Was Mata Nui naive?

I am asking if Mata Nui was naive because it seemed like he did not expect beings made of shadow to poses negative thoughts and desires, nor did he even expect betrayal from any being of any kind, also seeming to lack any interest in what is going on in the matoran universe before his slumber, also making the Barraki the chosen rulers of the matoran universe to bring order was a very naive thing to do, even if they had not done anything bad at the time, one can still even remotely judge a person’s character by talking to them. These are just instances in my opinion but please let me know if you agree or disagree. Thank you!


He most definitely was, and that’s the crux of his entire arc as a character.

As the Great Spirit, we might be inclined to think Mata Nui perfect and infallible, but he was quite the opposite. While he was noble in that he was dead set on completing his goal of saving the home of his creators, he was too focused on that goal, and that’s his primary character flaw.

You might also say he was corrupted, in a way, by his own power. He knew the role he held to the Matoran, and he believed it himself, thinking himself unbeatable. That’s why he didn’t think twice about creating the Makuta, appointing the Barraki, or worrying about the on-goings of the Matoran.

Once he gets expelled from his body is when Mata Nui becomes a real character. Suddenly he’s forced into a world of danger and hardship without the god-powers to deal with them. He has no room for hubris anymore, especially when surrounded by much more capable warriors than he in the form of Akar and Kiina. His character arc involves being reduced to the physical form of what his mind really is, a mere mortal if you will, and finding humility and wisdom in it all.

Granted, this wasn’t very well executed, especially in The Legend Reborn where, despite not ever having to really deal with a single problem in his life, Mata Nui is able to single-handedly defeat a Vorax, ice axe Straak, a Scopio beast, surf down a mountain side, master the Ignika, defeat the lord of the Skrall, uncover a conspiracy, and lead a national reformation, all within a week or so of gaining a new body. Which is a real shame, because he had the potential to have one of the most compelling character arcs in all of Bionicle.


That is what I presumed, thank you for clarifying! Yeah it is too bad his arc wasn’t better executed, unfortunate that Lego planned to end it after the 2009 saga even started or it could have been something much more in-depth and convincing.


I’d also point out that Mata Nui’s predicament (being cast into sleep by Makuta Teridax all because he didn’t take care of his own inner body and eventually have him take over his body and cast his soul out of the GSR in the Mask of Life) is also partially supposed to reflect Greg Farshtey’s own struggle with diabetes and how he didn’t take care of his own body which lead to him becoming a diabetic while one can view the Toa Mata and Toa Mahri reviving Mata Nui and stopping the Makuta in the context of Christian Faber having to take medication to treat a benign brain tumor that would spread to the rest of his brain if untreated.

Mata Nui’s naivety and situation really can reflect our own need to take care of our own inner health and not be naive enough to assume your body and health is infallible and with that context in mind it makes Bionicle much more than just a story driven toyline. It’s a lesson we need to be weary of in this day and age were we as a people are too focused on day to day stuff and not taking care of our own health as much as we should.


I think it’s less of a case of this, and more of a case of what you said later on in your post. Shadow as an Element doesn’t have any necessarily “evil” connotations…it’s just one of many forces of nature, all of which can be used for good and evil alike. If anything, it might be considered “evil” only because it reflects a more primal, animalistic side of the spectrum, but that in itself is not bad. It became associated with evil largely because of the Makuta’s actions, so Mata Nui would have no more reason to suspect a Shadow-wielder to betray him than someone of any other Element.

As others have said, Mata Nui’s naivete is wholly a consequence of his disinterest in the goings-on within his body. It is like us not taking care of ourselves, though on a more exaggerated scale. With an unhealthy human who has neglected themselves, the body doesn’t react because it has a will, but because it is responding to the treatment. Mata Nui may be slightly less culpable for his defeat only because his inner workings are sapient, and have the potential to betray him regardless of whether or not he was a good ruler. Ironically, even though Mata Nui was inattentive, his naivete wasn’t the reason why Teridax betrayed him–rather, it was the factor that prevented Mata Nui from acting in time to stop the Brotherhood’s Plan.

So, overall, yes…Mata Nui is naive, but I’d say there was a definite chance that he might have fallen regardless of that, if the circumstances had been right and Teridax had been even subtler in his intent than he already was. Even if Mata Nui had been an attentive ruler, Teridax still might have been able to deceive him without exploiting his naivete…


Very well put.