PERSONALITY TYPING THE MATRIX CHARACTERS
Reality. What is yours? This is the basic question the Matrix asks us. In its investigation to find the answer, the Matrix takes us on a journey that reveals the questionable and malleable nature of reality. To question the nature of one’s reality, to find the power to alter one’s reality via changing one’s beliefs, and eventually find true reality itself, this is the path taken by those who find the truth in the Matrix.
In this article, we will be psychoanalyzing four of the most prominent characters in the Matrix films: Neo, Morpheus, Trinity, and Agent Smith to determine what their personality types are. Most are wrong about their personality types, and we’re here to set the record straight by analyzing the characters deeply and finding out what their true types are.
We will be focusing solely on the characters as they are presented in the original Matrix trilogy, primarily the first film. The fourth Matrix makes some diversions in their presentation of the original characters, but their roots will always run back here, to where it all began.
Though Neo becomes the most important character in the story, everything begins with Morpheus. Morpheus is the one that frees Neo, teaches Neo, and gives Neo a path to become the person the world needed him to be.
Morpheus sticks to the shadows. He is careful, always with a watchful eye, and always aware of the potential consequences of a single misstep. Even his clothing, dark and concealed, echoes his relationship to life: to stay hidden. If he is discovered by the sentinels or imprisoned by the agents, his purpose would never be fulfilled.
When we meet Morpheus, we may have been taken aback by how gentle, soft-spoken, and understanding he is. Initially, he hardly fits the description provided by Agent Smith as being “The most dangerous man alive.”
But as we begin to understand Morpheus, we see what makes him is so dangerous — at least to people like Smith. Morpheus is a “path-provider”. Morpheus once found the truth of reality, and when we meet him at the start of the story, he gives humans the choice to join him in awakening. This is our first big clue to his type.
Several times in the first film, Morpheus tells Neo that “I can only show you the door,” or that he can only offer people the “Choice” to choose reality, nothing more. This is indicative of Extraverted Intuition (Ne). The point made earlier about Morpheus sticking to the shadows is usually indicative of an Introverted Sensing (Si) user, who prioritizes personal safety and longevity.
Based on these observations alone, we have eliminated half of the types. Morpheus is an Si/Ne user.
All throughout the film, Morpheus speaks with an airy, dreamy quality, often providing context to his points, and stating things indirectly.
When he first meets Neo he says, “I imagine that right now you’re feeling a bit like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole.”
And just after, “I can see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up.”
Instead of saying things matter-of-factly, such as “You’re probably confused right now” or “I can see you might not believe me,” Morpheus speaks indirectly, providing additional context to the information he communicates. Morpheus communicates informatively, not directly.
Morpheus is an Informative Si/Ne user: ESFJ, ENTP, ENFP, ISFJ, INFP, or INTP are the types we have left.
When Neo first meets Morpheus he says, “It’s an honor to meet you.”
Morpheus replies, “No, the honor is mine.” This is an Fe statement. Fe users are more likely to place themselves in the position where they value the other person above themselves. From the very first moment Morpheus meets Neo, to the very end of the story, Morpheus places Neo’s value above his own.
Also, the ability that Morpheus has to tap into how Neo is feeling — I imagine you’re feeling a bit like Alice or I can see it in your eyes — is indicative of Extraverted Feeling. Morpheus is an Fe user, which, combined with Si/Ne, makes him a Crusader by default.
We can also use the evidence of Morpheus always sticking to the shadows to say it is likely that he is a Background type; or, at the very least, an introvert. There are two introverted Crusaders: the ISFJ, and INTP.
What is Morpheus’ motivation? He wants to free people from the world that imprisons them daily in its lies.
“As long as the Matrix exists, the human race will never be free.”
Everything Morpheus does, from freeing Neo, to sacrificing himself so Neo and his other followers can live, is for the purpose of accomplishing this task. To provide others with the choice to choose their own path, that is his purpose.
W1hen Morpheus says things like this: “Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind,” it sounds like an abstract statement.
He’s constantly talking about the essence of reality, the nature of illusions, etc. This would have us put a point down for abstract, by default making him an INTP. But here is where things get very interesting. Morpheus’ primary mechanism for accomplishing his duty is his faith. He leans on faith, constantly — something more likely for an ISFJ to do.
“I don’t have to hope, I know it,” said every Ni Demon ever. This statement leads with faith (Si), as opposed to hope (Ni).
Morpheus doesn’t make decisions purely based on pragmatism. He chooses based on what he feels and thinks is his duty — aka, the “right” thing to do. INTPs can do this, and they are certainly driven by a sense of duty, but usually not to the degree or intensity that Morpheus consistently is at.
Morpheus accepts it as his duty to free others. It is the most important thing to him. He leads with strength — some might argue, he is forceful with his strength and faith — indicating the Battleground of Titans between Si Hero and Ni Demon.
But we cannot ignore the fact that Morpheus has a high level of comfort with the abstract world. How is it possible for an ISFJ to be so abstract? It is the power he has unlocked through his Ni Demon — which powers his Ne Inferior and his ENTP Subconscious — to become the ultimate pathfinder for humanity.
Morpheus learned something that all ISxJs need to learn: you can only free others once you yourself are free. He was freed from the Matrix, and he frees Neo so that Neo can free everyone else.
It is this message that Morpheus has taken to heart and that supercharges his Ne Inferior, giving him the power to delve into the abstract and find a path forward for humanity to walk. His faith is the guiding power that powers him to wait for years and years for that path to emerge.
Morpheus is an ISFJ who is Subconscious Focused.
When we meet Neo, he’s asleep. Literally. The first shot of him in the film is him passed out on his desk. He’s running some illegal hacking side-job as a secondary source of income and, likely, to add some excitement to his life.
But Neo is stuck in his comfort zone, and bored. He works at a corporate job, walking through life zombified, the part of him that’s still awake hoping for something interesting to happen.
Like Morpheus, Neo sticks to the shadows. He is a man of few words and little expression. He’s an Introvert.
Being stuck in one’s “comfort zone” is the vice more likely to be expressed by an Si user. But the positive expression of that characteristic — Si — is enduring engagement with one’s duty. We see Neo accept and embrace his duty consistently.
When he goes into the Matrix to save Morpheus, he tells Trinity, “I’m going in.”
“No, you’re not.” She responds.
“I have to.”
Like Morpheus, Neo is driven primarily by duty, not desire. And Neo also displays a high capacity for endurance. When he is first learning the combat training programs, the programmer is impressed with Neo’s endurance on how long he can keep up with the intense learning.
“Ten hours straight. He’s a machine,” he tells Morpheus.
Neo is an Introverted Si/Ne user.
Also, like Morpheus, Neo is informative. He consistently gives others the choice to choose their role in the conversation. He asks questions but retains the attribute of being malleable in conversation — a characteristic shared by both Ne users and informative communicators.
This automatically makes Neo a Background type, specifically an ISFJ, INTP, or INFP.
There is virtually no evidence that Neo is concrete. Though he is led by duty and learns to possess faith, they are not expressed with nearly the same intensity that they are with Morpheus. Further, Neo inherently wrestles with the idea that reality is probably not quite what it seems. He senses there is something underneath the “reality” he experiences in the Matrix.
As he finds out the true nature of his reality after consuming the Red Pill, he is jolted him into temporary shock, but he soon adapts. His initial curiosity, looking for something more, and understanding that there are more possibilities to his life than what is before him, are indicative not only of him being an abstract type, but serve as further evidence that Neo is an Ne user.
Neo is an INTP or INFP.
Now it gets tricky. The evidence goes in both directions. On one hand, Neo is selling programs illegally to make more money and, presumably, to stave off boredom. He doesn’t take his job seriously. After going to a club late at night, he shows up at work late the following day. He is threatened by his boss who says he’ll be fired if he’s late again — indicating that Neo has been late before.
These actions point more in the direction of pragmatism because it’s a disregard for authority.
And the mere act of taking the Red Pill is even more likely for a Ti user — especially Ti Hero — than an Fi Hero, who runs the higher risk of staying in the comfort zone of belief.
What about the other side? On the other side of Neo’s pragmatism lies the piece of himself that he finds as he arcs. And that is the power of belief.
His belief starts as a shock.
“I don’t believe this is happening,” he says several times in different ways as the effects of the red pill absorb into his mind.
Neo doesn’t believe he is “the one” in the beginning. He is safeguarding himself against disappointment and against the likely possibility that reality could not possibly be that interesting.
But, after a prophecy that the Oracle gives him comes true — about Morpheus’ fate — a seed of a belief starts to form. He decides to risk his life to save Morpheus. Trinity, who can’t believe he would risk fighting the agents — an act thought to be a death sentence — asks him “why”.
“Because I believe in something,” Neo responds.
“What?” Trinity says.
“I believe I can bring him back.”
And at the end of Morpheus’ rescue, Neo’s arc is fully realized when he chooses to stand up to Agent Smith. Instead of running, he faces him head-on.
“What’s he doing?!” Trinity asks.
“He’s beginning to believe,” Morpheus responds.
It is the realization of the importance of belief, and not so much “truth” or “logic”, that reveals Neo’s true type. Granted, there is evidence that he could be an INTP or an INFP. But, the undeniable theme of belief that is central to the development and realization of his character is vitally more relevant to Fi Hero than Ti Hero. That is why Neo is an INFP.
Supportive, determined, and dangerous, Trinity is both lethal and lovely, depending on whether the receiving party is friend or foe. She is extremely direct. She says what she means and means what she says, in as few words as possible. Her directness is one of her iconic attributes.
She also obligates others. When Neo announces he is going to save Morpheus, she simply responds,
“No, you’re not.”
In the opening scene of the first film we see her extreme focus to power herself over the city rooftops at night and get to safety. Combined with her tendencies to obligate others, we can see that Trinity is a direct Ni/Se user.
She’s also skeptical of Morpheus’ plan and faith. She wants to believe, and eventually finds the will to believe, but it takes her a while to come around. Furthermore, because there is very little evidence of her being affiliative, we have to conclude that she is a pragmatic type.
Trinity is a direct, pragmatic Ni/Se user.
When Trinity first takes Neo to Morpheus, she pauses with Neo outside the door and says, “Let me give you a piece of advice: be honest. He knows more than you can imagine.” Trinity is preparing Neo by providing context and input to put him in the right frame of mind. She also explains many things to Neo regarding how the Matrix works, largely regarding its rules.
When telling Neo that she is going with him to rescue Morpheus, and Neo pushes back, she pulls her rank as the next in command to tell Neo: “And since I am the ranking officer on this ship, if you don’t like it, I believe you can go to hell.” This a classic Te approach to persuasion — when rank and credentials are the language they speak in.
All this evidence points to her being a Fi/Te user, making her a Wayfarer by default. And because she is a direct Wayfarer, we know she is one of the NTJ types.
Here is where it gets tricky again. She does not initiate a lot. She initiates sometimes, but, especially in the first film, she responds to questions often. However, Trinity also doesn’t appear to be a movement type, as she doesn’t willingly jump into chaos without a plan. She thinks through the consequences of an action to an extent that would point to her being Control, and an Ni Parent as opposed to an Ni Hero.
Ultimately, the argument comes down to whether or not you think she is Responding vs Initiating, or Movement vs Control.
We feel that what seems like her being more Responding is because she is a Control Type. Control Types are much more calculating and measured in all they do than movement types. Because of this, we feel Trinity is most likely an ENTJ.
Terrifying, determined, and resourceful, Smith is a brilliant adversary who consistently pushes Neo and his party to their limits. But there is more to Smith than initially meets the eye. He is not just a law enforcer who performs his tasks efficiently. He is a program that wants to be free. He wants to escape the limitations of his role as a glorified security guard. He wants more for his life.
After abducting Morpheus, Smith explains his rationale for why he hates humanity so much. “You move to an area and you multiply, and multiply until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague, and we are the cure.”
We see at once both a set of rationalizations that codify a moral imperative for Smith: to prevent humans from rising up and posing a threat to the machines. We can deduce that he is an Fi/Te user. Further, the level of effectiveness and the analytical approach that Smith displays when pursuing his enemies reveals an elevated level of efficiency that we can also attribute to Te — likely high Te.
Moving in closer to Morpheus, he continues. “I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can’t stand it any longer … I must get out of here. I must get free!”
For him, once the last “real” humans are found and disposed of, his job will be finished, and he can step beyond the limitations of his programming and be free. We see, in the later films, Smith makes a kind of “lunge” in consciousness, symbolized by the permanent removal of his earpiece, and can go and do whatever he wants.
To access the codes to Zion’s computer network, Smith tells Morpheus that “You’re going to tell me, or you are going to die.” This is both obligation and directness.
In his words and actions, we see strong examples of both Introverted Intuition (Ni) and pragmatism. He is not trying to do the “right thing.” He does what works, and he does it with the force of Ni.
He seldom speaks and is very intentional about what he says when he does. Further, his method for navigation in a chase or in a fight is indicative of Movement, not Control. He adapts extremely quickly, even “possessing” other people when his prey extends beyond his immediate reach. He poses an ever-pressing threat to whoever his fiery eyes are set on.
And, in the end, his own freedom is his ultimate priority. Agent Smith is an INTJ.