Merovingian (The Matrix)
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|The Matrix character|
|First appearance||The Matrix Reloaded|
|Created by||Wachowski Brothers|
|Portrayed by||Lambert Wilson (The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions)|
|Voiced by||Robin Atkin Downes (The Matrix: Path of Neo)|
The Merovingian (also known as The Frenchman) is a fictional character and a supporting antagonist of the films The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. He is portrayed by Lambert Wilson in both films and voiced by Robin Atkin Downes in The Matrix: Path of Neo. He also played a prominent role in The Matrix Online role-playing game.
The Merovingian provides a safe haven for exiled or obsolete programs in the Matrix, as an alternative to deletion. Being an exile himself, the Merovingian's services are not condoned by either the "Redpills" or the Machines, but they are overlooked unless in direct conflict with either of their goals.
There is not much revealed about the Merovingian's origin, but from what both he and the Oracle say, he was a program made to regulate behavior amongst the "Bluepills" and report back with results. After the collapse of the first Matrix, he became obsolete as the newer versions presented an illusion of choice to the hard-wired humans, causing the behavioral manipulation to be more indirect than the Merovingian's more straightforward methods. Instead of accepting deletion, he retreated into the programming of the Matrix, disguised as a human, and resolved to aid other programs who have become obsolete.
He is seen as a hero to exiled programs, and as an impulsive and selfish opportunist to others. He is disillusioned by the idea of choice amongst humans, which resulted in his program becoming obsolete in the Matrix, and, in a speech to Neo, Trinity and Morpheus, he relates that everything occurs due to cause and effect, derisively stating that there is no such thing as choice.
The Merovingian is named after the Merovingian dynasty of Frankish royalty. His wife Persephone is named after Persephone, the Greek goddess of renewal and companion of Hades, Greek god of the Underworld. The Merovingian has the role as the guardian of the virtual afterlife where exiled programs can seek refuge from deletion. He owns a nightclub named Club Hel, as a reference to the Nordic guardian of the afterlife, Hel.
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