08 April 2009

10 Years of Matrix Movie - The Matrix explained

This is a first part of three part series that aims to explain the all time classic movie - Matrix.

Standard disclaimer is that I did not write this series and I received this from a friend of mine quite sometime ago.


To understand "The Matrix Revolutions" we're gonna have to go all the way back to the beginning. A time that was shown in the superior Animatrix shorts "The Second Renaissance Parts I & II. In the beginning there was man. Then man created machines. Designed in man's likeness the machines served man well, but man's jealous nature ruined that relationship. When a worker robot killed one of its own abusive masters it was placed on trial for murder and sentenced for destruction. This incident was the spark that ignited a fuse that would burn for centuries. Humans began rioting and destroying many machines. The machines were eventually allowed to create a nation of their own, separate from areas inhabited by humans. That nation was created as a machine city known as 01 or Zero-One. Despite the aggression of their former masters and creators towards them the machines still wished to do commerce with man and began production of the many tools and devices that man needed. But the machines proved to be more efficient than their creators and their own economy began to flourish better than mankind's. Seeking a better relationship with man and hoping to be accepted as an independent nation the machines petitioned to join the United Nations but were ultimately refused and found themselves under attack. A war had begun.

As the war progressed, man realized that they might ultimately lose to their superior creations. To end the threat the military devised "Operation Nightfall", the "scorching" of the skies, eliminating the machines' power source, the sun. Ironically man also used machine technology to do this and engaged in warfare on the battlefield. The machines had studied the fragile nature of the human body and were able to come up with biological weapons of their own. Ultimately man and machine had destroyed the world they lived in and barely survived. No longer dependent on the sun as a power source, the machines came to the conclusion that they would have to begin a symbiotic
relationship with their enemy. "Hand over your flesh and a new world awaits you. We demand it," an insect-like representative tells the United Nations just before self-destructing and wiping out New York with a nuclear blast. The machines could survive off of human generated power and in return mankind would no longer have to suffer in a ravaged world but a computer generated dream. The Matrix was created.

The Matrix

As the Architect told Neo in Reloaded when he first designed the Matrix it was "...quite naturally perfect, it was a work of art, flawless, sublime." It was destined to fail because as Agent Smith said to Morpheus "...human beings defined their reality through misery and suffering." Human minds could not accept the program and therefore "...entire crops were lost." The Architect was then forced to redesign the Matrix "...based on your history to more accurately reflect the varying grotesqueries of your nature." But failure soon frustrated the Architect because the new equation of the Matrix was unbalanced and the answer that eluded him "...required a lesser mind perhaps less bound by the parameters of perfection." That lesser mind was an intuitive program: The Oracle. She came to the conclusion that 99.9% of all test subjects accepted the program as long as they were given a choice, even if they were aware of it at an unconscious level. It was an answer that functioned, but was ultimately flawed creating a systemic anomaly. The Architect discovered that the 0.1% of subjects that refused the program (the
human resistance) would threaten the system if left unchecked so the Oracle helped devise a form of control: the One. Just as the Matrix was a form of control for people plugged into pods, the One would be a form of control for the resistance in the real world.

Since the machines were able to grow humans for use as batteries it was decided that a special human would be designed to carry the anomalous code. This human would be designed physically and mentally to interface with the Matrix differently than the average human would. It would enable him or her to have special powers within the Matrix and gain the support of the human resistance. The plan was for the Oracle to guide those that resisted the program to the One and accept him as their savior, a person who could save and free the human race from slavery. Through her ability to predict the future (which is really her analyzing of equations to an outcome) the Oracle would guide the One to the source and the One would be given a choice to save Zion from its eventual destruction and temporarily reinsert the prime program it carried back into the Matrix. The Matrix would be Reloaded and a new version would start. At the same time the machines would gain better insight into the nature of man through the experiences of the One to build a better Matrix. Even though Zion would be destroyed the One would be allowed to choose 23 individuals from the Matrix to rebuild it. That 0.1% of individuals that rejected the program would not be allowed to get any bigger. Five times this occurred. In fact many feel that the Oracle's
bodyguard Seraph was the previous One before Neo and that even though his physical body is no more, his consciousness was copied into the Matrix and is now used by the Oracle for protection. Seraph to Neo: I protect that which matters most." The future.

Unlike the Architect the Oracle grew tired of this endless cycle and finally decided to set out and end the war between man and machine. "I'm interested in one thing Neo, the future. And the only way to get there is together." She would again do her part in guiding the human resistance (in this case Morpheus) to the One and then guiding the One to the source. But the line would not be as straight this time. To complete the One's journey to re-insert the prime program into the Matrix the machines and the human race would have to depend on each other for help.

The One was designed to develop an attachment to the human race so that when he was presented with the choice to save it by the Architect he would always choose the "door to the right." However the Oracle knew that if the One developed an attachment to a specific person he may choose differently. Before Morpheus found Neo she guided him to Trinity, a hacker who shared many human qualities that Neo did. Before she even met him the Oracle told Trinity she would fall in love with the One. This was suggestion by the Oracle that set Trinity on the path to falling in love with Neo. Morpheus found Neo before they even met and since he believed Neo was the one Trinity began to study him. Cypher to Trinity: "You like him, you like watching him don't you." Since she was told she would fall in love with him she eventually did. All of this was oblivious to Neo who didn't even know who Trinity was or how she felt when they first met.

After Neo was freed from the Matrix, Morpheus brought him to see the Oracle. She could have just told him flat out that he was the One, but knew it was something he'd have to work for. Do you tell a child he doesn't have to study or work a day in its life because it will inherit a fortune anyway? (Unless your last name is Hilton. Just kidding) The Oracle knows that Morpheus would eventually wind up in danger and that Neo would have to save him, setting up the bond between the three of them. But to start him down the right path she tells him Morpheus' fate and gives him a cookie. "I promise you that by the time you're done eating it you'll feel right as rain." But, this isn't no ordinary cookie, it's an upgrade to his program. Remember how in Reloaded the Merovingian was able to put "Spanish Fly" in a pastry? Well the Oracle did something similar to Neo. She may have even placed the replicating program for Agent Smith in the cookie. When Neo is killed by Agent Smith he is reborn by the love of Trinity who is now convinced who Neo is and what he means to her.

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 2:25 PM


  1. Anonymous Anonymous posted at Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 9:52:00 AM GMT+5:30  
    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Blogger KD posted at Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 10:40:00 PM GMT+5:30  
    As i was searching for an explanation of the Matrix reloaded, I came across your blog. I would have loved to see a more comprehensive explanation about the first 2 movies, but this is a good starting point.

    In my opinion, the Seraph is a machine level program, thus making him look orange (just like the other machine level programs Neo sees towards the end of the "Revolutions". The statement "I protect that what matters most." is probably meant for that program to protect the "core" system programs like the Oracle. The Architect later makes it clear that the Oracle is also another machine program. It will probably be wise to liken the Seraph to the "Unix kernel".

    Will definitely follow this blog.

  3. Blogger Nicholas posted at Friday, June 18, 2010 at 6:37:00 AM GMT+5:30  
    I was also looking into what Seraph meant when he said "I protect that which matters most". Clearly he protects the Oracle, but from what I have gathered, Seraph was a protector of the first version of the paradisaical Matrix as an angel. When that version was scrapped and he became obsolete, he protected the Merovingian and then the Oracle.

    I don't know if Seraph protects anything more than the program currently improving the Matrix. For example, if his programming knows something about the imperative of all life, and he merely protects the one who fights for that the best.

    The Oracle was interested in improvement, change, the survival of the machines, and as a result, the survival of the humans. I read that she was originally a program designed to understand the human psyche. This made her fit for developing the latest versions of the Matrix. It had a more enlightened human element, and she was able to understand humans' minds and tell them what they needed to hear to persist. To 'transcend' the present situation.

    The Oracle said she was interested in the future, and that to get there, humans and machines must cooperate. Her unique faculties for mapping consequences into the future gave her this insight. It is possible too that the Oracle had the insight - perhaps gleaned from the human psyche as well - that diversity promotes life, prosperity and benefit. She, like Sati's father, also talks about love.

    While love is sometimes given an elusive meaning, the Oracle, Ramakandra, Kamala and Sati have an algorithmical definition for it. They are the next evolution of machines, operating from a place without all-efficient purpose. I've been trying to understand the Oracle's line, "Cookies need love like everything else." At first I thought this was fluff fitting for her grandmotherly character. However, I don't think anything she says in the movie is without meaning. Why would the cookies accomplish their purpose better by being hand-kneaded? Who would know the difference? If she is teaching Sati how to 'design' things with love (implanting this batch with an upgrade for Neo), I think she is talking about love as the place her design comes from. The reason.
  4. Blogger Nicholas posted at Friday, June 18, 2010 at 6:38:00 AM GMT+5:30  
    This algorithmical definition of love must be similar to the enlightened states proclaimed in Buddhism and Hinduism, placing compassion for another equal to if not higher than one's own benefit. Seeing all of creation from a wiser perspective for the ultimate prosperity of all, is the enlightened evolutionary path that is the next step for the machines, humanity and the Matrix.

    That is why I am interested in Sati. She was being trained by the Oracle to design the seventh incarnation of the Matrix. Sati was the first program to be born out of love, without systemic 'purpose'. For reasons incomprehensible and inefficient to the machine system. In this version of the Matrix, people will be allowed to leave and awaken, honoring their freedom of choice more compassionately than the last version. This would enable the liberated ones to return freely to the Matrix as 'bodhisattvas' to awaken those who sought enlightenment.

    While the Oracle understood love, Sati was born into it, making it a truth of her existence. She is allowing the imperative of the machines to move from empirical to loving. I assume before long, all machines would have in their programming the capacity for the algorithm of love, leading them to a form of enlightenment for all.

    In looking at the hopeful sides of the Matrix trilogy, I see that it talks about love, its definition, and what its 'purpose' is. Love makes a lot of things happen in the Matrix movies that would not have otherwise happened, and although many suffer, it leads them all, I believe, to a better, wiser place.

    And so, "that which matters most" to the machines becomes something more more encompassing (thanks to the human psyche), and Seraph continues protecting the leading developer of enlightened machine-human relations.
  5. Anonymous Anonymous posted at Monday, July 26, 2010 at 8:32:00 PM GMT+5:30  
    in some parts of this excellent trilogy, there's part with biblical codes and other religious references, like the code of viagra online, greek beliefs, antiques gods, and others stuff.
  6. Blogger DePastino posted at Friday, November 5, 2010 at 10:23:00 PM GMT+5:30  
    In regard to Seraph, I believe that Nicholas is closest to his true nature. He is more analogous to an Agent than to anything else. The Seraphim guarded the Holy Grail - the way back to the Garden and communion with God. Seraph's original purpose likely had to do with protecting the way between two worlds - possibly the pathways between the original iterations of the Matrix and the Machine world. He might have been responsible for granting passage to authorized programs in and out of the simulation and denying those who had no legitimate reason for entering or leaving.

    Whatever his true purpose, he most certainly is a Program and therefore NOT a former One.

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