|Portrayed by||Dawn Olivieri|
The Exotic Temptress
|Date of death||2010|
|Residence||Sullivan Bros. Carnival|
|Occupations||Carnival worker, |
former target girl in Edgar's knife show
|Significant other||formerly Amanda's father|
|Other relatives||Mr. Strazzulla (brother-in-law)|
Lydia, the "painted lady", was a member of the carnival and was one of Samuel's closest confidants. When she was very young, Lydia fell pregnant and left home. She went to the carnival and made a new life for herself but she never fully let the memory of her daughter leave. She tried desperately to make sure that Amanda did not follow in her footsteps and make the wrong decisions. Eventually realizing that Samuel's vision was not the right path, Lydia attempted to rebel against him alongside Claire Bennet but was eventually shot by Eli. Just before her death, Lydia's fears were realized as Samuel revealed his true intentions to her. Lydia was an evolved human with the ability to feel the wants and desires of others.
- 1 Character History
- 1.1 Orientation
- 1.2 Jump, Push, Fall
- 1.3 Graphic Novel:Stolen Fate
- 1.4 Ink
- 1.5 Webisode:Slow Burn, Part 1
- 1.6 Graphic Novel:Running in Circles
- 1.7 Acceptance
- 1.8 Webisode:Slow Burn, Part 2
- 1.9 Hysterical Blindness
- 1.10 Webisode:Slow Burn, Part 3
- 1.11 Graphic Novel:Amanda's Journey, Part 1
- 1.12 Tabula Rasa
- 1.13 Webisode:Slow Burn, Part 4
- 1.14 Graphic Novel:Amanda's Journey, Part 2
- 1.15 Strange Attractors
- 1.16 Webisode:Slow Burn, Part 5
- 1.17 Once Upon a Time in Texas
- 1.18 Webisode:Slow Burn, Part 6
- 1.19 Graphic Novel:Smoke & Mirrors
- 1.20 Shadowboxing
- 1.21 Webisode:Slow Burn, Part 7
- 1.22 Graphic Novel:The Painted Lady
- 1.23 Webisode:Slow Burn, Part 8
- 1.24 Thanksgiving
- 1.25 Webisode:Slow Burn, Part 9
- 1.26 The Fifth Stage
- 1.27 Webisode:Slow Burn, Part 10
- 1.28 Graphic Novel:Bloodlines, Part 1
- 1.29 Graphic Novel:Bloodlines, Part 2
- 1.30 Upon This Rock
- 1.31 Let It Bleed
- 1.32 Close to You
- 1.33 Pass/Fail
- 1.34 The Art of Deception
- 1.35 The Wall
- 1.36 Brave New World
- 2 Heroes Evolutions
- 3 Evolved Human Abilities
- 4 Notes
- 5 Trivia
- 6 See Also
- 7 Fan Theories
Lydia attends Joseph Sullivan's funeral. She later goes to Samuel, and he places a needle into her back, which injects ink and creates a tattoo of Danko. Using her power, Lydia gives information about him to Samuel.
Fourteen years ago, Lydia shares a drink with Edgar at the Sullivan Bros. Carnival. She thanks Edgar for making her smile again and the two friends decide to play tricks on the mean fortune teller. They find her telling a young Hiro Nakamura of his destiny before Edgar steals the crystal ball. Lydia and Edgar go on the Ferris wheel and both look into the ball, seeing what they most desire. Later, Samuel is angry at Lydia for going along with Edgar and he, the fortune teller and Edgar leave her alone to ponder on what she saw in the ball.
At the carnival, Lydia listens to Samuel tell her of how he has found someone to fill his brother's attention. He talks about discovering his ability to manipulate the earth and how he was raised. Lydia helps him with his tie and tells Samuel that he doesn't have to leave but he insists he must. Samuel prepares to leave and Lydia wonders if he will return home, but Samuel assures her he will never return to that life.
Lydia watches one of the tattoos on her right arm as Edgar enters her trailer, handing her a Sprint phone. He tells her how dangerous it is having a phone in the carnival, but Lydia reveals that she has a daughter. She tells him that she had her when she was a teenager and wasn't able to care for her because she was too young, scared, and different. Edgar assures her that everything will be okay, but Lydia is worried, showing the tattoo of her daughter surrounded by fire. Lydia tells Edgar that she can feel something is wrong.
Before Edgar leaves to retrieve the compass for Samuel, Lydia asks him to do her a secret favor. She hands him a piece of paper and tells him that no one can know about what he is doing. Edgar also remembers the time when Lydia served as his assistant in his knife throwing act.
Lydia speaks with Edgar to discover why he is upset. She guesses it is about all the new arrivals to the carnival and Edgar expresses his concerns about Samuel. Samuel then emerges and takes Lydia to his trailer. He tells her that she can tell him anything and as he paints a tattoo on her back, it forms into Noah Bennet. Lydia claims that he may have changed his mind about hunting evolved humans.
Lydia speaks with her daughter, Amanda, on the phone. She learns from Amanda that she also has an ability and that ability has ruined her life. Lydia tries to explain why she left Amanda with Carol, that Carol practically raised Lydia. She reassures Amanda that she's not "a freak" and that nothing is wrong with her. Lydia tells her that she is her daughter.
Later, Lydia visits Samuel at a field near the carnival and asks him who the newest addition to the family will be. She explains that she has an interest because he used her body to search for the person. Samuel doesn't tell Lydia who the person is and she realizes that he has no idea. She tells him that it isn't fair to make promises that he may not be able to keep but Samuel insists that it will be kept. Later, he and Lydia have another session but the ink he injects into her does not create any image. After learning from Rebecca that Claire is nearly theirs, Lydia warns Samuel that while Claire may be on the path to them, she will not be the addition to the family that he promised. She then goes on to say that he needn't worry because the dust has settled.
Amanda looks at a photo of Lydia and says that they look alike. Lydia tells her that they're the same and that she has a gift as well. Amanda asks if she can come see her but Lydia hastily tells her to stay, saying that where she lives is far too dangerous and that she does not want Amanda involved. She then has Edgar help her with her problem. She gives him money and tells him to get to Amanda before she does anything horrible. Edgar leaves and encounters Samuel waiting for him. Lydia attempts to help Edgar out of trouble but Samuel tells her that he needs to be punished as he places his arm over her. Lydia remains silent as they wonder what to do.
After Lydia tells her not to leave home, Amanda accidentally burns down the house. Later, she talks with Peter Petrelli about her family and decides that even though Lydia told her to stay at home, she will go and find her.
Lydia talks with Samuel about Sylar and the rumors indicating him to be most powerful evolved human. Samuel is worried about the fact Sylar doesn't seem to remember himself and Lydia theorizes that there is a battle going on within Sylar between two different sides. Lydia is then instructed by Samuel to show Sylar around the carnival. While doing so, Lydia explains to Sylar the methods that Joseph created, such as equal chores. Lydia then complements Sylar on his looks and watches as Edgar becomes jealous and throws knives at super speeds. Lydia later attends Sylar's baptism into the carnival and eats dinner with him following the ceremony. Lydia then takes Sylar into her trailer.
Lydia looks at a picture of Amanda on her phone. She sees Samuel approaching and hides her phone away. Samuel however, is more interested in the tattoo of Amanda hidden on Lydia's arm. He pulls her sleeve up and asks Lydia what secrets she has been keeping. Lydia comes clean with Samuel but denies the fact that Amanda is like them. She also claims that Amanda is part of her past and that her true family is the carnival. Samuel is pleased with this and leaves. Lydia then stops pretending to not want Amanda and turns around. She is shocked to see Amanda herself, standing in a doorway with a sad smile. Lydia is greeted with a quiet "Hi Mom".
Lydia demands to know how Amanda tracked her down. Amanda shows Lydia the photo she sent her was geo-tagged and it was easy to follow. Amanda, angry, asks her mother why she is ashamed of her while she is like her. Lydia tells Amanda that she is not ashamed of her, that it's dangerous here. Amanda wants to know what she could be protecting her from and, as her anger rises, several books burst into flames. Lydia manages to put the fire out with a sheet and when she's about to tell her daughter to calm down, Amanda disappears.
Lydia sits in front of Arnold's caravan. When Samuel comes out, she asks if Arnold is alright. Samuel states that Arnold is dying and that they need Hiro Nakamura, but that it's going to be hard. Lydia tells him that desperate times call for desperate measures. Lydia allows Samuel to use her ability. A tattoo of Charlie appears on Lydia's and she tells Samuel that she is dead. Samuel replies by saying that it's not a problem, but an opportunity. Lydia tells him that there is a lot more and tattoos of Noah, Claire and Sylar appear on her back. Samuel then decides to use Arnold to travel back three years. Lydia doesn't want Samuel to use Arnold but Samuel throws her words back at her, and uses him anyway. When Hiro and Samuel travel back from 2006 and Hiro pins Samuel against a wall, Lydia is among the carnies gathering around them.
Lydia and Samuel speak in her trailer and Samuel bursts from the trailer, saying that the situation has gotten bad and that there is nothing he can do to change that. Lydia notes that the Claire Bennet recruitment is not going well and Samuel tells her that he is the patron saint of lost causes before he leaves.
Later, after Amanda shows Samuel her ability, Samuel is astonished, as well as a bunch of other carnies who crowd around them. Lydia and Edgar watch on with worried looks.
Lydia wishes that she could speak to Amanda and remembers much about her own past. She remembers Amanda's father, who lied and told Lydia that he loved her. She recalls how she could feel that he was lying to her but how she ignored it. When she learnt that she was pregnant and that he wanted to run, she ran to Carol. Soon, Lydia discovered that Carol truly loved Amanda and wished to keep her, so, wanting Amanda to have a normal life, Lydia ran. She ran to the carnival, where Joseph Sullivan gave her a home. Lydia then says that since Joseph died, things haven't been the same and that she can feel Samuel's thirst for power growing.
Lydia then acknowledges that she knows how Amanda is feeling because when she was her age, she felt the same way.
Lydia and Edgar watch as Amanda is officially inducted into the carnival. Later, Lydia tries to convince Samuel that the carnival is not safe for Amanda. However, Amanda appears from behind and tells Lydia that she has no right to say that, since she hasn't been much of a mother to her. Amanda then states that she is staying, and leaves.
Lydia offers Hiro her help in finding Charlie after learning that Samuel is forcing him to stay at the carnival. After reading him, she asks him to take her back in time eight weeks so she can see Joseph's death. Hiro teleports them back, but indicates that she caused him to do it. After hiding from Mohinder and Samuel, Lydia follows Joseph and Samuel despite Hiro warning her against it. The two watch from high grass as Jospeh reveals the truth of Samuel's power and Samuel kills him in anger. Lydia is shocked and Samuel hears them. Hiro tries to teleport them back to the present, but has trouble as he can't completely control his power, but with Lydia's help he succeeds just in time.
Lydia becomes determined to stop Samuel and refuses to wait for Charlie to be rescued and reveals the truth to Edgar. Samuel, suspicious after hearing that she was with Hiro and finding a piece of grass in her hair, claims that Edgar killed Joseph. Lydia tries to reveal the truth, but Hiro won't back her up because of Charlie. Samuel tries to kill Edgar, but he escapes with Hiro's help and Hiro communicates to Lydia with a nod that he saved Edgar.
Lydia receives a text from Edgar, telling her he is sorry he had to go, and to keep fighting. She then goes to see Amanda. Amanda says that she is sorry about Edgar and Lydia says that it is okay because Edgar is too fast for Samuel. Amanda asks why he would run away like that and Lydia says that it is complicated. She says that she will explain it later, but right now she needs to get Amanda out of there. Samuel appears and asks Amanda to excuse herself, and let him talk to Lydia alone.
In Lydia's trailer, Samuel is rubbing his hands on her cheek. Lydia says that Amanda is just a child and Samuel says that she is safe there. Samuel says that there is so much they can teach her. They hear a scorching noise and they hurry outside. Along with other members of the carnival, they see Caleb's body shriveled up into ashes. Amanda looks up at Lydia with a worried look on her face.
Later Samuel welcomes Claire and Gretchen to the Carnival and they come across Lydia's tent, where she is using her ability to show visitors their desires on her back. Claire asks if she should be at the carnival, and Lydia shows her an image of Claire with a banner labeling her the "Indestructible Girl", as though she were an attraction at the carnival. Claire and Gretchen leave her tent.
Later Lydia stands with Samuel and Claire as Gretchen drives away from the Carnival, past the burly guy's unmoving body in a truck.
Lydia attempts to comfort Amanda as they watch Caleb's coffin being carried. She tells Amanda that it's the carnival and Samuel's fault for Caleb's death, but Amanda says it is hers, and that she belongs at the carnival. Later, Samuel and Lydia walk through the carnival, and she tells him she just wants to make sure that Amanda grows up safe. They watch the Bowmans perform their act, and as Amanda comes on stage and joins them with her ability, Samuel tells Lydia that their time is now. She returns to her trailer, and listens to a voicemail from Edgar, telling her that he will come back for both her and Amanda.
On Christmas of the previous year, Lydia eats dinner along with other carnies. She asks where Arnold is. Later on, Lydia uses her ability to help locate Arnold. She finds that he is not in the past, but actually older and in the present.
Lydia accompanies Joseph and Samuel to America in order to find Arnold. Upon arriving at his home, the group discover he is now an old man. Lydia listens to Arnold's story and is told by Joseph to fetch a wheelchair. She then allows Joseph to use her ability to locate the man who took Arnold's son. Lydia discovers that the man is Danko and begins to cry as she reveals that Mel is dead. Joseph blames himself but Lydia reminds him that if it wasn't for Joseph, Arnold would never of had such a wonderful life. Joseph thanks Lydia and the two agree that telling Samuel of what just happened would be wrong.
As Claire views a poster advertising Lydia, Lydia approaches her and assures her that the ever watchful Eli is just staring at her because she is new. When Claire expresses her dislike at that, Lydia gives her some of Mrs. Comey's blueberry pancakes to take to Samuel. She suggests that it may earn Claire "some points". Lydia then goes on to argue with Amanda over a new arrival. She tells her daughter to stay away from him until they learn more. Once Amanda storms off, Claire chuckles and admits to Lydia that it, a mother-daughter fight, is the first normal thing she has heard since she arrived at the carnival. Lydia tells Claire that the carnival is not so perfect and reveals that Samuel has developed an obsession with gathering newcomers and has spent the entire morning inside his trailer.
Later, Claire returns to Lydia and asks her what Samuel is planning. Lydia hesitates before revealing that Joseph was once in charge and was the one who made the carnival a home to them. She cannot however, bring herself to reveal that Samuel murdered Joseph. Despite this, Claire guesses and Lydia states Samuel has lost his way and asks Claire to find someone to stop him. Claire promises that she will.
Lydia asks Samuel why Sylar's badly injured body has been moved to her trailer. Samuel assures her that Sylar will heal and tells her to find out what's wrong with him. When she objects to being used in this way, Samuel mentions that she didn't mind being close to Sylar when they last met, and points out that her role at the carnival means using her special skills.
In the trailer, Lydia wakes Sylar and says that his bare skin feels as soft as a baby. Sylar asks what she's doing and she says that she's going to help him find out what's wrong with him. When he claims there's nothing wrong, Lydia says that she has heard differently and tries to kiss him. At first he pushes her away, but when she asks why he's afraid, he kisses her back and they begin to undress each other.
As they embrace, Lydia senses Sylar's feelings, saying that he is afraid of dying alone and thinks he does not deserve love. When he asks if she knows what he does to others like her, she knows that he kills them and steals their powers, and he realizes that her ability is to sense others' desires. He then asks what her tattoos are for, and she describes them as a map that can help him find what he needs. Suddenly Sylar announces that Lydia doesn't want to help him, but only wants to manipulate him into killing Samuel; he knows this because he has absorbed her ability. When he tells her that killing is just something he likes to do, Lydia says that isn't true any more and calls him impotent, leading Sylar to shove her away roughly and leave. She later watches as Samuel talks to Sylar and claims that Lydia has told him everything, but Sylar doubts that she included every detail.
Lydia feels that Samuel no longer should be in charge of the carnival due to his evil actions, but that it could be a good place again if it had a new leader who was more like Joseph. Getting an idea from Amanda, Lydia reaches out to Peter Petrelli with her mind, after remembering a comment from Samuel about how Peter could be "the next Joseph". This contact makes the compass tattoo reappear on his skin.
When Sylar tells Claire he'll learn her secrets, she asks him if he'll rip her head open again. Sylar explains that he won't have to, because since meeting Lydia, he acquired a much more accurate instrument. Sylar says that he found Lydia's methods rather hyper-erotic, but proceeds to kiss Claire.
Lydia leads the rest of the carnies to see the source of the tremors.
Lydia is approached by Samuel who wonders where everyone is. Lydia tells him that the carnival is closed and all the carnies are afraid of him. She tells him that all they wanted was a place to call their own and questions Samuel over if he ever wanted the same. Samuel realizes that Lydia doesn't trust him and begins to theorize that she has become the empath to replace Joseph. Lydia tells Samuel that no one respects them and Samuel tells her he will do anything to prove his worth to his family again.
Later, Claire Bennet returns to the carnival and meets with Lydia. Lydia uses her ability and discovers that Claire's father, Noah, is coming to kill Samuel. Afraid, Lydia prepares to retrieve Amanda and leave but is confronted by Samuel, who attempts to win the girls back to his side with a story from his past. Claire pleads with Samuel to turn himself in and Lydia agrees, pleading with Samuel. Lydia and Claire accompany Samuel as he gives a speech to his carnival about turning himself over to Noah. As his speech continues, shots are fired into Claire's neck and Samuel's arm. Lydia is also shot and falls to the floor, bleeding terribly.
Samuel holds Lydia in his arms and invites her to see inside his heart. He kisses Lydia, activating her ability. As he pulls away Lydia is horrified to learn that he is behind the shootings. Samuel thanks Lydia for providing a man worse than he and kisses her again, sucking her remaining air away. As Claire returns with a first aid kit, Lydia dies and Samuel proclaims it is too late to save her. Later, Samuel closes Lydia's eyes as Edgar superspeeds in and mourns her death. Samuel tells Edgar that Lydia was killed by normal humans and proceeds to use her death as motivation to sway the remaining carnival members to his side once more.
Later, Samuel tells Eli to stop the people Lydia had told him may interfere with his plans.
Edgar tells the carnies that Lydia did not trust Samuel and that she told him that Samuel killed Joseph. Samuel points out Lydia isn't there to confirm that, but when Eli enters, he tells the carnies that Samuel had ordered him to kill Lydia, and that he doesn't expect to be able to live amongst them after killing one of their own. Thanks to Eli's revelation that he killed Lydia on Samuel's orders, the carnies believe Claire, Noah, and Edgar about Joseph; they abandon the carnival.
In chapter 1 of Slow Burn, Gail Bowman writes about her friendship with Lydia in her journal. She later visits Lydia in her trailer and the two friends discuss their carnival life, the feeling of being a mother and a mysterious request Samuel made of Gail. Lydia becomes concerned and checks to see if anyone is listening in on their conversation. She tells Gail that ever since Joseph died, Samuel has been bringing in more and more people like them into the carnival. She theorizes that he is trying to fill the void that Joseph left. Lydia then comforts Gail because Gail thinks that Chris isn't fitting in. She tells her that when Chris realizes that everyone is family, he will see things differently. Gail thanks her friend and leaves.
In chapter 2 of Slow Burn, Jennie Bowman notices that Lydia has been crying, and asks her what's wrong. Lydia explains that she was talking to someone she loves, but the person doesn't want to talk to her, and they can't be together. Jennie tries to comfort Lydia, but Lydia only has more mixed feelings as she thinks about Amanda.
In chapter 7 of Slow Burn, Gail asks Lydia about Samuel's secrets, since the Watcher wants to know. However, Lydia is not in the mood because of her daughter Amanda, and so Gail leaves her alone, but not before comforting her.
In chapter 9 of Slow Burn, Gail goes to Lydia to see if she knows anything about The Watcher. Lydia tells Gail about her worry for Amanda and wonders how Amanda can have a normal life after killing Caleb. She does not know what she will do and Gail offers to take Amanda into their fire breathing act so that she can learn how to control her power. Lydia is happy with this idea and asks why Gail came to see her. Gail decides not to upset Lydia and leaves.
In chapter 2 of The Puppet Master, Doyle and Lauren go to Lydia to have their fortunes told. Doyle becomes concerned when she discerns his love for puppets, realizing she has a ability, and attempts to leave. Samuel enters, and asks Lydia if everything is okay. When Samuel takes Doyle on a tour of the carnival, he tells Lydia to give Lauren a free fortune.
Lydia had the ability to feel the thoughts, hopes, dreams, emotions and or desires of others. Her most common manifestation of this ability is through various tattoos on her body depicting different people. These tattoos allowed Lydia to sense different things about the people they depicted.
On at least one occasion, Lydia was able to utilize her ability through a crystal ball. During this time Lydia saw a baby and had Edgar see what he desired (Stolen Fate). Whether this means Lydia can extend what she sees to others is unknown.
In order to get a more accurate reading of people, she must physically touch them. While touching Hiro, it's indicated that she activated his ability and caused them to travel through time. Later, she is able to help him reactivate his ability when he has trouble transporting them back to the present. (Thanksgiving)
On one occasion, Lydia was able to reach out an unknown distance to Peter Petrelli and cause the compass tattoo Samuel had once put on his arm to reappear. It is unknown how she did this as her power seems to work through touch. (Close to You)
- Lydia's name is most likely a reference to the circa 1940 song "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" made famous by Groucho Marx.
- According to the casting call, Lydia the "tattoo girl" is 22 to 28 years old, "a little gullible, follow others' lead, [h]as a mysterious side," and is "very sexy".
- Lydia's sister, Carol, has the last name of Strazzulla. Strazzulla is also the last name of Lydia's daughter, Amanda. It is unknown whether Strazzulla is also Lydia's last name, or whether this name is Carol's married name, which she also gave to Amanda when she was under Carol's care.
- Lydia's phone number is 860-967-3180 (Slow Burn, Part 3). This is confirmed in the fish bowl toss, which is part of the virtual tour of the carnival. In fact, the phone number is the password to continue the Assignments chapter of the iStory Slow Burn.
Please refer to Theory:Lydia for fan-created theories and other speculation.