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The Architect
The Matrix character
Publication information
Title Creator of the Matrix
First appearance The Matrix Reloaded
Created by Wachowski Sisters
Portrayer Helmut Bakaitis
Species Computer Program

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The Architect is a fictional character appearing in the last two films of the Matrix trilogy, created by the Wachowski sisters. The character is played by Helmut Bakaitis. He also makes an appearance in the MMORPG The Matrix Online. The Architect is first encountered by Neo and appears to be a cold, humorless man sitting in a large circular room whose walls are covered by television monitors in a pivotal scene at the climax of The Matrix Reloaded, the second film of the trilogy. He reveals himself to Neo as being the creator of the Matrix.


The Architect is the program that created the Matrix and oversees its function. As a program of the Matrix, he is artificial, but this is much more noticeable than with other programs. Unlike most other programs, the Architect is extremely mechanical in his actions, in that he speaks in long logical chains of reasoning, utilizing several connectors (discourse markers) such as "ergo" and "thus", and has little variance in his tone of voice. He also has little facial expression beyond smirks and glares, but does exhibit emotion on limited occasions, such as regret, annoyance, and arrogance.

The Architect's first attempt at a Matrix was a utopia; but it failed miserably and many human lives were lost when the inhabitants refused to accept it. The Architect then redesigned the Matrix to reflect human history and culture, but it still failed. The solution to this problem was discovered by the Oracle: a version of the Matrix that gave humans the unconscious choice of accepting it. This version was accepted by nearly 99% of all test subjects, so that the Matrix was rewritten to allow subjects to subconsciously choose whether or not they wanted to be a part of it. The small percentage of humans that did not accept the Matrix would inevitably increase and become a threat to it. Despite this problem, this threat was not unexpected and thus, to some extent, could be controlled, leading to the cycle described in the films.

In the third film, the Oracle explains to Neo that the true purpose of the Architect is to balance the mathematical equations that make up the programming of the Matrix, and he is unable to see the world as anything beyond a series of equations. It is also because of this that he is unable to comprehend choice and free will and cannot see the results of such choices as they are no more than variable factors in an equation to him.


With the new Matrix in place, a system was enacted to control the inhabitants who refused to accept it. While the Oracle was able to guide the actions of the humans who left the Matrix through prophecy, it was the Architect who programmed The One that would fulfill these prophecies. The One was made carrying not only the source code of the Matrix "Prime Program", which gave him his outstanding powers over the Matrix, but also with a profound attachment to humanity that would later motivate him to fulfill the prophecies being spread by the Oracle. Every time the free humans had grown strong enough to start threatening machine hegemony, The One would be born into the Matrix.

As the prophecies were fulfilled by The One, the machines would begin building an army to destroy Zion. Under the guidance of the Oracle, The One would find his way to the machine mainframe, also called The Source, convinced that his actions there would end the war on behalf of the humans. Because the Architect resides in a room that lies on the path to the Source, the One would invariably encounter him along the way. During this encounter, the Architect would reveal his influence over the preceding events and the reason the Matrix had been designed to allow a small percentage of its inhabitants to escape. He would then present The One with a choice:

  • He may return to the Source at which point the Matrix source code would be reinserted into the program, allowing for the system to reboot. Zion is still destroyed and people are still trapped in the Matrix, but the One would be allowed to select from the Matrix twenty-three individuals (making a total of seven males and sixteen females) to be freed so that they could found a new Zion. The One would then die, and a prophecy of his return would be spread, continuing the cycle.
  • He may refuse to cooperate and return to the Matrix in an attempt to save Zion. This would lead to a massive system crash, killing all of the inhabitants of the Matrix. Combined with the inevitable destruction of Zion, this would ultimately mean the extinction of humanity.

The machination of the Architect and the Oracle were successful in maintaining the status quo in that, until Neo, all incarnations of The One had chosen to cooperate with the Machines in order to preserve humanity.

The Matrix Reloaded

In The Matrix Reloaded, The Architect offered Neo the same choice he offered his five predecessors. Unlike previous Ones, Neo was experiencing his programmed attachment to humanity in a specific way: in his love for Trinity. At the same time Neo had met with the Architect, Trinity was in the Matrix being chased by an Agent in a re-enactment of a nightmare Neo had that ended with her apparent death.

Presented with a choice between the destruction of humanity or losing Trinity, Neo saw no choice. His love for her led him to choose to attempt saving her, even though the Architect had asserted that her death was certain and his attempt to save her would mean doom for all humanity.

During their conversation, Neo claims that the machines cannot allow humanity to be destroyed as they are using them for power and thus could not survive if they were killed. In response, the Architect, although his face remains unmoved, states in a grave voice: "There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept".

The Matrix Revolutions

In the final scene of the film the Architect joins the Oracle, commenting that she "played a very dangerous game", referring to the Oracle's role in guiding Neo as he defied the Architect's system of control. He then promises her that the humans who desire release from the Matrix will gain it. When she asks if he will keep his word he replies, "What, do you think I am... human?".

See also

  • Simulated reality

External links

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