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Talk:Ability theft

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I'm not sure the current name is appropriate. Before The Second Coming", Sylar always had to kill in order to take an ability, so it could be interpreted that he was "stealing" abilities. But that's no longer applicable, since he got Claire's power without killing her. Because Claire still has her ability, it sounds a bit weird to say that Sylar "stole" Claire's ability, since it implies that Sylar "removed" the power from Claire. I think we should rename this page to something like "ability acquisition", "ability replication", or something like that.--Referos 18:35, 6 October 2008 (EDT)

  • I'd still consider it theft since he took it against her will. He still had to slice into her scalp and we don't want to confuse that with what Peter does.--MiamiVolts (talk) 18:52, 6 October 2008 (EDT)
    • I don't know, it seems a bit strange to talk about theft when there was no loss to Claire (not counting emotional damage). Besides, I don't remember this process being called a theft. In Road Kill, Sylar calls it "acquisition". --Referos 20:33, 6 October 2008 (EDT)
      • I agree. He's not really STEALING it, since Claire still has her power and so would everyone else if they hadn't died in the process. He simply mimics them. I think "Power Acquisition" sounds much more accurate. Terrifried 05:40, 9 October 2008 (EDT)
        • I agree as well; I don't think this is theft at all. He merely analyzes the power and duplicates it for himself... would you call xeroxing a piece of paper then throwing away the original theft? Ability theft is inaccurate in my opinion, but I'm not really what we should rename it to. Power acquisition sounds fine, but doesn't Peter acquire abilities as well? What Sylar does is a unique form of absorbing powers... but I'm not sure exactly what name we should give to the process without likening it to the abilities of other evolved humans like Peter or Linda. Perhaps "Intuitive ability acquisition" or "Intuitive acquisition." Those are my suggestions. Sincerely, Thrashmeister [ U | T | C ] 17:04, 12 October 2008 (EDT)
          • "Intuitive Acquisition" works well with the power that's leading to it. --Matchu 20:23, 12 October 2008 (EDT)
          • I second "Intuitive Acquisition". It's a perfect description. ~~ Darmenos 10:59, 10 October 2008
            • I agree with MiamiVolts, i don't believe just because claire still has it (since she cant die), doesn't mean he doesn't take it against everyone else's will and kills for it. I'd have to say Ability Theft is still appropriate. Inuitive Acquisition implies that sylar just saw what they can do and can now do it too... (based off of the definition of Intuition --"understanding without apparent effort, quick and ready insight seemingly independent of previous experiences or empirical knowledge." and acquisition as if he just gets it immediatly, Sylar just kills people and takes their ability, it's that simple--Pbmarcano 19:13, 13 October 2008 (EDT)
              • Well it is intuitive because of what he does to the brain. His understanding of the brains of evolved humans is "intuitive." As for acquisition, how does that suggest he gets it immediately? I acquired this red rubber ball; does that mean I got it immediately? No, I actually acquired it after ten years of searching for it. And no, ability theft is not appropriate anymore. The "theft" part at least. Sincerely, Thrashmeister [ U | T | C ] 22:53, 13 October 2008 (EDT)
                • Furthermore, the definition of acquire is "to get; to gain, usually by one's own exertions; to get as one's own; as, to acquire a title, riches, knowledge, skill, good or bad habits." Nowhere does it say that acquire means to get something immediately... not really sure where you got that from. Sincerely, Thrashmeister [ U | T | C ] 20:51, 16 October 2008 (EDT)
  • Based on the events in Dying of the Light, I propose we move the content in this article to Intuitive acquisition and keep Ability theft for evolved humans like Arthur Petrelli (and possibly Linda Tavara). What say you guys? Sincerely, Thrashmeister [ U | T | C ] 22:14, 20 October 2008 (EDT)
    • I second ability theft for the reasons you suggested Thrashmeister--Pbmarcano 22:31, 20 October 2008 (EDT)
    • THIRD'D. Theft implies that you TAKE something and the original owner NO LONGER HAS IT. Clearly, this is Linda Tavara and Arthur Petrelli's ability, NOT Sylar's. Terrifried 03:38, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
  • I think that the page should be generalised to Sylar, Arthur and Linda. They are all technically stealing abilities. The page could simply be used to describe how each one does it. - FlamingTomDude 03:30, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
    • Well no, not Sylar. I think we've already proven enough that Sylar doesn't steal powers. I think ability theft should be the name of Arthur's ability, and perhaps a note should be added redirecting to Linda's ability. Sincerely, Thrashmeister [ U | T | C ] 07:56, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
  • Since it's clear Peter's and Sylar's abilities are very similar, differing mainly in the method of absorption and the level of control over the ability, would it be plausible to call Sylar's ability "Intuitive Mimicry" (akin to Peter's "Empathic Mimicry")? Ricard Desi 12:50, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
  • Firstly i do not think there's a need for this page in the first place as sylar's ability is intuitive comprehension we could do disambig page like the electric one. What do other people think Admin? RGS? Miami? SVD? Consensus Check? Finally, i vote ability acquisition since we still don't fully understand the process.
    • Mystery poster, please add your sig. Imho, theft means to take something against someone else's will. So I'd add Arthur and keep Sylar (copying can be a form of theft). However, I think we should probably wait for a few more days for more opinions before going ahead with a consensus check.--MiamiVolts (talk) 16:07, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
  • This is a rather difficult topic, because Sylar, Arthur Petrelli and Linda Tavara (and even Peter to an extent) "steal" abilities, however, theoretically Sylar (and possibly Linda) leaves the victim's abilities intact (proof of which is seen when Sylar takes Claire's ability), with the unfortunate side effect of killing them. I do think however, that Sylar and Arthur's ability should be separated, because Sylar's "ability theft" is not really a separate ability, moreso a byproduct of his Intuitive Aptitude, whereas Arthur's ability is actually a stand-alone ability that can be operated by Arthur without the assistance of a passive ability such as Intuitive Aptitude or Empathic Mimicry. Good points of discussion here though, keep it going. --TheBressman 17:58, 21 October 2008 (EDT)

Ability transferral

  • Ok, now this really should be renamed to "ability transferral" with all the "Mr. Gray has the ability to transfer abilities between vessels." --Referos 16:00, 12 November 2008 (EST)
    • I don't think Sylar can transfer powers (well, except for his messy uni-directional method). I suspect what this means is that Arthur can transfer powers from one person to another, and assumed that Gabe could too (since he was his son, and since he was suddenly sporting telekinesis where before he was "normal"). It would also mean Arthur lied to Peter, but that's not too hard to believe. Product Placement 16:37, 12 November 2008 (EST)
      • Mr. Bennet (thus, a canon source) explicitly said that Sylar could transfer abilities between vessels.--Referos 19:07, 12 November 2008 (EST)
        • We know from The Second Coming that Noah is mistaken: Killing the victim is incidental to what Sylar does. Sylar examines the victim's brain and then reproduces the power himself; he does not transfer it the way Arthur does. Claire clearly shows that if you survive Sylar's examination process, you retain your power afterward. "Ability transferal" is therefore not an accurate description. --Ted C 12:11, 14 November 2008 (EST)
  • I would suggest that the article be renamed to Ability Acquisition. It isn't ability theft, because Sylar's victims who survive the examination process still have their abilities. (Ability Theft would be a better name for Arthur's power.) I would also hesitate to call what Sylar does "mimicry." Mimicry works more or less automatically, whereas Sylar has to make an examination, be it physical or emotional.--Chubbyboy 13:15, 28 March 2009 (EDT)

Note: Thrashmeister- We would consider copying and throwing away the original "theft." But that's not what Sylar does. He merely copies. He doesn't throw away the original, or else Claire wouldn't have her ability, and this discussion wouldn't be happening.

Another note: Chubbyboy- Mimicry doesn't happen automatically. Just because he's making an examination doesn't mean he's not mimicking something. In fact, normally you can't mimic without knowing what you're mimicking, and that's what Sylar does. He examines, then he mimics.

I vote for "ability acquisition."--ERROR 13:07, 11 June 2009 (EDT)


At present, "power absorption" is a redirect to "power theft". Given the way the term "absorption" is being used in conjunction with Peter's power, I think "Power absorption" needs to become a disambiguation page with links to both "Power theft" and "Empathic mimicry". --Ted C 15:10, 7 February 2007 (EST)

I think that's a good idea. I was initially skeptical because I thought that it was heavily linked, but it looks like there are only about 20 instances that would need to be updated. — RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 15:14, 7 February 2007 (EST)


What about the power that Sylar may/have theft from the cockroach in his cell ? Is it still considered as a theory or .. ? --FrenchFlo(talk)(contribs) 14:58, 16 March 2007 (EDT)

  • Still a theory. A very cool one at that, but just a theory. It's not even known if cockroaches can have a power. — RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 15:14, 16 March 2007 (EDT)
    • It has been theorized that he used TK to keep the company doctor from detecting his pulse and breathing without using his diaphragm, then used cryokinesis to lower his body temperature to that of a corpse. Don't forget he killed a couple of people whose powers we don't know. --WolvenSpectre 16:30, 16 March 2007 (EDT)

Of COURSE it's still a theory. Cockroaches don't have abilities; Humans have abilities. And even if the cockroach had an ability, Sylar didn't necessarily "take" it. If he did, we would've seen it. But nope. Sylar was just staring at it.--ERROR 13:11, 11 June 2009 (EDT)

Not a theory

Ted C makes a good point that power theft is not really a claim anymore, but something that he has demonstrated, and even discussed a bit in Road Kill. Is anybody opposed to removing this from Category:Theories? — RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 15:15, 5 April 2007 (EDT)

  • So long as the article doesn't contain any unsupported claims as to how he does it (which it doesn't seem to), then no, I have no objections.--Hardvice (talk) 15:29, 5 April 2007 (EDT)
  • Just remember it indirectly has been demonstrated. It is possible that Sylar's Ability Theft may be a delusion of his psychological state and he may not take the power, but we do not know because his victims are dead.--WolvenSpectre 00:40, 6 April 2007 (EDT)


  • Just to clarify the non-inclusion of "Illusion" on this page after Kindred: we know Sylar killed Candice and took her brain (at least as well as we know anyone is actually dead), so Candice is entirely appropriate on Sylar's victims and brain removal. We don't know that he stole her power because we don't even know if it's still possible for him to steal powers. In all likelihood, it is, and he will eventually use Candice's power, at which time it will be appropriate to add Illusion to the body of this article. Until then, it should be listed in Notes (and it currently is).--Hardvice (talk) 17:05, 9 October 2007 (EDT)
  • Well it is highly probable, but candice doesn't seem stupid to me, so this whole thing could be one of those illusions inside of illusions to keep Sylar under control, so he thinks not only that he is alone, but powerless as well. Think of it as a matrix style twist, where Sylar thinks he has beentaken prisoner and is shown that he is powerless and vulnerable by giving him a victim without really giving him a victim, and making him beleive that he is missing his powers because of being run through by the sword, not say something implanted or taken out during the "6 surgeries".--WolvenSpectre 18:32, 9 October 2007 (EDT)
  • In this Interview the Guys state Sylar did not absorb Candice’s power. Or Michelle’. Or Betty’s. He will not get her power back when he reboots (...). We’ll be exploring exactly what Sylar does (and does not do) with the brain in the first hour of the new season.

Addition of Linda

We now know that Sylar isn't the only one who can steal abilities from people. How should we go about including Linda into this article? --Piemanmoo 17:09, 8 April 2008 (EDT)

  • Since this article is specifically about Sylar's habit (which is actually not a power but an act), Linda should really only be mentioned in the notes and maybe a see also section. All detailed information about her should go on Linda's ability. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 07:46, 9 April 2008 (EDT)

...And he doesn't actually STEAL them.--ERROR 13:13, 11 June 2009 (EDT)

Is this page necessary?

It seems pretty obvious that the "theft" is a direct result of Sylar's use of his Intuitive Aptitude, in that he can figure out how to use a power simply by touching the brain. He does not actually "steal" the power, as the person still has their power after the fact (as evidenced by Claire still being able to heal after her encounter with him). The deaths are not a result of him using his power, but him, oh I don't know, opening their skulls. If this page is to exist, I propose we move it to Ability Duplication and use it to detail the different types of duplication presented in the show and comics (Peter's Empathic Mimicry, Sylar's Intuitive Aptitude, Linda's Aura Absorption, and Arthur's Power Absorption). Ricard Desi 11:48, 27 October 2008 (EDT)

  • I still consider what Sylar did to Claire theft cause he took he opened up her skull without her permission in order to copy her ability.--MiamiVolts (talk) 02:07, 31 October 2008 (EDT)
  • I think the page is more reflective of Arthur's ability than it is of Sylar's, and so the opening description should either be changed to reflect this, or should be made completely generic, applying to all the 'power stealers.' As for whether Sylar is stealing powers, the fact that he kills his victims to get the powers is worth noting. I would say Claire is a special circumstance, since the only reason she could survive was due to her particular ability. The idea that 'taking without permission' amounts to stealing makes sense too, though we then have to include Peter, since he doesn't obtain permission. Stealing doesn't necessarily mean that the person no longer has access to what was stolen (eg - you can steal the information on my computer, but I may have it stored on disk as well). --Stevehim 03:02, 31 October 2008 (EDT)
    • The title might aptly describe Power absorption, but the page definitely is reflective of what Sylar does. I don't see anything wrong with this page, especially in light of the fact that Arthur's ability is called "power absorption" in the assignment tracker map. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 23:04, 3 November 2008 (EST)

Putting Things Straight

There seems to be a misunderstaning here. I'm new here, so don't get me wrong. I will present all the facts, as I know to be true. No...speculation. Sylar's ability is only to understand how things work. He obtains powers by seeing how the brain works, thus knowing how to give himself a power. Noah stated that Sylar's power was power transferal from vessal to vessal, but he was naive at the time, not knowing how Sylar obtained the power. This is why he seemed intrigued when he saw Sylar slicing open poor Trevor or Travis or whatever "Glass Shattering Man"'s name was. I don't think this page is necessary and can be combined with Intuitive Aptitude. I'm just saying. --Oxico 22:13, 12 November 2008 (EST)

I concur on the final statement of combining Ability Theft with either Intuitive aptitude or Brain Removal. --Oxico 07:24, 13 November 2008 (EST)
I would again like to put forth the possibility of renaming this article Ability Duplication in order to detail all forms of duplication (Peter, Sylar, Arthur, Linda), especially now that Sylar seems to be learning how to use his intuitive aptitude to mimic empathic mimicry. Ricard Desi 10:31, 20 November 2008 (EST)

Revisiting name change discussion

I really think the name of this article needs to be altered. It doesn't make much sense to call it Ability theft and then include in the description a statement saying 'it's not really ability theft.' I have no problem with intuitive acquisition. --Stevehim 23:43, 27 December 2008 (EST)

  • I still believe that this page should be expanded to "Ability duplication" to include Peter, Arthur, and Linda. There is really no sense in having a page about Sylar taking abilities when it's already detailed on one (or both) of "Sylar" and "Intuitive aptitude". --Ricard Desi (t,c) 05:13, 28 December 2008 (EST)

Electric Manipulation

Shouldn't electric manipulation be added to the list? We did see Sylar begin to cut open Elle's head, and he still has that ability. --Sac983 05:54, 6 February 2009 (EST)

  • No, Sylar didn't acquire this ability through the scalp and see the brain, he acquired used the empathy aspect of his ability. Telekinesis is listed here cause while he retained the ability through empathy, he acquired it in the usual way. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 09:48, 6 February 2009 (EST)

He did indeed scalp her. At the end of The Eclipse, Part 2 and at the beginning of Our Father. I think I'll go add electrical manipulation to the list...--ERROR 13:19, 11 June 2009 (EDT)

But he didn't scalp her to get the ability, as far as ability acquisition goes, it shouldn't be mentioned. You should probably wait until more people give their input in this discussion. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 13:21, 11 June 2009 (EDT)

Any objections?

If nobody posts any objections, I say we change this page. It has been nominated for a name change for a long time. If nobody objects, I'm moving it on February 22. --Bentonyang 22:41, 19 February 2009 (EST)

  • I don't think we should move the page. With one exception, Sylar steals abilities. I think "ability theft" is an apt name for what this page describes. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 00:50, 20 February 2009 (EST)

He isn't really stealing them. He's just examining their brain so he can change his to copy their ability. Them dying is really just an unfortunate byproduct of having their skull removed. The closest thing to Ability Theft is really Power Absorption.--Steelymcbeam 04:33, 20 February 2009 (EST)

  • I agree. Sylar doesn't really "steal" powers, since Claire still has hers.--Cro Magnon 07:22, 20 February 2009 (EST)

Stealing doesn't automatically means you lose something, if I steal information from your computer, I'm taking it by force, against your wishes, but your computer still has the information. Intuitive Empath - Talk - Contributions 19:12, 20 February 2009 (EST)

  • Agreed. "Theft" is not an appropriate term. If we were talking about Power absorption, then yes. Since we are talking about Sylar, it should be "Intuitive acquisition". He acquires powers, he doesn't take them away from people. Good examples of this would be when he acquired Claire's ability and when he learned Elle's power. I think I'll move it tomorrow unless someone tells me not to (Clearly writes "Don't do it" with an explanation).--Bentonyang 23:41, 21 February 2009 (EST)
    • Please don't. I'm all for the rename, but there is no consensus on renaming it yet. -Sincerely, Thrashmeister » talk- 23:52, 21 February 2009 (EST)
    • Why is "theft" not an appropriate term? It simply means "taking of another person's property against their will". That's what Sylar does. With the exception of Elle, he takes people's abilities against their will. Theft does not mean "taking property away", just "taking property". Just last week, I had a student of mine steal some answers to a test from my answer sheet. This was theft. He took the answers, though he didn't take them away. He took them against my will, though the answers still remained on the answer sheet. "Theft" does not necessarily mean something is lost, just that something is taken. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 00:36, 22 February 2009 (EST)
  • Your point is well taken. If we want to get technical with the definition of "theft" by, the definition is: 1 a: the act of stealing  ; specifically : the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it b: an unlawful taking (as by embezzlement or burglary) of property. With your student, we could call his/her cheating "copying", "replicating", or "acquiring" the answers, not just "stealing" them. "Stealing" sounds criminal and an effect of shame is placed upon the individual (usually) more so when you tell them they "stole" the answers rather than "copied" them. I will not, however, change the name. To me, "theft" seems rather shady. It can be considered "theft" most of the time, but taking into consideration the way Sylar acquired Elle's ability, "theft" just doesn't fit. "Acquisition" is an accurate way to describe Sylar gaining new abilities. Key point of my arguement - "Acquisition" fits every situation. I will think on this further and I respect your wishes not to move the page. I just want you to take into consideration another point of view. --Bentonyang 02:03, 22 February 2009 (EST)
    • I think Ability theft is fine as is, but if we do change it, I think Ability acquisition would be best. -- Psilaq R.- \m/ -_- \m/- 19:03, 9 March 2009 (EDT)
  • Intuitive acquistion is the way to go.

Some more thoughts

Okay, so I've been thinking quite a bit about this page and the name and I think that Intuitive acquisition or Intuitive ability acquisition would be more appropriate names for this page. Ability theft makes me think about Arthur's ability of power absorption. If we made this page about both Sylar and Arthur, then I think Ability theft is the best name. If this page were to be named Ability acquisition, then it would sound as though it would include information on Sylar's intuitive aptitude acquisitions, Sampson's intuitive aptitude acquisitions, Arthur's power absorption acquisitions, Peter's empathic mimicry acquired abilities, Peter's ability replication acquired abilities, Matt's acquired precognition, and anyone who acquired an ability synthetically. Intuitive acquisition and Intuitive ability acquisition make this page specifically about the way Sylar and Sampson obtain abilities. Let me know what you think. -- - Bender · Talk-

  • I think that Intuitive acquisition would be a great name. --posted by Laughingdevilboy

Talk 07:49, 15 March 2009 (EDT)

  • I do too it sounds really cool.-- Obelisk52 21:22, 4 April 2009 (EDT)
    • I prefer calling it "ability theft". It's not an ability, it's an action. -- RyanGibsonStewart (talk) 16:26, 4 April 2009 (EDT)
      • I agree that it's not an ability. It is not, however merely an action, it is a process. I like the proposed rename of Intuitive ability acquisition because it describes all aspects of the process. Im not oposed to leaving the name as is however. --SacValleyDweller (talk) 02:03, 5 April 2009 (EDT)
  • shouldn't it be some thing like Ability copy because he basically "copys" the ability or studies it, like how Noah Stated in "Villains" that Sylar has the ability to copy one self Ability to a different Vesicle i dont know if that's correct but if its not please correct me--Skyeatsout 22:40, 5 April 2009 (EDT)

Acquiring Shapeshifting

Before this becomes an edit war, let me point out that we don't know how Sylar took James Martin's ability. When he tried to take Candice's power, he basically knocked a whole in the back of her skull to get at the part of the brain he needed. He might well have done something similar with Martin, making a relatively small incision to get to the right part of the brain, then putting the metal spike into the wound to disguise its origin. This would also be consistent with his acquisition of regeneration, since he didn't need to take Claire's brain out of her head to get that power, either. I don't think CBR is a source we can rely on when there are several possibilities for how Sylar accomplished this theft. --Ted C 13:33, 7 April 2009 (EDT)

BTE confirmed that he used his empathy. If "BTE" is what you mean by "CBR," then why do you think that it's an unreliable source? It's an interview with the writers.--ERROR 13:34, 11 June 2009 (EDT)

Samson Gray

Oliver Grigsby (writer of "Shades of Gray") said on Twitter that Samson attempted to cut Sylar's head open with a knife because "he prefers a hands-on approach." ebrown2112 23:16, 10 November 2009 (EST)

Intuitive aptitude is not ability theft

I would consider Ability absorption and Aura absorption ability theft but not Intuitive aptitude as when Sylar copied Claire's ability by Intuitive aptitude. Unlike Arthur and Linda, Sylar did not permantly take Claire's ability and Claire was only able to survive because she could regenerate and others could not.--50000JH 08:51, 2 June 2010 (EDT)