Nora is a very beautiful woman, and "particular", but she is also a strong woman, but at the same time scary. Her determination to convert the Parrish Mansion was foiled by Peter's trauma causing him to have problems at his new school from his silent demanor and Judy's lies often led to fallings out with her. Nora's hidden timidness was put to the test when the presence of Bats in her new house sacred her more than she would admit, but her encounters with a stampede, Monkey, Pod, Crocodiles, Lion and transformed Peter proved to be far too much for her to bear.
Nora, after the death of her brother and her sister-in-law which occurred as a result of a car accident in Canada, took their children Judy and Peter under her care and moved to Brantford, New Hampshire to start a new life with them. With assistance from Mrs Thomas, 26 years after Alan Parrish went missing without a trace, Nora bought the empty Parrish Mansion at a reduced rate intending to build a bed & breakfast with the size of the house and the large collection of furniture. In the film's novel, Nora always dreamed of running an Inn, which remains clear that her wish was granted even more so with such a large mansion built by the civil war hero General Angus Parrish.
On her way home from the permit office two days later, Nora listened to the radio about the events going on in Brantford before being spooked by the stampede, and losing control of her car when a Monkey unknowingly hitched a ride with her. When narrowly missing a Pod's vine, she tried to catch a ride with Officer Carl Bentley, but they were forced to continue on foot after he lost his squad car to the Pod.
After the Monsoon, Nora finally reached the Mansion, shocked and dismayed at the overgrown Mansion, Alan's legs ticking out from the ceiling and the Lion inside her bedroom. Seeing her nephew Peter transformed into a monkey was the last straw for Nora, and ran backwards in overwhelming trauma and became trapped in a land-sliding closet. To make sure that she doesn't disturb them, while they play with Jumanji and thus be able to put everything as it was before, Peter closed her inside the closet to keep her out of the way.
Her fate is unknown after time was reversed by Alan finally winning Jumanji. In the film's novel, Jim admires the Parrish Mansion and wonders what his sister Nora would be like is she set foot inside.
An abridged version of Nora Shepherd appears in the animated series, as the guardian of Judy and Peter Shepherd. On occasion, the game has taken her into the dimension of Jumanji as well, often being the one the solves the clue to escaping, but her memory is always erased with vivid traces left behind.
In Perfect Match, Nora plays a central role when she takes Judy and Peter as wedding guests against their will citing that her friends invited her and wanted to be professional about it. Peter snuck Jumanji into the car and rolled the dice, ending up bringing Nora and her car along with them, crashing into a Rhino (which Nora mistook for a Cow) and rendering Nora stuck in the airbag for a while. In order to convince Queen Gina to leave Alan alone, Judy and Peter set Nora up on a date between them. Gina however interrupts their date and continues her forced marriage to Alan so she can undergo the Jamazon tradition of sacrificing the groom after they are announced. Nora breaks free from her bonds and challenges Gina to a duel, beating her and fortunately solving the clue by having won the trio's freedom by besting Gina. Although Nora is retuned to the real world, she vaguely remembers her adventure and still feels the vibes from it, then she decides to skip the wedding and go to an amusement park.
In Brantford: The Game, an inner dimension within Jumanji existed a mockery paralleled version of Brantford and a warped version of Nora, who was even featured as a portrait on the Brantford game's painting. Unlike the real Nora, the hideous alternative views Peter as the smarter child.