|Portrayed by||Zach Wilson|
|First appearance||Slow Burn|
|Debut||September 28, 2009|
|Known ability||Nerve manipulation|
|Occupation||formerly a milk can toss attendant at the carnival|
"The Watcher" is a mysterious Shakespeare-quoting evolved human who can manipulate nerves in the bodies of others. He hung around Sullivan Bros. Carnival undetected due to his powers, until he was caught. He has a sick fascination with secrets and uses his power to blackmail other people into uncovering secrets for him.
In chapter 1 of Slow Burn, the milk can toss attendant catches Chris Bowman eavesdropping of two other members of the carnival, seemingly appearing out of nowhere. He says that he knows that Chris is suspicious, and offers to tell him what he what he wants to know if he wins his game. When he does, the attendant tells him to ask Bo LoFontaine about New Orleans. Chris asks his name, but the attendant says that is not important, and when Chris blinks, he has disappeared.
In chapter 2 of Slow Burn, a mysterious carny watches Jennie Bowman hold the Palm Prē that Deeana gave her. He tells Jennie that Samuel wouldn't like her having a cell phone. But instead of taking the phone, the carny says that it's good that Jennie and her family have the phone. The carny tells Jennie that he needs her help, which will in turn help Jennie. He sends her a message and instructs her to show her parents what's in the message, and then her parents will stop fighting about the carnival. However, when Gail and Chris hear the message, they know that somebody knows about Mary, and they are scared.
As Gail searches the game area, the Watcher sneaks up behind her and asks if she is looking for him. Startled, she runs to find Chris. The Watcher finds the two of them together, and tells them that he likes secrets, and that theirs is safe if they help him find more secrets. Gail asks him his name, and he says to simply call him the Watcher, and disappears. The two then get a text, telling them to go to the trailer park to start their work for him.
In chapter 4 of Slow Burn, The Watcher sends a message to Chris, telling him to meet him at the milk can toss station. Chris goes there and asks The Watcher what he wants. The Watcher gives him the task of finding Lydia's phone number and, after Chris finds it, he tells him to find out the secret that Aviv is hiding. Chris soon reveals the secret to The Watcher.
In chapter 5 of Slow Burn, The Watcher materializes out of nowhere in front of Chris Bowman and his family. He gives them two folders on new members of the carnival, Gabriel and Amanda, and orders the Bowmans to find out all they can about them. Later, after Chris manages to calm Amanda down, The Watcher comes to him again and tells him it is good that he has her trust, and that it will be important in the days to come.
In chapter 6 of Slow Burn, The Watcher orders Chris to spy on Evan and Josh Davis. When Chris is hesitant to report what he learned, The Watcher threatens to reveal the he and his wife set up Mary Krause to be captured so they could escape.
In chapter 8 of Slow Burn, The Watcher thinks about the carnival and what Samuel calls a family. He believes that Samuel is a fool and that everybody is hiding things. He quotes Shakespeare, saying that the winter of our discontent has arrived, and that he is there to push it forward. The Watcher goes to Lydia's trailer and finds her phone, which has a message from Carol Strazzulla.
The Watcher goes to spy on Aviv and finds him lying in a field with Jack. He watches as Aviv is able to lift Jack into the air only when he is happy. The Watcher also finds it confusing that Aviv and Jack are simply lying down and watching the clouds. He decides to go and spy on Evan and Josh. He finds them playing a game of catch and is once again confused about how they are just playing a game and enjoying themselves. The Watcher finds everyone's actions confusing and reveals his ability to manipulate the nerves of others. He remembers watching his family weep and forget about him. The Watcher then goes after Samuel.
In Samuel's trailer, The Watcher finds some of Lydia's ink, a compass and Amanda's phone. He also finds a note on the fridge that perks his interest. It is full of scribbles but only a few words have been left untouched. He reads the note, which talks about something being stuck eight weeks ago, and then leaves the trailer. The Watcher is disappointed that he did not find any of Samuel's secrets and vows that Samuel's family, like his family, will be destroyed. He calls Morgan Harvey, another person whom he is blackmailing. He orders her to come to the carnival.
The Watcher marvels at his unfolding plans and promises the carnival that he will make them suffer, like he has suffered.
In chapter 9 of Slow Burn, Chris, Gail and Bo go looking for anyone who may know The Watcher. Aviv reveals that The Watcher has been haunting him and asks them to get rid of him. Gail, Chris and Bo end up going to Samuel, and they tell him all about The Watcher.
In chapter 10 of Slow Burn, The Watcher leaves a voicemail on Chris’s phone, telling him to meet outside of Samuel's trailer. He meets "Chris" behind the trailer, and is shocked when Chris reveals himself to be Josh, and the real Chris appears along with Gail, Bo, and Aviv. Bo wraps a piece of metal around him, pinning him in place. He retaliates by blinding all of them, but realizes he cannot break free of the metal, and restores their vision. They take him inside Samuel's trailer, where Lydia reveals his name to be Henry. Her tattoos form into a boy reaching for his parents, who are ignoring him. He denies the name, saying he is nothing but The Watcher. He rants against the carnival, saying it is only a matter of time before it is destroyed from within. Samuel then gives the Bowmans the choice to kill him or let him go.
In chapter 3 of Purpose, The Watcher uses his ability on John Mulligan, robbing him of his sight. When John threatens him with a gun, he restores his vision and explains that he came to help John. He says that they have similar needs and that he wants to take down Samuel just as badly as John does. The Watcher also says that he knows about John's crush on Gail Bowman and mockingly scolds him for going after a married woman. John agrees to work with him and The Watcher happily quotes Shakespeare again.
In chapter 4 of Purpose, The Watcher reappears and takes John to the carnival. The Watcher warns John to pocket his hat and try to blend in, then disappears. The Watcher watches John's progress through the carnival and warns him to run when he makes a mistake and is caught. The Watcher then reappears inside the Bowmans' trailer, much to the horror of Chris and Gail. The Watcher warns everyone that the real threat may not be so obvious and disappears when a confrontation seems imminent.
In chapter 5 of Purpose, The Watcher stops John from leaving the carnival and orders him to go back and stop Samuel. John claims that he needs his partner and wonders if The Watcher is truly out to help them. The Watcher explains that nerves travel faster than 250 miles per hour and that he works at the same speed. John asks if he can help and The Watcher reluctantly agrees and uses his ability to locate Lauren. He guides John to her and they see numerous Eli clones protecting her. When the Prime Eli begins to attack John, The Watcher stops his legs from working so that John can beat him. Lauren is not sure that they should be working with "Henry" and The Watcher angrily holds them in place, stating that they must destroy the carnival. John manages to knock over a medicine shelf with his iron pipe and knocks The Watcher out.
After Lauren leaves, The Watcher reawakens and removes John's vision. He taunts John, who tells The Watcher to fight honorably. Then, much to The Watcher's surprise, John uses his ability to move through time so fast that he becomes pure vibration and is able to break through The Watcher's power. The Watcher is mildly impressed by this and wonders if they should settle things the old fashioned way. John asks The Watcher one more time to give up but he says that he never will. John and The Watcher then begin to fight hand-to-hand and both seem evenly matched. However, John soon gains the upper hand and The Watcher manages to tackle him outside of the medical tent. It is then that both men realize that the carnival has moved to New York.
In chapter 6 of Purpose, The Watcher and John survey their surroundings and wonder why Samuel has brought the carnival to Central Park. The two of them agree to stop their fighting while they investigate. They break into Samuel's caravan and eavesdrop on the conversation between Samuel and Emma Coolidge. The Watcher realizes what Emma's power is and immediately changes his view on stopping Samuel, as the man is doing what he has been trying to accomplish for years. The Watcher and John continue to fight and The Watcher uses his ability to incapacitate John, who then begins to speak with The Watcher. He reminds The Watcher about the Bard's views on love and The Watcher releases John, realizing the horrible things he has been doing. He then disappears.
In an event message on the Heroes: Survival online game, an evolved human reports about a mysterious message they received from The Watcher saying: "Hello there. You've had a nice time out here, working and living, surviving, but you've got some darkness in your past, we all have things we'd rather keep secret... but now that I know yours, you're going to work for me. I have chores that will need doing and guess who gets to be my go-to guy now? YOU."
In an event message on the Heroes: Survival online game, The Watcher gives an unknown evolved human the task of learning all they can about a man named Gabriel Gray. The Watcher then gives them a phone number to call.
In an event message on the Heroes: Survival online game, The Watcher contacts his "go-to guy" and is furious they didn't deliver enough information to him but he tells the individual that it was a good start. He then suggests they learn about another one of his "helpers" named Chris Bowman. The Watcher reveals that he left some information about Chris in the carnival.
In an event message on the Heroes: Survival online game, The Watcher pops out of nowhere and talks to one of his evolved human workers. He is reportedly crazed and talks of plans to get revenge on those who betrayed him.
In an event message on the Heroes: Survival online game, a group of evolved humans are mentioned to have attacked The Watcher, who was revealed to have been causing a great amount of communication problems. They broke into his hideout but he was already waiting for them. Craftier then ever, The Watcher reportedly overpowered them and caused an individual to feel extreme pain.
In an event message on the Heroes: Survival online game, a message indicates that an all out war against The Watcher is imminent. It also mentions that several more powerful evolved humans have stepped up to fight.
In an event message on the Heroes: Survival online game, a message reports of the battle against The Watcher resulting in a loss. The Watcher used his powerful abilities to kill several evolved humans, including Elizabeth Axelson, Penkala Burton, and Arthur Dowland. Since then, The Watcher's whereabouts have been discovered by a clairvoyant named Adam Soo Hoo, leaving the remaining fighters to wonder if they should pursue him.
The Watcher has the ability to manipulate the nerves of others. He uses this ability to avoid being seen by others and remain undetected in his activities but has also been reported to use it to cause great pain in others.
"Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Bowman. You don't know me but I know you, oh so well. I've been watching you, and I know the secret you've been keeping from everyone. It's a shame what happened to Mary Krause, isn't it? She was so young, so innocent. I'll be seeing you both soon. Until then, thy spirits all of comfort. Fare thee well."
- - "The Watcher" (to the Bowmans)
"These are not my people. I am not one of them. Some may think I fit in with these traveling gypsies, but I know the truth about what they think they can call love. Their secrets will feed my power. Their secrets will tear them apart."
- - "The Watcher"
- It seems this character has an affinity for quoting William Shakespeare. In chapter 2 of Slow Burn, he says, "Find out the cause of this effect, or rather say, the cause of this defect, for this effect defective comes by cause." These are lines said by the character "Polonius" in the play Hamlet. In chapter 3 of Slow Burn, he tells Gail, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." This is a line said by "Queen Gertrude" in the same play. In chapter 4 of Slow Burn, he sends Chris a message that echoes "Lord Stanley's" line from Richard III: "Take all the swift advantage of the hours." In chapter 5 of Slow Burn, he tells Chris, "How far that little candle throws its beams. So shines a good deed in a naughty world." This is a line from The Merchant of Venice. In chapter 6 of Slow Burn, The Watcher quotes "The Scottish Play" Macbeth and says, "If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then to me." He even teases Chris for never having read Shakespeare. Later, The Watcher says, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." This is one of the most famous lines from Romeo and Juliet. In chapter 8 of Slow Burn, The Watcher says the famous line from Henry VI, Part II: "Knowledge is the wing whereby we fly to Heaven, or so sayeth The Bard." He later recites the first line from Richard III, "Now is the winter of our discontent." From the Act I, Scene 4, he says, "The people are like water and the ruler, a boat. Water can support a boat or overturn it."
- At the end of chapter 10 of Slow Burn, the Bowmans are given a choice about The Watcher's fate. If they choose to kill him, Samuel, Chris, and Bo take him into the woods, where the other carnies see a pillar of flame, and feel the earth shake. If they choose to let him live, he wakes up in a New York bus station with no memory of how he got there.
- Although the Bowmans can choose to kill the Watcher, he appears later in Heroes: Survival and Purpose indicating that they let him go.
- The voice of "The Watcher" (as heard in a few of the chapters of the iStory Slow Burn) is provided by Zach Wilson, who also wrote the iStory volume.
- For other uses of Watcher, see Watcher (disambig).
Please refer to Theory:The Watcher for fan-created theories and other speculation.