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14 Matrix Fan Theories That Will Have You Saying 'Whoa'

Updated May 27, 2020 144.7k votes 31.4k voters 2.1m views14 items

List RulesVote up The Matrix fan theories that blow your mind so hard you're going "Whoa" like Keanu.

The Matrix is arguably one of the greatest modern science fiction universes. In addition to the original trilogy of movies, there's a collection of short animated stories, a video game franchise, and comic books. It's little wonder dedicated fans still fervently watch the original trilogy and come up with The Matrix theories decades after the first film debuted in theaters. Given the complex mythology and symbolism present in the films, it makes sense some of these fan theories about The Matrix are kind of crazy. 

Most The Matrix conspiracy theories stem from the complicated plot and deep themes permeating the franchise. The second and third movies, some elements of which seem to contradict information provided in the original film, are a source of many of these theories; each spends a significant portion of its runtime diving deep into the philosophical underpinnings of the series (many would say at the expense of the quality of the films). And if the movies aren't enough, you've also got fan theories from The Matrix series.

That the Internet was first beginning its dominance of cultural discourse when the original Matrix trilogy came out meant viewers had the chance to discuss ideas about The Matrix mysteries online. This environment gave birth to some compelling fan theories that hope to explain some of the more confusing moments from the franchise. 

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  • 5

    The Machines Scorched The Sky

    The Animatrix and the other movies in the franchise make it clear humans were the ones who scorched the sky, in a final, desperate attempt to win their war with the machines (also Morpheus straight up says this is what happened in The Matrix).

    Redditor IAmBirdPerson believes this is unlikely to be the genuine account of what happened. According to the theory, it would make much more sense for the machines to block the sun. Having found alternative sources of power, they could destroy humanity’s access to warmth and food, whilst forcing humans underground. The machines could then simply rewrite history, suggesting to all those plugged into the Matrix that humans were responsible for the event.

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  • 6

    Agent Smith Is The One

    Much of the plot of The Matrix deals with whether Neo is the One. While he is certainly capable of exceptional feats and meets the criteria of a prophecy, many have noticed that a number of his traits are shared by Agent Smith.

    Consider this - Smith was born in the Matrix when Neo tried to destroy him, which makes Neo his creator in his second, more powerful iteration, which is intrinsic to the system, and can manipulate it at will. As the prophecy says:

    "When the Matrix was first built, there was a man born inside who had the ability to change whatever he wanted, to remake the Matrix as he saw fit... After he died the Oracle prophesized his return and that his coming would hail the destruction of the Matrix, end the war, bring freedom to our people."

    If Smith is the one, Neo is the father of the one. As this fan theory suggests, the Oracle deceived everyone so she could manipulate the system behind the scenes to her benefit. Because she guided events that led to Smith's rebirth as the One, she is his mother. 

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  • 7

    Neo’s Real World Powers Came About As Agent Smith Left The Matrix

    One of the most prominent themes in The Matrix trilogy is the intrinsic connection between Neo and Agent Smith, and what this means philosophically re: the necessity of binary forces for systemic stability. The pair appear to be direct opposites, even gaining new powers at the same time, such as when Agent Smith breaks free from his programming around when Neo realizes his potential as the one.

    A theory by Redditor agroom suggests the abilities Neo apparently gained to sense the sentinels and destroy them outside of the Matrix simulation came about because of Agent Smith. Smith, a rogue program, escapes the Matrix by possessing Bane when he's in the simulation. When Bane is jacked out of the simulation, Smith stays in him, and enters the real world. 

    As per this theory, when Agent Smith leaves the Matrix and takes his powers with him into the real world, he opens a channel by which Neo can take his powers out of the Matrix and use them in the real world. Because the two are connected. 

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  • 8

    Humanity Willingly Entered Into The Matrix And The Machines Are Looking After Them

    Redditor Examinus supposes. in a fan theory. humans weren't imprisoned in the Matrix, but willingly entered into it to escape a worse fate. Having exhausted the Earth's resources, they were left with only one choice – enter in a period of stasis in a computer simulation while tasking their machine servants with fixing the planet and protecting them. In this context, Neo, Morpheus, and the rest of humanity are actually more like a terrorist organization than the machines are battling against for the good of humanity as a whole.

    Do the humans who aren't in the Matrix know this, or are they being fed propaganda and fake history by a small contingent of leaders who refused to take part in this scheme? Are people really being used as batteries by machines, or is this part of the nefarious human propaganda machine? 

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