For the mainstream version, see: Norma Bates

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We came here to start over, and I am starting over.
~ Norma to Norman

Norma Louise Bates (born Norma Calhoun) is the main character along with her son Norman Bates in 2013 television series Bates Motel. She serves as one of the two protagonists of the show along with her son Norman. Norman's split personality by the name of "Mother" which takes the form of Norma and serves as the show's primary antagonist.

She is portrayed by Vera Farmiga, with Freddie Highmore playing a teenaged Norman Bates.


Childhood and Teenager years

Norma Calhoun was second child of her abuisive father Ray and scared mother Frances who grew up with her older brother named Caleb Calhoun. As a child, her father would beaten Norma and Caleb which left them scars and Norma was raped by her own brother for many times until she met John Massett whom he become her first husband and Norma become pregant with her brother's child left home. Norma and John had a son named Dlyan.

Four years later Norma had affair with Sam Bates and cheated on husband which caused disllsuiton of marriage , Dlyan was sent to live with John. Norma and Sam are married and they had a son named Norman. Then the Bates family lived in Arizona for years.

Season 1

After Norman found his father's body crushed under a shelf in their garage, the two remaining Bates moved to White Pine Bay. There, they planned to start a new life and run an old motel together. The former owner of the motel, Keith Summers, believed that the property was rightfully his, so he raped Norma in her house one night. Norman saved her, but she still killed Summers out of rage. The two covered up Summers' death the best they could, but were still suspected by the town's sheriff, Alex Romero.

Dylan showed up at Norma's doorstep one day, saying that he has no other place to stay. She and Norman were visibly unhappy with Dylan's arrival, and he later blackmailed Norma so he could stay living there.

Later, Zack Shelby, the town's Deputy, stole all evidence of Norma's crime, although Romero was convinced that she is guilty. Shelby revealed his actions to Norma, explaining that he loves her. Norma was warned by Norman that Deputy Shelby is a shady person, but Norma continued to trust him.

Norman told Norma that he broke into Shelby's house and found a slave locked in his basement, but Norma didn't believe him (she checked Shelby's basement and found no proof). Norman eventually freed the slave and proved it to Norma. She refused to turn Shelby in until Keith's belt, which Shelby had stolen in order to clear Norma's name, was retrieved. As a result, Norman and Dylan threw the belt into the bay. Shelby then found Jiao at the motel and turned against Norma, holding the Bates family at gunpoint. He struck her, causing Norman to attack him; Norma and Norman eventually got outside, while Dylan defeated Shelby in a gunfight. Norma then told Dylan how Sam died, as Romero shows up. He learned the full story, but didn't arrest the family.

Later, a mysterious man, Jake Abernathy, tried to enter Room 9 of the motel, and Norma found him. She allowed him to be the motel's first guest as long as he didn't mind the renovation. She hired Norman's friend Emma Decody to work in the motel.

Season 2

​Season 3

​Season 4

​Season 5

Norman keeps Norma's corpse frozen in the basement in order to preserve it. Two years following her death near the end of the fourth season, Norman continues to "stay" with his imaginary figment/split personality "Mother". Norman takes his alter-ego as "Mother" a little step further as he even begins to don a blonde wig when dressing up and impersonating her.


  • In the novel and films, Norman Bates was Norma's only child.  She also had a sister named Emma Spool rather than a brother.
  • The show is set in modern day and retcons much of what was established in the original films. Farmiga's performance differs greatly from Olivia Hussey's in Psycho IV, with her being much more sympathetic and a lot less caustic and spiteful than the original interpretation. She is no less an overbearing mother however and so far is seen to have an unhealthy sexual interest in her son. She also appears to be aware, and more understanding, of Norman's trance-like episodes. In the show, she has another older son with whom she has an antagonistic relationship. This same son is uncomfortably aware of, and openly criticizes, her interactions with Norman.