Nathan Petrelli, portrayed by Adrian Pasdar, is a fictional character on the NBC science fiction drama series Heroes. He is a New York 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.
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 assault him, but goes along with the story in public.
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