In The Matrix Reloaded, Persephone explained the nature of the exile programs Cain and Abel:

They come from a much older version of the Matrix, but like so many back then they caused more problems than they solved. My husband saved them because they are notoriously difficult to terminate. How many people keep silver bullets in their gun?

She then shot (and killed) Abel with a pistol, turned it on Cain, and threatened to kill him unless he ran and told the Merovingian what she did. The obvious implication is that Cain is vulnerable to silver bullets like the werewolf Abel because he is also a werewolf.

However, Cain is listed as a vampire by the Matrix Wiki. (Oddly enough, the Matrix Wiki also claims that Cain and Abel are brothers despite the claim that one is a vampire and the other is a werewolf.)

Is Cain a werewolf since he is apparently vulnerable to silver bullets? Or is he a vampire, and vampire programs are also vulnerable to silver bullets?

  • 2
    What a weird addition to the Matrixverse, especially considering that those aren't really bullets. Or made out of silver.
    – Omegacron
    Jun 15, 2015 at 20:51
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    @Omegacron The vampires and werewolves are explained as coming from the Nightmare Matrix, and the bullets are explained as containing kill-codes.
    – Null
    Jun 15, 2015 at 20:54
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    I'm fairly sure he died as a result of a wound to his chest - Which suggests vampire.
    – Valorum
    Jun 15, 2015 at 21:24
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    For what it's worth, most vampire/werewolf myths involve people being changed into the monsters, rather than being born that way. Obviously the Matrix works by its own rules, but there's nothing particularly strange about one brother being the former and another being the latter. Perhaps whatever led to the "creation" of those programs was a transformative process, just like in other myths (e.g. a program got infected by a virus, or a file got corrupted, etc).
    – Nerrolken
    Jun 15, 2015 at 21:40
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    "Cain and Abel are brothers despite the claim that one is a vampire and the other is a werewolf" - Underworld films say you are wrong in your incredulity :) Jun 16, 2015 at 23:31

1 Answer 1


It is not just werewolves that have the weakness to silver; many vampires also have this weakness.

It appears to be a North American Folklore tradition and is not present in European Folklore

Modern vampires that have this weakness include:

  • Blade vampires

  • Discworld Vampires -

On the Disc, all the world's vampire legends are true, even the contradictory ones

a catch all for anything ever said about vampire weaknesses **

  • Vampires from The Necroscope series of books - throughout the books the alien vampires - Wamphyri - are shown to be weak against silver as their metamorphic flesh cannot abide it, it will paralyse them and cause them great pain and burning.

Then there was the Wamphyri fear of silver, which metal was a poison to their system acting upon them as lead acts upon men

Necroscope 3 - The Source

But even the metamorphic flesh of a vampire has its weaknesses, such as sunlight, silver, kneblasch, and the sharp and splintery point of a hardwood stake

Vampire world 2 - The Last Aerie (note kneblasch is garlic and the Szgany are banned from growing it and from owning silver on the Wamphyri homeworld)

  • Vampires in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Silver as a weakness for vampires is mentioned all the way through this film. The culmination of the film

is the train carrying a load of silver to be melted down for bullets at Gettysburg, which turns out to be a trap as the silver got there via a different route. Im pretty sure Lincoln's axe was silver too and he punched one of the vampires with his fathers(?) silver pocket watch causing considerable pain (may have been the fight at the end)

(the first 3 are pre Matrix)

Reasons for this weakness range from silver being a precious and pure metal and therefore holy, to the first vampire being Judas and the weakness ties back to the 40 pieces of silver he was paid with.

Therefore a weakness to silver is not wholly a werewolf weakness and Cain having this weakness doesn't mean he cannot be a vampire. It does actually tie in with him being a North American interpretation of a vampire.

  • I can confirm that the Blade vampires are vulnerable to silver (+1 for that). However, I'm having trouble confirming that vampires from the other works are vulnerable to silver (e.g. there is no mention of such a vulnerability on The Lost Boys wiki article on vampires).
    – Null
    Jun 30, 2015 at 14:03
  • Re Lost Boys - I thought this was mentioned at the beginning of the film when they were talking in the comic shop but as can find nothing to back this up have removed this reference. I have added further information on the others to show evidence. Jun 30, 2015 at 14:42
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    With multiple examples of vampires' vulnerability to silver, I think you've proven that it's entirely possible for Matrix vampires to be vulnerable to it as well. And since Cain's physique is more like a vampire's I'm convinced he's a vampire. Accepted, and thanks.
    – Null
    Jun 30, 2015 at 14:52
  • Given the matrix vampires are a computer construct then in theory "silver" could simply be code that interferes with or deletes the program
    – Richard C
    Jul 21, 2017 at 11:03

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