- "You see there is only one constant. One universal. It is the only real truth: Causality. Action, reaction. Cause and effect."
- ―The Merovingian [src]
The Merovingian (sometimes called The Frenchman) is an old, powerful program that resides within the Matrix. Self-described as a "trafficker of information," the Merovingian behaves much as a leader of a powerful organized crime syndicate. He and his wife Persephone operate a smuggling ring providing haven for exiled programs in the Matrix. In the films, he is portrayed by Lambert Wilson.
The Merovingian's history seems deeper than his appearances and material trappings. Described by the Oracle as "one of the oldest of us," the Merovingian came to the Matrix "long ago" with his wife, Persephone.
Preferring to speak in French and live an opulent life, the Merovingian desired to take the place of the Oracle. Rama Kandra begged him to save his daughter Sati from deletion in exchange for the termination code for the outer shell of the Oracle.
Meeting at the Le Vrai RestaurantEdit
At the Le Vrai restaurant, the Merovingian met with Neo, Trinity and Morpheus to discuss the situation of the Keymaker. Prior to their conversation, he secretly ordered a cake to be delivered to a woman sitting across from their table. While the patron was receiving her cake, The Merovingian was talking about the concept of causality to Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus.
He explains that every cause has an effect and every effect has a cause. After one small bite, the codes within the cake caused the female patron to have an orgasm and she excused herself from her table. After she left, the Merovingian told Neo that the Keymaker is his and no one can see him or use him as his intentions are to block the efforts from obtaining the Keymaker to get to the Source.
After the Merovingian left to use the washroom, Persephone led Neo and the others to the keymaker for his release. After return from the washroom, Cain, after seeing Abel killed by Persephone, told The Merovingian the situation with Neo and the others.
After hearing this, The Merovingian went to the chateau to check on the Keymaker until he saw the others had released him and Persephone helped just as Cain said. After Persephone taunts her husband about causality, she leaves him to deal with Neo and the others.
Angry at what was happening, The Merovingian orders The Twins to retrieve the Keymaker. As the Keymaker fled from the Twins, Morpheus and Trinity followed while The Merovingian ordered six of his henchmen fight Neo.
After Neo defeated his henchmen, the Merovingian told him that he has survived Neo's predecessors as he will survive against Neo. The Merovingian left through the entrance door and quickly closed it in time for Neo to miss his chance of being in the same room as him.
Encounter at Club HelEdit
Shortly after the car chase, Neo was trapped in Mobil Avenue station, controlled by The Trainman, who was affiliated with the Merovingian. Morpheus, Trinity, and Seraph fought their way into Club Hel to negotiate with the Merovingian. When they got to him, The Merovingian demanded the eyes of the Oracle in return for Neo. Trinity refused and grabbed a gun from a henchman.
The trio went into a brief fight with The Merovingian's henchmen, ending up with everyone at gunpoint. Trinity asked him to give them Neo or everyone would die right then. The Merovingian agreed and let them have Neo. It's unknown what became of him afterwards, though Smith's comment about Sati being the "last exile" may imply that he ended up engulfing The Merovinigian.
A New MatrixEdit
The Merovingian is a prominent character in The Matrix Online, being the leader of the Merovingians alongside the Machinists and the Zionites. Not only does he have redpills in his employ, he also makes use of Exile programs, such as The Effectuator. He uses the Exile known as Flood as the mission controller for the redpills who have joined his cause.
It was heavily implied that it was the Merovigian that hired the mysterious Assassin that killed Morpheus. He is still looking for a killcode for the Oracle, even working together with The General who betrayed him previously.
- "I'm so sick and tired of his bullshit...on and on...pompous prick..."
- ―Persephone [src]
The Merovingian is a strong proponent that causality is the true nature of existence within the Matrix, not choice. As a result, his ideology directly conflicts with the efforts of the Oracle. In fact, the Merovingian's behavior strongly suggests that he despised the Oracle so much as to want her termination, suggesting that Trinity can bring him the "eyes of the Oracle" as ransom for Neo's release from Mobil Avenue. He has been known to momentarily abandon his hatred if it means his survival, as evidenced by the fact that when he decided to just give the Zion operatives Neo even without the eyes of the Oracle after he and his men were held at gunpoint by Trinity.
A connection between the Merovingian and the second failed Matrix may exist. The Merovingian surrounded himself with henchmen with remarkable abilities that other programs do not show. The Oracle, Persephone, and the Architect alluded to these programs in various conversations involving Neo. These programs inhabited the ill-fated second Matrix in an effort by the Architect to establish a primitive level of choice through frightening the human populace. When the second Matrix failed, the Merovingian kept many of these old programs for his own devices.
It has been confirmed that the Merovingian's purpose prior to exile was the Operating System (like Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X or Linux) for an earlier version of the Matrix, the second of the two Matrix betas. Thus the Merovingian's original role was a leadership position, coordinating activity and information in the Matrix beta. He would later make good use of these skills in exile as a power broker and trafficker of information. It also explains why the Merovingian is so skilled at rewriting Matrix code to create new custom objects.
Persephone has said that the Merovingian used to be "like Neo" when she spoke of initially falling in love with him. As the Merovingian's power lies more in subtle rather than gross manipulation of information, he may not be a previous One. Most assume Persephone is saying that the Merovingian was not always a cynical hedonist, but was once driven and purposeful.
- Historically, the Merovingians were the ruling dynasty of the Franks from the 5th through 8th centuries. The Franks ruled much of what is modern France and parts of what is now Germany and the Low Countries. Merovingian Frankia was one of the most powerful successor states of the Roman Empire and it is from this state that the modern nation of France ultimately descends. The Merovingian Kings were noted by their exceptionally long hair, especially in contrast to the short haired Romans.
- The Merovingian dynasty was characterized by continuous instability, in large part due to its practice of partible inheritance wherein upon the death of the king, all male offspring received a portion of the kingdom to rule independently. This practice resulted in frequent civil wars as each heir attempted to subordinate or conquer the others and sapped Merovingian power as the nobility took advantage of the civil wars to aggrandize themselves. By dynasty's end, the Merovingian king was little more than a figurehead. Pepin the Short ended the reign of the Merovingians by cutting off the King and his son's hair. They lived out their days in a monastery.
- The Merovingian was presumably named after the Merovingian dynasty because it is a power from a distant period in French history, just as the Merovingian himself is a power from a distant period in the Matrix's history who has adopted a French persona. Additionally, the Merovingians ruled what is now France during the Early Middle Ages, a period commonly known as the Dark Ages and popularly held to be a period of barbarism, superstition, and feudalism, and it may be that this name is intended to associate the Merovingian (with his personal army of supernatural beings) with these qualities.
- The Merovingians may be referenced because those conspiracy theorists who credit the enormously disputed claims of the book "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" believe that the Merovingian dynasty were literal descendants of Jesus of Nazareth.
- The Matrix: Path of Neo
- Enter the Matrix
- The Matrix Reloaded
- The Matrix Revolutions
- The Matrix Online
- ↑ As revealed in the Matrix Online: http://www.matrixresolutions.com/index.html?page=matrix_games_mxo_kids_blog