The viewing audience at least isn't aware of predecessors until the Architect mentions it. When Neo mentioned it to Morpheus he believed so much in the One that he didn't believe Neo wasn't the first One.

So my question is, why didn't Neo ask who he was talking about? Did Neo think he was rambling nonsense to throw Neo off? Or did Neo think they were failed Ones?

  • I rather suspect that he wasn't listening. Or just assumed he meant other Zionese rebels – Valorum Aug 4 '17 at 19:18
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    The Merovingian didn't exactly give Neo a chance to ask a lot of questions. Neo probably thought the same thing the average audience member thought at the time -- that the Merovingian was talking about other rebels from Zion. – Null Aug 4 '17 at 19:47
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    The first time I watched the movie, I remember I assumed he meant the previous people Morpheus had unplugged, believing them to be The One... – tilley31 Aug 4 '17 at 20:01
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    Another thing to consider: what relevance is there to Neo for him to discover who his predecessors were? All that really matters is that there were other Ones and they all "decided" to merge back into the Source to continue the cycle of the Matrix. They're names and other actions are inconsequential. – Ellesedil Dec 8 '17 at 0:11

It went over his head

When Neo meets the Merovingian, he has had no prior inkling that there have been previous iterations of 'The One', or anything to do with the previous cycles of the Matrix, for that matter. As such, it simply went over his head.

You see, this meeting was the first time that Neo (and the viewers) had heard anything about the previous Ones, and to be honest, it even went over my head, when I first watched it.

You will note that the Merovingian scene occurred prior to the scene with the Architect. This may have been why Neo clued-in to the "others" so fast.

  • In an earlier version of the script there were more "The One" candidates. Neo was aware of them. MORPHEUS: You know now, that you had predecessors. NEO: Yes. I’ve heard things. MORPHEUS: What types of things? NEO That there were others, like me, who you thought were going to be special. But they ended up dead. – Valorum Jan 7 '18 at 21:54
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    @Valorum 'candidates' are different in this case though. – Möoz Jan 7 '18 at 22:06
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    Indeed. But if Neo thought that there were other "the one" candidates that came before him, he wouldn't necessarily realised that the Merovingian was referring to actual "The Ones" from previous iterations of the Matrix. – Valorum Jan 7 '18 at 22:17
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    @Valorum Ahh, I get it, it threw him off because he assumed it was about the prrior 'candidates'. Good point. – Möoz Jan 7 '18 at 23:06
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    Nothing would go over Neo's head. His reflexes are too fast, he'd catch it! – Mikey Mouse Feb 19 '18 at 16:48

Neo knows they are the 'Ones' from the first five "integral anomalies" as explained by the Architect between 1:55 and 2:15 in

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    How does this answer the question? Please clarify what you mean and provide a source to back up your assertion. – amflare Dec 7 '17 at 20:40
  • ^edited it so should be clearer – NaturesCreed Dec 8 '17 at 20:06
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    The Merovingian scene was prior to this, so Neo knew nothing about the 'predecessors' when the Merovingian mentioned it. – Möoz Jan 7 '18 at 21:29

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