The crew of the Nebuchadnezzar.
The protagonist of the film series and the Chosen One to liberate mankind from the virtual world where the machines have imprisoned them. His Matrix identity is Thomas A. Anderson, a software company office employee and computer hacker. He gets freed from The Matrix by Morpheus and his gang, and gradually learns about his destiny.
- The Ace: Morpheus might be the captain of the ship, but Neo is the star player.
- All-Loving Hero: Was designed by the Machines to behave this way so that he would save humanity and continue the status quo.
- AM/FM Characterization: In his first scene, he's listening to "Dissolved Girl" by Massive Attack on his headphones.
- Anti Anti Christ: As The Matrix Reloaded revealed, the purpose of The One was actually yet another method of machines controlling humanity in that basically The One would spare some people in Zion before Zion is destroyed and then the cycle continues, and there were several "The Ones" before Neo and his predecessor. However, Neo rejects this path, and ends up granting humanity true freedom after destroying Smith, and himself in the process.
- Anti-Hero: In the first movie he kills anyone who stands in his way, of course growing out of it to become The Hero.
- Badass Longcoat: The duster from the lobby scene in the first movie. In the sequels, part of his standard getup in the Matrix is a coat styled after a priest's cassock.
- Badass Normal: Even before he became The One, he was among the handful of those, if not the only person, who was actually successful in taking out an Agent empty-handed.
- Battle Couple: With Trinity.
- Big Good: Due to being The One.
- Character Death: At the end of Revolutions, he dies after destroying Agent Smith and freeing Zion.
- Character Development: Through his encounters, he learns that the conflict between humans and the machines is not so black and white after all.
- The Chosen One: The Prophecy makes him into one. Turns out it's just more manipulation by the machines.
- Cool Shades: A Matrix trademark.
- The Cracker: Was a hacker as a bluepill.
- Crucified Hero Shot: His dead body was positioned this way when being taken in Revolutions.
- Determinator: Why does he keep going? Because he can. Because he chooses to.
- Disability Superpower: In Revolutions. After the Smith-possessed Bane burns his eyes out with a severed power cable, he develops a sort-of Aura Vision, allowing him to "see" anything connected to the Source (which is everything) as a golden light. The result is that he actually sees way more than anybody else.
- Doesn't Like Guns: After the first film, he no longer uses firearms when jacked into The Matrix. Although, it's more down to the fact that he no longer needs them.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": "My name... Is Neo." However, Smith almost always calls him Mr. Anderson in the sequels and Neo doesn't say either of these to him.
- Eye Scream: He loses his eyes in Revolutions when the Smith-possessed Bane shoves a severed power cable in his face.
- Famous Last Words: "It was inevitable."
- Follow the White Rabbit: Neo is told to do this through his computer, and shortly after follows a girl with a white rabbit tattoo to Trinity, and then Morpheus, and beyond.
- Gone Horribly Right: According to the Architect, The One is explicitly designed to have an affinity for humanity. This is so that he/she will choose to save some humans rather than watch them all die when the cycle mentioned above repeats. However, Neo is such an All-Loving Hero and so in love with Trinity that he would rather risk everything to save everyone. Luckily for all concerned, Smith's threat gives Neo a major bargaining chip when negotiating with the Machines.
- Guns Akimbo: Neo's general preference in armed combat is this. The lobby scene in the first movie alone features Neo's almost exclusive use of several pairs of guns.
- Handicapped Badass: Has his eyes completely burned by Bane!Smith, but kills him anyway thanks to his machine-like vision.
- The Hero: Considered as "The One," after all.
- The Hero Dies: At the end of Revolutions, he commits a Heroic Sacrifice to stop Agent Smith.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He sacrifices himself to bring peace to Zion.
- Instant Expert: Justified since information can be downloaded directly into the brain.
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: He should've been more careful for what he wished to know about The Matrix. He gets his computer hacked, he's chased about and "bugged" by Agents. Shortly after being forcefully and painfully ejected from the Matrix, he learns the truth about the Matrix and completely loses it for a bit. He gets a little fun when learning how to bend the rules of virtual reality, but when Agent Smith and others put them to the ultimate test, he's bludgeoned silly before having the full mag of a Desert Eagle emptied into him. Even after getting Enlightenment Superpowers, he realizes they have a limit. He can hardly get a moment's peace with Trinity because of all the hero worship he gets. His purpose eludes him until he realizes that Smith, a fatalistic abomination, must kill him to save everyone in and out of the Matrix. He learned, literally, that You Can't Fight Fate, but you can trick it.
- Legacy Character: Zion legend had it that the guy before Neo was powerful enough to make the Matrix his own playground and freed the first of the rebels to found Zion. Upon death, he was prophesied to one day return and free all humans from the Matrix finally ending the war. It's later revealed in Reloaded there were actually 5 Ones prior to Neo. Each of Neo's predecessor's met with the Architect who gave them a Sadistic Choice of either letting all humans die with the Matrix crashing or selecting 23 people to found the new Zion after the previous one was destroyed. This was all part of a Vicious Cycle by the Machines of perpetually rebooting the Matrix to continue enslaving humanity. In other words, the "prophecy" the Zionites believed in of the One returning to save them happened 6 times.
- Messianic Archetype/Composite Character: While he is deliberately designed to be Jesus of their era, he also takes cues from Buddha, founder of Buddhism:
- He leaves all of his worldly possessions behind to go on a quest, in which at the end he comes upon a world-view epiphany (aka Obtains Enlightenment), then spends time as a humble teacher.
- Generally for all Ones, once he dies, his followers will know he will come back in another person's body via Reincarnation.
- Specific to Neo, he fights for everyone (machine and humans), and asks for peace instead of surrender.
- He also shares other things that Buddha and Jesus had in common, like being humble, but not a pushover.
- My Name Is Inigo Montoya: The above-mentioned line, after which he smashes Smith into the ceiling in the first show of his power as The One.
- Nice Guy: Even before he becomes The One. After all, what can be nicer than helping his landlady take out the garbage?
- Not in Kansas Anymore: When he first wakes up in reality. Right before this, Cypher warns him:Cypher: Buckle your seatbelt, Dorothy, 'cause Kansas is going bye-bye!
- One-Man Army: Fights against many Smith clones in the second film.
- The Power of Love: Used by Neo and Trinity to resurrect each other.
- Reality Warper: Played with and to a certain extent. He has abilities like this only when he's inside the Matrix as they derive from the Source and he only acquires them after he's officially revealed to be the One. However, the ending of Reloaded and the entirety of Revolutions shows a few of these abilities extend into the real world as well.
- Screw Destiny: See the spoiler at the top.
- Significant Anagram: Neo can be scrambled to be spelled as One, as in "The One."
- Spared by the Adaptation: The Path of Neo game, maybe.
- The Stoic: His voice is flat and his posture is collected.
- Superpower Lottery: He has super strength, super reflexes and agility, flight, and can even disable machines with his mind.
- Took a Level in Badass:
- Actually, several levels for that matter. Went from a rebellious geek who can't fight at all to a world-class martial artist in 10 hours, thanks to Neural Implanting.
- Taken even further when he chooses to be The One, gaining powers inside the Matrix, and further still, when he starts gaining outside of it.
- Walking Armory: In the first film, he carries a ridiculous number of guns underneath his Badass Longcoat in the Lobby Scene. Around a dozen by some counts.
- Walking Spoiler: A rare case in which the main character counts as this, but Neo being The One isn't revealed until near the end of the first film. Although, now it's It Was His Sled.
- What Beautiful Eyes!: Mocked by Cypher in the first film.
- "It's the question that drives us, Neo. It's the question that brought you here."
The second-in-command of the human resistance and Neo's eventual love interest. She is an amazing fighter and steals most of the fight scenes during the trilogy.
- Action Girl: Her introductory scene establishes her as a more than competent fighter.
- Action Girlfriend: She and Neo are a Battle Couple.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She usually keeps to herself and is unfettered.
- Badass Longcoat: She dons a trenchcoat in the Matrix, though she drops it later.
- Battle Couple: With Neo.
- Character Death: In Revolutions, she dies when she gets impaled by power cables after their hovercraft crashes.
- Cool Shades: A Matrix trademark.
- The Hero Dies: Not long before Neo does.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In Revolutions, she gets stabbed to death in the stomach and arm by power cables.
- Number Two: She is the first mate of the Nebuchadnezzar.
- Samus Is a Girl / There Are No Girls on the Internet: Neo believed Trinity to be a man before meeting her, and in The Animatrix, three other people refer to Trinity as "he" before they meet her. This is apparently quite common, yet they're not that surprised to learn Trinity is a she.Neo: Jesus, ummm...
Neo: Well, it's just, um... I thought you were a guy.
Trinity: *slight smile* Most guys do.
- Statuesque Stunner: She is taller than most of the men.
- [Verb] This!: Her "Dodge this." comment to the Agent she head-shoots in the first movie served as the former Trope Namer. She pulls a similar line on Persephone in Reloaded when Persephone asks to sample "the feeling of love" from Neo.Why don't you sample this instead? *points her gun at Persephone*
The most notorious terrorist in The Matrix world and the leader of the human resistance outside of Zion. He is the first who reveals the existence of The Matrix, and becomes Neo's mentor and teacher.
- The Artifact: In Revolutions, with his character arc having been completed, he spends most of the film as Nioboe's sidekick.
- Badass Baritone: With the deep, melodious voice of Laurence Fishburne, this is a given.
- Badass Longcoat: An ankle-length snakeskin duster, no less.
- Bald, Black Leader Guy: He is The Leader of the Nebuchadnezzar crew.
- Bald of Awesome: He is very badass.
- Big Good: Mainly in the first movie until he is usurped by Neo himself. As the most infamous terrorist in the Matrix, he's the main symbol and inspiration that people have in the fight against the Machines.
- Bring It: The most important thing he taught Neo? That awesome stance.
- The Captain: His official role is as the captain of the Nebuchadnezzar; everything else is his personal mission.
- Contemplate Our Navels: He's very prone to go into philosophical lectures.
- Cool Shades: Super-reflective pince nez sunglasses. They don't even have earpieces, only a nose bridge.
- Curb Stomp Cushion: Though Agent Smith easily beat Morpheus into submission in the first movie, Morpheus managed to get in a few good hits.
- A Father to His Men: The crew of the Neb would follow him to their deaths without hesitation.
- Heroic BSoD: He didn't take it very well when he learned everything he believed in was "another system of control."I have dreamed a dream... But now that dream has gone from me.
- It Has Been an Honor: "The honor is mine / is still mine."
- Meaningful Name: He wakes people up from the illusion world they live in. Morpheus is the Greek God of dreams.
- The Mentor: Fulfills every aspect except the "dying to save the hero" bit; the closest he comes to this is allowing himself to be captured so the others can escape. Neo refusing to leave him behind is one of his most important decisions.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Defied by Neo in the first movie, and it sticks that way. Morpheus is the only lead to make it through the entire trilogy.
- Mr. Exposition: He delivers several key Info Dumps to Neo in the first movie; The Oracle picks up the slack in the sequels.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Uses very big words during some of his talk.
- Single Tear: At the end of Revolutions when the war ended. In a way, the prophecy did come to pass.
- Supporting Leader: Despite being The Leader of the Nebuchadnezzar crew, Neo is The Hero of the story.
- There Is No Try: "Stop trying to hit me and hit me!"
- Took a Level in Badass: Went from getting his ass kicked by Smith in the first film to being able to fight evenly with Johnson, an upgraded agent, in Reloaded.
- Waistcoat of Style: At least in Reloaded.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: A rare heroic example.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Morpheus views every human who is unconsciously in The Matrix (which is 90% of mankind) as a potential enemy, and blasts them away without a second thought. Justified since, as he explains to Neo, anyone in that situation can become an Agent at any moment.
- The Worf Effect: When Neo and Morpheus first start training, Morpheus is shown handling him with ease for most of the fight and seems to be both skilled and insightful. Agent Smith establishes just how much of a threat he is when he effortlessly beats down Morpheus in a fight. Though Morpheus did state to Neo back in the training simulation that everyone who had stood their ground against an Agent (before then) died.
- Working with the Ex: He works the guns on the Mjolnir while Niobe pilots as they race to Zion in Revolutions.
A crew member of the Nebuchadnezzar. He's actually a spy for the Machines.
- All Love Is Unrequited: His feelings towards Trinity.
- Bald of Evil: Unlike the crew, who are shaved-headed in real life, Cypher is bald both in The Matrix and reality.
- Beard of Evil: He also has a natty goatee.
- Broken Pedestal: He's grown to despise his mentor Morpheus for taking him from the Matrix.
- Character Death: He dies when Tank fries him with a plasma gun.
- Cool Shades: A Matrix trademark.
- Deadpan Snarker: The snarkiest of the crew, definitely.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Despite killing three crew members, he doesn't get far in his traitorous rampage as Tank quickly annihilates him.
- FaceHeel Turn: He makes a deal with the Machines to doom Zion in exchange for being plugged back into the Matrix.
- Famous Last Words: "No! I don't believe it!"
- Karmic Death: He's fried alive by Tank after betraying the team, all after bragging that nothing would stop him from killing Neo.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Killed by a man he betrayed and tried to murder, after killing most of his team, just as he was bragging how nothing would stop him from killing Neo.
- Meaningful Name: Mr. Reagan. Doubles as a Take That! against the former US president.
- The Mole: He spies on the crew for the Agents.
- Rage Against the Mentor: He hates Morpheus for taking him from the Matrix and rants how if he had told him 'the truth,' Cypher would've told him to 'shove the redpill up his ass.'
- This Cannot Be!: To say he's just a wee bit horrified about Tank surviving and aiming a weapon at him is a bit of an understatement.
- "All I know is that ship needs an operator. And right now that operator's me."
The new operator on the Nebuchadnezzar, Link is Tank and Dozer's brother-in-law, married to their sister Zee. He provides comic relief for the films, often being bamboozled by Neo's powers.
- HeelFaith Turn: Link is given a religious pendant by his wife to bring him home, but he does not share her faith. By the end of the films, Link is so happy to have survived that he swears never to take it off.
- Muggle Best Friend: Link thinks Morpheus is crazy but is starting to believe in him because of Neo's powers.
- Playful Hacker: While he's just as serious about his Operator duties as Tank was, Link seems to have a more loose and carefree attitude overall.
- Plucky Comic Relief: His reactions to the events in the second film are hilarious.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: When Marcus Chong, who played Tank in the original film, left the film after a contract dispute it was established that operator Tank had died in between the first and second film. Link, who plays much the same role, suddenly appeared as his brother-in-law.
Tank is the Nebuchadnezzar's Operator, who oversees the team's operations in The Matrix and controls the various training simulations. He's very close to Dozer, his older brother.
- The Cracker: As the ship's Operator, he sets up the hack that gets the crew into The Matrix, then monitors the coding to let the team know what's going on and download hacks to them.
- Killed Offscreen: He's mentioned in the opening of Reloaded as having died, while he was definitely alive at the end of the original.
- Made of Iron: Tank stoically fights through the pain of his plasma burns to resume his Operator duties.
- Mission Control: In charge of putting Neo and the others inside The Matrix as well as getting them out.
- Oh, Crap!: During the "déjà vu" sequence when he realizes that their exits have blocked by newly-created brick walls and then says "Oh no" when they both realize Mouse is trapped in the safe house.
- Playful Hacker: He's effortlessly friendly to Neo and is thrilled at his potential of being The One. Neo starts to see some of that potential himself when Tank skips the red tape and uploads a ton of combat data for him to use in the Matrix.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Spoken to Cypher before killing the traitor."Believe it or not, you piece of shit, you're still gonna burn!"
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Marcus Chong's behavior behind the scenes was the reason Tank was removed from the sequels.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Tank dies at some point between the first and second movie from his injuries.
The pilot of the Nebuchadnezzar. He's very close to Tank, his younger brother.
- Ace Pilot: Dozer pilots the Nebuchadnezzar during the scene that introduces the Sentinels.
- Big Brother Instinct: Lunges after Cypher after he attacked Tank with the plasma gun.
- Big Guy Fatality Syndrome: He dies trying to stop Cypher from killing the crew after he returns from The Matrix and shoots Tank.
- Big "NO!": Gives one as his Famous Last Words as he lunches at Cypher, notifying Cypher to him and getting himself killed.
- Character Death: Cypher fries him with a plasma gun after shooting Tank.
- Genius Bruiser: He gives the explanation of the food goop's components during the breakfast scene.
- Military Moonshiner: He brews up some sort of liquor in his spare time."It's good for two things: de-greasing engines and killing brain cells."
- Oh, Crap!: When he sees that Cypher attacked Tank.
The youngest crew member of the Nebuchadnezzar and the programmer of the virtual reality training simulation program.
- Awesome, but Impractical: His last stand involved using two custom made fully automatic shotguns, one in each hand. The recoil of which causes him to not hit a single SWAT member before they take him down.
- Blood from the Mouth: As he is being riddled with bullets in the Matrix while screaming, his body is shown jerking and twitching in his chair, then going limp with blood running from his mouth.
- Character Death: He is gunned down by the police as they storm the building the crew is trying to get out of after the meeting with the Oracle. Notably, he's the first member of the group to die.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Despite being trapped, he chooses to go out in style fighting against the S.W.A.T. teams.
- Famous Last Words: "Oh, no."
- The Hedonist: His offer to hook Neo up with the woman in the red dress (along with revealing she's a character program he made), followed by his rebuttal of Switch and Apoc's teasing and line about denying impulses, hint at a rather perverted side to him. In the safe house within the Matrix, before the machines spring their trap and he gets killed by a SWAT team, he's seen looking at a centerfold of the woman in the red dress (there wearing red lingerie) while he waits for everyone else.
- Motor Mouth: He has a tendency to slip into this when excited, which is most of the scenes he's in.
- Multiple Gunshot Death: He gets repeatedly shot down by the police.
- Oh, Crap!: Mouse says "Oh, no." when he discovers he is trapped inside the safe house with no chance of escaping as the S.W.A.T. team is about to barge into it.
- Playful Hacker: Builds training programs and then alters them for... More fun purposes like inserting ladies in red.
- Plucky Comic Relief: That ends the second he gets backed into a corner and the armored personnel under the command of the Agent overwhelm him with their combined gunfire, leaving him dead as a doornail.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: The film gets darker after he gets offed.
A member of the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar. Unlike the mental projections of other crews, who usually wear dark clothes and sunglasses, Switch wore white clothes and yellow-orange, translucent sunglasses.
- Ambiguously Gay: Along with her masculine haircut and suit, her comment about Mouse being "the digital pimp, hard at work!" after he tries to hook Neo up with the woman in the red dress, along with Mouse referring to her and Apoc as "hypocrites," implies that she may have taken Mouse up on that very offer.
- Character Death: Cypher kills her shortly after Apoc, in the same manner.Switch: "Not like this... Not like this."
- Cool Shades: Wears yellow-orange sunset sunglasses.
- Deadpan Snarker: She's a lot more skeptical than the optimistic Trinity.
- Light Is Good: While most of the main characters sport black leather or dark suits in the Matrix, along with dark sunglasses, Switch stands out in a white suit and yellow-orange sunset shades, to match her shocking bleach-blonde hair.
- Weapon of Choice: A silver chrome Browning Hi-Power pistol.
A crew member of the Nebuchadnezzar.
- Character Death: He is the first to be killed by Cypher, who yanks his Matrix jack out of his head.
- The Stoic: He is the most cool and collected of the group, and seems to have little patience for Mouse's jibber-jabber.
- Take Up My Sword: The first gun Neo took possession of was Apoc's who handed it to him prior to Morpheus' capture. Cypher kills him later on.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Of all the characters of the Nebuchadnezzar to perish, the audience definitely knew him the least. He was a stoic, no-nonsense guy and that's it.