Nora Fries was the beloved wife of scientist Dr. Victor Fries, who, through a tragic set of circumstances inspired his transformation into Mr. Freeze.
At some point after her and Victor's marriage, Nora was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Unwilling to let her die, Victor placed her in cryonic stasis until a cure could be found and illicitly used equipment and funds from his place of employment, GothCorp.
The tragedy struck when Victor's uncaring boss, GothCorp CEO Ferris Boyle, pushed into Victor's Lab and demanded that the unauthorized "experiment" be halted. He appeared not to understand, or care, that disconnecting Nora's tube would kill her. In desperation, Victor seized a gun from one of Boyle's security guards, which lead to a brawl that sent Victor crashing into a tube of cryonic chemicals, which then enveloped the entire lab. Victor's body chemistry was altered, which made him incapable of surviving outside of a sub-zero environment. After he believed that Nora was dead, and vengeful over his own condition, Victor adopted the alias "Mr. Freeze," went on a rampage against Gothcorp, and intent on killing Boyle. He was narrowly stopped by Batman.
Unknown to him, Nora's tube had been salvaged and preserved by agents of Grant Walker, a major investor in Gothcorp. Walker became interested in Freeze's work, kept Nora safe, and knew that with her, he could make Freeze do whatever he wanted. Some time later, Walker broke Freeze out of Arkham Asylum and asked him to re-create the accident, so that Walker could likewise become "frozen," and therefore slow his aging enough to be practically immortal. Freeze refused at first, but when he saw that Nora was alive, and still in stasis, he agreed. Walker claimed to have had the means to "restore" her, though whether that meant simply bringing her out of stasis, or curing her disease (or whether he was truthful or not) was unknown.
After Walker had been "frozen," he planned to annihilate the rest of Gotham City, and ultimately the world, with a cannon-sized version of Freeze's Freeze Gun. Freeze pretended not to care, since nothing mattered to him except having Nora back. But ultimately, it was Freeze's love for Nora that led him to aid Batman and Robin and stop Walker- he realized that she could never love a man who let innocent people die.
In the ensuing fight, Walker's base exploded and began to sink into the ocean. Batman and Robin evacuated, but Freeze refused to abandon Nora. He stayed at the side of her capsule while the entire complex submerged. By a lucky chance, both of them were preserved inside a small air pocket that was inside a floating chunk of ice.
The current carried the ice to the Arctic, where Freeze built a laboratory and continued his research into a cure for Nora's condition. Freeze concluded with Dr. Gregory Belson that only an organ transplant from Barbara Gordon would suffice, so he kidnapped her. However, Batman stopped Freeze's plan, and revealed an alternate plan that finally allowed Nora to be released from stasis and she was cured.
Unfortunately, Freeze's frozen state had caused his body to deteriorate, a process that was only stopped at his head. No longer a normal human, Freeze could not reunite with Nora, she re-married her doctor, and left Gotham. After Freeze went through so much to restore Nora, losing her forever drove him completely insane. He embarked on a nihilistic campaign against Gotham in general and sought to make the world feel his pain by targeting and destroying those things its people loved most. Freeze disappeared after his latest fight with Batman.
Nora had one sister, Dora Smithy, who blamed Victor for keeping Nora in a half-alive state of stasis, which Dora believed was unnatural. Dora adopted weapons that were similar to Freeze's and went on her own rampage.
Several decades in the future, Nora passed away, but Freeze's head was preserved in the vault of Wayne-Powers. Freeze became the test subject for an experimental process to transfer a person's mind into a healthy cloned body. Seemingly restored to normal at last, Victor Fries tried to atone for his past crimes by establishing the Nora Fries Foundation in Nora's name for the families of his victims. But Fries never got to build it as his DNA reverted and made him Mr. Freeze again.
Though she had no speaking appearances in the DC Animated Universe, Nora was the lynchpin of the character revamp that transformed Mr. Freeze from a clownish mad scientist into a deeply tragic character.
Nora's only "live" appearance in the DCAU continuity was in issues of the comic book Batman: Gotham Knights, which took place after the events of "Cold Comfort." After her re-marriage, Nora's new husband, Francis D'Anjou, became frustrated at her continuing affection for the "monster" that Victor became, and so, set up an elaborate scheme to frame Victor for a series of crimes and "prove" to Nora that he was irredeemable. He created a robotic imposter of Freeze, who stalked and killed both Boyle and Walker, before it was exposed as a fraud. At the end of the debacle, Freeze was presumed killed after he disappeared under an ice sheet after a brief reunion with Nora, in which they both proclaimed that they still loved each other. Freeze's head was found locked away in a vault at Powers Technology, and Nora never saw him again, but their last thoughts in the story were of each other.
- "Meltdown" (Mentioned only)
- "Cold Hands, Cold Heart" (In a photograph only)