The Promised Neverland is a gripping manga, anime, and light novel series that tells the story of a group of orphans who appear to be having an excellent upbringing in an idyllic orphanage. The truth behind their situation is much more sinister.
The story follows a group of intelligent orphans- Emma, Ray, and Norman- who begin to realize that not everything is as it seems in their home.
Each character has their own interesting attributes, but the character that we are going to be focusing on is the orphan known as Norman.
We are going to delve into the character of Norman by looking at eight facts about him to find out who he is as a character and how he fits into the grander scheme of things within The Promised Neverland story! Before we begin, let’s take a quick look at the main plot of the series.
The Promised Neverland
The Promised Neverland is a series that is set in the year 2045, in a world where an agreement called “The Promise” was established more than 1000 years ago.
This agreement was made between humans and demons and was intended to end the war between them that had been raging for centuries. In this agreement, humans and demons made the promise to stay within their own worlds.
However, whilst the demons agreed to stay away from the human world, they did not do so without a bargain of sorts. In order to stay away from humanity, the demons would be allowed to set up human breeding farms within their world where they would be able to feast upon the humans that were born and raised within them, specifically so that they could be consumed.
The demons in The Promised Neverland can take on the attributes of the humans that they consume, but without them, they slowly turn into mindless beasts.
To ensure that their minds remain as their own, the demons established a special breeding program in their world where they would be able to harvest humans to eat as part of “The Promise”, with the humans agreeing to these terms as long as the demons no longer terrorize the human world.
This agreement is the absolute definition of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few!
This breeding program was to be established under the ruse of orphanages, where the children would be identified by numbered tattoos and would be monitored and cared for by a human “mother”.
Due to the demons taking on the attributes of the humans that they consume, they want the people that they eat to be the best that they can possibly be, with impressive traits and characteristics.
Because of this, the “mother” of the orphanage raises the children to be as intelligent and well-skilled as possible.
Once the orphans have reached the appropriate intelligence level, – or when they are old enough- they will be sent away to be “adopted”. Of course, this isn’t actually the case. Rather than being adopted, the children would be sent away to be fed to the highest-ranking demons once they have reached a certain level.
Now that we have an idea of the basic setup of The Promised Neverland, let’s get into the character of Norman.
Norman is one of the three major orphan characters in the series- along with Emma and Ray- who has a feeling that not all is as it seems at Grace Field House (the orphanage where they reside with a “mother” figure named Isabella.
Grace Field is just one of the four human harvesting farms set up within the demon world).
Norman is 11 when the series starts- as are Emma and Ray- and he has a striking look thanks to his pale blue eyes, alabaster skin, short, silvery-white hair, and thick white eyebrows. As a character, Norman is gentle and kind, with a level-headed nature.
Despite only being 11 years old, he constantly feels the need to present himself as reliable, level-headed, and capable of creating well-thought-out plans.
His youth doesn’t make him any less of a complex character, with his conflicting stances on issues of morality being a factor that comes into play in the series.
Now that we know who Norman is and how he fits into the plot of The Promised Neverland, let’s go through eight particular facts about Norman and dive into his character as a whole.
Norman is the Most Intelligent of the Three Main Orphans
All three of the main orphans in the series are known to have a high level of intellect, hence why they are able to discern that something is not quite right in their orphanage once they get a little older.
The three of them also consistently achieve the highest scores on the exams that the children in the orphanage have to take daily, with the three of them being referred to as “premium-quality” orphans.
However, Norman’s intelligence excels that of both Emma and Ray. He consistently gets top marks and has never gotten less than 300 in his exams (which is the top level of marks that can be achieved in the tests that are given at Grace Fields).
He has a genius-level of intelligence when it comes to mathematics, able to perform complex mental calculations.
In the manga, he is shown to be able to solve a hugely complex mathematical equation even when half-conscious due to suffering from heatstroke.
When the time comes for Norman to be shipped away to become food for the demons, he is instead taken to a special facility called Lambda, where he is experimented on and tested even more so in an attempt to truly challenge him and measure his intellect.
His intelligence is proven to be unwavering once again, as he aces all the tests that Lambda gives him.
Norman is a Strategic Genius
This point ties into Norman’s intelligence, but his strategic prowess also suggests a high level of logic and understanding of the complexities of strategic planning.
Norman utilizes his expert level of strategic knowledge in both high-risk situations- such as when the orphans begin to plot their escape from the orphanage- as well as more simple, child-like situations, such as when they are playing games like tag or chess.
Norman uses clever tactics in order to succeed with his plans, such as pretending to fall over during a game of tag to make Emma come over to him out of worry.
He does this so that he can tag her easily, showing his keen and cunning mind, even as a child playing playground games. He even outmaneuvers one of the older characters in the series, 26-year-old Sister Krone, who is brought in to help Isabella run the orphanage with the goal of one day becoming a “mother”.
During a game of tag, Sister Korne assumes that Norman will be easy to catch due to this frail physical form. However, Norman uses this opinion of him to his advantage, letting her think this of him and then pulling the rug out from underneath her by successfully outmaneuvering her.
During the series, there is one character (we won’t say who to avoid spoilers!) who plans to betray the orphans, but Norman is the first to correctly identify the traitor despite their betrayal being hidden incredibly well.
He does this by setting up a wide range of clever traps and by also making well-formed, intelligent deductions, proving that he truly has a genius level of intellect. This becomes even more impressive when you consider his young age.
Norman Becomes an Expert War Tactician
As he gets older, Norman decides that his main goal in life is to wipe out the demons completely, so that the humans can live peacefully without the fear of being terrorized by demons.
This is when his skills with planning out war tactics come to the fore. These skills are not that surprising- thanks to his strong intellect and his previously proven strategic abilities-, but that doesn’t make them any less impressive.
When planning his attack on the demons, Norman doesn’t run into his plans with all guns blazing, though, as a fair amount of anime protagonists tend to. Instead, he is very much aware of both his force’s weaknesses and the demon’s weaknesses.
He knows that the demons are weak to a certain kind of poison, which lowers their abilities and makes them devolve. It doesn’t kill them directly, but it does weaken them significantly.
Norman learns how to make this special poison so that it can be used against them in battle. His ability to create this poison is impressive enough as a skill, but it is also an excellent war tactic in the fight against the demons.
As well as this, Norman is also aware of his own flaws, knowing full well that the army that he assembles is nowhere near powerful enough to take on the demons alone.
To increase the human’s chances of winning the fight, he enlists the help of other clans and formulates a plot to wear the demons down little by little rather than attacking them full-on and tiring out his army.
Norman Has the Ability to Learn the Language of Another Species
Once again, tying in with his genius-level intellect, Norman also proves that he can learn another language. This isn’t like learning French or German, though, as Norman teaches himself how to speak the language of the demons from the series.
In the manga, Norman is seen fluently speaking in the language of the demons when he confronts the Queen of the demons, Demon Queen Legravalima.
This comes after Norman spent a year and a half studying them and learning everything that he could to get the upper hand. During this time, he was able to learn to speak the language of the demons flawlessly, as well as understand it too.
A year and a half isn’t a particularly long period of time when it comes to something as complex as learning a language, but Norman makes all of us look like Neanderthals with his quick and efficient language skills!
Not only can he speak and understand the language with no problems at all within that short time frame, but he also learned how to speak and understand a language from a whole other species!
Norman Isn’t Physically Strong, But He Uses it to His Advantage
What Norman has in terms of brains, he lacks in muscles and strength. However, rather than letting this be his weakness, he uses it to his advantage.
This is best seen the moment we mentioned earlier, wherein he tricks Sister Krone into thinking that he will be easy to catch whilst playing tag due to him looking like a weak and fragile child. He doesn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed of her opinion of him.
Instead, he uses her opinion and turns it against her, making her think that he will be an easy target, and then successfully beating her at the game with ease. Norman always plans one step ahead, no matter what kind of game he is playing!
Norman is an Incredible Leader and Teacher
As well as having a genius-level intellect and cunning strategy skills, Norman is also an excellent leader who is able to rally people to him with ease thanks to his likable personality, his trustworthy nature, his intelligence, and his ability to teach his peers.
When the children make their plan to escape, Norman trains them in his escape tactics, but he also helps them to improve their logical thinking skills. His leader-like nature also helps the group act collectively as a team.
Norman even adapts a different alias- that of William Minerva- so that he can become a liberator and a leader for all the children that are being kept in the harvesting orphanages across the demon world.
Norman is a Team Player as well as a Leader
Despite these strong leadership skills, Norman is still very much a team player and displays no arrogance or ego either when he is leading or when he is part of a larger team.
Even though he might disagree with his teammates, he will still be open to suggestions from the rest of the team. He even goes against his own ideas at times, especially when it comes to the ideas of his best friend Emma.
He will sometimes disagree with Emma, but he always gives her the benefit of the doubt, trusting her implicitly.
Furthermore, he is very much a listener who will take on all opinions from his team before he acts, proving to be both a well-rounded leader and a loyal team player to his fellow orphans.
Norman Favors Logic Over Morality
Despite all the boons that his intelligence and strategic prowess offer, Norman sometimes tends to favor logic over the concept of morality. This comes about most often with his disagreements with Emma, who is a very moralistic person.
For example, when Emma, Ray, and Norman first decide that they are going to try and escape from Grace Fields, Emma is determined to save every single child from the orphanage and leave no one behind.
Norman considers this situation in a more logical manner- without letting his emotions get the better of him- and tells Emma that they should only save some of the children, as it would be far too risky to get everyone out of the orphanage.
He eventually gives in to Emma’s wishes to make the effort to save all of the children rather than a select few.
Norman’s morality also comes into question when- after taking on the mantle of William Minerva- he goes into hiding and infiltrates the demon nobility.
He manipulates the demons from within whilst in disguise, making them fight amongst each other to make them believe that their human harvesting farms were being destroyed by one another.
The truth behind the destruction of the farms comes down to Norman himself, who has been liberating the children of the farms- alongside his team of already freed children- and destroying them in the process.
His manipulation and lies were done with the intent of causing infighting within the demons, and Norman certainly succeeded on that level.
Whilst it could be argued that the demons are the antagonists of the series and therefore their suffering doesn’t amount to much in terms of emotional turmoil, there is no doubting that Norman’s trickery lacks at least a little morality.
Even Emma had objections to the way that Norman went about this deception, though she did eventually agree that this method of fighting the demons was the safest way to do it and had the highest chance of success.
Norman’s ability to be deceptive and manipulative against the demons once again proves his intelligence and strategic prowess, but it also shows that he does have a manipulative side and harbors some questionable morals.
So there you have eight facts about Norman from The Promised Neverland!
One thing that can be certain when it comes to Norman as a character is his intelligence, his leadership skills and his ability to covertly infiltrate the demons of the series proves that despite his young age, he is a force to be reckoned with.