Theory:Nathan Petrelli

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The following fan theories are about Nathan Petrelli.

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Theory Citations Notes
Nathan's power was aerokinesis, or the ability to control air. None. + This would explain how he flies (propelling himself by riding on air currents), how he protects himself during flight (surrounding himself with a condensed air force field), and how he heard Peter tell Claire, "there is no other way" (How to Stop an Exploding Man). Nathan amplifies the sound waves and carries them to his ears.

If Nathan's power is aerokinesis, then he might be able to do more than fly. He may also be able to control air to create focused blasts of wind, keep the air around him warm or cool, and direct air currents that carry sounds to his ears.
+ With this, he could have protected himself from the radioactive blast when he sent Peter into the sky.

- Nathan was severely scarred from the explosion in Four Months Ago.
+ That was a pretty huge explosion. Nathan's injuries aren't that terrible compared to actually being caught in the explosion.
It is possible that Nathan hasn't considered that application of his power, and thus was not shielding himself at the time.
Neither was he when he avoided his accident. He used it passively.
- The temperature of a nuclear fireball is over 10 million degrees, which would have heated such a shield to the point where it provided no protection. It's more likely that after Nathan dropped Peter, Peter quickly flew as far as he could before exploding, just far enough to not kill Nathan.
+ That temperature is achieved by high-grade, state-of-the-art nuclear warheads. It is unknown how powerful an induced radioactivity explosion is.
Peter's powers were malfunctioning. He couldn't fly until AFTER he exploded.

+ This could explain how he appears to be able to breathe normally even at higher altitudes.

- It appears as though most of his flying is done near the ground, no higher than a few thousand feet, which, in most cases, isn't high enough to largely affect a person's ability to breathe.

- It is unlikely condensed air would stop a nuclear blast of that size. Also Elle referred to West as the "flying boy" (he has the same power as Nathan).

+ Hiro refers to Nathan as the "flying man". Elle could merely be unaware of this secondary function, or she could merely be using the phrase "flying boy" colloquially. West's ability could also be different than Nathan's.
Nathan and Peter Petrelli are brothers with Hiro Nakamura. Hiro's biological mother may actually be Angela Petrelli, since we know she slept with Kaito Nakamura. (Lizards) - Ishi loved Hiro too much for him to be the fruit of an extramarital affair.

- She would know if Hiro wasn't her son. She wouldn't have been pregnant with him if she wasn't.
It is always possible to change someone's memory.

Nathan was not blood related to Peter. None + Peter and Arthur have similar powers.

+ Peter was born with abilities, Nathan was not.

- Nathan's ability could have been taken from him by Arthur.
- Arthur has no motivation for doing this.
The Haitian could not prevent Nathan from flying away because he can not stop synthetic abilities. None - The Haitian may simply have been pretending to assist Noah Bennet but was actually preventing him from capturing Nathan since he is Angela Petrelli's son.
- Noah would have been suspicious as to why the Haitian did not stop him, considering that the Haitian's ability appears to always be "on", even when he is not aware evolved humans are around.
Not necessarily always on, evolved humans have used their abilities near him without him noticing.
The sailor seen at the end of the graphic novel "Playing with Fire" looking at Meredith was Nathan. None + Nathan served as a U.S. Navy pilot, according to

+ If you follow the years correctly, Meredith and Nathan would have met about the time of this graphic novel.

Nathan was the son of Maury. None + Peter and Arthur have similar powers.
+ Matt has the same power as his father.
- Angela, Alice and their father have vastly different powers.
Nathan's ability could have been taken from him by Arthur.
Nathan was given a synthetic ability. Arthur could have felt bad about stealing his ability and gave him a new one.

+ Angela has alluded to have cheated on Arthur before.
- What does this all have to do with Maury?

Nathan's warning the President about evolved humans without lumping himself in with them may be a reference to how Adolf Hitler wanted to eliminate Jewish people while being part Jewish himself. The end of Dual. + There is symbolism in the show.
- This doesn't mean that everything has to be symbolic or metaphorical in the show.
+ Nathan would not turn himself in nor his mother or Claire.
He didn't turn in himself or the others because he considered their abilities "harmless". Also he was leniant with Claire as a means of controlling Bennet. He turned in Peter because there was no way to consider Peter as anything but dangerous.

+ Nathan could be considered "part evolved human" as he has synthetic abilities.
- There hasn't been any definitive, conclusive evidence that Hitler had indeed Jewish heritage.

Well, yes there have been. Hitler did have a female Jewish ancestor, which is how Judaism (internally) defines Jewishness. There's no evidence he was ever a practicing Jew.
According to the laws which Hitler passed, anyone with Jewish ancestry (going back three or four generations) was considered a Jew, regardless of their religious practices. Hitler thought of the Jews as being a race, not a religion.

Nathan and Niki did have common grounds which they both knew, besides sleeping with each other: he wouldn't want to put his kids through something like that, yet he's willing to do it to another child who has control over their ability? No mercy unless blood related to him, otherwise he'd feel guilty.

- Nathan can't possibly have an attachment to Claire the same way he has for his boys, him turning Micah in says it pretty clear: he'll turn anyone who's not his family, regardless of any connection to him.
- Nathan was willing to imprison Peter after it became clear that he couldn't manipulate Peter anymore.
The reason why Nathan survived after being shot by Future Peter is because his destiny was to die much later. Nathan fully recovered in hours without any abilities involved. + For some reason, Hiro was unable to save Charlie at least from Sylar, if not from the blood clot in her brain. The cases are identical - both involve a time traveler who wishes to change the past in order to save lives, and both Hiro and Peter have failed.
Nathan actually is alive in Sylar's body. When Matt forced Sylar into believing he was Nathan he actually took Sylar's consciousness, allowing the Nathan person to be in full control of the body. None Sylar keeps telling Matt to give back him back his body. This might mean that Nathan is in full control.
- What is in control are memories of Nathan, memories which Sylar has acquired though clairsentience.
This could arguably be considered Nathan's "conscience".

- Nathan is dead, even thought 'Sylar' has his memories. It's Sylar with Nathan's memories, nothing more.

Actually, this theory is almost entirely consistent with something Angela says in the episode Thanksgiving. While it may arguably be her theory, she obviously has plenty of experience with powers.

+ It may be possible that Nathan was still technically alive when they found him, or at least his brain was still slightly functional, enough for Matt to get in, take whatever he could of Nathan's mind out of his body (likely not all of it, as the brain needs constant oxygen and energy to survive, and much would have been lost from necrosis) and put him into Sylar's body, the clairsentience filling in the holes. Just enough of him, likely long term memories. And, since his death would have likely been only a short term memory, and not saved in his mind, it's why he cannot remember dieing, that and help from Matt Parkman. It could be said that Matt was able to get in and at least put Nathan's 'soul' into Sylar's body, if not anything else. Soul does not equal memories.
According to BTE, Matt taps into a "plane of consciousness" to see the future. It's possible Matt was able to tap into this plane to retrieve Nathan's "soul" or conscience and then placed that in Matt's body.

- BTE said that the plane Matt accesses is the one precogs draw from when they paint the future.
It is never stated that precognition is all the plane can be used for however.
It is the only thing it was mentioned to do though.
+ The point is, Matt is able to do more the read thoughts with telepathy. If he can reach another plane of consciousness to see the future, he could possibly retrieve Nathan's conscience, whether it be from the same plane where he sees the future or elsewhere.
+ It has been stated that for those who master telepathy, death is never as final as it may seem. It's possible that this may extend to those who a telepath reaches out to.
+ Matt was able to reach out to Usutu, who was dead by that point.
Or Usutu was able to reach out to Matt because of Matt's telepathy. It might work both ways.
Either way, it proves that in the world of Heroes, consciousness can remain after death.
Consciousness remaining after physical death has happened already with Hana and Drucker, though they had a different ability.

+ Even though Sylar has supposedly returned to his body, "Nathan" still has a large amount of control. This seems unusual for a mere telepathic illusion.

- Sylar got rid of Nathan.
+ Only after he made Matt transfer him back into his own body, which suggests that another consciousness in control of the body.

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See Also: 9RedTime travelNathan Petrelli