Norma Romano was a former inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary. She is portrayed by Annie Golden. She serves as a recurring character throughout the series, but is somewhat of an anti-villain in Season 3.
Norma is a partial mute because of her severe stutter. She is quite introverted and doesn't speak with fellow inmates - the only time her voice is heard aloud is singing for a Christmas play song at the end of season one and comforting Soso after Poussey's death as well as her flashback episode "Tongue-Tied" (even then her only words are "My" and "Son of a bitch"). She uses her notepad to talk with others at Litchfield. She is quick to help others, and is happy to help in the prison kitchen. Norma's a dedicated and loyal friend to Red, even helping her to shave her legs. She has an irrational fear of the spin cycle.
Physical Appearance Edit
Norma's straight strawberry blonde hair is usually in a bun or ponytail with bangs. She has big, kind brown eyes, small lips, and does not wear any make-up.
Before Litchfield Edit
For a list of episodes featuring Norma's flashbacks, see here.
In 1975, Norma married a spiritual guru named Guru Mack who she met at one of his transformation workshops. Mack claimed that he could feel connected to her and understand her, even though she could not speak to him due to her insecurities regarding her severe stutter. Sometime later, she was among many other women who married him on the same day and joined his polygamous cult.
Years later, it was only her left with Guru Mack, who faced federal charges for forcing women into his cult. He acknowledges that he was a fraud and a false prophet, saying that she wasted her life. After he mocked and screamed at her, she pushed him off of a cliff. After he fell to his death, she brokenly shouted "son of a bitch" and cried. Other than the Christmas pageant in season one and after Poussey's death, when she is comforting Brook, it is the only time we hear her speak. (Tongue-Tied)
Arrival at Litchfield Edit
Norma begins working in the kitchen at some point after arriving at Litchfield. When Red later also arrives at Litchfield, she begins working in the kitchen as well and the two become friends ("Moscow Mule").
Norma is introduced as one of Red's most loyal friends at Litchfield and an important part of her prison family, dating back to Red's arrival in the prison. She is known as the "quiet one that works in the kitchen," but she does not have a labeled nickname. Though Norma does not speak throughout the whole season, some inmates enjoy her companionship. During the Christmas play in the season's finale, when Suzanne froze, Norma sang the lyrics instead, revealing a stutter-free and sweet, high pitched singing voice.
Norma takes Gina's side after she is burned indirectly by Red. Eventually, Red apologizes to Norma and Gina, and they accept her apology.
Norma accidentally creates a religion due to her perceived abilities. She follows in Gloria Mendoza's footsteps by offering spiritual guidance to people and using calming techniques she's learned from Guru Mack. She gains a huge following and becomes a figurehead.
Norma is seen sitting with Red and Piper, Piper mentions how it felt good to finally be sophisticated and "sit at the big girls' table". She mentions how only her and Red sit at the table, offended, Norma drums her fingers on the table to get Piper's attention.
Norma hides in the TV room when rumors circulate that a guard was carrying a gun and had shot someone in prison despite it actually being Dayanara, who is currently carrying Humphrey's gun. As Lee observes her and the inmates lying on the floor of the room because the prison alarm is ringing everywhere, he states that he will protect them. Nicky and Lorna enter the room trying to steal Lee's keys and announce that he is under arrest by them and that they are under control. Norma, Anita and Weeping Woman get up and immediately attack Lee and capture him, taking him to the Spanish Harlem, where the guards are being held hostage.
Norma is not seen until the second day of riot when she, Gina, Yoga, Anita, and Gloria receive a letter from Frieda informing the way to their secret bunker, where they spent the rest of the afternoon and evening smoking and drinking, until Gloria leaves because of problems with her son. When playing cards, the women hear Piper's cries and discover that Piscatella is torturing Red and other inmates. Gina lures Piscatella to the bunker and they capture him. Norma ties a cloth to Red's head, covering her hair scalped by Piscatella.
When SWAT invaded the prison to capture all the inmates, Norma, Gina, Anita and Yoga left the bunker to surrender peacefully, in fear of retaliation, for having Piscatella trapped in the pool. They are the first inmates to be evacuated from prison and at night, Norma is last seen walking worriedly, toward the bus, destination unknown.
She is not seen in season 6, as she was transferred to an unknown prison.
- Red - Through flashbacks it is revealed she is one of Red's oldest friends in the prison, and the only one to stick with her (unlike Vee). When Gina is burned during Red's attempt to retake the kitchen, Norma is furious and angrily leaves Red's inner circle and doesn't rejoin it until Red apologizes to Gina. Red credits Norma as being her best friend and the only one willing to listen to her.
- Gina - They appear to be close friends. Both working in the kitchen, Norma and Gina worked closely together and are the only ones allowed to stay on after Red loses the kitchen to Gloria. However, when Gina is burnt because of Red, Norma sides with Gina and is shown to spend more time with Gina as she recovers from the burns.
- Gloria - Gloria allows Norma to work in the kitchen even after Red is kicked out. Norma and Gloria work together for a long time, Norma proving herself to be one of her more efficient workers. Norma often helps Gloria with Santeria spells. When Norma begins stealing from the kitchen to do her own Santeria spells without Gloria, Gloria grows angry, takes the stuff back and reminds her that it's not her history or her culture.
- Piper - Piper is shown to be a semi-close friend to Norma, although the two rarely speak
- Alex Vause
- Brook Soso
- Anita DeMarco
- Nicky Nichols
- Frieda Berlin
Followers ("Cult" Members)Edit
- Mack Romano (husband, deceased)
Memorable Quotes Edit
- — Norma
- "Son of a bitch!"
- — Norma
|Orange Is the New Black: Season One|
|"I Wasn't Ready":||"Tit Punch":||"Lesbian Request Denied":||"Imaginary Enemies":||"The Chickening":||"WAC Pack":||"Blood Donut":|
|"Moscow Mule":||"Fucksgiving":||"Bora Bora Bora":||"Tall Men with Feelings":||"Fool Me Once":||"Can't Fix Crazy":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Two|
|"Thirsty Bird":||"Looks Blue, Tastes Red":||"Hugs Can Be Deceiving":||"A Whole Other Hole":||"Low Self Esteem City":||"You Also Have a Pizza":||"Comic Sans":|
|"Appropriately Sized Pots":||"40 Oz. of Furlough":||"Little Mustachioed Shit":||"Take a Break From Your Values":||"It Was the Change":||"We Have Manners. We're Polite.":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Three|
|"Mother's Day":||"Bed Bugs and Beyond":||"Empathy Is a Boner Killer":||"Finger in the Dyke":||"Fake It Till You Fake It Some More":||"Ching Chong Chang":||"Tongue-Tied":|
|"Fear, and Other Smells":||"Where My Dreidel At":||"A Tittin' and a Hairin'":||"We Can Be Heroes":||"Don't Make Me Come Back There":||"Trust No Bitch":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Four|
|"Work That Body for Me":||"Power Suit":||"(Don't) Say Anything":||"Doctor Psycho":||"We'll Always Have Baltimore":||"Piece of Shit":||"It Sounded Nicer in My Head":|
|"Friends in Low Places":||"Turn Table Turn":||"Bunny, Skull, Bunny, Skull":||"People Persons":||"The Animals":||"Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Five|
|"Riot FOMO":||"Fuck, Marry, Frieda":||"Pissters!":||"Litchfield's Got Talent":||"Sing It, White Effie":||"Flaming Hot Cheetos, Literally":||"Full Bush, Half Snickers":|
|"Tied to the Tracks":||"The Tightening":||"The Reverse Midas Touch":||"Breaking the Fiberboard Ceiling":||"Tattoo You":||"Storm-y Weather":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Seven|
|"Beginning of the End":||"Just Desserts":||"And Brown Is the New Orange":||"How to Do Life":||"Minority Deport":||"Trapped in an Elevator":||"Me as Well":|
|"Baker's Dozen":||"The Hidey Hole":||"The Thirteenth":||"God Bless America":||"The Big House":||"Here's Where We Get Off":|