« back to Explaining Inception: an FAQ Guide
Share |



About this FAQ
This FAQ is in the set:
» Explaining Inception: an FAQ Guide
Viewed 4788 times / Question improved 0 times / Answer improved 2 times / Commented 2 times
Additional Links
Merges and Splits
No merging related to this FAQ / What is merging?
No splitting related to this FAQ / What is splitting?
» Merge / Split

Didn't Cobb's totem fall earlier in the film? If it did, how would it be possible for Cobb to be dreaming the whole time as implied by the spinning top in the end?


It was never Cobb's totem: he took (stole) it from his wife, placed it spinning in a safe. He is dreaming through the entire movie, in his dream, it is his totem but not in reality.

Another possibility is that if he is in his own dream, he would know about the totem and it would be able to fall over. Totems only work in other people's dreams

Or this is a huge hole in the theory that it is all a dream.

Anon_183 asked the question 2010-08-04 22:57:42 UTC view / hide
Anon_117 provided an answer 2010-08-04 23:26:24 UTC view / hide
Anon_116 improved the answer 2010-08-04 23:28:46 UTC view / hide
Anon_118 improved the answer 2010-08-05 03:26:56 UTC view / hide
Anon_297 commented 2010-08-10 22:23:05 UTC
The fool-proof ringer of a totem isn't that it spins forever or not. The point of a totem is only you know the weight and behaviour of this unique object, so that anyone trying to replicate it in their dream to fool you, would fail to give it the right physical properties.
In the case of Mal's top, it's knowing how long it takes to fall. In the case of Ariadne's (hollowed) chess pawn, it's the inertia when toppled over (a heavier pawn would be harder to topple over). Same for Arthur's loaded dice. It's because these objects have been altered that only its owner know how they behave in reality, and only them would make them behave like that in their dreams.
Like in Saito's dream, he figured the carpet was synthetic instead of wool because he wasn't the dreamer of this dream. The carpet acted as a totem ringer.

When Cobb places a top spinning endlessly in Mal's safe (just like Fischer's safe-in-a-vault alternative will : inception), it is a symbolic representation of him implanting an idea (inception) in her deepest subconscious. Since this top doesn't fall, it is a proof that the level Mal is in (Limbo), is not the reality. So she would concede to commit suicide with him and put an end to the 50 years they spent together in this deep-level slow-moving dream. But Cobb didn't foresee how this inception would have consequences in real life, since it became viral, and Mal thought that even reality was a dream she had to escape from (because the top was still spinning in her deep subconscious safe).
Dy commented 2013-07-06 17:36:32 UTC
The fool-proof ringer of a totem isn't that it spins forever or not. The point of a totem is only you know the weight and behaviour of this unique object, so that anyone trying to replicate it in their dream to fool you, would fail to give it the right physical properties. - So the spinning top at the end scene doesn't imply anything at all?

Any thought? Add Comment / Discussion:



view more from
« Explaining Inception: an FAQ Guide »




© 2015 SmartFaqt.com