Seraph (The Matrix)
|The Matrix character|
|First appearance||The Matrix Reloaded|
|Created by||Wachowski Brothers|
|Portrayed by||Collin Chou|
|Title||Guardian of the Oracle|
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Seraph is the name of a fictional character in the films The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. He is described as the personification of a sophisticated challenge-handshake authentication protocol which guards the Oracle. He is portrayed by Collin Chou. As a challenge handshake authentication protocol, Seraph is effectively a login screen that fights the user to authenticate their identity.
The role was initially offered to Michelle Yeoh, but she declined due to a scheduling conflict. The character was changed to a male, with Jet Li being offered a role. As Li declined the role, Chou signed on.
The Matrix Trilogy
In The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, Seraph is seen acting as a "guardian angel" of the Oracle. He refers to himself several times as "Seraph, Guardian of the Oracle", but in actuality he has held this position since long before the time frame in which the first film takes place. We also learn from a scene later in the film that Agent Smith has tried to hunt him before, but that Seraph confounded him in these attempts.
Over the course of the Reloaded and Revolutions plot arcs, he has three brief altercations with warriors of Zion. The first is with Ballard, which he stages in order to get to know him; the second, with Neo, to prove he is the One. The third takes place in the closing stages of Enter the Matrix, after the conclusion of Reloaded but before the beginning of Revolutions. Seraph summons either Niobe or her First Mate Ghost to meet the Oracle. Whoever he summons, he first tests that person with another battle, in order to "test his/her heart's resolve" (or, more technically, a Challenge-response authentication).
In Revolutions, Trinity and Morpheus meet with the Oracle so that she can help them locate Neo. She explains that he lies within a place that is neither the Matrix nor the Machine world: a construct created by the Trainman, who works for the Merovingian. Seraph leads Morpheus and Trinity into the Megacity's subway system in search of the Trainman, but he eludes them in a foot chase and exchange of gunfire. The three then track down the Merovingian at his decadent nightclub, Club Hel.
During the assault on Hel's gates, Seraph is referred as "wingless", by one of the guards and the Merovingian refers to him as "his protégé". The three make their way to the club and defeat a number of the Merovingian's guards. The Merovingian calls him the "Prodigal Child" returning and "Judas", suggesting that Seraph betrayed the Merovingian to serve the Oracle. He also calls Seraph "L'ange sans ses ailes", which is French for "The angel without its wings."
Later, Seraph tries to flee with Sati, a program seeking refuge in the Matrix, from the increasingly powerful Smith. In due course, Smith catches up to them. Seraph mentions that he has defeated Smith in the past; nonetheless, Smith assimilates them and the Oracle, gaining her powers of precognition, adding three more copies of himself to his growing collective of Smiths.
Upon Smith's destruction at Neo's hands, all the programs and minds that Smith has infiltrated are freed from his influence, including Seraph's. He meets the Oracle in a park as Sati creates a beautiful sunrise in Neo's honor.
At this time, Seraph's alignment is uncertain. In The Matrix Online, he claims he isn't allied with any of the three Factions, that he protects the Oracle and Sati - and that he will use force to protect them if need be. On August 13, 2007, it was revealed that Seraph had been an Agent of the first iteration of the Matrix (the Seraphim), who resembled angels. He had ended up in the employment of the Merovingian, where he had remained for some time. After an unknown period of being an enforcer for him, he had rebelled, and had been tortured, his wings removed. It has not been revealed how he escaped.
His skills as a warrior are unmatched by any one in the Matrix, considering he was originally an Agent himself, along with the super strength and speed that comes with that purpose. With the exception of Neo, there is no known entity in Matrix whom he could not defeat in a one-on-one confrontation. Despite not having his wings, Seraph is still able to hyperjump beyond the range of many exiles and red pills.
In Chapter 6.3, Sati has been kidnapped by the General's commandos after a lengthy observation, with Seraph attempting to rescue her, only to end up falling into the river. In Chapter 7.1, it was revealed that Seraph has managed to swim out of the river, but has been altered as a result of the disposal of the cheat codes of the Unlimited chapter by Agents into the Aqueduct. He attacked various red pills and blue pills, absorbing, altering, or deleting something within their code. This has recently been revealed to be releasing the attacked individuals from an overwritten personality by the Machines, much like Agent Smith overwrote Bane and others in Reloaded and Revolutions. His most significant target was Cryptos, leader of the Cypherite faction, in which he unsuccessfully removed over a year's worth of reprogramming. Cryptos eventually settled into a mixture of his former, radical anti-Machine personality and his calmer, passive self.
Another side effect of the polluted code bath Seraph took was that he could detect the General's Elite Commandos, despite their suits that "cloaked" them within the Matrix code against scans. Zion used this new-found ability to track down and re-capture Sati, who promptly returned the rapidly deteriorating weather systems to their normal states (the green-tinted skies scarred from the Unlimited incident and Beirne's continued existence). Afterwards, Seraph returned to his normal duties. Shortly before the Oracle's murder at the hands of Halborne, Seraph and Sati went into hiding in a Construct.
Seraph is a biblical allusion to the first of nine orders of angels, the Seraphim (singular Seraph). This allusion is also evidenced by the fire-like appearance of Seraph when Neo sees him in his coded form. It is also hinted when the Merovingian's guards state that he is "wingless." The word 'seraph' comes from the Hebrew word saraph meaning 'burning one'.