When I watch the Matrix movies, I think about Dune. I feel it must have been a strong influence – you can really see it in Reloaded and Revolutions – and I am okay with that. I like Dune, and I like the Dune trilogy.
That is all to say that I am fascinated by the character of Trinity – who is Neo’s prophesied beloved, much like Chani is Paul’s prophesied beloved. I am fascinated by prophecy, and it will likely be an upcoming focus in some of my posts on time travel and on science fiction and religion.
But for now, what about just Trinity? Does she stand on her own as her own character, or is her whole purpose to be an object for the One to love? That’s what I want to consider about Trinity!
The One Who Loves The One
So first, in the Matrix, we start out of Trinity being the one who finds Neo. Helping him? Protecting him? Just following orders and it’s all Morpheus? And we see, from the get-go, that she’s a badass. But we also come to find that pretty much everyone with a name in the Matrix is a badass, so it doesn’t stand on its own as a trait.
In fact, on his path to being the one, we see Neo and Trinity matching each other in combat, like in the great scene where they break into the building, the extended slowmo scene with the pillars and the bullet time. But there, is she just a mirror to Neo?
And then we find that Trinity was told by the Oracle, in her own private prophecy, that she would find the One, and that it would be the man that she loves. So while this might lead to amusing thoughts of her going around to dance clubs (like at the beginning…) looking for the man she loves, in actual practice, does it mean that she was a slave to romance? That her one role, her task, is to be a divining rod to the One?
It also starts to seem this way as Neo does so much to protect her, to keep her out of trouble, to keep her out of the Matrix. It goes this way through the later two movies, which ends up not really working because things aren’t that much safer in the real world. Indeed, she might have been safer in the Matrix… she is a badass…
Despite these elements in her relationship to the idea of the One, and to Neo in particular, she does make her own decisions. For instance, she was clearly a believer in the One, and the prophecies – leading her to travel with Morpheus in the first place. She has her own belief system, her own belief in right or wrong.
So when the situation arises where she needs to act, she does, despite what Neo told her to do. This is the critical scene in the Matrix Reloaded, the scene that they show at the start, and which Neo spends the whole movie agonizing over. He does everything he can to keep it from happening. Talks about his fears with Trinity. Everything. And when the moment arrives, and she can either do nothing, or go in and face almost certain death, she does it. And does it amazingly and with precision.
And then she dies. I don’t think she actually expected to be saved by Neo, though she might have thought it was possible, especially given the sorts of things he had pulled off up to that point in the movie. This is unlike Morpheus – who reaches points where he does need Neo to save him, and asks for it to happen, like when he’s with the Keymaker at the end of the car chase. Trinity does not call for help, does not expect to be saved, and even – once caught – still dies. Yes, Neo brings her back, but she was willing to die to do what she believed needed to get done, and believed (rightly) that only she could do.
So she is not just a mindless believer in the One – if anything, Morpheus is much closer to that character. And yes, she is a major focus of Neo trying to protect her, and keep her in a box and keep her safe, but in the end, he only tries to stop her with his words, and when the need arises, she takes her badass self into the Matrix and kicks butts liberally.
Whoa, you can tell I should have had a blog while these movies were coming out, I guess. I will close with the thought that Neo’s fights often aren’t the best ones to watch – Morpheus and Trinity have much more fun fights. Maybe because there’s a thought that they might lose, whereas you know Neo is going to win, so the stakes just aren’t there. The fight at the beginning of Revolutions, with no Neo in sight, is by far the best fight in that movie.
Alright, my Matrix rant is over. Thoughts? Comments!