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[THEORY] BTS & Inception

Aka: Why it's all a dream and Jin is the dreamer.

In recent MVs BTS have made a lot of pop culture references to various films; Chatroom, Silence of the Lambs, Peter and Wendy, Lost River, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and many others I have not yet had the time to dwell into and talk about.

Well, there is yet another pop culture reference that has been hiding in plain sight..!

Suga BTS Bangtan Min Yoongi fansign question Inceptino favourite movie film

(Same Suga, same...)

The references are so obvious to me that for ages I didn't even think about writing this theory, simply because I thought everyone had picked up on it. Turns out that's not the case, so here I am with a small theory to warm up for the new comeback.


ARMY, let's talk about 'Inception'


'Inception' is a film from 2010 which was a huge commercial success, but to those of you who don't know it, here's a quick sum-up:

BTS Bangtan Inception Theory Bighit instagram

Cobb is a thief who robs people in their dreams, a method known as extraction. He gets hired for a special job: inception; to plant an idea in someone's mind. However, Cobb's memory of his dead wife, Mal, haunts his dreams and threatens to ruin this last job, which is his only ticket home to his two kids.

The first reference to 'Inception' was back in the HYYH era, on their concept photos for HYYH pt.2 on Instagram.

"Je ne regrette rien" (French for: I do not regret anything) is the name of a song by Edith Piaf, which is used actively in the film 'Inception'.

The song is highly relevant to the plot.

When the characters are in dreams, that song is used as a warning that they need to wake up soon.

The phrase (Je Ne Regrette Rien) appears on almost all the concept photos from that BTS era. If it isn't a reference to that song then why write it in French? They have the Korean and English translations in hashtags as well, but chose to use French.

In Inception, the song is used as a warning that they need to wake up from their dreams, but in order to help them to actually wake up, they need a "kick".

BTS Bangtan Inception Theory film gif

(This is a kick)

"It's that feeling of falling you get that jolts you awake. It snaps you out of a dream."

In the film, water is often used as a "kick" to wake them from their dreams, as the impact with water produces a shock that can be felt clearly even in a sedated dream.

BTS Bangtan Inception Theory gif falling

Okay let's start to get a bit more specific and personal here.

There are seven main characters in Inception (yes seven - you already know what I'm going to suggest, don't you?). Let's take them one at a time.

First we have Cobb, who struggles with his subconscious in which his dead wife, Mal, shows up in various violent ways. I won't treat Mal as a character of her own, but only as part of Cobb's subconscious, because that's what she has become. She represent his memories of his wife, but not a real person.


Cobb immediately makes me think of V


There are many reasons why.

BTS Bangtan Inception film Theory Spring Day Train

Cobb and Mal lie down on train tracks, exactly as V does in Spring Day.

Cobb and Mal have gone too far into dreams which has landed them in limbo; a place of constant dream. It's just the two of them there and for fifty so years they lived there, alone, together.

In order to leave and get home to their children, they need a powerful kick. So they lie down on the train tracks as the train approaches.

In Spring day, V too lies down on the tracks, so he can wake up from his endless dream.

BTS Bangtan Inception film Theory V Kim Taehyung being arrested gif

Then there is the fact that Cobb has been accused of killing his wife and is prosecuted for murder.

In much the same way that V is being prosecuted in his short film for the murder he committed in I Need U.

Both V and Cobb carry some guilt concerning this, although they both acted in the way they thought was the best, given their circumstances.

BTS Bangtan Inception film Theory Prologue gif

Cobb assembles the whole team.

BTS Bangtan Inception film Theory V Kimi Taehyung Blood Sweat Tears leap of faith
BTS Bangtan Inception film Theory leap of faith

At the beginning of the Prologue, V calls his Hyungs to assemble everyone because he needs help and support. He arrives first, lies down on the mattress and waits for everyone to arrive.

So, like Cobb, V assembles the team.

There's that scene where Mal jumps to her death from the hotel window.

She is happy as she jump, thinking that she will finally get to wake up from a long dream and see her children.

In Blood, Sweat & Tears, V also smirks as he jumps, and he looks at the camera, having waited for the camera to show up, in the same way Mal waited for Cobb to arrive before jumping.

The constant need for escape.

The Mal in Cobb's memories thinks that she is always in a dream, and she wants to get back to the real life, and the only way to wake up, is by dying.

Like Mal, V always appears to feel like he is trapped. In Blood, Sweat & Tears and in the Tour Trailer, V struggles under silk covers and tries to pound on them to get out, but he is caged in a dream, like he is in his short film. He can't make himself wake up. He is as far gone as Mal (and Cobb); trapped in limbo.

The dark side.

"[...] we're also going deeper into you,

and I'm not so sure that we're going to like what we find."

- Ariadne to Cobb -

There is a scene where Mal comes out and stabs someone, which makes me think of V's stabbing scene in I Need U. Mal's dark and devious side in the dreams, remind me of V's dark and devious expressions in the wings tour trailer, and also in Blood, Sweat & Tears. The wicked smiles, the anger, the wild emotions.


Moral compass, Ariadne, and J-Hope

BTS Bangtan Inception film Theory mirror shatters

Ariadne is the architect, who designs the layouts of the dreams of the team, but more importantly she is Cobb's moral compass, in the same way that J-Hope wants to steer V onto the right path in the Blood, Sweat & Tears.

BTS Bangtan Inception film Theory J-hope shoots V Blood Sweat Tears gif

She is the only one who knows Cobb's full past and his struggle with the darkness inside him (his mentor is of his dead wife) and she takes it upon herself to go into the dreams in order to help him deal with and help the others succeed and survive despite Cobb's dark subconscious.


Arthur has no Jams

BTS Bangtan Inception film Theory Arthur gif

Arthur is the researcher of the group, and he is the serious one, who isn't that much fun. Naturally, this is our Jimin of the group.

Arthur [Jimin] and Ariadne [J-Hope] spend a lot of time together, going into dreams together, and grow quite close. In the same way that Jimin and J-Hope also get really close in the HYYH era through their similar experiences.

BTS Bangtan Inception film Theory Park Jimin J-Hope feathers lie down Run

Con-men Eames and Suga


Eames's role in the team is to gain information and to act as a distraction by the use of deception. Suga does this too, in a way, both as he plays the organ, but also with the blindfold that he wants to put on Jimin. He distracts the characters from their path, especially Jimin and Jin.

Eames [Suga] and Arthur [Jimin] have an ongoing fight/rivalry going on throughout the film, and so do Suga and Jimin in Blood, Sweat & Tears.

BTS Bangtan Inception film Theory Eames savage

(Also, Eames is pretty savage.)


RM is a chemist, like Yusuf

BTS Bangtan Inception film Theory

In Blood, Sweat & Tears Rap Monster is well versed in the art of sedation, in the same way as Yusuf is famous for his strong sedations in 'Inception'.

Yusuf is very skilled at what he does. In fact he is the best, however, he does tend to get rather nervous and becomes clumsy when he gets nervous (sound familiar?).

Yusuf is also the driver, and you may already be saying: but Rap Monster is the only one who doesn't drive in BTS, and it would be too dangerous for him to drive.

Well, let me tell you: world peace is certainly threatened when Yusuf drives.


Jungkook and Saito are tourists