Norma Romano: The MOST Underrated Character in Orange is the New Black

Pause. Don’t make that face. Y’all probably reading my title like really, out of everybody, Norma? Yes!


(Spoiler alerts if you’ve never watched the show). (And shame on you if you haven’t).

Here’s why. From my understanding, acting is not an occupation that just any old Joe can do. (Shout out to Joe Caputo). It is a performance. Acting requires hours of hard work and dedication. In a sense, you leave who you are as a person, to portray the essence of said character. And sweetie, Norma is giving it to y’all straight, and WITHOUT talking. Talk about a standing ovation.


Norma, played by actress Annie Golden, is a mute inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary. She landed herself behind bars for… gasp…. killing her cult-leading husband. I won’t say much you guys, but it’s a juicy storyline. I’m just here to give a little background.

Norma struggles with a substandard speech impediment. She stutters so badly, that as a teen she stopped talking altogether. Strangely, she sometimes finds her words through singing. Quite beautifully, might I also add. And even in her piercing silence, she still remains one of the most vocal characters. Norma displays her emotions directly through her facial expressions and her body language, and you feel each emotion with her.

For my OITNB super fans, remember in Season 3 when Norma had the other inmates literally worshipping her? (Definitely a page from her late husband’s book). She led her prison cult without uttering a mumbling word. Her influence stretched so far that her followers thought they saw her face in a piece of toast. And y’all… THEY STARTED WORSHIPPING THE TOAST TOO! Under the sound of her silent voice.

Via Fandom

Ms. Norma Romano is that girl, period. She is the epitome of talent. With her non-existent voice, she led many. She was a friend to some, and an inspiration to others. A true pioneer.

Come on, friends. Let us give Norma her flowers while she is still here.