Sci-fi fantasy movies like The Matrix often use Greek and Roman mythology as a mind-bending technique, none more so than in The Matrix.
The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves, is an incredible movie, and it has to be one of the ten best films of all time.
The surprising thing about The Matrix is that many ardent film buffs are unaware that The Matrix movie bases itself predominately on ancient Greek mythology.
I’ll try and explain The Matrix movie to you shortly. In addition, I’m going to discuss other Greek myth sci-fi movies, and I’ll also unravel the meaning of those movies in terms of Greek mythology.
It will open your eyes to some of the best classic sci-fi movies with Greek mythology themes. Some of these films are a bit of a secret, but they won’t be to you.
After you understand the meaning behind these movies like The Matrix, you’ll probably wonder whether moviemakers are in cahoots with the Greek Gods. Well, it does seem very likely.
Let’s take a closer look at The Matrix (1999) masterpiece.
1. The Matrix Explained – Greek Mythology
If you want The Matrix explained, you seriously need to ponder over one of the key characters in the film.
I’m talking about Morpheus, the super mysterious guy with a bald head who wore round glasses.
The Matrix movie is about Morpheus, the Greek God of Dreams, who seeks out a computer programmer and hacker named Neo.
The Greek God’s mission is to determine if Neo would follow the Greek Gods and Goddesses.
Neo’s heroic journey starts after being contacted on his computer with a message telling him to: Wake Up, Neo…
Another message then tells him to follow the white rabbit.
Neo hears a couple of knocks on the door, so he checks to see who it is.
Neo soon sees that one of the girls at the door has a white rabbit on her shoulder — the partygoer named Dujour. Unbeknown to Neo, Dujour is a Greek Goddess.
Unbelievably as it may seem, the actress playing Dujour is of Greek ethnicity for added credibility that The Matrix is all about Greek Gods and Goddesses.
Neo trust his instincts and follows the Greek Goddess, which leads him on a modern-day hero’s journey similar to those from ancient times. Neo’s quest is to find out the truth.
Neo visits the Oracle to determine his fate in the film.
Many heroes from the ancient past did the same thing when they visited the Oracle of Delphi in Greece.
The Oracle of the Matrix even showed her faith in Greek Mythology. In the kitchen, the Oracle had a sign stating “Know thyself,” which goes all the way back to Ancient Delphi in Greece.
The Ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself” is one of the Delphic maxims and was inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi according to the Greek writer Pausanias (10.24.1). (Source: Know thyself – Wikipedia)
Morpheus tests Neo in The Matrix
The main storyline in The Matrix is of Morpheus, the God of Dreams, testing Neo through a series of extreme challenges.
The reason for it is to determine whether Neo is considered worthy enough to join the Greek Gods and Goddesses in immortality.
The Matrix Reloaded
In the sequel, Neo meets Persephone who desires a passionate kiss from him.
Persephone is the wife of Hades, the ruler of the Underworld in Greek mythology.
The Matrix uses this as a reminder that Neo is in a key phase of his heroic journey.
The payment demanded by Persephone to leave the Underworld is a kiss, which is very reasonable considering the fact that so few have ever returned from the Underworld.
Why would Morpheus dream up such a fantastic dream? Only Morpheus, the God of dreams, would be able to answer that.
But, you can surely bet that this was all a dream conjured up by Morpheus, the God of dreams. He did a fantastic job with this one.
2. Labyrinth (1986) – Greek Mythology
A young girl goes on a quest to find her baby brother held captive inside a mysterious labyrinth by an agent of Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom.
Keep an eye out for the flying white owl. Owls remember are the symbol of Athena.
The girl encounters a minotaur monster inside the labyrinth, but instead of slaying the beast as did Theseus in ancient Greece, she befriends it. Luckily for her, the minotaur beast in the film is very friendly.
The prime motive in forcing her to go on this heroic journey through the labyrinth is to teach her a few valuable life lessons along the way.
The most important lesson is “Be careful what you wish for”.
It showcases how Athena would outdo Poseidon if she were to make use of a labyrinth to create a Greek myth. In doing so, Athena offers everyone great wisdom.
3. The Never Ending Story (1984) – Greek Mythology
A young boy named Atreyu enters another unreal world and goes on a heroic quest.
On the journey, he must pass through the Sphinx gateway, which the Greek Gods and Goddesses have ordained to test all aspiring heroes.
In Greek mythology, Atreus (from Greek: “fearless”) was a king of Mycenae in the Peloponnese. He was the son of Pelops and Hippodamia.
4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
Harry Potter enrolls at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In days gone by you would have been burnt to a cinder or drowned as a witch for your unholy thinking.
The Greek Gods however are more forgiving, which is probably why Greek Mythology keeps popping up in this fantastic movie adventure series.
In the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and his friends must pass by Fluffy, the three-headed monster dog, which guards the trap door to the underworld they need to enter.
Fluffy is the equivalent of the three-headed dog Cerberus, who guarded the entrance to the Greek Mythical Underworld.
You will find many more Greek mythology instances in this fantastic world of witches, wizards, and warlocks.
The big question is whether Harry Potter would have gotten anywhere without the assistance of the Greek Gods. I very much doubt it.
Greek Gods and Harry Potter go way back.
5. Turbo Kid (2015) – Greek Mythology
Zeus is the sadistic leader of the Wasteland in the land of opposites.
The Apocalypse has happened, and now the world has become a savage wasteland trapped in a permanent nuclear winter.
The nightmarish year is 1997 (yes 1997), but there are still some awesome reminders of the golden age in the form of comic books and other paraphernalia from the 80s scattered around throughout the desolate land.
A young orphan finds an ancient turbocharged weapon as powerful as a thunderbolt which allows the hero to take on Zeus and his evil comrades at their own game.
The writing is on the wall for Olympus.
Tip: Try and spot the Olympus sign on the wall in the movie.
Can the kid save the girl of his dreams from their evil clutches and rid the Wasteland of the anti-Greek Gods? Remember, it all happens in the land of opposites.
Turbo Kid is a pretty cool movie. It gets pretty gory in certain scenes.
6. Prometheus (2012) – Greek Mythology
A spaceship crew on a mission to explore the universe seeks to discover the origins of mankind.
They’re onboard a spaceship named PROMETHEUS, named after the Titan Prometheus, who gave fire to mankind.
Prometheus may have given mankind the blessing of fire, but too much knowledge can be terrifying.
The crew discovers that the Greek Gods and Goddesses don’t want mankind to find them and trying to contact the head of the Greek Gods is fraught with danger.
As punishment, the Greek Gods create a new race of scary aliens to keep humans in the dark.
To fully appreciate Prometheus, watch it after you see all of the Alien movies, as Prometheus is the prequel to the Alien films.
7. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
You can find Mount Parnassus in central Greece rising high above ancient Delphi.
As the movie title suggests, this story is about the imagination of the Greek Gods, in particular Hermes.
Hermes (Mercury) draws souls through a magical mirror doorway into another world filled with wonder linked to everyone’s individual desires.
It tries to answer the question: If the Greek Gods are capable of creating any kind of world, how can you be truly sure that you’re in the right world?
8. Krull (1983) – Greek Mythology
On Krull, an epic struggle of good versus evil occurs.
Heroes are forced to go on a great odyssey to fight against the Beast’s evil army in the hope of bringing freedom to the once peaceful planet.
A giant one-eyed cyclops, born of Poseidon, and straight out of Greek Mythology will help determine the final outcome.
9. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)
Greek Gods were selfishly betrayed for a small piece of Turkish delight.
If you prefer to think that this story is a metaphor for Christianity then think again. The film is all about betraying the Greek Gods.
A satyr/faun appears as soon as one child enters Narnia.
Whatever you may think a satyr or faun is, half human with bottom half goat, or whatever, you can be sure that this character is straight out of Greek/Roman Mythology.
Christians don’t have mystical characters like these.
10. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)
The assistance of the Greek Gods and Goddesses is sought in a time of war.
11. Inception (2010) – Greek Mythology
In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the princess who helped Theseus escape from the Minotaur’s labyrinth.
In the popular sci-fi movie Inception, Ariadne tries to provide assistance in a dream-like maze/labyrinth.
12. The Maze Runner (2014) – Greek Mythology
I don’t want to spoil this movie for you. The Maze Runner is best seen without knowing anything about the movie since it is very mysterious.
The film is based on a book of the same name.
13. John Wick (2014) – Greek Mythology
Keanu Reeves stars in this action flick possessing many Greek Myth overtones.
Technically this isn’t a sci-fi movie, but it has to be fantasy because no one could do what John Wick did and live.
In this movie, John Wick comes across Charon the Concierge at the New York Continental Hotel, which seems to be the home base of the criminal underworld.
Keep an eye out for the special coins.
Charon the Boatman is a figure from Greek mythology who ferried recently deceased souls across the River Styx into the Underworld.
He charged everyone an entrance fee for his service, which in those days was a single obol coin. This coin was often placed in the mouth of a corpse upon burial. It is a proven fact.
John Wick: Chapter 2
John Wick 2 then confirms that both movies are linked to Greek and Roman mythology.
You can see scenes in the movie filmed in Rome and statues of Greek/Roman Gods.
In John Wick 2, there is a statue of Poseidon (Neptune) holding up his three-pronged trident in the company of the other Olympians.
Six Olympians are on one side of the room and six on the other, and a statue of Hercules is in the center.
What does it all mean? Watch the movies and try and uncover it for yourself.
14. Westworld (1973) – Greek Mythology
Westworld’s theme park is called Delos, which is made up of three worlds that include Westworld, Medieval World, and Roman World.
You need to watch this great movie as it is one of the best sci-fi movies of all time.
Delos is a small Greek island in the Aegean, revered as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis.
Imagine if you were on Delos isle when Apollo was around. It would have been an incredible experience. If only we could go back in time.
Greek Myth Sc-Fi Movies Explained
So you’ve had The Matrix explained and many other science fiction movies in terms of Greek mythology.
What does it all mean? It means that Greek mythology has played a significant part in the creation of some of the best movies of all time.
Do you know of any other movies with Sci-Fi themes that have Greek mythology influences?
If you do, share the movie titles in the comments below and tell us about them.
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