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Main Article Theories about Sylar Main Discussion

The following fan theories are about Sylar.

For help on adding theories, see the help section.


Theory Citations Notes
Sylar is meant to be Peter's literary/thematic antithesis. None + He has a similar motivation (to be special), similar looks, similar powers, both have mothers that don't believe in them, and both men have even talked to a Suresh who ultimately gave up on him before he could prove that he was special. One major difference between them is that Sylar's main power depends upon logic and Peter's power depends upon emotion - a common theme in many literary conflicts.

+ In Five Years Gone, when Sylar and Peter fight, Sylar uses freezing while Peter uses the power of pyrokinesis. In other words, Sylar is cold and emotionless ice, while Peter is hot and passionate fire.

+ The cast commentary confirms that it was "fire and ice".

+ Peter and Sylar have the same initials as a well-known pair of comic book nemeses: Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and the Green Goblin.

+ Furthermore, numerous references to other comics outside the Heroes universe have been mentioned, like the Hulk and Captain America. (It's Coming)

- While initially compelling, the proposed antithetical relationship doesn't stand up to close scrutiny: Sylar's motivation stems from deep rooted compulsions (a persistent and insatiable hunger for others' gifts, which stems of its own accord, and excites him; jealousy towards Trevor evincing his desire for Elle, prompting actions that led to the acquisition of the former's power; a need to understand whether his putative father is being truthful) as opposed to a conscious decision to 'be special'; there is evidence to suggest that Peter's mother did believe in him, endorsing a way of life that would sensitize him; the main distinction, that Sylar represents logic and Peter is representative of emotion, seems to be sound on a superficial level but has, at best, been clumsily executed and may as well be accidental. The principal problem here is in the name - intuition has never been associated with logic, rather it sidesteps the rational process of inquiry. Essentially, for intuitive aptitude to work as a concept or an ability, the individual so gifted will need to take repeated leaps of faith, on the assumption that his/her ability will unfailingly prove to be correct; while this provides interesting parallels with religious faith and deity characters, it blurs the distinction (conceptually, if not in the mode of operation) between an empathic and an intuitive understanding, as neither involves rational inquiry.

+ Sylar and Peter both working off of their emotions only deepens the idea that they are two sides of one coin.
+ Sylar told Chandra that he wanted to be "significant" (Six Months Ago) and this stemmed from Virginia Gray's insistence that he was special and could be better than everybody else (The Hard Part); Peter also wanted to be significant - the conversations with Nathan and Mohinder before he jumps off the roof (Genesis) suggests that he dreamed of being a hero.
+ In I Am Sylar, Sylar disguised as Virginia Gray opens a conversation with himself as Gabriel and starts quoting his mother in addition to ad-libbing what she'd supposedly say had they really been talking. One of the things he says is that Virginia gave him extra attention because he was "special". This is also parallel to Peter, as he is his mother's favorite and was the one who developed a natural ability, making him "special" in his mother's eyes.
+ Sylar utilizes his powers with logic; as he has been able to break down every complex code, power and system within seconds of seeing it, his power is either more than just intuition or he couples his natural smarts with it. Peter utilized his powers with emotions, as he remembers how he felt around certain people in order to reobtain their abilities. Thus, the logic vs. emotion in regards to their powers still stands.

+ Throughout the series, Peter wants to be a hero, but repeatedly and unintentionally becomes the villain. Conversely, Sylar seems to relish being a villain but repeatedly and unintentionally becomes the hero.

Sylar may also be a thematic foil to evolution itself. None + His profession of watchmaker is often used as an analogue to an intelligent designer. Rather than following an evolutionary imperative, he appears to be redesigning himself using existing powers as a template which he then improves upon.

+ Evolution requires reproduction of the fittest, not merely survival of the fittest. So, unless he starts trying to have babies, he can't affect evolution at all. In fact, by taking so many evolved people out of the gene pool, he is actually slowing down evolution.
+ With all the alterations to his DNA, it is possible that he will cease to be genetically human and will therefore be unable to reproduce.

Sylar can be identified with some supernatural harbinger of the end of the world. None + Sylar builds and restores watches. The notion of supernatural "watchmaker", setting the laws of science in place then letting them tick away, is one frequent symbol for God (a rather apt one for a show centering around apparently God-directed evolution).

+ Sylar, like the biblical Lucifer/Satan, became dissatisfied with his status in life, wanting desperately to be more important, more special. By acquiring more and more superhuman powers, he appears to be making himself God-like, an act of supreme hubris.
+ "Gabriel" is the name of the archangel supposed to arrive immediately prior to the apocalypse.
The first episode of the first season (Genesis) and the first episode after the mid-season break (Godsend) both had titles of religious significance, the first being "Genesis" and the next being "Godsend". The Haitian associates these powers with being from God, and Jessica's character flippantly rejects the need for God's help at the end of Godsend. There are many religious references (predominantly Christian) throughout the show, which could be hints that Sylar plays a significant role in a supernatural scheme.

Both Genesis and Godsend begin with a G, as do both of Sylar's real names (Gabriel Gray).

Sylar has had several moments of compassion, in the exposed future with his son and his brief period of redemption with Elle. God and Satan are often depicted as absolutes, either absolutely good or absolutely evil. This does not seem to be the case with Sylar.

Sylar is a different species of evolved human. None + There is much about him that is different from the others know evolved humans, and his original power was not detected by Chandra.
- Chandra might have lacked the necessary equipment to detect intuitive aptitude.

+ Only his telekinesis was detected by The Company.
+ This would make him a even better villain and a opposite force for other characters.
Each evolved human could be their own subspecies of human, as their powers manifest in completely different ways. Also as long as they can produce fertile offspring with humans they are technically the same species, but not the same breed/race/ability to have abilities.

Sylar has Mosaic DNA and is a Chimera. None + This explains why the Company only found "telekinesis DNA" when tested they him.
Sylar wasn't going to kill Molly Walker; he was going to kidnap her and use her to find other evolved humans. None Sylar normally leaves no signs of physical contact when attacking his victims. Sylar causes a ruckus when he tries to drag Molly away when he could have easily killed her in the blink of an eye. (One Giant Leap).

- Sylar can just kill Molly and take her ability.

+ Sylar showed that he had some conscience when he was afraid of blowing up after painting the explosion. He may have, at first, also been opposed to killing a child.
- He may simply have been mindful that, as the agent of Molly's power, he would run the risk of being discovered via a strong telepath whenever this ability was employed.
The only example of this so far suggests that a person with Molly's ability can only be found by a telepath if the telepath is the one who the clairvoyant is looking for and if the telepath is strong enough to notice he's being looked for. There is also no suggestion that a telepath might find the clairvoyant through this, Maury showed no signs of knowing where Molly was.

+ Sylar has shown evidence of distaste at hurting children (he was surprised to find that Rebel was Micah and ended up saving Micah instead of killing him like he originally planned.) It's entirely possible he wouldn't have killed Molly.

Sylar developed powers at a young age, as Micah and Sanjog did. None + Sylar has stated matter-of-factly on more than one occasion that he can understand how things work. The connotation of this may imply that he has had this particular power for a long time, that he, too, developed powers at a young age.
+ His initial power suggests an inherent intellectual prowess; both Micah and Sanjog are smarter than usual for their age.

- His apparent cleverness may simply be a byproduct of intuitive aptitude.
- Intuitive aptitude may not actually be a power.

+ Intuitive aptitude is clearly a power since it was shut down when Sylar was injected with the Shanti virus.

+ Intuitive aptitude has been confirmed as a power by Sylar himself, when talking to Maya in the car on the way to the border.
Compared to most other abilities, intuitive aptitude is very subtle. It would be almost impossible to really nail down the time it manifested.

Sylar understands Spanish. None + Sylar often showed some form of understanding of conversations between Alejandro and Maya, such as the fact that Alejandro needed Maya to translate English to Spanish, or his desire to abandon Sylar and cross with a coyote.
- Sylar may have understood Alejandro's intent from tone and body language.

+ Sylar's intuitive aptitude, if it still works, may have helped him to learn the language by now.

+ The scene with the cockroach and Sylar in the cell was accompanied by the sound of a ticking clock. This implies that Sylar used his intuitive aptitude. Peter had also used intuitive aptitude to understand the reactions of his time meddling to stop his dad. If they can use the power for those, then theoretically the power should be able to help Sylar understand foreign languages quicker.

+ Sylar could have used Charlie's power to learn Spanish earlier, or could simply have learned in school.

- Sylar lost that ability before Season 2 began. He could no longer use it to remember Spanish.

+ In How to Stop an Exploding Man, Sylar appears to understand Japanese, as he responds very specifically to what Hiro says to Ando.

Again, Sylar may simply have been picking up intent from tone, context, and body language.
- Sylar can know Japanese and not Spanish.
As far as we know, Sylar has never been exposed to Japanese.
He could have learned it for fun or in school.
He could have been using intuitive aptitude to comprehend the universal syntax behind what they were saying.
The Company spent considerable resources saving Sylar's life because they need him to extract the power stored in the brain inside the Vault. One of the items inside the Primatech Vault is a preserved brain. + The brain is stored alongside assorted mysterious items, including a virus with the power to wipe out the human race, suggesting it holds high value or significant power.

+ Despite the incredible danger Sylar poses to all evolved humans, the Company has gone to great lengths to preserve his life; forbidding Mr. Bennet from killing him in Season 1, and treating him with several major surgeries to save him from the stab wound from Hiro's katana.
+ The crew commentary to Powerless suggests that the vault items are major clues to future plot points.
+ Sylar is the only character to be associated with brains as a plot element.
- It would be insane to willingly give a powerful ability to someone as dangerous and uncontrollable as Sylar.

+ The brain's power may be of a highly valuable but non-combat-related nature, such as Bob's ability to turn base metals into gold.
The Company may believe that they had the means to control Sylar, i.e. by having Maury Parkman mentally dominate him, or by having the Haitian mindwipe his more vicious impulses.
It would be insane to create a virus that could destroy more than 90% of the world's population.

+ It could also be the reason why the company kept Peter in a cell. Peter should have Sylar's intuitive aptitude ability and would also be able to extract the power from the brain.

- Peter was never asked to do this.

- The Company has had plenty of chances for Sylar to do this, but they do not seem to have asked him to do it.

- They even took away his abilities the second time they saved his life.
- Angela even allowed Sylar to extract an ability from a different brain.
+ Bob and/or Angela may have had different plans than their predecessors.
The Serpent in the story of the Serpent and the Crane is a symbolic representation of Sylar. None + The Serpent kills the Crane and takes its ability to fly. This sounds a lot like power theft.
- The story may be symbolic of The Haitian and his ability. The Haitian take the memories of others and "takes" the powers of others. He takes away Guillame's ability, and Guillame tells him that he wants to fly again. (It Takes a Village, Part 3)

+ Guillame asks, "What good is it to fly, if you have nowhere to go?" Sylar is in a similar situation because he takes powers but does not use them for anything except to gain more powers.
+ The Serpent believes that the Crane is unworthy of its wings just as Sylar believes his victims are unworthy of their powers.
+ Serpents are always symbols of evil, especially a form the devil commonly takes.

Serpents are not always symbols of evil. The Ouroboros, for instance, is symbolic of cycles, eternity, and unity. Snakes have also been symbolic of protection, wisdom, renewal/rebirth (outside of the Ouroboros' cyclical symbolism), and medicine (such as on the caduceus).

- Although the resemblances are interesting, it's unlikely that the Haitian's tribe would have ever met someone like Sylar before, nor is it likely Sylar would have heard the legend.

+ While Guillame probably was not deliberately referring to Sylar himself, it is likely that the writers meant for the Serpent to be a symbol or representation of Sylar.
- Sylar has had very little contact with the Haitian at all.

- Around the time that the It Takes a Village series would have taken place, Sylar would have been very young and still call himself Gabriel.
- It is unlikely that Sylar is connected to a Haitian tale.
- Linda Tavara's story indicates that Sylar is not the first or only evolved human who has attempted to steal the evolved abilities of others.
Considering that the story is prevalent only in the graphic novels, it is likely that it may be symbolic of the Haitian. However, considering the serpentine nature of Sylar and the stealing of the ability to fly, it could also be prophetic of Sylar killing Nathan and taking his power, just as it was shown in Five Years Gone.

Sylar's rescue by Maya, Alejandro, and Derek was engineered by Drucker. None + One evolved human being saved by two other evolved humans riding in a car stolen from a third evolved human is a very big coincidence.
- Coincidences are hardly uncommon in Heroes, nearly all the characters bump into each other or are inter-related at some point in the show, this could be just another such occurrence.

+ Derek's fraternity, the reason he stole the Rogue and went to Mexico, has a portrait of Drucker, strongly suggesting that the two are connected.

Sylar is going to be a father. It is implied that he slept with Maya. (Truth & Consequences) + She may be pregnant.
- Sylar wasn't the only one that slept with Maya. Mohinder Suresh slept with her.

+ It is highly doubtful Sylar was carrying condoms.
+ He has one in the exposed future.

- Noah Gray is blond. Maya and Sylar have no more than 25% chance of producing a blond child.
- Future Elle might be Noah's mother. Elle is dead.

- Maya would be "showing" by Libertad.
- Maya used her ability since then. Although she did not kill any adults, this might kill any baby she had, given the embryo's lack of an immune system.

+ Maya is immune to her own ability. That immunity maybe extended to the unborn baby, just like the baby relies on the mother's body for other forms of protection.
+ The embryo's undeveloped body may not be able to produce the poison.

+ The baby may have inherited Alejandro's ability or something to that effect that allows it to survive.

- It is doubtful that a baby could use an ability at the embryo stage.
Sylar's Achilles' heel, his kryptonite, is calling him Gabriel. He has been visibly upset when he is called Gabriel, almost as if he is in pain. - Both his adoptive and fake mothers have called him Gabriel repeatedly.
This could just be because of Sylar's soft spot for mother figures.

- Elle called him Gabriel numerous times after he regained her trust. He didn't seem to care in the slightest.
- He has called himself Gabriel on more than one occasion without appearing to be in pain.
Gabriel was a person he didn't want to be. Each time somebody calls him Gabriel, it reminds him of where he came from.

He still calls himself Gabriel when convenient.
Gabriel is still his legal name.
Future Gabriel named his son after HRG because he accidentally killed him before this part of the future and wants to try and redeem himself. This means that Claire is after him for that and for taking her ability. None + We didn't see HRG in the future.

+ In Resistance, Claire talks about getting over the loss of her parents. Maybe Sylar accidentally killed them.
- Claire confessed to Meredith that she was already after Sylar for attacking her.
+ Future Claire says to Gabriel, "This was my house. You took everything from me." This may partially refer to HRG's death.

Future Gabriel named his son Noah because HRG became a father figure toward him. None + A person naming his/her son after his/her own "father" is very common.

+ Sylar and HRG were partners at Primatech.
- Sylar's biological father is Samson Gray.

+ He might never have found that out in the exposed future.
+ That wouldn't stop someone else from becoming Sylar's father figure. Noah is Claire's father figure, but he isn't her biological father.
+ Sylar wanted Samson dead.
Peter and Sylar share some kind of supernatural connection. None + In Landslide, without trying to, Peter suddenly picks up Sylar's thoughts in a crowded New York City street.
- The scene suggests Sylar directed his thoughts at Peter so that he could get Ted Sprague caught.

+ They have very similar powers, in that they can absorb others abilities. Only three other people, Linda Tavara, Peter's and Sylar's fathers are the only other evolved humans to show the ability to do this.

Sylar can move powers from one person to another, not just himself. This ability was implied by Noah in Hiro's dream during the Villains episode. + While observing Sylar, Noah says that Sylar has the ability to transfer powers from one vessel to another.
- Noah did not know how Gabriel transferred the ability to himself.
- Noah may have been wrong.

- Sylar's ability isn't power theft; it's seeing how things work. Power theft is how he uses his power, not his power's "intended" purpose.

+ His ability to see how things work may be the key to giving powers to another.

This could also have something to do with the development of the serum that Pinehearst is creating to give powers, but that's extra speculation.

The formula existed long before Sylar even discovered he had powers.
But Samson Gray would have known about his powers around the time the formula was created, perhaps he was involved in the process.
Claire Bennet would have been the mother of Noah Gray. None + It would explain Noah Gray's first name.

- Elle is more likely to be the mother of Noah Gray in the timeline we saw him.

+ In the present day, Sylar kills Elle.
There is no proof Elle would have fallen in love with Sylar had Peter not tampered with the past.

- Claire hates Sylar.

It is a common theme for one partner to claim to hate the other, setting up a 'love/hate' scenario to build on later. Xena hates Ares. Lily Evans hates James Potter, yet look how that went. Sylar has been shown to have some sort of attraction to Claire since nearly the beginning. Considering how the writing was going for a while, Clarie was probably in denial or simply needs time. She forgave Eric Doyle and they become good friends within a very short time, she could just be stubborn about Sylar at first.
Not liking someone because you find them obnoxious or self-centered is one thing, hating them because the prey on you wanting to pick your brains is an entirely different matter. She suffered far less in Doyle's hands than she did in Sylar's. Watch the series without the shipping goggles.

- Claire is too young for Sylar; it's unlikely the writers would do that.

It is not uncommon for people for varying age differences to fall in love. The writer's want to show a variety of people exhibiting powers, and this would be another outlet for exploration.

+ It has been shown numerous times from season one through-out to season four that Sylar has some sort of attraction for Claire. He has even proposed to her when she was 17, almost 18. Though she is younger than him, she is certianly not illegal for him.

- If she's not of age, it is illegal.
+ Depending where one is, the age of consent is as low as 14. 16 is another age of consent. However, by the time Noah would be born, Claire would be either 19 or 20 anyway, definitly not illegal.
- Claire would need to be with Sylar when Noah was conceived, not when he was born. States in which Sylar has interacted with Claire, such as California and New York have ages of consent (17 and 16, respectively) that would make it illegal form them to be together at the time they interacted. And regardless of age, Claire still doesn't like Sylar, meaning that would be a sex offender if he tried to be with Claire in any intimate way.

- Even though Claire is darker in the future, she still showed a little sadness when she killed Peter. She threatened Noah's life; it is doubtful she would threaten her own child.

It is not unheard of for a mother to hate her child, especially if she hates the father that much more.

- In the exposed future, Gabriel still thinks Peter is his brother. Odds are he thinks Claire is his niece.
+ In the begining of season three, Sylar and Peter were tricked into believing they were brothers by blood. Barely a few days, perhaps a week or so, later Sylar finds out that he is in no way related to the Petrellis. I Am Become Death is four years into the future, yet Sylar still calls Peter "brother" knowing full well by then that they are not related by blood. The only way Sylar can be related to Peter is by a marriage to Claire, making Sylar and Peter in-laws. Granted, technically speaking, Peter would be Sylar’s ‘uncle-in-law’ but considering that the child already calls Peter 'uncle', Peter and Sylar probably just call each other brother to simplify things for Noah Gray. A lot of families do that.

- Future Sylar could still be under the impression he was indeed related to the Petrellis by blood. The deception could have gone on due to something that happened differently in that timeline.
+ Considering that Sylar's power makes him want to understand things, it is highly unlikely that one could dupe him for that long. Sylar is crazy but not stupid. Also, if his Peter had acquired this same power, odds are one of them would have figured it out within a very short time, less than four years later.
- Future Sylar learned to control the impulses his ability gave him, he fought the urges. Future Peter didn't have that ability in that timeline, otherwise he wouldn't have asked present Peter to acquire it.
Sylar will re-obtain induced radioactivity from Amid Halebi. He has this power in the exposed future. + Sylar's regeneration ability would protect him from the negative side-affects of Amid's power.
Sylar will regain precognitive painting from Byron Bevington. None + His name is on Elle's cellphone.

+ According to Heroes Evolutions content, Byron has precognition.

- There is no evidence that Byron can "paint the future".

+ In the exposed future, Gabriel regained that ability by the time he is met by Peter's past self.

- Sylar is seemingly on a very different path than in that future.
Sylar became evil again because baby Claire never got the catalyst. None + Seeing the catalyst in Claire's brain could have caused Sylar to realize the evil of his ways. Perhaps it helped him begin to "understand" the hunger part of his ability.

+ Just after Hiro took Claire to the past, to prevent her from getting the catalyst, Sylar turned evil again, killing Elle.

- It would be a coincidence that the change to the past would begin to have an impact on the present at the same time the time travelers disappear.

- Claire might never have gotten the catalyst in any timeline.

+ Sylar said she was different and special.
- He could be referring to her power in general.
- If he was talking about the catalyst, then Claire's path would be noticeably affected by Sylar not saying this in the new timeline.
Rapid cell regeneration is one of Sylar's empathic abilities (like telekinesis,electric manipulation and Empathy) because he was able to empathize with Claire. In Angels and Monsters Sylar apologises to Claire and says that she must fear him. In Dual he says that she must be disgusted by him and think him a monster. + Sylar apologized to Elle just before gaining her ability.
- Sylar's apology to Claire looked and felt nothing like the one he did to Elle.
We don't know if that matters.

- Sylar apologized after he took Claire's power.

As above, we don't know if that matters.
Sylar regained precognition and induced radioactivity in the future from Peter, using the aspect of his own ability that is similar to Peter's own. The reason that he was able to copy those powers from Peter, whilst Peter himself was not able to copy the powers of his his future self, is that the two powers are not identical, and function differently. None + With Ted Sprague dead, Peter is (at least in the exposed future where he still had all his powers) the only known source of that power.
- In a future where anyone can have abilities, a person with induced radioactivity would probably not be hard to come by.
Sylar has taken the power of metal mimicry from Danny Pine. None + Sylar clearly killed him, and having succumbed to the hunger, it seems unlikely that he would have passed over the opportunity of taking it.

- Sylar was more concerned with his plan, with putting Angela, Claire, Meredith and Noah in tight situations.
- He didn't bother to steal Eric Doyle's ability.

He could use telekinesis to simulate Doyle's power.
He already did it with Audrey Hanson, almost making her shoot herself.
Sylar isn't Arthur's son, but they are still related. None + When Sylar asked Arthur if he [Arthur] was his family, Arthur replied: "Of course. I am your father". Then Sylar detected a lie. So this ability could have worked when Arthur said "I am your father", not directly after "Of course". This could mean that Arthur is Sylar's family, but not his father.

- The workings of this ability are unclear, the ability might analyze the statement as a whole, not parts of it.
+ Arthur paused between the parts of the statement - possibly long enough for lie detection to work.

- There's no defined threshold in which lie detection works.

Lie detection works by analyzing the physical reactions in a person's behavior and voice. Arthur could have been controlling those reactions at first, but started to slip by the "I'm your father" part.

Sylar and Luke Campbell are half brothers. Sylar felt it wasn't mere coincidence that Luke is an evolved human and lived near his father. + Luke also said that somebody said that his mother was a whore. Even if the guy didn't really say it, she could have slept with Samson.
- Mary Campbell said she didn't like Samson.
+ This could be because he left her while she was pregnant with Luke.
- Just because some teenage kid called someone else's mother a whore does not mean she is one.

+ Luke, like Sylar, could have been adopted.

Sylar won't kill Luke for his ability because he will absorb it through empathy. None + Elle was the only evolved human who was able to partner with Sylar, because he absorbed her ability through empathy.
- Luke doesn't have the advantage of being an attractive young woman. Especially since Elle took an interest in Sylar even before he became a killer. Though he does kill her once he finds out she was using him too.
Sylar tried to slice Elle's skull before taking her ability, even though she always was an attractive young woman.

- Sylar and Luke have gone separate ways with no evidence of Sylar having Luke's ability.

Sylar's drive to find his father has obliterated "the hunger". Sylar states that his motivations were finding abilities and taking them, but now they're mostly about finding his real father. (Building 26) + Sylar was able to control the hunger briefly under the guidance of a pseudo-mother figure.

- Sylar killed Joe Macon and took his ability.

+ Imprinting is more practical than powerful; Sylar might have taken it just because it would have been useful to him in the future.
+ Macon refused to cooperate with Sylar. Sylar could have simply killed him in punishment, and took his ability for the heck of it.

+ Sylar refrained from killing Luke, despite the fact that Luke killed Daniel Simmons, a man with vital information on his father, and the fact that Luke had a powerful ability.

Sylar sent Luke away in order to save his life. None + He didn't kill Luke himself.

+ He obviously didn't want Luke to be killed by Samson.

Sylar loves road trips. None + He is the only character to have been on a roadtrip in every season. In season one with Mohinder, in season two with Maya and Alejandro, and in season three with Luke Cambell.
The only road trip he clearly wanted to take was the one with Mohinder, so he could acquire more abilities.
The metallic arm on the floor in Dual is actually Sylar's arm after he killed Danny Pine and stole his ability. Danny was confirmed to be deceased. Most likely, Sylar killed him. + Sylar has rapid cell regeneration, so he could cut his arm off and it would grow back.

+ Sylar's hunger might make him take Danny's ability.

- He didn't steal Eric Doyle's ability.
+ Puppet master would be redundant to Sylar's telekinesis.

Sylar could have stolen metal mimicry and discovered it's a weak ability against fire, and that he couldn't control the ability so his arm stayed metal. He may have cut his arm off so Meredith can't attack his metallic arm.

Sylar learns to wield his abilities very fast.
Sylar has "absorbed" precognitive dreaming from Angela Petrelli, including the ability to enter the dreams of others. None + Numerous clues indicate that he appeared in Danko's dream in the beginning of Into Asylum. Danko closed his eyes, then saw Sylar, then awoke to his cigarette lighter click and Sylar was impossibly far away instantaneously. Only Angela has been shown to do this.

+ He was in contact with Angela Petrelli on multiple occasions, and cared for her at one point.
+ He was able to find Danko in the first place; a feat which would be completely explained with precognition.

- Behind the Eclipse explains that as using of intuitive aptitude.
Since regaining two of his abilities after being infected with the Shanti virus, Sylar has stolen more abilities than shown on screen. After Danko tells Noah what team Sylar is leading with his shape shifting ability, Noah states that they've been pulling a lot of wins lately. This may mean Sylar has been acquiring even more abilities. (Turn and Face the Strange) + In a scene from Into Asylum, it seemed as if Sylar had used a power similar to teleportation to enter and leave Danko's car and appear on the roof of a nearby building.
Sylar was confirmed by BTE not to have a teleportation ability.
Sylar intentionally got Sandra Bennet's signature wrong in the episode Turn and Face the Strange to make Noah Bennet attack his wife. Sylar told Danko that he didn't want to kill Noah, he wanted to "destroy" him. + Sylar now has easy access to all of Danko's files. Assuming Danko keeps files on his employees, Sylar could have easily copied Sandra's signature with imprinting (acquired in Out of Town... On Business).
- Information on the ability of imprinting is limited. We do not know if one can change the appearance of the words in such a fashion to achieve forgery.
+ It's logical to assume it would work that way. Nothing suggests that imprinting doesn't allow to fake signatures.

+ Sylar manipulated Alejandro and Maya Herrera emotionally. He also set up the traps in Dual and has shown excitement in playing mind games with his prey (terrorizing Claire twice, making Noah sweat, taunting Audrey Hanson, flaunting daddy's powers for Elle, etc...). It is not beyond his abilities to orchestrate such an event.
+ Sylar wanted to destroy Noah. He wouldn't have grinned like that if the entire trick could have been easily undone if Noah called the real Sandra. By deliberately screwing up her signature, he ensured that Noah would ruin his marriage beyond repair.

Sylar's genetic makeup is deteriorating due to the stress of his shape shifting and is causing him to lose his sanity. It may even kill him. Sylar is shown to be unable to control his shape shifting at times and is seen talking to himself as his deceased mother. (I Am Sylar) + Noah Bennet theorized that the changes Sylar was making to his DNA with intuitive aptitude had driven him insane (Fallout). If Noah is correct, shape shifting may be speeding up the process and cause a complete mental break down.
- Danko claims to have the same problems with changing his identity. He just needs something to remind himself of who he truly is.
+ Danko changes only his name, and Sylar changes his appearance - it's more difficult to take.

- Sylar was shape-shifting uncontrollably because his ability allowed him to express the insanity roiling through his brain. His DNA had nothing to do with it.
Sylar acquired shape shifting through the empathy aspect of his ability. It took Sylar some time to control other abilities he acquired in the same way, such as electric manipulation.

It seems extremely unlikely that Sylar could have used empathy to take James Martin's power if he wanted to. He only exhibited that facet of his power when he was moving towards redemption. He was in full evil mode when he murdered James.
It was confirmed by BTE that he took it with the empathy aspect of his ability. He doesn't need to be good, he just understood James on an emotional level.
Sylar's shape shifting ability can modify the essence of any power he gets, or at least change or remove some attributes of them. Sylar woke up after Danko "killed" him with the knife. + Probably his weak point is now in another part of his body, or maybe removed.
- Sylar said that the spot is microscopic; Danko could have missed it.
+ Sylar's rapid cell regeneration should not be different than Peter or Claire ones. Every time an object has penetrated their brains, they suddenly "died".

+ Claire lost her pain feelings; maybe Sylar knows how to change the human DNA.

- Pain is the body's way to tell the body that something is harmful; after what Sylar put Claire through, the body could have simply stopped considering things as harmful, since she was able to heal from what Sylar did to her.
If Peter touches Sylar and kills him, Sylar will slowly possess him until Peter transforms into and becomes the new Sylar. Sylar behaved as though he had been possessed by his mother. (I Am Sylar). - That happened because of Sylar's identity issues associated with his recently acquired shape shifting, Peter doesn't have identity issues that would trigger a crisis the way Sylar triggered.

- Sylar possessed Matt because he somehow absorbed his consciousness into his own.

Now that Sylar's brain weak spot has been moved elsewhere, the only way to kill him is to smash his entire head with something really heavy (like a hammer). None + This would destroy his brain completely, making it unable to regenerate.

- He may have a telekinetic field around him to block blunt objects. A knife could pierce the telekinetic layer. Either way, he should be on his guard permanently because of Danko.
- Incineration would probably kill him.

+ Incineration didn't kill him in the Primatech fire, although his brain was penetrated.
Sylar did not possess shape shifting at that time.

- We don't know if the sweet spot is even in his head. He may have re-arranged his organs or something.

+ Abilities stem from and are controlled by the brain, it has to be somewhere in his brain.
- For all we know, Sylar could have examined some anatomy books and lodged his brain between his lungs, or somewhere else in his body. For all we know, his kidneys could now be inside his skull cavity.

- Nathan lives in Sylar's mind and can use his powers. He may shift the weak spot back into the back of his head.

Sylar has regained some of the abilities he lost after his exposure to the Shanti virus through clairsentience. None + He could touch something he wore when he gained the ability and then possibly remember how he gained the power and how he could change his genetic make-up back to it.
- That would put Sylar in a third person perspective, and through brain examination or through empathy, Sylar probably needs the evolved human to physically be there to take their abilities.
Sylar will still be the father of Noah Gray. In fact, he will be both the father and his mother because he is a hermaphrodite. None - Unless Sylar gets a cloning power, he can't be male and female at the same time, though he can shift between them.
+ He could produce a sample, turn into a woman, then impregnate himself.

+ The writers confirmed this is biologically possible.
- The writers said it would be wrong.

+ Sylar does lots of wrong things.
Sylar can now get the powers of people with abilities even after they have died. None + He could touch them to absorb their DNA and shape shift into what they were. He could then slice his head open and examine his brain with a mirror.
- By that logic, he wouldn't be able to use his powers when shape shifted, but he can. So in the brain Sylar replicates are only his abilities, not those of who he shape shifts to.
Sylar can create his own unique abilities. Intuitive aptitude works by altering DNA to accommodate newly analyzed powers. + If Sylar can do this, than he presumably has mental access to his genetics. In this case, he could simply write his own 'code' from scratch.

- He probably only knows that a coded ability will work after seeing it demonstrated.
- If Sylar could do that, he wouldn't hunt evolved humans, he'd just keep changing his DNA.
Altering one's DNA without a sample seems to be risky. It could theoretically result in acquiring an ability similar to Mohinder's or elephant man's.

Sylar is mentally ill. He often shows signs of unstable behavior. + Noah stated his belief that Sylar was insane.
- He only suggested it.
- Sylar's "insanity" comes from his hunger.
- Sylar has been shown to be just as insane both with and without his ability.

+ He seemed happy that Peter was going to explode, despite the fact that he might die in the explosion.

It's likely that Sylar would survive the explosion due to Ted's ability.

+ He began having conversations with his dead mother in I Am Sylar.

That's because of shape shifting and the identity crisis that comes as its side effect.

+ He killed many people without a reason.
+ Gabriel has suffered tremendous psychological trauma. His birth father sold him, then murdered his mother for objecting. Then, the adoptive father abandoned him, leaving him to be raised by a mentally disturbed woman who constantly pushed Gabriel to excel. Then, a man came along and told him he might have some amazing power, only to lose faith in him when it failed to manifest. When he saw Brian Davis casually wield his power and then ask him for help in making it go away, he may have finally snapped. Then, while analyzing Brian's brain, the amount of concentration necessary to figure out how to use his power may have quieted down the turmoil inside of him. Using his ability may have become a method of self-medication, making the hunger an expression of his desire for that sort of clear, perfect, healthier, rational mindset.
+ When Gabriel's memories were erased, he was a normal, pleasant, fairly well-adjusted person. This suggests that his prior behavior was due to psychological trauma.

- At the time he still had vague memories of being Nathan Petrelli.
There's a difference between psychological trauma and mental illness.
With Claire's ability, Sylar can now heal his victims by injecting his blood into them. None + Claire's blood has been proven to heal people from death. ("Cautionary Tales")

- Adam told Peter his blood would heal Nathan from the burns, not Peter's, although Peter had regeneration too. This could mean those who absorbed regeneration cannot use their blood as a cure.

+ Peter's old ability worked by throwing up ability's as they are needed e.g. active, Claire/Adam's ability is passive it is on all the time, this is why Adam stopped aging (and now Sylar).
+ This could simply be a way for Adam to make Peter think he needs him.

+ Peter had to recall how Claire made him feel, or be in her presence, to heal, Sylar has made it part of his DNA, so it could be a passive ability.

- Peter was able to heal himself when he had no memory of who he was.
Sylar opened Brian Davis's head with telekinesis, which he absorbed from him through empathy. We never saw how Sylar acquired telekinesis. + When Peter absorbed intuitive aptitude from Future Gabriel, he still sliced Nathan's and Angela's heads open, although he possessed their abilities. The Hunger is the only reason for that.
- The Hunger doesn't make those who have it search only abilities, they want knowledge.

+ Sylar didn't seem to have any tools which could help to slice Brian's head open.

- Sylar cracked his skull open with a crystal, and he could have used some of his watchmaker tools as well.

+ He sliced Trevor's head open with telekinesis, like he knew exactly what to do.

- Sylar knew about subconsciously because he witnessed his father doing the same to his mother when he was little, he blocked the memory because of the trauma, but BTE confirmed that's where it comes from.
- Mohinder and Eden discovered books in his house about proper brain removal. He got lucky with Brian Davis, but needed to know exactly how to perform the extraction with telekinesis.
Sylar killed other people from the list on Elle's phone. None + Each time Sylar had a list of evolved humans, he went on killing spree.

+ By the time he took Elle's phone, he had succumbed to his hunger once again.

- Sylar was more focused on finding out the truth about Arthur than about getting new abilities.

- It's unlikely the phone remained intact after the Primatech fire.

+ Sylar might remember the names, there weren't as many of them as on Chandra's list.

+ Somehow Sylar disappeared from Danko's car and reappeared on the rooftop of a nearby building. (Into Asylum) The source of this power is unknown.

Sylar has been confirmed not to have teleportation by BTE.
Sylar has an ability similar to astral projection. None + Sylar has on at least two occasions appeared to be in one place and then moments later, appeared to be somewhere else.
The more abilities Sylar absorbs through empathy, the more human he becomes. None + Sylar took Elle's ability and later was visibly upset when he killed her. After that he didn't kill Luke and Samson.
- Sylar seems to have a fondness for children which may be one reason why he didn't kill Luke. However, he did want Samson dead but didn't kill him because Sylar wanted him to suffer the death by cancer.

+ Sylar took shape shifting from James Martin and suffered the identity crisis, showing remorse. He later saved Micah and proposed to Claire.

- The proposal to Claire was clearly meant to be disturbing to her.
+ He only expected the rejection. However, Sylar was sure one day Claire would accept the proposal.
- Sylar is himself again, and he tried to kill Angela and Peter.
+ He couldn't bring himself to kill Samuel.
Sylar was a virgin until he slept with Maya in Season 2. None + He acts extremely awkward around Elle the first time they meet and, prior to becoming a serial killer, appeared to have very limited social skills.
- His awkwardness may be due to the fact that she had walked in on him while trying to commit suicide. He also bears the guilt of his first murder as well. He may have been worried she would either find out or that he would attack her, or both.
+ He was also somewhat awkward around Chandra.

- Sylar's complete background is a mystery, viewers haven't seen a glimmer into his high school days.

He was incredibly awkward at the beginning of the show, unless some tragic event happened to him between his high school career and the present, it is unlikely that he would have lost basic social skills.
His father left his family and his mother put constant pressure on him. It is unlikely that he developed well in that kind of environment.
- Prostitutes?
When Gabriel knew Maya, he could have been under the influence of his mother's faith and therefore not approve of fornication.
Given all the crimes he has committed, he does not seem to be influenced by any faith at all.
- Fornication simply means sex without marriage. It is not exclusive to prostitution. Elle was not a prostitute, neither was she his wife. Yet Sylar had no problems being with her during the eclipse.
- One of the 10 Commandments is "Thou shalt not kill". This can be taken to mean killing others as well as killing yourself. Some faiths believe that suicide is a one-way ticket to hell. Sylar is a suicidal murderer. Sleeping with some unmarried dame would be the least of his righteous problems before God.
Maya, being a nun, had almost certainly taken a vow of celibacy, eliminating all chances of sex.
It certainly reduces the possibility, but it does not eliminate it.
Maya is obviously a very religious individual, and breaking a vow to God is considered one of the worst sins one could commit.
While that is true, it would be wrong to say that there isn't the slightest chance that she could slip up.

- Sylar was complemented for his sexual prowess by Janice. Even with intuitive aptitude, this would be unlikely if he had only been with two other women.

+ It is not entirely uncommon for a woman to compliment a man's sexual prowess to give him more confidence, extending and enhancing the experience.
Sylar has gained a significant amount of confidence since the beginning of the series. This could possibly explain his sexual prowess.
+ He has used clairsentience on several people, more or less replaying their lives (ie, sexual experiences). It could be like reading an instruction manual.

- It's unlikely Sylar slept with Maya because of his wound.

He was able to kill Alejandro without mortally wounding himself.
Sylar gained the power of flight because he was able to understand Nathan through his memories. None + Sylar, understanding Nathan on an emotional level because of clairsentience, flew in An Invisible Thread, despite never examining his brain to learn his power. Sylar can take powers through empathy.
- Sylar doesn't seem to have displayed something like this to take Elle and James Martin's powers.
+ Sylar was able to get Elle's ability because he was able to connect with her over her father issues, and was able to connect with James Martin because he knew how pretending to be someone else was, BTE told us that. He didn't need to use clairsentience on those occasions, but with Nathan, someone he had never met and planned to impersonate, knowing his history would be an advantage, so he started to learn Nathan's history, and upon doing that, upon connecting with him through his history, he acquired his ability.
Sylar has phasing. None + It explains how he got out of Danko's car and Tom Miller's apartment in the blink of an eye without teleporting.

+ When Matt brainwashed Sylar, sound effects for many powers could be heard, including telekinesis, intuitive aptitude, shape shifting and phasing.
+ BTE once said the current timeline would be similar to the explosion future. Future Sylar had phasing.
+ Sylar may have made victims while posing as one of Danko's agents, he could have acquired it from one of them.
- If Sylar had that ability, he would have simply ran as soon as he realized that he had been fooled at the end of An Invisible Thread.

Peter injected Sylar before morphing back into himself and showing Sylar he's not the President.
Sylar was able to use induced radioactivity and precognition in the exposed future through empathy. None + Although Sylar took Brian Davis's ability with his original method, he was able to retain telekinesis after being infected with the Shanti virus because he felt bad about killing Davis. In the exposed future, Sylar appeared to be much more human and sincerely regretted killing so many people and likely felt just as bad about killing Ted Sprague and Isaac Mendez as he did with Brian Davis. Therefore, he should have been able to emulate their abilities again the same way he emulated telekinesis after he was cured.
- BTE implied that Sylar still killed more people before becoming good.
Sylar will take Peter's ability and become limited to one ability at a time. None + If Sylar takes Peter's ability, it's reasonable to conclude that Peter's current limitation to keep only one ability at a time will carry over to Sylar.
- Sylar could still take abilities his own way; he doesn't need to use Peter's ability.
- According to BTE, Arthur could choose how to acquire an ability after taking Peter's abilities.
- Sylar might opt not to take Peter's ability.
BTE said Sylar's hunger is so strong he takes even the lamest abilities (like Zane Taylor's melting).
Lame is different from hazardous.
- The limitation probably only applies to abilities gained through Peter's ability.
- Draph can use multiple abilities, ability replication would probably lead to him becoming a touch mimic.
Draph isn't the same as Peter.
Sylar himself is a splinter personality from Gabriel, and is the embodiment of the hunger. Jessica manifested in Niki as a result of gaining her ability. (Four Months Ago...) + This could explain why he keeps telekinesis when contracting the Shanti virus, Gabriel feels guilty for Brian's death, and not being in control the rest of the time, he has no memory of Sylar's victims.

+ Gabriel could have regained control back in The Hard Part, causing him to go see his mother, and try to let her convince him that he could be just a watchmaker, it is also unlikely that Sylar, with his mastery of telekineses, would have hit an unintended target.
+ When talking to his mum in I Am Sylar, she says part of him broke, this admission could have resulted in the re-appearance of Gabriel, and as such, the release of Micah, even if it was only brief.
- Sylar was never implied to have DID, he was only implied to have become insane due to acquisition of abilities, changing his DNA.

Niki's illness is not the only one to involve multiple identities.
+ Sylar having multiple personalities would technically make him "insane".

- Samson has the hunger too, he didn't exhibit any signs of DID.

+ Abilities affect everyone differently. Mohinder didn't develop a split personality either when he got enhanced strength, and nobody said all hungers were split personalities.

- When Peter absorbed Gabriel's power, he got the hunger too without his personality splitting. Besides, Arthur couldn't have rid Peter of an alter-ego by stealing his powers.

+ Niki manifested no alter-egoes after injecting herself with Shanti virus.
+ Gina emerged after Niki stopped taking Bob's pills.

+ The birth of his child could have been enough for future Gabriel to beat down Sylar.

With empathy, Sylar can acquire abilities permanently by simply touching an evolved human. None + Sylar can absorb someone's ability by understanding an individual's emotions, and Lydia can understand an individual simply by making physical contact. So, if Sylar took empathy, he could make emotional connections by touch, thus allowing him to duplicate the individual's ability.
Sylar will acquire Hiro's ability and possibly kill him. None + Along with Peter, Hiro is one of Sylar's greatest rivals.

+ Sylar needs this power to regain many of the abilities he lost.
- Sylar needs to be able to catch him, before he teleports away or stops time.
- Hiro has defeated Sylar several times. It is unlikely that Sylar will ever be able to kill him.

+ Sylar could absorb the ability empathically before killing Hiro.
Sylar will get the power to bring the dead back to life and redeem himself after resurrecting his mother. None + He fears his power corrupts him into loneliness and Matt is accurate when he tells Sylar he has killed too much for redemption, but if he could undo his murders without harming the timeline, he would be closer to redemption.

+ He would probably use this power to bring back his mother if he could, both his adoptive mother and his true mother. His true mother would probably be sensible enough to persuade him into further redemption.

- No matter how magical the evolved powers are at times, resurrection might be beyond their ken.
- Sylar helped save many New Yorkers and stop Doyle. That is part of his redemption.
Sylar will return to using his old name, Gabriel Gray. When he abandoned killing in the exposed future, he renounced the name "Sylar". + Sylar has become a hero, effectively renouncing his old identity as a killer.

+ He may start associating the name "Sylar" with the murderous villain he used to be.

Eventually Gabriel's suppression of the hunger will make a separate Sylar personality. None + It would be a way to add a new story to his character, and have him act as both a hero and a villain.

They've already done this with Niki and Jessica. And Niki and Gina. And Sylar and Virginia. And Matt and Sylar. And Nathan and Sylar. And Sylar and Sylar.

- The authors seem to be learning from their mistakes in the latest season, and repeating the exact same dramatic tension could be a big mistake.
Sylar has lost some number of teeth in his life. In I Am Sylar, when he reverted to himself from Agent Taub, he had to pull out a tooth from his mouth. - That is one tooth.
Nonetheless, one is a number.
- Some gives an implication it being more than one.

+ Actually, didn't Sylar say that it was an "extra" tooth; therefore not really missing any at all? Also, even if it was one regular tooth, regeneration may have healed the hole with a brand new one. It is quite possibly the regeneration ability that helped get that extra tooth out. Either way, Sylar has 100% chance of having all his teeth.

Sylar killed Bob for revenge against Elle. None + Sylar looks strangely at Elle in Powerless, probably remembering what she did to him in Villains. Shortly after, he killed her father and attempted to kill her.
Sylar may also have killed him out of revenge, for having him infected with the Shanti virus, and to get his ability.

- He was most likely only thinking about getting Bob's ability.

+ He had no need for alchemy. He seemed to be financially stable, and he never used the ability offensively or defensively. Also, he didn't even know who Bob was or that he had an ability.
- Sylar has taken abilities and never used them again in the past. Being wanted for his mother's murder would have put his accounts on watch, and financial stability doesn't mean he's wealthy. Sylar also saw Primatech files on Mohinder's computer, he could have gotten all the information he wanted from it.
Sylar can combine several acquired abilities to achieve telepathy. None + Sylar has intuitive aptitude, clairsentience, lie detection, and empathy. If he used them simultaneously, it could be like having telepathy.
Sylar's original ability was Empathic Mimicry. He gained Intuitive Aptitude from his father. He used empathy to gain Elle's ability
Sylar became a "Superman" type character of sorts after Claire revealed her powers, saving people like the hero he wanted to be and helping evos survive being hunted. None + Sylar has the most abilities out of anyone we've met on the show. Someone with his amount of power would theoretically be putting it to use especially with the social climate after evos were revealed to the world.

+ Sylar became good at the end of season four.
+ Sylar is basically invincible and it does not seem he would be frightened by the prospect of being hunted, so he might dedicated time to helping those that are afraid.

  Theories edit
See Also: 9RedTime travelSylar