Dominick Cobb


Inferred from Film

 

Personality:

 

Dominick Cobb is a man on the edge. Constantly questioning reality, and wracked with guilt, Cobb's calm demeanor topside belies the turmoil underneath. It is likely, therefore, that he suffers from dissociative personality disorder where he tries to separate himself from the guilt that is tearing him a part.

 

Cobb's mental state defines who he is, and the parameters of his reality. Unsure if he's in a dream or not, he carries around the ghost of Mal, who constantly tries to sabotage his dreams in order to wake him up. It's important to note that this Mal is not really his wife, but a part of his subconscious, which suggests that he doubts reality so strongly that she manifests in order to take him out of his dream state. It also illustrates the war that his going on in his mind.

 

Even so, he always appears calm and collected, even in his dreams, thus indicating an using disassociation as a protection mechanism.

 

Cobb has a set of rules that are never to broken, despite the fact that he breaks them all the time suggesting a modicum of arrogance.

 

History:

 

Having learned how to dream from Mal's father, Miles, Cobb's entrance to the dreamworld was likely academic and innocent.

 

He and Mal often did dreaming experiences to test the limits of dreaming, which would eventually land the two in Limbo. There, they lived a full life together before they started creating memories which made it difficult to distinguish from reality. Dom, unwittingly commits inception on his wife where he finds her totem and makes it spin permanently which makes Mal think that the dream is a dream. Unfortunately, when she wakes from the dream, the idea still stays, which culminates in her killing herself in order to "wake up". Knowing that Dom doesn't believe her, she frames him in her "murder" in order to to try and force him to "wake up" as well.

 

It is not known how soon after Cobb leaves, but seeing as Mal was careful to make their hotel room look there had been a domestic disturbance, and filed a letter with their lawyer saying that she feared for her safety, it is likely that Dom had to leave before her funeral.

 

How he left is somewhat circumspect, but it was undoubtedly with a fake passport and the help of friends and family covering for him.

 

Skills:

 

By Cobb's admission, and no one's expressed denial, we know that Cobb is a skilled architect and an unrivaled extractor. This suggests that he is good at reading people, as he's able to understand their words and gestures and translate them into the places they keep their secrets.

 

Though he was presumably trained as an architect, it's likely his extractor skill set is a natural ability that he had unknowingly honed over the course of his life.

 

He also appears to be skilled at hand-to-hand combat, marksmanship, and evasion, though most of this happened in dreams, and it has not been proven how applicable this is to real life.

 

Relationships:

 

Mallorie Cobb 

 

Mallorie Cobb is Dom's deceased wife. It is unlikely that his projection of her in the movie is anything like how she was in reality, seeing as she was described as being lovely. Every word she utters in the movie are Dom's projection of her, and therefore never to be trusted, even if it's from memory. For example, when she asks Ariadne "Do you know what it is to be a lover?", this is Cobb's manifestation of his frustration. Not Mal's.

 

Arthur Darling

 

Arthur acts as Cobb's unquestioning right hand man, but Cobb never divulges any information to the man who is so loyal to him. He's short with his apologies, and quick to disregard Arthur's advice. He also has no qualms about shooting Arthur in the head in a dream, which may not seem remarkable aside from the fact that he has difficulty shooting other projections, such as Mal.

 

Samuel Eames

 

The relationship between Eames and Cobb is hard to read. They seem to have mutual respect, though it's clear that while Cobb completely trusts Eames, Eames does not have the same faith in Cobb. However, he has enough to divulge contacts and information without much prompting.

 

Ariadne Smith

 

Initially, Dom takes Ariadne thinking that she would build and do nothing else. He is impressed with her aptitude early on.

 

His relationship with Ariadne is complicated, and likely stems from the fact that something about her forces him to regress which allows her to see the darker sides of his personality. She is the only one he shares with, though this is likely because she knows more than the others because of two non-consensual instances of invading Cobb's psyche.

 

Saitou Katsuma

 

Mutual respect seems to be the underlying dynamic to all of their interactions. At first, Saitou is unimpressed with Cobb's extraction skills, though he later comes to respect them when he realizes that he's been tricked.

 

Their consistent promise of being young men together when killing themselves to get out of Limbo also suggests this mutual respect.

 

Gordon Nash

 

Little interaction is shown, but he must have thought Nash was good enough to be an architect on the job seeing as he has high standards.

 

Totem

 

Cobb's totem is supposedly his wife's spinning top despite the fact that it breaks the rules. Though, seeing as Cobb likely had a totem before Mal's death, it is likely that it is his wedding ring, which only appears when he's in a dream.

 

Why he keeps his ring off in reality, however, is a mystery, as well as where it is kept. It is dangerous for anyone to touch one's totem, so wherever the ring is, he must have a good memory of it and knows it cannot be found.

 

 

Head Canon

 

Name

 

Dominick Cobb is the only character to have a full name aside from Robert Fischer and Peter Browning. At first, seeing as no one else in his dreams seem to have full names, almost suggests that he is dreaming and never came up with the extra details. However, knowing Robert Fischer and Peter Browning's full name somewhat discounts it.

 

It does, however, mean that Dom is not as wary about divulging his real identity, whereas it seems like that characters like Arthur and Eames are very careful about it.

 

Totem

 

Cobb's actual totem is his ring, which lies buried with Mal. He has something of hers, and she has something of his.

 

He's forgotten what his ring feels like in reality, and thus his need to consistently check Mal's Totem.

 

Before Inception

 

Before Inception, Dom was an architect student under the tutelage of his eventual father-in-law. He worked as a consultant, occasionally working in the field with different corporations while his wife pursued the more scholarly and meta areas of dream science.

 

After Inception

 

Cobol catches up with Cobb, and murders his entire family, with the exception of his children, James and Phillipa, who are rescued by Arthur. Arthur continues to see Cobb's specter in his dreams, but it not the same man as it continually gets warped and twisted in Arthur's mind.