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Marvel’s Phase 4 officially finished with The Guardian of the Galaxy Holiday Special and contained an impressive 17 properties, more than any other phase of the MCU. Despite that, my favorite to this day remains the very first Phase 4 property – WandaVision. I absolutely adore the character of Wanda Maximoff and was thrilled to get to watch a TV series dedicated to her.
It was the perfect way to kick off Phase 4 and showcased the kind of chaotic genre-defying excessive that has defined this phase. It was so totally unlike any of the films that came before it, and the TV show structure allowed for so much more nuance and intrigue.
I honestly think that period of waiting each week for the next installment of WandaVision is one of my most memorable Marvel experiences. It felt so novel and exciting, with each episode revealing a new twist in the plot.
But whilst the plot and general format are certainly a strong part of why I loved it so much, it really came down to the characters. WandaVision featured an eclectic cast that each brought something new to the story. One face that appeared repeatedly throughout the show was Norm’s. In this Norm Wanda Vision Guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Norm and his contribution to WandaVision.
All About Norm
Norm’s real name is Abilash Tandon, but inside the hex, Wanda has given him the identity of office worker Norm. He has a light-hearted personality inside the hex but is visibly angry after returning to his normal life. Norm is played by actor Asif Ali.
Who is Norm?
Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? As with most of the Westview residents, the version we see throughout the show isn’t actually their true self. ‘Norm’ is simply a fantasy, cooked up by Wanda to populate her fictional town. Thus, for this section, I’ve split his personality descriptions between two subheadings.
Appearance-wise, Norm is very unassuming. He tends to dress in rather muted colors like beige and saturated navy. We regularly see him wearing a suit, but seeing as that’s for his job, it may not reflect his personal clothing choices. He has a short yet stylish haircut, and he seems to care about looking presentable.
He’s about average height, maybe a little shorter, and he has a friendly face with open body language. His skin has a light-brown complexion.
Inside the Hex
Norm is an employee at Computational Services Inc. where he works alongside Vision. The two form a friendship that extends beyond just the job. At first, Norm assumes that Vision is ‘kind of a square’, but he changes his mind after Vision makes a joke suggesting that Norm is a communist.
Norm has a very laid-back personality, and he listens to music at work. He’s also considerate of those around him, and nearly always is seen with a smile on his face. He befriends pretty much everyone at his job, including Vision.
Norm’s role in Westview seems to be almost like an adult counterpart of the class clown trope. He’s always cracking jokes and lightening the mood. This is presumably a deliberate choice by Wanda, given that she’s framed Westview around the TV shows she used to watch. The fact that Norm was the one she chose to be the comic relief character could suggest that his real personality is similarly funny.
In Real Life
Very little is known about the real Abilash Tandon. We know that he has a sister who he loves, as well as an ailing father. Both times that he was awakened, his comments were about getting back to his family. His connection with them is a key part of his personality.
He understandably holds a grudge against Wanda for what she put him through. At the end of the series, after Wanda has removed the hex, Abilash sees her walking through town. He glares aggressively at her, his hatred abundantly clear. So, whilst he seems to be a deeply caring man in general, he’s also not a pushover.
Norm’s Appearances in WandaVision
Norm has appeared in the following episodes of WandaVision:
- Episode 1 – Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience
- Episode 2 – Don’t Touch That Dial
- Episode 5 – On a Very Special Episode…
- Episode 7 – Breaking the Fourth Wall
- Episode 9 – The Series Finale
Although he doesn’t appear in every episode, he’s still one of the key minor characters. He’s one of the more frequently featured Westview residents and gets a fair amount of screen time.
Norm’s Significance to the Plot
Rather than solely serving the purpose of filling out the residents of Westview, Norm is particularly integral to Vision’s character development. He’s actually the catalyst for Vision starting to learn the truth about Wanda’s hex. After receiving a peculiar email about anomalies (sent by S.W.O.R.D), Vision starts getting suspicious.
To test his theory, Vision touches Norm’s temples, opening up his mind. The change is instantaneous as Norm, (or rather, Abilash), becomes aware. He immediately starts to panic and reveals that he’s trapped, and he begs Vision to “make it stop”. Upon hearing this, Vision withdraws his hands and Norm switches back to his hexed personality, with no memory of the conversation he’s just had.
By this point, Vision has formed a personal connection with Norm, and would consider him a friend as well as a colleague. This additional emotional connection is presumably what spurs him to confront his reality. When Vision gets home, he confronts Wanda, explaining to her that Norm is in pain. When she tries to divert his questions, Vision snaps and shouts “Norm has a family, Wanda!”. This is the first time we see him lose his composure.
The existence of Norm’s family also helps humanize him to us as the audience. We see the fallout of what Wanda is doing, and the real people that she is hurting. The very first thing that Norm does when he becomes aware is to look for his phone so he can call his sister. His father is sick, and he shows great concern for both of them. Inside the hex, Norm is almost a caricature of an average guy. But learning about his family adds new dimensions to his character.
Ultimately, Norm acts as a window for the audience. We see so much of the show through the lens of Wanda and Vision respectively, experiencing Westview through their perspectives. But with Norm, we get to see what it’s like for the actual residents. The lives that Wanda is destroying with her hex. It’s rather emotional to process, and Vision struggles with it, too.
In the end, Wanda herself realizes that she’s gone too far, and ends the hex to free all the people like Norm whose minds she’s enslaved. In doing so, she loses her husband and children, making it an immense sacrifice on her behalf.
Who Plays Norm in WandaVision?
Norm is played by the American actor Asif Ali. Asif is of Indian descent but was raised in America. Born on 27th September 1987, Asif has had many roles throughout his life, although nothing particularly major. His longest run on a TV show was in Wrecked where he appeared in 30 episodes.
- Don’t Worry Darling
- The Good Doctor
- BoJack Horseman
- The Mandalorian
- New Girl
He’s done voice acting work, too, and plays the character of Amit Thakkar in the hugely successful yet controversial video game, Hogwarts Legacy. Asif also provides the voice for Ensign Asif in the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks.
As well as acting, Ali works as a comedian and does regular tours where he showcases his stand-up routines. His style is very light-hearted and self-deprecating, and he tends to avoid dark humor. He also draws from his experiences of having Indian ethnicity, and his jokes always feel very fun and inclusive.
Eagle-eyed MCU fans may recognize Asif Ali from his other Marvel role. Before appearing on WandaVision, Ali was in the popular TV series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He played an employee named Jesse Fletcher who worked at the Cybertek Manufacturing Facility.
Agatha: Coven of Chaos
If you enjoyed WandaVision and are hoping to see more exciting MCU shows, you’re in luck. One of the stand-out stars of WandaVision was Kathryn Hahn who plays the devious Agatha Harkness. She proved to be a fan-favorite, and has been given her own show, Agatha: Coven of Chaos.
Precious little is known about the project, but we do know that it’s set for release in late 2023. There’s no official date as of yet, but it’s expected to arrive in the winter season.
The working title was Agatha: House of Harkness, but that’s been changed to Agatha: Coven of Chaos, which I think sounds much cooler. It also suggests there’ll be a strong focus on witches and magical powers. This was something we got a taste of in WandaVision, so I can’t wait to see more of it.
In terms of the plot, it’s firmly under wraps, and the best that fans can do is to speculate. We know that one of the characters will be Dottie, who was one of the residents trapped in the Westview hex. This suggests that there’s a possibility that at least part of the show will run concurrently with WandaVision, so there could be a chance of Norm making an appearance.
Aside from Kathryn Hahn (Agatha) and Emma Caulfield Ford (Dottie), there are some other confirmed cast members. This includes the quirky actress Aubrey Plaza, and the popular Joe Locke who played Charlie in Heartstopper.
Overall, Norm is a fun and nuanced character, and he’s part of what makes WandaVision so great. I love all the references to TV tropes, and I love the way the story slowly develops over the 9 episodes. Unraveling the mystery bit by bit was a huge reason that WandaVision was so engaging to watch. Norm is a useful vessel through which the audience learns information. He’s also key for Vision’s character development and has some very funny lines.
Hopefully, this guide to Norm from WandaVision has taught you everything that you could possibly hope to know about the character. If you’d like to know more about the other characters in the show, check out this guide! And if you want to take your love of the show one step further by buying some awesome merch, then we’ve got you covered with this WandaVision merch guide!
Question: Does Norm Appear in the Comics?
Answer: The storyline of WandaVision doesn’t occur the same in the comics, however, Scarlet Witch and Vision do have comics together. In one of them, a real estate agent named Norm Webster sells them a house.
Question: Is WandaVision all in Wanda’s Head?
Answer: Not exactly. The town of Westview is under a hex, and it’s an altered reality created by Wanda. Although it can’t exactly be described as ‘real’ seeing as it was created and controlled by Wanda’s powers, it’s also not just in her head.
Question: Is Vision real in WandaVision?
Answer: The premise of WandaVision is that S.W.O.R.D. believes Wanda to have stolen and resurrected Vision’s body. However, it’s revealed that she instead created an entirely new version of Vision. As with her kids, his existence is dependent on being inside the hex.