Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Heart Ripped Out
Roman Godfrey was half human, half Upir, and one of two surviving children of Olivia Godfrey and J.R. Godfrey. He was from and resided in the supernatural-esque town of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania in the Godfrey estate with his mother Olivia with whom he had a volatile relationship and younger sister Shelley Godfrey of whom he was very protective and loved dearly. Roman was best friends with Peter Rumancek, whom he first met in episode one. They had a close relationship. He was also very close with his cousin Letha Godfrey. At one point, he was mesmerised by Olivia and forced to rape Letha resulting in the birth of Nadia in the episode Birth.
Roman was the eldest living child and only son of Olivia and J.R. Godfrey. His parentage, however, has come into question since Olivia was having an ongoing affair with J.R.'s brother Norman Godfrey at the time of his conception. Norman is Roman's biological father. He was born with a caul (a skin membrane covering the head and face), a fact in which Olivia took great pride.
In Roman mythology, the caul indicates that the child would be destined for greatness, which Olivia firmly believed. It is easy to see how much his mother believes in this: after removing the caul, Olivia later eats it. When Roman was just a child, he found his father dead on the living room floor and discovers that he had committed suicide. He later tells Peter that his firsts thought was that he believed his father would get into a lot of trouble for making such a mess.
Throughout The SeriesEdit
Outwardly, Roman personifies the stereotypical "rich boy" who shrouds his insecurities with his wealth, sex, and drugs but looks awful good while doing it. As the show progresses, Roman is revealed to be sensitive, as seen in how he cares for Shelley, and lonesome in nature, as seen in how he adheres to his first friend Peter. He is loyal and kind to Peter, as well as his cousin Letha, and his younger sister Shelley, and exhibits a genuine desire to be a good person, but mostly to be seen, throughout the series. He has performed multiple heroic acts, such as battling the vargulf alone after Peter is seemingly killed, as well as protecting Shelley from school bullies and saving Peter from murderous vigilantes. In season 2, he helps Peter save the life of at least one child. He showed his more evil nature in season 1 when he raped a girl during a psychological break/drug overdose. He also seemingly killed his mother by ripping out her tongue, but that was mainly to protect his baby, Nadia, whom Olivia was threatening. Throughout season 2, Roman goes to great lengths to keep Nadia safe. Overall, Roman is a conflicted and severely troubled but benevolent character. Arguably, his biggest fault is self-loathing for being upir and the mistakes he makes on account of allowing the upir nature override his better judgment. In season 3, he leads a conflicted life, continuing to try to care for and help those he loves by trying to care for Shelley however she'll let him, and conducting a relentless, obsessive search for Nadia and Miranda, which eventually leads to the extermination of Spyvak's monsters and rescue of Nadia. When Pryce is forced to flush his humane food supply by Olivia, Roman tries hard initially to avoid hunting or feeding off the living. He also tries to help Peter in a cover-up to protect Peter's cousin Destiny, ultimately leading to the demise of all three characters. Unfortunately, at this same time he's succumbing to his more monstrous side progressively throughout season 3 - some examples of this are knowingly feeding on and killing a prostitute, knowingly having violently angry and incestuous (though consensual) sex with his half-sister Annie (Magdalena), choosing to snap Destiny Rumancek's neck during a physical fight (which Destiny starts on account of Peter's lies) rather than attempting to save her instead, and then lying to Peter about it, causing him to later attempt to kill his best friend in self-defense. Overall, Roman is his own worst enemy as he struggles to hold onto his humanity and kindness, but he often finds himself giving in to his inner monster by choosing to be more vicious and cruel as a means to an end. His want to do the right thing always turns into an act of evil, such as his want to save Nadia becoming about destroying Spivak, to the point where he almost forgot about his daughter. He also began to treat Shelley as Olivia did, yelling at her and even calling her ugly in his blind rage. His anger continued to control him afterwards, causing him to yell at and then punch Destiny, breaking her neck and giving her severe haemorrhaging. His cruel nature made him act much like his mother, with him becoming more hostile towards others, even Shelley, as well as killing Destiny and manipulating Peter into killing others. He felt distraught at what he had become and what he had done but believed he was to far gone to stop and did not make an effort to save himself, struggling with hating his evil self and embracing it.
Roman is tall, attractive, and fairly well built with lean muscles. His skin is pale; he has full, lush lips and dirty blonde hair that sometimes appears browner. His eyes are a green/hazel color. He is always clean shaven and very well dressed at all times embodying his wealthy persona.
In the first Season, his hair is often unkempt and pushed back all the time. At times, he sports cuts on his face from drug-induced self-harm. His clothes are also mostly lazy/casually styled as well.
In the second Season, Roman's hair is very well kept and usually slicked back formally. He's seen wearing more suits and less casual clothing, as he's taken his spot within the corporate world.
In the third and final season, Roman still wears the corporate suit attire featuring some lighter colored shirts and ties with his dark suits when he's at work in The White Tower. On his own time, his clothing is very dark in color and casual; simple yet undoubtedly expensive. He is still always clean shaven and appears well groomed. His hair is the one significant difference to his appearance as it is now worn loose frequently and has grown longer, often falling across his forehead into his eyes.
When revealing his upir nature, either when he is overcome with aggressive instinct or hunger or if he wills it, his inhumanly flexible jaws and mouth will stretch and grow until his bite can engulf the entire throat of a victim.
- Peter Rumancek: Peter is Roman's first real friend. Their relationship is strained given their mothers' dislike for each other, but they grow to become best friends. He reaches out to Peter to bring out a good side in him that is apparently hidden. Peter and Roman are later shown to be distantly related. They share the same dreams and care deeply for the same women (Letha and Shelly). They are related through Olivia; her bastard child Magdalena is likely the grandmother or great-grandmother of Peter's grandfather Nicolae, and thus Olivia is Peter's great-great-great-great-grandmother - as well as Roman's mother. After Letha's death in childbirth, Peter leaves Hemlock Grove with his mother at the one time Roman needs him most. Roman is deeply hurt and angry at him for this. After Peter's return in season two, they mend their wounds and over time, the broken relationship builds back up. However, the two find themselves at odds again in season three after Peter gets tangled up in gypsy gang activity that results in his cousin Destiny's death at Roman's hands. Peter, convinced that Roman is now too much a monster to live, avenges her death by killing Roman and turns himself into a vargulf in the process. Roman, in his final moments, is distraught realizing that they are now both the monsters they struggled not to become.
- Shelley Godfrey: One of Roman's greatest redeeming qualities. He is incredibly protective of Shelley, at the cost of confronting even his mother, whom he usually fears. He tends to her affectionately and protects her, but considers her to be powerfully insightful. In the labyrinth of his mind, Shelley appears as his angelic guide. Later, Roman tries to legally become Shelley's guardian instead of Olivia, but that motion is denied by the court. Shelley runs away from home a week later, and when she refuses to stay with Roman after he finds out, he instead sends thousands of dollars in supplies to the homeless camp at the old Godfrey Mill where he knows Shelley is living. Shelley ultimately ends up raising Roman's daughter, Nadia, after his death.
- Olivia Godfrey: Roman's mother adores him more than she does any of her other children. She expects great things from him, as a result of him being born with the caul, upon which she privately feasted. She later proclaimed to Roman's father, JR, that, "He will always be mine." She is incredibly controlling of Roman's actions. She often taunts Roman into action; manipulating him and several other characters throughout the story. Her interest in him sometimes seems disturbingly sexual in nature (lots of unnecessary shoulder-rubbing, touching, etc.), and she at one point forces him to rape and impregnate his cousin while he is incapacitated by her power.
- J.R. Godfrey: Roman's father whom he remembers little of, but confronts in his coma. When he was very young, he found his father dead in the living room after he'd shot himself. Roman later learns that J.R.'s brother is actually his biological father, even though J.R. is the man Roman acknowledges as his father.
- Letha Godfrey: Roman's cousin/half-sister and the mother of his child with whom he shares an incestuously close relationship. Before the arrival of Peter in town, Letha was Roman's only friend. At the end of season one, it is alluded to that Letha's father, Norman Godfrey, might also be the father of Roman. It's later confirmed in season 2 that Norman is Roman's biological father, making Roman and Letha half-brother and half-sister as well as cousins.
- Dr. Norman Godfrey: Roman grows up believing Norman to be his uncle and father to his cousin Letha. However, he is actually Roman's biological father as well (as admitted by Norman Godfrey season 2). Norman seems to carry a suspicious attitude concerning Roman and Letha's relationship, but as the season progresses, it is reassured that Roman cares deeply for Letha. In Roman's coma, he appears as Roman's therapist.
- Nadia Godfrey: Nadia is Roman and Letha's baby daughter who is a quarter upir and can kill someone by staring at their faces. Roman is protective of Nadia and appears to care for her deeply, going to great lengths to protect her from her grandmother, Olivia, who tried to get Roman to kill Nadia in the finale of season 1. For all of season 2, Roman struggles to bond with his baby, while going to extreme lengths to ensure her safety and future happiness - including keeping her locked in a secret "baby bunker" and guarded 24/7 while telling no one she's still alive. He also works on finding treatments to make both he and Nadia human so she doesn't have to grow up upir and struggle with darkness as he has. Despite his best efforts at keeping Nadia safe, she is kidnapped and later rescued through Roman's relentless search efforts in season 3.
- Miranda Cates: Roman's and Peter's primary love interest in season 2. She first has sex with Peter, then with Roman, and finally initiates a threesome with the two of them. Roman is grateful to Miranda since she can bond with and comfort his daughter when all she does for him or anyone else is scream and cry. Miranda is also only one able to feed Nadia (through spontaneous lactation). She forms a surrogate mother type relationship with Nadia and gives her a name. She is later kidnapped along with Nadia at the end of season 2 by a monster masquerading as the town doctor. Unfortunately, when Roman and Peter finally arrive to rescue Nadia and Miranda later in season 3, they discover Miranda was murdered while in captivity.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
- Enhanced Strength: Roman has used his enhanced strength countless times, once even to send a person flying 20 feet through the air while other times he has grappled with and overpowered others or choked them with one hand in a grip seemingly the strength of the metal. His strength has allowed him to overpower humans, even someone like Johann Price, with little effort while performing feats such as sending people flying into the air or tearing flesh with his bare hands requires more effort. He was able to rip Peter's wolf form in half and pull him out of its shredded body.
- Mesmerization: Whoever has Roman's face and eyes in their line if sight and whoever Roman has in his line of sight, Roman can control by speaking. Roman has used his power of mesmerization countless times, he has used it to initiate sex with women, he has used it to make a cop stick a gun in his mouth and to make people lose their memory. By season 3, he demonstrates the ability to mesmerise without speaking when he wills an assassin who has infiltrated a board meeting at The White Tower to shoot himself in the head by just making eye contact.
- Enhanced Durability: Even as a half Upir Roman would consistently cut himself without feeling much pain, though he was taking drugs like cocaine at the time, after he had become a full upir his durability advanced he was able to slam his head on a mirror with great force without feeling it and without a single scratch. He was struck in the back with a metal pole when he attacked and fed on a homeless man, but it landed on him like he was made of metal and did nothing to him
- Regenerative Healing: Roman can heal in a very rapid time. Though not as fast as his mother and not to the point where he will be able to avoid significant discomfort.
- Immortality: Because Roman is a full upir he will can not age and is immune to all diseases.
Because Roman is a full upir his weaknesses are limited:
- Decapitation: Decapitation will temporally kill him, but only burning him or removing his heart will completely kill him.
- Stabbed in the Heart: If Roman is stabbed in the heart, they will be weak enough to burn and ultimately kill.
- Burning: Fire is one of two things that can kill an upir. The other is complete removal of the heart.
- Desiccation: If an upir is abstained from blood for too long then, they will be weak and rabid, causing them to be reduced to a feral state and lose control of themselves.
- Physical Trauma: If he is drained of blood he will become capable of experiencing damage and pain, though only being entirely burned or complete removal of the heart from the body will truly be fatal while anything else will simply bring him pain and cripple him until he feeds.
- In season 3, upirs have become susceptible to an outbreak of a cancerous virus that, when contracted, causes the host to become cannibalistic and needing to feed on the blood and flesh of other upirs only rather than their usual human blood diet. They also become sensitive to light as cancer reaches the optic nerve and have hallucinations as it reaches the brain. In the final stage, the upir will even succumb to eating his or her own flesh, resulting in death.
- 'Roman' comes from the Latin word "romanus", which means "of Rome". In this initial sense, the title "Roman" means "a citizen of the Roman Empire", a man of Roman (or Byzantine) culture, Latin or Greek.
- The name is significant because it comes from the Etruscan founder of Rome, Romulus, who was raised by a she-wolf, and was known for being both ruthless and fair, and was also a god separate from men as he was himself the descendant of Mars the god of blood and war.
- Olivia's Romanian origin also gives the name significance because Romania and is populous that come from the intermarriages of the Romanians and the Goths
- Godfrey, is, however, of Germanic origins and derives from the personal name 'God-Freida'. This was composed of the elements 'guda', meaning good, and 'frid' - peace, which is somewhat ironic for the show's portrayal.
- "I don't want to progress. I want to be human." (season 2, episode 2)
- "I'm running a business. Not a daycare for fucktards!"
- Olivia: "You have no heart!" Roman: "It's hereditary."
- By the second season, Roman is 18 years old, a single father, and the CEO of Godfrey industries.
- Roman drives a Jaguar XK150 in the first season and a Maserati in the second.
- Roman was born with a caul (in Roman mythology, a sign that child was born for greatness) which may be significant in Olivia's decision to name him thus, given her apparent belief in the Roman myth.
- While in the second season Roman had an extendable mouth that he can use to enhance his jaw strength further than his own enormous jaw strength, he had canine teeth the transformed into pointed and elongated fangs in the first. This is a reference to the actual book that the series is based on, as Roman had grown fangs at the end of the book.