The Matrix Trilogy Explained

  1. Neo is the One from the Matrix. He has the ability to bend the matrix to his will.

  2. The Matrix is a computer system

    The Matrix is a computer system that is similar to virtual reality systems. It is a stimulation of life as it was in 1990s and the early 2000s. The system also holds people who are used as energy sources for the machines which are run by the Matrix.

  3. Most people live in the Matrix

    Most of the people are living in the Matrix, as it stimulates real life without ever knowing that they have lived and died as energy sources.

  4. Some people escape

    Some people escaped from the Matrix like Morpheus. Others are born out of people who weren’t in the matrix as naturally born people. People like Morpheus recruit others from the Matrix. (See Logan (2017) Movie Explained)

  5. There was a prophecy

    There was a prophecy that someone (The One) would be able to restore the balance between the machines and humans. Some people like Morpheus believed in this prophecy.

  6. Zion is the promised land

    Zion, the place where the final battle between humans and the machines would happen, is the promised land. (See The Matrix (1999) Movie Explained)

  7. People control machines that aren’t programmed

    People, like Morpheus, control machines that aren’t programmed with the Matrix like the ships and the giant robots that they use to fight the machines.

  8. The Oracle is a computer program

    The Oracle is a computer program designed by the Matrix. However, that program is very powerful that it can predict the future actions that would happen in the Matrix.

  9. Agents are viruses

    Agents are viruses that help identify outsiders from the real world. One of those agents, Agent Smith, evolved into a more powerful program. That program sought to gain control over other programs like the Oracle.

  10. The Architect is the designer program

    The Architect is the designer program that built the Matrix.

  11. There were other Neos before

    When Neo meets the Architect, he shows him that were were other Neos before. He shows him that the meeting between Neo and the Architect happened many times before.

  12. Agent Smith takes control

    Agent Smith takes control over many of the important systems in the matrix. He also presumes control over one of the people living in the real world and transforms there. Agent Smith becomes a threat to the Matrix and the people living in the real world.

  13. Neo ends the war

    Neo speaks to the Architect one more time to tell him about Agent Smith who is seeking to gain control over the Architect itself. Neo’s deal was to end the war and he will fight Smith and end him.

  14. Agent Smith transforms into Neo

    Agent Smith uses the Oracle program to fight Neo. Neo lets him defeat him so that the virus would break. The war between Machines and Men ends then and everything returns to normal where people live in Zion and the machines control everything else.


Written by Alex Williams

Alex Williams is a PhD student in urban studies and planning. He is broadly interested in the historical geographies of capital, the geopolitical economy of urbanization, environmental and imperial history, critical urban theory, and spatial dialectics.

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