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The Matrix: History Of The One Before Neo, Explained

The Matrix gave us an incredible sci-fi fantasy to ponder upon. The journey of Neo into becoming The One, humanity’s savior, was magnificent and breathtakingly simple. Or so we though. The timeline of The One begins way before Neo graced the Matrix. Neo’s history is basically a tale of the machines conspiring to subjugate the human race and delay the inevitable. They did everything they could to ensure the Prophecy never happened. The journey begins hundreds of years before the events of The Matrix.

The Prime Program Glitch

The Architect

After humanity is incarcerated by the machines in human pods, only 99 per cent of mankind actually believes in The Matrix. The remaining 1 per cent, unbeknownst to them, have already rejected the simulation altogether. The Architect knows this glitch is a flaw in the Matrix but he allows it to accumulate in isolation. When the equation becomes too great to be contained, the matrix selects one random individual to embody the collective human disbelief in the simulation. This is how every iteration of The One graces the Matrix.

The First One Creates The Original Human Resistance

The Oracle

The One that came before Neo was a legendary human figure who could shape the Matrix at will. He freed many humans from the machines who then created the underground city of Zion. The One then realized his true purpose – he must ensure the Matrix runs for another century, and the vicious cycle ends only then. The Oracle, co-author of the Matrix, was the one who had to watch over the simulation and the first One. She had the job of making the One complete the Prime Program. The Architect gives The One two choices – switch off the Matrix and kill all humanity or let the simulation continue. The One chooses to repair the Matrix instead, rebooting it from scratch. The Machines kill all the people of Zion but The One manages to save 23 new people who are tasked with repopulating Zion.

The Prophecy Is A Lie Spread By The Machines

The Prophecy

The death of the original One leads to the Oracle delivering a prophecy. This prophecy tells that an ultimate savior who can control the Matrix will be born who will then guide humanity’s rebirth. The humans who believe in the Prophecy will actively look for the One. The Oracle positions herself as a benefactor for humanity so that she could come into contact with The One when humanity finds him. But in reality, the Prophecy is a lie. Humanity is just undergoing the same cycle all over again. Every generation of freed humans believe they are the first human resistance. Neo is the sixth The One. Humanity is basically living a story over and over again, written by their enemy. Neo is the first The One to make a different choice, which seems to be what The Oracle was hoping for.

In the end, Neo still chooses to perpetuate the cycle of the Matrix. But this time, there are new terms. Humans, who want to be free of the Matrix, will be set free by the Machines without resistance. The sentinels too pull out of Zion, sparing the rest of human resistance.

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Bibhu Prasad Panda
Bibhu Prasad Panda

Bibhu Prasad Panda is a Senior Content Writer at Animated Times. He has always been fascinated with the world of word balloons and text boxes since he was 5. From aspiring to be an engineer to becoming a market research specialist, life's been quite a journey for him. Bibhu now follows his passion as an entertainment journalist/blogger. He's also an Omen main in Valorant. SCATTER!!!!

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