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My name...is Neo.
Played By: Keanu Reeves
The protagonist of the series and the Chosen One to liberate mankind from the virtual world where the machines have imprisoned them. His real-world identity is Thomas Anderson, an office employee. He gets freed from the Matrix by Morpheus and his gang, and gradually learns about his destiny.
- Badass Longcoat: The duster from the lobby scene in the first movie. In the sequels, part of his standard getup in the Matrix is a coat styled after a priest's cassock.
- The Chosen One
- Cool Shades
- The Cracker: Was a hacker as a bluepill.
- Determinator: Why does he keep going? Because he can. Because he chooses to.
- Follow the White Rabbit: Neo follows a tattooed girl to Trinity, and then Morpheus, and beyond.
- The Hero
- Do Not Call Me Paul / That Man Is Dead: "My name... is Neo." However, Smith almost always calls him Mr. Anderson in the sequels and Neo doesn't say either of this to him.
- The Hero Dies: at the end of The Matrix Revolutions
- Heroic Sacrifice.
- Instant Expert: Justified since it is in the Matrix.
- The Messiah
- It also qualifies under Anti-Anti-Christ, as the Matrix Reloaded revealed that the purpose of The One was actually yet another method of machines controlling Humanity (basically the One would spare some people in Zion before Zion is destroyed and then the cycle continues), and there were The Ones before Neo and his predecessor. However, Neo actually rejects this path, and ends up granting humanity true freedom after destroying Smith, and himself in the process.
- My Name Is Inigo Montoya: The above-mentioned line, after which he smashes Smith into the ceiling in the first show of his power as The One.
- Not in Kansas Anymore: When he first wakes up in reality.
- One-Man Army: Fights against many Smith clones in the second film
- The Power of Love: Used by Neo and Trinity to resurrect each other.
- Screw Destiny: See The Messiah above.
- Spared by the Adaptation: The Path of Neo game, maybe.
- The Stoic: His voice is flat and his posture is collected.
- Superpower Lottery: He has super strength, super reflexes and agility, flight, and can destroy machines with his mind.
- Took a Level In Badass: Went from a geek who can't fight at all to a world-class martial-artist in 10 hours, thanks to Neural Implanting.
I'm going to enjoy watching you die, Mister Anderson.
Played By: Hugo Weaving
The antagonist of the series. He is an Agent, a program designed to protect the Matrix from redpills - humans who will try to reveal it to anyone that the Matrix is a false reality - and Exiles, programs who will endanger it. After being destroyed by Neo in the first film, Smith gains virus-like abilities and begins making endless copies of himself by taking over the bodies of the bluepills and even redpills.
- Affably Evil
- The Assimilator: After gaining virus powers he attacks others programs and assimilates them into his program and thereby creating copies of himself. His motive is ambigious and likely just expanding for the sake of expansion.
- Arch Enemy
- Ax Crazy: His plans, if they are even his own, as he hints that he doesn't even know why he's doing the things he does, essentially will result in the absolute destruction of Humanity, Machines, and the Matrix, and he has a psychopathic hatred of Neo.
- Berserk Button: Breaking his shades, or even simply forcing them off him by kicking him hard enough, apparently gets him enraged, given how he reacted in The Matrix and The Matrix Revolutions.
- Big Bad
- Catch Phrase: Mister Anderson.
- Cool Shades
- Dragon-in-Chief: To the Machines.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: This ultimately leads to his downfall. After defeating Neo, he asks why he still continues to fight, going into a long rant about how fighting for freedom and other morals is foolish and that love is something that only a human mind could invent. He angrily asks Neo why he insists on fighting, even though he has absolutely no chance at winning. Neo simple says, "Because I choose to." This makes Smith snap, mercilessly attacking Neo, and failing to realize that even though he can see the future he cannot understand it, making him just as blind to his fate as anyone else.
- Evil Counterpart: To Neo, and he acknowledges it himself.
- Evil Laugh: After he infected the Oracle and got her powers. It's quite creepy considering who he is most of the time.
- Fantastic Racism: Smith hates humans, as seen through his quote "Never send a human to do a machine's job."
- Government Agency of Fiction: He and other Agents act like this to the bluepills.
- Implacable Man: Like every other Agent, as long as you're in the Matrix, he will not stop until you're dead. Not even killing him is enough, because his personality can just possess another body.
- Irony: His "Humanity Is A Virus" speech vs what he becomes.
- Large Ham
- Me's a Crowd
- Mind Rape: He overwrites the brains of his victims, leaving them without personalities. On the other hand, the Machines have done this to most of the human race.
- Not Quite Dead: Destroyed by Neo in the first movie, but he came back in the second.
- Nietzsche Wannabe: Every thing he says could count as this. But most notably are his speeches in The Matrix to Morpheus; his resurrection speech in The Matrix Reloaded; and his rage-fueled rant in The Matrix Revolution.
- Omnicidal Maniac: He basically wants to destroy the Matrix and Machines, in addition to the humans. It's also hinted that he desired the destruction of the Matrix when interrogating Morpheus, or at least escape from it.
- One-Man Army: Literally, since he is a virus in a computer program.
- Pre-Explosion Glow: His various deaths.
- Removing the Earpiece: In the first film, he briefly removes it to confide in Morpheus how much he's come to hate humans (as opposed to simply performing his function like other Agents). He stops wearing it entirely in the sequels, and sends it to Neo to "thank" him for setting him free.
- Send in the Clones: "More!"
- Sinister Shades
- Smith Will Suffice: He's the Trope Namer himself.
- The Starscream: To the Machines.
- The Stoic
- Not So Stoic: He's the only Agent to ever show emotion...too bad it happens to be seething contempt for the human species.
- Villainous Breakdown: "Why, Mr. Anderson, why, WHY do you persist?!"
- The Virus
- Would Hurt a Child: "I'm not so bad...once you get to know me."
- Zombie Apocalypse: What Smith unleashes upon the world of the Matrix, from all the bluepills perspective.
It's the question that drives us, Neo. It's the question that brought you here.
Played By: Carrie-Ann Moss
The second-in-command of the human resistance and Neo's eventual love interest. She is an amazing fighter and steals most of the fight scenes during the trilogy.
- Action Girl
- Badass Longcoat
- Badass Normal
- Cool Shades
- The Hero Dies: Not long before Neo does.
- Samus Is a Girl: Neo believed Trinity to be a man before meeting her. Most guys do.
- In the Animatrix three other people refer Trinity as he before they meet her. This is apparently quite common.
- There Are No Girls on the Internet: What Neo thinks of her initially.
- Verb This: Former Trope Namer.
I'm trying to free your mind, Neo, but I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it.
Played By: Laurence Fishburne
The most notorious terrorist in the Matrix world. The leader of the human resistance outside of Zion. He is the first who reveals the existence of the Matrix, and becomes Neo's mentor and teacher.
- Badass Longcoat
- Badass Normal
- Bald Black Leader Guy
- Bald of Awesome
- Bring It: The most important thing he taught Neo? That awesome stance.
- The Captain
- Contemplate Our Navels: He's very prone to go into philosophical lectures.
- Cool Shades
- A Father to His Men: The crew of the Neb would follow him to their deaths without hesitation.
- Incoming Ham: Averted. His speech in the second film completely destroys his stoic attitude, although this is the only time he becomes a Large Ham.
- It Has Been an Honor: "The honor is mine / is still mine."
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Subverted. He's the only lead to make it through the entire trilogy.
- Mr. Exposition
- The Obi-Wan: Fulfills every aspect except the "dying to save the hero" bit; the closest he comes to this is allowing himself to be captured so the others can escape. Neo refusing to leave him behind is one of his most important decisions.
- There Is No Try: "Stop trying to hit me and hit me!"
- Waistcoat of Style: At least in Reloaded.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Morpheus views every human who is unconsciously in the Matrix (which is 90% of mankind) as a potential enemy, and blasts them away without a second thought.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: A rare heroic example
- Working with the Ex
We can never see past the choices we don't understand.
Played By: Gloria Foster & Mary Alice
An Exile, a "rogue program" in the Matrix, who helps the human resistance at times with her cryptic advice. She can see into the future, but prefers her visitors to make up "their own damn minds" in deciding their actions. The Architect refers to her as the mother of the Matrix. She is possessed by Smith in Revolutions, causing him to gain powers similar to Neo's, but this ultimately proves part of his defeat.
- Apron Matron
- Catch Phrase: "Make up your own damn mind."
- The Chess Mistress: A lot of it relied on her "pawns" behaving a certain way, but in the end she got exactly what she wanted.
- Cool Old Lady
- Deadpan Snarker
- Gambit Roulette: Being an oracle its more believable but she's still a computer program in a self-admitted less than perfect computer.
- Guile Hero
- Magic Negro: Her appearance in the virtual world.
- Manipulative Bitch: Even though her intentions are good. The last scene of the trilogy is her and the Architect commenting on the "dangerous game" she's played to end the war.
- The Omniscient
- The Nth Doctor: The Oracle had two actresses during the films, Gloria Foster died and was replaced with Mary Alice. The in-universe explanation was that Rama-Khandra gave the Merovingian the Oracle's shell codes, causing her to gain a new physical appearance.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: "Don't worry about the vase."
Ignorance is bliss.
Played By: Joe Pantoliano
A member of the human resistance against the Machines and part of Morpheus' gang. It was a nasty shock to him when he was jerked out of the Matrix and forced to live in the hellish real world, leading to him becoming the Sixth Ranger Traitor, willing to doom mankind in order to get back into the Matrix.
- All Love Is Unrequited: His feelings towards Trinity.
- Cool Shades
- Face Heel Turn
- Meaningful Name: Mr. Reagan.
- The Mole
- Sixth Ranger Traitor
Crew of the Nebuchadnezzer
The other crew members of the hovercraft the "Nebuchadnezzer", captained by Morpheus. Trinity, Cypher and Neo are members. Other crewmen are the brothers Tank and Dozer, bodyguards Apoc and Switch, and technician Mouse. The latter members are all executed by Cypher aside from Tank.
- Ace Pilot: Dozer is implied to be.
- Command Roster
- The Cracker: Tank works as the ship's Matrix operator and hacker.
- Killed Off for Real
- Playful Hacker: Mouse created the programme the Woman in the Red Dress.
- Put on a Bus: Tank in-between movies and is replaced by his brother-in-law Link.
- Red Shirt: Most of the crew become this trope during the film.
- Woman in White: Switch wears white in the Matrix.
The Elite Mooks of the Matrix, the Agents are suited men who act as the sentinels of the computer world, hunting down and killing all redpills or potential ones. All of them Cool Shades and earpieces symbolizing their connection to the machine mainframe. The Agents are Implacable Men and usually defy the physics of the Matrix as redpills do. They materialize in the Matrix by possessing the bodies of bluepills, and if killed they can just do it again.
- Cool Shades
- Elite Mooks
- Government Agency of Fiction
- Implacable Man: Neo has a hard time dealing with Smith and his two cohorts in the first film. This is subverted in the sequels since Neo now has superpowers.
- Respawning Enemies
The main antagonists of the series behind Agent Smith and all the other hostilities of the Matrix. After years of abuse at the hands of mankind, the early machines turned against their creators and eventually declared war on mankind, leaving them in ruin. They created the Matrix to use the humans as an energy source after mankind blocked out the sun, allowing the humans to live peaceful but fake lives in a computer system. The machines use Sentinels to patrol the underground passages to eliminate any redpills or Zion citizens. The machines eventually decide to destroy Zion and send an army of Sentinels to wipe it out. In the third film, Zion and the Machines make peace when Neo saves the Matrix from Agent Smith.
- AI Is a Crapshoot
- Cry for the Devil: How the machines were treated before their uprising was quite depressing. They even built their own civilization called Zero One, but their attempt to join the UN peacefully was downright rejected merely because they were economically better than mankind.
- Kill All Humans: For a time they wanted to do this, but changed their decision when they learnt humans could be used batteries.
- Killer Robot: The Sentinels are built to destroy human enemie
The Matrix Reloaded
What if all this, the prophecy, everything is bullshit?
Played By: Jada Pinkett-Smith
Captain of the Logos, Niobe is Morpheus' ex-girlfriend who now is dating Commander Locke. Not a believer in Morpheus' prophecy, Niobe does however believe in Neo and lends him her ship in the third film to reach the Machine City. She is an Ace Pilot, driving the Hammer hovercraft to Zion whilst under attack from an army of Sentinels.
- Ace Pilot
- Sassy Black Woman
- Working with the Ex: Niobe gets on well with Morpheus and it is implied they become a couple again at the end of the third film.
All I know is that ship needs an operator. And right now that operator's me.
Played By: Harold Perrineau
The new operator on the Nebuchadnezzer after Tank's off-screen death, Link is Tank and Dozer's brother-in-law, married to their sister Zee. He provides comic relief for the films, often being bamboozled by Neo's powers.
- Black Best Friend: To Morpheus and Neo.
- Comic Relief: His reactions to the events in second film are hilarious.
- Heel Faith Turn: Link is given a religious pendant by his wife to bring him home, but he does not share her faith. By the end of the films, Link is so happy to wear the necklace that he swears never to take it off.
- Muggle Best Friend
- Playful Hacker
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: When Marcus Chong, who played Tank in the original film, left the film after a contract dispute it was established that operator Tank had died in between the first and second film. Link, who plays much the same role, suddenly appeared as his brother-in-law.
Niobe's Number Two, Ghost is the best gunner in Zion. He was released from the Matrix on the same day as Trinity, and has unrequited feelings for her.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Ghost's love for Trinity is unrequited due to the latter being in love with Neo.
- The Gunslinger
- Like Brother and Sister: Ghost and Trinity see each other as siblings of sort since they were freed from the Matrix on the same day.
- Number Two: To Niobe.
Neo: What does he want?
Oracle: What do all men with power want? More power.
Played By: Lambert Wilson
A powerful Frenchman Exile. Considering himself a businessman, the Merovingian believes in "cause and effect", is very manipulative and enjoys the finer things in life. He has a wife named Persephone, who he often cheats on. He holds the Keymaker captive, but he is freed by Neo, Morpheus, Trinity and Persephone getting payback on him.
- Calling Your Bathroom Breaks: "Please, ma cherie, I have told you. We are all victims of causality. I drank too much wine, I must take a piss."
- Deadly Decadent Court
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: "Swearing in French is like wiping your ass with silk."
- French Jerk
- The Hedonist
- Just a Stupid Accent: In-universe even, since he's a program who just pretends to be French for fun.
- Man of Wealth and Taste
- Manipulative Bastard
- Non-Action Guy
- Power Perversion Potential: Reprograms a cake so that the woman who eats it gets an orgasm.
- Sissy Villain
- Camp Straight: As far as we know.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife Whom he still neglects and cheats on.
Cause and Effect, my love.
Played By: Monica Bellucci
The Merovigian's wife, Persephone is tired of her husband's shenanigans and affairs with other women, prompting her to aid Neo to free the Keymaker.
- Ms. Fanservice: See her outfits and seductive demeanour.
- The Power of Love: Persephone convinces the Merovingian to surrender Neo, acknowledging how far Trinity will go to rescue her lover.
- True Love's Kiss: Persephone allows Neo to see the Keymaker if he kisses her like he kisses Trinity. He seems to enjoy it a lot.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife
- Woman Scorned
What do you think I am - human?
Played By: Helmut Bakaitis
The program that created and acts as maintainer of the Matrix. Aside from that, it is never clearly explained who or what he really is, or if he and the giant machine in that Neo makes a deal with at the end of Revolutions are one and the same.
- Clock King
- Man in White: His appearance in the virtual world.
- Mr. Exposition
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: To an extreme. He's not quite as bad during his appearance in the third movie, though.
- Waistcoat of Style
- The Wizard Who Did It
An exiled program who appears as a middle-aged Asian man. He carries numerous keys that allow him access to the backdoors and secret passages of the Matrix. Able to unlock a key to the Architect's chamber, the Keymaker is imprisoned by the Merovingian until Neo and co. rescue him. He is gunned down by the numerous Agent Smiths.
- Badass Grandpa: The Keymaker is pretty sturdy, surviving the whole car crash sequence without a scratch despite being attacked by Agents, the Twins, cops, and flung around like a toy.
- Cool Key: Take your pick. He's got a room full of them.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep"
- Heroic Sacrifice: Gunned down by Smith, although he claims it was meant to be.
- Key Under the Doormat: The physical incarnation.
- Master of Unlocking
- Skeleton Key
You do not truly know someone until you fight them.
The Oracle's bodyguard, appearing as a soft-spoken Asian man with kung fu powers. He once worked for the Merovingian, and had a few run-ins with Smith back when the latter was still part of the system.
- Apologetic Attacker: Whenever he fights someone to make sure they are who they say they are, he apologises in advance.
- Bodyguard Betrayal: He betrayed the Merovingian to work for the Oracle.
- Lightning Bruiser
- Master of Unlocking: Can access the backdoors of the Matrix like the Keymaker.
- Meditation Powerup
A duo of identical programs who work for the Merovingian. They can turn into ghost-like forms and pass through solid objects.
- Creepy Twins
- Evil Albino
- Improbable Weapon User: Straight razors!
- Intangible Man
- Man in White
- That Makes Me Feel Angry
"We are getting aggravated."
"Yes, we are."
- Third Person Person: They refer to themselves as "we" since they are identical programs.
- Those Two Bad Guys
- Waistcoat of Style
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The Twins are last seen being sent flying into the air by Morpheus after he owns their car, but it is unknown if they are alive or dead. The Matrix Online revived them, whilst other sources claim they died in the second film.
The head of Zion's defensive forces, Commander Locke is quite angry a lot of the time but wants nothing more than to defend Zion from the Machines, no matter the cost. He is in a relationship with Niobe, expanding on his fued with Morpheus further.
- The Brigadier: He strongly disbelieves in Morpheus' belief in the Oracle's prophecy.
- Four-Star Badass
- General Ripper: He claims he would be willing to put a gun into the hands of everyone in Zion to take down the Machines.
- Considering what's in store for the humans if the Machines win, it's somewhat understandable why he has that attitude.
- That's an Order: Often uses this to get his commands understood.
- A Mech by Any Other Name: Mifune's army consists of armoured personnel unit machines.
- And I Must Scream: Captain Mifune is swamped by the Machine army, and dies with his face sliced and diced.
- Battle Cry: "KNUCKLE UP!"
- The Captain
- Number Two: To Captain Locke.
- Passing the Torch: To Kid to open Zion's doors for the Hammer to arrive.
- Rousing Speech: Mifune's speech to his APU troops ("If we have to give these bastards our lives, we give them HELL before me do!")
A young redpill who was freed from the Matrix by Neo and of his own will. Now a Tagalong Kid, Kid deeply believes in Neo's ability to save mankind and is his biggest supporter. He is a bit of a Scrappy, but Took a Level In Badass in the third film to defend Zion.
- Driven to Suicide: His "death" in the Animatrix story.
- Tagalong Kid
- Took a Level In Badass: Took up Captain Mifune's APU to blast apart Zion's sealed doors to allow the Hammer to enter.
The Matrix Revolutions
A redpill who is killed and possessed by Agent Smith in Reloaded. In the real world, the possessed Bane physically harms himself and seeks mankind's destruction. During the films he uses an EMP to disable a small fleet of hovercraft, preventing Zion's EMP counterattack and allowing the five ships to be destroyed, then attacking Neo and Trinity aboard the Logos, blinding Neo, but he (or at least the Smith code possessing him) is then decapitated by the blind man.
- Demonic Possession
- Eye Scream: What he does to Neo.
- Face Heel Turn: Not of his own choice.
- Fantastic Racism
- Kick the Dog: Does this to Neo and mankind throughout the films.
- Manipulative Bastard: Bane gains Smith's intelligence and deceit.
- Off with His Head: At the very least the Smith code possessing Bane suffered this trope.
Captain of the Hammer, Rolan is a grouchy and cynical man who disbelieves in the One and Neo's ability to stop the war. He has a tendency to say "Goddamn" a lot.
- Ascended Extra: In The Matrix Reloaded, he only appears in the opening and ending scenes. He becomes a supporting character in the third film.
- The Captain
- The Cynic
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Verbal Tic: "Goddamn!"
Rama-Khandra, Kamala and Sati
A family of exiled programs, Rama-Khandra and Kamala created Sati out of love but are forced to leave her in the Matrix with the Oracle, as she serves no purpose to the Machines. Going to the Merovingian for help, Rama-Khandra gives him the Oracle's shell codes, causing her to change her appearance. They meet Neo in Mobil Avenue and are taken by the Trainman to the Matrix. Rama-Khandra and Kamala return to the Machine City.
- Daddy's Girl: Sati.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Rama-Khandra appears briefly in the second film as Neo and co. enter the Merovingian's restaurant.
- Elemental Baggage: Sati can alter the weather in the Matrix.
- Mama Bear: Kamala.
- One-Scene Wonder
- Papa Wolf: Rama-Khandra.
- Put On A Train
A program designed to smuggle exiles in and out of the Matrix. Appearing as a dirty tramp-like man, the Trainman can teleport of sorts by leaping in the paths of train. He controls Mobil Avenue and works for the Merovingian.
- A God Am I: Gives one of these speeches while kicking the crap out of Neo in his train station, as he is all-powerful in there.
- Clock King: Knows exactly when trains in the Matrix are due, to the extent of being able to blindly leap in front of them to lose pursuers.
- Cool Train
- Early-Bird Cameo: He first shows up in a brief cutscene in Enter the Matrix.
Seventy-two hours... That's exactly how long Zion lasted last time...
- Not So Harmless: He might look like a homeless bum, but within his train station, he can do whatever he wants.
- Railroad Tracks of Doom
The protagonist of Beyond. She is a normal teenage girl who loses her cat Yuki one day and goes out into the city to find it. She ends up in a ruined house that contains a glitch in the Matrix, which bends the laws of reality.
- A Glitch in the Matrix: Yoko's story.
- Haunted House: Her plot revolves around one.
- Naive Everygirl
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Yoko's hair is dyed both red and blue.
The protagonist of A Detective Story. Ash is a private detective hired by the Agents to locate Trinity. He takes on the case after receiving a sum of $800,000 in his bank account, and despite the horrid fates of all the other detectives that attempted it before.
- Deadpan Snarker: Both in his monologue and out loud.
- Eye Scream: Unlike Neo, Ash had his bug implanted here (in his left). Trinity removes it with a special device, somehow without destroying his eye in the process, but it is still terrifying.
- Face Death with Dignity: The last we see of him, he is critically wounded in a train car and surrounded by three Agents who are only moments away from shooting him to death. What does he do? He calmly points his revolver at them, and lights a cigarette.
- Last-Name Basis: We never get his first name.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Has a fluffy cat named Dinah he keeps despite being broke.
- Private Detective
- Private Eye Monologue
- Shout-Out: He names several detectives from radio shows in the 1940's as his influence, adding to the Schizo-Tech setting.
- Smoking Is Cool
- We Hardly Knew Ye
- Vague Age: The voice actors, combined with the animation, lend themselves to this. While Yoko's age is clearer and the Kid's is almost stated, it's not clear for Ash.