Samuel Sullivan

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Samuel Sullivan
Portrayed by Robert Knepper,
Julian De La Celle (young Samuel)
First appearance Orientation
In-story stats
Known ability Terrakinesis
Alias William Hooper
Nicknames Sam,
Butterfly Man,
Evil Butterfly Man,
Date of birth March 5, 1961
Place of birth Coyote Sands, AZ
Home formerly Coyote Sands, AZ,
formerly New York, NY
Residences Sullivan Bros. Carnival,
formerly Coyote Sands,
formerly a carriage house in New York City, NY
Occupation Carnival worker
Significant other formerly Vanessa Wheeler
Parents Unnamed father,
Unnamed mother
Sibling Joseph Sullivan (deceased)

Samuel Sullivan is the head of a carnival ring, working with other evolved humans. He refers to his carnival as his family and has recently decided to come out of hiding after killing his older brother. Having lived an early life of service, Samuel feels liberated by the world of abilities and the family he has made. With the goal to create a new home for everyone with abilities, Samuel's actual intentions were to create the fantasy life that his true love Vanessa Wheeler always wanted. Upon being rejected by Vanessa, Samuel made the decision that he will no longer hide or live by the outside world's rules. Samuel is an evolved human with the ability to manipulate geological materials such as dirt and rocks. Samuel is also able to amplify his power when surrounded by other people with abilities. After being defeated by Peter, he has now been arrested.

Character History

Season Four

For an episode-by-episode summary, see Samuel Sullivan: Season Four History.

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Webisode:Dark Matters, Part 5

One of the Primatech files that Quentin Frady sees on the Renautas root directory is titled "Sullivan".

Heroes Evolutions

Save the Cheerleader, Destroy the World

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Evolved Human Abilities

Samuel has the ability to move earth and manipulate minerals with the power of his mind. He has shown that he has a mental influence over the earth, as well as a form of ink. In addition, Chandra Suresh postulated that the presence of large numbers of evolved humans in a single area produces a phenomenon similar to magnetism, which has the effect of amplifying Samuel's abilities. As a consequence of this, he can also sense when powerful evolved humans are near (Slow Burn). It has been shown that with as few as four other evolved humans around, his power is nearly useless. (Brave New World)

Heroes Reborn App

Prior to Heroes Reborn starting, the Heroes Reborn app was released with a video summary of Samuel's history. The summary included:

Memorable Quotes

"This is my favorite part of the day. It's full of possibility. Before the inevitable monkey wrenches come looking for us. But more than anything... it's about being with all of you. I know grace is a supper thing, but every morning I thank Heaven and Earth for our family."

- Samuel (to the Carnival members) (Hysterical Blindness)

"Tonight we welcome a new brother into our family. He will live and work among us. And will be welcome here all the rest of our days."

- Samuel (baptizing Sylar) (Tabula Rasa)

"I've got my own butterflies that need crushing."

- Samuel (to Hiro) (Once Upon a Time in Texas)

"You are the devil."

"No, Hiro, I am your savior. You just don't know it yet."

- Hiro, Samuel (Thanksgiving)

"Love what you've done to the place, there are a lot more people in here. It's going to make me a lot more powerful."

"No, it makes me more powerful!"

- Sylar, Samuel (Let It Bleed)

"I'm a carny. I live for games of chance."

- Samuel, to Sylar (Let It Bleed)

"I see you got my power."

"Funny how that happens."

- Samuel, Peter (Brave New World)


  • According to the casting call, Samuel the "carnival barker" is 40 to 60 years old. He is a "charming character with an evil sense of humor", like Eddie Izzard or "The Joker without his makeup".
  • Tim Kring said "Samuel has no power unless he is surrounded by other people. So in some ways it's about getting people away from him as opposed to bringing people towards him."


  • When Samuel brings a lawsuit against Peter he uses the alias "William Hooper" (Ink). Bill Hooper is a prominent member of the Heroes crew.
  • Samuel speaks some Japanese, and possesses some skill in sign language.
  • In an interview, Tim Kring said about Samuel: "This one charismatic leader of the carnival has now decided that it is time to stop hiding in shadows and to present themselves to the world, and in order to do that he feels in a kind of misguided way that they have to be as strong as they can be."
  • Samuel told a woman that his mother was a maid and his father was a butler. (Ink)
  • Samuel is the youngest person ever known to manifest an ability. He caused great seismic activity on the day of his birth, even while in utero.
  • Like Samuel Tommy Clark maninfested his powers at birth. He stole his mother's ability which resulted her dying during child birth.
  • According to chapter 1 of Purpose, Samuel's phone number is 203-635-4314.
  • Samuel appeared in every episode of Volume Five.

See also

Fan Theories

Please refer to Theory:Samuel Sullivan for fan-created theories and other speculation.

  Season Four Characters edit

Claire BennetNoah BennetAndo MasahashiHiro NakamuraMatt ParkmanAngela PetrelliNathan PetrelliPeter PetrelliTracy StraussSamuel SullivanMohinder SureshSylar


AllisonCharlie AndrewsGretchen BergChris BowmanEmma CoolidgeDamianEvan DavisEric DoyleEdgarEliEzekielLauren GilmoreNurse HammerLydiaKimiko NakamuraJanice ParkmanMatt Parkman, Jr.Pregnant carnyPsychic carnyRenéReginald StanleyAmanda StrazzullaTiger pants carny

See Also: Minor CharactersSeason One CharactersSeason Two CharactersSeason Three CharactersHeroes Reborn CharactersFuture CharactersAnimalsWebisodes Characters
Graphic Novel CharactersiStory CharactersEvolutions CharactersBook CharactersUnaired CharactersCast