A mighty warrior from the original Matrix trilogy could have been an early version of One countless years before Neo.
In the world of The matrix, the One is a legendary figure. Able to move at incalculable speeds and with near magical abilities in the realm of the Matrix, Neo’s ascension to this role was a major moment for the universe. But as explained below, The Matrix Reloaded, Neo was not the first version of the One. In fact, he may have met an earlier incarnation in that same film.
A Reddit fan theory for The matrix series from user PhaedraAmericana suggests this Seraph – the benevolent protector of the Oracle The Matrix Reloaded and an ally of the heroes of The matrix revolutions – could have been a previous iteration of One Who Existed as Neo’s first release.
Séraphin was introduced in The Matrix Reloaded as Guardian of the Oracle. A soft-spoken warrior, Seraph proved a challenge for Neo – his innate code was a golden color, unlike the usual green and black of most Matrix programs. This apparently gave him a unique advantage, as he proved to be Neo’s equal in battle during a test of the latter when he went to see the Oracle. Seraph became an ally for humans in the last two films of the original Matrix trilogy, fighting alongside them and protecting the Oracle until he was caught and corrupted by Agent Smith. But Smith’s eventual defeat resulted in his restoration.
In the canonical video game The online matrix, Seraph appeared several times. A possible origin has even been teased for the character, tied to a “Paradise” version of the Matrix mentioned by Smith in the first film. Seraph’s identity – and Merovingian commentaries – hinted that he was actually an agent of that previous Matrix iteration. It has been confirmed that the current version of the digital world is not the first in Matrix Reloaded, with even previous incarnations of One before Neo. But when The Matrix was restarted, the program ultimately known as Seraph survived and – after working for the Merovingian for a while – found itself alongside the Oracle. It’s an interesting idea but it doesn’t explain all of his abilities and his connections to the Oracle.
Instead, a long-standing fan theory suggests he was even more important to this previous iteration of the Matrix than simply as a prototype for Agents. As explained on Matrix Wiki, there are several hints that Seraph may have been a previous incarnation of One, before The Matrix was rebooted and Neo was born. Her combat skills surpass even the most dangerous agents, suggesting that Seraph was a powerful figure in the past. His confrontation with Agent Smith in The matrix revolutions suggests that the pair fought in the past and Seraph defeated them – something only the One was capable of. As Neo observes, Seraph’s code is fiery gold – the same as Neo’s in the video game. Matrix: Neo’s Path – suggesting that Seraph is more than just a typical program.
After being assimilated and corrupted by Smith, Smith’s cop believed to be Seraph refers to the Oracle as her “mom” – the kind of connection she would likely have with people who had been the only one. It’s possible that Seraph was one of the incarnations of the One mentioned by the architect in Neo – a predecessor who chose a different path and allowed the system to reboot rather than risk everything to save someone he loved. This would give his devotion to the Oracle a unique and powerful advantage. It’s an interesting concept and could explain how Seraph is so strong, even compared to other Matrix characters. It works well with the idea that the Matrix has already been rebooted and will likely be on the line again, and gives Neo (and the Oracle) an interesting connection to the past hidden in plain sight.
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