his mother, causing Norma to set rules by the behest of Dylan, who noted that it wasn't normal.

Norma decided to make Norman hotel manager, and he decided to begin a relationship with Emma despite becoming interested in hotel guest Annika. One evening, Norman decided to spy through a peep hole on Annika, and was caught by his mother, who told him it wasn't normal. When Annika asked for directions into town, Norman offered to show her the way, and had an awkward conversation about her job. When Emma was leaving the motel office to go home, Norman returned home driving the car alone. It was assumed that Norman had kill during a blackout, but it was revealed that he simply drove her to The Arcanum Club.

Norman lied that he wasn't with Annika despite Emma stating otherwise, and became frustrated that his mother didn't trust him. Norman decided to drown himself to make himself remember Annika's disappearance, but she arrived at the hotel, dying in Norma's arm before giving them a USB drive. Norman became suspicious of his mother and brother, finding Dylan being with Caleb, threatening to tell Norma that he was in town. Eventually, Norma decided to leave the hotel, learning that Caleb was in town from hearing a conversation between Norman and Dylan.

Norman became erratic, throwing things around in the kitchen before being knocked out by Dylan. The following morning, Norman decided to continue cleaning animals, killing a bird as he was in a trance-like state. Norman became "Norma", wearing her nightgown and telling Dylan that Norman was sleep, and that "she" was preparing dinner. Norma returned home, and Caleb reunited with his family, breaking down as Norman looked on angrily.

At this point, Norman became more obsessed with protecting his mother, preventing his uncle sitting with her at the dinner table, and later caressing her thigh while she slept. He also attempted to kill James Finnigan when he stated that his love for Norma was deep, with Norman chocking him for "saying such an ugly thing". Norman eventually admitted that he was sexually attracted to his mother, who told him that it was normal for his age, but he became infuriated that she revealed to James that he killed his father.

Norman also became heartbroken when Emma wanted to stay friends, as she had become close to Dylan, causing him to run into his room in his rocking chair. He hallucinated Juno, who led him out into the road where Bradley was, having returned to White Pine Bay. Norman helped Bradley by allowing her stay in one of the hotel rooms, and later going to her mother's house where they saw that her room had been turned into a fitness room, and that her mother had re-married. Norman returned home to find Norma clearing his basement of taxidermy, revealing that his father's murder case had been re-opened, leading Norman to return back to Bradley.

Norman admitted to Bradley that has mental problems, and the two admitted their feelings for each other, but "Mother" disapproved of their relationship. Norma returned from the mental hospital, telling Norman that he could get help, angering him. Bradley returned back to the motel, having broke into her mother's house, and could pawn jewelry to leave White Pine Bay. Norma learned of his attempt to leave, but believed that Bradley was dead, knocking out her son, and tying him up in the basement. Norma called Dylan to help, but Norman had escaped from the basement via small window. Dylan revealed to Norma that Bradley faked her death, but told her that Norman couldn't tell the difference from hallucinations and reality.

Norman was picked up by Bradley, but his "Mother" persona took over, and killed her by bashing her head in with a rock. Norman came out his state, having blood all over his hands in shock, and decided to hide the murder by disposing of the car and her body in the lake.

Season Four

Norman is seen arguing with "Mother" in a field, appearing bruised and scared (implying he has been the forest for a while). He was seen by a farmer, who knocked out Norman when he tried to attack him, and was taken to a psychiatric hospital. The doctor believed Norman to be dangerous, and wanted him to stay for a 48-hour observation, but Norma came and took him home. While cutting his hair, Norman told Norma of his dream that he killed Bradley, and made her promise not to send him back to the mental institution.

Norma became weary of her son, locking him in her room while she was out, having become concerned of his mental state. Norman eventually woke, and became furious of being locked in her room, and escaped. He put on Norma's nightgown, transforming into "Mother", and was greeted by Emma's mother, Audrey, who he invited in. During their discussion, Norman berated Audrey for leaving her child, and strangled her with her own scarf.

The following morning, Norman questioned his mother on why she locked in the room, and the disappearance of Audrey's body in the freezer. Norman believed that Norma had killed Audrey, and stated that he would protect her, and that she needed help. He later found her searching the pit while a family were checking in, and told her to get cleaned up while he would handle it. Afterward, Norman hallucinated his father telling him that Norma was crazy, and that she killed him.

Norman confronted his mother at the dinner table, screaming that she was responsible for killing Miss Watson and Bradley, as she was jealous of them. Norma fled to her room to get her gun, but Norman revealed that he had it, leading her to barricade herself in Dylan's room, and call Romero for help. She later went down to the basement find Norman, who admitted that he found the consent forms, and she told him she only wanted to help him. Though it appeared that Norman was ready to kill Norma and himself, Romero arrived, and Norma took the gun from his hand. Norma asked Norman to sign the consent forms, which he did, sending him back to the mental institution.

There, Norman was disinterred of being shown around by the nurse, who told him that it was up to Dr. Edwards on when he could leave. During his therapy sessions with the doctor, blaming his mother for brining him to the institution. When reunited with his mother, he was cold and distant, and stated that he would never forgive her for making sign the consent forms. Afterward, Norman was sent to solitary confinement when he stormed Dr. Edwards' office, and told the doctor that he believed that his mother committing murders.

Norman and Julian broke into Pineview's office where Norman called Dylan, and attempted to tell him that Norma was in trouble, but hung up. Norman and Julian later escaped the next day, and hitched a ride to a strip club. Norman was taken to the VIP lounge by Athena, and attempted to seduce him, but he stated that "Norman doesn't like that" before transforming into "Mother". Norman then seduced Athena, but they were interrupted by Julian, who got into a brawl with the bouncer. When Dr. Edwards arrived to collect Norman when he was handcuffed, he finally admitted he needed help while Julian was sent to a hospital.

Dr. Edwards had another therapy session with Norman, and wanted to control his blackouts, but this would be to no avail, as Norman hallucinated his mother visiting him. When Dr. Edwards told him that Norma wasn't on the visiting list, Norman became enraged and transformed into "Mother", who attempted to seduce Edwards. However, Edwards asked for "her" opinion on Norman, and if she knew him better than anyone, with "Mother" responding "Of course I do. I'm his mother." During another session, Dr. Edwards asked Norman if he was familiar with the term Dissociative Identity Disorder, but he wasn't. The doctor told him that when a child suffers from trauma, they go into themselves, and Norman did by going into "Mother", his source of love and protection. As Norman played croquet with Dylan, he asked what his father was like, and states that he was a abusive drunk.

In their next session, Norman transformed into "Mother" once again, and threatened Dr. Edwards, but the latter told Norman to recall his past. Norman recalls being afraid to get a glass of water, as his father was asleep at the kitchen table, waking up and attacking his son and wife. In addition, Sam forced his family to return home by threatening them with a gun, and later raped Norma, with Norman comforting her underneath.

During a arts and crafts session, Norman was able to piece together that his mother had married Romero, shocking him. He phoned his mother, telling her that he was going home, but realized that wasn't that easy, as he needed a letter. Though Dr. Edwards attempted to persuade Norman to stay, the latter believed that he wasn't normal, but could prove that he was a good person. The following Day, Dr. Edwards decided to relent and let Norman go home after a failed reunion with his mother.

Despite returning home with his mother, he found things different, not liking that his home accessories had changed, and that Romero had been there. He paid Romero a visit, telling him that he could divorce his mother since he had help her, and since he was home, he wasn't needed anymore. Norma confronted Norman about his visit with Romero, and Norman apologized in a psychotic manner, and later vomited she told him the truth.

The relationship between the two became even more distant, as they slept in different motel rooms, and Norman spied on Norma and Romero talking, and having sex. Norma invited Romero to dinner, and things were going good at first, with Norman politely calling him "sheriff", and stated he was getting a job. Things went sour when Norman told Romero that he wasn't going to stand in the way of his mother, with Norma attempting to stop the confrontation, but instead told her son that she and Romero loved each other. Norman stormed outside to chop woods, and Romero attempted to have a heart-to-heart talk with him, but when he asked Norman if Norma deserved a man in her life, he replied that he hated him. Frightened, Romero decided to stay the night to protect Norma from her unhinged son.

During a therapy session, Norman rants about his hatred for Romero, believing that the sheriff only married for her insurance and money. Norman would later learn that he committed the murder of Audrey, finding her coat, and comforted his mother when she returned from a heated argument with Romero. Norman later signed for his mother to sleep, and proceeded to kill by placing carbon monoxide poisoning in the vents, closing the others except for Norma's room. Romero later came there, and attempted to revive her to no avail. Norman awoke to find Romero attempting to help Norma, holding her hand, and simply saying "Mother".

Norman went to the funeral home to see his mother, telling Dr. Justin Willcock that he didn't want her embalmed, and angrily took the wedding finger off her hand. Her funeral was held, but Norman told Dr. Willcock that no one was coming, where he gave a speech that turned into a rant that she left him to figure everything out. When he returned home, he continued arguing about her leaving him, and decided to go back and collect her corpse from the grave. Norman attempted to have his mother awake, but came to horror that he saw her eyes were glassy, realizing she wasn't coming back. After Chick gave his condolences, he attempted to commit suicide, but herd his mother playing piano. Coming down the stairs, he saw the house covered in Christmas lights, and reunited happily with his mother.

Season Five

To be added

Sociopathic Tendencies

  • Collecting Trophies/Mementos (Discovered by Norma).
  • Cleaning, and Dissecting Animals (Discovered by Norma).
  • Stalking Women through peep Hole's (Discovered by Norma).


  • Sam Bates (unknowingly) - Hit over the head with a blender (Season 1).
  • Blaire Watson (unknowingly) - Throat slit (Season 1).
  • Jimmy Brennen (accidental) - Pushed down a flight of stairs (Season 2).
  • Bradley Martin (unknowingly) - Head bashed in repeatedly with a rock (Season 3).
  • Audrey Ellis (unknowingly) - Strangled with her own scarf (Season 4).
  • Norma Bates - Poisoned with Carbon monoxide (Season 4).
  • Gregg Edwards (unknowingly) - (Before Season 5).
  • Jim Blackwell (unknowingly) - Stabbed repeatedly (Season 5).
  • Sam Loomis - Stabbed repeatedly (Season 5).
  • Alex Romero - Bludgeoned with a rock, shot twice (Season 5).



  • Freddie Highmore's portrayal of the character was acclaimed, with many considering him to also look like Anthony Perkins from the 1960 film Psycho.
  • This is the third major portrayal of the character, the first being portrayed by the late Anthony Perkins and Vince Vaughn in the 1998 remake.
  • This is the second portrayal for television, the first was Kurt Paul in the made to television film Bates Motel.
  • Except for Sam Loomis and Alex Romero, most of his victims were accidental, or he killed them unknowingly due to having blackouts, or his Mother persona taking over.

See also

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