“He was so different. He was like you.”
Persephone’s “bathroom rant,” about her husband, the Merovingian, (played by Lambert Wilson) begs the question, “HOW was he once like Neo?” What do we know about this guy?
Let’s present him in a ‘good’ light first:
The Merovingian’s ‘Resumé’
The Merovingian himself hints of his antiquity when speaking to Neo.
“I have survived your predecessors, and I will survive you!“
An entrepreneur with Business Acumen
He’s a veteran of the Matrix world with savvy business skills;
- “Where others see chance, I see cost.”
- “I have something you want. To make a deal, you must have something I want, yes?”
- “If you take something from me you will pay the price.”
High-Tech Trade Experience
“I am a trafficker of information, I know everything I can.”
Rama Kandra gave further detail in The Matrix Revolutions:
“I know that if you want to take something from our world into your world that does not belong there, you must go to the Frenchman. … I went to the Frenchman to save my daughter.”
Merovingian Attributes Gone Awry
The Merovingian’s “personal references” are not so great, however:
“… a very dangerous program” (The Oracle)
“… pompous prick.” (Persephone)
The Merovingian and the 101 Connection With Neo
- Where Agent Smith is called Neo’s ‘opposite’ (by the Oracle), the Merovingian is revealed to have once been ‘like Neo’ by his wife, Persephone.
- Whereas Smith represents concepts of accusation and judgment, the Merovingian reveals aspect of our ego, which when disconnected from the central pillar of truth (the ‘path of the One’) circles around self in a world of ‘causality.’
- Lastly, where Smith represents something more abstract and ‘external,’ the Merovingian’s connection to humanity goes back to the ‘self’ – to our deepest struggle against the Source (‘God’). This is also called the yetzer hara (‘evil inclination’).
Regarding these (and other) ‘negative’ forces, there’s a related Talmudic teaching that says:
The Satan, the Yetzer Hara and the Angel of Death are the same.
Bava Basra 16a
If the rectified Neo (“the One”) is the harmony of all the sefirot coming together, the Merovingian is someone who lives in a dysfunctional state of defective attributes.
As we mentioned in our profile of Morpheus, without a proper moral compass, you cannot ascend up the “path of the One” very far.
Like Agent Smith, the Merovingian serves a specific function in bringing rectification to Neo and the Matrix. As stated, he is not Neo’s ‘opposite,’ in the way Smith is.
Rather, the Merovingian a corruption of what was “the One” in potential. Note the number 101 in his restaurant in the image above – the same as Neo’s apartment number.
Three of his defective attributes display themselves prominently:
- Yesod, synergy and connection
- Hod, analyzing information and arriving at a response
- Gevurah, ‘power,’ the product of constriction
When in his restaurant, the Merovingian mentions eating and drinking, “for the sake of appearances.” He presents himself as a total egotist, considering himself ‘above’ others.
As he relates to Neo:
“‘Why’ is what separates us from them, you from me.”
This is a disfunction of Yesod, which is about synergy and helping others without desiring personal benefit (i.e, the ‘tzaddik,’ righteous person).
The Merovingian’s ability to traffic information and programs (as Rama Kandra explained) also reflects Yesod. As discussed earlier, Yesod is the connection between Malkhut (the Matrix world and our ‘physical’ world) below, and everything beyond it.
(In kabbalah, one of the descriptive names for Yesod, is ‘Kol,’ meaning ‘all’ as in “connecting to ALL else above.”)
Our profile of Morpheus discusses this and also how there is a part of this attribute that relates to pureness in sexuality, something the Merovingian fails at miserably. He considers his own deviancy as “a game” as he tells Persephone.
Just as the Oracle described Morpheus’ key function at Yesod by saying, “without him, we’re lost,” the Merovingian’s role at Yesod plays a pivotal role – one that will revealed in Matrix 4.
The Merovingian also exhibits an unrectified attribute of Hod, which is the ability to process information correctly.
He states his view of reality as follows:
“You see there is only one constant. One universal. It is the only real truth. Causality. Action, reaction. Cause and effect.”
Though causality has its place, it is not the ‘final say’ in reality. The Merovingian does have an analytical nature, which derives from the left side (the side of Binah, the Oracle) as discussed.
We see this reflected when he challenges Neo, Morpheus, and Trinity:
“But this is not a reason, this is not a `why.’ The Keymaker himself, his very nature, is a means, it is not an end, and so, to look for him is to be looking for a means to do… what?
The Merovingian is blinded by his own ‘restriction’ – the very attribute that enables him to understand things. (He is similar to Smith in this respect.)
As mentioned, without a connection to the central column of truth, his .persepctive and energy evolves around himself and becomes corrupt.
The sefirah of Gevurah (judgment) is also related to power. This comes from the idea of constriction, much like a muscle constricts before being used in a ‘powerful’ manner.
As with all of the emanations, gevurah/power is neutral and can be applied for good (i.e., “inner strength”) or evil (self-serving manipulation/dominance of others).
The Oracle summed up the Merovingian’s desires in this manner:
“What do all men with power want? More power.”
Neo, Smith and the Merovingian all seek power, albeit for different reasons:
- Neo does for the sake of helping others – to bring repair (tikkun)
- Smith does it as his singularity of purpose – to bring destruction – the ‘opposite’ of Neo
- The Merovingian does it to fulfill his personal ego and lust – the ‘counterfeit’ of Neo
Merovingian as the Nachash
As the Merovingian wants ‘more power,’ this relates directly to his stated desire for “the eyes of the Oracle,“ a deep topic that we discuss in another article.
The Merovingian is the ancient serpent – who once had “good qualities.” And just as the latter’s first encounter was with a woman in a garden, so will his final one be. Only this ‘woman’ is the progeny of the first … and more.
There remains something called the “rectification of the serpent” in kabbalah (tikkun ha-nachash) that comes along with the final phase of humanity’s redemption. (We will have an expansive article on this subject, and how it relates to Matrix 4, later in 2021!)
Lastly, an interesting ‘tidbit’ is that the gematria (numerical value) of nachash and that for mashiach (messiah) are the same (358).