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Inception Ending Explained

Updated on June 22, 2013

Facts and Figures

  • "Inception" - produced in 2010
  • Won 4 Academy Awards (Oscars), and 79 other awards
  • 3 Oscar nominations, and 100 other nominations
  • Ranked 14 of all movies on
  • Budget: $150 Million
  • Box Office: $800 Million
  • Length: 150min
  • Warner Bros.
  • Music by: Hans Zimmer (Lord Of the Rings)

Inception - the Movie

The Movie "Inception" was released in 2010. Produced, directed and partly written by Christopher Nolan, the director of Batman, Inception stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine. All great names in movie theaters. DiCaprio plays a thief, named Don Cobb, who commits various crimes by infiltrating into the dreams of people, to understand their secrets, plans and weaknesses. He is offered a nearly impossible job, which if completed, will return him his freedom. The Job is this - "Inception" - to implant another person's idea into a target's subconscious, through three levels of dreams.

What am I writing about?

At the end of "Inception" the viewer is left with a choice:

  • 1. To believe that it is a happy ending and Cobb is free.
  • 2. To believe that Cobb as lost his ability to distinguish dream from reality and is in fact stuck in a dream, and is not truly free.

The viewer either must then decide for himself. However this is not the case!!!

The producers and writers of Inception have left clues throughout the movie, which lead to the conclusion that in fact, Don Cobb has returned to reality and has truly received his freedom in the real world. This hub will explain the clues and my deduction logic.

My Answer to end the mystery!

In the movie, every person has his own "totem", which shows if he is in a dream of in the real world. Don Cobb uses the totem of his wife, Mal, who committed suicide. My logic is the following: If it is not his totem, it will not work for him. Cobb's actual totem is his wedding ring. On the picture below , you can see he has no ring. Whenever he is dreaming, he has it on, as he says: "I am still together with Mal in my dreams!" In reality, he is not wearing a ring. During the last scene (on the picture) - he has no ring on - logically: It is reality and Cobb has truly received his freedom and right to be with his family.

The Picture

Notice no ring!
Notice no ring! | Source

The Ending 5 minutes - Concentrate on the last 2

You and Inception

Have you watched Inception, if yes do you agree with me?

See results

Mal's "totem"!

I hope it is true!

I really do hope that this ending is the truth, because for me it has given me the hope that Don Cobb did not fight for anything. It completes the movie and leaves me in peace.

I hope you agree and liked the up.


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    • Mathewson profile imageAUTHOR

      Andro Mathewson 

      4 years ago from Germany

      Great! Thanks!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Here's an illustrated and simplified explanation of the different dream layers in Inception:

    • Mathewson profile imageAUTHOR

      Andro Mathewson 

      5 years ago from Germany

      It took me ages to work it out. I was really mindblown and watched it 5 times to see that. Thanks for the comment and happy to hear that My hub was useful.

    • Darksage profile image

      Khen Ramos 

      5 years ago from Philippines

      IT ALL ADDS UP NOW. Thanks man, hahahaha, my head was screwed over by the movie, but you do make a good point, my friend, and it does make sense. Thanks!


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