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The Merovingian has survived the previous iterations of the Matrix. However, in The Matrix Reloaded he refused to give up the Keymaker. He knows how important the Keymaker is to the life and death of the Matrix. Why would he still do it?

If the Matrix were to be destroyed, he would have no information to traffic and no programs to smuggle into or out of the Matrix. Since he desires so much for power, what good is it if there is nothing left to use his power?

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The Merovingian has a very specific objective. He wants "The Eyes of the Oracle" (literally her eyes but more figuratively the code that allows her to predict the future) and is holding onto the Keymaker as a bargaining chip, hoping to get the Zionese Rebels to do his dirty work in convincing her to hand them over, something that she might finally be willing to do given how close the Matrix is to collapsing.

Merovingian: Huh, huuuh. Always straight to business, eh Morpheus? Okay. I have something you want. To make a deal, you must have something I want. Yes? It so happens there is something I want. Something I've wanted ever since I first came here. It's said it cannot be taken. It can only be given.

Morpheus: What?

Merovingian: The eyes of the Oracle. [laughs] I have told you before there is no escaping the nature of the universe. It is that nature that has again brought you to me. Where some see coincidence, I see consequence. Where others see chance, I see cause. Bring me the eyes of the Oracle and I will give you back your savior. It seems a perfectly fair and manageable deal to me. Yes? No?

And while it's certainly true that a catastrophic collapse of the Matrix would damage him, he's evidently willing to take that risk, noting of course that it wouldn't result in his destruction as he has his own route in and out of the Matrix into the Machine World.

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  • Why didn't he ask for it during his first meet with Neo? In fact he didn't ask for anything. He could've asked for it in exchange for the Keymaker then. – Kinzle B Feb 2 '17 at 14:29
  • My theory is "The Eyes of the Oracle" are not his priority. He just wanted to taunt Morpheus by saying that. – Kinzle B Feb 2 '17 at 14:38
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    @KinzleB - Because he didn't have any leverage. He needs the Zionese and The Oracle to see the impending doom that not having the Keymaker will cause and to see just how close the Matrix is to collapse. If he just says to Neo "Oh, and I've go this guy and he's really important", Neo's response will be "Oh yeah?" followed by a shrug. – Valorum Feb 2 '17 at 14:40

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