The Merovingians were a dynasty of Frankish kings who ruled a frequently fluctuating area, largely corresponding to ancient Gaul, from the fifth to the eighth century. They were sometimes referred to as the "long-haired kings" (Latin reges criniti) by contemporaries, for their symbolically unshorn hair (traditionally the tribal leader of the Franks wore his hair long, while the warriors trimmed theirs short). The term is drawn directly from Germanic, akin to their dynasty's Old English name MerewÄ«owing.
The Merovingian is a fictional character in the movies The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, portrayed by Lambert Wilson in both films. The character was named after the Merovingian dynasty of Frankish kings. He also plays a prominent role in the MMORPG The Matrix Online, often in conflict with either Zion, the Machines, and occasionally other Exile groups as well.