Was Agent Smith becoming the super-virus that he became planned, or at least expected by the architect? Or was he just a virus that randomly manifested?

I was unclear as to whether he was in any of the previous attempts of the matrix.

7 Answers 7


Virus Smith was both unexpected and unprecedented.

Smith was created when Neo destroyed his original program from inside. Smith himself speculated that perhaps their code got intermingled. So in order for a virus agent to have existed in a previous version of the Matrix, a previous version of the One should have terminated an agent program from within.

Evidence against this:

  1. The latest version of the One is more powerful that his predecessors. The Merovingian says "At least your predecessors showed some respect" and he was surprised to see Neo stopping bullets, a skill that the Merovingian apparently hadn't witnessed in the predecessors.

  2. This is the first version of the One who had a girlfriend who helped him discover his powers. He had more zest compared to the predecessors, who probably didn't have enough gusto to blow up an agent from the inside out.

  3. The Architect seems oblivious to Smith (who had even gotten as far as the white corridors that lead to the Architect's room) and continues to give Neo the same old speech. Only the Oracle sees Smith as significant.

So the other versions of the One probably did not kill any agents in a similar manner -- either they lacked the skill, the opportunity or the motivation. The Architect is unaware of such a possibility. So the most likely scenario is that this is the first incidence of a virus agent.


"Smith is Neo's negative, a result of The Matrix equation trying to balance itself". Yes, I suspect he would have been in the previous versions of the matrix, but wouldn't have been able to go viral to such an extent because the matrix would have been reset by then (all previous Neo's walked through the door on their right and reset the matrix instead of saving Trinity).

Yes, Agent Smith was planned to some degree. The Oracle helped the humans, which led to Neo choosing to save Trinity and stop the war. This wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for Neo's negotiation with "The Source". The Oracle knew all about this and took a risk to guide the humans and end the war. In the end of The Matrix Revolutions, humans were about to go extinct, but Neo stopped the war by defeating Smith and negotiating peace with the machines.

Since this all went according to The Oracle's plan, I believe Agent Smith was planned to a degree, and was probably in previous versions of The Matrix as well.


No, not insofar as his ultimate and complete assimilation of all entities within the matrix, programs and humans. Similar scenarios have occured, in the cases of a few of the more powerful programs, who are by all means "super beings" within the realm of the matrix.

There needs to be a distinction made between what humans, Morpheus/Neo and machines, Smith/The Oracle, consider powerful. Morpheus views what Neo is capable of as power, the ability to bend and break the rules within the confines of the matrix. The machines do not however see this as power, the machines see it as a glitch, an anomaly. What the machines perceive as true power is knowledge, to know what is, what was, and what comes next. This is why smith becomes more dangerous than any other program in the history of all the versions of the matrix. Smith knows the systems, he was designed as an intrinsic part of them. He is a trinity, he exists as program, machine, and eventually human. Smith's drive for knowledge is why he comes back, instead of following the protocol of deletion. He cant be deleted until he knows what happens with Neo, he is now obsessed with Mr. Anderson.

Smith becomes frustrated once overtaking the Oracle, and gaining her vision, for he now understands he hasn't destroyed the humans or beaten Neo, he has set them free. Smith is in fact the key to the humans liberation, his existence is the leverage the humans needed to break the cycle of repeating matrices. To avoid losing all the human crops, and therefore their source of energy, the machines are forced to cut a deal with Neo. Neo stops smith, and in return Zion is left alone and the humans are given a choice between a digital life and a physical one.

This action of self-sacrifice is what makes Neo the true "one", like no other version of him before. The other versions of the one did as they were told. Neo does not reintegrate into the system when the architect proclaims he must, he chooses Trinity, hes chooses to allow Smith to assimilate him, thereby re-inserting his anomalous code and balancing out the equation on Neo's terms. For one brief moment, the machines needed a mans help.


Yes. Smith is balancing neo in all iterations. This time neo got much more powerful so did smith. To a point not even machines could control him. But the Oracle knew it would have happened: she became more and more human, to the point she is risking machines' future in order to try making peace between humans and machines. So she let everything happening that way.

Eventually, machines did the same mistake humans did when they over powered machines and lost control of them: they have made the Oracle with the goal of studying and learning human behavior and she improved to a point she stands FOR humans more than machines... bringing eventually to human supremacy again? Let s hope to see it in matrix 4!

  • Do you have a source for this? Or is this headcanon?
    – amflare
    Dec 12, 2017 at 0:03

To a degree, yes, but, using the machine's terminology, the algorithms created some thing of an anomoly (Think of the n(x)=n/x "fragmented" and/or reversed demand parabolas, the one with 2 lines instead of one).

The 1st-4th "The Ones", as mentioned, solved themselves in the machine's equations, and reset the Matrix. This was alluded to in the Architects speech. While, Neo is not planned, the Agents are a response to this. If Neo had never existed, there will have been no need for Agents, since no one would be trying to reveal the truth about the matrix. In a sense, Smith was planned, like the rest of the Agents, for Neo and his squad.

It becomes clearer after multiple viewings that the Agents know what is going to happen in the beginning of the trilogy, as if it had happened multiple times before (4 to be precise, the second Matrix likely the birth of the first Agents). But due to human intuition and avoidance of analog reasoning (i.e. freedom of choice), the architect is unable to predict or prevent his Agent programs destruction or the human's escape success rates.

The hard part on answering this question shines to light. Did the Architect know in the end that the 6th The One would refuse to follow command prompts? No he did not, because of his final confessions about his concerns with the Rogue Agent program.

Having 2 values in an equation randomly assign their own values, for machines, would probably be like seperating 2 into nothing or trying to understand a value of infinite.

Okay, so about that parabola thing? The other 4 "instances" of matrices where Agents likely fought Neo reset before the point in the movie where Trinity WOULD be if she were there for Neo to want to go save her. The way that these Matrices end would explainable as seeing half a +/- quadratic parabola curve in the -x,-y portion of the graph. It's just half a graph, as the previous 5 matrices see the architect not allowing those instances to continue.

The final fight with Smith has never happened before since Smith had never existed as a Rogue Agent which means Smith would never have made it into the "real world" to discover his capabilities both in the "matrix" and in the "real world". The Matrix has always reset except for the 5th time (this is the first time Zion is not destroyed, and the first time that the Matrix has ever been assimilated as a source of power). That is very much like the part of the graph where the lines never touch 0 on any axis. They (Neo and Smith, both able to match each other's power like a variable existing on both sides of an equation) both just seem to go from powered up, to full power, to infinity without ever truly defeating one another.

So with all of these "newer" things going on in the matrix since Neo having willingly disobeyed the Architect by not going out of the door to the right due to the presence of Rogue Agent Smith's tampering with the rest of the Matrix, I have to say that Smith, as well as the rest of the Agents, were absolutely planned, as Neo, (not his existence, but rather his) becoming the one was planned. [Truthfully, Neo is accounted for, not planned.]

However, as Neo exists as the Variable to the equation (x), the equation then became about finding the right "variable" or the right "One". The right "One" as a variable, in this case the 5th, was necessary to the equation to produce a negative of himself, that would solve himself on the other side of the equation. Now

In this way, Rogue Agent Smith was the necessary solution to the equation, but Architect still hadn't solved for X (Neo or "The One"). In that, he was planned for and accidentally discovered. (Like when you plan to mine in a coal mine, you plan on retrieving ore, but you just don't plan on where you'll unearth it. You sort of intentionally accidentally find it as you dig).

HOWEVER, The architect was trying to solve for "The One" on only 1 side of the equation, and the results on the otherside of the = were not clear to him as he only could only understand the equation as he was solving it, (hence the deal cut to allow Neo into Machine City-). Eventually after the assimilation of the Oracle, he recognized he had two anomolies (Smith being the hidden variable present on his side of the equation). Well, they match each other well.

Time to cross them both out.

The Architect can explain to the 5th Neo how he got there, but cannot explain WHY he is there, indicating that he is not omnipotent, and that he just only has powers of observation over what is within his control parameters (Agents, surveillance drones, all programs, all humans in the crops).

So, NO. To that end, Rogue Agent Smith was not planned, but he, like the rest of the Agents, were intended to put an end to the anomoly by any means necessary.

TL;DR Yes, Agent Smith is apart of the Agent Programs, designed to solve the Anomoly by keeping knowledge secured and driving Neo to reset until a solution was found that could eliminate the Anomoly as an issue.

No, Rogue Agent Smith was not planned, and is the result of the Variable "Neo" having the correct "value" as a variable to produce his negative and cancel him out, balancing the equation and allowing the Matrix to continue existing.


The architect reassimulated Smith after M1. He had an idea that the Oracle was giving Neo certain advantages(the cookie) he saw his action as just balancing the equation so it would not be left uncheck. Neo needed an opposite just as he needed an opposite (The Oracle) opposite and negative you have to keep in mind the architect sees everything he heard Smith when he was talking to Morpheus in the interrogation room (same as neo) so he played a dangerous game as well

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    Hi could you please add an explanation where you got your answer from? Or at least expand on your answer? Right now it looks like pure conjecture, and it's difficult to see your argument.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jun 5, 2015 at 10:12

At the end of M1 we see Smith shattered to bits and pieces it's no way he survived not only did he disappear we see the Matrix absorb him. The agents are frightened they have never seen anything like that! There are only to entities in the Matrix trilogy that has the power to reinstate a program back into the Matrix, the Architect or the Source. I know it's not the Source because Smith did not return to the Source he said that in M2. The Architect reassimulated Smith when he reloaded the Matrix (M2).That was the difference Smith spoke of in M2! He doesn't know how it happened,all he knows is he is now a virus. Who has the power to place a virus in the Matrix? The Architect! WHY WOULD HE DO SUCH A THING? The Oracle's choice model~ he hates choices he still thinks she (Oracle) stumbled upon the answer he can't see past choice.Now we know the machines are evolving they are becoming more human (thanks to her) The Architect can't see past his purpose either balancing equations. He knows the Smith virus is dangerous but Neo is running around unchecked. Don't forget the sum he carries in his code but not just that in 6 months he's freeing more minds then the machines have seen in 6 years that's DANGEROUS for the machines-Smith became passionate in his quest to destroy Neo he can smell it and taste it now.When the Architect placed him in the reload he changed his purpose now this purpose is to destroy Neo and anyone that helps him and be a virus he's only doing what he's meant to do. The Oracle can see what the Architect cannot see the future. So now Neo has to choice the right door or their (Oracle and Architect) fun and games will destroy the Matrix.

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