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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.


Although he continues to live as Nathan, Sylar has begun to notice that things are not as they seem, which Angela tries to pass off as Nathan's mid-life crisis. However, later, in his office, Sylar moves a coffee cup accidentally, gives off sparks, and briefly (although he doesn't realize it) shape shifts back into himself--all manifestations of abilities that the real Nathan did not possess. Unsettled, Sylar repeatedly tries to call Peter for help, but his "brother" refuses to return his calls.

In Los Angeles, Matt discovers his son missing from his crib. Shortly after, he finds an apparition of Sylar (as himself) holding the child.

Jump, Push, Fall

The illusory Sylar claims that his personality entered Matt's mind when he tried to erase his memories. However, he has no knowledge of his body's location and demands that Matt restore him. When Matt claims that he doesn't use his ability anymore, Sylar becomes intrigued and claims that he will make Matt use his ability again, before throwing Matt Jr. to his father and disappearing when Janice enters the room. Later, when Matt is at a drug counseling group session, Sylar appears and continues to taunt him, leading Matt to react to a person no one else can see. Later still, while Matt interrogates a suspected drug dealer, Sylar repeatedly mocks him about his paranoid belief that Janice is cheating on him, eventually causing Matt to angrily throw a chair at the non-existent Sylar, which frightens the suspect into talking. When he gets home, Matt uses his ability to convince Roy (whom he believes is sleeping with Janice) to never return, much to Sylar's delight.


Sylar appears to Matt while on a bust in a drug dealer's home. Sylar tells Matt he doesn't want to be trapped inside his mind but Matt insists he will pay this price to keep Sylar imprisoned. Sylar then helps Matt by telling him the drug dealer is about to open fire. The dealer does so and Matt is able to avoid the shots and catches the bad guy. As Matt and his partner begin to search for the drugs, Sylar taunts him to use his abilities to find them. Sylar then has Matt notice a stuffed rabbit and declares that the house isn't just used for drugs but something much worse.

Sylar has made Matt find a ransom note and urges him to use his ability. Matt does so and discovers the body of a little girl, dead. Matt beats the suspect until his partner comes in and declares that there is no body. Sylar is amused at this and tells Matt that he is using his own mind games against him. As Matt's partner decides to report his actions, Matt is forced to use his telepathy to erase his memories. Sylar congratulates him and warns Matt that if he doesn't help him reclaim his body, then the mind games will continue.


Angela brings a box of Nathan's old possessions to Nathan's office in Washington. "Nathan" picks up a toy plane and sees Nathan playing with it as a child. He then picks up a baseball cap and he sees a woman jumping into a swimming pool and dying. Sylar then goes to see Peter and tells him that he has been slowly discovering new abilities. He describes his experience with the toys and Peter tells him that it sounds like psychometrics. When Sylar tells him about Kelly Houston, Peter wonders if someone killed her. Sylar leaves, saying that he is going to find out.

Sylar goes to see Millie, Kelly's mother, who talks with him about Kelly. She admits that she believes Kelly ran away because she was a horrible mother and Sylar goes out to the pool. He uses his clairsentience and learns that Kelly died because of Nathan. He goes to a bar and Angela finds him and asks him why he is digging up the past. Sylar tells her that he can't let Millie think that her daughter is still alive. He tells Millie the truth but she chooses not to believe him. Soon, at a parking garage, Sylar is knocked unconscious and abducted.

The kidnapper dumps Sylar into a grave in the woods and then shoots him repeatedly. He covers the grave with earth and leaves. Shortly after that, Sylar emerges, returned to his original form.

Hysterical Blindness

Sylar pulls himself out from his grave and wanders the roads until a police officer, Captain Lubbock, arrests him under the suspicion that he is drunk. Sylar is placed in an interrogation room and the authorities learn that he has no memory of who he is. Madeline Gibson comes to see Sylar and promises him that she will help him regain his memories.

Peter invites both Angela and Nathan over for lunch but only Angela makes it. She tells Peter that Nathan may show up eventually and Peter tells her that he is worried about him. When Peter leaves for work, Angela decides to stay, just in case Nathan shows up.

Later, while drinking tea with Madeline, Sylar describes how everything is new to him. Feelings, sounds and temperatures are seem strange and intense. Madeline runs an exercise with him and has him close his eyes. She tells him to tell her the first thing he sees, but Sylar is distracted by the ticking of a clock on the wall and is able to tell her the time difference between her watch and the clock. Madeline leaves and Lubbock enters, saying that Sylar is a murderer who killed his mother. Sylar is afraid and telekinetically throws Lubbock through the window. He then grabs a ride with Madeline, reminding her that she promised she would help him.

Sylar insists that being a killer is not who he is and he believes that Madeline also thinks that. He decides to turn himself in but when he is surrendering to Lubbock, he begins to generate electricity. Lubbock shoots Sylar and Madeline follows the body, witnessing him heal. Sylar flees into the woods and comes across a carnival. Samuel Sullivan signals for him to come in and introduces the carnival as Sylar's new home.

Tabula Rasa

Sylar stays inside his trailer within the carnival while Samuel and Lydia talk about him. Samuel brings Sylar outside and offers to help restore his memories. He tells him that a great damage has been done and asks Sylar to tell him what he would like to be called. Sylar thinks about it and says that he feels like "Nathan" is his name. Samuel shows Sylar around the carnival, explaining about their concept of family, and that everyone there has powers. Sylar watches as Teddy demonstrates his power and then shakes hands with Lydia and briefly remembers shaking a lot of hands. He looks at Samuel and asks if he may have been a politician. Sylar works with Lydia, who tells him how Joseph wanted to build a sense of community. After Lydia flirts with him, Sylar is attacked by Edgar. He uses his telekinesis to throw the speedster into a wheelbarrow and then goes back to Samuel and tells him that he believes he used to be a pilot. Samuel is annoyed that his true memories have not yet returned and calls over Damian for assistance.

Damian takes Sylar to the hall of mirrors and uses his ability. Sylar then begins to see images of all the people he has killed. Sylar is horrified and runs outside. Samuel finds him and tells him that Captain Lubbock is at the carnival and tells him that they brought him in and risked their own safety. Sylar asks him what he wants him to do and Samuel shrugs, saying it is up to him. Sylar enters the hall of mirrors and faces Lubbock, but he does not kill him. Edgar, however, does. Later, Samuel baptizes Sylar and initiates him into the family. He happily eats dinner and flirts with Lydia, who then leads him to her trailer while Samuel and Edgar look on.

Strange Attractors

After Sylar takes over his body and sleeps with his wife, Matt becomes obsessed with getting rid of Sylar. While drinking beer, he notices it seems to hurt Sylar. He keeps drinking until Sylar disappears, at which point he passes out. Sylar sees this as an opportunity and takes control over Matt's body, posing as him when he speaks to Janice and Matt. Sylar then taunts Matt, asking him if he wants his body back.

At the carnival, Sylar sees Tracy and slightly remembers her, saying that they flew together. Samuel informs him that these are not his memories but Sylar states that he wants to know who he truly is.

Graphic Novel:Yang & Yang

Sylar chops wood and nearly hits Amanda and Caleb. Caleb introduces Amanda to Sylar and Sylar is surprised to hear that Amanda only recently joined the carnival as well. He asks if she has an ability and shakes her hand. He accesses his clairsentience and sees everything that Amanda has been through. He advises her to return to Lydia and remembers how he killed his own mother. Caleb suddenly changes and Sylar is forced to shock him to keep him away.

Once Upon a Time in Texas

Three years previously, Sylar asks Hiro to step aside and walks into the Burnt Toast Diner. While Sylar reads the menu, Charlie asks if he wants coffee and notices Sylar's watch. She starts reciting facts about the timepiece, prompting Sylar to asks if she is a collector, but Charlie says she read about it in an article a while ago. Sylar asks her a couple of questions to test her memory skills, and she answers correctly. Sylar asks her is she thinks her ability comes from the blood clot in her brain. Charlie is astonished how he knows about it and Sylar says that he also has an ability, that he knows exactly how things work and that he can repair them if they are broken. Charlie is perturbed, but Sylar orders some pancakes and smiles. On the other side of the cafe is Noah, who is talking to another agent about a serial killer they are hunting.

Later, Sylar attempts to steal Charlie's ability but Hiro stops time and wheels his frozen body away, stashing him inside a bus. Hiro then remembers that Charlie is still affected by the blood clot and that Sylar said he could fix it. Hiro returns to the bus and tries to find Sylar, but Sylar ambushes him, and presses Hiro against the bus. Sylar asks Hiro how he did what he did, and Hiro tells Sylar about his ability. Sylar tries to acquire Hiro's ability, but Hiro evades him by stopping time multiple times.

Sylar realizes that Hiro has a brain tumor, and that is why he's trying to save Charlie. Hiro asks Sylar to make a deal: if he fixes Charlie's aneurysm, Hiro will tell him about his personal future. They go back to Charlie, who is being assisted by Lynette. Lynette asks who Sylar is and Hiro tells her Sylar is a doctor. Though slightly surprised, Sylar confirms this. After Lynette leaves, Sylar tells Charlie to stay still, and proceeds to cut out her aneurysm while Hiro comforts her.

After Charlie is cured, Sylar says that he did his part in the deal, and demands Hiro to tell him about his future. Hiro tells him that he'll murder a lot of people, acquiring many abilities, but that in the end, others like them will come together and will stop him. He tells Sylar that he dies alone and that nobody will shed a tear for him. Hiro stops time and leaves Sylar out in the back alley where they made their deal. He hears a crowd of cheerleaders go by and heads off in search of his next target.


At the carnival, the "physical" Sylar is asleep in his trailer. He starts dreaming about Nathan's memories, causing his body to shape shift into the image of Nathan whose mind has regained control of his body. He wakes up and gets dressed, seeming to be confused by his surroundings. Sylar then steps outside, where he tries to walk through incognito. When Lydia and Samuel step out of their trailer, Sylar flies off.

Meanwhile, Sylar's consciousness, which has taken over Matt's body, is at an airport. He is heading for New York to find Peter, because being stabbed with a syringe by Peter is the last thing he remembers. As he passes through the X-ray, the guards arrest him when they spot a gun in his bag. Matt tells him that Sylar thought he packed socks earlier but was actually packing a gun. The guards take him away for questioning and refuse to let him fly.

Forced to drive instead, Matt and Sylar stop by the roadside when the car gets a flat tire. Matt boasts that he prevented Sylar from seeing the large chunk of metal that caused the puncture. A truck comes along and stops, and a man steps out and offers to help. Intent on proving that "the world is his hostage" and that he is the one in the driver's seat, Sylar kills the man. Matt is horrified, but Sylar says that if there is no more sabotage, there will be no more killings.

They arrive at the Burnt Toast Diner and Sylar mentions that he almost killed a waitress there once. After ordering the pancakes he enjoyed on his last visit, Sylar demands to know the truth from Matt, and threatens to kill Lynette if Matt does not cooperate. Matt eventually confesses that he, Angela Petrelli and Noah Bennet forced Sylar to take on Nathan's form and memories. Sylar resolves to find Nathan to get his body back, and then to kill everyone who was even remotely involved in what happened to him.

While Matt and Sylar are still at the diner, Matt makes Sylar subconsciously write a threatening note on a napkin, which he unwittingly hands to Lynette. When they go outside, Sylar is surprised to see the police, but Matt has it all planned out and says that he is willing to sacrifice himself to make sure Sylar dies. Matt forces Sylar into pretending to take out a gun from his jacket, thus prompting the policemen to shoot him. His unconscious body is driven away in an ambulance, while paramedics try to revive him.

Later the "physical" Sylar arrives at Peter's apartment as Nathan, where he embraces Peter and says that he thinks he's in trouble.

Brother's Keeper

Sylar, as Nathan, goes with Peter to Nathan's office. Nathan is worried about the fact that he woke up in a carnival with no idea of how he got there. René arrives and wants to talk to Peter alone, looking at Nathan with suspicion.

Peter takes Nathan to the Store-It-Here in Arlington, VA. They go to the numbered storage room on the card, that René gave to Peter, and open it. Inside is a large metal case that contains a body. Nathan opens it to discover that it's his body. Peter insists that it isn't him, but Nathan wonders why René wanted them to see it. Nathan touches the body and has flashes of memory, including a hotel room, Sylar killing Nathan, and Matt turning Sylar into Nathan. They figure that they need to find Matt in Los Angeles to get straight answers, but Nathan's assistant tells them that Matt Parkman has been shot by the police and is in a hospital in Texas.

When Peter and Nathan go to the Midland Hospital, they slip into Matt's room, and Peter heals him. Matt wakes up and finds himself facing the mental image of Sylar. Sylar says that he only needs one touch to get his body back. Matt yells at him, puzzling the others, and insists that Sylar is in his head, planning to use Matt's telepathy to get his body back. Matt explains that Nathan is dead and that he used his telepathy to put Nathan's memories in Sylar's body. Impatient, Sylar takes control of Matt. Sylar says that Nathan can take his hand and he'll make everything all right. Nathan starts to reach for the restrained Sylar, but then backs away. When Sylar continues to insist, Peter threatens to kill him, but Nathan uses his telekinesis to shove Peter aside. Sylar says that it's okay and that it's time to end it. As Nathan steps forward, a police officer comes in and pulls Nathan away. Nathan's hand briefly brushes Sylar's hand, allowing Sylar to transfer back to his own body, although "Nathan" remains in control and telekinetically shoves the officer away. He then grabs Peter and flies out the window.

They land at the Grand Canyon. Nathan tells Peter there's a road nearby and that he can find his own way back home, but Peter refuses to leave his "brother" like this and replicates Nathan's flight in order to follow him back to New York. At Peter's apartment, Peter still isn't sure if all of this is true, but when Nathan asks whether Peter will ever be able to look at him again without seeing Sylar, Peter stays silent.


While in the form of Nathan, Sylar has nightmares in Peter's apartment. When Angela comes to have Thanksgiving with her boys, Sylar wakes up and hears the two of them talking about Nathan's possible death. Sylar then approaches Angela and demands to know if "he" (Nathan) is really dead. Angela demands that the three of them have a nice dinner together and threatens to leave and never reveal the truth after Sylar tries to grab her.

The family sits down and eats at the dinner table and "Nathan" says that he knows he is dead. Angela then reveals that Matt transferred Nathan's mind into Sylar's body and she reassures "Nathan" that he is still the same in every way. Sylar/Nathan disagrees, saying that he knows that Angela sees the real Sylar whenever she looks at him and that he wishes he had never learned the truth. Then, his body begins to release electrical arcs and he collapses on the floor while Peter and Angela stand back in shock. Much to their surprise, it is Sylar, in his own appearance, who gets up, not Nathan. Smiling, the real Sylar, now back in control of every part of himself, telekinetically pulls them back to the table.

Sylar telekinetically holds the Petrellis in their seats as he eats a pumpkin pie, saying that he feels he hasn't eaten for months. He mocks Peter and says how much he admires Angela for raising the bar of evil and giving him something to strive for. He kisses her on the mouth and then, angrily, begins to slice open her skull. Angela screams in pain but Sylar stops and stands back, struggling with something within him. Peter and Angela realize that Nathan's personality is fighting for control and they urge it to overpower Sylar which it manages to do. Sylar's body transforms back into Nathan and asks Angela what she has done to him. He then runs out into the corridor, leaps out of the window, and flies away.

The Fifth Stage

Sylar, back in control of his body, disguises himself as Nurse Hammer and gets in an elevator with Peter. After changing the elevator controls, he attacks Peter and turns back into himself. He is disappointed to find that Peter was planning to tranquilize him again, although he admits he's impressed how Peter did that to him once. He tries to find Peter and is hit from behind by him with a board. He tries to throw him, but fails as Peter is blocking him, which shocks him. The two engage in a physical fight and Peter defeats him, before nailing him to a table with a nail gun. Sylar is unable to regenerate due to Peter blocking him and Peter tries to convince him to become Nathan for good. But he refuses to, so Peter uses his new ability to help Nathan regain control. Sylar fights Nathan for control and is too powerful for Nathan to handle. Nathan, knowing that he really is dead and accepting that, says his goodbyes to Peter and throws himself off a roof. Nathan apparently "dies" for good and Sylar regains control permanently. After regenerating from his injuries, he mockingly salutes Peter and walks off.

Graphic Novel:Requiem for My Brother

Sylar, in Nathan's form, clutches at Peter's hand and falls off the rooftop. After healing from his wounds and returning to his own form, Sylar flies away.

Upon This Rock

Sylar's real name, Gabriel Gray, appears in Noah's files.

Let It Bleed

Sylar returns to the carnival and throws Doyle through the air, knocking over a table where Samuel is working. Sylar shows Samuel the compass that led him back to the carnival, saying that it has been a while since his body and mind were together, but that they have now returned with one thought: feast. He throws Samuel against his trailer and says that all the people Samuel has brought to the carnival will make him a lot more powerful. Samuel says that he has big plans for Sylar but Sylar states that everybody has big plans for him and tries to slice open Samuel's skull. Somehow he is unable to and Samuel quickly uses his ability to make a storm of earth around Sylar, grinding away his flesh. Sylar is badly injured and passes out.

Sylar later wakes up in Lydia's trailer, to find Lydia touching his bare skin and noting that it 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.

Sylar has empathy

As they embrace, Lydia senses Sylar's feelings, saying that he is afraid of dying alone and thinks he does not deserve love. Sylar realizes that she has an ability and asks if she knows what he does to others like her, but she knows the answer. 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 realizes 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. He tells her that killing isn't essential to him and is just something he likes to do. When Lydia says that isn't true any more and calls him impotent, Sylar shoves her away. He takes his shirt and leaves her trailer.

Later, Sylar searches for Samuel's ink so he can learn where to go next. Samuel steps up and claims to know why Sylar can't kill. He knows that Hiro predicted Sylar would die alone, but says that if Samuel himself found love and forgiveness at the carnival, Sylar could too. Sylar asks to be given a tattoo, saying that he will stay, but only after seeing the image it makes. Samuel decides to take the risk and makes some new ink, which he injects into Sylar's chest. The tattoo starts to move across Sylar's body but doesn't come to rest until Samuel tells him to stop thinking and let it go. Finally the tattoo forms on his arm and Samuel looks at it in surprise. Sylar states that he shouldn't be at the carnival and walks away.

Sylar hovers outside Claire's window, and as he looks at his tattoo (which is revealed to be an image of Claire), he says "Hello, cheerleader."

Close to You

In Peter's dream, Sylar walks up to Emma as she plays the cello in a frenzy. He says that he's come to save her and reaches out a hand to her; she smiles gratefully. Later, Matt Parkman states that he had Sylar stuck in his head for weeks, but when he was finally released, Matt didn't go after him.


Sylar watches as Claire and her friend Gretchen talk. When Claire leaves Gretchen at the table, Sylar walks over and asks if Claire's seat is taken. Sylar later shows up in Claire's classroom and writes her name on the board. He says that they need to talk and tells her that no matter how much she may hate him, she is the only one who can help him. He tells her that he hasn't been able to kill anyone recently and wants to figure out why. He shows her his tattoo and Claire says that she doesn't care and that she will not help him. Sylar points to Gretchen's backpack, and says that her life is the life on the line. He proceeds to write several things on the board. He talks about how they are both adopted, how both their families never understood them and how both their fathers are murderers. He wonders why they are so different; Claire tells him that the difference between them is that he is a psychopath. She tries to leave but Sylar pins her to the floor and kisses her so he can understand her.

Meanwhile, in Hiro Nakamura's dream, Adam Monroe calls Sylar to the stand. Sylar talks about all the people he has killed and one of his victims, Jackie Wilcox, even appears. Sylar lists most of his victims and Adam talks about Charlie Andrews. Hiro insists that he changed Charlie's fate so that she was not killed by Sylar so that the world would be better.

In reality, Sylar realizes that Claire uses her power to put up walls around her, like he does. He says that they are alike and Claire stabs him in the eye with a pencil. She runs to the dorm room and finds Gretchen. When the windows shatter, the girls hide in the closet and Claire admits that Sylar was right. Gretchen shape shifts back into Sylar and thanks Claire for the help, saying that he knows what he has to do now. Later, Sylar shows up at the Parkman residence and knocks on the door. Janice Parkman answers it and Sylar says that he is a friend of Matt's from the 12th precinct. Janice asks him if they have met before.

The Art of Deception

Sylar continues to lead Janice to believe that he and Matt are old friends, and Matt plays along so as to not frighten her. Eventually, while alone together, in the basement, Sylar relays to Matt that his reason for finding him is his desire to be a good person. Believing that, without his abilities, he would not be a monster, Sylar asks Matt to rid him of them. Though Matt is hesitant, because of the fact that after the last time that he ventured into Sylar’s mind, he was continuously haunted by him, he eventually decides to take advantage of the opportunity and lock Sylar inside of his own mind. Sylar falls into an induced coma, and Matt begins building a brick barricade around him, so that his body will never be disturbed.

Peter, having seen a future in which Sylar is the only one who can stop Emma Coolidge from using her ability to kill thousands of people, travels to Matt’s home. However, after discovering Sylar’s unconscious body, he takes Matt’s power to journey into Sylar’s mind, in hopes of rescuing him.

The Wall

Peter finds himself in a seemingly deserted city. The only living being in existence is Sylar, who claims to have been trapped there for three years, though in reality, it has only been three hours. Sylar claims that there is no way out, though Peter is determined to find one after failing to break them out forcibly. The two make a deal: if Peter can get them free, Sylar will save Emma.

After mentioning Nathan and getting punched for his troubles, Sylar tries to make peace with Peter by giving him a copy of 9th Wonders!, but is rejected by Peter. Peter finally gets Sylar to admit that he doesn't want to escape as he feels he deserves the punishment. Peter gets Sylar to want to get free and a massive brick wall appears that Peter realizes they have to break through to escape. Sylar refuses to help as he feels it's pointless, but eventually, after a period of time, picks up a sledgehammer and tells Peter that while he can't bring back Nathan he can help him. Sylar and Peter pound on the wall to no avail for what seems like years until one night while Sylar is starring at the wall, Peter brings him a copy of The Pillars of the Earth as a thank-you gift for keeping him sane as Sylar wore out his other copy. Sylar confronts Peter over the fact that he fears Peter will hit him with the sledgehammer instead of the wall and gets Peter to admit that while he wants to believe that Sylar has changed, he can't forgive him as he feels it won't honor Nathan's memory. Sylar points out to Peter that he has changed and is no longer the same person and Peter finally accepts it and seems to forgive Sylar. Once Peter does so, the wall starts to crumble and Sylar joins Peter in hitting the wall until they finally break a hole in it, freeing them from the nightmare.

In the real world, Sylar finds himself trapped behind a wall in Matt's basement and uses his telekinesis to break free. Sylar and Peter discuss their experiences, discovering that while it felt like years to them it was only half a day at most in reality. Sylar wonders if that makes what they went through any less real and Peter decides it's time for them to save Emma. As they start to leave, Sylar and Peter are confronted by Eli and his clones who are intent on stopping them.

Brave New World

Peter and Sylar quickly render Eli unconscious, saving Matt's life. After discerning Samuel's location from Eli, they attempt to go to New York City, but Matt refuses to allow Sylar to leave. Sylar tells Matt to read his mind and see that he is telling the truth. Matt does so, but is still not entirely convinced, saying that he can only read his mind, not his heart. Sylar asks for the chance to prove himself, and Matt agrees, and tells Sylar and Peter to get out.

After arriving in New York, they see the tent where Emma is being forced to play against her will, luring in civilians for Samuel. Sylar notices Peter's concern, but reminds him of his dream, and that he is supposed to save her, not Peter. They agree to split up, and as Peter goes to deal with Samuel, Sylar goes to the tent where Emma is being held captive. Once there, he attempts to remove the cello from her, only to be stopped by Doyle. Instead of simply killing Doyle, Sylar stays true to his redemption, and attempts to plead with him. Doyle scoffs at him, saying that he is just one of us. Sylar replies that he is a hero. Doyle then begins mocking both Sylar and Emma, but at one point, while mocking her deafness, he uses his hand to pantomime, freeing Emma's. She uses this to channel her power into an energy blast that knocks Doyle to the ground and breaks his concentration. Sylar then uses telekinesis to control the situation.

Later, after Emma and Peter reunite, Emma tells Peter that his friend saved her, and took care of Doyle. Peter quickly goes to the tent to see that Sylar has tied Doyle up. Sylar later tells Peter that saving Emma and sparing Doyle felt right to him as does being a hero instead of a villain. As they walk away, Peter notices Claire climbing the Ferris Wheel, and wonders what she is doing. Sylar remarks that everything will change, and that it is a brave new world.

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.

Slow Burn

In chapter 5 of Slow Burn, Gail is assigned the mission to discover what Gabriel is truly hiding. She and Jennie spot Gabriel sitting alone beside the Ferris wheel and as they approach, he asks if they would like a turn on the wheel before their show. Gail introduces herself and Gabriel smiles, happy to make new friends. He then sees that while they may seem nice, Gail and Jennie are both visibly afraid of him. He is sad as they leave.

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 CharactersUnaired CharactersCast