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Moms are tough.
Nora Estheim is a minor character in Final Fantasy XIII. A resident of Palumpolum, she is Hope Estheim's mother and the wife of Bartholomew Estheim, hoping to repair the fractured relationship between her son and husband.
Nora is Hope's mother.
Worried about the worsening relationship between her son and his father, Nora wonders how to break down the barriers Hope has created. Wanting to protect her boy from the horrors of the Purge, she volunteers to join the battle, but is killed during the chaotic conflict.
Nora begs Snow to get Hope home, but the NORA leader never hears the boy's name before she slips from his grasp.
Nora has green eyes and layered shoulder-length silver hair similar to Hope's. She wears a simple brown necklace under an ivory wraparound sweater with off-shoulder sleeves. Nora wears cream capris and brown wedge sandals.
Nora cares for her son and husband, but is concerned of their relationship growing ever more distant. In Final Fantasy XIII Episode Zero -Promise-, it is said Nora never opposes her husband, and would make excuses for his inability to spend time with her and Hope because of his job. As shown in one of Hope's flashbacks, she has a sense of humor. Nora is protective of Hope, willingly risking her life to ensure his safety.
Who are you calling 'kid'?
After six months of planning, in an effort to heal the rift between Hope and his dad, Nora takes her son on a ten day vacation in the seaside town of Bodhum to see the annual fireworks show. Bartholomew is due to join them but cancels at the last minute because of work. After settling in their hotel, Nora and Hope spend time in the shopping mall. Six days later, they visit Euride Gorge, but with the heavy security and buzz about the incident four days prior, they return to Bodhum in dampened spirits.
During the show two days later, Nora wishes upon the fireworks and asks Hope if he is also making a wish, but he laughs at her sentimentality. When Hope asks what she wished for, she answers she wished for Bartholomew to join them next year. An angered Hope pulls away claiming they are better off without him. Unbeknownst to them, PSICOM discovers the Pulse fal'Cie Anima within the nearby Bodhum Vestige.
The next morning, the Sanctum announces the discovery and Hope and Nora are caught within the town's subsequent quarantine, unable to return home. At the train station, Nora begs with a soldier for Hope to be allowed to return home, willing to stay behind herself, but her pleas fall on deaf ears and the two are forced to spend the night in the barricaded town. In line for the Purge train the following day, Nora and Hope meet Vanille when she bumps into them, and they board the train with her in tow.
I told you, didn't I? Moms are tough.
After entering the Hanging Edge, Lightning and Sazh Katzroy derail their Purge train, and Hope, Nora, and Vanille are among the stranded group found by Snow Villiers and his rebel group NORA. Telling Hope not to worry, Nora chooses to fight alongside Snow against PSICOM. As she and the rebels descend the bridge, Hope, Vanille, and the other Purgees are moved to another location for safety.
The resistance drives off a group of soldiers, but a Havoc Skytank attacks the rebels. Under heavy fire, Snow attempts to grab a dropped rocket launcher but fails. Before the Skytank can fire its main cannon, Nora takes the rocket launcher and downs it, saving Snow's life. As the Skytank descends its main cannon fires, destroying the bridge they are on and gravely injuring Nora.
As everyone on the other side of the destroyed bridge slides off, Snow tries to drag Nora back to safety, but the piece of bridge they're on tilts and they slide down. He grabs hold of Nora's hand and attempts to hang on to the edge. Nora begs Snow to get 'him' home, but before she can reveal her son's identity, she succumbs to her injuries and dies. Snow tries to hold on to Nora's lifeless body, but loses his grip and she plummets into the abyss below with Vanille and Hope watching from afar. Hope blames Snow for what happened, and Nora's death serves as the catalyst for him to accompany Vanille and follow Snow into the Pulse Vestige, and be branded a Pulse l'Cie.
When the remainder of the group splits up in the Vile Peaks, Hope joins Lightning in her vendetta against the Sanctum to grow stronger and eventually face Snow. In the Gapra Whitewood, taking Lightning's advice to form a plan to help him fight, Hope names his plan of revenge after his late mother: 'Operation Nora.' When Lightning tells Hope that Nora wasn't killed by Snow but by the Sanctum, he decides to punish both.
In Palumpolum, Lightning forces Hope to go with Snow and as he runs through the city with Snow, the boy listens to the NORA leader unknowingly insult Nora and the events surrounding her death. Stopping to rest at the Rivera Towers, Hope recalls Nora from his childhood, pushing him to confront Snow and nearly kill him. After Snow apologizes for putting Nora in danger and being unable to save her, Hope realizes he used revenge as a way to cope with her death and give himself a reason to survive, so he puts his mother's death behind him and ends Operation Nora. At Hope's house, he explains to Bartholomew what happened, and though he grieves for Nora, Bartholomew forgives Snow for having fulfilled her dying wish: getting Hope home.
In the six months after the Day of Ragnarok, Cavalry Captain Rygdea summons Bartholomew to a secret meeting in Palumpolum's historic concert hall and shows him an ID card containing internal documents from the Sanctum made by the late PSICOM official Yaag Rosch. As footage of PSICOM carrying out the Purge is projected, Bartholomew imagines the horrors Nora and Hope went through. It is said that Nora had saved Snow's life twice: when she shot down the Havoc Skytank, and when she unknowingly shielded Snow from the explosion that killed her. Bartholomew punishes himself for using work as an excuse to not go to Bodhum with Hope and Nora, for if he had gone, they would have been together during the Purge and he wouldn't have let Nora pick up a gun.
He learns the l'Cie were unknowingly being helped by the fal'Cie who were using them to destroy Cocoon and sacrifice its inhabitants to bring back the Maker. Bartholomew recalls the absurdity of the truth that the fal'Cie the people of Cocoon saw as gods for centuries sought out a god themselves at the cost of innocent lives like Nora. Rygdea reveals his plan of using the Purge footage to expose the truth behind it and everything else that led to Cocoon's fall, so the former Sanctum members will be held responsible. He asks Bartholomew to join the new provisional government and put his influence in the political and business worlds to good use.
As he thinks it over, Bartholomew remembers past words from Nora, when she told him how Hope wrote an essay about wanting to grow up to be a researcher like his father. She said it was proof he was doing a job worthy for Hope to think that way. Nora said that when Hope was older, he would have a father to look up to and be proud of, thus be able to live with his head held high even long after they die.
The memory of Nora's encouragement persuades Bartholomew to accept Rygdea's offer, but he wants to build a public research institute that will publicize its findings without interference from the government, so people's animosity towards Pulse will vanish and nothing like the Purge will happen again. He wishes to form a higher education parallel to the institute for children like Hope, an institute which eventually becomes known as the Academy.
Nora is mentioned by Hope in the Yaschas Massif in 1X AF, when he says he wants to bring Lightning, Vanille, Fang, and his mother back, believing that due to the time distortion he could alter the events before the Day of Ragnarok.
After Lightning defeats Bhunivelze and frees Hope from his control, Nora and Bartholomew's spirits offer him the chance to reunite with them in the new world. Hope chooses to save Lightning from falling into darkness instead, and help her and his friends end Bhunivelze's reign over humanity.
In the follow up novel, Final Fantasy XIII: Reminiscence -tracer of memories-, there is no mention to Hope's parents and he lives alone as a young man.
Creation and developmentEdit
Nao Ikeda's sketch of Nora appears as a trading card.
Nora appears in her sketch made by Nao Ikeda.
Nora appears on a card in the version available via Final Fantasy Portal App.
Nora is an English and Irish feminine personal name that mainly originates as a short form of Honora, a common Anglo-Norman name, derived from the Latin word honor (with that meaning). In other European use the name may also originate as a short form of Eleonora.
Est is Latin for "is". Heim is German for "home".
- Nora's iconic line, "Moms are tough," is quoted by a woman in Final Fantasy Type-0.