For the mainstream version, see: Norman Bates

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Norman Bates is the protagonist villain of Bates Motel, a 2013 TV series based on the horror classic Psycho, and he turned into the main villain from Season 4 onwards after he went insane and killed his mother, Norma. His split personality and hallucination "Mother" acts as the big bad and later primary antagonist of the fifth season, as "she" begins to takeover Norman and influence his actions in a bid to keep him to herself.

He is portrayed by Freddie Highmore.


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Psychological description

Norman occasionally goes into a fugue state, during which time he attacks those who threaten Norma. He will then black out and not remember the event. For example, when Sam Bates beat Norma, Norman struck Sam in the head with a blender, but doesn't recall the ordeal. Norma made it look like a freak accident where a shelf fell on Sam. Another example is when Dylan Massett disrespected Norma. Norman tried to bludgeon him, but Dylan punched him. He didn't remember it and Dylan ended up telling him what happened.

In the episode What's Wrong With Norman, while Norman is in bed, he sees a visual and auditory hallucination of Norma advising him to go search for Summers' belt at Deputy Shelby's house. While Norman really believes Norma told him to do so, Norma tells Norman in Trust Me that sometimes he imagines stuff that doesn't actually happen.

In the episode The Man in Number 9, Norman is seen talking to himself as if in a dialogue after an argument with Bradley which is a sign of a psychotic episode. In the episode Midnight, Norman experienced a blackout between the time Miss Watson drove him to her home and he sees her undress herself inside her room and before the time he is running home from the rain. In addition, Norman had possession of Miss Watson's pearls but he doesn't remember acquiring it. All these evidence suggests that Norman is psychotic as he experiences many auditory and visual hallucinations and is unable to recall specific events beyond what is normal forgetfulness. In Norman's case, he does not remember his violent encounters almost immediately after they occur.

In the episode Check-Out, Cody drives Norman to Caleb's motel so they can beat him up. Norman recalls in his mind the time Norma confessed her brother used to force her into sex as a child. Norman then has a visual hallucination of Norma getting raped by Caleb. At the end of the episode, Norman heads to Caleb's place and takes full possession of Norma's character. In his Norma-mode, Norman accuses Caleb of raping him and says, “I was your little sister you should have protected me.” Norman's embodiment of his mother indicates that Norman possibly has Dissociative Identity Disorder as well.


  • Sam Bates (unknowingly): Hit over the head with a blender. (in First You Dream, Then You Die)
  • Blaire Watson (unknowingly): Cut her throat. (in Midnight)
  • Jimmy Brennen (accidental): Pushed down a flight of stairs. (in Plunge)
  • Bradley Martin (unknowingly): Head bashed repeatedly on a rock. (in Unconscious)
  • Audrey Ellis (unknowingly): Strangulation. (in A Danger to Himself and Others)
  • Norma Bates: Carbon monoxide poisoning. (in Forever)
  • Jim Blackwell (unknowingly): Stabbed multiple times. (in Dark Paradise)
  • Sam Loomis: Stabbed repeatedly. (in Marion)
  • Alex Romero: Shot repeatedly (in The Cord)

Possible Killings

  • Gregg Edwards: It is implied that Norman could have killed Dr. Edwards due to the fact that he is missing and presumed dead.


  • This is Freddie Highmore's first villain role, and his performance recieved critical acclaim.
  • Some fans said Freddie Highmore bears physical similiarities with Anthony Perkins, the original player of Norman in 1960 film produced by Alfred Hitchcock.