|Portrayed by||Bill Skarsgård|
|Season(s)||1 ▪ 2|
Roman Godfrey is half human, half Upir, and one of two surviving children of Olivia Godfrey and JR Godfrey. He is from and resides in the supernatural-esque town of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania in the Godfrey estate with his mother Olivia with whom he has a volatile relationship and younger sister Shelley Godfrey over whom he is very protective. Roman is best friends with Peter Rumancek, whom he first meets in episode one. They have a close relationship. He is also very close with his cousin Letha Godfrey. At one point, he is mesmerized by Olivia to rape Letha resulting in the birth of Nadia in the episode Birth .
Roman is the eldest living child and only son of Olivia and JR Godfrey. His parentage, however, has come into question since Olivia was having an ongoing affair with JR's brother Norman Godfrey at the time of his conception. It is unknown who his biological father is. 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 strongly 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
Roman personifies the stereotypical "rich boy" who shrouds his insecurities with his wealth and drugs. Roman is sensitive, as seen in how he cares for Shelley, and lonesome in nature, as seen in how he adheres to his first friend Peter. Roman seems to display a power-struggle where he tries to act superior to others, yet is easily dismayed at times by his mother, Peter, and others.
Roman is tall and always dresses "fancy" for a teenager, embodying his wealthy persona.
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. Roman clings to Peter; he needs Peter so that Roman himself can believe there is something good in him. He reaches out to Peter to bring out this side in him that is apparently hidden.
Peter and Roman are later shown to be distantly related. They share the same dreams, and have 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 hates him for this. After Peter's return in season two, they mend their wounds and over time, the broken relationship builds back up.
Perhaps Roman's one redeeming quality. He is incredibly protective of Shelley, at the cost of confronting even his mother, whom he generally fears. He tends to her affectionately, but considers her to be powerfully insightful. In the labyrinth of his mind Shelley appears as his angelic guide.
Roman's late older sister; killed by their mother Olivia when Juliet was born. Juliet was killed by Olivia because Juliet did not have the blood caul that Olivia wanted her children to have, the caul that Roman ended up with.
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, but seemingly desires his rebellion. She often taunts Roman into action; manipulating him and several other characters throughout the story. The relationship between the two is often hinted to be slightly sexual. At the least they are generally pretty open with one another. She is incredibly permissive of Roman's excess, and has plans for him that only become clear at the end of the first season.
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 also learns that he may not in fact be his real father.
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 found out that Letha's father, Norman Godfrey, might in fact also be the father of Roman.
Letha Godfrey's father and Roman's uncle, who may also be Roman's father. Norman seems to carry a suspicious attitude with regard to 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.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
As a half-Upir, or young Upir, Roman's abilities are not yet fully developed. He has injured himself and healed at what appears to be a normal pace. He has also exhibited a normal tolerance to drugs and alcohol.
Even as a half-Upir Roman seems capable of compelling up to two people at a time. He has proven capable of inducing amnesia, implanting false memories, and compelling self-harm. This ability however can be avoided, as shown by Dr. Chasseur, by merely not looking Roman in his eyes. He also discovers towards the end of season 1 that he is able to compel himself. Through this he has been able to "harden his heart," and act without fear; as well as compelling himself to extend his senses in an attempt to find his sister. Though he has had little success with this new ability, he has confirmed that she is alive. However he does so at the cost of nose bleeds, which he admits are extremely painful.
As a full Upir, Roman has developed incredible healing abilities. He has recovered from mortal wounds in seconds. In seeing the healing of other full Upir's like Roman's mother we can assume that he is fully capable of withstanding gunshot wounds.
Dr. Johann Pryce, a human with adrenal enhanced, or hysterical strength, was openly fearful of Roman's mother, so we can assume that the strength of full Upir is comparable. Additionally Roman's mother was able to subdue Dr. Clementine Chasseur, a trained hunter and marine, with little difficulty.
While it's debatable as to whether we have observed a full Upir engaging in direct mesmerization, Olivia Godfrey was seen in the last episode looking into Dr. Norman Godfrey's eyes and ordering him to go upstairs - he seemed mesmerized, though it is not know whether his whole affair with Olivia was done in this way it can be hinted as such. Notably, Norman keeps referring to their sexual encounters as being the last time, but that doesn't happen. Olivia Godfrey is also generally feared, and listened to; her aura seemed to invite this behavior. This goes hand in hand with the commonly known phrase regarding the Godfreys: "A Godfrey always gets what they want."
- '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 know for being both ruthless and fair, and was also a god seperate from men as he was himself the decident 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 shows portrayal.
- By the second season Roman is 19
- Roman drives a Jaguar XK150.
- 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.
- "I don't want to progress. I want to be human." (season 2, episode 2)