Theory talk:Sylar

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Eating Brains confirmation?

I wasn't there and I don't have a direct link to it, but a post I saw at another board states that on January 20, 2007 that Kring confessed that the writing team is also trying to come up with a believable way to show onscreen how Sylar absorbs other hero powers and have confessed to stating that he does eat at least part of the brains at Wizard Universe a Comic-Con like event. --Snow Leapord 16:05, 18 October 2007 (EDT)

When Claire asked Sylar if he was going to eat her brain, he replied, "Claire, that's disgusting." ebrown2112 07:02, 15 December 2008 (EST)

Sylar Has Eidetic Memory confirmation?

I can't recall and don't have the Season 1 DVD set yet. But didn't Hiro go back in time to save Charlie? Instead of being killed by Sylar she ended up dying from a blood clot or something? BEcause I keep seeing references to Sylar having the Eidetic Memory ability, but can't recall if he actually acquired that or if it was an alternate timeline.
--MishBaker 17:31, 8 November 2007 (CST)

  • See Road Kill. --DocM 18:36, 8 November 2007 (EST)
  • That was actually the whole point of the Charlie storyline--that Hiro can't go back and change history as easily as one might think. In the end, Charlie is still dead and Sylar still has her power. He learned how to drive the Northeast Brewing Company truck after barely looking at the manual. See this image. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 18:44, 8 November 2007 (EST)
  • When I saw the episode originally I was under the impression that the sole purpose for Hiro going back was to save Charlie and he learned that it isn't always that easy. Sure he couldn't change the fact that she was going to die, only HOW she died. But at the same time, a side effect of his travels, was that Sylar didn't get Charlie's power (which Hiro really didn't comprehend at the time anyway), instead she died of the blood clot. So if she died of a blood clot then how would Sylar have her ability? I'll have to check the timeline on the Roadkill GN but it could have taken place during Hiro's time with Charlie. If that's the case then it would have happened, but differently, since he wouldn't have had Charlies power. --Mish 12:54, 9 November 2007 (EST)
  • Ok. The Road Kill GN came out in Feb. The episode "Six Months Ago" was in November. So if the GN is to be believed, Sylar indeed has the ability from Charlie.
    • Yeah, way Hiro was going to save Charlie was by making sure she wasn't at the diner when Sylar came around. After he disappeared, she probably didn't want to go to Japan alone, so she would have stuck around.--Leshia 13:43, 9 November 2007 (EST)
    • Incidentally, among the images shown in the little "flash-forward" at the end of Six Months Ago after Hiro teleports back (during Mohinder's closing monologue) is one of Charlie gettin' sliced again.--Hardvice (talk) 15:28, 9 November 2007 (EST)
    • I really need those Season 1 DVD's.....--Mish 16:30, 9 November 2007 (EST)
      • If it helps push you over the edge on a purchase decision, IMO they're worth it just for the special features. The original cut of the pilot and the 900,000 deleted scenes (well, ok, not 900k, but a lot) are excellent. And you should be able to find them for fairly cheap if you dig around the Internet a bit.--Hardvice (talk) 17:27, 9 November 2007 (EST)
        • Oh no. It's not matter of IF...it's a matter of WHEN! --Mish 17:35, 9 November 2007 (EST)

Candice's Power

Since invisible people can see other invisible people (for example), I think it's possible that Sylar has absorbed Candice's power; he just can't see the illusions himself... R'win 21:38, 9 November 2007 (EST)

  • That's just silly. --Mish 02:45, 11 November 2007 (EST)
  • Sylar didn't have his powers when he killed Candice.

Sylar is the second seasons 'bomb'

Peter travels to a future where people are dying because of a Virus. I'm unsure if it explicitly states that it was the Shanti Virus, but either way it can be theorized that Sylar kills and takes Maya's power and becomes a outlet for a more dangerous strand of disease as caused by Sylar's new power and his, possible, more refined use of such. Volume 2 of this season will involve the Heroes trying to stop Sylar, having already prevented the Shanti Virus from killing everyone, through Claire.

What do people think?


  • Its very similar to an idea i was thinking on. How many days has it been since Sylar escaped? As it took Peter five days to regain his powers after using the 'hatian' (forgive my spelling) pills while held captive. Now we already know, or are told, Peter is the most powerful of them all, so perhaps we could give it a couple extra days until the effects wear off. If this is truth, then he can in theory , accomplish the above. He wants mohinder in this series so if his in ability to do his 'thing' is caused by something else he can gain access to the second vial of the cure, held in the box shown in Mohinders hands. Thus allowing Sylar to regain his abilities. The fight for this last vial, im assuming he cures Niki before heading to molly, will be shown alongside the battle for the shantie vial, adding to the tension in the episode, which , if any, will be released, the shantie Virus or Moya's ability.---Helios

Adam's son

Ok, I don't want to edit war, it's pointless, but the Sylar is Adam's son theory has too many holes in it, and considering what's to come, it makes no sense to keep it. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 09:55, 1 February 2009 (EST)

Crazy Harry Fletcher Theories

Jack Sarmy 07:52, 3 February 2009 (EST)Yeah, compared to some theories on this site that is quite sane. I've seen theories about Mr. Muggles being Uluru or a telepath for God's sake, along with many relations theories and that one is crazy enough to be banned from the site?

Waffles and Mt. Muggles are the exception to the rule, I'm not fond of that either, so I do my best to make sure they stay the only exceptions to the rule. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 11:12, 3 February 2009 (EST)

Edit war?

There a couple of theories here from season 1. Now I'm not looking for permission but I am going to remove them and don't want a back lash, so I'm gonna go ahead and see what happens.--Steelymcbeam 02:56, 25 February 2009 (EST)

  • When were they disproven? (in response to your edit summary) - Josh (talk/contribs) 11:38, 25 February 2009 (EST)

Sylar's ability is not empathic mimicry

Ok Mike, here's why Sylar's ability can't be empathic mimicry. Sylar did use an empathy to get Elle's ability, but it certainly not empathic mimicry. Empathic mimcry as shown before by Peter allows the user to absorb abilities by merely standing next to the person, he's not even aware when it happens, like it was shown when he didn't notice he was invisible after meeting Calire, Sylar had to go through a very emotional moment in order to understand Elle, understand being the key word, and only when he understood her, he got her power. He was also able to get James Martin's shape shifting cause he understood how he felt, how he wanted to be someone else, and if Sylar did get Nathan's flight in An Invisible Thread, it would also make sense cause he used clairsentience in his belongings, collecting memories from them. His ability is to understand how things work, he usually understands how the brain works to get an ability, with Elle and James, he just understood her from another perspective. If Sylar had empathic mimicry he'd have Elle's ability since she stopped him from killing himself back in Villains, James' when he got to the club where James was posing as Danko. His understand Elle and James is merely another facet of his ability to understand how things work, another application of it. His empathy is not and has never been the same as Peter's, the only similarity between them is that emotions allow them to acquire other's abilities, and that's it. I'd say it's almost an homologous process, but still distinct processes and distinct abilities. Both insect and avian wings allow flight, but they're two different things. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 18:12, 5 May 2009 (EDT)

    • Empathic mimicry isn't always "automatic": Other Evolved humans had been within Peter Petrelli's proximity, exposing him to their abilities. However, Peter never exhibited these powers: Mental manipulation (from the Haitian in Unexpected), Clairvoyance (from Molly Walker in How to Stop an Exploding Man), Technopathy (from Micah Sanders in How to Stop an Exploding Man), Alchemy (from Bob Bishop in Four Months Ago...), Sound manipulation (from Jesse Murphy in One of Us, One of Them) and Mohinder's ability (from Mohinder Suresh in I Am Become Death). Sylar may just need concentration, because he's lost his "empathy". -- Mike the Man-child!
      • Now you're mixing things up. Empathic mimicry contains two processes, it absorbs an ability and it allows the user to access it later. BTE confirmed that in their first encounter, Peter absorbed all of Sylar's abilities, yet he only mimicked one, he was never aware of the other powers Sylar had, so since he still had to think of the person to use a power, when he thought of Sylar, the only power he could "call forth" so to speak was telekinesis. Similarly, Peter was never told who DL was, or that he had a power, but he was still able to use his ability, both pre and post Haitian memory wipe. Empathic mimicry passively absorbs all abilities it is exposed to unless the ability is being blocked by an ability, but can only access them through the thought or the emotion related to person Peter got an ability from, again, if he's not being blocked by another ability. Sylar can't have empathic mimicry cause he never automatically absorbed abilities, neither with the brain examination or with the understanding others feelings, there's no such thing as an empathic mimic needing to concentrate to absorb a power, if that was the case Peter wouldn't have been able to get flight from Nathan cause of the tension between them, the whole "my brother is delusional" talk in Nathan's campaign. In what concerns Sylar, empathy means understand how others feel, and understanding things is what his ability does, he got James Martin's shape shifting cause he understood his desire to be someone else, how James Martin felt, he couldn't care less about the person, he just understood how he felt and got his power based on that. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 17:34, 7 May 2009 (EDT)
        • Because Peter still had empathy, but Sylar has lost his (and now Peter has also, unless he replicated Empathic mimicry again.) -- Mike the Man-child!
          • Empathy as in empathic mimicry isn't something that can simply be lost, Peter lost empathic mimicry cause it was stolen from him by his father, just before that happened, Peter was definitely not empathic because of the hunger and he could still access his empathically acquired abilities. Empathy as in empathic mimicry is something Sylar has never had, empathy as in understanding others (keeping in mind that intuitive aptitude is the ability to understand things), that's what Sylar has. And if no one replies to my arguments, it's because they can't, if the writers decide to change canon, they'll let us know, it's called retconning, but until then, what we know as canon, is that Peter had empathic mimicry and Sylar didn't, his ability just has an aspect which is similar to empathic mimicry, similar to how Matt can make people see things that aren't there. Your arguments are flawed because your premiss is that empathic mimicry is something that can be turned on and off by empathy, something that I already disproved with numerous arguments based in actual events, your arguments are based on a subjective interpretation of what happened, your trying to build arguments using speculation as basis. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 18:37, 13 May 2009 (EDT)
            • Sylar has proven that the hunger does not prevent one from being empathic. The empathy is for absorption, not recall, anyway. The writers did tell us about this retcon when Arthur told us Sylar can gain abilities through empathy, and clarified it when the writers agreed that Sylar can use "empathic mimicry". I read your arguments; none of them disproved empathic mimicry needing empathy; most of them used an assumption that it doesn't as supposed proof. Trying to build arguments using speculation as basis? Well, that's a valid way to show that something speculative (a theory) is possible. - Josh (talk/contribs) 17:56, 14 May 2009 (EDT)
              • Empathy is for recall, if it was for absorption Peter wouldn't have gotten phasing from DL. Arthur said Sylar could use empathy to get powers, the thing I'm trying to make clear is that empathy is not the same thing as empathic mimicry. The term empathic mimicry was in there because the people who asked about it used it. How did they not prove needing empathy? The fact Peter automatically gets the powers of everyone around him does that, if empathic mimicry required the same type of empathy Sylar does, Peter would have a much harder time getting an ability, he certainly didn't click with Matt or DL to get their powers, he just knew about Ted but didn't need to get to know him to get the ability. The premiss of my arguments is the lack of automation in Sylar's case, the automation which is characteristic of the ability as Peter showed us countless times. My thing with the arguments presented so far is that they use speculation to justify speculation, not facts, specially when all facts shown so far can logically prove the speculation wrong. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 18:36, 14 May 2009 (EDT)
                • Sylar may've mimicked everyone's abilities, but he can't use them (because of his lost empathy, from Samson Gray killing Gabriel's mother.) So his Intuitive aptitude causes "the Hunger", and Arthur Petrelli helped Sylar recover (like when Peter killed Nathan, he already had his power.) -- Mike the Man-child!
                  • Loss of empathy doesn't account for lack of access, if Sylar truly had empathic mimicry, he'd be able to access abilities in any situation short of ability negation pill or the Haitian. If this empathy was required to access abilities, Peter would have never been able to access abilities after figuring out of how to use intuitive aptitude, he definitely wasn't being empathetic there, yet he could use many abilities, you need to realize that empathic mimicry is not the exact same thing as empathy, the biggest difference between them being that one requires no effort to absorb an ability and the other does, it's not about lack or presence of empathy, nothing ever suggested that empathic mimicry requires the same kind of empathy that Sylar needs to get a power, Arthur just made Sylar see that he can acquire abilities through understanding, but through a different kind of understanding Sylar is used to. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 20:53, 14 May 2009 (EDT)
                    • You bring up a very good points that I hadn't considered. I had previously gone on the idea that Empathic mimicry = sympathizing with a powered individual and displaying their powers. From that basic definition, we see that Sylar has also done that. But you are correct about Sylar's ability requiring active participation and Peter's not. However, if everything you say is true, then it really begs the question of why we call Peter's ability Empathic mimicry at all, if indeed he does not need to empathize as Sylar must. Wouldn't we logically have to rename his ability to something akin to 'Autonomous mimicry'?
Because as you recall, Peter did not have to empathize with almost all of the people holding powers that he obtained. He stood near them, then remembered them and used their powers. But remembering someone is hardly empathy, especially if you contrast it with the experiences Sylar had to go through to use his empathy to gain powers. Now you could chalk it down to bad writing or bad acting if it was truly the intention of the writers for Peter's ability to require some aspect of empathy, but sometime during the first and second season and before he lost it, it barely resembled that which it was supposed to be.
So by your reasoning, Peter had 'Automatic mimicry' and Sylar has the "true" 'Empathic mimicry'. Since from this premise Peter doesn't have EM, we can't compare it to his ability, and so we would have no reason to conclude that this 'empathic mimicing' ability is unique to intuitive aptitude, or that they are even seperate powers. If you're going to reason that, than you'll have to explain how Sylar acquired his 'empathic mimicing' ability seperate from his intuitive aptitude.
Going off your premises it is more logical to conclude that Sylar had empathic mimicry and mimiced Intuitive Aptitude from his father when he was young, and Peter did not have empathic mimicry but rather non-tactile automatic power replicating, or however you would phrase it. The reason is because the ability empathic mimicry as it is defined, is more clearly and properly displayed by Sylar as a specimen than it is Peter. From what we have seen with Peter acquiring abilities and Sylar's empathy it becomes clear that we must clarify our definitions.
You'll probably write this off as speculation, but if you're going to do that you are going to have to prove that Peter even had EM in the first place based on the writer's definition. Now you will say that the writers have said that that was Peter's power and leave it at that, but then the burdeon of proof is on you to explain why Peter's displayed power acquisition is inconsistent with the writer's definition of Empathic Mimcry and Sylar's is not.
The only reason we ever put empathic in the name of the ability is because Claude said Peter is was an empath, and since he mimicked others' abilities, thus was born empathic mimicry, at the time the name of Peter's power was chosen, Claude's input was the only thing we had to work with. When Peter got the hang of his power, he said he had to remember how the people he got the power from made him feel, not specifically the person, it's the emotion that person caused in him. This seems to be the way Peter came to access his abilities, even when he had no memory, he was able to use abilities, he didn't remember anyone, but he could still feel emotion the same way he did when he had his memories, and through that emotion, he'd access a power. Remembering the person is a way to remember the emotion, cause emotions are abstract things, there's no such physical, touchable thing as fear or compassion, but it becomes easier to make sense of them if you image someone who is displaying those emotions. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 15:29, 15 May 2009 (EDT)
                    • How can you say both "empathy is for recall" and "Peter would have never been able to access abilities after figuring out of how to use intuitive aptitude, he definitely wasn't being empathetic there"? - Josh (talk/contribs) 20:22, 6 June 2009 (EDT)
                      • Peter seemed to need it at first, but as shown with the DL example, and accessing abilities while having no memory of who he was, it no longer seems to be the case. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 12:05, 7 June 2009 (EDT)
              • I'm getting tired of having to remind you that my theory involves Peter being able to automatically empathize with people. You say "empathy is for recall" meaning Peter had to empathize with D.L. in Lizards. Why could he empathize with him then and not at Kirby Plaza? Speculation, or a theory, is something that may be true. Of course it can be broken down into other statements that likewise may be true, and are therefore also speculation/theories. - Josh (talk/contribs) 20:22, 6 June 2009 (EDT)
                • The problem I have here is that we can't use empathize the same way we do for Sylar and Peter, what happens to both of them are two things that are rather similar, yet distinct. For him to know he had the phasing ability, I'd have to speculate and say he learned about him while incarcerated at the Company. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 12:05, 7 June 2009 (EDT)

-Barbedknives (talk)13:54, 15 May 2009 (EDT)

  • And since Sylar generally doesn't care about other people, directly examining the brain is the most effecient and preferred way for him. -Barbedknives (talk)22:06, 5 May 2009 (EDT)
    • Yes, he's only use conscious use of the empathy aspect of his ability confirmed so far (James Martin) shows us that he only uses empathy when it's more convenient. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 11:52, 6 May 2009 (EDT)
  • I think Sylar has empathic mimicry, which leads me to think empathic mimicry actually involves empathy. Perhaps an aspect of empathic mimicry that Sylar has not discovered is the ability to automatically empathize with others by being around them. - Josh (talk/contribs) 23:56, 6 May 2009 (EDT)
    • No such thing as that, see my points with Nathan and DL above. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 17:34, 7 May 2009 (EDT)
      • The automatic empathy explains him effortlessly getting Nathan and D.L.'s abilities. - Josh (talk/contribs) 20:37, 7 May 2009 (EDT)
        • He didn't even know DL, how could he empathize with him? If we're taking that road, it's the same as saying that the ability works differently for Peter than it does for Sylar. Empathic mimicry as demonstrated by Peter allows for automatic absorption as long as his ability is not being blocked, the empathy aspect of his ability isn't getting the power, is accessing it. Sylar doesn't do that, he doesn't automatically gets an ability, and as far as we know, he doesn't need to think about the person or remember how he feels about them to access his abilities. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 20:43, 7 May 2009 (EDT)
          • As I already said, through his "ability to automatically empathize with others by being around them." I also already said that Sylar hadn't discovered this, so of course it works differently for them. - Josh (talk/contribs) 21:02, 7 May 2009 (EDT)
            • That's my point. It's not something to be discovered, it's something inherent to the ability, which excludes Sylar from possessing it, it doesn't happen to him, as far as we know, it's not something you learn, the only thing learnable in empathic mimicry is recalling abilities outside of the the absorbee's presence. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 21:15, 7 May 2009 (EDT)
              • You assume it's inherent and not to be discovered. - Josh (talk/contribs) 17:56, 14 May 2009 (EDT)
                • I'm not assuming anything, I'm saying what it's been shown to us time and time again: Peter got powers from people without even knowing who they were, such as Matt and DL, something that would be impossible if empathic mimicry required the same empathy Sylar needs to get powers without brain examination. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 18:36, 14 May 2009 (EDT)
                  • ...perhaps because he stumbled upon his "ability to automatically empathize with others by being around them." - Josh (talk/contribs) 20:22, 6 June 2009 (EDT)
                    • Not the same empathy Sylar requires, that's for sure, Peter never had to put himself in another person's shoes to get their powers, or do you want to tell me that Peter had to go a little psycho to use Elle's ability? Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 12:05, 7 June 2009 (EDT)
    • Not to mention the fact that the writers practically confirmed "empathic mimicry" was a valid name for what Sylar does:
    • “Since Sylar understands and seems to empathize with Luke, does that mean he would've acquired, or can acquire, his microwave powers through empathic mimicry?”
    • Yes it does. - Josh (talk/contribs) 00:57, 7 May 2009 (EDT)
      • Again, as I already pointed out, Sylar's ability has an aspect which allows him to have an end effect like empathic mimicry, using it he can get powers through empathy, but since he doesn't automatically gets a power, it can't be empathic mimicry. Two to the third is eight, but so is four plus four, just because the results are the same doesn't mean the processes are. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 17:34, 7 May 2009 (EDT)
      • Well if that's true, it confirms what I've suspected for a long time. But people on this wiki take assignment trackers as gospel and generally don't accept speculation like this. I think that Sylar has developed empathic mimicry on his own. Think about it, he can change his DNA, right? Well maybe something like empathy cannot just be 'examined' but must be experienced for oneself. This experience could have impacted Sylar in a way that he unconsciously developed EM on his own using intuitive aptitude or not. I think the primary reason why he has trouble using it is that he is such a disturbed individual, so it is difficult if not impossible for him to access it. My two cents. -Barbedknives (talk)04:57, 7 May 2009 (EDT)
        • Nothing suggests that Sylar can write his DNA in a way to create a new ability, he can only see how people's brains work and change himself to account for that effect. Also, AT profiles have never given us wrong information, it may have given info we didn't like (such as the name for Doyle's ability), but it has never been wrong, and it has never been directly against any other source of information we have. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 17:34, 7 May 2009 (EDT)
  • It's like, we SEE a phenomenon displayed; take for example Empathic mimicry. Then we SEE it again, pretty much exactly as described before. But since it doesn't meet up to the preconceived standards of confirmation people have in their heads, they can't accept it. It's the same with Matt and precognition: he does exactly what Issac does, but since it hasn't been 100% confirmed by 'name' people won't admit it. I guess it's trying to strive to be rational, but in doing so missing the point and being irrational.
A similar case happened with the Tracy/Barbara debacle. Despite the mountains of evidence in favor of Tracy being the water manipulater in the spoiler, there were still people who clung to the 'it hasn't been confirmed' mentality and blocked out such ideas and evidence.
The best example is how much people over complicate such things as naming conventions. It's as if people are trying to be as 'scientifically accurate' as possible when describing supernatural abilities, while in reality just come off as psuedoscientific jargon. This leads to many simple and effective suggestions being thrown out on a whim by a select few individuals, till the only names we have to choose from are outlandish and ridiculous. It's like come on people, get a grip. We're not scientists, the world isn't coming to an end because we don't perfectly describe a fictional occurence. This is why I'm no longer participating in ability naming discussions. People get into it waay too much and start giving retarded esoteric names while ignoring the decent and simple ones.
While I'm in a ranting mood, another thing that bothers me is that people here, especially when discussing topics that are speculative and gray in nature, tend to almost unilaterially press their biases and opinion off onto other users as fact. When enough people either cave into their bullying, or believe it themselves, 'consensus' is reached and they can continue to abuse their opinions. If the subject matter is vague and lacks much if any confirmation, than any discussion you have is your opinion versus theirs. but some people can't see that and can only accept complete agreeance as the definitive link to logic. Sure, 'their' logic. Bottom line: if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, well, it's probably Sylar's empathic mimicry/Matt Parkman has precognition/water girl is Tracy/Baby Matt's ability is toggling/Peter has all Sylar's abilities/etc. Lack of explicit confirmation shouldn't trump Occam's razor. That's not logical at all. :P -Barbedknives (talk)06:10, 7 May 2009 (EDT)
Err, the writers confirmed Matt used telepathy to access the procog mental plain, and the wounds on Peter's forehead (at the funeral scene) pretty much confirm he doesn't have Sylar's regeneration. - Josh (talk/contribs) 10:47, 7 May 2009 (EDT)

I'm not pressing bias and opinion as fact, I'm using concrete facts, both from the show and BTE interviews to invalidate a theory, never once in my arguments I said "I think" or "it may be because" or "it could be", I always give examples to illustrate my points. I agree with you that naming conventions aren't 100% effective, call me biased but I gave two simple and fitting names for abilities which have naming discussions on, but since people can't find a balance between accuracy and simplicity, they were refused by one person who didn't like them and tossed aside, even though there were explanations on why they were good names. I agree, it's a flawed system, but there will always be someone that doesn't agree with a name, names are chosen by the people who take part in the discussion, if we had consensus checks for abilities every time someone who didn't take part of a previous one said they didn't like the current name and said it was biased and all the things you said, believe me, the number of So-and-so's abilities would sky rocket. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 17:34, 7 May 2009 (EDT)

  • Thanks for the reply IE. I was probably over-reacting and said the last line a little jokingly. Now that I've let that out, I think we need to examine the consensus process heavily, because let's be frank. It doesn't work. At all.
When I first came into the mix around March, people were discussing Matt Jr.'s ability. This was when people proposed names, and people in the discussion sided with names they liked. This never lead to any decisions because there were too many 'votes' for multiple abilities. This was further stagnated by the fact that the admins don't allow for pure democratic voting, so abilities with a few less 'votes' than the most chosen names were still kept on the list indefinately, preventing resolve permanently. Another problem was the fact that people could just hap hazardly jump in, edit the article, and add their newly created name into the fray. Before we could even process the names we had we were bombarded with dozens of other rapidly added names.
Since then, there have been several debated abilities, including: David's ability, Future Terrorist's ability, Gordon's ability, Mohinder's ability, Tom's ability, Trevor's ability, not to mention Matt Jr's ability. Have we come to a consensus on any of those? No. Have we even come up with a consensus on Matt's ability, from three months ago? No.
During that time another system was added, which from what I can tell is even worse. Where as before, names never left the list and people held votes in multiple abilities preventing them from being eliminated, this new system allowed anyone to vote against a name, and their one vote would completely remove the suggestion with a simple crossout tag. This only serves to increase the rate that new names are hastily added, drastically reduces the pool of viable and reasonable names, and still carries the problem of multiple names having people agreeing with them and thus keeping them in the 'race.'
I think we need a system where names are screened first before being added, a date is set from which after that point the talk page is closed and the name with the most votes is used. Users can only vote once for one ability, and every few days the names with the fewest votes are removed. This way we don't get spammed with half baked names and don't get stagnated by people hording several votes in multiple names. Also, it sets a deadline for action instead of just waiting indefinately as new names are added before current names can even be processed. --Barbedknives (talk)01:47, 8 May 2009 (EDT)
  • Anyway, we're getting off-topic, if no one tries to disprove my points in the following days, I'll remove the the theory, and theories from other pages that use it either as part of the theory or argument to support it. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 17:32, 13 May 2009 (EDT)

I think Peter orginal ability should be called 'Autonomous mimicry.' In the 1st series he had precognitive dreaming from Anglea this was his 1st ability that he mimicrked. This would be quite hard to empathise thoughout season 1 as he would have to think about Anglea to activate the ability even through Peter didn't know that Anglea had an ability in season 1. If he has to empathise about the source to recall an ability. Who did he recall without knowing Anglea had ability or didn't he have to empathise the PASSIVE abilities in season 1? e.g if he got shot but didn't remember Claire would he have regenerate in season 1?. 50000JH

But Peter didn't "get multiples" from Sylar, because he had empathy before that . . . so he could with his Ability replication, but now he's lost his empathy . . . since he can only use one, when he used to have five: Empathic mimicry, Precognitive dreaming, Flight, Precognition and Space-time manipulation . . . -- Mike the Man-child!

Mike, did you really read this? Time travel has nothing to do with this, it has to do with Noah Gray and Noah Bennet being the same people. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 14:54, 22 November 2009 (EST)

    • Yeah, I did read and know that . . . it was about the other theory, but I responded to the discussion . . . and Peter did replicate five powers, before mimicking abilities with Sylar's Empathic mimicry . . . so when Arthur stole his powers, the formula only gave him Ability replication . . . because it's actually his original ability, but now he's lost his empathy . . . -— Mike the Man-child!
      • Peter had many more than five abilities when Arthur stripped him of his abilities. The five power limit comes from a fan derived form of the ability, even if that form was chosen to appear in the series, it doesn't mean that it works like that for any other character, other than Draph himself. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 16:10, 22 November 2009 (EST)
        • It's not that difficult to understand, if Peter's original power was Ability replication . . . and he still had his empathy, then he could replicate five powers: Empathic mimicry, Precognitive dreaming, Flight, Precognition and Space-time manipulation . . . so when he replicated Sylar's Emmi, he started mimicking abilities after that: Intuitive aptitude (unlocked in I Am Become Death) and Telekinesis from Sylar (empathized in Homecoming), Rapid cell regeneration, Telepathy, Invisibility, Induced radioactivity, Enhanced strength, Phasing, Electric manipulation, Pyrokinesis and Super speed . . . -— Mike the Man-child!
          • Replicating five powers is something limited to Draph's character until a writer or someone in similar position say that's how it works for Peter. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 16:59, 22 November 2009 (EST)
            • Canonicity vs. Fan Creation - "I think that we need to make a point of only including information relayed as part of the iStory as being canon (particularly because any aspect of the Heroes: Survival site can be changed at any time). Only the information presented by the writers themselves is technically canon." - http://heroeswiki.com/Talk:Draph -— Mike the Man-child!
              • That's not me. Plus, that's someone's opinion, it has never been made officially into a policy or something like that. I don't follow the iStory, but I don't remember the iStory chapter themselves saying anything on Draph other than him using others' abilities, as far as what it was reported in other articles goes. Have the writers "made canon" the fact Draph can only have five abilities at the time? Have they said that Peter shares that limitation? I don't think they have. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 17:15, 22 November 2009 (EST)
                • Yes, I did read and know that . . . it wasn't meant to be evidence, but I responded to the discussion . . . if you have an acquiring ability, you can gain another acquiring power . . . so you gain twice the abilities, the order of acquiring powers gained: Ability replication, Aura and Power absorption can acquire Claircognizance, Emmi and Inapt vice versa . . . -— Mike the Man-child!
                  • If ability-acquiring abilities can acquire similar abilities is besides the point, you still haven't answered me about Peter having the same five powers limit as Draph. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 10:23, 23 November 2009 (EST)
                    • "It wasn't meant to be evidence, but I responded to the discussion" . . . and Sylar didn't mimic Telekinesis from Samson, because it wasn't an empathic power . . . but he did empathize with Brian, so Peter could only mimic that . . . because Inapt needed to be unlocked, by "fixing" an animal or watch . . . -— Mike the Man-child!
                      • And that doesn't equate to Peter having a five power limit. And you should really avoid putting almost the exact words both here and in the theory, it makes things needlessly dense. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 11:57, 24 November 2009 (EST)
                        • Yup, I did read and know that . . . and I know abilities are inherited, but not all of them are . . . just like Arthur and Peter's powers (Ability replication and Power absorption), both are very similar but different (Emmi and Inapt) . . . -— Mike the Man-child!
  • Sylar's ability has been confirmed in canon sources (Building 26) to be intuitive aptitude, not empathic mimicry. This has been explicitly confirmed in near-canon sources. It has also been confirmed by writers and producers in interviews. To say that Sylar's power is anything other than intuitive aptitude is ignoring these sources, or to say that they are wrong. We don't do that here. Therefore, the so-called theory that Sylar's original power is empathic mimicry (or anything other than intuitive aptitude) is disproven. It should not be added back to this theory page. On another note, it's disheartening that the discussion that should have remained solely on this page spilled out on to the theory page. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 21:45, 28 November 2009 (EST)

Abilities and Assumptions

The purpose of this section is to illustrate and discuss a few problems I have come across when discussing the relationships between Sylar and Peter Petrelli's abilities.

Before I get into the problems, I am going to outline my terms and definitions first:

According to the writers, Sylar has intuitive aptitude. The definition of intuitive aptitude is as follows:

  • "The ability to understand how things, specifically biological and mechanical systems intrinsically work without prior knowledge or training."

Peter Petrelli has displayed an ability that enables him to reproduce an ability that he has seen and been in the vicinity of that abilities original owner, and to remember how he felt when he met or remembered them. This ability has been referred to by fans as empathic mimicry.

Now, a problem I have noticed is that many active users of the wiki rely on a specific fallacy to back their arguments or grievances with other users and their opinions or theories. In particular the fallacy of appeal to authority. This is a logical fallacy wherein:

  • Source A says that p.
  • Source A is authoritative.
  • Therefore, p is true.

It is a fallacy because it assumes that one of the premises is true without explaining why or holding source A up to scrutinty.

This fallacy is used on the wiki to create logical inferances based on faulty reasoning, and then appeal to the authority when inconsistencies are displayed.

Now, relying on an authoritative source is fine and dandy, especially for works of fiction, but only if your authoritative sources are themselves accurate and self-consistant. I and many others have shown specific instances where the writers and what they have said has been inconsistent, and users ignore fact based-reasoning and cater to the writers, which are themselves inconsistant.

Take this for example, it also has the plus of being quite relevant:

  • On Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 at 3:45PM PST, Heroes writers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite said, when asked "Since Sylar understands and seems to empathize with Luke, does that mean he would've acquired, or can acqurie, his microwave powers through empathic mimicry?" Answered "Yes it does. But is he toying with Luke? Why did he save him? Is Sylar finding a protege?"

Now, the writers have never specifically named Peters original power onscreen, and even if they had, we know for certain that Sylar and Peter did not share the same base ability, because:

  1. Peter never displayed the requirement of understanding how the other person felt, nor did he have the time to get to know all of the people he acquired abilities from.
  2. Sylar was only shown to display abilities without brain examination after understanding how the victim felt, his experiences, his environment, his emotions and resentment towards others, and sympathizing with them. (It's Coming), (Into Asylum)

This proves that both Sylar and Peter's base abilities are not the same, but the writers have stated that they are, assuming that Peter indeed had empathic mimicry to begin with. Since he was the only confirmed case of that ability, and there are doubts as to the nature of that ability and it's definition, can we even say that the ability itself exists? If it exists, than it is surely displayed by Sylar much more than Peter, and we know that they do not share the same base power.

This also shows that the writers are inconsistent with what they say regarding abilities, and therefore are not 100% reliable as a source of information. They can't even get their own story straight.

So if we lack a consistent explanation from a primary source, we must disregard the writers in that instance and rely on reason and logic itself.

We can see that:

  • Peter copied abilities
  1. The writers never confirmed the name or exact nature of the ability
  2. This ability has been dubbed 'empathic mimicry' by fan consensus
  3. This ability does not require an empathic aspect to function
  4. This ability is not the same as Sylar's
  5. The writers have stated that this ability has identical functions to a function in Sylar's ability as defined by the fans(empathy, empathic mimicry, BTE)
  • Sylar copied abilities
  1. The writers confirmed that Sylar's base ability was intuitive aptitude
  2. Sylar showed the capability to acquire abilities by empathizing with them that did require an empathic aspect to function in this way
  3. This ability is not the same as Peter's
  4. The writers have stated that this ability has a function that operates identically as an established and fan named ability. (empathic mimicry)

So which is it? Do Sylar and Peter have the same ability? The writers don't, they have been inconsistent and ambiguous about it. But we do. We know that they are different.

So we can stop appealing to what the writers said in this matter and just use simple reasoning.

If P = Empathic Mimicry(EM) and S = Intuitive Aptitude(IA)

And we know that P and S can replicate abilities with EM and IA,
but P=/=S,
and S+e(empathy) where e(empathy) = the definition of EM
and EM is contained in e,

Then P is not EM but something different, variable x.

S has EM because EM = IA+e, and P does not contain e and is not S.

So Peter does not have empathic mimicry as we understand it, Sylar does. Or at the very least, intuitive aptitude has an effect which is what the real definition of 'empathic mimicry' would be, and Peter had a completely different non empathy related ability.

Based on this, we must come to some conclusions. There are two schools of thought on this point, and both of them have necessary repercussions.

  • School one believes that Sylar has intuitive aptitude and Peter has empathic mimicry.
  1. However, this idea does not hold up logically without both changing the name of Peter's original ability to accomodate the relative lack of empathy. 'Empathic mimicry' doesn't work. It doesn't describe what Peter does/did.
  2. Change the definition of intuitive aptitude. If empathy is all tied into one power, IA, then the definition "the ability to understand how things work (biological, mechanical) instinctively without having prior knowledge or education." does not fit what Sylar is doing. So this definition is problematic when explaining acquiring abilities emotionally and empathetically (and even the ability to acquire other abilities themselves, and again this assumes that intuitive aptitude and empathy are one power inandof themselves.)
  • School two believes that empathic mimicry, if it exists at all, is in Sylar's possession as demonstrated in the episodes (Into Asylum) and (It's Coming), and that Peter had an ability that is not best described as 'empathic mimicry' as it is understood.
  1. In this school it is ambiguous as to whether intuitive aptitude and it's effects are seperate from this empathic display, or where Sylar obtained it. Absorbing it from Samson Gray has been submitted as an explanation.

Great reasoning. However, there are ways to make school one right. Empathic mimicry as it was in the beginning of the show required Peter to remember how a person felt only when he recalled the ability. When he was around people with abilities, his power would kick in with no conscious effort. After he gained some control over the ability, he could recall abilities, and could "shut" them if he didn't want to use it, as seen when he met Ted. Him not displaying abilities instantly could be explained by ability development. Intuitive aptitude, as it is defined can account for an empathic and emotional acquisition of abilities. By "understand how things work (biological, mechanical)", emotions can be interpreted as biological, due to its biochemical nature, as far as physical and tangible matter is concerned. Emotions are also related to and are regulated by the brain. Understanding the working of a biological system can account for acquisition of abilities the way Sylar does without examining the brain, even if it requires him to "connect", to "feel" how the absorbee feels, since Sylar can also feel emotions, but given his past history, prefers the more invasive and fatal approach. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 16:08, 22 November 2009 (EST)


Lovely to see someone point out that major fallacy that unfortunately crops up very often. If it were always followed, we'd be left with many contradictions! I wasn't around the online Heroes community when Empathic Mimicry was named, but it seems to me that the decision was based on its early Season 1 effects (triggered in proximity, but requiring memory of an empathic connection to recreate). Judging by future Peter in Season 1, and present day Peter as of Season 2 (with his memory wiped), his increased control over his powers seems to imply that he doesn't require the empathic connection. So a logical step would be to rename EM - as Intuitive Empath has pointed out, IA is still a full description of Sylar and how he can replicate abilities in different ways. Even if Peter's original power is regained through his reconnecting with people, which may or may not be about to happen, the power itself is not empathic for reasons stated. I've rambled, I think, so I shall cease here. --EkimCF 13:55, 23 November 2009 (EST)


Great to see people are considering these things. IE makes a great point about IA making sense as a descriptive term fitting perfectly with Sylar's ability, but I'm not so sure about Peter. Apparently the ability empathic mimicry (shouldn't it be empathetic mimicry in the first place?) was also named in the assignment tracker. Which is pretty much equivalent to Heroes Evolution or iStory cannonocity seeing as it's just distributed on a website hosted by NBC that never comes up in the actual show. But it holds a lot of sway here on the community which unfortunately is also the reason why Tracy's ability is listed as Freezing even though it's clear that that is most certainly NOT her ability. Sometimes I just wish people would stop being so dogmatic and stubborn on obvious things that contradict established procedures but my opinion is just as valid as anyone elses. -Barbedknives (talk)16:04, 23 November 2009 (EST)


Peter was called an empath by Claude, who understood how powers worked due to his time at the Company. That was the only reason why the word "empathic" made its way to the ability name. About Tracy's ability, me and some other members are trying to split her to "water and ice manipulation", cause that's how her ability was described in a GN cover. We've moved abilities on similar situations before, and we're trying to do it again. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 16:10, 23 November 2009 (EST)


So...is it not possible that Sylar's IA is different from Peter's EM in the same way (or a similar way) as Arthur's PA is from Peter's EM? PA required touch to function, but it was considered an evolution or mutation of EM. Could IA not be the same thing? Of course, then you have to look at Rule of Ted and say, well, they have to be different abilities, because EM falls under RoT (an EM user cannot absorb abilities absorbed by another EM user, and we know Peter got TK from Sylar, who got it using empathy and thus IA empathy != EM). At the same time one could argue that Sylar solidified his acquisition of TK using IA because he did examine Brian Davis' brain, so it was considered to be acquired through IA as well, using his acquisition of Elle's power as evidence for this possibility (he was suddenly better with electrical manipulation after cutting Elle's head open). Further, one could further theorize that IA is such an altered form of EM, like PA, that it no longer falls under RoT even when using the empathy aspect.

Using the fact that Sylar had to explicitly empathize with people to gain their powers as proof of IA!= EM ignores the fact that Peter was stated to love unconditionally (by a telepath), and thus his "empathy" is always active, whereas Sylar the monster has to put in effort to use empathy because he's so...monstrous. Lending credence to this is the fact that Arthur was confident that Sylar could use empathy to gain Elle's power; it is something he would know about his own (adapted) power. Further, Peter's current power is AR, and he no longer loves unconditionally due to the events of Villains, which means he too has to acquire abilities through touch.

Of course, none of this matters if we do not consider PA to be an altered form of EM. However, I fail to see why we wouldn't. DigitalCount 01:54, 18 December 2009 (EST)