|Portrayer|| Lambert Wilson (The Matrix Reloaded/The Matrix Revolutions)|
Maurice LaMarche (The Matrix: The Path of Neo)
The Merovingian, also known as the Frenchman is a fictional character in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, portrayed by Lambert Wilson in both films. He also plays a prominent role in the MMORPG The Matrix Online, often in conflict with Zion, the Machines, and occasionally other Exile groups as well.
Character overview Edit
The Merovingian is a rogue computer program created within the Matrix. As one of the few entities able to directly manipulate the code which creates the Matrix, he is that program's unofficial power broker. While technically a sophisticated program, his persona is that of a mannered French bon-vivant, however with a definite patina of vulgarity, which he demonstrates with some very coarse language in French. He enjoys fine attire, scintillating banter, and carnal pleasures. He is married to Persephone, a beautiful young woman who resents his philandering. The Merovingian is the leader of a group of Exiles, and employs The Twins and others as his henchmen. He also holds the Keymaker prisoner, and controls the Trainman.
As revealed in The Matrix Revolutions, the purpose of the Merovingian is to control the Exiles from the machine world, eerily mirroring how the city of Zion is used to unite human exiles from the Matrix. His wife Persephone mentions his henchmen coming from an "older" version of the Matrix; as the Architect notes upon meeting Neo in the second film, the second design of the Matrix was constructed so as to reflect the "varying grotesqueries" of human nature. This might very well have given rise to creatures such as vampires, werewolves, ghosts and demons; the selfsame creatures which the Oracle mentions as being anomalies within the system. Due to his role as keeper of such dissatisfied programs, the Merovingian has many such creatures in his employ.
Although he may own several other institutions and businesses, in the films he is only portrayed in two of them; the first being an upper-class restaurant named Le Vrai (meaning The True or The One Who is True in French), and second being a rave club named Club Hel. His home is also presented as an elaborate French château, which is decorated with busts of Clovis I, 481 – 511, the first of the Merovingian kings, and numerous medieval weapons from around the world.
Powers and abilities Edit
While the Oracle (as her name suggests) is endowed with foresight, the Merovingian is endowed with hindsight. Or restated, the Oracle's gift is inductive reasoning, whereas the Merovingian's strength is deductive reasoning. This explains why the Merovingian's worldview is based upon causality and the reason that throughout The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions he is interested in why or how events unfold. Like all sentient programs within the Matrix (and the Machines in the real world), the Merovingian is a determinist, which is the basis for his dissertation on causality being the nature of the universe. Due to the conflicting nature between himself and the Oracle, the Merovingian decries her as a "fortune teller"; yet reveals in the third film that he secretly longs for "the eyes of the Oracle", which he believes would allow him fantastic powers of precognition.
The Merovingian is a hedonist who holds the nihilistic belief that every decision people make has already been made for them by fate and by effect life in itself is pointless. He therefore determines to simply enjoy himself through the accumulation of power and the enjoyment of carnal pleasure.
The Merovingian believes that the person who holds the most power is the person who understands why the current state is what it is (or how events unfolded to their current state). His deductive ability or hindsight ability also afflicts him with hindsight bias and so he is thus arrogant and purports to be all-knowing. He holds the Oracle in contempt but secretly envies her power.
Cultural references Edit
The Merovingian is named after the Merovingian dynasty of Frankish royalty. He is evidently based on the archetype of the death god found in many world mythologies and is also somewhat akin to a satanic character. This is shown by his ownership over a nightclub called Club Hel, Hel being the name of the Underworld in Scandinavian myth and also being the source of the English word "Hell", thus alluding to both the death-god and Satan aspects of his persona. Both are further enhanced by his control over dark creatures such as vampires and werewolves among other demons. It is also worth noting that Persephone, his wife, is named after the wife of Hades, the God of Death in Greek mythology.
In The Matrix Online, it has been revealed by an Exile character called "the General" (not all Exile programs are beholden to the Merovingian) that the Merovingian was originally an Operating System in purpose. In at least one Live Event, the Merovingian has confirmed the General's assertion.
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