Nathan Petrelli, portrayed by Adrian Pasdar, is a fictional character on the NBC science fiction drama series Heroes. He is a New York City lawyer-turned-senator with the power of self-propelled flight. Ambitious and pragmatic, Nathan has a decidedly anti-hero streak, which exacerbates his complex relationship with his brother, Peter Petrelli. Nathan was the main villain at the beginning of Volume 4: Fugitives, but, after being exposed as an evolved human by Danko, redeemed himself. After being killed in battle by Sylar, a copy of Nathan’s mind was created to control Sylar’s body so he still lived in some form, but he eventually lost control to Sylar and was then dead for good.
Nathan is the eldest son of Angela and Arthur Petrelli. He was a lawyer working with the District Attorney‘s office. The District Attorney wanted to expose the Mafia connections of his father’s client, Daniel Linderman. As he was driving his wife home from a party in a convertible, another vehicle attempted to run them off the road. Nathan inadvertently flew from his car, causing the car to lose control and veer off the freeway. The resulting crash paralyzed his wife, Heidi.
Six months later, Nathan is running for Congress. In the pilot episode, he is approached by his brother Peter, who tells him that he’d been having strange dreams and believed he could fly. Nathan claims to be unconvinced. The following morning, Nathan watches from an alley as Peter jumps off a building in an attempt to fly. As Peter falls, Nathan flies into the air and grabs his brother’s hand. They descend for a few seconds, but then the brothers lose their grip on one another.
The next day, Nathan denies that he flew and tries to explain away what happened as if it were simply a failed suicide attempt by Peter. Much later that night, Nathan is called to another rooftop, where Peter threatens to jump unless Nathan admits that he flew. Nathan eventually admits that he did fly. Still more focused on his campaign and his family, Nathan holds a press conference where he broaches the subject of depression. He reveals that his father suffered from it, and that it eventually led to his death. Nathan then claims that Peter’s attempt to fly was actually a suicide attempt, to satisfy the press. Peter storms out of the press conference, later cursing Nathan and assaulting him, but goes along with the story in public.
On his way to Las Vegas to meet with Linderman, Nathan encounters Mohinder Suresh, who attempts to warn him that his life may be in danger. Nathan mistakes Mohinder for his recently murdered father, Chandra, assumes that Peter sent him, and ignores him. In Las Vegas, Nathan encounters “Jessica” Sanders and the two sleep together. The one-night stand is recorded in a blackmail attempt by Linderman. Afterwards, Noah Bennet monitors them and has the Haitian kidnap Nathan.
Barefoot and in pajamas, Nathan escapes when Bennet is distracted. Flying away, Nathan breaks the sound barrier in the process. Nathan lands outside a diner in the desert outside Las Vegas and calls an aide for help. While waiting for his ride, Nathan meets Hiro Nakamura, who enthusiastically announces that he too has powers. Nathan is skeptical, but humors Hiro, who says he can teleport and manipulate time. Nathan asks about the upcoming election; Hiro says that Nathan wins by a “landslide”. When Nathan’s ride arrives at the diner, Nathan agrees to give Hiro a ride back to the city.
After dropping Hiro off, Nathan goes back to meet with Linderman, only to run into Niki on the way. Niki confesses her alter-ego Jessica’s role in the blackmail attempt, saying that she had been blackmailed herself. When Nathan meets with Linderman’s associate again, he works out a deal with her: Though their original deal was for two million dollars, Nathan becomes more certain than ever of his victory and negotiates for four million, saying, “two million makes me a congressional candidate in your pocket; four million, makes me a congressman.”
After Nathan returns to New York, he and his family have brunch with a newspaper reporter. During the brunch, the reporter questions Nathan about his connections to Linderman, and Nathan’s meeting with a blonde woman (aka Jessica Sanders) in Vegas. Peter covers for Nathan, telling the reporter that Nathan was arranging a private clinic to treat him for his depression. Before leaving, Nathan tells Peter about the failed kidnapping attempt, and warns his brother to be careful, saying that people would want to lock them up if they realized the two brothers had powers.
At home, Nathan inquires about a painting by Isaac Mendez which Linderman had purchased and Peter wants. Linderman sends it to Simone Deveaux‘s gallery. When the painting arrives, Nathan views it with Simone. The painting depicts a man resembling Peter, dead under a homecoming banner and a clock. After seeing it, Nathan destroys it, telling Simone that he is protecting Peter from getting himself killed. Nathan later appears to bail Peter out in “Fallout“. As they walk away from the jail, Peter collapses. Eventually, Nathan watches helplessly as Peter is comatose for two weeks.
Finally, Nathan gets tired of waiting and goes to Mendez’s loft. There, Nathan finds several of Mendez’s finished “future paintings“. Nathan is especially thoughtful about the “exploding man” image, which he and Isaac both worry is Peter. Soon, Hiro appears, and happily greets Nathan. Nathan and Hiro talk about their role in stopping the “bad man” who may blow up New York. Later, Nathan returns to Peter’s bedside only to discover that Peter has revived and checked out.
In “The Fix“, Nathan goes to Mohinder to find out where Peter is, but neither has heard from Peter in days. Mohinder tells Nathan about a list made by Mohinder’s father and explains to Nathan how Peter’s DNA causes him to absorb and mimic other people’s abilities. Nathan initially refuses to let Mohinder help find Peter, but Mohinder convinces him by stating that if he can study Peter, he may be able to find a cure.
They go to Peter’s apartment, where Peter is preparing to leave town. Without fully hearing them out, Peter says he doesn’t have time to be Mohinder’s “guinea pig“. Peter then tricks the two and gets away.
At the end of the episode “Distractions“, Nathan receives a telephone call from Meredith Gordon, a woman in Texas with whom he once had a relationship. She informs him that their daughter Claire is still alive. Nathan assumes that her timing the call right before his election means that she wants money, and offers $100,000 to stay quiet, which she accepts;she later lies to Claire saying the amount is only $50,000 and Claire is entitled to half. In “Run!“, Nathan shows up to visit Meredith and deliver the money but states he does not want to get too involved with Claire. Claire was secretly listening to the conversation which, due to lies Meredith told her, did not portray Nathan in a very positive light. At the end of the episode, back in Vegas, Jessica gets a call from Linderman saying that he wants Nathan assassinated.
The FBI, who is investigating Linderman, gives Nathan a wiretap to wear so that they can gather evidence. He also helps Hiro sneak into Linderman’s casino hotel to steal the sword he needs. Just before Nathan goes to meet Linderman, Niki Sanders confronts him and tells him that Linderman’s people know of his plans, including that he wears a wire, and plan to kill him. She advises him to either accept a deal with Linderman or run with his whole family. Nathan refuses, suggesting instead that he should kill Linderman. Niki gives him her gun and tells him to knock her out, to prevent her more ruthless alter-ego, Jessica, from seizing control. Nathan takes the gun and punches Niki.
A nervous Nathan goes down to the kitchen to shoot Linderman. Linderman, anticipating Nathan’s actions, calmly reasons that if Nathan were to shoot him, his men would kill Nathan within moments. Linderman then tells Nathan that he can give him answers, stating that he knows about his abilities. He offers him the seat in Congress, suggesting that it will lead eventually to the White House, “a heartbeat away from the Presidency.” Nathan, wavering at this point, puts down the gun.
In “.07%“, Linderman shows Nathan a painting of Nathan standing in the Oval Office. Linderman tempts Nathan with the prospect of being President and informs him that it will happen the day after Peter blows up. While Nathan is troubled that he will lose his brother and is devastated when he sees the dead body of Peter at his mother’s house, he believes that it is Peter’s destiny to explode.
Later, Nathan meets his biological daughter, Claire, for the first time. Though he tells her that he can’t deal with her in his life right now because of the election, he does add that he wants her to return after the election is over so they can be a family.
After Claire talks to Peter about Ted, Peter and Claire confront Nathan about Ted. With someone else having the ability to explode, Peter is hopeful that the explosion can be stopped. Nathan is doubtful, and points out that Peter’s vision was of his own explosion. Peter responds that he had a vision of flying as well, despite the fact that it was Nathan who could fly – a fact that impresses Claire. After Peter and Claire leave, Nathan makes a phone call, saying “Mr. Linderman, we have a problem.”
It is revealed that Nathan may play a bigger role in the company than expected when, Peter and Claire go to Petrelli Campaign Headquarters to meet with Nathan. Upon arriving, they see Nathan meeting with Thompson, whom Claire recognizes as her adoptive father’s old boss. She identifies him to Peter as the man she is running from. Thompson and Nathan, meanwhile, discuss the planned explosion, and Thompson tells Nathan not to worry or have second thoughts. Thompson tells Nathan that Mr. Linderman has a grasp on the situation and that they are aware of who Sprague is. Nathan is upset that he was kept in the dark about Sprague. Later, Nathan’s mother arrives and reveals her part in the planning of the explosion in New York. She tells Nathan that after a catastrophe like this, a leader is needed, and tells him that he needs to be that leader.
Nathan then encounters Hiro again and Hiro tells him what happens to him in the future. Nathan, however, tells Hiro that the explosion cannot be stopped. Hiro then calls him a villain as Nathan waves to the cameras and drives away. Much later, in “Landslide“, Linderman delivers on his promise and, with Micah Sanders’ help, assures Nathan’s win as Congressman by a majority of votes. At the same time, Linderman uses his healing powers to restore Heidi’s legs as a gift to even further keep Nathan on his side.
In “How to Stop an Exploding Man“, the finale to Season 1, Nathan appears committed to the fact that Peter will explode, destroy the city, and kill millions; paving his way to power and the destiny designed by Linderman and others. However, Claire, who has been strong-armed into traveling into Paris with Angela, shames him into changing his mind, stating that the “future isn’t written in stone.” Nathan appears after Peter and Hiro defeat Sylar. After saying, “You saved the cheerleader so we could save the world,” Nathan grabs Peter and flies far into the stratosphere. With the other heroes looking to the sky, Peter detonates miles above the ground, instead of destroying New York City.
In “Four Months Ago…“, it is revealed that Nathan suffers severe radiation poisoning and is badly burned by Peter, who he drops after being convinced to do so, and is knocked back when Peter explodes in mid-air. Peter rescues Nathan from falling after his explosion. After regaining consciousness, his mother told him that the Coast Guard never found Peter’s body. He recovered after being injected with Adam Monroe‘s regenerative blood.
In “Four Months Later…“, it is revealed that Nathan has become an alcoholic, while hoping for Peter to return. In the opening scenes, he is seen bumping into Ando Masahashi on the street. He has presumably resigned from his office, and his wife and children have left him due to his erratic behavior. After a confrontation with his mother, who blames Nathan for Peter’s apparent death, he goes to a bar for a drink. Claire calls him to tell him how she is coping, and Nathan glances in the mirror. In the mirror, a severely scarred image of himself appears. A moment later, it is gone.
In “Fight or Flight” he goes to Philadelphia to help Matt Parkman find his father, with the intention of finding out who really murdered Kaito Nakamura. (Nathan’s mother, Angela, confesses to the murder under duress.) When Maury Parkman is confronted with the fact that Matt has the same powers, he agrees to tell them everything; however, instead of helping them, he uses his power to trap them in their own personal nightmare before leaving the apartment. Nathan is on top of the Deveaux Building, watching helplessly as New York burns in the aftermath of the explosion. He is then confronted by himself, still scarred from his attempt to rescue Peter. A fight ensues between him and his disfigured self, which ends when Matt inserts a thought in Nathan’s head, causing them to realize they are actually fighting one another. They then find another photo marked with the Symbol, this time of Bob.
In “Out of Time“, Nathan confronts Bob about the original 12 members of The Company and it is the first time he is told that Adam Monroe, and not Linderman, founded the shadowy organization. Nathan also learns from Bob that his brother, Peter, is still alive, although Bob admits that they lost track of him. In “Four Months Ago…“, he is seen getting out of a taxi in front of the bar in Cork, Ireland, where Peter spent the first few episodes of the season.
In “Powerless“, Nathan convinces Peter of Adam Monroe’s intentions to release the Shanti virus and cause worldwide devastation. After the destruction of the virus, Nathan decides that they must schedule a press conference to make their abilities known to the public. It is his hope that public awareness will help stop the actions of the Company. Near the conclusion of his speech, as he is about to announce his ability of flight, Nathan is shot twice in the chest and lies in Peter’s arms.
Nathan is rushed to the hospital with Peter and Matt in tow, and appears to have died. However, he revives seconds later next to Peter, and has an epiphany; he believes that God has given him a second chance at life. Nathan now believes that he must do God’s bidding, but he is now haunted by an apparition of Linderman that only he can see and hear. He is later contacted by Tracy Strauss and is asked to take over the position of the late Senator. He mistakes Tracy for Niki Sanders, as the two look exactly alike. The position would be Nathan’s second chance at politics, and Linderman persuades him to take this opportunity. Nathan accepts after a small amount of time to himself. After taking the position, he notices that Tracy is nowhere to be found. He heeds Linderman’s advice and tries to contact her. He eventually saves her from committing suicide by jumping into the Potomac River by flying and catching her as she leaps off a bridge. They are later seen sitting together in a room and, as Nathan had revealed his powers, Tracy reveals her power to him by freezing his drink. He takes her by her hands and notes that they are not even slightly cold. The two then share a kiss.
In the episode “Angels and Monsters“, Nathan and Tracy have consummated their relationship. Tracy explains to Nathan that she accidentally killed an innocent man and that she must turn herself in to the proper authorities. Nathan reassures her that it was not her fault and that God has given them these abilities for the betterment of mankind. Tracy reacts to the statement with bewilderment and reveals that it was not divine intervention, but rather that their abilities are man-made and were manufactured by a doctor in Reseda, California. In order to get closure to Tracy’s claim, Nathan seeks out his mother Angela, knowing that she would have information. Angela explains that not every individual who possesses powers has the necessary genetic code to do so. She seems to already be fully aware of Tracy, Niki and Barbara’s existence. It is revealed that Dr. Zimmerman created a synthetic variation of the code and imbued certain newborns (Nathan, Tracy and her siblings being amongst them) with abilities. Infuriated and hurt, Nathan scolds his mother for using him and other innocent children as guinea pigs and storms out of her office along with Tracy.
In the episode “Dying of the Light“, Nathan and Tracy are still reeling from Angela’s revelation about their condition. Nathan suggests that they seek out assistance from Mohinder Suresh. Upon arriving at Suresh’s loft, Nathan reveals to him that man does have the ability to imbue other humans with abilities through genetic manipulation. Naturally, Mohinder assumes that Tracy is Niki. Tracy expresses that she just wants her abilities to be removed after demonstrating her freezing ability to him and thus proving that she is not Niki Sanders. Under the guise of assistance, Suresh injects the both of them with a fluid, telling them that the vial contains nothing but a “marker”. Tracy then falls on the floor unconscious as Nathan realizes that the both of them have been drugged by the doctor. After being restrained and regaining consciousness, Tracy then tricks Mohinder into holding her hand, whereby she freezes it and her restraints to the point of making them brittle enough to shatter with ease. She then frees herself and Nathan (who is still under the effects of the drug) and attempts to escape only to be stopped short of the exit by an angry Mohinder.
In “Eris Quod Sum” Nathan and Tracy prepare to face off against Mohinder. He explains to them that since their abilities are synthetic they would both be beneficial to his research. When neither party agrees to Suresh’s plea, he suddenly snatches Maya from her cocoon and retreats by using his strength and agility to crash through the skylight of his loft and escape. Bewildered, Nathan and Tracy begin to free Suresh’s other cocooned victims when they are interrupted by Noah Bennet and his new partner, Nathan’s ex-girlfriend Meredith Gordon. Upon glancing at Tracy, Meredith comments that “He still has a thing for blondes”. After explaining his relationship to the other two people and Claire Bennet to Tracy, Noah asks them if Suresh injected anything into their bodies, then advises them to come to the Company to be checked out. Nathan then receives a call from his biological daughter Claire Bennet who relays the day’s events to him, making him promise not to tell anyone where she is. Later, he and Tracy meet up with Claire and an injured Peter Petrelli, who reveals to him not only that their father Arthur Petrelli is still alive, but that he has absorbed his powers. Nathan is skeptical as he is adamant that their father is dead, however, Peter warns him that Arthur must be stopped or he will kill them all. Nathan asks Peter to tell him where their father is, but Peter is hesitant to answer. Claire discloses the information and gives him the name “Pinehearst”. Peter then insists that because it is dangerous, he should not go there. Nathan feigns reassurance and tells Peter that they will shut Pinehearst down legally and promptly leaves. In the hallway, Tracy deduces that Nathan was lying and he confirms this by stating that he is preparing to go and see his father.
In “The Eclipse“, the powerless Nathan and Peter assist the Haitian in defeating his half-brother Baron Samedi, a posthuman warlord who uses his ability to make others believe he is a god. Seeing the damage that can be caused by power being in the wrong hands, Nathan concludes that his father’s idea of creating a super-powered army would be the best way to deal with it. Leaving Peter behind, he flies away to join Pinehearst.
After taking over Pinehearst from his father, Tracy informs him of a project involving giving abilities to 50 Marines. However, he is foiled when Peter, assisted by Flint and Knox, destroy Mohinder’s lab and research and burn Pinehearst down. After Peter injects himself with the formula in order to escape and save both of their lives, Nathan, disgusted with his brother, tells Peter he wouldn’t have done the same for him, and leaves.
Three weeks later, Nathan is talking with the President (portrayed by Michael Dorn) and convinces him that people with abilities need to be imprisoned.
We later find out in the first episode of Fugitives, “A Clear and Present Danger“, that Nathan has been appointed Chairman of Homeland Security by the President, giving him unlimited power to find and take his fellow evolved humans into captivity, whilst keeping the organization in the dark about his own ability. He plans to contain them and eventually find a cure for their abilities, but this is at odds to the aims of others working on the operation.
Nathan hires Emile Danko, referred to as “The Hunter” by the fugitives, to work with Noah Bennett to try to capture the Heroes. Though Nathan’s intentions with the Heroes are well-meaning, Danko sees differently. He wants to eliminate the people with abilities. This difference in perspective proves a strain in their working relationship, especially when Nathan orders Claire, his daughter, immunity. Despite allowing Peter to be targeted, Nathan tries to protect him as best as he can, risking everything to save Peter when he’s shot by Danko and falls off a building. Nathan is aware that his plan is derailing in front of his eyes. He is finally able to fire Danko in “Shades of Gray” which leads The Hunter to confirm his theory about the senator having an ability; Danko pushes him out of a window and watches him fly away. At this point, Nathan, realizing Danko’s next move, takes off for Costa Verde to pick up Claire.
Though Nathan appears to be cold and calloused, he continues to show empathy for the fugitives. He repeatedly saves Peter, and tries to have a civil relationship with Tracy, whom he persuades to lie for him. He is the one who saves Claire when the agents barge into her room and attempt to kidnap her.
In “Into Asylum” he flies Claire to Mexico in order to try to protect her, and while drunk confesses how badly he realized he had made mistakes and that he wants to try to fix them, so they head back to the US.
In “Turn and Face the Strange“, he communicates with Angela and then travels to Coyote Sands with Claire, where they reunite with Angela and Peter, and later in the night, with Noah.
In “1961“, he, Peter, Noah and Claire are digging on Angela’s orders to find Alice. When Peter decides to get away, Nathan follows him to convince him to return, and once they hear about the sandstorm in Coyote Sands, they head back there. By the end of the day, he is the one who comforts Angela for losing Alice again, and invites her to join the family at the diner. He promises everyone to set things right by talking to the president, but then is shocked to see himself in a live press conference; when Noah identifies Sylar as seen in “I Am Sylar“, Nathan resolves to stop him on his own, leaving everyone behind, not noticing that Peter is following him. Once he gets to his Senate office, he confronts Sylar and is nearly scalped by him, but instead he is “saved” by Danko who takes Nathan down.
In “An Invisible Thread“, Sylar plans to keep him alive a little longer while he acquires more of Nathan’s memories in order to approach the President properly; when Claire shows up at the Senate office, Sylar impersonates Nathan and leaves the real one unconscious in the bathroom. Once he wakes up, he is found by Peter, and together they try to stop Sylar from reaching the President. As Nathan informs security agents about a threat against the President, he is forced to reveal his ability so they can be trusted to stop Sylar. Nathan and Peter finally confront him, with Peter and the now rescued Claire fleeing from the room once Sylar seemingly flies away from the building with Nathan out of the window, only for them to return to the room mere seconds later, with Sylar having empathically acquired Nathan’s flight. In a shocking twist, Sylar slits Nathan’s throat using his telekinesis and laughs, telling the dying Nathan that “Claire is going to be so mad at me.” After meeting with Matt and Noah, Angela discovers Nathan’s body and breaks down in despair, convinced that Matt was supposed to save Nathan, as seen in one of her prophetic dreams. Angela manages to persuade Matt to use his ability on a tranquilized Sylar to make him think he is Nathan Petrelli, intending for Matt to use her own memories of Nathan to essentially ‘plant’ Nathan’s personality in Sylar, hoping that Sylar’s stolen power of clairsentience will help the new Nathan ‘fill in the blanks’. Once Matt tells him that Sylar is dead, that he is Nathan and wipes his personal memory, Sylar shapeshifts into Nathan and wakes up. ‘Nathan’ later burns ‘Sylar’s’ (really shape-shifter James Martin) body at Coyote Sands after having convinced the President to shut down the Building 26 operation and proclaims a new beginning.
Six weeks later, ‘Nathan’ tells Angela that he hasn’t felt like himself lately. He then becomes so fixated on a clock that is running fast that he doesn’t even hear what Angela is saying, making her extremely worried. Angela tries to convince him he is simply going through a midlife crisis. ‘Nathan’ also begins to discover some of Sylar’s abilities, namely telekinesis and electric manipulation.
Angela later brings ‘Nathan’ various items from the old Nathan’s past so he will absorb more memories using another of Sylar’s acquired abilities, unbeknownst to him. A baseball cap causes him to visualize someone lying dead in a pool. After talking to Peter, he goes to Millie Houston’s home and talks to her about her missing daughter Kelly, and, after touching various objects around the pool, realizes the truth: Nathan accidentally killed Kelly, and it is revealed that Angela hid the truth and had the Haitian erase his memory of it. ‘Nathan’ tells Millie the truth, and she sends an assassin after him who shoots him multiple times and buries him in a grave. However, he regenerates and emerges in the form of Sylar, suffering from amnesia. Nathan’s memories begin to return to Sylar, and when distracted Sylar even briefly assumes Nathan’s form once again. However, under the tutelage of Samuel Sullivan, Sylar is encouraged to recall his true self.
In “Shadowboxing“, Sylar wakes back up as ‘Nathan’, with no memory of not being Nathan and is frightened to discover himself at the Carnival and flies off to get Peter’s help. He learns that Angela had his schedule cleared for an indefinite vacation. Peter brings ‘Nathan’ to learn the truth the Haitian directed him to. They find the real Nathan’s dead body. ‘Nathan’ looks at the body’s history via touching it and sees Matt Parkman. They find Matt in a hospital, where Peter heals him. Sylar’s mind takes over Matt and replants itself in Sylar’s body after a tense almost-showdown. ‘Nathan’ attempts to flee Peter, afraid that Sylar could take over his body, but Peter absorbs Nathan’s ability of flight and follows. At Thanksgiving dinner, ‘Nathan’ and Peter get Angela to admit Nathan’s status. Sylar takes over and tries to kill Angela, but Nathan’s mind regains control and he flies away, distraught by what his mother has done to him.
In “The Fifth Stage“, ‘Nathan’ has since lost control again to Sylar, but Peter defeats him and helps Nathan regain control with mental manipulation. Peter takes him to the rooftop where he tried to convince Nathan he could fly and the two discuss it. Nathan starts to lose the fight to keep control of Sylar’s body and doesn’t care as he’s accepted that he’s really dead and that this isn’t his body. He displays parts of Sylar’s personality, and giving up, pushes Peter away after their embrace, and throws himself over the edge of the roof. Peter catches him and tries to convince him to pull himself up, but ‘Nathan’ tells him to give his goodbyes to Angela and to take care of Claire. He also tells Peter that he has always been all that’s good in the world, and that the world hasn’t seen anything (from evil) yet. When Peter claims he can’t do it alone, ‘Nathan’ tells him he can and convinces him to let him go. After the two tell each other they love each other one more time, Peter lets go and ‘Nathan’ falls to his “death”, body shape-shifting back into Sylar for the final time before landing on the roof of a car. Sylar survives by regenerating, and Nathan is seemingly gone for good. Peter and Angela later mourn his second death together.
In “Upon This Rock“, Nathan’s death is faked as having occurred in a plane crash and he gets a full state funeral. At the funeral, Peter gives the eulogy, revealing that Nathan taught him the things his father should have and never was easy on him to prepare him for the real world which Peter believes that Nathan succeeded in.
In “Let It Bleed“, a wake for Nathan is held and a devastated Peter, unable to handle things, heads off to an office shooting to try to save people, believing its what Nathan would have wanted him to do. Peter defeats the shooter, but is injured until he replicates Claire’s regeneration power and heals. Claire helps him confront Nathan’s death and gets him to stop throwing himself into danger. Later, as a way of remembering Nathan, Peter replicates flight from Claire’s ex-boyfriend West Rosen and goes for a flight after looking at a picture of himself and Nathan together.
In “The Wall“, Peter and Sylar end up trapped in Sylar’s mind for what seems like five years to them. Sylar has absorbed Nathan’s memories and seems to have some trouble differentiating between Nathan’s and his own, resulting in Peter hitting him. At the end of the five years, Peter admits that he’s no longer so angry at Sylar, but can’t forgive him as he feels he won’t be doing right by Nathan. Sylar realizes that Peter believes he’ll lose Nathan if he forgives Sylar. Sylar gets Peter to realize that he’s no longer the way he was and Peter finally accepts it and seems to forgive him for Nathan’s death.
In “Brave New World“, Peter and Samuel Sullivan battle it out with Samuel saying that Nathan and his own brother Joseph let them down. This angers Peter who says Nathan never let him down, Nathan built him up and seems to draw more strength from this fact and eventually defeats Samuel.
In “June 13 – Part 1”, Angela names Claire’s son Nathan in honor of Nathan Petrelli, her lost son and the child’s grandfather. Its later shown that Nathan’s namesake is in fact Tommy Clark, having been taken back to 1999 to grow up in the past for his own protection.
In the future of “Five Years Gone“, Nathan has been elected President of the United States; however, he is revealed to be Sylar masquerading as Nathan using Candice Wilmer‘s illusion-casting powers. After his identity is revealed to Peter, Sylar says Nathan had already turned against the heroes before he was killed, which Peter doesn’t believe.
In the future of “I Am Become Death“, Nathan is the President of the United States yet again, and is married to Tracy Strauss. After the future Claire captures the present Peter, Nathan asks him to read his mind to see if his intentions are sincere. While Peter admits that Nathan has good intentions, he tells him that he is wrong in his actions. Sylar’s power then begins to overwhelm Peter, who begins to cut open Nathan’s skull. Peter regains control halfway through and quickly stops, teleporting away. Future Nathan is last seen on the ground suffering massive bleeding from the head.
Powers and abilities
Nathan possesses the power of self-propelled flight. He is one of the characters who has least demonstrated his power in the series, saying that he is afraid both of being seen as a freak and taken in for scientific study. In contrast, however, he also demonstrates a great deal of control over his power. As demonstrated in “Hiros“, Nathan can reach speeds exceeding the sound barrier with no apparent adverse effects to him or his hair and clothes. As revealed in “Angels and Monsters“, his power is synthetic; after discovering that Nathan did not possess the genetic code for abilities, his parents decided that the Formula be used on him. He first discovered his power when he inadvertently used it to save himself from a car crash which left his wife wheelchair-bound. The first on-screen flight is in “Genesis“, when he attempts to save Peter from falling to his death.
When the body of Sylar was being manipulated to assume Nathan’s role, he possessed the range of abilities attained by the serial killer and used telekinesis, electrical manipulation, psychometry, shape shifting and Sylar’s copy of flight. Of these, Nathan seemed to master telekinesis and psychometry- the latter being used to help ‘Nathan’ fill in the blanks in his personal recollections that Angela and Matt couldn’t fill themselves- while he only used electrical manipulation by accident and shape shifting to take on his own form when taking control from Sylar.