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Who's Eywa? Only their deity! Their goddess, made up of all living things. Everything they know! You'd know this if you had any training whatsoever.
Norm appalled by Jake's lack of Pandoran knowledge.

Dr. Norm Spellman is an anthropologist, xenolinguist and xenobotanist on Pandora, as well as one of the 20 original avatar drivers.

Norm arrived on Pandora in 2154 on the same day as Jake Sully, with whom he worked closely and befriended. With the growing conflict between the Na'vi and the RDA, Norm sided with the Na'vi. During the Battle of Ayram Alusìng, his avatar was injured but survived.

After the battle, Norm was one of the humans allowed to remain on Pandora. Following Dr. Grace Augustine's death, he became the new head of the Avatar Program, albeit as a renegade of the RDA.[1] He lived with the rest of the scientists at Hell's Gate for 15 years, but upon the return of the RDA, he moved with the others to the Omatikaya clan at High Camp in the Hallelujah Mountains.

At an unknown point in time, Norm became a member of the Pandoran Research Foundation.


Early life[]

Norm was born and raised on Earth and trained as a scientist in various fields: anthropology, linguistics, botany, zoology and geology.[2] Aside from this, nothing is known of his life before he joined the Avatar Program, other than that he was a friend of the late Tom Sully and that Norm was a great fan of Grace Augustine's work, being an avid reader of her books such as Pandoran Botany. To Norm, Grace was a brilliant role model and even a hero, as her works provided Pandoran cures for Earth diseases.

Much of Norm's life simply revolved around preparing to be approved to fly to Pandora. He was an excellent student and his hard work approved him to be accepted into the Avatar Program.

Before his first assignment on Pandora, he claimed to have studied the Na'vi language for five years, and had logged 520 hours of simulation time in preparation for linking with his avatar.

Arriving on Pandora[]

Jake Sully and Norm Spellman meet

Norm introducing himself to Jake

Norm, being a friend of the late Tom Sully, immediately introduced himself to Jake Sully, Tom's brother. Norm remarked how physically similar Jake was to Tom. The two met Dr. Max Patel and experienced their avatar their together. Norm also met his role model Grace Augustine, and she was impressed by Norm's fluency in the Na'vi language, although mentioned he came off a bit too formal. On the day Jake and Norm entered their avatars, Norm was concerned and put off by Jake's restless attitude, having ran away from the scientists who tried to sedate him.

The Three Months[]

Norm and Grace as Avatars

Grace and Norm studying plants in their respective avatar forms

One day, Jake, Grace and Norm went on an expedition to collect flora samples, and Grace also showed the two men the old schoolhouse she used to work at. Grace was amused when Norm accidentally contaminated one of her samples when his saliva fell on it. Norm and Grace accidentally lost contact with Jake.

Though Norm and Jake later became close friends, Norm originally was somewhat secretly envious of Jake, who, after becoming lost in the forest, was adopted by the Omatikaya clan of the Na'vi. Enjoying the contact this tutelage brought with the clan, Norm put aside his jealousy and acted as Jake's tutor (along with Dr. Grace Augustine and Neytiri) in the Na'vi culture, teaching him what Seeing and Eywa meant.

During his time on Pandora, Norm gradually fell in love with pilot Trudy Chacón. Their relationship became closer and the two become lovers.[3]

Destruction of the Hometree[]

RDA Security Prison Cell

Norm, Jake and Grace imprisoned.

Norm watched the scene from the main link center in Hell's Gate. When Parker Selfridge ordered the cutting of Jake and Grace's psionic links, he tried in vain to stop security from doing so, only to find himself imprisoned along with Jake and Grace in the station brig where they were rescued by Trudy and Max.

The team flew to the Hallelujah Mountains to pick up one of the two link unit containers. In his avatar form, Norm helped tie the container to Trudy's Samson 16 and was supervising the transport to the Tree of Souls from on top of the structure while Jake and Grace were inside.

Battle of Ayram Alusìng[]


Norm, fighting with the Na'vi

In the massive battle for Pandora, Norm fought alongside Jake and the Na'vi against the RDA. While Jake led the air assault, Norm rode alongside the Na'vi cavalry, even killing a few RDA troopers. As the unarmored Na'vi were cut down by the RDA troops, his avatar was shot in the left shoulder, causing the neural link to be severed. Back in his undamaged human body, suffering from shock but determined to help, he recovered enough to arm himself with a Combat Shotgun and don an exopack to rejoin the fray. Norm located his avatar and saved it during the battle by applying trauma medicine before it bled out.[4] When the RDA was driven from Pandora following the battle, he was one of the humans allowed to stay.

After the battle (Avatar: The Next Shadow)[]

Katherine and Norm talk

Katherine Hale tries to get Norm to convince Jake to give Hell's Gate leeway.

Two weeks after the war with the Na'vi, Norm became Jake's primary contact at Hell's Gate, informing him of the status of the base and the people there. Norm informed Jake of the upcoming conflict between Ka'ani and Katherine Hale, after which he went to deal with the situation. Norm met with Hale on his run to confess about the reason for the upcoming skirmish with the Omatikaya, and she persuades him to talk to Jake, because the situation at the base is critical and Norm is the only one Jake is listening to.

During Jake's fight with Arvok, Norm was present and asked Jake to be careful, but he ignored the warning. After Jake was poisoned, Norm contacted Hale and asked him to bring Max Patel, later protecting Jake's body from Ateyo and Artsut. He was there when Jake finally woke up, and he was obviously glad that he was saved by the antidote they gave him.

The Conflict in Outer Space (Avatar: The High Ground)[]

Norm with Na'vi children and humans

Norm with children

Norm's avatar healed, and he himself became very close to the Omatikaya clan, who admitted him into their (temporary) village. In addition to him, other people left behind in Hell's Gate and their children also found a place among the Na'vi. He attended tribal parties where Norm played the violin. He also had an excellent relationship with the Na'vi children, including those of Jake and Neytiri. He seems to have become a fatherly figure to some children, even being called "daddy" by one. It is said Norm has a family,[5] but it is unclear who is considered as being in it.

Fourteen years after the humans were banished from Pandora, the Omatikaya clan found a new Hometree for themselves. Despite the many years that had passed, Jake was haunted by the vision of his reinvasion, a fear Norm understood better than Jake's family. He advised his friend not to hide this fact from the Omatikaya and alert them to the possible return of humans.

Norm in space

Norm helping Akwey and Neteyam in outer space

After Frances Ardmore announced the RDA's return to Pandora, Norm agreed to help the Na'vi with their plan to fight them in outer space on the Interstellar Vehicle Venture Star. Norm assists Jake as a coordinator. When Jake and Neytiri meet with Ardmore and fail to take over the bridge, Norm orders all of their teams to head to the docking bridge. Using heavy guns, Norm and Akwey pierce the windows of the RDA's shuttle. Norm then realizes a group of Skels inbound. Although Jake orders Norm to take Neteyam and flee to Wu Mingxia's shuttle, Norm initially refuses to leave Jake behind but then agrees. When the Na'vi's mission fails and Josh Winslow is killed, everyone heads to the extraction point. Neteyam refuses to leave his parents behind, so Akwey and Norm follow the Na'vi boy. When Jake and Neytiri finally escape out the ship, Mingxia's shuttle arrives for the group and they re-enter Pandora's atmosphere.

Norm gun

Norm uses a MBS-9M Hydra to kill an RDA pilot

Back on Pandora, Norm offers to get Jake a Samson, to which Jake declines. However, Norm is soon irritated when Neteyam follows his parents on a banshee, commenting, "This is exactly how shit gets screwed up!" Knowing a tough fight is ahead, Norm goes to retrieve his avatar. The Sully family flees into the forest and Norm provides covering fire. The family crash lands into the ocean on Mingxia's ship. The family, Spider and Ming are rescued by Norm in a Samson after they activate an emergency beacon.

Helping the Sully family (Avatar: The Way of Water)[]

I'm right here

Norm teasing Spider at High Camp

During the Omatikaya clan guerilla war against the RDA's new city Bridgehead, Norm participated in his avatar in a raid on a RDA Mag-Lev Train. Once the rail of the train was destroyed, spilling its cargo, Norm coordinated with the Na'vi warriors in salvaging weapons, ammunition and supplies. Later Norm, in his human form, and Max Patel were present when the Sully children visited Grace's avatar at High Camp.

When Jake and his family migrated to Awa'atlu, the main Metkayina Clan village, Norm remained in the Hallelujah Mountains, but he and Jake kept in touch. Jake had brought telecommunications devices, allowing him to contact Norm when necessary. When Kiri suffered a seizure and fell into a coma after interfacing with the Spirit Tree, Norm entered his avatar and flew all the way to the Metkayina clan in a Samson loaded with medical technology to help her.

Norm arrives

Norm called to Awa'atlu to treat Kiri

However, neither he nor Max could determine what was wrong, prompting Neytiri to plead with Ronal to save her daughter, who then dismissed the scientists to let her work. When Norm learned about Kiri's religious epiphanies from Jake, he told Jake that her claims of feeling Eywa were the symptoms of someone suffering from epilepsy and plugging into the Spirit Tree underwater becoming a trigger to her. He along with Max warned Jake that if Kiri tried to connect with the Spirit Tree again underwater, it could potentially kill her.

Personality and traits[]

Norm first trip in the forest

Norm exploring Pandora

As a scientist, Norm was fascinated by Pandora and its environment. He was friendly and got along with most people. He was a friend of Jake Sully's deceased twin brother, Tom, and also befriended Jake. However, due to Jake's ignorance of Pandora and its inhabitants, Norm sometimes thought of him as a "Skxawng" (moron). Norm was initially envious of Jake after the latter's acceptance into the Omatikaya clan, but when he helped Jake learn the Na'vi way of life, their friendship solidified and he got over his envy.

When they first arrived on Pandora, Norm possessed a considerably greater knowledge of the moon and its inhabitants than Jake. Having been through avatar training for five years, he was skilled at speaking the Na'vi language, although his use of the language was rather formal. He was also incredulous when Jake asked who Eywa was.

Norm riding direhorse in battle

Norm showing his brave side

Though Norm usually has a friendly and non-threatening personality, he did attempt - unsuccessfully - to violently stop a soldier who tried to sever the link to Jake's avatar following the destruction of the Hometree. Later, he bravely fought against the RDA along with Jake and the Na'vi, and even though his avatar was shot down, he was determined to keep fighting in his human form. He also killed at least a few soldiers during the battle.

Norm remains loyal to Jake and has shown a lot of courage, such as when he did not surrender to the RDA upon their return. He has also developed a nurturing side as well, being a father-like figure to many Na'vi children, and trying to ensure a young Spider did not go into the wilderness without a spare exopack.



Norm riding a banshee

During the Battle of Ayram Alusìng, Norm wielded a rifle, although it is unknown how skilled he was at using military weaponry. He also appeared to be skilled at riding a direhorse. Norm had commendable knowledge of the Na'vi language and shared his knowledge with both Grace and Jake.

In Avatar: The Way of Water when Norm returns to High Camp it is shown that he now has his own banshee.


Avatar: Pandora Rising[]


Norm in Avatar: Pandora Rising

Norm Spellman is a Xenoanthropologist who is Dr. Grace Augustine's right hand in the Avatar Program on Pandora. With a quick wit and an equally quick mind, Norm is able to assess his Pandoran surroundings and catalog, note, and recall the various biological uses for a nearly exhaustive array of Pandoran flora. Whether it's a plant that can be used to create to create AMP Suit biofuel or a knobby and gnarled root that contains particular sap to salve and heal burns and wounds, Norm, after his years and years of study, is able to use the beautiful and alien world around him to his, and to Jake and the Na'vi's, advantage.



Norm seen in Avatar: The Exhibition

Jake in Norm outfit

Jake wearing Norm's outfit

  • It is unclear if his first name is actually Norman, or where a source for this can be found. However, he is at least called Norman in the French dub of the first film.
  • He was originally named Norm Cheeseman in Project 880. His role in the plot was much less significant. He was just another cameraman who trained under Josh Sully and participated in the Avatar Rebellion; in particular, it was he who smashed through the window of the operations center.
  • In a deleted scene, Norm vents at Jake because Norm himself trained three years and had to learn an entire language, while Jake quickly becomes the Na'vi's cultural ambassador. Grace defends Jake, saying some things just happen out of their control.
  • In a deleted scene, after Norm is shot in the shoulder during the final battle, Lyle Wainfleet appears in an AMP suit and kills his avatar with a few shots to the chest. This is non-canon as his avatar is alive in The Way of Water.
  • Norm's avatar wore a hat that has "Number 1969" (the year of the first moon landing) written on it in Braille. This was only seen during his avatar's first outing, excluding his first link.
  • For Avatar: The Exhibition, Norm is one of the members of the Pandoran Research Foundation. He has recorded various reports that can be heard while visiting the exhibit.
  • Norm appears briefly in Avatar: Tsu'tey's Path, in the Tree of Souls, after the consciousness transfer failed to save Grace.
  • Avatar fans are known to refer to Norm as the CEO of Sex, a living god, or god of sex due to what he says in deleted scenes, as well as having sex with Trudy in a deleted scene.[6][7]
  • Norm's outfit was modeled in Avatar: Reckoning for unknown reasons.

Memorable Quotes[]

  • Hey, how you doing? Norm. Avatar driver. - introducing himself to a female scientist
  • No, looks like you. This is your avatar now, Jake. - Norm telling Jake about his avatar body
  • I am a living god. - in his avatar to Jake in a deleted scene
  • You can't interrupt a link in progress! It's very dangerous! - Norm yelling at Quaritch when he ransacks Site 26 and forces Jake and Grace out of their avatars
  • Jake, you copy? We're falling back! We're getting hammered! - Norm to Jake during the assault on the Tree of Souls
  • That is classic frontal lobe epilepsy. Yep, you see visions, you get states of religious ecstasy like the kind she's describing. - on Kiri's condition


(2 films)

(1 game)

(3 comics)


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