43

Towards the end in The Matrix Revolutions, Neo is jacked by the machines into the Matrix to fight Agent Smith. During the fight, Smith seems to have killed Neo then we see the machines pumping a charge into Neo to revive him. Neo however doesn't seem to be active inside the Matrix anymore and just explodes into light.

We then see his physical form being set down by the machines. Is Neo at this point actually dead or is he just unconscious?

  • 6
    The Matrix Online made it pretty clear that Neo was dead. Much of the conflict in the game was that the Humans wanted to get Neo's body back from the machines, but they were refusing. – acolyte Jun 11 '13 at 20:51
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    I won't leave this as an answer, but I had a crazy idea that Neo escaped from the "real world" matrix into the actual real world, leaving his body behind. This explains why Neo is dead to all the people still inside, but actually lives and may return somehow, as the Oracle said in the end. – Malcolm Sep 5 '13 at 16:26
  • The power of the one extends beyond this world as the oracle said. – user21906 Jan 22 '14 at 23:11
  • @Bolden By "this world" I would think she means The Matrix, and we see that Neo can use his 'Matrix powers' in the real world as well. However, the Oracle suggests that perhaps Neo isn't entirely dead at the very end of Revolutions, when she says that we might see him again "someday". – Illidanek Jul 8 '14 at 17:11
  • 4
    What if I told you... there is no Neo? – Paul D. Waite May 19 '15 at 10:10

11 Answers 11

25

From what i've understood, The Oracle, has identified agent Smith as an equation, trying to balance itself out, being the opposite of Neo, perhaps Neo had to die in order for Agent Smith to be destroyed.

Although, when Smith has taken over the world and multiplied itself into every single program, he has, presumably also multiplied itself into every single human being, who was jacked into the matrix.

In the last scene, where the Architect tells the Oracle, that the "Others" shall be released, means that "virus", which was injected by the source into Neo, did not kill other human beings who were possesed by Smith.

That means there's a chance Neo might still be alive (not only because of that, but also because, when Smith was destroyed, Source said "It is done", and it would be rather unusual for a machine to speak with a dead body), however that may also mean, that in order for Smith to be destroyed Neo had to die, because Smith somehow copied his source into Neo.

I guess the choice is left up to you to make up your damn mind.

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    Source said "It is done" - this seems the most compelling support for the fact that Neo was still alive at the end. – KalenGi Mar 21 '13 at 14:50
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    This isn't really in-universe, but probably the Deus Ex Machina was made to say "It is done" at Neo's death to echo Jesus' last words on the cross in the gospel of John, "It is finished"--if you watch Neo's death scene starting around 3 minutes in here, there's a cross-shaped light coming from his chest as he dies, and his pose in death and when his body is being carried away by the machines is probably meant to recall Jesus too. – Hypnosifl May 19 '15 at 16:18
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    I assumed that the Source said "It is done" to the other machines in the vicinity. – Wad Cheber Jun 24 '15 at 3:35
15

YES AND NO: HE'S DEAD, BUT THERE IS PERHAPS A HINT AT RESURRECTION

Others have mentioned "It is done" being said by Oracle at the end of the movie, and this is an important observation. This is a clear inter-textual reference to the Gospel of John, specifically John 19:30, where Christ proclaims, "It is finished" as he dies by crucifixion.

Now, I'm not trying to be preachy, so bear with me: In the narrative, of course, Christ dies on the cross, but of course there is the resurrection that follows. Neo's messianic characteristics, esp. in the final film, suggest that quote by Oracle may not mean Neo is "done" at all, but rather that he is dead in one sense but will return.

His vision near the end where everything turns golden or bright may supposed to be like Christ's glorification after the resurrection (or perhaps like Christ's transfiguration before his crucifixion). The talk about everything having a beginning and an end may be an inconspicuous reference to Christ as the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. The Architect saying others will be released sounds suspiciously like Christ's leading "captivity captive" in Ephesians 4:8 (a reference to a Greco-Roman victory procession; the kind that marched through triumphal arches that have survived around Europe even in this day).

In the end, I just think it's ambiguous, but based on the messianic comparisons, I think the movie is hinting that Neo died, yes, but is hardly finished.

  • 2
    This makes a lot of sense. The Wachowskis clearly portrayed Neo as a messianic figure and the sacrifice/salvation theme is without ambiguity in Matrix Revolutions. I think the Oracle saying, ‘I suspect so’, when asked if we'll see him again, is a reference to the notion of Neo rising from the dead/living, and even theoretically returning later, like the story of Christ also. – user13654 May 28 '14 at 17:05
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    Zomg! What if John Wick is another version of the Matrix? ;) – Paul May 7 '17 at 0:30
  • @Paul Woah! He's like, the one, dude! Excellent! – Peter May 7 '17 at 5:41
  • @Paul (that's the right film, isn't it?) – Peter May 7 '17 at 5:42
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    @Peter no, that's Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. I think that was probably an earlier, crappier version of the Matrix. – Paul May 7 '17 at 6:38
11

When last we see Neo in Matrix-Vision™, he's still glowing gold, which leads me to believe he's alive.

Also, Sati asks the Oracle if they'll see him again, to which the Oracle replies in the affirmative. She's yet to be wrong, so...

  • 1
    This could really use a screenshot :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 23 '14 at 4:57
  • There were Ones before; perhaps Neo will reincarnate. – Cees Timmerman Mar 12 '14 at 9:35
6

Neo died.

Evidence:

This is what Neo looked like when the machines used him to infiltrate Smith's program. Note the cable coming out of Neo's head; this is a view of his face in the real world.

Neo's last breath

Having blinding white light shooting from every orifice is not a sign of general good health in an organism and it seems unlikely that this is an event Neo could live through.

In Matrix-vision we see an obvious visual allusion to the Crucifixion, with Neo depicted as a Christ-like figure sacrificing himself to save all humanity. If Neo doesn't die, there's no sacrifice.

crucifixus neo

And finally in the Matrix itself, while the Oracle and other Matrix-denizens were restored, no trace of Neo remained.

  • 1
    What ‘cable coming out of Neo's head’? I don't see one apart from the harmless normal one in he back of his head. And then, about ‘no trace of Neo remain[ing]’, maybe that was the moment at which they also ‘unjacked’ him from the Matrix / possibly even unloaded all the ‘anomaly’ code from him in doing the 'equation balancing itself out as well' final resolution/only way to get rid of Smith, all at once in a neat act by the machine source? I don't see Neo's (Smith infected) ‘Residual self image’ disappearing in the Matrix at that point, being an indication of Neo's physical body dying at all. – user13654 May 28 '14 at 17:18
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    The cable is harmless but it is indicative that the image is of Neo's real world body. In the real world having blinding white light shoot from every orifice is not a sign of general good health in an organism. – Kyle Jones May 28 '14 at 17:33
  • Ok, but we don't have enough details of what exactly that 'blinding white light' is anyway - in a universe where many other scientifically fantastical things are happening already, I don't think everything should be scrutinised at face value especially when it's set in the far future. I think overall we have to take the cues from the storytellers as to what the likely answer is, and that the themes and hints spoken by characters (like the Oracle) are more authoritative than mere fan speculation as to what that white light is and whether it's scientifically fatal to physical human beings. – user13654 May 28 '14 at 18:56
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    Problem: If we accept the Jesus-is-god and Jesus-was-resurrected parts of the Jesus story, Jesus didn't really die. He was god, and god can't die. Basically, he pretended to be dead, then got up and went to hang out with his friends. There was no sacrifice involved. – Wad Cheber Jun 24 '15 at 3:38
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    @KyleJones - God doesn't feel pain. He's god. Feeling pain would constitute a change in god's status. The Christian church has maintained, for as long as it has existed, that the idea that god changes is heretical. Also, the biblical narrative of the passion says that Jesus was crucified within a few hours his arrest. He wasn't tortured for days, only minutes. He was "dead" within about 12 hours of his arrest, maximum. – Wad Cheber Jun 24 '15 at 4:03
6

At the end of the film, the Oracle is sat upon a bench dedicated to the memory of the (dead) Thomas Anderson.

enter image description here

Admittedly this might be

  • a) Symbolic of Neo's rebirth as a new person, distinct from his identity as the (Matrix slave) Mr Anderson.

    or

  • b) Someone in the production team being funny.
  • 2
    Going through all that trouble to be dedicated a bench. – Jenayah Aug 27 '18 at 12:39
  • @Jenayah - Imagine going through all that trouble and not even getting a bench. – Valorum Aug 27 '18 at 14:27
  • benches are the Tumbleweed badge of the Matrix. – Jenayah Aug 27 '18 at 14:32
3

Neo's physical body may be dead but from what the Oracle said at the end his spirit/energy is probably still alive. This just goes to further the idea/theme of Neo as the literary Christ Figure in the Matrix Trilogy; the savior/martyr for mankind.

Wikipedia - Christ Figure

2

The movies are ripe with religious symbolism. The symbolism of the Cross present when Neo finally defeats Smith by letting Smith copy himself onto him is so painfully obvious, that I don't see why/how Neo could still be physically alive. Now, in keeping that that theme, it's entirely possible that his mental projection could still be around. It's happened before when Neo was at the train station--his mental projection was at the station even though his physical body wasn't connected to the Matrix or anything else.

1

Neo probably died physically, because:

  • no one have seen him ever since, and humans can't live in the machine world (air is too polluted, no food, no other humans, etc, see the Animatrix canon).
  • his death is clearly hinted at with the cross light metaphor of the Christ when the machines send the "kill code" for Agent Smith (whether it's a kill code specifically for Agent Smith or just killing the body of Neo remains up to debate, but we can clearly see the highlighted sending of a command from the Deus Ex Machine to Neo via the glowing wires just a moment before Agent Smith is deleted)
  • it was probably necessary to balance the equation (since Neo is a cumulative error of the system because of allowed free will and Agent Smith being the counterbalance)

However, since Neo is clearly a messianic figure like the Christ, he may resurrect. And indeed, in the Matrix Online game canon, there were clear hints that he did, under the traits of a woman who recently awoken from coma:

Neo's ultimate fate has been openly called into question as Morpheus has pointed out that his remains were never returned from 01 (the Machine City) back to Zion, but at the same time the Machines have commented that they did not recycle (liquify for re-use) his body. On an interesting note, there is a newspaper clipping found during a Zion critical mission about a 27-year-old woman named Sarah Edmontons (an anagram for "Thomas Anderson") waking up from a coma and leaving the hospital on her own. In the text, there was a note written on it asking, "Is this him?" Furthermore, on one Machines' set of critical missions, it turned out that Edmontons does not exist in any known database, therefore supporting the speculation that Edmontons is Neo. Although no outright comments have been made, developers have hinted that Edmontons would have played a role in the future.

Apart from the Sarah Edmontons mystery woman, the first mission of Matrix Online was to find fragments of Neo's RSI, and the RSI was later partially reconstructed by the machines and displayed in a club, so it's clear that some digital artefacts of Neo remained inside the Matrix.

An in-universe explanation of how he could survive is that his digital counterpart (his RSI) survived his physical body, which is not so surprising since we know from the third movie that those two parts of him could be separated (he was in coma, unplugged from the Matrix, and still his digital counterpart was in the Matrix). I have explained this theory in more details here: In "The Matrix Revolutions" How Does Neo Stop the Machine Weapons in the Real World?

  • To continue with the Matrix Online canon, since his body (nor the body of Trinity) were recycled, another hypothesis is that he survived/was revived by machines advanced technology, and the machines keep him alive in a confined area as to prevent him from interfering with the Matrix balance anymore (with maybe its own acception, since a peace trust was brokered), thus maintaining the Matrix in a newly found balance (the cumulative error represented by the One continues to accumulate outside the Matrix without interfering). – gaborous Jun 24 '15 at 3:29
0

From my point of view. When the neo gets blind all the things he feels is shown in golden. And when the machines are taking his body in the end the whole world is shown in golden for a second or two. This implies that neo was still feeling and was alive. :D

  • 1
    I think Neo's gold "Code Vision" was to show that he could perceive the world similarly to how the Machine's did, which is why everything had that same look when the Machine's reclaimed his body at the end of the third film. – Monty129 May 20 '13 at 9:37
0

Even before his journey to the machine city, Neo feels his end coming. He knows that harmony can come only if Smith is destroyed and at the same time the "anomaly" must end to bring peace to both worlds. Towards the end of the fight, Smith utters what actually Oracle has told Neo earlier, namely, "everything that has a beginning has an end." Neo gives in to Smith only to end Smith's copying each individual in the Matrix and thus in a way ends Smith's task or what Smith wanted to achieve ultimately and thus also destroying Smith in the process.

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    The father-program at the train station talks about a program's purpose (task). I think the only way to defeat Smith is allow him to end yourself by accomplishing his task. This sends a STOP signal to his main thread and then a HALT(0). A kind of REPEAT MULTIPLY() UNTIL MY_COUNT = MATRIX_POPULATION – Magno C May 20 '14 at 17:46
  • The architect then just waits for Cron to restart the Smith process, or launch Matrix v7.0. – Juha Untinen Oct 6 '15 at 13:10
-1

In the game, the brothers said "Maybe it works in a movie but in a video game the Jesus thing is just lame." According to Christianity, Jesus will return. I believe they meant Neo will return. But that will probably mean another sequel with Smith, because the only way to kill Smith was for Neo to die. So doesn't that mean if Neo returns so does Smith? So my answer is Yes, I do believe Neo is dead because Smith is dead too. But I believe Neo can be revived.

protected by user1027 Jan 23 '14 at 3:55

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