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From the online chat session the Wachowskis held with their fans:

virtualMatrix: What is the significance of Neo eating the Oracle's cookie?

WachowskiBros: There was a piece cut out of the movie that explained the significance more. It's hard to explain.

I didn't find the said piece. Is it available online? What is it all about?

10
  • I've read both versions of the earliest scripts. There's nothing about the cookie beyond that scene.
    – Valorum
    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:04
  • 1
    I've seen some chatter on the Internet that the Oracles cookies and sweeties contain codes or directives for Neo to follow but I've never seen anything to back that up other than fan-speculation.
    – Valorum
    Aug 7, 2017 at 9:53
  • 19
    Only just realised that the Oracle is a computer program that knows things about people because she gives cookies to everyone she meets. Go me. Aug 7, 2017 at 9:56
  • 9
    He needed to have cookies enabled to access his true powers. Aug 7, 2017 at 11:19
  • 2
    And getting shot by Agent Smith and rebooted by Trinity reset his permissions, allowing the cookies to take effect :O Aug 7, 2017 at 15:00

2 Answers 2

2

There is no hint in the movie regarding the reality of the 'cookie'. All we can do is extrapolate.

Oracle’s cookie

In the Matrix universe, food items are often code injection tools. The red pill-blue pill semantics of Morpheus and the Merovingian's cake make it clear that food items are often used as hacking tools of the subject.

Let's recap the events leading up to the 'cookie'. Neo is brought to Oracle by Morpheus after his training. Oracle first impresses Neo by predicting the breaking of her vase. She tells him that being the ‘One’ is like being in love. She examines his face like a doctor. Then she proceeds to ask leading questions to Neo about whether he believes he is the ‘One’. When she successfully goads him into saying that he is not the ‘One’, she makes another prediction. Morpheus would try to save Neo’s life and one of them would die as a result. This choice would be Neo’s to make. When Neo’s face falls, she gives him a cookie to eat and assures him that eating it would make him feel better. She reminds him that he was in control of his own life.1

The invention of free will

Many of the events listed above have subtexts. This is what I see. The deployment of ‘free will’ in the Matrix is Oracle’s own invention. Later on in the movies, we see that the Oracle and the Architect are the two opposing forces in the Matrix. While the Architect is trying to control the Matrix centrally by making global rules, the Oracle is trying to control the Matrix in a decentralized way. The Oracle has given every human being in the Matrix a limited sense of free will, but they are still controlled by the Architect’s rules. This ‘limited free will’ was necessary to keep the human ‘crops’ from rejecting reality altogether and destroying themselves in the process. The Oracle wants a peaceful resolution to the machine human war, and thus is arming the human beings with free will. In addition to this, in every iteration of the Matrix the Oracle also has embedded the source code to reboot the Matrix in an individual called the One, giving him something like ‘sudo’ or ‘administrator rights’ or ‘absolute free will’.

Neo’s belief

I think that belief is the central theme of the Matrix movies. They are deeply religious in that sense. The Oracle has Morpheus convinced that he will find the One. It is belief that the Oracle tries to find in Neo when he first comes to her. She says that being the One is like being in love, you just know it in your core if it is true. Neo is like a blank slate when he comes to the Oracle. He knows nothing, and he believes in nothing. Perhaps this is what the Oracle wanted to verify in him. It is easier to teach somebody if they don’t have to unlearn somethings first. Having found him amenable to change, Oracle rightly judges him to be an upright and honest person (as he spoke truthfully about his ignorance). Every Matrix iteration has had the One, but when the time comes, the One has always chosen to reboot the Matrix against the destruction of Zion—until Neo. I think this crucial difference in Neo’s decision is what Oracle primed him for by the ‘cookie’.

Oracle’s pill

The decision about saving Zion against rebooting the Matrix was taken by Neo because of a few factors. The first was obviously his love for Trinity. The second was his belief in his own abilities as the ‘One’. All previous versions of the ‘One’ also had love interests but chose to reboot the Matrix. Why did Neo choose the other course?

Free will draws its strength from belief. The depth of his conviction would drive a person’s will to achieve what he believes. So it was important to strengthen Neo’s belief as he had ‘absolute free will’ in the Matrix.

In essence, the cookie was perhaps Oracle’s pill to strengthen his belief system, so that when he would eventually realize that he is the One, his self-belief would be much stronger than his previous iterations. Also perhaps the cookie was also a way to internalize in Neo that ‘being the One is like being in love’ because that is what makes the crucial difference in the end.

1 [Transcript - Matrix Fans]

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  • "food items are often code injection tools" - No, food items are a code injection tool once. And only seen inside a highly controlled environment.
    – Valorum
    Jun 2, 2019 at 9:46
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    @Valorum There are two documented cases of food items being used for code injection in the Matrix series. First is the Morpheus's blue pill-red pill case, and other is when the Merovingian uses a piece of cake to induce orgasm in a female. The highly controlled environment clause is also another debatable point. While Morpheus's case was controlled, Merovingian's case was perhaps not. Even if it was, the Oracle's kitchen is also then a controlled environment. Jun 2, 2019 at 14:03
  • I think almost everyting is code injection tools in the Matrix. :) @Valorum
    – Kinzle B
    Jun 3, 2019 at 0:48
  • @Valorum I agree to some extent, however, what did the Oracle say to Neo in the park? There is a program to govern the birds, the trees, the sun, the wind, etc... All those programs that are doing what they're supposed to you can't see, they are invisible. It's the ones that have gone rogue, she uses cases such as, "every time you hear stories of vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and angels", they are programs doing something they shouldn't be. Neo comes to the conclusion, "Programs hacking other programs." The Oracle replies, "They have their reasons". And offers him a piece of red candy. ... Nov 7, 2020 at 6:19
  • @Valorum ... Food is a specific use of code manipulation through and through... If you don't think so, there's another scene that you completely forgot... How about the scene with Cypher and Smith in the restaurant with the Steak? Or how about the scene with Mouse who claims, "how do the machines even know what foods taste like..." Then it was either Dozer or Tank, one of the two brothers who were never in the matrix, explain that the goop they were eating was nothing more than a mixture of important minerals that the body needs. Within the matrix food is code injection. Nov 7, 2020 at 6:22
-5

The only significance of the accepting the cookie is a symbol about how Neo doesn't accept the bullshit the oracle is telling.

The oracle says something like: "you are not 'the one'. Morfeo wont believe it. One of both will die. But don't worry, you don't believe in destiny, take a cookie and don't worry about all this".

So, he takes the cookie and is like "fuck the oracle, I make my own destiny"... and everything seems to be fine... until Morpheus is captured and he has to choose between his own life and a suicide mission. Ironically, in the middle of the suicide mission he finishes his training, starts believing, and becomes the one.

But the only significance of the cookie is a physical symbol of "I don't believe the crap the oracle is telling".

1
  • Do you have anything to back that up, or is it just your opinion?
    – Tim
    Oct 1, 2017 at 20:06

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