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Sylar face.jpg
Portrayed by Zachary Quinto,
Maurice LaMarche (voice for Sylar's message),
Joshua Rush (in 1980),
Adrian Pasdar (as Nathan Petrelli),
Greg Grunberg (as Matt Parkman),
et al.
First appearance One Giant Leap
In-story stats
Known abilities Intuitive aptitude,
Current acquired abilities:
Rapid cell regeneration,
Sound manipulation,
Electric manipulation,
Lie detection,
Shape shifting,
Formal name Gabriel Gray
Aliases Gabriel Sylar,
Drew O'Grady,
Dr. Suresh,
Isaac Mendez,
Nathan Petrelli,
Special Agent Andrew Hanson,
et al.
Nicknames Boogeyman, Brain Man, Bad Man, Gabe
Place of birth Brooklyn, New York
Home New York, NY
Residence Sylar's apartment
Occupations Former carny,
former agent of Pinehearst Company,
former agent of the Company,
former clock/watch restorer
Significant others formerly Elle Bishop (deceased),
formerly Maya Herrera
Parents Samson Gray (father, adoptive uncle),
unnamed mother (deceased)
Adoptive parents:
Martin Gray (adoptive father, biological uncle),
Virginia Gray (adoptive mother, deceased)

Gabriel Gray a.k.a. Sylar (which he adopted from the name on his watch) is a former timepiece restorer who always desired to be special instead of "ordinary". Chandra Suresh came to him, identified him as "Patient Zero" in his research and revealed the existence of evolved humans to him. Discovering his ability of intuitive aptitude, he realized he could figure out how abilities worked and how to gain more. Sylar became a serial killer, targeting other evolved humans to steal their brains and gain their abilities. Sylar was driven by an uncontrollable "hunger" which for years he was unable to overcome. Once finally neutralized, his memories as Sylar were erased by Matt Parkman, who forced him to believe he was Nathan Petrelli. Nathan's personality controlled Sylar's body for months, but Sylar was eventually able to return to his body. After a brief struggle with the remnants of Nathan's consciousness, Sylar regains full control of his body. Redemption saw an altruistic shift in Sylar's persona, when it suddenly dawned upon him that he did not want to be alone forever and with the help of Peter seems to have made a change for the better.


Gabriel was born to Samson Gray and an as yet unnamed mother. When Gabriel was very young, Samson sold him to his brother, Martin (who abandoned his family not long after), and Martin's unstable wife, Virginia. He also witnessed Samson murder the boy's mother after a heated argument. He always dreamed of bigger things, of being "special", hopes amplified by Virginia's overzealous mothering. Adopting the name "Sylar," he becomes a serial murderer, targeting evolved humans with abilities, but doesn't discriminate against killing anybody who stands in his way. Having the power of intuitive aptitude, Sylar is able to see how things work and use that to take the special powers of others after killing them. The FBI has categorized Sylar as a suspected serial killer. His suspected victims are sometimes seen with their heads sliced open horizontally at the center of their skull and their brain removed. Other victims are pinned to walls, frozen, or beaten. Sylar is hunted by the FBI, but has successfully eluded and taunted them, growing stronger and more powerful with each victim.

Sylar's activities have since been noticed by the Company, who have made him their most wanted until twelve villains were released from level 5 accidentally by Elle. Since, he's supposedly been trying to change from being a serial killer to doing good, his motives remain unknown. He was Noah's partner in the Company for a short while, and was on Arthur Petrelli's side for a while as well, until he learned that he was not his father. After learning that Samson was his true father, Sylar began seeking him, gaining a companion, Luke Campbell, in the process. Eventually he sent Luke home and finally confronted his father, a former serial killer with intuitive aptitude who was dying of cancer. After this meeting, Sylar returned to killing, teaming up with Emile Danko to hunt other evolved humans and gaining the power of shape shifting.

Sylar's memory was erased by Matt Parkman and replaced with the memory of Nathan Petrelli. The change was unstable, however, as "Nathan" began to manifest some of Sylar's abilities, and a vision of his true self began hounding Matt, demanding his body back. Now Sylar is looking for revenge, starting with acquiring more abilities at the carnival. However, Samuel has convinced him otherwise, and after absorbing a empathetic new ability, is once again stalking Claire Bennet. However after meeting with her, it seems may seem that Sylar wants to lose his abilities to become human and make a connection with someone.

To accomplish this goal, Sylar threatened Parkman to remove his powers, but was double-crossed, with Matt trapping him in a nightmare where he is completely alone and without his powers. In order to save his friend Emma, Peter entered an increasingly repentant Sylar's nightmare in an attempt to free him. Trapped together for what seemed like years, Peter and Sylar overcame their animosity towards each other and escaped. Traveling to the Carnival, Sylar saved Emma from Eric Doyle, declaring himself a "hero" in the process. Accepting that he could truly become a hero, Sylar was optimistic when he witnessed Claire reveal her ability on live television, dubbing the result a "brave new world".

Character History

Season One

For an episode-by-episode summary, see Sylar: Season One History.

Sylar is hunting down the cheerleader.

Mohinder Suresh discovers that Sylar was involved in his father's death and research. Meanwhile, Sylar is on a quest to gain as many powers as he can—he kills the Walkers in their home, then murders Charlie Andrews at the Burnt Toast Diner. At Union Wells High School's Homecoming, Sylar fails to collect Claire Bennet's power of regeneration when Peter Petrelli interferes. After a long fall, he is captured by Eden and the Haitian from the Company and is temporarily held captive at Primatech Paper Co. until he escapes, killing Hank and Eden McCain.

Six months prior, Chandra Suresh meets Gabriel Gray and helps him discover his potential by telling him about his research. When Chandra gives up on him Gabriel kills Brian Davis and takes his power of telekinesis. In the present, Sylar takes Zane Taylor's power of melting impersonating Mohinder Suresh. He impersonates Zane to gain Mohinder's help. Mohinder discovers Sylar's identity soon after Sylar kills Dale Smither and takes her enhanced hearing power. Mohinder tries to shoot Sylar, but fails. Sylar faces Peter, but Peter emerges victorious. Angry, Sylar sets out to find Isaac Mendez.

Sylar then kills Isaac at his apartment and gains Isaac's power of precognition. After seeing an explosion with his newly stolen power, he believes and fears that he will be the cause of the deaths of many innocent people. He visits his mother and tells her that she helped him realize that he could do anything, even become president if he wanted to. Their meeting, however, ends in a fight and Sylar accidentally stabs his mother in the heart. Sylar later kills Ted Sprague and takes his ability of induced radioactivity. He then confronts Peter Petrelli, Matt Parkman, Niki Sanders and Hiro Nakamura at Kirby Plaza. Hiro appears and seemingly kills Sylar by running him through with Ando's sword, Sylar's body disappears, leaving only a trail of blood that leads into a manhole.

Season Two

For an episode-by-episode summary, see Sylar: Season Two History.

Sylar awakens on a beach with a redhead, who explains that she dragged him away from Kirby Plaza and that the people that she works for fixed his wounds. Sylar tries to use his powers, but finds himself unable to. Sylar kills her and attempts to take her power, but cannot use it. He then leaves the building for the first time and discovers that he is in the middle of a Mexican jungle. He is eventually found in the middle of the road by Derek, Maya, and Alejandro. They give him a ride, and he tells Maya and Alejandro that he knows Chandra Suresh.

In Mexico, Sylar is affected by Maya's ability.

After killing Derek, Sylar finds that Maya and Alejandro are special. He helps them get into America to get them to Dr. Suresh. When they finally get to the border, they are surrounded by a Citizen's Border Patrol. Maya gets upset and uses her ability, causing the men fall down. Sylar holds Alejandro back from using his ability, presumably killing the men as they drive away. Sylar and Alejandro fight, and knowing Alejandro can't understand English, he tells him that the only reason he is helping the twins is so that when his powers return he can kill them and steal their powers. He says that even if he cannot get his powers back, Maya is his new toy and she's all his.

Sylar teaches Maya to learn how to control her power, and convinces her that Alejandro blames her for his wife's death. When Alejandro informs Maya that Sylar killed his own mother, Maya and Sylar decide to go to New York without Alejandro to find Dr. Suresh. Sylar is later attacked by Alejandro and Sylar kills him with a knife. Maya shows up without knowing he had just killed her brother. She tells Sylar that he was right about everything and thanks him for helping them. They share a kiss as Sylar shuts the door on her dead brother. Later, Sylar calls Mohinder from Mohinder's apartment. As Sylar strokes a sleeping Molly's hair, he tells Mohinder that he has brought Maya to talk to the doctor.

Upon returning home, Mohinder is greeted by Sylar and introduced to Maya, who needs Mohinder's help. Mohinder tells Maya that Sylar is a killer, but she admits that she has killed people as well, and describes her ability to Mohinder. Sylar tells Mohinder that he needs help too. He opened Mohinder's laptop and found lab work on a virus that takes away a person's abilities. He wants Mohinder to help him cure this virus, noting that Mohinder's blood, mixed with a certain cheerleader's blood, can cure the virus. Mohinder reluctantly agrees to help Sylar, and the two, Maya and Molly go to Mohinder's lab. Mohinder draws a sample of Sylar's blood, and finds that Sylar has the same strain of the virus that Niki has, telling him that the Company injected him with it as well. Sylar tells Mohinder to test the cure on Maya, who was shot by Sylar. Mohinder injects Maya, causing her wound to heal and the bullet to be expelled from her body. As Sylar prepares for his injection, Elle arrives and shoots bolts at Sylar. He quickly grabs the medicinal case with the remedy and runs from her, getting struck in the back and falling through a pane of glass. Sylar sits against a building with the virus's antidote. He injects himself and the wounds inflicted from falling through glass start to heal. He extends his arm toward a can across the alley and successfully moves a can from across the alley.

Season Three

For an episode-by-episode summary, see Sylar: Season Three History.

Sylar shows off his new ability.

Arriving in Costa Verde, Sylar surprises Claire in her house and, after psychologically torturing her, takes her ability, along with a list of prisoners kept within the Company. He refuses to kill Claire, calling her "special". He leaves for Hartsdale, where he successfully breaks into Primatech Research and murders Bob Bishop, acquiring another ability. Sylar attempts to regain his abilities by releasing the Level 5 prisoners for his own personal gain, but the battle against Noah and Elle proves too much, and he is knocked unconscious and held captive by the pair. During this time, he learns from Angela that he is her son, making him the brother of Peter and Nathan. With this newfound knowledge, Sylar, after being fed a third ability by Angela, attempts to redeem himself by becoming Noah's partner within the Company, but loses himself during a bank heist, ending with him murdering Jesse for his power of sound manipulation. He is subsequently placed back in his cell, where he mediates until he is ambushed by Peter, whom arrives from the future and tells Sylar about his future. Sylar sees this as proof that he can change, but ends up having to knock out Peter as he has absorbed Sylar's ability.

After nearly being recruited into The Company, Sylar helps Noah and Claire with an escaped prisoner, Stephen Canfield, which ends when Stephen kills himself. Later, Sylar and Peter attempt to work together when they find Angela in a coma, although they quickly come to blows, with Peter prevailing and locking Sylar away in Level 5. Sylar breaks out with Angela's help in time, and rescues Peter from Pinehearst, until he is nearly killed by Mohinder. Arthur saves him, then tells Sylar about his childhood, which causes Sylar to change allegiances, but not before allowing Peter to escape with his own brand of help. Meanwhile, Hiro views Sylar's history and his chance at suicide and redemption, which became hindered through the interventions of Elle and Noah, who fed him his second ability.

Elle teaches Sylar how to use her ability.

Now under Pinehearst's banner, Arthur leads Sylar to a prison cell, where Elle is chained to the floor. Sylar suffers immense pain as Elle yells at him for murdering her father, but Sylar continues to seek his redemption without giving into pain. Elle eventually tires, and Sylar copies Elle's ability, astounding her. They rebuild their relationship, and are eventually sent on a mission together by Arthur. Elle convinces Sylar to become the bad guy again, and they steal a car to race to Stephen Canfield's house, where they arrive to take Claire from Noah. At the same time, the eclipse occurs, leading to Sylar, Claire and Elle having no abilities. Claire is shot in the confusion, while Sylar and Elle are left wounded on the ground. After a few minutes, Sylar and Elle have sex and regroup as Noah hunts them down for what they did to Claire, which climaxes when Noah successfully kills Sylar. However, the eclipse ends, and Sylar returns, holding Sandra and Noah hostage, when Hiro arrives and teleports Elle and Sylar to a beach. There, Sylar gives up on his path of redemption and murders Elle.

Sylar refuses to return to Pinehearst, and instead uses Elle's phone to find his next victim - Sue Landers, who can detect lies. Having disguised himself as a delivery man, Sylar murders Sue and steals her ability, then returns to Pinehearst in the middle of a tense conflict between Peter, Arthur and the Haitian. Sylar stops a bullet fired by Peter at Arthur, discovers the truth behind his parentage, and pushes the bullet forward, ending Arthur. Sylar leaves without battling Peter, as he does not have an ability he wants. Having taken down his fake father, Sylar arrives at Primatech Research, pitting Claire, Noah, Angela and Meredith against one another while battling Eric Doyle, Echo and Danny Pine, in order to learn the truth behind his parents. Sylar injects Meredith with adrenaline, and captures Angela on her own, when he learns that she knows about his real father. Before he can react to the information, Claire stabs him in the back of the head with a shard of glass, killing him instantly and leaving him to die in the blaze Meredith starts.

The shard melts during the blaze, allowing Sylar to resurrect and take another ability. Several weeks later, Sylar visits his foster father, who admits his failure at upholding a rocky marriage and passes Sylar the address of his real father. Once Sylar arrives, a trap set by Danko is sprung, but Sylar fends off Danko's team and takes a hostage, torturing him in another house. Meeting the house residents, Sylar learns of Luke Campbell's ability, and decides to let him live after Luke kills Daniel before he can take a shot. Sylar discovers that Luke knows where his father is, and they leave together. Traveling side-by-side, Sylar and Luke face problems including another trap sprung in a restaurant, when they stop at an abandoned diner. Sylar remembers being sold to Martin and Virginia, and how his father murdered his mother. Angry, Sylar abandons Luke in the diner, and leaves to confront his father and potentially kill him. When he arrives, Sylar learns that Samson is dying from cancer, and he has become old and weak. This changes when Sylar reveals his healing, leading to a battle between the two, although Sylar allows Samson to live so that his cancer can kill him instead.

Under the guise of Nathan, Sylar attends "his own" funeral.

Sylar sneaks into Danko's apartment and leaves him a gift, then offers an alliance to him. Although reluctant, Danko accepts Sylar's help, and together they kill James Martin, allowing Sylar to shape shift, granting easier access to Building 26. Sylar uses this to his advantage, and systematically destroys Noah's life, including his marriage to Sandra. His plans backfire when he suffers an identity crisis, which is resolved by saving Micah and coming to terms with the death of Virginia, when he meets Nathan and decides to become the President. He attempts to kill Nathan, but Danko stabs him in the back of the head, to which Sylar reveals that he can no longer be killed in that spot. Sylar frames Danko, and then impersonates Nathan as he tries to meet with the President. Claire and Noah learn of Sylar's plans, but Sylar proves too powerful and battles Nathan and Peter in a hotel room, leading to Nathan's death and Peter's escape. However, as Sylar grows closer to the President and finally shakes his hand to take his appearance, Peter reveals that he stole Sylar's ability and subdues him. Taken by Noah and Angela, they use Matt to convince Sylar that he is Nathan.

Several weeks later, Sylar, as Nathan, slowly unravels and uses his intuitive aptitude to fix a clock, then leaves for lunch with Angela.

Season Four

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

Stub.jpgThis section is a stub. You can help by expanding it.

Webisode:Dark Matters, Part 5

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

The Needs of the Many

Noah Bennet tells Taylor Kravid and Quentin Frady that he once knew someone who collected people's abilities through their brains and suggests that Erica Kravid has accomplished that in a different way.

Assignment tracker photo

Heroes Evolutions

Assignment Tracker 2.0

The Company's Assignment Tracker profile on Sylar discusses his origin as the son of a watchmaker, Dr. Chandra Suresh's study of his "patient zero", and Sylar's method of removing his victims' brain matter in order to acquire their abilities. The file also mentions Sylar's frequent escapes from custody. The file sheds light on his dysfunctional relationship with his "overbearing mother", and his failure to live up to her expectations of being special. Instead, he learned to use his ability to "fulfill his deep-seated desire to be 'special' and thus prove his worth to his demanding mother." However, infusion of foreign DNA into Sylar's genome has corrupted his mind and moral compass.

For Sylar's original Assignment Tracker 2.0 case file housed at, see file C004, and enter the password GGeh81zu. For a linked facsimile of the file, including full text and images, see here.

Heroes Reborn: Enigma

In 2008, Trevor Mason mentions Sylar when discussing instances of evolved humans having access to more than one ability.

Evolved Human Abilities

AT diagram Sylar.jpg
Cranial imaging

Sylar's innate ability is the power to determine exactly how things work. Sylar used this innate ability to discover how to take the abilities of other evolved humans. He determined that Chandra Suresh was correct that the abilities are based in the brain, and several of Sylar's victims have had their skulls opened and brains removed. By studying his victims' brains he is able to determine how their powers work and replicate those abilities himself.

Arthur revealed to Sylar that he can obtain the abilities of other people without killing them through empathy. Arthur left Sylar in a room with Elle, with whom he had a long talk, after which Sylar manifested her ability. It is unknown whether this manifestation was related to empathic mimicry or just a different method of using intuitive aptitude to understand an ability.

With this ability comes a 'hunger' for more knowledge and power. Sylar believes that it is this hunger that drives him to murder others and steal their powers. Twice he has been able to suppress this hunger. In one one future he battled to keep his hunger in check for the sake of his son, while in another he had acquired enough abilities to the point where he was comfortable eradicating every other evolved human (and thus, destroying every other ability) on the planet.

According to his assignment tracker file at, Sylar's control index is 76%. His data analysis shows his biological level at 40, cerebral at 85, elemental at 45, and temporal/spatial at 20.

During their conversation, Sylar and Noah confirmed that Sylar has multiple abilities (Fallout); however, apart from telekinesis, the Company was unable to identify what these powers were (Godsend). Based on Mohinder's statement to the authorities (Fallout) that at least six people from his father's list have been murdered by Sylar (prior to Zane Taylor), it's likely that Sylar had acquired at least ten abilities before he was infected with the Shanti virus in Kindred: the six Mohinder mentioned, plus four he acquired after Mohinder made his statement.

While he was infected, he attempted to take an ability from Candice Wilmer, but he was unable to use it. In an interview, the writers confirmed that Sylar was unable to acquire this ability while infected.

After he cured himself of the virus (Powerless) he was once again able to use his innate ability in addition to the ability he had acquired from Brian Davis, which he retained due to his guilt over killing Brian [1]. He was not, however, able to use the other abilities he acquired before his infection (confirmed here).

He has acquired several new abilities since curing himself of the virus and continues to acquire more, although he now seems to pursue them less obsessively.

He inherited intuitive aptitude from his father, Samson Gray.

Acquired Abilities

With Sylar's ability enabling him to take the abilities of others, he has acquired many abilities.

Before he was infected with the Shanti virus (Kindred), he had acquired the following abilities (in order):

Sylar originally stole enhanced memory from Charlie Andrews (Seven Minutes to Midnight). However, in Once Upon a Time in Texas, Hiro Nakamura went back in time, preventing the event from having happened. Thus, in the current timeline, Sylar never acquired the ability.

When he was infected, his intuitive aptitude and telekinesis were suppressed, and his other abilities were permanently lost.

He has since recovered from the virus (using a cure in Powerless), and subsequently demonstrated his original ability and telekinesis. Since that time, he has acquired the following additional powers:

Sylar killed Echo DeMille, severed Danny Pine's metallic arm, and knocked out Eric Doyle (Dual), but it is unknown whether or not he took their abilities; Doyle is still alive, Echo's body showed no signs of brain removal, and Danny's body was missing. Echo's ability is the same as Jesse Murphy's, which Sylar had taken previously.

Telekinesis is Sylar's most commonly observed acquired ability. Before his infection, he frequently used freezing as a secondary offensive ability and the passive enhanced hearing as well. Since recovering from the virus and acquiring new abilities, he often uses the passive abilities of lie detection and rapid cell regeneration, and he also seems to favor electric manipulation, shape shifting, and clairsentience. He has demonstrated the ability to use at least two of his acquired abilities at the same time (The Hard Part).

Possibly because of his intuitive aptitude, Sylar's control over an acquired ability is often superior to that of the person from whom he obtained it.

It was originally unclear whether or not Sylar stole Nathan's flight in An Invisible Thread using the empathic part of his ability, as he had previously levitated using telekinesis alone. However, Shadowboxing confirms that he did in fact obtain flight from Nathan.

While Sylar's mind was trapped within Matt Parkman's brain, Sylar was able to manipulate him with his own telepathy. However, Sylar never possessed the ability himself.

People Impersonated

After acquiring the ability of shape shifting from James Martin, Sylar has altered his form to appear as the following people:

Since becoming trapped in Matt's brain and subsequently taking it over (Strange Attractors), Sylar impersonated him for some time, before being transferred back into his original body.

Heroes Reborn App

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

Memorable Quotes

"When I was a kid, I used to wish some stranger would come and tell me my family wasn't really my family. They weren't bad people, they were just... insignificant. And I wanted to be different. Special. I wanted to change. A new name; a new life. The watchmaker's son... tick... became a watchmaker. It is so futile. And I wanted to be... important."

- Sylar (to Chandra Suresh) (Six Months Ago)

"Mom -- Mom, don't. Don't, it's just... maybe I don't have to be special. That's okay to just be a normal watchmaker. Can't you just tell me that's enough?"

- Sylar (to Virginia) (The Hard Part)

"And how much of it do we actually use? Ten percent of it, maybe twenty. Imagine the answers we'd have with a hundred percent. Why is there evil? How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? How do we make love stay?"

- Sylar (to Claire) (referring to the human brain) (The Second Coming)

"You're not a killer, Peter. I am."

- Sylar (to Peter before killing Arthur) (Our Father)

"Before the night is over, I'm going to prove to you, one by one, that you're all monsters exactly like me."

- Sylar (speaking to Noah, Claire, Meredith, and Angela) (Dual)

"He was gonna shoot you in the head, I mean I could have just let him."

"And I let you live, which is kind of a big deal for me!"

- Luke Campbell, Sylar (Trust and Blood)

"I'll keep trying to kill you for the rest of my life."

"Everybody needs a hobby."

- Claire, Sylar (An Invisible Thread)

"Everyone dies. Well, almost everyone. Papa Petrelli, Mama Bennet, Mr. Muggles... What's your brother's name again? Larry?"


"Right. He's gonna die, too."

- Sylar, Claire (An Invisible Thread)

"Hi. My name is Sylar. It's been about six weeks or so since I've seen my body and I want it back."

- Sylar, (to Matt's counseling group) (Jump, Push, Fall)

"You have raised the evil incarnate bar to an entirely new level. Thank you for giving me something to strive for."

- Sylar (to Angela) (Thanksgiving)

"They told me I needed a connection, a friend, I don't want to be alone."

- Sylar (to Claire) (Pass/Fail)

"You're like me."

"No. I'm a hero."

- Eric Doyle, Sylar (Brave New World)


  • According to a response in the Sept. 30, 2008 Behind the Eclipse CBR Q&A, Sylar lost the previous abilities he had gained, except for intuitive aptitude and telekinesis, due to his exposure to the Shanti virus and had to start over in gaining other abilities. The lost abilities would include shattering, freezing, enhanced memory (which Sylar later did not steal from Charlie because Hiro changed the past, as shown in Once Upon a Time in Texas), melting, enhanced hearing, precognition, and induced radioactivity. However, Sylar was able to use induced radioactivity and precognition in a possible future (I Am Become Death). In a response in the Oct. 13, 2008 Behind the Eclipse CBR Q&A, it was clarified that Sylar reacquired those powers during the time period in between the present and the future shown in the episode.
  • Clips from the unaired episodes on the Season Two DVD show Sylar getting his powers back and continue killing and acquiring powers. In the episode, Elle tells her father that Sylar has acquired four new powers, though we see only two of the thefts take place: he steals the ability of impenetrable skin from a character named Robert Keep, and the ability of dynamic camouflage from a character called "chameleon girl".
  • In an interview, Tim Kring responded to the question "Are Sylar and Claire's father connected?" by saying "There is a connection between the two, which will become clear in later episodes."
  • Kristin Veitch of E! indicates that Sylar's character "is the opposite of what you'd think it would be."
  • In an interview with Wizard Magazine, Tim Kring states "Sylar's storyline is much cleaner line than a lot of people think. He's literally just a character who wanted to be special and he gets kind of f--ked up and becomes a serial killer. That's all it is."
  • When the apparently dead Sylar revives in The Fix and in The Kindness of Strangers, the familiar "tick-tock" can be heard, perhaps implying he has used his power.
  • The fact that Sylar survived being shot (by Matt and by Mr. Bennet) and that he walked away from a serious fall at Homecoming led to speculation that he possessed some kind of superhuman endurance. However, Aron Coleite and Joe Pokaski stated in an interview that much of Sylar's apparent invulnerability is a product of his telekinesis. Sylar's resistance to bullets was specifically shown to be a specialized use of telekinesis. (Parasite)
  • Sylar seems able to levitate himself somehow. He seemingly did this to elude capture (One Giant Leap) and to approach Dale Smither without her hearing any sound of footsteps (Unexpected). He also escapes Virginia Beach police by propelling himself into a tree (Road Kill). Jason Badower stated that the script for Road Kill specifically states that Sylar uses telekinesis to escape the crashing Northeast Brewing Company truck. Whether or not the other instances are also a specialized use of his telekinesis is unclear.
  • Sylar introduces himself to the trucker as "Drew O'Grady", apparently taking the alias from two headlines in a newspaper he had seen shortly before meeting the trucker. The headlines read, "President drew fire for welfare comments" and "O'Grady Farm to be purchased back..." (Road Kill). This is in keeping with the way he acquired the "Sylar" alias, taking the name from a watch as he meets Brian Davis (Six Months Ago).
  • In an interview, Aron Coleite and Joe Pokaski explain that, although unusual vocal effects were used for both Sylar (Distractions) and Peter Petrelli (Unexpected), both were for "coolness factor", and were not an indication that either was using persuasion. They later reiterated the point in reference to Sylar's voice in .07%.
  • The address Mohinder discovers for Sylar in his father's journal is 1146 Trenton Place APT 1B, Queens, NY 11011. (One Giant Leap)
  • In an interview, Zachary Quinto said he purposely chooses to take on the characteristics of Sylar's victims. "[Distractions] was the genesis and then it continued for me as an actor to draw on the characteristics of the other characters that I was killing. There were choices I made in scenes to bring echoes of those characters to what I was doing."
  • In The Butterfly Effect, Sylar tells Elle that she is especially to blame for what he has become. This is likely a reference to the fact that she helped manipulate him into killing more people after he'd acquired his first power and was trying to stop (Villains).
  • Some have wondered why all of Sylar's acquired abilities except telekinesis were lost after he was infected with the Shanti virus. Writers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite said in a question and answer session that the telekinetic power remained because it is related to the guilt Sylar felt for killing Brian Davis. "Brian was Sylar's first kill and his power is connected to emotional empathy."
  • Exposed reveals that Sylar was sold to Martin and Virginia Gray in 1980, which shows Sylar as a young child, probably in his preschool years (4-6). This implies that Sylar was born during the mid 1970s.
  • In Into Asylum, Sylar suddenly appears in the back seat of Danko's car. After taunting Danko for a short time, Sylar abruptly disappears, only to be seen seconds later on a nearby rooftop. How Sylar accomplished this feat has not been explained.
  • Sylar's mysterious survival after Dual is finally explained in Turn and Face the Strange: the fire at Primatech melted the glass in his head, allowing him to regenerate.
  • In Pass/Fail, Claire describes Redemption's Sylar as an "emo-apologist".


  • A photograph on NBC's Heroes site shows a birth announcement for a "Paul E. Sylar", dated June 11, 1962. The announcement appears to be pinned next to the map in Chandra Suresh's Brooklyn apartment. However, the casting of 29 year-old Zachary Quinto seems contrary to this information, as does the revelation that "Sylar" is an assumed name. In all likelihood, since the announcement only ever appeared clearly in promotional photos, the character concept has changed since the original announcement was designed and there is no "Paul E. Sylar." This is a remnant from the original cut of the pilot episode (In His Own Image). In that version, the conversation on the Sylar tape can be heard, but it is a conversation between Chandra and Paul E. Sylar. Katherine Pope, an NBC drama development executive at the time, read the original pilot involving the early appearance of Sylar and pushed Kring to put off the character's reveal until nine episodes into the first season. [2]
  • The role of Sylar was originally offered to Christopher Eccleston. He declined the role because he thought it was a cliché for European actors to play villains in American culture.
  • In the first draft of the pilot, Sylar was supposed to appear in an Italian prison. According to Greg Beeman's blog, this version of Sylar was supposed to have long claw-like nails and sharp teeth. He was also supposed to be "way weirder and more monstrous — like Nosferatu."
  • Ando tells Peter that Sylar is like okage which he translates as "boogeyman" (Homecoming). Molly Walker also refers to Sylar as "the boogeyman" (The Hard Part). In I Am Become Death, a future Gabriel Gray refers to himself as a "boogeyman" to the time-traveling Peter Petrelli.
  • Sylar taking his name from a watch mirrors one theory regarding the Zodiac Killer who killed several people in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 60s. One suspect was allegedly given a "Zodiac" brand watch that had the same logo (a crossed circle) that the killer used to sign his letters. Also of note, before one alleged victim died, she was followed by a suspicious man wearing horn-rimmed glasses.
  • Before the airing of Six Months Ago, the theory that Sylar is Peter had become so stale at 9th Wonders, the semi-official Heroes fansite, that it has inspired a drinking game: whenever someone brings it up, drink.
  • At the end of Powerless, when Sylar regains his powers, the first thing he grabs with telekinesis is a can of spinach. This is a joke by the writers relating to Popeye the Sailor, who gains his "ability", strength, after eating spinach. [3]
  • According to his case file (password: GGeh81zu) at, Gabriel Gray weighs 150 pounds.
  • "Sylar" is a German surname that literally means "ropemaker." [4]
  • Sylar sounds like Schuyler, which is from a Dutch surname meaning "scholar".
  • Sylar's name that he uses when paired with Noah (Special Agent Andrew Hanson) is a masculine variation of Agent Audrey Hanson, an FBI agent who was tracking Sylar in Season One.
  • Sylar writes with his left hand in An Invisible Thread. He writes with his right hand in Pass/Fail.
  • According to Foz McDermott, Sylar was originally supposed to be a tall, thin Hispanic character. Additionally, before Zachary Quinto was cast, stuntman Ian Quinn would portray Sylar, dressed in a hat and jacket.
  • "Gray" is a unit of absorbed radiation dose. In Nothing to Hide, a murder by intense radiation is mistakenly attributed to Sylar.

See also

External links

Fan Theories

Please refer to Theory:Sylar 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