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"You saved the cheerleader so that we could save the world."
―Nathan Petrelli[src]

Nathan Petrelli was a major character of the series and was a superhuman with the power of Flight. Nathan was a very serious person. He largely focused on his political campaign. He was married to Heidi Petrelli and had two sons with her, Simon and Monty. It was later revealed that he had a daughter, Claire Bennet, with Meredith Gordon. Nathan's ability allowed him to fly, though he was loath to speak of it and denied it even after his brother, Peter, witnessed him in action. For the first few volumes, he served as a protagonist/anti-hero, but later becomes a supporting antagonist at the end of Volume Three. Nathan becomes an antagonist of the first half of Volume Four but reforms in the latter half of the volume and tries to fix his mistakes by overthrowing his former government operation, of which Emile Danko has seized control. 

Nathan was killed by Sylar in the episode "An Invisible Thread". At Angela and Noah's urging to keep Nathan "alive" for the sake of their family (themselves, Peter, and Claire, but the latter two are kept unaware of Nathan's death at this time) and to shut down the government operation now controlled by Danko, Matt transformed Sylar into Nathan in order to tell the President this operation was a mistake. After shape-shifting Sylar into Nathan's form, Matt transformed Sylar into Nathan by filling him with Nathan's persona and memories. However, in volume five, once Nathan becomes aware of what happened and realizes he is stuck in Sylar's body, Nathan accepts his death in episode, "The Fifth Stage." 


Season 1

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. Afterward, 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 tells him their daughter, Claire, is alive. Stunned, Nathan reveals he believed Meredith and their daughter perished in the fire, having gone to their funeral 14 years earlier, but Meredith explains how after the fire, she ran. Nathan asks about their daughter and Meredith tells him she was adopted and describes her as beautiful and smart, pointedly wondering if Claire will run for Congress someday. From this last statement, Nathan realizes that the timing of her call right before his election means she wants money, and offers $100,000 to stay quiet, which she accepts. Meredith later lies to Claire saying the amount is only $50,000 and Claire is entitled to half. In "Run!", Nathan wants to see Claire and do right by her but Angela tells him not to see her. She explains Nathan will become too emotionally attached to his daughter and, when the press finds out about her, it will cause scandal so close before the election. She advises him to simply wire the money. Against her wishes, Nathan goes to Texas anyway. He arrives at Meredith's and delivers the money himself. They talk about their past, where Nathan apologizes for missing all this time with Meredith and their daughter. He asks after Claire and where she is. Meredith explains she just sent her home, showing Nathan a photo of Claire. Nathan becomes emotional upon seeing Claire's photo but, despite wanting to meet his daughter, decides against it. Crushed, Claire was secretly listening to the conversation which, due to lies Meredith told her, did not portray Nathan in a very positive light. Nathan leaves, visibly upset. 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, about Peter, and his daughter. 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 daughter, Claire, and reveals he wants to be there for her as a father. However, Nathan realizes he must send Claire to Paris for one week because of his upcoming election and to keep Claire away from the impending explosion, all set to happen in that week. Nathan tells Claire he needs her to go to Paris with his mother Angela for one week. Though disappointed, Claire understands and accepts this. Nathan reassures Claire that it is only for one week and adds that he wants her to return so they can be a family.

The next day, Claire prepares to go to Paris with Angela until after the explosion because Nathan can keep her safe there, that this is what Noah would have wanted, but Peter convinces Claire to stay when he shows her his drawing of Ted that he drew during his premonition of the future. Claire recognizes Ted as the one who blew up her house. Claire and Peter tell Nathan about Ted. With someone else having the ability to explode, Peter is hopeful that he isn't the bomb and that the explosion can be stopped. Nathan is doubtful and points out that Peter dreamed that he himself blew up New York City. Peter responds that he also had a vision of himself flying when it turned out to be Nathan who could fly - a fact that impresses Claire. Before Peter and Claire leave his office, Nathan tells his daughter that she's been through a lot and he is proud of her. Once alone, 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 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. 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 the season finale, "How to Stop an Exploding Man", Nathan appears committed to the fact that his brother Peter will explode, destroy the city, and kill millions; paving his way to power and the destiny designed by Linderman and others. However, it is his daughter, Claire, who convinces Nathan to change his mind when she tells him, "The future isn't written in stone." Nathan is deeply unsettled when Claire reminds him of how Angela kept her and Nathan apart for all these years and the emotional impact the explosion would have on Peter if he accidentally killed millions of people. After Peter and Hiro defeat Sylar and a crying Claire pleads with Peter that there must be another way to stop the explosion because she can't bring herself to shoot him, Nathan appears before his daughter and comforts her that there is another way. He looks to Peter and tells his brother they both know it, vowing to help him, but Peter responds he can't let Nathan die and Nathan, looking back at his heartbroken daughter, explains he can't let everyone else die. After telling Peter, "You saved the cheerleader so we could save the world," Nathan grabs his brother and flies far into the stratosphere. Crying, Claire looks on with the other heroes up at the sky after her father and uncle fly off as Peter detonates miles above the ground, instead of destroying New York City.

Season 2

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 sons 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. His daughter, Claire, calls him to tell him how she is coping and that she understands, and Nathan glances in the mirror. In the mirror, a severely scarred image of himself appears before it disappears moments later.

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, ending when Matt inserts a thought in Nathan's head, causing them to realize they are actually fighting one another. They 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.

Season 3

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 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 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 it's explained to Tracy that Meredith is the biological mother of Nathan's illegitimate daughter, Claire, and Noah is Claire's adoptive father, Noah asks them if Suresh injected anything into their bodies. He advises Nathan and Tracy to come to the Company to be checked out. Nathan then receives a call from Claire, who relays the day's events to him, making him promise not to tell anyone where she is. Later, he and Tracy find his daughter and brother, who is injured. Peter 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 but Peter warns him that Arthur must be stopped or he will kill them all. Nathan asks his brother 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, Nathan 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, now a senator, 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 (and, also, granting immunity from this government initiative to his mother and daughter). Nathan plans to contain them and work to 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 evolved humans as part of the government initiative. Though Nathan's intentions with the evolved humans 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 because Nathan protects his daughter, Claire, and orders her immunity from this operation to keep her safe. Relations with Danko are hostile as he believes both Nathan and Noah are compromised over their protection of their daughter, Claire, and partiality to Nathan's brother, Peter. Because of this, Danko is mistrustful of them and makes it known to Nathan that he is watching both him and Noah. Despite allowing his own brother Peter to be targeted, Nathan tries to protect him as best as he can. When Peter is shot by Danko and falls off the building, Nathan risks exposure of his own ability when he saves his brother by flying him away. 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 rescue 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. Once the free pass Nathan had given his daughter, Claire, disappears after he loses his authority that had kept Claire safe from the operation, Nathan immediately saves his daughter from agents barging into her room who attempt to kidnap her. In "Into Asylum," Nathan flies Claire to Mexico to protect her. Later, while drunk, Nathan confesses to Claire how badly he realized he made mistakes - by missing time with her and that he had wanted to be everything for her but handled things badly and reveals how he regrets the government operation. Nathan vows he'll make it up to her and that he'll fix his mistakes. Though Nathan admits he feels out of options the next morning, Claire reveals she has always dreamed him to be her "Superman" and encourages her dad that he can do anything. They mend their relationship and head back to the US. In "Turn and Face the Strange", Nathan communicates with his mother and then travels to Coyote Sands with Claire. There, they reunite with their family, Angela, Peter, and Noah.

In "1961", Nathan, 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 to look for Angela. Afterward, Nathan, Noah, and Claire have a father-daughter chat about her troubles. Claire reveals how hard she tried to impress both of her dads but realizes she wanted to grow up too quickly by becoming an agent to help save people as her fathers try to comfort her. After Angela loses her sister again, Nathan comforts his mother, telling her that she'll see Alice someday, and invites her to join the family at the diner. As Angela, Peter, Noah and Claire converse, Nathan promises them he'll 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, over his family's objections that he not go by himself. However, he leaves to fix the situation alone and doesn't notice Peter following him. Once Nathan gets to his Senate office, he confronts Sylar alone. Sylar tells Nathan he has his memories and taunts him that Nathan had hurt the ones he loves (Peter, Claire, Angela, the rest of his family) while Nathan says psychopaths like Sylar are the ones that need to be stopped. Sylar nearly scalps Nathan but he is "saved" by Danko who takes Nathan down with tranquilizers.

In "An Invisible Thread", Sylar keeps Nathan 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's office to see Nathan, she is met by 'Nathan', who is actually Sylar disguised as her father while the real Nathan is hidden unconscious in the bathroom. Aware of Sylar's ability to shape-shift into Nathan, Claire is initially skeptical it is really her other dad but Sylar fools Claire into believing he is Nathan due to having acquired Nathan's memories using an ability. He takes her up to a suite, where he reveals himself as Sylar and, unbeknownst to anyone, traps her in the room with him. Once the real Nathan wakes up, he is found by Peter, and together, the brothers try to stop Sylar from reaching the President. As Nathan informs security agents about a threat against the President, he reveals his ability so they can be trusted to stop Sylar. Nathan and Peter finally confront him, rescuing Claire from Sylar in the process. She is barred from the suite where the three battle inside and she tries to get in, but is unable to until the doors open and reveal a demolished room and an injured Peter. Claire asks where Nathan is and Peter mentions the window. As Claire and Peter search for Nathan, Sylar and Nathan fly back into the room, continuing the battle, with Sylar having emphatically acquired Nathan's flight. Sylar slits Nathan's throat with his telekinesis, telling the dying Nathan, "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 over her son's death. She had been convinced that Matt was supposed to save Nathan as she had seen in one of her prophetic dreams. Noah immediately sends Claire and Peter elsewhere to "find" Nathan so they do not discover Nathan's death. Angela and Noah persuade Matt to use his ability on a tranquilized Sylar to make him think he is Nathan Petrelli. She intends 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' and transform him into 'Nathan.' Once Matt tells 'Nathan' that Sylar is dead, that he is Nathan and wipes his personal memory, Sylar shapeshifts into Nathan and wakes up. Alongside his family (including Claire and Peter who are kept unaware of the real Nathan's death), '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.

Season 4

Six weeks later, 'Nathan' confides to his mother Angela that he hasn't felt like himself lately. He 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, Nathan 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 'Nathan' 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 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 find Peter for 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, shape-shifting back into Sylar before landing on the roof of a car.


  • Flight: Nathan possessed the ability to fly at supersonic speeds being able to carry people long distances with ease such as his brother Peter, Matt, daughter Claire, and Tracy. However, it is discovered that Nathan's ability to flight was synthetically given to him by Dr. Zimmerman when he was young. It was also explained that since his family was all born with superhuman abilities, his DNA had the capability to control it if it were given to him synthetically, unlike the Sanders sisters. Nathan proved this by being able to control his ability to fly at will whenever he wanted to and showed no side effects.


Nathan seems a bit cold a sometimes. He has been described as a shark, doing whatever he can to in order to accomplish his goals. Nathan is very focused on achieving his goals and is willing to do anything he can to achieve them. At times, he has shown that he is willing to stray from the path of good if he has to. Unlike his younger brother, Peter, he worries about himself first in almost every situation and is more of a realist, not wanting to waste time thinking of his younger brother's stories. Nathan usually shows his affectionate side to his brother, Peter, but doesn't fail to show him some tough love.


Nathan kissing his brother, Peter

Although Nathan often puts himself first and is focused on his career, he cares deeply for his brother, Peter, and for his family, including his mother Angela, daughter Claire, wife and sons. When superhumans were being hunted and captured, he tried hard to help Peter so he wouldn't be hurt and gave Claire a free pass to protect her, rescuing her when his own abilities were exposed. Nathan has many times shown a protective side with his family and shares a special bond with Peter. For example, in Kirby Plaza when Peter was about to explode, Nathan flew to his rescue like the superhero Peter always saw him as. Nathan manages to tell Peter how much he loves him and demonstrates his affection.


  • Nathan has a weakness for blonde women.
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