Movie Titles: The Matrix

The title of the first movie, The Matrix, is given for obvious reasons - it is what the computer system enslaving so many humans is called. But why is it the system called a matrix in the first place? A matrix generally provides support or structure for something, and it is Latin for "womb" (derived from mater, Latin for mother). The word "matrix" referred to a female animal with the purpose of breeding. It is a very well-chosen word:

The Wachowskis are also on record for acknowledging these multiple meanings and more in a chat session they held with fans:

Wesbran: Is the title "The Matrix" related to the mitochondrial matrix located in cells; the site of cell respiration, the creation of energy in humans?

WachowskiBros: Like the movie itself, there is alot of word play, a lot of hidden other meanings, alot of multiple meanings. Besides that, we also like the definition, the mathematical definition of the use of matrix, or the use of it in terms of a woman's womb.


David MacDonald ( wrote to me:

You said: "…people are 'born inside the Matrix', which in a strange way makes the Matrix the womb and mother of many humans."

Technically would it not be more correct to say that they were born on Earth, under the control of the machines, and they were plugged into the Matrix immediately? The Matrix is not a physical place, I would say… If I remember correctly you are not an advocate of the Matrix inside a matrix theory…

My response to David:

Machines have made the Matrix simulation as realistic as possible in terms of how it compares to actual real life (attempts do do otherwise resulted in previous Matrix failures). Like every other part of reality, I suspect that in the Matrix, when a pregnant woman gets beat up very badly around her abdomen, she would probably lose the baby – the baby would die in its simulated environment just like people plugged into the Matrix die in the real world if they die in the Matrix. This likelihood strongly suggests to me that babies conceived in the Matrix are actually part of the Matrix simulation before they are born.

Even if not, in M1 we see a baby first “officially” plugged into the Matrix after the infant is “plucked” from the human growing fields. Presumably, the baby experiences a birth inside of the Matrix at the time it would normally be born, so no matter what happened outside of the Matrix, it’s still a birth inside the Matrix to the baby, mother and father.

Also, even if they weren’t plugged into the system from the very beginning, sometimes the word “matrix” is used synonymously with “matrix system”. The system of liquifying dead human bodies exists outside of the Matrix simulation, but it is still part of the Matrix system. So, even discounting the above two points, I still consider a field for growing humans to be part of the Matrix even if it’s not part of the actual Matrix simulation. The human baby fields are just as critical to the Matrix as the simulation itself.

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