Peter Petrelli

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Peter Petrelli
Portrayed by Milo Ventimiglia,
Francis Capra (when inserted in Jesse Murphy),
Michael Dorn (as the President when shape shifted)
First appearance Genesis
In-story stats
Known abilities Original ability:
Empathic mimicry (lost)
Current ability:
Ability replication (synthetic)
Current replicated ability:
Known abilities replicated:
Enhanced strength,
Shape shifting,
Super speed,
Enhanced synesthesia,
Space-time manipulation,
Healing touch,
Mental manipulation,
Rapid cell regeneration,
Precognitive dreaming,
Aliases Jesse Murphy,
President of the United States
Nicknames Pete,
Exploding Man,
Mr. President,
Italian Eagle Scout
Age 29
Date of birth December 23, 1979
Home New York, NY
Residence Peter Petrelli's apartment
Occupations Paramedic,
former home hospice nurse
Significant others formerly Caitlin,
formerly Simone Deveaux (deceased)
Parents Angela Petrelli,
Arthur Petrelli (deceased)
Grandparents Paternal grandparent:
Mrs. Petrelli (deceased)
Maternal grandparents:
Mr. Shaw (deceased),
Mrs. Shaw (deceased)
Sibling Nathan Petrelli (deceased)
Other relatives Niece:
Claire Bennet (deceased)
Simon Petrelli,
Monty Petrelli,
Paternal uncle:
Tim Petrelli
Maternal Aunt:
Alice Shaw
Tommy Clark

Peter Petrelli is the younger son of Arthur and Angela Petrelli, and Nathan's brother, and worked as a common hospice nurse caring for Charles Deveaux while living in New York City. Peter appeared to his family as a hopeless dreamer, who believed he had a greater place in life than just saving one life at a time. He discovered he was an evolved human who had the ability to absorb and use the powers of other evolved humans, although this ability was stolen by his father. Peter used the formula and replaced it with a less potent ability. After the existence of evolved humans was revealed to the world, Peter founded the Petrelli Movement, an organization that saves "evos" from persecution and is violently opposed to the Evo Registration Act.

Character History

Season One

For an episode-by-episode summary, see Peter Petrelli: Season One History.

Peter receives a message from the future.

Peter Petrelli is a hospice nurse who keeps having amazing dreams that he can fly. Later, he stands on top of a building, throws himself off, and is saved by his brother Nathan, who can also fly. Peter eventually learns that his power is actually the ability to absorb the powers of those he meets. Peter visits Mohinder Suresh, looking for the author of Activating Evolution. While Peter and Mohinder are on a subway train, time freezes, and Peter has a visit from a Japanese man, who tells him that Peter must "save the cheerleader, save the world".

When he meets Isaac Mendez, Peter finished a painting depicting a dead and mutilated cheerleader. Peter realizes he must save this girl, and upon seeing another painting, heads to a homecoming, in Odessa, TX. There, he meets Claire Bennet, and manages to stop her from being killed by a mysterious stranger. He falls off a building and breaks several bones, although he regenerates, when Claire finds him, mimicking her power.

Outside the sheriff's department, Peter collapses and has a vision of himself bursting into red flames and exploding in the middle of the city. Peter meets the invisible Claude Rains, who helps Peter discover that he can access the powers he has absorbed by thinking of the person from whom he absorbed the ability. But their progress in Peter's training is stopped when Bennet comes after them.

Later, Peter visits Isaac's loft again, and confronts the painter about his association with Mr. Bennet. A fight ensues, and Simone is accidentally shot. Then, Peter visits Mohinder's apartment, but is confronted by Sylar, who begins to cut off the top of Peter's head. However, Peter heals his wound, fights Sylar, and "dies" when struck with a shard of glass in his brain. He revives when Claire removes the shard. At Kirby Plaza, Peter absorbs Ted's power, and has difficulty controlling it. Peter has a seemingly final confrontation with Sylar. They trade blows, and Peter's hands begin to glow dangerously. He tells Claire to shoot him, but Nathan descends from the sky, picks up his brother, and flies away into the sky where Peter explodes.

Peter demonstrates a new ability.

Season Two

For an episode-by-episode summary, see Peter Petrelli: Season Two History.

At a shipping yard in Cork, Ireland, Ricky, Tuko, and Will search for a shipping container for iPods, but find a half-naked Peter handcuffed inside the empty container who can't remember anything. When attacked, he shocks Tuko and looks completely surprised. The men tie up Peter in a pub, where he later heals from cuts, escapes through ropes, and disarms a man who attacks Caitlin, Ricky's sister. When Ricky later asks Peter about helping them on a job, he tells Peter his name and offers a box of Peter's belongings as a reward. After using his ability to help Ricky, Will betrays Ricky and shoots Peter. Peter, however, heals himself and chokes Will before letting him go. Ricky thanks him and accepts him as family. He gives Peter the box, but Peter doesn't open it, and instead hopes for a new future with Caitlin.

A woman asks about Peter at the docks, and Ricky tells Peter to stay with Caitlin at her flat. While there, Peter finds in the box his passport, a plane ticket to Montreal, and a picture of himself and a man. Peter sees a blank canvas, then starts painting a picture. When he finishes, Peter sees a painting of himself and Caitlin in Montreal. Caitlin receives a phone call, and the two find Ricky killed, and Peter decides the two need to go to Montreal. They find a warehouse at the intersection Peter painted, and the two find a note from Adam written to Peter. Peter hugs Caitlin, and is suddenly teleported in the future. While there, Peter learns that a virus killed 97% of the human race. Before he can save Caitlin, he teleports back to present time, and is confronted by a stranger.

Peter suspends Strain 138, preventing a grim future.

The stranger reveals himself as Adam Monroe, and helps Peter remember the things he forgot by suggesting Peter use his healing power to restore his memory. Peter then remembers everything, including the night of the explosion. After Nathan and Peter flew into the air and before Peter exploded, Peter told Nathan to let go of him. The blast from the explosion burns and knocks out Nathan, who is then saved by Peter. He then remembers after saving Nathan he brought him to a hospital, where he was captured by Elle and Bob. Peter was then in by the Company so he couldn't hurt anyone. They give him ability negation pills so he cannot use his ability. He is put in a cell next to Adam's cell, where the two decide to escape to help save Nathan. After Adam gives Nathan some of his blood, the two try to get to Montreal, but are met by Elle and the Haitian. They separate, and the Haitian forces Peter into a container in a shipping yard. He takes his memory and leaves him there for a "fresh start". After remembering everything, Adam and Peter decide to save the world.

Peter and Adam go to see Victoria Pratt, who was a founder and knows about the virus. Peter goes in alone, and tries to get information from her. After Peter leaves, Victoria comes out of the house and attempts to shoot Peter, but before she shoots Adam, knocks her out. They find out that the virus is at Primatech Paper, and then Adam kills Victoria. When the two arrive at Primatech, time suddenly stops, and Hiro appears. Hiro tells Peter he must kill Adam, but Peter prevents it, knocking out Hiro by shocking him. Time unfreezes, and the two make their way to the Company vault. Peter rips the door off the vault, but Hiro teleports to stop them. Peter begins to choke Hiro with telekinesis, but Matt appears and attempts to make him stop choking Hiro. Peter stops Matt by mimicking the other aspect of Matt's telepathy then throws him back. Nathan comes and tells Peter that Adam is trying to release the virus, and he's using Peter. Nathan is able to convince Peter as they're brothers and Peter trusts him. When the three run to the vault, Adam and Hiro are gone and the vial containing the Shanti virus is about to hit the floor, but Peter catches the vial just in time. Peter destroys the vial, then Nathan suggests that they stop the Company and take their abilities public. Nathan calls a press conference, but before he can reveal his secret he is shot by an assassin. Nathan collapses into Peter's arms.

Season Three

For an episode-by-episode summary, see Peter Petrelli: Season Three History.

In Volume Three, Peter starts off being in Jesse Murphy's body (in Level 5) because Future Peter shot Nathan Petrelli and present-day Peter came after him. Elle Bishop then, uncontrollably, releases the Level 5 escapees and "Jesse", The German, Knox, and Flint Gordon, Jr. go to wreak havoc. They go and rob a bank. Future Peter then comes and lets him out of Jesse's body. Future Peter time travels into the future where Peter goes to see Sylar. Peter learns how to use the hunger and then the Costa Verde explosion happens. Peter survives the explosion and teleports back to present day in Sylar's cell. Peter, having learned the hunger, tries to kill both Sylar and Angela Petrelli. Peter is then captured and put in a cell. Sylar, thinking that Peter is his brother, tells Peter to read Angela's mind. Peter pulls Pinehearst out of her head and heads there. Unbeknownst of his father being the head, Peter is shocked. Too shocked to stop Arthur from taking his abilities. Peter then wakes up in a Pinehearst cell and escapes. But Arthur catches him and gives him to Mohinder Suresh as a test subject for the formula. Sylar saves him but then throws Peter out of a seven story building. Claire Bennet and Peter find each other and hide in a sewer from Knox and Flint, but then they find them. They escape and head to Primatech with Angela's team to discuss how to stop Arthur. Peter and Nathan then go to Haiti to find The Haitian. But they get stuck in a mission to take down the Haitian's brother, Baron Samedi. Peter and Nathan fight the whole time and Nathan says that Arthur is right, starting a long feud between the two brothers. Back at Primatech, Angela tells Peter to shoot Arthur because The Haitian will be there and Arthur can't use his abilities. Peter fires the gun but Sylar stops it and uses lie detection to find out that Arthur is not his dad. Therefore, Sylar kills him with the bullet. Then, Peter, Flint, and Knox go to destroy the formula and Pinehearst. Nathan interferes the raid and the place is about to blow up. Peter injects himself with the formula and grabs Nathan and flies him out of Pinehearst.

Peter unwittingly causes the airplane to go down.

In Volume Four, Nathan had gone to the President and exposed Evolved humans starting a secret government project to "round up" all evolved humans and place them in camps. Peter is back to living a normal life but soon encounters Mohinder driving a taxi like in Genesis. Later, at Peter's apartment, Nathan and Noah Bennet capture Peter. He is hooded, drugged, in a jumpsuit, and on a plane when Claire sneaks on and frees him. They free the rest, but Peter can't control his new ability and Freezes a hole in the plane. After crashing, him and Tracy Strauss team up to take Nathan's project down. Peter, Matt Parkman, Hiro Nakamura, Ando Masahashi, and Mohinder gather together and discuss how to lay low and what they need to do based on Matt's drawings. Peter, Matt, and Mohinder then capture Noah. They interrogate Noah until Emile Danko's team comes. Peter flies Matt to Isaac's loft where Matt sees himself blowing up in front of Capitol Hill. Matt and Peter break into Building 26 and Rebel helps them, but Matt gets caught. Peter negotiates with Nathan with a trade. Matt and Daphne Millbrook for Flight 195's security footage.Nathan arrives without Matt nor Daphne, so Peter gave the tape to the media. When the government goes after Angela, Peter saves her and they go to a church. Noah sees them but let them have a free pass. Angela dreams that she needs to go see her sister, Alice Shaw. Peter and Angela go to Coyote Sands where Nathan, Claire, and Noah are there to know what Angela did here and they dig to learn the past. Peter still hasn't forgiven Nathan and they start to forgive each other throughout the ending of the season. Angela says that a new Company needs to be formed. Peter then goes to kill Sylar once and for all. There is a long fight throughout the season finale episode in which Nathan dies. Peter replicates Sylar's ability to shape shift into The President to trick Sylar and defeat him with a tranquilizer. Angela, Matt, and Noah then fake Sylar's death by making Sylar be Nathan and then burning James Martin's body which is still in the form of Sylar. They burn his body at Coyote Sands. Peter remains unaware of the truth of his brother's death and Sylar's survival.

Season Four

For an episode-by-episode summary, see Peter Petrelli: Season Four History.

Peter Petrelli had resumed his life as a paramedic, using his abilities to save people. He teamed up with Noah to stop the speedster known as Edgar. He then met Emma and Samuel disguised as "William Hooper". A tatto appeared on his arm, and he went to Noah for guidance. He later helped "Nathan" understand his abilities more, and met with Angela to start reconnecting with his family. He saved Emma's life, and began trying to form a connection with her. After another failure, he reunited with the dying Hiro. He sought out Noah's help to locate a healer for Hiro.

Peter nails Sylar

After getting the ability to heal from Jeremy Greer, he arrived too late to save Hiro. He then began using his new power to help heal innocents injured during a train crash. He learned of Emma's past, and inspired her to return to medical school. He met up with "Nathan" and, thanks to René, they found Nathan's deceased body. After finding Matt, he healed him, and learned what took place after he fought Sylar. He confronted Angela during Thanksgiving, and after Sylar returned, he decided to go after him. He went after Sylar, but was unable to return Nathan.

He attended his brother's funeral, and resumed his hunt for Sylar, ending up fighting crime. He later learned Emma would be responsible for the deaths of thousands, and learned of her relationship with Samuel and the Sullivan Bros. Carnival. He damaged his bond with Emma after destroying her cello, and going to Matt to get Sylar. He forgave Sylar for his sins, and helped him escape his telepathic nightmare. Together they went to save Emma, however Eli was sent to stop them. With Sylar's help he stopped Eli, and then left to New York City to defeat Samuel. He managed to hold off Samuel, until Hiro teleported away the members of the carnival. In the aftermath of the events that took place, Peter watched as Claire exposed herself to the news and the world.

June 13th, Part Two

After Hiro's powers fail him, Angela realizes that Claire's son has a power similar to Tommy's uncle, Peter, and his great-grandfather.

Heroes Evolutions

Save the Cheerleader, Destroy the World

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Evolved Human Abilities

Original Ability

Much mystery surrounded Peter's status and abilities, or lack thereof, early in the series. While every main character was said outright to have a power in press releases, Peter was simply billed as "trying to convince his brother he can fly". Later, after his brother flew, Peter himself displayed the ability to levitate not long afterward (Don't Look Back). Peter is actually an empathic mimic who duplicates the powers of others. His crude levitation sketch shows that he gained Isaac's ability to draw the future, but without needing to be induced by drugs (Don't Look Back). Later, Peter visits Isaac and finishes Isaac's painting without the aid of heroin or any other drug (Hiros).

Early on, Peter's duplicated powers typically only lasted while the person he was mimicking was nearby. He was unable to fly when not in the presence of Nathan, and he became visible when Claude walked away from him, but he was still able to use Isaac's precognition the day after he met him (Don't Look Back). In Distractions, he duplicated Claire's power of regeneration, even though he had not been near her for weeks; this was the first time he ever consciously "recalled" a mimicked power. With the help of Claude, he summons telekinesis which he wasn't even aware of having and later uses flight and space-time manipulation to escape Noah Bennet and the Haitian. After that, he starts to be able to summon powers at will.

While Peter's crude stick figure drawings originally seemed to indicate that he could duplicate only someone's powers, and not their skills, the painting he completed at Isaac's studio seems fairly well done (though not of the same style) and is later able to paint one of his own. This could indicate that his ability is maturing and developing, much like the others with powers.

After Peter first discovered his powers, he generally used one power at any given time. As he gained greater control over his ability, Peter demonstrated that he was able to access multiple powers at once.

After initially discovering his powers, Peter typically used invisibility, flight, and telekinetic powers. He managed to tap into telepathy, precognition, and unfortunately his radioactive power. After he had his mind wiped by the Haitian, Peter developed a favor for using his electrical abilities over his former telekinesis. Peter also seemed to be using telepathy much more and showed much more control and diversity (using enhanced strength, phasing, etc.) in using his powers. After activating Sylar's ability of intuitive aptitude, Peter's control was greatly refined. His telekinetic skills were enough to slice heads off, he used his electrical powers more potently, still seemed to love his invisibility, had used telepathy much more skillfully, and finally started using space-time manipulation for traveling from place to place, and also could correctly time travel.

Peter also possessed Claire's regenerative power. However, the ability is passive in nature, therefore it was always active and didn't require active concentration to use.

In Dying of the Light all of Peter's abilities were taken away by his father.

Abilities Mimicked

Prior to having his power stolen by Arthur Petrelli, Peter was able to duplicate the abilities of other evolved humans; after he acquired the ability, he did not need to be in the person's presence. To date, Peter had conclusively duplicated the abilities of:

Abilities Exposed To

Other evolved humans had been within Peter's proximity, exposing him to their abilities. However, Peter never exhibited these abilities:

In the original timeline, Peter was exposed to Sylar's enhanced memory. However, Hiro Nakamura went back in time, preventing Sylar from obtaining it in the first place.

Current Abilities

In Dual, Peter injected himself with the formula in order to save his brother from a fire. After he injected himself, he was able to use flight and fly from the exploding building with Nathan. In A Clear and Present Danger, Peter is shown demonstrating a variation of ability mimicry, mimicking an ability only after touching another evolved human. It is similar to his father's ability to steal other abilities by touch, yet different in that the source of the ability can still use their ability after Peter performs the process.

According to Peter, he can now only mimic one ability at a time, losing the old ability in order to acquire the new one (Trust and Blood).

Peter has shown control over his replication. For example, he held Nathan by the neck to hold him hostage, and didn't replicate his flight until the last second before he escaped (Trust and Blood). He showed control another time when he flew with Matt Parkman, apparently without replicating his ability of telepathy (Cold Wars). However, this control is not perfect, as he absorbs enhanced synesthesia from Emma without meaning to. (Hysterical Blindness)

When Peter replicates an ability, he also displays the version of it possessed by the person he is replicating from. For example, West Rosen's floating manifestation of flight (Let It Bleed) and Samuel's enhanced version of terrakinesis. (Brave New World)

With his new power, Peter seems to develop greater control over his copied powers. This is probably due to the fact that he only has to worry about one ability, and the fact that he doesn't have to focus to "recall" his power. Some abilities like flight, super speed, space-time manipulation, enhanced strength, and telepathy he has used before using Empathic Mimicry. But other abilities like healing touch, shape-shifting, and mental manipulation he has not and displayed great skill in a short amount of time.

Abilities Replicated

After having his power stolen by Arthur Petrelli, Peter injected himself with the formula and was granted the ability to replicate the abilities of other evolved humans. To date, Peter has replicated the abilities of:

Peter's current replicated ability is:

Heroes Reborn App

Prior to Heroes Reborn starting, an app was released with a video summary of Peter's history. The summary included:


Memorable Quotes

"You look different without your scar."

- Future Hiro to Peter (Hiros)

"The girl; you have to save her."

"What girl?"

"The cheerleader. It's the only way to prevent it."

"Prevent what?"

"Everything. Listen to me. She must live. The painter, Isaac, go to him. He will know. When I call you, you must tell me where we meet. You told me many times how lost you felt before it all started. This is what you've been waiting for. Be the one we need.


"Save the cheerleader, save the world."

- Future Hiro, Peter (Hiros)

"Your brother is probably the most important person on that list."

- Mohinder Suresh to Nathan Petrelli, (Distractions)

"Charles Darwin bred pigeons when he was working out his theory of evolution--married up various permutations to get maximum potential."

"What do you mean by that, 'maximum potential'?"

"I think he meant you, friend."

- Claude, Peter (Unexpected)

"You saved my life."

"Guess we're even now."

- Peter, Claire (.07%)

"I don't need my powers to kick your ass, Flint!"

- Peter (to Flint Gordon) (It's Coming)

"Why did you save me? Why did you do it?"

"Because you're my brother, and I love you."

"It's not what I would've done."

- Nathan, Peter (Dual)

"You got the country thinking you're talking about terrorists, but we both know who you're really talking about.''

"What can I say, Pete? The last time I tried to out us, I got shot. I'm nothing if not a quick study.''

"So, you're gonna round us all up? Get rid of us?"

- Peter, Nathan (A Clear and Present Danger)

"I'd like your input, your advice."

"Advice? What advice could I possibly give you besides 'Kiss my ass', Nathan?"

- Nathan, Peter (A Clear and Present Danger)

"Peter, right? You're the good brother, the passionate one."

- Danko (to Peter) (Cold Wars)

"I asked to be extraordinary and I promised to make the world a better place. So when I got my chance, I lived up to my end of the bargain. For what? We had a deal. I think it's about time you lived up to your end."

- Peter (Into Asylum)

"What made you want to become a paramedic?"

"I wanted to save people instead of watching them pass."

- Samuel, Peter (Ink)


  • Milo Ventimiglia (Peter Petrelli), in a behind-the-scenes video, reveals that Peter passes out at the end of Fallout because he is overwhelmed by all of the abilities he has been absorbing.
  • Nathan Petrelli is Claire's biological father (Distractions), which would make Peter her uncle. Despite their many interactions, Peter was unaware of his connection to Claire, according to his mother, Angela (.07%).
  • According to Joe Pokaski, Peter has the ability to recall all of the powers of those he has been in contact with.
  • On one of the covers of Entertainment Weekly's May 11th, 2007 issue (#933, cover 3 of 5), Peter is shown to be exhibiting pyrokinesis, although, at the time, Peter did not meet any evolved humans known to possess pyrokinesis. He does, however, seem to exhibit the ability at the end of Five Years Gone and in Walls, Part 2. This may be a continuity error on the part of Entertainment Weekly.
  • In an interview, Chris Zatta and Chuck Kim state that Peter can use any ability just as easy as another. They further state that he can use them in combinations, though they note and that he may have difficulty using all of his abilities at once, and that certain combinations, such as electric manipulation and pyrokinesis, may not work as cleanly in tandem as others.
  • When Peter was brought by his future self to the future where abilities could be induced, he displayed super speed (I Am Become Death). However, it is unclear from whom he mimicked this ability. He met there at least two evolved humans with this ability, eventually including Daphne Millbrook. It is possible he was unable to absorb this ability quickly enough while others sped past.
  • After injecting himself with the formula (Dual), Peter was granted a new version of his original ability altogether. During the plane crash (A Clear and Present Danger), Peter required physical contact to absorb Mohinder and Tracy's abilities, rather than just being near them. He also couldn't use Mohinder's ability once he had taken on Tracy's. It should also be noted that in Dual, Peter did not fly until he came into physical contact with Nathan. This new ability now more closely resembles that of Rogue (from Marvel Comics's X-Men), except without the life force draining aspect.
  • Peter, like the rest of the Petrelli family, is Roman Catholic, and of Italian descent.
  • Ever since Peter has gotten his new ability, he has seemed to become more confident and calculated in his decisions.
  • During the six weeks between An Invisible Thread and Orientation, Peter used his abilities to save fifty-three people as a paramedic.
  • Ever since Peter got his new ability, he has displayed considerable fighting skills. He was able to best Edgar in a fight at super speed and defeat Sylar and Samuel in a physical fight after their powers were gone.
  • Unlike with his original ability, Peter seems to have instant mastery of the powers he replicates: he was better at using super speed against Edgar than he against Daphne. Also, he quickly figured out terrakinesis and other powers he had previously not used before, unlike the time it took to master them with his original power.


  • In an interview, Tim Sale said, "Peter's [likeness] is kind of easier to caricature because he's got that silly hair and that kind of knife-like face."
  • Both his first name and last name, Peter and Petrelli, come from the Greek word "petra"(πέτρα) meaning "rock".
  • In an interview, Jason La Padura said that Peter and Nathan were originally written to be twins.
  • According to the official site for the Season One DVD, Peter's AIM screen name is ppetrelli07.
  • In the commentary for .07%, Andrew Chambliss says that Tim Kring's early drafts of the pilot call Peter "Harrison", "Ethan", and other names. His last name was Cambell, and he was supposed to be in his mid-30s.
  • The style of a floppy angular fringe hairstyle which Peter wore in the first season has since been named a Petrelli.
  • The New York license plate of the ambulance that Peter rides is 47V8AM. (Shadowboxing)

See also

Fan Theories

Please refer to Theory:Peter Petrelli for fan-created theories and other speculation.

  Season Four Characters edit

Claire BennetNoah BennetAndo MasahashiHiro NakamuraMatt ParkmanAngela PetrelliNathan PetrelliPeter PetrelliTracy StraussSamuel SullivanMohinder SureshSylar


AllisonCharlie AndrewsGretchen BergChris BowmanEmma CoolidgeDamianEvan DavisEric DoyleEdgarEliEzekielLauren GilmoreNurse HammerLydiaKimiko NakamuraJanice ParkmanMatt Parkman, Jr.Pregnant carnyPsychic carnyRenéReginald StanleyAmanda StrazzullaTiger pants carny

See Also: Minor CharactersSeason One CharactersSeason Two CharactersSeason Three CharactersHeroes Reborn CharactersFuture CharactersAnimalsWebisodes Characters
Graphic Novel CharactersiStory CharactersEvolutions CharactersBook CharactersUnaired CharactersCast