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This is a follow up to this question: Why is Seraph gold?

The accepted answer to the related question above concludes that Seraph appears as gold code when Neo first meets him because he is somehow a "hardware" machine plugged into the matrix, rather than just being a "software" program like those with green code.

I want to better understand what that accepted answer proposes, hence my question is: besides the gold code, what evidence is there for/against believing that Seraph is a hardware machine plugged into the Matrix vs. that he is a software program like, say, the agents?

I am interested in understanding why it makes sense to consider Seraph to be hardware as opposed to software with stronger reasoning than just "colour", which could have been a stylistic choice for any other reason (e.g. as per DavidS's comment on the linked question, or simply that gold represents how angelic Seraph is, or maybe even just to make the audience go "Huh? Who's this?", who knows?).

In other words, if the movie never showed Seraph's gold code, would we have any other reason to suspect that he has hardware rather than being entirely software like the other non-human characters we meet inside the Matrix?


This question is not just "No seriously, why is Seraph gold? I don't like that other answer", since it's not that I don't like Null's answer; it's a reasonable conclusion to draw. I also believe that other explanations as to why Seraph's code is gold should belong on that other Q&A, not in a new Q&A. I'm just looking for non-colour-related evidence to explain this aspect of Seraph's nature, even if that answer is "there isn't any further evidence; gold code is all we've got to speculate on".

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In the original screenplay, Seraph is described thusly.

Cautiously, Neo slides open the only door there is, revealing a man sitting cross-legged, bathed in the rays of afternoon light, sipping tea. His name is Seraph.

NEO: Hello?

In the code world, Neo sees his true form; sitting Buddha-like in the surrounding swirl of code, a being of pure liquid light contained by a web of Matrix code that is written in the negative or rather with the absence of light.

Neo goes on to accuse the Oracle (and Seraph) of being software, a charge which the Oracle fails to deny.

NEO: If I had to guess, I'd say you're a program, from the machine world. Some kind of software.

He glances at Seraph who stands guard near the door.

NEO (CONT’D): So is he.

ORACLE: So far, so good.

No part of his description indicates that he has a machine body although the Oracle doesn't deny that they come from the machine world (e.g. the programming that controls the Matrix).

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I'm not aware of anything. I agree with Valorum's answer regarding what the film(s) and script make fairly clear.

Like much speculation on the wiki, I can also think of reasons to be skeptical of it; perhaps those are also of use here?

  1. Neo also "sees" "Smith", after Bane blinds him during their fight midway through the third movie. Bane/Smith is clearly not hardware, here. It's not obvious these presentations are the same. Smith looks more like fire, here. I'm not sure we should interpret them as the same thing--but if the color motif is intentional + significant, it's proponents still need to square this scene with it.

  2. Neo is, we are frequently reminded, on a journey/path. He is constantly growing. It's not a given that he would have seen Seraph in gold if he'd encountered him in the first film.

  3. Neo might be seeing a manifestation of his connection to "the Source". I'm not sure if this makes sense, but I mean it in some weird/recursive ways, like: he is seeing himself and he is seeing his own power).

    As the Oracle tells Neo when he asks how he disconnected his mind and stopped the Sentinels in the third film:

    The power of the One extends beyond this world. It reaches from here all the way back to where it came from... The Source. That's what you felt when you touched those Sentinels. But you weren't ready for it.

    The quote above along with the plot arc of the rest of the third film makes it hard not to conclude that the source is in (or is) the Machine city (world?). There's a symmetry between this and the exchange Valorum quoted (i.e., Seraph, the Oracle, and "The power of the One" all come from the machine world, and presumably the Source.)

    Unfortunately, the canon is too thin on what the Source is for this explanation to have a satisfying a crunch. In the second film, the Oracle agrees to Neo calling it "The Machine mainframe", but I'm inclined to take her statement in the 2nd film less seriously. Neo is describing something he's seen in dreams of events happening in the Matrix--and she knows he's having these dreams. So this language seems more about how "the Source" is represented in the Matrix within the context of Neo's journey, which the Oracle is still straightforwardly leading Neo towards.

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