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Fate vs. free will

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Fate vs. free will
I couldn't save Charlie.JPG
Hiro laments to Ando that, try as he might, he couldn't save Charlie.

Fate vs. free will — Is a character's future pre-destined, or can they make their own choice to determine the outcome?

Episodic Occurrences of Fate Prevailing


Six Months Ago



  • Isaac tells Sylar that he tried fighting the future, but it's too big for him.
  • He also tells him that he can't fight the future.

Five Years Gone

Four Months Later...

The Second Coming

Building 26

  • When Hiro and Ando are led to India by Matt Parkman's painting, Ando tries to use his powers to save Annapurna from her forced marriage. However, because Ando used his powers, he is kidnapped and Hiro saves the day as painted.


  • Despite Hiro traveling back in time to prevent it 47 times, Tadashi inevitably ends up photocopying his behind, losing his job, attempting suicide on the building's roof, and calling Dial a Hero to have someone witness his death. He is only saved when Hiro can talk him out of it whilst on the roof in the present.

June 13th, Part One

  • Hiro attempts to stop the bombing of the Odessa Peace Summit, but determines that there are too many bombs and the explosion is unstoppable. Any attempt to stop it will result in a worse future and Hiro tells Noah Bennet and Angela Petrelli that it is fate. Angela agrees and says that her visions are also fate.

Episodic Occurrences of Free Will Prevailing


Five Years Gone

  • Future Hiro finds that he was successful in stopping Sylar from regenerating, stopping him from being the bomb.

How to Stop an Exploding Man

Our Father

Shades of Gray

Once Upon a Time in Texas

Other Episodic References


  • Peter tells Nathan that he has been thinking about his destiny.
  • In his taxi, Mohinder tells Peter it is destiny that natural selection has picked seemingly ordinary individuals to carry inside them the genetic code that will take their species to the next evolutionary rung.
  • Peter talks to Simone about having his own destiny.

Don't Look Back

  • Mohinder mentions that we all imagine ourselves the agents of our destiny, capable of determining our own fate.
  • Later, Mohinder says that man can only choose how he will stand when the call of destiny comes.

One Giant Leap

  • On an airplane, Hiro tells Ando that a hero doesn’t run away from his destiny.
  • While with Simone, Peter gives a toast to destiny.
  • When a Hotspur employee tells Hiro that there is one more Nissan Versa left, he says "It's our destiny."

Nothing to Hide

  • When Micah picks up a pay phone, Mohinder says that you do not choose your destiny. It chooses you. And that those who knew you before fate took you by the hand cannot understand the depth of the changes inside.

Seven Minutes to Midnight

  • Mohinder mentions that the earth is large enough to fool you into thinking that you can hide from anything, including fate.
  • He later asks if you do not have the strength cunning to hide from destiny and mentions that fate can find you anywhere.


  • Mohinder tells Sanjog that he has two paths in front of me and that he wants to know which one to take -- which one is his destiny.
  • Mohinder says that to embrace destiny, we must, inevitably, face our fears and conquer them.

Six Months Ago

  • Jackie tells Claire that destiny is calling her to be a cheerleader.
  • Chandra Suresh tells Mr. Bennet that it is Claire's destiny to change the world and give people hope for the future.
  • Mohinder asks if it in our own hands to alter the course of destiny. He goes on saying that of all our abilities, it is free will that truly makes us unique. With it, we have a tiny, but potent, chance to deny fate.


  • Hiro tells Ando that they have to get back on mission, find Peter Petrelli, find the artist, and stop the bomb. He ends with saying that destiny hasn’t forgotten them. After receiving a phone call from Isaac, Ando asks him who called and Hiro answers "Destiny!" Ando then jokingly says that he wishes destiny would lose their number.
  • After Hiro meets Isaac, he tells him that it is his destiny to stop the bomb from blowing up New York. Isaac tells him that he thinks it may be his destiny as well.


  • Hiro explains to Ando that he is like Takezo Kensei and tells him that the sword will allow him to fulfill his destiny.
  • Hiro asks if it is his destiny to kill the exploding man.

The Fix

  • Peter tells Claude that he believes that their meeting is not an accident; Claude is destined to help Peter gain control of his power and prevent the disaster to come.


  • Kaito tells Hiro that it is his destiny to be his successor. Hiro then tells him that he believes he has a different destiny. Kaito does not agree with Hiro about his destiny and angrily tears the dinosaur painting in half.
  • Isaac meets Simone on Charles Deveaux's rooftop, where he laments that the city he has grown to love is going to be destroyed, and there's nothing he can do to stop it. Simone tells him that he wouldn't have been given his power if there were nothing he could do. She tells him that he not only sees the future, he makes it.


  • Sylar tells Mohinder that controlling his ability is like riding a bike for the first time, but then he discovered something -- a kind of peace, a sense of purpose that can only be described as destiny.


  • Sylar says he believes in fate.
  • Sylar tells Mohinder that it is their destiny to find all the special people out there.
  • Ando tells Hiro that it's destiny that the two of them save the world, but Hiro knows he has to do this alone and that too many people have died.


  • Mr. Linderman tells Nathan that it is his destiny to be the leader who uses the explosion to rally a city, a nation, and a world.
  • Isaac tells Sylar that he finally knows his part in all this.

Five Years Gone

The Hard Part


How to Stop an Exploding Man

  • Angela believes that the bomb will go off, while Charles believes that that tragedy is not inevitable.
  • Claire tells Nathan that the future isn't written in stone. Nathan later reiterates what Claire told him.


Graphic Novel References

Graphic Novel:String Theory

In 2011, America is a police state where evolved humans are persecuted. Hiro recalls how he tried to change history by killing Sylar before he exploded, but Sylar lived because he had stolen Claire's power to regenerate. He goes back in time again to get Peter to save Claire, hoping that will change history, but nothing seems different when he returns.

Graphic Novel:Maya y Alejandro

An excerpt from Chapter 5 of Activating Evolution says that evolution is a matter of choice.

Graphic Novel:Flying Blind

West thinks that whether it is fate or choice, people can be divided into two categories: robots and aliens.

Graphic Novel:The Golden Goose

After crashing in Bhutan fifteen years ago, Drucker tells Goose he believes fate caused him to crash there. Goose says he stayed because he had nothing better to do and liked the women.

Graphic Novel:History of a Secret

Abu and his father talk about their ancestry and also Abu's newly-discovered ability of levitation, which Abu believes will allow him a greater destiny than what he has now. That night, after being led through a dream by Sanjog Iyer, Abu wakes up in a stir and picks up an Egyptian artifact from his desk, now understanding that his destiny is Egypt.

See Also

Recurring Themes edit

Character connectionsChild vs. parentDeathFaith and religionFamilyFate vs. free willHeroismIronyLogic vs. emotionLonelinessLoyalty vs. treacheryMoral ambiguityOne punch knockoutPressure of responsibilityRevengeSacrificeSecrets and deceptionSpecialWomen in Refrigerators

See Also: References