Who Is Nora Fries On 'Gotham'? Season 2 May Kick Off With A Very Sympathetic Villain
Gotham's long anticipated return from winter hiatus on Feb. 29 will begin by adding another famous comic book villain for Detective Jim Gordon to fight — Dr. Victor Fries, also known as Mr. Freeze (yes, the same guy Arnold Schwarzenegger played in Batman & Robin). When Season 2 picks back up, we'll also meet Nora Fries on Gotham, Victor's wife, who is played by Kristen Hager and a crucial part of the supervillain's mythology. It's important that Nora is included in the prequel version of Mr. Freeze, since she's the motivation behind his research and his descent into villainy. In DC Comics, Nora is suffering from a chronic and fatal health condition. Her husband, who is a scientist, cryogenically freezes her in hopes of stopping the progression of the disease in order to search for a cure.
That makes Victor Fries one of the more sympathetic villains in the Batman franchise, since he's motivated by the altruistic desire to save his wife, but winds up exposing himself to his technology so that he must remain at sub-zero temperatures . Since he's constantly on the search for a cure to Nora's disease but forced to resort to crime, he's almost like a tragic hero.
Batman: The Animated Series also sympathetically portrayed Fries as a loving scientist husband just trying to protect Nora... and even though he winds up in a jail cell at the end of an episode, even Batman himself seems moved by Victor's love. You can see part of that story in the clip below.
Obviously, this wouldn't be a tragic love story if Fries was able to successfully complete his experiments, save his wife, and cure her illness, so I'm afraid something bad will probably happen to Nora and Victor by the time their Gotham story comes to an end.
In the comics, Nora eventually becomes the villain Lazara after Victor attempts to thaw his frozen love by using the Lazarus Pit, and she gets the power to reanimate the dead and control flames. So far, the supernatural aspects of the Batman backstory haven't made it onto Gotham, but since there is a lot of experimentation being done on villains, maybe Nora could be one of Indian Hill's subjects and wind up with similar powers.
Whether Nora Fries becomes the source of her husband's tragic backstory, frozen in a giant cryogenic chamber, or a vigilante with her own powers (which include zombie-creating abilities!), she could be part of one of Gotham's most sympathetic portrayals of a villain yet. Either way, Nora Fries is going to be very important to the second half of Season 2.