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In The Matrix: Revolutions, we see that Seraph has led Morpheus and Trinity onto a train in Mobil Avenue, where they encounter the Trainman. He responds in fear when he sees them, despite their peaceful approach, and runs away, shooting at them, before eventually escaping:

(Matrix: inside a subway train)
Seraph: That’s him.

Trainman: Get away! Get away from me!

Seraph: We don’t want trouble.

Trainman: Get away from me!

Seraph: We need your help.

Trainman: I can’t help you. No one can help you!

The Matrix Revolutions transcript

Yet shortly after, when meets Neo, he responds with much more hubris, even punching Neo into a wall just to prove how unafraid he is of Neo's threats, due to the power he has in that place:

Trainman: I know you. So that’s what they wanted.

Neo: I need to get back. I’ll pay you anything you want.

Trainman: Oh?

Neo: One way or another I’m getting on this train

Trainman: Oh, no, no, no. You’re gonna stay right here until the Merovingian says different. If I know him, you’re gonna be here for a long, long time.

Neo: I don’t want to hurt you.

Trainman: You don’t get it. I built this place. Down here I make the rules. Down here I make the threats. Down here, I’m God. *to Rama-Kandra* Get on the train, or you’ll stay here with him.

The Matrix Revolutions transcript

Why did the Trainman run in fear away from Seraph, Morpheus and Trinity, despite the fact that "down here, [he's] god" and even quite happily stands up to Neo, the One, who is presumably more powerful than Seraph or any others?

Is it because in that first scene, they weren't actually in Mobil Avenue yet, so the Trainman wasn't "god" where they met him and was therefore less cocky? Or is there another explanation?

  • When I watched the movie, it seemed to me that the place where he could easily deal with Neo annulated other's people strength and/or gave him extraordinary strength. Out of that place, he is a nobody. – Billy Rubina Aug 23 at 16:00
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The original screenplay is a little clearer. Mobil Avenue sits between the Matrix and the Machine World, connected by a (literal and figurative) train track.

At the point that Seraph and the gang attack the Trainman, they're not in Mobil Avenue, they're still in the Matrix (in "Subway Station 1"), hence the Trainman is subject the rules of the Matrix, not the rules of his own personal creation.

ORACLE: To help you. To guide Neo. Now, since the real test for any choice is having to make the same choice again, knowing full well what it might cost, I guess I feel pretty good about that choice 'cause here I am, at it again.

TRINITY: You know what happened to Neo?

ORACLE: Yes. He is trapped in a place between this world and the Machine World. There are links that have been constructed like islands, used for trafficking information. Somehow Neo washed up onto one of them. The only way to rejoin his mind and body is to bring him back out through this world.

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